Vintage Gypsy Magazine Spring Edition April 2020

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Vintage Gypsy

$25 Live Life Inspired ISSUE 18/ APRIL 2020

Spring Light on Identity with Style Muse Megs Aylward

lle i M


i d o JAerospace Engineer to Prairies Artist

The Traveling Gypsy



RISE UP PHOENIX Recipes From the Kitchen of Chef Jax

i Artichoke Crostin & Crispy Chocolate Brownie

by: Ang MacDonald

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

As we begin to navigate the feelings and emotions that are arising through this time of chaos on the planet, I just wanted to share my thoughts with you. I do not believe that this is a time for us to give in to fear and panic. Although as we process what's going on its perfectly OK to feel this at times. Facing the unknown is always scary. All of our routines are being forced to change and we are being asked to put aside our conveniences and prepare in advance for situations we have no real control over. This of course can be frustrating and create feelings of overwhelm and anxiousness. But we can also look at this as a time of awakening. It's at times like these when the human spirit is truly revealed. When we really get to sense and see the resilience and compassion of all people on this planet.

We are being called to be the healers and the changemakers. to embrace change and embody our highest calling. We are being called to be storytellers, that future generations can learn from the experiences we are living today. We are being asked to step up and be leaders and guides for those who cannot navigate these times with ease and flow on their own. We are being invited to view this planet as a whole, that we are all an intricate piece of something much larger than ourselves, a small seed in a large eco-system that desperately needs us to start paying attention.

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

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 .


In This Edition The Healing begins with Hope Coach Jennifer 6

10 5


Come home to your Sacred Body Linda Grace 10 It's my Body Amanda Aussant 15 Middle Age Myrna 17

24 27

From the Kitchen with Chef Jackie 20 Jodi Miller Aerospace Engineer to Prairie 24 Rise up Phoenix Ang 29


Spring Identity Megs 32 A True Celebration of Life Lorna 36 Element of Air Coloring Page Birgit 41

36 Copyright Š 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


The healing begins with

HOPE Strength This challenge will make you stronger. You will get through to the other side. Look for the gifts in this situation.


What a time that is upon us. Who would have thought that the uncertainty that was in the world would be able to increase to this vibration that we are witnessing now? I do think that we have not seen the crescendo of it yet. I have struggled over the last month, I can usually see the hope and the light through the fear and uncertainty, but over the last month the veil of it has become very thick indeed. Even with my practices of grounding in nature, cacao ceremony, meditation, channeling reiki energy, healing in the akashic records; I still find myself in this lower vibration. Anyone else feeling the same? So I write for you and I write for me. I write to see the hope and what I know is that right now when I search for the hope, I don’t see it. I just realized that we, my gypsy friends are the ones who are being asked to create the hope. The hope that we saw before, the glimmer of light, this is now what we need to create for others. I have been searching for those to help lift me up so I can give and I have not been able to find them. I know that if you are feeling this too, then this is our collective invitation to create. To raise our vibration. I know you have practices too. I know that maybe your practices, as mine, have not felt like enough during this time. Maybe there is a bit of a calling to rest. The storm is just beginning. It is time for use to create new practices. To find which of the old ones are not working and to look within to touch our own hope and find the way to let that into the world. We have never stood at this door as humanity. I believe that the mother is giving us a chance. She is asking us to stop with all of the fucking busy and remember what is important. As we stop, she heals. As she heals, we can tap into that collective healing. This time is all about healing. Healing our physical bodies, our mental bodies, our emotional bodies, healing our energetic bodies, our spiritual bodies and akashic bodies. There is healing to be had. The healing starts with hope. The hope is within you. It always has been. You are being called right now to find it. To tap into your hope and be that light of hope for others. The world needs you right now, she needs you to stand and help humanity come back to love and compassion. The world has spun too far to the side of greed and power, it’s time to come back and find balance.

Who are you going to be on the other side of this? This is the question I ask myself. This time, this moment can be a gift if we let it, it can be a period of time where we step in and create who we want to be. This time of opening, healing, creating and innovating will take energy on your part. It will take compassion for yourselves and for others. It will take tapping into an even higher vibration. Take your practices and morph them into what fills you up, then teach this to others. The healing will come in the teaching. The healing starts with hope. I come back to hope today. Hope is the first step in this entire process we are in right now. Without hope, we lay down our swords and become defeated. There was enough of that before, this is our calling. Those who are reading this, you know, you feel it. And if you feel it reach out to me and let’s create a community of the ones who are being called. This is my invitation. It will be community that allows our collective gifts to come forth in the world. xoxo Jen

Jennifer Ehrmantraut is edgy, funny, and a little sweary. With over 20 years of leadership in public and private organizations, she climbed the corporate ladder to discover her passion in coaching and leadership development. She is a professional accountant by trade and an inspirer of intentional joy by passion. Her biggest lesson has been that when we lose the connection to ourselves then we can no longer connect with others. In finding her connection to herself again, Jennifer is redefining what success looks like through her company, Intentional You. There, she challenges individuals to question their stories, their capabilities, and their judgments of themselves, to give them the platform to jump beyond what they thought was possible.



