Friday, June 29, 2012

Almost 100!

Hey All you out there in Blog Land. I am almost at my 100th post and to celebrate I am going to be doing a little give away.
I just put my heart and soul into making a one of a kind acorn badge for one lucky winner (the one featured is the one that I made for myself many moons back and used as the template for my giveaway). When I have reached my 100th post in a couple of days, please follow my blog, and comment to enter, and I will then pick the winner and send them out their little earthy badge as well as a couple of other adorable items in a lovely care package (*cough* maybe a homemade Pippi Longstocking button *cough*). So stayed tuned for the day when my blog turns 100!

For now please enjoy a couple of roses I have enjoyed this week, with keeping in the giving spirit :

- On a night walk around my neighbourhood, Nate and I stumbled on a giant rosemary bush with a pair of scissors and a sign on it that said "Rosemary : good for cooking with chicken, and veggies, please use the provided scissors and take as much as you need. Enjoy!" I couldn't stop smiling and just cut a little piece for the palm of my hand :)

- Whilst out dancing the other night, it was nearing the end of the night and there was a girl standing by the dance floor and looking uncomfortable as a guy started dancing up on her. I could see that she was trying to make eye contact with one of her friends but none of them saw what was happening... so I managed to get her to look at me, and called her over. Looking relieved and oh so thankful she proceeded to come down the steps to the dance floor and hugged me tight, as we danced and sang to the next song which just happened to be "Good Vibrations". I reassured her that I was just following the simple girl code, where one must always take care of her fellow female, and that I would have done anything to help her. Its really lovely that I feel so comfortable with other women, as I know many who are still a little reserved around fully interacting with strangers, but I see it more as a six degrees of seperation, where really everyone is just one step away from being a close friend.

- Last night whilst volunteering at the Pacific Cinematheque, I asked my friend the projectionist if I could pay a visit to the theater's projection booth sometime, not expecting that he would invite me up for the second film that night to see him work some 35 mm film reels through changeovers. It was amazing to be up there in that dark sweaty room, looking out over the backs of movie goers heads and watching for the reel change clues which are transparent to the untrained eye. What a treat, to get such a insiders eye view of a movie theater, and to get a lesson in film maintenance.

What has happened to you this week that made you or others, over the moon happy?
    Love Britt
xoxoxoxo etc...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hot Air Ballooning : Test 1

This morning my family and I
awoke at 4 am to make it out to Langley by 5:30
to experience my dreams coming true...

And then... 
We were asked to get out of the basket as the winds 
were too unruly to fly in...

This is after our flight had been cancelled at least 4 times in the last year...

But really none of that mattered in the moment,
because as far as I am concerned,
that just means one more time in the future 
where I get to touch a HOT AIR BALLOON! :)

Stay tuned for when I truly get to take flight,

Love Britt

Monday, June 25, 2012

Love Yourself!

I just stumbled upon a lovely blog last night run by self proclaimed fatshionesta Rachele called The Nearsighted Owl. She is doing amazing work over there, getting women excited and proud of their bodies, no matter the size.

  Her mission:
"All sizes are beautiful! Don't be ashamed of your number or keep it from living your life and doing what you love. There is no perfect or wrong size. It doesn't determine our worth and nobody has the right to judge someone's health by their size. So let's show the world that every size can be happy and that we are not ashamed!"

She is getting women to post pictures of themselves proudly owning the number of their dress size beside them... so here's mine.

My weight has jumped around a bit in my early adult hood but now I am happily back at a weight that I am comfortable with for myself. I weigh a steady 162 pounds and get loads of exercise biking around, walking my paper route and doing my weekly dose of the gym. I am happy to be me :)

Love Britt

Love What You Do

Lately I have realized that the key to happiness is just doing what your heart desires... silly right. That should be simple enough but a lot of us don't do that. Most of us are too afraid to go after our own ambitions, or to say no to the things we despise doing.

Last night I took a bike ride around my neighbourhood at 11 pm. Gazed in peoples windows and collected fresh flowers with my scissors. I came home refreshed but starved, and made a batch of cookies by the dim light of my stove, and listened to old radio classics like "The Whistler" and "The Shadow". That was exactly what I wanted to do, and it made my heart swell with joy to do so.

Following my heart this morning, I awoke to my own inner alarm, and ate said cookies for breakfast, and made plans for my full day ahead.

After frolicking at the gym, collecting fruits at the store, and tidying my garden, I set out on Emerald for an ADVENTURE!

I love just seeing where Emerald will take me. Zipping down side lanes, 
and stumbling upon cute little shops :)
What better way to spend a lovely day!

Pictured above is the newest copy of THE FILTER! (That's my man's article featured on the cover!) The new paper that my lovely friends Vanessa and Jill are producing and that I am writing for. My first written piece is in this issue so please go and check it out. You can pick up your very own copy at various locations on Commercial Drive, Main St and the Hastings Sunrise area.

My article in this issue is about the Regional Assembly of Text's monthly Letter Writing Club. It's a lovely store, that just so happens to sell some of their cards at my work, and is is also where I made the Pippi Longstocking and Moomins buttons featured above.
I hope that you all have a lovely day adventuring! 
Love Britt

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Best To Count Your Blessings

       Its times like these that I see the need to count my blessings rather than curse being as broke as I am.
       Most of the time I have a grasp on my money situation... and then there are times like these when I expect to at least have a mere $4 in my account, and I actually have - $17 because my pre authorized charity payment of $15 came out, which also charged me an overdraft fee of $5 and a service fee of $2 just to rub it in a little further.
       Instead of looking at myself like a number, like society often makes me feel like, I am taking into consideration all the wonderful things that I have in my life...
- I have a wonderful friends who send me videos like this to cheer me up...
- And other friends who support me by inviting me to come to any of their comedy shows for free in Vancouver, just to give them in return my smiling face in their audience :)
- Having two amazing jobs, that allow me to :  have time off, pay my rent on time, and the freedom to think for myself in situations.
- Having some (not a lot, but some) food in my fridge, and knowing when my next pay check will come, which is more than a lot of people can say when they have minus $17 to their name.
- Not being in debt : This is something that I have struggled with for quite sometime now and this will be my last month of paying back my loan every month... that's $150 more in my pocket than in the hands of my bank
- Being able to find the free pleasures in Vancouver like...
 The amazing resource that is the Vancouver Public Library (I am a very big library nerd). 
As well as...
Finding new paths to bike down, and exploring the city for all that its worth.

- I am lucky enough to have a wonderful partner in my life, as well as a supportive family network, who will take care of me when I need it most. Bringing me coffee's and blocks of cheese, when I have none, and keeping me company when I am worried no one else will.
- I know this sounds like a silly point but it is also important to me. Its the fact that I have the means to make my crafts. I am lucky that even in the most downtrodden of times I still have the materials to make my wares to keep me warm and occupied. That I can go out today knowing that there is always something that can keep me occupied in my evenings, that is as rewarding for me, as going out on the town.
So what I am really trying to say, 
is that if you ever are feeling the crunch of hard times biting at your earlobes,
tell it to bugger off by listing all the things that you have going for you,
and you will find that that list is much bigger,
and more rewarding than any meager bank statement. 

Love Britt

Friday, June 15, 2012

My Very Own Pottery Wares

Tuesday night was my graduation from my very first pottery class,
and it did really feel like a graduation.
The teacher brought in a bunch of her homemade tea pots, 
and mugs, and we dined on assorted teas, wine, cheeses,
and cookies whilst having an open house of sorts browsing a semesters worth of art. 
(There's my two matching brown cups to the right!)
The class consisted of around 7 people on average, 
and we learned a variety of different methods for working the clay such as :
wheel throwing, free throwing, coils, and molds.
The two cups in the front I made on the wheel (with lots of concentration mind you),
and the cereal bowls in the back I made using a method where you 
line an already existing bowl with plastic and a doily and then press clay evenly
into the bowl to create a new one with a beautifully unique design.
I free handed these buttons, for a cardigan that I am working on,
and am glad that they turned out almost the exact color of the sweater. 
I made a bunch extra just in case some of them didn't fire properly, which two of them didn't so I am glad to have the extras, and may even try to make a wind chime out of them since they sound so beautiful together. 

