Tuesday Treasures

Good morning! I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. It's 1pm, so it might be a little odd to start with that greeting, but as I am in my pajamas with the snuffles-- it feels appropriate. I had made this lovely post about an hour ago- but the html got very confused and wouldn't let me publish, so I went through the entire coding with a fine tooth comb--- and as there were no visible problems--- here I am again. Hopefully this one will be up to snuff!

I decided to do a kiddie themed post, as all the little boys and girls recently opened their presents and stockings for Christmas. I had a lovely Christmas, full of good food and family and friends (including my boyfriend's gigantic, lovely family). I'll post some pictures soon! For now... here is this week's Tuesday Treasures! *crosses fingers*

Kewpie Doll:

I love how old fashioned these little guys look! I'd like to make her a little dress though, she looks cold!

Find it HERE:

Cuddly Monsters:

Once I actually learn to knit with multiple needles as well as to increase (diagrams don't work with my brain) I will buy this book! Certainly much better than your Grandma's knitting patterns--- so quirky and cute!

Find it HERE:

Elfish Hat:

I would actually wear this if it came in my size! So whimsical!

Find it HERE:

Pretty Bows:

There are so many choices of ribbon! How fun! I personally love the one with skulls (you can see all the choices on her Etsy page!)

Find them HERE:

Enjoy and Happy End of Holidays!

Tuesday Treasures

This is the last Tuesday before Christmas, so a toy themed post seemed appropriate. In the old days it was easier to imagine elves actually making toys. It's pretty hard to say that an elf made some battery powered gadget in a workshop at the north pole--- which is why wooden toys will always be popular. There is something pure about a wooden toy-- it's simplistic, beautiful, natural and nostalgic. Handmade wooden toys are even better... so this week here's some beautiful handmade toys on Etsy!

Alpha-blocks:

I love the different colour wood stains. So rich and pretty.

Find it HERE:

Baby's First Toys:

What a lovely gift!

Find it HERE:

Deer Little Toys:

I have a thing with deer (as you might have noticed...) They are so delicate and sweet. These ones would look so cute in a babies or a kid's room!

Find it HERE:

Farm Yard Fun:

Unpainted shapes--- what possibilities! You could paint these as a gift for a younger child, or send them blank for an older child to decorate!

Find it HERE:

Mr. Moose

Can't get more Canadian than this! Isn't he CUTE? If I have kids-- they are definitely having this moose teether.

Find it HERE:

Merry Christmas Everyone! Hope you have a lovely time with your friends and family!

Tiny Kitchen

Pretty cute, huh? 

Last week my mum had the idea to make a toy stove/kitchen for my little 'niece'. We're having a Christmas party and we thought it would be fun for her to have something to play with while she was over. We got a Uhaul box, a few supplies from the dollar store and around the house, and created this little kitchenette! Isn't it sweet?

List of supplies:

  • Uhaul Box
  • Metal dish (we used a dog dish)
  • Small paper plates
  • Furniture carpet protectors (for the knobs)
  • Wrapping paper
  • Duct tape
  • Tin foil
  • Paper towel roll
  • Screws/nuts
  • Paper for print outs (could use child's name)
  • Soap Dish
  • Scrubber
  • String (braided)
  • Fabric Scrap

How we did it:

We put the Uhaul box so the top was standing up (not folded down) so it was taller, then scored one of the edges and reenforced the back of the stove. We then cut a hole for the 'sink' by tracing the dish. We covered the box in retro light pink paper, then cut out aluminum foil to create the 'oven' door. We duct taped around the edges to add some strength and contrast.

I then made the tap from the paper roll from the wrapping paper. I cut it, bent it, then wrapped it in duct tape until it looked like a tap. We stapled the 'faucet', then covered the area in duct tape. We used an awl to make a hole in the side, and I braided twine to act as a tea-towel holder. We screwed the carpet protectors to the back of the stove--- making turn-able knobs. We cut down the black paper plates a little, and used carpet tape to stick them down. We printed out a clock and I created a logo for the stove and stuck it on with double sided scrapbook squares. We sewed a scrap of seafoam fabric to look like a dish towel, then stuck on a soap dish.

