Neighbourhood stroll

Was apart­ment-hunt­ing with a friend in a near­by neigh­bour­hood. It was such a fab­u­lous day. So sun­ny but not too hot with some nice breeze. Then sud­den­ly we were greet­ed by this big, pink, fur­ry tree, which my friend called “the smoke tree”, which I thought was such a poet­ic name for a tree…

I’ve nev­er seen such a tree before. The pink “fur” was so light and soft I just want­ed to stick my face in it. (Actu­al­ly, I did stick my face in it, for a second.)

Then I saw anoth­er tree, which looked like a pine tree, but it did­n’t have pine nee­dles. I mean it had some­thing that looked like pine nee­dles but they weren’t prick­ly like pine nee­dles, they were soft like leaves. And it had pine cones but they were much small­er than reg­u­lar pine cones. I could pic­ture them being real­ly cool neck­lace charms but I for­got to check if there were any fall­en ones in the bushes.

Speak­ing of neck­lace charms, I reg­is­tered for a resin jew­el­ery work­shop next week! I’ve been want­i­ng to learn that since I was in grade 5! We were still liv­ing in Hong Kong then, and my school had *manda­to­ry* extracur­ric­u­lar class­es (uh, oxy­moron?) every oth­er Sat­ur­day (yes, we had school on Sat­ur­days). I signed up for Girl Guide and then was picked for the choir, but my friends signed up for craft, and one day they came back with these real­ly neat crys­tal-like things with seashells and stuff embed­ded in them — it was so NEAT! And I want­ed to learn to make it so BADLY! But once you signed up for some­thing you can’t change your mind so I was stuck with the choir (which I did­n’t pick) and the Girl Guide… SO! 17 years lat­er, no more choir and no more Girl Guide and I can sign up for what­ev­er the heck I want and so next week, I’m going to make resin jew­el­ery! :D

By the way, the work­shop (and many oth­er fun and afford­able craft work­shops!) is held at Wise Daugh­ters Craft Mar­ket in the Junc­tion. If you live in Toron­to or if you ever vis­it Toron­to and you like crafts and the hand­made be sure to check it out! It’s a won­der­ful place to buy art­works and crafty things cre­at­ed by local artists! I like to make half-day trips to that area because it’s also down the street from High Park which is breath­tak­ing­ly beau­ti­ful in the sum­mer, and also many sweet lit­tle shops and cafes along the way.

Have a won­der­ful Wednesday!

Thank you Mr. Postman!

Guess what Marshie got in the mail yesterday?

An Instructa­bles gift pack for win­ning the Crit­ter Con­test! :D

There were stick­ers, a batch, and a t‑shirt!

The t‑shirt did­n’t fit Marshie. So he gave it to me.

“Way to go, Marshie!” says me.

“Thank you! What a won­der­ful sur­prise,” says Marshie.

At the end I decid­ed to give the t‑shirt to Mike because he likes fun­ny t‑shirts and it fits him bet­ter, and because he’s nev­er stopped encour­ag­ing me and sup­port­ing me to make things and write just for the love of it. With­out him Marshie would­n’t have exist­ed. None of my crafts would’ve exist­ed. I would prob­a­bly still be feel­ing drained and unmotivated.

“So, thank you, Mike!” says me.


We took a field trip to a straw­ber­ry field on the week­end! It’s some­thing I haven’t done since high school, so I was real­ly look­ing for­ward to it. We got there before 8am to avoid the crowd, and it was a bit rainy so we did­n’t stay very long, but we still had lots of fun!

I was struck by how per­fect­ly shaped the straw­ber­ries were! (and I acci­den­tal­ly pulled off the unripe ones along with it… made a good pho­to but I felt kind of bad…)

Spy­ing on the strawberries…

You can see the rain­drops on Mike’s coat, and also the thorny weed in the low­er right cor­ner! Mike found that the best berries were hid­ing under those thor­ney weeds!

