Category Archives: creativity

grandma’s slippers

Did you have a pair of slippers that your grandma made you sometime in the 60s? Chunky, usually made of washable acrylic yarn and with an easy garter stitch pattern…slippers

They are back in vogue in a retro kinda way. A friend of mine showed me a pair her mother-in-law had made and said her kids were nostalgic for them…she wondered if I could re-create the slippers.

It took about three minutes to find dozens of patterns on-line! And in about an hour I made a sample slipper to show her, using up left-over yarn.fullsizeoutput_a3bdI found instructions and a youtube video by someone called Crafty Patti in case you want to take a trip down memory lane, make a pair and keep your feet warm in the winter. I’m going to make myself a pair and I just might re-create the hot pink pair Grandma made me — complete with pom-poms!

HAR

 

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trails

We love trails of all types. There are the outdoor ones that involve hiking and reading maps. And then there are the other types of trails – the ones that have you following a theme. Like butter tarts or gin. They all require map reading, with the payoff of a great vista, a great pastry or a great cocktail.

Between us, we’ve hiked the Bruce Trail, Cinque Terre, Mt Kuchumaa, Mt Wachusett and countless other trails.

 

We’ve made and eaten our share of homemade butter tarts.

 

And now, we’re eyeing up a Gin Trail trip to Scotland. After all, I only have two Scottish gins in my gin collection – The Botanist and Hendrick’s – so it must be time to spread my taste buds to some new botanical combinations. Doesn’t hurt at all that there’s a stop on Shetland.

CJR

 

a gift idea

A few years ago my not-quite daughter-in-law gave my son a personalized note pad with a picture of our dog at the top. It was the right size for short lists of things and the photo was the perfect touch. She ordered it from pinhole press.

I ordered a bunch of notepads that year from pinhole press but then forgot about the company until an email arrived this week with a 25% off coupon. I started browsing my photos and found tons that I think would make great gifts. Don’t be surprised if you receive one this year!

When she became my daughter-in-law for real she had personalized photos made of their wedding to view in a View Master! It’s a really fun way to look at photos and it makes people smile when they pick it up and look in it.

My other son and my next soon-to-be daughter-in-law gave us a beautiful calendar from Artifact Uprising. The photos were heavy card stock and displayed on a wooden clipboard with a magnet. Another cool gift idea.

So there you go. Easy gift ideas for the holidays. Find some favourite photos and order some stuff that will make your recipient smile!

Happy Holidays!
HAR

 

friday favourite – art on the street

On our recent visit to Guelph, ON for Canadian Thanksgiving, we walked by this art-on-the-street installment, called Street Projects. Part of the Open Field Collective, their mandate is to bring contemporary art into outdoor spaces where art and community can interact.  What a great idea! It’s our friday favourite.

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HAR

re-purposing your grandmother’s china

We just celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with our aunts, uncles and cousins on our father’s side of the family. Our cousin Pat showed up with some of Grandma’s china that she found in her dad’s cabinet. She knew he wouldn’t use the hand-painted tea cups or dessert plates—hand-painted by our grandmother— so she got creative with some of his dishes. I neglected to ask where the idea came from, but she showed up with several of the tea cups turned into pin cushions!

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Pat had also glued two different sized dessert plates together with a small glass to separate them, creating a serving plate. She’s so clever!

I started looking in my cabinet at the pieces I have from Grandma and figured I’d brag a little about her talent and post more pictures of her hand painted china.

Apparently, in 1924, painting porcelain was something young women did…she bought the unpainted porcelain from Woolworth’s and did very elaborate decorations on the dishes. These dishes are 93 years old! Way to go Grandma and thanks Pat for the creative re-purposing.

HAR

friday favourite – bananagrams

Three days a week I run a conversation class for English Language Learners at our local community college. The students have already spent three hours in English class and join me for another two hours of conversation and writing practice.

They show up in class, eager to learn, but weary. It’s very tiring to focus and concentrate on another language for several hours. I do my best to make it ‘fun’ and relevant. We’ve played Bingo using world capitals, we’ve written postcards, we have talked about marriage customs and school uniforms and middle names.

But the most enthusiasm I have had so far was when I pulled Bananagrams from my bag. No one had played the game. I dumped out the tiles and explained we needed to turn the tiles over so we couldn’t see the letters. Blanca turned them over, Afsaneh turned them back up so we could see the letters! Once we sorted that out, we played. They made terrific words, really concentrated and kept asking to play one more time!

Bananagrams is my friday favourite!

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HAR

bullet journal

It started with an email from my friend ACC who saw an article in Popular Science about Bullet Journaling and sent me the link with the comment that she thought this was something I would do. Not sure how to interpret that since the subtitle for the article is A Nerd’s Guide to Bullet Journaling, but I won’t get into that today! The title seemed intriguing: How one notebook could replace all the productivity apps that have failed you. Hmmm. I don’t really use productivity apps but I sure like notebooks—moleskin, miquelrius, filofax — so I read the article. I alternated between WHAT? and that sounds appealing. 

I went to Bullet Journal to read more and that’s where I got a little overwhelmed. The site explains that The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less. 

Next I watched the Youtube video showing you how to start your bullet journal. I decided if I need to take notes about how to write a to-do list, this was not for me…but I did like the notebook with little dots…that would be fun to doodle in, sketch, write my grocery list, so I persevered. And I ordered the Leuchtturm Notebook A5 Medium Dotted Navy Blue because who doesn’t need another notebook?!

Then I googled Bullet Journal to get the real story. I found an article on BuzzFeed called WTF Is A Bullet Journal and Why You Should Start One. This is what I needed.

Bullet Journal

The bullet journal system uses a lot of fancy language that makes everything more difficult to understand. Here’s what those terms actually mean:

Bullet journal: a method of note-taking that uses bullet points as the core structure
Index: a table of contents that you update as you go
Daily Log: shit you did and/or need to do today (+ other observations)
Monthly Log: traditional month calendar + shit you need to do that month + shit you forgot to do last month
Rapid Logging: symbols that help you get that shit done
Future Log: year-at-a-glance calendar where you put events, goals, and long-term shit you need to do

So, it’s a rainy Sunday afternoon and I am going to crack open my new Leuchtturm notebook and consolidate my notes and lists. I’ll let you know how it goes and please…if you have a bullet journal, let me know because I am really curious if this is worth it!

HAR