Sunday, July 26, 2009

sewing success?

After a long long day, I have a new skirt. My sewing skills are rudimentary at best. My process involves a lot of staring at a pile of fabric on my lap, turning it in, out, in, out, pinning, unpinning, sewing, ripping out, re-sewing... I somehow have gotten the idea, that making a few things from store-bought patterns as a teenager with help from my mom (who herself is no expert) was enough to get me through making stuff from scratch without a pattern. My standard method is to make my own pattern based on my measurements, the measurements and apparent construction methods of one or two relevant professionally made garments I have in my closet, and some vague memories from patterns I followed when I was 17 of how things go together. Usually these projects are never worn, or are only worn a couple of times before I get too self conscious or they actually start to fall apart and I'm too lazy to repair them. Hopefully this skirt will fare a little better. I tried to be a bit more careful than usual with the finishing. It turned out a little shorter than I planned (this always happens), but overall it's pretty much what I was going for. The colour is a bit off in the picture. The fabric is more of a coral-pink in real life. I used some of my other new fabric for the insides of the pockets, and found a coral-pink pearlescent button that came as a replacement with a shirt I have, which just happened to be the exact matching colour (I have never made a button hole in my life - this button is purely decorative - the waistband is held together by a hook).

Saturday, July 25, 2009

lovely ladies

Look I have friends! Sometimes I think I am becoming a hermit who spends all of her time alone painting crystals, knitting baby booties and browsing on ebay. These ladies remind me that this is not the case. We had a homemade pasta night at Alissa's recently. It was delightful and delicious. We have a book club too, and we will be discussing our first book this week: Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. I have about 5 pages left and I have loved it. Some parts are a bit dense and difficult to decipher, but for the most part, it is full of beautiful profound insights about life, and it captures the rambling internal worlds of the characters in a very real, sometimes confusing, but mostly wonderful way. I definitely recommend it.

A vintage cover - nicer than my own copy.

Virginia Woolf is so beautiful in this photo.

garlic harvest

In November, shortly after Andrew and I moved into our new backyard-blessed apartment, Alissa gave me a few heads of garlic from her dad who grows garlic on a large scale in the Ottawa Valley. I split them up and planted them as soon as I could (mid November).

I harvested it this morning. With a few exceptions, most of the bulbs are small - beautiful and probably delicious - but much smaller than the monsters I used for planting. I think November may have been a bit late for planting. Also, they were planted in a funny spot beside the garage in the flower bed where they may not have had enough sun (The raised beds weren't built yet). Or it could just be the crummy summer weather. And, maybe I waited a bit too long to cut the scapes? hmmm... This autumn I will plant my garlic a bit earlier and in the raised beds.

Most of my veggies are not even ready to harvest yet, and I'm already getting excited for next year's garden. I'm looking forward to applying everything I've learned this year and (hopefully) get better results. And maybe next year we'll have better weather.

red shoes

More adorable shoes on Etsy that are too small for me :(

Monday, July 20, 2009

sunset runner bean blossoms

new friends in the garden

Click the image to see him bigger. He had the most unreal colouring.

The ladybugs remind me of Green Porno by Isabella Rossellini.
So so so funny. She is amazing.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


... I accidentally went fabric shopping today. Now I have to make stuff. I have big plans: Some kind of sundress with the top printed cotton; a loose blousy sleeveless top with the second dyed cotton; a faux early nineties mini dress with a kind of poufy skirt and thin straps that cross at the back with the tacky black floral; and a short-ish full skirt with the heavy-weight woven coral-pink linen at the bottom. I'm not a very skilled seamstress, and I tend to get frustrated with sewing projects very quickly, but fingers crossed that I can see at least a few of these through to completion...

garden rug

Prettiest rug EVER from Anthropologie.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sally Scott

From Japan. Beautiful online catalogs: Each image is a little video.
So charming.   

Friday, July 17, 2009

microscopic plant specimens

From a 2008 exhibition called 'Small Worlds: The Art of the Invisible'

Saturday, July 11, 2009

much internetting today

Some lovely paintings on from the Natural History Museum in London.

Peter Brown (fl. 1758-1799) Shells, c.1766. Watercolour on vellum, 308 x 255 mm.
Edward Adrian Wilson (1872-1912) Mountain hare skins, c.1905-1910.
Watercolour and ink with pencil margins, 132 x 182 mm.
And I found this, which leads me to suspect that being neither an early riser or a night owl, It is unlikely that I will ever be very productive or successful. Damn.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Tonight I am painting with a cup of tea and a bouquet of little pink roses from the garden.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

dining room studio

I have been doing more mineral specimen paintings, but I don't want to show them here yet because they are supposed to be in an exhibition soon (!). I don't know the details yet, but as soon as I do, I will post them here. This is how I work for the moment, in our dining room. I've been thinking of turning our enclosed sun porch into a studio, but would have to invest in a good portable heater and some thick curtains for insulation to make it a year-round space. Plus I'd have to think of a better way to arrange all the piles of stuff we have stored in there (mostly coe&waito stuff from the studio) and our bikes. I think I'll have Andrew build me a big counter to hide all the boxes under. Then I'll have lots of room for plants too. Oohh... 
Oh brother. As if I have time for another project.
Right now it looks like this:

more garden lovelies



flowering maple

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


This is dedicated to Alissa.