linky love

hullo friday!

it's gonna be tight today, so i'm going to have to love you then leave you (with some links to random things that i think are utterly fantastic).

01) these are delicious and fantastic to use in every recipe worth cooking.

02) love the candles in this birthday cake - they remind me somehow of the maypole. or maybe just springtime. or maybe just... springtime colours. remember those? and sunshine? and outdoor barbecues? (and don't you want to stick your finger right in the icing?!)

03) these posters-slash-cards from the ever-talented kal barteski

04) super-cute valentiney love here (even though i'm one of those scrooges who disagrees with the entire commercialized shebang and would rather spend my valentines as an unvalentines day and go out and do the romance thing another night. or nights. hell - or days. whenever i want. just to stick it to the man.)

05) speaking of scroogey anti-valentines tendencies, have a look at one of mike's new ACEO line.

bonne fin de semaine!


an ode to domino magazine (may it rest in peace)

dear domino magazine,

i'm so sorry to hear the sad news of your passing.

i must admit, that i read you only half-heartedly for a while because i had other (more "me") magazines in my life, but once blueprint folded, you became one of my nearest and dearest. you managed to keep my attention when the love affair with real simple had cooled, which is something that even i once considered to be an impossible feat.

domino, even though martha's got some pretty sweet ideas about organization and decoration, lets face it - she just doesn't have that interesting personality that you do. yes, i admit that i subscribe to her and not to you but i didn't mean it - promise.

it's a real shame. wish just doesnt do it for me. i'm not looking for a magazine to tell me how to lose 10 pounds while making my lips look fuller while wearing this season's perfect dress and making the perfect hor d'oeuvres for my oh-so-stylish dinner party (and oh, did you notice my chic new ottoman? you didn't? it's probably because your attention was drawn away by the newly reinvented me. reinvention is the new black in 2009. didn't you know?)

all melodrama aside, i'm not sure when i'm going to be able to find another decor magazine that isn't too industry-weird and makes me feel like an outsider wearing jeans and flip flops at a cosmic space-age fashion show. (i hate that.) really, pre-fab and modular homes may look cool, but who can afford them?

dammit, why do all the good ones have to go?


oh so quiet

you know that giant stillness you feel when you're standing in the middle of a nighttime snowfall?

the snowflakes sparkle as they reflect the moon; the only sound you hear is the snow crunching underfoot.

i love that feeling.

wishing you that kind of peace today.

image via jennipenni


busy like a bee

super busy day lined up for today. have an article to write, a program to run, students are coming back to class next week after a 12-week long strike at the university (so glad to have them back!), and a birthday present for my dad to arrange. it's gonna be a day of making lists, reading lists, and crossing things off lists. and coffee. lots of it.

i'd would love to have it in this not a paper cup cup. i'm sure it'd be delicious, particularly coming out of such a chic reusable container.

what does your day have in store for you?


what a difference the sun makes

quelle gorgeous (and quick!) weekend. because my mom and i went down to niagara falls on friday, it feels like i managed to sneak an extra day into my schedule which was super helpful for relaxation and getting a chance to hang out with my cousin, his wife and daughter (who's a very grown up six year old; it's been a while since i've seen her!)

we managed to cram a cross-border shopping trip into the weekend (gaaaahd when will target ever make the jump up to canada?!), where i managed to score quite a few fantastic deals, including a piece of deep red resin coral (which i've been looking for forever), a sweet new hat and belt, and a t-shirt for the gym. noice.

after staying up til 2:30am catching up on girl talk, we got up early to head to hannah's early-morning soccer game. (six year olds playing soccer is quite possibly the cutest thing ever.) we headed home saturday (above pics were taken on the back roads while i was leisurely driving back to mike's house), and my good friend kelly came over that night for dinner, wine and a movie that we never quite made it to.

sunday was a relaxing day because it was a do-whatever-you-want-spontaneously sort of day, which for mike and i translated into a driving adventure up to brantford, and then working our way back south again armed with tim hortons and a camera. after we got back into the city, had dinner out with my mom, followed by (yet another) good cup of coffee and nanaimo bars around the kitchen table for more good chats.

what a great weekend. what did you do?


sweet pea

here's a little something from my newest piece, sweet pea. will post a whole shot of it once i've got it coloured & finished. apologies for the weird lighting; i took this picture at inside, at night with a (very bright) tungsten bulb.. (yeah, yeah, i know, cardinal sins of proper lighting!). i tried to photoshop it back to normalcy but this was as close as i could get.

i'll just go ahead and assume that it's just as a result of me seeing life through rose-coloured glasses. right?

have a fantastic weekend everyone; i'm heading back down to niagara (which, coincidentally, happens to be ontario's wine region...i swear that wasn't intentional in any way, shape or form..) to see a show with my mom and have some girls time with my cousin's wife and daughter. what are your plans?


sky lanterns + icewine, demystified

i think i might have fallen in love with the notion of sky lanterns. i have a thing for anything lantern-y. patio lanterns included. you know, the papery vintage style ones that are little tiki huts or the plastic colourful lantern replicas on a string? awesome.

summertime imagery aside - these ones remind me of innocence, in a way. of hopes and dreams and the way that people set them off into the world, infused with childlike wonderment, with that same firefly magic.

so. pretty.

yesterday, i'd mentioned a little bit of canadian heritage in a bottle that we like to call icewine. it appears that a lot of you haven't had the pleasure of being introduced, so let me explain a bit.

while i have to be honest and say that we can't be credited for the creation of the icewine technique per se (we've got the germans to thank for that), we certainly have made steps towards perfecting it.

in short: it's made in january/february when the temperature drops quickly + drastically as only canadian winters can do. the harvesters go out when it's something ridiculous like -17C out (1.4F) in the dead of the night, to ensure that the sun doesn't come up and thaw the grapes out (even just a little bit can affect the wine).

so the grapes are frozen on the vine, which ensures that (thanks to a chemical reaction too complicated to explain here) their sugars become fantastically sweet. they're then harvested and made into ice wine (with a few fancy steps in between, i'm sure), which you can enjoy as a dessert wine. i'd highly recommend you giving it a try if you ever have the opportunity.

: this weekend is the 14th annual niagara icewine festival. if anyone happens to live anywhere near niagara, check it out. it's good times.

turns out that canada's not just hockey, mounties and moose. (meese? meeses?)

photo courtesy of dans


wunderbug, obama-fied. (inaugurally)

ok, so i felt a little bit left out yesterday what with all of the inauguration posts and all. so now - i'm going to play a little catch up.

things i didn't do:
i didnt make cupcakes, nor did i stand on the couch and cheer (my coworkers would have thought me loopy). i haven't made myself an obamicon (yet), or draw an in-the-works inaugural masterpiece. no siree, bob.

things i did do:
we got to set up our huge tv in our meeting room to stream the inauguration on CNN; my boss ordered the department pizza. we sat and munched happily while watching the new president get sworn in, and then all 25 of us listened in silent admiration at his inaugural speech. (loved it. he should give his speechwriter a quiche.)

i've got to admit; we up here in canada have caught obama fever.. i think the heat waves from the new high of patriotism is kind of infectious. we're kind of jealous, up here. it's true. us canadians are big on our canadian winters, maple syrup and ice wine (oo! the ice wine!) but americans have taken it to a whole new level of awesome.

congrats on a momentous new era. xo


it's a whirlwind kind of day

how stinkin awesome is this print from wordsarepictures?! i'm so completely in love with it. hello, bright colours. they remind me of the summer. they remind me of the spring. they remind me of everything that is the polar opposite of this cold + grey winter day.

