Category Archives: daily life

Drawing …

May 19, 2016

papeterie nota bene_Drawing2

I’m drawing (again) sort of .. I joined a drawing group that meets every week and we draw “gestures.” We pose for each other, a series of 6 poses and we have a 1-minute to draw the gesture of the pose. It’s been ages since I’ve been drawing, for some reason …  drawing seems like a luxury. I’ve been joining the group, on and off over the course of the year and most recently I find myself really enjoying the meditation of drawing.

These pics are from my favourite store in Montréal, papeterie nota bene* at 3416, ave du parc. They have a unique selection of agendas, notebooks, pencils, design books and all things paper. My eyes have gleaned over almost every item in the store.

papeterie nota bene_Drawing1papeterie nota beneDrawing3

How to: Make your own Solar System-in-a-box

July 8, 2014

My son is fascinated with the planets, space, the stars, sun … he knows all the planets and the number of moons they have, how the solar system formed and repeats the facts over and over. A great summer project that spans over afew days was making our very own solar system.

Choocha_SolarSystem_21  Choocha_SolarSystem_1

What you will need:

  • a large box (i.e computer box or boot or small appliance box)
  • styrofoam or foam balls
  • paint
  • string or fishing line
  • screws

Step 1: Determine the size of your planets and cover the sphere with paper maché. I made a homemade version of the paper maché paste by mixing 1 part flour to 2 parts water in a large bowl. Mix it until there are very few lumps.


You can use newspaper, but I had lots of lightweight white bond paper around and covered the spheres this. Insert a screw so that you can tie a string on the planet to suspend them. Let the spheres dry until it becomes firm.


Step 2: Have fun and paint your planets. (It can get alittle messy!) Let dry.

Choocha_SolarSystem_12Choocha_SolarSystem_10 Choocha_SolarSystem_11

Step 3: We recently upgraded to a new computer so the computer box was a perfect size to house our space adventures. Paint the inside of the box and hang the planets using string or fishing wire. I also used old ribbons and elastics that were around the house and we cut out some stars and glued them to the box.


Choocha_SolarSystem_3 Choocha_SolarSystem_14 Choocha_SolarSystem_15 Choocha_SolarSystem_16Choocha_SolarSystem_20Hours of fun from a box with lots of exciting space travel expeditions to be had. Great hours of play n’ learn when adding rocket ships, asteroids, black holes and aliens.


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How to: Potted herbs Teacher’s “Thank you” gift

June 23, 2014

I can’t believe how fast the first year of school went. Kindergarten went out in a flash. With summer just around the corner, an inexpensive thought-that-counts teacher’s “Thank you” gift would be repotting some herbs bought at the local corner store. I reused some vases from plants that didn’t survive, added a great gift tag holder and it’s a lovely and practical teacher’s gift. My son loved getting his hands dirty.


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Traditional chinese medicine

March 31, 2013

I just love looking at packaging from different parts of the world. We saw a Chinese herbal doctor and acupuncturist while we were visiting my parents in Hamilton. The Chinese herbal shop had quite a famous reputation for curing all sort of ailments from arthritis to chronic health issues. The shop was really interesting place to visit – It had an old world feel and looked like it hasn’t changed since it opened over a decade ago. The shop air was thick with various scents of herbs.

My husband got a selection of herbs that would last afew weeks and promised to get the body back into balance. The recipe was simple; boil the aromatic herbs (some may say pungent or stinky) for one hour and drink on an empty stomach. “To your health.” Do you integrate alternative medicine with your lifestyle?


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February 4, 2013

I saw my favourite illustrator – Oliver Jeffers yesterday (at totsaplalooza) – he was drawing/telling his wonderful stories to kids of all ages. I felt like I was a kid again. His hand was dancing as he drew his figures and wrote his words.

I asked my son about his favourite moment from the afternoon and he said it was eating a cupcake, eating fruit salad, eating cookies, eating carrots + dip and oh yes — the picture drawing that were on the big t.v.

totzaplalooza, Oliver Jeffers

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