Monday, January 31, 2011

Monogramed Mug Tutorial

Even though I originally saw this project well before xmas, my hopes to attempt it never actually happened (surprise surprise) but thought it would be fun to share anyways - just in case you are looking for a nice late winter present giving you may run into. Take a look at these wonderful upcycled monogramed mugs from man made diy:

Fun! And oh so easy - all you need to do is pick up some plain mugs (they got theirs from the thrift store), a porcelain pen, and a little creativity! Then you just draw up your initial on the mug, bake, and give! They even added a cute hot cocoa mix inside of each mug for an extra special touch. I'd really like to turn this idea into a more complex project by swapping some sort of design up for the monogram and have my own custom tea cup! I then realized that I really don't need any more mugs...or tea pots for that matter...just look at my cupboards:

In fact I even have an extra shelf in my cups and plates cupboard for the overflow mug collection:

Eep! So many mugs! I do use them all though (by rotating through the collection during my daily pot of tea) so it isn't that impractical of a collection right? I'll tell myself that anyways. Maybe I can make some limited edition scientific culture illustrated mugs for an upcoming craft show instead. That way I still get to dip my hands in this fun custom upcycled mug project without having to figure out what I'd do with all the finished pieces. Genius! What do you think? What wide set eye smile kate drawing would you like to drink out of?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Coloured chalkboard paint? Oh my!

Why just yesterday I was going on about the wonderful crafts you could make with chalkboards when I realized I was missing one important part of the project - how exactly do you get your hands on all these chalkboards? Martha to the rescue as she explains a quick and easy way to make your own chalkboard paint (in limitless colours too!)! Wonderful! And hey look at the neat wall calendar they made using custom coloured chalkboard paint:

Awesome! Looks like all you need to do is get a little unsalted tile grout and mix it in with your favourite flat-finish latex paint! Then you just slap it on the surface you want to chalkboard-ify, give it a little sand once it's dry and get to chalking! Sweet! Now back to trying to find some tree trunk cross section pieces to work with. Any other takers?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

More chalkboard paint please...

When I saw this rad wood circle mini chalkboard on etsy's facebook feed I fell in love:

It could be the use of all lowercase lettering (which I am quite fond of after all) but this has quickly made its way to the top of my "crafts I really, really want to do" list! Wouldn't it be awesome to make a series of them (say five - in different sizes) and then stick them to the wall in your kitchen or crafting are? Then you could change up your wall art with just a quick swoosh of some chalk! Heck - it could even be used as an organizational tool to help you keep track of your appointments or errands. So much fun! It sort of reminds me of the chalkboard speech bubbles they make over at red velvet art:

I've seen those all over the internet for use in photoshoots (in fact I saw one in a wedding photo album just a few months ago) and they look like fun! If you're feeling extra ambitious you could always add some hooks the bottom of a homemade chalkboard as key storage (that's martha for you - always employing genius creative teams that come up with these things):

Oh the ideas are endless! Now to keep my eyes peeled for some tree trunk slices! Oh...and a few hours extra spare time! Perhaps I should start working on crafting up a time machine while I'm at it. What do you think?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Find: Sleepy King

I'm not sure why I've never done a post about the adorable wide-set eye cuteness that is sleepy king - but no time like the present! I've seen these cute plush over etsy before and thanks to that wonderful "suggested shops" tab they have I quickly realized that sleepy king never got its way into my favourite listings! Ack! What a mistake - I mean look how darling they are:

The colours are wonderful and their mash of wool felt, fleece, heavy suiting, and safety eyes (some of my favourite media) just call to me! I think the cute simple offset images add to their appeal and really inspire me to get sewing! What do you think? Will my niece jean's life not be complete until she has a gimpy wide set eye cute forest creature to snuggle with? Well..more like chew on...seems to be quite the trend of hers:

Yeah - not too sure if sleepy king's cute plush are ready to be drooled on quite yet. But just in case you can't live without one either you can take 10% off your order by entering "poppytalk10" at the checkout until the end of the month! Hooray!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

crochet heart garland

I saw this adorable crochet heart garland over at design sponge and am feeling a huge urge to get my hook out:

Isn't it sweet? I think the pale blue wallpaper sort of adds to its charm but I quickly realized that (yes a list, since we haven't seen one of those in a while):

1) I'm not sure what I would actually do with this garland when I'm done with it
2) I'm not particularly fond of valentines day so why would I do a seasonal craft project to celebrate it?
3) I have crafts to work on! If I'm lacking in spare time to begin with (i.e. my poor neglected pen pals) how could I possibly fit this in?

So I've decided to put this one on the back burner for the time being but that doesn't mean you couldn't try it out for me? Let me know how it goes okay? Great!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

jean and mr. t.

When my sister had her daughter jean back in september I was thrilled to become an auntie and (as all good aunties do) be able to buy my new neice lots of fun presents! After all, buying kid toys is certainly up there on the "fun shopping" category and since I'm her only aunt I feel it is my responsibility to spoil her! One of my favourite buys was a gund corduroy t-rex I picked up in victoria (and had to fly with as carry on since he wouldn't fit in my packed suitcase). His given name (tristen) certainly wouldn't do so I renamed him "mr.t" and passed him onto his new owner when I visited jean in october! Jean wasn't overly impressed with him at 2 weeks old but leslie thought he was great and even decided to use him as size reference as jean grew! In fact, leslie has been taking pictures of jean each month she gets older and it's amazing to see the size difference (and increased cuteness) already! Let's take a gander:

One Month - tiny jean trying to shove mr. t out of the way

Two Months - getting bigger! and still not quite at that able to support her own weight stage

Three Months - mr. t is still a pushover (and baby jean sporting a threadless onsie)

Four Months - Crud! She's bigger than him already! and so smiley!

And...that's it. She's only four months old. But I am looking forward to seeing her progress into a full grown child soon! In the meantime I think this may be my favourite jean/mr.t picture so far:

Hehe! Rar! What do you think?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

what keeps you blogging?

Back in september, wild olive did a post asking her sponsors "what keeps you blogging on a regular basis?" which got me to thinking - why do I blog? I know I originally started it out after hearing from multiple reputable sources that it would be good for my crafty business because, after all, the internet is a competitive place and the only really unique thing I have to offer any internet readers is myself. I kept on with my blogging as a creative outlet and way to reach out to anyone willing to take a moment and glance over my ramblings and then did my "blog everyday in 2010" thing as a challenge my sister set out for me (which turned out to be enormously more difficult than I expected). But now that the challenge is over I'm determined to keep up with my regular posts and I think that katie of green bean studios illustrates the blogging appeal quite well (and I do love a little illustration):

Too true! I like using blog posts as motivation with crafting and as the ultimate resource for feedback on what crafty endeavors are worth while. I also really, really love that I have a handful of regular readers (like yourself perhaps?) and I'd like to think a few of my posts add a little delight and texture to their day! All this discussion does leave me wondering - if you blog what keeps you doing it? Or maybe if you are more of a reader than a writer - what keeps you interested in a blog? What sort of posts are you drawn to? I know I'm into pretty much everything (tutorials, music, crafty projects, decor, art, fashion, ailments, cooking, design - you name it) but I'd love to know what you think about things - so I'll pass the discussion over to you. What do you think?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dr. Bandaid and a series of puns

It seems that I've talked about the amazing webcomic "my cardboard life" on quite a few occasions (link, link, link). Clearly I should give up my attempts to get any of my readers hooked on the wonderful british cut and pasted comic strips but apparently I'm up for one more try! I was looking through my mass amounts of "draft" blog posts (a.k.a. when I see a tutorial/blog post/random thing I like then save the link as a "draft new post" for future uninspired blogging moments) and came across some wonderful comics featuring three of my favourite things - dr. bandaid, terrible awkward attempts at romance, and puns! With valentines day peeking up on the horizon I figured it was now or never to revisit these with you. Let's be serious here - who doesn't love a good pun? Here we go:

and then the ultimate in valentine'y goodness:

Oh dear - dr. bandaid - one day your puns will work for you. I have also discovered that you can even purchase your own "dr. bandaids hot guide to romance" on the site too! OooO! And they have a digital paper doll colin/pauline dress up game there too! Once again proving the well known fact that everything is better when it comes from the UK...*sigh*

Sunday, January 23, 2011

DIY Cardigan Flowers!

The other day while checking out the blogosphere (on bloglovin which I am absolutely thrilled beyond words about after my conversion) this wonderful cardigan flower tutorial caught my eye. I think it might be the dark grey/golden yellow colour appeal but this project is calling to me:

Isn't it awesome? And with a claimed 30 minute crafting execution time it is certainly a project worth taking on! As a huge fan of cardigans, flowers, crafting, and added detail/attention to my top half/small chested-ness I figure it is perfect! Now to find some un-fraying fabric and a cardigan to alter! Ok...that sounds a lot easier than it will probably turn out to be. I think I'll add it to my thrifting list (along with that grey pleated skirt that is still hiding out there for me and a really nice coloured tshirt for jersey scarf making)! Since I've already plundered all the thrift shops in kamloops I may need to make this a year long search...I'll be sure to keep you posted. Any other takers on the project?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

woo hoo!

The other morning I woke up to find 29 lovely emails in my inbox. I was overjoyed with the prospect of a big sale day on my etsy shop and it was true! I had made 11 sales and had 5 email conversations from buyers requesting sold out items in my shop! I figured something must have been behind such a surge of sales so I went searching. The first thing I found was this wonderful tweet from style sister:

Fun! It links to an amazingly flattering little article on my cute science illustrated goods, which I am over the moon about! Nothing like a blog feature to start off the day. How nice!

As I continued my perusal of the tweets I missed while sleeping the night before I came across an even more exciting one - from etsy:

Forget the front page - all you need to do is get tweeted to get noticed! Oh and it coincides with a etsy status update on facebook too:

Woohoo! Talk about exciting! I can only imagine what the sales would have been like if my shop wasn't experiencing a post-holiday/out of stock lull (which I am working on by the way...). What an accomplishment! And boy! What an exciting jump in site visits (got to love google analytics):

It looks like that one little tweet drew a whopping 1835 people to my shop that morning! I figured that must have been a site visit record for me so I searched back on my site tracking history and...

