Vintage Gypsy Magazine Spring Edition April 2021

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Vintage Gypsy

$25 Live Life Inspired ISSUE 22/APRIL 2021

Truck Magic A photographic journey by: Tara McDermott

Conscious Cures to Reduce Stress and Boost your Immune System with Donna Maltz

ax J ef l Occasion h C Specia amb of L k c a R

Birth and Rebirth with Brandi Roy

Just Around the Corner with Sandra's Framing Gallery & Gifts The Molly Music Connection

Cover Art by Birgit Raduenz Subscribe @

Love Note Our Cover Story Birgit Raduenz wears many hats ! She is a wife, mother, sister, daughter, gardener. She is a lover of nature, the healing arts, music and dance.

Art By; Birgit Raduenz

I woke up this morning and my soul began to call out to me. It happens every morning, before I even open my eyes, I'm full of joy to get up and hit the ground running. What can I create today? What can I do today to share my message with the world? How can I take up more space and show other women how do to the same? Do you hear this call? Can you hear your soul calling to you to grow, evolve, lead, rise, create, sing, dance, explore? Do you hear the call to take up more space in this world? As the world shifts and a new feminine paradigm is settling in, we are being called to change old negative belief systems that no longer serve us or the masculine power struggle that we have been living in. The world needs the message that you have to share. The next generation needs to know that they can change their stories and relieve themselves from the expectations

this conformative society has placed on them. or that we have placed on them for a lack of knowing better. It starts with us... We must pave the way or at least show them the trail and allow them to follow their own path. When we step and lead our lives from a place of unapologetic joy and freedom, we inspire and empower others to do the same. So I ask you again my sweet soul sister... Are you being called, to be a changemaker, a trail blazer, a leader in your own life? And if you are, What is one thing you can do today to move you closer? How can you share your message more freely and from a place of Love and compassion? What can you do to pave the way for others to follow?

Drawing and Painting is a passion for Birgit, that can be seen on every cover and colouring page of the Vintage Gypsy Magazine. Her love for painting and sculpting started at the age of 16 when she started her apprenticeship at the Royal Porcelain Manufacturer in Berlin, Germany. Her love for Celtic lore and design inspire her to transform clay into art. No Matter what hat Birgit wears, she always finds inspiration to create beauty in the world. “It is all of these hats I wear that make it possible for the art to flow from my hands into form and shape.“ -Birgit You can see her work at the Mann Art Gallery gift shop and Shananigan’s coffee and dessert bar in her home city of Prince Albert, SK. or view it online on Facebook and Instagram at: FinxiArt by Birgit Raduenz Contact her at .

Shannon Kelly is the Chief Editor and creator of the "Vintage Gypsy" Mag. She is a storyteller, a community builder and a humanitarian. She believes that we all have a story to tell and that each story is unique and important. check out the full story


In This Edition Birth and Rebirth with Brandi 8

8 5


Truck Magic A Photographic Journey Tara 11 Conscious Cures to Reduce Stress and Boost your Immune System with Eco-Bohemian Entrepreneur & Soil to Soul Empowerment Coach Donna 18

18 27

From the Kitchen Special Occasion Rack of Lamb with 23 A Meditation of Craft with Arlene 27 Just Around the Corner with Sandra's Framing Gallery and 30


I, Karen with Karen 34 Coloring Page Birgit 38


Copyright © 2015 by Vintage Gypsy Ent. All rights reserved. This magazine or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher. Printed in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan Canada ISSN 2371-8749 (Print) ISSN 2371-8757 (Online) Contact US: Vintage Gypsy Ent. 338-15th Street West Prince Albert, Saskatchewan Canada S6V 3R2


Audacity What do I In all my hunger, anxiety, and fear Have the audacity to stand up for today What do I In all my joy, abundance, and laughter Have the audacity to let go today What do I In all my rage, betrayal, and wrath Have the audacity to forgive today What do I In all my sorrow, broken heartedness, and grief Have the audacity to celebrate today Heather Ventura, co-founder of Brigids Gate Press, believes there are few things that can’t be solved with tea, cookies, and a good book. Like nature, she abhors a vacuum. She enjoys reading a wide range of books, but can’t resist fairytales and gothic novels. She currently resides with her husband, son, and two horribly mischievous black cats under the vast prairie skies of the Midwest. She continues to believe the world is a place full of magic and wonder.



