Kicking it with Minker the Stinker

by Destini


Contrary to J's belief, there are some moments when Minker the Stinker is actually still enough for me to take a photo... that being when she's sleeping, attempting to absorb my warmth or hopped up on tranquilizers (kidding).

Here's some pictures of me and my chum cuddling on the bed.






Yoggie - the inspiration for a line of Cuddle me Epic Bosses in Warcraft

by Destini





It's done! After spending 6 hours on the first iteration of CuddleMeYoggie, I decided to take another crack at it immediately, this time aiming for something cuddlier and more true to Kelly's Aaron's original design.


I had to take some liberties, but this time I was able to create the new Yoggie in less than an hour. First thing, I commandeered (stole) one of Jong's soft blue shirts with a new modified template.


After cutting it out, I machine sewed it on my Singer 222k with a half inch seam allowance. Handstitched on the eyes, teeth and embroidered on a straight mouth as per Kelly's plans. To fill him out, Yogg was stuffed with some lentils and cotton to create that wonderful floppy drape of his arms and cuddly softness.


I will be offering a smaller version of Yoggie to my guild for our 6th anniversary... Those details I will post on our guild website. I plan to make one for Cadistra and if you leave a nice comment I may make one for you too!

As my photography skills are poor and J's are amazing. I've recruited her to snap photos for you.
Thanks for the excellent photography J! I love you and your fantastic insights into Yoggie the Misunderstood. How true! He's just cuddlywuddly on the inside, imarite?

My next challenge... C'thun!


_____________________________________

UPDATE:
After I posted the Yoggie Pics I tweeted it to @Cadistra

@Cadistra Check out my CuddleMeYoggie Blog post inspired from your art. http://ow.ly/3fcgE. Hope you like it. Want one?

and got a reply!

@ivyfong That's AMAZING! You should check out @greyseer's version as well!
@ivyfong I would be honored to have one, and I'll happily pay for it!

Sweetness! I'm totally pumped that the artist likes it too!

Hello Kitty Theme Park Honeymoon

by Destini




Well I've found where we're going for the Honeymoon - Oita Japan! LOVE IT! Let's pretend shall we?


It's pretty small.


Nothing tests a relationship like trapping a man in a small cage shaped like Hello Kitty with a person that suffers from Acrophobia, in addition to his man card revoked for complying in the first place. Course there probably needs to be a pledge that "What happens in Oita Stays in Oita".


And of course there's always the final test.. Will he eat octopus balls in mayonnaise? Looks like good times all around for me. Who needs a beach right?

Um yeah. I suspect I'm coming here alone ;)

Seattle's Harry Potter Exhibition

by Destini




During our visit to Seattle, we were surprised to stumble upon the Harry Potter Exhibition at the Pacific Science Centre. I paid the $52 ticket fee for the two of us (with much grumbling from Jong over the prices nearing extortion) and we moseyed 'briskly (can't be letting those 8 year olds pass us!) up the stairs and through a passage to the exhibit line up.


The exhibit begins in small groups in a intimate, dark room where we meet the sorting hat and children can be sorted into their favourite Hogwart's schools. All the children wanted to belong to Gryffindor (of course).

After that, we were brought into another circular black room which had all the different movie posters backlit.. Once everyone was inside, the posters came to life and became a multimedia teaser of the Harry Potter Exhibit with each of the panels working together and sometimes as windows.It was about 5-10 minutes to refresh your memory of how Harry mets Ron, his adventures.. a highlights reel from all the movies… It was interesting and creative, The 5 split panels presenting it in a new manner.

Behind us a wall opens up.. and your eyes are hit hard by the lights of an approaching train. An usher in a hooded cloak and lantern guides the tour toward the rest of the exhibit - another richly lavish hallway full of animated photographs … moving photos just like the halls of Hogwards including the woman in the doorway protecting the entrance to the Griffindor house. I could understand how a Muggle raised Harry might be overwhelmed by the changes in his reality. It was disconcerting to see the moving pictures even knowing they were just small screens.

Each exhibit had a screen that showed scenes from the movie in which the props were seen.


We saw tons of props including...
  • Their tiny first year outfits.
  • Harry and Ron's Beds.
  • Uniforms for the quidditch teams, from the nationals, to the school teams, Cedric Diggory's uniform, and Oliver Wood.
  • Victor Krum, Cedric, Cho, and Hermoines outfits for the ball.
  • Dolores Umbridge's terrible pink and kitty room.
  • The bulletin board for Hogwarts including Ad for Wizarding tutoring
  • The conscription list for Dumbledore’s army
  • Books and newspapers created for the movie.
  • Hagrid's house including his pets.
  • The quidditch snitch.
  • A kiosk so you can try throwing quaffles at the hoop. They are supposed to be enchanted to be easily thrown with one hand, and they are (IRL, even without the enchantment ;) )
  • The Half Blood Prince's old text book.
  • Everyone’s wands
  • a recreation of the great hall including the food.

Nothing was in glass boxes. All behind velvet ropes but there were people in each chamber to make sure no one was touching anything. Also, ABSOLUTELY no photographs but I was sooo tempted a few times. There are many photographs on the exhibit's official website.


At the end of the exhibit is a store to buy Harry Potter Merchandise from house scarves or ties, to Xmas decorations.

It was just so mind boggling, We did the entire exhibit in around 1 hour but could have easily have spent 3 hours. My mind was humming for hours after… What an amazing experience. Highly recommend it. A lovely surprise.

Handmade all the way.

by Destini




I'm planning on crafting all my presents this year for Christmas.. but I thought how cool would it be if I made these boxes for people's and filled it with a jar of shortbread? Totally awesome right? It's on the list now! WOo!

Vancouver Craft Fair Hit List 2010

by Destini




Make It! – November 19, 20, 21 www.makeitproductions.com
Circle Craft Christmas Market – November 17 – 21 www.circlecraft.net
Dunbar Craft Fair – November 17 www.dunbarcentre.ca
Eastside Culture Crawl - November 26, 27 and 28 www.eastsideculturecrawl.com
Got Craft – December 5th www.gotcraft.com
One of a Kind – Dec 9 – 12 www.oneofakindvancouver.com
West End Holiday Craft Fair - November 20th – 21st- http://vancouver.ca/parks/cc/westend/website/specialevents.cfm

Are you ready for Crafting Season J?


Yoggsaron Stuffie - Handmade

by Destini



After months and months in the depths of madness a guild "joke" manifested. Instigated by the perverse mastermind, Erelena, we had hatched the idea of a communal Yoggsaron Doll we'd pass around - mailing it to each member of the guild who would then be responsible for taking a picture with the doll in their home town before sending it on. (Erelena volunteered to have "sloppy 24ths"! That hussy!)

We've long departed from Ulduar but the desire to create this Yoggsaron doll remained deep seeded in the back of my mind...

This morning I woke with the realization that my guild would be celebrating our 6th anniversary on December 1st. And thus, I decided I would offer the prize of a hand made, one of a kind Yoggsaron Doll.



After being inspired by this post I decided to try my hand at creating my very own YoggSaron Doll.



It began with a simple pattern I created in illustrator. I knew some techniques to round out the ends of the tentacles and sew a larger circle onto a small oner that I could use on the fly... The teeth were to give the general proportion, where I would modify to give an uneven jaggedness by hand.




I think it was a pretty good first iteration. I hand felted his mouth on with some wool roving. This entire project was sewn on a Singer 222k with only a single straight stitch.

My next attempt will be to make something floppier and much cuddlier. Felt makes for a clean product wth lots of flexibility in the colors but I think this guy could look nappier.. I will also do some stitches with embroidery floss. My set is currently at J's house so we're naked today...

Here's a sneak peak at the almost finished product.


