Pam by the Sea

Musings on knitting, crafting, all things beautiful, and life. Life being the most beautiful of all!

Bag wants!

I am currently in serious want of a new bag. I have a great bag for work that fits everything, but it’s too bigand heavy for carrying around all day. Thanks to my Mom who got me this bag a few Christmas’s ago! I still get compliments on it years later, and it still is in great shape.


Joe and I usually take a nice long walk on the weekend, and I want a bag for when we’re out and about, and I don’t need to carry 5 million things. I’m currently using my free (!) Micks Nuts tote bag which is alright, but it would be nice to have something more… permanent. Here are a few that I am lusting after.

First up is Nancybird, an amazing Australian label with awesome bags, scarves and homewares. I think I first saw them on Miss Moss, and when I visited their site I fell in love with this bag:



I am now stalking eBay to try and find it, because they are all sold out! I even emailed the company to see if they had any left. Not that I have the budget for it right now, but anywhoo…. If anyone has this bag and wants to give/ sell it to me, PLEASE CONTACT ME!!! The love I have for this bag runs deep and true.

Since it seems that I won’t get my perfect bag, Nancybird has some other awesome choices. Their scarf bags are great because you can use them folded down in a smaller size, or readjust the straps for a larger bag. Super useful!


The honey scarf bag is really nice, and I like that it uses yellow and gray leather. 



The black scarf bag is also really nice, and the print makes it unique. 



Aargh, this print haunts me! Seriously, CALL ME IF YOU HAVE THIS BAG AND NO LONGER WANT TO HAVE IT!

Another bag I would like to own is one that will fit my laptop. My laptop bag was stolen a few years ago (along with my and Joe’s laptops from our apartment), and I would love to have this Shelter Prickley Mountain bag as an awesome replacement:



It’s just so cool and unique. 

Now I’m heading off, carrying my worldly possessions in one bag and my laptop in another.


Music loving: Bat for Lashes

A new music loving for you! The new Bat for Lashes album is beautiful! Her writing process was really interesting to read about, and her creativity really comes out. Some favourites:

The video is so beautiful and stark.

Very ’80’s.

Perfect fall music. It’s spring here, but my internal clock still says fall! Enjoy!

Men’s sandals

Men, I have to tell you something- shoe manufacturers are screwing you over, big time. You are all really getting shafted and it’s time to stand up and do something about it. Your sandal options are SO UGLY. Just really, really awful. Google “men’s sandals” if you want to have a good laugh/ get nightmares.

The search started because it’s going to get really HOT here soon, and it would be nice if Joe could wear something other than shoes. He can’t wear flip flops because they hurt his feet. I’m working him up to Birkenstocks, but I can understand his hesitation. They are SERIOUSLY they only totally non-ugly men’s sandal options I can think of.

Here are some of the offenders I found on google in 5 minutes:


Ugh. Men, just don’t do this! You’re not going kayaking right this second, are you?


Are you??!!


Wow, I can really see these looking great on Joe. 😐


Jesus called. He wants his shoes back.


Ooh, so shiny!


Okay, these aren’t sandals, but please guys, don’t make your feet resemble bricks!

And I could go on. Seriously, what’s a guy to do? Does anyone have some good sandal options for Joe?


For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted a Vespa! The reality is that I will probably never get one because they’re fairly impractical and dangerous, but it’s fun dreaming. My friend Iaidine has one, and she offered to take me for a ride! We met up at the Saturday West End Markets on a nice, hot day and I hopped on.


I was really nervous! They are quite tippy, and also I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact I was wearing a tank top and workout pants. If I fell off, I was losing some skin! My dad and uncle were big motorcycle racers in their day, and I’ve heard the horror stories. When I mentioned that to Iaidine, she said, “well, it’s Brisbane”! It’s so casual here, and people are definitely more chill about safety.

