Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What happened to Christmas?

Every year I say the same thing. The frantic build up to the big day then poof! it's gone. For the last few days I've been sure not to waste any of the cookies that were happily baked by friends and family, as well as my own sugar cookies. I'm starting to get pimples. All I've done since Christmas (other than eat cookies), is knit scarves, watch It's A Wonderful Life and clean up the house. I haven't even picked up my camera. Poor Canon. Canon and I have a shoot to do tomorrow, so we'll catch up then.

My husband and I are not fans of Boxing Day/Week/Month - it's kind of depressing to me. The picture above kind of sums it all up. I've never been able to wrap my head around shopping the day after Christmas. I would love to hear from those of you that do. Am I missing something, like free shoes and purses somewhere? 

FYI - There are a number of theories as to what Boxing Day is all about. One theory is that boxes were placed in churches, and people placed money and food in them for the poor. The boxes were opened on December 26th, the Feast of St. Stephen, and distributed to the needy. I quite like this theory.  Anyone have any other theories to share?

One last thing to share before 2010. We were mooching off my brother at his restaurant last week and after mooching, we walked by the upholstery shop that is reupholstering my chair. I took in some beautiful blue fabric from Maharam, along with my sad little chair, a few weeks ago. They told me it probably wouldn't be done before Christmas (it wasn't), but I didn't expect to see it sitting high up on a shelf looking so lost. Cheer up chair, it won't be long now!

On that note, Happy New Year everyone! I'm so looking forward to 2010!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How did it happen so fast?

Every year I ask this same question. I really do need to get on the Christmas thing in November, not the week before the big day. Panic shopping = refunds on the 28th.

I'm working on Christmas crackers today. This year I picked up some great little surprises for everyone. Warning: Any family member reading this post, should stop reading now as your cracker surprise will be spoiled. If you continue to read I will know, and so will Santa. Believe.

Found some cute flower clips and rings at H&M, vintage scarves at Mintage, robot magnets at Nood to name a few of the treats. This year, I'm using brown kraft paper, silvery grey yarn, and I cut out tree shapes (see above) from Vogue magazines, to decorate the crackers. Picked up the snappers at Urban Source, made the tissue paper 'crowns' and fortunes, and inserted them into a lovely toilet paper roll. If you are making your own crackers, make sure to take off any bits of paper from roll as this looks a little bottom shelf.

Not a good look. Do remove excess paper from roll before making your crackers.

Robot magnets, snappers, mini pens, vintage scarf and finished cracker.

Last note before Christmas. The cookie baking segment on CTV news, went well! Tamara Taggart made it very easy. Huge thank you to Karen, my sister, for doing the segment with me and making some cute aprons the night before. Kate, thank you too for all your help as well. Wink.

Tamara, me, and my sister Karen making yo-yos. Picture taken by Louise Hartland

Have a fabulous Christmas everyone! Back next week.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

yo-yos and a cookie with a name I can't pronounce

Hope all of you lovely bloggers are enjoying the festive season, whatever holiday you may be celebrating!

I've been trying to get all yuletidy and festive, but I've got another non-holiday shoot today (though I'm extremely thankful for it, H&H), and I've been feverishly perfecting my yo-yos. You Australians will know what I'm talking about. They seem to be a very popular "biscuit" in your part of the world. I will be baking these cookies with my friend Tamara Taggart, on CTV news this Friday. She is the fabulous weathercaster for the evening weekday news program. Tamara is baking cookies all this week with some pretty talented ladies, so I'm nervous. First hour of the show, yo-yos, second part, cookie with a name I can't pronounce. Cuccidati (Italian fig cookie). Any helpful hints out there? My Italian blogger friends, help me!

Spiced yo-yos

On the home front, we've managed to decorate a bit, but feel we still have a lot to do before next week - the official countdown to Christmas. My husband and I don't get too precious with the decor, as we tend to like the natural look, mixed with our tree full of glass ornaments collected over the years. I have to see those every year or it's not Christmas to me. 

The floral arrangements are a mix of Canadian and Australian greens. Sweet vintage fawn from my pal Heather. Happy glass ball a gift from my friend Sarah.

Final notes. A huge thank you to Jana, of Rooted In Style, and Lori, of ChicGeek Designs for both doing a post featuring my work. Very sweet women. Love them. Check out their blogs for heaps of beautiful inspiration!

Have a fabulous day everyone!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Not quite Rockefeller, but we did have Elvis

Elvis Costello that is. Elvis and his wife, Diana Krall, were the special guests at the Amacon Christmas tree lighting celebration at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Unfortunately, their mission was only to push the big red button, to switch on the lights, not to do a festive duet. In just it's 3rd year, it doesn't quite have the panache, or the countless superstars, that Rockefeller has, but it's a start. 

Now, back to Elvis. I adore Elvis Costello, and have grown to be o.k with his wife, Nanaimo BC native, Diana Krall. She did look pretty last night. I was only about 12 feet away from them, so I took lots of pics. Please allow me to show you a number of them!

To Mise of Pretty Far West: Since I was in a sparkly mood after the tree lighting (and Elvis), I decided to go by a couple of the houses, from my last post, to show you what they look like all lit up. Enjoy! I think I prefer them in the light of day, all exposed and self conscious.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Festive Observations

This has been the busiest week. I had plans to post before now, but I had an unexpected crazy (good crazy) shoot week. Must be a Christmas miracle, as it's usually a little quiet this time of year. Hallelujah! Shot stories for House and Home, Sunset and a happy family portrait session.

Needless to say, my weekend was spent with the computer working on hundreds of images. I had to take an eye break so I rugged up, grabbed my camera, and took a walk through my neighbourhood. I love my neighbourhood.

Feast your eyes on these over-the-top, a touch crazy, but festive houses. I don't know the homeowners, but I'd love to meet them all. I did meet two young girls running around with extension cords at the house above. They told me they had been working on the display with their dad. So sweet! Do you put this much effort into adorning your front lawn? I know we don't. If I could get my mitts on a glowing choir boy or girl, I'd be all over it.

I also checked out Walrus on one of my "eye breaks". Wow! They have some fabulous gift ideas. Love that fox face necklace! I hope my husband is reading this.

I've got to get back to sorting and colour correcting now. On a final note, if you're in the Vancouver area on December 14th, check out the extremely popular quiz night at The Cascade Room. They've paired up with Warner Brothers for a special quiz night to promote WB's upcoming Sherlock Holmes. You could win passes for 4 for the screening on December 21st and more! See you there!

I hope all you lovely bloggers are well! Looking forward to having some time to catch up and read your fabulous blogs.