And of course, I made a straw­ber­ry pin to wear for the spe­cial occa­sion :D

Was plan­ning to take a close-up pic­ture of it in the straw­ber­ry bush, but did­n’t get a chance to, so I took a pic­ture at home. This straw­ber­ry thinks that liv­ing is easy with eyes closed.

I did­n’t fol­low any par­tic­u­lar pat­tern to make the straw­ber­ry pin. In fact I ran out of time at the end of the week and had to make it while tak­ing the pub­lic tran­sit. I won­dered whether I should write down the pat­tern… but I did a quick search and found quite a few cro­chet straw­ber­ry pat­terns, and I have a feel­ing that mine would­n’t be too dif­fer­ent from the oth­er pat­terns, so it might be kind of redun­dant if I write anoth­er one… But if you’re real­ly inter­est­ed let me know and I’ll write it! It’s rather sim­ple so it won’t take me too long to put it together :)

Have a sweet Monday!


A giant piz­za slice! (and pan­cake!) give away at My Paper Crane!

I like mak­ing tiny food plush, but this giant piz­za slice look so hugable, I just NEED to have it on my couch! For hug­ging! While watch­ing TV! Or to just sit beside it and cro­chet all after­noon, while drink­ing tea… sigh… So I entered the give away. I’ve nev­er won any give away, but I will try any­way… And please check out the site own­er’s oth­er food and non-food plush­es too! They’re all soooo adorable…

There’s a lot of gen­eros­i­ty in the craft­ing com­mu­ni­ty, I’ve noticed :D Lots of shar­ing of pat­terns, ideas, prod­ucts, encour­age­ment, inspi­ra­tions… it’s just a great place to be in, and I’m start­ing to look for ways to par­tic­i­pate more and per­haps make some new friends…

Hope you have a love­ly Sun­day! I will have updates about my lat­est adven­tures short­ly :D

Think… summery… thoughts…

I hope every­one enjoyed sum­mer sol­stice yes­ter­day! Today is rainy and grey, with many rainy and grey days in the fore­cast, so I thought I would write about some­thing sum­mery… like flavoured ice cubes!

A while ago I stum­bled upon this post at the Idea Room about mak­ing fresh fruit pop­si­cles, and I was so deter­mined to make them because it’s such a sim­ple yet bril­liant idea and the berries and kiwis just look so fab­u­lous in the pic­tures. There is just one prob­lem — I don’t have a pop­si­cle mold. The only thing I have that’s sim­i­lar to a pop­si­cle mold is an ice tray. So this sparked an idea of mak­ing flavoured ice cubes!

First, we made lemon ice cubes, lime ice cubes, and lemon lime ice cubes…

And when the ice melt­ed, we noticed that the lime pieces sank while the lemon pieces float­ed… how fascinating…

Then a cou­ple of weeks lat­er, my mom gave me some fresh mint from her gar­den, so we made some cucum­ber mint ice cubes! :D (That’s how I stuffed the cucum­ber slices and mint leaves into the ice tray before adding water.)

Mike likes the lemon lime bet­ter, but I pre­fer the cucum­ber mint.

I’m still going to try mak­ing the fruit pop­si­cles once I get the pop­si­cle molds. Would be per­fect after we go straw­ber­ry-pick­ing this week­end… mmm… (hope­ful­ly it won’t rain! :S)

I think the ben­e­fit of mak­ing flavoured ice cubes is that one would­n’t have to always keep lemons and such on hand and take out the chop­ping board and knife every time one wants a glass of flavoured ice water. I imag­ine that the flavour would keep well for a while (at least 2 weeks, I would think) since they’re frozen.

Friends also sug­gest­ed using apri­cots and rasp­ber­ries and oth­er fruits, but I wor­ry that the fruit juice would make the water taste like watered down juice… but worth a try, I sup­pose! Will cer­tain­ly let you know how it goes if I do try it.

I might even sub­mit this flavoured ice cube recipe to the fam­i­ly cook­book, along­side Aunt Bev’s Wild Ice Cube recipe (made with 100% tap water) ;)


Weekend montage

This week­end I final­ly got around to look through the 3 box­es of yarn some­one gen­er­ous­ly gave me — they were clean­ing out their base­ment. And I found a stack of pat­tern book­lets nes­tled in one of the box­es. They’re most­ly knit­ting books from the 80’s so I think I’m going to (sad­ly) recy­cle them because I don’t knit, but I decid­ed to keep this one:

It took me a while to fig­ure out what “Hi-Straw” is. Actu­al­ly I’m still not quite sure but I think it’s some­thing like the syn­thet­ic raf­fia that they sell at the dol­lar store. It was pub­lished in 1970. Very groovy. It has pat­terns for bags and stuff…

I actu­al­ly quite like the hexa­gon one, and was won­der­ing if it’s pos­si­ble to make it out of yarn rather than the “Hi-Straw”, but then I real­ized that it had to be made with this cir­cu­lar flower loom. It looks like they still sell the looms at craft stores. But it looks like it can also be hand­made, no?

And then, there are the cro­cheted patterns…

Whoa! Cloth­ing made with straw! And check out the rain­bow-coloured long vest too! Pret­ty awe­some-look­ing, but I don’t think it would be com­fort­able to wear… at all… But I quite like the straw hat. I think I might even make the straw hat because it’s cro­cheted. Not with the “Hi-Straw”, though. Cot­ton yarn might work bet­ter, I think.

And then I also kept this embroi­dery book because it has a pat­tern for an owl “tele­vi­sion and radio times” book on the cov­er and I quite like the design of the book itself.

And then, while lis­ten­ing to Vam­pire Week­end, we had banana pan­cakes that Mike made — with straw­ber­ry yogurt and syrup! :D

I also con­tin­ued to work on the Yeti. I’ve fin­ished all the parts for the body and now I’m work­ing on the sleeves, and then I will work on the col­lar. Moxy and Abi­ma tried to help with the mea­sur­ing but I think they got quite confused…

Might also look good as a vest I think.

And here we are, Sun­day after­noon. The weath­er has got­ten quite warm and the sky is bright. It would be hard to get a feel of it in this pic­ture but I was amazed by how close to the earth the clouds are hang­ing today. Maybe rain is coming.

Hope your week­end was lovely!

The quiche experiment

When­ev­er I think about quiche I think about the rat crea­tures in Bone.

Sun­day night (aka night before gro­cery day) we had only a few items of food left in our fridge. My com­rade (aka Mike) and I were try­ing to fig­ure out what to make for din­ner. Then I remem­ber this crust­less quiche in a cup recipe I saw on Cook­ing with My Kid. It’s like the teacup cod­dled eggs I made a while ago, but quiche! Even bet­ter! :D

(By the way, I found lots of quick and easy and real­ly clever recipes on Cook­ing with My Kid — such a wealth of ideas for every­day meals and parties/gatherings!)

So! I set out to make some quich­es for me and my com­rade, with what­ev­er I could find in our fridge, and I found:

A zuc­chi­ni! I grat­ed half of it. And cre­at­ed a mess — zuc­chi­ni shreds fly­ing everywhere.

4 eggs! Into the mix­ing bowl!

Cheese! … shred shred shred shred shred…

AND! A secret Asian ingredient…


Chopped into matchsticks.

(I have to admit, I do like Spam… espe­cial­ly in instant noo­dles with a fried egg. Kind of like a com­fort food.)

Mean­while, the last bit of milk in the car­ton added to the eggs for some Asian whisk­ing action! Oh, almost for­get — some salt and pep­per too! (I main­tain that chop­sticks are the most effec­tive tools for whisk­ing eggs.)

After mix­ing in the zuc­chi­ni, most of the cheese, and Spam, I poured the egg mix­ture into two ramekins. I decid­ed not to use cof­fee mugs as pic­tured in the recipe because I was feel­ing ner­vous about putting my cof­fee mugs into the oven… the labels on the bot­tom of the mugs only say that they’re dish­wash­er and microwave safe, not oven safe… any­ways, I felt more safe using ramekins, even though ramekins are less cute, but safe­ty is the most impor­tant rule in cooking…

OK, enough rambling…

Quich­es before they went into the oven, with cheese sprin­kled on top!

And quich­es after the oven — DONE! :D

They were actu­al­ly quite good. Very fluffy. Though they did­n’t real­ly puff up like the ones pic­tured in the recipe, my com­rade and I were quite hap­py with them.

I’m think­ing I might make them in muf­fin tins for potlucks or what­not — that would look rather cute, would­n’t it? And maybe try using spinach or broc­coli, and bacon instead of Spam, because not every­one likes spam… but I think most peo­ple like bacon.

And we end­ed the meal with puff pas­tries made by our good friend :D It was super deli­cious! We felt so blessed!

Hap­py Thursday!

Sewing is not an exact science

SO! I was talk­ing about how I was going to trans­form one of Mike’s dis­card­ed shirts into some­thing I could wear — and I’m final­ly done!

I oper­at­ed on this t‑shirt.

A large men’s t‑shirt from Mark’s.

The but­ton pan­el in the front was a bit of an issue. But I had an idea.

I first sep­a­rat­ed the front and back of the shirt, then I cut off the sleeves and the bot­tom half of the front piece.

Then I drew two lines from the shoul­der to the cen­tre point at the bot­tom edge and cut!

The but­ton pan­el is com­plete­ly out of the pic­ture now.

Then I over­lapped the two top pieces a bit in the cen­tre and pinned them in place. To make sure that it’s width is wide enough for me I used an exist­ing shirt that fits me well as a guide. I then trimmed the sides of the bot­tom half to match the width of the top half. Then I sewed the two halves togeth­er on the machine, with right sides fac­ing each other.

With right sides fac­ing each oth­er, I pinned the sewn front piece onto the back piece of the t‑shirt and kind of cut around the shape… (hence the title of this post :P)

Then I sewed the shoul­der seams and side seams togeth­er on the machine.

Turned the refash­ioned shirt right side out… moment of truth — does it fit?! (Did I ever tell you that I nev­er check gauge when I cro­chet? Appar­ent­ly I don’t use the mea­sur­ing tape much nei­ther! :P)

AND it does!

It does fit, but I think it’s kind of miss­ing some­thing… I love raw edges on t‑shirt mate­ri­als because they don’t fray and they usu­al­ly roll nice­ly, espe­cial­ly after a wash. But I’m kind of under­whelmed by the raw edges on the neck­line. It just looked like I ran­dom­ly cut apart a t‑shirt and sewed it back togeth­er… which is exact­ly what I did, but I’d like to make it more pre­sentable, if possible…

Then I remem­bered a book I bought last year, Cro­chet Adorned by Lin­da Per­mann, and I have been want­i­ng to try mak­ing some­thing from that book for a while now (actu­al­ly, I tried mak­ing some­thing but it com­plete­ly flopped). It is a won­der­ful resource for cro­cheted trims and stuff… And I found a trim pat­tern that I thought would work well with this shirt, and so I made it with cot­ton thread, machine-washed the trim once in an effort to pre-shrink it (if it does shrink, I was­n’t sure… but I made the trim longer than what I need­ed for that pur­pose) and hand-stitched it onto the neckline…

… whip-stitch­ing while rolling the raw edge under…

And then there it is! A new edge!

And a new shirt! :)

The blue and the white trim togeth­er reminds me of those blue porce­lain plates.

I still have a cou­ple of old pieces of cloth­ing that I’m look­ing for ideas to refash­ion. Refash­ion­ing makes total sense to me because I find the con­struc­tion part ther­a­peu­tic and the process of com­ing up with new ideas excit­ing, where­as I find clothes-shop­ping at the mall or even at a sec­ond-hand shop stress­ful some­times. I do like to look at clothes and get inspi­ra­tions, but I find search­ing for a spe­cif­ic thing that I like frustrating…

Any­way, when I come up with ideas for more refash­ion­ing I’ll sure­ly write and post pic­tures! Thank you for vis­it­ing and I hope your week­end was lovely!