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Summery Drive in February

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Today was the perfect day for a photo drive; warm, not too windy, and so sunny. I found an oldies station to listen to on the twisty highway up the coastline. It wasn’t quite warm enough to have the windows all the way down, but I lowered them all enough to smell the ocean breeze. (Perfect!)

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(I know, beauty garbage cans, eh?)

I drove out to check out campsites for a potential camping trip in March (I love it here!) It was wonderful to get out and sit on the beach for a while and watch the waves.

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I think looking for log swirls is one of my favourite beach activities. I enjoy looking for the details.

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Can I just say how awesome it is that we have so much green on the island. The Okanagan winter & spring is beautiful in its own way, with the browns and subdued sage, but the green growth here just feels so exhuberant!

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What’s your favourite thing about where you live?

The Dark Side is Calling…

There was a sale, I was weak, and now we have another pillow.

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Now Kylo Ren and Phasma are on our couch too! I stayed with the orange accented fabric since Eric’s a fan of it, even though it kind of bothers me that it’s a different shade. Oh well. I also made a set of cushions for some friends. They decided on a more graphic/stylized print.

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One side is the Star Wars print, the other is plain black for versatility. Sometimes you want the nerdy decor, other times not so much. Now that I have these done, I can get back to my other projects!

Sunday walk

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Sundays are for walking with J and Fenrir. Today we (eventually) found our way to Elk & Beaver Lakes. We didn’t go all the way around, but that doesn’t mean it was perfect mud walk weather.

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It rained last night, so there were little water droplets everywhere. Some of the bushes where even producing little buds! In January!

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The sun peeked in and out of the clouds, but the temperature stayed comfortable. I’m thankful it wasn’t blustery and rainy like I thought it would be.

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Fen found his way into every mud puddle. So did I, honestly. I have mud sprinkled up the back of my jeans, but it was totally worth the cleanup to get outside!

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The Force is sleepy

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Yesterday Eric and I were at the fabric store to pick up some supplies for another project when we saw the Star Wars specialty prints. It didn’t take long for for us to decide it was coming home with us, but only half a meter since it’s not as affordable as I’d like. But luckily that’s the perfect amount for a pillow cover!

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I made it nice and simple – some navy blue piping and an orange zipper from my stash. The zipper isn’t really hidden, but the colour works well enough with the fabric it doesn’t stick out too horribly.

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I’m slowly improving my zipper skills! Last year I made a whole bunch of zippered bags, which was a great way to practice installing them, but also get useful storage at the same time.

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Our couch seems to be collecting geek pillows. Maybe we should look for more fabric to add to the collection? What do you think?

December Handmade List

In December I handmade:

Four hats (three gifts, one for me!)

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Two hats look like that ^

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I completed my first stranded project!

The fourth hat is a secret until I mail it out!

Two pairs of fingerless mitts (gifts)

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For my mum

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For Bailey

One scarf (gift)

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For my FiL

Two custom stationery sets (gifts)

Two art prints (gifts)

I think I did alright, eh? Plus January first and second I made another hat as a surprise for a relative. I can’t wait for her to get it!

It’s the most mumble time of the year

Brioche stitch is so squishy I love it :D #gift #knits #knitting

A photo posted by Mel McNiece (@meljammin) on

Sometimes I can’t decide whether I love December or hate the stress that it holds. I am enjoying making gifts for people though. Those projects are islands of happy in between the usual worry. I can’t wait to mail them off to their new homes <3 The most frustrating part is not being able to show them off yet (Arg). Only a few more weeks till I can post some photos!

Weddageddon: Part One

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Image courtesy Moonrise photography. (moonrise.ca)

Hello again! It has been far too long since I’ve written here. So much life has happened, (including a hacked server, oh joy) it’s hard to know where to start. For now, let me begin with the biggest event; we got married <3

Though stormy weather was forecast, it held off beautifully. We had a great photo session in Sidney, and though the pier was covered in people it felt like we were the only ones there. Patricia had us ladies climbing over rocks in dresses and heels, and I’m proud to say no one fell over or got seaweed on a dress! We felt pretty badass. There is so much that happened on the day, but mostly I keep remembering the moments. I’ll share them slowly over the next few weeks so I can savour them all over again.

 

A photo posted by Mel (@meljammin) on

 

We stayed the Thursday night at the Sidney Pier Hotel. I woke up to the hum of float planes taking off and a pleasantly overcast day; nice and bright but not too hot. Eric had to run off to get ready with his family, but I was able to spend most of the morning with myself and a cup of coffee. That quiet personal time really helped me breathe and be present. Soon enough, my mum and bridesmaids arrived and we ordered rooms service for lunch and visited until the photographer arrived. I’m so glad we had time to chat and relax (and that I didn’t over schedule myself!)

 

A photo posted by Bailey B (@piratespacebee) on

 

Chelsy and Bailey were my wedding-week heroes. They took so much of the last-minute pressure off and made sure I felt human. I don’t know what I would have done without them! (Most likely cried more and slept less). I count myself lucky to have them. (Thank you ladies!)

 

Image courtesy of Bailey (@piratespacebee on instagram)

Image courtesy of Bailey (@piratespacebee on instagram)

Next time: onto the celebration!

The Final Countdown

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With only a few days left until our wedding, Eric and I made ourselves an island of relaxation (and also terror). Saturday found us at Western Speedway out in Langford for Race With Rusty. We had signed Eric up for ten laps of solo race car driving, but once we got there he sensibly added on the four laps of ride along to get used to the car. Those professional drivers certainly know how to go! It looked like tons of fun from up in the stands, though Eric says it was slightly terrifying being a passenger.

The cars reserved for solo drivers are throttled a bit (good thing!), but still have enough power to skid out around a corner. Thankfully I only saw two people do that. The track was marked and taped to guide drivers to the right area for their speed, and they had radios in their ear with spotters yelling at them to let off the gas or speed up. However, Eric said that it was difficult to see much out of the windows since the doors are so high and the cargo net can get in the way.

I managed to get lots of photos and some shaky video. Not the best quality clips, sans tripod, but good enough for the memories! I think I need to try this for myself, maybe next year.

gishwhes 2015

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And so the wonderful creative week-long energy fest that is gishwhes is done for another year. Once again, we didn’t complete as many items as we’d hoped, but oh my goodness did we ever jump out of our comfort zones anyway! Our team’s members were from Canada and the U.S. in several different cities. We all had life and vacations and work to deal with amongst the crazyness, but we managed to do some pretty great things!

I never expected that I would set up a tent at a highway rest stop to make it a “restful paradise”. I don’t know how many times I yelled “It’s for a scavenger hunt!” as people pulled in and looked at us confused. At least we left strangers with a smile on their face!

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I created a bandolier out of my favourite books for #BooksNotBullets.

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I discovered that salt can be an excellent portrait medium.

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We learned that while the Tooth Fairy might have been on strike, the Unimpressed Dish Fairy was still at work.

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We tweeted unconventional gardening advice at Michelle Obama,

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and hosted a party for conspiracy theorists.

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Our team of fifteen accomplished so much. This year (my second gishwhes) I enjoyed myself greatly and had so much fun creating the items. There is nothing like budget, time, and energy constraints to push you to be creative!

 

Why gishwhes? Read this.

More secrets

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I’m participating in gishwhes this week, and we’re not allowed to share images until it’s over. So until Saturday night this is all I can share – some of the aftermath of this weekend’s creating. Wish us luck!