Monday, July 30, 2012

Ooh! Look! Shiny!

Fireworks! Ooh! So pretty!

(This is not a way to try to make you forget how I've been a bad blogger recently. Nope! Not at all! I would not resort to such trickery!)

(unless it's working)

(I'm sorry! I'll be back soon!)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Shower favors

I wanted to show you something I've been working on recently. This is actually the real reason why I made the chalk board pins the other day.

I'm helping organize a bridal shower for my friend and the shower is today. I know she's at least aware of my blog and I'm sure she's dropped by a few times, so I didn't want to mention anything. Imagine me spilling the beans on the surprise shower over in a blog and her finding out that way.

These are the favors I made for the shower. There's 36 of them ready to go for today. I'm sscheduling this post for when the shower has started, just to be on the safe side. You can never be too cautious.

I'll show you more photos later!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Inspiration

I can't tell you how in awe I still am. I saw the muppets live yesterday. Seriously. Live

photo from Just for Laughs

That is all.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A quick DIY and tutorial - plant markers

I finally got around trying something I've been wanting to get to for a while. I made reusable plant markers. This was a super easy and quick project, all you need is blackboard paint and some clothes pins.

The pins I got were bamboo pins, but I don't see why you couldn't use any kind you want. The only requirement is that there's a flat surface you can write on.

Line up your pins and add the paint. I used spraypaint and did 2-3 coats on each side. So the work itself is really fast, but you need adequate time in between coats to make sure it's dried. Follow the instructions on the paint can.

Once the pins are dry, use regular chalk to write the name of the plant and you're done.

So, what do you think? I'm going to use these all over the place, not just for the plants. You could use these in the pantry too, mark the date you opened a bag or something... What would you use them for?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Random fish

Hello there!

I'm sorry I missed a post yesterday. I've been a bit occupied recently. I've been working on a few more projects. I've had a few meetings. I've been on the phone a lot and been doing a lot of planning. Somehow it's just been a mind-occupying week. I just felt like I had nothing good to share.

Actually, I've had a lot of topics I've wanted to write about, but I feel like my mind has been elsewhere. Just quite occupied with 15 million other things. So, I decided to not spam the blog with total scatterbrain posts.

I've been studying about healthy eating...

No, don't leave! I won't make this into a health food, exercise, other boring stuff blog, I promise!

...I've been working on a plan to drop a couple of pounds, so I've been occupied with that. I've made granola bars and some granola. I've looked into general nutrition. And I've been jogging.

But I've made crafts too! And sent some mail! Oh! and I found some really awesome retro-looking stickers. That's pretty happy, no?

I just wanted to let you guys know I'm here and working! I'll get into a groove again soon.

What's new with you?

Monday, July 23, 2012

A storm is brewing...

It's been a weird kind of a day today. It's so humid that is might as well be raining.

Looks like it's going to come down any minute now.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Eating healthier

Believe it or not, I've been experimenting with making granola bars. This is why I bought all the super healthy stuff the other day.

I'm still testing this out, but already the first try was not half bad. Second will for sure be better. I'm trying to come up with interesting things to put in it. The first time I put in dried apricots, raisins, dried apple and some dark chocolate chips. Any good suggestions? I'm trying to cut down my sugar intake as much as possible, so nothing that has any added sugar, please.

Have you ever tried making your own? Do you have any tips or tricks?

If you haven't tried making them, would you be interested in a recipe and tried and tested tricks?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mailing assistant

Yes folks, it's true! I'm sending so much mail that I now have an assistant.

He's the suspicious type.

He's pretty sneaky too. First he checks if anyone is paying attention to him...

...and the second you're not, he'll jump on the table.

I think he's keeping an eye on a fly that got in from the open balcony door just now.

Friday, July 20, 2012

More mail...

While I'm waiting for my turn at the post office, I can at least show I'm not just talk! I managed to write and pack more mail.

I did run out of stamps though, hence being in line at the post office. Didn't I just buy a ton? How did this happen?

Friday Inspiration

Score! It's Friday again! Super happy about that!

Seems like my head is stuck on one track recently. All I'm thinking about is mail. Still! I'm thinking about mail so much that I joined the letter writers alliance!

I got these two in the mail this week, how pretty are they? Love them! The one in the front is my membership letter from the LWA. It contains my membership card, a letter with some info about the alliance and of course a letter writers alliance pin.

Photo from Red Letter Day

To add to my mail obsession interest, I'm reading the 'Every day should be a red letter day' -blog... It is not helping...

So, do you send snail mail?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Identity crisis!

Remember all those times I've talked about how I love food? I still do, but recently what I'm eating is becoming healthier and healthier... Nothing wrong with that, but just look:

This is what I came home with from the grocery store.

Rolled oats, wheat germ, dried fruit, friggin' sunflower seeds!!!

Please keep in mind this is coming from a person who absolutely thinks poutine should be a national dish and could live on cheeseburgers. Oh, and beer! I love beer! Mmm, Guinness...

Where did she go? (Maybe I'm getting sick? I have been feeling a bit odd... Or... maybe it's just all the fibre I'm getting!)

Did I mention I go running (somewhat) voluntarily 3 times a week?

Who am I?

*off to have an identity crisis*

Disclaimer: this post is intentionally overly dramatic! However, I was in a bit of a shock once I unpacked all of this from the grocery bag. When did I become so... you know... healthy and stuff?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Another week in my moleskin journal

Naturally I had to try out the stickers from the previous post...

I figured as long as I keep the black cover of the moleskin journal simple, no one can tell there's a ton of random crap in there...


Another thrift-tastic day

I was running around all day yesterday to and from meetings. After hours of travel, I finally got close to home and what did I do? Why, I went to my usual charity shops of course!

I'm really glad I did, I found some really good stuff!

I found a ton of paper awesomeness. There's a few newer things, but some of them definitely look vintage. I couldn't be more excited. I almost squeed (<-- still a word) with happiness when I saw them.

Here's a better look at the more vintage looking things. A ton of stickers! They make me so happy. I can for sure find a lot of uses for these guys. They are all different sizes and different colours (I went with a lot of pink, but at least they are different shades of pink) 

Only later that day (ok, like 2:30 in the morning, I had a lot on my mind and couldn't sleep) I all of a sudden got a great idea how to use the large pink ones! It was one of those moments where I just wondered why it took me so long! They are absolutely perfect for a project I've been planning. I'll show it to you in a few weeks! 

Also, how much fun would these be added to some snail mail?

I also found a stack of scrapbooking paper and really cute paper thread (it's yellow with red polkadots). The scrapbooking paper stack is not the first one I've found, but it always makes me very excited. This particular stack is 8x8 and has 21 different paper designs, 2 of each style (that makes 42 sheets. Yes, I counted it all by myself! I'm so good at this whole math thing!) . The stack originally had 48 sheets, so looks like someone used 6 papers and donated the rest to the shop. I always get very excited about this, as this type of paper can get expensive (when you like paper as much as I do...). I also feel that when I've rescued a stack of scrapbooking paper from a charity shop, that's when I can use it in my upcycled crafts with a clear conscience. 

The last, but not least, has a lot of potential, but might not end up being anything... As you can see there's a Coach logo and a Gucci print. I am not yet certain if these are real or not, so I won't post better photos yet. If they are real, then I'll show you the details. I think one of them is a fake, but I want to double check before saying anything. I thought the Moschino bag was fake, until I realized it was the real deal! So, I don't always trust my first instinct when it comes to spotting a fake.

If you're wondering why I bought them even if I think one of them is a fake, let me tell you: sharks! Sharks are the types of people who spot something good in your basket and start following you around in hopes you leave one of the goodies somewhere. If you're being stubborn and you look like you're going to buy the things you found, they'll start telling you things are fake, so you would change your mind (and then they can inspect it properly and most likely buy it if it's real or sometimes if it's a good fake). I had two of these (one telling me the Gucci is a Guess) following me around, so I decided to take the risk and bring them home where I could inspect them in peace. I'll let you know what the outcome is!

If nothing else, I made a $10 donation to charity and prevented anyone else from making the same mistake.

So, have you found anything good recently? Do you go to thrift stores or charity shops?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Today's been a busy day. I've been on public transportation for hours. I went to a meeting today to the west island. If you are from Montreal, you can appreciate the effort that goes into getting from the the Plateau to the west island. If you're not from Montreal let me just say that getting to my meeting took 1.5h per direction. So, unfortunately I don't have anything particularly insightful to say right now.

As todays photo, you get to marvel the floor on Lionel-Groulx metro station. It's actually really awesome. Wouldn't this make a fun floor for a bathroom?

How has your day been?

Monday, July 16, 2012

DIY flower bouquet with origami lilies

Now I can show you the finished project from yesterday. I was invited to a bridal shower and the gift request was for cash. I wanted to come up with a different way to present the gift than just an envelope with a cheque.

