first off, sorry the picture is so dark! it's dark out even during the day and the top of my all-in-one is the only surface in the house that doesnt have a pile of clutter on it.
so, the giveaway! yay! it's your very own embroidery starter kit!! it comes with a needle book with some needles, a sampling of floss, a hoop, some fabric, an embroidery stitch book, a sublime stitching pattern, and a print out of my smash patriarchy sampler! you can either keep it for yourself or give it to a loved one for the holidays!!
you just have to leave a comment with your favourite way to smash patriarchy by december 3rd at 5pm my time. i'll ship it out on monday!! (dont forget to leave me a way to get a hold of you!)
my parents are sorting out their stuff from moving down here almost 2 years ago. they're creating work spaces upstairs, etc. that means that a big bin of stuff of mine and my sister's from when we were kids was unearthed (Eden, you will DIE). i found my old cabbage patch baby doll with the rattle inside (which is now in seth's toy basket), among other things, including my most beloved cabbage patch figurines that i've now put on display. i loved these things to death.
and then, while seth was sleeping, i finally sewed up one of the drawstring skirts i've been meaning to make (2 more to go). i love it. love. it.
ok. off to have coffee with my gay husband. will have giveaway up tomorrow (or tuesday at the latest!). XO
These are the five sweaters I will be knitting. I already have one on the needles, and have yarn for the others either picked out or on the way. ETA: OMG SO EXCITED!
Sweetgum Duncan by Meghan McFarlane (Rav Link)
Rafik by the Berroco Design Team (Rav Link)
Common Ground by Elizabeth F. Smith (Rav Link)
Hooray Cardigan by Veera Välimäki (Rav Link)
Tephra Pullover by Laura Chau (Rav Link)
i just put my sewing machine away. it's been on the table all week. i've sewed so many things that i can't remember what i all sewed. i think that's strange. i went through the pile of "fix-its" and sewed some project bags to sell, and then started through the pile of clothes we wanted to turn into things for seth (we have a volcom tshirt and a meow army tshirt to do too!). i got this tshirt made and then decided i needed to clean up the kitchen a bit.
stewart's kind of addicted to Bored to Death right now and it's seriously getting in the way of our christmas movie watching. we rewatched deck the halls last night and it was terrible. i didn't get pictures of any old ladies today, but did go to the "fair trade" fair. boomers who go to "third-world" countries and buy handicrafts and then bring them to north america to sell them for a shit brick tonne of cash piss me off. i ended up buying a perpetual calendar from this book table. and two stickers (yes, one's for you eden!) that say, "No Farms. No Food." tomorrow I hope to get our space reorganized a bit better, fold all of the laundry, and knit. knit. knit. seth slept for a total of four and a half hours during the day today (and 10 hours last night!). i hope it's like that tomorrow.
1. Go to half of the Provincial Parks on Vancouver Island
2. Pay back my tuition debts
3. Pay off my CitiFinancial Card
4. Pay off my HBC Card
5. Pay off my Mastercard
6. Pay off my Visa
7. Go to Toronto with Stewart and Seth
8. Get three tattoos: a crysanthemum, the smash patriarchy comic, and another one (so many to choose from)
9. Make my own mozzarella
10. Knit 5 sweaters
11. Send Melissa a postcard for every week from now until my 29th birthday
12. Dye my hair like Ramona Flowers
13. Get a full time permanent job with the Provincial Government (even if it means we have to move)
14. Write an essay for the book collecting contest (and win!)
15. Be “The Letter of the Day” on Q
16. Roller derby
17. Eat at every Chinese food restaurant in Port Alberni
18. Start a booth at the Farmer’s Market
19. Go to Portland
20. Finally officially change my last name to Jurkic-Walls
21. Embroider my first “My Favourite Misogynist”
22. Finish and print our Pizza Zine and get it published by Microcosm
23. Cook every pasta recipe in the Rebar Cookbook
24. Finish the Hanami Shawl
25. Get red tomatoes this year
26. Make crafting and stuff like that 20% of my monthly income
27. Learn how to do Sashinko
28. Try to eliminate sugar and white flour as much as possible
happy weekend! (i forgot to take pictures of the bath bombing. but will take pictures of the tea and bazaar at the old folk's home tomorrow. promise.)
