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Happy Easter

Posted on April 13, 2017 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)



I found a copy of Douglas Gayeton's book, Slow: Life in a Tuscan Town, at a local church charity shop and just love it - the photographs and the story behind them. I think the cover (I removed the dust jacket) is an appropriate image for Easter. As symbols, eggs have many meanings: for Christians, eggs symbolize the resurrection of Christ; for kids, goodie treats; and for the rest of us, spring and new beginnings.


I also think eggs are the perfect food: you can prepare them in an infinite number of ways (where would I be without my morning soft-boiled egg and toasty soldiers) in baking and cooking. Eggs are also used cosmetically, for examples, in facials and for healthy hair growth. And THEN, you can repurpose the shells in hundreds of ways in crafts (crafters can use crushed eggshells as tiny mosiacs for decorations), the kitchen, garden, etc., as well. Perfect, indeed.


Gayeton is a filmmaker who began recording foodway traditions in the Tuscan town of Pistoia, Italy for a project he was doing with PBS. While most Pistorians had never heard of the slow food movement, Gayeton realized that they were in fact exemplars of the movement's basic principles. So he focused his camera on his friends and neighbors, discovering many stories along the way and this book was the result.


To find out more about Gayeton and his work, go here and here


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Book Ornament Workshop!

Posted on November 30, 2016 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)



My workshop hosted by Westboro Brainery at the Dovercourt Recreation Centere here in Ottawa was a smashing success. Transformed many old books into holiday ornaments including Christmas trees, snowmen, and stars.




What a great way to spend an evening with a group of lovely, lively ladies. And, pssst, they actually pay me for doing this!! Check out more photos here.


Picture sources: Westboro Brainery

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Happy Thanksgiving, Canada

Posted on October 7, 2016 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)



It's Thanksgiving on Monday here in Canada and we have a lot to be thankful for. Let's remember and give a prayer for all those who live in countries and places in turmoil and war.


Photo source: Samantha Wennerstom


Christmas in July

Posted on July 6, 2016 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

These past few days I've been dreaming of a white and COLD Christmas because the heat here in Ottawa is melting my brain! To keep cool, I'm using my mind and what better way than watching out for inspiring holiday projects to make. Besides I need the time to gather up material and stuff to recycle to make things for that wonderful festive time.


Well, this year it seems that the colour theme for Christmas 2016 pastel or white, which is okay with me. So I searched out some projects using this colour theme and I found a few you might enjoy - and I might even make.


Gift Wrap



This gift wrapping idea is from Sostrene Grene, an online shop specializing in mostly paper goods. Danish sisters Anna and Clare have a nice little catalogue that displays their products. This pastel theme idea would be easy copy using giftwrap and/or ribbons leftover from previous events and celebrations. Nice - and, for me, no trip to the mall will be required. Lots of great ideas for Christmas decorating at this site, too.


For ways to wrap your gifts like a professional, the folks at Hallmark have got you covered. Click here.


Christmas Stars



Aren't these stars gorgeous? Anu over at her website, Nalle's House, has a nice tutorial for these stars and even provides a template so you can make your own. I definitely will rummage through my paper horde and see what I have that I can use to make these twinklies. It's a very nice site so enjoy your visit. 


Garlands, Rosettes, and Snowflakes



An all-in-one idea - again the pastel theme is strong here and, bonus, all the projects are simple and economical to make using what you have in the way of paper. The polka dot garlands are simply circles of paper and would be easy enough for any child to create. For instructions to make these garlands, click here


Snowflakes are always fun to make. For an easy tutorial for you (or your kids) to make snowflakes, visit our lady Martha here.  


Large or small, colourful paper rosettes are another festive idea that can be used for any holiday or celebrations. For how-tos, click here


Again - check out what you've got in the paper department before heading for the shops. You can save a bundle. The above photo comes from here.


Paper Tree Ornament



This is definitely on my to-do list just because I love some easy that looks so elegant! You can find instructions for this cute little tree ornament here.


