About aliciadspilde

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Dear Dieter #2 – There is no magic bullet

Dear Dieter,

I see you are taking some supplements and drinking shakes.  I know, I used to do that too, but I don’t buy that stuff anymore.  Let me tell you why.

All the supplements, shakes, drinks, patches – it’s diet culture trying to pull a fast one on you.  Do you really believe a special drink is going to be the magic bullet that all of a sudden changes your life and makes you ### pounds and brings you rainbows and unicorns on a daily basis?  It’s not going to happen.  When you spend money on that crap you are buying a DREAM – a FU#KING FANTASY.  

That shit won’t do ANYTHING for you.  You don’t need it.  Every single dollar you put toward that garbage is like making a donation to an organization that’s specialty is to make all of us humans feel crappy about ourselves.  

Would you spend money on something that perpetuates the body hate machine?  Have you ever really thought about that?  What is diet culture teaching your sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews?  It’s teaching them that they need to be “fixed” because they are broken the way they are.  

Dieter, I just scrolled through the Instagram feeds of Beachbody and Isagenix.  Eww.  So much diet culture bullshittery.  Talk about exclusive – apparently Isagenix only posts selfies of young white women holding up their Isagenix shakes.  If you submit a selfie holding the shake and doing duck face, you might get featured on their feed.  

Beachbody, on the other hand, is posting photo after photo of their serving size containers, before and after photos (how degrading, I wish I could give all of the people in the before photos a hug, they are awesome as they are), and lots of diet culture masked as “be healthy, yay!”  Oh, diet culture posing as being healthy is another issue for another day.  We’ll get there, don’t worry dieter.  

There is nothing EXTREME about health.  Health is the middle way.  Read the Tao, maybe go for a walk.  Just chill, dieter.  Eat the food, sleep well.  Hold your child’s hand – study the lines.  Commit to memory what their fingernails look like.  Smell their hair.  Give your partner a hug.  Commit to memory how their arms feel around you.  These are the important things.  They are the things that are temporary.  Dieter, no matter what you try to do, we are all going to be gone one day.  Please do not spend another second thinking you need to change your appearance.  

Your Friend,

P.S. Want some resources to quit dieting?  Check out these:
Food Psych Podcast
Intuitive Eating
The Religion of Thinness
Love, Food Podcast

Dear Dieter #1 – We aren’t special snowflakes

Dear Dieter,

So you think this is the time the diet “works,” right?  OH yeah, this diet is REALLY going to work this time.  Because you’ve heard the statistic that 95% of all dieters regain their weight and then some, but you, oh no, not you.  You are a special snowflake.  I understand how you’re feeling, dieter, because I was there once too.

I was in denial so deep that I thought I’d beat my biology.  I thought that I’d be able to restrict forever.  Oh dieter, this just isn’t possible.  I mean, it’s possible if you want to devote your life to food thoughts, wasting hours and hours exercising, and living a poor quality of life because for some reason body shape/size is a priority.  I get it, I’ve been there.  

My sweet dieter, I know you aren’t sleeping well.  I remember those days – I used to think I had a sleeping disorder.  I’d fall asleep, but then without fail I’d wake up at 3 AM and not sleep well the rest of the night.  I was so tired and crabby.  Life was so much harder then.  The really shitty thing about dieting is that you get less sleep and less sleep = stronger hunger signals.  Oh, how awful that was.  So my sleeping disorder was actually me just starving – my body wasn’t allowing me to rest because it was working so hard to survive.  I have some good news for you, I sleep like a champion now.  Eight fantastic hours nearly every night – and I’m even dreaming again.  It’s possible for you too, just eat.

Feeling cold?  That’s because you’re starving.  Eat some food.  I know it’s scary but you need to be kind to yourself.  Your metabolism is slowing down and you’re hurting your body.  Please stop.

Is your hair falling out too?  I understand, I’ve been there.  It’s because you are starving.  Stress and nutrient deficiency = thin hair and clogged shower drains.  Dieting is violence against yourself.

