Winter pompom wreath

>> Saturday, December 24, 2011

Once again inspired by the pompom festival at City of Craft I used pompoms to decorate our winter wreath. I was also inspired by some beautiful wreaths I've seen made from succulents. I love the mix of blue-greens.
So this one is essentially a tube (5" x 36") of thick wool fabric sewn together into a circle then squeezed into a wire frame to hold its shape. It was a bit of a rush job, so I think I may add some more details later, but for now it just has a few wool leaves sewn on, then pompoms and wool flowers clustered in one corner at the bottom. To finish it off I added a velvet ribbon and a store-bought bird that was amongst our decorations pinned in place in the centre.

This wreath was very easy to make, just cut flowers from wool felt in a variety of sizes and colours and layer them up, then create a few pompoms. I pinned everything in place before sewing it down to make sure I liked the arrangement. If you want to be extra quick you could bring out the glue gun and attach everything that way. Another option is to use a wreath form and cover it with yarn wound around it, then attach the decorations.

Happy holidays to everyone!


Spoonflower baby book

>> Thursday, December 15, 2011

Spoonflower photos here
My latest Spoonflower contest was a baby book. Mine is called Animal Friends and it fits on a fat quarter. With a yard you get two books and two sets of matching stuffed animal characters.
My entry was #8! As before when you're in the top ten your fabric is printed by Spoonflower and becomes available for sale. You can find my book here.

I thought I would show some pictures so you can see it larger and also how the pages look in spreads once the book is cut out and arranged.

You can click on them to see them larger. Here they are:
Today I did a little tweak to the file so that the page numbers would line up perfectly because when I created these spreads I noticed some that were slightly off. Also I lightened the background blue on page one a bit. Overall this one was a lot of work but a really fun project!


City of Craft - after

>> Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wool pompom wood thrush, stunning photography by Celine Kim
This is a little glimpse of my table from City of Craft. I had painted some branches for my display and they turned out to be perfect for hanging my wool pompom bird ornaments. These birds were definitely the stars at my table, they sold out at A Handmade Holiday, then at City of Craft by noon on Saturday and the few more I managed to make in the evening were gone by the end of day two.

I didn't invent pompom birds, but I think people liked the way these birds have a mix of colours that make them really looked like chickadees, or, (pictured above) a wood thrush. After the first batch I took Kalpna's suggestion and added glass bead eyes. This one was my favourite, so I'm extra happy it was captured in a beautiful photograph by the talented show photographer Celine Kim.

As always I'm left stunned by the incredible skill of lovely Becky in creating and managing such a wonderful, inspiring and also really really fun craft show. I can show you the treats I brought home in another post, but it was also about meeting new people, chatting about crafts and being inspired by everyone's creations, and, of course, winning a prize at Nutso (thanks to Chevaux de Bois for the Nutso board and Bespoke Uprising for donating my lovely fabric bundle prize!). Thank you to all the friends how visited, I loved seeing everyone.

Yesterday I was so tired I just watched a lot of tv and did a little quiet hand sewing for something I had the notion to make but no time until now. hint: she will make her appearance in my next post once her accessories are finished!


Spoonflower tea towel calendar

I finally had a chance to hem my Spoonflower tea towel calendar! It's formatted for cotton-linen so that each fat quarter is a tea towel. The fabric arrived with some crop marks in the corner so you just trim the fabric so that it's straight then hem. I ironed the hem on both sides, then cut a little triangle from the corner to reduce bulk before sewing. It's really very quick and easy.

Here's another picture:
I haven't washed the fabric yet, and it has a little stiffness so that it actually hangs nicely on the wall with just two pins at either corner.

Available on Spoonflower here.


Last post before City of Craft!

>> Friday, December 09, 2011

I finally finished some new wristlets in time for City of Craft - well they just need their snaps.
Can't wait for tomorrow! Well, I can wait because there's still so much to do but you know what I mean.


Spoonflower baby book and feathers print

>> Thursday, December 08, 2011

My Snowy Feathers fabric was #3 in the Spoonflower contest this week! I didn't overwork this one because I wanted a sketchy look, but I wasn't sure about it.

Sometimes you just can't see your work clearly. So I was very happy it did well, and once again I get to see a photo of my fabric (before it arrives in the mail) and it's available in my shop now.

