Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Moving day!

To anyone who still checks this blog for updates,

I originally began this blog as a way of journaling my year living in England. It was a great year and a fun blog, but for some reason it didn't seem to carry over very well once I was home. I never felt the urge to write in it and when I did, I would feel too guilty about how much time had passed and that would keep me away. I've decided that I need a whole new blog to journal my life in Toronto. Please come over and visit me at Broccoli in Toronto where I will be writing about the chaos of trying to plan 2 simultaneous weddings!

I hope to see you there!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Everyday super powers

A lot of people have mini-super powers; above average abilities at things that are kind of mundane and everyday, but no less useful for their banality. My darling Nyron is one such. Unlike Brent Butt's Shirt Powers, Nyron's super power is more pratical and less self-centred; he has Concert Ticket Powers. Whenever we decide we would like to go to a show, no matter how hard it is to get tickets, Nyron somehow manages to do everything right and at exactly the right time. The Ticketmaster gods smiled upon him when he got Radiohead tickets that sold out almost immediately. They smiled upon him again this afternoon when he got Arcade Fire tickets for their concert this May. Life is good. :)

o( )__

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Science according to George Strombolopolous

On The Hour tonight George talked about a study done in London that shows that using email decreases a person's IQ by 10%. The funny thing about that is that scientific studies have also shown that using pot only decreases your IQ by 5%. Makes you think. So stay off the email and rock the gange instead! Makes me wonder why I quit...

o( )__

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Setting up shop

Last weekend was spent almost entirely working on my studio. The paint colours look great and Nyron assembled a great big corner shelving unit that we got from Ikea. The wood is untreated softwood, so I had to spend some time sanding the splinters off the boards. I've decided to leave it unpated for now, since I like to look of the raw wood with the earthy green tones of the walls.

I got most of the larger items and things already in boxes or cases on the shelves, but I need some storage systems for all the loose items that got piled into the closet through all this. I'm trying to be as cost-effective as possible and since my business is about upcycling I thought it would be best to try and make my own storage containers. I've sent Nyron around his store in search of books on basketweaving and I'm going to try and make storage boxes by weaving rolled-up lengths of newspaper. I don't subscribe to any newspapers, since I never bother reading them, but every neighbourhood in Toronto has a local paper that gets delivered to every door, whether you subscribe to it or not. I'd been using them for my vermicomposter, but that's on hold while I make some necessary adjustments to the composter, so they'll do nicely. If anyone knows of any websites with good beginner instructions for basketweaving, please let me know.

Once I get my studio set up all I need to do is start producing product. I've found a website,, that provides online stores to people who make and sell hand-made products. Online stores provided by servers like Yahoo!, where you get a cookie-cutter webpage, are expensive and buying a .com means having to hire a web-developer, two options that I don't have the money for right now. Etsy is great because there is no cost to set up the store and no monthly fee, you just have to pay per item listed and purchased, which is excellent for someone just starting out.

Now all I need is a name. Nyron has suggested Dam That Beaver Designs and my dad has thought of Second Chance. If any of you can think of anything, let me know. I'll keep you updated as I work this out and you can be sure there will be a prominent link once it's up and running.

o( )__

Friday, February 02, 2007

Who says Americans live in a culture of fear?

Since I don't watch the news, this lovely bit of mass hysteria didn't catch up with me until today. A few weeks ago two artists were hired to make and distribute advertisements for the upcoming Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie. For those of you who don't obsessively watch Teletoon at 10:00 every night, Aqua Teen Hunger Force is a 15 minute cartoon show created by the wonderfully subversive minds at Adult Swim. The cartoon consist of human-sized fast-food creatures: a milk shake, a round ball of ground meat (which is something that probably hasn't existed in a fast food place since the 40s, since all fast food hamburgers arrive already shaped and frozen), and an order of fries that sports a goatee and shoots lazers out of his eyes. The show follows these three as they hang around thier run-down house, torment their white-trash neighbour, Carl, and ocassionally get pestered themselves by a litany of strange side-characters.

