A post Christmas lull

>> Monday, December 29, 2008

The Christmas rush is over now so I'm having a quiet day and trying to catch up with chores. After Christmas I always want to clear things out of the house so I've finally sorted through my collection of old cassette tapes (those got a big laugh from my 15-year old nephew) and so I'm now listening to The Smiths - "Strangeways, Here we Come". Ahh, nostalgia. It's not what it used to be.

So anyway I was going to show you the things I bought at the City of Craft show! I had to buy the City of Craft tote - although of course it didn't come with any swag. I also swapped with Tania for the sweet rabbit pincushion with cutie pins in it. Tania chose a wool crochet flower pin from my table. I love swapping at these events. (visit this post on Tania's blog to see her adorable animated gif)

I also bought this handmade terrarium with toadstools set inside some moss. Bradley and I were sitting right next to Holly Procter who had a table full of these whimsical creations. It's sitting on our kitchen windowsill now.
Then I bought this acorn necklace:And last but not least a lovable doll from Pupa pupa.She's a deer. I love her soft little scarf and the sweet details like her hooves. I know I'm a grown-up and everything, but she's just for me. Her name is Mitzi.


Merry Christmas!

>> Wednesday, December 24, 2008

And a happy new year. Thank you for all the visits over the year, I don't always reply but I'm always appreciative of your comments. See you again soon!


Craft of Craft show - afterwards

>> Friday, December 19, 2008

City of Craft was amazing! Everyone was raving about how well organized it was and it was so busy. It's so much fun to have lots of people visiting and to walk about myself and chat with fellow crafters. The ceiling was decorating with tons of beautiful tissue snowflake hangings and the whole place looked so busy and full of so many great things!
I was so busy managing my table and looking around at everyone else's I didn't think to take any pictures of my display. This is a quick pic taken with only three needle books left and only one deer pincushion.

Some little gift tags, with my Thumbelina illustration and a detail from my Owl and the Pussycat illustration

As usual I bought lots of things that I couldn't resist and there were a few more I barely resisted. I noticed a few things at the beginning that I liked and many of them were gone by the middle of the day. I'll show the things I bought in the next post...


Backsplash done!

>> Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The left side of our galley kitchen

I've finished the grout now on the backsplash and it really makes a difference. Grouting is a really easy step. You can just follow the instructions that come with the grout but here are my tips:
  1. buy sanded grout for floors and unsanded for backsplashes - check that the container allows for your kind of tiles - ie. the first container we bought said "not for glass tile" and we had to go back to the store to change it. Another feature is "stain resistant" which seemed like a plus to me.
  2. pre-mixed grout (not powder) will save you the mixing step and you will be sure that the grout is the right consistency
  3. apply the grout with a grout tool, mine was a plastic square with a rubbery side to smooth on the grout without scratching the tile
  4. use a large sponge to clean up the excess grout, wring the sponge out well so that you don't put too much water on the area
  5. some grout will remain on the tile - a thin film - don't keep wiping or you will clean away too much of the grout
  6. after the grout has "set" you can wipe the film off the tiles and buff them up
  7. once the grout dries you could get a few little gaps that don't have enough grout. No need to panic, the grout should adhere to itself so you can just reapply some more grout.
  8. add caulking along the edges to protect the grouted tile area from moisture
And this is the right side of our galley kitchen. I'm loving the blue glass tile, it adds a nice bit of colour and sparkle to our white kitchen.


Getting ready

>> Friday, December 12, 2008

Tomorrow is the City of Craft crafts sale and I'm puttering around getting ready. I have things to sort through and find, things to finish up and new things to make. Everything is lined up on my dining table so I can see what I have: shoppers, totes, messenger bags, earrings, necklaces, pincushions, pouches, one hat, one flower brooch, one eyeglass case, trivets, bracelets, bird postcards, and last but not least needle books!

This picture shows some completed needle books. Please visit me tomorrow and don't forget the first 100 people in the door get free swag in a fabulous tote that I'm coveting myself!



>> Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Our kitchen before tiling the backsplash: cleaned up and looking a bit bare

So today I started on tiling our backsplashes. First the bathroom as there aren't any outlets to worry about and it's a small area to do.
Tools of the trade: trowel, pencil, tile adhesive
Tip: if you put some moisturizer on your hands before doing this kind of work it's easier to clean them afterwards

This kind of tiling is quite easy and so I'll mention how I did it in case it's helpful to anyone. First I placed the tiles where they would go to see how I should space them as I wasn't going to try to cut any of the tiny glass mosaic tiles.

Then I drew lines on the wall with pencil to mark where the tiles would be placed. This was mainly so I would apply the adhesive over the right area. I used pre-mixed adhesive and a notched trowel (it says adhesive trowel on the label so you know you're getting the right one).
Sorry for the crummy photos - it's a dark and gloomy day today

After you spread on the adhesive, you drag the trowel over it at a 45 degree angle. What you are doing is making the adhesive all the same height. It's better to go a bit over the borders of where the tiles will be placed because you can clean up any excess adhesive with a damp cloth. If there weren't enough adhesive at the edges the tiles might not adhere properly.

