Saturday, June 30, 2012

Transparent mail

So, I have been sending some snail mail recently. I wanted to surprise some people and wanted to come up with something a bit different. I put together a few surprises with a card and a tasty treat.

Here's some of the ones I sent. The main feature of these ones are really the transparent envelopes. I bought these at the same time as I purchased some more packing materials for the recent craft fair. I got a sample pack with 6 different colours.

So, I used a patterned card that I paired with a coloured plastic envelope. Then I included a note and a treat. Depending who the letter went to, I picked different things. Some got tea, others got coffee and I did send a small chocolate bar as well.

I wanted to play with the look and the fact that they were see through, so I packed the surprise on the outside of the card so you could see it. I also used as many different stamps as possible to add to the general look.

I also wanted to make sure that these get to their recipients before posting it here and potentially ruining the surprise (I know for sure 2 people who I mailed a letter to read this blog). Also, I wanted to give you up to date info concerning the delivery of something a tad more unusual than a letter. They all seemed to arrive just fine within the last few days.

If you'd like to try this out, but don't have these types of envelopes, don't worry. I'm writing a tutorial for something similar which doesn't require a purchased plastic envelope, but has the same look. I'll post that soon!

So, what do you think?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday inspiration

I've recently been thinking a lot about mail. The good old fashioned kind. I just can't get over people getting really creative with mail goodness.
Photo from Flickr

Just imagine getting something like this in the mail... I've tried a few things myself, which I'll show you soon, but nothing quite like this. Have you made some mail art? I'd love to see it.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

So, now what?

So much for the scheduled posts and all that I said in the last one. Actually, I just wanted to share my newest toy with you guys. I've been thinking about upgrading my phone plan for a long while, I had the worst plan on the history of phone plans and finally found something decent.

FYI all non-north-americans, here you get your phone plan in advance you start using it and then pay a lump sum assuming you don't exceed whatever your plan says.

So, after getting the bad end of the deal for a long while, I did upgrade to a better plan and ended up with a new phone.

So, here I am with an iPhone and I don't really know how to use it yet. This should be interesting...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

On paper cutters, projects and upcoming fun times

Hi-diddly-ho children,

I gots an few announcements to make. (I used the word 'gots' on purpose, it's something I would say in real life too)

So, as I mentioned before, I have guests coming over this afternoon and they are staying for a week. This means that there's probably going to be a few less posts than usually. However, the good news is that I have a few projects I can soon show you, so I'll try to schedule a few things for you guys for this upcoming week. I will also add some live posts to the mix whenever I get a chance. 

Sneak preview of one current project

Secondly, if you didn't notice yet, I am on instagram and I am using 'hipstercurious' as my name there too. If you'd like some up to date random photos, please head on over there or check the sidebar here in the blog. (Don't forget twitter as well, much randomness over there too)

And finally (and completely unrelated to the previous ones) I gots a new toy! I just recently bought an X-acto paper cutter. So, it's very possible that you'll end up seeing loads and loads of cut up paper. I'm really excited about this, but I'll get into more details about it once I've really had a chance to try it out. So far so good though...
Photo from X-acto

So, how's it going guys?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Outdoor living room

I've been working on the front balcony again. I added some herbs and a tomato plant before, but now I've been trying to make it a part of the living room. It's not exactly a balcony, more like a French balcony which means it's just a tiny ledge, rather than an actual space to hang out on. Doesn't matter though, it's still an added bonus to the living room. This might even be better, since now we can have both of the doors open to really let some fresh air in.

At first I was concerned about the cats, but the small fence type apparatus I put up works perfectly. I just wanted to block off some of the gaps between the posts. And before you think I'm some kind of a crazy cat lady who's hysterical about the cat's safety, I want to point out that our balcony is relatively low. In fact, I could go stand on the street outside and could easily touch the balcony even without standing on my toes. I've seen our cats jump from that height without a problem. So, considering that there's quite a bit of cars on that street, I figured better safe than sorry.

So, yesterday I got another planter box and some more herbs, this time rosemary and mint. The mint was especially important and I'm very happy to have finally found it. Now, before you think there's some amazing recipe, perhaps for lamb, that needs mint, let me just tell you it's for mojitos. Fresh mint and rum, and some other stuff too. I'm not sure what exactly, Chris is the bartender here. Maybe I'll try to get him to share the recipe... 

Additionally, I got two tomato plants, these ones are larger than the one I already had and they are cherry tomatoes instead of regular. I also washed the windows, which you can't tell from the photos, but I needed to share because it took me a long time. Mainly because I washed the doors and most of the balcony too, not just the windows. I'm also telling you this because I feel the need to point out when I do grown up things like washing the windows.

Anyhow, once it was all set up and washed, I added some more stuff. The chair is in that spot regularly, this time it just faces outside. I put down a rug and two cushions to soften the area a bit. And I don't mean that in an interior design, fake photoshoot kind of a way, I mean it literally 'soften', hardwood floors are exactly that, hard. That rug is actually pretty cool in my opinion. I found it at a garage sale some years ago, it's pretty bright and definitely vintage. And, please keep in mind I did buy it here in Montreal, it's handmade in Finland. 

So, that's the latest from the balcony. I'm sure I'll come up with more stuff to add or change it up.

So, what's the verdict? Do you have ideas what to do with it next? If they are good, I'll do it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Moleskin journal and washi tape

I've been testing out the Japanese masking tapes I bought recently and I think I'm starting to get a hang of it. Naturally the first place I tried them on was my journal. 

On some of the pages I just tried the different kinds of tapes without real rhyme or reason (I would like to claim this was an artistic decision, but I just got carried away). This particular page worked well, because there are 3 important birthdays that week as well as the Puces Pop fair.

I also marked some important pages with the tape. This way I can see where the details that I need are. For example, I've written down some addresses I use often, so might as well mark that page. (Another page I marked was the one with measurement conversions. I still can't figure pounds vs. kilograms or feet vs. meters...)

So far they've been very handy. I've even made little masking tape tags for the journal. What do you think? What would you do with the tape on a journal? I'll try any good ideas!

Saturday, June 23, 2012


This week feels like it's been haphazardly put together with pieces that have nothing to do with each other. I think this is partially because I've been working on so many different things. We have guests coming over next week from Finland, my dear friends who I haven't seen since our wedding, and I've been working on several things so I can spend more time with them once they get here.

I worked on a fun mail project, which I will show you photos soon. I just want them to have time to get to their recipients before. I'm also thinking about making a tutorial for one of the parts of the project.

I've also painted my nails. Doesn't happen very often, but I wanted to show you the orange nail polish I bought a little while ago.

On a related note, how the hell do you take photos of your nails without looking like a dumbass? I feel these photos are weird. All I wanted to do was show the colour. No idea how durable it is, just put it on  last night. Oh, and if you're wondering, the blue is actually the colour of our walls in the office. I went crazy with colours when we bought this place. No more restrictions on paint colours like you have when you're renting. We have blue, green and purple walls. Not in one room though, not that crazy yet...

Anyhow, I would like to wish happy midsummer to all of you!

Hauskaa juhannusta! Happy St. Jean Baptiste! 

And hope the rest of you, who don't celebrate either one of those, have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday inspiration

Today's inspiration is something I didn't think I would post about. Let me explain, we've all seen it everywhere. It's masking tape! That's it. In my head I was thinking how special can it be?

Photo from here

I did want to try it, but thought the price was steep. Then I decided to go for it. At least to know what the fuzz was about. And I figured it's not going to go to waste, I send mail out weekly. If nothing else, I'll use it for packaging.

Photo from here

Yeah... I have to admit... It's kinda fun.

Photo form here

I collected a few projects for today's Friday inspiration post. I'll post some things I've done myself later.

