five things | four

Some things I’ve enjoyed this week…

apak wooden jigsaw puzzle
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image credit: APAK Studio
I like, really really really want one of these puzzles.

‘Fast’ and Heartsick
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It’s no secret that I love Vin Diesel and the F&F movies (greatest film franchise of all time, don’t even try and argue).

zara embroidered long dress
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Normally I’m not at all into navy blue but I might make an exception for this dress.

Return of The X-Files
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The timing for this could not be more perfect as I just started my annual rewatch of the series last week.

Anita Sarkeesian- What I Could’t Say

I love her sfm

keeping house

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Georgie had another anal gland abscess this week, this time it ruptured before I even noticed it so she had a huge oozy open wound, poor thing :(

I started the draft of this post the other day and wrote the title but now I can’t remember what it was going to be about, so instead I guess it’ll be about complaining. I’m having some really negative feels about my apartment rn. I just want it to be nice and not a nightmare to live here because we are trapped forever in this basement apartment, and it’s just the worst sometimes. Like, the leak in the kitchen ceiling hasn’t been fixed because they can’t figure out where it’s coming from and MEANWHILE I just have a great big hole in the ceiling. They cut it open to try and find the leak and when they couldn’t find it they just left the hole so they don’t have to cut it open again if they do figure it out. It’s right below my neighbor’s bathroom so I can hear every time they flush the toilet which is just great, truly.

Then, I just found out that the new owners of the little house next door (it sold again last fall) want to put up a THREE STOREY building in the backyard! There’s this new plan for Vancouver’s West End, putting infill housing in alleyways because the population density of 22,000 people in a square kilometer could be denser I guess? imo Vancouver doesn’t need MORE housing, it needs AFFORDABLE housing bc rents around here are ridic AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON BUYING A PLACE. But I digress, this proposed backyard building would be right outside my living room window so I’d get to a) listen to months of construction all day every day because I work from fucking home, and b) say goodbye to the one small shred of natural light in this place. Oh and not to mention Taylor would probably have a psychotic break from never sleeping again. Cool. Great. There is a ~workshop~ tonight to get information and give feedback about it before they apply to the city so I’m going with a list of questions like “How much are you budgeting to buy Seasonal Affective Disorder lamps for current residents you are consigning to a life of darkness?” and “Are you TRYING to ruin my life?????”

(I am aware that this is total diaper baby whining on my part but allow me this, please.)

In blog news…
I lightened up the layout (HOW IRONIC). It was so dark before because in the winter I feel dark but hey, it’s spring now. I also added a new page for printables. Previously they were listed with the DIYs but I’ve decided to make them separate because in all honestly, is “download this image then print it out” REALLY a DIY? You can find all my old printables on the new page, as well as some that I never posted here. Anyway, the printable page can be found here.

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bunnies

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Gwen loves bunnies*. When she was little(r, she’s still little) the first book she liked us to read to her was I am a Bunny, and read it we did, dozens of times a day, over and over. She has lots of stuffed bunnies and they are all her favourite: Sleepy Bunny, Grumpy Bunny, Momo Bunny, Big Bunny, Purple Bunny. They all get plenty of hugs and kisses. She points out all the bunnies in all her books, she points out the bunnies on our shower curtain.

Every little girl has these bunny-print pajamas from the Gap for Easter this year. They are cute but I had no intention of buying them (I think the Gap’s pajamas are overpriced and only get them on sale OR in a moment of madness) but I stopped in there a few weekends ago when they were having a 40% off sale. The only had two pairs of these jammies left: a tiny baby pair, and a size 3 (which is Gwen’s size). OBVIOUSLY IT WAS MEANT TO BE.

A few years ago Sym dressed up as a “vampire magician” for Hallowe’en. She had a ruffled blouse, a flouncy black & red crinoline skirt, a cloak and a top hat, as well as some gothic looking jewelry and a magic wand. To complete her look I made a rabbit for her to pull out of her hat, but not just any rabbit: I made a Bunnicula. It’s just a felt flattie, black and white with a widow’s peak, big red eyes and embroidered fangs. Since then the Bunnicula has been up on my bulletin board, until earlier this week when Gwen’ noticed it. SHE HAD TO HAVE THAT BUNNY(cula). She cried until I got it down for her and she’s been carrying it around and cuddling it ever since. She loves bunnies, I tell you. ALL bunnies.

*Gwen also loves: foxes, squirrels, bees, frogs, bugs, birds, mice, goats, cats, dogs, butterflies and owls.

happy day

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picture by Taylor

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some more suede & leather patches I’ve made recently: the bunnies & mushroom are available in the shop and the little deer will be listed this afternoon.

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picture by Taylor

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Saturday was my & Taylor’s 6th wedding anniversary. Pretty cool, I think. To celebrate we went for dinner at The Roof at the Hotel Vancouver. We actually had an amazing time, there was a jazzy duo playing lounge-y songs and these really really old oldsters were dancing, which was just great. Idk, it was so sweet and funny. We joked to each other that we should request some Lionel Richie and then right before we left the one musician was like “We are still taken requests” like why didn’t you say that two hours ago! We drank a bottle of wine and ate a ton of good food (like, the portions were almost TOO BIG, if you would like a huge slab of meat for dinner then this is the restaurant for you) and as I’d told them it was our anniversary when I confirmed the reservation they brought us a tray of tiny little desserts to share. You all know I LOVE TINY FOOD so I could not have been more pleased.

After we came home we exchanged gifts; we like to try and tie our anniversary gifts to the “traditional” gift list (like last year I embroidered Taylor five wood-themed patches), and the 6th anniversary is iron. You’d think it would be hard but we both knocked it out of the park: I got Taylor a discontinued Lego set of IRON Man and he got me a waffle IRON that makes heart-shaped waffles. GET IT??? IRON MAN. WAFFLE IRON. (IRON) NAILED IT.

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I’ll keep him around a lil while longer I think.

five things | three

Some things I’m loving this week…

Kawaii Box
I haven’t ever been in to subscription boxes, either they are just stuffed with things I’m not at all interested in or too much money, but a bunch of cute stuff from Korea & Japan? That I can get on board with. I also like that I can share this with Sym, as cute stuff is also right up her alley.

Pee-wee Herman Print
Gwen’s probably needs this for her room.

Jenny Holzer… for the Dallas Cowboys?
EFLIBBS
A bunch of my friends were posting about this yesterday and how totally weird this is. IT IS. TOTALLY WEIRD.

Dicks by Mail
The new send-your-enemies-glitter is send-your-enemies… dicks?

Ori and the Blind Forest

Taylor was playing this game last weekend and we are all obsessed (although I have the uncanny skill of sitting down on the couch right when something SO SAD happens in it, what is my life).

moon & stars

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First of all, thank you to everyone who reached out to me (mostly on instagram) about CTS. The doctor/all my internet research told me about 50% of people recover without surgery but it’s great to hear from so many people who only needed a brace & rest.

SPEAKING OF REST, I’m bad at it. On Monday I had some banners that I needed to make & ship straight away, and then yesterday I could not help myself, I had to make something. I had this really dark blue suede that came in a bag of scraps, not enough to make into shoes or boots, but perfect for patches! I made two appliquéd and embroidered suede & leather patches, a crescent moon & stars and the constellation Aquarius.

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It was actually so nice to just make something for funsies (although I did put them in the shop BECAUSE OF COURSE I DID and have sold some already, oops); on Monday night I got very depressed sitting on the couch and doing nothing with my hands. I figure… people who get CTS can’t just quit their whole lives, they have jobs and responsibilities that they have to keep doing, and so do I. And as long as I wear my brace and take breaks and don’t do TOO much it’ll be fine. Also, I managed to find a median nerve-friendly activity I can do in the evenings to fill the crafting void: painting my nails! It’s something I enjoy doing, it keeps my hands busy AND if I try to make or sew anything I’ll screw up my mani.

Gwen is super fascinated by my brace. Whenever I take it off she steals it and tries to put it on. I found a small legwarmer of hers with a hole in the side for her thumb and she likes to wear it around on her right arm, just like me. Of course, I HATE my brace so after work today I’m going to go to this pharmacy by the hospital that I’m hoping will have a better selection. Is it bad that I just want a brace that looks cool? I mean, I have to wear it for two months, and this navy blue & red neoprene number is really cramping my style.

Tunnels

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Spot the danger.

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This dress is her absolute favourite right now: a print with foxes, and pockets??? Who could ask for more from a dress? Not this girl.

