Nov 16, 2013

Time for a change

Hello, readers.

While I will still be maintaining some of the content at TheBKLounge, I thought it was time for a new blog adventure.

And so, without further ado, I introduce to you:

This blog will be a sort of fashion/crochet/exploits/lifestyle mesh with a more professional spin. So please, keep comments constructive and relevant. Share it with your friends. Follow it on Facebook (and Twitter, if you feel inclined) And follow any appropriate links to get updates as I will no longer be posting blog updates to my own Facebook page.

Thanks to all my dedicated readers. I do hope you'll stop by my new home.


p.s. If you click the graphic, it will take you right to the new blog. Happy reading!

Oct 26, 2013

Autumn as it should be (and other splendid things)

Since coming back to B.C. after a wonderful Ontario Thanksgiving, Autumn has really made a full and beautiful appearance here. It seems that all the sunshine and colours that we were promised are true after all (and not just figments of some great imaginative scheme).

I couldn't help but stop and take some photos of the gorgeous colour today as I made a trip to the local independent grocery store for fresh fall fruits and vegetables. Because Autumn comes so much later here, there seems to be more home-grown veggies in store until later in the year. Where Ontario would be seeing the last of its squash, pumpkin, and apple crops straggling into the farmers markets, B.C. seems to have an abundance of these, not to mention fresh spinach, red leaf lettuces, the last of the vine-tomato crops, radishes, potatoes, gourds, and so many more. My grocery bag was packed full of fruits and veggies (and ziplock baggies so that some of the greens could be frozen for later use).

I was thus inspired to take home some of these beautiful coloured leaves and collage (ha, is that even a verb? oh well, it is now) them into a collection of things that have made my weekend happy.

Aren't these leaves just incredible?! The candle is pumpkin spice, and the nail-polish reminds me of the
green bushes and the leaves still to change in the previous photos... 

I've also been spending a bit of time on Pinterest (okay, a bit is a HUGE understatement, I've basically been living on there), and have compiled a collection of some of my favourite photos and pretty things that have come across my visual path and wishful thoughts these last few days. I had a bout of the flu, so finding a little bit of beauty to balance out the icky was delightful.

Gorgeous spring colours that make me want springtime.
So. Much. Joy.
Christmas comes soon. Quebec, Canada.

So, so true.
I really like the last picture in the collection. It rings entirely true after the last year and a half. One thing about adventures is that, if you don't find yourself longing for the place you call home while you're on it, then it wasn't really your home to begin with. 

I guess I have found the place where I belong... and it's with this guy: 

Happy weekend, readers! 

Oct 23, 2013

An Experiment in Memory

This semester, as a part of my MA program, I am in a course on the writing of creative non-fiction. The course is specifically designed to deal with memoir writing. As such, I have been reading everything from Annie Dillard to Michael Ondaatje to Salman Rushdie to Virginia Woolf.

Our final assignment for the course, then (logically), is to produce our own short memoir peice. Short, of course, is relative, since the assignment is to be between 5000 and 10 000 words.

We have had little exercises in writing to complete, some which I have done and some which, admittedly, I have not. One of my favourites, though, was a short 150 word description of our earliest memory, visually stimulated by an old photograph. This short "experiment in memory" has consequently served as the launching point for the narrative arch of my memoir peice.

Prelude complete.

An Experiment in Memory

Fragranced by crimson gerber daisies and black-eyed-susans, it is the Carpenter’s world. Reclined in the corner of a home he built with his own hands, he is snoring softly to himself while overcooked pot roast begins to decompose melodiously against his bowels. Barely four years old, I concern myself with memorizing the spored texture of a raggedy black mutt’s flushed tongue as he licks his dinner from grandma’s porcelain. Second-hand immigrants discuss the weather (it has been warmer than usual this year which probably isn’t good for the farmers. Solemn nodding). She crouches in the foreground, her energy spent resisting the desire to touch - then slowly moves forward for prevailing curiosity. But the dog growls, and the Carpenter snortles in response, so she recoils and purses her lower lip against the upper, biting hard on toothless gum. We make no noise, and instead, I smile curiously and carefully. Dinners should not be interrupted; children should be seen and not heard. 

Oct 16, 2013

Ocean Ripple Afghan (pattern by Bernat)

After much work, I present to you my Ocean Ripple Afghan. 

This afghan was quite the undertaking. I started working on it in the summer after the family camping trip and successfully finding colours that I thought would work well together (and also match my boyfriend's taste). 

I loved the pattern by Bernat (which was one of those freebies you rip off of the stash at craft stores) and I wanted to create the blanket. I just wasn't too fond of the colours in the picture. It was too much blue (though, I suppose for an Ocean Ripple, the blues make sense...)

So I decided, instead, to go with the beige, cream white, and navy that I purchased at a tent sale at a country market in SouthHampton, Ontario in mid-July of this year. The wool was wonderfully soft, and the navy matched the colour on my boyfriend's bedroom walls. 

The blanket's construction began in during my final weeks in Kitchener-Waterloo. I got quite far on it over the course of a month. Many episodes of Star Trek, Stargate, and Doctor Who went into this - which, I figured, my man would love since he's a bit of a science-fiction nerd (all the best ones have their nerd streaks, no?).

There may even have been a few episodes of Dawson's Creek too...

When I got to BC (and yes, I took it with me because I had to finish it) the blanket was just a few rows away from being finished. So I buckled down one (rainy) Saturday afternoon and completed it. 

I also embroidered a wash tag for it, just in case.

I apologize for the terrible quality photo, but this was the finished tag, which I sewed to the bottom
of the afghan.

I brought the afghan home with me and gave it to my boyfriend this Thanksgiving weekend.

He loved it, which was wonderful. I couldn't help but take a picture of it against the backdrop of my parents' old park bench and the wonderful falling leaves. I do miss Ontario in autumn.

Blanket Materials:
- 5mm hook
- seven 100 gram balls of beige/brown (one more ball than the pattern called for)
- five 100 gram balls of navy
- five 100 gram balls of cream white
(all wool used was acrylic. use the softest wool you can find, this is a heavy blanket once finished.)

Sep 22, 2013

A little love for music

Today's post is simple:

Soothing songs for the reader's heart.

Three of my favourites these days.

Happy listening.

Sep 13, 2013

Livin' it up: Home Sweet Home

I'm really enjoying the off-campus lifestyle of graduate studies. I find myself refreshed by the lack of social life I am currently maintaining (excellent, considering I spend the bulk of my time reading and writing). It has been a wonderful few weeks, not being restricted by my typical campus lifestyle and rulebook. The peacefulness of not being interrupted by people when I am sitting in a public venue on campus grounds is, admittedly, a nice change.

The apartment is delightful. There is tons of space for both my housemate and I to co-exist, and my own bedroom has been turned into a delightful haven where I enjoy spending most of my time writing, reading, or watching (shamefully, I might add) Dawson's Creek. Don't judge too harshly. The show made a Derrida reference the other day.

And yes, rewatching Dawson's Creek is a bit of a blast from my past, but I think I can excuse my wildly immature taste in teen dramas because the very adult style of the apartment makes up for any misjudgments in the visually fictional realms which I inhabit.

Couch, Coffee Table, End Table: brought from Ontario (belongs to my housemate)
Chairs: Kijiji purchase $50/peice.
Plant: Ikea

Bookshelf: Ikea - brought from Ontario - belongs to housemate
Red and Yellow plants: Ikea: $10

Minimalist Dining/Study Area
This area makes a great common space. But, I cannot at all get away from how perfectly my bedroom came together. While I loved the space I had in Waterloo, and I will never quite be able to get over my love of the hardwood that ran all through that house, the bedroom space I have managed to arrange for myself fits literally all my needs.

The colours are bright and complimentary, making me feel alive when I am in my room.

A perfect Study area. 

Obviously the only way to organize shoes..
And check out those cute little coat hangers my mom purchased for me last year;
super vintage looking.

Photo frame, vases and orange candle on bookshelf to add a flare of adorable.
Words on the frame to remind me of God's promises.

And obviously, every room is in need of a little foliage. 

Nestled between books: my basket of yarn. It is also currently topped with my crochet projects.

Reading Nook. Chair belonged to my housemate's grandma. 

Accents and pretty flower pots.

Contrasts. The candle smells like mangoes and vanilla. Yum!
It is a nice feel apart from movie posters and Disney princess montages (which my dorm rooms at Redeemer were often littered with). I feel like I have finally brought myself into an era of adult(ish) decorating. I feel confident that I will be very happy here.

And, for all you hockey fans out there: you'll be thrilled to know that my Housemate brought along a little bit of her favourite Ontario team....

photo via my housemate's Facebook page.

Aug 28, 2013

Into the West: Part 2.

I need to catch up on my blogging. I have a lot to get through these next few days; but I should start by finishing the expose on the trip out here.

Day 4: River City, South Dakota to Billings, Montana.

This is was perhaps my favourite day of all during the trip. It had nothing to do with the scenery (which is left wanting... I am sorry, American Midwest, but your tumbleweeds and rolling fields of corn get tiresome), and more to do with our destination: The Dude Rancher Lodge in Billings. This hotel was featured on some American reality TV show about recovering the worst hotels in the country.. so obviously...

The carpet through the ENTIRE lodge. It is the brands of the 4 cowboys who
started the hotel in the early 20th C. 

This was actually really cozy. 

Incredibly red bathroom. It was nearly overwhelming.

And it never stopped.
Billings, Montana was pretty neat, though. The staff was friendly enough, although the front desk lady kept disappearing on her shift to go out for a smoke. I happened to be sitting in the lounge room because I was skyping with Boyfriend, and people kept asking me if I worked there. 

We had breakfast in the Dude Rancher restaurant (because we wanted the full experience). Literally the best egg omlette I have ever had. Ever. It was so big that I couldn't finish it. 

All in all, the stay was pretty great. The hotel was quirky and historical, which worked for me - and unapologetically so. It was actually my favourite of all the hotels we stayed in. Fact. 

Day 5: Billings, Montana to Spokane, Washington.

Idaho and Washington were much less pretentious about their welcome signs.

This was a long and intense day of driving for Housemate. It took us through the mountain in Idaho (which were a lot steeper than going through the Rocky Mountains). We cranked the Lord of the Rings soundtrack and felt really small as we made our way through the winding hills. Incidently, we were only in Idaho for about an hour. Before Idaho, we drove half an hour through Wyoming (even flatter than South Dakota). But once the Idaho mountain range cleared and we drove into Washington State, the landscape started to look a little more like southwestern Ontario. 

That being said, here are some photo highlights.
I thought this was about the cutest thing ever. Reminded me of Little House on
the Prairie.

Of course you do. 

Coming upon some of the smaller mountains.

Such a gorgeous landscape.

River. Loved the hills in the background. It reminded me of being in El Paso, TX. 

Windmill gardens along the highway.

Day 6: Spokane, Washington to Langley, British Columbia.

This was the day we arrived. This is the day we drove through the mountains. This is the day I forgot to take photos of the 'Welcome to Canada' sign. Go figure.

In the distance. The Rocky Mountains.

Getting closer.

And those were the only photos I took. Until Langley.

Behold, Langley. 
The last photograph gives you a good idea of the view that Housemate and I get to see everyday. The mountains act as both a backdrop to daily life here in Langley, and also a mark on the compass - pointing us in the direction we must go when we have lost our way in a new place. 

Upon first arriving in British Columbia, I was a little amused by their license plates - which clearly boast "Beautiful British Columbia." But after being here for a little over a week, I have realized that this is very true. While home is still beautiful - southwestern Ontario's farm landscapes, northern Ontario's forests and lakes - British Columbia has the right to boast. From what I have seen thus far, this is one of the most gorgeous provinces I have ever been to. 

And so, welcome to my grad school journey. I look forward to taking you all along with me.