Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Chinatown

I suppose it's not really mine, but I do feel a close connection to it.  It's been my favourite spot in Vancouver for as long as I can remember. Every big city seems to have one, but this one is one of the prettiest I've seen.  

It's been pouring rain, movie set style, all day.  The sun popped out so I headed out after a long day of photoshop.  I'm working on a project for a client, that involves Chinatown, so I took a few images to get inspired.  

Ginko tree lined street

Buddhas collected from Chinatowns around the world. I'm still waiting for all the luck they're supposed to shower me with. At least a couple of them glow in the dark.

Friday, September 25, 2009


It's Friday. I'm very happy about that. I thought I'd post some images I've shot over the last few days. Changed my banner as well. The background is a shot of the top of my Enid Collins purse. Merci to
Rob for helping me out with the layout.

She has an impossibly perfect face

The bike lane just after dawn - my car was parked beside it. I feel shame.

I've come to realize that these face blotters are very helpful on a hot and humid day. Thanks to Walrus. One of the best shops in Vancouver.

Shot from Crab Park in downtown Vancouver, at dawn.

It's the Aussie Rules Grand Final tonight. TSN2 is showing it live. My husband's team, St. Kilda Saints (yeah) are playing against the Geelong Cats (booooo). Please send your best thoughts to the Saints and me because, if they lose, it will be a rough weekend. His team has not won since 1966. Ouch.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Perfect Fall Evening

My friend, Sarah Mousseau, is showing her beautiful paintings at the Silk Purse Gallery in West Vancouver.  Last night we went to the opening, and it was a perfect night.  The gallery sits right on the beach so we could walk outside, with our wine, and watch the sunset. 
I've attached the invite and a few of the paintings.  The colours are so soft and soothing.  Not to mention, a number of them are geishas. Love geishas. You can reach Sarah at sam.mousseau@gmail.com. The exhibit runs until October 4th.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekend in Vancouver

It's been a happy weekend. Lots of sunshine, lovely design, photography, coffee and Prosecco.

Checked out the IDSwest show. Lots of great design. I've included a couple of images of the Cross Design Media Lounge, House and Home event. Lynda Reeves, the publisher, was there along with Mark Challen, v.p. of communications. I shoot for that magazine often, in fact the November issue will feature Darci's (The Cross) home, festooned with Christmas decor. Looking forward to seeing how it all came together.

I also had a chance to catch up with Janette Ewen, from Cityline, and Danny Sinopoli from Globe and Mail.  I started working with Janette and Danny when they were both with House and Home.  So nice to see them in my town.
One last mention... I'm deeply intrigued by the upcoming exhibit at the Vancouver Museum. How could you resist a show called "Ravishing Beasts", the strangely alluring world of taxidermy? I can't. I love the story of "Lucky" the dog (picture below). His owner loved him so much, that he had him stuffed when he died. He couldn't take him to the old age home, so he donated him. Awww.
For all of you that live in Vancouver, check out the Museum some time.  It really is a beautiful building too.   

I'll be working on a few more images to put up on Etsy, later this week.  Keep you posted.  

Friday, September 18, 2009

Almost Fall

It's been pretty busy since I returned from my shoot in the Kootneys, now it's the weekend. Looking forward to sleeping in.

The other night, I checked out the Comrags trunk show in Gastown.  Comrags is a Canadian fashion label - beautiful clothes.  I went with my friend Nikki, and we actually behaved ourselves. I've been to these kinds of shows before. On one occasion, I woke up the next morning to find a cute little shopping bag containing a very tiny dress, a few plastic wine glasses, and a pencil with the name of the new shop on it, beside my bed.  My memory was a bit hazy, so I gave the dress a go but I couldn't get it past my shoulders.  Let's just say the refund policy wasn't good.  This episode was the on set of my post purchase doubt syndrome (P.P.D.S.). I never drink at these things now.   I would love the following two frocks though.

Well, as we head into a beautiful weekend, I leave you with a shot of a rusty, vintage bicycle I saw while having a day in the country with my friends Heather and Midge (a.k.a. Lily).
Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Heart the Kootneys and Ernesto

Just wrapped up a 3 day shoot in the Kootneys.  Have to say, Rossland and Trail were especially photogenic. I got a bit obsessed, actually.  I'm working on a series of B.C. images, so I've attached a few.  

Now, about Ernesto.  I love Ernesto. His lovely wife, Connie, is pretty great too. They have an amazing edible garden. The dynamic duo took Jose and I into their home and showed us everything they do with their bounty. He's a very modest Portuguese man, so I had to beg him to let me take a picture of him with his gala apple tree. We all chatted for a bit using a lot of hand motions, and arm flailing, as we tried to understand what each other was saying. What I did pick up was that he doesn't mind if a passer-by picks an apple, just don't snap off an entire branch. Oh, and he's not too keen on raccoons and bears and he doesn't like "show offs". Or he doesn't want to be a show off.  Something like that.

