Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rasberry Purple and Blueberry Blue!

While this post will probably be useless for those wanting to use it as a guide on what to buy for fall (most of you I am sure have already bought your fall clothes - and the Pantone colour trend has been out for ages) I thought I would share it so that we might be able to make everyday life a little more trendy, say as a presentation background colour, or as an addition to our inspiration boards, or just what we choose to draw with while colouring with children.
So if you are wondering what those colours are called that you keep on seeing pop up on the streets check out Pantone's Fall 2008 Colour Trend. Below is a little collage of what they have...

Made from the images on Pantone's Fall 2008 Colour Trend Report

On a side note - I am excited to see that Mustard Yellow and Dark Grey are in the mix!! Probably why I found so many examples for my previous blog! I am totally using Mustard Yellow the next time I sit down and colour!

Made from the images on Pantone's Fall 2008 Colour Trend Report

Monday, September 29, 2008

Easy Eco Mondays - Carbon Footprint

Carbon neutral – I am sure we have all heard of it. But what does it really mean? From doing a bit of reading, I put it into this analogy…. If the earth was my body and carbon was calories, it would be striving to maintain your current weight. In other words, when I that extra scoop of ice cream (my weakness), I have to make sure to fit in a workout that day. It is the same thing with the planet, when we produce emissions into the atmosphere (ice cream), we should then “exercise” back to carbon neutral. But what is exercise for the earth? Well it can be planning a tree, or composting – but many of times that doesn’t go far enough – so we buy carbon credits (or offsets).

The Carbon Neutral concept hit close to home when I started my new work project – I fly to and from site every two weeks. It was on my first flight to site that I decided to look into Carbon Credits. The best resource I have found is from David Suzuki’s website. He breaks it down quite nicely:

“Here's how it works: if you add polluting emissions to the atmosphere, you can effectively subtract them by purchasing 'carbon offsets'. Carbon offsets are simply credits for emission reductions achieved by projects such as wind farms, solar installations, or energy efficiency retrofits. You can purchase these credits and apply them to your own emissions to reduce your net climate impact.” - David Suzuki Foundation

Net climate impact…humm… I have never really thought about my net climate impact… adding up all of my carbon emissions, not just for one day, but say for a whole year! I’m not sure I am ready to face that figure (just like I can’t go bathing suit shopping after Christmas!) But let’s break down my net climate impact for these extra plane rides. David Suzuki’s website has some great resources including this one, which calculates your emissions from driving, flying or you home and offers a dollar amount of Carbon Offsets you need to buy (And it’s a Canadian website!!)


My emissions for a round trip flight to Yellowknife (closest Airport to site) from Vancouver (with a stop in Edmonton) are 0.88 tonnes. To off set these emissions could cost me as little as $11.55. That would be the cost of packing my lunch for the trip instead of buying it at the airport! (Although, if you do offset high altitude impacts and only buy a Gold Standard offset then you can be paying up to $34.54, still not completely unreasonable – especially since Westjet and Air Canada have just removed the fuel surcharge)

The only one issue comes when you actually have to buy these Carbon Offsets. You can’t go to the government and go here is my money now offset my carbon! It is a little more complicated… and worthy of it’s own post.

So until the next Eco Monday…. Have fun calculating your carbon emissions!

Anyone have some numbers to share?

California Environment Protection Agency

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ideal Sunrise

This is what I hope to have my morning tea to tomorrow morning. (Yes there is snow here already!)
Here's to a warm cozy fall Sunday. Hope you all have a good one!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Birds

I into birds lately, especially since I have seen them around a lot... Everything from wall decals, or t-shirts, to jewerlley. So while the real birds are migrating south, I'm going to keep these ones up here all year long!

Below are some ETSY bird finds.






Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How far we've come in 3 years

When I was in Toronto at the beginning of the month, I was lucky enough to catch up with some housemates from my years at Queen's. It is amazing how each of us have branched out in such different ways, yet still carry on our conversations like three years hadn't gone past! 167.
You two are so inspiring! Many more mini reunions!

I love those smiles!

A Perfect Rose

I just love this picture of Cynthia Rowley's dining room. The steel blue/white wall decor is stunning as is her little girl! (Cynthia Rowley designed the wall paper and it was produced by Flavor Paper) This image is so playfully elegant - a great Wednesday morning inspiration!

Cynthia's house is featured in the October issue of Elle Decor, with this room being on the cover. I just love how feminine and almost fantasy this room is, so I'm posting it to remind me that house decor most definitely doesn't have to be serious! Nor does life!
Check out other rooms in her house at Elle Decor

All via Elle Decor

Monday, September 22, 2008

Extremely Easy Eco Monday - Old t-shirts

Sorry for the late post today - I haven't had a moment at my desek all day!

This post is extremely easy and I am sure that most of us already do it, but I thought I would re-iterate it since we use these on site all the time! Take your old cotton t-shirts and cut them into a few piece for rags. They soak up wet messes well, and are nice and soft for your nice furniture. I even use some to clean windows or mirrors! Here on site, we actually buy boxes of used tshirts, I assume the left over from thrift stores. They are everywhere on site, and are great in the trucks for when you need to check the oil. The best thing about them though, and reviewing the great oldschool logos on the tshirts - some really brighten your day!


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Breaking the traditional boundaries

Here is a relic from when I was in Toronto - I wrote it, but never posted it.

The Royal Ontario Museum has had a facelift since the last time I was there. The Micheal Lee-Chin Crystal was completed just over a year ago on June 1st 2007. It is this stunning cubic feature that juts out of the old structure. Within the cubes are bold lines streching ones sightlines outwards, while the repetitive metal siding brings the eye to back to the entrances down at ground level. As you all know with my black and white fetish, I love stark contracts, and this has it in spades. There's contrast between the old and the new forms - one stable square, one unstable diamond, one made of dull material, the other shiny and bright, one traditional, the other modern and one following the street line, the other breaking all conventions of street profile. Within the new structure there is contrast too... between the light, unpolished metal, and the high intensity black and reflective windows.... oh my list could go on and on and on! Some have critizised the Crystal for not following traditional Toronto architecture, and therefore not reflecting the environment in which it is in, nor the poeple who support museum, it is afterall called the Royal Ontario Museum... What do you think? Is the new addition amazing or out of place, or both?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fall colours - grey and yellow

I was in love with the yellow and grey I have been seeing for the past little while, especially in the summer, the light grey and yellows just emminate with eazy breezy summer days. Not too bold, but still quite a nice contrast.

Nestled In post on June 30th.

Now that the temperatures are starting to drop and the leaves are starting to turn colour, that light grey and yellow colour scheme doesn't seem to evoke the emotion of the times... But alas, the yellow, grey has ripened up as well. These dark deeper colours are just so rich and cozy... I love that I can keep with my yellow and greys...
All of the three above are from HGTV

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I have the great joy and heavy responsibility of buying a new bed in the near future. And in true form over function, my debate in buying a bed revolves around the headboard. Do I want a headboard? If so, do you I want a strong, soft, intricate, simple, big or small headboard? Or do I want to just have a wall feature? I must admit that I do love my headboard right now, I would keep it if it fit on a queen bed, however it doesn’t....
My current bed is this IKEA bed, just imagine the silver painted black and the wicker stained a deeper brown... via ikea circa 2001

As you might recall in earlier posts I am doing my room in black and white. Currently my bedding is black, but I am torn between keeping it or changing to white, I know that decision is a fluid one and so I will have to have a headboard that works with both. Below are some that I like… Any thoughts on these?

House and home

Simple - keeps the room light and can go with many different themes - not really the focal point however...

Via the internet.... sorry!

I just love this funky headboard, what a great image, and it looks comfy to lean aganist too!

Apartment Therapy

This organic headboard and duvet cover absolutely amazing and so serene.... I would love to have this as my headboard... however it is just too close to what I already have, I need to move on!

I love the mirrors on top of the bed. The contrast between the soft fluffy bed and the sharp, rigid shapes of the mirrors is awesome. Hum... mirrors as headboards......

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Welcome home

As I sleep on my single cot, in my dorm size room, I am imagining I am in a luxurious bedroom, like this one. I just love the way this room is clean and almost stark, but not rigidly organized. The contrast between clean lines and clutter so inviting!

Via ap

Monday, September 15, 2008

Terry Fox Never Gives Up

Today, myself and several of my co-workers participated in the Terry Fox Run, even way up here in the cold arctic! The poster on site says we will be going outside of an hour to participate in the run. Initially I was scoffed at the thought of putting an all this warm clothing just to go outside in the cold for an hour. But then I remembered Terry Fox. He was only 18 when he was diagnosed with cancer and had to have his leg amputated just above the knee… Instead of giving up, getting a wheelchair, or using the amputation as a crutch and he decided to do one of the toughest things to do with only one full leg… run…. And run harder and longer than I ever have – with my two perfectly fine legs. What I don’t ever want to forget is that Terry Fox ran a marathon everyday for 143 days, and in the end with cancer. I can’t even bring myself to suffer through one half marathon, let alone a marathon day after day.
And while I am not sure that marathon running is in my future, it is the mentality of Terry Fox that I want to embody. The ability to see beyond suffering is something I long for, to be able to persevere though anything for an idea, to be able to dream lofty dreams and then be able to put in the effort to realize that dream. It can be as simple as getting out of bed on those dark cold mornings, putting in a few extra hours of work on a Friday night, or spending the weekend fixing something around the house. The ability see that in the end the work, perseverance, and struggle will will be well worth the effort is a very important skill, one that Terry Fox had even at the age of 20. Some days I question - what is life if you are not working hard, striving, struggling for a I believe? Terry Fox's mentality is the difference between success and mediocrity. So today, on Terry Fox Run Day, I want inspire myself to suffer. To give it all I have everyday and to never give up.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I have been very absent lately - I appologize (that is if anyone notices!)
Here's a little late summer image to keep me going...