Have you tried it? If not, would you like to?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

New projects

I'm working on a project I've been wanting to get started for a while now. It's already fun, I'll show you the results once I'm done!

As you can see, it involves nail polish.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cheer up!

I saw this and had to share, so adorable. (click the photo to see it bigger)

Photo from Buzzfeed

There's more pictures that make you happy right here

Washi tape, airmail stickers and craft supplies

Some washi tapes, retro airmail stickers and other supplies, like vintage game pieces, die cut paper and scrap bags available at Brinner Supplies

I've recently found some pretty cool stuff that unfortunately I can't or don't have time to use in my own crafts. Some are vintage finds, others are newer but something I simple don't have the time for. I've listed them all over the supplies shop. Hope you find something good!


I know I talk about Montreal all the time and how much I love the city. I just can't get enough of the amazing looking buildings we have here. I want to show you one I walk past several times a week.

This one is amazing and not just because of the massive artwork that's on the side. As far as I can tell it's a residential building. I love the windows on the top floor. Now that I'm looking at it more closely, I wonder if there's something fun on the roof too...

Here's a closer look of the painting as well. It's the girl's hair that flows toward the front of the building. I understand that some people really aren't fans of buildings looking like this. What do you think? Yay or nay for artwork on the outside of buildings?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hot and humid

Here's the current temperature in my place.

After living in Finland for ~25 years, I'm not complaining though. I still sometimes feel like I'm on vacation when it's warm and dark at the same time!

Making it a good mail day

I love getting snail mail. The 'old fashioned' kind, in envelopes and with stamps. I also really enjoy sending it and I often find little things I want to send someone. I have a ton of old school stickers, airmail, letters, numbers, address labels, you name it. And I have a huge selection of envelopes, both bought and hand made.

And some how when I think of sending a letter, too often I'm missing something I need or just couldn't find that thing I wanted to send. It gets frustrating. So, I've decided to put together a box just for writing supplies. And, keep it separate from my business mailers. Those are in one place and I have a pretty decent system for mailing orders out.

This is purely for personal correspondence (sounds better than "when I feel like sending weird stuff to people"). I really hope this will help me getting a lot more mail out there. I'm doing another major organizing project, so I'm collecting things into the box as I find them. I'll post more details about some of the cool stuff I'm using later. I also have a few mail related experiments I really want to try out, more on those as well.

Do you still send snail mail? Do you have a lot of supplies? If so, how do you keep them organized?

Monday, June 18, 2012


I have a weakness for colourful painted exteriors and funky architecture. How amazing is this balcony?

The colour if phenomenal and it looks like a tower... I think that would be a perfect place to have cocktail or read a book. One day I wish I'd live in a building like this.

Let's talk about it!

Hello everybody!

I've been thinking about my blog recently quite a bit. I really enjoy writing and love all the comments I'm getting. I have a ton of topics I wanted to write about and was really waiting to start on those once the craft show was over. That's now done and I'm trying to figure out where to start.

I realized I've never really asked what do you like to read about.

I never really come up with an exact category for my blog. I don't think it necessarily needs one, since I like to write about a ton of different things. Mainly whatever happens to pop in my head at any given time. I also figured that eventually this blog will find it's way, so I'm just going to wait an see where I end up.

So, a question for you; what would you like to hear / read about? Crafts? Fashion? Home decor? Montreal? Something else?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

On schedules, cultural differences and the summer

When I moved to Canada and started to get to know more people, one thing I always wondered about was the hectic schedules. There was always something going on. I mean always. Have to meet this person and another is coming to town, then there's a birthday party and a dinner date, not to mention weddings and then the associated showers.

Good luck planning to hang out over a weekend in the summer, you should book a month in advance. I was wondering about it and laughing a bit. Not in a mean kind of a way, just a bit puzzled. I can definitely confirm that Canadians are more social creatures than us Finns are. (well, I've only lived in Montreal, so maybe it's just the Montrealers. However, from the few Americans I know, they tend to be that way too, so maybe it's North Americans in general)

After living here for 6 years, I am slowly starting to realize that my calendar is getting more and more full as the summer approaches. Right now it looks like I have one free weekend a month for until September. And this is when there are some plans that don't have a set date yet, but will still happen in the next few months. I understand that as we get older, there will be more people in our lives and therefore more events to attend, a few more weddings and then a lot more birthday parties for the kids.