Don't rush, the adhesive doesn't dry quickly so you have at least 30 minutes to futz around and be as much of a perfectionist as you want to be. Or make mistakes. Or have trouble getting behind the faucet and find you're getting a bit fractious.
Then at this stage I used a long wide quilting ruler (choose whatever you like) to press on the tiles and make sure they were even. Some excess adhesive might squeeze out but it's easy to wipe up. Pay attention to the ones on the corners and make sure they're straight.

The bathroom backsplash is almost done! Just need to let it dry 24 hours then do the grouting. If you want to see that step let me know because otherwise I might think I'm boring you with all this.
Then I did it all over again in the kitchen. It's a bit brighter in there so you can see the colour better.Unfortunately I opened the box of tiles to start on the other side and discovered they were all dark smoky grey. So now I have to wait before finishing the kitchen...

I guess when I show that I could talk a bit about outlets... the only thing that really makes it tricky. So I think this is going well, but before trying it yourself you might want to wait and see how it turns out in the end - and remember I'm not an expert!!


Craft show and house work

>> Monday, December 01, 2008

mini pincushions/ornaments, made from Japanese imported fabric

I've finally started making a few small things for the craft show coming up. I'm going to have a half table at the City of Craft show this year.

Date: Saturday, December 13, 2008
Time: 12:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: The Theatre Centre
Street: 1087 Queen Street West
City: Toronto, ON

Please visit me and say hello! The City of Craft website is here. If you're into Facebook, you can find us here. There's also a Flickr page with pictures of some of the crafty goodness you'll find at the show.

In other news we're doing lots of work on the house again. After our big kitchen and bathroom renovation there were tons of small things left to do but we had run out of steam. Today I've been painting the new panel doors for the bedroom and bathroom. We previously had plain slab doors that were a bit warped so it will be really nice to update those at last. This past weekend Bradley updated our front hall light fixture and finished installing the baseboards in the kitchen, bathroom, hallway and closet. He also cut pieces for trim around the windows.

Over the weekend I did my job, which is the caulking and next I'll need to paint all the new trim. The last thing of all will be a backsplash in the bathroom over the sink, and in the kitchen. We have new tiles that are glass mosaic tiles in a very pale watery blue. I haven't tiled in ages but I'm going to try doing it myself - wish me luck!


I love Scotland

>> Saturday, November 01, 2008

It's been over a month since our holiday and we're feeling nostalgic so even though it's kind of old news I thought I'd finally post some pictures.

First of all, I love Scotland. We flew to Glasgow, but our main plan was to visit Edinburgh where I lived for a year when I was 9 years old. My dad (a math professor) was on sabbatical for the year and we loved it in Edinburgh. It's hard to believe I haven't managed to get back for a visit until this year.

Edinburgh is the most beautiful city ever. It's as if it's secretly in the country because it's surrounded by hills and forests and farms and when you climb the hills the views are stunning. But it still has all the beautiful old architecture and fun shopping of a big city.

But my favourite spot is in our old neighbourhood where we lived almost directly below Blackford Hill. So naturally Blackford Hill was the first place I had to go and it was every bit as wonderful as I remembered it. If not better. Luckily Bradley loves it too now, so hopefully we can go back soon!
This is the duck pond below Blackford Hill. I used to walk around this pond with my doll in a doll pram lent to me by the girl who had lived in our apartment that we sublet for the year. It's hard to see in the picture but there's a large oval path around the pond. It sits just below the forested area at the bottom of the hill.
This is a view of our apartment (see the white arrow on the right) - in one of a set of 3 matching buildings.
This is typical scenery on the hill with mossy grass, gorse bushes, and farms in the distance behind the hill.
Grassy paths and big rocky patches on the hill top.Surrounding the hill is a forest with walking paths
A view of Arthur's Seat. A larger hill we didn't have time to climb. Next time for sure! In the summer the grass is much taller - high enough to make forts and be hidden from sight.
More of the view - rows of houses and some hills in the distance
My brother was asking if the allotments are still there, so here's a picture. This is also the spot where we saw some rabbits... good spot to live - near the lettuces and carrots!
view of Edinburgh castle in the distance

My pictures don't do it justice! Well I tried. I'll show more of Edinburgh in another post...


Happy Hallowe'en!

>> Friday, October 31, 2008

Our scary robot pumpkin


Bamboo cushions

>> Tuesday, October 28, 2008

also excited about our new Pottery Barn rug - it's made the living room so much cosier!

So here are the finished cushions I made from some of the fat quarters I bought at the workroom. If you're sad because you don't live near the workroom and can't buy fabric there (I would be), don't fret because you can order this print online. I found it recently at reprodepot but I'm sure there are other places that have it in stock.

It's called Maime Bamboo Thatch by Anna Griffin. I'm mentioning it in particular because I used the blue version for our kitchen door curtains and I've had some people ask what the fabric was for those. p.s. I've listed all the places that I buy fabric online in my sidebar to the right. The only other places I find fabric would be ebay (that's where I found the barkcloth for the floral couch cushions in the picture) and of course local finds.

These two cushions were made with 3 fat quarters. I did it by cutting a square each from two of the pieces for the fronts of the cushions. Then the backs are made up of two hemmed overlapping pieces so that you can get the cushion in and out. One half is from the leftover piece after cutting the front square, then I cut the 3rd fat quarter in half to make the other sides. Alternatively you could just buy a bigger piece of fabric and use a zipper! I ended up with a few small leftover pieces that will probably become pouches.
The piping is just some green cotton I had in my stash. That particular piece came from the Textile Museum sale that happens once a year in Toronto. The cord for inside the piping is actually a fat bootlace found at the dollar store. Then I added a snap to close the back.

I am still planning to show you some holiday pictures once I get them all sorted. I'm a bit obsessive about showing things in order. So for now, we're still at the beginning of the trip, with one of our other favourite finds in Glasgow (along with the fabric store) - the TARDIS!
Bradley lost his key and must wait for the Doctor to show up


The single girl update

>> Monday, October 27, 2008

The two purple floral prints are Liberty

So I've made lots of progress cutting out pieces for the single girl quilt and I have lots of fabric to spare. It's a great way to use up scraps as the main part of the quilt is just solid white. Although of course you can change that and I've seen some great versions with colour backgrounds.
The purple floral at the bottom of this picture is Liberty

I haven't decided for sure but I think my background is going to be a cream coloured muslin. It seems to harmonize better than white with several of the vintage fabrics I've used. Almost all the fabrics were odds and ends from my stash, but I did buy a few of my favourite pieces on holiday. They're all Liberty prints from a few different places.
The 3rd-from-left floral is Liberty fabric cut from a nightgown from the Gap that was too big.

Our trip began with a flight to Glasglow and I just happened across a great fabric store while we were looking for a bus stop. It's called Mandors, and it was a large shop with lots of variety, including a corner full of tartan wool fabric. They also had some great Liberty prints, even some large scrap pieces of Liberty fabric in a basket.
The 2nd from the top is Liberty fabric from the Glasgow shop

One of my other favourite fabrics was from etsy, a tiny set of 24 quilt squares made from vintage fabric. But they were too small! I liked them so much I seamed them together so that I could create the 12 pieces needed for the pattern piece. Extra work but the print was so perfect, with purple and orange, I just hope the seam doesn't show too much.
The orange and purple floral near the top is the one I seamed together from smaller pieces.

I'm liking the orange and purple together.
And finally of course there's also lots of prints from the workroom, including this adorable Matrushka doll print. I just picked up a big stack of fat quarters there at Quilt Sunday (where I did more chatting than cutting but had a great time). Next I'll show you the pillows I made with the green bamboo print!



>> Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm back! We just had a really long holiday traveling all around Britain for the past two and a half weeks. Our first stop was Glasgow, then Edinburgh for 3 days and then we drove up north and over to the Isle of Skye. After that we visited the Lake District, a quick stop in Wales, then back to Dartmoor and finally London. Whew! I'm tired. It was a lot of driving and several places we had to find somewhere to stay for the night after driving all day. I don't drive, but I did do a lot of navigating and helped at the roundabouts and in mazes of small country roads.

My favourite aspects of the trip:
1. the scenery: so beautiful everywhere especially on the A and B roads
2. finally visiting Hill Top and seeing Beatrix Potter's lovely cottage and artwork
3. all the animals we saw: rabbits, birds, deer, cows, sheep, horses & ponies, peacocks, geese, hens and even miniature and wild ponies!
4. shopping: flea markets, Liberty, stylish clothing shops, Scottish welly and woolens shops.
5. lovely things to eat: Scottish porridge, cream teas and chocolates... why don't we have toffee yogurt here??
6. spending every day together (awww...)

I couldn't wait and ordered the "single girl" quilt pattern online. I've spent the day cutting out pieces... I'll show you my new purple prints from Liberty next!


The sneak peek...
the orange and purple quilt begins

>> Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Here are some of the pieces and scraps of fabrics I've gathered up for the "single girl" quilt. Luckily Bradley isn't threatened by the title - one of my anniversary presents was a batch of fat quarters from the workroom. Yay!I wish I had more of the little bird fabric, there's just one tiny scrap - enough for one orange bird piece in the quilt.More orange, and a smidge of pink.
More orange...
I love the lutes in the bottom left, and the floral fabric above it, these are some scraps of feedsack material from a batch I bought on ebay.
I love the wobbly lattice in the middle, and the purple and orange floral is so perfect for this quilt! The adorable russian doll fabric is from the workroom.
This was a little batch of purple prints that my friend Sarah bought for me at Purl when she was in New York. Finally they have the perfect project for them. Thank you Sarah!

I had forgotten I even had some of these fabrics, it's great to have a theme so you can go through what you have and pull it all together to create one nice big (even useful!) thing from all the scraps and little squares of fabric you've been hoarding. Hence, I love quilting. We're going on holiday soon, so I have to resist the urge to wedge all this into my suitcase...


  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP