feature update + 3 tips to feelin rich


busy wednesday. i've been intermittently fleshing out my new ideas for my featured artist/blogger series, but don't feel like it's quite ready to post up yet. i'm aiming for tomorrow.

in the meanwhile, i wanted to share an article that my mom forwarded me from a money-saving website called cheapskate.
"It's no secret that Americans are in credit card debt up to their eyeballs. To what can we attribute this colossal "living beyond our means" phenomenon? I don't think it's because we've had too many emergencies, and that's why we all have credit cards, right? It's because we don't ever want to feel poor.

Let me define the term, "feeling poor." It's a sad, sorry feeling of inferiority. It's that feeling you get when faced with an invitation to join all of your rich co-workers for a chi-chi lunch, and you've got $8.43 to last until payday. It's that feeling you get when you see a commercial for the coolest car on earth and all you have is a 10-year old clunker.

When you feel poor, the worst thing you can do is spend money. Sure, that might make the feeling go away for a time. But as soon as you realize you've plunged yourself deeper into debt and made your situation worse, you'll feel even poorer. It's a vicious cycle that comes to no good end.

I have a better idea. Stop feeling poor in the first place. Here are three things you can do that will help change your attitude:

1. Commit to a clean car. No matter how old, how scratched or how ugly, if you keep your car sparkling clean inside and out, you won't feel poor. Remove every coffee cup, every paper and every item other than the emergency equipment in the trunk every time you leave the car. Wash it weekly. Make sure the windows are spotless, the tires scrubbed and the chrome shiny. You'll feel like a million bucks.

2. Curb the clutter. I don't care how clean your house may be. If you have clutter, it's pulling you down. Clear your closets, drawers, cupboards, garage and counters of everything that you do not need. Open space, tranquility and simplicity will chase away feelings of poverty. Clutter invites chaos which leads to depression and feelings of deprivation.

3. Tuck a C-note. A "C-note" is a $100 bill. I want you to get one, fold it neatly and tuck it into a secret place in your wallet. Just like that, you will no longer feel poor. That C-note will make you feel prosperous and you are not likely to spend it on a whim. In fact, you are not likely to spend it at all. Breaking a hundred dollar bill is a big deal. You wouldn't do that for a hamburger and fries, and you sure wouldn't do that to convince the co-workers that you can afford to eat sushi with them instead of the bagged lunch you brought to work. That would be ridiculous, right?

If you don't have $100 to spare, start with a twenty. Then, trade it for a fifty. Before you know it, you'll have Benjamin in your pocket, hidden away.

Feeling poor isn't a financial condition. It'ss a state of mind, and something you can change.
one last thing: i've discovered that the likelihood of me buying a lunch - chi-chi or otherwise - is positively correlated to the amount of time i spend debating whether or not i should eat the one i brought from home. eesh.

enough thinking. just heat up the damn thing and lets get this show on the road!

hasta la vista

goodbye, march!

i dont remember whether you came in like a lion, but you're sure headin' out like a lamb. it bright and sunny outside (so i hear; there are no windows in my office) and i'm going to have to take a walk during my lunch break.

befittingly of this beautiful pre-april day, i came across these super sweet lil plushies on trunkt and discovered that they're not only made by an etsy seller, but that they're made by etsyian zooguu, which is the newest endeavour of sweetestpea. (yes, the same sweetestpea who's name pops up when the treasuries in etsy are loading. ha! who'd have known?!)

so far, this week has been kind of nuts. fun, but nuts nonetheless.

in case you didn't notice, there are a few lil things different in my blog in the past few days - some layout changes that i'm trying out (just for visibility + useability and stuff) and also, the fact that i'm gonna try to post once on weekends now - likely, on saturdays. in the past, i've been a weekdays-only blogger but wanted to switch it up a lil bit with a few new ideas that i'm still working through in my head.

a while back, i'd asked what you'd like to see more of - many of you asked for more artist features. for this, i have two ideas that i'd like to try out. i know i've done interviews in the past - and will likely still be doing a few of them in my old style - but lately i haven't been feeling the whole traditional question/answer interview structure, and would like to try something different for a bit (just to see how it rolls).

whaddya say, are we ready to shake things up a bit?


saturday march two-eight

woke up around 10am. (damn - didn't wanna sleep that late! 8 or so would have suited me just fine...) showered + dressed. went for breakfast with mike; the timmies sammich deal always does the trick. i woulda had the breakfast deal, but it was fifteen minutes too late and the timmies guy was hardcore. will make note to try to be on time tomorrow - sausage and egg on a homestyle tea biscuit is too delicious to miss.

drove around to various used bookstores - mike hit a small gold mine at one place with some doc savage books that some ebay dude has been giving him the runaround about for a few weeks. forget you, ebay! next up: used bookstore numba two, which was possibly the most dilapidated old place i've ever been to in my life. too many what-not-to-do's when it comes to visual merchandising and customer service to count. (ditto the flies that had apparently hatched and were buzzing all over the windows). euw.

high-tailed it outta there, pronto.

unrolled the windows on my lil white car - i love early springtime sunshine. discussed what we'd do differently if we owned a new + used bookstore. it'd be a sweet lil store - comfy chairs for reading, coffee and drinks and a few lil homemade snacks for sale at the counter; lots of space, an area featuring artists and paperie and other handmade things for sale. we could even host a book club or two in the comfy space a few nights a week. we'd have a website to sell our stuff on, with an up-to-date inventory so that people who didn't have hours to browse could get what they needed quickly + conveniently. it'd be a great lil bookstore.

arrived back at mike's for some art and a lil nap for me; back out again for a dinner date this evening.

i'm feelin a good ole' philly cheesesteak. (surprise, surprise.)

i love aimless saturdays.

image: libreria via flickr


thank goodness it's friday.

no, seriously. holy crap, i cant wait for some down-time.

today: i've got a bunch of job interviews to hire students for our summer orientation program lined up, plus a hairstyling-and-makeup-doing session for a friend of mine tonight (with a strong possibility that i've got a hair-cutting session for another friend and another hair-dying session with my sister this weekend)


before i head off, i wanted to say congrats to art kitten for her feature in paper n stitch - she's a fantastic artist and if you haven't had the opportunity to check out her work, you should!

also, i won a pack of cinnamon bears from marta for posting about my swiss-roll-made-of-clothing travel tip. (randomly chosen, i know - but it's still nice to think that my lil tidbits of random knowledge help somewhere along the way)

i'll be posting a lil bit this weekend, but in the meanwhile, tell me - what's on your plate today?


mellow yellow

i'm still on a bit of a yellow kick.

i bought the first yellow shirt that i've ever owned in my life yesterday, and am also on the hunt for a cute pair of yellow flats. (or peep-toe heels, whatever finds me first)

in the midst of my search online, i came across this painting and think it's so simple and sweet - i love the pinky-orange shading; it's unexpected but looks completely natural at the same time.

today's pretty hectic (which is why i didn't post earlier), and i've gotta skitter off to get some work done, and some to likely consume some coffee. mm.

in the meanwhile - can anyone help me with my search? super cool yellow ballet flats. size nine. please?

photo via midorionna


come on in and rest a while

i came across these images yesterday and seemed so serene, warm, and calming, i just had to share them with you. i love the way they look so open and airy and - best of all - summery. and the workspace at the very top - to die for!

can't you just smell the warm spring breeze? chin up, kittens; we'll be there soon enough.

some fantastic things i've come across in the past few days:
  • this post on the would-be writers guild about bloggers obsession with comments. (it's funny because it's true... so true!)

  • a fresh batch of marta's sweet lil diaries are going on sale again

  • rhea is doing a giveaway of her adorable little illustrated bookmarks (she's talented, that one!)

