Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap To It!

I hope you're doing cool things with your  Leap Day. Being that it's a Wednesday, and a wet, snowy, cold, windy one at that, it is more than likely a day just like any other for most. It certainly is around here. I wonder how many times February 29th has fallen on a weekend since I came into existence? I think I should find that out. Also, I think I should find out when the next time it falls on a weekend will be in my lifetime, so that I can plan a massive Leap Day party. Fun, right?!

I  noticed Leap Day doesn't seem to really have a particular theme, per se. But I think of it as kind of a quirky day. Not in an April Fool's or Friday the 13th kind of way... it just has a kind of je ne sais quoi about it, n'est-ce pas?

So in honour of this once-every-four-years occasion that helps stabilize our calendar, here is a quirky photo I snapped the other day on my way home from the tea room.

(Speaking of the tea room... I would like to take this moment to say that it is no longer my primary source of income! That's right... I finally got a career job! I'm an Instructional Designer for a company that consults and creates eLearning solutions for other companies. I officially start on Monday and I'm pretty excited! Just thought I would share my happy news!)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Art Card Love

Check out this vintage wedding card...

It was given to my boss at the tea room on her wedding day in 1970 - I think she said it was from her aunt in France. Anyway, isn't it stunning?!  And you can't tell, but the card is huge ~ bigger than an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper. They absolutely don't make cards like this anymore. If they do, I need to find out where... and if they don't then maybe I need to be the one to bring them back!

She just dug it out of a box of old stuff she's storing at the tea room. I think she needs to frame it. Her aunt, or whoever it was that gave it to her,  absolutely nailed her personality with it.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Personal Moment.

I've been using this blog as a place to put things that I like. Occasionally, that might include a little anecdote or account of a pleasing experience. My old blog ~ chapped lips and all ~ started the same way, and then ended up getting kind of cluttered and bogged down with too much cognitive myopia. And that's why I started a new, fresh, clean space, and I think it's been going well. I know I don't post as frequently as I used to, but I've grown okay with that. Having far fewer followers here has really helped to ease the pressure, which is kind of ironic, since the point of blogging is usually to put something out there for others to see.

Pinterest has become the place where my collection of things is now happening. It just makes more sense.

But that doesn't mean I'm abandoning this blog, or even changing its purpose. I'm learning now that my online life is fluid and constantly changing. The things I've collected here may seem frivolous, but in fact, I've put them here because they mean something to me. Sometimes I explain what they mean, and sometimes I don't. When I don't, it's because I'm trying to avoid clogging this space with transient thoughts and ephemeral emotions. There is a time and place for those things, and this isn't it.

Now that I've said that, I'm going to do ~ just for today ~ what I've said I don't wish to do. Yeah, I know.. how contrary of me.

If you happen to be reading this and you aren't interested in the personal moment I'm about to have, don't fret! Simply scroll to the bottom to find out about an amazing film I saw last night :)

Commence Personal Moment.

Like many people I know, I used to believe that there was a reason for everything. I didn't believe in any kind of specific deity, but I did sort of think that there must be some kind of spiritual connection between all living things. I definitely believed in the concept of a soul - not in a religious sense, but in an undefined collective energy kind of way. 

Lately, I've noticed I don't feel that way anymore... and the collapse of this belief has created a void inside me. Logic tells me that things don't happen for a reason... they just happen. Unfortunately, when things happen that make me sad, I can no longer try to comfort myself with the idea that there is a purpose for it. And that makes it harder to get through the sad things.

It makes it particularly difficult to navigate what is happening (or rather, not happening) in my life right now. I recently read a quote that made me... uncomfortable.

I used to LIVE this quote. Whenever I found myself in a displeasing situation or had a problem that needed solving, I did what I had to do to fix it. It was never easy, but I wasn't afraid. If I needed to change something, I did it. I took risks for love, for education, for experience, for work. I was first and foremost uncomfortable with the idea of settling for something that wasn't... well, perfect, to be honest. Not necessarily perfect in symmetry, but perfectly imperfect, if that makes any sense. 

I used to thrive on change, on the search for my place in the world and the puzzle pieces that comprise it: love, education, experience, and work. There are changes I am currently wanting - I won't list them all, but there is one in particular that is dragging me down... work. I went back to school with the goal of graduating into a full-time, paid writing or communications job. A career doing something I care about, something that will challenge me without destroying me. But now I'm back doing the same job I was doing before returning to school. There have been a number of job interviews, but no offers. Nothing has changed.

After reading that quote the other day, it dawned on me that maybe I'm being too passive. Sure I've applied for jobs and gone on interviews. But what have I really DONE to change things? My current situation isn't making me happy. I almost feel that in order to finally be offered a job, I need to make seemingly unrelated changes in order to allow the work piece of the puzzle to fall into place. I recently made a change to education, so it isn't that one. That leaves love and experience.