Well there are all my pieces (plus I did get to make a small mug and another bowl at the beginning of class that aren't featured here), so you do get to make quite a few things in one semester. 
I can't wait to take the next class! I may just take the beginner one over again to hone my skills,
 and also to review them as it may not be until next spring that I get to take it since it is back to college for me in the fall  :)

Much love and crafty bliss!
Love Britt

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

From Small Beginnings Come Great Things

There's an exciting new opportunity that has come into my life that I would now like to share with you all...
My lovely friend Vanessa Ooms and new friend Jil Freeman, have joined forces and started their own weekly publication called "The Filter" about events in East Vancouver.
My partner Nathan, signed on to this new venture from the very beginning as one of the writers, as he has an extensive writing portfolio, and has had his work published consecutively since 2007.
For me my commitment to the newspaper came a bit later, as I was worried about finding the time to write on top of all my prior commitments. But when the idea came to me that I could write about the activities that I already participate in around our neighbourhood, the idea of writing didn't seem so daunting, and actually started to feel quite inspiring.
I can't express in words how excited I am for this paper launch on June 17th, and how proud I am of these women for putting this together. It is going to be a wonderful chapter in my life, and the doors of endless possibilities are flying open all over!

Another exciting aspect of this paper writing venture, is a new way for Nate and I to relate to each other. Since we are sharing space in the Filter, we are acting as sounding boards for each other. I am really grateful to have him as a partner through this as he is such a mentor to my writing and is helping to dive head first into this new project. This morning we met up at my place and nestled into my bed together with our matching Macbooks, and ran over the final edits of our articles before sending them off to Vanessa. Tuesdays are usually are date days, but this took it further than that as I felt like we were connecting on a higher level with each other as we now had a new medium to relate on.
 Update on my seed bombs! 
(As promised!)

After our writing and some lovely breakfast at Bon's. We biked home, and along the way tried to spread my seed bombs. We learned quickly though that they were way to hard to just be thrown and needed to be crumbled up in order to be spread on the ground. 
We took the rest of them to my local park and crumbled them there on the grass, and called it a day. 
They probably would have turned out softer if I had used the compost instead of just plain old soil, but oh well I know better for next time. 

I hope you all are having a lovely lazy rainy Tuesday!
I've got my last pottery class tonight so
tune in tomorrow to see the wares I have created this summer!
Love Britt

Tea Cup Candles

           With tunes of a friends homemade CD on the player, an orange zest chocolate chip banana loaf in the oven, and articles for a new project on their last edit, I'm take a break and starting to make some more candles. Anyone who knows me, can a test to the fact that this is what I would call a relaxing night. For all the crafty things I do, I am rarely at home, and am rarely sitting around doing nothing... in fact I never am, expect for if I am watching a movie, and even then I generally have crafts or knitting in hand. So on the nights that I actually get to spend in, I am catching up on all the "me" things that I have been putting off.
         Tonight it is writing, baking, and candle making, among various other tasks, and here is my over due recipe of Tea Cup Candles :

Need :
-double broiler
-soy flakes or candle wax
-candle wicks
-tea cups (bonus point for matching saucers)
-wooden spoon (I used the end of a long wooden spoon so I can still use it for cooking)
-optional : candle scent or color
First : 
-Wash out and thoroughly dry your tea cups, and place them out on a flat surface,
with either some cardboard, newspaper, or parchment paper underneath them. 
-Then boil a small pot of water to use for a double boiler method
(you place a metal jug, or Pyrex measuring cup inside the pot of water with the candle wax inside).
Personally I haven't been measuring the wax flakes and just eye balling how much I need for the amount of cups I am filling, you can always add more if you need it.

Constantly stir your candle wax, 
and never leave the candle wax melting alone as it could boil over or topple, 
and cause many a problem and a mess! 

Note! I wish I had read this when I started out but you should make some extra wax for when your candles have dried so you can fill up your cups, as they will dent down when drying near the wicks. 
I haven't found this problem as much with the soy flakes, but it is a good practice just in case.

Second : 
-Once you have tested your candle wax and it a temperature between 190 and 200 degree's
you can add any colour or scent if you'd like (I have had good experience with scent but not color). 
Or you may pour your wax into your tea cups at this point. 

 Avoid filling them up all the way if you don't know how long your wicks will measure,
I usually fill them to about 3/4's full. 

Third :
Wait approximately 5 mins till the wax is a little harder, 
then gently place your wicks in to the bottom of your cups. 

This is the most tricky part of the whole process. 
Some tutorials I have seen take thin bamboo skewers and tape them together around the wick,
and have them laying across the rim of the cup. Where others will use a bamboo skewer to push the wick to the bottom, but I find that if you time it properly you don't have to do either and you can get them to stand on their own just fine, just maybe give them a little blow to harden them. 