I'm unbelievably excited about how it turned out (much unlike the ill-fated Gingerbread houses). It was extremely easy to make and only took an afternoon. I'm excited for the Christmas Party now--- I hope she loves it! 

Hope you enjoyed this DIY!

Update: She loved it so much that I took it over to her house! It was a major hit!

Tuesday Treasures

So, I stumbled across the handmade upcycled ornaments on a post earlier this month. The Matryoshka ornament was so cute, I decided to theme this week on Matryoshka Dolls (Russian Nesting Dolls). Aren't they just sweet?

Dollies:

Find them HERE:

Coin Purse:

Find it HERE:

Stamps:

Find them HERE:

Lunch:

Find it HERE:

Have a great week!!

Ginger - Fail

I laugh now looking at the ambitiousness of my last post. I am not a baker. Food and I maintain a casual relationship-- I eat it, can sort of cook it, but the finesse of baking and decorating alludes me. Give me glue, paper, a pencil or yarn and I'll make something lovely--- as long as its not edible. I have decided that just because Martha Stewart's EXPERTS create gorgeous examples- does not mean that I am qualified to do it-- case in point: the gingerbread house(s).

It was doomed to fail:

  • There were no chocolate flavoured graham crackers in two grocery stores (supposed to look tudor-y)
  • The graham crackers she did use were not square. This helps with construction (ie- leaves huge gaping holes in the sides of the house.)
  • The caramel glue recipe didn't work. I had to boil sugar, then add water (DO NOT DO THIS--- IT EXPLODES!--- duh.)
  • Graham crackers are HORRIBLE to cut. They shatter easily and crumbs get everywhere.
  • Caramel glue is INTENSELY sticky- yet manages to not hold the house together well.

All in all, after smashing half the graham crackers, getting caramel EVERYWHERE, dropping whole graham crackers into the pot, burning myself, and making three ugly houses--- I ended up with one.(I quickly abandoned the multi-layered extravagant design). One imploded, the other exploded while I iced the sole survivor. The effort to make this house coloured its success-- but a day later (now the caramel is removed from my fingernails)-- it looks kinda homey and cute.

Messiest thing ever.

Frustration. (Note gaping hole in side of house)

Finished product--- all alone. I like it's shake roof and tudor-ish styling. It kind of looks like a Black Forest Cake. <3 So not attempting this again though. I'm definitely not opposed to the kit.

Thanks for reading!

Gingerbread House Part I

I've been Pinterest-ing Gingerbread Houses a lot the last couple days. I've always done kits in the past (only a few imploded--- oh dear.) This year... I'm going to try and make my own. I've collected a bunch of different styles...

(See them on Pinterest: HERE)

Aren't they gorgeous? I'm hoping to make two this year-- one with my boyfriend, the other with my Mum for her 'Holiday Soiree'. I'm planning on using Graham Crackers for the basis of the first one, then if I'm feeling ambitious-- I might bake up some real gingerbread.

My plan: A Tudor style with pretzels (like Martha Stewart's) but much bigger than a cottage. I'm planning on making tinted icing, green icing garland, swirly mints, and silver balls for a bit of sparkle.

Here's my ingredient list for Royal Icing, Caramel glue (to hold it together)and other supplies.

Royal Icing:

Yield Makes 2 1/3 cups

Ingredients

1 box confectioners' sugar (1 pound)

5 tablespoons meringue powder or 2 large egg whites

Directions

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar and meringue powder. Mixing on low speed, add a scant 1/2 cup water. For a thinner consistency, usually used for flooding, add more water. A thicker consistency is generally used for outlining and adding details. Mix until icing holds a ribbonlike trail on the surface of the mixture for 5 seconds when you raise the paddle.

Caramel Syrup

for attaching walls (better than icing!)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup water

Directions

Bring sugar and the water to a boil in a medium saucepan; reduce heat, and simmer until thickened and light brown, about 10 minutes. Use immediately.

