weekend wonders

 

This past week­end we went to quaint and pic­turesque Glen Williams for our friends’ wed­ding. The weath­er was beau­ti­ful, and the church has a mag­nif­i­cent gar­den with a riv­er flow­ing behind the backyard. 

 

 

Inside the church, pails of hydrangeas tied to the pews. (the pails of hydrangeas were lat­er clev­er­ly play the role of cen­ter­pieces at the recep­tion :D)

 

After­noon tea after the cer­e­mo­ny, with iced tea and pink lemon­ade in very cool-look­ing dispensers!

 

Then we began the scenic dri­ve to the recep­tion on the farm. But before we left we encoun­tered the fuzzi­est cater­pil­lar try­ing to cross the dri­ve­way. We walked with it, part­ly to cheer it on (okay, I cheered it on) but main­ly to stand around it so cars would­n’t run it over. It made it safe­ly to the grass :D

 

There was a lot of time to kill between cer­e­mo­ny and recep­tion, so I brought my school read­ings (what a killjoy I am >_<) and tried to find a cafe to sit down. But the only cafe-like place was a bak­ery with a front porch. So we asked if we could sit on the front porch and the own­er said it was okay. That was where we met the fluffi­est cat. He put his front paws on the side table where we put our teas as though he was going to drink from one of the cups. While I was delight­ed by our mutu­al fond­ness of tea, I was­n’t so ready to share my tea with him. He was growl­ing in protest.

 

Final­ly we arrived at the farm where the recep­tion was held, and the air smelled of lavender.

 

There were lot of apple trees and lots of small apples fall­en on the ground. And my sis­ter remind­ed me that those flow­ers behind me are Autumn Joy :D

There were old books and bunting and tea lights in mason jars, which togeth­er looked like they came out of a mag­a­zine spread fea­tur­ing a hand­made wed­ding! But more than the sum of its parts, it was the thought­ful­ness and cre­ativ­i­ty and the deep love between two won­der­ful peo­ple that made the wed­ding such a heart­felt cel­e­bra­tion. I felt very priv­i­leged to be a part of it.

 

Wish­ing you a love­ly week­end ahead! 

 

 

pearls and rose

 

Went to a friend’s wed­ding on the week­end :D and I made a pearls and rose neck­lace to go with this cro­chet dress and this refash­ioned cardi­gan. 

(I actu­al­ly real­ly like this pho­to, if I must say so myself. I was try­ing to take a pic­ture of myself look­ing all styl­ish but fail­ing, so this pic­ture is actu­al­ly one of me laugh­ing at my sil­ly attempts. These shots of me laugh­ing at myself often turn out well.)

I’ve been fas­ci­nat­ed by those off-cen­tered flower neck­laces for a while, so I thought I’d try to make one with stuff I have at home. In case you’re inter­est­ed, here’s how I made it.

This is how it looks on the back, which kind of explains how it’s pieced together.

 

I used:

A bit of red felt

Some pearl beads

Some thread and nee­dle for string­ing the beads

1 jump ring

1 large safe­ty pin

1 small safe­ty pin

1 neck­lace chain with clasps

Hot glue gun

 

1. I strung some plas­tic pearl beads on a piece of thread. It’s about 11″ long alto­geth­er, but it’s not because I have a spe­cif­ic mea­sure­ment in mind. It has to be that length because I ran out of beads. I tied the ends togeth­er and then secured the knot with some white glue and set it aside to dry.

2. I made a rose with a 1/4″ strip of red felt, using a method sim­i­lar to this tuto­r­i­al (scroll down to “no-sew rib­bon rosette tuto­r­i­al”), hot glu­ing it as I rolled, and hot glued a pearl bead in the cen­ter. I then attached the larg­er safe­ty pin (mak­ing sure the open­ing is fac­ing away from the rose) to the back of the rose by hot glu­ing a small piece of felt on it.

3. I fold­ed the string of pearl beads in half, then attached a jump ring to one end, and attached the safe­ty pin with the rose to the oth­er end.

4. I put the one end of the neck­lace chain on the safe­ty pin attached to the rose (the end with­out the spring open­ing). I then hook the end with the spring open­ing onto the jump ring that I placed on the string of pearl beads in step 3. (It sounds more com­plex than it actu­al­ly is… hope­ful­ly this will make sense if you refer to the pho­to above.)

