I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment. I've got a million things to with my little crafty business prior to Christmas, and I'm not sure how I'm going to get them all done. I've got to make lots of stock for a show that I want to do, and also to sell to my shops for the season. I also have committed to teaching a cardmaking class, and I want to make some cards and collages to sell using the Japanese paper scraps that I have piling up. Also, I want to get a double happiness site up and running to sell my wares. All this in the next couple of months, and the Christmas season seems to start earlier each year. I got an email from a craft show asking if I want to register for their Christmas sale - in the first week of October - that's not even Hallowe'en! Anyhow, enough whingeing. I think that once I get stuck into all these tasks properly, it won't be as bad as it seems. I've just got to enjoy the process, and not feel stressed about the outcome. I know I will enjoy it, and it will all seem worthwhile when I get there. I'm really looking forward to doing a craft show. I've been selling my books to shops all this year, and while they are really lovely and praise my work, there's nothing quite like really chatting with people and getting feedback. And, craft shows are also a great chance to meet and connect with other artists.

Must get back to work. My computer is right now, as I type, is downloading all three seasons of the Ricky Gervais show. Yipee! I loved the Office, and I just finished watching "Extras", so I'm on a bit of a "Ricky" kick. Listening to the show will make my hours in the studio, especially the more boring cutting up squares of paper bits, pass wonderfully.

Oh, and by the way, that's a wonky sketch of a watch that I did in my journal a while back.


Ultimate Cutting Duo

I have come to a bit of a cross roads in my little business. I am having trouble keeping up with my orders using my current combination of crummy little rotary cutter and exacto knife, and I am having panic attacks about getting ready for the Christmas markets, so I have a big decision to make. I need to buy some new equipment. I have sourced these two machines on ebay. The one above I would use for cutting large sheets of cardstock and Japanese paper, and the one below I would use for cutting my bookboard.
Since I am so terrible at making decisions, I am putting this out in the blogosphere - has anyone used these particular machines? Do you have any feedback? The large rotary trimmer is made by a company called Trio, and the guillotine is made by Kutrimmer. Any feeback or suggestions at all would be a great help. Like I said, a big decision (and investment) for such a little business!


Back in the Studio

I was back in the studio after my holiday for the first time tonight. Well, I was actually in there for a couple of hours the other night cleaning up, but that doesn't count. Anyhow, I got to try out these carved wooden stamps that I bought on my travels. I love their chunkiness - they kind of remind me of big black cupcakes.
The images they produce are cool, but I had difficulty getting a good impression. Perhaps they were meant for fabric rather than paper? Regardless, I still think they are cool.

One thing in my studio that never disappoints me is my Japanese Screw Punch. I used to use a drill for making holes in bookboard, but the holes were a bit jagged and messy. With the applilcation of a little elbow grease, the screwpunch makes clean and tidy holes, even in thick bookboard. It also cuts cleanly through bookcloth and all sorts of paper. All in all, an excellent and well used little tool. Now, back to work...


Seeds. Ha. tasty!

I love cool packaging, and I love food. So, I love it when the two come together. I bought these sunflower seeds in this lovely brown paper packet at the Chinese supermarket today. I love the simplicity of the colour scheme, and the crispness of the packet. Also, not seeing inside makes the seeds even more enticing. But, what I love most are all the cute little translations, like this one...

Seeds. Ha. tasty! How could I resist? The eating instructions are quite detailed, and warn me to exercise caution so that I don't swallow any shells. Just lovely.

Speaking of food, I stumbled across a great little food blog called "Bunny Pie." All the recipes (and there are lots of veggie ones) are absolutely drool worthy. Can't wait 'til I'm done this detox thing so that I can try the Alsatian Potato Pie. Yum.

Finally, a detox update. I am still feeling kind of miserable, but apparently, this is normal. I think it's the caffiene withdrawal that's giving me all these aches and pains. But, I have lost 3 pounds so far, so that kind of makes me happy. I am cooking dinner for a friend tomorrow night, so that will be a real challenge!


Joshi - Day One

Although I've only been following the detox plan since lunchtime yesterday, I woke up with a raging headache that does not want to subside. Dr. Joshi says that this is normal, and is a result of all the toxins in my system leaving my body. Right now, I am very cranky and angry with Dr. Joshi. Want coffee.


Save me Dr. Joshi, you're my only hope!

After a few weeks of extreme over-indulgence on my holidays, I have decided to embark on Dr. Joshi's 21 day detox program. I got up late this morning, went out for breakfast and had a large cappucino and egg and cheese panini. I bought the book, and read it lying out on the porch sipping coffee and eating chocolate. As you can imagine, this detox thing may prove to be a challenge for me! Still, I think I am up for the challenge. Dr. Joshi will still allow me to eat many foods that I love - veggies, yoghurt, bannanas, goat's cheese, tofu - so I am hoping that I can get by. Eliminating coffee and alcohol will be difficult, but I have been so sluggish and having so many headaches lately, that I'm ready to try anything that might help. So, wish.me.luck.

Oh, and I just want to say that I didn't buy the book because of the Gwyneth Paltrow thing on the cover. If anything, that freaked me out a little.


What I did on my summer vacation

I just finished up a great summer vacation. We had friends visiting from Australia, and we did loads of great things. First of all, we had lots of nice dinners at our house, and, I got to do my pseudo-Martha entertaining thing. The picture above is Martin and I out on our deck during one of our little soirees. It's a bit blurry, but I love the lanterns and fairy lights in the background.
After a couple of nights at home, we were off to Cape Breton, which is one of the most beautiful places I know. It's about 5 hours north of Halifax, and I would highly recommend going, if you ever get a chance. There is a drive called the Cabot Trail, which takes at least two days to explore properly. It's a very twist-y, turn-y coastal road with fantastic scenery. This a view from the Skyline trail, one of the many walks along the drive. There are a few more photos over on my flickr and I hope to add more soon. We stayed at a cute little cottage and some of us even managed a swim in the chilly water. And, we ate lots and lots of seafood. Yum.
Finally, it was back to Halifax, for another day of expoloring the city with our friends. Although we see the sights of our city every day, seeing it from the point of view of our guests was fun. It was like discovering the place all over again. For example, the picture of the buildings above was taken by my friend Zena (and yes, she is a warrior princess!). I really love how she has captured something new and fresh in these buildings I see all the time. Another highlight of the holiday was finally seeing my brother play the drums in his band. I am ashamed to say that although he's been with the band for about a year now, this is the first time I've seen them play, and I really enjoyed it. They've got a cool kind of techno-rock sound that was great live.
Anyhow, to sum up, the best part of the holiday was having my friends here. We had a lot of fun, and I will miss them, but I'm not too sad - I'm already planning our next trip!

Spot the Moose

If anyone is still reading out there, I'm still alive! My holidays kind of crept up on me, and I didn't have a chance to do a "farewell" post, but I'm still here and blogging. Sadly, my fantastic holidays are ending today with the departure of our final Aussie guest. More on the holidays, and general stuff soon...by the way, this is a photo of the only moose we saw on our trip to Cape Breton. See if you can spot him....