Four :
Then let them sit out to dry undisturbed,
and you will slowly see them begin to harder, 
and become glorious little candles!

Note about where to purchase tea cups :
Value Village does have a generally good stash of tea cups,
but they generally range in the $8.99 to $12.99 range, 
so I would use them as a last resort. 
If you want to hit a thrift store, I would suggest a church thrift store,
or somewhere cheaper than V.V like the Sally Ann. 
Otherwise it is garage sale season,
so go and explore your local neighbourhood for lovely finds. 
This last batch were all 50 cents each, and then you get to support your community. 

Feel free to comment with any questions you come across
whilst making your own teacup candles, or before you start making them,
and I will try to help you out as best I can.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Merry Melon Maiden

Happiness is... coming home from a long day of walking for 8 hours plus,
opening up the fridge, and finding that there is an enormous bowl of sliced watermelon,
just asking to be munched on!

Happiness is... knowing that you have amazing roommates who will share their said watermelon with you, and even go so far as to offer you a cookie when you go in to thank them. 

Happiness is... finding a new band that makes you want to break out in a spontaneous dance party,
by yourself in the kitchen, even after being on your feet for far too long...

This is why I love my life <3

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Seed Bombing


This year I have tried my hand at yarn bombing,
and now I am taking it to the next level,
with Gorilla Gardening to the max...
Seed Bombing!

My friend attended an event at
hackspace a little while back, 
and wrangled me up a couple of seed bombing
kits to create some little bombers of my own. 

Basically the kit comes with instructions (*phew*),
red clay powder and seeds, for easy construction. 
All you need to do is add, 
 (I added garden soil instead since my compost is chalk full 
of wormy friends!)
and a half cup of water. 

Then after warming my roommates that these
weren't tasty baking treats, 
(because my kitchen presence is generally followed by warm pies cooling on window sills,
and cookies for assorted clubs)  
I rolled them out on a cookie sheet,
where they are set to dry for the next couple of days.

I will do an update once they are ready for launching :)


Hastings Horse Races!

Last Friday I crossed off yet another one of my bucket list
adventures, by getting a group of my friends together
to experience the Hastings Horse Races

One thing that I should point out is that,
since growing up as a Audrey Hepburn fan,
and a romantic idealist at heart,
up until this point I thought that horse races looked something like this :

... And to tell you the truth they totally seemed like that to me
... If I blocked out the DJ blasting top 40 tunes and the beer garden directly to our left,
It looked exactly like this scene out of "My Fair Lady" in my minds eye.

 Our bevy of friends totally fit the bill,
there dressed in our Sunday best, 
we got wholeheartedly into the excitement of the races.
As we started to get a grasp on the betting systems, 
and began to wager on our winning horses,
that's when the real games began.

There is something about even putting down a mere twoonie on a horse,
which gives you that thrill for the outcome.
Sometimes it was two dollars, others it was twenty...
Sometimes we won,
but mostly we lost...
Although that last reality didn't really matter to us.
Its was more about the passion for the thrill at hand,
 flowing through our veins,
then that ticket burning a hole in our pocket. 

For some though I could see their passion driving their bets,
their savings riding like jockey's on their horse's backs.
One gentleman in particular drew attention to himself when we first entered
the arena, as he screamed out a horses name,
threw down his cup, and raced up to the front of the lines to continue his bellowing.
My roommate turned to me and acclaimed that she
"bet his rent money is riding on that horse",
and the sad part is that she was probably right about that.

With the amount of alcohol being passed around,
paired with the hidden massive casino behind the box seats
and the well dressed attendees of the race. 
Money was in the air.

For our group of friends,
the race was a fun way to spend a Friday night,
but to some the races are a lifestyle
that in some ways
I hope never to fully understand. 

Little facts that I didn't know about horse races before I attended one :

- That a horse race is only 2 laps and that there is around a half an hour break between races
- That a horse only races once in an evening 
-That jockeys are an average of 115 lb's and are hired by horse owner's to ride/control their horses,
and are paid regardless of the outcome of the race
-To always hold onto you tickets till the end of the night just in case 
one of the horses is disqualified for an early gate start

Even though it will take me a few more times to get the 
whole system comfortably down,
my first experience was one to remember,
and I am looking forward to my next time on the sidelines 
of a horse race.