Category Archives: can’t get enough of this

Daily Euphoria: Nekisia’s Granola

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Did I forget to mention the other secret ingredient? Can you feel it radiating from my baking sheet?

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Sunday Morning Pick Me Up #12.  Follow the gluttony on Instagram.

This granola  is on regular rotation here at Casa Hobo.  Dubbed “Farmhand’s Choice” by its creator, Nekisia Davis, the secret synergistic ingredients are maple syrup, olive oil, and sea salt.  Trust me on this combination!  Anyone I’ve fed this to always asks for the recipe, which was featured on Food52.  I like to use a little less oil , but make up for it by being  heavy handed with the pepitas and coconut.  Substituting in hazelnuts is also pretty divine.  Making a batch of this granola is the best kind of aromatherapy, in my opinion!

You can find out more about Nekisia’s other products at Early Bird Foods.

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How to get more fun mail

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Window Display at The Regional Assembly of Text in Vancouver, summer 2012.

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Vintage loveliness seen at the St. Lawrence Antiques Market, Toronto. Winter 2013

Hankering for some snail mail, but too shy to get the ball rolling?  Let me offer you an intriguing and no-strings attached suggestion:  Stuff In Envelopes.

You can sign up to receive a free letter from the SIE crew and here’s the best part, you get to choose the topic of the letter if you like. Based in British Columbia (hello, beloved left coast!), they are a dedicated bunch of folks who want to put an extra spring in your step on the way to the mail box.  I’m looking forward to being a part of their next round of mailings on August 1st – there’s still time if you want to join me!  And their motto, “Bad handwriting has never looked so good”, makes me love them that much more.

If you already have someone in mind to write to  but find yourself procrastinating, perhaps the Post A Letter Social Activity Club can help?  With local chapters all over the world which include Toronto, Los Angeles and Copenhagen, this club’s mandate is to “promote letter writing as a social and political tool, as well as a powerful generator of love, surprises, anticipation, relaxation and fun!”   Gather with some like-minded individuals and hunker down at a cozy location to write letters, have a beverage and maybe swap stationary. I dig the idea of hanging out with other people over a shared love, but not having the pressure of maintaining a running conversation the entire time. (Why yes, I AM an introvert. How could you tell? ).  For my fellow Torontonians, the next event is happening on Wednesday July 31 at the Holy Oak Cafe from 7-10 pm.

If you live in Vancouver, head to The Regional Assembly of Text on the first thursday of every month and join their letter writing club.  I had the great pleasure of visiting their flagship store on Main St. last summer and it is a beautiful space filled to the brim with swoon-worthy paper products.  I can’t imagine a better place to congregate and get inspired to write!

Maybe you’re already a prolific writer of missives and are looking for a little novelty to add to your routine.   Pigeon Post from The Letter Writers Alliance, has got your back.   You can send your pigeon, as is, within the US for just $2.86!  If someone sent me a plastic carrier pigeon in the mail, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be able power wash the perma-grin off of my face.  With more than 3700 members across the globe, the LWA is well-supported in their dedication to preserve the art of letter writing. A $5 (USD) membership gets you some neat swag (there’s a badge!) as well as access to a pen pal swap, membership mailings and exclusive LWA items such as the limited-edition RSVP mailing.  The Royal Society of Venturesome Post is a 4-week mailing full of special postal-related items curated around a specific theme.  Have a look at the latest RSVP #12 on the Paper Pastries blog.  What a lucky girl!

If you have any other tips on how to make your mailbox a hub for fun mail, I’d love to hear them!

Pigeon Post image originally published on LWA.
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Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens: Uppercase Issue #18

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Did you get the Sound of Music reference?  I’m sure the Von Trapp family would agree with me that Uppercase Magazine deserves a place on anyone’s “favourite things”  list.  Self-described as a publication for the Creative and Curious –  Issue #18 is heavily focused on a medium near and dear to my heart: Collage!

While I’m still waiting for my subscription to arrive, I got a great email yesterday from Erin at Uppercase.  She had a little preview to share from their reader-participation project “The Handsome Ransom Note” that caused an enthusiastic-yet-tragically-inelegant-happy dance at the kitchen table.

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Getting to see my stuff in print is new and exhilarating.  Thank you Uppercase, for putting out such a fun call for submission and giving me the incentive to flex my creative muscles.

Want to find out more about what the people behind the magazine are up to? Visit their blog .

Itching to get your hands on a copy?  Subscribe or renew by August 1 using the code “contributor18” and get $10 off. You can also find a list of stockists on their website.

Happy cutting and pasting, my friends!

