Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"battle scars"

last sunday was like spring cleaning in my room. i had taken out all of my clothes from my closet and sorted through the ones that i no longer like or wear. i came out with a huge bag full.

i also decided to get rid of the things that i made.

i told john that i got rid of my poorly sewn clothes, and he begged for me to fish them out of the bag so that he could keep them.
when my sister found out what i had done, she told me that yes, i should retrieve them and keep them, because these are my battle scars.
i'm looking at them now and i can't believe that i wore them out or to work!
so without further ado, here are my scars. and they ain't pretty. hardeehar.

this is the first shirt i made. i made it without a pattern. i wore it to work for casual friday. my dad called it my recyclable shirt. worn twice.

my first attempt to sew from a pattern. this is the anda dress from burda style, and the final product shouldn't look like this. i printed the pattern without changing the page layout. this has been infamously called the potato sack by my very sarcastic co-worker. it is also my first attempt at bias binding. worn once. and never again. (i got compliments though, funny enough. this girl at this boutique, and another lady who thought it was from club monaco) haha.

this is the camille skirt. i used a tutorial on how to make mui mui-esque skirts. i didn't use enough fabric. i thought the gold thread was a pretty cute touch though. worn once.

i thought, hey since i've been sewing for a few months now, why not try a built by wendy pattern? they're supposed to be simple. i chose the wrong pattern to start with. argh. it was all going smoothly until i did the inset. and the one thing that screwed it up even more was the topstitching, which i really suck at, and the dress was too short. so i tried to lengthen it by sewing onto it more fabric. it came out wonky in the end. i wore it anyway. my co-worker asked me if i made it, and i learned my lesson. to avoid another potato sack comment, i said no. it was thrifted. ahaha. he believed me and thought it was nice and unique (sometimes the word "unique" can be such an insulting word, but that' s just me). worn once.

it's a very good thing that the fabrics i used were all $3 a meter, or else i would have been really angry at myself.

the only thing that i'm proud of and that i've worn lots of times already is the knit jersey dress that i made from the sew u stretch book. this one got compliments as well, but i never owned up to making it. it avoids further scrutiny, you know? (it is for that reason that i won't be posting up any pictures of it. haha)

so now my "wip" (as fellow crafters call it) or work in progress, is my second attempt at the built by wendy dress, sans the inset. i'm using light denim (which i purchased a few weeks ago and got 50 % discount) this time.

i'm envisioning it to be wiksten - ish.

yars, yars. i'm dreaming.

but a girl can dream.

ps: gross. i hate it when my cat cleans himself in my room.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

TRENDS kickoff event

...weeks of collecting and sorting through clothes, weeks of planning and anticipation, of meetings and emails back and forth
...a night of washing and ironing clothes
...two hours of setting up everything in hawthorn's atrium...

..."the everything under $10" event is finally done.
it was lots of work, but lots of fun and this is something we would definitely do again.
we also raised quite a bit of money. it had exceeded my expectations and am very happy with the outcome! :)

we tried to set up the atrium to look like a little shop. we had signs for the change room. my good friend pam volunteered to be change room girl (thanks pam!)

i have to say that i spent $29 :D . i bought some of my friend natalie's stuff (i couldn't believe she was getting rid of them!). some of my awesome buys are: leather gap belt (which can get really pricey). 4 cardigans. a poncho sweater thing.

i'm relieved that it was a success, but hopefully more girls will show up for october's event. i can't wait to plan it. it'll most likely involve a powerpoint presentation. but for now, a little rest. i didn't sleep until 2 in the morning and am running really low on energy. i have never ironed so many shirts and stamped so many shipping tags in my life! my room felt like a little factory.

shirts to be given away. still in good condition, it's just that my taste in clothes have changed. hehe.

price tags. i thought they were a cute touch! maybe i'll get a stamp made just for trends by someone from etsy!

we set up some outfits on the table. this is the belt that i'm talking about. :)

lollipops for the girls to take.

sign up sheet.

it's still a work in progress but you can see more pictures (and learn more about TRENDS) here.

anyhoo, i'm off to clean up my room. then the weekly tradition of watching a movie with the fam. :)

i hope everyone's having a great weekend! it's a bit rainy here, but that's fine. it' nice and cozy to sleep to.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

l'automne est dans l'air.

i love fall.

it makes me want to...

