Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sunday Lives Up to its Name

Well, apparently the reward for spending a week under the fog is to have a glorious weekend of sun. On Friday, a friend and I went to Ikea, then framed a picture I found in Readymade magazine. I'll post about it soon; I'm hoping to hang it this week. 

Mr. Ripley and I went for a run Saturday morning which was glorious. We run, and then reward ourselves with goodies from the public market which usually include delicious coffee drinks, tasty cinnamon buns, and the fixings for a delicious pasta dinner. Fresh raviolinis! We also feasted on several varieties of olives. We're partial to little nicoise olives, big black neros, and the delicious big, green citrus marinated ones, the name of which I cannot remember except that it starts with the letter "c". Saturday also brought a baby shower for the most recent arrival in the bumper crop of friends' babies. Cute babies and tasty treats abounded, and really, what more can a person ask for in a baby shower? 

I went for a stroll along English Bay on Sunday with my sister. I hadn't planned to, as I had a load of lesson planning and homework to take care of, but I couldn't resist the allure of the sunshine. I've grown up on the west coast, and know that for us a sunny day is nothing to sneer at. Especially in the winter, you never know when the next one will come along. 

We walked along English Bay. 

From the Dog Beach...

Along English Bay beach, with the towers of the West End rising in the background....

To a Beard Papa reward. So tasty, and surprisingly light! Also, I love the bearded papa on the bag. 

A lovely end to the weekend.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Seen on the Street- Sanctioned and Unsanctioned Art

As I'm walking around the city, one of the things I like to do is look at graffiti. Recently, I've seen some new public art pop up in my neighbourhood, as well as some politically oriented graffiti. It's true that sometimes I tire of the incessant parade of plaid shirts and overgrown, unkempt beards that adorn the fixie-riding hipster denizens of my neighbourhood, but I do love the creative and artistic energy that crops up as a result. 

The first in the series of artistic sandwich boards (at least, the first I noticed) popped up outside a local coffee shop. The tiny text at the bottom reads "Instant Coffee Loves Everyone"

And the reverse side:

About fifteen blocks further up the street, another pair of signs await. It seems like instant coffee is everywhere....

And the reverse:

Here's the third sign, which should perhaps become the new City of Vancouver motto:

And it's other side:

More about Instant Coffee here. If you click you will see there's an interesting project involving buses covered with afghans that I'll be watching for...

I've seen a lot of political graffiti around town. Here are some examples from my neighbourhood. We have the anti-Olympics messages...

And the reaction of one of my neighbours to a recent news story, the latest in a string of stories which tarnish the reputation of local police forces:

In the category of one down and one to go....

(for my non-Canadian readers, the one on the left is our right-wing Prime Minister, Steven Harper).

Last, but not least, is a paste up I just plain like:

Do you enjoy graffiti? Feel that it's legitimate art, or condemn it as vandalism? Care to share any of your favorite instances of graffiti? 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Moody January

Most of our snow has finally melted. It's been raining off and on for the past few days, and the streets are clear, as are most of the sidewalks. I'm excited to go out for a run, as I've been feeling kind of housebound for the last few weeks, at least exercise-wise.

I've seen some raindrops hanging from bare winter branches, jewel-like. My camera doesn't do them justice, unfortunately.

When I went out to the university today I couldn't resist a walk down to the beach. Campus was rendered blurry and muted with fog. Suddenly, I wanted to hear and see the ocean. When I tromped down the very long staircase to the beach I saw a few other people out with their cameras, enjoying the sound of the waves washing onto the shore, and the feel of the soft sand underfoot.

Looking left...

Looking out to sea...

Looking right.

I need to make time to walk down here more often. It's so relaxing to spend a few minutes in quiet contemplation, listening to the waves sliding on sand.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Technical difficulties- eep!

Hello dear readers,

I apologize for the recent technical difficulties with the pictures on my blog; I think I have it figured out. I don't exactly know why I cannot make the fonts uniform in these same posts. It's all part of the learning process I'm sure. Thanks for coming by! Next up, tomorrow or Wednesday: my favorite Etsy yarn sites.

Happy Tuesday,
Miss Ripley

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Bright Shiny Things

A few days ago I shared some of my favorite recent Etsy acquisitions with you. In addition to wonderful things to hang on my wall, Etsy is a great source of pretty things to wear. Being in graduate school is wonderful, except for the budget, so a source of attractive and inexpensive jewelry is a welcome find.

Most recently, I purchased these lovely earrings with their coral beads from maryandjane. I am really a sucker for all things coral, especially in the winter when I find red to be a real pick-me-up. I also love the shape of these.

SeeJayneKnitYarns is, as the name suggests, primarily a source to find hand-dyed and hand-spun yarn, but she also has a section of her shop devoted to vintage jewelry. This bracelet has been gathering complements all around town. Brass has been gaining in popularity for the past year or two, especially in it's not-so-shiny incarnations. I love this chunky little number!

Speaking of brass, I went shopping last summer at My Bellacosa and found this pretty seahorse. I've really enjoyed wearing him around my neck. He's definitely brass in one of its shinier incarnations, but he's very sweet.

I should mention that I had excellent customer service with each of these shops, and so feel confident recommending them. Also, all the pictures in this post belong to their respective shops.

Have you been shopping online lately? Have you discovered any new treasures, on Etsy or elsewhere? I'd love to see what you've found.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

These are a Few of My Favorite Things- Etsy Edition

Ok, I must confess that I don't love the Sound of Music. I saw it for the first time as a very cynical teenager, and was not too impressed with the idea of pausing to burst into song whist running from the Nazis. I know that this musical is near and dear to many peoples' hearts, and I don't mean to malign it. I just never got bit by the Sound of Music bug.

However, I find myself stealing a song lyric for the title of this post. Materfamilias was asking if we've tied up the loose ends from 2008, and this is one post I wanted to write before moving fully into 2009.

I've done quite a bit of Etsy shopping in the last few months, and have purchased a number of lovely items. I'm loving Etsy because I try to support small, independent crafters whenever possible. Also, the variety of merchandise available is staggering, and often reasonably priced. It's unfortunate for me that the Canadian dollar has plummeted in the last few months, but even with a lousy exchange rate there are still bargains to be had. I'm inspired by bloggers like Holly over at Decor8, who regularly post their Etsy favorites. So, without further ado, here are some of my favorites.

Ok, one last bit of ado. The lovely pictures belong to the owners of these shops.

Irene Suchocki has a lot of very lovely photographs, including this one which is currently awaiting framing in my living room:

As it this one, printed on a metallic paper that gives it the most incredible finish:

Mr Ripley has a love of penguins and polar bears. I couldn't resist this photo from Esoule, which is one of a series of photos of animal toys that she's done:

Little Brown Pen has an assortment of great stationery that you can buy, download, and print for your friends, which I did this year. They also make a Southern Hemisphere version of this calendar, with the seasonal pictures reallocated appropriately.

Hadley Hutton sells lovely originals and prints featuring animals, birds, and flowers. As I have a theory that foxes are the new owls, I couldn't resist this print from her October series:

I hope you visit some of these shops, or are inspired to visit Etsy if you've not done so before. I'd love to hear about some of your favorite Etsy shops, or other online artists. I have more Etsy goodness to share, so tomorrow I'll post about the cheap and cheerful Etsy bling I've enjoyed...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Let's call them goals, yeah, goals...

Not resolutions. Resolutions make me want to crumple under the weight of having to resolve to do something. It sounds so dire. Goals, on the other hand, are good things to have. We score them in sports. In job interviews we say we're goal oriented, whether this is the case or not. So this year I've decided to set a few goals for myself. 

1. Get the procrastinating under control. It is my nemesis. It makes me feel horrible. I will try and do this by trying to see big projects as made up of little steps. Little, manageable steps. Also, if anyone has any tips on this subject- share!

2. Finish my graduating paper for my graduate degree. Obviously, this is tied to goal number 1.

3. Improve the readership of my blog. Thank you for visiting! Now I just need to attract a few more of you... 

4. Tame the paper tiger. I swear, paper I leave unattended even for a few short days multiplies into rather large, daunting piles. 

What goals are you setting?

Friday, January 2, 2009


The holidays have passed with a wonderful combination of food, family and friends. There was a bit of drama, as on the 22nd of December my back went into major spasm. Terrifying! Fortunately, I saw the chiropractor on the 23rd, and have been on the road back to wellness ever since. My kind father helped me out by purchasing the last few stocking stuffers I couldn't get out to buy.

We made it to the island where both our families live on Christmas Eve, after an abortive attempt at 7 am involving chains, a snowy alley, a soaking wet Mr. Ripley, and treacherous roads. Our later mid-morning attempt was successful. Just to give you an idea of how much fun it was, here's the ferry terminal:

Ripley took it all in stride:

Over the holidays, we walked in the snow.

We snuggled new babies. Another new baby arrived December 23, but I haven't had a chance to meet her yet.

We ate holiday treats and delicious meals. Here's our New Year's Eve dinner, prepared by my friend K. who is an incredible cook. The menu was German, with rouladin, spaetzle, gravy, red cabbage, and peas. Sooooo delicious!

We had a wonderful and restorative time. I even finished my cousin's hat in the nick of time.

I hope you and your families had a wonderful holiday season, and are looking forward to 2009!