Friday, January 30, 2009

Now, All I Need Is a Bottle of Wine....

Easy to find in Steveston. Or, just follow your nose.

Nikolai's hand-built bread oven. It took him about a year to complete it.
You can try a sample of bread. But remember to say, "please."

Polished wood floors; appropriately-flour-dusted workspaces.

Take a look at the finished product. It's still warm after being out of the oven for an hour.

Pride in workmanship.

It was the warm aroma of freshly-baked bread that drew us into the door of the Romanian Country Bread Bakery in Steveston, BC, Canada. Inside, Nikolai Constantin seemed to be waiting for us as we walked inside his shop. We needed something to accompany our smoked tuna, and here it was. Although we were a bit shocked at the price -- $10C per loaf -- we paid it and were glad we did. The crust was the perfect combination of crusty and chewy, and the bread inside was just soft enough, yet it had just the right texture to stand on its own. Nikolai might be the world's most perfectionist baker, and he takes immense pride in putting out a superior loaf. It took him nearly a year to complete the brick oven in the shop, and he did it himself. His loaves take around 24 hours from start to finish, and the proof is in the finished product. We are quite certain this loaf of bread could truly sustain someone as a perfect food.

All Nikolai needs now is some jars of jam and a coffee pot to make his shop complete!

P.S. He's got a sign that says "No Photography", but he waives this rule if you buy a loaf from him.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

On a Clear Day

The sun shone in Vancouver yesterday, and we headed over to Steveston for a walk along the fishing pier and through the little village. Our camera found a fisherman and his boat tied up to the dock. While we negotiated on the price of a piece of smoked tuna, he and his dog posed for a few snaps. This gentleman came to Canada from Poland 40 years ago. He is a commercial fisherman and sells his catch to local fish stores. His dog, Skipper, is just that -- the boat's skipper -- while our fisherman refers to himself as the first mate.
Tomorrow: we buy some handmade bread from an artisinal baker in Steveston to go with the smoked tuna.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's a Lucky Day

Some days are just full of lucky events. Today was one of them. This image was taken this afternoon at The International Buddhist Society temple in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I feel very fortunate to have been able to spend the afternoon at that magical place.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I Fell in Love......

...with my iphone and with Louisville, Kentucky. What a cool city. So much art, so many creative people who also happen to be exceedingly nice and very proud of where they live. My iphone captured this shot of the downtown area one cold morning this past November.

You can find this image for sale in my shop at Just in time for Valentine's Day (hint, hint). 'Cause we all tend to fall in love. Don't be afraid to show it.

So, How About Some Spring?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rain in January

This rainy day image was not taken where I live, and it's my ideal image of a drizzly day. In my town, the typical weather for this time of year is snow (hopefully), and it's raining instead. And definitely not pretty, either. What's the weather like where you are?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Lighter Side of Winter

G'day Park City! It's a lovely Sunday in the Park........

The winter weather has taken a turn for the spring-like these past few days in Park City. Even the Sundance Film Festival crowds did not bring snow with them, as they usually do. The sun is blazing, the sky is brilliant blue. It's just gorgeous outside. It's time to lighten up for a few days and brighten your spirits.

Spruce up your couch. This lovely square patchwork pillowcover combines coziness with the freshness of spring. All the fabric used on the patchwork square has been hand-printed by

This is Simon Bear from He's too cute for words.

Even if it's sunny, it's still winter. these products from Kiehl's are my all-time favorites that I buy over and over again. Creme de Corps is such a lovely and rich body lotion, and it really works to keep your skin hydrated. The Ultra-Moisturizing Eye Stick SPF30 does double duty as a fantastic lip balm, and it even works under lipstick. I don't go anywhere without it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

no time like now....

Deep in the heart of winter, it's time to start thinking about getting involved with your local CSA. What's that, you ask? CSA is Community Supported Agriculture, and this is how you find the vegetables and fruits that are grown in your area. It's a healthy way to eat and it's a mindful way to live. It's a smart thing to buy your food from local sources -- it saves on energy when your food doesn't have to travel from other countries to reach you AND it's better for your health to eat locally-grown food.

Many local produce farms offer CSA shares. You can purchase a portion of the harvest from a particular farm, and that means you can get vegetables and fruits that are ripe and in-season and at their peak of flavor. The farmers either deliver to you, or they have set pickup dates and places for you to pick up your share. You can purchase as much as you need whether you are a large family or just cooking for you. You can also divide the shares with your neighbors. It's such a great community activity. Support your local farmer and live closer to the earth. Now is a good time to research participating farms, because some farms sell out their shares early in the growing season.

To find out more about Community Supported Agriculture, go to:

AnnWilkinson Photography

Friday, January 9, 2009

How About The Weekend?

Just look at this sewing pattern. You've got Valentine's Day covered with this sweet pattern set.
Maybe this is a good weekend to cozy up and try your hand at some fun gifts. Valentine's Day will be here soon. Here's a selection of really cool patterns I found for great items you can make yourself. All of these can be found at

This counted cross-stitch pattern looks pretty do-able and makes a versatile gift.

I purchased this knitted cowl pattern just yesterday. The directions are clear and concise, it uses just one skein of yarn and is knit on circular needles in the simple seed stitch. Jane, the pattern designer, is a lovely person.

Okay, if this doesn't look like fun, I just don't know what. You don't have to be a child to think of all the possibilities for fun inside this castle that fits over a table......... Let your imagination run rampant.

Thanks to buggabugs (Valentine assortment pattern), andwabisabi (cross-stitch pattern), Alterknits (knitted cowl pattern), and copycrafts (castle/table fort pattern) for their wonderful imagination and the keen ability to show the rest of us how to make these cool things.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Random Thursdays

This sunrise was captured on January 4, 2009, outside on my deck.

AnnWilkinson Photography

My holiday bar setup was fun this year.

I just got this vintage cocktail shaker and silver drinking glasses to add to the collection. I'm going to dress up the next time I mix a drink.

AnnWilkinson Photography

Individual dairy noodle kugels with lots of cinnamon on top.

It's easy to stick to healthy-eating resolutions with meals like this one. The recipe for this carrot/ginger salad dressing can be found at

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Cure for the Winter Gloom

Although it's been snowing for several days, which is lovely, the gloom is starting to affect moods. So, I woke up this morning thinking about ways to cure the cloudy feeling.

Plan a trip to someplace warm and sunny. If your budget doesn't include this luxury, use this adorable case to spruce up your closet!

Take a delicious warm bath. First, make a steaming cup of tea or pour a glass of Pinot Noir. Then relax with a book. Be really decadent and tumble your bathrobe in the dryer to warm it up, too.

How's your lighting? Very few of us have adequate lighting in our homes or offices, and this affects our ability to work productively and to feel absolutely well. Check out this versatile lamp, which looks great no matter where you place it.

Chase the dim light away and feel more cheerful!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What I'm Coveting Today

It's the start of the new year. Time for a fresh start. This is what I'm thinking about today for the perfect week -- a new pair of boots, a lovely hike somewhere with the camera and something creative.

"You Had Me At Merlot" by uncorked of

And, even though the economy has affected us all, there's no time like now to take care of your skin. It's dry, dry, dry where I live, and Dermalogica's Power Rich keeps my skin feeling good through the harsh winter. It's a splurge, but a little bit goes a long, long way.

Power Rich by Dermalogica -- amazing!