suburban siberia

transitioning from Los Angeles back to Edmonton

Month: January, 2014


Here are a few shots from my bedroom window this morning. Both exposures are about 45 seconds. I’ll be updating every now and then with a few images around the city as I take them.



um…ok…..sort of

This evening I drove my 13-year-old niece around the entire city. I love spending time with her but I’ve noticed lately that as she gets older the more she throws her diction out the window. Her vocabulary consists entirely of ‘um’ ‘ok’ ‘sorta’ ‘not really’ and ‘i don’t know’s. I WAS LOSING MY MIND. Not only because I couldn’t get a legible sentence out of her, but also because she needed a certain amount of things done in the evening that she never planned for or alluded to the day before. And I was the lucky person to drive her around to several places based on her whims as she remembered them. I planned to pick her up at 6:30 pm, drop her off at her place and then go home. That changed when I called to confirm the pick up time at 5:30 pm.

niece: I need to go to my friend’s house to put my hair up in curlers after practice.

tiffany: why do you need your hair done tonight?

niece: it’s for the competition tomorrow.

tiffany: where does she live?

niece: ummmmmm

tiffany: what time is your friend expecting you and how long will it take?

niece: i don’t know

tiffany: what time should I pick you up from practice then?

niece: I’m not really sure. I could stay till 6:30.

tiffany: should I come pick you up now?

niece: um….maybe?

tiffany: so you don’t know her address?

niece: somewhere in forest…… (trials off into an inaudible tone)

tiffany: so you know where it is?

niece: sort of

-that is basically how the entire evening went.

Parents must have a super powers once their children are born in regards to patience.


let them have fun

Tomorrow Levi and I are having a house-warming party. I am excited to have people over except I am dreading how they will get here. The more I think about the townhouse complex I live in the more I realize how incredibly indifferent the design is to visitors or people who like to meander around neighbourhoods. The picture below is the main entrance to each Townhouse. In a sort of weird way I don’t mind the rhythm and the designer/purchaser’s brutal honesty about not wanting to see or know their neighbours by only entering through the garage. I can tell they ‘tried’ to give it a certain look but let’s be honest about its unfriendly exterior. How do guest know how to find the house they are looking for? Sure they can see the house number but HOW do they get to the front entrance? I asked Levi if I should make a detailed map on where to park and how to get into the house. He said that it’s not that hard. I think he’s right about not telling people how to find us other than leaving a cell number and an address. Let them have fun finding a non descript generic house in the middle of many. Image


I loved socks. So much that I even wore those dreadful toe socks because of how warm they made me feel. Then I moved to Los Angeles and it was consistently over 20 C/70 F degrees no matter the season. And then I despised socks. I had no idea that you could wear shoes without socks and still be happy! Don’t get me wrong. I love being back in Edmonton, but putting socks on in the morning is something I struggle with. It means I will be cold and that these are the some of the things (in addition to multiple layers) that I must put on in order to get through the day. I’ve compiled a few photos that I’ve taken while living in LA that I sent to my friend Eleisha to make her jealous of the LA weather. Jokes on me now. The only happiness I get now over this matter is when I rip off the socks immediately once I get home and then snuggle into my cozy slippers.





la jolla with emily


biking (i wore short socks with sneakers and I didn’t like it)


cozy slipper time


waterpark day

Today is Waterpark Day for my friends Eleisha and Diane and they invited my four nieces and nephews and I to join them. It is 28C/82F degrees inside of the park, although Eleisha had me at water slide. One time Eleisha and I drove from LA to Palm Springs just to go to the Knotts Berry Farm Waterpark because it was warmer there than the one in Orange County. Today we saw someone get stuck in the purple loop -that must have been intense! ImageImage

Things I love

This past week has been a mix of busy and not busy. I finally got a haircut after 7 months and I have mermaid hair again! I spent a ton of time with my 3 youngest niece and nephews (Isabella with her drum set is pictured below), I got a job and I finally finished the last of the poppycock that my mother-in-law, Leesa, made. It’s my favourite holiday treat! I also have new stand in dishes. When I moved from LA I donated my dishes because they were a mixture of different sets from living with roommates. When Levi and I moved into our townhouse in late December I refused to buy new dishes until I found the perfect ones. It wasn’t really a big deal because we were using our china that was given to us by some close friends as a wedding gift. Food tastes and looks so much better when it is on china! That rule lasted three weeks until I invited my in-laws over for dinner and I made a crack about eating off of paper plates because we only had 2 sets of china. Levi made us buy some temporary ones from IKEA, and I was heart-broken about not being able to hold fast to my rule. Hopefully I can complete my china set soon and that I can also find a lovely set of hand crafted plates to go with them.


Second Warmest

George, my father-in-law, and I went to the Restore to look at ideas for the shelter I was building for the Thaw Hut Competition last weekend that was apart of the Deep Freeze Festival on 118th. We picked out some ceiling tiles for structure and brass to reinforce the overall shape and then lined the interior with mirror mylar (purchased from outside of the restore). The resulting structure was a bit shaky but somehow it made it through the weekend. Luckily it wasn’t too windy or below -10. The shelter received a runner-up prize. That means it was the second warmest structure. YAY!


IMG_5422_crop IMG_5427IMG_5440IMG_5445IMG_5446IMG_5488

ihuman treasures

I’ve been working with Wallis Kendal over the past few months. Wallis is the co-founder of iHuman Youth along with Sandra Bromley and his days are not so ordinary. As an original member I have seen a lot of things. Here are a few images that I have come across in his day-to-day lately:

his filing cabinet


a christmas card he received from one of the youth


his life is amazing. Click here if you want to read about him and his incredible work.

terrorizing my cat over the holidays

Lulu loves to cuddle and dress in costumes…..not


Thaw Hut Competition preparation

Yesterday I found out I was accepted into the 2014 Thaw Hut Competition put on by MADE in collaboration with the seventh annual Deep Freeze: Byzantine Winter Festival held in Edmonton from January 11 – 12. The festival situates itself along four closed blocks of Alberta (118) Avenue between 90 and 94 Streets.

That means I have less than one week and $100 to put together a shelter for 1-6 people. Tomorrow I will venture to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore on the North Side with my father in law to see if I can put the $100 to good use. Here are some reference images that I am trying to keep in mind. They probably don’t make much sense yet but they are helpful to me.

material study

I also looked at Winnipeg’s Warming Huts competition page and I really like 2010’s ‘Apparition‘ by Antoine Predock Architect in collaboration with Scatliff+Miller+Murray Landscape Architects. Emergency blankets, or rather mirror mylar is something I have tried to work with several times in the past but I always end up ditching it in the final outcome. Lets hope I can use it this time!