Thursday, January 31, 2013

More washi tape stationery

Yeah, that's right! I went there!

Actually, I just realized it's the natural progression from the washi tape envelopes from yesterday... A matching notecard, of course!

It's even easier than the envelopes. Basically take a piece of card stock in the desired size, round the corners and then use the same technique as with the envelopes to frame the card. Super easy and, really, almost necessary with the envelopes, wouldn't you agree?

I love writing this blog and especially when I get to interact with you, my awesome readers. It's especially satisfying to know that you guys are actually using the tutorials I write! Here you can see two versions made using the washi tape envelope tutorial from yesterday. Made by Fab (on the left) and Puk (on the right).

If you make anything using a tutorial I wrote, please let me know! Send me a link to your project or just e-mail a photo! I'll happily publish it here in Brinner Time!

On the crafting desk, Jan 31st 2012
I am working on other things as well. Currently my desk is a chaos of red. But, no, it's probably not what you think it is... More on that next week.

So, what kind of a crafty project are you working on?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Washi tape envelopes - a tutorial

I'm so excited to bring you this simple and easy to make tutorial that, I can guarantee, makes a big impact!

I have a ton of envelopes at home, many which are plain and generally quite boring. The good thing (ok, one good thing of about a billion) about running your own paper business, is that here's always plenty of exciting envelopes to use. So, the plain ones are often neglected. I hate waste, whether it's for perfectly good items or the space it takes to store them. This tutorial solves all these problems! I will definitely use these envelopes.

Aren't they awesome? They are modeled after super-classy, super-expensive stationery.

Envelope upgrade tutorial
The best part about this? Cheap, easy and fast!

All you need to make these yourself are; envelopes (any kind will work, whatever you have lying around), washi tape and scissors.

Envelope upgrade tutorial
Start with the bottom of the envelope. Place a strip of washi tape so that half of it is attached to the envelope and the other half overhangs.

Envelope upgrade tutorial Don't worry about the excess tape at the ends. Turn the envelope over and fold the excess on the other side. Trim the excess tape from the ends.

Envelope upgrade tutorial
Repeat the same process on the shorter sides of the envelope. One trick I found made it easier for me, is to cut the end of the tape straight before taping the top of the short sides. You'll get to the backside of the envelope soon, so just start from the top of the envelope for now.

Envelope upgrade tutorial
When you get to the top of the envelope, I trimmed the excess tape form the ends before folding it over. Again, I find it a bit easier that way, but it's up to you.

Envelope upgrade tutorial
Now you have all four sides taped and it's time to finish the back. Open the flap of the envelope and start taping one side the same way you did the others.

Envelope upgrade tutorial
Instead of folding the tape over to the other side, cut it along the flap. If you fold it over, you'll cover the adhesive surface, and you wouldn't want that. Now, take the long strip of tape you cut off from the flap and place it along the edge of the lower flap of the envelope (the one that's glued on to the sides to keep it together). Finally, trim off the excess tape from the ends.

And you're done! It's really simple to make and very quick. I had to try out different color combinations and will, for sure, make more.

Please let me know if you're going to try this out! I would love to see what you've made!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mystery solved!

Admittedly, I have quite a few rolls of washi tape, all which I use very frequently. Recently, I was convinced I was missing a few. I kept looking, but in the end just decided I must've just used them.

Where my missing washi tape goes...
Until today!

Well played, cat! Well played!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Mail

I'm keeping the momentum going. There's still some mail I owe, but I'm almost caught up.


I tried a few different things this week, just to mix it up a bit...

I wanted to make sure that this one is not going to be mistaken for a bill... The envelope was made here and covered in all sorts of stickers.

Mail Love - Outgoing
This is more muted but pretty awesome, even though I say so myself. It was an accidental craft and so much fun to make that I'm writing a tutorial for you guys. It's simple and cheap and totally awesometastic. Stay tuned for the tutorial!

Mail Love - Outgoing
Some more washi tape decorations. Oh, and I tried a different kind of a banner for the address label.

As you can see from the two previous photos, I am running low on stamps. It's just incredible at what speed I go through these and I know I don't actually send *that* much mail... I had to get more and ended up spending almost $70. Oopsie. I'll show you what $70 worth of stamps looks like once I get them.

Mail Love - OutgoingOne more of the same envelopes you saw here. This is the last one. I need to make more.


