Friday, December 7, 2012

Be Well Domino Pins

Several weeks ago, I was invited to "Be Well Connect" - another fantastic event held by my friends at the Manitoba Canola Growers. Since I had shown up empty-handed to the last couple of events, I figured it was time to bring along a little representation of what I do, to share with the group.

After about 4 seconds of thought, I decided to make a batch of my domino pins for the group. There was no question that they would be canola yellow, and the "Be well!" tagline was already written for me; all I had to do was round up some dominoes and put them together.

Everybody likes getting swag (and especially something handmade), but I was still very happy to see everyone's reaction to the pins. It was a wonderful evening, but being able to share my craft with such a warm and generous group of people made if just that much more special for me.

I haven't been making the domino pins for craft sales for the past two years, but I am always accepting custom orders of 3 pins or more. Please contact me for details. Custom pins are 3/$18 (plus shipping, if applicable).

Monday, November 5, 2012


This is the way social media is supposed to work. After blogging about Jenn's custom chalkboard last Friday, I received a message from a local wedding planner-slash-Twitter friend requesting a pair of chalkboards to be featured on her upcoming segment on Breakfast Television. They had to be white with a hint of pink, vintage-y looking, lightweight, and (most importantly) ready by Sunday. Could it be done?

Why, of course!

Jaime's vision was to create small, decorative chalkboards to hang on the bride and groom's chairs. The frames themselves were pretty dull, so I tarted them up with some anaglypta (textured wallpaper) in a classic, "tin ceiling" pattern, then added a five-coat, top-secret painted effect. (Ok, ok...two coats of pink, three coats of white, and a little judicious sanding.) I used standard black chalkboard paint* on primed masonite to create the inserts for the frames and Jaime added the "Mrs & Mr", as well as the pink satin ribbon for hanging. I think they turned out really well.

Here's Jaime (and one of the chalkboards) on Breakfast Television this morning. See how the ribbon allows the frame to be hung from the back of the chair? So clever. To watch the full segment, click here.

Apart from their cuteness, the best thing about these little chalkboards is that they can be used after the wedding; either as chalkboards, or as picture frames. (I include the original glass from the frames so that conversion is a snap.) Tiny versions of the chalkboards would also make great place cards or signs on a buffet or sweet table.

Of course, custom orders are available. A pair just like the ones pictured would be $40, but prices will vary depending on size, quantity and paint finish. Please email me for a quote.

...and, should you be blinded by love and have your sights set on a fabulous wedding, destination or otherwise, look no further than the lovely Jaime from Travel & Events With Style. She'll hook you up.

*Chalkboard paint is a pretty magical thing. Just a few coats can transform nearly anything paintable into a writable and erasable surface. Watch this blog for more ideas over the next few months.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Jenn's Chalkboard

It's funny how an overheard conversation on Twitter can turn into a project. I can't remember all the details, such as who was actually looking for a chalkboard, but after some shameless self-promotion and a few back and forth tweets with my friend Jenn, I had a custom order for one!

As far as customers go, she was pretty easy to work with.
Size? "16x24...ish."
Colour? "A punch of colour".
Any other instructions? "Surprise me."

Ok, maybe there was more to it than that. Jenn sent me a great description of the space that the chalkboard would ultimately end up which gave me a pretty good idea of the direction to go in: vintage, eclectic, crafty, distressed, mismatched. This, this I can do.

After finding the perfect reclaimed cabinet door (in boring old white), I set to work on the transformation. Seemingly endless coats of primer, chalkboard paint, and the *perfect* shade of '50s diner turquoise went on and then the real fun started. And, by "fun", I mean a nail-biting session of sanding and scraping to achieve a nonchalant worn effect.

If you've never distressed a piece of furniture before, let me tell you, it can be rather distressing. Too little and it just looks like the piece has just been through a bad move; too much and you have to start again. It's always a surprise, but the real fun with Jenn's chalkboard was discovering a hidden layer of PINK paint below the white. Who knew??

Once I was satisfied with my work, I dug through my collection of old cabinet knobs and found the perfect mismatched pair to adorn the frame. A little bucket on a lime green for chalk was added, along with hangers for mounting, and the chalkboard was ready for delivery to a very excited Jenn. Or, at least I hoped that she'd be excited...

Jenn, were you excited??

Shameless self-promotion: If you are interested in a custom chalkboard like (or unlike) Jenn's, drop me a line or leave a comment. Prices are dependent on size, finish, and accessories.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Paula's Yoga Mat Bag - Custom Order

This yoga mat bag is a custom order for Paula, one of my participants at the gym. Other than "blue jeans", she gave me carte blanche for the design and accent colours; this is what I came up with.

The bag itself is made the leg from a thrifted pair of jeans. I added the jeans' pocket (along with a piece of vintage pocket square for a little interest), and an adjustable handle, made from a vintage necktie in a vibrant blue. I absolutely love the way it turned out!

I am currently taking orders for bags similar to this one. Due to the nature of the materials (and my own artistic expression), each yoga bag is 100% unique. You can be guaranteed that your bag is a true one-of-a-kind!

The cost for a custom bag, as shown*, is $25. Please email me for details, or to place your order.

*An additional charge may apply for extra details and/or features, or if your yoga mat is a non-standard size.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Watch this space for big, exciting ideas in small packages.

You have been warned.