- you've got mail
- when harry met sally
- before sunrise

* walk in a park

* drink hot chocolate with marshmallows

* wear tights

* dress like blair (waldorf, that is) & quincy

* take polaroids

* carry groceries in paper bags

* buy freshly baked baguettes

* bake an apple crumble pie

* smell the air (fall has a distinct scent)

* hold hands with john :(

have a beautiful weekend everybody!

ps: merci buckets, quincy! (your name is as lovely as you are!)
quincy of q's daydream has given me this blog award!

Award “Rules”
The rules of Arte Y Pico are - you must pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting content, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language! Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to their blog. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself. The award winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of the Arte Y Pico blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

i have chosen the following blogs. some probably do not know i read them!

make something
pink penguin
craft pudding
unruly things
mon petit lapin

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

i'm a myth buster but all is well.

so today i had an interview.
it's for a higher level position.
it was very nerve racking for me because i want this job sosososo badly.

if i get it, then i will definitely blog about it :) but for now, i'll just be quiet about it so that i don't jinx it.


on sunday, my 10 year old sister helped me bake cupcakes and we got to talking about the book that she's reading, one of the lemony snicket books.
unwittingly i told her that lemony is a pseudonym.
and to make matters worse, i told her that lemony isn't real.
angeli: "BUT how about the guy in the movie??? that was lemony!"
me (oh evil sister): "uh, no angeli. that was jude law."

it's like telling someone who ardently believes in santa that he isn't real.
i asked her if she was disappointed that he isn't real.
"slightly," she said. "but it's okay. i don't want to be 60 and still believe that he's real".
oh angeli.

has this ever happened to you, i'd love to know!


nothing's worse than having such a nerve wracking day and coming home to a really big, fat phone bill.
but this immediately got remedied by two other things that came in the mail:
my monthly magazine from saveur and the fabric i ordered from matatabi!
my saveur subscription was a christmas present from my best friend, aileen, since she knows that i love cooking and food.
what i like about this particular magazine is that it is very worldly. this has got to be my favorite issue yet. it's on breakfast food (which is my favorite meal and my favorite kind of food!) and it shows the different breakfast foods all over the world.

i am definitely trying one of their recipes.
what is your favorite breakfast food, i'd love to know!

frances of matatabi is awesome. :) everything about the package, despite its size, was done in such a dainty way. thank you, frances! they're awesome!
i have to use them carefully, according to my mother.

trying out the stamp set john gave me. and i love shipping tags.

ah, paris.

sweetness...i'm planning to use them for throw pillows for the bed.

this is the fat quarter that i got for free. it is so adorable. if you spend $40 (excl. shipping) you will get a mystery fat quarter.

and that isallisall.

have a beautiful evening :)

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sick to my stomach.

i'm on my way to a job interview and i want to hurl whatever i had for breakfast (raisin bread with peanut butter and jelly).

i am so nervous. :(

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

"amazing useless facts about me" & other things.

teehee. i've been tagged by q's daydream!
merci buckets! i luuurv surveys. harhar.

What are the last three things you purchased?
fabric, fabric & fabric.

What are the last three songs you downloaded?
songs by lily allen & stars.

What are the last three places you visited?
california (sf, monterrey, l.a), ottawa, quebec.
one day i would like to add european countries to that:
france, u.k, germany, italy, austria spain

What are your three favorite movies?
breakfast at tiffany's, eternal sunshine, gosford park, sabrina (julia ormond one), when harry met sally, annie hall, to name a few.

What are your three favorite possessions.
my sewing machine :), my vintage smith-corona corsair typewriter from john, my moon river 45 record

What three things can you not live without?
COFFEE, my laptop (which is close to dying even if it's only 2 years old), l'amour. cheesy but true. :)

What would be your three wishes?
to be in the same country, city, house one day with john :), to live in france, to be sooooo bilingual and fluent in french that i get a french accent when i speak english. AHAHA.

What three things haven’t you done yet?
live in france.
learn how to swim.
travel everywhere with john.

What are your three favorite dishes?
my bran cereal with bananas, buttery mashed potatoes, grilled vegetable sandwiches.

Which three celebrities would you most like to hang out with?
sigh, if i could only have hung out with audrey hepburn. which we would do in a really classy way.
clive owen. hehe.
and that is all. i can't think of any other celebrities i would like to hang out with.

Name three things that freak you out?
insects, especially earwigs. rodents. sleep paralysis (which happens when i've had too much caffeine or when i'm very stressed).

Name three unusual things you are good at.
hm. i can't do anything unusual. all i know is that i have monkey arms.
according to my sister i'm the best person to go to a concert with. one of her reasons is because i can dance funny without looking weird.

Which three things are you coveting?
anything by philip lim (argh argh argh), long hair (only because my hair is at the ugly growing out stage. i have to grow it for winter because it gets really cold), and the perfect pair of pumps.

