Wednesday, December 31, 2008

paper clocks (real and virtual)

As this is the final day to participate... I have to mention it first... If you haven't yet already, please check out my December Giveaway here. Simply share an eco-factoid for your chance to win a set of 2 ecojotters! Winners to be announced next week sometime. To all my regular readers, please excuse the broken-record-ness, and as always thanks for continually returning.

So its new year's eve day which has kind of thrown me for a loop. Am still without plans. A bit hard to believe this time last year I was attending a costume party in an agreeable apartment just outside of Versailles. Sounds chic, but I think it's just influenced by all the Jane Austen I watched recently. I heart her. I'll never forget my trip to Bath, England and visiting a museum dedicated to her!

Before I get further sidetracked... I actually happen to have some snazzy thoughts for my last 2008 blog entry... So speaking of clocks, here's two super cool ones... One out of paper, the other virtual paper.

As describes the Shuo Yang paper clock, it's "simple and unique," plus made of recycled paper. Am not sure if it's 100%, although truth be told just about all paper is at least 5-10% recycled these days :)

I do not recall how I came about the Industrious Clock. I am however happy to find it still online as it was about five years ago when I first came across it.

Finally, a helpful recycling guide of sorts close to post-holidays. I love how this was originally published Christmas Eve Day. Apparently one of the most emailed articles last week... "The Ins and Outs of Re-Gifting."

Well that's it for now, my dear friends. Advanced Happy Happy 2009 what ever you find yourself doing! See you in the new year!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year's Eve Eve!

Wow, is it really New Years Eve Day tomorrow? Is 2009 really just around the corner?

I ended up unexpectedly extending my stay to spend quality time with the family. Am minutes from the road. Thankfully it's 0 Celsius (that's 32 Fahrenheit, my dear American friends) and sunny, quite the difference when my older brother and I drove in on the 22nd. A typically eight and a half hour drive became eleven. I drove a third of the drive, and somehow managed to drive into toughest white-wall conditions of the route. Proud to say, I'm a rather decent driver as we made it to Torrington before 2am.

Speaking of Pride, watched Pride and Prejudice last night. One of nearly (and literally) a dozen movies over the holidays. It was the 2005 version starring Kiera Knightly. Although, I'd originally said it was pas mal (not bad) three years ago (I'm a big fan of the BBC version starring Colin Firth), the cinematography and score are quite noteworthy.

All right, must do that last sweep around my aunt and uncle's to be sure I didn't forget anything (which I always seem to manage to do!) Please excuse not-so-entertaining post, although one fine eco-note since my aunt and uncle happen to be travel agents. How's that for another segway? Did you know they have eco-friendly cruises? Funny enough I visited the Celebrity cruise website and they don't blatantly advertise its green-ness, however, apparently this luxurious cruise...
"is the industry’s first ship to use solar energy, with 216 panels generating power for all the ship’s elevators, or more than 7000 LED lights used in the cruise ship. The overall design of the ship has been made as aerodynamic as possible to increase its fuel efficiency and speed. The higher wattage halogen lamps on the ship have all be replaced by longer-lasting and energy-efficient fluorescent and LED lights, cutting the energy requirements by as much as 50%."
A more thorough description at, my newest green site find! Clients of my aunt and uncle's highly recommend the ship. Should you care for more info my remarkable relatives. Let me know ;) Happy to pass along their contact info.

Happy New Year's Eve Eve! Two days left to enter my December Giveaway (hint, hint, nudge, nudge).


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Did you know Ecojotter wishes...

As my famiy tradition is to attend midnight mass followed by a grand feast called Noche Buena ... I wanted to be sure to greet you all a


Once again thank you all to those who come and stop by to read my random thoughts... Please keep those comments coming, both as entrants to my December Giveaway contest and just your own random thoughts.

Wishing you and yours all the very best. I'll be back posting soon... Maybe even a quick post tomorrow if I can squeeze it in ;)


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

Today's Did you know Ecojot card is brought to you by the colour light parrot blue. And if you disagree, you can join the debate amongst me, Uncle M, Auntie A and cousin Andrea. I even located this great colour palatte to assist with the debate.

is brought to you by Uncle M. "A Dutch company looking for ways to reduce the environmental costs of printing has developed a new font that it says cuts ink usage by about 15 percent. (" Company co-founder Gerjon Zomer concedes the Swiss-cheese-looking font isn't the prettiest, but is actually very usable for personal use or for internal use at a company.

Well that's it for now. Time to spend some quality time, likely "debating" some more ;) After 11 hours on the road, on a trip that typically only take 8 and a half hours... It's nice to just stay in and catch up with loved ones.


PS - For more information on Evergreen, the non-profit org mentioned in today's card please visit It's a fabulous organization that Ecojot is very proud to support. What orgs do you proudly support?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Did you know Ecojot... Orange card :)

Am a bit of a scatter brain this morning... Had one of those when it rains it pours kinda days. Although I suppose technically, it should be called when it snow storms it dumps snow kinda days is more appropriate. You know those days?

Also, moments from leaving for good ol' New England for the Christmas holidays. However, as promised here's another one of the Did you know Ecojot... cards I designed.

Here's hoping the roads are manageable. I see the entries slowly growing on the December Giveaway contest (please scroll down). Keep 'em coming if you're new to the site, or please do encourage your friends.

And whether you're at your holiday destination or en route... Stay safe and warm. I am keeping optimistic overall. It's sunny out today... And not snowing ;)


Saturday, December 20, 2008

"Snowmageddon 2008?"

Whoah SNOW. If you leave in northeastern Canada or United States, you know what I'm talking about. And if you live in Toronto, you've likely heard "Snowmageddon." Granted I was in France this time last year... It still hasn't surpassed last year, right? So why all the fuss? Says the girl who was whining about it just the other night after not-so-patiently waiting for the TTC, and ultimately trekking throw blocks of un-shoveled snow in between transfers *angelic grin.*

I like my big bro's attittude. He's thinking Big Toboggan Snow Day to celebrate his birthday next month. Complete with litres of hot cocoa (with marshmallows of course), bright snow outfits, crazy carpets, snow-tubes... You get the idea. If this happens (which I am pretty certain it will), and you live in the area... Come! Details next month.

Whoah SNOW, but also whoah ecoFACTOIDS! Thank you to all those thus far who've participated in my December Giveaway contest. It's not too late to join, if you're only hearing about it now ; )

Speaking of facts, I was M.I.A. yesterday not because of the snow, but because of facts, well fact cards... Did You Know Ecojot cards to be exact, such as the one pictured above. I spent the day fine-tuning, printing and placing these cards into press kits.

Ever put together a press kit? I gotta say, it's quite the job but also quite a bit of fun. I thrive at tight manic-like deadlines (most of the the time, all thanks to my former experience marketing architects). Then there's the splendid agonizing anticipation that a trendy magazine will make all your hard work worthwhile. All right, not so agonizing... But you must admit, it's hard to truly stand out. For example, as the one of the other Did You Know Ecojot cards states " It’s simply not good enough to be green anymore. Today, every company, whether truthfully or not, claims to be as green as Kermit the frog." Proudly, "Ecojot walks the talk and more." In fact, in the coming days... I am going to each one... And let you be the judge. There are 10 in all so far.

Ziggy sleeping
Originally uploaded by ecojotter
Meanwhile, a special shout-out to Free Spirit, Marci, corteaus, Sabina Stirb, and windy angels (my 5 official followers)... Yay! As I continue to acquaint myself with blogging on a regular basis, I am super appreciative of those actually reading my often very random thoughts... Which include how much I am going to miss Ziggy as my house 'n Ziggy sitting responsibilities come to an end tomorrow. So much so, I had to mention it here, and post one more pic the cutie.

Well it's Saturday, and I have a holiday party to sort out an outfit for. Will keep posting if you keep reading ;) Even if just intermittently over the holidays. Happy Merry Bonne et Joyeux Whatever You and Yours May Be Celebrating In The weeks To Come!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

economically-savvy usually also equals being eco-savvy

red wine
Originally uploaded by ecojotter
I paid my monthly bills late last night (approaching early morn) and when I was done I sighed heavily and cried dry tears of sadness. These are tough times for just about everybody, so I will spare you more melodrama.

