guilty pleasure: evil dead 2

Before Halloween is over in Vancouver I thought I'd post this week's wild card Guilty Pleasure Movie choice: Evil Dead 2. It was a toss-up between The Shining and Evil Dead 2, and in the end, I think we picked correctly. I saw this movie probably about ten years ago and for others it had been a while, too. After a great dinner of butternut squash soup, sweet potato salad, wilted spinach salad with blue cheese and cranberries, we settled in with a bowl of candy, pausing when needed to answer the door for occasional trick-or-treaters. The best thing about this DVD is probably the "making of" special feature. Since the movie dates back to 1987 everything was done the old fashioned (and I would argue way cooler) way: puppets, models, monofilament, and camera tricks. Working on this movie must have been so fun and it was great to see how they put it all together. Go rent it! It's not too late!

weekend worship: halloween and the parade of lost souls

cramps in the legs

Vancouver loves Halloween! Since today is the actual day, the weekend has been full of amazing parties, great costume sightings and extreme candy eating leading up to the trick or treat festivities tonight (and a special Guilty Pleasure Movie Club Halloween wild card night!). Last night I went to the Parade of Lost Souls near Commercial Drive in East Van. I've been to the end point of this incredible event once before when I lived in Vancouver in 2002, but this was the first time I went on the full walk. Below are some pics that I took along the way. They aren't the best because it was rainy and very crowded with over-sized costumes and many, many umbrellas, but I think they still capture the spirit of the event...no pun intended. Basically, local artists, musicians, and all around creative types plan a walk through part of an East Vancouver neighbourhood. Along the way you encounter spooky tuba bands playing the dirge version of "You Are My Sunshine", Thriller dancers, puppets, stilt walkers, and residents who have fun inventing their own ways to participate. Music and mayhem everywhere, all good natured, creative, and totally inspiring. It was so nice to have a reminder about why I love Vancouver so much: really awesome people live here, and they're willing to put a lot of effort into making others have a great time. Click on the pictures below for more details! Hope you've had a great weekend.

band leader

hello halloween

band on the porch

wheelchair dude

band leaders 2

the exit


micro worlds

A friend of Sadie mentioned this great video by Christopher Smith, saying the new Sadie "cave explorer" necklaces reminded her of it. I checked it out, and what a lovely world this video walks us through!

cream geode
grey geode

It seems a little early to start letting the snow fly, but I suppose if you live in certain parts of the Prairies, that's hardly the case. When I lived in Calgary it seemed Halloween was always the first really cold day of the year, or the first day you noticed how cold it had gotten. Costumes are a little less spectacular under parkas. The key was to come up with a costume idea that could incorporate insulation. Think "giant pumpkin," "wolfman," or "ski team." I was never any of those things. I think my favourite Halloween costume was Donna from Twin Peaks. I wanted to be Nadine but couldn't find an eye patch. Oh well. What are you dressing up as this year?


guilty pleasure: the wrong guy

Next time you're having friends over to watch a movie might I recommend a) The Wrong Guy starring Dave Foley and b) having "breakfast for dinner" be the theme of your evening meal at said get together. This week's movie choice was a superb triumph, as the others have all been, but for totally different reasons. This movie was guilty (Canadian, from the '90s, starring Dave Foley and Trudeau, slapstick...), and it was actually a pleasure (hilarious, none of us had seen it recently, many had never seen it at all). After eating croissants and two different kinds of waffles with whipped cream, maple syrup, strawberries, dulce de leche that Jeff and I brought back from Paris, and washing it all down with orange juice and champagne, we were all in the mood for a movie like The Wrong Guy. When it was over and we were all crashing from the sugar dinner we'd eaten we all agreed that the night was a big success. Later Blair told us about an encounter he'd had with a black bear wherein it ran passed him and he found himself surprised that it could run that fast without wearing shoes. What a night! Next week is the Halloween wild card guilty pleasure movie pick and the dinner theme is "candy"...oh no! No!


