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December 30, 2012

LATELY, IN MOVIES

I was sick for a week with bronchitis just before Christmas so I got a few movies in. 3 Women was on my list for a while and I finally watched it. The pale pink images were beautiful, however I'm going to need to watch it again to understand what happened. Sexual Chronicles of a French Family is exactly what it sounds like. Young Adult was also on my list for a while and I thought Charlize Theron did an outstanding job even though I felt so bad for her character the entire time.

I watched a bunch of 'It's late evening, early night and I'm not doing anything but all I want to do is watch a cute rom-com and lie on the couch' type movies while I was home for Christmas. I love Nicole Kidman in any role and she's so cute in rom-coms. I put on Bewitched intending to fall asleep to it, but I got hooked and stayed up til 3 am watching. I want to watch the show! My sister's new fav movie is Just Go With It so I watched it again. It was a double whammy of Jennifer Aniston because the next night Along Came Polly was on tv. She's just the greatest!

December 28, 2012

DIY: HANDMADE TOUCHSCREEN GLOVES

I mentioned here that I wanted to make all of my gifts for Christmas this year and when I saw the idea of touchscreen gloves on Fieldguided's blog I instantly knew that I had to make these. I decided to make two pairs of gloves: one for my mom and one for my sister, two people I know who love their touch phones as much as I do.
It was incredibly simple. All you need is a pair of gloves, conductive thread, and a needle. I originally purchased two other pairs of gloves that were threaded, but in the end I found that these felt (I actually don't know what material they are) worked best for me. You can buy conductive thread online, but a quick Google search pointed me to a techie store in Toronto called Creatron Inc. I bought 60 feet of conductive thread for only $5! It was more then enough for two pairs of gloves.
I sort of just went for it and created whatever pattern you see here. With more practice I think it would look a lot more professional! You also have to sew the threading on while wearing the gloves so that was interesting. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and not fully content with the look of the threading, but in the end they work and I couldn't be more excited. It only took about 20 minutes for each finger tip. If you're not a sewer but want to do this, don't worry because I'm relatively new and thought this was super easy.
 I'm so happy this worked out and I'm going to use the rest of the thread to make a pair for myself!

December 26, 2012

DIY: GREETING CARDS

I've been wanting to share these for a while now, but as I have friends and family who read my blog I had to wait until after I gave away all of my Christmas cards this year to share. And I'm so excited!! This year for Christmas I decided to make as many gifts as possible for a few reasons: 1) I'm trying to create more any chance I get, 2) It's cheaper, 3) I hate buying people things because the holiday tells me to, 4) A goal of mine is to start creating things that I can sell, and hopefully make some sort of business out of that, so why not start to advertise and practice by giving my creations to my friends and family!

Writing cards has always been one of my favourite ways for me to express how much I love the people around me. For the past couple of years for Christmas and birthdays I usually go over to Honest Eds and buy a stack of blank cards with cute little cats on them. But this year I wanted to make my own. On my walk home from work one day I noticed all of the Holiday planters along Queen Street West that I'm guessing the local BIA set up. Each of them had different kinds of coniferous trees in them and then it hit me, I need to make cards with clippings from these trees. I've been creating a lot of collages lately and to me, this was an easy transition.
I thought some of the trees would be difficult to work with, but they all ended up being relatively easy. It was fun 'stealing' these clippings from the streets and deconstructing them. Some of them still smell like pine! I also made a series of smaller cards for my girlfriends using some of the same patterns. All I used for this project was two different types of blank cards (watercolour paper works best, as the paper will bend back to normal after being covered in glue), matte Mod Podge (aka a crafters best friend), and a paint brush and tweezers. What do you guys think? I'm thinking I could do this all year round with different plant material - sad I just missed the fall season though!

December 20, 2012

CHRISTMAS BAKING: RIBBONS

One of my favourite things about the holiday season is Christmas baking. I love making family recipes and I think it's so lovely when you bring homemade baking when visiting someones house. This year for my coworkers I designed them a handmade card (I will show you after Christmas!) and decided to make Ribbons. All of my baking supplies and beloved KitchenAid is in storage so Ribbons were the most perfect thing to make. It takes only three ingredients and about 20 minutes. 

Ingredients:
- Wonton or Egg roll paper (found in the produce section of your grocery store - even the staff at the grocery store didn't know where it was located, so thanks mom)
- Icing sugar
- Oil - any oil works, I used sunflower oil since that's what I had

Recipe:
Cut the egg roll paper into thin strips. My family usually uses a crimped pastry cutter to create a more festive look, but I only had a standard pizza cutter which worked just fine. Thanks Ron (the cat) for keeping me company.
Fry both sides until they are golden brown. It takes only about a minute total. I also cut the egg roll into tiny triangles and those only took a few seconds. Use your judgement! Dry them on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
Cover both sides with icing sugar! I put the icing sugar through a strainer because I find it falls a bit less clumpy and looks like snow. I was having some trouble getting the icing sugar to stick right away, so next time I'm going to ice them right after they come off the stove.
I purchased this clear gift wrap and some bows from the dollar store and wrapped them right away so they stayed fresh. They taste so good and are so simple and quick to make! So if you're in a pinch but want to bring some Christmas baking to a loved ones house this holiday, I definitely recommend Ribbons.

