Tuesday, April 30, 2013

adventures in bargain hunting

I'm always a sucker for a good deal and am always searching the clearance and sale racks in hopes to find something awesome that fits into my budget! The other day I found one heck of a sweet deal and am so thrilled in fact - that I'd love to share it with you. Take a look - a nice, simple, soft, racer back teal tank top:

How pleasant! I figured it would be a great work out top for the spring/summer and even more so when I saw that it was moisture wicking. Now to check on that clearance price....

What is this!? A mistake perhaps? It can't possibly me marked down from $12.95 to a mere 47 cents can it? How is it that no one has picked this baby up!? Don't get too excited Kate. It is just a tank top. They may be practically giving it away...and you've found the golden moisture wicking egg in the masses of rejected ill-fitting pieces, but it's just a shirt right?  I managed to keep my calm and cool exterior and continued my bargain hunting and decided I'd tempt fate and just see what it came to at the till and then decide if I'd buy it or not.  I tempted...

...and I won. Heck - I even got to use my additional 30% off e-coupon to make that an even better bargoon! Oh my! Now that I've used up all my deal finding luck for the year I'll be sure to never find something quite as spectacular again, but it was one heck of an exciting thrill ride! Yeah! What's the best bargain you've found lately? 

Friday, April 26, 2013

The best packing tip ever!

Fraser is busy planning our post wedding trip down to Portland this summer, I was being my usual over-prepared self and thinking about what to pack! After all, I will have to pack for my wedding, reception, and week long vacation so I will need to be extra efficient for that suitcase. I was discussing the options with my pal Lindsay and we both agree that under-packing with matching basics is the way to go. We both love the satisfaction you get from doing a great packing job and actually using and wearing everything you've lugged along with you and it makes it much easier to pick out outfits for each day when you just have a few favourites to select from! Yeah! 

I've experimented with under packing in the past and it is so wonderful...until you inevitably (in my case) spill oily salad dressing all over your one jersey dress. Rats. Packing fail. That is pretty much exactly what happened when I went to Vegas this winter and luckily I bought a few new items at the outlet malls that filled in the blanks for the stained clothes that I had to retire. When I brought up my spill disaster with Lindsay she suggested to pack along some Zero detergent to remedy my messy ways! How brilliant! 

I always have some zero on hand in my laundry cupboard for all my delicate and hand washing needs (like my sets of wrist braces I wear constantly and get super gross after a while) so why not throw it in the luggage?! Such a plan! Or better yet - I found an empty travel container, labelled it up with some washi, and can fill it up with detergent without it taking up loads of space: 

Yay! I am so ridiculously excited about this plan! I always end up staining something on vacation and having some soap to gently wash it out before it sets is just perfect! Ah! I'm not sure everyone else will be quite as stoked about this idea...but just in case you are...I wrote this whole blog post about it. Clumsy stain makers - you're welcome. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chevron Tote!

I've never thought of sewing my own chevron pattern but this tote from Fabric Paper Glue (link) certainly makes me want to try! Just look at that gorgeous colour (and texture) combination:

Oh how darling! I sort of feel that lining up all those strips might be a bit on the challenging side, but it sure is worth it! Just imagine this as a clutch! OoOo! Or a fold over clutch! Ah! I'm swooning! What are your thoughts? What would you want to chevron-up? 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Deal Dress

This past December you may recall that I took a trip with Fraser's family to Vegas. We had such a great time on our mini vacation and we're both full of pleasant memories from the trip. While we were there we got a chance go visit some outlet malls which was a whole new experience for me, and extra exciting to snap up some deals! 

One of the last shops we popped into was a Fossil outlet where I bought a beautiful silk scarf and tried on a few dresses. It was extra memorable since I couldn't figure out where I was supposed to try on the items I picked and confused the heck out of the staff asking for "the change rooms".  Both the employees thought I was looking for coin change not a room to change in and gave me quite the looks. Apparently Americans call change rooms "fitting rooms" and once we cleared that up I got to try on the dresses! At last! I really fell for a gorgeous green and turquoise number that had been marked down from $140 to $65! Unfortunately it was a wee bit too snug on the bum and I wasn't about to bring home a dress I loved but couldn't actually fit into. Alas.

Well! - as it so happens, I spotted the same Fossil dress last week while shopping with Heather! It was hidden among the racks of dresses at The Patch and was even the right size! Oh my! Time to give it another try - and the verdict? It fit this time! My bum has magically shrunk over the last few months and the once too snug dress was just calling to me - and for a mere $20! Hooray! Needless to say...I brought it home:

Yeah! Got to love getting a once $140 dress for a seventh of the price and it is just perfect for working into spring and summer! I love the simple shape and stunning colour combination and can't wait to wear this beauty all the time! Hooray! I love landing a great deal and am extra thrilled that I didn't pick this up last December. It's funny how these things work out for the best in the end. What's the last big deal you've found?  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gradient Vases

I'm such a sucker for simple and colourful decorating ideas and these upcycled glass bottle vases (link) really take the cake:


Okay, so the blog I got these off of may be in Spanish, but you don't need to be bilingual to do this project! Just collect yourself some bottom from the recycling (or thrift shop), grab the paints, and get mixing and pouring! Woo hoo! I think these would be especially lovely filled with pom pom bouquets too! Oh my! What do you think? 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Vintage Scarf Overload!

Last Thursday I took Hetty on an impromptu "Jacqui tour" of downtown Victoria (where we went to all the places Jacqui and I like to go together) and had the best day! On our way back from tea we popped in The Patch (a reasonably priced vintage shop full of all sorts and ages of treasures) and I landed in vintage scarf heaven! Not only was there a river of silky scarves lining the floor of the window display, but there were three giant bins overflowing with bright scarf-y delights! Just take a peek at what we came across:

Ah! I had a hard time refraining myself but since they were such a great deal ($3 each or 2 for $5) I used all my decision making skills and picked few favourites to bring back with me and work into my wardrobe! Aren't they lovely? 

 Okay - so you can't fully appreciate each of my eight scarf choices in a mass pile...so here they are in a row:

Hooray! I tried to get a good assortment of colours that will go with lots of outfits in different seasons so I can get the most use of them! Perhaps I will do a post showing all the creative ways I decide to sport these beauties - because I'm just brimming with plans! What do you think? Which scarf do you like best? 

Friday, April 19, 2013

my new favourite earrings!

I've recently fallen in love with the world of brass stampings and have decided to plunge right into making these darling metal pieces into earrings! What a concept! Here's my personal favourite new pair that I seem to be wearing with everything this spring in hopes that they will encourage more flowers to bloom: 

Okay, so little flying bees on my ears aren't the best pollinators, but they are charmingly simple and I just adore how they hang:

Brassy bees not your thing? How about these?

Yeah variety! I'm having a hard time deciding which pair comes in as my second favourite, and will be making that decision increasingly difficult as I work on making even more designs! Oh my! I even managed to make a stop into my favourite packaging and display store last week and bought some earring stands which showcase these babies beautifully:

Yay! I think they will look stunning as part of my craft show booth and really like how you can see how wonderfully they hang on my new hooks. Now I just need to do some more brainstorming to come up with card packaging for these babies and then work out pricing and a full display for my booth! Hooray! What do you think of them? Which pair do you like best? 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Felt Sandwich!

The crafty restocking continues this spring and I've got myself one massively colourful felt sandwich to show off today!

Isn't it just delightful? Nothing like a whole bunch of sewn together pinking sheared felt circles to perk up the day! Confused on why I spent so long making them? Why for happy illustrated pocket mirror cases of course! Just look how thrilled yeti is to be scratch free and cozy in his little hand-stitched case:

Yeah! Thumbs up for crafty productivity! My mirrors always seem to be a hit and since I've spent some time restocking the mirrors it was certainly necessary to perk up the colour choices for the cases as well! Check out those sweet, sweet piles of progress:

Hooray! Once again my best pal Lindsay was to thank for much of this work since she cut those bad boys up for me in no time while we chatted and I rested my weary wrists! Yay! Now if only ever day was filled with wonderful Lindsay...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

move over google reader!

So I may be a smidge late on the news that google reader is leaving us in July, but just in case you're just as behind the times as I am - it's the perfect opportunity to follow your fave blogs on bloglovin' (link)! Yay! Even sophisticat endorses the move:

Hooray! I've actually been using bloglovin' for my blog reading needs for quite some time now since google reader only let me follow 300 blogs and that was much too restrictive for my internet needs! I love how easy it is to find blogs to follow, how clean and simple the layout of the site is, and that there is even a bloglovin' app to let you read new blog posts on your phone! Perfect! Heck, it will even let you bring your old list of blogs from reader over to their wonderful site! Oh my! Sold yet? Well if you're feeling adventurous you can always add me by clicking on that lovely little blue plus sign on my sidebar (or clicking here!):

Yeah! I really like to organize my giant list of blogs into little groups (ex. crafting, style, decor, diy, and faves) so if I'm craving a quick fix I can see what those certain blogs are up to! What an idea! It's especially handy when I'm way behind on my reading and want to make sure I quickly see what's new and happening in the blog world before clicking that stress relieving, "mark all blogs as read" button. Whew! So what about you? Are you a mass blog reader like me? Do you use bloglovin' (or some other blog organizing reader?)? Any recommendations on great reads? 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