SACRED BODY Linda Grace Cimpric is a weaver in the tapestry of life, helping to create evolution through desire, knowledge, and change. As a Reiki practitioner, Linda utilizes Holy Fire III ~ Karuna Reiki – a unique form of Reiki where vocal toning is used to amplify healing vibrations during the session. Through loving intention, the receiver may experience a gentle release, inner peace, a deeper connection with self, and blissful balance. As a Reiki Master, Linda helps her students develop a greater sense of awareness, self-compassion, and connection to our Oneness. Believing that healing is a journey into the self, Linda is a “caring presence” who supports others to uncover their true essence. Linda is also a certified Peristeam therapist, and compassionately helps people understand and practice the ancient healing “art” of steaming. Linda resides in Saskatoon where she lovingly devotes time to her beloved husband, children, and grandchildren.


Our body is a temple. How many times have I

Recently, I found a new “tool” for healing that is

heard this, and yet never fully embraced the

soft, gentle, yet powerful. It’s steaming.


Steaming is an ancient practice that many cultures have used, but one many in the

Many. I have never had a reason to dislike my

modern Western world are just becoming

body. It has great proportion, strength, and the

aware of. A pot of water is put on the stove to

wisdom to bring forth from Source two

boil (then turned down to gently simmer),

beautiful babies. Yet I’ve never really liked it.

herbs are selected as medicine and added,

I have always found fault with every little

and a seat with a hole in it is prepared to sit on.

molecule of fat, acne scar, and now, wrinkle.

Then the herbal water is taken off the stove and placed under the seat where it gently

How did I develop this response to my temple?

releases its herbal infusion upwards,

Media’s images of perfection are constantly

embracing the person with soothing care.

plastered in magazines, television ads, and music videos until their hypnotic messages are

I use a cedar box with a hole cut in the center

downloaded into our belief systems. Before I

to allow the steam to rise through. My beloved

was even aware of the media, I had zero

husband helped me create the box, and we

encouragement from my parents to listen to,

named her Mula – The Mula Steam Box. Mula is

or love my body. Instead, I was teased about

Sanskrit for root, as we are steaming at the root

the shape of my knees, scoffed at for not living

chakra, or the perineum. This form of steaming

up to my middle name (which is Grace), and

can also be called Yoni steaming, vaginal

taught to push myself to the point of

steaming, peri steaming, etc. I like the term

exhaustion, ignoring my body’s pleas for rest.

Mula, because it’s bisexual (for lack of a better term); steaming is beneficial for women and

Then, as an adult, I dove into a path of “spiritual enlightenment,” where again I moved away from my body. My husband witnessed and commented, “You look like you’re searching for something.” He was right. I was searching outside of myself – looking to the cosmos, to other people’s opinions and views, but always seeking a ‘higher dimension.’ I was looking for the one experience that would instantly “heal” me. I don’t hold negative thoughts or blame against the media, or my parents for my past experiences. The journey that took me away from my body was ultimately the catalyst for the U-turn back towards it. I have even forgiven myself by releasing my old rigid beliefs, and replacing them with gentle ones. This has happened in many ways. One is by reading the empowering words of women – trail blazers in self care and new perspectives. Giving and receiving Reiki has also helped as I merge deeper and deeper into becoming love; loving myself and THE ALL. -11-


Herbs are such powerful medicine, and the benefit of steaming with them is that the medicine is taken through transdermal absorption, bypassing the digestive tract – directly entering the bloodstream. The soothing steam creates a softening of the tissues at the perineum, but also energetically at the root chakra, which allows for release of past and generational traumas. Many of us who are on this journey of “enlightenment” have experienced trauma that has caused a tightening, or closing of our root chakra. But steaming can help with this; the benefits are incredible. Steaming takes time and commitment, but it’s a giving of oneself to oneself. Investing in steaming four times a month, for three months, as an example, women have cleared fibroids and been able to conceive. Women throughout the world have found relief for things such as menstrual cramping, clotting, irregular discharge, PCOS, endometriosis, and vaginal dryness. I have realized, through my own experience, and having people share their experiences with me, that steaming is very grounding. Recently, I created a sacred space, put on beautiful music, and settled myself down to enjoy a steam. My body said, “Come home to me.” That heartfelt call sent sobs of gratitude throughout my being, and I grounded, with appreciation for my sacred body. I am home in my sacred body; I am healed in my sacred body.

INTRODUCING THE MULA TRISTEAM The Mula Tri-steam is portable and durable. The bottom is made from natural pine, and the top is made from cedar. The lid (seat) is custom fitted to sit securely in place. The box comes unfinished, and finishing it is your choice. (the burner and pot are not included)

Water, in all its forms, carries the knowledge of life throughout the universe. Adding the force of steam is healing like none other. All of our steam boxes come with a free consultation to assess your steaming and herbal needs Learn More at: -12-

It's My Body!

What happened to the love and support we as women are supposed to show each other?

