Orange! The colour of Fall...

Candycorn Bunting Flags by Pamwares
Porcelain Cups by
Pumpkin Miniskirt by

I was going to post some pictures from our bbq last weekend, but they look so Summery and just don't fit with my Fall mood today. The weather is cooling down and I am cozy and warm in my jeans and sweater. So, what to post? Well, my answer came while I was over at Poppytalk. The lovely Jan is posting her favourite things in different Fall colours this week. Monday was yellow, Tuesday green and today is orange! Have a peek at the orange goodies I've found, and when you're done head on over to Poppytalk and to the Flickr Autumn Colour Week group for more Fall-spiration!
Rainy night print
Rainy Night Print by blancucha

Happy last day of September!


Joseph Wu's Origami

Joseph Wu's Origami - Ghrung

Here's something a little different for this week's Canadiana Tuesday - origami! Hailing from Vancouver Canada, origami master Joseph Wu has some amazing photos of his work up on his flickr page. He has even posted some instructions for those of you who would like to attempt to fold a single square piece of paper into a common loon. Let me know how it turns out ;)

Joseph Wu's Origami - "Lion (take 2)"
Lion (take 2)

Joseph Wu's Origami - James P. Sullivan
James P. Sullivan

Joseph Wu's Origami - Ground Pork (take 5)
Ground Pork (take 5)

Joseph Wu's Origami - Wallaby

Joseph Wu's Origami - Owlbear - standing adult (final)
Owlbear - Standing Adult (final)
all photos:
Joseph Wu

I don't know what an "Owlbear" is, but I like it!

Have a great Tuesday,


English Muffin at ohdeedoh!

English Muffin at ohdeedoh
Vanilla Ice Cream print featured on ohdeedoh

A fun discovery I made over the weekend when I noticed that the traffic to my Etsy shop spiked over the period of a couple days. What do ya know, my Vanilla Ice Cream print was featured on ohdeedoh, a favourite kids design website of mine.

Thanks ohdeedoh!

The Brothers Bloom

Bloom Brothers 7
Rachel Weisz in The Brothers Bloom

Big Chuck and I watched The Brothers Bloom on Friday night, and I have to say I fell in love with Rachel Weisz, who plays Penelope Stamp, and her wonderful wardrobe. I grabbed some stills off my computer of some of my favourite outfits from the film. Her style is adorable yet chic, one day when I have a plump little bank account, I want to dress like that too!

Bloom Brothers 1

Bloom Brothers 2

Bloom Brothers 3

Bloom Brothers 4

Bloom Brothers 5

Bloom Brothers 6
photos: The Brothers Bloom

If you haven't seen this film I would absolutely recommend it. It's quirky and fun, beautifully shot and the costumes, set design, and acting are all spot on. And for the gentlemen in the audience don't despair; the movie begins with a crash between a bright yellow Lamborghini and a Schwinn bicycle, complete with banana seat.

Have a great Monday!


Man, I Need a Manifesto!

Mark Pavey's Personal Manifesto
Mark Pavey's Personal Manifesto via Mustard & Sage

I am coming to you today from the comfort of my couch. Thank goodness it's Friday and I don't have to teach any little kids today, since they are afterall the reason I am surrounded by piles of used kleenexes at the moment. It was bound to happen, even with my most earnest efforts to wash my hands as often as possible, the germs just love me. Oh well... (may I say that Big Chuck, who is working from home today, just delivered lunch to my makeshift infirmary... veggie curry - ich liebe dich!).

Under these circumstances I could really use a little cheering up. So, I thought I would share graphic designer Mark Pavey's Personal Manifesto with you. Nothing like some affirmative phrases to lift one's spirits. Hope it inspires you too :)

Have a wonderful weekend!


New Look

I've been tinkering with the blog over the past few days; changing colours, fonts, and even some CSS!! I hope you like the new look and my ode to the zebra. Here are a couple outtakes from the English Muffin animals photo shoot. I have so much respect for photographers, it pretty much took me all day yesterday (with some breaks for food,the optometrist and glasses shopping) to get the perfect shot (and I was just working with paper cut out animals, no offense Mr. Zebra).

Photoshoot - outtake 2

Photoshoot - outtake 1

Next on the "to do" list: tackle the website!!

