Violet & Gold

You all probably thought I forgot or just quit on my New Year’s resolution/ goal to make 2 non-custom banners a month for my etsy shop. I know it’s April 30th I haven’t posted anything since oh, idk, February, but that’s fine. First of all, I made four banners in January so I’m giving myself a free pass for March, when I was in the middle of my biggest blog & crafting slump of all time, and second, I refuse to punish myself over something so dumb. Anyway, I DID actually make some things this month, I’ve just been too lazy to photograph them properly. Until now! Sort of. I hate trying to get good pictures of stuff for etsy because the light in my apartment is total g a r b a g e.

With two-tone ombre of florentine gold and charoite on diamond glitter fancy letters and finished on the reverse with gold glitter paper, this is the most over-the-top banner I’ve ever made. The banner is hung on antique gold satin ribbon and is 45″ long.

This might seem like cheating since I technically made this for my tutorial, but I also made it to sell (for cheap!) since it doesn’t “go” in any room in my apartment and I’ve already had people asking me what’s up with all the tassels hanging everywhere. UGH I JUST LIKE THEM, OKAY MOM??? Anyway.

It features 8 tissue paper tassels and 3 mylar tassels in five shades of purple and gold. The tassels are approximately 12″ long and are hung on a 67″ length of gold metallic cord, which is finished on the ends with loops to make hanging easier.

Weekend Things

I think one of my biggest blogging problems is that even when I bring my camera out with me, I feel like too much of an idiot to take pictures. Especially if, say, I’m about to take a picture with my real camera and then one of my companions goes to take a picture off the same thing with their phone. I think it makes me look like too much of a try-hard. idk, I guess I’m going to have to get over it.

ANYWAY. Even though I remembered to take my camera with me when we went out on Saturday, the only picture I took all day was of Sym, at home, taking all my Draw Something turns.

Sym Drawing Something

Perfect. We actually spent the afternoon out on South Granville, mostly window shopping. We went into Pottery Barn Kids and Sym lost her mind over e v e r y t h i n g. She wanted all the toys and all the beds and all the chairs. Too bad for her that we have more of an Ikea budget, but ngl, I would probably strangle someone for this bed.

Okay maybe not strangle, but definitely betray.

We also went to Anthropologie, where I bought a squirrel-shaped drawer pull to replace the ugly knob on Taylor’s desk.

Squirrel Knob

This was the first time I’d been to the Anthropologie here since it opened almost a year ago and I have to say, compared to locations I’ve been to in the US, it kind of sucks.

The main reason we went out to South Granville, though, was so I could go to this fancy-schmancy lingerie store, Diane’s Lingerie. Not because I’m a fancy lingerie person (I’m not, I’m more of a simple and somewhat utilitarian lingerie person), but because regular stores with affordable bras don’t carry my size and I was tired of trying to squeeze into ill-fitting bras.

I had a real-life busty girl problems moment when the sales associate brought me the perfect bra that was exactly what I was looking for, it fit well, and she told me “This is the most economical bra we have in your size!” Then I looked at the price tag and it was $100.

UGH THE WORST. I had to bite the bullet and get it though, so I asked for 2 white-people-skin colour (I don’t like saying “nude” or “flesh” for a colour that only applies to one portion of the population’s skin tone) and one black, but they only had one of each. Another busty girl problem: You finally find a bra that fits and they only have two, so you have to alternate and wash them all the time.

Sunday was a much funner day. I woke Taylor up bright and early by putting Sandstorm on my phone and shoving it under his head.

I often have trouble waking him up, but it only took 42 seconds of this song before he was wide awake and yelling “NOOOO WHAT HAVE YOU DONE????” Um, just solved the huge problem that is getting you out of bed!

After taking the dogs to the park we went for brunch with Jenn at Two Chefs and a Table in Gastown (although describing it’s middle-of-nowhere in the downtown eastside location as “Gastown” seems generous).

Chicken & Waffles

Taylor had chicken & waffles, which were more photogenic than my pancakes (I would also say my pancakes were just okay. They had apple slices on the bottom, which was good, but the overall texture was kind of doughy). The restaurant is really great looking and I wanted to take some pictures of the decor, but I felt too dumb. Seriously I need to get over it!

