Muffinettes - Bite Sized Fun!

Merce Cunningham Dance Company, photo by Anna Finke

Merce Cunningham passed away on Sunday at the age of ninety. He was one of modern dance's pioneers, a force for innovation and purity in the art form. His works are some of the most technically challenging to dance and watch, he demanded a lot from his dancers as well as his audiences. Mr. Cunningham choreographed in an unusual way. He separated out all the other aspects of the work and choreographed the dance in isolation. Often the dancers only heard the music, wore the costumes and saw the set in a final rehearsal or on opening night. He embraced the fleeting nature of dance by ensuring the audience would never see the same performance twice by inviting into his process randomness, like the flip of a coin or roll of a dice. Merce Cunningham danced in his works until the age of seventy and was teaching class only a few months before he died. Merci Merce...

...oh so pretty! at oh joy via oh happy day...

...ballet for everyday...

...sugar craving? just watch the bottom left corner...

...now this is useful...

...if only Tyke's hair was long enough...

Have a great weekend!


Sunday Suppers

(all photos © Karen Mordechai, Sunday Suppers)

Don't worry, I'm not going to go all wedding on you... at least I don't think I am. I have a whole section of my computer devoted to all things Bess + Big Chuck wedding (mostly all inspiration stuff at this point) and I think I am doing a good job of keeping everyday life and wedding dream life separate. But... today I'm a little short on inspiration since I rarely leave the house anymore, except to get sub-standard work from the printer's (twice this week already) and so you're going to get a little dose of wedding. Sunday Suppers is a great blog devoted to yummy food and good design, a.k.a. heaven. If you're looking for ideas on how to decorate your tables, this website is full of them. And in reality, this is not so much wedding inspiration as dinner party.


I missed you Nikon...

(Photos: Bess Callard)

I really missed our camera when Big Chuck had it in Panama. Of course it made much more sense for him to have it, but nonetheless, I did miss it. Now that it's back home though, it's just been sitting next to my desk. I have been so busy working on a project that I haven't had the time or occasion to use it. So yesterday, on my "lunch break" I did a little photo essay of our apartment. Apart from actually taking pictures, I am also exploring the world of editing them. Our new camera gives us the opportunity to shoot RAW, and boy oh boy, is it ever fun to bring those images into Photoshop. I have definitely been inspired by some of my favourite photography blogs to play with saturation, colour and light. Big Chuck has been bugging me for a while to let him buy a new lense for our Nikon, perhaps we just might have to put some money aside and take it to the next level.




If/when I have kids, I'd love to give them beautiful wooden toys like these ones from tarudesign on Etsy. I was listening to NPR's podcast Fresh Air the other day, and they were airing an old interview with Frank McCourt, the Irish-American author of Angela's Ashes. At one point he was talking about the importance of giving your children nothing. Now, of course when he's saying this there is more than a hint of Irish sarcasm and tongue in cheek humour, but I absolutely agreed with his sentiment. Having worked with kids in a creative environment, they really don't need much to unleash their imaginations, actually the more freedom they have to explore and not be confined to the limitations of a particular toy, the more expressive and creative they can be.

Tarudesign is a small Montreal-based workshop that creates handmade wooden toys. There are currently three designs available that can be crafted from different woods such as bocotte, cocobolo, wenge, zebrawood, and wild cherry.



To see more from tarudesign, you can visit their Etsy shop here.
Have a great day :)


It's all about the journey

Airplane, flickr

Big Chuck arrived home safe and sound on Friday night. We (Tyke and I) met him at the airport, just like I said I would. I even tried to cook him dinner, alas he took over - not that I minded ;)
And just like that, he's off again, this time to Germany but only for the week. Once he gets back we have a couple days in Vienna and then we're off (together this time) to Finland to visit my family. I'm so excited about this trip. Salmon, sauna and the sea, need I say more? Then in September, the last Vienna - Toronto trip to see my friends and family before we leave Austria for good next Spring. I feel slightly overwhelmed with all this travel (as does my bank account) but it is also exhilarating to experience the world this way. Both Big Chuck and I love traveling and immersing ourselves in new places, tastes, music and art. I feel really lucky that we have the freedom and means to live like this (at least for now!).

Back tomorrow with Canadiana Tuesday. Have a great day!


Muffinettes - Bite Sized Fun!

(photo: Lottie + Doof)

Today's the day!! Big Chuck arrives home this evening. I will of course be meeting him at the airport in true fiancé style :) I'm also thinking of what to make him for dinner. Usually he wears the chef pants in the family, but after a long flight over the Atlantic I can hardly expect him to wait on me hand and foot.... can I?? No, no, we'll give him a day to recover.

In my effort to find a meal worthy of his homecoming (and this heat wave) I've been visiting all my favourite food blogs. I have a bunch of them listed under "Yummy Blogs" in the sidebar, but I've been a bit lazy keeping this list up-to-date. So, for today's installment of Muffinettes I thought I would give you the links to my new favourites. Yay, party in your kitchen!!

Lottie + Doof - pretty pictures and fun recipes

- I want to make everything...

The Wednesday Chef - currently featuring a recipe for Marillenknödel, an Austrian delight!

Dorie Greenspan - the New York Times of food blogs

Whipped - even the name sounds delicious

Homesick Texan - it's just fun to see what they make, and pretend to know what "Cow Head Barbacoa" is.

All of these blogs have great blog rolls of their own, so be sure to explore, Mahlzeit!

