Monday, December 29, 2008

sweet eve

I'd been looking forward to Christmas at home for a long while... excited to see my brother once again, and for the first time ever hosting christmas eve (and day) dinner for my family at our house up on the mountain. Our place is so cozy to me that it makes me happy to share and give a lot of love to our visitors who make the trek to come and see us here. Charles and I planned and were ready to cook up a big Thai food dinner for Christmas Eve dinner, and then a traditional turkey dinner for Christmas Day, with a big brunch in between.

We were also expecting over 2 feet of snow outside our door. This is normal on the mountain and we're ready for it, and the university we live at is pretty efficient at clearing our roads. But then the rest of the Vancouver area received all of that snow too, which is a little out of the ordinary. Vancouver people just aren't prepared for so much snow!

All of our family and guests called and cancelled our invitation to christmas eve dinner. I was heartbroken..and frustrated to think what we would do with all of our wonderful food! Then there came a knock on our door, our neighbours Susanna and Marie had come to borrow a shovel and, oh, what were they doing tonight?

sweet eve by you.

And so our wonderful neighbours saved Christmas. Susanna and Sebastian brought eggnog and wine. Marie brought chocolate. Mike and Malgosia brought hot apple cider (and their beautiful new little baby girl Leelu!). And Howard and Kevin brought rice and a dozen other little things I ran out of and can't be simply bought when you live on top of a mountain. We spent the evening all together, laughing and eating and sharing all of our stories together. And it became the most sweetest christmas eve that I have ever had.

sweet eve by you.

I've never really experienced this before, this affinity and closeness with neighbours, and I still am a little suprised by it. Sadly, I think that it is rare these days. It may be strange to some, but I love these people! We are all from different worlds, only brought together by geography and the desire to create a warm and cozy neighbourhood which we can all live in and share. In this unaffordable city which is Vancouver we ended up on this mountain, and unexpectedly I have found my home, in the warmest, most happiest sense of the word. 

It is my truest hope that I do not come across as self-applauding in writing here in this place. Please, not at all and if so please do tell me. 

But If you happen to still be reading my gush, consider doing something kind for a neighbour or two sometime soon. Perhaps nothing may come of it, but just maybe you may find a little bit of this happiness as I have found. For I truly, truly wish for joy and love upon you all.

and, Merry Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

flickr photo of the day + merry christmas!

flickr photo of the day : happy holidays!
"b's christmas" by mrs. french.

I just wanted to stop in to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season. We completely lucked out and made it to Los Angeles from our very icy town, even if our plane was seven hours late. I am not going to have much time to post throughout this week, but I will try to update at least a little bit. Anyways, Happy Holidays friends!

Monday, December 22, 2008

the prettiest day

Today is the prettiest day I can ever recall, it is bright and sunny and there is snow up over my knees.

Adelaide and I spent the morning outdoors, feeding our many bird friends and knocking all the snow off of our silly hunched over trees that have never learned to shed their leaves. We shoveled out our steps and walk, and then our elderly neighbour's, too.

on the path by you.

Then together we took our sled and slid away down the path and into the forest and spent a little time inside, in awe of at the beautiful hushed white stillness, and at the funny little yellow birds who skittered across the snow to us, peek for a moment, and then away again... I've never seen them before today.

in the forest by you.

My heart is happy, today it is so beautiful and so cozy and I feel so fortunate to have our little house at the edge of the forest nature reserve. For on a day like this, and step off the path into the quiet hushed snowy forest world, it is magic!

Finally Adelaide had enough (ENOUGH!) and I had to stumble home through the deep drifts carrying her, the sled, and my camera all the way back home. But I made up for it by making hot grilled cheese sandwiches...mmmm! So good. 

And now, while I type, she is tucked safely in with our boys, who are just so pleased to share their bed with a warm little girl!

cozy_inside by you.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

holiday gift guide : in the stores.

Since at this point, shipping gifts from the internet to arrive by Christmas isn't really an option (unless you want to pay high costs), I thought today's gift guide should be in-store items from generally easy-to-access places. I am not usually one to promote chain store shopping, but we are down to five days before Christmas Eve and sometimes last-minute shopping just has to be done.

