The Usual Suspects

We had a little honey, then I bought honey, and he bought honey too. Something about these little guys reminds of a police lineup - maybe it's the guilty-smug looks on their furry plastic faces?


I'm a Mountain

While my whole little town was gripped with Rolling Stones fever - the "super group" played a huge outdoor concert here in the pouring rain, the likes of which have never been seen in these parts - I was safe and dry watching the wonderful Sarah Harmer in an intimate concert. It was a great night, she's a fantastic musician with a beautiful voice, and a lovely songwriting style. Her genre is a kind of folky country. I am not sure if she is famous in other parts of the world, but she deserves to be. I am running out of adjectives to describe her and the night, so I will just say that I would highly recommend checking her out. Right now, I am going upstairs to cut and fold more paper, and listen to the fabulous Ms. Harmer's latest - I'm a Mountain.


Reading with my Ears

Something that I enjoy when I'm working in my studio is listening to books on tape. Right now, I'm listening to "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell". I read the book last year, but wanted to hear the story again. If you haven't read the book, I would highly recommend it. It's long -about 800 pages - so it's a time committment, but I think it's worth it. The author, Susannah Clarke, has created a magical world based on our own, yet eerily different. Malevolent fairies, fueding magicians, footnotes that could be a novel in themselves - this book has it all. I wouldn't say I am a huge fan of the fantasy genre, but this book goes beyond that. I heard that it took 10 years to write this book and I can believe it, so meticulously crafted. Just a wonderful and beautifully written story. Her latest book of short stories looks great as well, and it's beautifully bound and cased in it's own lovely slipcover, appealing to the book nerd in me.

I have to say though, not all my listening and reading choices are so literary. I like to listen to books like "The Nanny Diaries" or things by Candace Bushnell, because they are fun and don't take too much concentration. I think that I just love the written word. I get feel anxious and out of sorts if I'm not reading something, that's why I love reading with my ears.


Totally Mechanized

My paper cutters arrived the other night, and I've been happily cutting away ever since. I got the ones mentioned in my post the other day, and the question I'm asking myself is - why didn't I do this sooner? It's made things so much quicker, in two hours tonight, I cut what would have probably taken me nearly a day to do. I shouldn't say that I'm totally mechanized though.... I cut up all these little birds by hand a while back. I was making cards with them, but they were so labour intensive that I would have to charge heaps for each card. So, I am thinking that I can mount them on small canvases in mini-collages. Until then, I just dumped them in a pile on this canvas.

Gotta go, America's Next Top Model is on. I really enjoy watching it - I'm such a loser!



I've had a nice weekend - I got a lot of work done in my studio, and sources of inspiration have been coming thick and fast. On Saturday morning, we went out for brekkie at Starr's Bakery, which is a really lovely little place. Then, we wandered down to the Dartmouth Farmer's Market, which was buzzing. Normally, I'm not so crazy about the Dartmouth market, preferring the one in Halifax, but there was a really nice group of crafters there this weekend, as well as loads of lovely veggies - guess it's just that time of year. The best thing was that there was an artist's boardwalk outside along the water. Lots of artists had tables set up selling their work. I bought the two little paintings of apples above, which the artist has mounted as fridge magnets. They are the nicest fridge magnets I have ever seen. I have a real weakness for paintings of fruit. After the markets, we went to the library, where I got loads of books and magazines, as well as some books on tape to listen to while I work in the studio. One of the magazines I got was Country Home, which had a nice article about Danny Seo. I really like his design aesthetic, and the way he uses natural and recycled materials. It's a bit like my own aesthetic, except that he designs this way out of concern for the planet, while I am just cheap. I might have to get one (all?) of his books - they look really cool. One of the great things in his house was his use of branches, which I also love. I am planning to have my booth at the markets be quite "branch-y", a kind of cherry blossom woodland winter theme that incorporates birds. Not sure how I'm going to pull it all off, but I've started by getting the basket on the right. I love the way that it's reminscent of a nest, and the black colour makes my books pop. So, I've got lots of ideas running through my head, and I'm thinking of working on a few new products - if I get the time. I'd better go and get started...


The detox is over!

