Tuesday, December 7, 2010

exciting news for yours truly, design

oh my goshes! it's been radio silence hardcore -- and i'm afraid this trend will continue for a little longer. because: GUESS WHAT

it's time to meet the public. Yours Truly, Design is going to have its day in the sun, ...or, er, night in the dark?

In any case, for all (or a tiny fraction) of your holiday shopping needs, visit me and other local artists, designers, and delightfully-crazy stuff-makers at the 5th Annual Rock 'n' Roll Market, this thursday dec 9 | 4-9pm @ Logan's Pub.

read more here and hope to see you there!

Monday, November 22, 2010

totally doing this project

thanks design*sponge. you are a daily inspiration.

I am totally doing this project. Don't get me wrong, I have ginormous stack of unused frames - but they're all really big! I want to make a salon-style arrangement of images on a small wall! Paper frames here I come!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

that holiday feeling

So, I bemoan the commercial appropriation of holidays as much as the next person.... but I have to admit, I just love Christmas. It brings people together in ways that no other holiday can. And people go out of their way to be extra nice to one another. There is more good food and drink to be enjoyed consistently at a density of parties unparalleled for the remainder of the year. Homes are transformed from their normal humdrum selves into sites for amazing decorative creativity. It's like celebrating everybody's birthday on the same day, thus having all the pleasure of giving and getting gifts without the pressure of being the center of attention. Crisp weather makes cuddling up in sweaters and exchanging additional hugs & kisses an absolute must. Everything is just so festive and celebratory --- what's not to love!?

I also admit that my first pang of Christmas spirit occurred while proofing a holiday-themed advertisement at my job --- but it was just such an unexpected, early pang that it was extra delightful, despite the source.

I digress. I started a little crafty spree of posts around Valentines earlier in the year and since I have decided to aim for an entirely handmade Christmas this year I thought that it could be a good opportunity to get reacquainted with my blog while I'm at it.

I haven't actually decorated for the holidays yet, but I saw this and instantly got inspired:

How pretty! alternately I think it would be very striking to spray paint pine cones white and hang them from a black satin ribbon for a more modern look (or if you have a very dark mantle like mine).

I look forward to getting into the spirit together. I like to get a good month of mileage out of my favourite holiday so hang on to your hats and check back soon for more Xmas-y good times.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

a saturday made in heaven

magic combination: cozy mariner sweater, hot cinnamon cider, brisk autumn day.

happy weekend.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

back in business in the boudoir

What a couple of weeks! First my computer threw a fit, then the store forgot to give me my power cable back after fixing my computer, then the internet was down. Anyways, radio silence over!


The house is rearranged. The roomie is in. Now I just have to finish settling. The solution? Redecoration of my new sleep/live space. The theme? Hunting lodge meets boudoir.

I have the fireplace. The hardwood floors. The crown molding. Now I just gotta work it!

Thoughts on the subject so far:
- wooden or porcelain deer trophy head, chandelier, oil lamps, gramaphone?
- swooping curtain to create four-poster-bed feel, lots of pillows, plushy roccoco-esque head board
- faux hide area rug and faux fur throw and swede pillows
- recovering my wingback chair in something velvety and adding a ton of buttons (can anyone teach me to upholster?)
- steamer trunk for the end of the bed, dressmakers form, ornate-legged bedside table
- library index card thingermajig to store my jewelry
- salon-style wall hangings, refinished fancy frames
- for the walls: framed old maps, pinned butterflies, rich fabrics, botany watercolours, cameo portraits, photos of my ancestors and other black&white prints
- lots of black and white to complement my already red walls and keep the whole design contemporary
- ... got any ideas?

