happy food

Good morn­ing! :D

I woke up bright and ear­ly one day for work, and while mak­ing a sand­wich to take to work I saw that the bread slices came pre-dent­ed with smiles…

… I could­n’t help it but to give it some but­tery eyes for a pho­to :D

Lat­er in the week we went to a birth­day par­ty for a girl who was turn­ing four. The cup­cakes are so very delight­ful! (Though sad­ly I have for­got­ten where the cup­cakes were from…)

We cut them in quar­ters so each per­son can try a few dif­fer­ent flavours.  I must say that my favourites were rasp­ber­ry lemon and red velvet.

Hope your day is filled with small delights!

 

 

behold — a wall of yarn!

I have my very own colour-coor­di­nat­ed wall of yarn! So excit­ed XD

This past week­end Mike and I com­plete­ly reor­ga­nized our apart­ment to make room for more work sur­faces. And yes, to con­tain my ever spread­ing “crafty cor­ner”. I used to have yarn in bins and bags all over the apart­ment, beside the couch and under the bed and stacked against the wall. But now it’s all in one place! :D These shelv­ing units that the yarn is in at the moment were orig­i­nal­ly our book­shelves. We moved all our books onto new book­shelves in our bedroom.

Fil­bert the Choco­cat is in yarn heav­en right now :D

Here’s anoth­er view of it from a dif­fer­ent angle… I’m so proud!

 

Sad­ly, the yarn is not going to stay this way for very long. It’s just not prac­ti­cal to stack yarn on top of one anoth­er like that; I’d have an avalanche of yarn every time I rum­mage through the shelves (“would that be a dream or a night­mare?” Mike mus­es). So I’m going to find the cheap­est bins pos­si­ble to fit into those shelves to hold the yarn. But for now it’s pret­ty to look at!

I par­tic­u­lar­ly enjoy all the dif­fer­ent shades of white/beige yarn together.

 

In the process I also learned that I have a huge amount of blue yarn. (near­ly three full shelves!)

 

Quite a bit of grey and black…

 

A healthy amount of green and red/pink…

 

 

And a bit low on yel­low, peach, and purple.

I’ve also put my spi­der plant, wed­ding bou­quet, ter­rar­i­um and jar of seashells on top of the wall of yarn :D

My oth­er ter­rar­i­um sits on one of the book­shelves in the wall of books in the bed­room. It makes me happy :)

And we also made room for a small stu­dio space — no more sewing and paint­ing on the din­ner table! :D 

The space where I kept all the art sup­plies before was a bit of a dis­as­ter. I had pile and pile of things at the foot of the util­i­ty shelf, and things on the shelves are always falling over. So over the week­end I’ve got­ten rid of a lot of things and put things that I don’t use on a reg­u­lar basis in bins and box­es. I used to think that art sup­plies need to be out in the open as much as pos­si­ble so every­thing is eas­i­ly acces­si­ble. But now I’ve learned that it’s eas­i­er to dust a box than it is to dust between sheets of hand­made paper and bot­tles of paint. If I real­ly need­ed the hand­made paper or the paint it’s not hard to open a box to get it.

Mike also got a new six feet long desk, which he is rather hap­py about. Now he has enough room to draw at his desk, rather than hav­ing to hunch over the cof­fee table.

It’s real­ly fun­ny how it works. The apart­ment did­n’t get any big­ger but we got more space just mov­ing stuff around. I guess over the past few years of liv­ing in it we learned how we can use this space more effec­tive­ly to suit the work that we do.

We did a lot of work this week­end; the only fur­ni­ture we did­n’t move was the bed. And still a lot of fin­ish­ing and vac­u­um­ing to do, but every­thing is pret­ty much orga­nized and I’m feel­ing more moti­vat­ed than before. Not real­ly about any­thing in par­tic­u­lar, just gen­er­al­ly more moti­vat­ed and ener­gized. It’s fun­ny what our sur­round­ings can do to our moods.

Hope you have a great start to the week! :D

 

sunday video: once again

Came across this video yes­ter­day. I’ve nev­er seen some­thing quite like this before, with mul­ti­ple expo­sures and lay­ers of washed-out colours and imageries. I thought it was quite beau­ti­ful, and it would be fit­ting for a relax­ing Sunday.

 

 

Hope you’re hav­ing a good weekend!

 

 

 

favourite things friday

Best favourite thing this week — home­made ice cream with­out a machine, with­out shak­ing, but with con­densed milk! Con­densed milk has got to be one of my favourite foods. My friend Annie point­ed me to the recipe on Kevin and Aman­da and I can’t wait to try it :D

 

Sec­ond best thing I came across this week — home­made “Febreze”! Made with fab­ric soft­en­er and bak­ing soda, plus water. Also a must-try! From Fake-It-Fru­gal.

 

Aren’t these adorable? Per­fect for a back-to-school gift. How-to on Scis­sors Paper Wok.

 

Oooh look! A sim­i­lar method of image trans­fer as my recy­cling bin kalei­do­scope, but used on glass votive hold­ers, with old pho­tos! How-to on Inspired Ideas.

 

Anoth­er styl­ish men shirt refash­ion from Cot­ton & Curls. I actu­al­ly have this one cut out already, with one of Mike’s old white dress shirt, will post results once I get around to sewing it togeth­er! :D

 

This is bril­liant! And pret­ty self-explana­to­ry. Make mini pom poms with a fork from The Bak­er’s Twine. (But of course one could just use reg­u­lar yarn.)

 

Came across some great ways to reuse mason jars this week. One that I like very much is the mason jar herb gar­den from Weep­ing Cher­ries. Like a ter­rar­i­um, and edi­ble! :D

 

This would be great for a young per­son going off to col­lege, I think! Mason jar sewing kit, from Say Yes! to Hobo­ken.

 

Very cool-look­ing way to turn mason jars into porce­lain-like con­tain­ers — with hot glue and spray paint! From Pure & Noble.

 

Very com­pre­hen­sive tuto­ri­als to make dif­fer­ent flow­ers with crepe paper from the Martha web­site — it demon­strates how to make every­thing from petals to sta­mens to leaves! In the pho­to­graph they look so realistic!

 

This is very neat — fold an enve­lope with a heart-shape piece of paper! Per­fect for dai­ly love notes to hide in lunch bags. From Forty Weeks and then Some.

 

I’ve been look­ing for this for the favourite things posts, and final­ly spot­ted it on Pin­ter­est. I know that I first saw it in a Martha Stew­art Liv­ing mag­a­zine, but I can’t seem to find any link for it. But any­way, the pho­tos explains very well how it works, and the cab­bage prints look quite amaz­ing! Some­thing to try one day.

 

A dain­ty lace hair­pin from McLaugh­lin Designs. I love the colour of the one pictured.

 

The way that this archi­tect uses space is inspir­ing. He actu­al­ly looks pret­ty com­fort­able in his 78 square-foot apart­ment — check out the video tour on Cur­bly! And I kind of envy how he does­n’t have a lot of stuff. Even the thought of mov­ing now would make me cringe, because we’ve got so much stuff… not so much stuff we buy, but gifts, things I make, things I col­lect from the beach or the park. But before I got mar­ried my pos­ses­sions were pret­ty stream­lined too because of lack of space. My first apart­ment was about 100 square-feet. It did have a bath­room, and a clos­et, but no kitchen, just a microwave and a bar fridge. I had a pull-out couch which takes up pret­ty much all of the apart­ment when fold­ed out into a bed. I would have to fold it back into a couch every morn­ing. It was also on the top floor of a 3‑story build­ing with­out an air con­di­tion­er so it got real­ly, real­ly hot in the sum­mer. I lived there dur­ing the heat wave of 2005, and I moved out after a year. Not real­ly because of the size of the place (I actu­al­ly quite liked it; in my sis­ter’s words, it was rather quaint), but most­ly because the heat was pret­ty unbear­able and it was kind of lone­ly to live by myself. Any­way, I digress…

 

Final­ly, thank you very much for all the feed­back about the favourite things posts! I ini­tial­ly start­ed record­ing my favourite things so I can keep track of projects I want to try one day, or ideas that inspire me. But I’m real­ly hap­py that vis­i­tors to this blog enjoy these posts as much as I do, and that they feel inspired by these ideas and find them help­ful too! Thank you so much for your encour­age­ment and kind words!

Have a great week­end, every­one! :D

zoo visit :D

I’ve been want­i­ng to vis­it the zoo at High Park for a while. I thought it would be more like a farm, with lla­mas and cows and rab­bits, which would be cool, but it’s actu­al­ly got a lot of ani­mals that we don’t usu­al­ly see! (Oooh, and the zoo is free, so it would be a great place to vis­it if you’re ever in the city! :D)

But first, here’s a duck. Kind of an inter­est­ing-look­ing duck. He looks pret­ty pleas­ant in the pic­ture, but he (or she?) was actu­al­ly hiss­ing at all the peo­ple in front of him at the moment. 

I was real­ly look­ing for­ward to see­ing the lla­mas. They’re one of my favourite ani­mals. I once saw a girl hold­ing a lla­ma plush but I was too shy to ask her where she got it from. I lat­er searched online and I think it’s one of the Webkinz. Any­way, I digress. Here’s a lla­ma stand­ing in the pond, cool­ing off, I guess. 

There was a friend­ly young lla­ma com­ing close to the fence. 

Then we saw a large, majes­tic bison.

Some wal­la­bies. They look like rab­bits from far away.

Some mou­flon sheep, grazing.

A yak, eat­ing and swing­ing its long fur­ry tail.

A young yak, drinking. 

 A turkey, its tail all fanned out like a peacock.

And in a near­by space, an emu, chill­ing in the shade. Can’t see it in this pic­ture but it looked like it had a sil­ly grin on its face.

And final­ly, an ani­mal that’s freely roam­ing in the zoo — a nin­ja squirrel.

Not a white squir­rel, but it has a white belly.

I like vis­it­ing zoos. But when I saw kids bang­ing on the fence and tried to scare the ani­mals and I thought, where does that come from!? What did the ani­mals do to you? What if there isn’t a fence and you’re in the wild? Would you want to be yelling and threat­en­ing the ani­mals then? But I thought it was­n’t my place to say anything.

Indeed, when I was stand­ing in front of the bison I real­ized that there was mere­ly a 30 feet dis­tance and a wire fence between me and the bison. What would hap­pen if the fence isn’t there? Would I ever be able to see this ani­mal out­side of a book or web page with­out this fence? I’m a bit of a scaredy cat so I would­n’t real­ly go near a large, free-roam­ing ani­mal, not even a large dog. But is it worth it for the ani­mal to sac­ri­fice its life­time of free­dom just so that humans can go see it? I heard that ani­mals often live longer in cap­tiv­i­ty, hav­ing a sta­ble sup­ply of food, being tak­en care of if sick, and with­out their nat­ur­al preda­tors around. But I won­der if they’d pre­fer a long, seden­tary life, or a rel­a­tive­ly short­er life with all the dan­gers but also free­dom and dif­fer­ent things to see and expe­ri­ence. Does it make a dif­fer­ence to them?

Part of me thinks it’s sad that the ani­mals are caged. But when I saw that the lla­mas and mou­flon sheep just kept chew­ing their food calm­ly and stared back blankly at the kids who were try­ing to scare them, part of me laughed and thought, the ani­mals might be think­ing that we humans are caged and look at how enter­tain­ing­ly sil­ly they are!

I still don’t have answers to these ques­tions, and I still like to go to the zoo, because I think ani­mals are so beau­ti­ful and fas­ci­nat­ing. I imag­ine that when I meet my Mak­er in Heav­en one day I’ll be able to befriend these ani­mals, with­out fences and fears.

Have a love­ly evening, everyone!

 

 

 

watercolour stripes

Because acrylic paint does­n’t come off clothes.

So I thought, why not paint a shirt with it? I had a cou­ple of plain white t‑shirts that I’m wait­ing to refash­ion, and one day I saw some­one wear­ing a shirt with water­coloury stripes, so I thought I could just dilute acrylic paint and make it look all watery. It was acrylic paint from a dol­lar store too :D

Oh yes, and it was one of those Hanes white under­shirts. I cut off the col­lar and the sleeve cuffs before paint­ing it.

Because the paint is so watery, it soaks in all at once as soon as the brush touch­es the shirt, mak­ing it all blotchy-look­ing. I even­tu­al­ly devel­oped a method of paint­ing the shirt with a line of plain water first, then went over with paint. It made the paint flow better.

I let the paint­ed shirt dry and then put it direct­ly into the wash. Did­n’t rinse it or iron it to heat-set the colour. I guess I just had a feel­ing that the acrylic is going to stay put.

And I’m glad I was right, because I real­ly had no idea. But the paint did­n’t run in the wash, it did­n’t colour any of the oth­er stuff blue, it did­n’t even fade much (it just looked lighter when it was dried) Suc­cess! :D

The shorts were also refash­ioned from a pair of hand-me-down jeans that did­n’t look very good on me. I just cut off most of the pant legs and rolled the cuffs. I haven’t worn shorts since I was in grade school. Not that I did­n’t like them, I just did­n’t buy new ones after I out­grew the ones from child­hood. But because this sum­mer is warmer than usu­al I thought about mak­ing some shorts. Mike said they make me look taller :D

I real­ized that I cut too much off the col­lar, so I had to take in the shoul­ders and sleeves after­ward. But it made a real­ly cool chevron pat­tern :D

Hope you’ve had a good start to the week! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sunday video: bridge

I love the rac­coon in this video. Espe­cial­ly the way he waves. And also with the rab­bit, the way the small­er ani­mals look at each oth­er in the end and paused, con­front­ed by choices.

The moral of the sto­ry, accord­ing to the artist, “revolves around how there are often dis­agree­ments or com­pet­ing paths in life, and the pos­si­ble results of pride, obsti­nance, and com­pro­mise”. The results, I think, have a lot to do with the choic­es we make some­times. Par­tic­u­lar­ly, whether we choose to act out of kind­ness or spite­ful­ness, love or stub­born pride. I’m for­ev­er learn­ing to pause and ask myself that before I act or react.

Enjoy! :D

 

 

 

 

 

voices

 

I saw this in the brick­work of a path­way in a school I have been work­ing at for the summer. 

It lays among oth­er engraved bricks with spon­sors’ names, I believe, and con­grat­u­la­to­ry words for the school. I have been work­ing there on and off since June, so I could­n’t believe that I did­n’t see this engrav­ing until this past Thurs­day, my final week there. But I am so grate­ful that I did­n’t leave with­out ever notic­ing it.

May the voic­es of girls and women be nur­tured and val­ued in every cor­ner of the world one day.

 

 

favourite things friday

“What’s the deal with Pin­ter­est?” I’ve been won­der­ing for a while. A few blogs I fol­low talked about it. A few blog­gers I fol­lowed start­ed a Pin­ter­est account. I knew that I was­n’t about to sign up for yet anoth­er thing that I feel com­pelled to check every­day, so I was­n’t even inter­est­ed in check­ing it out. But one day I had some time to kill so I went on it.

Oh boy.

Pin­ter­est is a dan­ger­ous place.

As  a result, this week’s favourite things is rather long… I tried to restrain myself, and I’ve left out quite a few things… so these have got to be my favourite of the favourite this week! (I hope it’s not too over­whelm­ing to read…) 

 

Nev­er thought of weav­ing shrink plas­tic before! Bril­liant! Here’s a tuto­r­i­al by A Bird in the Hand Art.

 

 

These are like Jack and Casey — except made of felt instead of cro­chet! :D Post­ed on Check­out Girl, for the book Kids’ Crafter­noon Sewing.

 

A very styl­ish ver­sion of glue batik! I think I’ll try it on a plain white tee I sal­vaged from  my old clos­et at my par­ents’. Tuto­r­i­al on Ucre­ate.

 

Pom pom Angry Birds and green pigs! XD Now one can set up a game of real life Angry Birds in min­utes! How-to on Make and Takes.

 

I don’t do much embroi­dery but these are the cutest embroi­dered sheep ever! And very clev­er­ly made too. From Just Crafty Enough.

 

Mak­ing image trans­fer with sand paper and wax crayons — what a nov­el idea! (well, to me any­way.) From Alphamom.

 

I’ve turned men’s shirt into skirts before but only with an elas­tic waist, nev­er this ele­gant. Maybe Mike has a shirt he does­n’t want… :P Tuto­r­i­al and dia­grams on Bur­da Style.

 

Hang­ing pic­tures with pop tabs! Appar­ent­ly it’s been test­ed and it works. Handy! From Apart­ment Ther­a­py.

 

A springy coin purse made with a plas­tic con­tain­er lid and fab­ric! Such a clever idea and makes a great gift! How-to on Idle Hand Emp­ty Brain.

 

Make your own chalk­board paint! I’m aller­gic to chalk dust so I can’t ever have this in my home :( or my hands will break out in eczema and be cov­ered in a gazil­lion tiny blis­ters *shud­der* (actu­al­ly, same thing would hap­pen if I pet a cat, but I do it any­way >_<)… any­way, it is a great idea nonethe­less for those who can enjoy chalk, and cus­tom coloured too! Good things come from the Martha web­site.

 

Real life ver­sion of anoth­er inter­net meme — the Nyan Cat! :D Down­load tem­plate from ddi7i4d on Deviant Art! 

 

I love these illu­mi­nat­ed pho­to neg­a­tives. Mak­ing them into votive hold­ers makes a great way to appre­ci­ate them. How-to on Pho­to­jo­jo.

 

Isn’t this the cutest tiny tooth plush ever? Pat­tern gen­er­ous­ly shared by Knit­ting Pony.

 

These gor­geous mums are appar­ent­ly very sim­ple to make, by cut­ting minia­ture marsh­mal­lows in half and dip­ping in coloured sug­ar! From iVil­lage.

 

 

A while ago a friend asked me if I have an ice cream mak­er — I don’t, but it does­n’t seem too dif­fi­cult to make ice cream with ingre­di­ents and tools eas­i­ly found at home! I love projects with read­i­ly avail­able mate­ri­als. Learn how to make ice cream in a zip lock bag at 2 Lit­tle Hooli­gans!

 

 

When I trav­el I always dread the lug­gage con­vey­or belt. What if my suit­case does­n’t come? What if anoth­er per­son has the same suit­case and mine got tak­en by some­one else? What if I miss it as it goes by? What if I can’t get it off the con­vey­or belt and I get dragged along and stum­ble and fall on the con­vey­or belt? And so on. With these suit­case eyes I sup­pose I can at least solve the “what if anoth­er per­son has the same suit­case” prob­lem. One less thing to wor­ry about :D Via Swiss­miss.

 

Spot­ted on Craft, this jel­ly fish one caught my eye. Though it’s sold already. But many more fas­ci­nat­ing tiny worlds in tiny bot­tles over at the Tiny World in a Bot­tle Etsy Shop :D

 

Final­ly, I’ll end with a tremen­dous­ly inspir­ing sto­ry of a young woman advo­cat­ing for a real­i­ty check by cre­at­ing a real life Bar­bie doll. It baf­fles me that after all the efforts on chal­leng­ing the cul­tur­al con­cept of “ide­al beau­ty” and wom­en’s roles in soci­ety, lit­tle girls still aspire to look like Bar­bie. I was in fact quite scared when a 4 year-old told me that she was going to wave her mag­ic wand and turn the whole city into “Bar­bie World”. Good thing her mag­ic wand was only imag­i­nary *whew*. I do hope that as she grows up she finds role mod­els more wor­thy of her admi­ra­tion and imi­ta­tion than a plas­tic pup­pet of cor­po­rate prof­it-mak­ing. Any­way, I invite you to read the orig­i­nal arti­cle and the young wom­an’s sto­ry, but here are a cou­ple of facts from the arti­cle that stood out to me, things that I find sad­ly laughable:

- If Bar­bie were an actu­al women, she would be 5′9″ tall, have a 39″ bust, an 18″ waist, 33″ hips and a size 3 shoe.

- Slum­ber Par­ty Bar­bie was intro­duced in 1965 and came with a bath­room scale per­ma­nent­ly set at 110 lbs with a book enti­tled “How to Lose Weight” with direc­tions inside stat­ing sim­ply “Don’t eat.”

 

I’m off to scoop myself some ice cream :P

Hap­py Fri­day, friends!

 

 

new book! :D

 

Mike and I were wan­der­ing around Queen St. again on Sun­day. The Lomog­ra­phy Gallery Store was a place we’ve been want­i­ng to vis­it for a while (Y’all know how I like tak­ing pho­tos, espe­cial­ly wonky ones! :D). We looked at all the cam­eras and then I came across this book, Lomog­ra­phy City Guide Hong Kong! A full-colour book filled with lomo­graph­ic pho­tographs and descrip­tions of pho­to-wor­thy places in Hong Kong (but where in Hong Kong is not pho­to-wor­thy, I won­der?). Some places I’ve vis­it­ed and some I’ve nev­er heard of — so intrigu­ing, and brought up so many fond memories.

It did­n’t have a price on it but I just assumed that I could­n’t afford it — for all 272 full-colour pages sewn togeth­er plus two rib­bon book­marks — it was a pret­ty fan­cy book! I mean, the Lomog­ra­phy shop was cool and all, but it looked like one of those “if you have to ask about the price you can’t afford it” kind of place…

So I put it down, think­ing I might be able to find it cheap­er on Amazon.

Turned out that Ama­zon did­n’t have it.

Instead, I found the book in the Lomog­ra­phy online store, and guess how much it’s list­ed for?

$19.90.

I mean, that’s a pret­ty good deal, right? 272-page, full-colour, in both Eng­lish and Chinese?

So the next day after work I went back to the store and made a bee line to the cof­fee table where the book was dis­played, and brought it to the check­out counter with a big sil­ly grin on my face :D

Yay, new book! :D

Not sure when I’ll vis­it Hong Kong again but next time I go I’ll knew where to visit!

 

Have a great day, everyone!