Thursday, July 31, 2008

rainy day

It is an ugly grey and wet day today. It feels like October and we are hiding indoors. Here are a few photographs that I've taken around the house today, while Addie sleeps.

dish wall by you.

I put up these Ikea wall shelves in our kitchen and use them to store our dishes and plates. I have a thing for white dishes and always keep a look out for them on sale. I just realised that none of these things on the shelves match, but I got them all at a discount! The plates were less than $2 each, and the ceramic mugs for .49 cents each. 

These shelves help our a lot with our kitchen, which is large by Vancouver standards (You can eat in it!!!) but still pretty small storage-wise. Our kitchen - like our entire house when we bought it - was a horrible builder's beige (70's pantyhose beige) so I painted it a warm white (Grand Teton by Benjamin Moore) to brighten it up. It looks amazingly better and much more bright and refreshing. I also added a pantry, ceiling dish rack, wall coat hooks, and a bulletin board area to help keep everything sorted out. I will take some more photos one day when everything else is clean and organised!

yellow + orange by you.

I've been making a quilt in yellow and orange and grey and turquoise. I've been attracted to triangle quilts for some time now so finally decide to make one myself. I found some great little purl bee right angle triangle tutorial to help out. My triangles are made from 4" squares, and I plan on putting a (2" or so?) muslin border between each square rather then sewing them together directly side by side. I adore quilts with a lot white space. (Perhaps, a Robertson Family Quilt is next? I love it!)

found paper treasures by you.

And, here are some paper treasures that I found on our recent trip to Port Townsend. Vintage Journals and ledgers and glassine sheets and other lovelies. Of course I couldn't resist and bring these home with me. Perhaps they will end up in someone's pocket book someday. I especially love the vintage "mother" wrapping paper, this one I will keep always for me...

... p.s. this is what happens when I try to blog and do not give my child direct attention for just a few minutes. And the reason why I don't have more photos of my kitchen storage solutions to show you at the moment!!!

while distracted by you.


Lately Adelaide and I have been going out and picking lots of huckleberries. The huckleberries here in the Pacific Northwest are red in colour, and are like a cross between blueberries and cranberries. Sometimes they are kind of tart but I really like them and oh are they good in muffins and pancakes. They are small so it takes a while to get a bucketful, but I am hoping to gather enough up to make some nice jellies. I am just looking for a good recipe that uses fruit juice or honey instead of a lot of sugar as a sweetener.

huckleberries by you.

For every two or three berries I plunk into our bucket, Addie gobbles up one, too. I have to pick fast to keep up with her! She likes it best when I pull down a big branch of berries, so that she can pick, too.

berry eating by you.

We have also been taking some of our pickings down to the marshes to feed our Mallard friends. They love huckleberries too! The more often that we visit them there in the reeds, the more and more other little birds show themselves to us, too. I am enchanted by the beautiful Cedar Waxwings, they have quickly become my most favourite bird of all. They are so curious and friendly, they fly right up all around us, and perch real close to check us out... it seems that they may soon come right up to sit on my hand. Cedar Waxwings adore fruit, so perhaps they are hoping that we will share our huckleberries with them, too!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

a summer trip

We've arrived home from our little summer road trip and camping just in time to beat the rain! We travelled all around the Washington Peninsula, stopping at Old Fort Townsend to camp, hike, pick red huckleberries and make the most delicious huckleberry pancakes! We flew kites at Fort Worden, sniffed organic lavender near Sequim, ate great food, found some paper treasures, and visited the sweetest Port Townsend farmers market, too. 

spin by you.

goofy dance lessons by you.

On the way home Adelaide awoke for an unexpected stop at Fairhaven  - a historic part of Bellingham - which turned out to be one of the loveliest parts of our journey! We were just in time for dancing on the green, and Addie was thrilled to take part in some salsa lessons. Although I think she thought we did look rather peculiar...

in the grass by you.

looking by you.

Port Townsend and Fairhaven make my heart ache a little for beautiful and cozy small historic towns which somehow seem to lack where we are from. (Unless I am missing something???) Maybe one day we will find a place like this to call our home.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

sunset stroll

The other evening we went for a walk down at Burnaby Mountain park, near our house. It is really such a pretty spot, especially at sunset time. I love the higher up parts of the park where it meets the University, and there are fields of wildflowers, wonderful climbing trees, and sweet berry patches of all varieties. This place is a very favourite to spend the afternoon together with my littlest one.