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I’ve been having a lot of pain and numbness in my right hand for the past little while so this morning I went to the doctor. He confirmed my suspicion that I have carpal tunnel syndrome. Like, I JUST beat Graves’ disease (or at least it’s in remission) and now this? Just one annoying health problem after another? Is this what getting old is? Because NO THANKS. Sign me up to become a non-corporeal vaporous being of pure energy. Upload me to the cloud.

CTS can be linked to hypothyroidism, so with my history of thyroid disease I will need to get my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels tested, but my doctor thinks it’s more likely from the repetitive work of all the crafts I make. Kind of funny that my husband, who has worked in IT for like, fifteen years, is fine but apparently my pathetic median nerve can’t hold up to a lil crafting. Ok a LOT of crafting but still. Ha ha. Soooooooo funny.

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Now I get to wear this cool and not-at-all uncomfortable wrist brace all day and night, or all night and as much of the day as I can. It’s pretty annoying because in my line of work (my day job, not my side hustles) I have to wash my hands 350 million times a day, so it’s put on brace, take off brace, wash hands, dry hands, put on brace, take off brace, wash hands, put on brace, repeat ad nauseum. Every time I prepare food or wipe a nose or change a diaper. So tedious! And wearing the brace for extended periods of time (ie ALL DAY AND NIGHT) makes my wrist and hand all sweaty and the sweatiness trapped under the brace makes my skin all irritated and itchy.

It’s also annoying because making things is what I really love to do, and now my ability to do it is seriously impaired. tbh my ability to do ANYTHING is impaired, like it hurts to do the dishes, it hurts to lift Gwen out of her crib, it hurts to hold up a picture book to read to her. I have to wear the brace for 6-8 weeks, and if it doesn’t improve then I might need surgery, which sounds super fun.

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Over the weekend I made these cute bunny boots for Gwen, and I was going to give a pair away on my instagram, but after talking it over with Taylor it just doesn’t make sense to give myself extra work right now, which is so unfortunate. I’m in the middle of making some black leather boots with a double fringe, but I might put finishing them on hold. Idk. I have a bunch of open banner orders that need to get made, so I’ll probably focus on those, the things people have paid me money for. It’s going to be hard to not be making anything else though; I’m so used to working on something all the time that just sitting watching tv and not doing anything with my hands seems weird.

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PS To add to the fun today, Taylor was working from home last night and discovered the source of the mystery puddle: a little crack in the ceiling, way at the back above the upper cabinet where we couldn’t see it before, with water the seeps/drips/pours out intermittently. So that’s great, I can only imagine what a joy this’ll be to have repaired.

five things | two

Some things I’m loving this week…

Feather + Arrow
featherandarrownecklaces
shop, tinyletter & instagram

6 Reasons Gray Hair is White Hot Again.
I already knew all this, get on my level, world.

Hape Wooden Coffee Maker
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I’m stealing this from Katie’s Five Things post from yesterday, only because it is LITERALLY PERFECT. It’s a little toy single serving coffee maker, like a baby Nespresso machine. It’s so similar to our real coffee maker, I knew immediately that Gwen needed it. Unfortunately the site Katie linked to charges THIRTY-SEVEN DOLLARS to ship $20 worth of toys to Canada. What? No. I managed to find the coffee maker on amazon.ca which is very convenient as we also need to purchase some cabinet locks for the bathroom cupboard.

Revenge of the Stray Dogs.

Youpie Ya Tamoure

You might remember this song from Pee-wee’s Playhouse. Because it’s the only thing Gwen will watch we’ve gone through the entire series more than once and I see this video SO OFTEN that I basically have it stuck in my head all the time. It’s SO WEIRD, like what is this weird stream filled with tiny boats? Why do the girls have scarves tied around their butts? Why is the redhead waving branches? Who thought it was a good idea to go under that tiny bridge? Totally baffling.

Ghosts & Cupboards

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Totally empty train cars are eerie.

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Magnolias are in bloom all over the city.

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Little Seawall walker.

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Can’t resist sunlight through the trees.

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All the flat stud rivets I mangled & destroyed while figuring out how to set them. Good thing I bought 100, haha.

The other week Taylor and I got up on Saturday morning and found this super mysterious puddle of water on the kitchen counter. It was under and around the Nespresso so my initial assumption was that Taylor has refilled the machine’s water tank and spilled some on the counter, but he hadn’t refilled it, just turned it on. We worried the Nespresso might be leaking, but the water was clear and had no coffee smell at all. I checked to see if water had gotten trapped under the dish-drying rack and run over to the Nespresso from there but no, the rest of the counter between the sink and the puddle was dry, as was the ceiling. When we opened the cupboard above the Nespresso we found a second puddle. This one was much smaller, at the front of the bottom shelf only. Nothing above it was wet, the shelf-puddle was much smaller than the counter-puddle, and very localized. The very front edge of the shelf had actually become swollen with water, as if it had been sitting there for a very long time, but none of the things on the shelf (sippy cups, coffee caps, sugar bowl) were wet. As far as we could tell, there was no logical explanation for the water. No one had spilled it, it hadn’t leaked from anywhere, and the fact that it appeared to have originated in the otherwise dry upper cabinet and dripped down onto the counter made zero sense. The only possible answer: ghosts. Ghosts did it.*

Gwen discovered this week that if she shuts herself in the bathroom and opens the cupboard under the sink, the cupboard door will prevent the bathroom door from being opened. This caused some serious panic on Monday night when she shut herself in there alone with the bath running, but I managed to bump the cupboard door shut and get in before she climbed into the bath unsupervised. She usually can’t get into the bathroom by herself (there is a gate in the hallway) so we don’t have childlocks on the cupboard but I guess it’s time for that to change.

On Tuesday afternoon I took gwen to the post office with me to mail a couple banners and a pair of boots. I am ALWAYS at the post office, like AT LEAST 2-3 times a week so I’m fairly friendly with a lot of the people who work there. One of the employees, who I chat with regularly, commented on Gwen, saying “She’s always so quiet, I never hear her make a peep!” To which I automatically replied “She doesn’t talk, she has a speech delay.” TALK ABOUT A CONVERSATION DERAILER. And it’s also not strictly true: Gwen does talk, just not as much as she should. tbh she hasn’t made any huge strides since January; she has a couple new words but not many**. She has, however, reached the point where not being able to effectively communicate has become so frustrating for her that she just SCREAMS and SCREAMS. She also screams to express happiness & joy, so in spite of her delayed talking she is DEFINITELY not “always so quiet.”

* It’s possible that one of us sleepwalked to the kitchen and put an ice cube in the cupboard which melted slowly overnight, but idk how much more likely that is that ghosts. Not very, tbh.

** Huh, just as I was writing this post the speech pathologist we saw in January called to see how Gwen was doing and schedule an appointment for early April. Serendipity!

A Walk in the Woods

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This was a very creepy spot.
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Spot the hummingbird!

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You don’t see these little Douglas squirrels as often as the Eastern Grey squirrels which have basically taken over.

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On Friday Taylor, Gwen and I took a walk through the Stanley Park trails. We hadn’t been through the park (only around the Seawall) since the early fall. We went past Lost Lagoon, up to Prospect Point, around Beaver Lake and then home. We tend to choose our trails at random and almost every time find something new or go a new way. This time we came out of the forest just below the Rose Garden, a way I SWEAR I’d never come before. Along Cathedral Trail are all these weird upright root slabs from trees felled in the 2006 windstorm. I feel like I MUST have seen them before but they are like… EXTRA WEIRD now. Taylor said the look like somewhere a dead body would be found all hung up and posed like in Hannibal or True Detective (potential serial killers pls don’t get any ideas), and one of them is DEFINITELY a place used for romantic interludes, based on the condom wrappers around it, haha.

Gwen had a great time running around up at Prospect Point, less fun when we put her in her stroller to go back down the trail. She’s definitely keen on walking more when we’re out, which is fine sometimes but others… yeesh. When we walk places together she wants to point out every dog and car she sees, and when she lets go of my hand to point out cars while we’re crossing a busy street it’s not great.

Another thing she likes to do (that is totally unrelated to walking) is she has to kiss everything goodbye. Please note that I’m saying everyTHING, not everyONE, because unless you are a toy, or a shoe, or a piece of garbage or a sharp object she shouldn’t have getting a kiss from this girl is a rare gift. Those objects (and every other object) need to be kissed. Sometimes it’s cute, like when she cuddles and kisses her baby Calico Critters. Sometimes it is not at all cute, like when it’s a soiled diaper. Sometimes it’s when she knows she’s got something she shouldn’t have and she pretends she just wants to kiss it, like I KNOW you are up to no good with those scissors and my passport, no amount of kisses will convince me otherwise!