I tend to rally around people or products that are GREAT ideas. It's kind of a natural thing for me. I am a promoter, I sound the bells when I hear of something, and I like to draw a crowd.
Here are some of my favourite finds lately:
Estelle VanderHeide and her MANY brainyac ideas on her blog. She is a wonderful woman, a gifted teacher, and I am privileged to call her a good friend. She is someone who I appreciate because of her realness, transparency, strength (and weakness!) I took a photography course this past winter, and was able to apply everything I was learning within that day or week. She gave this course her heart and soul. It showed every time she taught it. My notes are rich with inspiration, tips and tricks. It was a really relevant course for me. I kind of related it to learning CPR. (of course not as life-saving...) but my take on it is this: If you are faced with a quick, split second moment of making a photo happen, you want your instincts to kick in... not panic or fumble-fingers. You want to get the shot, and get a good one at that. You want to be able to easily and almost instinctively know what to look for. Estelle taught me the essential lesson of the "rule of thirds" and I am still practicing... definitely have noticed I am personally enjoying my photos more. I am thankful for her giving heart, both of her time/talent... as well as her treasure. She's the kind of a friend who will see something at a store, and just pick it up "just because it reminded me of you". I've been on the receiving end of multiple heart-felt and thoughtful gift's. Its heart warming knowing someone is thinking of you, and gives out of love.
ReCap Mason Jars from Kickstarter.com - When these babies were introduced on kickstarter.com my eyes nearly jumped out of my head. This was a product that I know we would use, daily... and was something that I had even thought of doing (but didn't have the skill-set, nor the burning desire) that Karen Rxepecki dreamed-up and gave birth to. It was SUCH a great and proud feeling when I saw their idea go from just that... and idea.... to getting cast, to getting a logo, to being assembled (by her family and friends!) and being shipped to my door. The moment they arrived, I put them to work, and snapped a photo of my newly found treasures. Since then, we've "given away" 6 of the 10 we bought, and I cling to the remaining 4. We bought them for 40.00 (+7.00 for shipping)... so $4.70 each... but since then, they have jumped to almost $10.00 each (but still TOTALLY worth it)
. You can buy them here: http://www.recapmasonjars.com/
Tenota Tea Note Cards from my friends Dave and Cassie. Cassie and I met while we both attended University at Waterloo in the early 2000s. She and I had mutual friends, and I always found Cassie to be a compassionate listener. She also loves the colour green (I knew that first hand because it was leaping of the walls in her humble room at Waterloo) and she was/is a compassionate listener. I say compassionate because she truly has a gift for listening, feeling a person out, and literally adding to your life, by simply listening. She grew up to be a counselor so her talents are being put to terrific and essential use. Dave and my hubby Peter worked together at Muskoka Woods Sports Resort for a few summers, and were roommates Dave and Peter both grew up to own their own Personal Training Businesses. Dave is the owner of Green Fit Health and Peter the owner of More Fitness.... and they have more in common than I think they realize. I know Dave well enough to know he is a savvy business man, and anything he and Cassie put their hands to prospers. Their budding business Tenota has already brought hundreds of people joy, through simple personalized notes attached to a hand-chosen tea. Their teas (and their idea) is both warming and 100% lovely to give and receive.