Monday, 30 April 2012

The Big Chop

My hair can be tough to handle.  At night I have a very involved routine to set it for the next day.  As any curly-headed person will tell you, getting our hair to co-operate can be a battle.  Sometimes I say, "Ah, forget it." and wear a pony tail for weeks at a time, pulled back so tight I would have to sleep with my eyes open.  

But this weekend, I got fed up with my fear!  I'm always afraid to get a haircut.  Not many people know how to, or are comfortable with curly hair.  And mine is curlier than most.  But the 4 inches of split ends were making my frizzy fro into a frizzer nightmare.  And its starting to get hot outside, and my hair is like insulation for my head.  

So I did it.  I took the plunge.  I went to the hairdresser.  I got a haircut.  This may not seem life altering to you, but let's talk about my personal history of haircuts.  There has only been a handful of them done professionally.  Yes, in my life.  Yes, I am in my 30s.  If I were to make a list of my bottom 3 worst hairdressing experiences, it would look something like this:

Haircut 1: Sometime in 1986.  I had waist long curly hair.  It was beautiful from what I've been told.  My mom got fed up with trying to wash, brush and braid it.  No one could really tame it, so I got a haircut.  My waist length hair buzzed (!) off with clippers.  I don't know if this was supposed to be a punishment, but there are pictures out there where I look like my brother's brother.

Haircut 2: Around 1997. In high school I wanted my hair straightened sooo bad.  So I went and had it relaxed.  But, the woman who did it burned my hair so bad, that it was coming out in clumps. We had to cut all the damaged parts out, and this left my hair un-even and unmanageable.

Haircut 3: 2002. In university to celebrate the end of exams, I thought I would get my hair trimmed.  However, after pulling an all-nighter to write my last exam, I was tired and dozed off in the chair.  I asked for a trim, and the woman cut off 6 inches of hair.  I only had 8 inches of hair to start with.  

None of these experiences have left me with a deep desire to get my hair cut again.  Ever.  So for the last few years, I have been cutting my hair myself, like an incredibly cheap person.  It didn't look so bad, but I do wear a lot of ponytails, so no one had to know.  But this last time, I messed up.  And I had to go and get it fixed.  

So I did.  And it changed my life.  Voila:

I went from big, curly (shoulder length) hair with 5 inches of split ends (!) to a chin bob.  And while it may not look like much to some people, it was a very big deal for me.  A ponytail is difficult with my hair this short.  And I'm most comfortable in a ponytail. 

But I think it is totally cute.  And now my earrings don't get lost in it.  It's bouncy and fun.  And a co-worker called it "chic."

No one ever called my hair "chic" before!  I'm glad that I took the chance on a hairdresser again and went for the big chop.  I'm back to my natural hair color, with no leftovers from the chemical straightening I had done years ago.  I'm back to the natural state of my hair.  And I'm so happy with it. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Adding to the Wall

In our apartment, we have this HUGE back wall.  For the longest time, it was empty.  And that depressed me.  So I put one framed poster on it.

And that depressed me even more.

I made this grand plan to cover the wall in framed prints of painting, and original paintings to give my wall some life and personality-- so that it was more representative of me and D and our home.

This plan has been rather difficult to complete.  But, I have learned a few things about myself despite this incomplete wall.  I know that I am picky when it comes to pictures for the wall.  I  haven't been able to decide if I want all smaller pictures, or a mix of both small and large pictures.  ALSO, I hate the white wall, and I have been trying to choose a color for an accent wall.  But I can't commit.  I also hate holes in the wall.  Which makes hanging a dozen pictures, a difficult and time-consuming job.

The wall is coming along ok, but it still isn't what I want.  Becasue I don't really have a clear plan, I keep adding to it until I like it.  This is a work in progress to be sure.  I don't know if I will ever get it to look the way I want. 

However, I love all the pictures I have right now.  They all have to do with music, which is good since they hang over my piano.  I labelled them for you:

1. A print of a painting by my cousin Torrance Bass (link).
2. Another of my cousin Torry's prints.
3. A print of a beautiful piece by my friend Irena Komadinic (link).
4. A poster of my favorite singer Ella Fitzgerald.
5. A small painting of me singing by my friend Irena.
6. A print of a painting from the Blue Chicago Bar in Chicago.  I love that place.  So. Much.
7. An art card from Paris of Les Folies Bergere.  I love Josephine Baker.

And then there's that head hanging below the pictures.  My daddy got me that.  I don't know why.  But I kind of like it.  You know, in the way you like floating, disembodied heads stuck to your wall.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Print-y Nice!

On my walk yesterday, I picked up a print by Dave Kuruc from Mixed Media. I love that store.  I wanted something funny, and quirky for my living room.  When I showed it to D, he tought it was great.  So we framed it, and it is hanging in the front room.

I live in Hamilton, and I met D in Hamilton, so I have a place in my heart for this city.  I love that Dave made some prints about Hamilton.  They are super cheap too, only 20 dollars!  A steal. 

It makes me giggle whenever I look at it.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Finding the time to celebrate

It has been a busy week work-wise, so I haven't been spending as much time doing the things I love.  Life is like that though.  But this week I got some great news- I got a full time job!  This means I will have to be more efficient with my time and hobbies.  I can't wait for all the challenges and perks that come with being a full teacher.  Luckily, I know the kids in the class I'm going to teach, so that is one things I don't have to worry about.

To celebrate, I went out for a walk with my friend Sara (link to Sara's blog) for some exercise, some shopping and some tea at my favorite coffeehouse!  There were beautiful flowers everywhere!

