Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wicked Wednesday - MakeShift

A few days ago a friend of mine shared a link on her Facebook wall to this lady's blog - MakeShift. Intrigued, I clicked on over to see what it was all about. Turns out Natalie Purschwitz spent a year wearing only things she herself had made - including shoes!! Impressed, I wiled away some time looking back over some of the photos she posted, completely blown away at her creativity and the results of her hard work. Here are a few of my favourites:

To view image sources, click on images

The year's over and she's back to "normal" clothing now, but the blog is still well worth a look - if for no other reason than to see how she did it!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Titillating Tuesday - Violet Blue

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For this week's Titillating Tuesday I'm sending you over to visit an amazing lady: Violet Blue. She describes herself as: "Awarded author, notorious columnist, Oprah guest, web celeb, incendiary device; sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc." But I came across her as the author of several of my favourite sex books and editor of some of my favourite compilations. Though I will read pretty much anything she has a hand in, some of my favourites are:

Her blog, Violet Blue: Open Source Sex, is informative, interesting, sex-positive and welcoming. I highly recommend adding it to your regular blog consumption!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Make-It Monday - New scarf/neckwarmer/cowl

One of the main problems with the last one I made was that it was too itchy. I'm hoping I can soften it up when I wash it, but for now I can't actually handle wearing it. So I'm trying again with a really simple stockinette stitch/cable in a merino wool silk blend. It's super soft and smooth, and I'm digging the sheen the silk adds to it. Can't wait to finish this one up and get a bit of use out of it before summer weather relegates it to the closet!

So far it's coming along well - though I did forget to hold the cable in the back for one of the centre stitches so it twists the wrong way - but I've decided to pretend it was on purpose and make it into a motif by alternating for a waving cable! Here's how it's going so far:

(That's Opie in the background.) I'm about halfway done now, so I'm hoping to finish it in the next week or so. Last night I slept funny and now my shoulder is all fucked up, so I'm probably not going to get much done this weekend, though!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fill in the ______ Friday

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  1. My most prized possession is... my iPod. I take it everywhere with me. J. gave it to me for my birthday the year before last, and it pretty much hasn't left my side since. I've got nearly 16,000 songs on it plus several episodes of whatever TV show I'm into (right now it's HIMYM and Sons).
  2. If I could be one age for the rest of my life, I would want to be... around 24 or 25 - just pre-back issues and in better shape than I am now! I was happy with how I looked and felt and had lots of energy. I used to go out at least 4 nights a week - now I'm lucky if I make it out once!
  3. The best way to spend a weekend is... with a good mixture of alone time, creativity, socializing and sleeping in.
  4. My outlook on life is... I tend towards pessimism, but I'm trying to see the rainbows and let go of shit more. I don't think I'll every be one of those shiny happy people (I worry too much), but if I can make it to contentment I'll call it a day.
  5. If you want to annoy me, just... be in the same room when I'm in a bad mood. Only child, y'all!
  6. I am completely defenseless when it comes to... hmmmm. I have a lot of vices - beer, cuddles, salty snack food.... but most likely it would be sale book shopping. If I find a good deal on a book I love I absolutely can't walk away. I've been known to buy wonderful books I already have just because they're SUCH a good deal - and I usually give them to someone I know will enjoy it as much as I did. So at least I'm generous.
  7. When dressing for the day, one should... always have one colourful thing to cheer you up - even if it's just red underwear!
As always, thanks to Lauren at The Little Things We Do!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday 13 - Things to do on a Saturday

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  1. Sleep in!
  2. Wear pyjamas until it's officially the PM
  3. Grab a coffee and wander down a cool shopping street (like we did on Main Street last weekend) to window shop - or, you know, shop
  4. Brunch. Late enough that you can have beer without being judged.
  5. Movie marathon. This kind of links up to #2 and is particularly good if it's raining. You will need: comfy flannel pjs, cosy blankets (I have these two great fleece ones that are HUGE - seriously, one easily wraps around two people), a purring kitty, at least three of your favourite movies (preferably a series or part of a theme), snacks and nothing else to do all day.
  6. Photo excursion! Pick a part of town, take cameras and wander about taking photos of everything.
  7. Nature walk. Best somewhere like Lynn Valley where there's a big park with a paved path and not too many people yet no one dropping trou and taking a dump in the bushes adjacent to the walkway (ah, Stanley Park...).
  8. Hit the beach! Okay, so it's Vancouver and you can only do this for about two weeks of the year without ending up very cold and/or wet, but during those brief sunny days everyone out there is just so damn happy it's contagious.
  9. Cuddle. Maybe not all day, but at least for the morning. Particularly if it's crappy weather outside. The best is when there's both of us and all three cats on the bed.
  10. Patio!!! Sun, beer, fries and people watching.
  11. Hit a local tourist spot. Sometimes it's fun to pretend you're just visiting for a day. I like the VAG and Grouse Mountain (though it's hella expensive).
  12. Farmer's Market - go pick out something yummy and local.
  13. Daytrip! Head somewhere you wouldn't normally take the time to get to - whether it's somewhere to shop, a park to visit, somewhere to go hiking or even heading out of town for the day.
Now I want it to be the weekend.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wicked Wednesday - Atmosphere "The Best Day"