Recently I had a hysterectomy. For medical and personal reasons, my doctor and I came to a decision; what was best for me. It was not something I rushed into. Not a decision I was quick to make. The first time I asked for a hysterectomy I was 26. I was told no (with no hesitation from my previous doctor) because I was not married. I was told I was too young to make a decision like that, especially if I had no children already. When I was 23, I had a miscarriage that almost ended my life. I was fully intent on keeping the baby and was just over 4 months when I started to bleed. Then the cramping started. Then it got worse. I went to the doctor immediately. Because I was still testing positive for being pregnant, and none of the tests they performed contradicted that, they sent me home. The pain only got worse, and so did the bleeding and cramping. I went through contractions for three weeks. In and out of the hospital 11 times in 18 days. A D&C was suggested, but because I was still presenting as pregnant in a urinalysis and ultrasound, but I refused. A week later I was given pills to “try to speed along the inevitable” which only made matters worse. Towards the end of the three weeks the doctors told my family to make me as comfortable as possible and say their goodbyes. They thought I was not going to make it. Since then, my body seems to have a mind of its own, the cramping during my monthly period is excruciating. I have tried all forms of birth control to help regulate my period and control my pain. Other side effects are my now compromised immune system, and iron deficiency anemia. Last year I finally found a doctor that took the time to listen. She suggested an OB to lay out my options. Coupled with the fact that I am now married, (which is actual criteria) I was considered a good candidate for a hysterectomy.

"it is very important to support each other as women when tough decisions need to be made." I understand that this is a touchy subject for a lot of women, but I would have expected more support. And most of the time this was absolutely the case. But every now and then I heard I was too young, I will change my mind, that I didn’t think it through, or (and my personal favorite) that if I ever decide I want children I can always adopt. I think it is very important to support each other as women when tough decisions need to be made. We need to drop the stigma and encourage each other to leave the shame behind. We need to love each other and hold space for each other, with no conditions attached. I did what was best for me. I have an amazing group of family and friends. Thank you all and I love you immensely. Do what is best for you! No matter what that means. If you are not harming anyone in the process then you have my FULL support. Life can be hard, so let's not make it any harder on each other. Peace and Love Amanda Aussant

Amanda Aussant is a free spirited wild woman who loves to write about the things that people are scared to talk about. There is nothing taboo with this woman. Life and love or addiction and depression, she covers it all. Her passion in life is to help women get their confidence back and stand in their power. Whether it be through helping tell their story or working with them one on one.


Middle Age By: Myrna Richter


This year I will turn 40 years old and it seems to be the year that begins the so called stage of life known as “Middle Age”. I’m not young, but not old so I am just simply lost somewhere in the middle? In the world today these are the years where we are supposed to be our utmost responsible selves. Long gone are the days of the wild twenties and the maturing thirties, these are the forties and it’s probably a good idea to keep you head down, nose to the grindstone, and make way

for the upcoming generation. But what does middle age really mean? Well for starters it means I have had a glorious forty years on the earth which considering the alternative is pretty frickin fantastic. I’ve experienced moments of joy and gratitude that can only be created through the will of God. Moments of laughter and love, passion and pride, these are the real gifts of the human experience and they should be cherished as such.

However forty years of life has also given me plenty of time to make stupid mistakes and hopefully learn from them. Experiences of heartbreak and loss which showed me both how strong I can be for both myself and my loved ones. And yet there have also been times where I was so weakened by my own grief I wasn’t sure I could pull myself off of the ground. This is the grit of the human experience and in it’s own way carries a certain beauty in its own right. But now what? I am middle aged and there is no room for more growth (unless we're referring to some sort of investment or retirement growth)? Should I just keep on day after day But what if I am not ready to be done with the other half of life? What if I choose not to act my age (whatever that means)? Honestly there are days when I want to dye my hair blue, spend the day listening to bitchy music (remember Veruca Salt) and take down “the man”. While other days I may want to simply sit on my deck in the sunshine while watching the clouds and questioning the wonders of it all. But more than my random musing of what may flutter into or out of my middle aged mind day, here is what I am finding more often than now and here is what I am intentionally striving for……

I don’t care ...

Yep you read that right, I don’t care. This is my new mantra as I enter the next stage of my journey. Now I am not saying I don’t care about my family, my health, the environment, and so on. In fact I care so utterly deeply for the things I do care about that there are times I think my heart may literally explode and tiny glittering heart confetti will rain down my body. What I mean is I am letting go of the judgements of the past forty years and I am letting go of the societal constructs I have been masquerading around in trying to seem like I care. For the first time in my life I really want to be free and to self express. And while I know that I will not come by this gracefully or even close to perfect (I know I will have backsliding into caring and that’s okay). It’s going to be difficult and possibly a little bit lonely, but I want to spend my next forty years (God willing) tasting every single funky flavor this life has to offer with a sense of fun, freedom, and authenticity. I’ve been who others wanted me to be, now let’s try something new. So if you see me in the future with bright blue hair, know that I don’t care. Or if you want to talk about your new counter tops or your multi-marketing business, please know that I don’t care. And I’m not trying to be mean or rude, but I am trying to be authentic and free. My middle aged soul is longing for it and it’s time I listen to her. However if you want to talk to me about life, the real nitty gritty or the wonderful musing of this crazy universe then by all means pull up a chair. We can not care together while creating a caring bond of what really matters.

Myrna Richter lives in a small home full of love in Blackfoot, AB with her husband, two children, two dogs, and two cats. Myrna studied English Literature and Sociology (and a little this and that) and received a Bachelor of General Studies in Arts and Science Degree in 2007 from Athabasca University. Today when Myrna is not fulfilling her role as “Richter House Manager”, she enjoys painting, writing, and gardening.


