Saturday, January 30, 2010

A marvelous victory

Howard Zinn 1922-2010

I have sat down to write this post a number of times and just couldn't quite seem to find the right words. Howard Zinn was a personal hero of mine, reading his essays, listening to lectures and interviews and of course A People's History of the United States totally blew my mind and I was always looking for more to get my hands on. He spoke to me as an educator, he taught me to challenge the history I had been taught (and who taught it). He impressed on me the importance and power of knowledge. He made me believe that not only can you not be 'neutral on a moving train' but that to see what is wrong with the world comes with a responsibility to work to change it, and that the time to do that is now.

I never expected his death to have such a strong impact on me (I bawled on the bus when I found out, ha) and over the past few days I've been thinking on why this is. I didn't personally know the man, but like Naomi Klein said on the Democracy Now! tribute to him, he was every one's favourite teacher and now we've all lost that. I definitely think that is part of it, but also I think (at the risk of sounding cheesy) that he taught us to believe in ourselves and our convictions, that 'ordinary' people can and more often that not have been the ones to bring about change. He believed in people. While it breaks my heart that I won't get to hear him speak, that I won't be able to look to him for comment or that he won't write another book, the reality is it is now our turn to stand up for justice, speak out for the oppressed and fight for change.

I wanted to end in his own words so this is from his autobiography, 'You Can't be Neutral on a Moving Train' ;

"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

"What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places -- and there are so many -- where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

"And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."

A marvelous victory, indeed. We'll miss you Howard.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

WIP Wednesday: roti

I realise technically it is now Thursday (what am I talking about 'technically'? It is Thursday) but here is my WIP Wednesday. It was a long day today, finished on such a lovely note though with yummy dinner, wine and a good friend. I made red lentil and cauliflower curry with cornmeal roti and might I say it was rather delicious. At first I freaked out a little when I looked at the recipe as they seem a little labour intensive, but once you get the hang of them they're not that tricky at all. Greasy though, check out that olive oil glistening. Yum!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Night shifting

I think I've been staring at the computer, totally zoned out for at least the past 15 minutes. Quite possibly could have been asleep even. Oy, tired. Richard is back at work which means back on night shifts (2am-6am) which puts us both out of whack. It's so weird going to bed while he's still up, and then having to pull myself up and out of bed while he snuggles with the cats in the morning is tough!

Thank you all for your thoughtful and kind words on my last post! I'm so glad to hear from all you kindred spirits out there! I really love your thoughts as it totally fuels my thinking and I've got a few more things I'd like to say on the topic now, especially in how it seems like having difficulty letting go really crops up in us creative types. I did end up having a lovely, slow weekend. I also now have a spotless studio to work in and a more balanced house, as Diana said it was both thrilling and calming to do so and I'm really happy with the result (although, lets be honest I'm sure in a week or so I'll cry over something I threw out).

I hope you all had a lovely week and start to a new week, anyone up to anything exciting?

I'll be back here tomorrow with another WIP Wednesday, but for now my bed is calling me.

Night night!


Friday, January 22, 2010

On letting go.

listen by courtneydawn (I highly recommend checking out her entire flickr stream, so good)

Awhile back I talked about my endeavour to become better at having balance in my life, with one of the key things being the ability to let go. This has become a bit of a theme for me lately, letting go of clutter, letting go other people's expectations of me, letting go of the excuses I make for myself that ultimately just hold me back. Definitely not perfect at this yet, but I'm working on it. It's tough you know, I think part of it comes down to being someone who loves big ideas (and small ones). I love the planning, the researching and the dreaming but I find myself often disappointed that I can't do every one of these things all at once, right now. Which is crazy, because I know if somehow I could magically do that I would actually hate the busy.

