Wednesday, November 28, 2007

eating with friends

i'm still in toronto working and whilst i am still very, very homesick for ben and maggie, i now have two good friends from work with me to help me explore the culinary delights in this city of condos.

last night was a bit of an experiment. you know when there's two restaurant, of the same cuisine, right next door to each other? most people would have a quick peek inside and do the old 'which is fuller' test. we broke down those rules my friends. we peered through glass and decided, right there and then, that 'no' we would not follow the flock and add to one mans riches, but we would roll the dice, flip the coin and take our chances on the dimly lit quiet place next door.

it was, and i don't exaggerate, a very good gamble. this indian place had all the time in the world of us and our obviously annoying questions about what exactly goes in madras. they brought food out in micro minutes all freshly prepared with love from a chef that has not lost the plot because we are the 9th person to ask for vindaloo, but not spicy. and our waiter was quick to tend to our needs even going so far as to fill our water just as our brain was deciding to take a sip. now that's what i call service!

tonight we experiment with the delights of Queen Mothers Cafe. this toronto icon is not only loved locally, but also by some pretty savvy aussies who often travel here for work.

Monday, November 26, 2007

to the market we shall go.

on sunday in a somewhat surprisingly sunny toronto, i ventured to the st lawrence market. i had been told good things about this market so my expectations we extremely high. plus, as an avid thrifter* in melbourne, i was very excited.

on first impressions and after a number of disappointingly expensive stalls i would say this market was more 'upper market' - you're not going to find any wonderfully cool vintage finds for under $5 for instance. instead the place is littered with people savvy in the art of 'good finds' whose prices are a serious presentation of their knowledge. there was nothing under $20 that fancied my favour.

however, let it be said, i still found some things :) (as if I wouldnt!) towards the back end of the market on a table marked 'everything $5' i came across these little dishes. i think they will make cute bowls on dinner plates for dipping sauce.

can you believe i got 6 for $5? sheer delight! and then, tucked away in a specialty thift store (who knew they had the BEST finds) i found this material for $10.

I also found some other things for benny, but cant detail them here in case he reads this :) i am now itching to get home and charge up my sewing machine once again...

* in melbourne we call people like me 'op-shoppers'

Sunday, November 25, 2007

one of a kind.

ohhhh delight! so many lovely things to share with you. i ventured down to the toronto exhibition centre to see the 'one of a kind' show. be still my beating heart. there are SO many creative, talented people out there deserving of our dollars. forget those giant retail chains. think handmade! it's way more fun.

ok, so i was really delighted by all that i saw at the 'one of a kind' show but there was definitely a few favourites that i thought would be worth a showcase on my blog. let's start with mally bibs. these things are fantastic. perfect for busy mums or friends of mums who want an exceptionally useful and well made gift.

they are made from leather and have two magnets that connect them at the base of the babies neck. they are also reversible. turn em over and suddenly you have a little catchers mitt for all the 'stray' food. when done, simply wipe them down ready for the next on slaughter. best of all the designs have been well thought about. simple. cute. fun.

now on to adult stuff. bags! i stumbled upon the stall of littebrownwren and fancied quiet a few of her stuff. the latest and greatest details some fun embroidery.

ah. someone else with a love of her pup!

right. it was at this moment that i rounded the corner and noticed a stall alive and buzzing with frantic women. i thought - as all good shoppers do - 'what are they getting that i'm missing out on!'.

i ran, bags an all, to the stall to learn that it was The Old Island Stamp Company. high five! happy dance! oh joy! i was in heaven. i quickly thought through exactly what i could use a stamp for and set to work to find the perfect one. they will feature heavily on my etsy shop when i get it up and running with some handmade goodies of my own. here's the stuff i lovingly bought.

I also picked up some fantastic cards made my a chick called Kim Kutner of 'Kims Suitcase'. i loved these cards instantly. so simple and bizarre. this one i am keeping for someone special this christmas.

after such a HUGE day i settled into the booth of a canadian sports bar, drank a pint of beer and ate mexican food and lost myself in the book Eat, Pray, Love. After that, i came back to the apartment and watched 'the notebook' - again. it gets me every time that damn movie. sooooo sad!

tomorrow i will show you finds from the st lawrence market here in downtown toronto, ontario. or as the locals call it, bye!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

new hair.

today was MY day. a day when i did all the things that i wanted to do. no need to please others, no family to catch up with, no appointments to make. barr one.

today i had my hair cut. it's in preparation for the wedding in april. i wanted to start the process early so i know exactly how i am going to have it on the day. i ventured down to toni & guy on bloor st, toronto and had them fix me up. and boy did they do that!

my hair now has a semi permanent medium brown through it with soft slightly lighter highlights peeking out from underneath. over time the brown will fade back to my natural colour (a light brown) and then highlights will start to peek through even more. just in time for my return to the australian sun :)

here's my attempt at photographing myself. travelling by yourself is a damn lonely business :)

i have some fun things to tell but i think i'll leave that post until tomorrow. right now i am going across the road to drink canadian beer and eat my eyeballs out! for all in melbourne, i miss you :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

snow on the way.

