Wednesday, July 28, 2010

8 Questions, finally.

Ages ago the lovely Andreae from With The Crickets done tagged me with 8 questions. I've had rather a brutal case of the MEHs for the last few weeks. I haven't really wanted to make or do anything in fact mostly all I've wanted is to shovel carbs into my piehole and read 1950's ballet books (what? that's a thing!) but RIGHT NOW seems like the perfect time to knock that nonsense off. And do something actually fun. Like answer some questions about me me me me me.

So. First question:

1. Is there anything you've ever eaten that was so delicious that you think of it and go kind of misty-eyed to this very day?

YAH there is! It's sun dried sheep's cheese. Made by my Maltese honorary-Grandpa, dried in racks on his flat barn roof or kept soft in salted water in the kitchen. It's glorious. Tastes like summer. and warmth. and fat, happy babies. and sheep a bit.

2. Are you a city person or country person? Half and half? Why?
City. City. City! I love the city (and specifically I love this city). I love being able to walk everywhere. I love public sculpture. I love that there is always something to see or do. I love how kind this city is. And that you can throw a rock from my house and hit a few different types of extraordinarily good food. And that if you get tired of noisy cityness it's a skip and a hop and a jaunty ferry ride to the islands. And MUSEUMS! I love being walking distance to the ROM. I like streetcars. In fact I just like the WORD streetcar, so much sexier than tram (I like tram too, but I like streetcar more). I like having this many neighbours, lots of whom are very good friends. I like that I can't walk around the block without running into someone we know. And that folks in the shops know us (and certainly Teddy) by name. It's a crazy mix of tiny-villageness and anonymity.

3. You know how, before you actually have kids, you have all these parenting principles ("I'm going to home-school/make all the clothes/never buy junk food/bury the tv in the back yard"), and then when you actually have to raise a kid/kids, you end up kind of abandoning said principles? Do you have any of those? Do you feel guilty? Liberated? Indifferent?
Heh. One or two. Turns out my house is not a haven of wooden toys and genius design, with nary a piece of plastic to be seen. And I'm OK with that. Really I am. A lot of the stuff that I expected and wanted early on in my pregnancy went poof after my brother's accident. And I'm OK with that too, in fact I think yay for adapability. I figure doing the best you can with what you have is the most you can hope from yourself.

4. What's the loveliest place you've ever traveled? Could be wildly exotic or comfortingly local.
I've been lucky enough to have traveled a LOT. But my favorite places are the ones I've been to with my sweetie, madly in love. Paris for the first time with him, where we barely made it out of the hotel room (ou la la my blushes!), and we ate cake for breakfast at 1.30 in cafes near the Sorbonne. Or the Altas Mountains at this hotel, where it smells like roses and I said "sure, why not!" to an important question.

5. Okay, same as Sigrid: Laundry tips? Please?
Line drying. Finest kind.

6. Do you have a life plan, or do you just sort of truck along?
truck truck truck. I don't EXACTLY believe that the world will purposely bite me on the ass if I make a plan; but I do find myself keeping an eye out for low flying geese and open manholes when I do.

7. Would friends of the teenage you recognize the current you? Would you still get along?
Friends of the teenage me are friends of the current me. In fact the person who occupies the best friend space in my head is someone I have know since I was 7 or 8. (Hey Philip, if you happen to be reading this, I love you. Also, I have a poop story to tell you.)

8. Any novels to recommend for an almost-seven-year-old girl? What were your favourites? Which are you looking forward to sharing with your own kid(s)?
I've been thinking about this one LOADS. I'm a firm believer in the the power of literature to build better humans, and I made a list!
Some of these are better as read along with yer folks books, I don't know if most almost-7 year olds go for that, but we TOTALLY did. Mostly cause my ma is BRILLIANT story teller.

1. The Julian Stories, sweet, funny, still-quote-it-to-your-sibis-25-years-later good.
2. The Borrowers Books by Mary Norton. Because tiny stuff is just cool
3. The Wind in the Willows. I literally can't wait to read this to my bear. Our childhood copy is sat on his shelves.
4. Anything By Dick King-Smith, his warmth and humour is even better than I remember it being.
5. and of course ANYTHING by L.M Montgomery... the first book I ever stayed up too late reading was Anne of Green Gables, but I like the Emily books better.

OK that's me done.
AND I'm passing the whole gig on to:
Liz over at Little Dash, who's writing style is as charming and awesome as a raucous-laugh-after-a-dirty-joke. and who throws a brill party by the looksa things.
Renaissance woman Affi'enia at blue frog sticks who sews, knits AND plays in the dirt, farmer style!
Stephanie (who's new table I literally want to steal) of Made in Australia By Stephanie
Erin from Howl, who inspires me keep running (and to not stuff cake into my face!)
And of course Emme. Who is a hero. An honestly and truly one.

And my questions are...

1. Is there anything you feel nekkid without? (aside from clothes!) For me it's painted toenails, even in the winter, I just feel better with two coats of dark red on my piggies.

2. Books, magazines, games, comics, pieces of art that made you who you are today? Hello Sassy magazine. Talking of which, have you seen this?

3. Monkey or Robot? Which would you rather have?

4. Food you make when the poop hits the fan? Do you cook/eat for comfort?

5. How did you meet your sweetie? Is it romantic? (Will I need a tissue?... no really, I cry at everything).

These next two are the same as Andreae's

6. Do you have a life plan, or do you just sort of truck along?

7. Would friends of the teenage you recognize the current you? Would you still get along?

8. Could you show me something pretty? Please?

Here's a random picture of some balloons that I strung to a tree on the island at a BBQ last weekend. because posts feel naked without pictures.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lacy Linens

If I had all the money in the universe. I would buy 365 sets of 600 (million) count cotton sheets and duvet covers. And I would have a robot who would iron them and put them on for me and maybe spray them with lavender and plump up my pillows and bring me chocolates and trashy novels to read and puppies to play with and generally do my evil bidding.

What I'm saying is that I like nice new linens. But the ones I like I can't, as a general rule, afford.
I wanted to make a duvet cover and a set of pillowcases that had a Restoration Hardware/Pottery Barn, Laura-Ashley-with-a-touch-of-quirky, mismatched, stolen-from-your-grandmother's-hope-chest feel to them. And naturally it had to be on the cheap.
Here's what I came up with:

Wondering why they look that wrinkled? Yah? This is why:

And also this:

I used
A dirt cheap fitted sheet set (one flatsheet, one fitted, 2 pillow cases. In white, naturally.*)
Another flat sheet, (you could use a plain ready-made duvet cover)
About10 meters of cotton lace trim ($1/2 meters from the Dollar Store in three different designs)
Some long strips of stitch witchery (the iron-on adhesive stuff)
A handful of plastic snaps/poppers

First you take the flat sheet that will be the TOP of your duvet cover and lay it out on the floor. Then you do it again and again because your dog and baby instantly leap on it squealing and wagging. Then you decide that maybe doing this at naptime would be more sensible.

Next you mark out where you'd like your trim to go. My duvet cover has two big squares, one inside the other. You can get all math-y and work out the numbers and measure or you can eyeball it and hope for the best. (Guess which one I did.) I used a bit of white chalk to mark my lines but if you have a fancy pants disappearing pen thingy then awesome.

The next part is actually kind of optional. Depending on how brave you feel. You could simply pin your trim on along your lines and have at it with a sewing machine.
OR use your long strips of stitch witchery to stick the lace on BEFORE you have at it with a sewing machine. I did the latter.
I found it easier NOT to start at a corner, and I like the way the turned edges look (there are other ways to turn corners).

Oh, and I know you know, but don't forget to flip the stitch witchery the same way UNDERNEATH the trim.

Once you have your lace in place. Whip around it, pretty close to the edge, with a medium sized stitch on your machine. And that's the top bit done (or the whole thing done if you used a pre-made duvet cover). Stick the top good-sides-together with the other flat sheet. Whip around three sides and add a handful of poppers (or ribbons or buttons) along the bottom and voila. New duvet cover. The Pillowcases are the same thing but on a smaller scale.
Just get your robot minion to iron the lot and you're all set.

I've also been thinking that this would work really well with a heap o' cotton doilies, scattered randomly about on a crispy white cotton. Yup. I am DEFINITELY keeping my eyeballs peeled for doilies from now on.

* I am weirdly scared of dark coloured sheets. I know it's crazy. BUT, in my head dark sheets equals heavy. Therefor I could be CRUSHED LIKE A BUG under a navy duvet cover. Like a bug I tell you. Crushed.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

One of Those Days

Today's post is brought to you by wet raccoon poop all over my dog and sewing a hole all the way through my own finger.
That is all.

Wait, I should just add that the raccoons around here appear to have a diet of meaty pizza and and over-proof rum. Sorry for putting THAT in your head, but seriously, not as sorry as I was to have it under my fingernails.

Fetch me my Eau de Poop!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Yoga? MAYBE!

Hey remember how this used to be a blog where I made stuff and sometimes even used my sewing machine? No, me neither!
So. Lovely sunshiny weather and athelticalalal feats aside, I made something!
Actually it kind of related to both of those things... it's a hack down of a long sleeved tee (because it is hot NOW and I am in total denial about the existence of Winter . Winter? WHAT WINTER? tra la la!) into sleeveless yoga tee. As discussed before I don't actually DO yoga but I'm thinking I might have a stab at it, maybe. And this shirt just seemed yoga-y to me. So there we go.
Here's the before:
A hand-me-down from my lovely chum Sarah. In a colour I like a lot.
I whipped the sleeves off and tidied up the edges. Ruched the shouldery parts, which took care of any gappiness at the front (pretty sure nobody needs to see my uh, "Asanas" when I'm doing my downward dog).
Then I ruched the sides too. It's not showing up so well on Ernesta here (she's not terribly flexible, she really COULD use some yoga). But it is pretty flattering when it's on. Disguises the lumpy with more lumpy, if you see what I mean.

So that's that. if you want a play by play on the physics of whipping sleeves off then give me a shout. (Or check out make it and love it's tute. A-dor-a-bul!)

Saturday, July 10, 2010


That's me. Super, extra proud.
Yesterday my mama did her SECOND Julia Jones 5K training session.
I couldn't be prouder if she's run a marathon in heels. Because that FIRST session is tough. And I don't know about you, but for me, the hardest thing I've ever done in the gym was getting through the doors for the first time. So snaps and hugs and hooting and hollering for her, and her chums who are running with her.
I'm also feeling kind of proud of myself. Yesterday I ran the farthest I've ever run in my entire life. 3 km. Without stopping or crying or barfing in my hands. I kind of snuck it up on myself and I didn't PLAN to keep running after the first 1.2. But I did. Mostly because of this...

Prettiest sunset ever. Pink and shiny and lovely. And while I technically know that sunsets are caused by SCIENCE STUFF, this one felt like a present from the universe, maybe not JUST for me, but a BIT for me.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Yup. been slack. but you guys, BOY IS IT EVER HOT HERE.
I love it. I lufff it. I EL OH VEE EEEI it!
30 ° C (feels like 36 °) makes me a happy. It makes my skin sing little songs where every word is "awesome tra la la awesome la"
So I've mostly been doing that.
We had a Canada Day/Pride double whammy too. It felt like a whole week of noisyfuntimes shenanigans in my 'hood. Mostly 'cause it was.

On the 1st we went over and celebrated Canada day with Ontario's newest Canadians in Queens Park. I LOVE that there's a ceremony AND bouncy castles. Here's my bear getting his first bounce on:

On Friday we took a stroll with chums down to the harbour front where there were tall ships. Ships! Tall ones! and pretty!
I gave some thought to a career in piracy. The swashbuckling kind. Not so much the Somalian warlord kind.

Saturday and Sunday are the big deal days for Toronto's pride week. We live in the heart of the village (it's a great place to live) but it gets crazy NOISY round here!
We hung out on a neighbour's balcony (our own overlooks a stage and was a bit ear bleedy) had a few drinkies and watched the shenanigans in the courtyard.

So I think that's us mostly caught up. How the devil have YOU been?
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