Thursday, November 25, 2010

Table Numbers

Typically, wedding receptions will seat people by table number. Ever one trying to be different, I decided to name my table after different species of sport fish. It makes sense perfectly for Rob and I. We both love to fish and I worked for fisheries. The way I will do it, is I will write the Latin genetic name with the common name in brackets.

I have a new crafty love affair to speak of. I am into calligraphy, and have been since I was a little girl; however, I have now discovered illuminated lettering. Illuminated lettering dates back to medieval days, where monks in monasteries would spend literally hours perfecting this creative technique (it was considered the Godly thing to do), writing, writing and more writing, typically Bible scripture. Illuminated lettering combines calligraphy with elaborate designs found in borders, or the initial letter on a page. The first letter of a passage would be capitalized and designed elaborately, with the rest of the passage in simple (or perhaps not so simple) calligraphy.

Tools used are ink pens, calligraphy pens, with acrylic inks, india inks, etc. Colour would be derived from natural pigments found during that time period...which account for the typical colours used...browns, reds, yellows, greens, blues. And then gold...22-24 karat gold, is applied to the design to enhance it. Usually the pigment would have egg added to them, to make an egg tempera...when the egg white dries it gives a distinct sheen.

At art stores today, you can purchase pigments which you can add distilled water and egg to yourself. Or you can purchase gouache paints which are just as valid.

I have looked into using india ink (a nice blue colour) to design the table cards, and will do elaborate designs for the first letter in the fishes name. I will post to here when they are done but will be getting on them in the new year. Less than 6 months to go!

Some of the fish I will be using:
Oncorhynchus keta (Chum Salmon)
Oncorhynchus nerka (Sockeye Salmon)
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (Chinook Salmon)
Oncorhynchus kisutch (Coho Salmon)
Oncorhynchus clarkii (Cutthroat Trout)
Salvelinus malma (Dolly Varden)
Acipenser transmontanus (White Sturgeon)
Oncorhynchus mykiss (Rainbow Trout/Steelhead)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In just over 6 months...

...we're getting married! Wow, time flew. I remember like it was yesterday, posting that I was engaged. That was over a year ago now and so much has been planned, prepped, and purchased since.

We've settled on a theme. Rustic Elegance. Don't ask me where I came up with that. Probably from reading too many Better Homes and Gardens magazines while waiting in crowded doctor and dentist offices through the years. In any case, I could not have thought of a more fitting theme for RB and I. We are both outdoorsy, love the warmth of candlelight, the smell of cedar and pine, and the reflection of the sun off a calm lake. However, we didn't want to feel like we were taking our guests on a camping trip, and so somehow our wedding would still have to say "wedding". I wanted it classic, elegant. So, hence rustic elegance came to be. May I present this vision to you below.

Each of these photos inspired us/me. The photo in the bottom left is actually where we are getting married. It's at the end of an eternity dock that floats out into the lake. It is surrounded by evergreen'd never know you were only a 20 minutes from the big city here. I simply loved this photo because it completely captures what I feel for RB.

This isn't a wedding blog. So, I'm not going to give away too many finalized details. I'll show our ideas with pictures, but the real professional pictures I will post after the wedding will do our vision much better justice.

Key words to use for our wedding: spring, lake, wood, candlelight, peonies, bagpipes...yes you heard it.

My family is super Scottish and I am partaking in nearly all of the traditional traditions. Yes, I just said traditional traditions. It is tradition for the Bride to be piped up and back down the aisle. I will also be wearing my family Clan's tartan as a sash over my dress. In addition, my great aunt from Scotland is sending her lucky horseshoe to my granny and this will be tied to my bouquet for good luck. We are also planning a "pinning ceremony" which traditionally would have the groom or the groom's parents pin a bit of their family tartan on the Bride as a symbol of acceptance into the clan. We are reversing this, and RB will have some of our clan tartan pinned to him. It's beautiful. It's traditional. Yet, not something you see every day, and many have never seen it.

I should mention our colour palette.

A wedding would not be complete without a colour palette. As is becoming more and more popular, I have chosen to go with a colour scheme rather than simple one or two or three colours only. Our aim is that when our guests enter the reception hall, they won't exactly know the specific colours I used to inspire the decor. It won't be super obvious. The colours will be strewn throughout, with some colours used more often than others. The palette includes these five colours with accents of gold. I am a yellow gold girl through and through---no white gold for me!

