Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Find: Olula

Today's find is one of those etsy shops where I love every single item there is for sale! It's nice to see that someone over in Spain has such amazingly similar tastes and fills the world with neatly designed, colourful goods! Check out a few of my faves from Olula:  


Eep! I'm swooning! Felt, brooches, doilies, pouches, and geometric silkscreens? Oh my! Take a peek at the shop and see what items you'll fall for (link). Can you be decisive enough to pick a favourite? (I can't...that's why I picked four....)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Washi Clothespins

Sometimes I come across projects that are so simple (and awesome) that I wonder why the heck I didn't think of them! Behold - one of the easiest DIYs yet - washi tape covered clothespins:

Ack! I'm in love! If I ever needed a reason to pick up more washi tape this is it and boy oh boy those polka dots are just lovely! Just think of all the fun things I could use them for! Now - onto a more pressing matter at hand...what in the world can I use cute washi tape covered clothespins for?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Buy Handmade

A while back Trisha from Veranellies asked me if I was interested in being interviewed as part of her "buy handmade studio tour" blog series! I (obviously) jumped all over that opportunity and last Sunday it went live on her blog! It was so nice to see how it all came together and the collage of my crafts is a lovely colourful delight! Check it out:

Ah! Trisha managed to pick out some of my most favourite handmade goodies I make to mash up into one lovely piece! But then again...when I think about it, I love all the items I craft so it isn't hard to pick out nine that I like... If you feel like checking out the interview (and sneaking some peeks of my craft space) take a trip over to Veranellies and drop Trisha a line! (link!) Hooray!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thrifty Refashion Time

Last year I was determined to refashion a men's dress shirt into a skirt.  I scavenged thrift shops looking for XXL bargains that would become the most wondrous of summer skirts but once getting home realized that all the shirts I found would never properly cover all my hips/thighs/bum to my liking and the project went on the back burner. Alas. Luckily I came across another shirt refashioning project online - and this time I don't have to worry about how skimpy it may turn out! Check out the adorable bow tie shirt upcycle project from Extra Petite (link):


Isn't it adorable? Collared shirts are all the rave right now and that matching bowtie/ascot is the perfect touch of feminine meets structure! Eep! I've even managed to finish up five (that's right - FIVE) little sewing alteration projects I've been putting off all summer so my machine (and my mental state) are ready to tackle something new! Woo hoo! What do you think? Are you ready to join me in the perfect fall refashion project?

Monday, August 27, 2012


When I was a little kid, I loved cows. I spent ever waking moment I could out at my grandparents' cattle farm and just couldn't get enough bovine! In fact, from 1996 - 1997 my friend Pam and I created our own cow themed holiday called "Happy Cow Day" in which we celebrated cows by giving each other cow themed presents on the 25th of each month. Although my cow obsession has decreased substantially since the late 90's, they still hold a special spot in my heart and not surprisingly, my mom still thinks of me and Happy Cow Day whenever she sees cow related things. On her last visit to the island she brought me an adorable plush cow (well, bull) keychain and Fraser suggested we hang him up in the car. Take a peek:

Mr. Bull remained nameless for a few weeks until one day Fraser and I were out for a drive. The conversation went as follows:

Out of nowhere Fraser excitingly asked me: "Do you know what a great name for a bowl would be?"

Me: "A bowl? Are we naming our dishes now? What will our cups be called?"

Fraser: "No, no, not bowl - bull!"

Me: "Bowl? Fraser - I don't get it"

(this went on for much too long and for the record Fraser's pronunciation of "bowl" and "bull" sound close to identical)

Eventually - Fraser: "No, like a male cow - a bull!"

Me: "Oooohhh...what would a good name be?"

Fraser: "Beauregard!"

Me: "That is a pretty great name - but 'Bowl-regard' would be pretty awesome too!"

(and then I laughed manically for a good minute or so...)