The fruits of my labour will be dispensed to poor unsuspecting victims who also happen to be fans of World of Warcraft.


A wedding project for Jong

by Destini



In addition to not dressing like a clown, being on time, and working on our website. This is Jong's big project for the wedding...

I'm thinking it would make a pretty cool "take away"... The bottom two tiers come apart into pieces that people can take away and the top tier is a souvenir for the couple. Each piece of cake could go inside a hand sewn cloth bag (I'd make it) that says Ivy and Jong (or is it the man's name first? Hmmm. For some reason I thought it was the person with the largest testes.. and mine are massive :P).

Anyways. I love this. Get on it Jong.



Amazing Proposal

by Destini


The nerd and the event coordinator in me LOVES this... I also love how at the end.. she takes the oars from him and rows them away.. ;) Nice work girl!


On October 24, 2010, Frank proposed to his girlfriend Kasey. He asked his geeky friends to help him pull off an elaborate surprise proposal in New York City's Central Park. Hidden cameras were synced with special iPhone apps so the entire event could be watched from a safe distance. Kasey was lured to a specific location by a friend, who was in on the whole surprise. It was a totally awesome proposal and Kasey said "yes". Thanks so much to everyone who helped out!!!



Grrr! My ficus!!

by Destini



A.) I'm being infested by tiny nocturnal beavers.

B.) Someone with an appetite for wood is sleep walking.

C.) Our mousey house guest is so desperate for food he's eating my house plants now. No idea how he's getting onto these places without anything to climb on. Just a straight table to floor. No chairs. *sigh*



Crème de la Crème Grand Wedding Showcase - True Romance

by Destini


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2010
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL VANCOUVER, 791 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2T4
http://cremedelacreme.ca

CountDown Events proudly presents True romance. The return of Crème de la Crème, the city's most anticipated wedding show - an unrivaled luxe grand wedding showcase. Presenting the who's who of the wedding industry, under one roof, to offer the best expert wedding advice.

11:00AM to 6:00PM | WEDDING SHOWCASE
1:00PM to 2:00PM | HAUTE COUTURE FASHION SHOW
3:00PM to 4:00PM | ENCORE PRESENTATION

TICKETS: $45 PER PERSON (includes fashion show, deluxe gift bag & scrumptious tastings & full-scale pampering)

VIP CORNER: $65 PER PERSON (in addition to admission to the showcase your VIP ticket includes an exquisite keepsake bag and an exclusive consult with a “personal wedding stylist”. Brides and grooms will have a chance to consult with some of the top fashion stylists in our styling boutique to determine their personal wedding fashion!)


Bao Bei in Vancouver's Chinatown - just for white ladies.

by Destini




After many failed attempts, J and I finally had an opportunity to eat at Bao Bei. Spurred on by other food blogs, we were going in knowing that the reviews were mixed but promising, so for months now, every time we've been faced with a mealtime decision, we've thrown up Bao Bei as an option.

The decor was hip and asian inspired. The small tables ambitiously seating three.

We ordered Shao Bing, had the new house noodle dish that the server said was inspired by "Dan Dan noodl
es", spicy squid, steamed rice, and water spinach.... Sorry for the terrible pictures but the room was lit only by a tiny tea light on each table.


Shao Bing -
Described as "crunchy sesame flatbread with braised pork butt, Asian pear, pickled onion and mustard greens – $10". This was huge... and delicious... We received this item first, and I mused to J that I was afraid to eat it for fear that I'd like it too much and the rest of the meal would go downhill.. Little did I know how true this would be. The pork was delicious and not too salty as I would have expected. The crust delicate and light.. not greasy. The only thing I'd come back for... Amazingness and memorable.



