October 31st 2009


cake recipe care of Martha Stewart

We had our annual pumpkin carving party a couple of nights ago, and I wanted to make some fun treats, (as an excuse to bake, because I haven't been able to lately!). I used a recipe from Martha Stewart with cute marshmallow ghosts on top. It was so tasty!

The pumpkins turned out really well, too. The skull one was Cara and Rob's, the "Chris" one was Katherine's, (although she wanted to include a cigarette in his mouth? haha! He got a toothpick instead), and the "Naomi" one was by Anthony. I've never seen a pumpkin with bangs before! Cute!
The owl was mine, the cat was Naomi's, and the one with the giant mouth was Nikki's. Chris' didn't end up in this set of photos, but it was a clock! With clockwork! It was so cute. They've all been getting a lot of attention from the neighbourhood kids on the way to school.

I went to Stephen's show at Narwhal last night. It was pretty incredible. His paintings are really beautiful. He has an Artist Profile on NOW Magazine's weekly feature that's well worth a read.

Finally, Celine wrote a really sweet blog post on our day of jam making last weekend. Her photos are so soft and sweet! Dre looks so handsome! Thanks for a fun day, Celine!

October 28th 2009

Okay, so I may have gone a little overboard with the Hallowe'en decorations this year, but we're planning on handing out candy on Saturday night, and I want the house to look spoooOOOOoooky!

I've got a treat baking in the oven for our pumpkin carving party tonight. I'll post photos of it later. Thank you for the recipe, Martha Stewart.

Are you planning on dressing up for Hallowe'en this year? If so, what are you going as? (I have a feeling a lot of people are going out as "Max" from Where the Wild Things Are...)

{ Thanks to kitjule1010 for this sweet costume idea! }

October 26th 2009

I recently did a job for MORE Magazine and saw a copy while waiting in line at the grocery store today. I'm really happy with how it turned out!

I should apologize for my neglect of this poor, dear blog lately. I'm entering a very busy time, and won't be posting as much in the next couple of weeks. I'll try my best to keep up with it!

October 23rd 2009

Happy Friday!

Chris and I have been working on getting the materials together to start framing my work for the book launch, and the real construction will start this weekend. We'll have to make so many! And there's so much prep work to be done. I'm looking forward to the way everything will look together. It wasn't until my meeting with Kristin the other day that I saw what all of the work looked like spread out, and I'm really happy with how cohesive it was. I can't wait!

Tomorrow, Celine and I are going to make a batch of delicious jam. I'm sure there will be pictures to post up later. I love the above illustration. I found it on an American canning website, but I'm not sure who the illustrator is. I love the look of mason jars! Another of my favorite mason jar illustrations is by Roisin Fagan for Repeat Studio, a local textile design company. I recently saw some of their linen towels at a workroom Trunk Show, and they really stood out to me.

On a bit of a holiday theme, and because I've been listening to this album so much, here is a video from the show the other night. The show was quite ghoulish, and perfect for the week leading up to Hallowe'en!

October 21st 2009 (the second)

I nearly forgot. Last night was the Dead Man's Bones show, and it was so much fun! There was a talent show at the beginning, including animal tricks and illusions, and the MC was a ghost in a cowboy hat.

The children's choir was from a local school, (although I kept missing which one), and they were adorable! They were dressed as ghosts with skeleton faces and black hearts pinned to their chests.

October 21st 2009

The publisher that produced Le Géranium, Bourgeon, has a new website online. Bourgeon is the children's branch of Montréal's Marchand de Feuilles.

I also wanted to congratulate Stephen Appleby-Barr on the article written on him in this month's Elle Canada! He has a show going up next week at Narwhal Art Projects, and the work is gorgeous. The opening reception is between 7 and 1-pm on Thursday, October 29th. Hope to see you there!

October 20th 2009

Good morning!