Anywhoo, we were just fine! The highlight was driving down the main strip of West End! I pretended that everyone was looking at us thinking we were so cool, but in reality I don’t think anyone noticed. 🙂

Summer scarves

When I first got to Brisbane, it was still quite hot and steamy. A lot of the stores I walked by had light scarves for sale, and I wondered why the heck anyone would need a scarf in 35 degrees?! I think I finally have it figured out! First, I’m now cold when the temperature drops below 22, and have turned into a wimp. At night with a cool breeze in summer, I can totally expect I would want a scarf. Also, I hate wearing sunscreen (although I do because I’m so pale!), and I definitely want a summer scarf for those times when you pop out for lunch or a walk, and want to cover your shoulders and neck from the rays. Here are a few I am definitely coveting:

The first two come from Scout and Catalogue. The woman who started the company used to be a designer for Aritzia, and left that to start her own company. Her prints and styles are inspired by her love of Mexico, and the beachy prints are amazing. At the top of my list is the Nomad Scarf in indigo (all photos from Scout and Catalogue):

I love how light it looks, and its large size.

The next one I love is not really a summer scarf since it’s made partly of wool, but it’s too beautiful not to post here! It’s the Geometric Cloud scarf from Scout and Catalogue:

Someone in Canada please buy it for winter!

The other summer scarves I’m lusting after are from Nancybird, an Australian company that I’m totally obsessed with. They have really amazing accessories, including some nice scarves.

The first I love is the Lobster scarf (all images via Nancybird’s shop):

And their Scallop scarf is awesome too:

Both scarves are big enough to wrap around your neck like a large bandana, or cover the shoulders after a day at the beach.

What accessories are you loving right now?

Music loving: Purity Ring

The latest Music Loving features the Canadian band Purity Ring. Their latest album, Shrines, is really relaxing and an awesome mix of the singer’s pure, beautiful voice and electronic beats.

My favourite song is Fineshrine:

and I also really love Lofticries:

and Shrines:


Nourishing my inner hippie

Haha, that title was so hippie!

I am a scientist, and I generally think quite critically about cure-alls and ridiculous “weird old tricks”. But, I sometimes do get sucked in, and I have two examples! I was about to type that I have three examples since I LOVE acupuncture. It’s the only thing that works for my seasonal allergies. But that’s not a weird old trick! It’s real science and medicine! Anywhoo, on to two of my hippie tendencies:

Yesterday at the Eumundi markets I bought a Himalayan salt crystal lamp ($29).

I’ve wanted one of these for a while, and Joe has been wanting to buy me one as a present. I half wanted one because they are pretty, and half because the ocean puts out ions that make you happy, and since we’re not near the ocean, the salt lamp could kind of fill in that gap. Yeah, I know it’s ridiculous. Here are some of the things these lamps are supposed to do:

  • Reduce the amount of clearing you need to do in your home. (This was told to me, Jodie and Kim by the really nice woman who sold me the lamp. Our blank looks prompted her to elaborate that you would have to burn less incense because the air would already be cleared. Oooohhh. I thought she meant “cleaning”, and Kim thought she was trying to say there would be less clutter in your home. Now we know! Ugh, I hate incense)
  • Release negative ions into the air that combats the positive ions that electronics emit (silly I know, but this is the one I kind of believe)
  • Reorganize the epidermis of the skin (wow, Joe won’t recognize me when he gets home!)
  • Clean the air of dust, pollen, allergens and odours
  • Fight chronic fatigue, depression, and seasonal affective disorder
  • Helps with allergies, joint pain and illness
  • Detoxifies the body from impurities
  • Dissolves the lead, arsenic, mercury in your body (Just dissolves them! Amazing!)
  • Cures pretty much any other ailment you can think of  (Source. I love how the English gets worse the further down the page you read.)

So really, you can see that it is the perfect medicine. It’s a wonder more people don’t know about them 😐

Another magic cure-all is apple cider vinegar, or ACV as I now call it, like a true believer ($12).

I bought it because I read online that it can help clear your hair of gunk and make it really soft. My hair has been a bit crazy in Brisbane- fuller but it gets feeling greasy very quickly, and can be quite dry at the ends. Anywhoo, I diluted 1/3 of a cup in water, poured it over my head after shampooing, combed it through, left in on for a few minutes and rinsed. I have to say that it really works- my hair is much softer now! If you try it, keep your eyes closed! It really stings if it splashes in.