Water spinach - Described as "Water Spinach – garlic, preserved soy beans, chicken stock". Having prepared this dish myself, I understand its challenges. The key to preparing this vegetable successfully is to only use the fresh young shoots. When the shoots get old, they get hard and bitter. This was the case with this dish, they didn't cull the old bitter bits. In an effort to tenderize the hard old shoots, they over cooked the young portions, which turned to mush as you tried to lift them from the plate. The sauce was salty and not much more. I was disappointed to not taste the preserved soybean flavor.. but I guess if you didn't know any better you'd just think it was "strange and interesting". Kinda like those who eat taco bell once and believe they are mexican food connoisseurs. ;)


Spicy Squid with Bok Choy -
Described as "Squid Stir fried with crispy pork belly, chili, and baby bok choi – $12". The squid was cooked perfectly.. not rubbery at all, and the spice had just enough heat, however, there just wasn't enough of it. This picture is the plate as it arrived. Surprise! It has not been picked over. You'd expect alot more from any other asian restaurant in terms of value for a $12 squid dish. I get it.. Bao Bei is all about small plates.. but then, don't bump the price if you aren't going to provide good value, imirite?


The House Noodles... Can't remember what was in it.. but it's going onto the Menu soon. After being urged by our server to try it, we did, and we were disappointed. It arrived beautifully presented. The noodles had a nice texture but the broth had a strange grainy texture. The flavors clashed so much it was unpleasant as eating crunchy peanut butter and steak soup... a angry melange of savoury flavors refusing to blend like oil and water. Anyways, if you see an incarnation on the menu that has pork cheeks and long noodles. Steer clear.

Being True Bananas we had to have white rice with the meal, but the rice came, hard and barely cooked. The server apologized, letting us know their rice cooker was on the fritz, but if you can't get WHITE RICE right in a chinese restaurant, you should stake yourself with bamboo imho.

We didn't drink, as BC has recently passed Bylaws for zero tolerance for drinking and driving, and that includes a glass of wine with your meal... but I've heard the drinks are the saving grace of Bao Bei.

At the end of the meal, I finally looked around me and noticed that every single person in the restaurant was a white middle-aged woman, except J and I. It was uncomfortable as hell... It was then that it hit me that all those reviews were right... the food didn't appeal to us, because it was poorly executed... and maybe wasn't intended for asians.
One look around at Bao Bei provides a clue. The place is hopping…and it is a predominantly non-Asian crowd. It sounds so incorrect even as I write this….but there it is: the food appeals to non-Asians. - Foodosophy

The killing blow had to be that the entire time, we were haunted by fruit flies... not just one or two... like eight..I had a hard time keeping my appetite while bugs buzzed around my face or dive bombed my food. I had mentioned it to the server, who then laughed it off. Um... alright.

Having grown up tasting that food as it should be cooked, I had higher expectations of Bao Bei. I figured my mother's peasant version of these dishes could have been reincarnated with clever spicing, nouveaux ingredients & techniques, and sustainable, farm raised local proteins... This unfortunately was not the case.


Go for drinks, if you are willing to stagger three blocks from the Lower East Side to the Skytrain, just don't forget to grab a Shao Bing for your efforts and whatever you do, don't expect a modern take on classic asian comfort food.


Frenz 4ever.

by Destini


Jenny makes her first knit project. A friendship bracelet. She really loves me and promises to NEVER to take it off to honor of our love.

American Eskimos in the Snow

by Destini


One of my best memories with Foxy is spending time with her in the snow. She loved licking the snow, bouncing in it, and chasing snowballs. I thought it was unique to her but it seems eskimos in general really do love the snow!





Day One: Being Sinbadliciousness in Dallas

by Destini




Bright and early, I met B at the YVR and passed through security with minimal fanfare... if you count a sighting of SINBAD as being not a big deal!!! Hence the need for a Sinbad picture to set the tone for our incredible adventure...

I was surprised at how narrow and uncomfortable the seats were compared to other flights I'd been on such as Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines and Cathay Pacific. It won't be a flight I'm looking forward repeating anytime soon.

