That is the sound of pure frustration! I created this banner for my blog a few days ago, but have not been able to post it. I'll say it again - aargh! I am not sure what I'm doing wrong, when I change the code and try to put the banner up, I just get that little symbol that means a picture is not working. This is my 50th post, I had big plans to have a new banner, updated links, changing stuff on my sidebar...maybe tomorrow.

But, it's not all bad. Got a lovely package from Marieke last night (more on that later), getting ready to mail Sweetpea Swap 2 - Vintage Love to Carolyn (she's already mailed mine, yikes!), and meeting with a client tomorrow to sell some books. Better go and get busy, in the meantime, if anyone has some hints about putting up this banner, they'd be much appreciated!



From the Oxford Dictionary - Muse - a woman who is the inspiration for a creative artist...

Marieke's comment about Audrey Tautou got me thinking about the concept of muses. I guess that Audrey is the "muse" of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who directed her in "Amelie" and "A Very Long Engagement." Also, she seems to fascinate a lot of creative women who are around our age - I've noticed in memes when favorite movies are listed, Amelie inevitably appears somewhere. As muses go, I think that Audrey Tautou is a great one, she is luminously beautiful, seems to have a great sense of style, and more importantly, a great sense of humour. I think that being a muse would be a wonderful occupation! I hate that when you're going through customs, and you have to write your occupation on that little card - I don't want to put my day job (boring) and I feel weird writing "Artist." But "muse", that would be cool!

I also got to thinking, who is my muse? Do I have a muse? Who do I think about when I'm making my books? Who inspires what I create? Does a muse have to be a woman? The conclusion that I came to is, well...maybe my muse is someone like Audrey Tautou. I can imagine her as Amelie - she is riding her bike down a cobblestoned street somewhere in Paris, she rides past one of those beautiful streetlamps and parks her bike at a charming cafe. She sits down, peruses the menu with one raised eyebrow, but finally orders what she has everytime, a cafe au lait and a chocolate crossiant. While she is waiting for her order, she reaches into an adorable handbag, pulls out one of my books opens it and begins sketching the street life around her and writing little notes....

OK, maybe that was a little scary - perhaps there is a fine line between thinking someone is your muse, and being a stalker! I didn't realize that I had that little fantasy in my head! But, I'd like to pose a question - who is your muse, and how does he/she inspire you?


Sunny Saturday

Despite forecasts of rain, today has dawned very warm and sunny. We were planning to take a drive down to the South Shore of Nova Scotia tomorrow, but we might just do it today. When my husband gets back from buying yet more dirt at the garden shop, I hope that we can waddle off like this little duck for a relaxing day in the country!


Bad Blogger

I've been a bit of a bad blogger these last few days. Not really updating my blog, and not even properly looking at all the blogs I love. My main excuse is a cold, which turned out to be a sinus infection, which has been hanging on for weeks! I'm on the mend now, but still feeling a bit tired and drained. I am very glad that it's a long weekend here in Canada, and I can rest up at home and (hopefully) also have some fun.

But, enough whining! I had a good time tonight, catching up with a friend, having a lovely dinner and seeing "The Notorious Bettie Page." I wasn't crazy about the movie, it wasn't horrible, but it just didn't really engage me. I think that she was a very interesting person, but the movie really just showed her as a one-dimensional character. You never really understood why she did the things she did, how she reconciled her Christian beliefs with her risque work...I reckon that she was cool though, and she definitely had a very distinctive look!

The picture above is my a closeup of some bits on the mantel in my house. It's my vantage point right now from my couch, as I type this post and listen to the fog horns out on the harbour. Now, I must toddle off to bed and sniffle through the night!


My new digs

Well, I've finally gotten it done! It took me a couple of evenings after work last week, and pretty much all of this morning, but I've finished my little studio revamp. It all started when I read "The Superhero Guide to Desiging a Creative Business" over on the delightful Superhero Designs site. The first point was all about creating a workspace that feels nourishing and creative - filling your space with the things that bring you joy. When I looked around at my messy, bland studio, I didn't feel any joy. My starting point was creating this paper rack, with the help of my live-in handyman. It's basically just two lengths of chain with dowels suspended in the links hanging from some curtain hardware. The whole thing cost maybe 20 bucks, and would have been less if I hadn't insisted on the fancy silver Umbra curtain hardware. The rack replaces my antique clothing rack paper thing, which I loved - but took up way too much room. Another clever little innovation that I created were these magnet boards. Well, I didn't create them, I just picked them up off a clearance table at my local hardware store for 4 bucks each. Then, I took those nifty little watchmakers tins from Lee Valley, stuck magnets on the back and filled them with little bits and pieces. It keeps my worktable clear of lots of little things - I've even got a silver case filled with pens and pencils on there! I also made some magnets from beach glass and broken porcelain. I've left lots of blank space on the boards, as I'm sure I will think of lots more things to put up there in future!
I cleaned up my inspiration board a bit, and also added some new items, but plan to cut out and collect everything that I find interesting/inspring and stick it up there from now on.
Finally, I strung a line of paper lanterns up, just because I love them so much! I also replaced the ugly light fixture with a big paper globe. There's lots more I'd like to do, like get big drawers for paper storage and add more artwork on the walls, but I feel like this is a very good start! If you want to check out more photos of the room, head on over here to my Flickr thing. The only bad bit is that I am so tired from completing all this work, that I haven't made any books in my studio this weekend...


Scenes from a Garden

We had our first really nice sunny 20 degree day here in Nova Scotia. Martin spent the day working outside in the garden, his new passion, and I spent the day indoors, doing some much needed spring cleaning (who knew that you actually had to wash windows! Doesn't the rain do that?) and rearranging. However, I did take some time out to snap a few shots...
This is the great asparagus forest. Asparagus is a perennial vegetable, and some previous owner must have planted a patch. Two sad little spears come back every spring.
The only bit of colour in the garden right now are these tulips - but they are a very nice bit of colour!
And now, the garden says good night, and so do I.


Wonderful Weekend

Martin and I spent a wonderful weekend in Toronto. We had beautiful weather there, and spring was much further advanced than here in Nova Scotia, as you can see from the picture above - a typical downtown Toronto house with a beautiful garden. We did some shopping - the highlight of which for me was Queen Street West in Toronto. It's the Fashion District, and has loads of bead button and trimming shops. It also has the most fantastic ribbon shop - Mokuba - beautiful ribbons from fifty cents to fifty dollars per metre. It was like a chapel of ribbon in there, everyone spoke in reverential hushed tones. I wanted to buy loads, but restrained myself a bit. I did, however, get a sample book for future orders. We also went to the Paper Place - loads of wonderful Japanese papers, including my favorite - chiyogami. Again, I practiced restraint but couldn't leave without a few little purchases! We also had a lurvely brunch at a cafe called Fressen. It was a vegan feast, with tofu, roast potatoes, tempeh "bacon", black beans, fruit, and lots more - yum!

I also did a bit of clothes shopping at H&M. We don't have one in my hometown, so shopping there is quite a treat for me! I got a printed wrap dress, and a kimono top - hurray!

Another thing I did on the trip was approach some shops about carrying my books.Pulp kindly bought a few, so now Double Happiness has gone national! It was great to meet the shop's owner, Laura - a fellow book artist, and browse in her fantastic shop which has a range of beautiful papers and cards.

Oh, and how could I forget - Mr Verg's Theatre of the Absurd! A very strange, but very entertaining little puppet show. Another nice thing about cities, they're full of creativity and expression, of all kinds, including crazy potato sack puppet shows!

Finally, the nicest thing that we did was catch up with my oldest friend Mishka and her partner "D". They showed us a fantastic time, and took us to some wonderful restaurants and places that we wouldn't have found on our own. We hope to return the favor here in Nova Scotia - soon!


Off for the weekend!

We are off to Toronto for the weekend! I know it's a bit early to post about this, it being Wednesday and all, but I'm leaving tomorrow right after work, so I probably won't get another chance. Looking forward to getting away, seeing the sites and spending time with Mishka and her boy.

In case you are wondering about the picture, it's from a place in Toronto that I wouldn't mind visiting - the Bata Shoe Museum. I think that it's the only museum of it's type in the world, and I have a bit of a thing for shoes!

Bye for now...


I "heart" Mark Ruffalo

I really like Mark Ruffalo. Not just because he's cute, and yes - I definitely think he's cute, but I think that he's a really great actor too. The first movie I saw him in was "You Can Count on Me", which I thought was fantastic. He was also the only reason I watched "In the Cut", and I've sat through "13 Going on 30" more times than I'd like to admit, just to see him again! Last weekend, I watched "Just Like Heaven" . I have to say that I am looking forward to seeing Mark in something besides a silly romantic comedy soon, but that I will watch him in just about anything!