5. And then the neck­lace was too long, so I put a safe­ty pin through the chain to make it short­er (the pin actu­al­ly goes through two indi­vid­ual links on oppo­site sides), like so…

 

So, to put it on, I just unclasp the chain from the jump ring on the string of pearls.

More week­end pho­tos to fol­low! Hope your week­end was re-ener­giz­ing with the crisp air of fall!

 

 

this week’s awesome finds!

 

Haven’t opened my Google Read­er (where I book­mark all the blogs I fol­low) for about a week, and today I was ter­ri­fied to see that there were 200 unread items! >_< 

I end­ed up not read­ing any of it, just clicked the “mark all as read” but­ton while look­ing away… I kind of feel bad not read­ing them — what if I miss some­thing real­ly impor­tant? (appar­ent­ly, as Mike told me, it’s called the “fear of miss­ing out” effect — FOMO for short) But I just can’t spend the time to read all that right now. “And isn’t the point of book­mark­ing the abil­i­ty to eas­i­ly access blogs one likes and to read them when­ev­er one likes?” I told myself.

But any­way, here are a few awe­some things I’ve book­marked this week! :D

 

Ever eat­en an acorn? I’ve nev­er even seen the inside of an acorn, let alone eat one. Lil Fish Stu­dio opened my eye to a whole new world of acorn-eat­ing! Would this be some­thing you might try? (Not sure if I’ll win if I have to fight over them with the squir­rels though… espe­cial­ly the nin­ja ones :P)

 

Dress-up paper cats from one of my favourites — Made by Joel! Coloured and colourable tem­plates free for down­load! I love Joel’s cre­ativ­i­ty and style as much as I love his gen­eros­i­ty. So much work goes into design­ing and he shares so much of that for free. 

 

Awe­some­ness! Six crafts kids (and kids-at-heart) can make in a cof­fee shop! Also in awe of the illus­tra­tion :O From What I Made.

 

Turn a board book into chalk book! How-to on WhipUp.

 

No more cry­ing over spilled drink — watch them turn into but­ter­flies instead! What a mar­velous con­cept. Via Inspire Me Now.

 

Have a hap­py week­end, everyone!

 

 

okra is a thing of beauty

 

Final­ly got around to use the okra I bought a cou­ple of weeks ago. I was­n’t real­ly in the mood of mak­ing any­thing, but the okras were going slimy on the out­side :S They were going to be wast­ed if I don’t use them, so I forced myself to dig out the paint.

And it turned out to be quite an invig­o­rat­ing expe­ri­ence! (Mak­ing things always makes me feel bet­ter, it’s just a mat­ter of get­ting start­ed…) The pat­terns that the okras made were sim­ply delightful… 

 

They remind me of jel­ly­fish :D

My first sheet of prints was a bit blotchy. The sec­ond sheet was a bit more consistent.

 

Then there were the more angu­lar prints of a dif­fer­ent okra, com­pared with the more round­ed ones.

I’m going to make some­thing with these lat­er… will keep you posted!

Have a hap­py Wednes­day! :D

 

 

 

awesome finds of the week (guest post)

 Hel­lo every­one! I’ve talked about a pos­si­ble guest post com­ing up… and here it is! Writ­ten by my awe­some hus­band Mike, who is a tal­ent­ed graph­ic design­er ded­i­cat­ed to mak­ing the world a more awe­some place through arts and design. He’s com­piled quite a few awe­some things from the past weeks to share with you, hope you enjoy them as much as I do! :D

 

 I’ve been fol­low­ing Lila Symon’s Dai­ly Cal­lig­ra­phy blog for some time now. Her cre­ative let­ter­ing and inspir­ing words are always clever and fun.

 

 

These paper roll por­traits for Con­queror Paper by Anant Nan­vare are sim­ply breath­tak­ing. (Speak­ing of Con­quer­er, they also com­mis­sioned a series of 5 type­faces by the ever skill­ful Jean Fran­cois Porchez sev­er­al years ago. Amaz­ing­ly, the fonts are avail­able for free.) via Inspire Me Now.

 

 

Doyle Part­ners used blue painters tape to cre­ate a larg­er than life cov­er for the New York Times mag­a­zine. The Times has a time-lapse video of the instal­la­tion. via Quip­solo­gies.

 

 

I just about fell out of my chair when I saw this. I nev­er gave much thought to the shapes and colours of Apple’s text mes­sag­ing app until now. Pure genius. How does this per­son not have friends? Orig­i­nal­ly post­ed on i am your cana­di­an boyfriend.