I had grand plans for this week, especially as it is Richard's last week of holidays. I'd planned out all sorts of errands and jobs to be done on Wednesday, a shop update and an amazingly clean house. I then spent almost the entire day at the dentist. Apparently I have to have a root canal, and some lovely and very thorough UBC students helped prepped my tooth for it. The dentist! I can't tell if I was more bummed about the pain, the money or the wasted day. After being a huge grump for the rest of the day I decided that you know, the shop update doesn't have to happen today. Yes, my house is a bit of a mess but my tooth no longer aches and I`m healthy. I'm behind on updating my 365, but really is that the most important thing? It's Richard's last week of holidays, surely walks in the park, movies on the couch and good conversation is the top priority here.

So this weekend I'm taking my time. There may or may not be a shop update on Monday. We've got beautiful sunny days forecasted for Vancouver, so we plan to picnic and go for walks. I'm going to take the time to really organise (or think about organising) our apartment so that it feels inspiring and calm to me. I'm going to finish my roll of film. I've been craving some kind of fruity scones, so I might just bake some.

What are your plans this weekend? I hope it's a good one.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

WIP Wednesday - Shop Update

Don't get tricked, there hasn't actually been a shop update, despite me promising one oh....about a week or two ago? I've found it so hard to get photos that I'm happy with lately due to all the grey weather, so here are a few outtakes from the past couple of times I tried to get some good shots for the shop. A shop update work in progress. I'm going to try and post something I'm working on, something in progress, every Wednesday here on the blog. Edit: I will tell you that guitar picks and these two Valentines bookmarks are now available in the shop though. More to come, including some new projects I'm excited to show you!

I'm always intrigued to see not just what but how others are making, I love the in between shots. Perhaps you'll join me? If you do, please let me know as I'd love to see!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Help a sister out

A few of my talented friends have recently opened up shop on Etsy, they're all so great I wanted to share them with you! When we first started our store we were lucky enough to be featured on a few blogs, and that's something I really love about the online craft community - we're always quick to help each other out and spread the word. Go check them out!
My lovely friend Maya (who also sells the most adorable Amis de Montagne dolls here) has started selling beautiful vintage clothing at her shop, Dutch Drift. Maya has such fantastic style, this is so perfect for her! I already want pretty much everything she has listed, most especially that coat! She also has a lovely wee blog, here.

Awhile back Evie posted some photos of these insanely cute brooches over on her blog, and I really really hoped that I might soon be able to get my mitts on one. She is such a talented gal and her blog is always full of treats, that I knew her shop was going to be really good when she announced it, and it was even better than I could have thought. The beards! Little Indie Girl Brooches! Check out the packaging as well. talented I tell ya.
Lastly, I was really excited to hear that Amy from the fantastic design blog Handmade Evolution had too opened up shop! Another Vancouverite, I met Amy through Twitter (and will hopefully do so in person sometime soon!) and she always features such great stuff on her blog, both visually and thought provoking. I love 'Peace' print so much, I have such a think for origami! She has them all in a range of colours, now I just have to decide which one I love the best! You can find them here, at Field Trip on Etsy.

Salt Spring Island

stormy seas before we left::the sun coming out::pentax spotmatic::fluffy flowers

sunrise in ganges harbour::birthday pancakes::fireside winter ale

We're home! We had such a lovely time over at Salt Spring. From the ferry ride over, through the Gulf Islands, everything was so beautiful, green and untouched with little cabins dotting the shorelines. We left Vancouver with it pouring down rain and super stormy seas but the sun came out about half way through the journey and it was just spectacular. Such an incredible place we live.

It's amazing how just leaving the city, despite being still quite close to it geographically, can make you feel like you've travelled miles into your own little private getaway. We stayed right next to a nature reserve, over looking the harbour in a wee cottage with a wood burning stove. There was a track down to a pebbly beach where we got to see otters snacking on crabs (I was SO excited, I don't think I've ever ran so fast up scary mossy stairs to get my camera, I'm surprised they weren't scared away by my wheezing) and search for shells. We took walks, and everything smelled like woodsmoke and damp leaves. Seriously, so good.

Sadly I totally forgot to put the memory card back in our camera, such a bummer. I did get to take a few shots using the internal memory and if I can ever figure out how you get them out again I'll let you guys see. Thankfully I had my trusty iPhone to document some of our trip. I also took a bunch of film for the first time in ages, and man it felt good.

I hope all your weekends were lovely!

Friday, January 15, 2010

New keys!

We've added some new images to our wooden bookmarks, you know how the choice of five lovely vintage keys to choose from! A Valentines Day gift, perhaps? Find them over here!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A good mail day

I love mail. Yesterday I not only got my Venture One card (for saving money on shipping with Canada Post, dontcha know) but also two sweet packages! One full of these cute envelope seals from K is for Calligraphy, and would you take a look at the incredible lettering she did for my address! Next up there was a wee embroidered British Columbia, all packaged up perfectly from Erin, who also included a couple vintage photos that I love.

Oh, and see that tape? I love it, and Erin says it's a business expense so naturally I promptly ordered this and this. Eeee!

MSF/Doctors Without Borders Emergency Relief Fund

image via

I'm sure you're all aware of the devestating earthquake that hit Haiti a few days ago, there has been images of the destruction all over the news, most of which I've found really difficult to look at. So often when things like this happen I feel completely helpless to do anything, the task is so huge, so we've decided that from now until February 14th (if not longer), we'll be donating 15% of all sales to the MSF/Doctors Without Borders emergency relief fund, we'll then match that 15% ourselves. MSF is an organisation that we've supported personally for a number of years, and if you're unfamiliar with their work I would recommend checking out their website. Basically, it is a large group of doctors with a wide range of expertise, who provide mostly emergency medical relief in countries hit by natural disasters, war, extreme poverty, etc. One of the things I really love about MSF is that they are completely politically and religiously independent, and therefor unbiased about who receives their care.

While this was a natural disaster, Haiti being the poorest country in the world is no accident, and seeing people wring their hangs over how unlucky the country is and wonder why so many bad things happen to them is driving me crazy. In my mind, the IMF, the World Bank and American foreign policy are all complicit in this disaster, along with other countries who don't support Haitian refugees, immigration or democratic political movements within the country. I hope that after we donate to support the disaster relief, we also talk to and petition our governments to allow Haiti self determination and to support them in becoming an independent, economic and food secure country.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Resolution Number Seven: Explore

My (Our) seventh and final resolution! Thanks for coming along with me on this little resolution journey, I've really enjoyed all your comments and insights, and of course getting to know you all a little better.

Oh, how I love to explore. Waiting at the airport or train station is probably one of my all time favourite feelings, the anticipation of knowing I will soon be some place new. In saying that, I constantly seem to find myself flip flopping between wanting to settle down and buy a house right now, and planning our next trip abroad (I'm also well aware that part of my love for both these things is the planning itself. You'd think this would also mean I was organised. Sadly, this is not the case). I'm sure I give Richard whiplash at times with how quickly I'm onto the next thing, haha.

Like I mentioned in my previous resolution post, we're likely going to leave Vancouver for New Zealand at some point, and I would hate to leave Canada only having seen a small part of BC and only one other province. New Zealand is so far away, I really want to make the most of North American while I'm here! It is really easy to get caught up in all the fantastic places around the world to visit, but there is a wealth of places to get lost in this country, province and city, and I plan to take full advantage of them this year!

Some ideas we have brewing are...

- Ok, so this has moved past the idea stage. We're off to Salt Spring Is. this Thursday for Richard's birthday and a wee mini-break. I cannot wait! We're staying in a little beachside cottage with a fire place and everything.

- A holiday in the mountains in Spring with some of our besties (that always looks like beasties to me).

- After being inspired by Elizabeth's trip and incredible photos, we're hoping to spend a few weeks or so WWOOFing around Ontario and Quebec at the end of the summer-ish. I've wanted to WWOOF for awhile now, and venture out east to Toronto and Montreal, so perhaps we can do it all at once!

- Become a tourist in my own city. This is something I've often thought about, but never made time for. It's so easy to fall into familiar patterns of places to stroll and hang out (and part of me really loves that) but the idea of exploring Vancouver and going on little day-cations really appeals to me, especially after reading this post. What a lovely idea!

Any plans to explore, be it near or far, in the works for you all this year?

