Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Embroidered Pendants Please!

Just in case you managed to miss this project - I thought I'd share it with you. I am a long time supporter of interesting pendants, embroidery, and handmade accessories so I'm sure you can see why I feel for this craft from paper n stitch:

Isn't that neat? Turns out you can buy wooden disks with loads of holes from oh love lovely so you can make your very own embroidered necklace! Then all you need to do is find some favourite embroidery floss colours and get creating! The necklace on the DIY site has a deer on it, but I must say the random stitches and colours from the paper n stitch blog are quite charming! I'd love to make my own holey pendant out of polymer clay and customize the necklace even more - perhaps make it rectangular and stitch in some grey and gold chevron stripes? OoOo! How thrilling! What do you think?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sliced wood is where it's at!

Remember how I blogged about that great sliced tree branch art piece um...yesterday!? Well here's a similar project that has my name written all over it:

Ah! So cute! I guess if you don't have enough wall space for some tree slices you can always resort to making a book case/side table out of them! Brilliant! And - just in case you didn't notice - this one also has billy balls on it! Haha! It's meant to be! Oh internet, you know me so well *swoon*! What do you think? Have I sold you on the sliced branches yet?

Monday, February 27, 2012

DIY Walls

Once again How about Orange wows me with an amazingly wonderful round up for tutorials! This time they're linking to budget friendly wall art tutorials and since moving last September, this is one subject area I am all about! Take a peek:

It may be that beautiful vintage hutch talking, but that one on the bottom right hand corner is to die for! Seriously - I could only dream of having a spot in my house that is that gorgeous and those slices of tree branch look spectacular! Did you spot that vase full of billy balls in there too? I blogged about making those ages ago (link) so clearly that DIY is calling to me! Ah! I'm in love! What is your favourite art piece of the four? What kind of stuff do you have hanging around your home? Any tips for some low cost art coverings?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February photo a day 19-25

Woo woo! The instagram photo challenge continues! Let's check out another week of pictures:

Day 19 - "something you hate to do" - It took me a while to decide on something I could photograph that I don't like...but as soon as the T4s started showing up it was easy. Boo to tax season (and unpacking):

Day 20 - "handwriting" - I contemplated writing something out that was nice for this one, but then went for my natural not so neat printing instead. Yay five year one sentence journal to the rescue:

Day 21 - "a fave photo of you" - This one was taken by Jim when we went to Nelson for my birthday many moons ago. I like it even more with Instagram filters!

Day 22 - "where you work" - So I attempted to put some impact into this one. I work at starbucks, but I also work from here is the sbux siren mug in my living room (actually from my spot on the couch where I spend the majority of my time crafting!):

Day 23 - "your shoes" - The ladies came on the 23rd so I pre took this one during the week while I was spending some time jumping in the rain puddles in my rain boots.
Day 24 - "inside your bathroom cabinet" - My bathroom cabinet is really more of a drawer...

Day 25 - "green" - I really love this one. We went to fisherman's wharf to get fish and chips and do a little stand by sealing. There was an old VW bus with a mossy bra on the front of it and I thought it was super artsy and neat! Hooray! Moss!

Woo! So I've decided I'm going to skip out on the March challenge so I will be extra excited about doing it again in April (and don't risk getting sick and tired of it). Good idea yes? One more week to go! Which is your favourite?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Recipe: The best veggie side dish (ever!)

When my Uncle and Mom came to visit we had a whole bunch of delicious home cooked meals and my most favourite discovery of the weekend was making leeks! Although I have been a leek soup fan for many years, I had never ventured into cooking them as a side dish and once I realized how simple it was, I was hooked! Take a peek at the marvelous veggie goodness:

Nummers! Now onto the recipe:


- organic carrots (they are by far more tasty!)
- leeks (I usually use two)
- parsley
- a little dab of butter


1. Peel and slice a few carrots (I usually do about 3 or 4) and put them in a large pot

2. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the carrots (and be about 1 inch above) and get them cooking!

3. Start cleaning and slicing the leeks! Slice off the tough dark green bits at the top of the leek and then I usually slice the leek down the center. This lets you wash away any bits of dirt in each delicious layer of leek! I then slice the leek into about 1/2 inch pieces

4. Check on the carrots and see that they are getting cooked, then add the leeks to the pot. Make sure to close the lid so the steam stays in there to cook the leek that may not be covered with water

5. Start cleaning the parsley. Once you remove any long stems or yellow bits chop the parsley up into tiny little bits! Chop chop!

