Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Loyal Papermouse friends,

After attempting to juggle two blogs for the last little while, I have decided to retire Papermouse for a little bit

I think it best to focus my blogging energies in one spot, so I would like to invite you to visit my other blog: Koo & Poppet, where you will find similar posts to those on Papermouse, with an additional focus on design, my home business, and recent creative projects.

Thank you!

p.s. Look who can sit up in her Eames rocking chair now! She's no slouch.

Au revoir!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sadie and her uncle

Sadie at seven months, having fun in the park with her favourite Uncle. He's even sillier than her dad. 

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sweet as cherries

Yes folks, we're just a fortnight away from that beauty of a day - June 21st - when summer officially arrives. We've been having great weather here on the west coast lately anyway, but there is something about the longest day of the year that just makes me happy. 

I took this photo last summer and meant to post it then, but before I knew it, it was the winter solstice (this has, without a doubt, been the fastest year of my life) and cherries just don't have the same appeal in December...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The best place to eat breakfast

The Vancouver Art Gallery Cafe, which I may have never discovered if not for my friend, Tina. 

The egg salad wasn't to die for, but I'm glad I at least had my iPhone with me to capture these perfect moments of morning sunlight in the heart of the city.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

To tell time by

I am in love with these kiddy clocks by Decoylab! The only problem is that I can't decide which one to choose for Sadie's room.....I'm thinking bunny. I'm fairly sure it's her spirit animal, afterall.

Monday, May 11, 2009

And we shall call it......OVERDRAFT

So last September I found myself dining with friends in celebration of my 27th year, and we came up with a glorious solution to a problem that affects all of us: in our group of a dozen or so girls, not one of us has an income that realistically supports reckless and frivolous monthly spending on luxurious items. 

Wouldn't it be great, we thought, if we could somehow pool our hard-earned money together into some kind of lottery, drawing one name per month - a lucky lady who would be the recipient of a windfall of cash. And thus, OVERDRAFT was born. 

Ironically enough, my husband actually came up with the name, because you see, the jackpot is essentially an interest free loan. There are twelve members and each one of us coughs up $50 per month (in the form of a post-dated cheque), so if you're an early winner you get the lump sum but have to continue paying each month even after your purchases have long been made. And if you're a late winner, you can look at it as saving $50 each month for a year and then blowing it all on yourself. And this, my friends, is the spirit of Overdraft: all purchases must be not only frivolous, but self-indulgent as well. We actually have an oath (it's laminated) (by Co-Founder Andrea) (who is an elementary school teacher) which states in part: "I will not purchase anything that benefits another human being." This is all a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the point is to treat yourself to a shopping spree without feeling the need to justify any purchases. Can you really afford this? Do you really need that? When it comes to Overdraft, those questions are obsolete.

Well guess what? Tonight was the 8th installment of our little enterprise, and it couldn't be going more swimmingly. We have really taken the idea and run with it. We have Co-Presidents, a Communications Department, a Creative Director (yours truly), a Food & Beverage Coordinator (because what is a girls' get together without wine and cheese?), and a Treasurer. The treasury is a key component of the game. The monies are collected and dispersed to the winner by the Treasurer, and stored in the "sacred clutch". The clutch must accompany the winner on all shopping excursions as she pays cold hard cash for the items she promises to cherish and covet. Some have purchased clothing. Some have purchased footwear. Some have purchased jewelry. All have purchased luxury.

We gather somewhere around the 15th of every month, at the home of the previous month's winner. It's kind of a "passing-of-the-torch" affair; the former winner displays her goods and presents receipts and then we choose a new winner by way of a reverse draw, and each person can only win once. The Creative Director (moi) designed name cards (also laminated) inspired by US one hundred dollar bills. The reverse draw is an excellent suspense-building procedure, as it ultimately comes down to two members, or rather, shareholders, who's names remain in the pot. There is total celebratory pandemonium when the winner is at last revealed with the final draw. The oath is recited and six hundred dollars are passed into the hands of a well-deserving friend.

There are many more rules and regulations that I won't get into here (for example, only 30% of the cash can be spent on "consumables" and "full-bum, run-of-the-mill granny panties are not an acceptable purchase and will not be tolerated by the Board of Directors." Afterall, that would defeat the purpose of Overdraft). But in truth, the best part of this entire enterprise is getting together with some of the greatest friends any girl could have, on schedule, once every month, and doing the things we do best: eating delicious food, sipping tasty wine, and enjoying each other's company. Oh, and spending money too, of course.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

In business....

I'm very excited to introduce my new business, Koo & Poppet. It's been in the works for quite a few months now and I've been crafting its beginnings from home, via pen and paper and needle and thread. I scavenged and upcycled wool from my mom's collection and gathered ridiculously cute japanese cottons from Mayumi in Tokyo. I designed a few patterns and the next thing I knew my living room was overrun with creatures. The more I make, the more ideas I have for others!

So far, there are Cute Bunnies, Odd Bunnies, Black Bears and XL creatures in the Koo & Poppet population. They are soft, misfit creatures meant for small hands, but they are perfectly suitable for adults as well.

I will be doing my best to keep Papermouse going, but I have also started a blog exclusively for Koo & Poppet. You can find my current projects at www.kooandpoppet.blogspot.com

Uh, we see you, Lenore.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Time away

Departure, arrival. Take-off, landing. Swelling, cresting, casting, reeling. Resting. Union, reunion. Parting, departing. Reflecting.

Home, home.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I should really keep a notepad beside my bed

Design ideas always come to me while I'm lying in bed at night trying to fall asleep. I can be completely without a creative thought all day, and then it's like a switch is turned on when the lights go out. Most ideas are lost by morning, like when you know you dreamt about something but can't quite remember what. Some ideas stick with me though, like these two designs for custom fabric that I will cyber ship to Spoonflower for printing. Graphic thoughts, essentially. 

*loving grey and yellow these days*

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Little treasures

Believe it or not, we're still putting the finishing touches on Sadie's nursery. Furniture has been built, walls have been painted, curtains have been made, but there's always a little side project here and there that needs my attention. In the meantime, here are some great finds that make it to the top of my list of favourite things:

Fox silhouette pillow (Sprouts, Victoria BC)

Charley Harper board books

Farm animal mobile (Country Furniture, Vancouver BC)

Rabbit bookends (Sprouts, Victoria BC)

Vintage children's tumblers (Fan Tan Gallery, Victoria BC)

Oh, and this little treasure too, of course:

Sadie Danielle at 15 weeks

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Part Three

*continued from a previous post

So finally, the love story -- the little epilogue of the Barrington Street tale. It's a very simple one involving myself and Scott, who would eventually become my husband and dad to my little girl. He paints my toenails (although I suspect he does it mainly because it's a good excuse to wear a headlamp), he writes me notes in fresh jars of peanut butter, and he builds me rope ladders on the basis of "just in case".
After the whole fire department/axe through the wall incident, I expressed concern to Scott about how I would get out of a flaming third floor apartment, hypothetically speaking. It wasn't long before he showed up at my door with a Xerox paper box. Inside was a most expertly crafted handmade thirty-foot rope ladder, folded into the box in such a way that the top rung read "throw first" and provided you followed that instruction, the ladder would be launched out of a window sucessfully without having to worry about tangles or any other distressing impediment given the time-sensitive circumstances of its use. The last rung, which hung outside the box, was wide enough that it would catch in the frame of most residential windows, like a dog who can't quite fit an extra long stick through the door of his doghouse.
Luckily, I've never had to use the rope ladder and hopefully never will. But even if I live in single storey houses for the rest of my life I will never, ever get rid of it, even though it's just a bundle of wood and rope. Ironically, it might be one material possession I'd save in a fire.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

midnight madness

There is something about shopping impulsively online at 12:39 a.m. that gives me an adrenaline rush. Is that bad? Wait, who cares -- I've ordered a plethora of positively precious fabrics from Tokyo! (karaku's etsy shop)
Like this one:
Ahhck! How could I resist?? Seriously people.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

ninety-six days old

I'm saving the love story conclusion of the recent blog trilogy for Saturday the 14th - not only because it's Valentine's day, but also because it will mark the one year anniversary of this blog! 

So today I thought I'd just post some cuteness. 

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Part Two

*continued from previous post

It was a Tuesday night. Or maybe a Friday. Anyway, it doesn't matter what day it was -- it only matters that it was 4 o'clock in the morning on one of the seven days of a week. I was startled awake by....my alarm clock? No, I thought, I still had a good four hours of sleep left......as I came to I realized it was the smoke detector in the apartment. Because of the time of day, and because no one was burning toast, for the first time in my life I actually thought "Fire?!"
I jumped out of bed and met my roommate, Melitto, in the hall. Amid the shrill noise I found myself teetering on a swivel chair batting a broom at the smoke detector on the ten foot ceiling. Finally it stopped. What could have set that off? we thought. I wasn't able to fall back asleep after the whole episode, so I got dressed and left early for school. 

