Clay Ornaments

Thursday, December 12, 2013



Nicola and I had a little crafting/mulled wine drinking/treat eating night last week and made these clay ornaments. We had plans to try to make our own dough, but then decided to go the easy route and buy some air dry clay. These were super simple to make, you just roll out the clay on a baking sheet, cut the shapes out with cookie cutters, and poke a hole with a skewer. We tried using alphabet stamps but liked the natural look of pressing a bit of pine into the clay best. We let them dry for a few days out on a baking tray (both our husbands thought they were cookies after getting home late that evening from their respective Christmas parties, ha ha) and then sanded the edges and holes with an emery board before threading in some twine. I think leather would look lovely too. We got a ton of ornaments out of one $10 slab of clay, so it's a really affordable and easy way to make a bunch of little presents. I'm flying home tomorrow so I'll be bringing these with me to give out. I'm so excited to be going back but I'll miss this little face who is always so interested when the camera comes out. Luckily I know she will be super spoiled at one of her auntie's houses while we are away. Happy holidays to you all!

P.S. My talented friend Karen also made some of these clay ornaments with dala horses and doilies - so cute!

Knitted Washcloths

Sunday, November 24, 2013


As I've been mentioning, I've picked up my knitting needles after having sworn off them for a while. I am not a patient person (although all the model building and technical drawing I'm doing in school is definitely forcing me to become better), and often get frustrated with complicated knitting patterns. Although after seeing this lady's impressive foray into sock making, I'm definitely tempted. Usually I want to knit after a long day as a way to turn my brain off, so I like to work on something I don't have to think about too much. I also prefer to knit while watching tv (can't feel guilty if I'm making something!), so whatever drama is happening on Downton Abbey usually takes precedent over which row I'm supposed to be purling. Lately I've been finding these washcloths to be the perfect project. Cotton yarn is super cheap, they are easily done during a tv episode, and require zombie level thinking power. I think they make great Christmas presents too, paired with a wooden brush or some nice soap. Am I the only one already thinking about Christmas? It seems like the only thing to do now that it is dark for what feels like all day. I've never written a knitting pattern before, but I'll give it a try in case it's helpful. There are also some good patterns here.

I used size 5 needles, and two different colours of cotton yarn at the same time. Cast on 30 stitches. Knit 2 x 2 rib stitch (2K, 2p) for five rows. Repeat ribbing for first and last 4 stitches of every row, continuing in stockinette stitching for a total of about 50 rows. Knit another four rows in 2 x 2 rib stitch and cast off.

Rosemary's Baby

Wednesday, November 20, 2013











Until this Halloween I'd never seen Rosemary's Baby. I'd always had the idea that it was a Really Scary movie, so I avoided it, assuming I wasn't emotionally strong enough to handle it. Talking to my mom recently, it turned out that this preconception was inherited from her, who had watched it as a young girl and was found it terrifying. And while I can see how that would be the case, if you are over the age of 12, it's likely not going to give you nightmares. After about an hour of waiting for the scary part to come, I realized that it wasn't going to. I actually really loved it, dark bits included, since it balanced out the sweetness of Mia Farrow's character so well. I couldn't get over the aesthetic, and drove Mark crazy taking a billion screen caps through the film. Highlights include: the indoor herb garden in the old apartment, her bob!, all that plaid, the adorable maternity baby doll dresses, the pixie cut!, the old book about witches, and their bed with the striped sheets and brick and plank shelf/headboard combo (it was hard to get a good shot of this, but you can just make it out). Definitely recommended if you are up for a non-scary, scary movie. Does anyone else have any good movie recommendations? All I want to do these days is curl up with an old movie and knit.

Barcelona

Sunday, November 17, 2013












It only took me a couple of months to get these up, but here you go, the last of my travelling posts for the year. I have no idea how I ended up doing so much travelling this year. It was really a surprise, which I realize sounds silly. But this trip, for example, I hadn't foreseen at all. One of the perks (and added expense) of studying architecture here is that there are a lot of field trips included in the program. At least one trip per year, from what I gather. So when we started in September, we were told that our first one would be a few weeks later, to Barcelona. I hadn't been in years, and was even more excited to go now that I know I have family there (this trip was too busy to squeeze in a visit, so hopefully next time). It was a great way to get to know each other better (spoiler alert: everyone is awesome), and to learn more about Spanish architecture. Plus the weather was perfect, we had tapas pretty much every night and wine costs like one euro a bottle, so those are all good things. I'm crazy excited about our next study trip in June to Japan! I will die from all the kawaii, I am sure.

There are more photos of our trip, plus some peeks at our school projects, and general coolness over at my pal Christine's blog.

Some Things: November

Sunday, November 3, 2013

How is it November already?! The days are getting noticeably darker and colder here, and that hibernation instinct is creeping up again. I'm pretty sure we have extra short fall and spring seasons here and just a really long winter. Every year I try to brace myself for it and try to find ways to enjoy it more. Here are some things that I am liking for this strange month of transition, with a definite but unintentional new age-y vibe, from clockwise. 

1. With these longer, darker nights at home I'm wanting to spend more time making things, and I'm also starting to think about what to make for Christmas presents this year. I think this book looks so inspiring and I'm always a fan of Lena Corwin's work, so I can't wait to get my hands on it. 

2. I've been going to the yoga studio a lot more often lately and I am trying to follow some of my yoga teacher's ayurvedic fall recommendations (see more here). One of my big goals for this month is to do a regular home practice in the mornings, and I think a pretty candle would help with the darkness and to make it seem like more of a ritual. 

3. I've also been starting my mornings with warm lemon water and have switched entirely to herbal teas, which my tummy seems to be much happier with. I'd love to have a good mug for school, and I often miss the weight of ceramic mugs - a lot of the time tea or coffee is served in glasses here which is hard to get used to. This one reminds me of the west coast landscapes back home which is a bonus.

4. My manta lately. Being in school and trying to have a life means that I'll never be able to do all the things on my list, and that's ok. Or at least, I'm constantly reminding myself that it's ok. Work/life or school/life balance is hard! I love these affirmation banners, and think I might make my own version inspired by them to hang next to my desk. 

5. Again, I've been wanting to pick up my knitting needles again lately after a pretty long hiatus. I've realized that I'm never going to be a serious knitter, but I'd like to branch out from scarves and washcloths. These patterns look just about the right difficulty level, and I want to wear all of them.

6. Lately I've been into the idea of having a uniform to wear, just to make life easier. Have you read this article about decision fatigue? I think I definitely suffer from it, ha ha. I'm naturally indecisive (classic Libra, amirite?) but I've found that especially with having to make a lot of small, creative decisions at school that it is even worse. I'd love to have some more simple, utilitarian clothes, like this linen smock dress that I could just throw on in the mornings.  

What are you guys doing to prepare for winter coming?

Arktis & 26

Wednesday, October 23, 2013








I turned twenty six last Saturday, an age that I felt much better about turning than the one previously. I'm not sure why exactly, if it's because my situation has changed, or if I've gotten better at being happier with where I am. Or maybe twenty six just has another ring to it, less definitive than a quarter of a century but starting to sound old enough to be really comfortable and confident in yourself. I hope that's what this year will be like. So far I think that one of the benefits of getting older (relatively, of course) is knowing what you like, and not having to make excuses for it. So I chose to spend my birthday quietly, at a museum, looking at depictions of icy expanses and out the windows to another grey landscape of blending sky and sea. It was the perfect setting to take some time to reflect on the past year, and what this next year might bring. They did a beautiful job with the exhibition as well, bringing together art history, natural history, science, and contemporary art to discuss some of the big issues that surround the region. It also seemed fitting that the Arctic is a place where Canadian and Danish (Greenlandic) history and geography overlap. Of course I forgot to take any photos (I forgot at Thanksgiving too!), but my birthday buddy Julie and I also had a smallish gathering on Sunday to celebrate. Lots of cake was eaten and cups of tea drank. I'm so thankful for my family and friends, here and there.

