recent adventures in cooking

My most frequently cooked foods are rice (in a rice cooker), instant noodles, fried eggs, chili, and Chinese greens (in the microwave). Needless to say, my interest and skills in cooking are limited. So when Mike and I try out new dishes it’s very exciting :D

Like these avocado and brie sandwiches!

 

And butter pork! After going out for Indian food a couple of weeks ago we wanted to try making butter chicken ourselves. So we bought a bottle of butter chicken sauce. But we didn’t have chicken. So we cooked it with pork because that was what we had in the fridge. It still tasted quite good! We even added mushrooms to it :D

 

Have a fabulous Tuesday!

 

 

narnia to the north!

Well… not exactly Narnia, but certainly the north, and we can always pretend, especially with the awesome lamp posts! :D (you’ll see…)

Mike had to work at the Ontario Para Sport Games this weekend, and so I tagged along.

We had a snow cloud above us the whole way there, so the drive was slippery, slow, and and kind of scary…

 

The roads were all covered in snow with ice underneath… but I really like this photo because it looks almost like a vintage print.

 

But finally we got there safely. The snow slowed down and the resort we were staying at lit up like a small Christmas village. Note the fireplace in one of the units!

 

Then we noticed the lamp posts — we were waiting for the resort shuttle to take us to the main building, but maybe Mr. Tumnus will come out from behind that tree and invite us to his cottage for tea…

 

Caught a nice sunset. And the flags, they look like cheerful buntings, were encircling the ponds on the golf course so people don’t drive over them on their snowmobiles. 

 

 

More lamp posts! :D

 

Mike bought a fire log and made good use of the fireplace in our unit, just like in the magazine! :D

 

And the next day, while watching a game of sledge hockey at the Summit Centre, I caught sight of this wonderful bronze sculpture by Muskoka artist Brenda Goulet.

 

Which reminds me of this quote:

Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut, that held its ground. 
– David Icke 

 

Hope your weekend was wonderful, and wishing you a great week ahead!

 

 

 

 

this week’s awesome finds

 

A gorgeous head wrap called “So Portland”! Have always wanted to visit Portland — sounds like such a happening place and right by the ocean. Pattern from Blissful Knits.

 

Simply darling owls, pattern from Crafty is Cool.

 

Lovely simple sewing — tutorial for a groundhog phone case from Wild Olive.

 

Awesome knitted milk carton! Pattern from Knitted Toy Box.

 

I’m thinking placing the heart on the side seam of the t-shirt, and stenciling it directly, maybe a lighter paint on a darker shirt… hmm. How-to on MADE.

 

These look fascinating — might look cool on a necklace pendant or a brooch. How to on Frugal Family Fun.

 

Love the gentle shades of pink and purple on these roses, made with watercolour-painted paper. How-to on Craftberry Bush.

 

Furry monster bracelets! These are so awesome. From one of my favourite Etsy shops, Abbydid.

 

And there we have it, a list of awesome things on a lovely Friday :D I’m heading up north this weekend, will be back with pictures!

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

 

at the table with… forest and farm friends!

I must show you my new table cloth! :D

You might say, it’s just a table cloth, what’s there to show? But no! It’s the best table cloth ever!

Check. This. Out.

*squeal*

My favourite is of course the mushroom creature!

The owl is super adorable too.

And I also love the peas!

And the broccoli, the strawberry, the turnip… well, they’re all cool!

And now you might ask, where did you get such an awesome table cloth?

From my awesome mother-in-law! :D

(I believe she got it at a Loblaws Superstore, if you want to try getting one too…)

Now I want to make plushes of all the forest and farm friends!

And when we’re finished using it as a table cloth, I’m going to make it into a tote bag :D

 

Happy Tuesday, everyone! :D

 

 

 

 

 

simplicity

I made this sweater a while ago, just waiting to get a light-colour top to wear underneath it. 

 

The pattern came from an old issue of Interweave Crochet (fireside pullover). The yarn came from a cardigan that I crocheted but it felt too stiff and heavy. It sat in the closet for over a year without me wearing it once, so I decided to unravel it and use the yarn for something else.

I really like the simplicity of it. A simple stitch repeating itself over and over again. I used to be more attracted to complex pineapple lace and such, and I still like them, but I find myself wearing simpler designs as I get older.

And the plants looking quite happy in the warm afternoon sun! :D

Wishing you a lovely week ahead!

 

 

sweet love

So! I actually made the mushroom love pin from my last post! here’s a close-up picture of it…

 

Really enjoyed a morning of hand-sewing. There’s something very calming about that. Haven’t done it for a while and thinking it would be great to find more projects to sew.

I wore it out to Indian food with Mike for Valentines day :D 

We were both unfamiliar with Indian food, so we just tried to order things that sounded interesting, like this fried cheese. I believe it’s called paneer.

 

And of course, butter chicken! :D

 

Awesome date and delicious food makes me a happy valentine :D

 

Have a sweet Friday, everyone!

 

 

this week’s awesome finds

 

Beautiful ice candle holders, made with balloons. How-to on Willowday.

 

Cupcake hat for a little person. Very sweet. Pattern on Ucreate by All Things Bright and Beautiful.

 

I love that it holds different shapes and sizes and colours of beads. How-to on Cup of Delight.

 

Ingenious idea for a cake topper! Now, where does one find an oversize clothespin? From Brooklyn Bride.

 

Really hoping to knit this one day. Pattern generously shared on Sew Knit Me.

 

Simply delightful window decoration, and a wonderful craft with children. From Lilla A.

 

More children-friendly birds! Cute owl lantern, by Meet the Dubiens.

 

This is too adorable for words. An excerpt from an upcoming book, Heart-felt Holidays, pattern and tutorial for a mushroom love brooch! On Whipup.

 

I’m really tempted to make the mushroom brooch. Right now. Lemme see if I have the right colour felt…

 

Best wishes to you for a lovely week! :D

 

 

 

if you were an angry bird…

Lately I’ve been spending my time on the subway playing Angry Birds Seasons. Mike and I have collaboratively unlocked all the levels on his phone, but when I got my own phone I had to replay all the levels again to unlock them, which is fun! :D

If I were an angry bird, I think I’d be the blue bird — mainly because he looks kind of afraid, which is a word that I’ve often heard others use to describe me as. It’s true that he’s not as strong as others, but he’s certainly helpful in his own unique ways.

 

Just curious…

If you were an angry bird, which would you be?

Have a wonderful Friday!

 

 

yarn love

Mike made me this for Valentine’s Day! :D

 

A yarn love wallpaper! :D :D :D

And to spread the love of yarn and yarncrafts, we’d like to share the wallpaper with you, my lovely blog friends! 

To download click the link for the size that fits your screen:

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And I’ll re-post the paper rose ones from last year too, since they also fit with the Valentine theme.

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Thank you so much for the love and kindness you’ve shared with me, friends!

 

 

 

 

inspired by buttons

A few days ago I went with a couple of friends to the clay drop-in class at the Gardiner Museum. Before that we also went to Lettuce Knit, where I saw some incredibly charming ceramic buttons for sale. The friendly woman who was looking after the shop at the time said that she had actually made those buttons at the drop-in classes at the Gardiner. So when I left the shop I was quite determined to make buttons in the class.

But when we got there I had the opportunity to use one of the few pottery wheels available, so I made a split decision to try my hands on the wheel instead. It was quite an experience but I didn’t end up with any finished product, because by the end of the 2-hour class I was still trying to centre the clay on the wheel (and failing to do so after 4 attempts!). I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t have a mug or bowl to put into the kiln; I understand full well that throwing clay on a wheel takes a long time to master. But I think I would feel very happy in the end if I had stuck to my plan of making buttons!

So! After I got home I started to gather inspirations for the next time I visit the clay class.

 

I love this one, it is so sweet. (source)

 

 

My favourite shade of blue! (source)

 

Remind me to bring my collection of pressed leaves from the summer! (source)

 

Thumbprints. Love the organic shapes and subtlety (source)

 

It would be fun to find surfaces and textures to make imprints with (source)

 

And this would be fun to glaze, no? (source)

 

AND! What about making ceramic necklace pendants? You know how much I love necklaces… I’m so ready to have tons and tons of fun next time I go to the class! :D Now I just have to wait until school work slows down…

But that’s not to say that I came home from the last clay class empty-handed. While helping me centre the clay on the quickly spinning wheel, the instructor said something that I thought was quite profound:

Don’t let the clay push you, you push the clay.

My mind really hung onto those words for a while, and I have been trying to figure out why.

I suppose they resonate with certain circumstances I find myself in lately. At first I thought it has to do with interpersonal stuff. I certainly get intimidated (i.e. pushed around) quite easily. But then I thought pushing other people back isn’t an appropriate response neither, is it?

Then I started to think about the feelings around being intimidated. Anxiety feels the most prominent to me. Maybe this is really about relationships, but not so much my relationship with other people but my relationship with anxiety.

It’s very simple: when I feel anxious, I try to make the anxiety go away, and that makes me feel even more anxious. 

Like throwing clay on the wheel, the idea is not to fight against the clay, because the more I fight it to bring it back to the centre the more it wobbles about and wiggles away. The idea is to find the right angle and the right pressure to move with the clay, and apply gentle pressure consistently and persistently, give it time, and it will eventually spin between my two palms in (near) perfect symmetry. 

So how does that apply to anxiety?

It’s what I already know: sit with it. I know this from supervisors who teach mindfulness practices. I know this from being in therapy. I know this from being trained as a therapist. But I don’t do it myself. I give in to my natural tendency, my automatic response to fight the anxiety as soon as I feel my heart rate increases.

So how did we move from buttons to this rambling about anxiety?

Such is the power of art to evoke stories and metaphors and insight.

 

Wishing you a week of happy adventures and new discoveries!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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