ten years

I just realized that today is our for real ten year anniversary. Yup, we've been together since we were really still kids (or early twenty-somethings, to be more specific). Jeff and I have been married for almost three weeks now and have finally gotten a glimpse of our wedding photos from our amazing photographers, the local company Elle&R. We've also, almost, finished our thank you cards! Here's a little look for you at one of my favourites from that most fantastic of days. I'll be sure to share more when I have them and give you some details, too, as long as you promise you won't get sick of hearing about it all.

Happy ten years, Jeff! Let's go camping!


camping times

Jeff and I are going camping this weekend with some friends and some dogs. Ever since I read the Bon Appétit feature on the Pacific Northwest I've been trying to make a camping trip to the Washington coast happen.

Quite a few years ago Jeff and I had a Washington camping adventure with two friends of ours. We went down to camp and search out a natural hot springs that we had read about. It was supposed to have a beautiful view from the hot pools and be well-maintained, though not commercialized. We drove down to Washington late in the evening, probably with no clue about how far we had to go and definitely without any idea about where we might camp. We stopped at a gas station for provisions: beer and cigarettes, if I remember my early twenties correctly. We forgot firewood.

I remember sitting around a single mini maglite flashlight in "candle" mode at a picnic table in a closed campground with Laura, Rosie, and Jeff. It must have been winter or late fall, because there were no other campers in the park at all. We all slept in a four-man tent that we had rented from the outdoor equipment store Jeff and I worked at in Vancouver.

In the morning we followed the directions we had to find the road to walk into the hot springs from. We followed a rough trail off a slightly less rough road and located the power lines that were meant to guide us through what appeared on first look (and second pass) to be completely impenetrable bush. Thwarted repeatedly by our inability to locate the markers meant to guide us to this hot springs paradise, we eventually turned back towards the car. Down the highway we passed a ranger station and decided to stop in to ask about the elusive hot springs. Turns out we had been on the right track, but the hot spring pools had been dismantled and the trail purposely destroyed by the landowners who were sick of risking litigation from hot springs users. Damn American tendency to sue! We would stick to Canadian hot springs for years thereafter. And there are some good ones.

It was kind of like this, but not really:

Where do you go camping in your part of the world? We mostly stick to mountains and forest, so I'm looking forward to this coastal excursion.


being outside

Life has been busy, and when we haven't been busy we've been outside soaking up the amazing autumn weather in our part of the world, or getting soaked by rain that is starting to show up more frequently in Vancouver. For the next three weeks Jeff, Lola, and I will be travelling to some amazing places. Can't wait to share them with you here. How is your fall going? Or is it spring where you are?


five friday favourites: knitting

Though all of a sudden Vancouver is being inundated with humid, hot Hawaiian air (this is what they tell me), earlier this week it felt like the right time of year to bust out some wool and knitting needles. I scoured the internet for some tips on the type of thing that I wanted to make (more on what I made another day) and found some great stuff along the way.

Great stuff like this company that has "Brooklyn" in its name (pretty much a pre req. these days for company names): Brooklyn Tweed. But honestly I love their 100% American wool yarns, especially this awesome colour called "long johns". I think I would make it into mittens. Their patterns also look pretty great, and I love the fact that you just download .pdfs from their site for some instant gratification.

I was looking for a finer, textured cowl pattern, but I also came across this super chunky pattern from Martha Stewart. If you want to make something giant really quickly I'm pretty sure it would do the trick.

In my search for exciting (and, let's face it, low commitment) patterns I also found this knitting-centric tumblr: Knitting, Fuck Yeah! It's packed with pages of properly linked patterns and is a great visual collection of knitting inspiration.

I have never been successful with intarsia (using two or more colours in the same row to make magical gloves or mitts like these), but my mom has mastered the double knit New England/Maritimes mitten. I hope that she makes me a pair that I can pick up in Calgary at Christmas time! If I had a picture of her handy work I'd post it as my fourth favourite (though it's technically my first favourite). Instead, I'll just let you know that someday soon she hopes to get her knitwear company, Bow Valley Knits, up and running.

And finally, if you can't afford $100 Norwegian mittens, you could make your own. Mitts are a pretty easy project to take on to learn a few more basic skills, like working in the round and increasing/decreasing. These ones look super easy and would get you started.

There you go, people. The best of the things that I found this week before I just made up my own pattern for what I wanted to make and winged everything. Also, starting a new project may or may not have been an excuse just to use the manual winding machine at the yarn store. I love those things!


an autumn to-do list

Inspired by Amanda and Caitlin, I've decided to put together a little list of things I'd like to make happen this fall. My New Year's resolutions are almost all no longer applicable (having graduated from my masters program this spring!) so I think it's time to put some focus on all of the fun things that I'd like to do as the manic craziness of the Summer of Getting Married subsides and the cool, calm days of fall start to set in. On the second-to-last day of summer, here's what I'm dreaming of doing as the seasons change:

1. Go camping on the coast
2. Visit a pumpkin patch (and conquer a corn maze while I'm there)
3. Bake a pie from scratch
4. Go apple picking
5. Visit friends in a different city
6. Have a Thanksgiving feast
7. Revamp the blog for a new season
8. Knit something (I'm thinking chunky yarn and big needles)
9. Go for a forest hike on the North Shore
10. Take photos with a new camera
11. Clean up the garden one more time
12. Walk home from work (it's a pretty long walk)
13. Ride the Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train (Ivy and Jamie, I'm going to miss you guys this year!)
14. Check out the Parade of Lost Souls (Halloween seems to be Vancouver's favourite holiday)

In all honesty. some of these things are already in the process of being planned. The camera that I've been dreaming of is finally available in the States, so I might get my hands on it before too many of these other events come to pass...which would be nice. I feel like I've outgrown the camera that I usually use for blog posts and jewelry photography. I think an upgrade is needed so that I can get the kind of photos I want...crisper, brighter, more depth of field control. The picture above was taken on Broadway with my Golden Half 35mm camera. Speaking of which, my double exposure project is coming along...

You can also see that most of my plans involve being outside as much as possible. Here in Vancouver it rains most of the winter and the days are always grey and cloudy (just writing about it makes me feel a little depressed), so if we have sunny, crisp fall weather it's important to get out there and enjoy it. Luckily in Vancouver we can get outside year round because the temperatures are never too crazy (unlike the last city I lived in, which often dipped to -40, which is the same in ºF and ºC). Winter might be full of lame rain days, but you can still go for a walk in forests where you'll stay dry under all of the cedar trees...and our flowers do start coming out in January, which is always a welcome relief.

Jeff and I are going into our fourth year here in Vancouver, and yet, in some ways, it feels like our first year. He still has a year left in nursing school, but I am finally finished. It's a great, weird feeling for weekends to be full of possibilities rather than homework and stress. I'm looking forward to enjoying this new season with friends and family and sharing some of what we get up to with you!


micaela's rad summer: el paso

Though it feels like summer is coming to an end, I'm going to keep it going here on the Sadie blog a little longer with a few more Rad Summer posts. This week the wonderful Micaela from Dolce Vita is bringing us along on her relaxing summer adventure. Micaela was also part of my previous guest post series, A Day in the Life. Her blog continues to be one of my absolute favourites. She is the kind of writer that you feel like you know personally after just reading a few of her posts. So enjoy her post and be sure to visit her blog today, too.

After spending an exciting summer traveling with my twin sister and girlfriends from one coast of the county to the other (NY & SF) and then spending two blissful weeks home in Wichita Falls, TX (that included watching my little sister marry her high school sweetheart), it's nice to soak up the end of summer lazily.

There is nothing like your husband gently waking you up at 4:30 in the morning just so he can take you to watch the sunrise with him at the scenic drive overlook (he even stops at Starbucks so he can get you both a Pumpkin Spice Latte to keep you warm). The lights of El Paso and part of Mexico is enough to take your breath away. 

I snapped the above photo of my husband while saying a prayer of thanksgiving that I get to look forward to endless more sun rises and sun sets with him. 

"The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination." 
-Elizabeth Hardwick

I enjoy spending delicious hours in a sea of stacks at my favorite used book shop. Admiring beautiful album covers like the above of Carly Simon's Boys in the Trees in boxes of vinyls that seem discarded to the side. As evidenced by my pile to be purchased, I can never leave empty-handed. random: I consider it a gift when I find an inscription in another's handwriting from years ago. A private note, a window to the past though it's not my own.

And no summer would be rad without enjoying copious amounts of frozen yogurt. Mine is never the healthy kind either... chocolate on top of chocolate!

xo Micaela

Thank you so much for sharing and being part of this series, Micaela. I also love spending hours in used bookstores and I, too, never leave empty handed! If you'd like to see the guest post I did on Micaela's blog you can take a look here. The next Rad Summer post will feature Chelsea and Charlotte of There & Here. Looking forward to it!


A to Zs, inspired by Moorea and others

This photo of Jeff and I is from our rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding two weeks ago. My sister Jenn took it and I think it kind of sums up how much fun we were having with all of our friends and family.

This has been a big year and a big month. I've noticed lots of new followers here on the Sadie blog and have hardly had the time to keep things going around here the way I'd like to. So, as a way of introducing myself to all of you, I'm going to share the A to Zs of me, Sarah, with you. I first saw this on Moorea's blog, so thanks to her for passing some inspiration my way. If you post something like this on your blog be sure to link back to her, or to Liz, who got this whole thing going. 

A. Age: 31
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore that you hate: Putting away laundry, just like Liz and Moorea.
D. Dogs: Lola, a border collie staffie x from the Cochrane SPCA. She's 8-ish and the BEST.
E. Essential start to your day: E-mail check, breakfast, bike ride to work. Weekends require a little sleeping in and laziness.
F. Favorite color: This is tough. Today, almost-black navy.
G. Gold or Silver:  Both. At the same time.
H. Height: 5’7", though for most of my adult life I thought I was 5'6".
I. Instruments you play: All of them...very badly.
J. Job title: Landscape Architecture Intern, Jewelry Designer.
K. Kids: I'll babysit for you.
L. Live: in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Supernatural!
M. Mother’s name: Janet Miriam.
N. Nicknames: They never stick.
O. Overnight hospital stays: As an infant, I'm guessing.
P. Pet peeves:  Bad grammar is always annoying, bad grammar or incorrect punctuation on signs drives me crazy. Except one on Main St. that used to say "Freshly Quizzed Juice". That one I loved.
Q. Quote from a movie: Who's Benjamin? Who's Benjamin? My drummer! (Do you know what it's from?)
R. Right or left handed: Right, though apparently I swing left in golf. Not that I golf.
S. Siblings: Two younger sisters, one younger brother.
T. Tea of coffee: Both. I drink coffee mostly on the weekends or if I take public transit to work. Tea is the drink of choice at work so I stick with it.

U. Underwear: Tie dyed!
V. Vegetable you hate: This is cliché, but brussels sprouts. I just found out they're called "brussels", too.
W. What makes you run late:  I put things down without thinking. When it's time to go, my keys, sunglasses, lunch, bus fare all become roadblocks preventing me from leaving the house on time.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Where to start? I'll just list broken bones instead: left wrist x 2, right wrist x 1, right humerus x 1, one growth plate in my leg at age three, one ankle. It should be noted that I do not partake in extreme sports, just that I have extremely fragile bones.
Y. Yummy food that you make: I make the lasagna around our place (about once a year).
Z. Zoo animal: Large cats. I once saw this thing on TV about a large cat sanctuary in Florida. I would definitely volunteer at a place like that if there was one nearby. 

Tell me a little about yourselves? Or have you perhaps posted your own A to Zs?