From the Kitchen with CHEF JACKIE THOMS



What You Need

For the Crostini

1- 398 ml jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained

Brush each slice of baguette with oil or melted butter

1 head of garlic, roasted and cooled

and toast in a 400 oven for 10 minutes, or until lightly

1 pkg of herb and garlic boursin cheese


1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

In your food processor, add the artichoke hearts, roasted

1/2 lemon

garlic, boursin and parmesan cheese, lemon juice and

2 green onions, sliced

green onions.

Salt and pepper to taste

Pulse to chop up the artichokes and mix everything

1 baguette, sliced into thin slices, toasted

together, leave a bit chunky. Season with salt and pepper to taste

To Roast the Garlic Slice the top off of a head of garlic to expose the cloves Drizzle with olive oil Wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 1 hour


Spread onto your toasted baguette and serve.


For the Brownie I box good quality brownie mix (I like the one with chocolate chunks) 1/4 cup chocolate milk 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt 2 eggs Add eggs, milk and yogurt together in a large bowl, whisk to combine. Add brownie mix and stir just to combine, do not over mix. Pour your mixture onto a parchment lined baking dish and bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick in the center of the brownie to make sure they are cooked through. Set aside to cool while you make your topping.

For the Topping 3 cups dark chocolate melting wafers 1/4 cup softened butter 1/2 cup nutella 1/4 tsp salt 4 cups rice krispies Set a small pot on the stove with a couple inches of water in it and set it to high heat. Place a larger bowl on top of the pot and add your chocolate, butter, nutella and salt. Allow the chocolate mixture to melt nice and slowly, stirring occasionally. Once melted and smooth, remove from the bowl, careful it will be warm, and add your rice krispies. Stir very well until all the cereal is coated with chocolate. Top your brownies generously and allow everything to cool, then refrigerate in order for the chocolate to set up. Slice, serve and enjoy.

JODI MILLER Aerospace Engineer to Prairies Artist


Jodi Miller grew up on a family farm near Birch Hills, SK and after a rewarding 20 year career with the Royal Canadian Air Force, she returned to her Saskatchewan roots where she now pursues her passion of painting and creating art full time in Saskatoon. With her background in Aerospace Engineering and her diverse travels during her time in the military, Jodi’s artwork is informed by her study of the exacting details of science compared to the simple beauty of nature. The prairie landscapes feature in her work as she is now able to appreciate what she took for granted growing up in this beautiful province. Her works are often abstracted representations that recall our sense of place. She uses texture, layers and colour as parallels to life on the prairies. Jodi’s landscapes reference the familiar land of the living skies and great wide open prairies, but interpret them in new ways creating a sense of home and history. Jodi aims to capture familiarity in our contemporary landscape. Jodi’s work is part of private collections across Canada and around the world. Her large-scale murals can be found schools and on the streets of North Battleford. Jodi enjoys connecting with her collectors and hearing stories of their history and how they relate to her work. -24-


Tell us about YOU!! I grew up on my family’s farm near the small town of Birch Hills SK. Throughout my childhood, I used art as a form of escape, expression, experimentation and pure joy. However, growing up in a very practical family, I followed what most believed a more practical career path and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as an Aerospace Engineer at the age of 17. I headed out to find myself in the world! I completed my Bachelor of Engineering from the Royal Military College and won a prestigious scholarship to continue my studies at the University of Bristol, UK, where I finished my PhD in Aerospace Engineering before returning to service in various locations across Canada. Luckily, through these adventures I met my wonderful husband and had three beautiful children as well as met countless interesting and inspiring people from all over this country and abroad. When my 20-year contract came to an end, we made a family decision to slow down a bit and try to spend more time with our young kids. To that end, we returned to Saskatchewan in 2015, and as well as renovating, baking, volunteering and ferrying our kids to their various activities, I jumped into my passion and began pursuing my dreams to become a full-time artist. -25-

Tell us about your career as an Aerospace Engineer and why you chose to leave? I loved my experience as an Aerospace Engineer, where I had the privilege to work with some truly amazing people on projects that hopefully had a positive impact on the Canadian public. I specialized in Search and Rescue, so while there were times of incredible pressure and lots of hard work, there were so many rewards! I still dabbled in painting, mostly as a stress relief, and dreamed of doing more, but there are only so many hours in a day. Ultimately, though, it came down to career versus family and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to take a reduced pension and retire from the RCAF, which gave me the time and freedom I had been craving both to pursue my artistic dreams, but also to spend more time with my children while they were still relatively young. Tell us about your new adventure in Art as a career. Art has been a common thread through all my adventures! In university, I had a sketchbook that I filled with ideas and portraits. I remember finding an art store while living in -cont...

