Tuesday, March 29, 2011

KitchenAid Mixer

I've wanted a KitchenAid mixer since... well, since I first heard about them, somewhere around 5 or 7 years ago. Unfortunately, their price range is quite a bit out of my budget, especially when my tiny kitchen doesn't really have a spot for it. So, even though it's been on my wishlist for a while, I still don't have one.

Last week, I realized we had enough Air Miles to get a pretty decent reward. I fully intended on restricting my browsing to trips & cruises... but then I landed on this baby:
And I had enough Air Miles to get it for free. No shipping or handling fees - free. How's a girl supposed to resist that?
It's this one exactly: an awesome burnished silver, a glass mixing bowl & a couple attachments (including a dough hook). I received an email this morning saying it had shipped. I should expect it in 10 days. I can't wait!!!

Do you have a mixer? Do you use it a lot?
I'll be gathering recipes that use it over the next couple weeks, so please share any favourites in the comments!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mosaic Monday

It's Mosaic Monday! I hope you'll join us - it's really easy! Just make a mosaic - you can use whatever photo editing software you like, or a website such as the mosaic maker & photos from Flickr - & then post it on your blog. Go ahead & pick a theme if you want, but don't feel like you have to. Have fun with it!

Then make sure to come back here & add a link to your blog post so that others can see your awesome mosaic!


Here's mine for this week: equivocate. No other reason except that it was the word of the day yesterday - I was surprised I found so many photos tagged with that word!

Here's the list of mosaics this week. Once you've blogged, click the button below to add your blog post link.



Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dreaming in Colour


Do you dream in colour?

Most of the time, I don't remember my dreams. When I do, colour isn't something that typically stands out. I could have been dreaming in colour, but it could very well have been in black & white or something else.

Last night, I definitely dreamed in colour. Rather, a few objects clearly stand out in my mind as having colour. It was a night full of dreams. I woke up a couple times & didn't necessarily go back into the same dream, but all of the sequences were very vivid. Here's what I remember:
  • The first sequence I remember I was in a house, waiting for someone. Except I didn't want them to know I was there, so I was hiding in the closet. At one point, a young girl was hiding with me. The closet had piles of blankets on the floor & I wormed my way into them. I covered myself with a bright red wool blanket. I remember it being thick, heavy & scratchy.
  • I woke up. It seemed like I had been hiding a long time.
  • Next thing I know, I'm in a bedroom in this same house. I'm no longer worried about someone showing up to find me. The young girl & I are getting ready to go to bed. There's a big window opposite the door & I can see a magnificent sunset. The sky is pink & red & orange. I approach the window to get a better look & realize it's actually the moon setting, not the sun. As I watch, the white disc disappears behind the horizon ... but then almost immediately reappears. Then I see an arm - from the elbow down to the hand - appear beside the moon. It's the moon's arm........ and it points to the right, forward (towards me) & to the left. I turn away from the window, stunned. A guy walks into the room & says "that's some sunset!" I tell him it's a moon set & that I'd seen something odd in it. He looks outside.
  • I woke up.
  • Pat's driving me to work. We go up to the emergency entrance, the one I always walk in. I know there was some complications once there, parking & such, but I don't remember it all. I just remember walking into the lobby (which is actually at a different entrance). Some lady is sitting there, stops me by asking if I'm "Amanda Wendy Giesler" ... I say "well, I'm Amanda Giesler, close enough" & approach. She gets up & reveals a teddy bear under her seat. He's brown & sitting, with red hearts or balloons. I think it was some sort of a prize... I sit down at a table with her & a man & she asks for my passport to confirm it's me. I give her my health card because that's what I have on me. She looks it over & then goes through some papers. I don't remember all the details, but they were giving me feedback on my time in the lab & TAing. I get a list of nice things, but the last one is pointed out. She tells me, in a low voice, that there'd been a few complaints about my having really bad B.O. I was shocked & wondered what the heck....
  • I woke up.
  • I'm at home & had just taken off the clothes I was wearing while talking to that lady. I clearly remember my light blue jeans on the living room floor. I'm in my robe & Pat's in bed when there's a knock on the door. I'm flustered, thinking it's the women & I can't answer if I'm not wearing the same clothes she saw me in earlier. I fumble with the clothes as the knocking becomes more insistent. I see the handle turning, so I stumble towards the door to hold it closed. Apparently there's only a chain lock. The door opens a crack & I slam it shut, then look through the peephole. It's an old friend of mine (I recognized her orange hair - I haven't actually spoken to her since undergrad though). She protests, saying she doesn't want to come in, just give me something. So I let her open the door & drop a few packages inside. I don't say a word. I almost open the door to thank her when I realize what she's given me... but I don't. I just watch her get on the elevator through the peephole. The gifts are for my nephew Edward, who was turning 1 soon (in my dream - he's actually 4 now). I explained to Pat that she knew that I was headed home to celebrate because she'd read it on my blog. The gifts were all toys, in bright primary colours. I only remember one of them: a telephone on wheels that you can pull around (we actually do have that toy back home - I think it was originally my younger brothers, but Edward played with it a lot too).
  • I woke up.
The absurdity & vivid details make me laugh. But what sticks out the most is the colour. Red & orange came up again & again. I did a quick search to see what these colours would mean - apparently red, pink & orange indicate passion. Not sure how to interpret that...