UPDATE: After seeing this meme repeated on a few other blogs, I noticed an astute commenter picked up on the fact that "T" was missing. Like, everywhere. From every blog that I've seen so far. So, I've added my own in a little update. I just couldn't let it slide. 


five friday favourites

This week is the first time that autumn weather has made an appearance in Vancouver. It makes me excited to get a new sweater or two, bake spiced cookies, and watch a lot (and I mean, a lot) of movies. As much as I don't want summer to ever go away and though I would never say that I was ready for summer to end, there is a certain excitement brewing about the fall slow down. And my first fall without school in, well, almost forever. For me fall is a time to still be outside a lot, enjoying bike rides and trips to farms and mountains whenever possible, but with a little less going on in general. It feels like there is breathing room, though maybe that just has something to do with the fact that I finished school this spring and that our wedding is now a couple of weeks behind us.

Anyway, on to the fall-related finds. First of all, I was excited to discover that you can buy mini doughnuts on Etsy. I think I might have to order some of those dudes to our American mailbox address just because I can. The rest of these picks are all about thick knitwear, cold weather, and smokey campfires. Click on the links below to see more.

1. The gorgeous Blanket poster by Debbie Carlos
2. Woodsmoke and Vanilla perfume oil by FlourishBathBody
5. Raincity Boot Warmers by Vancouver's own Kove

So, these are the handmade things that I think would really help me survive the non-summer months this year. What autumn-y things have you found lately?

If you'd like to see more of my fall finds, I have three new treasuries on Etsy: Around the Campfire, Sweater Weather, and Awesome Autumn.


let me tell you about a necklace

antique locket and crystals
Now, I'm not in the business of using this blog to only talk about the jewelry that I make because I enjoy sharing a lot of different things here, too. But having recently reopened the Sadie shop and with (if you can believe it) preparations for the holidays in mind, I've been making lots of new stuff with the materials that I picked up this summer in my various travels around the Pacific Northwest.

The necklace that I want to tell you about actually incorporates an antique locket sourced from the Middle East by an amazing curator of rocks and jewelry pieces that I've come across. I handpicked the lockets that I brought home with me, making sure every part of them was in good working order. I then found three amazing, tiny crystals (an instant collection that comes wrapped in fabric if you get one of these necklaces). After stringing the lockets on oxidized black chain, the final design element is left up to you. Whether you choose to take along a Herkimer diamond, citrine chunk, or piece of red zircon is a choice you get to make whenever you wear this little beauty. Take a look at the listing in the Sadie shop for more info on the stones. I'll be back tomorrow with some Friday favourites! It's almost the weekend!


magazines and black tourmaline and dye

Today I got home from a long day of work to discover a package from my blog friend Dianne. She sent me four issues of magazines not easily found here in Vancouver: Oh Comely and Frankie. I'm looking forward to reading them now that I have a bit more free time. It was so sweet of Dianne to send these my way. Her blog, ice floe, is one of my favourite reads these days. She always has beautiful pictures posted and has a lovely Etsy accessories shop, as well. Thank you, Dianne! I know what I'm reading on the seabus tomorrow!

quartz, black tourmaline, vintage brass

amethyst, black tourmaline, vintage brass
I also wanted to share a few photos of some of the new pieces that I've been making for the Sadie jewelry shop lately. These particular necklaces came about when I was putting something together for my awesome pastry chef friend Camilla (who made our beautiful and most delicious wedding cake...pictures to come!) and I wanted her new necklace to be something really awesome. These pieces are similar to hers, with either amethyst core samples or gold plated clear quartz, gold dipped black tourmaline, and vintage brass geometric charms.

One last quick little thing...that tank top in the picture above? I dyed it by hand this weekend in the most amazing tie dye session that Emily and I have had yet. Camilla joined us and we tie dyed everything from socks and underwear to raw fabric that we all have plans for. Emily even tie dyed some velvet (which we found out is made from natural materials...cellulose...I would never have guessed). I hope to be able to share a few more photos of our tie dyed masterpieces soon! Just need the sun to come back and give me some nice light.


dance and be married mix tape

If you were at our wedding a week ago, then you might have already heard some of these amazing tunes. Some were chosen by our guests, some by us. A couple weren't played, but I wish they were. The first song is an Elvis remix that Jeff and I stumbled upon. We like it because it's totally weird and has a great feel and also because it's not too long and is a bit unexpected as a first dance song. We thank this song for saving us from a bit of the embarrassment that is the first dance at a wedding. If our guests weren't clapping they would have heard Elvis's comment at the end that absolved us from all sappiness thereafter. Now you can listen to the whole thing in the comfort of your home and hear the little gem at the end that convinced us this was the song for us.

Our wedding dance party went from the first dance right into inviting everyone on the dance floor with James Brown. What else says it's time for fun and craziness better than James Brown? The rest of the songs are pretty self-explanatory, some slow dances, some that are always a good time, and a last song of the night that really summed it up for all of us (I think, I hope...). I loved watching our guests point at each other ("I owe it all to you!!!"), slow dance, and attempt Dirty Dancing lifts to this last song. And, yes, that Weird Al song did get played. What a love fest. Glad to have shared it with so many of our favourite people. Enjoy!

Track list:

1. Crying in the Chapel - Elvis meets The Wailers
2. Out of Sight - James Brown
3. Do You Wanna Dance - The Beach Boys
4. Let's Have a Party - Wanda Jackson
5. Love and Happiness - Al Green
6. Shout - The Isley Brothers
7. Unknown Legend - Neil Young
8. Stand By Me - John Lennon
9. Dreams Come True Girl - Cass McCombs
10. Nighttiming - Coconut Records
11. Downtown - Destroyer
12. Let's Dance - David Bowie
13. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
14. Eat It - Weird Al Yankovic
15. Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z
16. Man Down - Rihanna
17. Single Ladies - Beyonce
18. Ignition (Remix) - R. Kelly
19. (I've Had) The Time of My Life - Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes

Listen to the last mix Endless Canadian Summer.


geode cave explorers are back

Just a very quick post today to let you know that I've reopened the Sadie Etsy shop and have it stocked with lots of new pieces (including new cave explorer geode necklaces and a one of a kind geode diorama). My new favourite is definitely the little old lady in the picture just above this text. I'll be sharing more photos of the new pieces in the days to come. Besides making me feel like I live the most lavish of lifestyles, having all of our wedding flowers in our apartment has proved inspiration for my jewelry photos, too, and I've used a lot of our wedding flowers as props. The pink and green hydrangeas are my favourites. I love the textures of the plants and how the colour of the flowers and leaves really brings out the colour in the stones that I use, especially the amethyst core samples.

To see more take a look at the shop. Have a great weekend! I'll be tie dyeing all day tomorrow!

P.S. If you're also in the Pacific Northwest (or dream of visiting) take a look at the amazing Seattle to Vancouver road trip in Bon Appétit. I see a trip to The Willow Inn in my future!


five friday favourites: wedding edition

satomi kawakita jewelry
just married banner by celebratewithfun
inter-species cake topper by melabowed 
invitations by shira leuchter
via design editor
Today's five Friday favourites are wedding themed. Now that the big day has come and gone I can reveal some of our secrets. I wanted especially to thank some of the great Etsy shop owners who helped us make our wedding day special in every way. Our just married banner was a custom piece by Celebrate With Fun (this isn't exactly ours, but one like ours). It arrived so quickly and the seller was great about customizing it. Our MelaboWed cake topper was also a custom request. We wanted it to add a bit of weirdness to our cake and keep everyone from thinking we were taking things to seriously. I can't recommend this shop enough. Great communication, everything was very well packaged and arrived quickly and the piece itself is even more awesome than the pictures imply. LOVE it. Wolf and squirrel forever.