i'm on a spring kick. it's only january but i'm more than ready to do my part and speed up it's arrival. speaking of which, i'm loving this post over at modish; it makes me dream of that spring smell. you know - when it smells kind of like mud and melting and crocuses pushing through the soil. i'm stalking martha stewart to see what goodness she has up her sleeve. i'm tempted to plant myself a bunch of tomato seeds and a herb garden a few months early and cross my fingers.. maybe the groundhog will miss his shadow (and my lil indoor garden) and make spring come sooner?

other pretty
non-spring-related things - i came across an awesome blog - i love typography. i excitedly shared it with my designer friend who apparently already knew about it... so i guess i'm out of the loop. regardless - cool site. a few big shows coming up in the next two months... the interior design show is something that i've never been to.. but it's caught my eye and will give me something to look forward to in the next few weeks.. and then there's canada blooms. ahhh. nothing says spring (rather, late winter..) as canada blooms. i wouldn't dare miss it for the world.

ok, so that one was somewhat spring related.}

finally, this honey-mustard cowl by daylite and dark... augh dear GOD
i need it. i'm still not over my mustarad yellow phase. am beginning to question whether it's a phase indeed, or a way of life.

.. you think i can start a cult of mustard yellow followers?

(ps - happy inauguration day, to all you americans out there! hooray for change!)


remember green?

it's so cold out this week; it makes me miss the lushness of spring and summer. this weekend was spent holed up inside, keeping warm and staying productive; this upcoming week promises to be shaping up into a pretty busy one - i've got my fingers crossed to somehow find the energy.

it'll be great.

most of my weekend was spent dorking out with mike, watching the terminator tv show. although i was a doubter beforehand, i'm kind of addicted to it. (brutal!)

how was your weekend?


i've got my love to keep me warm

instead of griping about the bitter, bitter cold today, i've decided to search flickr for photos of toronto, cause i love this city. (even when it's giving me frostbite!)

enjoy. keep warm. happy thursday.

1. Autumn Ride !, 2. rock soup, 3. flare, 4. exsiccate, 5. The Secret Red Door, 6. Pickering Nuclear - HDR, 7. Arch, 8. guild inn - wall, 9. McCowan Road Pedestrian Overpass, Thursday December 11, 2008, Scarborough Ontario Canada - 003, 10. nuit blanche toronto ROM2, 11. Snow falling in Toronto, 12. Toronto Urban Summer scene, 13. Scarboruogh Bluffs Toronto 2, 14. The Goof, 15. The Fireball, 16. Victorian row houses, Toronto


i could do this all day.

holy crap, it's minus thirty degrees outside!

the day's gonna fly by, so i should hop to it. yesterday: successfully found a new pair of awesome work pants (uhm, woot?) and got my little houses painting listed on etsy (double woot!)

if you haven't had a chance to check out my article over at Profiles yet, please please please do so!

in the works for today: tying up a few loose ends for this week's work events, fondly remembering summertime, and just all-round getting through hump (teehee) day.


read me!

Profiles has featured an article that i'd recently submitted! (three cheers!)

so, my first day back at work after three weeks off wasn't as bad as i'd expected it to be. actually, it went pretty smoothly (touch wood), which i'm pretty ok with. this week's shaping up to be a busy one, with a mid-week event and then a conference to run on friday, and then a new program starting the following tuesday... but i'm excited that things are getting a move-on and life has become a little more dynamic once again.

can i get an amen in the house?

today: scanning my newest painting and putting the finishing touches on my sculpture. suh-weet. i'll post it up tomorrow. (drumroll please?)


featured artist: Deirdre Butler-Derby

introducing the first featured artist on wunderbug for 2009 - deirdre butler-derby of costello's.

one of my favourite things about her photos is the muted colours and the sense of serenity. all of the photos featured in this interview are currently for sale in her shop; clicking on the image will bring you back to the etsy listing.

enjoy, and happy monday!
what fun things did you get up to this weekend?

Name: Deirdre Butler-Derby
Location: Minneapolis, MN

01. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec by Irish parents who couldn't speak French but had the foresight (or was it the governments' insistence) to send all 5 of us to French school -needless to say, I was a tortured bloke. I moved to Minnesota with my son who is now 17 in 2003 after marrying the man I truly (and literally), nearly fell down for.

02. What first made you want to become an artist?
I've always been an artist in some form or another whether it was drawing, writing, sewing... I really used to think that it was all just girls stuff but began to notice that a good number of my friends were just not that into it. It's all but second nature I think.

03. Tell us a bit about how you first discovered photography.
When I was 10, I received a old Brownie Camera for Christmas and that was it. I was hooked. Trouble was, my allowance of a whole 25 cents per week wasn't enough to buy and develop film or pay for the flash bulbs. Desperate times called for desperate measures and so I got a job delivering a weekly suburban newspaper which lasted a couple of years. I had to quit it when I went into deficit on what I owed the paper each month from my collection and tips. It was not a pretty day. By high school there was the darkroom and creative teachers and photography competitions, yearbook photography committee and class excursions. Life was good again until.... film and developing became a huge expense again and I had to put my Nikon FE 2 down until I could find a half decent job. Within a few years I was back into the scene with my new Nikon F60 and now, in this digital age, a D50.

04. Where do you draw your inspiration & motivation from?
I am a self-professed Photoshop junkie and love to create dreamlike images using textures and layers and when that happens, it's spontaneous. Nothing is thought out at all --the image just begins to take shape effortlessly. Every so often however, I will take a photograph that I just can't do a thing with because it is in my eyes quite simply and purely, beautiful.

05. Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Unable to sustain a viable living through photography sales, I work full time for a large Photography company as an admin. While it's a corporate environment, there are so many incredibly creative and talented people around me every day. I could do with less paperwork and scheduling but, it could be worse.

Another hobby / talent is cooking and I do mean from scratch! If there's a crowd, all the better but 3 does me fine. When I moved here I opened up a brick and mortar shop called Oregano believing that everyone loved the finer foods in life but, I was quite sadly mistaken. I have however taken those mistakes and tweaked them just enough to think about opening up another Etsy Shop which is called Kitchen Stories and offers (almost) ready to eat or bake delights.

06. What's your favourite item in your shop?

Into the Sun is by far my most favourite.
{All of the images that accompany this interview are a few of her other personal favourites}.

07. Can you name a few undiscovered artists that you'd recommend to the world?
Bomobob, Hew Design, Uncommondepth, BrookeBart, ELBFoto, and Keynoter.

08. What's something unique/interesting about you that you've always wanted to mention in an interview but never found a way to work it in?
I will always and forever be an artist and entrepreneur at heart. I may get discouraged along the way but I am quick to recover.

09. What's the best advice you have ever received?
Your thoughts and feelings create your life; it will always be that way.



world, meet roots. roots, meet world.

it's not the best scanning job in the world but it's the best that i could do until i re-install photoshop on my new laptop tomorrow. when i get a chance, i'm going to re-scan and then i'll do a close-up of the words so that you don't have to click on the image to see the superhuman-sized image. i also finished my little houses last night, in watercolour, which is a different look and feel from roots but pretty sweet nonetheless (if i do say so myself).

this weekend is gonna be super productive; i can feel it already! it holds tons of possibility. i'm hoping to get rolling with some of my polymer clay sculpture ... i dont even know if what i'm hoping to do is possible yet. it could be either a giant eureka! moment or a giant flop. i've a few more paintings that have been brewing that i wanna get working on, and on top of that, i'd like to go on another adventure with mike (he's unaware of this development so far, so we'll see if he reads todays post and finds out?)

good times. after that, it's back to work for me on monday. it's been nice not having to pay attention to the date or time, and to be able to paint into the wee hours of the night just because i feel like it. i'll miss that.

what are your weekend plans?


bright and beautiful

yeah, this is my workspace.

