A Little Snippet About Scissors...

A Little Snippet About Scissors...

There's something about autumn and earlier, darker evenings that beckons storytelling. Maybe it's the thought of sitting near the fireplace with a good book or sharing a warm beverage with someone and catching up. In any case, we've a little backstory about scissors for you. Have you ever wondered why there are so many scissors in the shape of cranes? 

Little crane (or stork) scissors are most often used for embroidery; to snip thread. And, indeed, that makes sense since these small tools date back to the 18th century, when they were used by midwives. At that time, rather than blades, they had clamps on them and were used on umbilical cords.

The clamps were fashioned in the shape and design of these birds because they symbolized fertility. Since storks would migrate after the summer solstice and return in the spring, their journey was thought to mirror the nine months of pregnancy. Also, they nested on rooftops, so seeing them swoop down from the sky to a house is where we likely got the imagery of a stork delivering newborn babies.

Some antique stork scissors reveal a baby in a womb hidden behind the bird's midsection when the blades, or clamps, are splayed. Now, you may or may not have experienced childbirth, but most of us know that there can often be some waiting involved.

Midwives, experienced in these matters, would arrive prepared with a kit of tools that also included embroidery. This gave them an activity to do in between tending to their patients. Since their embroidery kit and medical kit went hand-in-hand, it's reasonable that there may have been some overlap in their use. Hence, crane embroidery scissors!

Tips & Tricks

  • try moving the paper as you cut, rather than your hand and scissors
  • cut with the bottom part of the blade (not the tips) for a clean cut
  • for paper, use scissors that aren't too big, so the cutting area isn't too far away from your hand (this gives you more control)
  • clean gummed up scissors with Goo Gone; let it sit on the blades for a minute before wiping off
  • use paper scissors for paper and fabric scissors for fabric; don't use these for opposite uses - you'll end up dulling the blades or simply not able to cut well

What will you be snipping this week? There's certainly a lot of making going on around us, and we'll be discussing more craft ideas later this month. But before that, I'd like to share another one of my favourite activities at this time of year - next week!

Until then, enjoy the comforts and pleasures of autumn!

Our interview with Katie Leamon

Our interview with Katie Leamon

Katie Leamon products are one of our, and our customers, favourites. The gorgeous designs, quality papers, pencils and notebooks are elegant, practical and a joy to use. So we're excited to ask Katie Leamon herself a few questions. Read on to discover more.

Where were you born? Where did you grow up?

I was born in Harlow, Essex, and grew up in the Essex countryside in a place called Matching Green.

Did anything in your childhood point you toward a future creating a stationery, leather, and ceramics business?

I was always crafting, drawing and creating. It was always my favourite subject at school and I always wrote poetry, made cards and sculpted things from paper mâché.

What aspect of stationery appeals to you most?

I love the human connection to paper - from a card, a letter or a book. It's tangible, personal and beautiful.

Who's inspired you in your life and how so?

As a young designer I loved the work and business model of Cath Kidston. She seemed to make it possible that you could start your own business as a young female and inspired me to do it alone. My brother was also a catalyst to help me get on my feet as a young designer. He helped fund my first studio space (that I shared with him) and inspired me to break the mould and take a risk of doing my own thing.

What habits, practices and/or conditions make you most effective in your work?

I like to work with background noise such as a podcast, radio or music. We have introduced a Monday meeting between my partner and I (we run the business together) so we catch up first thing to plot and plan the week. I like to make lots of lists and break tasks up into bite size amounts.

What are your favourite colours and motifs to work with in your creations?

I like to work in soft muted tones and monochrome palettes. I like simple organic shape, repeat pattern and geometrics as well as more illustrative typography and graphics.

What's your favourite aspect of owning your own business?

The freedom it brings to determine your lifestyle and to do something I'm passionate about for a living is something I want to breed in our children and others. Work doesn’t have to be a chore; it can be your hobby come to life.

We love how your stationery states 'Proudly Made in England'. When did you decide that locally made items were an integral part of your brand?