6. Check on your pot of veggies. With my slow cutting skills they are usually done at this point, so I drain the water out of the pot (but make sure your carrots are tender enough to easily be poked with a fork)

7. Mix in the parsley and a dab of butter and mix it all up!

8. Tada! Enjoy!

Okay, so it may not be the most difficult of eight steps, but trust me, this is an amazing dish! The leeks taste super buttery and flavourful and the carrots and parsley compliment it wonderfully. I've even had it sans the butter and it was still amazing (but butter does tend to make things better)! Yum! What do you think? Are you a leek fan?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Find: Greenlight Goods

It isn't often that I put paintings up on my Friday Finds, but when I saw this amazing avocado oil painting in an etsy treasury my felt brooch was featured in (link), I fell in love! Just look at the texture and colour in there:

I am in awe! I love how Robert catches the light and realism in his piece it practically makes my mouth water! I also really enjoy the asymmetry with the pit and think this would be an amazing addition to any kitchen. It also reaffirms the fact that I really want to visit Portland since everything I have seen and heard from that place is pure gold. Yup. Time to add that to the life to do list! What do you think? What is your favourite type of painting?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Don't take any wooden....mushrooms?

As you all probably know by this point, I am in love with quick little craft projects! Nothing perks up the day like a craft you can execute and complete in a matter of hours to peel away all those negative thoughts of procrastination and give yourself some solid crafty confidence! Well here is one quick little tutorial I am dying to try from Stelabird - wooden mushrooms!:

Aren't they cute? All you need are some wood split balls and candle cups, a little dab of glue, and some paints! Perfect! I think these little guys would be great in a terrarium (perhaps to keep my dinosaurs company?) or equally darling on a shelf or bookcase. Heck - we could even throw some little wide set eye smiles on there and have a 3D version of my amanita mushroom pin! Yipee! Looks like the craft store is calling to me...

In other fabulous news, Sarra, Heather, Cindy, and Lindsay are coming to visit me this weekend! Looks like Fraser is going to be overloaded with ladies in the apartment for a while and I will be overwhelmed with joy! Hurrah! Hey, maybe they will be craving a little wood mushroom making and we can make a weekend of it! What do you think?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chevron Thread holder DIY

I do love myself some good chevron, so it is no surprise that when I saw this amazing DIY chevron spool holder from Craptastic Katie (great blog name!) I fell in love:

It love the simple graphic design of the chevron stripes and the wonderful organization usefulness as a thread holder! It would certainly make an awesome addition to my craft room wall if you ask me. In all honesty, when we moved to Victoria I contemplated buying a wooden spool holder to use in the craft room (since I actually have space to do sewing now) but was quickly off put by their ridiculously high price tag. Seriously? It's just a little pine and dowels - I don't see why they are so costly. Good thing I didn't give in to temptation, now I can make my own much trendier chevron addition! Hooray! What do you think? How do you organize your thread?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wall Barnacles

When I come across something fun I want to blog about I often save a picture and a link to the article (or project, or image, or what have you) under my drafts in blogger. It is a great way for me to store extra blog ideas for when I need a little inspiration and has worked pretty well for me over these last few years of blogging. I do however, sometimes forget about saved drafts and when I search back in my archives get to rediscover forgotten ideas! Hooray! I'm not sure how this one got lost in the cracks, but these wall barnacles from the Knowhow Shop are priceless:

Sure barnacles aren't exactly the most loved of the ocean creatures (since you usually don't want them on your things), but their ceramic counterparts are just perfect! I would love to have a few of these up on the wall with perhaps some spider plants popping out? It would be an awesome way to add some greenery, interest, and oxygen production to a room don't you think? I particularly enjoy the white on brick contrast of the image above, but I'm sure they would be just as charming inside. Looks like I've got another decorating idea to add to the list (and am happy I rediscovered this link from many months back)! Hooray! What do you think? Are you craving your own wall barnacles?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cats on a Plane

