A Very Monkey Christmas

A couple of weeks ago, I took a sock monkey making class at Love, Me that was taught by the lovely Lesley of Hello Pineapples. It was a great morning, filled with sewing, tea and cookies, and I think that I have myself an addictive new hobby! I love the fact that the monkeys are really quick to make and are so cute - even with my (very) limited sewing skills. I am spending Christmas at my grandmothers with lots of family, and we all exchange small gifts - so I thought that sock monkeys would be perfect. So, without further adieu, I introduce:
Delores Jr. - this is the first one I made, and I'm giving it to my mom, whose name is Delores.
Cappuchino - for my cousin, who runs a coffee shop where they roast their own beans - yum!
Harley - for my mom's friend who is spending Christmas with us. She rides a motorcycle, and Harley is one tough biker dude. Hee, hee. His "muscle shirt" is also made out of a sock.

Whether or not your Christmas involves monkeys, I hope it is a very happy one! Now, I'm off with a million things to do before noon time - like wrap up all these monkeys - but I'll leave you with one more monkey related Christmas tidbit - enjoy!


New Things in Shop!

I've finally finished a little shop update. I've got some of my organizers in there - I know it's a bit late for Christmas, but this is the kind of thing that you can use to keep up with your resolutions in the New Year.

I've also got a print of the teacup papercut I completed a few months back. I'm really pleased with how this print turned out - the colours are really vibrant.

I will probably be taking a short break from making things from now, to the New Year. I've got to finish preparing for Christmas, and we've got a few things to work on around the house (more on that later). I've also got a mountain of receipts to enter into my accounting program for tax time. But - the shop will remain open with the items that I currently have for sale. Right now, I'm looking forward to the New Year, and developing more new products to sell in the shop!

Popped up on the Grid

My husband Martin (aka Mr. Trudi) has started his very own blog! It's called popped up on the grid in reference to his favorite spy movies and novels - eg - "Jason Bourne has popped up on the grid in Tokyo." I think it's a fitting name, because he's posting about things that have popped up on the radar whilst doing research for his job as account planner for an advertising agency. He's got some interesting things on there - I really like his recent post about the horses of Sable Island. Above is a photo of Martin popping up on the grid in his hometown of Sydney.


Christmas Canvas

My shop update is taking a bit longer than anticipated, so I thought I'd share this cool idea with you in the meantime - a glittering Christmas canvas that appeared in Blueprint (RIP) a while back. You basically just take a stretched canvas, paint it, punch holes and insert fairy lights. I think it's really sweet, not just for Christmas, but all year round.

And, speaking of great magazines that have gone by the wayside, Wish has just published it's last issue. I really liked that magazine - it had a great combination of shopping, food, fashion and decor - I guess it was a bit like the Canadian Blueprint. Apparently, they will be keeping up the website and continuing on with popular feature the 20 minute supper club. Sigh - the only upside is that I will not spend quite as much on magazines each month.


Me, on sfgirlbybay!

I was just scrolling through my bloglines and got the nicest surprise - Victoria from sfgirlbybay featured my cherry blossom album in a round-up of this month's Poppytalk Handmade! It was really lovely to see my work on one of my favorite blogs - thanks Victoria!

I've been working away like a busy little bee on getting some more items ready for the market today - I'm hoping to do an update either this evening, or tomorrow morning. So, back to it!


Visit me at Poppytalk Handmade

I've got a table this month at the Poppytalk Handmade Holiday Madness and Boxing Day market - hope that you can drop by soon! I've got lots of albums at my virtual table, and hope to have a few more surprises as the month goes on...


