Monday, September 28, 2009


Hello, and thank you all for your thoughtful comments on my last post! Like I said, we're so pleased to have Grayling home and it seems like he is doing much, much better. I think I'm probably watching him a little more closely than I need to, but really its not hard to give him lots of loving. We actually thought we'd lost Ursula this morning, as she fell off our balcony last night! She isn't the most graceful of cats, so I imagine she figured out how to jump up onto the railing and then fell right down the other side. I went down to our downstairs neighbour as early as I possibly could, and eventually he noticed her little tail poking out from a crawl space where she was terrified (she's the most nervous cat) and shaking. Thank goodness as we could hear raccoons fighting down below where she would have landed had she tried to escape the courtyard!

Anyway, it was making Monday here again today (with yet another lovely tea drinking interlude with Heather from Lucky Rooster) which was perfect for the cold chilly day we had. We're working towards a small shop update on Friday with some clocks and bookmarks. We found a couple of great looking alphabets (one from a vintage children's book and one using sign language) and have printed them on some cherry and mahogany bookmarks. The full alphabets will be available in the shop on Friday!

And now for some totally unrelated, but important nonetheless, links to check out...

- I read over here a both heartbreaking and inspiring story about the amazing woman who runs a feminist vegetarian restaurant and bookstore in Connecticut.

- Kate Harding on Roman Polanski, a piece I was so happy to read after hearing the many cries of 'But he's so talented!' or 'It happened so long ago!' Yes, and yes. Neither makes it ok for him to be above the law.

- The Lovely Letterbox, a mail subscription service that offers special packages and items arriving in your mailbox each month for six months!

- I love Glee. Especially Jane Lynch and almost everything Kurt has to say.

- Not a link, but I just wanted to let you all know that it is almost midnight and I am eating a giant bowl of triple chocolate ice cream.


Sunday, September 27, 2009


Oh man, its been a bit of a draining week. After attending a long birth and going to straight to work afterwards, I came home to find Grayling acting really strangely. He's a normally really sociable cat (read obsessed with being in the same room as us) and was now sleeping either in the hall closet or under my desk in the den, in the dark. Knowing that he's a really old and has had kidney problems for quite some time we knew it could potentially be really bad, which on 2 hours sleep wasn't the easiest to deal with. Kindly, our lovely friends not only drove us to the vet but took a stroll with us around Granville Island while we waited for the results. He ended up having to stay in the hospital for a couple of nights and initially it seemed like we were only getting worse case scenarios. It was particularly tough on Richard, who's had Gray-guy as a companion for the past 13yrs. The idea that we potentially had to make a decision somewhat based on economics was really difficult (ok, the economic side still has been really difficult...thank goodness for credit cards), but thankfully when the vet called us this morning we had some good news and were able to pick him up this afternoon! The difference between when we first dropped him of and now is like night and day, and although we still have to keep an eye on him for a few days, we're so so happy to have him home.

Note the GIANT paw. Not even a trick of the camera, but apparently just full of fluid. Mmmm.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pen pals

I'm sure all of us enjoy getting a little something in the mail, a letter or a package, something made or written especially for you by a friend far away. When I was around 12 or so I had a pen pal from Germany who I dreamed of one day visiting, everything about her seemed so mysterious to me - especially her address that just seemed so far from and foreign to my own. So, over at the new Meet Me At Mikes craft forum (which I highly recommend perusing and joining) there is a crafty pen pal swap starting up. The idea is that each person joins and is then randomly assigned 2 swap partners to write to. For this first swap the theme is 'decorated envelopes', which is super manageable for those of us who are a bit busy, plus how exciting to get a letter from a crafter (possibly) over the sea from you full of inspiration and general craft goodness. You've got until September 30th to sign up, quick sticks!

Monday, September 21, 2009

M is for Making Day

In an effort to keep on top of shop stuff, we've decided to make Mondays our making day. A day entirely dedicated to building up stock, making sure we've got what we need to ship for our current orders, packaging things up, etc. I think one of the best parts about it (aside from just keeping everything together in my mind, no easy feat I can tell you) is that we can really separate this part of our daily work from other things like school for Richard and doula work for me, and not feel guilty that we're always meant to be doing something else. Today was really lovely, we both headed out for supplies (and a not so quick tea date with a friend) and then fell into a nice rhythm of making for the rest of the day. By the end of the day it felt like we'd really accomplished a lot, and it was way less stressful than it often can be trying to juggle everything. I can see making Mondays becoming quite the regular event around here.

How was everyone's weekend? Ours was lovely and relaxing, with a bit of housework and laundry thrown in for good measure (seriously, when will it ever stop??). The double feature date night was great, despite the fact that neither of us could make it through a second movie, seeing Donnie Darko on the big screen was so great. I haven't seen it in awhile and I'd forgotten how much I loved it. And Maggie Gyllenhaal, love her.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Is that all the gusta you can musta?

Jaan Pehechaan Ho, from Gumnaam 1966 (and of course, Ghost World)
Date night tonight, midnight double feature at The Rio. Donnie Darko and Ghost World! Man, I really hope I can stay awake for both. Or at least for the beginning of Ghost World. I haven't seen Donnie Darko in awhile, and never saw it at the movies so I'm excited for that, but while I've seen Ghost World more recently I'd forgotten how much I love it until I started reading through the quotes. Oh, Enid.
Happy Weekend!

Mary Travers, 1936-2009

I have long been a big Peter, Paul and Mary fan. Especially a Mary Travers fan. While they did get a little schmaltzy in the later years there (and always looked very, very earnest), whenever I listen to their early albums or watch them perform at some rally or another I totally fall in love with both their amazing harmonies and desire to see justice done.

While I know, of course, that there are still artists today who are involved politically. Also, not all musicians in the folk scene were political or lefties, but there is definitely part of me that really identifies with how folk musicians used music as their protest and in their activism. Mary Travers died last night as she suffered from leukemia, and I must admit that there were a few tears shed as I watched the footage of them on Democracy Now!, she was so beautiful and passionate. So, I'm going to leave you with a little video that hopefully you enjoy, and rather than hearing a song you've sung a million times in primary school with the hippy hold out teacher, you'll see a woman fighting for equality and justice.

I feel like I may have posted this video before...but it's hands down my favourite song of their's, enjoy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Feeling homey

So, excitingly I have the next 5 days off. Five whole days! I have so many plans. Plans that involve canning, jamming, bread making and the like. All incredibly wholesome. We're also planning a shop update for next week, so there will be some crafting thrown in there too. In saying that, I've been thinking that I need to stop jamming in millions of things to do whenever I have some time to spare. I have some weird worry that if I just sit down, relax and enjoy myself for a bit, that I'm being unproductive, and so I set up all these things I have to do first in order to be allowed to do my own thing. Granted, if my house is all crazy I do find it hard to relax, and I don't think it is unwise to prioritize things that need to get done. But....sometimes all I want to do is sit, knit and watch movies. So, today being the grey and lovely one that it was, I decided to do just that (minus the movies but plus lots of This American Life).

Oh, and those donuts up there? Made those today, too. What else would I make on a day of indulgence such as this? Also, I have been obsessing over them ever since I saw Chelsea's post on the weekend. They were pretty easy to make, and baked so no mess. Basically a perfect treat! Although I may go a little easier on the sugar/cinnamon combo next time.

And this my friends, is what came in the mail the other day. Just a lovely 1930s/40s quilt from Pennsylvania, no big deal. I won it on Ebay for a steal a little while back and have been obsessively patiently waiting for it ever since. It's so beautiful with only the slightest tear (that I secretly love because it gives it a bit of character) and the fabric is all soft and worn. So good. Perfect for cozy-ing up under with some knitting on this grey day. Ack, I love it!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday, Monday

Hello! I hope you all had a lovely weekend and that Monday went easy on you. (Very) luckily for me I have Mondays off and so I got to have a lazy start to the day with blackberry jam on toast and Ravelry to browse. I'm looking for a little something to knit with that lovely tweed (procured from the equally lovely Chelsea) and I'm debating between a few different scarves and wraps. I'm so excited for Fall!

Oh, hello beautiful Anthro mug!

I've been finding a bit of a rhythm in my mornings lately, which I'm enjoying. Getting up a little earlier(ish) while Richard is still asleep from his night shift the night before, and spending time with a book (alright, alright and/or blogs) and a cuppa. Its the perfect time to think about what I'd like to get done in the day, make up a to-do list and now that colder weather is approaching, getting the crockpot started for lunch or dinner. To be clear, this rhythm only appears on the mornings I don't go to work strangely enough. The mornings I do have to go into work the only rhythm is that of me resetting my alarm multiple times with a whinge or two thrown in for good measure.

Happy Monday!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cozy-ing up.

Today was the most deliciously grey and chilly day (as an aside, I once read an interview with Conor Oberst who said that he hates when people use the word delicious when describing something other than food. I cannot stop using it in this exact way, its so often the perfect descriptor!), so good for pottering around the house in warm socks, getting some laundry done and making soup, biscuits and apple blueberry crumble. I'm really excited for Fall, and today was such a perfect taste of what is to come!

The cooling weather has made me excited about getting back into knitting, so I've been busily browsing Ravelry to see what I could make for the upcoming months. I'm kind of obsessed with the idea of big squishy blankets to curl up in, although I can't tell if the actual knitting of one will kill me with how long it would take. I'm also obsessed with learning to crochet, especially so I can make that amazing necklace up there (found in the latest Mixtape, which is also amazing by the way). How great is it?? Vancouver is a city covered in moss, I love it and would love to carry some around my neck in a little thimble! So yes, must learn to crochet first. I think I've found a few videos on youtube, where I basically go to learn anything, that will be able to teach me as books just don't do it for me.
A few other reasons to learn to crochet...

flower brooches and pincushion by namolio , granny square blanket by sandra juto , wrist warmers by creative yarn

I'm off to cuddle with the cats and start up on my new read.



Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rested and relaxed

Our weekend away was so, so good. Lovely and mellow, filled with friends, good conversation, delicious foods and lots of cuddles from crazy cute wee ones. We've both come home feeling so relaxed and just generally full of goodness. We spent the weekend really just hanging out with our friends, going antiquing, eating veggies direct from their garden and the like. It's amazing how enriching and refreshing spending time with like minded people can be. I've come home feeling so much more content and focused than when I left. Julie is such a kindred spirit (we're both big Anne of Green Gables fans...), and it was really nice just to soak that up.

I have a full day off tomorrow, which excites me to no end, and so I plan to put this house in order. Fall is almost completely here and I feel a nesting bug coming on.

I hope you are all well where you are!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Here I am!

Hello! This is just a quick note to let you know that I'm still alive and have not in fact drowned in embroidery hoops and chalkboard paint. Thank you all so much for your well wishes on my last sicky post. It was pretty rough but we're all doing much better here healthwise. It has been a rather long and stressful week though, but we got our orders done and delivered in the nick of time, and I must admit I felt rather proud of all our hard work when I saw it all sitting there in the store today. This is the biggest batch of products we've made in one go so far, and it was definitely tough at times. One of the hardest parts I find about making for a living, or working for yourself in general, is that so much of it is figuring things out along the way. Mistakes are made, systems are figured out, shortcuts are tempting. We literally make almost everything by hand just the two of us, including cutting out the circles of wood for the hoop chalkboards, so when paint gets smudged or things don't fit right, there is only us to fix that. We've decided that we really need a) an extra room and b) to put some good, written down, organisational systems in place ( I really love the idea of being organised, and I love the planning to get organised....its just the being organised that has never been my strong suit) in order to keep this enjoyable and as low stress as possible for us. If anyone has any handy dandy organising tips, they'd be much appreciated!

In other news, our house is absolutely insanely messy. Out.of.control. It makes me tired just looking at it, but tidying must happen sooner rather than later. We're flying out to Edmonton this Friday to visit one of my favourite ladies and I so very, very excited! I think a mini-break will do us both good, and the idea of shopping, eating out and going to see Julie and Julia excites me to no end. This does mean we need to get our house spick and span so as to not terrify our cat minder while we're gone. Sadly there are no plants for her to water save for that pretty miniature rose bush as our balcony garden is no more. It turns out that while its large size is great for accommodating lots of plants, the fact that its a giant slab of concrete meant it turned into a big hot plate during our heatwave awhile back. That combined with a kitten who thinks the whole world is a litter box and some corn and zucchini loving squirrels has not boded well for our little garden. I'm determined to bring it back though after seeing broccoli and cauliflower seedlings on sale at the store this week...

Alright lovelies, I really should start trying to put this house in some kind of order. I promise to be back soon a little less tired, a little more cheery and with a to-do list that says September and not July.