Hello and Welcome

Hunting in the deep dark woods and further creative ventures


Sunday Morning

This is a perfect start to a morning. I am sitting at the vanity in my bedroom, applying eye liner and listening to BBC radio 6. The song playing is 'Sunday Morning' by The Velvet Underground. Times like this are perfect for me. Perfect settings where I feel like my life is something beautiful and could have a film based on it. Unless my life is a film, and that's why songs tend to follow me around and come on at the perfect time.

What's neat about BBC Radio 6 is it seems to fit in my life perfectly.. So long as I am listening to Steve Lamacq or something and Malconie. It's always such good music, and often music that I, myself, listen to.

Long story short, sitting at a vanity to do make up and prepare for my day makes me feel like some kind of aristocrat. Of course in my imagination it would. If I were in the 18th-19th centuries, people would be visiting me right now, and my servants would be giving me hot chocolate so I wouldn't pass out.



I'm back in the city, and for the first supper I actually cooked for myself, I made some France-aghetti. I derived the name from the fact that it's shaped pasta from France, all in the shapes of famous French architecture.
Delicious and educational!
 I have a habit of mixing things into my pasta sauce. Today's combination was tomato pasta sauce, cinnamon (yes, cinnamon- it's delicious with tomatoes), kalamada olives, and a side of pita bread from Opa! Om nom nom.
Remember that pasta in the shapes of things raises the fun of the pasta by a minimum of 40%.


Little Red

It's a beautiful Sunday morning in this month of August. The month is almost drawing to a close, and it seems that the summer is, as well. Due to the fact I am exhausted from staying up too late, I decided that it would be a good day for another adventure in the world of Etsy shops. I felt that it was time for another Red Riding Hood theme. However, this Red Riding Hood selection is a bit more subtle and not as blatant in his fairy tale roots. They are still there, yes, but I mostly chose items that focus on symbols and ideas from the story, rather than being a direct representation of. Though there are some of those in here, too.

Sprightly & Co.
Enjoy your last week of summer, everyone. I myself am looking forward to the fall. Except for the short days. I do enjoy the long stretches of daylight... You can get so much done!


The mythical creature of the day (or whatever period of time) is the Brontosaurus.

Pictured here, in its original habitat.
At this moment, you are probably thinking "Brontosaurus? Mythical creature? No way. It's a dinosaur. It found the T. rex. Right?"

To think such a thing, is in fact, incorrect. There is no such thing as a brontosaurus. Let me explain.

Once upon a time, there were these two palaeontologists. They were Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh. They were rivals, and partook in the whole big shenanigan known as The Bone Wars, or, The Great Dinosaur Rush. This took place in the 19th century, when palaeontology was becoming a thing, and people were starting to question god and religion. Cope and Marsh hated each other, and both of them wanted to be the best palaeontologist ever, with the most dinosaur discoveries to his name. Now, both did find quite a few, and are responsible for many of the prehistoric discoveries we have today. However, both made their mistakes.

Edward Drinker Cope. Shown here, pre-syphilis, with one heck of a skull. 
Edward Drinker Cope, also known as E.D. Cope, or one of the more interesting people to enter the field of palaeontology, was born in 1840, and was responsible for many interesting finds. Along with being a palaeontologist, he was also a ghost hunter, and is believed to have died of syphilis (Note: DO NOT GET SYPHILIS. Want to experience horror? Look up syphilis). His only big mistake during the bone wars was putting the skull on the wrong side of a type of elasmosaurus. An elasmosaur is a type of long-neck plesiosaur, a t marine reptile who would have lived in North America about 75+ million years ago, when a great portion of the continent was an inland sea. The elasmosaur is supposed to have a long neck with with a short tail, but Cope messed that up and put the head on the side with the tail, making it a short neck with a long tail. Eventually, his mistake came to light. A decently sized mistake, but not as big as Marsh's fault.

Othniel Charles Marsh. Pictured here looking like a  far less jolly  version of Santa Claus.
Othniel Charles Marsh, from this point forth referred to only as "Marsh" was born in 1831, and in many ways, is far less interesting in comparison to someone like E.D. Cope. He did find more species of dinosaurs than Cope, but he was responsible for the dinosaur known as the Brontosaurus.

The Brontosaurus is actually the combination of an Apatosaurus and another dinosaur. Thus... not a real thing. Any more.

So, now when someone calls this guy:

The proud Apatosaurus
Or this guy:
The delightful and likely polite Brachiosaurus
Or any of the long-neck dinosaurs (or sauropods), or that matter, a Brontosaurus, you can say "No, it is not a thunder lizard. It is a different type of dinosaur that looks slightly similar but is in fact, actually real."

Also, a sauropod and a T.rex would not engage in battle. Sauropods like Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus, and so on, are Jurassic creatures. A Tyrannosaurus rex, on the other hand, is a Cretaceous creature.

And yes. Most of what Jurassic Park told you is a lie.


Pretty Updo

When I make my hair pretty, I think of debutantes and southern bells and dancing in pretty 1800s dresses. Why, yes. I do live in a heavily romanticised world. However, I am not an 1800s southern belle, or anything of the sort. However, I am able to make my hair look pretty. And if I am ever invited to a fancy party or an event in which I have to look like a princess, I'm covered!


If only I had jewels and fancy dresses. Some day. I'm not sure how to explain how I did the above. I did a weird braiding technique that combines waterfall braids with my own creation (I think?). I fastened it with an elastic, but I should have used hairpins. I shall save that for a day when I am in a dress made of silks, and covered from head to toe in fancy jewels. Speaking of, have some extravagant jewels and dresses!

Christian Dior
Extravagant 18th century hairdo... My pretty hair is nothing compared to this.
That kind of went on a tangent. Apparently when I'm not a 19th century bell in pretty dresses, I'm an 18th century aristocrat. I just enjoy pretty and extravagant things. 


Waking up with painful headaches is the worst. Especially when you were planning to get things done on that day. Now, I feel lousy, or... crumby (crumb... crummy... ha... ha... Forget it). I'm still not completely packed to return to the big city, and I'm dreading the next three days because I work every day up to the day I leave. Most of my things are packed, but my bedroom is a disaster and I can't leave it that way. But of course. On the day I have off to finish these things, I feel lousy beyond belief, and I don't want to get dressed. The likelihood of finishing the fencing project I was supposed to finish? Very, very, unlikely. Merp.


Carpe'd My Diem

Carpe Diem. Write that down in your copy books.

For those of you who have not witnessed Dead Poets Society or are unfamiliar with Latin phrases, Carpe diem means 'seize the day'. It is a good phrase to live by, and can be inspiring and motivational, while possibly giving you a better view on life. For those of you who haven't seen Dead Poet's Society, I encourage you to watch it.

For those of you who have seen this film, please refrain from thinking of the sad parts. Just the 'carpe diem' parts. 

Today, I carpe'd the heck out of my diem. The situation was thus.

Imagine something like this. Only a bunch of them, mixing with swallows and sparrows.

There were all of these prairie chickens around the house we rent out. I've never seen that before, but there were probably twenty of them. I was driving past them, but they weren't flying away. instead, they were just running as fast as their little chicken feet could carry them (though they're perfectly capable of flying). At this point, I evaluated my situation. 1) I'd never seen this many prairie chickens in one place at once. 2) If I ran through them, it would both clear my path, and be like those scenes in movies where people are running to do something important, and they scatter a group of pigeons. or doves. Thus, after considering this, I realized that I would never again get the chance to run through a herd (?) of prairie chickens (or birds, for that matter, other than pigeons) as they take of flying. So that's what I did. I ran through the birds and caused them to fly away (for a brief distance). It may have ruined their day, but it totally made mine.

The end. It was one of the greatest moments of my life.

First result when you type in 'exuberant' into Google images. Not necessarily 100% fitting to my cause, but I guess if I were a group of eight young adults on a beach, and I had just experienced what made me feel exuberant, I would be leaping in the same fashion. Despite the assumed battleship and UFO in the distance.

Side note: I think that cracked.com would be dazzled by my use of Google image search.


Let them eat cake

Okay, I know that most of my posts recently have been about food and food related items or activities. However, this fine August morning, I have an excuse. Or at least, what I believe to be an excuse. This post also has  nothing to do with Marie Antoinette and whether or not she said 'let them eat cake'.

I'm uncertain as to whether or not this is from the movie, being that I never saw the movie  with Kirsten Dunst. However, I'm sure that based off of this image, we can know that Marie Antoinette didn't care about the starving. She just really liked cake.
Getting to the point. Recently (and for always, really), I have been obsessed with the appearance of cakes, making cake (and cupcakes), and anything involving cake, really. Especially cupcakes. Today, I had the breakfast of champions. Tea, a butterhorn, peaches, and cake. And more cake for lunch and tea time.

 I made some white cake for the first time, night before last. This means that I have brought myself one step closer to being the perfect 1950s housewife (according to my home-maker textbook/ etiquette book from the mid-to-late 1940s). The recipe I used is Simple White Cake, which was very good. For the cake above, I used basic butter icing, but I had also made Jello Icing, which was delicious. You can find it here.
And, of course, while wrapping up the cake to take to work, I decided to make a swan. A beak-less swan, but a swan nonetheless.

Remember, a day with cake is better than a day with no cake.


Nom nom nom

Some food making successes from today...

Beef tenderloin! I've never successfully cooked beef before. Today, I got it to the proper time for cooking it, and so on. I attribute it a lot to using a recipe. Here's a link to the recipe for beef tenderloin that I used. I mostly used it as a guideline. I didn't really follow the recipe to the letter or anything, but the timing helped a lot. However, it didn't take nearly as long as it suggested it would... which was good, since our barbecue ran out of propane.

Cinnamon buns! I wanted to make cinnamon buns, but I didn't have the time or the energy to make the ones that actually rise. True, they are delicious and worth it, but easy and quick is good. The recipe is similar to a pie pastry or scone, but with the cinnamon parts and icing. They're quite small (at least for me they were), but they were very tasty, and definitely -GREAT- served warm! (as any baking is, of course). I chose to use a cream cheese icing for the glaze. I'm not sure how cream cheese-y it is, but whatever the case, it was a perfect late night snack on a rainy night. Here is the recipe for the quick cinnamon buns. Also, great news! No yeast!

Break time

Today is my day off. Inevitably, this means that I have to do even more work, but I can watch movies all day and I don't have to straighten my bangs. However, it might also mean that I don't eat any real meals until supper time, with the exception of casual "grazing" (snacking on any readily available items). One of my snacks today was home-made chocolate milk. You know, when you mix milk with chocolate syrup and it's delicious? Yeah, that.

At my house, we store everything in mason jars, regardless of whether or not it's an actual canned good. It's a good practice, really. No plastic, there's several sizes of jars, and if you need to microwave something, there are no major concerns! All around great.

Last week, I was without my rebellious water bottle, so I decided to utilize a medium-sized mason jar as a way of transporting my water to work. We have mugs and cups, but I do enjoy having a closed vessel which is absolutely and definitely mine. However, due to the nature of the appearance of a clear liquid in a mason jar, my co-workers poked fun at me, suggested that it looked like moonshine. Which, I guess it could. There is a certain hill-billy-esque air to the whole thing. Today, during my chocolate milk, I was reminded of this.

Yes. Drinking home-made chocolate milk out of a mason jar. Using a silly straw. Days off are great... Even if I am reminded of hill-billyism.


Balsamic Cream Sauce... The Impromptu Edition

Before I begin, let me just say that I hate cooking with onions, but this is one of my favourite pasta sauce recipes ever. It's extremely flavourful and very easy.

Yum? Yes, YUM!

...As long as you have all of the ingredients.

Let me introduce to you, the recipe for balsamic cream sauce (for pasta), with some new twists (courtesy of my forgetting to confirm that I had enough Parmesan cheese... which I didn't).

The recipe is thus.

  2 tablespoons butter (or) olive oil    [**I prefer butter]
  1/4 onion, minced
  2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
  1 cup heavy cream     [**I used whipping cream. The kind that comes in a carton and you have to whip yourself]
  1/2 grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: Heat butter or olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until it has caramelized to a dark, golden, brown (about 15 minutes). Stir in the balsamic vinegar, and cook for 1 minute before stirring in the chicken bouillon and cream. Bring to a simmer, and then remove from heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted. Stir sauce into cooked pasta until pasta is covered entirely.

This recipe works quite well with penne, and pairs nicely with a Waldorf salad.

Now, the fun part. As anyone who has been keeping score for a few months might know, I am the queen of impromptu baking and cooking. Meaning, I regularly encounter the time when I haven't read the recipe correctly, or I am missing the proper utensils, or I am missing one or two ingredients. Today, I will be experimenting with this recipe, to make up for lack of Parmesan. I am going to try mixing in other cheeses that I have on hand, including Provolone, Asiago, and Swiss. I know it's kind of blasphemy to mix Swiss with the other two cheeses, but I'm desperate.

Note: Hold onto your hats. This is going to get KER-A-ZEE.

Secondary Note: Hot balsamic vinegar is as painful as hot oil. Don't let the balsamic vinegar splash little specks on you.

Result: Delicious. A fine meal, and highly recommended!



I have been dappling in the drawing of a few characters, and try to give them life. Right now they are only faces, with stories that I can't get down on paper. My personal favourite is a character named Wednesday. In honour of her, I decided to do an Etsy adventure. I haven't done one for a while, and for me it seemed like a delightful idea to collect items that Wednesday herself would enjoy. A bit on the Gothic side, but somehow adorable, perhaps?

Fleet Collection
Amanda Murrin
I hope to write some comics involving Wednesday at some point... Once I get ideas, of course. Until then, I'll just keep musing and looking at items and thinking 'You know who would like this? Wednesday'.


Nostalgia and stitching calm

The above image took me a little over 40 minutes to stitch on some recycled blue cloth, on this tiny little embroidery hoop. I don't know why I don't embroider more often. It is one thing which creates a perfect little haven for me... My happy place, among many. It calms me down, and allows me to reflect upon the one thing I'm stitching out. Careful little stitches, forming near-perfect cursive writing on fabric. It's lovely. I got inspired to do so after hearing a song which inflicted an overwhelming sense of nostalgia and happiness. It resulted in a nostalgic playlist, which involved the following...

My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg) by The Ramones
KKK Took My Baby Away by The Ramones
The Seeker by The Who
My Generation by The Who
I Can See For Miles by The Who
You're Gonna Go Far, Kid by The Offspring
Self-Esteem by The Offspring

Weird selection to trigger 'nostalgia', I know. Nonetheless... It resulted in a mini bubble of serenity for myself, and the above embroidery (which may or may not be completed).

World of the Uncanny

In case you haven't heard of SC Entertainment, your time is now. SC Entertainment is a group of independent film makers and musicians located in Calgary, Alberta. They create all kinds of neat music, zines, and loads of wonderful movies. My personal favourite is A Zebra For Sally, but a very close second is Beefart & Cheenkaw. 

Among the boldest characters ever created.
Beefart & Cheenkaw is a series, with the characters first being introduced in SC Entertainment's Bobo movies. Later, they made the first instalment of the Beefart & Cheenkaw. Last year, they followed it up with Beefart & Cheenkaw: The Curse of the Dimensions of Death (Fun fact: Yours truly is in that one). You can watch both films on SC Entertainment's YouTube channel

Now... Wait for it... 

They are in the process of making yet another Beefart & Cheenkaw movie! Since they want to make it as amazing and phenomenal as humanly possible, they need money. They have started a campaign on Indie Go Go. If you contribute, you will receive any level of thank you gifts, ranging from credit on the film to having one of SC Entertainment's bands come to your house and play for you. Pretty cool, nes pas? You can find the link (and contribute, should you choose), right here. Any support is greatly appreciated. These folks are fantastic creators and artists. Watch their films, listen to their music, and enjoy! Let's make magic happen!



Not too long ago, I ordered a fantastic t-shirt. Normally I don't buy too many clothing pieces off of the internet, and I generally have to hum and  ha over it for days, until I forget about it and don't buy it at all. However, when I learned that Akumu Ink was going to cease printing my favourite design, I had to pounce on it and claim one for my own.

This is the mighty fine t-shirt, printed by Akumu Ink. Akumu means nightmare in Japanese, and because of this, many of their creative silkscreen designs are nightmarish images. I favourite ones are the Alice in Wonderland inspired ones, and of course, the Cheshire Cat caught my eye. Now... I have one! It is a fantastic shirt, and I would order many Akumu Ink t-shirts. The t-shirt is very comfortable, and the women's cut is perfect. I highly recommend the designs and the t-shirts to those who enjoy alternative designs and soft shirts. It would seem that some designs are only printed for a limited time, or a limited number of shirts.... So if you find one you like, get it fast! I don't think you'll regret it. For the record, their shirts are also available on Vampire Freak's shop (along with many other fun, gothic-type things).


Bannack, Montana

Bannack, Montana. Also known as... my own personal wonderland.

Going to the ghost town of Bannack was fantastic. In the literal, dictionary definition of the word. It was like entering into my own imagination, and being able to breathe in everything that my characters would have known. I walked the floors of the saloon, stood where solitary prisoners would have been chained, walked over the river where they would have panned for gold. I touched the walls of the hotels, and my fingers brushed the bannisters of decades old staircases. My imagination ran wild, with echoes of stories and histories. Few who go to Bannack must appreciate the gravity of standing in the spot where Henry Plummer and his gang of Innocents were hung. Those tourist families breezing through the buildings probably don't realize how much blood has been soaked into that dusty street.

During my few hours there, so many places and ideas captured my heart and soul. After falling in love with the beauty and eeriness of the Hotel Meade (it was once the courthouse, and therefore has large cell-like vaults, but besides that, it is one of the most gorgeous abandoned places I have walked in), I wandered through many houses. The wonderful and strange thing about abandoned houses is that they always feel like they have a soul, or some kind of personality. It could just be the projection of the stories you know, and you see all the happenings and what occurred. What the building was used for almost gives it a personality. Like many places in Montana, Bannack is said to have its own ghosts. I'm hugely sceptical towards ghosts, but at the same time... I almost want to believe in them. I like the idea of impressions being made, and something haunting a space or a memory. I like the idea of ghosts as an abstract idea, rather than a literal and physical thing.

All in all, Bannack is now one of those places that has made its home in all of my thoughts and ideas. Autem Mortimer has seen home, despite the horrors that will be supplied in her life. She is one of the main characters who starts off the story that I'm blotting and plotting. Bannack isn't kind to her, necessarily, but being there made her come to life.

Also, Fort Benton helped a bit, too.

I love Bannack. I can't wait to go back and spend more time. I wonder if they'd ever have an artist residency thing... where I could sleep in the buildings and have the walls whispers ideas to me. They've done a bit already, but sleep brings amazing things.

**Let the record show that all photos are copyright Emmelia Taylor 2012.

Things That Make My Day

Just a quick list....


1. Getting Chinese baking
Photo credit: DELICIOUS.
I have been going to a slight withdrawal, in relation to my typical consumption of Chinese baking. I get it from the Lambda Oriental Market on Centre Street, in Calgary. They make the best BBQ pork buns in the city. I base this off of an actual study, in which I tried as many available pork buns as I could find, and yes. Theirs are the absolute best.

2. Finding a leopard/cheetah print hoodie (with EARS!)
For a while, I have been coveting leopard print hoodies, especially those with ears. Ones that look like this:
Photo credit: Attitude Clothing Co.
I generally avoid buying clothing online, unless I am extremely desperate for something, or I know it will fit me (like t-shirts). Thus, I was delighted (no, exuberant) to find one at Stitches for only $20. Fantastic? Oh, yes. And no shipping costs!

3. Remembering that I now own Sourpuss oven mitts!
I bought these beauties from Blame Betty, on 17th Ave. in Calgary. I've been drooling over this print for a while, and desperately wanted a skirt with the same design. However, they had an oven mitt/pad set, and since I love to bake... what better way? I adore it.