fresh-faced beauty…

EMILY 3_FACEBOOK

It’s Sunday, and I get to sit on my couch with my coffee and my laptop doing my favorite thing ever–editing photos! The photo shoot was so much fun yesterday. The models, my daughter Jane and my niece Emily, were spectacular and my makeup artist is a genius (Not to mention that she’s one of my dearest friends, and a very talented writer. Check out her blog…Hazy Shades of Me). Every time I download my camera’s memory card, it’s just like Forrest Gump says, opening a box of chocolates to see what treats are inside!

In case you’re wondering, I used my Nikon 35mm F1.8 lens for this shot.

angels who go before us…

UBC TOTEM POLE 10

I visited one of my favourite places today–the UBC Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC. It is an absolutely spectacular museum full of First Nations treasures that tell the history of our province well before the white settlers arrived. A united church minister once described people who die as the “angels who go before us”, and I think it’s a beautiful way to remember loved ones. It also struck me as the perfect title for this post.

UBC TOTEM POLE 7

UBC MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY

UBC TOTEM POLES 5

UBC TOTEM POLES 3

UBC MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY 11

 

 

 

 

mixed feelings…

We climbed in the car and bombed down to Portland, Oregon for a few days this week. We’re back now, and I’m trying to untangle my thoughts about the trip. Before going, I heard so much about how wonderful Portland is and how much of a creative vibe it’s got going on. And indeed, there is a fun funky feel to the city and loads of very friendly people. However, it is overshadowed by a surprising number of homeless people scratching out a devastating existence on the streets, and aggressive panhandling is rampant on just about every corner. It’s such a shame, because otherwise, it’s the type of place I could visit over and over without ever getting bored. Maybe I’m just not used to it. Lots of other people seemed to be working and thriving in this city full of epicurean delights and creative libations. It’s ironic that I feel 100 times safer when I visit New York City. I think this is something that I’ll be pondering and talking about for a while. Nontheless, there was beauty and interesting elements everywhere I looked, and I hope you enjoy my birds-eye view.

drama orchid…

ORCHID

Drama Orchid

Project Photos: #44

today my computer decided to pack it in! Super frustrating ’cause it’s not even a year old. Considering my complete and utter addiction to computer time, this is proving to be challenging. I have been forced to actually open the door to my 16-year-old son’s bedroom and tip-toe inside, whilst holding my nose and trying not to step on questionable things that might contaminate my feet. I’m almost certain there are biohazards in that room.

Once inside the vortex, I found his laptop and whisked it downstairs to my spot on the couch, only to discover that the “t” key doesn’t work. Every freaking time you see a “t” in this post, I have cut & pasted it in place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the coffee pot better no break down, or I might just have to be admitted to a psychiartric hospital.

living room makeover…

LIVINGROOM2

Nyla Free is an incredibly talented up-and-coming Canadian interior designer, and I owe her a HUGE debt of gratitude! I was lucky enough to win a draw for a free Design In A Box by Nyla, and she completely transformed my crazy “Ralph Lauren Fail” living room. It’s still a work in progress, but I think Nyla has given up on ever seeing me complete her design, so I’m posting some pics.

I still have a few pieces of furniture and decor to complete the look, but my strategy for decorating before my hubby notices, involves a highly complex system of sneaking pieces in very slowly. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know I had the living room painted last year…heh heh heh.

Please keep in mind that this is my interpretation of the design and samples that Nyla sent me. She might shudder at some of the changes I’ve made (e.g., my hubby insisted on having his own chair, rather than having two couches in the room…sometimes a girl has to compromise).

Nyla, I can’t thank you enough. I am finally madly in love with a room that drove me crazy for 12 years.

BEFORE (shudder!):

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AFTER (ahhhhhh…that’s better):

BAYWINDOW

COUCHSTELLA2 YELLOWPILLOW LIVINGROOM2 HALL&LIVINGRM

My favourite splurge–Candice Olson wall sconces with mother-of-pearl. They’re gorgeous, like buttah!

CANDICEOLSENSCONCE

Photo 355…

christmaslightsbokeh

Get Over It

Project: Photo 365

I’m that person! The one who just can’t let go of Christmas. In a rush to put up lots of decorations real early. Slow to take them all down again. If I wasn’t married, I’d probably leave them up all year long!!!!!

It’s a two-fer day: two shots on one day. I couldn’t help fooling around with this shot in Photoshop. I blew out the exposure; pumped up the saturation; et voila.

I love my pretty pink lights and they make awesome bokeh!

Footnote:

A whimsical coincidence. The title of this post is Photo 355, and this the the 355th post I’ve blogged over the past two years!

PINK BOKEH

It’s an Etsy Christmas encore…

Who doesn’t love Etsy? It’s a mecca of amazement designed especially for all you Christmas gift hunter-gatherers out there. I’ve been trolling the site looking for gift ideas and just thought I’d share these little treasures…

Wooden Emergency Moustache Stand  by MrMoustacheMan

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Silver Angel Wing Necklace by 2SistersHandcrafted

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Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins Christmas Cards by Feb10Designs

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Ugly Christmas Sweater by DrowsySwords

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Vintage Baseball Trophies by EdithAndEvelyn

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Soap for Men by SamsNatural

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Boot Cuffs by Jean

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Vintage 1950s Wolf Dress Forms by Haus Proud!

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Liebster Blog Award…

I’m giddy! I was nominated for my first blogging award–the Liebster Blog Award!!! I know, right?!

I was nominated by my good buddy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 4 (that’s right…WTF 4). She’s a brilliant photographer and raconteur! She gave me a list of five questions I have to answer, and then I get to add five random facts about myself and nominate five more blogs with fewer than 200 followers. So now it’s my turn to spread the love…

1. Who/what do you want to be “when you grow up”?
I want to be a world traveler, a famous actress, a photographer, an artist, a race car driver, a homicide investigater (I watch a lot of First48), and an awesome grandma.

2. What one thing would make your life better?
Money. A whoooole lotta money.

3. What one quote best resonates with you?
“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames” ―Rumi

4. What one living person – that you don’t know personally – inspires you?
Tina Fey…she’s incredibly funny and smart. In a “man’s world” of comedy, she smashed through all the barriers. I have dreams of her and I just hanging out being hilarious together!!!

5. If you could spend one entire day how you wanted, what would you do?
I would ski all day at Sun Peaks with my family and a bunch of close friends. Afterwards, we’d all soak in a gigantic hot tub with a glass of wine while the snow falls around us. Then we’d all sit around a huge harvest table eating fondue and drinking wine! We’d laugh into the night, and somebody would push back the furniture so we could dance to 70’s music!!!!!

Random things about me…

1.  I am obsessed with the Twilight movie series. I’ve probably watched Twilight at least 100 times.

2.  My grandma was the first woman in North America to fly a glider airplane. She was an artist and a poet. Her poem “Cherry Snow” was published in the New Yorker magazine.

3.  Elton John stood beside me and smiled at me when I was 11 years old. I was in Disneyland with my family, and we were standing on a mezzanine in a hotel. Nobody else was around and he walked up to me and we both stood there looking at a bulletin board together. I turned to look at him, and he smiled back, he kept watching me (creeper) and I took a couple of glances at his cool glasses before the nickel dropped and I realized who he was.

4.  I hate going under bridges in boats. Anything that disappears into deep water scares me, like the fallen trees that sink into the blackness of Lightening Lake.

5.  I was one of the “Smile of the Day” girls in The Province newspaper when I worked at Expo86 as a guest relations babe!

6. One of my favourite and most vivid childhood memories is the time my mom whisked me away from elementary school to go watch the huge storm waves at White Rock Beach. Some things are just way more important than learning your times table.

7.  The car I was riding in was struck by lightening on the way to a Gino Vanelli concert in Vancouver when I was about 15 years old. I like to believe it was a sign that Gino, and his long glistening black curly hair, was meant to be mine!

I was going to nominate five other bloggers, but I’m so technically challenged that I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how many followers they have, and I don’t want anybody’s nose to be out of joint if I get it wrong.  I will however list eight of my favourite blogs….they are definitely worthy of a visit!!! I have left off so many blogs that I regularly follow. I am giving you a cross-sectiong of my interests here.

1.  Colored Brush…my dear friend, Patty Ripley, is a gifted artist and she shared her inspiration, process and paintings on this lovely blog.

2. Hazy Shades of Me…a dear friend, Alana Agerbo, with a penchant for writing fiction. I’m stunned by how well she writes. It’s time the girl had a book deal!!!!

3.  Diary of a House Elf…a hilarious collection of musings from my dear friend (they’re all so dear to me), Sarah Johnson. It’s insightful, funny and honest, and I love it.

4.  Geninne’s Art Blog…a gorgeous collection of arts and crafts. It makes me want to get out my pencil crayons and paper!

5.  Click It Up A Notch…an awesome photography blog where I get loads of tips and inspiration for my photography.

6.  Birch & Bird…a wonderland of vintagey wonderfulness.

7.  Tracey Ayton Photography…Tracey is a gifted photographer and I love the photos she shares on her blog. She inspires me to keep learning about the craft of photography.

8.  The Design Pages…another amazing friend, Carol Smyth, writes this wonderful blog full of interior design DIY and advice. She’s a powerhouse of ideas!!!!

Win a Polished Aluminum Stag Head…

I’m celebrating my new blog, and giving away a polished aluminum stag head (retails for $159.99)!!!!! These are one of my top three selling products ever, and if you see one in person, you’ll know why. They’re gorgeous! One of my interior designer clients used five of them to line a hallway in a beautiful ski chalet – fabulous!

polished aluminum stag head

Polished Aluminum Stag Head

If you’re new to my blog, you’re going to find out that I LOVE doing giveaways!!! It’s so much fun, and always such a good way to meet new folks in the social media universe 🙂 I try to make it easy, so

To Enter the Draw:
1. Click here to visit my new Facebook page (Coffee & Couch). Make sure you “like” the whole page, ’cause that’s how I pick my winner 🙂

2. For extra chances to win, you’ll get one extra entry for each time you do the following…

– Share the giveaway post on your Facebook page

– Twitter about the giveaway by using “@coffeeandcouch is giving away a #silverstaghead http://ow.ly/en44s”

– Pinterest the photo of the stag and come back here to let me know you pinned it

3. Cross your fingers, eyes, toes…

Here are the gruesome fine print details:

To win, you must be 18 years or older and live in Canada or the contiguous United States. Only valid where it’s legal to participate (sorry Quebec looks like I can’t include you). Void where prohibited.

Draw Date: Friday, October 26

Happy Day 🙂

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