Monday, June 30, 2008

State Of The Thrift

I actually escaped the house for a couple hours on Saturday morning to hit the garage sales. And I'm tellin' ya, it was barely worth my while. Maybe it's too late into the summer; maybe it was because it was a long weekend; maybe I just had bad luck -- but has the thrift bubble seriously broken?

I'm pretty picky about my garage sailing -- I try to stay out of neighbourhoods where too many young families live since I don't want to buy the kind of stuff that people like me are trying to get rid of (dirty kids toys, plastic dishes; broken clock radios). It's not about the bargain, it's about finding stuff I can't buy anywhere else. So, I'm looking for estate sales, older people moving into condos, that kind of stuff. But it seems that people are either running out of cool old stuff to sell; they've already sold their good stuff to the antique stores; or they're wising up and trying to sell things for crazy prices. I'm sorry, I'm not paying $20 for a scratched up Pyrex casserole.

I did manage to pick up a few things: a cute apron, some beads, a bag of wooden clothespins, a set of retro drink tumblers. And keeping with the bar theme, the above tumbler/ice bucket set has a Westward Inn logo on it. This is cool only among Calgarians of a certain age -- the Westward was a hotel downtown, which was a famed drinking hole for decades. In the '80s and early '90s it even housed a legendary rock club, where I believe a pre-fame Nirvana once played. So yes, at $2 these were a find.

So, have you noticed a change in thrift shopping in your area? Obviously, with ebay and all it's getting harder and harder to get vintage stuff on the cheap, but I'm curious to see if things are drying up as rapidly in other parts of the world as they seem to be here.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Other People's Knits: Blanket For A Boy

I can't believe I haven't posted about this blanket yet -- it's so incredibly beautiful and I've had it for four months. This is Henry's blankie. After spending months on a blanket for my nephew last year I wasn't too anxious to knit a blanket for my own babe. Plus I knew that my lovely mother-in-law Leena wanted to knit something special for our little guy. Naturally she chose a beautiful yarn and a great pattern made of up of mitered squares.

I can't tell you anything about the pattern and the yarn -- sorry. And I know this picture doesn't say that much about the blanket -- but it's nice and big, about the size of a crib mattress. Really, this post is just a public thank you to Leena and an excuse to show off a picture of the baby. It's the weekend, I thought you could use a little shot of the cutest boy I know.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mushy Mystery

Sorry about the ugly picture, but it's a necessary evil. I got some rhubarb in my last organic order and decided to make something a little more interesting than your average rhubarb/strawberry crisp. I decided to make a strawberry rhubarb coffee cake (recipe here), recruited Ruby to help me whip it up, and stuck it in the oven. I baked it for the specified time, stuck a toothpick in it and... mush. I put it back in the oven for 10 minutes. Still mush. I baked it for TWICE as long as the recipe called for and except for the outer edges, it's more of a pudding than a cake. A gross, inedible pudding at that.

So, what did I do wrong? Rhubarb too ripe? Possible typo in the recipe? I know my oven's temp is pretty much on, so that's not it. After a tough week (our house is full of antibiotics), I didn't really need a failed cake in my life. Boo.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Catching Up

Wow. I can't believe it's been two weeks since I've posted. There's been some crazy times in these parts -- Aaron was overseas for a week and a half on business, leaving me here with both kids for the first time (props to the single moms out there -- I have no idea how you do it). Then there's always that weird adjustment period that we always go through when he comes back from a trip. Then Ruby started getting sick. Yesterday I had to take her for a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia -- I haven't heard from the doctor, so I'm assuming the results are in and she's fine. Well, still sick, but not dangerously so. Then the baby started coughing this morning. Ugh -- nothing leaves a mother as breathless as the possibility of their kid being really really sick. It's nice to be reminded of just how intense my love is, but I really don't enjoy seeing pictures of my kid's insides.

So, not a lot of crafting time, but I am constantly feeling compelled to start new projects. What you see here are a couple pages from Bite This Book, a little softie book project from Kat Coyle's Boho Baby Knits. I can't believe this is my first project from this book -- I was so excited when it came out, but never really had the time. I figure I can whip up a little page for the book when I have the time and all six should be done by the time Henry is ready to flip the pages. Though that day may be coming sooner than I think -- by the looks of it, the little stinker is just about ready to cut his first tooth. He's three months old! This shouldn't happen for another six months! I just hope he's not a biter.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Family Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Ruby in Edmonton.
Originally uploaded by elizaboothy
Today is my Grandma Ruby's 85th Birthday. This is a picture of her walking down the street in 1948, putting her at 25 years old (I think she'd already had three kids at this point!). I love how she looks so oblivious to the camera in this photo -- it looks like something out of a newspaper. It must have been taken by someone she knew (I'm guessing my grandfather), but it seems so detached.

Anyway, I love this photo and I love my Grandma. Happy Birthday!

Thursday, June 05, 2008


I forgot, there was something else I wanted to say about Ruby's doll play (sorry, I'm having a tough week, my brain is mush). Ruby was playing with those Ty Girlz dolls that Leena got her (they're kind of a cross between Beanie Babies and Bratz) and this exchange took place.

Leena: Now that you have the dolls dressed you can pretend they're talking to each other. [picks up one doll] "I'm going to a party. Where are you going?]
Ruby: [Picks up the other doll] "I'm going to Shoppers' Drug Mart to buy make-up!"

Yow. Now, to Mamaloo, who suggested that the doll play is more nurture than nature because I'm a bit of a girly type myself, I do love make-up but I don't wear a lot of it and I think the only time I've even bought any with Ruby in tow was at Sephora. So there. And, to balance out Ruby's total priss girly-ness, we had the following conversation the next day.

Me: Roo, why did you just go into your room and close the door?
Ruby: I was hiding.
Me: Why were you hiding?
Ruby: I wanted to pick my nose and I didn't want you to tell me to stop.

Again, yow. But, I feel better knowing that her one Girlz doll is named Hilary. She came with the name, but when we told Ruby what she was called, Roo proudly yelled out "Like Hilary Clinton!" Word.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Guys And Dolls

Ruby likes dolls. She always has. I've been discussing nature vs. nurture a lot with other parents lately and despite all the women's studies and gender psychology classes I took in university, since becoming a parent I'm definitely leaning towards nature these days. Not that it's in all girls' natures to be doll people, but it certainly is for my little gal.

I've been seeing a bit of a resurrection of the Fisher Price My Friend dolls on a few crafty blogs and Ruby gets to play with her Auntie Daniella's old My Friend Mandy doll. I love this doll -- I remember playing with one when I was a kid, but I don't remember if it belonged to me or a friend. Either way, Daniella was not a doll kind of girl, so this Mandy is in great shape having almost never have been played with until Ruby came along. And she has a great wardrobe too. I love her. Leena recently picked up some of these for Ruby, which she also likes, but I remain partial to Mandy.

And I did some cutting of fabric today for what will be my first quilt. Of course, it's the Easy Lap Quilt from Bend The Rules Sewing. I really want to take a quilting class to learn how to do more complicated quilts, but for now I'm happy to do a strip quilt with some cheap-o vintage fabric. Hooray!