Next contest is the baby book contest, which I had so much fun doing. Well, and I worked really hard on it. I was doing revisions up until the last minute. This is mine:
*click on the picture to see it larger.*
It's designed so that you get a complete book in a fat quarter, and I created mine so that if you order a yard you get two books plus two sets of stuffies:
You can see everyone's baby books and vote for your favourites here.

And lastly, here's a new bird clutch, this time in a green plaid fabric I got at the Workroom from Karyn at one of the vintage Trunk shows. Because as much as I love Spoonflower, right now for me it's still all about City of Craft!


City of Craft - bird clutch

>> Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Here's something new I created for City of Craft coming up this weekend. It's a new design - a larger clutch with a wool felt chickadee applique on the front. Inside there's a matching wool tweed facing and then a faux bois fabric lining on the bottom. I busted out my fancy new floral labels for this one!

I also made some new pompom birds since the last batch sold out at the Handmade Holiday show last weekend. Thanks so much to everyone who visited. I picked up a few nice treats myself.

Here are the details on City of Craft this weekend:

City of Craft
December 10 & 11
Saturday 11-6pm
Sunday 11-5pm
The Theatre Centre 1087 Queen St. West
Thrush Holmes Empire 1093 Queen St. West

As you see, this year there is an additional venue, the Thrush Holmes Empire. I'm in the Theatre Centre again, downstairs in the middle of the left wall as you walk in facing the stage. I love City of Craft, and I'm predicting that it will be as wonderful as always. Hope to see you there!


Kite Friends - top ten!

>> Thursday, December 01, 2011

I had an email from Spoonflower this morning, my Kite Friends fabric was in the top ten for this weeks design contest! It snuck in at #10. I was thrilled. Extra fun: getting to see pics of my fabric before it's arrived in my mailbox. Since it was in the top ten, this design is now available in my shop. *Today is the last day of 2-for-1 fat quarters.*

And a last minute reminder about A Handmade Holiday this Saturday. I love this video insight into the Kid Icarus shop and creative process. I also spotted my plaid coffee sleeve in the third shot!


Spoonflower feathers and bells

>> Wednesday, November 30, 2011

There's so much going on getting ready for craft shows but I am loving the fabric design so much lately. And two Spoonflower contests sparked my interest. The first (starting today) is "feathers". This was my design, Snowy Feathers (this is what a fat quarter looks like):
Then the week after that is "bells" so I thought I would work on that one at the same time. My design is called Bluebell Field. The picture at the top is the 8 x 8" swatch size, and here's what a fat quarter looks like:
This contest called for a small scale print. I think small scale prints are my favourite, they're nice for quilts and I also like to make little things like pouches so they work for that too. For things like curtains I would go bigger - Snowy Feathers drapes anyone?

It takes a while for my sample to be printed and then mailed to Canada, but you can't make your designs available for sale until you receive a proof of your design. So I thought I would get a jump on it this time so if someone likes a print they don't have to wait for weeks until it's available. I've already sold some of my Green Garden and Storybook Cottage tea towel calendar fabric and I can tell you it was very exciting.

Don't forget, the 2-for-1 fat quarter sale is going on all week! You can combine any designs in fat quarter sizes and you will see the discount right away in your shopping cart. This is going on until Friday December 2nd.


Spoonflower "Green Garden" fabric

>> Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Spoonflower Green Garden fabric washed and trimmed
I did finally manage to find my Spoonflower Green Garden fabric! I ordered a fat quarter and I thought I would show you what I've done with it. I've been wanting to make some pencil cases for ages so that's what I made.
I ordered the quilt weight cotton, so I added a thin layer of muslin to back it, and then used a thicker solid green cotton for the back of the pencil case. Gingham seemed like the obvious choice for the interior.
I'll be bringing pencil cases to my next craft show, A Handmade Holiday this Saturday in Kensington market. This show also happens to be the launch of the Kid Icarus screen printed 2012 calendar. I illustrated April and I can't wait to see the finished calendar. The calendar is a limited edition of 125 priced at $80.

Here are all the details:
A Handmade Holiday
Time: Saturday December 3rd 2011 (one day only)
Time: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Location: St. Stephen-in-the-Fields, 103 Bellevue Ave (College and Bellevue)

My Green Garden fabric is also available at, and this week fat quarters are 2-for-1! A really good deal I've taken advantage of myself to order extras of my kite fabrics. My shop now also has my Storybook Cottage calendar which is formatted for cotton-linen fabric - perfect for tea towels.


