Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Inspiration - Easter Eggs

I always love it when I see a new twist on an old tradition. Easter is definitely a crafty time of the year, not to mention colorful, so it's great to see new ideas with old favorites.

Generally speaking I love a monochrome look and subtle mixing of patterns. There's something so classy about a black and white combo. It's unexpected for Easter, but looks great!

If you still want to go with more colorful eggs, there are new ways to do that. I love the graphic take on more traditional colors.

And finally +1 for all us nerds:

What's your favorite?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

We're hunting wabbits

With someone who's two cats are named after Bugs Bunny cartoons, you can't really blame me for making wabbit-season jokes.

I couldn't stay away. I wanted to share the final pastel-y, see-though-y goodness I sent earlier in hopes they would reach their destinations before Easter. You saw the cards I made and here's the whole package.

I think they look so fun! I used all different colored plastic envelopes and stuffed them with more colorful things. Besides the egg cards, there's some candy, egg-shaped confetti and, of course, these:

Emergency bunnies. Each vellum envelope contains individually wrapped bunny-gummy candy, the oddest bunny shaped confetti (seriously guys. Is that not the awesomest, yet creepiest confetti ever?) and some bunny ears cut out of paper.

Please note my mad drawing skillz (you always spell that with a 'Z'), a proof that 8 years of art school did not go to waste!!!

So, what do you think? Would you like to receive something like this in the mail?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter egg card DIY

It's time for Easter mail. Once again, I'm using a popular holiday as an excuse to send more mail.

For once I have plenty of photos of this project, so I'm breaking it into two separate posts. This first one would be a fun project for kids to do as well. (I think. I don't have any, so I'm only assuming.)

I wanted to make a simple card to use in my outgoing mail. I had plenty of other ideas as well, you'll see those soon, but besides all the other random things I was planning on sending, I wanted to include something fun to write the wishes on. Since this is Easter mail, what better (and, honestly, easier) than Easter eggs? Also, bunnies. Thou shalt not forget the bunnies!

Simple DIY Easter cards
To start out, make a template (I'm sure there are some online you can just print out. If you do that, just copy the shape onto cardboard). To make one yourself, you'll need sturdy cardboard (I used a cereal box), pencil and a round object to use for drawing circles. A glass or a mug would work, I used a lid from a mason jar. Draw a circle on the cardboard.

Simple DIY Easter cards
Then, using a ruler draw a line across the circle and roughly about an inch above. How much outside of the circle you draw the line depends how large the circle is. For example, the lid I used was just around 3 inches across, so I drew the line about 1 1/2 inches over. That was way too much, the egg looked kinda weird.

To make the egg shape, draw line from the side of the circle to the appropriate height on the line. Cut the egg out.

Simple DIY Easter cards
You now have a template for an egg. I also made one for a bunny. Same idea as the egg, just draw bunny ears on top of the circle.

Simple DIY Easter cards
To use the template, fold paper or cardboard in half and place the template on the folded side of your material. With the bunny, make sure the bunny's cheek and ear both touch the fold. Cut out your card.

And finally, decorate your cards.

Simple DIY Easter cards
Simple DIY Easter cards
I tried out several different colored paper and card, as well as a ton of different methods to decorate them.  First is drawn on with a gel pen. Second, not surprisingly, decorated with washi tape. In the first photo of this post I used pale blue circle stickers on different colors of pastel card. You could also paint on them, use crayons or colored pencils or glue on a collage. Anything you have at hand will work.

I have another post coming up with photos of the entire lot of Easter mail I sent out. It includes photos of the packaging and the other things I packed with the cards. That will be up in the next few days, so stay tuned!

Did you send out any mail for Easter?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Mail

Happy Monday everyone! I hope your week has started off well!

I've kept busy with a ton of mail. I'm sharing a project with you guys soon, but I always like to give a few days between mailing things out and sharing the photos with you. I'm hoping that the mail has time to reach the recipients before the photos are available here. I know that not all of them read my blog, but a few do, so let's try to keep the secret a little while longer. Not to worry though, there's a few other pieces of mail I want to share with you today. Only outgoing this week!


I'm obviously all for the lace tape right now. It's so much more fun than I expected originally. I also wanted to change the look a little, so I started using different address labels from my usual banner ones. I still like them, but I don't want everyone else getting bored with me.