England during my studies and hauling back paint and canvases so I could paint reminders of home. After my kids were born, I made it my goal to finish at least one painting per maternity leave! When I accepted my first commission, I was thrilled! When I moved on to calling myself an artist, it took me over a year to be able to reply without giggle, “I am an artist” when people asked what I did. I was absolutely terrified to let go of my previous labels and let this new direction take shape! I was excited and self-conscious. I was ready and completely unprepared. I was scared and hopeful. In fact, I felt full of conflicting feelings! Mostly though, I felt like I had to be kind to myself, so I gave myself time to explore styles and ideas and muscled up courage to connect with people in the industry. I love talking to people and trying to learn from them! I also began studying different artists, trying to find out how their work defined their persona and how they found their place in the art world. I continue to set out small goals to learn, ask for help, find my true style and let my art be a dialogue with my true self. It is an on-going adventure! Why did you choose the prairies as your focus? Growing up in small town Saskatchewan and being in a hurry to leave and find myself in the big world, I feel like I missed out on the beauty I had all around me. It might sound cliché, but after seeing so many other places, I realized how lucky I was to call the prairies home. I am a bit of an environmentalist and believe there is an innate relationship between the people and their place. We impact the land and the land influences us every day. It defines us. I am inspired by the history of where we are and who we’ve become. I also enjoy exploring the idea of home and how we define it. My work draws on my science background where sometimes I use the study of perfect lines to create a tension with the natural flow of the landscape. I use my paintings as a conversation between people and their environment. My work continues to evolve as I interpret our prairie environment and the layers of our history and our people, using a variety of vantage points to tell our story as people of the prairies. How have you grown as an artist in Saskatchewan and what do you think are your next steps? As a professional artist, I still feel I have so much to learn! I have been very fortunate that my sales from my website and by biannual shows in North Battleford have had huge success, but as I have recently moved to Saskatoon to follow my husband’s career, I feel I have started all over again. I am pushing my work in new directions and am moving outside my comfort zone to explore new techniques. I am putting myself out there on social media and am continuously looking for mentors and inspiration. I will be looking for gallery representation as well, but I am trying to balance things and find my place. I have waited a long time to become an artist, so I want to get it right!

For every painting sold, Jodi Miller will donate 50% of all proceeds to a local charity of the collectors choice.

"I feel I am very fortunate so I would like to give back. I am hopeful that together, we can make a difference!" -Jodi

Your Art is taking on an abstract direction, can you tell us about that? When I first started painting, I thought people wouldn’t like it if they didn’t recognize it. I was brought up in small-town Saskatchewan with very practical parents! Lol! I now realize that what is more important is that my art speaks from my heart. My viewpoints have evolved and my art continues to follow my new paths. My interpretation of the prairies has deepened and I think it has given me a new freedom to push past my traditional views to “see” things in a new way. The abstraction of our landscape takes some of the control away from me as a painter and uses emotions as a way to communicate. It has become less important for me to have my viewers see what I am seeing. Rather I want them to experience my art in their own way. If you could share some words of advice/wisdom to other women thinking about chasing a passion, what you tell them? It is scary! Remind yourself to listen, not to what others might be saying around you, but rather what your heart is speaking to you. Be kind to yourself. You deserve it! Where can people purchase your Work? My work is available through my website at or via direct message on Instagram or Facebook. My social media accounts aim to document some of my artistic adventures so I would encourage people to check them out @jodimillerfineart or Jodi Miller Artwork and Design on FB. Even if you don’t want to purchase. It is so fun for me to engage with people and share my process!


RISE-UP PHOENIX by: Ang MacDonald

As someone who carries the burdens of significant life traumas, I have had to relearn and rewire a lot of areas in my life. It is a work in progress. I am a work in progress. As countless people have, I have experienced and survived numerous traumatic life events; these events have been the building blocks of how I process every single moment of my life. Sometimes it is beneficial. Sometimes it is downright sabotaging. That’s where learning to rewire my thinking and how I process life has come into play. I reached a point in my life where I realized it was time to step away from the weightiness of chronically living in Flight or Fight mode. -29-

For many years I was not allowed to have my own voice and finding my voice again has probably been the most difficult and convoluted journey I have ever embarked on. It has also been the most rewarding. Equally as rewarding and, unfortunately, equally as difficult, has been finding my selfworth and self-love again. When these things are stripped from someone, the process to regain them is not only tedious, it can also be downright heart wrenching. To be honest, I grew weary of viewing life through the glasses of trauma and in responding to daily life with a filter of preservation and protection. It was in a moment of intense loss and grief last May that I realized I need to actively participate

“I realized it was time to step away from the weightiness of chronically living in Fight or Flight mode.”

in rewiring the way I perceive present events and that I no longer need to filter them through trauma responses. It was also at that moment that I realized, with a new level of clarity, that everyone I meet is likely responding to the events in their lives through the trauma experiences they have had. Since that point, I have actively participated in my own healing instead of waiting for some miraculous moment where the shackles and yokes of each of those past events busts open, freeing me in a climactic instant. I am certain this active participation would look differently for everyone but, for me, it looked like journaling or writing through the feelings of people attempting to trod over my boundaries. It has also looked like yoga, grounding walks in nature, positive affirmations and seeking the advice and counsel of others. There has been much advice sought, many hours of research and much trial and error; I have gathered, sifted and sorted valuable information from, well, not so valuable information. In this act of healing, I’ve begun evolving into something and someone to be proud of. Not that I wasn’t proud of myself before. There is everything to be proud of when you can pull yourself up from the bullshit by your bootstraps and rebuild. However, there is a tremendous difference in life when you rebuild with the pieces that were once broken or you rebuild with something that is healing. I am not perfect. I don’t claim to be. What I am is honest, loving, authentic and always willing to learn. I am also always willing to share what has worked for me in the hope of helping someone through their own journey. I’ve had moments, while healing through certain events and losses, where all I really wanted to do was hide in my bed and cry but as a mom, I had no time for that. Pushing back the tears, I pushed through but never allowed myself to feel what needed to be felt. The trouble with that, eventually you must. Life has a way of humbling you (especially when you aren’t allowing yourself to heal) and you simply learn to realize just how much time and energy you have wasted on bullshit. There are things worth responding to and things not worth responding to; the same is true for people.

