For the Love of Pattern

I love bold patterns. I often opt for solid colours out of safety, but once in a while there’s something too incredible for me to pass over.

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A dress I bought in Singapore – the base has the most intricate and delicate design.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s clothing or decor. Sometimes something more is needed to create a stronger contrast, and a more daring image.

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My favourite summer yellow with a floral print.

Too much, of course, is overpowering and overly busy. The eye cannot settle and everything clashes.

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Mixing pattern and solids.

I love a balance. Which is, ultimately, a philosophy I try and follow in most aspects of my life.

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Modern bohemian prints. I’m a bit of a sucker for them.

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I bought a sheet of wrapping paper just to frame on the wall. 

The perfect touch in the bedroom. A bright splash of colour that’s not too distracting.

How do you incorporate patterns into your every day life?

 

 

The Farm

Every once in a while Ryan and I try to go out to Vancouver Island to help his friends with their farm. It takes a while to get there, what with the ferry and all, but it is always well worth the trip. Visiting good friends always is.

They are currently finishing up renovations on a gorgeous old house. They had to gut it, repair the outside, and replace most of the inside, but it was definitely worth saving. It has been a very long and arduous process, and it’s quite incredible how much it has been transformed. And after two and a half years, they are finally ready to start moving in.

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I swear I wasn’t slacking.

The porch was completely redone, and that’s where we worked.

Inside the house there’s a treat not easily found: a great hall with arcing wooden beams that loom over nine foot windows and an enormous fireplace. It was built back in the 1800s, and then left to rot for many years, but they were able to save and restore it.

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The ceiling of the great hall – now with lights!

It’s also the venue of our upcoming wedding.

I’m incredibly excited. It’s gorgeous – photos cannot do it justice. It’s also very messy right now, since the floor and windows still need to be put in, but it’s getting there.

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The Joiner and the Engineer, hard at work.

For our last visit we helped them build a bathroom vanity. And by ‘we’ I mean Ryan built it, and I, lacking any and all woodworking knowledge, got relegated to sanding duty.

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Newbie duty.

But I got to hang out at a beautiful farm with incredibly wonderful people. So I’m really not complaining.

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I also made a friend.

 

Drag

No waste, no waste. Every breath counts.

Inhale exhale inhale.

No waste, can’t waste. Don’t let it burn up unused. It’s such a luxury.

A few minutes and then it’s gone. A few moments of warmth in the lungs. A few moments of warmth against the cold of the world.

What a waste. I’ll miss it when it’s gone.

Washi Tape

Life has definitely taken a turn for the busier. Between settling into a new job (which I absolutely love), wedding planning, and trying to make it out to the island as often as possible to help out with renovations, my writing has been slightly neglected.

So while I do have a few posts drafted, I haven’t been posting nearly as much as I want to.

I did, however, want to do a very short post about my new discovery: Washi Tape!

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Gorgeous details on the tape!

It’s nothing new to many people, but it’s something I had never even heard of before. It’s a papery tape that’s slightly translucent and can be used for decorating and labelling. It’s so versatile and incredibly fun! Since I started working at my new job, I’ve been extremely inspired to be as creative as possible.

So I decided to try using washi tape to decorate my wedding invites, and I really love the results! I’ll definitely be using it a lot in the future.

 

I, By


I work next to the smell of the sea. 

And sometimes I think that I can understand, just a little, the longing sailors feel when separated from the ocean. 

I grew up next to the sea. 

I know the sound of waves, of gulls, of water slapping the side of boats. 

I grew up watching the sea. 

To be inland, I feel a sense of loss. As if a vital part of me is missing. That sense of endlessness has disappeared. 

Less is More

Every year I find myself wanting to do less and less for my birthday. Yesterday I went to work, and then to celebrate, I went to a pub with just a couple friends.

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Mango cake! My favourite!

It was small, intimate, and perfect.

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I do feel incredibly lucky, though, to work at a place where my employers show that they value their employees.

For each employee’s birthday they will buy them a bouquet of flowers.

For me they chose yellow, since I’m a summer baby, and red for my Chinese heritage. It was thoughtful, and generous, and such a nice touch.

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I’m not sure why I did not feel the need for a great bit celebration – I certainly used to enjoy them. And I know I’m not the only one who now prefers smaller parties.

What about you? How do you enjoy celebrating your birthday? Have your celebrations changed over the years?

Welcoming

Welcoming the summer with open arms. The seasonal changes in my city are not dramatic. Ever the odd child, Vancouver has mild winters compared to the rest of Canada, and our summers are much cooler.

IMG_0037But still I get to enjoy the changing seasons. I get to see new life in spring, the warmth of summer, the colours of fall, and the coziness of winter.

And right now I eagerly step into summer. One that I hope will be filled with days at the beach, in the forests, and out in the sun.

What do you love most about summer?