With all the excitement over the craft fair - thanks for all your lovely comments and encouragement by the way - I forgot to update on my progress with the Dr. Joshi detox. I finished up on Saturday, and I think the results have been good. I lost a few pounds, I'm feeling better and have more energy, and I haven't had a serious headache, besides the caffiene withdrawl ones, over the last few weeks. We went out for brekkie on Saturday morning to celebrate the end of the detox and I ordered my pre-detox usual - a latte and a frittata bagel. I had two sips of the coffee and didn't want anymore, and I felt very bloated after eating the bagel. So, I've decided to follow a more relaxed version of the detox on a daily basis - basically, just cutting back on bread, dairy, caffiene and alcohol. I hope that the nice results continue - as I'm going to need lots of energy over the next couple of months in the lead up to the craft fair!

Oh, and this is just a gratuitous thermos shot. I bought this thermos a couple of weeks ago - for some reason, I've always wanted a Chinese-type thermos. I think it's really pretty, but it's highly impractical - it's not watertight.


Quick Update

Just thought I'd post a quick update and let all know that I got in to the craft show! I just found out yesterday, and have been frantically making preparations and filling shop orders, so I haven't had much time to post, but will do so soon. Zen-like state now descending into madness!


Renoir, Picasso and Mrs. Ida Simon

Yes, Mrs. Ida Simon is truly up there with the greats of the art world over the last century or so. But, amazingly, I was able to pick up one of her paintings at a yard sale yesterday for about 2 bucks! All joking aside though, I like this painting. And, I like the fact that it's signed, it gives it a bit of a story.
At the same yard sale I also picked up this painting by an R. Fleming. While not as well known as Mrs. Simon, his (her?) primitive use of bold colour is quite exciting, and will make a lovely addition to the hallway going up the stairs. I had fun yesterday morning, going out and checking out yard sales. There were quite a few on my street, and also a few in town. I only bought at the one where I got the paintings though. I also picked up two brand new sets of bamboo knitting needles and a shade for the light in my studio. The whole lot only cost me 10 bucks. Pretty impressive, I thought.

The rest of the day was spent making more books. I have a couple of orders to fill this week, and I am beginning to get a sense of the "Christmas Rush" coming on. My meeting with the Craft show people went well, but I won't find out about whether or not I'm in until tomorrow. The anticipation of the meeting was a bit nerve-wracking, but now that it's over, I have transcended into a type of Zen state. If I get in, great - and if I don't, well - that's OK too. Mind you, I say this now, but wait until crunch time and Zen will be replaced by...well, something quite a lot less Zen.



I've been busily working away on preparing my presentation for the craft show people on Friday. Luckily, I have most of the things that I need prepared, but I've been working on some extra albums and an information packet. Now, all I have left to is worry...


These are a few of my favorite things...

Recently, Veronica listed things that she loves on her blog, and I've seen similar lists on other blogs. I loved reading these lists, you get to find out lots about the person, and also discover loads of cool things. So, in the true copycat spirit, here's my list of my favorite things, in no particular order...

Family and friends (goes without saying), Martin (ditto), Japanese paper, cherry blossoms - actually, pretty much everything Japanese, making books, making art, doodling, ice cream, Chulo Pony, shopping at H&M, New York, clouds, sunsets, beaches, daschunds, Vienna, art museums and galleries (especially the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC), silly movies, Amelie, music - right now, lots of girl singers like Emiliana Torrini and Feist, home decorating magazines (especially Domino), brie, flea markets, funky old things, my duvet, sleeping in on weekends, reading, old movies, Cary Grant, cooking meals for my friends, baking, walking on leaves in the fall, a nice hot cup of tea with lots of milk, flowers, brown paper packages tied up with string, Matisse, red shoes, chocolate brown, getting emails, getting letters, reading blogs, little birds, wine, cozy knitted sweaters, chunky necklaces, ending sentences with ...


Feeling better now...

Well, my overwhelmed-ness (is that a word?) of yesterday has turned into excitement. I have been wanting to get into a particular juried craft show for months, and having been ringing the administrator in a stalker-like fashion since April or May with few results. Well, I rang again today, and the previous administrator is gone, and the new administrator has agreed to meet with me next Friday to look at my work. I am very happy/excited about this – although I’m not in yet, at least something is finally happening! So, now I just have to prepare a presentation for my little meeting next Friday, really knock her socks off!

Whilst dreaming up ways to outfit my little 8X10” booth, if (and when?) I get it, I came across some photos from the aptly named “Inspiration Engine”. So gorgeous - I would be pleased if I could do something half this good! If anyone has any photos or ideas or links about craft booth design, I’d love to hear about them.

Anyhow, I’m off to Grandma’s house for a bit. Happy long weekend everyone! Well, everyone in Canada (and the US?) anyhow.