Thursday, December 29, 2011

Oh Christmas Crackers! Oh Christmas Crackers!

So here is my DIY Christmas Crackers inspired by the lovely ones 
my coworker make a few weeks back!
Things you will need :
-Empty Toilet Paper Rolls (as many as you need actual crackers + 1)
-Wrapping Paper
-Scissors and Tape
-All your cracker presents!
-Construction Paper (for jokes)
-Confetti (a hand help hole puncher is handy!)
-Coloured tissue paper if you want to make crowns

First :
         Take your wrapping paper (I chose Rudolph the red nose reindeer wrapping paper), and cut it to size of the toilet paper roll plus half on each side. The take it extra roll that you have and cut it in half. Stuff one half into either end of cracker you are wrapping. and tie off only one end for now. *This is to prevent the ends from deflating from their lovely round shape as you tie them :)
 (Watching a great Christmas movie, like Scrooged, is essential for making good crackers!)
 My lovely model and Elf helper Karina!
Second :

          I chose to make tissue paper crowns, and write out silly/dirty short Christmas jokes for my crackers which are not necessary but are crowd pleasers for sure! I did this and omitted the use of actual "cracker sparklers" (which I have been told that you can buy at local crafts stores...). For making the crowns I just measured out my head with the tissue paper, cut, and then taped the ends together, and cut them into crown shapes... really really simple, and really rewarding for the overall appeal of the crackers.

            For the jokes, I just grabbed some off of the Internet (as I have never really been one for the "punch line jokes"), and wrote them out on colourful paper, cut with snazzy scissors! Again, easy peasy!
            One of my favorite jokes...
                 Q : Why is Santa Claus always so happy?
                 A : Because he has a list of where all the naughty girls live! 
Hahahahaha!!! Sometimes I crack myself up!

Third : 

            Stuff your crackers with all your lovely goodies! I personalized my Christmas crackers with gifts from my store. For example all the guys got pull back VW cars/vans, and all the girls got either spinning tops, flip books, mini pencil crayons, finger puppets, buttons, or adorable mini erasers! 
            All of my crackers got stickers (because they are cost effective and lets face it, who doesn't love stickers), so I slipped the stickers, tissue hats and jokes, along the side of the crackers then popped in the toys, confetti, and voila you have the inside of your crackers! I also added a bit of extra tissue paper at the ends of the crackers so that the confetti didn't spill out and spoil the surprise! And I also glitter bombed my sister in her cracker.... because well that's just the kinda sister I am ;) 
            *Note : If you do choose to use confetti or glitter, please remember to tell your loved ones not to open their crackers over their dinner plates!

Fourth :

                 Use the same method as you did to tie your first end, to tie up the other. Then if you so choose to personalize your crackers you may label them now (granted I did all my crackers one at a time so I would know whose was whose). 
                I love how my crackers turned out, and my family, and friends on Christmas eve really appreciated all the work that end into each one, as they came right from the heart! Sorry I couldn't post them before Christmas, but I wanted to keep them as a surprise for my family. Although feel free to use this DIY the next time any family dinner comes up, who needs to have an excuse to make crackers full of love and good will :)

Here are some other photos from our night of making crackers!

Knitting breaks are a must!

Lastly Thank you to my lovely best friend 
Karina for her help with these crackers,
and creative inspiration <3

Merry Belated Christmas To you All 
And To all a good night!
Love Britt
xoxoxoxoxoxo etc...

I forgot to add the pictures of us opening them :)

You can tell that the top one is my sisters because of all the glitter :P

And with all our hats :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Winter Terrarium

         With Christmas only a week away, I thought there was no better way to bring on the holiday than with some joyous crafting!
          Ive been furiously knitting and sewing presents for others this year, and decided that it was time to stop, and make a Christmas decoration for myself.... So here is my version on a Christmas terrarium.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Out with the old and in with the new!

Today was my last shift at Drive Organics.
Its been  a long almost 3 years,
with many ups and downs...
made here were many stories, friends, and fond memories...
and more importantly its been my home.

I am going to miss its light green walls,
wafts of soap, and basil,
friendly faces of regular shoppers, 
loving embraces with coworkers.

I'm going to miss working with my best friend Karina at least once a week,
and having that precise moment where she walks into the door and we greet, 
each other with such immense love and tight hugs, 
like we haven't seen each other in years.
Whether we were goofing off and throwing bags of chips at each other,
or making tea for each other in the back,
we always had a great time when the other was around. 
I will surely still see her, 
and maybe even more that we aren't relying on work to bring us together,
but I don't know if we will ever have the chance to work together again,
and that is truly, a hard feeling to bare.

I met my partner of 2 and a half years there,
my man, my love Nate.
Whom without working there, 
I can never be sure that we would have had the chance to meet.
I remember being almost frightened of him at first because it was winter, 
and he was all bundled up and scruffy in his over sized plaid shirt, 
and black toque, and he was quite frankly a little hard to break into a conversation with.
But once I broke him, we clicked. 
Almost immediatly, and I remember thinking,
I really like this guy, 
and he was fast becoming one of my best friends. 
It didnt take us long, to start dating,
and of course it wasn't as simple as that,
especially since I was just starting to be in an open relationship at the time,
but we got each other,
and we took the time, 
to make it work us.
I am so grateful that we did,
and now 2 1/2 years later,
I couldn't be happier to have him by my side.

I have loved so many things about drive organics, 
and have grown so much in my years there.
I am so thankful for all the experiences good or bad...
and I am finally ready to move on.
Tomorrow I start work at Dilly Dally,
which is an amazing childrens toy shop 3 blocks from my house.
That store is like a dream to me,
with its imaginative displays,
and enchanting wooden toys.
I know its the right place for me right now,
even though my stomach is full of butterflies...
but change is oh so good for the soul,
and I can't wait to see where this path takes me.

I'm also going back to school in January to finish my associates arts degree,
which I am only 7 classes away from finishing. 
It feels empowering to be taking a hold of my life,
and making the most of it.

I hope this inspires all you fence sitters,
trying to be content, 
with your comfortable lives,
afraid of change and worried about taking chances. 

Step out of your box 
and stand in the sun!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkins and Vulva Pillows

The fall is great for two things :
All things festive 
like going to 
Halloween trains,
dressing up for parties and around the house,
decorating your hearth,
making/wearing ghoulish aprons,
bobbing for apples,
and hitting the local pumpkin patch...

And also for :

-All things cozy
like canning your own garlicy basil tomato soup,
knitting up a storm by the fireplace,
making your own tea tree soap and recycled paper,
wearing layers upon layers of scarves and woolen stockings,
and even sewing elaborate vulva pillows with your best lady friends...

This last week has been a great example of both 
the cozy and the festive side to the season...
and I have loved every moment of it. 

Yesterday was no exception...
From carefully picking out the best pumpkins in the patch...
(followed by a belated Thanksgiving Dinner)
To having my favorite lady friends over 
for a much overdue
Female Empowerment meeting

With the fire ablazing,
and wine in hand,
we sewed to our hearts content!

This was an idea that I had when I first began the group many months ago,
and it was wonderful to see it come into reality last night,
through these wonderful women...

Each with a different take of what their vulva's look like,
and even more abstractly what they would perceive a pillow version would look like :)

It was fun to have my sister there, and get to see her engage with the group. 
Also it was fun to see how simular our pillows came out,
without even meaning to.
 I'm not sure where the club is going to go from here for the winter season,
but I am always looking for ideas,
if any of you out there in the blogasphere have any for us.

Otherwise I hope you continue to enjoy your fall season
However you may choose to!
 - Love Britt

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book love

As I have mentioned before, I have started a book club over the last few months with some of my nearest and dearest friends, and have really enjoyed connecting with them on an entirely new, deeper level.

So far we have read "Blindness", and just finished "The Help", and now we are about to start the appropriate holiday classic "Frankenstein". 

Over the past 3 years, I have happily watched my book collection dwindle, as I have parted with my "library" collection of books, in order to make room for more space in my life. What is the purpose of  lugging around books that I have already read, or hope maybe some day to complete, when someone else can enjoy them in the present.

I'm a firm believer of swaps and free boxes, so I like to give my share of stuff away to people. So when I heard about this wonderful box set up in East Vancouver where I live, I got quite excited.

Its a Neighbourhood Book Exchange box, set up mere blocks from my house! It has two shelves dedicated to adult books and then one for children's education and picture books. It always is packed with a varied selection of novels, and more importantly is open 24/7 and free to all book lovers.

Suffice it to say I left behind my copy of "The Help" today when I visited this extraordinary cupboard, and will be more than liking leaving, my $3 copy of "Frankenstein" that I picked up from a used bookstore, there next month.

Books are meant to be shared. 
Whether it be with friends or strangers. 
So spread the word. 

Love Britt

Friday, September 16, 2011

Making Paper From Scratch

I am going to show you have to turn your scraps of paper into new artsy pieces of construction paper!

What you will need :

-a food processor
-scraps of paper (better if you have a variety of color,
and if it is shredded but it can also just be ripped to small pieces)
-a large tupperware tub that you can fill with 4-5 inchs of water
(preferably longer without a too high of a brim)
-wooden frames with thin screens stapled on them 
(make sure the holes on the frame are only small enough for water to get through)
-optional : food coloring, sparkles, or any other decorations
-dull butter knife

Step 1 :
Collect paper that is non plastic/non metallic - which can be anything else ranging from newspaper, thin cardboard, egg cartons, and more commonly photocopy paper :)
Tear the papers up into tiny squares and put about 4 hand fulls into the food processor with around 2 cups of water.
Keep adding water and paper alternatively until the mixture has turned into a nice pulp, and has been chopped up quite fine.

Step 2 :
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees f, if you are going to be using an oven to dry your paper.
Pour the pulp into the tupperware container..

and mix with 4-5 inches of water 
until well stirred and the water looks quite cloudy,
but not too thick...

Now take your frames...

Slide the screen on to the bottom (with the frame side up) 
by sliding the screen down the side of the tub gently.
Hold the screen on the bottom of the tub and continue,
moving the pulp over the screen so you get
a nice even layer of pulp. 

Then carefully with both hands,
lift the screen from the bottom evenly,
so that you have a thin layer of pulp on the screen 
with no holes or thin spots. 
Allow the excess water to drain out through the screen, 
and you are ready to place it in the oven. 

*If you are not happy with how it came out, 
simply turn it over and gently tap out the pulp and start again.

You can either use the oven to dry your paper or just leave it on a even surface to for approx 6 hours.

Step 3 :

Set the frames on the oven rack, and remove when the paper feels dry to touch...
*Note : the instructions I used when I first made paper said to leave them for 20 mins, but I found that was not long enough. I would not recommend turning up the heat of the oven as you could melt the screens, but instead leaving them for approx. 45 mins and keeping a keen eye on them :)

Step 4 :
Once your paper is dry to the touch. Run your fingers over the bottom of the screen to simply lift the paper from the screen and then take a dull knife around the edges to break the paper away from the frame gently. 

You have made paper!

*Note : If you have any extra pulp please do not put it down the sink,
simply drain out the extra water and freeze the excess pulp,
till the next time you feel creatively paper inclined :) 


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Early Fall Mornings

*wakes up singing* Hello World! morning to you! 
I love you brisk fresh air, and your sunny light glow. I can't wait to bike in you, and ebb with your flow! Farmers markets, and mid afternoon fringe... volunteering, and mojitos with a sweet after tinge...
Movies with old friends, Miayzaki inspired, falling asleep in the mans arms of who I admire ♥... what a weekend, and its only the beginning, I'm loving life, and it feels like I'm winning ♥

Sunday, September 4, 2011

September is here at last!

