The rainy view from the Serenity Room at Hazelgreen B&B, just a mile from Sawatzky's (and only $60/night)

Gazing over the hazelnut orchard, with sheep grazing among the trees from my twin bed at a bed & breakfast in Yarrow, BC (Canada) is a great way to start the day. Truth be told, it is the first morning I've actually been able to see out of the window, and I'm packing for the road trip back to Seattle, for my return flight to Colorado.

Yarrow BC is the home of a man that creates signs, and themes, and environments that are- magical. Dan Sawatzky has created international award winning concepts. If you could build feelings- he does it with his dynamic staff and family at Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation. Here, they might keep their techniques secret, but they don't. I'm one of a dozen folks that have come from across the continent to find out what works for Dan during their Sign Magic Workshop.

Since I started making signs almost 20 years ago, my style has evolved and each year there are new things that I try- some work, and some not so much. My learning curve has served our customers well, contunually offering great signs that work- but last month I admitted that it might be time to shake things up a bit and add some tools to our sign arsenal.

Our family returned from a year long tour of the US in July. We had loaded up our family of 9 to criss cross the US to see history first hand, and to spend time together as a family (read all the story and see the pictures at

Returning from 'OurBigTrip' was my opportunity to switch gears at Signs of Life and shift up, taking on new techniques and software  changes that will permit more of the ideas out of my head.

This trip to the Imagination Corporation in Yarrow will become part my toolbox, to create innovative solutions to our customers needs, and re-ignite the enthusiasm for signs that makes my 'job', fun.

This week will be interesting. Like a kid in a candy store, I have a thousand ideas fighting for attention. I'll work on controlling them and let them go on your sign projects over the coming weeks, and months, and years. This is going to be the start of something exciting...

I discovered that a blog is a great way to take a look back at where you've been and what was important when I blogged about ourbigtrip, and have decided to begin this week with a record of the sign world, from my eyes right here.

Stay tuned for fun!