Terrariums: A wonderland in miniature

 

*This is the first in a series of posts about artists, designers, and craftspeople in Calgary and Alberta that I think are amazing and want to share with you. Stay tuned for more!*

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This is my terrarium. I absolutely love it. It only needs to be watered once a month. This is the perfect plant for me. It’s small, cute, needs only minimal care, and looks like miniature animals should live in it!

I bought this terrarium from Kyle Chow, the creative green thumb behind Plant, Distinct Terrariums, based here in Calgary. I had seen his table before at Calgary’s monthly Market Collective and longed for one of these little landscapes, but didn’t take the leap until last month. Now it sits on my counter and brings a smile to face whenever I see it.

                                                                                                                                                                             

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Kyle’s terrariums are really works of art and you can tell he really puts thought and care into the placement and composition of the tropical and succulent plants, rocks, moss, sand, bark, and other little bits of nature found in Alberta. Starting at $10 and up these terrariums are very affordable with most pieces in the $20 – $45 range. All sizes and shapes of vintage and new glass are used including vessels that can be hung and Plant does custom work too!

All photos below are taken from the Plant, Distinct Terrariums website.

 

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5 Questions with Kyle Chow

1. What is your favourite color?

My favourite colour is grey. I realize this is not much of a colour, but I am a big appreciator of neutrals. You’ll find white, black and every shade of grey in my home. I usually let any vibrant colour come from natural materials.

2. Where is you favourite place to display a terrarium?

I like to display my terrariums all around the house, but my favourite spot is usually a few feet from a window, close to where I can sit and investigate the miniature environment.

 

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3. What should someone NEVER put inside their terrarium?

My first reaction to this question is TOO MUCH WATER! With the terrarium’s care aside, I am a purist and like to keep my terrariums filled with only natural materials, but if you’re into adding dinosaurs or wizards, who am I to stop you ; )

4. Do you sing to your plant? and if so what song?

Unfortunately, I’d probably need a choir to sing to all my plants, however, a sing-a-long to Wilson Pickett’s, Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You never hurts.

 

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5. Where is one of your best-loved places in Calgary?

I love the River Park off leash area at the bottom of 14th Street SW. It has a great landscape, excellent view of the Elbow river, the downtown skyline and of course, our dogs love it!

 

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Check out the website http://plant-online.net/  where you can view and purchase terrariums. If you’re in Calgary they can also be found at The Uncommons in Inglewood. Follow Plant on twitter @PlantTerrariums And on Facebook!

 

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I could see myself with a whole collection of these. I could be the crazy terrarium lady! No cuddling but WAY easier to care for then 20 cats!

The come from away: a yarn tale

 

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My bus ride home after work goes down 6th ave and takes me past the sculptures outside the Calgary Board of Education building. The first time I saw these long limbed figures I was amazed. They are so tall and graceful and, well, naked! Awhile ago I had a shock when I saw that one figure was clothed! Head to toe in knitted and crocheted yarn!

I was curious about who had done this feat. Was it a random yarn bombing? or perhaps something more organized? Turns out it was the latter. This project was created by artist Suzen Green. I tried to take a picture of the write up posted beside the figure without me in it but had no luck, darn sun! But I think you can read it well enough.

 

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This is the plaque that is in the middle of the sculpture.

 

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I really appreciated all the little details in the piece and thought it made it all the more interesting to look at.

 

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If your curious as to how Suzen created and installed this piece check out her blog. It has a some great posts on her whole process. www.notalazysuzen.com

Also check out her website to see more of her witty and thought provoking pieces. www.suzengreen.com  I particularly like Bergy bits and Here We Are As One.

 

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Conclusion: Don’t be surprised to find amazing pieces of art and creativity around every corner!

