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...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

DIY - How to make washitape at home

This is a tutorial on how you can make washitape* at home! It's easy, fun and pretty inexpensive. Anyone can do it, I promise!

DIY papertape Washitape has been gaining popularity recently and if you're at all interested in crafting, scrapbooking, snailmailing or any other paper-related activity, you've most likely heard of it. I, too, really like working with it and have accumulated a few (dozen) rolls of it. This is pretty clear if you look at my Snailmail posts on this blog...

The tricky thing about the tape is that it can be pretty expensive.There's a bazillion different prints, but picking only one can be tough. Pick a couple and you're all of a sudden racking up quite the bill. On top of that, despite those bazillion prints, sometimes I have this awesome paper that I wish was tape because I have this project that could totally use it... I can't be alone with these thoughts!

So, I wanted to share how I make my own tape at home!

DIY papertape
You'll need:

- Double-sided tape
- Scissors
- Paper of your own choosing (almost anything works; magazines, wrapping paper, etc. etc.)

I'm using vintage paper; I picked a music sheet, a map and a page from an old dictionary.

DIY papertape
Pick the parts of the pattern you want on your tape and start sticking the tape on the opposite side. Run your finger over the tape to make sure it sticks properly.

DIY papertape If you're using thin paper, like the dictionary page I used, you can place the sheet against a window to see exactly where to place the tape. I wanted the illustration of the shell to show on my tape.

DIY papertape On some materials the placement doesn't really matter, like on the map. It'll look cool, no matter which part is showing. You can just stick several pieces of tape on it and they'll look really fun once they're finished.

DIY papertape Once you've laid down the tape, start cutting the strips out. Cut the lengths first and then trim the ends if needed.

DIY papertape
Woohoo! You're done! Off to crafting!

You can use this for most projects you'd use regular washi tape. I find there's two major differences though, 1) the DIY version is not repositionable (unless you use repositionable double-sided tape, which apparently exists. I Googled it.) and 2) this is harder to tear, so you might want to cut it instead of tearing it to size.

*) Please note that I use the term "washi tape" loosely. Technically washi tape is made from Japanese Washi paper. So, I guess the more accurate term is paper tape. I'm using the term "washi tape", since that is the common term used to refer to this type of a crafting material.

P.S. Learn from my mistakes: If you use a dictionary page like I did, actually check which word you're using, don't just slap the tape on any word...

DIY papertape

Monday, September 15, 2014

A sniffly mail Monday

I got a cold about a week ago and it's starting to get pretty annoying. I am somewhat functional, but I feel everything takes me a bit longer than usually.

I only sent out one thing this week (I think), so it'll be a short mail Monday post...


Yellow woodgrain, outgoing This is a very simple one. I liked the wood grain envelope and felt the photography stamps went well with it. There's no additional decorations, but I mailed it out in a plastic sleeve, since there was another small item, besides the letter, being mailed out. I don't think it has arrived yet, so I won't share a photo that might spoil the surprise.

There's more mail going out this week. Well, that's the plan at least. Right now I'm drinking crazy amounts of tea in hopes to start feeling better.

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

FanExpo 2014

I briefly mentioned on Facebook that I was going to FanExpo. I was very excited to go and it surpassed my expectations by far! I figured it would be great, but it was so much fun that I came back a bit overwhelmed yet incredibly, tremendously inspired!

Fanexpo 2014This was the smaller part of the expo... The other side was much bigger.

FanExpo is basically a gathering place for fangirls and -boys. Whatever your fandom is, you'll find others there too!

There's an incredible artists alley, where you can meet international and local artists, both already established and those new to the industry. You can get sketches drawn just for you and chat about your favorites.

I had a total fangirl moment meeting Kei Acedera and Bobby Chiu. I am a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland as well as Tim Burton, so you can imagine how excited I was to see the concept art from the people who designed characters for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland! I actually saw a book of their illustrations first, squeaked a little out of excitement and wanted to buy it immediately. Only then I realized I could actually get it signed. That the incredible artists were actually there! So, now I have the book with sketches from both of them!

The selection of comic books is overwhelming! You can get hard-to-find artbooks at a really great price. Honestly, the affordable price is just a bonus though, some of this stuff is hard to find! Let's be honest though, a lot of the stuff I had no idea existed. But I did want it once I saw it... I did stay within reason with my purchases, but I got some great stuff! I'll share those in another post.

FanExpo 2014The entire spectrum of accuracy in one photo: Stormtroopers vs. Assassins

I didn't dress up, but I did wear an event-appropriate t-shirt. There were so many amazing costumes! I was a tad shy to ask people to pose for me, but I got some photos of some pretty impressive costumes. The photos don't do them justice. I did dress up my son Max in this incredible onesie gifted by his awesome aunt.

FanExpo 20141I love everything about this photo: Batman, Smaug and Legos! Does it get any better?

 There were also a ton of celebrities making appearances. As it so happened Norman Reedus, a.k.a Darryl from the Walking Dead, was there just as we walked in. There was quite a bit of screaming. The list of celebrities was quite impressive: Nathan Fillion, Patrick Stewart, Stan Lee, Elijah Wood, William Shatner and Adam West. Just check the whole lot HERE

FanExpo 20142Talk about crazy costumes...

I was enjoying myself and realized that the whole thing was bigger than I anticipated. Next year I will go for two days. I also decided that one day I will be an exhibitor there. Not sure what I'd sell, but I have time to figure it out. One day...

All in all, it was amazing. I want to do it again!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday Mail

Somehow I feel like every time I get a few minutes to write this blog, it's always Monday. And I can't, obviously, not do a Monday mail post, so here we go again.

Before we get into the mail part though, let me tell you that I have a bunch of ideas I want to write about! Like tons. And a whole load of tutorials too. I just haven't figured out how to fit writing into my new routine. I'm also more inspired than I have been in a long time about my shop and new products, so that's taking up a bunch of time as well.

Now, this isn't really one of those so-sorry-I-haven't-blogged-shame-on-me - kind of posts. I am learning still and I acknowledge that. This is more of a hey-got-any-ideas-how-to-orgnize-my-time-better - kind of posts. Or perhaps just helping me to try sorting all this out. I guess it's just time to really look into everything I do in a day and figure out where to carve out more time for things I like doing. Organize and prioritize. How very September-ish, no?

All in all, it's been a great week, the weekend was fantastical. We took an imprompu vacation, which helped start the let's get organized mindset again. More on that and many more topics, once I figure out how to make time for it!

In the mean time, here's some mail:


Black and white Let's start with a black and white one. I think it started with the envelope and took off from there. I looked for black and white stamps, tape and decorations.

Like so often, you can see a peek of what's inside this letter on my Instagram. Follow me on Instagram to get more up to date photos and peeks on the insides of my letters and a bunch of other stuff: like the Batmobile, punny alpacas, crafting and so. much. food.

Ship's sails I feel like the next one is so colorful to counterbalance the previous one. The envelope is made out of a book page using the envelope templates (a tutorial on how to make one yourself is HERE, in case you haven't seen it yet).

How was your weekend? Do you have any good time-management tips for me?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tuesday mail

I had the best labor day long weekend! It was pretty hectic at times, but totally worth it! It started with an impromptu party at our place on Saturday, continued with FanExpo on Sunday and ended with Canada's largest Ribfest on Monday.

I'm still quite in awe of FanExpo, but I'll share some photos later. I am so incredibly inspired after visiting the event, that I don't quite know where to start. It's 6 in the morning right now, but I can't sleep, so might as well get some ideas out of my head straight away. The amount of talent was incredible and the topmost feeling I have is that I really want to take part as an exhibitor one year! We'll see when that happens. I'll keep you guys in the loop!

Last week was slower for mail. I sent out only one, but received one as well. I actually have a few more things going out, including a letter a wrote over a week ago, but you'll see those next week.


Flowers, outgoing
I wanted to try out an upright letter for a change. It worked out nicely with the pattern on the paper I was using. I even managed to find an upright stamp to go with it. It's actually from a new set of stamps that came out recently. Besides that, it's a fairly simple one. It's the paper that really makes it.


Yellow, Incoming
I got this bright yellow one from Susanne. It had a letter and a paper pack from her trip to Japan. I already have some ideas how to use the papers.

How was your long weekend, if you had one? How has your week started if you had a regular lenght weekend?