water phoenix

Break­ing down and becom­ing whole again.

I should prob­a­bly invest in bet­ter water­colour paper. But then if I were to use good qual­i­ty paper I prob­a­bly would­n’t be able to paint as freely, because I would be afraid that I would ruin the expen­sive paper. Any­way. It’s some­how mor­phed from an attempt to copy this pho­to with watercolour…

And I’m not sure why I want­ed to copy this pho­to in water­colour. I almost nev­er copy pho­tos, and I don’t usu­al­ly paint real­is­ti­cal­ly. But some­how I want­ed to know what it’s like to paint this with watercolour.

I have been in a bit of a funk late­ly. Self-doubts, lack of moti­va­tion, feel­ings of hope­less­ness and inef­fec­tive­ness and all the nasty stuff. I felt like I was on the verge of a breakdown.

I’m feel­ing bet­ter today. I guess now I know why I want­ed to copy the pic­ture in the first place.

a week in polariods

I had orig­i­nal­ly made a mon­tage of polaroid pic­tures, but then I thought they did­n’t real­ly work all clumped togeth­er. So! Here are the pic­tures, in their glow­ing polaroid colours.

Ear­li­er in the week we went to a birth­day par­ty for a lit­tle per­son who was turn­ing 3.

My first acorn sight­ing of the sea­son! I’ve seen acorn caps here and there, but not a whole acorn until now! I did­n’t have my cam­era with me at the time so I brought it up stairs for a photo-shoot.

Then we went to see a show at a… lounge? You can prob­a­bly tell I don’t go to shows like this very often. But I real­ly enjoyed the music and the ener­gy of both the band and the audi­ence. And good com­pa­ny :D

Yes­ter­day we went to a beach in Prince Edward Coun­ty. One of our friends brought a but­ter­fly fruit tray.

And we made s’mores on the portable grill! :D

We climbed 2 sand dunes to get to the beach, and on the way we saw berries that looked like blue­ber­ries. Being a chick­en and all I did­n’t try to eat it, but a brave soul who tast­ed one (and lived to tell the tale!) said it tast­ed like blue­ber­ries, except it had a pit inside.

Very fine sand, and some seri­ous san­dal tan!

Feet now in water! Pret­ty cold. A nice walk though.

I like this pic­ture because the colours of the water and sky are the shades of beach glass, which I did­n’t find any at the beach, not even stones! Just shat­tered shells and a bit of sea­weed. Oh well.

Have a love­ly week!

A crochet gathering

Excit­ing news! I have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to demon­strate how to cro­chet this wrist-cuff-turns-cup-sleeve this com­ing Wednes­day, August 18, at 6–7:30pm at the Walmer Cen­tre. Come join us if you want to learn basic cro­chet stitch­es while mak­ing some­thing use­ful! Yarn and but­tons will be pro­vid­ed, and drop me a note if you need a hook! After my cro­chet demo there will also be a knit­ting work­shop, from 7:30–9pm! Come to both and you’ll be all set for many of the fab­u­lous cro­chet­ing and knit­ting pat­terns out there!

Speak­ing of fab­u­lous pat­terns, I came across this tru­ly amaz­ing (and free!) pothold­er pat­tern a while ago, and I thought to myself that if I ever need to make a house­warm­ing gift I will def­i­nite­ly make this. And here it is! An origa­mi pothold­er for a new home :D

It’s actu­al­ly quite straight­for­ward and easy to make, but very impres­sive look­ing when it’s done. It’s quite mag­i­cal how it all turns out. You’ll have to make it to expe­ri­ence the mag­ic :P I think it will also make a nice coast­er (with thin­ner yarn and small­er hook) or Christ­mas orna­ment (with very thin yarn and very small hook)!

So, any­way, have a fab­u­lous week­end! And feel free to come join us on Wednes­day for a needle­craft gathering!

Spontaneous cake-making

1. One Fri­day night, after watch­ing this new cake show called DC Cup­cakes (though it is nowhere as good as Ace of Cakes), we were inspired to bake cup­cakes. We filled one muf­fin tray but had left­over bat­ter that was­n’t enough to fill anoth­er muf­fin tray, so I poured it all into a loaf pan and fig­ured we could have a flat cake as well.

2. But then once it was baked, it occurred to me that I could dec­o­rate it! Like in the show! So I lev­eled off the top… (and unlike in the show, we did­n’t sim­ply toss away the cut­off, we ate it, like good chil­dren who don’t waste food.)

3. … and then I cut it cross­wise into 3, and spread frost­ing onto each. We hap­pened to have left­over store-bought frost­ing in the fridge, it was a good oppor­tu­ni­ty to fin­ish them up! The bot­tom lay­er was cream cheese flavour and the top two were vanilla.

4. We also hap­pened to have nec­tarines in the fridge, so Mike sliced them thin­ly and sand­wiched them between each cake layer.

5. Ta-da! Gâteau pour deux! We even sprin­kled cin­na­mon on top and used a fan­cy blue plate for the pho­to-shoot! :D

6. And this is us, enjoy­ing a cross sec­tion of cake. I guess it’s like a straw­ber­ry short­cake, except with nectarine…

Have a sweet Fri­day every­one! :D

The lake in polaroids

Mike told me about this polaroid mak­er this morn­ing — it’s the most awe­some thing ever! I hap­pened to be going to the water­front this after­noon, so I took a bunch of pic­tures to test it out :D so much fun! I love polaroids. The real ones are obvi­ous­ly bet­ter, but a real polaroid cam­era is too expen­sive to have. So I’m quite hap­py to set­tle for the fake one :) It even has sound effects and fin­ger­prints. A bit cheesy in some ways per­haps, not a big fan of fin­ger­prints on every pic­ture myself, but I love the way the pho­tographs turn out — the sat­u­rat­ed colours and the soft­ness and the vignetting — so very cool! And the polaroid mak­er free to down­load! :D

The pic­ture of daisies was­n’t tak­en at the lake. I took it over the Cana­da Day week­end. I just thought the daisies would make a good first test-run! And so here are the pic­tures at the lake! :D

Walk­ing on the boardwalk!

Geese! They were ini­tial­ly swim­ming in a V for­ma­tion until they saw me approach­ing. Then they sped up to swim toward me. I think they thought I had food. And then they real­ized that I did­n’t. So they swam away.

Duck and duckling!

A pret­ty pur­ple plant.

A wind giant!

Under­wa­ter vegetation!

Bright sun­ny day!

Now I just have to resist the urge to turn all my oth­er pic­tures into polaroids…

Have a love­ly Thursday!

A week in haiku

Mush­rooms found in plant!
Library pin now bookmarks
a dis­mayed snowbear.

Peanut but­ter joy!
Ancient tur­tle swim­ming by
fes­tive bibimbap.

Shad­ows in sunrise
Spon­ta­neous cake-making
aboard east­bound train.

Noth­ing brilliant,
but friends, it is rather fun.
Hap­py Saturday!

Adventure in dough, part 2!

The salt dough orna­ments are all paint­ed! :D

I paint­ed them with water­colour, fol­lowed by 2 coats of gloss acrylic var­nish. Despite the nasty smell of acrylic var­nish while they were being paint­ed, they actu­al­ly still smelled pret­ty much like cin­na­mon and not very much like acrylic after the var­nish was dried. I’m glad! :D

This one is my favourite. Just a very sub­tle blue.

Before I paint­ed them I kind of pic­tured them in porce­lain blue (that’s why I used water­colour), so I paint­ed sev­er­al like that.

I was going to paint all of them blue, but then I fig­ured since I got all my colours out I might as well see how they look with yel­low and pink…

The sur­face start­ed to crack a bit after the var­nish was dried (you might see it if you look close­ly), but I don’t think it’s a big deal.

I’m actu­al­ly quite hap­py with how they turned out, and I quite enjoyed paint­ing them! So I think I might make more of these orna­ments with the left­over dough instead of mak­ing owls. I can always make anoth­er batch of dough to make owls.

Have a great week­end! :D

Favourite things of the week!

This week’s favourite things share a nau­ti­cal theme… per­haps the weath­er is just get­ting too warm for my lik­ing and I’m think­ing about cool breezes by the sea…

Check out this bril­liant sea glass jel­lo recipe by Recipe Girl! The white part is made of con­densed milk and I looove con­densed milk. I remem­ber going to cafes with my aunts and uncles in Hong Kong when I was a kid, and I would order toast with but­ter and con­densed milk. I’m sooo try­ing this out as soon as I can! Jel­lo and con­densed milk are on my gro­cery list this week!

Here’s anoth­er bril­liant sea glass idea from Crazy for Cre­ations! I have a lot of sea glass pieces that are too small to wrap with wire, dif­fer­ent colours too! So now I just need to find a way to drill through them…

And now, a very styl­ish Sailor’s Knot Bracelet from Etsy’s blog! I’m quite drawn to the sim­plic­i­ty of it, and as I’m writ­ing this I’m sud­den­ly remind­ed of my failed can­vas-dye­ing exper­i­ment, which I haven’t blogged about because I’m kind of dis­ap­point­ed by it and have tossed it aside until more ideas come to res­cue it out of its sad, lone­ly cor­ner — and now, here’s an idea!

Have a hap­py Fri­day! Keep cool!

Adventure in dough

Recent­ly I was giv­en a cook­ie mold with love­ly teapots in it…

… it even came with a book­let with cook­ie, salt dough and beeswax recipes… (and a pig on the cov­er, eat­ing watermelon!)

So, today I decid­ed to test out the cook­ie mold with the salt dough recipe from the booklet…

1. I mixed some cin­na­mon into the dough to give it some colour and tex­ture. Then I pressed it into the mold with the heel of my hand (as per the book­let’s instruction).

2. Dough, pressed.

3. Dough came off the mold pret­ty eas­i­ly. I cut them apart with the back of a but­ter knife.

4. I then placed them on a sil­i­con bak­ing sheet to make sure that they would­n’t stick. They were going to be tree orna­ments so I cut a small slit at the top of each with the tip of a but­ter knife for ribbon.

5. Bak­ing… at low temp. for a long, long time. (about 2 hrs. Prob­a­bly not the smartest thing to do in a small apart­ment in the mid­dle of sum­mer, but lin­ger­ing aro­ma of cin­na­mon was nice.)

6. And the moment of truth! This is the one that turned out the best, I think. I was dis­ap­point­ed that the salt in the dough seemed to have risen to the sur­face dur­ing the bak­ing process, and so now we can’t see the cin­na­mon :( I should have remem­bered this from pre­vi­ous dough craft attempts!

Sure­ly there is a way to pre­vent this salty crust from form­ing? Hmm… need to find out. But I’m going to paint this batch of orna­ments, and will keep you post­ed about how it goes!

I still have half a batch of dough left (my hand got a bit sore from press­ing dough into mold), so I think I might make some owls, like this one I made years ago…

And now, a haiku to sum­ma­rize today’s adventure:

Flour, water, salt

Where did the cin­na­mon go?

Great fun nonetheless.

From the garden: A haiku

Fiery bloom standing

Fire petals beaming

Gold­en trum­pets a‑swaying

with songs of crickets.


This is actu­al­ly my first haiku attempt. We were watch­ing Veg­gie Tales: Sumo of the Opera today and I felt very inspired.

Tomor­row I’m going to take a men­tal health day aka craft day :D My plan is to slight­ly alter a shirt and try out a cook­ie mold. So, more about crafts tomorrow!

Wish­ing you a fab­u­lous week ahead!