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Bad Habits

Talking Bands
by Jill Hamilton

Matt Wilson, Liam Kearney, Amanda Jackson, Dale McKie and Jason CondonIf it’s a Saturday night in PEI, Bad Habits are probably playing a crowded blues show somewhere.

The clinking of tambourines, extended guitar and drum solos and soaring, heart-quaking vocals are regular features of a Bad Habits show—and they’ve only just begun. Bad Habits was recently nominated for two PEI Music Awards—Entertainer of the Year and Bell Aliant Weekend Warrior (which they won). On a national scale, the band has garnered much attention on, reaching #1 on the international Hot Blues charts and #49 on the blues charts in North America. These accolades are especially impressive for a band less than two years old.

Newcomers to a Bad Habits show might recognize vocalist Amanda Jackson from The Waterman Blues Band. She joined Bad Habits in September. “I found it a very exciting challenge. Blues comes naturally to me so I knew the genre would fit,” Jackson said. “Once I filled in a couple of gigs with the boys, I knew in my bones this was a good match.”

Drummer Liam Kearney has been performing live since age 14, but for guitarists Jason Condon and Dale McKie and bass player Matt Wilson, being in a band is a new experience. Making the transition to live performances was a big step for Condon, but the positive energy from fans made it easier. “It’s a feeling you don’t really get from anything else,” he said. “You feel the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. Your toes curl up a little.”

Bad Habits has played almost every Charlottetown venue and all over PEI. They are booked for festivals next summer in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and plan to play Moncton and Halifax shortly. “We want to take the Bad Habits show on the road and let everyone else know what the fuss is about,” said Wilson.

Performing isn’t just about playing music, said McKie. “We bring a few dozen [tambourines] to every show and hand them out to the audience so they can play along and have some fun,” he added. “It’s our duty to make sure you have a good time.”

Bad Habits plans to breathe some soul into a debut album and are heading to the studio in the spring. “We want to make something great,” McKie said. “We’re building a really good catalog of songs. Songs we really care about.”

Every show and rehearsal is full of laughs, said Kearney. “Who knew making blues music could be so much fun?”

Scrapbook Club

Gina Ruprecht starts monthly meetings

by Jillianne Hamilton

Gina RuprechtScrapbook enthusiasts will now have a place to meet in Charlottetown when their habit needs a fix—of ribbon, stickers and family photos.

Gina Ruprecht, a consultant for the scrapbook company Close To My Heart, recently decided to start a monthly scrapbook club. Meetings will be held at the Delta Hotel on Queen Street monthly, or, if there is demand, twice a month. The club is for beginner scrappers but Ruprecht will also offer advanced classes.

Meetings will include lessons on scrapbooking techniques, layouts, creativity, accessorizing scrapbook pages and other paper crafts projects. The cost to do an album is $30 and $20 for a card-making kit. All supplies are provided and members have full use of Ruprecht's scrapbook tools.

Ruprecht is starting the club because she enjoys creating scrapbook pages as a way of teaching others. She hopes the club will entice younger people to get involved in the popular hobby. "If I can get more young people into it, then I'll be happy. That's my goal in life." Scrapbooking allows people to turn boring photo albums into a work of art, according to Ruprecht. "You're not ashamed to put it out on your coffee table and show it off."

Ruprecht was introduced to scrapbooking by her mother-in-law who invited her to a scrapbook workshop and helped her collect a large scrapbook supplies collection. "She's built my little arsenal for me."

Many people avoid scrapbooking because it can become an expensive hobby. Ruprecht recommends new scrapbookers not go overboard when going on their first supplies shopping trip. "You don't have to have ink in every colour—I learned that the hard way," she says. Ruprecht also suggests using Michael's coupons from the company website ( or buying Close To My Heart supplies when they have a clearance sale.

Scrapbook clubs are becoming more popular. People want to have more expression in what they create and enjoy feeding off the creativity of others, comments Ruprecht. "It's like a support group for scrapbookers."

Anyone interested in joining the club can call 902-314-8386 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also visit Ruprecht's website at

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