Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What I'm Reading

I love reading and generally have at least one book on the go... sometimes more (you know, an upstairs book, a downstairs book, one at work... isn't that normal?) These are the things I'm currently reading or have just finished.

Winter Holiday - I've read this before and I'm sure I'll read it again.  It's part of the Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome; all about children having adventures sailing, camping, exploring, and in this book also skating and sledding.  They're really meant to be a children's books but I didn't discover them until adulthood so now I'm making up for lost time! The creative use of semaphore is perhaps my favourite part of the book and makes me think I should really make an effort to learn it.  Just in case I need to signal someone or write secret messages.

Choir - A wonderful behind the scenes look at the making of the TV show The Choir which documents Gareth Malone's journey in putting together various choirs, for various purposes across the UK.  It doesn't sound like much but it's really inspirational and a great program to watch if you get the chance.  This one was a present I gave my sister at Christmas (how handy that I wanted to read it too!)

The Simple Things - My newest favourite magazine.  It comes from the UK (so it's fairly expensive here in Canada) and I guess I'd classify it as a lifestyle magazine.  Although it's from the UK they cover other parts of the world; I've seen things from Chapters (a Canadian book store) featured as well as cities from around the globe.  It's presented beautifully and so far I have not had the heart to cut into any of my issues.

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook - I'm not a reader of the Smitten Kitchen blog (although I really should go check that out as I loved the cookbook so much) but I saw this book out and about and thought it deserved a closer look.  This copy is from the library but I think it's one I'll end up buying.  Deb has a down to earth sense of cooking and provides lots of options for her recipes such as making ahead and ingredient subsitutions.  I love the personal stories she has to go along with each recipe.

Bouchon Bakery - A lovely book to look at, the pictures are amazing and everything looks delicious.  This seems to me more like a coffee table book then one I'd use.  I'm sure everything is delicious but the recipes are a little too nit-picky for me so I can't see that I'd use it that often.  It was lovely to have it for a few weeks to give it a proper look through. 

What about you, do you have any favourite reads to share?  Do you use your local library?

Thursday, February 14, 2013



You've probably seen Wiksten's Tova around the internet.  In fact, if anything, I'm probably a bit late to the Tova party (no, not toga party, that's something entirely different!).  The Tova is similar to a shirt I made a couple winters ago but this time I had the advantage of a pattern to work from!

The fabric was a cotton/flannel type I got on super sale at Fabricland.  That way I knew I wouldn't mind too much if I messed it up.  I chose to make the dress length of the Tova so I could wear it with leggings.

The pattern is great but I thought it would be better with a few modifications.  I added darts to help the bust fit better.  I think it could be better still but it's not too bad for winging it!  

Since everything is better with pockets I added some to the sides.  I had been planning to put inset pockets in the side seams but had forgotten to do that, so instead of unpicking I put some patch pockets on the outside.  I used LiEr's great pocket tutorials and had fun using the plaid on it's bias.

I think it's a pattern I'll sew again.  Maybe I'll be brave enough to cut into my Liberty of London print to make sleeveless, summer Tova!

Monday, February 11, 2013

More from the Weekend

 As much as shoveling was rather a pain, it's nice to have a proper amount of snow, at least once this winter!

When I went for a walk I kept hopping back and forth between the sidewalks and roads, depending which was clearer.

 Snow shadows are fun.

Looking up was very different from looking down.  Love those curled pods!

 Dried grasses look lovely in the snow.


Can you spot the sister? (for the record; the snow isn't quite that high, she's crouching a bit)

 The backyard was covered in a snowy duvet.

Snow days are also great for crafting!  This is what my desk looked like.  All this mess for two letters.

There was also creating in the kitchen... mini pound cakes, meringues (which burned or something) filled with lemon curd (making them quite edible) and cookies from a jar (leftover Christmas gift).  The lighting was peculiar so black and white it is!

What did you get up to this weekend?  Any creating?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snow Day!

For the first time in the 9 years I've been at my job we were closed for a snow day!

 The snow and wind couldn't stop the birds from feeding.

Or the squirrel from digging.

 And I had time to take pictures!

This cardinal was elusive most of the day - I caught him here just before the sun went down.