28 November 2008

Kick off the Holiday Shopping Sprees...

...with free shipping. With only 26 more sleeps and lured by the tradition of American Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, I am offering free shipping - WORLDWIDE - in my Etsy shop.
In effect from now until midnight (EST) Monday, Dec 1.

Until Sunday night, all purchases are also entered into the draw for the free bracelet.

25 November 2008

The World is Aglow

Last night I looked out the window just in time to see a winter fog begin its creep across the sky. It was wonderful to see. It was this morning however, that the true beauty became apparent.

24 November 2008

A Hint of Spring on a Snowy Day

Sweet little birdies, keeping watch over a nested egg.

23 November 2008

Where is Mr Tumnus With That Hot Drink?

Late this morning I drove just to the edge of Moncton and stepped into the hushed woods of the Irishtown Nature Park. If you read regularly, you may remember that this was the park where earlier in the year I stepped on a snake. I still shudder at the thought, but decided that by this time of year this snake was likely hibernating (or dead) and not likely to notice my return.

The sun was weak, the wind brisk, and the snow high. Despite these perhaps less than ideal conditions, the surrounding forest was idyllic. Only for the lack of a lone lampstandard, an overly sensitive faun, and a couple of wise-cracking beavers, I would have sworn I had stepped into Narnia.

As fantastical as this scene was, it was not until after I left the park, that I spotted this unusual quartet of creatures.

I am not really sure what Barney in a chapeau of snow, is doing chumming about with a group of snowmen.

21 November 2008

A Rant

I am pretty tired of out-sourced call centres calling me to tell me that *insert credit card, bank, phone or cable company, etc* is excited to offer me an exciting new product or service. Honestly, if they were that excited, they would call and tell me themselves!

I don't ask a stranger to call my Mom when I am excited about wishing her a Happy Birthday. Nor will I pass the message on via my neighbour that I am pissed that having to type this rant, meant that I just burnt the crap out of my lunch!

20 November 2008

First Snow - 2008

The first snow of 2008. These photos were taken at the Chartersville Marsh, Dieppe, NB.

There is always a late bloomer in the bunch. Here, this wild flower/weed just kept on shining yellow despite the cold temperatures and the layer of snow that had fallen around it.

19 November 2008

And So..... It Begins.

As I sit and type this the world outside my window has fallen into a hush, and slowly all becomes shrouded in a blanket of white. The snow arrived today and with it begins my first Maritime winter.

I was certain that I was prepared for this moment. I bought a warm toque at a summer craft fair, mittens and scarves and winter jackets have been unpacked and cleaned, hung, ready to wear at a moment's notice. I had my snow tires and witner rims installed three weeks ago, just in time for the full-blown sunshine and balmy temperatures of Indian summer. I was ready, I was certain of it. Then the inevitable happened.

Yesteday was a frigid morning and a layer of frost coated my car. I would need the ice-scraper. Where was it? Somehow in all my packing and unpacking this past year, the scraper had gone missing. D'oh... rookie mistake. No matter, nothing that a few swipes with a trusted video store card couldn't fix. I wasn't however, going to make the same mistake again, and I would be prepared for the next incident. Well, that next incident came today. The snow came. I had forgotten in my haste yesterday to stop and pick up a new scraper/snow brush, so today I had to resort to using a hefty piece of junk mail that I had conveniently picked out of my mailbox moments before. Because the wind was steadily blowing the snow in one direction I had only to clean off two side windows. The passenger side, front and rear had all miraculously remained clear. I stopped to get a snowbrush before continuing in to work. I didn't want to look like the silly person from Toronto, who thinks that Maritime snow can be whisked away from one's car with just a quick call to the Army to come marching in to clean it on your behalf.

The snow fell all day, and heavy enough so that as I was at work I was confronted with this shortened version of Twenty Questions.

"Can I ask you a question?"
"Do you have a car?"
"Do you have a snowbrush?"
"Yes", this time thinking, "Oh great, here come the jokes!."
"Can I borrow it after work?"

Oh it was fantastic!!! I loaned out my brush to anyone who asked. And for those who didn't. "Need a snowbrush? No? Cuz I got one!" I took a certain satisfaction in watching people in the parking lot shoving snow off their car using their arms. There weren't going to be any jokes flying around this evening about people from Toronto and their fear of snow. But it is wrong to gloat, and in the end karma will get you. Pride goeth before a fall. As I took my snowbrush back from the last person to borrow it, my right shoe found a patch of ice and suddenly there I was laying in a pile of chilly slush. So for all my pre-winter preparations, I still ended up cold, and wet, and miserable.

As I sit here dry and warm in flannel pajamas, I can admit that the blanket of white is very pretty and admire it from a distance. Maybe tomorrow I will venture out again to get some photos.

17 November 2008

Booby Earrings for Breast Cancer Research

I didn't intentionally set out to make a pair of earrings that look like boobies. In fact, hanging as earrings normally would, there is no resemblance to boobies at all. when I shot the photo for the etsy listing however, sure enough, the booby image presented itself. But enough about that.

