Thursday, May 15, 2008

seems we just get started and before you know it...

... comes the time we have to say so long. I was going to title this post 'Too Many Blogs, Too Little Time'; at the moment I have 3 blogs (2 personal and Creating in Paris) and I'll be starting a 4th. You see, while we were in Florida, we took advantage of the excellent exchange rate and depressed housing market and bought a 3 bedroom, 2 bath condo in Palm Beach Gardens. Where does the new blog come in? Well, we will likely be renting out the condo for part of the year and I'll be blogging about the neighbourhood amenities, golf courses, beach, etc... For instance, there is a Michael's craft store just a 3 minute walk from the condo - I KNOW, this kind of information needs to be shared. I will also be posting pictures of the condo to entice snowbirds to take a trip down south (each bedroom boasts a king size bed). Scroll way down to catch a sneak peek at the condo.

Before I left on vacation I had prepared a couple of draft posts to show you some of the crafts I have learned in Paris. The pictures below are examples of cartonnage desk accessories. I won't be posting again for a very long while so don't bother checking in. Best wishes to you all - oh, I'm so sad.

picture matting


sneak peek at the condo

I power-shopped for 9 straight days and the only thing I didn't have time to buy is a coffee table. Some furniture is still on order but here is a quick look at what has already arrived. I'll be going back to Florida this summer to 'fluff' the place up.

shelves above the computer niche

kitchen dinette

guest bedroom #1

guest bedroom #2
guest bathroom
love my dishes ...

the pool
pool and pond
clubhouse entrance at night

Friday, March 21, 2008

so maybe ...

if I call this a travel blog I'll actually get some crafting done. We've booked a 3 week trip to Florida with my parents - we leave tomorrow. What does this mean? I missed seeing Carmi at the One of a Kind Show (had to pack). Do I tan? My skin is whiter than the page I'm typing on so the answer is NO. Do I wear a bikini? I ordered 'Hip Hop Abs' earlier this week but it won't arrive until after we get back - but HECK YEAH, I'll wear a bikini anyway ! Will I be posting while I'm away? I'm hoping to share some photos with you while I'm gone. Bye-bye snow, hello sunshine !

i love these !

Our home printer in Paris is broken (has been for over a year!) so 'Big A' was going to print these t-shirt transfers for me at work. Oh no, turns out all his printers at work are laser, so it had to wait for our arrival in Toronto so I could use my dad's inkjet. Below is little a's monogram (AGM) and another t-shirt which says 'I'm 2 years old' in French.

I used 'Wilton' t-shirt transfers which I purchased at Michael's when I was home for Christmas. The package instructions make it sound soooooo easy to print in 'mirror' image but the only way I could get a 'mirror' image was to work in Microsoft Publisher (apparently you can use PowerPoint too). I bet if I learned Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign which I have at home in Paris (I'm so spoiled) it would be even easier (by the time I learn the software my versions will be obsolete). The only instructions missing on the transfer packaging were the following:

1. Ensure you pass a lint brush over the desired transfer area as lint will be magnified under the the glossy finish of the iron-on transfer.

2. Ensure you wipe the back of your transfer to remove lint from it, as lint will be magnified under the glossy finish of the iron-on transfer.

Yup, you guessed it - I got lint stuck under the transfer - TWICE. Not only that, even before I washed the t-shirts the transfer already started to crack and after hand washing with cold water the ink bled onto the t-shirts. They're still really, really cute though and 'little a' LOVES THEM - that's all that matters.

FYI: The monogram font (vine monogram) is from font bros.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

hi ma, i'm home

Wednesday was 'little a's 2nd birthday and we had a huge surprise planned - not for her but for my mom. It would have been a surprise for my dad too but I just couldn't keep the secret any longer and the day before we left for Toronto I caved and told him we were coming. This is the first time since we've lived in Paris that I've ever been able to keep my homecoming a secret from my mom. It was a fantastic surprise !

I just finished 3 quick (well sort of quick) craft projects which I'll post as soon as I figure out how to upload pictures onto my dad's computer.

I only have two things on my list of things to do while I'm in Toronto:
  1. visit Carmi at the One of a Kind Show; and
  2. visit the new Honeybunch store which isn't too far from my parents' place.

