weekend worship






Our long weekend has been full of wedding planning, making things, drinking ginger syrup cocktails and champagne, dog walks, and beach trips. This afternoon we took a little road trip to a place we'd never been before. It's hard to believe that this beach is basically right next to the airport and less than a half hour drive from our house. Iona Beach is maybe my new favourite Lower Mainland beach. The tide was way out and we could walk on the mudflats for a very long way. What an awesome, relaxing beautiful place. I wish that there was no such thing as short weekend. Three days is perfect.

married within a year

Wedding details are starting to happen and I have to thank the talented and amazing girls who came over to help Jeff and I make some decorations and taste some champagne last night. Amanda, Jacqui, Emily, and Glenis made so many decorations last night and after the wedding I will certainly share more photos of what we came up with, partly inspired by Elsie's beautiful wedding decorations. I think it's funny that the wedding colour palette has slowly morphed to be even closer to my original inspiration image, a gorgeous, messy bouquet from a New York City Hall wedding.

Since we got so much done yesterday, and had so much fun doing it, I wanted to share this video from Paulette magazine that I discovered via Diane at Pagan Poetry. So beautiful, and it has many of Diane's gorgeous jewelry pieces in it. While you're watching perhaps you can think of some ceremony music that we could consider. If you're married, what did you walk down the aisle to? And would it sound good played on a saxaphone?


beach night

Really feeling the summer vibes in Vancouver this weekend. Beach nights. Getting down to the fun wedding stuff...champagne tasting and decoration making, hairdo-getting... Watering the garden, walking the dog. I love love love summer and I'm glad it's here. Please excuse the dust around the blog this weekend. I'm changing a few things around here and there. I hope you like the updates. Don't forget to enter the Sadie giveaway at Oh Mishka! You have until Sunday to put your name in the hat.


five friday favourites: participaction

Do any of you lovely Canadians remember these gems?

Boy, we were a healthy nation in the 1980s (I'm assuming...I mean, check it out, everyone was psyched, wandering around with this "do it, do it, do it" song lodged in their brains). In the spirit of the long weekend here in British Columbia and with the ultra-positive encouragement of Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod (see below) here are a few good things to participate in this weekend. Check them out and then get out there and enjoy the weekend! Do it! Do it! Do it!

There is a Sadie Designs giveaway at Oh Mishka! You have until Sunday to enter. An amethyst core sample is up for grabs.

A giveaway for a beautiful Little Ocean necklace, discovered via Marie Bee.

I'm also really excited about this friendship bracelet swap at Grainline Studio. You have until Friday at midnight (any time zone) to sign up to be a part of it. Check out some of the amazing patterns for friendship bracelets on this site. Here are some that I made last summer when I had a busted ankle for weeks and weeks. Also '80s nostalgia.

And now a little DIY fun:

I really want to make this fringed suede clutch. It reminds me of an amazing pair of vintage winter boots I used to have, which I wore until they totally blew out. I got them for under ten bucks in Calgary, talking them down at the thrift store because the boots may have a had a little poop on them. Too much information? It was a long time ago...

Finally, Jill at LUNE always posts the best tutorials and DIY projects. Here's her latest, a video that shows you exactly how to wrap the most perfect summer beach bangle.

Enjoy! Happy weekend, everyone, and happy long weekend fellow British Columbians! What projects do you have planned? I'm making wedding decorations until I can't see straight!


beaches now

Okay, okay, just for you guys I went to three of Vancouver's beaches (yes, there are more...we're jerks over here) in the last two days to attempt to recreate the historical photos in the post I put up a day ago. 

At the top is English Bay now, 90 years later. You can just barely see the Sylvia Hotel (which is the building in the old photo) behind the big trees. That's where many of our wedding guests are staying while they're here in Van. Next is Kits Beach. It's kind of about hook-ups and volleyball there, but it's also not too far from our house, so we tend to hit this beach the most often. You can see that Kits point is no longer forest and that the West End across the water, um, exists. There were about 103 years between photos. 

