Friday, March 30, 2012

Favourites : More Etsy Favourites

So as I said in my first Etsy handmade favourites post a few weeks back - I have thousands of items "hearted" on etsy with more being added everyday. There are just so many talented makers all over the world and I'll never run out of favourites to share.

Here are a few more:

If you know much about Etsy then you have heard of The Black Apple.  Emily Martin is one of Etsy's first sellers and a wonderful illustrator. She just so happens to be the first seller I purchased from on Etsy way back in 2005 when Etsy was created. And then multiple times since then, a bag, a doll, some prints, postcards, etc. She has written and illustrated her first children's book called Oddfellow's Orphanage and I need to remind myself to get a copy. How sweet does this look?

It's no secret that etsy is my favourite place to find special accessories.  Whenever I get a compliment on a necklace, earrings, bag, hair pin, etc., my answer is usually, "THANKS! I got it on etsy." (And I'm not even lying) I love these fabric detailed pendants from The Whirlwind. I think the only reason I don't own one yet is because I just can't pick a favourite.

Ashley G is another one of my favourite Etsy illustrators. Another shop that it's hard for me to pick a favourite. I love all her pretty little girls with forlorn looks and sketchy bangs.

I caught this Beetlejuice Terrarium by Rachel Bishop on the front page of Etsy a couple weeks ago and thought it was too cool not to bookmark. Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice.

I was initially introduced to Misala Handmade through Dots & Loops' facebook page as they posted pictures of their store opening in Lunenburg. As I was watching for photos of my Needlings to arrive at their beautiful store, I came across these adorable creative little change purses; bunnies, whales, strawberries, elephants, etc.  I thought this little orange umbrella was super cute.

Last but not least, an amazing Furry Hatted Rabbit from one of my favourite plush artists, Cat-Rabbit. I hope to add one of her amazing little guys to my handmade plush collection sometime soon.

So there you go, a few more amazing handmade goodies.  Let me know if you have any suggestions for me!

OotD - Or Outfits of the Week

I did a few outfit posts this week so I thought I would compile them in to one here.

I'm still sewing away on a Needlings restock for Chapters but had a few other things going on and haircut to get this week that took me away from my worktable. I also used henna powder on my hair for the first time a couple days ago.  If any of you have used it you will know that it's a weird and muddy process of slopping green mud on your head and hoping for the best. Eventually it ended up clean and a little red - you might be able to see the red in the last outfit photo here. It was actually fun to smear mud around a little bit. I never was a very messy kid though so I didn't make too much of a mess.

This is what I wore on the photo walk earlier this week.  I did put shoes on at some point though - no hiking through the woods barefoot for me.  Although it would go with the mud in the head nature woman thing I was feeling from the henna later in the week...

This was haircut day. This gold dress from Ruche was a Christmas gift and is now one of my favourites although I've only worn it a handful of times so far. I think when the weather gets warmer I'll be breaking it out more often.

And this is post haircut and henna so it's a little redder. Maybe? I also wore contacts for a minute in a rare move. It's so weird not to have my big ol' glasses on my face except when I'm sleeping now. I think I'll stick with them.

This is a thrifted wool sweater that I love and have to get as much wear as possible out of before the weather gets warmer. I'm like a fussy baby wearing wool unless it's really cold out. I think a lot of people must agree because I always see sweet wool sweaters at thrift stores.

So that's that!  Today I am in some slippers and my favourite cozy sweater and doing some hardcore Needlings sewing and catching up on my encore watching of The Killing before the premiere on Sunday.

Enjoy your weekends everyone! See you soon

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Where I Live : Tiffany Falls

*I thought I would take the time to show you around the area that I live in through perhaps a series of posts of me visiting some of my favourite spots in Southern Ontario. Hamilton isn't my hometown but I live here now and love it! To see more about Hamilton: check here*

I grew up with sort of adventurous parents who liked to change things up and move around and as a result of that, I don't really have a city that I consider my hometown!  Instead, I have a few home away from homes and lots of "travel experience" in North America.  Between living on both coasts of Canada and in between and then Iowa and back to Ontario twice, I'm so happy to have seen so many pretty places.  Now that I've been in the Hamilton area (which is about 45 minutes away from Toronto) for the longest I've been anywhere, I'm making it my new hometown and trying to get to know it better.

Hamilton rests on the Niagara Escarpment and is filled with conservation areas and as a result, you don't have to go far from the city to see some really beautiful spots.  Some time in the past few years they dubbed Hamilton the "waterfall capital of the world," with lots of water running off the escarpment. Tiffany falls is a little one that is less than 5 minutes from my house so I went there first for a mini hike and photo walk!