  • these oh-so-pretty handbags that i discovered in winners the other day - i've never heard of matt + nat before, but i think i'm in love.

    i had two armfuls of purses that i just couldn't put down, and everytime i turned around, i'd run into another bag that i couldn't resist. it wasn't a pretty sight - i think mike almost laughed at me, but i still refuse to admit that i have a problem.

    it's not an addiction when they're irresistible, right?

images via decor8


i love ridiculously simple.

good morning tuesday! i made this over the weekend, and it's quite possibly the most ridiculously fantastic and easy recipe i've ever encountered. ever. (drumroll, please)

chicken and broccoli and carrot and cauliflower and zucchini divan. (deeee-lish!)


half a zucchini
1/2 cup cauliflower
1/2 cup broccoli
1 large carrot, sliced and quartered
three chicken breasts, cubed
1 can of low-fat cream of broccoli soup
1/3 cup milk (i use skim)
low-fat cheddar cheese to taste
whole wheat bread crumbs to taste

as is generally the case with my recipes, i use whatever vegetables i feel like tossing in. this time round ( in case you couldn't tell by the name), i used cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and zucchini. i also don't really use any specific amounts - so please don't quote me on the measurements above. i just
take a bunch and chop it up - i figure if i don't use it all at once, i'll put it in the fridge and use it in my thai chicken wraps, once i add some red peppers.

anyhow - for this particular ditty;

1. preheat the oven to 425F (i always forget this step and then end up having to wait for the oven to heat while i've got the dish waiting impatiently on the counter.)
2. chop up all of the veggies and sautee them in a pan.

3. ditto the chicken.

4. put both chicken and veggies into a 2-quart casserole dish.

5. in a separate bowl, stir together the entire can of broccoli soup with 1/3 cup milk.
6. pour over the veggies and chicken.

7. sprinkle some cheddar cheese and bread crumbs over the top. the bread crumbs are my favourite part.
8. bake it, uncovered, for 20-25 mins until the cheese is bubbly and the bread crumbs are golden-brown.

makes about 4 servings.



if that's a kick-off, it's a pretty small one

h'ok. so maybe it wasn't the best canada blooms that i've ever been to. it seemed a bit smaller; fewer displays, less to see. there was still the same number of product vendors, but in previous years there had been more impressive landscaping displays. this year, not so much. there was probably no more than six, and all but two (as far as i can remember) didn't include any water or ponds or anything of the sort.

which is a shame, because i really like water and ponds.

i could theorize that it's been affected by companies and the 'global economic crisis', but i'm sick of hearing about it in the news so i'll just let it rest at the fact that it was a smallish show.

either way, it was a really great way to spend this afternoon with my mom and sister (who is pictured in one of the middle photos - she kept jumping into the pics despite my warnings that they were gonna get posted for the world to see!)

on top of that, i bought a jar of some mind-blowing strawberry pomegranate salad dressing, some chocolate-toffee wafer ... things (i dont know what they were called, but they rocked my world), and some raspberry grilling glaze (which, when i sampled it, practically knocked me over saying that it'd be fantastic on either barbecued ribs or steak. MM. can't wait!)

how was your weekend?


hullo spring!

ok, so maybe the birds + eggs theme of last friday's post was a bit premature, and i should've posted it today, you know - given the fact that today's the first day of spring and all.

either way, i'm celebrating spring's arrival the best way i know how - attending the 13th annual canada blooms gardening exhibition with my mom and sister. it's gonna be fantastic. can't wait.

the top picture that i've posted is one that i took at last year's show - i took it with my point-and-shoot and the lighting in there wasn't that spectacular, and haven't been able to correct for the super-lighting of the fabric on the chairs (i dont know what fabric it was, but it had a sheen to it), but i love the orange and green combo. that they'd make spectacular wedding colours, don't you think?

and fyi - i'm not referring to any plans whatsoever on my part; i'm just sayin' in general - orange + green = awesome in my books.

the other two pics are swiped from the canada blooms photo gallery.

mark my words - i'm going to have garden + patio spaces like these. one day.


drumroll please!

voila - the recipe!