I've also made a decision to try to use other materials than the airmail stickers... It's hard though, I feel like they go with everything. We'll see, it sometimes takes me a little while to get fully formed ideas out of my head and onto actual projects. So, maybe you'll have to endure a little longer with the sticker craziness. 

Do you have a favorite way to decorate your mail? What is it? I'd love to hear what you do!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

500 posts! How did that happen?

I just realized that I have 499 published posts in my blog. That makes this particular one number 500.


That's pretty crazy. Gossamer agrees:

When I started this blog, I didn't really have that many plans for it. I originally wanted a place to talk more about my crafts. The idea was to show what happens behind the scenes when I make items for my shop. I also figured I'll just talk about things that interest me if I feel like it. Since then some topics have been left behind and others have taken on a life of their own.

I don't actually write posts much in advance. The exceptions are if I'm going out of town or sometimes I just can't help myself, I have so many things to write about that I simply can't pack them all in one post. Right now I don't have any previously written posts.  I did plan on doing that, you know, preparing well in advance, being all pro about it. But somehow it didn't work. At most I might write the post for tomorrow the night before. Usually not even that. The mail love posts are the only ones I prepare in advance, but even then just by taking photos before I go to mail things out.

I've started to make plans for the blog though. I do make a schedule with topics to write about. It's just because somehow I worry I'll run out of things to talk about, so every time I think of something I want to share with you guys, I'll write it down on the schedule. Usually I'll end up pushing them back because I have so many other things to write about... I still have a few topics to write about that I originally scheduled for January!

There are so many things in my head right now that I want to write about! I think I'll need to go put together my blog calender for April (Can you believe we're almost in April?) to clear out some space in my head. I do have a lot of ideas how to improve Brinnertime, so  looks like I'm not running out of things to write about anytime soon. I'm trying to start posting on a more regular schedule, about 4 times a week, but I've made that decision a few times already. Yet I still end up posting almost every day. I just can't help myself!

I have a hard time believing how many there are of you, my dear readers! Thank you all! I get so happy for every comment I get!

Gossamer & George
If you have any questions for me or suggestions on what you'd like to read, please let me know! I'd be more than happy to write about something that interests you, as long as it's something I know about (or can share publicly).

Ultimately I just wanted to share a few thoughts with you as I have now consistently written 500 posts and say thank you for reading! For ease of use, you can always follow me HERE or just use the Google Friend connect on the left.

Have a lovely Sunday!

P.S. I felt my blog has been lacking photos of the cats, so I figured I might as well share a few here... There's always cat photos over at Instagram (@brinnertime) if you want to see more!

So awesome! - about stamps

I just had to come by to share my excitement with you guys! I just managed to snatch up a whole bunch of vintage stamps from an auction! Score! Super excited! (How nerdy!)

I actually have a whole lot of mail-related stuff to make today, so be prepared for a lot of snailmail-ness in the next week or so. I guess there really isn't a better way to start a day like this than with a bunch of vintage stamps coming my way.

Source: via Katri on Pinterest

I would also like to admit that I was wrong. Just as I had mentioned that the more common Canadian stamps are a bit boring, a whole bunch of awesome ones came out! Well, the photos became available as the stamps are coming out in the next month or two. How amazing are these Chinatown Gates! There's a bunch of other cool ones too! I'm sorry Canada Post, I take it back!

How picky are you about the stamps you use? 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Inspiration - Thoughtful

Most weeks I have a clear idea on what I want to share with you on the Friday Inspiration post. There's usually been one or a few specific things on my mind and those are the ideas I share with you. This week I have thought about a ton of different things, but nothing has quite solidified as a reoccurring theme... So, instead of a fully thought out, themed post, you'll get little things I've found inspiring this week.

Source: via Oh on Pinterest

Source: via Angie on Pinterest

What has inspired you this week?

Sale on Washi Tape

I wanted to share a deal with you guys. The Plaid Barn has a sale on washi tapes today! There's 8 different designs and they are all $1.99 a roll.

Remember, these sales don't last long, so if you want it, you 'd better get it quickly.

