Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ack! Dinosaur Garland!

It's official. I need an unlimited supply of cheap plastic dinosaurs. There are countless awesome projects out there using them as the staple supply and before I ever manage to complete a single DIY, I find another I want to get my hands on! Well - no surprise, this neon dino garland (link) is no exception. Just check out those stung up beauts!


Isn't it awesome? And oh so simple! Just get some dinosaurs, spray paint them, screw in some little eye hooks and sting 'em up! Voila! Perfection!

As another note - I totally love that candle holder turned cake stand/washi holder in that picture (oh and the mason jar full of a rainbow of warm pencils)! I'd love to find a few unloved candle sticks (of varying sizes) and turn them into a great craft booth display! Oh! So much inspiration! Eek! What do you think? Anyone have a reliable Victoria source for cheap plastic dinosaurs?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Find: the merriweather council

After a week plus of embroidery hoop reveals here on the blog, it's no surprise that my Friday Find for today is hoop related! Etsy's merriweather council shows us just how awesome hand stitched words can be:

I am seriously so in love with these hoops! I adore the idea of finding some cute coveted fabric swatches and stitching on some happy (and suiting) words or phrases and Danielle has got the process down to a T! Not the hoop type? How about a nicely coloured custom initial necklace instead:

Oh my! You know me - I am a sucker for muted rainbows! That image is just stunning. I would also love to add how much I appreciate seeing a successful etsy shop where the items are realistically priced. I find all too often in the crafting world people undermine how much their time is worth and as someone who is trying to make a go of craft selling as a business it's a thrill to see how many hoops she's sold at the $30-$50 price point. Way to go lady! What an inspiring shop! What do you think?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Etsy About Page

About a week ago I mentioned on the blog how pleased I was with the changes on Etsy. I've been using Etsy to sell my crafts for almost four years now, and it's great to see positive improvements to help my online business! One of my favourite new additions is the revamped "about page" I showed you back on the 12th (link). At that point I had only put up a picture of my craft booth set up for shows (certainly a new view for most of my online buyers) and was trying to come up with some more ideas on giving any potential buyers an in depth look! Since I'm not ready to reveal my crafting reality (one massively messy living room with stacks of crafting supply towers over my spot on the couch), I thought I'd show some of my packaging since it seems to be a common inquiry for buyers:

Yay! It's always nice to throw some packaging options out there since loads of people buy my geekery as presents and is extra handy if you're looking to buy wholesale for retail shops! I love seeing the montage of smiling bacilli and recycled brown card together and it reminds me just how much I love coming up with packages!

The next image I thought I'd throw up is a selection of goodies I love selling at shows but aren't offered online. Unfortunately Canada Post's prices on items thicker than 2cms is so high that it makes many of my reasonably priced handmade goods ridiculous costly with shipping! Ouch! Such a shame! It is nice to show people that I do have other craft talents and lets people know if they are willing to front the extra postage what sweet deals they can get! Heck - it's great for consignment too! Take a peek:

Alright - so some of those items may fit into the "thinner than 2cms when packaged" guidelines but with the craft show reason looming I need to keep my table stocked! Perhaps in the fall I'll be able to post some of those items in the shop, but for now they're only available by request.

I figure my next step is organizing my crafting process and showing a few "behind the scenes" creating images, but for now I'm pretty pleased with the collages. What do you think? What sort of pictures do you think should be included in an Etsy profile?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mason Cacti!

As you may already know, I am a big fan of the mason jar.  Simple, useful, and inexpensive - you can do tons with those babies and the projects just keep popping up! You may recall a blog post I did a while back about turning mason jars into an herb wall (link) and although I never got around to it (nor do I have ample light for such things), someone else in Victoria did! Take a looksie:

Haha! Ok, so it's pretty obvious that those are very much not herbs, and instead are some hearty ol' cacti! What a splendid idea! I have been having very limited luck with my herbs so far (after 9 attempts I've got 2 sort of surviving ones left) but I somehow manage to not totally kill all my cacti so maybe this is the way to go! For now I will just enjoy how great these hanging jars look in this store front and dream about a day with ample natural light. *Sigh*

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Guacamole Aspirations

So my "week of embroidery hoops" sort of spilled over a bit, but I was just so crafty last weekend! Here's the final hoop in the series - another former brooch inspiration - avocado!

I really love making fruit and veg themed art and totally love the thought of them hanging in someone's kitchen! Wouldn't you like this little puffy happy dude smiling over you while you're cooking?