well, i'm here. in toronto, canada. i thought i might be lucky enough to escape the snow this time. i ruined some rather lovely boots the last time i graced these streets. who would have thought the salt could do that? anywho, they tell me to rug up tonight. apparently we are going to get some rather chilly weather and perhaps a little snow too. 5 feet in fact. i guess i'm going to have to tip toe everywhere now!

work is going well over here, it's a buzzing office at the moment. full of fast paced sales and noisy chatter. i kinda like it here. at night i have been working, working, working. with aus waking up just as we put our feet in front of the sopranos i havent had a chance to slow down. tongiht i plan on shopping at the eaton centre. yeah! i have already consumed way to much popcorn. i hardly think that it's the kinda thing you should be eating for dinner (where did i get that idea onegirl?)

must bring some of that home with me :)

my apartment is about a 5 minute walk from the office, which is probably another reason that i have been working late. i miss coming home to ben and maggie and gets hugs all round. on monday night i walked across from my apartment to a bar & grill and sat happily reading, ploughing through steak and drinking canadian beer. i felt just like a local, albeit a little lonely.

this weekend i want to hit the toronto market for some serious finds. i am also going to search of a rotary cutter. it's about time i grew up. the hand cutting was driving me bonkers! on friday night it will be drinks with work friends which i am rather excited about. there's nothing like a good aul drink after a bloody long week. no doubt i will have some hairy tale to tell after all that. til then, as a lovely friend of mine used to say, peace out.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


just a short note to let y'all know that i am heading to canada this sunday for work. that doesnt mean i won't be able to add the odd post every now and then (although it does get crazy crazy in that ofice) no doubt i will have plenty o good eating and drinking occasions to talk about. i will miss ben terribly and my little mag-star. *sad me* stay in touch and as the old saying goes 'i'll keep ya posted'

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

my inspiration.

well, as promised i have the first two drafts of the maggie doll (a kiddies pressie handmade with love and based on my extra cute kelpie pup maggie).

as you will see from the first go, i experimented with rather large ears. maggie has massive ears, ben always says she uses them to slow herself down. she also has extra special markings which i have also tried to replica - still not sure about that one! ideally i want it to be symbolic of maggie but also a little stylized.

see how unimpressed maggie is with my first attempt:

as you can see, the more i played with this, the better it started to look. do you think it needs eyes?

onto other exciting news! as you may, or may not know, ben and i got engaged in august. we wanted to have the whole family together to celebrate and get to know each other a little better. on saturday we hauled all the furniture out of the living room and set up a long table complete with baby's breath flowers and candles. the food was moroccan - and delicious! - and everyone came barr bens lovely sister bridgette who had a wedding. how we managed to fit everyone into the same room at the same time is beyond me! my family are so loud and so crazy i was delighted when they got along famously with bens family (equally loud & funny) it was a very special night for ben and i. here is a picture of us, enjoying a quiet moment together in the madness of it all.

in addition to a wonderful night, i was also given my engagement ring. ben is soooo beautiful! me bought me the ring of my dreams and made me the happiest little veggiemite around. thank you my wonderful future husband, i look forward to spending the rest of my life with you.

Monday, November 12, 2007

loggin' on.

just a quick one to let everyone know that i am getting closer and closer to opening my esty shop online. here i hope to display my sewing talents for all to enjoy. i am currently working on a maggie inspired soft toy for little kids. wonderful plush baby blankets for the newest member in your life and cute cute cute tote bags. as with most things, i am sure that i will be inspired more as time moves on and hopefully have a few other special items for sale. *phew* getting enough things together is proving time consuming but with a little effort and a whole lot of material, i am sure i will get there.

in the interim i will be heading to canada and to ireland and to the UK - hello family and jenny (cant wait to see you all) this may hiccup my shop plans but only for a brief week or two. i will bust my butt on my return and make the most of the wonderful world of online shopping.

tune in tomorrow when i show you the second draft of the maggie doll which is not quiet there (needs bigger ears) but is essentially going to be the design. have a good night! xx

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

ode to wee wonderfuls.

ok, i know i've been a bit distant lately, aloof and quiet. i've been busily trying to perfect my baby blankets with my trusty old sewing machine. every weekend ben and i have been saying no to invites and cleaning the house, cooking or sewing (bens practises guitar). it has been bliss. like a much needed break, i have sought some quiet time. work is hectic, hectic, hectic and when it comes to the weekend i find myself needing more and more of a slow paced life. am i getting old?

as such i have found time to trial the pattern of wee wonderful, and true to the name this little pattern 'pointy kitty' did not disappoint. i was trying to create my own design based on my kelpie maggie that i can sell in my etsy shop when i get it up and running, but it didnt really work.

so, i went back to basics and started with the pointy kitty design to learn some fun tricks on how to hide stuffing openings and make legs and arms fluid. it was a treat!!! thank you for sharing your very very cute patterns. its a joy to make these and give them to friends as gifts. i only hope one day i can make my pattern with as much perfection.

and now for the pointy kitty with fabric bought lovingly from patchwork on central park.

oh, and this moment i would like to wish onegirl a very happy birthday. may the next year be as lovely and creative as you are. you're an inspiration!