Sunday, October 31, 2010

Prima Ballerina...

Maybe not. 

But pretend is fun.  I'm about 8 feet too tall to be a ballerina, or any other graceful sort of being, so Halloween is a good time to use the old imagination.  This year it was a toss-up between crazy bird and (crazy) ballerina. In the end, the desire to make and wear a tutu won-out.  There were lots of great costumes out there and I had good fun with some girly friends... all-in-all, a good pre-Halloween Saturday night.  Love and thanks for good times to my lovely syrup-pouring, spatula-wielding Jenna and our cutesy cave woman sidekick, Amberley.  
XO gals.
And now, for the real trick or treaters and teeny tiny ballerinas...
P.S. - Yes, yes that is some new and very much darker than before hair.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Last of the Fall Lovelies

I love the color in these last few pics from the round I took in the park last Sunday, it's such a pretty palette.  Makes me wanna paint.  Good thing too, because painting is underway here and definitely dominating the schedule for today... at least until later when it's time to go out and play dress-up.  Which means deciding on a costume: silly, pretty or both?  I suppose I had all month to figure that out...
Happy Halloween!


Friday, October 29, 2010

14 & Counting...

This morning it's off to celebrate the birthday of one of my very favorite people, Ariel.  Cupcakes, coffee and presents (of course).  Now that's a good way to start the weekend.
Happy Birthday Lil' Goose - Love ya to the moon!
(Apparently I am not clever with disguising gifts when I wrap.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

London Fog

Usually I am attracted to 'one-off' teacups/saucers... the lonely ones that sit in thrift stores, passed over for being singletons.  Most of my collection are hand-painted and signed or authenticated, but occasionally I fall in love with something a little more mass-produced.  I kind of happened on the set in the photo above.  I snagged up the cups and saucers because they reminded me of a set my Grandma has... then, I was back at the same thrift shop several months later and couldn't believe it when I found the matching plates and bowls.  All in all, 16 pieces of china for somewhere in the neighbourhood of four dollars.  Sometimes it's just meant to be.
Today is another grey sky, soggy kind of day.  It's making me think tea, for sure.  Inspired by my gal, Meg, I'm gonna make it a London Fog today though.  
Here's my take on it:

London Fog
2 Earl Grey tea bags (or loose black tea w/infuser)
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup vanilla flavoured syrup
1 cup steamed skim milk
Boil or heat the water and pour it over the tea in a mug.  Let it steep while you steam the milk (I use the steamer on my espresso maker, but I'm sure this works the old fashioned way too).  Remove the tea bags, add the shot of syrup and the steamed milk.  Stir and top with remaining milk foam.  
(Some people prefer the mix to be stronger on the tea, in which case you could use 1 1/2 cups of tea and 1/2 cup steamed milk.)

I've never strayed from the original take, but I'm sure you could come up with some delicious alternatives using other flavours of syrup and tea.  Maybe gingerbread flavour with a dash of cinnamon on the foam?  Mmm.
Such a super cozy fall beverage.  

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Park Photos

Sunday afternoon was spent on a countryside adventure with a mug of hot chocolate and my camera in-hand.  I visited Stanley Park and then carried on my way for a long drive out in the valley.  Perfect way to enjoy a lazy, cloudy fall day...
The rest of the weekend was filled with painting, lots of yard work (raking and icky window washing) and time relaxing with friends.  Do you like how I sandwiched the un-fun between the fun?!  
More painting on the docket today, preceded by a latte of course... 
Good plan for a grey sky day. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Weekend Wearables

Break it on Down:
Everything I chose is from the Polyvore site, except:
3. Splendid Sepia Cardigan (ModCloth)
4. Antoine Watcheau Necklace (ModCloth)

This is exactly the kind of gear I'm looking forward to for the weekend. 
Cozy.  Yes, please.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Skirt Project - Unveiled.

Cute & Comfy

Sooo, the skirts.  Done, photographed and some have even made it into the shop already.  Hopefully by the end of this weekend they will all be listed and good to go!  I decided to forgo the extras with this round - lace, buttons, fancy bits... for a couple of reasons.  First, this skirt makes a great basic - it goes with just about anything.  Meaning, the shirt/shoes/accessories its paired with should be heard loud and clear.  Second, this is a pattern of mine that I will do custom orders on -  so the details can be worked out per order as far as trim, applique, fabric type, size, color... you name it.
Yesterday presented a few set-backs... a wonky canvas frame and chunky varnish to name a few.  C'est la vie.  On to conquer those issues today and hopefully decide on the subject matter for another painting.  Hmm, and maybe a little computer-geekiness this evening to drum up a few new blog buttons.
And I'm off.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fly Me to the Moon

"Attersee" - Gustav Klimt

"The Artist's Wife" - Egon Schiele

After visiting MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, these pieces by two of my favorite artists have become my 'go-to' pieces when I'm looking for a little inspiration.  Seeing works by these artists and those housed at the Kunsthistorisches (Museum of Art History) was completely surreal and honestly one of my favorite memories.  I think Vienna turned out to be a great choice for my sisterly travel-mate too... She was pretty much in her element visiting Freud's apartment.  Maybe it was that we were on week 6 abroad, or that we fit in amongst the many other tall people, but we both agreed that we could easily call Vienna home.
Think I'll peruse some trip pics for ideas... now that my brain is in travel la-la-land.
Then, it's on to the prepping, priming, painting rhythm of the day.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bird Brain.

And today.  The inner workings of my head-space.  Here's the breakdown:

-I miss summer.  I really, truly do love fall, but it's at that turning point where there just aren't any real bits of summer left.  Okay, honestly the problem is that my plants are officially done for the season - so my inner gardener is in mourning.
-I'm having an (external) identity crisis: blonde or redhead?  Haha!  Trivial, but I just can't decide which way to go, maybe a bit of both?  Or maybe I'll post pics and let people vote?!
-Newness = Nervousness, that's just the way I am.  This afternoon I'm starting a contract job working through a local agency to help one of their clients develop her skills as a photographer and to market her art.  And most importantly, we're going to have good fun running around taking pictures and enjoying the process.  I'm totally looking forward to it!  And whaddya know?  Now I've talked down my nerves.  Good then, carry on.
-I have two of four art projects prepped and ready to roll on the dining room table.  Now I need some inspiration... or excessive amounts of coffee.

It's a jungle up there...
Or perhaps a 'zoo' would be a better comparison.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Grin and Bare 'Em

Almost time to bust out the tights... almost.  Until I absolutely can't stand the chill, it's bare legs for this girl.  There are so many, many months of layered weather coming up, I just wanna make it last...  

Here's the details on the outfit:
Dress - Urban Outfitters
Jacket - Wet Seal
Sunglasses - Wet Seal
Earrings - I think F21?!
Moccasins - Minnetonka

Alright, time to get on with the Monday-ness!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

10 Funny Habits & Guilty Pleasures...

For today, I'm playin' along with Elsie.  Here's 10 of my (many) quirks:
1. Whenever I set the volume, temperature, etc, I will only set it to an even number or one ending in '5'.
2. I sing in my car.  And I mean, I really give 'er.  I am that lunatic you pull up next to at a red light who is just belting out whatever is on the iPod (never, never the radio).  I rarely sing outside my car and you should probably all be thankful for that.
3. I hate messes to the point that I can't function when things aren't clean.  BUT I love organized clutter.  A perfect example of this is my collection of books - they are stacked everywhere in my living room, but the stacks make sense (to me, at least).  

4. There's a guilty pleasure for ya: buying books.  Ugh.  I cannot stop, there is just something so great about a beautiful new book.  I realize there are many arguments to be made against purchasing books... libraries and e-books just don't do it for me.
5. Before I run, I always brush my teeth (can't explain this one) and make sure my shoes are tied to the same degree of tightness.  This is a process.  I actually get up, try them out and then re-tie them if they do not feel PERFECT.  
6. High heels.  I love them.  There is a rule around here that I'm not allowed to wear them out (apparently I am tall enough without)... soooo, sometimes I wear them around the house just to get my fill.  Sad.