The advertisements took the form of throwies (think Light Brite) of the Mooninites, a pair of popular side characters. The throwies were magnetic and were displayed around the cities of Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia for weeks, apparently without much notice. Almost made it a bust as an advertising campaing, until Thursday morning when a woman on a bus noticed one of the throwies on a bridge in boston and called the police to report a "suspicious deivce".

"An army of emergency vehicles responded to the scene with lights flashing, including police cruisers, fire trucks, ambulances, and the Boston Police Department bomb squad.

Police inspected the package using a truck-mounted work platform. Transit police officer Joseph Mathews from the explosive detection unit donned the thick green armor of the bomb squad an approached the object.

Matthews attached cables to the device and officials later fired the small water explosive to render the object safe. " - Boston Globe

Shortly after this made the news, Turner Broadcasting, parent company to Adult Swim, called the Boston police to assure them that they were responsible, that it was an advertising campaign and nothing threatening. They even gave them the exact locations of the other throwies. The police didn't beleive them and only treated it as "a possible lead".

After all the dust settled the police and government of Boston were very angry. Not because anything had done wrong, but because they were very embarrassed and embarassment often turns to anger: anger and the search for a scapegoat. The two artists were arrested on charges of placing a hoax device to incite panic, a felony charge that carries a five year maximum sentence, and one count of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. Even the judge seemed sceptical and the two were released on bail. They will be faced with a judicial hearing at a time that hasn't been disclosed. Turner Broadcasting has offered to pay for the inconvenience caused by the campaign, which has been estimated may cost a third of a million dollars.

The obvious question, of course, is: What the fuck? How bad has Bush got these poor people that small (no more than a foot square) magnetic Light Brites can cause such panic? The fact that this has been taken so seriously is both mind-boggling and a source of tremendous amusement to me. And many others. Here is Stephen Colbert's report, YouTube-based comedy group Zebro favoured us with their take on the situation. I'm still looking for others: there's rumour that Jimmy Kimmel did a skit and Penn Jillette discussed it on his radio show, but I'm still trying to find the links.

The final word: chill the fuck out, America!

Green Canada?

I'm glad I'm not the only one who was worried about the slow appearance of snow this winter. Check this out. It's beautiful.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I'm not into New Year's Resolutions, they're usually the best way to set yourself up for disappointment and add to the January Blues. However, I have made one resolution that is simple and immediate enough to keep. I've resolved to finally get my spare room turned into a creative and usable studio space.

Nyron, as usual, is being a big help in this. He has a few weekdays off this week, so he is spending that time painting the walls in two lovely shades of mossy green that I picked out. We got the paint at an independent Behr Paints dealer down the street from my home who special ordered Behr's EcoSpec low VOC paint. After all, this is supposed to be my serene, creative space; I don't want it to give me headaches and cancer!

On the weekend we're getting a set of Ikea shelves so that I can keep all my materials organized and accessible. As my birthday present, Nyron is buying me a sewing table so I can finally take my sewing machine out of the lonely box I stored it in when I went to England. I can hardly wait to be re-united with my beloved sewing machine! Oh, how I miss it! Oh, how my pants have gone sorrowfully unhemmed! I'll update with photos as soon as everything's done. I might even invite some of my crafty friends over for a studio-warming.

o( )__

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I am a master chef!

OK, not really. But I did cook dinner from scratch today, which is a rare and special occasion. Usually Nyron is the cook in the house and if it's up to me, we dine on fish stick and fries. But today I was idly watching Food Network which is where I get my vicarious chef fix, when I actually saw a recipe that looked simple enough for me to do well. It's a ground beef and macaroni and cheese oven baked pasta and I was able to do it with stuff I either already had in the kitchen or could get at the little grocery on the corner. The best part? I managed to do it without making an unholy mess of the kitchen, a feat Nyron has yet to accomplish. :)

o( )__