Monday, December 13, 2010

My Favourites!

Who are the people in your neighbourhood when you're walking down the street?
scarf from Red Spotted Patch, hee, hee!
Hey look, there is Carol in her shop, Favourite Unique Gifts and Accessories! What's around her neck, a snake? It is! How cute, an upcycled wool scarf ! What a brilliant idea and they all have names you say? What is that one's name, Carol?
 Speaking of scarves, these are beautiful too! I love the wood buttons! Let's see what other goodies Carol has!

I  love these upcycled books made from albums and old book covers! What ever happened to Luba anyways?
Cutest Christmas cards ever, I'd love to get one of these in my mailbox!

For the bird lover in your life perhaps? Would they would like a carved or painted bird? These hand carved birds blow me away, look at those feet!  Sorry I have to say it, what a hoot!

We mustn't forget about the dudes! These belt buckles are made from skate boards and the(what do I call them?) bracelets, are very cool!

For the fast paced, techie baby in you life!

Red spotted patch, hot and cold pack monster buddies!
Perhaps after a long day of Christmas shopping you'd like to snuggle up with a monster hot or cold pack buddy! Maybe one eyed Larry or Sadie with the two large front teeth? Pickles is a fish but still huggable. George likes to take your worries away!
I love chicadora's pendents and rings made out of vintage silver spoons. I would say "adorable" but that would be too punny!

It's been fun shopping with you at my Favourite store, thanks Carol. See you soon, Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Last hint!

Today's hint!

I'm not in Canada, Memphis was almost right, Elvis did spend a lot of time here!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Guess where I am and win a free cupcake pin cushion!

I will provide a hint each day until someone guesses correctly. People are exempt if they are on the trip with me or I have told them already!

Today's Hint:

A little bit country and a little bit rock n roll.

Send your guesses as comments. Good luck!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Would you want invisibility as a superpower?

My bee keeping friend, Lori, turned me on to ephemeral art (art that is made from nature) last year.
I love gardening and I love making stuff. This is a little something I did last fall.

    It reads "some- \  times I feel  \  invisible"

 It was a pretty interesting experience figuring out how to get the grass blades to stick to the web. Then I pissed off Mr. Spider. He marched out to the middle of the web and cast off,  in a very discussed way I might add, a single blade of grass. Then Mr Spider marched back up to his hiding spot, so as to say "there I showed her!" Hhumph!

Truth be told we all feel invisible sometimes. Ocasionally we want to be invisible and other times all we want is to be seen and heard.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What do cupcakes and soap have in common?

I've been a busy bee working away in the studio making cupcake pin cushions (with handmade resin specialty pins) and some fun LEGO and Space Invader soap! What brought this on you ask? My good friend Linda (the one who used to smuggle and swap quilt and garden magazines into animation class for me) for a number of years has been hosting a craft fair at her house in North Vancouver. She is having another one this weekend, Friday, November 12th from 7-9pm and Saturday, November 13th from 1-4pm. She always does such a wonderful job of putting it all together, she's such a brave soul! I'll be there with my stash and my Mission buddy, Cynthia, will be there with her goodies too!. I'm looking forward seeing Marie with her Frost Collection and Lesley with her Smidgebox purses (I think she is doing some stockings too!).

If  you want in on the action send me a comment and I will forward the address to you, all has Linda requested is that you introduce yourself as someone who knows me and that you don't bounce a cheque! =)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm proud to announce, "I am no longer a virgin!"

I've been a peeping tom for quite some time, I even go so far as to say a lurker! However, I finally took the plunge! Don't get me wrong it wasn't peer pressure or anything like that. I just took my time until the moment was right!

Deep breath I finally made my first online Esty purchase-tee hee! A clock for my studio from uncommon and a little change purse from Oktak, just because!

Then I was feeling really brave so I went and did it again and made my first online fabric purchase!
Starting in the back, I bought check-a-dot in Aqua and Red (designer Cosmo cricket., one of my favourites for paper too!) Next in my totem pole of fabric I bought  Full Moon Polka Dot in Lime (designer Amy Buttler). Both I bought through Hawthorne Threads.