2.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  1. mix all dry ingredients (except sugar)
  2. now, you may add the sugar. don't ask questions - just add. shh. trust me.
  3. add oil and buttermilk; stirring well before adding to dry ingredients (it'll separate if you don't)
  4. mix well
  5. place about 1/4 cup of flour on a clean countertop and placing ball of dough in the centre, and knead with the heel of your hand. the dough shouldn't stick to your hands - if it does, add a little more flour.
  6. Form into a cylinder shape and then cut into 4 portions. from there, flatten each portion of dough out into a round cake, approximately 1/2 - 3/4 " thick. (you don't want to go much thicker than this; thicker loaves won't cook all the way through)
  7. bake on a griddle at 325F for approximately 10-15 minutes each side. Colour should be a dark golden brown when cooked.
my gramma's friend used to say they'll tell you when they're ready (which we've come to interpret as: when you tap on them and they sound hollow, you're good to go)

we cut them down the middle, and then again into smaller slices lengthwise... but i suppose you can slice 'em whatever way that suits your fancy.

you can serve them with butter or jam; whatever floats your boat. personally, i like the simplicity of butter because it lets you taste the subtle flavours of the bread, but either way goes well with tea. delish!

(mike oh-so-kindly took a picture of the loaves that i made earlier this week before they got gobbled up. thanks mike!)
hey guys - my day's super busy today so i'll be posting my recipe this evening. be sure to check back then!

(in the meanwhile, follow me on twitter. i'm feeling tweety today.)


the great 2009 soda bread saga, continued

ok everyone, soda bread pics on thursday. i promise, so long as you promise not to judge the poor quality pics. and - if you're lucky - i'll post up the recipe along with it.

the top-secret,
my-mom-would-kill-me-if-she-read-my-blog-to-know-i-posted-it recipe.

ok, kidding. she's not
that hardcore. so stay tuned on thursday if you enjoy soda bread, or are not president of the raisin fan club and so would like to be able to enjoy soda bread without fear or apprehension of a chance encounter with one of the sweet lil flavour nuggets, or are just plain interested to see what delicacies the irish are able to whip up.

(ha. boiled potatoes and cabbage, anyone?)

moving right along - some ridiculously awesome things that i didnt know about, but have recently been made aware of:
  1. google has a blog search function? am i coming late to the game or what? this is the best thing since sliced (soda) bread. since i leave a trail of comments in my wake, a lot of the search hits that i'm getting are comments that i've posted on other people's blogs, but a few of them bring me to blogs that have me linked on their blogroll (and i was completely unaware of being linked, which is always a really sweet surprise - hello all of you's!), or blogs that mention wunderbug in their posts. (hello you's too!) noice.

  2. i was mentioned in a storque article! whaat?! (see - the results of the blog search tool in action. suh-weet!) i remember way back when, i was contacted by yogagoat to contribute to the article, but after i'd emailed her my stuff i didn't hear anything back about the submission so i figured it'd been nixed at some point along the way. which was ok with me - i know that life happens .. and sometimes a story just doesn't run. anyhow - turns out it indeed ran, and my lil story about transitioning from a buyer to a seller was featured at the end of the article (in about the last three paragraphs or so).

  3. this etsy illustrator. guh. i've posted a beautiful sample of his work above, but it just doesn't do it justice. i'd definitely recommend that you check out the rest of his shop. (run, don't walk!) i have a thing for childrens illustrations, and plan to feature a few of these ever-talented individuals in upcoming artist features in the next few weeks. shyeah!

  4. sarah bettens, former lead singer of k's choice and one of my most favourite artists ever, has a new album out! i absolutely love her voice - it's raw and clear and fantastic and her lyrics make me happy and melancholy at the same time. check out her cover of bonnie raitt's 'i cant make you love me', or her own original songs 'i'm okay', 'come over here' or my absolute favourite happy song by her, 'go'. (i linked the acoustic version here because all of the other uploaded ones on youtube had horrible distortion, but you've gotta check out a studio version of it. it's great for a bad day pick-me-up.) or if you're in the mood, check out k's choice single from '96, 'not an addict'.
what fun things have you found today?

image above by Matthias A


éirinn go brách, et cetera

so, i don't have any irish paraphenelia for you on st. patty's day. i'm not gonna lie, i feel like i should've. especially since people at work have been asking me what time i'm leaving work to celebrate my heritage (very funny. also unique).

nope - not even a
limerick or a shillelagh stick. i can do without the irish tchochke.

i did, however, make some
irish soda bread to bring in to work today and share with some of my coworkers, with jam and tea. no photos for my blog, though, to document the start of my 10pm baking session, or anything whatsoever to show the finished product.

