October 29, 2010

Creative Collection Craft Sale - Nov 21st

Once again, I will be participating in the Creative Collection Craft Fair at the Crescentwood Community Club.
(Try saying that 5 times fast!)

If I remember correctly, last year's sale was pretty busy, despite the bitterly cold weather. Fingers crossed for good traffic and better weather this time around! If it's nice, I might be able to convince the mascot to come out and lend me a hand for a couple hours. Those sales are mighty long without a break!

(Edit: the typos in that poster are going to be the end of me.)

October 27, 2010

The Bling Dynasty

I'll be there, along with Periwinkle Designs, jake + cleo and Magination. Winnipeg Etsy Street Team represent!

October 26, 2010

How to Train Your Mascot, part 1

When it comes to stuff like Halloween, thirteen is a funny age. On the cusp of young adulthood, the line between “too old for that” and “oh, c’mon…be a kid” is often blurred with smudgy grey areas. The mascot has been trying to decide for weeks if he should dress up this year and he has finally announced that yes, he will...if just to end his Trick or Treating career on a high-note.

Looking back on his past costumes, I have to say it’s been a pretty good run. Off the top of my head, there was Winnie the Pooh, a bat, a spider, the moon, a race car, a breakdancer, Justin Timberlake (seriously), The Thing (his only “commercial” costume) and “Death”. Good times. This year, he is going to go as the kid from the movie “How to Train Your Dragon”. Jay Baruchel? No, the character he plays - Hiccup!

I figured it would be a fairly easy one to buy parts for and, once again, Value Village didn’t let us down. We found a reversible furry vest, a tunic-length olive green shirt, skinny grey jeans and a brown leather belt with big brass eyelets (tres Viking!) All that needs to be added is a pair of brown Ugg-style boots (in my size, thankyouverymuch) and the mascot’s Viking helmet.

“Fur” vest - $12
Shirt - $7
Jeans - $6
Belt - $7
Total cost (not including boots): $32

From a purely budget-wise point of view, the best part of the whole outfit is that everything can be worn or used again, so I didn’t have to shell-out for things that would get worn once and left to rot at the back of the closet. That said, I am a little concerned with just how much the mascot loooves the furry vest. Oy!

October 24, 2010


I've figured out how to make my necklace display spin, but I need to get my bearings.


Trust me. That joke is hil-a-rious.

October 22, 2010

Board, not bored.

I mentioned yesterday that I am now a member of the Manitoba Craft Council board, but I don’t think I ever really made the “announcement”. So, um…here it is!

Last Sunday, I attended the annual general meeting of the Craft Council and was thrilled to be elected onto the board. I have only been a member of the MCC itself for a year, but I have spent that whole time wondering how I could get more involved. A couple of weeks ago, the answer to that came in the form of an email from a friend (and now fellow board member) and I jumped at the chance to throw my name into the ring.

This will be my first opportunity to serve on a board, so while I am not entirely sure what to expect, I am sure that it will be a great experience. If nothing else, it will be a chance to learn the ins-and-outs of an arts organization, which is something I have been very interested in for some time. I am also looking forward to being more active in the crafts community and getting to know lots of new creative, crafty people.

The Manitoba Craft Council (MCC) was established in 1978 to promote, develop and advocate for fine craft and its makers in Manitoba. For over 30 years MCC has worked to ensure that contemporary fine craft and the artists who produce these works are supported, recognized and celebrated for their contributions to the artistic, cultural and economic life of Manitoba.

October 21, 2010


Last year I had the pleasure of being a part of the chaotic, crafty fun at the “This Ain’t Your Grandma’s Craft Sale” craft sale, and this year I am ready to do it all over again! I just received word this week that I am on the list of hand-picked vendors, along with my good friends at Jake + Cleo, Sew Dandee, Just the Goods, Periwinkle Designs and Mozy Rue! Talk about a MREC reunion!

The TAYGCS (or just “Grandma’s”, as the cool kids call it) is an annual event that is held at the historic and charming Park Theatre on the south end of Osborne Street. Calling it a “craft sale” is a little bit like calling Cochella a “concert”, or calling Pretzel M&Ms “candy”. As far as understatements go, it’s a doozy. Picture an old movie theatre with a dj spinning tunes and several hundred of your closest (literally) friends snapping up the city’s hippest handmades from a couple dozen smiling (but somewhat shell-shocked) vendors– that’s TAYGCS for you!

Each year, the “Grandma’s” organizers have done a fantastic job of gathering a diverse and eclectic collection of makers who sell everything from glitz to kitsch (I fit somewhere in the middle of that). The group that they put together last year was awesome and this year promises to be every bit as good...if not better!

For Xmas 2010, they’ve upped the ante with a second sale at the West End Cultural Centre, in conjunction with the Manitoba Craft Council. I’ll be at that one, as well, and as a brand-new board member of the MCC, I am extra happy to be a part of the evening’s festivities. I’m also really looking forward to seeing how the Friday evening WECC show differs from the Park Theatre show. It’s just a hunch, but I have a feeling that might be slightly less…frantic…given the earlier date and different venue. Plus, I’m counting on the MCC people to class-up the joint a little. ;-)

TAYGCS night at the MCC Holiday Sale
West End Cultural Centre, 586 Ellice Ave.
Thirty-seven craft artists (and counting) plus live music, dancing and food = the best of Manitoba craft under one roof!
Friday, November 26th - 5-10 pm

The annual "This Ain't Your Grandma's Craft Sale"
Park Theater, 698 Osborne St.
The original!
Sunday, December 5th - Time TBA

October 20, 2010

String Bling

After much fanfare (not that much) and a sneak peek that garnered hundreds of comments (just the one…hi, Andee!), I am ready (bursting!) to reveal one of the items from my new line. As the ever-astute Andee guessed, it’s a pair of earrings!

What Andee didn’t mention, however, was that they were made from my signature t-shirt “spaghetti”. Like the shirts that they were made from, they’re soft, colourful, comfortable and timeless...and carb-free!

The entire collection is made up of one-of-a-kind necklaces, chokers and earrings. In addition to the t-shirt spaghetti, I have used metal chains and findings, vintage game pieces, dressmakers measuring tapes, hardware and found objects. Like me, they're a little quirky, a little edgy and a lot of fun.

The line will be making its big debut at the “Bling” jewelry and accessories sale at the Franco-Manitoban on Sunday, November 14th. Can’t wait!

(Incidentally, the earrings pictured above came from a vintage, tie-dyed Jimi Hendrix shirt. The rest of the shirt will soon be made into a super, squooshy pillow! If I can put down my jewelry pliers longe enough to get behind my sewing machine again...)

October 19, 2010

A sneak peek!

On Saturday, I spent a few hours working on getting my new jewelry line finished, packaged and ready for next month’s sales. I am so happy with how everything has turned out; both products and packaging.

Here’s just a tease...

Can you guess what it is?

October 18, 2010

Eat, Play, Craft

You would think that the promise (or threat) of craft lessons at a museum would be a hard-sell for a 13 year old boy, but once you throw brunch into the deal, any talk of basket-weaving can be slipped-in without garnering any protest what-so-ever.

On Sunday morning, the mascot and I attended “Made by You” at the Danalvert Museum. Hosting the event were our lovely friends from the Manitoba Crafts Museum and they did a fantastic job of putting together a fun morning of good food and hands-on demos.

After chowing down on fresh fruit, cheese and pastries, the mascot and I tried our hands at basketry (above), wet-felting (below) and Sashiko embroidery. (Well, the mascot did everything except the embroidery. It’s nearly impossible to hold a needle and cram mini-cinnamon buns and garlic sausage into your mouth.)

We really enjoyed all of the crafts that we tried, but the wet-felting was a stand-out for the mascot. I think we will definitely be doing that one again on our own. Other than the inexpensive bags of wool roving, all you need is bubblewrap, a boot tray, dish soap and hot water. In less than 30 mins of rolling, squeezing and rubbing (oooh!), you’ve got a piece of OOAK felt, which can be cut, sewn or just used as-is. I’m thinking hot-pads or coasters for Xmas gifts….

October 14, 2010


For the past year or so, I have been trying to track down a rubber stamp with an image of a vintage typewriter. I have come across a few online, but never make it past the "add to basket" step. After working in a scrapbooking store with a huge cache of stamps to play with (not to mention a healthy discount), I am what you would call "thrifty" when it comes to adding to my own supplies. No matter how badly I wanted/needed a typewriter stamp, I just couldn't justify paying uupwards of $20 for one.

I knew, however, that the right stamp would make its way to me eventually, but I wasn’t expecting it to be in the bargain bin at the local big-box crafts store. And, I definitely wasn’t expecting it to be $1.50. Ka-pow! The only thing that kept it from being 100% perfect was a little quote beside the typewriter...and that was quickly taken care of with a few quick swipes of a sharp x-acto knife. Now it’s perfectly perfect (and ready to be used on my new jewelry tags!)

October 13, 2010

Shhh...mommy's working.

I don’t know if it is a matter of self-discipline or minimizing distractions or a combination of both, but I get way more work done when I’m not at home. With Craftober nearing the half-way point and motivation lagging (already??), I need all the help I can get.

