Click here to see my full list of goals for 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I'm sorry for my tardiness in posting. T and I have just come back from a mini vacation in New York and the lead up to the trip kept me away from my projects. Now I'm back, refreshed, inspired, and ready to make some serious progress on my list.

The latest to be crossed off... 39. Spend a day taking photos around the city. Thankfully, I didn't specify the city for this entry, because I've opted to use NYC, not Toronto. I'm sure Carrie Bradshaw would approve.

Here are some of the highlights. I'm thinking that at least one of these is going to show up again for Number 62.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Special Requests

One of the fun things about having this blog and letting people know what kinds of artsy things I'm up to is that I get some really interesting requests for handmade things. I've been working on just such a special request this morning. (A new entry for Number 75)

My friend Helen will be getting married this summer and she wanted a little stamp to decorate wedding-related paper goods. She sent me a specific celtic-style font to use for their initials and I found a matching celtic knot image to incorporate into the design.

The stamp was surprisingly easy to carve, even with all of the extra care I took to make sure the letters didn't get nicked at all. It was so nice to be able to draw, carve, and test a print in only a few hours.

I made a couple of test cards to showcase the print. I can't wait to see how she incorporates the image into her wedding!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Number 45... Done!

Technically Number 45 requires that I submit a short story to a 'contest', but when I wrote the entry I actually had a very specific literary journal in mind. Not a contest exactly, but certainly a good test of my literary merits.

Submitting a story that's already written might not seem to be a big task, but I've actually spent quite a bit of time over the last few weeks editing, soliciting feedback from trusted friends (thanks guys!), and fussing over the title. I don't know why it's so hard sometimes to simply print out a piece of writing, put it into an envelop, and slip it in a mail box, but I always seem to procrastinate when I get to this point. Well, no more.

Here's just a little section of the story. It may remain an unpublished labour of love, but at least it's been sent out into the world in some form.

Grief (excerpt)

The woman jumped at her sister’s touch, turning abruptly to face her before looking back at me with deeper confusion. Jeff was now beside me and, although he didn’t say anything, his presence silently confirmed that she had been mistaken, that I was not Karen.

At this moment, a loss – tragic and sudden – repeated itself in a split-second between us. The subsequent grief, the knowledge that Karen, whoever she had been, was gone, still gone, welled up in her eyes.

“I... I’m so sorry... I thought... I though... you were someone else”

Monday, March 1, 2010

Highs, Lows, Hockey

I had a pretty bizarre weekend with some incredible highs and lows.

As some of you know, my apartment was broken into on Friday while T and I were at work. Coming home to find the contents of every drawer in our house scattered on the floor and our most personal things rooted through, taken, or destroyed, was pretty much one of worst feelings I’ve ever experienced. Most of what I lost was valuable not only in a material sense but also in a deeply personal way. I can deal with the clean up, but losing the family jewelery I received from T’s family for our wedding, the watch I gave him when he became a resident of Canada, and the inexpensive rings I bought while backpacking through Europe – that definitely hurts.

At the end of the day, it’s much more important to be able to say that T and I are okay and can move on with our life without too much trouble, but I still feel this incredible sense of violation. It’s made us both think carefully about how we protect ourselves and the things important to us and, sadly, has even made me think carefully about what I write on this blog. I feel like I’ve taken care to post enough information to connect with readers, even those who don’t know me, without giving away too many personal details, but now I feel a little warier of my online presence. It’s a bad feeling.

Thankfully, the things that are most important to keep in mind in situations like this – family, friends, beautiful artwork, Olympic gold medals in hockey – were all in abundance this weekend and turned what was an awful Friday night into a wonderful Saturday and Sunday.

Some highlights:

Letterpress - In a miraculous act of kindness and good timing, Tanya of snap & tumble sent me a stunning collection of letterpress cards, including a sample from her new custom stationary line. What made her gift even more surprising was that our intruder actually opened the package(!) and scattered its contents in with our other papers. Imagine my surprise as I started cleaning up and discovered letterpress cards everywhere. It wasn’t until I found the opened envelope that I actually realized where it had all come from!

Family - My parents visited this weekend and were a great comfort after all of the chaos. We tore up the town on Saturday, somehow cramming in the King Tut exhibit at the AGO, drinks at a pub, a walk along Queen Street West (including some serious time in the ‘junk shops’), a walk through Kensington market(cheese shops!), dinner at Rancho Relaxo, and then a very funny evening at Second City.

Babies - My close friends visited for brunch on Sunday morning and brought their two-and-a-half week old son. He was so beautiful! Peaceful too. The little guy slept like an angel as we took turns holding him. Add great conversation, buttermilk pancakes, and mimosas and we had a perfect morning.

Hockey - You couldn’t ask for a better close to the Olympics than that nail-biter of a hockey game. I was, quite literally, on the edge of my seat. In the evening, we went out into the city and I was blown away by how many people were running around in the streets with huge Canadian flags. It was awesome to see so much joy coming from so many complete strangers and a nice reminder that there are many, many good, happy, lovely people in this city.

Now that it's Monday and things have calmed down a bit, I'm hoping to get back to a few of my projects. We have a brand new lock on the door and hopefully our sense of comfort will return after a while. At least, even with the break in, I still managed to scratch Number 10 off my list!