Have a great Thursday :)



wire hippo card, fold

I'm a bit late with the post today, we were at the optometrist and then off to the glasses shops to find a new pair of glasses for Big Chuck. He broke his lenses a few weeks ago and managed to glue them back together with crazy glue, but alas they broke again.

So we're about to pop back out now to pick up the coolest glasses you've ever seen - can you say matte black, handmade in Deutschland - yes, I wish they were going to be mine.

Isn't it then a perfect time to post on fold's wire frame greeting cards?! Take a peek at their website for lots more cute creations.

flold - greeting cards


Clutch Me!

Kimberly Jones Designs

This was the lovely surprise that was waiting for me when I went home to Toronto a few weeks ago, aren't you jealous?! After reading the Canadian Tuesdays post on Kimberly Jones Designs, my wonderful mom went on Etsy and bought this clutch for me. Thanks Mom :)

I often wonder if the artists I feature on Canadiana Tuesdays get sales as a direct result of my posts... so, now I know at least one featured shop has!

I think I'm going to debut my new clutch at my best-friend's wedding next August, now the mission is to find the perfect dress to go with it. Any suggestions?

Have a great Tuesday,



Mr. Succulent

One year ago today I started this blog, can you believe it? I wasn't sure blogging would be for me, but it turns out it was!

The blog began as a way to connect with my English Muffin customers, but now feels more like an online diary (where I invite the whole world to come and read!). I love sharing bits of our (mine and Big Chuck's) lives with you, the random and wonderful things I discover on the web, photos that make me say "yummm" and "ohhh, ahhh" and the ups and downs of my very first "company", English Muffin.

I am so happy that both the blog and the company have progressed in such a positive way. There is so much more I want to accomplish and look forward to sharing it all with you.

So, thanks a bunch for tuning in everyday or every now and then, and of course, thank you for your supportive and always appreciated comments.

As a blog-iversary present to me, I have welcomed a new friend to my desk, Mr. Succulent. We picked him out at the flower stand at Schottentor Uni station on the weekend. Isn't he cute?!

flower stand

flower stand2

Have a great Monday!


VW Design Off!

designed by Bess at BusSelecta.com

designed by Big Chuck at BusSelecta.com

It's a VW design off! Whose do you like better?! Big Chuck found this great site where you can design your very own VW camper van, pickup or bus.

Come on, it just takes a few minutes - it's Friday, release your creativity!

Have a great weekend -
Bess and Big Chuck


Bookhou's Alphabet

When I was in Toronto last winter I had hoped to pop in and check out Bookhou's new brick and mortar shop. Unfortunately, it was closed and all I could do was take a cold snowy picture of the outside. This time however, they were open! My mom had been waiting all this time to go so that we could go together - yay! The store looks great - well worth the wait! Partners, John Booth and Arounna Khounnoraj, did a beautiful job converting their storefront into a place to feature their wood, felt and linen work. I was absolutely flattered when Arounna remember the post I did on Bookhou last November. Above is Bookhou's Alphabet, an original design laser cut on 1/4 inch birch plywood. It looks so pretty hanging in my mom's loft.

visit the shop:

798 dundas street west

toronto, ontario m6j 1v1


Time Travel

photo: sundevilstormin via flickr
I had this idea, to give you some tips on enduring those long haul flights but as I write this, I'm realizing that I no longer remember how to type or punctuate a sentence. Up until about 5 minutes ago I was marveling at how well I managed to jump through time zones, usually I feel just awful. I find traveling from North America to Europe is much more difficult than going the other way. So, here are a few of my tips and tricks for overcoming jet lag.

• drink water!! I used to focus my hydration efforts mainly on the time I was actually on the plane, but this can lead to many bathroom trips, and if you're in the middle of two sleeping people a tricky situation at best. This time I started drinking lots of water as soon as I woke up on the morning of my flight. This way I wasn't starting my flight already slightly dehydrated and could maintain my hydration with a few glasses of water and sipping from my water bottle.

• try to sleep. I think this is important, especially on overnight flights. Some people are adamant about not sleeping at all, but for me, even though sleeping on an airplane can be painfully uncomfortable and often interrupted, it's much better than no sleep at all. I need an hour or two of shut eye to be able to make it off the plane the next morning and to my final destination. If you have trouble sleeping on planes I recommend listening to your iPod to drown out the crying babies, wearing a sleeping mask and making good use of the headrest, pillow and blanket. I once sat next to this guy who put the blanket over his head like he was a ghost and didn't move for the whole flight, my hero!

