Saturday, December 20, 2014

Last minute holiday shopping at the Beaches

A quick reminder that the Beaches Artists' & Artisans' show is on today for the last day! So if you're looking for any last minute gifts or stocking stuffers, now's your chance! Or just come by to hang out and get into the holiday mood!

Beaches Artists' & Artisans' Market Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

First one done, two more to go!

Thank you everyone who came by at the Crafternoon Tea craft show last Saturday! It was so much fun and I'm so glad I got to meet so many awesome people!

At Crafternoon Tea, Leslieville Toronto The bast part of any show is to get to talk about what I make with my customers live and meet some rad fellow-makers! I was lucky to be placed between two kick-ass ladies, so a hello to Beak&Bill and The Studio Forest! Thank you also to Nathalie-Roze & Co for organizing such a fun and welcoming event!

At Crafternoon Tea, Leslieville Toronto Like said, though, I am not quite done yet! I'll still be at the Beaches Artists' and Artisans' show for the next two Saturdays, December 13th and 20th!

Beaches Artists' & Artisans' Market
The show takes place at Beaches Presbyterian Church on 65 Glen Manor Drive. The doors will be open from 11am to 4pm. Hope to see you there!

Beaches Presbyterian church
Conveniently, I actually have a photo of said door!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Crafternoon Tea in Leslieville - Saturday, December 6th

Hi guys,

It's been two years since I attended a craft show as a vendor, so it's about time! This Saturday, December 6th 2014, will be my first show here in Toronto. I'm attending the Craftnernoon Tea show on Queen St. East, corner of Carlaw.

Crafternoon Tea, Leslieville There will be over 25 vendors, and the majority of the items will be under $50! So, this is a great opportunity to find some Christmas presents, stocking stuffers or just find something fun for yourself! I will bring back the hugely popular $5 items, notebooks, greeting cards, stickers and ornaments!

Brinner Christmas card Come by to say hi and check out the charity tea party!

P.S. This awesome 70s poolside hunks with a Christmas tree notebook will also be available! It's one of a kind, so first come, first serve!

1970s Christmas hunks notebook

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

29 days to Christmas

Advent Calenders are the best! If you're thinking of making one for someone special, now's the time to collect your materials!

Advent calender
I've made a few calendars over the year and they are always so much fun to make. Basically just collect 24 or 25 (depending when you celebrate Christmas) little prizes, candy, toys, stationery, etc... Wrap them up in little packages, number them from 1 to 24 or 25 and you're done!

Advent calender
Best thing ever!

These photos are from a few years ago... I can't really share this years calenders so I won't ruin the surprise!

Do you have a calender for this year? What kind?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mail Monday

Hello, hello everyone!

It's still looking very much like fall and I love it! My head is completely on Christmas things already, but I'm trying to keep it somewhat restrained for a little while longer. I've been making many, many holiday items for the shop and creating some brand new ones too! More about those later.

I do have a few pieces of mail to share with you for now.


honeycomb Let's start with a new style, honeycomb. I've been working a lot with this shape recently and naturally it spills over to my snailmail as well. I really like the look of it, there will be many more...

vintage stamps The second one if a very simple one. It was father's day in Finland yesterday, so I sent something to my dad last week. The envelope is a plain white one, but the vintage stamps are the key to the look.


Black, white and pink, incoming
This awesome black, white and pink one is from Mary. I love the stripes. I find working with paper like this is really hard, lining up the stripes can be tough! This is her second ever handmade envelope, so it'll be a collectors item when she's famous! (It also came with chocolate, so I really enjoyed it!)

So, what's up with you guys? Been up so something fun recently?

Thursday, November 6, 2014


I might not be a particularly romantic person, but I can't get over how much I love fall.

Just look how gorgeous it is.

November at the Beaches, Toronto

November at the Beaches, Toronto How is it looking where you are? Is it fall for you or is it looking a lot like winter?*

*) And for the few people visiting me from the southern hemisphere; Hi! And is it summer yet?

Friday, October 31, 2014

I am the Pumpkin King!