Well it seems that it was about two years ago that I shared with you a cute drawing Fraser did of cowboy cat (link)! Luckily Fraser has been at the mustache cat drawing again and is working on a larger scale drawing for the blank walls of our place! So far it is just in sketch mode, but Fraser's awesome illustration skills are still fun to share (even if the picture isn't finished). Behold - mustache cats on a plane:

Oh man am I ever excited for the finished piece! Just look at those cat expressions:

Oh no! Poor French cat's picnic basket! Oh those little goggles on cowboy cat and flying helmet on sophisticat are priceless! I'm also quite fond of that cup of tea (what a classy flier he is!). Adorable! I figure the cats are on their way to Kamloops to wish my Mom a very happy birthday! Yay! One year wiser! Right Mom? What do you think? Like the cats?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

February photo a day 12-18

The instagram February photo a day challenge continues and here's round three of my pictures!

Day 12 - "inside your closet" - behold my amazing stash of jersey cotton dresses, hoodies, skirts, and cardigans! I use the fabric totes on the shelves to organize my tights, belts, hats, and purses (which, I think works like a hot damn!):

Day 13 - "blue" - I decided to go in a non-colour direction with this day and took a picture of my sad (blue) bunny pillow:

Day 14 - "heart" - here's a shot of me sporting my crochet heart pin! I love how it looks on my lapel and even though this image doesn't show you the whole thing, it looks stunning with my jersey and lace circle scarf Cindy made me when I moved:

Day 15 - "phone" - Since Fraser and I don't have a home phone, we use our cell phones as our only way to make calls. I wasn't totally sure what I wanted to take a picture of for the "phone" challenge so I took a snapshot of my homescreen wallpaper! I have been enjoying Wild Olive's desktop calendar images for years now and am loving her iPhone option! This also shows you a typical weekday morning for me - getting up super early to go to work!

Day 16 - "something new" - I already blogged about these guys earlier in the week, but I am still swimming with joy over my newly sprouted herbs! Grow parsley grow!

Day 17 - "time" - You know one thing about getting up at 3:30am every day? You go to bed super early. Some days I am beat enough to slip into bed by 6, but generally I aim for a 7 pm bed time:

Day 18 - "drink" - No better way to warm up than with a blueberry tea! Wendy introduced these to me many moon ago and I have been in love with them every winter since. Recipe: equal parts Amaretto and Crown Royal, a few cinnamon sticks, some orange slices, and black tea. Nummers!

Only a few more weeks to go before the month is up and the challenge is complete! I am thrilled to wake up each day and try to figure out what I will take a picture of and am excited to be keeping up with the challenge! I am also realizing that I really like the Amaro filter on Instagram (I used it for every picture this week!)! Oh my! What do you think of this week's pics?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

RIP Henry

As you may recall, I went on quite the terrarium craze last year. After collecting a few glass jars and moss samples I got around to planting them and adding their own plastic dinos for good measure! My sister was lovely enough to give me the mother of all terrariums for my birthday last year and inside was my new fly eating pal Henry:

Well sad news I'm afraid. Henry has passed and now I've got a barely surviving moss collection that is being over run by weeds:

Oh dear! At least that dinosaur still looks pretty happy! I actually think I might revamp my mossy loves this spring since I am now living in a city that is covered with moss! How exciting! Looks like I need to go one some walks around the city with a butter knife and a ziplock. Fraser even told me about free nature walks run by the city that teach you about all the different kinds of mosses around! Isn't that the coolest? Perhaps next time I do a terrarium plant update I'll be overflowing with moss species knowledge to share! Haha! So long Henry - you were fun while you lasted - time to make room for some new moss! What do you think?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Find: Little Ocean

Today's find is the wonderful necklaces from Janelle's etsy shop Little Ocean. Even though the majority of her shop is clothing from vintage and recycled fabrics, I quickly feel for her wonderful chevron necklace. Just take a peek:

Oh the colours, the shape, the simplicity, and that long hanging length! Turns out I'm not the only one who has fallen for this one, when I looked in her sold items list there were loads of these! Funny how that works isn't it? I'm really loving long necklaces these days since they seem to elongate my super short torso and really top off my jersey dress outfits. Chevron now your thing? How about some lacy triangles?

Regular triangles?

Yup, I'm in love! What do you think? Are you a long necklace fan?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

how does your (herb) garden grow?

