from the deep, dark sea…

Have been neglecting my shop for a while (it’s a rented cubby in my friend’s gift shop). It was sparse and pitiful-looking when I went in to look for a greeting card earlier this week :’( So I plunked myself down in my studio (aka couch and coffee table) this weekend, and came up with these –

A family of deep sea creatures :D

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Close-up of “Inky and the Moon” — moonstone and crocheted squid.

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I also like to spend a lot of time writing and drawing the packaging. I hope the customers find them as amusing as I do… (Mike walked by when I was working on the cyclops and he commented, “he’s watching you!”, hence the tagline. We’re a great team :D)

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I’m actually terrified of deep water, and cannot swim to save my own life, but I’m strangely attracted to sea-related things… I have more ideas swimming in my head (haha) for sea creature brooches and such, looking forward to making them in the upcoming weekends (or maybe even during the week if I can conjure up the energy)!

Hope you have a fantastic week!

 

 

yarn-filled day of fun!

At the TTC Knitalong — an annual charity event in which groups of crafters spend a Saturday travelling (and knitting/crocheting) on public transit to visit multiple yarn shops across the city.

Proceeds of the event go to a local women-centered agency, participants get to hang out with fellow crafters and meet new people, yarn shops get lots of visitors and love — everybody wins! Whoever invented this is a genius. It is in its 10th year and this year’s got the biggest turn out yet! The only disappointment is that I didn’t know about this in previous years… will definitely join again next year.

And now, some pictures from my day :D

My group started at Wool-Gathering in the west end. It has on display this beautiful rug, which makes me want to learn rug hooking one day.

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I also love these small rugs with vibrant, abstract designs.

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Our next stop was Passionknit. Look at these delicious colours! More excited than a kid in a candy shop :D

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I spotted this photo of me on instagram, knitting along on the subway, and chatting with our awesome team captain :D (if you’re wondering, I’m making a keyhole scarf in fisherman rib)

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In the meanwhile, our other team captain completed a snowflake on the subway while standing the entire time!

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Then we hopped on the approaching train above and made our way to a sun-filled Lettuce Knit in Kensington Market. These friendly ones are enjoying the sunny spots and relaxing by the knitting pile…

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Also hanging out in the sun…

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This was when I remembered what my mom used to always say to me when I was a kid and we were at the store and I wanted to bring home all the plush animals. “You can give it a hug and put it back.” Such dreamy colours…

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We spent some time on the patio outside. Spotted these cheerful yarn-wrapped branches. My phone camera does not do the colours and sunshine justice.

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And this beautiful yarn-bombed bike!

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More knitting on the streetcar…

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… and arriving at our final shop, The Knit Cafe :D I’ve always been a big fan of the shop and its fabulous window displays.

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People chatting about patterns, marveling at the wool, the warm afternoon sun pouring in, the ball-winder busy spinning… the happiest place :)

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And look who I ran into :D

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Found the secret knitting garden.

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Here we are at our final stop, the Firkin for drinks, food, and more knitting.

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I didn’t buy a whole lot that day, wasn’t at all prepared with shopping list or even project list, and feeling slightly overwhelmed most of the time (not a bad thing though), mainly because I didn’t know what to expect. But I did get a skein of hand-dyed wool from Wool-Gathering (far left), because the colours remind me of sunsets, and a giant skein of Cascade Ecological wool (centre), because I love the colour and it was the last skein on the shelf (I already have an idea of a sweater for it, but have to finish my holiday crafting first). ALSO! I won a draw at Lettuce Knit, which generously donated 4 skeins of wool the colour of strawberry ice cream :D I was rather surprised, because I don’t ever win anything.

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This means I definitely have to join the knitalong again next year :D

I actually don’t knit or crochet on public transit very often, because sometimes I get motion sickness from it, especially on the bus. But after the knitalong I think I will start bringing my knitting to work, so I can at least knit after work on the subway (there is no hope of getting a seat in the morning, and I haven’t developed the skill to knit/crochet while standing yet :P). It’s actually quite calming, and I think it will do me more good in terms of de-stressing than playing Angry Birds.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week! :D

 

this week’s awesome finds

One of my favourite cartoons! :D Hamtaro crochet pattern in both Spanish and English from Mi Pequeno Mundo Rosa.

 

I love these Anything Animals by Melissa Wastney. The animals’ textured sweaters are so lovely.

 

Have always loved the wooden yarn bowls. Maybe this can be made in wood colours. From Seven Thirty Three.

 

Ingenious origami cardigan, on my to-make list! I don’t think there’s a pattern that I don’t like from the Purl Bee.

 

Excellent way to revive a tired old t-shirt, with cats! :D from Tata Cousette.

 

I love the way the light shines through the sea glass. Would make a lovely travel souvenir too, from a sea or lake-side destination. From Lovely Greens.

 

This is the best — a pineapple purse! I want to make one for myself and everyone I know :D From Craft Ideas.