*Any excuse to use a Nightmare before Christmas quote*

Perhaps not the king, but a runner up maybe... I am very happy with my pumpkin this year! I felt like I've learned new pumpkin carving skills over the last years and this one is actually combining many of them. This year I wanted to bring back my so far favorite pumpkin, Evil-Bob, who my long-time readers might remember from 2012.

I'm pleased to introduce to you:

Evil-Bob 2.0

Happy Halloween 2014 He's back and meaner than ever! This year's model comes with pointy teeth, carved out eyes and an exceptionally sinister vibe!

I also wanted to share with you guys my costume and pumpkin from last year. I dressed up as Pam from Archer and my pumpkin... Well, see for yourselves:

Halloween 2013
I am sharing some Halloween photos at least on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, so remember to follow me there!

Do you guys have something fun planned for tonight or for the weekend? Please share!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Mail

My October has not been what I expected it to be. In the last month I have been to a bachelorette party, a wedding and a baptism. I have also driven to Montreal twice and spent a week in Finland. All the things I planned on doing didn't quite pan out, but they were replaced with other things. So I guess I still ended up on the positive.

I am enjoying the Halloween feel you get when you walk around the neighborhood. I saw glimpses of it driving back last night, and I think I might just go out for a walk with a camera today to capture some of the awesome decorations! I'll share the highlights with you this week!

To keep even a little shred of consistency, here's some mail from the last few weeks:


Spiderwebs This is the prize package going out to Eva. She won the Halloween giveaway last week!

blue triangles The next one is a pretty fun one! It's an order from my shop going out to Katherine. I really like the envelope! I picked it up on my travels and added some extras with the washitape decorations and a ton of vintage stamps. I really like how it turned out!

grey outgoing, halloween This is another order from the shop. A handmade envelope, washitape and a mix of new and vintage stamps. Fairly standard, but I really like seeing them come together, because the results are always different, even if the components are often the same.

I've actually sent a few more, but since it has been a crazy couple of weeks, I've had to send things out without taking photos. *Le gasp*


Collage, incoming
Collage, back I wanted to share this incoming letter, since I really like the decorations. It's from Susanne. Just look how awesome it is!

How are you guys doing? Getting excited for Halloween?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

And the Winner is...

Yes, it is finally time to announce the winner!

Congratulations to:

contest winner

That's right, it's EVA!

I've e-mailed you asking for your mailing details!

And, as I mentioned, I wanted to send another small Halloween surprise for the best costume story! Since I really liked two, I am sending Halloween mail for Mary and Caddi! Mary's getting mail because of that amazing Edward Scissorhands costume and Caddi for the fun story about a Colombian couples costume! Watch your e-mails ladies!

Thanks for all your stories and entries!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mail Monday - Win a Halloween surprise!

That's right guys! Instead of sharing mail I've sent out last week, I am doing a Halloween themed mail giveaway instead!

Woohoo! Let's start with the actual prize and the instructions on how to participate are below.

Halloween stationery giveaway I've put together a large package of all sorts of Halloween goodies! Since I love sending out mail, you will get a whole bunch of Halloween themed stationery as well as some other Halloween awesomeness.

The winner will get at least the following

- Miniature Ouija board
- Roll of Halloween washi tape
- Black letter paper
- Miniature Dia de los Muertos flag
- Stickers
- Envelopes
- Candy
- Halloween themed paper cutouts 
- And a few little surprised too...

I don't want to reveal all the specifics since I think it'll be a nice surprise to receive a package in the mail... But I will basically send you a large trick or treat bag full of halloweenie goodies! (teehee, weenie)

To enter:

You can enter this giveaway in four ways, each giving you one entry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Leave a message to this post about a great Halloween costume! It can be something amazing you've worn or seen someone else wear. It can be something you'd like to wear if you got the chance. It can be an idea for a kids costume or a couples costume or a phenomenal group costume! It can be about any kind of a costume, but let's keep the stories positive!

Follow Brinner on Facebook

Follow Brinner on Twitter

Tweet about the Giveaway 

This giveaway is open to everyone, anywhere in the world.

I will draw the winner of the prize at random, but please put some effort into your answer. I will reward at least one great costume-related story with an additional small Halloween snailmail surprise!