I’m also going to start taking 1 tbsp diluted in water every day, as I’ve read that it can make your skin look really clear and nice. Why not, right? I sipped it through my metal, reusable straw so that it didn’t touch my teeth, as it’s a really strong acid and can dissolve enamel.

While the skin-clearing thing is a hippie indulgence, I thought I would let you know all of the other “amazing” things it does, according to the internet (while those links are normal-looking, so many of the ACV sites look homemade and crazy. Like, if you’re going to make a website for ACV saying that it can cure blindness, maybe use all of the same size colour and font? Make it clear and concise? A bit more professional?!):

  • Detoxes the body (I really think detoxes are a load of sh&*. First of all, I don’t really think your liver can “detoxify”, second, just don’t eat crap to begin with and you’re good to go!)
  • Cures allergies, sinus problems, cold, and flu (don’t think so, but here’s hoping!)
  • Cures diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer and causes weight loss (these have actually been studied, and may be true, but grain of salt and all of that)
  • Helps with gout and heartburn (this I can actually believe, as those are acid-related issues)
  • Treats lice and warts (happily, I can not test ACV out on these as I don’t have either)

I’ve also read in other places it can clear up bruises, psoriasis, menstrual cramps, pretty much anything! I even read if you have a cold, soak a piece of brown paper in ACV, coat one side of it in black pepper, and place it pepper-side down on your chest. Then relax. Why the paper has to be brown, I have no idea.

So, for hair I give ACV a thumbs up, and for skin, I’ll report back in a month with before and after photos! What hippie indulgences do you allow yourself? Any magical cure-alls I should know about?

Eumundi and Noosa

Yesterday was wonderful! I took a break from working and looking for jobs to go with my friends Jodie and Kim to Noosa! They live in Townsville, but are on vacation. It was a lovely and relaxing day!

We started off heading to the Eumundi markets, which I think are always on Wednesday mornings and maybe on the weekend as well? I’ve heard great things about this place, but I have to say I think Australians have a very high tolerance for crap markets. I was hoping for lots of local art and crafts, and I saw only three stalls like that. The rest were just shite toys, kids clothes, crap jewellery and clothing, bathmats (?) and tacky plastic stuff. There were some great food stalls, but I really wouldn’t plan your schedule around this place. I should really organize a local crafts market for Brisbane! I did buy one, very hippy thing that I’ll put in another post.

After that, it was off to Noosa! What a wonderful place!

We lounged by the beach, and went on a nice walk along the coast. I was very jealous of all of the surfers, I wish I lived at the beach so I could get really good! We saw some humpback whale blows as we were walking, which was really great. I got home feeling refreshed and beachy (although I think I have a little cold now! Oh well!).

Thanks Jodie and Kim!

The wonderful City Cat

Brisbane has great public transport, much as Brisbanites like to complain about it. I always get a seat, the buses are really frequent in my area, and everyone is really polite and nice. Plus Brisbane has the City Cat! It’s like the Seabus in Vancouver, but you can sit and stand out on deck if you want, and it goes up and down the Brisbane river, stopping at different points along the way. Joe takes it a quick 5 minutes to work every day, and we sometimes take it home from an evening out, feeling very luxurious.

On the weekend, Joe and I were taking a walk and noticed the City Cat was veering off its usual route towards the walking path, like so:

Joe and I stopped to figure out what was going on, and the answer was wonderful:

That round thing sailing through the air is a soccer ball! The ferry saw it in the water, veered off course to pick it up, and threw it back on shore. Everyone cheered and clapped. People here are amazingly nice!

Excellent Ekka!

A few weeks ago Joe and I went to the Brisbane Exposition, known as the Ekka, because Australians love their nicknames. I was super stoked about it, because I LOVE fairs! It all stems from the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, where I would dream of becoming a farmer. No butter sculpting at the Ekka though 😦

It did have lots of animals! And food! And, since we went on a workday, thankfully not too many people. It was a great day, best shown in photos:


Nice Army Guy let Joe get into his truck. Didn’t bother trying to recruit that Canadian though.

The alpaca man let me pet his alpaca, but it didn’t like it. The guy told me his alpaca had never been in a pen. Why not start at a huge festival with thousands of people, right?!

They had a weird section where groups put together dioramas made out of the local produce from their area. This was one of the better ones. And this one, from a local high school group, was one of the worst:

Not sure why they were trying to show a cow’s innards. I think it won “Honourable Mention”.

They had a very nice flower section!

Next we moved on to the dogs:

Adorable Brussels Griffon!

Aussie shep!

I’ve never seen a long-haired weirmaraner before.

Next we moved on to the big guns: FARM ANIMALS. My favourite! They’re all such cuties! This guy greeted us in the petting zoo:

He was just scratching his side on the fence, nbd.

We bought containers of food to feed the little guys.


They were a wee bit aggressive!

Ayesha feeding a little calf. Not sure if they’re supposed to eat this stuff, but they wanted it!

If you put that cup anywhere close to goat-head level, they would go after it!

Cutie! I love baby goats! When I volunteered at the Australia Zoo, my favourite animal was a naughty baby goat called Hamish.

When I was little, I read all of the James Herriot books, and really wanted to be a country vet. To my delight and wonder, the Ekka had a birthing suite for sheep! It was a glassed in room where you could watch sheep give birth, and I just happened upon it right when one of the ewes birthed! It was amazing- everyone watching, kids included, clapped!

I’ll spare you the afterbirth photo, but we hung around for a while until she birthed that too. Then it was on to lunch! 🙂


Here’s Karen enjoying her post-lunch dessert. The classic Ekka treat is a strawberry ice cream. Which sounds yuck at first, but it was amazing! All of the ingredients were fresh from Queensland, and it was vanilla ice cream topped with strawberries topped with real strawberry ice cream topped with whipped cream topped with a strawberry. Soooo good! After lunch, it was back to more farm animals.


This was a brahman cow, which are known for being buggers. Not this one I guess!


This guy wasn’t even a year old yet and weighed 934 kgs!

After that we explored the crafting area, and saw a lot of horrible paintings, scary dolls, bad knitwear and beautiful cakes. It was a weird melding of horrible and wonderful, which I guess sums up the crafting world! Then we went to the “showbags” area, which is what Ekka is kind of known for. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but what I got was a warehouse full of plastic crap and candy you could buy for slightly cheaper than in a dollar store. A showbag is a plastic bag filled with the combinations of crap you desire. We bought a $3 chocolate showbag, and regretted it. Inside, I saw a baby (less than a year old) in a stroller holding a plastic machine gun. He pointed it right at me and pretended to shoot. I try not to judge parents, but COME ON!

The last exhibit we saw was the woodchopping. It was really cool! The guys had to chop slats in their log, insert a “step” into the slat, jump onto the step holding his axe, and chop a new slat a bit higher. Their goal was to take a chunk off the top of the log. I realize that probably made no sense, but just look at that picture and try and imagine chopping wood while standing on a rickety, bendy step! The guy who won was so, so fast. We saw some carnie girls who looked like trouble waiting for him after the show!


Something I don’t have pictures of is the hilariously bad show that we watched at the end of the night. They have fireworks every night at the Ekka, but to hold people off a bit they have a show in this ring. They declared it “the best show on earth!” I peed my pants laughing at how lame it was! They had two guys riding horses around the ring to ACDC. They had a chariot race, where the winner was busting out of his charioteer’s outfit. They had a gag duo of lady clowns. They had precision drivers, who used Toyota Hylux cars to “dance”. They had the guys on horses again, this time joined, inexplicably, by a man in a horse suit. I can’t even begin to describe, but if you ever go to the Ekka, for sure stay for the show, and get ready to bust a gut.

A wonderful day had by all!

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