Monday, April 30, 2012

Bring on the beads!

Amidst my internet surfing, I came across this amazing necklace from Toast. I love how simple and bold is and how awesome it pairs with casual and semi dressy outfits! Take a peek:


Isn't it fun? Unfortunately with my extreme frugality these days I am not about to pay 25 pounds for one (plus shipping from the UK). Alas. On the plus side however, it looks super easy to replicate and even uses the slide knot closure I used with my wooden pendants! Check it out again on a model:


Looks like I need to take a trip to the bead shop and see if I can find myself some square beads to make my own! Or perhaps (like most necklaces I've been eying these days) I can make one out of polymer clay! Then I can make it whatever colour I'd like and it wouldn't require any new supply purchasing. Sounds like a plan! Now if only I could manage to finish all the consignment crafts I've been hammering away on these last few days...

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Well looks like just as the week is wrapping up, so are the pieces of fun mail I've been receiving and blogging about.  I'm not entirely sure how it ended up that I got three swap crafts all within the same week (you'd think it would be spread out a bit) but no complaints from me! Today I'm sharing the sweet art card I got from Ulixis (Amanda)'s ACEO exchange 4.0. She even did a post showing all the fun submissions and I had to anxiously wait and see who my partner was going to be. Turns out it was Lou Back who made me a gorgeous crochet flower card:

Isn't it beautiful? I really love the detail in the stitched flower and the nice layering and colours in the background! The card was even awesomely wrapped in a neat envelope with washi tape (my fav)! What fun! I still haven't heard if my swap partner received my ATC (link), but here's to hoping she likes it! What do you think? Have you ever participated in a swap before? Do you prefer a direct swap (where you meet your partner and swap back and forth) or the kind where the person you swap to isn't the one you receive from? Inquiring minds (well...mind...) want to know!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mustache Caturday

Yay! It's Saturday! A day where the internet is littered with an extra number of kitties in celebration of Caturday and since I am very much a cat person, naturally - I'm thrilled! To keep the cat theme going, I figured I'd share a nice watercolour Fraser did this week of my mustache cats! Take a looksie:

Oh what a wonderful man Fraser is and I love when he plays around drawing (and in this case painting) cute things for me!  Well, this one was technically for a demo for his practicum art students, but I figure it had dual purpose. Hooray! What great detail he's put into these pals and I can't wait for him to finish painting up the mustache cats on a plane piece he's been working on! What do you think? Which is your fave facial-haired feline?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Find: Whipstitch Fabrics

Today's find is the awesome online fabric shop my stitch swap partner Stacee works for, Whipstitch Fabrics (although I do believe she works for the actual shop and not necessarily just the online version)! I do enjoy some lovely cotton shopping and since my love for fabric branches much beyond the limited selection available locally, online shopping is the next step! I'm so happy I came across this etsy shop and am totally swooning over loads of their prints:

Oh my! The sewing possibilities! And with 31 pages of fabric swatches to browse through you're destine to find just the print you've been dreaming of! They've even got lots of fun patterns on their too to fulfill all your sewing inspiration needs. Hooray! Now comes the hard part - choosing what to buy! What do you think?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chevron Squirrels!

Remember the robot embroidery hoop I sent off as part of Wild Olive's stitch swap? Well I got my hoop in the mail and am overjoyed with how perfect it is for me! My partner ended up being the super talented Stacee Adams, a lovely crafty mom from Atlanta, who created the most amazing teal and gold chevron pattern squirrel hoop:

Isn't he the cutest? To top it off she included a bunch of other goodies in with the hoop making me feel extra spoiled. Take a peek:

Do you see that space robot fat quarter in there? Boy I wish we had awesome fabric shops like the one Stacee works at here in Victoria! What a sweetheart Stacee is. I can't get over the amazing detail in the squirrel hoop and she even covered the hoop in neat coordinating fabric. That lady has an eye for detail! Take a closer look: 

I've decided this hoop will become the focal point of another embroidery hoop wall piece (much like the one I did in the living room) to fill the giant empty wall in my bedroom! Now I just need to find some matching scraps to go with my squirrel! What fun! What do you think?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

star cozy!

