9.28.2012

Wedding, wedding!

This week has been absolutely wacky. Maybe it's because there's a full moon tomorrow. Did you know that things really do get funky around the time of a full moon? When I worked in retail, we knew that a full moon was coming because of the way our customers were acting. It was definitely one of those weeks this week.

But! Some silver lining action did happen - we received our wedding photos! I'm saving some of them to share the invitation process, etc., but I thought I'd share some of my favourite shots!

I applied my wedding make up using a 1.5" mirror.
Outside our honeymoon suite.

Another shout out to Diana, of Diana Marie Photography. Thank you for these lovely shots!


A story about theGuy and his kilt:
Hello handsome

TheGuy and his brother (the other kilt wearing handsome) decided to wear kilts in homage to their Scottish ancestry - especially to honour their father, who was born in Scotland. Though his kilt cost more than my dress, there was so much meaning behind it, we decided it was a go.
He's prettier than me!

So, theGuy and his brother spent a day in Toronto looking at options, and then ended up making another day trip to Barrie where they heard the best prices were. Though they were told that the rentals (shoes, suit jacket, etc.) were included with the purchase of the kilts, when they went to try everything on to ensure it fit - oopsies! That wasn't the case. So they shelled out the moula anyway, because at that point, the kilts were already made anyway (for those who don't know about Scottish heritage - each clan has its own tartan [plaid], and kilt making is a very detailed and precise art).
The wedding party!

On the Thursday before the wedding, theGuy's brother drove all the way to Barrie to pick up the kilts and drove all the way back so they could try them on. His kilt fit like a charm, but theGuy's? Not at all. Okay - that's a lie. The kilt fit - it was everything else that was completely wrong. He's a big strong man, that guy of mine, and a small sporan and jacket weren't going to cut it.

Weirdos!
So, the day before the wedding, theGuy had to wake up at 6:30 and drive all the way to Barrie again to get the right size, this time making sure to try it on in the store, and then turned around and drove all the way to the venue (which is 2 hours away from our town) to set up decorations and get things started.

Needless to say, it was a busy couple of days, and if we look tired in our photos, we were! But I have to say - the travel for the kilt was TOTALLY worth it, because will you look at him? Total babe.

Happy weekend, everyone!

9.27.2012

Freshly Mint-ed

Happy one-more-sleep-till weekend, people. You know you're excited!

I've been putting a lot of thought into my blog, because it really is just a mash up of topics, ideas and work. I think I'd better get to work creating different categories, so its easier to hop around the mess that is my brain. Too bad I couldn't make a drop down menu for inside my head!

Today's post is about design; a new logo that I created for a local realty company: mint. They wanted me to develop a logo that is current, yet friendly and inviting, to show that they deal with all types of premium properties, but with a personal touch. So here it is:

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

9.26.2012

Dr. Claw

Today I was all "What am I going to write about in my blog today?" and I even googled 'writer block for bloggers' to get inspiration.

I started to write my post, thinking I would use one of the creative prompts I'd discovered, and then I went on a tangent so I thought I'd just make it a post it itself.

How the hell did we function before the internet?

I totally know that we functioned, and we functioned well, but how effed up is it that we used to have to go to the LIBRARY in order to research things!? Seriously! There are people living in mud huts in the world, and I have this box on my desk, full of light and information and people and experiences. It's totally insane.

I'm an 80s child, and grew up watching Inspector Gadget. Remember Penny?

Look how cute and awesome I am!
Penny was totally bad ass. She had that book, which held all the answers to every question you could ever wonder. I wanted one sooo bad - it seemed so cutting edge, so technologically advanced, so intelligent. With a book like that, everyone would think I was the coolest girl in the world, and I totally would be, because I'd look up in my book how to be the coolest, and then I'd follow its instructions.

Enter: iPhone.

Today, while I was reading Half Broke Horses, the author mentioned Road Runners repeatedly and I thought to myself "Self! What the heck is a Road Runner, anyway?" I knew of the cartoon with the silly laugh, but I couldn't recall... was it an animal? A bird? I have no idea. But my iPhone and Wiki totally saved my life, as usual, and within three minutes, I knew the native origin, habitat, call, markings and way  more information than I would ever possibly retain, and I barely lifted my finger.

How many arguments have I won (I always win, after all - just ask theGuy) by googling something furiously and excitedly saying "HA!" While obnoxiously waving my phone in theGuy's face?

On another note: as if "googling" is a word!

We're so weird. We're so technologically advanced, and we're so lucky. When money is tight and I realize I'm going to have to do without something I want, I look around and appreciate all I do have. I don't NEED a cellphone, and I certainly don't need a magic-answer-box. I don't NEED a laptop to survive any more than I NEED a rice cooker. This generation of technology has made life so 'convenient' but these conveniences start to seem like essentials, when in reality, the gadgets that we have in our life are so amazing, the idea of them was unfathomably fantastic as children.

I wonder: if I were to go back to my child self, and put an iPhone into my tiny hands, would my brain have exploded with all the possibilities?

I'll get you next time, Gadget!

9.25.2012

The little sister who scared me silly

A little history here for ya. I am the proud parent of twins! Okay. Not really. I'm the proud 10-years-older sister of twins, a boy and a girl. But I often feel like a parent to these two!

I'm a little neurotic, and being a 'parent', worry about the safety of these two all the time. They're not 20 years old and living on their own, and the baby sister happens to be incredibly outgoing and good looking - and she also thinks she's invincible (she would say she is street smart, but older knows  better, doesn't it?).

I'm definitely an over-protective older sister. Overbearing, annoying, even. But I just love those two!

The Babester is a language major in University, and what a smart cookie! She decided to spend the first semester of her third year of University in Spain, ALL BY HERSELF. Oh my god. My Babester is in Spain. All by herself. TERRIFYING. EVERY MAN IN SPAIN IS A SUSPECT! A potential creepo, criminal. I can't help it. It's my baby sister!

I've tried to have faith in her decision making abilities - but FACEBOOK IS SCARING ME.

