Category Archives: Miscellaneous

My New Specs…

So here’s the thing. I’m practically blind…I’ve tried contacts, but I just don’t care for them. Instead I wear glasses, day in and day out. And truth be told, I like wearing them. I think they reflect my personality, and I look better with them (in fact, I think I look kind of weird without glasses…my eyes seem too small or beady…maybe it’s my imagination).

The problem with wearing the same pair of glasses, though, for…say…seven years? Is that they start to get gross…no matter how beautiful a pair of designer frames may be (and mine were…oh god they were gorgeous) and no matter how well you take care of them, they succumb to wear and tear, just like everything else.

My usual go-to location for frames had seriously disappointed me the last time I went to replace my lenses…so much so, that I didn’t want to go back. Instead I decided to take a friend’s advice (thanks Shannon!), take a huge leap of faith, and order my glasses online through Clearly Contacts.

Here’s what I got:

Nike’s Track frames have a nice shame to ’em, but I’ll be honest: I picked them exclusively based on the colours: they’re teal on the outside, and transparent lime green on the inside. Love!

I’ve always wanted a pair of really red glasses…I’m not quite there yet with these Chianti frames by Modo…but I’m getting close (notice how big my nose looks in this picture? holy!).

WOW. Talk about a fantastic experience. Not only do they have a ton of fantastic looking frames available for a fraction of the price you’d normally pay, but the cost of lens treatments is included, and lens thinning is just as reasonable as the frames themselves. I couldn’t believe it: I ended up with two pairs of frames (and lenses thinned) for under $300…add to that the friendly service, and super speedy delivery? I’m a believer.

(…I’m a believer that I can actually afford to treat my eye-wear as accessories now…)

So I guess the big question is: Did I make the right move? Do they suit me? (Did photoshopping each pair of frames to my face pay off?)

Please Note: I know this kinda maybe sounds like an advertisement….but really, I just happen to think that good experiences (yes, even good shopping or customer service experiences) should be shared, and credit given where credit’s due. These guys have earned it in my book.


Friday I’m in Love: 2011 Goals

Because everyone else is already doing it, and I love to jump on bandwagons, I thought I’d look forward to the new year and share a few of my goals for 2011:

I always struggle to get (and most importantly) stay organized…but the last few months of living in a temporary apartment have made it a Herculean effort. More often than not, the apartment (and especially my office) has been a complete (and embarrassing) disaster area.

During my week off, I made the effort to clean up and organize my office…it’s still fairly “temporary” in that most items remain in bins or boxes, but I’ve at least reined in the chaos. I’d like to try and keep it this way.

I’m a fantastic saver….give me money, and I’ll squirrel it away and not spend it. But that’s about all I’m good at….which just isn’t going to cut it in the new year as I become a full-time self-employed consultant. Having to manage and remit all of my own taxes to the provincial and federal governments, track expenses, and surely a ton of other factors I’m too overwhelmed to comprehend absolutely scares the bejeezus out of me. But I don’t want it to….which means I’ve got a lot to learn.

I’ve been talking and talking about it, but this year I actually want to set up a Pretty Gurl Bijoux online shop…Now seems as good a time as any (even better), as it’ll complement my self-employed status quite nicely….expenses and income for the shop will be just one more thing to track.

My head is filled with ideas…I’m constantly coming across inspiration…I keep collecting (old stuff, new stuff, whatever…I’m a bag lady) in anticipation of all the things I want to make. This year, I want to set aside more time to actually sit down and create: both for myself, and for my (future) shop. Can’t wait to get started (in fact, I think I kinda already have…more soon!).

To help motivate myself, I’ve pledged to participate in Project ReStyle, the brainchild of Elsie Flannigan and Rachel Denbow…both creative titans in the blogosphere.

I love photos. I love looking at photos. I love taking photos. But I’m notoriously bad at taking them on a regular basis (I usually pull out my camera on vacations, and leave it buried in a drawer the rest of the year). In 2011 I’m going to make an effort to record everyday things, in addition to (and instead of just) extraordinary things. I got a brand-spanking new compact camera on steroids for Christmas, I’ve (finally!) signed up for a flickr account, and will try to take at least one picture every day (or so…). Wish me luck.

In case you didn’t know: I am an introvert. I am perfectly happy to sit by myself for days at a time just doing my own thing. I have no difficulty keeping myself busy or amused. (Does it come as any surprise I studied archaeology? I wanted to sit in a hole and dig….by myself.)

This year, I want to get out more (and not just on solitary excursions): I want to see my family more, I want to reconnect with and see friends, and I want to go out on more dates with my boy.

Think I can do it? I sure hope so.

Do you have any goals for 2011? What about non-goals? (stuff to avoid or to keep doing?)


Oh My: Vintage Camper Follow-Up

A few weeks ago, I wrote about running away in a vintage camper…at about the same time, my boyfriend’s mother was discovering my blog, learning a few new things about me, and coming up with some pretty special Christmas gift ideas. Today, I’m sharing one of those gifts with you. A photo:

Imagine my surprise when I opened up a pretty package to find the above snapshot from a family camping trip back in the early 1950s with….yep….a vintage (wooden!) teardrop camper.

Teardrop campers like this had room for two adults to sleep, with an area for cooking outside under the rear “hatch”. The image to the left provides a better idea of its likely configuration [ source: ]. Apparently only the larger campers had their wheels inside the body of the camper…so this sucker could have been as big as 6-1/2′ wide, 5′ high, and nearly 12′ long.

This alone was a fantastic find…but what I found wrapped up beneath it almost blew my mind: the camera that took that very same photo…an old Kodak Brownie.

According to the Brownie Camera Page, the Brownie Holiday Camera was produced from 1953-1962 and came in two models: one with, and one without, a flash (mine doesn’t have the flash attachments). The Brownie Holiday Flash retailed for about $5.00 (which seems an obscene amount of money for the time), and came with this cutie little manual:

So now I have to find a suitable display for my oh-so-cute brownie camera, and the photo it took…though that’ll only happen once I’m in a more permanent living situation where I’ll actually bother to decorate.

(Oh the plans I have for that future, mysterious, and elusive abode.)


Changing The Face of Men’s Health

In case you haven’t heard, November has been re-christened Movember in an effort to raise funds for prostate cancer…the “mo” is in reference to the fact that men all over the world will be growing moustaches throughout the month as they campaign for your donations.

As a Mo-Sista, I am incapable of growing a moustache…but can still raise money for the cause (donate here if men’s prostates are important to you), and spread inspiration…here’s a little help to my moustache-growing mo-bros, and a few fun items to help spread the word about Movember and prostate health.

If you’re growing a moustache, and either you or your significant other is suffering from its bristles, then some Natural Moustache and Beard Softener Spray, courtesy of JoyfulGirlNatural might come in handy. Once that moustache really gets growing, though, it’ll be Scodioli Creative to the rescue, with their Whisker Wax to help tame and coif your stylin’ moustache.

To get the word out somewhere other than your face, show a little love for the moustache with this 4-pack of 1-inch “I Love Moustache” buttons created by sprocketbox.

For slightly dressier pins, go for these Fancy Moustache Pins handcrafted in black, white and silver vinyl by Montrealer yummypocket…perfect for any occasion, and any outfit!

Or, for the ultimate in sophistication, get yourself one of idlehandsdesigns‘ oxidized sterling silver Fancy Moustache Necklaces…it doesn’t get any classier than this.

For Mo-Sista’s looking to get into the action in a slightly less formal way, then head no further than Hamilton, ON where LoveElycia has just the thing: her Incognito Moustache Headband will add a little moustache-bling to your outfit without breaking the bank.

Finally, if you just desperately want your own mo, but can’t grow one, or don’t have the patience or the inclination to go through that “awkward” phase, then you’re in need of Little Retreats‘ set of 8 of your very own Stache-Tastic Moustaches.

And last but not least, let’s not forget your home…why not show your support for the cause with this super cute Mr. Moustache hand embroidered wall decoration, by Vancouver-based bubblyshnooks.

For more moustache-related goodies – from totes, to t-shirts, to coffee mugs – perform a search for mustache (or the alternate moustache) on Etsy.


The Comeback Kid

About a year ago, I decided to change hosting plans, transfer my domain, and do a little spring cleaning on my site…at the same time, I decided I’d give it a much needed facelift to better reflect my current aesthetic.

A funny thing happened along the way, though…I took my site down, but never put it back up. As I started to work on its new design and structure, I started questioning its purpose…did I really want just another portfolio website? Didn’t I have more to say than “here’s some of my stuff”?

I thought about it. And then I thought about it some more. I went on a few vacations where I tried not to think about it at all (here I am in Niagara Falls, enjoying the sun, the mist and the resulting rainbows…I can assure you, I was not thinking about my website).

And then I just knew the answer: no…and yes.

So here it is…about a year late, but with a design I like (for now!), and a new focus: while the portfolio remains, the emphasis is now a blog…where I’ll share crafty and design projects and inspiration, digital resources for the DIY and design-inclined, current obsessions, and anything else of interest that happens to cross my path – either online, in life, or (God-willing) on vacation.

Welcome back!