PS stitch n bitch tonight! HUZZAH!
so a friend here in port who does contract work at home hooked me up and i'm working for her company too (i even signed my contract already!). it's administration work, but tis a job, full time, i get to somewhat make my own hours, and well, i get to work at home. and stay in port alberni. i did apply for a job in terrace (regression?) and it's a big one so my fingers are crossed. but it's the provincial government so it could take months. anyway, i'm happy and start on monday! woop!/PHEW. i have three more days of absolute freedom (to knit and craft) before my time gets even more restricted. yikes!
it's still snowing. today it's just been coming down all day. my desktop widget says it's 2C out. seth has been sleeping like a newborn: all day. basically he gets up, plays for 1/2 hour, eats, boob, back to sleep. it's pretty funny because he's bouncing from long naps to short naps. i think his body and his mind aren't made up. he's fun. it's getting annoying when we go out and everyoneandtheirfuckingdog start talking to me b/c he's so cute. OH DIANDRA HARD LIFE?! your kid is cute and everyone wants to talk to your cute baby. so annoying all the small talk. haha.
i'm finishing up an article for cut out and keep right now. made the project yesterday. it's so dark b/c of the snow i might not get a good finished object picture. so i'll probably have to take it tomorrow.
this post feels boring. like i'm just rambling about what i did. or will do. i know that's the purpose of this, but blah. tomorrow i'll post something more exciting. like pictures of us making bath bombs and our recipe mods or something.
OH! and the giveaway is coming! I'll post it next monday and then ship it out on the 3rd (with the rest of my gifts). STAY TUNED!! XO
the christmas movie onslaught has begun. so far we've watched beverly hillbillie's christmas special, 29th street, white christmas, and surviving christmas. we just rented deck the halls, santa clause (1, not two or three), four christmases, and the chrimas movie. i love christmas movies.
it's also snowed here and it's cold. though not pg cold. but i did order us winter boots.
for the past week i've been seriously job hunting. well, not so seriously, but a few hours a day, and we've been thinking about moving, again. i've even applied for jobs in other towns (off-island) and am thinking about applying for jobs in other provinces. i've also applied for jobs here. that talk i had with the woman at service canada really lit the fire under my ass. and it's been a confusing week. i really like it here. we have so many awesome friends (of which have been working to get us to stay! so appreciated!) and when i was leaving the farmer's market on saturday morning i really thought, "this place. i like it."
the thing, though, is that sure, i'm 28, but i don't feel like i'm at a place where i can settle down into a place without having a job that can SERIOUSLY pay off our debts (about 50K in student loans, 14K for our car, and 6Kish for consumer debt) and fast. if we relocated to a place with a really high paying job even if it's in a shitty place or somewhere super COLD (like northern manitoba?) we could work to pay our debts off and then come back, buy a farm, and live the life we want to.
growing up is so hard. i dont know what to do with my/our life. i feel like i'm floundering. i wish someone could just point the way for me. it sucks that in High School I felt like i was told if i went to university i'd get a job and i'd be set. HA.
part of the job hunting, though, means my knitting time has been lacking and i'm super stressed out so there's still laundry on the bedroom floor (folded but needs to get put away) and the dishes i just can't keep up with them. the stress also means my body just fucking hurts and i have less patience for the helvetica dude. i need to just stop and cuddle with him a bit. ok. i'm off to knit. XO
My stepdad is turning forty-something tomorrow and last weekend I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, and he said, "a sweater". I laughed. And then he said he wanted a pizza party (b/c we do pizzas on fridays, etc). And I said YES! So, last night I put together his birthday cake. Now, he doesn't like chocolate cake and is always hauling home these grocery-store-gross coconut cream pies, so I put together this coconut cream dream cake for him. It's two 9" rounds of yellow cake with a super thick coconut pudding in the middle, topped with way-too-much creamy white frosting, and then loaded with sweetened shredded coconut. KILL. ME. NOW. At one point I was eating up the remaining pudding and remembered, "shit, I made this with half and half". Stop. ha! It's inspired by the retro-cake stylings of Amy Sedaris (I want her new book) and all of the recipes are derived from my better homes and gardens New Cookbook Bridal Edition. You know, the one that teaches you how to be a good wife? yes.
Coconut Cream Dream Birthday Cake!
Adapted from BHG New Cookbook B.E. (pg. 153)
3/4 cup salted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups rice milk
1. Let the butter and eggs get to room temperature for 1/2 hour. Grease and flour two 9" cake pans.
2. In a big bowl beat butter with a mixer for 3o seconds. Add sugar and beat until well combined. Add eggs and beat for 2 minutes (it should be a little fluffy). Beat in vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, and rice milk (alternating bit by bit) and beating as you go. It should be well combined, but not runny. Spread into pans.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375degrees C or until a toothpick put in the cake comes out clean! Cool on wire racks.
