Friday, 28 September 2012

Ottawa P.1: Eats

Howdy folks!

I am back in the Niagara region for a short while to recharge (and repack!) before heading back to Toronto.  

I thought I'd share some photos from my recent Ottawa getaway in a couple different posts, each centred on a different time or theme.  This post is on the most important part of any vacation, the food.  Yes, now you truly know me, I like good food whether at home or away.  Okay, especially away, it's kinda nice to try something wild you may not get the chance to eat again, don't you agree?

Naturally, I managed to get very sick the night before we flew to Ottawa, so some of my meal choices were exceedingly boring (a small bowl of potato leek soup for dinner... does it matter when you can't taste anyway?), but there were 2 places we went in particular that I would love to return to.  Okay, enough jabber, onto the attempted food photography!

Our first day in town we went to Green Earth Vegetarian Cuisine.  It was awesome.  The Thom Yum soup really hit the spot (haha the spices may have loosened the sinuses some....yummy...), and I always appreciate a place where I can eat anything on the menu.  My Mum tends to research vegetarian or vegan restaurants in any city we visit, and this one was a total winner.  I definitely recommend it if you're in the area!

We also enjoyed the crispy wantons with sweet chili dipping sauce, and the summer rolls with jicama and vegan "ham" with a peanut dipping sauce, pictured below.  We arrived toward the end of their lunch sitting (they also do an all you can eat buffet, which were I in better health I may have been inclined to try), so the place was really quiet, but service was fast and friendly, and the food really was very good.  The restaurant errs a bit on the lifestyle side of things, and handed out a pamphlet on the environmental and health benefits of a veg*n diet with the cheque, which I am sometimes a bit iffy on (not much of a preacher), but they were also doing a special thanksgiving dinner with whole tofurkeys, so I'll let it slide.  

The following day we ventured into ByWard Market for breakfast and just to see the sights.  My grandfather travels to Ottawa for business on the occasion, so he has a couple places he likes to go when he's in town.  Benny's Bistro in Byward Market is one of them, and it's a place I need to return to too! I got the french toast with poached pear.  It was amazing.  It was only 3 pieces of baguette but it was so rich I actually had to surrender before I could manage the last few bites.  I want this to be the last thing I eat before I die.  I'm really passionate about breakfast you guys.
The location is super cute, if not absolutely roasting inside (jackets and cardigans were promptly removed!).  The front portion of the building is a french bakery, with the back room serving as a bistro.  Everything looks, and almost certainly is, ridiculously delicious.  Also the place's mascot is the owners Daschund.  Sign me up.

I'll be posting the other photos from Ottawa over the course of this week, in a 3 or 4 part series depending on how poorly I edit down the nearly 300 photos I took, hah! So stay tuned, there's some god lookin' stuff on its way (some more of which is just as delicious looking as these pics!)


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

O.O.T.D: His and Hers - Blazing Saddles

I do a rubbish Vanna White impression
Here's my little ensemble that I wore to the opening of The Directors Project last week.  I love this blazer that I picked up last year! I bought it on a shopping trip to the states, and I actually tore all the tags off and wore it back over the border, haha! I may have spent a liiiiittle too much money stateside, and tried to lessen the duty I was going to have to pay any way I could.  Devious, I know! 

Ephraim made his way to NotL later that afternoon, and just happened to be wearing a blazer he recently picked up from Topman! I have been terrible about talking him into buying clothes.  His wardrobe has grown quite a bit in size since we've been together! But hey, I appreciate how different I feel wearing clothes I love and feel like a million bucks in, and for an actor, that kind of confidence can be important.  Besides, I love mens fashion, and I have taken full advantage of dating a man who has style.  So sue me!
Argh, fake pockets!!

The Deets:
Blazer: Anthropologie
Lace/Jersey Dress: H&M
Village Skirt: Anthropologie
Tights: TopShop
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell
Purse: Michael Kors 

Don't be fooled, he's making fun of me being a photographer.  "Oooh! Ooooh, pout, yeeeess!!"
Ephraim is better at jumping shots than I.  But not by much!
The Deets:
Blazer: Topman
Button Up Shirt: Topman
Jeans: Levi's
Belt: Vintage
Belt Buckle: Custom Engraved
Cowboy Boots: Hand-Me-Downs

Have you ever accidentally coordinated outfits with your S.O? I promise, this isn't the first time it's happened to me, nor is it the least embarrassing example!


Monday, 24 September 2012

The Donut Diner

After the closing show of the Directors Project, Ephraim and I were forced to try a new place for breakfasty goodness.  At gunpoint.  Maybe I made that last bit up.

I'm pretty serious about my breakfast food, and going out for a good breakfast is, in my opinion, one of life's greatest pleasures.  Actually, I like a good breakfast at home too, which is why I have invested in a waffle iron.  Every breakfast is the breakfast of champions if you declare yourself a champion, right? And I can pack back my waffles like a champ.  But I digress.

baklava and bacon, together at last.
Our regular breakfast spot was no longer serving breakfast (being that it was half past noon already...), so we tried out The Donut Diner in Virgil.  I have passed by this diner dozens of times and have always been bewildered by their bizarre menu (milkshakes, donuts, and shwarma.  What?), so we had to check it out.  Sadly, the food was pretty icky, but to be fair, I did get eggs, and not a donut. And hey, if it's called the Donut Diner, you gotta figure the fried batter is pretty great, right? The Dutchie donuts were the size of my face. Yummy.

Though the food wasn't particularly worthwhile, the atmosphere in there was pretty great.  Just the right kind of dingy, enough to keep away the tourists but not enough to be physically repulsive.  Am I making this place sound appealing yet? Haha! 

Anyhow, I was pretty pleased that I had my camera on me, so I could capture a bit of the decor (I am a serious sucker for black and white tile anything.  Love it) and of course have a little camera battle with Ephraim.  He only had his phone, so I won.  I'm good like that.  

Next time I have a hankering, I'll have to stop in to the Donut Diner for some fried sugary goodness.  I'll report back and let you know if they're worth naming your business after! They're going to have to be pretty damned delicious to top the Harvest Barn sprinkle donuts though.  I am strangely determined to find a place to get reliably superior donuts to Tim Horton's.  I just find their monopoly on the donut industry a little off putting.  Am I reading too far into this? Oh, most definitely.  But this is a donut taste testing mission we're talking about here.  You gotta have vision. Delicious, delicious vision.  And stretchy pants.

Well, I'm off to Ottawa for a little trip with my Mum for a couple days.  Anybody know of good Vegetarian food, vintage clothing shops, or generally awesome stuff to check out while I'm there? The last time I was there I was 13 and mostly just interested in Beaver Tails (okay, I'm still pretty interested in Beaver Tails!).

Saturday, 22 September 2012

The Directors Project: Production Photos

Senora Carrar's Rifles
Gray Powell as Pedro, Beau Dixon as Foley Artist, Ben Sanders as Jose
Sharry Flett as Old Mrs. Perez, Wendy Thatcher as Theresa Carrar
Alana Hibbert as Manuela
Benedict Campbell as Father Francisco
Ben Sanders as Jose
If Men Played Cards As Women Do
Peter Millard as John, Kevin Bundy as Bob, Neil Barclay as George, Martin Happer as Mark
Neil Barclay as George, Martin Happer as Mark, Peter Millard as John, Kevin Bundy as Bob
Julia Course as Harriet, Claire Jullien as Hetty
Kiera Sangster as Maggie, Ijeoma Emesowum as Margaret
Julia Course as Harriet, Kiera Sangster as Maggie, Claire Jullien as Hetty, Ijeoma Emesowum as Margaret
Claire Jullien as Hetty, Julia Course as Harriet, Ijeoma Emesowum as Margaret, Kiera Sangster as Maggie
Claire Jullien as Hetty, Kiera Sangster as Maggie
All photos by Mark Callan.
Set and Costume Designs by Erin Gerofsky.
Lighting Designs by Conor Moore.
Neil Munro Shaw Festival 2012 Intern Directors: Michael Wheeler and Krista Jackson.

If you want to read more about the costume designs, check out my post on the Praxis Theatre Blog HERE

To see more about the process of painting the floor cloth (yeah guys, that's not real wood!), check out my post HERE


Friday, 21 September 2012

Life As Of Late: The Directors Project (and completely unrelated photos)

I know, that's a picture of a branch and some berries, not a photo of anything theatre related.  But, well, I don't have a release to share any of the photos from the show yet, so I'm sharing these instead!

At long last, yesterday morning, The Directors Project opened! 

Our first performance was for Shaw Festival company members only, and it was a really great show.  The environment of people coming to support their fellow company members is just awesome.  So warm, inviting, and downright fun.  It was pretty amazing to be a part of, even if I was hiding in the back of the theatre with the directors and the lighting designer (mingling is scary, and, in fact, for lame people. FACT.)

Today we perform again, for more assorted company members as well as Shaw Governors Council members, and some special invited guests.  It's strange being such a major part of a production which, though it is small in budget and size (and run, let's be honest), it is so chock full of incredibly talented and experienced individuals.  And then there's me.  My bio (which accompanies my head shot in the lobby) is roughly 3 lines long, only about 1/3 as long as everyone else's.

And I know that should freak me out.

But mostly I'm just grateful to have had such big opportunities so early into my career.

Here's hoping it's all up from here!

I think this wall would make such a great backdrop for outfit posts! Too bad it's the side of someone's house...

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

D.I.Y: Wall Decals

My obsession with making my own wall decals began nearly 4 years ago.
In my second year Intro to Design class, we had been tasked with building a scale model of our bedroom.  This was my first model making experience, and I would never have believed it would become such a big part of my life! But I digress.  Being a beginner maquette (that's French for "model".  You learned today!) builder, I used Foam Core to build the walls and floor, which put me in an awful position when it came to painting. You see, foam core has the nasty tendency to warp like crazy when you get it wet; painting it, for instance.  Hmm thought I.  A giant sticker would really make painting the foam core easier.  It wouldn't warp, and you could trim it down after it's been applied! Yeah.  No Duh.  But where to find such a thing?

As it turns out, any hardware store.

People of the internet, that gross floral stuff lining your kitchen drawers is gross-floral-by-the-metre-GOLD.  Contact paper, or "adhesive drawer liner" is a giant sticker roll.  It comes in many patterns and finishes, and takes paint like a dream if you want to get real fancy (I usually do!). 

It sticks to your walls, but is easily removable and leaves no marks behind.

Shit son, that sounds JUST LIKE the wall decals you see for $60 a pop.
You can make them, at home, for roughly $4. And it's stupid easy.  

Yeah guys.  Contact paper is amazing.

All you need is:
  • Contact paper prepared in the colour/finish of choice
  • Scissors
  • A cutting mat, ruler and olfa knife
  • A marker
  • A template, cut out of card stock (or equivalent weight paper).
  • A ruler.  Never underestimate the power of perfect straight lines!
  1. Design a template for repeating patterns (you can do bubbles, birds, anything you like!).  If you're doing things like trees, you are best off freehand sketching. In this instance, I made a template of the shape that I then cut out at specific intervals to create my pattern.  
  2. Trace your template on the backing of the Contact paper.  The wax paper backing is usually gridded out, which is helpful for keeping corners square.
  3. Cut out your shapes.  I recommend using a ruler and knife for straight edges, and using scissors for curves.  
  4. Peel off the backing, stick, and enjoy!
You can rearrange the decals as often as you like! I have actually had some of my decals in a total of 3 different apartments over the years! 

Your decal may be the positive space or the negative space of the image, depending on your taste.  I used the negative space to create a headbaord for my bed, and I am so pleased with it! I have never had a wooden bed frame, and this sticker helps to crate focus and a sense of grounding in the room.  I used the positive space of the shapes to create a feature wall in my living room.  I won't post pictures of that now, as that wall is going to have to serve as the backdrop for outfit posts through the winter and you'll be sick of it soon enough!

What will you make out of contact paper?


Sunday, 16 September 2012

Feel the Summer Slipping Away

I love the crisp mornings and evenings of the late summer.  The afternoons remain hot and sunny, but a hint of the sweater weather to come shines through.  This will be the first year I have time off in the autumn and not the summer, and I have to say I'm pretty excited about it.  Fall is my favourite time of year, and always makes for fun layered outfits.  I'm going to be traveling a bit over the course of my 3 weeks off, and I'm getting excited to pack up my bags and hop on a plane or two.  Not going anywhere exotic, but that's alright with me, I don't want to miss the Canadian autumn anyhow.  Too pretty!

Here are a couple snaps from recent weeks, soon to be forgotten moments of a summer that feels ages since past as the cold sets in around us.


Thursday, 13 September 2012

O.O.T.D: Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)

Howdy Folks!

I picked up this amazing swing coat in Kensington Market a couple weeks ago, and I am in love with it my boyfriend should be concerned.  It's just so perfect in every way.  Fits perfectly, was lovingly handmade, is REVERSABLE (and lined in flawless yellow dupioni silk!!), and the shop owner gave it to me for half price.
Tax free.
And I never even made a coherent offer.

Destiny, dudes.  This swing coat was my destiny.

The Deets:
Sunglasses: Vintage, Cabaret
Clip on Earrings: Thrifted
Scarf: Hand-me-down 
Pin: Hand-me-down
Jacket: Vintage, Exile
Jeans: Anthropologie
White Leather Booties: Vintage
Purse: Inherited (Check out its makeover HERE)

Ah, more glorious glorious hand-me-downs! Lisa wrote all about her love of hand-me-downs (which I share, I mean, awesome free stuff? yeah!), you can check it out (and the cute outfit too!) HERE!

To be honest, I only wore this outfit to the corner store to buy some ice cream, haha! It was a quiet day, what can I do?


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Four Simple Goals

Elsie of A Beautiful Mess (psh, who doesn't know the Martha Stewart of the internet?) had a challenge for us all this week.  She likes to write down 4 simple goals for the fall, which is also her busiest season.  I've always liked the sense of renewal of fall, and as I am not returning to school this year, I thought it would be nice to embark on some projects that have been on my list for some time.

In the true spirit of the internet, Elsie extended an invitation to share your 4 simple goals and link back to A Beautiful Mess.  Ah, audience participation.  They'll be showcasing some people's progress as they blog about it.

Here are Elsie's "rules" for the goals:

1. Choose simple goals that will make your life richer and happier on a daily basis. Choose things you may not otherwise get done, but that are not difficult to accomplish. 

2. Do not choose result oriented goals, choose activity oriented goals. for example.... instead of "lose 10 pounds", choose something like "eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day". Get what I'm saying? Positive actions instead of just the end result! 

3. Choose goals that are personal that you believe will truly make your life richer just by doing them! They can be daily, weekly or one time experiences. 

4. Choose a reward for each goal as it is accomplished! It can be a small or large reward- it's up to you. 

5. Blog about your goals, each one as you achieve it and a big post when they are all finished before the new year! I'll be doing this too! Link back to this post if you want to and leave us links to your goal blogs in the comments of this (or any) post for a chance to be featured on ABM before the new year. We will be sharing some of our favorite reader goals with links to your blogs!

Here are my goals:

1.  I've owned my leather patcher "Doris" for over a year now, and have yet to really use her for anything.  Before the new year, I'd like to get a little practice and maybe make a simple bag or something with her!

2.  I started this painting in highschool, and haven't touched it in about 4 years.  I've always liked where it's headed, so I'd like to buckle down and get it finished.

3. Ever since I had to binge read all the plays for last season (11 plays) in one week (actually 5 days, 2 or 3 plays PER DAY, madness), I've been feeling burnt out about reading.  I've always read a lot, and this slow down has been unnerving for me.  2 books isn't much, but it's better than I've been doing, and hopefully it's enough to get me out of this rut.

4. I love to make stuff.  I imagine the holidays will provide a good opportunity to create something I've never tried before! 

Do you have any goals you'd like to accomplish for the new year? Easy things you just keep putting off? I'm glad to be putting these goals out there, so I have a little accountability for actually completing them! Haha!


Monday, 10 September 2012

Before and After: Metal Purse

gave the exterior a quick shine, too! Before/After.
This Makeover was quite close to my heart.  Not only is this metal purse one of the absolute coolest things I own (seriously, just look at it.  So awesome), but it's a piece I inherited from a family member who was dear to me, my great Auntie Pepi.  On Sunday it would have been her 70th birthday, so I thought it was an appropriate time to finally replace the horrible lining in this bag, so I can start enjoying this incredible vintage bag (given the state it was in, Pepi definitely enjoyed it!).

The lining was a deep purple velvet that had just had it.  I'm talking leave-dusty-residue-on-everything, puff-of-dust-when-torn kind of had it.  It was gross.  I ripped it all out, and sadly discovered it was too far gone to be used as a template for my new lining, which is why I ended up with some inaccuracies! Over all, I am very happy with the results, though there are a few hiccups.  Most notably, some of the old barge cement that had been used reactivated with my glue, and bled some colour through my new lining! Of course, I know the purse is only going to get dirty anyhow, and the spots are not so terrible.  I love the colour of the lining, I used an old scarf I thrifted! It was 100% wool which I can't wear, but I always loved the colours and pattern.  It feels good knowing that I could eliminate a little bit of clutter and find a use for the things I have, instead of buying something new.  All I bought to complete this project was some glue, I had the scarf, interfacing (and of course the purse) already!

I'm looking forward to taking this little guy out for a spin! I love how bright and fresh the new lining feels, and now I know it's not such a daunting task to replace the lining if I ever decide to convert it back into a swanky little evening bag (you know, some day when I have swanky little evening plans).