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Ottawa round-up!

Well the time has come (or at least it’s coming soon enough – two weeks!). I’ll be leaving Ottawa for Halifax on September 1st and, while I’m sure I’ll be back one day, I thought it a good opportunity to do an Ottawa round-up of all things I find great in this city. So here it is, and feel free to add your own suggestions! I certainly haven’t tried everything in Ottawa, so any input is more than welcome.


Bakery: The French Baker, Boko Bakery
Pub: Chez Lucien, Sandy Hill Lounge and Grill, Bite Burger
Restos and eats: Ahora, The Black Tomato, Gong fu bao truck, Wang’s Noodle, India Café, Castle Shawarma, Shawarma Palace
Food stuffs/Grocery: Sausage Kitchen, La Bottega, Kettleman’s, Ottawa Bagelshop, Herb & Spice
Coffee: Planet Coffee, Bridgehead


Bike: Phat Moose Cycles, Re-cycles/Cycle Salvation
Specialty: Workshop, Victoire, Milk, Young Janes, Allegro
Games: The Loft, Fandom II
Clothing: Norml
Music: Vertigo Records, Compact Music
Instruments: Spaceman Music, Ottawa Folklore Centre, Steve’s Music
Camera: The Camera Trading Co.

Cinema: Bytowne
Salon: BossArts
Venue: Zaphod Beeblebrox, The Rainbow, Atomic Rooster

I have to say, there are still a lot of places in Ottawa that I have yet to try and I look forward to the day when I return and can continue exploring this great city. In the meantime, though, I’m pretty thrilled that I’ll soon be living on the east coast in Halifax. I’ve heard such terrific things about this city and I can’t wait to see what it has to offer. I foresee a post on great Halifax finds in the coming weeks…

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My Morning Jacket: LIVE!

My Morning Jacket was SO GOOD! SO GOOD!

They played a closing show last night at Ottawa’s Bluesfest, but we started the night much earlier, arriving a few hours before the big event to check out some other bands. While we headed over to see the Dirt Bombs, who were great, with their two drummers, we were early enough to see some of the band before them, Trampled by Turtles. I was impressed by both and both were, as you’ll see when you click on the links and give them a listen (which you’re obliged to do), are very different. The former garage/punk/rock, the latter bluegrass. I dig!

Following these two sets we headed over to the main stage and, like I already said, it was SO GOOD! My Morning Jacket has a pretty extensive repertoire of music, including studio, live and compilation records. They played a great (and mind-blowing) set last night that covered a range of music from multiple albums. I really appreciated this – some new some old, all fantastic. It was a show, a production, that I think everyone in the audience really enjoyed.

Want to know what they played and make your own awesome playlist of My Morning Jacket tunes? Click here!

Fingers crossed that all of the above make their way back to Canada in the near future!

(*Photo courtesy of Kevin James Ochal – thank you!)

Ottawa Ravenswing – TODAY!

Today’s the day!

Today is Ravenswing – the DIY festival. You’ll find it and me at Minto Park (Elgin and Lewis) or the Jack Purcell Community Centre (across from the park, in the case of rain) from 10AM to 4PM.

I’ve got earrings, necklaces, headbands, aprons and a BUNCH of baked goods! Be sure to stop by and check it out… All profits made are being donated to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.


More DIY jewelry & getting ready for the festival

There’s only a few days left until ravenswing – Sunday, May 29 from 10am – 4pm! Be there! It will be great and fun. Great fun!

My life has been saved thanks to a friend who was kind enough to drop off a sewing machine for me to borrow. I’m so excited to be able to get started on the aprons and wall organizers. Everything’s ready to go, so I’ll be getting started on that tomorrow.

While I decided to save the sewing for tomorrow, I still got quite a bit accomplished tonight. I prepared my business/product cards to hold my earrings, pushing the earrings through the cards… I did something similar for a few pairs of feather earrings… and I finished another button necklace:


I already explained, in a previous post, how I made the button earrings. I made the feather ones by attaching feathers to three-sided earring clasps with hot glue. To make sure everything stays in place, clamp the two outer edges into the middle. Finish them off by attaching the desired type of earring hook. I added a little something extra to a few of the pairs by putting a few links of thin chain between the clasp holding the feathers and the earring hook. There are lots of ways to experiment with earrings… Try it!

I finished off my business/product cards by adding short lengths of hemp string and writing the name of the blog on the front. On the back I included my website, email address and name. I had to experiment with a few different pens (I know, such excitement..!), and finally decided on a gel pen to avoid any bleeding of ink. I’m really happy with how they turned out.

Anyway, things are actually starting to come together. I’m really excited to see how the aprons and wall organizers turn out. The aim is to have everything done by Friday, so that I’m ready to bake my Saturday away to oblivion.

More to come soon!

DIY button necklace & homemade business cards

Well, my sewing machine has temporarily failed me again. I was all optimistic after my last post because I got the bobbin holder to stay in place. Now, though, it turns out the bobbin holder is missing a “notch” or “groove”, necessary to keep the tread in the right place while sewing. Anger! Rage! Okay, it’s not that bad, but I’m bummed that I won’t get to sell many sewn things at ravenswing next weekend…

On a more positive note, I did get a few crafts done today for next weekend’s DIY festival. I finally found a way to successfully make a button necklace that stays together well. I “simply” wove a long piece of medium-thickness metal wire though the button holes. I have “simply” in quotes for a good reason, though – it takes a long time to do this well and is very finicky. I had previously made this type of necklace by weaving a stretchy plastic string through the button holes, then lining the back with a thin wire attached by hot glue. This method will eventually fail and fall apart. It’s far better to spend the extra time to weave with wire from the beginning. I would recommend a pair of needle nose pliers to help keep the wire in place while you’re feeding it though the button holes.

Aside from the button necklace, I also got started on making some business and product cards to be attached to the items I’ll be selling at the festival. I used water colours on plain tags that can be found at any office supply store (around $4-$5 for 100 tags). I tried to use a colour/style similar to that of the blog and will write the price, website, etc on with a fancy pen once they’ve dried. Attach them to the product with some ribbon and you’re set! I think this is a great way to make sure people know who they’re purchasing from, without having to spend to spend very much at all. It’s simple and definitely goes with the theme of the festival – DIY.

Ravenswing (DIY Festival) Ottawa 2011

On May 29th you’ll find me and the things I make at Minto Park in Ottawa from 10am to 4pm. You should come checks it outs!

Ravenswing is a do-it-yourself festival that’s been held annually for several years. Its purpose is to provide a space for local designers and artists to showcase and sell their work and goods. There’s music, workshops and plenty of booths to explore. I participated in this event last year and it was a lot of fun. This year, though, I’m switching it up a bit. Here’s some of what I’ll be making this year:

  • Button earrings
  • Feather earrings
  • Aprons
  • Fabric belts
  • Wall organizers

All fabrics I use in the above accessories are made from 100% recycled materials.

As I’m going under the “sixtypercentbaking” name, I’ll also be selling a slew of baked greatness:

  • Loaves of bread
  • Cupcakes
  • Muffins
  • Lemon squares
  • Peanut butter cups

Finally, I’d like to mention that I’ll be sharing a booth with designer Ryan Coleman, who will be selling nifty posters like this.

If any of this interests you,  you should definitely try to stop by! It’s a lot of fun and there’s lots to check out. Let’s hope for sun and great weather ☼_☼

Canadian Music Fridays: Luke Doucet

It’s time I did a post on a band I’ve seen live… Since it can really change your perception of their music, for better or for worse…

This week’s feature is LUKE DOUCET and the White Falcon! Yeah! The band came to Ottawa in 2010 and it was a great show. It definitely made me appreciate the music more and, obviously, want to go to his future shows. Luke Doucet’s essentially from all across Canada. He’s played in a number of groups, been many places, done many things. Read the bio, which highlights an event from every year of his life and makes you feel like you haven’t really done much. His latest incarnation in Luke Doucet and the White Falcon is a true testament to great Canadian music.

Luke Doucet will be playing in Ottawa again at the end of the month, on April 29th, at Prairie Scene. If you’re in the area, be sure to check it out. There are also a lot of other great bands playing this event, which also showcases theater, dance, literature, comedy, film, culinary, and visual and media arts from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Listen. Go to a show. Buy a record. Be happy O_O