Desert Blues

Tinariwen are a band of nomadic musicians from the Northern Sahara in Mali.  They have been called the most rocknroll of them all for their blues rock sound, but while they do feature some electric guitar their sound actually developed in relative isolation along the Niger River from Timbuktu to Gao.  The band features traditional Tuareg elements: the shepherds flute (men), imzad 1 string fiddle (women), tinde drum (women), teherdent lute (griots poets).  Their core influences are traditional Tuareg melodies and rhythms, Berber music of N. Algeria, griots - the wandering poet musicians of W. Africa, Moroccan Arabic and  Egyptian pop.


Stephen Biesty's Cross Sections

I had forgotten how much I loved this Stephen Biesty's books until I came across them again recently in the library.  I had always loved pouring over their pages for interesting little subjects.  His books feature freehand pen and watercolour cross sections with accurate and fine details.  Some were historical (Rome, Ancient World, Stowaway) or informative - showing things you'd never usually see (Helicopters, Space Shuttles) but my favourites are the ones that show every day life (Castles, Subways) miniscule scenes with tiny people doing funny things.  When I got home and checked him out online, I also found this absolutely stunning video:

Building Tower Bridge on Vimeo.


recycling bin luminary

This little craft uses only items from my recycling bin - a glass pasta sauce jar, some tissue paper from a gift and a chicken pot pie plate.  I punched holes in the pie plate, and curled its rim into leaves, inspired by tin lanterns.  Then I mod-podged the tissue to the jar to create a colourful little luminary.  Propped in next to a candle in a mason jar and my balsamic vinegar, its a perfect fit for the culinary corner.


The Tikvah Brunch

Ever have one of those days or weeks where you've got enough bland dried pantry food and not enough extra money to justify anything fresh or gourmet?  Well just as I was finishing up one of those weeks, my lovely neighbour Tikvah dropped off a bag of perishable foods because she was off to visit her parents out of town for the weekend!  Thanks hunni for the wonderful midday brunch :)  Just like the fisherman's platter and the ploughman's lunch there is now the Tikvah Brunch!

  • avacado 
  • blue cheese w apricot
  • carrots
  • cucumber
  • melba toast
  • strawberries


monica & david: a love story

This is a touching, lovely documentary about two adults - Monica and David - living with Downs syndrome, who fall in love and decide to get married.  Their dream is simple, what many others take for granted:  a "normal" independent life as adult partners.  While they may still need assistance from their family, with whom a deep connection is evident throughout the film, Monica and David constantly surprise everyone around them with their capacity to thrive in fairly ordinary daily situations.  Codina, the director (and cousin of Monica) said some treated Monica and David’s wedding as a “cute gesture.” but she saw it as “something very powerful, very serious and very adult.”

The full length film is available from CBC's Passionate Eye


Anatomical Valentines Printables

This homemade digital valentine (right) is based on an anatomical print from the Dover Publications Weekly Free Sampler, which you should definitely sign up for if you haven't already!  Their printable images are really unusual, and of great resolution/quality.  Enjoy this non-Hallmark free Valentine!



Dictator Successfully Uninstalled 
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Would You Like to Restart Egypt?


Support Local Businesses

BUMP: This is an older post, but I'm reposting it at the top for a new reader  :)
I shop primarily at the farmers market and eat almost all food grown within my local community, but sometimes there are things you just can't get at the market!  I loooooove mangoes for example and those definatley aren't grown in Niagara.  I discovered a great little Asian food mart on Geneva St called Dinh Dinh's today where I got some fabulous things: a huge can of Mango pulp for smoothies, some candied tamarind, a waft of colourful rice paper, a cute teeny little pommegranate drink and a few other things!  If I can't find something at the farmers market then I like to support local community small businesses instead of things like Walmart or major chains. Thanks Jamie!  Without you I'd never have found this place


walk the city late at night

My friend Seann spent the week in Toronto, and brought this super rad lil video home with him.  I don't think I'll ever want to live there permanently, but now that I'm away from it I miss the bustling busy 24hr nature of the city.  Also: functional public transit, every kind of ethnic food, a cultured nightlife and the ROM

I walk the city late at night
Does everyone here do the same?
I want to be the things I see
Give every face and place my name
I cross the street, take a right
Pick up the pace, pass a fight
Did I grow up just to stay home?
I'm not immune - I love this tune

I wanna love more
I just wanna love more

I drag the city late at night
It's in my mouth, it's in my hair
The people fill the city because 

The city fills the people - oh yeah
I cross the street, avoid the freeze -
A city's warmer by a couple degrees
The smell of food, The smell of rain
I'm not immune - I love this tune


Wooden Spool Button Stamp

As you may remember my Grandma gave me an interesting box of lovely threads on wooden spools.  Most of them are still in use, but as I run out of thread I want to keep the interesting little spools.  Using this great tutorial from Maximum Rabbit Designs I made two button stamps, although I modified it slightly - I didn't have foam, so I just hotglued on real buttons instead.  I like how you can still see the top of one spool through the clear button.  They may not stamp exactly perfectly because they're not squishy but I was working with what I had, and I kinda like the messy 1/2 stamp look :)