Sunday, July 31, 2011

DIY skirts

As usual (or at least the trend so far this year) I was beat after another Artisan's Market yesterday that instead of spilling the details on the day, I'll share a different project with you - this time about skirts!

I'm a skirt addict. Sure pants have there place in my wardrobe, but I have a special soft spot for a nice knee length number with a pair of flats! I think this guest post from Kayla over at Clothed Much says it best. You may think those jeans are the most comfortable thing around but try on a nice breezy restriction free skirt on and you'll soon change your opinion! I personally have a hard time finding anything other than jersey cotton skirts that fit me in the shop but luckily (dun dun dun!) the internet comes to my rescue with a whole slew of wonderful skirt tutorials! Let's check out my top three I'm drooling over:

1. Sew a full gathered skirt from Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing:

This two step tutorial takes you through the steps of creating your own pattern and turning it into one amazing skirt! Although I'm sure the zipper from their instructions may be a bit of a challenge for the sewing impaired there are loads of images with the DIY and room for alteration!

2. Very Simple Skirt Tutorial from Sweet Verbena:

Similar to the "if you can sew a straight line you can make this" skirt video I posted about a few days ago, this pattern looks easy-peasy! Grab some fabric you love (or two pieces in this case) cut it into a huge rectangle and throw some elastic on there! No zippers, hook and eyes, or buttons required! The super soft jersey fabric in this tutorials also leaves less bulk around the waste (easily concealed by a belt) and no need for hemming! Double win!

3. Striped and Gathered Skirt from Say Yes to Hoboken:

Even though you'd think I'd want to keep horizontal striped far away from my already pear shaped bottom half, this striped skirt is just too charming to resist! I love the classic shape and lines this skirt creates and is only a five step process! I also really enjoy how she made the piece using Ikea fabric too. Who doesn't love Ikea?

Looks like I need to get fabric shopping and sewing! Or (more likely for my limited time schedule) thrift shopping for more fun skirts to work into my summer wardrobe! At last we're finally getting some summer heat around here so I had better soak it all in before fall hits us and it's back to loads of layers! Happy Sunday!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

this picture tells 3 tales

Just the other day I saw this lovely post over at Freckled Nest where Leigh Ann put up one picture and told three different stories associated with it. I thought I'd join in on the fun (I am always up for new blog post ideas) and do the same! Let's go!

1. I originally made a felt Totoro brooch during my "mini break crafting" posts while I was away on a cruise. The first pin was such a hit that it sold almost immediately after listing it! Hooray! Last week I got an etsy message asking if I would make another one for her Totoro loving daughter and (always eager to please) I did! I even made two spares to sell just in case someone else needs a little hand-stitched Studio Ghibili fix.

2. To fill my upper level non-science credits in university I took Geography 390 "Selected regions of geography - Japan." I signed up for the class because one of my BA friends told me the prof was fun and there were no pre-requisites! Yay! Ever since I have been spouting off random facts about Japan and often get questions if I've lived there. (No, I haven't, but I do love their animation style and the Totoro film!)

3. I made the Totoro pins out of hand pressed wool felt I bought from my favourite yarn shop in Victoria (Knotty by Nature). Although you can't find such amazing felt squares in my town, I recently found out that my crafty pal Caroline is opening up her very own wool shop in Kamloops this September! She has even asked me to make a few wool themed illustrated goodies to sell in her shop (which I am so excited for)! Yipee! More consignment selling opportunities and inspiration for a new line of products!

Speaking of Kamloops...if you're in town come pop by the Artisan's Square at the Farmers Market today between 8 and 12 and say Hi! I'll be there peddling my wares and always love to see some friendly faces! Oh and what did you think about the three tales post? Do you have one to share?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Find: Krust

There's nothing quite like a shop full of clutch bags to perk up a Friday and Etsy shop Krust has quite the selection to chose from! Check out my personal fav that not only hits on my love for bags, but also my obsession with doilies and teal!

Isn't it spectacular!? Oh, and if you aren't a turquoise fan they've got them in a plethora of other awesome colours. But if you're anything like my sister (who hasn't jumped on the doily trend train) then not to worry, Krust has loads of other amazing purses to chose from too:

Ruffles, hearts, and herringbone? Oh my! I really the use of neutral grays in the ruffle and heart bags and that envelope style clutch is just wonderful! What a great design! Now all I have to do is wipe the drool off and start saving. What do you think? What is your favourite?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bring on the yogurt!

Apparently I am all about the "cool projects other people more creative than myself" posts this week on the blog! Today's project is brought to us by Zakka Life and is a super useful little coin pouch made from recycled yogurt container lids! It's even mushroom themed! How fun! Take a peek:

All you need to do is cut three eye shaped pieces from two yogurt lids, cover them in fabric, and sew them together! How handy! I think this looks like a great way to use up little scraps of fabric and will be handy to organize all those loose coins floating around the bottom of my purse. Hey! Maybe I will make this and use it to hold onto my laundry money once we move into our new (and lacking in suite laundry) apartment! Yeah! What about you? What do you think? What would you use it for?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Marvelous Enveloperie

Kirsty of Ginger and George had a wonderful (and possibly the world's easiest) tutorial over on her blog the other day and I just needed to share it with you! All you need to do is get some double sided tape, cut up some old security envelopes (you know the ones bank statements come in so you can't see through them?), and get decorative taping! Hurrah! As an avid pen-pal-er I'm always saving scraps of interesting paper for card making and the fun repeated/geometric patterns on the back of envelopes are super fun! Just take a look at some of her uses from her deco tape diy:

Ah! So wonderful! I think I would actually take this tutorial one step further (and easier since it wouldn't involve me having to go out and buy double sided tape) and just use a glue stick to adhere the strips of envelope...but then that isn't really a "diy" project more as a "look at the neat paper I found" type deal. Oh well - regardless it is a fun idea and perfect for all the card making and letter writing I will get up to once I move at the end of August! Hooray for new post friends! How about you? Do you dabble in pen palery?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kate's Spam Filter

Pinterest has taken over my internet life. As my (non computer based) life gets busier and busier I find that my blog following becomes too much to handle! Sure I can spare a few minutes here and there to read a few posts but once I skip a day my unread blog post list jumps to almost 500! After this past weekend of illness (meaning lots of sleep and not much else) I had a daunting 879 blog posts to catch up on! Youch! Enter Pinterest to the rescue! A wonderful site full of crafty and outfit inspiration that I can check with just a glance! Hooray! One of my favourite Pinterest boards I turn to when I'm in need of some eye candy? Lindsay's most wonderful "Kate's Spam Filter" pin board! Instead of an inbox full of "hey I saw this cool thing you should check out" emails she can just add the picture (and link) to the board and I can check it at my leisure! How fabulous! There are even a few themes developing on the board (and I am here to list them off for you):

1) Craft projects involving items I am obsessed with. Doilies, pom poms, chevron stripes, geometric shapes, and pyrex here I come! Just look at these neat pyrex dish lights for the kitchen:

2) Geeky images. Whether it be comic book, star trek, or star wars related - Lindsay continues to find gems that I always fall in love with (and then usually drag my geeky boyfriend Fraser in to check out too). I totally want this lego storm trooper and kitties print for my craft room wall:

3) Hilarious randomness. Linds is the best at finding ridiculously funny quotes and pictures that bring a tear to my eye. Perhaps our sense of humour isn't easily understood by most people - but Lindsay is one person who gets me. For example:

and finally...
4) Cats. Lots of cats. Adorable, adorable cats! Hooray!

Weren't those fun? Don't you wish you had your very own personal pinterest friend to find amazing images for you to check out? Well, I clearly don't have the time to volunteer but you can always follow my spam filter board or any of my boards in the meantime. If you still haven't taken the plunge into the most inspirational site of all time - let me know! Send me your email and I'll hook up you with an invite! Yay!

Monday, July 25, 2011

what i wore: artisan's market vol II

After two busy weekends of weddings and crafting I finally got back to the Artisan's Market this past Saturday! Fraser and I got up bright and early to greet a beautiful sunny day (which is warmly welcomed after weeks of rain, thunderstorms, and wind) and headed down to Galardi Square to set up for the market. I was a little more organized and prepared for this show than the first one so the set up went extra smoothly. Even though we followed the care instructions two of the plastic joints on the canopy rails snapped. Ack! It was only the third time we set it up! Unfortunately Costco isn't carrying our tent anymore, so I'll have to look around to see if we can find a replacement before returning out faulty tent (anyone have any ideas?). Despite that little set back I was super pleased with my table this week. Take a peek:

This week I got moved to the opposite (and nicely sunnier and warmer) side of the walkway and there were loads of other talented vendors this week! I moved around a few things in my display and even added extra flags to my pennant flag to give it a bit more volume and colour:

I also made a plethora of cabochon studs and rings over the last few weeks so instead of just laying them on the table, I got to use my Ikea cupcake stand I bought for my table! I also had my fun glass tile pendants and rings I set up on my ceramic jewelry tree. I put them both on the end of the table with the mirror and am really happy with the added height and colour they add:

The church yard was in full bloom and since my set up was so efficient I had a little bit of time to snap some pictures before customers started arriving. Just look at that blue sky and huge blooms:

The even coordinator Mel even picked a bouquet of white flowers for her Heritage Society Donation table. Aren't they amazing?:

Now if only I had the patience and time to grow such an amazing flower garden! I guess all that stormy rain added to the greenery but I was pretty excited to finally get some sunshine! Plus the nice day gave me the perfect excuse to wear the vintage dress I bought online from owlet vintage (Amber's etsy shop from the Hoot-n-Annie blog)! I made a few minor modifications to the dress when I got it (such as sewing new buttons on the shoulders, sewing up the belt tie, and fuzz busting the little pills off of it) and boy am I ever pleased with my purchase! I've always been a little weary of buying dresses online but this purchase has certainly changed my view on it! The dress fits like a dream and I am in love with the great stripes and colours! I decided to accessorize it with the red coral ring Fraser bought me last summer and my favourite new glass tile pendant necklace (Al the love robot). Check it out:

What fun! Because I was so frozen during the market I did on July 2nd, I opted for tights (which also hide my permo-bruised shins) and was super comfy the whole day. Take a peek at a full body shot of what I wore:

Outfit details: dress = owlet vintage, tights = joe fresh, shoes = payless, necklace = homemade, ring = Fraser bought (my favourite kind of ring), watch = fossil

Okay, so that picture above sort of makes me look like I am floating and legless, but I assure you it is just the lighting. I am still experimenting with breaking into budget fashion outfit posts so if you've got any thoughts of tips for me I'm all ears! Fraser has improved significantly with his picture taking skills (we now just take like 100 pictures and hope at least a few of them turn out) which seems to be working well. Hurrah!

As for sales at the market, there were loads more customers this week than on the 2nd and I got tons of positive comments and new fans! Sales were up from last week and although I wasn't crazy busy by any means, the pace was perfect for me to give ample attention to each customer without feeling rushed/stressed at all. Double hurrah!

Oh! And I even got a special visit from my niece (and family)! What do you think? Can I train Jean up to be my new scientific culture craft show helper?:

Boy is she ever a cutie! Leslie and I even got to play around with some mustaches during the slow parts too:

Haha. Don't we look good with facial hair? Well...not really. I'm not ready to start growing a mustache any time soon but this light coloured one sure does look adorable on baby Jean:

I can't believe Jean is already 10 months old! She's teething right now and pretty much everything you hand her goes straight into her mouth. It's pretty cute but after trying to play with her for a bit I opted to not have baby drool over all my products. Overall, the show went really well and I am already looking forward to next week's market! I do think I need to try to fit some crafting time to make more coffee sleeves though since they are a pretty consistent seller and I only have two left (oh dear!). What do you think? Any suggestions for new crafts or display ideas?

Oh! I almost forgot! Keeping with my "thanks for reading my blog and commenting" summer long weekly giveaway theme this week's winner is Beka from Ginger Urchin! Beka please email me your address so I can get your badge in the mail! And just in case you're drooling with jealousy over free kate-made goodies - not to worry there are still a handful of weeks left to participate in the giveaway and all you have to do is keep being your wonderful self and comment on my blog posts! Yay! Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My kind of project!

I'm not sure about you, but any project boasting a one hour time frame is my kind of project! Can you only sew in a straight line? Perfect! Looks like it is time to make yourself an adorable new skirt:

I am sort of enjoying the melody playing in the background of the video too! Time to find some cute fabric and get creating! Hurrah! Oh and Mom or Leslie - you should totally buy me that book for my bday (it's only a month away after all)...

Oh! I'll be back tomorrow to fill you all in with the details from my market adventures yesterday! Happy Sunday!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Market Saturday!

Good morning (if you are reading this in the morning that is...)! Today is my second run at the Kamloops Artisan's Market (part of the weekly farmer's market) and I even have some fresh new goodies to sell this week. Want to see what they are? Here is a hint:

What's that you ask? Something to go around your neck perhaps? Maybe with some of my illustrations on them? Why yes! You are correct! I've made new glass tile necklaces and rings I'm selling! Here they are on a jewelry tree I bought during our cruise for my craft booth:

So what's your verdict? I couldn't think of a better way to show them off (since they all have different little anthropomorphized cuties on them) while still not taking up too much horizontal space. I really hope the ceramic tree thing works out and I will be sure to tape that baby down to the table so it doesn't break in the outdoor (probable) winds. Let's take a closer peek at the rings I whipped up:

Aren't they cute? I tried to go with some designs that are popular and that I would like to wear in ring form and even though I boogered up a few of them (not pictured and going straight into the garbage) I am pretty pleased with the ones that did turn out. The necklaces are particularly fun (in my mind) and totally worth the three nights of crafting to make them. Let's take a peek at Al (the love robot) in pendant form:

Hehe! I've decided to sell the necklaces for $15 and the rings for $10 (although the prices are subject to change depending on you guys think/how they sell)! Like I mentioned above, they do take three nights to complete which is quite the time consuming project and although I am sure I will get better with the crafting technique in the future, right now there is a fair bit of waste associated with the process. So I'm dying to know what you think! Which designs would you like to wear in necklace or ring form? Any thoughts on a better way to display them (I have a feeling little hands will rip the neatness of my ceramic tree to bits)? Are you coming to the market today to say hi? I sure hope so! I'll be there from 8 til noon! Wish me luck!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Find: Cordialement Bisou

Etsy's Cordialement Bisou shows us that simplicity, straight lines, and amazing colour schemes make the most wonderful accessories. Just take a look at this pendant:

Isn't it amazing? I must say I swoon over the mash of geometric lines with the organic wood disk and the awesome mustard and teal colours! I'm pretty sure this necklace was made specifically to go around my neck, but that may be a smidge of an exaggeration (just maybe). Be sure to take a peek at all the other French lovelies in their shop and maybe there will be something in there that calls to you! What do you think? Do I need to pick up woodworking so I can come up with pendants half as wonderful as this one?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Terrarium! part II!

If you're a regular scientific culture blog reader I'm sure you've heard me talk about how much I love terrariums. After over a year of collecting jars and dreaming wildly about my future mossy creations, I finally got around to make a few terrariums of my own (you can read about them here)! Since all things are better in groups of three than two, I picked up a larger jar (inspired by Sarra's amazing jar filled pantry I saw last week at her Harry Potter party) to join my terrarium pair! Let's take a peek at the finished trio:

OoOo! I haven't managed to kill them yet! And what are those colourful delights in there? Hmm...let's take a closer look:

Ho! Looks like some dino friends came to live in their very own prehistoric mossy wonderlands! Boy do they ever look at home too - check out this close up in my thrifted terrarium jar:

Yay! I am so happy with how they turned out and although I can't see a ton of root growth from the moss species I planted they are still green so let's hope that means they are going to survive in their new homes! I also didn't get around to painting the dinosaurs gold (which I still hope to do one of these days) but they looked so lonely in their dish that I thought they'd prefer a mossy spot to relax. Don't they look happy in there?:

Boy! I am super pleased with the trio of terrariums I managed to whip up and here's hoping I continue to enjoy them (without killing them) for many years to come! What do you think of them? Anyone else out there dinosaur'd up their own house plants? It could be the hot new thing! Hooray for trend setting!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lavender's new home

As I spend my week frantically (why is it that I am always so frantic?) crafting in preparation for another craft show this Saturday, I thought I'd take a moment and show you the amazing view I have while doing the dishes:

Ah I love the summer sun! I'm sure my row of cacti enjoy it as well and it seems that my lavender plant (who's name is Lavender since the only other suggestion I got from my plant post was Persephone and that just won't do) is still doing well! I originally planned to keep her out of the window because I didn't want her roasting in the Kamloops heat, but so far the weather has been terrible this summer (all rain and wind and mildness - ick!). I guess that is one good thing about a cool summer? I'm not totally sure how my plants will survive this fall when we move to the coast, but I will have a few outdoor flower pots on our deck I am already excited to get working on! Any suggestions for a good climbing vine that can live in 10 degree rainy weather and has roots that won't be sad living in a confined space? Let me know - I need all the gardening tips I can get!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A wonderful day for mail!

Despite the unpleasantness the almost month long postal strike Canadians have suffered from, it does mean a boatload of mail now that the post is back and running! In fact - today may have been the best mail day ever! Check out the pile of parcels I got the joy of waking up to:

All those online purchases of crafty supplies and mustard tights (yes I broke down and bought some) I've been waiting for are trickling in making each morning just like xmas when I open the front door! Even more exciting are the super awesome prizes that are arriving from Freckled Nest's May giveaway! I got four of them in yesterday's parcel pile and after taking them out of their envelopes I discovered that they were even beautifully packaged:

I do love seeing how other people wrap their handmade goods! Take a peek at the fun items I received:

*Swoon!* Aren't they amazing?! What a generous bunch of ladies to participate in the giveaway and what a ridiculously lucky girl I am to get them! Above you can see the gray ruffle necklace from Pretties by Meg, an adorable little ceramic whale (who is now living with my tea pots in my glass kitchen cupboards) from My Happy California, Two fun suede necklaces from Tumbleweed's Oddities, and a vintage enamel flower brooch from Adalou! I also got a charming little vintage tea pot from Ashley Krogmen Designs that is fitting in perfectly with my tea pot collection (and apparently is a little camera shy). Ah! I am just bubbling over with joy from all the wonderful packages and can't wait to work each and every item into my daily life!

As for the craft supplies I also received - no peeking at those yet! I've been crafting up a storm preparing for consignment sales (woo hoo! Kelowna shop Funktional and the Kamloops Art Gallery are stocked up yet again!) and now that those are out of the way it is time to prepare for another Artisan's Square Market this Saturday morning at the Farmer's Market! That's right - I'll be peddling my wares yet again this week and I sincerely hope I get to see some of you there! Hopefully the mail will keep pouring in this week since I have half the supplies to make a few projects and still need the other parts - a slight downfall of ordering parts from different suppliers. Alas, I did some ring bases in though so I'll be sure to have loads of those to show off this weekend! Yay!

So what do you think? Are you as excited about mail as I am? Do you love buying online and playing the "wait for post" game? Is there anything more wonderful than a doorstep of goodies? (Well...if there is I certainly can't think of it....)

Monday, July 18, 2011

All the cute!

After examining my Pinterest "cute" board I came to a stunning realization (well not shocking at all really...) I really enjoy kitties inside things. Behold:

That last one pretty much makes me melt into a puddle of kitty cuteness. In other news, I really want to get a westie. Not only would Fraser potentially not be allergic - but I could name him Wee Jock. He even looks good with the decor:

Okay - so a dog is far (far) in the future when I have more time/money/space but a girl can dream.

Oh! And to keep up with the trend of my post from last Monday, I picked another random blog commenter from last week to receive a wonderful "thanks for reading my blog" button as part of my "I appreciate my readers" giveaway! Congrats to Lisa from Tea and Craft who will be the lucky recipient of a Kate-made button. Want to join in on the free stuff action (that will be happening all summer long)? Great! Just keep being awesome, reading my ramblings, and commenting on my posts! I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

what i wore: harry potter party

Even though I don't get to join in all the fun of seeing the final Harry Potter film in theatres (movies on the big screen give me motion sickness), I did get to attend a fabulous HP party at Sarra's new apartment giving me the perfect opportunity to whip out my Gryffindor costume:

Isn't it fun? My mom and I made the cloaks back in 2005 (well, mom made the cloak and I made the felt gryffindor patch) for a "dress as your favourite fictional character from a children's novel" party I attended with my sister. I picked up our wands at the Kelowna farmer's market (where I was living at the time) and mom (once again to the rescue) sewed our maroon ties and knit us scarves too! Here we are in our matching attire:

More than just my hair changed in the last six years - I swapped out the pants and loafers for a skirt, tights, and flats for a more updated (and less Ron Weasley-like) version of Hogwart's student. Just take a peek at my outfit under the cloak:

And to keep the crafty wonderfulness going I even upcycled my skirt from a very matronly old lady $3 number I picked up at a thrift store. Check out the awesome before and after shot:

Amazing what a little cleaning, hemming, and ironing can do! I actually thought I made the skirt a little bit shorter than I had hoped (no skanky mini skirts for me!) but once I tried it on with the rest of my costume I felt better about the alterations and I do love skirts with pockets! I even tried to keep up the Harry Potter fun in my accessories too:

Didn't Fraser do a wonderful job of photographing me this time? We had loads of fun playing in the front yard with the camera and by the end I was even casting spells on him:

Outfit details: cloak, scarf, and tie = homemade (thanks mom!), white dress shirt = swapped, sweater vest = smart set sale rack in highschool, skirt = thrifted and modified, tights = joe fresh, flats = payless, owl ring = pike place market in may

After my posing and picture taking fun was over, I picked up Lindsay and a huge bag of ice and we headed to the party! I (as usual) didn't do an amazing job of picture taking but I assure you it was wonderful! Sarra was wearing her dress robes and prepared an amazing HP/English/movie watching feast for us to enjoy! Her cousin even made golden snitch desserts:

Sarra made some delicious uplifting non-alcoholic potions for Lindsay and I and super tasty smelling butter beers for everyone else! We even had little bowls of treats around the house:

No spinach, liver, or tripe every flavour beans here! Oh what a great time it was and I do love any excuse to get into costume. So how about you? Any Harry Potter fans out there? Have you seen the movie yet? How will I survive the long wait for it to come out on video!? Eep!