Sunflower Skins

July 22, 2014

Summer Updates

Filed under: editorials, News — Tags: , , , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 6:18 pm

Hello Friends,

How the time has passed!

Thom and I intended to take a break from our Bible Promises, but certainly not for this long. Worry not, we’ve been taking these months to rebuild, personally and artistically, and have many plans for Guam and her pals. Though I cannot say when we’ll back here regularly, you can find us every day on Tumblr (me; Thom) and Twitter (me; Thom).

The Tumblr project began just as collection of outtakes and extras (some of which you can find on this blog as well); it has since become one of my favourite activities, making small, daily art projects inspired by lyrics, quotes, resident spiders, religion, world news, mental health experiences, and much more. I particularly appreciate the challenge to continue creating when I’m feeling low.

One reason we’ve taken a break here is to work on our respective writing projects. For me this means my collection of Stupid Children’s Stories for Adults (working title!), plus a few essays in the interim. Thom’s been busy too and published his own essays on his wordpress, including a short series on faith. Unfortunately or not-so-much, writing takes precedence over Guam (at least for now), but please visit her on Tumblr and ask something—she’s got summer boredom and is driving us nuts!

Many loves,


May 26, 2013

Guam’s Bible Promises, Pt. XII: A Crisis of Identity, or quaquaquaquackery


“And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13)

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim 1:7)

“Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.” (Ps. 50:15)

“I will dwell in the midst of thee.” (Zech. 2:11)

“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna.” (Rev. 2:17)

Click here for Pt. XI!

May 21, 2013

Equality Spider

Filed under: art — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 6:26 pm


May 3, 2013

Septimus Spider

Filed under: art — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 7:29 pm


“What are you saying, Septimus?”

Click here for Mrs. Spider!

January 21, 2013

Guam Learns from The Learning Channel


January 12, 2013

New Page: OutTakes

Filed under: art, News — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 6:01 pm

Check out our new page of OUTTAKES and extras from our silliest comics! New updates every day!


January 8, 2013

Playground Rowdiness

Filed under: art — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 3:42 pm


December 31, 2012

Holiday PSA: A Gift for 2013

Filed under: art — Tags: , , , , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 11:05 pm


December 15, 2012

Holiday Conversations, Pt. 4

Filed under: art, News — Tags: , , , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 9:06 am


December 9, 2012

Holiday PSA: Safe Travels

Filed under: art — Tags: , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 5:00 pm


November 25, 2012

Guam’s Great (Inner) Escape

Filed under: art — Tags: , , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 7:01 pm

November 9, 2012

Guam’s Reality TV Show to End All Reality TV Shows

Filed under: art — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 9:11 pm

October 3, 2012

Talking Nonsense

Filed under: art — Tags: , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 4:36 pm

September 28, 2012

A Trip Out East

First day, First photo.

There are still people on this planet who believe Evolution is a lie.

Sometimes you need to ignore the stares.

Sometimes you need to find a safe place.

As usual we didn’t behave like typical vacationers. It’s way more fun our way.

Us at Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick, 2012.

September 5, 2012

Aerobics Spider

Filed under: art — Tags: , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 6:46 pm

August 29, 2012

Letter to Myself

Filed under: art — Tags: , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 8:08 pm

August 19, 2012

Spin for Yourself

Filed under: art — Tags: , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 6:34 pm

August 16, 2012

Looking-Glass Spider

Filed under: art — Tags: , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 5:52 pm

August 14, 2012

Freudian Spider Ponders Mental Health

Filed under: art — Tags: , , — Sunflower Skins @ 12:27 am

August 5, 2012

Freudian Spider Crawls In & Out of My Life

Filed under: art — Tags: , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 11:11 pm

We have had many fuzzy friends on the balcony of our New Space, but this spider is the largest yet! For those who are interested, these and all other photos are shot on a Canon G9.

