September 29, 2010

Mine...all mine.

I used to make stuff for myself all the time; clothing, accessories, furniture, art, you name it. In fact, when I worked at Fabricland and *had* to sew items to display in the store, I was making myself a new dress or outfit (or bag or pillow) every week! Lately, though, my purely-selfish projects are few and far between. When I do have time to sew, paint, or craft-it-up, I do it for the store or custom orders. And, it’s not that I’m complaining; I am absolutely grateful for the work…it’s just that I was beginning to make myself jealous!

So, this past Saturday, I decided to take a little time to sit down and make myself some things with the many beads, baubles and charms that I have been hoarding. An hour later, I had a nice little collection of necklaces and earrings, and the inspiration to make a few new pieces to sell!

The choker pictured above was one of my fave pieces from that session. I found the “artful” tag at a bead store in Minneapolis and had to have it (for obvious reasons.) It reminded me of the silver “Return to Tiffany’s” necklaces that I have been coveting for years, so I used it to create a slightly shabbier, copper-tone version. What do you think?

I love it so much that I am going to use the rest of the tags that I picked up to make a few more. They all have different words and numbers, so each one will be OOAK, and they’ll all be up for grabs in the shop and on the Etsy!

September 28, 2010

Thinking Out Loud

I have such a great idea, but NO idea how to make it happen.


September 27, 2010

(The) Knitting (on) the Bridge

As I mentioned the other day, we had the opportunity to take part in "Knitting the Bridge"; a fun public-art project that was organized for Culture Days. After weeks and weeks of knitting and countless stitches, the knitting was finally installed on the bridge on Saturday night. The mascot and I took a trip out to check it out on Sunday and, wow, was it ever cool to see.

The knitting (and crocheting) stretched from one end of the Esplinade to the other, and was even doubled and tripled-up in some sections. We walked the whole length of the bridge and back to see every last piece. Of course, we spotted mine pretty easily thanks to its bizarre pickle-green colour! (It's the looovely piece that we are posing in front of in the picture below.)

As we were getting back into the car, the mascot said, "I hope we can do Knitting the Bridge again next year...and go back to Sal's for another milkshake!" LOL. I'm glad that Culture Days has had such an impact on him. (Although, I suppose Sal's is a pretty big part of Winnipeg culture in its own right.)

September 24, 2010

A Perfect Marriage

The art in our home is becoming quite an eclectic combination of store-bought prints and posters, original pieces, and found objects. Scattered among the original pieces are a few works of my own, including a somewhat “Mad Men”-esque collage (pictured below) which hangs in our living room. (See, I do occasionally keep the stuff that I make!) It's a perfect marriage of two of my favourite things - vintage self-help books and lovely ladies.

As far as collages go, it’s a pretty simple one, but I absolutely love how it turned out. I’ve used only two elements – a figure cut from a vintage pattern envelope and a dust jacket from “How to Help Your Husband Get Ahead”, a very helpful book written in 1953 by Mrs Dale Carnegie, wife of the much-quoted American author and lecturer, Dale Carnegie. (Incidentally, one of the chapters in the book is titled “Getting Along with his Secretary”. Isn’t that fabulous??)

September 23, 2010

Hooray for Knitting the Bridge!

Last night, the mascot and went to the Salisbury House on the Provencher Bridge to take part in the final meeting of the “Knitting the Bridge” group. You may be asking yourself, “Why on earth would a 13 year old boy want to go hang out and watch a bunch of chicks knitting?” Here are 5 reasons:

1. Two words – Salisbury House. The promise of a milkshake and/or fries is usually enough to get him out of the house on a rainy evening. The promise of a glimpse of the “million dollar toilet” clinched the deal.
2. Since he’s not a knitter, he had the choice to play his DS or to blog. He chose to bring the netbook so that he could blog about our latest North Star Drive-in experience.
3. One more word – chicks. Who says knitters are all blue-haired biddies? The ones I know are young, hip, smart, funny and, well, kinda hot.
4. What can I say, the kid’s a joiner. This project in particular caught his attention, so he was right on-board from the get-go. I mean, come on…a 250 metre scarf? Coolness!
5. Did I mention the milkshakes?

Needless (or needle-less, as the case may be) to say, we were both rather excited to take part in the evening’s activities. It was great to see so many ladies out knitting, eating, and chatting together. We met a few awesome gals (including Andee’s mom…hi, mom!) and I managed to crochet a piece 11 stitches wide by over 6’ long. (Gotta love those fat hooks!)

It has yet to be confirmed, but I think Jen mentioned that as of last night they had met their goal and would have enough length to cover the bridge. I suppose we’ll see on Saturday night, when the installation takes place, starting at 7:00pm! I know it’s just a small contribution, but it’s nice to think that somewhere along the span, 2 metres of bridge deck will be adorned with my chartreuse handiwork.

Knitting the Bridge is a colossal cooperative effort orchestrated by artists Kristin Nelson and Jennifer Smith in conjunction with Culture Days and Nuit Blanche Winnipeg 2010. The goal of the project is to knit across the 250-meter long Provencher Bridge that separates St-Boniface from downtown Winnipeg.

Knitting the Bridge has scheduled public meets dedicated to knitting together. Anyone can participate. These knitting the bridge meets will take place at the Salisbury House on the Louis Riel Esplanade every Wednesday starting August 18th from 6-8pm. On Saturday September 25th at 7pm, Jennifer and Kristin will begin installing the work from opposite ends of the bridge making this the longest and most collaborative knitting project in Winnipeg.

September 22, 2010

Good things come...eventually.

After years of searching (seriously...years), I have finally snagged a vintage stained glass window. Oh, sure, there are tons of them around, but most of the ones that I have seen are upwards of $100, regardless of condition. I wasn't about to give up, though. I knew that I would fine one that would fit my budget if I just kept my eyes open. Did I ever think I would get one for $15? Hmmm...nope...and that's what makes this find even sweeter!

This one, which I picked up at the Habitat ReStore last weekend, is not what I would call “pristine”, but to me it is perfect. And 6 of the panes are pink. PINK! Can you imagine living in a house with pink windows? It would take the whole idea of “rose coloured glasses” to a whole new level.

Right now, my precious window is safely tucked into a corner of my living room. I would love to have it in a place where the sun could shine through it, but that’ll have to wait until I can coordinate hooks and eyes and chains and anchors and a know, the more I think about it, the more I like it where it is.

September 20, 2010

The Suitcase Desk

To make a long story short – I bought a new (tiny) laptop and needed a new (tiny) desk.

With limited open real estate on our main floor, the desk had to meet the following conditions:
- it had to take up very little space
- it had to be easily moved or tucked-away
- it had to provide storage
- it had to be cute

I had mulled over a few options, including narrow bookcases with shelf extenders, folding wall-mounted tables, and re-purposing my already re-purposed antique sewing machine/dressing table. Nothing seemed exactly *right*, though, so I kept searching.

As it turned out, the solution was right under my nose all along. Or, rather, it was at the bottom of my stairs…in the form of my Nana’s old hard-side suitcase. Small? Yup. Portable? Uh-huh. Storage? Yes’m. Cute? And how!

Once I decided that it would be my new laptop desk, the conversion of the suitcase itself was a fairly easy and inexpensive process. I already had an IKEA folding table to sacrifice for its legs, so all I needed to purchase was a few short lengths of pine for the inner structure, a piece of ¾” MDF for the desk top, angle brackets, hinges and some paint.

With measurements in hand, I made one short (by my standards) trip to Home Depot where I was able to pick up all of the things on my list AND have my wood cut to size. Back at home, all I had to do was remove the legs from the folding table and attach them to the “deep” side of the suitcase, and build the desk insert. By using a few time-saving techniques (hello, angle brackets!), I was able to complete the entire project (including painting!) within a couple hours.

I think it turned out pretty darned cute and I am over-the-moon by how functional it is. Not only is it the perfect size for working, it keeps all of the computer cables and junk tucked away and easily accessible, thanks to the hinged desk-top. As a bonus, it closes up to hide my laptop when I’m not using it and can be locked-up to keep all of my secrets secret! The only thing that I plan to add is a small notice-board in the lid to organize notes and photos…and then it will be *perfect*.

I think Nana would be proud.

September 17, 2010

'tis the season...already?

All the signs are there; the chill in the air that makes you want to pull on thick socks, the sound of geese as they begin to make their plans to head south, the sudden changing of the leaves. With only 4 "official" days left in Summer 2010, it's definitely beginning to feel like fall is soon to be (if not already) upon us.

To some, fall means picking pumpkins, getting lost in corn mazes, and packing up the garden tools. For me and my crafty friends, however, it means buckling down and coming up with the goods that we need for all of the craft sales that we started signing up for in July.

This year, I'll be taking it "easy" and focusing my attentions on the shop, custom orders, and a few carefully-chosen community club and gallery sales. So far, I am confirmed for a Scattered Seeds "Bling" show in St Boniface and the Creative Collection sale at the Crescentwood CC. I also have an application pending for the Cre8ery annual open house/sale and I am watching for announcements about the Grosvenor School sale and the "This Ain't Your Grandma's Craft Sale" at the Park Theatre. (I did the TAYGCS show last year and had a BLAST, so fingers crossed for that one.)

To go along with the KISS (Keep It Simple, SRSLY) theme, I am going to be concentrating on pins, pendants, pillows, notepads and cards, mirrors, altered altoids tins, wallets...oh, who am I kidding? Simple just isn't in my vocab. ;-)

Let the fun begin!!

September 7, 2010


This Thursday, I will be holding the first in my series of eco-friendly DIY classes at the Mozy Rue ECO Collective store!

"In this fun 90 minute class, Rebecca will guide you through the steps that it takes to create an expandable “faux mesh” tote (pictured above) that will amaze and delight cashiers everywhere. (Well, that might be a stretch, pun intended; but we guarantee that once you’ve made one bag, you’ll want to make more!) And, for those who skipped home-ec class, we’ve got a no-sew version, too. If you can hold a pair of scissors, you can make this project!"

To (hopefully) accomodate a variety of schedules, I will be offering the class twice in September; Thursday the 9th at 7:30pm and Sunday the 26th at 1:30pm. The $12 fee gets you 90 mins of class-time and a take-home instruction booklet with bonus project (You’ve gotta use those sleeves for something, right?). The class is "BYOT" (bring your own tee) or I can supply one for an additional $3. Other than that, all you need is a pair of scissors!

To register (or for additional info), shoot me an email at or call the shop at 477-1900.