Wednesday, December 21, 2011

happy winter solstice! how will you celebrate this, the darkest day of the year? perhaps with feasting, gambling, or a libation? i will be working for most of the day, so my celebration will include eating gingerbread men (head first, obviously) and listening to Anna Calvi on repeat. i discovered her through my friend Tim and was lucky enough to see her play in town a couple weeks ago. if she is touring where you live i highly recommend checking her out. i also can't get enough of this video by Erato, covering Robyn's Call Your Girlfriend. if you haven't seen it, you definitely should.  

a couple of weeks ago, i told my mom that i needed to learn how to make a few of her most delicious recipes and that she would have to show me first hand because her written or verbal directions often include  things like"oh, and add a heaping teaspoon of this, but not too heaping" and "add this item, but not too much because then it will be too much, but if you add too little it won't be very good". this is not an exaggeration. so, i drove out to the 'burbs with so many scotch peppers in hand that the lady working the cash at the grocery store had to ask me if i really needed that many, and together my mom and i made some pretty serious homemade pepper sauce.

i'm really happy with how it turned out, but it is very, verrry spicy! a glass of water nearby is a requirement.

the next week or so will be hectic, but i'm looking forward to dropping off presents to friends (maybe even some of the homemade goods above), visiting family and friends, the endless eating ahead, and the driving in between. aside from all of those things, i think the things i like most about this season are the lights, dressing up, and the generosity going around.

from the top left going clockwise: 1. Nathan Phillips Square, 2. the lights at my work holiday party, 3. all dressed up for the party with a dress from Bicyclette and a belt from The Future of Frances Watson, 4. two records that were given to me by the lovely and talented folks at Bakerbots.

i hope your holidays include lots of food, laughs, and naps. xo.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

hello mid-december! how did you get here so quickly? last month i was full out bragging about how ahead of the gift getting curve i was, and now i'm here realizing that i totally rested on my laurels and will be running around like every other chump this weekend to get stuff done. november me would be SO disappointed.

i picked up some pretty wonderful things from city of craft this weekend, but just in case the recipients see these internet ramblings i better keep it hush hush for now. i did, however, get a knitted ascot for myself from the very talented and previously mentioned tara-lynn at good night, day. in short, it is perfect.

this and other impressive things people i know have knitted recently have led me to believe that knitting is really cool and useful and i should learn how to do it (i know, where have i been?). so, i got together with a few friends and our resident knitting expert (hi Tallulah!) showed us the basics for getting started on a scarf. i was very enthusiastic, but also very busy, so this is my progress so far:

that's right, i mostly rolled a ball of yarn by myself. are you impressed? now that i've posted this i'll definitely be forced to knit something, right?

to redeem myself a little bit, i got together with a friend last night and made this little artichoke ornament.  i'm really happy with it and plan to make more later this week. moms will go crazy for it! haha. in the name of full disclosure, i found there was a real learning curve with making it so if you want to make one of your own don't get disheartened if it looks like something only a mother could love. you'll get the hang of it and feel so accomplished when you do. a little hot apple cider and spiced whisky won't hurt either.

the only other christmas decoration i've got in my house is a poinsettia plant; it is this year's version of a charlie brown christmas tree. aww.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

oh my my, the days are getting very short and christmas lights are out in full effect. this means that there are craft events aplenty in toronto right now, and this weekend i will be attending city of craft.  this city is filled with very talented designers and makers of things, and it is impossible to let a december go by without perusing their wares and purchasing a little something for you... and a little something for me. in case you are living in the city and are curious but need a little more coaxing, here are a few of my current favourites that will be at the sale:

by Falconwright - an amazing collaboration of leather goods from Deadweight and Caboto

by julie moon - i was the lucky enough to receive this as a gift last year

beautiful tea towels by Bespoke Uprising
these events make it so easy for people to buy things that are sustainable, local, and beautifully handmade. i also find myself so curious about peoples' work spaces. the idea of a studio with natural light is very romantic, but i also find the idea of people making space in their basements, bedrooms or maybe even a study romantic, too. i recently saw a photo of good night, day's makeshift studio space for all her wool and loved it. check it out here.

i've also been making small items (mostly of the kitchen variety) for small gifts or wrapping decorations, but there will be more on that a little later.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

it has been a busy few months, but here we are near the end of the school semester and the winter holidays are jussst around the corner. i'll still be working full-time for the next little while, but free evenings and weekends seems like a dream come true at this point. that's not to say i haven't been having fun or slacking at times, either, but soon it will be guilt free. that's right, couches and movies and napping, i'm coming for you!

this week was my last weaving class of the semester, and i finally finished my first sampler project. i was late for my first class due to work, so i chose my colours in a big hurry and let me tell you, lesson learned! weaving projects are not short ventures and one should choose their colours wisely because you'll be spending a lot of time with them. (it needs to be said, i suspect i am of the slowpoke variety, so maybe some of you would spend less time on a project than me.)

aside from my colour woes, i really enjoyed the class and already find myself daydreaming about my next project; it will not be pink. it also seems that i've been bitten extra hard by the arts and crafts bug because i've already signed up for a ceramics class next semester with my friend sandi. i hope to make something great, and a mess.