Protect your energy. Be gentle on yourself. Take a moment to sit back and reflect on your life, on the things that have softened you, strengthened you, given you wisdom, helped you grow - on the things that have punched you in the gut or sucker punched you and the things that have taken you out at the knees. Re-evaluate. Who is it that you desire to be? What legacy do you want tied to your memory? Actively become her. Find some self-reflection journal prompts that you can use as jumping off points as you discover who and what you are in this new phase of your life. Surround yourself with strong, powerful women - women who are empowering and positive. “Strength” means different things to everyone, but I mean women who have, themselves, risen from ashes like a phoenix! Feed on their strength. Soul search. Do you need to dig deep and forgive yourself for things that you may be holding blame towards yourself for? Learn to be kind to past versions of yourself. You did the best you could with the knowledge you had at the time. Life experience creates wisdom, which in turn, creates a newer, wiser, kinder, softer version of you. Who are you when no one is watching? Reconnect with her. Stop worrying about what others will think of you…. Don’t let her fade away. Encourage her to find her voice, to correct her posture and stand tall and strong as she faces adversity, challenges and changes. In a world that expects so much from us, chose to shed those expectations and to fully and authentically become who you want to be and play out the roles of your life as you choose and not as society or individuals demands.

“Rise Up Beautiful Phoenix!”

Ang MacDonald is a 44-year old 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 wide-open 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…


Spring Light on



“I am not going to lie. I have written this article three or four times. I feel like Carrie Bradshaw when she used to flip open her laptop with her specific question and then dwell on it until deadline. It might be because I am pregnant and in my own identity change or my brain has turned into mush. Regardless, I have always known I wanted this edition to be about Identity. So here I am finally at 4 am with some creative flow…” -Megs

Jewelry: Elizabeth Lyn

Photo Credit: Molly Schikosky Photography


Shirt: Red Barn Co.

At the start of each year there seems to be a word that appears to set the tone for what individuals need to work on throughout the course of the year. Last year was boundaries and the year before that was authenticity. As we enter this new decade the word that keeps coming up in conversation is Identity. What a beautiful, messy and, complex word. It’s always changing like the phases of the moon. Sometimes in what seems like subtle changes we don’t really notice till they have come and gone like a shift in belief system or suddenly feeling older. Other times the shift is more obvious and drastic such as entering a new role or career that sends everything into orbit. One thing I do know is fashion is the perfect wingman for Identity. The fashion industry is always fluctuating between new and old trends. As I have said before, it is one of the easiest non verbal expressive ways you can showcase parts of your identity. I prefer to call it your “inner muse”. An outfit can state a person’s religion, political position, job, or can be more of a vague ego persona such as power, hippie, or current on trend. We are forced due to our jobs or roles sometimes to wear a uniform. The rebel in me always struggled with that in my younger years because most uniforms do not represent our inner muse in any way. I always tried to add my own flare to the outfit which ended up costing me the odd gig because I would always keep pushing until basically the conservative uniform represented a colourful Tangier bazaar. -33-

When I reflect back on those different time periods I realize just how much I felt my Identity was being compromised by what I was allowed to wear versus what I was comfortable wearing. I would not recommend doing what I did but there are subtle ways to let a bit of you show through in these situations and be seen. Jewellery is always an easy and non abrasive way to include you in an outfit especially a very basic ensemble. Most workplaces will also accept adding a favourite vest or jacket as well, especially in colder months. One trend that has been in hot demand in the last few years is expressing yourself simply by the words boldly stated on your clothing. Brands like Hard Pressed, Brunette, and Red Barn Co. have taken off with this idea. Whether it is a funny saying to do with caffeine or quite literally your hair color these sweaters and shirts sell out every year. Two of the biggest trends promoting this idea are ones that state what sports your children enjoy. Sayings like “Rink Rat” or “Hockey Mom” are in hot demand these days and are seen being worn by moms and their children. Another trend is shirts stating what city, town, or province you live in.

"fashion is the perfect wingman for identity"

Red Barn Co. have taken off with this idea. Whether it is a funny saying to do with caffeine or quite literally your hair color these sweaters and shirts sell out every year. Two of the biggest trends promoting this idea are ones that state what sports your children enjoy. Sayings like “Rink Rat” or “Hockey Mom” are in hot demand these days and are seen being worn by moms and their children. Another trend is shirts stating what city, town, or province you live in. Red Barn Co. has taken an extra creative step by truly embracing the culture of a small farming community and putting them on the map. The creator, Alysa Dobson, was once a city girl but after relocating to the Rosetown area she fell in love with the country life. She creates the graphics for the shirts which all have humorous sayings regarding farm life like “Sorry for what I said during Seeding” or “Dibs on the Farmer”. The brand also carries shirts for any small community and custom work is always welcomed as well. I find Saskatchewan especially humbling in how proud the people are of their culture and for the things that make the province unique. Where they are from and how they were raised is very apparent and expressed with the greatest pride in their clothing choices. On the other side of the coin clothing can express parts of our identity that is only obvious when the story is shared verbally. Garments can tell deep stories of a special trip someone took or maybe it was a gift from a loved one. Often we are drawn to certain colors or patterns which consciously we ourselves aren’t aware of what they represent. For example, for as long as I can remember I have been drawn to any sort of accessory that contains turquoise stones in them. When I first became passionate about what different

