Friday, December 21, 2007
and I know why. It's because not once - not even to get one stocking stuffer, not even to get a wedding gift for a recent wedding... did I once step in a mall to get my gifts....
....okok so I went to Zellers, but it wasn't in a mall and while I was there I experienced this bizarre euphoria where everyone around me was rushing here and there; kids were whining and crying; and I walked up and down the aisles in my own little world... it was, dare I say... fun...
Anyway I'm happy to say that although I didn't officially pledge to buy handmade this year, I managed to mostly do just that. I made the majority of my gifts -- mostly napkins, table runners, and tote bags and then I bought a few things off etsy: some earrings from the wonderful Sulu, pottery from the talented Marymee Studio, and desk calendars from Anna Cote and her little design biz Modern Printed Matter. It was so fun getting this stuff in the mail -- who ever gets anything in the mail anymore!?
Update on my Dad's blanket -- I finished it this morning! I'm so happy I stuck with it because I almost threw it out the window.
I hope everyone has a Happy Christmas!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
so this year, since i'm on a mission to make most of my gifts, I came up with a idea to make my dad a cozy blanket. I thought it was such a great idea.... until I started actually making it. I got two types of fleece and sewed them together... didn't look right so I tore it apart and decided on just using one type of fleece... so I started sewing it this morning and I heard a *kaplunk* and and then my zigzag stitch wasn't zigzagging anymore -- it was just a wobbly line. anyway I think I broke my sewing machine. the good news is that I've made most of my gifts already but now I don't know what to get my dad!?
WELL C came over for soup today and she brought her sewing machine! what a life saver... so I think I'll try something new for my dad -- not sure I'll attempt the blanket again -- the last thing I want to do wreck her machine!
still no pics -- my sister-in-law borrowed it to take pics of my super sweet little nephew - I can't wait to spend christmas with them all this year!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
ok so I don't have any pics of the obscene amount of snow we got over the weekend but take my word for it... there's a lot of it. I just want to thank my S2B hubby for shovelling more than 500 lbs of snow, both at my mom's house and our house. I'm very thankful...
This pic was taken at my friends' wedding this past weekend -- I'm very happy to hear that their flight was delayed only 45 mins for their hot trip to Jamaica.
happy holiday crafting y'all! I have A LOT to do this week!
Monday, December 03, 2007
This movie-watching challenge would not end as an adult. In fact, I manage to passout in the first 1/2 of a movie almost every time. This does not bode well with M - he doesn't like the fact that I fall asleep only to watch the flick alone. Ahhh what can I do - I get comfy.
This weekend however I think I had a break through.
M and I have been renting italian movies through zip.ca to help us with our Italian lessons for the wedding and although the first three movies that we've received haven't been the greatest, the one we started to watch on Friday was amazing. I say started to watch because it's a 6-hr movie. Yes 6-hrs. We weren't even going to watch it because it was so long but we only received the first disc which was only 3-hrs so we thought we'd start watching it and if we didn't like it we'd turn it off. Man was it great... so far. It's called The Best of Youth or La Meglio Gioventù and it's a story about 2 brothers over 3 decades of their lives and the various obstacles they encounter. One brother volunteers at a psychiatric hospital and meets a girl named Georgia. He doesn't like the way she's being treated so he takes her from the hospital and, with his brother, travels to her home town to bring her back to her family. The trip changes the lives of both brothers and the movie takes you through their chosen paths. The scenery is great and the music is fun and I can't wait to watch the second half. Three hours definitely flew by and I know that if we had the second dvd we'd have watched it.
SO all that to say that I stayed awake for the WHOLE 3 hrs! I think the trick is that I didn't have a pillow or a blanket and I was reading the sub-titles the whole time.
so enough of that.
Ok so I decided that I really need to get sewing if I want to make most of my gifts this year. I managed to finish one gift. Ta-da!
It matches the napkins I made awhile back. It's basically a place mat but I only made one so it'll be more of a table mat/runner type thing. I really like the way it turned out even if it was a pain the butt to make.
I also took a stab at making some stockings. I tried a new stitch on my machine and put the stars on the front.
and I have to mention my little sheep! I got them in a little antique/gift type store just south of Sutton, ON. So cute!
Ok have fun out there! I'm off to play soccer or should I say "gioco il calcio" for
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
better get to work! man christmas creeps up on my every year!
Friday, November 09, 2007
well, not all old sofas were that bad, I know. A while back one weekend at my soon-to-be-inlaws, my mother-in-law had recovered her couch, but still had the pillows. she was just going to throw them out I think, but there was something about the fabric that I loved and I loved the shape of the pillows, so I took them home. They sat for awhile in my spare room and I wondered what I would do with them until the other day I got a brain blast and thought -- how great would this pattern be in a tote? I looked around to see what would go with it and I found an old table runner and some scraps.
et voila! I'm super happy with the turnout. I showed M the final product and he shivered from the memories he got of his old sofa growing up but I think it's great to keep the memory of that 'ol sofa alive...and what a way to reuse the stuff you have around the house.
My sister still has one of our old couches in her apartment, and I can guarantee you that I will not be making a tote out of that one.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Originally uploaded by firstname.lastname@example.org.
my mission this fall/winter is to make my basement cozy. we got a leather sectional a couple years ago and sometimes it's not the coziest so I thought a few pillows would make difference. I made these last night.
Monday, November 05, 2007
We finally got out and looked at the picture of the hiking trail in the parking lot and realized that The Big Meany was similar in shape and size to our intestines and really there was only one way in and out.
So when M mentioned that we should go on a hike this weekend it was the last thing I wanted to do -- I enjoy hiking, but after The Big Meany I was done for a while. All I wanted to do was 'hike' across the danforth and look at some trendy stores and sip on a tea or two. But M wasn't into it, so we compromised: we decided to take a hike from our house to Bayview Ave which has many fun and trendy shops to keep me happy.
We took the Taylor Creek trail which is a few streets north of us and we travelled up and down and around and all without seeing one car until we got to Bayview. I honestly didn't think there was that much greenery in Toronto -- it blows my mind away but really if you want to get out of the city for a hike, check out your own back yard first -- there really are loads of trails to choose from and you'll never have to put the key into the ignition to get there. Check it out next time you're up for hike.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
My friend C came over today for some vanilla bean hot chocolate and to give me this! Can you believe how cute -- she's one of those people that does the sweetest things for people just because. I was so happy to recieve it just in time for the little trick or treaters!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
this week I decided to take the zip pouch from bend-the-rules and make a little wristlet. i also made my first yoyo -- how fun! I think I'll make a million of these little beauties -- they're such a fun away to dress up a project! I got the tutorial from Heather Bailey and I honestly didn't realize how easy it would be.
Then I made what I am calling a portfolio clutch - I'm sure the term has been used before but that's ok. I saw this style first at Club Monaco a while back -- it was quite a bit smaller, and then I saw this pic and loved it!
I decided to make my own -- ok so mine doesn't look like it's made of butter and would melt in your hands but I'm pretty happy with the outcome. I made it based on Amy's BTR clutch. I will make it much smaller next time -- this one fits my laptop I'm sure. M looked at me kind of strangely when I showed him, but it does fold down into a longer type cluch if you don't want to be carrying this massive purse around.
Friday, October 26, 2007
i first started hearing about it from a friend of mine who had a freelance job writing about raw foods and the benefit they can provide the body. She went to a camp of sorts where several cancer patients were housed, eating only raw foods and partaking in spiritual programs and yoga. my friend said that she heard many a story of people going to the retreat with stage 3-4 cancer only to leave in remission. This is all because of mindset and eating lots of veggies and fruits.
Then on Oprah this week there was a woman - Kris Carr who has stage 4 cancer and she managed to control and essentially stop the growth of the tumor. she still has cancer but she's managing with diet and exercise. It was truly eyeopening.
