I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Friday, November 11, 2011


With three days off in a row (four for me as Saturday is my daughter's baby shower) I have some lovely down-time to spend relaxing. Yesterday I spent the day with my daughter shopping for my big gift to her for the baby - a Dutailier glider chair and ottoman. They are the 'Rolls Royce' of gliding rockers and are made right here in Canada. We were directed to a store that carries a good selection and can also place custom orders. We found exactly what my daughter wanted in stock and, not only that, but it's a special design just for that store and was priced at almost half of what they normally go for. I was thrilled to say the least. We quickly spent the other half of the budget on more things for the nursery and those items will make up some of the gifts I plan to take to the shower for her.

After a White Spot burger lunch, we drove into downtown Vancouver for the Circle Craft Christmas Market. We were both quite excited to go as we have done a lot of craft fairs in the past, particularly when we lived in Seattle, and have always found them to be full of wonderful and affordable creations. As we entered the large space that the booths were set up in, we were immediately impressed with what we saw and both of us found items we wanted to buy, albeit a bit pricey. But as we progressed through the rest of the booths, we both became very disappointed at the offerings. There seemed to be a repeat of the same sort of items over and over, such as SO MUCH silver jewelry, and they weren't very creative at that. Also the prices were astronomical for almost everything we saw. I had fully expected to have to seriously restrain myself from buying out the place but, in fact, I didn't see much that I wanted to buy. I did end up buying a lovely hat to wear when it's cold at work. I don't usually suit hats but this one looked great on me and is fleece lined so very warm. It was expensive at $65 plus tax. I bought a little tree ornament for my daughter and her husband made of fimo depicting a cute couple expecting a baby - $15. My daughter bought some herbal cremes for herself and the baby for post-natal care. I found a necklace I LOVED that reminded me of the beaches in the BVI but at $125 for it and $69 for the matching earrings it was far too costly. I reluctantly left it behind. (The link is to the matching bracelet. The necklace was a larger version of the flat circular bead as a pendant on a silver chain.)

Ashleigh buying hand made soap to add to a Shoe Box of items she is putting together to be shipped overseas to a needy child for Christmas

A coule of the booths had items that really impressed us. One was called 'Alphabet Photography' where you could buy a black and white photograph for $5 that had either an architectural item or some other sort of item (like twigs, or rope tied around a post) that resembled a letter of the alphabet. You could then buy as many as you wanted to spell a name or a word and she had frames that accommodated those letters ('artistic photographs of objects that spell words' is how they put it). Ingenious and her booth was packed.

Another, Janice Lutsenko Flower Art, was a huge assortment of framed pictures that were created from dried flower petals. They were gorgeous; a shoe, a purse, a woman in a flowing dress, a quilt on a washing line, the word 'Family'... all very delicate and sort of French looking. Also very pricey.

Another booth, Toad's World, had a huge selection of animals, all hand made by Diane Jordens, dressed to the nines; 'opulently costumed animal dolls'. That booth reminded us both of the sort of thing we were used to seeing in the Seattle area craft fairs. I wish there had been more like it.

One thing I was sure we'd be able to find there was a small accent pillow in a deep raspberry pink - one of the last decorative items my daughter is looking for to add to the baby's room. Not only did we not see one, there wasn't ONE SINGLE pillow or cushion for sale in the entire show. Very strange indeed.

After dropping a very tired mommy-to-be at her home, I drove back downtown to meet Ron Oliver and another friend, Sean, at Gerard - the lounge at the Sutton Hotel. I gave Ron a gift I found for him at the craft fair; a Belvedere Vodka bottle flattened to make a cheese plate. He loved it and said it ranked as one of the ten best gifts he has ever received. He has gotten some lovely gifts over the years so that is pretty spectacular. I also gave him a package of cocktail napkins I had found at a small coffee shop near where I live. He thought they were pretty great. I thought they were too true.

The cocktail napkins

We had drinks and a small dinner and Ron and I shared a visit to the chocolate buffet.

A lovely end to a lovely day.

Spicy fried salmon tacos - not spicy at all but very delicious
All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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