Tuesday, August 31, 2010

thesis vs. crafts vs. craft blogs

I need some help.

I'm trying to finish the edits for my thesis. trying. I need to finish them by the end of the week due to upcoming moves/travels. Yet all I want to do post-wedding is craft. I want to knit (i've got a few cute projects on the go...), but I especially want to sew. I'm feeling very nesty and really want to make house things...slipcovers, finish a few wall hangings...

Additionally, I've been deleting some of my favorite wedding blogs from my google reader(a practical wedding) and apparently replacing them with crafting blogs. I can't stop. I need an intervention.

Please advise on the steps required to pull myself out of the real and online craft worlds and back to me thesis.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Some crafty giftys from our wedding

I guess i should start with a photo of our wedding:

Photos by Amanda Follett

For the record - Mark hated the photoshoot...it didn't last long, but i thought he was going to run into the hills! Also, he looks rather handsome in a skirt:)

So here are a few of the crafts we whipped up from the wedding:

This is a bag I made for the wonderful Alaine (my unofficial, official matron of honour). It's not perfect, but it's by far the best thing I've sewn so far!

The deer image was silk screened courtesy of 2 days spent in Sophie's studio, and we used it on a bunch of different things...ties, pillow case, canvas for the purse...

Above is the inside of the purse. I made a pocket. I didn't mess it up. I feel pretty good about that.

These are some of the ties we made for a few of the fellas. By made I mean Sophie printed on the ties while I held the screen down

We also silk-screened on a bunch of t-shirts, an apron and some canvas bags:

The thank-you tags were definitely a bit of a labour of love. I was determined to use this amazing mulberry paper I got in Vancouver, but of course it was completely impractical as it can't go through the printer. I ended up using Sophie's Gocco machine and used veneer business cards as a backing for the tags. I loved them.

Mark and I also made jam. Lots and lots of jam. I used an 'old fashioned' recipe that requires leaving the strawberries and sugar for 24 hours and then eight hours so that you don't need to add pectin. This has worked well in the past, but when we 20 or 30x the recipe, the cooking times change, and apparently this affects the setting process. Needless to say the jam is tasty, beautifully red, but best used for dipping or pouring over ice cream! :(

This is my very pregnant friend Lisa (who recently gave birth to a beautiful little girl) helping me cut out perfect circles for the jam labels. I used a silk screen to print the labels in a colour I liked onto hemp paper I liked. Then we stuck double sided sticker tape to the bottom and used a Martha Stewart circle cutting device to cut them into circles for the lids...I know...a stupid amount of work for a sticker, but I was as pleased as could be with the final product!

We made 79 jars. I don't want to make anymore jam for awhile.

This is just a shot of my spinning wheel. I finally spun something I'm almost proud of. I of course forgot to take a picture of the finished skein before I gave it to Mark's sister as her thank you gift, but it is an icelandic cross wool that I got from the lady in Edmonton who sold us lamb the other year. Really nice stuff. I spun it in the grease, didn't dye it, and made it 2-ply...not sure if anyone cares about that...but I think it's good for me to document it somewhere what I did!

I think that's it. There was obviously a lot more. I can't find pictures of the masons jars in all their glory, but here's a shot of the hall all decked out. It's tough to see the jars, but they were simple and beautiful. I loved it. The food was simple and delicious and the party was amazing!

I need to work on getting pictures from everybody, but I leave you with these of some people having a good 'ol time with some good 'ol fashioed scottish country dancing!

(Photos by Amanda Follett)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Done and done

Well - the 'ol wedding has come and gone. We're still cleaning and trying to recover sleep we most certainly did not get during the last week. It was a smashing success, and i have a whole bunch of crafty pictures to share once i've remembered how to off-load my camera and bring my laptop to the office!

We're married. That's cool.

Stay tuned...


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Life in Sackville so far,...

Hello lovely ladies,
I thought I'd share a teaser of what I've been doing and seeing since life in Sackville began 2 weeks ago...

Walking around Mount Allison campus.... 

Sitting by the swan pond,...

Hanging clothes to dry....
Making delicious drinks with mint and Italian soda!...

(This I call "unemployed on a summer friday afternoon")

Eating nectarines,..

Buying furniture,...

And more furniture,..

Painting sewing rooms,....

... and missing you all,..


ps. I realize that this has little to do with either crafting or cooking, but I thought you wouldn't mind ;)

Alana's first ever blog post.

This is cool. I just wanted to say that.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Decisions, decisions...

I bought this fabric a while ago and wasn't sure what to do with it:

I didn't realize that the men were going to be over a foot tall each.

It was something really special. Really really special.
And then I hurt my neck a while ago and whipped up a heat bag for myself. A friend saw it and asked to be made one. Something clicked in my head and the only thing left to do was to choose which of these hunks would be the winner:

Sassy axe man with no feet?

Cute innocent face carrying wood?

In the end, these guys were the winners (despite some discussion with the ladies about the weird armpit hair):

I hope he likes it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Healthy (-er) White Chocolate and Berry Cookies

I'm not going to lie. I'm a culinary genius.

(Update: Upon realization that I hadn't posted the recipe, I went back to my scribblings and realized that the changes weren't warranted to be labeled "genius". Chalk it up to excitement that I had warm cookies waiting for me and no boyfriend to eat them all up before I could share them (though I do wish he was here to share!). Recipe is at the bottom of page. The original recipe is here at this lovely blog: http://creamandsugar.ca/blueberry-white-chocolate-oatmeal-cookie-recipe/)

Okay, so I may be riding high on my "I just created a cookie recipe for the first time in my life" feeling. But it's good.

Damn good.

In my attempts to eat healthy (read: eat healthy...-er...cookies), I created some cookies that still contain sugar, chocolate chips, and butter. but...LESS sugar, LESS chocolate chips (regretted that one), and LESS butter. And wheat germ. And whole wheat flour. And oats. I was going to try replacing eggs with applesauce but the applesauce looked and smelled like it had been awaiting for this moment for too long. It was tossed.

Anyways. This is how they turned out:

I took them out of the oven when they were still a little wet in the middle, as I prefer chewy cookies. I'm still waiting for them to cool. They may end up being awful when they cool. But I doubt it.

Anyways, if anyone wants a cookie tomorrow just come by my office. They will be waiting eagerly to be consumed. I will be waiting eagerly for other people to eat them so that I don't eat all 18 myself (but that would be okay...because they are healthy (-ish)).

And, of course, as a scientist, I must provide acknowledgements at the end of my presentation:

~ Thanks to Mara for the inspiration by providing freshly picked raspberries.

~ A huge round of applause for the lovely Sascha for setting this blog up for us to share our adventures. I've changed the width of the blog to accommodate larger pictures...and in doing so messed up the title. Can't figure out how to fix that. Oops.

~ And a big hug to Maria and Alana, who won't be able to try these cookies due to the minor issue of distance.

Recipe for Healthy (-er) White Chocolate and Berry Cookies

Makes about 18 good sized-cookies

2.5 oz melted butter
2.5 oz oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
2 cups oats (roughly)
2 cups of whole wheat flour
4 Tbs wheat germ (roughly)
Freshly picked berries
White chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Melt butter
  • Whisk in oil, brown sugar, eggs and mix
  • Stir in baking soda, baking powder, salt, oats, flour, wheat germ. Add more oats until it's thick.
  • Throw in handfuls of white chocolate chips
  • Drop spoonfuls of mix on an ungreased pan (I put 9 cookies on each pan)
  • Give each dollop a little dent in the middle, put some berries on the top
  • Bake until only the centre seems a little wet (Not sure how long this was. In my best estimation: anywhere between 5 and 12 minutes)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Let's Get This Party Started!

So I think I will kick this blog off with a KNITTING post featuring vintage pictures of Cora. How could I resist?  I actually made this sweater back in 2007...long before Cora was even thought about. I originally made it for my niece, Mya. I knitted it during my field season in Antarctica to pass the time. Knitting is a GREAT field hobby! Especially since the sun never went down allowing me to work late into the night with no headlamp. The sweater has since been passed down to my daughter, Cora, who was able to wear it for quite some time. Since it is now too small for her, I am anxiously waiting for another baby to wear it. I am very impressed the thing hasn't unraveled yet.

This sweater is called Baby's Top with Moss Seed Trim by Debbie Bliss. It is size 3-6 months. I used US 2 and US 3 sized needles. I honestly can't remember the type of yarn I used. It is very soft yarn and perfect for babies. I did buy it at Knit and Purl in Edmonton, AB. The buttons are hand crafted from a native New Zealand tree. I bought them in Christchurch, NZ before I headed to McMurdo, Antarctica.

~ Sascha