I'm off...

In a couple of hours, I will be jetting off to Vienna for my holidays! I probably won't have time to post, so I want to wish you all happy holidays! I'll be back in the New Year with posts about my trip, and my One of a Kind wrap up (better late than never!).

Bye for now!



One of a Kind Show Recap

We arrived back from the One of a Kind Show on Tuesday night, after doing the 5 day section of the show. It was an amazing - and exhausting - experience. The show opened on Thursday, November 26th and we arrived on Tuesday, November 24th to set up. We spent the day on
Tuesday running around - going to Ikea to get our shelving, picking up our books, all that fun stuff.
So, it took all of Tuesday and most of Wednesday to get our booth together, and I was fairly happy with the results. Not too bad considering it was put together on the spot! We were really busy for the duration of the show and met many wonderful customers and fellow vendors. I plan to do a whole post on the things I bought, and things that I wanted to buy!

This is me in the booth (cringe - messy hair and zits). Like I said, it was pretty exhausting - 11 hour days on my feet. The seams in my boots even split from all the strain! I learned so much, which I will also share in a future post. But for now, I've got my aching feet up for the first time in ages. I'll be back on Monday with more to share. I also hope to have an etsy shop update soon - I am just awaiting the return of some leftover stock from the show. Until then - ciao!


Hello from T.O.

Wow - it's been a while since I did a post! I've been so busy getting ready for the One of a Kind Show that the last month has just flown by. We're in Toronto now, and the show is opening tomorrow! It's been a hectic couple of days - getting up at 4 am to catch our flight, driving to IKEA to get the stuff for our booth and unpacking all those boxes - more details and photos later...

Anyhow, I'm so looking forward to the show tomorrow, and to meeting all my Toronto readers. If you stop by the booth (N36) make sure to say "hi." Also - it's not too late to get a voucher for $3 off your admission when you buy your ticket online. Just comment with your email address and I will send one out to you. It may take me a few hours to reply though because (hopefully!) I will be too busy to get to my computer.



I'm excited to announce that we are going to spend Christmas in Vienna this year! We are going to see Martin's brother, and stay with him in this great city. This photo is one I took on our last (very brief) trip there in 2004. It's an understatement to say that I'm excited about it - we've been working really hard this year, and this trip is exactly what we need. Spending time with family, walking around the beautiful streets, eating pastries, hanging out at the cafes, amazing art...we have been to Vienna a few times now and never tire of it. It's a bit like another home for us with lots of good memories. Only about 9 weeks to go and we'll be there!


Ocean Dog Rescue

Ocean Dog Rescue is a dog adoption program based in Vancouver that brings abandoned dogs to find families in Canada from Taiwan. It's an amazing organization - everytime I look at their website, I feel both happy and sad. The stories of these dogs are heartbreaking - the sad part, but next to their photos, I often see the caption "adoption pending" - happy!
And look at these faces!


Hair Inspiration

I've got an appointment to get a haircut next week and I want to do something a bit different, maybe radically different. I've been looking online for inspiration, and - after pages and pages of Katie Holmes and Posh Spice celebrity 'dos - stumbled across wip hairport's flickr stream. A very cool salon located in Lisbon, Portugal, wip hairport offers original, flattering cuts. I love the photos they take of their clients on the cobbled streets of Lisbon too, like the one above.

I am not sure what I'll do with my hair - I had it shoulder length for years, got it cut into a bob about a year ago and loved that it was lower maintenance, thinking that going super short would be the lowest maintenance ever, very appealing...but, I will probably chicken out at the last minute and walk out with a bob again. I'll let you know...

Anyhow - if you are looking for hair inspiration and want something a bit different from the celebrity options, check out wip hairport. If you're in Lisbon - you could actually go get your hair cut there - how cool is that?


One of a Kind Gift Guide

I am pleased to announce that my books are being featured in this year's Toronto One of a Kind Show Christmas gift guide! I am so happy to see them there amongst lots of other great items - I think that the show is going to be full of temptations for me - I will have to set aside a budget to go shopping!
I also love the styling of the gift guide - it's divided into sections and each has a kind of "lifestyle" shot. If you look closely, you'll see my books on the dressing table in this one. Credits for all the other amazing items (I love everything in this photo, by the way) can be found in the gift guide. I'd like to thank the organizers of the One of a Kind Show for featuring me in the guide, and I'd also like to thank all my readers in the Toronto area - just comment on this post with your email address, and I will send you a coupon to get $3 off your show admission! Look forward to seeing you there!


I'm ready for my closeup....

