Dress up your door

Yarn Wreath Tutorial.

Crumb Cake

Who would've thought?

Coconut Sugar Scrub

A simple, yet luxurious gift. Don't forget to make one for yourself!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Status Quo

Just a little update as things have been pretty quiet around here for the past little while.  Summer means work picks up with more travel, vacation coverage, etc.  We’re also still waiting news regarding a possible postal strike, so I’ve kept new cards to a minimum in the shops.  A strike must be announced 72 hours before going into effect, and we’re still status quo right now.  I’m not sure if I’ll put the shops into vacation mode, or leave it open with notes that items can’t be shipped until the strike is over.  I’m leaning towards closing the shop because I would hate for people to miss the note about delayed shipping if they really need a card for an event.  Any thoughts?

I’ve also been working on a custom wedding order and some other custom orders that have come through.  I’m planning on a fun little movie project to document the progress on the wedding order. I’m excited about this project, so I just hope it turns out as well as it looks in my head!

I’ve been catching up on some knitting  and I hope to share some of those with you as well. 

I’ve got some new projects in mind using some new tools I just bought…now it’s just finding the time!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy Victoria Day!

Happy Victoria Day to my fellow Canadians! This is our first long weekend of, and the unofficial kick-off to summer.  Initially the forecast called for rain and thunderstorms all weekend, but we’ve had lots of sun and minimal rain (although today the storm clouds are rolling in).  The garden centres were a buzz of activity as people were taking advantage of the great weather and heading outside to plant the garden.  My parents came down for a visit, which was great.  We had some great meals and saw the movie Thor (highly recommended if you like the comic-action movies like I do).  My parents took a day trip south to some vineyards on Saturday, but I stayed put to reclaim my balcony.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you may remember my summer-long battles with the squirrels.  While I have battled them since I moved here, the squirrel-capades began here when they built a nest on my patio and chewed my garden tools. It continued with some unique hiding spots for their peanuts, and they kicked it up a notch last year eating my patio furniture

Last year I bought very cheap plants and placed chicken wire in all my planters to keep them from digging and destroying the flowers.  It worked and I had planned on doing so again this year.

I hadn’t been able to get the balcony ready for the summer as we’ve had a solid week of rain, and I’ve had other things on the go.  I noticed that there were two small squirrels who kept coming back.  Last week, I reached the edge of my patience when they started climbing my screen door, upside down and doing somersaults through the small metal trellis I had in a planter. I couldn’t even manage to capture a picture for you because I was 1) beside myself in anger and 2) terrified that they were rabid and going to somehow get into my house.

I’ve read many articles…and contemplated paintballs, slingshots and other weapons of choice,…but the most repeated phrase was “if there’s nothing there for them to chew, they’ll leave”.  Apparently squirrels are like beavers, in that if they don’t chew, their teeth outgrow their head. Gross. 

At one point, I thought of giving it all up.  I wouldn’t go out on the balcony at all. That lasted all of 5 minutes when I remembered the summer the balconies were redone and I couldn’t go out there at all. I was miserable all summer.

Call it a change of strategy, or waving the white flag of defeat,  Saturday while my parents enjoyed wine tasting and driving by the lakeside, I got rid of everything a squirrel could chew.  I got rid of all but one planter and will only be planting some small flowers in pots.  The wooden patio set is gone and replaced with a metal and glass table. I swept all the small branches and pieces of cardboard (they chewed the box of bone meal…which is supposed to keep them away because it’s made of…well, ground up animal bones) away and reorganized my summer sanctuary.

I haven’t picked up the flowers yet, but I’m already thrilled with my reclaimed space.  Don’t worry, I take the cushions in when I’m not out there…I’m not taking any chances!

patio set

The rain has held up so far today, so if you need me…I’ll be on the patio!

Happy {holiday} Monday!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mojo to the rescue!

When I need a layout, I often go to the Mojo Monday archives for some inspiration.  I needed a layout for a custom 50th birthday card and I wanted to keep the paper as the main focal point of the card.  I only needed a small section for the sentiment, and maybe to put the “50” on the front of the card.  A quick look at the archives and #136 was the one I wanted to use.

 The only request from the customer (aside from the personalized messages) was to make the card bright.  So naturally, I reached for more of My Mind’s Eye Fine and Dandy paper ( I will be very sad when I run out).  The card base is Crumb Cake, and layered Pumpkin Pie and So Saffron.  I distressed the edges with Crumb Cake ink.  Once again, I printed the “50” on the computer and then used some Martha Stewart glitter in Copper to make it stand out.  A quick spray with the acrylic sealer ensures the glitter will stay on the card and not shake off. 

I recently purchased some wide So Saffron grosgrain ribbon from the clearance rack at SU.com; while the ribbon is sometimes hard to make bows with, it worked great for this card. I adhered the straight piece around the card first, then cut a smaller second piece of ribbon, sewed it in the middle, then added the Basic Grey orange button.  I like the quasi-bow look.

I used my favourite Martha Stewart scallop border punch for where the sentiment was going to be placed.  I printed the sentiment on the computer, then cut it out with a nestibilities label die.  An ivory flower from my stash, and some adhesive rhinestones and it finished the card quite well.  I lined the envelope to complete the look.  The finished card measures 5.5” square.  I’ve made sure I have a good stock of 6” square envelopes because I’ve really liked making the larger, square cards. 


Happy Wednesday!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Custom Order- 90th Birthday Card

I loved working on this card- a very special birthday card to celebrate the 90th birthday of my customer’s mother.  My customer told me her mom loves purple, teal and green.  I found this gorgeous Kaiser Kraft paper and used a Mojo Monday sketch (181) for the layout on a 5.5” square layout.

I knew this card would be hand delivered, so I didn’t have to worry about how heavy or how ‘thick’ the card would be.  I decided to make a rose out of some grey satin ribbon.  I’ve made them before, but here’s a handy tutorial if you’d like to make them- they’re quite simple.  I sewed some seed beads in the centre to make it extra special.

I used SU Basic Grey as the card base, then layered Concord Crush and Pear Pizzaz as accent colours.  I found some small paper flowers in my stash and added some adhesive pearls to the centre of each. 

My customer was so happy with this card, she asked me to make the invitations to her Mom’s birthday party as well!  I was able to source some more of the Kaiser Kraft paper, and used the floral pattern for the invitations and to line the envelopes.  (I forgot to take a picture of the invitations before they were delivered…but trust me, they looked great!)

I love custom orders, and being trusted with making a very special card is the best part of this whole endeavour.

Happy Monday!

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