Baby Groot Around Vancouver #3 – Naramata

Hi everyone! I’m finally going back and writing up some of my pending Baby Groot Around Vancouver posts that I’ve been meaning to do for awhile. Today’s post is Baby Groot’s first trip out of the Lower Mainland – to Naramata in the Okanagan Valley last September. Come and join Baby Groot as he goes to the beach, picks apples, and indulges in some wine tasting!


The Okanagan Valley is located is the interior of British Columbia, roughly half way to Alberta and at the south end of the province. The region is known for its hot and dry climate, and is a popular getaway spot for locals in the summer. Kelowna is the biggest city in the area, but we headed instead to the small town of Naramata, located at the south end of Lake Okanagan.

So, what is there to do in the Okanagan, you ask? There are lots of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and swimming in Lake Okanagan, but our main goal was the wine! The Okanagan Valley is well known for its fruit trees and vineyards, and you can’t drive two minutes along the ‘Naramata Bench’ without tripping over another winery. The honest truth is I don’t actually drink wine, but my friends do and I enjoyed coming along for the ride (and taking a lot of pictures of Baby Groot with wine grapes). I did try a tiny bit, too – the fruit wines weren’t bad, but I’m still not a big fan. Plus it was fun watching my friends steadily get drunker throughout the day. 😉

We headed out of Vancouver after work on Friday September 4th, and immediately hit about 2 hours worth of gridlock. Trying to get out of Vancouver at the start of the last long weekend in summer? Not the greatest idea, but we didn’t have much choice. Normally a 4 hour drive, it ended up being more like 6 and we got in after midnight.

Baby Groot was tired after the long drive. Time for bed!

Saturday morning we headed to the weekend farmer’s market in Penticton, the main town 15 or so minutes from Naramata. It was huge! So many booths with fresh produce, yummy looking baked goods, crafts, clothing… lots to look at, and hard to resist the urge to buy All The Things.

And then it was on to wine tastings! I’m pretty useless on a wine tour given that I don’t drink, and I don’t drive so I can’t even be the designated driver, but I came along anyway to hang out, take Groot pictures, and enjoy the scenery.

Pretty vineyard scenery!

Selfie time

This place had a neat shop that kept me amused while the others did their tasting – they have a bunch of red heel related merchandise, including actual shoes!

Groot found some grapes

Groot likes the grapes. 🙂

 

Thumbs up for Ruby Blues Winery, if only for their cool shop and bus!

We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening just hanging out, eating, and drinking wine. Well, they were drinking, I was watching with amusement as they got increasingly drunk by the end of the night. My friends Andrea and Amanda do a weekly Buffy the Vampire Slayer podcast called ‘Tiny Fences‘, and at approximately 11pm they decided it would be an awesome idea to record an episode. I might have encouraged them. 😉 I definitely recommend checking out their podcast, and if you enjoy it you can sign up to be a Patreon – and gain access to “Tipsy Fences! A Buffy Podcast”. It’s 5-10 minutes of ridiculousness.

Baby Groot got a little drunk too…

The next day was beach day on Lake Okanagan. By early September it was already getting a bit chilly and the water was freezing so I didn’t last long, but it was still lots of fun.

Monday came and it was time to head home… but first, we picked a ton of apples, plums, and pears from our friend’s orchard – fresh fruit right off the tree, so good! Groot helped too, of course.

Groot found pears!

 

Climbing the tree to get at the apples, Groot got a bit stuck.

He made it! But he can’t reach the apples, poor guy. His arms are just too short.

That was a lot of effort, time for a nap now.

Saying goodbye to Naramata

And that’s it from me for today. Next up, my Nova Scotia trip from September as I try to get caught up on my backlog. And coming very soon – New Zealand! I take off in just under a week and am getting very excited. I plan to bring white, orange, and grey yarn and churn out BB-8s while I’m there. 🙂 And many, many Groot photos will be coming. Groot is heading to Middle Earth!

Wesley Wyndam-Pryce Crochet Doll

My main project right now is supposed to be making dolls for Vancouver FanExpo 2016 (in November), but I took a break to make a doll for myself that’s about 13 years overdue – Wesley Wyndam-Pryce from Buffy & Angel. Click on the cut below for more doll pictures and a lot of gushing about one of my all time favourite characters. Honestly this was largely an excuse for me to Google pictures and animated GIFs of Wes look bad-ass…

I was 16 and just starting grade 12 when I discovered Buffy the Vampire Slayer, after watching the season 7 premiere as it aired. I’d heard good things, and I was channel surfing, so I decided to check it out. I had no real idea what was going on, but I liked it and I went back and watched the first 6 seasons & seasons 1-3 of Angel to catch up. That was my first term of grade 12, marathoning Buffy and Angel thanks to old download services like Kazaa because they weren’t even on DVD yet and there was no other way to catch up. I caught up on both shows by December/January. It’s amazing I ever got into university, hah. I missed a few key episodes of Angel season 2, as well, because I just couldn’t find them (like Reunion, and I think Reprise as well – BIG ones, guys!).

