Feelin' Shaky

I bought the Jamie Oliver Flavour Shaker. Martin called me a sucker. I hope it works.

A Walk in the Park

Today was sunny, but cold. We decided to bundle up and go for a walk in Point Pleasant Park.
A few years ago, there was a huge hurricane and we lost many of the trees in this park. I guess the bright side is that now you can see the sky....
...and this little guy still has a home. After this brisk and chilly walk, it was off to the pub for some refresing ale and an order of curry fries. Bye for now.



I had a fantastic christmas. Great time with family, lots of food, and some wonderful presents. I got a few books - among them "The Time Travellers Wife" which I read from cover to cover yesterday and a Marie Antoinette biography, some gorgeous earrings, and a set of "Great Artists" fingerpuppets, complete with their own theatre. I am very happy and appreciative - thanks everyone!

Now that Christmas is over, I've been thinking about my New Year's resolutions. I know, it's terrible to make resolutions because it's like a jinx - none of them ever come true, but I like thinking about the fresh starts the New Year brings and dream about all the things that I will do. So, here are my resolutions, in no particular order:

- start cooking more. I love cooking, but it's kind of fallen by the wayside, so I hope to get more into it in the New Year.
- take better care of myself. Eat better, drink less, etc. I am planning to do another detox once the holiday season is over. I really felt so much better. And, I want to start taking either Yoga or Pilates classes.
- pay more attention to my house. I just want things to be tidy and organized, and beautiful. We did lots of improvements when we first moved in, but we've kind of slowed down a bit. I'm not talking big things - maybe just a bit more storage, and things that will make our life here more comfortable.
- do the things that I want to do with my business and art. I want to keep doing my books, but I'd like to take things a step further and create some designs that are more reflective of me. I think it's easy to get into a "trap" of producing things that are popular, but the real way to be sucessful and fulfilled is to make things that are truly a reflection of who you are.
-learn something new. I want to take a letterpress class this year, and also learn more about photography.
- and daschunds. More daschunds please.


Christmas Countdown

Number of packages to wrap – about a dozen.
Number of pillar candles glowing in the fireplace – six.
Number of cute pink eggs in my new Christmas tree nest – three.
Number of yummy things left to eat -lots, thank goodness!
Number of good friends back in town for a visit - two - yay!
Number of times that I want to listen to "Linus and Lucy" on the Charlie Brown Christmas album - about a zillion - I just love it! (I might not be saying that after a couple of days though!)
Number of days left at work – just one.
Number of books, projects or other crafty commitments left – zero! I am especially happy about this one. While I get so much satisfaction from my little book business and would be totally lost without it, it’s been a very hectic season for me. I am so looking forward to kicking back, reading, enjoying time with family and maybe even finishing up knitting the shrug I started about a year ago.

We are off in a couple of days to spend the holiday with my Mom and Grandmother in Truro. They live out in the country and don’t have access to high-speed internet. So, I will have a bit of a break from blogging and surfing the internet as well. I’m sure I will miss reading all your blogs and finding out what you’ve been up to, but I think that sometimes you need to get away from technology and just connect with the people around you. Sappy, huh?

Happy holidays to everyone!


The Sartorialist - Another blog to love

I’ve only got a few “blogs I love” in my sidebar, but I read about a zillion more. One that I’m particularly loving at the moment is “The Sartoralist.” It’s a blog all about fashion, with snaps taken on the streets of NYC. I love the way the author includes a number of looks and styles, but seems to focus on the type of fashion I adore – classic, with a bit of a twist. And black, of course, lots of black. I think the other reason I love the blog is the fact that it’s set in New York. Just looking at it takes me back to my (much too short) time there, and feeds my fantasies of living an artsy, bohemian life in the Big Apple. I would highly recommend that you check it out.



Thought I'd share a photo of another pretty bauble I aquired this week. I just love this ring. Even though it probably looks horrible on my squat white fingers and it slightly restricts my movements, I love wearing it. One of the customers at the craft show was wearing one, and I asked her where she got it. When I got out to the shop last week, there was only one left so I snapped it up. When I wear it to work at my office, I feel like one of those wacky secretary characters, like Joan Cusack in "Working Girl" or Annie Potts in "Ghostbusters." I've always loved those wacky secretaries - like me, they go to work in an office everyday, but you know they've got this secret fun life outside of work that their clothing, hair and accessories hint at, but never quite give away.

Well, maybe my life is not quite so secret and fun - I'm busy making another pile of books this weekend - the last little push before Christmas. I got up before the sun this morning to start work- but being Canada in winter, that was not so hard to do. The sun's up now, and it's looking beautiful out there. I'd better get at it so I can go out and enjoy it later. Happy Sunday!


Cary'ed Away

I love Cary Grant. Not in the romantic crush type of sense - although he's obviously handsome, I don't really find him attractive. I just love his hammy acting, his hilarious double takes, the fact that he didn't mind poking fun at himself (can you imagine Tom Cruise in "Arsenic and Old Lace - I think not!), the way that he was so sophisticated and classy and private (unlike the "stars" of today), and of course, his sense of style.

So, when I saw this book at my local bookstore, I was very excited. It has wonderful photos from many of Cary's films, and reminded me of why I love him so much. I know that it's one book on my Christmas wish list, and I'm sure that Shona would echo that sentiment. Cary Christmas everyone! (Like Cary, I cannot resist a corny pun!)


