Sunday, June 10, 2012

May is Over?

Oh dear. I've postponed the vacation pictures for so long that I haven't posted about anything else since April! I will get back to posting regularly once our June 23rd ballet recital is over.

For now, here's a quick image-heavy post to cover the end of April, all of May, and beginning of June. XD

I went to Victoria for Easter break and visited another castle! My first "real" Victoria trip with Raccoon (as opposed to quick weekend excursions) took place 2 to 3 years ago, when we visited Craigdarroch Castle and the Royal BC Museum.

This time, we got to see everything we couldn't fit into that first trip.

The castle grounds were just gorgeous. At least half of our few hundred photos were taken there.

We also visited this former nun school. It was too large to fit into one shot, but this is about 1/3 to 1/2 of the full building. I love the history and opulence of the place.

I'm not religious at all, but I think it's reasonable to say most people can admire Catholic iconography on an aesthetic level.

There was a meadow of unidentified star-shaped flowers outside, as well as smaller patches of bluebells, daffodils, buttercups, and (my favourite? :P) dandelions scattered about elsewhere.

This yellow dollhouse was the home of a prominent Canadian painter and writer. I really enjoyed walking around the beautiful heritage house, especially seeing or imagining what she had mentioned in her semi-autobiographical short stories and novels.

No trip to Victoria, however brief, is complete without tea at the Empress!

I also brought back some beautiful Irish linen and Belgium lace (handmade by true artisans!).

And of course, we tried the macarons from a local bakery. I'm not going to mention the name because they weren't very good (too hard, hollow, and lightly flavoured), but aren't the colours pretty? Perfect for Easter! ;)

Speaking of macarons, I tried the ones from Plasir Sucre in Vancouver yesterday:

Despite the flies crawling around beside them (...), we ordered one of each, plus some fruit tarts. The brand of tea they had wasn't very good at all, but the tarts were delicious.

The macarons, however, were uneven in quality. Of the six we had, two were dry and crumbly, two were soft and a little mushy, and two were the proper consistency. Since the owner didn't indicate the flavours, we had trouble identifying the odd aftertaste of the chocolate macaron, and the WHOLE taste of the strange peppery one. (It tasted like steak.)

It was a lovely afternoon, though!

And lest this becomes a "What I did this weekend" blog, here are two pictures from a visit to some iris fields in Washington (US) that show the bow-and-shorts set I made myself.

The thing on my head is a double bow with cotton lace on a flexible fabric-covered band. The bloomers (puffy shorts) are the same, with a vintage-style red resin rose on a lace bow on each side.

100% cotton fabric and cotton lace, completely hand-sewn without a machine. I spent about three days at work (the boss was away :P) and two evenings on them... while multi-tasking, of course.

What I've learnt from this latest project is that I SHOULD GO BUY A SEWING MACHINE.

I plan to keep my Etsy shop handsewn and OOAK, but for things I make for myself -- and I mean human-sized clothing and bags -- there is really no point in putting so much time and care into them!

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