Yup, our lives are pretty silly. Oh, and just in case you need further convincing, one night when Fraser and I were chatting in bed he mentioned how Beauregard was becoming one of the highlights of his day. He's always hanging out happily swaying from the rear view mirror and we come up with little scenarios for his secret life where he's a brilliant astrophysicist/brain surgeon that lives on a fancy estate in the country (with special gourmet grass meals and everything). We both giggled about how great our little stuffed bull is and then decided that instead of thinking of our Beauregard fantasies as "sort of sad and totally crazy" that they can be describes as "endearing, quirky, and (above all) highly entertaining!"Oh dear. And then I wrote a huge rambling blog post about it...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Stamping Pals

Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of spending the day with my pal Hetty who moved to Victoria about a week ago.  I had forgotten how great it is to have such a good friend so close by and we had an awesome time reconnecting over slave (er, I mean..."volunteered") labor!  I have been running low on paper bags to give out at the market and since Heather is a fresh digital arts and design graduate I thought she would be the perfect partner to assist with packaging! We found a warehouse shop stocked full with packaging options and squeeled our way through the isles brainstorming which bags would work best! As it turns out, Hetty and I seem to be physically linked when it comes to packaging taste and I picked up 200 adorable (and surprisingly thrifty) craft bags! We then spent the afternoon personalizing them with my custom bacillus stamp and url! Hooray!

Heather was such a great sport doing all the stamping for me and although I was worried I was boring her with tedious brainless labor, she plugged along with the work happy as ever and we had such a glorious afternoon! Who knew packaging could be so much fun! It also left me with a whole bunch of adorable recyclable bags to pass out at the market this week! Check one out:

Yipee! I love the handmade detail the baggies add and will be perfect for loads of my small "don't get lost in my purse" items I sell!  Today I'm back at the market vending before the summer season is over and I'll be sure to let you know how these new bags go over! What do you think of them?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

28 years ago today...

Happy Saturday! Today's post is all about celebrating since it was 28 years ago that one charming little red headed kid was brought into the world:

Hooray! In case you didn't recognize me - that child trying on her grandpa's hat was me and although I am much less cute than I was in 1986, I am still just as happy!:

Yay! I've got the perfect Saturday planned including a restful morning (with tea) on the patio, some delicious gluten free eats, downtown shopping and socializing with my surprise visitor Lindsay, and a nice dinner with pals to top it all off (hopefully with ice cream in there)! Woo! Here's to hoping 28 is the best age to be yet! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Find: Heart and Craft

Even though my walls are fairly well stocked with art these days, the darling prints from Heart and Craft (link) make certainly make me want to add to my collection! I mean just check out those birds:


Ah! The colours, shapes, and use of white space are just perfect and the fact that they are little chubby birds makes this one irresistible! Not the bird print type? Not to worry - heart and craft has all sorts of neat paper products from prints and silkscreened items to garlands and stationary! Wowee! Now to figure out the perfect spot for this print so I can justify needing to purchase it...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

More Folding Over Clutches

The projects over at A Beautiful Mess are always awesome. Those ladies certainly know where it's at as far as crafty DIYs go and always come up with cute, simple, inspiring, and amazingly well photographed posts I swoon over. Just check out this cotton and leather fold over clutch:


Isn't it calling my name? That could be because I've pretty much already written this post before (link) and bought a fold over clutch a few months back from Bookhou that is eerily similar:


Yup, no wonder I like their posts so much - they've got my tastes figured out! Luckily I've already got my own fold over clutch sans the leather so I can skip this project and go straight to using my lovely handmade accessory! Hooray! Happy Thursday! Only two more days of being 27 for me!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

This little piggy went to market! BSSM - vol vi!

Another Sunday has passed us by and I was back at the market vending! Despite the pleasant looking forecast, it ended up being quite the windy day and since my booth is pretty much a plethora of light, airy, "I really want to blow away" items - I decided to bite the bullet and set up some wind walls. It is quite the dilemma when deciding to put on walls since these last two weeks I've had an end spot and the wall blocks the street view from the South side. I do, however, really enjoy having my goods stick around and not take random trips down the road with the wind so the walls went up and my stress level appreciated it! Hooray!