Have a wonderful weekend, and see you on Monday :)



(photos: Sunday Suppers)

Vienna is hot! The temperature is going up to 35 degrees Celsius today and the sun is blazing (not that I'm complaining). So to stay cool as I work on some fall prints, I've been drinking buckets of lemon/lime water all week. There's a great recipe for Citrus Thyme Water on the Sunday Suppers food blog (another one you should bookmark), courtesy of @design_sponge.

Stay cool ;)


ImPulsTanz 2009

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker & ROSAS
"Rosas danst Rosas"

© Herman Sorgeloos

The ImPulsTanz Festival is the biggest contemporary dance festival in Europe, and every year it happens right here in Vienna. The funny thing is that I applied to come to the festival in my last year of school, and now that I'm living here, haven't set foot in a studio. It's crazy how your priorities can shift so dramatically in such a short time. I do however have a good friend here, who is a wonderful dancer, and she is doing enough dancing for both of us!

I wanted to share some photos of this year's ImPulsTanz performers. These companies and dancers are pretty much la crème de la crème when it comes to the world of contemporary dance. If photos just aren't enough, and you'd like to see an except from a dance film by the Belgian dance company Rosas, then follow this link "Rosas danst Rosas".

Xavier Le Roy

© Vencent Cavaroc

Preethi Athreya
"Porcelain" - [8:tension]

© Babu Ponappan

Benoît Lachambre & Louise Lecavalier / Hahn Rowe, Laurent Goldring
"Is You Me"

© André Cornelier

Wim Vandekeybus / Ultima Vez
"Creation 2009"

© Pieter-Jan De Pue

Dalija Acin & Recognize Crew
"Oh No!"

© Dalija Acin


Odalis Petit Menagerie

Blanca Sweet Headband

Aren't these just the prettiest headbands?! I remember my headband collection from when I was a kid, lots of gingham and braided leather. If only I could still pull off such a lovely hair accessory, I would certainly have a grown-up collection of my very own.

Odalis Petit Menagerie is a sister team based in Toronto, Canada. Using the best silks and materials they can find, they create one-of-a-kind hair accessories. You can see all the love and hard work that goes into each piece. To see more of Odalis Petit Menagerie's creations, visit their Etsy shop.

Grecian Leaf Headband

Coco Couture Headband

Dormilona Headband

Gatsby Couture Headband

Have a great tuesday!


Postcards from Panama - week 4

Good Monday morning! I'm happy to announce that today is the last installment of Postcards from Panama because Big Chuck is coming home this Friday (yay!). I can't believe five weeks is almost up. He has a few "free" days in Panama this week and I think the plan is to go surfing - what a tough life these scientists lead ;)

See you tomorrow,


Muffinettes - Bite Sized Fun!

The Sartorialist
...red lip envy...

Hello dear readers! My brain is a little foggy today, perhaps from all this heat, or my new no-sugar, no-carb, no-anything that could at some point become sugar or carbs in my digestive tract diet. I know, what am I thinking?? Well, it's all good intentioned I assure you, and of course not permanent. Only a few more weeks and we'll see how I feel. Muffinettes, I now realize was not the best name to give these tid bits from internet-land (mmmmm, sugar). Perhaps I should instead rename them Florettes, as in broccoli florettes. mmmmm.

Here are this week's (insert preferred name here)!

...how about "I'd rather be skipping!"...

...gearing up for 2010 in Vancouver...

...I would understand so much better if it really was like this...

...Big Chuck always knew...

Have a great weekend everyone!


Dream Life

(photos: NY Times)

This article popped up on twitter yesterday via @perfect_bound, and I immediately identified it as my dream life. A couple from New York bought this adorable fixer-upper cottage, a two hour drive from the apartment they rent in Brooklyn for $95,000. After investing time - every weekend from October to May, money - an additional $10,000 for renovations, and lots of do-it-yourself inspiration, they have this charming little cottage to call their own. Sigh.... And I haven't even told you the best part. The May deadline to finish work on the house was a strict one, as they were getting married in their backyard! So romantic...

Here are some pics from the New York Times article. Head on over to the site for the whole story, and more photos too.


Recipe cards

I was working on a little birthday surprise for a friend yesterday, you may know her, the Guerilla Gourmand?? Yes, it was her birthday yesterday and we celebrated with a little ice cream and walk by the river. I also gifted her my new recipe cards. Perfect for the international chef! I'm thinking of putting them in the English Muffin shop, what do ya think?

(designs by English Muffin)


Cabin + Cub

(photos: Cabin + Cub)

Seeing these wonderful woodburnt prints from Cabin + Cub, reminded me of some woodburning that I did at an overnight camp I attended with my middle school class. Not to brag, but... my woodburning design was chosen to be featured in the big woodburning mural, the design to commemorate our grade 7 class trip. What can I say? I was honoured ;) Enough about me, though.

Cabin + Cub is the art and stationary company of Vancouver based designer and artist, Valerie Thai. In addition to her woodburnt prints and stationary, Valerie is a very talented graphic designer. You can see her portfolio here.

And... if you want a chance to win the Cute Little Bird, visit the Cabin + Cub blog, as it is this month's giveaway - good luck!!

Cute Little Bird

Personalized Cute Squirrel

Personalized Cute Owl

Cute Little Chipmunk

Cute Little Squirrel

To see more from Cabin + Cub, visit their Etsy shop.


Postcards from Panama - week 3

Good Monday to all of you! Today we have another installment of Postcards from Panama. For those of you keeping track, Big Chuck has been in Panama for 3 weeks, only 2 more to go!! He's sent some more photos from the field, I hope you enjoy them.

A millipede, love all those little legs!

A spider monkey, they swing in the trees and Big Chuck says they stare at him. Maybe they want a banana?

Their tails are quite strong as they can use them to wrap around branches and suspend themselves.

Have a great Monday :)