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October 31, 2006

vancouver

Pumpkin Max

Happy Halloween everyone! Our little pumpkin is running around Vancouver looking so adorable. He's just learned "trick or treat" and has managed to start scoring candy. He's convinced that this is Candy Day and also it's the Pumpkin's birthday. I tried to sing the happy birthday song to the pumpkin, but he said no, no mommy not without a candle to blow out.

We experienced a big power outage this morning due to the heinous construction right below us. We heard the huge boom and then blackness fell. Max was so sad as it cut off Curious George on TV - this also made my getting ready time cut short. Turns out it effected a two block radius so we couldn't get our Agro coffee fix or eat at the super yummy Diner. We headed up to the Elbow Room. This funky little spot serves up big portions of ok fare but what's fun about it (if you're in the mood) is the major grumpy attitude they serve and are infamous for. The waiter ask what you'd like to drink, you say water, they tell you to get off your ass and get it yourself. Want a second cup of joe - same dealio.

Granville Street

Fingerless Mittens

Next we strolled and shopped along Robson Street. Nothing too special to see as it has all the same major stores most cities have. We did find a cute sweater and hat for Max at Zara and I got a little pair of fingerless gloves with a mitten pullover feature. I'm hoping they'll keep my fingers warm on the ghost train ride later tonight.

Ghost Train

Max had his first trick-or-treat experience cruising up and down the shops in Yaletown. Most of the stores were handing out candy between 3:30 and 6:00 pm. There were lots of kids between newborn and about seven or eight years old and Max was stunned. He also had his first real scare. A creepy man hiding behind a ghoulish mask was lurking about. At one point we were behind him and Max called him scary guy. I said yes he is scary guy and the man quickly turned got right in our faces and wiggled his fingers at us. Max burst into tears. Horrible to behold. He barely uttered a word the entire time and only said trick-or-treat twice and muttered a few thank you when we were far out of ear shot. He's never been like that before. However he quickly understood the concept of sweet candy and lollipops. A sugar monster has officially been born.

We got in the car just after 5pm to make the 6pm ghost train. It's only about 10 minutes away, but we didn't factor in Vancouver's rush hour. Uh oh. By 5:30 we'd only made it to the beginning of West Georgia and the traffic was intense. Hubby and I both had that parental holy crap moment. It had been such a struggle to get these tickets and Max was all pumped up on sugar and repeating pumpkin train over and over — we were hell bent to make it to the train ride. So imagine our elation to discover that West Georgia has an HOV car pool lane! Of course we had to share it with the buses and some really bad drivers, but we made it to Stanley Park in about 15 minutes. we ran to will call, got the tickets and jumped on the train, woo hoo! But here's the rub. We thought the super campy b-movie silliness was hilarious, but Max wasn't sure what to make of the whole thing and he was probably more scared than we realized.

Rodneys Vancouver

We dined on delicious fresh seafood at a very cool spot called Rodney's Oyster House. The staff was super friendly and comp'd us free appetizers and gave Max star treatment. A good time!

Hallows Bed

sweet dreams.

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October 30, 2006

vancouver

Baby Capuccino

We knocked off Agro Cafe again this morning. I say knocked off since I'm still feeling horribly guilty about our little devil toddler who knocked an african statue off the display shelf and broke it in two. It also hit his head on the way to the floor and of course scared him into hysterics. I feel extra terrible because I think the owner had probably hand carried it back from Africa where he'd obviously traveled to work with the fair trade coffee growers. In the cafe he has a slide show on the wall with all his trip photos proudly educating all about fair trade and African coffee farmers. What a bummer eh?! Urgh.

Granville Island

I was really looking forward to our journey across the bridge to the craft section of town. Granville Island has a big public market with lots of food stalls both prepared stuffs and groceries. It doesn't disappoint. There's lots to see, taste and buy. There's also a fabulous Kids Market with lots of specialty toys, books, music, stickers, stamps, clothes and more all just for kids. The building also has some coin operated rides and a little play area. The surrounding streets have lots of local stores and crafters from glass blowing, painters, printmaking and letterpress shops and even a handmade shoe shop. We also strolled by a cool looking design, art and media school. But I was so sad that there wasn't a great yarn shop. I talked to one local who said there used to be a woman spinning in the public market but she hadn't been around in ages. What a missed opportunity! I did see one silk yarn shop but they were making all their fabric on looms and there was also a shop selling really funky felted goods, but it's just not what I was looking for. I was also freezing as the temperature had dropped to 5C and really wanted to buy some wooly mittens, hat and a scarf. With seven months a year being between chilly and freezing I can't believe there isn't a fabulous knit shop in this artsy hood. Someone needs to open a yarn shop with lots of hand made knitted goodies, spinning and more, please.

Pumpkin Carving

Later, the ever remarkable Mr. Bun ran up to the local fancy market Choices and bought a pumpkin for Max. I drew four faces on paper for Max to choose from. Mr. Bun then carved it in less than 30 minutes and only using a wine opener knife, well done daddy. Max was of course was only fascinated with the lighting and then blowing out of the candle.

Tojos Vancouver

Dinner tonight was AMAZING. Seriously we had a lifetime wonderful meal at Tojo's {thank you Dan!}. I love this restaurant. It's so laid back and unassuming and then serves up the most artistically delicious combinations of Japanese food. WOW. We had the omakase "I'm in your hands" menu which was stunningly beautiful and delicious. Our sake was poured and served in chilled bamboo stalks. Our waitress Sachi was so sweet that Max fell instantly in love with her and never wanted her to leave the table. When asked "what kind of food would I eat if I could only have one choice?" The answer, Tojo's. So get yourself there.

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October 29, 2006

vancouver

Diner Vancouver

Diner Interior

We've already found the perfect breakfast spot and have been twice so far. It looks like they have a wonderful lunch and diner menu too and it's super kid friendly while not all dumbed down like a lot of "family friendly" spots. It's just around the corner from the Opus at 1269 Hamilton St. called simply Diner. The food is homestyle gourmet. The bodums of coffee and the very special cinnamon rolls are delicious.

Stanley Park

Big Leaf

Vancouver Aquarium-1

Crimson Ibis

Max Beluga

Then we headed to Stanley Park. It is truly a gorgeous park with water on most sides and views of the city and mountains. There are many paths to walk, run, ride and stroll and many attractions like the totems, the miniature railway, children's petting farm and the aquarium. We'd been told by many locals that the aquarium was great so we headed there. There are two big rooms filled with tanks of all sorts of underwater beauties. We also spied a big jellyfish exhibit that was opening soon, looked super cool. The amazon exhibit is a rare treat. As you cruise through the steamy jungle lots of animals are just roaming free like the crimson ibis above as well as turtles, sloths and other creatures. In tanks they had pythons, rainbow boas and more. Lastly we saw the beautiful white blubbery Beluga Whales. Max was thrilled and captivated.

Chambar Vancouver

We had a spectacular dinner at a beautiful Belgian restaurant called Chambar in the Gastown district. I highly recommend it. I had divine and extraordinarily large mussels in a vin blanc soup with frites and Mr. Bun had an authentic tangine of lamb and couscous with all the spice trimmings. The view out the back dining room windows is sparkling and the space, art and decor are industrial warm and tres chic.

Moonroof Max

Before we took off back to the "hotel in bancouver" as Max says, Max wanted to open the sun roof and have a look out. He gave us a glimpse into the future! He laughed and screamed with joy, hip hip hurray! I can only imagine the ruckus my little gremlin boy will be causing as he drives around drunk with his head out the sunroof someday!!

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October 28, 2006

vancouver

Science Happy

Telus Train

Today we hit the Telus Science World Museum. Must admit I was super disappointed because the bubble exhibit I'd been talking up to Max and he'd looking forward to was closed due to the ever popular human body exhibit. While the human body show seems cool to anyone who can read or better yet has body consciousness, it's not so good for our little bubble loving two year old. Good thing he's fairly easily distracted and they have some permanent exhibits which have some water making bubble effects— tricky but passable. We found the kiddie space on the 2nd floor just beyond the Eureka theater a great toddler spot.

Ransom Board

Komakino Gastown

Steam Clock

We toured Gastown by street light, which probably wasn't such a good idea. The neighborhood is quite sketchy. Seriously, it feels far more tense than our tenderloin. We even found a plaque calling it an historical "skid-row". Yes, that feels like the right label. We tried to stay on Water Street under the bright lights and near some open stores and restaurants. Highlights were the very very chic mens clothing store Komakino [hidden down a steep brick staircase, ring the bell. Look for the ransom type on the sandwich board, but only in the next six months as apparently this store moves around], a chic modernist furniture store called Inform, and the world's only steam clock which chimes on the the quarter hour and sings at the top of the hour.

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October 27, 2006

vancouver

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. — Marcel Proust

Opus Hotel

Opus Door

Oh Canada! We made it to Vancouver. We are enjoying the ever lovely boutique hotel Opus. We upgraded to the 4th floor SE corner suite overlooking the future Yaletown Station on Davie St. [Must admit I'm thinking a construction discount would be a nice touch.] The Hotel staff are very sweet and helpful I especially like all the cute doormen who are great with Max. They tolerate him pushing the handicap door opening buttons over and over and over. The Yaletown neighborhood is very charming with all the brick buildings, modernist lofts, old town streets with lots of cafes and nice shops which makes strolling quite enjoyable.

Maple Max

Swing Max

Vancouver Sunset

Agro Cafe

We took a long walk along the waterfront and came across many playgrounds. It's impressive to be in a neighborhood that's so kid friendly [dog too]. So far our only kid unfriendly complaint is the dinnertime dining. We're sure we've been turned away with "nothing available" or "come back in an hour and a half" because we walk up with a chatty toddler in a big ass stroller. Oh well. At least we enjoyed a beautiful sunset view of the Granville Market. And within the first 12 hours we found the perfect latte at Agro Cafe — it's just about as good as Blue Bottle and that's high praise.

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October 24, 2006

bouton d'or

Boutond'or

I found these skeins of Bouton d'Or yarn on sale and I couldn't pass up [colors Orme 643 & Lichen 304]. They are 50% camel and 50% wool which is so soft it's amazing, plus machine washable which is perfect for little man's head. Ksar suggests using a No. 10 needle for 4.5 sts to the inch, but I'm using No. 9 addis and getting 4.5. I've cast on about four times now and finally think I have it right at 70 sts. I'm hoping the stretch amount will be right this time. It also took me a good half hour to remember how to knit in the round using the magic loop technique. Obviously It's been far too long! As always I'm loving the internet and all the knit bloggers - it's so wonderful to find "how to" in just a few clicks. [Note to self: use the back needle with the yarn coming off the back and up through the middle, knit off the front needle]. I'm knitting a simple stockinet tube hat for Max with an i cord which will gather and tie off the top. This should knit up quickly if I can find the time to finish it.

Check out these interesting Scandinavian free knitting patterns. by drops design/garns studio.

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face it

Life makes no promises for what lies ahead, but rather presents you with choices and opportunities to progress. Improvement is fueled by change. Face new challenges. Expand your boundaries. But, never forget that change is rarely without obstacles. Disappointment is inevitable. Learn to laugh at your mistakes, trust your instincts and savor each moment along the way. Be fearless and never look back. Your future awaits.

This is from a page I ripped out of a catalog, I'e been carrying it around for weeks. This certainly summaries life to me. I hope it inspires you too.

October 22, 2006

terrific twosies

Maxs Birthday

Blowing Out

Today was a near perfect day. The weather in our tree shaded backyard was in the 80s. Mr. Bun and I worked our tails off (more he than me!) yesterday preparing so it would all come together today, and it did. The house and back yard were filled with balloons. We all enjoyed the delicious chicken and fearless frank bbq, wondrous majo and egg-less potato salad, chips, fruit salad, vino and brews galore. Oh and the kids had their picks of lemonade, pear and apple juice boxes. The chocolate and butter cream cupcakes Mr. Bun made were amazing. Max could not have been happier! He had his family, friends, and neighbors cheering him on and all singing happy birthday - twice! I'm still spinning in wonder and basking in amazement. And Max still has a living room full of unopened gifts to explore!

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October 21, 2006

upside down bunny

upside_down.jpg

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October 20, 2006

yarn speak

jeremy_sanders.jpg

Cruising through the student work on SFAI's site [my alma mater], I found this little clever yarn speak piece by Jeremy Sanders and had to post it since it's letterpress meets yarn art clever. However I am in no way in support of this or any war, just supporting the arts in all formats. I'd prefer "knitted strand" to be the new american slogan and movement.

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October 19, 2006

thirsty rabbit?

unthirsty.jpg

Lookie what a group of techie lushes put together to make our happy hours easier to locate. Love it. Thirsty? Go get Unthirsty. drink. drank. drunk.

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October 18, 2006

bouquet of gratitude

bouquet.jpg

ah, I'm enjoying a floral moment here at work. A wee little bouquet of dahlias, snap dragons and tulips were sent my way in appreciation for weeks of hard work. The pretty pretties made my day. It's the small things that make it all worth it, eh?!

October 12, 2006

whoopsy daisy

Lace Whoopsy
Whoopsy Flowers

While mulling over the possibility of starting the "woody" sweater by Debbie Bliss, I decided to do a google search and see who else had knit it. You know, I was looking for color ideas, project hiccups etc. While browsing I came across Whoopsy Daisy by a fellow knitter names Kerstin with a a son name Max - ok a little close to home with those names, but what's really amazing about her site is the photography. Stunning images together with thoughtful prose, politics and knits makes for a blogroll worthy site, check it out.

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October 7, 2006

kiddie knits

Kiwi Stripes
Sophie Lili
Sophie Lili2

I came across some adorable kiddie knits today while shopping at the aptly named Hayes Valley shop Lavish. I loved Kiwi Industries stripy sweaters and hats, yummy sweaters, scarves and hat sets by a company I already knew and enjoyed blablah, and more gorgeous knit designs and some matching knit dolls by Sophie and Lili. I can't get enough of all these kids knits and would be broke if I had a daughter (or if these came in my size!). So much inspiration, if only I had the skills and time to design some and then speed knit 'em too.

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October 5, 2006

SP9 questionnaire

Sp9 Buttons

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I seem to gravitate towards Rowan and Debbie Bliss yarns. I like natural fibers, cotton, wool, cashmere, silk. I'm not into novelty yarns as a general rule nor do I like acrylic yarns or anything too bulky.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have two gorgeous bags, one I bought the other was a SP8 gift (luv luv it)

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've a terrible memory (blogging motivation) I think about four years, I took some classes at my LYS. intermediate

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
sure do, click here

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
ylang ylang & verbena

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
chocolate

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I sew a little and draw. I don't spin yet...seriously not enough time or space to try it

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I can play MP3s and like happy house, reggae, old 70s, 80s stuff, I think I'm all over the map really just not so much on country or screeching sopranos. I like world music a lot.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
orange is my favorite by far, but I'm huge color lover. yellow is my least favorite color to wear. I'm big on watery colors right now.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
husband, son (2 years on the 25th) and two cats

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
scarves & mittens more than hats & ponchos

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
scarves, sweaters and toys

13. What are you knitting right now?
urgh, still working on a knit toy and shawl (see No. 17)

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
of course

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
circular addis or bamboo straights

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
nope

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
eeek almost a year

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving for the family warmth and joy & easter cause I love bunnies and chocolate

19. Is there anything that you collect?
art & design books and letterpress cards

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I don't have any subscriptions. I have one Rowan magazine (No38) which I think is amazing.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
so many I'd love to try but can't begin anything new right now, too busy!

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
nope (see No. 21)

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
August 7...

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