This weekend was no exception, but it was a good, efficient one. My friend, the bride-to-be, came over and we spent about 10 hours making things for her wedding. I love doing that, so it didn't seem like a chore at all. Then we went shopping for bridesmaids dresses. We found the dresses, made an initial order and even got the measurements taken. We attended a barbecue to meet people who we don't get to see that often. And to top it off, today's father's day in North-America (not so in Finland and quite a few other places... We have ours on November), so we'll go out for dinner with my father-in-law.

This has becoming a more regular occurrence recently (not those exact events, but several things going on over the same weekend). I'm not complaining about this, all of these have been a lot of fun and I feel so accomplished after a weekend like this, so please don't think I'm trying to sound dramatic. I'm just stopping to compare my summers to those I had when I still lived in Finland. I think the way people spend their free time is one of the big differences between my old and new home countries.

Have you lived in two or more countries or visited for a longer time? Have you experienced this?

Photos in this post are random snippets from the weekend so far.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A night of crafting

We were crafting until 3:30 in the morning. I can't really show you the results yet, but let me just say that there is a lot of paper triangles here.

Any idea what I could make out of those?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Inspiration

I love magazines. I really do. I spend a lot of time online daily to keep up to date with what's going on in the world, but there's still something special about magazines. It's the glossy pages, beautiful photos that you know took forever to get just right, the thoughtful articles and often just the general feel of the magazine.

There's another type as well. They are called zines and are quite intriguing.

A zine is ultimately a self-published magazine or a booklet. The topic could be anything, although the most well known ones are associated to subcultures, political or ideological movements like Riot Grrl and the punk scene. There has been almost a revival of zines in the last few years. The belief seems to be that because of the opportunities online, self-published zines weren't the most efficient way to get the word out any longer and faded into the background for a while.

Photo from Wikipedia

This doesn't mean that they weren't being made, but it seems that in the recent years they've come back with gusto and with a lot more variety.

Photo from Hello Sandwich

I don't claim to be an expert at all. I'm just really intrigued by them. Just look at these, they look amazing.

One day I would like to try this out. It would be like a low-tech version of my blog. It seems like so much fun.

To read more about zines from the experts, check Broken Pencil. Have you read any? Can you recommend something?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Vintage Moschino

I mentioned in the previous post that yesterday was a good day. I was happy with the crafts tape, but after those I made another, even better, find.

Yup, as the title says, it's a vintage Moschino.

I've seen the belts around here and there, and they are apparently quite popular and hard to find.

I saw this at one of my regular charity shops and at first thought it was a fake. On closer inspection and with some online research, it looks like I found the real deal. All the markings are correct, including the lining and the serial numbers. The letters are marked on the back and the zipper-pull has the correct names as well.

So, it seems like I finally made my first designer bag find. (I've already shown you a few of the non-bag finds, like a YSL tie and a Coach silk scarf)

I was really excited when I realized it's real. There's only one but...

It's a friggin' fanny pack!

Good news is that these have been making a comeback in the last few years. Bad news is that I'm certainly not trendy enough to pull this one off.

So, opinions guys... What do I do with it? Sell it? if so, where? Ebay? Somewhere else? Any ideas? Does any of you want to buy it? Make an offer if you do!

What would you do?

Japanese masking tape

Yesterday was a good day. I made some pretty awesome finds. I actually went to look for some materials and, naturally, made a few other stops along the way. I like to multitask whenever I need to run errands.

I'm pretty sure anyone who does any crafting or reads any crafts/mail/decor related blogs or websites have already seen them. Washi or masking tapes that is. They are everywhere.

