Thursday, November 30, 2006

wishing for a bit of warmth

On a day like this.

Monday, November 27, 2006

a smattering of good times

There aren't many things better than a fresh bed. I wash our linens every Saturday (my own little ritual/routine that makes me happy for some reason) and enjoy immensely climbing into clean, fresh, smooth sheets that night. It's never quite as nice as that first time, every Saturday, no matter how you straighten the sheets. Something to look forward to, I suppose.

I have been feeling the transition to winter more keenly in the last few days. Time for a new display.

I bought this angel chime this weekend at a Swedish Christmas fair. I really had a hankering for one this year. We had this exact one (A's family too) when I was little. I love how candles and light play such a role in both of our cultural heritages (Scandinavian Christian and Germanic Jewish), especially this time of year. I am planning on making a simple, modern menorah this year (my beautiful metal one is in storage).

I am also digging candles in the daytime. I never really considered this as a possibility. At the Danish Bazaar I went to a few weeks ago, the tables of the cafe area had little votives on them. It was so lovely and it struck me that I could light my candles during the day, as well. So I did.

I went to a friend's house yesterday for a CraftOn, which is where you gather at someone's house, eat yummy food, have some wine and craft. I worked on some holiday decorations and presents. I brought these linzer cookies (sans the traditional nuts as I am sadly allergic).

My sewing good times are continuing, thank goodness. I made the little rug for in front of the kitchen sink. I just have to finish the hand quilting. And I altered this pajama top with darts so it has a more pleasing, less box-like shape. I have discovered the sloping dart is best for my body and I am quite pleased with the fit of this top, fitted but not tight.

Thanks so much,k.cooper, the mention! hoping for happy accidents is one of my favorite blogs so it means a lot.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

a month of thrifting

I found these yesterday. I couldn't believe it: after discussions here, months of loving them and being perplexed about why I have never across them in my thrifting, there they were, in all their porcelain glory in the Goodwill. I tried not to be greedy and only bought 2.

The little decorative plate hangs above the kitchen sink and makes me happy when I do the dishes (my least favorite household chore).

The embroidery is on a small tablecloth that needs a little repair but I love the lanterns. And what can I say, I love fabric!

Now I just need a french press for the cover to keep warm.

The baubles were made in East Germany and are beautiful. They were supposed to be a hostess gift as I'm making our tree decorations of the yarn pictured but since I have got them home, I'm feeling all hoardy.

I am now on a thrifting diet (except for essentials).

lace snail

Hella Jongerius via karin

This reminds me of a story that I loved when I was little called The Lace Snail. It's about a snail that makes lace as it travels along. Apparently, we had to check it out of the library repeatly and it required a nightly reading.

There is an interesting conversation about working methods (click on the working methods tab) on the site as well.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

fabric boxes and naan

Here are the photos of the fabric boxes I made. I didn't have a pattern or interfacing so I improvised and came up with two different ways of making them. For first one, I stitched the canvas and gingham together to give the box some integrity. The box consists of 3 pieces: 2 sides and one long piece that becomes the other 2 sides and the bottom. One problem with this method is that the seams are exposed and need to be finished in some decorative way. I haven't finished done that yet (shhhh). I feel some seam binding is in order.
In order to avoid unfinished seams, I "bagged" the second one out. I wonder if that's the real term, that's what's it's called when you're sewing in a costume shop. It's when you stitch right sides together, leave a small opening and pull the item through the opening. This worked well expect it was a wee bit floppy so I stitched from corner to corner to create an x and put in tucks on all four corners. It's a little poufy but it stands up so I'm happy. Next time I will try the double sided stuff. I have a love/hate relationship with interfacing. It always seems to be too stiff or too soft. I like the woven kind the best.

Overall, I am happy with the boxes. They went together quite quickly and I was in the right mood for pleasurable sewing: focused but open. I find that things turn out the best when I allow myself to make mistakes and come up with solutions (which are often better than the original idea) instead of automatically despairing and trying the same idea over and over again. I heard a famous author on the radio the other day (can't remember who, of course) who spoke of the importance of the 'shitty first draft'. She found it was so difficult to start writing sometimes because she felt all this pressure for it to be perfect and great, right away. So she created the step of the shitty first draft in her process that allows her to get it all out there without worry or judgment. I love this idea. I am going to try to incorporate into my process.
Vegan naan I made to go along with our dinner of broccoli soup and asian slaw/salad. The slaw/salad is really quick and a great way to use winter vegetables to give the illusion of summer freshness. Here is a rough and ready recipe (amounts are vague as it depends on your own tastes and is easily scaled up or down depending on how many people are eating) that serves 4 or so.

