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Typography: I shoot it wherever I find it! I recently joined to make my ever-growing selection of my photographs available to everyone. I’ve been slowly but surely building up my gallery and it’s finally starting to look like something worth writing home about. This is one of several collections I’ve been putting together these last few days… Check it out here: If you like what you see, don’t hesitate to share with your friends and help support an insecure but apparently talented artist!


A Rainy Day: An Instagram Short Story

Well, my biggest project this month was intended to be my latest effort at writing a novel draft for NaNoWriMo, but then Instagram happened, and for the past couple of weeks since I’ve joined the fee iPhone and Android application which allows you take photos, edit them and post them to share with millions of other users around the world, I’ve been doing nothing but taking photos, editing them, and posting them. So while my writing has been suffering, my instinct to tell stories still remains. Today I put together a little story in photos. It was rainy and grey, but that didn’t stop me from snapping away.

It’s nice to stay under the blankets on a rainy day…

This is the kind of day that greeted us when Coco and I stepped outside.

Everyone and everything was grey and rain-spattered.

Here and there, droplets of colour, but you really had to look for them.

Suddenly, a burst of colour. I grew very excited.

A friendly face came into the next frame. It said: “you’ve taken enough photos mummy, I’m cold, how about that warm blanket now?”

A New Toy



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A few pics I took today via Instagram

When I woke up today, I actually stayed in bed for several hours (something I NEVER do unless I’m sleeping) and whiled away the time on Instagram. I guess that counts towards my “creative activities” time. Does anyone here know about Instagram? It’s a free app you can get for iPhone or Android, which allows you to take pictures and use a bunch of artistic filters, which you post on their site and others like Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Flickr, to name just those (you can also mail them to friends and such). Then people can “like” the photos and/or comment on them, and “follow” you, just like you can with a blog. I’ve started following some pretty creative photographers, which I found by doing searches for tags like “travel” or “cityscape” and so on. It’s all pretty new to me so I’m still figuring out what you can do with this, and want to find a way to post my photos here on From Smiler, with Love. Though wondering… should they go on createthreesixty5 instead? I’ve taken some 125 photos with the app so far, but you can also post photos taken from you camera—though I haven’t figured out exactly how to do that yet. I also don’t know how to send anyone to my photo stream yet…

WAIT! I just found the web link!
Most of my pics can also be viewed on Facebook and on my Tumblr page, The Stolen Child.

Things that make me very happy

My very talented and very good friend Kimmy came over on Friday evening with her man to install my long-awaited and much-anticipated shelves she designed especially for me (as a belated birthday present and early Christmas gift). They had become an absolute necessity since I had a couple of huge boxes and many precarious towers of books strewn all over my living-room, because what shelf-space I already have is already completely crammed. I had fun putting together this composite image from the pics I took on my iPhone while there was a bit of light to work with, but I’ll take better ones soon for K to put in her portfolio, since she’s taking off in her career as an architectural designer. It couldn’t decide whether I should put it on this blog or on createthreesixty5, so I decided to do a dual posting, with a slideshow on the other site (click here to watch).  It makes me wish I had taken pics while they were actually putting the shelves up, and that I could do an animation of the whole process in a more sophisticated way with the proper software, but the point of this post is to say a big thank you to Kim (and to M!), and to show off a little too. Kim made me even happier (if that was even possible at that point) when she decided my as-yet unfinished painting Study in Reds just had to go there. I’m thrilled I can now display a portion of my books and some of my artwork so beautifully in what is now beyond a doubt my favourite part of the house. Note to Kim: that blank wall on the other side of the room is waiting for your next shelf project—whenever you’re ready—no pressure or anything! ;-)

A Historic Olympic Moment

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Joannie Rochette moments after she finished her bronze medal winning free skate at Vancouver’s Pacific Colliseum.

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From left: Mao Asada (Japan), Kim Yu-Na (Korea), Joannie Rochette (Canada)
More pics published soon!

Feels goofy applauding at the TV screen by myself, but it’s for a special occasion: not only does Joannie Rochette well deserve her Bronze medal on it’s own merit—under the circumstances her exploit seems almost superhuman— that makes her my new heroine (as in female hero obviously). Then there’s Mao Asada for Japan—completely deserving of her Silver medal—which she performed for like a true champion. And of course there reigns Queen Yu-Na with the gold. As Dick Button said, “she was lyrical on the ice”. And I say that all three were at the top of their form and delivered excellent performances, but Kim Yu-Na single-handedly elevated figure skating to a whole other level. I

It’s the greatest podium I’ve ever seen and had the excitement about it of a Nadia Comanecci Montreal Olympic moment all over again (the first Olympics I was old enough to watch!). Only this time not only are all three women on the podium exceptional athletes on many levels, but and all three also held up to unimaginable pressure and showed incredible fortitude and determination while delivering exceptional performances, even by Olympic standards. I’m not saying any of this because I’m necessarily partial to figure skating, which I often find contrived and just kind of silly. But it’s the fact that it’s a discipline that requires these women to put themselves out there on that hard ice and jump around half naked in ways that would leave most of us wearing body casts—if not paralyzed for life—all the while smiling and charming the crowd while trying to deliver an artistic experience as well (though most of them leave that behind with their visible, though understandable concern about making their jumps). Whith Kim Yu-Na, all of the athleticism and artistry is seamlessly integrated. It felt like watching an actual ballerina on skates dancing to a George Balanchine choeography. Ok, maybe George Balanchine is pushing it a little, but the spirit was there to be sure. Though here I also agree with Dick Button that Mao Asada is stronger than Yu-Na in many ways. Her flexibility is such that she can create sublime lines with her body in a way that (in Button’s own words) doesn’t make her look like a turkey leg being pulled off the carcass. Live pics coming up of the live medal ceremony and all three winning women’s performance! Press refresh for new moment-by-moment additions/edits to this post as I’ll be catching the late night rebroadcasting to catch and pixelize all the best moments!

Can’t leave out the Canadian Women’s Hockey Gold win today too of course! This makes it the third consecutive Gold win for Canada’s Women’s Hockey team. So very cool. And as it should be obviously.  ;:’)

These guys are so inspired—and inspiring!


Ok, last one before I go. Just a few pics to show the latest cardboard structures my kitties have taken to. I got them this great Kittie Chalet at the Souk @ SAT for Christmas (note the cool cardboard deerhead, exchangeable options available). But of course what do they spend the better part of their time in? Some stupid cardboard piece that came in a box carrying a fan this summer. I can’t bring myself to get rid of it though. They just look so cool in there!

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Pics taken on my iPhone in bad lighting conditions.

Notes From the Cave

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It would seem that the cats and I have entered a state of hibernation this month. I’ve been on battery-saving mode for a while now, which is a good thing because I also happen to be completely broke for the next week or so. Which is actually quite funny considering I have a closet-full of cashmere, seriously gorgeous (and stupidly expensive) brand new Belstaff boots and some beautiful handmade Little Bowls by local artist Dorothy Deschamps, to name just those very few things. The bowls I got at the Souk @ SAT on an outing to look at affordable contemporary design with my lovely friend K last Friday, which is where I also found out my spending had finally reached it’s absolute limit. We both got jars of Ethiopian spiced coffee, I got myself a silk knot necklace and a tasteful do-it-yourself cardboard Canadian log cabin for the cats. And the little bowls (also known as pinch pots) of course. I was also very tempted by several very cool stuffed dolls, ultra-modern laser-cut wood hangers, a handmade pink-glazed ceramic figurine of a geisha with a deer head (which I thought could inspire quite a few paintings), letterpressed stationery, lots of great ceramic mugs and dishes and various small items—from salt shakers to side tables—for the house. K was much more reasonable than me and only got a pair of the miniature golden bowls to give to a much beloved auntie in Prague, which is where K and her family will be spending the holidays this year. I know auntie V will be pleased with the bowls.

Above, just a couple of pictures I took while I played around with the QuadCamera application on my iPhone—you can see them all by clicking here. Below, my small collection of pinch pots.

5 Pinch Pots