Sunday, January 31, 2010

BustaMove recap!

Who wears short shorts?
Some of you will be really interested and others not so much, but here is Saturday's story......The day dawned cold and bitter but we were ready to get moving and nothing was going to deter us. It was very exciting to wake up to "the day".

What an event! The organization for it was flawless. We each were assigned a participant number and that tied together all the little details. Baggage check, waiver, registration, spot on the floor, etc... Everything flowed smoothly and all details covered. The Metro Centre looked fab! Each of those pink squares is a towel and represents a person!

Our team, the HalifaxChicks, met bright and early ready to kick some a*=%. Actually I think it was our own a*+% s we kicked! lol. Don't we look raring to go!

Ben Boudreau, a member of the RetroActives team. Looking very retro:) He is responsible for the creation of the HalifaxChicks team. In October he organized an info session for us on BustaMove and the rest is history....

Jon Mullane started things off as people were arriving and getting themselves oriented.

Some of the costumes were great! These bulbs actually switched on and off:)

6 hours of exercise folks! I discovered I was able to take my camera on the floor and managed to snap a couple of "action" pics. I was too busy during the aerobic stuff but this was the pilates. session in hour four. The towels came in handy:)

There was wonderful food all through the day that changed as the hours wore on. Sweet loaves, yogurt, muffins, fruit, sandwich wraps, apple chips, veggies and dip. Drinks, including coffee. A massage room with over a dozen masseuses.

This is the yoga. I sat up from lying down and had to take a picture. I imagine it must have been a remarkable sight for the instructor.
In the middle of the day, we broke two world records! There was a judge from the Guiness Word Record book and so everything had to be done according to a certain protocol to make sure they would be "legal"records. We all hugged for 10 seconds. One record broken, and then we formed a "conga line" and after learning several massage routines, had to perform them on the person in front of us for four minutes, thus breaking another record!

and then in hour 6.......the moment we'd all been waiting for:) The Weight Saint himself arrived running through the participants on the floor to arrive on the stage! Richard Simmons!

He soon had the stage filled with children who had been performers and as the hour wore on, more and more people were hauled up to join him.

and it got sillier and sillier but what a laugh we all had. He distracted us from the exhaustion and weariness:) At the end of it all there was a lovely heartfelt message from him about the importance of being true to ourselves.

At the end of it all, the tally was revealed.......$1,143169.oo!! The Halifaxchicks team raised almost $12,000 of that. Yay us. We did it!

Congratulations to the organizers, participants , fitness instructors and volunteers!
Thanks to all of you who donated!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010


Well, this is it! Tomorrow is BustaMove! 6 hours of exercise, two world records to break, Richard Simmons and a whole lot of fun! Really looking forward to it:) We are spending tonight in a hotel next to the venue just for some added excitement. Registering late this afternoon and then out for supper with the "team" and onward ho! As a team of ten we have raised nearly $12,000. THANKS !

Today is a winter wonderland . White on white. It has been snowing all night and continues to do so. I see shoveling in my future:)

Have a great weekend:)

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Collins, Marjory, 1912-1985, photographer. NewYork. Getting a manicure while drying hair at Francois de Paris, a hairdresser on Eighth Street 1942 Sept.

I'm feeling a bit stressed recently. Need some of this for myself. I think today I am going to do things that please me. I've been taking an ecourse and haven't had time or motivation to really enjoy it. I have some sorting and organizing to do. Planning and dreaming. Today I am carving out some space for myself:)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Starry Night

Paisley Sky..... on ebay:)

BustaMove and Webathon for Haiti

Back to basics:) American Motors Ford Fairlane dashboard. When cars were cars:)

Wow, what a flurry of activity there has been on this blog. The OWOH event has certainly galvanized people into blog visiting!

I've been busy gearing up for the inaugural BustaMove event happening this weekend:) 6 hours of exercise! Richard Simmons, Zumba,Yoga..... = new digital mammogram machine:) They will be doing it again next year I've just heard:) My team reached our goal of $10,000 and surpassed it! Thanks to all who have supported:) As one last small fundraising venture,we are auctioning off a spot on our team:) We raised the $1000 so you don't have to.

Also this Saturday, at the Pogue Fado, is putting together a webathon/telathon to support Oxfam's efforts in Haiti They've got a stellar lineup of performers including:
- Sons of Maxwell
- Jon Bryant
- Mary Stewart
- Three Sheet
- Remedy
- The Johnny Dick Project
- Paul Cram and Company
- Ian Sherwood
- Najet
- Reed Jones and El Jones
- Mike Trask

Here's the Facebook invite if you are interested. Why not pop over to the Metro Center to see the Bust a Move action and then pop down to the Pogue?

