The Ridler sisters, Suzie, Jamie and Shannon, discuss their creative projects, from challenges to celebrations, and support each other's creative lives.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 31, 2012

Jamie

As we continue making progress in the house, one thing that's been a bit tough getting rid of is all our VHS tapes. It helps to know a certain Movie Moxie will give them a good home. Looking at the titles cracks me up. I mean, Strange Brew and 42nd Street? LOL!




Shannon

This one is a little hard to see the specifics (which I'll post soon!), but it was the last steps in plotting out the 2012 Movie Moxie Book to Film Club! Plotting out the final 3 books and scheduling the rest of the year all with a very simple index cards card system (having them done in advance sooooo helped. A huge thank you to Jamie for helping me piece it all together, now I know exactly what we'll be reading & when. I just hope all the films cooperate and stick to their release dates!

Under Our Willow Tree

Suzie

Yesterday I braved the freezing cold weather to go to the thrift store (it's very far away when you're walking). The mannequin heads were all over the store and did not make for a great photo so this time I focused on what I bought. I got these handmade plates by someone who created them in the 70s. I just loved the detailing on them and they really reminded me of Mom. I think they are going to make great cheese and bread photos since they are entirely flat.

Friday, March 30, 2012

March 30, 2012

Jamie

This is exactly what the day felt like. I have an enormous to-do list at the moment and found myself following inspiration, gliding from one task to the next, with ease and a cup of tea. With this much to do, as long as something's being done, I know I'm making progress! And one great gift of this new approach is I found myself looking around, finding and initiating new possibilities that I never would have seen if I had doggedly kept my head down. The result is some lovely connections and a magical project springing to life!




Shannon

Prep work and notes for podcasts & posts which fill up my Thursday nights. Not the glam-est but it is how I spent my time!



Suzie

Yesterday on Crafty Thursday I did a silly tour of my crafts room. The idea was to share it on my fearless blog but now I don't know if I want to. I do want to share it with you two though which was definitely part of the plan. So forget about me talking to you in third person and think of me just giving you an update of my crafts room post-your-last-visit. It's anarchy!

I am more and more aware that this much space is a privilege for me and won't be forever so I am really trying to embrace the chaos and go for my creative projects as much as I can, while I can!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 29, 2012

Jamie

One of my favourite things about going for a run is the way it connects me to my neighbourhood. I was so excited to meet this new little cutie and have time to say hi. I loved seeing a little girl bound out of her house, ballet bag in hand, on her way to the local studio. Her father ever so slowly walking out the front door, stirring his tea and watching she gets there safely, staying far enough back to let her feel she's doing it all on her own. And the poor little boy with his eyes on the Donkey Kone ice cream truck getting farther and farther down the street, as his dad talks on his cell and his mom puts her shoes on. He suddenly lets out, "At least we could try!"



Shannon

Accomplishment calender this month so far, I've cleared up the tack allocation and it's been a bit of a sporadic this month but still keeping going and keeping accomplishing. Been working out way more and have had more money tucked away too -woohoo!


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Suzie

After talking with Shannon for Hexed I had some time to do some varnishing in my crafts room of pendants I am working on. That big orange slice is going to become (I hope) my zipper pull on my purse. I also spent a lot of the day making the video tutorial of the skulls in the photo. Turns out that if you name the band or music you use in the video (I was trying to give credit) on YouTube you get flagged and they put ads on your video. So, I uploaded mine to Vimeo instead. Live and learn!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 28, 2012

Jamie

The theme continues! Every time I do a home refresh, I'm struck by how our things reflect and express ourselves and our lives. In a time when we focus so much on decluttering and spaciousness, both of which are awesome, we sometimes forget the gifts in our tangible items. I was thrilled to find this art piece, which holds perhaps the most significant story of my visual art development. I think I'll write about it soon.



Shannon

Headed out to see the brilliant and brutal film King of Devil's Island set in 1915 and based on Bast√ły Boys Home correctional facility. Definitely shows hard times and a challenging setting, but extremely well done with fantastic performance, and I always love hearing Norwegian :) See more about the film here.


Under our Willow Tree

Suzie

I did a lot of housework on Monday so I had some time to be creative yesterday. I just could not get my homemade stamp to work on porcelain (I want to design my own dishes but can't figure out how to do it DIY style yet) so I tried the stamp with fabric paint on one of Reg's old t-shirts bound for donations. It came out very light but I had an outline so I filled it in. Then I made a big stencil... But that's another story (hehe, Hammy).

We all seem to be drawn to fabric, yarn, thread... I talked to Mom about it and she said that it might be in the genes. She also told me that on the way home from Arizona she stopped by Los Angeles to meet up with some family. On the train ride all the way back home she had supplies and wanted to teach herself how to crochet but could not figure it out. A woman on the train showed her how to do it and that is the beginning of Mom's crocheting story. She crocheted all the way home!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 27, 2012

Jamie

Lol, the pictures I've been sharing lately are not the prettiest but they really are what I'm in the midst of. On the podcast this week I share how making the shifts in the basement is having a ripple effect throughout the house and that includes in the studio! Sometimes a shake up is precisely what's needed. At least that's what Tigger tells me!

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Shannon

Recently shifted spaces at the day job and in such I when out to get some personal touches to make the space decidedly Shannon, and each of these three things does that. Before the end of the day The Frog was a big hit, and many people agreed with me that it's a fun place to have your clips be they paper, foldback or otherwise. It will be a few days before I find out if it's practical, but so far I'm just loving the frog in all it's froggyness.


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Suzie

When Dad and Julie visited in the fall they brought some artwork that used to be in our house. Reg's Mom gave me this easel of Reg's grandmother's who used it to display art so I put the watercolour painting of the Chateau Frontenac on it. It brightens up my crafts room and is an invitation for me to come inside and be creative.

Also, I talked to Mom and found out some fascinated things I didn't know about. Did you know Mom went to college in Arizona? For criminology? But it was such a basketweaving course she came back to Canada and finished her degree at UofT. I had no idea! I feel like there is so much I don't know. I can't wait to visit and find out more.

Monday, March 26, 2012

March 26, 2012

Jamie

It all started with wanting to clean the rug. We cleared out the cubby months ago, filling our spare room with stuff and promptly getting stuck. Now, we're in the swing of things and once again I am completely amazed by how when you shift one thing, you shift everything. (A life lesson here!) Not a room in our house has been untouched by the changes we're making in this little storage space in our home. I'm incredibly excited by the prospect of everything having a place and also creating a little art nook in this renewed space.


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Shannon

Weekend watching and my new sock-ish knitted creation that is such an awesome pattern I found at knitty.com. I made most of them last weekend and finished them off this weekend.


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Suzie

Yesterday I wanted to do crafting but because the crappy coffee maker I got on sale at the Superstore leaked all over the place and through where the electrical cord came out of the coffee maker (scary!), I had to go return it. Then I walked over to Canadian Tire and bought a $60 one on sale for $20. I came home to find it had crap reviews but this coffee maker could not be worse than the PC ones I have bought. (Knock on wood.) Yes, there will be a post on all of this for my foodie blog. Soon!

As a result though, I also walked to a dollar store I don't normally go to and they had felt and embroidery floss for a song! :) I was super happy about that and now I am ready to give embroidery a go without having to go to Michaels and pay a fortune. Woot!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rewind: March 25, 2012

Jamie

We've all been doing work on our homes, so I thought I'd rewind back to when we first moved into our house. Those book shelves are still there, though covered with movies. The chair has been reupholstered and our boxes unpacked. And sadly, our dear Bascha has passed away. It's amazing to think how much changes and how much continues to evolve. Perhaps "home" is an organic thing.

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Suzie


OK, I know this isn't a huge rewind back in time but for me, my last visit to Toronto feels like eons ago! I can't stop thinking about my future visit, I just can't wait to hang out with all of you in June.

BTW, this is the photo I took of all of us after we went to see Fame.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March 24, 2012

Jamie

I had such a good time putting on my superhero sidekick boots and supporting Shannon in her Shannon versus the Stuff adventure! Yesterday was about tackling the paper and Shannon powered through it with decisiveness and verve.

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Shannon

The Stuff gets Stuffed! At the end of a night of attacking the stuff and with Jamie's superhero sidekick help I got ALL of my boxes from the move unpack and surprizingly 'the paper' look up way less space than I expected. I still have some more sorting to do, everything is officially unpacked, I know what I want to keep and what I don't and I have the place and space to sort it all. The battle continues but I do feel like I won the war!

Under Our Willow Tree

Suzie

After waiting two years for a chance to paint the front of our deck, we finally had three warm days in a row without rain before our plants come up in the front of our house to go for it. During the weirdly warm weather, every day after work Reg came home and we went out and worked on it. This is major for us, especially because we will be selling the house in just over a year.

A huge big golden star for us! So glad we can finally cross that "to do" off our list.

Friday, March 23, 2012

March 23, 2012

Jamie

Justin and I enjoyed some treats yesterday thanks to Shannon! It was kind of hilarious because Shannon had a giveaway for two different movies: The Raid and One Life. Justin immediately wanted to go to the first. My instinct was it was too violent for me but thought the other would be interesting. So we each went to our own movie and met up at the pub afterwards! Thanks, Shannon, we each enjoyed our movies! Despite the over-anthropomorphizing (and quite a bit over), the animals were truly fascinating and drew you right into the film.

