Monday, May 31, 2010

Why I Love Michael's

Well obviously I like Michael's because they sell a great variety of things to fill my crafting need. And the 40% off coupons don't hurt either. But what I really love are the bins at the front filled with things priced at $1.50. It always feels like a bargain and the items are usually nicer then dollar store things for about the same price (especially now that most dollar stores charge $1.25 an item). This weekend's finds...


Some clear stamps that should be useful for making journalling blocks in scrapbooks, or to highlight a message on a greeting card.

Flocking powder - enough to give it a try without comitting to a Martha Stewart priced jar as I was contemplating last fall. (I'm thinking Christmas trees done in green flock.)  And you get four shades to play with.

Fun patterned baking cups.  I think cupcakes baked in these will taste better, don't you?  They will certainly look nice.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

One of these things is not like the other...

 Can you spot the difference between these two punches? They may look similar - they both punch out a 5/8ths circle - but one is a much superior tool. (The one on the right, if you were wondering.) When I first started making recycled cards I rummaged through my drawers and found the green circle punch. It worked OK and I made many, many cards using it. But about 90% of the circles had to be finished off by hand.  See how the circle is still hanging on by a "thread"?

Yes, I'm actually mad enough to go around cutting all those bits so I'd have nice circles to use.  This weekend I went to Michael's and my goal was a replacement punch.  I came home, mission accomplished, and tried the punch out right away.  It was so exciting!  Every circle fell out perfectly round and ready to go!  No more snipping!  No more crumpled circles!  Bliss!  Bring on the magazines I have a punch & I"m ready to use it!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Last Few Weeks

These last few weeks have just flown by!  Just after my last post I spent the weekend in Winnipeg.  Sadly, this was for my grandfather's funeral but overall it was a great weekend (is it weird to say that?).  I got to reconnect with cousins, aunts & uncles I haven't seen in a few years and for the first time all 11 grandchildren were together!  Six of the eleven set up camp in the basement which actually saw a fair bit of sleep due to late nights spent talking and the nine year old who we all realized needed to sleep.

During this trip I got to test out my handmade ziplock bag which went through security twice, no questions asked.  I guess it's a go!!

Back at home I've been working through a placement that is required for the Early Childhood Educator diploma I am working towards.  Basically it's doing my regular job (daycare teacher) at a different centre for no pay!  I guess not exactly my regular job as I have fewer responsibilities making my days at "work" less busy then usual.  The flip side is the placement involves a lot more paperwork so that is what I've been doing most evenings.

Or at least evenings when I'm not training for the Try-a-Tri I'm doing in June.  We had our first lake swim this Monday, the weather has been hot so it was nice to get in the water.  I did a fair bit of lake swimming (the cottage variety, not the racing variety) while I was growing up so being in the lake doesn't bother me the way it seems to bother others (murk, mud, no edge and all that).  I've also learned the techique involved in biking up a hill which is making me look at biking in a much friendlier way!  (For anyone as out of the loop as I was, it involves gearing down, several times, as you climb the hill.) 

It's been pretty quiet on the crafting front but in my few spare moments (while watching TV mainly) I have been cutting up old magazines and punching out circles like this:

To create recycled note cards which I plan to list in my shop.  When I get a few spare moments that is.  I seem to remember listing on Etsy taking much longer then I expected.  Anyways I have 12 sets plus some other paper goodies which are looking for new homes!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Card Creations

I did a little card creating last week in the lead up to a weekend containing a friend's wedding and Mother's Day. Although they were for different events (obviously) I ended up using hearts on both of them. Have I mentioned I love hearts?

I also love making cards and I did these a couple days in advance, rather then the night before, which I was rather happy about!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

In the Moment - May

Oops, I'm a little late on this one!  Anyways...

In the spring/summer I find it's not so hard to just "enjoy the moment" as it is in, say, November when I'm shivering and wondering when I'll get to see the sun again!  In May it's time to:

  • Get outside!  Last frost date means gardening.  Also walking, running, biking, eating... swimming!  (Yikes!  Normally May is a little chilly for swimming in lakes but I've joined a triathlon group and our first lake swim is at the end of the month.)
  • Celebrate mothers!  They are wonderful people.
  • Enjoy local produce, the first crops start rolling in at the Farmer's Market and I'm noticing the rhubarb out back is about ready for picking.
  • Birthday shopping!  My sister's birthday is this month and for the past 5 years we've celebrated by going shopping together, usually someplace a little far away (say an hour's drive or so) with a little spending money that must be used on that day (not usually a hard feat).  I really love this tradition - not only for the "I get to shop for hours and spend time with my sister" side but also for the "I don't have to figure out what to give her" side.  If that sounds selfish I guess it is a little, but she feels the same way when my birthday rolls around in the fall!
What are you going to enjoy this month?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Skirt for Spring (the 2nd)

When I saw this linen in the fabric store I instantly knew what I wanted to do with it (makes for a nice change from all those fat quarters I buy & stash!): gored skirt.  Happily it turned out just as I imagined!  Even more exciting is that I didn't have a pattern for this skirt, making it the first non-stretch article of clothing I've made pattern free!  Free from a commercial pattern that is, I did draft my own on newspaper and sewed a muslin of it first to test it out.  And we've had some nice weather lately so I was able to wear it!  Hooray for handmade!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

SewFest Finds

Yesterday I went to a new event in my area: SewFest West.  A conference room full of fabric & sewing vendors as well as more rooms set aside for classes.  I didn't register for any classes but had a fun couple of hours looking around the vendors' booths.  It was mainly quilting and needlework (neither of which I currently do) but I found some stuff to add to my stash.  Kallisti Quilts had a wonderful selection of Japanese and African prints and batiks.  I love how (most of) her fat quarters came rolled up and these prints were adorable.  Not sure exactly what I will use them for but I'm sure inspiration will strike sooner or later!

This fabric was on sale and I thought the little squares (3-4 inches) would be good for making cards, gift bags and the like for that thing that happens in December.