Welcome to the Workshop

Welcome to the Workshop

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...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My First Canadian Show

I am happy to announce that I've been accepted into my first Canadian craft show.

For various reasons, mostly caused by relocating and renovating (but also a reasonable dose of procrastination/gutlessness) it has taken me three years to pluck up the courage/time/energy to apply to one.
There are some awesome shows in Toronto but many of them span days, if not weeks and I just can't fathom how I would ever make enough stock for such an event. Other shows don't seem to fit my brand, and others still have never replied to my enquiries. Naughty. That is one of my big pet peeves!

Recently a new event popped up in my feed and I decided to take the plunge.
It's run by the Etsy Street Team in Toronto, and is co-ordinating with teams all over Canada for a nation-wide one day event. Fits me and my Poppets down to the ground.
The organisers seemed to agree and gave me a spot.

Here are some shots of my preparations for the event. It's been four years since my last market day and I have to restock my packaging and marketing materials, as well as upgrade my phone and get one of those clever gadgets which accepts credit cards with said phone. The list seems endless but I'm doing my best to churn through it amidst the summer holidays. (Oh yes, we're still renovating as well!)

My own Poppet is underfoot almost constantly so I have to plan work hours around her schedule of movies, swimming and ice cream. Not such a bad way to live but I'm very much aware that September 27 will arrive with a bang and I need to feel prepared.

Some of these Poppets will head to a local store as soon as I can finish them, and the rest will be part of the stockpile of cute little things I'm hoping to finish in time for the show.

If you're interested in knowing more about it, here's a link.

The countdown is on. Thank goodness school starts back in a few weeks so I can really get some work done. This is the sort of distraction I contend with on an hourly basis....

Cute and crazy, just the way I like her. But 'distraction' really is an understatement...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Cottage Life

Cottaging is a big deal in Ontario.
You only need to spend one winter here to understand why. Locals will do anything to chase the sun and follow it's warmth until it fades once more, so their kids stay up until the wee hours and they get away to the 'cottage' as much as possible.
We didn't think we'd manage a break of any sort this summer, seeing as we've almost finished renovating and bought two kittens.
A last minute text message changed all that and before we knew it we were heading out to a friend's cottage for a few days.
Bliss, bliss and then some more bliss...

Early morning canoe rides, swimming all day, celebrating cheese o'clock and toasting marshmallows before bed. We haven't unplugged like this in years and it was just what the doctor ordered.
I've never seen so many chipmunks in one place...


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