Check, check, check

I've got this huge list I am working through before my trip. 

[] coffee & aeropress

[]  passport 

[] visa (145$) 

[] clothes (which ones? how warm is it? Will it rain?) 

[] gifts for friends I'm staying with/mooching off  

[] travel insurance (because let's not repeat the Pnom Penh airport incident) 

[] hand sanny

[] VPN  

[] CAMERA!!!  

[] laptop? iPad! laptop and iPad? Just iPad? Photos? Conundrum. External hard drive. 

[] external hard drive (but no laptop.. Somehow it should work) 

[] piece of mind?! 


Im going back to China for a visit! I keep wavering between excited, optimistic and bone crushingly anxious. Which is weird because it's going to be a breeze for me... I used to live there, I can speak the language, even read a little bit. Yet I was so anxious today. As most of my friends, coworkers and family will tell you I usually err on the side of buoyantly optimistic. I'm often late simply because I'm optimistic about traffic and my speeding abilities. Yet this crippling anxiety today. It's funny how you know in your head it's not logical. So what I might not pack everything, or I might run out of time, or I might not be able to get that thing for that friend.. But is it worth this panick? Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things if I do my best to get it done? No. But my brain never seems to win over my heart. It is an ongoing tug of war.  

Just writing these thoughts down does help me to process and understand more. Writing helps that head/heart balance. Prayer helps me a lot. Reciting portions of the Bible that comfort me. I'm convinced that a good nights sleep helps a ton as well. As Anne says, "Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it." With a smile Miss Stacey adds, "Yet!"


You know you're into graphic design when you spend an hour researching fonts you lost with your old computer. I was reminded of them when I came upon this old photo of me. I really love this picture though. It was taken in a strange underground restaurant in China, where there was a long dark hallway leading to the restaurant area, the whole ceiling line with mirrors. I went to pee and snapped this picture. 

"Hope springs eternal in the human breast;

Man never is, but always to be blessed:

The soul, uneasy and confined from home,

Rests and expatiates in a life to come."

 -Alexander Pope


January is a time for new beginnings. 

"Begin" drawn in the Paper app on iPad mini with Paper pencil. Jan. 2016

"Begin" drawn in the Paper app on iPad mini with Paper pencil. Jan. 2016

Everything about this website and my own "brand" has been in progress. Because I don't really have a brand at all. I don't have products to sell and I don't know if I want to sell my art or my photographs.  Or if I could sell them. Do I even want to sell them? See the muddle going on here in my head?! Haha. 

Let me share a little of my art journey. I've never taken an art class in my life, not even in high school. What about mandatory art classes in high school? You ask. Well, I say with a sigh, I'm not going to go down that rabbit hole today, but long story short, I was homeschooled. So no art class. University rolled around and I bought a little digital camera, I went on some trips and discovered the joy of posting photos on Facebook (remember back when that was cool?) and editing photos on my computer. Oh the power of the contrast bar. So much fun. At that point in my life I discovered I am a visual person. A beautiful image elicits emotions in my heart. Shortly before I moved overseas I saved up my spare pennies for a fancypants camera, a Panasonic Lumix GF1. Ever since then, I've been a photographer at heart. I'm not an expert by any means, but boy do I love it. 

When I returned home from living overseas I wanted to delve into photography more seriously so I did some photoshoots for friends hoping to make some cash on the side. I created this website mostly for fun because I love graphic design type things and I needed a place to put all my photographs. Throughout highschool and university I blogged regularly and blogging became my creative outlet. I missed that outlet. 

So I created this website. Yet I never began again.  While this site has undergone quite a few structural changes, and a few sad attempts at blog posts, I have yet to consistently share my voice here. While there are many many legitimate reasons for that, one of them being my foray into the world of handlettering, I have decided. 

To Begin. 

Here. Today.  

despite doubt and fear, insecurity and laziness, I am beginning to blog again. 

What is something you want to begin again this year?

come see me this weekend at the Hamilton Flea!

I've been very busy the past 2 weeks with lots of personal things going on. More on that later.. however today is the big event.. the Hamilton Flea!! I've been working on 2 signs on the exterior of the building for the past 2 weeks. I'm super excited for everyone to come and see them. I'm going to do a detailed blog post next week about all my mistakes all that I learned on this project.. but until then.. come visit me at the Hamilton Flea!

Instagram: @hamiltonflea

Facebook: the Hamilton Flea

45 Welling Street North

11 AM - 6 PM

so long summer. PART I

Some long overdue pictures of summer romps and other things.

1-6. Shenanigans at Scarborough Bluffs. Not pictures here, incredible Jerk Chicken for dinner. Thank you, Scarbs. 7-9. Summer is incomplete without berry picking. 9. accidental Bokeh 10. I literally cannot drive by the airport without my heart skipping a beat. Wanderlust. 11. I bought a Midori Traveler's Notebook.. Japanese paper products are a game changer. 12. Then I cut off all my hair.

the 100 Day project.

the 100 Day project.