December 14, 2012

LATELY, IN MOVIES

I knew Home Alone was on TV on Sunday night so I made sure my only plans were to order from my favourite Thai restaurant and sit in bed and enjoy this classic film. I watched Press Pause Play as I was making some Christmas gifts which was fitting because it was about hope and fear that artists can experience. There were a lot of misogynist comments in Runaway Bride but it's Julia Roberts and Richard Gere back together again and it's wonderful. Take This Waltz was one of my favourite movies of the summer, but maybe of all time. It's on Netflix so I watched it again and I highly (!) recommend it! It was filmed by the wonderful Sarah Polley in Toronto and it even takes place in Toronto! Eight Crazy Nights was another movie I watched while I crafted and only because the selection of holiday movies on Netflix is rather dull. It was cute. Dawn of the Dead, another Sarah Polley flick, wasn't as great as other zombie movies I've seen but I still enjoyed it none-the-less. Also filmed just outside Toronto!

December 12, 2012

COLLAGE

I haven't been making too many collages lately but I have been doing a lot of other creative things. I learned how to crochet (creating my own scarf!), I'm making all (most) of the presents I'm giving for Christmas (which I will share right after I give them away), and I'm waiting for the next screen printing workshop at Open Studio. So many fun things! Nothing feels better then making something with my hands.

December 10, 2012

CITY SNAPSHOT: SAN FRANCISCO

Last year when I decided to go on a solo whirlwind trip to the west coast, it all started because I wanted to go to San Francisco. I decided to tackle VancouverSeattle, and Portland while I was there. I mean, why not right? Initially I wanted to continue down to L.A. but decided that Southern California was an entire trip altogether.
1. SF is huge. I've been to New York a couple of times and felt the vast difference of that city compared to Toronto, but I was not expecting SF to be quite as massive as it was. I'm going to need to take a few trips to the city in order to experience all sides to it. My goal for visiting this city was to head towards the key 'tourist'/ famous spots but hit as many side streets and alleyways along the way. Note: I attempted to avoid public transit and walk everywhere as I do in most cities, but a metro pass in SF is a wonderful thing. Seeing the Golden Gate bridge gave me butterflies the same way seeing the Eiffel Tower did when I was 16. I had officially arrived and it was glorious. 2. The Painted Ladies! All I could think of was Full House and my childhood. Toronto attempted to have our own Painted Ladies in the Beaches, but I'm sorry Toronto, SF does it best. 3. Lombard Street was filled with tourists, both watching cars drive down and tourists in cars driving down. I even saw a guy on a motorcycle drive down with his phone in his mouth (recording the drive, presumably). The streets in SF are truly very steep. 4. I highly, highly recommend renting a bike and riding over the Golden Gate bridge. It's definitely a mission to do so, but so worth it. You end up in Sausalito which is a cute little town (filled with tourists) and it has a strikingly warmer temperature. I crossed the bridge and took a ferry back to the SF and we even passed Alcatraz on the way there.
 5. On my very long bike ride to the GG bridge, I happened across this magical scene. It was Family Kite Day! I love all of the wonderful things you happen across when you're exploring a new city. 6. One of my favourite things maybe ever, is hung laundry. This was in Chinatown. 7. Also in Chinatown, a fortune cookie factory! It was a tiny hole in the wall and I purchased a huge bag of fortune cookies (regular and chocolate!) for $5. 8. I stayed in the Mission District which I highly recommend. In all of the other cities I would find a newspaper, pick a show, and go watch different bands perform. I thought it was the best way for me to go out by myself but also watch local bands, get a taste of what night life is like, and perhaps meet new people. I did this in SF a couple of nights, but on one of my last nights of my entire trip, I decided to go to a bar. All alone. I was actually really nervous so I chose this salsa bar, conveniently at the end of my street, because I wanted to go dancing. In the end I ended up having a hysterical night. All I can say is that people are funny.
 9. Did I already mention that the streets are steep? 10. These Parklets are everywhere. Some were green spaces or benches, some had tables and chairs. They were basically public extensions of the sidewalk and businesses that take over parking spaces. I was so inspired. SF just gets it. 11. This is from the ferry back to SF from Sausalito. Somehow on my trip there were moments that everything just came together and allowed me to experience some incredible moments. This was definitely one of them. 12. Sun setting over the ocean with palm trees in the forefront. SF was magical and I will definitely be back.

See more city snapshots:
Portland

December 6, 2012

CITY OF CRAFT

This weekend I'll be volunteering at the City of Craft show here in Toronto and I'm so excited. It's a dream of mine to one day create and sell my own goods, so while I'm experimenting with a variety of mediums I figure a good start is to get to know other local craft makers and sellers in Toronto. There are so many wonderful vendors and I've decided to share some of the ones that inspire me.

Coriander Girl creates some of the most beautiful flower displays. I just love her use of eclectic vases and think these would be the most perfect touch to your home. Any of her arrangements would make a lovely present for your host for any parties you will be attending this season - I know I'd love it ;)

Good Night, Day is inspiring me with these beautiful knit designs. My mom recently taught me how to crochet and I've been creating my own scarf (which I will post as soon as I'm finished!). I love their selection of headbands and cowls.

I'm a sucker for anything with cats or ladies and Maudstitch creates just this. This Lady Shadow Wall Hanging would be so cute in my kitchen and these cross stitch broaches, especially the Fancy Cat Pin is just the nicest handmade gift.

Nightjar Books creates handmade, screen printed notebooks. I love the soft colours and house designs. What a beautiful place to captures your ideas and dreams!

I can't get enough of this Risograph Calendar from Paper Pusher. The geometric design and colours are so beautiful. I'd love to hang this over my new desk once I move (date still undetermined).

I could go on and on, so please check out this great sneak peak of the vendors for this weekend's show here. I'll be there Sunday afternoon. See you there?
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