Thursday, October 30, 2008

i am having the reds.

the confounded hood.

i'm going crazy/have gone crazy making this hooded cape.

what were you thinking, mel?
just because you:
1) own a sewing machine
2) can read instructions
3) have fabric

does NOT mean that you can make a costume.

in a fit of i-am-going-to-pull-my-hair-out (hardeehar, with the little hair i have left) frustration, i lashed out, ARGH, WHY AM I DOING THIS ANYWAY?!?!?

and my little sister, who is so wise beyond her years, said simply and calmly:

"because it is better to make your own costume than buy it at wal-mart."

she should have her own etsy store.
oh, gilly bean.

how could i have forgotten that?
so with that in mind, à la machine!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008


last year for halloween, because i had cut my hair like a boy, i wanted to wear a wig. so i thought i'd go as svelte, mysterious, demure morticia adams. i bought the wig from party packagers, and to my dismay, the wig was not as straight as it had been pictured on the package! (there are some great tips on how to straighten a wig here)

i combed it out to no avail (which i learned today i wasn't supposed to do) and resorted to being her daughter instead. i braided the wig and put together an outfit from my own closet: an oxford shirt (i would have wanted a peter pan collared shirt), a black 3/4 sleeve shirt, and a jersey skirt from american apparel. presto, you've got wednesday adams!
the great thing about it too was that it didn't look like a costume sans the wig. so i didn't have to change out of anything afterwards.
(les photos are from last year. please excuse the crappy 4.0 megapixel quality.)

it's funny because when i got to work, someone had dressed up as morticia. (yes they stand on desks here at work. we have monthly meetings that are called "standups" where the big boss stands on a desk so that he could address the entire floor.)

with mary, who's dressed up as tonks. i think. i'm not sure. her cubicle was awesome though. she made an actual hogwart's door. perfect against nosey co-workers. harhar.

do you need last-minute halloween ideas?
why not go as the cereal killer? hardeeharhar
or as a box of crayola? this is the perfect group costume.

this year i've decided to go as little red riding hood (i'll be holly next year. please remind me not to cut my hair. harhar). i'm going to fabricland today to get red fabric. i found a great tutorial on how to make a hooded cape. i'll be wearing my black puffy homemade skirt and heeled mary janes and i will be lugging around the family picnic basket.
another funny thing i discovered AFTER i planned my costume for this year, is that alix did something similar for wednesday AND little red right here.
i must be doing something right then. :)
have a great day everyone!
ps: 2 more days till candy!
pps: 2 more days till the fabulous four are reunited!

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

it was a good weekend.


for polaroid lovers like me, check this out. unfortunately it's for mac users only. and i am waiting for the day that they come up with something for normal pcs.

aaaaand, thank you for all your sweet comments, ladies! :)

on friday night, after several attempts to straighten my hair, i gave up and gave it a wash.
which helped, TREMENDOUSLY. i'm actually liking it now. it was definitely the ridiculous amounts of mousse that she massaged into my hair.

it was back to regular goodness in the weekend, despite my lack of sleep. i finished the powerpoint at 3 am, and girlies, i am running on 5 hours of sleep and am ready to drop.
* it was my first class on saturday and i am loving my group of grade eights. they asked lots of questions and kept me on my toes, which i really love!
* the TRENDS event was a huge success! we held it this time at the lovely hart house at uoft. there were so many girls that came that some of them had to stand...this has never happened before! it was so nice being with teensies again. it makes me feel younger and hipper (ahaha. who says that?)
* the bake sale was super fun...and very tasty. i had too many samosas and white chocolate chip cookies.

and someone please save me from etsy.

or do i even want to be saved?
in the span of a week i bought
* more fabric from matatabi
* the adult couture dress and smock blouse (thanks for the tip anabela!)
* and a pair of vintage two-tone spectator heels with tassels
and the shopping isn't even done. i have to buy other supplies for my christmas presents.

i've also signed up for three classes at the workroom:
1) knock it off - we get to learn how to re-create a pattern from a piece of clothing that we have
2) holiday printing party - we get to make a set of holiday cards, gift tags and wrapping paper!
3) sewn men's tie - i finally get to learn how to make a tie for john. i've promised to make him four for christmas! i'm also thinking of making my brothers some for christmas eve.
i am so excited!

i also started making a dress last night and i can't wait to be finished! it's made of knit jersey and has ruffles on the neckline :) i'll make sure to take pics.

thanks your comments again girls. they really made my day!
i hope everyone has a good week :)
4 more days till candy!

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Friday, October 24, 2008

it's friday, but it's not so great.

1) it started off with a bang on the train.
an awful experience with a girl who kept hitting me with her bag. ON PURPOSE.
i can hold my bag in such a way that it won't hit anybody's knees. and if it does, i apologize and move my bag out of the way.
i called her on it and asked her what she was doing.
she said that i:
a) "scowled" at her
b) "hit [her] bag"
i was fast asleep when she hit me the first time. i was more startled. and how could i have hit her if i was, again, asleep?
i told her that i didn't want to argue with her and went back to sleep, after which she tried hitting my knee again. very immature. completely ignored her after. i'm sure she was making faces at me, but sometimes it's more annoying to them when you ignore their attempts to provoke you.

2) had a horrible haircut which i paid a lot for.

HUGE barrel brush+hairspray+bobcut=not a good idea.

i want to cry.
i did...
...after i tried to put it up in a ponytail and my guy co-worker jokingly said that there's not enough hair.
and i didn't think about halloween and my plans to be holly golightly.
i've never cried about my hair before. even when i got it cut really short.

3) i have a powerpoint presentation for tomorrow that is beyond done.
whenohwhen will i ever learn my lesson?

i hope it gets better by the time i leave work. 3 more hours and counting.
i'd love to be able to just go home and make something, but i'm going to be quite the busy bee this weekend, starting tonight:
- must finish presentation for trends
- teach tomorrow morning
- trends event tomorrow afternoon
- bake sale on sunday

check out
- this blog post, shared by johnny. it will make you melt!
- this awesome blog i discovered

have a great friday everyone! :)

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

crafty space #4

happy thursday!
i'm sure that most of you who love to craft and make things have been to alicia paulson's blog. can i tell you how in love i am with:
- the things that she makes
- her photos
- her lifestyle
and how i am very, very much in love with her studio?

i chanced upon her blog probably two years ago, waaaay before i started making things. and ever since then i have been drooling over (ack, not a pretty picture, but you get the idea) her lovely space. alicia kindly gave me permission to share some of her pictures from here.

notice the audrey hepburn picture! :)
yummy, yummy, yummy.

i love the doors, the brightness of the space, its whimsiness, the color of the walls, and how it leads to the garden.
sigh. one day, mel. one day. when my crafting gets pretty serious.
but for now, i'm satisfied with my desk in my room.
what do you love or not like about your working space? it doesn't necessarily have to be for crafting. it could be your homework/study/etc space too :) i'd love to know! :)

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Monday, October 20, 2008

getting ready for lots of making.

hello hello!
i'm having a good morning so far, how is yours?
i think it's because...
* i had a great night in last night! monday evenings, my best friend usually comes over. we have dinner together, and she does her school work (she is in teacher's college) and i do my crafting, with the promise that i will not talk to her (which is difficult sometimes because there's just so much to say and she and i talk a lot. haha). BUT nothing tops having your best friend over and just standing by the counter eating nutella and ice cream right out of the box. she literally made an ice cream sandwich- nutella and ice cream inside this really yummy soft bun. sigh. love you, A.
* it's finally cold enough to wear gloves and a hat, and cold enough to stuff my pants into my boots. harhar.
* and it's really quiet here in the office...i like it that way in the mornings. unless it's a friday afternoon. or when i'm overtiming. then my co-workers and i would belt out queen, madonna & celine dion songs (celine dion songs is one of my guilty pleasures, i have to admit).

on a craftier note, i've started buying supplies and fabric for christmas presents! yeah!