After sipping (leftover) wine from last night's dinner, I looked up to see a City of Toronto: Garbage, Recycling & Green Bin Collection Calendar sort of hanging on Carolyn's office wall. December's theme...? Smart shopping.

Here's what it says...

The cool thing? Ecojot products satisfy a majority of the above suggestions! In fact, starting in 2009, their vacuum plastic wrap will be corn-based biodegradable packaging (only when necessary).

Anyhow, this all got me to thinking. Since returning from France... Broke in a bad economy... I've learned to be a particularly creative thrifty individual. Granted I like to think my college years, first post-college years, and of course, recent year abroad as a student again (on a tiny tiny budget) prepared for said creativity... I did have a few years in between in a cushy job earning a bit of disposable income (after paying myself first of course--saving's important folks!) I won't lie... I miss those days! But I digress...

Being frugal can be fun! Don't believe me? Well for one, being economically-savvy usually also equals being eco-savvy! It's a conversation starter / great way to meet people... All right, I don't go up to strangers and talk about my cheap habits... But I do walk or take public transit. And well, especially when I'm with Ziggy these days... Conversations abound!

And, well, this Christmas, my family has decided in lieu of a traditional gift exchange to go Kris Kringle a.k.a. Christkindl a.k.a. Secret Santa. Nine of us, randomly picked names and are surprising our santees with approximately 50 bucks worth of gifts from their wishlists. Plus a couple dollar-store or better yet hand-made silly gifts for good measure and laughs (as suggested by my brother Victor). How great is it to actually receive something you want for Christmas, instead of that over-sized sequined sweater you likely will only wear once?

Finally, all this thrifty talk reminds me of this great article in my fave paper... The NYTimes... "We're Going to Party Like It's 1929." Alex Williams narrates how he and celebgrated NYC even planner David Monn put together a "Budget Shangri-La" complete with potatoes as a main course. Check out the audio slide show, which I saw for the first time yesterday, since I read the article on my train ride back from upstate NY last month.

Here's to a creative winter holiday... What are you doing to be creatively thrifty?


PS - Hello to all those new to my blog... Welcome! In case you're looking for the December Giveaway details... Please click here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

vlog attempt no. 1

**Update 23-12-08: According to my cousin Andrea I look orc-ish and just plain scary in my vlog... Therefore it's been removed. Perhaps I'll re-upload it next Halloween. As mentioned below here's much more entertaining video.**

My first (and likely last) attempt at vlogging... There's a reason I prefer being behind the camera, as can likely be seen from my facial expressions (ie., blinky eyes). I sincerely give my kudos to all experienced and constant vloggers out there. If only there really were a service for Instant Vlogging! Perhaps next time, I'll have Ziggy sit in for me instead... Maybe he won't come out looking as dark and scary :-o

If you want to spare yourselves from my vlog... It's simply me reminding you to please participate in my December Giveaway down below. For a funnier video courtesy of my Uncle Matt, check this out.

On a tastier note... I had a little dinner gathering with three close friends (Amanda, Cliff and Yasmin). I prepared my no-fail specialty savoury chicken Adobo, complimented with a side dish green beans, red onions and tomatoes sautéed in lots of butter, and a fragrant little hill (literally, it's this thing I like to do when I scoop rice for special occasions) of Jasmine rice. We accompanied the meal with a South African red wine recommended to me by the liquor store.

For dessert we cleansed our palates with chocolate covered chocolate-raspberry sorbet on a light chocolate wafer (mmm, chocolate). Sounds impressive, but the grocery store I went to didn't have plums, otherwise I would have made poached plums in wine with vanilla ice cream. Instead, I cheated and got something pre-made (which thankfully turned out decent and on-sale!)

Have any good recipes? Please share (I'd be happy to do the same).


PS - Thank you to Amanda, Cliff and Yas for the beautiful white orchid! My first orchid!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December Giveaway

Happy Tuesday | Bon mardi !

I am excited to reveal my first (of many) giveaways. This month, you have a chance to win 2 ecojotters (yay!) -- little debossed notebooks with a handy elastic closer from the 2009 Ecojot collection. They're 100% post-consumer recycled of course ;)

For your chance to win, simply send a comment with your random environmental factoid of the day. Thank you again to those who inspired this idea.