The bottom three are fabric test swatches from Spoonflower a very cool online shop that prints fabric that you design. However, you can also buy other peoples designs too, like  I did!

The tattoo one (which I love) is a design by my friend Cynthiafrenette . Seriously, if I had the guts (which I don't!) I would totally get this tattooed on my arm!

The other samples are called spot the BIG bug and Christmas_quarter.

So there you go! I am no longer a virgin and it wasn't as nearly as painful one might have thought!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lookie, Lookie what I made!

This past Sunday I took a Resin Pendant workshop at the Fraser Valley Bead Show from Mikel Lefler. I'm pretty tickled with the results, tee hee hee!

Mikel provided lots of great photos and doodads for the class and she also encouraged us to bring anything else we wanted to use. I recently inherited my grandfather's watchmaking bench, stuffed full of teeny tiny treasures! I randomly brought a small case full of watch parts and used them in combination with Mikel's photos of birds.

For this one I used a watch back for the bezel and I also used a watch part for the finding.

For this pendent I used a pewter bezel. I picked it from a local Maple Ridge store, Kellie's Beads Boutique.

This was the bezel that was provided for the class. It's much larger than the other two above which meant it took me double the time to layout the design...decisions, decisions!

I know which one is my favourite, which one is yours? I'm curious to see if it's the same!

Oh and they're having another Fraser Valley Bead Show in the Spring; March 25, 26 and 27th. Maybe I'll see you there?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Whoa there little doggies, hold your horses!

Our kid's growth chart: an ongoing project since... they keep growing! I've painted this on the inside of a narrow closet door, I thought I'd be sensitive to their teen years. On the right of the sunflower is our eldest son's growth chart, on the left is our youngest. It started off with just bugs but as both my boys have gotten older they've delved into fictional critters too. For example, our eldest son was really into Spiderwick when he was 8; actually that series is still a staple in his reading list.

SIDE NOTE: the Spiderwick books are GREAT! The movie not so much :(

As our boys grow, I try to represent each phase with a bug or creature that will remind us of what they were like at that age. Our eldest son loved slugs when he was 2. He used to collect them up in the yard. For some reason he would name every slug Pippy or Poppy? Slugs... yuck, I know, but at least we learned that salt helps remove slug slime!

It's been really fun watching how much they grow each year!

Our youngest son just turned 7 in September and he decided he wanted something from Aurthur and the Invisibles: the creature the king sits on, which kind of looks like a miniature yeti!

He also loves that he is taller than his brother at  7!

For his 2 year mark  I painted a fuzzy bee since he had the hair to match and he's the only one of us that's blond!

Which leads me to the end of the stalk, where you can see I've painted our son's names in orange. I also used orange to mark dots for the official heights up the sunflower.

When they were babies everyone told me they would grow up fast! I have tried to document and seize every moment and I realize they aren't done growing if they could only slow down a little so I could catch up!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Shakes your hips like battleships!

I know it's October but my head is still processing September! My birthday falls at the beginning of September and often it was the first day of school - ugh! (woe is me!). Since this is my show and tell place I gotta just tell you about some really cool presents I received from some really cool people!

I love books! The Book of Awesome was given to me by my good friend Cori... and yes, IT IS AWESOME! It talks about noticing all the little things to feel good about, for example, when you put on warm underwear straight out of the dryer. Okay, I haven't ever done that (yet!), but I do yell out "WARM LAUNDRY!" when to the kids are home. They flop on our bed like fish out of water as I dump all the warm laundry on them. Really, is there anything better than someone pouring warm laundry on you?

This book has lots of awesome things in it... like finding forgotten money in your pocket or popping bubble wrap! Here's a little tidbit, this books concept came from the author's blog! That's (say it with me) awesome!

I have to admit I'm always a little perplexed when I'm at people's houses when they don't have any bookshelves. Guess what else I received...

