Welcome to the Workshop

Welcome to the Workshop

Monday, November 3, 2014

Basement Goodness

Hi there
I just wanted to share some pics of my workshop. It's mostly finished, just a little more furniture to add (a comfy sofa and some more storage) and some art which I'm sure I'll accumulate over time.
We sealed the floor with a specky product and discovered that we actually quite like the colour and texture of it so it's staying for the time being.
Just to remind you of the basement's progress, here are some before shots when we bought the house...

Poky and dirty and sad. Oh my!
And then we knocked it down and started over...

And now, here it all is. Six months on and it's now my happy space...

Not a bad place to spend some time really. Poppet often has her bath down here at night time too, which gives me a little more stitching time. It's a lovely warm and cosy space, which is not bad considering the dungeon it was before.
This week I start hosting some friends for a regular boozy, crafty night. Because booze and craft go together like peanut butter and jelly. Right?!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Make Merry with Maker Mail

I am very privileged to have been selected to be part of a wonderful bit of gift giving this season.
It's called Maker Mail and this is how it works...

Simply sign up for either the letter or package mail (I'm in the package category) or both. Then you, or your chosen recipient will receive all sorts of surprise handmade goodies from various artisans.

Each delivery comes straight from the maker with a handwritten note. Isn't that delightful?
So, if you're seeking a little something different for someone you love or just feel like treating yourself, sign up!

 Here is the link. Parcels will be posted on November 19. I best get back to my sewing machine!

What a wonderful way to make merry this season. Be quick, Maker Mail numbers are limited.
Thank you to my Oh My Handmade Goodness buddies for inviting me along.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Month That Was...

Well, September is done and dusted.
Truth be told, I feel a little worse for wear but I can only blame myself.
As you may recall from last year (if you've been around that long) September is chockers full of film festival outings and comedians. We saw a couple of films, most notably David Cronenberg's "Maps To The Stars" and Josh Lawson's "The Little Death" which starred on my buddies from university. Immediately after the film festival was done we started attending the comedy festival. So much fun and Paul F Thompkins was the highlight for me.

But the fatigue was compounded by the fact that I decided to take the plunge and attend my first Canadian craft show. It was the Pop-up show run by our local street team (group of Etsians based in Toronto who organise events and get-togethers) but was a nation-wide event as well.

Well, I spent exactly one month preparing and sewing virtually round the clock and that proved to be exactly the right amount of preparation required. I didn't sell out but I sold an awful lot and it was certainly worthwhile on that front. I met some lovely customers, though it was way too busy for general chitchat as a rule. The Etsy team did a brilliant job marketing the event which meant people lined up for an hour before to get in and it was consistently mental until closing time at 4pm. I'm hoping they'll consider a two-day event next year if it runs again to give people a chance to shop in a calmer environment. Just look at the crowd!

Poppet spent the day with me, she was so excited to be a part of it. She didn't whine, took only a few small breaks to eat and read a comic, but otherwise smiled at customers and wrapped their purchases. She was pretty darn good at that. I look forward to doing shows with her again some time.

This week I'm catching up on chores and errands and trying to find my equilibrium again. I'm considering signing up for an enormous local show in the spring so need to spend some time calculating whether that will be worth it. And I figure the cats need some attention as they've harrassed me constantly while I worked...

Don't forget you can order Poppets for Xmas here at my Etsy store. I will need your order by the end of October to have it out in time.

More soon...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Gosh, I haven't done a post since August!
To say I've been busy is an understatement but I thought I'd write a quick update to assuage my guilt for the lack of posts.
The school holidays ended with one last summer camp at my place. Some girls came over to make whatever they felt like. Mostly, they decided to upcycle old clothes into little pouches and bags. It was a lot of fun!
I'm still waiting for our basement to be finished (husband is working very hard down there) so I can formally move the workshop in and start teaching in a more formal fashion.
Here are some shots from the camp...

Notice the cats refused to be left out of the action!

Poppet has started a new school and I'm delighted to report that she loves it. It feels very much like a fresh start for her and I'm hopeful that this pattern will continue. She also jumps on the yellow school bus each morning without a moment's hesitation. I'm very proud of her new-found confidence.

I am super busy preparing for the Made In Canada Etsy show next weekend. Who knows how much stock I'll need...

So I'll just keep sewing right up until the last minute and hope for the best. I think I'll be fine, but there's still quite a bit to do so I'll sign off now.

Hope you're having a lovely week. Fall is arriving which always makes me smile...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Taking The Time

We've been so busy.
Renovating, working, playing. Summer is passing us by and the temperatures are cooling off already.
Winter is coming...

I had a good reminder to slow down today when I rushed outside for some basil at lunchtime.
Perched amongst the herbs was the most delicious caterpillar. I wondered if it was a Monarch but it's not.
He's quite beautiful nonetheless...

Apparently it is a Black Swallowtail Caterpillar. More can be read about that here. Apparently he is the state butterfly of Oklahoma. A long way from home...

A lovely reminder from nature to savor every moment.
I shall take the time to watch this little fella and remember to spend more time out in my garden while it's still green and luscious.

Although I don't have much parsley left, thanks to our caterpillar!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Garage TLC

If you recall from my early house-related posts we have a cute but very old garage.
It's squished in between a power line and the next door garage so only fits one car but has an adorable extension which is great for storage (think bikes when it's snowing outside!).
As I sit at my breakfast counter right now I look out the window directly at the garage. So cute, like our own cottage in the city, but oh so dilapidated and in need of much TLC.
Our builder came last week with his team to FINISH up. Yes, finish up. I can't believe how far we've come since April. Quite the whirlwind really, and we should be sick to death of painting but it's so great to have our own home again that we seem to continue to be inspired. That, and the fact that winter is coming, keeps us on track.
Here is how the garage looked when we bought the place...

Cute! But with a very old roof which let all the water in (the right-hand extension had an ice rink for a floor), a dangerously wobbly chimney and lots of cracked or broken window panes.
Then the ice melted and we could see our yard better...

You can see that the old tin siding had peeling off paint, which turned out to be near impossible to remove. In the end we paid the builder to spend a day stripping it with his high-power water thingy, and then he primed it too. Well worth the money so we could get on with it.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Our next trick was to replace the entire roof and remove the chimney. I got to work on my Portuguese as the roofer spoke very little English. But he was lovely and they did the whole thing in record time.

Last weekend we spent all of it painting and priming and learning how to repair old glazing (still a work in progress!) and the garage is starting to resemble it's future gorgeous self...

Can you believe it's the same building?!

There's still an awful lot of painting, filling and re-glazing to be done but now I can look at the window and smile instead of shuddering at the thought of such a big project. We'll do some work on those windows tomorrow and next weekend we'll prime all the gutters and give them a fresh coat of paint.
The interior of the garage is a ridiculously big job but we are chipping away at it slowly.

But at least it doesn't smell of mould and raccoon anymore. The roofers evicted our 'tenants' from inside the roof cavity and they don't seem to have found their way back in so far. We have to keep an eye on the roof for any torn up asphalt as raccoons are very strong and have clever fingers!

Summer is fading already (only top temps of 24 predicted in the coming weeks) and school starts back in a fortnight. Poppet is attending a brand new school this year and we have great hopes for that, but she'll also be getting the yellow school bus there and back again and Mummy is particularly nervous about that!

My market prep is into full swing now so I will leave Mr Poppet to continue the good garage work outside.
More photos soon, I realise I haven't taken enough lately to capture this 'phase' of the renos...


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