Sunday, October 16, 2011

Been a While...

It's been a whirl wind since the engagement.  In case you missed it, Ellery's Part 2 of our Engagement Story is here.  We've both been busy planning our wedding and despite feeling incredibly rushed to make decisions for an event that is a year away, we're having fun.  The hardest part so far was picking the date, and after changing it three times for various reasons, we've settled on August 18th, 2012.  I have a ton of DIY projects planned and we've been debating on blogging about wedding stuff because we don't want to spoil surprises.  This is partly why I haven't posted in a while... it feels wrong to discuss and show photos of the wedding things I'm working on.

Aside from wedding stuff, I've been knitting more viking hats.  I recently shipped one to Paris and one to Norway which was awesome.  Halloween planning has also begun and this year I'm not planning anything epic for myself because, to be honest, I have wedding brain.  We're doing a trial run of Nugget's costume tonight so I'm hoping that will spark the Halloween bug.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Somewhere a Pig is Flying...

So over the Labour Day long weekend we went to Cutesypoo's house warming barbecue, had a Date Day in Whistler and got engaged...  yep... ENGAGED.  I don't think my mother ever thought this would ever happen.  Heh.  Read more about our ring on Ellery's blog here.

My freakishly long finger makes this photo look a bit odd.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Crocheting Whatever

Been making a few more things for my last Artful Sunday on August 28th.  
I made a couple more Kokeshi...

Mia is approximately 6" tall.

Keiko is approximately 7" tall. 

I also crocheted a bunch of hearts that I'm not sure what to do with yet. 
They're about 2.5" in length x 2.5" at the widest part.
They may end up being brooch pins.

And this is my prototype for a Sugar Skull.  
This one was pretty fun to make so I'll probably make some more.

Nugget's Gleeky 10th Birthday

My sweet Baby Nugget turned 10 years old on Saturday. Each year she starts planning her next birthday right after the last birthday party and by the time her birthday comes, she's changed her mind a billion times about what she wants to do. The themes for her 10th birthday went back and forth from 80's to Mad Hatter's Tea Party to Glee several times. A month before her birthday she decided on the Mad Hatter's Tea Party and I made a reservation for high tea at the Urban Tea Merchant and then about two weeks before her birthday the commercials for the 3D Glee Concert came up and she changed her mind and went back to Glee. So the plan was 3D Glee Concert, lunch at Red Robin's and then the beach.  I limited what I had to make to the cupcakes that looked like slushees. 

Nugget got the idea from this blog and I found the Big Quench labels here.  I used a basic vanilla cake recipe for the cupcakes instead of the one from Bake Odyssey, and I made vanilla butter cream frosting that I tinted red.  The cupcakes were finished off with a sprinkling of red sanding sugar and a Twizzler for a straw.  Nugget's goody bags were Glee pencil cases full of candy and school supplies.

Nugget's cousin Annabelle slept over the night before
and gave Nugget a Glee manicure.

The girls coming out of the 3D Glee Concert movie.
Rutty and I sat a couple of rows in front of them.  We anticipated lots of singing from the girls.

Rutty and the girls perusing and colouring the Red Robin's kids menu.

Our waitress gave Nugget a birthday sundae and made her stand on a chair while she yelled at the entire restaurant announcing it was Nugget's birthday.  Then she and a few of the wait staff sang some royalty-free version of Happy Birthday.

My baby's all growd up.

Annabelle, Nugget and Isabelle with their nerd glasses, the 3D glasses with the lenses popped out.  
Maya didn't keep hers so she didn't want to be in the photo :(

On our way back from the restaurant we realized it was also the Annual Vancouver Zombie Walk so we stopped at home for our beach gear, cupcakes and the Buffy Scythe... to fend off the zombies on our way to the beach.

To the beach!

We hung out at English Bay, opened presents and then the girls ditched me to go exploring by the water while I watched all their stuff.  It was a fun day.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Krazy for Kokeshi

My Nugget LOVES Kokeshi dolls and she and her cousin, Annabelle, like collecting Momiji, which are like modern kokeshi dolls.  There's even one named after her that she got from Annabelle for her birthday last year.  Inspired by the cute dolls, I decided to make crocheted versions for Artful Sundays on August 14th and 28th.

I've only made two so far and Nugget named them Yui and Naomi.
Both have crocheted heads and bodies with knitted hair and embroidered felt details. They have safety eyes and are stuffed with polyfill.

Naomi:  8.5" tall.  

Yui: 6.5" tall.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Because Sharing is Caring

I have a tendency to randomly post links to things on my Facebook that I like in hopes that my friends will find them interesting, informative, inspirational or just plain neat.  It just recently occurred to me that I could compile my favourites in one handy dandy blog post every once in a while and share with the 20 people following this here blog.

I loved this post at Cup of Jo on how to speak to little girls.  Do you think you'd be a different person if more importance or attention was given to your thoughts, interests and talents as a little girl, rather than appearance?

I have Craft fairs on the brain lately and have been thinking about the pricing of things I make.  The timing of this post on the Craftzine blog was perfect and very helpful.  Pricing has always been a difficult thing for me especially since I have a day job I love and what I make and sell is a hobby. 

I wish I heard about dog duvets from Molly Mutt before I dropped $50 on a new bed for Boomer.  She destroyed the orthopedic foam within days of getting it.  I've recently stuffed the bed casing with old towels which is pretty much the concept behind the dog duvet, only the ones at Molly Mutt have cooler prints.  Next time...

Photos from Where Children Sleep from documentary photographer James Mollison... will give you a dose of perspective.

Knit James!  Thought it was cool since he's one of the characters from the show I work on.

Font!  From Fluids!.. cause I love font.

(Balisong) Butterfly knife-styled Pen. Sadly, a year too late for my Hit Girl Halloween costume.

And lastly, Rutty's 35th Birthday Re-cap...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

An Experiment in Baking: The Making of Rutty's Birthday Cake

Ellery (AKA Rutty of House of Ten fame) turned 35 a couple of days ago,  July 28th to be exact.  In celebration of his birthday, we are going to Langley for a birthday barbecue.  My contribution to this most special event is a birthday cake... from scratch! But this is no ordinary birthday cake, this one was inspired by the Oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookie!  The magic began at 7:00 AM this morning.

I started with a chocolate chip cookie dough, the recipe from the back of the Chipits bag.

Then a layer of Oreos which were covered with another layer of chocolate chip cookie dough.

Into the oven until it looked like this...

The next part of this magical cake was the Super Chocolate Cake layers.  Recipe from one of the Best of Bridge books I had kicking around.  I went with this recipe because it claimed to be super.  Let's hope it is.

I poured the batter into two pans to make two thin cake layers and baked it.

Next I made Peanut Butter Buttercream frosting for the layers and the crumb coat.  As I am not a baker, my kitchen lacks the appropriate tools such as a proper spatula and rotating cake stand.  I used a short little spatula for spreading cream cheese on bagels to apply the crumb coat.  In lieu of a cake stand I flipped a cereal bowl upside down and placed a cardboard circle covered with tin foil on top and put my cake layers on that.  Very professional.

My rough crumb coat of peanut butter buttercream.  
Emphasis on rough.

This is the chocolate buttercream for the final finish.

Ta-da!  The finished cake!  I hope it's yummy.... 
I hope.


Rutty's cake aflame with 35 candles.

The birthday boy blowing out the candles.  
Good thing he's not asthmatic.

The cake cut up revealing the layers of goodness.  
It was super sweet.  The slices had to be really thin.

Robson Square Artisan Market

Last Saturday I participated in my second Craft Sale ever and my first one on my own, the Robson Square Artisan Market.  It's a new market that just started in June this year.  So far it's had a few things going against its success: the riot in June, construction on Robson Street above, the crappy weather, and a ton of competing events.  We did get a good flow of people wandering down the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery curiously following the sounds of the live entertainment on our market day though.  We got a lot of smiles, and positive comments but few sales.  

My brain was pre-occupied with the all the stuff that's happened in the last few weeks and it kind of ruined the anticipation of the market for me.  I honestly wasn't as excited about the market until that morning when Nugget and I were setting up.  The night before was a crazy panic trying to get everything together and finish the doll I started a couple of days before.  I finished it about an hour before we had to leave for the market.  
I was exhausted and not in the mindset I would have liked to be in.  I probably could have done more to promote it, like write a blog post BEFORE the market and not after.  DUH.  

I have a couple of Sundays sharing a table with the lovely and talented Karen Francis and L.A.M Designs (Aimee Illescas and Virginia Turco Greyson) at Artful Sundays on Commercial Drive in August, so I will pimp the hell out of those.  Here are some photos of our set up...

Nugget peeking behind the hat stand (borrowed from Durka.  Thanks Durka!) holding a couple of zombie hats and a viking hat.  That's the doll I finished that morning.

Nugget posing at our table.  We had the brightest, most random set up.  
I referred to it as a "Zombie Viking Sushi Carnival of Random Curiosities".

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This month is kicking my ass.

This updating my blog once a month thing is getting ridiculous.  There have been many events that have transpired that at one point or another, I thought "I should write about that!"... and then didn't.  One of those events was the Stanley Cup Riot the day after my birthday.  The topic has been blogged to death now and I think it's best that I limit my mention of it to just this and move on from the ugliness.  I want to stay positive and I've been trying really hard to stay positive because it's so easy to spiral into that dark place.  Lately though, it feels like the Universe has been trying to shove me in that direction with stupid little things, that in the grand scheme of things, are really just annoying (like our parking garage getting broken into last night and eight cars, including ours, getting targeted) and then there's the big heart-wrenching things...    

Recent days have been a little rough with Hurley needing surgery to correct his luxating patellas on both hind legs. The diagnosis was upsetting and I was angry at our old vet for giving us bad information when we noticed signs of his issues as a puppy.  Figuring out how to pay for his surgery was stressful and we'll be paying for it for a while, but I would've spared no expense to make our baby boy better.  It's been almost two weeks since his procedure and Hurley seems to be doing well.  The stitches on his legs look horrifying but they don't seem to bother him.  He's a trooper.  He's gotten more active since he finished his run of Percocet which pretty much kept him sedated and the challenge as of late has been trying to limit his activity so that he doesn't strain his legs.  I've been lucky enough to be able to bring him to work with me while he recovers which has been the plus in all of this.  I like having him as an office buddy even though he whines a lot and barks at my boss.

This afternoon the Universe threw the worst curve ball yet.  My brother called me at work to let me know my dad had a stroke and that he was admitted into Emergency.  My heart sank.  I haven't spoken to my dad in over a year and our relationship hasn't been the best.  When I had Nugget, I was determined for her to have a relationship with her grandfather despite the state of my relationship with my dad.  I tried to get past my issues with my dad because it was important to me that Nugget had access to her grandparents.  It was in the last year or so that I gave up making an effort and I greeted him on his birthday and Fathers Day on his Facebook wall instead of phoning him.  I am an asshole.  It took him having a stroke for me to visit him and see how he's doing.  I'm a mess of guilt, remorse, anger, sadness... I can't even describe it.  When we saw him he seemed okay despite everything.  His cholesterol is high and his sugar levels are high, he apparently has diabetes and didn't know it.  His blood pressure is concerningly high, so high they are waking him up and checking his blood pressure every hour.  It's almost 3AM.  They finally found him a bed and moved him out of Emergency.  My two younger brothers are at the hospital with him now and I'm getting sporadic updates on my phone.  I can't sleep and I can't stop crying.  I'm sorry, Dad.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tweet Tweet

I am now officially on the Twitter!
Follow me here if you are so inclined.
I don't quite get it yet and the first bit felt overwhelming but we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

On Turning 34

Today is my birthday.  Someone told me once that their 30's were better than their 20's.  Back then I just turned 21 and I couldn't fathom why anyone would think that.  I get it now.  I was an idiot in my 20's.  Now that I'm a year away from being in my mid-thirties I can happily say that I like me.  There are actually days where I feel like this:

I hope this means that my 40's are going to kick ass.

I'll post a recap of some birthday stuff next post. I want to have some cake now.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mommy's Day

Mothers Day this year was pretty low key.  Nugget made me pancakes for breakfast and we made the rounds to visit our moms.  We kept it simple... brought flowers and just spent some time.  We saw my mom at lunch and Rutty's mom for dinner. Since my mom moved out to White Rock, I don't see her as often as I used to when she lived in Vancouver so being able to spend a few hours in the afternoon was really nice.

Nugget gave me this awesome painting of Boomer and Hurley.  It's now hanging in my office at work.

My fur babies, the muses for Nugget's masterpiece.

My mom, me, Nugget and Boomer.

Stone Soup Festival

Nearly a month after my last post and two weeks after the Stone Soup Festival, I finally update this blog thing.  I'm not sure what was going on with our weather here but the morning of the festival felt more like the first week of October rather than the first week of May.  It rained, it hailed and the sun took a peek behind the clouds for a brief moment.  Nugget and I arrived at 10:30 am to set up.  

 This was our view for most of the day.

It wasn't a total bust though.  A few friends stopped by and I managed to sell a few items in the five hours we were there.  My mom took transit all the way from White Rock to show support and was my first sale of the day, a California Roll pin.  My mom's the best.

We decided to quit a couple of hours early because of the downpour.  Our feet were soaked and we were freezing cold but it was still a lot of fun.  I enjoyed hanging out with Aimee and Virginia and seeing how strangers reacted to my work.  It was a great first time experience and it inspired us to sign up for Artful Sundays in August on Commercial Drive.  Hopefully the weather will be nicer then.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Posting Extravaganza to make up for the lack of posts in the last month... brought to you by the letter "B"

B is for Buddy...
He came, he saw, he conquered... or something like that.  We took him around the city and took photos of him at several locations like...

the Olympic torch with the 2010 Olympic mascots.

The main library and the site of New Caprica.

Prospect Point at Stanley Park with us, his loving hosts.

In Kevin's Delorean. He didn't go back to the future.  He went to Korea.

This photo segues to the next B... for Baking!  
I've been trying to do more of that lately because Nugget likes baking and no, I'm not subconsciously sabotaging Rutty's weight loss goals.  This was my first attempt at Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies.  The first batch I baked I used the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the Chipits bag.  They turned out awesome!  The second batch, I followed this recipe.  The second batch was easier to form but I kind of liked the first batch better even though the dough was gooier.  My next attempt I will split the difference in the amount of flour called for in both recipes.  The goal is to have this recipe down by the time I do my Christmas baking.

These are the Easter sugar cookies Nugget and I baked with Caleb and Jacob.

This is a mini chocolate cupcake with a mini Cadbury Cream Egg inside.  I used Jake Gandolfo's Chocolate Lover's Cupcake recipe in the Master Chef cookbook and iced it with Nutella because I was too lazy to make butter cream frosting.  I don't know if it's an issue with the mini Cream Eggs because they're small, but the cream filling was hard.  This was a total bummer.  The cupcakes still tasted good but I think next time I'll make regular sized cupcakes with full sized Cream Eggs.

B is for Blanket for a baby boy who's name happens to start with B....
I followed the Modern Log Cabin blanket pattern on Ravelry and in the Mason Dixon Knitting Book.
I changed it up part way when I realized I was running out of brown yarn.  I also crocheted the border.

And the final B is for Boomer...
because she's so darn cute.