Vegetarian Party Food : Three Quick Crostini Toppings
A Family Tradition : Making The Mix

Handmade Christmas! (Swipe and Click)

    How to Make an Ornament Display Hanger
    Cat's Christmas Portrait on Handmade Greeting Cards

    Our Anniversary During Quarantine

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    We just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary and I'm going to look on the bright side and concentrate on the delicious cake and fun dinner we had at home, rather than dwelling on how much we missed taking a trip or going to a fancy restaurant. We're all in this together and, by now, we've all had to commemorate a special occasion in a very refrained way. Even though it was quiet, I didn't want to miss recording the anniversary that happened during the year of covid, for posterity.

    In a nutshell, Nick and I met on a blind date, set up by a friend I'd met at work, who had gone to university with Nick. At the time, both of us were a bit warry of a set up, so our friend had to follow-up after we didn't take her up on it the first time. I clearly remember her saying "You will really like this guy. You should at least meet him."

    So, she introduced us to one another via email and we made a date for coffee on a Sunday morning. He told me he'd be wearing a red shirt. When I arrived at the cafe (Future Bakery on Bloor near Bathurst), there were quite a few single guys having breakfast, but nobody in a red shirt. I especially noted one fellow sitting in the corner and thought to myself, "Wouldn't it be nice if my date was with him". Then, that same man pulled down the zipper of his black jacket to reveal a red shirt.

    Three months later we were engaged and one year later we were on our honeymoon!

    Fast forward 21 years and here we are. A few photos throughout the day ...

    Art : New Exhibits at the AGO – Fall / Winter 2020

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    Follow Up, from their site : “The health and safety of our employees, volunteers, visitors and our extended AGO community is always our top priority. It is for this reason, and on the direction of the Government of Ontario, that the AGO closed temporarily, effective Sunday, November 22 at 5 p.m. We will continue to monitor the situation and look forward to welcoming visitors to the AGO again.


    There are an impressive six new panels up on the AGO's website, under the tab "Current Exhibitions". I went to have a look at each one and, as always, came away from the gallery feeling uplifted and happy, in spite of all that's going on these days.

    This interesting article gave insight into why I felt so good -- "recent studies and research have proven that a trip to the art gallery or a museum can positively impact your health and well-being in several essential ways, like lowering anxiety and depression and boosting critical thinking skills."

    Here's a look at the six newly installed exhibitions. The notes are excerpts from the AGO's (aka the Art Gallery of Ontario) site.

    The first two involve significant elements of sound and motion, so I made a short video to better share the experience ...


    Video : On At the AGO Toronto : Haegue Yang and Ragnar Kjartansson - Fall/Winter 2020 ↑

    Haegue Yang : Emergence, on display until January 31, 2021.

    "A leading artist of her generation, Haegue Yang (b. 1971 Seoul) is celebrated for her prolific and diverse work that evokes historical and contemporary narratives of migration, displacement and cross-cultural translation. Featuring 82 sculptures, installations and performances from the past twenty-five years, Haegue Yang: Emergence includes a selection of early works, as well as the installations: Anthology of Haegue Archives (1998), Afterimage (2006), Sallim (2009), and Boxing Ballet (2013-15). This is the first North American retrospective survey of Yang’s work to date."

    Celebrating Friendship : Eight Years with Julie

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    One of my favourite people and I just commemorated our Friendiversary! Julie and I met in a line-up 8 years ago and I'm so grateful that this cheerful person thought to turn around and say hello to a total stranger. It goes to show that you really never know when and where it is that you'll meet the important people in your life.

    Julie is a kind, trustworthy, clever and fun friend, who has always made time in a very busy schedule for us to regularly see one another. Also, during this miserable pandemic, a scheduled weekly phone call has kept our relationship strong at a time when nobody has really been able to see much of anybody.

    I'm not the only one who thinks this lady is special, as she's kind of a big deal, having published two highly regarded books of poetry, running one of Canada's most popular blogs on the subject of knitting (Knitted Bliss, Instagram), and recently launching a new business offering really cute embroidery kits (see her shop here). All this, while being a loving mom to two young children and two cats!

    How to Cross-Stitch on Paper : A Video Tutorial and Autumn & Halloween Pieces

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    You may know that I quite enjoy cross-stitching on paper, considering I've written about it several times on these pages.

    Well, now I have a video tutorial demonstrating how to do it!


    (Aside: If you found the video inspiring, it would be helpful to me if you’d go over to YouTube and search for Loulou Downtown, or by clicking here, and give it a thumbs up and/or leave a comment.  Also, it would be great if you’d subscribe to my new YouTube channel.  No pressure, though. Thank you, if you do!)

    This fun-to-do quick craft involves transferring the pattern to paper as a first step, which can be done using two different methods, both of which are demonstrated in the video.

    Also, in honour of the season, I've stitched up a couple of new pieces, one for Halloween and one for Autumn decorating.

    Thrift Store Finds : Halloween and Autumn Themed

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    I've gathered up the items I found at the thrift store over the past few months, that suit a Halloween and Autumn theme. Everything was found at the Value Village at Lansdowne and Bloor (in Toronto, Canada).

    And, for the first time, I've made a dedicated video in which I show and discuss each of the finds. It's a lot easier to do all my talking (and I can do plenty of talking about thrift store finds!) on video, rather than writing out all the details here. So, if you'd like to hear more about each item, including the cost of each piece, and to get a better look at things from different angles, please watch the video. It's twelve and a half minutes long.


    (Aside: If you liked the video, it would be helpful to me if you’d go over to YouTube by clicking here, and give it a thumbs up and/or leave a comment.  Also, it would be great if you’d subscribe to my new YouTube channel.  No pressure, though. Thank you, if you do!)

    Whether you're into watching YouTube or not, I appreciate you, the reader of my blog, and don't plan to change up what I've been doing here for the past 9 years. So, as always with my "Thrift Store Finds", here are photos of everything I got.

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