Getting Dressed

Dog Walking Day by doublehappiness

Before I started working from home, I used to fantasize about working in my PJs all day and not getting dressed. Now that I have been working at home I few days a week, I realize that getting dressed is really important. If I wear my PJs, I tend to have a lazy attitude - things get done a lot slower - but, I find that if I get dressed, I can get down to business faster. I also feel better about myself when I've put a bit of effort into my appearance - I'm not talking about getting dressed to the nines - but just fixing my hair and putting on something that I would not be embarassed to go to the grocery store in. The outfit I created on Polyvore (above) would be a perfect day at home outfit for me - working in my studio, with trips to the post office and walking the dog thrown in. The rubber boots are necessary in our Nova Scotia weather - but they are Kate Spade rubber boots - not too shabby. For details on all the other bits, follow the link.

What do you think - is getting dressed important when working from home?


Decorating Fever

I've got a case of decorating fever right now. We bought our house about 5 years ago, had a flurry of decorating when we first moved in, and then things have been pretty much static since. We got a quote on remodeling our (horrible) bathroom over the weekend and are moving forward with that - but that won't be until the spring. Right now, I'm focusing on smaller changes like fabric, artwork and wallpaper to try and make our main living space look better.

This brings me to wallpaper - I've decided to do a wallpaper feature wall around our non-working fireplace. I didn't realize how many amazing wallpapers are out there - I'm trying to choose from about a zillion. Right now, I'm loving the Daydream Wallpaper by Julia Rothman. It costs a bit more than I was planning to pay, but I'd just need one roll, and it's really like a work of art I'll look at every day - right? Sigh - still can't decide...talk to me tomorrow, and I will have changed my mind again!


Cute Acorn Lamp

One of the advantages (?) of working from home is being able to watch daytime tv. As I sat in front of my laptop loading up photo albums to etsy, I managed to catch Martha, and she and one of the crafters on her staff made these cute acorn lamps. They are a balloon, covered with paper maiche and then topped with a utility lampshade that's been covered in felt. This photo doesn't do them justice - they just look so sweet lit up. The level of detail was great too - the cords are covered in felt and have little oak leaves hanging off. You could also do all kinds of designs, not just acorns - maybe beehives, flowers...on the show they suggested clowns, but I think that's just downright creepy.

Albums in the Shop!

I've spent all morning tweaking photos and uploading items in my etsy shop, but it's finally done! The shop is chock full of photo albums - just in time for Christmas. And, it's literally just in time, because the Canada Post deadline for International shipping is today, and for Canadian shipping is December the 12th. So, get them before it's too late!


The (Craft) Show Must Go On!

Sorry for my absence over the last little bit - just recovering from the craft show! I had a really good show this year - lots of great customers and fellow vendors. Unfortunately, I didn't get much of a chance to visit and shop. I was on my own most of the time, and when Martin did pop by to give me a break, it seemed to get busy. If I did get time to shop, I would have loved to buy a painting from Lynn Rotin (especially the "Broken English series) or anything from the brilliant Sleeping Forest Studios.

Unfortunately, my photos all turned out crap, but the booth was pretty much the same as last year, with the addition of "the Lady" - above. I made some paper and resin necklaces and displayed them by hanging off her skirt. They were really popular, as were my pocket organizers - I have none left!

Perhaps the most interesting thing that happened was we had a major snowstorm hit us Friday night, leaving over 30 cm of snow on Saturday morning. The drifts were well past my knees in places! The road was completely impassible - especially since we don't have snow tires on our car. This photo was taken after some of the snow was cleared away - it was actually worse than that. The craft show wasn't closing down though, so I broke out my parka, long johns and boots, and hiked down to the ferry. On a nice day, this walk would take about 15 minutes, but on this particular day, it was a harrowing walk down an icy road which took at least half an hour. It was a beautiful sunny morning though, and I made it to the craft fair in time - after another half hour walk once I reached the other side of the harbour. It was a quiet day at the show, but Friday and Sunday were so busy that things turned out just fine.

Now - back to normal life - as normal as it gets anyhow. I'm taking lots of photos of my work to do a big etsy shop update over the next couple of days. I just want to finish off by saying thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth and offered their support!


