Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve 2012

Hard to believe another year has come and gone.  Hoping my cold will soon do the same, as it hasn't really left me in the mood to reflect on the past 12 months.  Instead I will share these Happy New Year greeting cards that I picked up somewhere this year.  They're Dutch and date from the 1930's.

I especially like this second one, because of the black cat in the window (seeing as I am currently living with two of them!).  The message inside echoes my wishes for all of you:

My wishes for a bright New Year
I send with love today
And may good fortune, health and joy
Be with you all the way.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Day 2 of 4

The office is closed tomorrow, so this is a four day weekend for me.  I've been enjoying a quiet, lazy day and the luxury of not having made a "to do" list for myself for this long weekend.

I was busier yesterday, working on my Sketchbook Project, got about 8 pages done.  The book is originally 32 pages, not that the finished product has to be that size - it can be more or less.  I'll see how I feel as the deadline gets closer.  So far, so good but at the moment, it's just a bunch of pages that have a general link but haven't quite come together as a cohesive whole. 

I didn't have any plans to be anywhere or go out today, which is just as well as, my cold seems to have returned today. Not as bad as it was a few days ago, but I've felt tired all day (in spite of a good night's sleep last night and a mid-morning nap) and not too energetic.  My brain isn't feeling too clever today either and as a result, not too much work got done on the SKP, although a few bits and pieces got glued down and/or added in here and there.  I've been engaging in quieter endeavours such as watching Season 1 of Game of Thrones (I've watched the first 3 episodes before but planning to carry on and watch the entire season this week, finally!).  Hopefully I can stay up to watch the last couple of episodes of Season 2 of Downton Abbey tonight, prior to the start of Season 3 next Sunday - can't wait!  But I have a feeling I might not be able to stay awake...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Sketchbook Project 2013

I'm taking part in the 2013 version of The Sketchbook Project.  You sign up, pay the US$25 fee (plus an additional $30 if you want your book to be digitized to be viewed online - I decided not to go for that but my friend Colleen, who is also participating, did) and they send you a blank book to fill up any way you want.  It measures 7 inches by 5 inches and the finished volume can't be thicker than 1 inch. It's filled with 32 pages of white paper that seems like regular photocopy weight and has what they call a "sturdy chipboard cover".  You can take the book apart, change the paper or add your own pages, whatever you want, as long as you don't exceed the size limits.

On the back is a label with my name and city on it and a bar code for identification which is to remain intact and uncovered. 

The books are to be finished and mailed back with a postmark of no later than January 15, 2013.  They then become part of a travelling exhibition that will be going to various places in North American - Brooklyn, Austin, Atlanta, Toronto, Chicago, Portland, San Fransisco and Los Angeles, to be exact!  Once the travelling is finished, the books become part of a permanent collection stored at the Brooklyn Arts Library, which currently numbers over 22,000 books from over 130 different countries.  How amazing is that??

If you'd like to get more of an idea about the project as a whole, you may enjoy watching this eight (8) minute video:  The Sketchbook Project, London 2012.

I've had my book for a couple of months now and it remained completely blank until this morning, when I completed my first page.  I've had a theme in mind for a while now and the other day, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. with lots of ideas in my head for what I could do.  Now it's just a matter of putting it together, which is fun and challenging and exciting to do. 

It's also a bit daunting, both the idea of having all these blank pages to fill as well as knowing that the finished book will be available for anyone in the world to look at!  But I'm also excited about the idea of having my artwork on display like that.

So now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back to work filling those pages!  I'm keeping Dina Wakley's words in my mind: "done is better than perfect".  It's my first time and it doesn't have to be the world's best sketchbook ever made but it will be my very own.

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Taylor Tot

When I read this post on my friend Taylor's blog a couple of weeks ago, I had no idea that one of those cute little dolls was on its way to me!!  It arrived yesterday in the mail, quite a treat to find something that adorable in my mailbox after a very slow and somewhat boringly quiet day at the office in post-holiday mode.

Groovy fabric on the back
I'm not sure what she calls these little dolls, so I am referring to them as "Taylor Tots" for now.  My doll has a French theme (notice it says "oh la la" on the front of her outfit) so I've christened her "Suzette".  Here is how she spent her first day with me:

First she checked out the parking garage

Then it was off to work

At lunch, she played in the snow

and went with me to look for treasure at the thrift store.

After work, it was grocery shopping

and then home to meet the cats.

I'm sure this will be just the first of many adventures for little Suzette!  Many thanks for my friend Taylor for this delightful gift!! xo

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I Hab a Code

What I mean to say is, I have a cold.  A runny nose, achy head, can't sleep during the night because I'm too busy sneezing kind of cold.  Went to work today and actually got some work done in spite of the fact that my brain was definitely not operating at full capacity and I was busy going through at least half a box of tissues (it was sooo quiet, only a few of us there, most people have today and tomorrow off).  Doing a really good imitation of Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer at the moment - those cheaper tissues we have at work are pretty scratchy after a while, might have to get myself the soft as a cloud 3 ply kind if this keeps up!

Photo borrowed from
Hopefully it's not going to stick around.  My sister had something similar last weekend and she said it only lasted 3 days.  Which means I should be feeling better by tomorrow, since it started yesterday.  Fingers crossed! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My First Turkey!