And a little note was left on the table for us:

I love everything about this space.  There are so many textures and colors.  I had to get a photo of my favorite door:

After a lovely walk, and some goodies for me and D, I came home and continued working on this:

With the rate I'm working on it, this blanket should be finished in no time.  Not too bad for an afternoon.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Music Mondays: First Installment- Stephanie!

I'm a music teacher and a musician, and it seemed weird to me that I didn't write about music on this blog.  So, I'm going to try something new on Mondays.  Each Monday, I will post something about music; it can be a song, or a thought or a video.  But it will be about some kind of music I like.  We'll see how it goes.

For this week, I thought I would kick off Music Mondays with a track from my album!  This is my favorite song I recorded.  I hope you like it!

Summertime by Stephanie Bass

Thursday, 5 April 2012

An Easter Treat

One of my students made this sweet little bunny for me for the Easter holiday.  I thought it was the cutest thing!  I made a pretty big deal out of it; she made one for everyone in the class.  It opens and there is chocolate inside.  So cute. 

I even love the way she brought them all to school.  She packed all the egg bunnies into an egg carton, that she decorated with pastel polka dots.  A little crafty first-grader after my own heart. 

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


Last night, I didn't sleep very well.  I was having some horrific nightmares.  As a result, I was not as well rested today as I would have liked to be.  When I'm tired, I have a hard time relaxing during the day, because I just want to sleep.  But if I go to sleep, then I would have a hard time at night!  So I need to find things that comfort me, but keep me busy. 

So I started another blanket.  This one is made of granny squares.  I love granny squares!  I love that they are quick and portable.  If I am feeling especially ambitious, I can start connecting them.  I like sewing together the squares, so I don't join them as I go.  I like the simple pattern of the motif, but the excitement of choosing the 3 colors that will go into each block.  I've only finished about 25 locks of 60, so I have a ways to go before I finish. 

Another way I kept myself busy as to make one of my favorite comfort foods: Macaroni and Cheese, with smoked chicken.  I hardly ever make this because it is so involved (I even make my own breadcrumbs for the topping!) but today was a good day to do it.  I couldn't concentrate on watching anything on TV, so I worked on this in the kitchen for a little over an hour.  The multitasking that this recipe takes makes me feel accomplished.  When D came home and smelled it in the oven, he got excited like a little kid. 

Its not just the eating of this casserole that's comforting, but D's company and enjoyment of it.

For my last bit of comfort, I'm going to read in my chair.  D bought me a new light to work and read under.  Before the lamp, this corner was a little dark.  He is so thoughtful.  It was his idea to get a lamp with a movable arm so I can pull it over if I'm sewing or knitting, or reading.  And it has been really handy since we got it.   This chair is a great place for me to retire for the evening, and just do some reading. 

I also have a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake in the oven.  I'm sure that will help me feel comforted too.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Signs of Spring

Aren't these flowers beautiful?  D got them for me for the opening night of my play.  I love them.  He must have some some research, because these flowers don't cause my to sneeze or itch or anything that flowers usually cause me to do.  And they are my favorite color orange.  They make the living room so cheerful.

I love the power that plants and flowers have to change a space and make it more colorful, and happy.

Just looking at them makes me happy.  I will have to make sure that when I get myself flowers every once and a while, I will have to get some gerbera daisies.  Oh, I can see all the colors I can get!  I love bringing a little piece of spring inside. 

Continuing on with spring things, I made a business card holder using some leftover sock yarn that I had.  The yarn is Socks That Rock, and the color is Waterlilies.  I love this yarn!  It is hard wearing, and the colors are so bright.  If you would like a card holder for yourself; or you can use this pattern for a gift card holder.  I thought it looked nice than the elastic band I was using to hold my cards together.

Here's a pattern:

Card Holder

Yarn: Sock That Rocks, less than one skein
Knitting needle: 3.25mm

CO 24 Sts.

Knit 6 rows in rev st st
Knit 15 rows
Knit 12 rows in rev st st
Knit 15 rows more
Knit 6 rows in rev st st then Cast off loosely.

Finishing: Fold holder in half inside out and whip stitch the sides.  The rev st st section is the gusset of the holder.  Turn right side in and add a crochet chain measuring about 3 inches.  Attach to the back of holder, and a button to the front.  Put some cards inside of it!

 The return of the warm weather means the return of ice cream for me!  I can't eat a lot of it because I'm lactose intolerant.  But every once and a while, I like a little treat, so I made a banana milkshake.  Want one? 


1 banana
1/3 cup of vanilla ice cream
1 cup of milk

Blend. Drink. Yum.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Backstage Pass

This weekend has been a busy one.  The play that I'm in, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels opened on Friday night; and 3 three performances in 3 days, I was a little more than tired after each.  

I can't show you pictures of the show on stage... Because I'm on stage. But what I do have are a few backstage photos to show you the magic that is community theatre.

Here is the sign out front.  You can sort of tell what type of character I play.  To be honest, I play a bit of a floozy.  But a helpful, nice floozy.  But still, the man-chasing, easily-conned floozy.  I do look great in that dress though. 

Getting ready with the make-up artist Janet!  She is so great. And she makes me look good!  I find sitting and getting my make-up done, so relaxing.  But the room is usually a flurry of activity, including the odd (sometime very odd) conversation.  It can be hard to just sit there and let it go on around me.  I like to to be in the action. 

This is Elisa, she plays Christine (the lead).  She has a bit of the show off, and so do I so I was testing out my flash in the dark of the dressing room. 

While testing out the flash, I had to take a picture of Kathleen in her "Jolene Oakes the Oklahoman" splendor.  This was supposed to be a candid, but she was on!  I love this picture of her.  She plays a bit of a floozy too.  There are a few floozies in this show. 

I should note: I'm not really a floozy, I just play one on stage.