Thursday, March 31, 2011

This Month's Words; Or, Here's My March Wrap Up

So today brings an official end to my Post-A-Day challenge for March.
I did it! Hoorah!
(though I quibble within myself as to whether or not I've cheated by making this last post simply a "yeah! I done it!" celebration....)

The image above is from Wordle - a cool little tool to make an artistic layout of your bloggy word usage. I'm happy to see so many of these words painting a positive picture!

Hope you all had a great March. It's a grey, rainy day out - heralding the upcoming season. I've always been a fan of the rain, and now it turns my mind to that wee garden plot that's mine! all mine! oh so very soon :)
All the various and sundry tidbits you've seen me post about this month, I'll keep you updated on them. I have ambitious plans for this year! There's a surprise or two in store.
I'll share real soon. I swears.

For now, here's what my Thursday brings:

-a regret that I've left my umbrella at home! (and it's a really cool one, linky here)
-watching a new set of BBC loveliness, Victorian Kitchen Garden. It's way retro, and so very neato.
-continuing my obsession with and additions to Pinterest. So many beautiful things and innovative ideas, so little time! (thanks to all those helpful readers who pointed me in the direction of this site!)

How about you?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oiseau Wednesday

Maybe I can start a new feature on Cuteoverload - Canaries n' Racks?1

Again, Hilts is not happy.

And of course, no canaries were harmed in the making of this post. Just pissed off, and confused.

1If you're not aware of the reference, there's Cats n' Racks on Cuteoverload.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Plot my Plot; Or, Wheeee! I Get to Garden!

There's a sordid past of plant murder on this blog.

As has been my claim, it's not me! It's my north-facing balcony.

So, with little hope of acceptance, I joined the süber long waiting list for my community garden last autumn. Hundreds of names were ahead of me.

*le sigh, methoughts, I suppose I just wasn't meant to plant and tend and harvest.

But lo!

At the beginning of March I got a joyous email, approving me for a plot this year. Huzzah!

Much of March has been devoted to me cramming as much as I can into my brain about gardening. I've picked brains, read articles and gone a-purchasing.

I bought several types of seeds (vegetable, flower and herb) from this website.

Wish me luck! I want no more herbicide attached to my name!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Egg Painting; Or, How I Need A Steady Hand


Having dug out my long neglected art supplies, the fancy has taken me to not only play with my watercolours (as yesterday's post can witness), but with my acrylics as well.

Here you see two eggs I've been painting today.
Easter Egg - on blog
With tiny brush in hand I set forth, with grand visions of gorgeously decorated eggs dancing in my head.

The sad reality is that:
1) my acrylic painting skills are severely out of date
2) my hand is just not that steady!

With a bit of practice I hope to do the lovely shelly canvas better justice. For now, the rewards of my afternoon spent painting sit happily, awaiting the next few hours I can devote to their colourful additions.

In the meantime, I'm off to a Jane Austen book club meeting.
(which I suppose you might be able to guess have affected my writing in this post. How I do long to speak well, with the poise, grace and dignified vocabulary of an early 19th century lady!)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sneak Peek

Here's a quick look at what I've been up to for the past few days.

I hope to have some finished work to show after the weekend.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Apartment Bird Feeder; Not The Place To Be


I'm a burgeoning birder. I thought it would be cool beans to have some of the local cuties fly on over to my balcony and have a bit of a snack from the bird feeder you see pictured. This feeder sits, unloved, unvisited, unfound? attached sadly to my living room window.
The seed is fresh; I live on the 3rd floor; there's certainly no predators (well, except for this human); and yet, no birdies come.

I suspect they're not down with the lack of flight cover, and I guess they might simply not have discovered it yet.

But, I thought I'd ask: anyone else try installing a bird feeder on their apartment balcony? If so, was it visited?

In the meantime I sit and wait, hoping I'll get to see (at the very least!) the prolific local sparrows and chickadees.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Indie Designer Revisited

PhotobucketDesigner: Kelly McClure
Blog: Bohoknits
Rav ID: bohoknits
Etsy: Bohoknits
Some Great Designs: bohoknits' Rav designer page
Original Indie Designer Post: August 21, 2009

A very prolific designer, bohoknits has published over twenty new patterns since I profiled her in 2009!
I've included a couple of these new designs, Cockleshells Scarf and Abyss Leg warmers. I couldn't decide which of these two I liked best, so both of them are pictured!

I dig the lovely lacy simplicity of the Cockleshells Scarf (and it's photographed very nicely, too!) And I always love me a good pair of legwarmers, and Abyss are very pretty.

I've shown you these patterns because, firstly, they're lovely and wearable, but also because they're atypical from her most oft designed garment, the hat.
Check out her Rav Designer page for all these interesting and fashionable toppers. And, in some exciting news, bohoknits has told me about the following project:

"I’m currently consulting and designing for a company [Ambler] that is local to my town but sells their hats all over North America!"

Before I go, I'd also like to point out the multi-talent of bohoknits with this incredibly stylish piece of crochet, Titan's Stole. Please check it out, it's very unique and defo cool!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Heart the BBC

Are you:

-a history nerd? (hehe, an history nerd?)
-looking for something cool to watch?

Then seek no further. I have something for you!

You may or may not have heard of the excellent series Victorian Farm. I watched it, I loved it. See the series, linked here below.

It's a way awesome show that spans a whole year, with archaeologists and historians living on a farm, everything period sourced and appropriate.

But, I've just recently discovered a sequel, Edwardian Farm. Also way cool!

And, for those who are interested in historic medicine, there's also the Victorian Pharmacy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oiseau Wednesday

Oh, the things the human will do.

Here is Hilts, enduringly humiliated in a pot-too-small to fly out of.

Cuppa canary, anyone?

*No canaries were harmed in the making of this post. Just really pissed off.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Which Generation and Y?

vavo,teresaI was listening to the radio this morning; it was an interview on the CBC with David Foot, a Canadian economist and demographer, famous for his book Boom, Bust and Echo (1996).

The general bent to the discussion was the lamentation of missed milestones for Gen X; that is, the celebration of the first wave of Gen Xers to begin turning 50.
It was noted that no such oversight happened for the Boomers.
And of course, there's more boomers than Xers, etc, etc, etc...

(picture contains Gen Y and the "Greatest"/"Silent" generation. That is, me and me grandma.)

Interesting tid-bit: the passage of power (at least, voting power) won't shift from the Boomers-as-majority to us younger generations until 2014 (as I recall... I did hear this interview in my pre-coffee stage).

My interest was piqued, of course, when they had a wee bit of talk regarding my supposed generation, the Millennials, Echo Generation, or Gen Y (all interchangeable, I believe).

Apparently, we're:
-trusting of authority
-getting married in our late 20s
-able to multi-task (traced to our familiarity with and constant use of technology)
-perceived by some (ahem, Boomers...) as undedicated and lazy. This, so I've heard, is connected to the job market, and the (sad?) reality that it's highly unlikely anymore that a person will keep the same job throughout their working life.
-and yet, were able to get jobs "easily"

I wonder, for all you fellow Gen Y people:
Does any of that make sense? I have to admit I've read conflicting descriptions of our demographic.

I have noticed that I can process information (be that a quick scan through radio stations, channel surfing, sorting through the constant bombardment of images and sounds) much more efficiently than some of my older friends and family.
Perhaps multi-tasking at work?

This is an old (from 1996) but interesting video. Talking about us Gen Y kids, as kids. It's like looking into history.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What be This WIP?

PhotobucketJust a quick WIP photo today. Sadly, my wrist is doing that thing where you're really keen to knit, and then it says "oh no you don't!", and gets all tense and tender on ya. So, I'll be back with an FO pic (hopefully, surely!) soon.

Photo deets: this is some of that purty madelinetosh I had blogged about a few days ago. The knit's coming together pretty well - I can't wait to finish it and show you all!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

That Folder of Inspiration

I don't know about you, but I often come across various and sundry ephemera that calls my name and tugs on my creative heartstrings.
These images I tend to collect.

I have a folder (and I've honestly titled it "Inspiration", and it sleeps in my filing cabinet next to my desk).
The mosaic above is a collection of (a very few) of those such images.
It's also a thing or two that lies around my apartment, adding a bit of loveliness to my everyday.

There is also a great number of sketches in this folder. I've spared you all the eye-offending experience that posting most of those images would be. The only one included is that peacock in the bottom row, giving us all a bit of a questioning glance.

Do you have a place where you collect thesesuch images? Carry a sketchbook? I've been thinking that would be a much better approach than grabbing random scraps of paper!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

If You Can Turn Your Mind To Summer; Or, Test Knit, Beach Bailado

Pattern: Beach Bailado
Yarn: approximately 350 metres of Butterfly mercerized cotton
Needles: 5mm circs
Gauge: 4 sts/1" in mesh lace pattern
Size: pictured in S/M, but also sized in M/L

This pattern is destined for the Summer edition of Little Seasonals.
The first of two patterns I'm designing for the publication, Beach Bailado is a bikini wrap with simple mesh lace and a subtle ruffled shaped (I based it on my ballet wrap, which is also part of the reason it's named Beach Bailado).

It's a pretty basic knit, which would likely not take you very much time at all (it took me about 2 weeks, but I will admit that I was working on a few things at once!)

If you are interested in test knitting this piece, here are some more details:

-due date: April 30
-you can use any yarn you wish, as long as you can get gauge
-send along your name, Rav ID, email address and size you're interested in knitting (you can reply to this post, Rav message me, or send me an email at canarysanctuary at yahoo dot com)
-I don't mind if you wish to post your progress on your blog or Rav. If you do post, I'd appreciate a link :)
-unfortunately, I can't provide yarn support. But, you will get first crack at this pattern, as well as a cleaned-up and edited final version of the pattern upon publication.

Thanks everyone!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Indie Designer Day

Under Wraps Cardigan - on blogDesigner: Melinda VerMeer
Etsy Shop: Painted Toes
Rav ID: gldelx
Some Great Designs: gldelx's Rav Designer Page

I really hope that many of you have already come across gldelx's designs; they all have such great and interesting construction, and are each and all very pretty! She's got a fantastic eye for design; she co-manages a LYS in Portland, Happy Knits, and has architecture design in her professional background (not surprising, I'm sure, once you see the structure she employs in her knits!)

This Indie Designer Profile will be a bit different from usual: I'll point out a few of her pieces, but I have some cool info about the designer herself to share as well!

Here pictured you see her latest design, Under Wraps Cardigan. This piece is versatile. I love the way the model is wearing it, but you can also drape it over your shoulder for a more "wrap" look. Check out the pattern page. Believe it or not, this pattern is only $1.99! How beautiful is it! This is something I could see myself wearing through and through.

Another great knit is her wrap, Nautilina. I love the wavy lines of lace running across this piece.

I usually approach the designers far in advance of publication, and since I first contacted gldelx, she's published the above patterns. I was so happy to see all the great creativity! My original idea was to feature her very cool Chalet Brioche Cowl. Check out that texture!

For some colourwork, have a peek at her Flux Cap, and see Auld Lang Syne Cape for a cute wee free pattern.

Get some more details and links here, at her Knit Picks Designer Page.

And now, for more about this talented designer!

Favourite yarns: "Most all Madelinetosh I’ve encountered - particularly the lighter weight bases like Tosh Merino Light, Pashmina, Tosh Merino DK. Malabrigo Lace, Sock, Silky Merino, Rios and Worsted also are fantastic to work with."

Some favourite designers: "Cat Bordhi is simply amazing with the way she puts things together, Stephen West does a great job of creating really interesting uni-sex designs, I love what Susanna IC has done in creating crescent shaped shawls."

Projects I like to knit: "Sweaters, shawls, hats & occasionally socks (with a readily available supply of sweater quantity yarn now, my sock knitting has vastly decreased)."

Projects I like to design: "Items I think appeal to many people both to knit and wear. Garments that offer sizing options to work with many body shapes/sizes and often include shortrows to add shaping & options for different body shapes to choose from."

Future plans: "In 2011 I plan to add additional lace projects, a felted project, maybe a sock design and possibly a mens garment or two to my design library."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pretty Gallopavo; Or, I Have My Giant Pom Pom (at last!)

Pretty Gallopavo - on blog

Pattern: Pretty Gallopavo (download now)
Yarn: madelintosh Vintage
Needles: 5mm circs and dpns

Pretty Gallopavo - on RavAs the title implies, I've been hankering for a huge pom-pomed-knit for quite some time now.
Years ago I bought a Giant Pom Pom maker, and have at long last put it to good use. (believe it or not, this is only the second largest size said pom pom maker can produce. It even goes up to 5"!)

The idea for this knit came (mostly) from the lovely yarn. And the title? While gallopavos aren't particularly pretty, they certainly have wonderful plumage!

The madelinetosh Vintage is beautiful for this knit, for all the reasons you would expect tosh to be beautiful. But, I found, upon snipping all those ends for the pom pom, the yarn does this other real cool thing: the inner core is a lighter green than the outer, and seems to almost glow.
I tried to get a good pic of the prettiness... and have failed :(
Enjoy, for those last few cool days we have. The hour's changed, Spring is coming, and I have many more patterns brewing!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oiseau Wednesday

PhotobucketI was very excited when, after only a few seconds of "training", Henry and Anne were comfortable enough to eat from my hand!

They're still very unsure about it; if I happen to move my other hand, or look at them the wrong way, they're off. But it's very sweet to see them sharing the seed, really rather politely, right from my hand.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Computron is dead! Long Live King Compy!

PhotobucketIt's official, my compy has bit the electronic dust.

And now, dear readers, I have a new addition to my wee electronic family.
(Witness an On button that you just can't miss!)

I'm no techie, but man oh man, when you're used to a geriatric computer, who's booting up takes at least 2 minutes, who can't handle iTunes, web browsing, and image editing at the same time, and who's fan sounds constantly like a droning airplane ominously looming somewhere and all around you, it's something of an exciting novelty to have a functioning computer!!

Ok ok ok, I've done my virtual/verbal (and trust me, my reality/physical) happy dance.

Carry on as you were!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Family Tree; Or, I Play with Fabricy Silhouettes

PhotobucketI thought I'd share a current project with you today, though it be not knitting!

Ages ago, I got some fun fusible sheets from my LQS (that's Local Quilting Shop!). My intention was to make some sort of pretty wall-hanging, and that's what I have the beginnings of in this photograph.

Here you see my family, parents and my two siblings. The fusible sheets worked wonderfully, and I think I'm addicted! I need to run back there and get loads more.

I will be making at least one more family-silhouette-tree, but I think the next version will have a much stronger colour palette.

I've never quilted an applique; I'm a little concerned that my skills aren't up to the task. I do have plenty of time though. The plan is to have a wee lap quilt ready for a Mother's Day gift.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Setting Goals, Planning Knits

PhotobucketSometimes it's difficult, sometimes it's inspiring, but it's always certainly character building.

The yarn you see pictured right is destined (in my sanguine mind) to very soon become a few new knits.
To own the truth, at the outset of March and my post-a-day challenge, I had high hopes that I'd have, at the very least, some WIP photos to share with you. As it happens, they simply sit as you see them here, ready in yarn cakes, quietly awaiting their pulling, looping and intertwining dance to creation.

But, on to the challenge!

One of the things I'm trying to do this year is submit proposals to various yarn magazines and publishers, attempting to get published. I'm seeing it as a test of the quality and creativity of my knitbrains; currently I'm waiting to hear back from two different sources. It's exciting, and I'm hopeful.

You'll be seeing a bloggily-written happy dance if the replies to my submissions are favourable. In the meantime, it's off to make something of the lovely madelinetosh yarn you see gracing this post. I only hope I can do it justice!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Colour Me Herringbone

Quick Poll:

I've been toying with the idea of creating a herringbone sweater, with gradual colour changes throughout.

