Friday, September 11, 2009

Not ALL Vintage: Katie Daisy

Okay, so Fridays are supposed to be devoted to everything vintage, but I came across this from Katie Daisy and just had to post it.

Isn't it just darling?

These would definitely be on my "Daydream List." Well, maybe except for the second-last one... I'm just not there yet :)

Katie Daisy is a print designer and illustrator. She specializes in typography, patterns, and illustrations. Check out her designs here. Her patterns would be lovely as gift paper or framed as artwork.


Image via Katie Daisy

Everything Vintage: The Vintage Moth

Vintage Fridays!

Friday is probably my favourite weekday (and not just for the obvious don't-have-to-work-tomorrow reason), but because it's Vintage Fridays! I get to scour the net and the the blogosphere to find incredible vintage photos, jewelry, and other vintage-esque items.

Look at these beautiful vintage paper doll cut-outs.
Aren't they a treat?!

I just love the simplistic glamour of the 1920's (although, I'm
not quite sure what era the below outfit comes out of)

Going forward I will be featuring a blog related to each themed day of the week. This Vintage Friday's blog feature is The Vintage Moth. On her blog Abbie posts FREE antique/vintage clip art that other bloggers and mixed media/collage artists can use in their pieces. (The copyright on each image has expired)

Here are some of my favourites from Abbie's blog...

Vintage ads and posters can add great character to a room when
framed and hung as artwork.

I'm always so intrigued by old photographs. They have such a nastalgic
and sometimes eerie aura about them. I like to think about what
they're lives would've been like during such a different era. I imagine
secret diaries hidden in loose floorboards that contain long lost secrets
and scandals...
It's actually surprising one of the girls in the first photo is smiling - it's not really
something you would see often in pictures of that time period. She must
have been the rascal in the family :)

These images are obviously from old fairytale books. So full of
whimsy and beauty. Would also look great framed.
Be sure to drop by and visit this charming blog devoted to vintage art here.

Happy Vintage Friday!


All images via The Vintage Moth

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup - Delicious!

Tasty Thursday Feature

I was introduced to this delicious soup some years back and it has remained at the top of my favourites list.

As Autumn approaches we need to start thinking about dishes that will compliment the season. This is a very diverse soup that you will be able to enjoy serving for a chic dinner party, a family holiday gathering, or for a comfy night spent wrapped up on the couch with a movie.

Try it out for this Thanksgiving!

A surprising ingredient in this is peanut butter (so be sure to inquire about possible nut allergies before serving to guests).
I enjoy this soup super spicy so I increase the amount of chilies the recipe calls for, but spice to your own taste.

Here is the recipe:

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup
By: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley and Joan Mackie

1/2 cup (125 mL) crème fraîche or sour cream
1 tsp (5 mL) grated lime zest
1 large plum tomato
1 1/2 to 2 lbs (750 g to 1 kg) sweet potatoes (about 2 large)
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
1 onion, sliced
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
4 cups (1 L) chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
1/4 tsp (1 mL) crushed chilies
2 tbsp (25 mL) grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup (50 mL) crunchy or creamy peanut butter
1 lime
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh coriander or parsley

1. Stir crème fraîche with zest, then cover and refrigerate. Seed and dice tomato; set aside to use as garnish. Peel potato and cut into chunks.

2. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until softened. Add potatoes, stock, cumin, chilies and ginger. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, covered, or until potatoes are soft. Puree soup in batches in blender or food processor; return to pot.

3. Using a whisk, stir peanut butter into soup. Heat until hot. Squeeze juice of lime into soup. Taste and add salt as needed. Stir in coriander. Ladle into warmed bowls and add a dollop of crème fraîche. Top with a few diced tomatoes.

Serves 6

Enjoy :)

Photo and recipe courtesy of the LCBO Food & Drink magazine - Winter 2002 edition

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Book lists, Book lists, Book lists!

All-Things-Creative Wednesdays

Books are magical. Books allow for one to become completely and utterly immersed in other worlds and other lives like no movie, tv show, or video game can.
I love the smell of them, I love the feel of them, I love the sound of the pages when they're ruffled.

My own collection has built up over the past years as I'm determined to someday have a house with a room dedicated to all the books I will have acquired (aka a library!)

If I had to list all my favourites, I could probably come up with about a 100 like the lists below... but I'm not going to pretend to be a book critic!

However a few that I absolutely LOVE and that come to mind right away I would recommend are:

* Fall on Your Knees, Ann-Marie MacDonald
* Boy's Life, Robert McCammon
* The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
* The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy
* Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
* I Know This Much is True, Wally Lamb

And for those of you who enjoy a little chick lit once in a while, full of delicious glamour, drama and scandal, I just have 3 things to say to you:

Penny Vincenzi! Penny Vincenzi! Penny Vincenzi!

Not to worry though; I have also scoured the internet for a decent list of must-reads from the "experts" and have come up with a few (because I wasn't quite satisfied with any one of them).

Here is the All-Time 100 Novels list from TIME Magazine. It's good because it is the most up to date list I could find (2008) and the original TIME review is linked to each title. However, the list is only of novels written from 1923 onwards. (1923 is the year TIME Magazine began).

Here is the 100 Best Novels list from the Modern Library. It's a good list for the inclusion of classics and other 20th century novels, but it was completed in 1998 - so it doesn't include the incredible books that have been written in the last decade.

Last but not least, here is the Oprah's Book Club list. A lot may scoff at Oprah for various reasons, but there is no doubt that the majority of novels that have been chosen for her book club have been great reads.

Between these 3 lists you will most definitely be prepared for your next trip to the library or bookstore!

Shamefully, I've only read 15 from the TIME list and even less from the Modern Library list... (a lot of my reading hours during youth were spent with the mystery and thriller genres). But thankfully I do have quite a few of them just waiting for me on my shelves at home :)

How many have you read? Feel free to leave your comments...

Happy reading :)


Above book cover images, in order of appearance, via Random House, Simon & Shuster, Penguin Classics, Pat Conroy, Penguin Classics, Harper Collins. Above home library image via ElmoFromOK

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Attend an Ivy League University from your living room!

Tuesday Feature: Website of Higher Learning

I can't even begin to describe how excited I am about this website I stumbled upon!

It is called Academic Earth and it's an organization founded with the goal of giving everyone on earth access to a world-class education.

It is a site where you can view and listen to full course lectures from Ivy League schools such as Yale, Harvard and Princeton. There are over 1500 video courses offered in a wide variety of subject areas... and it's FREE!

There are days when I yearn to be a student again. I most definitely took being at university for granted when I was there. Even though I work every day I just don't feel like I use my brain like I did when I was back in school. I am definitely not as intellectually stimulated as I was back then either. But again, I took it for granted. I complained about writing essays and I skipped classes! If only I could turn back time LOL

Academic Earth is a great alternative to mindlessly vegging out infront of the tv (excluding HBO Sundays of course!)

I'm excited to begin viewing the Science, Magic, and Religion lectures from UCLA tonight!

Which course are you most excited to take from your living room???

Have a taste of world-class education here

Happy Learning!


Above photo of Harvard University Library courtesy of Harvard University
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