Saturday, January 23, 2010

freshly harvested purls

The purl necklaces are almost ready for sale... at least the first run for the launch of my etsy store. Here is your official sneak peek at the variety of beauties soon to be available for purchase... just in time for V-day!

Monday, January 18, 2010

this isn't winter...

it's permanent november! my least favourite month of the year on the west coast. we just had two days of sort of sunshine, like really weak partly cloudy sunshine and it has been awfully mild... but when bracketed by weeks of uninterrupted rain it hardly makes up for it!

i miss my bicycle

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

consolation prize

microbrew root beer + vanilla hagan daaz = ultimate indulgence float

(and perfect self consolation for a poorly delivered interview)

do you have a favourite "cheer myself up" treat?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

famous skull

check it out - my Red Velvet Skull Cake i baked for my day-of-the-dead-born friend got featured on a blog i follow!

(but since i'm inconsistent at actually reading my RSS feeds i didn't notice 'til just now)


Monday, January 11, 2010

victorian style

necklaces that tie up with a bow...

is it just me? i'm absolutely in love with the look.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

cook's kitchen: truffles!

mmm, melt in your mouth, sinfully rich, eyes lolling back in you head from pure pleasure... the essence of a chocolate truffle. Mind you it would be impossible for anything combining chocolate, butter and whipping cream not to be delicious... so what better reason to make them at home!

After having spent hours painstakingly forming balls of chocolate with my hands for Christmas gifts, as directed by Joy of Baking, I happened to see Jamie Oliver doing a more freeform version on a holiday marathon that look like a much simpler way to go (basically just dropping spoonfuls of the cocoa/butter/cream mixture into the coatings rather than rolling and forming each one).

The ingredients and method don't change much across recipes - what makes truffles special is starting with a really high quality chocolate, the liqueurs you add (though I had some issues with the liquor trying seep back out...) and the coatings you choose (icing sugar, cocoa powder, crushed nuts, hundreds-of-thousands...). Truffles will keep for a few weeks in the fridge or a few months in the freezer.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

existence verified by mail!

Very exciting... the fledgling "yours truly" design studio received it's first piece of mail today. !!!

i know i am feeling absurdly excited about this (ignoring the misspelling of "Vancouver"), but i'm am comfortable with my level of nerdiness.

Also: here's your chance to weigh in. My design company - "yours truly" has over time naturally come to embody my branding (it all started with coining a new email handle when switching to gmail)... but the exact wording?

Yours Truly Studio
as in "this is a Yours Truly Studio design..."

Yours Truly Design / Yours Truly, Design
as in "this is a yours truly design..."

Yours Truly
as in... {a design by} Yours Truly
... {handmade frou frou by} Yours Truly

Dear mythical readers, what do you think?

What i think about "yours truly"...

It makes me think of sitting down to write a letter by hand: the thought and weight that that act carries, instead of just writing an email; the emotion and personality that can be expressed in the turn of a pen, the specific forming of the characters on the page; how when you read someone's handwritten words on paper you can almost hear their voice in your ear, you can almost see the way their mouth forms the words were they beside you right now to have this conversation with you in real time... and then that thoughtfulness transposed into the act of hand-making jewelry. The thought of these handmade goods going through the mail like letters to arrive, "Gasp", and transform your week. As if those jewels were love letters to be worn about in your day to day.

This I hope to make the essence of designs by yours truly.

felted beads... building suspense

there is something very satisfying about ever-so-gently coaxing a woolen cloud, a mere puff of colour, into a perfectly formed, one-of-a-kind bead.

just wait til you see what i've been making with these!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

when life gives you lemons...

... or soured cider...

Remember that apple cider adventure? Well one of the vats of cider went to vinegar during it's fermentation. So
we have several gallons of beautifully hand-pressed, local, apple cider vinegar. What do you do with that much vinegar?

...Dress it up and give it away to everyone you know.

Uses for apple cider vinegar:
- yummy acid component for salad dressing
- homeopathic remedy to balance internal pH levels (taken straight by the spoonful). also purportedly can boost energy levels and encourage weight loss
- use in all kinds of cooking to deepen flavours
- vinegars make g
ood natural cleaning products (for example cutting through grime on exterior windows)
... anyone know some more?

P.S. It's nice to finally post some of this pre-Christmas goings on, i didn't want to do it before seeing as it would have given away the surprise of certain gifts - wink.

road trip photos

some things we saw along the way...

seattle to l.a. and back again.

the road trip

this post should also known as "why you should drop what you are doing, get in your car and drive".

1. Driving is fun

2. Road trips don't have to involve a lot of planning. we basically chose a cardinal direction plus a couple destination goals, assembled some maps and drove. if you're not having fun, change direction.

3. Having to take a float plane because you got held back from your trip by an interview (no, i didn't get the job) is a great excuse to fly in a tiny plane, sitting up front chatting with the pilot Larry, and arriving so much faster than by boat! seriously, the float plane from downtown victoria to downtown seattle is the way to do it, so long as you have a boyfriend waiting with your roadtrip vehicle on the other side.

4. Portland is awesome. Brewpub with 100 types of delicious, unusual beer on tap. Powell's books. Lots of cool local coffee roasteries/houses and restaurants... need i say more?

5. HWY 101 along the coast is pretty much the most fun you can have driving. winding roads taking you right beside the beach with huge rock formations jutting out from the surf reflecting nothing but clear blue skies...

6. The dunes

7. The redwoods

8. Biking across the golden gate bridge and san fransisco in general

9. Sitting beside a pool in nothing but a bathing suit at the end of November (L.A.)

10. Driving for an entire day and an entire night straight because you happened to pick the end of american thanksgiving weekend to start driving north and home.

11. Spending over a week in a car with someone you absolutely adore...