My first job out of university was in fair trade fashion and it became apparent how hard it can be to monitor your production line, and remain ethical and transparent when you can’t even visit the places making your product.

What are the best books you've ever read?

  • To Kill a Mockingbird [by Harper Lee]. It's playing in London at the moment and we went to see it last week. It was the best theatre I’ve seen now, too!
  • I also love a more recent one - Where the Crawdads Sing [by Delia Owens].

What's your favourite writing instrument?

If I’m brainstorming in my sketchbook, I love using a fine felt pen, but if I’m writing a letter, a like a fountain pen with a nice soft wide nib.

What's your favourite ink colour?


What's your favourite way to spend your time outside work?

Wild swimming, cycling, long walks, cooking, and eating out with friends and family. I love time to myself browsing antique markets and thrift stores and I also love a bit of home improvement!

What's your most marked characteristic?


What's your motto or mantra?

Through designing I’ve learnt that if I don’t LOVE it, I should leave it, much like shopping! I also try to live by the motto of sleeping on it, frustrating as it might be, it always helps.

What are the places you recommend people visit or things they should do when they're in Essex?

I don’t live in Essex anymore so I’m more familiar with London, but if you're in Essex, then a trip to Epping Forest is a must. It's between London and Essex and is such an incredible forest with some lovely walks and pubs tucked in and around.


We hope you enjoyed reading this interview and learning more about the person behind the Katie Leamon brand.

We also wish you a happy long Thanksgiving weekend! Stay tuned for an upcoming Figg Street Co. event where we'll be thanking you!

On The Make

On The Make

The official start of autumn makes me think of getting cozy and creative. There's a lot of making going on around me. It's a season of gathering things from outdoors to turn them into arrangements, scented sachets, preserves and wine. There's also still a lot of activity in nature as butterflies, bees and other pollinators float and buzz from flower to flower, and squirrels scurry about collecting nuts. There's much preparation going on.

One popular ritual is displaying a wreath on your door to welcome the new season. For fall, you can make paper leaves in various leaf shapes to create a circular display. The leaves from trees like oaks, maples, and gingko are great options. You can use solid colour, metallic, decorative or a mix of papers for a unique creation. Click here to watch a video that shows you how to make maple leaf shapes from paper.

Another option for a front door display is twisting up grapevines into a circle, or even an oval. Nature is filled with curves and unique lines. When using natural materials to make a wreath, don't worry if it's not perfect. The asymmetry can add a feeling of whimsy and charm.

Part of autumn preparations is not just about winter, but spring. Fall is the time to plant spring-flowering bulbs. While green turns to brown and flowers are starting to fade, we can find solace in planning ahead to the arrival of cheerful, fresh spring growth. You don't need to have a large garden to take part. Even a pot will do. (Click here for tips on creating your own 'bulb lasagne'.)* 

*Note that given our climate, the Feb/Mar/Apr layered bulbs in the UK video translate to Mar/Apr/May on this side of the pond.

This is also a great time for capturing the likeness of nature onto paper. Sketching, drawing and painting are all fantastic ways to be in the moment this season. While there is still fruit ripening on branches and vines, there're many inspirations throughout the orchards and vineyards of Niagara. Do you have a favourite fall fruit?

To bring the feeling of nature indoors, consider making an arrangement. It can be tricky finding deciduous branches to use from outside. First off, our trees haven't coloured up yet. Secondly, most of us don't want to cut off tree branches to bring indoors, for many reasons.

To get the same effect, we can make branches with coloured leaves from paper and washi or floral tape. Click here to find out how.


It's satisfying and comforting to know we can make something new from our own ideas and hands. We hope you join us in some creative activities this week, whatever you choose!

Thirty Days Hath September...

Thirty Days Hath September...

I love September sunlight. It looks different now than it did at the start of summer, when the light was intensifying and full-on through branches that hadn't filled out yet. The golden rays now dapple through tree leaves and play against shadows. There's a nuance to it: bright gold reflected in selected spots and painterly stripes, like blonde highlights. Warm and bright.

September also makes me feel nostalgic and notice the passage of time. It's a month of transition. Although in our region temperatures stay in the twenties (and occasionally, even climb into the thirties), it tends to become cooler overnight.

As we move from summer into early autumn, I try to grab and savour those last bits of warm weather activities outdoors. Things like walking along one of our beaches or piers, watching the rowers practice at the Henley, or enjoying an ice cream at the Avondale Dairy Bar. For a rare treat, I can head over to Lakeside Park where time seems to stand still as I use that loose nickel in my pocket for a carousel ride.

It's a funny time that evokes a mixture of feelings, because things are both winding down and starting up. Many of us collect seeds, make divisions and transplant them. Fruiting plants are reaching maturity and we experience celebrations around the harvest of corn, apples and pears. The big local event is the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, now in its 70th year!

This is a fantastic month for exercising outdoors, and one of my favourite things to do is hiking. We're lucky to have the Niagara escarpment nearby and many trails. Even waterfalls of varying sizes. It's not unusual to see artists sketching or painting at this time of year when the light is great and it's comfortable enough to spend a fair amount of time outside. Same goes for writing en plein air.

I try my best to appreciate these beautiful moments. I enjoy the feeling of warmth from the sun on my face or back. And it brings me joy to meet new students that arrive at the shop each year. There's a strong association between September and stationery. Even those of us who are no longer in the classroom can feel compelled to pick up a fresh notebook or pen, anticipating the start of a new season.

And like any good student, it's a great time for list-making. Getting down on paper those things that you want to finish while the weather's still warm. Making progress and last-ditch attempts to complete those year-long projects before the holidays arrive. Or sometimes it's about getting a head start on cooler weather activities, like knitting.


We hope you squeeze out the most sunshine activities you can this month. Take a moment to breathe the fresh air outside and feel the golden light. Wishing you a happy Fall Equinox this Thursday!

How we empower ourselves...

How we empower ourselves...

Over the past few years especially, I've felt very lucky and grateful to live in Canada. There's so much peace and many freedoms here that are easy to take for granted in the day-to-day hum of life.

That said, there's something happening today in the U.S. that I'd like to adopt for myself, and for everyone else: it's Positive Thinking Day.

There're few things more powerful than recognizing our thoughts and improving them. So many of us get lost in thinking that we don't even realize it's an activity we're engaged in. It's as if we're at the mercy of our minds, receiving incoming thoughts, without any power to do anything about it.

The truth is, we can change our thoughts. If we're telling ourselves negative things about ourselves or things around us, just noticing that this is occurring is a positive first step toward change.

We can examine our thoughts by asking ourselves questions. In fact, this is what Byron Katie did when she turned her whole life around for the better. She created a practice about this process called 'The Work' and offers a free worksheet on her website for others to use.

Over the past decade or so, there's been an enormous amount of research, work, and media attention devoted to the field of positive psychology. Whereas in the past much attention went to problems and how to solve them, many people are now turning to happiness, resilience, and the study of positive emotions and experiences. After all, when asked what we want from life, so many people say they just want to be happy.

That said, positive thinking isn't the same thing as being happy all the time. As human beings, our lives provide us with opportunities to experience the full gamut of emotions, and it's appropriate to do so.

Positive thinking is more of a practice or habit that anyone can develop. It's a choice in how we interpret our thoughts and experiences.

Positive thinking is about trying to replace negative self-talk with more positive messages, and having a positive, optimistic attitude.

There're many exercises out there to try. I've tried several myself: writing down my thoughts, thinking of things I'm grateful for, and practicing self-compassion.

An interesting thing about positive thinking is that the teachings are about empowering ourselves. Yet, the results of this work benefit those around us, too. Just think of the people whom you enjoy spending time with the most. Chances are, they're people who demonstrate warmth, positivity, and the ability to forgive themselves and others.


We hope you get a chance today to enjoy some positive thoughts - about yourself, those around you, and anything else that brings you joy.

How can we empower everyone?

How can we empower everyone?