I think twenty six will be a good year.

All images via Lousiana's great exhibition site 

Pumpkin Crumble Muffins

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I know it's a blog cliche to say that I 'love October and pumpkin spice blah blah', but I do. It's always been my favourite season. To me, things start to seem magical once the calendar flips to this month. The golden hour of fall afternoons, the sound and smell of the leaves, and the darker undertones of the evenings. Etc, etc. You all know what I mean. We don't always have the best autumns here, sometimes it seems to switch from summer to winter overnight, or it just rains and rains and rains. This year has been pretty good so far, but I still like to make the most of this time by burning cedar incense, simmering apple cider on the stove, and by baking. I'm trying to get back in the habit of doing a bunch of cooking on Sundays for the week ahead, and these muffins were the incentive. Having one of these for breakfast along with a mug of chai is definitely a treat. Unfortunately, Tolmie is also crazy for them, so fending off a semi-maniacal kitten is *not* so much of a treat in the mornings. You win some, you lose some. So anyway, do yourself a favour make some of these this weekend. And hide yo' kittens.

Pumpkin Crumble Muffins
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Muffins


1 3/4 cups gluten free flour mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 cup cane sugar 

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut milk (or almond or soy)
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs (or flax eggs for a vegan version)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Crumble Topping
1 1/4 cup gluten free oats
1 tablespoon gluten free flour mix
1/3 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons cold coconut oil, cut into chunks

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/200 degrees C. Line two muffin tins with paper liners or use silicone cups. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, water, pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth and combined.
4. Slowly stir in the flour mixture. Mix until ingredients are combined.
5. For the crumble topping: in a small bowl mix together the oats, flour, and brown sugar. Mix in the butter with your hands until the mixture is crumbly.
6. Fill muffin cups half way full with the pumpkin batter. Top each muffin with crumble topping.
7. Bake for 20-25  minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and cool on a wire rack. 

Summerhouse Weekend











This last month since I've started architecture school has been a bit of a whirlwind. There has been a lot of newness and busyness, for both Mark and I. So the timing couldn't have been better the other weekend when we were asked if we'd like to borrow a summerhouse just up the coast from Copenhagen. It was so nice to replace all the technical drawing and model making I've been doing with long walks on the beach and reading novels by the fire, just for a change of pace. We even had some friends join us for an afternoon adventure and a cauliflower pizza (surprisingly good!) one of the days. It was such a nice time of year to be there, as you could really tell that fall was just starting to arrive. And even though they are called summerhouses here for a reason, to my west coast self, fall will always be the best time to spend a weekend in a cabin.

Croatia

Sunday, September 29, 2013











Going to Croatia this summer was one of those trips that felt like a dream while it was happening, and even more so now that it is definitely fall in Copenhagen. I'm still not quite sure how it all happened, with five of my favourite people coming from England, Toronto and Victoria to meet up on a tiny island in the mediterranean. It was all the best things about being a kid (people you've known forever, bunk beds and giggling late into the night, sharing everything down to swim goggles) and being an adult (drinking beers in the ocean, happy hour and card games every night, taking turns between doing dishes and dj'ing). I really don't have that many recommendations, since we just stayed on Korčula, but we were really happy with our decision to rent a house and to stay in one place to explore from there. I'm sure the rest of the country is just as beautiful though, so I don't think you can go too wrong. After planning trips and having guests for so much of the summer, it was nice to have a vacation where there wasn't much to decide besides which beach to go to that day. It was the perfect way to end the summer, and I couldn't have asked for better travel companions. I mean, look at these guys!

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