Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Swap-o-rama 2011

Saturday was my favorite event of the year in Vancouver - Swap-o-rama-rama!

This is my fourth year helping out, this time as the volunteer coordinator. I'm happy to use my time to help, I think this event is fantastic.

It's part giant clothing swap and part crafty/diy party. You bring your unwanted clothes, pay a small admission fee, and you get to hunt through the piles and take as much as you want. Then there are sewing stations and screen printing stations where you can experiment with refashioning your new finds to make them better. People are a lot more open to experimenting on clothes they just found and didn't have to pay for, so there's usually some fun stuff going on in the crafting rooms.

Spool of Thread, Vancouver's sewing lounge, was running the sewing room, and they were getting people who had never sewn before to work some magic on their new clothing finds.

It's really fantastic to see people willing to give something new a try.

I got lucky with a crew of fabulous volunteers who signed up to help and were willing to do whatever needed to be done. Great volunteers make everything super easy for me.

The event went really well. I was busy, but still managed to find some great new clothes, as always. I hope everyone else refreshed their wardrobes too. :)

And, at the end, all the leftover clothes get donated to charity so it's a win-win-win situation. Swap-o-rama-rama happens in city's all over the place - and if it doesn't happen in your city, maybe you're the person that needs to change that!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I'm still quite new to knitting, but I generally always have a project on the go, even if it takes me forever to finish it. Finishing things is a milestone to be savored, not rushed.

My latest knitting project is the concentric squares blanket. I saw the version Kim made and knew I had to try it. As I'm trying to use yarn from my stash, I, of course, had to do some math to adjust the pattern to deal with my thinner choice of yarn - otherwise I'd end up with a kerchief instead of a blanket. The pattern author was kind enough to message me back and forth on Ravelry with help on how best to make adjustments. I finally did start and it does still look like the blanket is going to be tiny, but I'm sure I'll find a use for it.

In other news - I don't know if I've ever mentioned on here that one of my hobbies is dancing. My husband-like-person and I started taking ballroom/Latin lessons a few years ago and we love it! It's loads of fun. (PSA: It's key to find a really good studio that knows how to teach, otherwise it'll be super frustrating. Our first attempt to learn was at a cheap place and we just fought all the time, it was terrible.) I'm very excited because there are two summer dance series happening in downtown Vancouver over the summer (at Robson Square). Friday nights will be ballroom and Sunday afternoons will be salsa! I love the idea of just going for a walk downtown, stopping by a public square and dancing for a bit. If you need me this summer, that's where I'll be. Starts in July and I can't wait!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

I don't know if you heard, but the Canucks won Game 2 of the Stanley Cup last night. You might have heard the City of Vancouver screaming and partying ? Seriously, the City celebrated in a major way - thousands of people in the streets, high fiving and being very happy. (They won it with a goal 11 seconds into overtime.)

It makes one wonder what'll happen if Vancouver wins the Stanley Cup - if winning game 2 causes such joy! I'm looking forward to finding out! I do love it when the Canucks score a goal - we actually mute our tv and listen to the city scream and cheer. It's hilarious and awesome.

From a planning perspective - it's interesting to think about how events like these really show where the heart of a city is. Where do the people gather? What streets do you close down? Where do you set up the large outdoor screens for people to watch? Do you have public space appropriate for celebrations? Fortunately for us, the Olympics made Vancouver face all these questions and figure all this stuff out. I think the Olympics also taught us how to have street parties. And we're all really good at giving strangers high fives when prompted. So, I think we're ready for the Canucks to win the cup.

One photo showing a small portion of the crowd out on Granville St after the Game 2 win: http://www.flickr.com/photos/59173294@N08/5798471753/in/photostream (photo by Vancouver Police Department - who are doing a great job letting people have fun and keeping things safe.)