Wednesday, December 7, 2011

victory over ornament crafting

Do you ever have one of those crafting days when everything that could go wrong, feels like it is, in fact, going wrong?

Yeah, me too!

Yes, you could make this item too, but will you? Because let's face it, you need to be a little bit crazy to try this at home.Double Happiness: an exercise in patience  

My latest Etsy order (Double Happiness Crane Ornament) has been a real tongue stuck out, mind baffling challenge because it’s not like I don’t know how to make this item. In fact, I’m much better at it now than I was last year, or even 2 years ago.

And yet…

The little buggers had me cursing under my breath several times over the past few days. In fact, since the work requires a fair amount of patience and delicacy, I actually had to stop and let the item be for fear of breaking it, because I was getting impatient and too rough.

[Mental image you don’t need: Marya making these ornaments involves, always, a lot of tongue sticking out, cursing, and contorted body angles as I struggle to open the wings inside the ornament without breaking the glass or tearing the crane. It also involves a some sore fingers as I wrap metal in a very tight space, while tentatively holding the glass, balanced in a makeshift frame].

Anyways, I am happy to report, after much ado, that in the end, Marya has triumphed over the ornament once again with nary a broken ball or torn crane in sight. I fought the ornament, and the ornament didn’t win! Yeah, I feel a little bit like an ornament hero…


In other, less painful crafting news… look what I created last night with paper and washi tape (and ribbon and metal and a bead and buttons and… :


Thursday, December 1, 2011

#decdaily + #reverb11

Always a bit of a glutton for punishment, read: I like to take on WAY too many projects, I decided to partake in the big DecemberDaily project. But I can ever just do things the standard way. Oh no, I have to make it either more complicated or add an eclectic twist to it.

6x6 DecDaily album

So what did I add, you ask? Well I fused Reverb11 into the action. Which in my sick little mind, is supposed to mean less work because I'll have journaling prompts.

Reverb11 journal prompt: Did you try something new this year?

But oh no... what was the theory quickly evolved into me doing 2 things instead of 1.

See? Do you? Now I've journaled twice! 
 But that's ok because I give myself permission to add or remove things as I go! So that's fine. And if you look at some people's books, you'd be overwhelmed by the amount of work that has gone into the artistic creation of them. Not that this isn't great. I mean seriously, some of the albums out there are just amazing. But me, I'm keeping things simpler artistically speaking!

See? Easy Peasy DecDaily!
I'm looking forward to playing around with a holiday themed look but with year end reflections. Should be fun!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

comtemplating kitchens

 Kitchen looks that I love:

Photo Sources: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4

As you can tell, there's a bit of a theme going here. What can I say, I just love white kitchens. I know some people aren't big fans of the white and prefer darker looks, but for me the kitchen should be bright and cheery. It's the one place in the home where I absoluty want a fresh, clean look.

Even more exciting!? Guess what I'm getting in our new kitchen that has me all excited: a spice drawer. 

 This isn't the exact drawer, but you get the idea! I'm excited. Yessiree! And you would be too if you saw my (our) spice collection.

Monday, November 21, 2011

35 by 35 updates

Ok, this is where my 35 by 35 list is at the moment. As you can see, it's looking good in some areas, not so in others!

1.Complete the One Little Word project

One Little Word 2011: In Progress
2. Learn how to use Photoshop Elements
3. Get better at shallow Depth of Field photography
4. Sort through my digital photos & edit/store them better (at least those up to Jan 2011)
5. Learn to bake bread
6. Make my own incense
7. Learn 5 new origami folds for my ornaments

new butterfly


8. Learn how to make 3 new origami card products
9. Expand my etsy shop

It’s not a huge expansion but I’ve started doing stationery which sells relatively well!

10. Build a crafty partnership with a friend
11. Watch my middle brother get married

April 30th 2011
12. Travel to Sweden to visit with my lovely exchange student sister, Camilla (because it’s LONG overdue that I visit her)

Ok, I went to Mexico instead… but with a dear friend!

13. Nurture creativity in my artsy-crafty friends (this is sort of unmeasurable, I know, but I mean just to keep encouraging them and bolstering by being attentive and support of their creative leaps of faith).

See various blog posts…

14. Get back into shape (work on knee injury and return to Nia or Yoga)

I tried the Insanity workout... it's insane enough that I think it counts! 

15. Make my own soap for 2012 (meaning make enough, cure it, and have enough of it ready for 2012)
16. Work on art journaling (try to create 1 art journal page/week)

in progress, doing well but not blogging about it regularly. started the every day art journal challenge for June

17. Make my own organic vanilla extract from organic vanilla beans and organic vodka

Done, and currently steeping

18. Discover 12 new musicians I love (1 a month?)—I’m open to suggestions here people!

19. Read 12 non post colonial literary novels! No pulp. Nothing about India. (Ok, I can read those too, but 
they are above and beyond the 12 non po-co novels)
  • 1.Yoga Bitch
  • 2.Faery Tale
  • 3.Sweetness in the Belly
  • 4.Lullabyes for Criminals
  • 5.Bluebeard's Machine
  • 6.Pilgrim
  • 7.Lamb
  • 8.The Help
  • 9.The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

20. Read the news at least once a week. It’s shameful that I don’t and I can’t let my irritation of current affairs continue to be an excuse for wilful ignorance!
21. Visit the Montreal art museums as least 3 times in the upcoming year

22. See at least 5 live shows (small, big, music, comedy, theatre… doesn’t matter)
  • Sarah McLachlan,
  • Straight No Chaser,
  • Great Big Sea (in July)
  • Craig Ferguson: Just for Laughs festival
  • Montreal Burlesque Festival
  • The Tea Party

23. Drag my butt out to at least 1 Moth inspired Montreal storytelling slam!
24. Go on 1 shopping trip to the states for fabric. Yes, you read that right!
25. Buy & learn a new tarot deck
bought and working on learning the Thoth tarot 

26. Finish our wedding scrapbook
27. Learn how to make my own veggie Vietnamese spring rolls and peanut sauce
28. List all the table linens Viv and I made in my etsy shop
29. Do something special to celebrate 5 years with my partner
30. Read Anna Karenina

31. Learn to cook 3 Indian & 3 2 Ethiopian dishes:

1=Ethiopian Spicy Tomato Lentil Stew

32. Finish painting my very first large painting/canvas

I'm halfway there and have been for a very long time! 

33. Learn how to paint with a palette knife
34. Go cross country skiing
35. Remember to make more time for my husband, my marriage, and enjoying the every day moments of our life together

chevrons? really?

I have a confession: I hate chevrons.

Seriously. I don't get them and yet, they're EVERYWHERE on the decor/craft related interwebs. Headboards, chairs, and walls, oh my lord... ick! Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the geometric. I love me the squares and circles. But I hate the whole chevron wall thing. Nothing makes my inner decor loving self groan more over a bad fad than chevrons.

It's true. And I'm sorry if that offends you. It's me, not you. I swear!

But then my friend did something that made me change my mind, a little bit. Just this once chevrons might actually work for me and I'm not just saying that because she's my friend and I'm proud of her amazing work (cause if I was just saying it, I wouldn't bother blogging about it, you know)?

She made this and I love it:

Chevron Chaise (in progress)

Paul doesn't know it yet, but I'm trying to figure out how I can make it work in our house. I suspect it might be too classy for the design look we're going for. Would it be wrong of me to revamp my entire home decor scheme in a particular room, just so I can snag this piece?

Friday, November 18, 2011

funky house numbers for suburban homes

These days it's all about the house.

I feel a little like I'm becoming obessessed with home decor, but that's ok because I not so secretly love it!

This is what our house looks like as of last weekend:

our house is a very, very, very fine house, with 1 cat in the yard...

A bit of a pisser was the discovery that no one told us about the brick house number upgrade. Who knew, apparently you have to buy your own house numbers when you build a house. But I like to think of it as an opportunity to funkify (yes, that is a word in my world) our suburban home.

I'm thinking of something like:

Image sources : image1, image2, image3, image4, image5, image6
And before you point out that door number 6 (the lime green 5) is just bound to get stolen by rascaly hoodlums who steal things like garden gnomes:

Gnome Hoodlums!
Rest assured that I've thought of that and would cement that sucker down!!! I ain't no fool who is gonna let another bratty drunken 20 year steal my garden props!

Ok, back to my wiser, older, home owning self!

What do you think of the numbers? Which one would you pick? I'm partial to options 2 and 6. What say you?

Monday, October 17, 2011

we have walls!

Things on the house front are starting to come along. We are starting to have walls! It’s exciting and a wee bit scary too. Our original delivery date was then end of June, but it’s looking like it might be a bit earlier.


In other news, life has been busy with Thanksgiving family gatherings, house shopping, and running around on various other errands. It actually feels a bit crazy. I keep thinking that things will become quieter soon, but it never seems to slow down. As I’m typing this, I can’t help wondering where my weekend went.

When I was younger my mom told me that time feels faster as you get older and if this is any indication of things to come, I’m going to be 60 before I know it! Or at least, that’s what it feels like right now.

Friday, October 14, 2011


i [heart] kirigami

Oh it feels like a long time since I've ventured into this space but I just had to share these beauties:

I admit it, I'm in paper lust. I love kirigami but don't that I personally would have the patience to create it! But isn't it just lovely?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

mexican pottery paintings

While on our Mexican adventures, Karen and I took some time off to relax (I know, seems unlikely with all our adventures… but it did happen). What did yours truly do?



And yes, it was grand. I didn’t realize how much artsy stuff had become a part of my daily routine until I spent almost a week with nothing artsy in my life!


So while I wouldn’t say it was the best part of the vacation, it was a very much needed artsy time out in a week of adrenaline rushing adventures.

Monday, September 26, 2011

art scrapbook page

On our honeymoon we visited the Picasso museum in Antibes. It was pretty neat actually.


I appreciate Picasso’s art, but am not a big fan. The museum however, featured his sculptures, which I’d never seen before and they were pretty amazing.

One thing that I learned from this project? I gotta get me more circle punches cause I can’t cut a proper circle if my life depended on it!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

playa, amigas, & cervezas

So I’m still trying to edit, resize, & process my photos from my recent Mexican adventures!

One of the funnier moments of our trip was the fact that when we were in town, the salesmen kept telling us that they’d been waiting for us and if we were looking for Mexican boyfriends…

So without further ado, meet our new Mexican boyfriend (we’re sharing cause he’s generous with the tequila):


We swung on swings, while drinking dos cervezas:

Got cozy with the local wildlife:

Lizards in our room, mischievous monkey, dogs that call like it is (Marya is a big suck for sad face mammals), and tarantulas.

Jumped for joy for fun vacations!:

Climbed some ancient ruins:


Appreciated local sights and swam in bat caves!

So many adventures in such little time, I can’t even begin to capture them all. It’s funny how a trip that was spur of the moment, and totally not financially the best decision, was exactly what I needed in the end. It was like the stars aligned to give me what I needed before I even knew I needed it. I went into buying the trip 2.5 weeks beforehand, thinking it would be a fun girl vacation, which it was, but even more so because my biological father died less than a week before I left for vacation and it helped me have time away to process things (and distract myself from things when it all got a little too heavy).

Sometimes life is funny the way it works out and the way the universe sort of steps in and takes care of you, even when you don’t know you need it!

When all else fails, a little beach time goes a long way!

Monday, September 19, 2011

new things that i’m making

Victorian inspired stationery:


And the mock up of a new notebook/journal/mini-book that I’m working on with an Asian inspired look to it:


With a cover and a bit more work, I think I’m going to like this project. But I definitely need to dig up some wire benders, cause I’m going to kill my hands otherwise. Plus, with wire benders I could make the loops more circular, which would make the pages turn more smoothly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

saying goodbye, me, you, and them

This week past has been busy. I moved my little brother out.

kev moving

As you can see, it was a tight move. He’d accumulated more in the past year than he’d thought. But we managed to squeeze it all into a Honda Civic, so that’s good.

Saying goodbye was a little bittersweet. I’m happy for him and wish him the best, but I’m sad and worried and all that momma bear kind of stuff. And yes, yet again, I totally cried.

I think I have come to the conclusion that in my 30s I have turned into a crier. And no one gets me crying easier than my little brothers’ do. Not that they do it intentionally.

Paul and I were joking, once I stopped crying, that I’m totally going to be the mom who walks away, unable to hug or talk during goodbyes, because I’ve been reduced to tears and am just trying to find a private place where I can just break down without witnesses. And then Paul will have to always be there to say “don’t worry, they’re tears of happiness.” Because apparently, even though I’m a crier, I can’t cry in public and feel the need to flee the scene as soon as I start welling up.

It’s ridiculous but completely beyond my control. I am the weepiest of them all! (in my family)

But in other news… look how pretty things are in that area of Ontario!

 IMG_1214 IMG_1216

These were taken just outside our hotel in Smith Falls, which isn’t as nice as Perth… so all in all, Kev’s moved to a quaint corner of Ontario. It’ll be a shock after big city living, I’m sure. But it’s pretty to visit. I might just have to go again!

It really was a weekend of goodbyes though because we returned only to say goodbye to a good friend who is moving out to Nova Scotia to do an internship for a year. It makes me happy to see these people going off to live their lives, follow their dreams, and have amazing adventures, but also sad because they will be missed.

In more exciting news though…

I’m heading to Mexico (Mayan Riviera) in 2 weeks! Woo hoo! Even better? It’s a girl’s trip with this lovely lady:


I’m very excited to get some quality Karen and Marya time in. We have never gone on vacation together (I’ve gone to visit her in England twice and she’s come to Montreal twice but we’ve never gone somewhere new together). I can’t wait to see what mischief and adventures we create together!


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