You guessed it, another book, The Art of Toy Story 3, from my kids. Lots of colours and inspiration! I would even say it would go under the category of AWESOME! I thought it went perfectly at home on our shelf of toys...(clearing of the throat) my toys. Thus, I can no longer complain about my husband's action figures or snow globe collection and you can see why I was particularly drawn to a movie about toys!

Now! Cue the choir, let the heavens open up and "Ahhhhh. Oooooo!" Isn't beautiful! This gift was given to me by my husband! True, I love books but I all so adore records! (I inherited my Grandfather's record collection and have been making my way through it while I work in my studio. Old grandpa had some good tunes!) This particular album is by The Dead Weather, Jack White's latest band, and is appropriately titled "Black and Blue".  It was a belated gift but but it was totally worth it the wait, there were only a limited number pressed! (in a high pitched voice) Awesome!

Which brings me around to the title of this post, best line off the album "shake your hips like battleships!"


Thursday, September 23, 2010

All together now: Happy birthday to...

September is a very busy month for our family. I imagine everyone is busy in September, but with school starting, many birthdays and some new projects beginning our month has been crazy busy.

Beautifully displayed (as usual!)
School is back in! Oh, how I long for the days when the kids were little and September was just another month. It's taken a while but we are all slowly getting into the swing of things.

Speaking of new projects beginning, last Thursday was the first meeting of the Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild held at Quilt Essentials. It was a lovely, rainy evening of meeting new fellow sewing folk, good conversations (I especially loved hearing the different sewing methods people use: meticulous vs. the sprawlers) and there were some tasty treats too!  

Not edible but Yum!
Funny I don't mind seeing Christmas stuff (even though it's September) when it's fabric!

Some flowers to brighten the rainy evening!

A work in progress!
I didn't get a chance to take a photo of everyone's quilts but they  were photographed and posted on the FVMQG site

Happy Birthday to us, Happy Birthday to us (oh and Theresa from Quilt Essentials too! She opened the store for our meeting even though it was her birthday day-Thank you!)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Out of the closet!

I love sewing and fabric. I learned from my mom at an early age. I've been hooked ever since. In fact I would even go as so far to say it was one of most important classes I took in high school (believe me trigonometry hasn't done that much for me even though I was told it was a necessity). Growing up sewing was a real"girl-y" thing to do, not at all cool like playing volleyball (my versions of what hell is) so I did it in secret. When I studied art, sewing (aka textiles) was a little more acceptable but when I studied animation luckily, I had a friend, Linda who had  the same affliction and secret as me. We used to smuggle quilting (and the odd gardening) magazine between our desks, covertly, so that no one would see, God forbid!

Lately I've started noticing all these creative and crafty  people coming out of wood work and  they are organized, loud and proud...and so they should be! None of them treat craft as something only retired "grandmas" do. Don't get me wrong, grandmas know stuff, lots of great stuff but when you're sitting in a class and you're the youngest by 20 years, you start to question if you were born in the right era.  Most of these blogging, creative women are young, fresh and inspired stay at home moms like: Lesley of Smidge box, Christine of  From an Igloo or the luvinthemommyhood blog (I never did catch her name). The last two have  recently been  sponsored by the the Plum Project (a new organic fabric store in Deep Cove).

This growing community is why I was so excited when the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild popped up. People like me- yes! Instantly I joined and via the Vancouver group I met Cynthia another creative person living, way, way, way out here in the Fraser Valley (could it be possible?). Cynthia and I became instant friends and schemers of a Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild way, way, way out here. Since then Cynthia has built a beautiful site and we are looking forward to our first meeting this month... I'll keep you posted... oh and your grandma's invited because she's cool too!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Holy Crap!

Check-a-dot in Aqua and Red
Paper titled, appropriately
for today, "Monday"

I woke up this morning after a dreary, drowsy Sunday and checked my Facebook status. Quietly my friend  Cynthia Frenette (illustrator, graphic designer extraordinaire and all around DIYer) posted that she likes Hawthorne Threads. Hmm... I click on the link AND WOW! First of all you have to understand that I love paper and fabric like nobody's business. Every time I come across Cosmo Cricket paper, I admit it, I splurge. I can't help myself. I really can't.

Early Bird Elements
"Early bird elements"-Paper
So there I am totally speechless as I oogle over all the patterns and design, then I stopped breathing all together when  I realized they have Cosmo Cricket FABRIC!!! Eeek!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Will trade produce for bunny poop!

The first harvest from our garden: baby red potatoes, crisp carrots and my favourite (especially for colour) candy striped beets. I always like to plant something a little different. A couple of years ago I planted apple cucumbers! I grew so many I took bag after bag to the food bank! There are only so many apple cucumbers, as yummy as they may be, one family can consume.

Recently I picked up a  book called "Small-Plot, High-Yield Gardening: How to Grow Like a Pro, Save Money and Eat Well by Turning Your Back (or Front or Side) Yard Into An Organic Produce Garden" -By Sal Gilbertie, Larry Sheehan.  I picked up this (longest titled book EVAR!) from my favourite book store, "Wendel's" in Fort Langley. If you ever need inspiration or just time away from the hustle and bustle, Wendel's is the place to go; it also had a great little restaurant attached to it. As for my new book (with the longest title evar) it has great, practical  ideas and advice that you wish your grandparents had handed down to you. It's a real easy read with a good sense of humour. By the time you're done the book you'll be asking everyone you know if they have a bunny (or bunnies) and if you can have their poop.  The authors swear by rabbit poop!... (hmmm) you don't have a bunny do you?
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This is where the Prairie part comes in...

I was born and raised in Alberta. Not the rocky mountain part, or the desert part and not the foothill ranch land part... well I was born there but not raised. Often times I think people assume Calgary = Alberta.  Nope, I was raised around the rolling fields of wheat, alfalfa and barley.
"In  the wee hours"

Detail on back of  "In the wee hours"
Growing up I never really thought about the landscape much. All I thought about was getting out of Dodge! I was the girl who couldn't wait to leave her hometown. I wanted to bust outta there so bad! Eventually I did... to Calgary... but after two years of studying art there (and two years of driving in spectacularly horrible winter conditions to Edmonton to see my boyfriend, now husband-score!) we decided to jump ship and move to a city we could both study in Vancouver! The plan:  finish two years of school (print making for me, writing for him), graduate and move back home to Alberta...which never, nor will ever happen.

Detail of sun - "In the wee hours"
Detail of fence-"In the wee hours"
We loved Vancouver! Water as far as the eye could see, sky scrapers, trees as big as sky scrapers and mountains-all in one City! The gray skies were a little hard to get used to but doable.What shocked me the most about this move was my physical reaction to the landscape change. I wanted something new, I wanted to live somewhere other than where I had grown up, I wanted this... you know that saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder"-well darn it, it's true! I began to long for openness, solitude and a horizon. Skip ten years later and we haven't moved back to Alberta, but here I sit in my yellow farm house on a flat piece of  land that looks rather prairie-ish nestled by a rolling mountains in the background.
" Quietly"

I guess in a very round about way, my claim is this - if I had never moved away from the prairies, my prints of  grain elevators never would have existed. I'm not sure I  would have appreciated what the prairies had to offer me and I'm not sure I would have realized how ingrained it is in me to this day.

Detail of Railroad - "Quietly"
Detail of sun -"Quietly"
Recently, in the last year I've had quite a bit of interest around my grain elevator prints. Mostly it's been interest from people who have moved away, like myself but for these recent prints it was for a person who I grew up with in Alberta and now lives in Saskatchewan (nobody offer her condolences like everyone did when they heard we were going there for our holidays last year... Saskatchewan is a beautiful province). On these prints I did something a little different this time, I don't know why I didn't think of it before? I hope you like it as much as I do!

Detail on back of "Quietly".
 Lisa loved horses growing up and now, as it should be, raises horses herself!