March 19, 2010

flittering butterflies.

Right now, Caleb and I live in an apartment. Because it is a short-term living solution, we've decided not to paint the walls. Fortunately, the main room came painted in this lovely robins egg blue that works really well with our white couches and wooden furniture. Unfortunately, the bedroom was left this awful apartment white colour, not quite white, but not quite anything else either. As much as I love the furniture in our bedroom, the feel of the bedroom is basically really boring. Then I saw the above picture at Style Me Pretty as part of a wedding photo shoot designed by Viola at Chewing the Cud and thought, that could be a great wall decoration - especially in the springtime. Don't you think?
This looks simple enough to make at home. I'll have to make a butterfly template, and then similar to the flag banner, pick paper that I like, fold it in half, and get right to it. I also will have to figure out an adhesive that can keep the butterflies on the wall, but also let them come off easily when it's time to move.
Anyway, just wanted to share with you this gorgeous photo and what it brought to my mind. I'll keep you updated if this project comes to fruition.

March 18, 2010

chewing the cud.

Caleb and I are trying to reduce our 'eco footprint' and I find that one of the hardest ways to do that is when it comes to gifts. At Christmas we used old newspapers to wrap our gifts, but I am in love with these fabric wraps from Chewing the Cud Weddings. Printed on organic cotton with soy-based inks these fabric gift wraps are printed with sweet sayings: Give Love, Give Joy, Give Luck, and Give Cheer. They sell for $12. These fabric wraps are a great way to reduce the amount of paper that is thrown out come gift time - whether for a wedding or baby shower, a birthday, or holiday.
Of course, you can also use any scrap fabrics around your house. Or, go out to your local flea market and find vintage fabric, scarves, or handkerchiefs. The point is to use things that can be used again and again and again, then you can feel good about gifting without extra waste.

March 17, 2010

flag banner.

Today I want to share with you this picture of the flag banner that I made for Caleb's birthday back in February. My inspiration was this post from last spring.
Making a flag banner is really easy and although you can probably figure it out based on the picture above, instructions are below.

What you'll need.

Scissors for cutting paper.

Cardstock or light paper in the colour or pattern of your choice.

Double-sided tape (or your favourite craft adhesive).

Butcher's twine.

Fold the paper horizontally approximately the size of triangles you want to make. Cut folded paper into triangles, with the base of the triangle at the folded edge. Once you've cut out the desired number of triangles in the size you want, take butcher's twine and adhere the triangles to it using double sided tape. I usually put some tape at the base of the triangles where they touch the string, and then in the centre, so they hold together. (Note. Double-sided tape is the quickest way to make this banner but regular white craft glue or Mod Podge help the banner to last longer so you can use it over and over again.)
It is a really simple and easy craft to do while watching a movie, and the impact it makes hanging across your ceiling is spectacular. This flag banner really screams party (and is a nice alternative to crepe paper streamers). I've also made a flag banner using a pink and brown colour scheme to be used a friends' wedding showers. Have fun letting your creativity flow!

Maybe try cutting out different shapes - just make sure that they can be folded together over top of the string so they don't fall off!

March 16, 2010

children and planes.

Today is one of the first days where it really feels like springtime. The sun is out, the wind is cool but not cold, and there are people everywhere with big smiles on their faces. Literally, people everywhere. When I was driving home from Micah House this afternoon in downtown Hamilton there were at least a thousand people milling about Jackson Square and the park across from it. I couldn't believe my eyes.
And so in honour of the lovely weather, I want to share with you the picture above titled "Deaf Children Dancing to the Sound of Planes" by artist and printmaker Sanya Glisic in Chigaco. I found it on her Etsy shop Horse Drawn Carriage. I really like this print because of its whimsy, colour choices, and the silly name. It might just be the influential weather, but this print just makes me smile! Also, be sure to check out Sanya's other works at her Etsy shop, they are just as creative and inspiring - if not more so.

commercial break.

Good morning.
I thought I'd kick off Tuesday morning by sharing a great video that any dog lover, such as myself, will love. I do realize two things. First, this is the second post in a row that features dogs. Don't worry, this blog is not becoming a dog haven, I am not changing the blog's name to Poop 'n' Scoop or something like that. Second, this video is a commercial. I do not normally like watching commercials, but I feel like there is minimal branding and you can really enjoy the (possibly) epic feel of it. I should be back later today, but for now, enjoy.

March 12, 2010


Today I want to introduce you to Shadow and Tavi. Shadow is an old man beagle and Tavi is a young puppy, and I just know I'll be showing you more pictures of them in the future. They are two of my favourite photo subjects because Shadow is just so darn photogenic while Tavi is a ball full of energy and makes me work to capture great pictures of her. Here are two photos from last week when we were playing outside in the backyard. I just love their cute pink tongues.
Shadow's eyeing a treat that is making his mouth water while Tavi had just munched on a branch.

March 10, 2010


This month, Caleb and I are trying very hard to eat better. We're following guidelines found in Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food. As a result, we're working at eliminating foods from our diets that have unnecessary preservatives, ingredients that seem unpronounceable (or have numbers in them), and items with high-fructose corn syrup. Those are just some of the 'rules' we're trying hard to follow. As a result, I've been making more things from scratch. I love cooking and working with food, and was excited to try to make the perfect tomato pasta sauce. I love tomato pasta sauce that has tons of ingredients in it, and chunks of tomato. Caleb likes really smooth pasta sauce that coats the pasta and wraps itself around the noodles. My challenge was to find a great tomato pasta sauce that we could both enjoy and was simple to make.
The sauce I came up with is an adaptation of "A Fine Tomato Pasta Sauce" in The Complete Canadian Living Cookbook. It makes a lot of sauce, so be sure to have some empty Mason jars ready to store it in the freezer. Also, be sure to let the sauce cool completely before putting the lid on it and freezing it, or else you might find that Mason jars are tough, but no match for expanding heat and tomato sauce. I recommend putting it in the jar (or whatever container you want to use to freeze it), keeping the lid off, put it in the fridge for a few hours, and then, when completely cool, put the lid on and move it to the freezer.

A Smooth Tomato Pasta Sauce
Adapted from The Complete Canadian Living Cookbook, by Elizabeth Baird

A dollop of olive oil.
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, grated
4 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
A pinch of hot pepper flakes
1 tsp each salt and pepper
1 can (2.8 L) crushed tomatoes
4 tbsp tomato paste
3 tsp granulated sugar

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook garlic, onion, carrot, basil, oregano, hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper, stirring often, 5 minutes or until onion is softened.

Add tomatoes, stir in tomato paste and sugar. Bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and with an immersion blender , purée until smooth.

Either serve over top of pasta or else refrigerate in airtight container for a couple of days or else freeze for up to 1 month. Reheat to serve.

Note: Depending on the type of tomatoes you buy they could be or less acidic. Adjust the amount of sugar to help balance out the acidity. Or, use your own favourite sweetener, try honey, stevia, brown sugar, or something completely different. This sauce is open to interpretation, and not yet perfect, so feel free to put in some of your favourite spices and mix it up to make it your own.

March 8, 2010

love light.

I've been meaning to share with you for a while now a craft I made for Caleb for Valentine's Day. I saw this DIY project on Design*Sponge, followed the directions but modified it a bit. Instead of putting it in a block of wood, I decided to wrap some of the red-paper-covered-wire around the outside of the bulb and hang it from our ceiling in our bedroom. I also attached a little note on it. Inside the bulb I've twisted the wire in the shape of a heart.
I found that hollowing out a lightbulb was a little harder than the pictures made it seem, but really rewarding afterwards because it just looks so, I don't know, cool. And then you can fill it with whatever you want. Wouldn't it be neat to make little terrariums and hang them in front of a window, three in a row? You would have to use very small plants though that could easily fit through the tiny hole at the top. Oh well, maybe a project for another day.
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