Friday, August 13, 2010

happy new year

wild ride of a day and then came home for a spell. turned around to return to work -- this time for fun aka an opening.

but what a crazy evening:

waiting at a red light a woman got out of her car to reposition her front bumper which had started to drag. this took a few tries -- we exchanged exuberant thumbs up when she got it back in position. it was just so funny and wonderful to witness.

opening was fun.

met someone whose job (among a handful of other people's positions) i have taken over. she gave me a hug and it was perhaps the nicest thing anyone had done that day

... at least until...

after the opening, over delicious orange blossom beer, had this beautiful heart to heart with a former curator from the gallery. found myself confessing so many things about my life to her, and her understanding and encouragement and spur of the moment mentoring was so unexpected and perfect! there is so much possibility, so much excitement. i truly must seize my opportunities, but accept that with my woman's heart it may be difficult at times like these to find the grace and courage to do so. but somehow i will find both, and be bold, and ...

how exciting

what random encounters

but i'm so glad for everything that happened tonight

one of the things confessed earlier: that looking back a month and a half is so strange. it was a completely different world -- a different life. everything has changed.

i have been encouraged to treat this like my new year -- and it is really, like a whole new year -- and make new goals and resolutions.

the other suggestion: to journal. so i will.

join me.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


a fortune cookie fortune fell from a book while i was moving things

how's that for a positive affirmation

bookish inspiration too

speaking of beautiful book projects, after the last post i recalled that i had saved these images waaaay back. this was a book design concept i happened across and and just found so lovely i had to save it for keeps. if i thought in words i think this would be my model of the mind...

i love how the sentences seem almost kinetic here - i can image it as a writhing mass of a story before my eyes.

words are wonderful, aren't they?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

bookish inspiration

wow. i just can't get over how gorgeous this project looks -- but imagine walking through a structure made entirely of book bricks?! i just love the patterning created using the different coloured spines and pages.

but i have no idea where this came from as this is a reblogged facebooked tumblr find.

Friday, July 30, 2010

house of dreams

in love with about a half dozen of these patterned fabrics by merrimeiko

some house redecorating fantasizing definitely going on right now...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

long weekending!

and finally the weekend! but now just any weekend - a looong weekend. especially for me as i am finally taking some previously over-worked hours off. so i am free friday through to monday.

pure bliss!

... and thus balloons!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

hawk update:

it's a family of FOUR hawks! i sat outside long enough this evening to see all of them. it MUST be a couple of juveniles making all the noise as it's the two bigger parents that sit looking on and following them around as they roughhouse aerially. and it must be one of the juveniles that likes peeking in my windows -- though i hope he grows out of that because it could get him in trouble.

they're all so pretty -- it was so cute, three of them were hanging out together on the telephone wire earlier... what's less cute is the partial carcasses they keep leaving under the trees. gross guys, come on.

Monday, July 26, 2010

to whom this may concern #2

dear long-in-the-tooth cilantro,

i apologize for neglecting you and thus causing you to bolt before either of us were ready.

i realize that it was partly the heat's fault,

on the bright side, you have quite adorable little blossoms,

...and i know your seeds will be delicious in future sauces.

yours truly,


to whom this may concern #1

dear rainbow spotted dress,

thank you so much for your patterning so exuberant it actually hides how wrinkly you actually are,

... and thus also hiding my laziness towards ironing.

you're a pal,



when you see a cyclist, climbing a hill, geared all the way down, so that they are pedaling and pedaling, but barely moving

don't you just want to call out to them "you can do it!" or "keep it up! you're doing great!" or simply "you're gonna make it!"

i know i would appreciate it -- when i am that cyclist.

but I guess I'm just not a yell-sweet-somethings-at-random-strangers kind of gal.

(btw congrats ryder hesjedal!)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

my nosy/noisy neighbour

... check out who i found peering in my kitchen window just now:

we have a pair of cooper's hawks (successfully identified only a few months ago careof Shipley's) that nest yearly in the trees in our front yard, facing the park. good mouse hunting i reckon. well, recently i have noticed an awful lot of noisy bird calls -- so i figured new baby. but i had noticed this guy flying around and around -- maybe just a noisy parent? and then the other day when i went outside somebody in the street pointed out that this guy was sitting on another windowsill. considering i have no screens on my windows i was a little concerned that i would come home to a hawk visitor waiting for me in my living room.

this guy must really love the view from the sills though, because i found it peering in my kitchen window at me today. what a piercing look it gave me... and it was pretty cool to be able to get so close to it to check out it's lovely feathers. i guess because of the sunlight mirroring off the window it couldn't really see me until i got quite close.

so is this really still one of my familiar cooper's hawks? help me identify... and what would make it suddenly start behaving differently?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

finally the warm!

this is what i live for: long warm lazy evenings, preferably spent on a picnic blanket, basking in the sun and enjoying delicious things with lovely ladies.

here's what you missed...

cinnamon honey roasted figs, with oranges and lime green ice tea,

sun hats,

and general indulgence

Friday, June 25, 2010

adventure: sf - napa

left to right, from top:

1. crossing the golden gate (turns out i didn't take many photos inside s.f.) 2. so many beeootiful ideas to be had for my own patio... yeah old stone buildings are pretty nice too 3. long sunny walks in vineyard air 4. turns out distillery tastings are fun too!