So... do you dream in colour?
Do you remember it all being in colour, or just some specific objects? Or do you clearly remember dreaming in black & white or shades of grey?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Five

Well... if possible this week was even less eventful than last week. I'm so looking forward to just being done!
  1. I finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. Good book though I wish the ending had been different.
  2. I found out that we have enough Air Miles to get a Kitchenaid stand mixer for free... ummm... yes please!
  3. I started an online course, hosted by CodeLesson, called "A gentle introduction to the Etsy API". This week we learned basic html & css. I actually found a mistake in one of the examples... (just like my high school tests!) But I've realized that I really enjoy web design, so expect to see some changes around here once I get a chance!
  4. I discovered that I've been using the wrong media for my entire Master's. Not the end of the world, but means I have a few more experiments to do. Ugh. I can't believe how careless I was not to notice..
  5. I've listed some new recycled tags - I really like these green ones:
Hope everyone has a great weekend - I'm planning on working on some custom orders & hopefully getting some baking done!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Creative Space

I was overcome by an itch to collage & paint early in the week.
I was so into it, I didn't even think to take photos through the initial steps. What you see here is where I am now after a few layers:
  • gesso
  • charcoal journaling
  • collage
  • paint
  • collage
Not sure where I want to go with it... I'll probably break out my inks & stamps next, but maybe after another coat of paint first.

I did get the perfect idea for this yellow painting I started a few months ago though:
Now I just have to recreate what's in my mind...

Head on over to kootoyoo for more creative spaces!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mosaic Monday

It's Mosaic Monday! I hope you'll join us - it's really easy! Just make a mosaic - you can use whatever photo editing software you like, or a website such as the mosaic maker & photos from Flickr - & then post it on your blog. Go ahead & pick a theme if you want, but don't feel like you have to. Have fun with it!

Make sure to come back here & add a link to your blog post so that others can see your awesome mosaic!


Here's mine for this week: dogs. In particular, weimaraners - I love these dogs! I want one as soon as I have a house & yard for him to run in!

Here's the list of mosaics this week. Once you've blogged, click the button below to add your blog post link.



Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Five

I've been putting this off because I couldn't think of 5 things I did this week! I've been super busy & it all seems like a blur. Let me see what I can remember...
  1. Monday night I stayed up until 3:30am reading. I just had to finish Steig Larsson's The Girl Who Played With Fire. SO GOOD. So sad that there's only 1 book left in this trilogy (with no hope of their being more since the author passed away).
  2. Wednesday night Pat & I didn't get to sleep until 5:30am. (And I wondered why I don't remember much of this week...) We talked the whole night. He started explaining some of the stuff he was working on & it became a full lesson on recursion, threads & abstraction.
  3. I started reading a new book. Which is bad, since I need to focus on reading more science & finishing up my degree. But I made the mistake of walking into the bookstore & seeing some hardcovers on sale (with my discount card I got change back from a $10 bill - how am I supposed to resist that??). The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski sounded too good not to purchase.
  4. Good news all around for my family: first, my dad got a new job! Well, more like a promotion to a managerial position (which surprised us since the government typically gives those jobs to ex-military, which my dad isn't & he was in competition against one). My aunt found a wedding dress! And my sister-in-law just found out she has an interview on Thursday for a Personal Support Worker (PSW) program put on by the Red Cross. In North Bay, they're offering to pay you to take the course if you work at least 900 hours for the Red Cross afterwards. Needless to say, we're all really excited for her!
  5. I listed some sets of vintage buttons. Imagine my surprise when I found out that I had some Bakelite in my stash (Bakelite is one of the first synthetically-made plastics & highly collectible)! I thought the plastic on these buttons felt a bit different: there are no seams, they have a lovely marbling effect (dark green-grey in colour) & they clink together musically. After a bit of research & a hot water test, these turned out to be the real thing:
  6. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Creative Space

I work in my sketchbook whenever the mood strikes. Here are a few recent pages:
(inspired by Black Swan)
(inspired by Alisa Burke)
For this last spread, I drew out the border well before I knew what I wanted to draw inside the middle box. I decided to go with coral reef scenes since endangered reef is the monthly challenge theme for the MSOE team.

I've also been churning out some tags:

And I think I finished this painting:
I just want to display it a bit longer to make sure I'm completely satisfied.

And finally, I grabbed a bouquet of mums at the farmer's market today - I needed a little pick-me-up & some colourful inspiration:
In fact, I was so inspired, I chose the following photo for my Project 52, week 11 assignment:
The theme was darks & lights - I think the bright orange contrasts nicely against the darker background.

Check out more creative spaces over at kootoyoo.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Science Byte

It's been a long time since I blogged a Science Byte & so I thought I'd tell you about something that really strikes a nerve with me. As a medical science student - in particular, one who works on obesity, asthma & allergy - I feel like dragging my fingernails across a chalkboard whenever I hear some quack propounding the next miracle-cure-vitamin-antioxidant you really need to know about but your doctor isn't telling you!!! I plan on writing a whole series of Bytes about this topic, but I wanted to start out with some basics.

Nutritionist vs. Dietitian

Certified Nutritional Practioner (CNP) vs. Registered Dietitian (RD)

So you're trying to lose weight, or need to change your diet for whatever reason (allergies, intolerances, high blood pressure, migraines, etc), and want professional advice. Who do you turn to? A nutritionist or a dietitian?

I think the best way to compare the two is by looking at the qualifications, schooling & experience you need in order to obtain these qualifications:

To become a Registered Dietitian (RD), you must first earn your bachelor's degree from a University that is accredited by the Dietitians of Canada (DC) or the American Dietetic Association (ADA). Then you have to apply for a post-degree internship or Masters practicum, completing a minimum number of hours (1200 in the US) under the supervision of an RD. And then you have to write an examination offered by the DC or ADA (Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination in Canada). Finally, if you pass, you can call yourself an RD. But - like any other health practitioner - you can't practice unless you register with the ADA or the provincial regulatory body for the Canadian province in which you want to practice.

Pretty rigorous. As any health profession should be.

What about becoming a nutritionist? Just as difficult, right?

Wrong.

Nutritionists are NOT regulated by any agency. Anyone can take a nutrition program at some obscure college & declare themselves "certified" - indeed, many "institutes" or "councils" even print off fancy looking certificates (for a nominal fee) that you can frame & display proudly on your wall.

So even though there are a ton of letters at the end of any given nutritionists name (CNP, RNCP, ANP), that doesn't necessarily mean they're qualified. Before you spend any money on an assessment, ensure that the professional you're seeing is indeed a registered professional.

(Note: I'm not saying all nutritionists are quacks - I'm sure there are some good ones out there. Better to be safe than sorry though. And if it sounds too good to be true [this supplement will prevent colds, flu, ulcers, headaches, bursitis, meningitis & cancer!!!!], it probably is. Actually, take all "preventatives" with a grain of salt - remember that a tablespoon of sugar water is a great cure for many things too.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mosaic Monday

It's Mosaic Monday! I hope you'll join us - it's really easy! Just make a mosaic - you can use whatever photo editing software you like, or a website such as the mosaic maker & photos from Flickr - & then post it on your blog. Go ahead & pick a theme if you want, but don't feel like you have to. Have fun with it!

Make sure to come back here & add a link to your blog post so that others can see your awesome mosaic!


Here's mine for this week: Curling. Since that's what's on TV!

Here's the list of mosaics this week. Once you've blogged, click the button below to add your blog post link.



Sunday, March 13, 2011

Project 52

The theme for week 10 of Project 52 was childhood toys. I had no problems coming up with an idea for this week but I had to find the time! Of course, when I did have the time, the lighting wasn't the best... I finally just made do on Friday.

My first idea was to use my original Cabbage Patch Kid. I've had Garvey for as long as I can remember - he's been through a lot! Including a nasty case of the chicken pox he caught from my brother & I... it still hasn't gone away! I did try to clean him with a magic eraser before his photoshoot, but alas. Spotted he remains.

So my original idea had Garvey lying on the couch, looking forgotten, his arm hanging down the side. Sort of like this:
It just didn't turn out exactly how I pictured. I wanted it to have more of a discarded old toy feel... but it wasn't working with the setting. It looks too posed to me. I just realized now that I should have tried sitting him next to the brick wall outside... but instead another idea popped into my head:

What if I put him in a box with some other old toys & my first diary?
This wasn't much of a stretch - this is actually the box I store Garvey & these other old toys in. I named this photo "Box of Memories" because that's exactly what it is.
But even after taking a number of photos, I still wasn't completely happy with it. The dreamy feeling that should come with a box of memories wasn't conveyed through this photo.

Luckily, while I was photographing Garvey on the couch, I took some photos of him just sitting against the pillow (here's one of him in his original diaper). Nothing fancy, I just wanted to record a piece of my childhood. But this photo is it, my submission for week 10:
The lighting is wonderful & the focus is just right. He looks cuddly & well loved, waiting for a hug. I love that an impromptu & unplanned shot actually turned out to be the one I liked best this week.

The theme for week 11 is darks & lights. Of course the only thing I can think of is laundry right now (I even took a photo of my piles of sorted dirty clothes) - but I'm sure I can come up with something else during the week!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Five

Lately, each Friday I mention how busy my week was but I think this week was the busiest yet - indeed it was so hectic that I didn't even have a chance to blog the past couple days. Which is something I've noticeably missed - I like blogging, I feel connected to a whole community of friends, inviting them into my home to chat & share & inspire.

Here's what I was up to instead:
  1. Work, work, work. The usual.
  2. I ran coffee house on Thursday - quite a few people came out this time, it was nice.
  3. I took care of Pat after his procedure on Tuesday (nothing serious).
  4. I went for my Valentine's day gift: a massage this afternoon. Oh yes. It was lovely.
  5. I did list some tissue cozies early in the week. This one features some of my favourite fabric:I'm quite pleased with how my sewing shop is shaping up, the shelves are starting to look stocked. Now that most of my tissue cozies are listed though, I'll have to start thinking of some new things to list. I have lots of Christmas stock, but I'd like to wait a bit before listing that. I want a few new products (perhaps some reusable gift bags, similar to my wine cozies?) & I want to finish a few ongoing projects, including another bird cross-stitch.
Have a great weekend everyone!
I'm planning on taking photos & crafting as much as I can!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Inspiration: Armelle Caron

Istanbul

I first came across the inspiring Armelle Caron on MSOE member minouette's blog. I am absolutely blown away by her "tout bien rangé" (French for all nicely organized) work. In this series, she takes the map of a city & sorts the city blocks by size & shape. This leads to some interesting patterns & a satisfying sense of order. Here are a couple of my favourites:

Montpellier

Tamarac

New York

I love how the older cities have more randomly shaped blocks while the modern New York is almost completely regular. It's neat how such a simple concept came reshape our way of thinking about the world.

While searching through Armelle Caron's site, I came across another inspiring series called "river roots" where the roots of a plant are drawn in as a river with tributaries.
Does that not fit perfectly? I love how this artist reinterprets how we portray this world in which we live!

Do browse through Armelle Caron's site for more inspiring pieces!

Item of the day: The Curie

Did you know that the MSOE team has our very own milliner (hat maker)? Of course, manonofhollywood's cloches are my favourite - I especially like the shape of this brim:
Take a peak at her profile to find out more!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mosaic Monday

It's Mosaic Monday! I hope you'll join us - it's really easy! Just make a mosaic - you can use whatever photo editing software you like, or a website such as the mosaic maker & photos from Flickr - & then post it on your blog. Go ahead & pick a theme if you want, but don't feel like you have to. Have fun with it!

Make sure to come back here & add a link to your blog post so that others can see your awesome mosaic!


Here's mine for this week: Blue Water.

Here's the list of mosaics this week. Once you've blogged, click the button below to add your blog post link.



Sunday, March 6, 2011

Project 52

It's been a while since I posted about my Project 52 but I haven't been slacking! I've been staying on top of it... I just haven't been spending as much thought on it as I'd originally hoped. A couple of these were just last minute shots to meet the deadline... but still, here they are:

week 7: open your heart

This one I planned, but then took in haste before heading home for the long weekend. It didn't quite turn out how I'd pictured...

week 8: the view from here

Another last minute photo. Another shot from my balcony. How original (I take photos off my balcony at least once a month or so).

week 9: express yourself

As soon as I heard the theme for this week, I knew I wanted to try to photograph movement. Specifically, the movement of hands while someone is talking. I took about 5 photos before the my camera battery needed recharging, but I thought this shot wasn't too bad. I like it with an almost-sepia-almost-black-and-white tone.

Next week's theme is childhood toys - I already have an idea for this one. I'm going to try really hard not to wait until Saturday to take it!

Item of the day: White-Crowned Sparrow

The MSOE team has some amazing printers - and sparrowpress is one of them. I love this little guy:
Find out more on Marissa's blog!