I didn't end up returning home until close to midnight that night. As I reached the landing at the top of the stairs I began to realize that something was seriously wrong. The carpeted floor outside the apartment door was littered with drywall debris, which had clearly come from the gaping basketball sized hole that was in the wall. Which had clearly been put there (quite violently) by an axe. Stunned, I peered through the damaged wall into my apartment, sure I'd see evidence of some criminal act. A madman, I thought, A madman had hacked his way into my residence all "Here's Johnny" like. But I saw nothing. Slowly I turned the lock and entered. My roommate's bedroom door was shut, but I heard her faintly call my name from behind it. Oh dear God, the lunatic has her held hostage with a knife to her throat and I'm her only hope! My knees gumbied.

The truth is, friends, my life is simply not that thrilling or dramatic (thankfully). As it turns out that blasted smoke detector went off spontaneously again during the middle of the day when no one was home. Concerned neighbours called the authorities and a couple of fire fighters lumbered their way up the stairs to unit 5 and broke into the apartment by what means they had (so yes, an axe was involved afterall, and, I might add, they missed the fuse panel by about an inch). The reason they went through the wall was because it is apparently a lot less expensive to patch up drywall than install a new lock system. Too bad we missed the action. Although, I suppose there wouldn't have been any action had we been home.....

So all this excitement got me thinking. What if there really was a fire one day? The old building we lived in wouldn't stand a chance, and in fact there was only one exit stair to escape by. If it was blocked, my only option would be to jump from the third storey window and break several bones doing so. I really should have a rope ladder, I thought, and I mentioned this safety concern to Scott, whom I had just started dating (the love story).......

(to be continued......)

speaking of love, I'll sign off with a design for a Valentine's Day card I've been working on this afternoon:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Part one

Halifax waterfront post Hurricane Juan, September 2003

I am compelled to share a true tale whose parts are threefold: it's part mystery, part horror, and part love story. Each takes place in an old Halifax apartment building on the dusty corner of Barrington and Morris, which, incidently, was also once the residence of two japanese fighting fish bearing the same names.

The mystery:
I lived on the third floor of this building from 2003-2005 while I attended Dalhousie University. My first roomate was Melitto, followed by the brilliant and lovely D'Alvey. Deana took my room when I left Halifax for Vancouver. 
Just the other day, D'Alvey emailed Deana and I from her London locale where she is currently working for Foster & Partners Architects. Apparently, she had received a peculiar email from Steve, the tenant who had moved in post D'Alvey and Deana. The gist of his query was as such:

"You'll probably recall that shortly after I moved into your old place on Barrington I spoke to you about having found some things that appeared to belong to a fellow named Chris Duffet. Not being able to find him, I set the few things aside and forgot about them....One of the items I found (the only one of value) was a diamond engagement ring complete with appraisal info. I've tried contacting the appraiser and, since Mr. Duffet's Aeroplan card was included in the little bundle I found, I put in a call to them hoping they'd offer some help. I tried an address in East York from the woman I spoke to on the phone, but she said the email address they had for him was shown as inactive since 2005. The address was a dead end. So, there you have it."

Unfortunately I don't know anyone by the name of Chris Duffet, but more unfortunately I never found a diamond ring hidden in an apparent cranny of the house! My mind boggles as to where he came across it. The back corners of the upper kitchen cupboards? In the base of the pedastal bathroom sink? How could I have lived there for two years and not sniffed out the precious gem? It is not often I overlook a diamond. I wonder in what spot of the apartment I was ever in closest proximity to the hidden treasure? And of course I wonder of the stone itself. Princess cut? Cushion cut? One carat? Two??
And then I wonder of the owner's fate. I am interested by Steve's use of the word "bundle" in reference to his findings. Perhaps Mr. Duffet was en route to the airport to fly to Paris (and collect points) to meet his lover in Montmarte and propose (very Amelie, methinks), when on the eve of his departure he discovered evidence of an illicit affair she was having with a frenchman, so, never wanting to be reminded of his heartbreak again, he abandoned the objects in a secret place and fled Halifax for.....Yarmouth?
Or a more sinister theory is the possibility that the ring, etc. was stolen off Mr. Duffet's person in a violent encounter, and....what of him? No one can say....

I was telling my husband about the lucrative discovery on Barrington and Morris and he was at first skeptical: "Where could he have found it? What, did the guy take an axe to the wall or something?" I quickly reminded him that stranger things had happened in that place. Like, for instance, when a guy took an axe to the wall (the horror)......

*to be continued tomorrow.....

Monday, January 12, 2009

Baby Eames

At just 9 weeks old, Sadie received this beautiful gift from her Uncle Ivan and the team at Meade Design Group. It's a children's version of the mid-century iconic rocking chair designed by architects Charles and Ray Eames. This is the best shot I could get considering it's difficult to conduct a photo shoot with a 2 month old who can't quite sit up yet. Give it time though....pretty soon she'll be rocking away in her chair, the most stylish baby on the block!