Other Ingredients

  • Pretzel Sticks
  • Graham Crackers
  • Chocolate Graham Crackers (roof?)
  • Some type of shingles--- m&ms? Flat candies layered? chocolate chips?
  • Food colouring for stucco?
  • Swirly peppermints
  • Mini ice cream cones (trees)
  • Mini Candy Cane
  • Coconut snow
  • Green and red icing
  • Silver beads
  • Sprinkles

Stay tuned for the next blog post... the finished product! Wish us luck!

Radko

So, I was knitting my last Christmas order, watching a TLC Christmas show. It was called "Extreme Christmas Trees". There were two fellows that ran a bed and breakfast-- and decorated a tree in each room. They were gorgeous. Their main tree was in the dining room, and was positively STUFFED with these beautiful, frosted glass/tin looked ornaments. They mentioned that they were all from the same designer--- Christopher Radko... and some of the ornaments were collector's items worth about $2,500 dollars! One fellow said he had spent approx $200,000 on this collection! They were so beautiful that naturally I had to have a closer look at these retro, gorgeous ornaments..

Take a look at these gorgeous ornaments yourself! Visit the website HERE:

Enjoy!!

Tuesday Treasures Snow Edition

It's a gloomy day in Victoria-- par for the course on these fall days. Other parts of the country are getting dusted in gorgeous white snow... while we get another rainy Holiday Season. My boyfriend's job requires a lot of driving, so I cannot wish for snow without a heavy heart (unless it doesn't stick--horray!). Instead, I'll indulge in my love of snow with this post...

Printable Snow Party:

I really like just any excuse to decorate for a party. It'll be fun when I don't live in a paper-walled apartment. I heard someone cough through the wall last night-- sounded like they were in the bedroom! Can't be too jolly in here, or we'd get a notice!

Find it HERE:

Snow Blocks:

Aren't these sweet? They'd be a cute toy or even decoration! I'd love to make some of my own one day!

Find them HERE:

Cute Cardinal:

Isn't he just sweet? I love the caption "Yes, dear?". I really want to see a cardinal in real life one day. They're astoundingly beautiful.

Find it HERE:

Snowy Deer:

I love this deer silhouette. There is one with baby antlers too! Living in Victoria-- we see quite a few of these little guys around. While most see them as a nuisance, I still get excited whenever I see one.

Find it HERE:

Let it Snow!

Isn't this cute? This kind of Christmas decoration is timeless- very homey!

Find it HERE:

Whether you don't get snow, or get 3 ft, I hope you enjoyed this Tuesday Treasures!

Delightful Decorations

It's finally December, so I feel less guilty about having the Christmas stuff up already. While I was drinking apple cinnamon chamomile tea and surfing on Etsy for this week's Tuesday Treasures, I stumbled upon a shop that deserved its own post. I just love the retro vibe. Put some on your Christmas Tree this year!

Midwest Maude is based in LA. California-- Here is their Blog.

Here is the Etsy Shop:

I love this Matryoshka doll. The black and white colour scheme is so striking.

This seahorse is a lively way of incorporating the ocean into your decor. I just love him.

Okay, I know owls are ridiculously popular right now... but I still really like them. They're just so cute. I love the upcycling of retro jewellery for the eyes!

Back to my search for this week's Tuesday Treasures...

Have a great weekend!!

...twenty-two things...

Twenty-two Random Things About Me:

1) I've lived in Trail, Nelson, Kelowna, Chilliwack and Victoria. The first three were all before age six. Even though I live in probably the most beautiful city in BC-- I still miss the familiarity of Chilliwack and many people there.

2) I've gone from wanting to be a teacher, to a medical office assistant to a graphic designer/web designer in a span of a few years... yet "thought" I knew what I wanted to be since I was six!

3) I moved to Victoria the morning after Prom Night. My favourite photo is me posing in my dress with packing boxes.

4) I have never played a team sport, but I really enjoyed rock climbing-- even though I can't stand on a table for fear of heights.

5) My favourite food is probably a drumstick with caramel in the center--- not the chicken kind of drumstick--- the ice cream cone with chocolate drizzle and peanuts in a package. Probably the trashiest thing ever--- but also the most satisfying.

