If you follow me on Twitter, then you may already know that over the weekend I won a giveaway contest being hosted by Got Craft? Vancouver. My prize was a swag bag full of goodies from Got Craft? vendors. I was so excited that I won because I NEVER win anything. I rarely enter internet giveaways anyway, so this turn of luck came as a huge surprise to me.

I attended the Got Craft? show on Sunday and was blown away by the amazing stuff that people were selling. Seriously, I wanted to buy at least one thing from each vendor. Plus, I got to meet some Vancouverite Etsy sellers that up to this point I only interacted with virtually. It’s so awesome that Vancouver has such a vibrant handmade community.

got craft swag bag contest winnings

These are just a portion of my winnings. I picked my favourite ones to show off here.
From top left, clockwise :

1. Thistle Town Studio
2. Maked
3. Banoo
4. My Chocolate Tree
5. Sadie Designs
6. Owl + Pussycat
7. Kukubee
8. Abeego
9. The Tiny Fig
10. The Pauhaus
11. Billy Would Designs
12. Hudsonny
13. Cynthia F
14. Mélanie Kimmett

Now I got to figure out what I’m going to do with all this stuff. I’m probably going to spread the love and give most of it away.

The Secret to Clear Skin

griffith park observatory "entrance"

This blog post will be relevant to those who deal with skin problems like I do.

I just wanted to share with you about my struggle with acne. It frustrates me to no end that even in my early 30’s I still have to deal with pimples, zits, whiteheads, what have you. Acne has been the thorn on my side (or face, I suppose) since adolescence. I’ve tried everything: topical creams, special cleansers, antibiotics, vitamins, and birth control pills. Sometimes they’re effective initially but then things go back to their usual state of acne pandemonium.

But a couple months ago I accidentally discovered a regimen that’s helped my skin tremendously. The best thing about it is that it doesn’t cost anything! In September, I underwent laser eye surgery and so I couldn’t let water near my face for a week in order to protect my eyes. That’s right, I had to go a whole week without washing my face! I was really worried that this would cause a breakout of apocalyptic proportions. Plus, I couldn’t wear makeup. So I went around with a bare face, and the only thing I could do to clean my face was wash it with a damp, warm washcloth at night. In the morning I didn’t bother cleaning my face. To my surprise, not using soap on my face and not wearing makeup improved the condition of my skin very visibly. I think gently scrubbing my face with a warm, damp washcloth every night would exfoliate the dead skin cells, which prevented my pores from getting clogged.

So that’s what works for me! I’m not saying this is the solution to everyone’s skin problems. But I think face wash in general, even a gentle one like the one I use, dries out your face and causes acne. I’ve read that dry skin causes your oil glands to overproduce to compensate for the dryness. Oil is good for your face, but too much of it can clog your pores, causing acne. Actually, I read a tip years ago from a girl who had dealt with acne suggesting that in the morning you should just wash your face with water and that’s it, since your face is already clean from the previous night’s washing. I implemented this tip earlier this year and saw some improvements. But avoiding soap altogether has been the best solution for my skin problems.

The downside is that I don’t wear make-up as often as I used to since if I do put it on then that means I have to wash it off with a facial cleanser. Sadly, I look really haggard without make-up. But it’s so nice not to have pimples and whiteheads dotting my face. I do have occasional breakouts of course depending on my menstrual cycle, but I’ve seen a 90% reduction. Seriously.

So this is my simple skin care regimen for reducing acne breakouts: 
:: Avoid wearing make-up or wear it as infrequently as possible
:: At night, gently scrub your face with a warm, damp washcloth (avoid soap or any facial cleanser!); follow with toner and moisturizer
:: In the morning, either don’t wash your face or only use water

Last Thursday I completed a 6-week drawing course at Emily Carr. It was the first drawing class I ever took, and boy did it ever put me out of my comfort zone. I really suck at drawing, and guess what? I don’t enjoy doing things I suck at. So this class was like squirming in a dentist chair the whole time. Nevertheless I learned a lot, and my drawing skills have improved a bit.

Before I took the class, if you had asked me to sketch a human figure, I would have produced something by drawing sticks. Now I can actually sketch a somewhat realistic looking person, but only if he’s nude (I don’t know yet how to draw on clothes). While I was putting together my portfolio to present in the last class, I was like, “Did I really draw that?”

I attempted to draw a person sitting on the chair above and failed miserably. It quickly became apparent that not only are people difficult in life, they are even more difficult to draw.

Taking this drawing course really pushed me to use my imagination and made me realize that I really need to exercise that part of my brain.

You can see my drawing portfolio here.

Holly over at Decor8 is hosting a Stripe Mania Party. This was my submission (sporting my new vintage sunglasses!):

At Kits Beach

You can see all the participants showing off their stripes here. Very fun to see.

I love wearing stripes so I really enjoyed participating in this virtual endeavor.

I finally did it. I got a Twitter account. And I feel very lost in Twitter-land. The fact that it’s supposed to be simple and yet I don’t get it makes me feel very old.

Anyway, I can be found @laxtoyvr.

We have a loud neighbour problem. He blasts his music at random times during the day, like 5 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 2 a.m. It’s been like that since we moved in more than a year ago. We’ve complained to the building manager, who’s given him numerous warnings, but he doesn’t seem to give a shit.

Now that he’s acquired a girlfriend, who seems to have moved in with him, we’re subject to her vocal theatrics when they have sex. And in the last couple days they’ve taken up the habit of having loud sex at 4:30 a.m. That’s right. 4:30 A.M. Really, is that really necessary? You can’t let the ol’ cock just lie until at least sunrise?

I’m a light sleeper and being woken up by loud sex noise, which is coming from his bedroom that is separated from our bedroom by at least his living room and kitchen, sucks (yeah, she’s really loud). Once I wake up, I can’t go back to sleep. Needless to say, I’ve been very sleep deprived and feeling like a zombie during the day.

We’re hoping he gets evicted real soon. Meanwhile, I’m debating if I should post a note similar to the one above.

christmas tree ornament

By this time in November, I usually get into the swing of Christmas, but not this year. I’m not feeling it. I get annoyed when I hear Christmas music while I’m out and about – and I normally LOVE Christmas music. I guess I’m just not ready. It came too fast this year. And also I was super annoyed that some stores started putting up holiday decorations in October, way before Halloween. WTF?

Anyway, the Christmas season doesn’t really kick off for me until Advent, which this year begins the last Sunday of November. Hopefully by then I’ll be in a more Yuletide-ish mood.

I don’t know which font I hate more: Papyrus or Comic Sans. Both offend my eyes whenever I see them. If a business uses either I will seriously reconsider being a customer.

My mother calls the Dude an angel, which I find very amusing because I thought hell-bound atheists aren’t qualified to be angels.

In the beginning of our relationship, I was worried sick about what my conservative Christian parents would think about my being with a non-Christian guy. Well, it turns out I really had nothing to fret about because they absolutely adore him. I sometimes seriously think they love him more than me. Well, he’s a lot nicer to them than I am so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised if they fawn over him more than me. Ha!

Nevertheless, my mother still reminds me each time we talk on the phone to pray for my husband’s salvation.