Monday, 28 January 2013

Brain sludge

Yo, Internet! Long time, no thoughtful post. Thought I would drop by and say hi. Things are busy here at the Forbes-MacDonald residence, as always, and as a result I've been getting slack about the blog (and lots of other things but that's of no concern to you, Internet). I have lots of stuff to say, as always, so I'll probably be back again soon when my thoughts verge on volcanic.

 Anyhow, I've had a bunch of major sales on Etsy lately, which has been totally encouraging and exciting. I would love to go out scouting for new things sometime soon to expand my offerings. Tomorrow, there may even be some fun new-old stuff to look at! Wait for it!

Also, the above picture is pretty much what Charlottetown feels like right now. I'm pretty sure this is of my dad in Regina in the early or mid-80's. Not that I ought to compare Prairie and Maritime winters, because they are pretty different I hear. (We get a shitload of snow but do not tend to dip into the -50s, phew!) But it is damn cold and, I dare say, a little depressing out there. Nothing a little banana hot chocolate, some Etsy sales, Julie & Julia (the book), Girls, 30 Rock, 90210, and some nightly yoga can't fix!

Cool. Talk soon, Internet!

Etsy Map

Just made a map of all my Etsy sales so far. Little bits of vintage from PEI are off to all over the world! (Locations are all approximate!)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Letter to the Editor

Just sent the following letter to the Globe and Mail. Don't care that it's too long and too angry, just hope somebody reads it.


Good day,

As a young, educated, liberal-minded Prince Edward Islander, I know well enough by now I ought to steer clear of Margaret Wente's articles. I experience her contempt for all of those components of my identity every time I struggle through one of her pieces. Today's commentary was a little different, somehow; I am used to middle-aged writers in center-right publications writing condescending pieces about how entitled and lazy young university grads are. I am even used to, at the ripe age of 23, politicians looking for ways to euphemise or step around Atlantic Canada's perennially sluggish, precarious social and economic situation. But I will never get used to out-of-region, out-of-touch armchair journalists offering criticism of Atlantic Canada's people, nor our persistent efforts to cope with our hardships.

In fairness, some elements of this article aren't completely off the mark. Atlantic Canada disproportionately uses EI funds. Some workers abuse the system, and it becomes habitual, perhaps even encouraged. However, Atlantic Canadians also participate in a different sort of "transfer": we migrate to high-employment areas, in shocking numbers, and leave families and friends behind. The East Coast's young and bright head up and out to Alberta, British Columbia, and elsewhere, in an ongoing 'brain drain' to find work. And you thought we weren't up for commuting. For combating oil town labour shortages, you're welcome.

I can criticize our provincial policies and politics as much as I want because I'm here, I understand them, and in the end I want what is best for my province and its citizens. When someone like Ms Wente offers her opinion, which is entirely unhelpful, callous, and distasteful, I cringe. It is an ignorant suggestion that Ms Giersdorf give away a considerable chunk of her day's earnings to commute for nearly two hours per day, plus additional child-care expenses, taxes and - the irony - employment insurance, because the take-home pay would be pitiful. I know, because I'm underemployed as well, like so many who make up my province's labour force.

Every day, people try to figure out 'the answer' to solving Atlantic Canada's work woes. Editorials like this are not part of this effort, and never will be. (Unless you fire Wente and have her move to Montague, then she might have something of worth to write.)


Katharine MacDonald,

Charlottetown, PEI
PS. Most of your readers would likely have expected Ms Wente to be seeking EI after last year - maybe she should hold back a little on others whose employers aren't so understanding. 

Saturday, 19 January 2013

New Etsy items on Milk & Amber

Phew, long time, no post! Things have been a little on the wild side lately, but I have today off and am ready to relaxxxx. By relax, of course, I mean work on my Etsy shop. New items! Yeee!

Vintage taupe scalloped-edge clutch with strap

Vintage Whitehall Italian hand-carved wooden tobacco pipe

Vintage clip-on bow tie

Vintage lipstick-red embroidered clutch w/ strap

Vintage wallet / clutch / change purse with coral and turquoise beading

Neat! Check 'em out here at my Etsy Shop. Thanks, talk again soon!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Homemade Gifts: Upcycled Sweater Hat

Every year for Christmas, I find myself over-buying for people, stressed out about whether I've gotten enough things for enough people - holiday performance anxiety! This year, I decided to get ahead of the game, starting early in November to plan gifts, and bought materials to even try making some presents. I made some candles (another post), some pocket warmers (on the right in this photo), and experimented making a hat for my sister.

It was really simple - simple enough for ME to make, after all. The best sweaters will be a little slouchy, and have a bit of stretch around the bottom (the ribbed hem on the sweater I chose is the perfect amount of snugness). Also, you want a fine knit - too loose and it'll get tricky to keep sewn together. I liked this one too because of the requisite trendy minty-blue colour, and the soft acrylic texture. Just lay the sweater flat, use a favourite hat with a fit you like as your stencil, cut out (with a little bit of extra room), sew up inside out, and voila, an upcycled sweater hat!

Obviously there are much fancier ways of doing this, but it's a beginner level craft that's easy to do and produces a fun, cute accessory. Enjoy!

Holiday Look

Happy belated holidays! Things are still busy here as we get back to work in TWENTY-THIRTEEN, but not too busy for a quickie post! More to come on all the neato gifts I got (and some frankly equally neato gifts I gave!).

For now, a quick snap of my go-to look for all them holiday parties and fĂȘtes:
Jet-black winged liquid eyeliner (GOSH Long Lasting Eyeliner Pen) - check!
Sparkly vintage crystal cluster earrings (from an antiques shop on Queen W in Toronto)  - check!
Long-sleeve black lace (thrifted) - check!

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