Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Blog Out Loud 2014: Wrap Up and Thank You

Last night I was one of the bloggers selected to read at Blog Out Loud Ottawa 2014, which was part of the Ottawa Writer's Festival this year. I didn't know before getting there that I was one of a handful selected out of about 60 applicants. I can tell you, that raised the stress level a bit...but was obviously a huge honor.
That's me!

I wanted to write a quick post and say thank you so much to Lynn, who organizes this event every year. This is my second time being selected, and it is such a unique and special opportunity as a blogger, to witness an audience hearing your writing. Blogging can be crazy-making, because you hear back from so few of the readers, and you have absolutely no way of knowing what they thought. It's not like books, where I can measure the enjoyment of my readers by the number of copies sold. So to have that time where a room of a hundred people laughs at all the right spots, and sighs at all the right's a kind of a magic.

To those that stayed to talk to me, thank you so incredibly much for doing so. The post the jury selected for me to read was The Four Horsemen of the Mental Health Apocalypse. It's a very personal post, and a very dark one--though written with my usual irreverence, of course. I was nervous to share it like that, and as we got closer to the date I was less certain it would resonate with people in the flesh; but apparently it did, because you were so generous and effusive with your praise.

Thank you for coming up to talk to me, and sharing some of your stories about mental health. For the aspiring blogger I met, who told me, "You said everything I wish I could say about depression": thank you. For all the others, thank you too. I came to share a gift of a story with you, and instead I feel like I left with far more in return than I can ever express.
Corben had a bowtie.

Corben thanks you all, as well. He handled the echoes, the chamber music, and the rounds of applause like a champ. Attached to that is a special thank you to Lynn from Dogs In Harmony who has helped my 8 month old furball become a polite young man.

And a deep, heartfelt thank you to my friends who came out. Though I was far across the room standing alone on that stage, it was directly to you guys that I was reading.

And lastly, a thank you to the combat veterans who inspired the Four Horsemen post. In learning about service animals and working with Corben, I have had the distinct honor of getting to meet some of you, and seeing you at your most courageous--not when you're fighting battles with guns against enemies, but when you're fighting battles with nothing but your strength, against inner demons. It was for you that I wrote the post.

Alright, that's enough mushy stuff. As you were.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show: Spring 2014 was all about the frocks!

If you missed the Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show this year, I'd like to torture you for a few minutes with what you missed.

The show was as big and grand as always. If you were looking for anything from costume jewellery to stunning vintage shoes, you were in the right place. The cold spring meant there was still a market for coats and furs, so it was not uncommon to see someone trying on a spring gown at the same time as they were purchasing a wool jacket.

The plethora of unusual hats this season was matched only by the skads of fabulous vintage wedding dresses. Lace, organza, and tulle in all shades of white were everywhere, and to my utter joy, numerous cool brides were trying them on. Likewise, anyone looking for an adorable prom dress that would not soon be forgotten was definitely in the right place.

I left with a kicky little orange 50s dress, and hesitated over a hand-stitched Ukrainian peasant blouse that I really wish I'd picked up. There's always something you regret not grabbing.

The show was packed as always, and the treasures were worth the occasional stray elbow to the ribs as men and women clamored for access to the racks. The cowboy shirts, alone, were enough reason for men to get in there and pillage the show.

All in all, this was another successful sale and I hope you'll all come to the next one in the fall. For those who were there with me, I do apologize if I elbowed you myself. A girl can't be held to blame for what she'll do for vintage fashion.

If you'd like to stay apprised of the Vintage Show's happenings, check them out on Facebook today!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Blog Out Loud Ottawa Makes Me Blush

So I totally am behind on a couple of stories I want to share, but last week I was eyeball deep in a big
written proposal so all my word count went to that. But meanwhile, Blog Out Loud Ottawa posted about me talking this week upcoming at the BOLO event, and their words were so incredibly awesome that I've left the window open all week just to keep rereading it. It's an amazing and gratifying feeling when you see someone else talk about something you've worked so hard on, and they totally GET what you've been trying to do. It's amazing, actually. I swear, this will be scrapbooked and maybe even read at my funeral one day.

Read their awesome 'about Jordan' here.

And come see me read out loud at the BOLO event on Tuesday night. It's free, it's in Ottawa, and there are about 15 other bloggers reading so if I don't amuse you, they might.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Read Me, Meet Me! News from Girl, Crafted

I’ve got a couple of cool announcements for you Girl, Crafted fans out there…


Blog Out Loud Ottawa (BOLO) is an annual event where a selection of bloggers are invited to read one of their best posts out loud. I’m honored and proud to be speaking this Tuesday April 29th at BOLO, reading one of my best. (It’s a surprise which one…hee hee…) This is my second time reading and I'm so excited. The event is free, so come on down and get introduced to some awesome local bloggers!

6:30 sharp and onwards
Knox Presbyterian Church
Free and fun!

I’ve begun contributing marketing-related posts to the Bikini Marketing blog, which I’m pretty happy about. I wrote this first piece on the need for brands to shift with their changing demographics, and I think it came out pretty great. Take a look.