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Shannon

Office lunch party of salad & dessert. I wish I could say I wasn't responsible for the stronger reduction in some of those yummies, but I was. Resistance to free sweets is very hard, it was the first time I caved all month, and hopefully the last!

Under Our Willow Tree

Suzie

I had to get out into the sun yesterday and felt motivated to go to the thrift store. Then when I saw these mannequin heads, I had to take a photo of them which was kind of awkward to do in the store. When I got home I realized they kind of reminded me of... well, us! Jamie on the left, me in the middle and Shannon on the right. Freaky eh?!

Oh and they had little bits of yarn Jamie! I had never noticed it before and Reg's Mom has crochet hooks she is going to give to me so I am going to try crocheting again and playing with stitches too, since the book you told me about was waiting for me at the library yesterday. :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March 22, 2012

Jamie

Beautiful warm weather invited Justin & I to walk down to The Beaches, along the boardwalk and back home again, always with camera on hand. So many people were out running and walking there dogs, everyone enjoying this unseasonably warm spell.

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Shannon

I'm prepping for the final states in the attack vs THE STUFF in my apartment and I'm bringing hopefully the last piece: storage for paper. It was not easy to decide, the kind that looked the most like the ones I already have were now redesigned and very flimsy, and the I got stuck in the loop of the ones that were more but looked nicer vs the ones that were cheaper and felt nice. Aieeee!! Usually I'm good at decisions, but this one was a doozy!


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Suzie

We are still getting ridiculous warm weather (yay!) so yesterday I was excited to go out and pick up this book from the library. I also worked on some skull pendants and am reconsidering making buttons that way. I am frustrated because I don't have all the colours I need to make the clay pendants. Hopefully Reg will take me to Michaels soon so I can keep the momentum going.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 21, 2012

Jamie

Shannon and I have another matched set of pictures! What a joy to go together to see Being Elmo at what used to be the Bloor Cinema and has now transformed into a gorgeously renovated theatre for the Hot Docs Festival. The movie got right inside my heart. It was fascinating many levels, including creatively. I was so moved by the generosity of the people in this film, by the purity of heart and expression, by the commitment to craft. It really inspired me and in many ways brought me back home. A powerful experience.

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Shannon

Time to hit the theatre and lucky me got to go with Jamie to see Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey. Fantastic film, full of the awesome energy of puppets, muppets and a lovely, gentle modelling of the power of mentoring. Also first time at The Bloor since it was renovated and wow, it's pretty freaking beautiful.

Under Our Willow Tree

Suzie

We had a freakishly warm day yesterday, finally getting that Ontario weather you've been getting! I had been inside all day so Reg came home and dragged my butt outside. I read cookbooks on the deck while he removed all the old plants in front of the deck so we can finally paint it this week while we have the opportunity. It was also sad, I removed the robin's nest under the deck. It felt like the right thing to do. Time for the robin and I to start thinking about new homes.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March 20, 2012

The weather is extraordinary in Toronto right now. Crocuses are blooming everywhere. Daffodils and tulips are starting. My lilac is budding. Despite all these signs of spring, it's still probably too early to clear away all those protective leaves and start planting. I think there's a lesson in there for our tender new dreams as well.

Under Our Willow Tree

Suzie

Yesterday I walked to Canadian Tire to get a power bar for my crafts room. I got one on sale for $10. I was so tired of knocking stuff off this table to plug and unplug stuff into the wall. Now I can listen to music at the same time as I use my other tools as well as have a light on in my crafts room which is ridiculously dark. Just $10 helped me hugely with stress in this room of creative anarchy, big time.

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19, 2012

Jamie

This weekend Justin and I did a bit of a walkabout for errands and also to have a look at what other people have done with their fences. It's amazing how many decisions have to be made about something that generally, you take for granted. (How high? How much privacy? Lattice? What kind of gate?) Along the way we bumped into this cat who, even from this far away, caught our eye with his jaunty walk, heading straight for us.

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Shannon

I think my cat likes the fringe benefits of the long drawn out unpack aka the attack vs The Stuff I've been doing over the past several weeks. This box was perfectly shaped for him being long and skinny and there was a moment of temptation to keep it, which quickly went away when I reminded myself of all the little bits of cardboard I'd have to clean up as he chews & scratches boxes. I did let him play (and sleep) in it for a while though.

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Suzie

Well I was doing so well with my anxiety. I got over my fear of bringing the iPad into the kitchen. Figured out how to prevent it from turning off after just 2 minutes so it was on long enough for me to make a recipe. I used PC Celeb margarine to bake. I am kind of freaked by margarine...

Then last night someone knocked on our door and tried to get in. Again! This is the third time it's happened over the last few months so we did our civic duty and called the cops. Of course as soon as they realized the door was locked, whoever it was had taken off.

