Dec 30, 2011
I love getting Christmas cards but my track record of sending them over the past few years has been weak at best. I always want to send my own cards, ones that I have made myself, and this may sound like an excuse, but this past year was so busy that I just didn't get around to it. Boo hoo, sad story, I know! I could have at least sent purchased cards, right? Well I didn't and I feel bad about it...really, really bad...
Anyway, despite not having sent any (shame on us) we did still receive some beautiful ones from all over the place for which we are grateful...the above being a perfect example. It was made by my friend Amanda of Silverplate Press and it made me smile from ear to ear. She is a super talented designer, artist, blogger, photographer and print maker in Toronto and she inspires me with her big adventures in letterpress and with starting a live/work studio with her supportive hubby! You can read about her adventures on her personal blog and while you're over there check out her portfolio and photography too...I promise you will not be disappointed.
Beside the fact that it's handmade, I love that this card wishes a "merry New Year"...that it says "Hey, don't let the merriment span only a few days...but instead let it cover the whole year ahead". It's interesting that merely scrambling the words in an old phrase can give it such renewed meaning. I Love it!
So with that, I wish you all a Very Merry New Year...and Amanda (as well as all others who sent them), thanks for the beautiful card!
Photos by: me, Kinga Subject
...and just like that another beautiful Christmas has passed. We spent the holidays enjoying some much needed relaxation, spending time with family, eating way too much and opening way too many presents. To say we are blessed is an understatement and now that the new year is upon us I find myself counting the very many people and things we have to be grateful for.
We were lucky this year to have some time off for the holidays (I was spoiled with a whole week) and spent much of that time in my pyjamas, reading, watching movies and unfortunately battling a stomach bug that swept through our family just after boxing day...it was horrendous...but even having had that hiccup, I can say that I haven't been this well rested in a long time and I'm ready to take on the challenges of a new year.
I hope you all had an incredible holiday season, wherever you may be and I wish you many blessings for the new year ahead.
Photos by: me, Kinga Subject
Dec 23, 2011
It is hard to believe that today is December 23rd already. Where has the time gone? This year just flew on by! Today I am sharing with you a postcard that was written on Dec 23, 1910 in Ottawa (Canada's Capital). The postcard has an image of Parliament House on the front and the back reads...
Hull Dec, 23, 1910
Long time since I have heard from you.
I would like to hear from you.
Just home for xmas, going back to
Silver Centre next week.
Wishing you a very merry xmas. (written along the top of the card)
Just a simple card between friends and yet there is an underlying sense of longing. Perhaps Cliff would have liked to be more than just friends with Jennie who lived all the way in Pilot Mound, Manitoba. Did she feel the same way about him? Was she longing to hear from him as well?
I wondered where Silver Centre existed at the time...was it a town, a place of work, a school? Upon doing some quick google searches I found that Silver Centre is now a ghost town in Northeastern Ontario but at the beginning of the twentieth century it was a booming silver mine town. By 1908 there were believed to be 1500 men in the region looking for silver and working for the various mines.
Isn't it the case that at Christmas we long for our loved ones who are far away? We think of those we love and wish we could see them, hear from them, spend time with them at this special time of year. I hope Cliff also received a card from Jennie that Christmas and I hope it made his holidays merry and bright.
And, to our own family far far away, scattered throughout the world, we are thinking of you, longing for you and wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed new year!
Photos by: me, Kinga Subject
Dec 19, 2011
Hello everyone! I hope you're doing well! So I have been missing in action...a little! I'm sure it goes without saying but this time of the year is so busy (for all of us) and last Friday I decided to be spontaneous and completely unplug. I stopped checking in with the various forms of social media, stopped concerning myself with blogs and my usual wanderings on the inter-webs. I don't know about all of you, but sometimes I get stuck on too much of clicking my way from one beautiful corner of the web to another and often this becomes overwhelming.
It's just too much input, a complete system overload which usually leads to a meltdown. I have to learn to stop with the compulsion to keep up. So I did just that and today I feel quieted and ready (kind of) for the holidays so bear with me as posting may be a bit sporadic and light over the next few weeks.
I did some baking a few weekends ago and tried out this recipe called Lemon Chewies with Honey form The Cookiepedia book by Stacy Adimando. I love this book! Completely! It's a fun book with a ton of easy to follow recipes and these cookies were delicious! A perfect pairing to a cup of tea with honey and a lemon slice to warm up your winter nights or if you're like my husband...a glass of milk will do the trick!
Find the recipe here if you're interested...(it was excerpted from the book with permission of the publisher) or pick up the book here and here...and if you do try them be sure to let me know what you think...My next adventures from this book will be Gingersnaps and Molasses Spice cookies. Yum!
I hope you're having a good Monday!
Photos by: me, Kinga Subject
Dec 12, 2011
For me, Christmas isn't the same without meringue kisses! When I was growing up these sugary sweet treats were my favourite holiday indulgence and we only ever made them at Christmas time. They are super easy to whip up and if you have kids they will love helping you! My mom always got me involved with making these and I was very proud to be in charge of adding the sugar bit by bit and putting sprinkles on as well as tying the strings on so we could hang these on our tree.