Reading is something that's easy to take for granted.  Especially now that so many of us probably do more of it than ever - through daily texting, email and other written communications. 

Can you even imagine not being able to read?  Would you be able to navigate life?  It's an incredible thing to think about. 

According to UNESCO, "despite the steady rise in literacy rates over the past 50 years, there are still 773 million illiterate adults around the world, most of whom are women".  I was quite stunned when I read that. 

This Thursday, September 8th is International Literacy Day.  While many students return to the classroom this week, our thoughts have turned to education, school supplies, libraries and literacy. 

We all know that learning anything is most effective when we start young.  In the Niagara Region, many people, including volunteers, help children with learning disabilities through our chapter of the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario (LDAO).  The services offered here are meaningful and can have a lifelong impact. 

Although starting young is ideal, hope is not lost when people reach adulthood without learning how to read.  In our region, we offer services to adults through Literary Link Niagara.  There're other programs offered through school boards and the Niagara Region Learning Centre, which also teaches computer literacy. 

In addition to teaching others to read, we empower each other by sharing our love of all things literary.  Many schools have volunteer programs where people can read to students.  We can read to little ones (and kids-at-heart) in our life.  We can share books we have, and donate and gift reading materials to others.  We can also share our writing with others. 

Another way we celebrate literacy is through author events and book festivals.  Aptly, this Thursday, September 8th is also the kick-off to Coast to Coast "Canada's Self-Discovered Women" Literary Series in Queenston.  This month's guest of honour is Jen Ferguson.  Click anywhere on this paragraph to see details and the full line-up for the season. 

Also starting this month and running until October 2nd is the return of the Toronto International Festival of Authors.  A few names you may recognize amongst the guests this year include Alexander McCall Smith, Ian McEwan, Marian Keyes, Gabor Maté and Sarah Polley.  There will also be workshops, exhibitions and other formats, including walking tours. 

Do you know anyone who overcame literacy challenges or is facing them now?  Perhaps you have young children, or you're a teacher.  If it's of any interest, here's a link to The Literacy Blog, which includes a free online course for parents and carers.

Although it's back-to-school season for many, it's still summer and certainly warm enough to continue reading outdoors.  We hope you have a few minutes this week to curl up with a good read outside in the celestial September sunlight!

Boxes from Japan have arrived at Figg Street Co. ...

Boxes from Japan have arrived at Figg Street Co. ...

Recently, a few boxes arrived at the shop.  We were so excited at Figg Street Co. to open them, since we knew what was inside: new items from Pont Neuf, including gorgeous William Morris print notebooks.  It was a delight and a comfort to see those familiar motifs: seaweed and honeysuckle.  Two centuries later, these classic woodblock prints keep inspiring us. 

The Arts and Crafts movement started in the UK circa 1860, as a reaction to the industrial revolution.  Critics thought the new mechanical style of work, where people were assigned to repeat a specific step within a process rather than seeing the production through from start to finish, as dehumanizing.  

John Ruskin wrote of this, "It is not, truly speaking, the labour that is divided; but the men: divided into mere segments of men - broken into small fragments and crumbs of life, so that all the little pieces of intelligence that is left in a man is not enough to make a pin, or a nail, but exhausts itself in making the point of a pin or the head of a nail.".

William Morris was very much inspired by the writings of John Ruskin.  When he was unable to find furniture that complemented his Gothic Revival house, he used the services of talented people he knew to create what he needed.  This project eventually developed into a decorative arts cooperative named Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. in 1861. By 1875, Morris took control of the company and it was renamed Morris & Co. 

Morris believed in creating items using artisanal techniques.  His company united design and manufacture, as he didn't believe an object could be produced successfully if its designer didn't understand the process of making it.  Therefore, processes such as woodblock printing were selected instead of the new printing rollers that had been developed. 

Many of us know Morris & Co. for several of the iconic prints created by William Morris.  There's the pattern of little birds nipping strawberries amongst the foliage in 'Strawberry Thief'.  There's also Blackthorn, Tulip, and Pimpernel, to name just a few. 

