Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Christmas Crafternoon

Now an annual tradition among my friends, Christmas Crafternoon is an event I host each November. After scouring Pinterest for ideas I bake some cookies, get out the craft supplies and invite friends over for an afternoon of crafting.



This year was a little earlier then usual due to some scheduling conflicts so some of all of the festive decor was lacking but we put Christmas songs on, drank hot apple cider out of candy cane mugs (which themselves are such a part of the tradition that if we didn't have them I'm sure I'd have a revolt on my hands) and set to crafting.


I've come to realize after hosting a few Crafternoons that my friends are not particularly crafty - in that our annual Christmas Crafternoon is probably 90% of their crafting for the year (sad but true). Keeping this in mind I've learned to pick projects that are quick and easy and involve no sewing whatsoever.  Even the tiniest bit of sewing seems to be enough to turn most people off.



The most popular activity any year is card making.  Out come card blanks, stamps, punches, coloured pens, glue sticks and all the rest.  I'm always interested to see what other's make out of the supplies I am so accustomed to.  One difference is that usually the insides of cards get just as much decoration as the front whereas I'm almost always leaving those insides naked, adding a short verse or stamped saying later.


This year in addition to card making we experimented with melting candy canes from this tutorial and I thought these candle holders were great but I was the only one to try making one.  

And now that Christmas Crafternoon 2014 is over all the great Christmas crafts I see can go on the Pinterest board for 2015! Nothing like planning ahead. (Speaking of planning ahead, one of these years I will remember to take photos before the sun sets and the light is crappy!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sneek Peek


A little look at what I've been working on for the Creative Spark Winter Market.  I love those fabrics and am excited to think of them going to new homes.  A few threads to trim, turning holes to close and cord to thread.  Then they will be done!  Stayed tuned for more pictures.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Staying in Touch


I've spent most of this year away from home sailing around the Atlantic on a beautiful tall ship (more about my adventures on the other blog, Betula`Loo Sets Sail) and while I was away from home I sent many a postcard or letter back to friends and family. Now I'm back home, till Christmas at least, and one of the first things I sat down to make were hand-carved stamps to use on stationery.  The pack of rainbow cards and envelopes I picked up (somewhere in my travels) was the perfect base for these cheery stamps that cover a variety of occasions from thankyous to congratulations to those times you just want to say hi.  And after meeting so many amazing people on board I'm not running short of friends to send cheery cards to!  I won't be keeping this loveliness all to myself, sets will be for sale at the Creative Spark Winter Market and DDC's Holiday Extravaganza!  For those not in the area I plan to list some on Etsy as well.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

T-minus Four Weeks

It's that time of year again... making time in preparation for the Creative Spark Winter Market! The second annual show has a great line-up of vendors, if you're in the Guelph area come by and say hi!

This is my latest project for the show - any guesses?



Monday, July 1, 2013

What I'm Up to Now

Sorry abandoned blog, there are no good excuses for this kind of neglect! Sad to say the neglect will continue a little longer but if you want to see what I'm up to this summer (tall ships! Sailing! Adventure!) find me at: http://betulaloosetssail.blogspot.ca

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What I'm Reading

I love reading and generally have at least one book on the go... sometimes more (you know, an upstairs book, a downstairs book, one at work... isn't that normal?) These are the things I'm currently reading or have just finished.


Winter Holiday - I've read this before and I'm sure I'll read it again.  It's part of the Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome; all about children having adventures sailing, camping, exploring, and in this book also skating and sledding.  They're really meant to be a children's books but I didn't discover them until adulthood so now I'm making up for lost time! The creative use of semaphore is perhaps my favourite part of the book and makes me think I should really make an effort to learn it.  Just in case I need to signal someone or write secret messages.

Choir - A wonderful behind the scenes look at the making of the TV show The Choir which documents Gareth Malone's journey in putting together various choirs, for various purposes across the UK.  It doesn't sound like much but it's really inspirational and a great program to watch if you get the chance.  This one was a present I gave my sister at Christmas (how handy that I wanted to read it too!)

The Simple Things - My newest favourite magazine.  It comes from the UK (so it's fairly expensive here in Canada) and I guess I'd classify it as a lifestyle magazine.  Although it's from the UK they cover other parts of the world; I've seen things from Chapters (a Canadian book store) featured as well as cities from around the globe.  It's presented beautifully and so far I have not had the heart to cut into any of my issues.

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook - I'm not a reader of the Smitten Kitchen blog (although I really should go check that out as I loved the cookbook so much) but I saw this book out and about and thought it deserved a closer look.  This copy is from the library but I think it's one I'll end up buying.  Deb has a down to earth sense of cooking and provides lots of options for her recipes such as making ahead and ingredient subsitutions.  I love the personal stories she has to go along with each recipe.

Bouchon Bakery - A lovely book to look at, the pictures are amazing and everything looks delicious.  This seems to me more like a coffee table book then one I'd use.  I'm sure everything is delicious but the recipes are a little too nit-picky for me so I can't see that I'd use it that often.  It was lovely to have it for a few weeks to give it a proper look through. 

What about you, do you have any favourite reads to share?  Do you use your local library?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tova

 

You've probably seen Wiksten's Tova around the internet.  In fact, if anything, I'm probably a bit late to the Tova party (no, not toga party, that's something entirely different!).  The Tova is similar to a shirt I made a couple winters ago but this time I had the advantage of a pattern to work from!


The fabric was a cotton/flannel type I got on super sale at Fabricland.  That way I knew I wouldn't mind too much if I messed it up.  I chose to make the dress length of the Tova so I could wear it with leggings.


The pattern is great but I thought it would be better with a few modifications.  I added darts to help the bust fit better.  I think it could be better still but it's not too bad for winging it!  


Since everything is better with pockets I added some to the sides.  I had been planning to put inset pockets in the side seams but had forgotten to do that, so instead of unpicking I put some patch pockets on the outside.  I used LiEr's great pocket tutorials and had fun using the plaid on it's bias.


I think it's a pattern I'll sew again.  Maybe I'll be brave enough to cut into my Liberty of London print to make sleeveless, summer Tova!