Archive for the 'Crafts' Category

Dreaming of Picnics

Friday, June 5th, 2009


I have chores and work and organizing to do and lazy feelings lurking in my bones but I am dreaming of summer picnics. The weather hasn’t been too cooperative yet, there was actually a frost warning the other night, but I have faith that picnic time is almost here. I have big plans for picnics this summer. Lots and lots of picnics. Planned picnics, spontaneous picnics, romantic picnics, solo picnics and social picnics. I am scouring recipes for packable salads and pressed sandwiches and cookies that don’t crumble too much.

I saw this delightful picnic suitcase on Black Eiffel and I am dreaming of picnics even more. Portable delightful quirky picnics…

Prepping for Easter 2010

Monday, April 13th, 2009

So I dropped the ball on another holiday. Somehow I was unaware of everyone around me talking about holidays and preparing for holidays and cooking for holidays. I woke up yesterday and it was Easter. The Cadbury’s Caramilk eggs I was eating on the hour probably should have been a tip-off that Easter was approaching but somehow I remained blissfully unaware.

I have been a bad auntie. I have such fond memories of my uncle and aunt who never missed a holiday. They would show up with elaborate Easter baskets filled with foil wrapped bunnies and pastel eggs nestled in coloured plastic straw. I still  marvel over their thoughtfulness.

I should have made a handmade keepsake for my wee nephew in Boston. Instead I bullied his grandpa out of some chocolate bunnies he was planning on bringing him. “The kid doesn’t even have teeth yet!” I screamed, “he won’t appreciate that chocolate, it’s wasted on him!”

I guess that was wrong, dear nephew. I’m sorry. If it makes you feel any better I have a head start on next year. After my Easter dinner of Chinese take-out last night, I made you this wondrous keepsake bunny, (pattern courtesy of Danger Crafts).


I’m sure you will treasure it for at least fifteen minutes. I will also try to refrain from eating all of your chocolate.

Easter 2010 will be different. You’ll see.

Another Missed Holiday

Monday, February 16th, 2009

How do these crafty superstars do it? Although I am not really a fan of the Hallmark manufactured romance of Valentine’s Day I do like the idea of making something crafty for The Sweetie and other loved ones.

Alas, my fantasies of my dear ones being dazzled by handcrafted Valentine loveliness are but a pipe dream. The day has come and gone and I have been nowhere near a glue stick or a baking tray.

I obviously have a time management problem. This is not a revelation for me or anyone who knows me but I am still perplexed by my inability to organize my time and juggle a few projects at the same time. I’m especially disturbed when I look at other people who work as many hours as I do, have kids and dogs, and still have time to bake custards, write books, sew their own clothes, grow their own vegetables and commemorate every holiday with homemade goods and hand-rolled truffles. I am childless with a low maintenance cat and my accomplishment of the week is that I am up to date on the latest episodes of Lost and Survivor. Hmm. Perhaps therein lies the problem.

Here are a few Valentine projects I’m sure I’ll do next year when everything will be different:



Next year.

Soap and Scones

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

I attended a soap making workshop at my friend’s fabulous Leslieville shop, Nathalie-Roze and Co. It was taught by the lovely and talented soap goddess Amanda, of Simply. We made organic soap while sipping tea and nibbling scones with clotted cream. It was a marvelous combination of tasty treats and crafting.


Being somewhat klutzy, I was a little alarmed when I learned that we would be in close proximity to lye, since it is used in cold-press soap making. I had visions of spilling lye over myself, my skin melting away before I had even finished my first scone. Perhaps we all had the same vision, as everyone seemed to be standing well back when our intrepid instructor stirred her pot of caustic ingredients.


Luckily no flesh was lost and we all came away with custom blended soaps. I opted to scent mine with patchouli essential oil.  Patchouli is one of those scents that people either love (sexy earthy heady delight) or hate (stinky sweaty assault). I have always been a fan, but unfortunately I was a little heavy handed that day. 

Three days later I am left with wistful memories of the other attendee’s soaps, lightly scented with lemongrass and rosemary, while everything around me still smells like a hippy den.

Old Coat, New Buttons

Friday, February 6th, 2009

My perfectly adorned yoga buddy did it to me again dammit. First she tempted me with her gorgeous boots and I succumbed. This week she sashayed in wearing a gorgeous Soia and Kyo coat over her yoga gear. Bitch.

I love Soia and Kyo coats from Montreal. Montreal women know how to look chic in the cold. I spent two winters in Montreal but never mastered the artful je ne sais quoi art of tying a scarf just so. I wore most of the contents of my closet and looked like a very un-sexy un-French Stay Puft Marshmallow man from October until April.

I want a new winter coat. In order to endure hellish Canadian winters it seems only fair that everyone should be entitled to a new winter coat (and boots) on a yearly basis, considering it is our uniform for a good six months of the year.

I have a functional puffy coat that resembles a sleeping bag with arms that isn’t winning any style awards but keeps me semi-warm in frigid temperatures. I also have a boring coat that may be nearing its tenth birthday. It makes me feel kind of mannish, but it’s classic enough in a boring mannish coat way. It is, however, starting to self destruct and I have been reduced to a single button. I suspect it was a desperate attempt on my old coat’s part to encourage me to liven things up a little, add some spice to our stale relationship and open my eyes to some new possibilities.

With that and my fiscally challenged bank account in mind, I decided to replace my pinged off buttons with new ones. A new coat can wait. I have pennies to save for a beach vacation, which is much more crucial than being fashion-forward. For now, some shiny new buttons on my old coat will do.

Sad Knitted Shawl

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

I started knitting a shawl in the summer during road trips. It looked like it would make a cozy wrap for the winter and looked relatively easy considering my limited knitting skills.

It was supposed to look like this.

Recently I decided I’d be extra virtuous and complete it for my sister’s birthday, perhaps redeem myself after my previous failed knitted gifts, including the deformed baby blanket and wobbly neck teddy bear.

Unfortunately, my track record of flawed knitting attempts continues. Although constructing a shawl during a road trip seemed like a productive and crafty idea, my results were a little haphazard and random. Road trip knitting needed to compete with choosing the appropriate music, munching on snacks, and avoiding looking at my knitting because I tend to get car sick if my head is down for too long.

I don’t know why it is so narrow. I thought I counted the right number of stitches. I made it a little shorter than it was supposed to be because I was getting low on wool, but other than that, and the cable pattern that didn’t always happen, I tried to stay reasonably true to the instructions.

I now have a stunted shawl that cannot pretend to provide warmth and toastiness, and my sister’s birthday has come and gone.

I sent her a cookbook.