NSDCC Christmas Craft Market

I've spent a crazy couple of weeks (months actually!) preparing for the NSDCC Christmas Craft Market, and it's finally here! If you are in Halifax this weekend - that's the 21st to 23rd of November - please come and see what's been keeping me up late for the last little bit.(: The image above is from my booth last year - I've got a couple of new additions to my product line, and from what I saw today when I was setting up, the show looks amazing. Hope to see you there!


Canada Loves Obama

Okay, this is a little bit hokey, but it's cute.(: I wish I could vote for Obama! We are anxiously awaiting the results in our house - polls close at midnight our time, so it's going to be a long night. I just hope that there's a happy ending. Go Obama!


Technical Difficulties

I am having techincal difficulties with my double happiness email address - trudi(at)doublehappiness.ca. If you are trying to contact me, or I haven't responded to your email - I apologize. Many of my business contact details are stored in this email account and I have no way to access it - arrgh! I hope that it's up and running soon. If you need to contact me in the meantime, please just leave a comment on my blog. Thanks!


Late Bloomers

First - thanks so much to everyone who commented on my Halifax Guide. I so appreciate all the feedback - I'm glad that people liked the places I included, and that I also got to introduce people to new places, so - thank you!

I have been a bit remiss in my blog commenting and email reading/responding lately. I have just been flat out preparing for the upcoming NSDCC Christmas Market and haven't had time to do much else! I must remember that every year, I feel this rising sense of panic, and then it all turns out just fine. I just read a fantastic article by Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker about late bloomers - it's about how some artists have great sucess early in their career, and how others struggle for a long time. Very interesting, and worth a read. Now, I must stop procrastinating and get back to bookmaking. Ciao!



On Saturday night, I attended Nocturne - a night time art festival. I have to say - I had a great time. We arrived at 9pm and stayed until midnight, but we still did not see all the wonderful exhibits the festival had to offer. I think that I liked the outdoor installations the best - it was just so great to walk around and discover these unexpected - and very cool - works. I really liked the one above - Scott Saunders & Nikolai Gauer's Detect, Observe, Find, Discover, Notice, Spy, Sight displayed huge eyes on digital monitors inside a vacant building. Next year, and I really hope that there will be a next year, I plan to arrive as soon as the festival starts and try to take in everything I can!


Halifax City Guide

I'm thrilled to say that I've compiled a two-part Halifax City Guide that's being posted over at Poppytalk this week! I was so happy to be able to contribute this guide, and share my beloved city with the readers of Poppytalk. I moved back to Halifax from Sydney, Australia five years ago, and I love my city more and more each year. I hope you enjoy it too!


Bon Appetit Quebec!

Sorry - more time passed between my posts than I had anticipated. But - as promised, some info on eating in Quebec City. First of all, I guess I should say that we love to eat on our holidays. Everything else we do on vacation is just filling in time until we get to eat again. Actually, this pretty much describes my whole life! Anyhow, the food in Quebec was amazing. Above is J.A. Moisan, an old fashioned grocery store with lots of delicious food. I was especially impressed with their range of Liberte yogurt. If you haven't tried it - I just have to take this quote from their website to describe it - "sensuality in a velvety dress. Close your eyes and travel." It is THAT GOOD. It's also widely available here in NS, but Moisan had a lot more.
There was also an amazing bakery on Rue St. Jean. I foolishly didn't write down the name, but it has a big yellow squiggle over the door. They make the most beautiful breads and pastries - chocolate and cranberry, candied orange, sundried tomato and spinach, olive fougasse. Each one was more delicious than the next. We left on a Monday, and had a plan to go there on Sunday and buy a bag full of bread to take home, but it was closed! We will know better for next time - and there will be a next time!

We also had some memorable dinners - one was at Le Cercle, on Rue St. Joseph. It's a restaurant/concert venue, and the food is amazing. We had tapas, and got to try lots of cool flavors. Definitely recommended. We also loved a little bistro on the same street called Les Bossus. We actually ate their twice because we enjoyed it so much - just classic french bistro dishes, beautifully prepared. We also enjoyed great service. Also - highly recommended.

