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!


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