• airplane food, hummm. I flew with Austrian Airlines this time, and they always have "good" food. By "good" I mean that it's probably as good as you're going to get thousands of meters above the earth. That being said though, it's rare to get fresh veggies or fruit. Most of what we are fed is dairy, wheat and meat - all difficult things to digest. Is it just me or do gasses expand at higher altitudes?? I armed myself with two homemade sandwiches loaded with veggies and a big bag of grapes. That way I could pick at my meals and avoid the stuff I know doesn't sit well with me. Happy tummy = happy Bess.

• today's like any other day. The best advice I can give is to forget about the last time zone you were in. I used to love to play the game, "it's actually 3 am my time!". The novelty eventually wears off and you realize quickly that you're not doing yourself any favours. Treat the day you arrive at your new destination like any other. Align your mealtimes and activities to those of the people around you. Try to stay up as long as you can, saying no to napping will go a long way to helping you adjust to your new time zone.

So far so good, although the couch is definitely calling my name! Let's see... it's actually 6:44 am Toronto time...
Let me know if you have any more tips for long flights - I'd love to use them.

See you tomorrow,


Bye Bye Birdie...

I woke up with the song "Bye Bye Birdie" in my head this morning, which is actually kind of appropriate since I'm flying back to Vienna today. If you've been watching Mad Men, like my mom and I have been (excessively), then you'll know what I'm talking about - and if you haven't, what are you waiting for? It's well written and staring wonderful actors, but the real treat are all those vintage set pieces and costumes, 1960's admen, need I say more?!

"Bye bye Toronto, I'm gonna miss you so!"

See you back in Vienna,


Wedding worries

I have to admit it - we haven't set a date, found a venue or even decided what kind of wedding we are going to have, but I'm already super stressed out! Things were going well until the wedding reality hit - I have to order tables? chairs? flowers? napkins? music? and the list goes on, probably mostly filled with things I haven't even thought about yet. I know this sounds bah humbug-ish of me, but can't we just elope? I'm so torn. On one hand, I love my family and friends and it would be so special to have them all in one place to celebrate with us, but on the other hand, some of them don't love each other and all that time and money going into just a few hours seems absurd!

Any thoughts from other brides? Will I regret not getting married in front of family and friends?


Photos from the Cottage

I'm back from my extra-long weekend at the cottage. I had a really nice time swimming and spending time with my dad, and, as you will see, enjoyed playing with my new camera lens too. I find it works great in low light conditions and for detailed close-up shots - just like it said it would!

Here are a few photos from the weekend.

My favourite subject, Macy!

Have a good day!


Heading North...

Kiss Me! - strawberry lemonade with fresh mint from onelove.

I'm leaving for the cottage today and will likely be back in Toronto on Tuesday or Wednesday. Hope you all have a wonderful Labour Day long weekend!



A brand new lens

Yesterday I bought a new lens for our camera! We have a Nikon D40 and I bought an AF-S Nikkor 35mm f1.8 prime lens. I already love it, and did a mini photo essay of my mom's loft for your (and my) enjoyment.

I made this dog for my mom when I was little. She still has him and even glued his tail back on when it broke off.

Photos: Bess Callard

Doesn't my mom have the nicest place?!

That's all! Have a great weekend!


Joe! I missed you

Ahh, home sweet home. One of the best parts of coming home, besides seeing my family, friends and listening 24/7 to the CBC, is visiting Joe! And, as if I ever needed a reason to stop by, this time I really did have to purchase a whole new wardrobe. Air France lost my luggage, grrrrr! It's not so bad, as long as I get it back today or tomorrow, it will only be a minor headache. Lucky for me, my mom and I pretty much wear the same size - and her clothes are way cooler than anything I had packed in my suitcase. Thanks Mom!

So, guess where our first stop was yesterday after I got home, that's right - Joe Fresh. For those of you unfamiliar with Joe, it is a clothing store owned by one of Canada's largest supermarkets, Loblaws. I know, clothes at the grocery store... a bit odd, but I assure you, it's really genius. Especially when the designer behind all these low priced pieces, is Club Monaco's Joesph Mimran.

This fall, at Joe, I covet:

cute plaid shirts and layered sweater vest

I think I might need to go get this jacket

or maybe this one...

And of course, we can't forget Big Chuck

Check out the mix'n'match feature on the website too - it's fun!!

Photos: Joe Fresh Style