Posts will resume next week hopefully!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Easy Eco Mondays - Powerwise

So I look a little labour day holiday on my Eco Monday post - but I am back today - with a short but sweet post on Air Temperature


Has anyone seen the David Suzuki TV Powerwise commercials? They are pretty witty, but they convey simple messages on how to conserve everyday. Below is the one that I initially saw. You can watch them all at http://www.powerwise.ca/. This commercial is about keeping your a/c really low in the summer.... seriously - who wants a house at 20 degrees in the summer? I want to be able to walk around my house in shorts and a tee.... 25 degrees is a minimum for that!

On a side note: I used to remember at university where we would try and wait as long as possible before turning on the furnace. Some of my friends made it all the way into December, which is amazing for Kingston, Ontario.... I think my house only made it to the end of October..... But compared to how I just turn it on without thinking now of days - that's pretty great. So this fall, I am going to throw on one of those stylish sweaters and a pair of socks before I head to the thermostat!

Every degree counts!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Damn Cats!

These little cuties are keeping me up. They are adorable, but they sleep all day and play all night.... even now at 4am! But he is sooo cute!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Island House

My second post on Toronto island - Wards Island Houses
They are just amazing - each house is so unique, it takes hours to take them all in. The best part about the neighbourhood I think is that there are no roads, only walk ways between the houses, a neighbour across the 'street' is about as far away as your next door neighbour - I like that.

Character anyone?

Like the houses the people here are so unique. Some are busy working away at at some household task, some are helping, some are relaxing and enjoying a home made sandwich in the garden, while others have lively arguments with family. Each posess this sense of calm (yes even the one arguing!) and rustic flair to match their homes. They all own bikes fitted with the most extensive parcel carring systems. Whether it be a wagon they pull behind their bike, or just extra large paniers covering every possible spot, or the makshift baskets bungeed on here and there. They all serve the purpose of getting their everyday bought items from the mainland back home.

Note the slant and the peeling paint - Adds charm!

The homes themselves are in many different states. Boarders are fuzzy here - between rustic, and run down, ecclectic and junky, between holiday home and vacation cottage (I am in Ontario now, they call cabins cottages!) and full time residence. Some have well manicured lawns, others have natural flowing gardens, and yet others have overgrown landscapes. Somehow however, it all seems to fit.

Extremely well kept - and the sign in the window -Boycott Toronto Island Airport - makes me think these are year round residents!

A view of Toronto from the Ward Island Ferry Terminal

One of the best things I saw - and I am so sad I didn't get a photo of were plants in people's bikes - I don' t think they were just bringing them home - I think these plants had a permenant residence on the bike - and added a nice spruce to it!

Island Calm

Yesterday I went down to Toronto Island. I spent some time on the south beaches - and well couldn't get enough!

This is what I wrote while I was over there, on the back of a receipt while lying on the beach:

The busy city is just a memory, a distant silhouette on the horizon. Here you feel raw uncomplicated calmness. You don't need a yoga mat to feel the ohm emanating from your body. Sundresses, straw hats and bathing suits are a must. The small waves entice you into the crystal clear blue body of water. Looking out at the sail boat in the distance and the disappearing blue sparkle on the horizon you question if this isn't the ocean - But one splash of the crisp water lets you know it is salt free. Kids jump and swim in the lake while their mother keeps an eye on them from ankle deep water. Wooden boardwalks and grassy dunes remind me of the east coast, but the dry light breeze brings me back to Toronto. It is just the right temperature, surprisingly not humid at all. Planes are the only thing that break the expansive blue skies, their propeller engines hum and grumble as they descend their way to the island airport. As I lie back, I ask myself - why have I never come here before, and how am I ever going to convince myself to leave?

Well luckily for me, I managed to take the ferry back to reality. It was surprisingly not difficult to leave the island. Once I moved on from the beach side (south side) it was a natural progression back. First there was the boardwalk around the water, then glimpses of houses, then a small little 'town' or in other words, grid of houses (more on that in the next post), and then a little walk through cafe to re-energize me before facing the big city.

Below are some images of the beach side of the island. "Life's a beach and then you die"

Looking down the beach from the main pier
The Sailboat in the distance
Pebbles on the shore instead of shells
The CN tower in the distance, sand dunes in the for front

Dear Toronto Island - You are just what I needed- With love, Ashley

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I just love this little quote - and the best part about it is it is on a tin board. It is very old meets new, simple and elegent. The best part of it is that its my friend's who I know lives by it! (More to come on my amazing friend and her apartment - she is my insipration for recycling furniture!

(Personal note - I am off to Toronto Island today! Look for some photos tomorrow!)

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Billboard I like

I am in Toronto... the hub for beauty, culture, billboards and consuming... While I am not so sure how keen I am about being surrounded by signs telling me to buy - I do love this one - down at The Bay - not sure which one though - I was lost! (Sep 3rd Note: I just figured out where I was - Yonge and Queen) I love that this has proven me wrong - So bring it on Toronto and prove me wrong some more!!

(Sept 3rd Note: I just found out that my best friend here had a hand in this billboard! Her company made this advertizing theme - No wonder we are great friends!! If you are from Robyns work and have more info to share please let me know and I will post again!)