Rockin' Around

Monday, 24 December 2012

Custom Christmas Cards!

Back in July(!), Jim and I decided we would really like to make custom Christmas cards to send out to our friends and family. We love Tanya's work for her letterpress company, Snap+Tumble so we contacted her with our idea based on this holiday tune.What Tanya came up with is so beautiful, we couldn't wait to drop them in the mail.

Our little family of two cats and two humans wish you and your loved ones a very merry holiday!

Christmas craft bug.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Good Night, Day Pattern
I've been bitten by the crafting bug. Tara-Lynn, extraordinary knitter/designer behind Good Night, Day, created a gorgeous booklet of her knitting patterns. In a weekend I completed the Simcoe Headband and started on a Meaford Cowl. What I appreciated most, as a knitter, was her helpful customization instructions with each pattern to make them to your own specifications!

Grainline whale ornaments
Next, I went absolutely crazy for Jen's Narwhal ornament pattern. I rushed out for the proper supplies and headed to the Workroom to use one of their machines (thank goodness for the Workroom!). My favorite part of making these whales had to be sewing on the sequins (though, now I know why sequined garments cost so much, it is a labour of love to sew each one on!).

Grainline Whale Pod

Jim's Sweater

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Jim's Sweater

Jim's new sweater lovingly handmade by me from the Charlie Sweater pattern. (Ravelry info here)

I'm so excited to attend this studio sale tonight! I plan on making a huge dent in my holiday shopping: Falconwright leather goods, Caitlyn's illustrations and cards, Good Night, Day knits and patterns, Fieldguided totes, scarves and calendars and Sojourn necklaces.

The biscuits that dreams are made of

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Biscuits

Whipped together these biscuits from Katie's recipe. I substituted left over thyme for the chives. This recipe is now a staple in my baking repertoire.

Biscuits

Good people.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Port Ellen, Islay, Scotland
Travel has done wonders for restoring my faith in humanity. Not that Toronto is an unfriendly place to live, but sometimes, with so many people crushed together we forget to stop and lend a hand, and protecting ourselves from unwanted attention, we rush on by. The other morning I watched a women in a crowded, rush-hour subway station ask three people ahead of me for directions, each one rushing past, until I stopped.
Port Ellen, Islay, Scotland
Jim and I have been lucky enough to travel quite a bit this year and so many times we've been blown away by the kindness of strangers who stop to help a bewildered and lost couple (us) find their way. In our travels to Islay, Scotland we met two very wonderful gentleman who personify the generosity of spirit on this beautiful island. In another post I mentioned how Jim and I are not the best of travelers - our planning is vague at best, and it has taken me some time to put into words the story of our trip to Islay.
Port Ellen, Islay, Scotland
We typed in our departure (Edinburgh) and arrival destinations (Port Ellen, Islay) into a travel planner and printed out our schedule and directions. The next morning we hopped onto the train that would take us from Edinburgh to our bus-stop in Glasgow (n.b. trip planners will always give you the fastest route, not necessarily the easiest route). Alas, the day went bad from there - we missed our bus, waited three hours for the next one, missed our boat, and waited three hours for the next one, again. We boarded the ferry thinking all our problems were solved, but alas, we had once again missed the bus at our final destination - the last bus of the day. Now you know just how great we are at traveling! Thankfully, this is when our travel angels came to the rescue. If you're ever in Port Askaig, Islay, please say hello to the man who owns the convenience store. He graciously let me charge more money than he had in his till, requiring a trip to the pub for more cash, on my credit card in order to take out cash - after discovering that our debit cards were useless in Islay. Then, when the only cab driver on the island was unavailable, he arranged transportation with a lorry driver for us. Which brings me to our lovely lorry driver, a man who had traveled to Toronto years before and found himself lost with a cab driver who, when they finally arrived at his destination, only charged him $20 for a two-hour ride.

Port Ellen, Islay, Scotland

We were lucky to have met such wonderful people that day, who took time out of their days to stop and lend a hand to weary travelers. I only hope we can repay the favor forward someday.

Port Ellen, Islay, Scotland

Canelé

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

CanelléI don't know about you, but the colder weather has me craving sweets. Canelés from Nadege are my favorite way to remedy this problem! Maybe one day I will learn to make them at home, which will be much more convenient when the temperature slides even lower. 


Why Don't You...

Thursday, 8 November 2012




Make the time to see the documentary Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel.