I made a pair of these earrings as a way to help fellow etsy seller loopy4ewe raise money for next year's Weekend to End Breast Cancer in Ottawa. The money raised from the sale will be donated to the cause on her behalf. On sale now in my etsy shop.

15 November 2008

39 Sleeps

Only 39 more sleeps? Can this be true? I shook my calendar to see if it was broken and I came up with the same result.

Only 39 more sleeps until Christmas. That means only 38 more shopping days. I'm not really worried. Since I spend at least some of everyday on etsy, I have managed to complete the bulk of my Christmas shopping already, and I haven't even stepped foot inside the mall. Actually I have not even really needed to leave my couch.

At this time of year though, I actually do enjoy going out to the streets and the malls and taking in the essence of the season: the glow of the Christmas lights, the trumpets and trombones of the Salvation Army band, the hustle and bustle of shoppers rushing to and fro laden with parcels and packages. It is easier to enjoy the season when you aren't the one rushing about, hauling parcels. I can sit in a warm cafe window, wrap my chilly hands around a steaming mug of gingerbread latte, and just take it in.

I know that it is too early to be waxing poetic about the joys of Christmas but I was hit hard this morning with the first pang of holiday excitement. Carols were playing in the shops; gingerbread and fruit cakes lined market stalls as other vendors warned of ordering your turkey or goose soon; the city hall creche and Christmas trees sprang up overnight. All this early excitement does lead to the danger of peaking too soon. Come Decemebr 1st I may have turned into a scrooge, but for today I will revel in it.

I still do have some Christmas presents to buy, so maybe I should click on over to etsy to see what I can find. Come check out my etsy shop if you are in need of some pretty baubles either for gifts or for your own personal adornment. And remember, any purchases made before November 30th qualify for a chance to win a fantastic bracelet.. my gift to you!

14 November 2008

Another Exciting Give-Away

I am now hosting another exciting giveaway in my etsy shop.

Everyone who purchases an item from my shop between November 13 and November 30 will have the opportunity to win this bracelet:

All purchases will be entered into a draw, and the winner will be drawn December 1. Multiple purchases = multiple entries.

11 November 2008

Around the World Fun

As part of the TransCanada Etsy team, I will be taking part in this fantastic global trunk show. Our team will be presenting at 11pm Atlantic/10 pm Eastern Standard time on Thursday, November 13.

The team has organized some fun trivia based give-aways, and many sellers will be offering fabulous trunk show specials. I'll be doing both, and at the same time unveiling a special new promotion.

Be sure to check it out. Remember, Christmas is fast approaching!

10 November 2008


There is something that has been troubling me lately. When we moved to New Brunswick a few months ago, we settled in Dieppe. As I called utility companies, financial institutions, etc to update my address, I would name the city, and then spell it out for the customer service agent. Ninety percent of the time, the agent would then read the address back to me and pronounce Dieppe, as "Dippy".

Most Canadians SHOULD be familiar with the name of Dieppe, maybe not as the name of a Canadian city, but as a name with historical significance in Canadian history. For those who don't know the small town of Dieppe, France was the setting for a major yet, largely unsuccessful Allied raid on German troops in 1942. The purpose of the raid on Dieppe was to give the Allies a chance to test techniques and equipment for landing troops from the sea. The Battle of Dieppe was, unequivocally, a disaster for the Canadian troops, resulting in over one thousand Canadian deaths. Another two thousand Canadians were wounded and/or taken prisoner. Two years later in 1944, however, the lessons learned from this debacle would lead to major Allied victories on D-Day, ultimately turning the tide toward complete Allied victory in 1945.

The fact that the raid was at the time unsuccessful is not the point here. The point is that over 3000 Canadians sacrificed themselves on that one day. Over the course of both World War I and World War II, a total of 109,980 Canadians lost their lives. Hundreds of thousands more were wounded or taken as prisoners. Of the millions who enlisted in the two world wars, and who endured situations and tribulations none should ever have to bear, I think it is safe to say that none ever again found personal peace. But from this, we today continue to live in peace in one of the greatest nations in the world.

One can not say what our country, our world, would be like without the sacrifice of these men and women. I think we would never want to know. Show respect to these men and women: learn a little about what they gave, what they achieved, and how you benefit as a direct result. The lost or fractured lives of one million men and women is not something to take for granted.

As these men and women pass on and finally find their own personal peace, the memory of their sacrifice is in danger of becoming lost forever. Today, and always, remember, but also respect what was done for you.

Rest in peace. Lest we forget. And most importantly - Thank You.

This photo was taken at the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Courcelette, Belgium. The cemetery is near the town of Ypres.

7 November 2008

I am Divine

I am extremely camera shy so there is little chance that you will get an opportunity to see a photo of me posted on this blog. I don't even like people looking at me in the real world. If they look too long, I think "Oh, I must have ink or something horrible on my face" and then wait anxiously for that person to turn to someone and say, "Hey, check out that girl with ink or something horrible on her face." So, yeah, neuroses prevent me from putting up a personal photo. Therefore, let me paint you a little verbal picture instead.