And in other news, for those that might be interested...2 more pounds gone:)

Monday, January 25, 2010

One World One Heart, Blogging Event

You might have noticed this badge on my sidebar recently. This event starts today Jan 25th! If you are arriving here for the first time, welcome!

Lisa Swifka created this event in 2007. The original idea behind this giveaway event was to bring bloggers together from around the world who might never ordinarily meet and in the process possibly win a prize or many prizes along the way. 2007 had roughly 85-90 participants and friendships that are still going strong. 2008 tripled that number and in 2009 there were 911 participants! 28 countries were represented.

This is more than wanting to win something.......that is only the the end it's about finding kindred spirits. Someone who may be fairly new to blogging, not sure how to navigate, can find others and have others find them....Some are long time bloggers and in some cases well known in the blogging community. Whatever the case it brings all of them together.

This is an INTERNATIONAL event that has had participants from the US, Canada, France, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Malaysia, Brazil, The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland, England,Wales, Slovenia and more. Generating a closer community, friendship and goodwill through blogging.

Feel free to join in(until the 15th I think) and visit other blogs by clicking on the OWOH logo. All blogs participating are on the right hand side of the OWOH site.

I will be giving away a signed calendar of my art work:)Click on the picture below to see all the images:)

and... an 8 x 10 copy of this print.

All you have to do is leave a comment here until midnight Feb 14th and I will announce the winner on the 15th. There must be a way I can contact you via email:) Thanks and enjoy the bloggy ride around the world!

and the winners of the One Heart One World draw are .....
#11 Wabii Sabii-Running with Scissors and #195 Katie Foley!
I had 501 entries!
Thanks so much for entering!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New York, New York...

NYC by Christopher Schoenbohm, you can see more of his HDR work by clicking on the pictures.

and why, you might ask, am I posting these pictures?

Because I am going to Manhattan in May! Flight and hotel booked:) My mom and daughter and I are heading to the Big Apple! Reeeallllly excited. Do any of you have any recommendations for MUST do, MUST eat, MUST see, MUST try, MUST buy?? Any websites? I might make a separate post of them.
We are staying midtown near Times Square at the Casablanca. One reason we picked it was because of the buffet breakfast, snacks all day and wine and cheese every night! Really. Help save a bit of money for the good stuff:)
Hoping I might even get a chance to meet some of my bloggy pals!

Friday, January 22, 2010


Oh oh, I've been found out!

But can I stay?

I said yes:) This was a lovely basket that a friend had filled with boxes of tea as a gift for me and lined it with two exquisite pillow cases. I had just emptied out the tea and returned to find Monty curled up and comfy. How could I resist?

Made some soup yesterday. Perfectly warming for this frosty winter month. It was YUMMY! It makes a very sweet and spicy soup.

Jamie Oliver's Spicy Parsnip Ginger Soup (adapted)
2 T olive oil or coconut oil
knob of butter
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
2-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon garam masala ( Optional, an Indian spice) I love it.
6 parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 litre vegetable stock or chicken stock
500ml milk or coconut milk (2 cups)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
OPTIONAL:fresh red chili, deseeded and finely sliced ( I didn't use)
OPTIONAL: handful of fresh coriander leaves
• crusty bread, to serve

Heat a splash of olive oil and the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, ginger and garam masala. Gently fry for around 3 minutes, until fragrant. It will stick to the bottom of the pot a bit but don't worry, when you add the broth you scrape it up.
Drop in the chopped parsnip and stir together so that everything gets coated in the oil and flavours.
Pour in the stock, season well and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes with a lid on.
Add the milk at the end and if you don't want to that's ok, it's fine without:) I didn't add it.

After half an hour, check that the parsnips are cooked by sticking a knife in. If you’re happy, remove them from the heat and carefully whiz up using a hand blender or liquidizer. Taste the soup to see if it needs a little more salt or pepper.

Serve with a sprinkling of sliced red chili, a few coriander leaves if you like, and a good chunk of crusty bread.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


A cozy place to sit, hot cup of tea and good books always feels like home to me:)

Books here are:
Paris Times Eight, the author's 8 different visits to Paris
Pioneer Woman Cooks, fab photos & recipes, by a mom who lives on a ranch
First Family, David Baldacci's latest thriller

....all courtesy of my local library:)

Cirque de Soleil mug courtesy of my daughter( it's hers, but I use it occasionally)
Tea: Red Rose, Orange Pekoe :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nova Scotia summer

Lupin Cottage :) Original available here

Ahhhh, those lazy days of summer.......This is the sketch I did when I was at the PintnPurl get together last week. Don't knit so I sketched and doodled:) It was a fun evening and I recommend that you get some friends together and try it one night! Beer, food, friendship and creating stuff!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Lots on my plate this week. Big plans for "getting things done".

Pop over to the Craft Hope for Haiti button on the side and visit the shop, ALL proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders. I've donated but they have a backlog and it won't be up for a bit:)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tag Lucky 8

Sara from DreamBig tagged me to play Lucky Chinese Tag. So I'll give it a go because I really like the number 8 and these things are fun every now and then..... this is all of the top of my head and I'm sure I could have written this list eight different ways depending on when I happened to start it:)

8 TV shows I watch:
I'm not a big TV watcher but here are some shows I enjoy, in no particular order
1. Spooky paranormal shows....Most Haunted that ghostie stuff:)
2. Cooking shows..I find them relaxing, especially Jamie Oliver and Nigella
3. Lost
4. Travel shows....have to satisfy that wanderlust somehow
5. Larry King
6. Nature of Things
7. The Weather Network!
8. Historical Dramas

8 favorite places to eat and drink: (in no particular order)
1. Christmas Dinner at my mom's
2. Bud the Spud french fry truck in Halifax
3. Hot chocolate at Angelina's in Paris
4. Fish soup in Antiparos cooked on the beach in a big battered pot
5. The Redwood Grill in Halifax at the Future Inn, an unlikely place for a great meal
6. Club sandwich and pie at Evangeline's Cafe in Grand Pre
7. Westcliffe Diner for a delicious home cooked burger
8. Any breakfast while camping

8 things I look forward to
1. Seeing Haiti rebuilt and stronger
2. Travelling
3. Planting my garden and seeing it in the summer sun
4. Getting to Cape Breton this summer
5. A fitter, healthier me
6. Meeting new blogging pals
7. Growing my business
8. Not having to worry about finances:)

8 things that happened yesterday
1. I roasted a big tray of veggies
2. Worked on a painting and listed it
3. Did a sixty minute workout
4. Started Madelyn Mulvaney's e-course
5. Thought about things I would like to happen
6. Got some bits and pieces organized
7. Watched some of the Golden Globes
8. Really not much

8 things I love about winter
1. Sparkles
2. Makes me appreciate Spring and warmer weather
3. It creates opportunities to get things done inside
4, It is my birthday season!
5. Skiing
6. Woolly mittens and scarves and hats!
7. Soups and stews
8. The crunch and squeak underfoot

8 things on my wish list
Aside from health and happiness for everyone...
1. See my daughter achieve her goals
2. Trip to Paris again with my mom and daughter
3. Refinished hardwood floors
4. A gallery show
5. Getting hired to do photography portrait sessions
6. Find a really great cause and immerse myself in it.
7. A healthier fitter me:)
8. Do volunteer photography work with an organization that helps people and have it involve some travel.

8 words I use often
1. Thank you
2. Please
3. yikes
4. extraordinary
5. wee

8 things I have learned from the past
1. Helping others makes you feel better
2. Don't be self concious, people don't pay as much attention to you as you think they do.
3. Be kind as often as you can
4. Going for a walk helps the blues
5. Life is a DO IT YOURSELF project, you cannot wait for others to do it for you.
6. All is well......
7. Start from now
8. Talk to strangers, but not until you are grown up:)

8 books, websites, things I recommend
1. The Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella ( Italy,1940's,food, romance)
2.The Secret Garden and A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, I read these with a flashlight under the covers when I was young:)
3. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
4. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (80 year old Lily tells story, China 1800's)
5. Happy Healthy Long Life always interesting:)
6.Fat Girl's Guide To Living, a life hacker for the full figured set. Love what they are doing!
7. Vivian Maier Remarkable photography of this woman collected by John Maloof
8. Pioneer Woman! Fun

8 people I'm tagging for this post
(no eye rolling!) Actually I' leaving it up to YOU!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

crunch, crunch

I've been eating lots of these and enjoying them. So far, so good:) 1 week on the plan and 5.5 pounds gone:) I'm feeling tired today but am determined to do some sort of exercise! You know the drill...move more eat less.

Still feeling shattered at the devastation in Haiti. Hard to imagine the chaos, confusion and loss. No one to give direction. 3 million people without access to food, sanitation or water! Hopefully it can be rebuilt as stronger, safer and thriving country. I've done a little bit to help out and with many doing the same , it WILL make a difference. Any of you here in Canada wanting to help, here is the CBC Haiti relief resource page. Some up to date"on the ground in Haiti" info from Doctors Without Borders

Friday, January 15, 2010

missing green

Ahh, to sit and just be..........a wee reminder of summer.

This was taken at Scott Manor House in Bedford near Halifax, a lovely small heritage property tucked away off a busy commercial area. It is situated on one of the oldest traveling routes in Canada. The Acadians used to herd their oxen past here from the Wolfville area to the head of Bedford Basin to load onto ships headed for Louisburg. The Micmacs used it for centuries before that. It was the main route from Bedford west to the Bay of Fundy.

I've been given a wee nod by Anne at NovaScotiaIsland I think you will enjoy her blog. She and her husband live in the lighthouse keeper's home on a remote island off the south shore called Roseway Island. Click back to some of the earlier entries. so interesting. They are off island until February.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Tools of the trade...........

Last night I decided at the last minute to pop in and join some "twitter" friends at a PintnPurl session at a local pub/restaurant. So glad I did. I don't knit or crochet or macrame but brought my sketchbook instead and got a bit of work done:) It was fun to sit around a table, drink ale, eat and gab while getting in some creative time:) I have a feeling this could be a regular thing.

Later today, I am off to help a friend set up some microstock accounts:) They are soon blasting off on a three month RV adventure across America! *tucking in my little green horns of envy* Should be fun!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Grey Day

Baby it's cold outside........finally feels like winter. We've had a good one so far and I am grateful for that. Just January and February to get through and even though March is still wintery, the quality of the light changes and Spring begins! We are almost halfway through January!

This wee bird is a mourning dove. There are a few pairs that hang about my feeder and start munching when everyone else has had their fill. They are ground feeders, so like to sit right on the tray and peck at the seeds. I love their haunting cry.

Still doing well on the "reclaiming myself" front. Have upped the exercise. BustaMove is in 17 days! I've heard that Richard Simmons will be around for a lot of the day giving encouragement and then leading his class at the end of it all. Should be a fun day. Thanks to all who have donated. I've reached my goal and my daughter is almost there:)

Sad news about Haiti. A country that was in difficult shape even before this devastating earthquake. My friend Marilyn has put together a Haiti twitter list so if you are interested or on twitter and want to follow news that way you can refresh every now and then to see updates. MatadorChange is organizing a volunteer mission for people who want to help out. Jet Blue might be supplying the transport. Here is an extensive list on how you can help Haiti

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tulip Tuesday

Aren't these beautiful? A birthday present from a great pal:) So lovely to see Spring flowers even if only in a vase. They certainly cheer up my spirits.

Today is day 4 of reclaiming myself. Getting back to the babe I used to be :-) So far so good. I am really motivated. I think getting really fed up with how I was feeling and looking helped a lot. Last night I was really craving some munchies but held off and it felt great waking up this morning knowing that I did not cave in and eat snacks. Evenings are the worst.

Now I am heading out for errands on this crisp, sunny January afternoon. Then it is time for some exercise and back to painting.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Ahhhh...ohmmmmmm....better than......nom,nom,nom.
Yes, I am on track and excited with my decision to eat clean and move more.
Only day 2 but hey, gotta stay positive:)

This is an older print in my shop that I always ship free in keeping with the spirit of the image. ( if it is sold and you are interested, don't worry I will relist as I notice) I've had a flurry of sales in my shop this weekend which was lovely! Things have been in a bit of a slump including myself, so glad to see that change.

Cold and sunny and frosty this am. I've noticed that the light is hanging around a bit longer:) Yay. I've got printing, packaging and post officing to do and then it is off to the gym and then time to hit the brushes.

Hope you have a great week:)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Drastic Measures!

Well hello there!
Yes it is me. My BEFORE picture!!!!
I have signed up for the X-weighted National Challenge. Yesterday morning found me at the YMCA going through a very simple but grueling fitness test, facing some scales and having an intimate encounter with a tape measure. So.........after a bit of shock, it all led to this, my "coming out" as a chunky gal:) The challenge lasts for six months but the benefits will last a lifetime. I figured if I bit the bullet and posted my pic here, I would maybe feel more accountable and really DO it! Somehow the thought of this being a "before" pic is easier to reconcile with making it public:)
We shall see where this leads:) I have been more active with training for the Bust a Move event Jan 30th so this is just extra motivation! Yay me.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Thanks for all the wonderful birthday wishes!
I had a great day topped off with Chinese food ordered in and some movies. Decided against going out. Wonderful lunch with some friends was enough:)

Debra She Who Seeks is the winner of my birthday present draw. Yay! Thanks.

Now I am off downtown to get weighed for the "at home version" of Xweighted! The party is over.....or maybe I should say it is just beginning! First I am meeting a pal for pancakes! Then off we go for a fitness test and scales. Dum de dum dum.

Friday, January 8, 2010

January 8

What do we share in common?
Yep! Our birthday:)
"Da,da,da,da,da,da, You say it's your birthday?! Da,da,da,da,da, HappyBirthday to you!!"Sing it like John Lennon:)
I'm going to send a gift to someone today! Leave a comment and I will draw a name:).
Nods to David Bowie today too.

Yeah baby!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

hot off the easel:)

Best Friends ORIGINAL available here
Print available on Etsy.

lunch and a prayer

This is Morris East. I have been wanting to visit for a while. It is a small place tucked away on a side street off Barrington. My neighbor and I have been trying to get out to lunch for weeks and finally we made it.

The food was really good. I had a sweet potato/squash soup and a toasted avacado, olive tapenade, roasted tomato and swiss cheese sandwich. Can you say yum? My lunch partner had one of their wonderous pizzas and it was AMAZING! Wood fired pear with maple aioli,blue cheese, roasted pork loin and charred onion. They are known for their Italian wood fired oven which was brought over from Europe. As much as I enjoyed my sandwich, next time I am trying one of their pizzas!

Sadly, our lunch concluded with the funeral of another neighbor from just down the street. A charming, sweet man who always had a cheery word and a smile for us. He was eighty years old and up until just a few weeks ago went every morning for a walk in Point Pleasant Park. I'll miss him

Mary's Cathedral Basilica. I took these after the service. I am not really a super religious person but these sanctuaries of prayer inspire me. I believe most religions inspire their followers towards the same goals of becoming kinder, more thoughtful, selfless individuals and I think there are many paths to get there. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. If everyone lived by this, just imagine......

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Gigi and robin chick. A picture from my childhood:) This wee bird fell from a nest or something, can't remember now... so we brought it in and made a lined box and fed it with an eyedropper and then put it back outside I think. Must ask my mum. Gigi did not know what to make of it! We were always rescuing small birds and animals.
Our family had two Siamese cats, Gigi was neurotic and twitchy, Topaz was round and cuddly. To this day I still miss them. They both had separate litters of kittens in my bedroom cupboard! I remember how as soon as they were able, they would laboriously pick up each kitten by the scruff of the neck, trundle over to my bed, leap up with kitten clamped between their teeth, deposit in the warm covers and go back for another. I loved it!

Monday, January 4, 2010


This big spoon came from the set of the movie,The Shipping News that starred Kevin Spacey. At the end of a production sometimes there is an auction of props and things. A friend of mine who worked as the food stylist on that show picked up some spoons. I had helped her create a "squid" burger for one of the scenes. lol. We tried to make it look great with bits of dulse hanging out and deep fried breaded fried tentacles but Kevin refused to even try it. The rest of the crew and director did and pronounced them delicious! His was eventually made with chicken. All this for a ten second shot:)

I uploaded this shot to Shutterstock on the weekend. It was was accepted and already has a download:) I have not been very consistent at all with my microstock stuff and plan to try to get a few uploaded each week. It is another way to make some extra dollars and fun too. With a bit of work, you could do quite well! I wrote about microstock a while ago. There was some controversy recently about microstock taking money from professional photographers. The shot that triggered the discussion was just a jar of coins used by Time magazine for their cover. Ironically the issue was about tightening the belt. Personally, I think why spend "big" money on a shot of a jar, a classic "stock" picture. Spend the"big"money on shots that require imagination and presence.

If you take a look around some of the microstock companies, there are AMAZING images to be found now. The advent of digital cameras has made photography accessible to so many more people and they are really pushing the boundaries of what can be done.