Welcome to the Workshop

Welcome to the Workshop

Friday, March 29, 2013

April Fool's!

I've always had a thing for April.
The whole darn month reminds me of my Dad. 
Growing up, that Easter long weekend always meant a trip with the family, going fishing, playing UNO and toasting marshmallows. The holiday always fell at the beginning of Autumn in Australia (bringing an end to the much-detested long and hot summers at home) but it is happily bringing the commencement of Spring in Toronto. I am sitting here in the sun writing this post and we are about to go for walk to the dvd library to stock up for the long weekend.
April also meant Dad's birthday (and my sister's) and it's when my parents met.

image via pinterest

And of course, there is April Fool's Day...
Every single morning of April Fool's Day for years, my Dad would wake me early in a rush and tell me to hurry outside. "Quick, there's a bunny in the backyard" he would say. Being so close to Easter, I assume I had bunnies on the brain and would always rush out to find the bunny. Always. I was completely suckered in by his little joke for many many years. Long after my brother and sister told him to go away so they could sleep some more, I could be found rushing outside to Dad's delight.

image via pinterest

In an effort to channel some of Dad's parenting joy (something I have been a little low on of late) I have decided to pull some April Fool's jokes for Poppet.

image via pinterest

I will certainly be freezing a bowl of cheerios and milk the night before to lay before her at breakfast, and perhaps a glass of jello 'juice' if I can find some jelly crystals over the Easter weekend. Trading hours are all over the place in our neck of the woods.
Haven't decided what else I'll try, but I'll let you know how it goes next week.

Do you play tricks, or have you been fooled? I'd love to hear about it...

image via pinterest

Happy April Fool's Day! If you are looking for some last-minute inspiration click over here to my Pinterest Board. What fun, and why not...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sunday Shorts

Gosh, how is it Wednesday night already?!

Time is flying by lately. I now have lunch with Poppet three days a week, which means doing the school walk six times a day. She has had some trouble with a few difficult girls and we decided that giving her a break at lunchtime was the best form of intervention. It seems to be working, but more on that later.
I've also started accepting custom orders again, which I'm enjoying immensely, but it means I'm busier with work but have less time to get things done because of my lunch dates. Exercise is meant to be fitting in there somehow too. I actually managed a walk today, it's been slightly warmer lately (around 5 degrees) so walking seems possible at last. The bulbs are starting to peek out of the dirt and Spring is just around the corner. Yay!
With all the rush rush rushing, my poor blog has been neglected. My plan was to amp up the blogging this year, but I have had to re-think that now that my days are cut in half. I don't resent the time with my kid at all, it's lovely to hang out with her either at home or a local cafe, but there's only so much one woman can do.

Here, at least, is a little blog post. Some Sunday shorts...

I'll share some shots of the work I'm actually doing soon. And will be sending out a newsletter announcing the next custom spots tomorrow. Don't forget to give me your email if you want to be a part of that.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sunday Shorts

I'm starting a regular post simply sharing photos from our Sundays. Am hoping this will encourage me to carry my camera around more and capture something nice to share.
Here is the first round...

Hope you had a lovely weekend. We sure did!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

An American Girl Kind of Day

Ok. Our last day in NYC was spent sojourning to American Girl Place. It was a beautiful day, so we walked through the park to get there, stopping at playgrounds and lakes and rocks (more climbing) as we ambled.
The walk from our 79th Ave area down to Midtown took about an hour. Walking back certainly took longer, Poppet was pooped! But we stopped at a lot of playgrounds and she scored a fair amount of loot which I'm pretty sure made up for the exhaustion...

Our girl and her girl
Waffle regret.

Ready for action!

Painted brownstones.

Making plans.

Some serious styling.

Happy traveler.

We call this the Jan Brady wall of fame.

Cutting through the zoo, getting plenty of attention.

An incredible stone slide.

Climbing near 5th Ave.


Fatigued, but only two blocks left to go.

We rewarded Poppet with an hour in the hotel to play with her loot before heading out for a burger.

Where we went: American Girl Place (website), Rockefeller Centre and the Lego Store(pictures later).
Where we ate: TGIF (a chain but quite fun and across from American Girl), Island Burgers (fabulous burgers near our hotel).

We went back to the hotel and packed, watched some Seinfeld, stared out the window for a while and then set our alarm early for the journey home. And it is nice to be home, even it it's a bit bloody cold! A bit of a shock to return to minus 7 temperatures after the spring of New York. Not packing the thermal underwear away just yet...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Wind and The Rain

Well, it's fortunate we had planned to spend a day at the American Museum of Natural History.
Day 2 in New York rained and rained. We remembered to pack our wet weather gear, for all the good it did us as our umbrellas were constantly blown inside out. But it was really fun and and we giggled as we skipped through the puddles on the way to the museum which was only a two block walk from the hotel anyways.
The museum is phenomenal.
Hands down the best I've been to. The morning was spent in space, more precisely in the Rose Center For Space and Earth. This is one of Husband's favourite subjects and he delighted in sharing it with Poppet, who was equally excited. She is, in fact, turning into quite the science and maths nerd so this was right up her alley. We watched an incredible film in the Hayden Planetarium theatre. It was about the birth of the universe and explained everything incredibly well and Poppet was the perfect age for it all. Love love loved it!
After the film, and some more planetary exploration, we headed to the tiny live butterfly exhibition. Poppet faced her fears and managed to go inside, but didn't last long before she had to escape. I lingered for a while as I really love being so close to butterflies. Could have stayed there all day!
The IMAX film "The Flight of the Butterflies" came next. If you ever get a chance to see this I thoroughly recommend it. It tells the story of the Monarch Butterfly migration from Canada to Mexico and back again. Quite a touching story and beautifully told.
A quick snack in the food court, which wasn't too awful, and then we headed to the Mammals. We've been watching David Attenborough's "Life of Mammals" together on Sunday evenings lately and it is heartening to see Poppet's fascination with my own favourite subject. Animals! I grew up inhaling Attenborough's work and still watch them over and over. If you are interested in his life, you should definitely read his autobiography. It's available here, though I have him reading it to me on my Ipod.He reminds me of my grandfather, though Poppet says he reminds her of her own grandfather. I guess there's something reassuring in the man for all of us.
So many mammals, so much incredible and artistic taxidermy.
The photos speak for themselves...

Just looking at those animals makes me want to hit the nearest zoo!
We probably covered a quarter of what the museum has to offer, and were in there for a good 5 hours, we will definitely return next time we head down to NYC.
We did hit the shop (one of them, there are many) and Poppet's only interest was in books. She chose this one...

available here

We are planning on collecting this series of books. The periodic table book is particularly cute! Maybe if I'd had this one I would have done better than a C grade in physics. At least Poppet is getting a better grounding in Einstein than I ever did.

Where we went: American Museum of Natural History (website)
Where we ate: The foodcourt for lunch, and we hit a pub up the road from our hotel for dinner. Reasonably priced sushi!

On a separate nerdy note, we've discovered the game "Proteus". If your kids are into gaming, but develop computer rage (don't they all?!) then this is a great alternative. It is simply a beautiful and intriguing world for them to explore. No aims or outcomes, just exploring and watching everything unfold. It's quite a passive and relaxing experience but still gives Poppet her screen time which she craves. You can read more about it here.

Last range of shots tomorrow. It's snowing a little in Toronto today, though I think this might be the end of it. It's going to be 9 degrees for Easter. Spring is going to be so pretty, I'm really looking forward to it.
We're also looking forward to the release of the new Miyazaki film next week too!


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