And, at sunset time, the city of Vancouver twinkling off in the distance... Stanley Park, Burrard inlet, Bowen Island, and the North Shore too. It is time to head for home to be met by the kitties - and a warm bath together, bedtime stories, and cuddling to sleep.

And, we are off on a road trip and camping along the Washington Coast. See you again soon!


A sincere thank-you to the nice people of Tokion Magazine, for featuring my Journey Books in their most recent V.4 (summer) issue. My latest run of these books has already sold out, but I am putting together another edition of 50 now. If you are interested in ordering one, please send me an email and I will add you to my list, as these books usually sell out before I have a chance to add them to my online store. Thanks, Tokion!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

a farm day

Recently, we all visited Maplewood Farm in North Vancouver. I had never heard of the place before reading about it a little while ago on Ella's Little Red Caboose, and I've wanted to take Adelaide there ever since! However, I haven't had a chance to as I don't drive and its a little out of the way for us, transit-wise. Then one day Charles had the afternoon off from work, and so we all went!

What a lovely spot! All of us had such a sweet visit, we met tiny baby goats and a 10 day old baby calf (we voted to name her Marmalade). We trailed after groups of baby ducklings, patted rabbits, we checked out the goats being milked, and we waved up at the huge Belgium Draft Horses too.

But our favourite was visiting all of the sheep and goats - I never realised how lovely sheep and goats could be! I love the way they would come up to me and simply lean on me - so cozy. Addie patted each one of them very purposefully, and when we finally left their pen, they all started moaning and bleating away at us, like: "hey where you going! come on back to us!"

On our drive to the farm, we also made a stop to pick up some drinks and to prolong Addie's sleep in the car. I spotted a little quilting shop to check out though I wasn't expecting much. I usually find quilting shops always carry the same things - mainly fabrics that would appeal (I am making a huge assumption here) to an older market. However, I was nicely surprised at the selection of fabric this little shop had, and picked up a nice little stack as a treat for myself. So if you're ever passing by, Creative Edge Quilting & Sewing on Old Dollarton Road in North Vancouver may be worth a peek!

Oh how I love fabrics, they make me happy! I don't have a lot of spare time these days to sew, but recently I have finally set up a permanent sewing area at home by deconstructing a closet. Sometimes when I get a moment, I dash in there and sew a seam or two. I will take a photograph of my sewing area one of these days and show you what I've been up to in there...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

a wedding invitation

Our good friends Ivy + Ryan are going to be married this Sunday. I don't have a whole lot of my own income these days, so as a gift I offered to help them with their wedding invitation. 

Ivy and Ryan are such a very sweet couple who have a love of modern classic styling and furnishings, so I hoped to make an invitation for them that reflected these things. We also wanted the invitation to be simple and classic, and easy to produce on their own.

I designed the invitation completely in Adobe Illustrator (the typefaces are Didot and Century Gothic). Ivy and Ryan printed them out on ribbed card stock on their large epson printer. We then cut them using new sharp exacto blades, a straight edge and large cutting mat, scored them using a fiskars rotary cutter with a scoring blade, and rounded all the corners using my industrial strength corner rounder.

I also made up a matching ivy*ryan wedding logo and ordered online an embosser from custom stamp and engraving, who are totally amazing and I recommed highly! I emailed them a file, called them about it, and the very next afternoon had a perfect custom embosser in my mailbox. Love them. 

So ivy*ryan was embossed on the outside flap of the invitation envelopes. Everything ended up looking simple and nice, and the embosser is something that Ivy and Ryan can use beyond these invitations throughout their lives together.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

crayon love

I am pleased to note that Adelaide is a crayon maniac!

I keep some crayons stashed away up high in the pantry, and Addie has discovered this. She will groan and moan and yowl away, pointing up high at the pantry door. At first this behaviour would annoy me a little as I couldn't figure out what her problem was, but when I finally realised what she had spotted my annoyance turned to a little kind of happiness.

I often wonder what, if any, influence that having two artist parents will have on our daughter.... for both charlie's and my own parents are not artistic at all, and I don't believe that I have any friends who's parents are both creative types. I wonder, will this influence her a little, absolutely, or even at all?

Honestly, however, this is not important to me that Adelaide be an artist at all. My hope for my daughter is that she have a balanced life in which she does not hurt herself or others... and that she will find a one beautiful something that she absolutely loves to do and that she can make her place in this world doing. I have no idea what that something could be, but oh, how I wonder!!!