And, as before, I feel it's fair to share with you that I do benefit from telling you guys about the deal. However, I only share the site with you, when I feel the deal is something you guys might like. Fair?

Today's inspiration post will be published a little later!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

On the crafting desk

It's been a while again since I've shown you a peek of what's going on in my studio. My to do list runs about a mile long and there is paper absolutely everywhere. Right now I have two major undertakings; a large Easter project and restocking the shop.

On the crafting desk 3/20/2013
I just noticed I'm running very low on the most popular products in the shop, which will have to always be my priority. I just started the prep-work fueled by coffee. So, at this moment, my schedule for the next two hours reads : "cut paper". In the afternoon I will progress to : "fold paper".

I'm so happy! (And not even saying that sarcastically)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Have a good mail day!

Finally it's mail time. Yesterday was a long day for me, so I felt much better taking the time to edit the photos and set up this post properly. So, thank you for your patience! There's actually an extra letter for both categories. Normally I would've added them to next week's Mail Monday post, but since we're a day late this week, they are added here instead.



As you well know, I have a soft spot for airmail. And when you combine that with my tendency to sometimes go a little overboard with the decorations, this happens! The envelopes are from my collection of vintage airmail envelopes.

I really like the signs of the zodiac stamps. They are really great. I've mentioned before how some of the Canadian stamps are a bit boring (the ones in regular circulation), but these are amazing. I love the bold colors and the funky designs. They've actually released four designs a year, so this year you can finally get the last ones. I bought a few souvenir sheets so I could have all the different kinds. I really like combining them with a bunch of others for some added color.

Mail Love - Outgoing
I'm especially happy with the top envelope. I made it from a vintage dress pattern and just love how it turned out. I've used the same material before and always love the results. I think I'll need to experiment a bit more with it. Also, please note the super-awesome vintage camera tape I just got from my sister!

I used more of the lace tape on these ones. I got the pale blue you saw last week as well as the white one. There were other colors too, so I might drop by to see if there are any left. I think they work nicely. I was a bit skeptical at first. I thought it might be too girly, which really isn't me. But, it's for crafts, not to wear, so I think I'm safe.

I just bought the flower stamps, I think they were released just recently. They're not bad, but I prefer them mixed in the others. They're pretty basic on their own. I was happy to find something spring-like since the weather's been promising recently. Naturally now that I share these first spring thoughts we're having a massive snowstorm with at least 30 cm of snow today...

OH! I almost forgot to mention, these two are going to people who sent me their addresses on my birthday

Mail Love - Outgoing
Finally something more traditional from me. The washi tape+banner+stamp sticker combo is an oldie but goodie. But see how the zodiac stamps work for everything!


Mail Love - Incoming
Mail Love - Incoming
I was floored when I got this in the mail. It's from my uber-talented sister. I'm trying to figure out how to frame this envelope. Look at the back too! It's made from playing cards! And the cards show the date of my birthday!

Mail Love - Incoming
Another gorgeous one from Susanne! I just love these envelopes! And please note the crazy broccoli stamp.

I think this was an amazing week of mail, worth waiting the extra day, I hope... Please remember that if you're here specifically for the snailmail posts, you'll want to follow me on Instagram (@brinnertime) I know I say this all the time, but I share a lot of sneak peeks of the projects I'm working on and sometimes show a peek inside the envelopes too.

So, how has your week started?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Monday!

Did you have a good weekend?

I wanted to drop by quickly to say hi and tell you that the usual Monday Mail post will come late this week. I have a busy day ahead of me and I won't have the time to properly prepare the post until much later. So, new snailmail will be up tomorrow.

Envelope made of vintage paper
Until then, you can check the old mail projects right here

And don't forget to follow me on instagram (@brinnertime) for sneak peeks of things I'm working on.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Watch out for the snakes!

St. Patrick's Day Greetings
If you're interested, you might want to read some interesting details about St. Patrick (and what's the deal with the snakes) HERE

Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Time to catch up!

I'm fairly sure that time moves in clusters and not particularly evenly either. Sometimes I feel like there's nothing going on and all of a sudden things pile up like crazy. I had one of those weeks that started very slowly, but kept speeding up towards the end. Don't get me wrong though, I had an absolutely kickass week. It was like a big pile of awesomeness.

Bell center Montreal[Here's a look inside the Centre Bell to give you an idea. It seats over 20,000 people for a hockey game]

Chris and I had tickets to a Habs game (Habs = Montreal Canadiens (NHL hockey team)) and we had great tickets. Why was it so great? Free food! That's why. Well, the seats were good too, high enough to see properly, but not in the nosebleeds.

I got some really great stuff in the mail. Most awesomely a book from my sister. American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I've been wanting to read that for a long time. This also proves that you all should have a GoodReads account (also, add me as a friend) as apparently that's where she checked that I haven't read it yet.

Bell center Montreal[I don't know how many of you really care about hockey. If you do, you can probably find better sites for that than mine. For the rest of you, here's a Zamboni]

I was presented with some interesting challenges this week, at work and otherwise as well. I met some interesting people I hope to see more of and got excited about new opportunities.

Tonight we're having people over to watch UFC. Georges St-Pierre is fighting so we're all gathering to our place to watch the fight. (Did I ever mention I'm a fan of mixed martial arts? I'll happily discuss K1 vs. UFC if you're interested. I'm still partial to K1, but warming up to UFC)

To top this all off, tomorrow is St. Patrick's day. That's a pretty big deal here in Montreal. So, good times ahead too! Yay!

Do you have fun plans for the weekend?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's not easy being green

A fun and easy DIY project, just in time for St. Patrick's Day!

It's getting very close to spring! I know this because St. Patrick's day is just around the corner! I'm not Irish nor, as far as I know, is there any Irish roots in my family either. Doesn't matter though, I like any excuse to do some crafty projects!

Until I moved to Montreal, I didn't really know much about St. Patrick's day. Being the history nerd I am and being especially fascinated by the history of the Catholic church (I'm not Catholic by the way, just interested in the history) I am familiar with a number of saints, just not necessarily the modern celebrations. Additionally, pubs have always been my favorite type of drinking establishment, so obviously I've had some inclinations what it might be. But then I moved here and was promptly educated of what it really means to celebrate St. Patrick's day. I can tell you more about it another time, hopefully with some photos.

Today though, I would like to share a small St. Paddy's snailmail project.

St. Patrick's day Snailmail
For this project, you'll need all things green. I had patterned green paper, some green thread, green confetti and some St. Paddy's trinkets, including chocolate coins.

I actually went to the dollarstore to buy a few little St. Paddy's trinkets. As it so happened, the one I went to had nothing. It's was Easter all over the place. So I had to improvise. I actually managed to drop by another one later, so I got a few pins and balloons.

My whole idea was to try a few new things as well as go back to the see-through mail, so I used my last green plastic envelopes. Remember that I wrote a tutorial how to make these!

St. Patrick's day Snailmail
St. Patrick's day Snailmail
I am especially proud of my silly little confetti bags. I used glassine envelopes, wrote on them with a green marker and stuffed them with improvised confetti. I put in green paper snippets in different shapes, sequins and craft jewels.

St. Patrick's day Snailmail Then I made shamrock shaped notes. To make one; take a square piece of paper. Fold in half. Fold in half again. Then use a heart-shaped paper punch as shown in the photo. If you don't have a paper punch, then just cut out a rough heart shape. Open paper.

St. Patrick's day Snailmail
I also made origami four leaf clovers in a few different sizes. You can find instructions online, I used this one.

I wrote little notes into the shamrocks and stuffed the envelopes with some green cheer. I also added some green paperclips and green thread to some of them. Just to keep with the theme, you know. The fancily shaped, pale green shapes on the envelopes are actually the address labels. I glued them on afterwards.

I only had 5 green envelopes, so I decided to send these to the few people I think would appreciate some unexpected St. Paddy's silliness. This is actually a preliminary project for something a bit larger coming up soon.

Oh, I really like sending mail on random holidays. As seen before...

So, are you celebrating St. Patrick's day?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More books

While I was thinking what shall I do with my new vintage trunk, my friend called me telling her mom is moving to a new home. Why she thought this was particularly interesting to me was because there was a basement full of books no one wanted...

See where I'm going with this?

Vintage trunk and books
...this happened!

There were some really amazing things I found in that basement... More one those as I start using them!

The trunk was put to good use immediately.