4. When cool pop cakes out of pans and slice the "mound" off of your bottom later. Save it b/c you're going to dip it in the pudding you're about to make and eat it.
1 box of Schriff cooked coconut pudding
1 1/2 cups of half and half (OMG or whipped cream??)
Cook pudding as per directions on box using the half and half in place of the called for liquid.
Once cooked put in a bowl and put in the freezer so it gets chunky fast (no time for laying around here girls!)
Creamy White Frosting
Adapted from BHG New Cookbook B.E. (p. 171)
1 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups icing sugar
4-5 tbsp rice milk
In a mixing bowl beat shortening and vanilla with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Slowly add icing sugar alternating with rice milk, combining them with the mixer. Beat until you reach the desired consistency. Note: this makes a hella-lot of icing. But, it's worth it. So, just do it.
I put two pieces of wax paper down on my cake plate and then positioned the bottom cake down. The pudding should be a big glob, so drop the glob on the bottom layer and chop/hack into chunks and spread evenly over the top. Then, carefully place the top layer over the pudding and press down gently (to make them stick together a little). Next put all of the icing on top of the cake and spread evenly around the sides and on the top. Then taking HANDFULS of shredded coconut (and often holding the cake at weird angles) sprinkle a generous helping of coconut everywhere. The cake should be steady enough that you can press the coconut into the icing and once you're coconut'd the whole thing, you can hold it at a slight angle and shake the excess off.
is that poo on my face?
one of my favourite parts of living in prince george was that pg had a lush store. both terrace and where i was in japan previous to moving to pg didn't have one. i never thought to order something online (it seemed too frivilous?), but would spoil myself in the face of a real life store front. since moving to port my life has been without many lush products because there isn't one here and because i can't really afford it enough to make it a priority when we go to nanaimo. but when i was up in pg, babyblue spoiled me for my bday and got me a face mask, bath bomb, and massage bar. teamed up with a deep soaker tub it was one of the best bday gifts ever (esp. considering it's been a year since i've had a bath).
last week when i was in victoria i also decided to go to lush and splurge myself a little (i deserve it!) and i ran into my first major complaint about lush. i don't know if staff are paid by commission or if they're just so fucking excited to be selling bath and body products but me and my sister were literally service-fucked in our facespace. we didn't get very far into the store, maybe a step and a kid who must not be allowed to be out in his non-work life screamed like we were his best friends and said, "OMG!" (?) then came over to us and WALLOFSERVICE. it was pretty overbearing. esp since another person came over to us the minute we were able to get rid of him. this is the exchange that my sister and i had with the second person while circling the massage bar stand:
me: hey eden, this bar is so great. it smells awesome and has chocolate in it. and when you rub it on your body it's like smearing poo on yourself!
sales person: (awkward laugh) i think it's like rubbing CHOCOLATE on yourself
me: no, it's not bad that it looks like poo, it just does.
the whole point is that whenever i go to a lush store anywhere i cannot shop in peace? is this to get me to buy more or to ensure i don't shoplift?
so, i still bought some things and ended up with ocean salt (yes!), another butterball bath bomb, and cupcake face mask (above). cupcake and brazened honey are definitely my favourite fresh masks they have. i also use their i love juicy shampoo about 70% of the times i wash my hair.
the other thing that really bugs me about lush is that even though they're "all natural" and riding the eco-product wave, they still use parabens and sulphites in some of their products. there currently are no regulations on the use of parabens but i'd hope that a company that's pretty "cool" would try to be on the cutting edge of "what's good for you" and not.
anyway, lush, i love you.
Um, before I write anything, take a look at this. I can't believe that this is finally coming to an end. Super excited. Super dark-looking. I hope we can get a babysitter so we can go to the late show this weekend. YIP!
In my concern for food origins, local eating, etc., we've taken it upon ourselves not to buy the three following things from stores any longer: 1. Pickles, 2. Lettuce, and 3. Salsa. Of course the chocolate chips I bought yesterday probably negate all of this, but whatever. It's a start. And a good start. And, it's going well. We were lucky enough to trade Stewart's grandma 1 big jar of blackberry jam for 6 jars of pickles (3 dill and 3 butter), and I've pickled all those carrots and green beans. The thing I miss lettuce on the most is on sandwiches (I can do without green salads for most of the year)...(but I will say that we're still eating these three things "out" if we ever are lucky enough to eat out). For the past 2 months I've kind of experimented with putting different kinds of sandwiches together without tomatoes and lettuce (I've kind of stopped buying tomatoes often too). Today my favourite was had and I wanted to share it with you.
What I did is I took two thick slices of the yummy olive bread I grabbed from wildfire bakery on our way out of victoria last weekend and put a slathering of garlic and red pepper jelly I made on it (recipe here), then some shredded red cabbage (local, from saanich! woop!), some of stew's grandma's butter pickles, and then a big chunk of mozzarella cheese. This was the best sandwich i've had in a while and I'm happy to say I'm definitely through my needing meat on a sandwich. Or even an egg. bleck. I'm good with preserves, veg, and cheese. YUM.
even though we've been back from our long haul vacation for a few weeks there are still piles of shit everywhere. bleck. so unmotivated to do very much. but i'm still doing a lot. of knitting. and cooking. and relaxing. i have to go back to work soon and i'm kind of dreading it. we're toying with putting seth in daycare part of the week (we don't want to) so we can both work and it be less stressful. i sat down and had a candid conversation with someone at service canada yesterday...i was crying at her desk and we waxed poetic about job losses and the drain-hole of port alberni. i'm not looking forward to looking for work. i'm not looking forward to working minimum wage and long hours just to pay the bills. but it seems like there's no jobs here (or even on the island) so i don't know what we'll do. i'm pretty sure i'm going to get a job to pay the bills and stick with it and then every so slowly apply for a real 'career gal' job in a number of major canadian cities. who knows, this time next year we could be in a new province? i want to own a farm with my sister in a handful of years and that's not going to happen if i don't pay off my debt. which isn't going to happen if i don't get a super well paying job. which just isn't in this town or even on the island (go liberals of provincial government suck!).
okay, done my rant, my eyes are getting droopy and my knitting is beckoning me. if you want to read more blogness, my sister from another mister has a blog (finally) and it's wonderful. GO READ IT.
These are one of my xmas gifts that I have to knit. Not many since I've instituted the family gift exchange starting last year. Definitely a better way to go. No more knitting for 8 people every year. Anyway, I like these mitts, but 1. not for me, and 2. so overrated. I knit them a bit shorter, and used the same needle and like the yarn (sublime chunky something or other). My rav project page is here if you want more deets!
Chunky Monkey Vest
I whipped this vest up over the past few days as a trade with our friend TJ who sewed seth the cutest long dress-like dragon sweater. He wore it for one day only in victoria and people died everywhere we went. Anyway, I literally JUST finished this vest and I'm just in love with it. I used scrap super bulky yarn i had around (hence the weird colour make up) and did a gauge swatch (my gauge was 1/2 that of the pattern). it's super warm and will be super long and slouchy for the baby it's going to be on. YAY! My ravelry project page is here.
ps I LOVE the birch wall for taking pictures of my knitting. and whatever else is in its way, really. xO
the time since we've returned from holidays has been flying by and i've just been somewhat shitty. i haven't returned to my routine and i've also not been eating well or taking care of myself. booo. boo on me. i've been knitting a lot and sleeping? well, i'm not really sure what i've been up to. i have perhaps not been too on top of my catch up and there's piles of laundry everywhere. i guess, too, because seth wants to play all the time but can't really get around on his own yet (or sit on the floor by himself yet) i've been doing a lot of baby holding. and it's exhausting.
stewart and i are at this moment putting together our best of 2010 CD! we each pick ten songs and then throw them together. we're going to celebrate our purchasing of a new printer/scanner/thing by making covers for them. we're probably only going to make somewhere between 10 and 20 copies. i'll be doing a giveaway for one on here soon. probably closer to the holidays, with a crafty giveaway. some suggestion of what you're in for on the CD: matt skiba, bleeding through, robyn, avey tare, manchester orchestra, arcade fire, never shout never, the drums, operator please, wavves, MIA, etc.
i have to head to bed and want to do a separate knitting post, but here's some pictures of the last week or so.
homemade dinner! homegrown potatoes, stew's grandma's pickles, locally baked bread. YUM.
french toast at the blue fox in victoria. so worth the over and hour wait to sit and drink coffee and eat.
alex and eden at the blue fox. see her plate of vegan goodness? she ate the whole thing. she's a champ.
eden gives seth a taste of the music.
stewart's hamburger pizza. OMG. it tasted just like a hamburger.
