Monday, May 31, 2010

Girl Crush: Hayley Williams

Sooo I have a girl crush on Hayley Williams from Paramore.
Once upon a time I used to sing, I used to sing a lot! And listening to talented chickies like this makes me want to start singing again... talk about amazing pipes for such a pint sizer! Not to mention a wicked sense of style.

This video totally doesn't do her justice, but I love it anyways...


Progress is becoming evident at our little Workaway volunteer posting. What am I saying, little? No, no.
We just keep getting more and more things to work on, which is great! It's a really nice feeling to know that we are helping someone to realise their dreams of turning a forested piece of acreage into a beautifully landscaped home.

And it has to be deer proof, of course, because deer roaming wild means having all your plants munched. So that means fences, fences, and more fences. And then what would a newly cleared space in front of your soon to be renovated cottage be, without a perfectly levelled and smoothed lawn out the front to lounge around on in the summer? So, we've been tackling that one too. Two weeks of levelling with a digger, rock picking and raking by hand, and it's ready for seeding. But we're already on to the next job, digging in some steps and barrowing gravel to continue the landscaping to our wee caravan.

It never ends, but it's good. It feels really good. And it's exciting to see the results!

There are little strawberries, raspberries and blueberries appearing in the orchard, and all our transplanted plants are thriving and on the verge of flowering. The deer can't keep up with the clover which has turned a stunning, rich green colour, and is soft and springy to walk on in bare feet (dodging the deer poop on the way).

We have discovered a nest of baby squirrels in a nearby tree - they chase each other up and down the trunk, spiralling as they go. Unfortunately, the neighbours cat has discovered them too... bugger!

Still, all is well in our little piece of borrowed paradise on Salt Spring.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Love at the Monster Lab


There is a clever wee lady on Salt Spring Island who makes these brilliant, wacky as softies from her studio the 'Monster Lab'. We drive past her little rural cottage with her 'Monster Lab' sign up every time we want to jump on the ferry to Victoria, so I just had to google her and get a bit more info!
From what I can tell, she doesn't have a website, but I happen to know that if anyone's in the area, she has a cute wee stall at the Saturday market.

Clever, clever Monster Lab.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bicycle Crush

I have a new, totally inappropriate crush, on a bicycle.  I say inappropriate for three reasons.

Firstly, I have a sneaking suspicion that half the reason I am crushing on these new, vintage style bicycles right now, is that I believe somewhere in the back of my mind if I owned one of these beauties, I too, would look svelte and fabulous riding along each and every sunny day in my silk summer dress and heels, as per the pictures above. Not a hair on my head would be out of place as I cycle over to lounge on a park bench, with my picnic conveniently packed in my saddle bag and some freshly cut flowers in my basket.

Secondly, there is no chance in the near, or distant future, that I'm ever going to live anywhere that even remotely resembles the above pictures, or that would be even partially flat enough for me to ride on without having to get off two minutes in, to walk my beloved up the hill, creating sweat stains on my dress, ruining my make-up and damaging those perfect red pumps on the rough tar seal.

And thirdly, after I went swanning into a bike shop in Victoria this afternoon after seeing a similar bicycle in the shop window, I recoiled in horror when the price tag that swung before my eyes was a nasty four digit number... that's before the decimal point. Ugh. Why must I always crush on what I can't have?

Note: The bike I saw was not a Velorbis, for all I know, Velorbis are much more affordable!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sans Spots

So they say that things are sometimes a little strange when you're upside down on the other side of the world, and it really is true.

Do you know what they have here? Spotless ladybugs. Yup. No. Spots.

Were the Canadians running short on the bags of black spots when they were popping their shiny little red bobble bodies out of the ladybug machine or somethin? Did someone just think, 'Oh shoot, we're out of spots. Ahh well, send 'em out anyways, no one will notice...' What the...!?

Image from

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Grace Anchor

I thought I would share some eye candy from the lovely new store I am going to be working for on Saturdays at the Salt Spring Island market.

Grace Anchor design and make beautiful, contemporary pieces of jewellery using precious and semi-precious stones set into silver. My favourites are the deep blue turquoise pendants... might be saving my pennies for one of those!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Samuel Barber: Adagio For Strings

I've mentioned in previous posts about my love of various kinds of music; big band, jazz, dancepop, r&b, and slightly more alternative stuff among many, many others. I wanted to share another of my musical loves, and that is classical.

I think I can probably credit this to two things. The first, was that my mum took my sisters and I along to many orchestral performances at the Welly Town Hall and good old MFC when we were little. I swear we were the only kids at those things!