Don't get me wrong the summer has been amazing so far...
but my September is going to be epic.

Take diagram number 1 for example :
Relaxation to the max!

My partner Nates house has been taken over by a television production crew,
so he has been graciously kicked out 
and put up in a 4 star hotel in the fancy downtown core for a week.
So obviously I have taken advantage of this situation, 
grabbed hold of his coat tails,
and rode this train as far as I can :)

Nate and his 6 other roommates also got compensated with $1100 each,
so they have really been living it up in the lap of luxury. 
I have followed suite, and spoiled myself with some LUSH bath goodies and face masks,
took the bathroom hostage, and claimed the gold embroidered bath robe as my own.

Over the last few weeks I have been feeling particularly stressed out, 
as I haven't had a chance to sleep in, 
let alone actual time to relax because I always feel like I have to be doing "something" 
with my down time. 
The last few days in the hotel have been quite the contrary...
-Sleeping in (which to me is just sleeping past 9:30)
-Daily luxury baths
-Trying to finish my book club book in bed, and taking napping breaks
-Spoiling myself with chai's from nearby cafe's

Its been divine!

Other than hotel living September brings...

-Last nights epic Franklin Fest concert : 
Which Nathan graciously hosted in his backyard, 
featuring 5 of Vancouver's established and up and coming bands,
plus one amazing slam poet, 
and included an epic dance party in the back lit yard.
 He plans these events for months on end, and works out every detail of their execution,
and it really shows on game day, when everything goes off without a hitch, 
and it is talked about for months to come. 
I'm proud of you babe.

-This week starts the much anticipated Fringe Festival in Vancouver,
and as I am volunteering for it once again, 
I am looking forward to wholly emersing myself into all its playful glory,
and hitting every show I can fit into my schedule. 
I've gone to the training and taken a sharpie to its eccentric program guide,
 and now I am ready for the fun to begin.

-September 13th marks a wonderful occasion in my life, 
as I will be checking off one of my larger bucket list contenders :
I will be setting sail on a sunrise HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE!
As many of you might know, earlier this year I got a tattoo of a hot air balloon 
on my upper right arm, with the hope that I could commemorate it this year 
with an actual ride in one of these beauties.
Dorky as it may sound, this is going to be one of the highlights of my year,
right up there with my Naked Bungee Jumping, and vast UK trip,
and I have even stumbled upon the perfect hot air balloon dress for the occasion,
at a "fill-a-bag-for-$5-back-alley-thrift-store-sale"... what a crazy find!
I will be sure to share photos with you after the event!

-And last but certainly not least...
I am going to be heading to the high seas of the Mediterranean
for a two week cruise on Sept 23rd!
My family and I will be catching a plane over to Spain, 
where we will get to explore Barcelona for a couple of days before setting sail
on my sisters birthday (the 27th), and venturing around to the gorgeous ports of
Italy, Greece, France and Turkey, thus ending back in Venice to venture home again.
I am excited beyond belief, although it still feels very much like a dream. 

So as you can see... September is truly my month of summer :) 
I hope all your summers are going as planned <3
Love Nymph
oxoxoxoxox etc...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Weekend Comprised of What Dreams are Made of....

I can't believe how some people, 
can say that on any given day,
that there is nothing to do,
in the city of 

I find myself having to actually schedule down time,
and having to cancel already made plans to do so...

We may not be an old city,
but we do have a lot of character,
which makes us shine brightly as 
one of the best cities in the world!

This weekend was no exception to this theory,
as I jam packed my weekend with amazing events, 
and only now am catching up to myself...

Thursday and Friday
Were spent celebrating my lovely man's 37th birthday!
We dined out with close friends on Thursday night for nachos and fun drink times.
Followed by a night of trying my darnedest to stay awake whilst watching :
American Werewolf in London!
Then Friday we rode our bikes downtown to this adorable cafe called
Aphrodite's Pie Shop and Cafe for an amazing birthday brunch!
(I had the boysenberry cream cheese stuffed french toast!)
The bike ride took us about two hours in total, 
and all in all was the perfect way to go about starting our weekend!

That night, we had friends over at Nate's place for his birthday BBQ shindig,
where we connected with old and new friends, 
and got down with our bad selves till the wee hours of the morning!

Having to work on Saturday morning 
was brutal
as my head felt like it was literally made of lead...
but alas so is the life...

Work came and went,
and then it was time for Luminaries with my roommates!

Luminaries is the festival of light in Vancouver
put on by the Public Dreams non profit society
which is pretty much just a giant lantern festival
and darn good party!

There were giant paper lanterns, 
lantern making workshops,
life sized jenga matches,
an centering prayer tent,
and oh so much more.
I mostly hung out by the DJ stage,
located at the end of pier,
where all the hippies
young and old were joined in dancing.

The really amazing thing about the sound system and lights 
down at the end of the pier,
was that they had all been powered by 
solar panels that had been charging all day on the dock.

Then when the sun went down,
the fire troop Radiant Heat
grabbed their fire swords, whips,
fans, hula hoops, staffs (etc), 
and put on an amazing show for us.

My roommate Terri is in the troop 
(she is featured in the last two photos)
and it was great to see her perform in public 
as I have only seen her perform in the back yard for us before.
She is crazy talented and oh so beautiful!

On my way home that night,
upon my new green stead...
I treated myself to an ice cream,
at the famous gelato joint near my place which has
518 crazy flavors like...
Nutmeg, Pineapple Poppy Seed,
Baileys Cheesecake,
Birthday Cake (with bits of actual white cake in in),
and Curry Peanut Butter.

I chose to dive out of my comfort zone a little bit and
order the Marzipan flavor, 
with a scoop of Garlic on top :) 
Don't knock it till you try it :)

I also ended up bonding with two lovely female teachers
who were there for a midnight treat,
and who apparently met each other teaching 
at the same elementary school that I taught at...
how bizarre!
I ended up talking up my female empowerment group to them 
(as I can never really shut up about it these days),
and not only were they interested in the group, 
but they also paid me a very high compliment by saying that
"its nice to know that Seaview Elementary kids can make a difference,
and go on to do something amazing!" 
I was so flattered that they would think that
and it make me want success for my group even more!

Sunday morning I woke up fairly early 
and got all gussied up to be part of the 
As it is already apparent, 
I am not gay myself, 
but I am a huge supporter of those in my friend circle,
community and family who are. 
And I think it is very important to support them,
not just once a year but every day in their endeavors, 
as they do us!
So when my darling friend Stephanie Sciencequeen :
asked if I would either like to go and simply watch the parade with her,
or take part in a Jungle themed float with her,
I couldn't resist the urge to dress up and party with the best of them!

Such a better way to experience the parade!

That night : 
I made my way back over to Nates for yet another 
birthday BBQ for two of his room mates,
which was epic as always...
 The Ladies (Birthday Girl : Martine in the middle)!
The Boys (Including my adorable Birthday Boy: Nate on the end)!
The Birthday Boy: Luco

There were awesome salads,
exotic drinks,
singing songs of records we could not play,
dance parties commencing with "Vogue",
and partying hard in trailer until the early morn...

And to top it all off
today (Monday)
continued on my ongoing cycle of awesomeness
as I got off work at 4 to be greet by the warming sun,
with cat naps on quilts and the task of weeding our extensive garden!

You can't really see it in this picture but we discovered
that our zucchini plant is bearing gorgeous
mini veggies that we will gobble up when the time comes :)
Very excited!

To cap off the evening 
my friends and I also met for our first monthly book club meeting,
taunting us to read them,
and got to collectively look through our stash and then vote on our favorites,,,
The chosen book for the month of Aug is:
"Americana" by Don DeLillo 
Has any one read it before?
Do you have any books on your self that have been taunting you this 
summer, spring, year, decade? 

Hope you all had a great weekend! 
Happy Pride
Happy Birthday 
And Happy BC Day!

Love Nymph