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)


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


pocket friends :D

anything animals

Had to make these any­thing ani­mals :D I just love the seed stitch sweater! I even used both the sweater colour and fur colour on the cat’s arms, so they look like sweater sleeves.

AND! Tomor­row is the long-await­ed TTC Kni­ta­long! I will def­i­nite­ly report back on the day of fun and yarn! :D

Hope you have a won­der­ful, crafty week­end, everyone!


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.



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!


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.


This is a bet­ter pic­ture from Mike.


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!