Friday, December 31, 2010

the domestic transformer

This is amazing!

holiday recap

Now that the holidays are over (or close to), I can share some of the sewing projects that were given to family members this holiday season!

First up, the place mats:


Since they were for my brother in law, I opted to go with a simple, subtle flourish…. you know, so that the place mats could be still somewhat manly!

I actually used a stamp but had to clean up the edges because it wasn’t as deeply carved as my block print stamps are. But good news… now I know how to use my stamps for block printing…

Next up, Christmas holly table runners!


These were block printed from a design that my husband actually drew for me (he’s pretty artistic too… and sometimes I can coerce him into co-creating my crafting projects!) then I carved them into my own stamps!

And finally, setting the table (in our living room for more space!):

2010 815

Because I’m lazy, the circle garland is still hanging… I’m actually sort of tempted to just take down the red circles and then leave up the white circles! Festive living room, aka laziness, here I come!

It was a quiet holiday on our end, but still good. I hope it was the same for you on your end!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

holiday fun

Sometimes I think that I never want to have kids because I’m not sure if I could handle all the noise, chaos, and sacrifices having kids entail.
But then I spend time with my nephews and I am reminded of all the lovely things that kids can bring into your life :
There’s just something lovely about the time that kids encourage you to take and enjoy, doing the simple things that we tend to forget about in our day to day life

i [heart] burlap home decor

A friend and I were recently discussing some crafty partnership ideas… inspired, of all things, by French Country decor using burlap.

“French Country,” you say, “Really? That seems uncharacteristic for you!”

“I know,” I reply, “but really, I’m pretty diverse in my decor/style tastes. And I’m always a sucker for design aesthetics that please the eye. In fact… I’ve always had a deep seated love for French Country kitchens with white washed cupboards and blue accents, which, much to my husbands chagrin, is likely to be the theme of our next kitchen….”

“Interesting… who would have thunk…”

“Indeed,” I reply, “but seriously, can you blame me after taking a look at these beauties?”


This table runner and various other Burlap inspired goods


burlap pillows






Burlap stencil tutorial


Cause I love me the birds! Source

Oh… just cause you can’t not love French Country Kitchens:





Tuesday, December 21, 2010

black, white, and elegant: Origami Etsy Treasury

Working on a new project: an OrigamiEtsy team!

Sometimes I'm awed by the things that people create with origami. Really, truly, amazed. So I want to promote it more, develop the niche as it were. If you're interested in keeping tabs on unique origami creations, come read the blog or join us on facebook:

Or, if you are an origami inspired artisan, come join the OrigamiEtsy group!

holiday baking

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat… and Marya is baking up a holiday storm!



While sharing a glass of vino (or Bailey’s) with my mother in law and husband, I was busy baking mince meat tarts (the vegetarian friendly, sans beef suet version), apple tarts, and speculaas cookies (the recipe and spices were sent to me via the Netherlands last year in a secret santa blogging by mail exchange)!

Ironically, while the mince meat and apple tarts smelled yummy while baking, the speculaas didn’t… which even odder when you know that the spices inside include cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger and pepper… all super yummy smells. The dough before baking taste and smelt yummy, but not in the oven. But don’t worry, the cookies tasted great when done!

More baking to follow!


Monday, December 20, 2010

holiday snowflakes

Recently Updated

I was inspired by this post about making paper snowflakes to try my hand at making my very own 5 pointed snowflake. And then, because I loved it so much, I had to take a gazillion photos of it using my hipstamatic feature, just so that I could capture it in all its different coloured glory!

Yes, this is what I do when I’m avoiding my huge pile of holiday gift sewing projects!

Monday, December 13, 2010

notes from my first craft fair

So I did it and it was fun, and long, and an invaluable learning experience! In the summer, in anticipation of doing a craft fair, I did a lot of research to learn about what people like to see on a table and the biggest, most common piece of advice was LEVELS so that things are clearer and easily seen if there is more than one person looking at the table.

So we made a big table cloth and put boxes underneath in order to create this:IMG_0568

We also hung things from the front and used a Christmas tree in order to display my ornaments (which helped create more levels).

One of the additional perks of using the tree was that, since it’s fake, the branches bend and fold over to lock the ornament on the tree, which helped make the ornaments safer from touching, shopping hands (adult and children). I was told this was important when I polled etsy readers about craft fair table tips, as people are leery of fragile items (as was I, every time I watched people play with the ornaments!).IMG_0566

The fair was quiet, so there weren’t a ton of sales, but I was happy to have the experience and learned quite a bit from it.


Biggest things I took away from the experience:

  • Other vendors are buyers, so play nice with them!
  • Have something to do (like folding origami or knitting… to keep you busy during quiet times)
  • Bring a friend or business buddy so that the work is shared and the experience easier
  • Talk to other vendors to find out about their experiences in order to learn more about the process (pros/cons, which fairs were worthwhile and which weren’t)
  • Fairs get you exposure AND give you the opportunity to get to know more people in your crafty community!   

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

my first craft fair and other news


That’s right. This weekend I’m participating in my very first craft fair. I’m excited. And nervous. And mostly just excited to see how things going and get my feet wet! And get a sense of how things sell at a fair vs online through Etsy.

In the meantime, I’ve been busy making these:


And these:


It feels like there is oh so much left to do between now and Friday afternoon, my head is spinning. Spinning I tells you!

Things done so far:

  • Table cloth
  • co-sewing  56 various table linens with the lovely Fleur de Pixie
  • block printing 7 sets of napkins (4 per set)
  • block printing 7 sets of place mats (4 per set)
  • new ornaments (more to make)
  • printed out more business cards

Things still to do:

  • Prep my craft day kit (scissors, snacks, cash, decor and more)
  • Wash and iron remaining linens, then package them
  • fold mini cranes for ornaments
  • attach business cards to all items
  • mini stickers for prices

Oy vey! Maybe I shouldn’t have written a list—I feel more stressed now!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

and the giveaway winner is…

First of all, I apologize for doing this late (excuses for what they’re worth: sick on the weekend and working WAY too much overtime)



Congratulations Sunlite!

Please send me your snail mail address and I’ll send you your very own corset origami ornament!


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