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Homemade Gifts: White Chocolate Koi Fish

homemade giftswhite chocolate koi fish (5)My last homemade gift of the week is yummy and cute white chocolate koi fish. For the last few years I’ve been making Victor what I call custom chocolates, meaning they aren’t made from scratch instead they are custom versions of chocolate we already love like Lindt.  I initially wanted to show you how to make soaps with jojoba beads but the molds still haven’t arrive yet after a month of waiting so this is the back up (the mold ended up showing up the day after I posted this – go figure).  I’ve actually done this as a DIY before so if you want more specific steps check it out here but I thought it’d be better than missing a day. Let me know though if want to see how I make unique melt and pout soap, I’ve been making a bunch in the last month and am addicted.

White Chocolate Koi Fish with Nuts

2-3 bars of your favourite chocolate bar

Filling (hazelnut, almond, coconut, rice krispies, fruit…)

Mold

Food coloring

In a glass bowl break apart the chocolate bars into small pieces and melt. I use a double boiler for melting chocolate but microwave will work. After melting simply pour chocolate into the mold half way, add in your filling and pour to the top. Or you can combine the filling after the chocolate is melted before pouring into the mold but the end design may not be as clean.  Tap the mold on the counter to release any air pockets and place in freezer for 10-20 min before removing from mold.

white chocolate koi fish (9)

Color Tip: Adding liquid dye to chocolate will cause it to seize up so you may want to consider painting it on afterwards or paint the mold. Below you can see an example of each type.

white chocolate koi fish (2) Right to Left: Color added directly to chocolate, painted on chocolate after hardening, painted to mold before pouring chocolate. 

Packing Tip: Place in a heart shaped container and wrap with candy wrappers.

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Important Note: Chocolate that has been melted and cooled are less stable than the original form so do not handle the chocolates for long as they melt easy and keep in the fridge until you are gifting/eating them.

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Return

I haven’t really found what wording I wanted to use to describe my return to blogging after 2 months off, probably because I really haven’t found a reason to why I left or why I am returning. There are things that I enjoyed about the last two months, and ultimately things I missed about not blogging.  Instead of filling up this post with my uncertainties, and half way affirmations that this blog in some small way gives me purpose is just not me. So I’m back, tomorrow you can expect a post and the day after that, and hey maybe even the day after that. I am working full time at the moment at my stressful day job so don’t expect posts Friday-Sunday and I might miss a few days here and there so I don’t get burnt out. Content should also be changing but similar to the format I have used in the past. I am ambitiously hoping for it to be less structured and more free flowing, but damn I do love rigid adherence and scheduling (doesn’t this seem like the opposite of what most people are hoping for?). As well I will likely be featuring more of my casual style of photography and putting the focus on this being just my random blog in which to share on and not be worried at appearing ‘professional’ in any way.

Now that I feel like I’ve ranted sufficiently. Hope anyone who read this is having a delightful day and I’ll see you tomorrow.

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Expozine

expozine (1)This past weekend I had a chance to check out this year’s Expozine here in Montreal, it’s an event dedicated to independent zines, comic books, and small press that gets Canadian wide artists attending. The event is normally packed so I never take photos at the event itself but I thought like last year I’d share what I picked up and enjoyed from Expozine.

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Lost Bike Ride

At the end of the year I evitable start going through my folders of photographs and end up finding a few that I forgot about or just for some reason never shared. I dubbed these “the lost bike ride”, a short trip to the Honoré Beaugrand area of Montreal where we visited the Poulier de la Longue Pointe parc that faces île grosbois which me and Victor have for a long time wanted to bike around. This day, we arrived too late and the last ferry of the day was just about to leave. We decided against taking a ferry ride as we would have had to turn back again as soon as we landed. Instead we biked up the long shoreline until we could find a secluded place to stop and eat our picnic.

missing bike ride (4)missing bike ride (2)missing bike ride (12) missing bike ride (3) Continue reading %s

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Featured Artist: Hanna Hasse Bergström

hannahassebergstrom

Featured Artist: Hanna Hasse Bergström

Today’s featured artist is Swedish mixed-media artist Hanna Hasse Bergström who gives life back to skulls by painting and carving them. She says “animals and nature have always been my source of power” and hard not to see the passion and magic she puts into her work. Her details and brush strokes are delicate but her pieces embody strength and boldness, a wonderful mixture. It’s hard for me to even picture what the skulls originally looked like with flesh and bone on them as the transformation to something else entirely is so complete. I’ve always been intrigued by carved bone whether it’s a small arrow heads and native statues to the traditional carved skulls, so seeing her modern take of these traditions is exciting to me. Below is a selection her work and links on where you can find her.

Hanna Hasse Bergström (website)
Facebook
(updates)
Instagram (photos)

*all artwork shown in this post are the property of and copyrighted to Hanna Hasse Bergström.

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Thrifting

In the last two months Victor and I have been thrifting a lot more than usual. We’ve been going at least once a week if not more and have started to exploring a bunch of different stores, bazaars, vintage fairs, etcetera instead of our usual flea market and Village de Valeur.  I think part of it has to do with the fact we recently started watching a show called Canadian Pickers which is two guys who go all over Canada in a van and buy antiques (there is 3 seasons you can check out btw, it’s a really interesting show, they mostly focus on advertising and tins but it’s still fun to watch).  Victor has fallen in love with the idea of finding hidden gems and is even debating about opening up an online store to sell vintage items. I’ve always be into thrifting but never explored too much of Montreal scene as I’ve said before on here because it is a lot different than Vancouver’s which I was so use to. Out of us both I seem to be the only person who buys anything though. I’m also one of those people who hates to leave without buying at least one thing. Victor is picky. I will admit I am very random and like a lot of things most people wouldn’t bother with which makes it easier for me to always find something but he seriously loves going to these places and rarely comes with anything. It’s a lot of fun to do together regardless of what we find and have a shared thing we can do together on the weekends or before we go to work. Anyways enough rambling I wanted to show some of our finds from the last 2 months.

Photography

thrifting (3) thrifting (12) thrifting (13)I am always on the hunt for photography related items, it is my favourite thing to collect and hunt for. In the last month I’ve been able to pick 2 interesting cameras for $20 each that are still in working order which is amazing. I even found a few rolls of 127 film which are over 40 years old. Now the film probably will not work well but I really want to shoot with it and see what I get.  On top of that I have found a plethora of vintage photography, from 1800s tin types for $3 each to pre 1950’s photography for a quarter. I also found a Polaroid album to hold my vintage photography in and a slide viewer in a stunning blue color. I was so delighted after find the slide viewer because I’ve been looking for one for months and kept finding ugly brown versions of this that were too expensive, this one is cute and only $5. Lastly a simple frame and a Dymo gun that Victor will add to his growing collection of them.

Nerd and Childhood Things

thrifting (9) thrifting (11)thrifting (4)Christmas time is around the corner so why not buy some retro ornaments? The Grinch is my all-time favourite holiday movie, and they were $2. The Star Trek ornament of Spoc wasn’t in the original box but it’s a Hallmark edition from the late 90’s as well. I already have the Star Trek Enterprise from the same series that lights up so I thought why not and maybe I’ll end up with the entire collection so I can make a Star Trek tree someday.  Speaking of Star Trek I picked up another book to add to my budding collection for $1 and a vinyl book combo for $5.  Other nerdy items are Lord of the Rings audio books on tape which is a silly buy but childhood memories and the $5 price tag made them impossible to resist. Also disappointing Dinosaur collector cards that I thought would have cool artwork but sadly are dull. Only wasted a few dollars on them though so not all bad and I’ll probably give away to my friend’s kids. For toys I found a troll doll, a Muppet toy and book, a Fraggle Rock toy to finish off my collection of those (my first complete toy set!) and a rainbow slinky. I did mention I like random things already right?

Porcelain

thrifting (10)thrifting (15)There is one area Victor and me disagree when it comes to thrifting and collecting. He thinks porcelain anything is a waste of money but I can’t resist because they are usually very cheap and if all else you can repurpose them. Saucers and tea cups are especially easy to repurpose, I bought mine to use a decorative dish on my dresser to hold jewelry in, either individually or I might make a tiered tray out of the three. I also got a cabbage sugar dish with a matching spoon because it was undeniably cute even though I am not sure what exactly I will use it for. There are a few of them at this time that I don’t have any intended purpose for like the swan dishes and the seashell salt and pepper shakers but I will. The black elephant though is for Victor’s desk to go in-between his plants.

Odd and Ends

thrifting (8)thrifting (5) thrifting (1)thrifting (6)All the little bits and piece from all our trips: Ukrainian Easter eggs, a Coke Cola wooden sign, 70s containers, tins, pieces of a stop watch (for two separate DIY projects), a naughty newspaper clipping, communist pins,  and the one piece that rules them all – a possible mouse/Pokémon style taxidermy piece. The latter is enthralling to me, I don’t know why I like it because I don’t like taxidermy that much (vintage taxidermy is ethically okay with me but I take great offense to the killing of animals). It’s just so cute and weird, and strange, and very very odd.

Puzzles & Boardgames

thrifting (19) thrifting (18) thrifting (17)thrifting (16) thrifting (20)I started collecting vintage My Little Pony puzzles last summer and it sparked all these memories of making puzzles as a kid with my grandmother. So anytime I go to thrifting I am always on the lookout because I’d love to complete my collection someday. One thing I’ve noticed is when you have your eye on one particular type of item you notice everything else around it, in this case puzzles and board games. Most of these I imagine we will resell but right now I am just having fun bring them home and completing the puzzles. I look for 80s puzzles, odd ones that glow in the dark, sparkle, or have an interesting gimmick. We also might have found a store that sells board games and puzzles for a few bucks which helps. The one exception is the Star Trek puzzle which I bought for $10 after bargaining it down. The best find out of this lot is the games Pass the Pig and Clue, I still can’t believe that I found on same trip my favourite camping game and the 1960s version of my favourite board game.

What have you found lately thrifting?

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Fall in Instax

fall in instax film (2)Now that it’s autumn here in Montreal me and Victor have been trying to hit the road as much as possible before the snow and -40 weather comes.  I usually travel light when biking so my Instax camera has become my go to ride along camera since I can simply stuff it into a small bag and it weighs nothing. Today I’m sharing a  few shots taken during a few different trips around our area this weekend and last. All taken with my Instax Mini 90 with Instax comic film and Instax Alice in Wonderland film.

fall in instax film (4)fall in instax film (6)The start of the journey to Parc de la Cite-du-Havren on the edge of Vieux-Montreal viewing the Clocktower.fall in instax film (2)fall in instax film (5)fall in instax film (3)The Parc de la Cite-du-Havren has wonderful views of downtown and Vieux-Montreal besides just being a nice green space.  There is also a bike path that goes around it so it’s 360 views of the river. It was the first time we’ve been there, on a complete whim too after Victor decided he wanted to check it out.
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The above right photo was taken from our walkway of Butter while we were heading out this weekend on another small trip to Parc Lafontaine. I wasn’t sold on the Alice in Wonderland instax film at first but I quiet like it seeing it in person and it’s very suitable for autumn and Halloween. fall in instax (2)
fall in instax (5)The below photo wasn’t taken on either of these trips, we went on a ride to Mont-Royal last week as the sun was setting so I didn’t end up taking more photos besides this one of Victor eatting polish sausage from our favourite food truck.
fall in instax film (1)

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Biking Around the Island

Me and Victor have been exploring and biking around Montreal the moment we bought our new bikes this past spring, even though we haven’t been having the greatest weather here. Going through these somewhat old photos makes me feel nostalgic since we have been taking a bit of break with riding since my bike needed repair. Somehow while in Vancouver my rear tire managed to tear and come off the rim and we haven’t had much spare money around to buy a new tire, and we are also both hopeless at bike repairs. Crossing my fingers we get back into our weekend rides this month so we can enjoy the last bit of year before the snow comes. These were taken during a short ride just past Vieux-Port in June on a rainy day. The best part of the ride was watching the reflections on the canal as we rode and by change spotting a wild fox that was hanging out by a shipping yard amongst the crates.

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#mtlcrane – The 90’s

#mtlcrane (4)

Introducing the 2nd year of #mtlcrane, this time dubbed The 90’s which you can follow on Instagram, Flickr and Twitter. I haven’t been talking about it much on here as I’ve been hard at work making all those cranes and didn’t really find the time to go through the photos I’ve already compiled for this year but it’s better late than never (right?). This year is the same concept of last year’s except instead I am leaving unique cranes (meaning their origami pattern paper is 100% unique per each 300+ cranes I will be putting up) with 90’s song lyrics from Ace of Base to Ol’ Dirt’ Bastard and everything else in-between. The big change for this year is I am geotagging each crane so you can actually find them if you are currently in Montreal and follow on Instagram. I usually post their location the same day or next. It’s kind of my version of geocaching and scavenger hunt combined! Sadly due to the weather and being out of town for most of the summer I haven’t been doing it the last two months but I have just started up again and will be doing them over the next few months until the weather prevents me. As well it will carry into next year spring and summer because I’d love to cover at much of Montreal as possible and there are just too many 90’s classic songs to choose from. Like last year I am also doing a selection of Halloween themed cranes that will be done for each day in October with spooky lyrics as a separate thing from the 90’s because I can’t resist celebrating my favourite holiday. I am even in the process of putting together a zine of last year’s 80s crane so I hope to finish that soon and be able to share that. Let me know in the comments what you think about #mtlcane and be sure to check it out, I’ve included some of my favourite photos and locations of the 90’s below!

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More #mtlcrane on:

Instagram
Flickr
Twitter

Side note: my other crane project involving 3,000 cranes has been shelved at the moment until next year. Although I have completed almost the entire amount of cranes I needed there just wasn’t enough good weather the last two seasons to permit a week long or even a half week long outside installation so I halted my work on it until next year as the second part of the project (taking the cranes and stringing them into rows and chains) is very space consuming for my small living space so I need to have an exact installation day to precede. Will talk about it more when I have that date setup in 2016.

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Featured Artists: Pat Perry

patperry

Featured Artist: Pat Perry

The featured artist this week is illustrator, graphic artist, and photography Pat Perry who hails from Detroit.  I’m not hundred percent sure how I found out about his artwork but I believe it was through my friend Zara, which makes sense as she’s a wandering spirit much the same as Perry appears to be. I remember the first time I went to his blog and intensely spent the next hour going through his sketchbooks and just being taken aback.  I love his details and the sheer volume of his creativity. The artwork is just very visually pleasing and gratifying in a way even when it’s challenging you. I also really enjoy his photography and the travels he posts about. He has many facets to his work and I am intrigued by each one in a different way, it very much a journey. His work also seems very personal and I love that. Below I put together a selection of different types of his work from photography to graffiti to his sketches and finished art pieces. There is also more information on where to find him if like me you are taken away.

Pat Perry (website)
Instagram (photography)
Facebook (updates)
Store (prints)

*all artwork shown in this post are the property of and copyrighted to Pat Perry
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Vacation Time & Where Else to Find Me

As I mentioned yesterday I am embarking on a 2 and a half week vacation to my previous hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia today. I am also approaching my 30th birthday this month which is a scary and frightening beast all on its own. I’ve decided that I’d like to take the month of July off from blogging so I can enjoy my trip fully and also just have some time away. I should be back promptly on August 1st (and in all likelihood before than in July). If you want to know where to find me besides here you can check me out on:

Instagram:
Personal https://instagram.com/citizen_luna/
Photography https://instagram.com/citizenerasedphotography/
Facebook
Society6
and Tumblr 

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Marche Atwater

atwater marche flower plant garden (14)I love getting the chance to visit Marche Atwater every spring and pick out new plants to add to my inside garden as well as view all the amazing flowers they have there. Our apartment doesn’t offer much space on our balcony or by the windows so I love being able to day dream and think about what I would plant if I had a whole yard and house to fill. I just wish I knew more of their names. If you know any botany 101 books that include photos and North American plant varieties let me know as I’d be interested to try and learn so when I post photos of them I can identify them too.  We ended up leaving with a bunch of new plants, including a few air plants, a variety of succulents and a licorice plant to name a few. I also bought a small bunch of flowers to test grow on the balcony as I am unsure if they will get enough light. It’s so nice to have a space filled with life, I love it so much. I should probably take a few photos my what my garden looks like now with the new additions – maybe later this summer have they’ve grown a bit.

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Featured Artist: Sarah Bourget

sarah bourget
Featured Artist: Sarah Bourget

Today’s featured artist is illustrator Sarah Bourget from Montreal, Canada. Her realistic gritty illustrators of people in pastel coloring are what first drew me to her work. I love the contrast between the subjects and her color pallet as well as the harsh black. Her work is very evocative and stands out amongst other current illustrators. I’ve highlighted her digital illustrations today however she does make non-digital illustrations as well and is currently working on a comic. I’ve also reviewed her stickers and mini prints that I’ve purchased in the past, here if you are interested in those. For most information about her work, check the links below.

Sarahb (website)
Facebook
(updates)
Society6 (prints)
Etsy (prints + other items)

*all artwork shown in this post are the property of and copyrighted to Sarah Bourget.

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On the Hunt

montreal walk (1)For the last few months I was thinking about doing my installation in this empty lot in the Hochelaga. Since the weather was a bit better I decided to pay a visit and see if it was what I wanted in terms of a space. The lot use to be a quarry of some sort and is surrounded by train tracks leading up to a factory on the river that delivers goods to freight ships. We didn’t really visit the part of the lot I wanted to check out as there was fireman doing drills and burning down trees in the area. However I did happen upon some great graffiti by Starchild Stela and Harlequin Davidson that I didn’t even know would be there. As well there were a lot of train parts on the usually empty tracks that we checked out. I did get a good look at what I’d be working with for space and I’ve decided to not do the installation there. On the hunt again for a perfect spot.

montreal walk (5) montreal walk (8) montreal walk (7) montreal walk (6)montreal walk (4)montreal walk (3)montreal walk (2)My favourite piece of graf of the day was this rose, which looked spectacular to me. As well there were a lot of train parts on the usually empty tracks that we checked out. Victor couldn’t help jumping up on the train lines and goofing around. I joined him but didn’t take many photos since I was trying to avoid getting covered in grease and dirty if possible (didn’t’ work, I got covered).

montreal walk (11)montreal walk (9)montreal walk (10)montreal walk (12)montreal walk (15)montreal walk (16)I found some quartz on the bridge leading up to the factory and had to take it home. We also found train wheels just chilling on a track they were in the process of ripping up. We pushed one set of wheels and they proceed to roll down the track on its own until it hit another with a loud clang. No idea why that’s so fun to do, but it is.

montreal walk (14)montreal walk (13)It appears they covered some of the large pits they had opened for years with cement tops recently. This frog looks like it’s leading to a secret door so I had to snap a shot of it. After scouting the area I was thinking for the installation when the fireman left, I decided it wasn’t what I wanted so we headed home.  We did have a chance to catch the amazing view of the sun setting in the distance before we left. I will probably do a post about the sunset photos I shoot another time as I wanted to keep today’s post not too overloaded with photos. The last three shots are from just before we left the lot with the almost full moon in the distance.

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A Walk To Silos #5 & Vieux-Port

silo 5 vieux montreal (1)Victor and I went on our first proper walk of Spring and visited Vieux-Port last weekend. I’ve taken so many photos of this area before but it’s just one of the most beautiful views you can get living in the downtown Montreal.   I love being near the harbour and having such a nice walk along the river accessible at any time. Something new, we noticed that the abandoned Silo #5 which usually has frequently patrol guards around it was mysteriously empty except a few locals that had gotten inside the fence. We decided to investigate further even though the sun was starting to set and the air was getting a bit chilly as it probably one of the few chances we will ever get. The hole in the fence was easy to find and there was an amazing metal statue constructed to one side of the building which just took my breath away (I love really rough metal statues that can almost be misconstrued as scrape). It was pretty neat just to view the underside of the lines that normally connect the factory to trains. The other side of the silos was not very interesting and the graffiti on it was pretty subpar so I didn’t take too many photos once inside the fance except of the lines. Victor also climbed up the wall of the factory and found a way to get in but because I’m still recovering and since Victor really wasn’t in the mood so we didn’t investigate further and try to get inside. Which is really too bad as I’d love to see the inside and I’m pretty sure the next time we go the security patrols will be back. I feel like climbing this summer – hopefully I get the chance. Here are my photos!

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Vintage Finds

On the weekend me and Victor went to check out one of the only fairs we seem to consistently go it, OldWig’s Vente Vintage Sale which is a bi-annual fair here in Montreal for mostly clothing and accessories but also homeware. I think it’s the 3rd time, maybe the 4th time we’ve went to check it out and the last few times the stuff I am mostly interested in seemed sparse so I don’t know if I will go next time it rolls around. It also doesn’t help that we found that flea market before Chistmas and all I think about is its giant rows of stores with anything a hoarder could imagine to fill their house with. The shops for OldWig’s fair do change every event and this time we did go on the last day, so maybe it just a combination of things but I only found 2 things I wanted to buy.

vintage finds (1)The first was this crazy weird camera called the MF2000T Motor Drive, which is a really shitty name, no? It looks like one of those massive 80’s camera that is pretty much never going to be a collector item to anyone. The reason I liked it? Well it has an old school viewfinder in a modernish camera and it has a motor to control the film advancement. It also didn’t hurt that the seller hearing me hum and ha about it and dropped the cheap price of $25 down to $15. As he said “Sunday prices”! I can’t wait to actually shoot with this camera and think it’s a steal now that I have done some research on it. Will share with you more about this camera in a post of its own at a later date!  The second thing I bought is a 80s classic, the View-Master in red for $12. I actually just acquired from Star Trek cartoon reels for a View-Master last month for $2 and was on the lookout to pick one up so I was beyond delighted. I hope I can thrift more reels as right now we just have those and the SpongeBob Squarepants one that came with it. It’s kind of one of those items you just display on your bookshelf for shits and giggles. I do hear you can make you own reels however that idea was quickly dispelled by one quick google search as it’s very expensive.

vintage finds

If you want to see my previous OldWig finds click here.

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Spring Reads

spring reads (11)I don’t know about you but I love hearing about what people around me are reading. However I find online most websites/blogs I run into are geared mostly to YA novels (which I have no interest in) or post about very niche genres that for someone like my who dips my toes into various genres it seems too hard-core (that probably isn’t the right word but that’s how it feels). For a long time now I’ve wanted to find a way to share what I’m currently into reading without having to necessary do a review. I think it is a great thing to share but I also don’t want to feel like I’m doing a High School book report. I love getting intellectual about art books which is why I review them but I honestly feel like I have very limited knowledge about the history of comic books for example so most of my insight wouldn’t be that in depth enough to justify a review. Spring Reads was born out of all that and hopefully I will be doing one post every season to share with you guys great books/comics/zines and everything in-between that I’m reading. Also no plant was harmed in the making of this post, I just happened to amputate one of my lovely vine plants (that had grown as long as the length of my kitchen) by accident right before I planned to take these photos and I thought what better way to immortalize is before it died than use it as a bit of decor.

Biography

spring reads (13)The Dirty Version: On Stage, in the Studio, and in the Streets with Ol’ Dirty Bastard is a biography of the late ODB by his best friend Budda Monk and rap historian Mickey Hess. I’m half way through reading this book and it’s a compelling read. I am a long-time fan of ODB, and never knew much about him beside his persona and Wikipedia page so I thought this would be a good read. The author Budda Monk can be self-severing at times but you do get a sense of what Dirty’s life was really like behind the scenes. Anyone with a deep connection with their best friend knows that they sometimes know us better than ourselves. While I love biographies of musicians and don’t think you necessary have to be a fan to read most of them, due to the writing style of this book I wouldn’t recommend it as a standalone but if you have any interest in his music or rap history in general this is worth it.

Art

spring reads (8) spring reads (6)Fischerspooner: New Truth is a larger than life book (book size pun – hoo hoo) about the synth-pop/performance artists group, put together by no other than Fischerspooner. It’s really a book for fans of the group so it’d probably not be very interesting to anyone else. They just happen to be one of my favourite musical artists so it was an easy decision to pick up. I do actually plan on reviewing this book sometime this summer, so far I have only skimmed it and it looks like it has promise but might suffer a bit from self-indulgence.

spring reads (9)Elvgren: All His Glamorous American Pin-Ups was actually a spur of the moment purchase last month and I am so glad I did. It’s a beautiful book showcasing many of Elvgrens pin-up illustrations; in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if they managed to squeeze in all of them. Highly recommend if you love pin-ups or illustrations from that era. In fact I’d recommend it even if you aren’t – his work is sublime. I loved flipping through this book and I plan on doing a full review of it in early June.

Fantasy

spring reads (3)Tales from a Perilous Realm is a collection of fairie short stories from J.R.R. Tolkien, accompanied by illustrations from long time Tolkien illustrator Alan Lee. Included are the short stories: Farmer Giles of Ham, Leaf by Niggle, Smith of Wootton Major, Roverandom and poems of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil. Even though Tolkien is one of my favourite writers I just can’t seem to finish this book. I feel like I shouldered through most of this book so unless you are a Tolkien fanatic I’d probably skip out on reading this. It has an academic foreword which although informative is desperately dry. I also found parts of the book much weaker than I usually find his writing (the poems are not my favourite thing). Highlight of the book is the story of Roverandom which is precious and a must read in my opinion even if it’s more aimed at kids. I also enjoyed the story of Farmer Giles of Ham.

spring reads (2)Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country & Memory Prime are two books I found last week at a used book store on the way out to dinner and just had to get. I’ve just recently rekindled my love for Star Trek after rewatching the first two seasons of the original series and can’t get enough. Plus for $2 each it’s hard to not give them a shot. The first one was written after one of my favourite Star Trek movies and the second one, well it has a badass cover. I can’t wait to read these, it’s my first time reading anything in the Star Trek extended universe and I have no idea if these two will be any good. Excited to read! There is hundreds of Star Trek books so it’s hard to really start off but I think used books are a great way to get into an established fan base.

Gaphic Novels & Comics

spring reads (4)The Sworn Sword was original written by George R.R. Martin, adapted by Ben Avery, and illustrated by Mike Miller. This is the second book in a two part series of prequel graphic novels to accompany the existing graphic novels for A Game of Thrones (adapted from the original books). I’ve been having a hard time finding time to read Martin’s books and was curious to check out the graphic novels to get a better idea of material without necessary having to dedicate all my time to reading (lazy I know). I thought I would start with the prequels and work my way up to the other graphic novels. I have already read the first one and just finished reading The Sworn Sword earlier this week. I love the art style of Ben Avery and these stories stand alone as is, no prior knowledge about Game of Thrones required. With the lush illustrations and great story, both are easy recommendations. I plan of picking up another set of these to gift to my younger brother for his upcoming birthday. Worth checking them out if you are a fantasy fan.

spring reads (12)New X-Men Academy: Choosing Sides 5/6 is a comic I found while in Toronto this winter. It was in the $1 bin and after searching the whole store for a comic to buy I didn’t feel like walking away empty handed. Although I haven’t heard good things about this particular series I thought I’d check it out as I mostly only read vintage X-Men from the 70s and 80s and haven’t fallen in love with any of the newer series. It’s decent, and I probably would pick up the rest of them if I found them in a compilation.  For $1 I can’t complain. Let me know if there is a series of X-Men you love because I’m dying to sink my teeth into a good storyline.

Zines

spring reads (1)The two zines I pick up as far this spring are Uncommon Spaces & Everyday Places Vol. 2 by Erin Dorbin and Fur, Hide, & Bone by a community under the same name. Uncommon Spaces is photography zine about Erin’s trip down the transcontinental roadway in the US. All shots are taken with a vintage Polaroid 195 camera using expired Polaroid and Fujifilm 100C film. It’s a lovely collection of photographs and I have no doubt it will be a future zine of the month! The second zine Fur, Hide, & Bone is a mixture of drawings and stories about their favourite pieces of bones, taxidermy, and leftovers from dead animals. I really wanted to pick it because I’ve always been fascinated by dead creatures and terrified at the same time from an early age. Although I don’t think I would ever start my own collection I wanted to read about others and this zine was perfect for that. I love the illustrations the most.

Random

spring reads (10)Lighthouses Of Atlantic Canada: A Pictorial Travel Guide to Lighthouses of Quebec, New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, which is a mouth full and not actually my book. I bought this for Victor because he has an obsession with lighthouses (no idea where he got that from) and wanted a book of lighthouses in our neck of the woods. He wants to use the book as a guide to figure out which lighthouses are accessible so me and him can go on adventures to visit them. Which is a grand idea and I hope this year we can knock a few off our list. We already sat down together and went through the book picking out our favourites. I just wish we had a car then we could make a much better go at it but I have faith. The book itself is really helpful as it has instructions on how to reach each, lovely photos and plenty of information about each lighthouse. So if you are into lighthouses or live on the East Coast and want to find something to do this summer this book is great.

Let me know in the comments what you’ve been reading this Spring!

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Silhouette Easter Eggs

naturally dyed floral easter eggs  (29)My excessive collection of silhouette Easter eggs made with natural dyes that I made last weekend. I just posted the DIY for it yesterday and wanted to show more of the wonderful eggs because I certainly love staring at them. If you are curious what I do with these eggs when it’s no longer Easter. I actually keep all my hollowed out eggs on display year around in glass containers in my living room. Most of them are Pysanky eggs me and friends made together over the years, it’s just a nice colorful way to brighten up my house.

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This Year’s Tattoo Easter Eggs

I am so excited to show you all my silly tattooed Easter eggs that I made this year. If you haven’t seen my DIY for how to make these yourself, you can check out it out here. I’ve actually updated the original concept of using temporary tattoos to design eggs for ornaments or to use as center pieces. Instead this year I changed it up and went with plastic eggs that I bought at my local Dollarama instead of blown out eggs (they work pretty good but for some reason they attract a lot of dirt and loose particles so I washed them a few times throughout). I also decided to make a few for my friend who has twins, a 2 year old boy and girl. So I thought I’d do designs they’d like, so I made Batman, Cinderella, unicorns and Easter temporary tattoos eggs. As well I used much nicer ribbon this year around. My favourite at the Easter designs and the glow in the dark Batman ones which were really fun to make. Let me know what you think in the comments and show me pictures if you make your own, would love to see other people’s designs.

temporary tattoo easter eggs (4)temporary tattoo easter eggs (6) temporary tattoo easter eggs (5)temporary tattoo easter egg (6) temporary tattoo easter egg (4) temporary tattoo easter egg (11)temporary tattoo easter egg (8) temporary tattoo easter egg (10)temporary tattoo easter egg (9)temporary tattoo easter egg (1) temporary tattoo easter eggs (1) temporary tattoo easter eggs (2) temporary tattoo easter eggs (3) temporary tattoo batman unicorn easter eggs  (11) temporary tattoo easter eggs (12) temporary tattoo easter eggs (9) temporary tattoo easter eggs (7)temporary tattoo easter eggs (8)temporary tattoo batman unicorn easter eggs  (7) temporary tattoo batman unicorn easter eggs  (4)temporary tattoo batman unicorn easter eggs  (3) temporary tattoo batman unicorn easter eggs  (8) temporary tattoo batman unicorn easter eggs  (6)temporary tattoo easter egg (12) And one last me with the eggs just for fun! Had so much fun making these, because of my concussion I haven’t had a chance to pick up my Easter tree yet so the ornaments ones can’t be hung up just yet but the rest I have in a festive bowl on my table with the rest of my Easter goodies. Hope you have a great weekend! I’ll be posting all weekend since I have a lot of Easter content to share so you can check back if you like looking at my crazy obsession with Easter, lol.

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A Ramble on Projects

Normally I focus on photography, so today is going to be something a little different and you may notice devoid of any photos. As you may or may not know I am working on a few projects this year and today I though it’s be nice to go through how the process of putting ideas/projects together. It’s not a how to, or guide it’s just mostly my thoughts and ramblings about projects I am working on.

Photography Zines

At the start of the year I was really jazzed about making a zine every 2 months and really putting energy into getting my photography made into zines that I could distribute online and hopefully locally at craft fairs, book fairs and other places about Montreal. What really got me excited is I noticed within existing zines the type of photography and layout I’d really enjoyed just wasn’t out there. The ideas started coming to me so quickly, it seemed like something so simple to put together. While I am still jazzed, and have an abundance of ideas I haven’t had much time to devote to this project. I’m terrible at devoting time to certain things over others. I’m very emotional that way and go with my internal flow always, meaning I don’t actively force myself or sit down and say ‘hey, time for this project for the next hour – go’. So this project is just ideas and no motions. I feel like I know what it would take to make a zine, and choosing the photos around a central idea seems relatively easy as well. What’s hold me back? I’d guess the idea of failure. Like anything you make with the intention of selling it, the hope is that you sell it. I just don’t think I know what people would buy and that stops me from picking one idea over the other and making a zine. If my first zine I make doesn’t sell a copy, do I just sink money with another one? I don’t think losing money is really the problem though, it’s more why keep making more. It’s not like jewellery or other things where I can just keep it or give to friends; a zine is not that useful to me if nobody buys it. Yet I really want to put one out, so maybe instead of trying to go big I can focus on doing 2 this year instead of 6. I’ve been thinking about doing a #mtlcrane one with last year’s pictures in time for this year’s round to start so that I will start on April and hopefully release at the start of the month and then a double exposure one for the Fall time.

Installation for Spring

While I’m not necessary keeping this project a secret I would like to not going into detail about what it’s about online at the moment. It’s a passion project and something I’ve thought about for several years so I’m at the stage where I need to focus on making it a reality and don’t need outside opinions. In fact I just recently sat down with an artist friend and spewed in details my intentions of the project, the logistics, possible objections others might have about it, and just really let her know everything and she was really positive. Having that person to bounce the idea off of once a project is out of the incubation is fantastic. Just having someone who you trust to tell you if your idea isn’t clear or you may step on toes is wonderful. Right now I’ve cemented what I need to do and how I am going to get there – mostly. For starters if you follow me on Instagram you may notice me doing weekly updates on Monday about how many cranes I’ve made the week before. This outdoor installation I’ve decided to make a total of 3,000 origami cranes. I started with 1,000 that turned into 2,000 and in the middle of February I changed it to the final number of 3,000. The main reason is because I want this project to have a certain amount of visual impact and although 1,000 cranes does sound like a lot as someone who’s made over that before it doesn’t actually visually look like that many. As of right now I’m sitting at about 900 cranes made after only 3 weeks of casually making them, and while I don’t have an official date for the project to launch I need to get the cranes made as soon as possible. The research phase was mostly done at the end of January and beginning of February. As of right now I’m still in the research phase but I moved into the creation aspect without completing it because of the huge demand of making that amount of cranes. The research part is very mentally draining as well and I usually only do it late at night because as someone who suffers from depression it’s very hard for me to bounce back from doing it and be my normal self. The idea of getting closer to the end point is also right now terrifying to me because it’s going to require me turning my whole house in a virtual origami crane exhibit. There is also time consideration which you may have noticed sometimes I don’t post on Thursday anymore and not next week but the week after I’m actually taking the week off to work on this project. This is a project I am so passionate about I just want to work on it day and night when I get home and even while I am at work. It’s all I want to do. That has really helped me getting through the work, my  passion for the end result. I can close my eyes and visualize what it will look like and I can only hope that I can create what I’ve envisioned.

Setbacks so far:

People around me, mostly co-workers have noticed how much time I am spending on this project and naturally have asked me what it’s about. I’ve been honest although vague about it and the reactions I’ve gotten from people are…silence? Nobody says anything bad but they immediately become less interested in hearing more after my first response. It is not a nice, polite topic as British people would say but it’s been disheartening and actually propelled me even more. I know people in general like positive things and they don’t want to hear about negative and uncomfortable topics which is their choice but I wish people would be as interested as I am about hearing about the subject matter as its important. I’ve had a few people who get it, so all I can do it realize not everyone will be interested. If you like light and fluffy projects btw then follow mtlcrane which is all about sharing positive moments with strangers around Montreal and engaging people in a fun way but this project just happens to use origami cranes to convey a serious message because I think they are suitable symbols.

Resin Paintings

For Christmas I really wanted to make Victor a resin painting where I paint one layer with acrylic paint, resin it and then apply another layer, so forth and so forth. Visually paintings made with resin layers are beyond trippy and the 3D effect is mind blowing. I’d love to make my own. I am, how do I put it nicely….complete shit at painting? Okay that’s harsh, I’m mediocre at painting but I’d love to create one, maybe even more. When I have an idea I need to run with it and see it through, instead of just cherry picking things that come ‘easy’ to me. I think that’s very important to remember, all those amazing painters at some point weren’t that great, they worked hard to get where they are. Me, being afraid of failure perpetually (nasty side effect of being emotionally abused as a kid – constantly negative) I need to remember that I can’t do what’s easy to me. If there is no fight or struggle there is no growth, less satisfaction and no chances for more. I bought all the materials at Christmas time too so I have nothing to lose and no excuses to not make one resin painting. So this project is one of those where I need to get over myself, stop discouraging myself and creating a false start. Those types of projects where the biggest obstacle is you are the hardest.

If you read this far into my rambling, congratz. I really wanted to let you know what I do when I’m not working on the blog beside my full-time job and share with you a bit of my process.

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Visiting Toronto

Last weekend I went on a quick trip to visit my friend Derek in Toronto. We have a long tradition of me showing up around his birthday every year to hang out with him. The last few years he’s also been dj’ing live for his birthday which make the whole trip another level of amazing. As with every year before there was also a snow storm during our trip but I guess that’s to be expected when your winter get-a-way is just the province over. Luckily this year it started late into our second day there so it was not that bad. Here is a few photos from our trip, I usually don’t take too many as we are indoors most of the time (drinking or it’s freezing outside and I can’t be bothered).

toronto (2) toronto (3) toronto (4) toronto (6) toronto (9)Our first afternoon there, we immediately went to our favourite ramen place Ajisen Ramen on Spadina and checked into our hotel. This also means hitting up the local LCBO to try interesting beers and ciders that they don’t carry in Quebec. We also went to Derek’s place and hung out all night with him and his gf Erin…okay so mostly we were playing with their new cats, Beaufort and Monty.

toronto (10) toronto (11) toronto (47) toronto (1) toronto (48)Our second day started out lazy because we were a little hung over from the night before, the first photo is actually our ‘window’ of our hotel room. We always stay in the Super 8 hotel in Chinatown and our room was right beside the hotel’s rock garden. Kind of bummed since last year we had a view of the CN tower. Also a few photos of my mini-haul from Kensington Market (which is my favourite place in Toronto, although it’s getting a tad boring on my million visit there). The street meat was our breakfast on the way to the mall were we spent most of the afternoon, which bores me to death but Victor likes shopping there.

toronto (49) toronto (50) toronto (51) toronto (13)toronto (12) toronto (14)We grabbed bubbletea after shopping and were at a lose of what to do since we only had an hour or so of daylight left and the snow storm was in full effect. I convinced Victor that we should try to go to the harbor so I could take photos of the lake during the sunset. On the way was the CN Tower which although super cheesy is something Victor’s never been to so we walked to the base to take photos. He wasn’t too impressed.

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2 Years of Blogging….

The end of January marks 2 years of blogging about photography, life and everything in-between and it feels really strange to be here. I think a part of me still feels weird about sharing my photography/life with people outside of my friend circle. I’m very shy which I don’t think comes across very well because I tend to have a ‘loud’ personality but I’m rather private and always have a hard time sharing what I’m passionate about with other people. The reason I started this blog was to help me with that and hopefully share my photography with people who have no idea who I am. I don’t worry about statistics or ‘growing my audience’, mostly just about putting out content that I find interesting, useful or documenting my life for myself so I have something to look back on years down the road. It makes me happy and if you are one of the people who has found out about me randomly, welcome! I hope you enjoy glancing at all the random stuff I put out every week. I’m so happy to be going into my 3rd year of blogging and even though I will be minimizing the amount of weekly posts I do to make room for working on my professional photography site and a few other projects I have coming up (making photography zines, art installation, and more) I have so much to share still. Thanks for reading whether it was one post or several!

self portrait citizen erased photography (3)

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A Year of Random

canada malting silos (7)Have a look back at the last year of random posts! Thursday’s have always been a day for me to throw up any photography on the blog that I feel like sharing. Whether it’s a walk I went on recently where I took nature or cityscapes shots. Or a photo-shoot I did with friends that month (or a few months ago). Even shots of my house, garden or Butter (my cat). It’s hard to describe exactly what happens on Thursday, it’s just random.  Click the link/photo if you want to see random photography and more.

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This Year I…..

As it’s the last day of 2014, I wanted to look back at the year and put together a collection of what I’ve done and new experiences I’ve had. I did this last year too and it was really fun to do so I hope you enjoy it as well.  Although I think 2013 was a much more exciting year for me this year was definitely a turning point. I’ve started so many projects and explored so many different art ideas I almost feel like I haven’t had time to relax in the last 6 months. The best thing about that is I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I’ve wanted to do which means 2015 will hopefully be filled with projects and I can expand on what I’ve been doing.  Personally besides my projects, the last half of the year has really been tough for me as I realized there are a lot of areas of my life that I’m not happy with. In general coming to terms with this being my last year of being 20 (ugh). I feel in need of some soul searching in 2015 but for this year I….

fuji instax mini film lake ontario (3)Travelled To:

  • Toronto – My yearly visit to Derek on his birthday despite the snow. Polaroids of the trip, here
  • Sandbanks Provincial Park – First in the summer on a road trip with Zara and again later for a camping trip in fall. Instax photos and Polaroids, here and here.  
  • Peterborough, Ontario – Visiting my long time friend Sarah who moved there a year ago. Hadn’t seen her in years, photos from the trip, here and here

This year was not a big year for travelling. I hope 2015 is different as I’d love to get outta Canada. My passport expired in Spring and Victor is still working on getting his citizenship so there are a few hurdles to cross. I am excited to see what 2015 will bring, and both me and Victor are starting to realize one of us needs to learn to drive because we don’t like being city bound all the time.

factory polaroid (8)Fell in Love With:

  • My Instax Mini 90 – the amount of photos I’ve taken with this guy in the last 6 months….
  • Aphex Twin “Syro” – my album of the year, Victor picked it up on vinyl for Christmas and I can’t wait to hear it through the studio speakers
  • This year’s iteration of lavender hair
  • Vintage slides – DIY project here, and here and some of my collection, here and here
  • The Canada Malting Silos – I’ve made several bike rides down to the silos this summer and taken Polaroids photos of it, here and outside photos, here. I’ve been in the building twice as well but haven’t shared the photos of those adventures yet…
  • Zines, can’t wait to show you my growing collection and I’m hoping to make my own in the New Year
  • My art wall, have you seen my art wall it’s a thing of beauty:ally burke (1)

    It goes without saying that I also am still madly in love with Victor. Our anniversary is actually on New Year’s at 2am. So shout out to him for sticking around this long, 5 years feels like a lifetime to me. I’m one of those people who is constantly moving and changing so it’s crazy to think I not only found the right guy so easily but that we keep managing to have a relationship with love, trust, excitement and still find time to challenge each other and support each other endlessly.

meandvictorFirsts:

  • Climbed the Malting Silos and reached the top. Video and photo of me above the silos, here.
  • #mtlcrane where I decorate Montreal in origami cranes. Will be doing this again next year, follow me on Instagram for updates. Also shared a few of my favourite locations, here and here.
  • Swam in my first Great Lake. Visited Sandbanks Beach on Lake Ontario twice this year to go swimming. The first time was the best as it was a windy day and the waves were high, reminded me of the ocean.
  • Did my first “What’s in My Bike Basket?” post
  • Shot Starchild Stela doing her “Jem and the Holograms” piece, photos here
  • Visited the Omipac Building before it was torn down this Fall. I was introduced to this locally famous abandoned parking lot while shooting Starchild Stela. I went back another time with my friend Zara as well before it was torn down as well. Sad to see it go. Photos of it here, and here.
  • Started collecting vintage puzzles.
  • Started a 52 Weeks of Self-Portrait project(will finish in March 2015, posts here)
  • Was apart of the Montreal Expozine, very last minute thing that happened but I am hoping to be apart of it again next year and have a ton of photography zines to sell.

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Accomplished:

  • completed a 365 Challenge
  • received over 3,800 notes on Tumblr for a photography of my hair which is kind of insane to me
  • taught myself how to press flowers
  • was apart of a few craft fairs and even sold a few of my photography postcards!
  • several DIY projects I’ve always wanted to do and found new ones to challenge myself (links here to them)
  • placed over 250 cranes around Montreal
  • painted all the rooms in my house
  • managed not to kill all my plants (might have killed a few)

Added to my Collection:

If you want to have a look at my complete toy camera collection, here it is! I’ll be doing a complete vintage camera collection sometime in the New Year as well. At this point I really want to use each camera more before acquiring anymore unless it’s a really unique camera that I don’t have.

fujifilm instax mini 90

I am excited for 2015, hope you are too and that you have a great New Year’s.

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Vacation & Happy Christmas

merry christmasHappy Christmas!

Hope you have a great day tomorrow regardless of if you celebrate Christmas or doing your own thing. It’s almost a dying practice to do so among my friends but I guess that’s what happens when most of us are atheists. I use to hate Christmas (kind of still do) but it’s grown on me and I find so much fun in decorating my house in snowflakes, tinsel, and putting up my tree (or trees because now I’m the owner for 3 Christmas trees instead of the usual 1). Plus who doesn’t love an excuse to buy presents for the people you love! I don’t really do anything on the actual day because I opening presents on Christmas Eve and all my really close friends I’d normally rope into diner don’t live in Montreal. I work today pretty late so Christmas Eve dinner at Victor’s mom’s house has been changed to Christmas so at some point I’ll have to wake up and put clothes on (ugh).  Regardless it will be mellow and fun. I can’t wait to open my present from Victor, I’ve known what they are for a month and it’s been killing me to wait. I’m also going on blog vacation for 2 weeks because I really need time to work on my professional website and have some time to relax. December was a crazy month for me and I’m exhausted. There will be short posts looking back in the last year almost every day so I won’t be going awat entirely. Plus my 52 Weeks of Self-Portrait project will still be up on Sundays. The daiy posts are great if you’ve just started reading or want to look through the last year of Double Exposures, or Lomography Wednesdays, ectera…See you next year!

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Alice in Wonderland – Silent Film

Alice-in-Wonderland-1915-4I thought in time for Christmas I recommend an interesting movie to check out over the holidays if you have some spare time. This is the W.W. Young’s silent film adaptation of the classic story of Alice in Wonderland that’s free to watch, here! If you love Alice in Wonderland adaptations like I do, I also suggest trying to find Necoz Z Alenky’s stop motion / live motion version called ‘Alice’ which is my favourite (sneak peak here). Both demonstrate the amazing ability of story telling available in film (and make you realize how boring modern blockbusters sometimes can be). With their sinister overtones they highlight the twisted nature of the original story and I love them both.

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Cutest Craft Fair

10428588_10154910436030501_5273760250679768814_nTomorrow I’m going to be apart of the Cutest Art Fair Ever, to find out more information about the event and the other artists involved click, here! I’ll be selling postcards, vintage slide necklaces, resin bracelets with dried flowers inside, paper crane ornaments, dragon scale maille bracelets and keychains!!! Also making a bunch of coconut rice krispie squares. My table I think is going to be a little all over the place with all my various bits and bobs I’ve been making but I’m excited to see what sells. Just sent out my best friend’s Christmas presents so it’ll arrive before the holiday and it’s such a relief to be done crafting (I made her all homemade presents this year). I have really enjoyed making each piece for the craft fair and can’t wait to hang out with friends there.  Come say ‘hi’ if you are in Montreal.

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Double Exposure: Clouds and Cityscapes

clouds and cityscapes (4) clouds and cityscapes (6) clouds and cityscapes (8) clouds and cityscapes (5) clouds and cityscapes (7) clouds and cityscapes (2) clouds and cityscapes (10) clouds and cityscapes (11)A few double exposures from last week’s walk featuring the clouds and cityscapes of dusk and Montreal. The view is from the edge of the Clocktower beach just as the sun dips behind the sky rises.

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Pick of the Week: Christmas Recipes

christmas recipes

Sharing a few of the amazing Christmas recipes I was able to find from various food bloggers for today’s pick of the week. My favourite are the two hot chocolates which sound to die for and the eggnog marshmallows are on the top of the my list to be made as soon as I get some time away from work.  Hope you are enjoying the season and baking away – I am doing my annual rice krispie squares of various flavors, recipe here if you want to check out.

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#mtlcrane

This week I am wrapping up on the first part of my #mtlcrane project where I placed origami cranes around Montreal with 80s song lyrics attached.  The final crane will be placed sometime this week and will mark 204 cranes placed (all viewable here).  The moment is almost bittersweet but still no rest for me just yet this year as  mtlcrane is not over.  I will be placing more cranes just like I did in October for Halloween but this time for the Christmas season featuring oh so delightful Christmas songs around Montreal, avoiding the snow of course. I am hoping to get up to 250 cranes to finish off the year and I’m also happy to announce mtlcrane will be back next year with 90’s lyrics but I’ll tell you more about that when it starts to get a bit warmer here in the Spring. I had a few ideas I wanted to do this year for the project but didn’t so I’m excited to get the chance next year and plan to do even more cranes than 2014. Thanks to all the people who have shared photos of the cranes or tweeted/Facebooked about it – I hope some of the cranes found homes and a smile was shared. I can honestly say I’ve never found it more fun to go for walks in this city, and hope the landscape was slightly improved by my silly cranes…I’ve shared a few photos of my project before here, but to end the year I wanted to share a few more from over the last 4 months….

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Montreal Expozine

This past weekend was Montreal’s Expozine which featured individual artists and small publishers of zines, comics, and the like from Montreal and around Canada. I went on a mission to find some photography zines and see if there any interesting artist zines out there that I hadn’t heard about. Although I didn’t really find what I was looking for, I did walk away with several zines to add to my collection and discovered a few artists I wasn’t aware of before. My experience there over all was a bit mixed as it was wall to wall people so it was very overwhelming and hard to take your time viewing each table. Plus the price difference between each table as well was vast from most DIY style zines for a few dollars all the way to published books over $20. The tables were not curated and with the amount of people crowded around everywhere it was hard to really find what you were seeking. Regardless it was fun peaking at other artist’s work and even meeting them face to face. There was a much larger amount of comics and graphic novels than I accepted and lucky for me (or not so lucky for me) they were pretty much all in French or I might have left penniless. I was able to find a t-shirt and print that Victor wanted for his Anniversary present as well! I thought I’d show you my haul and where to find out more information about the artist.

expozineMy haul.

sailor moon stickers starchild stela (2) sailor moon stickers starchild stelaStarchild Stela’s zine and stickers.

expozine (1) expozine (2)Flyers, mini prints and zines from various artsists like Zuzu Knew, Jon Edwards and Ginettelapalme.

city carriers zine (3) city carriers zine (2)stanley wany (2)stanley wany (1)Tang-Wei Hsu book  ‘City Carriers’ & Stanley Wany prints

raft and mapRaft & Map card and t-shirt

salgood sam (2) salgood sam (3) Full sized and mini prints from Salgood Sam.

And to end my haul of Expozine I wanted to highlight a book I couldn’t afford but loved the look of and hope to picking up in the future by Meags Fitzgerald:

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Fall Walks and Picking Flowers

I’ve been talking so much about going for walks to picking flowers to dry for a DIY project I’m doing this month (resin bracelets with dried flowers embedded) so I thought I’d show you bits and pieces from my walks of my many photos of beautiful flowers and leaves. Leaves are my weakness – I can’t just pick up one as I want to find a perfect one…which never happens. Growing up on the West Coast makes it hard for me to remember how stunning Montreal gets in the Fall because I am so programmed to think Spring = Flowers when here it seems the opposite. There wasn’t much selection but the ones that survive this far into the year I find very stunning, it’s almost a shame I had to dry them since I love them much more in this state. I’ll try to give more context under the photos as I feature a lot of different walks…

picking flowers (11) picking flowers (8)picking flowers (9) picking flowers (10)It’s hard to imagine but these flowers are on a medium in the middle of one of the busiest streets in Montreal’s downtown.

picking flowers (28) picking flowers (27) picking flowers (26)I love this bird just chillin’ on a bench and his orange eyes.

picking flowers (23) picking flowers (24)Flowers found on the way to Mont-Royal – one of the most colorful days when it came to the flowers.

picking flowers (2) picking flowers (5)Geting flowers ready to be pressed.

picking flowers (11) picking flowers (12)picking flowers (19) picking flowers (3) picking flowers (9) picking flowers (13) picking flowers (15) picking flowers (16) picking flowers (17) picking flowers (20)picking flowers (14)After one of my first walks of autumn I ended up locking myself out of the house and had to wait for Victor to come home to let me in. In the meantime I sat on the bench on my backyard and took shots of my tupperware container packed with various leaves and flowers.

picking flowers (4) picking flowers (6) Changing leaves are magical, I could look at them forever.

picking flowers (6)picking flowers (1)I have a habit of just filling up my hands with as much as I can before unpacking it into one of the containers I brought along.  This unicorn container is my favourite to bring with me on walks at it’s very compact but still holds a lot of flowers. Plus, WTF.

picking flowers (11) picking flowers (12)This cat was just about exploring between bushes at Parc Laurier and having a great time. She reminds me of the Norwegian Forest bred and seems to be very at home with being in nature. I’ll end with Victor walking into the distance…

picking flowers (9)

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Adventures in an Abandoned Car Park

Abandoned Car Park (35)Back in September me and Zara went to the abandoned car park that is on Av du Parc and Avenue Van Horne here in Montreal so she could try out spray painting for the first time instead of her usual painting. We found out as soon as we arrived that the place wasn’t so abandoned when we stumbled into a cleaning crew that was sweeping the place out as it’s to be demolished soon (or might have already). We smiled at them and continued to one of the upper floors and they didn’t bug us at all which was great (we did have an encounter later on with a homeless guy who was wandering around the lower floors muttering to himself). Here is the start of our afternoon…

Abandoned Car Park (3)Abandoned Car Park (2)When we arrived at the car park the first thing we stumped upon was this piece of sculpture made with spray paint cans. I love this piece so much.

Abandoned Car Park (13) Abandoned Car Park (14) Abandoned Car Park (15) Abandoned Car Park (18)I enjoyed the starch cleanness of the space, but maybe that’s because last time I was here there was ice everywhere and large puddles. It’s weird being in somewhere abandoned this is so in order.

Abandoned Car Park (5)After searching all the various floors to find the perfect location we settled at this one spot and Zara setup all her cans and the cupcakes she brought with her. I went around taking photos of all the graffiti while she worked away.

Abandoned Car Park (4) Abandoned Car Park (7) Abandoned Car Park (25)Abandoned Car Park (9) Abandoned Car Park (6) Abandoned Car Park (11) Abandoned Car Park (16) Abandoned Car Park (12) Abandoned Car Park (17) Abandoned Car Park (36) Abandoned Car Park (37) Abandoned Car Park (10)Abandoned Car Park (8)
Abandoned Car Park (22) Abandoned Car Park (23)Sorry I can’t show you more of what she was working on. She wasn’t happy with the results although I thought her piece looked amazing and reminded me very much of her other paintings. Understand first attempts aren’t really for the anyone else except the artist.

Abandoned Car Park (1)Abandoned Car Park (20) Abandoned Car Park (24) Abandoned Car Park (33)The one thing I love about this building is the various views from the windows – it’s just such a cool effect and the 360 degree view of the neighbourhood.

Abandoned Car Park (30) Abandoned Car Park (27)A shot of my coconut cupcake which I enjoyed after doing my own bit of graffiti, can’t draw to save my life but I played around to kill time. Was quiet pleased with my squid people, better than a stick figure at least?

Abandoned Car Park (31) Abandoned Car Park (32) Abandoned Car Park (29) Abandoned Car Park (39) Abandoned Car Park (38) Abandoned Car ParkWe headed downstairs and found a cluster of rusted spray cans I loved the natural layout of. As well some of the other details of the second to bottom floor.

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Happy Halloween!

Hope you are having a great Goth Christmas and celebrating it in your own way. I’m going to have a mellow Halloween as I haven’t been feel really well the last few weeks but I thought I’d share with you this year’s collection of holiday snail mail that I sent out. All of these postcards are the same as last years because they made a printing mistake on a few of them last year so they sent me 30 replace postcards that I didn’t really have much use for but to use again this year. The artwork is drawn and colored by me but I’m copying drawings made by the super talent and amazing Ally Burke (I can’t draw to save my life but I’m a pretty decent mimic so I like to give my friends fun custom drawings each year).  I found really awesome puffy and sparkling stickers to add this year too. Really fun, I think Halloween cards are the best. Hope you have a great one! Let me know how you celebrate…

things that make me smile (7) things that make me smile (6) things that make me smile (5)things that make me smile (1)halloween postcards (1)halloween postcards (2) halloween postcards (1) halloween postcards (2) Also on another note, the last two week’s I’ve been placing special Halloween cranes around Montreal for #mtlcrane . My favourite crane is below, it’s a double head crane that I made by accident months ago and fell in love with. I also decided to add a little to some of the awesome house decorations happening in the Plateau…cos cranes are scary? No? Just me…okay.

halloween mtlcrane (3) halloween mtlcrane (1) halloween mtlcrane (2)

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Forest Cemetery

forest cemetery (94)Halloween is right around the corner so I thought I’d share with you some photos of this amazing forest cemetery that me and Zara chanced upon while lost in Ontario in the summer. I love old cemeteries and there is something so unique about having one just in the middle of a man-made forest (it was surrounded by farm houses on either side and the trees were so perfectly aligned). Zara and I both thought it was really special and a wonderful way to be buried among tress. I wonder if it’s a cultural thing because the area we were in was either an Amish or Mennonites community. We just had to stop the car on the side of the road and explore. It’s fascinating to me to look at and to imaging the stories of the all the owners of the graves. When I was little me and family use to always go to the Chinese graveyard in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and pick blackberries on Sundays so I feel at home in cemeteries. The most unique thing about this graveyard besides being in a forest was every stone said “DIED” on it which it not common. All the graves dated from the 1800s and early 1900s, but it seems some of the graves had been replaced with newer ones. It was defiantly a well taken care of cemetery. We found one grave that had recently had a photo placed on it by a loved one. Here is a look at the forest cemetery just as the sun was starting to set…

forest cemetery (1) forest cemetery (7) forest cemetery (8) forest cemetery (10) forest cemetery (92) forest cemetery (82) forest cemetery (91)forest cemetery (13)forest cemetery (16)forest cemetery (18)forest cemetery (21)forest cemetery (23)forest cemetery (33)forest cemetery (24)forest cemetery (35)forest cemetery (32)forest cemetery (27)forest cemetery (40)forest cemetery (42)forest cemetery (55)forest cemetery (56) Continue reading %s

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Ontario Sunset

Didn’t I say yesterday that I’ve switched to collecting sunsets now? Well I thought I’d follow that up with showing you the gorgeous sunset I experienced this summer while on my road trip in Ontario. It was just after a light rainfall while Zara and I were driving through Amish country (seriously, we saw a horse drawn bugey a few minutes before). We were heading north blindly as my phone had run out of battery and we didn’t have a map or GPS, trying to find our way to Peterborough. I think even though we knew we were heading the right direction we felt a tad bit lost so the sunset really cheered me up. The first shot you can just barely see the giant rainbow reaching across the skyline – it’s moments like these that really make a road trip what it is!

ontario dusk sunset (8) ontario dusk sunset (6) ontario dusk sunset (3) ontario dusk sunset (10) ontario dusk sunset (12)ontario dusk sunset (16) ontario dusk sunset (14) ontario dusk sunset (17) ontario dusk sunset (18)After night had fallen I was still obsessed with the sky and took these from the front seat of the car as we drove towards Peterborough.

ontario dusk sunset (23) ontario dusk sunset (28)ontario dusk sunset (20) ontario dusk sunset (21)

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Road tripping to Ontario

I’ve been lucky this summer and had so many chances to adventure, go on road trips and especially to swim. We just finished our last trip of the summer last, last weekend to Sandbanks Provincial park with a few friends and it was bittersweet. Earlier in the summer I went with just Zara for our first time there. I’ve mentioned it before as I’ve share a few film photos from the trip already. It was basically a totally random plan to hit the beach while driving up to visit our friend Sarah in Peterborough. I don’t think either me or Zara knew that on this windy and kind of shitty day we end up falling in love with this beach.

road tripping ontario (1) road tripping ontario (2) road tripping ontario (3) road tripping ontario (4) road tripping ontario (5)The easiest way to get to Prince Edward County where Sandbanks is from Montreal is by taking Highway 33 to catch the ferry. It’s not an island but it kind of is? I’m still confused on that but the ferry was really cute and reminded me of when I lived on Vancouver Island (except the ferry there is 200% the size of this one).

road tripping ontario (6) road tripping ontario (9)road tripping ontario (8) road tripping ontario (11)One of the ferry workers was talking to Zara and convinced use to check out this alternative beach called Wellington Beach instead of going Sandbanks….it sucked. We almost stopped here because we didn’t really know if the other beach was going to be any better and we didn’t anticipate the wind. We couldn’t even talk or open our mouths here without getting a face full of sand.

road tripping ontario (12) road tripping ontario (13)Also the water near Wellington had this blue lagoon streak that ran the whole way through that area. My photos don’t do it justice, it looks like a slice of the Bahamas in the middle of Ontario.

road tripping ontario (14) road tripping ontario (15) road tripping ontario (16)What a welcoming sight, sand dunes! We arrived at Sandbanks and couldn’t even contain our excitment. I couldn’t wait to kick of my shoes and enjoy the feeling of real sand.

road tripping ontario (26) road tripping ontario (20) road tripping ontario (21) road tripping ontario (22)road tripping ontario (17)It was pretty gloomy when we arrived but both Zara and I just knew we had to swim. The water was surprising warm for the bad weather (about a million times warmer then when we went in September). The beach was actually busy so it wasn’t just us that wanted to jump into the waves.

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Before getting in I  sat on the beach as the waves rolled over me and watched the locals jump into waves while Zara collected momentos from the beach.

road tripping ontario (29)road tripping ontario (30)road tripping ontario (33)road tripping ontario (28)road tripping ontario (32)After swimming photos, as it got a bit nicer and brighter. We probably jumped waves for almost 2 hours together, it was amazing but towards the end I was just so beat from working agaisnt the strong current. It was incredible and both of us agreed it felt like the ocean and reminded us of one of our favourite beaches, Long Beach on Vancouver Island. I also got out earlier so I could take some photos of Zara jumping the waves to try and capture what it was like. Continue reading %s

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Bridge Tour

bridge tours (30)bridge tours (20)bridge tours (15)bridge tours (26)bridge tours (2)bridge tours (21)bridge tours (11)Today is kind of a random post because I thought right now I’d be either camping or on my way to camping. I also really wanted to share these photos of my friend Brent looking all handsome. He was in town last month to visit and he always lets me take a million photos of him when he visits because he knows I appreciate it (he is very photogenic) so it’s a shame not to share. It rained the whole time he was here too so randomly during a burst of sun we took him to the Jacques-Cartier bridge near our house to show him the view. I don’t know if it’s much of a tourist destination but he’s been here a few times before so I guess it may have been fun? (don’t ask me, I love this bridge regardless of reason) We spotted the fisherman in the water catching fish and there were a lot of cruises and speed boats going under the bridge that day – Brent kept saying he was going to pee on one of them – could you imagine? We also debated whether La Ronda, Montreal’s theme park looked absolute shit.

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The boys also decided to test the ‘jumper’ proof fence which actually turns out is pretty hard.

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#mtlcrane

Today I want to share with you my first street project #mtlcrane.  I love street art and the various ways people engage with their surrounds and have wanted to contribute in some way for years. It came about when I was making crane chains for the installation in my living room. I was wondered what to do with the box of cranes I had left and I realized I should share my cranes with others as cranes always make me smile and feel hope. So I spent about a month making more cranes and also creating single chain out of them in my spare time so they could be hanged around the city. I also knew I wanted to create an interactive element to the project so people could participate in if they found a crane. So I created a label for them with the hashtag, the crane’s name and a unique 80’s song lyric on it without the artist or song information so anyone who found might get a laugh at the frequently ridiculous song lyrics (and perhaps remember the song or video) but also be able to find out the artist and song information when they searched online using the hashtag #mtlcrane. What I do is hang a crane somewhere obvious to walkers by around the city in the hope someone takes it home or engages with it on some level.  I then take a photo of the crane before I leave and then post it on Instagram, Twitter, and Flickr with the name and sometimes the artist & song information. It’s been so fun bring cranes with me on my daily trips around Montreal to hang up or even heading out on my bike with my camera and cranes on the hunt for perfect spots.  I’ve been doing it since July and am about 1/4th of the way through the cranes. Some people have used the hashtag to post their own photos on Instagram and one person has actually stopped me while I was hanging it to ask me about the project. It’s really fun and I feel like I may continue the project even after I run out of cranes next year. I’m trying to do about 4 cranes a day now as it’s getting into the rainy season so if you live in Montreal have a look around, I leave them in all areas of town and if you’ve found one, enjoy the crane!

Here are some of my favourite locations so far: mtlcrane (19)mtlcrane (8)mtlcrane (10)mtlcrane (15)mtlcrane (18)mtlcrane (13)mtlcrane (1)mtlcrane (14)mtlcrane (5)behind the scenes (14)mtlcrane (9)mtlcrane (12)mtlcrane (16)mtlcrane (6)mtlcrane (4)(one of the first cranes I hung was a ‘rickroll’ because you cannot resist Rick Astley)

Behind the scene photos:

I always take a photo of the name tag before I hang it up so I can match the location with the crane’s name and song later on and I’ve ended up with really fun photos of  the name tags right as I found the perfect spot to hang them.

behind the scenes (15) behind the scenes (13) behind the scenes (6) behind the scenes (1) behind the scenes (11) behind the scenes (7) behind the scenes (2) behind the scenes (10)

If you want to check out all of the cranes I have an album on Flickr with each one I’ve done so far: here!

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Summer of Sunrises

This summer I had a bad work schedule and developed this really bad habit of staying up till past 4am almost every other night – so I decided to document the sunrises from my front window and other locations and called it “Summer of Sunrises” every time I shared a photo. It’s amazing the difference between sunrises day in and day out, I actually didn’t even bother document some because when it rains or is heavily cloudy it’s almost impossible to see even the sun rise, it just gets suddenly light outside. Going back in all my folders to find these I was surprised about how few there actually was in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps next year I will do a more serious summer of sunrise’s documentary…if my sleep allows it. This seems like guilty confession since I’m sure most people my age aren’t awake at 4am, let along multiple times in the same week. It sure was a beautiful summer though, oh and August was a little bare since sunrise started to creep up to past 5am to 6am so I put in a few sunsets.

May 4th 5:22am, the first pre-summer sunrisesunrise

June 4th 4:02am, from front windowsunrise

June 6th 4:25, from the front window sunrise (2)

June 7th 4:23, from the front windowsunrise

June 19th 3:55, from the front windowsunrise

June 28th 4:00am, from front windowsunrise

July 1st 4:11am, from the front windowsunrise

July 3rd 3:54am & 4:29am, from the front windowsunrise (2) sunrise (3)

July 8th 4:15 & 4:31, from Jacques Cartier Bridge sunrisesunrise (2)

July 13th 4:12, from the front windowsunrise Continue reading %s

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L’International des Feux, Montreal

A tragic thing happened to me last month, I was going to sort through my L’International des Feux photos to get this post ready and I realized that I had never taken the photos off my camera and put them on my computer and of course as they were taken at the beginning of July my SD card in my camera had long been reformatted and those photos lost forever. I was heartbroken. Mostly because as much I love taking photos of fireworks I’m definitely not amazing at it and that night I had all the right settings and they shots were really exciting and so much better than previous photos. I was really excited to experiment more and improve but sadly that night was one of the only nights I went to L’International des Feux.  Thankfully the night I took them I had put 5 of them on my computer to share so I do have those (5 outta 146 – sad face). There was also 1 last show that happened after I realized my goof so I did take a few there as well to share, they aren’t super exciting as the last show is always a musical tribute and since it’s not a part of the competition it’s pretty tame but I’m pretty happy with them. Next year! I’m ready for next year. Anyways enjoy my shots of ….L International des Feux, Montreal (20)L International des Feux, Montreal (5)L International des Feux, Montreal (7)L International des Feux, Montreal (3)L International des Feux, Montreal (7)L International des Feux, Montreal (17)L International des Feux, Montreal (14)L International des Feux, Montreal (12)L International des Feux, Montreal (11)L International des Feux, Montreal (4)L International des Feux, Montreal (4)L International des Feux, Montreal (6)

The 2nd night we went there was too much glare from the fireworks to take photos so I ended up taking a bunch of videos and stuck them all together… [media url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHPESNiPPpo”]

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Adventures with My Little Pony

my little pony in real life (5)Today I wanted to share with you some photos I took a few weeks ago of two of my first generation My Little Pony’s (if you saw my “What’s in My Bike Basket?” post in July this may look familiar to you). I’ve always been into toy photography as it’s such a neat genre and people are so innovative. I really fell in love with it when I watched the documentary about Marwencol. So I thought this summer I would try taking some of my own toy photography using the really the only toys I still own, MLP! It’s a bit tricky because they don’t have poseable anything and don’t have facial expressions so you can’t really humanize them or put them in scenes but I like these test shots and might do more. I’ll have to prepare myself beforehand cos I got a lot of stares while doing this or maybe just no taking photos of toys in public places – lol.

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Dawn from the Jacques Cartier Bridge…

My birthday was two weeks ago and I decided to spend the morning watching the sunrise from the bridge near my house. The view from my front window is pretty stunning but I thought it’d be even more beautiful from the bridge. Sadly it just wasn’t a good day for the weather all around so the sun rose into clouds – it kind of ruined there being a super pretty sunrise but I had fun anyways listening to Sparta and Bjork swinging my feet over the river below. It’s definitely something I want to do again this summer even though it’s kind of intimidating being alone on a bridge at dawn.

watching the sunrise (32)watching the sunrise (31) watching the sunrise (33) watching the sunrise (36) watching the sunrise (37) watching the sunrise (40) watching the sunrise (41)watching the sunrise (1)watching the sunrise (3)watching the sunrise (15)watching the sunrise (10)watching the sunrise (7)watching the sunrise (8)watching the sunrise (12)watching the sunrise (14)watching the sunrise (16)watching the sunrise (19)watching the sunrise (21)watching the sunrise (23)watching the sunrise (13)watching the sunrise (25)watching the sunrise (26)watching the sunrise (27)watching the sunrise (28)watching the sunrise (29)I biked there at 4:20am as the end of the bridge is a pretty short ride from my house and setup on the middle of the bridge with my IPOD and a slew of camera around me and took off my shoes. I just sat there with my feet dangling in the wind taking photos and watching the sky until after 5:30am (sunrise was at 5:15am but the sun didn’t get out of the clouds till way after). Beside an early morning commuter and a drunken guy walking home after a rough night towards the end it was super peaceful and I could just get lost in the moment.  It was pretty terrifying on the way home though because I didn’t ride my bike onto the bridge but I did going off and it was FAST. I took a short video but had to stop since it was just way too fast and I need to concentrate (have you ever ridden on walkway on a bridge? It shakes so much and is too narrow for my liking). I collapsed when I got home which wasn’t a bad choice since it rained for most of the day and it was a Tuesday so pretty boring. I’m sure someone reading this will think I’m nuts, lol but it’s exactly how I wanted to start the next year of my life (except of course my feet in the ocean which is the best thing ever but couldn’t happen this year).

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Inside Garden Update! Part 2

Here is a look into my inside garden that I’ve been growing since moving in last year. A few weeks ago I showed you the slew of new plants that I’ve added and an update on my old plants so today is all about how I choose to decorate my inside garden this year! I have my garden organized into 3 different parts of the apartment, first my kitchen window, my front room and Victor’s office.  I am running outta space around the house now as we don’t have many sunny areas but I love the little spurts of green and feel like they add so much to our apartment. Hope you enjoy the look into my little garden!

air plants (4) air plants (5) air plants air plants (7)The part of the garden that was super fun to decorate was the terrariums for my air plants. I bought 3 small air plants so I have one larger bowl for two of them and a smaller bowl for the other. I filled them with seashells and rocks and positioned the air plants like they were coming out of the shells. Because I need to take them out once a week to soak in water I made them very accessible.

inside garden (9)inside garden (3)inside garden (1)inside gardenThe biggest change is the kitchen window! I wanted to get the vines higher up because they were growing down to the ground so I bought some fabric plant hangers and installed hooks on the ceiling. I wanted to create a curtain effect of vines because we don’t have any blinds or curtains on the window because we enjoy being able to look outside and all the light. I just love how it looks with all the different heights and think it’ll look great when the newer vines grow down. We did have 5 hangers with vines but we had a causality (the lemon licorice vine seems to reject getting replanted and died right away).  I think it looks magical especially with all the different colors. The one big issue is the higher plants are really hard to water, if you have any tips for that let me know in the comments.

inside garden (7) inside garden inside garden (2)inside garden (8)inside garden (5)For the rest of the kitchen I have my little vintage table setup with 4 plants on it and I’ve decorated with some seashells and two porcelain rabbits I picked up for Easter and decided were too cute not have out all year long. I even have one of my tattoo Hello Kitty Easter eggs resting in the soil of the umbrella plant. I brought in a little tower I was using last year for herbs inside to put beside the table to hold my succulent that doesn’t need as much light and my garden gnome friend! The bottom shelf even holds all my gardening supplies which is super handy. The pink quill has flowered twice already and it just makes me smile so much, I think I’ll have to pick up more flowering plants next year because I love it so much. The flowers disappear after 2 days but the purple contrasting with all my green foliage it beautiful while it lasts.

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Mini-Vacation

So this week marks the final few days of being 28. Going to be taking the next week off from the blog so I can relax and celebrate my birthday. See you guys next week when I’m 29. :)

vacation

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Canada Malting Silos, Montreal

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Last weekend me and Victor went to explore the Canada Malting Silos building that is located on the Lachine Canal. We were checking it out to see if we could gain entrance to the abandoned silos. Sadly we weren’t able to find a way of getting in. I was able to grab photos of the exterior, and thought I’d share. We had a peek inside the building through the cracks of some of the welded up holes and it has now made me even more determined than before to get inside. There has also been news this year that the building may get torn down by its current owner and converted into condos so time is of the essence. I’ve always had a love for abandoned buildings, I just love that creepy sense of time gone past and the old machinery just left behind. Hope to find more places to explore. There are definitely a lot of abandoned buildings in Montreal, getting access is always the trick. If you want to see photos taken from inside check out this blog, it’s so beautiful!

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Inside Garden Update! Part 1

I want to share an update of last year’s plants and new additions to my inside garden! I’ve went full all in to creating my perfect garden this year after all my plants from last year managed to survive. I went little nuts at the nursery and even had to go twice so there are a lot of new plants. I hope this year is just as successful as the last and that I haven’t went in too deep. While researching the feeding schedules of my plants online (total geek, I know) I realized that a few of the ‘easy’ looking plants at the nursery are pretty advance plants for someone as beginner as me.  So let’s just say, I’m nervous. First the plants that have survived a whole year, if you want to see the before check out my last update post, here!

inside garden (2) inside garden (3)my inside gardeninside garden (2)inside garden (1)my inside garden (2)Honestly the growth of them all is what surprises me the most, they seem to be thriving which is wonderful. Our apartment doesn’t get amazing natural light but the kitchen and Victor’s studio do have pretty good light through out the day so that helps. The craziest to me is the fishnet stocking plant that seems to lose it’s leaves and never grown them back…I guess it’s because it’s an annual so it should technically be dead (and not 5 feet tall). The vines are a little insane too  and I’ve had to put them in hangers because they’ve outgrown sitting on the counter. No casualties and that’s the most important, now for the new additions…

Air Plants

air plants (1)air plants (2)air plants (3)Three air plants to try out. I have wanted air plants ever since they start cropping up a few years ago. They are fasinating but actually quiet fussy plants so I didn’t want to pick up too many.

Vines & Succulent

inside gardeninside garden (5)inside garden (4)inside gardenThe Echeveria succulent had an accident on the way home from the nursery so lots of its leaves fell off but it’s starting to grow back. I’m weary of succulents since I’ve had them die on me before out of nowhere so this year I’m getting one to test out. I also bought a Lemon Licorice vine, English Ivy and a Hoya vine to hang in the kitchen window. So excited to have whole row of hanging vines.

Assortment

inside gardeninside garden (1)inside garden (7)inside garden (8)inside garden (6)For Victor’s office he bought a Umbrella Tree and a Boston fern to have on the desk. He also picked up a large Bamboo Palm as well (not pictured since we repotted it instantly after getting it home). For the kitchen I got another Umbrella Tree since they look so neat, a Song of India and Palm Lily.

Scarlet Star & Cronton

inside garden (2)inside garden (10)I had to buy another Cronton because mine was so small and they take a long time to grow and it’s just a really awesome plant. Although I kind of regret it now because it’s so rewarding to grow them out and the new one is a little too large for my apartment (may give him away).  I also picked up a mature Bromeliad Scarlet Star since they are amazing look at, a tricky plant I realize now but I’m up to the challenge and excited to see if it’ll bloom for me. Last but not least I picked up a Pink quill which is just tiny and beyond cute, it’s also a bromeliad.

Today is just Part 1 of my inside garden update, I just wanted to show how much the older plants have grown and the new repotted plants in their containers. The next update will have the plants actually in my house so I can show you how I display them. I’ve picked up so many hanging plant holders for the vines and created plants areas around all my windows; they really need their own post. So check that out, I believe it’ll be the 2nd week of July.  Let me know if you have any plant tips, I have the watering schedule all written down to make it easier for myself so I feel ready!

*Note: Before leaving me a comment or e-mailing me, yes I do know that some of my plants are poisonous to cats, in fact I know which plant is poisonousness to me as well. I have had my cat for enough years to know her habits around plants, and as much as she loves gnawing on cat grass, and the bamboo palm she actually never pays any attention to my other plants. If she did, I wouldn’t have the plants anywhere near my house. Thanks for your concern :)

bamboo palm
bamboo palm
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Clouds

I was hoping to share with you photos from this year’s Mural Festival that was happening last weekend in Montreal however the first day it rained all day and the second I had work so I had to miss out. Last year it was so much fun watching the artist’s work on making their pieces. I’m excited to check them out at a later time since the murals are permanent but it’s more exciting going to see them being made, and it’s nice since the street is closed and they have food stalls and everything. Instead I thought I’d share with my collection of cloud photos from the last month of constant rain. I’ve been going to the Olympic Parc lots and they have the most beautiful unadulterated view of the sky – it’s really nice to be there on a cloudy day and see all the cool of combination of clouds.

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In my last 5 years living here I have never seen such a perfect sky, I managed to grab a few of Victor to kind of compare how it looks in person. Feels the sky is swallowing up the shot. At least there is positives to all this rain.

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A Simple Saturday

this week in photos (7)A few photos from a walk me and Victor did together a few weekend’s ago after I finished work. We decided to head to the Olympic Stadium and check out Parc Exalto as it was their grand opening. Parc Exalto is an ‘urban acrobatic park’, I was quiet excited to see what that meant. It’s more or less an obstacle course in the air but pretty neat. We didn’t try it out because it was raining lightly and also because they weren’t doing anything special for the grand opening which was a little disappointing. We did get to climb into hammocks and chill out and have some fun though. We also went out for supper afterwards closer to home in the Plateau (which is where all the building and flower photos are from).
A nice chill Saturday, happy it’s summer.

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Marche Atwater – a Search for New Plants

marche atwater (1)Marche Atwater is the perfect place to buy plants in Montreal, at least I think so. We went here last year as well and all of those plants managed to live so we came back again to expand our inside garden. I don’t think I’ll ever have one of those super impression inside gardens I see sometimes walking around the Plateau – the windowsill’s that are wall to wall plants but this year we got much bolder in our choices. It was also a really fun day just wandering around and looking at all the plants.

marche atwater (34) marche atwater (30)marche atwater (14)marche atwater (19)marche atwater (18)I’m obsessed with this plant, no idea what it is but if you do, let me know in the comments.. I see them around randomly and love the fuzzy pink flowers. I was tempted to buy for our balcony.

marche atwater (16)marche atwater (17)marche atwater (21)marche atwater (20)marche atwater (28)marche atwater (29)marche atwater (33)marche atwater (40)marche atwater (41)marche atwater (42)I love looking at all the flowers. We don’t have a big enough outdoor space to grow any but it’s nice to look at all the varieties. Not enough people in my area have any flowers. Too much cement I guess.  Continue reading %s

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A Walk Through Vieux-Montreal

vieux-montreal (57)Living right beside Vieux-Montreal is probably one of the nicest things about my new apartment. Victor and me walked there a few times last summer but I feel like this summer we are going to be spending a lot more time there. Most people don’t really hang out in Vieux-Montreal because it’s where all the tourist are and everything around there seems to be centered on that. For me though I love it because of the water, it’s probably the only time I remember that I live on an island when I’m looking into the river. My favourite thing about it though is the factory. There is a non-functional (I think) factory at the very edge of it opposite from where we live so it’s quiet a walk through all of Vieux-Montreal but it is beautiful. Before I moved to Montreal I visited here for two weeks and I remember being fascinated about it and wanting to go inside of it and explore. They usually have a fence up around the whole place and fences on the bridges that connect it to the main part of the harbour but I guess that’s change recently because we were able to walk across all the bridges and get right below it. First time I’ve been that close, it was really cool. Thought I’d share some of the photos from out walk, was able to grab some photos of Victor for an upcoming art show I want to do next year – very excited for that as well (cannot share those because I am trying to keep them under wraps). Any places you love to walk near you?

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Jem and the Holograms by Starchild Stela

jem and the holograms graffiti  (58)A month ago  I was able to go along with Montreal artist Starchild Stela to document her creating a Jem graffiti piece.   She’s audition for the Jem and the Holograms live action movie that was announced last month. They currently have a Tumblr page setup for all fan submissions to help create the movie. I’ve actually been browsing the submissions all week for fun and it’s really cool seeing people’s work, I might be a little bias but I think Starchild Stela’s work stands out. She even looks like Jem! I don’t know about you but I can’t remember Jem and the Holograms show at all, I think it’s only of the only 80’s cartoons I don’t have a big soft spot for. Apperently I have a new cartoon show to watch when I’m bored….We met up at the metro and travelled by bus to an abandoned car park to find a wall for the piece. When she found the perfect wall and after she finished setting up, I started taking videos and photos for her to use for her audition. It’s my first time watching a graffiti piece being completed from start to finish and it takes a lot of work.I thought it’d be fun to show you the complete process and some fun after shots. We must have been there for 3 hours, I was so fucking cold by the end of it and my feet were wet. It was definelty worth it but it made me long for summer. I was glad I didn’t fall and hurt myself as almost the whole place was covered in ice  (I slipped a few times while holding my Nikon and was just crossing my fingers that I wasn’t going to fall). I’ve manged to grab lots of interesting shots of the process so today is more about Jem piece but I’ll likely have more in the future of the other graffiti artists who were with us.

I’ll link you to her Store, Tumblr, and Facebook if you want to check out more of her work.

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Abandoned Building in Montreal

abandonded building (6)Abandoned buildings are just so cool. I’d happily spend the rest of my days taking photos of deserted buildings. Montreal has a lot of them but anytime me and Victor try and get access to them we never seem to find a way. Hoping this summer we have a bit better luck and get to explore more. I was really happy when I found out I was going to spend my Saturday a few weeks ago in an abandoned car park. I actually didn’t take too many photos of it because I wanted to explore it later with Victor and it was also really cold and covered in massive puddles and ice. I was surprised I didn’t end up slipping and biting the dust. I did want to share more of graffiti process today but there were just too many photos so I’ve split it up so today is just photos of the building and next week more of the artist’s working.  Hoping to go on a little adventure near my house this weekend since the weather has been warmer and sunny. So excited it’s finally Spring and I don’t have to be cooped up in the house!

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You can also check out a short video I made of the building that’s on my Youtube, here!

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We Are Wolves at Nuit Blanche

We are Wolves played at the Cinémathèque Québécoise in celebration of Nuit Blanche last last weekend and I had my Nikon camera with me so I managed to get a few photos when I wasn`t dancing around. It was a really good show and they played a lot of their newer songs from their album La Mort Pop Club that I reviewed last year (here). They always have so much theatrics and this show was no different, the only downside was having to wait for an hour and a half from them to start. Me and Victor had a lot of fun despite that, although every time I sang along he gave a bit of the eye – it`s not my fault I know all the lyrics and like to sing along. Lol. Cannot wait to see more We are Wolves shows this year, the benefit of living in the same city as your favourite band I guess.

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Skating at Parc La Fontaine

montreal skating (3)Skating in Montreal is one of those things that always reminds me of being a kid. It’s just one of those things as an adult you don’t really think about but it’s still super fun to do. Every year I go at least once but this year I hope I end up going a few more times which will be tough since it’s almost the end of February. I went skating a few weeks ago at the Snow Festival (photos up in two week because I took too many and have to trim them down) and it was a blast. I own my own white figure skates that I think are so pretty but they are too skinny and kill my feet. It’s a good thing though because it means when I go skating instead of doing it for hours and hours like I did as a kid, I only do it for 30minutes because my feet hurt so much. The reason that’s a good thing is because Victor sits and watches me since he doesn’t skate and I don’t want him to be bored and frozen. I’ve tried getting Victor to skate, we did it once and he was terrified and held onto me for dear life for a few laps around the ice rink we were at and then decided it wasn’t his thing. Totally understand since he didn’t grow up in Canada so skating for the first time at 30 is probably not the easiest thing to do (it is so fun though, he’s crazy). Parc Lafontaine has the BEST skating and it’s free and I’ve never been. I didn’t even remember it was turned into a skating area when the lake froze until I showed up there on Monday to take photos of the snow. I don’t have my skates right now as I borrowed them to a friend who is out of town until the weekend, but come Sunday I fully intend to do my own skating and not just take photos!

montreal skating (6)kodak jiffymontreal skating (18)(I was taking double exposures and afterwards I realized my setting wasn’t on so I ended up with a upside down photo)

montreal skating (82) montreal skating (85) montreal skating (86)montreal skating (44) kodak jiffyiceI loved the sun reflecting on the ice.

treeskodak duaflexmontreal skating (74) montreal skating (66) montreal skating (63) montreal skating (65)The sun finished setting so I headed home with all my camera, cannot wait to skate there this weekend!

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Morning Frost

I love morning frost on the window.   I wish I had a macro lens for my Nikon camera for moments like these. Regardless, I still love shooting the frost on my front window, it always has such a beautiful changing pattern.The crystallization of water is always magical to me. We don’t get icicles here very much which is too bad because those can be just as cool as the frost.  I took these last week when it had just started to get cold again and the frost was taking over the window.

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Winter Walk

bokeh lightsMontreal looks so wonderful under a good layer of snow. I hope it snows again soon because right now downtown just looks dirty and depressing in the dim winter lighting. I find it a lot more magical when there is at least a few inches of snow to crunch under my feet and go for a good winter walk (even if I have to walk super slow to avoid all the ice so I don’t slip and hit my head). I think Quebec as a Province looks its best in the winter. But anyways enough rambling aside, I really enjoy these photos from me and Victor’s walk a few weeks ago to our favourite Jewish diner. The sun was just starting to set towards the end and the snow with the vieux buildings and the street lights just really work nicely together. I am hoping to get into a forest and take some proper winter photos soon but in the meantime while I figure out how to get to a forest enjoy my urban splendor.

portrait bokeh lightsportraitbokeh lightswinter walk (8) winter walk (10)winter walk (40)winter walk (18) portrait winter walk (19) winter walk (20) portraitwinter walk (25)bokeh lights winter walk (24)winter walk (27)winter walk (28)Oh and it was also the day we said goodbye to our Christmas tree. I don’t know when Christmas trees are suppose to be taken down but we threw ours away in the first week of January and I am still seeing them when I walk around.

christmas tree

 

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Starting the New Year…

new year (94)Even though I worked over the holidays I’ve been a bit slow to getting back into the full swing of things so this week I wanted to not worry about today’s post and show you casual photos of how I brought in the new year! It was actually a really amazing moment because it shouldn’t have happened at all. I was scheduled at my call center job until midnight on New Year’s and Victor had planned on coming downtown to meet me at my work. I was going to try and sneak off a few minutes early so I could get a kiss at midnight and bring in the new year with him but thankfully it was quiet enough towards the end that they let people do home early. So instead of that plan I got home just after 11am and we bundled up and walked a few blocks away to the edge of Vieux-Montreal to watch the fireworks with a bottle of poor people champagne. (I love alcoholic sparkling cider and it’s our tradition to have it on any special day)

new year (102)We got there just minutes before midnight and there was a crowd of people around too who had the same idea. Further down by the port there was live bands playing music and it was the official watching spot but our spot was so much better. The countdown started and we got to ring in the New Year together, and wish each other happy anniversary too. It was amazing, although freezing cold. The fireworks didn’t start until a few minutes after midnight and seemed to go on forever so I happy took photos in one hand while drinking in the other.

new year (54)new year (28)Victor was drinking straight from the bottom but I had a wine glass that froze and got ice chunks almost right away all over. We were both freezing by the time the fireworks ended and rushed home to spend the rest of the night being lame. I hadn’t really planned on sharing any photos of that night but some of them turned out really cool. My toast to you for having a great rest of your year!

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Coming Up on Citizen Erased

It’s the start of a new year which means that there will be a few changes coming to Citizen Erased. It’s almost been the year anniversary since I first started posting daily and leaping into the world of blogging. I’ve tried a lot of various posts over the year to try and find my style and what I like to post about. I hope some of that material has been either useful or interesting to you guys (hit me up with feedback in the comments anytime). This year I’ve decided to stick with having formatted days because I am a bit of an organizational freak and with me working full time it just makes my life easier. Below will be the schedule, which I am sure may need some tweaking throughout the year and is more a rough estimate. I am really excited to test out more cameras and continue to develop film myself in the new year!

Schedule for 2014

Mondays:

  • Pick of the Week – either an Etsy store feature, a book /store review, or a recipe.

Tuesday:

  • Vintage Tuesdays –  bi-weekly vintage photography or cameras, photography I’ve taken with a vintage camera, and how to’s related to vintage cameras.
  • Featured Artists – bi-weekly I will be featuring an artist’s work that I enjoy (hoping perhaps to start doing interviews with artists as well).

Wednesday:

  • Lomography Wednesday – bi-weekly photography taken with toy cameras, toy camera reviews and how to’s.
  • Double Exposures – bi-weekly double exposure photography taken by myself.

Thursday:

  • Weekly sharing of past photo shoots or casual photo sets of my life.

Friday:

  • Butter – cute photos of my cat while I talk about my week.
  • 365 Challenge – monthly posting of my 365 Project where I take a photo every day. I post them daily on my tumblr and FB page as well. Will end in March.

Saturday:

  • Monthly DIY – every month I do a DIY project which can vary between homemade pins to lamps made with slides.
  • Month in Review – on the first week of the month I will review what happened that month, my favourite posts, and any updates or changes to the blog.
  • Otherwise for the Saturdays that don’t have the above two posts it will a day off for me.

Sunday:

  • Self-Portrait Sunday – weekly self portraits either current or from previous photo shoots.
  • Camera Profiles – exploring me as a photographer with one of my many cameras.
  • 52 Weeks of Self Portraits – will start in April after my 365 Project is over, basically a weekly self portrait series.

 

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This year I…

It’s the end of 2013 so I wanted to look back at all the things I did/tried/accomplished/learned/experienced in the last year.  I am not the type of person who creates many goals for the next year or makes resolutions so it’s fun for me to see what happened in the last year so I can see the areas in my life that I may want to explore more next year. The great thing about running a daily blog is some of what I’ve done this year has been documented in posts which comes in handy when looking back at the last year (links in bold). Let me know in the comments how your year was and what you got up to!

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 Travelled to:

  • Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick – me and Victor were invite by our friend Zara to join her camping for a weekend there. I’ve shown many photos from that trip here, here, here and here.
  • Vancouver – it was amazing visiting my hometown for a week, it’s been 2 years since I last saw my best friend!
  • Toronto – I go at least once a year to visit my friend Derek, next year hopefully I can go more often.

 Fell in Love With:

  •  “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk
  • “Slower Leaner” by Grief
    (my amazing talented friend who inspires me and makes bang up EDM music)
  • Fables (graphic novels)
  • The Originals (cheesey tv show)
  • La Mort Pop Club by We Are Wolves
  • Hunter X Hunter 2011 (anime)

NicoleandKarl00314

 Had Many Firsts:

  • was a bridesmaid for my friend Nicole
  • visited the province of PEI & New Brunswick
    *2 more provinces to go because I’ve seen all of them
  • started a 365 Project
    *which will complete in March 2014
  • became the owner of an original piece of artwork
  • walked across the Jacques Cartier bridge
  • commissioned my first piece of artwork
  • opened an online store
  • went to a pick your own blueberries farm
  • had a real Christmas tree
  • made an inside garden
  • tried making new recipes for me and Victor to enjoy like salmon, chicken noodle soup and more
  • ………. and lastly started a weekly blog!

victor

Accomplished:

  • 4 years with Victor
  • dyed my hair at least once a month for the whole year
  • did not kill off my wonderful garden
  • reviewed all of my art books
  • moved into a larger apartment so me and Victor could have our own studio spaces
  • painted my living room purple and bedroom blue
  • made a new popsicle recipe every week of the summer
  • learning how to develop black and white film
  • did monthly DIY projects that I’ve always wanted to do
  • fulfilled my life long dream of owning a projector!

Best Posts of the Year:

Vintage Tuesday I am really proud of. All the cameras are so amazing and I really love the photography they produce and taking the time to hand develop the film and in some case convert the film makes them really special to me. I am so excited for the next year and have so many new cameras to try out.

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Biggest beginner blogger mistake:

I think the biggest mistake I made on the blog this year was doing “What I Wore” posts. I love dressing up, and putting together cute outfits makes me happy (although I think most people enjoy that) but beside the first one it was not very fun to shoot and the format is just not my thing. I ended up deleting one post because it was just that bad to me after the fact. For now I don’t think this type of format will be showing up in the future as the whole process was just kind of boring for me.

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 Added to my Collection:

Tomorrow I’ll be talking about where I want to take my blog in 2014 and changes to the format I will be making for the next year so look for that to see what’s coming up for Citizen Erased Photography.

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On vacation

If you got a gift card for Christmas and were thinking about picking up some art books or postcards you may want to check out my reviews from the last year. I’ve covered some really amazing books (and not so good) from artsits that I adore, just click the photo below.

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On Vacation

Today is usually my day to post random photos from my life or my photography shoots so I thought I’d share you with my colleciton of random posts from 2013, juct clik the photo. I cannot wait to share what I’ve been up to over the holidays!

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Happy Holidays!

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Happy Holidays!

Hope you are having a great holiday season and are enjoying the traditions you and your family have in December. If the holiday has already passed for you, happy New Year’s instead :) For me today means having Christmas dinner tonight at Victor’s mom’s house (and drinking lots of sparkling cider) and then coming home to open presents afterwards (it’s a German tradition to open presents on Christmas Eve). For Christmas Day tomorrow we plan on sleeping in, opening our stocking presents, eating lots of chocolate and be lazy about the house. I do not live close to most of my friends and am not close to my family so I like spending the day relaxing wtih Victor and Butter and Skyping with my best friend Ana. I am just glad I have the day off of work, lol. Let me know how your’s went in the comments!

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Christmas Around the House

My house since the start of December has been decked out in full on Christmas cheer. I am a sucker for holiday decorations but usually in concentrated bursts instead of being scattered around the house. I think it comes from having a grandmother who went all out as well during the holidays. It just seems a shame not to decorate a little. This year is the first year we got an actual real tree and the first Christmas I’ve had any tree bigger than 1 foot (I’ve had a Dollar store mini tree for the last 5 years). My dream is to get a white Christmas tree but those are insanely expensive so unless I find one 75% off – not happening. I also splurged and got a fir reef as I love those and think it looks perfect in our kitchen window. It feels nice to be surrounded by colorful decorations since I am actually the biggest Grinch on Christmas Day. I tend to get heavily depressed around Christmas due to family issues and just built up emotions about my childhood so I try and over compensate beforehand so on the actual holiday I can sit around in my pjs and not give a fuck. Is that weird? Probably. Anyways, here is a look at what I’ve done to my house for the holidays plus snail mail to friends and family and baking galore!

a little dash of tinsel around my living room.
all the elements of this year’s wrapping of gifts.christmas (4)postcards, cards and stickers – oh mychristmas (3)this year’s cards I bought from a local Montreal artist Lindsay Campbell.lindsay campbellthe postcards were sci-fi this year postcardsmy kitchen window
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christmas (10) the other kitchen window with the fir wreath and plenty of window decals
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The decorations on the tree center on my favourite color combination of purples, blues, and pinks, also our stockings with the card line
christmas (16)all lit up
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lots of stars, sparkles and mini disco balls – I love it.
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Victor says his family always puts a silver star on top of the tree so I found one for the tree,
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Presents under the tree (most of these were sent in the mail to friends)
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the mini tree was retired so Victor had it in his studio before bring it to his work
christmas Victor found this set of grid lights where each blub had two different colors for the front window
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and the last one is me making a kissy face at a bauble on the tree, as you do.self portrait

 Do you have decorations in your house for the holidays or any traditions?

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2 Fun Photography Techniques for Christmas Lights

In keeping with this week’s festive theme I want to show you guys for Lomography Wednesday two cute photography tricks to try with lights which you may have around the house at this time of year! The first is bokeh which is “the aesthetic quality of the blurring out-of-focus areas of an image” and the second is using a longer exposure to create movement with light.

bokeh (16)If you want to learn the basics of bokeh this blog has a few beginner tips! But basically you want to create a shallow depth of field by focusing on an object/person that is close up with your cameras or if you camera has manual mode you can just change the focus to be shallow regardless of if there is any object there or not. This will cause the foreground to blur and in case of lights distort them to be balls of colors instead. Play around and have fun with it!

bokeh (3)bokeh (14)bokeh (10)For the second trick you will need to have a camera that allows of manual shutter speed or offers the ability to set camera to a shutter speed that allows for a long exposure time. For most of my shots I had the shutter speed at around 1.6 seconds.  Now what you do when taking the photo either with the image in focus or in bokeh settings, is move the camera to cause light trails. It’s really fun to experiment with and you end up with really neat shots especially when you combine the longer shutter speed with bokeh. If your camera has a lens that allows for manual zoom of the lens you can also move that while moving the camera or even just keeping the camera still.

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Left: regular bokeh on my tree Right: zooming out with my lens on a long exposure time.

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Left: Bokeh-blur while zooming out Right: Same but waiting a moment before zooming out

bokeh (42)Some of the examples of what you can try to do

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If you tried this over the holidays send me pictures as I’d love to see your interpretation. I had to much fun taking these shots and will be making more tonight as I cannot resist.
(oh and if you want to know my secret, a few of these are also double exposures)

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My Store!

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I am so happy to announce that today is the grand opening of my store front on Storenvy. Just starting out with postcards but want a place to sell my photography prints and craft projects so there will be plenty of things added in the future. It will be a casual place for me to sell the occasional thing if people are interested but currently as I have so many projects in the air and still work full time and run the blog it is really just a casual experiment. So go check it out if you like postcards, and if you buy anything this month it will be gift wrapped for free by me. :)

 

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My Inside Garden: Update before Winter

It’s been a long time since I’ve shown you guys my inside garden (post here) and I’ve been super curious myself to see how the before and after shoots would look of all my new plants so today we are having a look at my inside garden before its winter.

Before:

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You’ll notice I am not including the befores of any of my herb garden and that’s because they died two weeks after I got it. Pfff it was total rubbish but all the other plants I bought did so well…

After:

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The fishnet stocking plant and the random vine plants grew so MUCH! I was so impressed with all 3 of these. The first vine plant is my favourite because it has the prettiest leaves and I am looking forward to buying another one next year. I was actually given the plant as a present from Zara last year but it barely grew anything from when I first got it so I was so surprised when it started too during the summer. The other vine is out of control, I have no idea what to do with it – it just keeps growing. Clearly it needs to be potted in a hanging container but since its winter I’ve decided to wait until next year to do that. I am already excited to have inside hanging baskets in the kitchen, there is so much room by the window and it’s really the only spot in the house that gets good light. The fishnet stocking plants though is the real big guy of the bunch, it’s too bad too because it’s supposed to be an annual which means it’ll die after a year. I had the fishnet stocking plant in the living room for all of the Spring and half the summer and it hadn’t grown much so in August I decided to move it to the kitchen and since then it’s grown in every which direction to no bounds. It’s still growing too, every time I look at it I see new leaves and a new limps starting up. It’s really in need of a much bigger pot but again I’m not sure if it’s supposed to survive the winter so I am waiting to see. Now for the other two..

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These two have grown a little bit but both of them are in rooms that do not have much light during the day. The great thing about them is they don’t need a lot of light so they are perfect. I was hoping my crazy colored leaf one would grow more. When we were at the nursery they had bigger versions and they were so pretty. I have moved it to the kitchen as well now for the last two months to see if that would help. Victor’s one though is just perfect for him, he really loves it. Below are some extra shots at all the plants, after I took these I repotted my favourite vine and added soil to the others and I am just hoping the winter doesn’t kill any of my babies :)

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Orchard Portraits

portraits (8)portraits (9)Last month Zara, Victor and me went to pick apples and I made them do a silly photo shoot with me so while we were there so today I thought I’d share my orchard portraits with you guys. It was an interesting day for photography with the light levels changing every 5minutes with the sun going behind the clouds and then shinning bright so you’ll notice the light changing frequently between the shots. I love the photos though and they both were very good sports at me snapping away. I love the ones of Zara in the trees on the ladder pretending to pick apples. I find all the ones were the sun is shining through the trees to be quiet dreamy, I can only imagine how beautiful the orchard is early in the morning when the dew is still on the grass the fog is slowly coming down the valley. I should like to live near an orchard when I am older. I’ve always wanted to leave near a farm but always been a city girl too so I don’t know how long I could do it for. It was a fun day and I cannot wait to go next year!

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I love this one of Victor eatting the apple, don’t know if he’ll agree with me. :)

portraits (25)portraits (21)portraits (28) portraits (29) portraits (30)portraits (32)Zara decided she was jealous of Victor’s pockets and wanted to pretend she had her own. I love it, her reaction to her modeling is below.

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Hope you liked the silly portraits I took of Victor and Zara at the orchard when we went to picking apples a few weeks ago. I thought I’d leave you with my fav of the bunch….

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Autumn Walk

In October I made myself a promise that I’d go on a long walk at least once a week, and so far I’ve been doing a really good job of that. It’s my favourite season but the colder tempatures and clouds usually keep me inside so it’s been nice to drag myself outside and really enjoy the falling leaves and the amazing colors. These are from a few weeks ago, I thought about smushing them all together but last weekend we went to Mont-Royal and I took a few too many photos. It’s nice just taking fun pictures and not being stressed out about making sure they are perfect – and throwing leaves at the camera. I’ve been working for the last month on some old photographs for a seriers of postcards I am getting made so it’s nice to have a break. I’ll be sprinkling a few comments along with the photos taken in Parc La Fontaine.

autumn walk (2)autumn walk (3)autumn walk (4)I sat on one of the benchs infront of the lake by myself for awhile before meeting up with Victor and just spent some time taking photos with my Kodak Dualflex (here)

Kodak Dualflex (3)autumn walk (9)     Meet up with Victor at the metro and walked back to the park marvelling at all the leaves on the ground.

autumn walk (11) autumn walk (12) autumn walk (13)Portraits of us getting ready to throw leaves about and have fun.

autumn walk (15)autumn walk (16) autumn walk (17) autumn walk (18) autumn walk (31)autumn walk (38)And now for silly gifs of me and Victor throwing leaves at the camera. These just make me smile so much!
(ps click on the image to be sent to the better quality gif)


The geese kept swooping in and out beside us.

autumn walk (21)Some stills of us throwing leaves, they are hilarious. I love throwing leaves photos even if I can never get the leaves in focus.

autumn walk (37)autumn walk (24)autumn walk (39)   Enough smiles time for serious faces, lol.

autumn walk (47)autumn walk (49)The sun started to hide so we went around the lake and headed off home.

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I also picked up some really bright red leaves to try and press at home.

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It’s so nice being 15minutesaway from a big parc when you live in a city. Next spring I think we will be spending a lot of time here. I love just walking around with Victor. This weekend we are going to investigate the side of Mont-Royal where the cemetary is so that should be fun.

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Halloween Around the House

I love Halloween, it’s my holiday jam. I started celebrating it in September and have kept going since then. You may have noticed with the Halloween posts over the last few weeks. This year though having moved to a 3rd story apartment I’ll have to settle for no Trick-or-Treaters and only being allowed to decorate around the house. I also realized that I have so many cupcakes supplies that I decided to give my co-workers weekly cupcakes leading up to Halloween. I made the apple crumble ones for this week and some red velvet last week and coming up will be making blueberry cream cheese ones.  One tradition that is staying is my love of sending my friends and family a Halloween card with a customized drawing inside by me. I am terrible at drawing but it’s been tradition for me to draw in cards for so many years I completely lost count when it started or why.  This year I combined my usual tradition of drawing inside the card with a Halloween related image with the actual card and ended up with custom postcards for each person. They turned out amazing, have a look below at the postcard process and then random decorations around my house and Halloweenish cupcakes :)

For the postcards I first drew with pen a drawing referencing Ally Burke‘s work and monsters from my Stickerbomb book on pieces of paper.
365 (187)Then I scanned the drawings and used Photoshop to add wacky colors and designed a postcard back for them before sending them to Moo Cards to be printed.

POSTCARDThen I decorated all the enevelopes with fun and wierd stickers from my Stickerbomb Monster book.

Then added a custom postcard for each friend chosen carefully to match their personality and some stickers for fun. A few people also got an original drawing or photos I’ve taken of them.

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All ready to go. Its always so much fun sending snail mail to my friends.snail mailsnail mailsnail mail

If you are wondering where I got the images from, for most of them I used Ally Burke’s wonderful work (like I said I am terrible at drawing however I make for a decent mimic when I have source material).

Now for cupcakes, last week since I had spider web liners I thought I’d add spooky butterflies  to make it like they were stuck in the spider’s web (lol okay maybe not spooky)
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I have too many cupcake liners.
decorations (85)Now for  a tour around my silly house decorations. First is the kitchen…

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Victor’s studio window is a little more gory because I thought he’d enjoy that more. halloween decorations (5)
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Lastly my front window has silhouette images with glitter gold highlights. decorationsdecorations (64)decorations (62)

1 more week to go! Are you excited? I am. I got my pumpkins on the weekend and hope to carve them tonight. My brother posted a tutorial on how to carve pumpkins with a drill and I am dying to try it out. I’ll be roasting the pumpkin seeds afterwards as well. I cannot wait.

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A little different Friday….

There will be no Butter of the Week this week, but hopefully returning soon in 2 weeks. My cat Butter has had some issues with behavior for the last week and after trying to calm her down and take her to the vet there still doesn’t appear to be any kind of change on her end. Although the good news is that she’s very healthy. It’s been really difficult for me as I’ve had her since she was 1 month old and for the last 6 years she’s been my baby pretty much. At the moment she very aggressive if she’s around either me or Victor so it didn’t feel good to just have a Butter of the Week and pretend. I am hoping for her to recover, the vet gave us some drugs for her mood and to see if we can make her more comfortable and less aggressive. Although I am not very happy about having to give her drugs, I just want the best for her and don’t see any other options. The vet said we should notice a change in 3 days so by the end of the week I am hoping she will be able to wander around the house like normal. Keep you updated!

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The first time I took your photo ….

I was lying in bed on Sunday trying to go to bed and thinking about how funny it is that I seem to have documented sections of my friend’s lives by virtue of the fact that I take so many photos. Some people joke that the reason their Facebook photo count is so high is my fault (you don’t want to know how many FB photos I have – it’s in the thousands let’s just say that). Then the oddest questions popped into my head – what is the first photo I have even taken of my friends? My brain scrambled trying to remember the day I meet certain friends, and then trying to think of the first time I would have had a chance to snap a photo of them. The next day when I was on my computer I thought hey why not try and find out. For people who love trying to remember the first time they met people or the first time this or that happens, this is a great scavenger hunt. I thought I’d share what I found but beware these are really bad photos as a lot of these are taken on shitty cameras or when I may have been drunk and apologize to my friend who squirm when they see old photos of themselves. I did use some liberty with the ‘first photo’ as without a digital counter telling me the exact date I am at the whim of my memory and sometimes the first photo was just really awful so I picked one from the same day instead. If you want to do this meme, make sure you comment below your results or email me because I’d love to see yours!

The first time I took your photo…

It was 1998 and you were picking pumpkins with me at a farm.
the first time i took your photo  (1)You were jumping over a sprinkler at my 15th birthday party in 1999.
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Was during my going away party when I moved from Vancouver in 1999. Continue reading %s

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Vacation!

Just wanted to let you guys know that there will be no posts this weekend because I managed to get a long weekend in my work schedule and at the same time got an offer from a friend to drive up to PEI. So right now I am in a car driving 12 hours to PEI where I will be camping for 3 days (no computer, no