Kate MccGwire

Currently being blown away by these feather sculptures by London artist Kate MccGuire. I love the fluidity and movement she's created, doesn't it look like they're just gushing out of there? Found over at BOOOOOOOM! by way of my lovely friend Anna.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Resolution Number Six: Thoughtful Consumption

This is a resolution that I've been working on for awhile, and I feel like I'm mostly pretty good at, but still something I know I could use a reminder about every now and then. Now, Richard and I aren't exactly rolling in money so in a way this is a bit of a necessity, but I'm as guilty as anyone else of getting into the I WANT mode, most especially when browsing around online. As wonderful as this online crafty/design-y community is, I'll admit that I can often fall into the trap of being jealous of what I see everyone else has. Studio tours that are both inspiration and causes for manic ebay sessions trying to find the same amazing Eames chair (that of course I know I completely cannot afford!), or lusting after an amazing yarn stash. It is such a gross feeling, that jealous feeling. Especially when I actually have a lot of lovely things in my home and I know that it would be really easy to stay in the 'want' mode and never actually get out of it. Yuck.

So, I guess I'm talking about a change in mindset really. To learn to be happy with the things I have, and to take a really good look at those things to see if they are all things I actually need. We're most likely going to leave Vancouver at some stage to venture back to New Zealand for a bit, so as much I would love to buy amazing furniture, the money is probably better saved than spent. Or, to stop going to Value Village and buying every little knick knack that I see (of course I will still buy some, I can't help it) but wait a little bit so that I can buy that one really fantastic vintage piece that perhaps cost a little more but that I will love forever.

Some other areas both Richard and I are hoping to consume more thoughtfully are;

- De-clutter and live with a mindset of potentially have to move on, and set up house elsewhere.

- Eat locally grown food as exclusively as possible (I don't actually need pineapples)

- Adopt a completely vegan diet and lifestyle. We're both vegetarian, and have pretty much already been doing this for awhile, but have both come to a point where we want it to be more of a conscious thing.

- Research where the food we eat comes from, to make sure that it is in line with that that is ethically important to us.

- As mentioned in my previous post, make more of my own clothes.

- Buy local and handmade, as much as possible (this will exclude books and music I imagine, and some clothing because local plus size/sizes above a 12 or 14 boutiques pretty much don't exist. But that's another post).

Ha, I hope I dont sound too much like a kill joy with some of these goals. Im starting them knowing that I'm not going to be able to keep them perfectly all the time, but that if I can work on changing the way I view how I consume then that is what is most important to me for now.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this. Anyone in the same boat?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Resolution Number Five: Create

I have this print hanging up over my sewing/crafting table in our studio, and I smile every time I read it. I like that it both encourages and challenges me at the same time, and when things get busy and we're busting out orders it is a good reminder of why we're really doing this in the first place.

It seems that most of my 2010 goals have fallen into a general theme of prioritizing and being mindful of my time, and this one is no exception. When I first started thinking that we could possibly start a business selling the things we make, the caution we often got from other crafters was to not end up thinking of the creating part as a chore. I think one of the best ways I can do that is to make time everyday (in theory, ha) to create in one way or another. Be it drawing, food, playing an instrument, etc. I do have a few specific things in mind I'd like to try though, so here is a wee list...

- Make (or alter from thrift finds) more of my own clothes*
- Learn to crochet (I've lost count of how many months that has sat in my 'to-do' list!)
- Attend life drawing classes at Blim with this lovely lady
- Bust out our screen and do some screenprinting.
- Lino cuts and block printing
- Knit a sweater or cardy, for myself
- Finish a quilt
- Potato stamp some fabric and make something with it
- Make soap
- Plant a herbal tea garden and make my own tea
- Plan out and make our balcony veggie garden, including places to sit and enjoy it

Elizabeth over at Birch and Sycamore also has a lovely crafty to-do list, that I found just after writing my own one and includes a making a beautiful bookcase and room shoes! Oh, I really would love some room shoes!

What about you? Is there a particular skill you'd like to learn, or do more of this year?

