Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Happy Earth Day!

shake it So, today was Earth Day. All around me, people were doing things to the contrary of what Earth Day is supposed to inspire. Like using the world as their ashtray. I was very annoyed. I guess it just hasn't caught on (even though it's been around since the '70s... I guess Hallmark hasn't found a good way to capitalize on it, so there's no sense in promoting it). I really don't get the sense of entitlement that some people seem to have. They think the world owes them something, and that they don't have to give back. Sorry, life just doesn't work that way.

Or maybe it does, if you're blissfully ignorant.

chasin' waterfalls But seriously. I mean, I'm not all 'love mother Earth, hippie chick' ... but it's fairly obvious that throughout my generation, and the generations before, we have been doing some serious damage to the world. The fact that I got a sunburn today (in APRIL. In TORONTO), and gasoline is now up to $1.20 a LITRE has got to say something about the current state of the world.

In any case. Today, I chose to spend my Earth day seeing some of the best of what nature has to offer. I took a stroll through High Park... just me, my camera, my iPod and my Starbucks iced white mocha (in my own mug that I brought from home). It was absolutely lovely. There were tonnes of people out. I was stopped by a lady and her daughter who asked me what I was taking a picture of, and we chatted for a while. It was really nice to be alone, but still feel like part of a community. I haven't really been feeling much love for Toronto lately, but being in High Park definitely perked me up a bit.

Here's the pictures:

Pin It

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Envelope Wall-Hanging Tutorial

Okay, so this is a tutorial for a wall hanging that I made to display my hundreds of postcards. (It won't actually hold a hundred, so I'm going to have to make another one... LOL). Sadly, I don't have a picture of the final version, because I haven't got around to hanging it on my wall yet - but it's coming soon. Hopefully, you'll be able to visualize it... but if you have any questions, just ask :)

For this project, you'll need:
- envelopes (Anywhere from 4-7) of the same size
- collage materials
- stiffer paper/cardstock (I reused the inner tube of a dollar store giftwrap package)
- decorative brad
- string or ribbon
- scissors/glue

1. First, assemble your envelopes. They all have to be the same size, and they have to be able to fit your postcards. I used 5 envelopes, but you could use less (maybe more, but not too many more, because it'll get too heavy to hang).

Arrange them in a vertical line, and glue the flap of the bottom envelope to the "front" (what most people consider the front, but it won't end up being the front for our purposes) of the envelope on top. Keep going until you get to your top envelope, and just leave that one free.

2. Next, you'll take the images that you've cut out for your collage, and begin gluing them onto the envelopes. Be sure to leave all the flaps open, as that's where the postcards (or whatever items you choose) will be stored. I chose pretty travel-inspired pictures, mostly from National Geographic, but you could use any magazine, scrapbooking paper, etc to go with your decor. Keep going, all the way up to the top.

I also cut my pictures a little bigger than I needed, and stuffed them into the pockets, so that they slightly overlap. If you anticipate having a lot of items to fill your pockets, you don't really need to worry about this, but if there's going to be a gap, it's always nicer to see pictures, rather than just white envelope. By the time you're done this step, there should be no envelope seen on the "pocket" side of the hanging.

3. Next step - flip your hanging over, so that you see the back of the hanging (the flaps glued to the "fronts") which should be white. Take your cardstock/heavy paper and cut it to the size of your hanging. Use a whole lot of glue, and stick the cardstock to the envelopes. This is just to reinforce the envelopes a bit.

This is what my hanging looked like at this point. To the right is the full length of the hanging, all covered with images. To the left is the bottom pocket, filled with a few postcards. (Notice how you don't really see the images behind the pockets when they're full... the cityscape is all but invisible back there... so use your favourite images on the actual "pocket" part):

4. The final step is to attach your brad and string. I used a cloth covered brad (super cute, and I found it at the dollar store! Can't beat that!) ... I wrapped the string around the brad before I closed it up. One other thing I did after the fact was reinforce this area with some clear packing tape. I thought that maybe I made my hole a little too close to the top and it would need a little bit of reinforcement. This is more of a judgement call - if you feel like your hanging needs some extra support, I think this is the way to go (or if you have other suggestions for reinforcement, let me know!)

And, you're done! Gorgeous, pro-looking wall hanging that can contain almost anything (you could use it to organize receipts... school assignments... notes... whatever!), and you get to recycle and be creative. Can't beat that!

If you like these kinds of posts... leave a comment :) I'll do more in the future if there's interest in it. I do projects like this all the time.
Pin It

Monday, 7 April 2008


One year ago today, the world lost a great man.
He wasn't famous, most people would not know him from any other man on the street. But those who knew him, loved him. Especially me.
His name was Salvatore Pugliese, and I am fiercely proud to call him my Nonno.

Throughout his 90 years, he lived through many tough times, including having been a prisoner of war in Germany, during World War Two. After returning home from the war, he made the trip, alone, to Canada, and began to build a life for his wife and two small daughters (one of whom was my mother), who joined him later. He created a modest lifestyle for the family, which would later grow to include another daughter, and twin boys.

As the family grew, marriages and births soon followed. By the time I came along - the youngest of my parents children - my Nonno had retired. I had two working parents, and, as is common in many Italian families - there is no such thing as daycare or babysitter's... there is Nonna's house.

I didn't have any cousins my age, my brother and sister were both in school full time, and my aunts and uncles were all at work, so my days consisted of myself, Nonno and Nonna (and maybe a bit of Sesame Street!). Because of this, I was able to form a strong bond with my grandparents, especially my Nonno.

My childhood was an incredibly happy one. I wish all children could have a childhood as happy as mine. My Nonno would take me to McDonald's for lunch as a treat... he made me a crib for my Cabbage Patch, and a stable for my My Little Ponies, out of wood and his own two hands... he taught me how to count, and would say silly rhymes in Italian to make me smile... he would bounce me on his knees and push me on the swings...

As I grew older and I didn't spend as much time with him, because I was in school, he was still influential in my life. Occasionally, my grandparents would be at my house when I came home from school, and you could smell my Nonna's cookies baking from up the road. My friends all knew my grandparents, and many thought of them as an extension of their own families.

As I grew even older, graduating high school, then going to university.... and then graduating university and joining the work force... I appreciated my grandparents more and more, and it started to dawn on me that they were both growing older, and that I wouldn't have them around forever. I started taking a lot more photos of Nonno after realizing this.

Families grew again, and Nonno became "Big Nonno" to two gorgeous girlies. He was incredibly proud to be a great grandfather and to show off the new little additions to the family.
He celebrated his 90th birthday on September 16, 2006. We threw him a surprise party at my cousins' pizzeria, and he was in top form. He was completely high class in his suit, fedora and cane. He loved that his entire family came out to see him, and absolutely LOVED the scrapbook that I made from him (with help from my sister in law!) of all his grandchildren.

The next year was a rough one. He started to get sick in January, and spent quite a while in and out of hospital. The weekend he passed away was Easter weekend, and I remember it all too well. I'm actually not going to write about it, though, because I want to take this time to celebrate his life. So, here is a slideshow of photos of my Nonno, over a course of time...

I hope you enjoy it :)

Salvatore Pugliese
September 15, 1916 - April 7, 2007

Love you forever, Nonno.
Pin It


Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Share this