So.. introducting.. Babester's-facebook-posts-that-scare-me-silly.

1. Okay - so I told her I was going to write this post, and I think she removed some of her status updates (told you she was a smart cookie). But the post I read on the first night she was there was something along the lines of "Thank goodness for Swedish Boys! If it weren't for them, I wouldn't have found my way home!"

2. "This. killed. me bahahahahahahahahahah Web Remeption - How to Get European Men" (Hello, Babster - you're FIVE!"

3. "Spanish cabbie just aked for my number - I respectfully declined saying I didn't have a Spanish phone.. he knows where I live." (GET A BASEBALL BAT!)

4. "On a weekend, it isn't uncommon for my 7am alarm to go off and tell me to go to sleep, as opposed to waking up...."

5. "I LOBE NANA ADAIR CUZ SHE IS THE BEST NANA EVER." (Okay - sweet message - a drunken update about your Nana. On facebook. Accompanied by: "You're the best Nana ever. Cousin1 & Cousin2 are so blessed to habe you  and I promise you that one day they will trealize it!!! In the mean time, as the other baby, I love you like friggen CRAZY!! And I miss you sooooo much!!!!v My Nana-not an old lady - but my world <3 60="60" a="a" case="case" cuz="cuz" has="has" just="just" love="love" mans="mans" of="of" okay..="okay.." only="only" p="p" she="she" the="the" tops.="tops." whatever.="whatever." you="you" youre="youre">
6. "They say that when it is the right time, you just know. So..... I introduced my new friends to my booty dancing last night - just shaking that Canadian bacon." (Booty dancing is what she calls the Jersey Turnpike.)

The Jersey Turnpike
7. "That awkward moment the police escort you right to your apartment door because they're looking for someone...  3 cruisers outside my window. At least I'm safe!"

I swear there were more posts than these, but maybe my brain magnified them, it's entirely possible. Either way, that girl better return safe and sound with all parts intact. Every time I get a message from her like this: "uBut I just had som many 50 year olds tell me how petty I am - then in the vcab - the cibbie kept nonchallently.. mentioning how gorgeous I was.." it freaks me OUT! So I told her I was going to write this post and she made me feel a lot better. She said: "I don't ever want to terrify you. Except - I might be on crutches cuz I rtipped off the crub trying to get into the cab..." 

It's an experience of a lifetime, right? Have fun, Babester!


9.24.2012

I've got nothing!

When other bloggers say that they are stricken with a lack of material, I'm always quite surprised. Life just throws you SO many topics and things to talk about - how could anyone ever run out?

But now I get it. I've only been blogging consistently for about three weeks, and I've already run out of interesting fodder to share. So I thought, instead, I'd share with you the links to some of my favourite blogs in the world, because they're awesome and I like the spread the wealth!

The Art of Doing Stuff
Karen is hilarious. Those who live in Ontario may recognize her from different shows she has been on in the past - this lady was a host way back in the day, and she's still entertaining through her blog - and oh man, is it great! You can find answers to so many of life's questions by reading Karen's blog. It's kind of uncanny! A little of this, a little of that; Karen really knows how to meet the needs of a broad audience, and she's amazingly hilarious, so it's even better! Check her out!

Filing Jointly ... finally
Lauren is a woman after my own heart. I do believe we're going to be best friends in the whole wide world. This is because she a) Married HER Ryan after being with him for ten years, b) Is highschool sweethearts with her Ryan, c) sings songs to herself because she's awesome and d) is hilarious (I'm hilarious, too! Proof is right here). GO READ THIS BLOG! She's incredibly real, and her stories and anecdotes are awesome. You'll love her!

Stories about my Underpants
Another amazing blog! Becky is sooooooo funny - I don't know whether it's just her unique spin on things or whether her life is just a little wacky or what it is exactly, but man, she can tell a story! I love this blog because it makes me giggle - exactly what the doctor ordered! Her writing style is so matter-of-fact and her own - maybe this is why I have writer's block! I can't compete!

Read these blogs, people. This is my gift to you! A lot of awesome in each post - and they update frequently so it's super fantastical!

I'll be back with some fun stuff to read (hopefully).


9.21.2012

This little light of mine - DIY

DIY - ruffle lamp!
 
My brain is ridiculous. So many thoughts swirl around in there sometimes, and I'm forever coming up with new projects that I know will make my house perfect. And then people will come visit and think to themselves "wow! I've never seen such a lovely shade of white in a kitchen before" and then, in their mind, they'll call me "girl with one white wall in the kitchen" and they'll talk about it and they'll think I'm sooooo creative. Oh yeah.

Also - please pardon all of my photos. I do actually know how to take nice photos, but my camera is on the fritz, and I'm in the process of picking out a new one (and saving up for it!).

Anyway - one of my most recent projects dates back to two years ago when I got an old lamp from my Nana and decided that the old, brittle shade had to go. So I recovered it with my favourite fabric. Felt (this is mostly my favourite fabric because it`s cheap, and you don`t have to hem edges if you don`t want to), by running it through the sewing machine and hot glueing it. I finished off the inside with white ribbon, which I hot-glued into place. GLUE GUNS RULE.

Doesn't look like much, does it?

Two new felt shades.
So, then I sat on it. Not the frame. That would ruin my work. But I sat on the felt shades for like.. 2 years. Hey, I got engaged. Life got busy. And I couldn`t figure out exactly what I wanted to do with the shade.. I knew I wanted them to be fun!

We're now in the process of revitalizing our home. We don't own it, so it's all about cosmetic updates and things we can take with us. You can see the wallpaper in our room up above. I think it's great, but after two years, it's making me crazy! I want clean, clean and airy - it's going to be a soft teal and white. So, a couple weeks ago when looking to accessorize (I'm onto accessorizing and we haven't even painted yet), I found this tutorial online: http://juneberry-lane.blogspot.ch/2012/08/tutorial-tuesday-diy-ruffled-fabric.html

I loved it, but it looked like a lot of work, and I was worried that there would be errant strings hanging around that I'd be dealing with forever, and I already had felt left from last year's Wilma costume, so, I improvised. And I'm going to share it with you!

