Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pantone Spring

I'm in love (and always have been in love) with colour. There's nothing quite like mixing up my own perfect hue when I'm doing a craft project or flipping through my carefully organized and coordinated wool felt pile when I get ready to create! I seem to get excited about certain colour combinations as each season changes and may I just say that the I am officially head over heals for each and every single one of the colours in this spring's colour report from Pantone. Don't believe me? Just take a gander? 


Ah! They're deliciously muted and soft but still vibrant and organized so rainbowtastically! Oh, and just when you didn't think they could get any better...I read their names:


Oh my. I'm swooning. All I want to do is play with combinations of "tender shoots", "sunflower", "grayed jade", and "alloy" until the cows come home. Whew. Overwhelming. What do you think? Are you as taken as I am for colour? 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Homemade beauty

I've always been a sucker for new beauty products. I'm not sure what brainwashes me into splurging on new creams, washes, and do-dads but I have always enjoyed a beauty product shopping spree and lately I've come to realize that 1) it is a ridiculously unnecessary expense, 2) It doesn't matter what product I end up with it never really seems to do the trick in the long run and 3) they're usually full with all sorts of chemicals that I can barely pronounce! Oh dear!  Luckily I've been inspired by good old Pinterest (specifically Lindsay's hand made beauty page) to try my my hand at making my own beauty products from stuff I already have at home and it has been going pretty well! How lovely! I'm still in my 6 week trial period (where I try out concoctions and see which actually work in the long run for me) but I'll be sure to share my findings once the trials are complete! Ahha! 

So far my adventures in homemade cleansers and creams has been pretty enjoyable and although not all of the recipes have worked out (I once did a hair mask that resulted in my spilling apple cider vinegar in my eyes and smelling like salad dressing...) it has been fun nonetheless. I've also discovered that making my own products has cut down on waste substantially and has even helped out the budget! How nice! I figure I should just keep rolling with the waste reduction, home making, and budget savings and try my hand at making my own cotton facial scrubby pouf things like they did at "little Z handmade" (link):


Don't they just look dreamy in that picture? And to think - I would never again need to buy another wasteful tube of cotton pad things for toner or makeup remover! It may also let me avoid ever having to walk past the dreaded cotton ball aisle which, in case you were wondering, gives me awful tingles up and down my spine! Ah! Does anyone else out there have an irrational fear of cotton balls? Want to make your own reusable, washable, adorable little cotton facial pads with me? 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

my new super power

One of my favourite things about having an iPhone is the option to do group text messages between other iPhone (4 and above) users! It has actually revolutionized my ability to keep close friendships with Lindsay, Sarra, and Hetty and lets us all have ongoing conversations about pretty much anything and everything that is going on in our lives (while being in different places)! It's amazing! It has also given me the opportunity to spam those ladies (two of which are not cat people) with the cute cat pictures I come across on instagram! Who wouldn't like waking up to some hand picked furry kitties to perk up the day? non cat people probably don't appreciate it very much but it has become my morning routine now and the one day I didn't post any kitties I actually got requests to! What's this? Do I have the amazing power to very (VERY) slowly turn non cat people into cat people? I hope so! Here is a nice selection of some of the fuzz balls Lindsay, Sarra, and Hetty have been waking up to:


I decided to leave the Instragram usernames up there in case you are must like me and like to follow hundreds of strangers on the internet to vicariously enjoy their kitties (plus it gives you a reference of where I got the images from)! Hooray!

My super "liking of cats" powers seem to be working since Lindsay finally admitted that she enjoys "Japanese cats" which, as far as I understand from her, means "cats owned by Japanese people" and is pretty much referring to all those cute exotic short haired squashed face kitties I am growingly drawn to. Hetty also admitted to me one morning that cats are starting to grow on her (oh, if you didn't figure it out by now - Sarra is already an awesome cat person)! Oh yeah! Converting them over to the dark side! I am also quite confident that Fraser was never interested in cats until he met me and just yesterday told me how much he loves kittens over text message. How about that? I must have some mutation of toxoplasmosis that is changing everyone's brain chemistry around me to be cat people! Ho ho! know...cats are cute and shoving them enthusiastically in their faces each morning is fairly convincing...but I like the scientific reasoning better. What do you think? Are any of those instagram kitties cute enough to turn you into a cat liker? 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Stitched Heart Pin

This weekend I decided I would attempt to fight through the arthritis flare up that is completely taken over my hands and wrists and try to get some solid work done.  Not to worry now - I'm not going crazy with strenuous activity that is sure to damage my poor old joints, but since the amount of tasks I've got to do is piling all around me I figure I can try to use my stiff mitts (which is pretty much what my hands have turned into) for short periods of time to get some tasks completed! Hooray! Ok, so it's a painful and slow process but it does feel good to make some amount of progress and I'm sure if I just keep plugging away at things they will all be complete in no time ( theory)! Yay! 