William Morris used natural dyes and almost all of his designs were inspired by the natural world.  He was particularly obsessed with Indigo blue.


We hope this little bit of background on William Morris and the Arts & Crafts movement in the UK inspires you to look at the many beautiful designs created during this period.  We're pleased to offer you some selections at Figg Street Co.

Wishing you joy in your creative endeavors this week!

Meet Hannelore of Hannelore's Story Works

Meet Hannelore of Hannelore's Story Works

I met Hannelore Sotzek at an industry event in the Niagara Region. It's where I discovered her business, Hannelore's Story Works and the beautiful books she creates. The brand uses the tag line, “Everyone has a story. How will you tell yours?”

Get yourself a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy reading this interview we had about life in general, the creative process, books, and stationery.

Where did you grow up?
I lived in Thorold for the first 24 years of my life. Since then, St. Catharines has been my home. I’m a born and bred Niagara resident.

Did anything in your childhood point you toward a future in stationery?
There's no watershed moment, but I’ve been on a trajectory toward books and stories since my earliest days. In childhood, being read to and reading was a comfort, refuge, and natural pastime. Some of my fondest memories of my mother include books. Creating content became a fascination in high school when on the yearbook committee I discovered the joy in making something meaningful and lasting on the blank page.

In university, I studied English literature, understanding more deeply the power of words. From there I worked in the publishing world. Over the years, my hobbies included photography, calligraphy, and sketching—exploring imagery and putting pen to paper. The transition to making books was yet another step in a logical life progression.

Are you right-handed or left-handed?

What aspect of stationery appeals to you most?
I adore the tactile and tangible nature of paper. There is a physical connection between a person—people—and a page. From heart and head to hand. I love that the blank page is a vessel for ideas and emotions. It’s essentially a time capsule. Ideally, long after it’s author has gone, their story still remains.

What gave you the idea to create Hannelore’s Story Works?
Most people don’t know that at the beginning I’d seriously considered felt storybooks for children. My children were young at the time and making a tactile, interactive book was timely. At the same time, however, I’d taken a bookbinding workshop because I was deeply curious about book construction. As it were, the light shone down and the choir sang. In the end, paper won out! But it’s always been books and stories. Stories and books.

What inspires you when you create new products?
Beautiful materials are key when I create. Using high-quality prints and fabrics, unique antique books, and authentic vintage papers inspires me to make a book to the best of my ability. Investing in a rainbow of colours of Irish linen thread has also been key to my process. I feel indebted to the raw elements to create a product that reflects the beauty of its parts.

Who's inspired you in your life and how so?
I am constantly in awe of my fellow artisans and their resiliency to create, especially in these times of great uncertainty. On top of the very real work of making one’s products available for the public to purchase, there is the full-time job of actually creating them. Adapting to changing consumer demands while being true to one’s art is its own kind of determination. Picking oneself up and trying again and again and again because creating is just part of who they are—that to me is inspiringly human.

Are there any colours or styles you’d avoid using and why?
Experience has taught me that choosing what feels right to me is far better than than guessing what people might like. I resist jumping on trending bandwagons. Rather, I’ve discovered that when I’m genuinely excited about a pattern or colour option, my enthusiasm is reflected in how I present my work to others. When I believe in what I’ve made, others do too.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
One of the most liberating things I’ve ever been told is that there’s more than one way to do a good job. I’m a perfectionist by nature. While this quality can be an asset when making, it can also have a paralyzing effect. Learning to just start and see what happens is far more productive than being fearful of trying because you are too focused on making it “the best.”

What are the best books you've ever read?
Oof! There have been so many! Rather, I can name some books that over my lifetime have given me pause and affected me deeply:

Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
A Room with a View, EM Forster
The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon
Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles

Anything else you’d like to share?
I’m often asked where my business name originated—if there really is a “Hannelore”? To set the record straight, my name truly is Hannelore. It’s an old-German one, which is a nod to my heritage.  

