30.4.09

Better business

So, I've been focusing lately on trying to increase English Muffin's visibility online. I think for most artist-turned-small-business-owners marketing is probably the trickiest part of the job. I love to design, take pictures, package things up for shipping - even go to the post office with Tyke (our dog), but when it comes to putting my designs in front of more eyes I don't score so high. I'll be honest that my attempts at marketing are half-hearted at best. I don't have business cards, I have an aversion talking about myself and what I do (in real life, I seem to be pretty good in the blogesphere) and my budget for all things marketing is well... nil.

If you're like me I thought you might like to know about a couple small business blogs that are not lame - in fact they are really helpful, and dare I say, inspiring?!






Check them out, they're a fun read.

ps. If you have any goodies to share, please do so in the comments section :)

bess

29.4.09

Oh Canada!

Map of Canada - blue and green

Map of Canada - pink and brown

Here's what I was able to get done today. It was a bit of an odds and ends day, you may have noticed I changed the blog banner, something I've been meaning to do for a while. The maps of Canada will be available in the store tomorrow or Friday at the latest, they are 8 x 10 inches and sell for $18 each. We also have a special "Any three prints for..." on right now, so be sure to check it out.

That's all for me, time for dinner :)

28.4.09

Lockette - Paper + Fabric

Tree Hugger - Set of 8 Fabric Note Cards

Today's Canadian content comes to us - once again, from Vancouver.

Lockette is an artist who creates stationary using paper and fabric. I was pleasantly surprised when I looked closely at her cards, in particular the Chocolate Spots - Fabric Note Cards, to find they are made by fusing fabric onto heavy cardstock.

Her designs are so cute and I would love to receive any one of her cards in the mail.

Chocolate Spots - Fabric Note Cards, Set of 8

Apple a Day - Fabric Stationary Set

Apple a Day - Fabric Stationary Set

27.4.09

Photoshoot

I hope you had a great weekend. Unfortunately, I don't have any fun pictures from our weekend adventures since they pretty much consisted of framing and taking photos of the new 8 x 10 prints for English Muffin. I also freshened up the website a little if you'd like to have a look. Big Chuck was a great jr. photographer this weekend and snapped this pic of our process.

He thinks I look like a beaver, but I don't mind ;)

Happy Monday!

24.4.09

Urban Tree Salvage

Urban Tree Salvage

Urban Tree Salvage is company in Toronto that asks, "... why not recycle city trees?"

With most of Toronto's trees ending up in the woodchipper when their days are done, UTS believes in utilizing them for furniture, accessories and also specializes in large slabs suitable for coffee or dinner tables.

"Our milling selection consists of all hardwoods grown in the Toronto area, such as Apple, Cherry, Hard Maple, Soft Maple, Red Oak, White Oak, Willow, Walnut, Elm, Poplar as well as our domestic exotics such as Locust and Chestnuts."

You can check out their website here.

Urban Tree Salvage

Urban Tree Salvage

Have a good weekend,

Big Chuck

23.4.09

The United States in Pinks and Blues

The United States - Pink

Trouble remembering all 50 states? English Muffin's lovely map of the United States is not only a perfect print to brighten up any room, but also a great cheat sheet to have on hand.

The United States - Blue

22.4.09

Ice cream, anyone?

The perfect prints to cool you down this summer. Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry - what's your favourite ice creme flavour?

Chocolate Ice Cream Print

Vanilla Ice Cream Print

Strawberry Ice Cream Print

21.4.09

Mushrooms

The mushroom series was inspired by a trip to the library at Big Chuck's university. There are so many beautiful old books with botanical illustrations. I love the impossible to pronounce Latin names too.

Mushroom Print - Hygrophorus gliocyclus

Mushroom Print - Lepiota magnusiana

Mushroom Print - Lepiota meleagris

20.4.09

bicycle, bicyclette, bicicletta

Over the next few days I'll be unveiling some new 8 x 10 prints in the English Muffin shop. Below is a trio of bicycles in English, French and Italian. The prints are currently available in the English Muffin Etsy shop.

English Muffin - bicycle

English Muffin - bicyclette

English Muffin - bicicletta

I'd love to hear any feedback you have, thanks!

17.4.09

Sweet Meats

Porky Chop via Bloesom Kids

Big Chuck is preparing for a presentation today so I thought I would inspire him with a delicious reward for all that hard work! Pork Chop, T-bone Steak, Hambone anyone??

These quality pieces are designed by Lauren Venell (nee Fleischer), a San Francisco product designer with butchers on both sides of her family. They can be used as pillows or toys and are suitable for both kids and pets (and grown-ups too!). Check out the Sweet Meats website here.

Hambone Ham

Stuff Boeuf T-Bone Steak

Have a great weekend!

16.4.09

Styles of Beer

Flickr

A wonderful post today from the Guerilla Gourmand, she is slowly but surely making a beer-liker out of me! (I really like the Belgian Lambics, they're more like fizzy juice than beer!)

“Beer? Why a post on beer? Bud is disgusting!”

I too think Bud is gross. I'm utterly unconvinced it's beer. But there really is a wonder world of beers out there if you would only give it a chance.

What is beer? Put simply, it is an alcoholic beverage made of malted barley, hops, yeast and water. They can be put into two general categories: lager or ale. The type of yeast determines the type of fermentation, which determines which one any given beer is. Lagers use yeast that ferments happiest at the bottom of the vat where it is at lower temperatures. Ales use yeasts that ferment best at the top of the vats where it is warmer.

Ales tend to have higher alcohol content, with slightly less carbonation and more bitterness. Lagers, which stems from the German word Lager which means “shelf”, are left to sit on the shelf and ferment more gently and for longer (hence the name). Lagers are light-bodied and usually paler.

For those who want extensive information, you can find a comprehensive list of beer styles here. It is 291KB and 33 pages of descriptions of every type of beer imaginable. (As a side note: the list was compiled by Charlie Papazian, the nuclear-engineer-turned-famous-homebrewer. He literally wrote the book on homebrewing, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, known to be the bible of all homebrewers.)

This week’s challenge is to locate a Belgian Ale called a Lambic. Lindemans is a brand that you can normally find and is a pleasant introduction to unusual beers for the uninitiated. Lambics are famous for their unique tartness, and a great for an aperitif.

I would recommend trying the Lindemans Kriek (cherry) Lambic or the Framboise (Raspberry) Lambic if you can find them. I will say, though, the best Lambic is the “plain” flavor (i.e. no fruits involved) called Gueze which is the hardest to find. It has just the right balance of sweetness and tartness to be a refreshing drink that goes well with dinner.

Try it for yourself, and open your mind to the wonderful world of beers!

- The Guerilla Gourmand

15.4.09

Where in the world...

1898 Original Map of Ontario

I was doing some research for a print I'm working on and found so many examples of beautiful maps that I just had to share them with you. I particularly love the vintage map above of my home province from Banana Strudel.

European Countries T-Shirt

Atlas envelopes

1925 German Map of the Spanish Portuguese Colonial Power

Recycled Road Atlas bracelet

Sterling Silver Map Cufflinks

Uruguay - Ephemera Block, 1897 Spanish Map

14.4.09

Elephant and Chickpea

Orange Mary Jane House Shoes

These adorable house shoes are handmade with reclaimed and natural fabrics in Vancouver, Canada. Elephant and Chickpea's indoor shoes are made to order and often one-of-a-kind. I love the fabrics they use and simple shoe shapes. If I had a pair I would break the rules and wear them outdoors! Check out their Etsy shop here.

Ginger Ale Mary Jane House Shoes

Summer Cottage Blue and Brown Plaid House Shoes

13.4.09

Easter Weekend


Felt egg cosies

Well, we're still on holiday here in Vienna. We've had a wonderful Easter weekend thus far as the weather has been incredible! 25 degrees Celsius and sunny everyday. Below are a couple park pictures we took while lying on our picnic blanket on Saturday, as well as Big Chuck's Easter Sunday breakfast extravaganza.

The blue heron who was walking the perimeter of the pond we were picnicking by.

Mr. Tyke basking in the sunshine.

Big Chuck's Eggs Benedict Austrian-style. (on rye bread with bratwurst)

Something looks good...

See you tomorrow for Canadiana Tuesday,

bess

7.4.09

Market finds

I'm not going to be able to post daily this week. It's the Easter break here and the kids are out of school which means, Easter camp! So while my 9-5 job is keeping extra busy, here are some pictures from our adventures this weekend. Enjoy :)

The best strawberry jam I've ever tasted!! Really, no joke.

Breakfast at one of our favourite breakfast locales, Poehl's at the Kutschkermarkt.

Our favourite Italian table. They have the yummiest cheese and Tuscan bread.

My, what a lovely hunk of cheese you have!

3.4.09

Modern Bird Feeder

Modern Bird Feeder via Contemporist

It is very spring-like here today in Vienna. Almost makes you want to cut work and go hiking in the Wienerwald. Or, you could bring the wildlife to you with this Modern Bird Feeder designed by Carleton University student, Andrew Lowe.


Modern Bird Feeder via Contemporist

About the Feeder:

feeder is designed to attract blue jays and cardinals. feeder’s unique shape renders it squirrel proof and keeps sunflower seeds dry. The positioning of the flexible perches prevent smaller and larger birds from feeding. The feeder unscrews in 3 parts for refilling. Finished in pearlescent white with titanium finished accents.

Have a good weekend,

BC