5. all desserts should be served tasting-plate-style... and the Culinary Institute (CIA) should be in my town 6. oh did we mention the views? 7. guess how many bottles followed us home 8. rows n' rows of delight

9. there are some really fun optical effects that happen when you zip past lines of vines, not that you can tell from the picture. but i became fascinated by optically-buzzing intersection of lines that stakes made when passing quickly, and by the the windows of light at the far away ends of rows that would appear like flashes as you passed 10. vino... 11. yuccas and fountains and hills, oh my 12. so much good food, as all good trips should boast.

13. sun setting over another perfect day, though the days were shorter southward 14. long shadows and cranes when awaiting ferries after [mis]adventures 15. i would do an event here (look at the size of those barrels!)

16. when traveling always bring along beautiful, wonderful friends.

teaser return

it's been a long time since blogging... here's a teaser for a bigger, soon to arrive post.

for now if you want stories about goings on, you can read them here

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

what i'm doing this week...

i don't know what you're doing this week, but i hope you are having fun... and getting there on two wheels !

all this week i am out and about from the wee hours until dusk helping run what is shaping up to be yet another hugely successful Bike to Work Week. we are going through food and swag like nobody's business which is a good gauge of just how many cyclists are stopping by our events (despite the drizzly weather).

keep fingers crossed for ongoing good times, and do your sunshine dances. soon enough it will be time for life to return to normal.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

good friends

i love cramming my apartment full of the people i like best in the world. i love my friends -- thanks for coming by last night.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

cook's kitchen: midweek magic

okay, so by wednesday, in general, i have usually lost any desire to cook.

... except when i have bought some super colourful ingredients and come up with a super simple scheme in advance.

check out those colours!!! what's that purple stuff? you had better believe that is some purple yam.

whilst the root veggies (yam, carrot, parsnip) got friendly with some salt, pepper and herbs de provence in the 'ol cast iron, i had chicken already roasting away in the oven. the meat dish i call "sort of morrocan chicken" : basically i took some chicken thighs, coated them in olive oil, salt and pepper, laid them over top of eights of onion and apple (plus a couple smashed garlic cloves). i then sprinkled the whole deal lightly with cumin and cinnamon, and baked it in an aluminum foil covered dish at 400 for 30 minutes.

half an hour later i was enjoying the delicious results.

what i most enjoyed: out of thin air i invented a meal plan that was ready in no time, really pretty, simple enough to be worth making for one (as was tonight's case) but easily scalable to feed extras next time. i mean how often can you get a meal that looks that good out of two pans and a cutting board?


okay ...fine ...i have to admit it: the purple yams were actually disappointing. i found them super starchy tasting without much of the warm sweet flavours of a normal yam. but they do look awful pretty though, don't they?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

an experience to remember

I have just returned from Memories and More. Now who thought putting 8,000 girls and women in a stadium overnight was the best way to celebrate Guiding's 100 year anniversary I don't know, but it certain was an experience none of us will soon forget.

the calm before the storm, the girls kick off the birthday with a circle game...

what we arrived to find. this picture was taken before everyone had arrived...

this was probably the most fun anyone had that evening: 8,000 beach balls released into the crowd to be batted around for the remainder of the event (despite efforts to quash the activity)

... and this was probably the least fun part of the event: actually figuring out how one sleeps 8,000 people in a stadium. visions of refugee-ism came to mind.

However - despite adult feelings towards everything that went down - the end of this story is that the girls seemed to really enjoy themselves. This is what appeared on CTV news.