6) I'm probably the klutizest person ever. I'm constantly walking into walls, tripping, falling or dropping something. You'd think I'd have to be tall and lanky or something-- but I'm 5'3.

7) I am terrified of hairdressers. They always ignore me at the last second and do something drastic-- or not drastic enough and charge you an arm and a leg. Yesterday was the first haircut I have approved of in four years.

8) I have a bachelor’s degree in history. It still doesn't feel like I do, though. I skipped out of the ceremony because they make me nervous, and I didn't want to be tapped on the head in front of an auditorium of people. I can't decide if I regret it or not.

9) I love dressing up. Halloween is my favourite—but any time there is a chance to put on a costume- I’m there.

10) If I could change anything about Victoria-- I would open up an Emily Carr Art School here. High school art was largely a joke, and Art Education classes at university weren't much better. I would die and go to heaven if I could have access to some of the illustration assignments-- I'd love to see what I could do. I've always wanted to illustrate children's books and greeting cards.

11) I’m kind of a nerd. I finished my last university class in June and I’ve actually been having lecture/essay withdrawal.

12) I have 5 tattoos and I’m hoping to get more. I would love to get a shoulder piece done… but I’m a little nervous. The man who did my swallow tattoo took over and ignored the colours I wanted. I still like it—but as an artist I’m scared of giving up my vision. I notice so many tattoos where the perspective or proportions are off and it makes me cringe. Another man tried to draw what I wanted twice, and the girl’s face looked like a deformed pig so I gave up.

13) I may knit dolls but I also love Marilyn Manson. I used to have only his cds in my player as a teenager. I love his historical referencing and the spooky quality to his music. I’ve been listening to heavier/darker music since I was a kid (literally—I liked Rob Zombie when I was 8) but I was a totally goodie goodie and was on the A honours list all through school.

14) My biggest goal in life is to be a mom. I know in our society it’s not considered that much of an aspiration--- but I can’t wait to be a mom—take care of them, go on nature walks, do crafts, read to them, teach them things- Obviously there are a lot of tantrums, sleepless nights, and bodily functions to contend with—but it’s so worth it.

15) I love making lesson plans. I got an A in curriculum planning at University. It's so fun creating an open ended project for other creative minds to run with. I had always planned on being a teacher, but Victoria is one of the hardest places to get work.

16) I taught myself to knit and still don’t know a lot of the basics. I have a hard time understanding diagrams, so I created the doll pattern so I could make something cute that I could actually knit! I’ve learned a lot since then, but I still am learning new things.

17) I love the rain. I’m probably the only one—but I’m sick of people complaining every time it’s not sunny. Everything looks so beautiful when it’s green and lush, and I love doing inside things. I’d love to live in a house with a skylight so I could hear the rain tapping on the glass.

18) My mum has been a great help while trying to get this crafting business started. Whether she’s punching holes in wine charm cards, wearing the jewellery I make, collecting sea glass with me, commenting and reposting every doll on her Facebook page or letting me use her dining room table for a trial run of the craft fair… I couldn’t ask for a better supporter!

19) My favourite place in the world is Dallas Rd. It’s a road that winds along the coast of Victoria. It has a dog park, beautiful cliffs, rocky beaches, backs onto Beacon Hill Park, and is loaded with cute retro houses and jaw dropping mansions.

The best date is grabbing lunch and a milkshake at the Beacon Drive In, a 1950’s takeout diner, and driving along picking out which house you’d like to live in if you won the lottery. I’d much rather do that than go to a fancy restaurant.

20) My favourite animal is the mini dachshund. My parents have a white and caramel long haired one named Felix. He’s basically the love of my life.I am subscribed to a breeders newsletter just to see the new pups every

month. The prettiest ones are the ones with blue eyes and spots ^_^.

21) I have a weakness for China Town. I love the red lanterns, the old crazy buildings, and the narrowness of Fan Tan Alley. I discovered bubble tea,which is probably the best thing on the planet. I don’t know if it’s the squishy tapioca balls, the rectangular jelly chunks or the sweetness of the drink—but it is possibly the most cheerful thing ever.

