Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Finishing and Forties

I’m a bad blogger. I know I am, but I’ve been a little busy, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

I finished my green cabled sweater though, and I’m in love.

Cables & Cashmere-14

My only issue is the length, I would have liked it to have been just a touch longer, as it is now it’s okay, but just another inch would have been wonderful. I used a very simple hook and eye clasp for the closure. Knowing that buttons would have been too heavy I had first attempted a snap sewn onto the button band, but it pulled too much and looked funky. So I sewed the clasp right to the edge of the band. Now it doesn’t pucker. It’s also so simply elegant that I love it. More pictures on my Flickr.

In other news, I had the week off last week from OLT. Having just finished up Honeymoon at Graveside Manor (which was 5 weeks of insanity and fun), and knowing that Inspecting Carol was right around the corner, I specifically set out to not be involved with EODL. I needed some “me” time. But, now I’m back; two weeks of rehearsals on stage, then three weeks of the show. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I really need to learn to say “I’ve had enough”.

I’ve been trying out some new hairstyles the last couple days, yesterday I went with a 1940s down-do, pretty much the same as this. She actually has a bunch of tutorials on youtube about 1940/50 style. In fact, I used this video as a guide. I did use my new 1.5” curling iron to put some more curl in the hair that I left down, but I wish I had a smaller diameter curling iron… New purchase? Yea, like I need an excuse. I then had on a dress I bought a couple years ago, which is fairly flowey and almost 1940s-ish. Obviously, for shoes I had on my spectators. I don’t have a picture, but I was looking pretty good.

That’s all for now, I say it all the time, but I am going to try to post more often. I promise.

-Cheers folks

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Return of the Living Blogger

I’ve been absent for a while, I know. I’m sorry.

I finished a beret.


It’s Laurel from Jared Flood’s Made in Brooklyn. I love it so much.

I’ve been knitting on other things, just not finishing them. So no other knitting news really.

I did make potato and bacon soup today though. It was super easy, and fairly cheap to boot.

Potato Bacon soup

What you need: Potatoes, onions, garlic, bacon, milk, butter, chicken stock mix.

Boil about 5 large potatoes that have been diced to about a half inch in just enough water to cover, add about 2tbsp chicken stock mix (don’t add salt to the water, the stock mix is salty enough). Fry up about a half pound of bacon to extra crispy (try not to eat it all), set bacon aside. Mince about 4 cloves of garlic and two small onions. Drain off about half the bacon fat, sauté the onions and garlic in the bacon pan. Add about 2 cups milk to the potato/chicken stock mix.

This is where preference comes in, I mashed about a quarter of the potatoes just to thicken up the soup a bit. You could add flour or corn starch, but I opted for mashing.

Chop up the bacon as fine or coarse as you like, add to the soup. Once the onions have become translucent add them to the soup. Bring up to a simmer, adding more milk if it’s too thick. Add about 2tbsp of butter. Continue to simmer until you get the consistency you’d like.

I didn’t really have a recipe when I made this, I just winged it, and I must say it came out really well. It’s such a great base for adding to. Like it spicy? Try adding some chilli powder. Want it cheesey? Add cheese.

As to the cost, well… I bought 10lbs of potatoes (2.99), 2L of milk (3.89), bacon (4.49), 2lbs of onions (1.50), and garlic (0.26), and some things I had in my cupboard, like the chicken stock mix. What I actually used though I’d estimate at:

Potatoes 0.50
Milk 1.00
Bacon 2.25
Onions 0.20
Garlic 0.05
Chicken Stock 0.20
Total 4.20

Break that down into the 7 portions I got out of it, and it means that each bowl of soup costs about $0.60. Insane right? I think I need to make more soup like this.

-Cheers folks.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Apparently I have a thing for doors. Last week I repainted the door to our balcony.

Back Door

It had been a gray-blue that I wasn’t a fan of, and to top it off I’m pretty sure an indoor paint had been used on it, because it was chipped and peeling like nobody’s business. It took me two days to strip the paint, fill in the cracks, sand, fill in again, sand once again, and then put on three coats. It still didn’t turn out as good as I’d have liked, but I used an entire quart of paint. I wasn’t buying another.


I’ve also decided to do something to the door to my bedroom. I’m sorry about the horrible picture quality, but it was late, and there was very little light. It’s a Swedish Proverb. “Fear less, hope more. Eat less, chew more. Whine less, breathe more. Talk less, say more. Love more, and all good things will be yours.” Now I just need to find some paint, which is proving harder than I’d like. Just means a trip to WalMart is in order. Alas, today is far to hot for that bike ride.

-Cheers folks!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Halloween in August

I apparently had a fit of planning ahead this week. I decided on Sunday that I wanted to be a Star Fleet officer from Star Trek. The original series none the less. That meant finding a short red dress, buying a Star Trek costume, or making one. Buying a red dress seemed to be way too much hassle, and would end up being more expensive than I would like. Buying a Star Trek costume was practically impossible last year (even though I did leave it fairly late… October 30th anyone?), not to mention expensive. No way I would spent nearly $70 on a costume. So that left me with making one. I’ve made clothing and costumes before, there was no sweat there. The only problem is that I don’t have a sewing machine. Still, no huge problem, I’m a decent hand sewer, it just takes so long to do it. I set about searching to find a pattern. In doing so, I stumbled upon this awesome idea. I was sold.

Monday I went to WalMart to find a 2XL men’s shirt. I didn’t really care whether I was Command gold, Sciences/Medical blue, or Engineering red. I just wanted a colour that looked like the Star Trek colour. I ended up with a red shirt. I know, I know, say it with me, “Expendable”. But there were no good blues, and no yellows to be seen.

Step 1, get the outline right.

Halloween Costume

Unlike the girl in the video, I have hips. So I had to make sure to leave room for them. I also didn’t want it to hug my behind like hers did. But that’s the great thing about making your own clothes, you can make them how YOU want them. This step would have been much easier if I had had a friend to help me, but alas, I was all alone and impatient.

Step 2, Cut, sew.

Halloween Costume-2

Magically a 2XL tshirt has turned into a cute little dress. I found using safety pins rather than straight pins made it easier to try on the dress as I went.

Step 3, try it on. Prance around like a fool. Smile for days.

Halloween Costume-7

I was insanely giggly when I got it this far.

Step 4, Sew on rank bands.

(No picture, I was too excited)

I researched a fair bit to make sure I got the rank bands right. Not sure if I could do two bands, or just still with one. In the end I went with just one band, signifying that I am a Lieutenant. This site was really helpful.

Step 5, cut off centre V neck, sew in black band.

(No picture, really way too excited at this point)

Instead of going out to buy black fabric, I decided to sacrifice one of my man black shirts. An old work shirt did the trick. I sewed it in fairly easily, basically just making a large funnel neck, but it stood up too much, so I sewed down the V so it laid a fair bit flatter in the front.

Step 6, try it on for the umpteenth time, do a little dance, take quick picture in the mirror.

Halloween Costume-10

I had first thought I’d wear it bare legs. I do have a pair of bike shorts (as seen in Step 3), but they were too long. Getting a shorter pair would be no problem. There was just no way I’d go sans shorts. Then I watched a bit of TOS (The Original Series), and noticed that a number of the girls wore tights. I have tights! Not only do I have tights, I have two weights of tights so I can either be really warm, or just covered. I brought the boots back from Halifax after my last trip there. I’ve had them since… probably grade 9 or so.

I still need the insignia. I’m going to try to see if any of the comic book shops have any patches (I want a patch, but I’d take a pin too). If not I know I can get them online.

All in all, this cost me under $10 for the things I needed to buy. Plus, I now have a spool of gold ribbon, who knows how that will come in handy.

-Cheers folks!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chicken Fajitas

I decided yesterday that I wanted something spicy. Now considering that when I was growing up the most commonly used spices in my house were pepper and salt, I don’t do your typical Mexican or Indian spicy. Fajitas sounded good to me. Not only are they easy, but you can make them as spicy or as not spicy as you want.

First off, the chicken. I bought two small chicken breasts, and sliced them up. I then let them marinade in the juice of one lime and about a tablespoon of chili powder. Only for about 30 minutes, but if I had had more time (and patience) I would have let them go for longer.


Next I had to slice/chop up all the veggies. My quick knife skills aren’t really the greatest (I haven’t sliced a finger yet, so that’s a good sign right?), but what I lack in speed, I think I make up for with precision. But then again, even that’s not the greatest. I had a red pepper, a green pepper, two garlic cloves, a jalapeno pepper, and a red onion. Funny thing is, One year ago the only thing on this cutting board I would have eaten was the garlic.


Once everything was all chopped up (remember the speed thing, I knew I had to chop everything up before I even started cooking), I tossed the chicken in a hot pan with a bit of oil. Cook until… cooked. 


Once done, transfer the chicken to a plate, and add the red onions, red and green peppers into the pan. I added a touch of butter just to help things caramelize a bit. I don’t like my veggies to be crispy, I like them cooked to a beautiful tenderness.


Add the garlic, the jalapeno pepper, and the chicken. Heat through.


Enjoy on pitas with cheese. If I had sour cream I probably would have added that in the mix too, but I didn’t have any.


The best part of this meal was the price. Here’s the breakdown: 

Chicken 3.56
Tortillas 2.50
Green Pepper 0.86
Red Pepper 1.35
Jalapeno 0.18
Red Onion 1.27
Total $9.27

So not bad. I omitted the price of the garlic (really, what’s 1/10th of a $0.45 clove of garlic?), as well as the price of the cheese (I have no idea how much of the block I used, but it was $3.99 and I used very little). It made me the one meal right away, as well as three containers of fixings for future meals. Just over $2 a serving? I think I did quite well.

-Cheers folks!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chili and Rice

Around 7:30 tonight I began to wonder how long ago it was that I had bought a can of red kidney beans and put them in the back of my cupboard. I figured it was time to do something with it. A quick trip to the grocers and I was about the embark on an effort of making chili, but not just any chili, chili and rice.


Not pictured is garlic, oil, and rice. Chop up some garlic, the onion, and the peppers. Add to a hot thick bottomed pot with a bit of oil (and scare the bejeppers out of your housemate who thinks something is on fire when the steam is kind of crazy… my fault).


Saute until tender. Add the beef and the can of tomatoes. Cook through. Add 2 cups of rice. Stir really well to coat all the rice. Chop up as many (or a few) mushrooms as you want, add to the pot. Also add a the can of beans.


Add 2 or so cups of water, if it still seems sort of thick, add more (add more than you think you’ll need, the rice soaks it all up, you’ll probably end up having to add more during the next little while).


Cover and lower the heat. Stirring, until the rice is cooked and most of the water has been soaked up.


Dish into bowls, top with cheese, enjoy with beer. So good. My foray today gave me 9 portions, and those are fairly good sized portions too.

What have you been cooking lately?

-Cheers! gkd

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Shoes and Juice

It’s been fairly nice here in Ottawa. Not too hot, and not even cool at all. *shrug* That means that I’ve actually been knitting, but me being me, I have no photos of anything because I haven’t finished anything, nor do I really like progress pictures right now for some reason. I have been doing other things that did get photographed though.

I bought new shoes.

1930s Shoes-3

On sale at Sears. Now I need somewhere to wear them. Perhaps the theatre on Friday.

I have also been making Limeade Slushies.


Really easy to make, extremely tasty, and very easy to add something like vodka to.

-Cheers folks!



PS. Do you guys have a favourite juicing method? I just squeeze the limes with my hands, but a lot of juice gets on my hands and not in the glass.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


So here’s my list of knitted objects I’m currently working on:

1. Bridgewater. I just turned the first corner with the edging… only took two weeks to get there. Lots to do on it yet, but very excited to finally finish the big black monstrosity.

2. Green Cabled Sweater. Just picked it up after a long hiatus. Forgot how lovely the yarn is and how much I love cables. Just started the increases on the second sleeve.