I don’t recall at what point I completely fell in love with Wesley. I don’t have any strong memories of my feelings when he first showed up in Buffy season 3. Probably vague amusement combined with finding him a bit annoying, because let’s be honest, he’s not the most likable in Buffy season 3. At least not the first time through – in rewatches, I still love him because I understand where he’s coming from and I know where he will be going. I just rewatched season 3 and I wanted to give him a hug the entire time, because he tried his best and the Scoobies didn’t exactly give him a chance.

My adorable dork in season 3 of Buffy. Still looks suave and sexy with that sword. 😉
And then we moved on to Angel season 1 and got this. <3

 Definitely by the end of Angel season 1 I really liked the character, and by the time we got to late season 3 and into season 4 I was gone. I caught up to the show between 4.07 and 4.08 and watched the rest live, and I don’t think I’ve ever been as invested in a show or a character as I was at the time. Season 4 has its issues, I know, but Wesley’s character arc was so fascinating and well developed that it made up for some of the other crap in that season. I shipped the hell out of Wesley/Lilah, and on the fanfic side Wesley/Angel, and analyzed every episode and Wesley scene to death on my old Livejournal. I was obsessed, and I still consider Wesley to be without question my favourite character from the Jossverse.

This picture pretty much sums it up – character development in a nutshell. And it’s all completely organic from start to finish. He doesn’t just change into a badass overnight, it takes years to develop to the point where it makes total sense how he got from A to B.

So, fastforward years later, and my old obsession has risen its head again thanks to my friends Andrea and Amanda and their awesome Buffy podcast Tiny Fences. Amanda’s never seen the show and she’s about to meet Wesley, which is both exciting for me and nerve-wracking because I realize that season 3 of Buffy doesn’t exactly endear him to most people. But that usually changes when they get to Angel, so I will try to be patient! Amanda can’t read this post yet in any case, because spoilers (and if you are reading this, Amanda, then bad on you!).

And thus, I have at last made myself a Wesley doll. Season 4 Wesley, complete with sexy brown jacket, stubble, a gun, and yes, the scar. Bad-ass, dark, I’m-gonna-fuck-you-up, slightly unhinged Wesley. My favourite kind, although I also adore dorky lovable Wesley from the early seasons. Basically I love him always.

The pattern is based on patterns from the book ‘AmiguruME’ by Allison Hoffman. Check out her blog here, she has lots of cool stuff. I really like the book, it’s got techniques and ideas for making specific kinds of tops, pants, shoes, accessories, etc and it’s a great reference for designing dolls.

Ready for a fight. Because gun-wielding Wesley will never not be hot.

Case in point

Case in point 2 (the way he caresses that rifle… does things to me)

And of course he wouldn’t be season 4 Wesley without the scar!

“I had my throat slit and all my friends abandoned me.” My baby. 🙁

 For the old shipper in me…

They just both look so angry lol. But also cuddly.

 Then Spike wanted in on the action (he’s a very simple doll I made back at Halloween to bring with me to a local Once More with Feeling sing-along, since I was dressing as Buffy).

Yeah I’ve definitely read this fanfic.

I kind of want to make a Lilah, too, because they are my forever AtS OTP. But first, I have lots of Star Wars dolls to make for FanExpo! Maybe one day.

Hope you enjoyed my Wesley love session and the doll. 🙂 I enjoyed making him and it’s nice to finally have a doll version of one of my favourite characters of all time. I’m re-watching season 5 right now, and will definitely need to cuddle him coming up. Anyway that’s all for now, thanks for reading!

Happy Deadpool Day! Celebrate with a FREE cross stitch pattern!

I suppose I could start off my apologizing for being a bad blogger and not posting anything in a very, very long time. I could do that… but I think I’d rather celebrate the new Deadpool movie that opens today. The film has been getting good reviews so far, and I’m really excited to go see it tomorrow! It doesn’t hurt that it was filmed locally in beautiful Vancouver and stars beautiful (and equally Vancouver-ful) Ryan Reynolds.

I especially loved all of the marketing leading up to the release of this movie. Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool tweets, passing it off as a Valentine’s ‘date’ movie, and of course the ridiculous and brilliant use of emojis to spell out ‘Deadpool’.

Ah, the good old ‘Skull-Poop-L’. A friend suggested this would make a great cross stitch pattern, and I agree! So I put a little something together and am offering it as a free download so everyone can get their Deadpool fix!

Stitch up your very own Skull-Poop-L to hang on your wall and cherish forever. Yes, it’s that special.

> Click here to download the pattern

To view the pattern, you will need a pdf reader. I like Adobe acrobat reader, but there are many programs that will open a pdf document. The pattern is a single page, so it’s ideal for displaying on a tablet or computer and for zooming in to see the chart closeup. If you do want to print this pattern out, I would recommend using a colour printer to ensure the chart symbols are as easy to read as possible.

I hope you enjoy this pattern! I’d love to see what you create with it, so tag me on Instagram or send me a Tweet! Please keep in mind the pattern is free for personal use only. Items made with this pattern can be given as gifts, but not sold for profit (online or elsewhere). Thank you and happy stitching!