1. Owl Candle ($10), 2. Knit Crochet Fingerless Gloves ($16), 3. Hoot Wall Art by Amy Ruppel ($50), 4. Squirrel Away Jewelry Stand ($16), 5. DIT Eiffel Tower ($4.99), 6. 8" Print and Pattern Plates ($6), 7. Lomo Diana Dreamer Camera ($65), 8. Born Again Vintage ($24.95), and 9. Crosley Princess Phone ($50)

1. What A Man Should Know ($20), 2. Selima for J.Crew blue Barbara glasses ($325), 3. Girls' silk taffeta Anastasia dress ($148), 4. Cable ballet slippers with pom-pom ($29.99), 5. Girls' flower headband ($16.50), 6. Erin metallic ballet flats ($140), and 7. Mirror-metallic mini notebook ($9.99)

1. The David Sedaris Box Set ($79.98), 2. The True and the Questions Journal ($16.95), 3. Wire Bound Sketch Book with Paintbrush Icons ($12.95), 4. Jonathan Adler Words Collapsible Umbrella ($16.95), 5. Jonathan Adler Kensington Multi Color Mini Journal- Set of 3 ($14.95), 6. Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy ($22.40), 7. Notecard Book : Lotta Jansdotter ($15.95), 8. Drawing Set Pencil/Charcoal 14 pieces ($8.95), and 9. Chalkboard Message Candle Black - Unscented ($24.95)

1. Gilded Posie Ring ($118), 2. Take Flight Ornament ($6), 3. Zinc Letters ($18), 4. Silhouette Cuckoo Clock ($368), 5. Gallery Circle Skirt ($198), 6. Grapefruit Sugar Bowl ($18), 7. Mistral Nectar Fruits Foam Bath ($36), 8. What Would Audrey Do? ($22.50), and 9. Shaded Path Heels ($168)

1. Schylling 20" Sock Monkey ($14.99), 2. Glass Acorn Ornament - Silver (Large) ($7.99), 3. Assorted Glass Ball Ornaments - Purple ($6.99), 4. Winter-Themed Mini Trays 2-pk. - Trees/Dots ($1.49), 5. Tadpoles Organic Cotton Embroidered Owl Romper ($24.99), 6. Converse One Star Flap Cap - Garnet Rose ($14.99), 7. Penguin Dinner Plate ($2.99), 8. Women's Xhilaration® Selena Ruffled Mary Jane Flats - Yellow ($13.99), 9. DwellStudio™ for Target® Leaves Pot Holder and Oven Mitt Set - Brown/ Taupe ($5.99), and 10. DwellStudio™ for Target® Plush Blanket - Olivia ($14.99)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

favourites (of the moment)

I've collected all sorts of beautiful books for years, but when I decided to be a mama some day, and then I became pregnant, one of the first (and only) things that I knew about parenthood was that I wanted encourage reading with my child for always. Because of this, I've always collected a variety of books and have had them all around to encourage reading with my Adelaide, both through her access and by my own example. This is working, a little too well actually sometimes!

So, by this time we have dozens and dozens (and dozens!) of books all around our house, both new and old, thrifted and gifted. Books are a perfect gift to give a kid, and when people insist, I will request a book. Funny thing is, we have yet to receive a duplicate, for there are so many fabulous books for children. A visit to such a delicacy such as Kidsbooks, or even to is enough to get my heart racing!

Because I keep so many books around, It is always interesting to me to note which books Adelaide, now 22 months old, adores. She is most choosy in her selections (are all children this particular??) and she will insist on a very specific book at different times, sometimes over and over again, sometimes mixing it up with varied selections. There seems to be no pattern to her choices sometimes, however, she most definately has her very favourites... here are her top picks of the moment:

Home For a Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown and Garth Williams ..I remember this book well from when I was a little girl, and I actually picked it up at a Thrift shops years before I knew I'd be a mom someday....

Tico and the Golden Wings by Leo Lionni ...This book was one of my absolute childhood favourites and I remember it clearly. When I saw they had re-released the hardcover edition I pre-ordered it immediately. I am so pleased that Adelaide loves it too (probably because she is really interested in birds) The illustrations are so beautiful...

I Can Fly by Ruth Krauss and Mary Blair ...I bought this book because of the illustrations of Mary Blair, but amazingly it is the one book that has been teaching Adelaide how to talk! Me me me! are the first words she has picked up from a book.

I Am a Bunny by Ole Risom and Richard Scarry  ...Such a classic. This is the first book that Adelaide ever responded to as a little baby.

Mother Goose by Gyo Fujikawa ...I love the Illustrations of Gyo Fujikawa so much and am happy that Adelaide seems to as well. We have many of her books and I think they're great! Adelaide loves that I sing the rhymes to her.

Baby Beluga by (who else) Raffi and Ashley Wolff  ...Well, what can I say, she loves Baby Beluga! she loves that I can sing the song to her while we turn the pages together. So much so that I had to go download the song off itunes. She gets SO HAPPY when it begins to play...!