So, I made a bouquet of flowers for the bride to be and inserted the bills into it.

I think it worked out really nicely and I even got some spontaneous compliments on my way there.

What do you think?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Another new project

I know it seems like there is a lot of started projects and a lot less finished ones. To make sure it still feels that way, here's another.

Another start. I will show you the finished project a bit later...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Latest DIY

I'm currently working on yet another DIY project which I can't yet show you photos of. However, I can show you a finished project.

I'm writing a tutorial for you about how to make your own bright and bling-y jewelry.

So, has has your weekend started? Have anything fun planned?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Inspiration

It's probably not a shock to anyone that this Friday's inspiration has to do with... paper! (Hey, at least it's not washi tape, right?) This time, instead of cutting and gluing, I'm folding it. That's right folks, it's origami time!

I'm no expert when it comes to folding paper, in fact, I only know how to make a few things. Paper cranes are my speciality. I used to fold them everywhere if I could just find a piece of paper and a table to fold it on (and even the table was optional). I've tried to get out of that habit now, but I still sometimes end up making a few.

Photo from Wikipedia

When I was looking for pictures for this post, I didn't realize how complex origami can get. And these are the more simple ones still...

Photo from Gilad's origami

Quite the leap from what I would think when someone says "paper plane"...

Photo from Yonasu

Oh my... I want to learn how to make this!

Have you tried origami? Do you have a specific thing you can make really well?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Brinner at McGill

Yesterday I spent the day at McGill university participating in local artisans showcase arranged for the attendees of ISPA, the International School Psychology Conference. Unfortunately the arrangements for the showcase left some room for improvement. However, I did meet some new local artisans and crafty peeps, so I can't in good conscience say that the day was a total loss. I spent the day discussing crafts, fairs, techniques, paper cutters, washi tape, birthday parties and Babar the elephant. 

I used the same table set up which I designed for the Puces Pop show since it seemed to work pretty well. I am going to keep improving this one, but I feel that now I at least have a 'go to' solution if I need to put a display together in a flash. 

I always try to bring things to make/finish. I want to keep busy and make sure I utilize the downtime. I brought packaging materials and a few new items I didn't get a chance to pack yet, I also always bring a ton of product or address labels that I can cut out if I have the time. And I have some basic supplies which I tend to carry with me all over the place,  just in case inspiration strikes. This basic supplies kit naturally comes in a panda pencil case I got from my sister. 

I had to take this photo from the other side of the table. I feel this really explains quite a bit about me. This is the section of the table that did not have any products, just labels and random personal crafts stuff. You can see it's a bit of a mess, with business cards I was adding to my journal (there was a lot of downtime), some cards I was planning on writing, coffee, a fork (?), paper scraps and my journal (you can see the corner on the right of the photo). And of course a panda pencil case. I'm sure this photo really re-enforces the image you have of me as a serious adult. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Jean Talon market

I've been making a genuine effort to eat better. I don't mean in a dieting kind of a way, but eating more fresh veggies and making sure I enjoy what I eat. This isn't to say I couldn't afford to lose a few pounds... I will happily admit I really like eating, so it's time to be at least conscious what I put into my body. Also, I'm no longer 20 and can't eat (or drink) like I used to. (Somehow eating fast food at 4 o'clock in the morning did seem like a great idea on numerous occasions)

Anyhow, before I get too distracted, let me get to the point. Summer is an easy time to eat healthier. With the kind of heat we've had recently (at least I don't feel eating anything too heavy then) and with the selection of fresh veggies there's really no excuse. We recently went to a local market to really add to the experience. Jean Talon Market is about 20 minute bike ride from our place (yeah, I biked for the first time in about a decade! That's another story though).

Photo from Marches Publics

We went there for some ingredients for dinner and I have to say I always love going there. I think we need to go back soon, there's some really great places to have lunch as well. This time we just went shopping.

Do you have a marketplace like this close to your home? Do you go there often?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

One of those days

You know the kind of a day when nothing really goes your way? And you know how it seems like all the little things that could go wrong, actually do?

Well, guess what kind of a day I'm having.

A few days ago I thought that I should make some salad dressing so I don't have make more for a little while. And I should put it in a cute little glass jar so it would be not only convenient but pretty cute too. Yeah, great idea until I spilled the entire thing on the stove.