As part of my role as President and Editor of the, I’m presenting a workshop at the Ottawa Comic Con, on a girl’s guide to geekiness. More details to come, but be sure to look up the workshop if you’re attending the convention!


As you can see, I’ve been a bit busy. In a week, I’m going to be done some other major projects, and then I’m going to DIY the heck out of my house. That is, assuming it ever stops snowing here so I can take stuff outside to paint it. Sigh.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

You're Invited: Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show Sprint '14!


Spring finally seems to be arriving in my little-big-city of Ottawa, which means warm rainy days, mud, and freezing rain...but it also means craft show season, and the start of garage sales and antique shows. I'm so freaking excited to once again kick off the season with a trip to this weekend's Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show!

I've been hitting the Vintage Clothing Show here in Ottawa for the last few rounds; you may remember my rave on the last spring show, and you may remember my hilarious caper at the fall show, too. This year I hope to see you all there, finding treasures for yourself!

The spring show is my favourite, because the vendors--from all over, including Montreal and Toronto and beyond--bring goodies like hippy skirts, peasant blouses, cocktail and wedding dresses, and endless cowboy shirts. It's a great place to pick up some hand-embroidered hankies to hand out as wedding party gifts, or a pair of cufflinks for a special Father's Day gift.

Fashion is cyclical, and best of all, the last 15 years or so have seen us embrace almost every era. If you're looking for something that Molly Ringwald would wear in a John Hughes film, you'll find it here. Likewise something Mad Men-worthy, hippy-esque, or even Great Gatsby. What's great about these pieces is that they have a story behind them. They're not just reproductions from a magical time in history--they were there.

Oh, and also great to know: the show is known for providing great choices for people of all sizes (a rarity in vintage clothing sometimes).

Come on down to the show, find something special, and take a walk through the decades. Instagram fanatics, have your camera phones at the ready.

Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show
Sunday April 13 2014
Ottawa Convention Centre, 55 Colonel By (attached to the Rideau Centre)
Tickets: $10 at the door, ticket sales starting at 9:30am

Sunday, 6 April 2014

An Open Letter for Your Broken Down Bad Day

I wrote this for a friend who really needed to hear it this week. I hope it helps more than just the one person.

An Open Letter To Anyone Having a Really Bad Day:

Dear You,
Jordan Danger

I get it. Today isn't going well at all, is it? In fact, today seems to be the natural and inevitable conflagration of all the individual things that have been going wrong for weeks, am I right? You feel like death. You look like death. Your soul is whimpering from the darkest corner of your heart, hiding in the shadows with its knees tucked up against its chest. And still, the hits just keep on coming.

Well I'm hear to tell you a couple of things. Number one: these days will come. No matter what you do to prepare this kind of day will come and come again. You can spend a lot of energy trying to avoid these days, fighting the fates with herculean efforts or numbing out on wine and reality TV, but they will still come. There's no such thing as avoiding bad days.

Jordan Danger
Which leads us to number two: these days will suck. Trying to convince yourself that you can turn these days around is foolish. I'm not talking about your average rough day: I'm talking about the really bad days, the days when the big black wolf is howling, not at the door, but right inside your house. Most of the other bad days can be lightened, but the Black Wolf Days are suck. This does not have to be a depressing thought, though. This can be a freeing realization. Everything is going to hurt today, and the sooner you give yourself permission to accept that, the more energy you'll get to save up for when the healing begins. Denial wastes a lot of energy, as does fighting an insurmountable obstacle.

And that's the crux of number three: you need to know that you're strong enough. When everything is falling apart and you feel like you're going to break, do one more thing: take a deep breath. Not because it's cleansing or calming or nourishing (which it is), but because it makes you pause for a heartbeat. We become so attached to the external stimuli around us that we forget we will continue to exist no matter what happens to those stimuli. Your house could literally be hit by a falling airplane right in front of you, and you would still be entitled to take a moment to breathe; and if you did so, you would see that you continue to exist regardless of the crisis. You are stronger than you know. Let go.
Jordan Danger

Which brings us to four: offer yourself some forgiveness. So many things about being a human feels urgent, but in reality there's no way that a sink full of dirty dishes is anywhere near the same emergency as a polar bear chasing you down an iceberg. Indeed, likely somewhere in the world right now are two separate humans facing these two separate dilemmas. It is animal nature to view every negative stimuli as something that must be dealt with; it is part of the human nature to know the power of rational thought. If today is a day where your very insides are crumbling down around you, ask yourself for forgiveness for all the balls you're going to drop. Whether you like it or not, they'll still be there tomorrow for you to pick up.

You will have days that hurt. It will happen. They will suck. You are strong and have the miraculous capacity for forgiveness. Use these attributes.

And know that I know what you're feeling. Others do, too. You're going to bounce back. Give it time.

You still have value. That's probably the hardest part to believe right now, but you do. Repeat that to yourself even if you can't believe it yet. You still have value.


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