The heritage of lace

 

I have fond memories of going to Heritage Park when I was a child. Riding the train, exploring ye olde town, eating old timey candy. Last weekend I got to do all those things again, except for riding the train we took a trip on the paddle boat! It was a great day to go, sunny but not scorchingly so, and there was a farmers market with hella cheap produce! We picked up some apples, oranges, and limes for 6$. Would have got more but you had to carry it out and we didn’t come with our wagon as most people we saw had. Note to self: buy wagon!

I thought I would share with you by far the coolest thing I have seen in awhile. I know some might not understand my amazement, but being very crafty and interested in how things are constructed I was transfixed!

 

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It’s so fun to see all the people dressed up and in character, and if your lucky and have the time you’ll even get a few stories out of them. In Thorpe House, sitting in the kitchen by a sun filled window, was a cheery woman with a lot of bobbins in front of her. Anytime I see sewing/crafting supplies my interest is instantly piqued and I had to know what was going on. She was talking to a mom and son so I had to wait my turn, but finally I got to talk to her.

 

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I truly love lace. It can be so intricate and beautiful. Romantic and feminine. the bobbins are moved around in a pattern and the pins are used to hold the piece down and help maintain the right tension. Hearing the bobbins click together and seeing her hands swiftly moving them as she talked was mesmerizing and I could have watched for hours.

 

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She told me she just learned how to make lace a year ago and was not that good yet but I was seriously impressed. When she really got going she said she could do about an inch an hour! I don’t think I would have the patience or commitment needed to take up this craft but my appreciation for hand made lace is through the roof!

 

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All in all a great day where I learned something new and got scared by a person I thought was a mannequin, a very embarrassing but funny story.

I find this photo very amusing so I had to include it. I think Lyndsay’s face says it all! ha ha

 

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Conclusion: I’ll definitely be taking a trip to Heritage Park again. I didn’t get to see it all and it’s an excellent opportunity to break out in ye olde timey slang.

nothing beats a good Blo

Last Friday I had the extreme pleasure of attending Blo’s V.I.P(ink) carpet rollout. This is Blo – Blow Dry Bar’s first Calgary location and 16th in the world!

Scheduling my appointment right after work was a good choice. I was able to sit down, unwind with a glass of champagne, and emerge half an hour later with a fab hairstyle and reenergized for a fun Friday night! Blo even opens at 7am which is awesome if you want that picture perfect hair to start your day with.

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Blo is located on 1317 1st Street SW in Calgary. Easy to get to and close to downtown, the salon is chic and cozy. Upon arriving you get to look at the Blo hair menu and choose from 7 different styles. I choose the  classic red carpet Blo. Being a total blo out virgin I thought I’d start with the original, but i loved the experience so much I will definitely be back to try out the different looks!

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After getting shampooed my bloer (aka session stylist) Karina, went to work. Karina is a blo u(niversity) educator from Toronto and if the Calgary bloers learned from her then I will be back because she was excellent!

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Karina used the most amazing smelling Moroccanoil hair spray on me.  I need to track some of it down! I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about Moroccan oil lately but wasn’t sure if it would be good for my fine hair. She assured me it was great for fine hair and after trying it I have to agree.  Blo carries Moroccanoil as well as the Unite range of products.

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And Ta-Da! The finished product! My hair was shinnier, swingier, and smelled yummy. Thanks to the Blo crew for a lovely first Blo experience!

Book your appointment soon, you won’t regret it!

BLO FIRST STREET STREET UPDATE: Blo is now closed

1317 1st Street SW                                                                                                              

Calgary, Alberta T2R 0W3                                                                                                                                     

403.264.2569

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Conclusion: A perfect addition to Calgary and when i saw the Moroccanoil sample in my gift bag I was over the moon!

The ice at night

Kiah and I ventured out to Bowness Park to do a bit of skating.

My skates:

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Kiah’s skates:

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The big pond part of the lake is well lit:

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But the river part has no lights and is quite spooky. It’s a good thing it was overcast and the sky was bright otherwise on a clear night I doubt you would be able to see your hand in front of your face. I heard a guy say he should have brought his headlamp!

