What a great way to start off the 2015! I was interviewed for a wonderful blog called Coffee With A Canine, which profiles really interesting people who love coffee and their furry companions. I struggled to get decent photos of my dogs, because they’re lawless and camera shy (hmmm…come to think of it, so are the humans in my house). Pop by the interview and get all the juicy details about my exotic life.
Believe it or not, Scotch mints are probably one of the top selling Christmas candies in Canada–at least they used to be. A million years ago, I was a sales rep for Dare Foods, and these little sweeties were my bread and butter. I used to get all my Christmas candy samples in August, and you could usually spot me with a candy cane hanging out of my mouth like a cigarette while I was driving around my sales territory! Good times.
I was paid the highest compliment by a very close friend yesterday. She gave each of us (3 friends) bars of soap for Christmas, with different sayings on them. When she watched me open my package, she laughed and said with a smirk, “You’re probably wondering why I gave you that one.” (my other girlfriends got bars that said stuff like “mother of the year”, etc.). “It’s because I know you’ve got the best sense of humour!” I laughed my ass off when I saw what it said. She knows very well that I love my potty mouth–sorry mom and dad 🙂
I really enjoy finding new blogs to follow, and I love sharing them too. So I was delighted to receive an invitation to participate in “The Next Best Thing” (TNBT) blog hop. Hopefully you’ll enjoy getting to know a little more about me and some of my favourite bloggers.
Alana Agerbo–Hazy Shades of Me–invited me to participate in TNBT. She’s a writer out of Vancouver, BC, Canada, and I always look forward to her posts—they’re brilliant exerpts of her skillful ability with words!
Her blog was launched in March 2011 in an attempt to pin down the words skittering through her mind. It inspires her to write on an almost daily basis. She has a dusty old manuscript lying in the drawer, complete with, more than a few, letters of rejection. Alana’s hopeful to see her work on a shelf one day, not a speck of dust to be found.
Some of Alana’s work is published on Ezine.com, and can be found here
She blogs here
She tweets here
She hosts a writer-inspired facebook page here (https://www.facebook.com/HazyShadesOfMe)
As part of TNBT, I get to share a little about myself:
What is your blog about?
Coffee and Couch is an extension of my creative life. I’m a painter and a photographer, and I love to write–it’s the perfect creative storm! C&C is my playground where I get to share my day-to-day pleasures. But I don’t want to be phony, so I also pepper it with some of my gripes and grouchy moods—I don’t have time for blogs that aren’t authentic. Life just isn’t always perfect, and that’s what makes us interesting!!!
How did you come up with the name Coffee And Couch?
I start every morning sitting on my couch with a cup of coffee beside me and my laptop on my knees. It’s my favourite part of the day. I am fascinated by people’s stories and I learn lots of new things every time I hop on the world wide web (my kids gasp when I say it that way). I get to live vicariously and be immersed in inspiration.
I’ve been blogging for three years, and like most bloggers, I got burned out, and my posts became sporadic. I just didn’t feel inspired and uncertain about whether anybody cared about what I was publishing. Rather than stop blogging, I decided to use C&C as a forum for my photography practice, and I started a 365 photos project. It’s a great exercise that “forces” me to use my camera every day. A happy consequence is the fact that my blogging is way, way more consistent and I feel so much more connected to my readers.
Have you always been creative?
Art is in my blood. My grandmother was a talented artist and poet, and so is my father. One of my earliest childhood memories is painting rocks as a five-year-old in my back yard. I was lucky to have parents who really encouraged me to create stuff. I remember my excitement any time my mom bought me a new pack of Crayola crayons or a roll of newsprint paper from the local newspaper.
What is the best part of your photography?
I absolutely love finding great shots. I’m constantly walking off the trodden path to find an obscure fern growing out of a stump, lying down on a sidewalk to get a new perspective on a manhole cover, or standing on a crowded street with my camera pointed straight up at a crow on a telephone wire. There’s nothing worse than boring photos with standard poses. If I can’t make it interesting, I’m not interested.
Where do you find inspiration?
Colour is my seductress. Every day I find spellbinding colours in nature, grocery stores, clothing, interior design, artwork…everywhere. My Pinterest account is a testament to my colour inspiration hoarding.
I’m also inspired by light. The play of shadows and light is what tells a great story in photographs. It’s the same in my paintings. I do most of my photography using natural lighting, and I love the clarity it brings to my pictures.
Everyday items can inspire a whole set of shots. A stack of coffee cups, or a sudsy bar of soap might stop me in my tracks. It’s an exciting challenge to make something beautiful out of something mundane.
That’s all about me, now comes the fun part—some of my fave blogs…
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: https://whiskeytangofoxtrot4.wordpress.com
Kimberley Laing is a talented photographer based in White Rock, BC, Canada. She divides her time between raising her kids, enjoying her horses and wielding her camera in an intensely creative manner. She has a keen eye for the beauty in otherwise overlooked day-to-day items.
Pinecone Camp: http://pineconecamp.blogspot.ca
Janis Nicolay is a renowned photographer based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Her work graces the pages of various national shelter magazines. Her latest shots are of beloved Vancouver Canuck, Trevor Linden (hubba hubba) in his Whistler, BC home.
She pins at: http://pinterest.com/pineconecamp/
She tweets at: @PineconeCamp
This blog is one of my guilty pleasures. I could sit all day long on my couch with my coffee reading this amazing resource for photographers. It’s fantastic. Courtney, the founder of the blog, was a teacher but now she spends her time at home with her three children and her photography practice. She also has a group of fantastically talented women helping her host the blog, and I get so much information and inspiration from all of them.
Smitten Kitchen: http://smittenkitchen.com
Part of my creativity is my passion for cooking. I’ve been a foodie since I was ten years old and baking choux à la crème on my own, seriously. This amazing blog is hosted by Deb Perelman, a gastronomic genius whipping up her creations in her, “…puny 42 square foot circa-1935 sort of half-galley kitchen with a 24 foot footprint, a single counter, tiny stove, checkered floor and a noisy window at the end to the avenue below.” There’s nothing pretentious about her food, but it is so lovingly created that you can’t help but fall in love with every dish.
I’m really sorry to anyone who just received over 300 emails from my blog!!! I’ve been trying to transfer all the files from my old blog, Nicole Jane Home, to this blog. I had no idea they would all be re-posted!!! Ugh…huge learning curve.
Happy Day 🙂
A birthday is all about new beginnings and that’s exactly what this blog means to me. I just closed my online business (Nicole Jane Home) after four years, and now I’m starting a whole new chapter in my life. Coffee & Couch will be my virtual sketchbook–a place where I can share my ideas, dreams, inspirations, and just about anything else that I can imagine.
For those of you who followed my old blog, Nicole Jane Home, thanks for making the leap and joining me here. If you’ve just found me, I’m so glad you’re here! Hope everyone can stick around for the fun to come 🙂