Chair lift at Red Mountain - Rossland, B.C.

CocaCola is truly everywhere - Trail, B.C.

My new friend, Ernesto and his gala apple tree - Castlegar, B.C.

Jose and her perogie and cabbage roll dinner at Weezie's Borscht Hut - Castlegar, BC
(wish I had this right now)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cute Cow and a Time Tunnel

It's been a very busy day here in sunny Castlegar.  Jose and I were up before dawn to shoot a beautiful garden for Canadian Gardening.  The homeowners, Caroline and Darcy, have cattle as well. At first, I thought this cow was very cute until he started to pee with wild abandon.  I thought a hose was left running. Really. This was at 7am, on an empty stomach.  Probably a good thing, when I think about it.
Caroline, told us that they never buy any meat as they basically eat their cows. Fair enough. I eat fish, but I no longer eat mammals or birds,  just not my thing these days. So when she was describing how a cow ends up in their freezer, I had a vivid picture of it in my head and still do. One day a cow is wandering around, chewing cud (is that the word), the next day he's in their freezer. It all takes place on their property. I won't share anymore details. Why am I so thrown off by this? How did I imagine hamburgers were created? I've now forgiven the cow for his rather crass behaviour. 

After all of that, we drove to Nelson.  It was like stepping into a time tunnel. It's a beautiful town.  I especially loved the West Arm Bridge, and the retro Dairy Queen. Very "Happy Days". Jose kindly waited for me while I pulled out my old Kodak duaflex and other assorted lens, on the side of the road.  

Now, must go find dinner and, possibly, a dairy queen.
West Arm Bridge built 1957
A fabulous Dairy Queen built in the 50's

Saturday, September 12, 2009

On the Road

What a day. I started making frames, with my brother David, for several large pieces of artwork for Habit Lounge.  It reopens tomorrow, so time is ticking. After several cuts with the Ryobi mitre saw, it broke. Well done. Day over.  Sorry Nigel (owner of broken mitre saw). 

Now that I feel I've been no help with those frames, as luck would have it, I'm off to Castlegar tomorrow for a shoot with Canadian Gardening. I've included a shot of Highway 3 in B.C.  Love that road.  Will try to blog while away.

Have a lovely Sunday!   

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Paul Smith Is Right

According to Paul Smith, you really can find inspiration in everything.  

These little party place cards were discovered buried in a bunch of  junk in my mom's storage space.  She doesn't know why she has them (that is the running theme of her storage space), but I'm happy she does.  They appear to be from the 60's and kind of brittle.  

I have now been inspired to have some green tea and plan a Japanese Sake party.   I've also decided to never, ever, have a storage space.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Menu Tasting at Habit

Last night, the chef and owners of Habit (I'm related to a number of them) had a menu tasting. Modern Canadian food is how they describe the menu. Lots of wine and fantastic food, made for a bit of a sleep in this morning.  I took a few shots, then decided I should put the camera down and just eat and drink.
Habit reopens this Sunday - finally.  Rob, my husband, has been busy creating artwork for the walls as well as a paper mache deer head.  It's all looking great, but I'll be happy when it's done and we're not tripping over piles of orange tissue paper, and tubes of acrylics!  
See you at Habit!

Salt Cod Cakes

Lamb and Pork meatloaf

Veggie Shepherd's Pie

Buck the deer head

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Sneak Peek at the Cross

I just got home from another fantastic shoot with the gang at The Cross, a beautiful home store here in Vancouver.  We were working on their new website to be launched very soon.  

Darci and Stephanie just returned from a buying trip in NYC.  Boxes are now arriving daily, it seems. Lots of fabulous new stock…can’t wait until it’s all unpacked. 

The Cross will be taking part in the IDSwest show September 17 -  20.   They’ve been asked to do the media lounge as well.  Very exciting.  Stephanie Vogler took me to the old car repair shop, where the media lounge and their own show space are being created.  Roxanne was just pasting up another strip of wallpaper.  I can't wait to see the final result....it will be stunning!

If you’re in Vancouver, don’t miss the IDSwest show.  It’s gets better every year.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I just learned that some images I took, of Latitude restaurant, will be featured in an international book of best bars.  Pretty exciting!  I've included a couple of samples. More details to come soon.
Latitude is a new restaurant, owned and operated by my brother Larry Nicolay and his partner Lisa Henderson.  It's received rave reviews for the incredible menu as well as the decor, designed by Evoke International Design.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Annika at Little Mountain

Recently I had a day out with my niece Annika. I told her that I wanted to go and check out some buildings that were boarded up and all the tenants had to move out. Annika was sad that all the kids had to move and leave their "fun slide" and "springy thing".

This site is called the Little Mountain Site and the property is owned by the Province of B.C. Hmmm. Makes me wonder what will happen. This was much needed low income housing. Apparently all the tenants were found accommodation. Must look into that, actually.