3. Heelix socks. Basic stockinette with a heelix stripe. Plain knitting for when my brain can’t take anything else.

4. Boobholder for Jess. Malabrigo, instant win. Too hot to work on in this weather.

5. Log cabin blanket. Using up scraps of worsted weight yarn that I have kicking around in my stash. Too hot to work on.

6. Thrummed mittens. Because I’m a glutton for punishment apparently.

Someone save me from the heat. I’ll also take donations of beer.

-Cheers folks.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Randomly on a Friday

I think I just stole that title from the Yarn Harlot, but I’m okay with that, because not only is she brilliant, but she’s a Torontonian. Not that I’m condoning being from Toronto, instead I’m insinuating that she knows the heat we’re going through. Today it rained here in Ottawa. Thunder, lightening, the whole shbang! It’s nice. I’m actually wearing, get this, long pants. I know! Amazing. And, I cooked. On the stove. With the burner on.

Okay, I’m done with italics.

In any case, not only did I go to Ikea today (beer mugs, tea cup and saucer where the cup holds 17oz, plates, a shelf, and two hot dogs), but I also made my way down to the Ottawa Folklore Centre. In the rain. On my bike. It was pretty spiffy. I finally got around to getting a shoulder rest (my posture and wrist are thanking me already), and some music. Me being brilliant, when I asked my parents to bring me up my trumpet and my violin, I forgot to ask for music as well. Durrrrr.

Then not to be out-done, my culinary side went “Hey Gwen, it’s not sweltering, I mean look at you, you’re wearing pants. Maybe that means we can cook. I mean, come on, a girl can only live on salad fruit and bread alone for a little while… you’re overdue for some food. Real food. Cooked food.”


Of course this didn’t mean beans or soup, or even meat and potatoes. No. This meant I needed something I hadn’t had in a while, something sweet and tasty, and not hard to make really. Crepes. One of my housemates used to look at me like I had three heads and an extra arm when I asked her if she’d help me eat crepes if I made a batch. “Seriously, do you need to ask?”


Who can say no to their awesome-ness? Not me. I made a batch of eight. One didn’t make it past the fourth time batter went into the pan. “I have to make sure that they’re alright.” Four are currently in the fridge waiting for tomorrow’s breakfast, and three are in my belly, with a messy plate sitting on my table. Wildberry jam, chocolate sauce, and syrup. There would have been bananas too had I actually been thinking before hand. And I just remembered that I have strawberries and blueberries in my freezer. Drat! That would have been tasty too.

In other news, I’ve got two tomatoes growing on my patio.

Tomato plant-1

Just the two right now, but I’m happy. Can’t wait for fresh tomatoes for sandwiches, bruschetta, and eating like apples because I do love tomatoes.

-Cheers folks!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


My Mom and Nanny were here visiting me a little while ago… err… the beginning of the month. I’m just now getting around to going through the pictures. Oops. Not many of them turned out well, plus I didn’t do much in the way of picture snapping (only a few over 100). In any case, here’s a quick recap!


Mom on the bus!


At the locks, with Chateau Laurier in the background.


Mom and Nanny at the base of the locks.

I also haven't been blogging too much (okay, at all) because I've been so busy at the Theatre. I did two designs back to back, and then helped out on a third, so I've spent nearly every day there. But, I did get inducted in Hogan's Heroes, which is a group of people with shirts that have "crew" embroidered on the sleeve. They are a group of volunteers who are amazing and have gone above and beyond the call of duty. I feel very honoured to be part of their ranks.

Closing Night-03

All of Hogan's Heroes that were at closing night of thee last show of the 2009/2010 season. Our SM is a Hogan, hence Hogan's Heroes. He's the one in the Hawaiian shirt, which also has the OLT emblem on it. Oh, and I am wearing shorts, they’re just black and short, so they kind of disappeared.


I also spent a fair bit of time volunteering with the Ottawa Fringe Festival. Lot's of fun, no pictures from me. If you want to see what shennanigans went on, check out here.

-Cheers folks!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hi Yatis.

I know I haven’t blogged much recently, but there really hasn’t been much to blog about, either that or I have had no photos. A brief recap though:

My green cabled sweater is coming along well. One sleeve done, about 8 inches on the second.

I have finally finished the horseshoe lace section of Bridgewater and I’m onto the lace edge.

I have baked a fair bit. Bread, cookies, muffins, cinnamon buns, and more cookies.

I have also been biking a fair bit, even if it’s just a half hour ride to go sit on a bench and read for an hour, it’s great.

In other news, I had a mishap today involving a squirrel and two geese. It left me with this:


And this:


Yea, it hurts, and it’s going to leave a very nice scar, but that’s okay, I’ve had worse.

-Cheers folks!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Research, Design, Knit, Curse, Frog, Reknit

That’s pretty much all I’ve been doing over the last week.

I bought some gorgeous sport weight yarn summer 2009, and it’s just been sitting in my stash pretty much ever since. I did knit a toque out of it, and I used a bit of it in my Doctor Who Socks, but for the most part it sat languishing in my stash, wishing to be used. I just needed to find that particular pattern that would work.

Long story short, I have decided on a base design, and a little embellishment.

I even swatched.

Cables & Cashmere

Of course, about 14 inches into the first sleeve I realized I made a huge mistake (like planning on an additional 20 increases that didn’t need to be there, as well as starting the increased way too early). I had to rip the entire thing. I’m back on track now, about 11 inches into the sleeve and things are going well.

Knock on wood.

Salt over the shoulder.

Spin around three times.

-Cheers folks!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Alonso New-8

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to present, the new Alonso.

Alonso New-12

It’s really difficult to get a good picture of his true colour, which is much more green than these are letting on. In any case, he is done. Repainted, and put back together. I haven’t taken him out for a spin yet, but I’m happy. Aside from having to remove the rear wheel and put it back on three times (my own damn stupidity), the reassembly went quite well.

Alonso New-1

I did decide on what to do for the head badge. I painted all the relief black. With nail polish. I then gave it a couple good clear coats, so hopefully it will stand the test of time.

Alonso New-4

I had a little bit of funky stuff go on with the paint job in one place, hopefully that doesn’t cause problems down the line. I made sure it got a good coast of clear coat (can’t you fix the world with Duck Tape and clear coat?). It’s not paper-y like it’s about to flake off, it’s just crackled. Weird.

Alonso New-6

The difference between sanded and un-sanded.

Alonso New-7

I also gave my fenders a one (twice, and in some cases thrice) over with some sandpaper to get rid of corrosion. They too got clear coated.

After a night and part of the day to dry, I put him all back together to find that while I had thought he was turning into a she, he is indeed still a he. Alonso is here to stay.

Alonso New-10

I also changed out the old rear reflector which was faded, and probably not the best quality anymore with one I had bought a while back when I needed to put a white one on the front. I figured that I already had one on the back, why replace it. I kept it though (why throw it away, it’s a perfectly good reflector).

Now I just need some really nice weather so I can go for a long ride. Happy times.

-Cheers folks!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Revamp: Day 1 & 2

Things have been going well in Bike Revamp World. I had an issue or two (not being able to get the stem off, which meant that the fork was going nowhere), but I rallied.

Alonso repaint-1

I was very impressed with myself on Sunday when I got the chain off (first time ever taking a chain off, totally not scary). I did loose one of the nuts that keeps the crank on the axel, but I’ll just go over to homeharware to get a new one. Also, I had to cut the bottom of my rear fender to get it off. The fastener (a screw and nut) was completely jammed and would not budge. I’m now trying to decide whether I want to get new fenders, or if I’ll try to clean up the ones I have.

After cleaning, sanding, cleaning, sanding, and cleaning again, I was ready to prime. Apparently I still need to remember that spraypaint sprays.

Alonso repaint-7

Primer looked good. A little splotchy in a couple places, but I was overall happy. After another very fine sand, I was game to paint.

Alonso repaint-9

It’s a fair bit more yellow than I had expected, but I like it.

Tomorrow will be a clear coat. I’m excited. Very excited. I’m also a little sore. Far too long spent on the deck. I’m a touch burnt. Ow.

