Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Crescent City

CrescentCity

I feel like it's impossible to properly explain my love for New Orleans. It just is.
It began around age 14, when I started reading Poppy Z Brite's novels and just fell for the spooky, gothic charm that he so eloquently infused the city with.

Yesterday was the 6th anniversary of Katrina and the levees failure, and though I didn't plan it, also the day I started Zeitoun by Dave Eggers.

Zeitoun

I just finished it this afternoon, and, wow. It is an incredible story and I want to tell everyone I know to read it. Actually, I want to buy everyone I know a copy and give them all a day or two off so that they have loads of free time, because I really really want everyone to read it.

It doesn't exactly paint New Orleans in a terrific light, nor does it cast a huge shadow on it, but overall the feeling that comes from it is hope. The city is going to be rebuilt, because the people who live there love it, and, what else are they going to do?
I find this is a pretty common theme in things about New Orleans after the storm. The documentary Trouble the Water, and the HBO show Treme - both of which I highly recommend as well - both have it. It was awful, inconceivable what happened to the city and the aftermath, but things have gotten better and will continue to.

Orleans street

Pirouettes

Two years ago I came in to a bit of money and decided to treat myself BIG TIME, and booked a trip to New Orleans for my 27th birthday. I was a little worried that I'd be a bit let down - when you romanticize something for 13 years it would be hard for it not to fall a little flat after all.

It was better than I could have imagined.
The food, the culture, the people, the history, the drinking in the streets - everything was fantastic. We were there for 4 days, but I could have stayed forever. One day while walking around the French Quarter Adam said something along the lines of not imagining that a place could be so "Chloe", but boy was it ever.

French Quarter

The Frenchman

Last meal-worthy
Best. Gumbo. Ever.

St Louis no 1

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mooning about

Happy 100th post!

It's funny; I feel pretty lousy about neglecting this thing so much lately, so the 100th post accomplishment comes at an odd time. But oh well! No sense in worrying about yesterday, right? Right.

So lately I've amassed a small collection of moon related pictures. Some were for my humble shop, others just because I like them.

I've always loved the moon - a great big, low yellow moon in the sky never fails to catch my attention and make me smile at the loveliness of the universe.

Goeree moon
Jan Goeree

Galileo Moon Engravings
Galileo

Mellan Last Quarter
Claude Mellan

moon o'clock
via leprintemps on tumblr

leprintemps
leprintemps again


Print from Mon Petit Fantome on etsy
****
Also, I meant to mention this ages ago, but a couple weeks back my pal Lisa interviewed me on her blog, The Sprog (heh, rhyme). Check it out!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Me/Mum

Me, by Caitlin by girl and tonic
Me, by Caitlin, a photo by girl and tonic on Flickr.

Sorry for the radio silence around here. I've been feeling a little underwhelmed in the inspiration dept. I suppose.

There isn't a lot of me on here, generally because I'm the one taking pictures, and I've yet to feel totally comfortable taking pictures of myself.

So here's one my pal Caitlin took at her wonderful apartment full of windows.
I remind myself a lot of my mum in this one - I look a lot like her anyways but something about my expression makes the resemblance even more so.

Today would have been her 57th birthday, so she's on my mind a little more than usual.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Holy hummus, Batman!

I've always loved hummus. My parents made it a lot when I was a kid, so I grew up not only loving it, but loving homemade hummus. The store bought stuff usually just doesn't measure up.

It's one of my favourite things to make - it's super easy and fast, and is great for experimenting. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I just experimented myself into....

The Best Dang Hummus EVER

hummmus

It's like a caprese salad in delicious hummus form. And perfect for the summer time!

You will need:

- One can of chickpeas
- One small tomato or a quarter of a big one (I used an heirloom tomato that was about 2x the size of a cherry tomato)
- Handful of fresh basil
- Garlic to taste (I used 4 cloves, but I like it REALLY garlicy)
- Splash of balsamic vinegar
- 1/4-1/3 cup of olive oil (again, to taste and texture preference)
- Salt to taste

Whiz everything except the oil together in a food processor, then add the oil slowly until it's the consistency you like. DELICIOUS!

I ate some on toasted rye bread with thick slices of heirloom tomatoes on top and was in heaven.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thai Tuesday!

Actually, these days Tuesdays are known as True Blood Tuesdays. After watching the show solo for the last three seasons I have finally found other people to watch it with! And it's such a ridiculous show, it really is much more fun to watch with others :)

Our Tuesday routine generally consists of me making something for dinner, with others bringing ingredients or snacks. A recent Tuesday had me craving Thai food like nobody's business so we added even more alliteration to the day.