Mail Love - Incoming
I got a few things this week. The one on the bottom is actually something I ordered online. The top one is a really nice collage from my friend Lynn. She definitely has this repurposing thing down!

Did you get anything good in the mail?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Gorgeous details - Old and worn

I don't keep my love for Montreal hidden, nor do I hide the fact how much I love old buildings. Sometimes I wonder if I should've listened to the 'choose a career' tests that have all, without a hitch, told me I should be an architect. Too bad I took those tests only after I had already (figuratively?) moved over to the dark side and chosen a life in business.

But, perhaps this is how it should be, I can spend my free time gushing over my favorite Montreal neighborhoods and snap away with my trusty (albeit in desperate need of an upgrade) camera. Looks like all I'm thinking and therefore noticing are old, worn out things right now. How beautiful is this door? Imagine coming home to this beauty every day...

I do love the colors that people are brave enough to use here. Admittedly, it's not the Caribbean up in this joint, but you can see the love for color when you take the time to look around. I found these beautiful reds just a few blocks from my home.

I also snapped a photo of a bright pink building. It seemed it was a match made in heaven with the lime green one I photographed last summer. I felt like they just had to be put together even though in reality they are about a ten minute walk away from each other.

So, I'm looking for confessions today... Any other architecture nerds out there? Show me your hands!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Inspiration - Old and new at home

My love for repurposing old, unloved items has certainly become clear in the course of this blog. I mean, I did start a business on that passion. It's not just limited to paper products (as much as Chris would probably hope it did).

I obviously can't get that little table out of my head. The one I mentioned just a few days ago, the one from the thrift store.

I want to have older pieces of furniture in my home. I already have some and am constantly on the lookout for more. I mentioned the trunk last Friday.

I love the idea of combining old and new together. I already do a lot of that in the way I dress. I want to bring that even more into my home.

I love the industrial look. I think it could be tricky to make work at home, but man, do I love it though...

I dream of the day I'll find that perfect piece of furniture. I'm not quite sure what that would be yet, but I'm convinced I'll recognize it when I see it.

Do you have an awesome old piece of furniture? I would love to hear about it!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Found treasures - vintage airmail

I've found some really awesome mail related treasures recently. I like the graphics and feel of old school airmail, the red and blue striped stuff. Somehow I've been stumbling on these great vintage items in the last month or so.

I've found three different piles of airmail envelopes and to top it off, I just recently came across unused Canadian stamps from whenever the price of a letter was 34 cents. Considering the price now is 63 cents, I have to assume that was a while ago.

I found the envelopes from a thrift store and the stamps from eBay. I can't wait to start using them!

On a related note... I just can't believe how fast I run out of stamps! I keep buying more practically every time I go to the post office and here I am again, having to use several lower value stamps to send even a regular letter to Europe... I'm convinced there is some kind of a stamp hoarding gnome living in here... Probably the same one that lives on socks...

EDIT (July 21, 2014): commenting disabled in this post due to spam.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What can we do indoors?

Today is cold. Being born and raised in the north -5 Celsius is not cold, even if you're not a wintery kind of a person. The -26 Celsius we have today, however, could constitute as a 'tad nippy'. Just kidding, it's freezing cold out and I am not going to voluntarily go outside unless I absolutely have to.

Good news is, I have a ton of stuff to do today and luckily (or at least so far) seem to have everything I need to do those said things. I ran a ton of errands yesterday, which I deemed a stupid idea when I was outside with -21 degrees, but in hindsight might not have been such a bad idea after all.

The only thing though was that I wanted to go back to a thrift store I was in yesterday. I wasn't sleeping well last night, so while I was tossing and turning in bed, I came up with a brilliant idea for a small table I saw at the shop yesterday. I am tempted to go back, but haven't convinced myself yet. We'll see.

Quinoa, avocado and tomato salad, brinnertime.comAnyhow, while I'm thinking about braving the arctic outside, I haven't been idle. I've been testing some new options for easy and cheap dinners/lunches and so far the results have been quite tasty. Assuming the rest goes to plan, I have a couple of nifty ideas for you lazy and stingy cooks (like myself) out there. See the photo; doesn't look half bad, right? (Tastes pretty good too)

Vintage ledger paper Despite the ridiculously cold weather outside, it's absolutely beautiful. The sun is shining full force and the light is stunning. Which means I need to take as many photos as possible. And I have some other projects I'm trying out too, currently involving vintage ledger paper. Again, I'll post tutorials as I get things tried and tested.

How's your Wednesday going?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It's here! I'm so excited!

Yup, it's finally here! The change I've been working on and planning for a while now.

The blog will now be under my own domain

I've changed all the ways to follow the blog and my social media accounts can now be found under the following names and links:



Instagram @BrinnerTime


Twitter @BrinnerTime


My shops Brinner and Brinner Supplies can be followed directly on Etsy or on Facebook

Now, the old links for the blog still work for now, but I really recommend you use the new ones going forward.

I'm also working on some major changes for the shops and I have some new deals coming up for February. I'll keep you up to date on all the new developments!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Mail

I'm happy to report that I have been able to send out a few more pieces of mail. It's slow going still, but slowly and surely I'm catching up. There's more to talk about, but that will have to wait a little while longer.

As for now, here's some mail:


Mail Love - Outgoing
I rediscovered these sunburst stickers. How could you not love some extra gold on your mail?!

Mail Love - Outgoing
The packages going out this week also got the gold.


Mail Love - Incoming
Mail Love - Incoming Both of the are actually from Susanne! The first is a letter (with some chocolate) and the other via OliveBox. She got a subscription for me for Christmas. More on that a little later too... Thank you Susanne!!!

How was your weekend?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Inspiration - Coffee table

A new coffee table has been on the shopping list for a long, long time... There's nothing really wrong with the current one we have, it's just been around for a long time. Now, I do believe in investing in furniture that's going to be around for a long time and I don't want to toss something simply because it's outdated.

In the case of our current coffee table, it's close to the end of it's journey. It's actually a table Chris bought very cheaply from Ikea when he first moved out on his own about a decade ago. We've already switched the legs, painted it and re-covered it. I'll show you photos another time, but needless to say it has suffered through the moves and I doubt it can be salvaged from this.

So, we have been talking about replacing it for a while. A few years already. I have a good idea what I want, but we've yet to find one we both like, at least in a reasonable price point.

I'd love something upcycled...

...something salvaged...

...or something vintage.

I love the style.

Of course the ultimate dream is to find a vintage truck to use as a coffee table. (Yeah, Louis Vuitton... Sure! I would love a coffee table that I would be way too scared to put anything on... Oh, and the cats would probably like scratching it...)

What's your favourite?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Christmas trees

If you ever wondered what happened to all the Christmas trees, I have the answer. They were out yesterday en masse.

Invasion of Christmas trees on Jan 16 I left my place and the first thing I see, right in front of the stairs leading to my building, is a christmas tree. My first thought is I should've kept mine up a little longer since someone only now got rid of theirs. I walk a few blocks with the intention to take some photos of the nice buildings but I started noticing something odd...

Invasion of Christmas trees on Jan 16 More Christmas trees. They were everywhere!

I counted 16 trees on a length of roughly 4 blocks. Is there an official "Christmas is over" day? If so, I wish I would've known! I already took down the tree a while ago. (Which I was kinda sad about. I like the tree and wish I could have it up for longer. I think it's the lights that really get me. And the glitter. Definitely the glitter)

I actually wanted to take photos since the day was so nice and sunny. It was around 0 degrees Celcius and as you can see, hardly any snow on the sidewalks. It felt like spring! Of course it snowed last night and the temperatures can apparently drop to -26 degrees today.

Well, the one thing you can say about the Montreal weather is that it's inconsistent.

Anowho... Any ideas what's up with the trees? All theories welcome!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bye to Hipstercurious!

It's been a good run, but it's time to say goodbye. It's a little sad, but mainly just exciting.

I'm not going to quit blogging, but it's time to change the name. Hipstercurious is a word that was made up one evening in the midst of a lot of hipster-related jokes. It was funny and appropriate at that time. However, it doesn't really describe who I am or what my blog is about. So, enter name change.

After a long deliberation, I knew I need to go with what I know. I've ran my shop for almost three years now and the name comes as second nature to me by now. So, it's Brinner time.

I am currently working on the changes, so please be patient! Instagram is already @brinnertime. Flickr as well. Others are changing soon! Including the blog.

Again, thank you for understanding. It'll all make more sense soon!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Mail

It's been really, really slow with mail recently. Totally my fault though. I owe letters and other mailed goodness to more than a few people, so I can't really expect anything coming this way either.

