Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Homemade Doily

During my October of illness and blog breaking, I got the urge to take on a crochet project. I like picking up a hook once in a while, and I figured since I'm all about the doilies I may as well make one of my own! Take a peek at the finished piece:

I admittedly had to make, unpick, and re-make it at least two times before getting a hang of the pattern, but once I figured it out it was a breeze (well...a very time consuming breeze...). I'm not sure if you can get a sense of the scale with that first shot, so here's another for you:

Why yes! Those are my little white tootsies at the bottom there, and that is one giant doily! I bought the pattern reading that it was a "lap quilt" but unless I was miniature this project wouldn't keep me very warm (what kind of person wants a blanket that doesn't cover their feet anyways?). Not to worry - I still get to enjoy my homemade doily as he sits on the back of my stripey love seat:

Hooray! I'm so happy with how it turned out, even if the images of the ones they made using the pattern look much more professional:

The narrow back of that couch totally mislead me on how big this doily would be, but I figure I can always make another (with double thick wool and a big hook) for a more blanket sized version! If you're also rearing to get your crochet on you can pick up the pattern by buying the e-magazine Craft Sanity, or if you'd prefer a lazier approach you can buy pre-made ones in Good Knits etsy shop! Yay! What do you think? Have you made anything fun lately?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I'm not sure about you, but I am absolutely swooning over this amazing wall I saw over on My Best Friend Jules:

What an amazingly innovative way to use old drawers as art! Throw in some pretty drawer liners, wallpaper, or wrapping paper and you've got yourself one awesome focal point! Okay, so this is pretty similar to the box version Lindsay posted about in October, but since my walls are still bare in our apartment (I know, it has been months since we moved in...), I will take any motivation to decorate I can! I think this would be super awesome our living room and would give me a great excuse to buy some of that gorgeous paper and wrapping they sell at card shops. I always look at it and want to buy it, but $4 for a slice of decorative paper is a little too steep for my cheapskate ways. I figure if it is going to be immortalized as part of an amazing dresser drawer wall hanging masterpiece the $4 price tag is a steal right? What do you think? Anyone want to come over and hang things for me?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bob Progress

I haven't done an update on my dear house pal Bob (a.k.a my ficus) but I figured it was about time to share how he's doing since the move. About this time last year I decided I was ready to take on the house plant gardening adventure of a ficus and quickly fell in love with Bob. He was bright eyed and bushy and looked so nice sitting by my love seat:

I quickly learned that ficus' hate bursts of cool air and after quite a bit of balding, I relocated Bob to the book shelf across the room. It took him a few months to recover from the cold shock therapy I accidentally exposed him to and finally had a bit of regrowth:

I was a little doubtful he would make it during our move this past fall, and was extra worried at the state of my plants living in a rainy (and not very sunny) coastal city over the winter. Apparently my fretting was unnecessary since Bob seems to be loving his new central location on the little counter shelf between our living room and kitchen. Heck! He's even getting bushier! Take a peek:

Ok, so perhaps he isn't quite as full and lustrous as he was when I bought him from Art Knapps, but it has been a year and he isn't completely dead so I call that a success! Perhaps the humidity here will cause him to break out in leaves this spring and I can boast about my adorable plant Bob! How about you? Ever dabble in ficus growing? How do you help your house plants survive?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hot for Hot Pad Runner

I love looking in fabric stores. All the neat cotton prints and pattern you can find and all the fun colours usually fill my head with inspiration and make me want to sew up a storm! Of course, like most people out there, I don't exactly have unlimited free time for crafty projects, but a girl can dream can't she? I've been craving doing another quilting project (my first and only quilting project to date is a wall hanging I made for my mom a few years ago) but I want to start small. I'm not ready to commit to an actual bed size quilt - so maybe a nice table runner will do the trick! Well the ladies over at the Purl Bee have the perfect project! A quilted table runner that doubles as a hot pad:

It seems so obvious but is so unbelievable useful and brilliant at the same time! No longer do you have to puzzle fit in all those hot dishes and trivets on the table for big family meals, just stick them on your handcrafted hot pad table runner! Aha! Unfortunately, my current kitchen table is much too small to require this level of project (in fact, we barely fit more than two people at it) but I think this is a good idea to keep on the back burner (har har, terrible heat related pun) for the future! Heck, maybe I will even manage to make enough friends here that I will require a bigger table, but for now I'll stick to thinking about how awesome that project is! Oh! Also gives me an excuse to go quilt fabric shopping? What do you think? Anyone out there up for a trip to the fabric store?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bring on the Bulk!

With the holiday season quickly approaching (and US shoppers going wild with Black Friday and Cyber Monday), I thought I'd list my own special deal in my etsy shop! Since I recently invested in my very own 2.25" button machine, I'm no longer contracting out my illustrated mirrors and can make any number of any design you'd like! Hooray! Bring on the mirrors and bring on the bulk savings:

Yipee! Instead of struggling with trying to get a clear shot of each of my designs, I went with the photoshop approach and made two images numbering off all my illustrated friends. Take a peek:
Whew - almost halfway there...

Tada! I can't believe I've got 55 mirror designs under my belt. Whew! What a selection! In fact, I have tons of designs on there that I've only mentioned on the blog and not in my shop! Oh and not to worry, if you aren't into the bulk purchase (even though it is pretty handy for stocking stuffers and last minute gifting) you can get any of the designs solo too! Which one is your favourite? Know anyone out there who needs an anthropomorphic mirror?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Find: Danielleorama

Today's find suits me to a T! Quirky wide set eye smile adorable dinos, cats, owls, and foxes made from felt and fleece? Yes please! Check out the lovely works of Danielleorama:

I'm in love! Danielle's creations are perfect right down to each last stitched detail! Oh the muted tones and simple round shapes! Yup - a crafter from my own heart. What do you think? Which is your favourite?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I need your help!

Happy Thursday blog friends! I've got a favor to ask all of you - so grab your thinking caps! We're doing a secret santa at work this year and of all the coworkers to be paired up with, I got stuck with the one coworker that is pretty much the polar opposite of me. Oh dear! The gift is supposed to be $10-$15 and I am stumped. Here's the details on my secret santa partner:

- He's a he (is it just me or are girls so much easier to buy for)
- He seems like the type of person who 1) watches Family Guy and 2) listens to Nickleback
- He is a good 4 years younger than me, making him 23
- Perhaps it's the age difference but he never gets any of my jokes or movies references (hence the polar opposite thing)
- and...well...that's about all I really know! He's a new transfer to the store as our assistant manager and I've only worked with him a few times.

Ack! I'm sure you can see my predicament! The xmas party is only a few weeks away but I am totally at a loss of what to get. The only thing I can think of is to make him a bacon ornament like the one I made for my xmas party last year:

All 23 year old guys like bacon right? But that isn't really enough as a present right? Maybe I could throw in a selection of mustache sticks? Or...a gift certificate (*cringe*)....

Yup, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! What would you get a young male manager you know nothing about? Inquiring minds want to know!

p.s. by the completely rare chance that my secret santa partner is reading this (you know who you are), sorry for spilling the beans on your present ideas...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Look at these beauties from Lilac Saloon!
How Kate like!
Good thing she is coming back tomorrow...Right Kate?
You're coming back?

Room 6

Have you ever been to Deep Cove? The first time I went there was on a trip to the coast with Kate in 2010. It is about 15 minutes outside of Vancouver but a world away from anything resembling the big city.
This year I was back and went kayaking with my dear friends Dilia and Jocelyn. The three of us paddled our way through the quiet cove looking at the otters, the houses, and forest surrounding us. If you are ever in Vancouver I highly recommend heading out on the water.
Then, of course, before you head home, stop in at Room 6. It is pretty much your duty to yourself. I purchased a calendar there last year by Snow and Graham and have just realised I need (not want) another.
When I stopped by Room 6 (the online version) I realised they are having a free shipping promo! Room 6! In my home! Free shipping! Oh my! Their selection isn't expected. Everything they sell has been carefully selected and chosen with care. Go on, check them out! Kate and I spent about an hour in the store, looking at every little item they had.
Since Christmas is coming I'm curious to know...Do you have a go-to store or online shop when you need a unique gift?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I've Got Your Back

Kate is taking a sick day or two. Naturally, being one of her besties, I have her back and am writing a blog or two for her.
Now, back to business (I'm REALLY hoping Kate hasn't blogged about this). Have you ever heard of Ninainvorm? Oi! Don't ask me how to say it, but ask me how much I LOVE Nina's creations. Perhaps it is my love of Norwegian folklore ceramics, or maybe the primary colour combination with simple geometrics against the detailed designs.
Whatever the case, these plates bring the sunshine in and make all meal times happy!