It's good to be home.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

international women's day

Oh yes I am wise but it's wisdom born of pain.
Yes, I've paid the price but look how much I gained.
If I have to, I can do anything.
I Am Strong
I Am Invincible
Helen Reddy wrote 'I Am Woman' when:
"she was looking for songs that reflected a positive self-image that she felt that she had gained from her participation in the women's liberation movement."

last minute dinner guests

A's cousin was in Paris Thursday night and he and a friend came by for dinner. I like having last minute guests because it prevents me from changing the menu 100 times. (I thought Umberto was vegetarian so I didn't make a meat dish - turns out he's not - oops) I usually serve at least one warm hors d'oeuvre and a few cold ones to accompany the 'apero', always champagne. That's not a pizza up top, it's cheddar cheese sprinkled on top of ready made quiche dough. I roll it into a log, slice it, then pop the cookie sheet into the oven and bake until golden (they're still raw in the photo above right). You can use hot dogs to make pigs in a blanket or in the past I've sauteed grated zucchini, onion and carrots and made a really good veggie roll. Below are the cold hors d'oeuvre which I served with a baguette: mini bocconcini (mozzarella), candied tomatoes, marinated olives, carrots, and hummus.
For the appetizer I made chèvre chaud (mixed greens with an olive oil / balsamic vinegar / dijon mustard dressing topped with toasted goat's cheese on baguette). It's so easy and it makes for a good presentation.

I bet you've figured out that by this point the only clean surface left in the kitchen was the stove top.

Next, the pasta dish. A's cousin Massimo (from Rome) gave me this receipe a few years ago. The ingredients call for tagliatelle pasta, freshly squeezed lemon juice, spinach, about 175grams of melted butter and lots of grated parmesan cheese. It tastes soooo much better than it looks in this photo.

I forgot to photograph the cheese platter, I was so tired by this point; the dinner conversation revolved around politics (bores me) and religion (Umberto is working on getting a double PhD in Islamic studies. I'll have to introduce you to my favourite French cheese (Morbier) another time. For dessert we had a deeeeelicious chocolate raspberry (frozen, but nobody would ever have guessed) torte. I gussied it up with creme anglaise and fresh raspberries. Nobody had room left for the cheese course but we all managed to eat the dessert (not pictured of course because I forgot to photograph it). It was a really nice evening.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

et la gagnante est .....

Maggie, you won !!!!

But wait. There's more, read on to follow the sequence of events.

You're all here ....
now you're all in there ...
'little a' doing her thing (3 times - yes there's a total of three winners!!!!!!)

and the two 2nd place prize winners are Glee-Scrap and Colleen. You both win a Marie Claire Idees, the mini Italian arts 2009 calendar and a print purchased in Piazza Navonna. Congratulations winners !Will Maggie, Glee-Scrap and Colleen please e-mail me at to provide your mailing addresses. MERCI to everyone for participating; Ihad alot of fun and I'm already trying to think of another giveaway.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

giveaway deadline

Thank you all for leaving a comment (so much fun to read). Little 'a' will be pulling the winner's name Thursday morning (Paris time), so please check in to see if you won (gosh, I can't wait !).

Sunday, March 2, 2008

the giveaway

  • a 2009 mini calendar of Italian art
  • a 'roman holiday' magnet of Audrey Hepburn riding a Vespa (weeeeeeeee - this is my favourite I wish I had bought one for myself)
  • a Murano (venetian glass) pink heart pendant
  • a print purchased in Piazza Navonna of Ristorante Panzironi located in Piazza Navonna
  • a dishtowel with the limoncello recipe in Italian and English (I use these as mini tablecloths for picnics in the park)
  • an Italian craft book on how to make wax-covered, bead embellished ornaments (I've never seen anything like this in North America - I just checked, the author is Italian)
  • the current issue of Marie Claire Idees craft magazine (purchased in Paris not Rome)

    To win this giveaway all you have to do is leave a comment and then 'little a' will pull the winning name from a bowl. Your odds of winning are very good. Buona fortuna a tutti !!!