*This one both excites and terrifies me! Right now my biggest resource for learning how to do this is a couple books and Melissa from All Buttoned Up (who is an excellent resource for sewing tips and tricks), so if you have any more tips, books or the like for me, please let me know!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy Weekend, from Clan Moody.

Clan Moody, circa 1945 (click to enlarge)

Richard found this great photo of his Dad (wee boy, giant grin) and Grandad (next to wee boy, crazy hair) and I totally fell in love with it. I love the look on his Dad's face, I love his Grandad's hair and serious gaze and I love that stylish woman sitting up on the wheel of the car! She reminds me a little of this lady that Kate posted about recently, and I love that not only is she wearing that great outfit, but that she looks so damn cool.

I hope you all have a really lovely weekend, and thank you, thank you to all of you who have commented here over this week. It has been so great hearing from you all, and I'm going to take this weekend off from the blog (I've scheduled the rest of my resolution posts for over the weekend) so that I can take the time to peruse all your blogs, stores and flickr accounts, reply to comments and connect.


Resolution Number Four: Photos

When I left high school, I went pretty much straight into a Media Arts degree in Journalism with a heavy photography minor (there wasn't actual minors, I was just taking all photography electives) as I had already mapped out my career path of cutting edge photojournalist (National Geographic and/or Rolling Stone here I come! Two magazines I would have no interest working for now, ha. Oh, 18yr old self). I really loved the photography aspect, and the writing aspect...but soon came to a realisation that as a journalist you don't go straight onto writing feature articles and opinion eds, or travelling to war zones and the like. Not that I felt working my way up was beneath me, not at all, but I'm actually a really shy person so the idea of having to go up to people and shoot questions at them for sound bites absolutely terrified me. Perhaps something I should have thought of beforehand? Ha, oh well.

Anyway, photography has continued to be one of my favourite things to do, but I feel like over the years I've gotten a little lazy with it. Or like reading, this past year I have struggled to make the amount time for it that I would like. Adele has this great post up over at her blog, all about comfort zones (she also designs and sells super sweet paper goods over here, worth checking out!) in respect to being self employed, that I totally identified with! I could also see how some of the excuses she talked about translated over into my photography and being creative in general. I'm constantly thinking about how the equipment I have isn't good enough (we have a crappy point and shoot digital, with a cracked screen that has a giant black spot on it), or how especially this last year I didn't have the time, or how expensive shooting film can become, etc, etc. But I forget the most important things like how much joy I get from doing it. How much I loved working in the darkroom so that I would stay in there for hours and not be able to see when I walked out into the sun. How thrilling it was to pick up a printed film, and that I would wait until I found a spot to sit down to look through them all. Were all my worries and insecurities (because lets call them what the are) really worth missing out on all that?

So, when Anabela mentioned she was taking part in 365 (a photo a day, for 365 days), and that it wasn't the one where you had to do a self portrait every day* (eep!) I decided to jump in and join her. Those up there are some of the shots from this week, and I have been really loving it. It makes me take my camera out of my bag, even when I'm busy, and document my life. I'm trying not to over think it, and just capture everyday moments (I can save my over thinking for my more serious photographic endeavours, ha). There are so many other great people taking part in it, too. Some that I already knew, and some that I've met since (Hello Jen!), and it is a really beautiful way to follow what they are up to, and what they see.

Would you like to take part? Maybe you have a photo that you've taken from each day since the 1st, or maybe you just want to start as of today. I'd love to know if you do so I can follow along!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Eleanor Wood

I absolutely adore these collages by Eleanor Wood. I love the slight juxtaposition of dreamy beauty and something that is perhaps just a little off. I remember seeing her work ages ago and being blown away, but not being able to ever find it until I recently stumbled over Nath's blog Le Petit Oiseau where she had posted about her. I love when that happens!

I've actually been working on some collages of my own that I hope to show you soon, along with a few new things (some new clocks, bookmarks and inspiration hoops, and some altogether new products!) for the shop. If only I can get some decent lighting to take product photos, I should have an shop update by next Monday, so keep an eye out!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Resolution Number Three: Read some.

