Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Belated Happy Hallowe'en

I hope that everyone had a great Hallowe'en. I'm a little ashamed of Wren's obvious store bought costume (Value Village at least). I had great plans to make her something wonderful but with all the new projects I have been working on for my new business making baby things I've been swamped. My mom's a Mickey and Minnie fan and she found the costume and Minnie toy. I wasn't that impressed with her choice until I saw Wren wearing it and I almost died laughing.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Kid Stuff at Distill in Toronto

If you're in Toronto be sure to check out the "Kid Stuff" show starting Wednesday at Distill. I have sent some child sized snake scarves (try saying that 10 times in a row) and some monsters for little ones with rattles inside. It sounds like it's going to be a great show. I wish I was there!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Treasures

I admit it, I'm a hoarder. I love the thrill of the hunt when I enter a thrift store/yard sale/estate sale. I'm actually still on a high from my Value Village trip 8 hours ago. It was probably one of my best shops in months though. Amongst a bunch of other things I came away with the most amazing knitted suit for Wren with an elephant on it by Danish company Me Too and it is brand new. I'm crossing my fingers it will still fit her by the time the weather cools down.

Here are some of my recent favorite vintage finds:

A weather house! When I was little and it was really cold my mum used to take me for hot chocolate on the way home from school at a place called the Chocolate Box. I was always mesmerized by the cuckoo clocks and other decorations that they had hanging up and this weather house reminds me of them. I've had it 2 weeks and the little man has yet to go inside. I haven't figured out whether it's broken or it's just Halifax and our beautiful weather.

The most amazing/creepy Santa. His head is attached with a spring so he nods. I love his hand painted face. Too bad he's lost a shoe.

Pyrex coffee pot. I'm going to have to start entertaining again so that I can make use of this coffee pot. I was instantly drawn to the shape of this when I saw it on a table of china at a yard sale. It was a steal at $4. It has space for a tealight underneath to keep the coffee hot. It's funny I've always disliked gold, well anything metallic really and suddenly I'm drawn to everything gold and shiny.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Vegetable Garden

This year we tried our hand at vegetable gardening. I really don't have much of a green thumb but our garden is so large we really don't have an excuse to not give it a go. It's been frustrating. First it took so long to warm up and then there was all the rain that washed away half of the pepper plants. What remained got mostly devoured by birds and slugs. I never imagined I'd be out in the garden with a salt shaker cackling at the slugs shriveling up (a trick I learned from my grandmother, who I thought was completely loopy when I caught her doing this, now I completely understand).

Thankfully the cherry tomatoes, peas and beans survived. Our first harvest was pretty pathetic but we're happy nonetheless, especially Wren who has a penchant for raw green beans.

And just for fun let's compare our harvest against that of our fruit and veggie CSA from Taproot Farms. YUM!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

"Home is where the art is" in The Coast

Here's the kitchen AFTER as I promised

Our house was featured in the local newspaper The Coast yesterday! You can read the great article by Stephanie Johns here. I guess all the work has really paid off!

Scott Blackburn took all the beautiful photos. I LOVE the family portrait he did of us. Wren is so funny, she refused to smile for the picture.

Working on the kitchen

I guess I'm a glutton for punishment. Not only have I just started back at work after a year long maternity leave and started working on a business making baby stuff (more to come on that later) but I've also been trying to get our kitchen and bathroom finished. The kitchen is directly opposite the front door when you come into our house so it's the first thing that you see. I was fed up with cringing at the sight of our kitchen every time we came home and something had to be done. New cabinets were definitely not in the budget so we had to be imaginative to create a vintage inspired kitchen that wouldn't be ruined by the 1980s melamine and wood cabinets. I had the brainwave to paint all the wood trim a dark red, thinking a bright colour against the melamine might detract attention away from it. We painted the walls a really pale shade of blue and laid new vinyl tile in burgundy and grey/blue. It definitely ties in way better with all of our vintage accessories.


