September 28th 2009

We had a great weekend up in Muskoka. On Saturday we went for a great walk back through the woods behind my parent's home and found lots of mushrooms, sarcoscyphaceae (tiny fungi), and moss. It must have been a nice damp summer up there.

The colours are changing really quickly, so I'm glad I got up there when I did. I think in the two days that we were up there, the tree at the front of the house nearly fully changed. Most of the hardwood trees turned red, but one section of the words was almost entirely yellow. It was so pretty.

I saw some types of mushrooms that I've never even seen before! I'm pretty sure the one pictured above is an Amanita Muscaria, (Toadstool), mushroom. These ones were all half-eaten and knocked over, but they still look so pretty.

There was a lot of sarcoscyphaceae, or lichens, attached to old stumps and boulders along the path. They look like they belong on a coral reef rather than in the forest. I grabbed a small patch of it, put it into a mason jar terrarium and brought it home as a little piece of the north.

September 25th 2009

I've had a migraine for the better part of the day, so this is all I'm going to post for today. (I know, bit of a cop-out). My What I Wore Today drawing.

We're away again this weekend, but I'll return on Sunday night with some lovely Muskokan nature photos. (As long as the weather holds out for a nice nature walk).

September 24th 2009

Since doing a (very small) batch of Vanilla Pear Jam at Jen's a couple of weeks ago, I've been wanting to try canning something else.

I went out and got a big stock pot, canning tongs and lots of little cucumbers and Chris and I made a lovely batch of pickles!
I went to Roncesvalles to pick up the last few ingredients, including heads of dill, which are so pretty and smell amazing! I love walking down that street to all of the different fruit and flower markets, although there's a lot of loud construction going on there lately.
I'm really happy with the batch. They look really great in the jar!

Chris and I cracked open a jar last night, and although they're a liiiiittle bit salty, (okay, a lot bit salty), they're pretty tasty! The spices and dill taste just right!

Tonight should be a lot of fun. Nikki and I have a project that we're going to work on, and I'll post about it before we leave town tomorrow. Fun!

September 22nd 2009

Happy First Day of Fall.

We’re back!

Chris and I had a great trip to New York. His show was a success, (the boys even got to meet the art critic from the NY Times!), and the show looked really lovely.

It was nice to finally meet the staff at Giant Robot. They were all very friendly and had fun tips to keep us busy in the city.

30 Rock!

Some of the best street signs I've ever seen

The first meal we had in the city was at Caracas, a Venezuelan arepas bar. Erica and John had recommended that we meet up for lunch before they took off for their honeymoon to New Zealand. It was nice to see them, and they also had loads of places for us to visit. Our meal was so delicious that we went back for our last meal before we left the city, and we took Lauchie and Shauna.

We ended up walking around a good part of Manhattan, and explored some of the old subway stations.

I love this Eames children's chair so much

Remember when I said I really love ceramics? Well, I really looooove Russel Wright...

The day of the show we went to the MoMA for hours and explored every exhibit they had up, yet somehow managed to miss what would have been our favorite pieces of artwork in the whole gallery! Lauchie informed us after we met up later that day that we had missed a Henry Darger painting, a couple of Hockney’s and Koons' and a Marcel Dzama piece. We still don’t know how we missed them.


One of my favorite meals, (and we did quite a lot of eating while away), was at Freemans. It was a restaurant that Anthony had recommended before we left, and I’m so glad! It was such a gem! It was a small restaurant hidden down a little alleyway off of Bowery. It was decorated like a mix between an old hunting lodge and farmhouse, with lots of taxidermy and old oil paintings on the walls, and the food was amazing. We ate tiny cocktail sausage corn-dogs, the biggest pork chop I’ve ever seen, and the most delicious scallops. What a meal. Oh, and their raspberry ice cream was the best I’ve ever had. I’m sure it was homemade.

Park Avenue

Caracas Arepas Bar

Some of the most fun things we did were the things we stumbled upon, like Yogurtland. Chris and I are thinking of opening up a chain in Canada. We’re really missing out up here!

Everyone we came across in New York was incredibly friendly. (I’m a little embarrassed to say that people in Toronto are far less hospitable). We couldn’t have had a better trip. I can’t wait to go back again soon.

September 16th 2009

I borrowed a book from the library the other day called "Deep, Dark Chocolate". It was full of some of the most beautiful photos of chocolate goodies I've ever seen, including this one. Best looking birthday cake ever? Yes, I believe it is. Possible wedding cake idea? Perhaps.

It is less than 24 hours until we're in New York, and I'm starting to get excited! Before I can get too excited, however, I have one more illustration to finish up. I'm nearly there, and I'm quite happy with it, but I'm having a bit of a hard time concentrating on it.

I will be on a very short hiatus while we're away, but will write a report when we get back into town. I'm sure there will be lots of pictures, (most of which I'll probably post on Flickr), and stories to regale you with.

Until then!

September 14th 2009

Drawing What I Wore Today again! I tried using pencil crayons today for the first time since high school. It was a bit challenging because they were mini ones, (measuring about 45mm in length).

I'm getting excited! Three more sleeps 'til New York!

