weekend wonders

 

This past weekend we went to quaint and picturesque Glen Williams for our friends’ wedding. The weather was beautiful, and the church has a magnificent garden with a river flowing behind the backyard. 

 

 

Inside the church, pails of hydrangeas tied to the pews. (the pails of hydrangeas were later cleverly play the role of centerpieces at the reception :D)

 

Afternoon tea after the ceremony, with iced tea and pink lemonade in very cool-looking dispensers!

 

Then we began the scenic drive to the reception on the farm. But before we left we encountered the fuzziest caterpillar trying to cross the driveway. We walked with it, partly to cheer it on (okay, I cheered it on) but mainly to stand around it so cars wouldn’t run it over. It made it safely to the grass :D

 

There was a lot of time to kill between ceremony and reception, so I brought my school readings (what a killjoy I am >_<) and tried to find a cafe to sit down. But the only cafe-like place was a bakery with a front porch. So we asked if we could sit on the front porch and the owner said it was okay. That was where we met the fluffiest cat. He put his front paws on the side table where we put our teas as though he was going to drink from one of the cups. While I was delighted by our mutual fondness of tea, I wasn’t so ready to share my tea with him. He was growling in protest.

 

Finally we arrived at the farm where the reception was held, and the air smelled of lavender.

 

There were lot of apple trees and lots of small apples fallen on the ground. And my sister reminded me that those flowers behind me are Autumn Joy :D

There were old books and bunting and tea lights in mason jars, which together looked like they came out of a magazine spread featuring a handmade wedding! But more than the sum of its parts, it was the thoughtfulness and creativity and the deep love between two wonderful people that made the wedding such a heartfelt celebration. I felt very privileged to be a part of it.

 

Wishing you a lovely weekend ahead! 

 

 

pearls and rose

 

Went to a friend’s wedding on the weekend :D and I made a pearls and rose necklace to go with this crochet dress and this refashioned cardigan

(I actually really like this photo, if I must say so myself. I was trying to take a picture of myself looking all stylish but failing, so this picture is actually one of me laughing at my silly attempts. These shots of me laughing at myself often turn out well.)

I’ve been fascinated by those off-centered flower necklaces for a while, so I thought I’d try to make one with stuff I have at home. In case you’re interested, here’s how I made it.

This is how it looks on the back, which kind of explains how it’s pieced together.

 

I used:

A bit of red felt

Some pearl beads

Some thread and needle for stringing the beads

1 jump ring

1 large safety pin

1 small safety pin

1 necklace chain with clasps

Hot glue gun

 

1. I strung some plastic pearl beads on a piece of thread. It’s about 11″ long altogether, but it’s not because I have a specific measurement in mind. It has to be that length because I ran out of beads. I tied the ends together and then secured the knot with some white glue and set it aside to dry.

2. I made a rose with a 1/4″ strip of red felt, using a method similar to this tutorial (scroll down to “no-sew ribbon rosette tutorial”), hot gluing it as I rolled, and hot glued a pearl bead in the center. I then attached the larger safety pin (making sure the opening is facing away from the rose) to the back of the rose by hot gluing a small piece of felt on it.

3. I folded the string of pearl beads in half, then attached a jump ring to one end, and attached the safety pin with the rose to the other end.

4. I put the one end of the necklace chain on the safety pin attached to the rose (the end without the spring opening). I then hook the end with the spring opening onto the jump ring that I placed on the string of pearl beads in step 3. (It sounds more complex than it actually is… hopefully this will make sense if you refer to the photo above.)

5. And then the necklace was too long, so I put a safety pin through the chain to make it shorter (the pin actually goes through two individual links on opposite sides), like so…

 

So, to put it on, I just unclasp the chain from the jump ring on the string of pearls.

More weekend photos to follow! Hope your weekend was re-energizing with the crisp air of fall!

 

 

this week’s awesome finds!

 

Haven’t opened my Google Reader (where I bookmark all the blogs I follow) for about a week, and today I was terrified to see that there were 200 unread items! >_< 

I ended up not reading any of it, just clicked the “mark all as read” button while looking away… I kind of feel bad not reading them — what if I miss something really important? (apparently, as Mike told me, it’s called the “fear of missing out” effect — FOMO for short) But I just can’t spend the time to read all that right now. “And isn’t the point of bookmarking the ability to easily access blogs one likes and to read them whenever one likes?” I told myself.