I think he'd be great with some veggie friends but what pairs with avocado? Garlic and red pepper perhaps?'s one last glance so you can see the scale of this one:

Well I hope you enjoyed my week(ish) of hoops around here and am extra appreciative of all your supportive comments! So now that they've all been revealed, which is your official fave?

Monday, June 25, 2012

I don't get out much these days...

I don't seem to do a single embroidery project without forgetting my long time pals the love robots. Looks like Clamps, Al, and Wheelie are back to spread the binary and bitmaps all over the place:

I really enjoyed doing this group on a slightly darker background for a change and think the coral-red fabric really lets their little hearts pop!

Aww. So Al's over-enthused hands sort of look like he's trying to cop a feel (oh dear, did I just type that?), but I still love them! They're such a rad little trio of geekiness and I love seeing how they transform each time I make them. Clamps seems to be defying the laws of physics a bit with those spindly little legs, but boy are they ever darling:

Yaaaayyy! (Kermit style) Robot love for all!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Fox

We're almost nearing and end on my embroidery hoop reveals for the week and am I ever happy with how this one turned out! The colours really pop and its wee 3" form is just darling! Take a peek:

I know I keep saying this, but I feel like every time I make one of these I like it the best! They're like snugly little offspring I feel torn about ever selling off to a new home! But alas, more hoops can always make their way onto the horizon and I'm sure this little fox will be thrilled to hang in anyone's home.

I'm also finding that as soon as I make one hoop, I immediately imagine it in a set of three! Maybe it's all these years of pinback button set creating but wouldn't this be cute in a row with two other woodland friends?

Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself on making hoop sets - but if these little friends are a hit I'll certainly consider making some! What sort of designs would you like to see stitched and hanging on your wall? Would you be willing to make the investment in a set of three? Oh! And what do you think of wee foxy?

Saturday, June 23, 2012


It's no secret that I've got some serious love for amanita mushrooms. Who can resist those bright red caps and spots? They're so charming and mischievous (well...more poisonous, but that's the same thing right?) and even better with little smiles on! Behold their loveliness captured (and interpreted) by me in wool felt, hand stitched, 5" hoop form:

Yay! What a sweet little family of toadstools! I really had fun making this one and like the idea of using a darker background to switch it up a smidge. As with most of my hoops, it was pretty time consuming with all the little bits to cut out and stitch on, but I am really pleased with the details of the finished piece:

This one totally makes me want to go for a nice nature hike and do some fungi hunting, but with the huge list of to do's I've got going on this weekend I can't see that one fitting on the agenda. Alas. I'll stick to handmade mushrooms for now! What do you think? Do you have a favourite hoop yet?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bloomin' Friday

Yay! We made it to Friday! We also made it to another day of hoop art (surprise surprise)! Today's piece is for those of us who aren't into anthropomorphism - but still like handmade stitches. Check out my pinking sheared row of flowers:

For some reason I couldn't get the colouring quite right when I was taking pictures of this one, and since I wasn't up for lots of photo editing (which I am far from skilled at) I'll just let you all know that it is much lovelier in person! Here's another peek:

This is also the biggest hoop I've done so far and although I am not quite ready for any 14" masterpieces, I am pretty happy with this 7" one!

Hurrah! I'm hoping that this sunny bright blooming hoop will bring us some summer sun this weekend despite what all the forecasts are calling for... What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

the happiest cactus

Today's embroidery hoop is one of my favourites! Much like many of the hoops I've whipped up, this one is based off a felt brooch I made a while ago! I switched the colours up a smidge to go with the coral background and finished it off in 3" form:

Yay! I love cacti and this one is even easy to keep thriving - it's even blooming:

I think the muted pastels look nice, bright, and cheery and are perfect for summer! Just look at that wide set eye smile:

Ah! Overload of cuteness! No wonder I love this one so much - what do you think?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Primary Pups!

Hoop week continues with a 6" piece inspired by some brooches I made last year:

As I was brainstorming ideas of designs to embroider I went through some ziplocks of paper patterns I've made over the years and figured some primary coloured dogs would make a great hoop! I love how cheery and bright this one is and am really seeing improvement in my stitching skills. Here's a close up:

I think this baby would be super fun for a kids room or above a hook where you keep your dog leash! As with all the hoops I've made, it's finished and ready to hang. 

Now to figure out a nice way of displaying them at my craft table and attach some price tags! What do you think of this one?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What's all the hoopla?