I have a couple choices in colour families to utilize, seen individually in the pictures below.

Which do you prefer?

Photobucket Photobucket

Friday, March 11, 2011

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Lusianne Backward
Blog: Knitting in the garden
Rav ID: Lusianne
Some Great Designs: Lusianne's Rav Designer Page

For nature-inspired, adorable and whimsical little knits, look no further than Lusianne.

I've included a photo of the pretty Grouse slippers for several reasons; they're sweet and simple, a quick knit that leaves you with a functional project, one with character. Also, this photograph is lovely, and reminds me that Spring is indeed on its way.

Look at her Elf hat to see a great knit, sized for children through to adults. This piece, as the designer says, seems as though it could just blend in with nature. I love the pointy top, and the discreet wee ear warmers.

Finally, I'll point out her Bellflower elf hat. This lacy bonnet is also sized for children to adults. As Lusianne says, it's not fair that kids get all the cute and interesting hat patterns!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Collection Obsession; Or, Blank Pages Are Exciting

PhotobucketI was always interested in collections.
As a little girl, I was all about gathering any and every thing that intrigued me, from rocks to bird's nests, porcelain dolls and critter's bones, beautiful feathers, bookmarks, and Pogs.

The impulse is still there (and perhaps that's a hallmark of a knitter... or at least, all the ones I've ever met. Yes, say hello to the stash!)

Now, I've moved on to (the obvious) yarn, fabric and other fibre, but have added to the mix a somewhat bizarre attraction to lovely blank note books.

Here you see pictured a very small sampling of my beauties.

Recently I've been trying to be very good and responsible, and actually make use of these items/this collection; though, I continually have the dread feeling that what I'm defacing the gorgeous object with my little words and thoughts, which could never be wonderful enough to do the object justice!

Setting that aside, I think the utilization of this collection recontextualizes it and (demotes it?) from the status of collected item to functional object.

As I'm asking knitters, I'm sure many of you will answer in the affirmative:
Do you collect anything? Did you have the same impulse as a child? If so, have your interests changed?

(To own the truth , I still am drawn to feathers, nests, bones and the like, but certainly don't have the impulse to retrieve them from nature and keep them in my home!)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Oiseau Wednesday

A fantastic idea ocurred to me late last night: the only time the birds aren't jumpy, flighty and freaking out is when they're all settled down, puffed up, and ready for bed.
So I traipsed (quitely) up to the cages after dark and snapped a few quick pics of some very sleepy song birds.
First you see Henry and Anne, cuddled up to each other as they tend to do.

Next is my sweet little confused Butters. It really looks like he's giving me something of a quizzical look. As much as a creature without eyebrows can give a quizzical look.

And finally is wee Hilts. I love how on both Hilts and Butters you can see their side feathers still slightly puffed up. How rude of the human to come and disturb their sleep!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Malassada Day; Or, Dough-Frying Good Times

PhotobucketToday is Malassada Day!
Amongst the many labels applied to the day before Lent begins, Malassada Day stems from the same gorge-yourself-crazy spirit of Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday and the like.

Things like sugar and lard were meant to be used up before the fasting of Lent began, and what better way to do this, so the São Miguel islanders thought, than to make copious amounts of delicious, delicious fried dough.

Malasadas1 are basically doughnuts, and hoo boy, are they good when fresh out of the pan!

My grandmother's always made them with a hole in the centre, but apparently the "traditional" way is to simply form a ball of dough, sans hole.

Want to fry up some of your own?
Here's my grandmother's recipe

Vavo's2 Malassadas

2 tbsp soft butter
1 tsp salt
12 eggs 1 cup sugar
sliced lemon rind
2 lbs flour (6 cups)
jar of Mazola oil


Put 2 packets of Fleischmann's yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water, for about 5 minutes
Stir yeast. Put in a big bowl.
Add everything, except flour, and mix with electric mixer. When soft and blended, add flour and mix by hand.

Let rise for around 4-5 hours.

Take small amounts, shaping them into doughnuts, and carefully putting them in a frying pan, filled with boiling oil.

Let both sides get golden brown (this doesn't take long at all!)

Remove, and coat with sugar.

Oh yes, and consume immediately.

1 Here's some info about Malassadas.
2 Vavo means grandma in Portuguese.
3 Image sourced from this site.

Monday, March 07, 2011

"A Ball! I Love a Ball!"; Or, I Sew Me a Regency Gown

PhotobucketLast weekend saw a good friend and I off to the ball!

Because I am a nerd, the prospect of sewing a gown and attending a ball was far to much excitement to be borne.
Research, fabric shopping and needle-threading ensued, and the satiny yellow gown you see before you was the happy end result.

I was going for a Netherfield-ball-BBC-Pride-and-Prejudice feel, with the v-neck inspired by Jane's gown, and the small floral hair decorations from Lizzy.

The evening was fabulous, with plenty of English Country dancing to be had; we even learned one of the dances they perform in the BBC's Pride and Prejudice (it's the one with the clapping, where Mr. Collins embarrasses Lizzy with his horrid lack of skills).

I have to admit that the dress did not turn out quite as I had envisioned, but it was completed nonetheless (with the attendant challenge of button making and button-hole creating going over in a less-than-favourable manner. All I can say is that hot glue was used, and pins were liberally employed in the final result).Photobucket

I hope to hone my dress-making skills, and one day be worthy of the purchase of several metres of a good fabric.
Til then, I'll stick with the frustratingly finicky inexpensive satin, and the creative expulsions of fowl language it provokes.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

To the Big City for Gaga!

On Thursday, I went to see Lady Gaga in Toronto.
It was quite a show - I've never been to this sort of concert. It was more a theatrical performance than anything else. Incredibly fun and entertaining.
I was a big fan of the monster-puppet (who at one point "ate" Gaga), as well as the bit of crowd surfing she did at one point.

We also got a bit of a treat: the YouTube viral sensation that is ten-year-old Maria from Winnipeg came out and sang "Born This Way" with Gaga herself. Maria is a very talented little girl! See the (rather long) video below:

Read about Maria and the concert here.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Cinnamon Bun Deliciousness

There are few things in this world I believe I do well. I'm no horn-tooter, but I can bake a pretty mean cinnamon bun.

On more than one occasion, people have requested the recipe, so I thought I'd share it here.

Hope you have a very sweet and cinnamony day!

Preheat oven to 425 F.

2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup milk

1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 tbs cinnamon

Combine all ingredients for dough (except milk). Mix until a crumbly texture forms, then add the milk and knead.
Lay out dough on flat surface, and spread the filling mixture on top.
Roll up dough (the tighter you can roll it the cuter they end up looking, I find). Pop them into lightly greased muffin tins and bake for about 14-18 mins. I usually keep them in a bit less, but that's personal preference.
And of course, icing is always good on top!

Icing: a random mix of butter, icing sugar and a very little bit of milk.

Sometimes I'll use cream cheese with, or instead of, butter. They're both very good.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Sarah Horn
Blog: Adventures in Knitting
Rav ID: sampras
Some Great Designs: sampras' Rav Designer Page

Sampras, this week's designer, is one of the wonderful and talented people with whom I knit1.

And when she designed the Bowser Backpack, inspired by that fantastic Nintendo character, I knew it would be supercool, awesome and adorable (though, the appearance of her bunny Sampras in the photo makes it even more adorable!)

I like very many things about this piece, but I think her creative use of shaping and texture take the cake! Check out the pattern page on Rav to see images of the other side of the shell. Ridges of ribbing replicate a turtle tummy terrifically.

I'm looking forward to seeing more designs!
1Ok, so I tried to avoid ending my sentence with a preposition. Doesn't it sound awkward? Hmmm... English, you crazy, crazy language!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Literary Heroines; Or, I Take Quizzes

PhotobucketOne of my favourite time-kills on the interwebs are silly quizzes.