Anyway. I hope this gives you a good update as to what we've got planned. 99% of my vendors are signed, for delivery. I have invested in a month-of/day-of wedding coordinator team and I am very excited to work with these ladies. I believe it will be well worth the money to allow myself to not worry on the day of my wedding. I am a worrier by nature.

Well it's 2:30am and one redbull five hours earlier has kept me awake. However, it's Remembrance Day here in Canada. Memorial Day for you folks to the south. Lest we forget. Support our Troops!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Versatile Blogger

Special thanks to Dilly-poo for this special versatile blogger award!

In accepting this Versatile Blogger Award, I have to:

  • Thank and link back to who gave me the award.
  • Share seven things about myself.
  • Pass it along to seven blogs I've recently discovered and enjoy.
  • Leave the recipients a note telling them about the award.
I currently have two degrees, am finishing up a third one (Master's) and will be starting a fourth next fall (Bachelor of Education).

I am left-handed, but play most sports right-handed.

I love maps, especially antique maps of the world.

I love to fish, and would love to one day become proficient at fly fishing. I tie my own flies; I learned last year.

I love photographing landscapes. I could care less about people. For me it's all about the scenery. Ansel Adams is my hero.

My dream is to visit Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Italy, and all 50 U.S. states. RB and I have magnets on our fridge for every state we've visited (except Wyoming! dang we forgot Wyoming!)


I'd like to learn Illuminated Lettering, as found in The Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels. Along with this, calligraphy and map-making (the medieval way!)

Seven blogs I read that I'd like you to visit:
Mrs. Shortcake at Our Little Haus
Kelly Stamps at Kelly's Korner
Ree Drummond at The Pioneer Woman
Duncan Turner at DLT Photographic
Meaghan Van Dyk at Meringue Fail
Rachel Young at Pigs, Pinot, and Prayer
Jociegal at Wingin' it

That's all for now, folks!

Cabbage rolls and a wedding

I was supposed to come back! Eeps! I got hopes up for a great post then I went on another hiatus. Unfortunately my thesis-writing is taking up all of my free time. That and making cabbage rolls. Well, not really, just tonight. And for you all, I'll give you the recipe because it's just super awesome.

These are a few things I'll be updating on this week (promise):
  • wedding planning (it's coming up in about 6 months!)
  • food (I've been doing a lot of cooking and baking lately and have found some amazing recipes)
  • school (because who doesn't like a good torture story, even after Halloween)

Missed you all, and hope to get back into the blogging community, stat.

And now for the Super Fantastic Mennonite-Style Cabbage Rolls

If you've never tried Cabbage Rolls or say you don't like them, I beg you to try this recipe. I never ever liked them until I tried my Grandma Friesen's, and they are delish. Especially the next day when heated up for lunch! (or breakfast if you're not such a great eater ;) )

Ingredients (Yields 8-10 cabbage rolls)

1 head savoy cabbage (this cabbage has the mildest taste and when steamed, rolls and stretches nicely for an easy roll)

1 c. long grain white rice (pre-cooked)
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 lg. white or yellow onion or 1 sm. onion, chopped
1 large egg
bouquet garni (this is a bunch of herbs tied together used for soup stock, but you can use the herbs individually like I do, 1 tsp parsley 1tsp oregano 1tsp rosemary 1 tsp thyme)
salt & pepper to taste

Sauce (Gravy)
14 oz. can of tomato sauce
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. onion flakes
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp celery seed
bouquet garni
1 Tbsp molasses
1 c. water
1/2 tsp salt


1. Boil up and cook your rice and set aside

2. Remove the core of the cabbage and then take off 8-10 leaves and steam them so they're malleable.

3. In a bowl, mix filling (add all ingredients together and stir), and in a separate bowl, mix up the sauce (add all ingredients together and stir).

4. Grab a large casserole dish, pyrex or what have you, and spray with cooking oil. Pour a bit of the sauce on the bottom and spread around.

5. Take a cabbage leaf and put about 2-3 Tbsp of filling in the middle. Roll from the outer edge of the leaf in toward where the leaf was connected to the core. I find it easiest to take the outer edge, wrap it over the filling once, bring in each of the sides to lock it in, and then finish rolling over to the core. Continue, lining all of the cabbage rolls up in the dish.

6. Pour remaining sauce over the cabbage rolls, making sure to cover all of them thoroughly.

7. In a 350 degree pre-heated oven, bake cabbage rolls (covered) for 45 minutes.

8. Enjoy! Serve with mashed potatoes for the best supper ever!

Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm back!

After a brief 6 month hiatus I am back into the blogging spirit!

I shall return with a great post.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Canadians are typically not known for being boastful people. Typically. I say typically only because it's our default state unless we win a hockey game. And I have to say last nights Gold Medal final against our lovely cousins to the south was a night for boasting. To any of my American friends who are hockey fans, I just want to say your team did amazing and Ryan Miller is awesome (can he switch his citizenship by the way?)

I hope that my Canadian sisters and brothers were as gracious as can be. I am super proud of how our country did--14 GOLD MEDALS! Most medals in a winter Olympics by any nation. Now that's something to be proud of. And big congrats to the US for getting the most Olympic medals overall--did we have any doubt in you?

Did anyone watch the closing ceremonies? I just love our tongue in cheek humour--you can poke fun all you want, but truly we have the last laugh. I am proud of our heritage and what we stand for and for all of our differences, remember we are all children of the same God. Now THAT's something to be proud of.

P.S-thanks for putting up with my two-week Olympic watching hiatus. I promise not to leave you again.


Monday, February 8, 2010

You gotta be there...cause I won't be.

So it's four days and Olympic fever has officially set in. It's been a long time coming for Vancouver since we won the Olympics and I remember thinking to myself "Man, I wonder what 2010 will be like?". Well, it's here and many things have changed in my life since the day we beat out a number of countries to win the honour of hosting such a prestigious event. Unfortunately, while my home is truly west coast, I am living in Central Canada in the glorious province of Ontario while I write my thesis. Some would say that's a good thing and I tend to agree.

Our transportation infrastructure, transit systems, etc are clogged to the max (is that 80s?), for sure! I have friends living in and around the GVRD (that's Greater Vancouver Regional District) who are frustrated beyond belief because their every day routine that includes commuting to and from work, starbucks, hockey games, concerts, bars, pubs and local eateries has been shaken up, stalled, rerouted, due to the excess number of people in town for the Olympics. For those who couldn't give a thumb twiddle about the Olympics are simply fed up already and just want it over. Even those who are into the games are probably getting toward the fed up side. They already started road closures and ski hill closures awhile back. I suppose the most frustrating thing for local residents is that while we (and I mean property owners/business owners/people working in BC) will bear the burden of paying for the $6 billion dollars in upgrades to the city, we do not get the luxury of affording to even attend an event. The costs are ridiculous and some have felt residents should get a break. It's become a political show-off of our beautiful province but we get shafted...we being the people paying for this and putting up with the residual effects of the games. Not to mention a host of other issues regarding local First Nations, our homeless who are being "looked after" and put into housing (temporary albeit) just to clean up our streets. Essentially we're sweeping the dust under the rug so the world doesn't see our "dust" problem.

Vancouver has a huge drug/mental health problem on its hands which became "inconvenient" when hosting the world here. Who knew? Of course we have pretty decent weather all year long so homeless survive out the winters here so we do have a higher number than many other city's per capita. However, this stems back to so many mental health cutbacks. Essentially all the mental health cases have ended up on the streets, turn to drugs and alcohol and we've now created a problem that is hard to fix without upsetting someone sites? Temporary housing? What do you do? There is no shortage of opinions, let me put it to you this way.

And in the lead-up to the opening ceremonies I don't want this post to put a damper on things; however, it's to serve as a reminder that all is never as it seems and while I wish our athletes the best (as a friend put it yesterday, we've spent more on our athletes in the last 10 years than we've ever paid before so if we don't medal we want our money back!), we should keep in mind that there are real issues and the world doesn't just go "on hold" for 2 weeks. And while Vancouver and the West Coast is the best place on earth to me, it still has its share of problems that will be hidden while the world watches.

And thus I bring you this video. It won't show the problems, of course. No different than when my sister and her husband recently went to Jamaica and landed the day of the earthquake in Haiti--no one at the resort mentioned it to them because guests at a luxury resort don't really want to know, right? The world doesn't want to know.

However, I want you to know that although we have problems, we also live in one of the cleanest, greenest, most stunningly beautiful parts of the world that I am so thankful to hail from. I am so proud of my country, my people, and my home that the thought of returning to it for good, so soon, makes my eyes well up. Between the mountains, the ocean, the valley's, the desert, to the boreal forest, the west coast old growth trees, the rivers, and lakes and the glorious coast line--BC has it all. And I wouldn't give it up for all the money in the world. Or George Clooney. Yes, even him.

So we welcome the world to our beautiful province. If you plan on coming to the city I recommend a few places just comment if you're interested. I love talking about my home.