Beautiful Baubles

I received a wonderful package in the mail recently from my friend Mishka. She made me a necklace using some beads that my mom had bought for me ages ago, added beads and findings of her own, along with her amazing style, and created this beautiful piece. I really love it - it's beautifully chunky, yet somehow light. This picture doesn't do it justice - if you want to see more of Mishka's work, check out her blog or her etsy shop - Threaded Glass. Thanks Mishka!
I am just about to hunker down for the evening with a glass of wine and the latest issues of Martha Stewart Living and Marie Claire Idees. The movie Proof is on TV, and it promises to be a very enjoyable evening. Farewell!


All Wrapped Up

Last night, I baked some cookies and blondies, and whipped up a batch of homemade hot chocolate to deliver to some of my clients as a thank you for all their kindness and support over the last year that I've been selling my books.

It's still a thrill for me everytime someone likes a piece of my work enough to buy it, and I appreciate the space that shops have given to show my work. So, the least I can do is deliver some holiday treats. If you're interested, the cookie recipe that I made was from Chocolate and Zucchini, the blondies were from a recipe I found in the Martha Stewart holiday cookie magazine and the hot chocolate recipe is from Epicurious. Happy holidays!


Sprucing the place up...

I spent yesterday sprucing the place up, literally. I finished decorating my tree - well, actually, I redecorated my tree after someone came home late after a work party and knocked half the ornaments off. Not naming any names, but this person was in the doghouse for quite a little bit. Anyhow, I decorated my sad little $10 bargain store tree, and I think it looks ok. The branches were a bit sparse, so I filled them in with red berry branches. I've gone for a bit of a "woodland" theme, but really, it's all over the place. I just took all the things I like - disco balls, little birds, butterflies, vintage glass ornaments and lots of pink and silver - and plunked them on the tree. Really, you can't go wrong with a Christmas tree, anything with lights on it looks so pretty. By the way, these are the first photos with my new camera - hurrah! Much better macro and low light functions. There are a couple more over on my Flickr, if you're interested.

The other sprucing came in the form of cleaning. Since the craft show, our house has been a real mess. I spent hours cleaning up, and also hanging some pictures and things that I've meant to do for a while. I finally got the print that Marieke gave me off the mantel and on the wall, and I think it looks quite sweet. Today, I tackle my studio and get back to work on my final pre-Christmas orders. Wish me productivity!


Blurry no more!

I've been looking, quite obsessively actually, for a camera for the last few weeks. I've had a Canon digital camera for years, one of the first in their "Elph" series, so old that it's only 2.1 megapixels. It's ok, the photos look all right online, but prints come out all pixel-y, with a lot of noise. I've been getting frustrated with my camera for a while, but the final straw for me was my craft show, when I took photos of my booth and products and they turned out, well...crappy. I was hoping to use these photos for future show applications and my upcoming website but they are just not good enough. Also, I'm really starting to enjoy taking photos, and I want the way that I'm setting up the shot in my head to be the final outcome, not the blurry mess that comes out now.

Initially, I thought that I possibly wanted to get a high-end SLR type camera, but I don't think I'm ready for that. There would be a steep learning curve for me, and I couldn't fit it in my pocket. So, in the end, I've decided to go for the little beauty above. It's got a decent number of megapixels (6), optical zoom (x4), image stabilization (good-bye blur!), macro and night shooting modes, and a few manual controls that I can play with. I may still get an SLR down the road, but even if I do, I would still like to have this as a second camera for everyday use. So, it's off to the shop tomorrow for an early Christmas gift. I would have gone tonight, but we're in the midst of the another snow storm. So, I bid you farewell and hit the couch for a film night - I've got a choice between "Friends with Money" and "A Prairie Home Companion." Full review tomorrow...


Weekend Away

We had a great weekend away, at a cottage just outside Lunenburg. I really love that area of Nova Scotia, it's so beautiful. Every time we visit, I want to move there and be close to the sea, but then I think of a million practical reasons not to. I have to stop doing that.

After all the stresses of the craft show, it was great to go to a place with absolutely nothing to do except sit in front of the fire, read, drink and of course, most importantly, eat. I finally finished reading my Alice Munro book (great, as usual) and read the whole of "Julie and Julia." I started on "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" which is pretty good so far, I'm looking forward to reading more of it this weekend.

We did venture out of the cottage for a little bit - on Saturday morning, we went to La Have Bakery. You have to take a little car ferry to get there, but it's worth it. Yummy food in a very funky type setting. We had lunch at the Knot Pub too, we love it there. It's like somewhere a hobbit would stop and have a drink. It looks especially cute now that it's decorated for Christmas. Sunday came all too soon, and we headed back home with heavy hearts. We are both looking forward to a week off at Christmas.
I wanted to add many more photos of the trip, but blogger seems to be acting up tonight. You can check them out over on my Flickr.


It was a dark and stormy night...

It's snowing up a storm here in Halifax. I had planned a productive evening of working, but after travelling over the horrible roads to pick up my husband - a harrowing 40 minute drive that would normally take about 5 minutes, a brief respite with dinner at the pub - and then another slightly less harrowing drive home in slightly less horrible traffic, I am exhausted. I am sure that sentence is also exhausting to read. So, although I've got lots to blog about, including a wonderful parcel in the mail from Mishka and a great trip to Lunenburg over the weekend, it's all going to have to wait until tomorrow. Right now, I'm just going to blob on the couch and watch Dexter.