I was such a bookworm as a kid, I read all.the.time. It is still one of my most favourite things to do, but I found that last year it was really difficult for me to find the time (or allow myself to make the time, perhaps?) to really get lost in books like I usually do. After seeing Julianna and Jeannette's posts, amongst others, about all the fantastic books they read this year, I was almost jealous of all fantastic things they'd read! Not jealous in the sense that they'd a greater number of books than me, but knowing what a great feeling it is to really get into a book and feeling jealous that I didn't get much of that last year.

I did read some great books though, The Wordy Shipmates and Play The Monster Blind being two of them, and my goal this year isn't so much to read x amount of books (ha, side note...last year I joined a 52 books in 52 weeks group. Yeah right! People were even reading things like War and Peace and Moby Dick!) but to make time for reading more than anything. Over on, Diana and a few other bloggers have started a Slow Readers Book Club that celebrates just that. Taking time to slow down and really enjoy the books we read, so great. I'm thinking I should probably sign up, partly because I just want to be in a book club so badly, haha. Fingers crossed I can find the book they're reading (which looks fantastic), but for now I've started The Mandarins which has long been on my list. Oh, how I love Simone de Beauvoir!

How 'bout you, reading anything good? Or is there something else that you love doing and are hoping to make more time for this year? I'd love to hear about it!


p.s. Are you on Good Reads? It's like a giant book club of sorts, and a place to track what you read, see what others are reading and get some inspiration for new reads. Come find me on there as Becka Brittain and we can swap book reviews and recommendations!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My House Party

First of all you should know that our house is looking pretty crazy right now. I've got some rather early spring cleaning bug that I blame on the New Year, and have given myself this week to clear out the apartment, scrub the kitchen, hang prints, and declutter the studio so that I actually feel like working in it (read: can walk across the carpet). In this newly cleaned and beautiful house I would like there to be many a plant. Which is why I must have one of these! Aren't they incredible? So very dreamy. You should definitely go and take a peek at My House Party's shop over here for even more loveliness. It has become one of those 'the moment I get my next pay cheque' type purchases, and really they're so reasonably priced, why not!

(H/t to Lili and Abby for bringing these to my attention)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Resolution Two: Community

I feel a little cheesy posting a wedding photo, but it is such a favourite shot of my bff's and I! (Why yes, I did just say bff's, for realz)
First of all, I want to say a huge thank you to all of you who commented on my last post! It was so great hearing from you all, discovering new people (and new blogs!), hearing how we're often all feeling the same, and just generally hearing an 'answer' come back, if that makes sense. Thank you, thank you!

If someone where to ask me if I was an introvert or extrovert, I would definitely say introvert. I love nights in, a real homebody at heart, and was pretty shy as a kid (ok, aside from the time I did a dance to C&C Music Factory's 'Everybody Dance Now' in front of the class, alone. Or the La Bamba debacle, but those were most definitely the exceptions to the rule) and would even have a hard time going into stores on my own as a young teen.

On the flipside, something I've noticed more and more recently is how I thrive off community. Being with others, especially like minded others is something that really invigorates me. Lately I've been trying to make an effort to bust out of my little hermit shell and head out to events, get togethers, parties and the like, that I'm invited to because I always end up loving it, despite often feeling nervous and full of self doubt on the way there (ok, and sometimes it's also despite the fact that I just didn't want to get out from under the quilts...I actually think this could be part of the reason I love twitter so much, I can be at the party and still in my pj's at the same time).

This time of year is one of the hardest times to be away from home, not so much because of the holidays, but because it's summer back there. Logging onto Facebook and seeing photos of all my favourite people, together, on some fantastic camping trip or beautiful beach totally pulls on my heart. Like any big city, Vancouver can be a tricky place to meet new people and make friends. Plus, how do you even do that once you're a grown up? I constantly say this to myself, "Oh, it's such a transient city" and while this isn't untrue, the fact that I don't put myself out there isn't helping either. Besides, I've met tons of very lovely people, and now it comes down to fostering those friendships and building community. So, I've decided that this is the year that I say yes to parties and get togethers, to take a class or two and to ask the fun people I've met both in real life and online out for tea dates. Eep! It both scares and excites me.

