Thursday, May 31, 2012

Neon green

Neon colours seem to still be hot. We've all seen them all over the place, accessories, clothes, etc (highlighter pens). Have you seen this yet though? Talk about commitment...

I'm off to see my brother in law in the hospital, he broke his leg and had surgery yesterday. Catch you later!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rue Laval

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous. That is before the massive downpour. I went for a walk as I needed to get out for a bit. Sitting at my desk all day long for hours on end needs to be interrupted every now and then, especially since I'm working on creative projects. So, off I went. I had some errands to run, but I did take a little wandering off time too, just to see what's around the next corner.

Even though I've lived in the area for almost three years, there's still new things to see. I seem to always notice new things when I'm walking around with a camera, it helps me too look at the things around me in a different way. I snapped some photos and I love these two. They somehow capture the feeling very accurately.

There are some lovely buildings around here. If you're ever in Montreal, I recommend walking around the Plateau on a warm day. It's gorgeous.

What does your neighbourhood look like? Do you still go exploring it?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Singing in the rain...

I went out for  walk and took some beautiful photos along the way. The weather was warm and sunny, if somewhat humid. I decided to run some errands while I was at it. It got dark and grey in about 15 minutes while I was in a shop and the second I walked out I heard thunder. Not having an umbrella with me, I decided to just walk back home.

It started to drizzle, but I got home still somewhat dry.  I was home for 5 minutes and I was able to take these photos

That would explain the humidity...

And so it begins...

Although it might seem so, preparing for a craft show is not just about making things to sell. There's a lot of other planning and preparing as well. One of the big ones is what I started yesterday; Packing.

At first I prepared the cards, trimmed the excess paper, checked that they were perfect. No creased in the paper, no uneven edges, that they stand up vertically and horizontally and that there are no other visible flaws.

Then I got prepared with all the packing supplies. I'm a firm believed that brightly coloured office supplies make any job a little better. (This obviously means if you're doing a job that requires office supplies. I don't see a baker, for example, necessarily needing coloured paper clips) I've actually bought funner supplies for my desk jobs, just because I felt like a little brightening was in order. (There's a limit to this, my desk still looked professional, just a little more colourful. For example, my post-it notes came in various colours, instead of just yellow.)

This is where it all began... The first card I was packing. Appropriate as I found out that is in the photo in my seller intro for the show.

Guess what I'm doing today? Yeah, more packing! I am not complaining though, I actually enjoy doing this. There's something oddly satisfying about packing dozens and dozens of cards all in the same way. I think it's because it gives me a sense of finishing things. This is the last step in making these items available for my customers.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Robin Hood

I used to love this movie when I was a kid. The Disney version was awesome. I haven't really thought about it until I found a book about it recently. I used it to make greeting cards, this is my favourite:

Maybe for a wedding (for geeks, like me). Oh, it's en francais so it's Robin des Bois.

Have you seen the Disney Robin Hood? Thumbs up or down?

Vintage travel

Today the plan is to finish and sort greeting cards. I've made a pretty decent amount of them, but I'm going through them all to make sure they are perfect and then start getting them ready for packing. Before I get into that though, I wanted to show you a few things I thought were pretty awesome.

I have some vintage looking travel tags and advertisements. I'm working on incorporating these into my greeting card designs as well as a few other products. I also took a step forward in my table design. Check this out:

This might be the tackiest, kitschiest, most awesomest table cloth ever. This will definitely be on my table at the show! I found it at a thrift store and it'll be perfect for the set up I have in mind.

What do you think?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Getting ready

I think it's time to take a few moments to really think about what needs to get done in the next couple of weeks. I have about a million things to do and I tend to get a tad overwhelmed in situations like these. I know there's so much to do and that alone makes it hard for me to get started. Good news is that I know what to do about it...

So, I'm taking a bit of a break from it all and try to get my thoughts together.

The craft show is in less than two weeks. I have some products ready, but I need to make many more. I also need to figure out my table set up. These things could be broken out into a ton of smaller tasks, which I know I need to do to be efficient. Right now though, I'm just thinking about larger concepts.

I think I need a to-do list to keep track of everything. Mine are always categorized by large task and then broken into smaller ones, it helps me too see things clearer in larger concepts.

Do you keep to-do lists? If so, do you have a system? Do you have any tips for me?

Photos are of the newest notebooks I've made, these are going to be on sale at the Puces Pop craft show.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Craft fuel

Bloody Mary, extra spicy. That's the secret to successful 24/7 crafting.

That and candy.

Wake up!

I ran some errands earlier today and while waiting in the line at the post office, I noticed a stand with really great nail polish colours. I also feel like I need to explain that here the post office is in the same location as a pharmacy and they also sell a lot of other things as well, including cosmetics.

(For all my North American readers who might wonder why do I need to explain this, let me tell you that in Finland and several other places in Europe a post office and a pharmacy are in completely separate locations and they do not sell cosmetics and definitely not food. Call it cultural differences. Hmm... Maybe I should write more on the topic.. would anyone be interested?)

Anyhow, my point is that I saw these really awesome colours from the line at the post office. I've been thinking about buying a new nail polish (so far I have like 4, so Mary, I think this might be your influence...) and figured if the price is right, I might as well try it...

This is what I got. It's called "Wake up" and it's by essence. I figured I could try it out for $1.49 (yeah, seriously). I don't know if it's any good, but I'll report back as I try it out.

So, what do you think? Is it a hit or a miss?

Plateau at night

I love living in the Plateau area of Montreal. It's such a fun neighbourhood.

Quirky you might say.

Full of funky shops and amazing restaurants. These photos were snapped on my way home from La Prunelle the other night.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dr. Seuss

Latest update from the crafting desk. This time the notebooks are covered in pages from the Dr. Seuss book "Oh, the thinks you can think!".

Friday Inspiration

I have a one track mind. (Nothing dirty, get your mind out of the gutter) What I mean is that I am thinking about the craft show.

So, not surprisingly, Friday inspiration is related to that as well. I've been thinking about my table set up. I learned a lot of things last time, so I have a better idea that I had the first time I attended, but I still have ways to go.

All photos on Pinterest, originally from Flickr (here, here, here and here)

Check the Pinterest board for more ideas. What do you think would attract you to a table at a craft show? Any ideas?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's pretty warm...

It's around 11pm and it's still +26 degrees out. I got home from dinner to this

I think my cats melted...

Crafting injuries

You might think that I'm joking, but I'm not. Crafting is dangerous business!

As my 200th post over here at HipsterCurious, I will share proof with you that the above statement is true.

Behold, the scissor blister:

See, wasn't kidding. Also, I might have poked myself with an exacto knife yesterday. That was an accident, this blister on the other hand developed over several hours of cutting paper.

Chilli chocolate brownies

In our series of food that's guaranteed to impress, but is really very easy to make, we're making brownies. But, as you might have guessed (and let's be honest now, read from the title) these brownies come with a twist.

I'm not going to give you a recipe for brownies, most people have one already. Or, if you don't, you can use a ready brownie mix or just google a recipe. It doesn't matter, since it's the secret ingredient that makes it special.

So, all you really need to do is to add dried chilli to your brownie batter. I added about a table spoon. Remember to crush it first, the smaller it is, the better. Ultimately the goal is to have the taste of chilli, without a lot heat. Mix it in the batter and proceed as instructed. I recommend starting with a little less chilli, remember that different types of chillies are different strengths in taste, and then add more to the next batch. (see, this is even better, it allows you to make brownies several time and call it "research")

Another variety of this idea is orange chocolate. I tried this recently and it was a huge hit. All I did was to substitute the liquid in the recipe with freshly squeezed orange juice and added the zest of one lemon in the batter. It's that simple. It's really easy to make and has a twist that makes a basic brownie more interesting.

Let me know how it turns out! Do you have super easy and fast recipes for dessert you could share?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Vintage kittens

I couldn't help myself, I have to share this...

How cute is this?

Ok, back to making things...

Vintage die cuts

I have a bunch of vintage die cuts from England and Germany. They are at least 25-30 years old, some definitely older. I don't know how common these things were, especially in North America, but I remember having these around when I was a kid.

They've been around since the 1800's and they are decorative paper. Initially they were decorations for diaries or journals and hugely popular in Europe. They were sold in sheets, where a number of small pictures were first printed on the paper and then the spaces between the pictures were cut out. The pictures were then held together by thin paper strips. This is why they often aren't perfectly cut.

Old skool LOL cats?
Picture from TIAS

These were often used in scrap books or scrap albums, not the likes we have today, but literally books that were put together to collect pretty pictures. These pictures would include these types of die cuts, but also clippings from newspapers and other paper snippets. In northern Europe especially these books were passed around to friends who would then use one page of the book to write a little note, often good wishes or a short poem, and decorate the page with a die cut. Typical topics for the die cuts were flowers, angels, children and babies as well as cute animals. If you're curious to find out more details (and know Finnish) check out kiiltokuvamaailma.

I've had these for a while and I've been trying to think of what to make out of them. I finally have (what I think are) some good ideas, so there's a lot of experimenting going on over here. I think these will look great on some of my new products. I have other vintage paper as well, so I'm trying out all sorts of things for the craft show.

Have you seen these types of die cuts before? Did you have (or still have) any?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On deadlines and shows and crafts

Last few days have been a roller coaster and there have been some ups and downs (well, that was redundant, isn't that exactly why it's called a roller coaster?). I'm sorry I've been MIA.

I mentioned last week how I have a deadline approaching, that came and went. Then another deadline. Actually, let me just tell you the story;

So, Spring Puces Pop is approaching. It's held on the second weekend of June. Puces Pop is a large curated craft show held right here in Montreal. Curated being the operative word in this case, meaning you need to apply and then, if you're lucky, you get in. This is the reason why I've been so busy. I've been experimenting with new products to see what new can I bring to the show if I get selected.

Image by Puces Pop

You saw the notebooks (see this post) and I was so happy with them. I have other products as well and I felt really good about my product line. So, I send the application in and start waiting. The deadline to hear back if you made it was Monday at 5pm.


I wait, and wait a little more. And I'm getting pretty bummed. I really wanted to get in. I understand that there are a lot of applications, but it doesn't change the fact that I was really hoping to get in.

By 6pm I have to accept it's not coming. I'm really bummed. A few hours in I'm still bummed, but start making new plans. By the time I've watched a few episodes of Lost (we started watching it from the start and I've only seen two seasons, Chris has only seen a few episodes. This is gonna be great), I've adjusted my plans and am ready get started on Tuesday morning to execute those plans.

It's getting close to midnight, so I check my e-mails like I always do just to see if there are new orders or need to contact customers the next morning and lo and behold, there it is. An e-mail that says "Congratulations. You've been selected..."

I'm so excited!

Just so you'll be aware, there will be a lot of talk about this show over here at the HipsterCurious. There will also be a lot preparing, making stuff, general spazzing and other necessary steps for getting craft show ready.

Here's the initial details about the show: Spring Puces Pop

(I'm now doing the happy dance, which is remarkably similar to my happy Friday dance)

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I can't remember the last time I loved working on something as much as I have in the last few days. This is really the reason why I've been so preoccupied and even missed a daily post last week.

I've worked on these types of notebooks before, but I perfected the technique and the look.

These books have upcycled covers and I lined the inside of the covers with patterned paper.

I never sell anything at the shop that I'm not 100% happy with, but I have to say that I absolutely love these things. Currently they are not yet listed at the shop, but I do have a few similar ones still available. I'm making some more before bringing them out to the shop. I'm working on a few other things as well and I'm super excited about those too. I'm still working on the prototypes, so I don't have photos yet. I'll show more as I get them done.

I'm feeling extremely excited about these new products. How has your weekend started?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Inspiration

Sorry I missed a post yesterday! I've been making things and really got into what I'm doing. I'll show you some results soon!

Even though I'm busy, I keep thinking about our condo. Well, it's pretty hard not to when I'm working here, so it's pretty much on my mind all the time. The place is slowly taking shape (we've been here for 3 years, but these things take a while) but there's always something that I'm thinking of re-doing.

Is this just me or do you do that too? Can a place/house/condo/apartment ever be ready?

Anyhow, right now I would love to get a funkier piece of furniture. I've been wanting a crazy chair for a while...

Photos on Pinterest, by Jimmie Martin

Ideally of course, I would love to find an old one, but I wouldn't mind a new either... Of course, my budget is more appropriate for the old one...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Crafting chaos

My desk is in a state of chaos and I feel my head is right there with it... I have a few new projects I'm working on and I have a deadline fast approaching.

I'm excited about these new products. You can see parts of them in the photo including a prototype. It's fun but also a tad stressful as I need to solidify my plans for the summer crafting season. I will return with details once I have them. I'm off to make some more stuff!

How's your week been so far?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

10 questions

OK, ok... I was supposed t post this a few days ago already, but then I got distracted working on my street credible blogger-ness, see post below.

Alrighty, a proof that I have readers! (that are not either related to me or close friends. I love you all, but I am now referring to people I have actually never met in real life)

Mary, who's blog I recommend reading if you understand Finnish, challenged me to answer 10 questions. These were asked in Finnish, so behold major translation skills (that sounds like a pretty lame superpower. I think the hero is called "translat-o-man" and wears beige polyester suits and has a slight combover. It's not a really noticeable one as he is a superhero after all)

Anywho, here goes:

1. If you were a nail polish, which colour would you be and what would it be called?
The colour is obvious, green. No question about it. But not one of those trendy minty or neon greens,
more like a "BLAM-in-your-face-OMG-that's-really-green". It would be called "diddly-diddly" after St.Patrick's day (DUH, obviously)

2. Your home is on fire, what one thing would you rescue?
OK, so I am going to assume that Chris and the cats are already safe, because this would be a pretty boring answer otherwise. The one *object* I would rescue would probably have to be the photos. I can call them one object as they are actually on the external hard drive. We've travelled a lot and I take a ton of photos, I'd hate to lose all of them.

3. A dream you haven't yet fulfilled - and why?
Going to Egypt. I've been fascinated by ancient Egyptian culture since I was a little kid. (I even have a related tattoo, that's how geeky I am about this) It's a life long dream to one day go and see all the places I've read about. Why haven't I done that yet? I want to take my time when I get there, I don't want to go for a week and rush through it all. I'm not in a hurry either, one day. (not gonna lie, there's the nerdy side of me that doesn't think I know enough yet, so I need a few more years of studying first)

4. If you could travel back in time and give one piece of advice to your teenage self, what would it be?
Stop wasting your time doing what other people want you to do and decide for yourself.

5. Let's say you get into a bar fight. You can choose five people to help you. Who do you choose? (Fictional or real)

Ooh, a good one! OK, I better make this count...
Alexey "the red scorpion" Ignashov 
(ask a) Ninja
King of cosmos

6. A night at home or a night on the town? Why?
They both work, although I have to say that "night on the town" does not mean the same thing it did a few years ago. Now it means a really nice dinner (and a cocktail, and some red wine, maybe some port with dessert...)

7. What are you afraid of?
Sharks. Shit, those things creep the hell out of me. Seriously, worse than spiders.

8. If you were to get an animal, what would you get and what would you call it?
Rescue panther. I would call him Bob.

9. Are you picky? About what?
Maybe... OK, I am picky about certain things. Shoes - extremely picky. Meat - I don't like fatty meat, so I cut out the yucky fatty parts. Colours - seriously, things need to coordinate.

10. Favourite TV show and why?
South Park. Why? Mr. Hankey's Christmas classics (season 3, episode 15)

The end.

P.S. Unrelated photos are unrelated.


Today, May 15th, is international photo(graphy) day. Click for more details

I, of course, also want to participate. However, it's still the morning, so the subjects are limited. (It's either a picture of a coffee cup, the cats or this:)

So, here's some raspberries with (non dairy) whipped cream. A.k.a. breakfast. This photo also has another function; doesn't it make me a 'real' blogger once I've posted a photo of my breakfast?