i got these from etsy!

these are sold at the workroom.

i'm thinking of making:

coin purses
little sets of gifts tags/tiny christmas cards
little patchwork pouches
more turd guys/softies for the boys
neckties for men (if i'm able to take classes...i signed up for it but not sure if there's still any space left *crosses fingers*)
throw pillows
zippered pouches

i also have to begin work for the backtack swap.
my very talented swapping partner is kirsty.

hello kirsty! :)

here are a few things that i made last week:

i finally used the cloud fabric to make an envelope throw pillow case. the other pillow beside it is the VERY FIRST thing i've ever made on the sewing machine! it's funny, now that i look back on it, it took me more than an hour to make it. this time it took me 15 minutes to whip this up. measuring out a perfectly sized rectangle took forever though.

nadine, this is part 1 of benjamin's presents (john has the other part and will send it to you with this one). it has its imperfections though, i hope you don't mind! i'll make you a better one next time, but know that this is the first pouch i've ever made and you get to have it. :)

this was for an adorable little girl named jennifer.

and that is all.
i hope you guys have a great day!
and thank you for all your sweet's really, really nice to meet all of you!

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john flew back to north carolina yesterday and i am feeling quite sad and bummed.
but i do have pictures from saturday's downtown (again) excursion. it was a really beautiful day. we had breakfast at the gladstone hotel's ballroom cafe. (the gladstone is a boutique hotel)

gladstone hotel
1214 queen street west
toronto, ontario, m6j 1j6
416 531 4635

because i had wanted to try something different, i had eggs benedict for the first time! i don't know if it was because of the heightened anticipation, but i was a bit disappointed. i thought that the eggs were a tad overcooked and i couldn't really taste the hollondaise sauce.

john ordered a frittata. now this one was really good: sundried tomatoes, pesto and parmesan.

i have to say that the coffee was very, very good though.
the cafe also has a nice vibe. there was a lady doing some watercoloring a few tables away. i'd go back again, and just order the frittata. hehe.

i wish i had a teapot like this. so cute!

other little discoveries:
* this sewing machine store on ossington and queen which sells $6.50 yard sticks. fabricland sells them for $30!!! of course i got one and it was one of the best purchases of the day. it's wood and it looks really vintagey to me. i also bought gray knit fabric which i will be turning into another dress soon!

* i miss you vintage
where i got two pairs of shoes, with the right heel height and the right fit. i'm still searching for the perfect brown shoes, but these black ones (and one with a bow) are a good start.
* this:

"i am more than the square heads that live here"
* this:

it makes me want to go to the market and buy a loaf of baguette and tomatoes, even though i hate tomatoes.
i did a lot of crafting and fabric shopping this past week and i'd like to show you once i have everything uploaded!
and that is all.
have a good week everyone! :)
i miss you miss you, my dear.
* i was thisclose to buying a gocco printer for $300. after much pondering and weighing out the pros and cons, i came to the conclusion that it was too much to spend on something that is being discontinued and nearing obsoleteness. there may be an alternative though...rebecca from mon petit lapin made these classy teatowels with her screen printing kit. hmmmm...
* i am now up to date with gossip girl. i love blair. i hate serena. period. i prefer bitchy characters with hearts of gold.
* saw nick and norah''s a bit like a cute teenaged (and very drunken) version of before sunrise

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

crafty space #3

happy thursday everyone :)

oohhhh so last thursday, i talked about crafty spaces that i really like. i've decided to do the same today :)

on tuesday night, john and i went to the workroom's one year anniversary.
there were prizes that were being given away...and i am the lucky winner of a $100 class card at the workroom!!!

please excuse the blurry quality, the dorkiness, and the size of my nose in this picture. but off to the right are the shelves of fat quarters. so juicy!

i just can't stop gushing about the workroom because it is one of my favorite places to be in.
i had always wanted to learn how to use the sewing machine so i could make things and sew my own clothes (i thought it would be the best way to save some money and have things fit me well). when i first searched for sewing classes in toronto over a year ago, nothing came up on google that interested me. they were either too pricey or just not appealing. then this year, after finally being done and over my undergrad (i now have more time to do things!), i googled it again and this time i found the workroom.

it's owned by the very talented and creative karyn, and it's a cozy place where you can sew by the hour (with sergers and the much coveted berninas!), make things (they have a gocco printer and laser cutter!) and take classes (there's always cold iced tea and jar of cookies waiting). it's oozing with warmth and the most beautiful (picked by karyn) selection of fabrics - amy butler, kokka, echino, denyse schmidt, and more.

isn't it all so yummy? it's art in shelves.

anyway, the event was a lot of fun! it felt like a wine and cheese party because karyn had a nice spread of cheeses and crackers and wine. there were also vegan cupcakes, of which, i must admit, i had four :)
(of course i couldn't leave without buying any fabric. i bought three meters of canvas to make totes with and four fat quarters.)

so, if you like crafting, or sewing, or quilting, or if you just like pretty things, or want to learn how to sew, you must visit the workroom. you'll love it, i promise! :)

the workroom
1340 queen street west
toronto, ontario M6K 1L4
416 534 5305

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

friday's excursion

i must talk about downtown t.o because it is one of my favorite places to be in. beware, this is going to be a post of pictures!

when john comes to visit, i like to take friday off and we just spend an entire day shopping, looking around, and of course eating (john's fun to eat with because he eats my tomatoes and always saves me the last bite. and there's just lots to talk about!)
instead of doing our usual thing, that is, going to ikea for breakfast, we went straight to downtown and had breakfast at sunset grill.

sunset grill
1 richmond st. west, toronto, ON M5H 3W4
(416) 861-0514
7 AM to 4 PM

the servings were generous, coffee was bottomless, the waitress was very attentive, but the potatoes could have been better (i am quite picky with my potatoes).

john, being the tea lover he is, wanted to try out the the red tea box, which we discovered while walking to the workroom on queen street (one of my favorite streets. there's just so many things to discover each time). i don't like tea at all (except for bubble tea. hehe) but the display window boasts of fondant covered cakes and cupcakes...that of course drew me in.

red tea box
696 queen west, toronto
416 203-8882

it also seems so idyllic and tranquil, but this whole experience was ruined by two things:
1) the very rude manager - who totally lacks people skills. she is actually quite notorious. i've read plenty of reviews and everyone complains about her.
2) the nasty, overpriced cake that we ordered for dessert (yes, the ones that drew me in in the first place). we got a chocolate malt layer cake and that was disgusting. it was mostly made of fondant and the insides were crumbling as if it was baked a week ago. all for the price of $11.
we got mushroom soup and this beef sandwich. it was tasty and herby, but the soup was obviously reheated and the beef was cold.
one thing i liked though was the cantaloupe infused water our waitress gave us. just simply cut up large slices of cantaloupe (they didn't even peel it. that's where a lot of the flavor is, that's why) and leave them in your water pitcher. it's supposed to cleanse the pallet.
i'd go back there, as long as i avoid dessert and that awful lady.

here are more pictures from friday (hover over "notes" to see notes):

this is the dress i made, by the way! it has imperfections, but i love it and will wear it again! :)
i made this with the built by wendy pattern 3964, without the inset.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

happy turkey day!

happy thanksgiving!

sigh. i am thankful for so many things. :)

i am feeling really sleepy and lethargic right now. i also feel as if i ran a marathon. i peeled so many potatoes today to make my really awesome mashed potatoes. :)

i love thanksgiving.
i think it's because it's a holiday that doesn't require pretentious gift giving that happens during christmas (i love christmas though, don't get me wrong!). and everyone's just together at the table, eating a meal that they've all prepared together. sigh.

anyhoo, i hope everyone had a good weekend, just as i did! :)

ps: this is an interesting article on turkey and its lethargic effects. i've heard people say that turkey has something that makes you feel really sleepy, so i decided to look it up. it's partly true, but it's also because of our massive carb intake during thanksgiving dinner!

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