Entries to this giveaway will close on midnight on Sunday October 19th.

Halloween stationery giveaway Good luck everyone! I'm really looking forward to hearing your costume stories!

Friday, October 10, 2014

3 years - Is that even a toddler anymore?

I got this nagging feeling at the back of my head that today is somehow important. I don't think it's anyone's birthday (ok, anyone I know. I assume a lot of people have birthdays today. Happy birthday!) and I didn't have any kinds of deadlines approaching...

I'm glad I checked! As of today, I've been blogging for 3 years! Holy crap. That's a long while. I mean, I did take a few breaks, but still... So many things have happened...

The blog name changed. I stopped using a nickname and started blogging with my own name and face too. (I should probably change that photo soon. It's been the same one for a while now. I've moved to a new city. I began and stopped working. I got tattoos (3 of them). I was happy and I was sad... So many things! I mean, I have (sort of) had (tried) to be a (somewhat) responsible adult. Because, you know, a kid.

I challenge you to think over the last three years! What has happened? Please share some of your experiences, I'd love to hear about them!

I feel like we should celebrate somehow... Any ideas?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Halloween DIY - Simple foldable Bat Cards 2.0

Since I already saw the Halloween sign, it's time to get a move on with the preparations!

I've been busy dying paper for some brand new tutorials and assembling some really nifty Halloween goodies for a giveaway! I'm also experimenting with some Halloween mail, which, of course, has put me in the snailmailing mood!

Over the last year or so, the readership of this blog has been steadily increasing, so I wanted to share a few improved tutorials from the Brinner past...It's time to fix some past wrongs that have been bugging me!

First up:

Halloween Bat cards
...Halloween bat cards!

I still love these! One of my all-time favorite Brinner tutorials!

This was the first one that was pinned multiple times on Pinterest and I actually got some feedback on. It was the one that kind of proved I was on the right track.

It was, however, way too complicated. I tracked my own process step-by-step but it didn't really translate into simple instructions. Now I feel like I am much better at this, so I re-wrote (and photographed) a new, much simpler way to make these!

(If you want to see the original CLICK HERE)

Bat card Tutorial You'll need

- Pen or pencil
- Scissors
- Ruler
- Two rectangle or square shaped items, one a bit smaller than the other. I used two postcards, but anything in that shape works, books, coasters, notepads, etc.
- Cardboard. I used a cereal box, like I often do. Any sturdier paper/cardboard works.

The above are for a template (you know how I like those, right?)

For the cards you'll also need

- Black card or paper (I used poster board which is a really nice, sturdy cardboard. Also, very cheap!)
- White (or other light/bright colored) pen (I like using a gel pen for this)

Bat card Tutorial Start by placing the larger rectangle in the middle of your cardboard, leaving enough space on both sides to fit the smaller rectangle.

Bat card Tutorial

Trace the large rectangle in the middle and the smaller one on both sides. Make sure the larger and the smaller rectangles are connected from one side. 

Bat card Tutorial

I traced them with a black pen so you can see exactly what I mean. 

Bat card Tutorial Use the ruler to draw a line across all three rectangles about a half inch (or one centimeter) below the top of the smaller rectangles. Do this on the top and bottom. Check the photo below how your rectangles should look now.

Bat card TutorialThe reason for the line is to help draw the extremities of the bat and keep everything in an easily foldable and manageable size. Don't draw anything outside the newly drawn lines, except for the bats ears and feet. Those are coming up next.

Now for some simple freehand drawing.

Bat card Tutorial On the top of the middle rectangle, draw two pointy ears and a small dip from both ears to the side of the rectangle (this will be the bats head).

Bat card Tutorial At the bottom of the middle rectangle, draw two feet. As you can see, this is not an exact science. I screwed up the first one, so I just made the foot bigger. I felt my bat needed cankles.

Bat card Tutorial To draw the wings, round out the tops of the smaller rectangles.

Bat card Tutorial This is what your template should look like right now. If it doesn't, don't worry, just go back and adjust anything you feel like doesn't look right. Remember, this is your template, you can redraw bat-canckles until the cows come home if you feel like it and your cards will still look super-impressive!

Bat card Tutorial Finally, the last step of your bat-drawing adventures is at hand. Finish off the bottoms of the wings with some arches. These can be as steep or shallow as you like. I felt like making a slightly meaner looking bat with some pointier wings. Totally up to you.

Honestly, if you're not sure about this step, you can just leave the bottoms of the wings totally straight. Anyone seeing the shape will know it's a bat, no matter how pointy or flat the wings are!

(Seriously! Don't give in on the "real bats have curves" hype! Your bats are perfect the way they are!)

Bat card Tutorial And, you have a bat! Now, cut out that sucker!

(Get it? Bat? Sucker? Man, I'm so hilarious*!)

Bat card Tutorial Here's your bat template! You can obviously round out some edges or fine-tune your bat still if you want. I actually quite like this guy...

Once your template is finished, it's pretty simple from this point onwards. Even the old tutorial got this part right...

Halloween Bat Card Place the template on your black paper and trace the outline of the bat. Repeat as many times as needed or as fits on your paper.

Halloween Bat cards Cut out your bats and fold the wings towards the middle. Fold them along the line where the larger and smaller rectangles meet.

And you're done! Just write away!

If you make these cards, I would love to see them! Please link your versions to this post!

As always, any comments are welcome! Did you feel this tutorial is better than the old one? Would you like more photos? More great jokes? Please let me know!

*) Ok, I'm sleep-deprived

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mail Monday

It feels like I've been gone for a long time... I know it's only been since last Wednesday, but it has been a busy few days. I actually went to Montreal for a few days. It was a quick visit, but very much needed.

I attended a dear friend's bachelorette party, including some quality time with some lovely ladies and karaoke (I don't sing, but I jam along). I got to finally meet my niece, 


[stunned silence]

GUYS! I have to interrupt the regular post-writing for this important announcement: A BAT just flew by the window. I shit you not. A bat. I was writing the previous sentence, paused to think, looked up and all casually, like it's no big deal, a bat.


I was already thinking of halloween, since I am working on a decoration tutorial. I've been playing around with black ink and my project is looking very promising.

You know what? Let's just look at last week's mail and I go back into crafting things as black as my soul... MuahahahaaHAAAA!


flowers and pumpkins
Flowers and spiderwebs I finally took a little time last week and made some larger envelopes. I've been meaning to do that for a while, I even had the materials just waiting, but I constantly had about fifteen other things to do. As I mentioned in the last Monday Mail post, I had a super stressful few days, so one day I just sat down and made some envelopes. It wasn't the most important thing on my to-do list, but I needed a break from everything.

Even though the decorations are similar, thin washitape and simple address labels, these two envelopes still look distinctly different(-ish). 

I'm also exceptionally happy about the stamps. I recently managed to find a fairly large lot of vintage stamps and have been mixing them with some of the newer ones from my collections. I love the multiple stamps look and I'm really excited to fully sort through the pile (ok, a ziploc bag. But it's at least a medium-sized one!) I just purchased.

So guys, please share: any cool bat-sightings or awesome mail in your life right now?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Beautiful October

I love October!

It's one of the best months! It's the one true Autumn month, the one which shows you the leaves turning, darker nights and, if you're lucky, those Silent Hill-ish foggy evenings. I don't even particularly care for all the pumpkin-flavored things that are everywhere, but once they start popping up on the coffee shop menus, you know things are about to get good.

Fall is my favorite season (Duh! Obviously, I'm pretty sure you could tell already), but you know what the absolute best part of October is, right?

That's right, kids*, it's Halloween!

Pumpkin Carving Halloween kicks all the other holidays ass. (Well, Christmas is up there too)

To celebrate this awesomemest of holidays, I am doing my first ever Halloween theme month here at Brinner! There will be a few Halloween tutorials, some Halloween related posts, there will be an opportunity to get some Halloween mail from me... Oh yes, it'll be glorious!

I'm working on some of the plans as we speak, but now you have an opportunity as well to ask for any Halloween related posts, tutorials or ideas. Please let me know if there's anything you'd like to read about, history of Halloween, costume ideas, how to carve a pumpkin, decorations, etc, etc...