Of course, this goes back to the idea that all things are connected - in order to finally find work happiness, something has got to give somewhere else. But do I really believe that anymore? It's comforting to think that there is some order present in these things... one door closes, and another opens. But logic is telling me not to fall into that tantalizing trap. In which case, my best course of action is simply to keep waiting for change to occur, which seems counter-intuitive.

Anyway... I'm losing myself in this train of thought and it's time to stop. I needed to put it somewhere, and this seemed like a good place.

End Personal Moment.

Vincent Van Gogh is my all-time favourite artist. I know a lot of people say that rather flippantly, but in my case, it's true. Yes, I'm getting all hipster-y about it, haha. I don't love Vincent the way 16 year old girls love him. It's different. I've read a number of biographies about him, all trying to piece together his struggles, his joys, his lows and his highs. I'm enthralled with the letters he wrote to his brother Theo. I'm enamoured with the hypothesis that he was a synesthete who experienced the colour yellow in a way the majority of us do not.

Last night I saw a BBC film called Vincent Van Gogh: Painted With Words. It is a dramatization of the letters Vincent wrote to Theo, and to other people in his life, including fellow post-impressionist Paul Gaugin.

The actor playing the role of Vincent, Benedict Cumberbatch, is phenomenal. This is the best "autobiographical biography" I've seen to date. If you love Vincent the way I do, this is a must-see.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Instagram via iPhone, will you marry me?

I finally got my iPhone! It's been attached to my palm since Friday :) Can't. Seem. To. Put. It. Down. Well, except for right now... I can't imagine trying to type a blog post on it - as much as I love tapping out texts on the touch screen keyboard, nothing beats actually typing at full speed. Not to say I will never blog via iPhone - you never know when something might strike me whilst away from my laptop!

Admittedly, one of the reasons I've been dying for an iPhone is the Instagram app. It was the first app I downloaded and the dreamy, swoony results are taking my breath away.

Here's my current favourite Instagram image:

It's me! Well, it's my reflection in the front door. I love how the cracked paint on the wooden door behind the screen door adds texture to the photo. Yup, pretty enamoured with Instagram right about now :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011's Last Breath (Smells Like Popcorn).

Ahem... yeah. I sort of fell off the blogging wagon there, didn't I? The last couple of months have been filled with mostly good things, and I've been enjoying the holiday season, even though I'm kind of broke and still trying to get my post-school shizzle together.

But this moment found me sitting here listening to the Black Keys and sipping some tea by the Christmas tree, which is going to be coming down very soon... and as I took a sip of this amazing tea my mom got me for Christmas, I was all "man, this is the best tea ever!" and I felt compelled to share it with you!

It's called Movie Night (from David's Tea). And yes... it's popcorn flavoured! It sounds ridiculous... and if you said to me, "Hey Shellbot (that's what my brother-in-law calls me, so why shouldn't you?), guess what? Popcorn tea!" I'd be all like "whatever, that's lame and gross and I work in a tea room so I should know". But I would be so wrong.

It smells like heaven. If there is a heaven, this is what it smells like. For serious. And it tastes just as good. I don't work for David's Tea, I swear. But I think I may have found a new obsession :)

Oh, and also... my mom enshrined the tea in this container:

Yeah, those are snowflakes and space invaders. Yeah, I'm bragging.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Homemade Christmas Cards!

So because I'm so broke this year, I've decided just to do homemade Christmas cards. I spent this afternoon watching Love, Actually and putting the cards together from little bundles of cardstock and scrapbooking paper that I pre-cut and pre-stamped a little while ago. I made 10 of them today, and I have about 20 left to do. I'm having a lot of fun making them! I really like how these ones have turned out.

I may still add a few finishing touches to them with ribbon and the odd glittery snowflake. The next batch will be blue and violet coloured! Maybe I'll watch Elf next time :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Forget Wrapping Paper...

Unfortunately, I can't afford to buy Christmas gifts this year. I kind of went a bit crazy last year, though, so if anyone says anything I'll just remind them of my past generosity, LOL!

Still, I am in love with this gift wrapping idea from Lune Vintage: A Silk Scarf Furoshiki.

Place the item to be wrapped in the centre of the scarf. Grab opposite corners and tie one snug knot, then grab the other opposite corners and tie another knot. 

You'll have 4 points to gather with a ribbon or bit of string. If you're using a scrap of fabric, you can also double knot and skip the ribbon. 

The next gift I wrap definitely gets the furoshiki treatment... unless it's, you know, a gift for a dude. I may have to find a cool, creative, non-wrapping-papery way to wrap dude gifts! I'll post it when I find it :)