22) I only see my best girl friend once or twice a year. She lives in Chilliwack, but we meet up and play tourist in Victoria in the summer and winter. We were

friends since we were six, but had different friends in middle and high school. When we meet up it’s like we’re still twelve, and no time has passed (except we're not listening to Backstreet Boys anymore.) I look forward to our Starbucks dates-- {cannot wait for this year's apple cider drink} or our downtown shopping and goat petting escapades.

Anyways, that's me! Thanks for reading!

Karen

Tuesday Treasures

There were lots of little ones at the Craft Fair (which I will do a post about later!)-- I definitely got my fill of cute kids for two days-- from sleeping babies, to toddlers with raccoon hats, to a kid who moved all my dolls from a bin to a chair--to my cousin's little two year old that came to visit us at our booth. Needless to say-- I was grinning ridiculously most of the time. I decided I'd do this week's Tuesday Treasures on etsy's handmade crafts for kids!

Sweetest Woodland Critters:

Find it HERE:

Moose Onsie:

Patchy Perfection:

Find it HERE:

Sweetest Bun-buns:

Find it HERE:

Have a great week--- I'll be updating soon!

Tuesday Treasures Christmas Edition

I rediscovered the Martha Stewart website. I should be doing some crafting of my own, but I decided to post a few of my favourites. Next week I will update about the craft fair, as well as post photos of my Christmas decorating!

Here they are!

Cutest Pine Cone Men

Click Here

Lump of Coal

Click Here

Make it yourself Snow Globe

Click Here

Cool Candles:

Click Here

Cookie Cutter Photos:

Click Here

Cute Card Wreath

Click Here

Gorgeous Corsage

Click Here

Happy Crafting!!

...craft fair update...

Thank you for reading! I've been positively swamped-- I've finished 30 dolls for the Craft Fair on November 26th + 27th, 24 sets of wine charms, 10 sets of earrings and over 60 necklaces. Looking over it now, I can't quite comprehend that I created all of this in such a short time. Once I realize how much stock I actually created, we had to come up with how to display it. Click on the image below for our "Mock Up" of our craft table.

I tried to create different levels, so our table would be more attractive. The chrome jewellery spinner was a great find, at Matthew's Fixtures. I purchased silver organza cords for the pendants for display purposes, as well as to wear if the customer chooses. We decided on a blue/white/silver winter theme instead of the traditional red and green, which might have been overwhelming with our products. (It also happens to be my cousin's and my favourite colour combination). I found some cute fabric, which we are using in various ways on the table. My lovely boyfriend built what I call the "dolly bench", and my mother (who is much better with a sewing machine) covered it in the said fabric. I'm extremely pleased with how it turned out! (I will post photos of the actual fair).

The Wine Charms appear to be very popular. My Aunt from the mainland actually bought 5 sets while she was visiting because she liked them so much (!!!), so I am awaiting more supplies in the mail. The only hitch I came across while making them were poor manufacturing of the crystal beads. It's delightful when half the beads fit on the wire, while the others get stuck and/or crack. This also feels great on the fingers. I ended up using a bead reamer on the poorly manufactured ones... with about a 50% success rate.

This photograph is taken with an actual chain, not the organza chain, but I really love the copper coloured ones. I will create a gallery of jewellery as a fixed page on the blog, so you can see more. Much of it is also on my Facebook Page.

I included a picture of myself with most of the dolls that I've knit... It feels like a milestone in a lot of ways. My first Craft Fair venture! Keep your fingers crossed for me! (And hope that the barn is well heated, the horse is farther away than it looks, and that people are blown away by our creations and purchase lots!) Thanks again for reading, and I do apologize if update sporadically in the next few weeks. I've decided to completely reorganize the yarn-hurricane that has become my apartment, before starting on the 10 Christmas orders.

Wish me luck!