Somehow this day has just been a series of small, but annoying little things. Went to pick up a few things for my sale tomorrow, couldn't find them. Needed to buy some food for the next couple of days, couldn't find half the stuff I needed. Couldn't generally find things I needed even at home. My regular, wonderful ladies at the post office are probably both on vacation and the new summer temp does not seem to like her job much.

ok, deep breaths.

I think I need to go watch a it of trashy TV or something and then continue my prep for tomorrow. Pictures are, once again, unrelated. This time they are details from the Jacques Cartier bridge. Just because they were conveniently available and ready to use. No photo editing needed.

What do you do when your day's not working out like you planned?

P.S. seems like whining about it works... already feeling a bit better *grumbles all the way to the couch just for good measure*

Transparent envelope in action

Last week I posted a tutorial on how to make your own transparent envelopes. I of course wanted to mail the ones I made, so I wanted to show you how the final package ended up looking like.

I sent this to a friend who had been travelling recently. I wanted her to have a fun surprise waiting for her in the mail box once she got home. I also know that sometimes coming home from a long trip you're exhausted, so I figured what better to send her than some coffee. Fair enough, it's the instant variety, but sometimes you're just too tired to make the non-instant kind.

I wanted to really play up the transparency of the envelope, that being the main point why I made it in the first place. So, I packed it with other transparent things. There's the coffee in a smaller transparent envelope and a small note in a even smaller see-through pouch. I did add another note as well, but that was the only thing inside that you couldn't see through.

I packed them all in the large envelope, added some stickers (naturally! mail is better with random stickers) and sent it on it's way.

I have to say that this was a whole lot of fun to put together. I think I'll continue working with the see through envelopes. I'm sure there's a ton of things I can do with these.

What would you send in a transparent envelope?

Monday, July 9, 2012

On the crafting desk - notebooks

I've been working on a ton of different types of notebooks recently. The latest ones are made from old books and assorted papers.

This is definitely a trial and error process, but I've made some that I'm really happy with. The one in the photo even had the original library index card on the back cover! I'm introducing these to the public next week as I'm setting up shop at an international conference at the McGill university.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Feel like writing a letter?

I've been writing (about) letters recently. After thinking about them and trying to make an effort to send more traditional mail, I've been aimlessly wondering online for some ideas. I had planned a whole other post about the topic for today, but I changed my mind once I saw a story about a 5year old girl named Miette. You can get to know more about her right here

Miette has an inoperable brain tumor which doesn't have a cure, you can read the details here if you want to know more.

The reason why I'm telling you this, is because Miette is on a mission to receive as much mail as possible. So, if you've been thinking about writing a letter, maybe you could send one to her. Just a simple postcard would do as well. You can send the mail to:

PO Box 2134
Brighton QLD 4017

You can find her blog at Miette's Journey. There's plenty of more information over there, inluding things she likes and ways to help.

I'm going to send something. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

At night

Having visitors staying in your home town often helps you look at it in a different way. I'm a big fan of Montreal already but this last week I did walk around a lot and saw the city from a visitors point of view.

Even the dark, warm nights feel different, not to mention the mysterious looking alleyways. In daylight they are pretty familiar to me as that's where we often go jogging, up and down the alleys and small streets. At night they look so different.

Does your home town feel different at different times of the day?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Inspiration

The next thing I need to work on for Brinner is new business cards. I have a few of the old ones left and will be ok a little longer, but now's the time to start thinking about the new ones.

Photo from Laura Winslow

I am running a creative business, so clearly I need cards that reflect that.

Photo from Moo

I would love to incorporate some of my design philosophy into them but keep them informative at the same time (that is their main function after all).

I've been looking for some clever designs and so far only realize how many different options are out there. It'll be a challenge to say the least.

What do you think are the features of a great business card?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Quite a week

It has been a week of all sorts of exciting things. A lot of walking and ice cream, plenty of great meals, fireworks and arcades and all sorts of fun stuff. Not to forget the almost +30 celcius weather practically every day.

I'll return to my more regular schedule soon!

What's up Montreal - Food trucks

In the summer, on the first Friday of the month, that's July 6th and August 3rd starting at 4pm, the food trucks can be found at the Parc Olympique.

Picture from here

"First Friday events bring together the leading street restaurants in Montreal. On the first Friday of the month, the vans and trucks converted into mobile kitchens will meet in Secteur 300 to serve their food in the first part of this ofstreet food integrated initiative in Montreal."

More details on the  Parc Olympique site

Also, read the article on Montreal Buzz