anniversary village tour :D

 Our wedding anniversary happens to fall on a Saturday this year. To celebrate, we toured Black Creek Pioneer Village. It’s kind of like getting out of the city, and travelling to another time, even, while still being in the city and being able to go home for dinner :D 

 Dogs contributes to the family’s livelihood too. They run in the wheel and churn butter. 


 At the same time, these sheep…


… they produce wool for dyeing and spinning. This skein was dyed with onion skin.


The friendly docent said that they don’t add other things to fix the dye. Just boil it for a long time over the fire.


Finally understand what carding means…


In another house, a docent is getting the oven ready to bake some lemon biscuits. I realized that the docents weren’t pretending. They carry out chores and work in the village as though they were living there, and they chat with visitors as they come. Many things they make, like rugs, blankets, wool, wooden toys and bread, are sold in the gift shop to support the operation of the museum. The mill makes flour for the village’s use. This is fascinating. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to work as a museum docent. How would it feel at the end of the work day when they move to a different way of life?


Anyway, I digress. Here we’re in the tinsmith’s shop, where the lovely tin ceiling pieces come from.


 Gorgeous wallpaper.


The printer’s office, Mike’s favourite place.


I love old windows.


We took a lunch break at the Half Way House, with yam chips, and beer brewed on site :D


 Then we went to the dressmaker of the village.


 She demonstrated the sewing machine, but the needle was out. It stitches sideways. I like how small and simple it is. 


 We then went to the weaver’s. Rug woven with wool and strips of fabric.


Chatted with a cow. Good times.


Some wasps made themselves a home.


Flowers from the garden.


Hope your weekend was wonderful! :D Have a great start to the week! 


square-a-day update

Day 13. Inspired by a photo I saw.


Day 14, deep sea navigation.


Day 15, red bamboo. I was teaching Chinese writing with calligraphy brushes at a summer camp that day. Tried using Chinese calligraphy brush with watered down acrylic, but it didn’t work so well.


Day 16, wood and daisies. It was our 5th wedding anniversary, and my sister told me that wood and daisies are traditional gifts for a 5th anniversary. We toured Black Creek Pioneer Village that day (pictures to come! :D) and took lots of pictures of old wood houses and daisies.


Day 17, nests. Masking fluid and sewing on some beads.


Day 18, guests of the land. Used white glue instead of masking fluid. Came to the conclusion that white glue does not function well as masking fluid. I think I’ve experimented with this before. Forgot what the results were. Should have checked my own blog first :P 


Have a lovely day, everyone! :D



More on the square-a-day project:
first post
second post 






Errata in row 1 — sorry about that! 

 New pattern! :D 

Really liking those half-lace blouses that are popular nowadays. So I figure I could make my own lace :D

It’s basically a part crochet, part fabric square top (my favourite kind of shirts!) with neck shaping.

I tried to make a ginkgo leaf pattern in the lace.


The size I made is 34″ around. But it’s a simple grid-like pattern repeat so every part is easily adjustable. 

I used one skein of #10 cotton crochet thread, and a 2.5mm hook.

Lace pattern starts from the bottom.


Shell = 5 dc in 1 st

Shell in the beginning/end of row = 3 dc in 1 st


Lace (make 2)

ch 135. (for size adjustments, add or minus multiples of 6 stitches. 6 stitches equals approx. 0.75″)

Row 1 (WS): ch 3, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in each ch across. 

Row 2 (RS): ch 3, 2 dc in same st, skip 2 dc, dc in next dc, [skip 2 dc, 5 dc in next dc, skip 2 dc, dc in next dc] across, skip 2 dc, 3 dc in the top of turning ch. Turn.

Row 3: ch 5, skip shell in the beginning of row, dc in next dc, [ch 2, dc in 3rd dc of shell, ch 2, skip rest of shell, dc in next dc] across, ch 2, dc in top of turning ch. Turn.

Row 4: ch 3, 5 dc in next dc, [dc in dc, 5 dc in next dc across], dc in 3rd ch of turning ch. Turn.

Row 5: ch 5, dc in 3rd dc of shell, [skip rest of shell, ch 2, dc in next dc, ch 2, dc in 3rd dc of shell] across, ch 2, dc in top of turning ch. Turn.

Row 6: ch 3, 2 dc in same st, dc in next dc, [5 dc in next dc, dc in next dc] across, 3 dc in 3rd st of turning ch.

Row 7 — 16: crochet rows 3–6 twice, then rows 3–4

Right neck shaping:

Row 17: work as row 5 until 15 dc’s are made, dc in 3rd dc of next shell, turn.

Row 18: ch 3, skip 1st dc, dc in next dc, [shell in next dc, dc in next dc] to end, 3 dc in turning ch, turn.

Row 19: ch 5, work as row 3, dc in 3rd dc of last shell, skip rest of shell, dc in next dc, turn.

Row 20: ch 3, skip 1st dc, shell in next dc, work as row 4 to end.

Row 21: ch 5, work as row 5, dc in 3rd dc of last shell, dc in turning ch.

Row 22: repeat row 18.

Row 23: ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across. Fasten off.

Left neck shaping:

With wrong side facing, counting from the left edge, attach yarn to 3rd dc of the 8th shell.

Row 17: ch 3, skip remaining dc of shell, dc in next dc, work in pattern to end, turn.

Row 18: work in pattern until second last dc, dc in 2nd last dc, dc in last dc, turn.

Row 19: skip 1st dc, dc in 3rd dc of 1st shell, continue in pattern to end, turn.

Row 20: work in pattern, end with dc in turning ch, turn.

Row 21: ch 3, dc in 3rd dc of 1st shell, continue in pattern to end, turn.

Row 22: work in pattern, end with dc in turning ch, turn.

Row 23: ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across. Fasten off. 


Repeat from beginning for the other piece.


With right sides together, sew shoulder seams together. 

With right side facing, work a row of sc evenly across each sleeve edge by crocheting 2 sc in each row.

With right side facing, attach yarn to a stitch in the centre of neckline and sl st in every st around neckline.

Slightly block or gently press the piece so it lies flat.


Now the sewing begins! 

Determine total length of blouse, or how long you want your blouse to be.

Fold crocheted piece in half along shoulder seams and measure its height from shoulder to bottom of piece. 

Subtract height of crocheted piece from total length of blouse = length of fabric needed.

Measure width of crocheted piece from sleeve edge to sleeve edge = width of fabric needed.

Add 1/2″ seam allowance on all sides.

Cut 2 pieces of fabric to measurement.


With the sewing machine, I zigzag stitched around all sides on both fabric to minimize fraying.

With right sides together, centre crocheted piece on fabric along top edge. Pin bottom row of crocheted piece to the top edge of one piece of fabric, leaving the 1/2″ seam allowance on fabric, like so…


Close up of pinning…


Using small and close-together running stitches, hand-sew fabric and crochet piece together along the stitches between the dc row and the first shells row (where I placed the pins in the photo above).

Then machine-sew along the same line with large stitches, like so.


Repeat with the other side of the crochet piece and the other piece of fabric.

Press seam allowance downward (see photo below).

For the length of the armholes, I measured from top of shoulder to mid chest. Alternatively, one could measure a sweater that fits well from top of shoulder to underarm to get the measurement. Mark where the armhole ends on the fabric. Then sew each side seam up to that mark, like so…


Press side seams open. Then sew a V‑shape around the bottom of each arm hole, with the seam allowance of the fabric wrapping around the edge of the crochet piece. Back stitch a couple of times at the bottom of the V, across the side seam. Like so…


Press and sew hem. And we’re all done! :D


Feel free to drop me a note if you want any clarification!

Have a wonderful Thursday! :D




square-a-day update

Day 7, replicating a leaf I picked up on the way to school last fall.


Day 8, the great escape.


Day 9, systems theory, or, “if I could write my paper in colours and shapes”.


Day 10, resilience. I made a stamp using craft foam and a bottle cap. A city rising from the sea. A recurring motif of the Wall City.


Day 11, lantern. An attempted sun print with a paper snowflake kind of paper-cutting method. But the sun wasn’t consistent enough (despite the heat) that day to make it work. Used the paper cut as a stencil instead. I like how bright the magenta and yellow are. Almost florescent and glowing.


Day 12, lantern, 2. Thought the paper cut stenciling was fun, made another one.


Happy Wednesday! :D


More on the square-a-day project:
first post 



this week’s awesome finds

I love anything with condensed milk in it. It’s one of the three ingredients in this homemade frozen yogurt! It does require an ice cream machine, but one could also make popsicles with the recipe. From Curbly.


Super cute! I’d so wear a skirt with doily pockets. Tutorial from Homemade by Jill.


Sweet bottle necklaces. To carry fairy dust, of course. Tutorial from Lana Red.


An awesome way to say hello. Polariod pop-up card, printable on Photojojo.


Bright and sweet ric rac flowers, spotted on Ucreate.


Have always been fascinated by air plants! This one is even wearable. Air plant brooch tutorial on Craft.


Have an amazing start to the week, friends!




square-a-day project

About a week ago I decided to start a painting project. To reacquaint myself with paint. I decided to paint one square (4″ x 4″ ‑ish) a day for a month (30 squares). 

Because part of my work involves facilitating art groups. People in the group work on painting projects. I work with them on the painting projects. I encourage people to paint (amongst other art things). But I don’t really paint in my own time.

I’m taking a summer course and the prof once said, “don’t ask your clients to do things you wouldn’t do yourself.”

I don’t usually call the people I work with “clients”, but that’s not the point.

The point is, I don’t paint. So I feel like a hypocrite. 

So, I was cutting canvas square for a project for the group and I came up with this square-a-day idea.

It’s a bit of discipline, but it’s fun so far. I try to paint whatever comes into mind and not give it too much thought. But usually I have an idea of what I’m going to paint ahead of time. I try to be spontaneous and accept the final product for what it is. Ideas that I try to promote in my work.

Some have titles, some don’t.

So this is the set up, on the kitchen counter. Not that I don’t have other spaces, it’s just near the sink. 


Day 1, I was glancing at my hat as I was getting ready in the morning.


Day 2, Red Wing. I was looking at a place mat leaning upside down on the kitchen counter. Reminded me of the resident red winged black bird in the nearby park.


Day 3, Ghosts. Inspired by an Instagram photo I saw. But kind of got frustrated by the way the watered down paint blotches on raw canvas. Ended up rinsing the painted canvas under the tap and finished with just a few strokes of darker blue because I couldn’t deal with it anymore.


Day 4, blending the background was pleasant.


Day 5, The Observer? Also reminds me of the humans in Moominvalley. Was just experimenting to see if wax crayon/ink scratching work on canvas.


Day 6, ce n’est pas un œuf. Thought I would try to paint from some kind of still life. In this case, an egg. 


Will keep you posted on the project! :D

Have an awesome weekend!






big waves


This sweater took a really long time, but it’s finally done :D

It’s from the latest Vogue crochet edition. I thought I had enough of a sport weight yarn to make it, but half way through I realize there was no way. The pattern just uses up so much yarn so quickly. And I couldn’t get more of the same yarn because it was likely a 1 kg mystery fiber bag I got a long time ago from Walmart or Zellers.

But wait! I have this ginormous ball of blue worsted acrylic that I got for Christmas last year (no joke, the ball of yarn was bigger than my head), I thought I’d give it a shot.

Because the yarn is now much thicker, I had to modify the pattern a bit. But that also means I can get it done quicker! :D

Still, it took weeks. And I still didn’t have enough yarn, so I had to shorten everything. Good thing I’m short.

And of course it turned out really stiff. The sleeves were especially puffy. So I tried to “block” it by ironing it at low-medium heat under a wet towel. At one point I accidentally rested the iron on a spot for too long and it looked like the acrylic nearly melted :S but it made the fiber much softer. So I tried to do the same to the entire sweater. Not sure if that’s a proper way of treating acrylic yarn (hope it doesn’t fall apart in the wash :S — can anyone tell me if I’ve just killed my new sweater?), but the drape is now much better.


Perfect day to take photos of it because it’s unseasonably cool today. But it’s a bit sad that I’ll have to wait until fall to wear it. I’ll just have to start on a summer project :D

Have a happy Wednesday!




the magical value village

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again — Value Village is a magical place.


It truly is! I have a pair of capris that I tried to turn into shorts, but then I cut too much and it was too short, so I thought I could lengthen them with some hem trimming. And I thought some vintage fabric would look cool. So I had in my head this vision of a yellow floral vintage sheet and looked through hundreds of listings on Etsy but couldn’t find anything I wanted. 

So I thought I’d make a trip to Value Village and give it a try. And it was right there, waiting for me on a hanger in the linen department…


It was perfect! Not only was it the pattern I was envisioning, it was also a ginormous king size sheet for 4.99! There are parts of it that are more yellow and parts of it more grassy green. I think I’m going to make a 1960-esque sun dress with the rest of it :D

I got so carried away trying to find a sun dress pattern I almost forgot about trimming the shorts. But here they are :D


Lovely pattern, eh?


Also from the linen department I found a pillow case made of a very light fabric with leaf patterns. I’ve always wanted a leaf pattern top :D (I used a square blouse pattern like this one.)


That’s not it. On my way out of the linen department I spotted this… *gasp*


YARN!!! It’s YARN!!! 4 skeins of this soft mottled brown/tan wool for 2.99. It kinds of look like roving, but it’s 30% wool + 70% acrylic. Don’t know what I’m going to make with it yet, but I like the colours a lot.

See? Value Village is a magical place :D


On a separate note, it was my niece Lucy’s first birthday last week and I mailed this to her…


Because she’s also known as Queen Lucy (as in Queen Lucy of Narnia). And because it might be useful for future dress-up games. I made it following this pattern. It can be quite a versatile crown for a queen, king, princess, prince, or other royalties. 

I was going to sew on some buttons, but then I thought buttons could be choking hazards. So I embroidered with some purple yarn instead. 

I don’t think Queen Lucy would mind me trying on her crown to show my blog friends.

Mike and I later got a photo her wearing it and spinning :D


Have a wonderful week, everyone!





summer cactus friends

Hello, friends.


A while ago I came across these awesome old teacups, I knew they’d go great with cacti. I made two for my cubby at my friend’s shop. Here’s the other one :D




Altogether now :D


Also tried something new and made a few headbands. 


Cubby updated! :D



Have a great weekend, everyone!