So, in the interest of getting some stuff made, I dragged my supplies to the shop on Thanksgiving Monday and spent the afternoon at the counter making jewelry. To really trick myself into thinking that I was working, I set hours, wrote it on my calendar and even packed a lunch!

Did it work? Well, after about an hour of organizing and 30 mins to eat a salad the size of a manatee, I settled in and got my craft-on. For 4 blissful, uninterrupted hours, I made necklaces and earrings out of t-shirt “spaghetti” and random charms and bits (in preparation for my upcoming “Bling” sale at the Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre). I’m not sure what the final count was because the mascot arrived and distracted me (go fig!), but it was lots. Like, 16 sets or something.

I think I am going to try to schedule about one of these “shifts” per week until the craft-sale season is over. It takes a little bit more planning and prep to make sure that I have everything with me, but it also forces me to make better use of my time. It’s pretty hard to procraftstinate when there is no TV, fridge, internet, child, fella, book, bed, Nintendo DS, Wii or bathtub vying for one’s attention. It's just me, the radio and a big table to spread my stuff out on. Ahhh...serenity now.

October 8, 2010

I'm with the Band

The mascot’s 13th birthday party had a “Guitar Hero” theme. To carry it out, we had invites that looked like concert tickets, a band “rider” (with candy buffet), rockin' tunes and backstage passes on lanyards, which turned out really cool and made a neat souvenir of the party.

I know a couple tweenage girls who would’ve loved to get their hands on one of these babies:

The candy buffet (below left) featured 15 varieties; everything from jujubes to M&Ms. Oddly, the hot item was the candy corn. Who knew? Anyway, I remembered to pack little cello bags with the party gear and used them to pack up all of the “leftovers”. Ka-pow! Instant loot bags!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the total cost for each laminate was just under $2 each, but would have been lower if my laminator hadn’t decided to misbehave. Having them laminated at Staples added about $3.50 to the total cost (I made 10).

October 6, 2010

Jewelry Re-dos, part 3!

Remember yesterday’s necklace? I told you the story behind the pretty bits, but I forgot to mention that the chain was harvested from an old piece, too.

When you look at the “before” necklace (below), you’ll see why it has spent the past 2 or 3 years languishing in the bottom of a basket; it’s just not good. First of all, I can’t get past the fact that the chain is gold and the flowery part is silver. To me, that’s a deal breaker. Secondly…no, actually, there’s no need to go any farther; the gold/silver thing is inexcusable.

Now, don’t those daisies look much better on a soft, stretchy cord, made from upcycled t-shirts? The made-over version is so cute that I am having trouble deciding if I can part with it or not...

…and please pardon the slightly out-of-focus pics. No time for a re-shoot!

October 5, 2010

Jewelry Re-dos, Part 2

Here’s another quick restyle from last Saturday’s upcycling spree…an orphaned earring into a simple necklace. It's a perfect project for those of us who seek instant-craftification.

The earring, in case you were wondering, was worn to a friend’s grad in *ahem* 1991. I wore it with a little black lace dress and a tasteful corsage. All of the other girls were decked out in big, poofy pastel gowns and massive wrist corsages. Needless to say, I felt pretty *classy*.

October 4, 2010

Jewelry Re-dos, Part 1

Now that I am getting quite handy with the jewelry pliers, I have started to dip into my odd baskets and boxes of costume jewelry, looking for things to restyle. It's not only a fun (and FREE) resource of materials; it is proving to be great practice for working with chains and jump rings and other fiddly things.

This necklace (below left) was given to me about 20 years ago by my step-mother. (I think it was purchased in Morocco during the 60s, but don't quote me on that.) It has since lost its chain and sustained a few crudely-executed repairs. As much as I love it, it was just way too big to wear as-is. I am slowly poaching it for parts and the earrings in the "after" shot are the first of what I think will ultimately be 4 projects from the one piece.

Stay tuned for a peek at more jewelry restyling projects...I'm on a roll!

October 1, 2010

Cleared for Take-off

If you ask for a pillow on a Westjet flight, you won't get one of these:

...yet. Once word gets out, though; watch out! You might get Bowie, or Black Sabbath, or, if you're really lucky, Bruce Lee.

But, seriously, I have been flying high since I found out that the Mozy Rue ECO Collective was featured in an article in Westjet's online magazine, Up! It was a wonderfully written piece by Winnipeg writer and gal-in-the-know, Shel Zolkowich and just the kind of exposure that we need (and deserve, gosh darn it!) You can read it here: Westjet Up!

Of course, it didn't hurt that I got a big, fat mention in the article. I immediately sent it to my mom who, no doubt, printed it out and stucke it to her fridge. At least, I am going to go ahead and assume that she did. ;-)