Forging on

I’ve been meaning to post this for almost a month – March and April and June (WTF!? Why haven’t I posted this yet!?) have come and gone and left us dazed and blinking in the finally warm sun.
I’ve had a tough couple of months, notably because I hurt my knee in a freak occurrence of IDon’tKnowWhat. Much more on this at some point. But it started off well – because the first Sunday of March found my Dad and I engaged in some seriously kickass father-daughter bonding…by way of the hammer! We took a beginner blacksmithing course! *Erika beams and strikes another item off the bucket list*
I’ve been wanting to learn about blacksmithing for pretty much my whole life. Don’t believe me? Please. I’m serious. Don’t question the chick with the hammer…

Happy making (a diversion of sorts…)

Hi. It’s been awhile. What you don’t know is that I’ve been writing this very long draft of a neat thing that I did back in March, but it’s taking awhile because I have too much to say about it. Also, I have no time these days. But I promise you, it’s on it’s way.
Because I’ve been so AWOL, I thought I’d sweeten the deal, end the silence and check in with something kinda wonderful. We all need a little more easily-attainable-wonderful these days, especially in light of all the complex-terrible we’ve witnessed lately. So here’s something wonderful and easy. My gift to you.
Mr. Rooth and I have embarked on a pretty significant lifestyle change – we have jumped on the Paleo bandwagon. I’ll be writing more on this at a later date, ’cause I’m just so damn enthused about it, but what began as a 30 day challenge to reset our taste buds, conquer our sugar addiction and give our systems a break has become something so much more. It has been a life changing 30 day challenge. No foolin’.
Anyhow, I’m starting to fancy myself a decent chef of late because when you go paleo, you spend a lot of time in your kitchen.

My de(e)ar ones…

Hey hi, it’s been a little longer than I expected since I posted, I’m blaming the expedited passage of time due to February’s sweet ninja-style takeover of January. So nice of it to actually be winter this year, and Feb. so far is no exception. I can’t even get all that angry at Feb for it’s strong-arm time-bending tactics. It’s the birthday month of my peop…of me, so I’ve always stood up for Feb, even when it was being a jerk. It’s a pretty efficient month, it’s good at what it does. Get’s the job done in 28 days, with no help, ‘cause everyone’s bitchin’ about how it’s sooooo cold, and it’s Feb already, and waaaahhh winter and whatnot. Feb just keeps on doing it’s thing, being all February and such. That’s tenacity. Mad respect for February, amiright?


Ok, fine, I’m the ONLY one’s who’s right. Dudes, it gave us a SNOWDAY. ON A FRIDAY. February, I could hug you! Moving on…


So, three (3!) day, intermittent headaches do not make a good Erika. It says it right there in my owners manual, on page 3, right alongside the instructions to call me adorable pet names from the 50′s like ‘toots’ and to feed me bacon periodically. Don’t tell me you didn’t read the manual…

So, after *weeks* of  hot anticipation, impractical worry (is there such thing practical worry? And discuss…), tactical schedule planning and wishful budget planning, I found out this afternoon that I was not accepted in the Etsy Seller Section of the spring One of  Kind show happening in Toronto at the end of March. For the hour immediately following my reading that email, I was crushed. Fully crushed. I embraced the crushedness. I fucking pouted. At work. Big lower-lip-out-male-coworkers-avoid-making-eye contact-so-as-not-to-engage-female-emotional-response pouting. EPIC pouting. As usual no reason was given (I didn’t expect one) and the email was clunkily and hastily written, copied, pasted, complete with typo (SRSLY?) and I was honestly more angry about the typo than not getting in. Well, sort of. I miserably posted to Twitter, copied it to FB, wah wah wahhhhhh me… I even went so far as to complain on Twitter about how I neeevvvver get into big shows, blah blah bitch blah, and then called out @cityofcraft in my rant, mentioning how I’ve been applying to them for years and nooo dice. And then something cool happened. They responded. And a conversation ensued.

14 and a half months later…

You know what the best part of not posting/paying attention to your website for 14 1/2 months is? It’s facing the backlog of hilariously whack-job, robot-created spam comments like this:

“Howdy are choosing WordPress to your web site system? Iam new at all to the blog world but. Iam looking to get started out and hang up my personal. Also i discovered Drupal is fine. Sees my own selection…. Helpful publish, thank you.”

Dude, srsly,  I CANNOT tell you how badly Iam looking to get started out and hang up my personal as well. Dammit. High fives all around. My abandoned comments panel was the best laugh I’ve had in a while. Thanks robots!

So, to reiterate. I have spent the past year hanging up my personal. I have been terrified, actually terrified of posting. What the fuck is there for me to say? <THERE’S TOO MUCH TO SAY.> I spent a year feeling challenged and CHALLENGED and terrified and bitter and happy and sad and sore. So, like a year, right? We all have that shit. Why pretend my take on it all is going to be any different? Does anyone care? Is it even helpful for me to post anything remotely personal? What’s the impact for you? For me? For the planet…the fiscal cliff…for Bieber…for BLAHBLAHMOTHERFUCKINGBLAH.

There is no point. You want to know who I am and how/why I make things, I’m assuming. I guess that’s pretty simple. I guess that’s why I’m now back, with a slightly clearer head about the whole blog thing. I actually aimed to start another blog this year, over at, thinking “oh yeah, I’ll just post all my messy emotional, Erika-on-a-soapbox, ranting shit over there, and keep all pristine and process-oriented. Yeah, that’ll be the ticket!” I really thought that was the decision that would change how I felt about blogging.

Nope, no ticky, no posty. Dude, like, I totally thought have two blogs would be, like, easier, or something. So, clever me, not only did I set myself up to fail at posting at ONE blog, I now get to rock at failing at TWO blogs! AWESOME! I am the queen of multi-failing!!! ALL HAIL MULTI-FAIL!

WTF was I thinking!? I was doing it again! I mean, setting oneself up for failure is the self-made, emotional equivalent to a delicate domino-balancing-project, and something that I pretty well rock at… so many little steps, such a gorgeously built-up execution, big fucking mess afterwards. I’m glad I tricked to my pattern only a few dominoes in this time. So, I’m here. Posting stupid brainbarf here. ‘Cause this is part of where Antoinette Design lives, and it now finally (finally. FINALLY.) occurs to me that if you’re here, reading my blog, you probably want to know about me. So here I am.

(…still haven’t figured out what I’m gonna do with…)

It gets clearer (the muddier it gets)

So, it’s October. I last posted in Feb-broohaha. Let’s just leave it at that.
A summer happened, some stuff went down, we’re all still alive, there’s a half-finished bottle of red on the kitchen counter, a studio upstairs with supplies in it, an amazing husband working off to my right, right now, and coffee money in my wallet (I think.)
So things are… pretty good, I think. Considering that Thanksgiving was yesterday, I’m still feeling thankful for the little things that have kept it all together…it’s always the little things.
I’m not going to lie – I basically have nothing else to say of any value other than ‘I’m still here.’ Yup, that’s what I’m breaking my 7 month silence to announce. So much change is afoot, which is pretty common for this season, and I feel like inhaling it, eating it, bathing in it, screaming at it, wearing it, punching it and shouting it. Very little about change is actually comfortable or really even appealing when it’s going down, but it’s like that cold, autumn breeze – it’s cold, and it speaks of goddamn colder, but still, it feels good to inhale.
Can you tell I’m spending a lot of time inside my head? To say I’ve been doing some soul-searching is an understatement. All my shit is SO right up in front of me, most of it concerning my beloved Antoinette Design, and some not-so-beloved beliefs that are choking me. I’m not gonna get into writing about it…I don’t want to be here all night writing and crying and drinking, but if you were here with me right now I’d be able to express all of this in-my-face shit with bell-like clarity through a stunning choreography of dance moves, gibberish and jazz-hands. I’ll let you know when tickets are on sale…
You know, dear readers, that I will elaborate on all this in-my-face-shit *eventually*, but until then, here are some pretty places that I’ve visited this summer, thankfully outside of my head…

Tobermory - May 2011

Tobermory - May 2011

We went to the beach. It was sandy. There was candy.

I remembered that I could make prettiness with weeds

I fell in love with Montreal. Again.

And again.

And again.

My heart grew 4 sizes this night...

We found wild right around the corner


January: check.

This is not a blog post. It’s a random collection of debris from the January that was. Is anyone else feeling deeply disturbed that it is already February? Or am I feeling disturbed enough for all of us?

This is how the month started...with a madman (my father) ringing in the new year with the annual bottling of horseradish. The fumes were redolent of tear gas and love.

Due to the new year’s double bitch-slap of cold and post-holiday poverty, we’ve been eating a lot of pho to keep warm. It costs just $8 for a bathtub full of awesomeness. Near our most favorite pho restaurant, there is a Sherwin Williams store whose logo caught our eye one night…Sherwin Williams and I go way back, as my last job involved my having to understand their paint tinting systems, so I was familiar with most of the branding – BUT NOT THIS. Good god, who the hell approved this logo for public release!?

There are no words...

So yes, the weather’s been cold, ’cause, you know, it was JANUARY, so when we haven’t been lighting our inner fires with Richard’s Excellent Horseradish, we have been huddling together for warmth.

Rama and Mr. Rooth

Here’s further proof that January was here:

Bits of a year

I’m not gonna lie. I suck at this blog upkeep thing. It’s fine, I’m cool with it. I’ve owned it. It’s my reality. I’m conscious of this manifestation…insert all other platitudes that will absolve me of my concern here.

2010 was…was? It’s over? WTF? Obviously I’ve been really *aware* lately…I haven’t been able to come up with random things to talk about here, I’ve all but dropped out of the Twitter and FB scenes and I’ve barely made anything in months. Except for a new home. At least I have that to show for all of my recent hermitty-ness.

I don’t want to get into rehashing the move, or ‘the year in review’ or my plans for 2011 or how much things are great/annoying/exciting/exhausting, so I’ve decided that this first post of the new year will consist of nothing more than a list, some pix and maybe a few captions. Besides, I’ve got to get to bed sooner than later.


I got a very nice invitation in my inbox today, from my spectacular Mom.
And, holy shit did it bring up a lot stuff in my brain today, as communication with my Mom sometimes(often) does. And this was just an e-vite…that’s it.
But it was an e-vite to a home jewelry party, for a company that sounds like it was named after a steamy, Latin dance step, that specializes in ‘hand-crafted’ sterling silver jewelry. Low growl. Groan. Facepalm.
To be honest, and that’s all I’m being here, while I totally want to hang out with my Mom, and would do so at a ghastly home sales party if it was the only opportunity to see her (awww…) I really wouldn’t attend a home jewelry party like this because of a few reasons. First, my ego. I’d totally look at everything thinking “I could prolly make that” even if I couldn’t. I’m kind of irritating that way. Secondly, my doubt.

Yup, February.

Yeah, I know. That’s the last time I posted…

At this point I’m just going to be honest and say “I have no frikken idea what to post about.” I have blog-block. I have pseudo-performance anxiety. I have had next to no spare time, my life has served me a series of hugs and bitch-slaps, I have a deep need to stay the f**k away from my computer on weekends, I have too many excuses…

Screw it…the best thing for me to do is to repress the rising feeling of blog-barf itching in my fingertips, ignore the assumed need to write about every last thing that has happened to me in that last 6 months and instead focus on something succinct, creative, concrete…and a bit geeky-exciting…well, for me…