Friday, May 14, 2010

onwards and upwards

vancouverage this weekend

a sleepover with 8,000 other people

sounds like concentration camp to me - fingers crossed for fun

also big developments in life in general. stay tuned...

in the meantime, an "A" line dress design + one more

Monday, May 10, 2010

another little something

i always feel like ponchos are a little much to pull off - but consider how cute it looks when drawn...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

a little something

just a wee drawing today, some lines to occupy your peepers despite the busy-ness factor currently keeping blogging (and all other extras) to a minimum.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

mmm... coffee love

I have taken a lot of flack for my caffeinated habits over the years, but this is my chance to make a public statement:

I am perfectly comfortable with my relationship with coffee. It is a thing of beauty, a perfectly drawn shot of espresso: the frothy top and rich brown heart, the velvety-smooth texture, and the sweet-caramelly finish. I guess what I'm trying to say is: Coffee, I love you, will you marry me?

And then I almost went on to say something about "having little coffee children", but then things got weird so I signed off instead...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

cook's kitchen: rustic rhubarb galette

i loved the flavours in this recipe: tart rhubarb, tangy orange, spicy ginger. yum!

in a bowl combine a bunch of rhubarb, the zest of one orange, some candied ginger, sugar and flour.

mix that, and let mingle while you work your rolling pin. pile onto some pastry and then gently fold the dough around the fruit.

bake in a hot oven until delicious. if you used a gluten-free crust like me your pie can be expected to come out looking particularly rustic.

full recipe here.

this was dessert at easter, but day jobs steal your blogging time/energy.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

something unspeakable

i still can't quite believe i did this. books have held near-religious significance my whole life. you do not write in books. you do not dog-ear the corners. you do not crease the pages as you turn them. you do not break the spine by leaving it open face down to keep your page (it's called a bookmark!). i exaggerate a little but if you look at the condition of books in my house, or in my childhood home you would understand what good care we take of our books.

enter stage left a very worn copy of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland found at a garage sale featuring original illustrations by John Tenniel. the book's cover was broken. pages were near falling out, very discoloured and brittle.

and so i took it apart (gasp) first by cutting out all the illustrations (double gasp) for another project, then removing the beautifully warn cover (triple gasp) and finally be folding the pages to create a book sculpture of a kind i have seen duplicated a lot lately mainly in store front displays (no more breath for gasping).

and why would i do something so bookishly blasphemous?! well... the book was virtually unreadable. you literally would have had pages falling into your hands as you tried to read. and the illustrations are so charming i wanted to be able to access them but couldn't while contained in a book i wasn't able to crack open more than a couple inches. this was no rare copy, it doesn't even contain all the original illustrations since it is an anthology of both "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass".

so i figured why not do something interesting and beautiful with this book that is past its original use...

and simultaneously get in on this renewed hype for the story caused by the film release.

as you can tell by the preamble, the idea of this project still makes me uncomfortable even though i'm finished defacing the book. however it was a fun thing to do with my hands as i listened to the latest podcasts on radiolab, a recent addiction.

if you've never listened to radiolab, you totally should, it will grow your mind. if you don't like the idea of folding books, i wouldn't start now... unless you happen across some books that are about to be tossed out anyways.

coming soon to an etsy store near you...

the latest knitting hang up for me: fingerless gloves. i'm going to start selling these on my store

this project, like so many of my art projects, came out of the concept. does this happen to you? you come up with the title and then realizing the project is almost secondary to the original concept? i made a pair of tealy blue fingerless gloves to match my leg warmers i knit a while back. in the middle of making them i saw a picture of a little girl featuring red gloves against a white sweater. the combination made me sit back and think "aw, i wish i was knitting little red gloves right now". the combination of image and thought -- little girl + "little red gloves" -- then spontaneously morphed into "little red riding gloves".

the first pair just went out in the mail to a very special girl, on her quarter centenary.

these gloves are for big girls with young hearts. to be worn with or without hooded capes, these gloves are perfect when paired with picnic baskets, woodsy walks, and adventures with wolves. they are also great for people who like me are chilly finger prone.

cook's kitchen: ode to soup #2

tomato soup + grilled cheese

mmm... still on the comfort food kick. this combo is pure yum. tomato soup -or- tomato & roasted red pepper as is my favourite... when paired with grilled cheese. today i didn't make just any grilled cheese sandwich though. i made grilled cheese with canadian maple cheddar cheese. and holy cow it was good.