 I even got some time to do a little painting and brought some more wooden necklaces with me! Here are the mushrooms...:


 ...and two new circle pendants (back and front)!:

Yay! I love painting wood necklaces and although I got loads of nice comments on them I didn't actually manage to sell a single one. Alas. Looks like I'll have quite a few necklaces to wear this fall/winter! 

Despite the chilly wind, it was a pretty busy day at the market since the cruise ships were in town and there was a dragon boat festival going on! I had a fair amount of sales and met loads of fun people! I even got to test out my "follow my crafty adventures on my blog" line with my blogness cards and felt entirely less awkward! Yeah!

Apparently I was all about the food this week too since I got one delicious cup of CBC Blend tea from Murchies:

as well as an asparagus "dog" for lunch:

 Look bizarre? Well it should. It was totally weird but I do love my asparagus (or "spare guts" as I like to call it)! I will hopefully get a bit of crafting done this week before another one this Sunday! I'll be lucky enough to even have some pals visiting this week too so maybe they will bring the sales, good weather, and non-depressing "I can't believe I'm turning 28 on Saturday" vibes with them! Woo woo! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

a quarter well spent.

Last week I shared a tutorial on how to turn a dish into a pin cushion (link) and totally fell in love with the simple and handy idea! I filed it in the back of my mind and kept on with my regular scheduling. Well, this past Saturday we drove past an estate sale and Fraser suggested we take a peek! I always tell him how much I love the idea of estate sales (well, not the whole dead person bit...) and since old people have way cooler stuff than the young folks (who typically hold garage sales) - we stopped in! There was quite the selection of paintings (actually, a ridiculous amount of paintings) as well as some lovely antique furniture! Although I swooned over the silverware and china sets, they were out of my spur of the moment (a.k.a how much cash I had in my wallet) budget and I decided to pick up this dish:

Isn't it darling? I figured it was certainly worth the 25 cents they were asking for it and proudly took it home. Now all I had to do was epoxy on some super strong magnets...

...and bam! - instant amazing poppy dish pin holder! Check it out:

Yay! I was a little doubtful of how well the pins would hold through the thick ceramic but they claimed to be super strong on the package and those pins seem to be holding on for dear life:

Ahha! How lovely! I am thrilled to no longer have to deal with my broken disaster of a pin cushion and instead use this classy looking DIY bargoon. It has also got me hooked on going to estate sales and ever since I've been roaming the internet looking for freebie antiques and sales! What fun! Are you a vintage bargain hunter?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bed Pom Poms

When I saw these amazing "bed pom poms" over at the Be Different Act Normal blog (link), I know my life wouldn't be complete without them. I mean - pom poms for your bed? Brilliant! You may think I'm exaggerating (or perhaps sense a hint of sarcasm) but no - I really think these are the bomb. people still say that? Anyways - take a gander:


Ah! I knew I needed to work some more pom poms into the decor somehow and this certainly has to be it! Of course the lovely white and pink hued linens in the image above are substantially girlier than our current bedroom theme (actually this looks like something Lindsay would have) but I'm sure I can modify it to meet my needs! Yep. Giant, fluffy, full of texture and completely useless. Sounds perfect! Now what to make it out of...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Wooden Gradient Blocks

Let the wood painting continue with this fabulous DIY from handmade charlotte (link)! I can think of one kiddo who is sorely in need of some of her own colourful gradient painted blocks and if shipping was less ridiculous in Canada I'm sure she'd already have some by now! Check them out:


Now there is one simple, quick, and wonderfully delightful project that is right up my alley! Just grab some blocks, make some muted tones (with different amounts of white stirred in) and get painting! Repeat on each side of the cubes and voila! Instant awesomeness! it isn't that instant, but it does look like fun! I'm sure you could turn this into some level of educational game but come on - they're blocks! Let's play! What do you think? Anyone want to make some with me?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Do you enjoy the internet?

Back in the spring, I made some blog business (or blogness if you will) cards printed up from (link).  I was so excited to share my love for blog writing with anyone willing to let me bend their ear and have found them quite handy to carry around in my wallet.  Once I started doing markets this summer I figured it would be a great opportunity to share the cards again but since I only had limited numbers (unlike my ample supply of regular etsy shop cards) I'd just hand them out to interested customers.  It has, however, lead to some very awkward conversations of how exactly to bring up my blog.  

As Fraser (my loving booth mate) knows, I tend to have little spiels I go off on about certain items in my table and whip them out whenever someone looks interested in an item. For example - when someone picks up a pocket mirror I'll mention how they have little felt cases they come with so they don't get scratched in your bag! Checking out some stud earrings? Why the backings are coated with white gold so they don't irritate sensitive ears! Oh that E.coli plush tickles your fancy? He comes with a fun little fact card so you can learn about your germ! Yup - apparently that is the extent of my craft selling skills and although I often feel like a broken record (okay, I pretty much always feel like that) it's good info to know if you're wavering on buying something. I figure I just need to come up with some sort of spiel to go with my blogness cards with potentially interested folks before whipping out a card to pass along:

Unfortunately I am still feeling a little rusty with the blog introduction talk and usually fumble over something on the lines of, "Do you enjoy the internet? Check out my blog!". Oy. Do you enjoy the internet? Really Kate? Eugh. After five weeks of marketing with blogness cards I haven't got much better at selling myself but generally people who are super into the items on my table react well to my silly blog lines. I also seem to be fond of telling them how "I run a daily blog full of projects I never have time for!" Seems like an accurate description don't you think? Oh well. Maybe I will come up with sort of little sign to put with the card on my table...but in the meantime I'm sure I'll be asking many more strangers about their fondness of website browsing...Any thoughts?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Find: The Swan Lake

Every year I seem to get hooked on a crafty trend and apparently this year is all about painted wood necklaces! I've made quite a few of my own (link) but the charming colour combination of The Swan Lake's pieces has me swooning! Check out this delight:


Oh neutrals with a hint of mint and coral? How lovely! Not a fan? How about one of these from the fall collection:


Oh I am certainly a sucker for muted tones and these pieces are no exception. Take a peek at the rest of The Swan Lake's shop (link) and prepare to fall in love! What are your thoughts? Do you have a favourite colour combination?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Mystery Plant Blooms

Well it appears as though my hours of Murder She Wrote watching isn't helping my detection skills much. Mind you - I don't have any murders to solve, but I do have the unsolved issue of the odd plants I seem to be growing! After writing my original post asking for any botanists out there for a hand - mystery plant 1 remained nameless and mystery plant 2 was identified as "elephant ear." Here's a refresher shot for you:

Well just as I suspected - mystery plant one has started to bloom and although there are loads of buds ready to burst I thought I'd take some pictures to see if it could help anyone to figure out what plant it is! Check it out:

The blooms look sort of like a petunia/morning glory hybrid but that foliage still has me stumped! Here's another shot:

Yup. Beats me what it is. If my memory serves me, the other matching plant to this one had yellow blooms last year but it isn't showing any signs of flowers just yet. So - now it's your turn! Any ideas?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Geometric Cork Board Hoops

When I saw this project over at Paint Me Plaid (link) - it was right up my alley! Let's combine three of my favourite things (geometric style painting, cork messaging boards, and embroidery hoops) and pow! - an amazing craft project is born:

Yup - pretty much the perfect project! I just need to get my hands on some cork to use and I'll be all over this one! I actually really wanted to put some hoops up in the bedroom to fill the giant blank wall behind our headboard and think working in some of these would be a great idea! We could even add little cards and notes that could change over the seasons! OoOo! I love it! What are your thoughts? Are you dying to get your cork, hoop, and paint on?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bastion Square Market Recap - vol v!

We woke up to a glorious day on Sunday which was just perfect for a day at the market! The drive downtown was quite pleasant and Fraser and I enjoyed our new car pal - Mr. Bull.  I nicknamed Fraser's car "The Bull Ship" based on his license plate "BSP" so when my mom brought me this adorable little cow key chain we decided he would have to hang up in the car! Isn't he sweet?  

With heat in the forecast I decided to dress up in my best summer attire and sported a nice old lady chic skirt I bought from a thirft store last summer and overhauled. I also figured it would be a great chance to wear my vintage style geek glasses to really top the look off. We were back in our old spot this week and as always the day started off a little cool (perfect cardigan weather) and as the sun shifted onto our tent the layers could be peeled off! Hooray!

After getting all set up and ready to go our neighbouring vendor got moved to a different spot and my L shaped set up looked sort of odd without someone beside us on the right side. With little time to spare, I decided to switch up the set up and flip the entire display the other way! It turned out to be easier than I thought and opened up the tent display for customers to walk on in!

I did a little crafting this week to restock some items and also made a new card showing the contents of my postcard sets. Rather than customers trying to riffle through my neatly sorted packages they can take a glance at this baby and see the sets with ease:

I've even got my new sets on the backside:

Haha! I am thrilled with the updated card and once again appreciate the convenience and awesomeness of having my own laminater! Yay!

The market itself was a bit on the slow side, but I did make a few sales and got to meet a bunch of nice people! I also really enjoyed the cute dogs hanging around too:

If I lived near an Ikea I would totally pick up one of their rad pet dishes to bring water for the pups to drink from, but since there aren't any on the island I guess I'll just have to keep my eyes peeled for a cheap one! For the time being I will have to suffice with stuffed pets and by the end of a long hot day at the market I was stoked to have the car all packed up and see Mr. Bull greeting me again:

Aww, such a cute gimpy smile that cow has! This week I'm hoping to get a bit more crafting in and prepare for another market next Sunday! Anyone else do weekly markets? Any tips?

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Best Idea EVER!

I have the crappiest pin cushion.  It is one of those plastic magnetic kidney shaped ones that is supposed to hold all your pins neatly for you.  It also has a hole in the middle of it which holds a seam ripper (which is more awkward than anything).  I bought it in a clearance bin for $2 and although I thought it was a great buy at the time, I dropped it (and it smashed - messing up the magnets and their pin holding abilities) and the "once a rad deal" is now the bane of my sewing existence.  It still sort of does the job so I can't rationalize buying a new one but when I saw this amazing idea (link) from Alyssa at Elemental Carbon - my mind was blown. Behold - and ordinary pretty dish:

How pleasant! Now check out the secret underneath:
Bam! Thrifted vintage plate turned amazing magnetic pin dish! Brilliant! Seriously - this is the best idea I've seen in ages and although it could be influenced by a few recent (and completely infuriating) battles with my current pin cushion, I just love this!  Since I already asked for a new pin cushion for my birthday this year I think I'll hold off on making one just yet - but come the 26th if there are no functional pin holding devices in my house I'm going thrift shopping for a dish! Hooray! What do you think? Maybe I should make one anyways and have a spare around...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

tell me one thing you would never do

I recently decided to spend some of the iTunes gift certificates I had been holding onto since xmas (don't ask me how that happened - usually I spurge on things right away) and figured the newest Metric album was a great place to start my spending!  I've been listening to Metric since about 2003 (which is an awfully long time when I think about it) and always enjoy their pop-y up beat tunes. Their album "Synthetica" is no exception and I have been listening to "Lost Kitten" on repeat for days now. You may think I've exaggerating, but after listening to the song 8 or 9 times during a trip to Langford Fraser actually told me, "I think it's time to switch to the next song."  *Sigh* I guess I'm a little obsessed. If you feel like getting hooked here's an online version to enjoy:

I actually looked at a few videos with the song on you tube and figured the stagnant image of the album cover was best. There was one with a shirtless dude dancing at night on a street but that one sort of disturbed me too much to link to.  I prefer skin covered up thanks! Ah well. I also didn't realize how terrible the lyrics are - but I seem to go for melody so I'll blame that for my addiction. I also really like singing along to songs and find listening to them on repeat for days is a great way to ingrain them in there. I'm sure by the end of the week I'll be over my little song crush and be on to something new - if not, consider this my formal apology Fraser - I hope this doesn't change your mind on our engagement.  How about you? Do you ever go nuts over a certain song or album?

