Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Long Hiatus

It's been a long while since I posted...sorry to anyone who was waiting :)

I've been crocheting like mad lately, getting
ready for fall and winter. Lots of ideas for Christmas coming up, some stuff for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Here are some of my new projects:

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Ivy (my oldest child) and I have been taking an on-loom weaving class at the Anna Templeton Centre over the past six weeks.  I chose wool warp and weft in various shades of cream and grey.  Ivy chose cotton warp and weft, the warp in black and the weft in pinks and blacks with accents of blue, white and yellow. We both chose some ribbons to intersperse in our weaving.

My finished weaving came off the loom yesterday; Ivy still has a ways to go! She is really enjoying playing with the yarns and colours (especially the bobbin winder!).  It took us twelve hours to get the projects planned, wrap the warps and thread the looms.  We finally got to weave!!  I think she's hooked :) I know I am!

Here are some in-progress photos:

Friday, February 20, 2009

New Items, Big Sale

Lots of new items!  I posted lots of new items to my Etsy shop yesterday, and now through Sunday everything listed is half-off!

Hats, scarves, jewellery, baby, kids, adults, handwarmers, bootwarmers, everything in my shop is half-off.

I'm trying to drum up sales in this dreary February weather :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Why Recycle?....Well, Why Not?

I use recycled materials a lot in my crafting for personal use and for selling. It never fails that people either ask 'why' or react with 'that's interesting, I wouldn't have thought of that!"  This is what I don't understand; why not use a perfectly good recycled material for crafting if you can get it?

There's also widespread use of 'upcycled' on Etsy.  Many people use 'recycled' and 'upcycled' interchangeably, but there is a difference.  Recycling is taking something and using it to create a new material.  Upcycling, though, is taking a usable item and turning it into something with a new use.

I use a LOT of wool sweaters I find at thrift stores and flea markets; they cost only a few dollars, at most.  I take them home and wash them in my washer and dryer with a heavy load of clothes; they ususally felt down right away.  And then I turn those itchy, horrible sweaters into cool things!  Hats, bags, laptop covers, electronics sleeves, glasses cases.  Anything you'd want to go out and buy a yard of fabric to sew, I use the felted wool!

Why??  Well, why not?  It gives new life to items that might have ended up in the landfill.  As a result, it reduces the demand for new products, reducing the non-benefits of production, such as pollution and resource consumption. There's also the added bonus of costing much less money! 

As an example, this hat,  bag and two glasses cases were all made from one child-size felted sweater.  There was very little wastage from this sweater.  If I were to create this fabric from 'scratch' I would have had to buy all the various colours of wool yarn, knit it into an intarsia pattern and felt it down.  All those balls of wool would have cost a small fortune, plus I wouldn't have needed all of the yardage, so my costs would be higher because I'd have to buy so much extra yarn.

More importantly, it shows more environmental concern to recycle/upcycle. It's a good lesson that I teach my kids.  Plus, it requires imagination and creativity to look at a cast-off sweater in a thrift store and see what it can become.

There are lots of other options for recycling and upcycling materials; wool sweaters happen to be my favourite.

This laptop cover for my hubby's new laptop was made from one of his trashed leather jackets and remnants from my circa-1992 grad dress!  He loves it :) and I think it turned out pretty darn good.

I have several other items in my Etsy shop  that are made from upcycled sweaters; hats and electronics sleeves.  Here are some of my projects:

So next time you want something crafty to do, don't automatically run to a supply store...take a look around your house, your closets, your local thrift store :) Who knows what you'll find, who knows what you'll make! 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chocolate Brownie Pancakes...mmmmmmmmmmm

Okay, admit it...there are times when you want chocolate and ONLY chocolate, right?  Well, for me, it happened one day at supper time...not good, wanting chocolate for dinner when you have a family to feed!  So, we were having 'breakfast for dinner' and having pancakes and my usual chocolate chip pancakes just weren't gonna do it for me.  So I did some thinking...

...and came up with CHOCOLATE BROWNIE PANCAKES!!  A compromise of healthy and chocolate...they're suddenly a family favourite :)

Want to make your own?  Here's what I did:

Use your usual pancake batter (homemade or boxed)...I didn't have any wholewheat flour to make scratch batter, so I cheated and used a 'complete' box type but added fresh eggs and milk rather than just water.  

Melt a 'family size' bar of dark chocolate and let it cool until about room temperature...meanwhile let your batter warm to room temperature.  Then, stir the chocolate into the batter.  If the temperatures are too far apart, the chocolate will seize and you'll have parts of your batter without chocolate.  It's still usuable, though :)  A thicker batter will get more of a brownie texture; it'll rise more and require more cooking, so the pancakes are more a brownie should be!

Here are my favourite add-ins, if you have them on hand:
- chocolate milk instead of white
- powdered hot chocolate mix
- big splash of cold coffee (or teaspoon of instant granules) to bring out the chocolate flavour

Start cooking, serve hot with jam or syrup...and enjoy.  Don't forget to share!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Okay, so I'm excited :)

I've opened a shop at come over and visit me at  You can buy the scrubbies from my last post :)

And I'm also on Artfire...

I'm still on Etsy, just trying to expand my audience a little.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What the H*ll Are These For??

For those of you that have ever wondered what the h*ll you do with those square and round 'things' sold on etsy...prepare to be enlightened.

Commonly labelled as coasters, scrubbies, scrubby, mug rugs, washcloths, and whatever else, they have a wide range of uses.

If they're made of acrylic they have fewer uses, in my opinion, since acrylic is much less absorbent than cotton.  Acrylic scrubbies (my favourite term) are best for coasters and pot scrubbers.

Cotton scrubbies, on the other hand, have way more uses (again, this is my opinion).  Small or mini sizes are great for those tiny wash-up jobs such as silverware polishing or makeup removal.  They're also cute to have a pile together in a basket, since they're usually about an inch across.

Medium sizes (up to about 4" across) are the most general-use.  They are coasters, dishcloths, bath scrubbies, facecloths, pot scrubbies or just 'swipe the table with one.'  They look great bundled with some fabulous handmade soap from Etsy as a gift.  Plus, the added bonus is that all the ridges created by the handmade stitches produce a super lather!!

The largest scrubbies are ideal as pot holders, table squares, dishtowels and supersized scrubbies for dishes or the bath.

Now, for the BIG SECRET!  If you can knit or crochet at all, you can make them.  They're so easy it's criminal.  All you do is make a square or circle as big as you want.  The mini circular ones take mere seconds (like, less than two minutes).  So maybe as a seller I shouldn't be telling you this!!

As of right now, here are some Etsy shops selling my idea of pretty scrubbies (hey, even pot scrubbers deserve to be pretty):

And for some beautiful Etsy soap:


Big Sale this Weekend!

I'm having a big sale this weekend!  Everything not already marked down is 50% off!

Here are some examples of what you'll find at my shop,, and the prices are half off what's listed.