My week of handmade mail continues - this time with a prize I won in a giveaway! You may recognize this geeky handiwork because it is none other than my fabulous sponsor (and previous friday find) Velma!  You may remember how I mentioned how I've been reading Velma's blog for years now and not too long ago she held a giveaway for one of her awesome mario star coffee cozies! I am super happy I won since (yes, it's list time):

1) The cozy is totally rad (and my two fave colours)
2) I love Velma's handmade goods
3) I love getting mail (especially cute geeky mail)
4) I work in a coffee shop, drink loads or hot beverages, and can totally utilize this cozy to the best of its abilities!
5) I love super mario brothers and this little star guy is super cute:

Hooray! I should have also mentioned something about how I stink at knitting and extra appreciate the crafts I'm incapable of making but five is such a nice number when writing lists don't you think? I think it's also kind of cute how the stars in mario make the characters go into super speedy mode (just like me after a few cups of coffee!). Well, I'm sure Velma (and all of you) already thought of that...but I thought I'd mention it just in case you haven't had a brain boost today.  This little guy has a new home in my work tote and is ready for hand heat protecting action! Yay! Thanks Velma! I love him!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ponycat Swap Goodies!

Well apparently this week is going to be all about getting fun crafts in the mail because boy have I ever got some lovely handmade goods to share with you! Last week I showed you the wooden pendant necklace and felt fox pin I made for my craft swap with Carmila and I am thrilled to show you what I got in return! Take a peek at the amazing pile of crafts Carmila made:

Oh my was I ever spoiled! I can't decide which craft I like best but I am over the moon about each one, let's take a peek at each of them:

1. Felt Camera Pouch - I'm sure this one was a spin on Elycia's camera plush tutorial, but it is just perfect as a little purse! I love the blues and button details and am already using it to hold coins! Isn't it adorable?

2. Felt Ice Cream Cone Ring - Another teal beauty (my fave colour) with wonderful hand stitching detail. I really like the little heart on top and how it fits me perfectly. What are the chances? I guess Miss Carmila Ponycat is just that good!

3. Purple Knit Bow - This one was pinned to Carmila's business card and is so sweet. Although I have many failed attempts at knitting, I do love how the stitches look and have already worn my new bow in my hair. I'll have to take some pictures of my new hair experiments (since I'm growing it out and letting it go curly from time to time) and the purple jewel tone really plays up my redheaded-ness!

4. Amigurumi Bunny Necklace - I squeeled when I saw this one because he is just so cute!  The attention to detail is amazing and the darling scarf and button eyes are to die for! I'm in love. Take a closer look:

If this post doesn't convince you to follow Carmila's blog (and her awesome crafts) then I don't know what else would! She is one talented lady and I am so so happy to be the recipient of such thoughtful handmade goods! Yay! Once I get some of my consignment crafts whipped up (I've got some pretty large orders I've been hammering away on) I think I'll host my very own swap so you can join in on the fun too! What do you think? Aren't Carmila's swap presents awesome?

Monday, April 23, 2012

That awkward time

Hello there blog pals! I originally had a post where I awkwardly asked if anyone was interested in sponsorship (hence the enthused yeti image) and how I was enjoying the new blogger posting changes. Then I realized (well, more like Fraser and Lindsay texted me) that I had a type-o in my title (oops) and when I went to change it the whole thing deleted! Rats! Maybe I don't like the changes all that much...but I do appreciate being able to use Helvetica. Happy Monday (oh, and check out my sponsor page if you're interested, I've even got free swap spots available!)!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Man Bows

Before Fraser went off on his practicum we bought him some new spiffy teacher clothes. It will be quite the adjustment to stay away from the jeans, converse, and tshirt look he's been sporting for so long, but sacrifices must be made right? He would joke to me often about wearing a tweed sport coat to school and although it would need a little tailoring to be snappy, I think Fraser suits the geek look quite well! I figure he is the perfect candidate for bow ties since 1) they are enormously geeky, 2) they are dressy for work, and 3) they are making a comeback! Have you seen all the awesome forage bow ties scattered on all the hip internet sites! Those things are everywhere - take a peek:

There are however a few problems with these ties since I don't have an extra $68 US + shipping to drop on one, and if you've ever tried to tie a bow tie you'll quickly learn what a pain they are! The solution? Making your own! ECAB has an awesome tie tutorial that is even adjustable so you'll only need to tie it once! Perfect! Check it out:

I think it is just as charming as the forage ones and is the perfectly manly version of a bow you can get. Now I just need to convince Fraser that he needs to start sporting them and rummage through the fabric scraps! What do you think? Are you into man bows?