(i poked around
online for pretty pics, but since martha's recipe looks nothing like the recipe that got handed down to me, i opted not to be deceptive and post hers instead. it's ok - i like the way my gramma's loaves look anyways - we do them on a griddle instead of baking them, so they're flatter and also raisin-free.)

i found these pretty pics on flickr of ballymena, which is the town that my gramma's family came from many years ago.
anyhow - happy st pat's day from an irish girl who doesn't want to be kissed. (please.)

( i thought this was a super-cute st patricks day post, though: ways to be green on a very green day)

photo: harper's town via flickr


in the moment monday

hullo! happy monday!

it really is a happy monday. the weekend was gorgeous, and this week is shaping up to be much of the same. really, it's not possible to get too much of this sunshiney stuff.

driving to the bus station this morning, i got to thinking about my life, and the lives of people around me. more specifically, about the way people rush and put pressure on themselves to get ahead, move to the next 'phase' of their life, to keep up with the pack. it's so unnecessary, yet we seem to do it constantly - often without really realizing it.

i was thinking about the impact that it has on our psyche, and so today's post will just feature one thing - this oh-so-insightful print. i keep going back to it every so often for a lil reminder - and judging from the overwhelming love and attention that her prints have received, it seems that others need that reminder too. and so, i'm passing it along to you.

here's wishing you a sweet + simple three beautiful things kind of day.



happy friday, everyone!

this week's been quite the week. in some ways, it seems as though certain aspects of my job are winding down, while others are just ramping up - it's always exciting to start something new.

we're in a time of year right now where i'm not only looking forward to planning the fresh beginning of the leadership development program that i run (yes, it's starting next september but i need tons of planning time), but new developments with the orientation drop-in program that will be starting in may, and then of course everything that comes with student success + retention programming in the university atmosphere. then, thrown into the mix, there's a small conference in june, and a national conference in november. ah, the life of a student affairs professional - it's gonna be a busy few months!

in between meetings today, i busted out this month's martha stewart living and there was a feature in there for a photographic compilation called egg & nest by photographer rosamond purcell. now, i'm generally not the hugest fan of all things bird and eggy - i don't hate them, mind you, i'm more ambivalent about them than anything - but there was something about this book (or perhaps it was the feature on dyeing your own easter eggs that came after it?) that piqued my fancy. i thought, in honour of the spring that's arriving everywhere except for toronto, it'd be lovely to have an avian-themed mosaic to accompany today's post.

and a ring, just because i thought it was too awesome not to include. hey - it could fit, if it were a nature theme. and it could be.

what sorts of things are you looking forward to this mid-march weekend?

above images, left to right from top:

tweet by mamaroots, nesting on the magnolia by hadley hutton, bluebirds nest by adorn jewelry, cherry blossoms by kaku, untitled by meuh, untitled by momo, birds by dawin, egg & nest by wanderlust, bird stack by barking bird art, chickadee eggs by d. s. brennan photography, gather, square moss ring by adorn jewelry



i'm having thai chicken wraps for dinner tonight, and it's gonna be fantastic. i love this recipe cause it's so simple and quick.

they're going to rock your world. seriously. unless i'm really pressed for time, the only tweak i make to this recipe is to chop up fresh veggies - generally whatever happens to be in the fridge. (my favourite combination includes bean sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, carrots, snow peas, and red peppers, but i always tell people to sub in any veggies they like better.)

this peanut sauce isn't spicy at all.. but it's a really nice touch so i'd highly recommend it. anyone that i've served this to has absolutely loved it - and because it's so flexible, it's pretty kid-friendly to boot (provided the kid doesn't have any nut allergies.)


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 6, 8- to 10-inch spinach, red pepper, or whole-wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast strips for stir-frying
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 4 cups packaged shredded broccoli (broccoli slaw mix)
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger


1. For peanut sauce, in a small saucepan combine sugar, peanut butter, soy sauce, water, the 2 tablespoons cooking oil, and the garlic. Heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring frequently. Set aside.

2. Wrap tortillas in foil. Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 10 minutes or until heated and softened. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl combine garlic salt and pepper. Add chicken, tossing to coat evenly.

3. In a large skillet heat the 1 tablespoon oil. Cook and stir seasoned chicken in hot oil over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm. Add broccoli, onion, and ginger to skillet. Cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Remove from heat.

4. To assemble, spread each tortilla with about 1 tablespoon of the peanut sauce. Top with chicken strips and vegetable mixture. Roll up each tortilla, securing with a wooden toothpick. Serve immediately with remaining sauce. Makes 6 servings.

six hours til dinnertime. YUM!


zoom zoom

busy day planned for today (meetings, meetings, and more meetings about an upcoming conference i'm planning) but first things first.

hands up: who's got a mild to severe
shoe obsession? who likes free art? who would like a combination of the two?

if your hand is waving manically in the air (oo! ooo! ooooo!), then you might want to check out mike's first-ever giveaway. swing by his blog and leave a comment to get entered to win!

also: you may notice that i've updated my left-hand sidebar. (you may also be thinking that it's about freakin time.) there's tons of new links to blogs and other awesome sites that i've been following for the past little while, but have never had a chance to share with you guys. sticking with my organization fetish, i've rearranged them into new categories to explore as well - i like to think that they're pretty self explanatory.

hey - if they're not, click on one of the links in that category and
think of it as an adventure.

things that i'm loving today:
and that's it from me today, folks.

courtney OUT!


for the days when... (part deux)

for the days when you're not quite feeling it:

if nothing grabs hold of you when you sit down to create, don't force it - quality is better than quantity. lighten up.

the value of play is often underestimated - it's not only a great way to have fun, but it's good for your health and stress levels, and exercises your brain in terms of flexibility. remember when creating something first took hold of you? you'd take some time and genuinely just dabble in your craft. you'd try various techniques and approaches and eventually, you found a way that you thought worked best for you.

keeping this in mind, on the days when you're not quite feeling it, try switching it up.

(penicillin was discovered purely by accident - you too could come across a new favourite colour combination, inspiration or technique purely by changing your routine.)

are you a painter who plans? plan less. just put paint to canvas and see where it takes you. mixed media? put together two textures you haven't worked with before, and that you're not sure will work. writer? just write. don't edit.

too often we censor ourselves in the interests of time, expediency, fear, or convenience.
remember: fortune favours the bold. take time for a creative stream of consciousness, uncensored and unhindered by expectations.

and hey - if it doesn't fly. it's ok. you were just playing around anyways.

image by kal


point-and-shoot product photography 101

hello monday!

what a productive sunday i had. not only did i get rolling on my chair reupholstery project, but i got a bunch of new product shots done for my shop despite the extremely overcast day on sunday.

to that end, i've had a few emails with questions about my photo-taking process, so i'll answer them here today for you all to see.

now, i don't consider myself anything close to a pro photographer but i do know that some types of overcast days can be pretty good for picture taking, cause it eliminates harsh shadows in the picture that are caused by the bright bright sunshine. sometimes, though, it's a bit too much and it casts a bluish tone in the shots which really affects the colour of the photo.

what i do to remedy this is to arrange my photo setup as close as possible to a window and get the product to face the light source (i find that backlighting is a pain in the butt to digitally correct and is super easy to avoid witha little forethought). all of these pictures were taken just with natural sunlight; no inside lights whatsoever. they cast a orangey-yellow hue - even if your primary source is natural light - so i just avoid them whenever possible.

(for the record: i've tried using full-spectrum bulbs before, but i found that instead of the yellow hue that the tungsten bulb gives, pics taken with this type of lighting often need to be colour-corrected for the overabundance of magenta. i try my best to avoid touch-ups from the get-go, so i'd highly recommend using natural light, especially for beginners. it means less "post-production" work.)

with these paintings in particular, i was having some troubles with glare from the glass in the picture frames, so i took the glass out. from there on in, i experimented with a few props to add some visual interest - i try to have varying heights, textures and colours in the shot, and generally try to avoid straight-on shots since i find that they look somewhat flat. angles are where it's at - and besides, people can see the simple 'head on' shot with the scans that i use as alternate images in my shop.

something else that i always do when taking product photos is take a slew of pictures with different setups, props and angles. really, i do this for a variety of reasons, but mostly because what works in my minds eye doesn't always translate the same way on the camera lens; little details jump out at you more when you're seeing the enlarged photo on your computer screen rather than your viewfinder. for this particular photoshoot, i took about 15-20 pictures. i've no clue if this is bordering obsessive and just plain weird or not, but it's what works for me.

(plus when you're taking pictures with a dinky lil point-and-shoot with no flash in overcast lighting and no tripod, sometimes your pics end up blurry. you've gotta plan for this.)

anyhow, once i've got a few pics that i like, i'll touch them up a bit with photoshop adjusting a mix of the levels, colour balance, curves or saturation. once i've got their colours looking as close as possible to real life, i post 'em up in the shop.


ps - another weekend highlight:
i got my triple the teal necklace featured on etsy's front page, and wouldn't even have known it if it weren't for sweet miss holly of winklepots letting me know. (did you know there was a front page flickr group?! thanks to holly's inside scoop, i was able to experience the moment in retrospect, which was awesome.)


it's almost sprung

yesterday evening as i was getting into my car, there was that faint moist smell of last year's leaves and wet earth - the first hints that spring is finally starting to make it's way north of the 49th parallel.

soon the crocuses will be pushing through the soil.

here's to a warm almost-spring weekend.

what are your plans?


thursday's linky love

above: i cant get over these DIY window films over at design*sponge. i need them. naked windows: beware.

beercan butterflies? yeah - i thought it was a joke until i saw these pretty little beauties (via modish)

i've been having a love affair with small spaces lately. could be because i recently got relocated at work into a teensy lil cubicle, or it could just be because i like a challenge and decorating a small space when you've got tons of ideas floating around is definitely a big challenge to tackle. either way, i think that this incredibly cute teensy cottage called The Mouse Hole is the epitome of small space, and is gorgeous to boot. (via good mouse bad mouse)

while you're decorating your small space with small cabinets, you can definitely use these mini printable file folders to hold all of your important documents. sweet!

rachel's cupcakin' it up over at heart of light (vanilla bean and orange. sounds so simple and pretty - what a combination!)

finally, here's awesome new blog that i'm reading lately, the would-be writers guild. it's pee-your-pants funny. i love her tone + style. fantabulous. i've been coming across a bunch of new blogs lately that i'm loving, so i'll be posting soon with an update about a who's who on my blogroll.

for now, i'm off for some more database training.

what are you loving today?


firstly, let me thank you guys for all of your kind words and suggestions for what you'd like to see in terms of content here. a blog isn't a blog without readers, and so i most definitely appreciate you guys and the encouragement that you all give. big love! give yourselves a round of applause.

item numba two : i had no idea that there were so many other closeted spreadsheet + organizational nerds out there. i'm glad that we're a small nation unto our tidy lil selves. bring on the pocket protectors!

three - the watchmen movie wasn't bad. given that i haven't read the book or knew a single thing about a single character before the whole thing began, i think i kept track of things pretty well. mike even liked it, which is a feat in itself. if you've got a special someone who's dying to see it, just make sure you hit the washroom beforehand. and stay away from the large diet coke - the movie's 2 hours and 45 mins long!

today: more database training. it never ends, but now i've graduate to intermediate from being an absolute noob. after work, i'm going to kick back and relax. i started yet another painting because the one i was working on over the weekend got put on hold for a lil bit - while i'm ready for the challenge, i was getting frustrated that it wasn't coming out the way i wanted to look. it'll happen eventually - i just need a bit more practice with the techniques. i also want to try out my new mat cutter - i'm so bored with the pre-cut colours. the art store by my house has a wider (brighter!) selection that i'm really excited to dig into.

i'm gonna love you and leave you today with a few links to the shops i've been crushing on lately:

hilarious keep calm and carry on parody by earmark (found via thecraftbegins)

awesome lil shop full of more paper goods by neat things

sweet sweet illustrations and prints by super talented artiste vol.25

image above by vol25


happy square root day.

it's square root day. 03/03/09. what's the square root of 9? 3.

3x3? 9. the date. get it? ha.

i heard it on two separate radio stations on my way into work today and thought it was hilariously nerdy so i thought i'd blog it, especially given yesterday's uber-dorkfest post about database structure and tonight's movie selection, courtesy of mike.

did i mention that i also love spreadsheets? let's make it an overall theme for the week.

(the funny thing is, i'm not even close to a numbers person. i failed grade 11 math, and never took it again. trigonometry and i are mortal enemies. we pass each other on the street and a tumbleweed rolls by and you hear the 'dOOoo-WOO' tune, like in westerns at high noon. true story.)

yesterday was a pretty sweet day. my dentist appointment went well - i have a few follow-ups to take care of next week, and my eye doctor gave me the green light for laser eye surgery (now all i need to do is stumble across six grand to pay for it, and i'm good to go).

on top of that, it was gorgeously sunny (although - surprise! - still frigid) and i love being off work and out in my car on days like that. even when they're hella cold. however, the eye drops that the optometrist put in my eyes dilated my pupils to the point where i looked absolutely insane and was super-sensitive to light made it somewhat difficult to drive home while the sun was going down. gorgeous drive, but squinty. i probably looked a little bit like a mole behind the steering wheel. a mole with big sunglasses on.

i also got a chance last night to measure the old fabric for my new chair.

the magic number appears to be 4 feet. how did i figure this out? i laid the old fabric (which i saved after stripping it all off the chair; i'm going to use it later to make the pattern for the new upholstery) out on the floor and measured a square around it. i left myself enough room for a few extra inches between each piece (to make the upholstery version of a hem), and then am going to get maybe 1.5 or 2x the amount of fabric that i really need to allow for some mistakes. i'm going to post a full how-to once i get it done, provided it gets done properly. if i have leftover material, i can always make pillows. sweet.

now i just need to find some fabrics that i like. does anyone have any recommendations for affordable, pretty fabric?

today: full day at work. it's gonna be a productive one, i can feel it. tonight: the watchmen sneak preview double-date.


in like a lion

good morning - and welcome to my new followers!

i'm enjoying some of the best coffee ever.


it's hazelnut and simple, but i've managed the perfect milk-to-sugar-to-coffee ratio that's making my monday absolutely sing.

can i take it as a sign of a good week?

i realized today that i've got a few things coming up ... which has effectively shortened my work week by 3 half-days. sweet. not complaining. this afternoon, i've got a dentist and optometrist appointment, and then later this week i'm taking a database-building training course so that i can better manage registrations for the program that i'm running.

it's gonna be huge, cause it's gotta manage registrations for over 1000 students and 120 separate workshops. i tried learning the program myself but given the nature of databases, i figured i should learn something about structure from the pro's before i mucked it all up and had to start again anyways. either way, i can't wait to get in there with my post-it notes all over my cubicle wall to help arrange how i want each table to relate. it somehow ties in very closely to that organization obsession, in a (severely more) dorky way. i can't explain it. something about organizing the structure of this monster excites me to no end.)

what can i say? i like a challenge.

other things on this week? i'm on a continuous mission to improve my listing images in my shop, and this weekend the subject of my scrutiny has been my paintings. i've gotten the hang of photos for jewelry and the like, so i took advantage of a bright sunny day and got some shots of tiny tom, sweet pea, and little cornell framed on the mantlepiece, but still feel like something's missing. am gonna re-take a few of them with a few other things around them and in warmer lighting to help it look more staged and pretty. updates to come.

mike and i are booked for an advance screening double-date nerdfest tomorrow night for the upcoming watchmen movie with one of our friends from work and his girlfriend. let's see how much this comic book ignoramus enjoys a movie she knows absolutely no backstory for. (i find that most of the time with these movies, i'm the one who finds them to be pretty ok and it's mike who's ripping on them)

also - week two of marta's write club!

what's on your to-do
list this week?

images, clockwise from left: bed by aitodesign,
monocle pendant necklace by curious oddities, today is the day block print
by red letter words, vintage watch by big daddy 0


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