Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hello 2013 :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

fa la la - finished object!

grey hexagon crocheted blanket

(Technically, this isn't really a falala post - but we can all still be friends, right? Good, I was hoping you would say yes).

This is my wedding gift for my friend Lynn and her husband. I finished it yesterday and dropped it off today, meeting Lynn in the parking lot of her hair salon (which sounds strange as I type this but I know the makers out there totally get it. When you've finished something largish, sometimes you just have to ambush the recipient with the finished results - She liked it!).

I started making the hexagons in the summer - right after Lynn announced her engagement, taking minor diversions here and there to make fingerless gloves and tea cozies for birthday and Christmas gifts. The fa la la Fridays were also a good excuse to reset and take a small weekly diversion without completely derailing the hexagon mojo.

The colour inspiration came from Rosa P's gorgeous gray creation. My other friend LM helped me choose a few colours that were Lynn-esque (the hot pink, the chartreuse). I used these amazing instructions over at Attic 24.

I am not so good at keeping notes but here's what I can tell you:

Hook size: 4.25
Size: 12 hexagons per row (and a few half hexagons), 19 rows 
Yarn: The greys are both Cascade 220 (About 11 balls of the light grey)
The white is cascade superwash and the centres are Smart superwash. I swatched and tested the reds to see that they wouldn't bleed into the white and it passed the test).

And there it is. I hope it finds good use over the long and lovely winters. 

And friends, Merry Christmas to you all. I am so thankful for all of you.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Because there just isn't enough sugar consumption in December

Guess who is getting a bit fa la la fatigued? Heh, is it that obvious? 

So I had the very best of intentions. There would be chocolate buttons. I have the mold. I bought the melting wafers. And I was gonna package them up in these striped little bags and I was going to sew tags on the front. Can you even just imagine the cuteness? If it was possible to high five one's own self, I would've done it.

But I had a spectacular fail with the chocolate. I overheated it and it became a solid mass. The little bit that I salvaged wasn't really into fitting into the mold. And then I remembered you can also buy chocolate. And so that's what I did. (This may be the most boring story I've ever told, sorry I hope you had a cuppa handy to get you through).

So here they are. Chocolate buttons next year. (maybe).

I picked up the awesome bags and washi tape from Omiyage.

Okay friends, the big day is approaching fast :) Hope your planning is going A-OK.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I heart ... 12-12-12

:: Yup, I just discovered the creative light setting on my camera and so I tested it on the Christmas lights. I know these types of pics are maybe a bit five years ago but seeing those cheery little blue and gold hearts gave me a thrill.

:: 12-12-12 is coming up. I rolled my eyes at 7-7-7 and 8-8-8 and 9-9-9 and 10-10-10 but now that we're at the last of these samenumber-samenumber-samenumber dates, I feel a bit sentimental. Also, I make no sense.

:: Some days you come to work and it's all busy busy busy and the chatter is all about monkeys in coats and you can't pop outside for a walk because it's raining. And then you get a special delivery of handmade soap and homemade oreos and the day becomes pretty excellent. Thanks Jen! Also, not sure if this was the recipe -- but I have definite plans to give them a try before January rolls around and we're all on our best clean living behaviour. So so chocolatey delicious.

:: And while we're talking about food - this flavoured butter how-to looks pretty good.

:: I may have exhausted the need (mine and my friends') for zippered pouches. But round bottomed fabric buckets? I think that will be the next chapter for 2013.

:: Freaks and geeks fans - have you read this oral history? Really really good.

Happy week ahead - maybe if we all focus really hard, we might get a bit of sunshine after what feels like endless winter grey.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Falala Fjord!

Fjord hat

Fjord hat

Fjord hat


Last winter my friend Johanna emailed me a link to a very pretty hat over on Wiksten.

We were both completely smitten with the sweet topper and I resolved to make the hat -- or at least my interpretation of the hat -- for the following Christmas.

Lucky for me the pattern, Fjord, was released through Brooklyn Tweed. I dug through my stash and found some Oatmeal Aran weight and I worked on this hat in Montreal.

I love the deep squishy garter brim and the slight slouch star top. 

The details: Debbie Bliss cashmerino 1.5 balls
Needles: 4 mm and 5 mm

Merry Christmas J, hope you stay warm and chic in this little number!

Monday, December 3, 2012

I heart...hello December!

:: These adorable pinecone elves - the mittens and the scarves are pretty darned cute.

:: This crocheted cat with a moustache that really works.

:: Brunch with friends. Especially when it involves good conversation over poached eggs on fishcakes at this place

:: I forgot to mention this - did you read this interview with the photographer who snapped the famously tweeted Obama pic? Make sure to scroll down to the bottom to see the smooth little fella in the background making his move. 

:: This podcast, the Dinner Party, might be my new fave. I started with episode 174 and listened to it with my jaw hanging open from start to finish and then I listened to it all over again (jaw still gaping).

Friday, November 30, 2012


 Tea towels!

Last month Spoonflower had a buy one fat quarter, get one fat quarter free sale. It was late and I was feeling weak, so I ordered maybe two or six tea towel calendars to give as gifts. 

This is a super simple project just hemming around the sides and adding a little strap on the back for hanging to dry. If I were to do it again next year I think I'd order the linen blend because I suspect it might absorb better. But for a bit of bright whimsy in the kitchen, I'm hopeful this will do the trick.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mini-trip à Montréal

En route to Montreal

Ogilvy Christmas window

November in Montreal

Mount Royal


The original Fairmount

Nota bene paper shop

Hi friends,

I'm back from a quick trip to Montreal. It was wonderful and cold, very very very very very cold.

I went just a wee bit up Mount Royal and when I got to the top of the steps I realized a new and sudden fear of heights. I tried convincing myself that I'm not afraid of heights (I also tried this a few years ago when I got seasick during a snorkelling adventure -- I don't get seasick! I don't! (hurls over side of boat)). I made it back down the steps, hips trembling and silent whimpering. There was a young girl who asked her father to carry her and I wanted to holler "+1 over here!"

On the happier side, visited a lovely yarn shop called Espace Tricot where I got a fancy bowl for my yarn. I fetched some chewy deliciousness from Fairmount bagels and visited the most amazing paper store called Nota Bene. Montreal was all aglow with Christmas lights - such a treat to visit at this time of year :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cherry Blossom girl

Felted flower girl

Ok, so I'm just gonna address this straight up. This little lady's eyes freak me out.  They're a bit ooh, um, well, children of the corn blue. This is my fault because the kit says to make the embroidery floss darker using pencil crayons -- but at a certain age, I guess I must've purged my pencil crayon collection. So, they're a touch icy blue. But otherwise, isn't she cute?

The details: 
::A De Witte Engel felt doll kit from Mary's Yarns.
:: I strayed just a wee bit from the pattern, making the eyes as french knots instead of tiny straight stitches.
:: I also painted on her little mouth using my Laura Mercier lip stain because I thought it improved her look. I also had a moment of... are you really putting your makeup on a doll? So it balances out...

Happy weekend friends, December is right around the corner :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lynn getting married

Blue skies in November

Scraps from the wedding present

Isn't this the cutest?

On Saturday my friend Lynn tied the knot and it was the happiest of days.

Bright blue morning, crisp autumn air, lots of hugging and congratulations, milky pink evening skies, the most perfect knitted cake topper, a yarn wreath, and the prettiest flowers everywhere you looked.

I didn't finish the wedding present, despite some pretty fierce progress the night before the wedding (and between the ceremony and the reception) ... but soon!

Congratulations dear dear friends!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Love the library tote

Easy peasy library tote bag

I think my mom might be the library's best customer. She always has a teetering stack of books to return by the front door, stuffed in some ratty old shopping bag.

So I made her this booky tote for Christmas. The fabric is Goodnight Monkey by Moda and the handles are from Quilt a Bag in Markham. I used this pattern - minus the applique - and friends, this was a no-sweat sewing event.

Have a perfect weekend!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I heart... this and that

Fushimi Inari Shrine near Kyoto

Hello there!

:: Remember when I said I signed up for a Coursera course? Well, I finished my last assignment, wrote the exam and ate a celebratory Bundt cake after (thanks Deb!). I think it was good -- there were definitely some weekends and evenings where all I did was work on my homework and assignments -- and accordingly there were profound sessions of sighing and whimpering. But it felt good to stretch my brain a bit and try something new (I took an intro to Python course). And if you're not convinced about the future of massive online open courses, listen to this Modern Poetry prof talk on this podcast about how he connects with students from around the globe -- it will surely convince you that this movement is something special.

:: Speaking of that podcast, I love it so. The Slate Culture Gabfest is fantastic every week. 

:: These little works of art - wow, so exquisite.

Happy week y'all, we're halfway through November!

Friday, November 9, 2012

A lavender fix

Oooh, I wish you could smell these!

Hello friends,

It's been one of those busy weeks punched up with tomfoolery of all sorts. At night, I really just wanted to sit quietly and stare into the middle distance. Maybe with a bowl of popcorn at my side. 

 Instead, I made these lavender sachets using some squares from a jelly pack and some linen for the back. I admit that what pleased me most was not the summery lavender smell, or the pretty prints, or the linen (because linen is usually a homerun) - it was the speed. How perfect to just start something and finish it so quickly. It was a really good fix for this week.

The fabric is from Quilt a bag.

The Purl Bee instructions suggest sewing three sides and stitching the fourth closed by hand. I left just a little opening on one of the sides to turn it inside out and then hand-stitched the small gap closed because, well, see above about the speed thing. Here's a nice tutorial on the ladder stitch.

Have a nice weekend :) xoxo