And why Story Works? I believe that a book is an inclusive object. I make them, so they are an extension of who I am. Once they leave my hands, however, they are now a blank slate—a vessel—for someone else to use. To become something that will capture someone else’s self and story. And eventually, hopefully, to be passed down and shared with others.

Personal stories are active. They are unique and yet they are universal. They matter. People matter. Everyone has a story. How will you tell yours?



We're grateful to Hannelore for taking the time to answer our questions, and to you for reading it all. We hope you've enjoyed getting to know one of our local makers. Now, when you see these beautiful books in the shop, you'll know a little more about their story!

Have a lovely, sunshine-filled week!

What are you celebrating this summer?

What are you celebrating this summer?

Recently, my family celebrated a wedding. It was a lovely occasion; a great reason to see so many faces again. It's always wonderful to celebrate love and feel the energy that happiness brings during such joyful moments in life. The smiles, the flowers, the words exchanged, well-dressed guests, great food and dancing all come together for a bonne fête!

Along with a surge in travel this year, we're also seeing a return to larger gatherings. Summertime is a popular season for large group events because more hours of sunshine and warm weather allows us to make use of larger, outdoor spaces.

Are you attending any events this month? Hosting or helping out? Planning gatherings can be as much fun as the festivity itself. Especially if you enjoy using your imagination and expressing your creativity. Also, after a long break, many of us are itching to plan something beautiful to share with others.

I love setting a table, and I know I'm not the only one. From picking out the table covering, napkins, flowers, dishes and stemware to adding personal touches, such as place cards or little decorative details on each plate, I feel so happy and alive throughout the process.

It's also so much fun to decorate a space. Whether inside or out, I enjoy using bunting and banners, and lighting candles. Sometimes I look at my Pinterest page for paper craft ideas on making tissue flowers or cutlery holders with small pieces of ribbon.

I love paper, so all the paper-oriented details delight me - invitations, albums, thank you cards. When I'm a guest, I take pleasure seeing beautiful script and calligraphy or the personal touch of someone's handwriting.

Many of these special details can be used for picnics, markets and fairs. 

They're just one of the aspects that make gatherings memorable. The most important part is the energy you bring to whatever you attend. Be your best self and really be there - take it in and pay attention. Feel the experience.


Weddings, concerts, tours, conferences, markets - all kinds of gatherings are going on. We wish you much joy in whatever you choose to participate in this summer.

What floats your boat?

What floats your boat?

The travel bug - has it bit you?  It's bitten a lot of people this summer, and has me thinking about vacations.  I do love to travel.  Especially when there's a chance to experience a different culture, spend some time outdoors, and connect with nature.  I like to see old world architecture, museums and also hike and sail.  It's wonderful when a trip includes all these elements! 

We travel for many reasons: to relax and rejuvenate, to escape, and to explore.  When life gets stressful and overwhelming, a change of environment can be just the ticket!  

Happiness researchers say one of the elements of happiness is having something to look forward to.  When we prepare for a trip, it builds anticipation and excitement.  It's part of the pleasure in the vacation experience. 

So, too, can be recalling it afterward through our memories.  A travel journal, scrapbook and photos can transport us back to a joyful moment.  Sometimes even specific sounds and smells will, too. 

Wherever we go, travel has the potential to change us for the better.  It's an opportunity to learn about a new place, culture, and people.  What changed you for the better on trips you've taken?  What discoveries did you make? 

Sometimes the life-changing moments happen not at the destination, but en route.  In those in-between times.  I know many people who've met a new friend, or romantic or business partner while traveling by plane, train or boat.  You never know what new gift life will bring you!

This summer, more people are traveling than in the past two to three years.  We've noticed more people visiting our region, too.  There's a lot of movement.  We can hear and see more planes flying overhead. 




Have you been on a great trip this summer?  Do you want help capturing it on paper?  Let us know.  We've got many new notebooks, scrapbooks, albums and journals arriving at the shop this month.  More on that soon!

...and if you're about to take a journey: bon voyage!

Laugh, purr and cheer!

Laugh, purr and cheer!

