Monday, June 28, 2010

Oh, the shame.... and, moving on.

I can't think of anything I want to do right now, on this warm Monday evening at 8:30 when I'm not yet hungry for dinner because I ate lunch at 5pm, except write a blog post. I know that if I try to redeem myself and explain why I've been away from here for so long it'll slow me down, so let's just do that thing that good old friends (or friends that you instantly fit so well with that it seems from the start like you've been friends forever) do, and simply pick up where we left off.

I think trying to create some sense of chronology since I machine sewed my first item of my adulthood and received those first boxes of Ripe from Around Here would be nice, but don't hold me to it. If we're facebook friends (which we could be, just be sure to introduce yourself in your request), you may already have a decent sense of what's been up for me in the past month, and if you're a facebook avoider... well, I commend you for all the time you have to do other, hopefully less computery things in your life.

Since the end of May there have been book events (the Toronto launch at FoodShare, two events in Ottawa and three in Montreal, then another with the TVA here in T.O.), a visit to the National Gallery (in Ottawa), a strip spelling bee (yes, fer realz - but I was simply an audience member, not a contestant), my car was broken into mid-afternoon on a busy street (in Montreal), I got some publicity (for links see "Ripe media coverage" in the sidebar), Ryan and I saw an Arcade Fire show at The Music Hall, we started a roof-top garden with bucket planters (the same ones you can build yourself using the tutorial in Ripe from Around Here), there have been movies watched on warm summer evenings with friends (have you seen Crazy Heart (decent)? Date Night (funny!)? Precious (heavy!)? A Single Man (beautiful!)?), there's been a whole lot of Ella-loving, too much leg-shaving (I'm bad at it and resent all the cuts I inflict on myself), a few Bikram yoga classes (fewer than I'd like), some decent meals out (have you been to Lady Marmalade?), the scariness of the G20's presence here in Toronto (let's not even go there except to say lots of people want change and that there are lots of people and things in this world who/that need better care), a house party chez nous in celebration of Lesley's 31st birthday and Dominika finishing her Master's, the very surprising appearance of 2 starlings in our bathroom in one day, and a lot of smoothies and salads.

But one of the major busynesses has everything to do with the reason I ate lunch at 5pm today. Quilting. I took a 3-week class at The Workroom with Johanna Masko and am thrilled with the knowledge and skill I now have from making a string quilt.

At this point (as in today, and not as in more-than-a-week-ago when Karyn took this photo of the quilt top), it's just the binding (edge) that needs to be done and I'm hoping I can finish it by Wednesday so I can say "This is the quilt I made in June 2010."

The biggest thing of this whole new-found relationship with sewing is that I've become a bit fanatical about fabric. Fabrics are so fun and beautiful, and hold so much potential. (I think I feel more intensely about fabric than I ever have about yarn.) There've been times at night in the past few weeks when I wake up (maybe because Ella is restless in my poor-air-flow 3rd floor bedroom with all her hair that's not shedding as much as it might for the season) and have trouble falling back to sleep because of thoughts of fabric. I have gotten to the point where I'm thinking thoughts like "Do I want this soy latte, or should I just get a fat quarter of fabric?". The Workroom has a gorgeous selection, and I'm also excited about Sew Mama Sew (Portland-based online shop) and Fat Quarter Shop (Texas-based online shop). Your local Ikea may also have a decent and inexpensive fabric section (the one in Etobicoke does, but Ottawa - for example - does not).

I'm branching out past quilting a bit and onto my first dress pattern. If you are at all into sewing I might also recommend these free Amy Butler patterns, and if you're not, don't worry I'm moving on from this topic.

Who knows how this week will unfold, and just how productive I might be with all of the figurative pies I have my fingers in, but it feels like the end of a chapter of my summer (read: non-school time). Next Tuesday I head to Summerfest for 5 days to do a cooking demo and some workshops, and less than a week after my return I'm off to Sarasota Florida for my great-uncle and -aunt's 90th birthdays party (forgive the creative grammar, you know what I mean). For the month of August I will be in Montreal, house-sitting for a friend who's on tour with his band. When it's summer and you didn't plan a vacation (per se), and you have to do work but you don't have to do it anywhere in particular, and someone offers you their gorgeous house with 2 private balconies in a city you're familiar with and enjoy particularly in the summer, how can you say anything other than "Yes, yes, YES!"?

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"Domestic affair... do you think it's a funny title?" I asked a friend.
"Funny ha-ha?" she responded, "well, no not really."
"But 'domestic affair', it's like what's going on in the nation, but it's also me, being drawn to all these domestic tasks - knitting, cooking, caring for small children..." I tried to explain.
"I like that it has the word affair in it," she concluded.

jae's first book!

Get It Ripe cover Have you seen my award-winning whole foods cookbook Get It Ripe: a fresh take on vegan living (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008)? Keep your eyes peeled for it!
To join the Facebook group for the book, go here.


about the blog:

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While I love hearing from you, and read each and every one of your e-mails, please understand that I just cannot respond to all of them due to the rate at which they're coming in these days!

If you have a question, I might have already answered it here.

in the press

live in person!

come see me:
* Vida Vegan Con in Portland, OR, August 26-28, 2011.

...but better yet, check the calendar for details!



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