Some spooky trees, with random kid playing in snow:

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I really liked the ice at Bowness Park. They have 2 fire pits there so you could bring a weenie or marshmallow to roast while warming up and they have music playing. Although whoever thought Shania Twain and Phantom of the Opera was good skating tunes was seriously mistaken.

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I like this photo even if it is wonky:

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and each of us only fell once! I fell on my hip and Kiah fell on her knees, but no harm done, don’t we look happy!

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While waiting for the #1 bus home I realised we were also at the Monkey Stop! I didn’t realise there were apes out in Bowness.

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Conclusion: Always end skating with hot cocoa, that way when you fall on your ass you have something to look forward to!

Crosswords, cupcakes, & commercials

I wanted to share some of the highlights of my weekend in this post, enjoy!

On Friday I thought I was going to be a hermit but fate, or rather Marissa, had other plans. And I’m so glad I didn’t end up being a recluse! I went with Marissa, Taryn, and Robin to Extreme Bean Cafe located at 3303 3 Ave NW. The plan was to just meet there and go for a stroll along the river, but the weather had taken a turn, as I have learned is the norm in Calgary, and we decided to have coffee inside. It’s a good thing too, or we might never have discovered how, when we put our brains together. we can achieve amazing things. Like completing the FFWD crossword!

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To some this may seem like no big feat, but I suck at crosswords and was impressed with our determination. We stayed till the end! And my mochachino was pretty tasty too.

Saturday I was off to work. Even though it is still winter we have some flowers at work to remind us that spring is on the way. They came from Twigs, look gorgeous, and smell amazing! I think they’re hyacinths?

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Another perk of the day was that there was cupcakes shared by Kristen and candy hearts!

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Sunday was totally devoted to relaxation. Armed with a large mug of coffee and some leftover cheesecake I settled in too watch Super Bowl commercials. I’m the kind of person who likes watching the previews before the movie and appreciates a well made commercial, especially if it makes me laugh!

My 2 favourite’s are both from Volkswagen. Perhaps that’s a sign….

 

 

 

I also downloaded John Mellencamp’s album, The Best That I Could Do from iTunes.  I have my Mom to thank for introducing me to Mellencamp and a lot of other great musicians. His song’s remind me summer when I was younger.

 

John Mellencamp performs Pink Houses live at the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony in the Grand Ballroom at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City March 10,2008

 

Conclusion: This weekend was brought to you by the letter ‘C’.

It’s about time!

On a lovely Groundhog’s Day I went to Starbucks to pick up a chai tea latte and a copy of February’s BeatRoute Magazine: Calgary’s Indie Arts & Entertainment Monthly. BeatRoute is a awesome free magazine that has tons of reviews on music and movies. It’s super helpful if you want to find out what bands are coming to Calgary, and I always like picking up a paper and getting a little ink on the fingers instead of constantly staring at a computer screen.

Anyways, the reason for this post…. I came across the most amazing ad that made me gasp in joy and excitement!

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TA DA!

Have my eyes deceived me or is there really a restaurant opening  on 17th ave that is solely devoted to the most delicious of all food creations!?

Holy crap! or should I say Holy Curd! If you can’t tell, in the picture the phone number is 403-457-CURD. Very witty, I like. But when will it open? WHEN!? Coming soon is so vague. The internet is no help, and on twitter people just as anxious as I have posted pictures of the papered up store front.

So this got my mouth a-watering and me a-wondering what tasty poutine creations will be on the menu?

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The Classic? although I prefer Diet Dr. Pepper.

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The Meaty? cause everything is better with meat!

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The Vegan? with tofu, mushrooms, onions, and a veggie based gravy.

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The Hoity Toity? for when you feel like sticking your nose in the air.

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and finally The ????? I don’t know what all is in there but it sure looks deliciously intense!

Conclusion: Opening day you’ll be sure to find me on 17th Ave with my bib on!

all poutine photos via  everystockphoto.com