It was such a beautiful crisp start-of-spring day and I had lots of fun playing in the woods and taking photos. I can't wait to go back and take more when the trees are all green. 


I love living so close to this. As the weather gets nicer and everything starts looking extra beautiful, I'm sure I will be inspired to visit some more pretty places and show you a little bit more of where I live.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

In the Workroom Recap : Week 229

229 - already finished! Post-vacation days are flying by for some reason.

Week 228 was spent enjoying my last week of vacation without even a bit of felt touching my hands. I arrived home on Tuesday night and after a couple days of catching up on emails and paperwork, I got back to work on my stack of Owl Mamas.

I finished up the big stack of faces first. I very rarely work in such large batches so seeing that many eyes staring back at me was kind of fun.

After I machine sewed all their ric rac "feathers" on their chests, instead of continuing working on them as a huge batch, I decided to finish small batches seperately and mail them out as they're finished since I have a few stores waiting on restocks already!  I pulled 6 aside to finish up for Kid Culture in Toronto first.

Almost finished! They'll be packed up and ready to go by the end of the weekend then I'll be back to work on more. Luckily today was a rainy one so staying in and sewing felt extra cozy. Although a lot of the day I spent fighting over my work chair as my kitty Gus seems to have claimed it when I was away on vacation.  Obviously because he missed me so much...

In the end, I let him snuggle in.  Who could resist this little guy?

So that's it for 228! See you next week for a full week recap and hopefully lots more finished Needlings.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

OotD - Thrifted Finds

I wore my new skirt (that I mentioned in my last post) that I found on vacation today to check in on my Needlings stock at Chapters, run a few errands, and go to Hutch's at the Hamilton harbourfront for a fish and chip dinner since it has been feeling like summer lately.

                                        (oops, crooked necklace)
                              Skirt: Thrifted at Goodwill in Delaware, OH
                           Cardigan: Thrifted somewhere in Iowa years ago
                                                   Belt: Thrifted
                                                 Cami: Old Navy
                                                  Flats: Blowfish

Not a bad skirt for under $4.

I hope everyone has been enjoying the nice weather.  I love layering so much that I don't mind it chilly but a nice sunny day on a patio is nothing to complain about.

Favourites : Thrifting and Vacations

I am officially back from vacation and back to work finishing up those owls I was working on while I was away and reorganizing my to-do list to figure out which stores need restocking next.

Coming up on the list first is another restock for Chapters in Ancaster, White Rabbit in Iowa City, and Kid Culture in Toronto.

I thought I would take a little break from diving in to all that sewing work to share some thrifting adventures from my vacation.  Between a huge (somewhat shady seeming) flea market in Columbus, Ohio (of which I forgot to bring my camera to) and a big Goodwill in Delaware, Ohio - we had fun looking around in the newly nice Springy weather and I managed to find a few usable goodies.

In a mess of old tools, bootleg dvds, and other horrifying things at the flea market, I found a woman with a booth in the back who was selling yards of fabric and other sewing notions.  I really wish I would have brought my camera because it was stacked so high it reminded me of that scene in Labryinth where the junk lady emerges from the piles of junk.  Except it was piles of fabric instead.  

I found these ones that I think I will be able to make use of for sure.

I've always loved tiny flower prints.  

Later in the week we took a trip from Columbus to visit a friend who made us a lovely lunch and showed us Delaware's huge Goodwill.  It really was big, you guys.

Although I would have considered owning these ugly old chairs if I weren't out of the country, instead I picked up this skirt and managed to find a couple other things I thought family at home would use.

And then we had a fun backseat ride home!  

We spent my last day in Columbus doing an AMC's "The Killing" marathon which we got hooked on a little too late in the trip to finish without a hardcore day of TV watching. So worth it - such a good show!

 I had the sweetest vacation hosts and had a really nice time because of it. Columbus has become a little home away from home for me.

And now I'm home in Ontario!  Back to work on Needlings work and thinking about future local thrifting adventures and the next time I'll be back in Columbus.
Be back at the end of the week for a workroom recap!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

In the (Vacation) Work [Space] Recap : Week 227

Why, hello. Not the usual "In the Workroom Recap" this week...

I didn't expect to have anything to show you as far as the workroom was concerned as I am still away on vacation (note kitten waving photo in last week's post) but as my vacation host had some work to do this weekend, I got a little work done myself - after a fair bit of lovely week off activities like movie watching and general hanging out.

Some may say one should not work on their vacation but it really isn't stressful work sewing a bunch of owl faces I had cut out before I left, let's be honest. No one twists my arm to do this stuff. I love my job!

My iPod, movie watching, and sewing kept me sufficiently busy in my improptu home away from home workspace this evening.

Enough to almost finish 16 faces. Only black eye stitching to go...

And that's it for the week - one solid night of sewing!  Slacking off is nice when you have the best company.

See you when I return home to the usual workspace with more Needlings work!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

In the Workroom Recap : Week 226

This week started with a big stack of partially cut out Owl Mamas and Little Robots.

Normally I don't work on two different types of things at a time - batches, yes, but only of the same things.  A little work quirk to keep my brain organized, I suppose.  But this week was different because being that I am going away this Sunday, was finished with pressing jobs (besides a small Chapters restock needed), and wanted to bring something away with me to hand sew during travel time and such, I decided to work on two things until I figured out what order I should do them in and how much time I would have.  That was a long sentence and more than you needed to know about my process but essentially, I can't stop even when I don't have a plan!

After cutting all the "parts" of each batch and deciding I would take the owl faces on my trip with me for hand sewing, I set the owls aside and decided to finish up the robots and restock Chapters before heading out of town.



And done!

I dropped them off at Chapters yesterday, which you would have seen if you checked out the blog yesterday (although technically, yes, you can still go back and look now), and came home to hang out a bit and get some things together for Sunday.  Today is for packing!

Riveting stuff, folks!  This week was a generally more distracted one for me for various reasons but I'm glad I was able to tie up loose ends on the Needlings front.  A trip will be nice and I'll have a big ol' stack of Owl Mamas to pick up work on when I get back.

I hope you all have a few wonderful weeks ahead and I'll see you when I return when the Needlings shop will be back open for business!

Friday, March 2, 2012

OotD : Restock Day

I headed over to Chapters in Ancaster today to stock up the shelf with a batch of Little Robots before I head out of town on Sunday.

That should tide them over! A few more Owl Mamas were gone than I was expecting so it's not as full as I thought it would be before going away (not complaining) but that will have to do until I return and stock them up again!  I think I made the woman reading a self-help book beside the display a little nervous with all the camera shutter clicking. 

And this is what I wore (Outfit of the Day):

(A little frizzy from all the rain we had today but that's the best we can do!)

I still have to do laundry and pack and all that kind of boring prep stuff to get ready to leave on Sunday but I'll be back tomorrow with a workshop recap from this week's Needlings work! 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Stores : Dots & Loops, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

*Over the past 4 years I have been amazingly lucky to be made aware of some really lovely shops that now carry Needlings - some I've visited myself and some of which just my work has crossed the threshold. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to meet such lovely shopkeeps and people through this little Needlings biz so I thought I would take the time to introduce you to some of the stores in a series of store visit posts, in no particular order.*

First on the list of (virtual) store visits, is Dots & Loops Handmade in beautiful Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

(All photos c/o Dots & Loops on Facebook)


Dots and Loops opened in the summer of 2011 with a bunch of Needlings there to join in the opening festivities. As soon as I saw the adorable yellow building I saw it was perfectly "Lunenburg" and would do well.  Over the course of the year, thanks to their Facebook page and my impecable internet viewing skills, I have seen their shop fill up with some wonderful handmade things from all over the world (and then things disappear, no doubt exiting with happy customers, and filled again). I also love that the store name is a Stereolab album - so they definitely have that going for them in my book. That and that ceiling...

I lived in Halifax (about an hour or so away from Lunenburg) for a bit when I was a kid.  When we visited Lunenburg back then, I remember it as beautiful little touristy fishing town filled with the smell of the ocean and lots of cute little brightly coloured shops and houses. Of course, we made sure to visit the famous Canadian Bluenose (II) schooner, where we were excited to see the "dime boat," (for you non-Canadians, the Bluenose is the famous sailboat you see on the Canadian dime) though not as much as we were excited to get some ice cream cones from one of those little only-open-in-the-summer small town places and roam around the sweet little dockside streets. My parents must have known I would need to be blogging about this 20 or some odd years later and thankfully provided me with this experience to remember. 

I have so many warm memories of the east coast (my mom's side of the family lives mostly in New Brunswick still) and am so happy to have a tiny piece of myself there in the form of my felty handmadies in this beautiful shop.

I hope to visit Lunenburg again sometime with a more grown up appreciation of big boats and beautiful handmade things.