(sorry for the bad joke, I'll post something better once I drink more coffee)

Monday, May 14, 2012


Just to make sure I don't lack challenges, I've decided to learn how to make books. Let's ignore that fact that I have an entire work nook filled with them (not to mention a full length bookshelf with books in two rows) and make more. Yeah, great idea!

How has your week started off?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lock it up

I've walked past this window several times. I noticed there are locks attached to the front of it, but never looked at them in too much detail.

How adorable are these? There's probably around 15 of them on this one window. It just makes me think what other cute things I might have missed. It definitely helps to notice these things when carrying the camera around. Double benefits while trying to learn how to take better photos.

Are there any unexpected treasures around your neighbourhood?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mrs. Grumpy

The whole day apparently got out of bed on the wrong foot. Been a particularly grumpy day so far and it's only early afternoon. So, trying to use that energy by cleaning. Also, distracting myself by thinking about vacations. I think right now I would love to be in Spain.

What about you? If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?

Also, any tried and tested anti-grumpiness tricks?

(oddly, I'm feeling a little better already. Turns out blogging helps a tad. Also, saying that things "schtink" makes them stink a little less)

- Be good -

I used to love playing on the swing set as a kid. It was my favourite thing at the playground.

Needless to say, it's been a while.

Until yesterday. There are swing sets right outside of Place des Arts.  On our way home we saw one set free and felt we had to take the opportunity to try it.

It was awesome. I can remember why I liked it so much!

(Not going to lie, felt a little stupid at first. But it was late enough that there weren't any little kids around. So I wasn't, like, robbing a kid the opportunity. Had to clarify)

Ok, it's actually called "21 Balançoires" and it's a music/art installation. Read more HERE

I just liked it and there might have been some unexpected giggling involved from my part. "Might" being the operative word, as I am all classy and grown up.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday inspiration

If you are like me and aren't much of a cook, then this Friday post is for you!

I have a few go to recipes I make often and I sometimes like to try out new stuff. I am a creative person in many ways, but cooking really isn't one of them. So, when I found this online tool, I was sold!

Basic idea is that you can either just randomly browse recipes (both food and drink) but this site really shines when you start entering details yourself.

You can enter what you crave. Let's say I want to have tacos. Then you enter what ingredients you have; I have chicken and avocados. And finally, if you want, you can enter what you don't want. Say, I'm having friends over who can't have dairy. Or I just really don't like tomatoes (crazy person). Enter the details and you get results.

I think this is especially handy if you're feeling lazy and don't want to go to the store... (shockingly this is the suggestion I come up with...) Just enter what you have at home and see the suggestions. You can use any of the features alone or combined. I only just discovered this site a few days ago, but so far it seems great. The only criticism at this point is that you can't clear all your selections at one go. Well, at least I have found it yet. There are some additional cool features I haven't yet tried. I'll test it out and see if it's worth to write about in more detail.

Let's not forget that the photos are amazing. That alone makes it worth a visit at least.

Have you tried Gojee? What do you think?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Amazing vintage paper

I found something really awesome today and I just had to share...

How cool is this? It's the perfect vintage postcard!

To top it off, the back actually has a handwritten note when it was bought, August 28th 1960.

I actually bought a huge lot of vintage postcards. I'll share some of the really nice ones later, but I just had to post this one. I think I'll frame this little guy.

How to display your shoe love

Love shoes? You might want to check this out...

I've been thinking for a long while how to store and display my shoes at home. I finally came up with the perfect solution.

Isn't it gorgeous? I'm so incredibly happy with this! I wanted a way to have my shoes easily visible and accessible when I'm getting dressed. I also wanted the whole set up to look nice. Honestly, I look at this every day, so why not make it look nice. I wanted it to almost look like a shop. Shopping in your own closet! Isn't that like the best thing to do?

This whole thing was relatively simple. The closet is in our entryway and really a very basic closet. It's a nice size, but a little dark. So, I had a few different ideas, but the glass shelves worked out the best. They are from Ikea and called Linjal. I'm not excited every time I look into that closet. Some of the shoes are still looking for their places. I have to decide which ones to keep there and which ones to pack away. But this is really pretty fun.

Maybe I need to start shopping for more shoes to make sure I can keep changing it frequently... (this makes total sense. Right?)