Thursday, December 17, 2009

Potential Christmas card?

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Daniel Barenboim plays Chopin Op.9 No.2 in E flat major

This is what I listen to when I get completely stressed out before an exam. I put this on repeat for the half hour or so before I go in and I can feel my heart rate dropping. There's something about the deliberation and precision of each note falling that I find extremely soothing...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Morning Crow

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Shop Assistants

A couple of months ago I wrote about how I made a cheap DIY light box out of cardboard and tissue paper, with some assistance from my cat Jasmine.

My other slave driver shop assistant is Jasmine's sister Ariel. We adopted them both as kittens from the SPCA about 6 years ago, and they've been the smallest and hairiest members of our family ever since.

Although we do sometimes find them in places they oughtn't to be, giving unsolicited advice.

"I'm just inspecting your quality control... your light box sucks. It's clearly not cat-proof."

"We're going to have to have a talk. What's your 5-year business plan? I would say that your focus on jewelry is somewhat short sighted. You're totally missing the booming household market for cat treats and extra scratches."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Random Hearts

In other words, Victoria is trying to write two lit reviews, two research proposals, and a lab report and ought to be preparing for final exams! ha ha ha ha delusional laughter!


Large interactive wallscape by hjrd design

I discovered this shop a couple of days ago in the forums. I mistakenly thought it was more wall decal art at first, but found out that it was so much more! These are actually magnets, and the artist uses magnetic paint in her daughter's room to stick these to the wall. All the pieces are separate and movable, so your wall art can be rearranged as you see fit! I thought this was so cool, I had to share.

Miniature dim sum tray by The Mouse Market
Here is an artist I discovered through Flickr! You guys know how I feel about Chinese food, and here are scrumptious little dumplings, pork buns, and sweet and sour sauce beautifully rendered in teeny tiny scale! I kind of want to eat them, but I think it'd take a lot to fill me up.

Citrus magnets by Eyelet Sage Studio

I don't know how I first found these magnets, but I have had my eye on them for a while. They're bright, happy, and just a little retro, and they make me think of those homemade juice popsicles we used to make when I was a kid.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Please, Say Thank You

End of term is now fully upon me, so I apologize for my negligence on this blog. But I do want to take a minute or two to say a sincere thank you to all the veterans and soldiers who faced death securing freedom for their children and grandchildren.

Both of my grandfathers fought or participated in World War II. My maternal grandfather was a navigator in the Royal Canadian Air Force, stationed in Malta and England, and my paternal grandfather was a mechanic for the Chinese air force stationed in Vietnam. My paternal grandfather doesn't talk about it very often, but my Grandpa, my mom's dad, collected tons of books about the war and his mosquito planes. I remember that the walls of his study were hung with black and white photographs of the men and women he served with in the war. Once he showed me his log book, but I was too young to understand what it meant. He died less than a year ago, but I remember that he would always get down around this time of year, thinking about the friends he lost during the war and all his friends who had died since then. So I think about him now, and I hope that by telling my children one day about the bravery and courage that those men and women had, to go and risk their lives and give their lives to buy peace for us all... well... I hope that he would be proud.

So, if you know any veterans or soldiers, regardless of your political views, please just tell them thanks. I wish I had told my grandpa more while he was alive.

Thanks, Grandpa.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Mysterious Forest

Strange relics...

A small door.

Someone has been here...



Not such a mysterious forest, really... just the Molson Reserve. But it's funny how your imagination can run away with you when you spend an hour alone in a forest...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Simon's Cat

I don't have anything spectacular to blog about today (about to start writing 5 term papers...) so I thought I would share a video with all you cat lovers and anyone who's ever lived with a cat. Simon Tofield, an eminent cat behaviourologist talented animator has done a series of cartoons on common cat strategies for waking their slaves up, getting their slaves to pay attention to them, and making their slaves let them inside. I'm sure many of you have seen these, but if not, enjoy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Funky Chicken with Peanut Noodles

I've been craving Asian food lately - peanut butter dumplings, xiao long bao, Azuki bean soup... etc.

I wouldn't venture to say that this dish is authentically from any Asian country, but the flavour satisfied my craving. It's a blend of a few recipes I plucked from Recipezaar - Mirj's funky chicken, HollyGolightly's Thai noodles, and Walt's teriyaki sauce.

I marinated strips/chunks of boneless, skinless chicken breast (right, for the carnivores) and to-chicken (left, for the herbivores) for about an hour. Leaving it longer would not have hurt. The marinade consisted of:
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup water

The recipe originally called for fresh ginger, garlic, and onion but... I felt lazy.

If you feel lazy too, you can use frozen stir-fry veggies. I actually sliced up fresh baby carrots, broccoli and sugar snap peas... but I cooked the hell out of them (accidentally) so they probably have all the nutrient content of frozen ones anyway. I also put some fresh minced ginger and garlic in as well.

For the noodle part, I prefer using thin thin spaghettini or angel hair pasta. Cook them to your preferred softness, and in a small pot heat up the sauce ingredients:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce

(That is enough for two people, by the way).

Drain the pasta, mix in the sauce, sprinkle some sesame seeds overtop, and you're done!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Random Hearts

These shops have between 1 - 24 sales, so please do check them out!

Petite red stained glass necklace by Gathering Stars

Walnut tote by Teal & Gold

Brown earth tagalong hook by Hooks of Hope

Old nail leaf keyhooks by Ridgway Forge

Miniature banana split by Petite Creation

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Morgan Arboretum

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One More Thing

Yay! I want to say thank you to Gina at GiDu Designs for doing a lovely feature on my shop. Hop on over and check it out!

Here are a couple of the newer things I've been working on lately:

(p.s. Immunology exam was not the gory slaughter I envisioned).

Monday, October 19, 2009

Three things

1) I want you to check out Silver Nutmeg Studio.

I used to post on the Etsy critiques forum quite regularly when I first opened my shop in July and a lot of the feedback I got was great. For kicks I decided to post in a couple of the " above you" threads today and received the critique that my items were common and that the designs could be seen anywhere. My first reaction was to cry, throw something, then close down my shop and retreat into my little niche of academia. But then I thought, okay. I asked for it. I posted in the critiques section - you are freaking going to get critiqued. Then I thought, but wait, that same comment is probably true of over half the sellers on Etsy - how many jewelry designers are selling wire-wrapped briolettes on kidney hooks right at this very moment? Lots. There is so much overlap in jewelry, I think, but every piece has it's own tiny little difference that somebody might be looking for. So I reposted in the thread and received some super kind, uplifting feedback from Silver Nutmeg, and I checked out her shop and guess what? A lot of our designs are really similar. Does that make her pieces common too? Maybe - but they're also amazingly gorgeous and she seems to be doing just fine in terms of sales. So I guess what I learned today is: if you ask for feedback, accept it, but more importantly, stand by your pieces and if you love them, so will someone else.

2) Davis needs a Halloween costume. We are going to the Halloween party at the campus bar next Thursday, dressing up not optional. It should be something we can put together in that time, and not too expensive. Ideas? Last year he went as a brainless student - he found a fake plastic brain, put it in a bowl with a sign saying "selling brain to fund education - like new". Then he used fake blood and liquid latex to make a surgical scar across his forehead. It was a huge hit.

3) We watched this video in my cell physiology class a few weeks ago. Even if you are not into biology, it's worth a look - the animation and music is just beautiful. It shows the dynamic nature of the cytoskeleton (tubes and ropes), how proteins are made from RNA, and how surface proteins are involved in the adhesion of white blood cells to capillary walls. Read more about it here.