Friday, December 19, 2008


Our artistic endeavours of late consist of seasonally festive fare. We've decked out the tree, the cards are accumulating and construction paper chains abound. Today was the perfect day for baking - snowy and minus 6C. We donned our aprons (thanks to the creative talents of "Foon" at http://www.pip/ ) and dug out the cookie cutters.

Quinn coined the gingerbread men and ladies we were going to bake - gingermen. I love it and the name will remain a holiday tradition.

Elizabeth and Quinn did exceptionally well rolling out the dough and stamping their own cookies - roosters, "pizzas" and traditional old gingerbread boys. We had leftover icing from our gingerbread house and smarties made the perfect buttons. Next we had fun eating their heads and legs and arms. Thanks guys for a nice day...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


So today we made our first family gingerbread house. My husband assembled it and then the kids had free range to decorate. Well. It's a Picasso for sure. The fun they had sticking all of the little candy bits onto the gooey icing was priceless. I love how it turned out in all of its beautiful imperfection. Now we get to pick away at it and enjoy.

I did get the Sushi today and it was nummy! We had a feast of Pad Thai, tempura, Happy Tuna rolls and Spicy Saigon roll along with a steaming pot of Chai tea. We nearly forfeited our outing since there was a blizzard taking place all day. Being an Eastern girl for my formative years, I still find it amusing that snow brings life to a halt on the West Coast. People get out their wellies and brollies and clod hop through snow. Driving is a not at all desirable - it's hilly and the snow removal budget is bleak. Anyhow, we ventured out and enjoyed every minute of it.

I had lots of nice phone calls from friends with well wishes. During dinner we noticed a car pulled over in front of our house. We thought it was someone stuck in the snow, however, it was a dedicated florist delivering the most beautiful and humongous flower bouquet I have ever received - stunningly perfect winter red gerberas and liatris and alstrolomeria and 'mums and coniferous foliage. Thank you BB. A huge surprise, so thoughtful and kind. I love them.

The Day was good and to quote my Mum as she left our house today..."Life Begins".

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


So we went to get our Christmas tree the other day. We usually cut our own at the House of Breads little tree farm, however, this year we stopped at a locally owned garden centre boasting Vancouver Island cultivated trees. We found the perfect, bushy, soft needled tree with the most delicious woodsy, piney scent.

Now, decorating with a two and four year old does present somewhat of a challenge. While I had ideals of listening to my new Loreena McKinnett Christmas cd and decorating the tree in perfect harmony, that simply did not happen. To abridge our decorating story, we had screaming for Bob the Builder and running off with the decorations from the two year old. Elizabeth loved sorting through the throngs of mix matched ornaments that have more sentimental value than beauty. She was happily existing in her own world and did a fine job of putting them on a concentrated area of the tree - front and centre and approximately three feet high.

We had to sneak water into the trees base since any open water equals free range for fishing and experimenting with swimming toys. The overall effect of the tree is.... good. It is ours with white twinkly lights and golden beads of garland (no tinsel in this house thanks), a hand crafted tree skirt from Grandma and now its stands ready for Santa.

I used to always decorate the tree when I was a teenager at home in Oakville just around my birthday. Yes, that is soon approaching and it is THAT birthday, the one I've been silently dreading for the last six months. Well, it is finally near and it's okay. I take solice that Monika and Rachael are That age. As are Julia, Halley and Celine. That age is the new 30 after all!! For months too I have been dreaming about how to celebrate. I've toyed with the idea of Vegas with all of my highschool friends and copious amounts of cocktails. Also fancied the idea of being in my Happy Place in Mexico. I am, most likely, going for a sushi feast and matinee with my husband and delicious meal of my choice at home with my fave Black Forest gateau. It will be perfect, of course.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Holiday Eating Tips 1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls. 2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single- malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas! 3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission. 5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello? 6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog. 7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the centre of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again. 8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labour Day? 9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards. 10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave, with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!" Have a great holiday season!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Just wanted to share a few more pics of my offerings at the upcoming Kris Kringle Christmas Craft Fair in Qualicum Beach this November 27-30th. The little watercolour albums are indeed sweet, can't wait to take my mini-paint set to the beach and endeavor to capture some West Coast scenery. I'd love to see what other people do with them too.
Hope to see you Thursday!


It's always around this time of year - November - that I feel the need to get out my knitting needles and dig into sumptuous balls of wool. The dawning of the cooler weather and observing frost covered rooftops make an hour on the couch knitting that much more inviting. I have a soft spot for knitting books and just wish I could actually see a project from start to completion. Generally, I knit scarves although baby sweaters have been attempted in the past (they were, however, more suitable for teddy bears).

My fave needles of late are ginormous! A size 35mm that create a wonderfully loopy look, almost like chain mail. Here, Elizabeth and Quinn kindly obliged to a photo shoot and are sporting a few of my latest scarves.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I've been playing with my paper stash of late. It has been so satisfying to revisit my old favourite patterned papers - they are multi-layered, grungy and some remind me of the best Rauschenberg collages. These faves have found their way into my new little memory books. As I also love to sew, it seemed fitting to sew in a "binding" both to appease myself and add reinforcement and visual interest to the book.

These memory books can hold photos and journalling. I've used one as an artistic garden journal of sorts. It's all about my garden and includes original watercolours instead of photos. These little books are compact and can be filled with whatever content your imagination can conceive.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I happened upon a cool site after seeing an article in the paper the other day. It's called . These photographers have collectively photographed random people from different cities in various geographical locales. I love all the names they have chosen for these groups especially "eco-punks". It reminds me of that line the secretary used in Ferris Beuller's Day Off where she rattled off all the terms used to describe their pupils - geeks, metal heads, preps, dorks, dweebs, sluts etc. etc. Have a look - see if you can find yourself in the exactitudes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Today we missed story time because we were mucking about on YouTube for too long this morning. We watched a show called Control last night all about Joy Division and John had to revisit all of their videos and related bits this morn on the computer. I really like music from that era even though I was wee(ish).
It was also a bright & sunny November day on the West Coast. I raked some leaves and went for a walk with my husband and kidlets. As usual we collected "nature ephemera" - leaves, fir cones, dandelion heads, whirligigs, hydrangea flowers. It is utterly important that my children are familiar with and embrace nature in this plastic, disposable world we inhabit.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Copy, paste and play along!
1. Where is your cell phone? What cell phone.2. Your significant other? A wonderful cook, husband, father and friend 3. Your hair? Died blondish and collar length (for work) 4. Your daughter? Beautiful, quirky, smart, curious 5. Your son? Lovely, perfect, all boy, rambunctious, rascal. 6. Your favorite thing? Being creative 7. Your dream last night? Don't remember 8. Your favorite drink? Red Wine 9. Your goal? Raise decent children, laugh lots 10. The room you’re in? Kitchen 11. Your church? My garden12. Your fear? Planes falling out of the sky 13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Happy, healthy and content. 14. Where were you last night? At home in our Castle watching British shows on tv. 15. What you’re not? Patient 16. Muffins? honey bran17. One of your wish list items? domestic help! 18. Where you grew up? Oakville, ON 19. The last thing you did? Took daughter to ballet class 20. What are you wearing? Jeans, t-shirt, sweater 21. Your TV? Heartbeat, The Royal, New Tricks, So You Think You Can Dance, The Hour, Documentaries 22. Your pets? No pets23. Your computer - Toshiba Satelite laptop .24. Your life? Busy, satisfying 25. Your mood? Good, husband gets two days off now 26. Missing someone? No .27. Your car? Nissan Altima28. Something you’re not wearing? A garter 29. Favorite store? HomeSense 30. Your summer? Too hot31. Like(love) someone? My family32. Your favorite color? Mustard 33. Last time you laughed? 10 minutes ago34. Last time you cried? Last Monday (small tear) 35. Who will repost this? No idea!

I'M BACK!!!!!

So it's been a while.... a friend suggested I get this blog going again and thought that was a great idea since one does need a venue for one's musings...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


What is it that attracts us to certain inanimate objects? I love supplies of all kinds, especially ribbon. I could have shelves dedicated to this little cloth gem. It comes in so many colour combinations, textures, widths, styles, weights etc.

Ribbon adds a beautiful dimension to handmade cards, clothes (especially for small children) and scrapbook pages. I love the tactileness of a journal embellished with a multitude of wonderful ribbon samples. I so enjoy creating these for our market customers.

Today I actually got some time to make a few cards - it is so satisfying to individualize each card and think about the intended recipient while the creative process is taking place. It gives one time to reflect on times past if it is a birthday card or be mindfully quiet if the card is meant as solice to a friend or family member.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


So after publishing that last post, I looked at my desk and realized that it rarely looks neat and tidy like in the former posted photo. Of course, it gets cleaned, however, I actually like that element of disorder and chaos linked to the creative process. Realistically, this is how my desk looks today!!!
Happy scrapping...........

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Okay - whatever happened to my New Year's resolution of updating my blog once a week??????

A lot has happened this past month to keep me otherwise occupied - I went back to my day job full time, my Nanny in England died, the whole family (except me) fell ill with nasty viruses and our garden became friendly with a bulldozer as construction began on our extensive home renos.

A few pretty good reasons that my artistic endeavours got put on hold.

To keep things colourful and light I thought I'd just post a few more snaps of my little treasured space!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Studio Time

I love looking at everyones artistic and crafty blogs. I can spend hours going from link to link and getting inspired by other peoples creations. I especially like glimpsing into the work spaces of those induviduals. It must have been my years at art school that made me love the mess and chaos that is a studio - that and the smell of turpentine and the endless supply of supplies. I love supplies from piles of gorgeous papers to ribbon, embellishments and more. Here's a little glimpse of my own nirvana!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


So, I've been on a knitting spree. I have discovered these rather yummy yarns - they have lots of mohair in them plus a bit of shiny bling. Knitted two scarves in two days and em looking forward to designing more to be available at the Nanaimo Farmer's Market this spring. The colours really lend themselves to evening-wear and would certainly dress up any little black number!!

They will be safely hidden in my studio since my lovely, imaginative 3 year old likes to make "spaghetti" - this involves unraveling yards and yards of yarn (usually on the quiet when I am fooled into thinking she is looking at a book) and making piles of delicious pasta noodles. I credit her penchant for Curious George's naughty antics and her love of the stuff for this truly unique passtime!
I have also just received in the mail, a knitting gadget from England that makes wonderfully pretty things. Stay tuned for more...

Monday, January 14, 2008


That title is a direct quote from my 3 year old daughter. It's a wonderful way of describing the coming months...
Happy 2008!!!!!! It's been a long time, I know. One of my perhaps misguided resolutions is to update blog on regular basis even if it is just my musings. I love perusing other artistic blogs on the web. It's a lovely little glimpse into the world of creativity at its best. They inspire me to get my mind flowing with ideas and the lust to get down to the wonderful business of creating art.
I sit and write this from my cozy home studio whilst it blows with January snow outdoors. My outdoor studio is still in the works. It exists in my head and on my vision board!! This Spring will see some building and conversions of my outdoor cottage and I should be up and running for September '08.
I have been so excited and inspired by a magazine I just discovered - Cloth, Paper, Scissors. It has an amazing array of mixed media articles and I can't wait to delve right in to some altered art projects. I think my true passion has always been mixed media stuff. I love the mixture of elements - glass, stone, wood and metal. For this "season of the new year" I will focus on that love...