A Tribe Called Red are one of my favourite music groups, and if you’ve never heard of them…you’re welcome in advance.
I could try to sound like Pitchfork or Rolling Stone when describing their music, using lines such as “opting for heart-swelling neoclassical [electronic music” (Pitchfork’s Hudson Mohawke review), “assembles an army of 8-bit synths, then runs them through a quick, showy drop for a cheap but mercenary thrill” (also Hudson Mohawke), or “stuffed with sugar-rush beats that are fun, even when they blur together” (Rolling Stone’s Zedd Review). But I am no music critic, I just love this group and everyone I have showed them to have loved their unique and energetic sound.
ATCR are a Canadian electronic music group made up of three DJS, and fuse electronic music with First Nations and Indigenous beats and chanting, and the mix is downright amazing.
A glorious introduction to their music would be “Electric Pow Wow Drum ”, off of their self titled album, released in 2013.
When plenty of musicians, especially electronic artists, add “exotic elements” to their music for added beats and kicks, A Tribe Called Red are Indigenous artists using Indigenous music in a new way.
From their earlier album, Nation II Nation, is a song called Sisters featuring Northern Voice, and is actually the first song of theirs that I heard:
About a month ago they released a new song called Suplex which, as I’m sure you’ve gathered from the vibe of this post, is awesome.
They’re almost always on tour in Canada and the US, and have several international shows. I’m hoping to check them out at this year’s Osheaga Festival, or when they return to Quebec a few weeks later.
Check out their soundcloud, and prepare to get hooked!
It’s a donut made out of croissant dough. Enough said.
The Cronut has been rumoured to exist since 1991, but was officially trademarked in 2013 in NYC with people lining up around the block(!) to get a taste of them. In 2013, Time Magazine named it one of the best inventions of the year, alongside the X-47B drone, artificial memories, and the Artificial Pancreas (which you will need for the amount of sugar in this thing), so you could say it’s quite the breakthrough. I feel the need to capitalize the ‘C’ because of it’s importance, and because it’s trademarked and I can’t afford a lawsuit.
Last week I was on Google looking for the best cupcake place in Montreal, when Simplement DLiche (French for ‘simply delicious’) came up. They have 8 classic flavors of cupcakes available daily, including coconut, chocolate peanut butter and red velvet, and their location was only 10 minutes away! How had I not heard of this place before??
Within 5 minutes I was out the door and on my way. I naively told myself I would buy the cupcakes then take some photos for the blog. I decided on the chocolate peanut butter and the coconut when I saw that they sold Cronuts. THE Cronuts. I picked one up as well. And Oh. My. God.
Yes, yes, the cupcakes were phenomenal. But the cronut…there have been three times in my life when I have cried because the food was so good (I’m not even kidding – once was on a second date), and this was a close fourth. They are filled with a vanilla custard that explained why it weighed close to two pounds. The dough was flaky and soft, yet fluffy like a donut, fried and glazed.
There. For $5 it was a bit more expensive than most donuts, but I see at as an investment into my sanity and well-being. I ate less than half because it is just so rich and I was so full from already eating both cupcakes (oops) put it in the fridge so it wouldn’t melt in the heat. 7 minutes later…I finished it. So much for pictures for the blog. Too bad, I would have to go back and get another one. So these pics are from Cronut Round #2. I had planned on taking a nice photo of it cut open so you could see the custard goodness, but I only remembered that halfway through eating it. So you get this photo instead.
Hope you’re hungry.
I call this post a “Show Off DIY” since this is where I show a DIY I’ve made where the supplies are so obscure it would be unhelpful to do a step-by-step instructional post, and instead is meant to give some DIY inspiration for whatever supplies you come across.
This desk game started off as a spice jar holder I bought from a garage sale. Each hole had a container of spices in it. I took the containers out and used them for bead storage, and was left was this.
I decided I was going to turn it into a desk-sized throwing game. I spray painted the wood white, added red accents, and drew on some points for each target (when you’re playing by yourself the points are pretty arbitrary).
I used pom poms to toss since they won’t make noise when they hit the desk and won’t roll away. It’s a nice way to give myself a break when studying or working that doesn’t involved Facebook or getting sucked into the vortex of the internet.
Top score: 150. That’s Olympic level stuff.
Whenever I make a DIY post, there’s a lot that goes into it – taking photos of the ‘before’ version or of the supplies, taking pictures through each step (which is annoying and time consuming trying to angle the tripod just right, setting the timer, etc), and pictures of the finished product. While I love being able to show people how I make things, it’s not condusive to a spur of the moment craft inspiration where I have to just make it to keep the creative juices flowing.
And because I use mostly vintage and upcycled supplies, most of my ideas come from looking at my pile of supplies and asking what can I do with it? This means that creating a DIY post where you need 5 vintage pink feathers, 20 oversized red beads or in this case, vintage green wood shower rings wouldn’t be that helpful to the average crafter.
While you probably won’t be able to find vintage green wood hoops to work with, you can use the style I created with an old pair of gold hoops or other circle shaped earrings or pendants.
The vintage shower hooks I bought at (say it with me) Salvation Army, and the gold teardrop charms were from a broken pair of earrings I had. The embroidery thread I had bought a while ago and the beads came from god knows where from who knows how long ago.
