September 30, 2009

The Viking

This past weekend, Winnipeg held it's first-ever "Free Weekend". Residents were encouraged to drag their unwanted household items to the curb, where they could be scooped up by passers-by. I made a couple of great discoveries. Here's the story about one of them - an antique Viking radio cabinet.

This is a close-up of the aformentioned cabinet, which is now residing comfortably in a corner of my living room. The cabinet had pretty much been gutted and all that remained of the "guts" was the radio itself (though disconnected and probably not operable) and a piece of the glass that covered the tuner. In the interest of prettying it up, I made a tiny collage to fill the space.

Keeping with the "radio" theme, I used vintage sheet music, some pretty patterened paper and a couple painstakingly cut-out branches and a little song bird. The whole thing was put together and then varnished for durability before the glass was attached with super-duper strong double sided tape.

September 29, 2009

Talk to Strangers

This past weekend, I went out for breakfast with a "stranger". Ok, that's not entirely true. I met her when she purchased a trio of pins from me at Ciclovia. She contacted me a couple days later to order 20 more pins (yay!) and we communicated back and forth via email a few times over the next week. Once her order was done and ready for delivery, she suggested that we get together for coffee and a chat.

We agreed to meet at Stella's in the Village on Sunday morning and ended up talking for close to two hours. It was a wonderful time and I'm sure we could've had a 6 hour conversation without running out of anything to say. We mostly talked about our art/craft (she's a poet and amazing quilter) and the challenges that come with trying to get our work "out there". It was so nice to talk to someone with as much passion for creativity as I have and such a positive, optimistic attitude.

I hope that we will get together again soon. She belongs to a couple of craft groups and has promised to bring me along to a get-together sometime, which I thounk would be totally fun. I miss the days of "cropping" with the girls at Remember Me in BC. Scrapbooking, knitting, quilting, gluing stuff...I don't think it much matters what you do, it's just nice to do it together sometimes.

September 28, 2009

Let's twist again!

Sometimes, when it comes to customer service, you just gotta go the extra mile. Case in point: I recently made this mirror for a very nice girl on the Etsy. She had seen a similar mirror in my shop and decided to order a custom for her friend's birthday. She had asked me to use Monopoly, Clue, Life...and Twister, if I could fit it all on there. Well, I tried and I just couldn't get it to work. It was just weird to have something so out of scale with the rest of the bits. Anyway, I could tell that she was a teensy bit disappointed that I didn't get it the Twister onto the mirror, so I offered to make her a birthday card to include with the mirror. Here's how it turned out:

Isn't it cute? It even has a little "spinner". Srsly.

I really hope she likes it...and her friend, too!

September 25, 2009

Fresh from the worktable...

This is just a glimpse...a tease, if you will...of a frame that I made to go with my new 50s pin-up picture. The girl in the photo is wearing nothing but a blue hair-bow, black heels and black lace undies. I used flocked paper and a few little tricks to make the frame look *just* like her skivvies and I absolutely LOVE the effect.

The frame itself, incidentally, was a $3.50 find at Michaels. It looked like it had been dragged behind a bus, so I asked for a discount off the regular $39 price. Yowsa! (If there's one thing that I learned from working in retail it is that you can usually get what you want if you are *nice* about it. So, be nice and you'll get the deals!)

Next up is a collage that I stayed up way too late to work on the other night. I have been doing customs and getting stock ready for sales for weeks and weeks and weeks, so it was nice to create something just for the sake of creating something.

The title of this collage is "When life gives you lemons..." and it's probably pretty obvious why. It's the first in what is going to be a series of "kitchen" pieces. I have a stash of vintage cookbooks that are just itching to get put to a good use. And, after flipping through them in amusement/horror, I can assure you that this is the best use for them.

Note: Yes, the photography in this post sucks. It was the best I could do with my BlackBerry in the middle of the night. Sadly, my creative bursts never seem to happen in concurrence with good, natural lighting. Better pics to follow...I promise!

September 24, 2009

Feelin' Folky

Yay! I just got word that I have a table in the Winnipeg Folk Festival Christmas Craft Sale on December 5th. I have heard that the Folk Fest sales are known for their high-quality of vendors and good turn-outs. Let's just hope that the same is true for this year, as well!

Mark your calendars!
Winnipeg Folk Festival Craft Sale
@ the Folk Exchange
211 Bannatyne (at Albert)
Saturday, December 5th
11am - 5pm
cash, debit & credit cards accepted!

September 23, 2009

Love Life

If there’s one thing that I have learned from making these game-themed collage mirrors, it’s that even in this age of video games and the internets, people still love board games! And, it seems that games like Monopoly, Scrabble and Yahtzee are the secret to a delightful courtship and a happy marriage. The couple that plays together stays together. Who knew?

This is the latest in my series of “Love is a game…” mirrors. The “people” from the Game of Life car aren’t pictured, because they are safely attached to the back. By request, there are two girls for the front seats and two boys for the back. That’s what I like to see – sistahs riding shotgun!

I have one more mirror in the works and just received an email regarding a potential order for another one. It’s a good thing that I have a seemingly limitless supply of game ephemera in my secret-special stash.

Interesting fact: so far, I have taken three of the custom orders from girls named Emily.

September 22, 2009

Webster's Pages

I am all about the vintage/distressed/collage-y look to begin with, but these papers by Webster's Pages are nothing short of drool-worthy. I have been stalking them online for a week or so and finally gave in when I discovered them at my local SBS. I was restrained, though, and only bought one "petite pack" (pictured below). And a couple 12x12 singles. But that was IT. I swear.

September 21, 2009

new in the Etsy shop!

I love these new domino pendants. It took me forever to source the bails and actually get around to putting them together, but I am so glad I made the effort.

This is the first batch of them (more to follow!) and I think they turned out pretty good. The funky paper helps, of course. Once I started playing with the designs, I know that the arrows had to point at the user. Except for the one that reads "Play". That one points down. ;-)

Buy "Fabulous!" here.

September 18, 2009

Spotted at the Cre8ery...ME!

Yup. That's me in the black dress and kicky, ankle-strap shoes...and striking nametag/arm band. I was volunteering for the "99 Pieces of Art on the Wall" opening. Jordan had me selling raffle tickets, which turned out to be a fantastic way to mingle and meet lots of people.

September 15, 2009

you are entering a no-doily zone

Fingers crossed for the upcoming "This Ain't Your Grandma's Craft Sale" at the Park Theatre. I sent my application in yesterday for the December event and I'm (literally) on pins 'n' needles waiting to find out if I'm in. We're supposed to know by Oct 3rd (ish), so stay tuned.

I am really excited about this one...and not just because I have been really super-choosy about which sales to go into. I like being surrounded by the cool kids. ;-)

But, seriously, doesn't it seem weird that we're already heading into the Christmas Season?? Gah. I still need to paint my deck...and fix my rain barrel...and I haven't taken my new patio umbrella out of the box yet!!

September 14, 2009

ciclovia '09

What a crazy, crafty Sunday! After much preparation, the mascot and I spent the whole day manning the “Everything is Ticketyboo” kiosk at Ciclovia on Broadway.

We got there early (7:45am) and set up a gorgeous display of pins, Altoids tins, pillows, and the new domino pendants on our rented cart. People started coming around by about 10am; by 11, the street was full. It was awesome to see Winnipeggers out in droves, although it would have been more awesome if they had actually been shopping! The sales, while not completely dismal, were somewhat disappointing…especially given the sheer number of people on the street. Most people that I spoke to were surprised by all the vendors and had simply come unprepared to shop.

It wasn’t a total waste of time, though.. I did manage to talk to a ton of nice folks and gave out close to half a box of business cards. (Just how many times *did* I say “I do custom work”??) At the end of the day, I came out of it with a tan, a ton of potential customers (including a gift store), an invite to teach an art/ATC class to some elementary students, some new friends, and $140 in my pocket…and that’s after the endless stream of cash that I used to keep the mascot fed and occupied. (Just how many cups of coffee *did* I send him to fetch??) Plus, I received a call this morning from a woman who bought 3 pins and would like to order 12-20 more for her quilting group!

So, all-in-all it was a good (albeit LONG) day. I hope that they do this again next year, too. I think now that Winnipeggers have been to a Ciclovia event, they’ll know what to expect from the next one…and bring money. I’ll be ready for them!

September 11, 2009

everything is ticketyboo at Ciclovia - Sept 13, 2009

It’s time to take to the streets Winnipeg!

This Sunday, the entire north side of Broadway Avenue, will be closed to motorized vehicles from 8 am to 4 pm for Ciclovia. During the event, Broadway will be open to pedestrians and cyclists only from Main to Osborne.

Ciclovia, meaning “bike way,” began in Bogotà, Colombia, where every Sunday major roads are blocked off and millions of people fill them running, walking, biking and enjoying free outdoor fitness classes like yoga and aerobics. Ciclovia events have been held all over the world, but have yet to hit Canadian streets until now…

Winnipeg will hold the distinction as the first Canadian city to host a Ciclovia event and I am proud to be a part of it! The goal of the event is to promote physical activity and the environmental benefits of using non-motorized forms of transportation. Plus, it’s a great way to get the community together for one last kick at summer! So, bring out your bikes, blades, boards, & beyond and come out to Ciclovia on Sunday…and be sure to stop by my cart to say “Hey!” My kiosk will be located in the Artisans’ Area (Broadway & Kennedy Street).

The event will be held from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm, featuring:
- a farmers market
- street vendors (artisans & food)
- a kids’ zone and street hockey zone
- bike decorating with Art City
- buskers & live entertainment
- FREE horse drawn wagon rides and a hay maze
- outdoor fitness classes (yoga, zoomba & more!) …and other non-motorized fun!
PLUS - at 4:00 pm, local group, Oh My Darling, will wrap up the event with a special concert at The Forks’ Oodena Circle!

Click here for the official Ciclovia program/map.

Winnipeg Free Press article – Sept 10, 2009

September 8, 2009

as seen on Etsy!

Posted today in my Etsy shop

Two mirrors -

Love is a Game

Java Blocks

And two custom listings -

Annie's Mirror

Kayla's pins (sold!)

my kitchen table

This was the scene on my kitchen table the other day. You're looking at four mirrors in varying states of completion, a few pins awaiting glazing, and a few of the bits and pieces that go into the creative process. The day before it was the sewing machine, the mini ironing board, and a basket of notions.

Needless to say, this kind of thing is not conducive to your typical kitchen table activities. Like eating, for example. It's not bad when I'm alone and can take my plate to the coffee table (shush!), but when the mascot is around we always eat at the table. That means that each project, each tool, and each scrap of paper must get carefully picked up and put...somewhere. Then, after the plates are cleared and the dishwasher is humming its little tune, it all comes back out again.

The reason for this madness? My artcraftsewing room (aka "the pit") has been in a state of disarray since May. Or it could be even earlier. I'm blocking. Anyway...I finally had enough of having a non-functional workspace, so I woke up at 6 on Monday morning and tackled it. It took almost 4 hours, but I'm happy to say that it's DONE. Or, at least, done enough to get in there and do some work. I am going to stop off at Costco on the way home today to pick up another set of $38 shelves to store all of my goodies (aka "ephemera") and then it will be done. :sigh:

September 4, 2009

upcycled netbook sleeve

I couldn't bear to have an unprotected netbook any longer. R gave me "Harriet" for my birthday a couple of weeks ago, and since then she's been carted around in a backpack, a shopping bag, an old corduroy tote...nothing befitting her awesomeness. Until now.

I made this sleeve from a chunk of denim harvested from an old pair of jeans and lined it with some quilted jacket lining that was left-over from my Fabricland "project" days. The tabs and appliques are new fabric (and will match the bigger tote-bag that is still in the planning stages). There is also a co-ordinating fob that I made to hold my USB stick (not pictured).

The appliques were surprisingly easy to apply...even though they were an afterthought and I had to sew them on *after* sewing the side seams. D'oh! I also added the little watch pocket from the jeans, but hand-sewed that on due to the thickness of the denim and the rivets at the top edge. There's a hole in the pocket, which I backed with a tiny piece of the brown and green fabric, as well.

I still need to fashion a strap for the sleeve, but I need a couple of things that weren't in my stash. Namely, brown webbing and a sturdy set of clips. (I am going to attach it with clips, so that it can go do double-duty as a strap for the tote as well. Clever, huh?)

September 2, 2009

it's in the, bag!

This purse is my latest creation and a perfect example of upcycling.
It’s made from a jean skirt, a necktie, and a chunk of fabric left over from a shower curtain project (circa 1997). Total cost: $4.50 (including the D-rings!)
The skirt was a recent Value Village find and the tie came from my Dad’s collection.

Making it was embarrassingly simple. All I had to do was open up the waistband of the skirt at the sides, insert and attach the necktie “strap”, and then line it. The longest step in the whole process was handstitching the lining to the waistband. (I did that while watching a documentary, though, so it was really like no work at all.) Had I been more organized, I would have photographed it for a tutorial. Next time - I promise!

That makes two bags completed this week…I am definitely on a roll! I have two more in the works (read: I have the plan AND the fabric for them) and one more in the earliest stages of the creative process. The third one came to me in a dream this morning and I think I have it worked out…I just need to find the perfect placemat. What?

September 1, 2009

One Buck Purse

I am so completely enamored by these new iron-on “eco” appliques by H.A.Kidd. Aren’t they the cutest things ever? I found this one at Mitchell Fabrics and had to design a bag around it. I love the way it turned out. (I personally think the camo is a nice touch and especially suits the mini-messenger/field-bag style.)

Application was easy…iron for 60 seconds under a clean, damp cloth and it’s stuck like whoa. I still plan to stitch around the edges of the applique, but so far I have been impressed by how well it is holding on.

There are other designs in the series; all centering around the nature/ecology-theme. I think I might need “Plant a Tree”.
or ”Protect Our Oceans”…or maybe the little frog.