A couple of days ago I mentioned that I may have some exciting news to share, so here it is:

On Saturday November 7th Magic Pony will be holding a book launch for the children's book, Le Géranium, that I did illustrations for. The book will be released by the publisher on October 22nd, (in two days!), but I won't have copies of the book available until the Magic Pony opening. It will be an afternoon event so that everyone, children included, can make it out. There will be copies of the book available, as well as the original framed illustrations. (I'll wait until after the show goes up to post all of the images from the book on my portfolio website, so my apologies to those I told would be able to see them on the 22nd).

I hope everyone can make it out for a fun afternoon at Magic Pony. There may be treats, and I'd love to see you all. If you'd like any more info about the event, I'll be sending out an email to everyone on my mailing list in a few days. If you'd like to be added to the list, please send me an email.

I'll also be giving away one copy of the book on November 8th, so please leave me a comment if you'd like one, and I'll pick someone at random on the 8th.

October 17th 2009

I'm a huge fan of Nani Iro fabrics, and I just found out that they have a new line out right now, called "Antique Label Debut". The one pictured below is called "Hana Kago". The fabrics are soooo pretty. I especially love these tiled poppy prints, (which Chris likened to linoleum, but I still love them!). The colours are really lovely. I got these particular photos from Miss Matatabi's flickr photostream. She always has the best fabrics in her Etsy shop.

For those of you that will be in the city tomorrow, the workroom is having one of their Trunk Shows, and this one is dedicated to vintage clothing, supplies and notions! Fun! It's called the Pure Rummage Trunk Show. I can't wait to see what people bring!

October 16th 2009

Today is the release of "Where the Wild Things Are", and I'm so excited! Above is a sweet illustration that Josh Maurer did for a WTWTA Drawing Contest.

This was my perfect fall breakfast this morning; a carrot spice muffin that I made yesterday from this recipe on Poppytalk, and a homemade "Ovalatte", a latte made from espresso and Ovaltine! (It's my favorite drink from Ella's Uncle on Dundas Street).

I have a busy and exciting day ahead of me. I've got news, but until things are organized, I'll hold off on sharing it. Maybe tomorrow? Maybe Monday? Next week, and the next little while, is going to be quite exciting!

October 15th 2009

Tonight is the opening reception for the new issue of Curvy, an art book dedicated to showcasing international female artists. The opening takes place at Magic Pony between 7 - 10pm, and features work by international artists Junko Mizuno, Tara McPherson, and Sarah McNeil, as well as local artists Adrienne Kammerer, Ginette Lapalme, Jamiyla Lowe, Megan McKenzie, Selena Wong, Sonja Ahlers, Ruth Wang and myself.

"International favourite amongst lovers of art and supporters of female artists, CURVY is heading to Canada for the first time in its six year history. Originally based in Australia and first published in 2004, CURVY is dedicated to exhibiting the finest international female artists. CURVY showcases a broad range of design fields with everything from illustration and animation to graffiti and photography. Releasing one issue annually, this year marks the sixth edition of CURVY, with 120 artists from 39 different countries.

In addition to launching the publication in Canada, the Toronto event begins the official call for submissions for the 2010 CURVY book."

I hope you can make it!

October 14th 2009

Our friend Nina recently had her first baby, (a sweet baby girl!). Tonight is Nina's birthday dinner, and I wanted to make her something special, so I made a fabric bucket. (I learned how to make them a while back during a class at the workroom). I made it out of natural linen and a Laura Ashley baby fabric that I've been saving for a fun project for a while now. I also decided to add some handles to it, and they turned out kinda cute! Hopefully she can use it for baby toys or to hold diapers on the changing table. Happy Birthday Nina!

PS - Anabela, I'll post my "time warp wishlist" tomorrow!

October 9th 2009

I was playing around with ink and watercolour this morning and realized that it had been a few days since I posted my last "What I Wore Today" painting.

Today I wanted to try something new, so I painted the background colour with watercolour, then went over everything with ink and a quill pen. (I don't think I've used a quill since I was a student, so that was a challenge).

I'm working on a new painting that I'm excited about. I'll post a link to my portfolio when I'm finished it. That may be after the Thanksgiving weekend, because we'll be out of town. I'm looking forward to meeting more of Chris' family, and having dinner at a vineyard. I won't be going home for a Thanksgiving dinner, which is sad, but we'll be going to Chris' Dad's dinner, which is always delicious!


October 8th 2009 (afternoon)

If you're not signed up for it already, please send me an email to join my mailing list :

melinda { at } melindajosie.com

There are a couple of events coming up, and if you'd like to be notified, I'll be sending out an email to those on the list shortly.

October 8th 2009

I had a discussion this morning with Carly about fall knitting projects. I've been working on some early Christmas presents, and a pair of mittens for myself. I stopped in to Purl Soho while I was in New York and got the softest wool to make them. I can't wait to wear my new mittens. It's nearly that season!

October 7th 2009

This is a photo I took the other night after a big storm we had. I had run outside to see a rainbow at the end of our street, (which I ended up missing!), but the sky was such a beautiful colour.

Chris and I made a nice big batch of orange marmalade yesterday. I wanted to make something nice to bring to Chris' Dad for his birthday this weekend. He loves orange marmalade, (I think it's the Scottish in him), so I thought I'd try my hand at it. It was so much fun! And I tried some on cinnamon raisin toast this morning, and it's delicious! It looks like orange jewels in a jar. Yum yum. I think I'd like to make some spiced orange marmalade for Christmas presents.

Our neighbour also brought over a book of jam, marmalade and chutney recipes, so I'm sure that'll keep me busy!

I've started working on an ink drawing that I'm planning on silkscreening. I haven't worked with india ink in a long time, until I worked on a job that required vector work recently. I forgot how much fun it could be! I'll post it when I'm finished, (which might be a while, because it's full of detail).

October 6th 2009

For a long while, Tove Jansson has been one of my favorite children's authors/illustrators. I may have read one or two of her books when I was younger, and I'm sure I saw a Moomin movie as well. But it wasn't until I started working at Magic Pony that I really became interested in the children's books.

One of my favorites so far is Moominland Midwinter. Some of Jansson's later Moomin books were a little more mature and (a bit dark?).

Above are a couple of illustrations from the book I just borrowed from the library, Moominvalley in November.

Chris was flipping through the illustrations in this book and noticed that in the earlier books, the Mymble looks an awful lot like me bundled up for a rainy day. She developed a large nose and crazy eyes, (and sometimes even small horns?), in the later books though. Odd...

October 5th 2009

I've been tossing some ideas around lately for some fun projects that I could make and sell on both my website and the Etsy site I opened a while back. I had thought of doing a 2010 calendar, (although I believe I've left it a little late, and the blogs are overwhelmed with handmade 2010 calendars already). Any opinions? Maybe wait until next year and start working on it in July?

Last winter I made some housewares to sell at the Trunk Show at the workroom, and I'd like to make some again using some of the new fabric designs I've made in the last while. I have better patterns now, and better (heat-resistant) batting to use for pot holders and oven mitts. I'm excited to try out some new things!

I also have a couple of ideas that I'm going to further develop, and if they turn out, I'll be sure to post all about them.

October 3rd 2009

Recently, Nikki sent me a link to what turned out to be my new favorite shoe company's website. They're called KOOS, and originate from the Netherlands. (Above you'll find THE best looking boot I've ever seen).

Apparently the flagship store was opened in the Netherlands, then another shop opened up in Japan. The flagship store has since closed down, so as far as I know Japan is the only place you can find these shoes... figures...

I'm usually a bit picky about my footwear, and have the hardest time trying to find winter boots that I really like. Maybe I could take a trip to Japan soon? Or figure out how to order them off of rakuten.co.jp? (Ouch! I just checked the conversion, and they're all around $400 CAD! Yikes).


I think learning to work with leather might be a more frugal idea...

October 1st 2009

I recently inherited some things from my Grandma. She loved to sew and knit, and had the most amazing collection of vintage notions. Here are some of my favorite things.

Dog Jacket Patterns

Her personal tape measure, with name label

The oldest CLOVER tracing tool I've ever seen

London Life Insurance Co. thimble, aluminum?