"We only need to listen and trust the things we know inside to be true" -Brandi Roy -8-

I have always had a weird relationship with societal norms, especially those around working. I have gone through many ups and downs, going from corporate jobs back to a casual restaurant gig to cleanse my palette, and then back again when it seemed society was dictating this is a path of success for me. It took me awhile to learn to truly trust what I knew about myself on the inside. I felt trapped. I felt that being secure or following my passions was a choice that I needed to make. It was only after giving birth and experiencing my son in the world that I decided life was too short and precious to be wasting energy on jobs that didn’t mean anything to me. My time seemed more precious than ever. After staying home with my little one for a year, I felt the internal pressure to take yet another corporate job. My husband was in school full time and it was my conditioning that working for this kind of stability is what a good parent does. Like all new moms I was trying to figure out how to create the best life for my baby. Of course, it went the way of all my other similar jobs. Starting off good and then turning to boredom and then frustration. As this frustration built, I decided to get my Access Bars ran. As the energy was flowing through me, a part of the back of my head began to run hot. Suddenly I had a realization which I verbalized right then and there: “There are many different ways a person can be stable for a child that are not monetary. Children choose who they want as parents on a soul level, and by me not being my full authentic self I am doing my child a disservice. If I owe him anything, it is for me to be my highest, fullest, healthiest self and to show him what that can look like.” I went about my work with my then employer as it was a contract position, but it was different this time. I knew now this would be the last time I accepted something that was not fulfilling on all levels. It was a pleasant environment and due to COVID-19 I found myself working at home or alone quite often. This allowed me the gift of time to fall into a podcast black hole with my latest spiritual obsession, Human Design.

I have been interested in different spiritual modalities for a long time, beginning with yoga about twelve years ago. In a more turbulent time of my life, I discovered Body Talk which began to help me hear the messages that my energetic body was trying to tell me. This led to studying and experimentation with the Chakra system, Ayurveda, vegetarianism (or just being mindful in general of what I was putting into my body and how it affected the world around me) and Akashic record readings. Each one was a tool I added to my kit to help me live a more aligned life. Human Design was my latest discovery and I learned as much about it as I could. Human Design is a system that suggests how to operate our individual energetic bodies. Combining aspects of astrology, the Chakra system and the I Ching, Human Design creates an energetic blueprint which maps out where you have the most stable energy, where you are susceptible to taking in energy that isn’t your own and most importantly the correct way to exchange your energy with the world around you via your energy strategy and authority. I learned that I was a Generator and this feeling of energetic frustration or lack of flow I was experiencing was a sign I was not living in accordance with my design. I learned that Generators are meant to wait to respond to opportunity and never to settle for anything that was not a full body yes. I took the ending of my work contract as perfect timing for a great experiment with these theories. Instead of panicking and just taking another job to pay the bills, I decided to evaluate what was going on in our life. As a family, we were not satisfied with the community we lived in. We decided to move to where we knew there would be more opportunity for our goals and ambitions. In moving I decided that since I was given the gift of unemployment insurance in this transitional time, I did not need to accept any job that would not grow me into the person I knew I wanted to be. Inside I accepted that this may take awhile but I would wait, as this is what I had been learning about and putting it into action seemed right to do. -cont...

" If I owe him anything, it is for me to be my highest, fullest, healthiest self and to show him what that can look like."