Guess who made her first turkey yesterday?!! Mom had bought two smaller turkeys this year so my sister (who has done the cooking of the birds for Thanksgiving and Christmas for the past seven years since my dad died. He did all the cooking for several years prior to that and we still use his recipes) did one and showed me what to do and then I did the second one.  It was a lot easier than I thought (although I was seriously tempted to become a vegetarian a couple of times during the process!), probably because I only had to clean and stuff the bird.  Once it was cooked, my sister made the gravy and we had dinner with friends at their house and they made everything else (potatoes, vegetables, salads, desserts - all awesomely good!).

Here's my sister cleaning her bird:

My bird, stuffed:

Both in the oven:

The end result being carved by Mom, supervised by my sis - delicious!

Another lovely Christmas celebration with family and friends, many thanks to everyone involved!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Did you give/send your letter to Santa? Hopefully you'll find everything you asked for when you look in your stocking tomorrow morning - enjoy!
Courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Almost Ready

Wrapping is done, baking is in progress, laundry is in the dryer.  I'm glad to have this extra day to get ready in between the family Christmas party with about 25 of my cousins yesterday (cute babies and little girls in party dresses, so adorable! But who knew little kids could be so rambunctious and scream so loud when they're excited? Oh wait, I guess we did know that would probably happen...)

and going home to my mother's house tomorrow for a couple of days of seasonal festivities with friends and family.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The World Didn't End

But now that it's the day after the day the Mayan calendar ended, we finally learn the truth about what happened:

Friday, December 21, 2012

If You're Reading This...

the world did not end at 6:11 a.m. this morning as the Mayans allegedly predicted.  Which means we only have four days to finish our Christmas shopping/baking/wrapping/cleaning - arrrgggg!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Vintage Xmas

I bought this little package of bulbs a few months ago and found it again just in time to decorate for the holidays.  I just love its vintageness - it's a little shabby, the box is a little torn in spots, the paint is worn off in spots on a couple of the bulbs but I love it just the same.

Check out that original price, only 39 cents!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I Feel Better

Sometimes, in the midst of all the time-is-running-out-getting-ready-for-Christmas-craziness (is it just me or are people driving extra foolishly this week - what's up with that??!), you might need a reminder that - unlike those co-workers who have just realized there are only 5 business days left before year end and are suddenly coming forward with unrealistic last minute projects that absolutely have to get done before December 31st (oh wait, is that just me too?? ) - human beings can do wonderful things.  If that's how you're feeling, you should check out this collection of photos - 26 moments that restored our faith in humanity this year.  You are guaranteed to feel better!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Great Hall

The Great Hall on Queen Street West in Toronto, where my friend Lorraine and I attended the Junction Flea market yesterday, is described as a "multi-usage space" on its website.  It was built in 1889 and I find its architecture to be quite striking, both inside and out. 

I took this picture of the outside back in March of this year, long before I knew what the interior looked like:

Inside, there are four floors, two of which were used for the Flea.  The main floor has a small stage, on which I was standing when I took this shot last month:

The wall beside the stairs leading up to the stage is adorned with this fabulous wallpaper:

Here's the view looking down from the balcony upstairs:

I love the old windows on the 2nd level:

I especially liked this picture I took looking out one of those multi-paned windows:

There is a grand staircase:

and upstairs, funky light fixtures.

Everything is a little bit on the slightly worn and shabby side but as they say in the architectural world, the place has great bones! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Junction Flea December

The Junction Flea market that my friend Lorraine and I so enjoyed over the summer months ( remember this post?) has moved indoors for the winter.  It's still being held on the second Sunday of each month but instead of a parking lot in the Junction area of Toronto, it now takes place at The Great Hall on Queen Street West (west of Ossington).

As you might expect, most of the vendors today had a Christmas theme to their offerings and our friends at Tattered and Torn were no exception.  Here are some photos of their beautiful displays (because for some reason, I didn't take pictures of anyone else's booths!):
Lots of vintage ornaments!

I especially liked this stuff cat but
forgot to ask the price!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Last Sunday Crafternoon

Last Sunday, my friends Diane and Lorraine came for brunch and we did a little bit of crafting. Lorraine showed us how to make a paper ornament, based on one shown below that she had bought a few weeks before when she and I were shopping at Primitive Heart in St. George, Ontario.
Ornament made by Christine of Primitive Heart
A banner on display at Primitive Heart,
made with similar ornaments.
They were quite simple to make and we had fun doing them, although yours truly got Stickles all over her hands when I tried to pick up a piece of paper before the glitter glue was dry.  Oops!  But that was the only mishap of the afternoon, so not a big deal!

Here are some photos of the ornaments and tags that Lorraine made which she brought for show and tell, aren't they beautiful??

Any Downton Abbey fans out there?

Lorraine also gave each of us these little bird ornaments that she had made (mine even has a little crown!). It's hard to get a good photo but trust me, it's the sweetest little thing. I've had to hang mine out of kitten reach, of course!

Diane brought one of two school memory books that she had made for her twin granddaughters, you can see it here on her blog.

Don't I have talented friends? Indeed I do!!