Sunday, July 31, 2005

home improvements

after wanting to do this for months, i finally got around to cleaning out my closet yesterday. i just couldn't stand it a minute longer. i'm sure my blood pressure rose everytime i had to find something in there. every hanger had at least 3 things on it and most of those clothes i either hated or didn't fit any longer.

closet before
closet (before)

closet after
closet (after)

i still have to go through my drawers and i know there's a bunch of stuff in there that needs to go too. but so far i've started filling up two bags worth of clothes (one for consignment stores or even ebay if i can find time to list stuff) and the other bag is headed to goodwill.
cast-offs

in other home improvement news...
my computer will be out of commission until tuesday or wednesday because we're finally going to begin painting the studio today. ever since we moved in last july we've been staring at the ugliest walls up here. i'm kind of embarrassed to show them actually. oh, what the hell. maybe it'll make the "after" even more exciting!

ugly studio wall #1 (before)
studio (before)
you can see where the woman who lived here before us just painted around her shelves. lovely!

ugly studio wall #2 (before)
studio #2 (before)
she also made the unfortunate decision to put rust and orange walls together.

stay tuned for the "after".

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

thrifting on the east side

this afternoon i stopped in at a thrift store i've been eyeing for a couple of years now but have never been to. it's a bit out of the way and in a sketchy neighbourhood but i decided to give it a shot. i am quite happy with what i scored for a mere $4.50!
thrifted

i am in love with these red slingback flats! not only are they in perfect condition (the soles look like they haven't even been worn) but they are straight from the 80's! the label is proof...they're from a long-gone shoestore chain called "aggies"! (i have fond memories of shopping there for the pointiest shoe i could find as a teen in the 80's.)

i also picked up some lovely vintage yarn that just looked so ice-creamy together i felt inspired to make something cheery and bright. some of this yarn has the original label with an old 25-cent price tag from "eatons" (another now-defunct canadian store). and i don't know if you can read the label in that picture, but it says 100% unknown fibres! hahaha i love that! does that mean that they aren't sure but there could be some cashmere in there?? actually, it probably means it's terribly flammable and i probably shouldn't use it to knit up a pair of oven mitts.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

what i knit at the cottage

i got a bit of knitting in at the cottage last week. i've been wanting to try the H2O (2 hours and it's over) hat pattern at chicknits forever and finally broke down and used some of the light pink patons upcountry i've been hoarding ever since i learned it was discontinued. (as a sidenote, am i the only person who saves their favourite craft materials for the perfect project and then never actually get around to using them? i do this with yarn, buttons, beads, ribbon, paper....save, save, save... i'm trying to get over this.)

because i'm a bit of a rebel and never actually do a gauge swatch (i know, i know...), my first version of the hat ended up being HUGE!! it was even too big for paul.
good sport

so i modified it a bit (changed the pattern on the brim and made it many rows shorter) and my second attempt finally fits my little pinhead. yay!
pink hat

now if i can just figure out the $&^)@! one-skein-wonder pattern. i'm about to frog my 2nd attempt at it but i refuse to let it get the best of me!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

1st anniversary

one year ago today i married the boy of my dreams!
wedding day
thanks for making me the happiest girl in the whole wide world, paulie! i love you more than anything...

Friday, July 22, 2005

cottage

well, i'm back from our fantastic holiday at the cottage. what an amazing vacation! we spent our days swimming in the lake, canoeing, reading, playing with noah, knitting, not to mention enjoying sunshine, warm temperatures and absolutely no humidity! it was pure bliss!

we didn't know how noah would like the cottage but were pleasantly surprised to see he is quite a nature dog! he absolutley loved canoeing.
noah in the canoe

and after a couple of days, we finally taught him to swim! (the people in the cottage next to ours were as excited as we were...they cheered for noah when he finally swam for the first time)
noah swimming

he also ran around like crazy! he just loved sniffing everything that nature had to offer. he even made friends with another neighbour's dog, boots.
boots

our friends, frederica and jim came to the cottage on monday night and stayed with us until thursday morning.
on the dock
we has such a blast with them! we relaxed at the lake all day, then had cocktails each day at 4 pm. on tuesday night fred made us all a delicious dinner of mushroom quesadillas, homemade guacamole, mexican rice, and asparagus.
fred's dinner

on wednesday night, paul and i were in charge of dinner. we made wild rice & quinoa salad with grilled tofu.
paul & krissy's dinner

after dinner one night we went boating. fred & jim took the paddleboat (with their dog, maxine) and paul & i took noah in the canoe. i've never seen a lake so still in my life...the water was just like glass! the puffy pink clouds from the sunset reflected on the lake. i wish i had a picture but i was afraid if the canoe tipped we'd lose the camera! on our evening cruise around the lake we got so close to a loon and her baby that we could see her bill move as she sang her warning call. it was surreal. and further down the lake we saw a beaver swimming around. when he sensed we were there, he dove under the water and made a huge splash with his big tail.

it was an incredible trip but it's good to be home too. as lovely as it was to be around nature and be able to swim everyday, we are city folk at heart. and damn, that shower today felt gooooood!

ps. if you want to see more pictures from our trip to the cottage, just click on any of the pictures to get to my flickr.com page with all the photos i've uploaded.

Friday, July 15, 2005

before the oven heats up

in an attempt to avoid the oven that is the studio, i am blogging at 8 am before the room heats up from the afternoon sun. the last few days have been almost unbearable in here, so i've been spending as little time as possible at the computer.

but i'm not going to complain about the weather because tomorrow we leave for the cottage! all i can think about is swimming in the lake!! but with that comes a nasty job...this morning i need to subject myself to the hell that is bathing suit shopping. (the horror!) i've put it off far too long.

***
in other news, my etsy shop will be up and running shortly after i come back. i figured there wasn't much point in putting stuff up until i was back from vacation, just in case i sold something. i'm so excited to get it started though!

i will be at the cottage until next friday (the 22nd), so i won't be able to write until then. hope everyone has a great week! (i don't know how i'm going to make it without reading all of your lovely journals everyday!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

noah's turn

if you've been reading for awhile now, you might know how obsessed i am with "before" and "after"s. well, nothing and nobody is safe in this house. that includes the dog. today is noah's turn! poor baby needed a haircut for summer.
here is his before (looking very teddybear-like)
noah (before)

and his after (looking more lamb-like)
noah (after)

the after picture made me LAUGH OUT LOUD! i'm noticing a bit of an overbite in his recent photos.

Friday, July 08, 2005

first week of summer vacation

my first week of vacation has been great! i've been trying really hard to get out of bed early and get lots of stuff done so that i make the most of my time off and so far it has been working out well. i'm getting back into the routine of taking noah to the dog park everyday for a little run around, spending more time in the studio, and getting ratgirl business stuff done. last night i was up until 2:30 am working on gettting my etsy.com shop up and running. i still have a bunch of things to do (uh, like upload some stuff for people to buy) but i got the registration stuff done. trust me, that's a big step for a habitual procrastinator like me. i'm hoping to get a lot of work done on it this weekend. but for now you can take a peek at what i've got done here. (check out that banner...i did that on photoshop last night!!) WOOT!

i also started on my one skein wonder last night. i hit a stumbling block a couple of days ago because i got the wrong length of circulars. i exchanged them yesterday afternoon and worked for about an hour last night. i was a little frantic though because when i actually looked at the pattern, i realized i didn't know how to do most of the skills required! luckily, a quick trip over to stitchguide taught me how to k1fb with the handy-dandy videos they have there. (i think i watched the video about 8 times with needles in hand, before i knew what i was doing.)

anyhow, here's how much i got done last night
one skein wonder
i'm excited to work on it some more today, but i'm a little concerned that i have NO CLUE what is meant by "pick up stitches". i guess i'll cross that bridge when i get to it...

we watched a fantastic documentary last night called a touch of greatness. it's about a teacher from the 1950's and 1960's who made learning exciting for his elementary students primarily through his teaching of shakespere. it was just amazing!! paul and i both work with kids in our day jobs, so lately we've been all about these documentaries about inspiring teachers. a couple of weeks ago we watched etre et avoir, which is another documentary about a great teacher. both of these were such inspiring stories. highly recommended, even if you aren't a teacher.

i can't wait to go to the toronto outdoor art exhibition this weekend! it's a massive (free) art show in the square at city hall. every year paul and i come away from it so inspired! our friend, frederica will be there again, so we're going to visit her and look around. if you're in the city, you really should go!

have a fabulous weekend, everybody!
xo krissy

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

i want to be in the club

the one skein wonder club, that is! a couple of nights ago i couldn't take it any longer. after seeing so many cute versions of this pattern on a schmillion blogs, i broke down and ordered the pattern. today i went to a new yarn store in the beaches called the naked sheep and bought my supplies.

i decided to go with somewhat less expensive yarn for my first go, since i'm not sure how well it will turn out. i chose 2 balls of ggh samoa in emerald green. i've been a bit obsessed with this colour for the last few months and decided to finally break down and buy something in that shade.

i'm so excited to start! i need a few stitch markers so i'm going to whip those up now and then get started.

i also got six dvds from the library today (ack! they all came at once!) so i have plenty to watch while i knit.

wheeeee!

p.s. you can check out other cool versions of this pattern here, here, and here.

krissy conquers photoshop (well, sorta)

tonight i finally got around to emailing the folks on my mailing list to tell them about the new store that is selling my jewellery (the rage). instead of sending out a dull looking text email, i fancied it up in photoshop.

lookie!
promo email

i did it all by myself except my little ratgirl logo, which paul had to re-do on a white background for me.

and after he went to bed, i put together some pictures to send along with the announcement, just in case some people who signed up for my list a couple of years ago forget who i am.
promo pics
you might need to click on the picture to see


now maybe i can learn to photoshop out those dark circles under my eyes...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

bloggy blog backlog!

as a result of my um...irregularity in posting during the month of june, i now have so many pictures of things that i did or saw last month that it's clogging up my hard drive. so i hope you won't mind if i share some cool stuff that happened awhile back.

one of the neatest things i did in june was take a tour of the gladstone hotel during their open house. the gladstone is a really old hotel in toronto that was in pretty rough shape apparently, up until a couple of years ago. i guess the owners never really bothered to take care of it. but recently the place was cleaned up and given a new lease on life. one of the things that the new owners did was commission local artists to design and decorate a guest room upstairs. i took a million pictures but here are just a few from the tour.

one hotel room had a jigsaw puzzle theme.
this puzzle art was really long...almost the entire length of the wall.
puzzle wall

circular puzzles were set into the headboard and used as art pieces above the bed as well.
puzzle room

another room had vintage photos and advertisements used as "wallpaper" and then stained pink.
pink wall

and my favourite room had a 1980's teen idol theme to it! posters from tiger beat covered the walls. all the ralph machio, matt dillon, and c. thomas howell you can handle! (leif garrett was missing though)
the funky vintage wallpaper in the closet
teen idol room closet

check out the cute chenille bedspread!
teen idol room

and a close up of the heartthrobs...sigh....
teen idol room
(click the picture to enlarge)

look closely and you will find kristy mcnicholl! and unicorns!
now, wasn't that worth the wait?!?

Monday, July 04, 2005

jewellery swap

looks like robin received the jewellery i made her for our first swap so now i can safely post the crafting i've been doing lately without fear of her seeing it.

here is a picture of necklace #1. looks like robin and i both chose pink & green as a colour combination for our necklaces.
beaded necklace

you can click on the close-up below to see a bit of an explanation of where some of the beads and buttons came from
close up of pink & green necklace


necklace #2
beaded necklace

again, you can click the picture below for a close up of the red beads (the chunky coral bead came from my sweet cousin chelebele on her trip to europe...not sure if it came from spain or one of her other destinations. she brought beads back from almost every country she visited!!) the rest are wood and glass beads from my local bead store
close up red and turquoise necklace

the turquoise and red necklace looks much better on. you can see robin modelling it over here.


i also made her a cuff bracelet from some wood beads
wood bracelet


while i was trying out some designs for robin's pieces i came up with this necklace. i liked it enough to keep for myself, but not enough to give as a gift. i think it has potential though.
(please ignore the big glue smudge on the desk.)
beaded necklace

i'm so glad you like everything, robin! yay for swaps and double yay for bloggy friends!