I've been thinking about getting a few at some point, but always though the price is a little steep, especially since I didn't have a specific project for it. I really just wanted to try it out.

Well... It might have happened that I found some on sale and couldn't decide between a few. It also might have happened that I ended up buying a couple (nine counts as a 'couple', right?). So, now I can try it out and see what the hype is all about.

Have you tried washi tape? Did you like it? Where or how did you use it?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Something odd is going on...

Or *was* going on this weekend. While I was at the craft show, the entire city was filled with all sorts of activities. Several streets were closed and shops, bars and restaurants were spreading out to the streets from their usual locals. We went out for dinner and walked on St. Laurent Boulevard when we saw this:

I am still not sure what was going on, but basically all of this is fake. Even the brick wall is fake, the actual building behind it is a light grey colour. It looked like a fire had broken out on this spot, so maybe there was a show going on before and we just saw the results of it...

Well, that's Montreal for you, always something going on...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

On plants and balconies

I'm a city kid all the way through. I don't feel the urge to escape to the country nor do I feel like I need a backyard to be happy. I'm notoriously bad when it comes to taking care of plants, and have, admittedly, managed to kill a cactus.

However, there's one type of plant I have learned how to take care of; edible ones. It so seems that fresh herbs do tend to survive even in my care and are often used all through the summer. After thinking more about this, I've come to the conclusion that there are two reasons for this. The first and more obvious one is that these plants are outside and therefore infinitely easier to take care of than indoor plants. (There's sunshine and sometimes they get watered by the rain, my job is half done)

Secondly, and this is the important one, I love being able to use fresh ingredients in cooking. So fresh, that I just walk to the balcony and pick what I need. Now, I'm not going so far that I would dream of a place to plant a lot more veggies or something, just not my thing. I'm perfectly happy with what I have.

I grow herbs and have a tomato plant or a few. And there's only a few herbs I really want. I've had others, but in all honesty didn't really use them much. So, I have three herbs, basil (for pesto and salads), cilantro (for absolutely everything) and mint (for mojitos). 

It's an oddly satisfying feeling to know that I've grown some of the ingredients we're using in the kitchen, even if it's only a few small things. To be absolutely honest, I think this is just about the right amount of plant tending for me.

Right now I only have basil, a little bit of cilantro and one tomato plant. I'm probably getting a few more things, including that mint. I'm also thinking of getting a few more tomato plants, since there's space for a couple more.

The additional benefit to having those plants out there on the balcony is the added privacy. Even though we don't live on a busy street, it would still be nice to block at least the direct views to our place. So, more photos and info to come as I finish the set up.

Do you plants like these? Or something else? if so, what?

Oh, the last two photos can be found on my Instagram (like you couldn't tell)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Craft show, done

I'm exhausted but happy. And when I say exhausted, I mean tired and achy and who knows what else, but still very happy.

I have to say that the turnout of shoppers was less than last time. It had to be because there were so many other things going on at the same time. It was the F1 weekend, Mont Royal street was closed for a sidewalk sale and the beer fest was in town... And to top it all off, the weather was beautiful (or so they tell me, I was in the basement).

It was understandable, I think I would've been outside too. However, the notebooks were a hit. I'm so happy about that. I did take a risk not just bringing them, but concentrating so heavily on making the notebooks. It did pay off and I sold a huge chunk of the ones I made.

Additionally, and this is one of the reasons I love attending the shows, I met some really amazing people and was able to talk about my craft with other people who make things or who are really interested in it. It was so wonderful. I got to talk about my inspiration, my techniques, my creative process and the reasons why I make things. It's so inspiring. And I got to hear other people's stories as well.

I'm happy how my table set up turned out. There's still a lot of things I can do better, but I definitely learned from last time.

[World's tackiest tablecloth in action. WTT also got plenty of compliments]

All in all a very successful show and I'm looking forward to the next one!

If you attended, what did you think of it? If you didn't, have you attended craft shows in your home town? what are they like?