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Archive for March, 2009

A taste of Spring

March 30th, 2009

Last Saturday, Spring decided to tease us Ottawans with one gorgeous day. On a post-brunch walk that John and I took with friends Magda and Rod, we had a bit of an adventure…

We stumbled upon a rare breed of neon orange spider that gives off super-powers:

We discovered a pigeon mama-to-be, who’d built a feeble nest in the safety net under Laurier Bridge; her nest was so sparse that we could actually see the two eggs she was sitting on (you can see bits of other nests and eggshells in the net here too). The inset in the picture shows the Mum, zoomed in:

We said buh-bye to the melting ice on the Rideau Canal:

Of course, it’s been utterly frigid grey CRAP outside since Saturday… such is the fickleness of Ottawa weather. After a dark, frigid, bus-challenged winter in the nation’s capital, one day of premature warmth is a welcome hint as to what’s to come… hopefully soon!

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Heavens to etsy: Lillyella

March 28th, 2009

My friends know I’m generally not a wearer of jewelry. But when Nicole of Lillyella posted a ‘one-year Etsyversary’ giveaway on her blog, I jumped at the chance to win — her work is simple and delicate, and her earrings actually make me half consider piercing my ears. Then… wouldn’t you know it, I was one of the names pulled in her draw — and I chose this lovely ring:

Nicole was a graphic designer and photographer originally, and Lillyella was something she started on the side; just a few months after opening shop, she was able to make it her full-time gig. You can read her “Quit Your Day Job” feature here.

Her jewelry and the photos she takes to feature her items are stunning. A few more examples:

Pretty Posy Earrings in Fuchsia

Wear Everywhere Hoops - Brass or Silver

Waterlily Landing Necklace

Nicole’s is a motivating story that shows me that hard work and creativity can go a long long way. She also happens to be an incredibly supportive and easy-to-chat-with lady; yet again, I have Twitter to thank for opening the door to meeting this creative new friend.

Happy etsyversary to you, Nicole, and here’s to many many more years of continued success and inspiration. I can’t wait to wear your art on my finger. Many kudos to you for doing what you love, and doing it so well.

etsy.com, good peeps , ,

A pat on the back

March 26th, 2009

I’ve been working on design projects with the National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA for the last couple of years now. From revamps to their look to designing their Annual Reports, it’s been go-go-go since I started with them. Beyond the projects though, it’s incredibly warm and welcoming every time I meet with the folks there; and there is also something really rewarding about working with an organization that does so much for the community.

So what icing on the cake it was when I found out recently that two pieces that I’d designed for them recently won awards — from NATO, no less! No, Emily, ahem… rather, from NAYDO — The North American YMCA Development Organization. (I promise, this story would be much more amusing if you were hearing it rather than reading it.)

The design I put together for their “Y Bulletin” quarterly newsletter won first in the Print, Donor Cultivation category:

And then the fundraising “Case for Support” won first in the Print, Capital Campaign category:

It’s always so rewarding to get a nod when you’ve worked really hard on something.

These days, ’tis the season for working on the new Annual Report. Just this week, we had a photoshoot to get some images for it; John came in and we spent a couple of hours taking on-site shots, including in the daycare. John had the tables turned on him at the end:

Despite sounding too mooshy, I really do feel fortunate to be able to work with the Y folks, and I hope to do so for as long as they’ll have me!

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