Pompom party

>> Friday, November 25, 2011

Getting ready for the pompom party tonight at the Workroom. More details here. Everyone is welcome!

The Workroom
1340 Queen Street West


Crafternoon Tea - Tiny handmade books

>> Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sometimes I find myself sort of compulsively making things that nobody really needs. A case of "the heart wants what it wants" I guess. In this category you will find my miniature origami books. While I originally intended them for dollhouses (and dolls) I discovered this morning that I also like them as little tree ornaments.
These are the first items I've made for sale under my "tiny handmade" label and I thought I would make a little squirrel logo to grace the packaging.
I've made lots of tiny handmade book sets in red/pinks and green/blues and yellow/golds. They would make a sweet present for the dreamer in your life. And they will be available at Crafternoon Tea this Saturday. My recommendation: come for the crafts, give-aways and raffles then stay for tea.

Saturday, November 26 at 11am - 5pm
at Queen St East Presbyterian Church
947 Queen St East at Carlaw, Toronto, ON M4M 1J9


Crafty news

>> Monday, November 21, 2011

Lots of things to share with you today. First of all, I just got a spot in City of Craft 2011! Yay! I'm so happy to be in this show again this year.

My 2011 holiday cards are printed and I'm cutting and folding today. These ones are in a square format. I found the perfect square envelopes on Etsy at this lovely shop: Papier Lapin.  Helen is so friendly and even arranged for local pick-up so I didn't have to wait. Not to mention saving on shipping. It's hard to find square envelopes, and the ones in her shop are even eco-friendly. I'll have this card design available in sets or single cards at all my craft shows coming up.
And last, but not least, I had so much fun creating my Spoonflower contest entry this week for the topic "Kites". Some animal friends flying kites in a field on a windy day. I always like a limited palette.

The amazing thing about Spoonflower is that you can make your designs available for sale and you receive royalties. To sell a fabric you need to proof a sample yourself so not all my designs are available yet, but here's a link to my Spoonflower shop. I've ordered a proof of my Storybook Cottage tea towel calendar fabric so that should be in the shop soon.

p.s. I did receive my Green Garden sample fabric, and I would like to show you (thank you for asking Kristen!) but now I can't find it. Hopefully that will turn up soon...


Illustration Friday - Quiet

>> Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I haven't done Illustration Friday in ages, but I still get the email notices and I liked the topic "Quiet" so much I had to do a quick little picture today. An alternate title would be "Hide-and-Seek". You can click on the picture to see it a bit larger. Thanks for visiting!


Kid Icarus screen printed 2012 calendar

>> Tuesday, November 15, 2011

UPDATE: the Calendar will launch at A Handmade Holiday, a craft show in Kensington Market on Dec. 3rd! I will also be there as a vendor.
Time: Saturday December 3rd 2011 (one day only)
Time: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Location: St. Stephen-in-the-Fields, 103 Bellevue Ave (College and Bellevue)

I was recently invited to illustrate a month for the Kid Icarus screen printed 2012 calendar. I love projects like this where I'm given complete creative freedom. I saw it as a chance to continue developing my digital style and I've created my favourite piece to date.

I asked for spring, and was given April which is perfect because it's my birthday month. I was inspired by the lovely cool freshness of early spring. My original concept was to have a tree with little animals hanging out their clothes on laundry day, and each piece of laundry would have a day in the month. It wasn't quite working, so I reworked the composition dramatically but in the end it still had the original atmosphere I wanted.

The main challenge for me was working in two colours and trying to make sure the art would work for screen printing which is new to me. Something I suspect I will be trying before very long!

I can't show you the whole piece yet in order to maintain the suspense until the calendar is released but I will update you when it is out. It will be a limited edition of 125 calendars and will be for sale at Kid Icarus (a beautiful little shop in Kensington Market that I recommend you visit anyway) and Magic Pony.

An update on craft shows for me this year: I'll be participating in Nathalie-Roze's Crafternoon Tea on November 26th and at the Kid Icarus Handmade Holiday show December 3rd. I've added banners to my sidebar with links.


