December 31st 2009


We've been out of town for over a week now, and it's so nice to be home. I was a little disappointed that I had to spend my first ever green Christmas this year, but it's nice that it's been mild out.

We were up in Muskoka for a few days and there was a ton of snow! They had gotten a few feet a couple of weeks before Christmas, so there was still a nice blanket over everything by the time we got up there.

Chris' sister got me a book that I'm really excited to get in to. It's by Tove Jansson, (who I've mentioned before), only it's not a book for children. It's called The True Deceiver, and has one of the most beautiful covers I've ever seen. I started reading it and I love it so far. Her books are often set in wintertime and have a sort of haunting, still, cold feeling to them.

Chris also made me on of the most amazing presents I've ever gotten. He tried carving wood for the first time and made this,

Scout Finch's ham costume from one of my favorite books / movies, To Kill A Mockingbird. It's so beautiful. It's made of basswood and balances perfectly on those tiny wooden legs. I absolutely love it.

Because I was sick for the whole holiday, it gave me time to finish up another pair of roving mittens, (this time made for Celine). They turned out really well. They're traditional red and white ones, with the softest roving in the world inside. They make me want to make a new pair for myself!

I don't plan on making New Year's resolutions this year, but I'd like to make some goals for myself. In the forefront, get going on a few projects and read more. (And that means actual books, not audiobooks). There are lots of classics that I've still never read. I guess these are sort of "resolutions", but if I call them that, they won't get done...

Well, I'll have to leave the rest of my catching up for another post. I've got to make some lunch and get figuring out New Year's Eve plans!


December 16th 2009

I watched the Rankin / Bass version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer a couple of nights ago, and realized that Santa is incredibly dapper in that movie. I never realized it as a child, but check out this outfit: red plaid deerstalker, toggled pea-coat, red plaid pants, (which makes him a tiny bit punk-rock), and shiny black boots! I would love an outfit like that!

I also downloaded the new Obijou Christmas song, (their cover of Wham's "Last Christmas"), and it's my new favorite Christmas song. Here's a link to their free download. I'm sure you'll love it too!

December 15th 2009

The other day, when Chris brought home the Parcheesi game from the thrift store, he also picked up a puzzle to work on. It's of a winter scene, and to me, looks like a cross between Dutch scenery and Americana. It was painted by Charles Wysocki, who is known for his folky, scenic Americana paintings.

While I was sitting beside Chris working on more Christmas presents, he started pulling single pieces out to show me. They were so cute! Even though the puzzle is very busy, each puzzle piece is like a tiny piece of artwork in itself. The figures look over simplified, but that's only because they're only one one-thousandth of a larger picture. I like them on their own.

December 14th 2009

I decided to take a break from the last little bit of Christmas-present-making to make myself something to wear over the holidays. I was recently in the workroom and spotted the prettiest red and white fabric. I thought it was part of the French General collection, (one of my favorites!), but it was actually from Aster Manor by Moda. I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I made a special trip down yesterday afternoon and picked up enough to make another tunic, (in the same pattern as the first one I made from Stylish Dress book a year and a half ago).

It takes no time to make, and I'm really happy with it! I also grabbed another fabric from the same collection made up of a tiny red gingham pattern. It's the exact same red as the other fabric, so it looks very sweet when put together. I was out for a coffee with Anthony a couple of days ago, and noticed that the placket of his shirt was made of a different fabric, which gave me the idea.

I finished the shirt this afternoon. It's very festive looking. And maybe a bit picnic-ish too. Now I have something to wear over the holidays!

nikki showed up on our doorstep the other day with a treat! A bottle of some of the tastiest egg nog there is. I love Harmony milk. It's a little pricey, so I only get it once in a while for a treat. It comes in the sweetest glass bottles. I noticed when I went to pour a glass for myself that the date on the top was "DE 25"! (Yay! Best bottle of nog ever!) Thank you nikki! You're the best!

December 10th 2009

My fingers are still pretty numb while I type this. I've been walking around in the cold for hours today; running errands and picking up things to make presents with. It was so pretty out today. We've gotten our first bit of snow and it was sunny for the most part. I think my face is wind burnt now, though.

On my way around, I dropped off the mittens I knit for Kristin. Perfect timing, since it's so chilly! She and the staff at Magic Pony / Narwhal Art Projects were busy getting ready for their show at Narwhal tomorrow night. I mentioned it in a previous post, but here's a link to the event : Little Crowns, Holiday Group Exhibition.