When we're under a heat advisory, there are a few things that will refresh me: air conditioning, a glass of cool water, and a good belly laugh. Sometimes, when I'm outside in the morning, it's the creatures who entertain me: the tenacious birds pursuing a mate, the hilarious appearance of a cat face inside a hedge that looks like something from Alice in Wonderland, or a squirrel who's got itself into a pickle and is twirling around a bird feeder!

Incidentally, I've recently learned that Monday, August 8th is International Cat Day! Records about cats date back to Ancient Egypt, where they were regarded as gods and also protectors against snakes, scorpions and evil. Although some people today consider cats to be effective for pest control, they're more widely appreciated as comedic diversions and stress-relievers.

In the shop, our kitty stickers, stamps and cards frequently sell out quickly. Feline-themed stationery comes in many styles: cute and adorable, funny, and some very graceful and beautiful depictions.

Now, if it's fast cats you want to see, you're in luck this month. Niagara is hosting the Canada Summer Games from August 6th through the 21st. During the games, over 5,000 athletes will participate in eighteen sports, including basketball in Welland, cycling in Pelham and at Brock University, rowing at the Henley in St. Catharines, and tennis in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. A new venue (right here in Thorold!) called the Canada Games Park will be the venue for several sports, including athletics, beach volleyball, and box lacrosse.

What's your favourite sport to watch? Sailing in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Or perhaps you enjoy cheering on endurance athletes, like the triathletes in Welland or the mountain bike cyclists at Twelve Mile Creek.

We recently listened to a podcast episode where a marathoner said they're struggling in their race, then saw a sign in the crowd with a motivational phrase that gave them the boost they needed to get to the finish line. You never know who you'll affect positively when you show up to cheer others on.

We hope you feel refreshed this week. Maybe you'll see a critter doing something ridiculous. Or maybe you'll get your heart pumping while cheering someone on to victory.

Go athletes, go!

Summer Dreaming

Summer Dreaming

Before Figg Street Co. was a reality, it was a dream I had.  It all started with a simple thought that I nurtured, and it grew.  There were people at that time who didn't believe in my dream, and told me so.  I had to protect it and keep faith in it alive.  I focused on the people and things that helped to cheer it on into fruition. 

When dreams are tiny newborns, they can feel vulnerable.  You may not feel ready to expose them to the world at large, and that's okay.  You can still care for them and develop them on your own, to start, by getting them onto the page.  There's a power in putting pen to paper and getting your thoughts down. 

Dreaming is an act of courage.  It's expansive and is our first step toward creation.  When we daydream, we're experiencing a positive emotional state.  We're exercising our imagination, considering all the wonderful things that could be.  That will be. 

A daydream journal can be as structured or as loose as you like.  If you prefer a more organized approach, consider a bullet journal dot grid notebook.  Create categories, such as places you'd like to visit, your dream relationship, new activities you'd like to try, etc. 

You can use a blank page notebook to give you maximum freedom of expression and create a scrapbook.  Write passages, lists, draw doodles and cut & paste inspiring images on its pages.  It can be a vision board, in notebook form. 

When considering what to write, go big! What do you wish to experience in your lifetime?  Maybe it's something so outrageous you're too afraid to tell anyone.  Or you don't believe it could actually happen.  Even if you don't know how it could ever come to pass, write it down anyway.  It's all safe to explore on paper. 

Find a place where you feel good.  At this time of year, you may even want to go outside and sit under the cooling shade of a large tree.  Use a notebook and writing instrument that spark joy for you.  It'll lift your spirits.  It's amazing how much you can get down in even just ten or fifteen minutes.  

When you go back to your journal, add more dreams.  Or develop the ones you've written down further, in greater detail.  Refine them.  Or do both and expand your imagination in breadth and depth.  In the future, you may wish to come back to see what transpired.  You may be surprised!


Summertime is a great time of year for leaning back, looking up at the sky and daydreaming.  I hope you take a few minutes to do so in the coming days.  And I hope your big dream comes true, as mine did!