7. I can't stand it if my car is dirty.  I don't care if every other car on the road is covered in mud, but you better believe I'm going slowly insane if my car is even dusty.  This is a tough one for me since I visit my parent's farm quite often.  I went to the car wash 3x last week (which I am not proud of).  And when I clean my car, it's the works - right down to the Armor All wipe-down of the interior and the tire foam... Oh my.
8. I don't know just how guilty these foods are, but I can't say 'no' to SUSHI (ever!), Thai food, peas, anything baked with cinnamon, the combination of appies and red wine.  

9. Things I always love and am drawn to... using my passport, lace, pearls, my front porch, puttering in the garden, dresses, boots, houses with attics, vintage and antiques, being outdoors and friends who like to laugh.

10. Most of the time I stay up way, way, way too late - especially if it's a beautiful day out (work after dark, right?!).  The only way to make up for the odd hours and lack of proper sleep is copious amounts of coffee.  Which is probably a serious enough guilty pleasure to be called #11.

There you have it.  Anyone else want to divulge?  It would really make me feel better if you did...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Here's a visual list I made of cozy things to layer on today... I'm feeling fall chilly and it calls for some serious comfort wear.  I think it's also calling for a cup of gingerbread tea and mmm, maybe toast with cinnamon on it.  Short of hiding under a blanket all day (not so conducive to work), that sounds about as warm and snuggly as I'm gonna get.
Off to find my stripe-y socks!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Skirt Project.

Here's the pattern I created last week to do-up in a variety of different lengths, colors, and fabrics.  And this one, this one I think will stay with me.  I just love the color and texture of this vintage fabric for fall- it's very military-esque.  I'm thinking about adding some vintage brass buttons to it - Ya?  It will probably require wearing a pair of tights, or at least some big tall boots pretty soon, but for now while the sun is warm, I'll be running around in this allll week.  Well, it's a small town, so maybe not all week.  Reduce, re-use, recycle, re-wear?!
Kidding people.
This week is silly busy around here with things to do.  It's got to be heavy on the art, photographing, posting, blog touch-ups and a little leaner on the sewing... throw in a totally unrelated bunch of 'else' (which I will get into sometime later) and it's just going to fly by.  Today will be the day to finish the last three skirts, do the errands, off to yoga class tonight and then probably back to work after dark.  
Think I will need a Jonny's run to pull this off.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


You can check out the Pheasant Feather Necklace in the Moonlight Dreaming Treasury on Etsy here.  In other shop news... I'm kissin' the pillows goodbye!  They will have a new home at Bloom.  Meg will be opening soon and then I'll do a feature on her business with lots of pretty photos.
Off to Thanksgiving breakfast... Yup, that's a thing.  And I am thankful for the fact that this breakfast does not involve turkey.  It does involve some really great cousin-friends and hmm, hoping for some coffee too.
Happy Saturday!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pre-Thanks Thursday.

...Just a peek at how things are looking around here these days.  This year I am refusing to rake until every last leaf has fallen.  I will say it's because I don't want to have to do it 3 times (like last year), but it's really because I love how it looks and the crunchy sound my shoes make all the way up and down the driveway.  (I'm also easily distracted by bright lights and shiny objects.)
Thanksgiving is looming and with it comes the mayhem of trying to fit in as many of the (SIX) gatherings as possible.  Oy.  Love you people, but I'm in pain at the thought of all that food.  Maybe I could just load up on one Thanksgiving item per gathering and by the end of the weekend that would be the equivalent of one huge meal?!  Hmm.
Good news is that sister and sister's boyfriend will be around for the long weekend.  Spending time with Kimmy Neutron takes priority over all the other muddle of the weekend, because I sure do love that sister of mine!  She is cute as a button.
Today I will finish one or more of the skirts that are cut and pressed and waiting to be put together... possibly visit the G'ma and G'pa with sister... make it to a 1:30 meeting... and, and, and.  Yeah, the list is long, so here I go!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Forgiveness Rock Record

Here's the deal.  Tonight I will not be at the Broken Social Scene concert.  I will however be at Tiki's 1st birthday party.  This means that I really do love Tiki, because BSS has been a constant in my playlist since at least 2002.  Yikes, that's a long relationship we've had.  It's been members in and members out, but I always end up loving the sound they produce.  'All to All' has a great sound, but (as a wise and very musically inclined friend once told me - ahem, David) you HAVE TO listen to it in the context it was intended.  In other words, hear-out the entire album.  I'm neutral on this particular video but as far as the actual album goes, I'm tempted to say that if you are at all into indie rock, you'll be a fan.  
In solidarity, I'll be having an all BSS day, musically speaking.  Good background for phase two of the skirt project.  So far, it's cut in four colors and there's another four on stand-by.  Each one will have some unique aspect to it like applique, ruffles, etc.  Cute, comfy, high-waisted, and totally flattering - I think I'll probably have to make one for me too!
First things first though.  And by that, I am obviously talking about coffee.  
P.S. - Happy Happy to wee Tiki on her number one birthday.
-Check-out the Rococo Blue & Lace Dress in the I'm Blue Treasury on Etsy and the Dark Chocolate High-Waist Skirt in the Shimmy Shimmy Cocoa Puff Treasury.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oh, to be a Yogi

Sooo, tonight I made my first attempt at an actual yoga class (vs. Rodney Yee and I in my living room).  And I LOVED IT.  Great instructor, great pace, great group of spandex-clad ladies to chat with.  The only issue remaining is my struggle with sweating in hundred dollar pants.  It just seems wrong, even if that is exactly what they're made for.  Am I the only one with this hang-up?  Everyone else seems perfectly content to become more bend-y in their pricey pantaloons.  Geez.  
Here's my fav pair for yoga:  Lululemon's Gather & Crow Crop (first picture above). They fit more snugly than most and have a great drawstring at the bottom, ya know, just in case you wanna hike 'em up a bit.  Now if I can get over this little mental hurdle, I would also like to add the Run Fast Crop (second picture) to my workout gear.  I love everything about them and I'm pretty sure they would make me run faster :)  And, really, it is getting too cold to be trotting around town in the shorts.
G'night, off to dream-land I go.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Art & Errands

This is a piece I did on a rainy day a couple of weeks ago.  It will maybe go up in my house, or maybe in Megan's shop instead (too bright, Peg?).  There was absolutely no agenda here, except to have some good fun painting.  Pardon the funny angle of the photo.  The piece is acrylic on canvas and comes in at a hefty 48" x 36." 
This Monday will be known as Day of the Errands.  I've got a small truckload of art project supplies to pick up for a commission piece and what feels like a million other things to do before gettin' down to actual doing today.  But hey, it's got to get done before I can be productive anyway.  I think I'll be logging some serious online time tonight too, getting a bunch of stuff ready to post in my shop... which I really haven't been doing regularly since pre-wedding season (bridesmaid dress orders galore).  It's about time.
And I'm off.
--- OH, and a big HAPPY HAPPY shifty-fifth birthday to my Pa today!

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Joy Formidable

Here's a tune I've been revisiting this week... For some reason I love the video.  Maybe it's because I think Ritzy Bryan is just so cute in it.  She has nailed that Brit Rock look that is so different than my own (and that I could never ever pull-off).  Oh, that hair.
Once again, the project I was working on morphed on me and became something totally different.  Yesterday's tutu-inspired skirt is complete... and has no resemblance to a tutu other than it is super mini and involves some tulle.  BUT, it's better.  I changed the whole plan, piece by piece as I went along.  Now it's soft, pretty and more aligned with the vintage-inspired look that I alwaysalwaysalways return to.  Pics soon.  
My sunny hammock + sketchbook break yesterday turned out to be productive (perhaps because I left the mojito out of the scene).  I drew a new design for a mini.  If it all works out, it will appear in my shop in several colors - still one-off since each skirt will include vintage lace.  
So Friday will include some more cut, cut, sew.  I am looking forward to heading stateside with my lady, Meg, tomorrow though.  She will be opening a floral/gift boutique SOON and we've got some shop related errands to go on... as well as some wardrobe related ones.  Fun.

Happy Weekend!