A couple was vacationing in Banff and had set their camera on a self timer to take a photo when this curious squirrel wandered into the shot. THE.CUTEST.THING.EVER. Read more here.


Julie & Julia

I saw Julie & Julia the other night, and I thought it was just fantastic. It seems that everyone who saw the movie is saying this, but Meryl Streep's performance as Julia Child is just amazing and, as much as I love Amy Adams, I couldn't wait until the Meryl/Julia storyline was back on screen. I have also read Julia Child's "My Life in France" and found her story very inspiring. I just like the fact that at around the same age as me - 37 - she discovered her passion for cooking and turned it into a career. Late bloomers rule!


Mini Break

We are back from our "mini break" in the Annapolis Valley. We had a truly wonderful time. We were only there for two days, but each day was glorious and sunny - which is pretty special in a summer that's been 90% rain so far! We went back to the same cottage we've stayed in for the past three years - it's a cute little place right on Evangeline Beach with views of Cape Split in the background. The little fellow above is an Inukshuk made by some previous tenants.

We visited many of our old Valley haunts, including the Port Pub (twice!), the farmer's market and some new favorites - a photo above is from the Gaspereau Vineyards, where we did a fun tour. We also went blueberry picking, but only lasted about 15 minutes in the hot sun - farmers we ain't. The blueberries were tasty and plentiful though, and we managed to pick quite a few in that time.

Evenings were spent walking along the beach and cooking dinners made from our farmer's market bounty. The Bay of Fundy has amazing tides - in the afternoon the water came right up to the edge of the backyard but by early evening it had receded so far we could walk along the mud flats.

When the sun set, we had a fire in the backyard chiminea and played crazy eights. My idea of a perfect mini break. We are thinking of staying for a whole week next year.


Stompin' Tom

I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted! I have spent the last few weeks of this rainy summer knee deep in paper and ribbon. But - I'm taking a bit of a break this week and spending a night on the South Shore and a couple of days in the Valley. And - tomorrow night my Nan is visiting and we are going to see Stompin' Tom, who is a bit of a Canadian Icon, especially for us here on the East Coast. He sings about all the things that we hold dear - getting drunk on Saturday night, pick up trucks, hockey and...potatoes. Enjoy the video, and I'll be back next week with photos of my trip.



I have recently decided to make a committment to eating healthier food - less wheat, yeast and sugar - but cakes are still very important to me. So, I am thrilled to be the owner of this babycakes nyc cookbook. Their cupcakes were voted the best in New York -not best vegan cupcake, but best cupcake - period. I'm looking forward to trying some of the recipes in this book, but will need to make a special trip to the health food store to find all the ingredients. I will let you know how things turn out.


Lunchtime Walk...

...on a sunny summer's day.

Head Shot, Take 2

This is our new profile photo for the OOAK site. It's a bit difficult juggling a squirming dog whilst holding the camera in my other hand to do a self portrait. I think he had just seen a cat in this photo...



My most favorite flower of all time, growing in my garden right now.


The Best Bread Evah!

Today was Martin's birthday, and although we had the official celebration at the Port Pub yesterday, I decided to make a bit of a decadent dinner tonight as well. A part of the dinner was this bread from Delia Smith's "How to Cook." It was absolutely amazing! It was a bit more like a large scone or Australian "damper" than a yeast risen bread - but so yummy. I actually really love all the recipes I've made from Delia's "How to Cook" series of books. They always turn out, and are just simple and good. I also noticed this variation with cheddar and caremelized onions on her website. And now, if you'll please excuse me - there is one final piece of this bread calling my name!


I was on the Front Page of Etsy!

I have always wanted to make it to the front page of Etsy, and - unbeknowst to me - I did it last Friday! I was checking out my google analytics last night, and noticed a huge jump in my Etsy traffic one day. Turns out that my Blue Daisies Organizer had been on the Front Page!

Although I saw the jump in my stats, it was a bit hard to figure out what had caused it, so I will share my findings with you. They all came from this great Etsy Forum Post, written by one of the founders of Craft Cult. By the way, Craft Cult is a great site, and the Heartomatic is a wonderful tool - although I use Google Analytics to check my stats - Heartomatic is much more user friendly and tells you things that an Etsy seller would want to know without getting too technical.

Also - I just want to note that I think that changing up my photography style in my shop really contributed to me making it on to the front page. After reading an article in the Etsy Shop Makeover Series - I cropped and changed my photos, so that the main photo showing in my shop is a "teaser" shot of the item - something taken close up that doesn't show the whole product. This was suggested in the series, and I think it really works. It's kind of a tantalizing way to get people to click through and see more. Also - if you look at the front page and the treasuries, they all feature these types of shots. My photos still need a lot of work - but I always keep these "teaser" shots in mind when I photograph my products now.


Hot or Not: Cute Skulls

I was out today, and picked up this little punch that I thought was cute, and made some notebooks. Now, my question is - does anyone else think this is cute? Am I alone in loving "cute" skulls. I just love the juxtaposition of the dark imagery of the skull with floral pinks and reds. Let me know what you think!


Head Shot

I've spent the evening creating my artisan profile on the One of a Kind Show site (it's not live yet - but I'll let you know when it's up). The most difficult part was choosing a profile photo. I hate having my photo taken, so there weren't many to choose from. Anyhow, this is the best I could come up with - but it's really old! I look totally different now - new glasses, new hair. Even Milo has a more stylish haircut these days. My mission this week is to try to come up with a better, more current photo of me and my little sidekick!



My neighbor April recently expanded her online business Nurtured into a brick and mortar retail shop. I popped in today to buy some baby gifts, and it's a beautiful light and bright space, with touches of weathered wood - I really love the interior design. The products are pretty great too, and April is really knowledgeable and helpful. I would highly recommend the shop to parents - or those who shop for them!


Puff Daddy

After all the craft show madness is over, I want to make this for my living room. I want it to be bright pink! It seems like a fairly simple pattern - just a garter stitch rectangle that's then sewn together. Pickles (found via More Ways to Waste Time) has lots of other great patterns on their site, including a baby version of this puff.


My Milk Toof

I have been feeling a bit sick the last couple of days, so Martin sent me this link - My Milk Toof - to cheer me up. It is the cutest, funniest thing that I've seen in a long time. Click on the link, you won't be sorry....


Around the Web

It's been a while since I posted, but that doesn't mean I've been away from the internet. Quite the contrary. I'm always reading blogs and discovering things. Here are a few things I like -

Black Cab Sessions - musicians play while driven around London in the back of a black cab. I like the Martha Wainwright one. (via Loobylu)

Grizzly Bear - after reading about this band in a couple of magazines, I decided to check out their music on the web. I like it.

Speaking of music, CBC Radio Three has a great collection of music by Canadian Artists. The New Music section has lots of great music sorted by artist - Arcade Fire, the Weakerthans...I am partial to Julie Doiron. Just go to the Radio Three site and type in the names to hear more.

Fubiz is a great blog. Lots of visual inspiration.

I want classic French garden furniture from Fermob, but cheaper please.

Love this cartoon by Lucy Knisley which sums up the whole Twilight series in 16 panels. (Warning - spoiler alert) Her experience reading the books is similar to mine. Addictive! (also via Loobylu)


Danni over at oh, hello friend has organized a giveaway on her blog, and asked me to participate. 16 Etsy shops have donated some amazing items, and my little and big noteboooks are the prize that will be offered to two runners up. Head on over to oh, hello friend to find out how to enter. The prizes are so fantastic, if I wasn't involved, I would enter myself! Good Luck!


Big Notebooks

I've just listed these in my shop. They are like the little notebooks, but...bigger. Handy if you like to take lots of notes, and the pages are even big enough to mount snapshots. Also, there is a new airplane design available in both the big and little notebooks - great for travelling. And, I'm decorating some of these with vintage maps, because I love those so much. Enjoy!


One of a Kind Show

I'm pleased to announce that I've been accepted as an exhibitor at the Christmas 2009 One of a Kind Show in Toronto! I applied a few weeks ago, and had a message on my phone last night saying that I'd been accepted, with a travel scholarship to boot! It's exciting, and also a little scary. So much to do and plan, and is it crazy to depend on travelling from Halifax to Toronto in late November? But, this is one of those "bucket list" things for me - I have attended the show as a customer a few times in the past, and had dreamed of selling my work there. And in a few, gulp, short months - I will be. Wish me luck!


Lily and Jae

I'm liking this Canadian label, Lily and Jae. They have lots of cute clothes - but I'm particularly obsessed with getting the perfect summer dress at the moment. I have tried on a few that I like, but there are, ahem, a few figure challenges that I have to deal with. But, I think that the dance dress could fit the bill.


Bookish Discoveries

I wanted to share a few "bookish discoveries" that I've made in the last couple of weeks with you. I was browsing through a bookshop when I discovered the book above - the Rob Ryan cover caught my eye, and the contents are pretty neat too. It's all about lost arts - things like beekeeping, making cheese, grinding grain...I didn't buy the book because I don't have time to do any of these things right now, but I very much like the idea.

For fun fiction, I've been reading "The Uglies" series by Scott Westerfield. It a teen book series, and I'm really enjoying it. It's all about a future world where everyone has an operation at the age of 16 to make them "pretty." It's just a great, action packed narrative that sends an interesting message about the concept of beauty. And - each book ends with a cliffhanger, so you can't wait to read the next one. It's a long weekend here in Canada, and I just picked up the last two books in the series.

Finally, this isn't really a book, but I was pleasantly surprised at the doctor's waiting room today by Canadian Family magazine. The style and home sections were really great, and although I don't have children, I have a soft spot for toys and illustrated books - so I loved the coverage on these. I would recommend this magazine to anyone with a family - it reminds me a bit of the sadly departed Wish.


Love at First Sight

I got a small tax return this year, and decided to treat myself with a couple of fashion purchases. First up was the Deco Skirt from French Connection (mine is actually black with cream flowers, but I can't seem to find that on their website). Anyhow, this skirt was one of those things that I loved as soon as I saw it. It's high waisted, with buttons coming down the front and these cool ruffly pockets on the sides. I love a skirt with pockets! It was even on sale, which was just the cherry on top.
I also picked up these shoes. I love the round toe, and the heel height. Not too high, not too low. Hopefully, I will not fall over in these!


Bicycle Built for Two

It's amazing how time flies! We went for a day trip to the country a couple of weeks ago, and saw this cool bicycle outside a shop. That trip was great - sunshine, a nice lunch, but things have gone a bit downhill since then. Lots of little things, but the main one is that I sprained my ankle a few days ago, and I've mainly been sitting around with my foot up. I'm not in much pain, but my ankle is gigantic and swollen. I hope it goes away soon - but even with the ankle issues, and the rain that's falling outside - I'm determined to get out there and enjoy myself this upcoming weekend. Wish me luck!


My Thinking Cup

A little while back, I had the opportunity to do a swap with Dawbis (aka Dawn). She was looking for some paper for her collection, and in exchange for a paper pack, she offered to do a custom artwork. I jumped at the chance, and I'm so glad I did! I received this beautiful artwork from her that incorporates many of the papers I sent her.

The piece is called "Her Thinking Cup." I love the small ink details, and also the quilled paper - gorgeous!

And, as a special bonus, Dawn included one of her works called "Look at Me." It's a cut paper artwork mounted on a polaroid - so cool! Can't wait to get these framed and have them hanging in my home. Thanks so much Dawn - I absolutely love these!


With me rubber boots on...

Whenever I wear my rubber boots, the chorus of this song runs through my head. Brings back memories of the great trip to Newfoundland that we had a few years back, and listening to this song at a pub. Although I'm not fishing on the "wild labrador", I can always dream. And, our porch is beginning to look like a weathered wharf, so that helps.


Make + Do

The very talented Austen of Stripey Pebble has just started a craft blog over on the Canadian Living website. It's called Make + Do, and it looks great. As well as sharing projects, Austen is going to feature crafters from across Canada, start a crafty Q & A, and even have a feature that celebrates craft failures. And - there will be giveaways! Right now, there is a great book up for grabs. So, head over to Make + Do to get inspired, I know I plan to. (:


Little Notebooks

I'm itching to get back into making sewn books. For the last few years, I've been focusing on adhesive type book structures, but the "zen" of sewing a book block together just seems right to me, right now. On that note, I introduce a new product that's going up in my Etsy shop. It's simply called a Little Notebook. It's small, but I think it has a lot of nice details - a punched motif backed with Chiyogami paper, a little pocket on the front cover that's just the right size for a business card, bus tickets, etc., an elastic closure held in place with an eyelet and it's all sewn together with waxed linen twine in a coordinating colour. And, I'm giving my customers the option to customize the books with all those little details - you can pick the cover paper, the elastic, the twine - and I'll surprise you with some matching Chiyogami and the endpapers. Check it out in the shop.


Paper Pendant

Over Christmas, I made some paper pendants and sold them at the markets. They are made of scraps of bookboard covered in Chiyogami and then coated with a shiny varnish. They went well - I only have a few left. I finally took a photo of one today. I like the way this photo turned out, with the little prop and all. I took some more photos today of other new things, and I'll show them tomorrow. But now, it's time for bed - I did yoga tonight for the first time in a long time, and I'm already feeling it! But, before I go, I'll leave you with this awesome blog - fresh 365 - a new vegetarian recipe for every day of the year.



Heard about an amazing art show in LA called Papershapers via NOTCOT. I didn't want to take any photos from the site, but you should click through and check it out - all of the creations are really amazing - and all made from my favorite medium, paper.


Accordion Book Class

I am very pleased to announce that I will be teaching another accordion book class at Love, Me. It's taking place on Saturday, April 25th at 10am and the cost is $14. We are holding the class just in time for mother's day, so you can make your mum a lovely book. You could fill it with family photos and make it a "brag book", make it a card that everyone in the family can sign for her...the possibilities are endless! If you'd like to sign up, visit the Love, Me website - hope to see you there!


Shine on me...

Wow. This really takes me back to the 8os. In the words of Sasha Frere Jones of the New Yorker - "You may dream of this video, but the dream won’t be as good because it won’t be this video." Enjoy.


The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

Looking forward to watching the new HBO series No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency tonight. I read the first six books in this series by Alexander McCall Smith, and really enjoyed them. The books are about a woman - Precious Ramotswe - who decides to take money that her father has left her and open a detective agency in Botswana. At first, she seems the most unlikely detective, but her mix of charm, innocence and intuition always wins out in the end. And, it's nice to see a "traditionally built" woman - as Precious calls herself - in a main romantic lead type role.



It's been a long time since I posted, don't know where all that time went! Here's what I've been up to -

- "Frenchy's" tour of the Annapolis Valley and Clare region of Nova Scotia. Lots of fun! Pretty much everything I'm wearing today is a result of that trip...
-Visited my nana...
-got a new nephew...
-heard that I am getting another new niece or nephew...
-lots of custom orders...
-took Milo on his first trip to holistic vet for yearly wellness check up. It went well, but he was terrified...
-picking out new tiles and fixtures for our bathroom reno. Fun, yet stressful...
-checking out Shona's gorgeous house on designsponge...
-looking forward to spring. Feel like it's never going to come...

That's about it. Back soon with some photos.


The Crafts Department

I was searching for a recipe on the Martha Stewart site today, and came across a new blog that is written by the crafters on her staff. Called "The Crafts Dept.", the blog talks about the behind the scenes goings on at the magazine, inspirations, and profiles those crafters who have a job that many dream about! I love the photo of their old craft room above - believe it or not, they were in the process of moving to an even more beautiful space! Did I mention that this was a dream job...


Some updates...

Just a note for those who read the blog on an rss feed, I've updated my sidebar with some new blogs I'm enjoying very much, music I'm listening to, and other tantalizing tidbits such as my address on twitter. Next project, updating my website - how do these thing age so quickly!


Studio featured on "The 6 o'Clock Stitch"

Gina from the 6 o'clock stitch did a lovely post about crafty studios, and I'm happy to say mine was included! Check it out here. Thanks Gina!


Canadian Home and Country

I am really liking Canadian Home and Country these days. I normally buy it from time to time, but last month it caught my eye with it's redesign (including the groovy new typeface, above) and the stories were great as well - the homes felt real and inspirational. This month is great too - I love every single home featured, and there is a shopping story on the Brooklyn Flea - which looks amazing. I see a subscription in my future...


Catherine Martin Wallpaper

I stumbled on the wonderful blog ish and chi, and fell in love with the Catherine Martin wallpaper she posted about. All the patterns are beautiful, but I especially adore the sparrow print. A bit of background (just realized that's a pun - background, wallpaper...) - Catherine Martin is a production and costume designer, who often collaborates with her husband, director Baz Luhrmann. She creates such amazing worlds in film, it's not surprising that her wallpaper designs are so dramatic and lovely. Not sure if they're available in North America, but I'm going to find out!


To list, or not to list...

I recently read an article on Etsy about changes in how items appear on the "recently listed" section of the front page, and on the category pages. Basically, the article says that Etsy has changed the way that listing works, and renewing items may not be as helpful as it has been in the past. I'm a bit confused - I don't know if I should continue to renew my items as a promotional tool, or if this is a waste of 20 cents? I do know that I haven't been relisting and my shop has been fairly quiet - but is this just a post-christmas lull? Does anyone have any thoughts on this, and what have you done in your shop?

By the way, this is another album that I recently listed in my Etsy shop.


Pretty Hammer

When I was in Toronto, I made an addition to my arsenal of tools - it's this pretty hammer from the Victoria and Albert Museum Collection. The hammer is printed with a William Morris print called "Cray."

But, the best thing about it is you unscrew the handle, and you have 4 little screwdrivers inside (I didn't photograph the 4th one, but it's there). This is perfect for creating my postbound albums, and it's so nice to use something so beautiful. Acutally, it was William Morris who said, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful" - and this little hammer is both.