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Archive for April, 2010

The world was our Oysterband

April 15th, 2010

This past Tuesday, I went with John to see Oysterband play. He’s loved this group for years, while I don’t know much about them (other than their “When I’m up I can’t get down” song that Great Big Sea covered).

For the second time in two years, we drove to Peterborough (three hours each way) to see them play; and for the second time, I was struck by how much these guys seem to genuinely love what they do. This was part of their 30th anniversary tour, so for them to still play with enthusiasm and generosity towards each other — it’s an impressive thing.

John had keenly bought tickets in December, so we were front row centre. Literally. It actually made it tough to take photos or videos, since we could never pan out enough to include the entire band. Pretty rare to complain about being too close! John still caught some great shots…

(Fiddler Ian Telfer had ruptured his achilles tendon at a show awhile back — yowch! The bonus was that he got to wear sweats on stage :)

The finale was an acoustic version of “Put out the lights”. The band came to the edge of the stage and stood right over us. It was a pretty cool few minutes, though I’m sad at how loudly the tonally-challenged voices of the fans who sat next to me came across on the video… eep!

I like when I get to try something I wouldn’t have thought to try on my own. What was especially rewarding about this show was to see that it’s possible to do what you enjoy for many years and yet keep your head on your shoulders, even with much success (these guys are huge across the pond). Hopefully, they’ll play Ottawa next time ’round!

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Sweet revelation

April 11th, 2010

If you enjoy making your own fruit smoothies as much as I do… then I’m just about to make your day. See this???

It will take your smoothie to the next level, I tell you.

In my book, the other must-haves for a kick-butt smoothie are:

  • fresh fruit (usually berries);
  • frozen fruit (to make the drink slushy; so much better than using ice!);
  • yogurt — a big dollop of whatever kind you like;
  • milk; and
  • a real blender. Sorry Magic Bullet: you’re cute and convenient, but you just don’t cut it when it comes to making slush.

I don’t tend to buy bananas (google the trailer for the “Bananas!*” movie and you’ll see why) so I’ve been trying to figure out what else I could use to sweeten things up a little. I tried vanilla extract and honey, both tasty options.

But then, I tried this vanilla agave nectar… and holy guacamole, it’s the real deal. I got mine at a local natural food store (Kardish, if you’ve got one in your ‘hood. And p.s. The hazelnut kind is also a perfect for coffee!).

Give it a shot and let me know how it goes… happy blending!

Oh, and speaking of icy treats, thanks for everyone who’s helped my popsicle Threadless entry along — you guys are great! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, see my last post, and please feel free to jump in too. Only a couple days left for me to collect feedback — *chug chug*!

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My popsicles and I could use your help…

April 7th, 2010

After some encouragement from people over the year to try submitting designs to Threadless, I finally took the plunge and submitted my first-ever entry to a contest on the site. My design just got the go-ahead this morning to be scored:

And here’s where I ask very humbly for your help…

I have one week to collect feedback (hopefully positive :), and this informs the judges of this contest. You need to have an account on Threadless to enter scores (0-5, low to high) and to comment on the entries. Apparently, checking off “I’d buy it…” also helps a design (and there’s no obligation to buy anything if you do check it off!).

So if you’re game and have the time, I would sure appreciate if you scored/commented on my entry, and perhaps even deemed it purchase-worthy.

The contest I entered is called Threadless loves Havaianas — and the challenge was to come up with a summer-inspired design for both t-shirt and flip flops. I went with simple but fun, and nostalgic too… I’m a sucker for frozen treats, even if I wasn’t always coordinated at breaking them the right way.

As for the technical stuff, I created the artwork in Adobe Illustrator — I used the shapes and pen tools for most of it, then used my Wacom Cintiq to draw a more organic and poutier mouth.

Thanks for anyone who takes the time to help out!

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