Thursday, August 27, 2009

Moving Over to the New Blog!

I've started my new blog to keep track of my new adventures.

Visit From the Arctic to Australia for the latest updates!

See you over there!

Temperature: +5C
Sunrise: 7:01am
Sunset: 10:46pm

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Trying to Keep My Head Above Water...


We're getting down to the wire! 2½ weeks left before I fly out. Things have been crazy at work and I've done almost 20 hours of overtime this last week. That leaves a whole lot of time for... NOTHING.
Cue me freaking out...

A friend came over tonight to kick my arse into gear so that I could finally get a bit more done since the movers can't give me a quote or - of course - take my stuff until it's all packed. I'm almost there. I'd say if I do a bit more in the next two or so days I'll be ready... It's a lot of work... And it's a lot of work I'm not so thrilled to be doing myself. It's mostly because I severely lack the motivation to do it. There's so many other things I'd rather be doing like sleeping. I've also given up any hope (or illusion!) I had of having a garage sale which was evident by me letting my friend take home 3 rubbermaind bins (PLUS) of stuff home for free lol...

We had a crazy heat wave two weeks ago and now we're back to it being cold, rainy and miserable... There were even murmurings of the "S" word... That's right... Snow... I was kind of hoping to miss all of that lol. I'm actually kind of hoping that if I sleep late enough into the day I'll miss it haha
It's actually getting dark at night now which sucks. It makes me pretty sad to know that summer is definitely over (I know I'm moving but man, I love the summers up here).

So yeah... I plan to take a picture of the apartment when everything is all packed I just need to get it all packed...

I really wish I had a more exciting update!

Temperature: +5C
Sunrise: 5:59am
Sunset: 11:55pm

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


It's hot!!!

I missed what is typically the nicest part of the Inuvik summer - late June/early July. We had one really nice day during the festival and I missed it because I was inside all day. Since then it's been a combination of rainy and rather chilly (you know it's bad when you cheer when it's +16C!) so I figured that was it for summer. A few days ago I thought I noticed that it was a bit smoky (just enough that the sun was kind of orange) then the next day there was noticeable smoke in the delta and a faint smoky smell. Well, with the arrival of the smoke came some warmer weather and humidity (very typical).

This is what we're dealing with right now:

(taken from the site where I get my temp/sunrise/sunset stats 29C = 84F).

It's actually a little less humid right now than it was when I got up (hovering around 50%). The Arctic is like a desert so even 35% humidity makes it feel very muggy out.

I think I've acclimated too well to Arctic life and this kind of heat feels hotter than it should!

In other news, in exactly one month I'll be in Edmonton and officially moved out of Inuvik. I called to confirm my flight today (I didn't book it so I wanted to call to make sure it was for real lol). I still haven't done any extra packing. I need to get that done ASAP. I have a BBQ to go to tonight and then I might try to get a few things done.

Temperature: +29C (feels like +32C)
Sunrise: 4:42am
Sunset: 1:21am

Sunday, July 26, 2009

One Week Down!

I've almost survived my first week back to work. It's gone surprisingly well - and quick! (the parts before and after work are kind of dragging though.. The house is quiet and boring! I of course have no motivation to pack or clean!)

This past week I got to meet a fellow knitter/Ravelry member while she was on her way home from an adventure of a lifetime - a trip to the north of Banks Island. We went out for dinner and I took her and a fellow research team member on a tour of Inuvik then we went and hung out by the river and got eaten alive by mosquitoes.

Fireweed close-up

I saw a grizzly bear in the back of a pick-up truck* (ENR I think?) drive through the first half of town on Wednesday. Of course CBC North hasn't updated on why that would be. Hopefully the newspaper has some juicy info this week. I was walking from my doctor's appointment to work when it passed me - it took me a couple seconds to register that it was 1. a bear and 2. not normal! I first though "dead thing in the back of a truck, nothing new" and then "!!!!!!! That's a grizzly!!!!"

(*to clarify, I'm pretty sure the bear was dead because it was just in the back of the truck - no cage or anything. I don't think they'd drive a sedated bear back into town.)

Temperature: +16C
Sunrise: 4:30am
Sunset: 1:25am

Monday, July 20, 2009

Surfacing After the Festival

Now that we're on the other side of the festival it seems like it went quickly even though during the festival things seemed to drag on. Things were different this year. Different in a bad way. People were grouchy and rude and there was complaining from the start. This was probably my last festival due to the move so I went into it with excitement. I was especially excited to see old friends and to see what they've been up to this last year. That excitement quickly drained after listening to person after person complain about such-and-such a thing not being perfect and listening to a few racist comments from artists from isolated communities. Then there was the high school politics that crept into things.
I think I'm only disappointed because I might not get a next year so my final festival was a little less than stellar.

On the upside, I made a few new friends, I got to see some fabulous art and I got to do some experimenting in my own art.

While I was there I decided to do some 3D needle felting. It's something that I've wanted to do for a long time but haven't really had the chance. What better time to do it when you're sitting there anyway? (all the "non messy" artists like sewers and even water colour painters can sit in the gallery and demonstrate their art).

I thoroughly enjoyed creating something new and pushing myself to try something on a whim (especially to try something new with a bunch of people watching!). Just to give you an idea of size, the tree is about 15" tall from the base of the tree to the tip of the longest branch.

Here's a blurry picture of my display at the beginning of the festival (my stuff is just the three large and five small pictures on the centre panel):

A few days ago it was moved to a different spot and I didn't really end up getting a good picture of it after (it turned out to be right beside the stage so I have a few shots from the closing ceremonies that have my work in it).

So there you have it! Now it's time to go back to a regular routine of work, home, sleep, repeat. I have a month of work left before I move. I'm going to take today to relax and sort out the emotions of the last 10 days and then I might get some packing done. Turns out I have a little more artwork to pack than I was anticipating.

Temperature: +18C
Sunrise: 3:38am
Sunset: 2:11am

Thursday, July 9, 2009

It's Good To Be Back

You know how it's always great to go on vacation but it's almost greater to be back home in familiar surroundings? Your own bed, your own fridge, your own TV, your own bathroom (some people might not care about this but I can't tell you how happy I am to be able to use my own bathroom!).

Our trip was great even though it was a pretty emotional trip on a lot of levels (wedding, memorial, seeing family, parting ways for a while). I'm glad Glen and I got to spend his last few weeks in Canada doing fun, touristy stuff and visiting with family. The only bad thing about being back home is the fact that he's not here with me. I think it's helped that I was travelling the same day and I wasn't left in Inuvik while he spent a day and a half flying across the world. We both flew out of Vancouver the same day (he flew out a few hours later) and due to me having to stay the night in Whitehorse we both got to our destinations a few hours apart. Another thing that makes this whole thing easier is knowing HOW happy his family is to have him home. I'm glad they have the next little while together to get reacquainted before I arrive.
I'm hoping to keep myself as busy as possible the next month and a half (especially) so that I can enjoy my last few weeks with family in September. The arts festival starts tomorrow (!) and then after that's over I have about a month left of work before I fly out.
When I got home yesterday, my festival prints were already waiting for me and they are incredible. I'm not bragging about my actual photo taking skills (bad form) but my photos look the best that they can possibly look. I'm really impressed (impressed enough that I called the place I got them from to tell them). So I did festival inventory yesterday and got some groceries. Today I'm going to borrow the landlord's truck to go pick up some heavier groceries and that's pretty much all I have planned for today. Tomorrow is the opening for the festival and then it's pretty much 10-12 hour days demonstrating and catching up with old friends (someone described it as summer camp and that's exactly how it feels).

So, a recap of our trip:
We spent 10 days in Victoria hanging out with family and doing some touristy things. We went to the museum and an IMAX show (Ocean Oasis - unfortunately it was crappy), went whale watching on my birthday which was probably the highlight of the whole trip.

We also spent the weekend on Galiano Island with my Aunt & Uncle.

Bodega Ridge, Galiano Island

We were so lucky to have fabulous weather the whole time. I think it only rained once the whole time we were there. We also got to meet up with an old friend from Inuvik so that was also a lot of fun.

After that we flew to Edmonton and spent a few days in my hometown with my mum at her best friend's then drove to Fairview for my cousin's wedding.

The wedding was great. Typical Prairie wedding complete with perogies and cabbage rolls.
The day after the wedding we drove half an hour north to Hines Creek to do a memorial thing for my dad. He passed away in 1996 and we've been waiting to do something with his ashes (I was 12 and my brother was 10 so my mum wanted to wait to make sure we were old enough to make the right decision as to where the ashes would go).
My dad's grandparents homesteaded in the area and they are buried in a small cemetery just outside of town near the homestead so that's where we decided he should go too. My grandparents drove up from Edmonton to be there and my Aunt, Uncle and Cousin (the ones from Victoria --- it was my Aunt's son getting married) were there as well as an old friend of mum's. It wasn't a big thing, my Aunt read a passage and said a few words and that was pretty much it.

Glen and I spent the night in Vancouver and met up with one of his old school friends before our flights.
After staying at our modest hotel in Whitehorse, the room we had in Vancouver was pretty awesome - we stayed at the Sandman and got upgraded to a suite (?!!!) so besides an awesome king sized bed we also had a living room lol it was insane.

So yeah! That's pretty much it! It's taken me a few hours to get this done - between phone calls and running errands.

Also: thanks to Teri for hanging out in Whitehorse and keeping me occupied for a few hours! I hope you enjoyed the leftover sushi! I'm definitely craving it now!

Temperature: +18C
Sunrise: n/a
Sunset: n/a

Monday, June 29, 2009

mini update!

So I realised I forgot to write a "OK we're going on vacation now!!" post.

So yes, we're about a week away from the end of our vacation (and a week away from Glen and I parting ways for a few months *cries*). We're having a great time and have been extremely busy. Our internet access is really spotty but for some reason my laptop has connected to the wireless upstairs and has been working for almost an hour (this is a first!!).

So I'll leave you with this and hope that everyone is well. I'll hopefully have more updates and pictures when I get back north!

(yes I really did take this)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Reflecting and Looking Forward

Now that I have all my flights booked, things are starting to feel a little more real. Calling Air New Zealand to confirm things and have my booking actually be on their computer, waiting for the charges to show up on my credit card, weeding through the endless piles of stuff and packing...

In general I read a fair amount of ex-pat blogs - part by coincidence and part because I enjoy reading about people discovering new places. Seeing the world through the eyes of someone seeing it and experiencing it for the first time is something I enjoy. I've started searching for a few more ex-pat blogs - specifically people in Australia and I've been thinking a lot about what my own experience is going to be like.
The thing with reading about ex-pats (and if I'm lucky, Canadians) in Australia is I'm interested to see what they found difficult and then gauge what my reaction to the specific situation would be.
I've had the privilege to do a bit of travelling. I spent a total of 6 months living in Germany (1 month the first time as a "tester" and then went back a few months later for a 5 month stay), I've been to England, Holland and Australia.

I've thankfully (? haha) had my rough ex-pat experience (Germany) and I think my time in the Arctic has prepared me and might even make the transition a bit easier.

When I first moved up here there was a HUGE list of things I couldn't get here (and there's still a pretty sizeable list) so even though I'm still in Canada it's almost like living in a different country - the culture and customs up here are even different. I've gotten used to things not being like they were "back home", I've managed to survive for the last 6 years and I even kind of forget how things were before. I almost get culture shock when I go south (especially with all the people, the traffic, the bright lights, loud noises/etc).

I think with this move I have more things working for me than against me and the major "for" is my support system. For me, it's not about having a hard time finding my favourite foods it's ALL about being homesick and missing family (#1 reason my experience in Germany was tough). This is going to be the first time that I will have family and a built in network of friends ready and waiting for me.

So this long winded post is basically me saying that I'm optimistic that this is going to turn out OK (because trust me, when you have one bad living abroad experience, it makes you worry!).

I hope you guys aren't getting sick of all this trip talk!

Temperature: +9C
Sunrise: n/a
Sunset: n/a

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Needle Felting! (and a confirmed moving day)

The arts festival is almost a month away so this week I have started a little more in earnest to get ready for it.

My workshop supplies arrived on Monday (needle felting again), I sent a disc with pictures to my Aunt in BC to get printed and I've started doing a bit of needle felting. This is what I finished yesterday:

For those of you that don't know, it's the Igloo Church - Inuvik's most famous landmark. I've been wanting to do a needle felting of this for quite a while now and finally sat down and did it.
Needle felting doesn't really photograph well --- the grass at the bottom is significantly more filled in than it looks and I don't think the cross on top is as crooked as it looks there (that spot might not be as filled in as the rest so the colour doesn't show up in the picture). The piece of felt is 12"x12" so it's pretty big.

My landlady comes back today which means I'm going to be truckless again (after having it since February I think?) so I'm going to haul out the bike again this year (I didn't use it at all last year :-( ). I have to run by the hardware store to get a new lock and a tire pump though.

I got confirmation today that I have a flight booked to leave Inuvik (it was booked on points so it took a few days). I'll be leaving on August 28th - almost a year to the day that my brother left (and actually the 28th is his birthday). I have mixed feelings - I mean, I really want to move and I'm excited but I've been here for six years it's kind of hard to imagine not being here - if you get what I mean?

Temperature: +14C
Sunrise: n/a
Sunset: n/a

Sunday, May 31, 2009

What's That Sound?

So we were laying in bed last night (more accurately, this morning at 5am) chatting when we both stopped and were like "What is that?!". I crawled over the bed to the window and it was... RAIN! I don't think we've had rain in 8 or 9 months!
Even though rain is awesome (because well it means it's at least warm enough that it isn't snow!) I'm kind of glad it didn't last. The reason for this is because weather up here in the delta is kind of funny. It seems that weather kind of gets "stuck" so if we have sun we'll have sun for a while and then if it rains it seems we have clouds and rain for weeks. (this happens a lot in the summer, we'll have a few weeks of AWESOME weather and then it'll rain and then our summer is over).

So I've been spending a good majority of my time packing and I have 8 boxes sealed up with another 4 in progress... I have one empty 2cu box left and I'm not done the packrat room yet so I'll have to go get more boxes tomorrow I think.
I think the packrat room is the biggest packing job and once I'm done that things should go quicker.
My tentative leaving date is the end of August (my boss is actually trying to book me a points ticket right now) but I'd like to be packed up before we go to Victoria on the 19th. Just because then it's done and I won't have to worry about it since I won't be back until July 8th and then I have the festival to concentrate on.

So I thought that once I had my visa a lot of the stress & anxiety would be gone. Yeah, SO wrong. I had the WORST dream last night (why I was up at 5am). I suppose having anxiety attacks in the middle of the night is preferable to having them during the day while I'm at work or the grocery store or something though...

Temperature: +13C+
Sunrise: n/a
Sunset: n/a

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Wait is Over!

Look what I got in the mail today:

We weren't sure how I was going to find out. A lot of people get emails from their case officers and I got a surprise when I picked up the mail (I'm not going to lie, I cried a little at the post office).


Here is my timeline in case anyone is interested:

16/03/09: Sent application to processing centre in Ottawa
20/03/09: Application received by Australian High Commission in Ottawa, case officer assigned.
08/04/09: Letter received requesting medical check and passport to be sent to AHC in Ottawa.
22/04/09: Medical complete.
29/04/09: Medical information received by AHC in Ottawa.
07/05/09: Passport sent to AHC in Ottawa.
12/05/09: Passport received by AHC in Ottawa.
20/05/09: VISA APPROVED!!
25/05/09: Passport received by me with visa sticker!!!!

So it turns out that on paper my visa was approved exactly two months after my application was received by them.

We are SO relieved that it's been approved and we can start planning how the next 4 months are going to go. I can actually start packing, I can start selling all the stuff we won't take with us and I can start just "letting go" of all the stuff that doesn't matter - especially when it comes to work.
Now to start making lists of stuff I have to do and figure out the logistics of it all... Getting there isn't what I'm worried about, it's the whole forwarding mail/taxes/CPP/EI/keeping credit cards stuff that I'm most worried about actually.


Temperature: +9C
Sunrise: n/a*
Sunset: n/a*

*We're a day or two into 24 hours daylight now. Worrying about my visa being denied had me TOTALLY distracted and I forgot about it until today. It's such a gradual thing so you don't really notice when you have sunset for 2 hours vs 0hrs.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Whole Lotta Nothin'

There hasn't been much bloggable activity going on up here lately. I've been way stressed out with everything that's been going on so I've been trying to not do too much besides relax and lay in bed.

No news on the visa front (they've had my passport for a week now) which is the source of most of my stress and is actually causing me to have anxiety attacks and really awful anxiety dreams. Fun times. Yay for ativan!

One semi exciting thing we did was go to the Giant Colon Tour. The nerd in me was super excited to go (I've gotten pretty acquainted with this body part over the last year with having Crohn's) but I was actually a bit disappointed. The sound wasn't working properly inside the colon and with all the air pumps (it was inflatable) you could hardly hear all the nifty facts on the TVs inside.

Our weather has finally gotten a bit better - we had over a week of snow, clouds and freezing cold (sorry Alberta, I think you got it from us!!) so that's improved my mood a bit -- SUN!! We're probably about 4 days away from 24hrs of daylight and even though we have a (brief) sunset now, it's not getting dark.

There has been no crafting going on (maybe another source of my misery?) so I've got to get back on that... I need to get some pieces for the arts festival done (as well as order prints... Oh man :-( ) and I need to start working on my quilts again.

Anyway! I better get ready for work!

Temperature: +8C
Sunrise: 3:56am
Sunset: 1:52pm

Saturday, May 9, 2009

mini update

About a week ago I emailed my Immigration Case Officer regarding sending in my passport (basically my question was if I should attn it to him or send it to the regular address) and I asked if they were able to let me know if/when my medical had been received by the office.

The date that my passport had to be in was coming up quick so I sent it on Thursday before I'd heard back from my CO (they want it by the 14th)
I got an email yesterday letting me know that they received my medical on the 29th of April (I wasn't expecting it that soon! And of course I get the email the day after I send my passport!)

So I wonder if we're getting close? Yesterday was the 7 week mark from when they received my application and they told me that decisions are usually made between 12 and 16 weeks. 12 weeks is on June 12th (yes, we printed out a calendar and we've numbered the weeks and are crossing off the days!) and I'm wondering if it's going to take that long or if we'll hear back soonish?

You better believe I've been scouring the internet for stories of how long it's taken other people (even joined a few forums!) but there aren't a lot of people in a similar situation (applying offshore for a spouse visa). There are A LOT of people applying for skilled worker visas and those take waaaaaaay longer than spouse ones.

Definitely resisting the urge to spend all my time looking at the photos from our trip to Australia in 2007!

Temperature: -3C (feels like -9C ---- we had snow yesterday!! booo)
Sunrise: 5:05am
Sunset: 12:39am

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Furniture Tetris

So you'd think that not blogging for a few days would mean that I'd actually have something to write about today, right? Wrong!
I haven't been doing a whole lot (of interesting things) since I got home. I worked on the weekend and had two days off which was spent rearranging the house. Normally I don't mind moving furniture around but this was kind of done to save my sanity. Someone extra has joined the two people that live upstairs and he stomps around the apartment right above my head while I'm trying to sleep. We've complained which didn't change a damn thing so the only thing left to do was to move the bedroom. I didn't think that our bed was going to fit in the other room but it actually does (I swear I measured it when we first moved in otherwise our bed would've gone into that room the second time we moved the house around).
Granted I sleep a little later than most people due to my work schedule but this dude's stomping starts the moment he gets up (so y'know if I liked to sleep until 9am I'd be outta luck). The last straw on Monday was that he woke me up stomp-stomping at 10am so I got up for a few hours and AS SOON as I went back to bed he started again. It was like he knew I was going back to bed!***

Anyway that's seriously what my life has been filled with since getting back from my trip. So now the "packrat room" is in the room where our bed used to be and it's the biggest disaster EVER. So that's what my life is going to be filled with.

I desperately want to be doing some sewing but I don't have the time or the space right now (our apartment is so small that in order to move rooms around things have to be emptied into the kitchen AND livingroom and the livingroom hasn't quite recovered). Hopefully soon!

A beach on Galiano Island
(totally random lol but I figured I'd throw in something nice after my angry rant)

Temperature: -7C
Sunrise: 5:15am
Sunset: 12:29am

(*** We never heard the other two people upstairs -under normal circumstances- Sometimes the teenager would have friends over and they'd run around and scream at lunch time. But their daily comings/goings/watching TV/walking around was never heard. This whole getting woken up thing is new since this dude has started spending A LOT of time up there.)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I'm Back!

I made it back home yesterday after two very long days of travelling... I can't even tell you how nice it is to be back home in my own space. Not that my trip was totally crappy or anything, it's just nice to be back home (my bed! my computer!). And without sounding too sappy, I really missed Glen. 10 days is a long time and I really missed his company.

I just put all my pictures from my camera onto the computer and there actually isn't a lot. I think it means I was really busy -- too busy to carry my camera around with me. I'm pretty sure there will be more picture taking when we're back in June.

So a summary... Monday I flew to Whitehorse and did some running around (yay Wal-Mart and A&W!) and went to bed super early so I could catch my flight to Vancouver. I was so paranoid I'd over-sleep (since I normally wake up at 1pm) or that my clock would malfunction that I set my alarm clock, my phone alarm AND called for a wake-up call. It did prove to be over-kill but better safe than sorry! I don't think I would've been so paranoid if I didn't actually have things to do on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday I flew into Vancouver and took the PCL bus from the airport into Victoria. This turned out to be a nice stress-free/affordable way to get over to the island. I met a really nice South African woman at the airport and we hung out on the ferry. It was her first time in Canada and she was really nervous about making sure she was getting on the right bus/right ferry and getting off in the right place. The only hitch about the whole trip down was the fact that PCL misplaced one of my pieces of luggage. It came on the next bus so that was good but pretty annoying none the less.
Tuesday night I dragged my cousin with me to see Leonard Cohen. It was SO awesome. Our seats weren't the greatest (to the right of the stage on the side - so basically a profile view) but it was still pretty awesome to be there.

Wednesday I had my Immigration Doctor's appointment. Despite being sent on what felt like a treasure hunt, I think it went well. The place I had my x-rays done was pretty far away from the doctor's office. It had the same street name so it sounded close - thankfully my cousin came with me because I would've walked (and walked and walked) and it would've taken a billion years to get there.

Friday-Sunday was spent at Galiano Island where my Aunt & Uncle have a place. It was REALLY nice to be out there. We went down to the beach on Saturday and it was SO warm. We nad a nice afternoon looking for shells and other treasures.

Monday I met up with someone from the knittyboard for lunch - yay! (mmm Noodle Box!) I have to mention I was really good about resisting some beautiful locally made yarn. I think I deserve a prize in general for resisting many (many!) shopping temptations!

Tuesday I went with my cousin and her friend to the Maritime Museum.

Thursday I got up at the crack of dawn (seriously... 4:15am) to catch the first PCL bus out of Victoria to get on the first ferry to Vancouver. I was so nervous about getting on the bus and about them possibly losing my bags again that I didn't anticpate another kind of delay... Our bus broke down on the highway!!!! Thankfully (if you can say that?) it didn't break down until we were on our way to the airport so we didn't miss the ferry or anything but geez... What a pain. We had to wait an hour for a new bus to come and get us and I made it to the airport right on time (I checked in and basically had to go straight through security).
Once in Whitehorse, Teri picked me up from my hotel and we went back to her place where she cooked me dinner (mmm spaghetti! Seriously one of my favourite home made meals) and we went for a walk. It has to be said that her daughter is probably the happiest most relaxed baby I've ever met. We were best buddies by the end of the evening.

And that pretty much brings us to yesterday/today. All the days where I didn't list something specific were pretty much spent walking around and window shopping. The weather was fabulous the whole time I was there so I managed to get out every day and do something (that pretty much equals walking over to the mall to hang out and getting my fountain pop fix!)

It was SO strange to go from ice and snow to green grass and flowers (oh, the flowers!!!) but I think I went at a good time because it really feels like spring here now. There's water on the lake, all the roads are clear (I'll be putting the truck back in 2WD today!) and it's A LOT warmer than it was when I left!

So it's back to work today for two days before my days off. I'll go through my pictures and post a few more in the next few days. I have a panorama or two to put together. Right now, I'm going back to bed for a few hours.

Temperature: -1C
Sunrise: 5:45am
Sunset: 11:59pm

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Million Miles an Hour

That's how my brain feels right now!

Normally I'm not nervous about a trip south but I'm VERY nervous about this trip. First I think it's because I'm actually going down with a purpose and I'm worried that I'll forget something (like my passport, the forms the doctors have to sign, my retainer, my meds, etc etc) and another reason is I'm pretty broke. Typically trips south are for SHOPPING and this trip is going to be pretty light on the shopping. I need a few essentials I can't get here (like dress socks) but I can't shop with wild abandon ;-)
One major (MAJOR) splurge that I've purchased already is.... Leonard Cohen tickets! I actually think I bought the last two! They aren't the greatest seats but I'm SO excited. I pretty much grew up listening to Leonard Cohen and to see him live is going to be pretty awesome.

So I'm sitting here mentally running lists and details in my head (what times I'll have to get up, where to get the PCL bus at the Vancouver airport, what I'll be filling my afternoon in Whitehorse with tomorrow etc) and instead of packing I'm procrastinating!

Posting will be pretty light for the next 10 days or so. I have no idea what my internet access is going to be. My uncle has their connection locked up so tight that the last two times I've been there I couldn't connect to their wifi even with him doing all sorts of things that would apparently let me.

Temperature: -15C
Sunrise: 6:41am
Sunset: 11:07pm

Saturday, April 18, 2009

*Drumroll Please!*

And the winners are:

1st: tea-na

2nd: merlinthecat

3rd: fireweedroots

Thank you all for entering and for all of the wonderful comments!! I'm really pleased that you all think posting the temperature/sunrise/sunset is a cool thing. I enjoy looking at it every time I post and seeing how much it's changed. I get immense joy in the summer when I can write n/a! (I don't know if anyone has noticed but I've started putting the temperature in the labels so you can click on it and read posts from other days with the same temperature. The nerd in me LOVES this!)

I'll be emailing the winners shortly! (I seriously wish I could send a present to everyone, all the comments really cheered me up this week - it has been a seriously INSANE week... My vent on the knittyboard doesn't even cover it!!).

Now for some Q&A:

Q: One of my favourite parts is the sunrise/set and temperature part. Will you keep doing that when you move?

A: I'll definitely keep up the temperature thing. I'm not sure about the sunrise/sunset. Not because I don't want to but I'd have to find a website that lists it. Right now I use and they don't post Melbourne's sunrise/sunset. I'll look into it though!

Q: I still think that New Zealand is the land of your dreams.

A: Ok I know this isn't a question but I wanted to say that we actually thought about moving to NZ because then it would be a little more fair to not be somewhere that's "home" for either of us. The thought of going through this immigration process for two people makes my head spin! I don't think NZ has a special "Eligible Australian Citizen" section like Australia has for NZers so it would probably be impossible for us to get in because neither of us are skilled workers. I can tell you though that we'll be heading to NZ soon after I arrive for a nice vacation!

Q: My daughters (8 & 10) and I read your blog from time to time. Since we watched the ice road truckers they are fascinated by living up in Inuvik - so different from us - they have so many questions - like do you get to eat bananas?

A: We're just getting to see ice road truckers this year! Yup, I eat bananas! Actually, it's one of the only fruit (besides apples and oranges) we can get up here all year round that is pretty reliable, quality wise. They do get VERY expensive in the winter though (and during freeze up/break up) I took a picture and posted it on this entry - click - on November 30th Bananas were $8.38/kg (one kilo is 2.2lbs). Yikes!

Q: Where did you live before?

A: I grew up in Alberta, Canada but essentially before I moved up here I was living in Germany. I went to Germany for the fall 2002/2003 semester and then when I got home at the end of February and didn't have anything better to do my stepdad (who was up here teaching at the time) suggested that I move up. So I decided on a Friday and hopped on a plane on the Monday. And I'm still here! My whole family (mum, brother, stepdad) lived up here at one point and my brother has been back and forth a few times but I'm the only one that has stuck it out. (side note, besides my boss who is technically disqualified due to the kerfuffle that happened this fall, I've been at my job longer than anyone else. A lady that I work with now started a week after me. I know it's only a week but I'm pretty proud of that week!)

Q: I assume the merino is extra lovely because it's grown in a colder climate?

A: Quite possibly? I don't know actually (shame)... I haven't used it much even though I have a TONNE of it (my mum's friend has the sheep and he gets the yarn commercially processed and dyed). BUT!!! Guess what project I've used this yarn for? (long time readers will laugh).... The Hat of Doom!!

Q: Did I ever show you the cowl I made with the lovely blue yarn you sent?

A: I don't think so! I remember the tea cozy! (my memory is insanely bad ATM so if you actually have, I feel really bad!)


Thanks again everyone!! If any of you have any other Arctic/life in the Arctic type questions, feel free to ask and I'll do my best!

Temperature: -13C (feels like -21C)
Sunrise: 6:45am
Sunset: 11:03pm

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

6 Years in Inuvik & 100 Posts Give-away !

Ok! So today marks my 6 year anniversary in Inuvik and it happens to coincide with my 100 post mark.