A month or so ago I decided that one way I could be self sufficient would be to become a "professional knitter". You know, like the next Ysolda Teague or something. Which is kind of shooting for the stars. I mean, I am not really sure what I should *do*. So, my first step is putting out some patterns, trying to get some patterns published, etc. Thus I present to you my first self-published pattern, The Alward Slouch!
This slouch is inspired by my friend Karen who lives on Alward Street. She's a knitter, I'm a knitter, and we just have a great chemistry and camaraderie. Recently I was on our epic road trip and not only needed a project to use up my errant skein of Noro Kochoran, but I needed something I could knit while stealing minutes on the road with a newish infant. Karen looks more amazing than I could imagine in this hat and I'm so happy it all came together! The pattern is a bulky-weight quick knit slouch with a ribbed band and a moss stitch body.
You can download the pattern here, or check it out on Ravelry here. Happy Knitting! xo
UM, can someone say YUMMERS?! This recipe is inspired by two things. The first being the huge hock of leftover ham we had in our freezer from thanksgiving (I've learned to ALWAYS accept leftovers from get togethers: a great way to save money in the long run!), and the second being Stewart and his love of MEATY greasy grimy diner food stuffs. We had three guys over for dinner and I wasn't sure if they were being polite or if the sandwich actually filled them up. But, the sandwiches were huge. I made scallop potatoes to go with the sandwiches, but they didn't cook in time, so we just had potato chips and then black forest cake my grandpa brought out. And lots of water. This shit is salty. But SO GOOD. (ps. one of the people we had over for dindin doesn't like spicy things, so if you DO like spicy things, up the chipotle to taste).
Sloppy Stew's Pulled Ham Sandwiches
Makes 8 servings
Ingredients for the ham:
- 8 cups of chopped cold ham (use leftovers!)
- 1/2 red onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups ketchup
- 2 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tbsp chipotle puree
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- pepper to taste
- the other 1/2 of the red onion cut into thick slices
- one cold, crisp green pepper cut into 8 thick slices
- chipotle mayo
- 8 whole wheat kaisers
- 8 processed cheese slices (this is what we had in the house, but a good sharp cheddar would also do)
To make the Ham:
Saute ham, onion, and water in a sauce pan until onion is translucent and the ham is falling apart. Add vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, chipotle, soy sauce, and pepper; mixing well. Cook on medium-low until liquid reduces by half.
To assemble the sandwiches:
Cut open kaiser. On bottom half spread mayo and then layer cheese on top. Pile 1/8th of the ham mixture (about a cup) on the bottom layer. Place onion and green pepper on top of ham and top with bun.
(omg, now i want another one. haha) and, ETA: haha, i forgot it was vegan MOFO!! OMG!!! of course you can replace the ham with 8 cups of cubed firm tofu, and the mayo with soy mayo (or just chipotle mixed with a bit of earth balance, yum!..and use rice cheese!!!) XO ETA: a few days later! My forgetting that it was vegan mofo paired with this post meant that I got pulled from the veganmofo blogroll. And despite my reitterations that I forgot, this was posted and I was told they'd "try". Super disappointing. So, I'm not going to vegan blog. It's a lot of work and if I'm not part of the broooha, then whatever.
the first leg of our trip took us to oliver bc, stewart's HOMELAND. we even got to go wine tasting at burrowing owl. and hang out with his family. stewart's grandma lives in a house that is on an orchard and has this old fruit stand on the property. i love that place and was happy to take home a few jars of pickles (yum!).
then we spent the week in kelowna and i didn't really take any pictures. can you believe it? i can! i was so tired and seth was in the throes of teething and a growth spurt. i just wanted to die most of our time there. but, stew's mom took some pictures of stew and seth in his hallowe'en costume:
and then! wahoo! PG! yes!
seth was held by a lot a lot of pretty ladies. and i had such a good time seeing everyone and again didn't take enough pictures. i don't at all wish to move back there, but always love seeing my ladies. especially loki, ora, and babyblue. there was also knitting. and i have a new pattern soon to be posted here and on ravelry. i've also knit up a pair of baby mitts and started on some socks that *might* be for my dad for xmas.
and then yesterday we started our long journey home. it was beautiful and dry out until we got to boston bar. and then so rainy. yuck. and this morning we slept in so no cafe deux soleils breakfast, just way overpriced lunch on the ferry. double yuck. XO