Here's the trailer for The Wrong Guy and the recipe that I might have to try to use up the rest of our French dulce de leche...once I get over the sugar hangover I currently have.


lomo monday

sarah and grady
missing this. fed 5. jumping pound creek. 2007.

And you know about my Destroyer obsession. Have you heard The Making of Grief Point?


weekend worship


This post arrives a little early so that I can let you know about a few things going on in Vancouver this weekend. I feel so lucky to live in Vancouver most of the year, but especially in autumn. Many of the trees here turn every shade of yellow, orange, red, and magenta, but just as many (if not more) stay green year round. We have huge beautiful parks right in the city, and mountains right there when we need them. I know it sounds like I'm bragging, but trust me, all is not perfect in Vancouver. I heard on the radio today that the average price of a home here is over $600,000! That's crazy! And I'm pretty sure the going price for a burger in this city is about $15. So, we pay wild amounts to live in such a beautiful place, but sometimes when I'm out on a fall walk through Stanley Park, or at the beach in January, or at a pumpkin patch in Richmond I realize it might just be worth it...not that I own a house or eat $15 burgers. Do you have any plans to get outside this weekend?



Outdoor fun: The Stanley Park Ghost Train (and haunted barnyard! zonkeys! ghoats!)
Indoor fun: The Fraser Valley Bead Show
Shop local fun: 15% off sample sale (including all Sadie things!) at Two of Hearts on Main St.
Eat local fun:
Pumpkin picking in Richmond
Looking forward to Portland: A Weather - Spiders, Snakes

Have a great weekend!


some good advice

beach reads

I'm currently reading Call If You Need Me by Raymond Carver and writing my grad project proposal. I came across this bit of advice and thought I'd make a post of it:

"Evan Connell said once that he knew he was finished with a short story when he found himself going through it and taking out commas and then going through the story again and putting the commas back in the same places. I like that way of working on something. I respect that kind of care for what is being done. That's all we have, finally, the words, and they had better be the right ones, with the punctuation in the right places so that they can best say what they are meant to say. If the words are heavy with the writer's own unbridled emotions, or if they are imprecise and inaccurate for some other reason -- if the words are in any way blurred -- the reader's eyes will slide right over them and nothing will be achieved. Henry James called this sort of hapless writing 'weak specification'."

-Raymond Caver, "On Writing"


guilty pleasure: i'm gonna git you sucka

This week's pick? I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, as chosen by Jeff. Jeff claims to have waited 17 years to see this again, and much of it, we all agreed, would have been funny 17 years ago. It was surprising to me that this movie was from 1988. I guess either it doesn't feel that old or I don't feel that old. The highlight for me was 23 year old Chris Rock as "rib joint customer". I checked, Rock was only in an episode of the Miami Vice TV series and played "Playboy mansion valet" in Beverly Hills Cop II before this, but he still manages to be a scene stealer. And, of course, watching this early Wayans brothers movie brought back great memories of In Living Color, a show I often watched while eating mint chocolate chip ice cream in our basement rec room as a kid. The Greek themed dinner was also an incredible success. I won't be forgetting the delicious potatoes that Blair whipped up for a long time and I have a new favourite thing: lemon-stuffed olives! Who knew? They're amazing.


a few new things...

Here are some of the new things that you'll find in the Sadie shop. All simple and clean designs. Everything comes beautifully packaged to give or keep. Thanks for taking a look! More new stuff to come very soon.

pleasant point polished quartz
italic ampersands
baltic birch inner workings
cat silhouette studs
pleasant point opaque rose cream


the rest of the weekend

Another busy day, another pile of Vancouver adventures. The day began with breakfast at Solly's with my friend Christie and a nice walk home with Jeff and Lola. Along the way we found a cat that Jeff felt could be in the band KISS (link chosen by Jeff), also discovered a little bouquet booth with an honour box. Just $1.50 for flowers, picked fresh from the yard next to the box. It's so amazing to me that it's almost Halloween and Vancouver is still in bloom. We're lucky, it's green here year round, it's just a little rainy in the winter. Finally we met up with Christie again and went to the UBC Botanical Garden Apple Fest. Everything (except kettle corn!) was sold out by the time we got there, but Christie and Jeff still did the apple peeling contest (they fell short by over 2m) and we went on a great walk through the gardens. I love Vancouver on a sunny weekend day!

