Frazzled Nerves

Ready To Ship

I meant to do a big post about all of my weekend (mis)adventures, but instead I’ve spent the last three days in crafting hell, up to my eyeballs in glitter trying to get all my etsy orders finished in a timely fashion. Now I’m done and have everything packed up and ready to ship so maybe at some point I’ll make a real post? Who can say.

I actually have a ton of stuff to do this week still: make a new “Merry Christmas” banner for myself to replace the one I sold, finish the other banners that I started before I got all the orders, finish glittering animals for my woodland piano display (I have an ostrich, a goat, and a bighorn sheep), decorate & hang my new fake wreath, finish putting up my new Christmas lights, clean everything, bake everything, go see The Muppets (tonight), go to a Canucks game (tomorrow night) and get ready to decorate my Christmas tree (Friday night), plus take pictures of and blog about everything, as well as work 9.5 hours a day and do parenting. HUH I WONDER WHAT ISN’T GONNA GET DONE (hint: it’s cleaning and blogging).

Manicure Monday: Tiny Toes Edition


I did paint my nails this weekend, but I just did Across the Universe again, so there wasn’t really much point intaking a new picture. Instead I’ll share Sym’s pedicure with you!

Shello Kitty Me the Truth

Nicole by OPI in Shell Me the Truth, with Hello Kittys on the big toes. My friend Anna sent Sym a package of one hundred million hello Kitty things, including a bag of these little nail art faces. They are so super cute and Sym loves them, so thank you Anna!

Dream Life, Version Three

Moomintroll by the Pond

I recently reread all my Moomin books and I came to a startling revelation: You know that fantasy were you want to move to the country and live in a cute house and everything is easy-going and you just basically do whatever you feel like? IT COMES FROM THE MOOMINS. For me at least. I read these books so many times as a kid that when I picture that dream life in my head, I picture Moominvalley.

Map of Moominvalley

I mean I know there are adventures with comets, floods, volcanoes, the Groke, and such, but on average, everyday life in Moomin Valley is pretty idyllic. Feel like going fishing, or sailing, or just lying in a hammock all day reading about the uselessness of everything? Go right ahead. Want to paint a mural or paste pictures on the walls? Feel free. You can sleep in your own room in the Moominhouse, or camp out in the garden, or sail away to live in a lighthouse on a tiny island in the middle of the sea, although that last one might not work out as you dreamed it would.

Rainy Picnic

Now I just need to find some way of making this dream a reality! Or just visit the real Moominvalley in Finland.

The Dance

The Christmas Elephant

… not to be confused with the Christmas Elf.

The Christmas Elephant

This guy is awesome. I put him on the piano with my forest light and glitter stag and he really adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the whole tableaux. All it took was little glue, a little (okay, a lotta) glitter, a plastic toy from the dollar store and a willingness to spend three days vacuuming sparkles out of the carpet.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I know some people get really offended when people start their Christmas decorating right after Halloween/before American Thanksgiving, but guess what? I’m Canadian, and here in Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in October, like God and Martin Frobisher intended.

Martin Frobisher
God not pictured

My main excuse for starting my Christmas decorating early is the daycare kids. It seems that every year I have a kid or two who is celebrating their first Christmas, or at least their first Christmas while mobile. I always worry that if I put the tree up with all the decorations in one fell swoop the kids will show up and FREAK OUT: “Look at all these things! I MUST GRAB AND SLOBBER ON THEM!!” So I like to ease them in- I put up the tree and leave it bare for a week, then have it with just lights for a week, and then finally put on the decorations. Plus this gives Claire more time to hung out under the tree, which is pretty much her only joy in life.

Christmas Tree Cat

Of course, there is more to Christmas decorations than just the tree, and I got started on some other displays this past weekend.

Stag & Forest

This snowy forest light from Ikea and silver glitter stag from Urban Barn are perfect on top of the piano.

Santa & the Nativity

The best thing about my Playmobil nativity scene is how Sym adds to it every year from her vast collection of Playmobils. Last year only a little white kitten joined the mix, but this year she’s added a second angel, a hand organ that plays Christmas songs and the fourth Wise Man, Santa Claus, as well as his reindeer. The nativity set (with Wise Men included!) I have is no longer available, although you can buy a newer, fancier version, and separate Wise Men.

Merry Christmas

I’ve been meaning to put up some pictures or something on the big blank wall around the tv, but for now it’s the perfect place to put up my latest glitter banner (check out those fancy letters!), as well as the Perler bead snowflakes Sym and I made a few years ago, some vintage chandelier crystals and tiny white ball ornaments from Ikea, all hung from the ceiling on monofilament.


I was trying to make it look like it’s snowing, what do you think? Personally I think I need to get better lightbulbs in that room because all the pictures I take in there look atrocious >:/

The Merry Christmas banner is available for order on my etsy shop.

Manicure Monday

Another manicure that matches my hair! You might recall how much I love this Quo by Orly polish, Turquoise Moonlight.

Quo by Orly in Turquoise Sky

… but I wanted to do something a little different so I topped it with the matte topcoat I got from Hard Candy as part of my runner-up prize in that DIY manicure contest in the summer.

Matte Turquoise Nails

tbh I wasn’t super into the idea of matte polish, I remember I had a matte periwinkle blue in like, 1998 that just chipped like mad unless I put a topcoat over it, but as I didn’t have a matte topcoat it kind of defeated the purpose. I decided to give it a try and WOW I could not be more thrilled with the result! The matte topcoat applied nicely and dried really quickly, and it looks so cool over the shimmery duochrome polish! I can’t wait to try it out over some other colours.

