keep calm and carry moss

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I bought these beautiful vintage shadow box pendants from Etsy shop youarenotthebossofme to put moss in :D It turned out beautifully, I’m so pleased. Looks like there are a few more of these pendants for sale, pop by the shop if you’re interested in making something similar! I bought the moss from the model-making section of my local art store. Or one could put in small stones or yarn or tiny shells or whatever one finds meaningful to carry around.

I’ve always felt more connected to water-related analogies — like the river, or the sea, going with the flow, fill the gaps, like what Bruce Lee said,

You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

One can’t make a dent in water, it can’t be hurt. 

But I’ve been feeling drawn to moss lately. Grounded and tenacious. It can be pulled out of the ground and be damaged, but it comes back again, reaching and covering even further grounds. Its roots spread wider than eyes can see. It re-emerges always after winter frosts.

So maybe it’s about acknowledging the hurt rather than saying to myself that things don’t or shouldn’t hurt. And maybe it’s about standing my ground rather than filling whatever gaps or needs others put before me, trying to be everything to everyone. 

A bit of reflection as I enter another year in my life! :D Another year wiser, hopefully.

Thanks for visiting today! 

 

macro fun

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There was an awesome sale at Photojojo after the holidays, so I bought this handy macro band for my phone! I’ve had it for a while, but just started taking pictures with it this week.

I bought a couple of pairs of lovely lucite earrings from Leeti Lovendale on Etsy. The earrings in the picture above are 5mm across. (there also appears to be a hair on my lens :S) (also, check out the shop! The lucite pieces used in their jewelry-making have an interesting story :D)

We’ve got a bit of a snow storm here a couple of days ago, and our windows were all frosted in the morning.

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I’m quite impressed with this simple (and somewhat silly-looking) macro lens. Stay tuned for more macro pictures to come :D

Wishing everyone a happy weekend!

 

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.

tolkien

 

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!

 

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!

 

hagelslag :D

Sprinkles are one of Mike’s very favourite things.

One day he came across this video about breakfasts from different parts of the world, and when it got to the part about the Netherlands, he thought, “I’ve got to get some of that!”

So with a little research he found out that hagelslag is sold at Dutch Dreams, our local ice cream shop (and favourite place in the summer :D).

They came in a variety pack with (very cute) small boxes that looked like mini cereal boxes.

hagelslag

So we got our toasts buttered and ready. Mike tried the regular chocolate one.

milk chocolate

And I tried the fruit variety, vruchtenhagel, which I think means “fruit hail”.

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It turned out to be a bit sweeter than I would like, but I do enjoy how, unlike the sprinkles we get on cupcakes and such, these melt in the mouth! Combined with the buttery bread it reminds me of the dessert buns (i.e. pineapple buns or custard buns) at the Chinese bakery.

I think my favourite is the chocolate shavings variety.

shaved milk chocolate

Hope your week is filled with small things that make you smile :)

 

 

 

space

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Oh my, it’s been 10 days since I last wrote >_< I must say, it’s been very busy since the beginning of November. I started a new job, and then our apartment building started undergoing some renovations, which required us to pack away and seal everything in plastic sheets and tape so that they don’t get covered in renovation dust. So then we thought, we might as well rearrange our apartment!

I like rearranging the apartment once in a while, it’s like moving into a new apartment! It’s just a lot of work that has to be done over several weeks because we’ve got jobs to go to during the day (or night) and other things to do and people to see…

But look! We were able to carve out a new work space for me over the weekend! I love the shelves above it. And I get to display one of the hand painted signs from Honest Ed’s (for 99 cents “Holiday Marshmallow Biscuits”), which commemorates not only the iconic Toronto landmark but also the day in which my dear friend and I lined up for 7 hours to buy these signs (I also have an “Acrylic Ladies Sweater” one and an “Instant Noodles” one, but I don’t have frames for them yet. I think my friend got “Fleece Shorts” and “Ankle Weights”). It was probably the most ridiculous thing I’ve done (and the whole time we were like, “oh, it looks like it’s just another hour of wait, we’ve been here for 3 (or 4, or 5) hours already, what’s another hour, we’ve spent too much time on this to turn back empty handed…” and poor Mike was waiting for us outside Honest Ed’s to go to dinner), but now we have “a piece of history of Toronto” displayed on our shelves and great stories to tell :P

And all my yarn colour-sorted and neatly tucked away in bins! For the past few years I’ve had the yarn just sitting in the shelving unit like in a yarn store (see this post about the “wall of yarn” and my initial excitement). It was nice to look at for the first month or so, but before long I had yarn spilling all over the place from the front AND the back of the shelves. So, now we don’t get to see the pretty colours of the yarn on the shelves, but they are much easier to manage.

In the meanwhile, I’m working on a sweater project that I can’t wait to finish and show you, and new items for my shop :D Stay tuned! I’ve been feeling a bit sluggish over the summer and into the fall, so I’m grateful for the energy that November brings.

Have a fabulous, energized week, everyone!

 

p.s. And if you have creature photos for the 12 Days of Woodland Creatures project, please feel free to send them my way before Wednesday, Nov. 12! I will put together a celebration post with everyone’s photos shortly after that :D

another day at the farmers market

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This time I got some black cherry tomatoes, pattypan squash, and some kale. I’ve never had any of those before. The friendly farmers gave me samples of the tomatoes and squash. They were very sweet.

Here’s what we did with the cherry tomatoes and squash — a summer salad with just some salt, pepper and sesame oil.

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I sautéed half the kale, but found it a bit too chewy. So I thought I’d try to make kale chips with the rest of them. I’ve always been intrigued by them!

I followed this recipe. It’s really rather simple. Didn’t even have to turn them over half way through baking. Came out nice and crisp!

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Mike and I devoured the entire bowl in one evening.

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And this is the drawing of the week. Treasures from the earth.

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May your week be filled with simple joys and treasures!

 

relishing summer

Stumbled upon a farmers market in the neighbourhood where I used to go to school, it even has a cafe! So I’ve made it a goal to visit when it opens every Wednesday, get some vegetables for the week, stop by the cafe (that is also part of the farmer’s market), and take some time to draw. Like I did when we were on our trip to Chicago :D I’m foreseeing a very busy September, so it’s nice to have the time to relish summer.

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Treasures from the earth! Rainbow chard — unicorns’ favourite vegetables! :D But contrary to what I thought and what the farmer seemed to be telling me, rainbow chard isn’t a species in itself, it’s actually a mix of different kinds of chard. But anyway, I’ve never had chard and it was very sweet.

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We sautéed the chard and the radish together :D

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And here’s the drawing I made at the cafe. About sharing space, sharing resources and supporting each others’ growth.

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The farmers market is in front of a church and the cafe is inside the nice courtyard of the church. I should take more pictures of it next week.

John Street Farmers Market! I highly recommend visiting if you’re in the neighbourhood :D

May your week be filled with simple joys.

 

sweet!

perler bead earrings

 

After posting about the perler bead earrings several days ago, I immediately made a pair :D They look so sweet! And so quick to make. Kind of have a lacy look to them.

It was a very small craft project but it made me really happy. There are so many things that I want to make and I post them on this blog, but I rarely make any of them.

The next day Mike and I went to Greg’s Ice Cream :D mmm crunchy malt.

Wishing everyone an awesome start to the week!

 

may flowers

Poppies in my friend’s backyard.

 

Purple stars.

 

Daisies growing out of concrete.

 

In the front yard of a house I walked by. So vibrant.

 

It had rained for a day. Raindrops on the petals.

 

Happy Tuesday! :D

 

 

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