I couldn't talk about our trip without talking about where we stayed. We found Auberge Le Vincent on Trip Advisor, and it lives up to all the reviews. Great location, nice rooms, good breakfast, and above all - the staff were so friendly and helpful. They really went out of their way to make sure we had a nice time.


Bonjour Quebec!

We had an amazing time in Quebec City. The sky was this blue every single day with a little chill in the air - perfect for the miles and miles that we walked around this beautiful place.
We ate lots of delicious food, saw some great scenery and just soaked up the atmosphere. It is the 400th anniversary of Quebec City this year - so there were many special events happening. One of them was an exhibit of art from the Louvre. It was a great opportunity to see some amazing artworks - my favorite part the exhibit was portraits of artists by other artists.
The photos I've posted today are all from the old town - we stayed outside of the walls but spent a lot of our days walking around here. As you can see from the photo above - a lot of other people had the same idea. We spent alot of time in the St. Jean and St. Roch areas as well - more local and less touristy - I'll talk about those a bit tomorrow.

We got away from the crowds for a little while by taking the ferry across the river so that we could look back and see the city. (Hmm - my glasses look a bit like blublockers in this shot - does anyone remember that bad commercial?). As I mentioned - I'll do another post about QC tomorrow with some links to great places to shop - and of course - eat!


Hello from the Dark Side

Hello - I can't believe it's been so long since I last blogged! We got back from Quebec city a couple of weeks ago - which was amazing by the way (more on that later) - and it's been head down, working hard ever since! But - now trying to get back into the swing of things, and hope to post more regularly. The photo above is one of my favorites from our Quebec trip - I just like the dark moodiness of it. Anyhow - I have to finish off some work tonight, and then it's back to regularly scheduled programming with some more photos from our trip tomorrow.


Same old, same old...

Just busy, not enough hours in the day for work, making things, etsy, blogging, etc. Getting ready to go away (yay!) and already feeling the effects of the Christmas rush. Feeling a bit sporadic, like this post. This is making me laugh though. Ciao for now - hope to be back soon, maybe making a bit more sense!


Morning Walk

We took Milo for a walk in the park early this morning. If you arrive before 10 am, you can let your dog off leash in certain areas, but we normally don't get up early enough. But - we made it this morning, and Milo chased his ball in the morning dew while we had our coffee - it was a really lovely morning. And - we met a bit of a youtube celebrity - Toby the Biker Dog!

This video doesn't really show how incredibly cute Toby is - he is so tiny - 3-4 pounds, tops! I love his little doggles, and the way the wind makes his hair stand up.


Something new...

I spent this weekend working on making a new book form - and here it is! It's an organizer/jotter (I have to come up with a better name than that) with a notepad and accordion pockets inside.
I made something that I've been wanting - a place to organize my receipts (besides my bulging wallet) and take notes when I'm out and about.The notepad attaches with velcro, so it can be easily replaced when it runs out. Making a new type of book for the first time can be frustrating - it takes alot of trial and error. I think this particular book is actually version 3.0! I went from square to rounded corners, a new type of elastic...but I really enjoy making new things. It keeps my work challenging and fresh. I've got a few more ideas that I'm hoping to work on soon, and I also hope to have a few of these in my shop soon!


A little trip...

I'm very pleased to say that we are taking a little trip to Quebec city in a few weeks! Hopefully, by the time we arrive the city will look like this, with lots of beautiful fall foilage. I am so looking forward to wandering around this beautiful place, visiting museums, shopping, and eating lots of yummy food. I am a bit nervous about my horrible french skills, but I am sure we will muddle along. I can read most words (especially those related to food and drink!) but have trouble stringing them together to make sentences that others can understand. But, then again, this is all part of the fun.

But now, lots of work to do before we go, so I bid you adieu..um...I mean, au revoir. (:


Teacup No. 1

I think I've mentioned in the past my the collection of teacups my grandmother gave me, and how much I love them. I've been wanting to make some papercuts of the teacups for quite a little while, and I finally got a chance to do one. Here is a photo of my first teacup papercut, along with the original that inspired it. I'm hoping to do a few more over the next little bit and have a bit of a series of them, hence the title, Teacup No. 1.


Chest of Dreams

I was browsing through an antique shop a couple of weeks ago, and took a photo of this chest of drawers for a workmate who was looking for something similar. It wasn't exactly what she wanted - but I have decided that I love it, and want it for my very own.


A beautiful day in the neighborhood...

It's been beautiful here the last couple of days - literally not a cloud in the sky. We are coming in to fall - my favorite time of the year - so the mornings and evenings are crisp, but the days have been gloriously sunny. This is an image from my walk around the block with Milo - the city clear in the distance - if you look closely, you can even see Theodore the Tugboat.


The Ardent Sparrow

Rebecca of The Ardent Sparrow has featured me as an Etsy pick on her lovely blog! Thanks Rebecca! I am so glad she got in touch with me, because it also gave me a chance to discover her fantastic jewellery shop on Etsy, where she sells such lovely things as the "a day at the beach" earrings pictured above. All the pieces are made with beautiful stones, and have a vintage vibe. "The Ardent Sparrow" is definitely a shop to check out, and Rebecca's blog is great - and her Etsy series featuring Canadian crafters (like me!) is a wonderful resource.


Blue Daisies

Another new album - finally got everything up in etsy. Phew! I just started using firefox - I'm wondering if that's the source of all my problems with uploading photos? Anyhow, this paper is relatively new, and I really dig it. Hope you do too. (:


New Albums!

I spent the weekend completing some new photo albums - including this green/pink one - love this colour combo. I've been trying to upload them in my etsy shop, but having some technical difficulties. Maybe I'll get them in there tomorrow - it just feels good to have finished some work!


Marie Claire Paris at Home Outfitters!

I popped out at lunch to do some errands, and decided to have a quick look at my local Home Outfitters store. To my surprise, they were in the midst of setting up a display of bed linens and accessories called Marie Claire Paris. I didn't have my camera, and I couldn't find any information online, but what I saw was beautiful! I hope to get back in a couple of days when they've finished putting everything out and see the whole line. How exciting!

Most inspiring interior...

When we were buying our house, I went through a lot of interior magazines, thinking about how I wanted to decorate. There was one interior that I found really inspiring - my dream style - how I would love my house to look. It is the home of Canadian Home and County editor Erin McLaughlin, and all these images were taken from the October/November 2004 issue.

I hadn't looked at this spread for a long time, but I've been thinking lots about decorating, and dug it out to see if it still inspired me - it definitely does. I think what I like about it is the background colours are really soothing - but there are little pops of bright colour like fuschia and tiffany blue all over the place. I also love the use of old flea market pieces with a few modern bits thrown in.
It's all just so homey and lived in, lovely really. I wonder if this house has changed much since 2004? If so, I'd love to see what's been done with the place. As for me, I still feel as though I haven't achieved my decorating dreams - we just keep getting busy, and life gets in the way. I guess though, that you never feel as though things are finished. I do know one thing though - I'm going to work some tiffany blue into my house somewhere.


A Work in Progress

Our lives were turned a bit upside-down this week when we had a new roof installed. We had been planning this job for some time - everytime there was a storm, a few more old, brittle shingles would blow off the roof and I would lie in bed awake, waiting for the ceiling to fall in. Anyhow - we found someone to do the job, and they called on Friday, saying they were coming on Monday. My Nanna arrived on Sunday to mind Milo - he would have been frightened in the house alone while we were at work, listening to the workers pounding on the roof. A few days and a gazillion dollars later (well, not quite - but close) we have a new roof! The picture above is our house, when we first moved in....

...and this is how it looks now. Our house was built in the 1920s, and moved to this spot in the 1950s. The lady next door says she can remember our house coming up the street on a truck! Sometime in the '70s or '80s, the exterior was uglifed with aluminum siding, plastic shutters, plywood porch railing, and a colour scheme that can only be described as...odd. Salmon, poo brown and grey - what were they thinking?!!? Luckily, the inside remains pretty much untouched with lots of 1920s cottage charm - well, actually - not so lucky in terms of the bathroom and kitchen - but this will all change someday.

Anyhow, having the new roof really makes me want to change the color of the house. I am going back and forth between something classic and neutral, or a playful colourful palette that you might find in Lunenburg - a village on the coast where every house is painted a beautiful, bright colour. I've heard that fisherman in Nova Scotia just used to paint their houses with whatever paint was left over from painting their boats - lots of bold, bright hues. I just can't decide, so I'm putting it out there - any suggestions?



I've gone A.W.O.L. from my blog for the last little bit, but I'm back! I took a mini holiday - visiting my Nan, staying with a friend in the country and reading that time sucking book! But, now it's back to normal - lots of work to be done - preparing for Christmas, believe it or not....



I am hooked on a series of books written for teenage girls. I discovered "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer last week, and have since read three 400 page volumes about the romance between a mortal girl and a vampire. The final book in the series, "Breaking Dawn" comes out next week. I am so glad I discovered these now, as the wait between books would have been agonizing! They are the perfect beach read, and I'm so looking forward to the movie that's coming out in December. From the movie stills, I really like the casting - I can understand why the main character, Bella, would fall for the vampire Edward - phwoar! So, now you know why I haven't written a blog post in ages. Now, I'm off to try and do some age appropriate activities, but it's going to be difficult.


love, me

My books and cards are now available at love, me boutique - right here in Halifax. It's a gorgeous shop - owner Chara Kingston stocks only handmade products by Canadian designers, and I am very happy to be among them. The next time I go in, I will take along my camera - the styling of the shop is so sweet - it's set up just like an apartment - very homey and welcoming. And, of course, I managed to buy something there - some cute little lucky cat pins by Cathy Peng. It took all my will not to embark on a shopping spree! If you are ever visiting Halifax, make sure to check out love, me.


Les Indiennes

I found out about Les Indiennes via Follow Studio, and I just had to share. It's a company that makes Indian inspired hand blocked textiles, papers and objects for the home. There are even the cutest felt slippers! You can also order a stiched catalogue/inspiration book for a mere 10 dollars! Just beautiful...


Amazing Blog - The Year in Pictures

I'm just about to remedy the fact that I do not have an amazing blog called "The Year in Pictures" on my sidebar. James Danziger features photos and videos on the blog from around the world that have captured his attention - a recent favorite of mine is this arial of tulip fields in Holland - beautiful!


Something Special

As part of the Poppytalk Handmade Market, Jan is giving a peek inside the home or studio of each vendor to find "something special." Today, there is a visual tour of my studio, and some images of my work - thanks Jan! The series is really great - I also love the post about Cathy Nichols and her amazing artwork techniques - be sure to check it out.


Feist on Sesame Street

This is just fantastic. I especially like the line "chickens just back from the shore."



Today, I feel lucky to have such fantastic customers. Since the blurb in Canadian Living, I have been contacted by many people who are planning weddings, or buying wedding gifts for their friends and families, and looking for a special album or guestbook. It's been a pleasure working with everyone to bring their ideas into reality - for the album above, my customer requested something unique and special. So, I put a large pewter label holder on the front of the album...

and created some pockets inside the album to hold mementos. The best thing though, is that I've been contacted by a number of customers after they've received their albums, letting me know how happy they are, or sharing with me the reaction when they've given the album as a gift. I can't explain how lovely that is - I just have to say that I feel so lucky.