I'm still working on all the changes I keep mentioning. At least I'm making some definite progress, so you should see something more concrete soon. Until then, however, I've at least started catching up on my mail.

Mail Love - Outgoing
I sent out this flowery guy over the weekend and there will me more to follow soon. I really like the colors of this one, it's the first envelope I'm sending out of the ones I just recently made.

So, how was your weekend?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday morning

I feel like my head's been somewhere else all week. I have a lot to write about, but every time I start, I end up deleting what I wrote.

Top floor A large part of this week has been used up by thinking. I've been making plans for 2013 for my shops and working on some of the things I planned already. I've started designing my new business cards, I have updates planned for the blog as well, I am testing out new products and generally working on renewing practically everything.

I've known for a while that change is needed, but it's making the initial decisions that take up so long. I know that once I've figured the major changes out, the rest will fall into place.

Now, if only I could find the last pieces fitting into this puzzle...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Inspiration - Openness

More often than not, this Friday Inspiration post is about design, repurposing or clever projects. However, there are other things that inspire me as well.

Source: via Katri on Pinterest

I've recently talked about some new ideas I have for my blog and I guess because my mind is in a state ready for changes (not just for the blog) there's a few posts I've stumbled upon recently that hit home.

The first one is from Julie. She wrote her story as a small business owner. I enjoyed reading it and tremendously admired her openness.

Another thought provoking post, and one that I really read at an extremely appropriate time is "Adapt, Quit or Evolve" from A Beautiful Mess. It really sums up challenges I also am facing right now.

Source: via Katri on Pinterest

Have you read anything recently that really resonated with you? Care to share?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

On the crafting desk

I was having trouble falling asleep last night and when I finally did, an alarm went off in the building. It went on just long enough for me to jump out of bed and have a near heart attack. Then, it stopped. No idea what made it go off, but I wasn't really sleeping after that.

So, I hardly slept last night. I'm exhausted and a little grumpy.


 I figured I need to start the day by improving my mood, so I started making some envelopes. They are very simple to make which is great for my sleep deprived brain and the end results are always fun and useful.

Envelopes I do have some mail to send anyway, so this worked out nicely. Working with pretty paper always puts me into a better mood.

Envelopes Since I'm still feeling some residual grumpiness, these might get pretty decked out. We'll see.

sunshine on Jan 10th
Right now though this is what I see from my window. Blue skies, sunshine and, even though I can't see this from the window, my computer tells me it's +2 degrees out. I think a nice walk outside will do me good. I'll bring the camera and will hopefully get some good photos to show you guys.

What is your go-to mood picker-upper?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Walking around

I had some errands to run yesterday and since the weather was pleasant, I took my camera with me again. It's been a while since I've done that.

Plateau Montreal

Just as before, I try to always keep an eye out when walking around. I find it help add even more to the charm of the area you live in.

Plateau Montreal
I figure there's always something interesting to see if you take the time.

Plateau Montreal
Sometimes it's just little details and other times it's windows covered in books.

I wanted to go closer to see the books, but it seemed to be someone's home. I figured I'll just take a photo and move on.

How are you guys today?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Mail

We're almost back to normal now! At least when it comes to Monday mail posts... Christmas and the blizzard we got messed up the regular postal schedule and I still got some holiday cards early last week. So, this is (hopefully) the last week with a mail love post that's a tad Christmassy and all over the place.

Before we get into more detailed photos of the outgoing and incoming mail, I wanted to show you a collection of incoming holiday mail. I wanted to display the cards we got, so I taped them to the wall in the living room. I think the display turned out awesome and I don't see why I wouldn't do this with regular mail too... Maybe not in the living room, but I think it would look fun next to my work space.

Mail Love - Incoming
Another great use for washi tape!

And onwards to the mail...


Mail Love - Outgoing
Another one of my brightly colored, all over the place pieces of mail. Sometimes I just feel like adding everything on an envelope.

Mail Love - Outgoing
Mail Love - Outgoing Other times simple is better. The top one is made from a piece of drawer liner, so it smells like lilies and the second one is made from a book page.


Mail Love - Incoming With all sorts of things coming in the mail, I wanted to share the few that aren't for Christmas. A cat postcard from an art exhibit and a letter. The envelope has puffy sushi stickers... Pretty awesome. Thank you!

So, have you returned to regular mailing?