After brunch we ventured into Chinatown in search of what else but MORE ROBES.

Chinatown Gate
Everything To Hang From Your Ceiling

I forget the name of this one store (Bamboo something) but they had EVERYTHING you could ever want to hang from your ceiling, toys and dishes, furniture, Communist hats and $1,000 vintage cameras.

I found some sweet silk robes at a couple different stores, and after a lot of discussion I settled on this pretty turquoise blue with flowers and peacocks.

Robesessed Part III

I swear I don’t have a problem.

After Chinatown Jenn went home, and Taylor and I had plans to go see The Five-Year Engagement, which was pretty funny. I mean who doesn’t like Jason Segel? NO ONE. NO ONE DOESN’T LIKE HIM. Emily Blunt is also great.

We had some time to kill before it started so we wandered around the weird, half-dead mall where the theater is. We bought some candy at the Japanese dollar store (including Hello Kitty brand jelly-filled strawberry marshmallows for Sym and some kind of gum or chew that seemed to be robot-themed and also possibly beer-flavoured) and then went up to the food court for bubble tea.

Taro Bubble Tea

As you can see, Taylor finally ditched the horrible mustache! I WON!!

Friday

Even though I had basically THE WORST sleep ever last night I am in a surprisingly good mood today. I mean, it’s Friday, work is a breeze, and although it’s cloudy now, it was sunny when I was walking Georgie this morning (early morning dog walks in the rain are one of my least favourite things)

Morning Walk

I FINALLY got my out of control bangs trimmed last night, and even though my roots are already out of control I guess my hairstylist forgot I was blonde and then blue before my current brunette status.

Bangs Cut

Yesterday Sym and her friends at school spent some quality time at school googling things. Namely, ME. I don’t know if they googled any of their other moms, but if they did i doubt they got a whole page of results. Afterwards Sym made me this picture.

I'm Famous

Hey, she saw it on the internet so it must be true, right? Anyway, I hope you are all having a lovely Friday as well!

Workin’ It

Today it’s grey and gloomy and back-to-work day. I have a ton of housework and paperwork and craftwork (Kraftwerk?) I have to catch up on after slacking for the whole of my three day weekend. To be quite honest I’m not in the best mood today but whenever I need a pick-me-up I just have to look at this picture and I feel better.

Can't Stop Won't Stop

I couldn’t even keep a straight face long enough to take it, the mustache just KILLS ME.

The Weekend

I had all these great plans for this Sunday, I was going to go to this brunch place that has creamsicle waffles and then go to Chinatown and I made a deal with myself that I was going to remember my camera so I could take pictures. Then on Sunday I felt like TOTAL GARBAGE (I’m having a painful nose problem) so instead I laid on the couch for twelve hours (possible a slight exaggeration) and watched more of The X-Files (I’m almost done season four). So. No pictures of that, but I do have some other stuff to share.

Taco Night

On Friday an internet friend of mine mentioned that she was having tacos for dinner and I was like… OH MY GOD THAT IS THE BEST IDEA EVER VEGGIE TACOOOOOOOOS. I went out after work and got everything I needed, plus a box of ice cream sandwiches because why not. Taylor and Sym helped and they were so good. I think I had four, which is more than I normally can eat. Sym also overindulged.

Taco Night
Taco Night

On Saturday I woke up bright and early and decided to make pancakes (idk what was with my this weekend, all cooking stuff). I always make silver dollar pancakes; they are easier to flip and of course little food is always cuter. I should have made more though, next time I’m going to double the amount!

Silver Dollars

In the afternoon Sym and I went out shopping. I feel like I go out shopping every weekend but I SWEAR I really needed to get something this time. When Taylor bought our new mattress a few months ago he figured it would work with our existing Ikea bedframe, but it doesn’t. We have to lift the mattress completely up to change the sheets, and I have weak bony arms, so I can’t even do it myself, which is annoying and stupid. A simple metal frame costs like, $100 so I figured what the hell.