And secondly, there was our totally loved, and totally thrashed Walt Disney Fantasia video tape. If you ever want to teach kidlets that classical music can be cool, then Fantasia is the way. It's all about imagining a story to go with the music, and this is one of my all time favourite pieces of music to do that with.
If you can handle it, (and I know some people can't stand this stuff so it's all good) listen to the end because this piece of music tells the most beautiful story, you just have to close your eyes and imagine it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

New Flowers and New Friends

It's That Time Again

We may be in Canada for the summer, but I'm already planning for September. I knew I got Corey to lug that massive Lonely Planet book 2 kilo brick all the way here for a reason... exciiiiiiiiting!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Help Please... Possible Blonde Question Needs Answering!

So I am the first person to admit that I'm still really crap with all this bloggy stuff, and so I am putting out a question to you all that may be fairly easy to fix or maybe not, probably the former...

Lately I have subscribed to lots of lovely blogs but their new updates don't show up in Google reader. They are on my subscriptions list, I can see them listed in the navigation bar down the side, and if I click on each individual subscription I can see all their latest posts, but in the main window, I don't get to see them when they post new stuff.

On their individual pages there is an option on the side that I can un-click which says 'mark as read' so I un-click that, thinking that perhaps somewhere I've made a setting that is telling it to automatically mark the new posts as read so reader doesn't bother showing me when new posts are put up, but then when I close that window, and go back into it again, it is ticked again... I am ASSUMING that my problem is something to do with this option being selected, but I can't for the life of me work out how to keep it unselected and all I want is to see ALL the new posts from my subscriptions!

I have looked in all the settings etc but can't find what the deal is.... VERY ANNOYING! Any suggestions/help would be MUCH appreciated!

Thanks peeps!

By the way, if that made absolutely no sense to anyone please disregard the gibberish!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Birthday Continued

So apparantly I will live to see another day and redeem myself if I post a 'better' photo. So here is the pre-approved 'better' photo, of the Birthday Boy. Batterrrrrr up!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy Birthday 'Cozza'

I might not be blogging for a while, you see I'm going to get shot for a) posting this photo and b) even writing such a mushy post anyways, but I swear it's worth it so here goes:

Today is my man's 27th birthday. We don't usually make a big deal with gifts for each other's birthdays as we tend to buy all the things we want during the year, so we just write those things off as birthday presents (yeah un-imaginative I know, but it works for us). He doesn't really like sweet food either so I can't even make him a cake (though would likely be disasterous if I tried anyway!).

I really wanted to give him a big shout out and say Happy Birthday, and even though it's just going to be a normal day like every other day, I'm still thinking of it as his special day and loving him more then ever. I figured that this was as good a place as any to say how I feel because lord knows if I tried to tell him to his face he'd get freaked out with the 'mushiness' of it all.

I can't believe I met him 11 years ago, when turning 16, and 17, and 18 was such a big deal! Good thing that at 27 he can still make me laugh and lighten up, make me appreciate things from a different perspective and challenge me every single day! He's still the joker, the prankster and the cheeky bugger, and I love every minute of it.

Happy Birthday babe. OK, you can kill me now...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Music Love: Priscilla Ahn - Dream

A beautiful song for a beautiful day, with lyrics and everything because they're beautiful too...

I was a little girl alone in my little world who dreamed of a little home for me.
I played pretend between the trees, and fed my houseguests bark and leaves, and laughed in my pretty bed of green.

I had a dream
That I could fly from the highest swing.
I had a dream.

Long walks in the dark through woods grown behind the park, I asked God who I'm supposed to be.
The stars smiled down on me, God answered in silent reverie. I said a prayer and fell asleep.

I had a dream
That I could fly from the highest tree.
I had a dream.

Now I'm old and feeling grey. I don't know what's left to say about this life I'm willing to leave.
I lived it full and I lived it well, there's many tales I've lived to tell. I'm ready now, I'm ready now, I'm ready now to fly from the highest wing.

I had a dream

Friday, May 14, 2010

Le Squirrel

As cute as a button's button, and a creature after my own heart... eat, run, eat, sniff, eat, scratch, eat...

Sewing Withdrawal

Everybody in blog land seems to be sewing up a storm lately - either whipping things up for competitions, or creating fabulous new pieces for their autumn or spring wardrobes.

I, have no sewing machine here, and I hate it.

I have a job interview on Monday so I am going to have to go and buy some new clothes to make it look like I haven't just spent the last 2 months dressed in my trackies, dragging logs in the bush, on my knees planting and landscaping, lugging timber planks round the yard, building fences, digging drainage holes... etc.

So usually most people would be stoked to have an excuse to buy new clothes, normally I am one, but all I really want is some fabric and a sewing machine to make my own creations. I'm in total, utter withdrawal. It's like an itch and I can't scratch it til I get my mits on a machine. Ugh!

Images from MissPrint via Designsponge.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nerd Alert

Today I was gifted a First Nations scraping tool, found by our Workaway host Martin a few years ago while he was doing some landscaping work in Squamish, BC. He had an expert check it out and was told it would most likely have been used for scraping salmon, and was shaped using stone, in other words, before 'The White Man' was in Canada. OLD!

'Oh my gawd, that's just a frickin' rock, Nikki' I hear some of you say, which it is, but it's a special rock and I get such a dorky kick out of knowing a bit about it's history and where it came from. And to think that a Native Indian from many moons ago made this, held this, and used this! That's the 12 year old wanna-be archeologist in me!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Is Anyone Home?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Abandoned Log House, Penticton - A Rough Sketch

A dilapidated old log house in the Penticton Native Band Indian Reserve, on the way to Apex ski field.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day Mama, I miss you, I love you, I hope my other two sisters spoil you today.

P.S. I hope you don't hate me for putting this photo up for the world to see!

Streetscape in Victoria, BC - A Rough Sketch

Click to enlarge!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Every day at dawn and dusk, the deer arrive. And now that the weather is warming up, the babies are here too.

They tottle around on their spindly legs; unsure, a little unsteady, and for now wildly out of proportion with their little speckled bodies.

They are not yet used to us humans, so they bounce and boing along after their Mamas like Pepe Le Piu would do, whenever we disturb their clover munching.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I'm a Trend Setter

Perusing LookBook the other day, I discovered that I am, in fact, a trend setter.

When I was 12, (and I have photographs to prove this) I tended to have a bit of a... 'style of my own' shall we say, this was before I conformed to the classic black NZ uniform (as Jacqui talks about over at Hazelnuts). I thrashed the 'denim shorts over tights' look so hard that everyone else in my class at school knew to just 'not go there' as I had that look done and dusted. You know? I topped it off with oversized fleece sweatshirts that I made myself.

So imagine how amazed I was to see that this look has finally caught on around the world! Even if it has taken 14 years to show itself again... hehe

All images from

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Love You, Fush

My nickname, (well one of) is 'Fush'. C developed this name for me over the course of 2009, after my Mum sent us a page cut out of a Wellington newspaper with an alphabet written out in the way Australians think New Zealanders' speak... ie. 'F' is for 'Fush' - mostly eaten with chups... 'K' is for 'Kuds' - short for chuldrun...
This piece of lingual finery was put on the fridge and was often a talking point whenever we had visitors.

So somehow, I became 'Fush'. It is so rare for me to hear him call me by my full name anymore that when I do, it is usually because he's pissed off that I've left my art stuff all over the floor again or something along those lines...

It makes me smile every time he says it... ' Love you, Fush'.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Look Out! It's A Ramble!

I'm having one of those self-reflective days today. I have these now and then - I freak out that I'm 25 and haven't become that 'successful' artist/designer that I was planning on being. I freak out that I don't know what 'I want to be when I grow up'. I freak out that I want to have kids in the next five years and all of a sudden there's not enough room for all the other things I want to do that have to fit in the space between! And most of all I freak out that I'm not drawing enough, and maybe if I don't draw something soon, I'll forget how to draw forever and ever...!

Sometimes I swear I'm two people in one. The best way for me to describe that is I'm an insanely creative, free spirit, trapped in an uber-organised, paranoid perfectionist shell. These are surely the traits of two different people!?

My shell stops me from committing to the real me. It stops me from sharing my creativeness which I really want to do, and from sharing the un-edited version of myself. The stupid thing is that I have books and books of drawings I've started, ideas for drawings, and ideas for things to design and make... but I'm so scared it'll all come out wrong when I try to produce the real deal that I tend not to start at all. It's safer that way, right?!

And this internet is no help at all. It is my best friend, it is my worst enemy. I see something better then my work and boom! Self doubt sets in and then there's no way I'm committing pencil to paper.

When I look back at my blog and the things that have slipped out now and then it's kinda funny.
Sometimes I wonder what possessed me, sometimes I wonder how I can feel so confident as to click that PUBLISH button, and sometimes I wish I could un-click it!

Probably like this post, I'll want to take this back soon...

The Mother of All Things Gross

Meet the leopard slug, or banana slug as it is also called.
Banana, because many people relate stepping on one of these as being like skating on a banana. Skating on a banana was exactly what I thought I had done when I first encountered this freakish example of one of God's creatures. To my horror, I had stood on much worse. These slugs rate pretty high on my 'gross' and 'shivers down the spine' scales. Somewhere up there with wetas I think.

Since arriving on Salt Spring, I have come across more of these slimy beasts. I say beasts, because they're not small. Not like those little NZ snail-like things. These whoppers are around 100mm long, and fat like a banana. Not to mention their 'snot' trails which ooze out to ridiculous lengths behind them.

Corey gets great delight in picking them up and watching me scream and run hysterically in the opposite direction when he throws them at me. Yet somehow, he seems surprised when he gets the fingers, and the silent treatment afterwards... hmmmm...