Working For A Living!

The button press is all heated up from constant making these days! I’ve had a few fun custom orders from Brides to be…including one sweetheart from a family of optometrists! It was super fun finding just the right vibe for her big day. I can’t help but get excited making wedding schwag. WEDDINGS! They’re awesome. It’s soon to be 20 years since Mr.Totally Awesomepants and I said “I do” so I speak from experience.

Anyhoo…here’s a glimpse at what’s come off the press lately…

For sale on our etsy shop are these like, totally cool yearbook buttons from the 80’s.

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And then we designed this fun lot of Birds and Bees badges for the sweet vintage feeling that is all the rage these days. Viva la country wedding! These will be a limited run…at least in this shade, as they are done on some very vintage manila paper I scored a week ago at the thrift store. Schweet!

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And finally, made fresh this very morning, it’s one hundred awesome pieces featuring London, England and it’s many attractions.

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All are available for purchase as of this minute in our etsy shop.

On other fronts, Huzzah for Chinook Arch winds! Today’s running outfit was a single layer affair on the bottom and just a light jacket and shell on top. I got hot enough to ditch the hat even. Good stuff after 3 weeks of bitter cold runs where I’ve been layered up like the little brother in A Christmas Story.

The tomatoes are coming along nicely…all have been repotted in pretty containers and now the little window greenhouses are fully dedicated to annual flowers, including some fancy decorative corn and purple millet. I CAN’T WAIT FOR SPRING! Eeeeeeee.

Thanks for dropping in Dear Reader.

Have a great week,

A~

Hoarders: The Hot Sauce Edition

I DO NOT HAVE A  HOT SAUCE PROBLEM!

Well, I do have a hot sauce problem…and this problem is that the local grocery store stopped carrying Matouks West Indian Hot Sauce when they lost their supplier.
So I had to resource the second best thing, the Nu Pak West Indian Hot Sauce from the nearest Superstore. But then, those guys got all gentrified and they stopped carrying lots of their “ethnic” foods, including the Nu Pak sauce.

CRISIS!

I’ve been hooked on this tart and yummy burning stuff for more than a decade, starting with Calgary’s long gone but never forgotten Island Experience restaurant, where I first made the acquaintance of the firey delight known as Matouks. They charged 50 cents for a little tiny side of it. But who cares? FOR TONIGHT WE DANCE!

Anyhoo…fat story thin…I’ve found the elusive Matouks at ye old local Bulk Barn! Huzzah! And so Dear Reader, let us ladle out the chick pea curry with roasted taters and drown our sorrows in scaldingly hot sauce! We might as well…it seems it will never stop snowing here so I need something to get me through to gardening season.

Behold…my shame, my love, my hoard, my sauce…

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I figure it will last me until…oh…mid May. It’s so, so good. I like it on crackers too.

<has a hot sauce problem for sure

Hope all is going saucily with you Dear Reader!

A~

 

 

 

House Keeper – A New Painting for 2014

House Keeper

This lovely piece is fresh off the easel and available on the net at our etsy store. If it doesn’t go in a month or two I’ll take it down to the gallery, as people just love and covet it irl. But in the meantime I feel like it might be meant for someone out in the world who can’t get to the gallery. Time will tell I suppose.

I started my ‘mater seeds this week…lot’s of nice heirlooms, for fruits big and small. I’m debating on planting some purple cauliflower but I’m not sure it’s worth it. It needs a long season and it takes up a lot of the space in the garden and it gets buggy with cabbage moths. Yuck.

Speaking of pests, the deer have been in the yard a lot lately, digging at last years kale and chewing on the apple tree. I’m thinking of hanging some Irish Spring soap bars in recycled orange bag mesh to keep them away. And yet, I feel bad for them. They’re hungry. And the snow is very deep. I know if I were a hungry deer I’d love some of that kale…mmmm…kale…

And with that it’s off to bake some Kale and Spinach chips. So yummy.
Be good Dear Reader!
A~

Today’s Run Was Squishy in a Snowy Kinda Way.

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Running towards the mountains can be pretty visually rewarding some days. And while it was very lovely today it was also a bit like running through a desert since the snow on the roads is about 3 inches deep and really sandy feeling. It was quite a slog here and there, especially going uphills. You know, the kind of run when you have to pull everything in, tighten up and just go nice and even…no sprints allowed! Before I headed out I took some time to replace my Ice Spikes. They’re great little screws that go right into your shoe or boot. I adore them. Seriously. I’m always stopping fellow runners when winter approaches to ask them if they’re going to be running through the season. If they say “Yes” I give them the Ice Spike hard sell. I’m a total convert looking to bring others into the fold. Here’s the before and after view of the wee beasties…Image

A fresh pair of spikes make it so you can trod the mean streets of Southern Alberta. I highly recommend them! They’re great for hiking and trail running too! BUY SOME TODAY! Heh heh. But seriously, get some. They’re awesome.

So, that’s it for today…just a random post about running stuff.

Happy Tuesday,

A~

 

My, like, totally new Valentine’s Day Card.

In the summer my delightful friend Shelli Belli and her gal pal came for tea and cocktails and they turned on their Valley Girl/Cali talk something fierce and it made me want to make a card in their honour! It’s a weird, minimal Valentine’s day card but the compulsion to create it has been soothed and I so can get back to regular activities…like making buttons for all the lady couples getting hitched out there. Mazel Tov Lady S and Lady J! Good Things!

Party On Dear Reader!

A~Image

Ciao 2013! Hello 2014.

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So…I’m just home from the longest 3 k run of my life. What is usually a breeze took me nearly 45 minutes and I ran it in a form that would best be described as hunchbacked. On Dec, 29, 2013 I was on track to log 1000 kms for this year, with only 7 k to go. The plan was to log 5 k on Sunday and then another 5 k on Tuesday to make a grand total of 1002 kms. But on Sunday, while doing an ironic stretch to ensure a safe second to last run, I tweaked my back. It didn’t hurt, it just felt a little weird. So me and the Hubs went for the scheduled 5k trot but by the time I got home I could barely stand. Monday morning I couldn’t get out of bed without  help and the pain was oh so bad. With only 2 days to meet my goal I pretty much resigned myself to not hitting the mark. It’s the Runner’s Lot, I told myself. We come so close and then, sometimes, we just can’t make the goal. I parroted to myself that in that reality there is a beautiful life lesson. A sort of Desiderata of the footstep. I talked a good lot of bullshit about how I was just going to accept the now frozen mess of my spine, take the 997 kms with gratitude and then nail the whole 1000 k next year. It would be even more of a challenge! Yeah, that’s it, that’s the ticket.

And then this morning I got up and thought “Fuck it. Let’s do 3 k and hit that thing!”. I decided that, having used the RICE method for a full 24 hours I could hobble the way up to Cougar Alley and back. I thought about my compression tights and put them on. They certainly helped the test hobble in the house go a little more smoothly than without them. Then I thought about my high waisted Spanx. There was even more compression and all the way up to the middle of my spine.

Huzzah! So I layered both pairs of tights and then geared up. It was -15 c today so there were a few layers but nothing extreme. I did  make some layer amends for the slow pace and lack of speed re: building up body heat. Properly attired and with the help of my Ice Spiked Asics, I made the move. Slow and steady and rolled forward so that I could baby my lower back, I took short steps, feet barely coming off the ground, all the time thinking hard about running in a modified chi form.

What a weird trip. Instead of seeing an upright view of the beautiful hoarfrost dressed bushes and trees I could only make out my shoe tops, up and down and up and down, like a sewing machine set to make tiny stitches. I moved over sheets of ice like a woman who just had a hip replacement and at one point saw a bit of ice in the shape of an donkey’s head, complete with a bare patch for an eye. I took it as a sign that I was being an ass and grimly went forward. 3 k seemed more like a 16 k I did once in a terrible blizzard when I was training for the half. Only stubborn Basque pride carried me through. Well, that and the knowledge that to stop and walk home would become an icy trip as what sweat I had built up in this truncated jog would freeze in a flash. With the final one k to go I could feel my back complaining but we slowed down and tucked up ever further and brought that baby home. And so 2013, I can put you to rest the way I wanted to. Thank you feets! Thank you people who make my gear! Thank you to all my road friends…walkers, runners, bikers and the lone skateboarder…you guys enrich my life with your support and friendly ways. A special shout out to Shelli and her man Jeff. If it wasn’t for the road we would never have met this fine year. Next years goal is another 1000k or better…I was thinking about going the Bruce Dern route and running every single day but it’s looking like that isn’t going to happen, starting with day 1! Oh, the mockery!(Mr.Dern nailed a daily run for 17 years! How cool is that!?) I suppose my back will tell me what it thinks about running every day in 2014 once I peel off the compression gear! I’m somewhat afeared!

And so with that running themed ramble I wish you all a happy 2014.

Pax!

A~

Fare Thee Well, Jesse Pinkman

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I came late to Breaking Bad. Like final season late. Which in a way was a good thing…beginning at the end and working your way back means that you’re making connections that you would never have made starting at point A. The big take away for me was that Aaron Paul nailed that role. Nailed it full on. All the other characters read as just that for me, characters…it wasn’t a bad thing…it was just oil on water. Mr.Paul managed to *steep* himself into the role. His performance made me wonder how Jesse went from being an artistic, enthusiastic youth to barely coping drug addict. I assume he was self medicating, maybe because his little league coach was up to more than just batting practice. (See Theo Fleury.)

Anyhoo…between my imaginings as to the hows and whys of Jesse’s addiction, his subsequent fall from large G Grace and the total failure of his elder Walter White to be a trustworthy authority figure, my empathy and maternal instinct got all riled up.

I just wanted the Jesse Pinkman to find some Peace. Peace with a capitol P. And I guess a part of me wants to share in this imagined recovery. Henceforth this goofy, but sweet button, that I made while Netflix has been running me on a Breaking Bad jag.  

In other news, the season here is coming to an end but with an extra 20 frost free days over the usual schedule.I actually managed to grow corn. Non GMO, tasty heritage corn! Encrable! I learned how to make corn tortillas from scratch and then made super tasty bean and corn tacos topped with homegrown tomatoes and cilantro chutney. Really top notch if I do say so. Best I ever had.

 

Should you fancy a Jesse Pinkman badge you can grab it here…https://www.etsy.com/listing/164722710/id-rather-be-building-boxes-with-jesse?ref=shop_home_active

Hope all is well with you Dear Reader.Happy Fall!

A~