Monthly Archives: January 2016

friday favourite: Koi Water Colors

Sketching gives me a great excuse to buy more sketchbooks, Faber Castell PITT pens and watercolour sets.


This is my new favourite Koi Water Colors Pocket Field Sketch Box. Big name for a small portable pack with a removable tray, LOTS of colours, back thumb loop to hold and look like I know what I’m doing…and a watercolour refillable brush.

Thanks Maddie for the recommend:-)


empty-the-vegetable-drawer soup

Similar to our post last week about fridge frittata, this week we bring you empty-the-vegetable-drawer soup. I receive a daily briefing from the NYTimes (which makes me feel important!) and they posted this One Hour Winter Vegetable Soup as a good thing to make during the blizzard that was sweeping up the east coast last weekend.

I cleaned out the vegetable drawer and found some parsnips, carrots and a sweet potato. I chopped them up and let them simmer in water for about 40 minutes. When the vegetables were soft, I pureed them with my hand held immersion blender (which is a game changer when making soups or applesauce!) I added some cream and salt and pepper and had a delicious bowl of hearty soup.


what a word

It’s January, there’s still time. Not for resolutions. Something much simpler.

Have you thought of a word for your year? A touchstone. Something to remind yourself about what you want from the year, from yourself, something you want to share with your family. An outlook.

It is easier to come up with one word than a list of 10 things. But I think it takes the same effort to practice your word every day.

Here are a few of the words we know are on people’s mind, cork board, day book, journal and sketchbook. (We are practicing handwriting as part of a new Sketchbook Skool online course called Expressing to present these year word ideas.)

Do you have a word for the year?


fridge frittata

I make one of these almost every week.

There is inevitably a night when I don’t know what to eat, and have various items approaching compostable state in the fridge. (But I am definitely trying to throw out less food to help bring down the ridiculously high rate of food waste.)

That usually means it is time for fridge frittata.

I saute any combination of vegetables – mushrooms, green onion, broccoli, asparagus, leftover roasted root vegetables – in a pan that can go in the oven. If I am lucky there is some bacon or back bacon waiting to be used up too. Cooked pasta makes it even hardier. Just open the fridge door and look around.

I add a few beatened up eggs, usually with a little pepper, and pour that over the softened veggies et al. When everything is just about set…I top with the most important ingredient – cheese. Feta, grated cheddar, gruyere, whatever partial block you have hanging around.

Broil the whole bit until the eggs have finished cooking (no jiggling) and the cheese is bubbling and golden. If you are organized enough, you can add a green salad and some toast to round it out.

I usually make enough that I cut in pie wedges and freeze for easy breakfasts during the week.

Try one for a dark mid-week winter night.

If you like to follow a recipe, here’s a basic frittata recipe from the Egg Farmers of Canada.



a quick hat

This is a quick hat to make that I knit in a couple of days from a pattern on Ravelry, a knitting website.

The pattern is called Baa-ble Hat and is an easy fair isle pattern which is knitting-speak for carrying more than one colour to form a pattern – in this case, a row of sheep! It was so quick I think I will knit a few more. Let me know if you want one and I will make you one if you let us post a picture of you wearing it!


friday favourite – boots

I have a love/hate feeling towards boots. Love them. Hate trying to find ones that fit. This year, I think I hit the jackpot.

Burgundy Blundstones – stylish enough for work, practical for winter travel wear. And these Portuguese-made Bos & Co wool lined beauties. Great for deep snow and dog walking. I love the knitted patch on them.