Because these cookies don't go stale, as long as you're not setting up your tree on the first day of October, they last a good while as decorations and you can eat them. I know they are traditional in many European countries along with hanging candies on the tree (which my mom still does) and I'm not talking about candy canes, I'm talking about yummy chocolates with gooey goodness on the inside wrapped in fancy paper. When we were kids, my brother and I used to sneak these candies from the tree leaving the wrappers behind and stuffing them with bits of crumpled paper so our parents didn't know we stole the insides. That could of course get embarrassing for mom when she'd invite our guests to take a candy from the tree...
I love these meringue kisses because you can make them look really fancy, you can add sprinkles or dust them with cocoa and you can make them any colour or flavour you wish because the basic ingredients are egg whites and sugar. With these ones though, I wasn't too worried about making them fancy. I wanted them to be playful and imperfect, like a kid had made them, because after all, they remind me of my childhood.
Do you hang anything edible on your tree? Cranberries, popcorn garlands, cookies or candy?
Photos by: me, Kinga Subject....ps, if you'd like the recipe I'd be glad to send it along.
Note: I feel the need to clarify that you shouldn't leave these cookies out for a long period of time (like weeks lol). We used to put up our tree on the 24th of December and all the meringue decorations would be gone in the following day or two...so if you make them, put them on your tree for a short time only...they are so good they shouldn't last too long anyway.
Dec 10, 2011
For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake.
The great affair is to move. - Robert Louis Stevenson
On this fall day my husband drove while I took photos and in doing so I managed to thoroughly freak out our fellow motorists. For instance, we may have rolled up beside you and you may have wondered why a crazy woman was aiming her very conspicuous camera at you. You may have wondered if you were in a spy movie or an episode of Cheaters...but I assure you I was only interested in the fleeting landscape...I may have, however, snapped a photo of you picking your nose...
I hope you're having a fabulous weekend. I will be back on track this upcoming week with some fun posting...baking, postcards, some rants about a"defined style" and my very apparent lack of it as well as a revival of the very neglected chalkboard project...
Photos by: me, Kinga Subject... and these photos appear as they were taken, no editing...
Dec 7, 2011
Hello and apologies for my absence! I took some well needed time away from the computer...for the most part. I had a super busy weekend which included this fun photo-shoot, a ton of photo editing and a Christmas party so keeping up with everything else was pretty near impossible...but it's good to unplug every once in a while right?
While I was editing some photos and searching for something else I stumbled upon this beauty (above) which I had completely forgotten about. I snapped this photo at my husband's aunt and uncle's place quite a while ago (they have three beautiful horses) and it was a total accident. It is way over exposed and not much editing was done to it besides removing a pesky fly but I'm completely in love with it. It looks peaceful and strangely abstract and I love all the white space. Thank goodness I didn't delete it when I realized how badly it was over-exposed because it will be perfect on a large canvas or in a frame on some fine-art paper!
So, today I am celebrating the "happy accident" and "finding things you didn't know you lost"...
Hope your Wednesday is going well!
Photo by: me, Kinga Subject
Dec 1, 2011
Hello friends...In the past few weeks I have been working hard (too hard) at my duties for the shop trying to finish designs, prints, and packaging so I could launch in time for Christmas. Some of the supplies that I need for shipping haven't arrived yet and there is still so much to be done. It's amazing how twenty-four hours in the day are just not enough. I'd like to confess that I want to some day just work on my own projects...that's my wild little dream...to run my shop and my blog and take photos and be creative (ha, isn't that everyone's dream?)...but for now I have the day job...which helps fund it all...
Where am I going with this? Well if I have learned anything so far, it's this:
1) Do what you say you're going to do...
2) Don't put something out there that you don't feel is ready...
This is the dilemma. I said I would launch the shop by the end of November. That was my personal deadline and I put it out there as a big-bold-declaration...and then I realized very close to my deadline...that it's not ready. The shop is not ready...
And it's not that I don't have absolute faith in it because I do...I can't wait to share it, I love the direction in which it's going and I'm seeing the big picture and it's looking good and I want to put it out there but some very important bits are still missing...look at it this way...my shop, if it were a person going out into the world RIGHT NOW, would not be wearing pants....and I refuse to have a pants-less shop...well you know what I mean. So...
3) Let yourself off the hook...
That doesn't mean I'm stopping. I'm not giving up...I'm postponing the launch and in the meantime I'm simply putting on the finishing touches, paying attention to details, crossing the t's and dotting the i's, and making sure that the poor thing is wearing some really nice pants when she goes out for the big adventure.
I think in general that statement is so necessary...and just having typed it I feel like a weight has been lifted. Some days you just have to release the guilt or whatever other feelings come from not crossing everything off your to-do-list. You have to let yourself off the hook! You can't do everything and be everything to everyone...even if you have Siri the iPhone assistant...and if you can you're a superhero and should probably call me with your secret so we can go on Dragon's Den.
This is the gift I'm giving myself for Christmas. I'm letting myself off the hook. I'm going to bake some cookies and snap some photos and keep sharing my progress here and when and only when I am absolutely ready I will launch...and you WILL know about it...
Do you need to let yourself off the hook?...Try it...it feels pretty great!