Asian slaw/salad
-a quarter of red cabbage, shredded
-a carrot, grated
-a beet, grated
-handful of cilantro, chopped
-pumpkin and sunflower seeds, a handful of each
-soy sauce
-lime juice
-sesame oil
-chili pepper flakes
-fresh ginger, grated
-clove of garlic, minced

Mix together in a bowl and adjust dressing ingredients to taste. Bon appetit!

Monday, November 20, 2006


things might be a little wonky and crappy for a bit as there was a some blogger troubles last night. booo.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

what i did today...

...after i discovered that a accidentally took my keys and transit pass when he left for a looooong editing session this morning. first, there was cursing. and stomping.

then i set to work on replacing a's backpack zipper. i have been meaning to do this for 2 weeks and haven't gotten around to it. as a result of the broken zipper, a has been using my messenger bag and thence the accidental removal of my keys and pass. i hate it when you do it to yourself.

banana ginger muffins were up next.

slightly old morrocan clementines became the best juice ever to go along with my slightly pathetic lunch of hummus and tortilla chips.

after some tidying and laundry, it suddenly occured to me how to solve my jumble of an underwear drawer - fabric boxes! i started to work right away, using some of the fabric that i picked up yesterday at the danish craft bazaar for 25 cents a piece.

tea time.

and finally, i made dinner. 3 sisters casserole (squash, corn and beans) from the new vegetarian times magazine. yum.

more pictures of the finished boxes tomorrow as it was too dark by the time i finished.

Friday, November 17, 2006

beautiful use

yay! i got my package from the beautiful use swap yesterday. the photo is minus the delicious chocolate bar that a and i ate promptly. thanks lisa!

Friday, November 10, 2006

things that are rolling around in my brain

+ this sign. it used to be up on the wall and then one day, it was down on the sidewalk. i go by it everyday on the streetcar. i love it.
+ bread. procuring a good, healthy bread recipe that doesn't include oil and milk. bread in toronto is mediocre at best. i have a hard time paying $4-5 for a basic whole wheat loaf so i've decided to start baking my own. i have always wanted to but after a few failures, gave it up. i make my own pizza dough so it shouldn't that much harder, right? hopefully. so it was perfect timing when i read about this no-knead method of making bread on not martha today. i going to try it tonight.
+ boots. finding a cute, good quality and reasonable priced pair is tricky. i am understanding more and more each day that my old winter standby of superstars aren't gonna cut it there. so far all i have found are beautiful but expensive boots like these and these.
+ balance. right now, i am not really working on any projects for other people so my schedule is flexible. in fact, wide open. this week i have been struggling with how to allocate my time. there are house things to be finished, holiday presents to be made, jobs to apply for, prototypes for my secret project to finish, two dinners a day to make, work to be drummed up, contacts to email, muscles (not many but a few) to be exercised, a city to explore...i have yet to establish a routine that really works ie. that i follow. perhaps next week will be easier.
+ maria kalman (via lena corwin). i love her illustrations and penmanship. her work is so evocative and inspirational.
+ beautiful use. i can't wait to receive my package! it's my first swap. i hope my swap partner likes what i have sent her.
+ tidying. i like tidying. but we are living in a studio loft right now and it needs to be tidied everyday, all day. if anything is out of place, it looks/feels like a bomb has gone off. perhaps it is time for me to change my usual in-home behavior rather than doing the same old thing. a different space requires a different way of being. hmmm, will have to ponder this...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

what i have been making recently

Thursday, November 02, 2006

slipper research

i need a new pair of slippers. in vancouver, i wore flip flops or great embroidered ones from chinatown. sadly, they died before we moved out here. and in toronto, flip flops are only good for the summer. i attempted a free-hand-no-pattern-but-an-image-in-my-head version tonight that's interesting but not quite right. i did a little research and found a few things:
+civil war hospital slippers
+martha's take
+an interesting article about repetto
hmm, back to the drawing board i think.