September 28, 2009

The Notebook

My dear mom is celebrating a milestone birthday this week so the family got together for brunch at a nice restaurant on the weekend. Copious amounts of delicious food was eaten; plenty of meat for those so inclined, but fortunately an impressive variety of offerings this vegetarian could enjoy. And chocolate cake and profiteroles to top it all off!

My sisters and I gave my mom theatre tickets and a photo book put together on my sister's Mac. But I just had to add one little handmade thing. Couldn't help myself .....

This notebook is a project from Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. I really like the way it looks and it was easy to make.

My mother is expertly organized and is always keeping track of things. Heck, she even keeps track of the recipes she tries from various cookbooks and attributes a rating to each. I figured she could find a hundred uses for a little notebook.

I used a small moleskine notebook with lined pages. This is a great project for using up itty bitty fabric scraps. And there is something about the needle punching through the cardboard and producing delicate zig zag stitches which is very satisfying.

Happy birthday mom! Many happy scribbles to you!

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September 16, 2009

Fabric shopping on Etsy

If you're familiar with Etsy, you know it's a great place to find handmade items. It's also a fabulous place to find fabric for your own handmade creations.

I love to browse fabrics on Etsy and find the selection much more inspiring than what is typically on offer in large retail stores.

On Etsy you can browse by designer, colour, or by keyword. For example, try typing 'fabric bundle', or 'fabric owl'!

Here are some of my favourite fabric shops on Etsy:

First, the original handprints......

The Cotton Press
- Hand-printed using a variety of eco-friendly, organic, natural and water-based materials.

Large-scale White Dandelion Clock (100% cotton sateen)
Image from The Cotton Press
(Click image to see item in shop)

Melbomba - Original fabric designed and hand-printed by Melissa Bombardiere.

Belbird in Bright Blue (55% linen, 45% cotton)
Image from Melbomba

greenolive textiles - Original designs, hand-printed using environmentally-friendly, solvent-free inks.

I love that this design is based on a drawing that the designeer made at the age of 5!

My Bike bits and pieces pack (100% linen)
Image from greenolive textiles

And then there are the shops that offer an impressive assortment of designer fabrics......

Whipstitch lets you make your own mix and match selection of 2, 3, 4, and 6 fat quarter bundles. They have a great selection of cotton prints and also some denim, twill, home dec, bamboo and corduroy.

Damask Rock by Michael Miller (100% cotton)
Image from Whipstitch

Fabricworm has a great selection of designer fabric and a good sale section as well. I love browsing the half yard, yard, and baby quilt sets.

Saffron Craig Owl Range, Owls Nesting (100% cotton)
Image from Fabricworm

BE WARNED: If you love fabric, shopping for it on Etsy is seriously addictive!

If you're not familiar with Etsy, you should definitely check it out. It's an online marketplace full of handmade and vintage treasures, as well as art and craft supplies. Customers provide feedback on shops and purchases and that means that you are very likely to receive exceptional customer service. It's like word of mouth on a global scale.

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September 7, 2009

Summer Wrap-up

It's officially the last weekend of summer so it was apt that I finished something called Falling Leaves Wrap, a lovely lace pattern by Dory Brown.

With the blue colour I chose though I think it also resembles waves, of which there were plenty at the beach yesterday.

My husband wanted to do a lake watch as windy weather at this time of year pushes various jaegers and gulls close to shore as they migrate south from the far north. The beach was a perfect backdrop for some photos of my new wrap.

I used a 100% bamboo fingering yarn from Dye-Version. The bamboo stretched less than a wool would so the wrap is a bit narrow, but it's still sufficient to keep the chill off my shoulders and a nice light wrap for early fall.

I enjoyed this stitch pattern because, as Dory points out, once you've completed one of the 16 row repeats it's easy to see what comes next so you're not likely to lose your place.

The shawl pin is from the River John Needle Company of Nova Scotia.

We were a bit concerned that the beach would be packed, and there were certainly a lot of people there. Funny though, most people don't venture too far from the parking lot so several hundred metres down the beach we had the place nearly to ourselves. But for the wind and surf it was quite tranquil.

And we spotted this Parasitic Jaeger : ) ......

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