Archives for posts with tag: photos

Last night, I made a dinner that I was really proud to serve. I don’t consider myself a cook of any great skill, but every so often I impress myself. So, with a bit of help from Jamie Oliver, a tip from the staff at Culina Muttart and a random recipe I found on the internet, I produced this:

Seared scallops with a maple chili glaze served over blanched asparagus and a spinach/mushroom/wine sausage risotto.

Pretty good, right?


Five years ago, I started a craft project with my elder son. We decided to make valentines for the kids in his preschool class. At the time, I thought it was a great way to work on his fine motor skills, something to do in the cold February evenings and there was a nice lesson in there about spending time making nice things for other people.

At the time, there were a grand total of ten kids in his class.

Fast forward to this year, where that same boy is now in a class of 23 and his younger brother wants in on the fun for his preschool class. So we made our annual trek to Michael’s to purchase an obscene amount of pink hearts, glitter, ribbon, feathers, stickers, etc.

For the past two weekends (and the week in between) we’ve been working assembly-style on the FOUR DOZEN valentines that needed to be created. We finished this afternoon and they look great. The boys are so proud and excited to take them to school next week.

I don’t know how many more years I have of my boys being psyched about making glittery pink valentines, but I hope I have a few.



Tonight was the last night of my photography workshop at Vivid Print. It was a great class that made the multitude of buttons, dials and setting on my DSLR not quite so overwhelming. While I started off the course a bit discouraged, I’ve finished it feeling pretty good about my ability to get a decent shot – even if it takes me 20 tries…

Tonight we were supposed to bring our top five shots that we’ve taken since the class started and share them with the class. When I was picking last night, I was pleased that it was hard to pick only five. Of course, most of them were taken the day before at the Muttart Conservatory (my favourite photo taking spot, so far…)

So for you, oh handful of blog readers, I’m going to show off not my top five, but my top ten (my blog, my rules.)

(poor frosty)

There are many things in this world that I am not good at. I’m a terrible bowler. I have no idea about mechanics, I can’t cook without a recipe, I avoid confrontation, I take terrible notes and I couldn’t whistle my way out of a wet paper bag.

Most of those things, I don’t really care about.

But I wish I could design – graphic, fashion, interior, industrial, whatever. But alas, while I have the appreciation and the desire, I’m woefully lacking in the talent department. Can’t draw a circle to save my life.

What I do have is “a good eye” which means I can’t actually DO anything, but I’m pretty good at discerning what’s good and what’s crap. And I’ve spent most of my career surrounding myself with people who ARE talented and CAN design. If I can’t do it myself, at least I can be nearby when it happens.

But I haven’t let go of my dream of finding that creative outlet and that’s what has spurred my recent flirtations with photography. My hope is that my “good eye” will translate into a good eye for composition and perhaps my photos will end up matching what I see in my head.

Tonight I had my first of four photography classes at Vivid Print. We spent tonight learning the basics of shutter speed, aperture, white balance and ISO settings. Then we had a go at playing with the settings and seeing how they affected the images we got.

I must say, that it has left me quite discouraged. Once again, what I envision in my head is miles away from what I’m actually able to create.  However, thanks to my “good eye,” I can tell you, that my photos are indeed, crap:


It’s all a bit humbling. I suppose that’s why I’m taking these lessons, right? Learn how to draw that circle. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a tiny seed of talent inside me that just needs some time, practice and encouragement so I can get closer to creating something cool.

Last night I had the pleasure of joining a group of foodies for dinner at Hardware Grill. The evening was organized by Chris of Eating is the Hard Part and we were lucky to sit at the Chef’s Table with a front row view of the action going on in the kitchen:

To be clear, I don’t consider myself a foodie, so going to dinner with those who do, can be a bit intimidating (will I be shunned if I accidentally reveal my love of powdered coffee creamer?) Add to that the fact that I hadn’t met most of the people at the table beforehand, and I was out of my comfort zone.

I should never have worried. It was a great evening filled with wonderful conversation, delightful dishes and plenty of laughter. What more could you ask for on a chilly winter’s night?

I will leave the food descriptions and reviews to others who are more talented and adept (such as Chris). I was delighted by the visual appeal of the dishes placed in front of me, so that I will share. It was all delicious spot-on, but I have to say the beef carpaccio was my favourite of the evening.

P.S. D and I had our first date at Hardware Grill, so it’s got a soft spot in my heart – we even stopped by the restaurant on our wedding day to snap photos…

I was at the Muttart today – what a great place to take my new camera for a spin. I really love the texture of plants…

My skirt today

My shag rug

The fabric on my new throw cushions.

Besides finally starting to blog, I do have other resolutions for 2011:

1) Run a half marathon

Training has informally started with my trusty running partner, J.

2) Work less, volunteer more

This is still somewhat nebulous, but I want to do more than just show up at events.

3) Plant a vegetable garden

New house, new backyard with a vegetable plot just waiting for me (and my mum) to attack. Swiss chard, beets, tomatoes, carrots, beans, herbs, tomatoes… what else?

4) Take the kids on a great vacation

It might very well be the year of the mouse.

5) Make that public presentation

I’ve had a great idea rolling around in my head for a few months. Time to knuckle down and make it something workable.

6) Learn my new camera, and take more photos

Hoping this new blog will help.