Also above are some of the shortbread I've been baking. Over the years I've accumulated lots of sweetly-shaped cookie cutters, both from friends and from Polka Dot Kids; one of my favorite shops in the city. These acorns are one of my favorites!

Time to go warm up with a bowl of leftover homemade chili! Mmm...

December 8th 2009

I just found out that my good friend, Carly Waito, is featured today on Design Sponge! Yay Carly! I'm so glad to see that her work is getting out there for everyone to see. Her oil paintings are gorgeous, and will be featured in Narwhal Art Project's holiday exhibition, Little Crowns. The exhibition opens this Friday, December 11th here in Toronto and runs until January 5th. I can't wait to see these paintings in person.

Congratulations again, Carly!

December 6th 2009

We decorated our tree yesterday! After picking it up, I wanted to get decorating it straight away, but Chris had to work that night. So instead I dragged Chris out to the living room first thing yesterday morning, unpacked the ornaments and we got to work. It looks so pretty, and smells so fresh and lovely. I love having a tree in the house. I've been making ornaments, but we also had some pretty ones from Chris' family. (I especially love the one in the above photo! His grandma made that one when he was young).

I'm making presents today, so I can't post any photos! I've got so much on the go, but I can't say a word or I may give away surprises! After the holidays, I'll post about all of the things I've been working on.

I met up with Celine and Charlyn for brunch at Le Sélect Bistro yesterday morning. I hadn't been there in ages, and had almost forgotten how delicious it is there. I had a the best sweet pea and ham soup I've ever had. Charlyn brought the best cookies for us from the St. Lawrence Famer's Market. She said that there was a man there every week who baked and brought these cookies, and was always sold out first thing in the morning! I can see why... mmm. It was so nice to visit with those two! Hopefully we'll have another fun girl-brunch soon!

Time to get back to work on surprises!

December 4th 2009

Christmas came early this year!

I was running errands last night down Queen Street in Toronto and while walking past Urban Outfitters, noticed something truly wonderful; they have Polaroid film! I know I'm always posting "Polaroids" on my blog, but they're actually digital photos that I've reformatted using Poladroid, a program you can download from the internet. It makes a nice effect, but there's nothing like the real thing.

My Mom won a Polaroid camera in a contest when I was younger, and I marveled at it. I thought it was amazing how quickly the photos processed, and now that I'm older I love the nostalgic look of them. In 2008, Polaroid ceased production of instant film. I own my Mom's old camera now, and when I found out that the film wouldn't be available much longer, I began looking for some of the last of the film before it disappeared forever. I recently found out about something called the "Impossible Project", an organization that bought old Polaroid equipment and a factory in the Netherlands. As of the beginning of next year, they will reproduce instant film! I'm so excited!

The Impossible Project collaborated with Urban Outfitters to distribute the last packages of instant film, and that's how I got my hands on some.

In other festive news, Chris picked a tree up for us today! I'm so excited to decorate, but promised to wait until tomorrow because he has to work tonight. I can't wait! Maybe I'll take a Polaroid of the finished tree.


This has become one of my favorite Christmas movies over the last few years. I found out about "Mitten" (Варежка) while working at Magic Pony, and fell in love!

December 3rd 2009

I woke up to the pouring rain this morning. Where is our snow? We haven't had a flake yet! I'm starting to crave wearing my big wool jacket and clompy winter boots, but it's too warm!

I'm still getting into the holiday spirit by making lots of ornaments for our tree. We're picking one up tomorrow, but have to wait until Saturday to decorate because Chris will be at work tomorrow night.

Above is the Muji Christmas Catalog that nikki picked up for me in HK last week. It's amazing! It's really tiny, and bound so beautifully that it feels like a picture book rather than a catalog. I LOVE YOU MUJI! Now we just need one in Toronto...

I'm going to go make myself a hot chocolate and pretend that it's cold outside.

December 1st 2009

It's the first day of December! Yay!

I've been starting to get in to the Christmas spirit a little early this year, (which is surprising since it's been warm with not a sign of a snowflake to be seen). I started making presents as early as August. Ridiculous. But I wanted to make as many presents as I could this year. There's no harm in getting a bit of a head start on things, right?

Chris and I started doing reference image research for our Christmas card design a couple of nights ago and noticed a startling trend...

Loads of vintage Santa smoking ads! Funny, but a bit disturbing.

For the record, we didn't end up going with Chris' (amazing) idea to draw Santa as a vampire for our Christmas card this year... maybe next year? I'm sure everyone's all vampired-out.

Once they're all sent out, I'll post a picture of our card design. I don't want to spoil any surprises!