Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pyrex Love

My friend Alanna always swoons over my little Pyrex dishes I bring my meals in to work. Fraser bought us a set of clear glass Pyrex in a whole assortment of sizes back when we moved in to our place in September and I've been loving how handy (and easy to clean) they are with their little snap on rubber lids! Good buy Fraser! Just goes to show you some of the awesome deals you can find at Zellers!

Well, I've been seeing loads of old Pyrex dishes on loads of blog posts lately and I realized how trendy old Pyrex is becoming! It makes sense too! Pyrex are super high quality and utilitarian, relatively inexpensive, and every household seems to have them! Alanna even pointed me in the direction of the amazing Pyrex related blog Pyrex Love and I haven't been able to stop thinking about starting my own Pyrex collection! Just check out their amazing slideshows on flickr! What's not to love?

Lindsay and I went to some thrift stores a few Fridays ago to look for a suitable laundry/jewelry/storage dresser/cabinet (yes, that's a lot of slashes...) for her bathroom and look at the fun find I landed on our journey:

Ahaha! My very own vintage (well...I wouldn't really classify this as "vintage" but it is used) Autum Harvest dish! I love the fun bright pattern and colour of the bowl and the $1 price tag didn't exactly break the bank. The condition isn't the greatest (there are a few chips in the orange finish) but I still love it and it makes great storage for my felt creations I have on hand:

What do you think? Do you have your own collection you'd like to share? Any tips for the novice thrift store shopper? What fun!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Birdy Update

As you may recall, Fraser and I recently bought a snazzy new recycled bird gazebo for one of our front trees to replace the old mesh enclosed seed bell that the birds finished eating (link!). I was excited to get some birds back in our yard (making my dish washing a much more enjoyable task) and didn't mind the low price tag on the feeder! Well - the feeder has been up for just a few days and sweet jesus! - those birds are enjoying their new food source! It's practically half gone already and there always seem to be little chubby friends coming to visit! Check it out:

Perhaps not the best picture (I took it through the kitchen window) but I did want to show you how much seed they've gone though and I love how the little house sparrow's head it peeking through the plastic! Hooray! I'm so pleased with how this feeder has turned out and I'll have to keep my eyes on it to refill too! So wonderful!

And since we're already on the topic of bird feeders I wanted to share with you am amazing project I spotted from Something Wonderful's blog. Take a look at these charming little tea cup and saucer bird feeders/baths:

Rockie got the idea from a flea market where they were charging $10 for each cup and decided to get some stair railing spindles and some thrift store cups and make her own! What a wonderful idea! She ended up spending $7 for the three cup feeders and now gets to enjoy watching the squirrels and birds enjoy their new food source! I totally want to make some of these (in fact, I've been dreaming about making these for a few days now) and I just love the multi-level finished product! Looks like it is time for me to stop by some thrift stores and start my search for wooden pegs and tea cups! Then (hopefully) my dad (or Fraser) will help me whip them up! Hehe! So much fun!

So what do you think? Do you have a bird feeder? Or maybe some old tea cups and saucers you're willing to donate to my project?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Kitty Sunday!

I'm really hoping that one of these days I'll get back to my organized self and have pre-scheduled posts again - but for now...you get an adorable orange kitty!:

Aww! Cat tongues are so neat! Happy Sunday! How's your weekend going?

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Let's celebrate the weekend by exploring the five new exciting things happening around my house these last few days.

New #1 - New mail:

Hooray for postcards from friends in far away places! I was overjoyed to get this kitty themed post from Lucas this past week. It totally perked up the dreary rainy day and gave me a daily kitten dose (although he assures me the strays around Greece aren't that cute).

New #2 - New bird feeder:

The sad little orange mesh bird seed bell has been devoured at last and I've replaced it with a recycled bird feeder gazebo! How fancy! Well..more like when I went to find a new bird seed bell they didn't have any...but this was the next best (as in cheapest) thing I could find! Plus it is totally less ugly than that orange sack hanging from the tree and will hopefully lure loads of little chubby birds to my yard! Hip hip hooray!

New #3 - New sign for Fraser:

Lindsay actually caught my pinterest attention on this one and boy it is ever perfect for Fraser! I mean batman and motivational towards artwork? Awesome! I printed out a little version of this and taped it to the monitor in his studio and then giggled to myself for a good 10 minutes. He didn't end up seeing it until I was already in bed but apparently we had a good conversation about it while I was sleeping (yes, I hold conversations while I sleep - doesn't everyone?)