Spoonflower calendar contest

>> Tuesday, November 08, 2011

It's been busy this week but I wanted to find time to fit in a design for the Spoonflower calendar contest The deadline is November 8th (today!). It's a storybook cottage in the woods with a 2012 calendar on the roof. If you like my design you can vote for me on Spoonflower starting tomorrow (click on the picture above if you'd like to see it larger).

The contest preview was on a 18 x 21" fat quarter, so this is how I designed it, but the cotton/linen tea towel fabric is a different size so I may reformat the design to fit. Alternatively I think it could make a nice poster.

UPDATE: I've formatted this design for cotton/linen which is perfect for a teatowel. The storybook cottage teatowel calendar is available on Spoonflower here. Each fat quarter is a tea towel, you just need to trim the edges and hem. The updated image is on Flickr here.


Girl monkey illustration

>> Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I know for ages my blog has been all about crafts, but recently I've been really enjoying developing my digital illustration style so I thought I'd share this illustration I did tonight. She goes along with a story idea that I've been thinking about. I've been trying to update my website more regularly as I create new illustrations so you can always have a look there if you'd like to see what's new!


Green Garden Spoonflower fabric

>> Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I think I've mentioned it before, but for those who don't know yet, there's a place online where you can print your own custom fabric called Spoonflower. Since I've been doing more digital illustration lately, it seemed like a good time to revisit the site.

I subscribe to their email updates, and every week there's a contest for fabric design. This week the topic is root vegetables, so I came up with the design above. Figuring out how to do repeats such as the half-drop used for this one was the tricky part (thank you Bradley!). But now that I have a rough idea how to do it I hope to keep improving my designs.

You can find me on Spoonflower here. Once you receive a test swatch of your fabric you can make your designs available for sale on Spoonflower.  I've ordered a sample of my Green Garden design, so I'll post that when it arrives. But in the meantime, it's just really fun!


Jane Eyre cover

>> Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ever since I've bought my Wacom tablet, I've been pretty excited about developing my digital style. Here's another sample book cover I created. This one is for Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, one of my favourite books.

Here's a detail:
And creating all these new samples has inspired me to update my website at

In craft news, I'm on the waiting list for City of Craft so I may or may not end up with a spot. I will definitely be at A Handmade Holiday, though, a show organized by Kid Icarus. Here are the details:

Show Details:
Saturday, December 3rd, 2011
11am to 6pm at St. Stephen-in the-Fields Church
(located off College on Bellevue St.).

I'll remind you about this show closer to the date and show some photos of the wares I'll be bringing.


Alice in Wonderland - illustration

>> Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Alice in Wonderland - detail
click on the image to see it larger
Things suddenly got busy at the end of this month, with my City of Craft application (cross fingers for me!) and a few work things. But ever since I received an email about it I wanted to create some artwork for a blog called Uncovered Cover Art.

The idea is to create cover artwork for a book (and design if you can manage it). I had thought of Alice in Wonderland, but of course so had lots of other people. But it's amazing how varied the results can be when different artists approach the same project. In a way, that's part of the fun of it. And then one evening an image popped into my head which led to some sketches and I decided to go with it.

This is the full composition but I didn't have enough time left to do the design:
Alice in Wonderland - click on the image to see it larger
I've been working on digital illustrations for some time now and decided I would work on a new style for this project. I did the line art in Illustrator and was happy with it and brought it in to Photoshop to add colour and texture. But after a very long day working on it I suddenly didn't like it at all.

When this happens, the best thing is just to go back to the stage where you used to like it. So I went back to the line art, which I edited a bit, and started colouring all over again. This time I wanted to try a limited palette and use more flat areas of colour (inspired by linocuts). There's some texture but I tried to stop before it was over-worked.

 Here's a comparison. Detail of the first version:
And the updated version:
I love yellow and grey. Anyway, I do like the final art and was so happy to see it added to the blog today - the last day! There is a dazzling array of talent on this blog, quite intimidating, so it's an honour to be among them. And I also feel like I really benefited from this opportunity to develop my digital style.

Thanks to the creator of the blog, Heidi Kellenberger for a brilliant concept executed really well.


Acorn needle book - redesigned

>> Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Just in time for fall, here's an update to my acorn needle book. I happened to find a little length of Japanese ribbon with squirrels on it at a sweet little shop called Polka Dot Kids. I don't have kids but for some reason... I'm not sure why... I still go into this shop anytime I'm passing by.