I also bought Sym a book and a couple t-shirts, and bought myself a new pair of sunglasses to replaced the ones I broke by throwing them at the wall in a temper tantrum (DON’T ASK). I’m super particular about sunglasses shape so I actually brought the broken ones with me so I could try to find a similar pair and I think I came really close!

old
IMG_9609
new
New Sunnies

I’d promised her that when we got home we could watch last week’s Parks & Rec; on Thursdays she’s at her dad’s house and he doesn’t watch it ( O____o I KNOW). She also wanted me to curl her hair and for us to eat ice cream sandwiches, so why not do all three AT THE SAME TIME?

Roller Sym
Puppies

Taylor was playing videogames in the living room so after I put hot rollers in her hair we climbed into my bed and watched it on my old computer. The dogs (and Sadie) joined us and it felt really decadent and really silly at the same time. Once the show was over I took out the rollers and Sym was so happy with the result I didn’t even have to fight her to get this picture.

Curly Sym

Since I felt so awful yesterday that would be it for my weekend stuff BUT I took today off of work! I actually already had it booked off as a vacation day, but it worked out well since I was able to go to the doctor for nose medicine and also go buy a bunch of donuts.

Donuts

Taylor also has Mondays off right now so we got to spend some time together this morning (He has to sleep in the afternoon) and he decided today was the day to say goodbye to his beard (our hockey team was eliminated from the playoffs yesterday). Unfortunatelty he couldn’t just shave like a normal person so I was subjected first to this mess…

Young Bert Cooper

… and now this disgusting mustache.

Disgustache

UGH THIS IS A HORRIFICATION OF THE WORST ORDER, WHAT IS WRONG WITH MEN???? He says he’s just going to keep the mustache for one day as a joke. All I can say is HE BETTER BE TELLING THE TRUTH.

T.G.I.D.I.Y.Day: Fringe Benefits

Would it be nice if I had a regular T.G.I.D.I.Y.Day feature where I posted a super fun tutorial? KEEP DREAMING, ME.

A couple of months ago I tried my hand at making some tissue paper tassel garlands. I read a bunch of different tutorials, tried a couple different techniques and came up with a way that I think works nicely and isn’t too hard, so I put together this little tutorial for you all so you can make your own!

The Finished Product

What you’ll need:

Untitled

• tissue paper & mylar (optional) in however many colours you want
I use tissue paper from the dollar store that comes folded up in little packets. I suppose if you wanted you could try to find tissue paper that is sold flat and unfolded, but I like to keep costs down (these packs are like, a dollar for ten sheets of paper) and once you’ve finished making the tassels the extra fold lines aren’t that big of a deal.
• twine or cord
• scissors
• hot glue gun & glue sticks
• paper trimmer
I’ve seen a lot of different techniques used for cutting the tissue paper, and for me what’s worked best is this paper trimmer, which I got at a discount housewares store for $24. I tried using scissors and an exacto knife and both were a disaster, so if you don’t have a paper trimmer like this one I would suggest using a rotary cutting tool with a metal-edged ruler and a cutting mat.

The tassel technique is a seven-step process: fold, cut, unfold, refold, roll, twist, glue. It’s a little tedious at times but it’s pretty easy.

1. Fold!
Take a sheet of tissue paper and lay it flat.

Fold 1

Fold it in half.

Fold 2

I fold widthwise because it is exactly the right size to fit in my 12″ paper trimmer, but if you are using a different cutting technique or have a different size of paper trimmer you could fold it lengthwise. Either way works equally well.

2. Cut!
Put the folded tissue into the paper trimmer (or on your cutting mat).You want to start at the open edge and cut towards to folded edge

Cut 1

Cut the tissue into strips about 1/2″ to 3/4″ wide. These don’t have to be perfectly measured, you can just eyeball them.

Cut 2

Leave about 1″ to 1 1/2″ uncut at the folded edge.

Cut 3

Keep cutting strips until you’ve fringed the whole sheet.

Cut 4

If you are confident in your cutting skills, you can stack a couple of sheets and cut them together and you’ll be done more quickly, which is great since this is the most tedious step.

