Pastimes

October 28, 2009

As you’ve read in a previous post, I’m about to move house / home office / studio. In the dull moments when packing is too much, I’m picking up this project for a friend. She ordered holiday ornaments made out of second hand books to give away to her book-club friends. They’re time-consuming and tedious, especially since I decided to stitch them together using a bookbinding stitch. But it’s the small detail oriented things that keep me calm within the chaos these days. Still unfinished, but the process is pretty.

sacrificial book, thank-you

to the sacrificial book: thank-you

white on white

white on white

coming together slowly

coming together slowly

I’m going to use the scraps of circular paper as packing material in little individual boxes. Just don’t ask me what book it was I cut up! I feel some guilt, but it’s all for a good cause, right?

Musings from Olive and Ada

October 25, 2009

“This is nonsense”, says the Granny Olive in my head.

Why am I posting this blog?  I have no illusions about presenting fine photography or perfectly crafted writings.  In fact, I am inspired by the bloggers who present meaningless, imperfect bits of their lives.  Nothing important is presented in this blog.

My idea is to present everyday experiments.  What do you think, Ada?

Green lace scarf seen from a distance.

Green lace scarf seen from a distance.

Look closely to see the imperfections

Look closely and you'll see the imperfections

———

ADA: I’m all about accidental design, so mistakes and imperfections have to be present there somewhere. I used to think that the flaws were negative things, but in the past while I realize that it’s those flaws that bring character and substance, a human touch, to the things we do. I’m not a machine! So my work shows that character and the full spectrum of who I am.
If only I could adjust this thinking to include my whole character, not just thinking of my work as a designer/artist/cook. I can appreciate the character easier in a beautiful but imperfect wood shelf I build than in my own self. Hmm. Isn’t that the way?

hotel terrace in London, with our breakfast remains on the table

hotel terrace in London, with our breakfast remains on the table

view from 4th floor gallery at the Tate Modern

torn window film at the Tate Modern

Leaves and texture

October 23, 2009

Warm reds and pinks on cold concrete

Warm reds and pinks on cold concrete

This is the colourful, textured sidewalk I’m looking at as I walk every morning.   It reminds me of these fingerless gloves I’m knitting.

The colour of this wool is called "Turner"

The colour of this wool is called "Turner"

I have about three knitting projects started, each with its individual complexity, colour and texture.  This suits my short attention span.  Here are my projects on the needle.
I got off track on the pattern and I have to take out the last two rows.

I got off track on the pattern and I have to take out the last two rows.

Another fingerless glove

Another fingerless glove

This crochet throw will take a year to complete.

This crochet throw will take a year to complete.

Moving House

October 21, 2009

the art of making wontons

the art of making wontons

spicy wonton soup, ready for consumption

spicy wonton soup, ready for consumption

Spicy wonton soup to heat up the season, so fresh and comforting at the same time. Meanwhile, my life with boxes. We’re preparing for a big move at the end of the month. The cats are a bit spooked but love the new obstacles.

piles of packed boxes, bags of clothes to donate, the countdown begins.

piles of packed boxes, bags of clothes to donate, the countdown begins.

In the world of projects, I recently completed an order for a bride-to-be, who chose three matching handbags as bridesmaids gifts. Watermelon and navy blue were my directives. They turned out to be very sweet indeed!

bridesmaids plaid handbags

bridesmaids plaid handbags

finishing touches: the DeSigne label

finishing touches: the DeSigne label

Thanksgiving

October 19, 2009

Olive: We’re Canadians and last week was all about filling our grateful tummies with Thanksgiving food. The autumn air has turned chilly and heating the oven is a treat.  Abundant apples turn into pie.

Fresh from the farm.

Fresh from the farm.

To top off the holiday weekend, Olive made simple chocolate chip cookies which satisfied the basic requirements of the family.  We always use the tried and true recipe on the back of the Chipits package.

Perfect ratio of chocolate to dough.  Mmmmm.

Perfect ratio of chocolate to dough. Mmmmm.

Ada: Everything is getting cooler now, which I love. Coffee in the morning seems even that much more delicious.

dreamy stovetop coffee

dreamy stovetop coffee

I signed myself up for Turkey Duty this year because I miss the traditional supper that we used to eat out West. The Italian family I’m now a part of makes a mean Sunday lunch, but not quite the kind Gramma used to make, you know? Thanksgiving is such a meaningful holiday for me too, so with the help of Mother-in-laws fresh-from-the-garden herbs and vegetables, the traditional recipes running both ovens, and co-operative sous-chefs, everything came out golden! A feast and family get-together we were all thankful for.

Homegrown celery for turkey stuffing

Homegrown celery for turkey stuffing

delicious pumpkin pie, using my new favorite recipe from Nancy

delicious pumpkin pie, using my new favorite recipe from Nancy

A short intro

October 13, 2009

Great Granny Ada's refurbished necklace

Great Granny Ada's refurbished necklace


Olive knitting

Olive knitting


baking

Ada's baking set-up one summer morn'


Olive on the train

Olive on the train

How do we describe ourselves? Sandra and I went to our partners and asked them to describe our personalities in as few words as possible. The results are clear. We embody our grannies in many ways. So we have named the blog after our inspiring grannies, Olive and Ada. Leigh (aka Olive) and Sandra (aka Ada) are:

Balanced: finding time for work, family, side projects.

Multi-faceted or polyvalent: unfocused in some ways, but managing to learn and try all sorts of things

Industrious: we are sometimes industriously all over the place

Ethical: good girls

Frugal: waste not want not, just like our grandmothers taught

Intuitive: like most women, we know what to do even when we don’t know what to do

We are driven by our hearts and short attention spans. We both love crafts, knitting, sewing, cooking, drawing, colourful photos, sharing our ideas. With this blog we aim to chase ideas randomly and honestly with very little analysis. Just showcase images of our lives and our trials and errors. Enjoy!