Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Seven

Here are a few things I'm grateful for this week:

Sunday: CRICKET! (too bad we don't get it on TV - good thing we can stream it!)
Monday: mac'n'cheese for Monday night football 
Tuesday: zen doodling
Wednesday: reading on a rainy day
Thursday: potential job email to pick me up after a crappy day
Friday: Pat coming back home because he missed the bus and will work from home instead - Pat picking me up a coffee and bagel while I watch cricket - phone interview to schedule real interview!!!!! What a great day!!
Saturday: apple picking

What are you thankful for this week? 

Friday, September 28, 2012

My Vintage: Fur Cloche and Collar

As I mentioned last week, I inherited a couple of hats from my great-grandmother, an obviously very stylish woman. This one is a mink cloche and comes with a matching collar. Yes, it is genuine mink fur. No, I don't feel bad about wearing it. While I don't condone killing animals to make coats and accessories, I don't think that antique and vintage fur or leather pieces should be destroyed. Especially beautiful pieces such as these:
I love the style of this cloche - the little gold clasp and leather "bow" add the perfect amount of sass. The collar is hard to see, but has snaps at the back so that it can be attached to the collar of a coat. There's no label inside this antique hat, but the lining is a mesh with a black pattern containing a "G" in it (not the Gucci G though my gramma does remember her mom paying a pretty penny for this set). If anyone has any details, I'd love to know more about this cloche! 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Creative Space

Last week I showed you pages in my altered Amber book - here are a couple more (since all I've been doing in my creative space is work on our collaborative sketchbook I can't show yet).

First, a very old page - you can tell I was still learning the ropes. I started with a gesso wash, then paint and collage. I loved the colours so much that I couldn't cover it. It stayed that way a long time. Much later, I had some blue glitter glue in my glue gun that I needed to get rid of before making a wreath - so I added it to the page. It isn't my favourite page, not even close, but I do still love the colours.

Next is one of my favourite pages, and a more recent one. I started with a gesso wash, then a collage followed by another gesso wash to soften the edges. Some of the elements I used - the bus pass and stamp - made me think of this quote by Anna Huttenlocker (from a scientific article on migration). A bit of washi tape almost finished the spread...
The top left corner still needed something, so I looked through my stash and found a mini "post card" that fit perfectly with my theme. I didn't want to glue it down though since the back was as pretty as the front. Instead, I made a little pocket and attached it with baker's twine and a couple eyelets.
You can see more pages in this altered book in this folder on my Flickr. More creative spaces here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Love this colour combo!
Avon Nailwear Pro+ in Cosmic Blue
Sally Hansen Salon Nail Lacquer (small bottle that came in a set)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Recommend: By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Bread

On Friday, I sparked a debate on reading real books vs. e-books (if you haven't weighed in yet, I'd love to hear your opinion). Today, instead of recommending one of the many books in my tangible collection, I thought I'd talk about one in my virtual library.

I found By The Time You Read This I'll Be Bread by Mathew Ferguson via the Kindle app search function. I don't remember what I was looking for exactly, but this title really stood out. I was even more intrigued when I discovered this book is a collection of 100 2-sentence stories (the one that the title is pulled from is a good one). I'm a huge fan of non-traditional novels, so I had to get it.

A story in two sentences - seems impossible, no? It's really incredible how much action, emotion and thought are conveyed within these restrictions. I found myself laughing out loud one minute, and pondering deeply the next. Ferguson touches on many themes, including time travel, girls, and consumerism. Witty and humourous, this is a brilliant and well-crafted book!

Here's one of my favourite stories:
SemanticsI didn't lie to my wife.
They're not really strippers if they arrive naked, right?  
You can see that the title of each story really adds to the punch line!

Being composed of only 200 sentences makes this a quick and easy read - so if you're someone who can never find the time to read, this is a book for you. You'll find that this is such a fun collection you'll be reading "just one more" story and before you know it you'll be done!

See more of my Recommended books here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

October Advertising

Fall is here! As my favourite time of year, I couldn't be happier. I've been drinking tea daily, wearing my hats, scarves and knee-highs and breathing deeply of the cool, crisp air.
Along with fall, it's time to think about October advertising! I have tons of good stuff planned, including another round of ACEO-X, my ACEO exchange. You can also count on lots of recommended reading, delicious fall / Thanksgiving recipes, sketchbook pages and fall decor. It should be a great month and I hope you'll join me in celebrating this wonderful season!

If you're interested, you can find all the details HERE or by clicking on the "Advertise" tab at the top of the page. 

