An Old Blanket Gets a New Life – Felting Pure Wool

It’s Christmas Time! (Swipe and Click)

    Handmade Gift Tags using Paper Aged with Tea
    Vintage Paper Part I : Christmas Cards

    How to Make a Chocolate Martini : Four Ways

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    Hello! With Valentine's Day this week and Easter just around the corner, it appears that chocolate season is upon us. These Chocolate Martinis, with four different flavour options, would make the perfect cocktail to celebrate those holidays, but would also be enjoyable any time of the year.

    They're made with Vodka and Creme de Cacao liqueur, and either left plain chocolate or made a little fancier with the addition of Cointreau (which is orange flavoured, pictured), Goldschlager (which is Cinnamon flavoured) or Creme de Menthe (for a mint flavour).

    Since Vodka is the main ingredient, complimented with lesser amounts of sweet liqueurs, these are slightly sweet, but not too sugary. If need be, the sweetness can be dialed up or down by the amount of liqueur used.

    The mint version was suggested by my friend Julie, after I told her about these delicious drinks. I haven't had a chance to try that variation yet, but can attest to the goodness of the orange, cinnamon and plain versions. I plan to make the mint one, though, so will update this post once I have.

    Vintage Christmas – Displaying Some Collections

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    Hello and Happy Holidays! Hope you're well and will have some fun today. With our city in lockdown, Nick and I will be alone this year, but, while we miss seeing our friends and family and doing the usual festive things, we're ok.

    We have a white Christmas here in Toronto, as it snowed last night. It was perfect timing as it was the first we've really had this year so far. I can hear Nick outside shoveling as I type this!

    We'll be making a nice dinner of Coq au Vin and we have some delicious chocolate caramel Yule log cake from Dufflet's leftover from Nick's birthday earlier this week.

    I was back and forth on whether to decorate for Christmas this year, as nobody would be coming over to see it, but, in the end, I couldn't resist pulling out my tubs of vintage decor, to have a look at my treasures. Then I began sorting things into categories which resulted in a few vignettes around the place.

    I made a video, which shows them off better than these photos do and includes more, so, please have a look.


    If you like watching videos and would like to subscribe to my fledgling Youtube channel, click this link to get there (or, if you prefer, open Youtube and search for Loulou Downtown.) Over there you can also give the video a thumbs up and comment, if you'd like. Thank you very much if you do!

    Thrift Store Finds : Vintage Christmas

    thrift store finds in toronto vintage christmas value village 1024x1024

    Greetings! I hope you're doing as well as can be expected given that we're all forced to have a minimal celebration this holiday season during the pandemic.

    Even with months of lockdown this year, I managed to gather a nice collection of vintage Christmas decor items from the thrift store, going a few times during the summer when they were open and a few times before everything shut down in the spring. I also picked up some treasures on the day after boxing day last year, when everything Christmas related was marked down 75%. That time, I was there with an old friend who laughed about how excited I was about my finds. I can't help it, I love vintage in general but vintage Christmas holds a special place in my heart!

    I made a video in which I discuss everything including what I paid for each piece, so please check it out if you're interested in more information (and would like to see me struggle awkwardly with a pile of wooden bead garlands).


    If you like watching videos and would like to subscribe to my fledgling Youtube channel, click this link to get there (or, if you prefer, open Youtube and search for Loulou Downtown.) Thank you very much if you do!

    I'll begin with a some seasonal linens :

    How to Make a Sock Puppet That Looks Like a Dog

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    Hello! It's gift giving season, and here's an idea for something you can make for a young person. Included are instructions for a "fancy" version and a "quicker and easier" one.

    I made one for a little boy in my life and it was quite a hit!

    Celebrating Friendship : 11 Years with Meghan

    meghan wine

    In addition to being a time to appreciate the glorious colours and lovely cool weather that Autumn brings, it's a season during which I have the opportunity to commemorate some important relationships in my life.

    Today, I'd like to raise a toast to my friend Meghan, as we celebrate our friendiversary. We met 11 years ago at a place that we both worked at the time.

    From the moment we were introduced, we clicked. During that first conversation, we began talking about art and music and we haven't stopped that discussion since.

    They say (in this article) that, "on average, it takes about 50 hours of time with someone before you consider them a casual friend, 90 hours before you become real friends, and about 200 hours to become close friends." Our transition from "work friend" to "life friend" happened quickly as we didn't work together very long and we were in different departments, so a large percentage of our first 200 hours together were spent outside the office. They occurred in galleries, and in restaurants and bars discussing what we’d seen afterwards. Now, after 11 years and uncountable "art-dates", Meghan is, without question, the person I've spent the most time looking at art with, in my life.

    Of course, things changed when covid hit, and these past 9 months have been different for us. Now, we know that our friendship, while previously focused on a particular shared interest, was not solely based on that. An extended period of not being able to do what we love together has not caused our relationship to fade away due to circumstance. We've continued to see one another a couple of times a month, either visiting at a distance in our yard or at a nearby park. It certainly has helped that we live within walking distance of one another.

    Meghan has played a big role in making this difficult time much more bearable, for sure. In appreciation and with love, I raise a glass to this witty, warm and wonderful woman.

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