Monday Mentionables: Courage

Now that Christmas has passed and we move from tidings of comfort and joy into nostalgic moments of 'Auld Lang Syne', I wanted to share these wonderful words of encouragement for this new year:

Our family watched We Bought A Zoo on Christmas Day, and this just seemed like the best phrase to share with all of you for 2014. I hereby dub 2014 as the year of Courage. 

So when we feel like this:

Remember, 20 seconds of courage, and your new year will be more like this:

Crochet Diaries: The Contemporary Granny

Of the two blankets I had intended on finishing and wrapping as gifts for Christmas this year, I have only managed to complete the one.

This (my own pattern), is the contemporary granny crocheted afghan that I designed and put together for my boyfriend's younger sister, based on a colour scheme that he chose for her.

Colour palette:
Craft Smart Chocolate Brown 
Craft Smart Navy Blue
Loops and Threads Rouge
Red Heart Beige
Red Heart Aran

Centre of squares patterned on the diagonal. 
Each row followed variation of: brown, beige, brown, blue. 

Size of afghan: approx 5.5 ft by 5 ft.

Awesome slippers peeking out at the bottom are just awesome. 

I am quite pleased with how it turned out, especially since I'd been working on it since the day after Canadian Thanksgiving.

It actually wasn't completely finished when I wrapped it... it still had some strings that hadn't been weaved in properly, yet. Regardless, the recipient loved it just the same. I tucked the rest of the strings in on Boxing Day whilst watching Planet Earth documentaries. I was still sporting a hefty food coma, so going out and battling the post-Christmas sales was NOT going to happen.

As always, send an email if you are looking to get a hold of the pattern or have any questions. Click the email link under my profile to the right. 

Merry Boxing Day (because I missed Christmas)

No comments :
Merry Christmas!

... to you and yours the same thing, too.

Style Post: A Partridge in a Thrift-Tree

Apologies for the terrible title. I was trying to find some way to link this style post up with the Christmas season and the only thing I could come up with that could tie in the birds and thrifting was a bad play on words using 12 Days of Christmas.

SW Ontario is getting pelleted with an ice storm right now... get it, because freezing rain and ice pellets... Oh the puns! I should stop before I find myself on a slippery slope....

Yes, I know. That was just as terrible. Let me save you the trouble...



I decided to take advantage of the slightly warmer weather this afternoon and get some photos in of my mostly thrifted outfit.

I say mostly thrifted because you would not catch me buying tights from a second-hand store no matter what the brand. It's up there on the don't-you-dare-thrift-me list along with scivvies and socks. Why anyone would thrift another person's scivvies is beyond me, but you can never be too sure about these sorts of things.

While this outfit, as a whole, didn't take me long to throw together and seems relatively simple, I want to bring your attention to the lovely shirt with the birds on it.

That shirt is Zara brand. I paid $6.99 plus tax at Talize for it. The regular retail price for that blouse brand new would not be less that $60.00. 1/10th the price and good as new.. that is the power of thrifting. Plus, it has adorable little birds (no, they aren't partridges, but give me my terrible wordplay, please) and is pretty much perfect for those family Christmas parties everyone loves (read mentally-prepares for) each year. It's flowy, and has enough room to hide the food-pregnancy EVERYONE will have over the holidays.

And you know what? Don't fight the food baby. Rosy cheeks and full stomachs are a sign of good health and joy. So I say be healthy and joyful and eat your weight in turkey or stuffing or brandy-beans. If I can get away with terrible wordplay on the internet, you can get away with holiday cheer.

You know what? Go ahead. 12 Days of Christmas your life up. I will be right there alongside you. Thrift yourself something nice. Spread some cheer and eat it too. That is, after all, why they invented stretchy-pants, am I right?

.... And a Partridge in a Thrift Tree!!

boots: Sterling (2010), $75.00
leggings: Suzy Shier, $7.00
tanktop: Smart Set, $10.00
blouse: Zara, thrifted @Talize
cardigan: DKNY, thrifted @Talize
purse: vintage, thrifted @Talize

Brown Paper Packages

I have never been very good at wrapping Christmas gifts. 

Generally, when it comes to all things December, I am the one vomiting Christmas spirit all over the place. I start the music mid-November. I put the lights around my bedroom. I pray that the first snow will be as magical and as beautiful as it is in the movies. Last year, I gave a very detailed blog-entry on why snow is the best part of everything. 

I am one of those people everyone hates when it comes to the holidays.

Gotta shop fast? 
Don't get behind me. I love the busyness of the mall and saunter about taking it all in. Christmas is the best retail-therapy a girl can ask for. Plus, you get to buy all sorts of awesome things for people you love (or maybe don't love... I won't judge.).

Have a vendetta with the snow?
Ha. Get out of my life. Snow is magical. 

Gunna be the Grinch?
I'll go Will Ferrell as Elf on your 3 sizes to small heart. 

I may even National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation my house someday. 

About a week ago, I was standing in Michaels with my boyfriend, and we were discussing my abomidably large collection of yarn, when suddenly I turned, mid-sentence, and veered off towards the Christmas-ribbon. 

My brain did this:

Yarn = tying things.
Tying things = Christmas wrapping.
Christmas wrapping = presents.
Presents = brown paper packages tied up with string.

And then my brain did the Sound of Music song, and I was gone. 

The problem with me and wrapping paper is that I have about as much skill with that as a Vancouveran has driving in the snow. 


My gifts are always those ones that look like they have been wrapped by toddlers. Bunched wrapping paper is always shoved in the ends. One year, I completely miscalculated the gift to wrapping paper ratio and had a nice open square on the bottom of the gift where the paper wouldn't cover. 

So this year, I armed myself with brown paper, pretty ribbon, and Pinterest and took to the games. 

I think I did alright, but you guys can be the judge. 

I got about this far and thought, "It needs something."

So I proceeded to cut-out letters from some white paper, and use a tan coloured marker to make the tics around the letter. Obviously, the R is the initial of the person who will get the present. Pretty clever though, if I must say so myself (and Pinterest didn't even help me out..)

The ribbon, twine, and brown paper packaging came together quite nicely, I think. Here are the finished products. 

I'm considering renegging on that whole National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation house thing. These gifts are too cute to be wasted in a house like that. It may have to be a little more VonTrap family.

Christmas is, after all, one of my favourite things. It's a magical season.

Still, while I do believe that the true meaning of Christmas comes from the birth of Christ, I can't help but love all the festivities that go along with it....right down to the ugly Christmas sweaters, inappropriate leg-lamps, Christmas specials, and snow that silences cities.

And now I can wrap presents.

Thanks Pinterest.

By the way, how cool is it that my family gets to unwrap brown paper packages tied up with string!
These are the things of dreams.

Surviving Ontario Winters: American Eagle Boot Socks

Canadian winters are cold. Now that old man Winter has pretty much set his wrath upon most of the nation (my landlords sent me a picture of the snow in Langley, and I have to honestly admit that they have more snow than I do in SW Ontario, currently), I couldn't help but talk my wonderful boyfriend into buying me a 2pack of warm boot socks from American Eagle Outfitters while at the mall last night.


These have to be, without competition, the BEST pair of warm socks I have ever owned.

2pk AE mens boot socks. $13.99 CAD

AE also has some spectacular online sales right now, so head over to their website and make sure you get in on them. 40% off everything and FREE SHIPPING!

It may be quite possible that, before the sale is up, I will invest in some new jegging/pants (I actually only ever purchase my jeans/jeggings from AE, so this monster sale is actually fantastic...)

Corduroy Jeggings. $42.98 CAD

 While I may have grown out of some of AE's sweatshirts and campus style clothing when I finished my undergrad (you just gotta have some class when you get into your grad studies...), I have always found that AE pants fit my unapologetically curvy lower half, and that is something I have always appreciated about this brand. I have never felt that way about Old Navy's pants (whereas, I love their cardigans and accessories), and just can't fit into Dynamite's pants (but they make my favourite dresses).

Ah, well. To each their own, I guess.

Now my feet are winter ready, and baby oh baby let it snow.

Infinity Scarf Love

Well, in keeping with the yarn part of this blog, I am thrilled to announce that I finally finished (amidst papers and packing for my trip home to Ontario) the crochet infinity scarf I have been working on since, well... let's just say I bought the yarn at on the weekend of Canadian Thanksgiving...and that was in October people!

Truthfully, I have probably taken apart this scarf over 5 times. I started with, what I thought, was a pretty foolproof pattern. But the wool was too thick, so I had to begin again.

This was the scarf I intended to make:

The pattern for the scarf comes from Olivia over at her blog, Hopeful Honey.  It was easy enough to figure out how to make the shells, but the yarn I had purchased was just too thick. The scarf was going to be waay too warm (yes, in this case, it is a bad thing). 

So, my next endeavour was this: 

This pattern came from KT and the Squid, over at her Crochet blog. 

But again, the wool was too thick. I did decide that I liked the alternating colours, though, and kept with that.

Finally I decided on a simple skip-stitch double-crochet pattern. This created enough holes in the scarf to allow in a decent amount of air, and to make the scarf less heavy, and more of a wear-this-inside kind of thing. I am much happier with the results, and I think the recipient will be too. 

et Voila! 

If you're interested in obtaining the pattern or colour skus, leave a comment, and I'll make sure to get them to you. 

12 Days of Christmas Sweaters

Inspired by The White List, I have decided to compile what I think are some of the best ugly Christmas Sweaters.

Tis the season for this sort of awesomeness.

And I sifted through a lot of humping reindeer sweaters and awkward cat-lover Christmas sweaters to find these. I do hope you enjoy them as much as I did.


hehe. I had to. 
Obviously, I was going to include some Doctor Who...
Those last three might be my favourites. 

How Ryan Gosling Helps me Study.

I know I said I would basically be radio-silent until I had finished my term papers, but I couldn't help share these Ryan Gosling memes.

And just for good measure... 


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