Dear Miss Potter,

May 16, 2014 § 2 Comments


I do love the Beatrix Potter books and I admit that it is mostly for the sweet watercolour illustrations, even though the stories can be quite rivetting. Animals in human clothing never cease to amuse me and Miss Potter captures the whimsy of it so well.


Lately, I have decided to take on a new project: up-cycled stuffed animals. I picked up a pile of unwanted wool and cashmere while thrifting and then felted them to make them washer/dryer friendly.

IMG_9749Then I proceeded to procrastinate over actually beginning the work for a few weeks…about a month or more. With no real deadline (like a baby due-date or kid’s birthday), motivation was hard to come by.

BUT! Today, I have triumphantly began working on this project. No online patterns were quite what I liked and I was feeling inspired by Miss Potter, so I took out a Peter Rabbit book and used the pictures as models for my own pattern making. Holy smokes. I have not made many patterns, and never for a 3D animal, and so this proved to be quite the mind bender. After a few hours of drawing, cutting and taping (I only have letter size paper!) I feel quite accomplished!


I still have no idea if it will work out correctly, but I have high hopes… :S

I hope Miss Potter will be proud!


Whimsy in the little things

January 21, 2014 § Leave a comment


I feel as though what to do for the centerpieces is a MONDO decision when it comes to big events, like a wedding. A lot of thought (and usually money) is involved – in my case the most I spent on the centerpieces was time.

Going with a rugged theme with a family picnic feel, I really wanted to use pinecones. I had seen a lot of painted pinecones, mostly as Christmas decorations, but with a few changes to colour, they can be used for any season. They have a flower-like look, have playful feel and they are free! I began collecting them off the street and at my university campus – coming home with a backpack or sweater full of them when I had a particularly good find. I was always on the look out.

Many of the large pinecones were scattered and left as-is, but the smaller ones we glue-gunned to shish-kabob sticks (from dollar store) and then painted them a variety of the colours we were using in the wedding. They went in up-cycled tin cans which we had glued some repurposed wall paper testers to the outside. The pinecones were kept company with baby’s breath and azaleas.


Table cloths were various colours of fabric I bought discount then accented with strips of burlap. I read a lot of blogs trying to find a place to get burlap, because it is not cheap at fabric stores. Turns out, most coffee shops who roast their own coffee give away their used burlap coffee bags. Done.


Then just add food!

Scones with clotted cream and jam

Fresh corn on the cob and blue berries

Amazing cake from a high-end grocery store – what a steal!


Mason jars at work

November 28, 2013 § 1 Comment

hand-painted drift wood signage

hand-painted drift wood signage

Here is the follow up post to display the mason jar syrup dispensers from the previous post in all their glory at our wedding reception. We had a little lemonade stand set up out on the deck, complete with painted drift-wood signage.

lemonade stand 2

There were two dispensers; one with plain syrup and the other with flavoured syrup. This one is raspberry (which I bought on sale from Chapters). I heard that this one flavour was popular enough to be stolen and monopolized by one of the tables for some time.

lemonade stand 3

Here is one the drinks fully mixed with our handy-dandy paper straws (also from Chapters – super cheap!). We still have some left over and they are fun to bring out every so often.

We also gave guests the option of iced tea or lemonade. There was a really ugly painted sign underneath the lemonade stand and it is being covered by those lovely crepe streamers we got from dollar store hung on a string. So easy!

lemonade stand 4

More wedding DIY photos to come 🙂

Back in the saddle with mason jar syrup dispensers

August 6, 2013 § 1 Comment

I will fill you all in, making a long story short, but I have not posted in about a year and I have some good reasons why. In September I started a 12 month, intensive teacher certification program AND in December I got engaged and basically all of my crafting energies have been focused on this one event coming up in…3 weeks now! Holy smokes.

With the help of friends, family and pinterest (oooooh guilty pleasure) we have succeeded in pulling off a DIY wedding of the century! Well, we may be biased. I have determined to post these creations to share with you all the various projects we took on. Here are just a few: sewn paper heart banners (for that whimsical feel), repurposed map circular fans (for wall decor) and pump-top mason jars (for dispersing syrups for the iced tea and lemonade stand).

Today, I will be filling you in on the pump-top mason jars, which were one of my fav DIYs so far. The DIY we based ours off of can be found ugly duckling transformations blog.

pump-top mason jars

Here it is!

The pump dispensers were quite difficult to find. I planned to go to the shop Soap Dispensary on Main St., but they were closed that day. Then proceeded a mad dash down Main, trying to find a store that sold dispensers. After asking MANY storekeepers I made it to Urban Source. Aaaaaaaw! (angels singing) I love them. They did not have dispensers, but they said to check a hairdresser’s shop because they usually sell them for the big shampoo bottles. Of course!  I presented the dispensers to Dan with pride and our mason jar crafting night was on it’s way.

Basically we followed Ugly Duckling’s DIY, but with a few modifications. Since we wanted to use these dispensers for syrup which would be added to drinks, the sealant we used for attaching the pump and metal lid need to be food safe. Since Dan works at a marina shop, it was easy for us to find an alternative. We used a putty (which smelled hideous! but worked) which was ‘water safe’, which works for our purposes. The putty is mixed to be moldable and then once in place it will dry to be hard.


Here is basically what we used. Probably this would be findable in a hardware store.

Here it is online.

To make a hole in the metal lid for the pump we used one of the machines in the marina workshop. The hole was bigger than needed, but the putty filled the gap easily.

We are really looking forward to making our syrups and adding them to our iced tea and lemonade stand at the reception. I will have to post pictures after the big day.

Probably we will be needing to put labels on these jars to say what kind of syrup is inside. Any suggestions?

And so the knitting kneedles come out of storage…

August 31, 2012 § 2 Comments

September is…the day after tomorrow, and so the knitting itch has officially set in. I am only slightly ashamed to say that for pretty much the ENTIRE summer  I have not knitted a stitch, but now that the sun is softening and the rain is returning, it is time to KNIT!

To inaugurate this occasion, I have some photos of some epic knits I finished last spring, but never blogged. I apologize for my lack of sharing. But with a little help from my friend and a fun location in front of the highschool by my old apartment, I actually have some eye candy for you all. One is a varsity style cardigan (which I adapted from a simple raglan sleeve pattern I found on ravelry) and a green throw, which I have a feeling will get a lot of use in my new basement apartment during long nights of studying. Both took me at least a month each to complete.

Here is a close up of the raglan sleeve

And of course it wasn’t all business…

We also found some local knit graffiti!

Thanks to Vancouver Tech. School for letting us play for half-an-hour and feel like kids again!

There are more projects to come (promise!).

dictionary magnets

January 22, 2012 § 1 Comment

This post is dedicated to the recent Wiki strike.

I like canabalizing things. Let me explain: I like to take old items that no longer have any use to anyone, collecting dust shoved into the corner of a closet somewhere or the back of a dresser drawer, take them apart and make them into something new. I have been doing this waaaaaay before people decided it was cool. Now all sorts of people are talking about being “green” and recycling old items. Canabalizing is much edgier.

Well, in the spirit of one of my favourite past-times, I took an old Webster’s dictionary I had found at Sally-Ann and used it to make some hip fridge magnets. I tore out pages and everything! Very liberating…and seemingly subversive in a weird way. They became Christmas presents for friends who I knew would enjoy the addition they would make to their refrigerators. The magnets aren’t the strongest, so I believe they may need to just be decorative, but hey, people take magnetic poetry and decorate their fridges with those, so why not dictionary entries? It’s educational and ecologically friendly. What more can I say?

Ever wonder what an ardvark is?

Two more…bachelor buttons!

and a charming chaffinch

Last but not least is good old Mr.Webster himself! There are 9 separate magnets that make up this picture and gives you some idea of the size of the magnets.

what’s new

January 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Every so often I am getting time for more Christmas gift reveals. The one I just posted is Ben’s toque which has quite a story behind it. It’s in the “projects” pages, but here is an easy link for your convenient perusal.

What’s new then? Well, my friend Lisa and I waited half-an-hour or more to get into the big Three Bags Full yarn sale last weekend. We spent so much time in there oohing and aahing over the yarns. Petting them. It had to be done. While inside, we found a gourgeous yarn on sale 50% off. Two colours of pink silkwool Malabrigo…we just had to have them, but what would we make? Lisa had the genius idea to make a Valentines themed project we could work on together. GLORIOUS! So now, we are planning the details…probably not using a pattern again (which I usually regret later). Seriously, I never learn, but sometimes it has to be done. We are thinking, spring inspired cowls (even though the weather in Vancouver right now doesn’t provide much inspiration). We should get our acts together in the next week or so.

Other than that, I am starting another big project. A shawl. I am a little worried about having enough yarn for my desired length buuuut, here goes nothing!

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