Often I tell myself I'd better not splurge on something just because it's adorable. But ribbon with squirrels on it? Well that's actually a logical addition to my sewing supplies. In fact, since I didn't already have ribbon with squirrels on it, I was essentially filling a gap in my supplies. You know, being practical.

So now the acorn needle book is back, with a little squirrel ribbon for a stem and quilt batting inside to give it more structure. I redesigned the shape to be more symmetrical after realizing that the front needed to match the back so that it all lines up when assembled. The acorn needle book is in my shop now, with more on the way.


New camera, new shop

>> Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I have a new camera! I'm quite excited about it, but please note I haven't read the manual yet. Due to a modest budget, I bought it on craigslist, but to me it's pretty fancy. It's a Canon Rebel XT and I'm so happy to finally have a DSLR after using my little point and shoot for so long. (I used to love my old SLR but couldn't cope with film anymore.)

So to celebrate, there's lots of new things in the shop today, including the little coin pouch pictured above. It started with a fabulous super-wide vintage tie that I had to buy despite the fact that buying a tie for the fabric doesn't make too much sense. It had a hole in it, so I had no compunction about pulling it apart, washing it and cutting out pieces for my pouches. It turns out you can get a surprising amount of fabric from a nice wide vintage tie. I have more of these pouches in a variety of sizes so if you have a request let me know and I'll add it to the shop.

Oddly, the final motivation to get the new camera was those blue quilted pouches (mentioned in my last post) whose colour just wasn't coming out right in the photos. And in the end the blue wasn't quite right with the new camera either. I guess it's just a hard-to-capture blue. Is there such a thing? I'm not sure but I'll be doing my best and getting those into the shop shortly as well.

And sometimes it doesn't matter what the motivation is if it works out in the end. I'm very happy with my new camera. Good-bye autofocus!


Quilted pouches

>> Monday, August 08, 2011

I've been taking a little blogging holiday this summer, apparently. So here's a little post just to get back into the habit, some new quilted pouches that are making their way into my shop today... The colours of some of them didn't come out quite right in the photographs so I'm fussing with them, but the first three are in there now.


3D doll hairdo

>> Monday, July 11, 2011

Posting again took longer than I expected, but since I did have one request I will show the progress pics of the hairdo for the Gail Wilson 3D doll.

First of all, please don't be afraid to start your kit! The best tip is to just start with the first step rather than overwhelming yourself trying to figure out the whole thing. And once it's done, go on to the next one. There are so many details in the instructions you will have lots of help.

Take your time, I did make mistakes myself and slowing down allowed me to fix them before it was too late. For example, I traced the body pattern pieces onto the fabric then realized when I got to the last pattern piece that I didn't have enough room. You really need to snug the pieces up to the edges of the piece of fabric (assuming you bought the kit with provided fabric) to fit them all in. The solution? I just turned over the folded piece of fabric and retraced them onto that side. No harm done.
So here's how I did the hair. I pinned the wool wig (wool has been machine sewn onto a bit of fabric at this stage) on her head to check the placement before gluing. Gail recommends a cool melt glue gun but I didn't have any trouble with my regular glue gun. If you're worried about burning your fingers my big tip is to just put a bandaid on the finger you use to press the hair into place.

Glue just a little bit at a time and make sure it's going where you want it to. The exact position of the hair kind of changes the shape of her face. If you glue it a bit high she will have a high forehead, etc.
To "comb" the hair I used a tiny knitting needle I had on hand - size 0000. I didn't want to buy a hair pick, and the needle worked just fine. You need to start combing low down or you will have big snags - if you've ever had long thick hair you know this!
Here's a view of the back. You want to make sure your wig is low enough at the back so she doesn't have a big bare area on her head. Another tip, I saved the fibre that was pulled out and combed it and made a wig for my tiny dollhouse doll.
Lastly to make the braided hairdo, I braided two braids. Then pulled them up to the top of her head and used the felting needle to tuck and felt the tips of the braids in place. I used the needle here and there to tidy up wisps and make the hairdo secure.

I think this is a pretty style, but you won't be able to rearrange it once you've used the felting needles. Alternatively, you can use dark brown thread and hold the braids in place with a few stitches. That way you could remove them later if you want a change.

Good luck!


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