Yup, it pretty much blew all my other days out of the water. See that little blip in july there? That was the day I got on the front page (and am still overjoyed about). I can't believe it! All over some scientist buttons! Now I'm on the crafting warpath and super motivated to get my shop restocked! However trying to balance life, etsy, and preparations for my second fabulous finds show in march is a little tricky! Alas. I'll just keep at it and see how it goes. Oh. and I also decided since the scientists drew so much attention to my shop I'd work on an expanded set for the near future...hold tight though! I'll reveal them when they're finished!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Find: Heart Felt by nina

Since I've been busy swooning over the idea of owning a gray pleated skirt I thought I'd feature a shop selling gray pleated clutches today! Fortunately these bags are actually obtainable (unlike that elusive skirt) and are available in the etsy shop "heart felt by nina":
Ooo! I love the subtle feminine shape with masculine thick suiting, the crisp pleats, and the wonderful button details! In fact I feel like that gray one in the top right corner is calling my name...but unfortunately I've tapped out my paypal account reordering massive amounts of craft supplies to prepare for my next show in march! Eep! Oh well, another time. What do you think?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The search continues...

For the last few months I've been dying to find a nice gray pleated skirt. I figure it would be the perfect edition to my winter wardrobe allowing me to wear all those cute coloured tights I own (and never really wear) and the fun brown oxfords I bought in november (and also haven't worn yet...or even taken out of the box for that matter)! It would be nice and structured to go with the transition weather from winter to spring and would be knee length to cover my (almost always swollen and arthritic) knees (also conveniently avoiding any misinterpretation of trying to dress like a scantily clad school girl). Awesome! It's a classic style too just check out this vintage 1950's number wonderfully reworked into a modern outfit:

Heck! The other day when lindsay was making sure I am reading the sartorialist (which I do, not to worry) she showed me this spectacular outfit:

If the sartorialist has one it must be amazing! So far my searches has been a complete failure and living in a town with minimal shopping options I'm contemplating throwing in the towel. Then the other night I decided to pop in one of my all time favourite movies (bedknobs and broomsticks) and wham! There it is staring me in the face - yet another wonderfully perfect gray pleated skirt:

No wonder I've been craving one so badly! I think it is my subconscious telling me I need to be more like angela landsbury! My search motivation is renewed! I think I'll need to start combing the shelves at the thift stores to find this one but we'll see how that goes...Anyone have any gray pleated skirt finding tips for me?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

it was a record year for rainfall - part III

Hello! Time for me to share the final pages of my sketchbook project. I hope you've enjoyed parts I and II! Let's start off part III with the very worst thing about rain - wet jeans:

This next page was inspired by that time my sister and I did a guided low tide tour at jungle beach (on haida gwaii). It was raining so hard we were both drenched (under our rain gear and everything)! Ick!

My dad's favourite page:

Return of the little orange kitty!

I thought I was being so smart by lining up the water level with the sea water. Apparently I am very easily amused.

I did the "rain all day/rain all night" pages solely so I could include the owl and the pussycat (in their pea green boat). That nonsense poem is much more nonsensical than I remember...

Oo! That rain level is sure getting high! Looks like quite the flood!

Yay! More bull kelp!

Jim said this next page was a terrible morbid way to end the book...but that orange kitty is so cute! Even when he's drowning! That takes talent!

Nope. Can't leave it like that. Time to turn the story around at the last minute! Quick! Pull the plug!

*Whew* Water levels back to normal! And the book is finished! Oh except for that last page where I just put some contact info on there in case someone feels inspired to offer me a publishing deal or something (seriously - wouldn't that be cool?) or maybe just check out my blog or etsy shop (also quite cool).

Tada! Part III complete! So now that you've seen the whole thing what's your verdict? I'd love to hear what you think!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

it was a record year for rainfall - part II

In case you're just tuning in - I've been talking about the book I did for The Art House Co-op's sketchbook project. Yesterday I revealed pages 1-13 and today we continue...with a map of british columbia!

OoOo that rain gauge (aka the line on the back side of the pages) is starting to get up there! More rain on the coast! I really like this next page:

I wish all drains had eyes on them...

This next one is my mom's favourite. Leslie told me that I ripped this image off of someone (which I certainly didn't do intentionally - no photo reference for me!) but I'm fairly sure wellies and rain puddles are pretty common images...

And the rain keeps on falling! After all, it was supposed to be a record year for rainfall...

This next one is probably my favourite page of the entire book (also marking the half way point which I was super stoked about). Plus it lets me tie in more science! and bull kelp!

Behold a slight return of the b.c. map. Apparently I like to tie a little geography into my sketches.

I tried to do a few "real life" type drawings as well - but those expressive and cute rain clouds just keep popping in!

And the rain level just keeps rising!

Oh what a great page to leave the second installment on! I love that one! Tune in tomorrow for the final pages - same bat time, same bat channel (well...not really...but my life needs more batman references...)