Tuesday, July 28, 2009


We've been on a bit of a Bette Davis kick here lately, watching a bunch of her later 'return to glory' films late at night and both laughing and squealing (ok, I'm the only squealer) over the terrific camp horror. This photo above absolutely kills me. The colours are incredible, and I just can't get over how sorrowful her beauty is. I realise how much of a cliche it is to talk about Bette Davis eyes, but they were just emotive and lovely!

As much as I love how beautiful she was, her later roles in these four movies is when I think she was truly at her best. In both All About Eve and Dead Ringer, she got to play the quintessential ballsy 'not to be messed with' broad who got more than her fair share of zingers such as 'Heaven help me. I love a psychotic!' , and then in Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte and What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? she was brilliant as someone spiralling further into madness. Oooh, I just loved them! I think I'd have to say that Baby Jane is my favourite, both because of the tension created and because Bette Davis as Baby Jane Hudson was just so creepy! If you have yet to see any of these, I highly recommend them for some campy fun!

In other news, aside from sticking my head in the freezer to cool down, I've started guest blogging over at The English Muse while Tina takes a much deserved break and there is also a little interview with us over on Got Craft? where we talk about the thing that inspire us, our take on art vs. craft and the joys (and tricky bits) of working for yourself. Go take a peek if you please!

Monday, July 27, 2009


It's rather hot in Vancouver at the moment, right now both the cats, Richard and I are camped out in front of the fan and I'm procrastinating about heading out to run errands. The thought of being on a hot bus does not appeal! However, if I want popsicle's (and other less exciting things), out I must go! I thought I would share this little video with you first, though.

I have to apologise for the quality of this clip, but it's the only one I've ever been able to find of The Jam doing this song (aside from those annoying non-videos people make that are secretly just a slide show of images, or worse - footage of their turntable) and it is one of my all time favourite covers. As much as I love it when Martha and The Vandellas do this song, there is something about the call and response, how excited the bass player is, and the fact that I have a giant crush on Paul Weller that makes me listen to this one over and over. Also, the audience is amazing to watch! Check out the guy in the yellow!

I hope you're all keeping cool (or warm!) where you are!


Friday, July 24, 2009


We have a new friend at our house and her name is Ursula. She is about the cutest thing I've ever seen (those eyes!), super smoochy and completely crazy. She was found abandoned with her mum and brothers and thankfully put into foster care through the Vancouver Orphaned Kitten Rescue Association who we adopted her through. In some ways it was a bit of a snap decision to get a kitten, as in we hadn't been intentionally planning on it, but on the other hand we're both such animal lovers that we'd love to have many more animals living with us if we could! Our biggest concern was that Grayling would be sad and feel replaced, but because he's obsessed with the cat next door we hoped he'd lover her...sadly this wasn't the case and he spent the first few days with his back turned to us! I felt so bad and even shed a few tears about it, but he's coming around and I've even caught them playing together a few times when he thought I wasn't looking.

I wish I had a picture of her tail that I could show you guys, it's totally curly like a little pig! It's hard to tell from looking because she's so fluffy but when you feel the bones its crazy! Being a little Manx cat we figured she needed a Manx name, that and Ursula means 'little wolf or she-bear', too cute and perfect!

I hope you're all having a lovely weekend, right now I'm about to curl up on the couch with my loves, a beer in hand, popcorn to munch on and Coal Miners Daughter to watch and swoon over.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


For the past wee while Richard and I have been working a few new products for the shop, and I'm really excited to show you some of the final products! It's no secret that we (ok, I...) love embroidery hoops and on a thrifting expedition awhile back I noticed that there were shelves and shelves of old clocks. While an electric blue stained glass windmill or ceramic duck may be someones idea of a lovely clock, I was pretty sure that we could whip up something a little more appealing.

I used some thrifted wool suiting for the clock faces and then embroidered the numbers on freehand. I really enjoy the rhythm of embroidering, so we cozied (ok, maybe not cozied per se as it was so bloody hot) up on the couch on the weekend evenings with our string of Bette Davis movies, cold beers and some embroidery floss. Richard was in charge of putting them all together, which is good because as it turns out I have no patience for fitting them all together when it's so hot, haha.

Not only are these now in our shop (with more to come!), but they are also on our 'table' at the Poppytalk Handmade Market as part of the 'Home Sweet Home' theme. The current market is running from today until August 15th and you really should all pop over and check it out, there is a lot of great handmade and vintage stuff to pretty up your home!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Words and Pictures - Joy

Finding a raspberry pomegranate ice-block in the freezer on a hot, hot day.

Beers on the balcony with friends and neighbours.

Growing our own food

(and it actually working!)

Find more words and pictures here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Lovely lace

"I consider lace to be one of the prettiest imitations ever made of the fantasy of nature; lace always evokes for me those incomparable designs which the branches and leaves of trees embroider across the sky, and I do not think that any invention of the human spirit could have a more graceful or precise origin"
- Coco Chanel

I stumbled over this quote earlier today and thought it was such a lovely way to think about describe the beauty of lace. I'll admit though, that while I now have more than my fair share of lace and doilies around the house I would not have been caught dead in it when I was younger. Apart from when I was 15 and was all about a lacey babydoll dress with Docs (and oh how badly I wanted dreads to complete the look, a friend had green ones!), naturally. In my early bra buying days, my number one rule was 'No lace!!' (the horror of it making my bra possibly more visible to others just about killed me), nothing but a good Hey Sister sports bra would do for me. I mean hey, it could be worn as a crop top, what's not to like?

Now, not surprisingly, I'm completely smitten/obsessed by lace. I even thought I might like to make lace, although I know really that's a joke and that I would never in a million years have the patience for it. Here are a few beautiful shots to help firmly state the case in favour of lovely lace.

Photo credits: Mystik Productions, All This Happiness, suzanneduda, Amy Smiffy, anja louise verdugo

And with that, I'm off to enjoy a cold beer!

Black Bottom Cupcakes

I have a second batch of these in the oven as we speak, and yes it is 12.30am. I do all my best baking at night and we have 'Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte' on (we're on a bit of a Bette Davis kick at the moment) Last Saturday night Richard and I were craving something sweet, and all I could think about were cupcakes. Seriously, obsessing over the idea. There was a bit of a debate over chocolate versus vanilla (chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting? with vanilla frosting? vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting?) and then I stumbled upon these while browsing Joy of Baking. I'd never even heard of Black Bottom cupcakes, but the thought of Devils Food Cake and cheesecake in a cup was just about the end of me. The best part was that we actually had all the ingredients, and we never have cream cheese (I'd been intending to make carrot cake, still hasn't happened).

They were pretty simple to whip up, and not surprisingly we couldn't wait for them to cool before testing them. They were out of control. Seriously, still warm dark chocolate cake with a melty cheesecake filling. Why had I never heard of these before??

I didn't think it could possibly get any better than that, but the next day after having a pancake brunch we had some left over blackberry and strawberry sauce so that afternoon Richard and I decided to pour some over our cupcakes. Absolute heaven! There was even enough sauce left to be used as an impromptu jam on my toast the next morning. Yum! It was a good food weekend. I'm not sure how normal it is to get quite as excited (read: hand clapping in delight) about good food as I do, but there you go.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blog Lovin'

Last week the lovely Evie from Handmade Romance awarded me with the pretty award you see up there. I was pretty chuffed when I saw it, it's my first blog award! I started reading Evie's blog right around the time I started writing mine (in fact, I think our blogs are almost the same age) and she has been one of my first bloggy friends. She is not only a very clever artist and crafter, but she has impeccable taste in finding fun new online spaces to explore. Of course she is also very sweet and you should all go visit her!

I starting writing this blog almost a year ago, with the idea that it would be a space to put my ideas, thoughts and inspirations down on 'paper'. Along the way I've met so many fantastic people through this space, and am daily inspired by what I see and read. The list of blogs I follow has grown exponentially this past year, and I really enjoy checking in with you all as I sit down at the laptop in the morning. Also along the way, I've thought a lot about what I want to fill this space with. Right around the time I was getting ready to start writing, a friend of mine asked what kind of blog I was planning on starting and the only answer I had was, 'Well...a life blog'. To be honest I sometimes find this a bit tricky, and I definitely don't think it is the best or only way to blog. There are many craft/feminist/political/food, etc, etc specific blogs I read and love, but I just knew I'd never be able to be organised enough for that, haha. However there is always the worry that if for this last week I've blogged about pretty dresses and fabric, and then tomorrow about transphobia or breastfeeding activists, that I'll alienate people. I guess it's most important to be honest with yourself, and what you think is important to talk about though, right?

Thanks so much to those of you who read and follow my blog, I have loved getting to know you all. Thank you for all your lovely comments, support for our little store and lovely emails you've sent me. A big 'Hello!' to the new followers I've noticed over the past wee while, I'm so happy to see you!

Now, to pass on the award. It was tricky limiting this to a few, really I could have just uploaded the entirety of my Google reader and there would still be millions of other blogs I love and am inspired by. These few are ones that I stop in at regularly, many of which have become friends over this little blogging life of mine.

The Small Joys
Oh Sweetie!
The Little Lads
Lady I Swear By All Flowers
The Boss of You
Shining Egg
Small Town Stories
The Adventures of an Urban Environmentalist
Clever Nettle
Have Cake, Will Travel
Tiny Warbler
The Small Object Steno Pad
Sandra Juto

Please pass it on, if you please!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Handmade Nation and a busy week.

Hello! I'm so sorry that it has been such awhile since I've posted here, but we've been so busy! Just after Canada Day we had our second round of family visitors come stay with us. Richard's sister Kathy and her partner Beth who was visiting B.C. for the first time. We had a lovely sunny weekend which was spent eating lots of stone fruit, picnicking in Stanley Park and going to All India buffet (and getting very, very full...like, top button undone full. Oh, Gulab Jamun).This last week we had the Vancouver premier of Handmade Nation, which was absolutely fantastic. Faythe Levine, the film maker, flew in for the occasion and not only was the movie showing great but a bunch of local crafty types also got together for a party to welcome Faythe the night before the screening. It was so lovely getting to meet a bunch of people that I've made friends with online, and just to hang out with lots of fun like-minded people. There was a wee showcase of local crafters at the premier, which we had a table at showing our wares (I forgot my camera sadly! Fortunately there was a photographer there so I will hopefully have photos for you soon!) and chatting with new found crafty friends. I got to meet my friend Heather from Dalhaus who makes absolutely beautiful ceramics, Amy (aka Crafty Dame) and her sister came to introduce themselves to us, and picked up one of our new wooden bookmarks which were hot of the press! We snacked on chocolate vegan cupcakes from Coco Cake Cupcakes, celebrated the lovely Ms. Werker's birthday and met Jan from Poppytalk who has been so encouraging and supportive of us and it was really great to be able to thank her in person! Hanging out with all these Vancouver crafty folks (and more!) was such a fun time and made me love this city all the more!

The movie itself was absolutely fantastic, I really loved it. We both did in fact. With Richard having grown up in the punk/DIY scene, I think there was a bit of a reawakening for his passion for making. I loved how real and authentic everyone in the film was, and also the overwhelming theme about the importance of being creative, making for yourself and in ways that you love. We both came a way really fired up, with lots of ideas and even more sure that this is something we want to do not only for a living (if possible) but also for our own satisfaction. There was lots of talk, both in the film and in the Q&A with Faythe afterwards, about the danger (or maybe worry is a better word?) of the handmade movement being co-opted by corporate retail which admittedly is a scary prospect. However I really loved something Faythe mentioned about the fact regardless of what is selling or currently trendy, people are always going to be creating and making. This also really rung true throughout the various interviews in the film, it was so obvious that people were not only genuinely passionate about what they were doing but that making was such a natural (and sometimes subversive and political) act for them. I think this really resonated with us both because we feel similarly, but also because of how easily that can get lost in the clutter of life. Needless to say we came away inspired and with some resolutions for ourselves, and lots and lots of ideas! Big thanks to Andrea and Rob of Got Craft for putting on such a fantastic event!

On that note, it is late, late here and one of my resolutions is getting up at a decent time so I best scurry off to bed! I hope you're all very well and I promise you will be hearing from me lots more soon!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Oh, the livin' is easy. I have recently learnt of the term 'summertiming', coined by the lovely Lucy of Berkley Illustration fame. The definition: a helpful word to summarize all the picnics and barbecues and mini-golf adventures you've been going on. It really is such a perfect word to describe the past few days we've been having here in Vancouver. The weather has been fantastic, lots of sun and blue skies, with a bit of wind to make it not too humid and sticky. I do actually have this week off, but even when I don't the weather just makes me feel holiday-ish. We've been eating on the balcony, visiting the farmers market, going for neighbourhood strolls and drinking wildberry lemonade. Here are a few peeks into our summertiming expeditions...

From the top....cottage roses, the houses of W. 6th hiding in the industrial area, wildberry lemonade and sweet bannock for Canada Day, spicy black bean burgers on the balcony, sweetpeas and farmers market bounty, wisteria, hand rolled tortillas (that I'm getting quite good at if I do say so myself!) and fresh salsa, me taking a break under the wisteria (and looking naked at first, until I realised that black part was my left shoulder).

I hope you are enjoying the weather wherever you are!