Welcome to the Workshop

Welcome to the Workshop

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crossing Over...

Well, it's official.
My name is now


Freestyle and backstroke are called front-crawl and back-crawl!
Catalog is spelled thusly, but at least colour still has a "U" in it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


So far so good with the newsletter.
It's ANOTHER program to learn and I swear my brain loses a few more cells each time I attempt this sort of thing but I have managed to send a couple out which is quite an achievement in my book.
If you've subscribed to the VIP newsletter you'll be aware that I had a giveaway last week. Every subscriber qualified to enter and I wrote all the names on paper for the draw. I am sick of using random draws and other stuff on the internet, plus my kid LOVES to draw names out of hats etc. Well, we used a bowl, but you get my drift.
The winner was announced and we are already well into discussing the order. It's great to have some direct contact with customers again and I'm looking forward to opening up two custom spots in February.
If you haven't signed up for the newsletter (you'll be the first to know about stock listings and custom spots and the like) just leave me your name and email address in the comments section below.

I've also been back into the sewing action (hooray!) and listed some Tooth Fairy Poppets in the Etsy store this week. There are still a few left, if you want to check them out click over here.

And I've also been working on a new design. She's a little cutie with dangly legs and sweet little shoes.
Here's a tidbit...

And then there's this little cutie.

Who has recently decided she wants to take the Canadian option of having lunch with her mother every single day. Whilst I am doing my best to embrace this (it's quite nice) it is certainly a challenge to have almost two hours cut from my day. Procrastination is no longer an option. Time to get sorted!

Monday, January 28, 2013

It's Happened...

A recorder has entered the building.

image via here

By happy coincidence, we are in possession of multiple pairs of ear plugs.
No doubt they will be put to good use in the weeks to come...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Catching Up

Hello there.

I've been AWOL for a few days. The weekend was spent at a spa with some lovely friends. There was massage, champagne, hot tubs in the freezing weather (my hair froze!) and a lot of giggling. It was a great break from regular life.

The Spa

The view from our farmhouse

Thanks to Clare for the Sephora gift bags

Still the best wine available here IMO

Poppet has been doing really well with her ice skating lessons and I finally managed to get down there with my camera. The last class was on a very warm day (around 10 degrees) and most of the instructors were in t-shirts. 

And I managed to find a decent keyboard that didn't cost the earth. I have been 'teaching' my daughter to play piano and she spent the other afternoon learning some new tunes. She has the knack, but I don't want to add to her load with external lessons at the moment so it's home schooling all the way. It's lots of fun, though she won't be passing any exams any time soon.

Finally, I am slowly getting back to work. It's incredibly cold this week (minus 24!) which is perfect staying-in-and-sewing weather. The tooth fairies are coming along nicely and will be in the Etsy store soon.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I've been meaning to share this video with you. Over the brief Christmas Holidays, Poppet participated in a 3-day animation camp. We trudged down the hill in the snow and the cold each morning and it was absolutely worth it. The kids learned about early animation (watched some original Popeye cartoons) and the various styles available to tinker with. Then they made this awesome film.
Each child had their own clay character to create and animate. They worked very hard and now have a much greater appreciation for how long things like Wallace & Gromit must take.
We are hoping to do another class soon!

Click over HERE to watch the film...

If you're in Toronto and would like to know more, go to The Centre for Art & Soul over here.
They have a lovely approach to introducing children to art and we're very glad they're around the corner.

image found here

Poppet also started a new drawing class today at Smock Cafe around the corner. She learned about the grey scale this afternoon and even did a little perspective piece. Very cool!

After which she came home and played on the new keyboard I bought today.
Quite the creative day!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

So, You Want To Order A Poppet...

Things, they are a-changing round these parts.

I am going to accept custom orders in 2013, yay!  I will also continue to make Poppets for immediate sale via Etsy as well but for now I will focus on custom work in lieu of wholesale and see how things go. It would be nice to reward all of you who have stuck around so long in the hopes of nabbing a Poppet.

If you want to be in the running to make a custom order this year there is only one way to do it.
Newsletter! You need to send me your email, either via email or comment or tweet, and I will add you to the list of subscribers.

I will eventually put a link up on the blog but that's too much technical mumbo jumbo for me right now. I hate doing this stuff, my brain dies a little death with each attempt. I'd much rather be sewing.

I am still deciding how to award the custom spots and will announce that soon via the newsletter. The first one will go out next Monday and it will contain all the pertinent information including pricing and schedules.
I will also try to announce Etsy listings on the newsletter FIRST before I blog or tweet or facebook.

So, as they say, you have to be in it to win it. If you want in, comment below or send me an email at jen@pikeletworkshop.com
You only need to do this once, I'll collate your details from various places. I won't miss you!
Thanks, and here's to a happy and productive Poppet-filled year!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Pinning For The New Year

The Pin-Ups girls have started a new board for 2013. You can click over here to see it, we're concentrating on resolutions.
I have some resolutions this year, though I don't usually make them. Exercise and more suitable vegetarian food for myself is a must (next week will see me returning to three yoga classes a week). I find the food part particularly difficult, as I'm always cooking for my meat eaters and forgetting to feed myself! Recently I bought a slow cooker and that's quickly becoming my best friend. I can make some kind of stew for them and then think more seriously about a vego meal, or visa versa. I am also finally making a weekly menu plan, to try to nail things down a little more and give my head a chance to think about my own meals. There are so many recipes I want to try, but never give myself the time to do so. I have to sort that out!
On a business note, I will be starting a newsletter very soon and accepting custom orders again, as well as producing new products for the Etsy store. For now, I feel it is better to accept custom work than wholesale and I like the creative aspect of working directly with a customer. Later in the year I will consider doing some local markets to expand my customer base further in Toronto.
As far as family goes, I am determined to find a day each week in which we switch off our devices and spend more time just hanging out. This Sunday we are going to the Art Gallery to see a Friday Kahlo exhibition. The challenge will be on to visit lots of interesting places over the coming months. Hurray for that!
So, here are some of my favourite pins from the Resolutions 2013 board.

pinned by Christina from Little Pickers

pinned by Shona from Funky Fabrix

pinned by Georgie from Monkeys Over The Moon

pinned by Amber from Mollydagmade
and this one is from me!

Do you make resolutions? What are you trying to focus on this year? Or do you just let things roll...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Mostly Handmade Birthday

Months ago Poppet went through a phase of complaining how boring her bedroom was. Her friends all had painted walls and canopies over their beds, blah blah blah. She also refused to go upstairs alone, or come downstairs alone. With her birthday only months away I decided to try to tackle a few of these issues, and hopefully create a more designed and cohesive space for her to play/sleep/dream in.
One of the difficulties of our apartment is that our bedrooms are up on the third floor under the pitched roof. There's almost no available wallspace to hang things on, and we all have sensitive patches on our heads from constantly banging them on the roof. I didn't feel like painting, though apparently you can do that here without asking permission (the landlord wouldn't mind I'm sure) as it is still a temporary space. Luckily, I just happen to know a few crafty and creative women to call upon when something special is needed. Of course, they're in Australia so I had to move quickly. That postal service can be a tad on the slow side so close to Christmas.
First, I approached Natalie from Petite Bijou for a teepee. We discussed colours and fabrics, and decided upon a beautiful toile (Nat and I share a 'thing' for toile) which was a little more grown-up and would hopefully give Poppet many years of pleasure. Then Nat got to work and created a thing of beauty. Husband sourced the dowels at this end, which proved to be more of a challenge than we expected because of the metric vs imperial measurements thing. But he found them in the end. We put the teepee together on the weekend and decided to give it to Poppet early, rather than pack it away again. She squealed when she saw it, we have done all of our nighttime reading in it together (I can just squeeze in with her) and she races into it each morning to continue her reading. The blessings of the teepee are twofold. One, she has somewhere to 'go' in the mornings when she awakes at 5.45am (yes, you read that right) without disturbing us and two, she announced that she is no longer afraid of her bedroom since the teepee was installed.
Very very happy indeed.
The other commissioned piece was an illustration by Liselle from Liselle Banks - Art & Papery Creations. Liselle captures children so well, and she is so lovely to work with. I also love her use of pencil, and the simplicity of her style. I wanted to reinforce the message of being true to yourself in the face of your peers' opinions, something we've been trying to ram home for some months now. "Be Millie" was created around my kid's love of illustration and comics, music and reading. Liselle did and incredible job and Poppet is mad for the piece, she really understands the concept and it's great for her to see ideas realised and framed on the wall. She's decided to attempt one for me and Husband some time, who knows what "Be Jen" will look like from her perspective. That will be very interesting to see.
I made an embroidered hoop for her with the words 'perfect is boring' on it, as she is a natural perfectionist and can do with a daily reminder that art is not, nor should it aim to be perfect. She also commissioned a cupcake Poppet from me, which she sketched out and chose the fabric for. I finished it today and it wasn't until she told me that it has 2012 on the back that I saw my own mistake. Perfect is boring, indeed!
Poppet's actual birthday was Monday, and she had a rather large load of gifts but we have to remind ourselves that these gifts represent both ourselves and our families around the world.
She woke us at the special time of 5.16am, yay, and we dragged ourselves downstairs to open them all up.

So, here are the shots from the day, including her new bedroom setup. Thankfully we've some sunshine lately so I could get some shots.

Apparently she is making an '8' with her hands...

Finn and Jake!

That doll has a seriously awesome wardrobe.

The newly decorated corner of the bedroom.

"Please make 8 candles (since I'm turning 8.)

She's pretty cute, actually.

2012! Harumph.

It has taken all of my strength not to re-do that stitching. But the memory of the mistake will probably live on and help both of us with our perfectionist tendencies. That particular apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
If you would like to check out Petit Bijou's teepees and other goodies head over here.
And you can see more of Liselle's gorgeous artwork over here.

I'm back on the chain gang again this week, starting to compile ideas and decide which one to get busy with first. Expect to see a VIP Newsletter soon, some custom order spots and lots of lovely new (and old) ideas coming to light.

Ok 2013, let's do this!


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