I ended up sitting beside a very nice Texan couple who were visiting Vancouver, disappointed at the amount of rain, and didn't leave their room the entire time, hoping it would let up! Children! Didn't anyone tell you not to hold your breath? Waiting for the rain to stop in Vancouver is futile.

We landed at around 3:30 in the afternoon after a cramped flight on American Airlines and immediately sought out public transit to the posh Fairmont Dallas. One remote bus, a rapid transit line and a 6 block walk later, we arrived. While lovely and comfortable the room reminded me of my grandmother... a medicinal Eucalyptus smell. But nothing I couldn't deal with.

After a chat with the Concierge, he advised us away from going to Deep Ellum for our tuesday evening towards West Village instead... a strong recommendation for Prima - all accessible via a free trolley a mere block away. He seemed SHOCKED when we asked how far to walk back from West Village, and highly recommended we take the trolley for the 20 min walk back. hah... definitely not from Vancouver!

The trolly was waiting when we arrived. An old vintage trolly, all metal and wood with hand pulls etc. Run by a nonprofit group - McKinney Avenue Transit Authority. A charming ride through town at no charge, however B and I made a donation because of the charm of it all.

We got off at West Village by Brooks Brothers a little bewildered at what we found. Beautiful buildings, but no wayfinding at that bus stop to guide us towards the action. Thankfully we had a map from the concierge and found our way towards some grub.

We ended up settling for a popular patio at Taco Diner.





I ordered a Texan Iced Tea (unsweetened and amazing!) and a basket of chips with Salsa Verde and a blackish liquidy dip... a smoked pepper salsa perhaps. We devoured these as we hadn't eaten since 6 am.


After a quick look at their menu, we settled on Chicken Enchiladas with frijotes, and rice and Fish tacos since B does not eat pork or beef. We shared the plates to experience the variety of the flavors. B liked the chicken best because of the soft unripened mexican cheese with the salsa verde and the rich roasted chicken flavor. I preferred the fish tacos as the tilapia tasted fresh and savoury in it's achiote citrus marinda without competing too strongly with the flavors of cilantro, lime and a sweet/spicy black sauce accompaniment. Unfortunately, I got so excited I ate the food before I took the picture.. so this is all you get is this mess...



Ate quickly then did some shopping around the plaza before moseying back towards the Hotel.

At some point B asked me where all the asians were... at that I realised we hadn't seen one since landing.

We paid a quick visit to Albertsons to check out the prices on food and stock up on snacks for our room. On top of the usual ginormous slabs of cheese for pennies, I saw huge beautifully marbled steaks for cheap cheap prices. For example, six 10 ounce Rib Eyes for $14.85. I couldn't believe my eyes... With all the cheap booze and red meat it's a wonder everyone isn't dead from a coronary.

At the halfway point we got thirsty and stopped at the Black Friar where Barb had an organic apple cider and I had a frozen sangria. Sauced and inappropriate we staggered back to the hotel... (just for the record, I was sauced on the single drink, but hard living B was totally fine and was the responsible one for the two of us)

Upon arrival, we were inspired to go swimming in the pool. Me in my black Joe Fresh grandma bathing suit, and B in a borrowed pink and red striped tank top and underpants... It was already 10pm, but complete darkness had already stolen over Texas. The water in the pool was !!!COLD!!! but refreshing after our long walk, and quickly sobered me up.

The pool lights changed from pink to red, orange, green and blue as we swam, with two staffers enjoying a smoke on the pool, and some creepy guy in a suit getting some eyeball exercise.

After about an hour of swimming... floating and watching the stars in the clear Dallas sky we decided to get out of the ppl, with B giving The EYEBALLER a money shot as she got out of the pool. A tad mortified we walked to the elevator, where he followed, I think to get a better look at B under the lights of the hotel. Slightly, red faced we shared an awkward elevator ride, then darted into our rooms for an early night.

Here is a picture of the pool by day as my camera + my shaky hands make for terrible night photos: