Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bon American Thanksgiving!

Although I am Canadian, I can't deny my happiness for getting a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving twice this year! Courtesy of an early harvest, we Canadians give thanks in October.

The double celebrations are especially appreciated since last fall I was living abroad in France. Being away meant no mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, sweet potato deliciousness and of course scrumptious stuffed turkey in one sitting anyway.

This American Thanksgiving however, I am helping out in the kitchen and added a bit French flair... Quatres tartes (four quiches): rocheforte-courgette; rocheforte-brocoli; tomate-chevre; and lardon-onion. They indeed sound particularly riche, and that is because they are and therefore best served with a simple salad with a balsamic vinaigrette.

Yet as I tend to do...
I digress... What can I say? I heart food as much I heart giving thanks 0; ) And on this 27th of November 2008, regardless of where you are, I wish that you have many thanks to give!

Speaking of thanks, Ecojot had a reason to be thankful and joyful... Ecojot was recently featured in Design Ecology by Jutta Nachtwey / Judith Mair, a 272 page book "all about sustainable design + material in the modern age." Full details at designerjots.

So Design Ecology got me thinking, what little thing do I already do to make a eco-savvy difference? Well as my name suggests... I love to jot, probably because it helps me remember ;) And with the winter holidays wave about to sweep us all in to cheerful chaos... I attempt to keep things straight with lists... grocery lists, recipe lists, shopping lists... Okay, I won't lie, I do this all year round...

However instead of grabbing post-it or a loose piece of paper as I've done in the past... It's all about my 3x4" Ecojotters (as I've discovered NiceGift calls them)... Colourfully expressive on the outside, chaotically filled with my thoughts in the inside... Which I suppose I somehow am able to string in to clarity since they stay bound together spirally ;)

Happy Gobble Gobble!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Volunteering is good for the soul"

Originally uploaded by anti_popsa
... and so are good movies!

The volunteering quote is from my Auntie A. I added the part about movies since in addition to volunteering today, I also had the pleasure of recently viewing Waitress.

If you haven't yet had a chance to see this movie, please do. Although a word of a caution, do not watch on an empty stomach, and honestly even better to have some dessert around, preferably yummy pie!

So from visual appetizing goodness to soulful goodness, this morning I found myself volunteering at Artwell, northwestern CT's own artists' collective. It was a merry morning with lovely old ladies, sharing stories and stuffing envelopes.

Speaking sharing, one of my favourite past-times... Thank you to two recent commenters for sharing their thoughts: P and Jensen.

I particularly enjoyed Jensen's recap of her GLI school's partnership with a Vietnamese orphanage. What a terrific idea to send a send scrapbook of introductions!
Jensen- I'm going to look into providing you a scrapbook if you don't have one already! Perhaps, your partner school can be sent a matching blank one and in turn send introductions back to your school! What do you think? ;D

Meanwhile, here's to food for the soul... Volunteering, collaborations and quite simply... Sharing! Please continue.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Marvelous Monday Moments

From an encouraging morning phone interview, followed by a delightfully delicious lunch at Hannah's in Torrington with a new friend, to discovering a charming covered bridge in West Cornwall, and ending with a captivating chat over hot cocoa... What marvelous Monday moments indeed!

Here's hoping you too had as lovely a start to the week!

Speaking of lovely... Do you have a sweet spot for a particular genre of books? I certainly do... Children's books to be exact. In fact, I couldn't resist purchasing a signed copy by illustrator Marc Simont, and writer Janice May Udry of "A Nice Tree." Purchased at "The Wish House" a gifts • clothing • homeaccents • gallery in West Cornwall, the book is an adorable reminder of the niceness of trees.

What are some of your favourite books 'n stories... young 'n old?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Oh the places we'll go..."

Grand Central
Originally uploaded by Jörg Dickmann
and see, hear and feel... From borough hopping whilst in Manhattan, to spending quality time with family in the northwest corner of Connecticut, it's been quite a week to say the least!

Looking over my past week's agenda... I can't help be in awe...

Saturday: A summit of to "Meet world leaders. Discover new partners. Share ideas. Explore solutions. Innovate. Brainstorm. Collaborate. Join a global dialogue. Connect. [And] make a difference."

Sunday: Caught up with colleague 'n college girlfriends. Swooned and laughed out loud at the Lincoln Centre for Performing Arts over "three oranges."

Monday: Lunched with a lovely woman from UNICEF who was kind enough to critique my resumé, plus one last Kirov Orchestra performance at the Lincoln Centre.

Tuesday: Continued to crush on Brooklyn. By night mingled, learned and was inspired by Girls Learn International.

Wednesday: Bid Brooklyn "à la prochaine." Then made my way to Queens for an evening in of girly gossip and guilty pleasures such as the America's Next Top Model finale.

Thursday: Telecommuted from Astoria. Cooked a savory Filipino dinner for two of my fav mhc gals, then hit a tv studio party (you know just for good measure).

Yesterday: A coffee date with the ever inspiring Analisa Balares - fellow MHC alumna, whom sweetly credits my dear mum for influencing her decision to attend our alma mater. After boarded a train at Grand Central bound for here.

Life may not be what I expected it to be post-France (working, living, studying)... In fact, believe it or not am still currently underemployed (ie, "learning to freelance"). Am never quite sure where I'll be next it seems.... However, one thing is for certain, with a second Thanksgiving celebration around the corner (having celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving last month)... I have so much to be THANKFUL FOR! Here's hoping you do too!

Bon weekend, mes amis (old and new)... Thank you to all my dear friends near and far for your support, not many are as blessed to have had such an incredible itinerary on a dime! Here's to making most of what you have... Overnight bus rides, crashing on couches, sharing one's food (figuratively 'n literally), happiness and stories!

xo, ej

Thursday, November 20, 2008

art all around

Last night I had the pleasure of sitting in "The Inner Life of The Waves" a pre-performance lecture by Edward Mendelson. Although, I sadly won't have the pleasure of seeing the actual performance "Waves" by Katie Mitchell, based on Virginia Woolf's novel of the same title... It was an interesting lecture just the same.

Thanks Sheya, for the invite! Since the lecture was held at The Duke on 42nd, it was a great excuse to bid "salut" to Time Square.

Do you ever randomly attend things at a moments notice? I seem to be doing that a lot lately *angelic grin.* And well, I suppose in many ways that's what inspired my wanderlust art idea: musical moving ecojot sketchbook art project.  Of which I am still looking for contributers by the way!

In fact, I just got off the phone with bello Louie Tucci, the first of the Toronto moving sketchbook collaborators.  He was happily surprised, to hear I was in "The Big Apple." In fact, he asked me to "kiss the big apple" for him... And I said, with pleasure ; )  Not hard, since I most definitely adore NYC... From Brooklyn to Manhattan to Queens (where I am jotting from)... Je l'adore!

Louie is busily designing away on numerous projects.  But thankfully he hasn't forgotten about mine. In fact, he has kindly agreed to let us in on his current projects, and possibly what he has in mind for his ecojot sketchbook contribution as well! So we have that too look forward to in an upcoming entry when he and I reconnect again soon!

Meanwhile, bon jeudi, happy thursday! Thanks to all the new readers out there, checking out my blog... Hope to see you again ;)


ps - Where is happy random place you've serendipitously found yourself at lately? Please share in the comments below, if you're kindly inclined... Cheers!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mingle • Learn • Inspire

Mingle, learn and be inspired is what my friend Janet and I did last night at the "Raise Your Voice" Girls Learn International Fall Benefit at Anthropologie's gorgeous store at Rockefeller Centre.

Sadly, I managed to forget to bring my camera yet again. I genuinely do take photos 0;) However, I must admit I quite enjoy showing off my flickr finds too :)

Although I didn't take photos (except for my lame mobile camera attempt at capturing Katie Couric's cute attempt at being an auctioneer last night)... I did mingle and meet five exceptional young ladies, whom I have invited to visit here sometime soon and share their experiences with Girls Learn International.

Hi Girls! Please comment below :)

What's Girls Learn International? Well...

"Girls Learn International (GLI) supports universal access to education for girls. Through school based extracurricular programs they give high school age girls in the US the tools to become advocates for the cause. They call each school's program a "classroom." Each US program is matched with an international program, a "partner classroom."

Approximately 1,000 girls in the U.S. and 5,000 girls internationally currently participate. In addition to raising awareness to the issue and lobbying for change, US based classrooms perform fundraising activities to raise money for their partner classroom's educational resources (books, computers, etc)."

Why was I there?
Happily, because I happened to already be in NYC for the L.I.V.E. World 2008 Summit, Mark of Ecojot kindly invited me to attend on Ecojot's behalf. Ecojot was proudly among a select group of sponsors.

And why am telling you about this great organization?
Well for one, I want to help Raise GLI's Voice. I was immensely inspired by meeting these five young ladies (all delighted participants of GLI, and one of whom happened to be Isabel Sheinman, the Chair of the Junior Board).

I am hoping that by sharing Isabel and her friend's stories, you too will be inspired!

Truth be told, organizations such as GLI have a special place in my heart, having myself volunteered one summer teaching arts and crafts at the Rosedale Achievement Program for Girls in the South Bronx. For this reason, I am hoping to directly collaborate with the Girls Learn International Junior Board perhaps providing journals or sketchbook for their own traveling art project!

So I end with a question...
What makes you mingle • learn • and most importantly inspire you?


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Park Sloping, Sippin' Tea and Bloggin'

Seeing as I am currently sitting in Park Slope, Brooklyn sipping tea, nibbling on an almond croissant at Heights Coffee Lounge... My title seems most appropriate ;)

I haven't decided yet, if I will make it into the city. It looks like this afternoon isn't good for most, either because you are busy or far away... Just the same, thank you to all those sending their wishes to meet up' and discuss eco-happy thoughts with me. Although if you find yourself near Flatbush Avenue and 7th, please come say hello, I'm wearing my bright pink beret so you can't miss me ;)

Anyway, I got thinking. Perhaps in lieu of starting up the mmm sketchbook project (for now), I should come up with something a little more globe-friendly, ie., something everyone, regardless of location can participate in. Any thoughts...? Ideas?  Here is one of mine...

Photos of you 'n your fav ecojot products... See the awesome image to the upper left?  That was done by a fan in 2005.  I have sadly been unable to locate the original (higher res version) so Anne Chihiro, if you or any of your friends are reading this... Please contact me!

We could do a little gallery... I could pitch to Ecojot that we have a little contest amongst us fellow fans. Have different categories... "Most Colourful," "Most Eco-Happy," etc.  And then I could try and get Ecojot to give prizes to the top winners?  What do you say?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fall Flare in New York City

Tudor City
Originally uploaded by JimmyOKelly
Until I googled "Tudor City" I wasn't quite sure what to make of the title of this photo... Turns out "Tudor City is an apartment complex located on the East Side of Manhattan in New York City." Today was (albeit crisp) such a bright fall day in Manhattan. If the weather is as lovely tomorrow, I may just have to go searching for this neighbourhood!

So this post must unfortunately be kept short since I am actually off to dinner with a college friend, and then a show at The Lincoln Centre for Performing Arts at 8,

However some "Fall Flare" highlights from my New York City Adventure thus far...

• I had a relatively relaxing megabus ride in to The City... Even made some new friends on the bus, although maybe one foe (Joey, Jamie or Carina... care to share the story?) LOL.

• To say the very least, I had an AMAZING time at the L.I.V.E. World 2008 Summit. It was definitely worth the last-minute overnight bus ride (foe 'n all). Full report to follow when I have better access to the internet, because...

• Am currently at a NYPL and must run... They're closing in 10 minutes.... Eek!

I have sadly not heard from anyone regarding meeting up for coffee tomorrow... But remain, hopeful. Some friends have suggested a few great places to hang out that will likely have wifi, so I'll keep y'all posted. Must upload this before I get kicked out.

xo, ej

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"moving right along"

Moving Right Along
Originally uploaded by Daifuku Sensei
Particularly as the winter holidays wave approaches, there is just so much to do yet so little time... Hence my absence the last few days.

Run down of what I've been up to and exciting things to come:
  • Spent my last three and a half days in Nassau enjoying the wonderful company of family*: cousins Andrea and Anthony (two of the most awesomest A's), and my dear aunt and uncle.
  • Since I am happy to report, I, Ecojotter, is in fact headed to the Big Apple for the L.I.V.E. World 2008 Summit hosted by Womensphere this Saturday! Only bitter pickle is because I learned about the summit so late in the game, flying in is going to be way too expensive. Therefore, I'm busing it down tomorrow evening...
Yes definitely a bit over-zealous and ambitious of me considering registration starts at 7:30am... Eek! However, it just sounded like too good a summit to pass up! Can't wait to tell blog all about it after the weekend... Promise!

Hence, albeit short notice... I am reaching out to all you ecojot fans living in NYC... Up for meeting up and have a little impromptu ecojot-inspired get together?

I've discovered a lot of you, also happen to be freelancers like me, and even if you aren't but are able to stop by... I'm thinking I may just pick a cute convenient café to install myself early Tuesday afternoon and just see where the day takes me... Anyone up for joining me? Any cute café suggestions, preferably easy to find and with free wifi?

I will post where I'll be chilling and jotting away by Sunday evening! So please send your suggestions, and looking forward to meeting some of you in person and hopefully get a Manhattan mm ecojot sketchbook dancing along ;)

*separate recap post to come soon below :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

mmm sketching anyone?

prada shades
Originally uploaded by ecojotter
Bon Samedi / Happy Saturday Everyone !

First and foremost thank you to to murgtroyd for recommending Laura Marling, I was unfamiliar with her work until now... And I do like indeed!

Here's hoping this finds you all well. Please excuse my absence yesterday. I spent a good part of the day absorbed in work and attempting to make arrangements to attend L.I.V.E. World Summit 2008: Leadership, Innovation & Vision for the Earth hosted by Womensphere. If all goes well I will make it to the summit and get a chance to spend a few extra days in Manhattan!

My not-so-secret hope is whilst in the Big Apple I will meet some fellow Ecojot fans and start an MMM Ecojot Sketchbook Project. The first extra M standing for Manhattan of course! What do you think? Any NYC ecojot fans out there interested?

I learned about the L.I.V.E. summit via good ol' Facebook. A friend (one of the organizers) is inviting people through her status. I must say, it's amazing the things you find out and learn just through Facebook statuses alone. Take this trivia for example, according to,
"Omar's random fact of the day: The name Wendy was made up for the book 'Peter Pan.' There was never a recorded Wendy before! -November 6, 2008, 8:57pm"

Being the geek that I am, I of course had to verify this pre-posting. And well Omar, it turns out, although "[J.M.] Barrie didn't [in fact] invent the name 'Wendy,' he might as well have," seeing as how he brought right to the popularity of the name.

Well that's it for trivia verification (for now anyways). Am off to go for a run and outdoor swim with my cousin Andrea. As the French, I must profites-bien my last few days on the island. Profites-bien votre samedi ! Take advantage of your Saturday... Wherever you are ;) xo, ej

Thursday, November 6, 2008

stop, *sigh,* breathe, remind, jot again :)

G'morning Everyone | Bonjour Tout le Monde

Although I must admit I frequently wonder (actually more like question and doubt) if anyone out there in the humongous world wide web is reading my jotted thoughts... When in complete doubt... I stop, *sigh,* breathe, remind myself like most great things, it'll just take some time... And then start jotting again. How does my current favourite song go...?

I'm just a little girl lost in the moment
I'm so scared but I don't show it
I can't figure it out
It's bringing me down
I know, I've got to let it go

And just enjoy the show

Do you know it? It's The Show by Lenka. I thank my fabulous younger sis Ticia for introducing her to me :) Lenka's got a newer video out but the paper ecojot-esque quality of the original video is still my fav! I didn't know how to imbed the whole video (not quite that tech-savvy... yet anyways!) but if you click on the image below, it should take you directly to the YouTube video.

Besides with all that said and done... Sighing, breathing and reflecting certainly does help. In fact, I highly recommend it :) Because truth be told, it turns out someone is clearly reading my jots,... You! And I thank wonderful you! Plus I especially thank those of you who are sending more people this way. For, in my opinion one of the highest compliments one can receive is a recommendation. And well, turns out... I've gotten two awesome compliments thus far...

Nathalie Bahadur of Style At Home... Thanks for the Blog Roll add and introducing yourself! I look foward to starting one of my own rolls and adding yours ;) Check out a few of Nathalie's favourite things... They are very much becoming a few of my favourite things!

And according to bloggers from "Once Upon This Disaster Called Life" ecojotter thoughts is among "Occasional Blogs Worth Reading." I'll take occasional reading any day ;)

Finally... Ecojot (although not me directly but instead my personal favs) were featured in PaperCrave yesterday! As a fellow paper / pretty stationery addict... I heart PaperCrave! And Kristen's blog!

That's all for now. Happy Thursday | Bon Jeudi! xo, ej

PS - What are a few of your favourite things (and blogs) please comment/share below :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

red, white + blue congratulations !

All right, so right off the bat, I must admit I stole and graffitied a Carolyn Gavin design this morning. Although thankfully, I don't think she'll mind O;) Especially since she and I were just skyping late last night pre-Election results. Although, since she hadn't mentioned her blog entry yesterday to me, I didn't see her lovely red, white + blue designs till this morning. Aren't they simply adorable?

So anyways... Yes, Congratulations America! Regardless of who you were rooting for, as I watched McCain give his exceptionally gracious concession speech and Obama's awesome 'n extraordinary victory speech... Umm, all I can say is WOW! I am certain I am not the only Canadian proud to call ourselves your northern neighbours... You all did us proud! As a friend from British Columba pointed out... Here's hoping yesterday inspired more Canadians, and everyone in general to be more politically engaging and savvy next time there is an election in your city, province or country... What amazing voter turn out! Kudos!

Looking forward to hearing how you spent last night... Please comment below or email me :) Happy Post-American-Election Day! Happy Hump Day! Happy Wednesday! xo, ej

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

funfetti ideas!

Funfetti Cake Batter
Originally uploaded by ashlye nicole
G'evening from Sandy Port, Nassau... And welcome new and returning readers : )

I must admit I'm rather distracted by tonight's big history-in-the-making American Election Results. Then again, I don't know anyone who isn't 0; )

At the moment, I find myself sitting next to my dear 14-year old cousin Andrea, who was kind enough to get in to the spirit of the evening... She baked a delicious funfetti white cake complete with french vanilla icing for our impromptu Election Night Party. 8-year old Anthony insisted on a pre-dessert half-cheese / half-pepperoni frozen deep dish pizza on the menu. I suppose, there's nothing more American than frozen pizza that astonishingly does manage to taste better than delivery.... LOL.

So what are you up to tonight? American or non-American, politically-savvy or not, one things for sure... Many all around the world, patiently or not so patiently await tonight's big results. With all that said and done, here's hoping it's all right I turn to a lighter topic... But still about the world..." Our small world..."

As some of you may know my original musical moving sketchbook idea had hopes of traveling all across Canada. However, after my first pitch to Mark of Ecojot, we agreed to do a pilot local version first. For one, it meant a "smaller carbon footprint" and two, a chance to showcase Toronto and its talent. Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped me from brainstorming ways to expand my second, third, fourth, ... , ..., .... projects in a major city near you, or even a small town near you! Besides, I do believe it truly is "a small world after all."

What do you think? Would you like to see the musical moving sketchbook dancing around your city or town? Do you have an idea for the project? A new twist? Or turn perhaps? I'd love to hear them all.... So please comment below or email me. Let's all brainstorm together, and hopefully come up with some exciting ecojot-inspired and promoted ideas we can do together this coming new year! After all, it's not just a new US presidential term after tomorrow... But 2009 is just around the corner, and either way, good ideas are good ideas... and good any time!

That's it for now...
xo, ej

*We unfortunately didn't get a chance to capture Andrea's funfetti cake batter... However, I guarantee it was as delicious looking as Ashlye Nicole's pre-oven, as it was heavenly post-oven when we quickly c
onsumed it (10:04pm).

Monday, November 3, 2008

serendipitous requisites

3 November 2008
2:30ish pm
Nassau, The Bahamas

So once again, I find myself pre-writing my daily blog entry... However today one small and one rather big unexpected difference... *mini drum roll please...* One it's in pink today, and two, my surprise location, a sunny beach on the island of Nassau, The Bahamas.

I have to admit sitting here underneath a bright red and green umbrella we've just stuck into the sand, next to my cousin Andrea who's sketching away, whilst her brother Anthony and his friend Mateo play tag with the waves... Well, as you can tell by the run-on sentence it is all not only mesmerizing (since it was a surprise even to me) but very distracting to the writing 0:)

However, in an effort to be a little productive (and focused) on the task at hand, perhaps bullet points are in order. At least for now, to jot down some thoughts and ideas I've been wanting to share since Friday (before I serendipitously discovered I was flying to the Caribbean on Sunday morning :))
  • Continued to Carolyn and Derek's beautiful Leslieville home for a not-so-top secret Ecojot Design Meeting. The Gavins were kind enough to move-up the meeting from Monday to Saturday (a weekend day!) due to my surprise requisite to Nassau.
  • Although clearly currently collaborating with the Ecojot family (a.k.a. the delightful Gavin family),whom I in fact know since I once had the pleasure of working for them pre-Ecojot years ago... I was particularly honoured to be invited to the normally employee-only design meeting! Not only was I thrilled to get a sneak peak of next year's designs... [And can I just say... WOW, you're all in for a treat!] But because *bigger drum-roll please...* It looks like there may be a new Ecojot line inspired by yours truly... moi! Can you believe it? I certainly can't! Even more oh how I can't wait to tell you more about the Ecojotter line, the more I find out myself... Talk about one of the most awesome of compliments!
All right... Am going to once again end this now before it gets too wordy... To all the new readers... Welcome / Bienvenue ! Please come again :) xo, ej

PS - I'm still looking for participants for my art project! Please consider collaborating with me! And/or telling a friend you may know who may be interested! Thank you. Merci bien.


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