i am free / i work

Just a cute photo that Geoff took of our friend Joe (in an amazing pineapple sweatshirt that I love very much) and a microwave in the Annex. Everyday stuff.


repository pt. 8

1. I posted about this cake on Instagram, but for Geoff’s birthday on Saturday, I decided to try something a little challenging for me and made him the birthday cake from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook. It took a couple of days (I made the crumb & frosting on one day, the cake the next, then it had to freeze for at least 12 hours, then thaw out... recipe is here if you want to try it). I’m not much of a baker but it was satisfying to have it work out, and I was pretty proud of myself. I am nuts about sprinkles so I’ll probably make it again at some point, although I’ll double the frosting because it seems to me that I didn’t have quite enough. Geoff and I had such a lovely birthday weekend, full of blossoming trees and bike rides and friends.
2. Some of you may know that my sweet friend Caitlin (formerly of Nice) has been through some challenging times lately as the result of health issues, but she recently relaunched her shop as Fun Cult! Exciting! I know she worked so hard and wanted so badly to get back into it. Maybe she can be rewarded with a new kidney!
3. A while ago I was asked to participate in a fun project called Change of View for Bettery Magazine. I asked my friend, the excellent photographer Johan Hallberg Campbell, to collaborate with me as he is originally from Scotland. It was a little challenging because if given the chance, I prefer to photograph details, indoors, close up, etc., not urban settings, and also it was winter and I swoon most for Toronto in spring and summer, when everything is green and lush and beautiful. But it’s always fun to be pushed out of my comfort zone, and Johan’s pink umbrella picture is the best. The picture above is an outtake; I took it from the top of Robarts Library. I love the dome of the planetarium peeking out.

4. Such a pretty dress from Beaumont Organic.
5. My friend Caitlin added a few original paintings for sale in her shop and I got this one because I have been so incredibly lazy about going to the gym lately and maybe these girls can inspire me to get back into it (I actually LIKE going to the gym & feel out of sorts when I don’t go, yet it’s always such a struggle). I love her Rose Garden painting.
6. Kristiann has printed versions of her sewing patterns available and they are so beautiful!

I have been enjoying all the violets growing all over the lawns in my neighbourhood lately! So pretty. 


reading 4ever

So, my latest obsession is my eReader. I never thought I would ever care to own an eReader (I thought I was firmly in the camp of the I WOULD NEVERs), but I recently had to teach myself how to make ePubs at work and it became important to use one and to become familiar with them. I’ve had conversations with friends of mine who are not convinced, but I’ve been reading a lot more since buying it. I think it might be because of the novelty of it (so cute and tiny, tap tap tap), which is fine by me.

When Geoff and I moved into our current apartment I spent a week carrying my book collection up our steep side stairs, sweaty and overwhelmed and furious with myself for spending too many paycheques on books when I worked in bookstores. Thinking about how we’ll have to move again eventually makes me want to throw all my books into a dumpster. Don’t get me wrong: I love most of my books, and I love collecting books. I worked for a rare & fine book dealer for a time, cataloguing every bump and bit of foxing in his collection, sniffing the pages, and appreciating every detail that made a book collectable. When I see a physical copy of a book I typeset, of course it feels more exciting than when I look at the same book in PDF format. Part of the joy of books is the book as an object. But this is just different, and it’s so much easier on my shoulder than carrying a book or two in my purse.

I chose a Kobo Mini for a number of reasons: I got it on sale for about the cost of two hardcovers, so it wasn’t that crazy a splurge; I like the look of it and the interface; you can borrow eBooks from the public library. Some independent bookstores use Kobo to sell eBooks, and you can also get eBooks through lots of independent publishers directly (e.g. Coach House).

Anyhow! All that to say that I made a very specific type of leather good!

I don’t really like the covers you can get for eReaders, because they’re usually bulky and/or hideous. It was pretty simple to make because I kept it basic and as light as possible. I had a false start with one that I tried to make with a lining, so I left it unlined. I took a 12x12” piece of leather and trimmed it to size with a rotary cutter, using the reader as a guide.

I got some cute stretch velvet ribbon (pink, duh) from Mokuba, and sewed little triangles of leather to hold it in place on opposite corners. A button stud & a hole made with leather punch (borrowed from Falconwright—thanks, guys!), with a small circle of leather glued over the back of the stud so the metal wouldn’t scratch, and ta-da, done. It’s pretty secure and the reader has yet to fall out.

As IF I would share some of the more embarrassing books I have on here!

A pretty ANN-YA pouch to store the cord & reader together, hashtag pouch addict.