The Audreys

We went out last night on a bit of a whim to see a band called "The Audreys." I heard them being interviewed on CBC radio, and thought they sounded fun, so we headed down to the Old Triangle to see them. Not that we need much of an excuse to head down to the Old Triangle, because they have a really good veggie burger. Yum.

Anyhow, the Audreys were really good. They have a kind of alt-country sound, but also a bit poppy, so they are fun to listen to. They even sang "Moon River" as a tribute to Audrey Hepburn. I love that song. Especially the bit where she says "my huckleberry friend." The first time I saw "Breakfast at Tiffany's" I actually hated it! I thought that the character of Holly Golightly, though charmingly named and beautifully dressed, was just far too annoying. But, now that I love the film, I see that is part of her charm. All this talk of Audreys is making me want to watch Amelie to see that other Audrey, Ms. Tatou. In conclusion, I'll just say that Audreys of all sorts are a good thing!


Threaded Glass

My friend Mishka has many talents. As well as being an accomplished graphic designer, knitter and vegan cook, she makes beautiful beaded jewellery. The earrings above are a gorgeous example. Another great example is this lovely necklace...
When I visited Mishka back in May, I was the lucky recipient of a necklace like this, and another one in red! I love the cloisonne beads. Beautiful! And now, I have another reason to be proud of my friend, she has begun selling her wares at the Rage - a very funky shop in Toronto's Kensington Market, and has started a blog to show off her creations, which are sold under the name "Threaded Glass."

I am so happy for Mishka, and wish her all the best of luck in her little enterprise! With all her talent, she deserves to go far!



That's what I am. Just plain lazy. My one night off has turned into four, and I just can't seem to get motivated to do anything at all! I've had busy days at my 9 to 5, and I just get home and blob. There's lots of stuff I want to do, I've been planning to make the tissue paper flowers, above, that I saw in the latest issue of Martha Stewart Weddings, do some drawing, plan a website, and I have to prepare for meeting with a prospective book client next week. But, these are all things that can be done tomorrow. Right now, the couch beckons.


Fashion Bargains

Went grocery shopping tonight, and stopped by at the local Winners store, which is right next door - it's like they've set a trap for me, and I fall into it every time! Anyhow, I got this cute little summer top for only ten bucks. I really like the colour, which is something that Bridget Jones' mom would call "slurry", but I prefer to call it "violet mushroom." I plan to wear it to work tomorrow with a comfy skirt, and another recent fashion bargain - these "gladiator" type sandals that I picked up (again for a mere tenner!) at the Sears Bargain Basement. The photo's a bit blurry, but they really are cute. Living here in Halifax makes you creative about clothing. There is not much in terms of affordable choice in the boutiques around, and the big chain stores can get really boring. So, I end up at lots of thrift and second hand stores, and kind of weird places like the Sears Bargain Basement, where I never would have thought of shopping when I was living in a big city. But, I kind of like seeking out little stores and getting different clothes, it's really fun. Still, I wouldn't complain if a big H&M moved in next door!


A night off...

I've had a busy couple of days filling an order for books, which I delivered today, so I thought I'd have a night off from making books, and well, everything. After work, I got a stack of books from the library, including the drool worthy "Flea Market Style" and "Style on a Budget" by Emily Chalmers. I love her vision of interior design, colourful and creative. Then, Martin and I picked up take-away Lebanese food - falafel - yum! So, I've been sitting here on the couch, flicking through books and magazines, surfing the internet and watching a documentary about Rolf Harris painting the Queen. That woman scares me, Rolf is a braver man than I! I didn't even bother to take a new photo for my blog, so here's a photo of a book I've made from my "archives." I do have one tough decision to make tonight - whether I should have another glass of wine or a bowl of ice cream!


