The Love Puzzle

Love is a puzzle that artists, poets, authors, historians, and scientists have tried to piece together for infinity. The intricate pieces that come together for it to work are so precise that it is wonder that anyone ever falls in love, however when all the pieces magically snap into place there is a beautiful rush of emotion, attraction, excitement, and contentment. Sometimes it takes awhile for love to grow, and it does so, slowly over time, and sometimes you can experience the split second experience of love at first sight – When you see a person for the first time and you know that you have a strong connection that makes you want to get to know them better…immediately!

Have you ever been on the edge of new love? Have you ever been on the edge ready to jump off from an old love? Have you ever had issues loving yourself enough or a member of your family? We all have been through the ups and downs that being in love and loving ourselves and others brings. How many times you have been through it depends on your age and life experiences.

It is no secret these days that all the “gurus” on television and in print say that Intentions play a big part in who and what we attract in our daily lives. It is just as important to take time to think long and hard about what would be acceptable traits in a life partner as would be in the case of what you wanted in a new career. The key is putting it out to the universe in the form of writing, prayer, or meditation. You can then just sit back and wait while the beauty of love unfolds.

Finding an artistic way to illustrate this was easy with the use of an actual blank puzzle. The Love Puzzle is a workshop offering for those looking to carefully place intentions with the hopes of finding a new love, for those celebrating the love they have, or for those who want live large and are not scared of learning how to love themselves. When the puzzle is complete, take it apart and put it into a small box and give it to someone special on Valentines Day or keep it for yourself as a daily reminder of how awesome you are!

Here are a few photos of the stages of building a Love Puzzle of my own. You will see intentions for desired traits for a new love written with a black Sharpie marker on the blank white puzzle. The words will all be covered over with paint and you will only be able to see them faintly when the puzzle is complete. Of course for this example you can’t see all the pieces because some things are secret.

First hand experience – It works!

Love Puzzle with intentions
Love Puzzle with intentions – yes it says…sexy. Gotta ask for what you want.

The intentions are then painted and collaged over with pieces of tissue paper and vintage stamps and are like a secret message hidden from all except you.  The next photo shows the painting stage which comes after all the collage items are completely dry. Which may take up to an hour.

By Heather Mitchell Gailey
The painting stage – in progress

Below is the finished puzzle, You could write a message on it or a favourite quote about being in love before you take it apart and put it in a gift box of your choice, ready to give away or to keep.

Completed Love Puzzle by Heather Mitchell Gailey
Completed Love Puzzle by Heather Mitchell Gailey

Why not share in The Love Puzzle “artventure”? Gather a group of your friends together before Valentines Day and I will come to your home (within the Durham Region) and guide you through the process of designing and creating your own.

If interested, you can message me here or on Facebook.



2 Angels are better than one!

I received a pretty little journal (maybe 6″ x 8″) in the mail last month from someone in our round robin Journal pass group named Beth. The theme of her journal was “things with wings”. Many people had done dragons and such, yet for some reason I focused my artistic energy towards painting these two sweet Angels.

Journal entry by Heather Gailey 2013
Journal entry by Heather Gailey 2013

When I think of Angels I think of all my precious friends and family who have helped me through hard times over the years and in doing so have become part of my success story. For now I am only going to speak about one such Angel. Her name is Nola. Nola and I have been friends now for 34 years. We met back in high school when we were in grade 10. We went through a lot together, and even though we live far apart we still call each other friend.

Why is Nola and Angel, you ask?

When I was going through my separation and my husband first left me I did not know which way to turn. One day, soon after the break up, I decided it was necessary to make to meet with a counselor at the local Social Services office to discuss my situation. I needed to feel more confident in my ability to live, eat, and support my children, and so I went there to speak to someone about my situation and ask for some short-term financial help. I remember it was winter time and very cold outside on the day I went to apply for help. Inside the office I stood behind a woman in the long line of people waiting to speak to a clerk. It shocked me to see that even though it was snowing outside she stood in front of me with broken shoes, no socks, and a torn coat. It seemed as if life had not been kind to her. I was very emotional with all that was going on and when I arrived back home I called Nola and told her what I saw and shared that it was a scary thought that I might end up in that same way. She said to me in such a strong and reassuring voice…”Heather…I will never let that happen to you”. She stood true to her claim and never did. She would take me grocery shopping and helped me afford paint to jazz up my dingy apartment. She was there for me in every way. She never let me fall. Her wings lifted me and helped me through one of the hardest times in my life. This is why she is an Angel. I love you Nola!

Who are the people in your life who are Angels is disguise? How did they help you in a time of need? Have you told them how much you love and appreciate how they have helped you? Maybe today is the day!











Sheepish Blogger


Who ever thought school would take up this much time?? NOT me!

A working mom with teenagers going back to University? I think I just need my head read. This week was particularly busy because we spent the weekend moving my other twenty “somethingish” daughters to a new apartment. It is sad to see them go, however it is great to reclaim our living room. My whole body is aching from the move. My Supervisor always says that would mean a “Smirnoff and Tylenol 3 time” for her. I am not sure I am brave enough to mix the two substances together. I will just opt for soaking in some epsom salts while drinking a cold beer.

Over the next couple of weeks it will be a busy time at school and I am going to have to back off on the Monday’s top tip and the Inspiration Fridays for now. They will return I promise, once things settle down a bit. I know that a professional blogger would be planning and writing their posts weeks in advance, but I would like to be spontaneous and share things will you as they arise. If I choose something inspiring a week before I give it to you…it is no longer inspiring me at that time. I like to stay current. I guess something has to give and for now it will be a bit of the blog.

I will be posting my journal pages as I complete them for my learning journal. Here are three pages minus the journaling page for session 3 (I just haven’t written it yet).

Have a great week everyone! Thanks for your patience and understanding

The face of Adult Education in Canada by Heather Gailey
The Face by Heather Gailey

Session 3 and 4 Glossary


The Sketchbook Project lands at the Gladstone Hotel in T.O.

The Sketchbook Project information cards I picked up – Love that brown cardboard

Have you ever told your friends that you want to go somewhere (like an art show) and then when it gets closer to the date you’ve somehow decided it will take way more energy than you have to get there and make it happen? Well…that is what happened to me last week.

 Back of the cards – Much more colourful

The Story

Heather and Debs and I had planned to head to the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, Ontario (months ago!) to catch the last day of the 2012 Sketchbook Project Tour that originated from the Brooklyn Art Library in New York. We had discussed the adventure at Doll Meeting and sealed the deal. So, a few days before the show I was talking to Heather on the phone and she asked if we were still going and I found myself hemming and hawing about it. We would have to take the GO train (for those of you who aren’t Canadian, it is a cross between a subway and a passenger train that travels the same track outside and primarily takes commuters to the city centre for work) and it was a long way with lots of potential walking. Bottom line…I was feeling whiney (which I usually don’t). Needless to say, Heather talked me back into it and we were on again for Sunday’s adventure. It turned out to be an amazing experience, and despite the stifling summer heat, a good time was had by all.

How did we get there??

We took the Go Train in the morning and all met up at a stop about halfway there, where Heather’s amazing husband picked us up and drove us right to the front door of the  Gladstone Hotel. There was a lot of construction in the downtown core and he felt we would get there faster if we drove. Gotta Love Larry! He was right! We arrived downtown around 1pm.

While we stood outside of the beautiful refurbished hotel, we decided that because the show didn’t start until 2pm that we had some time to grab lunch. We walked down Queen Street until we came across the Drake Hotel that was offering a brunch. So brunch it was! Heather and Debs got some choice food pics that I will have to add later. Personal food shots are so “trending” right now.

The Gladstone Hotel – Toronto, Ontario

Brunch was yummy. You can tell because they look extremely happy. Well…it may have had just a little something to do with the company as well. We have such a “gas” when we are together. Heather had Blueberry Pancakes, Debs had the standard brekkie and I had the eggs Bennie. YUMBA MAGUMBA. Don’t ask me what that means…I have said it since I was a kid..

Heather and Debs at the Drake Hotel for brunch – Toronto

There was amazing art installations at the Drake Hotel like this one that looked like hanging sea vegetables. (oops! this picture disappeared so had to repost)

And this freaky one…It looked as if it was a real man…with no body

Man sculpture – Drake Hotel

We didn’t just eat and run. We found it necessary to leisurely wander in and out of all the trendy curio and furniture shops all the way back because of the heat. It was so hot I thought I would melt. We also stopped in to see what Woolfitt’s art store had to offer. We won’t say what we came out with *wink*.

Woolfitt’s Art Supplies

What did we do when we got back?

When we got back to the Gladstone we climbed the stairs with anticipation to see what it would be like in the mobile library. When we first came in we signed up and obtained a library card. Once we had the card we were told we could begin to line up to “take out” sketchbooks from the library. They had such a great system all set up on two huge Macs. You could choose your topic, colour, and even individual artists if you knew of anyone from another city who had entered a sketchbook into the tour. I think we were able to see twenty random sketchbooks. One of the ones I was really impressed with was Marie Otero you can see her sketchbook here to see why I liked it. I wrote her a quick email to let her know I thought hers was great. I hope someone does the same for me when I send mine in next year.

In this picture Debs is signing in her last sketchbook at closing time. You can see the set up with the library shelves and Macs and line markers set off to one side. It had a lot of ambiance being in the old Hotel.

One last tidbit of fun

The Sketchbook Project was sponsored by Prismacolour markers and pencil crayons and therefore there was a couple of art stations where you could colour and write a post card to someone in the next city. When you completed your postcard and put it in and envelope for “mailing” the staff/curators would hand you one from another city. How cool is that!!!! Here is the one I made. I can hardly wait to see who gets it!

Heather G’s postcard

Here is Heather B. and Debs in the thick of creating.

Heather’s Postcard

I have one question…What’s with that half-naked lady in the background : )

All in all we had a fantastic girls day out. I would do it again in a heart beat. However, if it was an outing with these two amazing creative and stylish gals…I WOULD GO ANYWHERE!!