To enter my give-away all you have to do is leave a comment. In your comment please let me know if you're a long-time/regular reader, occasional reader or if you've just popped by for the contest (it doesn't matter if you just commented for the contest, I'm curious ;-)). Also please leave me your email address so I can get ahold of you (see bottom of post).
There are no restrictions on where you live but I can't guarantee shipping times.

I've put together 3 prizes:


Inukshuk bag with zipped top (100% cotton), Inukshuk mug, Northern Delights Tea, A book on the Western Arctic, a 50th anniversary Inuvik license plate and yarn (the green yarn is 100% Saskatchwan Merino and the other is dyed by me).


Inukshuk mug, Northern Delights Tea, 50th anniversary Inuvik license plate, and yarn (the teal and blue is 100% Saskatchwan Merino and the other is dyed by me).


Inuvik license plate, and yarn (the pinky/maroon, green, and blue is 100% Saskatchewan Merino and the other is dyed by me).

The contest closes Friday April 17th at midnight and the winners will be emailed --- please leave me your email address in the comments! If you don't leave your email address you need to check back on the blog after midnight on Friday. The winners will be notified and I'll need to hear back from them by Sunday so things can go in the mail on Monday before I head to Victoria.
If I can't get ahold of you I reserve the right to give the prize to someone else or cancel that particular prize altogether.

Good Luck!

Temperature: -2C
Sunrise: 7:03am
Sunset: 10:47pm

Monday, April 13, 2009


Holiday Mondays make for boring blog material.
I have Mondays off and when the rest of the world does it means I can't go out and do my running around because all the stores are closed. booo... I had to get up early today to drive one of the residents to the airport only to find out AFTER we get there that the flight was cancelled. Nice. So I spent a lot of the day napping (because I can). I get to do the whole getting up early thing again tomorrow now.
But tomorrow is an exciting day! 100 posts and 6 years in Inuvik! Check back to find out what to do to enter to win some awesome Inuvik and yarn-y presents.

We went for a walk just a little while ago so that I could maybe have an exciting story or picture to share but nope. I got a bunch of pictures of Glen pulling funny faces. I think he might kill me if I post those :-p

Temperature: -4C
Sunrise: 7:08am
Sunset: 10:43pm

Friday, April 10, 2009

Unexpected Vacation

We got word on Wednesday from immigration that I have to go and have my medical check done... By May 14th. So I get an unplanned and expensive vacation. I can't just go to any doctor, I have to go to one of their designated doctors and of course there aren't any in the territories (mind you, it would probably be more expensive to see one in Yellowknife or Whitehorse because I'd have to pay for a hotel). My choices were basically to go down to Edmonton or go to Victoria. 4 months ago I would've just sucked it up and gone to Edmonton but after finding out how cheap it is to fly to Vancouver (comparatively) I pretty much can't justify spending the extra $400 to go to Edmonton. There's also the pain of finding my way around Edmonton and a few other kind of annoying things. I know my way around Victoria and it's pretty hassle-free as far as seeing family goes (mostly because if I want to take the bus downtown or go for a walk they tell me to have a good time instead of "you want to go WHERE?" "I don't know how to get there" "I'm too tired to take you" blah blah).

I've been reading more northern blogs lately and we all seem to be writing and thinking about the same thing. The cost of air travel in the north is FAR too expensive. As it is, my "cheap" ticket to Vancouver is costing us the same amount of money as Glen's ticket back to Australia. Where does that make sense? (and yes, I got the lowest available fare give or take $40).
If we hadn't already planned a trip out in June this probably wouldn't be so annoying but now I'm having to pay for a second vacation we can't afford (being that the work contracts got switched in December I don't have much vacation time as it is and I'm using it in June/July). Also, what happens if for some freak reason they have to re-do tests? There's no way I'm spending another $1100 to fly back down!

So, I'm finding it hard to get excited about this trip even though it's to my absolute favourite place in Canada. The last time I was in Victoria was in 2003 so it's been a while. I've been looking at pictures from my last trip and thought I'd share one of my favourites.

Galiano Island

Temperature: -12C
Sunrise: 7:21am
Sunset: 10:31pm

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Even More Sewing!

EDIT: We went outside to take pictures of the quilts so I'm editing this post and the previous one to put in the better pictures.

I've got the pink quilts all sewn together!

"lap sized"

"baby sized"

Here's a link to a picture of the bundle I used for these two quilts: click - I'm going to use the brown fabric in the top left as the borders and then the pink check and the pink chocolate bar fabric as the backings (depending on how much I need for the lap quilt will depend on if it gets the check or the bar fabric -- they were ½ a yard short of check fabric but it might fit - I usually order ½ a yard extra just in case and they had the exact amount listed in the pattern.).
We've figured out fabric for Glen's oldest nephew. Here's a link to the picture of the bundle: click - I'm going to use all but the four flowery ones in the top left. And I've decided on the two fabrics in the second row on the right as my border/backing. I hope it's boy enough. Looking at the bigger pictures of the fabric it looks like it will be and there's a bit of cheating you can do with the fabric - like using the more "girly" fabrics for the small squares so you only get little snippets of the pattern.

The fabric for my cousin's quilts is at customs so hopefully it will be here soon. The ladies at quilting are going to be so surprised when I show up with a bunch of stuff pretty much finished!

In the next few days I'm going to run around and get some of the stuff for my 100 posts thing. I'm going to try to make it for the 14th (one week!) which will be my 6 year anniversary of moving to Inuvik (yikes!!!).

Hope you guys aren't getting bored with all the sewing talk!

Temperature: -15C
Sunrise: 7:34am
Sunset: 10:19pm

Sunday, April 5, 2009

More Sewing!

I've been sewing like a mad-woman the last few days. I got the top of one of the quilts almost done (just have to add the border). I decided to start on the second of my YBR quilts. I'm glad I did because I was doing that one in "lap sized" and it turns out that it will actually fit a single bed (I dunno who's lap they were going by!?!). So now that I know that, I can turn the pink one into a lap & baby sized quilt instead of a twin. I've got the pink quilts all laid out, all I have to do is sew it together (which I was going to start on tonight but my back is killing me!). I still have the border to put on before I sew the backing/etc on.

(how is this lap sized? Glen's holding his arms above his head!)

close up

The camp-out quilt is going to Glen's nephew who will be 1 in June and then I thought I'd give the "lap sized" pink quilt to his niece who will be 5 in September and then I couldn't leave out his oldest nephew (he's 12) so I'm going to make him one too.

Now that my mum has seen the quilts I'm doing she wants me to make one for my cousin's kids. Actually she wants me to make one for EACH of the kids. Yup, 4 more YBR quilts to make. 5 new ones in total. I've ordered the fabric for the ones my mum wants me to make and I still have to order the fabric for the one for Glen's oldest nephew. There isn't a lot of boy fabrics (for older boys) so I might struggle finding something (or get really creative).

Temperature: -21C
Sunrise: 7:43am
Sunset: 10:12pm

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fabric Fun

I just spent the last 4 hours sewing together, ironing and squaring up a bunch of quilt squares for a quilt I'm making ("Yellow Brick Road" by Atkinson Designs).

I haven't decided what size I'm making since I have a few options... I can make a twin sized quilt, a lap and a baby quilt or two baby quilts and have squares left over. I'm going to wait until quilting night on Monday to put it all together. A friend of ours just had a baby so I could make one of the smaller sizes for them.

(even the scraps look nice!)

After that I have another YBR quilt to make (I'm seriously loving this pattern, it makes a visually interesting quilt without a lot of pain in the arse. After spending AGES staring at my silly ½ square blocks and running in to problems with running out of fabric for other quilts, I'm loving working with a pattern where you can get a twin sized quilt with 18 fat quarters -- and oh my, there are a lot of REALLY cute fat quarter packs out there!).

Then after that, I want to try and tackle the colour wheel quilt I've mentioned before. I thought about using all my dyed fabric for it until purlsoho got their colour wheel fabric bundles back in. I figured I'd spend less money ordering one of those than trying to order individual pieces of fabric to fill in the gaps. No idea what I'll use my dyed fabric for... Maybe a YBR quilt haha

Then on top of all of that I just got in some REALLY cute fabric. I thought I could make a few baby mei tai slings but now that the fabric is here I'm not so sure - it's SO cute! It makes me want to sew up curtains or sheets for a kid's room. The owl fabric is for my second YBR quilt. It'll be enough for the borders but probably not quite enough for the back. I'm torn between putting cotton or flannel on the back. hmmm

So yeah! That's pretty much what I've been up to! Not having hockey on Tuesdays has freed up a whole day for more crafting and I actually got to run errands (and go out for "dinner" - sandwiches) without feeling pressured to get home so I could relax/get ready for hockey. I'm sure Glen isn't too thrilled with me taking over the living room two days in a row with the card table & sewing machine! I can't wait until I can have a dedicated craft room (that's all I've been dreaming of lately and I've been spending a ridiculous amount of time on!)

This is post 95! Only a few left to go until my my 100 post give-away!

Temperature: -23C
Sunrise: 8:00am
Sunset: 9:57pm

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I've been meaning to post...

For close to a week I've been meaning to sit down and write a post and for whatever reason it hasn't happened.

This past weekend I took part in a class offered by our quilting guild. We made Easter wall hangings (12"x21"). While hanging decorative quilts on my wall isn't really my thing, I decided to take it to learn some new techniques and to brush up on some basics.

How cute is that? I'm going to send it to my grandma for Easter. Generally I'm not a pattern follower when I quilt - mostly because I just make patchwork quilts - so this was a bit of a step for me. Even though I know how to sew I felt like a total newb because I've never followed a quilting pattern. Because I like to torture myself I'm doing another quilt on Mondays using a pattern. Actually, using a pattern is good because you at least know how much fabric you'll need to make a quilt X size but sewing random 5" squares together uses a lot less brain power lol

Tuesday was our last night of hockey for the season :-( I really wish the ice was in for a few more weeks especially since I probably won't be here for the next season.

My visa application has been recieved by Ottawa, I have a case number, a case worker and my visa has been charged the application fee (!). In the email I got from them on Monday, they said that the typical processing time is 12-16 weeks and I'll be notified if we need to send in any other documentation or have to go in for medical checks.

So there ya go! Probably a better post than if I would've written yesterday. All you would've heard about was me ranting about doctor's appointments and having a flat tire (suffice to say yesterday was crappy).

Temperature: -23C
Sunrise: 8:26am
Sunset: 9:34pm

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Life's Work...

Because I'm not about to write a novel any time soon!!

So there she is... My 200 page immigration application.

We started gathering stuff (like long form birth certificates) last year and in the last 3 months have been working on part of it every day. There was a lot of waiting for things to come in (we could've had this sent off 2 weeks ago if we didn't add more pictures at the last minute) and a lot of re-reading of forms and discovering we needed something else - I think there were a few days in a row when had one more letter from XYZ that needed to be written or one more photocopy of ABC document needed to be made - it seemed we were never going to have everything.

As of 3:00pm my application was tucked away into an express post envelope and handed over to the post office to be whisked away to Ottawa to be processed. The lady on the phone this afternoon said there's about a 3 month processing time so we'll hopefully have some sort of word by the time Glen has to fly home.

We're excited and relieved to have completed everything but now the waiting begins. We're also really happy to not have to answer any more "Is your application done yet? Have you sent it in yet?" questions.

Should I start posting weather comparisons at the bottoms of my posts now?

Temperature: -32C
Sunrise: 9:04am
Sunset: 9:01pm

Friday, March 13, 2009

March: In like a lamb out like a lion/in like a lion out like a lamb.

What happens when the middle of March is lion-like?

We are having a pretty intense cold-snap at the moment. The wind chill has been in the -40s (closer to -50 at some points!) and the ambient temperature isn't much warmer! (Cambridge Bay has been outrageously cold -57C with the windchill for the last few days!!)

I had to keep two of the residents home yesterday (due to the cold) and let me tell you, I was insanely unpopular last night because of it. The main issue is that it's SO sunny out - not a cloud in the sky - and for people that don't understand how the weather works, they think we're having a lovely winter day. Not so much. So I got to hear all night "It's sunny out! It's not cold!!" "I'll wear a coat! It's NICE out!" when really, it's minus a bajillion degrees.

I really hope we don't have another 2½ weeks of this...

Temperature: -34C
Sunrise: 9:21am
Sunset: 8:46pm

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Better Late Than Never!!

After much anticipation my v-day secret pal package has arrived!

Normally when something takes AGES to get here I say it's come by dog sled but I think even a dog team would've gotten the package here faster.
I got: two lovely skeins of Knit Picks Imagination in "Lost Boys" , a cute paisley tin (I'm in the process of doing a paisley glass etched mug!!), stitch markers (awesome! I actually need some more!), an incredible skein of Manos silk blend <3 <3 and some tea (smells yummy! I'm going to have a cup after I write this post). yay!! Thank you!!!!

I was going to pair this post with my latest sewing creation but that's going to have to wait for another day - I'll tell you about it now though! I made the Mei Tai baby carrier from Sew Liberated. It only took a few hours and it turned out really well! The distinct lack of a baby and my helmet hair prevents me from taking a picture of it but I'll try to get one soon. I'm definitely going to make a few more - they'd be a great gift for all those people that seem to keep popping out babies!

Only two more nights of hockey left :-( I'm really sad, I've been having SO much fun. I even got two goals today (grand total 5!) and my skating is definitely improving. Hopefully Glen will come along next week and take some more pictures.

Temperature: -23C (feels like -31C)
Sunrise: 9:30am
Sunset: 8:39pm

Sunday, March 8, 2009


So I don't think I really have anything exciting report (do I ever?). The second little sweater is coming along (started on the second sleeve) but has been put on hold for a top secret birthday project for Glen (his birthday is on the 22nd).

We booked tickets last week for a trip to BC & Alberta. We hadn't really planned for me to go as well but we found some cheap tickets flying through Whitehorse & Vancouver and couldn't really pass it up. My cousin is getting married in Alberta in July so we were trying to figure out how we could make it down for that as well as there being time for me to go to GNAF (which is the weekend after). So instead of just going down for the wedding we're going to spend a week-ish in Victoria with my Aunt, Uncle and other cousin (it's her brother that's getting married) and then we're going to somehow make it out to Alberta for the 4th of July and then make it BACK to Vancouver to fly on the 7th. I'm SO excited to get back to Victoria (probably the only place in Canada where I could see myself living) but there's a crappy part to all of this... Glen's visa runs out at the end of July... It's silly to fly him all the way back to Inuvik for 2 or 3 weeks so he's going to fly back home when I fly back to Inuvik (his flight leaves 3 hours after mine in Vancouver). [insert me crying at the drop of a hat for the last week HERE].
So all of that means kicking my visa preparation into overdrive. And I can't believe I'm saying this but we're SO close to being ready. I'm getting some documents notarised tomorrow and then all we need to do is wait for a few more pictures to come in the mail and then that's it! We're of course going to scour the site and make sure we have everything before we send it off... We both finished writing all the letters we needed to (hello 2000+ word essay about how we met and our life together for the last 3 years) which has been my least favourite part so far (I don't like writing formal letters) but at least it's done! Before we send everything off I'm going to take a picture of the giant stack of papers - there's easily over 200 pages to this thing.

And the only other news I have to report is that this is post 90 and in 10 more I'm seriously going to be holding a blogiversary party (not like the last time I said I was going to and then got too busy to plan one). I don't think there's going to be any sort of skill testing questions involved but I'll have a draw for prizes.

Temperature: -29C
Sunrise: 8:42am
Sunset: 8:28pm

edited sunset time.. The website had it wrong and the sun clearly set after 8pm tonight (love it!!)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Little Sweater!

Finally a knitting FO!

For the last few months I've been itching to knit an adult sized sweater (my first) and I've been scouring my books/magazines and websites trying to find a pattern. The urge was getting pretty strong and I hadn't found a pattern that was going to satisfy what I wanted to make so I decided to knit a baby sweater. I decided on the Placket-Neck Pullover from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

(Harry Potter book shown for scale)

First the bad news: It didn't satisfy my urge to knit an adult sized sweater lol
Otherwise, I'm pretty happy with how this little sweater turned out. It's my first completed non BSJ sweater (I have a partial Trellis in the depths of the packrat room) and I really enjoyed knitting it. It was quick enough that I didn't get second sleeve syndrome (hah!) and it was easy enough to do while not having to focus 200% of my attention on it (hello Trellis!). I didn't have enough of the yellow yarn so that's why I put the pink trim - which was a good idea at the time - y'know until I got to the placket part and had to intarsia from both ends of the ball.

Pattern: Placket-Neck Pullover (0-6months), Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport in Butter and Blush
Needles: Size 6 or 7
Mods: Added a second colour and changed the length. I used the lengths for the 1-2 years version because the 0-6 month measurements looked like it was going to make a short, fat sweater.
I have no real baby to compare this sweater to so I have no idea what size of baby it will fit or if the mods I made would make a sweater dress for said baby or not. If anything, the arms are probably a pinch too long. Oh well!

So, being as unsatisfied as I am, I cast on for another one of these sweaters last night! I'm making the 1-2 years size now.

Temperature: -8C
Sunrise: 9:12am
Sunset: 7:01pm

Monday, February 23, 2009

Needle Felting

I've been doing some needle felting lately. If I want to apply for the arts festival I need a few more things in my portfolio.

I did this the other night - it's a needle felting of one of my pictures. I think it turned out really good and I was pretty impressed with myself.
I have a pair of felted slippers that I'm about to sit down and embroider. I'm trying to get a bunch more of those done too.

We're getting pretty close to sending all my paperwork in. It seems every day we re-read what we need to send in and find something else we need to write or some other form we have to fill out. Today we realised that we need certified copies of birth certificates/passports from the people that wrote statutory declarations for us --- ugh! I went and did my criminal records check stuff last week and found out that I didn't actually need my finger prints taken. Oh well. I have them now in case I need them I guess. I'm hoping we can send everything off in about two weeks. We're also waiting on some pictures we ordered to come in (but if we're ready to send everything and those aren't here yet then we'll just send our forms off. We have some pictures and these were just going to be extra).

Other than that! I'm just trying to survive work until my boss makes it back on Friday. I'll be very happy when he's back and I'm not the boss any more!!

Temperature: -22C (feels like -32C)
Sunrise: 9:33am
Sunset: 6:42pm

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Quilting Challenge

To add to my growing list of unfinished projects, I'm about to start another one... Our quilting guild is having a creative challenge and I'm taking part (because I'm crazy!!). The challenge is quilting a deck of cards. Each person takes as many cards they want (I took one to start) then they interpret the design how they want and turn it into a 6"x10" quilted piece.
Some people are translating the card literally onto the fabric and others are thinking a bit more outside the box. It should be interesting to see what we all come up with.

I ended up getting the ace of clubs and have finally planned my design and what I'm going to do. I ended up buying a bunch of wool felt to use instead of fabric (for some reason I'm less scared to work with felt than actual fabric?!) and I'm going to do some free motion quilting on it (yikes!) and maybe some needle felting.

So my task for tomorrow during quilting is going to be working on my free motion quilting. My machine is being kind of picky with the tension so I want to get all those issues worked out before I try it on my piece. I have a feeling that depending on my filler and the felt you might not actually be able to see a lot of my stitches so we'll see... I might pick a couple of colours I'm not going to use and see what things will look like.

Once I get all my pieces cut out and put down then I'll take a picture - I'll spare you the photos of my sketches (there are many!).

I'm still trying to figure out what my plans are for this summer... There's a family wedding and the arts festival but if I go to one I can't go to the other AND if I go to the wedding I'm probably not coming back up here (because I'll probably *hopefully* - be moving soon after that anyway and there's no sense spending money on plane tickets TWICE)...
We've started to buckle down and get my immigration forms sorted out. We're making lists of things we need and it seems right now the only thing that might take a while getting is my police clearance thing. Otherwise it's just up to us to write letters about our relationship, compile pictures and all that sort of stuff.. I'm hoping that we'll have all that stuff done by the time my police thing comes through so we can send everything. ugh... It's a lot of work and I'm paranoid about screwing it up...

Temperature: -6C
Sunrise: 10:11am
Sunset: 6:05pm

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fabric Dyeing Workshop pt. 2

Here are my results from the workshop:

I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. Most of the pieces are lightly marbled (instead of a tie-dyed effect) which is quite nice (I was too lazy to take a picture of each individual colour). Today we did some two colour experimenting (ie: put one colour in the bottom of the cup, then the fabric, then pour another colour over top) and some people painted with the dyes. Rinsing all the colours took quite a while and then when we got home we put everything in the washer/dryer then ironed it.
I would love to do another workshop like this - I had fun doing the rainbow thing with the three primary colours and I think it would be fun to do more experimenting with different shades of red/yellow/blue.

I'm planning on making a colour wheel quilt (pattern in Last Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts) and have about half my fabric with what I have dyed. Hopefully it won't be too tedious to find the other half.

Here's a picture I took yesterday on my way home from the workshop:

Temperature: -35C
Sunrise: 10:42am
Sunset: 5:35pm

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fabric Dyeing Workshop pt. 1

We had our first day of our fabric dyeing workshop today - it was a lot of fun! I'm really excited to see how my fabric will turn out.

For the workshop we got a booklet that explained the process as well as "recipe cards" so we could make certain colours - or in our case - a rainbow of colours.
We started out making a basic rainbow that involved using 12 cups and mixing various amounts of 3 colours into them (red, blue, yellow). Some people used different shades of red, blue and yellow but for the first batch I stuck with true red/etc.

For our second batch we were encouraged to do our own thing (ie: more rainbows, doing mixes with two colours or making batches of specific colours). I chose to do another 12 cup rainbow but I used hot pink, bright blue and yellow. I'd like to do another one using a lighter blue.

As you can tell from the pictures - we uses plastic beer cups. They seemed to be large enough to fit our dye and our fabric (we were using an eighth of a yard - ie: a "fat eighth"). Some of the fabrics might have a kind of tie-dyed/marbled/mottled look depending on how much you scrunch and fold the fabric into the cup.

Tomorrow we're going to go back and rinse/fix the dyes and then start on more experimental things (ie: stretching a piece of fabric, putting dye on and then sprinkling salt on the dye, painting with the dyes etc).

It's all a great experiment and a lot different than what I'm used to with kool aid dyeing.

I'll update tomorrow with our results once I get home (and have a nap!).

Temperature: -27C
Sunrise: 10:46am
Sunset: 5:31pm

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dyeing Results

I took my swift and ball winder to sewing tonight to re-skein my newly dyed yarn. One of the reasons I did this was because we have good tables to clamp everything to (we only have a crappy card table here and it wobbles) and another reason is because I'm in a sewing funk. I have about a jillion projects on the go but don't feel like working on any of them. I'm getting a few new sewing books so hopefully that will help (they should be in the mail any day now!)

Re-skeining is my least favourite part about dyeing yarn (tedious!!) but it's SO rewarding when that blobbly skein turns into something really awesome. The skein on the right was a bit of an experiment - I was using powdered Ukrainian egg dye and I noticed it did funky things when I put it in the water (some spread out, some sunk, some sort of fizzled) so I put my skein in some water and just tapped dye on top of the water and let it do it's thing. I need to get some more yarn so I can fully try out my Ukrainan dyes. My mum's friend sent me one package of each colour.

Temperature: -34C
Sunrise: 11:03am
Sunset: 5:12pm

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Little Bit of Yarn Dyeing

This is what I've been up to:

I always hate the way the yarn looks before it has been reskeined so I try not to lose faith until then ;-)

I haven't done any knitting in a few weeks now.. I don't know why, I just haven't felt like pulling it out. That's one reason why I decided to dye some yarn because then I at least felt like I was doing something. My Cricut has been getting some action lately too but it's all a surprise :-)

Other than that, things have been pretty quiet around here. We've been spending most of our evenings watching tennis (ok, evening to us is 11pm and later!) and that's pretty much it. A typical evening looks like this:
I get home at 11pm from work. Go on the computer or do Cricut stuff until 1/1:30am when the tennis comes on. We watch the tennis until it's over or I flake out and go to bed (the second part is usually the case!).

Fun times at my house, I tell ya!

Temperature: -35C (feels like -47C - !!!!)
Sunrise: 11:17am
Sunset: 4:58pm

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Trying to Getting Used to the Silence

Thanks to everyone for your kind comments. It's been pretty tough to get used to not having him around. Like I mentioned before, Finnegan was very demanding of your attention and he let you know it if he didn't think he was getting enough. Sure it was annoying sometimes (like when we were trying to sleep - or when your arms and shoulders were too sore from carrying him around all day) but now that he's not here, everything is so quiet. Tilley is not a cuddly, affectionate cat and I miss getting those kitty snuggles and headbutts (he loved being kissed on the forehead). Finnegan was pretty much everything I wanted in a cat (minus the near constant meowing). I wanted a cat that would sit on my lap and want to be cuddled and snuggled when I wanted to and not just when they were feeling like it - it was a pretty rare day when Finnegan wasn't up for a good snuggle.
I'm having a bit of a hard time with just Tilley because she isn't cuddly and affectionate - she was the reason I got Finnegan in the first place...

Anyway... It's all about adjusting to how things are now and we're trying our best to look back at all the funny any annoying things Finnegan did and laugh (instead of cry which has been a pretty common occurrance lately). The one that got us laughing the hardest the other day (and my mum later when I told her) was the rivalry Finnegan had with Glen. Finnegan knew that he was here before Glen and took every chance he could to show how absolutely jealous he was anytime Glen and I were near eachother (ie: if we were sitting together on the couch or even worse if we were laying on the bed). Finnegan would physically get between us but the worst (and funniest) thing of all was that any time Finnegan had to jump up where we were or walk past Glen he ALWAYS (and I really mean always) stepped or jumped on Glen's crotch. Every.Single.Time. Any time Finnegan would go near Glen, Glen would be covering himself to avoid the inevitable.

I'm going in for a massage at 6 tonight and hopefully that will help me feel a bit better physically. Besides the stress at work (which, honestly has been pretty minimal - there's usually a once weekly occurrance of ridiculousness but it's usually been resolved in a few days) the Finnegan thing has really messed my body up (oh, I have a cold on top of it all too - great!). After my scope and getting my new stomach meds, things were going pretty good and now... Yikes... Things are worse than they were before the scope... I'm not getting too worried (though my doctor will probably freak the fuck out tomorrow if I tell him) because I'm pretty confident that it's the stress causing it and if I give it a few more weeks, things will be back to normal. Waiting out the symptoms is the toughest part.

We're getting our new hockey jersys tonight too. I'll try to post a picture soon wearing it. (I'm looking forward to hockey tonight - good stress reliever!).

Thanks again for all the comments.

Temperature: -25C
Sunrise: 11:34am
Sunset: 4:39pm

Friday, January 23, 2009

Finnegan: 2005 - January 2009

I'm really sad to report that we put Finnegan down a few minutes ago. I woke up this morning and found out that he had another urinary blockage. He spent most of the day in the window seat or under the couch. By the end of the evening he was visibly more uncomfortable and we knew that we couldn't make him go through what he went through the last time.
We waited until I got home from work tonight and the vet came over to the house.

One of the last pictures I took of Finnegan (this morning).

He passed away peacefully just before midnight surrounded by me, Glen and Tilley. Tilley seems a bit more upset than I thought she would. We cleared a space on our small counter for the vet and put some towels down and that's where Tilley is laying right now. I'm going to miss him emensly. He was always by my side either on the computer or snuggling with me in bed. He loved playing fetch and just graduated from fetching recipts and candy wrappers to thick hair elastics. He also loved catching elastics and recipts in mid-air and doing flips.

He had such a personality and I'm going to miss his constant opinions about everything and him greeting me at the door every day when I came home.

Temperature: -24C (feels like -35C)
Sunrise: 11:53am
Sunset: 4:19pm

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Behind the Scenes

I just spent the last hour or so going through all my posts and tagging them (too much spare time?). I thought it would be fun to put the temperature in the tags because it might be interesting to see how many days had the same temperature - or even to see which months had similar temperatures.. Anyway... I was basically sitting up waiting for my boss to email me (I wanted to make sure I got the email before I went to bed) so I had time to kill... bleh.

Another interesting note is that this is my 80th post... I know I said I was going to have a contest for my blogiversary (which never happened - woo, go me!) but I think I've decided to have one for my 100th - only 20 posts left!! That should give me enough time to think of something awesome.

I thought I'd post a funny - but washed out - picture of me with the cat.. Notice him on my shoulders... This is where he spends most of his time now-a-days...

Basically, he is still super high needs (attention wise) and will wander around the house meowing if he's not on your lap or of you're not carrying him around with you. He didn't like the sling I improvised for him (hah!) and so this was the next best solution.
So because I titled this post "Behind the Scenes" I figured it was appropriate because he's usually sitting on my shoulders while I write my posts (he's not at the moment because he's running around the house being a menace!). And yeah, I can assure you that I'm not that pale in real life... In my defence it was 2:30am and I haven't been feeling well/getting enough sleep.

Temperature: -31C
Sunrise: 11:57am
Sunset: 4:14pm