 

 

This post from Fast Com­pa­ny was the one of the orig­i­nal rea­sons I want­ed to do a guest post actu­al­ly. I love every­thing about this. It’s bright, whim­si­cal, and accord­ing to the arti­cle, has “a love­ly flu­id­i­ty to the piece, allow­ing it to move ever so slight­ly depend­ing on move­ment near­by”. The struc­tures are made from small­er ‘bricks’ con­struct­ed only out of post it notes. No glue was used in the mak­ing of these tow­ers. More pic­tures here.

 

 

If tow­ers aren’t your thing, you can always play Tetris with your sticky notes. via Quip­solo­gies.

 

 

Blog­TO (one of my favourite blogs) has a won­der­ful col­lec­tion of old and new pho­to mashups of our fine city. It’s a shame there’s no pic­tures of the dis­tillery dis­trict, a mashup of the work­ing dis­tillery of the past and today’s cafés and art gal­leries would have been fun. via Blog­TO

 

 

Sage advice from Anna Jones of andthenshesaved.com. Anna’s blog chron­i­cles how she went on a spend­ing fast (and lat­er a spend­ing diet) and ulti­mate­ly paid off $23,000 worth of debt. My favourite thing about her blog, oth­er than all her fun pic­tures, is the fact that she’s not a very fru­gal per­son to begin with. Read­ing about her strug­gle to resist buy­ing friv­o­lous things gives me hope.

 

 

As you might have guessed, Trish and I are big Angry Birds fans. They’ve been adding a new mid-autumn fes­ti­val — or moon­cake fes­ti­val as they call it — themed comics every day to their web­site. Awe­some! via angrybirds.com

 

 

Last­ly, since Pin­ter­est is one of Trish’s favourite new web­sites, I thought I would link to a graph­ic design arti­cle on the cre­ation of the Pin­ter­est logo­type. Just a glimpse into the effort that goes into seem­ing­ly sim­ple brand­ing projects. via The Case and Point.

Thanks for the oppor­tu­ni­ty to share some awe­some finds with you all. Cheers!

 Mike

 

letter

 

You are so young, so much before all begin­ning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with every­thing unre­solved in your heart and to try to love the ques­tions them­selves as if they were locked rooms or books writ­ten in a very for­eign lan­guage. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be giv­en to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live every­thing. Live the ques­tions now. Per­haps then, some­day far in the future, you will grad­u­al­ly, with­out even notic­ing it, live your way into the answer.

– Let­ters to a Young Poet, The Fourth Let­ter by Rain­er Maria Rilke

 

That was a col­lage I made some­times in the sum­mer. I made it as an exam­ple to demon­strate an idea to a group, so there was­n’t much plan­ning or com­po­si­tion involved as I was mak­ing it. But I quite liked it in the end. And that’s gen­er­al­ly how I feel about mak­ing things — I’m usu­al­ly hap­pi­er with what I make if the process was intu­itive and more or less unplanned. 

So I want­ed to post this piece of col­lage today and was look­ing for a quote to go with it. Because I love quotes, and I have a num­ber of quotes book­marked from this blog, so I thought I’d share one of them today.

And I find this quote from Let­ters to a Young Poet (must read some­day) par­tic­u­lar­ly rel­e­vant to me today, because ever since I applied to return to school I’ve con­stant­ly ques­tion whether it’s a good idea. I’ve “returned” to school for a few times now, where will it lead this time? What cre­den­tial will it give me and what will it get me in today’s job market? 

As my mind is flood­ed with these ques­tions about the future I lose sight of the present, of the wealth of knowl­edge pre­sent­ed to me through the course mate­ri­als, the library that is thor­ough­ly acces­si­ble to me as a stu­dent, the instruc­tors who are bril­liant and have so much expe­ri­ence in the field. 

My “get it over with” atti­tude is mak­ing me miss out on all that learn­ing. It’s a shame. Good thing it’s only the sec­ond week of class. I can still catch up, right?

So per­haps the part of me that likes to just get things over with and dash to the fin­ish line can use some help from the part of me that is able to be intu­itive, to pro­ceed with­out a pre­cise des­ti­na­tion, and to be hap­py with being in the process.

Have a won­der­ful week­end, friends!