The Story Blanket by Ferida Wolff, Harriet May Savitz, and Elena Odriozola ...I just picked this up the other day as I thought it was so beautiful, funny because even though it is for older children, Adelaide loves it!

What are your children's favourite books today? What were your favourites when you were a kid? Any book suggestions for Addie and I?

flickr photo of the day : delicate.

Untitled by mirjan.

currently daydreaming...

of wearing one of these beautiful vintage dresses from Posh Girl Vintage for Christmas and New Year's Eve. Aren't they just perfect?

a vintage holiday.

thought of the day : somethin' good.

"Something is happen... in orange," from Valentina Design's shop. (print, $12)

freebies : gift tags.

Why spend money on the same old pre-packaged gift tags when you can print some of these lovelies out for free?

freebies : gift tags.
1. Clip-Art Tags from Martha Stewart, 2. Fill-in-the-blank Gift Tags and 4-pack Gift Cards from The Small Object, 3. Tags/Labels for You! from (inside a black apple), 4. Holiday gift tags from Microsoft Office, and 5. Free Little Tags/Labels from Creature Comforts.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

flickr photo of the day : wish.

"crackers" by red felt flower.

gift guide : books from creative female bloggers.

Since there are still a couple more days that you can still order Christmas gifts from Amazon, I thought I would share some of the beautiful books by some of my favorite female bloggers. I am quite sure that each of them would make an excellent gift.

gift guide : books by bloggers.

thought of the day : optimism.

"Look on the bright side" by illustrator/designer Samantha Hahn.

etsy favs of the week : early tuesday morning edition.

How is it already the week before Christmas? I feel terribly busy and overwhelmed, trying to get everything together before we head out-of-town for the holidays.

Anyways, since I didn't get these to you on Friday, here are this week's Etsy favorites. Enjoy (and get that last-minute shopping done!)

1. Fragile - print from Asta ($27.95), 2. Red crystal suede and leather floral necklace from Babette ($75), and 3. vintage brooches 8.5x11 from Hula 70 ($25)

4. Forest Owl Soap Dish Tray In White from fruit fly ($29.99), 5. Baby Deer, 7 x 8 Fine Art Print from Sharon Montrose ($25), and 6. Custom Portrait Silhouette Plate from Dolamakes ($49)

7. 8X10 print (loving is for lost souls) from Nicole Anne Robbins ($10), 8. Spend Less leather billfold wallet from trees with knees ($28), and 9. printable gift tags - nature from Seventy & Sunny ($5)

Monday, December 15, 2008

happiness is...

Happiness is...

Your first ever hot chocolate on one of your first ever snowy days!

simple walnut ornaments

Here's a simple ornament that I saw done at the Burnaby Heritage Village Museum. (Appologies if this is common, I've never seen it done before!)

All you do is take about 16" (41 cm) of ribbon, and fold it in half, and then in half again. Stick a pushpin through the middle, and then into the top of a walnut. Voila! So easy and sweet.

At the museum they had painted their walnuts gold which was pretty, but for simplicity I left ours natural. I also tried it with pinecones and it works great as well. It might, however, be a good idea to put a little bit of white glue on the tack before pushing it into the nuts, as they can sometimes be quite loose.

Adelaide adores this activity, and so we've been making them together to hang on our tree. She selects and passes me the walnuts, and I add the ribbon. We choose a spot and hang them on our tree together.

christmas pinecones by you.

homemade christmas cards

christmas_card by you.
I've been thinking of christmas cards forever, but of course I only got around to actually making some this past weekend. My life has been a blur lately... you know how it is!

I sorted through my drawers of papers and using my Epson desktop scanner scanned in several scraps that were appealed to me at the moment, and some scraps that had bits of yellow, green and red colours. 

Using Illustrator, I then drew an ornament shape and opened it up in Photoshop. I then used the outline of my Illustrator-drawn ornament to outline, copy and paste selections of my paper scans. Next, I again used my ornament shape and blurred it, then added it to another layer behind my paper ornament to give it a bit of a shadow and depth. 

I then arranged all my 19 ornaments along with my mock-up text, and drew hanging threads for my ornaments to dangle from. Then I deleted my mock-up text, and saved the image as a jpeg to place into illustrator, where I added my real text (including an itemized list of where the papers originated, and a reminder to please recycle). The typeface is Neutraface.

christmas card (back) by you.

Using my desktop Canon printer, I printed the cards onto cardstock, trimmed them using a sharp new xacto knife, straight edge metal ruler, and a cutting mat. I then scored and folded the cards using my fiskars rotary paper trimmer with a scoring blade. I enclosed them all in pretty vintage 4x6" glassine envelopes, and added my mailing labels and stamps. And they're off... (I hope just in time!)

away! by you.