This xmas I got two herb garden kits given to me. It actually turned out to be a perfect match of gifts since the first kit had six seed packets and both had three pots! Hooray! I germinated five of the six seed packages in wet paper towel in hopes to give them an extra good chance at survival and planted them a week or so ago into their pots. I decided to opt on on starting the "sweet marjoram" since I've never used that herb (and actually have never heard of it) so I picked up a mint plant for the sixth pot. Unlike many of my plant adventures, this one seems to be going quite well so far (uh oh, hope I didn't just jinx myself) and I have quite a few sprouts! The most overachieving of the herbs I started seems to be cilantro so far with loads of sprouts popping up:

The mint is growing like crazy, which is to be expected, since I have been paying particular attention to their watering schedule and making sure they get loads of light:

Parsley is also sprouting up a storm and although I will surely have to thin this one a bit I thought I'd let it go for a while yet:

Next we've got the Chia pots, which seem to be a bit slower growing than the lee valley trio. In the first pot I've got dill (with a few cute little green sprouts coming up):

followed by chives and basil:

According to the package the chives and basil take longer to grow so it is to be expected that they haven't shown much growth, so I'm remaining hopeful! I am especially enjoying watching the herbs obvious love of sunlight as they stretch out to soak it all in:

Hehe! It sort of reminds me of a cat laying in the one little sun patch on the floor and since I'm cat-less these herbs are doing a great job of filling the void! Grow little herbs grow! How about you? Have you ever grown your own indoor herb garden? What varieties would you chose to grow?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Another use for my fabric stash

After finally getting around to making an embroidery hoop art wall I was thrilled to start using up some of my beloved fabric stash! It feels so nice to get to enjoy some of the prints I've been hording for all this time and get them out in the open! Well, when I saw this awesome DIY from Sew Tara, I figured it was right up my "let's use up those scraps" alley:

Isn't it darling? Easy too! You just need to get some fun shaped wood pieces and then mod podge on a piece of fabric! Then just glue a bar pin on the back and you're set! Quick, simple, fabric enjoying wonderfulness ready to be pinned on your jacket, bag, lapel, or (in my usual case) cardigan! Hooray! I'm officially sold and know a few other folks out there who have large enough fabric stashes to make hundreds of these (*ahem* mom...*cough cough*)! Now to find some cute wood shapes that are dying to be brooch-i-fied! Then it is time for handmade personalized brooches for all!!! What do you think? Best tutorial yet?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Swap Fail and Lindsay Win

About a month ago I signed up for Oh Strumpet's Valentine's Craft Swap. I was thrilled to meet a new crafty friend and exchange crafts in the mail! Unfortunately my partner totally crapped out on me. I emailed her twice and got one reply saying, "sorry I'm busy I'll email you later today." Yup, didn't no valentine craft swap for me. Alas.

I decided I would vicariously celebrate the Valentine swap with Lindsay since she was lucky enough to have a partner who was up for the swap (which makes me wonder why my partner signed up in the first place...)! Anyways, I heard all about the fun things Lindsay was going to make and to my surprise - I got a Valentine's parcel in the mail! Yay! Lindsay made an extra craft just for me and my failed swap! Take a peek:

Isn't that fabric beautiful? Are you wondering what it is? Take another look:

Yay! My very own machine washable reusable snack pouch! Isn't that brilliant? I love carrying almonds around with me in my purse and my little ziplocks always end up wearing out and spilling nuts everywhere. No more spilled nuts in my future! I've got a lovely cotton velcro pouch to hold them in. I think it is lined with diaper lining (or something with a little bit of stain and moisture resistance) to give it a bit more staying power. Ahha! How lovely! Lindsay also made some beyond wonderful rosemary and fig walnuts to snack on but I devoured those before giving them a chance to get at home in the pouch (and before I could take a picture). Isn't she the best? I certainly think so! So it turned into a wonderful Valentine's after all! Hooray! What are your plans for the day?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Granny Love

The other day I showed you the progress I was making on a new granny square craft I was working on and I am happy to say it is finally finished! Even though I really enjoyed hearing your guesses on what it was going to be, no one pegged it. How about taking a closer look at the squares now and see if you can guess:

What's this? Glowing light coming from them? Yup! I made a granny square lamp shade cover! Finished project reveal!:

Hooray! I actually blogged about wanting to make one of these back in January (link) and unlike many of my dreamed about but never executed projects, I actually made this one! It was, however, much more difficult than I had ever expected and hope this little lamp lasts my lifetime so I never have to try to recreate it.

So how did I manage to make this one? Well it started with a lamp. I searched many a thrift store in hopes of finding a simple and inexpensive lamp base but sadly was unsuccessful. I figured I might be able to find one at Wal-Mart and yet again there were no lamps to be found! Finally Fraser and I decided to try out Zellers and behold - one beat up bright red suede table lamp:

Yay! It was even 30% off making it a reasonable price for my experimental crafting. When I got it home I carefully ripped the red suede off the lamp shade and recovered it with some off white cotton I had left over from my craft show table cloth. I really wanted the finished product to have a nice neutral backdrop behind the squares and since the red certainly would not d0, the off white cotton was perfect! The stretched cotton turned out pretty well and I figure if I ever need a new career I should consider lamp shade recovering!

Then it was time to figure out my gauge so I could make a strip of squares that would match the size of the shade. Then it was just a matter of crocheting those squares, sewing them together, and getting them on the shade to get the finished product:

Tada! It would have been a much less frustrating project if I hadn't run out of the white cotton yarn halfway through, but that is just the way things go sometimes. My least favourite (and most time consuming) step was definitely trying to attach the granny square cozy to the shade. What a picky finicky mess that turned out to be! I single crocheted two rows on either side of the squares in hopes to have it slightly fold over the top and bottom of the shade. I then attempted to thread a draw string on either edge to cinch the cozy on, but the threaded draw strings kept snapping and after many attempted I figured it was hopeless. The granny square cozy really needed to be tight against the shade to look nice so I ended up running string inside the shade at the edge of each square like so:

Then it was just a matter of sewing the ends in and putting it on the lamp! Hurrah! Take a peek at the lamp when the light is off:

Yay! I love how it turned out, but I am particularly fond of how it looks with the light on:

Yipee! Although I do enjoy how nice it looked on the bookshelf in the living room, I did make the lamp for use in my craft room but with the rainy (and mild) weather we've been having I decided the bright daylight from the patio window doors would give me the best light to photograph with. So I'm dying to know - what do you think? Are you ready to attempt your own granny square lamp cozy?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February photo a day 5-11

Looks like we made it to the end of the week, and with another week gone, we've got a whole week of Instagram challenge photos to share! Hooray! Not sure what I'm talking about? Check out the first week here (link), otherwise let's go:

Day 5 - "10am" - I woke up early last Sunday to get some squares finished for a project I was working on. I have since finished the craft and just need to take some pictures to share it with you! Loving the colour combinations!

Day 6 - "dinner" - Fraser made us a super yummy meal Monday! Gluten free pasta with pesto, roasted pine nuts, zucchini, and broccoli:

Day 7 - "button" - There were a lot of directions you could go with this one, but since I am a huge fan of pinback buttons (and make hundreds of them) I thought I'd share one of my favourites! I really need to get my new designs in my shop soon!

Day 8 - "sun" - Instagram confession: I actually took this on the weekend when the sun was out. Winter in Victoria means loads of rain so I thought I better snap an image of the sunrise while I could! Good thing too - the 8th was super rainy! I do really enjoy the view from the patio and love the shape the sun peeping over the mountain too!

Day 9 - "front door" - Thank goodness for Instagram filters to make the terrible hall lighting at 5am tolerable! I never really noticed all the molding around our door before...

Day 10 - "self portrait" - Here I am after a long day of work! My hair is at a stage where instead of a pony tail kink from being tied up all day it gets this super out flip at the bottom. My hair dresser in Kamloops says the subtle out flip is sure to make a hot comeback but I'm not sold on that yet...

Day 11 - "makes you happy" - Saturday was a solid happy day for me! Got a little bit of a sleep in, followed by a yummy breakfast, cute outfit, and trip to an awesome craft show! All the rad Victoria artisans I love were there and even though I didn't end up buying anything this time, it was certainly a great start to the day! (Plus the foxes on the poster are cute):

Whew! What a round up! I guess it is only to be expected that 7 days take longer the ramble on about than 4. Haha. I'm looking forward to the rest of the month too! Hooray for successful challenges! What do you think? What's your favourite picture from week two?