Delightful Illustrations, Yummy Chicken and Beautiful Market Photography

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Ok - so a basket of gingerbread men? What is so special about a basket of gingerbread men you might be asking!

This basket of gingerbread men was displayed in a bakery window in Paris -THE Paris - in France - this past holiday season. And it is very special to me because my friend Fanie, in the middle of a whirlwind sight seeing tour in Paris - at Christmas - saw this basket, thought of me and took this picture so I could see it too!

Honestly, this sweet gesture touched my heart and I have decided to recreate these gingerbread men - as close as is possible - to celebrate St. Nicholas Day in December - and to celebrate Fanie!

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Just so you know before we go any further, Fanie has been writing two blogs for some time. The Crafty Life which was written in English and fanie.ca which was written in French.

Recently, Fanie decided to move forward with only the one blog - fanie.ca. It will be written in English. I wanted you to know this because several links I will be sharing are at The Crafty Life, but you must go to fanie.ca to keep up with her new adventures! Which include making the adorable stamps in this image which she shared at the Old Skool Valentine Day Craft Faire. Love the Matryoshka!

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Fanie is the brilliant illustrator behind the Refrigerator Magnet Advent Calendar - a little collaborative advent project the two of us cooked up this past holiday season.

If it weren't for Fanie - this calendar wouldn't even exist - it would simply be another one of those crazy ideas I have floating around in my brain! But when I approached her with the idea, she eagerly jumped on board.

It is a good thing too! My hands were full learning what I needed to know to make that simple tree using a computer. And - possessing none of her talent, I could have never created ornaments - much less these adorable ornaments.

I fell in love with her charming and whimsical drawings the minute she sent them for approval. I still love them. And would it surprise you to know that the calendar and all of Fanie's ornaments are still hanging on the fridge? I can not bear to put them away.

I am leaving the link up on the Gingerbread Snowflakes side bar a while longer too. And the calendar will be available again next season.

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As it happens, Diane has inspired Fanie to begin photographing the abundant produce available in the Montreal market. I would so love to visit the Montreal produce market. Unbelievable how beautiful it is - how beautifully and artistically every vegetable and fruit is displayed. And Fanie is doing a fantastic job of capturing the mood and lighting and stunning arrangements.

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Here is another. Go check out what she found on this visit too! As a photographer, I am totally enjoying her images.

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Fanie's recipe for General Tao Chicken. So simple and delicious. I keep a big bag of frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs around so I can make these at a moments notice. It really is one of our favorite meals.

Fanie doesn't share many recipes, but I am so glad she shared this one! Yum. Give it a try!

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Now just look at this! It is an envelope. An envelope! Fanie creates beautiful little illustrations on the envelopes she uses to send out zines!

I have one of my own but alas, I have tucked it away so carefully I can't lay my hands on it to take a picture. But mine had a stove in it! Of course it did!

Fanie uses her artistic talent to write a web comic "The Crafty Life" which she features in her own zine "The Crafty Life". (Her web comic also appears in "Craft Leftovers", a monthly crafty zine made by Kristen Roach.)

After attending the Montreal Expozine in November, can you believe it - she sent me my very own copy of The Crafty Life zine!  I love it!

Thank you, Fanie, for your friendship. It has been a joy getting to know you! And great fun reading your zine! And delicious eating your General Tao Chicken!

And thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the many long hours you put into creating the ornament illustrations and thereby making the Advent Calendar a reality. I have received so many notes from people who loved it and made it a part of their pre-Christmas celebrating.

And thank you for taking that picture of the gingerbread in Paris! Gingerbread clones will be a part of my future St. Nicholas Day celebrations.

Don't forget to look for Fanie on my Pinterest!

I'm also a big fan of Fanie!

I'm also a big fan of Fanie! She is so talented. I love her drawings and photography. Thanks for sharing the gingerbread photo.

Hi Pam, :-D I was -so-

Hi Pam, :-D

I was -so- looking forward to this post. Awww... thank you so much for your nice comments about my illustrations, pictures and blog! It makes my day!

I feel so grateful to have your friendship, Pam. :-D We never met, but we both feel like we know each others.

I just showed your post to my boyfriend and it made him smile that you adore my General Tao recipe. You know it's his favorite, as well. :-D

Thank you so much for all the love and I can't wait to see thoses Gingerbread Clones in 2011!

Much hugs and kisses! xoxoxo!

I so wish I could draw, maybe

I so wish I could draw, maybe my envelopes would look so great, right now my 3 year old does a better job then me. I love the gingerbreads and the stamps. Thank you Fanie... Merci Bien !!!

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