Awhile ago, while browsing Instagram, I came upon the 100 Day project. It was started by The Great Discontent, a magazine based in the US and an artist named Elle Luna. The premise of the project is to choose an action, like drawing a self portrait, and doing that action for 100 days. Doing something for 100 days helps grow discipline and discipline is often lacking in the more artsy types (like me!! *raises hand*). Hehe. I chose to do 100 Days of Ink with the hashtag #thestorygirls100daysofink .

the steadiest hands I've ever seen:

It's been hard, hard, hard recently. Lots of tears and days of complete uselessness. However, there is always a day of sunshine that comes along, filled with delicious baked goods and fresh spring air. And inspiration:

I stumbled upon the Sign Painter's trailer, and now I'm dying to watch it. I'm going to rent it from their website, and I can send the film to 3 friends to watch for free.. comment if you would like to watch it as well! :)

After going down this deep rabbit hole of Sign Painting research I stumbled upon this amazing artist named Glen Weisgerber. A few videos of his work are on Youtube. Watch on to be inspired, mesmerized, and to completely forget about everything you are supposed to do (groceries, cooking, getting out of your pajamas..).

This is what I call the gateway video: not too long, mesmerizing and he makes it look so easy!

And this video is well worth the watch, despite the long 23 minutes. At the beginning I couldn't see the letters coming together.. but of course the end result was breathtaking. Check it out.

His hands are so incredibly steady.. you can tell he has had years of experience.

Also.. the feather in the hat. Amazeballs.

free Desktop wallpapers.

Sometimes a little change helps motivate a big one. For me, it can be a simple as changing up my desktop wallpaper. A few of these wallpapers have a iPhone wallpaper option as well.. so have fun with it! Click on the image to find the download.

This is my current background! created by Molly Jacques, a talented designer/typographer.

This is my current background! created by Molly Jacques, a talented designer/typographer.

this one is from Oana Befort, whimsical and uber talented illustrator.

this one is from Oana Befort, whimsical and uber talented illustrator.

Design Love Fest has a weekly feature called Dress Your Tech where they provide lovely wallpapers from different artists.

Design Love Fest has a weekly feature called Dress Your Tech where they provide lovely wallpapers from different artists.

Enjoy ~~


inspired by..

her name is Elizabeth Gadd. She is a fellow Canuck residing just outside of Vancouver.

She takes incredible photos, while being funny and down to earth as well.

And 21 years old.

My jaw was dropping as I scrolled through all her photographs.

View many more of her photos on her blog and if you like her style, you can also buy prints off her website.

I hope this inspired you as much as it did me. till next time,


Santa's Real Workshop: Incredible images

We all know Christmas consumerism has gotten out of hand, but these images from a factory in China tell a both disturbing and mesmerizing story.

One of my friend's posted this story (from the Guardian) on Facebook this morning.. Santa's Real Workshop: the town in China that makes the world's Christmas decorations . Click on the Photos to take you to the story.

DIY Christmas wrapping paper.

after I posted this photo on Instagram: a couple friends were curious how I created the gift wrapping! Thanks to the wonders of the internet there are lots of ideas out there. I simply picked up a HUGE pack of Kraft paper (the brown paper) and a few metallic sharpies (gold & silver) at Curry's Art Store. The massive pad of Kraft paper was less than 4$!!! Steal. I already had a ball of twine I had bought in preparation. Start with these basics!


Print some photos or snip a piece of evergreen to  add to your brown paper package.

Draw or stamp some branches on your package! Photo from Pinterest.

Stamp some Polka Dots! I did a lazy version of this.. I used my silver sharpie to draw circles on the package in a random (read: lazy) pattern. Photo from Pinterest.

Baker's twine also pairs very well with Kraft paper.

There are a million other options! Put a pinecone on it! Put a twig on it! Sprinkle some glitter! Can't draw? Let your kid finger paint all over your kraft paper, then let it dry and use it as wrapping paper! The sky really is the limit. Christmas wrapping doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg, and it can be fun too. :)

Merry Christmas!

Engagement: Esther & Jeffrey

Essy and Jeff willingly agreed to allow me to drag them all over James Street North for their engagement shoot. In fact, they are two hilarious and fun loving friends who drove all the way down from Toronto for the photoshoot. Much laughter and ridiculousness ensued and we have some great venues to thank for allow us to shoot indoors while the rain beat down mercilessly, namely, the James Street Bookseller, the Baltimore House and the Mulberry.


Hope you enjoyed! till next time,


Engagement: Amos & Carolyn

I met Carolyn in my undergrad and we quickly became fast friends. Her love for art and her big smile led us on many adventures. We would often take our cameras on go on photo shoots around the city. We've grown alot over the years and I had the privilege of recently shooting her and her fiance!

The first time Amos and Carolyn spent time together they had a sketching date. I thought it would be fun to recreate that moment. Carolyn is selling some of her drawings online at Draw The Word, her Etsy shop, if you are interested.

hehe, Amos wasn't too keen on the grass.

hehe, Amos wasn't too keen on the grass.