colors represent I looked into turquoise. Upon my findings I found I deeply resonated with the words that are associated around turquoise. Femininity, intuition, creativity, love, and wisdom are among some of its properties. They say crystals choose you so whether this is something I am in need of more or something that embodies me it is a color and stone that is part of my story and expressed through my wardrobe. Since my early teens my love for clothing from the sixties and seventies has influenced my style. This started as a young adolescence idolizing a character in the movie Almost Famous. As I dove deeper into biographies of artists and music from this time it became entangled more in to my clothing persona. In my early twenties as I started to reflect on some of these things it came clear to me that my parents always spoke with love and nostalgia about this time and there was always a band playing throughout our house from the era so in some shape or form it had always been sitting in the wings as part of my identity through exposure. With the bohemian clothing movement and now my deep love for vintage this particular part of my inner muse seems to be here to stay. While going through your spring cleaning rituals I invite you all to look a little closer in to what your clothing is representing or what it is showing about yourself. You might uncover some insightful information. There might have been items you have outgrown in the non physical sense and you couldn’t put your finger on why you didn’t like that dress anymore. You might be surprised what you discover about your ever evolving identity. Megs Aylward is an eclectic and eccentric fashion enthusiast with both city and country roots, wanderlust feet, a tastemaker heart, and a bohemian soul. She believes we are all blank canvases ready to be decorated everyday and express how we are feeling without words but through our wardrobes. Her calling is in educating women of all ages how to dress their figure based on individual body shape, coloring, lifestyle and personality while uncovering their own style or “inner muse”. She is the creator, fashion stylist, wardrobe advisor, and a freelance style writer at Miss Nicks and Muse Collective, board member and blogger for Saskatchewan Fashion and Design Festival (SFDF), and member of SFA (Canada’s first Fashion Association)

Connect with Megs: Instagram: @missnicksandmuse Facebook: @Miss Nicks and Muse Collective Hat: Cassie Danielle Designs

Photo Credit: Darbarelli Media

A True Celebration of Life

by: Lorna Boryski -36-

"I am by no means a historian, nor claim to know the beliefs of different religions or cultures, all I know is how this event was conveyed to me and how it made me feel. Today I will walk you through an incredible celebration of life that Ted and I were honored to be a part of in Bali, Indonesia."

Events leading to the invite: Denpasar, Indonesia on the island Bali. We had taken a bus here from Sanur where we were staying in a hotel. It is impolite to eat or drink while walking, so we perched ourselves on the vast steps of the mall where we had just purchased an ice cream. A cab driver by the name of Made' (ma’-dā) sat and started conversing with us. He asked where we were from, what we did, when we arrived and we exchanged the same unobtrusive yet interesting questions, getting to know the person in front of us. If you have ever been to Bali, you know how aggressive the cab drivers can be and how they hassle you belligerently for their next fair, so this was quite unusual...Made’ was actually just interested in practicing his English and was getting to know us at the same time. We hired Made’ for the following day to take us on a tour of various sites around the island. We were enthralled by the many things we were shown and taught. Things that an organized tour would not have been able to accommodate. Stopping when we saw something interesting and asking questions like we were 2 years old again. After being delivered to our hotel that evening, Made’ returned and summoned us to the lobby. He told us about a funeral that he was attending the following day and that the family had learned of us through him and asked if we would like to attend. (According to what I have been told, the more people who attend your cremation, the better afterlife you will have and if there are people of different cultures and races there it is magnified immensely.). We were honored and started planning our modest yet not too hot wardrobe for the following morning.


The Preperation: We were picked up around 9am and drove to the families dwelling down a maze of backstreets in Sanur. On the street we saw 2 pagoda type structures that resembled parade floats and many men dressed in dark colored sarongs and small black hats lined cross legged on both sides of the road. We learned that the structures or ‘Wadahs’ held the bodies of the deceased and these were the men that would be carrying the ‘corpses’ of the young man (whom we had been invited to mourn) and an elderly gentleman (funerals are commonly held jointly as they are very expensive - families sometimes bury the bodies and save for many years before they dig up the remains to hold the ceremony). We went into the yard and were offered food and drink.... people milled around, assembling flower arrangements, food and ceremonial offerings. Once things seemed to be ready to go, the men started positioning themselves among the bamboo grid that they would use to carry the “Wadah” through the streets to the funeral site. Our driver suggested that we go by car to the site rather than going with the actual procession so that we could get a good vantage point; we headed back to the car and to the beach. We found a great spot to watch the ‘parade’ on a breakwater. Umbrellas opened for some shade from the relentless sun, we stood and awaited the incredible spectacle of flowers, offerings, and joyous celebration of life that we were soon to witness.

The Celebration: We could hear the drums, singing and chanting long before the hundreds of people came into view. The women were dressed in traditional Balinese outfits of brightly colored silk and lace tops, a sash around their middles (signifies the separation of good and bad), and sarong skirts of beautiful patterned weaves or batiks. Some carried very large floral sprays, some carried offerings either in their hands or on their heads and others carried food for the feast.


The men wore darker colors, black hats and carried instruments, or offerings and took turns hoisting, dancing and bouncing around with the 2 ‘wadahs’ that held the bodies of the honored. We learned that the more elaborate, well attended, loud and joyous the ‘parade’ is, the better the afterlife the deceased will have and the grander species they will be reincarnated to. Some ‘wadahs’ are so tall that power lines must be taken down to accommodate the parade route. City communication is essential for routes and changes in infrastructure and are a necessary part of funeral planning and of course expenses. We were perched alongside the route and as the Wadahs passed, we joined in the parade to the cremation site alongside the Sea. The Wadahs were then set down on the street and a ritual dance of celebration was performed around them as the caskets were removed and placed on bamboo structures to be burned. It was truly magical, blessed and magnificent, yet peaceful, calm and reflective display all at the same time. A feeling that I, to this day, cannot yet find the right words to explain. There were a couple of other smaller bamboo structures at the site as well and our guide, Made’ told us that they were a couple of infants who would be cremated at the same time. People continued to bring offerings of fruit, flowers and cash in elaborately decorated baskets and placed them on top and alongside the caskets as the tiger torches were fired up. We had nothing to bring aside from our prayers and blessings for all of the deceased and their families. We felt slightly out of place, yet welcome. The “undertakers” clad in black, large pocketed vests, rakes in hand, proceeded to feed the fires and pocket the cash that fell out of the offerings. I felt that this was disgusting, that they were somewhat ‘robbing the dead’ as they continued to rake the offerings toward themselves, remove the cash and throw the baskets, etc. back into the flames......I felt mortified for the deceased, but didn’t speak my concerns as it was dead silent aside from the lashing of the flames, crackling of the bamboo and the hiss of a tiger torch every once in a while if the flames subsided. I later learned that people bring -39-

‘donations’ as a part of their offerings and that that is to help with the payment for the undertakers to build the Wadahs, the platforms, cremate the bodies and insure that the site is cleared of any debris afterward. The air calmed to an eerie stillness, dark clouds crept up behind us, as we looked on in silence, the 4 bodies continuing to burn, the undertakers making sure that nothing was left but ashes. The heat and the stillness became almost unbearable as the humidity rose and sweat started rolling down my legs, the rain eminent to start at any moment. I was elated when Made’ asked if we wanted to leave before the feast was to begin as I (although it was very interesting) had seen enough. We scrambled to the car just as the heavens opened and were most grateful at our Decision to leave, the weather justifying our escape. I feel very privileged and grateful for being present at such a beautiful and elaborate celebration for the lives of the young man, elderly gentleman and 2 small children. Years later, I still, at times feel a distinct connection to Bali, and wonder, if in part, it has to do with their spirits.... thanking us for our blessings and presence at their Celebrations of Life. We continue to communicate with Made’ on a regular basis and look forward to discovering even more of Bali and Indonesia’s unique and beautiful culture in years to come. Through this and other experiences while travelling, I have learned to never judge others by the definition of my own beliefs, to accept and love them for whom they are and the things that they feel and believe for each and every one of us is made up of the things we hold dear and true. To judge one another is to disregard their heritage. I continue to try to do as to others as you wish them to do unto myself.

The Traveling Gypsy Lorna Boryski lives on a farm with her husband Ted and dogs, Biggar and Siyah near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. She is a true Lover of People, and the Adventure that is Life. She says, “I have sat through leg numbing tea ceremonies, 100 man acapella humming concerts, Buddhist weddings in 40C heat and no A/C. I have been robbed, missed flights, and have survived some of the worst 'bathrooms' and 'hotels' in the world, yet I have never had a bad vacation.” Whether it be traipsing through a tropical jungle at sea level or hiking 4000m high in the Andes, Lorna always tries to admire and understand her fellow beings for who they are and what they stand for.



The element of “Air” is this years spring cover image and colouring page theme.

POSTMODERN PAINTING. Stella alternately paints in oil and watercolor

So take a breath! Feel how the Air enters your lungs . Think about how all those oxygen molecules rush to feed our body and mind . Contemplate “Air” and its importance in our body, our lives, our world ! Our world at this time has come to a slow down , there is a new virus in the world! Don’t panic , take a breath to calm your mind . Let’s put our minds together and see how to get through this , let our imagination bring ideas and our mind solve the problems . Let humour and laughter bring some joy in these times, let our voices soothe troubled hearts and minds and let’s work together towards the best outcome. I hope you stay healthy and strong and filled with good energy…I wish the best for all of us! And if you now have time and wonder what to do with it? Grab your makers and go to the colouring page ! What colours do you associate with Air, with wind, with spring ? What are your thoughts about Air? About the world? And the situation we find ourselves in? How did we get here? And where do we go from here ? Take a breath! Let it fill your lungs , feel it go deep into your belly feel all inside you and all around you !

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

e s a Ple le c y Rec

Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram @thevintagegypsymag or visit us at Photo Credit: KMP Photography This beautiful Mag was printed by Rhonda at PA Fast Print

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