(ha! yeah right.)

i love the high ceilings and that humungo inspiration wall. definitely something to strive for. so gorgeous. so great. mm.

such a bright and beautiful day today - one of those days that you can almost see the cold reflected in the sunset, where the sky is ablaze with blues, pinks and purples. mmm. time to go do some more painting. stay tuned - i've got an unveiling tomorrow!

image from domino


calloo, callay, no work today

ok everyone, i've been featured on Profiles, a zine for toronto area designers!

you can check me out here. (woot - thanks cassandra!) you'll notice, also, a sweet little image on the right hand side of my blog - for your convenience. even though the zine features primarily stuff & people in the toronto area, it's an awesome site to visit to find other talented designers & artists no matter where you live... so use the link to redirect you to the zine anytime you're interested in seeing what cool stuff is goin on over there!

today, i'm working on yet another piece that i'm pretty stoked about. i've got still more ideas that i've been jotting down as they come to me, which i love. i haven't felt this inspired in a while, so it's pretty great that 2009 is being kind to me so far. i'm off til next monday, and plan to batten down the hatches and be a one-girl production factory until then. just you wait, thursday. i'm gonna get cha.

another awesome thing that i'd almost forgotten about is etsy's tag fractal search function. i know that it was just in test mode when etsy presented it before, but i lovelove it. it's been one of the most helpful search functions that they've unveiled thus far... and the only one i use aside from categories search. (um, search by colour? time machine? no thanks, they're pretty and all, but i never find anything from there!) tag fractal is definitely where it's at. the pictures i've posted today are all finds from my most recent fractal search, just clicking randomly on tags i wouldn't usually think to enter. click on the image to redirect you to the shop.

love. it.


put cha hands togetha

hello you big beautiful world! i'd like to introduce you to a little preview of what i've been working on - this is the pencilcrayoned (?) version of it; the finished product will be in watercolour.

after this, there's another sketch that i've got plans for and two additional ones following up the rear. finally, i've got a sweet new idea to use my polymer clay for sculpture... i've kind of fallen away from jewelry making for the last little while - while i enjoy it, i haven't had much time to dedicate to it and not much space for all of my supplies. not to mention, i find it very difficult to produce when you're feeling uninspired - particularly since the jewelry market is so incredibly saturated as-is.

i'm thinking that my shop will most likely see a bit less jewelry and a wider variety of things; the jewelry-making for etsy, i think, will go on the back burner.

yesterday was spent drawing a little bit, watching canada kick sweden's ass at the world junior hockey game (go canada!), and then drawing a little bit more. sweet, sweet day.

all in all, a pretty sweet start for '09. how about you?


not-so-mellow monday

hello monday!

yep, monday. first full workweek of 2009. i'm still off, but i finally got rolling last night on a new piece that i've had in the works for a few weeks now.. after a few errands to run today, i'll get it coloured and get it up on etsy.

a few other things that i've had in the works: a few weeks ago, i was contacted by the editor of a handmade design zine called Profiles - since then, i've submitted an artist profile and an article for the zine, which will hopefully go live soon... so stay tuned (and be sure to have a look around the site, too!)


first official of 2009

ok, ok, ok. i thought i should make an official welcome for 2009 to wunderbug.

i promise i'll be settling into a more regular posting schedule in the next few days - this relaxing and vacation stuff really gets to a girl. yesterday was mike's birthday (happy happy to mister mike) but aside from that, the break's not quite been filled with as much productivity as i'd intended. but hey - that's life. at least i'm relaxed, which means that ideas are flowing like nobody's business.

(if you're good, i'll share a few peeks though, in a few days. stay tuned!)

in the meanwhile, though, check out this cowel & beret from softspoken - not only are they awesome colours, but they're sure to keep you toasty (and trendy) until spring.

(which i'm ready for too, by the way.)


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