I’ve had a ton of writing in the last week or so. As such, I’ve been working from home more often than from the studio.

This has its downsides, but it also has its upsides. One of these was being home when the mailman came by with my new backpack from Sketchbook.

I’ve been slinging books and cameras and laptops back and forth from home to studio in my main squeeze tote – a heavy-duty beauty made by my friend, Rachel – but I wanted something waterproof going into spring.

This satchel is made of waxed canvas and red latigo. The design is perfect, the size ideal, the functionality fantastic, the craftsmanship top-notch and the aesthetic? Gets me one step closer to being an archaeologist…or at least, closer to looking like the Indiana Jones/Vesper Holly hybrid I’ve always imagined real-life archaeologists are.

Staying home also means I have time to bake bread and make awesome lunches. It goes a little something like this…





If you don’t have a panini press, I advise you to get one. It’s a whole other level of lunch.

Six years ago, I worked in a cafe in BC that made paninis. That was my introduction to grilled sandwiches. Because their industrial presses were the only ones I’d ever seen, I always assumed you could only get your hands on one if you were in food service. When I quit that job and moved to Hamilton, I sighed and added “panini press” to the list of fantasy purchases I might make if I ever came into a large amount of money (see also: Airstream trailer, piece of land in the bush, a massage).

I was shocked when Sean gave me one for Christmas a few years ago and thought for sureĀ he’d had to go through one of our eatery-owning friends to scam the panini distribution system to get it. If you’ve always thought the same, I’m here to tell you otherwise – laypeople like us can make paninis at home!

Invest. You won’t regret it. These little presses elevate simple sandwiches to gastronomic art.


Fit For You, Me and Everyone We Know

I’ve got a piece in the Spec today – about a joint initiative between McMaster and the YMCA.

It’s a pretty amazing program full of determined participants and it really drives home the overwhelming importance of physical activity/the fact that you have no excuse not to be getting some. Especially today, when it’s supposed to be seven degrees out there. Take a walk!


Oh Deer!

Considering I’m going away shortly, I should be focussed on tying loose ends up rather than collecting them like some sort of obsessive.

However, this is the way of freelance work (raining, pouring, old men snoring…or something to do with raining and pouring anyway), so yesterday I accepted a custom order and jammed it through the four-hour window required to ensure it arrives in time for the weekend.

Oh, and all wrapped in my beautiful new shipping materials even! I love sending fancy mail.

A bunch more writing to work on this week, but first? Surf’s up on Ontario and it’s work-related so I don’t even have to feel bad about “not working.”

Not going to lie here – I’m a little worried about this because the forecast says something about seven foot waves and I am comfortable with a maximum of five, but maybe I can flounder about in the mushy stuff near the shore if it’s too intense? Please let there be mushy stuff near the shore…

Wash, Submit, Repeat

On any given day, I love the mail.

But I love it even more when it contains things like this…

A poem I’ve been submitting here, there and everywhere over the last few months is going to be published in an upcoming issue of The Antigonish Review.

I’m quite psyched about it, not only because I love this journal specifically, but also because this is one of the first poems I’ve ever submitted anywhere and, until yesterday, I’d never had the kind of feedback that gave any sense of whether or not I was even “doing poetry right.”

As such, I’d been feeling a little flounder-y about the art because I’ve never studied it in an intense academic fashion and I only read a handful of poets’ work and I haven’t written much of it (with the exception of a number of angst-filled teenage years during the 90s when I was at least prolific if nowhere near proficient) besides the collection this one came from – a series of pieces about Canada’s national parks and natural spaces.

So yes. This is hugely exciting. And hopefully indicative of the fact that I’m not wasting my time if I write more. And I will try to take Sean’s advice and remember it the next time I am rejected, rather than sighing and concluding that this most recent rejection means I’m a no-good, unpublishable, sad-sack sorry excuse for a writer.

Barking Up The Wrong Birch (That’s Right – I’m Capping Every Word)

I know the site has been pretty lacklustre this week but I’ve been focussed on research and writing and getting things arranged for my upcoming trip to New York and none of that translates into anything very visually stimulating.

I did, however, manage to finish off this week’s big studio project – the canoe repro.

So there’s that.


Working Late…

…on my paint. ing.

Dip Dip and Swing

I’m taking it pretty easy here today on Family Day (sorry to those of you who don’t have it), but I did get into to the studio to work on a painting – a reproduction of one I did years ago.

It’s Trudeau’s canoe (the one on display at the Canadian Canoe Museum) and it’s going to be used as a mag illustration for a piece (not mine) that makes my heart sing. More information to come…

Tea for Two

I tried to take a photo of a pair of custom earrings I’m shipping out today but the light was gone by the time I finished and the picture turned out sub-par.

Instead, here is Jess‘s much-better-lit photo of her tasty Garden Window Co. loose leaf tea – a little extra I’m now sending out with Etsy purchases.

Steep yourself a pot before we’re into summer and tea-drinking isn’t the cozy and pleasurable experience it is during February!


Short and sweet – I’ve been writing all day so there’s not much (besides handfuls of my own hair) to show for it.

All night, however? GritLIT launch party at The Baltimore House. It’s Poe-themed and promises to be a good time. Find out who we’re having to the Hammer during the literary festival this March AND get your Thursday night fill of your favourite goth.

Wander over, weak and weary, wet your whistle and wind down from this crazy day.

Stick It To ‘Em

FINALLY! My order arrived from Sticker Robot today and they look sa-weet.

Glossy and weather-proof and with sharp, clear graphics.

Now all I need is for someone to pick something up from the shop and give me a reason to use them!

Another perk to ordering these days? I’m going to start throwing some sweet treats into the deal. Without giving too much away, you might end up addicted to Hamilton’s own Garden Window Co.