Name three bloggers you are tagging.
only if you want to be tagged :)


i had a very productive weekend.
saturday i had a meeting for TRENDS. the kickoff event is really soon and i feel unprepared! at least i know what to wear already. hehe.
for those who are wondering what TRENDS is, it's a club that was started by teenaged girls a few years ago. getting tired of all the lewd and revealing clothing that was being made available to teenaged girls, they started this club to revolutionize the fashion world and to help the way girls see themselves, as women of value and of dignity. it's still a tiny organiztion, but it's got chapters in vancouver, montreal, ottawa, and toronto :) and because it's still sort of starting out in Toronto, we need a bit of funding, hence the fundraiser/intro event on Saturday. we thought doing an "everything under $10 event" would be a good way to get girls to come and learn more about TRENDS and raise a bit of money at the same time. i found a lot of clothes that i haven't worn in years. some from club monaco, zara and the gap. i found some jeffrey campbell and aldo flats and lots of purses from aldo. aaaaand...lots of american eagle shirts. muahaha. nothing wrong with american eagle (to some people, anyway) but i went through an insane phase when i bought all things american eagle.

any insane phases YOU went through?
all black? all white? what else?

afterwards i went to fabricland. i am now an official member of fabricland. hehe. which means 25% or 50% discounts on all fabrics. because of this, i was able to buy 3 yards of 3 kinds of fabric, two of which are taffeta (awesomeness) and this lightweight, thin denim, and some lace. i want to make some blair waldorf-esque clothes. hehe.

i also bought more felt for more softies and cards. unfortunately it's not wool felt. i don't know where to get them here in toronto.

i was going to go to the workroom afterwards but felt so tired.

this whole weekend i felt so tired. granted i baked 50+ cupcakes yesterday but it shouldn't make me feel as if i've run a marathon. my muscles hurt and i have no energy.

anyhoo...have a happy monday everyone! i am enjoying hot spring rolls & shortbread cookies (from london! hehe and they are yummy) courtesy of co-workers.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

in search for the perfect fall shoes.

today i searched high and low on etsy for the perfect black pumps, heeled oxfords & heeled loafer type shoes.
the ones that i found were either:
* too pricey or
* well priced, but shipping is killer or
* not my size :(
the last one was always the case.

after work today i went to h&m and zara found that the shoes were either:
* too pricey
* too HIGH.

i'm not a very tall person, but if i were to wear these heels, i will definitely be towering over people. and when i tower over people, for some reason i feel like a guy. hmmm.

i also went looking for fabric.
queen street past spadina has lots of fabric stores. thimble has a nice post on where to shop for fabric in toronto. anyhoo, i went into one and was overwhelmed by all the fabric. the store was practically bursting at the seams (hardeehar). there was a particular linen one that i liked with simple circles outlined in black (it looked almost like it was by echino, which is by the way one of my favorites) but it was $20 per yard. ack.
i don't know why i was being so cheap today. everything was expensive to me, which was weird considering that today was payday.

i'll have to hit up the thrift store again to look for some shoes. the best heels are the ones from thrift stores anyway, since they're neither trendoid nor overpriced. and the heels are just right :)
my lymph nodes are quite swollen and it scared me when i felt the little lumps last night.
according to my sister's soon to be nurse boyfriend, it's a sign that i will be getting sick soon.

* i have another TRENDS meeting to for the kickoff event which will be next week. which means attendance is mandatory, lymph nodes and all.
the kickoff event should be exciting. i'm planning to buy little tags and twine for price tags.
* i will continue my fabric shopping at
1) fabricland. i want to buy some more knits. i made a dress off of wendy mullin's sew u home
stretch, and i have to say that it was so easy to do. i can see myself wearing it again and again. and it is for that reason that i should get cracking with more dresses.
2) the workroom! for more fat quarters

i cannot wait for:
* don giovanni
* my package of japanese fabric from matatabi to arrive
* john :)

so i finally finished off amy's birthday card. it needs improvement, but i was pleased that everyone liked it and didn't see the flaws as my mother did hehe. and i can't wait to start on making a few more as backup birthday cards. i'also planning to make gift tags with the same cupcake.

i stitched up the envelope flap. the white stitches give the envelope a classier look. hehe.

i sewed on a "postage stamp". hehe.

i also finally finished john's little turd guy.

he looks a bit cranky.
it's because he is pooped. muahaha.

there, there turd guy.

anyhoo, have a beautiful weekend! :)

now time to rest up these nodes.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

i would like...(and other things)

* to live like this

from here

their pictures together always make me smile because they're oozing and radiating happiness and love for each other. le sigh. it makes me want to hug john.

* these cute vintage looking valises. perhaps for old letters.

from here

* a vintage fan, comme ceci

from here

it won't be living out its purpose in life though (i don't think i'd want it to anyway...its blades look really lethal). if i had one it would sit prettily on my shelf, with the rest of my non-operational things.

this "hobby" of acquiring things solely for aesthetic reasons is something i got from my mother. she once bought a huge, beautiful glass jar (with a wooden lid). in it were the most delicious looking biscotti. we weren't allowed to eat it. it sat for the longest time on our baker's rack. i wonder if, like wine, it improves with time. probably not. i guess this could be said for a lot of things too: bath oils (the ones that come in balls...those always fascinated me. not the balls but the bath oils, hardeehar) in decorative bowls that never hit the bathtub. jars of jelly in the pantry (too pretty and good to use). what else?

my room holds objects of obsoleteness:
* a typewriter sans ribbon (i tracked down a typewriter store in toronto but they have no ribbons specific to my typewriter)
* a teapot that i snagged from the neighborhood thrift store (this was more expensive than the pair of shoes that i bought with it!)
* holga and polaroid cameras (one has never been used, the other is broken. sigh. poor arthur)
* and the newest addition, a cake stand that my aunt purchased for me from a store in niagara on the lake.

i suppose it does serve a purpose, but not the right one. no cupcake, no cake has ever sat on it before. instead it houses my earrings, my favorite bracelet, and the pocket watch that john gave me for my birthday.

speaking of cupcakes, another cupcake that i made, for a birthday card that i'm making. don't mind the sucky embroidery. and the purple ink. it'll disappear. and the wrinkles. it will be ironed later on. you'll see :)

have a happy middle-of-the-week day :)

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Monday, September 15, 2008

life is a cabaret, old chum.

one of mine and john's secret aspirations (i guess not so secret now) is to be picked out from the crowd and be photographed by scott schuman.
for those of you who know him and would like to find out how, here is an excerpt from h&m's autumn 2008 mag:

what do i need to wear to get you to notice me?
...a good tip is to show off one part of the outfit, such as the shoes or a statement bracelet...
what's the best way to emulate the big fashion houses in style, but without spending all of my student loan?
...designers buy vintage to inspire their new designs, so why not buy vintage? they never go out of fashion.

last month, john and i went a-walking on our favorite street, queen street west, and found cabaret vintage. so many gorgeous dresses, jackets and little brooches. i wanted to take some hat boxes home but wasn't sure if they were for sale. really friendly shopowner, tao, took a picture of us and we found out last night that we made it to cabaret's street style gallery. hehe. it's definitely not scott schuman, but it's a start.
honestly i don't even think that my clothes were wowable. it's funny though how john and i managed to tie each other's outfits in by having something green. it wasn't planned at all. he had it tucked out in the morning and told him that he looked sloppy and asked him to tuck it in. he happily obliged. :)

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

it was another crafty weekend:

a sewing kit on the go. i thought it would be better than having them in a pencil case:

(i still have to master the art of bias binding)

yeeeesh...they all look like they're tucked in for sleep in a humongous, communal sleeping bag.

i went to the workroom for the snap coin purse class.
mine turned out really good...i think i will enlarge the pattern and turn it into a clutch.

Melissa's Snap Coin Purse, originally uploaded by the workroom.

i love colorful things and the workroom is a total feast for the eyes.
against one wall are bolts and bolts of the most beautiful fabric.
there are jars of embroidery thread.
and the most "dangerous" of all, the shelvings of fat quarters.
i couldn't leave without purchasing anything:

they're so juicy!

i also bought a much needed embroidery hoop.
i used to cross stitch and embroider a lot when i was young.
my mom used to take me to this store called stitches n' things and was fascinated by walls of jp coats and dmc skeins.
i cross stitched bears, frogs, cars...and flower carts.

my dad finally put up the shelf and audrey hepburn frames!

it's september and fall is in the aiiirrr.
but it doesn't mean you can start wearing uggs.
queen street was bustling with ugg footed grrls.
it's like wearing sunglasses when there's no sun.

speaking of fall.
i can't wait for:
- the TRENDS kickoff event!
- a night at the opera with the girlies to see don giovanni
- johnny
- thanksgiving/turkey+mashed potatoes day

i have an appointment with career counseling on tuesday at glendon.
the last time i set foot on that place was when i graduated.
i'm being counseled for my lack of a career. related to my undergrad, that is.

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