Linen and Gauze Wrapped Christmas Ornaments



Apparently these are actually covered in burlap and linen strips but they look like linen and gauze to me and that is what I would use if I had the fabric. Since I don't, I will need to find another way to recreate these. Hmmm - gauze - I may have some in my medicine cabinet. I found these at Fresh Designpedia but originally the holiday ornaments were sold on Etsy. I couldn't find the actually seller - and I suspect these are gone by now! 


You can make your own following this tutorial. 


DIY Mother's Day - Last Minute Ideas

Posted on May 6, 2016 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

The little guy (who lives in Edinburgh and viewed my last post) informed me that I need to add a few more Mom's Day ideas, and they have to be super fast and super easy. Okay, last minute ideas - here goes:


Make a Note of This



If your Mom likes to make lists (and what mother doesn't), you can make these easy, peasy note pads from scrap paper and cardboard. We made these at one of my workshops and everyone had a different use for theirs. Made entirely of recycled materials, we even used dried up pens and office clips to hold the notepads together. And, best of all, refillable!


Threaded




For some reason, I have a horde of tea infusers. Some I find at charity shops, others are gifts. But they do have their uses besides infusing tea. This may be one way for Mom to keep her gift wrapping twine tidy (also a good idea for holding embroidery thread). Add a couple in a handmade box (see yesterday's post) and you're done.


Decoupage This



Our lady Martha has this neat idea for taking bottles and decoupaging them with a pretty floral print (which she provides) turning ho-hum old bottles into lovely flower vases for Mom. Heck, you won't even need to buy flowers. Don't bother running out for new paint - check out what you've got squirreled away in the garage or basement. No paint there? Ask friends or neighbours.


Click here to find out how to make.


Mom's a Star




and you'll can let her know that's how you feel with these lovely star toppers from A Subtle Revelry. Bake or buy a nice cake (preferably one Mom likes - not you!) and top it with these pretty paper stars. Get the kids to help you make them.


All done now?


DIY Mother's Day

Posted on April 26, 2016 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

With Mother's Day just a few weeks away, why not make a few things that she would adore (after all, you made them!). Here are a few ideas that I have made for my own Mom (and my daughter who is a Mom, too!).


Let's Wrap Again!




Instead of a humdrum box of chocolates, surprise your Mom with this sweet treat, featuring her favourite photos wrapped around chocolate bars. Easy to do. Remove the wrapping from her favourite bars and measure each one. Next choose your photographs, scan and crop so that these are the same size as the chocolate bar wrapping. Wrap a photo around each bar, and tape or glue at the back of the bar. Be sure to make extra - Mom will want to share!


Top That!



Mom will smile for days when you present her with this cute cupcake (homemade or store-bought) with its vintage topper. To make the topper, copy images from vintage sewing patterns or use images from magazines or your family photographs. Scan the images and then print on card-weight paper (or do as I do, copy image on recycled paper and glue to cardboard). Next, cut out the image, then glue or tape toothpicks on the back of each topper. Insert in a cupcake and serve. Yummy!


Bottle Up



Forget humdrum (and expensive) roses. Instead, head for your local grocery store and pick out a few flowers that you know Mom is fond of. When you get home, raid the recycle bin for suitable bottles, plastic or glass. Wash these thoroughly and dry. Add a bit of water to each bottle 'vase' and plunk in a flower. Group these 'vases' on a pretty plate and finish off with a pretty ribbon tied in a bow. The cost will be minimal but the impact will last for days.


Daffed about You!



Another super easy but low-cost idea for Mom. Again, head for your local grocery store and check out the overgrown daffodils and tulips stuck in the back of the flower department section. The flowers and plants here usually cost very little. Buy one with the best looking blossoms and, at home, remove from the container and wash off the soil from the bulb and roots. Write 'Mom' or her name on a paper label and tie to the flower. Put this on a pretty plate at her breakfast (or dinner place setting and you're done!


Note: When the flower has dried up, cut the stem down and place the bulb in a cool, dark place (such as your cellar) over winter. You can replant the bulbs in your garden in the fall to bloom again next spring.


All these ideas are easy-peasy, low-cost, fast, but look like a million bucks (at least to Mom).