A Year in Review...

Here are my favourite pictures from the past year from my Flickr account. i'm excited for what this next year will bring!

the first photo i posted this year! such a fun anticipatory time!

yacht @ sugar

badges and buttons!
finally moving in!

douglas coupland autograph for helvetica!
love from doug.

helvetica day 1
we had a baby!

my indoor basil
growing! yum!

our chalkboard wall, july 2010
(more) moving in!

enchanted forest socks
knitting! socks! my favourite project of the year.

local food! this was the year for good food.

stuffed crust pizza
bring on pizza fridays!

stew's grandma's house used to have a fruit stand

upcycling clothes for seth
crafting!/sewing. i love this picture...


Recipe: Marinated Mushrooms

vegan marinated mushrooms
I found this recipe in Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Cookbook, which jumped out at me from the shelves at the library as the lone non-Christmas book on the "Christmas" themed book shelf. This cookbook was like a light turning on for me for some reason. All of these amazing recipes in one (big) book! How could I have not known about the wonders of Jewish Holiday Cooking (well, I had an idea, but I didn't really know)? I quickly took on a few favourite recipes and cooked them for the Hanukkah feast we had, but a few of them really stuck (like the vegetarian chopped liver with eggplant OMG).

I like this one the best because it's easy peasy, never something I would have considered making myself (!), it's cheap for entertaining, and is just SO delicious! And, it has one of my favourite foods: mushrooms. I altered the recipe to include dry herbs because really who has access to fresh herbs cheap in the off season, and made it a bit spicier. I also double the mushrooms and reduce the marinade. Less oil = good times.


vegan marinated mushrooms
vegan marinated mushrooms
vegan marinated mushrooms

Marinated Mushrooms

adapted from Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Cookbook (pg. 61)


2 lbs of fresh button mushrooms
1 small yellow onion, peeled and sliced into paper thin rings
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup salad oil (I used canola)
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
1 heaping tablespoon prepared HOTT mustard (I got ours at a european deli!)
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon ground cumin (though cumin seed would be yummy too!)
three pinches of salt
shake of pepper

How To:

1. Put 1" of water in a large pot (one that you have the lid for) and turn on MAX. Wash and trim the stems of your mushrooms. Once washed place in your pot and cover. Let cook for 1 minute once water is boiling. Drain water and place mushrooms in a crock, casserole dish, or glass bowl (preferably one with a lid to reduce the onion stink into your fridge).

2. Lower heat to medium-low. Using the same pot combine the onions, vinegar, oil, sugar, mustard, basil, cumin, salt, and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for about three minutes. (I found the mustard got this specific smell like burning hot stuff, ha, that triggered me to pull it off the stove. It took me 3 minutes simmering to get there).

3. Cover the mushrooms in the marinade and stir to evenly coat. Place bowl/crock/whatever covered in the fridge for a minimum of 24 hours, stirring occasionally.

Joan Nathan says to serve with toothpicks, but I put a huge serving spoon in mine and encouraged peeps to eat them like candy :)

merry cheeeery!

oh my. this totally made me cry. so awkward and cute.


sleepy eyes

christmas ornament i made when i was in primary school.
christmas ornament i made when i was a kid
helvetica loves yoghurt
yaya! super blurry yoghurt shot

i thought i'd do a quick post before i started my work for the day. seth starts daycare on the 4th and until then i'm working when stewart's home and in every little minute i have. last week i put in 20 hours. on top of everything else (not instead of). basically what it means is that 1. i'm exhausted, 2. we had take out when we can't afford it, and 3. i'm behind on a few projects (like a tutorial for another blog, my sweater, etc). and i'm really exhausted. i can't really keep track of my days and have to spend more time than necessary trying to remember what i did yesterday or a few days ago. i can't wait until he goes to daycare. i think the first day i'm going to use that time to sleep rather than work (it'll only be a partial day anyway) and then the next day start working full on.

i've been doing a lot of holiday knitting, too, which is kind of poopy, because i'd rather be knitting my sweater!!! AND another sweater's worth of yarn is on it's way to me and should be here today! but i can't very well cast on for another sweater when i'm still not done my sweetgum. and, after that i have some mini mini test pieces and schematics to finish for a submission i'm sending into twist for next fall's issue (finger's crossed i get accepted!). if it doesn't get accepted i'll be working on the pattern steadily and then probably self publish (as i already missed the deadline for knitty). and if knit.1 was still around that'd be perfect :( i had a dream the other night that i was walking around topless (!!) and at one point i had a moment of shame and remembered to put my shirt on. and it was this grey, malabrigo knit, leaf lace, pullover sweater (short sleeved). it felt so nice on my skin. but it's also nothing i've ever seen before. so that's another design i might put together!! haha. there's also a sweater i want to get the design on. but first things first. i also realized that "knit 5 sweaters" doesn't have to be just for me. stewart wants a freddy krueger sweater and i'll probably knit my sister a sweater for her birthday (surprise!haha). so that leaves only 3 for me.

i borrowed the new skinny bitch cookbook from the library the other day and finally got to sit down and read it while seth was in his bath last night. the skinny bitch books always trigger me because they're unapologetic with the bitchiness, but also VEGAN lifestyle books. of all the "get fit get healthy" books out there this series is probably my favourite. i have such a political struggle with weight (more so than a personal struggle i think, because when ever i think about it personally the political side takes over and i forget about my issues) and FAT. anyway, the book reinspired me to take on some food stuff (got to start somewhere!) and my sugar stuff (white flour will follow soon...i just LOVE it so much!). so, last night i've decided (how many times have you heard this? hahahaa) to restrict my refined/brown/cane sugar intake to one item/experience a day. for example, if i have brown sugar in my coffee, nothing else i eat during the day can have refined sugar in it. it's way better than cutting it all out and testament to how much sugar i'm actually inducing. it doesn't mean that if i go to have a cookie i can only have one, but it means i can't have two now and then two later. just the two that one time. does that make sense? but it also means that i can't have things with high fructose corn syrup (hurrah!) and will have to be an eagle eye on any canned goods i buy.

with the sugar restrictions i've decided to put a number to my meat eating/vegetarianness. i'm only going to have meat meals at dinner and only every second day. so that's 3.5 meat meals a week! we're probably eating less than that as it is, but stewart's excited to know he'll eat meat at home every few days. haahah. after i can nail that i'll focus on dairy and eggs (though i love them). my meat thing too is going to aim to only eat local meat. but we'll see how that goes.

OK, i should go do work. the child's fallen asleep on the couch next to me (his little snores are SO CUTE) and i should brush my teeth and login to my work.

Christmas is SOOON! so excited!!! XO


i need a time machine.

president's choice freezer cheese sticks
tomorrow my gay husband is turning old. well, not old..but 33 me thinks. he says he never thought he'd make it to 33 so it's just fun! YAY! i ended up making him a hat out of angora (GUSH) and will take him for sushi etc. i'm not sure if he reads this (though i know he knows it exists) but i want everyone to know that he's amazing and that i love him and port alberni would not be the same without him. he has been the bestest friend to me and so supportive while i transition into being a mom person. he also has a sweet job and is good at it. so yay nick! you rock!

last night we were wondering the aisles of extra foods and i was exhausted and didn't know what i was doing or where i was going (and was pushing a sleepy baby in a shopping cart no less) and nick just berated me lovingly into the right direction. and bought us cheese sticks (which we dipped in sour cream) and shot the shit at home with me and stew later. it was great.

stewart and i held hands while walking last night for the first time in MONTHS. i didn't realize that a kid would take that away. it was really nice to hold hands again.

oh, check this out. I'M IN LOVE. though i'm not sure it's still around.


love is a hunter

Rae Spoon was on CBC's Q today. YAY!

Have you seen this? Supermarket Sarah? I heard about it from MEET ME AT MIKE'S! It's incredible. and Genius.

And, Port Alberni-based crafter and antiques collector, Eben Lemon, is hosting a sweet giveaway over at the Dainty Squid! (Me, my sister, and Kalinhop are going to be making soap over the holidaze, so I'll be sure to take pictures of that!).

Oh! and this Harry Potter plush tutorial from My Paper Crane? OMG! I think that I'll make one into a puppet for the puppet theatre I'm making seth (it's baby sized, so when he's like one and half he'll be into it).

craft for the wonderful E.
i made this embroidered nesting doll for the lovely e with purple and blue floss and put it in a purple frame. i didn't take any complete pics or WIPS, but i love it. so nice. here's the pattern from sublime stitching if you're so inclined!

this is the lame little garland i made for hanukkah. i used the star cutout tutorial from martha stewart (and i finally got my first issue of living that i subscribed for in the mail, yay!)

hanukkah leftovers
MMMM, hanukkah leftovers. we had 20 people here (including 7 kids under 7) in our tiny little itty bitty basement suite. it was GREAT! i made SO MUCH food and it was all devoured minus this crock of marinated mushrooms, borscht salad, a tablespoon or so of vegetarian chopped liver, and a bunch of rye bread (we had another loaf left too). it was the most fun i've had in a while and so great to have all these wonderful people in one space.


helvetica's best of 2010

helvetica's best of 2010
well, this year is close to over and there's albums and bands we still haven't gotten our hands on (ahem, downloaded), but this is as close to on-time-accurate we'll get to this year. highlights? for me obviously robyn and her onslaught of sweeeeedish ness..it transformed my year; stewart says, "the new comeback kid album was a lot better than i expected and it's amazing" (even though he picked a bleeding through track instead); "i found my love of garage rock through no bunny" (stew); and i think the two of us together fell face flat onto the hipster trend of the year lo fi jangly guitars and songs about the beach. honourable mentions that didn't make it here are obviously best coast, kill the client, beach house, kid cudi, willow, belle and sebastien, etc. below are our tracks! i've worked hard to get youtube links for most of the songs. but, surely everything you can find on a torrent site (or even splurge and get them through itunes!). or you can send me an email and beg for one.

every town has an elm street – iron chic (link)
include me out – robyn (link)
ambling alp – yeasayer (link)
this shit getz old – nevershoutnever! (link)
city with no children – arcade fire (link)
heart is hard to find – jimmy eat world (link)
laughing hieroglyphic – avey tare (link)
odessa – caribou (link)
i can’t believe you – matt skiba (link)
tighten up – black keys (link)
let’s go surfing – the drums (link)
pretty please me – no bunny (link)
post acid - wavves (link)
twin peaks – surfer blood (link)
shake it out – manchester orchestra (link)
summertime – my chemical romance (link)
anti-hero – bleeding through (link)
xxxo – m.i.a. (link)
we’ve got a situation here – the damned things (link)
back and forth – operator please (link)


A handful of FOs (it was that kind of day)

ingledew street baby mitts
out of the archives mitty things

Ingledew Street Baby Mitts

Mitty things I started in 2008

Windschief for mygayhusband

(today was wip clean up day!! haha).

FO: what's the story morning glory (waffel hat)!

waffel hat
waffel hat
waffel hat

Whee! I love this hat! The yarn is called cranberry something, and I'm pretty sure it's 100% merino? Regardless, it's so squishy and soft and hand dyed by Ryan from Knotty By Nature in Victoria. The colour is just wonderful. I originally bought it to make Koolhaus by Jared Flood, but I wasn't interested in joining a flock on this one.

The pattern was great! It was a little confusing at times, and I did one additional decrease row of k2togs the whole way around. But despite that one row, I didn't change a thing! So that must equal a good pattern! The yarn makes the hat a little springy on my head right now, but as I know from my other hats, it'll stretch out with time.

I love the colour(s) so much! YAY! In other news, I obviously need a new camera. This one isn't doing it for Port Alberni light :(

This is my Ravelry project page, and this is the pattern page from the Pickle's website!


#23: Lotusland Linguine

Lotusland Linguine - from the Rebar Cookbook
Lotusland Linguine - from the Rebar Cookbook
Lotusland Linguine - from the Rebar Cookbook

It was hard to pick a pasta to start with. I chose this one b/c we're kinda poor right now and the ingredients were cheap (and we had most of them at home already). Many of the pastas I can just go right out and buy stuff for, but the ingredient lists are LONG and I know, just know, that most of the recipes would just be better with local or in season ingredients.

This one, the Lotusland Linguine, is pretty delicious. It was relatively easy and anything with peanut sauce kind of wins my heart. I'm not going to put the recipe here because the cookbook is so amazing you should buy a copy. Substitutions/Changes I made were no snow peas (couldn't find them at the grocery store), green pepper instead of red pepper, and the recipe is way too much food (leftovers and lunch for stew tomorrow), and there isn't enough peanut sauce. I like lots of sauce, so next time will double the recipe. Oh, and it's also vegan! yum!


Today is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women...

As I get older, I find that I get more emotional on December 6th. It's kind of like I've been attending these events since I was a child, sometimes organizing them as an adult, and always, always participating. I feel like I'm growing up, but this is just staying the same. There's still so much violence and hatred towards women and sometimes it feels like it's not getting any better and there's no end in sight.

Two things really get to me about December 6th. The first is my enormous rage, anger, and sadness about violence against women. This year, especially, feels like a banner year for violence against women and girls. I feel like everywhere you can turn and see some Canadian media you are consuming a recent report about violence against a girl or woman. None of these reports analyze the role of gender and say that this was gendered violence, when it is.

Here's a short list of what happened SO FAR this year, and what about it is shaking me to the core:

1. Last winter Canadian news was scandalized with the arrest of Col. Russell Williams. Details aside, he was charged with two first degree murder charges (and later he faced a total of 88 charges) and within the first 24 hours of his arrest, the media and his "supporters" reported that "he's such a great guy", a "community leader", and an "upstanding gentleman". The court case began and raged on and this man has been put to jail and an arduous court case for the murder of two (young) women. The majority of the news around his case focused on his sexual deviance, rather than the fact that our society continues to allow these mother fucking men to rise to positions of power in our institutions. There needs to be better screening to ensure that men are aware of their role as possible misogynists and violence makers, and institutions need to give men the space to have a different take on women (rather than to just continue with the traditional patriarchy). Of course Williams was in the wrong and did terrible terrible things, but why can't we also hold the institution that encourages patriarchal behaviour to also be responsible? huh?

2. The spring brought us the death of Kimberly Proctor. 18 year old high schooler from Victoria who's burned remains were found adjacent to the Victoria regional trail, the gallopping goose. Was it intentional? Was it a homicide? Was it a random act of violence? no one knew! And then in the early fall the real truth began to be heard in the news. An ex boyfriend and a friend fucking LURED her to their house where they killed her, put her body in a fucking duffel bag, put some gasoline in the duffel bag, CARRIED HER BODY ON THE CITY BUS, and took her to the trail where they burned her.

This one is probably the most jarring for me from this year. First, people in Proctor's family and community IMMEDIATELY realized she was missing (that made the news within a day). She had deviated from her regular routine, she was last seen at a bus stop, etc. People cared that she went missing; responsible adults knew her routine and were concerned when it became different. And they should've been. These boys (16 and 17 at the time of the death) obviously did not have responsible adults in their lives (or the accomplice's lives). Who's house did they take her to? Was one of these boys living outside of his parent's house? So, if he had his own house, was MCFD involved? HOW COME NO ONE HEARD ANY OF THIS GOING ON WHEN IT WAS HAPPENING? Also, we obviously live in a fucked up world if these boys are using facebook and email to carry out this detailed and meditated plan to murder this young woman. Planning it for a year? And, they took her body on the city bus? There was probably a good 36 hour period where these boys weren't interrupted. Where are responsible adults (teacher? why the fuck weren't they in school? why weren't the teachers calling the house looking for the kids? why didn't the bus driver question the large bag? and why wasn't kimberly proctor told never to trust any boy EVER?)

3. Oh September! The leaves slowly begin to change, the sun sets earlier in the day, and kids go back to school, and have parties where they gang rape their classmates, take pictures and put them on facebook. I'm not sure how many ways we can say this isn't cool, it's unacceptable, and it's RIDICULOUS that these young men are allowed to have this sort of social behaviour without getting immediately blacklisted from school, their communities, and the earth. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THEIR WORLDS THAT IS TELLING THEM THAT THIS BEHAVIOUR IS A-OK? If you know someone in high school (or are in high school) you need to immediately tell them about this happening and tell them why it is wrong. a) you never hurt ANYONE like this for any reason, b) use social media responsibly!, c) respect women/girls and other marginalized and oppressed peoples! JERKS!

4. Most recently a number of young women have been murdered in our old stomping grounds, Prince George. And even more recently the murder of a 15 year old girl in Fort St James. I'm still not emotionally mature enough to deal with, or even begin to theorize and work towards dealing with the death of women in the north. So, I have nothing angry or helpful to say, except FUCK YOU PATRIARCHY.

Now I'm tired, worked up, etc. I have all these rants and suggestions for Capital F Feminism for making December 6th more effective, but I don't think I can get there right now (too much stuff to doooooooooo). Maybe next year? Or, just find a copy of my thesis :) XO


#19: Go To Portland

Ace Hotel, Portland
Um, yes! Hotel is booked for June! @kalinhop and I (and baby seth) are going so K can go to blythecon and seth and i can sit in powell's books and wander around. i'll hopefully get a tattoo. and eat. a lot. of. food. OMG. we're staying at ace! wahoooooooo!!!


Tutorial: Scrap Bunting Pillow at Cut-out-and-Keep!

Look what I made! And I made a tutorial that was published in the newest issue of Snippets over at Cut Out and Keep!

Speaking of Cut Out and Keep, it's a really awesome website and I like it a lot! Some of my favourite recent projects/tutorials are:

Knee High Socks with Butterfly detail
Oreo Balls!
Twinkie Chan's Crochet Daisy Headband!
Shrinky Dink Faux Tattoo Necklace!


WIP: Sweater! + Giveaway Winner!

Well, I was going to wait for stewart to get home and then pull names out of a hat, but he's working late Blah Blah Blah! So, I used the random number generator and it gave me #3! Thank you so much ladies for entering, but Singlegal takes this one! Congrats! I'm going to try and do more giveaways, I like them :)

sweetgum duncan sweater
In other news, I'm working on my first sweater of my five and it's coming along nicely! i bought the yarn at knotty by nature (the black variegated is dyed by Ryan who owns KBN? and the blue is malabrigo). i bought it to make a different sweater but a few inches in and after doing a lot of math, i decided to frog that sweater because the cables weren't showing up with this yarn. i immediately found this second sweater, which is just awesome....it was meant to be! i'm just over 1/2 way there and it's using up way less yarn than the first pattern (which was short sleeved) called for, so when i go to make the original one i'll know to buy LESS yarn.

i'm going to go finishing watching eat pray love (poooooo) and get myself excited to put the groceries away and get ready to host a xmas party tomorrow! i'm making everyone dinner! i've already wrapped a wheel of comox brie and my green tomato jam in a piece of pastry. GUH. and roasted the squash and cooked the chick peas for the sneaky, sneaky salad. yum. have a great weekend!!! XO


dark, you can't come soon enough for me.

bath bombs!
this is one of the bath bombs we made almost a week ago. learned a lot about making them. i'm giving most of them away for xmas, so will make more. definitely.

ooh! i made these felt ornaments for yarnsalad for her tree. they were fun and easy to make. i kind of wish i had made myself some too! but our tree is full (we have a red ornament-only tree and a box of other ornaments under the stairs)...and i'd rather knit, in all honesty.

mmmm, laundry.
mmmmmm toys. folding laundry together. well, me folding him unfolding. schma.

this is officially and hopefully the last of my late night posts. for me part of the transition to being 'back to work' means that i'm working for the weekend and going to have to focus on spending my week working, rather than playing. BOO. i really liked being off. especially to decompress after doing my MA. i'm under the impression that i can ease into work, but i'd like to have more $$ so i need to try and work more. it's a vicious cycle, really.

also, to just start taking better care of myself and get into some sort of a routine i'm going to take my "no food after 10pm" rule and move it to 9pm. if i didn't get to eat dinner then too bad, i'll have to have a piece of fruit or something, but no heavy food. if i did eat dinner then i just need to suck it up, have a cup of tea or water. but no food. eating late night has always been a bad habit for me. limiting myself to 10pm has been great. i've felt better and am hungry when i get up. sometimes ravenous.

the other thing i need to do i start going to bed by 10-10:30p. i would make it 10p, but i know i wouldn't achieve it IMMEDIATELY and then i'd feel like shit and a failure. (not fun). that way i can ensure i get a good sleep whether seth wakes up or not.

and the last thing i'm going to try and do right now to get us back on a routine is to transition seth to his bedroom. egads. i really like having him in bed and cuddling, so i anticipate he'll be sleeping in our bed often, or on bad sleep nights, but it's the needing to be super quiet in our room when we go to bed and tip-toeing around him in our bedroom (ie. not being able to set an alarm b/c it would wake him up too and then what would be the point?). i'd like to be able to get up a bit before him and make coffee and get my day started (maybe have a shower?) and then have him get up and get him ready for his day. that is the goal.

i hope that by getting on a routine then i'm not feeling like i need to work in the evening (which should be my winding down time) and can have an hour or so to knit. i'm sure there's going to be other things (like being ok with my google reader being over 1000+ unread..., and starting to use my crockpot more, or double batch cooking on the weekend to make the week easier)...but i'll get there. oh, transitions.

#12: dye my hair like ramona flowers

My hair's in this stage I don't like right now (and usually don't like). I think also not having time just makes me have no energy to do anything to it so I think it sucks. So, I'm fantasizing more about this hair. Like most things in my life I need money to do this. But, I think I might just do it myself (WOOP) rather than go to a salon and get it done. I'll be using the Dainty Squid post about her multi-coloured hair as a starting point. And, will have to bleach it out too! SO EXCITED.