But anyway, here are a few awesome things I’ve bookmarked this week! :D

 

Ever eaten an acorn? I’ve never even seen the inside of an acorn, let alone eat one. Lil Fish Studio opened my eye to a whole new world of acorn-eating! Would this be something you might try? (Not sure if I’ll win if I have to fight over them with the squirrels though… especially the ninja ones :P)

 

Dress-up paper cats from one of my favourites — Made by Joel! Coloured and colourable templates free for download! I love Joel’s creativity and style as much as I love his generosity. So much work goes into designing and he shares so much of that for free. 

 

Awesomeness! Six crafts kids (and kids-at-heart) can make in a coffee shop! Also in awe of the illustration :O From What I Made.

 

Turn a board book into chalk book! How-to on WhipUp.

 

No more crying over spilled drink — watch them turn into butterflies instead! What a marvelous concept. Via Inspire Me Now.

 

Have a happy weekend, everyone!

 

 

okra is a thing of beauty

 

Finally got around to use the okra I bought a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t really in the mood of making anything, but the okras were going slimy on the outside :S They were going to be wasted if I don’t use them, so I forced myself to dig out the paint.

And it turned out to be quite an invigorating experience! (Making things always makes me feel better, it’s just a matter of getting started…) The patterns that the okras made were simply delightful… 

 

They remind me of jellyfish :D

My first sheet of prints was a bit blotchy. The second sheet was a bit more consistent.

 

Then there were the more angular prints of a different okra, compared with the more rounded ones.

I’m going to make something with these later… will keep you posted!

Have a happy Wednesday! :D

 

 

 

awesome finds of the week (guest post)

 Hello everyone! I’ve talked about a possible guest post coming up… and here it is! Written by my awesome husband Mike, who is a talented graphic designer dedicated to making the world a more awesome place through arts and design. He’s compiled quite a few awesome things from the past weeks to share with you, hope you enjoy them as much as I do! :D

 

 I’ve been following Lila Symon’s Daily Calligraphy blog for some time now. Her creative lettering and inspiring words are always clever and fun.

 

 

These paper roll portraits for Conqueror Paper by Anant Nanvare are simply breathtaking. (Speaking of Conquerer, they also commissioned a series of 5 typefaces by the ever skillful Jean Francois Porchez several years ago. Amazingly, the fonts are available for free.) via Inspire Me Now.

 

 

Doyle Partners used blue painters tape to create a larger than life cover for the New York Times magazine. The Times has a time-lapse video of the installation. via Quipsologies.

 

 

I just about fell out of my chair when I saw this. I never gave much thought to the shapes and colours of Apple’s text messaging app until now. Pure genius. How does this person not have friends? Originally posted on i am your canadian boyfriend.

 

 

This post from Fast Company was the one of the original reasons I wanted to do a guest post actually. I love everything about this. It’s bright, whimsical, and according to the article, has “a lovely fluidity to the piece, allowing it to move ever so slightly depending on movement nearby”. The structures are made from smaller ‘bricks’ constructed only out of post it notes. No glue was used in the making of these towers. More pictures here.

 

 

If towers aren’t your thing, you can always play Tetris with your sticky notes. via Quipsologies.

 

 

BlogTO (one of my favourite blogs) has a wonderful collection of old and new photo mashups of our fine city. It’s a shame there’s no pictures of the distillery district, a mashup of the working distillery of the past and today’s cafés and art galleries would have been fun. via BlogTO

 

 

Sage advice from Anna Jones of andthenshesaved.com. Anna’s blog chronicles how she went on a spending fast (and later a spending diet) and ultimately paid off $23,000 worth of debt. My favourite thing about her blog, other than all her fun pictures, is the fact that she’s not a very frugal person to begin with. Reading about her struggle to resist buying frivolous things gives me hope.

 

 

As you might have guessed, Trish and I are big Angry Birds fans. They’ve been adding a new mid-autumn festival — or mooncake festival as they call it — themed comics every day to their website. Awesome! via angrybirds.com

 

 

Lastly, since Pinterest is one of Trish’s favourite new websites, I thought I would link to a graphic design article on the creation of the Pinterest logotype. Just a glimpse into the effort that goes into seemingly simple branding projects. via The Case and Point.

Thanks for the opportunity to share some awesome finds with you all. Cheers!

 Mike

 

letter

 

You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

– Letters to a Young Poet, The Fourth Letter by Rainer Maria Rilke

 

That was a collage I made sometimes in the summer. I made it as an example to demonstrate an idea to a group, so there wasn’t much planning or composition involved as I was making it. But I quite liked it in the end. And that’s generally how I feel about making things — I’m usually happier with what I make if the process was intuitive and more or less unplanned. 

So I wanted to post this piece of collage today and was looking for a quote to go with it. Because I love quotes, and I have a number of quotes bookmarked from this blog, so I thought I’d share one of them today.

And I find this quote from Letters to a Young Poet (must read someday) particularly relevant to me today, because ever since I applied to return to school I’ve constantly question whether it’s a good idea. I’ve “returned” to school for a few times now, where will it lead this time? What credential will it give me and what will it get me in today’s job market? 

As my mind is flooded with these questions about the future I lose sight of the present, of the wealth of knowledge presented to me through the course materials, the library that is thoroughly accessible to me as a student, the instructors who are brilliant and have so much experience in the field. 

My “get it over with” attitude is making me miss out on all that learning. It’s a shame. Good thing it’s only the second week of class. I can still catch up, right?

So perhaps the part of me that likes to just get things over with and dash to the finish line can use some help from the part of me that is able to be intuitive, to proceed without a precise destination, and to be happy with being in the process.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

 

 

quick refashion

A very quick t-shirt refashion, from this idea on Craftster, which I originally spotted on Pinterest.

I also cut off the cuff of the sleeves to create a bit of a fluttering effect.

I’ve had that necklace forever. It’s always sat in the bottom of my jewelry box since as long as I could remember. I completely forgot about it until my mom asked me to look into one of my drawers at home to see if there’s anything I want to take home or throw out. I didn’t even know that it had immigrated with us to Canada. And I don’t really know where I got it from…

The beads are made of glass, I think. It’s kind of heavy and I haven’t found an outfit to wear it with yet. Makes a good accessory for the photo-shoot though :D

Have a happy Wednesday!

 

 

mid-autumn at home

 

That’s me, quite a few moons ago, celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong. (And that’s my cousin on the left. Since he blocked his own face with his lantern-wielding hands I won’t blur out his head :P) I think they actually let us play with candle-lit lanterns back then :S

 

And here I am many moons later, with safe, battery-operated lanterns (and Mike’s interpretive moon-gazing — sadly, our balcony doesn’t face the moon).

It’s Mid-Autumn Festival today! :D 

Kind of like Halloween here in some ways. Instead of going around the neighbourhood dressed in costumes kids would bring their lanterns and play on the street with their friends. An important part of the tradition is moon-gazing, but I only remember everyone sitting around folding tables on the rooftop eating pomelos and mooncakes. Not a lot of gazing but everyone had fun chatting anyway. 

And then suddenly the kids feel too old for lanterns. But they still get together for dinner with families. 

Until one really is getting old, then one gets all nostalgic and starts making lanterns and eating mooncakes around Mid-Autumn Festival.

I thought I’d share how I made the lanterns so you can celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival at home too, If you like :D Or it might come in handy if one needs a decorative lantern for other occasions. 

 

I used:

An empty plastic water bottle

2 sheets of contact paper (or clear shelf-liner), approx. 6.5″ x 8″ (one may need to adjust this depending on the size of the bottle)

Bits of different colour tissue paper (I cut them in small squares)

Battery-operated tea light (don’t use real candles with this!)

A length of yarn

A chopstick from Chinese takeout

An elastic band

Scissors

Hole puncher

Clear tape

 

First, peel off the backing of one sheet of the contact paper and place it on the table sticky side up. Arrange bits of tissue paper on it until the contact paper is mostly covered. Then peel off the backing of the other sheet of contact paper and place it directly on the contact paper with tissue paper on it, matching all sides (to the best of one’s ability — it can be tricky to match all sides perfectly. It can always be trimmed later).

Basically, the bits of tissue paper are sandwiched between 2 sheets of contact paper. 

Folding the contact paper sandwich in half lengthwise, make even cuts across, leaving about an inch of space at the top.

(Apologies for the grimy-looking sample I have in the pictures — I made the sample a month ago while running a craft workshop, and as it sat on my work table all kinds of dust got stuck to the sticky edges of the contact paper :S)

Once all the cuts are made it looks like this, with uncut one inch spaces at both the top and the bottom of the sheet.

Now cut off the top, dome part of the plastic bottle.

Wrap the long side of the contact paper around the top of the plastic bottle. Tear a length of clear tape, place half over where the two ends of the contact paper meet, and fold the other half over the rim so it sticks to the inside of the bottle.

Place more tape around the rim of the bottle in the same manner to secure it.

Then, turn the bottle upside down so the bottom is facing up. Bring the edge of the contact paper down so it lines up with the bottom of the bottle. Tear a length of clear tape, place half over where the two ends of the contact paper meet, and fold the over half over so it sticks to the bottom of the bottle. Place more tape around the bottom of the bottle in the same manner to secure it.

(Again, sorry about the close-up picture of dust >_<)

Punch one hole close to the rim of the bottle, and another hole directly opposite from the first hole.

Tie a length of yarn to the holes. I made bows so they look a bit like tassels.

Wrap the elastic band around the end of the chopstick, so when the lantern is hanging on it it won’t slip off.

Ta-da! Pretty simple eh. Now we just have to wait for nightfall…

 

And… it’s night time! :D

 

The Chinese people associate Mid-Autumn Festival with family reunion or gathering. Because the word for “round” in Chinese is phonetically similar to the word for “reunion”. (That’s why moon cakes have whole egg yolks in them — because they’re round. Chinese people are all about symbolism.)

And so today as I enjoy mooncake and walk around with my lantern I’m grateful for family. I’m so very grateful for the man who always supports me enthusiastically, from deciding to go back to school for the nth time to standing around on the balcony with a lit-up plastic water bottle. And I’m thinking of my family whom I don’t see everyday. We may not be able to celebrate together but I pray that they would be safe, and their hearts content with joy as they gaze at the same full moon across the distance. 

And I wish you good health and happiness for the fall season!

 

 

all my love

The story needed to be told well.” — Chip East
(Source: PhotojojoLife)

 

I wanted to share something I read in church today, and I hope it brings you encouragement as it did for me.

 

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.
Jack Layton (1950–2011)

 

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
– 1 Corinthians 13: 7–8 

 

All my love,
Trish 

 

this week’s awesome finds

Fall is in the air! :D

Lattice cookies by Not Martha, perfect over hot apple cider. (With step-by-step photo tutorial on how to make the lattice!)

 

Mini cherry pies baked in a muffin tin! Isn’t that cute? Recipe on Sew Sweet Stitches.

 

An altered book project! Thinking of my librarian friend who loves fall decorations… How-to on Creations by Kara

 

Candy corn clops! XD Free pattern on Gleeful Things.

And now for things less seasonal but equally awesome…

 

Stylish earrings made with those ubiquitous buttons/pins from I Could Make That. Now I have a way to make good use of my button collection :D

 

Custom picture frames made with kraft paper tape (or as my high school art teacher calls it, butcher’s tape — actually, I haven’t heard anyone else call it butcher’s tape. Maybe she made it up. She says it in a really funny way too, makes me smile every time I see butcher’s tape). How-to on Oh Happy Day.

 

The process of this is so cool — it starts with a plain black tee and with alternating layers of bleach and dye it became a whole universe! From Unicorn Parade.

 

A lovely thimble necklace by Maize on Instructables. I’ve got to make one of these if I ever come across an extra thimble. I only have one and need it for sewing…

And finally, from one of my favourite plush designers…

A tiny sushi from Mochimochi Land! Isn’t this ever cute! There is no pattern for this but I have to show it to you. I could just look at it all day and marvel at the craftsmanship of it. I’ve made crocheted sushi but the knit version just has a different kind of smooth and refined look to it. I wish I could knit better… And it doesn’t end here, check this out…

 

A tiny edamame! Enter the caption contest before Monday and you could win the Ninjabun pattern! (I would totally try making up a haiku for this if I could knit!)

Have a happy weekend, everyone! :D