 

Quilting is one craft that I’m not too interested in at the moment but I would love to make one of these super cute mushroom squares. From Sew Scatterbrained.

 

Have an awesome weekend, everyone! :D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

underwood 315

Came across a good quote that I wanted to display at my desk at work. Thought about handwriting it, or finding a good type face for it and printing it out, but then remembered that we’ve inherited Mike’s grandmother’s Underwood 315.

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It took us a while to get the imprints looking right. At first we thought the ribbon was out of ink. After all, Mike remembered that the last time he saw it used was in the 80s. But then we tried to adjust a number of things, and eventually we were actually able to get a dark enough imprint.

I typed the quote 3 times over to end up with one that doesn’t have typos — proof that I’m far too used to typing on the computer and being able to easily erase mistakes. The first time I ever typed was on a computer keyboard; this is actually the first time I’ve used the typewriter. And how did people use their pinkies on the typewriter? The keys require quite a force to make an imprint on the paper. I imagine getting callouses on the fingertips, much like playing the guitar. But I find it to be quite a rewarding experience! To practice and practice and finally get it right :)

And it reminds me so much of printmaking. Especially with the two-colour ribbon. One just wouldn’t know exactly how the words will appear, there are always slight variations even if the letters are the same. Maybe I will try to make more things with it :D

Have a wonderful start to the week, everyone!

 

in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius

It’s become a bit of a summer tradition now, my sister and I going to the ROM :)

This year the feature exhibit is Pompeii. I loved learning about Pompeii when I was a kid! :D (and had dreams about becoming an archaeologist or a paleontologist, and once in a while I wonder about what my life would be like now if I had followed my dreams… anyway, I digress)

Usually when I hear about Pompeii the images of the body casts come to mind. And there were casts of the body casts in the exhibit too. But I found myself more attracted to marvelous mosaics, made of tiny, probably 1mm x 1mm pieces of clay. I’m quite surprised by how well these were preserved, despite the fire and the heat of the volcano eruption.

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I imagine the artisan’s hand, placing these clay chips one by one carefully onto wet grout, tracing the lines on the face, the subtle tonal variations of the skin.

And this is my favourite in the exhibit, the spectacular sea life mosaic.

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The phone photo really doesn’t do it justice. It is quite large in person. Looks like the octopus is battling a lobster-like creature. Here’s a close up of the octopus, made of many tiny tiles.

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This must have taken a long, long time to make. I imagine the artisan(s) taking a step back after the last tile was put into place, and feeling incredible joy and satisfaction when they saw what they have created.

I was also surprised by the survival of the many frescoes, like this one, of seafood.

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Intrigued by the sculpture’s very intricate hairstyle.

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Figs and bread carbonized in the eruption.

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There was also a video projection showing the eruption, with this wide-eyed statue in front of it. Looked to me like it was frozen in terror.

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Mike went on this trip with my sister and me, and he hadn’t been to other parts of the museum for a while, so we also toured the dinosaur galleries and the biodiversity gallery. There was an exhibit of the new dinosaur discovery! And! This is a 3-D printed model!

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Wendiceratops pinhornensis, named after the Canadian fossil hunter, Wendy Sloboda, who discovered it in Alberta, Canada :)

In the biodiversity gallery I was hoping to find a display of fungi. I’ve been to this part of the museum many times, but I thought maybe I’ve always missed it. Finally I found it, replicas in the Boreal Forest section, I think, as well as a drawer of dried mushrooms that were difficult to tell what they actually looked like before they were picked. I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t a larger display of more species of fungi and mushrooms, but this is still nice :)

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So that was the end of our adventure to the ROM. I hope you will get a chance to visit if you’re ever in the neighbourhood! :D I’m looking forward to finding out what next summer’s feature exhibition will be! Maybe it will be on the diversity of mushrooms and fungi! :D One can always dream… (I once saw a course at a local university titled “Mushrooms: Lords of the Dark Earth”. I so wanted to take the course but it wasn’t being offered anymore… anyway.)

Hope everyone is having a good week!

 

 

leucocoprinus birnbaumii

That is the very uncommon name of a very common yellow houseplant mushroom :D

According to Wiki, it is also called “flowerpot parasol” or “plantpot dapperling”. Very pretty names. One started growing in our spider plant!

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When we first spotted it it was very tiny, maybe quarter of an inch tall.

Then a few days later we noticed the cap completely open. It was still tiny, about half an inch tall.

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This is a better picture from Mike.

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We took these pictures at night. The next morning we found the mushroom already wilted :(

Have you had these mushrooms in your plants? According to this helpful site, it does not hurt the houseplants, and it’s not harmful they’re eaten. So maybe not so great when there are young children and pets.

Which reminds me, maybe some mushrooms are out already in the park. I should go out for walks sometimes and start looking :D

Hope you have a happy Sunday and a good week!

 

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