New Feature: Film Friday – Every Child

I’ve been so completely enamoured by the National Film Board’s collection of Canadian films that I’ve decided to create a new weekly feature on this blog. Every Friday, I will share a gem discovered in the vaults of the NFB website.

For this inaugural Film Friday Feature, I’d like to introduce Every Child, directed by Eugene Fedorenko:

Taken from the NFB website:

Watch Eugene Fedorenko’s animated short about an unwanted baby who is passed from house to house until he is taken in and cared for by two homeless men. The film is the Canadian contribution to an hour-long feature film celebrating the Year of the Child. It illustrates one of the ten principles of the Declaration of Children’s Rights, that every child is entitled to a name and a nationality. Winner of the 1979 Academy Award® for Best Animated Short Film.

It’s a humourous, yet deeply touching film. I love the dog in this animated short – he starts out as being very selfish and needy, but as time goes by sheds a tear when no one wants to care for the poor child.


My Top 5 Books on Bookbinding

As I sat perusing the blogosphere earlier tonight, I came across a post by Billie’s Craft Room, in which she posted her favourite five books on bookbinding and invited other bookbinders to do the same. I thought I’d take her up on the challenge! Here goes:

1. Books with Girth

Cherryl does a fantastic job of giving detailed instructions THAT MAKE SENSE – regardless of whether you’re a novice or a pro bookbinder. Her projects are lots of fun too.

2. How to Make Books

This is such a fun and visually stimulating book – I love the whole design of the book, from the inside pages to the chipboard letterpressed covers. It’s gorgeous. I also love the fact the Esther has many projects that include recycled materials.

3. 1-2 & 3-Section Sewings: Non-Adhesive Binding Volume II

Keith’s instructions can be tricky to understand and follow at times, but I love the incredible number of variations on each binding. Once you “get” his instructions and diagrams, you can make some pretty stunning books.

4. Unique Handmade Books

  • Author: Alisa Golden
  • Publisher: Sterling Publishing Co.
  • ISBN 1-4027-0614-6

In truth, any of Alisa Golden’s books could be on this list. Her projects are fun, her instructions are great, and they’re a great mix between traditional bookbinding and art books. This was the first bookbinding book I ever bought (it was so pretty) – it actually sat on my bookshelf for a few years before I mustered up the nerve to attempt a project or two.

5. Cover to Cover: Creative Techniques for Making Beautiful Books, Journals and Albums

  • Author: Shereen LaPlantz
  • Publisher: Lark Books
  • ISBN978-0-937274-87-3

This is the one book you’ll find on most bookbinder’s shelves. It provides a good, solid overview of basic and more advanced bookbinding techniques.

Are there any other must-have books that you haven’t seen on this list? Please share!

Short Films Galore

I recently discovered the National Film Board’s Facebook page and website – what an amazing treasury by Canadian artists and filmmakers! For the past year, the NFB has been embedding their films online to make them more accessible to the public, with very successful results.

I’ve been enjoying so many classics that I hadn’t seen in years – here is a sampling of my favourites.

The Big Snit by Richard Condie

The Cat Came Back by Cordell Barker

The Sweater by Sheldon Cohen (based on “The Hockey Sweater”, a story written and narrated by Roch Carrier – every Canadian child has read this at least once in their lifetime)

Le même court métrage, mais en français cette fois-ci!

The Log Driver’s Waltz (a fitting tribute to Kate McGarrigle)

I’ve also discovered some very cool new-to-me films…

A Sunday at 105 by Daniel Léger (a fascinating story of a 105-yr-old Acadian woman, filmed by her great-grandson)

Madame Tutli-Putli by Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski (a stunning animated film in HD)

I am totally hooked – I can’t stop watching!

A Few Great Fundraisers for Haiti

I (like most of you) have been watching the news coverage on Haiti with sadness and horror. As I watched Anderson Cooper on CNN last night, I was struck by something he said that made the urgency of the situation in Haiti very clear to me when he compared it to the 2004 tsunami.

Basically, victims of the tsunami either survived or they didn’t, and most people who survived weren’t severely injured. The biggest challenge at that time was getting food and water to the survivors.

With the Haiti earthquake, people have been trapped in rubble for days and time is of the essence if they are to have any chances of surviving. Medical supplies, construction equipment (such as heavy loaders and chainsaws to break through the rubble), antibiotics, etc. – everything is in short supply and people continue to die every day because rescuers and medical professionals can’t get to them in time.

I wanted to share a few great fundraisers I’ve chosen to contribute to whose proceeds are going to charities actively working in Haiti.

The first is Shop for the Cause 2, organized by nathalie-roze & co.:

I’ve donated several of my handmade books as well as other household items – if you’re in Toronto this coming Saturday, please be sure to stop by. Just click on the banner for more info.

If you’re a music-lover like me, consider making a donation to Songs for Haiti, organized by Paste Magazine:

A huge array of artists (including Ludacris, Hanson, Switchfoot, Kevin Barnes (from Of Montreal), Andrew Bird, Bruce Cockburn, Arrested Development, Ben Folds, Cowboy Junkies, Emmylou Harris, Indigo Girls, Josh Ritter, Matthew Sweet, Of Montreal, She & Him, The Avett Brothers, The Decemberists, The Jayhawks, and The Low Anthem – to name but a few) have donated MP3s (many unreleased) for Paste Magazine to give everyone who donates to help Haiti. Even more amazing – Paste will let you download these songs even if you’ve already donated to another charity. You just need to let them know and they’ll give you access to their songs based on the honour system. How awesome is that?

Some Recent Discoveries

Since the broken ankle incident, I’ve been spending way more time online (and sadly less time crafting). I thought I’d share a few of my more interesting discoveries.

Music / Videos

Winter Song – Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson

What a beautiful song – and video. Gives me hope that winter will soon be over…

Teesha Moore’s Sewn Journal

I am completely enamoured with her sewn journal shown at the 2:45 mark, and have even started to make my own. More to come soon…


The Oatmeal

Not really a blog, more a series of short comic essays. This web designer and comic is super creative – and funny. If you love sarcasm and biting humour, you’ll love this site. Warning – this site contains strong language. A few of my favourite posts:
Ten Words You Need To Stop Misspelling
How A Web Design Goes Straight To Hell
How Twilight Works
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting To Kill You

Ahhh Design

Amanda Hawkins’ blog shows off her design work. Check out her funky DIY Planner templates. I love her style and desperately need to figure out how to load her WordPress theme. Gorgeous.

Just Something I Made

Cathe Golden is another super creative lady with a great design aesthetic. You’ll find lots of free downloads and tutorials on her site.

Have you discovered any great new blogs/websites? Please share!

The Sweetest Birthday Gift Ever…

So I’ve been feeling a bit down lately because of the broken ankle and feeling overwhelmed with my huge workload and work-related travel…

Then this morning I received this very sweet (no pun intended) birthday gift and it totally made my day:

My lovely colleague Barbara gave me not one, but TWO sugar daddies (literally!) – in the form of Colin Firth (whom I’m in love with) and Anderson Cooper (who will give me access to the Vanderbilt fortune)!

Barbara and I have this running joke – whoever finds her sugar daddy first will adopt the other so that we can both live a life of luxury. We have lots of laughs over our list of ‘potential’ sugar daddies… It’s nice to know she’s always looking out for me!

So Much For Good Intentions…

I had resolved to do something creative every day in 2010. And things were going well. I was converting these:

Into these:

I was practicing my calligraphy skills:

(Can you guess which movie I watched while I practiced?)

I was sewing new curtains and designing a card for a friend’s top-secret surprise birthday party.

Indeed, things were going well. Until day 5 of 2010, when I decided to go to the walk-in clinic to get my sprained ankle checked out because it wasn’t getting better. Four hours later, I came home with this:

Turns out I’d been walking on a broken ankle for the past week. When the doctors told me it was broken, I thought they were kidding (because doctors like to play practical jokes on their patients…right?). Even when they showed me the x-rays, I didn’t believe it. And even as they were putting the cast on, I was still skeptical.

So for the past few days I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this whole situation. The doctors have said I’ll need the cast on for 6 to 8 weeks. They’ve scared me into staying off the broken ankle with threats of surgery if I don’t comply.

Getting to and from the office is a huge struggle in the ice and snow. And to make things worse, I need to travel extensively to implement 13 events in the next 7 weeks. Yikes. I’m still trying to figure out how I’ll get it all done.

Although I’m quite happy to be single and living independently most days, I could sure use my very own Mr. Darcy right now!

So that “creative every day” resolution I was talking about earlier? Out the window. The good news is that I’ve been catching up on my reading. Right now I’m enjoying “Through Black Spruce” by Joseph Boyden (isn’t he a cutie?) and “When You Are Engulfed In Flames” by David Sedaris – exactly what I need to cheer me up.