One of the tasks I decided to undertake is organizing my taxes and although my paper sorting and receipt keeping skills have improved substantially over the years, it is still quite the daunting and unpleasant project. Rats. Luckily when I decided to take a little internet break to give my number crunching brain a break I came across this darling stitched heart pin from the little pincushion studio blog (link):


Isn't it just perfect? I love how simple and easy it would be to make and how it adds the perfect touch of handmade love to that cardigan! Adorable! It has also conveniently taken my mind of taxes for just long enough to share it with you and have myself a cup of tea. Lovely. Now if only my taxes were this pleasant...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Definitely on the "to sew" list!

Although I am the shortest one in my family (at 5'7ish), I certainly seem to have myself a pair of long legs. I've inherited my mom's short torso and extra long femurs which can make clothing shopping extra challenging when you're looking for coverage! I can't imagine what ladies who are even taller than me manage to find skirts and dresses without having their bum cheeks poke out with today's extra short fashions! Well - problem solved thanks to the wonderful invention of a skirt extending slip like this one:


Oh why didn't I think of that? Throw a nice neutral layer of lace or two under there and bam! Proper coverage achieved! What a concept! I'm certainly adding this to my must sew list and with my sore hands I may cheat a smidge and just add some trim to a store bought slip! Oh! What a plan! What do you think? What would the best colour be for all around skirt and dress extending and matching potential? 

Thursday, February 21, 2013



Nothing like a bit of fuzz therapy to perk up the day! My immune system is extra angry at my joints these days and I'm back to full time wrist braces and gentle range of motion exercises while I heal up! It also means I'm keeping my crafting (and typing) at a minimum. It does give however give me ample time to catch up on Game of Thrones! Oh my! What have you been up to lately?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

kitty flare up!

Guess what lovely blog pals? I am suffering from one heck of an epic rheumatic/fibro flare up and typing is certainly an extra challenge for me with all this swelling! Looks like I will be spending my time icing and capsaicin-ing it up in hopes to have full use of my wrists and hands soon enough. It also means that you are lucky enough to see some cute kitties to entertain you! Just look how sweet these mom and baby combos are:


D'awwwwwww! Adorable! I'm undecided which one of these is the cutest - maybe that first one in the blinds? Hmm. What do you think? Anyone else suffering from flare ups these days? Does this mean spring is on its way? 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

For the love of cats!

Looks like singles awareness day (aka Valentine's Day) has arrived! While I spend the day travelling to Kamloops to see my lovely Fraser beans, here are some cat valentines to entertain you! First off - cute and vintage:


Not a fan? Here's one for the love day haters (or grumpy cat lovers...either or...):


Oh grumpy cat! I just can't get over that angry little face of yours! Wish me luck with my travels friends! I will return on Monday! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

bring on the decluttering!

Much like I mentioned in my refashioning post yesterday (link), as part of my resolution to cut out the stress and lead a happier and more wondrous life I've been tackling the clutter and moving onward! I've been making pretty good progress with my sewing projects and today after work I thought I'd take 15 minutes and finally take on the giant headache of a bathroom drawer I have. Does everyone have on of these in their house? It's a mash of tangled bits that I scramble through a few times a day which makes me feel irrationally angry but for some reason I never seem to bother to organize. Well not today. Today I will take on this disaster drawer:

Ok, so I admit this organizing was a little preemptive.  I have been thinking about tackling my mess for a good eight months now (oh boy, I'm a pro procrastinator) and on my way home from work I thought I may as well check out the dollar store and see what they have in the ways of cheap organize-y things I could use in the drawer. The result? A wonderful section of little container bits at a reasonable price that were just begging to come home with me! Hooray! Then all I had to do was drop my purse at the door, kick my shoes off, and get drawer organizing! Bam! Here's the after shot:

I must say I had way more little clear hair elastics and bobby pins than I thought I did (like, 2+ packages worth) and I am looking forward to the next time I need to find "insert random toiletry item" and can whip it out in seconds flat! Ahha! Why in the world did I put this off for so long when it is so ultra satisfying to be organized and useful?! Well no more lazy, self sabotaging, procrastination for me! Bring on the decluttering and bring on the stress free living! Woo hoo! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Refashioning like a pro

As part of my goal to de-stress my way into ultimate happiness I've been working on conquering the clutter I seem to have piling up in miscellaneous corners around the house! Hooray! First on the clutter-busting is my laundry basket full of "to alter" thrift store finds I felt I could work into something wonderful! With two down and a big ol' basket full left to go I came across this amazing "men's shirt to cute dress" DIY from Michael Ann Made (link) and oh boy do I ever want to add this one to the pile:

Oh I just can't pass up such a potentially awesome and adorable deal! Now to get back to that sewing machine I've enslaved myself too. I'll let you know when the laundry basket is empty...

Monday, February 11, 2013

February Fox Fair

This past Saturday I decided to have another "kate date" and wondered off to visit the February Fox Fair in Fernwood!  These craft shows combine pretty much all of my favourite Victoria artisans to one convenient and delightful shopping experience and this fair was no different. How lovely! 

This is the second craft show I've gone to solo and I must say it's growing on me. I love being able to wonder around at my own pace, take in all the booths, and then go back and make any purchases I've been eyeing!  My goal for this fair was to find something for my mom's birthday so I'm not going to spill the beans on what I ended up getting - but once you check out the pictures I took from the show I'm sure you can imagine how awesome it is! This time around I really took my time to meet and chat with some of the amazing artisans and since I've had craft displays on my mind these days, I took some pictures of my favourite tables to share with you! Hooray! Vicarious craft show attending! 

The first booth I fell for was the wonderful rustic and nature inspired goods of Barn Swallows (link).  I'm sure after seeing a glimpse of her table set up you'll know why I was swooning so hard:

Oh my! Doilies, pom poms, textures, a little plastic fox figurine, mason jars, and mushrooms (doily mushrooms even!)! Ah! All my favourites! How wonderful!  I really like the mash of materials and textures she combined in her display and the open crate and accessories really make her items pop.

Next up on the craft booth oogling is the lovely work of Hollyhawk designs (link). I was lucky enough to sell with Holly at the Bastion Square Market last summer and have always enjoyed how she takes advantage of vertical space. Her nice tall display shelf definitely is just perfect stacked full of her sweet leather goods and I love how she works the mirror in there too! What a smart lady!

Rebecca of Nook (link) drew me in with sweet knitted goods (do you see those amazing boot cuffs on that tray there!?) and I must say I am ultra jealous of her pennant flag stand!  I may need to take a lesson from her and try this out for my next indoor show and take my strung up shop name off the front of my table and up high! Once again I loved the wooden stands and use of vertical space and Rebecca even blogs! Oh my! And did you see her cute garland of crochet hearts? A girl after my own heart (check out my own version here)! 

I really loved all the details in the Wilde and Sparrow booth by Shirra and Alexis (link).  I'm not sure this set up would do very well at any outdoor shows (a sad but very real and windy challenge for anyone who sells lots of light tiny items) but the ultra feminine details, cases, stands, doilies, and ironing board really give the table a presence! I like how checking out their display felt like being in a little shop and quickly realized (once going to link to them in this post) that there's a reason for that - they have a shop in Parksville! Oh ladies! I may need to take a trip there one sunny weekend. 

The doily fun continued at Leah of Re-Find's booth (link) and just like her work, she is wonderful at combining different media and textures to create one cohesive table. I also really want to cover a mason jar in a doily and use it as a vase for pussy willows....

Last up on my fox fair virtual tour is Jennifer Riddel's table (link)! I'm sure by this point you can tell what I like from a table set up and Jennifer is great at combining textures, doilies, natural elements (owl vase with pussy willows!) and vertical elements to make one heck of a great booth. What a clever lady!

*Sigh* After looking back I sort of feel like these ladies make their display booth with me in mind as their ideal customer base - but maybe I am just being a little over enthusiastic.  I love going to shows where the artisans think of all the small details and I want to buy loads of things from every single vendor! Luckily I limited myself to a moderate cash budget for this one and focused on finding something for my mom this time around.  But, boy oh boy, was it ever one heck of a great craft fair. Now if only I could find more like this one when I move back to the interior. Heck - it even makes me want to coordinate one! What do you think? What sort of things do you look for in a good craft fair? 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Find: Wooli Mochi

Well it's official - Fraser and I have bought a condo and are moving back to Kamloops this fall. I'm pretty excited to be back with all my great friends and family, but am dreading moving (ack) and am going to miss the wonderful fibre arts stores here in Victoria. Luckily there are fantastic online shops like Wooli Mochi (link) that cary loads of felting fibres and even adorable wool felting kits like this squirrel one:

Isn't she just the sweetest little squirrel you've ever seen? I sort of want to make a pair of them (with different accessories) to use as wedding cake toppers this summer but we will have to see if I can perfect my felting skills before I commit to that! What are your thoughts? Have you ever bought felting supplies online? 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Recipe: Roasty Toasty Chickpeas!

The other day I was craving a nice snack when I came across a can (okay...more like 6 cans) of chickpeas in my pantry.  I certainly didn't feel like venturing out of the house since that would mean I'd have to take off my pjs and probably put on a bra (ack) so I thought I'd try roasting up one of the cans of beans and hopefully satisfy my hunger while I'm at it! The result? Amazingly delicious toasty chickpeas with minimal effort! Hooray! Just look how tasty they look:

Nummers! Hetty seemed to enjoy our homemade snack just as much as I did so I thought I'd share my made up recipe with all of you in case you have a pantry full of beans to get rid of too!

Roasty Toasty Chickpeas

- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- some heafty dashes of spice of your choice (ex. season salt, pepper, cayenne, taco, curry, cinnamon - you name it!)

I'm sure you can tell how simple this one is from the ingredient list but just in case here's how I did it:

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Open your can of chickpeas and drain and rinse them.  Throw them in a bowl and pour on the tbsp of olive oil. I then added a big dash of season salt and a good tbsp of taco seasoning (enough to coat the chickpeas) and stirred it all up with a spoon.  Next I lined a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (I do detest scrubbing pans) and spread the chickpeas out to make a thin layer. I then threw them in the oven for 15 minutes, then flipped them over and baked the other side for an additional 15 minutes. That's it! Pull them out, let them cook a smidge and enjoy! 

Yaaayyy! Best of all - you can modify your spices to get whatever flavour your heart desires. I will be sure to experiment on my remaining 5 cans of beans in my cupboard and let you know. What do you think? Do you roast your own chickpeas? What flavour are you dying to try? 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Again? Really?

A few weeks ago I had a chance to head home for the weekend and to my surprise my mom's very neglected orchid was in full bloom! She certainly is the master of orchid re-blooming it seems since this must be the 6th or 7th time it has blessed her with such enormous white flowers:

Oh my it is a delight! I'm finding out that my green thumb for indoor plants is turning more of a brown colour as I've managed to kill the majority of my cacti and my attempt at terrariums are in a very sad (and totally dead) state. Rats. At least my mexican milking cactus is still content and I will remain hopeful for my coffee plants and ficus. Perhaps I should try my hand at fake foliage...what are your thoughts? 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A sneak peek!

Since I've been a busy little bee working away on our wedding invitations (that I was actually hoping to get out last month some time...) I thought I'd share a little sneak peek of how things are coming along! Now, don't get your hopes up too high, there is loads of work left to do - but here's the prototype for a sticker to seal the envelopes:

OoOo! I'm thrilled with how things are coming and can't wait to get them finished, printed, and out in the mail! Oh my! What a dream! What do you think? Any guesses on our invitation theme?

Monday, February 4, 2013

More Kate Dates!

As part of my goal to decrease the stress levels in my life I've been trying to make extra time each week to go on a "kate date." It is nice to set aside a little time to go out by yourself and do something just for yourself and recharge a bit! I'm also finding that after a long week or illness/work it is just as pleasant to have some quiet alone time at home and since Fraser and I have both been enjoying some peaceful time at home I thought this print suited the mood nicely:


The dull grey February days we've been having make it extra nice to stay in and now that I've found some nice green and herbal teas to enjoy (I was cut off of black tea and coffee a few months ago when I was full of stomach flu) it has been lovely! It also seems that there will be a whole lot more opportunity for alone time since Fraser is heading back to Kamloops today (and picking up work there for the next 6+ weeks)! Oh my! Looks like I'm back to lots of kate date time while he is busy being responsible.  This may also mean an increase in cat pictures....we'll see...

Friday, February 1, 2013

I Love Everything About You!

If there's one thing I hope to never get sick of - it's colouring! Nothing like taking out the box of pencil crayons/paints/whatever and spending some nice quiet alone time making the world prettier (and more colourful)! I've mentioned in the past how much I love mixing up paint colours and mixing them to make sweet combinations so when I came across this free (and quite Valentine-sy) printable from Tried & True (link) I knew I'd have to try it out. Just check out that wonderful combination of "I am dying to be coloured in" fonts:

And such a darling message in this one too! Since I was already playing around on the ol' lap top I thought I'd try my hand at digitally colouring in this baby and it was strangely even more satisfying than the real thing! I can get exactly the tone and shade I'm going for and with one little click it is evenly applied and ready for sharing! Hooray! Here's how my colouring turned out:

Ooo those muted tones! What a dream! You'll have to try and colour in this one for yourself and tell me how yours turns out...