Saturday, December 17, 2011

Giveaway Day Winner

Thanks to all who visited and left a comment, I loved reading what you were all looking forward to this holiday season.  Not surprisingly most people are looking forward to spending time with families but there seems to be lots of handmade gift giving planned which is exciting too!

On to the winner!  The trusty True Random Number Generator came up with number 20 who is ewebewe.  Congratulations! I'll be in touch to get your mailing address.  If you did not win but would like a needle case of your own I have a tutorial here.  I also have some made up which I should really list in my Etsy shop...  Add that to the to do list!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Giveaway Day!

Hooray! Giveaway Day is here!

Here at Betula`Loo I'll be giving away this handmade needlecase that holds up to 6 packages of sewing machine needles.

Here's what a needlecase looks like full of needles.  (Please note the giveaway is for the blue case and you will need to supply your own needles).

If you would like a chance to win please leave a comment on this post about something you're looking forward to, or already enjoying this holiday season.  I'm happy to ship internationally so everyone is welcome to enter.  I will be picking a winner with the random number generator on the morning of Saturday December 17.  Good luck & thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Great Chiyogami Giveaway!

Over at The Paper Place they are hosting the 2nd Great Chiyogami Giveaway.  And when they say great they mean great - the winner will receive over 700 sheets of chiyogami paper!  Can you imagine all the stuff you could make with that?  The contest runs till December 15th so there's still time to go over and enter!

And if you were wondering what to do with all that paper maybe you could make these star ornaments.  Here's the tutorial from last year.

Come back tomorrow for my contribution to Giveaway Day on Sew, Mama, Sew!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

One of a Kind Roundup

The One of a Kind Show is one of my favourite events of the Christmas season.  With 800 vendors it's a lot to take in - I highly recommend taking a break half way through (if not more often) for a tea or gelato and a sit down.  We forgot this step last year and were regretting it by the end.

Now that I've done a couple craft shows I had extra respect for the makers who spend 10 long days at the show and tried to remember what it's like to sit with your crafts for sale.  I couldn't talk to everyone of course (I was on a bit of a time budget) but the conversations I did have I tried to make meaningful.  I found it interesting that I was drawn to the artists who work in the same mediums I do - paper and fabric.   In some ways it would make more sense to look at jewelry, glass work and the like - things I have not the talent or desire to do.  But in other ways it makes perfect sense - I love paper and fabric: that's why I work with them, no wonder I love looking at them too!

While every artisan there has special items to offer I'd like to show you a few of my favourties.

I love the aprons from Pi'lo - there's a recipe for bread printed on the bib!

Vintage linens made into bread bags (and other delightful articles) from L'Atelier du Presbytere.

The most destinctive thing (in my opinion) in Honeybea's booth are these bum warmers.  Made from recycled sweaters I think they'd make a great addition to a Canadian winter wardrobe!

I love how the Woodlot brings nature into your house.  This ipod dock is such a nice way to blend nature & technology.

Flakes Paperie had lots of fun ideas like these holiday postal telegrams.  Who wouldn't love to get this in the mail?

Katie McLellan calls herself an eclectic media artist which describes her work perfectly!  I chose to show one of her kite people hangings here but there was so much more in her booth: stained glass ornaments, shoulder bags, mushroom puppets etc.

Krystal Speck is my favourite potter at the show!  The last few years I've made a point of collecting one of her pieces when I go.  It's a nice tradition I hope to continue.

I love this mussel necklace from Filou. Searching through tide pools has to be one of my favourite things and this pendant captures that feeling.

Paint chip placemats!  How fun!  Avril loreti has other paint chip items too, this booth was full of colour.

Stephen Haigh's work is amazing!  All inlaid wood and the attention to detail is incredible!

And my favourite visual artist, Joseph Sampson.  I don't have an example to show you but head over to his webpage and spend some time oogling his art.  Simply amazing!  Maybe it's a good thing I don't have the money to buy one of his pieces - I could never decide which one to take home!

The show is open through to Sunday December 4th and today (December 1st) is late night shopping day (I mean night).  The show will be open till 11 pm for you to go browse all that loveliness!  If you're in the Toronto area I highly recommend you go check it out!  There are also shows in Vancouver and Chicago if you can't make it to Toronto.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I took Betula`Loo on the road and participated in two shows.  

The first was an Open House at a local salon.  Not super successful sales wise.

But I did meet children's author Jean Little!  She was there signing books and we had lots of time to chat.  She is one of my favourite authors so this was a real treat!  That's her on the right, me in the middle, and her sister Pat on the left.

Then I did another craft show at a local-ish school.  Not much to say there, made some sales, not wildly successful...

I finished knitting this hat in yarn from SweetGeorgia that I've been hoarding waiting for the right project for.  I'm impressed I got it done before the winter started...

... because these socks I've been working on since Easter & I just finished them last month!  Sock yarn looks wonderful knit up but oh my, it did take a while!

Last weekend I went to the One of a Kind show in Toronto and picked up some lovely business cards and postcards as well as handmade goodness.  I plan on sharing some of my favourite artisans in the next post.

What have you been doing lately?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's Coming...

Giveaway Day that is!

I'm sure many of you are familiar with Sew, Mama, Sew's Giveaway Day (now extended to Giveaway week!) but if not head over there to read about how it works.  It's always a great time to find new blogs, get inspired and of course, maybe win something!  There will be a giveaway here so stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas Crafternoon

Last weekend I hosted another Crafternoon - this one with a Christmas theme.

I set up various "stations" around the house - folding wish stars from glitter paper and trees from magazine pages, sewing Christmas trees from felt, and the most popular, Christmas card making!

This is how the table looked before everyone arrived.

Then people came and got creative.

And the table looked like this!

We also enjoyed some festive nibbles... sustain our creative efforts.  I loved introducing non-crafters to the joy of folding, stamping and embossing.  If you've never tried embossing (the kind where you stamp an image, sprinkle on embossing powder & heat it), I highly recommend it! Watching the embossing powder set is like magic & it was so fun to see everyone's reaction to their first embossing experience!

All round it was a great afternoon.  We may need to do this again.  Soon.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Christmas Ornament #2

Finished the second ornament from my Walk in the Woods kit.  I love sewing these ornaments, wool felt is so lovely to work with and it's nice to have the pattern, instructions & supplies all ready and waiting.  The sequin & french knot snowflakes were fun to sew, I'm only disappointed there's only one ornament left!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Crafternoon Guest Posting

Just a quick post to direct you to Bugs and Fishes by Lupin where you will find my first ever guest post!  Topic: Crafternoon and making stuffed owls.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Christmas Crafting Has Begun!

I know I'm not the only one who has begun Christmas crafts - I've seen them on blogs like A Spoonful of Sugar, According to Kelly and Sew, Mama, Sew!  I'm starting with a felt ornaments.  I bought a kit from Alicia Paulson last year but it arrived when I was in the midst of a plethora of Christmas crafts & I didn't get to sewing it.  So far I've got one ornament, the cottage, done. 

It was lots of fun - beads and felt and lots of different techniques which I like!  Except a slight slip up at the beginning (of course the back and the front need to be mirror images, not identical Laura!) it went along really well.  Now I'm working on the snowy tree which is almost done.  One of my favourite features of this ornament is the bit of wool roving coming out the chimneys. You can almost smell the wood fire that must be going on inside.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Birthday Day Out

Monday was my birthday and it was as wonderful as you could want any birthday to be.  I was still on a bit of a high from finishing a half marathon the day before and since the race offered discounted hotel rooms to participants my sister & I stayed the night in Toronto.  So on birthday morning once we were up and fed we headed out to shop! Although it doesn't always happen on our actual birthdays it is now our tradition to go birthday shopping rather then give each other gifts. It means we can spend time together and usually we go explore somewhere outside of our city.  This time we headed to Queen St. W in Toronto.

Our first stop was a wonderful bookstore called Type.

The front of the store had all kinds of wonderful journals, stationery, cards, labels, etc. and the back was filled with wonderful books!  My sister bought me a Line a Day 5 Year Journal.  It's similar to the Best of my Days project I have going now only obviously this is for 5 years. There's also room for a bit more then a line each day and there's no pressure that I have to write about the best of each day.  I think it will be an interesting project, especially as it will go from birthday to birthday.  Let's hope I can keep it up for 1826 entries!

I did a quick look through the children's book section but didn't linger as children's books are very dangerous to me my wallet.  I did find a couple things in the adult book section.  Although I would have loved to bring them home the lovely cloth bound copies of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice and Emma (have I ever mentioned I'm a big Jane Austen fan) are getting added to the wish list!

Right next door was the store I came to see - the Paper Place.  I was fortunate to make my first visit there last year on my birthday (a tradition I would be all for continuing!).

Rainbows of paper - do they excite anyone else?

I tried to stay away from large sheets of paper as I still have lots left from my purchases last year.  It was exciting to see Jaime's stamp packs for sale - I bought some more to replenish my stash (it's much easier to use them if you know you have another waiting in your drawer).

I love this little tree.  I think it would be perfect for displaying handmade ornaments.  Unfortunately it wasn't for sale, I'm hoping Etsy & Google will be able to help me out there!

My nose found this little cafe - the smell of fresh baked croissants is very hard to resist!  They were just as delicious as they look.

This yarn store was jam packed with lovely yarns.  I showed great restraint and didn't buy anything!  There's enough yarn in my stash right now.  My sister bought a skein of yarn though, so we didn't leave empty handed.

A quick stop for lunch - Sunday Dinner soup and a London Fog and then back home before rush hour began.

Dinner & games with friends, although not great lighting for photos, was a great way to finish the day.  I may be grown up now but birthdays are still exciting and wonderful!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Toronto Half Marathon

On the weekend I ran in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon, definitely my longest race so far.  The only other road race I've done was 5km, a half marathon is 21.1km.  This Sunday that equalled 2 hours, 11 minutes and 41 seconds of run time.  Wow!  If you had told me last year I would run for over 2 hours straight I would have laughed, but this year it seemed completely possible. It was a little chilly - fine once I got going but a tad cold waiting for the race to start.

During the race it was runners as far as I could see - both in front & behind me.  About 20,000 people took part in the marathon, half and 5km events that day and did we ever fill the streets!  It was incredible to be part of such a big event.  Even people who aren't into running knew the marathon was going on (mostly because they had to detour to wherever they were going) and I thought - yep, it was my event that caused that!

At the end everyone got a finishers medal.  I *may* have carried it around in my pocket and whipped it out to show just about anyone - I figure I earned those bragging rights!

Would I do it again?  For sure!  It was a great experience and I'm so proud of myself not only for finishing but also for doing all the training.  Maybe next time it will be a full marathon.  Crazy?  Maybe just a bit!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ready to Run

This past summer I completed the 99/100 run challenge: run 100 miles in 99 days.  Part way through the challenge I signed up for a half marathon and began training for that.  Today I finished the 12 week training plan!!!  

I missed one run out of the 28 that were planned, and two were shortened, but in total I ran 247 km in the last 12 weeks!

And this Sunday I'll be out with 20,000 other runners doing my longest distance yet at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon.