Saturday, December 12, 2009

I like cute stuff.

This is all over the internets and tv but it just never gets old for me. I'm posting it here so I can find it easily whenever I feel the need to see a kitty getting tickled.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Featured: Unicorn necklace

Sarah over at Welcome to Girl Land included my Unicorn necklace in her post about handmade unicorn awesomeness over on her blog. Thanks a million, Sarah!

And c'mon, how great is that "Unicorns are people too" switchplate?

phun with photoshop

Two new goodies in the shop!

1. design your own 5-charm bracelet, $25

2. design your own 10-charm bracelet, $40

Mix and match from these available charms:

Fun, right?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Reason #265 why I love my job

Have I told you lately how awesome my job is?'s absolutely dreamy! Just in case you're tuning in for the first time, I work mornings as a teacher-librarian at an elementary school. It's my first year in this position and just about everyday I have to hold myself back from kicking up my heels and singing show tunes in the hallway...that's how much I love my job!

On Tuesday I went to my 2nd book fair...yes that's right, I get days off to go and purchase books...and it just reaffirmed my love for this job. Even though I technically only work mornings, book fair days are overwhelming and exciting so I always end up staying much later being careful to spend my money wisely.

I brought home 6 boxes of books this time and I've been lugging them into work a little each day. Pictured above is just a tiny fraction of the books I bought on Tuesday. They're the ones I'm taking into school tomorrow so I can catalogue them and get them on the shelves ASAP.

My secret mission on Tuesday was to purchase books that would inject some much needed life into our cooking & crafty sections. Oooh boy did I have fun with that! Here are 4 books I'm especially excited about:

Here's a peek inside The Teen Vogue Handbook. The girls are often asking me if I will buy fashion magazines for the library and the feminist in me refuses to do so. I thought this was an excellent compromise. This book is pure eye candy fashion-wise but it is all about the wide range of careers available in the fashion industry, everything from magazine editor and clothing designer to makeup artist and modelling scout. It also introduces readers to people in the industry like Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld. I think the Grade 6-8 girls will be especially excited about this book. I know I would have read this cover to cover when I was that age.

Also super excited about Sew Darn Cute by Jenny Ryan. I can't wait to borrow this and try a few of the crafts myself! Especially this adorable necklace:

Also purchased on Tuesday: craft books about making puppets, using recycled materials, making masks, building adorable structures like little mushroom houses, etc etc PLUS a few kids' cook books AND the latest in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. I cannot even tell you how excited I am to show all of these books to the different classes at my school! They're going to go crazy!

This morning when I surprised a student with the Leave it to Pet graphic novel that he requested way back in September, he just about lost his mind! It was the best moment of my day!

I'm not kidding...this job is so much fun it's ridiculous!

PS. If you have wee ones to buy for over the holidays(like 4-8ish), I cannot recommend these two new discoveries enough. They are my new favourite picture books.
The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!
Ivan the Terrier

Monday, November 16, 2009

inspiring colours

Check out the amazing tights/bag combo that Carla was sporting when we got together on Saturday! Love this! Not sure where the tights came from but I know her yellow bag is Marimekko and came straight from Sweden (with love). You can probably tell from the photo that Carla hearts sensible shoes too.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

a banner weekend

I spent part of the weekend sprucing up the blog by making a new banner for it. If you are reading this in a newsfeeder like bloglines or google reader, click on over to the blog to take a peek. Nothing fancy but I like it. Definitely better than the template one I've been using all these years....

I also made a new banner for my Etsy shop and I'm a little bit in love with it. I'm certainly no pro with Photoshop, not even a little bit, but I love how this looks. It took some playing around and a bit of frustration, but I'm so pleased with the outcome. You can see the new banner by clicking here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

fall is a good time for crafting with yarn

The chill in the air has inspired me to pick up the needles and cast-on a new knitting project. Last Saturday I decided I needed to start a project that very night so I headed to Zellers where I found some soft cotton-y yarn called Cot'n Corn in a lovely pale blue called "Water". Yes, yarn made with corn! Who knew?

I've started another pair of Voodoo wristwarmers from the Knitty archives. My idea is to modify them just a tad. I'll stick with the 2x2 ribbing until I get to the fingertips and then try switching to moss stitch for a nice little detail to finish them off. We'll see how that goes.

In other fibre news, I learned how to crochet a few weeks ago and now I'm a little addicted. So far I only know how to do chain stitch and single crochet but it's so much fun and much quicker than knitting I think. I've made a super long necklace that also doubles as a cowl but I'll have to wait until I'm having a good photographing day to take a picture of it.

By the way, I finally caved and joined Ravelry. I'm longestwinter over there if you want to be friends! :)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

unseasonably warm

it has been a lovely weekend around here. today the temperature spiked back up to double digits (15 degrees Celsius) and we went out to enjoy the sun on our faces. afterall it might be the last time we feel warmth like this for many months to come.

first stop, darkhorse cafe for a yummy cup of caffeine. then off to cherry beach with the poochie.

it was a nice walk around the trail by the beach. lots of people with smiles on their faces and dogs frolicking in the sun. now the sun is setting and i'm looking forward to finishing the movie we started last night and relaxing on the couch with a new knitting project. pictures to follow in the next couple of days.

Monday, October 05, 2009

quick book reviews

i haven't done a book review in awhile and seeing as i just finished a book on the weekend, i thought it was a good time to catch up.

i just finished speak by laurie halse anderson.

turns out it won an award for young adult literature but i didn't know that when i requested it on bookmooch. it doesn't really matter though because i think i've mentioned before that i seem to gravitate towards stories with a young protagonist. so it was pretty much perfect for me.

the main character, melinda, is going through a really rough time. she is a social outcast at her school. all of her friends have abandoned her which would be miserable enough but she's also trying to forget about a terrible incident that happened over the summer. sounds heavy and in some parts it is pretty intense but melinda is just so likeable and sarcastic you really can't help but enjoy listening to her tell her story.

a completely enjoyable book and very easy read. loved it!

and way back at the end of spring i finished then we came to the end by joshua ferris.

this was also a really good read and helped me branch out from that whole young protagonist thing. this is a story about a workplace, an advertising agency to be exact, and the crazy cast of characters that work there. it was fun to read about how this quirky collection of people get along and work together (sometimes in a very dysfuntional way). office politics, hierarchies, and gossip play a big role in this novel. i liked this book quite a bit though there were so many characters (just like in a real office), i sometimes felt i needed to go back and remind myself who was who at the beginning. enjoyable though.

now that i have the most awesome job of teacher-librarian at my school, i suspect most of my reading will be of the kindergarten to grade 8 variety for the next little while. on saturday, i read babymouse, beach babe and started a couple of novels. i really liked babymouse. good for kids grades 2-4, i'm thinking.

look how cute she is!?!

Monday, September 28, 2009

autumn days

autumn's here, it really is. the calendar says so but so does my closet. just a couple of weeks ago i was still wearing short sleeves to work because the school was like an oven. now it's all tights and hoodies and closed-toe shoes. i'm not complaining. i guess the change of seasons is nice. it's just that fall doesn't tend to stick around long enough. blink your eyes and there's snow on the ground.

i took these pictures at the park with noah this afternoon. we are very lucky to have a ridiculously large off-leash area at our local park. it was really windy today and it stirred up noah's wild side. he ran and galloped with the blowing leaves (but sat very impatiently for this picture).

this picture makes me laugh because i can see the crazy in his normally calm eyes.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

and just like that, the weekend's over

i was feeling a bit sluggish today, but i knew paul & i should really jet off to the west end because the best art supply store in the city (in my opinion) was having a massive sale. we stopped for coffee along the way and after a dose of a mocha latte, suddenly i was feeling a whole lot perkier! funny what a little caffeine can do. hey...this WAS going to be a good day afterall!!

after a shopping spree for both of us at woolfits (and meeting mr. woolfit himself...such a nice guy) we munched down on a veggie dog & perrier (they were having a free bbq outside of the store) and headed back home.

but sparked by my caffeine surge, i actually had the energy to hit cabbagetown to check out the artsy & crafty action. there was some cute stuff. i fell in love with some beautiful handmade quilts...they were absolutely gorgeous! i also came *this* close to buying something from susan harris. i can't get enough of her beautifully made clothing. but my rational side got the better of me and it was not in the cards today.

i visited with frederica for awhile. she makes such great silkscreened shirts and lino prints. c'mon, how can you not fall in love with her "cinderslut" and "little red riding whore" prints!?

these purses totally caught my attention with the great big wood button on the front. so cute! and it turns out the designer, becky, is super nice too.

she also makes lovely wide fabric belts and these adorable bum warmers! hee hee

i was so happy to see france from molly and june at the show. she makes the most beautiful, high quality couture coats for dogs.

every year the cabbagetown community also holds a massive neighbourhood-wide yard sale. i had fun browsing around there too.

and just like that, the weekend's over. i'm pretty tired now. i can already tell it's going to be one of those nights when the bed just feels soooooo good!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

the weekend of too many choices

this is my absolute favourite weekend of the year in toronto. each year the same festivals fall on this exact same weekend and there's just so much going on that the city is a buzz of excitement. there's tiff, the cabbagetown craft show in riverdale park, the junction arts festival, and my most favourite of all, the vegetarian food fair at harbourfront.

every year we head to the veggie food fair just an hour or so before dinner so that we have time to walk around a bit before making the most difficult choice of the day...where to buy our dinner. oh my gosh...such a tough decision! the amount of mock meat at this event is overwhelming!

this year i chose faux turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes. so yummy but doesn't make for the most lovely of pictures. sorry 'bout that. can i just tell you how guilty i felt eating this meal that didn't even contain one vegetable! (i have a hard time thinking of mashed potatoes smothered in gravy as a vegetable...)

paul got curried "chicken" and faux lamb curry with a bunch of other stuff. he said the "lamb" was pretty disappointing but the "chicken" was really good.

we both got vegan green tea ice-cream for dessert.

lots of cute poochies at the fair too. i had to take a picture of this sweet one (named lizzie) who was totally channelling her inner carrie bradshaw!

hoping to make it to cabbagetown tomorrow for a quick look around and to visit my friend frederica.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

new wave blues

sorry for the sporadic posting. my brand-new half-time job is keeping me full-time busy!

has anyone been watching these canadian music documentaries hosted by jian ghomeshi on cbc tv? they're shown on thursday nights and last week was about canadian music of the 70's. not my favourite era by any means but the documentary was strangely entertaining. this week was was the 1st of two about canadian music of the 80's. i swear it was like being transported to 1983 all over again, except without all that hairspray. (that hole in the ozone over northern ontario? i'm so sorry for that.)

the highlight was the interview clip with a couple of the guys from the spoons and this video.

how can a song this old (28 years!?!) sound so delicious all these years later? perhaps it only sounds good to me because it brings back so many happy memories. in any case, i've added it to my 80's playlist on youtube so i can listen to it over and over again.

my only hope is that cbc found enough money to make a couple of episodes about the 90's. it just couldn't get any better than that.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

new obsession

not long ago while browsing through etsy, i somehow managed to stumble upon a necklace that triggered a memory of my childhood. i saw the necklace, an illustration of a little girl with pigtails and a boy sitting on a bench signed "Fran Mor". as soon as i saw it i knew i had a similar piece of jewellery as a little girl. i had to have that necklace and so i bought it right away. the very next day i was sifting through "the museum of krissy" and found my old Fran Mor brooch sitting at the bottom of a cardboard box. i showed it to you yesterday with my little collection of treasures but today my etsy score arrived in the mail.

here they are side by side:

and just like that, i'm now completely obsessed with finding more jewellery by this artist.

my childhood in 15 boxes or less

back in the spring my dad sold our family home, the only place i'd ever lived until i left home at 19 to go away to university. that meant that he had to box up everything i'd left behind when i moved away and send it down to me to go through. i have to hand it to him...turns out it was a very big job...he could just as easily have thrown everything away or sent it to the local sally ann but he was afraid he'd throw something away that was important to me. and so in may, boxes upon boxes arrived on my doorstep.

i was completely overwhelmed at the thought of going through them all, and then with the crazy spring/summer i had, i just wasn't able to devote the time to it. well, last week i forced myself to start (ok, paul dropped a few hints that it was time).

turns out i was (am??) a complete packrat and never threw anything out! around here we're affectionately calling those boxes "the museum of krissy".

the picture above shows some of the gems i've found so far.

* the diary i kept from ages 9-11
* a wee robin's egg blue jewellery dish i made in pottery class probably when i was about 8 or 9 years old
* my first watch
* a military-style brooch i bought in quebec, circa 1985
* the most adorable brooch of a little girl with pigtails i remember wearing when i was about 4 or 5 years old

can i just tell you how many tears of laughter that diary has brought to us over the last few days? oh my gosh...there are a few entries in there that are so perfect for something like this!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

is the tornado over yet?

i love that noah looks completely bored despite the fact that we're all sitting in the dingy basement...a part of the house he has never even seen order to avoid tornadoes that may or may not have been touching down around toronto.

as for me, i was completely unaware of the fact that toronto was even under a tornado warning until i got home around 6:30 from running errands all afternoon. paul was making dinner but it had to wait while we all headed down to the basement to camp out until the skies cleared. we weren't going to, but the weather people on the radio were advising it and since we're paranoid about the giant tree hanging precariously over our house in the best of weather, we thought better safe than sorry.

the sky got really dark right before the rain started to come down in sheets. i took a picture of the backyard because i couldn't believe how dark it got but i'm not sure if you can tell from this photo.

anyway, we're all safe and sound. eventually we came back upstairs and ate our dinner. and wouldn't you know, we never did get to meet glenda afterall.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ratgirl + Chatelaine

Ratgirl got some really lovely press over on Chatelaine's Style blog today! Go take a peek....

Thanks so much for the kind words, Kate!!! :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

the big reveal!

i know i said i'd reveal my big project by the 9th of august but i'm 33 minutes late. not too bad i suppose....

may i present to you, the official ratgirl website!!!


ps: my little plot of land on the web is at NOT cuz that's sadly been taken by porn. (sniff)

please let me know if anything looks funny on your browser or you find any unhappy links. not that i can fix the browser issues...ha ha! i made this whole thing through a little site called and it's all drop & drag, baby! didn't need to know a bit of html or any other confusing strings of letters. highly recommended for anyone like me who has been putting off making a website for, oh...7 years or so.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

busy busy!

just wanted to stop in and say hi. i've been super busy ever since my course ended on thursday... i've dove in head-first into a really big project that i'm suuuuper excited about! if all goes as planned i should be able to do the big reveal by the 9th of august, possibly even sooner. i can't wait!!! it's all i can do to keep from spilling the beans right this minute...

Friday, July 24, 2009

oh dear, it's been so long.....

hi all, i'm back from my mostly-unintentional absense. it's been a crazy few months since my last post. the last week of may up until the last day of june was spent recouperating from a series of unfortunate events. and then since july 2nd i've been immersed in a course at oise learning the ins-and-outs of being a teacher-librarian (my position for next year which i'm pretty thrilled about). it was a super-intensive course, normally a full semester, but for the summer session crammed into 3 weeks! needless to say, when i wasn't sitting in the ugliest, most uninspiring classroom at u of t for 5 1/2 hours a day or on fun class field trips to places like another story bookshop and the beguiling, i was completely immersed in projects, projects, projects! throw in an occasional stress-induced meltdown here and there and well, now you basically know what my july has been like.

the good news is that my course finished yesterday and there's still 6 weeks of summer left before school starts. yay!

i absolutely hate doing a post and not giving you any pretty pictures to look at so i'm posting just a few of the wonderful books i discovered (or already knew but re-discovered) in doing my final project/presentation about fractured fairy tales (stories based on original fairy tales but involve some twist...and often quite funny!)

that jon scieszka guy ("the true story of the three little pigs" and many other awesome books!) is pretty much a genius. if you don't know his stuff and you have kids, pick up "the stinky cheese man and other fairly stupid tales". so funny!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

noah considers writing a novel

recently paul borrowed this issue of national geographic from the library. in the article about animal minds, it talks about a border collie named betsy who has a vocabulary of over 300 words! so over breakfast on saturday, paul & i started a list of how many words & phrases our little noah understands. we've been adding to it as we think of more but this is what we're up to so far. (oh, by the way, we only listed the word/phrase if he reacts to it in a predictable way. very scientific!)

*in no particular order*
1. stay
2. cookie
3. park
4. kibble
5. Noah
6. grandma
7. grandpa
8. car ride
9. later
10. hungry
11. outside
12. go (*see note below)
13. sit
14. come
15. nap-time
16. bedtime
17. walk
18. "go get the ball", "where's the ball?"
19. fetch
20. Patrick (neighbour)
21. Bettina (neighbour)
22. Portia (neighbour's dog)
23. Meg (another neighbour)
24. good boy
25. high five
26. shake a paw
27. other paw
28. down
29. "go get it"
30. enough
31. dinner
32. away
33. bed
34. okay
35. mommy
36. daddy
37. chair; "go to your chair"
38. no
39. bath-time
40. kitty cat
41. doggie
42. "go say hi"
43. bone
44. gentle
45. "drop it"
46. pill-time

*note: he actually knows 2 different meanings to this word and can figure it out based on the context. "go" when in the backyard means "go to the bathroom", while "go" at the park means "go run around and get your sillies out".

i'm willing to bet if you made a list for your pet you'd be totally surprised how many words he/she knows. i estimated 25 words for noah before we started this list!

Monday, May 18, 2009

the skirt that dreams were made of

one night last week, i was browsing through my most favourite online shop and happened upon the most beautiful skirt in the world! i was fairly certain this skirt would change my life. but i did the math and realized that with exchange, shipping, and possible duty charges, this skirt could potentially cost me $100 (canadian) or more. i was so tempted but just wouldn't let myself spend that much.

so i visited the skirt online over and over again for the next few days. and then i had a brainstorm...maybe i could find something similar on ebay! and i did... look!

so i set my maximum bid and actually won it! now i have to sit and wait patiently for it to arrive, to see if it looks as pretty in person as it does online. i won't lie...i'm a bit nervous.

it's not a perfect copy but i think it's pretty darn close. i have to admit, i still prefer the modcloth one, especially the waistband part. but i figure i can be creative and make this one work for me.

since the shipping was free (!!), i spent less than $22 (canadian). so in the end, i saved about $80 by not giving in to the skirt of dreams. and i can still sleep well at night....

Sunday, May 17, 2009

my childhood online

i've been spending a bit of time perusing the vintage section of etsy and most recently ebay, looking for some good finds. i've been surprised to see some things i had as a child up for sale online. in a couple of cases, they were items i had totally forgotten about until i saw them.

a yellow ladder-style earring stand given to me by my piano teacher & family friend. this one was found at the butler and maid etsy shop.

this was the telephone we had in our living room when i was little. do you have any idea how much i loved to talk on this thing? so fancy! found on ebay.

and my most favourite of i really wish i had broken down and purchased. this picture hung in my bedroom when i was little. my mom and dad always told me it was a painting of me. i found this on etsy and now i know the truth. hee hee (found at a touch of vintage on etsy)

have you ever found any of your childhood possessions online? did you end up buying them so you could have them around again?