Tuesday, 30 November 2010

December Daily

Tomorrow marks the beginning of so many things.

It is the month where days start to get longer again.
It is the month where I start a new year of my life.
It is the month where the magic of the season is palpable everywhere a person goes.
It is the month where we celebrate the coming of Hope.
It is the month where I get to take loads of pictures and put them in an beautiful album!!

Ah, December Daily...I am ready.
My camera batteries are full. My album is supposed to be ready to go (it is missing the numbers, which I will add each day and the binding rings have yet to be found...). The house is decorated (minus the tree, but that always comes in the middle of the month). The calendar is booked with Christmas celebrations. The movies are ready to be watched.

Here are a few photos of last year's December Daily:

And here is a photo of this year's December Daily cover:

Oh, I am excited!!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


It is cold here. So cold, in fact, that I cannot stay warm. My core temperature has, I'm sure, dropped a few degrees in the last week. I personally think that the bears are the ones that have it good - they are all hibernating cozily in their dens for the next 5 months and don't have to worry about the cold. That sounds absolutely glorious.

This cold weather means that I no longer leave the house unless I desperately have to. I am amazed when I go out how many people are functioning as if this kind of temperature is normal. If I were the head honcho, the first thing I'd change is a bylaw that shuts everything down if the mercury drops lower than -25. It's just not humane.

The good news is that I am getting lots done around the house because I don't venture outside.

I have started work on my December Daily album that I will be doing again this year. Ali Edwards, the mastermind behind this fabulous project has great information here on her blog. Basically, it is photos + pictures + everyday 'stuff' about December. I did it last year and loved it. This year, I am following the same format as ali - why reinvent the wheel?

I have finished priming the new studio downstairs. The next step is finding flooring and all colour. I haven't had much luck in the paint department, but hoping that I'll find something soon!

I have been nursing 3 very sick children back to health. Lots of snuggles and snotty noses and books and blankets and chicken noodle soup.

And of course, Christmas decorations have gone up and our house is now overflowing with red and silver, white lights everywhere and all things Christmas. The tree isn't up yet - that is for a Sunday afternoon closer to Christmas, but it feels so very festive.

Looking forward to a some warmer temperatures later on this week, but my plan is to make like a bear and stay in my beautiful den.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Wall Colour Woes

We are getting closer and closer to finishing off the new room in the basement that is going to be called the "studio". It will be primarily for me to fulfill my creative needs, that often involves many different types of media including paper, paint, computers and ink.

I already have a room set up in our house for this particular activity and it has been a god send, especially when the kids were really little and I needed some "mommy" time. And I LOVE my room. I love the colour of the walls. I love the feel of it when I sit down and take a deep breathe. I love how the sunset streams through the window each evening. I love how I can hear my kids sleeping when I am working in the evening. I love how the kids and I can all be working on our own projects and be in the same place at the same time.

However, because I have that room upstairs, our three children have been sharing a room since the day each of them were born. And it has worked well. I don't actually think they would have it any other way. They snuggle together in their beds and they read books together on the floor. Sometimes they even lay out all their blankets and have a "sleepover" on the rug.

The day is going to come soon when they will need some space. The writing is on the wall that Eden (and then Aaralyn) is going to need room for themselves - for homework, for time alone, and for their own sanity (that and Ephraim snores like a chainsaw...). So we figured we'd be pro-active rather than reactive.

This has been the motivation for finishing off the room in the basement so I can move my existing space to the basement and Ephraim can move down the hallway to have his own room. We are now at the point, after months of evening and weekend work, where we are ready to start thinking about priming and painting.

And this leaves me in a bit of a pickle because I am stuck on the wall colour. I know that I want a new feel to the space, but I'm not sure how to go about it.

I love the idea of a white room, but know that it is probably too stark and cold for a basement. But when I saw this room, I fell in love. The dark floors, the high ceilings, the 'airiness' of it. Unfortunately, this feel could definitely not be translated into a basement room that has low ceilings and one small north facing window...

And then I saw this office. I was immediately attracted to the graphic nature of the walls and the monochromatic theme with different textures. It is a bit dark for my liking and am afraid that the greys might work against me in the dead of winter. (and I LOVE the little bit of purple...)

I found this room and colour scheme, and I really like this one too. It is quite similar to my studio space upstairs, but the blue is much more on the grey scale (it is called Smoke Stack Grey - and Benjamin Moore colour) and I love it matched with the dark floor and white accents.

Not sure what to do. I guess I'm going to have to decide soon. If you could choose any colour what would it be?

Saturday, 6 November 2010

How was your trip?

I have been asked this question quite a few times since returning from Egypt a few days ago. And to be honest, I'm not quite sure how to answer the question.

The Great Pyramids of Giza, Cairo

Egypt far exceeded my expectations. I knew I would be awed by the pyramids, and have seen temples and heard stories about pharaohs growing up and into adulthood, but I had absolutely no idea how grand and majestic and huge these temples are. Each ancient tomb and temple we went to took my breath away - not only because of the beauty but also by how old these monuments are. Some of these temples were 5000 years old, took 1000 years to build and still were painted in glorious colour. It was amazing to be still in the moment and think of the celebrations and ceremonies that happened exactly where I was standing.

I used the word "wow" alot.

Karnak Temple, Luxor

I have also lived in big cities that have alot of traffic, but nothing prepared me for Cairo. This city is crazy. Our first introduction to Egyptian driving was on the way to our hotel in a taxi from the airport. I actually thought I was doing to die, literally. I thought at the time that we were quite unlucky with our choice of taxi driver, until I was there for a while and realized that he was a pretty normal driver.

Imagine 4 'official' lanes on the road filled with 6 lanes of traffic, each vehicle on the road with at least 10 mirrors so they could literally get within 1 inch of the other vehicles on the road.
Imagine each car honking so the drivers around them know they are there.
Imagine doors to minivans open with at least 18 people stuffed in there like sardines (with one hanging on outside the door for good measure).
Imagine a dad on a motorbike with his 4 year old in front of him and his wife and 1 year old sitting side sadle behind him.
Imagine donkeys with carts attached weaving in and out of traffic.
Imagine pedestrians trying to cross the street lane by lane as vehicles whiz behind and in front of them.
Now imagine all that happening at the same time - that picture in your head is pretty much the streets of Cairo.

And that was just the first hour.

Suffice it to say this really was a trip of a lifetime. We saw so very much history, learned so much about Egyptian culture, heard so much about my beautiful eyes (and how lucky a man Mike is), tasted so much 'interesting' food and felt so much of every emotion that we possibly could, our travelling tanks are full - very, very full.

Keep posted for more favourite stories and more favourite pictures. Trust me, there are lots of them.

On the shores of the Nile, southern Egypt