July 2, 2012

Guam Bullies, Gets Bullied

Filed under: art, editorials — Tags: , , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 8:48 pm

These comics are inspired by recent events in New York, by which an elderly bus monitor was bullied by some seventh graders. Instead of doing her job or alerting the bus driver, Karen Klein allowed herself to be videotaped and tormented for almost 10 minutes, and when the video went viral, a crowd of do-gooders decided to raise a $667,000 for this “poor woman” to retire. Everyone across the country claims, “Nice story,” but the reality is: Klein rejects apologies from the “bullies,” accepts an absurd amount of money without thinking twice, sees a YEAR-LONG SUSPENSION as just punishment, and allows minors to face a life-time of harassment both in real life and online. They will never live it down; worse, they probably haven’t learned much from the situation other than that they are worthless and without hope of rehabilitation. Sunflower Skins does not condone bullying or any type of harassment, nor do we think that the seventh graders should go without punishment for verbal abuse; however we feel that the onslaught of outrage against these kids, ostracising them to the point of alienation, is completely disproportionate—especially from an adult who should have known how to handle the situation better from the start. Suspension for extreme misconduct on school grounds or during school-related activities (eg. on a school bus) is a legitimate response, but removing these kids from their social and academic lives for an entire year is obscene. Karen Klein shouldn’t accept that money, or maybe she should and donate all of it to local youth mental health services. Her “adult” actions in retaliation against a group of minors sicken us. Don’t make an example of these kids just to appease your own conscience; bullying roots reach far deeper than this Band-Aid.

May 11, 2012

Mental Health Matters, Part Three: What Have We Learned?

Filed under: editorials — Tags: , , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 12:00 am

Presenting part three of our series, this time an honest list of things I’ve learned about mental health and wish to share with my readers. Please note that I am not a psychologist, but I have spent well over 10 years dealing with serious depression and its side-effects; I feel confident in the following wisdom because most of it was introduced to me by doctors, therapists, and family who had undergone treatment themselves.

  1. Recovery from a serious depression works best when you use the triad-process to heal both body and mind:
    1. Therapy with a mental health professional for the mental and the emotional.
    2. An inquiry into medication for the physical (and the mental too), as well as renewed attention to diet, sleep, and exercise.
    3. Extra attention to TLC—tender loving care, by which you heed your most basic needs and reward yourself often. At this point you must respect the little things. Furthermore:
  1. The Little Things. When I let go of my inhibitions and gain perspective, I know that life, in its most intimate, personal sense, creates its own meaning only through our daily moments of pleasure and insight. As Timothy Findley wrote, Pay Attention.
  2. Thanks to my first therapist, Cathy, for this little rhyme; as cheeky as it may sound, it holds true and brings much peaceful understanding: Friends are for a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime.
  3. You have no control over other people’s thoughts and actions; you can only control yourself. When someone does something outrageous or offensive, realize that you cannot stop their character but instead must gauge an effective and appropriate response on your behalf.
  4. A panic attack will always end. Regardless of the attack’s intensity, remind yourself that it will not last forever and that you still have control. Some steps to calming your amygdala:
    1. Learn how to deep-breathe properly. Breathe in through your nose and with your diaphragm, filling up to your belly button with tension; breathe out with your mouth and release all those worries straight through the top of your head, leaving your body refreshed and cleansed. Practise deep-breathing before sleep and when you feel anxious; beginning your morning with a meditation routine can limit anxiety throughout the day.
    2. There are various ways to cope with panic attacks that seem to snowball out of control, where everything seems dangerous and no light appears. One of my favourite mental exercises is to count backward from 20 and with each number fully recall, verbally if necessary, a positive, safe memory. Chances are you won’t get beyond 16 without having spent so much energy focused on your new task that your body responds to control rather than panic.
    3. Use your senses to stabilize yourself; focus on five specific things you can hear, five things that you can feel, etc.
    4. Use the power of imagination to overcome current circumstances; by mentally placing yourself somewhere comfortable and safe, and re-envisioning your behaviour in that environment, your body will naturally begin to relax.
  5. It is important to have a safe zone, a place where you can truly feel vulnerable enough explore difficult feelings and intense memories. Create a place where you are comfortable and can have leisure time too, nurturing your most basic needs to feel safe and taken care of; take good care of yourself and your need for personal space.
  6. Family is what you make it; blood ties shouldn’t take precedence over good personal and relational care. Too often a sense of guilt or obligation to protect family members hinders your own progress, so surround yourself with a family of your own choosing, relatives and friends who support the decision to seek mental healing.
  7. Knowing what you don’t want is a good place to start. For some people life has become so dark that it’s difficult to envision anything desirable or attainable; happiness is not even an imaginable option. It’s at this point, however, that you can take the brave first step toward change: acknowledging that you don’t want to be depressed anymore.
  8. If your first or even your second experience with a mental health worker is unpleasant, don’t be so discouraged that you lose hope in the system. There is somebody out there who wants to help you, and the effort to find him or her will be worth the reward.
  9. What matters, matters; what is, is. Peace comes with finally accepting whatever it is that you truly desire—that which you do not want to live without—and the time & space circumstances which created your early being. From that point you can move forward & grow.

May 8, 2012

Mental Health Matters, Part Two: Hunger Strike

Filed under: poetry — Tags: , , — Sunflower Skins @ 10:52 pm

As promised, part two of our series, a short poem about anorexia. Being skinny is a dream that too many people believe will solve the deep sadness; many members of my family, including myself, and too many friends have struggled with that belief as well. May you find hope beyond self-harm. For free books about bulimia, please see Feed The Whales.

May 6, 2012

Mental Health Matters, Part One: city heat

Filed under: prose — Tags: , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 7:18 pm

As part of May as Mental Health Month Sunflower Skins presents some notes from personal experience. Monday’s fragment focuses on social anxiety and personal needs, both from yourself–TLC–and from others; Wednesday’s poem will address eating disorders; and finally on Friday I have a list of some things that I’ve learned about Mental Health and wish to share.

May 5, 2012

Toys Playing with Toys

Filed under: art — Tags: , , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 5:40 pm

March 16, 2012

Guam Explores Her Spatial Imagination

Filed under: art — Tags: , , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 5:51 pm

February 19, 2012

Guam “Helps” Feed the Whales

Filed under: art, News — Tags: , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 7:01 pm

These books are for Shock Stock 2012! Free! Also we’ll be taking a bunch out east this summer and then more down to Florida next winter. So many whales, so many places to feed! Blub blub, my friends.

January 21, 2012

Vote Harvey Dent

Filed under: art — Tags: , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 1:14 am

September 4, 2011

Grounded Like a Seed in the Dirt

Filed under: art — Tags: , , — Sunflower Skins @ 2:42 pm


July 29, 2010

Experiment 15: Means of Survival

Filed under: experiments, prose — Tags: , , — Sunflower Skins @ 3:09 am

Incidentally, cork sales were up due to deuterium figures sliding, which meant that May’s cork-and-pipecleaner-reindeer keepsakes weren’t as abundant this year, nor as affordable. The rest of the Christmas stock remained the same, as it always did, Yes, I always tried to keep my prices reasonable, but now one of her most prized items, the one all the neighbourhood kids bought each year for their parents and grandparents alike, was not as available as it had been in the past; O they’re still just a beautiful—so cute! and lively! May shakes her head a bit, amends Lifelike! Their spindly legs and googly eyes—they sometimes look as though they’re about to leap off the table, Flying Santa’s sleigh! And then there’s the accompanying mini-sleighs, made with heavy paper and wire, dotted with glitter, ribbon for reins—May’s so proud of this, as she is with every season’s best seller: Spring’s handmade robin’s nest with tiny, bright eggs, and a hand-painted bird house for the pompom-and-pipecleaner Mother Robin; Summer’s sunhats, decorated with ribbons of all colours and false flowers; Fall’s dried-leaf, ironed tissue-paper placemats in orange, brown, and green. Often her seasonal stock was different each year—she’d been here a lot of years—but these four items were a constant. My customers depend on me! May worries a lot. Especially after Anthony, creepy that he is, told her that something about hydrogen levels drying up cork the way the sponges we paint with dry up if we don’t use them—I haven’t painted with sponges in a while, haven’t I? Or with potato shapes either.

May! What are you doing? You’re off in space again, y’old grandma, worrying about getting enough cork to make enough reindeer to please enough of the neighbourhood urchin. Doesn’t that seem a little, I dunno, stupid to you?”

Nurse Morrison leads away Anthony, and she turns her head around to smile blandly at May—who, startled and taken aback, twists some red pipecleaner around her finger and wonders if it’s possible to rehydrate cork.

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