You can stop.  Do you need to talk to someone about it?  Message me, we can help each other.  I never thought I’d escape the diet culture trap, but I’m here on the other side saying that YES, I did and I am mad as fucking hell.  I am going to stay angry at diet culture.  Diet culture makes little girls hate their bodies.  It makes grown-ass women eat like people half their size and be perpetually tired.  Women in the world today work hard – why are we under eating and for whom??!!  WTF people?!  

Dieter, you might not be in the place where you believe me.  But believe this – you will get there.  Eventually we all hit rock bottom and realize that we must change our behaviors.  I will be here for you when you are ready.

Your Friend,

The Cloud

My latest piece is called “The Cloud.”  

“You know that heavy feeling you sometimes feel on your shoulders, maybe a pressure on the back your head?  The feeling that makes it just a little harder to smile, to break out in laughter?  The feeling that you have to work harder to be as happy as everyone else?  That is the cloud.  Embrace the cloud, bedazzle the hell out of it, and keep going.”

I did this on an 11 x 14 wood panel (thanks dear husband for cutting that for me!).  I wanted to be able to use hardware on this piece – so I could have the beads, maybe use some nails, etc.  I had so much fun expanding my art in this way.  I am going to be using wood panels more often!  

Alright, so let’s talk about this cloud.  I had felt the cloud for a long time.  Like maybe 6-7 years.  I think I found out why my cloud was there.  

Diet Culture.  Seriously, because my cloud is gone.  

About 2 months ago I quit weighing myself on a daily basis.  Previously, I weighed every. single. damn. day.  

I thought I was one of the people that didn’t intertwine my worth with the number I saw.  Well guess what?  I was fooling myself.  Weighing myself and then restricting my intake if I didn’t like what I saw was controlling my life.  It was stealing precious moments of happiness from me.  It was affecting my mood (just ask my husband), and instead of being in the moment with my son I was preoccupied with thoughts of food/exercise/weight.   

Late September, I started reading Intuitive Eating and decided to try ONE DAY of not weighing.  And then I decided to not weigh myself the next day either.  And the day after that until we get to today.  I have not stepped on a scale for 2 months.  I’m not going to sugar coat it, it’s been hard.   I have been “feeling all the feels” as they say.  I have had good days and bad days but mostly good days.  I feel free.

I know that diet recovery is a process.  I will have days that I feel the urge to get back on the diet train, but in this short amount of time I have learned something that will keep me fighting back against diet culture.  Dieting doesn’t align with my values anymore.  I can’t be my authentic self and a dieter at the same time.  

I have spent a lot of time reading about the body positive movement, HAES (Health at Every Size), and the anti-diet culture movement.  I am so wound up about the anti-diet culture movement – I am passionate about it and I feel like I have found a calling.  I am going to be starting a series  called “Dear Dieter.”  It’s a letter from me to dieters, and I’ll be posting them here.  I know this is quite a left turn for my blog, but I am fired up and angry as hell.  It’s time to do something.  

Stay tuned for my first Dear Dieter letter tomorrow!

Pure Joy Shawl

The past three months I have been GLUED to knitting needles.  Like knitting non-stop – it’s totally taken over my life and bank account.  Eeek!  I do have something beautiful to show for it though!  I give you, the Pure Joy Shawl by knitting pattern master Joji Locatelli. 

Obligatory “Hide-Face-With-Hair” Pose. Check out my boots! They are the Sanita “Puk” clog boots. I adore them.


The “Wingspan” pose.


The “Yes, I hang out under trees and ruminate alllllll the time” pose.

I am so pleased with how this shawl turned out.  Initially, I had a bit of trouble understanding the wrap and turns but thanks to a few helpful Ravelry users I was able to figure it out.  I have worn this shawl several times already, usually as a scarf draped around my neck.  It looks bitchin’ with my leather jacket.  Here is a shameless selfie as proof.


So what is next?  My WIPS are:  The Girl from the Grocery shawl by Joji, Pilot Pullover by Amanda Kaffka, a cowl for my son, and just 30 minutes ago I bought yarn for Sunset Highway by Caitlin Hunter.  You guys, I need a second job to pay for all this yarn. 

Check out my Ravelry page.  Friend me and be my enabler! 




Painted Table Finished!

I haven’t be doing much mixed media work, except for re-doing our kitchen table.  That was a huge project.  I sanded the top off of the table, primed it, and then went to work creating an outdoor scene.  I added sequins, paillettes, and cut paper to create the work.  When I was all finished I covered it with an epoxy called Art Resin.

I wanted to include text on the table, something special to me since it’s a place where my family will gather daily.  I chose to write “The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry.

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Mmmmm…. isn’t that lovely?  When I read it I feel a physical relief of mental weight taken off my shoulders.  It’s so beautiful and peaceful. 


Other than that table, I have been knitting up a storm.  In September I went to the Manitoba Fibre Festival, which was my first yarn/fiber festival experience.  I bought a few things and am planning to go back next year.  I’m looking forward to sharing my knitting projects with you.  Thanks for stopping by!

Feelin’ It!

Hey!  I haven’t posted for a while, but that doesn’t mean I’m not busy with creating.  In fact, I’ve got a few pieces that I’m currently working on and am definitely feeling those creative ideas running through me. 

First, the art quilt/headboard covering.  IT. IS. FINISHED.  I actually finished it the weekend that I had originally said I wanted to, I’ve just been busy and haven’t posted the update.  Here it is!

So much gorgeous color!  I am really happy with it.  Now to finish the rest of our master bedroom and make it look complete.  Right now I’m trying to figure out what to do for curtain panels.  Do I want to sew some or buy?  Decisions, decisions. 

I finished this piece a couple weeks back.  I LOVE the song Like The Dawn by The Oh Hellos.  It makes me think about my sweet husband and this piece was inspired by the music. 

Like the Dawn - Artwork is the Property of Alicia Spilde

Like the Dawn – Artwork is the Property of Alicia Spilde


Speaking of my sweet husband, we went kayaking last week at Lake Bronson State Park.  It was Wednesday night, and it felt great to have a mid-week adventure.  I am looking forward to getting out again.

We saw a beaver, a crane, an eagle, and 3 fawns with their mammas.  So sweet. 

This weekend I am going to work on getting my entry together for the FL3TCH3R EXHIBIT.  It’s an “international juried exhibit focused on socially and politically engaged art.”  I think my piece, “The Pressing Question,” would be a great fit for this exhibit.  I hope they think so too.




Half Brothers Brewing Company – Art is Up!

I happened to be in Grand Forks this Tuesday so I drove by Half Brothers Brewing Company, and the art was up!  I was so excited!

Check it out.



What I REALLY WISH is that I had the contact info for the other artists involved.  I mean, I truly have no idea who else participated in this endeavor.  And that makes me sad.  I want to know these talented people.  

Here is a video Half Brothers Brewing Company posted on their Facebook page.

And look at this fantastic Instagram post that Downtown Grand Forks shared!

Alright, that is all for now.  I need to paint something big again!  I had so much fun with this project. 

Psst… the headboard covering is done.  Stay tuned for pics.


Finish Art Quilt or Bust

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  I have some creative plans for the long weekend ahead and have made it my mission to finish the art quilt that I am working on.  The art quilt is 30″ x 80″ and will be wrapping the headboard I am making for our bed.  We just moved into our newly remodeled master bedroom, and our bed is against a big wall with lots of potential.  I decided that it needed some fun and color, so the art quilt idea came about.  

art quilt tula pink alicia spilde wild north art

A small sample of the art quilt!


You can see in the picture that one the left side there is some mesh looking fabric.  That is actually magenta tulle that I bought at JoAnn Fabrics.  After reading this book about art quilts, I learned about using tulle to cover pieces of fabric that were glued down first.  This way I can have the loose and frayed edges on the indiviudual fabric pieces, but it’s all held together with the tulle.  I bought tulle in nearly every color you can think of and the look the different colors gave the fabric was pretty cool.  I found that blue and white dulled the look but magenta made it SING. 