I will be mirroring this giveaway on Ecojot designer Carolyn Gavin's contest technique. Therefore to qualify you will need to provide a factoid, but I will get an assistant (likely Lily, Carolyn's adorable daughter) to pick out a name from a raffle as pictured.

Winners will be announced first week of January here. Plus, don't forget you have another chance to win at Designer Jots.

Thanks for participating... Can't wait to learn all sorts of random facts about the environment / saving our planet !

Please note, we're only able to ship to Canada or the US. However, if you are somewhere else in the world, I would love to still here from you just the same :)  **Also please remember to include contact information, or if you are uncomfortable leaving contact info email me at: ecojotter at gmail dot com and/or be sure to check back here first week of January.  Thank you.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Gifts, gifts 'n more gifts

It's almost 4pm, the sun is almost set, and I have been inside all day writing away... So after this quick jot, I shall take a nice walk with Ziggy (who just happens to be napping... again!)

Was browsing some of my friends blogs when I came across Lisa Canning's posting on Even tape can be fabulous! Agreed. And at $14.99, she's right , "come on" you can't go wrong... Especially when on the look out for affordable holiday gifts.

There are also 25 [other great] holiday gift ideas by Marianne Rohrlich of the NYTimes. I am particularly fond of the stainless steel shredding scissors available at

Speaking of gifts, I finished up my gift preparation for that IT Company. I had so much fun placing a Staedtler triplus fineliner in the the big coils of jumbo journals, accented with little 3x4s, and wrapping 'em in those delightful Danica canvas bags I found! Since the IT Company happens to be called Squarify, I completed the very eco-friendly presents with delicious square Ghiradelli chocolates... Mmmm!

Have any holiday gifting tricks? Please do share.

Now time for that walk. Remember sometime tomorrow I'll be posting a question for you to answer, for a chance to win two new eojotters. Not yet at stores! If you haven't already... Carolyn's offering a chance to win on her blog too. Bonne soirée.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Back to Basics

Have you heard of nine-year old love expert Alec Greven? Because he seems to be the talk of the town, not only was he in the Globe and Mail, but when I turned on the CBC this morning he was being interviewed on the radio by Jian Ghomeshi on Q.

"After watching his classmates mingling at recess, the Colorado third-grader decided the boys needed some help. With a creative writing assignment due, Alec spun his observations into a pamphlet called How to Talk to Girls - which then sold for $3 (U.S.) at the school fair."

Some of my favourite Alec Greven quotes include...
Q: What were these boys doing wrong?
A: Usually their brains turned to mush and they [would] say something wrong.

If you like a girl, comb your hair and don't wear sweats. You don't have to try too hard, but just try to look kind of clean.

Go for a talkative girl if you are shy. Then you only have to say one sentence, and she will do the rest of the talking.

Whatever happens, don't let it make you crazy.
From the basics of love at recess and beyond, to questions ideas and suggestions... I've received some great ones via here, email and Facebook (thank you!) Therefore, early next week, maybe even Monday... Watch out for my first (of many) Giveaways!

Speaking of ideas and suggestions, Corteaus kindly recommended What I hadn't realized is I am déjà familiar with Keri's work. I recently gave Wreck this Journal to my dear friend Amanda (photographed to the left).

Whilst visiting Keri's site I came across her 100 Ideas which I absolutely adore, please do check them out. Again some of my faves...

34. Fill an entire page in your journal with small circles. Color them in.

39. Write about your relationship with your washing machine.

44. Put postcards of art pieces/painting on the inside of your kitchen cupboard doors, so you can see them everyday (but not become deaf to them)

51. Draw a map of your favorite sitting spots in your town/city. (photocopy it and give it to someone you like).

93. Write your own definition of one of the following concepts, sitting, waiting, sleeping (without using the actual word.)
Here's to your ideas! Bon Weekend!



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reminiscencing & Recycling

Wow! Is it really December 11th 2008? Where did the year go? This time last year I was in France. The photograph of the swans to the left was (as it turns out) taken exactly one year ago!

Ahhh... France, land of dark chocolate truffles, pastries, baguettes, cheese and of course, wine! I was on a tight budget then (and until now), but thankfully wine was always affordable!

Speaking of wine, check out this fabulous idea on how to transform a wine bottle into a beautiful lamp. Admit it! You're intrigued, after all who doesn't prefer "making reusable packaging beautiful and useful instead of throwing it out?"

I came across the idea at - a site kindly recommended by my Uncle Matt. Here's when I must admit these "Anime and video game themed bento lunches [are indeed] delicious works of art." I also absolutely couldn't resist clicking on "Can a yellow blob clean a keyboard better than Windex?" A word of caution, it really is a yellow blob... gooey and gross.

However, since it was very commercial-like, it reminded me of one of my favourite real commercials... I don't know about the car... But great commercial:

Well that's it for my thoughts, except for one final one... I will be holding my December Giveaway next week. I am still trying to come up with a Question to Ask... I loved Carolyn's but am trying to come up with my own ecojot-esque question... Any ideas? Please comment below.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wishful Whimsical Wednesday because Whoah weather... COLD!

Originally uploaded by ecojotter
Today's title is brought to you by P's challenge.

Woke up (not so bright, literally anyway, 'n) early this morning to bid Carolyn and her family Bon Voyage!

Did I mention I am house and Ziggy-sitting? Oh what fun! Ziggy and I are still acquainting ourselves with one another but so far so good... We have one thing in common, we love sitting in front of the fire in this beautiful home, especially on this brrrrrrr Wednesday (-11C Toronto).

Upon fully walking up, I discovered some bleak headlines about the economy, politics: close, closer to home, and not too far, when I came across this.

And since as a Canadian I like to think I have good sense of humour (yes, spelt with a "u") and can poke fun of ourselves... For your Wednesday enjoyment...

Canadians: Click on image above to view video.
Americans: Click here -same video, different link :)

Now off to surf, the web that is... I am in search of the best looking sites out there as Ecojot will be revamping its own site in 2009 and I have the pleasure of spearheading this campaign. What are some of your favourite sites? Carolyn has shared some of her faves with me which include Orla Kiely, Snow & Graham and Misha Lulu. Plus a recent fave of mine, as recommended by Thrive: :D Please share yours!

Happy Wishful Whimsical Wednesday!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thrilling Tuesday

Bon Mardi!
Happy Thrilling Tuesday! I was contemplating Terrific Tuesday, but perhaps I will save terrific for Thursday ;)

Thrilling because I am thrilled to introduce ecojotters (no not multiple me's, but little notebooks inspired by me...)

"portable, debossed 100% recycled mini journals with a handy elastic closer"

designed by Carolyn Gavin who happens to giving away 2 this month! Check out her blog for more details. PLUS that's not all... There are four ecojotter designs in all, and I will be giving away another set of the two other designs later this month... So stay tuned!

I adore the picture above because that blinder clip attached to the book is exactly what I do! But not just to the spiral bound notebooks but even the workbooks as can be seen from the photo to the left. Can you spot the tiny little black binder clip?

Two other exciting tidbits... Welcome all new readers who are visiting from DesignerJots my blog sister site... As Carolyn will be away for a couple weeks, I do hope you will stop by regularly

"for your chance to win again! + maybe keep up with ecojot news as well."

Lastly, I am meeting up with Louie Tucci today at the Palmerston Café to pick up the MMM Ecojot Sketchbook. I can't wait to see what he came up with and give you a sneak peak!

Again Bon Mardi! Happy Thrilling Tuesday! Stay warm Torontonians and others in equally cold climates.


Monday, December 8, 2008

manic monday

i really miss toronto winters
Originally uploaded by
"Just another manic Monday... Wish it were Sunday, because that's my fun day. I don't have to run day... Just another manic monday."
Okay today wasn't quite manic but it certainly was busy. I think I also may just want to keep up with my recent alliteration titles. 0:)

First of all, here's hoping this finds everyone having had a wonderful weekend! Wow was it ever cold in Toronto! Eek, I forgot how cold Canadian winters are, especially in Ontario. I am convinced that it feels colder than in the Rockies were I spent my high school days. It may get as cold as -30 there, but -30 feels like -20 and it's a dry cold... Here you feel it in your bones!

Speaking of the cold, I have recently been researching alternative heating options, but of course energy efficient, ie. green ones. I was originally considering a space heater when my friend Jamie recommending considering an electric blanket. As she pointed out, if the need arises when I travel (and as you all know, I can end up traveling quite a bit and unexpectedly at that) I could bring it along, unlike a space heater.

So I did a quick google search for "energy efficient electric blanket" (not that's an alliteration!) and discovered this awesome site called Green Vaccine which I have since bookmarked! I love unexpected such as these... As much as I love comments that reveal cool sites such as ! Thanks Thrive !

Finally, I can't not mention the awesome early Christmas present I received from my friend Premek at his holiday cheese and wine party... A beautiful bright pink box of.... Drumroll... Every colour of Sharpie pen you could imagine! Très cool... I can't wait to jot and draw away with 'em. Thanks again Premek!

Stay warm everyone,
xo, ej

Friday, December 5, 2008

Funny Friday?

After breakfast this morning, I logged on to the world wide web to catch up on what everyone's up to... post-listening to the CBC news of course 0:)

Was browsing amongst FB posted items when I came across... Man tries to pay bill with spider drawing... I kid you not. Thank you Adriana for sharing, it certainly made me laugh this morning :D

Now for something a little less odd and funny to something more silly and fun... I was trying to remember what video Lenka's Trouble is a Friend reminded me of... That would be Marie Digby's Say It Again, very poppy but great for a crisp but sunny Friday (click on video to view)...

I think I'm fond of both these videos because they both go back to simpler "special effects..." Although this version of Enjoy the Show is stilly my fave! All a little more organic, like jotting is to typing... :)

Bon Weekend Everyone!


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Troublesome Thursday?

Is it really Thursday already?

As my Facebook status still states... I am busy brainstorming away... So will keep today's entry short. Less troublesome and more on the thoughtful side... A new video from Lenka: Enjoy! [Just click on the image below to view.]


PS -- Am always up for YouTube recommendations... hint, hint, nudge, nudge... Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sneak peeks and cheap finds!

This morning I had the pleasure of stopping at designer Carolyn Gavin's home to see the final pre-print copy of Ecojot's 2009 catalogue. I was kindly allowed to share my input, which truth be told was mostly me drooling over all the new designs, including... the peacock design (above)!

So Carolyn lives on the east-end of Toronto, thankfully she's just a Queen streetcar ride away. However, here's a question for you... Have you ever fallen asleep on public transit and woken up to discover you're than a couple stops away from your original target location? Well that's what happened to me! However, I decided to make it into a happy accident... And do some window shopping and pop into the stores I just couldn't resist... The Knit Café, Token, Atomic (pictured above; to say hi to Lawrence) and of course The Paper Place to name a few.

My last stop was at BLVD Interiors where I found myself a dozen Danica canvas bags. A bit much sounding to be sure... But at $19 a pop minus 75%, I couldn't go wrong! Hence the "cheap finds." Yes, I bought them all! 0:)

What will I do with so many canvas bags you ask? Well, one of my freelance gigs this month is designing holiday client appreciation gifts for a small IT start-up. As you can imagine I am going with an eco-savvy theme ;) I'll be sure to share the final gifts soon!

That's it for now...

PS - Random thrifty tip: As you may know, when a store is trying to get rid of old stock they will continually lower prices until everything is sold. A couple months ago those same bags were only 50% off... Plus when I offered to buy all of them, the owner gave me an even better deal! So if you don't mind the risk, waiting can pay off!

Monday, December 1, 2008

recycling subway cars

I've never heard of Inhabitat until today... But am so pleased a friend (Thanks Geoff!) shared this link on good ol' Facebook on "Recycled Subway Cars Turned into Studios in London." As I commented... Très cool!

That's all for now folks. Am back in Toronto, and just re-climatizing myself figuratively and literally after all the travel this past month. In fact, traveled ViaRail/Amtrak back to Toronto which made the recycled subway cars article cool semi-relevant food for thought!



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