Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Goodbye Canon...

...hello iPhone!
     Okay, for months now I have been thinking about getting rid of my old Motorola Razor cell phone because the battery was starting to die, the screen was getting obscured, and every time I opened it to make a call I had to restrain myself from saying, "Beam me up Scotty."  Yes, it was that old-fashioned! Well, I finally got the new iPhone 4S and I have to say my life has changed for the better.  I can make phone calls, send emails, take pictures, listen to music and make voice commands (it still won't kill anyone for me, but I know it's just a matter of time... ; ) ).  Best of all, I can do all of this on my sometimes gruelling commute home from work on the bus.

Park Christmas Lights
     I have spent the past few weeks uploading all of my CDs (remember those?) onto my laptop and then transferring selected tunes to my iPhone, or as I have renamed it,  jPhone.  As well, ALL my digital photos are now on my laptop and my favourites have been transferred to jPhone.  Same goes for addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.  I even have everyone's birthdays saved to jPhone and will be reminded when their birthdays come up.  Wow!  Best of all, the photo quality is superb.  I took some shots last night, while it was snowing and getting dark, and I am amazed at the light quality in the pictures I took.  So, JDPegs has gone iJDPegs!

Winter light

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Where did all those presents go?  I feel so naked!
     Well, we tried to sleep in a little bit, but GC had been up since 6, lying in her bed, desperately waiting for everyone else to get up, so she could open her gifts.  CC, FC, GC and I gathered around the tree, passed each other gifts and they were open in a flash.  GC is particularly adept at getting the gifts out of their cozy wrapping quickly!  We then got cleaned up, had a bacon breakfast and checked out the new additions to the household.

Mini Microscope Painting
     I was very happy with my gifts and now have to figure out where the new mini-painting will go.  The kids are off to their mother's at noon and we are off to Oakville for Christmas dinner with CC's parents, a sleepover, and then to Toronto to have Boxing Day with my brother and his family.  Can't wait to sleep in and play with my new iPhone 4GS (a Christmas present to myself!) - post on that to follow...

Merry Fishmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Morning After

Table setting

A Victorian look
      We had our annual Christmas Dinner party with three other couples and one big dog last night and it was a great deal of fun.  CC went into overdrive with the Christmas boughs in the china cabinet and the gorgeous table setting (yes, that's a rug on the table - very Dutch apparently!).  I busied myself with the food, which is a good division of labour for us.

Wonton Crackers
      For appetizers I made an oriental-inspired Edamame dip with homemade wonton crackers and a baked Artichoke dip served with Carr's Table Water crackers.  We then sat down for the first course - Curried Parsnip Soup with some crumbled blue cheese on top and homemade Pumpernickel Bread.  After a rest period, we had the main event - Osso Buco overtop of baked mashed potatoes and pan-fried Brussel sprouts with bacon, leeks and lemon.  It looked very Christmasy being red and green.  For dessert we had our friendly bake-off!  I made Ginger Snaps that had chocolate truffle sandwiched between them plus a dollop on top with some cut up crystallized ginger - eat your heart out Martha Stewart!  CS made lovely Gingerbread cookies cut out in the shapes of snowflakes and Polar Bears (from a Swedish cookie cutter no less) with a silhouette of icing on top.  PM made Chocolate Crinkle cookies with chocolate ganache and Date Squares filled with a cranberry filling.  TW made three types - Checkerboard cookies, Diamond cookies topped with jam and Graham Cracker cookies.  We were very full and enjoyed a lot of lively conversation.  I even boiled the Osso Buco bones to give to our guest dog, Berg, who had a good chew on them out in the back garden.

Ginger Snaps
     There was a lot of cleaning up and some went for a long, wintry walk and then it was to bed.  Two couples stayed overnight and we had a good fry-up for breakfast this morning, exchanged Merry Christmases and then it was back to normal.  This year, as a little gift for them, I made origami Christmas Tree decorations out of brightly coloured foil, metallic wire and red beads.  Our tree is covered with them and they are making good host gifts.  And now for a nap...

Origami Decoration

Friday, December 16, 2011

Why JDPegs?

     The name is a play on jpeg, the format that my photos are in, plus my initials, JDP.  Also, the "egs" part of the domain name refers to e.g.s or examples of my photography.  Get it?  I have had an avid interest in photography since I got my first digital camera nearly ten years ago.  What type of camera do I have you ask?  It's nothing special - a point and shoot Canon that easily fits into my pocket, so I am always at the ready.  My philosophy is that expensive cameras do not necessarily correlate to good pictures.  That is why I always encourage people to buy an inexpensive camera and play around with it and the shots you capture - you can always delete them!  Try different angles, different lighting and figure out what you like about other people's photographs and see if you can mimic them.  Alternatively, give yourself a project and walk around and take one kind of photograph - that way, at the end of the day, you can compare and see what works and what doesn't.  In future posts, I will have examples of different themes that will hopefully inspire you.

Green Ideas

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The First Entry

Home Sweet Home

Christmas Tree

     There's snow on the ground, the Christmas tree is up and decorated and I have sent out most of my Christmas cards.  CC has done a wonderful job of making the household look festive with seasonal trimmings, so now all I have to do is go out and get my Christmas presents! 

Rose Hips and Eucalyptus Leaves
     We had a Christmas party last weekend and I got to do some baking: Turtle bars, lemon squares, chocolate truffles, pecan snowdrops and banana bread.  Also made some savouries: the usual hummus, baba ganoush and guacamole plus some new attempts - edamame dip with wonton chips and smoked salmon spread with pumpernickel toasts.

     Next weekend, we are having our Toronto friends over for our annual Christmas dinner which will include curried parsnip soup and Osso bucco plus the traditional Christmas cookie bake-off - stay tuned!