Nina's blog is a delight. It is one of those blogs that makes me feel like I'm sitting in her house having tea. She is a 28 year old interior designer from the Netherlands who takes vintage (and new) ceramics and puts her own delightful twist on them. The down side? she lives on the other side of the world. If you ask me, on a scale of one to rebel shipping a piece of ceramic over the ocean is way too dangerous. Have no fear. For people like me she even has stationary! Hurrah!
Speaking of having tea with Nina, I think it is time for Kate's blueberry tea...
[I wrote this at night, I'm not drinking at 7am]

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pendant Packaging

One of my favourite things about making crafts and selling them is coming up with packaging! This fall I got asked by a few of my consignment shops to give them a few different items so I figured I'd see how my glass pendant necklaces would do. I knew I'd have to come up with some sort of card to put them on since I wasn't about to send away my jewelry tree with them:

Sure it worked great on my craft show display, but if they were going to beLink sold in a shop they need to be able to stand alone and, of coarse, be linked to me with my url. Paper punch and brown paper to the rescue! Check out what I came up with:

I figured the doily punch I have is a little too fancy and detailed for the simplicity of my illustrations and I wanted a bit more pizazz than just rounded corners. Luckily it just so happens that I picked up a perfect corner and border punch set back in May in Oregon! Hooray! Then I just had to work out a little computer spacing and throw my website on the back:

Not too shabby if I do say so myself. Take a look at a few of the necklaces on their cards:

I think it does the packaging job well and am quite pleased with how they turned out! What do you think? Do you ever dabble in packaging?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tips and Tricks from Pinterest

Just in case I haven't sold you on the awesomeness of Pinterest before - here are a few life changing things I've learned (and actually done) from the wonders of that site. Not only were they amazingly useful things to learn, but they all involved items I already had at home making them that much easier to try on a whim. Hooray! List time!

Pin #1: Hair Repair Treatment

I originally saw this pin on one of Lindsay's boards and decided to give it a try. Since I've been growing my hair out since moving to the coast I haven't had a trim in quite some time and needed a little hair deep conditioning! I made the concoction and decided to apply it in the bath. A note to the wise: do not get any apple cider vinegar in your eyes. I'm not sure how I managed that but boy did it burn. Ouch. Otherwise, the treatment worked really well and if you're okay with smelling like salad dressing for a while, it is well worth it! My crazy thick and coarse hair instantly felt much softer and controllable. Good job Pinterest!

Pin #2: Fixing furniture with walnuts!

I did this one back in September after our move, but it was so mind boggling I just had to include it in this list! This one is super easy too! Have scratches in your wood furniture? Just rub some walnut on them. Yup, that's it. I actually used crushed up walnut chunks from my morning oatmeal, but they still did the trick. Give it a try. You can literally watch the imperfections melt away. Sweet.

Pin #3: Removing old pit stains

I tried this one just yesterday, and believe me - I was doubtful. Since moving to Victoria I transferred to a new job in a store that is pretty hot and humid. I figured since it was the fall the room temperature would decrease once winter came, but nope. It is still a pretty warm location so the sweaters and long sleeves I'm used to wearing aren't an option. That also meant that I had temporarily retired my white polos to the bottom of the dress code pile since they're many years old and over time acquired their fair share of armpit stains. Since I can't wear a sweater over top to hide them, I figured I'd just be stuck in black. Alas. Enter Pinterest as a source of unlimited useful knowledge!

I've tried loads of different stain removers on my whites before (oxyclean, bleach, shout, magic wand - you name it) and nothing really did the trick. I figured a $2 bottle of hydrogen peroxide was an okay investment in this stain experiment since I already had the Dawn and baking soda. So - trial time! I mixed one tablespoon Dawn detergent in a glass bowl with two tablespoons of peroxide and a splash of baking soda. I mixed the solution up with an old toothbrush and rubbed some into the inside of a stained shirt. I scrubbed it in a bit, and continued on with each armpit of each shirt until my pile of whites were done (I actually had to remake the detergent/peroxide mix 3 times, so I guess I could have increased that a bit but oh well). I didn't see any amazing instant results (no, the stains did not disappear before my eyes like I heard they would) but I didn't really expect them to since 1) the stains were many years old and 2) I've tried loads of things before with no results. Oh well. I threw the semi-wet pile of whites into the laundry basket and waited an hour before taking them down to the laundry room to be washed. I decided to amp up the washing power a little bit extra by throwing a scoop of oxyclean in with the load. Now it was time to wait. Fraser diligently brought up the load of clean whites when it was finished and...the verdict? It actually made a difference! Seriously! The stains are completely gone on over half of the shirts and on the others they are barely noticeable. I figure I'll do another treatment next laundry day and my shirts will be like new! Amazing! I sort of wish I took before and after pictures, but honestly I don't want to show my dirty pit stains on the internet. Take my word for it though, it works!

So all in all, whether it be dry damaged hair, scratched antique furniture, or sweat stains - Pinterest has you covered. It's like it's an entire site of that awesome useful information you should have learned from your Grandma (or Wendy - she's full of useful tips)! So which one are you going to try? I'm dying to hear how it turns out! Anyone else have any awesome household tips and tricks to share?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Story of my life...

Yesterday my plan was to make a huge dent on my massive to do list! This is pretty much how it turned out:

Yup. Looks like I've got myself one heck of a head cold and my huge plans dwindled into just adding to that list instead of retracting from it. Good thing My Cardboard Life is there to explain things for me! I hope that today I will actually get around to a few of my to do list items (including finding all my wintry mittens and toques because it is getting chilly out!) or...I'll migrate to the couch and spend the day napping with tea. Either really works right? So how about you? How are you spending the weekend?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Find: Hug a Porcupine

With xmas right around the corner (ok, not really...but in the world of international shipping we've got to think of these things early on), I have been scouring Etsy for fun shops with neat gift ideas. Today's find is the shop called Hug a Porcupine and it has, quite possibly, the cutest origami style pins I have ever seen. I'm officially in love - check out my two fav's fox (Sarra I thought of you when I saw this one) and squirrel:

Oh my those are cute! Not a folded paper (but not actually folded paper) brooch fan? Not to worry. Hug a Porcupine has lots of other neat geometric accessories and strangely enough...not a single porcupine in their shop. Hmm. Oh well, back to contemplating more important things! Like which pin I like most! (psst - this is an excellent girlfriend xmas gift from any of you males out there...ahem...fraser...cough cough). Which is your favourite?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Aquarium style Aquariums

I really enjoy having a fish tank. Even though moving my dear sweet fishies was a bit of a trial (I stuck them in a cooler and traveled with them between my feet), I love having some low maintenance pets around to help make my house a home! Well, my little 10 gallon rectangle has nothing on the amazing non-traditional style aquariums they showcased over on apartment therapy! Just check out these fantastic tanks:

Oh my! Aren't those breath taking? It would be like having some large scale living art in your house! Eugh - but I certainly wouldn't want to be in charge of cleaning them (or scooping out the odd unfortunate dead fish)! Ick! Perhaps sticking to my small scale tank is best for the time being - oh! Or maybe this iMac one:

Hehe! That one is super neat - and a great use for an old computer! Heck, maybe I'll need to get one of those old giant tv's with the huge built in shelf thing and mod it up for a fish home! What do you think? Anyone out there an aquarium owner?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Even though we're half-way through November, you may have noticed that it also means that we are half-way through Movember. Yup, the mustaches are back and whether you can grow one of not, loads of men from all over are keeping their razors away from their upper lip for the month in support of finding a cure for prostate cancer! The mustache trend has worked its way into the crafty scene over the last few years to and I joined in by making my own collection of handsewn felt mustaches on sticks - in six delightful shapes to chose from:

These were a great hit at my first craft show in Kelowna about a year ago and have been a fun addition to my craft booth ever since. I whipped up a whole whack o' 'staches in the last few weeks to make one heck of a bouquet:

Haha! Who needs flowers when you can have a vase full of mustaches instead? Since I'm not signed up for any shows here in Victoria I've shipped all my little felt friends up to Frock Clothing in Kelowna for some consignment selling (hooray!). So just in case you're incapable of growing your own facial hair in honour of prostate cancer - you can always pick up a nice detachable one on a stick! Just check out these cute ladies from last year's festivities:

Adorable! Happy Movember everyone! Do you know any men who are hilariously attempting any fun facial disasters?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rachel's Bow Garland

Since moving to Victoria, I have yet to find time in my new schedule for daily blog reading. I'm not sure if it's my early mornings, unorganized craft/computer room, or illness to blame - but I just can't seem to find space in my life for sifting through blog posts. If any of you bloggers out there have noticed my absence on commenting, trust me - it isn't due to lack of trying! When I finally get around to blog reading I find I have somewhere along the lines of 1500+ posts to catch up on which is entirely too daunting and usually leads to me pressing the sanity (a.k.a "mark all blog posts as read") button. Alas.

Once in a while I do find a moment to catch up and am always so thrilled to see what is new in blogland! One project I'm positively in love with is this fantastic bow garland Rachel from Smile and Wave made:

It may be the monochromatic vintage fabric talking, but this garland is perfect! Just check out those colours, patterns, and shapes! I really like how simple and girly it looks without going over the top. Could you imagine this in a little girls room? OoO! Or maybe stringing out from a pom pom light center piece? I may just need to make one of these for my craft booth! What do you think? Anyone out there saving fabric scraps?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fabric Fun

I've been dying to make myself some fabric button earrings for years now, and this fall I finally got around to it! One afternoon Fraser took me fabric shopping and found a whole selection of cotton prints perfect for adorning the ears. The earrings were so much fun to make I decided to go all out and make a selection of button earrings for a few of my consignment shops to sell this xmas! Check out one of my favourite pairs:

OoO that green on green herringbone is neat! I decided to stick with the success of my doily punched earring cards much like the ones I use for my flower cabochon studs (link). I think the packaging does the job quite well and even gives me space to add my url:

What fun! I really wanted to go for great pattern , colour, and texture for the fabric button earrings and am totally in love with each and every one I made:

After sending all my stock to the Kamloops Art Gallery and Kelowna's Frock Clothing I only kept two pairs (the green herringbone and plaid tweed) but am finding they add a great touch to so many outfits! They're also pretty awesome for work to a little of my personality shine through my black and white dress code. Only time will tell if these are a hit in the shops...but what do you think? Which pair is your favourite?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Adorable Storage

When I came across these wonderful painted animal jars over on House to Home I knew I'd have to make some:

Seriously - what could be cooler? I can combine my love for mason jars (well, these ones aren't mason jars...but that is an easy modification), animals (especially bizarre coloured plastic ones), and storage! Hooray! Sure they use them for kid's stuff but I'm sure I could find a use for those in my craft room. Heck, if they turn out maybe I could use them to store pretty things in the living room (OoO I really like that idea)! And best of all? It is such a simple "will only take like a day to make" project! My fav!

After squeeling in excitement about this craft, I had a moment of deja vu. Perhaps I have blogged about this (and never ever got around to completing) this project before. I also figured I might have dreamed about blogging about them, which may sound like a pretty silly concept, but just so you know - I often have mundane dreams that I confuse with real life (which makes me sound extra crazy when I try to talk to someone about something that only happened in a dream). Well after searching back in the blog archives I don't see any technicolour animal topped jars - just a whole bunch of gold ones. Looks like I'm all about the painted plastic creatures! Check out these past posts:

1) Cupcake topper candle holders (which was actually written by Lindsay - but still counts in my books)

2) Faux gold dinos

3) Awesome gold dino terrarium friends

So many fun tutorials! I even attempted that last one (without the painting) and made a troop of coloured dino terrariums:

Yup, looks like I really like plastic animal projects. Do you ever find yourself craving the same sorts of crafts over and over again? Anyone else up for some adorable painted animal jar lids!?