Great news blog readers! I am on the mend! I may still have some monster headaches, but the majority of my cold symptoms are subsiding and I've got a whole whack of embroidery hoops to share! So to celebrate my jump back into almost health I'll be sharing my creations all week long! Yay! Take a peek at my favourite sea friends (also available in pinback button form too!):

Hooray! I'm really loving hoop making and by mixing in some muted toned wool felt they can pack quite the punch! Here's a closer shot of lil' buddy crab, squid, and sea star:

I'm thrilled to say I even worked out a way to finish off the back of the piece using some cardstock, custom made stamps, and felt:

I think it is quite the improvement from the mess of stitches and lets me throw a name and website in there for good measure. Now for one last picture with my hand in there so you can get an idea of the size of it:

I bought five sizes of hoops to play around with and this one if of the 4" variety.  I figure this way I will have more variety to each of the hoops and makes it easier for tiered pricing! Yipee! So what do you think of the sea life friends?

Monday, June 18, 2012

yeti loves tea!

Being sick on the couch all weekend means two things, 1) I didn't schedule any blog posts like I normally do and 2) In my zombie ill brainlessness I whipped up some cute embroidery hoops! I mean look how enthusiastic yeti is about that cup of tea:

Maybe it is actually a cup of chicken noodle soup (which Fraser has been nice enough to keep me in supply of) and he had a cozy weekend just like me! Yay! I'm hoping one more day of rest is all I need to heal up then I'll be back at it tomorrow! In the meantime - I hope you like yeti. I wanted to set a few of these up for my craft booth - any suggestions for pricing on my hours and hours of handmade goodness?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cozy Sunday

All the way back in 2003 I started a granny square blanket. I worked on that thing on and off for years and after a while completely lost momentum. I think I lay out the grey and blue squares and realized that 1) they were not a consistent size,  2) I didn't make enough squares for a proper size blanket, and 3) it would be a giant pain in the butt to sew together. Alas. I changed my foul mood on making granny square blankets when I saw this adorable cross patterned one:


Isn't it awesome? I love the idea of using the squares like pixels to make a bigger shape! Even though the original post showing off this lovely handmade creation is in some sort of European language I can't read, you get the gist of the blanket from the images and that frilly border is cute too! I really like the interesting choice of colours and totally want to make one just like it! I figure maybe if I sewed the squares together as I went it would be less overwhelming near the end of the project. Hmm. What do you think? Have you ever made a blanket from yarn? Any tips?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Perler Weekend

I love getting packages in the mail! Nothing like a good parcel full of craft supplies to perk up the week and I'm particularly excited about my most recent one! Yay! Perler beads!

Thank you for having such fun, playful, inexpensive craft supplies I can buy while laying in bed in my jammies! Although I haven't done any serious perler beading yet (if there is such a thing) I did play around a bit and made a fun little flowery thing:

Yipee! I'd love to say I'll be playing with these all weekend but in reality I have a terrible lingering cold (actually one of the worst I've had in ages) and am more likely going to be sleeping away the germs (or at least trying to). What are you up to this weekend?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Find: Little Blue Feather

You know what your Friday needs more of? A dog in a geometric print bowtie!:


Now isn't that better? I'm glad I could make your day complete and hopefully you're swooning over the adorable dog ties from Etsy's Little Blue Feather as much as I am! More interested in flowers, onsies, and t-shits? Well they've got those too - but that one flopped ear really sells the ties if you ask me. What do you think?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wooden Acorns FTW

 I'm officially in love with painting wooden pieces and turning them into accessories and after my first four projects (link, link, link, and link) I'm onto another one! Behold! Painted wooden acorn necklaces:

Yay! I spent ages trying to find wooden acorns back in 2010 for a gilded ornament project I had high hopes for (link) and after years (literally) of searching I finally found some! With xmas decorating on the back burner and crafts I can fill my booth with this summer on the agenda - it was time to get out the hand drill, the paints, and some more cording! Here's a closer look at one:

These babies are very similar to the mushroom pendants I made a few days ago (link) and go with rustic woodland-wood theme with an easily adjustable cord. I also went for some "not quite found in nature" muted tones that look extra fun all hanging together:

Hooray! So what do you think? Any thoughts on pricing? Which one do you like best?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Morning Habits

Despite the fact that most locals here are describing the weather as a terrible wintry "June-urary", I have been loving every warm sunny moment that pops by! Sure they may not be as common as a typical June in Victoria, but sporadic or not - I think they sunny mornings are the best! In fact, warm bright mornings on my patio are my new addiction! Who wouldn't enjoy a quiet morning with this perfectly groomed view?:

It is so awesome to live in a building where I don't have to worry about hours of joint aching yard work but still get to enjoy the greenery! I even get visited by lots of wee little birdies and although you may need to strain to spot him in this shot, even the hummingbirds come to visit!:

I love the warmth of sun on my skin and the early morning rays are kind on my paleness. It has turned into quite the morning ritual - me, a sunny day, and a cup of earl grey. Perfection!

Of all the addictions, I'm happy to say this one has me hooked and each moment I get to relax on the patio feels like a mini vacation! Three cheers for more sunny days and new day off morning rituals! What sort of habits do you have for days off?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

etsy changes

In the last few months it feels like all my regular internet sites are changing. First blogger changed how posting works (which, by the way, I am finally get used to and enjoying) and now Etsy is altering things! I've been using their site since 2008 and although they have made many minor switches over the years, their new alterations are just plain awesome! They've made it so multiple listings of a single product auto renew and have even introduced a sweet about page option! I am extra thrilled about this one and think it is a great way (beyond a profile) to get the inside scoop on a shop owner's story:

I'm sure if you're an avid reader here on the blog you're well aware of my craft history, but if you're curious by all means go and check it out (link)! It's still a little bit of a work in progress, but I love giving the world an easy option to get more info! Now I just have to figure out what other pictures to add to help explain my craftiness...any thoughts?

Monday, June 11, 2012

a home for my wooden mushrooms

If any of you out there are instagram followers of mine (I'm @scientific_culture) you may remember this picture I posted a while ago:

I bought these wooden squares back in February and (much like most house projects I have in the works) it took ages for me to get them up! After enjoying their nice shapes and shadows they cast in the hallway by the kitchen I decided to jazz them up with a little DIY project. Add in some wrapping paper pieces I bought at Easter - and voila - hallway transformed:

Yay! I can't believe it took me so long to get the paper up since I'm fairly certain it took me all of 10 minutes to finish.  Isn't it funny how silly procrastination feels once you finish a project? The little wooden boxes are also the new home for my homemade mushrooms I blogged about a few weeks back (link)! Hooray!

Aren't they fun? I also put an alligator wind up toy on there for good measure:

I actually have quite the expansive collection of wind up toys that are currently residing in my top desk drawer so I'm sure this gator feels extra special for making it on display. There's no natural light in the hallway (it's on the inside building) so please excuse the less than ideal pictures, but I assure you, they look awesome in person. I really love the mix of textures, colours, and pattern they bring to the space and I find them extra interesting since they have some depth to them too:

Yup, I don't think those wooden mushrooms will ever make their way into terrariums - they are just too happy on their shelves! What do you think of my display? Do you ever dabble in home decor?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Altoid Mouse House

I've always loved seeing what people make out of Altoid tins, and these cute mouse beds from mmmcrafts are just adorable:

I totally would have loved these when I was a kid and in fact are sort of similar to the purple kitty (with matching bed basket and blanket) my mom made for me. The detail on these toys is so charming and I love the little teddy bear! Looks like I need to find a little girl to make one of these for or, you know, just wait until my niece Jean is old enough to not eat this. The pattern is available for sale here. What do you think of the wee mouse tin? What was your favourite kind of toy as a kid?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Heart Stash

The craftiness continues over at my house and these cute pins are no exception. Much like most of my projects, I've been planning (and brainstorming) on these for quite some time and decided to do my own take on Sew Tara's fabric covered bird brooches (link).  Sure gluing fabric to wooden shapes isn't exactly rocket science - but it is cute! Take a peek at my creations:

Yay! What a fun use for little bits of fabric! I really love being able to use up scraps and these pins are super fun to whip up! My process? Purchase, sand, paint, cut fabric, mod podge, varnish, glue bar pin! Sounds simple enough right? Here's another look so you get an idea on their size: 

OoO that gold houndstooth is darling and I really enjoyed challenging my paint mixing/colour matching skills a bit! I wanted to go for a more finished look so painting was a must (plus I didn't want you to see raw wood from the side). I also figure they will be more impervious to moisture since that wood is sealed in. Here's the back:

I'm thinking about making a nice batch of these to put in a bowl at my craft booth and hopefully everyone will like them as much as I do! Any idea on pricing? I'm always up for suggestions on that end...

In other fabric covered brooch related news, I decided to whip up a non-heart shaped version to wear with my very nautical looking navy and white striped jersey dress. Themed outfits are totally cool right?

Anchors are making a much deserved comeback in the accessory world and I'm ready to jump on the trend train (er...ship?). What do you think?