Patti's DIY Ruffle Lamp
You'll need:
scissors
hot glue gun and LOTS of refills
a yard or so of felt.
plain lampshade - covered with felt or not - either will work

How-to
1.Cut pieces of felt in a straight(ish) 1/2" piece. (The height of your lampshade will dictate how long you need your pieces of felt to be, so I'd measure the height and then triple it. This will be your length.) So the dimensions would be 0.5" x (shade height x 3). (I eyeballed this)

It's hard to take photos with one hand!
2. Get your glue gun nice and hot, and begin making a good solid line for a ruffle. I worked in about 4" sections - 'drawing' out the design for my felt at 4" at a time so that I could ensure the glue was hot and would hold well.
See the line?
 3. Take the strips of felt and stand it up so that it's held by one edge on the glue (that is a really bad explanation but I think you're probably pretty smart, so it should be okay. The photo above shows how the fabric is standing up on edge.
I was getting excited!
 4. Continue along with each strip, bringing it from the top to the bottom of the shade, working in a way which is comfortable for you. Trim so the felt is even at the top and bottom, and then start your next line of felt/glue. Continue, working your way around the lamp. This takes a long time, but if you're watching the Real World in the background, it's totally productive AND exciting.

At the end, you have to kind of plan your ruffles so that they fill up the empty space, but this is a totally great craft because you just wing it, and it all works out. I didn't draw the lines for the ruffles or anything, just made it up along as I went, and it totally worked out. You could use different colours to make it more fun, you could use a different fabric, whatever works!

I think it's neat how the light glows through the ruffles.

I'm going to try my hand at spray painting ceramic once we paint the room. I think I'll do the lamp itself a beautiful light teal. It'll be fancy!

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy!

9.19.2012

Crazy in love - Patti's Recap Part IX

I'm seriously making an effort to be a frequent flyer in this blog of mine, so I'm writing this post on the fly (haha) from my airplane. Not really. From the bus. On my phone.

For previous recaps,
Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart VPart V1Part VIIPart VIII

If you knew how difficult it was to post the Part VIII from my phone, you'd totally be slow clapping.

Anyway. At this point in the game, the guy and I were totally loaded with things to do. Every night, every day, and every weekend. I was super excited and extremely wound up! How would there ever be enough hours in the day? I had been looking forward to this day for so long. TheGuy is my best friend, and so, so much more. I decided that, since the whole wedding thing gets away on you do easily, I needed to take a step back from the outside influences of our wedding: options, guest lists, expenses, obligations, etiquette, desire to please and deadlines - and get to the root of what the day was supposed to be about.

He and I.

Super cheesy photo on our honeymoon!

Such a simple notion. We're simple people. We're not grand, not material, not false. We're real. Best friends. Family. And when I really thought to stop and think about it, I was overwhelmed with deep soulful feelings... Kinda. Actually, I squealed like a little girl.

I was marrying the guy who'd once given me butterflies that were so powerful, I thought I might throw up. The guy who'd seen me at my best and my worst. Oh man, did I ever fall hard for him. My seventeen year old heart told me that I neeeeeeded to be with him. And my 29 year old heart said the same thing (but in a less whiny way). Growing up together wasn't always easy. It's seriously hard to figure yourself out while trying to stay in synch with another person, no matter how much you love each other. We were basically babies when we started dating, even though we thought we knew everything there was to know about anything. But we did it. We fought hard, learned lots and oh em gee we were getting hitched! We were getting hitched, and in the forest, too! We were getting hitched in the forest and were camping with our friends and family after! The work was so worth it, and any work we put into our special day would be worth it, too!


So I got to work! What little things could I sprinkle with our love? How could I make the guests feel like we really think they're special, too?

And then, I had a gazillion more things to do. But they were so much fun to do!

So excuse my phone quality photos (remember, I'm being very dedicated and writing this from my phone!), here are some of the little things I did:

Wine labels! Fun! Bad photo. Not fun!

If you're getting married, having friends over, hanging out with your partner, or chilling' by yourself, I highly recommend taking some time to make something little have that extra oomph - it makes life more fancy!

Oh yeah - Patti & Ryan be tea baggin'
Super simple medallions jazzed up the place!


Well, here comes my stop!



9.18.2012

Bad Blogger

I'm a bad, bad blogger. Right now I'm waiting for a little sunshine so I can take some shots for a post I'm working on, as well as for the (highly anticipated) photo disk from my wedding so I can break down some of the other items I designed for the big day. So, to hold you over, here are some of the shots that my amazing wedding photographer, Diana Marie took and posted on her website.

So excited to see the rest! She did a great job, and she set them up as you see them below!
My mom crocheted my bouquet. She is so awesome! See my something blue?

This was my aisle! Can you believe it!?
My dude is a Scot, and a handsome one, at that! My hands look oddly veiny!
Awwww. We love each other!
At our honeymoon caboose - the owner converted a CN Rail caboose into a suite!
So there you go! I hope you forgive me for not having anything interesting to say, except that, man - I wish I could get married all over again (except for the crazy, frantic planning part!).

xo

9.17.2012

Granola gag!

Happy beginning of the week! I've got some posts in the works right now, but thought that today I would entertain you with a story from last evening.

First! I would like to introduce you to Pickle, our lineolated parakeet:

You can not eat this Pickle!
I realized that Pickle may not be the most dignified name for a bird when theGuy and I were at our friends' for dinner a few weeks ago and when, in mixed company, I said to him: "I want to go home soon so I can kiss Pickle," and the entire room went awkwardly silent.

Pickle is awesome. He likes me the best, which is super awesome and cool and snuggly, AND,  I'm sooo lucky, because he even goes so far as to save his poop for me - so he can give me a nice, warm gift (the lucky part was sarcasm). Linnie poop is legit, people. It's common for theGuy and I to do a spin for a poop check before leaving the house - you just never know when that sneaker is going to leave a deposit (I'm trying not to be totally gross here, people, but I am talking about POOP).

So yesterday, after a dinner disaster (theGuy's best efforts at making a delicious dinner resulted in us heading out to our local pub at 10:00 to get something edible), we were parked on the couch watching X-Files (nerds!), Pickle was snuggled up on me, and I enjoyed a Quaker Chewy Granola Bar. Granola can be a sneaky bugger, too, so I lost a couple crumbles along the way.

When Ry and I were getting ready for bed, he laughed at me and said "Oh, Pickle left you a huge poop again," and chuckled at my misfortune. I replied "Oh no!", looked down, realized it was granola and with a calm demeanor, popped it in my mouth with a flourish.

YOU SHOULD'VE SEEN HIS FACE!

Not a linnie poop. I would've taken a picture of the actual specimen, but I ate it.
The end :)

9.14.2012

A chip off the old block.

I did not take this photo, but this is the place!

All winter and spring, I salivate at the thought of a really, really delicious container of Dave's Fresh Cut Fries. Smothered in gravy and fresh cheese curds, or just with a side of ketchup, those heavenly spuds make my soul sing. Perfect, golden, crisp-on-the-outside, fluffy-and-moist-on-the-inside; true chip wagon fries are an art in themselves. Not too greasy, not too dry, sprinkled with sea salt, each bite savoured under the shade of an umbrella.... time seems to slow down, if only for one meal. Even the wait.. the air fragrant with the aroma of summer: chips frying, fresh cut grass; imagining the arrival of your fresh, hot fries - that's an experience in itself.

Chip wagons. What could be more summery than chip wagons? I look forward to chip wagons all year! In fact, the power of impending chip wagon action is strong enough that it enables me to have willpower against french fries all winter long, and spring, too! Chip wagons are the real deal, and otherwise it just isn't worth it.


Real chip wagons aren't restaurants. They don't have awnings, you can't go inside them. They CAN be a building as long as orders are taken through a small window. These are the rules. Sorry. I don't make 'em.

I had avoided fried food all winter and spring. I did, after all, have a wedding dress to fit into. But I knew that no matter what, as soon as our local chip wagon opened,theGuy and I would relish the opportunity to 'misbehave' by indulging in our favourite fare.

Planning a wedding meant life was busy, and on our honeymoon, when passing roadside chip wagons, we agreed to save it, so that Dave's Fries would be that much sweeter.

Our first day back, I could barely contain myself as we hopped in the car to visit our favourite hot-weather haunt. 

It was closed.

But, optimistic, we knew that this meant when we did finally get to experience those splendiferous spuds, that they would just be all that more superb.

And closed.

And closed.

And closed.

AND CLOSED.

So now, on this rainy Friday, when fall is overwhelmingly present in the air, I WANT MY MOMMY.

I think we missed the boat this year.WE MISSED THE FRESH CUT FRY BOAT! The chips I have been dreaming of since last October.... the fries we spoke so fondly of on our HONEYMOON. The hours that have spent daydreaming about their perfection. Now I have to wait until next year. It seems so far away.

It hurts my heart.

9.13.2012

Wow, I'm hilarious. Special first edition.

So, as a little segue.. I don't know if anyone has noticed, but wow. I'm hilarious. Like, really, really funny. I just started giggling at the thought of my hilarity. It's kind of ridiculous.

Anyway - at first I thought that I was only hilarious to myself - which isn't all that bad, really, because it means that I laugh a lot and I'm assuming frown lines come from smiling and no one wants those badboys.

Today, I learned that my little sister thinks I am (and these are legit quotes, people) "the funniest human being in the history of the world".  Okay. Maybe that sentence was prefaced with "you might be", but whatever! These simple details mean nothing.

I will share with you the reason that she deigned me as Princess-Funniest-In-The-History-of-The-Universe (funny people can ad-lib a bit) because I feel like it's very practical and everyone should profit from my insight and knowledge. Her reasoning is due to my response to a conundrum she has found herself in. This gal has left the country to travel big, and is currently living in Spain, like the world-traveler she is. Everything is great; she lives near the beach, she's super hot.. the world is her oyster. Except that she has this problem...an annoying roommate.

Gasp!

Not just an annoying roommate, but a roommate who has studied English and Psychology in University, and has deigned herself (who DOES that?) as the be-all-and-end-all of how to do ANYTHING. My poor sister is being analyzed and criticized and basically all the izes and it's driving her nuts. Enter, my hilarity:

'My suggestion is to come up with a bunch of really annoying habits yourself, like always answering her questions with a question:

"And why do you ask?"
"And how does that make you feel?"
"And how do you feel Freud would interpret that question?"
...Eff with her... Slowly cut her hair so that one side is shorter than the other, over the course of 4 months. Seriously. She'll either think that a) she's going crazy, or b) her hair grows faster on one side than it does on the other! Then you can make comments like, pointedly looking at her hair and being like "Did you do something different with your hair? It looks shorter on one side." And then you can recommend 'hair tinctures' to make her hair grow properly. Really gross things, like smearing a banana over your hair. Stuff like that. Then, at least, you can laugh to yourself while being annoyed. Annoy her back like no one's business. That's what I say!'


See? Hilarious AND practical! Please feel free to utilize this method in extreme situations of roommate angst, but note:I can not be held liable for the results of this!

Off to do princessy things! Ciao!



Doe, a dear - Patti's Recap Part VIII

So, back to the recap. For anyone who wants to catch up, you can find the other million parts below:

Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart VPart V1Part VII

In the event that you haven't noticed before... I'm long winded.

So! Last time we chatted, I had just went on a rampage writing up a storm about the webpage that I created for our wedding. That's not really very interesting, in retrospect, but then, this post probably won't be, either. That's okay, though! Just preparing you for later!

I had designed the wedding website, and the Save-The-Dates, which worked out awesome for me because, since, in my mind, those pieces weren't as crazy intimidating as the actual invitation, it meant that I was inspired to make some more fun pieces.. like Stag and Doe tickets..

Again - I didn't have a photo. So I (very poorly) mocked one up, just for you!
A lot of people don't know what Stag and Does are. And a lot of other people think they're tacky. Some people call the Buck and Does, some people call them Jack & Jills, and did you know that lesbian Stag and Does are called Jill Does?

Hilarious!

In this part of the world (Ontario), a Stag and Doe is a fundraising party of sorts. Weddings are expensive (surprise, surprise), and a lot of people want to support the new couple-to-be, including those who aren't expecting an invitation (like colleagues, high school friends, acquaintances, etc.). Typically, you would rent a hall and then people buy tickets to get into this killer party. There are door prizes, raffle prizes, games and cheap booze. And the best thing of all is that a Stag and Doe is like the biggest craziest most fun party ever, because you a) don't have to be dignified, like at a wedding, b) are encouraged to drink because it means you'll spend more money and c) YOU CAN WIN COOL PRIZES and d) anyone can come! It's a hell of a time, and I was so excited for ours!

In some necks of the woods, people think it's weird because the purpose of the Stag and Doe is, after all, to fundraise towards the Big Day. I say it's awesome - it's cheaper than a night out at the bar, and you're supporting your friends in the process.

Which reminds me.. can someone please get married soon? I want to go to a Stag and Doe!

See, I'm the girl deer and Ryan is the guy. Get it? We love each other. This is a poster I put up at work - they were incredibly supportive, and man, can my coworker HUSTLE!
Our Stag and Doe was a blast - we had an amazing turnout, and there are some pretty terrific photos floating around on facebook involving my future (at the time) husband and this sexy costume:

I've got my eye on you.

But I'm going to spare him from sharing those badboys. He was a good enough sport, and I'd like to stay married, if at all possible.

We knew that we had our work cut out for us - stay tuned for the story of how theGuy and I thought it would be a great idea to build a letterpress, design invitations, learn how to letterpress and press 100 double-sided invitations, rsvp cards and reception cards. It's amazing that we made it down the aisle! hah!

Happy Thursday! One more sleep 'til weekend!

9.12.2012

Case of the body snatchers

An old illustration of mine. That jerk Germy. Cruel and unusual.
Well, here we go. Summer is officially on its way out, and cold season has settled in early. My office was filled with a cacophony of sniffles and coughs. Awesome. The germs have already made their way into my system, but no doubt, they would've invaded anyway!

Since no one likes being sick, or, really, reading about how someone is sick, I haven't had much to say - my brain is clouded and I don't make sense. I will, however, share with you the most easy, cheater, make-you-feel awesome, chicken noodle soup recipe ever. Because it takes 15 minutes to make and is something that health-nuts would roll their eyes at. It's not home-made, though you make it at home, it's full of preservatives, but WHATEVER. It tastes like something fancy!

I don't have photos, so just pretend. Imagine - soup. With vegetables. And curry. I think you can handle it!

Cheater Curried Chicken & Veggie Soup
I wish I had a heart shaped bowl.

Ingredients:
1 pkg Lipton (Knorr) Chicken Noodle Soup (25% reduced sodium)(also - for the record, like Heinz Ketchup - Lipton's Chicken Noodle soup can not be substituted with another brand. Just don't do it.)
1 cup frozen vegetables (in this case, use No-Name 'cuz they're cheap - and whatever veggies you like!!)
1.5 tsp curry powder (or more, if you're like me and like curry a lot)
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp ground cumin
 4 cups of water

So, what do you do? Follow package directions, except use 4 cups of water instead of the three it suggests on the package. When water has come to a boil, throw in everything - soup mix, veggies and spices. Cook like usual.

Serve with fluids and lots of rest. Enjoy!

It's the most simple thing to toss together ever, and perfect when you're sick and you don't have anyone to make it for you, It requires no chopping, and if you really want to - you could eat it right out of the pot you cooked it in! Technically, you don't even need a spoon! We're not going for fancy, here, we're going for easy and comforting. The curry and the cayenne spice things up a little, and there's nothing better than a little spice when you're feeling crappy to help flush out that cold! Easy, peasie!

Also - finely chopped carrots and celery are an excellent addition to this soup. AND sauteeing a little onion and garlic with the curry powder BEFORE you put the water in is also a good way to bring out the curry flavour and make it extra lovely. But if you're going to go to the trouble of that, you may as well make your own stock, and then we're talking effort, so that would defeat the purpose of this soup.

So there you go. That's all I can muster. Happy Soup-Day!

Oh yeah - one more thing - how do you pronounce 'Knorr' at your house?





9.10.2012

Oh, hello Monday

A two year old drawing of mine which will never go out of style
So, it's Monday. What a stupid day. Who invented those, anyway?

Awesome time with some fabulous girls last weekend. I made new friends, and they're fabulous. There's just nothing like getting a bunch of girls together, especially when not everyone knows each other. Women are just so interesting, I think. We asked questions, learned about each other.. I feel like I spilled my whole life's story. It was fantastic.

In true girly style, we had wayyy too much food, but man was it ever good!? Isn't it funny how girls are so organized and plan and spend time thinking about the food they're going to make, when dudes can simply toss in a pack of RedHot hotdogs and call it a day? The benefit of that is that we wayy over prepared (haha! Same as how I packed my bag for the weekend - curling wand wasn't really a necessity for a cottage weekend) and I think I left with more than I arrived with!

We chatted about how different men and women are, and not in a derogatory way, but in a "wow, let's try to understand how different men and women are! Like.. how often men can't multi-task the way we can, but how men also seem to be able to NOT FRET about EVERYTHING! It was very enlightening, and I think I may like theGuy even more now, knowing that he's just acting as he has been genetically made up (although that doesn't excuse him for not doing the dishes!).

What differences have you noticed between men and women? Be nice! I think it's interesting and informative to discover how the opposite gender ticks. A lot of us pair up and share our lives with that weird, elusive, opposite gender - wouldn't it be great if we understood them more?!

Happy Monday!








9.07.2012

Erkel is my kindred spirit - Patti's Recap Part VII

Disclaimer - this post is not really very interesting, and it's very long winded. Too bad I'm not getting paid by the word (actually - I'm not getting paid, period!). 

