Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I love Christmas. Love it. It has nothing but lovely memories for me - I love the parties, spending time with family and friends, eating tons of delicious food, making the house smell all piney and putting paper snowflakes and tinsel everywhere.
I also really love Christmas crafts. I grew up in a household with a mum and a nanny who were all about homemade decorations, and that bug was passed on to me.
Counting down the days has always been a huge source of joy for me, so I'm all about advent calendars and crafts. I'm going to be buying a delicious Lindt calendar tomorrow, and tonight I whipped up this bad boy:
Advent paper chain tree!
I used this tutorial (it's actually a little tricky). I found loads of pretty great ideas of things to make for advent; a few of my favourite:
Cute paper cone tree
Neat idea to repurpose vintage Christmas cards
Incase you have loads of wooden spools hanging around...
Within my group of friends there is a discussion happening RIGHT NOW around trying to plan a craft night soon, so I hope to have lots to show off on here.
And that's an end for NaBloPoMo! Well, my 1/3 of it anyways. Thanks for reading along ;) I've liked getting into the groove of posting everyday, hopefully I'll keep it up
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Everyone, do yourselves a favour and get thee to Hark! A Vagrant post haste.
Not only does Kate Beaton make history (and not just any history - Canadian history!) interesting and funny, she also does things like this:
Nancy Drew and Edward Gorey have big places in my heart, so I just love her.
Monday, November 28, 2011
When it comes to everything else in life (or, clothes and stuff) I'm trying to also stick to this rule. With more work comes more money (yay!) and I've decided that extra money isn't going to equal more stuff, but better quality stuff.
I want to share a couple recent purchases here, and I want to share them because I am so super jazzed about both of them!
This beautiful Simcoe braided chunky headband from good night, day.
Tara-Lynn runs this wonderful shop, and if I could buy one of everything in it I would. This headband is fantastically warm and so SO SOFT. I've worn it every chilly day since I got it, and hope to wear it for hundreds more!
How great is this picture? Both this and the first are from Tara-Lynn's flickr
The Good Girl bag from Erin Templeton. My dad sent me some birthday money this year and told me to buy something good for myself with it. And I did!
I have have slight anxiety over buying purses, I never want to have one that I might see someone else with. This usually leads me to thrifting purses, which definitely works, but they often wear out quickly. So I decided it was high time I got myself a proper bag. Not being of the Coach set, I looked to local designed Erin Templeton and went to her cute shop in Chinatown that I had walked by probably hundreds of times.
I love my purse! It's made from beautifully soft leather, is just big enough for my things but not so big that I'll fill it with crud and it looks really, really cool. I'll use it for years!
This year I've actually gotten most of my Christmas presents from etsy or other thrift stores. I'm trying my best to look for vintage or hand made things. A little easier on the environment and heaps more unique.
Hooray for shopping!! ;)
Sunday, November 27, 2011
My next birthday is my 30th. And while I am determined for it to "not be a big deal", well, we'll see how that goes.
But in the spirit of being a grown up and making goals, I've come up with 29 things I plan to do before I turn 30.
1. Make a quilt
2. Start swimming regularly
3. Make gumbo
4. Make 3 different types of cheese
5. Organize sewing room/work area
6. Learn how to knit
7. Make a piece of clothing for myself
8. Get Horizon training
9. Do my driving test
10. GO to a life drawing class
11. Put photos into photo albums
12. Edit wardrobe to only things I wear & love
13. Do some dyeing with homemade natural dyes
14. Make an embroidery sampler
15. Do a photography project/learn to use all the cameras around me
16. Paint a picture
17. Sew something for Minnie
18. Make mustard
19. Take a train trip
20. Host a themed dinner party
21. Go to Museum of Anthropology
22. Organize spices/pantry
23. Do yoga regularly
24. Finish 'mad women' embroidery project
25. Get into making smoothies
26. Do a daily photo project for at least a month
27. Read 30 books
28. Go to Vancouver Police Museum
29. Go to New Orleans (again!)
The (very, very, hopeful) plan is that I will actually ring in my birthday in New Orleans. With lots of friends, maybe even some family - that would be ideal.
There are some long overdue things on the list *coughDRIVERSLICENSEcough* and some newer interests of mine. A lot of the things on my list are things I've been meaning to do for ages and have bits and pieces in books and documents on here related to them (painting, sampler). I've got such a problem with motivating myself though. So here is a list for all to see! And if I fail, then all will see that too!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
I love the variety in the people who are in them, and the variety of moon faces!
This one is probably my favourite one ever (ever).
How could he not have a girl?! That coat!!
Friday, November 25, 2011
My "best friend since third grade" extraordinaire. This is a snap from summer 2010 when she came out to visit for two weeks.
We're provinces apart and don't talk as much as we'd like to, but none of that really matters. When we do talk, or get together, it's the easiest thing in the world (and generally includes a lot of giggling).
We've been best friends for 20 years, and I'm sure we'll be best friends for another 20 (and probably another 20 after that, and so on).
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Before moving out here I had numerous people tell me to watch out for the rainy weather, and do my best to stay positive. I'm a pretty positive person, and have never minded rain all that much, so I didn't think I had anything to worry about. And I didn't! Until I finally (it took a couple years) experienced a real Vancouver bout of rain. Good lord.
Rain isn't as exciting here as it can be in Ontario - there's no thunder or lightning.
Just clouds, and rain, rain, rain. And wind.
Grim car garage view chosen to emphasize cruddiness
Weather like this usually keeps me inside. As I get older I seem to be less capable of doing nothing all day, so inside days generally lead to me keeping busy. And most of the time, keeping busy = cooking.
My canning craze from the bountiful days of summer has not slowed much, even if the produce has. So, looking to things in season in fall lead me to one of my favourite veggies - beets!
Specifically these lovely golden beets. I used this Alton Brown recipe as a base (I loved the idea of roasting the beets instead of boiling!). I roasted them with onion, garlic and some sage from my garden (that and thyme are the only things left). I used regular pickling vinegar, but threw extra sage in while bringing it to a boil. I then chopped the beets up, and popped them in jars, to which I had added some mustard seeds, nigella seeds and a few juniper berries.
Another endeavour of mine has included Meyer lemons. I was introduced to these beauties while working at South China Seas. I got to take the odd, almost-bad one home but usually just made them into lemonade or threw them into some gin (which, don't get me wrong, was delicious).
In the last week or two I have noticed that they've become available at "regular" grocery stores, usually in bulk (a bag of 6 or so). Adam decided to pick some up, and since they don't have the longest shelf life I needed to use them up quickish.
I turned to one of my favourite things in the world - lemon curd.
Oh. My. God.
First of all, it's pretty much the easiest thing in the world to make. Whiz everything up in a food processor and then cook it for less than 10 minutes and you're done. It tastes a million times better than any you would buy. And! With the extra floral sweetness of Meyer lemons? Ridiculous.
The jar on the left was full as of Saturday.
The jar on the right is what I did with the rest of my lemons. Another delicacy I was introduced to through SCS was preserved lemons. They're used primarily in Moroccan cooking and often made from Meyer lemons. I actually have never used or tasted them myself, but now is as good a time as any, right?
As of today they're halfway through their sitting period. They've been blanched, cut up, mixed with salt and covered with their own juice. They sit in this mixture for 5 days, after which I'll top up the jar with some olive oil and pop them in the fridge where they should be good for up to a year.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
That love was furthered with her in the role of Morticia in again, the excellent Addams Family movies (what was it about the early 90s that make for such fantastic kids movies?).
It wasn't until fairly recently though that I saw some photos of her in her younger days. HOLY CROW. The only word that begins to describe her - babe. Babe, babe, babe.
The following are photos from everyday i show.
I am so in love with these next few photos. I want to go back in time and be friends with her right at this moment.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I like lists. To organize, to cross things off of, just to show off. I've always admired people who make loads of them because I feel like I wouldn't be able to come up with so much stuff to write down! (Though maybe these would help).
Anyhow, one that I saw on the Hula Seventy blog that I was totally down with was her list of Hallowe'en costumes.
I love Hallowe'en. I don't understand people who don't, and I really don't understand people who don't like getting dressed up. What? You're crazy.
This past Hallowe'en my roommate Kristin dressed up as Shredder, her costume 100% homemade (and, amazing). While she was busy hard carving her helmet out of foam we were discussing how much FUN it is to make your costume, and again, our complete bewilderment at people who think it's not. I have never worn a store bought costume - not like I'm bragging, but it's just so much better (in my humble opinion) to go through that whole process - idea to realization - and do it all yourself.
Anyways! Enough talking, let's get to the list.
Chloe's Hallowe'en Costumes
1. Witch - age 6
2.Rapunzel - age 7&8
3. Pirouette, for reference - age 9&10
4. Arabian princess type lady, with my hair on top of my head with a decorated toilet paper roll and a veil across my face - age 11
5. Gypsy - age 12
6. Druid (totally into Irish mythology) - age 13
7. Twiggy Ramirez (totally into Marilyn Manson) - age 14
8. Fairy, along with 3 of my friends - age 15
9. Dead groom, as part of a dead wedding party - age 16
10. 70s pimp - age 18
11. Gothy undead girl - age 19
**EDIT** I just remembered! This was me on Hallowe'en proper, but for a party just before I actually dressed up as a dead/drowned Ophelia and I looked AWESOME.
12. Gogo Yubari, from Kill Bill Vol. 1 - age 20
13. Frankenhooker - age 21
14. Jack Sparrow - age 22
15. Columbia, in pjs with the Mickey Mouse ears - age 23
16. Pippi Longstocking - age 24
17. Mia Wallace, post-overdose - age 25
18. Frida Kahlo - age 26
This was the night of Parade of the Lost Souls, which is why I have the skullish face
19. Joan Holloway - age 27
20. Dr. Mrs. The Monarch - age 28
21. Little Red Riding Hood - age 29
I know I started going out trick or treating when I was about 4, but I'm not entirely sure what I was. A bunny? My dad's story is that our street at the time had a Hell's Angels' clubhouse at the end of the block that everyone was avoiding, even though they had jack-o-lanterns out. He took me there and they were so pumped to see me that they filled my entire plastic pumpkin with candy and I was good to go home.
**All photos scrounged from facebook
Monday, November 21, 2011
Good grief. I really can't believe how much time has passed since I last posted.
It's silly to make excuses, especially since it's exactly what I was talking about last time - work! I just really need to figure out how to balance working full time with doing other things. Like blogging!
And seeing as how my busy work life has taken a little break, at least for today, here I am (finally!).
Of course I still read blogs like crazy, and in doing so learned that November is National Blog Posting Month (or, NaBloPoMo - catchy!). The idea is that you blog every day for a month. Being 21 days in, I'm a little late to the party but what the heck. Since going from a month+ of nothing to a full month would be a bit crazy, a 10 day challenge seems right up my alley.
So! To recap what's been going on (aside from all the work), October was pretty fantastic. It always is, really. Autumn smells, Thanksgiving, my birthday and Hallowe'en all wrapped up in one lovely month. This year we had yet another event - Minnie's birthday! It's October 7th, so of course (of course) we had a dog party. Complete with "pupcakes".
Gorgeous mustard costume courtesy of Devon & Benson
Thanksgiving weekend was lovely, and of course I didn't get any pictures. Turkey dinner went off without a hitch, though.
My birthday was also great, me and Adam went for a delicious dinner at Les Faux Bourgeois, which is conveniently located just around the corner from us. It was our first time there, and I would definitely go back.
And then Hallowe'en! Again, no pictures of my costume (so off the ball). I was Little Red Riding Hood, complete with a wolf pelt I made from some faux fur. I left the pelt at home for Hallowe'en Day and wore my costume to school and successfully hosted my first classroom Hallowe'en party. Fun!
A couple snaps from the party night,
Adam as local promoter extraordinaire, Wendy13
and Hallowe'en proper
And so now it's November. It's rainy most days, frosty some, and dark by 4:30.
I also noticed that in my absence I still gained some followers, so, welcome! :)