Friday, December 24, 2010

The 8 Days of Christmas Sweaters: Day 8

Well, here we are on day 8 of the third annual "8 Days of Christmas Sweaters."  Tis almost bittersweet.  And so Christmas eve has found me...with four giant teddy bears across my torso.  What better way to cap off this year's collection than with an over-sized cardigan with over-sized stuffed bears, big enough to contain all the love and joy of Christmas eve.  2010 has been a very teddy Christmas, so it's only fitting to end on this Hollywood Squares style sweater that features teddies in all their glory.  You'll be the "bearer" of Christmas cheer wherever you go in this happy little number, punctuated with heart cuffs and star buttons.  And no need to feel guilty stuffing yourself at the Christmas table, as you will be in good company.

Merry Christmas and thank you for joining me in this celebration of the Christmas sweater, I hope it has brought you much joy as it has to me!

(note: voting will begin on Christmas day for your favourite sweater of 2010)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The 8 Days of Christmas Sweaters: Day 7

Today's selection is really the pick of the litter, the "Catillac" of Christmas sweaters.  Teeming with festive felines, this ol' ball of yarn is literally glowing with tinsel-like fibres woven through.  Fluffy, angora white kitties prance about with antlers and Christmas trees on their back, while their darker counterparts model the season's fashions while sledding, toting gifts on their backs and stars on their tails.  You'll be the cat's meow at any holiday event with this purrrfect Christmas sweater.  You can enjoy the cheese ball, while your sweaters coughs up a hair ball. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The 8 Days of Christmas Sweaters: Day 6

This vest is simply nutcracker sweet.  The elegant simplicity that accompanies this knit classic really packs an unexpected festive punch.  Sometimes you just don't need sleeves to make a statement.   Lined in threads of golden, two nutcrackers stand poised and ready for a good time–one ready for the drum line and the other ready to let loose to the beat.  The intricate bead and sequin detailing on their uniforms is second to none, standing up to even the finest Bejeweler.  And the golden tassel zipper accent brings with it pomp and circumstance, as if straight from a graduation cap.
The festive turtle neck is the perfect accompaniment to today's selection.  Splashed with trees, skis and unidentifiable red squares, it boasts a neck that is neither too constrictive nor too loose. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The 8 Days of Christmas Sweaters: Day 5

We are on track towards the homestretch with day five's fashion leading the way.  Straying ever so slightly from the traditional Christmas colour pallet in shades of mint on midnight, it offers a refreshing change from the norm.  There is a noticeable Charlie Brown quality to this knit number that  endears itself to ones heart, making it the perfect fashion choice for picking out that perfect tree.  There's no "flaking" it, this sweater will make you love life.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The 8 Days of Christmas Sweaters: Day 4

It's black velvet in that little snow pile, black velvet in a classy snowman's style.  Today's "vestive," holiday piece brings a note of elegance to this years collection that says, "I'm a dignified lady who can own three skating snowmen on my vest."  With hand embroidered snowflakes and fluffy, textured snowman amid a canvas of velvet, the tassels on the scarves that project themselves from the garment really add a saucy flare to this soft-spoken number.  Throw on your favourite Christmas satin blouse underneath and transition from daytime to evening with ease in this versatile vest.  Straying from the traditional notions of Christmas sweater, this vest brings a modern twist on a conservative classic.  (Need I remind you of last years champion...The Goose Vest).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The 8 Days of Christmas Sweaters: Day 3

Today's the day the teddy bears have their Christmas...on a red, knit cardigan.  Whether cross-country skiing, tobogganing, or simply holding a star by it's tail in some sassy pin-stripped pants, these bears know how to have a good time amidst snowflakes the size of their heads.  Framed in edgy black ribbing, how can one "fourbear" getting into a festive spirit in this little cropped dandy? 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The 8 Days of Christmas Sweaters: Day 2

The second day of sweaters is highlighted with patchwork pizazz!  This hand embroidered little diddy transitions from quilted bedspread to fashionable outerwear with ease.  Tartan plaid in one corner accents this sweater's Scottish charm as reindeer frolic over blossoms above...a popular Christmas highland games event.  But what really elevates this sweater is the liberal dosage of shoulder padding tenderly sewn in, perfect for playing on the defensive line in Sunday's game or simply barreling through the mall crowds.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The 8 Days of Christmas Sweaters: Day 1

Welcome to the third annual "8 Days of Christmas Sweaters," an event designed to celebrate that magical little garment that brings festive cheer to far and near.  I refrain from the use of crass terminology, such as "ugly" or "cheesy," as some have come to label this genre of clothing.  But let us simply let the sweaters speak to what they truly are...magnificent.

Our inaugural sweater to this season's collection boasts both fashion and function.  With it's sassy zip-up closure, making it a breeze to dawn when you need a little Christmas flair in a pinch, this sweater really has presence.  Pop the collar on this cardi to emphasize the gold, blanket stitch that sets this beauty apart from the pack.   With teddy on your hip you can "bear" even the dullest Christmas party.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thursday, November 11th, 2010 was a day to remember the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces.  It was also my very first NHL game.  My "Belleville family" was kind enough to bring me along to Ottawa where we witnessed the Vancouver Canucks whoop the Ottawa Senators 6-2.  This was very pleasing to me.  A wonderful introduction to live NHL.

We were sitting in the top row of the arena but I brought a 300mm lens to try and capture some action.  

Mr. Kesler crunches Mr. Hale into the boards.  Jack Nicholson cringes while his friend looks on in surprise.
Great save Luongo
Make sure you call the long fly pucks in the outfield.

Upon closer inspection you can barely see the puck across the line.  A faster trigger finger would have helped on my part!

Why can't we just all get along?

1 of 6 Canuck goals


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

No chance in hail...

Poor thing couldn't get a cab to stop for the life of her.  I was about ready to throw her over my shoulder and carry her to where she needed to go.  Perhaps it's time to give the subway a shot.

October 24, 2010
New York, N.Y.


Hello faithful few!

I know I've been terrible at updating this blog.  I'm terribly sorry if that has been bothersome to you.  I am also bothered by my lack of communication.

Lest you think I've passed away here in the crime capital of Ontario, rest assured, I am very much alive.  School consumes the majority of my time and what remnant I have left I pour into my decoupage.  Kidding, I spend it getting ready for Christmas Sweater Season!

It is my hope to update this with some of the recent happenings of life but for now I will leave you with this one photo.  I had the opportunity to go to New York City recently.  Lo and behold I thought I spotted and old Will Ferrell watering the plants in Central Park!

You can also check out

Friday, November 05, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Well I Never...

The 8am morning air is crisp and a light wind bites at my exposed skin as we gather.  My shoes laces are carefully double knotted.  The number 1664 is neatly safety pinned to the front my favourite electric blue Mountain Equipment Coop shirt.  The atmosphere seems charged.  Everything seems new as I stare out the window of a yellow school bus over the open Prince Edward County roads.  We head to the starting line.  A 21 km run to the finish.

“I hate running.  I will never enjoy it,” I had said 12 years ago when I dropped out of grade 11 gym class because the first month and a half were all road runs.  To me it was torture.  So I took a spare instead. 

At the same time I was in high school English classes that repeatedly brought down my grade point average.  A trend that carried through university, culminating in me having to write an English Language Competency Exam half way through my first year because my marks were too low.  So there I was in a lecture hall surrounded mostly by exchange students as we tried to prove we knew English.

“I hate writing. I will never like it,” I said.

Not only writing but four years later after 17 years of straight academia I was done with school.

“I hate school.  I’m never going back,” I said as I walked out of my last final exam of Trinity Western University.

The truth is I probably hated running and writing because they were so much work for me and I felt I would never be any good at either.

The pack starts moving forward and we are off.  I move into a slow rhythmic jog, making sure to pace myself as I have no idea what I’m getting into.  In a grade 5 track meet I had run the 400 metre race and sprinted off the line because some man had told me I would never beat the girl beside me, she was too fast.  It was probably her dad but I was bound and determined to prove him wrong.  For the first 100 metres I really showed that guy.  If only the race had ended there.  I finished dead last.

As the sun produces an almost blinding glare off the Bay of Quinte to my right, I think back to the Zambian sun casting an evening glow as I ran laps around the back yard in Lusaka.  I had started running months earlier as coping method for stress.  But now it was something different.  It had become as much a spiritual time as a physical one as I sensed God’s presence so tangibly as I ran.  This is where God and I had our best conversations.  I now loved to run.

Part way through my time in Zambia I connected with a relative I hardly knew at all.  Richard was my mom’s cousin.  A teacher.  A writer.  A runner.  On September 16, 2007 he wrote:

“Think seriously about something I told you a few months ago. Try writing. (Okay, you might need a job to support yourself for a while.) But seriously, start writing. Use humour as a genre. You have the talent and the imagination. Put the two together.


Richard was one of those people you couldn’t help but be drawn to.   With his thick rimmed glasses and slender frame he was one of those people who embraced life.  He was characterized by his love of forwarding humorous emails.  He was the teacher that everyone loved, even if you hated school.   He had a gift in writing and regularly reviewed and evaluated books for the Ministry of Education.  He was also a runner.  A crazy runner.  One of those people who ran ultra marathons…we’re talking 100km.  And he did this in his 60’s.  If there was a spokesperson for having a zest for life it was Richard.

He was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer that attacked his stomach, esophagus, and lymph nodes.  He was determined to keep going, even running in his frail physical state.  In December of 2009 his earthly existence was ended much to early.

Four months earlier I had packed up and moved across the country to Belleville, Ontario,  a small city of the Bay of Quinte and home to the best photojournalism program in Canada.  I was back in school.  I was writing.  And in the evenings I would run…and not because I was being chased either.

Fatigue is looming and I think of Richard.  I don’t know what I believe about those in heaven being aware of us here on earth but I ask God to make sure Richard knew what I was doing.  It was inspired by him.

This is the farthest I’ve ever run.   A once unattainable feat in my own mind, the end is right in front of me.  With one final burst of speed I sprint (at least that’s what it felt like to me) to the finish line, crossing over into new beginnings. 

Lesson learned.  Never say never.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

I've got a good mother...

Growing up being raised by a superhero isn't too bad.  But because my mom didn't wear her underwear outside her pants and have a cape flowing in the wind I didn't realize she was one until recently.

I remember as a kid that my mom knew just about everything and could do anything.  She was the fastest typer in the West and she could sing harmony to any song (even Radiohead's "High and Dry" as I discovered in high school).  I didn't mind that she was a lunch monitor at my elementary school because she was the "nice" one...I was so proud.

She could do it all.  Sew my clothes (jeans or jogging pants...depending on the phase I was in), cut my hair (I had some pretty short bangs), and cook my favourite meals that I would eat until I felt I was going to burst.  She made the best school lunches that made all the other kids jealous...especially in university!  She would sing songs, read books, and pray with us at bedtime, even though I was a notorious "staller".  She came to all my baseball and soccer games even though the tension of competition  probably gave her an ulcer.  And it wasn't all Suzy Homemaker, my mom could make a camp fire, chop wood, and fearlessly kill spiders.  She was the first one up and the last one to bed...probably because that's the only time she could have peace and quiet.  And she was always inhumanly chipper in the least compared to me.

As I got older there was a time when I thought I probably knew more than she did, especially in terms of what I should and shouldn't be able to do.  Oh, how foolish.

When I started drinking coffee I was bound and determined to drink it black because that's how my mom did.

And then when I moved away across the world or across the country I realized that I had been raised by a superhero all along.  And that doing all the things that she had made look easy really weren't.  Like getting stains out of clothes.  Only she could get the stain out my t-shirt that I brought home at Christmas. 

Patience, sacrifice and faith.  These are the words that best describe my mom...along with gullible, but that's not important right now.  I don't know if I've ever met anyone who has displayed such disciplined patience...and we put her through her paces! Through the years she has continually sacrificed to make us happy, displayed in the most insignificant moments such as always taking the smallest piece or the one that didn't turn out right at the dinner table.  Or organizing and prepping our family camping trips even though it was a ridiculous amount of work.  And she has always been a model of faith, praying tirelessly for her children.

In the book of Proverbs it paints an idealistic, seemly unattainable, picture of a wife and mother.  And at the end is says that her children will call her 'blessed'.  Well I have a blessed mother.  They say as we grow older we turn into our parents...maybe that's not so bad after all.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fun with Phyllis

Here is my first multimedia project.  Our assignment was to find someone working in the Quinte area.  Phyllis was awesome and this was a good learning experience for my first swing at video.  Enjoy!

Fun Cooking with Fayelum from Shannon Storey on Vimeo.

Friday, April 09, 2010


A couple weekends ago there was a Maple Syrup Festive in Prince Edward County, just south of Belleville, where a bunch of farms opened up to the public for a little broo-ha-ha.

This one has somehow been labeled as the "brown noser" on the farm.

 (Notice the wet lick mark on his jeans in the second shot)

 "I'm ready for my close-up, darling"

"Ehhh, whatcha got there? Can I eat it?"

Then this guy was wandering around who looked exactly like the guy from the Highliner fish box.  I had to sneak this one as I think he was on to me.

Mt. Dishes

     I guess some habits die hard.  Instead of being proactive and doing dishes after every meal I like to leave it until there are many so I can look back and feel like I've accomplished something, also conserving water and soap.  Or I'm lazy. 
     And my dish rack abilities have not improved over the years either...creating temperamental structures that become like a game of Jenga when it's time to put away.  One false move and it all comes crashing down.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Everyday

Well, not so much "every day" but snippets of ordinary life in Belleville.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Here is a link so some of my photos used to do this soundslide assignment in our software class.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Fruity Photo Shoot

A Fruity Photo Shoot @ Loyalist from Melissa Tait on Vimeo.

This is a video shot and produced by Melissa Tait; cohort, comrade, and classmate (well she's second year) of a little photo shoot we did for an assignment at school.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just Beat It...

An exclusive look into the bowels of the photojournalism program.  In the background our writing guru, Scott, goes over beat proposals while Shannon waits for the hurricane of ideas to hit her brain.  The brain hurricane was then downgraded to a tropical brain storm and turned up to be nothing but a brain drizzle.

Beat proposals were the topic of the day...meaning what type of stories will we be covering this semester.  Information that would have been useful to me before I got down on one knee before a red vegetable.  And then proposed a beat in 6/8 time signature.  Wrong beet...or beat.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Everday

At the request of some who want to stay updated on the average day to day life here in Belleville and beyond I've created a link on the left.  The Everyday.  Enjoy.

Vest is Best and Sweeps the Rest!

In what may be one of the most shocking Christmas scandals of 2009 a vest has come out victorious, sweeping away the competition, in this years "8 Days of Christmas Sweaters".  The festive goose garment entered the competition "unarmed" and turned out to steel the hearts of many.  But really, how can your resist a goose in a stocking cap?

Sweater purists may protest that a vest has no place in a sweater competition but nothing could keep this sleeveless wonder away taking 61% of the vote and proving it's not the amount of knit yarn, it's how you embellish it. 

It's a Cinderella story for the ages.  Christmas 2009.  The little goose vest that could.  And did.  So next time you feel inadequate or unqualified think of this vest and it's festive courage that forever changed the way we look at the Christmas sweater.