The first day we moved into our new home, I had an interview with an arts organization I had been aspiring to work with. Due to conditioning, I felt unworthy, that I needed to “put my time in” to reach any type of career goal. However, when I read the job description, I knew this position was created for me as a reward for all my inner work and to be my next step in that area of development. A week later I found out I received the job, and our new life began, a complete one-eighty from the previous month. Human Design taught me that the universe, (or Source energy, or God depending on your viewpoint) was always trying to give you what you truly wanted and that there was a reason for that longing. It is trying to map out a path for you to serve your highest purpose. It has validated for me aspects

of myself I thought were not in line with the world around me and given me the courage to fully own those parts of myself. Some things prominent in my chart are the need to push up on the norms of working, to obtain creative and unusual work that perpetuates the change I wish to see in the world. Also, that I am a storyteller, and need to respond to requests for my stories and share my worldview when called to. We only need to listen and trust the things we know inside to be true, removing all exterior messaging trying to tell us what we need to be happy. That is where the magic happens. It became clear that I needed to share this with the people around me, so I completed my Human Design Reader training and began giving readings under the handle “Wild Child Human Design.” I am not suggesting that a

corporate job is always unfulfilling and everyone in one needs to leave. I am not suggesting that a spiritual path is right for everyone. I am only suggesting that it is not correct to live in a way where you are living to meet other people’s expectations and goals and feeling a hole inside yourself of all the things you could have been. You can be them, and you can start now. You can live your fullest in addition to your other roles, mother, father, son, daughter, wife, husband. I would do anything for my son, but I believe sacrificing our daily happiness is not positive for ourselves or our families. Human Design suggests that we are all part of the human experience, and everyone is here to fulfill their energetic needs for a purpose. Only by us all following what is true for us can we move forward as a collective. This means following our passions and our dreams is not only the best thing you can do for yourself and your family, but the best thing you can do for humanity as a whole. Be yourself, the world needs it now.

Originally from Prince Albert, Brandi has recently returned to Saskatoon with her family to continue pursuit of her goals in the community event industry along with other personal goals. She has always had a passion for music, art and literature and strives to combine this with her coordinating skills to assist in providing the community access to art and beauty. She also strives to share her gift of intuition and unique worldview by providing Human Design Readings. She obtained her Event Management Certificate in 2018 and completed Jenna Zoe’s Human Design Training Level 1 & 2 in 2021. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two year old son, friends and family. She enjoys the outdoors, yoga, cooking, reading, writing, meditations and other spiritual work.





The Molly-Music Connection Music gives off a frequency that resonates within us. Vibrates, within us. Something incredibly special happens when you put music to a community of people. A scientific phenomenon known as spontaneous self organization, otherwise known as the "sync up" occurs after a short period of time. Objects with different vibrational frequencies (YOU), after a while, begin vibrating at the same frequency! What is more communal than literally vibrating as one! As you begin to vibrate with the music, you also begin to move with it! “Movement is our first form of communication." says Nana Koch, an expert in Dance Movement Therapy. "In dance the inherent movement provides us with opportunities for socialization, for building community, for developing the vitality within us, and for expressing our innermost thoughts and feelings.” Dance is a great way to express emotion and relieve stress. It is an important component of many cultures. Used as a tool to awaken and align the body & soul, and express inner spirit. To many, it is a sacred art.


"In dance the inherent movement provides us with opportunities for socialization, for building community, for developing the vitality within us, and for expressing our innermost thoughts and feelings.”

Ecstasy. Defined as “an emotional or religious frenzy or trancelike state, originally one involving an experience of mystic selftranscendence.” Its no wonder MDMA(Molly) was nicknamed Ecstasy many years ago. These trancelike states are often induced through music and dancing along with the substance. It invokes an experience that is unforgettable to the user. MDMA’s psychedelic effects can allow a person to create new connections in the brain that can heal trauma, treat anxiety, and break addiction. For thousands of years ceremonial music, dancing and substance use has been changing the lives of communities. From South American Ayahuasca tribes to underground MDMAtherapists, Shamans around the world are using these powerful tools to guide people on extraordinary healing journeys. Now, imagine a place where you could go and have an experience like this. In a controlled environment, where medical professionals administer you with the proper dose of pure MDMA. The music playlist is carefully created to allow the mind to expand and the body to move. Slowing the tempo occasionally and reminding people to hydrate to prevent overheating. Decriminalization of substances like MDMA and having safe consumption sites like this across Canada can change the dynamic of drug use in our young and help prevent further addiction and overdose. Let's take the money and power out of the hands of criminals and put it back into the community! Be Safe – Stay Lit.


Those who journey within rarely come back empty handed....


It can be stressful being a badass ecoentrepreneur, especially being a woman. I know because I have been one since 1980 and stress did me in several times until I got my priorities straight. Once I got this right; prioritizing health, family, business; in that order, I could balance my work and lifestyle. Stress management has now become part of my career as a coach, author, and retreat host on the Big Island of Hawaii. Here are some rewarding destress tips (Conscious Cures) and why it is so important to pay attention to the signs that trigger pressure, fear, and anxiety.

Stress raises your blood pressure and pulse, making you more receptive to illnesses. The American Medical Association has noted that stress is the primary cause of over 60 percent of all human illnesses and diseases. If anxiety and stress are pressing down on you, get the help you deserve so you can leave the fear behind. Incorporate exercise, mindfulness, meditation, and breath awareness into your daily rituals.

“pay attention to the signs that trigger pressure, fear, and anxiety.”


“Daily exercise gets your blood pumping to purify your body. ”

Exercise. Exercise lowers your body’s stress hormones and regulates your cortisol levels. Whether it’s yoga, Pilates, martial arts, walking, or swimming, being active releases chemical endorphins, enhancing your mood and acting as a natural painkiller. Daily exercise gets your blood pumping to purify your body. A high-temperature environment helps block viruses from entering, which is why your body reacts to infection with a fever. That 101-degree temperature helps kill a virus, while sweating removes toxins. Sweating and breathing hard is good for us.

Besides boosting feel-good chemicals, such as serotonin, exercise helps you sleep better, and regulates your weight. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, involved in many processes throughout your body, from regulating your mood to aiding digestion. Move your body every day and, if possible, do so outside. When we’re stuck inside, we may lack the motivation to get our blood pumping and our breath puffing. Cleaning your living space from ceiling to floor can be a stress-buster workout, just like lifting weights. Put on some dance tunes and get those endorphins pumping!

Practice mindfulness and meditation. From Kundalini meditation to music meditation to walking meditation, there are many options. Learn to still your mind by a mindless task and turn that time into a mindful one. Mindfully wash your dishes, feel the pots and pans in the warm water, and experience the difference while present in the task. It will make your “work” more gratifying. Listening to the sounds of Nature or soothing music helps get us into a meditative state, as do warm candlelit baths. CBD oil can also help chill your mind and relax your body. Be aware of your breath. It is so simple, and yet so powerful. You can relax your thoughts and still your mind by becoming fully aware of your breathing. Sigh and give it some sound! Gentle, relaxed breathing is better than breathing deeply when you are anxious. Focusing on your breath and repeating a positive mantra, such as, “I am safe, happy, and healthy,” brings peace of mind and helps regulate your breath.


Cultivate expression, not depression. Having outlets to express yourself leaves little room for depression. Some of the most incredible music, art, and business ideas have come from misfortune. If you find yourself feeling down, pick up something you love to do and express yourself. Sharing your creations multiplies the expression and joy and is contagious. Spend as much time as you can outdoors. The power of Nature can absorb negative energy and help you cope with being cooped up. There are so many ways to enjoy the great outdoors: forest bathing (shinrin-yoku), wave watching, tree climbing, hiking, moonlight walks, gardening, fishing, skiing, and snorkeling, just to name a few. You can cry and scream and allow yourself to let loose and feel free. Nature holds no judgment. Find your inner peace, guidance, and strength as you climb upward and out. Leave the urban lifestyle for at least an hour a day and rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit. Being in Nature is free entertainment. Fresh air freshens our outlook. It also builds our immune systems.

Help others. One of the best ways to boost your mental health is helping others. It reduces sadness, fear, and anxiety, and motivates you to do more acts of kindness. Sharing your gifts gives you dignity, a sense of purpose, and self-worth. A simple act of kindness goes a long way. Offer to shop for a neighbor, make meals for others, donate to a charity, make masks, write an upbeat blog, and share your smile. Our internal and external environments are more habitable when we integrate kindness, love, and compassion. Take a moment to think about what you are doing with your precious time.

Donna Maltz has been a successful eco-entrepreneur since 1980 and has started multiple companies. She is an author, a Soil to Soul life, and business coach, and offers custom Holistic Healing Retreats on the Big Island of Hawaii, where she lives with her husband, plenty of four-legged friends, and lots of plants. The retreats highlight culinary healing arts and Nature Therapy. Nature, ethics, and sustainability remain at the forefront of her career and life decisions.

Want more Conscious Cures? Here is a link to a free guide Or to purchase Donna’s New book Conscious Cures ~ Soulutions to 21st Centurey Pandemics


From the Kitchen with Chef Jax

Jackie Thoms is a rebel in the kitchen. She loves in your face flavors that explode in your mouth and have your taste buds screaming for more. She believes cooking should be simple, spices and fresh herbs can turn ordinary into extraordinary

Rack of Lamb with Mint and Pistachio Pesto It was recently my dad's birthday and he loves lamb, so naturally every year I make him lamb for his birthday supper. This year I found a beautiful rack of lamb and decided to roast it in the oven and make a delicious mint and pistachio pesto to go along with it. Well needless to say, it was absolutely fabulous. Rack of lamb is an expensive cut of meat but for my dad, its totally worth it. Enjoy.

For the lamb: 1 rack of lamb, you can buy it in a sealed pack all ready to go, or ask at the butcher counter. Salt and pepper 1. Preheat your oven to 400F. 2. Take your lamb out of the fridge for a good 30 minutes before you are going to cook it and allow it to come to room temperature. 3. Season your lamb simply with salt and pepper, quite liberally. 4. Heat a heavy bottomed pan with oven proof handles or cast iron skillet over medium to high heat. 5. Sear the lamb on all sides until you have a nice crust all over the meat, couple minutes per side. 6. Transfer the pan to the oven and allow the lamb to roast for 25 minutes, depending on how rare to well done you prefer your lamb. I would suggest medium rare to medium with this cut, so use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature of the lamb after 20 minutes. If you don't have a meat thermometer, I would strongly suggest getting one. They are inexpensive and take all the guessing out of your cooking, and also avoid overcooking an expensive cut like rack of lamb. Internal temperature should be around 140F. 7. Once your lamb is done to your liking, remove from the pan and transfer to a plate and cover with foil so the meat can rest. In the mean time, make your pesto.

For the pesto: 1 bunch of mint 1/4 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios 1/4 cup parmesan cheese Zest from one lemon, plus the juice 1 garlic clove 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper to taste 1. In a food processor, add your pistachios and garlic, and pulse until coarsely chopped. 2. Add your mint, not stems please, and pulse again until the mixture is finely chopped. Remove the lid and scrape down the sides of the bowl. 3. Add your parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, lemon zest and pulse again until mixed. 4. Slowly stream in the olive oil through the lid until the mixture forms a smooth, spreadable paste, but not too thick. 5. Taste for seasoning and add lemon juice to your liking, and any more salt or parmesan cheese. Transfer your lamb to a cutting board and slice your lamb. Serve on a platter with the pesto on the side with a nice big pile of roasted baby potatoes and enjoy.


Salmon Gravlax with Horseradish Cream

What you will need 1 package of salmon gravlax 1 package of any thin, crisp crackers or toasted baguette. big pinch of salt zest of one lemon For the horseradish cream: 1/2 cup sour cream

For an appetizer before our lamb, I found some salmon

1 teaspoon fresh dill

gravlax in the seafood department along side the smoked

salt and pepper to taste

salmon and thought I would try it. I've seen many TV chefs make it from scratch but it takes a couple days and I simply didn't have the time. I found the store bought version a bit

2 tablespoons of horseradish-start with 1 tablespoon and add more if you like it stronger.

1. Prepare your horseradish cream earlier in the day and allow it to sit in the fridge for a couple hours. 2. Slice your salmon into manageable pieces and toss with lemon zest and salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

bland so I added a pinch of salt and some lemon zest which

3. On a large platter arrange your salmon, crackers and your horseradish cream.

was perfect.

Something a bit different but very enjoyable.

Rebirth from the hollow places warm streams flow healing the body cleansing the soul

there ’s a time to cry – grow through the pain a time to sing – dance in the rain

embrace the breeze. and the light of the moon patiently. pale crocus tips will emerge soon…

-Ang MacDonald

Ang MacDonald is a wife, mother and grandma. You may remember her in such roles as “Sorry, we’re restructuring”, “Welcome to your summers off”, and “Gilmore Girls – the real life edition”. Known for announcing “Plot twist” more than she would care to, Ang has found her life building a throne out of the brick’s life has thrown her way. Growing up north of Prince Albert, she has nurtured a love of the outdoors, adventure and wideopen spaces. Ang feels most at home outdoors or snuggled into the sanctuary of the home she shares with her husband and their blended family. She has grown through life looking through a camera lens, with pen and paper in hand and her heart on her sleeve…


A Meditation of Craft BY ARLENE BURKE /BAKED IN PA I am always a bit nervous before I begin. I am not

I pull out my large mixing bowl and put into it a

sure why I feel this way because I have done it

quarter cup of shortening and a quarter cup of

hundreds of times. It is only at the start where I

sugar. I stir the milk with a wooden spoon to

hesitate, because once I get going I fall into a

discover it has scalded perfectly. I pour the hot milk

groove. With each step I gain focus and everything

into the mixing bowl and stir to melt the shortening. I

flows with passion.

then pour in a cooler cup of water into the mixing bowl. The milk mixture has to be cooled to lukewarm

At the start I am driven to do two things at once. I

before I can add the yeast mixture, so while I wait I

need to scald milk, but I also want to get the yeast

prepare the countertop. I clean the surface of the

soaking. I measure two cups of milk and put this into

counter and set the box of salt there with a

a pan on the burner. As the milk is heating I put a

measuring spoon. I also dig out a lemon and set it

teaspoon of sugar into a small bowl, pour in a cup of

aside. The oven is turned to one hundred and eighty

very warm water and then sprinkle four and a half

degrees fahrenheit.

teaspoons of yeast on top of the water. As I do all this I find my mind is clearing and my mood is lightening.


I put concerted effort into scraping every bit of the yeast mixture into the mixing bowl. Then the flour is added, almost ten cups in all. I do not worry if the dough is a little sticky because lots of flour is worked into it when it is kneaded. I cover my hands in oil and turn the dough onto the clean countertop which has been sprinkled with flour. I shake lots of flour on top

After rising, I turn the oven up to four hundred degrees farenheit and put the loaves in to bake. If I am lucky, and my brain is working well, I remember to put some butter into a small dish and set it on the back burner to melt. If not, then I am scrambling after the bread is finished baking to melt some in the microwave.

of the dough and start working. After only a couple of minutes I make a well in the dough and add four teaspoons of salt, and then I squeeze in a Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. I read somewhere the lemon juice can help to make homemade bread stay fresh longer, and have religiously held to this practice.

I now discover I can make time stand still. I knead, punch and work the dough for what seems like an


eternity. I turn to look at the clock and only three minutes have passed. I am determined to last at least eight, but ten minutes is preferred.

After thirty five minutes the bread is done and I set the pans onto cooling racks, brushing each loaf with a generous amount of melted butter. I leave the

I oil my large mixing bowl and put the kneaded dough back into it. One of the back burners on the

pans to cool for a few minutes and then I pull out the loaves to let them cool directly on the racks.

stove has the oven vent allowing the hot air to rise up through it, and I set the bowl on this one. I cover the bowl with a warm damp towel.

I cherish the sight of the beautiful loaves. I breathe in the yeasty warm aroma. I smile and say a small prayer of gratitude to the universe for this ritual that

I give the dough an hour and a half to fully rise. Then

soothes my soul.

I set the bowl on the countertop punch down the dough and cover it again with the towel, leaving it to rest for fifteen minutes. I turn the dough back onto the floured countertop and use a large knife to cut it into four portions.

I roll each portion into a circle and then fold it up like an envelope, by folding one end into the middle and then the sides into the middle and the last over the top. I have experimented with several different ways of shaping a loaf and this is definitely my favourite. I try very hard to not allow any air bubbles to form but sometimes they do happen.

Arlene was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan but has lived in Manitoba, British Columbia and Alberta. She now resides in Prince Albert with her husband and dog. Arlene operates a home based bakery business

Each loaf of dough is placed into a greased bread pan, and a small amount of oil is spread across the top. The four pans are place in a circle around the

called bakedinpa. She loves spending time with her family, cooking, baking, reading and taking long walks with her dog.

warm back burner. They are covered with the warm damp towel and again left to rise for at least an hour, and often a bit longer depending on how rushed I am. -28-

JUST AROUND THE CORNER Sandra’s Framing Gallery & Gifts

April 15th 2021 will be the 1 year Anniversary of Sandra’s Framing Gallery & Gifts. Sandra Zelensky purchased the framing business from Christina Thoen who had been running it as an art studio for many years before. Sandra was an art student with Christina for 8 years prior to taking over the business and building. Vintage Gypsy spoke with Sandra about the transition which happened just before Covid. This all started with innocent conversations, leading to Christina training me in the framing business (which I discovered I loved) to “maybe you should buy the business”! I said yes! Shortly before the possession date, along came Covid. This is where I really had to

trust and have faith that it all would work out the way it was intended. I stepped through the fear. In a lot of ways Covid gave me a chance to ease into being a new business owner. In five years I see myself recognized and known for my personalized service, whether its framing, buying art, or finding a unique gift. Being that I had been out of the work force for so many years, it has been a bit of a challenge learning how to balance everything. I have gained more awareness of myself in the past 5 or so years and really strive to be mindful of what my body is telling me, so when i get overwhelmed I dig into my tool box and find what I need, whether its meditation, spending time outdoors, creating

art or simply asking for help (which has never been my strong suit…..but I’m learning). In my business I offer Custom Framing. I love the process of taking someone's treasured art, photos, etc. helping them choose the matting and frame. When i put it all together its like a transformation. I get a lot of pleasure creating the finished product and look forward to my customers reactions when they see it for the first time. The connections I make with my customers is especially important to me, I love hearing the stories that go along with the piece/pieces that they are entrusting to me. It makes it personal. -30-

I also rent space to Artists and Artisans to sell their works, being surrounded by beautiful creations everyday brings joy and inspiration into my life. I have also been working on a space for a small gift shop, concentrating on Sask made items. I want to create the type of shop that I love to visit when I travel. I also have great space to rent for classes, workshops etc.”

Sandra is a Brave, confident, loving, and creative Woman born and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, where she has lived for the better part of her 57 years. “I am proud to call it home! The 30 years of marriage to my wonderful husband Rod have been spent on the family farm North east of P. A. Where we raised our 4 beautiful Children, Mathew 28, Laurel 27, Beth 25 and Jaclyn 19. (they are my greatest accomplishments, and I am honoured to be called their Mom) My favorite times are spent with them.”


Sandra and her sister Haley formed 2sisters creations a few years back when they fell in love with Alcohol Ink and had so many pieces that they started selling them. This adventure funded a Sister dream trip to Scotland. Together they continue to create and teach classes in the medium. “I am passionate about creating and trying different mediums (my work room will attest to that) I am in my 8th year of fine arts instruction with Christina Thoen where I have worked in Graphite, Acrylic, oil pastel, India ink and watercolor. I mainly use my own photography for inspiration.” When we asked Sandra about her path and journey thus far, she shared, “Things I would add to my accomplishments would be my many job experiences. We owned a small family store, working there after school and weekend I became confident in dealing and talking to people. From there I worked for a beekeeper. Was a highly skilled ‘curl maker’ at the Dairy Queen. Worked on a Survey Crew for the Alberta Dept of Highways. Moved to Saskatoon to try my hand at working two jobs (burnt our pretty quick) came home, went to school and work as a Commercial Cook, before I was called to training for my brief career as an RCMP (just wasn't for me) learnt a lot about myself during the training though! In 1985 I went on to be a Correctional officer with the Provincial Govt. in. Met my husband during this time, we married, and soon after, my dream of being a Mom came true. There was no question that I would stay home with my kids. Which I did, this also enabled me to help my Husband on our mixed farm. I did go back into the work force for a few years when our youngest was 2. Nothing else changed except I just added another fulltime job. I realized that I was not wonder woman, nor did I want to be. I know that I learned so many lessons along the way, many I did not realize until later. I would not change anything, as all my choices have brought me to where I am now. Exactly where I am meant to be.

Sandra's Framing Gallery and Gifts 625 Branion Drive, SK Prince Albert, SK, Canada (639) 739-7599

I, KAREN by: Karen Sopotyk-Pidskalny

Would you go off on an adventure for a few days and sleep in your vehicle? I never thought I would ever do something like that, but I did and it was fabulous. There were some factors as to why I needed to escape from my life, to take a break and reasons why I choose to sleep in my SUV. As a woman, my life thus far reflects the challenges, struggles and energy depletion that many women face. In sparing the details of my skeletons, I would love to share the freedom of the journey. I have known for a couple of months that I really needed to just get away and be me and take care of only me. I needed to be selfish which is something many women are not good at. Money was a concern, but an idea presented itself and was exactly what I needed. My son had biked to the west coast on his own personal trek and after living there, he formulated a new life plan. He was going to fly back but I offered to drive out and pick him up. The drive to Vancouver has usually taken two days with a stop on the way, however I had done the drive nonstop. There was nothing that required me to do the drive with either of those two options so instead I decided to take my time driving there. I did need to do a bit of preparation for me trek as I decided to sleep in my vehicle. My son is an experienced cyclist/camper and gave several suggestions like get a thermal blanket, sleep with a toque, use good bedding and places to sleep for the night. I created a great sleep area by stuffing the spaces between the seats with pillows, using my sheepskin rugs, bought a memory foam mattress topper, a wool quilt and blanket and flannel sheets. I was comfortable and stylish.


To cover the windows, I hung clips and created a clothesline idea with rope. I would use clothes pins to pin old curtains to cover the windows. In theory a good idea but in practice the clips did not stay up. I noticed the roof was cloth and bought safety pins and just pinned the curtains to the roof. Worked great! I needed to think about food, should I eat out or just pack food to eat. I decided to do the latter. I packed up dried fruit, smoked oysters, crackers, homemade breaded cutlets, oranges, carrots, celery, tea, traveling mug for coffee and tea, and water bottles. Along the way, I bought a head of lettuce, tomatoes, bananas, grapes, peanut butter, and a roasted chicken. I soon discovered that I was happy to just stop and eat food, more snacking than meals. I realized how complicated meals have become in our lives in which we are expected to have full on cooked meals, three times a day when we should really feast on only a tomato for supper. I loved the simplicity and enjoyed the taste of my food along with the view I had.

My sleeping accommodations were fabulous and warm. The temperature outside did dip to -5 as my coldest night to plus 5 on my warmest. I was well prepared for the cold compared to my son who was currently living in his tent. I had the luxury of warming up my vehicle during the night but never did. I was going to sleep by 9 pm as it was dark and with nothing to do, you go to sleep. The great thing about that is you wake up early too. That was a bonus I enjoyed immediately. The worse thing about my nights was the need to go to the bathroom. Something I am not super familiar with and this presented me with a challenge to find a 24 hour open gas station. I did not think of this as inconvenient but more a part of the adventure I was on. What would I do with my time between Saskatoon and Vancouver? Plenty! I packed more than enough reading and writing material for me to choose from. I was prepared for several moods of me. Stopping was

What became important and what did not? Literally changing my clothes daily or frequently. It was not super-hot so living in the same clothes was ok. Showering was not essential, but I was thinking about how to wash my hair in a bathroom sink. Brushing my teeth was still essential but deodorant was not. Simplified living became important. Was there a transformation? Yes, there was. I cleared out a lot of thoughts out of my head and left them scattered on the highway. I spent time with me and loved being alone. It is not an easy task for many of us to be alone. It can be challenging and difficult. Luckily for me, I have always enjoyed snippets of being alone. This trek was giving me the luxury of days in which I was able to spend time with my own spirit, soul, and self. I, Karen, discovered the remarkable human I am and reconnected with her.


Fin d Y ou r W Joi ild n t he Ca ra va n

e s a Ple le c y Rec

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