This cabinet was found at a thrift store (before you start getting jealous it wasn't that cheap). Someone had gone to the huge effort of stripping it and I would never paint over wood on a piece of furniture normally but it just didn't look right. It probably explains how it ended up in the thrift store. Besides painting the cabinet, I lined it all in oil cloth and I polished all the chrome handles. I used a permanent marker to draw red stripes into the grooves on the handles to match the other red accents on the piece. I am so happy with how it turned out, it's definitely the centre piece of the room now.

We wont talk about how I was up until 3:30 am laying this flooring and how at 2 am I discovered I didn't I have enough red tiles to finish the room. I also shouldn't mention the huge scratch we made in the floor putting the fridge back.

I'll share some pictures of the finished kitchen in my next post.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Stay Still Exhibition at Katie Gingrass Gallery

I was thrilled to be invited to be a part of the show "Stay Still" at the Katie Gingrass Gallery in Milwaukee. I just wish I could be there for the opening. The gallery looks beautiful and carries the work of some stunning artists. I'm honored to have my work shown alongside theirs. If you are in the area the show will be up from the beginning of July until the end of September.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wren's Birthday Party

I had a hard time coming up with a theme for Wren's birthday. In the end I decorated with lots of bright colours and an image of Wren's face.

Hanging paper lanterns, a bright table runner and freshly picked tulips and lilacs.

I didn't want Wren's first taste of sugar to be too much so I made banana cupcakes with whipped cream instead of frosting. She devoured the entire thing so I guess it was a hit. I also made bird's nest cupcakes with chocolate frosting and mini eggs for those with more of a sweet tooth.

I sliced up lots of fruit and veggies to make rainbow trays

Layered jello

Don't put pineapple in your jello mold, it will end up looking like a creature from a horror movie!

Balloons and a fabric bunting I sewed alternating stars with images of Wren's face that I had printed on fabric using my Print Gocco

I also sewed a bunting with Wren's name using vintage floral sheets. This will look great in Wren's room afterwards

I sent the guests home with loot bags featuring the same image of Wren's face. The adults got gummy candies and the 2 babies got a board book and a toy each.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Camera 4: Imperial Lark

We're half way through the year and I am finally admitting defeat on my camera a week project. It quickly became a camera a month project and now I'm completely abandoning it for a new project that I will be sharing with you soon. Anyways here's the last of the sculptures for a while, the Imperial Lark.

This cute little camera from the 1960s has been on my to do list for a while now. I put it off for a long time because I didn't know how to approach the flash bulb and the domed piece the flash sits in. I knew that I wouldn't be able to construct a dome shape with flat felt but I finally came up with the idea of wet felting around a styrofoam ball to achieve the shape. I thought it would be fun to be able to take the lightbulb out so it's attached with a snap. The camera also has a working viewfinder.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wren's Birthday

I'm a little late posting this. Last week was Wren's birthday. It is so hard to believe that my little Wren is one year old. We celebrated with a small party of a few friends and family.

Wren certainly took an interesting approach to eating her cake. Something she had never done before and has yet to do again. I guess it's her party piece.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Felt Toy Storage

We've turned a corner of our living room into a play area for Wren. It's crazy how quickly the toys overtook the entire room so I decided to make some storage bins to contain and organize all her toys.
I made them out of industrial felt that I dyed one end of with food colouring.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Camera 3: Agfa Silette LK

Okay I admit it, I've been too embarrassed to post since it has taken me so long to finish this camera. I'm more than a little behind on my camera a week plan. I'm thinking a camera a month (and that is probably pushing it) is more my speed what with this little thing called raising a baby! I've also had out of town visitors and been strangely more social than I have been in a long time. My weekends and even some of my week days have been booked solid meeting up with friends which has been great. I've also been doing a lot of Spring cleaning. I started to attack the basement this morning, it's pretty scary down there.

