Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Making window transfers

I've been wanting to make this craft for ages, but I stalled because I thought I would have to make my own paint. I should have known that you can buy anything these days. Thanks to a tip from a friend, I found out that my local craft store has tubes of window transfer paint called Arti'sticks by the company Pebeo. Google tells me you can buy these paints at any number of online stores.

Once you have your supplies, pick a simple design. This bird appears on a bag that I bought at the Richmond Night Market. I sketched it onto some paper and placed it under a transparent plastic sheet (I bought a set made by Pebeo, but I bet you could use something like wax paper). I used black paint to outline the design and let it dry overnight.

I filled the bird with my favourite colour yesterday. I laid the paint on a little thick so the shape will be more likely to hold up when transferred to a window. It took more than 24 hours to dry completely, and there were some tiny air bubbles that I couldn't see when the paint was wet. I'm not sure how to avoid those next time around. Any ideas?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Camaraderie in San Francisco

This last weekend was more relaxing than my previous weekend in San Francisco. Let's face facts: the crowds at Luminara couldn't match the nervous energy generated by 1,000 female bloggers. Especially when they are waiting for the royal address from the Queen of Blogging, herself.

I've struggled to capture the intensity of my conference weekend, both in person and on my blogs, and I'm pretty sure I can't do it. Instead, I want to say a few words about camaraderie and leave it at that.

I benefited from being surrounded by women who blog. I don't have a lot in common with many of the bloggers I met, but it didn't matter. I was inspired, and - good news - my desire to maintain my blogs has been reinforced. Also, the number of the business-types lurking around the edges of the conference, while annoying, convinced me that some blogs, if not this one, continue to be a notable force.

Then there was the fun times with bloggers that I already know. Zoe said some nice things about the conference and traveling with the baby, and I totally accept her apology about the airport debacle. Brie was at the conference too, and we teamed up for meals and some fantastic sessions. Also, she made me sign up for a free massage, and I'll never be able to thank her enough. Lydia and Sarah went to the Blogher cocktail parties, but mostly they just went to San Francisco. I wish I could have seen them more, but with a big holiday around the corner, I coudn't join in on their extended stay in San Francisco. No matter. Spending time with my real-life buddies in the United States was pretty special.

Finally, I was so happy to spend time Shannon and Chris and their friend Floor in the evenings, even though I was a little burnt-out and nutty. They are learning how to cook healthy food, and they fed Zoe and I well.

In the end, there were good, supportive feelings all around, and that's why I'm really glad I decided to take a trip to San Francisco.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

THIS is a macaron case you were looking at my header and wondering if I meant macaroon. I made the same mistake until Lydia set me straight last year. I ate a few of these macarons at the blogging conference, and I think I'm even more prepared to eat one in Paris next month.

You want to know about the blogging conference and my trip to San Francisco? Too bad. I just wrote a little bit about my favorite session over at Things Worth Making, and I'm too tired to write more right now. Instead, why don't you check out some of my photos on Flickr? You may notice that Zoe and baby are missing from the collection; we did go to San Francisco together, and that is Zoe's stroller I'm pushing, but they prefer to keep their photos private and I totally respect that. Suck it up, Internet!

Making photography improvements

I'm not sure who I expected to attend Blogher '08, but I was surprised and disappointed by the scant crafter presence. Other people, like Aurora from Foxy Art Studio, were confused too.

Even so, I learned a few blogging tricks at the conference, and I was inspired by one session in particular: Photography with Me Ra Koh. The 10 tips that she outlined were directed at SLR cameras, but I still learned a lot. I'm not going to run out and buy an SLR tomorrow, like somebody I know, but I'm thinking of investing in an external flash. Our Canon Powershot G3 also has some manual capabilities, so I can experiment with some of the other suggestions before I invest too much money.