If you are unfamiliar with her, Diana Vreeland was a fashion visionary who served as the fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar from 1937 to 1962 and later the editor-in-chief of Vogue. Much has been said about her and she is rather famous/infamous for her opinions which are oft quoted (here is a great list). The documentary is charming and the interviews with her family and others who had a chance to work with her create a larger picture of Diana Vreeland as a mother, a boss and a woman constantly ahead of her time. While we may not all become editors of Vogue, I think Mrs. Vreeland's endless drive to create the life she wanted is something to be admired. Above all, it's nearly impossible not to fall in love with D.V. after watching the documentary.

Sweater Weather

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Is Better Weather
I had a little fun this week learning new photoshop skills thanks to Pugly Pixel's "Things to do with Boring Nature Photos" (though I rarely find nature photos boring). In creating the banner above, I couldn't help but use the lovely seed stitch background of the Broadcast Sweater to ring in my favorite season. September flew by and October has been busy - I'm trying to admire as many gorgeous leaves as I can in the meantime. Jim and I are headed to New York City this weekend on a whirlwind trip - we'll only have one day to explore outside of his poetry readings, but we plan on making the best of it! It is my first trip to NYC and I'm sure it will only make me excited to head back for more.

1. The book I've picked up for the road trip, Swimming Studies.
2. Two other great sweaters, here and here.
3. My kind of halloween party - Hitchcock movies are the best.

Edinburgh City Guide

Sunday, 23 September 2012

statues

Jim and I really wanted to share our favorite spots from our trip to Edinburgh, just in case you should find yourself there. Of course, we only spent five days in the city so this is not an exhaustive guide - just a few spots we really enjoyed during our vacation. All of the pictures were taken on my iPhone.

A really cute second floor restaurant/pub that, you guessed it, is dog themed. The decor's impressive and the food was amazing. Oh and look out for the Dandy Dinmont Terrier portrait! Jim and I split the 18oz rib eye for two with a roasted tomato and fries and ice cream for dessert. The ice cream was the best I've ever had - the flavours were plain, mint and cherry. They have great drinks, too. I had my first ever Pimm's cup here,  which led to many more.

The Dogs, Edinburgh
This restaurant is tucked away in a lane. If you go before 6pm (the pre-theatre menu) there's a great three course prix fixe for sixteen pounds. Fishers' specialty is seafood and we really enjoyed it. Creme brulee and shortbread to die for to finish.  

Shoes shoes shoes. Ladies' shoes are on the main floor and men's are on the lower level. Both Jim and I picked up a pair (or two...or three..) here. They're trendy and affordable, even in pounds.

Cool Building in Edinburgh
In the same shopping district as Office. Really cute British fashion for men and women - their mascot is a fox. We splurged a bit on sweaters here because we didn't pack warmly enough. The shop staff is really friendly. 

edinburgh castle
Edinburgh Castle
Didn't include the map link for this one, as you can't miss it. We went, but if you're not absolutely dying to go, I wouldn't bother. It's expensive and touristy, but it's a real castle which is a novelty in and of itself! We did see the Scottish crown jewels and had a crash course in Scottish history.

Salisbury Crags/Arthur's Seat map
We tried to get to the top of Arthur's Seat, but we took a really grueling path that turned out to be the wrong one! We ended up on the Salisbury Crags, which isn't the summit, but have an amazing view of the city. It's worth the hike for great pictures and you can have a picnic on the way! 

Kilderkin

Kilderkin map
This is a pub we really liked - we went back three times. There's no shortage of pubs in Edinburgh, but this is the one we found first and loved. They have a large selection of whiskies and rum, the staff is nice and love to talk about their spirits. Very affordable, too.

Dominion Cinema

A movie theatre. It was recommended to us by the person who sold us shoes at Office. It's in Morningside, a really nice residential area with design shops on the main road - gorgeous to walk through. The cinema was a cool experience: the seats are love-seat sofas with foot rests and there are tables for your snacks. The best part is that we were served unlimited crisps (aka. Pringles) throughout the movie. There's even a champagne for two option! Seems funny to go across the ocean to see a movie, but it was lovely.

The Botanical Gardens were my favorite stop of the trip. It's worth paying extra to go through the glasshouses - five pounds each - and it's absolutely breathtaking. The gardens are in a really posh neighborhood, too, so our walk there was full of good sight seeing. 

glasshouses pond

Sugar Beach Portraiture

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Sugar Beach

Without even realizing it, I managed to capture some portraits of Jim and friends (Knitted Bliss and family) on our day at the beach. I'm often too nervous (except with Jim) to take portraits, I'm afraid I over think these situations. Being rather shy, I have difficulty raising my camera to capture human subjects — cats, flowers, and baked goods are much less likely to protest or complain about bad angles. However, there I was with good company and relaxed enough to snap away.

Other good things this week include:
1. This song is sad, but I find it quite fun. I have to work really hard not to dance to it when I'm at the gym (okay, sometimes I do anyways).
2.Knitting another pair of dala horse mittens.
3. Fancy snakeskin shoes.
4. Stephanie, a.k.a. Even Cleveland, hosts a book club that I would love to attend someday. In the meantime, I prepare for discussions by reading her tumblr
5. Cozy blankets for that end of summer chill.

Sugar Beach


Sugar Beach

Sugar Beach

Sugar Beach

Millions of Peaches, Peaches for Me.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Vanilla peaches

My first foray into the art of preservation began with vanilla peaches. I used the recipe written by Melly, here, and ended up with eight jars worth; Jim and I have already eaten two. At this rate, I don't know if these peaches will make it until winter! We may be defeating the purpose of preservation in exchange for instant gratification, but they are extremely hard to resist.

Jim introduced me to this very appropriate song, but before you click the link know that it will be forever stuck in your head. You were warned.

Vanilla peaches

The view.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Salisbury Crags

A few more film shots from the Salisbury Crags. I think the Portra film really shows off the moody skies of Scotland. It's also the perfect backdrop for getting lost in the mysteries of Sherlock Holmes. Jim and I are currently on book number six in the series and completely obsessed with the great detective.

In other news, I'm eating this Orangette granola daily, so good!

Salisbury Crags

Salisbury Crags

Salisbury Crags

Salisbury Crags

Our Airbnb rental in Edinburgh was in a great location - it was located in the group of brown brick apartment buildings on the left of the photo above.

Salisbury Crags  
Taken with a Minolta Maxxum HTsi Plus using Kodak Portra 160 and 400 film.

The Summit That Wasn't

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Salisbury Crags, Edinburgh
AKA the time we tried to climb to the top of Arthur's Seat and took the wrong path.

Salisbury Crags, Edinburgh
AKA neither Jim or I should be tasked with determining directions (this led to (hilarious) travel mishaps).

Salisbury Crags, Edinburgh
AKA the time we realized we took the wrong path and were too tired to go back down and all the way up, again.

Salisbury Crags, Edinburgh
(note peak in the background.)

Salisbury Crags, Edinburgh AKA the time we took photos on the Salisbury Crags and called it a success.

Salisbury Crags, Edinburgh

Recommended Reads: Seating Arrangements

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Seating Arrangements

Prior to special ordering Seating Arrangements, I was going through a reading drought. This book got me through it however, and I read it over the course of a weekend at the cottage (very appropriate). It takes place over a long weekend at the fictional island of Waskeke located, I believe, in the Hamptons. The weekend is an important one, as it is the wedding of Winn Van Meter's eldest, and seven-months pregnant, daughter.Winn is in the midst of crisis - he loves his wife, Biddy, but is wondering if he has ever been in love with her. The tension builds as Winn has his eye on one of the bridesmaids, who may be interested in him as well. Winn is also tortured by his failure to gain admittance to the Waskeke country club, Pequod, which is he sure is due to Jack Fenn - whom he barred from his beloved Ophidian club at Harvard. Jack Fenn's son, Teddy Fenn, is also tied up in family politics with the Van Meters as the man who broke Winn's youngest daughter, Livia's, heart.

As you can imagine, there is no lack of excitement and suspense throughout the wedding weekend. The book begs the question: is it possible to find love in an environment consumed with decorum, formalities and appearances? Perhaps it is for those on the edges. Seating Arrangements is both literary and the perfect summer read for the beach (if you are so lucky).

I ordered this book online due to the glowing recommendation by Lily Stockman, here. Now that it has hit the New York Times Bestseller list, I doubt you'll have any trouble locating your own copy.

The Glasshouses Part Two

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Arid Lands

The Arid Lands glasshouse.

The Arid Lands

The Arid Lands

The Arid Lands

The Arid Lands

The Arid Lands
 
Taken with a Minolta Maxxum HTsi Plus using Kodak Portra 160

Cream Soda

Monday, 9 July 2012

Hey Meatball - Toronto

I am taking a break from Scotland photos to tell you that homemade cream soda is where it's at. Jim and I visited Hey Meatball for dinner and discovered their delicious homemade sodas (in addition to their delicious meatballs). As it turns out, it is really easy to make cream soda using this Martha recipe.  It requires caramelizing sugar and you can read a tutorial here. It also makes a really good soda float, bliss!

Hey Meatball - Toronto

Taken with a Minolta Maxxum HTsi Plus using Kodak Portra 400

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