Welcome Back, Old Friend

My grandmother stayed with us over the weekend and helped out with the yard sale we had. Well, she helped if sitting on the porch and making comments about everyone who visited is helping. Anyhow, when we took her home, she decided to give me tonnes of stuff for a future yard sale that she thinks we should have in precisely three weeks. Don't ask. Some of the stuff is great, an old sewing machine, a pocket watch, a couple of old cameras (I will post photos of all soon)- I could not bear to part with any of this stuff, especially not at a yard sale! Finally, she pulled this little fellow out of the box. At first, I didn't remember him, but my nan insisted that he used to be mine, and then a few fuzzy memories came back - when he lost his nice eye and we had to replace it with a pretty ordinary button, him sitting on my bed, me carrying him around. And, he's so freakin' cute - I can't stand it! He was made by my great grandmother, who made many, many soft toys for me. She was a bit of an expert - she had 13 children, and as a result had many grandchildren and great grandchildren. She made soft toys for us all, and donated any leftovers to charity. I still have a lot of the other things that she made. I can't believe that I forgot this little guy, definitely not yard sale material!


Yard Sale

We had a gorgeous, warm and dry weekend, so I finally got to have my yard sale. I can't say that we made a ton of money, but we had fun, and after living here for two years, we finally got to meet a lot of the neighbors. Also, we got rid of a bit of clutter. There is still loads more, but we got rid of a bit. Everyone liked my hand lettered signs, but some people didn't get my jokes. That's understandable though, as they are pretty corny. We had an Ikea shower curtain, and the tag read "All the way from Sweden!" and this sweet little old lady just said, "Well, imagine that!" She was actually impressed. The old golf clubs didn't go though. I think that Martin was secretly happy about it.

I'd better go and make dinner. I am trying a tomato, brie and basil pasta recipe that I found online. We have hardly anything in the fridge, but I can manage this with what we have on hand. Life is fully of happy accidents.


Double Happiness Happenings

Some good things are happening with my little book business, which by the way is called Double Happiness - hence the blog title. A shop owner contacted me and asked if she could stock my books in her shop, and also asked if I would come in and teach some classes on papercrafting - cool! I just find it so amazing that someone saw my work out there and likes it. I've always been kind of shy about showing my work, so it took a lot of effort for me to get out there and start promoting my stuff last year, but I'm so glad that I did.

The other good thing is that I'm constantly busy, I am selling pretty much everything that I make. The downside to that though is that I haven't really had much time to experiment and make new things. I have been itching to make some cards and some christmas-type things, do some knitting, and maybe do a bit more drawing. Maybe this weekend, after I finish making some books!

By the way, I'm sorry that my post titles are always so corny and punny. I just can't help it.


The Smallest Studio

A few weeks ago, I posted about my studio revamp. I got a lot of comments from people saying how much they loved the studio, and wish they had a dedicated craft room in their homes. I have to admit, after years of living in cramped apartments with no space for any artistic endeavors, I think it's pretty great too. But, every time that I wish that I had more room, more time, more materials, I think of Maud Lewis. Thats a picture of her above. She was a Nova Scotia folk artist, who died quite a few years back. She lived in this tiny little house, pictured below.
It was basically a one room house, with a tiny downstairs containing a small couch, woodstove and very small dining table. But, not having any space didn't stop Maud. She produced hundreds of paintings in her lifetime, using the cheapest materials - leftover housepaint, old brushes and bits of board. And, when she ran out of boards to paint, she painted her own house! Every surface in her house was covered in her beautiful, bright paintings. She had many hardships in her life - she and her husband were very poor, and she had a physical disability that caused deformities in her hands that made it difficult for her to paint - but despite all this, her paintings explode with colour and joy.

In 1984, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia moved Maud's house to a space in the gallery. They restored all of the paintings that she made on the walls and the door, and the house is on now permanent display. You can learn more about Maud and her house by clicking on this link. I would encourage you to take the virtual tour of her house, it's truly amazing that she was able to live and produce so much work in this tiny space. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I really admire people who, like Maud, despite lack of space and resources, can continue to pursue their art.


Rumour Has It

Oh the lengths I will go to get a glimpse of Mark Ruffalo! In an effort to relieve my rainy day induced blahs, I decided to watch "Rumour Has It" starring Mark Ruffalo. Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner and Shirley MacLean were in the movie as well. I didn't have very high expectations for this movie, and it didn't even live up to those. I didn't even really get a decent perv at Ruffalo, the movie was set in the 90's, and his "period" costume seemed to involve greased down hair (the photo above is an exception - wow!). They didn't really go all the way with the mid-90's theme - where were the Doc Martens, the plaid shirts? Jennifer Aniston wore ripped jeans once, but that was about it. In short, not recommended. Looking forward to some future Ruffalo pics, especially Zodiac - that looks pretty cool, and it also stars Jake Gyllenhall - a double whammy! In other movie star news, I saw James Brolin at work today. A few movies are being shot in Halifax right now, and the campus of the University where I work is sometimes used as a set. I wish I had a photo, they had done up the front steps of the building that I work in like a big American political rally. We are having a local election here tomorrow, and some people were getting pretty confused! I got quite a close look at Brolin, he was standing right outside a co-worker's window having his photo taken. A lot of the older women I work with were quite impressed, but all I can say is, well, he's very...tanned.


Now I know how Noah felt...

It's been raining steadily here for the past two weeks. Not quite 40 days and nights, but it's starting to feel that way. It's kind of depressing, I haven't been able to get outside much, and I have a serious case of the blahs. Well, my blahs were lifted slightly yesterday when we went to the giant flea market at Saint George's Church. It's a once a year event, and there's always a big red circle around it on my calendar. People line up at the gate, and run in when it opens. I myself make a beeline for the antiques and furniture. Got there a little bit late this year and missed out on the great stuff, but did pick up this coat for Martin.
I think that it's great, it's definitely his colour, and did I mention it's a Burberry? Very high quality, and a steal at ten bucks! The little toggles are so cute, just like Paddington Bears! Umm, I meant to say that it's an incredibly manly coat that lots of macho guys would wear, right Martin?
Later on yesterday, in a frenzy of cabin fever and decluttering, I decided to have my own yard sale. A bunch of people at the other end of the street were having one today, and I thought that I would take advantage of their advertising and put on one of my own. I dug out lots of old magazines, clothes, and other unwanted stuff, made price labels and went to bed dreaming of the pub dinner we could have with the proceeds. I awoke this morning to rain. The yard sale was off. Now, I'll schlep all this stuff down to the basement and hope for a sunny day...


Banner Schmanner

Yeah, I know. My banner is way too big. I'm going to fix it later. Why is technology so...challenging?


Crocodile Rock

I've succumbed. I said I would never do it, but I did. I bought a pair of Crocs. I saw so many people wearing them around town, and thought that they looked fun, but well...frankly a little ugly. Then, I had so many people telling me how comfy they are, and then I saw someone wearing them with rolled up jeans and stripy socks - so cute! And, did I mention that they're a Canadian invention?

Anyhow, these are the ones I bought. And I have to say that everyone was right, they are incredibly comfy. And you know it, it's only a matter of time until you get a pair yourself....


At Grandma's House

I think I might have talked on my blog before about how much I love going to my Grandma's house, well, it's my Mom's house too because she lives with my Nan. My grandmother, mother and I are very close (my husband calls us "the triumverate") so I love going to their place in the country about an hour from home, and relaxing. I went up there last week, and I thought I'd share some of my photos with you. The one above is of a path down to the pasture with weeds growing all over it. I think that these "weeds" look beautiful though.
Nan's neighbor has clydesdale horses, which roam in the field across the road from her house. They are very pretty animals.
The apple blossoms were out in full force. The apples this tree produces are very sour, but the horses seem to like them. That's all for now, time to get to work and make some books on this rainy Saturday...I kinda wish I was back at last week, at my Grandma's house.



I've had lots of wonderful mail around here lately! First, I received a package from Marieke, which included this very cute and funky pin with my initial (that she made!), and the papers below, as well as loads of other goodies! Marieke already knows my weakness for birds, flowers and butterflies - can't wait to use these papers in some projects! Thanks again Marieke - what a wonderful surprise!

A couple of days later, I opened my mailbox to find yet another wonderful surprise - my Vintage Love swap pack from Carolyn! Isn't it beautifully wrapped? And what's inside is even better, lots of wonderful vintage paper goods and photos, all so wonderful and ready to be used in collages and artistic enterprises of all kinds! There are lots of great vintage advertising pictures that I can imagine framed up in my kitchen as well, thanks Carolyn, it's really all so lovely!

Carolyn also sent me a great little pin, pictured here with a vintage photo. Both have a delightful old fashioned feel. I hope that she likes the things I've sent her even half as much as I like mine!
I love swaps, check out more of my loot over here on Flickr, as well as the great stuff everyone else got!