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Remember that fox pin I made last May when I went on my cruise? Well I decided I'd make a new fox head version of him and send it away to my craft swap partner with the wooden pendant I made! I am super pleased with how it turned out and think he is cuter than ever! Take a peek:

Isn't he sweet? I knew Carmila had a soft spot for foxes so I figured her own hand sewn brooch would be perfect for our swap! Here's a peek of him from the back:

I may need to make another one of these for myself because I think he would be just perfect on a cardigan for spring! Maybe I'll even make a few more and list them in the shop! As for the craft swap, I was happy to hear Carmila loved her new goodies and even did a post showing off the pin:

I even got my parcel in the mail too! I am over the moon about all the lovely goodies she made for me and just need to take some pictures to share them with you! Have you ever done a craft swap? Would anyone be interested in doing another if I held one?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Find: Becka Rahn

Today's find is none other than my wonderful sponsor - Becka Rahn! This is certainly one talented lady who is truly a talented fiber art and technology geek who fuses old school weaving and embroidery techniques with high tech laser cutting to make some great projects! Just take a peek at my two favourite ornaments she has in her shop:

Aren't they just darling? I love the custom made mini loom and embroidery hoops she uses to make such unique items and with such great textures and colours in there! If you're more of a do it yourself type (which I certainly am) she has a whole assortment of cool DIY kits and patterns in her shop too including game and ornament patterns, loom weaving kits, and fun embroidery and applique online patterns. Here are a few of my faves:

Oh my! What a wonderfully creative lady! I must say the Pyrex and Cathrine Holm Lotus style bowls in the embroidery pattern particularly tickle my fancy, but there are just so many fun piece in her shop! Wouldn't they look neat embroidered in hoops and hung in a kitchen? Oh the possibilities are endless and I am just swimming with inspiration from Becka! I am thrilled that she was kind enough to sponsor my blog and hope you check out her shop and fall in love with her as much as I have! Which item do you like best?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wooden Pendant Time

When I was brainstorming ideas to make for my new craft swap partner, I thought it would be fun to make some reversible wooden pendants. I ended up making three (one for my swap partner, one for me, and one for my sister's birthday). I didn't want to post about them until Carmila got her swap parcel in the mail (I wouldn't want to spill the beans) but since she got it (and liked it! Yay!) I can share them now!

They were a ton of fun to make but I went through a few rejects before getting some I was happy with. Fraser lend me a little hand drill to use to screw in eye hooks that make the wooden disks into pendants which was handy. It was a little tricky to get the screws to go in perfectly straight without splitting the wood so I guess I still have a ways to go before I've mastered that part of it. Then it was just a matter of painting them up and varnishing them! I went for a geometric pattern for my necklace:

I also went with some chevron stripes, sunburst, and heart patterns for the back/rest of the pendants:

Aren't they fun? I saved a little bit of time using masking tape to get straight lines and since I painted them all at the same time I only had to mix the colours up once! I contemplated using chain for the necklace part but ended up going with waxed cotton cord instead. I am so thrilled with that option since all I had to do was tie a slip knot and the necklaces can be adjusted to whatever length you fancy. Slip knots are much easier to tie than I thought they'd be and even look neat:

I used this you tube video to figure out the knots and it worked like a charm! I totally want to make more of these to sell this summer at craft shows. What do you think of them? Which designs do you like best? Any thoughts on pricing?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Make your own felt flowers

I've made all sorts of felt flower decorations in the past and really love this flower tutorial from Infarrantly Creative! Just take a peek at those blooming felt wonders:

Wouldn't they make awesome brooches, hair pins, and fascinators? I sure think so! Plus I always love a good felt project and just bought some fresh wool felt in a whole bunch of fun colours to try this out with! Hooray! I really like the texture you get with these flowers and love how 3D they are. To top it all off, they look super easy to whip up (making them all more attractive to me)! What fun! What do you think?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

my own rubber stamps!

I've been thinking about getting my own rubber stamps made for quite some time. I thought they'd be super handy for packaging, craft show bags, and etsy sales but was a little hesitant taking the plunge. A few years ago I tried to find a place to get stamps made in Kamloops with no luck! Rats! I found a few custom stamp places online but wasn't pleased with the pricing and really didn't want to go with one of those self inking plastic stamps. Add in the hefty shipping costs and wait times and my stamp dreams were on the back burner yet again. That is, until now!

As it turns out Victoria has its very own custom stamp and engraving shop just over the Bay Bridge with reasonable pricing, friendly staff, and options galore! Hooray! Check out my new custom rubber stamp friends I got made:

Aren't they just perfect? I'm beyond thrilled with how they turned out and can't wait to use them all the time! The url stamp will be extra handy with packaging (since I often resort to hand printing my website on the back of things) and can combine the two a nice touch on my paper bags I give out at craft shows:

I love it! I left the speech bubble empty so I can customize the message as I want and may even resort to using my stamps for the cards I use to package etsy sales. I also thought it would be fun to add the little happy bacillus on envelopes too:

Yay! What fun! If you're ever interested in getting your own rubber stamps made I totally recommend the guys over at Custom Stamp & Engraving LTD and they even ship worldwide! So what do you think? Any thoughts on other uses for my new stamps?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Half painted Wooden Beads

Apparently I'm all about the wooden bead necklaces these days. I posted about one using hex nuts a few weeks ago, and now I've fallen for this half painted necklace from Laura Parke. Just take a peek:

Isn't it lovely? I really like the little pops of colour against the neutral light wood beads and how they are strung together. I think it would be fun to use some of the hot spring colours (mint, coral, mustard) to make one heck of a trend forward accessory! I'd also recommend a light coat of varnish for these for necklace longevity and I'd switch the necklace chain out for some budget friendly waxed cotton! Okay, so apparently I've given this tutorial a fair amount of thought - now to get me some supplies! What do you think? Want to join me?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring Art Card!

A few weeks ago I shared a link to Amanda's fourth art card swap and I thought I'd share my finished piece! I figured since I did a different technique in each of the last four ATCs I've made (check them out here) that I'd stitch this one. I went with the pinking sheer flowers pattern I've used on coffee sleeves and tea cozies in the past and made a tiny little wool felt card version. Take a peek:

Hooray! How springy! I am particularly pleased with how the little stitched dirt looks and really like the light green background. Here's a closer look:

Oh I just love quick little projects! Luckily spring is in full swing here in Victoria and the city is bursting with cherry blossoms, spring flowers, and greenery! It has even been nice and sunny these last few days making extra lovely. So what do you think of my ATC? You can check out the other entries on Amanda's blog (link) and I really hope my partner likes mine! I wonder which one I'll receive...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Find: Made by Velma

Happy Friday! I figured since I have two wonderful sponsors this month I would feature each of them in an in depth Friday Finds post. Becka is away on a little spring break trip at the moment so this week is all about Velma! Yay!

Velma is a crafty and wonderful lady (as well as wife and mother) from Austin, TX. I've been reading her blog for about two years now and always enjoy seeing what she is up to. She has a great sense of humor, amazing taste, and some intense craft skills that uses to masterfully create pieces for sale in her etsy shop. Not only does she astound me with her ability to knit and crochet (can you tell I'm jealous?), but she also whips up a mean granny square blanket! I really love the bright colours she used in this one from her shop:

I also really appreciate all of Velma's geeky ways and think her geek themed embroidery hoops are just awesome:

Did you guess which each one is from? Looks like you need more nerdy tv in your life! Embroidery hoops not your thing? Not to worry, Velma has oodles of fun handmade goodies to chose from and takes custom order too! Just take a peek of some of my personal favourites:

What fun! That daughter of hers modelling the wrist warmers particularly makes me smile when I see her crafting along on Velma's instagram (so cute). I am so thrilled to have Velma sponsor me this month since she's such a creative, supportive, crafty lady! If you haven't already I totally recommend checking out her shop and blog, or you can even follow her on twitter! Hooray!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Goats and Engagement.

Last Thursday was quite the day. It started off with some monsoonal rain downpour on my way to work and as my morning went on, the skies cleared and it turned into a beautiful spring day! Once I got off, Fraser and I headed downtown for a celebratory long weekend lunch and a bit of shopping! Hooray! I picked up a jewelry polishing cloth I'd been thinking about for ages (I do have quite the collection of tarnished sliver these days) and enjoyed the scenery. Just check out that gorgeous blooming tree:

Next Fraser took us to the petting zoo at the park in hopes of seeing some alpacas (I do love me some alpaca)! It was great! There were loads of peacocks, baby piggies, silly looking ducks, alpacas (yay), and some adorable baby goats:

And just when I thought the goats couldn't get any cuter, we entered the petting area. How couldn't it be awesome with a sign like this at the gate:

Well as it turned out, that sign was totally necessary because beyond the gate was an entire pen of super cute baby pygmy goats. Aww! They were fluffy, adorable, and extra tiny! They are like the kittens of the goat world! Take a peek at Fraser and one of the cuties:

Eee! Oh it was just the sweetest thing ever - and there were loads of them. Not sold on how small they are? Take a gander at this kid sized herd:

Overload of cuteness! Look at this little scamp handing out on top of his mom:

You should have heard their little baby pygmy goat sounds too - like itty bitty "maaaaaa"s all over the place. I am pretty sure I was hyperventilating in how awesome it was. So much adorable! After calming down a smidge Fraser and I went for a stroll around the rest of the park and soak up the sunny day. Heck even the palm trees were thriving:

Fraser directed me down a little quiet path and when I turned around he was on one knee. In his hand was the most wonderful gold ring and Fraser proposed. I said yes. Okay - so in actuality I was an overwhelmed blubbering mess and I'm sure it was more of a nod than anything audible - but you get the gist. Yay! We're engaged - and have a wonderful new ring to wear on my left hand:

We had been looking at gems together for quite some time and decided that the blue green montana sapphire was totally the way to go. They are interesting and unique and have the longevity and hardness of a sapphire! Fraser ended up finding the cushion cut stone online, drawing out the ring design on paper, and then had it custom made by a pair of English jewelers in town! The sapphire is surrounded by six little diamonds on a white gold strips and the sides have hearts on them:

What a beautiful surprise! I couldn't imagine a more perfect ring for me. I love how it isn't traditional, it won't get caught on my nylons when I put them on, and it isn't overly frilly (but has the little side hearts for a cute and subtle girly touch). I especially love seeing it on my finger as it reminds me how wonderful it is to be engaged to Fraser!

Hooray! Unfortunately I've only had one week to enjoy the engaged life with Fraser since he is off to Kamloops today to start his practicum. Rats. Oh well, at least I have a nice ring to keep me company and one heck of an engagement story. I mean how many engagements involve baby pygmy goats?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My kind of poetry.

My Cardboard Life never fails to entertain me and this little one frame comic is one of my new favourites:

Now that's my kind of poetry! Odd, funny, and accompanied but a cute polar bear and drawing! Woo hoo! I think this one would be perfect framed and hung up in the craft room! What do you think? Do you ever dabble in poetry?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Look at me not kill things!

Woo hoo! Plant progress on my wee little herbs! I shouldn't be so doubtful of me not being able to grow things because the cilantro I planted is popping up all over:

Do they ever want to reach out to the sun! I think there will be many mexican inspired fresh herb dishes in my future this summer! Yay! I'm trying to be patient with my rosemary, and so far I have the tiniest little baby sprout peeping through:

I think the arrow was necessary to spot that one, but hopefully a few of the other herb seeds I planted with break under peer pressure and start to sprout. Perhaps I need to sing to them more often? That helps right?