Take Me Away

There’s an old train track that spans much of my neighbourhood. It’s in the middle of being taken apart, which is good because it means much-needed infrastructure is going to replace it.

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On the other hand, there was something nice about the old, overgrown tracks. Walking along the wild, untamed plants and exposed metal. They will be missed.

Wonderfully West Coast

Staying home sick means time to browse through photos. In this case, some photos of me and my fiancé, taken by the incredibly talented Kelly at Lensandlash.com. Her photography is amazing and her posts are inspiring and if you have the time, you should take a peek at her blog!

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So recently she took some photos of me and Ryan, and they turned out beautifully. In a very West Coast fashion, we went to the beach. It was cloudy, but it didn’t matter. The sand, the driftwood logs, the mountains in the background… all of it added up to a huge reason we love where we live.

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There was something perfect about the day. A quintessentially Vancouver spring day with overcast skies and a cool breeze. It was cozy and familiar.

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It also meant I didn’t have to squint with the sun shining in my eyes.

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All in all we had a blast. And can’t thank Kelly enough for all of the photos.

The Green

There’s one thing that I always notice and miss when I’m away from home: the green. I am incredibly lucky to be living in a place that has so much nature everywhere.

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A small haven in the middle of the city

Even just a short walk from my apartment, I find myself in a little bit of heaven. A small retreat that’s there whenever you want it.

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I’ve seen adults gathered around having picnics. I’ve seen kids playing. I’ve seen people watching as their dogs romp around in the grass. And I’ve stood in the welcoming embrace of the green.

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It may not be blooming all year, but even in the winter, the plants wait for their chance to shine.

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And it amazes me how the plants adapt to whatever structures they encounter. How it has grown so strong around the metal building. How it now depends upon it for support, just as the building depends upon the plants for its life.

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I love the life in this city. The one that breathes from the roots all the way to the leaves.

The Window

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It’s a day where all you do is sit in the window and watch the wind blow through the trees.

Where the rustling is accompanied by your music.

Where your cat curls up on your lap and sleeps the hours away.

Where you can look over at your partner and share a smile that conveys all your love.

Where the sun grows golden among the green of the trees.

Where perhaps you read, or sketch, or write.

Where all the words you speak are soft in nature and in tone.

Where there is tea that steams in warm cups.

Where the day passes gently, busy outside, but calm in the bubble of your window.

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Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

Spring Style: Patterned Jeans

I love lighter colours in the spring. Softer, gentler ones that breathe life into a calmer winter wardrobe.

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Canadian graffiti.

These are my absolute favourite jeans. They’re soft in colour, but have the most wonderful paint-swirled pattern. Some of the most unique jeans I’ve found yet.

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Rich & Skinny Jeans

Paired with a simple, loose white shirt from h&m, a cute acorn necklace, and a vintage leather bag.

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And since I’m a fan of comfort, Birkenstock sandals to finish up the ensemble.

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It can be paired with almost any purse.

What’s your favourite spring colour or style?

Quick Sketches: A Little Bit of Therapy

I love quick sketches. Normally I do them when I find an image of something I find beautiful, but sometimes I do it as a creative warm-up.

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Not even a proper sketching pencil.

The best part is that I put no pressure on myself to make it perfect. Unlike the cards that I paint, I don’t care how these sketches turn out.

It becomes therapeutic, and it gets those creative juices flowing.

Anyone can do it with paper and a pencil. Even if no one else ever sees it, it’s good for the soul.

Do you have any small, therapeutic exercises? I would love to hear how you all take some time for yourselves in this busy world.

Throwback to the ‘Cool’ Sweatpants

I have a confession to make: I haven’t bought sweatpants since high school.

Now, to put this into context, I live in a city where it’s normal to go to school or grocery shopping in extremely casual wear. Vancouver is not, unfortunately, known for its fashion. Sweatpants are extremely popular here. So going for that long without buying new sweatpants is a bit surprising. Especially since, though I admit that while I was skeptical at first, this style of sweatpants is really growing on me (you can dress them up! Crazy!).

That being said, giant, baggy sweatpants were actually considered cool when I was in high school, and were a staple in my wardrobe. The signature Russell sweatpants. Oversized. Part sporty, part hip-hop dance inspired.

Getting a kitten has had me digging to the depths of my wardrobe and bringing out clothes that I don’t wear very much anymore. As armour against the kitty claws. This includes sweatpants from over ten years ago, and old sweatshirts. It made me rather nostalgic.

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Just missing the Adidas Originals shoes.

In my defence, these sweatpants have held up extremely well against any wear and tear. Quite amazing, considering how often I used to wear them.

Most of the time at home I wear pyjama bottoms. But I have to say that I’m very much enjoying the good old sweatpants. And they do an excellent job protecting me from my kitten’s claws.

All in all, I’m very glad to have dug these out. I still might buy some new sweatpants though.