Last week three of us from the Island team participated in Giving Tuesday and spent a couple of hours giving back at the Saskatoon Food Bank. It felt great to get out of the office, walk around the corner (literally) and spend some time helping out however we could.
Dustin and Lindsey helped out in the Clothing Depot while I spent my time wrapping presents in the main building. Jasmine, the Communication and Event Coordinator at the Food Bank, gave us a tour of the space and explained how things work around the building. It was incredible to learn how many people visit every month (12000+) and how much more food/support is needed. We also heard about their Do Something Amazing campaign, which is a wonderful campaign of sharing stories about ordinary people doing amazing things in our community.
It was a pleasure to help out and I would be happy to do so again in the future. If you are thinking you would like to give back there are a number of ways:
Donate personally – set aside some of your gift budget to spend a little on those in need.
Donate as a gift – not sure what to give the person who has everything? Donate in their name.
Donate clothing, food, small household goods – at this time of year the Clothing Bank is looking for winter clothing (jackets, scarves, mittens, etc.) and is always in need of healthy non-perishable food items.
Donate baby formula – the Two Twenty is doing a baby formula drive this Christmas, as this is something the Food Bank always needs. Hosting a food/baby formula drive with friends or co-workers is another great way to help out.
Donate time – the Food Bank is always on the lookout for a few good men and women.
Thinking about a cash donation? Until January 16th PotashCorp is matching donations up to $1 million…so double the donation!
Thanks for a wonderful experience Saskatoon Food Bank!
Christmas baking has begun at our house! I love baking but not having so many sweets around…which means I have been bringing cookies into the office, into client meetings and wherever I can share them. Let me know if you need a mid-afternoon pick me up!
Here is the go-to recipe I have used the last few years for sugar cookies:
1 1/2 c icing sugar
1 c butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1. In a large bowl, beat icing sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and egg with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours.
2. Heat ove to 375F. Lightly grease cookie sheet with shortening or cooking spray. Divide dough in half. Roll each half 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes with 2 1/2 inch cookie cutters. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
3. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are light brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Frost with icing.
Creamy Vanilla Glaze
1 c icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp water or 1-2 tbsp milk
In a small bowl, mix all ingredients with spoon until smooth and spreadable.
A few weeks ago my friend Kat and I participated in a Linocut Printmaking Class, hosted here in town by Lee Valley. Neither of us were entirely sure what to expect from the class but we were both pleasantly surprised!
In progress work. I was the last one to finish my carving…carving around the letters was much harder than I thought it would be!
And finished work! It was really fun to learn the process of making the linocut and then getting it onto the page. Am planning to get the materials on my own and try some more projects over the summer!
On Sunday Dustin and I were getting our creative on and spent the afternoon working on some hand lettering. I think I would really like to take a calligraphy class but in the meantime I was letting myself get inspired by all of the great lettering online…especially on Pinterest. This is a direct copy, and I inverted the colours, but here is my first go:
Well, it has been an extended hiatus away from Fine Arts & Freckles but I have returned with excitement. I have been feeling a little overwhelmed in the ‘arts & crafts’ department for a little while now but I am determined to get back on track. I saw something on Instagram a while ago that really hit me:
…not sure how it exactly happened but so many ideas of projects I want to do just got all jumbled in my head and for some reason I just stopped doing anything!
So here are some of the things I am excited for:
1. Cooking – I am just at the tail’s end of a one week cleanse/eating challenge and while it has been difficult it has really started inspiring me in the kitchen to think about things I would like to make that I never have. Cold rolls are near the top of the list!
2. Sewing – A couple of months ago I decided to redeem some AirMiles points as I suspect I will never have enough for a flight (Aeroplan is another story) and purchased a sewing machine. Not going to start with anything too ambitious but I have been eyeing up our too long living room curtains for about a year and I have a couple of really great pillows that came with not-as-great covers that I would like to attempt to create new covers for.
3. Designing – I am not so sure where I want to start here but I love stationery and notebooks and cards so instead of talking about it so much I am going to carve out some creative time for myself and start designing.
I also heard about a pottery class this spring that sounded pretty interesting. I think I might be too late for registration but I am still looking into it.
It is 21:30 and I am working late at home. The plus? The fall weather has started arriving, which means beautiful sweaters and mugs of tea. Our good friends Heather and Dave made biscotti for a dinner party we hosted last week and there were leftovers so that makes my night even more enjoyable!
A few days late but here it is! This was a photo taken in January when Dustin and I spent the day in Santa Monica. I was able to spend more time there last July and it is such a wonderful place…I can’t wait to get back!
Ack! What a whirlwind May-June it has been! I was fully engrossed in a conference I was coordinating called MoSo, which is a mobile/social (plus many more things) conference held annually in Saskatoon, SK. What fun it was.
I met SO many amazing people, we had speakers fly in from all over North America and even though it rained the entire time and things weren’t always 100% perfect I feel extremely happy and proud of the event. We had such a fantastic team of committee members and volunteers to pull it together in the months leading up to MoSo, it is easy when you are attending a conference to forget about how much work it takes to put something like this together. I can assure you, many 1:00 and 2:00am nights were had! That being said we are already planning for 2014 and it is going to be even better! #moso2013