As of late, I've joined a Jane Austen book club, and have been inspired by such to discover deep, ingrained and unalienable truths about myself through various, extremely scientific, web tests.

A quick google-ing retrieves numerous choices, and the following were my selections and results:

Abebook's Literary Personality Quiz
says I'm Shakespeare's Juliet

Quiztron says I'm Anne Shirley

Quizilla says I'm Jane Eyre

This Quizilla quiz says I'm Ophelia

Hmmm... perhaps the internet is telling me I have multiple personalities?

I wonder: who is your favourite literary heroine? Or, least favourite?

It's really rather difficult for me to choose, but I think I very much like Anne Elliot. She may be my favourite.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Oiseau Wednesday

PhotobucketCanaries are sweet and wonderful little creatures, who sing, shout, squawk, hop, fly and generally entertain their humans, delightful in their yellow silliness.
I've had canaries for years now, always boys (save for one exception!1), each to his own cage (cause boys don't get along together).

Sadly, canaries don't live forever, and the boys I've added to my wee flock over the years have gone through their bright-beaked youth, mellow-middle-age and some have even reached the heights of canary geriatrics.
I still have my adorable Hilts and Butters, both nearing their sixth or seventh year.

While I love their little hearts dearly, I've had the wish to hear a few more tweeting voices greet me every morning.

Enter the two new sweethearts, Henry and Anne.

Henry and Anne are Zebra finches. I've never owned finches before, and they are certainly proving themselves to be entirely different creatures than their yellow, ornithological cousins.
As their names imply, Henry is a male and Anne is a female. Zebra finches, unlike canaries, enjoy company of their own kind. I decided that, since I was getting two finches, it would be wonderful if they had the possibility of breeding.

Named after the (in)famous English monarchs, Henry and Anne are already displaying their own unique little personalities. Anne is the brave one; she was the first to hop on over and eat out of my hand. Henry likes to cuddle up to Anne; I'll often find them side-by-side on the perch, or crammed into one of their seed dishes, in a seemingly uncomfortable position.

And so Henry and Anne have found a new home with me, Butters and Hilts. I'm still getting used to their tiny little squeak of a tweet. They sounds very much like squeeze toys.

Come back on Wednesday, when I'll be updating from Canary(and Finch!) Land :)
1 I've always purchased my canaries as males, but canaries are notoriously difficult to sex. One particular male, Valencia, decided he was going to defy logic and lay eggs! Since I wasn't going to breed canaries at that point, I decided to give Valencia a much better home, where she could indulge her maternal instincts and have canary chicks.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

A Very Civilized Valentine's Tea

PhotobucketI remember when Valentine's Day was a celebration of wee chocolate hearts, red-construction-paper-based crafting and cute little pop-out perforated Valentines featuring the day's latest and greatest cartoon characters.

I miss those days!

One of the down sides of being a grown up is that you lose some fun activities of childhood.

But, one of the bonuses of age? You get to do whatever you want. You can throw a Valentine's Tea party, if the fancy catches you!

And indeed it did.

This year I had a bunch of friends over, and we gorged on delicious bittie sandwiches, teeny scones, a mini cheesecake and loads of other wonderful treats.

Here you see some of the spread, all laid out and waiting for ravenous knitters-turned-tea-party-goers.

One of the fun little things I baked for the day were some one-bite sugar cookies. According to Martha, I should have been able to stamp cute little letters on top of the royal icing, but Martha I am not, and lo, the stamping did not work.
Here you see them pre- and post-icing. That part was superfun.
Awesome-icing-sauce, in fact!

And so begins my post-a-day efforts for March! I've got a bunch of other ideas all lined up, and I'm excited to share all the goings-on round these parts.


And, should the mood strike you to blog surf, here are some others planning to blog more in March:
Laura at Flours and Fibers
Kathleen at her brand new blog!
Love2Stitch at Life Outside of Work
Susan at Knitter's Delight will be participating in Me-Made-March

To the bloggers: please let me know if I've misquoted any info here!