So. I'm a nerd. Like.. a super nerd. I've been a nerd for a long time, but I'm especially nerdy as of late.

Newest most awesome fun way to pass the day? Listening to the police scanner. Yup. Though I appear to be perfectly normal on the outside; a typical young(ish) person - headphones in, listening to my iPod.. the truth is, I'm totally engrossed in the latest goings on in my town. Missing persons? Public drunkeness - I'm hearing it all!

I think part of it is because I'm no longer working in/near my city center, and because we're so isolated where I am... I just feel really cut off from the 'culture' of my town (hahahaha - culture being illegal activities), and this is my way of feeling like I'm a part of it all.

I've always had respect for police officers as figures of safety and authority (my dad is retired RCMP), but now.. it's reached an entirely new level. Of insanity.

I can't help but nod at police officers as they pass me by. I'm all like "hey, tough shift, eh, buddy?" in my mind. I heard there was a pizza party and wondered where my invitation went. I have favourite dispatchers, favourite police officer voices (they're the ones who clearly pronounce what they're saying so I have an idea of what is going on), and favourite 900 codes. Who does that? I may as well have a CB radio installed in my car. Except that I don't own a car. So I'd install it on my bike.

The nerd thing isn't really new, though.

When I was 14, my dad, a member of the RCMP, got transferred to the place I live now. We had to leave all of our friends behind, and for me it was right in time to start grade nine. I was moving from the comfy little town I've known my whole life, and headed for the 'big city'.

So.. I had no friends in town. And along came the internet. This was 1996, people. This was the age of the internet where you would type in a webpage, go to the washroom, make some tea and sit back at the computer just in time to see the first images start to load on the page you'd navigated to. I was absolutely fixated on the possibilities that the internet had.

Back in day there were a lot of communities online of young girls between the ages of 11-18. My new friends. We would chat and yack, and most importantly, we made webpages. Personal webpages, basically blogs in their infancy. We found an outlet to vent our frustrations, share our dreams, and be creative.

And did I ever create. Holy cow! In a house with 6 other people, I could have my own tiny corner of the internet and do whatever I wanted with it. Maybe I had to wait to work on my webpage until after midnight (usage used to be tallied by the minute, with free internet time between the hours of 12am - 7am), but I could do whatever I wanted. And I did.

I programmed like crazy - learned html, and stayed on top of current trends (woah! Mouseovers!!). In notepad, I hand-coded to my hearts' desire! I loved web design. Loved it! Was anything in the world more fun than figuring out how to create something visual by using a different language? I told myself I was bilingual - I spoke English and HTML.

I did eventually make friends, and it became clear to me that I was, what I dubbed as an "internet geek". My friends couldn't understand why I absentmindly 'typed' on tabletops while talking to them. They didn't realllly care to hear about how alt codes worked, or how tables totally shortened page load time. But I still chipped away at it. And this is what lead me to discovering a career in graphic design.

My college program focused on print design, and when I worked at my design firm, I was so pampered - web design was done up in photoshop, and our amazing web developer was responsible for making it happen (super talent!). I got soft!

I tried to stay on top of the amazing effects CSS offered, but web languages change so fast... my knowledge became obsolete.

(Wow. This is a reallllllly long story. Oops. Sorry about that.)

ANYWAY. When theGuy and I thought about our weekend-long wedding plans.. the fact that we had to organize campers, etc., we realized that we would definitely benefit from having a wedding website. Our lovely MC is a programmer, and we knew that he would create something lovely.

But I was inspired. I knew what I wanted, and I wanted to work it out myself.

So I headed over to trusty blogger, and set about designing a webpage for our wedding. While making it not look like a blog. In retrospect, I probably should've started from scratch because the work-arounds were ridiculous. I pulled out my hair, I read til my eyes bled. And I figured it out. And it reminded me why I got into design in the first place. Overcoming the obstacles. Problem solving. Workarounds. In many ways, these themes directly related to my relationship with Ryan. It all just fit together. It was fun.
A hunk, kissing a nerd.


So basically.. the point of this lonnngggg, ridiculous post is that it's pretty much pointless. Except that I do believe: "Once a nerd, always a nerd." But a good thing about nerds? They get 'er done!





9.06.2012

Drippy doodles

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program for something a little different. A project!

TheGuy and I rent a beautiful century row house (well... townhouse... same thing. But doesn't row house sound more fancy?) near the core of our city. It is beautiful and old and has a stained glass window in the living room and we love it. We love the tall ceilings, the wood floors and the huge, beautiful baseboards.

But there are these walls. These really great large walls. But the thing is, walls in century homes were built with plaster. And plaster in a home which has been rented out for 100 years, and patched, and wallpapered, and painted, and patched, and wallpapered, and painted... well, those walls become pretty interesting. The textures are.. conversation pieces. The irregularities add.. charm. But they've been driving me nuts.

So, we had this long wall in our living room. I wanted something to fit the walls that didn't make me look like a University student. I was at a friend's house a while back (hi James), and he did an absolutely gorgeous painting by dripping paint down canvas in thick, bold colours. So I thought to do my own version. And now I will share it with you.

Disclaimer - I'm not sure that I'm absolutely in love with the colours or the thickness of the lines, but I think it's because I liked James' more. However, who knows. It may grow on me.

How to D-I-Y Drip Painting.

1. Get some paint.

I used latex house paint - the CIL brand was the best - the Behr brand seemed to drip weird and crack - it was almost too thick, whereas the CIL dripped better and spread out more smoothly, so go for that. Pick whatever colours you want. I selected grey, blue and orange because I want to use the grey and blue elsewhere and I thought orange (or tangerine) would be fun!

2. Get a canvas.

(I got mine at Curry's. Get whatever size you want! Get it at the dollar store if you want. Just get canvas [multiple canvases from the dollarstore could look really neat clustered together].)

3. Have some plastic cups

(I used red beer cups so I could chuck 'em when I was done)

4. Have a paint brush handy

(This is for wiping drips off the cup, really.)

5. Paper towel

(If you're as messy as me, you'll want it.)

6. Garbage bags or drop clothes - cardboard.. something

(The point is to drip paint everywhere. So... yeah.. if you like your carpet, or your driveway, or wherever you do this project, you'll probably want to protect it.)

I wanted to drip paint down while the painting was set up as a portrait, and then intended on turning it it to be a landscape image, with the drip-starts on the right so that it would mess with your equilibrium and so the lines would keep drawing your eye inwards, so people would read it like a story book. But you can do whatever you want.

I leaned my canvas up against a wall, and opened the 'base' colour. I picked grey because I like it, and wanted it to be the background drip colour. Stirred the crap out of the paint, and then scooped it right out of the can with my red cup. It took me a bit to learn that it's best to use the paintbrush to wipe off the excess drips - the first layer of grey had lots of stray paint where the cup was dripping all over the place.
 
I carefully and slowly poured paint from the cup onto the canvas, watching it as I went, applying more as I wanted, so that it would send streaks down the canvas. You could be more ballsy and have a huge streak along one side - it's up to your personal preference. But I started small (once it's there, it's there), and really liked the effect, so I just kept going that way.

I did this in the middle of sanding and painting the cupboards in the kitchen, so I just grabbed my camera phone, which was covered in dust from sanding - hence the beautiful hazy glow in the photos.

 I was pretty happy with this stage, but the little stray drips realllly bothered me. This is when I was trying to use a paper towel to stop it from dripping. It did not work, and was really much more messy...

So much for the manicure!


I let the paint dry for about 3 hours (the can said 6 hours, but I'm impatient), I opened the next colour and did the same thing. This time, I was trying to fill in some blanks, keeping in mind the rule of thirds, to make things more interesting. This was the Behr paint, and it was a lot more thick and didn't drip as nicely.

Step two!
I let it dry for another 3 hours, and then I decided to add another colour so I could have a little pop in the picture. In retrospect, I think it really needed a nice dark charcoal grey streak, but I could always go back and do a nice thick streak over the tangerine. Right now I think I'll let it grow on me.

I flipped this photo on its side so that you can see the direction it will hang on the wall!
 So there you go! That's how to do a quick drip painting. The thing that takes the longest is watching the paint dry. I've heard that you're not actually supposed to watch paint dry, but I did anyway, because I thought it would speed up the process. That actually doesn't work. Kinda like watching a pot boil.

So there! A D-I-Y from me to you! Enjoy!





9.05.2012

It's the end of the world as we know it - Patti's Recap Part V1

Happy Tuesday! Muahaha! Okay. I know some of you are all like "Tuesday? It's not Tuesday," and you're all confused, but this is a trick I've learned and it really works, so get on the train already!!

You know how, for some inexplicable reason, 4 day weeks seem to take forEVER To pass? Like, seriously. Is this a joke? I have a theory on how time warps work, but I've found a way to beat it on short weeks, and voila! It's like a fancy party at the end of the week.

I tell myself it's Monday on the day back from work. It feels like a Monday. It looks like a Monday. So I call it Monday. And then I tell myself all week, "oh my goodness... four whole sleeps until weekened" or, on 'Wednesday', "thank goodness it's hump day.. only two more days." Then, all of a sudden you find yourself at the end of the week and it's all "wait! I don't have to come in tomorrow?" It's like a SURPRISE day off! Which DOUBLES the benefit of the long weekend prior! Winning in every sense of the word! It makes the week fly by, really. Try it! And even though I've spent some time explaining this concept to you now - Happy Tuesday. I'm sooo good at tricking myself. 

I should market this train of thought. Really.

Anywho - back to the recap, and HAPPY TUESDAY!

Fact: As a graphic designer, I've encountered many different types of clients. Many clients who could be described as difficult. But throughout this process, I quickly learned that I was, in fact, the most difficult client I have ever encountered.

The pressure I put on myself! I figured that everyone would have an expectation of something super fancy because I'm a designer. That I could ruin my reputation and career if the design elements were not perfect. That the world would end if everything wasn't absolutely fantastically amazing!

I was stuck. Totally stuck. And not for a lack of ideas. In this case, my first-world problem was that I had way, way, WAY toooooo many ideas. So many ideas. Sewing! Glueing! Typography! Illustrations! Textures! Paper! Posters! Twine! Wood! Die-cuts! I didn't know where to begin, I had way too many different concepts in my head, and since I was the client, I couldn't decide what I liked most, and so, didn't know where to begin.

TheGuy was a champ. He tried to console me as I shared my devastation with him. I was going to have to change careers. I was a hack of a designer if I couldn't even design my Save-the-dates without a bazillion meltdowns. I may as well hand in an application to McDonald's, except that I was paralyzed by options and HAVE YOU SEEN ALL THE TOPPINGS YOU CAN CHOOSE FROM at McDonald's? The moment I'd been looking forward to for my entire graphic design career: designing my wedding invitations to the love of my life, became a crippling, game of: "that might look nice! NO, that's stupid! What about this? That's dumb, too." And time was running out.

In my career, I'm usually able to manage stress. I adore working under pressure, I do my best work when under the gun. I like being able to manage my time, prioritizing the needs of others - it's a thrill, really. And I've never missed a deadline. But this was just nuts.

TheGuy said that I couldn't postpone the wedding because I was over-inspired, and that the show must go on. He also let me know how sad he was that I wasn't having fun with it, because, really, shouldn't it be fun? I was finally able to regroup. After weeks of agonizing (ok - actually months, because I'd been thinking of marrying him for a long time.)(Okay, actually - years), I decided to just go for it. To design something for Ryan and I, and not for anyone else. And a Save the Date could be whatever I wanted to be - simple, easy. As the initial panic of the blank paper in front of me wore off, I figured to go with what I loved - typography, and hand rendered typography. So I did it. It wasn't fancy, it wasn't award winning, but it was us. And that was the most important thing.

So, I didn't actually have time to take a photo - so I just made this in photoshop. And that's not our real website address, because I feel like being sneaky.



