A surprise gift, a new creative project and a tourist experience in my own city

Snail Mail

The other day I received a gift in the mail.

Ok, so not traditional mail, Amazon, but whatever. 😉

A wonderful blogging friend from Michigan contacted me to ask for my address is so he could send me two books: his own, and a second one a young girl published whom he knows as a family friend. I believe the Environmental Animal’s Coloring Book is Harmony’s first published book and available on Amazon. 🙂

Bill is an interesting man who blogs approximately once a week on a blog called Harmony Books & Films, LLC. He wrote the book I’m Tired of Being Ordinary, Are You? I’ve read the kindle version already, but I’m thrilled to have the physical book in my collection now.

Anyway, the story goes that Bill, who is a deadlifter, helped Harmony out in some capacity to get her book published.

I love it when kids get the courage to publish their passions! So here’s my part in helping a young author gain a little bit of recognition. Next steps: I’m going to leave a review for her.

I’ve been bitten by the creativity bug*

*if there is such a thing. 😀

As some of you know, I have many interests I’m curating. This is sometimes a blessing in disguise, and often a curse. But then, I’m a witch-in-the-making, so curses don’t scare me. (Ha!)

How am I a witch? Well, I read Tarot cards intuitively and post the readings to TikTok, I write about Tarot (but haven’t recently, no time), and I have an altar with crystals and candles and cards and Birch bark.

One day, I noticed my mom had a multitude of tiny little glasses stored away in a closet. I remembered them as little dessert containers from Costco, I think they have pudding or tiramisu or something in them. Well, mom kept the little cups and stored them with the other vases. I asked her what she was saving them for and she said they were too cute to throw out.

So I took one and made a tea light holder out if it. Then, I showed her and she approved, so I took some others and made more.

What do you think?

I have four done (plus a prototype) and another four are coming up shortly. Then I will list them to my Etsy shop BoldlyChicBoutique.

The Birch bark meanwhile is still selling; two days ago, while I was in Toronto with the family (and away from my studio) I received another order for Birch bark. The large pieces are heavily sought after, it seems.

I checked quickly what my dispatch date was and I had three days to get it ready, which was perfect because I was unable to get to the burbs that day to deal with the order…

It didn’t have far to go, it only went to East York (part of Toronto), so the minute I got back to the burbs, which was on day 2, I sent it off. This is what the package looked like – left is what he ordered, right is his order packed with a Birch bark thank you tag I made myself.

When I messaged him that the package was on its way, I decided to ask him to let me know, if he was comfortable sharing, what he was using my Birch bark for. He responded to my message immediately:

Good morning Claudette, Thank you for keeping me informed. That is great customer service. I gladly leave a review of your Etsy store once I get the bark. Thank you for sending it out so promptly. And I will send you a picture of what I make with it. Always glad to support small Canadian businesses.

Etsy customer of BoldlyChicBoutique

I’m excited to see what he’s crafting! Are you? I often wonder why people buy my Birch bark. I can’t wait to share (but will only do so with his consent).


Toronto tourism

I played tourist in my own city again. My daughter had an appointment near the U of T campus so her dad and I took her together. The weather was absolutely miserable; cold, dark, grey, wet, drizzly… After we dropped her for the three-hour appointment (she’s participating in a mental health research project) we armed ourselves with umbrella and rain jackets and started walking around the area. First stop was U of T bookstore. He always wants to go there… he’s a U of T alumni, so there is some nostalgia involved here.

I took some photos of interesting books and book covers, and after a half hour, we braced the wet again and wandered around a bit. Suddenly, we came across this:

This tiny little house among the tall, glassy buildings is called Jimmy’s Coffee an they make a fantastic cappuccino. The ambiance was so warm and friendly, and I was surprised that it wasn’t a little busier given the crappy weather outside. There was a group of students with laptops sitting on the second floor, and it was fuller on the first floor next to the coffee bar, so the atmosphere was relatively quiet which is always better for conversation. We had things to talk about, namely about our graduating kid, so I was thankful the noise level was not intrusive.

After about an hour, we left in search for food. We came across a bar which looked intriguing, and when we stepped inside we thought it was pleasant enough to stay. There was a somewhat rowdy table at the back full of business men and every wall had multiple televisions playing the hype of the upcoming Maple Leafs vs Panthers hockey game, but it was nice enough and the booth were comfy, so we stayed.

The bartender came over and I ordered the special: pizza with artichoke and mushrooms. (It was delicious.) He had the pulled pork sandwich, fries and some craft beer.

Later, the bartender asked if we needed separate bills. lol Did he think we were on a date? Too funny. Even funnier was I had some cash which we used to pay for most of the meal. 😛

I was surprised the bar didn’t fill up as puck drop inched closer and closer, but then again, not everyone in Toronto is a hockey-crazed lunatic individual. We had to leave prior to the game’s start, but they invented smartphones for people like us, so while we waited for Sonja to come down from the 11th floor, we pulled up a YouTube thing and watched a bit of the game.

All in all, it was an interesting, albeit wet afternoon. The coffee shop reminded me of another one I visited recently, out in the suburbs near the marina, but I’ll leave that for another day to write about.

It is almost time for me to go remove the elastic bands from my Birch bark tealights, so off I go to complete my little project.

As always, thank you for stopping by my blog!

Don’t forget to check the menu of my home page to take you to other places where I create content.

See you in the comments.


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