What about you, lovelies? Is this something you struggle with also, or are you more the life of the party type?
With community building and connecting in mind, I've added Disqus to the blog, which is why the comments section may look a little funny. For awhile now I've wanted to be able to reply directly to your comments, and build a bit more of a dialogue, which this allows me to do. I'm excited for all the virtual tea dates that might take place, so we can hang out whether you're in Vancouver or not!
p.s. One more thing! The very lovely Tara over at Scoutie Girl has a piece up where I talk about how everything old is new again and give some tips on vintage hunting. Go take a peek!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Resolution Number One: Connect

As I mentioned in my last post, I've decided to combine my goals for 2010 into big, (hopefully) inspiring themes. As I contemplated my goals for this year, and chatted about them with Richard, I noticed them all falling into different categories and bigger, more overarching goals emerged. Despite them getting bigger, this has helped make things seem so much more exciting and doable to me.

Something I've been thinking about a lot recently is connecting. I'd say one of the most significant things of the past decade for me was the explosion of the internet. For sure, it can be a huge time suck, but because of the internet I have this blog, our etsy store and the ability to buy handmade from all over the world. It has enabled me to connect with people and ideas that would never have been possible otherwise, and so despite all the crazy out there, I am really thankful for this online business.

I do get shy though. I have often been guilty of reading a lovely blog post or viewing a particularly beautiful photo on flickr, and then moving on without leaving a comment. Which is funny, because although I may feel like I have nothing to contribute to the conversation, I have had a reaction of some kind to it in my head. I have felt something or I have something to add, I agree and sometimes disagree, so why not let them know? I often feel like anything I have to say has already been said by previous commenters, so why bother? But, perhaps yours or my perspective is exactly the one that writer needs to hear. However, as a blogger I know what a huge encouragement it is to receive comments on my posts. It may not feel like much, but I truly do get excited each time I get one. Partly because it means someone is listening, partly because it means someone either likes or is in some way moved by what I've written here, and partly because it sparks a connection between you and I.

So with that in mind, I have decided to make an effort to connect with the blogs I read and foster conversation and community more between myself and them. I would love it if I got to hear more from you lovely readers, also! One of my favourite parts of Google Analytics is the map overlay, where I get to see where in the world people are visiting this space from. Japan! Sweden! Greece! I wonder who you all are? Do you have blogs, too? I would love to read them! I know some of you are perhaps also shy, but even if it is just this one time, I would love for you to leave me a comment with the following...

Where you are from and/or live?

If you like, how old are you?

How do you pass your days?

I would love to get to know you all better, to connect. I'd love to hear your thoughts on things, to get advice and to foster community. Hope to hear from you soon!


(oh, for all you google reader users, there has been a bit of a blog redesign if you'd like to pop in and take a peek!)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A clean slate

We're 2 days into 2010 and so far, so good! I hope you all had lovely and celebratory times on the 31st and are all feeling ready tackle a brand new decade. We had a quiet night in (due to it being rainy, and me being on call, and the fact that we're homebodies), watched movies, knit and had a glass of baileys or two. I hate to say that we didn't even make it out onto the balcony to check for fireworks as the clock struck twelve, but did open the door to hear the crackers and car horns in amongst sirens and cars backfiring. Aside from the fact that I just like quiet, and that I'm finding it hard getting my head around a winters NYE instead of one spent at the beach, spending a night in talking about last year and all it brought, plus dreaming about 2010, all it will bring and all we're excited for just seemed so perfect. At the beginning of a fresh, new year with a clean slate is such an exhilarating place to be!

I've never been big on resolutions before, but planning and mapping out goals for our future, and actually spending time on it, felt so refreshing. None of the chocolate quitting or x amount of kilos losing nonsense, but enjoyable and doable goals. I plan to share them here over the next few days, packaged into big and exciting 2010 themes, and I'd love to hear both your thoughts on them and any goals or dreams you have set for yourself so please chime in.