Anyways onto the camera:
This camera is modelled on the 1970's Agfa Silette LK camera that belonged to Spencer's grandfather. Spencer has shot a few rolls of film through it and says it's a fun camera to shoot with.

This felt camera has a working viewfinder, you can look through and line up your shot.

I think that this is probably the most detailed camera that I have made to date. I have started incorporating clear vinyl in my last few felt sculptures to mimic glass lenses and plastic screens. I'm really enjoying the contrast between the shiny, artificial material and the warm, soft felt.

The lightmeter and exposure counter were created by layering embroidered felt and clear vinyl underneath the main piece of felt.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Camera 2: Brownie Holiday

The Brownie Holiday was produced from 1953-1962. The particular camera that this was modeled after was bought by my dad at a second hand sale in the early '80s and is still in it's original box. I've always been attracted to this camera, I love its boxy shape and the tiny handle.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My mom's birthday

Today was my mom's birthday. I finally finished weaving her the table runner and place mats that I had begun at Christmas. I am never weaving with a linen warp again. I was given the gift of a huge bag of linen in a rainbow of colours several years ago and it was so rough I knew I couldn't make scarves with it so table linens seemed like a great idea. It caused me so many problems though, the threads kept matting together and snapping and it ended up taking twice the time that it should have to finish.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Marty Mink

I met Lianne Perry, creator of Marty Mink at the Halifax Pop Explosion Zine Fair last October. Her Marty Mink zines are great, be sure to check them out if you get the chance. Lianne asked me to create Marty in three dimensions for her and here he is:

I have been hard at work trying to catch up on my overdue camera. I'm so disappointed in myself for getting behind so early on in the project but I refuse to give up. I've also been busy making my mom's birthday present and also making something for Wren. I'm hoping to show you both projects later in the week.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Only a week in and I'm behind already on my camera a week project. I've been working on another project that I'll show you tomorrow when I have taken some photographs. I'm going to have a busy weekend making not one but two cameras! It's been snowing like crazy here all afternoon and I have my fingers crossed that Spencer will have a snow day tomorrow so that I can spend the day sewing.

Here are some pictures from the weekend of Wren having her first ride in a sled. She wasn't that impressed. I don't think she approved of her dad's matching hat and coat ensemble.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wren's Bedroom

To get me started on my house tour here's a peak of Wren's room.

Wren's room was a challenge. The room only measures 10' x 10' and we had to redecorate it on a really tight budget. It had been the office and it was painted a coffee colour when we moved in. It made the room appear a lot smaller so we painted it white with a slight hint of blue to make it look bigger and brighter.

The only large purchases for the room were the crib and mattress and paint. Everything else was brought together from other rooms in the house or bought second hand. The bed was mine when I was a child and the dresser was a Value Village find a few years back. The shelf going around the top of the room to display my vintage book and Fisher Price toy collection was a gift from a family member. Gifts of carpentry are the best!

The closet doors opened too close to the foot of the bed so we took them down and replaced them with a vintage Kate Greenaway curtain. My mom passed on her thrift store addiction to me. She had been collecting vintage textiles for me for a while and they all came together so beautifully in the room. My favorites are the Alice in Wonderland curtains on the window and the pink quilt with the puppies and bears hanging above the crib.

The Jessie Wilcox Smith print of the girl and kitten above and the bunny hook my mom painted for me below were both on my bedroom walls growing up.

The beautiful framed illustrations above were a find on Etsy and are pages from an antique children's book. If you can bring yourself to take illustrations out of old books you can get yourself some wonderful cheap art for your walls!

I love having the hooks on Wren's walls to display some of my favorite of her clothes. It's amazing how many beautiful hand knit baby sweaters you can find in thrift stores. I guess people don't have the patience to wash hand knits anymore.

I know the room is really busy but I absolutely adore it. I wish it was my bedroom!

Wren seems pretty happy with it.