Things That Make Me Smile

The last Things That Make Me Smile post until 2016! As I always say this is one of my favourite posts to put together and this one was no different.  November has been very quiet for me so there is not a lot of photos this month but December will be the usual bit of chaos making sure I get everything mailed to Vancouver on time for my friends to enjoy their presents, and celebrating not only my best friend’s birthday but also Victor’s. Right now I am currently working hard to get my holiday cards ready to mail out and just recently setup my Christmas tree.  Not to mention it’ll soon be me and Victor’s 6th anniversary and we are currently planning on getting tattooed together. We are just finalizing everything for it now and I am pretty excited about doing it although a bit nervous as I haven’t gotten tattooed in years. Lots of planning it seems, anyways this month’s selection of things that make me smile…

things that make me smile (6) things that make me smile (7) things that make me smile (4)This year’s Christmas cards are really cute. I usually don’t go for juvenile style cards but I get to color them and they pop up? What is not to love about them?

lindsay campbel (2)lindsay campbel (1)Lindsay Campbell has a set of the cutest stickers I’ve seen in awhile, I can’t help but be cheered up when looking at them. Link to her store!

things that make me smile (8) things that make me smile (3)My coffee table has turned into coloring central. This is actually the first time I am using my Copic markers, which is proably a waste of really expensive markers but since my friend Zara gave them I haven’t had a reason to use them (as I can’t draw).

things that make me smile (2)I convinced Victor to buy crazy socks, after 6 years of being together I’ve finally rubbed off on him. I don’t know if it was the posh Top Shop that convinced him but he bought pepper and pineapple socks while I bought ice cream ones.

things that make me smile (1) things that make me smile (2)Who could resist a Twin Peaks zine?

things that make me smile (28)A Santa troll, from my troll collection (really need to do a post on being reunited with my childhood trolls). I had a bunch of My Little Ponies and troll dolls that were themed for every holiday.

things that make me smile james jeanMy signed limited edition James Jean Xenograph art book , I almost didn’t buy it.

things that make me smile hmFinding awesome Halloween goodies even after it’s over from H&M. Glow in the dark too just makes me day. I’ve been amassing quite a bit of their sweaters over the last year, I didn’t even really own many before last winter.

things that make me smile (29) things that make me smile (30)Getting together all the little bits and pieces I need for my chandelier.

things that make me smile (11) things that make me smile (10)When it’s your best friend’s birthday, you go all out.

things that make me smile (31)things that make me smile (32) things that make me smile (21)Some last moments of autumn, the vines on my balcony are all twigs now. Not to mention my little vintage container of Gin Pills that we found thrifting in October.

inkkas (10)I love this photo of Victor and his Inkka shoes, I just did a review on them on Monday.

And that is the last Things that Make Me Smile of the year, hope you enjoyed!

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Lomography Wednesday: Instax Christmas

Okay, so Christmas was a LONG LONG TIME ago but I find the Instax Christmas mini film you can get to be so charming I just really wanted to share. My tree might still not be packed away either, the decorations have been remove but still hanging out on my floor waiting to go in our outside shed so I might also be wishing it was still the holidays. Most of the photos are just of me, Victor and Butter and our fabulous collection of trees since I was so relaxed on the holiday I didn’t even take my camera out until we had opened all the presents. Butter was in love with sleeping underneath the tree and pouncing out from under it, and curling up between all the presents before being opened and after. She might be in every photo I took of the tree, so try and spot her.

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Things That Make Me Smile

Decmember’s “Things That Make Me Smile” is as you’d guess almost entirely about Christmas. I spent a lot of this month at home crafting away, getting Christmas cards ready and sent, as well as presents for friends and family wrapped and shipped or placing mtlcranes around Montreal so I didn’t have as many photos to choose from as I usually do. I’m excited that now the Cutest Art Fair is over and there is less than a week away before Christmas I can relax a bit. As soon as my work shift on Christmas Even ends I will get to have a nice 3 days of holiday – will be grand.

things that make me smile (8) things that make me smile (10)My living room Christmas decorations.

vieux-port (9)At my favourite place in Montreal.

things that make me smile (18)Amazing mini prints and stickers from Sarah Bourget.

vintage slide necklaces (1)This is my favourite slide necklace I ended up making. It’s so dreamy. Heard from a few friend’s who’ve gotten their necklaces which has been really sweet.

things that make me smile (7)Christmas cards to friends!

things that make me smilethings that make me smile (2)Hanging up cranes all over town with Christmas song lyrics.

things that make me smile (15)My favourite item from the art/craft fair that happened this week. A glass bauble with fake snow and mini crane made with tradition origami paper.

things that make me smile (14)Butter hanging out by the tree, sometimes I catch her sleeping on top of the presents. I love that she’s totally happy with trees and doesn’t try to destroy them.

things that make me smile (13)things that make me smile (11)
My white Christmas tree that is a miracle as it wasn’t suppose to arrive until after Christmas and came super earlier instead. It’s a long story why we have 2 trees, but lets just say two to decorate is an amazing outcome.

things that make me smile (17)A few of the goodies I picked up at the craft fair, will have more about all the artists and item in the New Year.

things that make me smile (1)A look at what I’ve been working on this month in projects. These amazing dragon scale maille bracelets and earrings.

things that make me smile (7) things that make me smile (5)things that make me smile (3)things that make me smile (6)things that make me smile (8)
A few of my favourite mtlcranes from this month plus this hilarious placement of snow:
things that make me smile (1)

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Christmas Picks: Over $30

 

christmas gift guide over $30 (1)christmas gift guide over $30 (2)

Today is the last instalment of this year’s gift guide, this time with my Christmas picks over $30, but if you missed out on the previous two, click here for under $15 and here for under $30. Hope you enjoyed and found a present idea or two for yourself or loved ones and next week I’ll be sharing some of the funniest and yummiest recipes for the holiday season! Hope everyone had a good Black Friday and Cyber Monday (if you celebrate those – I am not American I don’t really understand them). Oh and if you like toy cameras I’ll putting out my yearly wish list on Wednesday.

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Christmas Picks: Under $30

christmas gift list under 30 (2) christmas gift list under 30 (1)

Today I am sharing some present ideas found online for under $30 that would make a great gift for a friend, girlfriend, boyfriend or yourself (Treat yourself!) this holiday. If you want to see last week’s post with under $15 gift ideas click, here. I’m currently obsessed with all of these and hoping after I finished my Christmas shopping I can buy one of these for myself. The dragon bracelet is my fav. even though I make my own scale maille bracelets but that color is impossible to find. Hope this helps!

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Christmas Picks: Under $15

Another year in a row, I’ll be doing a Christmas gift guide every week leading up to Christmas featuring mostly artist and artisians from around the world. Today I am sharing some of my favourite items for Christmas under the low low price of $15, from nail polish to original art prints. Hope you enjoy and get a gift idea for someone you love, links below to all the stores!

september gift guide under $15september gift guide under $15 (3)

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Happy Holidays!

vintage christmas

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!

 vintage christmas (3)vintage christmas (4)

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Sleepy Time Butter

butterOne of Butter’s spots for sleeping is on the chair in our breakfast nook (that we never use) and it just so happens to be right by the tree. I took these on Wednesday after taking photos of the tree and think she looks too adorable not to share. Such a peaceful face, I wish I was getting as much sleep as she was. lol. This week was not as busy as last week thankfully as I’ve managed to send all my Christmas cards and parcels to my friends. All the presents are wrapped and under the tree so I don’t have to worry about stepping into a mall and I saw the Hobbit on Tuesday (go see, it’s amazing). It’s been a pretty mellow week. I still haven’t had much chance to play around with the projector I bought as a Christmas present to myself but have started to scan my slides that came in the mail this week. I am SO excited about the slides and the projector. I wish I had a proper vacation over the holidays so I could get knee deep into both of my projects but I have to work up till Christmas Eve and only have two days off before back to work. I even work on New Year’s Eve, till midnight no less…. it will be nice though because it’s supposed to snow lots this weekend and I love when Montreal feels like a winter wonderland. I am hoping this weekend to go for a few walks in the snow and just get a little lost in it. Do you have any plans this weekend before the holidays start?

butter (4)butter (5)

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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
christmas (11)
christmas (10) the other kitchen window with the fir wreath and plenty of window decals
christmas (12)christmas (13)
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
christmas (15)
lots of stars, sparkles and mini disco balls – I love it.
christmas (19) christmas (20) christmas (21)
Victor says his family always puts a silver star on top of the tree so I found one for the tree,
christmas (9)

Presents under the tree (most of these were sent in the mail to friends)
christmas (14)
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
christmas (2)

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.

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

bokeh (28)christmas tree
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

bokeh (47) bokeh (50)bokeh (53)bokeh (58)bokeh (56)

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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