Saturday, March 30, 2013

Weird things we saw at Allan Gardens this Easter!

Strolling through Allan Gardens on Good Friday, I noticed many things that looked like... something else. See what I mean? (Left column are my photos.)

Want to play an I-SPY game with the kids at Allan Gardens during easter? The Gardens are open throughout the Easter weekend.

Read my blog including two I-SPY games to print. Enjoy!

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Friday, March 29, 2013

I-Spy game at Allan Gardens

What do you spy at Allan Gardens?
Today at Allan Gardens, I spied Easter flowers, turtles, cactus shaped like caterpillars, a green dog...

Here are two I-SPY games I made from pictures I took today at Allan Gardens. Print them and on your next visit to the attraction, ask your kids to try and find the plants throughout the Gardens. (See our post about the new display for Spring 2014!)

On Allan Gardens's grounds, you'll see two giant dogs in the two dog off-leash parks on the north side. There are interesting murals along a construction site on the south side. 

You can visit the Gardens year-round (365 days) for free. They change the displays every season. 

After the visit, you can stop for a bite at Chew Chew Diner an all-day breakfast place adorned with a beautiful train-themed mural on its side (a two-minute walk from Allan Gardens at 186 Carlton, east of Sherbourne).

Want to see some weird things we noticed at Allan Gardens? Check this!

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

(March 19) Series are fun!

Part One and Part Two, side by side

I've had this fantasy for a long time, of my guides displayed side by side in bookstores. Johanne Pepin did a great job of creating a cover which is different while keeping the trade mark colourful covers of books published by Word-of-Mouth Production.

Here they are, side by side: Toronto Urban Strolls 1 (in a new edition), with 28 Toronto strolls. And Toronto Urban Strolls 2, with 24 more Toronto walks. No overlap here! The strolls are different in each guide. All together, it means 52 Toronto strolls.

My work is done!

(March 19) Uploading the guide to the printer!

About (finally) uploading the book 
to the printer
Yesterday night, I uploaded the full PDF version of Toronto Urban Strolls... for girlfriends (2) into my printer's deposit site.

This is the entire work of the last months. 
I sooooo deserve a treat!

How it works
They gave me a user name and a password to access it.

When we saved the inDesign file as a PDF, we went in the "Marks and Bleeds" menu and checked the box "All Printer's Marks", which automatically added crop marks, color bar and page information on each page of the PDF. Very cool and easy!

Cover 1-2 (front and back of a book) was 4.7 MB. 
Cover 3-4 (inside covers) was 1.6 MB.
The inside of the book: 
a large 300 MB document!

The ready-to-print cover looks like this:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Want a teen-tested very cool outing suggestion?

Play the tourist!

A while ago, I suggested you do this stroll with teens during the March Break. March break is over but this stroll is still there for you to enjoy.

Print the following FREE EXCERPTS WITH MAP of the BLOOR WEST COOL STROLL from Toronto Urban Strolls... for girlfriends 2.

It includes ambitious graffiti alleys, exotic Koreatown, little cakes shaped like walnuts, the best second-hand store for books, the equally best second-hand store for music, a board game café, comic books store, manga store, horror movies store, amazing French toasts, wacky Honest Ed's and more.

Word of the wise:
You MUST let your kids bring a friend. It doubles the fun.

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See more photos with my teens exploring 
the Bloor West Cool Stroll.

Friday, March 8, 2013

(March 8) About illustrations

Busy at the drawing table

This week, my illustrator Johanne Pepin sent me photos of herself in action, to show you how it looks on her side of the creation process. 

Once I approved her final sketch, she traced the final illustration. Yesterday, she was putting the last touch to the book cover illustration.

Today, we're scanning it and she can then take "the rest of the day" off!

It's been quite a sprint. But everything went smoothly.
Nothing beats working with cool people we respect!

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

(March 7) About perseverance

It's all about perseverance

I'll get to the bottom of this!

A friend just posted this on Facebook.
It even looks like me!

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

(March 6) About deadlines

Feeling of déjà-vu about deadlines...

A few years ago, the making of my Toronto Fun Places was taking much more time than planned. So much that I had time to ask my illustrator and partner in crime Johanne Pepin to make two drawings for me, to be  include in the guide. 

They featured my vision on how things should be by a certain time. And the reality. This time, I'm only two weeks behind schedule. Not so bad. But I still feel like the girl in that "reality" picture.

Come to think of it, I was doing my own little "How I see it" meme before its time. You know, the likes of this one:

Sunday, March 3, 2013

(March 3) A Criminal Minds moment

Felt like a (little) Criminal Minds moment!

You know how in Criminal Minds or CSI, they sometimes notice something in the background of a photo which they had overlooked before. Something that gives them a clue as to what really happened?

I just got one of these moments as I was selecting photos for my Danforth Stroll. (Two days ago, I went to Pizzeria Libretto with a friend to treat myself with their unique pizza.)

I had taken a shot to get a good view of the great lights hanging from the ceiling. In my next shot, I tried a horizontal version. 

As I was focusing my attention on the lamps, I was oblivious to people's reaction.

Oops! It is so not my intention to make people uncomfortable.
Now I can imagine them saying: "Look, she's taking our picture!"
"There she goes again!" 

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By the way, the food was amazing! Rocco's Salad (topped with a fried egg with yolk running over everything when you cut it) and pizza of the day. Yum!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

(March 2) Evolution of a book cover

The book cover is seriously taking shape.

My illustrator sent me this new drawing. You can compare it to the first one she sent to me two weeks ago at (the end of this blog).

Johanne had a few questions. She suggested putting a food truck on the lower left side of the cover, by the tree.

I counter-suggested she draws a streetcar instead. (She doesn't know I'm not talking about food trucks.) We send each other images to clarify what we have in mind.

She wasn't sure about the garden chair above the tree. I suggested a scene or display from a designer or vintage store and sent her a bunch of photos I took in different stores.

It's a fun collaboration. (To be continued...)

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