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Further Workshops Postponed

Posted on July 27, 2015 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

My first workshop went very well and, although only a small group, we had loads of fun. Everyone went home with a finished book sculpture and were looking forward to the next workshop.

Unfortunately ...

Wasn’t it John Lennon who said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” Well, I guess that applies to me. I will be postponing my next workshops as I need to be away for most of August. I’ll still be posting things that I find interesting but my workshops are on hold until September.

Workshops - Kids Welcome

Posted on July 20, 2015 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I've been thinking awhile about having kids (for free and accompanied by an adult) come to the book folding workshops and so, when a neighbour, who is familiar with my workshops, stopped by the other day with a pile of comic graphic novels for me to use, I thought how I could test this idea out. By the way, for the purists out there, these books (as in all the books I reuse) had torn pages and/or were missing quite a few, were badly stained and, generally, unreadable. Perfect for a kids' book folding workshop as the books had just the right number of pages (not so many as to overwhelm but enough to challenge little hands) and were also quite colourful. Would kids enjoy this kind of project? I needed to find out.

As chance would have it, a 6-year old friend wandered over to my place to see if I had anything crafty on the go. He had helped out with the pizza garden and was eager to see if I had anything new up my sleeve.  So - of course, I handed him a 'Lucky Luke' book and showed him how to fold the pages. Then I left him to it. He quickly caught on and, in under 20 minutes, completed the above 'sculpture' and then he asked if I had more books for him to fold. Although not a particularly scientific test, I realized that, yes, kids just might enjoy this project. If you are interested in coming to the workshop, don't hesitate to bring one kid (free) along.

Workshop Announcement

Posted on July 6, 2015 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

At the moment my studio is in a bit of a disarray as I've been working hard making samples for my coming Saturday Morning Craft Club workshops. I am not by nature an organized soul so I spend a lot of my time sifting through my craft storage boxes and recycling bin to find materials and supplies. I do make an attempt to label everything but during the occasional organization frenzy, I tend to misplace stuff.

Since my brain tends to go overboard when coming up with ideas, I've had to narrow down my workshop choices and came up with over 50 easy-peasy, frugal projects. As I have only 5 Saturday mornings, you can see I had to whittle down my choices a bit more. 

The workshops are geared for adults, teens and kids 5 to 12. Anyone who wants to start a new hobby, make stuff for their church bazaar or raise funds for school projects, maybe even be inspired to start a part-time home business at little or no cost will want to attend. These workshops are also great for grandparents or childminders who are looking for cheap and easy ways to entertain the little ones will find a few ideas to get started.

The first will be my popular Book Folding workshops scheduled for July 25. I'm still working on the others.

To more information on the Book Folding workshop and to register, go here.

Pizza Garden Update

Posted on July 2, 2015 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I'm pleased to tell you that my pizza garden plants have been growing so well that I've had to transplant them yet again into bigger pots. All the herbs are thriving and my tomatoes and peppers - well - are just coming along nicely. My balcony garden faces north so does not get a lot of sunlight just an hour or so in the late afternoon so I can only attribute the growth of my plants to the coffee that I serve them every morning - my leftover coffee and coffee grinds. Can it be the caffeine that is doing this?

I'm especially pleased about the tomatoes. 

Recycling Magazines

Posted on June 28, 2015 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

I've blogged about recycling magazines before and this week I ran a magazine upcycling workshop recently at a local shop and the turnout was way better than I expected. I had no time to advertise or even post my workshop as it was almost all word-of-mouth advertising. Anyway, each participant got one magazine and it is safe to say even though we made a bunch of stuff, they still had loads of pages left over to do more recycling at home.

We made bags, tags, cards, and envelopes. The materials required are all stuff we all have around the house or are easily accessible: scissors, pencils, rulers, glue stick and, of course, magazines.

I surprised everyone by showing them how to make gift boxes from magazine covers. What fun!

There are, of course, dozens of other ways to recycle (or I should say upcycle) magazines from beads to Christmas trees. All how-tos can be found online, so go search!

Did I mention that any leftover magazine bits and bobs can be shredded and used as filler in mailing parcels? A workshop participant even suggested turning what's left over into confetti. By the way, if you have no magazines, junk mail, old maps, even paper bags work just as well.

Stay tuned as I'm planning a series of Saturday morning craft reupcycling sessions? This time I hope to be a bit more organized.

Ciao for now.

Recycling my stuff

Posted on June 26, 2015 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)

In yet another effort to downsize and organize my studio (and myself), I've been selling off a lot of things that were just stored away and never in view. Since I almost never buy anything new, most of the things that I am selling is vintage with a few genuine antiques amongst them. When I was a student I couldn't afford a lot of new decorative accessories or even essentials, so charity shops, flea markets and garage sales were the mainstay for my shopping adventures. Now I'm glad that I did what I did back then as I had no idea what my odds and ends would fetch today.  

I was lucky enough to visit Europe over the years and haunted the flea markets in France, Italy, and the UK, bringing home souvenirs of my trips. Few of these were actually tourist souvenirs, just bits and bobs I simply had to have - dozens of Eiffel towers in various sizes, concrete cannonball, a pair of brass candlebras from St. Paul's church in Paris, an antique lidded pewter measure, old wooden boxes - even a foldable military cadet's wrought iron bed which weighed a ton. I brought it over as luggage and the guys at Customs just shook their heads in amazement. No way could I do that today!

Over the years I have sold a lot and miss quite a few my treasures. I am reluctant to sell off all of my James Keiller & Son marmalade crocks so have only put two for sale. They still speak to me. Usually I only have bought what I really, really, really was drawn to (and still do) even back in my university days and I remember exactly where and when I made my purchases. Funny how things can evoke such strong feelings but there it is. Do you feel the same way about what you have?