I’m Right Here.

The postcards are waiting patiently for their time to shine again, but in the mean time, I have been using these first few days of the new year to focus on The Shoebox and Valentine’s Day (my biggest project of the year)!!

There were 1 or 2 concerning comments on my social media pages of late, with the tone of ‘Nice to know ya. Thanks for the postcards. See ya later Lefty’. So let me be clear – ‘365 Days: A Year in Postcards’ WAS A SINGLE PROJECT OF MINE, AND I HAVE ONLY JUST BEGUN!!

For the next three Saturdays I will be holding space, hereafter known as The Shoebox. The Shoebox is space I am creating where people can come and interact with me as an artist (experience the connection I offer), where they can write letters (find the materials, addresses and the inspiration), and where they can join a growing community of likeminded individuals who choose to use the written word as a tool for social justice, as a considerate means of connecting them to those they love, and who acknowledge the need to keep written communication alive in our world.

The Shoebox will travel around with me this summer, bringing letter-writing and note passing to music festivals, and beautiful towns along the way! I’ll keep you posted on dates and times and towns….

Here is a poster for The Shoebox, for the next three weeks:


And then!!…Starting the first week of February, I will be running my Love Letter workshops again, in conjunction with the Valentine card campaign. The workshops are going to be held at local used bookstores (I have confirmed Tues. Feb. 2, 6-8pm, at Attic Books  http://www.atticbooks.ca) – because what better place to write a love letter than to be surrounded by the greatest love letters ever written, and because used bookstores are where I have spent much of my time, and where I have found much inspiration.

This year, the heartfelt Valentine, that you can order and have sent to someone you love, is a collaboration between myself and the wonderfully talented textile artist, Paulina Szczesny (http://www.psletsdye.com). I was with her the other day at her home studio, and while she worked beside me, I started this collage…stay tuned pals – this year’s Valentine is going to be bea-u-ti-ful! #getinhere



I learned a lot this past year, and I do hope you will stick with me as I continue to unfold and grow as an artist. I have lots of ideas (including a podcast!), and opportunities for us to correspond…it’s going to be a good year.

Come to The Shoebox. #getinhere. Write soon.

All my Love, Smudge


The Shoebox

I am creating my own space, called, The Shoebox.

It is time.

The Shoebox will be a place where you can come to write, and reconnect. It will be a place where you can interact with me as an artist, and experience the magic of  a ‘smudge note’.

This space will allow for thinking and feeling at a snail’s pace, the cadence of consideration.

The Shoebox will travel with me as I take to music festivals and Ontario towns this summer. It will be the home I carry with me, and invite you to enter.

For the next three Saturday mornings (Dec. 5, 12, 19, 9am-12noon), 207 King St. (in London, Ontario) will play host to this space.

I look forward to growing and developing The Shoebox in the weeks and months ahead, and I am glad you will be here to share this journey with me

The Shoebox operates through donation, to begin. I trust I will be taken care of.



Something Good to Share with You.




I have an update about the letters that were sent out as part of my gratitude project ‘someone to be thankful for’ ! This past Saturday I received an email from Catrin Thomas, of International Medical Corps UK.

I will let the email speak for itself, but for my part I wish to thank again each and every person involved with this project… Correspondence is sometimes a quiet force, but a powerful one none the less, and I believe that our letters have had a deep and far reaching impact, though this may be our only word of it.
In this regard, we are the small group of people Margaret Mead speaks of…(and so are those to whom we wrote).

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that has. – Margaret Mead

Dear Allyson and co-writers at Lefty Smudges,

I have a worked in the charity sector for almost ten years, and I write letters of thanks to our vital supporters every day whose donations make it possible for us to help those in crisis and emergency situations – including refugees who are fleeing civil war.

This is the very first time that I’ve received a letter of thanks for the work I do – it is a wonderful gesture and made me and my fundraising team very happy!

I have placed your letters on our noticeboard in our kitchen area where it will be visible to all our staff when they make teas and coffees. I’m sure it will make them feel warm and fuzzy inside, knowing people like you, across the ocean, recognize the value of what International Medical Corps UK does.

From all of us here- thank you for your gratitude and support-  It means a lot.

Catrin Thomas

Supporter Relationship Officer (Fundraising) 

International Medical Corps UK


The pen is mightier than the sword  – Proverb

You are my joy!
Happy Monday.