Matte Turquoise Nails

Quo by Orly in Turquoise Moonlight + Hard Candy Matte-ly in Love topcoat

Top Tips for the Carsick

I came up with the idea for this post in April, and started writing it in June. Then I saved it as a draft and never looked at it again until this weekend, when Taylor’s and my trip to Ikea ended in me making him drop me off a block and a half early because I knew I wouldn’t be able to make the last two turns without barfing everywhere.

I have always always always been prone to carsickness, ever since I was a little kid. It sucked because my parents always hated stopping the car so I could puke on the side of the road so I heard a lot of “Just sing a song, then you won’t feel sick anymore” and “We have one of those anti-static strips on the car so it’s scientifically impossible for you to be carsick.” Cut to me crouched in the dirt on the side of the Malahat on Vancouver Island, barfing my guts out. Cut to me sprawled across my sister’s lap with my head stuck out the window, puking all the way from LAX to Anaheim. Cut to me spewing on some poor unsuspecting guy’s jacket when I couldn’t get off a bus in Horseshoe Bay in time. Cut to me yakking in the parking lot at a scenic overlook 9,000 feet up Haleakala in Maui. CUT TO ME VOMITING EVERYWHERE.

Tanie & Sym on Haleakala
I looks so happy because I just VOMITED EVERYWHERE

Now I have my own kid who is also prone to carsickness, and I try to be very sympathetic with her because I know how it feels. Maybe it’s annoying to have to stop the car and pull over on the side of highways everywhere so a carsick child can walk it off and spit bile in the grass, but would it be less annoying to clean vomit out of the upholstery? I don’t think so!

Over the years I’ve been working on developing a system for FOOLPROOF CARSICKNESS TREATMENT AND PREVENTION and after painstaking research on roadtrips and throughout pregnancies (morning sickness is a great carsickness substitute) I’ve come up with my Top Tips for the Car Sick.

Ginger Gravol

1. Gravol Ginger tablets
Regular Gravol/Dramamine/motion sickness pills make you sleepy. Ginger Gravol is made from ginger (duh), which prevents carsickness without drowsiness, which is great if you have to navigate, or take care of a carsick kid, or function as a human being once you reach your destination. These pills are small and easy to swallow, which makes them great for Sym as well (normal Children’s Gravol pills are big and need to be chewed up, and she doesn’t like the flavours). You could also try ginger gum or tea but I think they taste disgusting, and things that taste disgusting make me want to throw up, which pretty much defeats the purpose of anti-nausea products.

Jolly Ranchers

2.Jolly Rancher candies
You know that weird gross pre-barf taste you get in your mouth when you’re about to be carsick? You need something that will get rid of it without putting anything in your stomach. Some people like gum for this but when it loses its flavour it gets gross, and having to spit anything out when you already feel like puking is a recipe for puking. Jolly Ranchers, the original hard candies, are PERFECT. The fruit flavours totally overwhelm the sick taste without being overly sweet. Whenever we go for long car trips with Sym I put a big bag of them in my purse and we suck on them the whole way. SORRY, TEETH 🙁 I know all that sugar isn’t good for you, but neither is being constantly bathed in stomach acid.

Hickory Sticks

3. Hickory Sticks
I discovered the anti-nausea properties of these hickory-smoked shoestring potato sticks when I was pregnant with Sym. The starchiness of the potatoes calms your poor acidic tummy, and I don’t know what it is about the hickory flavour, but it WORKS.

Drinking Water

4. Water
LOTS of water. In spite of my best efforts, Sym and I do still end up puking sometimes, and the only thing worse than throwing up is throwing up straight bile, or a big dry glob of masticated Hickory Sticks. Drinking lots of water means if you do vomit it’ll come up quickly and easily, plus the added bonus of more pee stops means you’ll have more chances to walk it off. Note: please bring your own reusable water bottles instead of being an environment trashing bottled water drinker. Anyway the last time I bought bottled water (because I forgot my water bottle at home) it tasted like vulcanized rubber. EW.

Manicure Monday


On Friday Taylor and I went out to run some errands, and I was determined to buy some new, more-winter appropriate clothes (all I wear is tank tops). Unfortunately I couldn’t find a single thing that I liked, so to make up for it I bought some fancy expensive nail polish. Oops.

Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe

Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe, it goes perfectly with my hair.

Blue Hair & Nails

I know some of you guys sometimes do Manicure Monday posts, if you do, leave me a comment or tweet @ me with a link to your post and I’ll add it to my post!

I’m Afraid I Just Blue Myself

Remember back in February when I put a streak of blue, purple, and pink in my hair? I retouched that streak a couple of times, but after nine months the colours had mostly been washed/highlighted out, except for one little streak of blue that had faded to a light turquoise. Which I loved. Loooooooooved.

For the past few weeks I’d been thinking I should re-dye the blue, or maybe add a few more streaks, or maybe get some new dye and do turquoise instead. Or maybe…

Blue Sunday

YEP. What you see here is a mix of three different colours.

Blue Green Dyes
Atlantic Blue, Lagoon Blue and Apple Green (I know ~Punky Colours~ are so cheesy, but they sell them at the drugstore by my house for cheap)

My hair was already (mostly) blonde, and I didn’t want to have to bleach it (too much work & I still want to grow out my grey roots, idk I’m weird), so I decided to just put blue over it. I figured that blonde + blue would turn out turquoise, which it did. For the bottom layers I used a mix of the green with both blues, and for the top layers I used just the blues.

some inspirational images

Basically I love it, but it’s funny- having an unnatural hair colour has caused me to partially regress back into my former goth state. I just wanna wear black clothes and black eyeliner all the time now. I actually tried to find a vintage picture to show you, me circa 2002 with bright blue hair wearing a ludicrous black vinyl outfit, but they have all mysteriously disappeared. PROBABLY FOR THE BEST.

Cat von Claire
instead, please enjoy this fine photograph of Claire being a lady