Thai Tuesday!

I made Drunken Stir-Fried Beef with Green Beans, and a yellow chicken curry with zucchini and red peppers.
I used this recipe for the beef, and it was awesome. Unfortunately I didn't have enough of my own garden beans and tomatoes to use, but I'm hoping in a few weeks I will and I'll make it again.

As for the chicken curry, I used my own method for making a wicked awesome Thai curry.
Before I got hired by the school board I spent about two years working at an amazing store in town - South China Seas Trading Co.. They carry ingredients for almost any kind of cuisine you could imagine (Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Indian, African...) and I learned so much working there.

I LOVE Thai food, but find that it can be hard to find really good Thai food in restaurants. This frustration led me to just learning how to make my favourite dishes myself. Curries are great to make, they're relatively easy and the ingredients are usually pretty easy to find.

How to make a perfect Thai curry

What you'll need:
- One package Thai curry paste of your choosing (yellow, red, panang or green), about 2 tbsp
- One can of coconut milk
- 1lb meat or seafood (chicken and shrimp go especially well with green, beef is better suited to red or panang), cut into bite sized pieces
- 1lb-ish vegetables (if you want - use your imagination: sweet peppers, squash, bamboo shoots, eggplant, etc)
- Fish sauce, palm sugar (or brown sugar), lime leaves, lemongrass -- all of these should be available at Asian groceries, often you can find the lime leaves and lemongrass frozen if they don't have fresh. You can also get them dried, but they're not as good.
- 1 tbsp cooking oil

What to do:

1. Heat oil over med-high heat and add curry paste - stir-fry for about a minute.
2. Add meat/seafood and cook about 3 minutes, until sealed on the outside.
3. Add can of coconut milk, bring to a simmer then turn heat to med-low.
4. Add your vegetables, a couple dashes of fish sauce (about 1 tsp), 1-2 tsp of palm sugar, 2-3 lime leaves and two stalks of lemongrass (white part only) **It's good to leave the lime leaves whole and the lemongrass in fairly big pieces so you can pick them out -they're both really tough and lousy to eat**
5. Cook for about 20 minutes, until meat is cooked through and veggies are tender. Serve over jasmine or sticky rice.

You could easily make this veggie by omitting meat and throwing in some tofu puffs, or regular tofu - leave out the fish sauce and it's vegan!

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's that time of year....

contraband

...when I steal flowers!

I'm not proud of it, but, I do it.
One of the first things I noticed when I moved to Vancouver was the super-abundance of hydrangeas. They've become one of my favourite flowers - probably because they often come in blue, and blue flowers are just cool.

And, for the record, I have rules to my thievery. I only take from bushes that have lots, and from stems poking into alleys or other public spaces when I can. The things go for $6 a stem most places, and a gal's gotta eat.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Film Friday - The Dakota

16 by girl and tonic
16, a photo by girl and tonic on Flickr.

I received a postcard the other day from my lovely NYC pal Kristin, which has led me yet again to reminisce about my trip there.

During one of my solo excursions I walked from K's place, which was near the MET, across the park to see the infamous Dakota - it was pretty great.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

And the winner is...

trophy

Anne! :D

I used a random number generator (I'm sure there's an app, Matty) and was given comment numero 3.
Send me an email with your address lady, and I'll get your bracelet off to ya.

Thanks to all the commenters - that was fun! I should do it again sometime.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Adventures in bleaching

Bleach trial by girl and tonic
Bleach trial, a photo by girl and tonic on Flickr.

The other day I gave discharge dyeing (removing colour from fabric with bleach) a whirl.
As I mentioned, I wanted to try this technique on some darker slips and camisoles for my shop but since this technique really only work on natural fibres, and so far all the stuff I have so far is nylon, no dice.

I had a nice dark navy fabric that I bought for some pillowcases, and so I figured I'd test it out on a scrap of that, which is what you see above.
I'm really pleased with how it came out - and I ended up bleaching the rest of the fabric as well.

I really love the look of discharge dyeing - especially the celestial feel of the patterns. I also like the element of surprise that comes with it, at least for a beginner like me, not knowing exactly what it's all going to look like.

I had a slight mishap with my sewing yesterday, but by today the pillowcases should be finished, and I'll hopefully have them up here to show off later today or tomorrow :)

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