Karen

Tuesday Treasures

After creating this list, I noticed how all of the items I’ve picked for this week’s list have to do with stitching—knitting, crochet and embroidery! I think it might be the colder weather... I’d sure like to have a nice cup of cocoa, a half finished doll on my needles, and a nice pair of those crochet slippers!

Stylishly slouchy:

I love hats like these; too bad that me and wool don’t get along. I need to learn to make one in acrylic. I also need to grow some hair so it doesn’t look ridiculous.

You can find it here:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/62740388/london-slouchy-hat-pine-green-or-choose

Big bow:

If I could learn to knit on the diagonal (I am self taught, so I have ridiculous holes in my learning) I would totally make this. It would be so snug and cute for the dreariness of winter.

You can find it here:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/65994261/bo-peep-scarf-knitting-pattern

Striking stitches:

I love red and white together. It’s probably my favourite colour combination. It looks so clean and fresh. This is such a cool way to incorporate embroidery in jewellery making.

You can find it here:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/73123657/hand-embroidered-necklace-with-three-red?ref=tre-933008527-2

Warm feets:

I tried to knit mary jane slippers once when I was learning. They never looked as cute as this!

I invented something

I've always wanted to knit myself a pointed pixie hat. As of yet, I haven't gotten around to it yet. Trying to figure out a pattern for one this small, however, was a breeze! I plan on knitting ones with and without fuzz, ones as hats and ones as hoods. I'm adding $5.00 to these as they are more material and more stitches (38 across!) I'm very pleased with how Gemma turned out and hope to make more in time for the craft fair. If you'd like a hood added to your wintery order-- let me know!

Autumn and Dollies Oh My!

I love fall. I love the sound of crunching leaves, cuddling up inside, and taking walks through the crisp air. I even had tea and oatmeal for breakfast. I love the grey skies-- it's so much softer than the blaring sun. It's also a lot better for staying inside knitting dolls! I've made a small dent in my quota recently-- plan to try and make two more today, if possible. I've briefly thought about how I want to set up our table, but I really just need to make as much product as possible before I worry about how to display it! Wish me luck!

Enjoy your first weekend of fall!

And so it begins

After scoping out every conceivable type of craft fair-- I have submitted our application and been accepted. So many of the larger fairs charge 500-800+ dollars for a booth-- so unless you are selling diamond rings-- there won't be too much of a profit margin. I finally found the "Christmas in the Manger" craft fair, which is held at the Saanich Fairgrounds in Brentwood Bay. My cousin and I are splitting the cost of a table-- I will be selling my Sea Glass jewellery and my knitted dolls, she will be selling her handmade cards. I advise buying a necklace for a gift, a lovely card to send with it, and a sweet dollie for yourself (haha). Apparently we're out in a barn--- with limited heating possibilities. We'll see how 12 hours over the weekend will be-- the last weekend before December. We tried to find a warm, cozy, small scale school craft fair-- but apparently the people who run them are very elitist... so here we are in a barn. I did go there last year-- and found it to be quite busy- so at least that's a plus!

Now that I've been accepted---- I realize that I've never quite paid attention to how things are displayed... but I do have some ideas (my boyfriend might have to help me build them, however) it's all a little overwhelming. Besides creating displays, pricing everything, creating gift tags and buying bags-- I have to literally sit down for the next few weeks and knit with abandon. I've decided I need at least 20 mini dolls and 10-15 large ones-- each take a day at the least-- so hopefully the weather is rotten so I can stay inside with my tea, turn on Turner Classic Movies and knit.

I'm also having surgery in late October, and am missing Halloween (I wish it was Christmas- I love Halloween the best!) so I plan on knitting throughout my recovery. I had the same surgery a year ago when I was teaching myself to knit-- and knit an entire baby sweater (it was fairly terrible-- but I was learning) so I estimate I'll be able to make at least 5-6 mini dolls in that duration. I just finished my "Frankie" Doll--- The Bride of Frankenstein--- to make up for my stolen Halloween-- she turned out great!

Anyways- I'll keep updating through this process-- posting new pictures of completed work as well as documenting the journey of preparing and selling at a craft fair!

Thanks for all the Likes on Facebook! I really appreciate it!