Sitting atop my head is a messy mop of shoulder-length-ish curly brown hair. On a good day it is a nest. On a bad day, birds can actually get trapped in this nest, and disappear in there only to re-emerge the following spring with hatchlings in tow. It is unruly, it can be wild, it defies me at every step. I have tried every conceivable magic potion - conditioners, de-frizzing cremes, curl boosters, smoothers, tamers, glossing agents, I could go on - all to no avail.
I have pale skin, that easily flushes crimson when warm, cold, exposed to the sun for more than 30 seconds, if embarrassed (often) or flustered (more often), if I have a sip of wine (not often enough) or if it just feels like it. My pale skin is dry, and despite my tender age it is starting to crease, and despite my advanced age will still mock me with a pimple.
I have a nervous, you might say endearing (but no its not endearing, it is neurotic), habit of chewing on my bottom lip. The result of this is that my lips are often dry in these harsh Canadian winters and there is a permanent front tooth impression in the centre of lower lip.
I spend a lot of time working with my hand, and though my mother used to tell me that my hands were one of my best features, she now plies me with hand cream and tut-tuts over the state of my cuticles.

There you have it. What a pretty picture! So with all that, is there any help to be found out there? As it turns out, yes, there is. The answer lies here.

Carmelsoaps is a fellow Etsy seller, based in Alberta, Canada. My first purchase from her was a trio of lipbalms.

Like any girl, I had always carried lipbalms with me, but unlike any girl, I rarely used them. These balms, however, are so darned tasty that I can't wait for it to wear off, so that I can re-apply. My favorite is the Lemon Cheesecake. The only problem, which isn't really a problem, is that they are made with such high quality ingredients, that they don't disappear fast enough. Since I started using Carmelsoap's lipbalms though I don't suffer through dry lips and I swear the permanent toothmark I mentioned has diminished in appearance.

My next purchase was a ButterCreme Body Creme. I have since also purchased the Vanilla Creme.

If you like to smell like cupcakes, and feel like the goddess of silk, if there is such a deity, this is the product for you. Within days my skin has become soft and smooth, and although my hands benefit from just the remnants left over after applications elsewhere, my cuticles are in much better shape.

Although this lotion is quite miraculous, I did give it a bit of a head start in tackling the dry skin issue by also indulging in one of the shower-candies.

The scent matched the vanilla creme of the lotion so I was a truly tantalizing treat. The shower-candy is a solid, salty, softening, scrubbing bar that sloughs away all your troubles and leaves glowing skin and a soft fragrance in its wake. It is wonderful for the bottom of tired, sore feet as well.

With skin on its way to full repair, there was still the issue of my hair to tackle. I needed to dislodge any trapped birds before their brief, migratory window of opportunity had passed. Luckily, Carmelsoaps had recently added a line of solid shampoo and conditioner bars to her shop.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have tried these from other places before to no avail. I was pretty confident that with the quality of products that I had previously received, I might have better luck. I also knew that there was a chance that they may join my archive of unused hair products. I ripped into them straight away because I could not believe the smell seeping out of the packaging. I chose the Lemon Drops scent. On its own, it is delicious. Use it on the same day as you use the Vanilla Creme body products, and you are a perfectly delectable match to the Lemon cheesecake lipbalm. See... always thinking, I am. Would it work though, in my hair. Happily, the answer is YES! My hair was so soft. And so CLEAN. You know that wonderful "Sqquuuueeeeaaakkk" you hear as you rinse and you know at that moment that your hair is really clean and free of residues - well I rejoiced in that sound. OK, shampoo - check. The real test was in the conditioner. This is where things can, and often do, go horribly wrong for me. I rubbed the bar across my head a few times. Good, it felt like there was product on there. I ran it through my hair with my fingers and tangles came free. My fingers slid through. Sakes alive. Could this be for real? I rinsed, and it rinsed out easily. I toweled dry, and was not immediately met with a new crop of tangles. I added minimal styling product and waited for my hair to air-dry - about an hour - and then went back and though one-partially opened eye, I checked the results in the mirror. I opened that eye fully, and then the other. Could it be... a head of shiny, happy, bouncy curls.

I beamed at myself in the mirror that day. Suddenly I was divine! I'm still not going to post a photo though, so you shall just have to take my word for it.

5 November 2008

Bunny Love

Look what I found in fellow esty sellers Heart of a Cowgirl's shop:

This chubby-bummed, sweet little bunny is the cutest button closure that I have ever seen. Coupled with pale blue lace agate and bali silver, the simple style of the bracelet allows the bunny to be the real star of the show.

HeartofaCowgirl has so many other great items in her shop, including more jewelry featuring wonderful unique silver components and some great cowgirl insired leather accessories.

This quote from her shop profile sheds light on the inspirations for the items in her shop:
"I share my life with 4 horses, 2 goats, 2 dogs, 7 bunnies, 4 chickens, 6 desert tortoises and numerous pond goldfish."

Check out her blog as well to see more of her work, and to learn more about what inspires her.

Remember to check the incredible blog giveaway below. You could have a chance to win one of HeartofaCowgirl's incredible pieces.

2 November 2008

Too Much Awesomeness!!

To win a pair of String Me Along hairsticks, check out this great giveaway hosted by The Tiny Fig. Just click on the great big picture of fun giveaway items to find entry details.