In other news - I'm off to the Bastion Square Sunday Market yet again today! The forecast calls for lots of sun and sales so I'm stoked! Okay...climatologists aren't very good at predicting my craft sales...yet...we'll see how it goes...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Triangle Quilt

Once in a while I get the urge to do some quilting. Of course, a quilt isn't exactly my usual quick and simple project, but this amazing triangle quilt from Happy Together Creates (link) is as close as it gets! Look at those colours:

 Ah! How wonderful! I love the mix of neutrals and colours and the random arrangement of triangles! I'm in love! The instructions they have on the blog are nice and clear and have loads of pictures and tips too!  I also really like the draw of the quilt's simplicity which is a great place to start for beginners like me. I have successfully completely one quilting project before but since it is hanging on the wall above my mom and dad's bed I certainly don't get to enjoy it very often.  Perhaps I could do a trial run of a triangle quilted wall hanging and see how picky it is to line up all those points! OoOo! Also gives me a great excuse to do a little cotton shopping...What are your thoughts?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Find: Aorta

Today's find is right up my alley - quirky, one of a kind, and including very wide set eyes. Take a peek:


A little confused on what it is? Why one of the fabulous upcycled appliqued squid ties from Etsy's Aorta (link)! Check them out:


Ahahaha! I love them! The mix of texture and pattern is just perfect and although I am far from a tie wearer, I can think of one person who might be talked into wearing a squid themed one for special occasions....yay! What do you think? Should I whip out the sewing machine and make my own Kate version?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bastion Square Market Recap - vol iv

Another Sunday has come and gone and I'm back again to report how the craft show went! Each week I try to improve my booth, learn from my wrongs, and become a master of craft efficiency and love to share my findings with all of you! This past Sunday was a most beautiful, hot, summery day and to switch things up, Thea (the market coordinator) moved me to the middle of the square - and boy oh boy, was it ever picturesque! Just check it out:

And if that doesn't appeal - how about some nice Victoria greenery!:

With the temperatures pushing into to low 30 C's, I was thankful I got to set up right under a big gorgeous tree:

The wind wasn't too furious this week so we skipped the tent walls and I set the tables up to avoid gusts blowing away my goods. I'm really loving how the L shape of the two tables is working out and as always I was thrilled with how bright and (hopefully) welcoming my booth turned out under the shade of the tree:

I even got the chance to wear my mint green dress I picked up a few months back. It was originally a maxi but with my extra long legs the length looked bizarre. Time to whip out the sewing machine and make it tea length (my fave!)! Yay! Throw in some handmade accessories to showcase items at my table and voila - a breezy cool summer craft show outfit:

As for the market itself, the inner square spot was a bit slower than the back road I usually set up on, but I did appreciate the shade! The spot was bustling with people here for the long weekend and I even got to meet a blog reader (and hand out a freebie to her)! How fun! I got lots of pleasant compliments on my items and set up and had an okay day of sales. I really enjoyed the nice ocean breeze wafting up the square and the nice atmosphere thanks to three different busker gigs in the area! 

As far as battling the outdoor elements, I think I've finally got it down. I switched the finishing nails on my bulletin board that holds earrings and combined with the "back to the breeze" placement, I didn't have a single fly away item! What a quick and effective fix that was!

I also raided the dumpster yet again and got an old cracked floor mat for some added cushioning! Standing for seven hours can certainly get tiring and mat certainly seemed to help (oh, and the price was right). Take a peek:

I think the next step would be to get a fold-able high chair/stool that would put me up at a welcoming buyers level and take the pressure off my arthritic joints. It isn't a high priority for me at this point (especially since I've got the cushy mat), but might be worth keeping my eyes peeled for in case I see one on sale one day. 

As for my plans for next week - I'm hoping I'll get to go back a busier spot and just need to make some more products to restock! I've already made a whole slew of fabric button earrings this week and now I'm onto mustaches since they seem to be a hit. I figure if I'm full of spare time I might make a few more rings and embroidery hoops but since I've already got a full schedule we'll see how that goes.

What are your thoughts? Any craft show tips for me? What do you look for when you shop at craft markets? Anything I can do to draw you in?