Last night I was listening to CBC on the same topic and although i can't find the link to the radio program, the interviewee did say that all we have to significantly reduce our cancer chances is to eat according to the Canada food guide. Seems simple right? After the show i looked up the food guide and it's actually quite informative. Check it out here. he also said that supplements are a waste of money and the only ones we really need (if we follow the food guide properly) are vitamin D and Folic Acid. I'm going to do more research into this and try to make more of an effort to follow this thing -- paying special attention to getting my veggies!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Last night I made these napkins -- I kind of followed the Bend-the-Rules sewing book but mostly I made these from a set of napkins i already have. I was looking through the book last night and realized that I have made so many things already! It really is a great book and I feel that it really is helping to establish this online crafting culture that I love being a part of.
These napkins are part of a gift -- shhhh -- I don't want my giftee to find out! these will accompany a BTR table runner which I think will go quite nicely together.
On another note -- I've been quite busy this fall. On Thanksgiving we went to my mom's house where she participated in some town activities. She's the mayor of our little town and it was quite fun to see her talking and having so much fun with everyone. Here is a pic of my mom and my grandmother at the festivities.
And last weekend we went on a wine tour in Niagara-on-the-Lake with M's work. It was so much fun -- we were picked up in a limo and taken to five or so wineries. I have to say although all the wines we tried were scrumptious and wonderful, I will not be drinking wine again for awhile!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
my sister just sent out a note that a mini film she made recently was accepted into the TUFF film festival! TUFF -- or Toronto Urban Film Festival -- is placing a bunch of short films on TTC (Toronto Transit) monitors at various subway stops -- very cool idea! Her film is called Mistints and is being played on Sunday, September 9th so if you're riding the rocket that day be sure to look up!
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Zig Zag Tote
Originally uploaded by email@example.com.
Ok so this wasn't the bag I was going to do originally but this was just as fun. I adapted it from the Bend the Rules clutch and a Denyse Schmidt quilted zig zag bag in one of her latest books. Very fun project!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
when I was in high school, I went to a psychic fair with my friend Helen. As Helen walked off to get her palms read, I sauntered over to have my fortune told by some psychic dude. While taping my conversation, psychic dude told me all of the things about myself that I did and didn't want to hear: you won't marry your current boyfriend, you will get married to someone, you'll have two kids etc., etc...
One thing he did mention was that in a former life I was a baker -- he said I baked and baked and baked until I couldn't bake anymore. I thought this was crazy because I'm not a big fan of baking. I burn things, my cookies never turn out, I suck at making apple crisp and I messed up my easter cheese cake this year. (I now have become a regular at the local Sweet Tooth Desserts Cafe where they sell scrumptious tarts and cakes).
So this morning for some reason I decided to attempt yet another dessert -- the Apple-Cinnamon Upside-Down Cake, thanks to Martha. Well I must have been channelling my former me because to my delight and suprise, I think it turned out! I'll let you know tomorrow if it tastes as good as it looks.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
when we moved into our house, everything was pretty much done as we liked it. we just did a bit of painting. we painted our bedroom but still can't really get comfy in it. So I'm looking to do something new. so far I have these two pics for inspiration -- my friend C just sent me the second one she found on Dwell's site and I'm leaning towards something like that now -- it's a bit more in line with the rest of our house. We'll see what we come up with!
Friday, August 24, 2007
today was my last friday off -- I had the whole day planned out: get some freelance writing done in the morning, go to pilates at lunch and roam the streets aimlessly in the afternoon, perhaps stopping for a tea or two. ahhh the life.
Instead, I turned on the TV - something I rarely do these days and spent the morning watch dumb shows like Regis and Kelly and CityLine. I couldn't get motivated after that -- and I spent my lunch working on my freelance so I missed pilates and didn't get finished until 6!
Moral of the story -- get rid of your TV it's EVIL!
Oh well at least I'm meeting a friend for a fun night!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I was just on martha stewart weddings and they have a post on their blog about JCrew weddings. I have a weird obsession with JCrew -- maybe it's because we don't have them in Canada? Anyway I just wanted to let you know that if you're in need of a wedding dress or a bridesmaids dress check them out! I got my wedding dress from them months ago for next to nothing and recently just ordered all of my bridesmaids dresses.
Friday, July 27, 2007
the 'artsy clutch' and a variation of the 'no cash wallet' from bending-the-rules. I got the material from a garage sale around the corner from my house. I wasn't sure of it at first because anyone who knows me knows that I'm pretty standard grey & black with a few punches of colour, but I've been taking a few colour risks lately (1 or 2) so I decided to get it. I'm super happy with the outcome!
Friday, July 27, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Of course I had to get bend-the-rules sewing by Amy Karol because I've been reading all over the blogsphere about how great it is. I was amazed at all the fun projects there were so I got started right away... well after hours from my 'real' job of course!
This weekend I have a baby shower so decided to try out Amy's bib design as a gift. It was so much fun I made three! They might be a tad big for a newborn but I figure the baby can wear it when he/she is 2 or 3 ;). I can't wait to try out some of the other designs. Thanks Amy!
--yes more denim -- I have a lot of it around here!
--a cute grey cotton bib -- I put a pink ribbon on one side and a blue one on the other because my friend doesn't know what she's having!
--all three bibs
Thursday, July 19, 2007
M and I planted a garden in the back yard this summer and I thought for sure the racoons and squirrels would get to it before we were able to see any of it. But, I had heard that planting marigolds helps keeps the little critters away, and so far so good! Here are our first two cherry tomatoes -- and were they ever good!
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
They will love to know that I have made my first cute little top and for next to nothing! A few weeks ago I went to a garage sale around the corner and got a few pieces of fabric for $1.50. I was so excited to get them for so cheap, but I didn't know what I could make as I only really started sewing. Then I came across a children's dress that Martha made over at Uniform Studio and fell in love. Instead of a dress however, I modified it and made a cute little top!
I couldn't be happier with the outcome -- I am going to wear it to my dad's wedding rehearsal dinner next week!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
my cat flash had a run-in with another cat last week and as a result he is wearing a cone around his head and a red and white bandage on his tail. I was going to post a photo but then I thought it might be too cruel, so I've posted this cute pic instead.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
since my last post I've been keeping my hands busy (I could say hands and feet since I play soccer every week...). I finished my sewing class weeks ago, and I have to say I'm sad that it is over. It was so fun meeting the other women in the class and working with them on our various projects throughout the week. I don't have a picture of the pants I made yet but I DO have my final project which was this bag!
The instructor had a bunch of pre-cut items we could take with us after the last class. I thought I was getting a skirt based on the photo at the front but I was happy to get a bag instead! I finished it up last week and I was so motivated that I dragged out a bag that I made a few years ago to fix up. Here's that pic! Yes, I realize they're both denim but it's the practice that counts right!?
I've also been hanging out in my garden! I'm so excited to have time to hang out back there since last year we had no time (9 weddings!). The only bummer now is that to the left we see this:
The new neighbours are building a monster house! Oh well, they're nice people so we'll have to be nice and live with it!
Thursday, May 03, 2007
I had my second sewing class last night and what a fun way to spend a night! We learned how to make a french stitch, which looked like a normal stitch to me but it was fun to do nonetheless.
Our project was to make a little zipper pouch/make-up bag, but there were a couple girls that made theirs into a wristlet. I'm so happy with the way mine turned out -- I can't wait to make a million more! Next week we start working on a pair of pants or a skirt.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I started sewing classes last night -- the first class was really great. They last for five weeks and go over the basics like hand sewing, and how to thread your machine. There are only 6 people in the class which makes it great for getting the attention you need for each lesson.
I've sewed before (bags, curtains etc) but I wanted to learn the basics. It's strange how you think you know the basic, basics -- I learned so much last night! By the end of the class we will have made a pair of pants, a skirt or both so I'll post my wears then!
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
I was so excited to see Oprah's Green show! I've been attempting to go green for quite some time now and it hasn't always been easy! One thing I've learned is to do small bits at a time. Currently I've put myself on a phased in/out approach and it seems to be helping. So far I have managed to stick with the following:
- I always say no to plastic bags; instead I bring along my "Workhorse" bags that I purchased from resuablebags.com -- they're great because they fold up in your purse so you can carry them anywhere!
- no ziplocks for us! We reuse all the bags (and there are tons!) from the bread we buy, frozen fruit (perfect for freezing meat portions) etc.
- I try to always have my coffee mug with me for trips to the coffee house
- I carry a 32 oz Nalgene bottle of water (from the tap but filtered through a brita) with me everywhere
- I clean everything with vinegar and water and I use cloths instead of paper towel for this (windows, sink, toilet, floors [with a bit of lemon] -- for the tougher areas like the tub I use baking powder and a bit of elbow grease ;)
- I use dishwasher detergent from Seventh Generation and soap from Method
- I switched to organic shampoo and conditioner by Kiss My Face contained in biodegradable bottles. I just switched to organic coffee from BC; drink organic green tea and use organic milk and yogurt.
- we have a GREAT "green bin" program in Toronto, which takes everything from soiled napkins to fruit and veggie scraps so we have barely any trash. And of course we recycle but try to REDUCE, then REUSE first -- those are the first Rs in the list.
- After the show I tried to limit the number of paper napkins I use -- I had some cute little cafe cloth napkins so I'm using those.
- I also became a member of GreenDimes which I LOVE!
Whew -- I can see how people get overwhelmed! But if we just take one step at a time, individually we can make a difference!
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
this sunday we spent the entire day cleaning up the back yard -- we have long grasses in kind of bordering the yard and we were told that we should cut them down in the spring. last year we left them and they weren't as pretty as I think they can be. SO we chopped them and now it seems so bare back there! I hope they grow fast!
I also hope all of the other flowers and bushes grow fast!
Monday, April 16, 2007
I used to curse every time I would go in a store to try on pants or jeans or even long sleeve tops -- toooo looong. I didn't want to buy long pants and jeans because I would just have to hem them and that was a pain. There's an art to hemming jeans so you can keep them original hem. I knew it was possible but how!?
Imagine my delight when I found out how to do it on Dacia Ray's site . Of course I went searching for it AFTER I had already hemmed a pair of jeans the wrong way but but nevertheless I had the instructions now!
I decided to take a crack at altering the sleeves on my jean jacket in the same fashion and for the most part it worked! I still have a few little touch ups to do by hand but I am very happy with the outcome.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Read the full article below and say no to plastic! :)
San Francisco bans plastic grocery bags
Wed Mar 28, 10:18 AM
San Francisco has become the first city in North America to ban the use of traditional plastic grocery bags, a step that municipal leaders hope will spread across the country.
Passed Tuesday by the city's board of supervisors, the law prohibits large grocery stores and drugstores from using non-recyclable and non-biodegradable plastic bags made from petroleum products.
Supermarkets will have six months to comply while drugstores will have up to one year.
The city legislator who introduced the bill, Ross Mirkarimi, said that up to 200 million plastic bags are used each year in the city of roughly 740,000 people.
It's estimated a traditional plastic bag takes 1,000 years to dissolve.
"The first order of conservation is reduction and what we want to do is reduce the non-recyclable plastic bag," said Mirkarimi.
"Many [foreign] cities and nations have already implemented very similar legislation. It's astounding that San Francisco would be the first U.S. city to follow suit," he said.
Will reduce carbon dioxide output
Jared Blumenfeld, the head of the city's environment department, said there would be many benefits.
"By getting 100 million bags away from plastic, we'll save 413 million gallons of oil, we'll reduce 9.2 million pounds [4.2 million kilograms] of carbon dioxide," Blumenfeld said.
Blumenfeld said he hopes other cities will follow in San Francisco's footsteps.
"We certainly hope that it will proliferate throughout the United States, certainly at least throughout the state of California," he said.
Canadian town to ban bags
On April 2, the tiny town of Leaf Rapids in northwestern Manitoba is set to become the first Canadian community to ban plastic bags.
The bylaw prevents retailers from selling or distributing the single-use bags. Ignoring the ban could result in a $1,000-per-day fine.
Officials will hand out cloth shopping bags to each of the town's roughly 550 residents before the ban comes into effect on April 2.
The B.C. mountain town of Rossland is also considering a voluntary ban on single-use plastic bags.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Originally uploaded by firstname.lastname@example.org.
it keeps snowing and I'm getting a bit antsy (this might have something to do with the fact that I work at home and only leave at night to go to the gym). I really want to go outside and wear my new open-toed shoes!
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
I love these pics I found on Original Tuscan Wedding -- they are my inspiration for gathering the details!