Finally, maybe my favourite Vancouver beach, though I don't get there nearly enough. Right in Stanley Park, Third Beach is way less busy than the others and so so so beautiful. Here it is, without all of the woody debris, 121 years after the photo I previously posted was taken. You can see all of the West Van/British Properties/North Van development and just barely (probably easier if you're familiar with Vancouver and Stanley Park) see Siwash Rock at the end of the treed bluff. Of course, a few years ago this hillside would have been way more heavily forested, but a huge windstorm took down a lot of old trees in the park. FYI: Stanley Park is bigger than Central Park in NYC and is a magical place.

This was pretty fun to do. I hope to soon find even more reasons to go to even more beaches. Do you have any pictures of beautiful places in your part of the world? Where do you go to relax in your city?

UPDATE: Jeff and I've been looking at those Kits Beach photos and we think that Kits Point maybe doesn't even exist, and that what we're really seeing is the forest that is now the West End. A lot of Kits Point/Vanier Park is fill from downtown building excavations. This city sure has changed!



English Bay, 1920. Kits Beach, 1908. Third Beach, 1890. Vancouver's beaches a century ago. When men wore suits to the beach and everyone had really good hats. All photos from the Vancouver Archives.



More amazing photos of the Sadie collection by Ryan. Hazel with a pendulum necklace, Emily looking amazing on a cliff face over the pacific ocean, red arms. I love these photos. Thanks for all of your comments. I definitely hope that Ryan and I can take more photos together in the future!



I'm pretty excited right now. So excited, in fact, that I'm publishing a rare, portrait-oriented photo here on the blog. This photo from my Flickr photostream is going to be published in a book about sustainable communities next year. I took it when my job as a research assistant at UBC got me on top of the Vancouver Public Library downtown with the staff of the landscape architect who designed it. It was a rare, sunny winter day and the light was perfect.

In other photography related news I'm planning on purchasing a new camera in the next month or so. I'll share more details when I've got it in my hands. After a few years of using my most-beloved Cannon point-and-shoot, (gold with a wide angle lens, no less...) it's time to move up a little bit in the camera world. Oh, and be sure to check out my guest post on Micaela's blog tomorrow!



Remember a while ago when I shared some outtakes from a photoshoot that I did with my friends Ryan, Amanda, Emily, and Jeff? Well, here are three of the legit photos taken by the amazing Ryan. You can check out his Flickr photostream for a couple more and to see some of his other incredible photographs. I'll share more soon, too. One of these will definitely be the new welcome image on the Sadie site. Update your bookmarks if you'd like to use the new homepage to navigate between blog and shop and so on. It's a work in progress for now, though. Looking at these photos made me so happy today I had to share! Happy Sunday, everyone!



In light of the tragedy in Norway, the death of Amy Winehouse seems so much less like news to me than it otherwise would. Maybe. I've never been a big Amy Winehouse fan but being that she was so young and obviously so talented, her death does seem like a loss. The thing is, she was 27 when she died, like a lot of other musicians who died young. A lot.

I can still remember where I was when Kurt Cobain died at 27. I was in a bar in Mississippi and I saw it on the silent tvs above the bar. CNN was an accurate source of information at the time and I spent the rest of that summer vacation kind of in disbelief and trying to comprehend the loss. I mean, Kurt Cobain might have been one of the most amazing artists of our generation and at only 14 (yes, kids are allowed to hang with their parents in bars in Mississippi) it felt huge. The more I watch old Nirvana videos the more I realize that it was huge. Look at that guy. I still love him.

Shannon Hoon followed shortly in 1995. Also 27. I was not a big Blind Melon fan, but I was starting to wonder what was going on. I suppose this is the video to share. This song was GIGANTIC when I was in junior high.

But the thing with musicians and 27 has been going on a lot longer than I've been around. Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison (who I prefer to call Old Jim) also all died at 27.

Wasn't Janis amazing? I mean, is it possible to hear her sing and not get shivers? And as for Jimi Hendrix... There's a Hendrix shrine here in Vancouver, and, of course, a big Pacific Northwest connection there, too. It's totally impossible to dislike this song. I've never been a big fan of The Doors, either, but I do share some amazing memories with my best woman, Heather, that involve Jim Morrison. When Jeff and I were in Paris we made the trek to the cemetary that he and just about every other famous person who died in Paris is buried in. It felt good to be that close to Old Jim for once. I took pictures for Heather and will share one here with you. The fan-dalism at his grave has really been all but eliminated these days.

Then, today, there's Amy Winehouse. Trying to find a video to post made me realize there is a lot of sad irony in her catalogue. Sorry if this video seems crass now. It's a pretty great song.

And among the almost-made-it-to-27 club? Gram Parsons and Tupac. Just past 27? Nick Drake. Jeff Buckley. It's sad adding up all of these lost years and wondering what kind of magic could've been made if these people had stuck around a little longer. Gram Parsons gets the last word:



Have I told you lately that I love this city? Probably not, it's been hard to love endless cloudy days and rain, but I do still love it. We went on a long walk last night and it felt like the sun was almost going to come out...almost. The community gardens are raging, filled with flowers, raspberries, and lots and lots of leafy greens (which are very happy with the cool temperatures). I'm not going to show you pictures of my garden plot right now because it could use some love (and fertilizer). Soon I'll share!

We visited our old neighbourhood and walked down to the beach, under the Burrard Bridge and along False Creek. We saw 1/1000th of what makes this city so awesome. I'm doing a guest post about an excursion over at Chelsea and Charlotte's blog There&Here in a couple of weeks. It's going to be hard to choose where to go, though I have some ideas... Vancouver has endless excursion possibilities. What do you love about where you live?



I've started to have quite a stone collection and these are some of my favourites. A multi-pointed quartz chunk that actually belongs to Jeff (which I dropped and partially smashed, yikes!), smokey quartz that is just about the nicest thing to hold in your hand and that was in my pocket all the time when I was finishing my graduate work, a desert rose (another favourite), an oyster shell from the beach in Powell River, and some red crystal that my mom sent me. What are your favourite stones? What do you collect?



Putting together a post for the lovely Micaela, I realized that I love a lot of Bill Callahan songs. So on this Sunday I offer you the outtakes of the ones I'm not sharing on Micaela's blog. These are so good I had to share here. I think I'm going to have to dedicate this post to Marie Bee, who I know must love Bill Callahan, too.

And maybe one of my favourite summer songs ever:

I hope this post sends you all off in search of more Bill Callahan and smog songs to keep you company this morning.



I mentioned that I was going to do some shop updating this weekend and this is the first new piece that I've added. Pink glass beads, gold accents and a vintage brass charm with a big asymmetrical piece of faceted jasper. 21" long. I'm calling it the beachcomber, you can find it in the shop now.


five friday favourites: pie

pies pies pies by wayne thiebaud (1961) via the ny times
handpainted magnets by StudioFludd
by chocolate editions
After am awesome twitter conversation with Cal, Beca, and Danielle the other day I have not been able to get the thought of homemade pie out of my head. So I offer you my favourite dessert painter since I did my fine arts undergrad, Wayne Thiebaud, StudioFludd's awesome pie chart inspired pieces, a chocolate pie chart, a beautiful pie crust, and a recipe for cherry pie that I say I'm going to make but that I'm probably just going to try to convince Jeff to make. I love that there is so much fruit in season right now! And I love that it is Friday!



This afternoon Jeff and I went to get our marriage license. We have just a month and a half until the big day! We got our license issued in the world's thinnest building in Vancouver's Chinatown. It's such a weird funhouse inside. Afterwards we celebrated with that seagull by eating Vietnamese subs on the stairs of the Vancouver Art Gallery. We're getting married!!!


summer reads

Last week I was inspired by posts on Micaela's and Claire's blog about what they've been reading and what they plan to read this summer. My most epic summer read ever was getting through the amazing 2666 by Roberto BolaƱo in a month and following it up with Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. That was an intense few weeks, but also some of the best reading that I've ever done.

If you've been following the book club, you know that I recently read Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. Definitely not my favourite book of all time, but I'm glad I read it, too. I realize that I like reading books that tie into one another. Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea. 2666 and Blood Meridian (Blood Meridian could be the prequel to 2666).

The last book that I finished was Phillip Connors's Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout. It made me want to be a fire lookout in another lifetime, visit the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico, and read more about the Continental Divide Trail. In fact, I kind of wish it had more in it about the people who visit the fire lookout throughout the season. Those were the best parts.

Right after school finished I was really into comedy memoirs for a bit. I'd recently read some Sarah Vowell and wanted light, entertaining books to help me take life down a notch after school. Jeff thoughtfully picked me up a copy of Tina Fey's book, Bossypants, after which I immediately read David Cross's book I Drink for a Reason. Tina Fey's book was more interesting to me in every way: more personal details of her life and career, funnier, and much more relatable for me. She's amazing and her book is pretty great, too.

And before all of these, while I was finishing up grad school, I read Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion. It was such a timely read for me about confidence and passion. I have to thank my distant friend and reading idol, Camilla for both introducing me to this book and Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea and Goodreads (where I've been keeping track of my reading for four years).

The book I'm reading now is, without a doubt, amazing. Cormac McCarthy might be my favourite writer right now, just because of this book. I'm reading All the Pretty Horses, which thankfully is the first book in a trilogy. Here's a passage that I would marry if I could marry sentences:

By early evening all the sky to the north had darkened and the spare terrain they trod had turned a neuter gray as far as eye could see. They grouped in the road at the top of the rise and looked back. The storm front towered above them and the wind was cool on their sweating faces. They slumped bleary-eyed in their saddles and looked at one another. Shrouded in the black thunderheads the distant lightning glowed mutely like welding seen through foundry smoke. As if repairs were under way at some flawed place in the iron dark of the world.

Finally, I'm looking forward to our next book club read (better get started soon!) and a few other things that I picked up in Portland at Powell's Books, pretty much my favourite shop in the Pacific Northwest. What are you reading right now?


amanda's rad summer: pittsburgh

Welcome dear readers! Today I'm introducing the first guest post in a summer series that I'm slowly working on putting together called rad summer. I have a few very special adventure stories lined up and am working on confirming more! Amanda's blog, Last Mom on Earth, is one of my favourite daily reads. It's rare in its honesty and the wonderful quality of the writing. I hope that you'll pop over and say hi to Amanda and also take the time to read her great post below! Thank you, Amanda, for sharing your summer adventure with us!

I woke up this morning to a quiet house. I put a tea kettle on and sat next to an open window. This morning was grey and cool and still. It was the fourth of july and nobody was awake, yet.

Except my daughter. Calling me from the top of the stairs. And my other daughter, answering her sister.

I made breakfast, we ate outside and Louisey sat in her swing. I read to Scouty, we watched a TV show. I packed up the diaper bag, complete with little kid servings of snacks. I kissed Louisey's chin and she laughed like it was the funniest thing that's ever happened.

And I felt ready for them to leave to go to the parade with daddy.

With a quiet, and definitely messier house, to myself again, I kind of wandered from room to room, mindlessly picking things up and putting them away. I read a few pages of a book and put it down. I thought that I should probably go to the gym, and get it out of the way.

But then, the total numbness of what I was doing hit me. I was living this precious day like all the soul and love and honesty had been sucked out of me. The gym is fine, but do you want to know the real truth? I fucking hate the gym.

I hastily put my dirty hair up and put on some running shoes and went out in search of an adventure.

Lots of people think you need to go somewhere new or exotic to have an adventure. All you really need to get away is to be at the very end of the world, all by yourself. I went to South Park, in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.

I started at the Oliver Miller Homestead.

Walked past the old village.

And into the woods.

I grew up in a small mining town in Western Pennsylvania. I didn't have a lot of things, as a child. I did have the woods, though. I did have countless hours in a world that made me dizzy with freedom, where I was hidden along pathways where nobody would find me.

I was a Big Game Hunter.

A lost lover.

And a poet.

For me, the woods have always been a place of loneliness. A place where I don't exist, not really. I die under the thick canopy and can be quiet for a moment.

They are also a place where I am not a mild mannered sidewalk shopper, a stroller pusher, a grocery gatherer. It's good for me to get dirty and sweaty, to have mud on the hems of my pants, now and then.

Today, I ran up all the big hills, using giant roots like steps. I straddled a fallen tree over a stream and I didn't fall in.

When is the last time you went a little wild?

BIO: Amanda is a Pittsburgh mom of two genius girls and is married to the world's sexiest accountant. She can be found either biking or baking, depending on the weather. She blogs at Last Mom On Earth.