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Daily Euphoria: Oliver Jeffers goes hunting (for ideas and lunch)

Oliver Jeffers Author Film 2013 from Oliver Jeffers on Vimeo. A film by Mac Premo.

Giant pencils, bows and arrows, light bulbs dangling from the sky.  Intrigued?  There is a reason Oliver Jeffers and his work are so beloved!

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Hand cramps of love (for hand lettering)

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What I’m working on these days.

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Decisions, decisions…

I’m going deep down into the rabbit hole with this map-making project and kind of fuzzing out on the big picture at the moment.   Eventually I will manage to assimilate all my little doodles into a Franken-map of the odd and awesome, but for now, I’m geeking out on the details!

Clearly, what I’ve been getting the most pleasure out of is practicing my lettering.  I came by my love honestly and early, thanks to my highschool art teacher.   Mrs. Huebener was a calligrapher, and in those days, I’m pretty sure I thought that was uncool.  What did I know?  The most advanced art instruction I’d had to date was sewing pink aprons with plastic pockets (how avant garde!) in junior high Home Ec. class.  Thank goodness the bar was raised by Mrs. H.  I distinctly remember one of our first grade 9  assignments was to create a monogram of our initials using Roman Caps . I recall how badly my hand shook trying to draw a straight line that first class, the pervasive smell (and stain) of india ink, and how my writer’s callus ballooned over the course of the year.  To this day, I still grip my pens too tightly and that callus?  I call him Arnold.

While I never saved any of those shaky and earnest high school assignments, I did rifle through some old sketchbooks recently while looking for map ideas. Care to join me on this little walk down memory lane?

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Doodle on a mail-forwarding label, 2009.

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Old school layout ! Draft of a Christmas postcard for clients c. 2008.

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2006 – I suffered from a bad case of insomnia that year.

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An everlasting love of word bubbles, 2007.

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Drawing whatever was on my desk, apparently mostly CDs and art supplies. c. 2004.

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I have always enjoyed (obsessively) making lists, c. 2007

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Some keepers from the Hand Lettering class I took last year, taught by the amazing illustrator Katy Dockrill at Nook. Super fun!

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Daily Euphoria : Canal House Cooks Lunch

Whenever I’m feeling uninspired in the kitchen, I visit the Canal House ladies and my apathy evaporates.   I want to crash every one of their (seemingly) impromptu lunches.   I found this post particularly endearing – not only can these two cook, but they have a great sense of humour!

(Image originally published on Canal House Cooks Lunch)
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Daily Euphoria: Blossoming branches


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Hayfever be damned!  Tis the season and these beauties are too good to be denied.

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Summer reading list: Tales of adventure

At the St. Lawrence Antiques market

At the St. Lawrence Antiques market

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Last summer was all about creating my own adventures abroad – from wandering the streets of Paris to hiking old growth forests along the Sunshine Coast.  In contrast, this year will be marked by exploring hidden gems closer to home and embracing my inner hermit.   This season, when the yen to pack my bags arises, I figure I will sate myself with a killer summer reading list to live vicariously through.

I just finished Bonnie Jo Campbell‘s unflinching and fierce coming of age novel,  Once Upon a River.  It got me thinking about other books I’ve enjoyed that tapped into my enthusiasm for tales of extreme adventure, survival and the relationship we have with nature.

If you have similar tastes, I’d love some suggestions to add to my list of must-reads.  Off the top of my head, here are some enduring favourites (click on the images for links to the authors):

“Uncertain as I was as I pushed forward, I felt right in my pushing, as if the effort itself meant something. That perhaps being amidst the undesecrated beauty of the wilderness meant I too could be undesecrated, regardless of what I’d lost or what had  been taken from me, regardless of the regrettable things I’d done to others or myself or the regrettable things that had been done to me.  Of all the things I’d been skeptical about, I didn’t feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me.  

-excerpted from Wild by Cheryl Strayed
 
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Illustration Amazingness: Tim Hunt

Look out Below by Tim Hunt via Ape on the Moon.

Tim Hunt’s work tickles my fancy with its innocent-yet-outrageous style.  It reminds me of a less dark version of David Shrigley’s work.  According to his bio, ” If none of this madness is to your tastes then we recommend a career in science, where literally no one poops rainbows.”

I like you even more now, Tim.

You can see more of Tim’s work on his website and his blog.

And for animation enthusiasts, some gems:

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James Blake’s Limit to your Love

I joke that my favourite genre of music is “sadsack “…this fits the bill and then some.  Angsty video with inanimate objects swirling, dim lighting and barefeet, optional.   I think I might even like this version better than Feist’s.

Still hankering for some reverse-slo-mo action?  I’ve got exactly what you need: 

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