dip the latter into the former and enjoy!

now admittedly this post was supposed to focus on the soup. in this case i think the sandwich pairing was the real show stopper, but the combination with the soup is the magic that makes this a meal in my mind.

cook's kitchen: ode to soup

legume stew

spring may have sprung but that hasn't curbed my appetite for comfort food just yet. so let me share my new favourite way to stave off early spring chills: make your own soup mix (thanks to mitchell soups and my grandma for the inspiration).

ingredients: buy a whole bunch of beans and legumes and combine in a large mason jar or other airtight canister. my mix includes brown rice, three kinds of lentil, yellow & green split peas and about five or six kinds of bean. when you want soup combine a 1:3 ratio of beans and stock. to make delicious: add ham or sausage (unless you're vegetarian), carrots, celery, peas, corn, tomatoes you name it, and a generous dose of seasoning (pepper, salt, bay leaves & herbs de provence went into mine).

method: when i made my first batch i got the beans started overnight soaking in water. in the a.m. i discarded the water, added the stock, seasoning and pre-prepared veg & meat (which I had food processed together the night before) in a huge stock pot, and set it all to simmer on low on the stove all day when i was at work. I came home to delicious smells, adjusted the seasoning, and whipped up some biscuits to have with it (sample recipe here - no sugar in mine and i threw a little cheese on top to be extra tasty).

Having beans and stock on hand makes this an easy and healthy one-pot meal that can be thrown together at the last minute while cleaning out the fridge. yum yum yum.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

what i'm working on...

i just completed my latest foray into graphic design: wedding invites for special friends. these are the official invite/rsvp/map follow ups to the save the date i posted some months ago (though those ended up with a cheerful orange surrounding colour). i think the two designs will look quite smart next to/on top of one another on the fridge - what with those bright citrus tones.

i'm looking forward to seeing these in the flesh. trying to organize printing in a different country is fairly challenging. but we made it work, my new york bride and i.

xos kim. it's done!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

cook's kitchen: shamrocks

i don't know how you mark st. patty's day... but this is the way i like to do it: cupcakes!

shamrock cupcakes... yep they're really green! they use pistachio pudding mix and chocolate chips (of course!). recipe here.

I've been enjoying these festive treats ever since i was a kid - and other children at school would exclaim "ugh - why is that muffin green!?".

This post goes out to my number 1 cupcake enjoying friend - who i miss dearly.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

first spring rain

p.s. tonight was what i consider our first true spring rain. have you ever noticed that you don't really get that warm-damp earth & pavement smell during winter rains? well i didn't really notice either, until today.

today was a real spring rain, as my bike and i made our way home from the grocery store.

just warm enough now for pavement smell.

who knew i loved it so.

your own yogurt

i can't believe i haven't written about making yogurt yet! it's really straight forward. it was one of the first diy projects i tried after getting laid off - but it's so fast and easy you do not need to be out of a job to have time to do this.

this is everything you need: pot, measure, milk, yogourmet -or- 2 tbsp of thick organic yogurt, glass containers... thermometer optional.

bring 4 cups of milk just to a boil (my thermometer says this happens just over 180 degrees). remove from heat. allow to cool 'til lukewarm. whisk in yogourmet (bacterial starter available from health foods stores and some regular groceries - ideal to add to a small amount of milk and then incorporate into rest of pot) or your thick yogurt.

pour prepared milk into glass containers and place in cold oven with the internal light/pilot on. incubate overnight.

cover and chill. will keep in the fridge for several days.

i usually make 2% yogurt, which i find a bit runnier than store bought -- but that's probably because my yogurt doesn't contain gelatin or any of the other weird additives you find in store bought stuff. but this stuff is smooth and delicious, great in ample doses over homemade curry, or with your morning granola or in smoothies or baking.

-make it with chocolate milk.
-after it's incubated, add flavorings: honey, vanilla, chai concentrate, jams, coconut...
-you can make it with any milk you like - half and half would give you a thick Mediterranean style yogurt.
-if you want to make it with skim milk it is advised to add a couple tbsp of skim milk powder so that it thickens enough.