I am an artiste...

I have been having a great time on odosketch, thanks to Ez from Creature Comforts.  This is my first creation.  Try it, it is great fun.

One of a Kind Spring 2012

I was lucky enough to be invited to the One of a Kind Spring show on this weekend at the Direct Energy Centre.  It was a media breakfast and we were treated to a one-of-a-kind breakfast from raw food restaurant Cruda Cafe.  From juices to muffins, cinnamon rolls, pancakes, and scrambled-tofu enchiladas, it was all raw (nothing heated or cooked in any way) and very fresh.  The lemon-poppy seed muffins pictured above were divine.

After breakfast I roamed the aisles with my blogger buddies.  Of course, we all have similar taste and ended up stopping for photos at the same booths.  The images below were the sorely tested my mission to "admire not acquire" - especially the handwoven blanket from New Brunswick (1).
1. Megely Weaving (J-21) from Drummond NB - Those two blanket hanging had me hovering...
2. heyday design (E-29) from Vancouver - I have loved these since I saw them at Granville Island a few years ago
3. MoonRox (Q-32) from Toronto - they had the best brass-and-bright-colours jewellery.
4. Mara Minuzzo (I-36) from Caledon - I loved these paintings of Lego figures for the boys' rooms
5. Atelier b (K-36) from Montreal - I admire them every time I see them at OOAK, this skirt looks so perfect for spring.
A few other pieces caught my eye, including:
1. & 2. Good Wishes Quilts (H-34) from Kelowna - I have a weakness for hedgehogs and love that pillow for a kid's bed.
3. & 4. eikcam ceramics from Vancouver (N-08) - such pretty, simple things and I love the porcelain keys.
Hamilton's Jenna Rose (I-16) is always a favourite, especially those cloud and bird pillows above and that sea-faring bag...hoo boy I love that one!
This photo isn't great, but I did love the photos and the booth of Images of This and That (F-39), especially that YYZ one and the Boys are Awesome print.

In terms of booths, Sharalee and I were discussing how important the merchandizing is - it can make the difference between stopping to look and drifting on.  There were a few booths that stood out with their merchandizing, including the ones below:
Avril's booth (L-05) is like a burst of sunshine in the un-naturally lit cave that is a convention centre.
Patouche's booth was beautifully decorated with adorable fabric trees and cute little manequins. 
I think my favourite booth was this spare, beautifully-lit, and exquisitely-merchandized booth by Renaud from Ateliers Des Cent-Ans (H-06).  Sharalee and I stopped to admire this oasis of a space, and when Renaud handed us his card we became drooling paper geeks (or at least I did - Sharalee is much more sophisticated. :) )  His cards are about 1/16'' thick (I measured) and are beautifully letter-pressed.  They are heaven in a business card, and show the exacting and careful thought that goes into his art.

The show is lovely and exhausting as always, and is on until April 1 at the Direct Energy Centre.  I would love to hear your favourite booths!  Here are some round-ups from Lindsay and Vanessa - I did warn you we have similar taste! :)

Life Takes Over and a Mood Board

I am pretty sure in all my fancy blog classes, lectures, tutorials and tip sheets, it does not recommend radio silence for days on end. But sometimes life just gets so darn BUSY, and then the weather gets gloriously warm, and before you know it a week has flown by. Luckily today brings a cool foggy morning and the boys are content to play with their cars, so I can take a minute to post a little something. I have been working like crazy on the bathroom beautification project, which I will show once it reaches photo-worthy status. One of my friends also asked for some simple advice on wall colour and slip-cover colours for her living room, and I decided to take this an an invitation to spend hours on Olioboard.
She already has a big blue sectional that is comfy and kid-friendly, so that is the centre-piece.  She also has some great teak trunk-like tables and a fabulous pottery collection.  Because I am all about navy and grey at the moment, I suggested a warm grey for the walls and a dark grey for the slip-cover on her Ikea armchair.  This beautiful rug warms up the hardwood floor and anchors the furniture together.  Because she is a friend from out east, I added some ocean art to ground the walls, and some slightly nautical fabric for curtains.  Fun pillows tie everything together.  What do you think?  Anything else you would add or replace?  This stuff is so fun...

Cozy and Neutral in New Hampshire

Today I read this wonderful post by Margot Austin that left me feeling nostalgic for home and the smell of the sea.  This beautiful home in Dublin, New Hampshire only made me miss it all more.  Not that our house looks anything like this, but the style just reminds me of cottages near the sea, of wooden dories and fences and signs with their bright paint flaking off in the salty air.  Google tells me that Dublin is nowhere near the sea, and I am not even sure if that is what influenced homeowner Nancy Ross, but certainly a New England sea-faring style pervades the decor.  With those lovely slipcovered chairs in denim and French linen, there is something European about it too.
That sink above is just beautiful, but my favourite part of the house is the library, where the navy walls set off the white and wood accents just perfectly.  It is dramatic and yet cozy.  The vignette with the photograph is fantastic. 
 Only a few more months before my next visit out east and I can't wait!  Click here to see many more photos and an interview with the homeowner.

All photos are by Laura Moss from New England Home.  Found via Planete Deco.

Drooooozy on etsy

Oh Pinterest, you evil, horrible, terrible, amazing, fantastic site!  You make entire hours disappear with a single image, lost forever into the black vortex of the internet.  The other night it was a ring.  One simple, pretty sparkly ring.  And the next thing I knew, it was midnight and my leg was asleep and my husband was saying "aren't you EVER going to turn that off?"  The good news is that I discovered the etsy shop Brooklyn Thread, and druzy: a coating of fine crystals on a rock fragment.  I want them all, but mostly those studs.  And this ring below.  And the necklace...

Brooklyn Thread has lots of other awesome jewellery in their shop, but at the moment I have eyes only for druzy.   Drooooooooozy.

My amazing new iPhone lens

There were several people in my Souvenir Foto School who took all of their photos on their iPhone, and they were amazing, quality shots.  I learned so much about the great iPhone apps out there for photographers (did you know you can get photoshop on your phone for free?).  So far I have downloaded Camera+ and PicFrame, and will be looking at a few more.  I also learned about this cool lens for the phone.  It attached by a magnet that you stick on the phone, and has a wide angle and macro lens attached.  It was only $20 from Photojojo, and it got here really fast!  Plus they included a "stowaway dinosaur" plastic dinosaur with the shipment and the boys were THRILLED.  :)
Here are a couple of very un-styled photos I took to check out the wide-angle feature.  The focal area drops off pretty quickly, but you can get a lot in there - I was standing maybe 3 feet from the counter for these!
And here are a couple I took with the macro lens in Instagram (hence the borders).  The first is the leaf of my orchid plant, and the second is one of William's favourite hot wheels cars.  I may do a series of those ones for his room - perhaps to replace his stuffed animal portraits.
 I will definitely have some fun playing with this little guy!  Let's just hope I don't lose it...

I had a little lemon tree...

Well, miracle of all miracles, my poor little lemon tree produced a lemon.  This tree started out with an abundance of gorgeous fragrant blossom, but seemed to go downhill from there.  It got spiders and some sort of mould, which I battled in the summer. It is losing leaves daily, it looks withered and sad, and we were all convinced it was dying a slow and laborious death.  However, in spite of all this, the two tiny fruit it had sprouted continued to grow and turn yellow and last week one fell off into my hands.  My own little Meyer lemon!
I figured I had to do something special with it! Someone in my photo course suggested lemon curd, and that sounded like just the ticket - a nice treat that will last for a little while. I found this recipe and am happy to say that it is delicious (although decidedly UN-healthy).  It is like having lemon merengue pie whenever you want!  I made some scones to eat it with on the weekend, but they disappeared in an instant. I decided to use a crumpet for my impromptu photo shoot instead.  Deeelish!
I can't wait to see what becomes of little lemon number 2 - he doesn't seem to be faring well, but this tree seems intent on surprising me...

Junghwa giveaway winner!

The winner of this gorgeous pendant necklace is...
Congratulations Lauren!!

For the rest of us, the consolation can be that Amy has more in her Etsy store - and they don't break the bank. :)

Thanks to Amy for the necklace, and thank you to everyone who entered - I appreciate you stopping by my little blog!  There will be more giveaways to come, so check back again soon.  Happy Monday!

Fun with Fonts: Lost Type Co-op

Lost Type Co-op is a font-sharing site where you buy fonts using the pay-what-you-can method, and the font designers get 100% of any earnings from their design.  The fonts on the site are very retro-cool, often inspired by vintage posters or packaging. Here are some of my favourites, including Oil Can above, designed by Ellis Latham-Brown.  Click on the image to go the the font purchase page.
So tell me, do you have a go-to site for fab fonts?

Photo School V to Z

V is for Valentine
V is for Valentine
I have to admit, I definitely lost steam towards the end of the Foto School.  For some reason I just couldn't seem to find the same time to think up the shot, prep it, and edit it as I did at the beginning.  But I soldiered on and didn't miss a letter, although some of them are less than perfect (i.e. I wish I could have worked on them a bit longer!).  Here are the last of them, and I am throwing in a couple of extras I worked on but didn't submit.  I am also going to do another post and feature some of my favourites from the other class members (they were sooo good).
w is for wedding ring
W is for Wedding Ring
w is for white wine
W is for White Wine
x is for x-amining the menu
X is for X-amining the Menu (yes, I know it isn't REALLY...)
y is for y
Y is for Y-Stick (we have a collection...)
z is for zzzzz
Z is for Zzzzzzzzzs
If you missed them, here are the links to my posts with the rest of the letters of the alphabet:
All in all it was a lot of fun and I can't believe how much I learned about my camera and about photo processing.  Thanks to Tristan and Michelle for all their hard work in coordinating it, and to all the other fun photographers in the group who kept me so inspired - I can't wait for the next one!