New #4 - New sign:

No, we didn't buy a house I just thought the "BOUGHT" sign on one of the houses down the street looks so bizarre. I mean why choose "bought" over "sold"? It isn't even fewer letters so it's not like they were trying to save money on printing. Ack! It is so silly! I just don't get it. Give me an old fashioned sold sign any day. What is the world coming to?

New #5 - New bed!:

Okay... I'm jumping the gun on this one a bit but Fraser and I are in the process of replacing our wee 3/4 size (that's right we share a bed that is smaller than a double) bed with a new queen! Oh the luxury! We found a great deal on a mattress and are planning on heading down to the coast next next weekend with Fraser's parents to pick up an inexpensive bed frame from Ikea! Fraser is looking for "a bed without a foot board" (nice specifications hey?) and I'm looking for "a nice timeless bed that will last us a good 20 years and have loads of storage options"! Any suggestions? I'm also stoked to get some new sheets for our new bed/mattress/comforter while we're at Ikea too since 1) they have an awesome selection 2) there are lots of gender neutral designs and 3) they are so much cheaper than all the $200 and $300 semi-acceptable sheet sets they sell here in town!

Ah! So much new fun! What's new in your life?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Find: The Dainty Squid

Today's find is a shop and blog I've been following for ages now. I'm sure you've heard of it (well probably not you mom and sister) but it is pretty fun and she's just come out with a whole new line of cute zipper pouches! Ooo am I ever drooling! Check out the lovely new (and newly photographed) goods at The Dainty Squid:

Yup - that Kaylah certainly shares some common craft loves with me (like robots, geometric shapes, jewel tones, chevron stripes, owls and kitties)! Oh my! It really makes me want to whip out the sewing machine and get making but since I know we don't have any fabrics half that cool in Kamloops I think I'll stick to swooning over her great creations instead. Oh and if you're into blog reading you may as well check out her rad blog while you're at it. You may even see a few adorable cat pictures while you're at it...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What I came home to...

When Fraser and I went away on our cruise vacation my mom and sister were nice enough to take care of my numerous plants and collect the mail for me. When we got back from the trip I came home to a house full of happy plants and this...

Looks like Leslie had fun with my mini break crafts while I was gone. My particular favourite is where she made teal dog eat the soot sprites:

Oh - and that wasn't the only thing she fed soot sprites to:

Ah! Stop feeding my creations to your baby Leslie! My sister and Jean are done with their visit in Kamloops and back home in Smithers today getting ready to travel to Haida Gwaii tomorrow (or maybe tonight?). I certainly don't envy traveling alone with an 8 month old but maybe that's just me...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chevron Wednesday!

I'm a huge fan of following the crafty trends and just as I predicted back in January, chevron prints are totally rising the crafty charts in 2011! Okay, so maybe they aren't insanely popular (yet), but I am loving all the zig-zag projects on pinterest! Let's take a peek at my fav three:

1) Shoe box lid wall art:

Just my type of project - quick, inexpensive, and in an awesome colour scheme! I think I'd prefer to make some little canvases (well...probably more like ask Fraser to make me some) for a more long lasting art installment! Fun!

2) DIY chevron pillow covers from stripey fabric:

Well even though turning striped fabric into zig zags isn't totally rocket science I totally love the yellow and cream finished product! Perhaps not the perfect project for my house (with my already striped throw pillows and striped love seat), but I'd love to make some DIY chevron fabric for say...a clutch? Sounds lovely! Ok, so finding chevron fabric might be a smidge easier than making me own but it is a nice option regardless...

3) Chevron wall!

Hooray! Bring on the chevron! Yup - not so likely that I'll be doing this project any time soon (being a non home owner and all...) but I still think it's super awesome!

So how about you? In love with the chevron prints like me? I definitely need to keep my eyes peeled for chevron accessories to fill my chevron void in my life. Also I think chevron prints may have made their way into my crafty heart up there with pom poms and doilies...and I've said "chevron" entirely too many times during this blog post. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Crafty Peep Swap!

Remember back in April when I signed up to participate in Strumpet's Crumpet's Crafty Peep Swap? (No? Here's a link). Well I am a wee bit behind on sharing the awesome results of the swap (since I was away on the cruise when they arrived) but boy was my swap partner ever a sweetheart! I got paired up with the wonderfully talented RobbieLee from Chickiedee.com! She specializes in baby apparel but is switching over to all handmade goods for every member of the family! Just take a peek at the fun goodies RobbieLee sent me:

We emailed back and forth for a while to get to know eachother and RobbieLee made me some fun handmade accessories and a new little kitty for our household (since Fraser is allergic to cats and we can't get a live one). Isn't that adorable? What a thoughtful gift! She even embroidered my name on the back:

I really like her little chickiedee ribbon tags too! Now that she is my new penpal (which I am so very excited for by the way) I can ask her how she makes them too! What fun! Plus the hairband looks extra adorable (and teal is one of my fav colours) so Leslie will be happy to see me pull my hair back (she has been bugging me to show more face)! Double win!

I sent RobbieLee a fuscia felt flower pin like the one I made for brooch week as well as a polymer clay painted geometric pendant. I was thrilled to bits to find out she liked them and even did a blog post of her own thanking me and showing them off! What a great gal!

Man crafty swaps are fun! I've made my art cards for the two ATC exchanges I signed up for too so I'll be sure to show you how those turn out when I get the results! Fun! I'd love to arrange a craft swap some time if anyone would be interested. What do you think?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Vacation Recap! part III

Onto the last installment of my cruise vacation recap with days 8-11! Let's get to it:

Day 8 - After our day at sea on day 7, we made it to Astroia, Oregon. This was a super cute charming little town with a port that I fell in love with! I also really enjoyed all the crafty little shops they had (and giant Joann's Fabrics!) and their no sales tax! Ahhh! I went on quite the spree buying a few items for my shop/craft booth and really liked all the friendly small town people.

It was, however, a torrential downpour that day so our visit was a wee bit short. Fraser and I spent quite a while catching up on internet in a book store/espresso shop where we devoured some delicious chai lattes for $1.50 each! Ah! Add in the lack of taxes and you've got me sold. I was convinced that if the US had public health care I'd want to move to Oregon. It also really made me want to go to Portland and continue down the coast to see the red wood forests. *Sigh* Next time. I only managed to take one picture while we were there:

Yup - looks like your typical rainy town. The rain picked up quite a bit as we went back to the ship and got completely soaked running back. Luckily my craft supplies and fabrics were double bagged for safety! What fun!

Day 9 - The sun decided to join us again as we landed in Seattle. The ship was right by the Pike Place Market so a quick 10 minute walk and hike up some stairs and we were there:

It was a super neat place to check out and I loved looking at all the artisans and fresh tulips:

Aren't they pretty? We split up from the crew so I could stop by the first sbux and then further into downtown for some bargain shopping. I made my first trip into an Anthropologie (which, was very much, not a bargain store) but also stopped by another Forever 21, H & M, Old Navy, and Lush. I'm not sure why the US stores have way better prices on everything but they certainly do! I picked up a few things to get rid of the rest of my US funds and enjoyed our walk around the downtown area.

We met up with the crew for dinner at The Crab Pot, where you order massive amounts of crab and they plunk it on the table in front of you! It was hilarious! I enjoyed my giant mango cocktail and fish plate while laughing at everyone demolish their piles of food. What a good time! Then back to the boat to figure out how much we spend and prepare for customs!

Day 1o - Finally back in Canada we went to one of my favourite cities (and soon to be home come September) - Victoria! It was really nice to not have to worry about exchange rates and customs anymore and be able to wonder around a city without getting lost. I went to my favourite craft/wool shops with Fraser's mom at the start of our trip and then split up from everyone to do a little solo shopping. Fraser grabbed a book and read while I got to peruse chinatown and the local artisan shops:

I met back up with Fraser for lunch and we checked out a few of my favourite stops together. Fraser also bought me a wonderful (and sort of ridiculous) hat from Roberta's Hat Shop after he fell in love with it when the sales clerk and I were trying hats on. I figured I'd have to take a picture it in front of the Empress and look forward to sporting this at a few weddings this summer:

Okay, so that picture doensn't do the hat (or me) much justice but I assure you it is wonderful. Heather and I have decided to have a high tea party before I move this fall so we can dress up and give me another excuse to wear my hat! What fun!

After a long day we walked back to the boat to spend our last night and say a fond farewell to the Sapphire Princess:

Day 11 - Probably the longest day of the trip, we landed in Vancouver quite early in the morning. We had to be out our rooms by 8, then done with breaky by 9, and shuffled to our assigned meeting places by 10:15. Next we breezed through customs (woo hoo!) and ended in a mass pileup of crowds in Canada Place! Ack! I think it took us until at least 12 to find everyone and get out of the building (not at all as organized and smooth as the rest of the cruise) and finally Fraser and I took a skytrain to pick up the car. Then a few quick stops on 4th and wham! Time to head back home!

Man was that ever a fun vacation! I totally recommend cruises to anyone who dislikes packing and unpacking their suitcase since it gives you a great way to travel and see lots of places fairly quickly. I was pretty drugged up on anti-motion-sickness meds the whole time and never managed to get ill once (go me) but, as you all probably know, I've been suffering quite severely from my vertigo ever since! Eep! It was still well worth the trip! So, what do you think? Anyone else cruise before? Any recommendations for my next vacation?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Vacation Recap! part II

Yesterday I spilled the beans about days 1-3 of my mini break down south including watch buying, getting lost in the ghetto of LA, and loads of old bones! Today I'll continue my recap with days 4 - 7 of my trip!

Day 4 - Cruise time! Saturday we packed our bags yet again and headed off to the docks to board our cruise! We made a quick stop by Target before heading out (I've never been and loads of budget fashion blogs I read always buy stuff there) which was a treat! I love how inexpensive everything in the US is and since our dollar is stronger than theirs at the moment it makes the deals even more of a steal! Hooray!

It was only about a half hour shuttle to the docks and the Princess Cruise line people were immaculately organized! It seemed like a flawless boarding as we floated from the parking lot and baggage check, to check in, to finding out rooms (with our bags already there for us!). Our floor room taker (ok, so I don't know where they are called) even knew our names when we first met him! Wow! I was impressed! I apparently didn't take any pictures of our room or the ship when we arrived but it was lovely. It was a 15 floor giant and once we unpacked we met up with the other 18 people from our crew for drinks on the deck! What a day! Then it was off to an an amazing 5-course meal before and early bed. So much fun!

Day 5 - Sunday we made it to Santa Barbara where I was absolutely thrilled about visiting a new place without having to pack and unpack my bag anymore! We had to get to shore by boat but the cruise was still wonderfully organized and the trip was smooth. I also got to take a shot of our giant cruise ship on the way:

Yay! It was a glorious sunny warm day (with quite a breeze) and Fraser and I got to sit on the top of the little trolly boat and enjoy the sun! What a wonderful guy!

Once we got ashore there was a huge Sunday art market lining the lovely white beaches so we wandered along that for quite a while to check out the artisans! Oh the greenery of Santa Barbara! Just look at the gorgeous palm trees:

After a quick lunch, we walked our way downtown to check out the great shopping. I was thrilled to visit a Forever 21 and a few neat kitchen stores! I continues to gawk at the huge foliage everywhere (you should have seen the size of their succulents!) and fell in love with the birds of paradise flowers:

I also got to see a fig tree for the first time and quite a few pelicans too! What fun! The wind picked up quite a bit so we headed back to the ship and just about beat the rain! Day 5 was a success!

Day 6 - We got up extra early on Tuesday to stand on the deck as we arrived in San Francisco. Fraser's dad went on about going under the Golden Gate bridge so I figured it must be worth checking out. The decks were packed but I took a few pictures to capture the amazing moment:

Aha! Was that ever a neat bridge to go under! Oh and apparently I snapped a pic of one of the outdoor pools too:

You could even see Alcatraz from where we docked:

Oh what a great day that was! We walked our way down to Fisherman's Wharf and peeked in loads of the cute little shops. I got a few gifts here for my family and I really enjoyed the succulent crab structure they had:

The sea lions at Pier 39 were adorable too! A few of them were playing and trying to knock each other off the docks. Boy they were cute (and stinky):

Oh and look! Another crab:

Oh dear I'm a sucker for animals. We took a cab to delve a bit deeper into the city but unfortunately the shop I was hoping to hit up was closed (boo for being closed on a Monday!). Not all hope was lost since we found an amazing art supply store and got to see a bit of the hilly city! The architecture in San Fransisco was quite interesting and I'd love to come back here one day to spend a little more time (and going to Sausalito!). Take a peek at one of the pictures I took of Fraser's favourite tower:

It was such a wonderful day and after two days of walking I was ready to head back to the ship and call it a day!

Day 7 - Tuesday was a day at sea! It was pretty choppy water so even though I brought a crochet project I've been dying to start I wasn't really up for trying to figure out the new stitches it required. Instead Fraser and I spend the day (like most of our afternoons) lazing about on the upper decks of the indoor pool. It was super humid and warm - perfect for a cold person like me! Take a peek:

We also bought quite a few buckets of Dos Equis and played a ton of crib:

Oh it was so much fun! It also gave us a day for Fraser's skin to heal from his wicked sunburn he got in Santa Barbara:

Aww - poor guy. If only he had listened to me nag him about sunscreen! We also dressed up a bit for another dinner with the 18 other cruise takers and got super cheesy portraits taken. I think they turned out awful but Fraser's parents ended up buying a few (oh dear - I bet they will haunt me for many years to come).

*Whew!* What a whirlwind few days! Tomorrow I'll complete my vacation recap with part III! What do you think so far?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vacation Recap! part I

My vertigo is showing no signs of departure from my poor body right now but I've decided to spill all the fun details of my wonderful vacation despite my dizziness! After all, you have been very patient with my filler posts the last few days and it has been an entire week since I've been home! Clearly we're long overdue for a cruise recap so let's get to it!

I've decided to split my recaps into three parts to cover the whole 1.5 weeks I was gone so today part I is going to include the first three days of our trip! Hooray!

Day 1 - Fraser and I drove to Vancouver after work. I frantically packed that morning (so not a typical Kate move - but it seemed to work out) and decided to go for a wardrobe consisting entirely of 1) cardigans, 2) tshirts (with undershirts...I always wear undershirts), 3) jersey skirts (or dresses), 4) tights and flats, and 5) cute accessories! I also spent the last moments before leaving trying to upload all of my vacation craft pictures so you would have blog posts to read while I was away. We made it to the coast super late after a fun trip of Beatles music sing-a-long and dark chocolate peanut M&M's (so good!).

Day 2 - We got up super early to catch a shuttle to the airport and I got to meet the other 16 lovely ladies we were going on the cruise with (since it was a work outing for Fraser's Dad's dental office). I got my exciting first trip through customs and even though we were still technically in Vancouver I was pretty stoked about the huge "Welcome to the United States" sign I got to walk under! What fun! I then spent the wait time finishing up my blog posts for the week on my trusty iPad:

There I am! Did you notice the outfit formula? I am thinking this combination is my tried and tested clothing option for supreme comfort without looking frumpy. Bonus? No annoying metal belts or difficult shoes to go through security with! Oh don't I look like a prepared flyer!

Then it was a quick 2.5 hour flight to L.A and we made it! No more rain and just blue skies and palm trees:

We got to our hotel fairly early in the day giving us enough time to walk across the street (yes, very convenient hotel placement) to Disneyland:

Okay - so with my level of motion sickness and budgeting we didn't actually go into Disneyland...but we did explore the downtown Disney shopping. They had immaculate grounds and loads of neat stores like a Lego one with huge Lego structures:

Fraser and I also spend a ton of time in the Fossil store (I thought of you the whole time Sarra) where I was hoping to find a replacement for my sad broken Fossil watch from last May (link). As it turned out they had loads of fun stuff to look at and Fraser bought me and himself new watches! Take a looksie:

So much fun! While all the dental assistants and hygienists went to an outlet mall, Fraser and I spent a while lounging on the fun rooftop pool! Then off to bed for an early start on Friday (our entire day in LA)! Woo hoo!

Day 3 - Today we decided to split from the group (who was really interested in going to Disneyland) and head to the supposedly wonderful LA Science Center. We called a cab to take us from Anaheim to downtown LA and although our cab driver claimed he knew where he was going, he definitely did not. We somehow went from the insane 12 lane highway (where motorcyclists buzz down the dotted center lines without helmets and make me cringe) to a super sketch neighbourhood that pretty much ended in the ghetto. Not all hope was lost! We survived the trip once the driver phoned and asked for directions (for the 4th or 5th time) and finally arrived at the science center! The verdict? The LA Science Center is made for 10 year olds...but I did enjoy the biology section with the aquariums and animals. Just check out that DNA molecule!:

We spend the rest of our day at the Natural History Museum which was amazing! If you're ever in the area (and have a cab driver who doesn't try to get you killed) I totally recommend it. It was a blast! They had loads of neat exhibits on animals from all over the world, a bug zoo, a huge rock collection, and loads of bones! Here's Fraser and his new friend:

Or how about a wall of antlers?

The building itself was quite impressive too! It was enormous and in the center there was a neat statue and stained glass work:

Isn't that pretty? Or how about the massive fin whale skeleton:

Man was the museum ever neat! And to think that fin whales aren't even the biggest of the whales! Boy the world we live in is fascinating! Oh, and don't let me forget to tell you about the cool bird section! Do I ever have a long way to go on my bird watching skills! Ah! So much fun!

After the long day we headed back to the hotel for an early night (again, I know, I'm an old lady!) to get ready for the cruise ship the next day! Tune in tomorrow for part II of my vacation recap! What do you think of part I? Has anyone else seen any cool museums I should check out?