September 13th 2009

It was a weekend of delicious brunches. Yesterday morning we went to Anthony, Katherine and Ingela's place and Tony made us a lovely Jewish breakfast, and even made his mother's recipe for cheese pie. It was incredible.

It has been a gorgeous weekend for weather. We sat outside on their patio and enjoyed the last little bit of summer sunshine.

This morning I went to Jen and Tim's house for another brunch. Jen had gotten up first thing in the morning to make a batch of her incredible cinnamon buns. We had french toast with fresh fruit and whipped cream, homemade chai tea, then spent a good part of the afternoon canning! I've always wanted to, and never had the nerve to try it on my own. I tried a recipe for Vanilla Pear Jam that I had remembered Karyn posting last fall on her blog. It turned out really well! I think I'll be trying pickles next!

What a wonderful weekend.

September 11th 2009

I was recently given a gift subscription to Uppercase Magazine by a good friend. It's a beautiful magazine published by Uppercase Gallery in Alberta. This friend had been reading a copy of the magazine and had noticed that there was a very small photo of a pair of my letterpress cards and the envelope they came in, (which belongs to Anne Koyama of Koyama Press, who helped me produce these cards). They were in a section of the magazine, Postal Service, that features the beautifully packaged mail received during the process of putting together an issue.

The magazine and gallery are headed by Janine Vangool, a Calgary-based graphic designer and illustrator. She carefully curates every project she does with a keen eye for a vintage aesthetic. She likes to include work from artists of all disciplines, including graphic designers, textile artists, illustrators and photographers. My particular favorite article in the current issue (#2) is about the dogs of the Russian Space Program, Laika and Zvezdochka. The accompanying illustrations, vintage stamps and oil paintings are really lovely.

Uppercase is currently working on issue 3, due to be in shops and mailboxes in the next few weeks!

September 10th 2009

I'm so excited! I got copies of my children's book in the mail today! I'm sooooo happy with it. It looks better than I thought. It's not going on sale until October 22nd, so I'm not able to show the full cover, but this is a little sneak peek.

I went to Mokuba earlier today. I forgot how much fun a trip to Mokuba can be! They have some beautiful new ribbon and trim in right now. I got some for a dress I'd like to make.

September 9th 2009

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that I was very excited to have an ad on the same page as Lena Corwin. I thought I'd write a little about her today for those of you who are less familiar with her work.

Lena Corwin is a Brooklyn-based textile designer and illustrator, (so you can see where I may be drawn to her work). She creates beautiful designs, often with sweet, delicate, intricate patterns.

Printing By Hand, By Lena Corwin © 2008, Photos By Thayer Allyson Gowdy
ISBN 978 - 1584796725

Last year, when her book Printing By Hand was published, I pre-ordered a copy for myself. I had recently begun to create patterns for fabric that I was having printed. Having fabric printed was quite expensive, and I debated printing my own. (I have as of yet to print my own fabric, but plan to in the next while). The photos, (taken by Thayer Allyson Gowdy), and ideas in this book are so lovely. There are lots of fun projects to do, and I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book, if even just to look at.

Over the last year she's been working on other book projects, including art magazine Lines & Shapes, and a new series of journals, including newly published Journal of Plants.

If you'd like to see more of Lena's work, you can find her website here, and her blog here.

Speaking of fabric designs, this morning my new fabrics showed up in the mail! The colours are quite off, but the fabrics they're printed on are so pretty. I chose to print onto a bamboo/cotton and an organic cotton knit. They're both very soft, and I can think of lots of projects that they could both be used for! I'll start taking pre-orders when I've gotten the colours properly adjusted. For better photos of them, please visit my Flickr page.

I made the most delicious scones for breakfast this morning. I love peach season! I improvised on another recipe for rolled oat and dried fruit scones, and instead added peaches and cinnamon. They made the house smell amazing, (and they were pretty tasty!).

Well, I've distracted myself enough from work today. Back to it.

September 8th 2009 (Again)

I had to make another quick post because I just noticed my new ad on Design Sponge is officially active! I love the fact that my work is on the same page as Lena Corwin's. I love her work so much. She makes gorgeous textile designs and prints. She made some really sweet desktop wallpapers that you can download on Design Sponge this month.

September 8th 2009

I had a great holiday yesterday. We went out to the island and sat on blankets on the beach to watch the air show. I've been hearing so many complaints, (way more than in previous years), about the air show and the noise it makes, but I actually really enjoy it. I think it's exciting to look up and see them flying over.

Now it's back to work for me.

I did another drawing today for the "What I Wore Today" Flickr pool, and you can find it here. It's nice to do a drawing a day, (or every couple, when I get the chance to make one for this group).

I've been making an effort to draw every day. I've also been making time to go out and take photos, knit, sew, and do things with my hands. I like doing a little bit of everything most days.

Oh, by the way, the photo at the top of this post is of sweet, tiny macarons from Nadége. (It's actually sort of hilarious; I just looked up this website to link it to my blog and it's got a funny, (and dirty), flash animation as you enter). Anyway, it's a new patisserie that opened up on the south east corner of Trinity Bellwoods Park this summer, and they have some lovely, tasty things. The two flavours I picked up were rose (pink) and olive oil (green). If you're in the city and love sweets, I recommend checking it out.