I think the Etsy seller who maybe deserves the biggest thank you from us is Shira Leuchter. Her beautiful and affordable wedding invites fit our theme of vintage garden party perfectly and she was such a pleasure to work with. She quickly adjusted proofs and made very helpful suggestions when we were working on the design. She also went so far as to courier our invites to us during the Canada Post lockout and packaged everything absolutely beautifully. Seriously, if you're getting married or having a big event that you need some invitations for, work with Shira. She is wonderful and her work is, too.

The ring at the top of this post is not my current wedding band, but it is the one that I'd love to have to wear on days when a lower profile ring is more appropriate. I love the delicate band and the asymmetric layout of the tiny diamonds. The Satomi Kawakita engagement rings are also ridiculously awesome. Perhaps a few of you need to send the link to your boyfriends?

Finally, what wedding is complete without some Martha Stewart tissue paper pom poms? We made some for my friend Roberta's wedding reception a few years ago, and made many, many more for our wedding. We adjusted the way we made them a little to keep the back flat to make big wall pieces, inspired by Elsie's huge backdrop at her truly beautiful wedding. Check out the super easy DIY instructions over on the Martha site. She always knows what's up.

Which Etsy shops are your favourites for wedding-related awesomeness?


amanda's rad summer: reykjavik

Our great friends Ryan and Amanda went on an amazing trip this summer to a place Jeff (who has Icelandic heritage) and I definitely dreams of visiting...Iceland! Amanda has been kind enough to share some of their awesome photos here on the Sadie blog. I love the stark contrast between this summer adventure and Carrah's Africa trip. To the moonscape...

This August my husband Ryan and I were fortunate to spend a week in Iceland, somewhat of a belated honeymoon made possible by the generous contributions of friends and family from our wedding last September. Iceland is a strange and beautiful place that Ryan has always wanted to visit, and that had also intrigued me for its amazing landscapes (including hot springs and volcanoes) and artists (including Bjork and mum).

Flying over Greenland at sunrise

View from our awesome hotel, Kex (which used to be a biscuit factory). There’s a lonely lighthouse out on the point, reminiscent of the Mum video posted above.

Reykjavik (from the top of Hallgrimskikja– the church that is the centre of the city)

This says something about fish…I think. Luckily Icelanders also speak English.

We had some of the best Thai food, fish and chips, and pizza that I have ever eaten. But not to be missed were the bæjarins beztu pylsur, the best hot dogs in town, from Iceland’s most popular restaurant, a hot dog stand. 

The impressive natural hot springs and moonscape of the Blue Lagoon. 

This was a cold and windy day; all the more reason for us to spend 4 hours in the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa nearby, where hot springs, steam rooms, saunas and even beer and ice cream could be enjoyed. 

Definitely a magical place!

At this time last year Jeff and I were excited and getting ready for Ryan and Amanda's lovely Vancouver wedding. This year it was our turn, and let me just say publicly that Amanda was so helpful, gracious, and reassuring as we prepared for the big day. She took on so much for us, took a hit for the team at a wine tasting party (ugh...that was a fun and terrible idea) and made all the planning seem way more fun and easy. Thank you so much, friend, and thank you for sharing these photos and a bit of your Iceland adventure story. So glad that you guys moved to Vancouver! So many fun times to come!


one day in vancouver

walking around gastown 

breakfast at acme café

lunch at finch's

picking berries in stanley park

the marine building

pixel orca, stanley park, ocean, mountains

giant beer

Jeff and I had one day off together after the wedding...these are a few of the things that we got up to and the things that I would do if I had just one day to visit Vancouver. We are still recovering from the excitement and energy output of the wedding. This is a nice city to sit in the sun in and contemplate good times with great friends. There is so much to see and do here and sometimes I really take it for granted. Gotta get in as much awesome Vancouver stuff as possible before summer weather is gone for good. If you ever come visit don't miss these restaurants. At Finch's I recommend the raspberry jam, brie, and black pepper baguette. It's the best.