jeff's favourite

honour box for bouquet sales


ubc botanical garden apple fest 2010

apple peeling contest

Also took care of a little blog redesign and a new jewelry project that is really more of a collaboration with Jeff this weekend. Jeff made an awesome crystal mountain diorama for our house (some swear they can see the people moving in it) and I used some of his supplies to make these necklaces out of geodes. More pics are up in the Sadie shop.

geode worlds


weekend worship

Today has been so busy! A beautiful sunny day in Vancouver this time of year means that you have to get outside. After a great breakfast and finally getting our community garden plots cleaned up (with excellent help from my garden buddy, Sara), Jeff and I took off to Richmond for a long walk with our dog. Before going on this trip I would've said Richmond is a city south of Vancouver, now I would say it's a shopping mall/parking lot south of Vancouver. Well, it's just a little intense on the strip mall development, but there are some pretty cool things, too. Upon getting home (exhausted after a very long walk) I discovered that today was the only day of the Ivory Vintage Market in Surrey. I don't know how I came to believe it was today and tomorrow, but now I've missed it! Oh well, all the more reason to be looking forward to Little Winter in a couple of weeks.

river road


these are a few of my favourite stories

one shelf of many and porcelain jars by heyday design
Sometimes school takes up a lot of my time, and right now is certainly no exception. If I wasn't so busy with school one of the things I'd being doing a lot more of is reading. Okay, let me rephrase, one of the things I'd be doing is reading books of my choosing. This isn't to say that I don't enjoy all of the reading I do for school, some of it is pretty awesome, but I don't have the time for fiction and stories the way that I used to. Although I still get through a respectable number of books every year, I find when I'm busy I have to find things that can be read in smaller chunks. Now would not be the time to tackle 2666 by Roberto Bolano, an 800+ page epic that I read in the summer of 2009. Instead, I find myself gravitating to books of short stories, and thinking that some of you might also have busy, reading-inhibiting lives, I offer you here some of my favourites, in very particular order. Happy weekend!

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

If you haven't read anything by Shirley Jackson, this is a good place to start. My friend and, really, my reading mentor (so many amazing suggestions over the years!), Camilla, reintroduced me to Jackson when she lent me We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which is still one of my favourites.

Drown by Junot Diaz

Many of you are likey familiar with Diaz's novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2008, among many other prestigious awards. Well, Drown is a collection of short stories that will really lead you right to that novel's front door. I always feel like I'm hanging out with the cool kids when I read Diaz. You should really check him out if you haven't already.

In Persuasion Nation by George Saunders

Okay, I chose this George Saunders book because I think it is the best of his collections, but it isn't the only good one. You should really read them all, and I can almost guarantee that once you've read one, you'll head straight for the rest. I tried to find a quote from his writing to include with this, and though I have lots of favourites, I just couldn't come up with one that would tell the whole story. Hilarious, crazy vernacular language, I don't know, he just says it exactly how any of us would. If you read one book of short stories this year, I'd say it should probably be this one.

Where I'm Calling From by Raymond Carver

Finally, the big one. This is it, the ultimate fall reading, the ultimate American short stories. I'm currently reading Call If You Need Me, but Where I'm Calling From is the classic. I actually don't have words for this, all I can say is you have to read it. Now.

Have you read any of these? Do you have favourite short story writers? Tell me more!


lomo monday

lola in washington
lola, deception pass, washington (2008): polaroid


weekend worship

fresh cranberries
fresh cranberries from the fraser valley
Jeff and I are preparing for our annual Thanksgiving Potluck, so this will be a very short post, but I just wanted to take a minute to talk about this dinner that's emerging as quite a tradition for us. It began when we lived in Vancouver in 2002. My friend (and co-worker) Rosie and I, along with Jeff and a few other key people, managed to pull of a dinner for 27 (!) in a kitchen with about a metre of counter space. (Do you remember this, Rosie?) My most vivid memory is of her and I instinctually moving around each other in the tiny kitchen, yelling "look out, hot behind you!", keeping food on top of the fridge and in the bathtub (gross, but we were young), and somehow squeezing everyone into our living room (where did we find plates and cutlery for such a feast?). This amazing dinner was marred only by a chair collapsing beneath one of our guests (thus we discovered why it was in an alley in the first place) and we have gone on to repeat such astonishing acts of cookery many times since then.

Subsequent Thanksgiving dinners have brought us together with friends old and new, both here in Vancouver and in Calgary. We have had some seriously good times at these get togethers and have consumed wine by the gallon. Last Thanksgiving we had about 15 people in our now slightly larger apartment and highlights included guests allowing my dog to eat from the table (but drawing the line at their plates) and our friend Mark cooking a turkey for everyone. We are looking forward to another wonderful dinner and want to express how thankful we are for all of our friends: those that will be here tonight, those who were here in years past, and those that we don't see often enough! And happy birthday to my friend Marigold!

no time for homemade pies this year!
no time for homemade pies this year!
take that, turkey!
take that, turkey! mark's masterpiece (after) 2009



ira keller fountain & the portlandia,
together at last thanks to the magic of holga
Next month Jeff and I are heading to Portland for a weekend of food, fun, frolic, Kurt Vile, and Little Winter Market! I've been to Portland a bunch of times and I absolutely never ever get sick of it. I always think of it as a miniature NYC, without the millions of people. Culturally there is so much happening, the shopping is great (and oriented towards local designers and small-scale production), the food is incredible (and also local, organic, vegan...), and, of course, Powell's City of Books is there (what other reason do you need to visit Portland?). This time around I'm really looking forward to going to Little Winter. I've been following the vendor profiles over at frolic and it looks like it is going to be a really beautiful collection of talented artists and designers showcasing their wares. As a student of landscape architecture, Portland is also a place that we often study for its precedent-setting management of Pacific Northwest rainy weather (and subsequent stormwater run-off), bicycle-friendly planning, and livable/walkable city centre design (that'd be "center" in Portland, of course). In my excitement I've prepared a little taste of the things I like to do while in Portland. Check out the links below and let me know where you like to go when in Portland. There are way more amazing places than I've included on this list, perhaps I'll drop a few more as the date of our mini vacation approaches.

craft: collage


i dream of gastown

gastown golden half

Long weekend! Canadian Thanksgiving! I've had quite a busy couple of weeks and am looking forward to doing almost nothing this weekend. After being so busy a low-key weekend (and, sadly, grad project proposal writing) sounds a-ok with me. I'll be making some new jewelry to take to my newest consignment shop here in Vancouver (Two of Hearts on Main Street) and to my other shops, Dream and Little Dream, recently voted Best Local Designer Clothing Store in the Georgia Straight's Best of Vancouver 2010. You should definitely stop by Dream this weekend if you're in Gastown and check out all of the great new fall pieces they have in stock! I really love being a part of shops that specialize in local designers. Both Dream and Two of Hearts sell exclusively local goods, which is really great for local designers and artists, not to mention community-minded local shoppers. If you do find yourself in Gastown this weekend I highly recommend lunch at Finch's, simply because it's amazing! I just went there for the first time (how have I not been there before?) and the Applewood smoked cheddar baguette was incredible. It's worth going, just don't forget to leave room for Thanksgiving dinner!


guilty pleasure: adventures in babysitting

When I was a kid my sister Kate and I watched a lot of movies together. At my dad's place I especially remember being allowed to watch things that were way too old for us: Richard Pryor movies, a James Bond movie where Bond almost gets cremated alive that scarred me for years, The Temple of Doom, and so on. Of course, we also watched lots of kid-appropriate movies, too, and Amanda's choice for the Guilty Pleasure Movie Club this week was just one such movie, though it does drop the f-bomb a couple of time. I guess I see Adventures in Babysitting as being kid-appropriate because it was so kid-relatable. I was probably about 8 or 9 when I first saw this movie and I wanted to be Elisabeth Shue, she was second only in awesomeness in my mind to Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) in Labyrinth. Oh, the babysitting Elisabeth Shue was so cool, so well-dressed, so tough, and I remember being particularly impressed that she was allowed to invite friends over to her gigantic bedroom without first asking her parents' permission. 

After an absolutely amazing "country"-themed dinner (corn on the cob, chilli, cornbread, honey butter, rice, mac and cheese, potato salad, punch, mint julep ice cream and pecan praline...oh my gosh!), this was also a particularly great movie to actually sit down and watch from beginning to end. I had forgotten so much about it, and though I spent the entirety waiting for Charlie Sheen to appear (only to be reminded that that's Ferris Bueller's Day Off), it was still a great choice and a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend an evening with friends. Since I forgot to take a picture of the mint julep ice cream and pecan praline I'm offering a look at just part of the dinner spread. So amazing. Next week we are taking a hiatus for Canadian Thanksgiving, but we'll be getting together in two weeks with a pick from Jeff that may or may not be Halloween themed. Can't wait!

dinner spread
popsicles instead of ice cubes!



weekend worship

My boyfriend's mom is in town this weekend, and obviously we have to try to impress her with our culinary prowess. She's already made us dinner and had a dinner made entirely by Jeff (both of which were very good), but we thought that our Guilty Pleasure Movie Night potluck contribution might offer the opportunity for us to really show off our skills...or so we'd hoped. Our dinner tonight is "country" themed, as in, Southern US country food. I just happen to also have a wonderful cookbook (Elizabeth Falkner's Demolition Desserts: Recipes from Citizen Cake) out from the library that has recipes for mint julep ice cream and pecan praline...what's more Southern than those things? (Okay, a lot of things are more Southern, but not necessarily more delicous.) Here are some photos of the cooking that we've been doing to prepare this great dessert. As you can see, we made two pralines as the first one got way overcooked (we invented Skor bars!) due to an unfortunate melting of the candy thermometer's case. Long story. Anyway, it has all turned out very well and we look forward to sharing it with our friends tonight. I'll upload a picture of the finished products with the Guilty Pleasure Movie Club post later in the week. Hope you have all had a wonderful weekend!

Here is a .pdf of the recipes that we used that I've uploaded for you.

steeping the fresh mint leaves
steeping the fresh mint leaves

custard for mint julep ice cream

making the praline
brown sugar, butter and cream

finished pecan praline with skor bar innards in the background


dinosaur toes

Have you visited Dinosaur Toes yet? It's one of my favourite blogs these days and one of my favourite Etsy shops. Danielle's posts are so beautiful, full of gorgeous photos and generous glimpses into her life. Since I live on the west coast, I love getting an insider's tour of east coast life. Dinosaur Toes is not only a blog full of pretty posts! Danielle also makes extremely lovely jewelry, and I can finally say I'm a proud owner of one of her pieces. Check out the wonderful porcupine quill earrings that I got from her shop! After looking all over for the perfect quill jewelry, I purchased these as soon as I saw they'd been posted. They are perfect! Simple and delicate, and super comfortable to wear. You should definitely take a look at her other pieces. I'm currently coveting this necklace. She combines hammered metals, crystals, and other natural materials into truly unique (and did I mention affordable?), elegant pieces. I'm a big fan, and I hope you will be too after checking out the Dinosaur Toes blog and shop!

quill earrings by dinosaur toes
no. 295 porcupine quill earrings by dinosaur toes

P.S. Do you like my new header? It's a photo of my favourite tree in the neighbourhood this time of year!