By some miracle I have managed (well...more like nature and the past tenants here...) have managed to make a tulip grow and even blossom on my patio! Looks like spring is officially in full swing around here! Just look how cheerful that blossom is:

Hooray! I love the wonderful pop of pink when I peek out onto my patio and am especially pleased that this baby grew on her own! Good job nature! Usually I kill pretty much everything on my patio since it is covered from the elements and hauling water out there is very unpleasant and painful with my swollen wrists and hands. Perhaps I will try container gardening once more when I'm officially back in Kamloops and am inspired to give it another go! How are your gardens coming along? Any tulips gracing you with their presence? 

Monday, April 15, 2013

so many moos!

While I remain ever hopeful of some more sunshiny spring weather to swing this way, I figured we could start the week off with some lovely colourful progress!

Hooray! Bright rainbow of ribbons - wonderfully snipped and tied onto all sorts of kate illustrated mini moo cards making one giant pile of moo bookmarks!

Yeah! I'll be fully stocked and ready to give away these babies with online and summer craft show sales! Best of all? This handiwork was all thanks to two wonderful pals - Lindsay and Hetty! Yay! Thanks ladies for all your hard work! Here's to hoping this week is just as bright, cheery, and productive!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Do Not

Have I mentioned how much I love my internet friend/pen pal RobbieLee lately? Well she's awesome. Her pins on Pinterest are also awesome and I'm particularly fond of this one:


Haha. How could you not keep reading? I'm much too curious for rules sometimes. As for me - I'm off to meet a real live friend today for tea and am hoping to have a most productive time for the rest of the weekend! Wish me luck! 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The easiest organization

With the amount of iPhone, iPad, and usb charger bits hanging around this apartment I'm surprised that somehow I always seem to misplace mine (a.k.a someone stealing them)! Well problem no more thanks to the wonderful use of washi tape! Just look how delicious spaces washi'd up her chargers to limit confusion:


Why yes! A brilliant plan! All I needed to do was grab the girliest washi tape I could find from my stash, cut off a tiny little snip, and wrap it around my chargers to eliminate the eventual, "no this cord is totally mine" conversation I seem to have a few times a week! Wonderful! Now as long as cord stealing Jim doesn't get wise to my game and start peeling the tape off we're golden...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

knit specimen

If you're a regular reader here on the blog you may have noticed I have a quirky sense of decorating style. I love texture, I love homemade stuff, and I love this knit brain in a jar:

Isn't it spectacular? Who doesn't need one of these? I think it would look just charming on a shelf in my new craft/sun room and think I need to find this perfect shade of brain tissue pink yarn so I can make my own version! I'm thinking I can just make a big long spool knit string and sew it into something brain shaped - what do you think? Can I rack your brain? 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

trick up your sleeve pouch!

When I came across this fun upcycled pouch project from Family Chic (link) I totally kicked myself for chucking all the old cuffs from the mass of blouses I've been shortening the sleeves on (link)! Gah! Just look at all the cute (and super easy) little button pouches I could have made from the scraps:


Oh! They are so darling! I think I will need to find myself another long sleeve blouse or two to modify so I can whip up my own matching little pouch! These would be substantially better than the airline ziplock bags I'm using to keep my lip balm and pills from getting lost in the bottom of my purse and would be way cuter too! Looks like this project is going straight to the sewing list! What do you think? What would you do with your own cuff pouch? 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Quite the Instragram-y walk!

After an amazing week of visiting with Lindsay, Heather and I decided we would make a point of getting together before the week finished so we could catch up, get some fresh air and exercise, and mourn the loss of Lindsay since she returned to the main land. It wasn't exactly the most glorious day to go for a stroll, but despite the drizzle we had a blast and saw quite a few pretty sights along the way! I spammed my instragram followers with pictures from our hour long walk, but thought I'd share them on here too since it was so much fun and there was just so much greenery to share! Let's go! Vicarious walk around Saanich for everyone!

Our walk started with a little chicken sighting in Heather's neighbourhood. I can't say I know many people with a chicken koop in their front yard - but these people certainly did and their chickens clucked by to say hello!

The avian fun continued with lots of other bird sightings (and hearings) along the way and I totally fell in love with the ducks hanging out in the little golf course ponds:

Even though the Garry Oaks are still looking a bit dismal and creepy without leaves, the rest of the greenery was happy to see us and I can't wait to do this walk again once spring is in full bloom! Just look at these gorgeous side yard:

Apparently after this part I didn't take my phone out for a while, but we did walk through some gorgeous forest-like areas and even some nice sections of mossy bedrock! Then we got bombarded with a big ol' flock of ducks!

Ah! They were so cute! They were actually taking up the whole path but just before I got my phone out to take a picture a jogger came by and dispersed them. Rats. Oh well - you can take my word for it. There were lots of ducks.  

We heard a few woodpeckers, saw a hummingbird, and loved all the lovely plants lining our trail! Just look how darling these white fawn lilies look: 

Oh what a wonderful time! I hope you enjoyed these pictures as much as I did and I will have to make a point of going again and showing you another set once more flowers are in bloom! What did you do over the weekend? Anything fun? 

Friday, April 5, 2013

pom pom GENIUS!

I'm always looking for new fun (and hopefully useful) crafts with pom poms and Meredith of One Sheepish Girl (link) recently did a wonderful post using some homemade pom poms on her cork and magnet boards! Just look how fuzzy, colourful, and pomtastic they are:

Ah! I'm in love! I have no idea why I didn't think of this earlier but pom pom pins and magnets are such a perfect idea! They're sort of decorative, a perfect hint of added colour, full of yarn-y texture, and useful to boot! What a concept! I will have to hold off on the magnets until I once again live with a magnet-able fridge (or get a magnet board) but the pom pom push pins are right up my crafting alley! Oh lovely! What do you think? Want to come over and make a few poms with me this weekend? 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Xmas in April!

So remember how I was telling you what terrible luck I have keeping my plants alive? Well apparently I'm not completely hopeless because I've somehow managed to get my xmas cactus to bloom (again!)! How wonderful! I love seeing those bright pink blossoms popping up and making my plant shelf look much less dismal! I mean just look at that pop of colour:

Isn't it spectacular? And not just one bloom - a whole bunch! Turns out the rainy winter/spring here lead to a big enough lack of sunlight that my cactus thought it was still the extra short days of December and popped out some pink babies! Hooray!  Flowers!  You may also have noticed my creative angle on that last shot - but there are no lies here. I was trying to mislead you into thinking I'm skilled at house plants. Nope. I actually totally killed the other half of the plant and when you check out the xmas cactus in its entirety it's a little sad: 

Wah - wah (you know, that sad sounding noise they make in cartoons)...looks like I'm only half a success. Alas. I'll take what I can get! I'm thinking I may try to repot this bad boy next winter when I can hopefully find another (perhaps different coloured) xmas cactus mate to stick with it. Well...if I don't kill the surviving half before then...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

meowy wednesday!

It's official - I have a new favourite internet cat. Her name is Meme, she looks amazingly similar to Pudge (link), and I just love following her Instagram feed (link)! I'm not sure what it is about those calico exotic short haired kitties but I'm a sucker for them! Just look how darling that little cat yawn is:

Oh Meme - you're so cute! In other fun life news - Lindsay has decided to pop by the island for a last minute (very much overdue) visit for a few days and we will be having some relaxingly good times! Hooray! Meme and Lindsay! What a Wednesday! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

no green thumb required

I've been having no luck with my houseplants lately.  I've managed to kill pretty much all of my cacti and terrariums and the few plants I have that are still kicking look like they are on their last legs! Oh dear! I figure there is little point in trying to start any new plants with my upcoming move to Kamloops and am hoping a little extra love and care will keep any of my green children safe from their inevitable doom!

On the good side of things, I did come across a wonderful interent article outlining 11 wonderful indoor plants that are apparently hard to kill! How perfect! Take a peek (link)!


What a concept! I figure a little more plant research is needed for me to overcome my black thumb and lots of the greenery from the plants on this list are just wonderful! I mean look how lush and shiny that rubber plant above is! I even have a haworthias plant (on the list) and why yes! It appears to have survived the terrors of my awful plant taking care of skills! How wonderful! I am also seriously considering converting to fake greenery in my weedy and desolate terrariums but I'm not totally sold on how tacky they would look if the plastic plants looked too obviously fake. Looks like I'll be keeping my eyes out for natural looking moss and succulent alternatives - as well as any of the lovely hard to destroy plants from the list! Wish me luck! 

Monday, April 1, 2013

All sorts of chain stitches

Nothing makes a big bold handmade statement quite like this crochet chain necklace and I must say I'm swooning:


Isn't it wonderful? I love the mash of texture and shape and the mix of actual chain in there so it isn't super bulky around the neck! Oh my! Looks like I need to get my hook out and get makin'! Any thoughts?