Now I love music. All sorts of music. But if I absolutely had to pick one favourite artist or group, I've gotta say, Atmosphere would be it. Aside from the great beats, the rhymes are a testament to my long-standing argument that good hip hop is poetry.

It's been a rough couple of weeks and I've been pretty tired (doesn't help that I can't drink coffee). But this song has managed to put a smile on my face and remind me that there's always plenty of good shit to look forward to - even when you're on the bus at an ungodly hour of the morning after about five hours sleep with someone's ass in your face.

Can't wait for his new album (The Family Sign) set to drop April 12 - and he's on tour again! He'll be at the Vogue on May 10. (Yes, I posted on a fan page to find that out. Go here for advance tickets.)


Vancouver show is apparently SOLD OUT! Got tickets just in time. See you there.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Titillating Tuesday - Best Sex Writing

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I love reading, particularly about topics I'm fascinated by. So when I stumbled across this series a few years back (I found one in the bargain bin at my school's bookstore, believe it or not) I immediately became obsessed. I've managed to track down every one from 2005 to 2010 except for 2007, which seems to be out of print.

What I love about this series is the sheer range of topics covered. It's a collection of the best sex writing - essays, articles, etc. - for the past year. Some of the chapter titles from this edition include: "Sex Laws That Can Really Screw You," "Hot. Digital. Sexual. Underground.," "Remembering Pubic Hair," and "Lust and Lechery in Eight Pages: The Story of the Tijuana Bibles." I'm not telling, you'll have to read it for yourself.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Make-It Monday: Yarn Shopping Excursions Results!

Instead of staying in my pyjamas all weekend (though I must admit I spent relatively little of Sunday out of them) we went to Main Street on Saturday for a shopping "excursion." I'm still not sure quite how I did it, but I convinced my guy to give me a ride all the way out there so that I could visit a couple of local yarn shops, Three Bags Full and Birkeland Brothers. I think I promised to get him a coffee, which he went and got for himself after the first five minutes he spent in sheer boredom at the first store! At any rate (despite the yarn shopping), we had an enjoyable afternoon drinking coffee as we wandered along looking in store fronts. For those of you who aren't from around here (or who haven't been to this part of town), Main Street is a great mixture of cool, funky shops, weird old hold-outs from another time period, random utilitarian shops (like bathroom fixture emporiums), comic book and game shops and overpriced hipster clothing. Fantastic for window shopping on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Here's what I picked up.

Three Bags Full:

Birkeland Bros:

Oh, and I also got this book. Oops. Even Opie seems to think I have too many books. I think he's trying to say "and where are you going to keep this one? There's no more room on the bookshelves and I'm not giving up my pillow."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fill in the ______ Friday

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  1. The best deal I've ever gotten is... I honestly have no clue! I usually only shop in sales anyway, so deals are sort of the point. I always have a list of books in my mind that I want to buy but haven't gotten around to. Whenever I find one for a couple of dollars in a bargain book bin, that always feels like a mini Christmas present!
  2. If I were hosting a dinner party and could invite people from my fantasy guest list, it would include... Banksy, David Bowie, Judi Dench, Mark Thomas, Douglas Coupland, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Dawn French, Robert Downey Jr., Slug from Atmosphere, Jenny Lawson, Saul Williams... I'm sure lots and lots more I'm forgetting! Might need to rent out some sort of large ballroom or something.
  3. Something that inspires me is... Street art. I love it when I'm on a bus or walking down a boring street and all of a sudden I come across a great piece, stencil, paste-up or whatever - it's like finding hidden treasure!
  4. If I could only choose to eat one flavour of food for the rest of eternity (sweet, salty, spicy, bitter...) I would have to go with...Salty. Salt is my vice. I have been known (sadly on many occasions) to salt my food before I've even tasted it!
  5. I dream about... Weird stuff, for the most part - though occasionally I have full-on Bourne Identity espionage/thriller dreams that I hate waking up from because I always wonder whether I got away from the bad guys.
  6. My weekend will be spent... in my pyjamas. It's been one of those weeks.
  7. If I could only watch one movie or TV show for the rest of my life, it would be...tragic. I'd probably pick Californication, House or Sons of Anarchy - as long as there were always going to be new episodes!
As always, thanks to Lauren at The Little Things We Do for the blanks!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wicked Wednesday - Lolcats

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You must have known these would show up eventually. If you want to waste hours of your day, here are lots more.

One for tomorrow:

To view image source, click on image


Monday, March 14, 2011

Make-It Monday - 5th Avenue Infinity Scarf from

So I've started yet another new project, abandoning completely the Paris Night scarf I posted about last week. Oops. But I had to. See?

To view image source, click on image

I think this is absolutely gorgeous. I couldn't track down the yarn used here so I decided to do a trial run with some Stitch Nation yarn in "Little Lamb" - it's a pale cream colour that I've got tons of kicking around.

Here's what it looks like un-looped:

To view image source, click on image

I think I messed up the pattern a little, but I actually kind of like the result. I'll post pics when I'm done - hopefully soon! Wish me luck...

To make your own, head on over to the amazing!


Finally finished! Definitely didn't follow the pattern properly, but I think for a first try it looks okay. I need to block it, which will hopefully stop the edges from curling, but I think I'm ready to move and try it again with some coloured yarn!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

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  1. My biggest accomplishment in life thus far is... I suppose finishing university was a measurable one. But to be honest, I feel as if most of my major accomplishments have been internal rather than external. Dealing with some emotional fallout from my family, leaving home as soon as I finished school (like literally, the day after graduation) and facing down all my weird commitment and relationship issues have been big for me.
  2. My favourite place to sit in my house is... the reclining chair. It's so comfy! I love wrapping myself up in a blanket burrito-style and watching a good movie. It's the cosiest thing ever.
  3. My fashion philosophy is... ??? Don't have one. Just wear what I like.
  4. Something every girl should have is... self esteem. Seriously, if you've got that covered, the rest will take care of itself.
  5. If you looked in my purse right now you'd find... My iPod and charger, phone, moleskin journal, over-stuffed wallet, mirror, business card case, fleece-lined knit mittens, my insulin 'n' stuff, little bag of toiletries (eyelash curler, mascara, etc.), some lifesavers, a fountain pen, hand sanitizer (little bit of a germophobe), bus pass, Micheals coupons, keys, gum, hand cream, hairtie and oh, about 20 different lipsticks, glosses and balms. Yeah, my purse needs spring cleaning.
  6. My favourite music right now is... I'd have to do a whole separate post on that one. I've been digging Florence and the Machine, the new Radiohead album and some old faves like Atmosphere, Pharcyde and People Under the Stairs.
  7. My favourite part of my body is... this is a really tough question for me right now, as I've been struggling with my body for the last six years. Well, the last 15, to a certain extent (since I got diabetes). I've had serious back problems since about 2005, and for about four years that prevented me from participating in any regular physical activity. I found this really difficult - not only because I lost the option of doing things I love like skiing and yoga, but also because I gained weight, which is something I've never really had to worry about, since I've always been fairly active. I finally had back surgery nearly two years ago and am now trying to work through the physical and mental repercussions of that. I have to say though, despite all that has gone wrong with my body, I'm working hard to appreciate that I'm not in constant, chronic pain anymore. I can sometimes go a whole day only noticing it a couple of times. Next step - yoga class!
Thanks to Lauren at The Little Things We Do for another fill in the blank Friday!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday 13 - Things I'd Rather Be Doing

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  1. Curling up on the couch with a warm blanket, a cup of chocolate and good book in front of a roaring fire.
  2. Sleeping. If I were doing #1, it would lead to #2.
  3. Cleaning out the clutter in my apartment. Not so much because I enjoy clearing out clutter, but it's gotten to the point where I can't get into the closets. Something must be done.
  4. Boarding a plane to take me somewhere new - either warm and relaxing or a vibrant cultural expedition... just some sort of vacation!
  5. Being on said vacation.
  6. Miraculously not having back problems and doing extra-pretzelly yoga!
  7. Knitting a cosy blanket that could then be used for #1.
  8. Watching one of those truly great movies that leave you wanting to start it again from the beginning right away because it was so good.
  9. Learning to play GTA or Left 4 Dead.
  10. Road trip!
  11. Skiing, only I'd be good at it.
  12. Drinking beer. And eating nachos.
  13. Spending the day with a good friend - either crafting, bombing about town or just hanging out and chatting!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Knit 'n Kaboodle Cup Warmers!

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I know I did a knitting post just yesterday - but look how cute! I stumbled across this at Knit 'n Kaboodle when I was looking for something to do with odds and ends of yarn and discontinued one-offs that are sitting irritatingly in the bottom of my yarn bag leering at me. There are all sorts of cool designs and the patterns seem pretty cheap. Plus these look easy enough for novice knitters (like myself) to be able to complete without too many visits to the trusty knitters on YouTube! Here's a free one to try out:

Click on image to see source & pattern

Wicked Wednesday - Ravelry

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I only just discovered this amazing site for knitters and crocheters tonight. It's not only a site, but a community of creative stitchers who share patterns, tips, photos and sources for great yarn. I haven't explored it thoroughly yet, but when I stumbled across the little guy in the picture there, I figured I had to share it! If you're into crafting - or needlecraft in particular - drop by and check it out!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Titillating Tuesday - The Art of Loving

As those of you who know me will be well aware, I love talking, reading and learning about sex. It's something I think should be more openly discussed in our society, and I think that sex-positivity is something we need to foster and encourage. As such, I enjoy sharing information - whether it's a new book I've come across, a great blog, new information or tips. So I'm starting "Titillating Tuesday" to do just that. Which I guess will bump my little blog up to 18+ audiences, but hey, whatcha gonna do?

For the first ever "Titillating Tuesday," I have to talk about my favourite sex-positive place in Vancouver - The Art of Loving. It's been one of my favourite stores for years because of the selection, service, store atmosphere and knowledgeable staff.

Adult stores can be intimidating, particularly if you're new to them or if you're a woman and your only experience has been the 24 hour joints that offer 25-cent peep shows on neon signs in the window. If you're curious and want a very welcoming, informative environment where you can find great books, toys, lingerie, videos and all sorts of other fun goodies, this is one of the best places you can go. You can even order online if you're not in the area or if you prefer to shop from the comfort of your own computer!

Other great local stores include The Love Nest, which is also very welcoming and has great staff (though the book selection isn't quite as extensive) and Womyns' Ware (very female-centred - in fact a little too much for me at times!).

International Women's Day - M and 007 Style

International Women's Day first began in the early 1900s as a National Women's Day in the United States. In 1911 it became International Women's Day - making this year's the 100th anniversary! It is now an official holiday in 27 countries around the world (though Canada and the United States are not among them) and is treated similarly to Mother's and Father's Day.

Unfortunately too many people have never heard of it - or if they have, they don't understand why we still celebrate it. On the surface it might seem like we've come a long way. And indeed, we have - at least in this part of the world. We've got the vote. We've got rights to our earnings. We've got legal recourse for sexual harassment. We've got female firefighters, doctors, lawyers, CEOs and sports legends. We've got Angelina Jolie playing parts written for Tom Cruise. What don't we have? Equality.

In Canada, university educated women still earn only 71 cents to every dollar earned by their male counterparts. Some of this divide can be accounted for by time missed due to pregnancy and childcare (it's still more economical for most women to stay home than to pay for childcare). Most of you will probably have been following all the issues happening in the U.S. surrounding women's reproductive rights and gay marriage rights - both of which are excellent reasons to seriously consider how equal our society really is.

It's also important that men are aware of the issues women face. Not just because they can help create a more equal society, but because it affects them as well. When women's salaries are so much lower, the burden of supporting a family falls to the man - whether or not he wants that extra responsibility. This in turn means that while he may have more career options and prospects, he can end up missing out on stuff at home. While if given the choice, most of us would prefer more options and greater societal and financial power, there are negative implications of inequality for everyone. Plus, there are plenty of men out there who are just as concerned about the issues that make International Women's Day important as women are - they care about the women in their lives and they want everyone to benefit from the same freedoms and rights.

This year take some time to imagine every male you see as female and vice versa. Imagine what the world would look like if our roles were reversed. Don't think that because we're better off than we were a century ago we're good enough - or that every woman in the world enjoys the same freedoms you do. Don't take it for granted. Don't slack off. And don't accept the status quo - we all deserve better.

Check out these links for some excellent blog posts by a couple of my friends (and amazing women) as well as the official site for International Women's Day:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Make-It Monday - Yarn, yarn and more yarn!!

Big 'ole rainbow in a bag!

Here's my big bag of inspiration! Since I started knitting again to keep these idle hands from trouble, I've finished one project and started a few new ones! Aside from the hat fiasco, I have started a few scarves - a motorcycle scarf for my dad, a basic scarf with the yarn left over from the hat, and last but not least, this merino wool scarf:

Yay! Scarf in the making...

Now I know it don't look like much, but I'm stoked because it's super soft and cosy! I may have to make a blanket like this bad boy, just 'cos it's so soft and warm. Hopefully I'll finish it up soon - just in time for spring and warmer weather. Le sigh. Oh well, I'll have a reason to look forward to winter, for once!

I've been looking around a lot online - both for yarn and patterns. There are some great sites out there for both. My favourite yarn shop is Jimmy Beans Yarn, which has a great selection, charges very reasonable shipping costs and has the best online customer service I've ever encountered! Seriously, these guys will let you know right away if something isn't in stock, they'll go to a ton of effort to recommend yarn that works with your pattern and even calculated out how many skeins of yarn fit into one of their envelopes so I'd know what size to make my orders for cheap shipping! Awesome.

Back to the needles...

Bonus shot of Hera with her best "who, me?" expression.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

To view image source, click on image.
  1. The phrase or punctuation I overuse the most is... Hopefully none... after all, I work in communications, so I kind of try not to do that... though it's starting to seem that ellipses are pretty common! I guess I might have the opposite problem where I compulsively want to fix common errors (like when people use "then" instead of "than" which drives me NUTS)
  2. Today I am thankful being Friday. Tomorrow will be my first day off in 12 days and I REALLY need to chill! I'm also thankful for my health, my job, and my family.
  3. My best friend boyfriend, which is lucky. Aside from him, Sofia, who is basically my sister, is someone I know will always be in my life. She moved several years ago and I'm terrible at keeping in touch, but whenever we talk it's like I just saw her yesterday. I have a couple others, who are all in different parts of the world at the moment. I miss all of them.
  4. A quirky thing about me is... I hate having bangs in my eyes. I recently got them again and they need to be trimmed, which is why this comes to mind. I hate it when cold air gets in under the blanket at night so I tuck it around my shoulders.
  5. This weekend I... am doing sweet fuck all. Worked all weekend last weekend (I even got up before 5 a.m. on Sunday) so I'm going to catch up on my sleep, get crafty and hang out with my little human/feline family. Life is good.
  6. Something that worries me is... just one?? I worry about everything. Constantly. But right now I'm worried about my cat who has been sick on and off for the past few months.
  7. On my nightstand you would find... at least two books (right now A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Life by Keith Richards, Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo and Taboo by Violet Blue), kleenex, Kiehl's lip treatment, my alarm clock, earplugs, water, a hair clip, my cell phone and my iPod. It's a small nightstand.
Thanks to Lauren at the little things we do for another great set of blanks!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thursday 13 - Comforting Things

It's been a rough week. So this week I thought I'd make a list of things that I find comforting - everything from food to activities. By the way, making this list is one of them.
  1. Down comforters and the two HUGE fleece blankets I got for Christmas a couple of years ago
  2. My little family (boyfriend and 3 cats)
  3. Watching old movies like Sleepless in Seattle and Bridget Jones' Diary and listening to my favourite music while reading a good book
  4. Hot chocolate
  5. Fluffy scarves and sweaters
  6. Re-reading favourite kid's books like Coraline, Harry Potter, and I Capture the Castle
  7. Christmas lights and a roaring fire (even better if there's snow or a storm outside!)
  8. Having a clean house
  9. Hot showers and baths
  10. My Uggs and big cosy sleeping bag slippers from MEC
  11. Beer (cos somehow or other this will make it onto most every list)
  12. Yoga
  13. Snuggling in bed

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wicked Wednesday - Kid Zoom

KID ZOOM - This City Will Eat Me Alive from kidzoom on Vimeo.

I'm a HUGE fan of street art, so the other day I was browsing around one of my favourite graff sites, Wooster Collective (which, btw, may be the topic of a whole other Wicked Wednesday. One of the few sites I subscribe to that I never get sick of... after about five or six years I still open every single email) and I stumbled across this video by Kid Zoom. I find it amazing what this guy can do with a can of spraypaint. For anyone who doesn't think graffiti is art...
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