This post might have fit in a bit better over at Tentative Plans, but my photos are front and centre on this site, so what the hey. I took the above photo while walking to Tartine with my sister. And yes, I do like you.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Vitamin D, yo

Friends, I hope you're taking your Vitamin D, even during these sunny summer months. In power of vitamin D, hope for a new disease fighter captures some of the good things that science has been uncovering about the vitamin, including positive results for MS treatment and prevention, and cursory research uncovers even more good news. Take your vitamins!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

(Not) making jam

I've been busy getting ready for my trip to San Francisco for Blogher '08 (which included making business cards), so I haven't been doing too much crafting or baking. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the fruits of other people's labour. Right? Right.

Things are growing here on Vancouver Island, and ambitious people - including some of my buddies - are making jam out of those things. I'm impressed. Based on a very complex DIY algorithm, I'm at least a few years away from making jam.

Since I'm not making my own jam, I need to buy my goods; the gems pictured above came from the Saturday market a few blocks from my house. I haven't tried the strawberry & basil yet, but Michael and I can both promise you that the rhubarb & vanilla bean is devine. Make note, ambitious buddies!

Monday, July 14, 2008

It's business time

I'm sure you've all noticed that Tentative Plans has been looking a little different lately. I'm attending Blogher '08 in San Francisco this weekend, and I'm assuming some attendees will check out my musings after they get their hands on my stylin' new business card:

I aim to please!

Speaking of business cards, my coworker David reminded me of one of my favourite scenes from American Psycho when he saw my card:

But back to the trip. It is going to be fun for multiple reasons*:

1) I'm going with a real, live baby.
2) I'm going with Zoe.
3) Brie is also attending the conference.
4) Lydia and Sarah R will be in San Francisco.
5) I will get to hug my sister.
6) I will be at a blogging conference.
7) I will be in San Francisco.

You can bet that you'll hear all about it here.

*These reasons are listed in no particular order. Expect the first one. That one is definitely my favourite reason.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Making orange-glazed scones

When Inside a Black Apple wrote about these scones, I couldn't resist. Nor should you, unless you are allergic to and/or avoiding wheat products. I should have planned a tea party after I made them on Saturday, but I wasn't feeling well, so Michael and I had to eat them all by ourselves; good thing the recipe only makes eight scones.

I'm sure this is true of all baked goods, but these babies tasted much better the day they were made (another reason to have tea parties, I guess). They were perfectly light and flaky. As you can see, I opted for the orange glaze, and it was GOOD.

Also: That place mat does match the chair in the background. Good eye. I only pull the set out for special occaisions, like the days when I make scones.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Call to action

We've got our plane tickets, our itinerary and our accommodation in the bag. Now I would love some travel tips for the destinations listed below. The one place I want you to focus on, however, is Paris. Michael tasked me with planning some exploration options, and I don't know where to start. I'm pretty sure many of you have favourite memories of Paris (or desires to visit something special in Paris), and I want you to share your goods. Lay it on me!

Belfast (day-trip potential)
Portstewart/Portrush (five nights)
Dublin (one night)
Zurich (one night)
Porlezza (three nights)
Sienna (three nights)
Florence (one or two day-trips)
Lucca (two nights)
Cinque Terre (two nights)
Alassio (two nights)
Paris (three nights)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Jonathan, Jonathan

I talked to Jillian on Tuesday and I said, "I just saw Jonathan Richman last night." She responded, "Every time I talk to you, you just saw Jonathan Richman last night."

Of course it isn't true. I've only seen him live three times, and the first time Jillian was sitting beside me when he opened for the 2001 Belle and Sebastian concert in Vancouver.

The show was amazing, as always. Michael, Bex and I left beaming, even though the last song was about his mother's death and I cried a little bit. Overall, he was in a great mood and I think he loved us. I want a copy of his new song about cell phones:

When I'm on the beach, I'm on the beach. No you can't call me there.

Maybe you need to hear it? I can't find it anywhere, but I'll let you know when I do.

Some of you may not know who I'm talking about, so I've attached a clip from a 2007 concert, which most resembles the show I just saw. He played this song for us too, as I expected. It was good.

Tommy (the drummer) was wearing white jeans at our show. They were hot.