I really didn't think I'd have to worry about this crap here but it shows you have you to be careful everywhere. I just don't want to end up a paranoid freak.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rewind: March 18, 2012

Jamie

Today we're getting an estimate on replacing our fence. Looking back at this picture when we moved in back in 2004, the fence needed replacing then! It's far worse now, but I can assure you that the garden has come a very long way. One thing I will miss is the rugged background for pictures of flowers!

Under Our Willow Tree

Suzie/Reg

Recently Reg asked me to take a photograph of a photograph of his grandfather who you can see above in the center in the WW1 Halifax Rifles Infantry. He is Reg's namesake and I thought it was a cool idea to do a rewind of Reg's family.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March 17, 2012

Jamie

Shannon and I had an AWEsome time watching Sur Le Rhythme, a French-Canadian dance film starring the first ever winner of So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Nico Archambault. We both really enjoyed the movie - all the requisite "must-haves" for a dance film but with moments of a bit more dramatic weight. Thoroughly enjoyed it! (Btw, you can see great performances by Nico here and here)

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Shannon

Haha, ditto what Jamie said - but different pic! Was so excited to finally see Sur le Rythme, it was very high on my most anticipated films from last year but didn't releases in Toronto theatres. So exciting to catch up with it now and I loved every minute of it!



Under Our Willow Tree

Suzie

Yesterday I got to do a photo shoot of OMG's as seen on the Dragons' Den! How cool is it I watched the show, wrote the guys and asked for a sample and then they sent it to me to review in a matter of 24 hours? The original makers of Clodhoppers, a Canadian classic, get a second chance and I am a tiny part of that process. It kind of boggles my mind.

Friday, March 16, 2012

March 16, 2012

Jamie

I had a little bit of birthday money still left from Mom and fell in love with these earrings made of two of my favourite shapes: circles and stars. I ordered them from Gem Passion Jewellery on Etsy. It's so lovely to get tangible beauty in the mail!


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Shannon

So. Funny Story.
Last week I realized I was buying a lot of berry/yogurt/granola thingies on break. I though - I'd love this with more fruit, maybe I should make my own.
Being me, I had to price it out in money and yum and energy factor.
Money: week 1 was about the same, but I will not have to buy granola & honey again right away.
Yum: I wanted and got more berries, but still would have liked more. Berries are expensive. And yummy.
Energy factor: This added to my regular weekly shopping & chopping plus DAILY prepping, carrying & doing dishes. And I stayed at work instead of getting 'out'. UM. Wha?

So - I'm not sure how much trade off this. In the long run I might save a bit, but not tons especially if I get more berries. Also, I kind of have this as a snack - and I'm not even sure I need that much for a snack. I'll likely continue to experiment with it next week and see how it goes.


Under Our Willow Tree

Suzie

Just been napping and very depressed. No Crafty Thursday, no energy. Starting to feel like it is a waste of time but maybe I'm just gong through a phase. I just know that I hate snow and freezing rain in March. Sucks the life out of me.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 15, 2012

Jamie

I made my dreamboard on the full moon but yesterday I spent some time with it. I'm continuing to work on turning my Year of Dreams program from last year into a DIY workshop that you can do monthly at home. I've been taking myself through the journal questions and finding them really helpful and revealing. Writing yesterday I realized some of the meanings that spheres and circles have for me, a renewed commitment to self-nourishment so that I can "get in the ring" and offer my work at an ever deepening level. I've been doing dreamboards for so long and never fail to be amazed by the insight that's to be gained through this practice.

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Shannon

Checking in on my accomplishment calendar, still feeling pretty good about things and love to see which ones are consistently working. Also managed to save a bit too which makes me super-happy!

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Suzie

Having a hard time right now. Screwed up sleep. Fear of the future. Having no food but the world being covered with ice. Tired of feeling like a prisoner. Talking to Shannon for Hexed was definitely the highlight of my day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March 14, 2012

Jamie

First robin! That always means spring to me. And even though it was beautiful and sunny, I could hear Suzie singing, "Robin in the rain, what a saucy fellow. Robin in the rain, with his boots of yellow."


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Shannon

Night at the MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOvies! After the dismal previews of John Carter I was really worried but it turned out to be a heck of a lot of fun, if a bit long. Sadly a bit old fashioned in terms of some of the gender dynamics but also had a couple awesome female characters and dang it was gorgeously styled. Not as good as I initially hoped, but way better than I expected from recent reactions.


Under Our Willow Tree

Suzie

I tried using a real flower to make a pendant with Ice Resin but as I had been warned online, the colour started to quickly come out of the flower. So I have to find a way to preserve the flower before turning it into a pendant... Ugh!