Its funny, that when writing my christmas card list, Along with aunts and uncles, old friends and new friends and neighbours, I had the urge to add so many 'online friends' to my list, beautiful souls Melissa, Geninne and Ana, LoriJennyJenn and Ella to name only a few. I don't have the addresses of most of these women, and I've never met most of them in real life. I actually feel like a bit of a weird stalker writing this! But somehow over the years, without my even realising, they have entered my heart and I feel like I should be sending them my christmas cards, too...

Life's funny that way. And good, that you can feel close to people that you have never actually met. Perhaps it's a sign that there is a tiniest glimmer of hope for the human race, afterall?

christmas card by you.

Friday, December 12, 2008

two pieces of news.

Number One: One of my favorite bloggers, Ez of Creature Comforts, just posted some of my inspirations and an interview with me right here. It is such an honor to be a part of her beautiful weblog.

Number two: After just realizing that my shop was basically sold out, I re-listed more of my "Be kind, design" shirts in three different colors and sizes. They are still at their discounted price of $15 and can be received by Christmas if ordered by noon on the 15th (this coming Monday).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

decoration idea.

I remember seeing this last year- such a creative holiday decorating idea. I must admit, I am completely absorbed in the holiday season right now. (image from Living Etc.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

flickr photo of the day : alone.

"Solitude" by Ellie Niemeyer.

holiday gift guide : artwork.

Because, really, I think it is one of the best things to give as a present.

1. Gift Print by Im Smitten ($40), 2. Animal Print...Fox by Sarah McNeil ($28), 3. Little Acorn, Print by Marjorie Liucci ($17), 4. Knowing - ACEO 1 by Bec Winnel ($5), 5. I like my shoes by Askey ($20), 6. Socktopus Art Print by Susie Ghahremani ($20), 7. Imperial Giclee Print by Michele Maule ($20), 8. Ballerina print by Ward Jenkins ($25), 9. Summer Friends Print by Chet & Dot ($18), 10. Divert by Camilla Engman ($160), and 11. Tag You're It by Heidi Burton ($25)

12. beehive bubbles print neato by Matte Stephens ($35), 13. Clifford by Ashley Goldberg ($35), 14. Barely able to draw breath by Olivia Jeffries ($17.50), 15. Quiet Spirits - Print by Catherine Campbell ($18), 16. Squirrel Girl Print by Emily Martin ($18), 17. California Condor - Signed Archival Print by Lisa Congdon ($35), 18. Banjo Bear by Julianna Swaney ($30), 19. We Are All Connected ($39.99), 20. My First Piano Print by Christina Vantzou ($45), 21. original drawing with watercolor - you hold me together by Heather Smith Jones ($23), and 22. Mistletoe Miniature - Handcut Original Silhouettes by Pen and Paper ($19)

23. Self Portrait 3 Print by Mareike Auer ($40), 24. Cakes by Henni Haworth (£90.00), 25. Owl Silk Screen Limited Edition Print by Amy Ruppel ($35), 26. Come On by Molly Butterfoss ($20), 27. little savages 8 by Fawn Gehweiler (price unknown), 28. Limited Edition Print (Shroom party) by APAK ($15), 29. Poster - Katta by Studio Violet ($25), 30. Blue Horses by Saelee Oh ($75), 31. the califoregon meadowlark print by Jill Bliss ($40), and 32. Mrs. Beaver by Lori Joy Smith ($85)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

thought of the day : you do.

"you do, i mean it," found in harpy's photostream.

abby powell.

A quick morning note: One of my favorite Portland talents, the lovely Abby Powell, is closing her shop at the end of the day until the holidays are over. If you are looking for a wonderful gift for someone or just want to have one of her beautiful prints hanging in your home, I highly recommend heading there before it's gone!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

best of the week.

Friday, December 5, 2008

etsy finds of the week.

1. Cute Mini Sausage Dog Dachshund - Retro Gustavsberg Leaf Fabric from Alice Apple ($17), 2. Letterpress Gift Tags. Yellow and Gray Tree. Set of 9. from Sycamore Street Press ($10), and 3. sea sally, see from Goose Grease ($10)

4. doily clock from and furthermore ($24), 5. two translucent porcelain cups with tray from stepanka ceramics ($75), and 6. plantable seed tags designer series - wine tags from porridge papers ($2.25)

7. Bookgirl 8.5x11 print from The Ward-O-Matic Shop ($25), 8. ELISA - matted print from Dear Dodo ($18), and 9. Butterfly Gladness Garland from Royal Buffet ($15)