July 7, 2011

Bike Month

I love bikes. 
For those that don't know I LOOOOOVE bikes. 
I have 8 bikes, all of which I adore and could never part with. 
This month of July, is bike month...ode to the bike. I can't ride right now due to a hand injury so here is me getting the fix...follow along this next month for all that is bike related!

July 2, 2011

July 1st Market

The sun was shining...mostly. The crowd was soaking it in. All in all, a great day at the July 1st, Canada Day, first of the season Mountain Market.

Enjoy some peeks into our fabulous day...shared by Kat, Athena, Nat and Meredith. Great day clever ladies!!!

May 11, 2011


I know... a whole month!! I've been "absent.with.out.leave" for a whole month!! I really have no real excuse. I have been insanely busy since the article in the Fernie Fix..but really, is that an excuse?!

Well...I'm back and first up, I'll show you what I've been up to...

I've been involved in a few charitable events, being asked to donate items for auction/door prizes. For the Early Learning fair last month I made a gathered clutch for mum out of my stash and crayon roll up(sorry no picture)for a lucky child. The goodies were given away as a door prize. I can't wait to see someone sporting it around town!

BTW... here is a look at my business card.

Today I'm working on an upcycled market bag/tote idea for the Relay for Life coming up in June. This is just one of the many events taking place this month to raise money for the Cancer Foundation. I'm restyling last years relay t-shirts into bags they will to sell to raise additional money.  Interested? Tutorial to follow.

One of the more exciting projects I took on this month was creating a wedding dress for my friend Sandra in 2 1/2 days! She had been working with another local seamstress, and for many reasons, the seamstress felt she could not complete the dress for Sandra in time. Argh?!! Poor Sandra called me in such a panic, just 4 days before she was set to depart for Nevada for her wedding, asking me if I could take over the project. I was very hesitant, as you can imagine, to take over someone else's work, but after realising I would essentially be starting from scratch, I jumped in, and 2 1/2 days later...a wedding dress. 

The pictures make it look like such a simple dress, but believe it or not, it had 28 different pieces, including a boned corset that worked independently of the dress exterior. Not simple at all. 
Whew!!! Was I relieved when she put it on at the final fitting and IT FIT!!! 

I had an hour before she was due to pick the dress up, so quickly sewed up a little drawstring bag, including some essential emergency items: thread, tissues, pins. She was thrilled and I so was I to see how tearfully happy she was. I have included the only picture I have of her in her dress and will post more pictures she is allowing me to post when she returns.

All the best Sandra and Hal. My love and best wishes to you both!


March 31, 2011

feature artist

Guess who is feature artist in the Green Issue of the latest "Fernie Fix"?

Thanks to "the Fix" for taking interest in what I do.
Thank you for the opportunity to put myself really out there!
Wow...now I'm OUT THERE!!
Thank you to all those who have encouraged and supported me, especially over the past few months. It's been a struggle at times, but I'm sensing good things to come...

new things to come...

I've been out of blog-land on and off all week as I have been busy...doing what? 


Well that's my little surprise...Come back and see me in the next day or two...exciting things afoot!

March 29, 2011

Joy Ang

 Meet Joy Ang. Canadian illustrator/comic artist from Calgary.

March 28, 2011


Well, we may as well accept it...spring equinox has passed and here in the heart of the Rocky Mountains...it's still very much winter. Oh well. 

Mr T and Miss E have been on spring break the past two weeks and we've been making the most of the seemingly never-ending winter, skiing together every day. The sun has even popped out a few afternoons, here and there providing us with muchly needed, sun induced smiles...not to mention, a little vitamin D. Miss E said to me, as we were riding the chair lift, "I can feeeel the sun. This is the best day ever 'cause my face smells like sunscreen". Amen little one!

Here is one of my new favourite cookies to take to the ski hill for snacktime. They are the perfect balance of sweet and spicy, warming your insides on a wintery day. Great alongside your favourite coffee of hot chocolate. Got small children? Don't be afraid to try these for school lunches...the perfect amount of spice for children to tolerate. My kids LOVE them! Even better, the dough is made ahead of time and frozen. Just cut off a few slices of dough and eight minutes later...mmmm! Thanks to the small object for this delicious recipe. 

Chocolate Cayenne Icebox Cookies

1 cup flour
3/4 cup dutch-process unsweetened cocoa, sifted
1tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 freshly ground pepper
1 cup raw sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
3/4 cup cold unsalted butte, chopped into small pieces
1 cup chopped pecans

1.  Whisk flour, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper together in medium bowl. Set aside.
2.  Beat together sugar, vanila and egg until thick and pale: about 3 mins.
3.  Add butter and beat until smooth: about 3 more mins.
4.  Slowly add flour mixture and mix slowly until fully blended
5.  Add chopped nuts and stir only long enough that they are evenly mixed through your dough.
6.  Place dough on parchment paper or wax paper. Gently roll dough inside paper to form a log shape.
7.  Place in freezer until frozen or overnight.
8. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350C. Unwrap dough log and cut off desired number of cookie rounds, of about 1/4" thick. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet about 1/2" apart. Bake for about 8 minutes, until cookies are slightly puffy and small cracks have appeared on the top of the cookies. Remove from pan immediately and allow to cool on rack.
9.  Enjoy!!

p.s. forgot to show you these beautiful tea cups my friend Katherine, a true thrifty goddess, gave me for my last birthday. I wish you could see the iridescent finish...stunning. Anyone for tea?

March 21, 2011

March 20, 2011

fort building kit tutorial

I was browsing one of my favourite sites Saltwater Kids, the other day, and found a tutorial for making a fort building kit. How cool is that idea?!! I found myself just itching for the next kid's birthday to come along, and this week it did. Mr T's kindergarten friend was turning six, and I thought "perfect!" I mean, who doesn't like to lay inside a fort and make believe. 

This project is truly SO simple...and thrifty. In all the gift's cost came in well under $20, with a little imagination and handmade love thrown in too.

Interested? Follow along with me.

First you'll need: 
thrifted sheets: I used 3 double size flat sheets
ball of acrylic yarn
fabric dye(s)
a couple of large bowls
a jug from your recycling bin for each colour you intend to use

Get your kids involved! Mr.T and Ms.E gladly helped me with the tie dying part of the project. 
(Also, if tie dye isn't your thing you can skip this step.)

 Cover your workspace, in my case, my basement floor, in plastic sheeting. For this, I cut open 2 large garbage bags and taped them down to the floor. Mix your fabric dye as per manufacturer's instructions in your large plastic jugs: 1 colour per jug. 

Tie thick bands of acrylic yarn around your sheets. If you want some ideas of patterns you can achieve and how to tie them, follow this Link

Our prepared sheets from left to right above: 

1: place the centre of your sheet over a large bowl. Grab the centre and twist, twist, twist the sheet in one direction. This will give you a random dyed effect.
2: Fold your sheet in a consertina fashion (that's cat's stairs for north american folk). Tie at regular intervals. This will result in a striped effect. (below left)
3: Starting in the centre of your sheet, pinch your sheet up into a point and tie at regular intervals to the sheet's perimeter. This will result in a concentric circle effect.  (below right)

Place your sheets, one by one, in a large bowl and pour in enough your fabric dye from your jugs to colour the fabric but not cover it, unless you want the colours to mix. Allow to sit for 10-15 mins, checking the dye is reaching into the inner folds of your tied sheets. Rinse in cold water and dry in a hot dryer.

Sew ties to the corners of each sheet and regularly in between. For this project I cut, then stretched strips of t-shirt, as I did earlier in this tutorial from a XL mens' thrifted tee and cut into 16" lengths.

Fold over both ends of the short sides of your sheets, about 2" and sew 3", as shown below, every 12-16". This creates a channel, through which the rope included in your kit, can be thread.

Now it's time to put together your kit.

I included:
3 tie dyed sheets
about 25 pegs
6 suction cups
50ft soft rope
LED flashlight

You can let your imagination run here. I'd love to hear any other ideas of things to include.

I thought it would be sweet to package the kit in a personalised bag for Mr.T's little friend, using thrifted fabric from my stash. You could use backpack, a pillowcase...hmm...now wouldn't that make a great bag...maybe next time. I also made a smaller bag for the accessories, so they don't end up balled up into the sheets...who's kidding who, no kid is going to fold those sheets!

Super easy and fun to make. Great imaginative play for the kids.
What could be better?!


P.S. now I want a fort making kit! Maybe if I could collect enough afghans...


March 19, 2011

Day to Day Loves

A spare moment in my day, gives me time to do one of my favourite things...have a little peek around the web at what creative souls out there are doing...grab a little piece of inspiration...

Come by my Day To Day Loves page each day, when you have a spare moment in your day, 
 to catch a little spark of creativity.

March 18, 2011

Holton Rower

Check this out. I just love the simplicity of this idea and the resulting beauty. The artist is New Yorker, Holton Rower and these pieces come from his "pour" series. Each piece is created by dripping paint onto three-dimensional objects.

In this series, Rower directs and collaborates with the forces of nature, leaving an element of the artistic process to the effects of gravity. The artist orchestrates the pouring of successive layers of coloured paint onto three-dimensional objects. 

The mesmerising beauty in his designs result, in part, from the effect of careful colour selection, timing, and pouring, and in part the less predictable result of gravity and surface forces on the materials.

Interesting huh?! So unique.

Thirteen years ago...today...

My heart is yours Mr S.

March 16, 2011

little man party duds

I was contacted by a lovely lady a few weeks back and was set to the challenge of creating a formal vest and tie for her two years old's upcoming birthday. The theme was robots...lucky boy! What a fun project! A different kind of challenge, working to someone else's vision. Hope he likes it?!!

During this project I was with a interesting challenge, when I had to get really creative...I couldn't find robot fabric anywhere!! So I created my own using a freestyle applique technique. 

Stay tuned for an easy tutorial, coming in the next week! Interested?

March 14, 2011

Music Monday

"don't stop baby...let the music take control"
Well after a week of post-market-low-motivation I need some serious pick-me-up-tune-age!

If you know me at all, you know it doesn't take much to get me movin' and shakin...and Chromeo will do it every time. Their new album "Business Casual" is just the ticket. How can you not be amused and intrigued when these guys jokingly describe themselves as "the only successful Arab/Jewish partnership since the dawn of human culture". Their videos always make me giggle. These guys are hardly new news...if you haven't heard them...check them out!

For those YoYoGabba YoYoMammas out there, your kids will like this one...he's a V.C.B! Ha!

March 7, 2011

market days

Well Saturday has come and gone, and all in all, I'm pleased. The stall look came together simply and how I imagined...can you believe I had four serious offers to buy my wheatgrass?! You know it's time for spring to arrive, when? 

I offered hats, t-shirt jewellery, jersey infinity scafs, hand printed bandanas, baby onesies, jewellery holders and tea cup bird feeders.

I had lots of interest in my stuff and sold enough to make the day worthwhile. It was a great indicator of what interests people and what...not so much. I took some interesting custom orders and promoted my seamstress service, setting up some appointments for the week to come. I also made some great trades with some really clever, creative girls and fellow marketers...to be honest, this is my favourite part of doing markets!!

Overall the markets were so very quiet, I think due to the fact most people were skiing the epic powpow at the hill...I know where I would've rather been...winkwink. A little disappointing, but expected. 

Now I'm ready to think SUMMER and get ready for the Canada Day Fair...that will be a good one!

March 4, 2011

just a little peek...

Apologies everyone...I've been distracted...

There are two reasons I've been offline this week. First: WAY too much snow has fallen to ignore, over a meter in 7 days (!!) and I've been snowboarding every chance I can. I've also been sewing/crafting like a madwoman due to the second reason...this weekend is Griz Days here in Fernie, BC and the Griz Days Craft Market. I committed a month ago to a market table, not anticipating an insane amount of snow would fall the week of the event, and I would leave everything to the last minute. Typical!

Anyhoo, I'm happy how everything has come together, with a few set backs and a few lessons learned along the way. Another day of sewing today, after my epic morning of perfect powder skiing, I think I'll be in good shape.

Here's a sneak peek of some of what I have to share.
Take a break from the powpow and come by and visit me and my fellow crafty folk,
 tomorrow between 9 and 4.
See you there!

BTW...Thanks Griz! You da Man!!!

February 28, 2011

Music Monday

Morning Elegance 
by Oren Lavie

Sun been down for days
A pretty flower in a vase
A slipper by the fireplace
A cello lying in its case

Soon she's down the stairs
Her morning elegance she wears
The sound of water makes her dream
Awoken by a cloud of steam
She pours a daydream in a cup
A spoon of sugar sweetens up

And She fights for her life
As she puts on her coat
And she fights for her life on the train
She looks at the rain
As it pours
And she fights for her life
As she goes in a store
With a thought she has caught
By a thread
She pays for the bread
And She goes...
Nobody knows

Sun been down for days
A winter melody she plays
The thunder makes her contemplate
She hears a noise behind the gate
Perhaps a letter with a dove
Perhaps a stranger she could love

And She fights for her life
As she puts on her coat
And she fights for her life on the train
She looks at the rain
As it pours
And she fights for her life
As she goes in a store
With a thought she has caught
By a thread
She pays for the bread
And She goes...
Nobody knows

And She fights for her life
As she puts on her coat
And she fights for her life on the train
She looks at the rain
As it pours
And she fights for her life
Where people are pleasently strange
And counting the change
And She goes...
Nobody knows

February 24, 2011

tee-shirt necklace tutorial

Remember me these?
 Well, I promised you a tutorial and here it is. Come on...pull out those old tees you had set aside for cleaning rags and follow along...it's so easy!

You will need: 

tee-shirt or similar fabric
embellishments if you choose 
(I used some metal, ovoid discs I thrifted years ago, but you could use beads, etc)
long straight edge: I used my trusty yard stick
an olfa rotary cutter (scissors are totally fine)

Lay your fabric out, smoothing away any wrinkles. Cut parallel strips, the more you cut, the thicker your finished necklace. I cut my strips 3/4" wide. It's preference really.

Now the fun part...pull/stretch those strips as much as you can...come on, use those muscles! Your strips will lengthen and curl in on themselves...perfect! You'll end up with a nice pile of tee spaghetti.

Knot your strips end to end. Loop them around and around your neck, a coat hanger, a door knob, alternating and adjusting the length of your loops as you go. I used my dressmaking dummy for this.

Add your embellishments as you go. I knotted these silver discs fairly closely together and added short strips of tee spaghetti in between to create a sort-of-fringe. 

Be creative, the more random, the better...in my mind.

Finished! Now wasn't that so simple!!! I hope you give it a try!

February 22, 2011

a pinned heart

I forgot to show you these wee pins I made for the children to wear on Valentine's Day. I remembered today, as they wore them again to recognise "No Bullying Day" at school. I thought I should share as they were so simple to make.

Just cut three hearts from crafters felt, of different sizes, using pinking shears...you know the ones that have a zig-zag profile...but you knew that!?! Layer them in order of size and hand stitch them together with contrasting thread. Affix a large pin to the back and voila!!!

Hardly worth describing the "how-to", honestly, they were just...so simple!

I know! I just couldn't get him to lose the lolly pop. "Just take it mum"

February 21, 2011

Music Monday

I would be remiss not to introduce you, this music monday, to my beautiful friend, Sarah Calvert. Based now in Torronto, she is a singer songwriter with such a wonderous talent. 
Pianist, guitarist, poet, story teller. Her voice soothes the soul...

Sarah performed songs from her debut album locally, last weekend and I had the joy of hearing her play. Click on the photo to hear what I'm talking about.

February 15, 2011

happy...belated...valentines day!

I don't generally buy into the whole valentines-day-thing. It's not that I'm not a romantic. Believe me, I quite like all those traditionally romantic, sappy things. It's just, you know, after all the hype on tv, at school, in the grocery store the minute christmas is over...I'm over it!

This year with a very sick child at home, that needed more attention than the hallmark holiday, I kept it simple. Red velvet cupcakes and french vanilla cream icing....mmmm!

Ann's Red Velvet Cake

1 oz red food colouring
2 Tbsp cocoa
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup margarine
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp white vinegar

1: Preheat oven to 350C

2: Mix food colouring and cocoa together until smooth and set aside.

3: Cream together butter, margarine and sugar until creamy and white.

4: Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.

5: Add cocoa and colouring mixture and mix well.

6: Sift flour and salt together in separate bowl.

7: Add flour and salt mixture alternatively with buttermilk to butter and sugar mixture.

8: Place soda on top of cake batter, then add vinegar. Mix in until well blended.

9: Pour into well greased and floured 9" cake pans x2 (or prepare cupcake liners into muffin tin and 1/2 fill with mixture)

10: Bake at 350C for approximately 30 mins.

11: Cool and frost with French Vanilla Cream Icing.

NB: you can make your own buttermilk by adding 1 tbsp white vinegar to a 1 cup measuring cup and topping up to the 1 cup measure with milk. Let stand for 5 mins.

French Vanilla Cream Icing

1 cup milk
6 tbsp flour
1 cup butter
1 cup icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla

1: Whisk milk and flour together in small saucepan. Heat gently, stirring constantly until thick and smooth (not lumpy, but like a thick sauce)

2: Cool immediately in an ice water bath.

3: Cream together butter and sugar for 15 mins.

4: Add thickening and beat for a further 10 mins.

NB: sometimes this icing is easier to spread when quite cold.

I apologise I don't remember where on the web I found this recipe so many years ago...but Ann, if you're reading this, my family loves this recipe and I thank you so much for sharing!

February 11, 2011

friday finds

thrifted tea spoon displays...

to make more necklace displays.

thrifted pretty, sweet tea cups...

to create more of birdfeeders, like this one, I made 
for my mother-in-law last spring.

One of my favourite sets I've found so far. 
The combination of baby blue and gold stars is so sweet.

I have thrifted close to forty teacups and saucers ready to be upcycled.
Crafty times ahead!

some inspiration...

so sweet