What to do: 

First you'll need an ad - make it jpg or png, 200px (width) by 150px (height). If you don't have one already, I can make it for you. Send your ad and the link to the site you're advertising to Please include "Advertisement Opportunity" as the subject line. If you have any questions, I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Seven

Here are a few things I'm grateful for this week:

Sunday: Sunday roast
Monday: cooler weather so that I can wear my hats, coats and knee-highs again 
Tuesday: texting my mom and sister-in-law during the SYTYCD results show
Wednesday: free online courses (I miss school!)
Thursday: homemade lasagna
Friday: Amazon free shipping: my book arriving the day after I get the "it shipped" email 
Saturday: my vision (so that I can read my new book!)

What are you thankful for this week? 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Real Books vs e-Books

I love reading. More than just about anything else. When given the choice between going to a party and finishing the last 1/4 of a novel, the book will win, hands down.
I love books and usually can't part with them after I read them. Which is why I don't have a library card, but do have a discount card at the book store. I cannot wait to move to a bigger place where I can dedicate a whole room to my books. You can bet that room will be called "the library" (said with a posh British accent of course).

However, e-books have been gaining a lot of popularity and many people have recommended that I switch over and start reading those. Needless to say, I wasn't exactly convinced. I've never really liked reading on my computer - in school, I would always print up journal articles in order to read them. But, when I got my android tablet last year, I downloaded the Amazon Kindle app. I hardly used it until recently. Having read half a dozen full e-books now, I thought it would be fun to compare them to real books. So here are my pros and cons for each:
(specifically using the Amazon Kindle app for Android)

  • they're cheaper than real books - many classics are free, as are many books by new authors
  • you can easily page through all the titles in your library
  • you can "archive" books you've already read (this way, they're no longer taking up space on my tablet, but I can easily go back and get them if I want - and they're still visible in the "all items" folder)
  • you can change the font size, brightness/background colour (to sepia or black with white text) and add a bookmark 
  • your place is automatically saved 
  • you can search through the book (which is very handy if you're looking for something specific)
  • even with the brightness reduced, I still find it hurts my eyes after too long
  • once the battery dies, I'm tethered to the plug
  • the tablet doesn't feel as nice as a book in my hand - there isn't that new book smell (or, even better, that used book smell), the satisfying crack of the spine, or the feel of the paper under your fingers
Real Books

  • they don't hurt my eyes, even if the lighting is low  
  • they feel amazing in my hands: the paper, the smell - you just can't beat curling up on the couch or in bed with a good book!
  • they're gorgeous, especially hard covers
  • I love them as decor - I want a library in my home not just for convenience but also for the look
  • the paperbacks (both mass market and trade sizes) are more portable than my tablet - for example, I would never bring my tablet to the dentist waiting room, but I have definitely brought books with me
  • the recall that forms when I read from a real book - I can flip back and forth to different parts of the book because I remember where certain things happen based on where I am in the book (for example, if I want to reread a key scene, I can easily find it based on my memory of approximately where I was in the book when I first read it) - this also helps when I lose my spot! 
  • the social aspect of lending books to friends and family 
  • they're more expensive, especially hardcovers
  • the hardcovers are heavy and not very portable
  • you can't read them in the dark
  • you can lose your spot if you don't dog-ear pages (which I don't)
  • you can "ruin" them - with water, ripping, spills, pens/crayons (this can also be a huge pro for artists who like to alter books though!)
The Verdict

Looks like, for me, both versions are fairly equivalent! I think both real and electronic books have their place: for old classics and brand-new authors, I'll probably opt for the e-books to save money and "try them out". If I like the author or book enough, then I'll buy the real book. For all my favourite authors, and especially for ongoing series I own, I'll continue to purchase the real novels to add to my bookshelves. And when I'm in the book store, if I happen to see a particularly beautiful book, I'll buy it regardless of whether I know the author or could get the e-book for much less.

Speaking of favourite authors, Ken Follett's new book (above) Winter of the World, the second of the Century Trilogy (I recommended the first here), arrived at my doorstep today! [Can I just say - Amazon is awesome! The book was released in Canada today, but 2 days ago in the US, so I ordered this book Wednesday afternoon. It qualified for free shipping, so I went with that instead of paying extra for express (2-3 business days) or priority (next day delivery). It shipped yesterday and arrived today. Why would I ever pay extra for shipping???] Guess what I'll be doing today?

Your turn: are you a real book reader or are e-books your preference?  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Creative Space

Yesterday, I was trying to decide what to post today when I realized... I haven't spent that much time in my creative space this week. I've been doing a lot of reading, job searching and working on an online course but nothing much creative. I did get our sketchbook collaboration from Angie, but I can't show you that just yet (you can see the pages Angie added in here).

So, I pulled out my Amber altered book to see if I had any pages complete in there that I hadn't shown on here yet. Turns out, there were a bunch! Here are just two (our cable modem is dying, so our internet is very slow and uploading photos is excruciating) - I'll post more later.

First, here's a really old page... I think this may have been the second or third page I completed in this altered book. I can't really remembered the steps I took to get here, but I know there are layers of gesso, writing, orange and purple paint, more writing and then a top layer of collage. It isn't my favourite page, but I love the colours and the saying/motto I wrote on the tag. Madame Butterfly also makes me really happy.

This next page is one of the more recent ones and one of my favourites. The teal colour is just so rich (these photos do not do it justice)! I also really like the texture, shine and colour combo on that paisley paper. 

For this one, I started with a layer of gesso, then wrote messily in charcoal. Next, I used up some leftover paint (as I often do) on the right side. The teal paint just happened to match this patterned paper perfectly - so I completely covered the left side and cut out some of the paisley shapes for the right. The trees, butterfly and quote complete the page.
I really like flipping through this book - my progress and growth as an artist over the last year is very apparent! You can find more photos from my Amber altered book in this folder on my Flickr.

You can find more creative spaces here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Details: Avon Nailwear Pro in N239 Night Violet + Nicole by O.P.I. in NI041 Stolen Kisses
Details: Avon Nailwear Pro+ in Absinthe + Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in 340 Black Platinum (+ Scotch tape for the straight line) (I love this colour combo so much!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rainy Day

It's raining here today - a perfect day to browse Etsy with a mug of tea, wouldn't you agree?

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Vintage: Felt Fedora

This summer, my gramma mentioned to me that her sister-in-law was downsizing and looking to get rid of a cloche hat that had belonged to my great-grandmother (gramma's mom, my mom's memère). Knowing that I like my hats, especially cloches, they wanted to offer it to me before throwing or giving it away. Of course I said yes!

While I was home in July, I spent a couple days with my grandparents. We went to see my great-aunt and I picked up the hat. I'll show it to you another day though, because I want to show you this one first. While visiting, my gramma remembered another hat that used to belong to her mom... after a bit of digging, out came this gorgeous felt fedora (well... not technically a fedora I don't think - the crown is rounded and the brim is upturned):
After taking that first photo, I realized I wasn't wearing any makeup (as usual). So I slicked on some cherry gloss for the rest of the pictures because I'm fancy like that.

I absolutely love the versatile navy; the striped ribbon adds the perfect amount of flair. I'm so glad the cooler weather is finally here so that I can wear it!

Details: tag: "Created by M'sieu Léon for Canadian Hat MFG. Corp., Montreal Canada" - printed on the felt inside the crown: "fine imported wool felt, Made in Poland, Canadiana" - if anyone has some information about this hat / company, please leave me a comment!

Do you wear hats? What's your favourite style? I'm still partial to cloches, but this one is really fun! I wore it out for the first time today (for a Tim Horton's run) and it definitely won't be the last!

Sunday, September 16, 2012


"The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation. You are not discovering yourself but creating yourself anew. Seek, therefore, not to find out who you are, seek to determine what you want to be."
Quote by Neale Donald Walsh, c/o Kelly Rae Roberts

Sunday Seven

Here are a few things I'm grateful for this week:

Monday: quiet afternoon beading  
Tuesday: So You Think You Can Dance (amazing show!)
Wednesday: planning on going to a ballet with my mom 
Thursday: my baby wisdom tooth coming out like a fork being pulled out of soft butter
Friday: hot chocolate on a rainy fall day
Saturday: Supercrawl!

And I suppose I should add: exclamation marks. I use them at least once a day!  

What are you thankful for this week? 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Going to the Ballet

My mom and I both watch So You Think You Can Dance and the finale show was this past Tuesday. Two of the finalists are ballerinas (wait.... what do you call a male ballet dancer? Hmmm... according to Wikipedia, a danseur) and they danced together. It was amazing! The next day we were chatting about the show over email and mom mentioned that she'd love to go to a live performance. A quick search brought up Swan Lake, in Hamilton on November 3rd. Perfect!
I bought our tickets today. I can't wait!

Have you been to a ballet? What did you think?