3. Unfold!
Unfold your fringed tissue sheet so that there is fringe on either side of a connected center. In the middle of each row of fringes will be an extra-wide one from where it was folded. You can either leave this as-is or cut it into two strips with your scissors (or rotary cutter).

Unfold

Sometimes the cutting can make the layers stick together so to prevent tearing I slide my hand into the fold so the sheet is hanging on my arm and carefully pull the fringes apart.

4. Refold!
Fold the sheet in half the opposite way, so there is still fringe on either side of a connected center, just with a double thickness.

Refold

5. Roll!
Starting at the folded edge, roll up the connected center of the tissue.

Roll

Continue until the whole sheet is rolled up.

Finished Roll

As you roll, the fringes will get tangled up, so every three or four rolls you should untangle them by gently running your fingers through them. It’s not a big deal if you accidentally tear off a couple of strips while doing this, obviously you don’t want to rip out a big handful but two or three coming off is fine.

Tangle (Roll)
Untangle (Roll)

6. Twist!
Once the sheet is rolled up you need to twist the connected center.

Twist 1

Try not to twist too hard or the tissue may tear in half, which is really frustrating after all the work you did cutting and folding and rolling!

Torn Tassel

Form the twist into a loop…

Twist 2

… and twist it around itself. Make sure the hole left in the twisted loop is big enough to accommodate the cord the tassels will hang on.

Twist 3

7. Glue!
Untwist the loop slightly and dab hot glue onto inner sides of the twist, then retwist, squeezing the glue together.

Glue

(sorry this pic is out of focus :/)

And voila! A finished tassel!

Finished Tassel

Beautiful. You can also make mini-tassels (like on my yellow/grey/silver/black/white garland) buy cutting each sheet of tissue into quarters before following these instructions.

Obviously it is more efficient to make your tassels all at once so I like to cut a big heap of fringed sheets and then roll, twist and glue them.

Fringe Pile

You can use the exact same technique for the mylar sheets as for the tissue paper, with a couple of notes:
• Mylar can be tricky to cut and slides around when folded, so take extra care or you might find yourself getting really frustrated. Don’t try to cut more than one sheet of mylar at a time.
• Unlike tissue paper, mylar won’t hold the rolling and twisting without being glued, so what I do is roll them all and put a slightly heavy object on top of them (just a pair of medium- or large-sized scissors would work) to hold the rolls, and then after gluing all the tissue paper tassels, I twist each mylar tassel and glue it right away.

Once you’ve made as many tassels as you want, simple hang them on a length of cord or twine. I think most people use that satin-y looking cord, but I didn’t have any so for this garland I used some metallic gold cord. You could also use ribbon, or whatever you like.

Golden Cord

Cut your cord to the length you want your garland to be. The type of metallic cord I used tends to unravel when cut, so I knotted the very end, and then made a loop with a second knot, so it would be easy to hang the finished garland.

Knots & Loops

Before stringing your tassels you want to lay them out. You can do a symmetrical pattern, or a gradient, or just randomized. Whatever you want! I like the random look best.

Layout

Then, simply string the tassels onto the cord!

Stringing the Tassels

There you have it: a perfectly pretty, homemade tissue and mylar tassel garland for a fraction of the cost of a pre-made one.

The Finished Product

If you use this tutorial to make your own I’d love to see the results- you can leave a comment, can tweet at me, or post it on the facebook page. Or if you have any questions about the technique or think any of the instructions need clarification please let me know!

If you like the look of this gold and purple garland I made, keep your eyes peeled because I’m probably going to be putting it up for sale on my etsy for super cheap.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Bangs

I need to get my bangs trimmed (YA THINK???) but I’m afraid to go see my stylist because I’m scared she’ll be mad at me for colouring my hair dark again. Is that silly? It is so silly, I mean it’s MY HAIR, but no one likes to be judged by their stylist, and it happens to me ALL THE TIME because when it comes to messing with my hair I CAN’T BE TAMED. A few of the things I’ve done that have made my stylist side-eye me for days:

1. Got mad about my wispy wingy baby-hair sideburns that stick out in front of/over my ears and CUT THEM OFF so I looked like a stubbly man and couldn’t wear my hair back for months until they grew back out.

2. Cut my own bangs. Actually at first she was supportive of my bangs decision but then she was like “… they’re a little wide.”

3. After she spent LITERALLY years highlighting my hair to get it a really lovely blonde, I coloured the whole thing blue. I had to go in for a bang trim almost immediately after and I swear I saw her hands make a strangling motion.

I did all these things as a GROWN ADULT btw, and I also did them all as total whims. Like, I thought it’d be a good idea in the morning and by the time I had to pick Sym up from school it was done. What is wrong with me? Why do I have to do these things RIGHT NOW without thinking them through?

Tiny Bubbles

Bubble Machine!

This past weekend I picked up a new bubble machine. If you don’t know, a bubble machine is LITERALLY the best thing you can have if you need to be outside with kids on a sunny day. I used to have a bigger, fancier one that was given to me, but it used about 80 batteries and eventually stopped working, so last summer I was bubble machine-less. NOT GOOD. This one was cheap and only needs 2 AA batteries; you can get like, INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH party bubble machines if you have intense bubble needs but the little one is fine for us.

Bubble Machine!
Bubble Machine!

One good tip for bubble machines is you need to set up a NO POPPING ZONE around it (mine is outlined in blue chalk on the pavement), because otherwise kids (especially older kids) will just stand with their hands right in front of the machine, popping the bubbles as soon as their formed. WOW. WHAT A SUPER FUN TIME FOR EVERYONE.

Chalk Bubbles

Sym and her friend Ana Lucia also drew some chalk pictures of bubbles, from little individual ones…

Chalk Bubbles

… to this abstract representation of what it would look like if you were inside the bubble!

Chalk Bubbles

I think I had the machine going for almost an hour, going through an entire (small) bottle of bubble liquid. I really can’t recommend bubble machines enough, they’re a great way to make an ordinary afternoon into something extra fun.

Bubble Machine!

Small Accomplishments

Soap, My Deer

Part of the reason for my recent blogging slump (in addition to “I don’t have anything to say” and “I don’t waaaaaaaaaanna”) and that I have been straight up E X H A U S T E D. I’m tired all the time, and some days it’s all I can do to get through a day of work, walk the dog and then collapse on the couch. Some days I’m too drained to even shower, and on the days that I DO manage to shower I end up falling asleep in my bathrobe with wet, unbrushed hair and my legs hanging off the side of the bed.

I find myself unable to finish anything (or even start anything, really) so I’m going to take a moment to appreciate some of the small things I’ve managed to accomplish this week.

Bought new tank tops. Tank tops are basically all I wear- t-shirts always look weird on me and almost anything with long sleeves STRESSES ME OUT. Like, I can have a panic attack from sleeves. I have to replace my tank tops quite frequently because I wear them to death. Last weekend I finally went out and got some new ones, so now I just have to get rid of the old shabby ones, but that seems impossible to me right now. Baby steps, okay?

Refilled the daycare kids’ soap dispenser in the bathroom. I don’t even want to say how long it’s been sitting there empty next to the refill bottle of soap. Now if I could just find the motivation to fold the load of towels that’s been chilling in my dryer for two days they’d be able to wash AND dry their hands.

Cooked a single meal. It was spaghetti. I had to defrost my homemade sauce AND go to the store to buy the noodles. IT WAS A LOT OF WORK, OKAY?

Finishing this blog post.

Signs of Spring

1. my jean jacket making it’s first appearance.

Jean! Jacket!

Obviously this is not appropriate for winter wear, so when I can move it from the out-of-season coat closet (which is crammed with 90% Taylor’s stuff btw) to the foyer it’s a definite sign of spring.

2. giant bees

I had my living room windows open for most of the afternoon on Tuesday and OF COURSE a huge fuzzy bumblebee about the size of a lime came bumbling in and started baffing around all the windows that weren’t open. I don’t like killing bees (who else is going to pollinate our food crops???) so I had to use all my bee-herding tricks to get it out of the house.

3. horrible smells

NOT PICTURED

There are a lot of community gardens in my neighborhood, and every spring they all get big piles of manure delivered which the gardeners slowly spread on all the plots. It’s nasty.