Happy Holidays!

christmas trees

I just wanted to pop in to wish you all a very happy holiday, merry Christmas and wonderful New Year!

Big Chuck and I got into Toronto last night and are gearing up for a full week of family, friends and festivities. It's our first Christmas back home in 3 years - we're so excited :)

All the best to you and your families,
xx bess


Canadiana: Theater Clouds


Elly Mackay is an artist living in Owen Sound, Ontario. She creates photographic vignettes using an intricate process, and sells them in her shop, Theater Cloud. Her work has an other-worldly quality to it, like you've been given a little peek into a magical fairyland. Elly describes her artistic process like this, "I make these images by inking yupo paper and cutting it into layers that I set up in a minature theater. I play with the lights and filters to create atmosphere and then photograph the scenes." The results are these really wonderful photographs that you can find in her Etsy shop.


For more information, visit ellymackay.com

Have a wonderful Tuesday and a great first day of Winter!
xx bess


Music Monday: Sade

Why hello Music Monday, haven't seen you in while!

Big Chuck and I have really been loving Sade's latest album, Soldier of Love. It took us a while to warm up to this album, when we first heard it we both agreed that it didn't stand up to some of our favourite Sade classics. However, since we gave it another listen a few weeks ago, we've basically had it on repeat.

Babyfather is one of the goodies, love the warm and colourful video too.

Have a great Monday!
xx bess


Canadiana: Old Faithful Shop


If anyone wanted to do a little last minute Christmas shopping for me, you could visit the newly opened online shop of Vancouver based store Old Faithful Shop.

The Canadian Wool Blankets are described as being "from the sheep to the sheet ...100% Canadian". I would also love a new backpack, the Bag'N'Noun Rucksack will suit me just fine, made in Japan this canvas bag will surely only get better with time.

Old Faithful Shop
320 W Cordova St. Vancouver, BC

Have a wonderful day!
xo bess

images via: Old Faithful Shop




You were in your Mama's tummy just last weekend when I took this photo! And now you're here, and I even though I've only seen you through your dad's photos and videos, I love you to bits already - we all do.

Your uncle and I see brilliance in you even on day 2 - that magical smile you sent us melted our hearts.

There is so much more I want to tell you, but I will wait until we meet in person. There is one thing though, I just have to say...

Welcome to the world, little T.

Love, Aunt Bess


Small Business, Small Steps: Sold Out!


Well, it's official. I am sold out of the English version of my 2011 Calendar! I still have a few French ones left but I have a feeling that those will be all gone by the end of the holidays too. I sat on the fence for a few hours, wondering if I should order another batch from the printer, order more cello sleeves and more mailers too - surely it's too soon to hang up my hat and call the 2011 Calendar season over. Isn't it? But, the prospect of being left with calendars after the holiday rush was over, and the good old "quit while you're ahead" saying helped to make me feel secure in my decision to announce that yes, I am officially sold out of English 2011 Calendars. It feels good to say that. I've more than doubled what I sold last year, and probably could have sold more if I'd had more to sell.

french calendar

If you're looking to get your hands on the French 2011 Calendar, "compter dans la cuisine", I would encourage you to do so sooner rather than later. I love the French version almost more than the English one, and you get the added bonus of impressing your friends with your bilingualism ;)

There is no way I could have had so much success this year if it weren't for all the wonderful people out there buying, blogging, tweeting, and spreading the word about my work. In the few short months that I've been in business here in Canada things have really taken off. And I'm soooo grateful! Thank you.

Have a wonderful Thursday!
xo bess


Winter Wonderland


Big Chuck and I went home to Toronto on the weekend to attend my sister-in-law's baby shower! It is a pretty exciting time in our family as we prepare to welcome the very first of the next generation on BC's side of the family. I was helping out with baby shower hosting duties and think it turned out pretty great. The mama-to-be is looking beautiful and I even got a chance to take some really lovely pregnancy photos of her at home.

The best part of the shower (besides the delicious food)? Skating at Toronto City Hall!



It was freezing, let's not kid ourselves, but it was also so much fun!

The weekend reminded me how happy I am to be back in Canada. When friends and family time was all done we just hopped in the car and drove back to snowy Montreal, instead of boarding a plane bound for Europe. Hurray!

Hope you're having a great Wednesday,
xo bess


Canadiana: Lost Nation


This weekend, while I was in Toronto I had the wonderful pleasure of having brunch with my best-friend, Diana. She was telling me about a friend of her's who was taking part in the OneofaKind Christmas Show, Toronto's biggest handmade holiday market. Katie's work sounded so beautiful that I had to check it out.


Katie Barnstaple is a woodworker, creating custom furniture and accent pieces for the. Her humane antlers and wooden antler chandelier are some of my favourites. I love the simplicity and warmth in her work, something that comes from the found wood she uses to create her pieces. Katie works out of an old wooden garage that she converted into her Lost Nation studio space in Thornbury, Ontario.

You can see more of Katie's work in her Etsy shop, and read up on all of Lost Nation's latest news on her blog.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!
xx bess

images 1, 2: Lost Nation
images 3, 4: OneofaKind Show


Perfect Pairs

1. Mr. Darcy Cross Stitch Pattern 2. Custom Rubber Address Stamp

1. Linen Pincushion 2. Emmaline Lace Necklace

Some eye candy for you today (ahem, Mr. Darcy). I could really go for a spot of tea and a dash of Pride and Prejudice right now, sigh...

A few perfect pairs from the English Muffin studio this week:

oatmeal + brown sugar (my new favourite breakfast!)
cozy socks + cozier slippers
etsy + paypal (it's been a busy week!)

et toi? any perfect pairs you'd like to share?

Have a wonderful Thursday! I'll be signing off for the weekend now. Big Chuck and I will be in Toronto over the weekend for my sister-in-law's baby shower. Hurray for family + babies!

See you Tuesday...
xx bess