The floor is yours, please leave any and all comments below. (Even if it's just saying how awesome Halloween is!)

*) Did you say that in a Ted Mosby voice? 'Cuz I totally did.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mail Monday

What I weekend that was... It was 50% awesomeness, 50% crazy-stress. Go figure.

My Saturday was the awesome part. I met friends, whom I haven't seen in way too long, for brunch and we got to catch up over some huevos rancheros and grilled cheese sandwiches. 

We then proceeded to walk around the Riverside neighborhood where I randomly walked into a shop selling secondhand furniture. Turns out I walked in Debbie's Vintage Vibes. The furniture in the front threw me off for a moment, but you can only imagine how excited I was then I realized that the back of the shop has a room full of vintage clothes (and jewelry and accessories and shoes...). And good ones too! And, I think the best part was Debbie herself. She's so awesome and knows what she's talking about. I kinda didn't want to leave. I'll go back with more time, it's time to thin out the closet again, so I want my vintage pieces to have a good home.

Sunday, on the other hand, ended up being quite stressful. There wasn't any particular one thing that stressed me out, but it was a concentration of so many things. Some longer term plans of ours changed quite drastically, so all of a sudden all schedules are completely off. I have to now finish a lot of projects in a few weeks instead of a few months. I have to give up on some plans. No need to dwell on the negative though, so let's just start a new week with some mail.


Panda collage

Let's start with the collage one. It's a larger size than my regular ones, so I had to get creative. I didn't have a envelope that large, so I gift wrapped it. There's also a lot more space to decorate, so I ended up making a black and white collage out of paper I had at hand. I find this is how most of my collages come to life. They are a combination of things I have just been working with in the right color scheme.

Orange Autumn
Then we have a more simple one. A autumn-toned envelope. I actually used the stickers on this mail first and then started using them on the previous one. Hence, spelling out a lot of random things until the letters ran out.  Please note the color-coordinated candy at the bottom!

This one's going to Mary who, as it happens, just mentioned she's getting a cold. I'm glad I just sent this package out, since it's actually tea. The bag of tea is behind the envelope and all of this is in a cellophane bag. Now, let's just hope it gets there really, really soon. I'd like to think I had great foresight in sending this!


Aqua, incoming Ooh, a fun aqua one for me! How nice is that monogram sticker on the corner there? And you gotta love the Korean stickers! Well, not to mention the actual letter inside. Thank you Susanne!

So, question of the day: if you get into a stressful moment in your life, how do you handle it? Any nifty tricks?

(Apparently writing a blog post seems to help...)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Happy Hobbit Day!

Wait! What?

Yes, you heard right. Today is Hobbit Day since it's mentioned in "The fellowship of the Ring" that September 22nd is the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Also, consequently, it was the day of the 'long-expected party' that begins the Lord of the Rings and the day when Frodo became the sixth Ring-bearer, preceded by Sauron, Isildur, Déagol, Sméagol (also known as Gollum) and finally Bilbo.

welcome from Lothlorien,new version by breathing2004 on deviantART

The more you know...

You're welcome! I know you all were dying to know this! (Ok, I know at least some of you knew this already. I love you!)

Please direct any Lord of the Rings related questions to the comment section!

(Almost) Mailless Monday

Happy Monday guys!

I was ready to give up on this post and just write a mailless Monday post instead. I was fighting with Picasa since last night and wasn't able to figure out my photos. But, alas, I think we're good to go now. Not that there's that much mail this week, but I still have two photos to share, which I feel it's the important part.

My weekend was awesome! I went shopping with a friend, we were on a mission to make sure there's no better wedding shoes that the ones she already found. It's important to be sure! We ended our excursion at an amazing Japanese restaurant in Koreatown. 

On Sunday I went to finally check out Leslieville Flea which was a lot of fun. I found something incredible there (you can see a peek over at my Instagram) and enjoyed looking at all the beautifully curated tables. I also realized that I haven't shared any of my thrift shop finds in a long time! I've found some good stuff, let me tell you... I'll share some later.

Besides that I have been scheming. I have some really fun stuff planned for my two favorite holidays, Halloween and Christmas. So, stay tuned!

Onwards to the mail:


Superman Superman! I might not be a big Superman fan, but I love comic books and stamps. And when the two combine, I am extremely happy! These stamps are in the top 5 favorite stamps from Canada Post in the last few years! (Would you be interested in seeing more of recent Canadian stamps by the way?)

The envelope is made from an old, Greek Superman comic by using, you guessed it, THIS tutorial!

Craft envelope Additionally, and this happens fairly often, I sent some plainer mail. I do decorate the mail I sent out personally as well as orders from my shop, but some mail just better go out more simple. I figured I'd share one occasionally, just to show you that not everything goes out all crazily decorated.

I'm working on a few (ok, like 5) tutorials for the upcoming holidays, but please let me know if you've seen something over the blog or anywhere really that you would like to learn how to make. If it's something I can make a tutorial for, I certainly will try!

How has your week started off?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Finds from FanExpo

I'm so excited about the things I found at FanExpo. I could've bought so many things, but I was good and only got the things I absolutely wanted!

Treasures from FanExpo I got three books. The first one is the Pieces of Wonderland I already mentioned in the FanExpo post.

Next one is The Wildlife of Star Wars: A Field Guide. It's an amazing book with gorgeous illustrations. I mean, come on, all sorts of creatures from the Star Wars universe! The wildlife is divided into sections according to the planets they live on. The creatures include some obvious one like the Tauntauns (most notably seen in The Empire Strikes back) and Sarlaccs (Seen on Return of the Jedi) but also a little less known ones like Ottas and Urusai.

Finally, I found Fairy Quest: Outlaws. A friend told me about it and just like that, one copy happened to be there, on the table all by it's lonesome, just waiting for me. The art is beautiful and the topic is exactly what I love; new adaptations of old, traditional stories. In this case, fairytales.

Treasures from FanExpo Like I mentioned I met the illustrators behind Pieces of Wonderland and they both sketched on the book alongside with their autographs. How awesome is this?

Treasures from FanExpo I did collect a ton of business cards and brochures, here's just a few of them. Obviously the expo guide as well. That's the booklet with Batman on it, if it wasn't clear from the large friendly letters spelling FanExpo.

The other purchases is the print of Batmobile by Ron Gyuatt. It's the Tim Burton Batmobile (guys, these are important details!) and a part of a series of three Batmobiles.  I loved pretty much everything and could've easily bought half a dozen posters just to start. Very nice guy too. Once I have decided where to hang the poster, I'll share a better photo.

Below the Batmobile is a few small cards (A pet Narwhal for Max's room) and a couple of stickers from Rosey Cheekes. If you like cute things, you need to check her work out! She's just as cute as her illustrations! I had a nice chat with her about the Expo experience as a whole and it was so nice to get a small business owner's view on the whole experience.

Another purchase also for Max is the creature on the lower left corner. His name is Mr. Jefferson and he's from The Monster Factory. Picking out the right one was interesting...*)

Treasures from FanExpo And finally a whole lot more Star Wars! I bought 100 Star Wars postcards. So yeah... There will be many Star Wars filled letters...

The black and white characters are stickers by Jesse Rayburn. I snatched up the last dark side one and got a few others too. Need I mention he was very nice?!

Since I'm on the topic... Every single person I talked to was great. Ultimately I felt extremely welcome and had a blast. 

So, what do you think of my finds? Any that appeal to you? Please share your nerd-loves!

*) Since Max is not yet able to articulate what he likes, we scoped his reactions to various monsters on the table by showing them to him one at a time. Interestingly enough, some were not interesting to him at all while other seemed to grab his attention. While we were picking up and putting down one monster after the other, the ladies at the booth were very patient with us, quite enjoying seeing Max's reactions, another lady at the booth also stopped to watch. Now, that's totally fine, she was quite lovely and showed one of her favorites to Max. It was one of those Max was not really interested in. It did get a little odd, though, as she kept picking up the same monster and kept saying how that is her favorite. After every monster we showed Max, she showed the same one. Over and over again. I'm not sure why she was so insistent. I guess she really liked that one...