-Cheers folks!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Brrrrrring Brrrrriiing


Hello spring, where have you been? I missed you.

The weather is getting decent here in Ottawa, which can only mean one thing: It’s time for Alonso to finally make an appearance. The end of the riding season last year found my with a punctured tube, which lead to me realizing that the tire was nearly bare in a few places and desperately needed replacing. After getting a tire from MEC that I thought would fit, struggling, realizing it didn’t fit, and giving up because it snowed, I put Alonso out on the back deck, and he sat there rear tire-less for the entire season. Once the snow started melting I went to one of the Local Bike Shops, where I was told that my bike was old, hence needed a certain type of 26” tire. I got one, it fit, it’s on. Yay!

I’m sad to say good bye to the old white walled tire (added a touch of class, eh?), but it’s nice to have a new tire on and not worry about popping tires. The front tire will need replacing by the end of this riding season, maybe sooner, but for now it’s okay.

Up next was handle grips. I didn’t notice it when I bought the bike, but there were two very different grips on him.


The slice in the left grip wasn’t there while it was on my bike… that was me and my jack knife after struggling with it for about 15 minutes and not getting it to budge. Needless to say, it succumbed to my will. I’ve now got some nice black and blue “ladies ergonomic” grips on the bars. They’re nice and the right one doesn’t slide around like the old one did. Feels much more secure.


I need to find some way of cleaning up the paint job on the badge on the front post. I was thinking nail polish and then spraying it with a clear coat. I know that model paint would probably be the best way to go, but I don’t have any model paint just lying around like I have nail polish. I’d probably change the colour scheme though. Would it be wrong to give Alonso a red and pink badge. Or I could continue with the black and do all the relief’s in black. Good idea Gwen, I like it.

Next: Saddle.

Alonso-9 alonso-8

I love the saddle. It’s an old Brooks Saddle which retail for ridiculous amounts of money. Basically from what i can tell, this saddle alone is worth more than what I paid for the bike. The only thing is that it’s ripped in a couple places. I don’t know if it’s worth repairing, or if I should just get a brand new (non-Brooks) one for $30. It’s got the styling that I like, plus it’s also got a built in red LED light strip. Decisions, decisions.

I also went out and got a detachable basket. I wasn’t sure if I’d like a basket, but I got talked into it, and now I’m very happy that I have it. I can’t wait for the rain to stop so I can bike over to the bigger grocery store on the other side of the Rideau River, grab the basket and do a bit of grocery shopping. Or once the market really opens up, I can go there and load up with great food, go for a ride along the river and stop for a picnic.

I’ve got sandpaper, a chain tool, two cans of spray paint (Ivy Leaf and White Gloss), as well as a can of clear coat. I think I’m ready to repaint Mr.Alonso. All I need now is a couple days of good weather… Monday and Tuesday maybe… hopefully.

-Cheers folks!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I for some reason haven’t finished a knitted object in a while. I did finish a pair of socks, but I don’t really count them. Well I suppose I do, I just haven’t taken any pictures of them. In any case, Everything else on my needles is big (Bridgewater shawl, log cabin blanket, Whisper cardi), I’ve even been working on my quilt. You remember my quilt? Apparently I like to start big projects and then either be all insane and finish them right away, or set them aside, and finish them a year or so in the future. Like I did with my Lizard Ridge blanket. Today was not the day for big huge projects though, today I actually finished something.


Say hello to K-9. He's Doctor Who's robot dog (and later on he became Sarah Jane's). He's adorable, says things like "affirmative" and "yes, master", and is brilliant to boot. Well, at about 3 inches high, my little stuffed K-9 fits the adorable part of those qualities.


I really am proud of how he turned out. I even put a bit of weight in the body of him so he'd stay upright. I think I'd like to make the big one from the Doctor Who Pattern Book, but first I think I should finish up some other projects.

Did I also mention that I've been working. In my intended career field. It's great because I love it, it doesn't feel like work, and yet I'm getting paid for it. That's the best type of job.

Cheers folks!