The earrings were super simple to make – all I did was wrap the thread around the green hoop and added the beads and charms as I went. I finished the pair in about 15 minutes.
I love the earthy yet chic feel they have, and the neutral tones of the burgundy and dark green with the gold. They are super lightweight since the hoops are made of wood, and have a lot of free movement when worn.
Lol at this photo of me – I was making curry earlier in the day and didn’t notice until after I took all the photos that I had turmeric smudged in between my eyebrows : P
I still have a bunch of these green rings left, I already have another idea in mind for a pair of earrings, and maybe a necklace. Ah, the possibilities!
I found this leather purse at my trusty Salvation Army. I loved the stiff rectangle shape, and the diagonal detail was perfect. However the straps were too short and dated it back to the 90s, and the leather was dry and very thirsty.
I knew I wanted to stain the leather a darker, richer color, but leather stain can be pricey. I wondered if I could use simple wood stain to color it. After doing some Googling, it seemed that untreated leather takes wood stain well as long as it’s not oil based; if you are unsure if you have untreated leather, if you can scratch the material and it leaves a visible mark that is lighter than its normal color, it is most likely untreated. And good news! The bag’s leather was able to be stained with wood stain!
Four bucks later, and some staining I had a beautiful dark leather purse. I cut off the straps to turn it into a clutch, and then used my mink oil shoe polish on it to give it a healthier, shinier look. And ta-da! It looks like something that could be sold at Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie, but only cost me $3.00 plus the $4.00 varnish (which I’m going to use for another DIY anyways).
Now I need to find places to go to make use of all these clutches I’ve been making lately…
Walking anywhere on the island of Montreal, you can see murals taking up a whole building wall to small graffiti pieces tucked into alleyways and side streets. I took a walking tour of downtown Montreal and the Montreal Plateau snapping up some pics along the way.
My self-guided tour only lasted about an hour but I came across dozens of beautiful murals, many of which I post on my Instagram. I’ve decided I will start to make this a regular series on SC since it all deserves to be seen!
Usually when I’m studying or working, I play music through my headphones to keep out any distractions. But sometimes I spend more time focusing on what music to play and end up getting distracted by the song that’s playing. Sometimes I just sit in the library with my headphones on and no music just to try to find a happy medium.
Lately though, I’ve been listening to a lot of different background noise generators to help provide me with a guard against distraction without being distracting in itself.
Whether you’re trying to focus, to sleep or to wake up, here are my go-to websites (and App) for focus-driven background noise:
1. White Noise & Co.
This is the traditional white noise that sounds like TV static. You can adjust the frequencies if you’d rather listen to a lower or higher pitched frequencies, and even have options for “pink noise” and “brown noise”, which are deeper in frequency than traditional “white noise”.
(Edit: Already at this point in writing the post I am experiencing semantic satiation with the word ‘noise’, which means it just looks really weird and makes no sense when I look at it. But onward!)
Here you will find the background noise of a café, and you can choose different vibes including lunchtime rush, or university undertones. I prefer working in a café to the library since it’s the perfect amount of background noise, so this is a good alternative for when I’m too lazy to leave the house or go off campus.
3. Virtual Shower
If you have your best ideas in the shower but are eco-conscious (or live in California), then Virtual Shower is a good way to inspire your inner philosopher without getting wet. You can set a timer for your virtual bathing session, choose the water pressure, size of the room, and add a radio option that has 5 different songs all revolving around water (Singing in the Rain, Splish Splash).
4. Rainy Mood
Skipping all the fancy options and personalizations, Rainy Mood just brings you heavy rain sounds with an occasional thunder roar.
5. White Noise from TMSoft
This is an app available for iPhone and Android that costs $2.49 but also features a lighter, free version. If you’re looking for an app that does a bit of everything, this would be it. Wake yourself up gently with crescendo-ing noises ranging from rain and beach waves, to air conditioners, to cats purring and crickets chirping. You can set alarms, play continuous sound loops to fall asleep and create your own sounds. My personal favourite!
It’s nice to give yourself a break from constantly playing music, especially during a marathon study session, and these sites are fantastic!
Have you heard of Quora? It was started in 2009 as an intellectual version of Yahoo answers. They have topics ranging from Metaphysics to The History of Europe to Evolutionary Biology. When I first found Quora, I was on it for hours, just learning about all types of subjects in a straightforward, condensed version.
Users can submit their own answers and they get voted on. However, over the last 6 months or so as Quora really blew up in popularity, I’ve noticed the quality of both the questions and answers has decreased, especially in the subjects of Psychology of Everyday Life and Management, which has essentially turned into questions about getting the girl and getting x job.
Here are some screenshots I took of the ridiculous side of Quora:
And the winner for creepiest answer ever goes to…Michael.
…Yeah, sorry about the last one.
I was going to start this post with “I love food” then I realized that was absurd because, who doesn’t??
I love taking pictures of food, but instead of Instagram-style, I love the styling of food photography and trying to make the photos look as delicious or more as the food in front of me – which isn’t always an easy task.
Here are some of my favourite food photography shots I’ve taken: