Changes

Hello everyone.

I keep apologizing for being M.I.A, but this time there really is a reason. Taking my class, and re-reading the book "The Handmade Marketplace" has got me scheming, and planning and full of ideas.

While I've completed the Photoshop portion of my schooling and am starting on an overview of Illustrator.. the most important part of the course is

web design. 

I've dreamed up a website that encompasses this bloggalleries etc and ties in the illustration aspect of what I do, as well as the knitting. I've been in the rough stages of starting a card line and would like to share more of that here. I want to re-brand and rename and redesign everything as well.

When I started Blue Anchor.. it was more about crafts... and sea glass jewellery, and wine charms. Besides knitting, there's not a whole lot of crafting going on (at least not regularly). I'd like to emphasize my two loves: drawing and knitting, as well as share some of my (very amateur) photography, my thrift store and etsy finds, and a little behind the scenes getting my cards launched, learning web design and maybe the occasional craft fair.

I'm very "bipolar" when it comes to organization--- part of me always wants to classify things too closely and be super organized, while the other part wants to not feel pigeonholed by being too specific. I think that's what's going on here.. it feels disjointed having both

Blue Anchor Crafts

and

Dearest Doodles

... so hopefully tying them together will create a stronger, more unified image, and also encourage me to write a lot more!

 It' s a ton of work, and might be a long process (as I don't really know much about webdesign besides plugging generated html things into blogger and messing about.) I'll probably be using Wordpress too, as that's what my school is teaching.

Anyways, I'm just checking in to say that you will be seeing some exciting changes around here in the next (err... six months? year?), and the finished product (if it turns out to be anything like I've imagined) will be worth the wait. I might not blog on here as consistently in the meantime, but I am planning to share some of my steps in the right direction or any big news that comes my way (ie, planning a card-line, perhaps even selling something?!)

I thank you for reading and for your support. I'm excited to see what the future will bring, and will keep you updated on the new changes as they come.

Thanks so much for reading,

-Karen

Old England Inn

There is a place near where my parents grew up, called the Old England Inn. Well, it's called the "English Inn and Resort Now". The other day when I was driving by, I saw that there was a rezoning sign. After panicking a bit, I read an article in the newspaper saying they're wanting to tear down some of the out buildings and the replica of Anne Hathaway's cottage to subdivide. I decided to walk up and take some photographs....

A little history. The manor house was originally called "Rosemeade" (so pretty!) and was built in 1906. It was built in a Tudor style (which I absolutely adore). In the 1950s/60s it became a bit of a tourist attraction... quaint, quirky, and kind of kitschy. Tudor+history+kitsch = amazing. They used to have tours too. 

My grandparents stayed at this hotel when they were newly weds. My mother worked in the kitchens here in high school. My dad was a waiter at the same time. He did this dressed in a doublet and knickerbockers... as the restaurant was themey. I remember eating there as a small child and having a kids menu that featured knights and ladies, and being served by a lady in a long dress that laced up the front with big sleeves. The inside was full of beautiful carvings and grand rooms. It was truly awe inspiring for a kid. 

I forgot to mention, my parents were married there in on a sunny winter day in 1986. My mum threw her bouquet from a window in the grand hallway. I always thought I would get married there too when I was older.... unfortunately it has fallen into disrepair. 

They stopped offering dinners (which is terrible, as the restaurant is walking distance to my parents house, in a large residential area with poor dining options), the grounds are overgrown and unloved-looking, and they repainted the house (probably with great expense) a taupe and rust colour, which is so bland compared to its white and black Tudor glory. They took out the beautiful carved staircase and replaced it with a finger-print infested glass railing. They added leather couches and made it look modern... too modern. It just seems like someone had the wrong vision for the place, and now it has failed... the reviews are terrible... poor service, gross rooms, bad breakfast, and owners that didn't seem to care about their guest's experience. It's such a shame to see a place with such potential being mismanaged.

There's so much family history here, it breaks my heart to see that some of it might get torn down. I'm hoping that they can restore it to its former glory, with a nice family restaurant to walk to, updated rooms full of happy paying customers, with the unique and well maintained grounds its so well known for.