Can we just all take a moment to acknowledge how amazing my husband is for being cool with a big glittery magenta headboard?  I’m a lucky gal.  He knows color is my soul food! 

Anyway, back to the project.  I started with a piece of fabric that I had laying around and cut it just slightly larger than 30″ x 80″.  If I could choose a different base fabric, I WOULD.  I had a huge curtain panel from JCP that I couldn’t return – it is thick fabric, similar to upholstery actually.  I would choose a thin muslin if I could do it all over again.  When I was quilting the first half of this project, I was literally sweating from the effort I had to give in order to move the project and all its layers around to make a decent stipple pattern.  

Wrong base fabric aside, this project has been exciting and scary.  I spent one afternoon cutting pieces from gorgeous fabrics and arranging/gluing them to the base.  Here is a photo from that afternoon. 

art quilt collage alicia spilde wild north art tula pink

After I finished this step, I rolled this project up and pretended to forget about it for a month or so.  I tell ya, I was scared about quilting this beast.  I knew the base fabric was too heavy and all those little pieces… how would I keep it all together so it looked like something when I was finished?  Enter Serendipity Quilts to save the day!  This is where I read about the tulle.  Whew!  That problem was solved.  Now to learn how to free-motion quilt, haha!

I bought a new sewing machine so I could finish this project the right way.  I love this machine!  It came with tons of different attachments, most importantly the free-motion quilting foot.  I feel like I caught on quickly to free-motion quilting basic shapes and swirls, so after a few nights practicing I got the courage to start on the project.  I spent about two hours quilting half of the project together and now the remaining half is left.  Did I mention that I really wish I would have chosen a different base fabric?! 

I haven’t touched this project for about a month and I know I’m procrastinating because I know it’s going to be hard physical labor to finish this beast.  It must be done though.  We are moved into our new room and definitely need this headboard piece completed.  This is the weekend!

Well, the quilting will be complete.  I bought a large assortment of beads because I will be hand sewing on beaded accents throughout the art quilt.  I may also do some hand embroidery.  When it’s finished it will be a sight to behold.  I can’t wait. 

*The fabric is a mix of primarily Kaffe Fasset and Tula Pink, and then a bunch of assorted designers. 

Finished Commission for Half Brothers Brewing Company!

I am so excited to share the commission I’ve finished for Half Brothers Brewing Company!


This was a BIG project.  From start to finish it took me about 20 hours.  I started with a nice sheet of plywood (Thanks Husband).  I don’t know specifically what the plywood is called but I know it was really smooth and cost about $50.00. 

I had a lot of latex paint leftover from painting various rooms in my house, so that was mostly what I used.  I did go to Lowe’s and get a few sample sized cans for $3.49 each (what a steal!) – but didn’t use much of those. 

The biggest challenge was working on a project of this scale.  I usually work smaller, with a canvas or paper size no larger than 16 x 20 inches.  To help with the process, I drew my image on a piece of paper that I had cut 4 x 8 inches and then used a projector to make it fit onto the 4′ x 8′ piece of plywood. 

Brett and I are going to be delivering this piece to Half Brothers Brewing Co tomorrow.  I can’t wait to see it in it’s new home! 

If you have a second, take a peek at some of my new Etsy Shop items. 

Etsy Shop is Open!

I have exciting news! My Etsy shop, Wild North Art, is now open for business. It was A LOT Of work to get things organized and listed, but now that it’s done I am so happy I did it. Please take a moment to check it out by clicking the image below.

Wild North Art Etsy Shop Alicia Spilde Original Artwork and High Quality Reproductions

Other than working on my Etsy shop, I haven’t gotten much else done. I am hoping to spend some time in my art studio this weekend, as I have had a few new ideas. I have found the time to practice free motion quilting on my new machine, so that is a good thing. I’m practicing so I can get started on the quilting portion of the headboard covering I’m making. I can’t wait to show you the finished product, it’s HUGE!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!