 

 

quick refashion

A very quick t‑shirt refash­ion, from this idea on Craft­ster, which I orig­i­nal­ly spot­ted on Pin­ter­est.

I also cut off the cuff of the sleeves to cre­ate a bit of a flut­ter­ing effect.

I’ve had that neck­lace for­ev­er. It’s always sat in the bot­tom of my jew­el­ry box since as long as I could remem­ber. I com­plete­ly for­got about it until my mom asked me to look into one of my draw­ers at home to see if there’s any­thing I want to take home or throw out. I did­n’t even know that it had immi­grat­ed with us to Cana­da. And I don’t real­ly know where I got it from…

The beads are made of glass, I think. It’s kind of heavy and I haven’t found an out­fit to wear it with yet. Makes a good acces­so­ry for the pho­to-shoot though :D

Have a hap­py Wednesday!

 

 

mid-autumn at home

 

That’s me, quite a few moons ago, cel­e­brat­ing Mid-Autumn Fes­ti­val in Hong Kong. (And that’s my cousin on the left. Since he blocked his own face with his lantern-wield­ing hands I won’t blur out his head :P) I think they actu­al­ly let us play with can­dle-lit lanterns back then :S

 

And here I am many moons lat­er, with safe, bat­tery-oper­at­ed lanterns (and Mike’s inter­pre­tive moon-gaz­ing — sad­ly, our bal­cony does­n’t face the moon).

It’s Mid-Autumn Fes­ti­val today! :D 

Kind of like Hal­loween here in some ways. Instead of going around the neigh­bour­hood dressed in cos­tumes kids would bring their lanterns and play on the street with their friends. An impor­tant part of the tra­di­tion is moon-gaz­ing, but I only remem­ber every­one sit­ting around fold­ing tables on the rooftop eat­ing pome­los and moon­cakes. Not a lot of gaz­ing but every­one had fun chat­ting anyway. 

And then sud­den­ly the kids feel too old for lanterns. But they still get togeth­er for din­ner with families. 

Until one real­ly is get­ting old, then one gets all nos­tal­gic and starts mak­ing lanterns and eat­ing moon­cakes around Mid-Autumn Festival.

I thought I’d share how I made the lanterns so you can cel­e­brate Mid-Autumn Fes­ti­val at home too, If you like :D Or it might come in handy if one needs a dec­o­ra­tive lantern for oth­er occasions. 

 

I used:

An emp­ty plas­tic water bottle

2 sheets of con­tact paper (or clear shelf-lin­er), approx. 6.5″ x 8″ (one may need to adjust this depend­ing on the size of the bottle)

Bits of dif­fer­ent colour tis­sue paper (I cut them in small squares)

Bat­tery-oper­at­ed tea light (don’t use real can­dles with this!)

A length of yarn

A chop­stick from Chi­nese takeout

An elas­tic band

Scis­sors

Hole punch­er

Clear tape

 

First, peel off the back­ing of one sheet of the con­tact paper and place it on the table sticky side up. Arrange bits of tis­sue paper on it until the con­tact paper is most­ly cov­ered. Then peel off the back­ing of the oth­er sheet of con­tact paper and place it direct­ly on the con­tact paper with tis­sue paper on it, match­ing all sides (to the best of one’s abil­i­ty — it can be tricky to match all sides per­fect­ly. It can always be trimmed later).

Basi­cal­ly, the bits of tis­sue paper are sand­wiched between 2 sheets of con­tact paper. 

Fold­ing the con­tact paper sand­wich in half length­wise, make even cuts across, leav­ing about an inch of space at the top.

(Apolo­gies for the grimy-look­ing sam­ple I have in the pic­tures — I made the sam­ple a month ago while run­ning a craft work­shop, and as it sat on my work table all kinds of dust got stuck to the sticky edges of the con­tact paper :S)

Once all the cuts are made it looks like this, with uncut one inch spaces at both the top and the bot­tom of the sheet.

Now cut off the top, dome part of the plas­tic bottle.

Wrap the long side of the con­tact paper around the top of the plas­tic bot­tle. Tear a length of clear tape, place half over where the two ends of the con­tact paper meet, and fold the oth­er half over the rim so it sticks to the inside of the bottle.

Place more tape around the rim of the bot­tle in the same man­ner to secure it.

Then, turn the bot­tle upside down so the bot­tom is fac­ing up. Bring the edge of the con­tact paper down so it lines up with the bot­tom of the bot­tle. Tear a length of clear tape, place half over where the two ends of the con­tact paper meet, and fold the over half over so it sticks to the bot­tom of the bottle. Place more tape around the bot­tom of the bot­tle in the same man­ner to secure it.

(Again, sor­ry about the close-up pic­ture of dust >_<)

Punch one hole close to the rim of the bot­tle, and anoth­er hole direct­ly oppo­site from the first hole.

Tie a length of yarn to the holes. I made bows so they look a bit like tassels.

Wrap the elas­tic band around the end of the chop­stick, so when the lantern is hang­ing on it it won’t slip off.

Ta-da! Pret­ty sim­ple eh. Now we just have to wait for nightfall…

 

And… it’s night time! :D

 

The Chi­nese peo­ple asso­ciate Mid-Autumn Fes­ti­val with fam­i­ly reunion or gath­er­ing. Because the word for “round” in Chi­nese is pho­net­i­cal­ly sim­i­lar to the word for “reunion”. (That’s why moon cakes have whole egg yolks in them — because they’re round. Chi­nese peo­ple are all about symbolism.)

And so today as I enjoy moon­cake and walk around with my lantern I’m grate­ful for fam­i­ly. I’m so very grate­ful for the man who always sup­ports me enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly, from decid­ing to go back to school for the nth time to stand­ing around on the bal­cony with a lit-up plas­tic water bot­tle. And I’m think­ing of my fam­i­ly whom I don’t see every­day. We may not be able to cel­e­brate togeth­er but I pray that they would be safe, and their hearts con­tent with joy as they gaze at the same full moon across the distance. 

And I wish you good health and hap­pi­ness for the fall season!

 

 

all my love

“The sto­ry need­ed to be told well.” — Chip East
(Source: Pho­to­jo­jo, Life)

 

I want­ed to share some­thing I read in church today, and I hope it brings you encour­age­ment as it did for me.

 

My friends, love is bet­ter than anger. Hope is bet­ter than fear. Opti­mism is bet­ter than despair. So let us be lov­ing, hope­ful and opti­mistic. And we’ll change the world.
Jack Lay­ton (1950–2011)

 

It always pro­tects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love nev­er fails.
– 1 Corinthi­ans 13: 7–8 

 

All my love,
Trish 

 

this week’s awesome finds

Fall is in the air! :D

Lat­tice cook­ies by Not Martha, per­fect over hot apple cider. (With step-by-step pho­to tuto­r­i­al on how to make the lattice!)

 

Mini cher­ry pies baked in a muf­fin tin! Isn’t that cute? Recipe on Sew Sweet Stitch­es.

 

An altered book project! Think­ing of my librar­i­an friend who loves fall dec­o­ra­tions… How-to on Cre­ations by Kara. 

 

Can­dy corn clops! XD Free pat­tern on Glee­ful Things.

And now for things less sea­son­al but equal­ly awesome…

 

Styl­ish ear­rings made with those ubiq­ui­tous buttons/pins from I Could Make That. Now I have a way to make good use of my but­ton col­lec­tion :D

 

Cus­tom pic­ture frames made with kraft paper tape (or as my high school art teacher calls it, butcher’s tape — actu­al­ly, I haven’t heard any­one else call it butcher’s tape. Maybe she made it up. She says it in a real­ly fun­ny way too, makes me smile every time I see butcher’s tape). How-to on Oh Hap­py Day.

 

The process of this is so cool — it starts with a plain black tee and with alter­nat­ing lay­ers of bleach and dye it became a whole uni­verse! From Uni­corn Parade.

 

A love­ly thim­ble neck­lace by Maize on Instructa­bles. I’ve got to make one of these if I ever come across an extra thim­ble. I only have one and need it for sewing…

And final­ly, from one of my favourite plush designers…

A tiny sushi from Mochi­mochi Land! Isn’t this ever cute! There is no pat­tern for this but I have to show it to you. I could just look at it all day and mar­vel at the crafts­man­ship of it. I’ve made cro­cheted sushi but the knit ver­sion just has a dif­fer­ent kind of smooth and refined look to it. I wish I could knit bet­ter… And it does­n’t end here, check this out…

 

A tiny edamame! Enter the cap­tion con­test before Mon­day and you could win the Nin­jabun pat­tern! (I would total­ly try mak­ing up a haiku for this if I could knit!)

Have a hap­py week­end, every­one! :D