Here We Go

So, since I was six, the longest period of time I've had away from school was five months. This five months was when I finished my University Degree, and was trying to decide what to do with my life. Then I started Sprott Shaw and the craziness ensued, and here I am a medical office assistant at a physiotherapy clinic. During the five months off, I dreamed up my dollies and started Blue Anchor Crafts. Well, I graduated from Sprott Shaw in September, took an evening class at Camosun College and HERE I GO AGAIN!

Yup, I'm starting school again. I'm taking a web design class at a local business college that's one-on-one and I can still work my regular shifts at work! I'm going to be learning how to use Illustrator, Photoshop, Dream Weaver, coding, and how to make a website with Wordpress!  *dances around like a maniac*. I'm pretty excited.

Not only will it boost my resume (Look at this girl, she has a History Degree, MOA Diploma and a Web Design Certificate and is under 25) hopefully getting me out of the reception part and working doing other things in an office one day, but it will be SO helpful for Blue Anchor Crafts and Dearest Doodles, which I have pretty big plans for in the near future. I feel like I'm finally going to have the tools to work with to do what I love, even if it ends up just being just a side project.

I'm really going to try to blog more regularly and discuss my dreams, goals, and things that I'm working on. I have a few projects I'm excited to share with you, but they might be rather long term... especially with throwing school into the mix! Stay tuned for fun and exciting things here and at Dearest Doodles!

Around the House

Happy Weekend!

The sun came out today, which is big news living in Victoria. In the winter, it basically rains or is grey everyday. A lot of people grumble about about the rain, but I enjoy snuggling up inside, sipping tea, bundled up with the windows all open listening to it. Plus, everything is green year round. It's terrible for photos though.

Today I met a friend downtown for bubble tea and strolled through Chinatown in the sunshine. I got up early and cleaned and organized my apartment. Satisfying day!

It feels a little like Spring here. I'm a little sad because we didn't even have ONE snow flake. Not-a-one! I love when the sky turns lavender and all the pretty snowflakes flutter down. Everything looks so peaceful covered in white. (Anyone from eastern Canada is probably rolling their eyes, I'd be sick of it too, but it's such a novelty here!)

I saw about five minutes of snow when I was in Vancouver in early December... but it turned to rain by the time we got outside... rain that was horizontal and unavoidable and freezing cold. Thank goodness it was a close walk to the cafe for a hot breakfast. If you're ever in Yaletown, try going to "Sciué Italian Bakery Caffé". I had probably the

best

scrambled eggs, sausage, and everything on the plate was to die for... like I'm not even a "breakfast person" and I was blown away. It's also gorgeous (nothing like this exists in Victoria, I swear.) I had an astounded look on my face when I entered. When my friend described the "little coffee shop" he went to... I had not imagined this! Anyways, that was quite a bit of sidetracking from discussing the lack of snow in Victoria.... but seriously. I would go to Vancouver again just to eat here!

Photo taken from Google Maps

Back to the weather (cuz that's not a cliche topic, right?) Anyways, I'm torn between wishing for the brisk, sunshiney days of spring with cherry blossoms and gardens, and a nice blanket of snow with boots and warm beverages. No matter which way the weather chooses to go (It's ground hog day, isn't it?... I believe the rodent hypothesizes that it will be an early spring!)...this sunshine has got me into spring cleaning mode.... so here's a few pictures of my apartment!

 I'm off to go eat some poutine from a local hole in the wall (like, basically a hole in the wall.... I'm not kidding) in Esquimalt and to play Scatergories with my parents. Definitely a good day!

 Have a lovely weekend!

What's the best meal you've ever had at a restaurant? Or a top 3? 

Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

(North of the 49th parallel that is... well, almost... Victoria is actually in line with the United States at the 48th... which is why our cell phones tell us we're roaming and "Welcome to the US!" when we're by the ocean in parts of the city!)

I hope you enjoyed/ will enjoy lots of yams and stuffing (my favourites) and family and friends. I had a lovely dinner last night, and am looking forward to a second tonight! I'm so thankful to be living in this beautiful city with all my family around (I lived away from them for 18 years.)  I'm thankful for getting hired so quickly and really liking my job. I'm also extremely thankful for all of you who take time to comment, like or even read my posts (or purchase little friends!) I'm thankful for this space where I have the chance to document and share the things I make and do. Thank you so much! Happy Thanksgiving!

Okay, I had to sneak this in here. I found this 1950's/60's brooch on Etsy and I'm in love. Isn't it amazing!?

(I'm going to try to fiddle with the design of this blog again, I'm going to spend a lot of time doing this so it's perfect and I won't have to change it in a few weeks, haha. So if things are looking a little ugly or weird, that's why!) ** I have no background in this and don't use photoshop, so it's probably a much longer process than it is for most people!)

 

Thanks for reading dears,

Karen

 

Lately

My life lately, according to instagram....

1. Sitting on a rock at Saxe Point

2. Adorable squishy-faced bunny at the Saanich Fall Fair

3. Huge Dahlia display!

4. Love living by the ocean

5. Yummy Candy Apple (my fillings are in tact!)

6. Getting up before dawn is icky

7. The offending hot chocolate tee hee.

8. Snuggly socks

9. Early morning breakie with raspberry rhubarb jam.

1. Doodling at the beach

2. Getting to work waay too early to find parking

3. Jeans almost fit.. almost.

4. Lovely fudge from Whipple Tree Junction in two dollar thrifted dish (see not fitting jeans)

5. Loving my new haircut

6. Basking at Cadboro Bay

7. Unimpressed faced at being stood up...again

8. Cute French Bulldog

9. Movie and Borscht for two (Borscht was in burling pot when photo was taken)

 

Thanks for reading dears,

Karen

 

Changes

I’m feeling fairly overwhelmed with everything in my life right now, but it’s kind of a good feeling.

After four years at University taking Art Education and History (ending up with a History Degree), I decided to take charge of my life (and career) and take the Medical Office Assistant course at Sprott Shaw College. After a grueling seven months of tears, late nights, and aggravation (honestly, it made writing papers seem like a breeze) I have received my honours diploma in the Medical Office Asisstant Program.

I’m starting a new career, and will be working a real job for the first time in a very long while. I’m handing out resumes, writing cover letters, and hoping that someone will like me enough to give me a chance. 

Another change is that my relationship with my boyfriend of almost two years has ended. We’re still on good terms, but we had differences and different life paths and goals.

I’m glad we both realized this and could separate caring about each other from what was a good choice long term. We had some great times and I’ll miss him. 

It feels like I’m starting out with a completely clean slate. I’m twenty-three, single, with a degree and a diploma, waiting for my real “adult” life to start. I’ve debated moving apartments to somewhere closer to the ocean or maybe downtown with a lot of things to do in walking-distance.

I have a huge apartment for cheaper than most, with parking included, so it’s REALLY hard to look at other places. The trendier the area, the more expensive and the tinier they get. Jury is out on that decision, but that’s okay, I’m in transition. I want to stay in Victoria, as most of my family live here, and I can’t imagine being without them. Growing up, I didn’t really know my cousins, aunts or uncles, or even my dad’s parents very well. We drove for our annual visit, stayed with my mum’s parents in a huge house, and had “that yearly visit” with his side. 

Now I’m looking forward to a 15 person Thanksgiving and Christmas, not just the three of us. I’m invited to baby showers, first birthdays and days at the lake. I’m so lucky to finally be back and be a part of things, and I can’t quite imagine giving that up. I look forward to bringing my own baby to play around with the (probably much older haha) kids, growing up with memories of huge Thanksgivings, Christmases and Grandparents that are just around the corner. 

I'm very glad that I created Blue Anchor Crafts a little less than a year ago. It's been a great outlet for my creative energies, and I hope it will continue to be so. I also started a blog for my drawings, Dearest Doodles where I post my latest drawings. I have so many great ideas that I suspect I will never be bored again, haha. I've learned a lot and found a lot of great blogs to read. I'll continue to follow my journey into the working world, my life and my dollies.

It’s all terrifying and wonderful.

Karen