9.04.2012

Creative concerns - Patt's Recap Part V

I have to start out by saying how ridiculously proud I am that I remembered the roman numeral for 5. At least, I think 'V' is the roman numeral for 5. Either way, I feel totally badass and medieval (except that I had to use spell check to find out the way to spell 'medieval' for some reason and that cancelled out the original awesome so this sentence doesn't really need to be here. Moving on!).

So. my update is moving along pretty nicely, although I don't know that it's all that interesting, but whatever! The good stuff is yet to come. Happy back-to-work day for those who are back at it. And for those with children who are back in school, hooray, hooray!!!!

2011

At this point in the story, theGuy and I had been together for 11 years (ah!). We met in highschool, at 17, and let me just tell you, I was smitten like a kitten. He totally looked (to me) like a bad boy (let's freak out dad!) but he was so kind and nice and smart and awesome.

Me and theGuy - young and in love. And for the record, my hair was very cool at the time (as far as I was concerned, anyway).
 
At 17, we were creative, misunderstood dreamers, and dream we did. One of those dreams was that, if we were ever to get married, we would have a camping wedding, where all of our friends and family could camp with us and we could get married in nature (I also wanted to have bunny rabbits hopping around freely, because I thought that would be super romantic, and I was young and stupid).

I don't think that either of us thought that would be a reality, but when we booked our venue in 2011, we saw our teenage dreams come true We found an amazing venue with two cottages (built mostly from materials found on the property), campsites nestled along the Saugeen River, a beautiful pavilion in the center of it all, and even a labyrinth area in the forest, with beautiful row-planted trees that could act as my aisle. SOLD. The first place we saw, it was better than we could've dreamed of, and the casual but beautiful wedding we wanted to have was beginning to come together.

The signs I had IMAGINED myself making were already THERE!


This got me started for the wedding planning! A rustic but beautiful space where I was only limited by my imagination (oh yeah, and money).

I adore planning parties. Absolutely. However, I have a tendency to get a little wound up - once I get hit by creativity, my mind spins a million miles a minute and it jumps from one idea to another. The closer I get to any party I've planned, the higher around my ears my shoulders sit, the stronger my inability to sit still, and the higher my voice goes (which is already pretty high, so this is not attractive to anyone, except the neighbourhood dogs). It totally consumes my thinking, and I become more and more consumed as my sleep-bank wears thin due to the midnight inspirations swirling around in my head.

That being said, I love it. Hallowe'en consumes me and I love it! I get stressed, I get amped up, I get wound up, but man, I get creative. Once those creative juices start flowing, it's like someone turned on a tap and they come at me everywhere. Something as simple as walking down the street could lead to a whack of ideas, and they swirl around and around in my head, driving theGuy insane [I haven't seemed to be able to grasp the concept that 1. He doesn't live in my head so when I say "oh my god! We can totally do that paper thing in the corner by the room, and it'll bring the other things together" he has NO idea what I'm talking about. 2. He loves me a lot, but he doesn't really care about colours and textures and decorations (or so he says - "Those wedding colours look like bathroom colours" - thanks!).]. Basically, party planning makes me ridiculously, absolutely, blissfully CRAZY. I love it.

With the wedding planning, I knew that I was going to have to watch it. I knew that I would get worked up at least for the 2 months before the wedding, but I wanted to take it easy and put off the crazies as long as possible (I did, after all, want to make it down the aisle). So in January I decided that it was full steam ahead. We'd lost so much time because of the previous summer and fall, and I didn't want to let a second go to waste. I wanted to enjoy as much of it in as calm and serene-like state as possible. I wanted to be the poised, gracious bride who had it all figured out and looked good in the process. I wanted to start with designing our save the dates.




9.03.2012

There are Zombies - Patti's Recap Part IV

Well, it's a holiday Monday here for me today, but we've been working away like crazy! New paint in the kitchen, fresh paint on the door, sanding, sanding our stuccoed cabinet doors (who stuccos cabinet doors? Gross!) and painting them, and making a painting for the living room! We're nothing if not ambitious.

So, Pickle (our feathered child), is sitting on my shoulder, more than a little mad that he's been cooped up in the office for a latex-free quarantine while we did the work, and I thought I'd get back to the recap!


The last few months of 2011 were kinda crazy. There were some family things going on that required a lot of time and attention, and life as I knew it was kind of flipped up-side down. We did manage to throw our annual Hallowe'en soireƩ!

The guy and I have never really done a 'couples' costume before, but the year prior, theGuy declared that from that Hallowe'en on, he was only going to dress as John Goodman in different roles. I was super stoked to hear that because, no matter how organized I try to be for Hallowe'en, and no matter how hard I try to get him sorted out for his costume (he hates all of my ideas), it's always like, the day or weekend before the party, when he's all "I don't know what to be... " and I have to decide for him.  I couldn't understand why he was so enthusiastic about having me be a part of it until I realized that he wanted me to dress up as Roseanne! Really!?

If Hallowe'en is a chance to be anyone you want to be, even the least vain of us would doubtfully choose to be Roseanne. Really, dude?

I'm nothing, if not creative, so I convinced him that Fred and Wilma would be a better match. I rolled up my sleeves and learned how to sew - a skirt for me as Wilma, and his bright orange Fred costume.

Wilma Flintstone, Scary Witch, Medusa & a Nerd.
(Sorry - this photo is a screencap from my phone)

 I don't have a photo of us because we always seem to be at other sides of the house when we host a party, so that photo will have to do!

The party was a blast and got me excited to plan our wedding, booked for July 21, 2012. I knew that we had to wait until after the Christmas rush to really get into things, but I was getting excited and was very much aware that there was a lot to do. I decided I really wanted to have a "Do It Yourself" wedding. TheGuy and I had been together for so long and were clearly committed, so we wanted to throw a party that was more about our guests than us (although it was still clearly about the two of us). I figured if we made it as D-I-Y as possible, the guests would get a sense that we put effort into ensuring that they understood how much we cared for them and appreciated them.

I don't think I had any idea what I was getting into.