Monday, March 24, 2014

Will It Ever End?

That's a rhetorical question, because of course we know that eventually winter will end, but oh my it's taking it's time this year.  
As I was talking to my sister on face-time this morning, her young granddaughter was with her and asked me if I could show her all our snow again.  
Later in the morning I was speaking to a sister-in-law, once again in England. She said that they have no concept at all of how much snow we get, even in saying that it is still three feet deep on the grass, it's hard for them to grasp that amount. 

However that said, we know that although the snow offers us many challenging moments, such as having to shovel a foot out of your driveway in order to come to the card class on Saturday, it also offers us many enjoyable moments.  

Linda's family went out Rosseau way on Sunday afternoon. Not only a beautiful afternoon for a drive, but for to see the ice on the rocks on the side of the road.  
They trudged up the hills, fell down into the snow to their waists, had the snow disappear from under them as they were admiring the view, causing them to slide back down where they had climbed up, and  generally admired the thickness of the ice and the way it hung way over the rocks.
These photos were taken by Linda's husband Randy  

All in all, the joy and beauty of winter on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

As I mentioned, two of ladies who joined us on Saturday for the All Day Card Class, had to shovel a foot of snow out of their driveway before they could make their way up here from Barrie.  Another two who came over from Midland way said that it wasn't nice driving, but like the two who came from Peterborough, they all made it safely here.  

All twenty of the ladies with varying skill levels, were able to complete the ten cards they had in their kits. Some finishing touches may have been needed once they went home, but on the whole, complete.  
That's 200 cards made in five hours, quite an accomplishment I would say. There was a pretty high consensus for a favourite card this time, which of course you won't get to see until after April 5th when we hold the second class.  
Are you registered?  There will very soon be a cut-off time for that class, so don't sit on the fence any longer.

As at the All Day Card Class this past weekend, there was also a consensus at the Thursday night class for a favourite card.  
It was the spring garden card to the left.  
There was a definite "Wow" factor when using the Kaisercraft wood-grain stamp to make the fence boards. Then by adding a few punched flowers and a stamped flower, a lovely spring card was created.  
Too bad the weather that day didn't co-operate as being like the first day of Spring we may have expected.

Now our focus has moved from the All Day Card Class to the upcoming Mega Crop Weekend.  A customer was asking us how much scrapbooking we achieved on these weekends and was somewhat surprised to hear that we don't do any of our own scrapbooking at that time. 
We have always been committed at these weekends to ensuring that those who register have our full attention.   Not only through the weekend, but prior to it.  Planning is key to a successful weekend, not only for each registrant as they plan their pages, make up their kits and execute those plans, but to us also as we strive for a great weekend experience for everyone.  

I've directed you to this article before, so you may well have seen it already, but it's well worth a read as you sort and organize your "stuff" for to be productive at the Mega Crop Weekend. This is one person's view on how to pack and organize so that she doesn't have to take EVERYTHING to a weekend and by doing this she has found herself to be much more productive.

So are you registered?  Have you begun your page sketch/map selections?  This Friday night we have another Crop and Craft Night and would be pleased to help you if you are in need.  There are many great graphic artists out in the cyber world willing to share their sketch ideas with you.  
One of my personal favorites continues to be Page Maps which you can find here, but there are many others.

This is a sample page from February Page Maps


Here's another from Scrapbook and Cards Today.

Each of these samples show how to use paper in a different way to enhance your layout.  Also showing where to place embellishments of your choice to bring the focus to different places in the layout. 
Both of these layouts have six photos on them, and yet due to placement bring a completely different look to each layout.  It's by using varying layouts and paper placements that the interest of the viewer is kept when showing off an album.  
As each page is turned, the surprise of the layouts cause interest to be held. 

Speaking above of Scrapbook and Cards Today, have you picked up the latest edition yet?  You simply have to spend $20.00 in the store to receive this magazine free to you.  It's packed full of ideas and techniques  for both scrapbookers and card makers so don't miss the opportunity of this free to you magazine.  A great resource, but limited quantities.

Linda has mentioned in the newsletter how we are endeavoring to post more on Facebook during the week if something extra comes up to notify you of.  
Have you "friend-ed" us so that you receive notification of these posts?  
It's really easy.  You simply have to find us as Craft Nook Bracebridge, then hover over the word liked, then click on the "get notifications text". You'll not miss out on any of the midweek postings that way.

For those of you with a Silhouette cutting machine, did you see that the shapes are on sale until March 27th in the Silhouette Store?  That means just 55 cents per shape.  
Drop into the Craft Nook to pick up a download card so that you can purchase some new shapes for yourself.

Also if you've ever wanted to weld some words inside a shape but don't know how, I found a great tutorial here that clearly explains it for you in picture format.

Now for the non-paper crafter, what to share?  

Once again for the cross stitcher I came across a lovely design.   This is suited to being a card, but could well be a part of a small grouping of floral designs. 

Remember we have Aida cloth as well as a full complement of DMC embroidery floss in stock at the Craft Nook.

I found this idea on a blog here and thought how clever it was and could be used by any kind of stitcher.  
[tn_al_may2011 134[3].jpg]The needles are all threaded onto a reel of thread (could be floss bobbin too) so that when you are busy hand sewing, all you have to do is pull out the first needle and the amount of thread you want and you're good to go!  How neat is that.  A few minutes of prep to begin and you're ready.

Do you have a boring bottle of hand sanitizer sitting on your counter? We have many stickers in the store that could be used like this to make a boring bottle more fun to look at. 
It would make a quick and easy little gift in a basket too.

And the words for the week.  Sometimes as we travel through the daily grind of living, it's hard to see that each day can bring us a degree of joy. 

Perhaps  it's hard to uncover that joy some days, but if we......

.....maybe it will.  Could be it's all in our state of mind?

Until Later.....Happy Crafting



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Did You See Where It Went, Because I Missed it!

Last week that is.........  

It started late Sunday night and by Monday of last week when I was scheduled to be in the store so Linda and family could have an extended weekend, I wasn't sure if I would make it through the day!  

It's been a long time since I felt like I did last week, but in saying that, I had two ministering angels taking great care of me.

One came in the form of Janet who works next door at the restaurant, and whom I've known from being a small child. She was in the store as a customer Monday morning, saw I wasn't up to par and all day ministered to me. Bringing me hot lemon and honey tea, medication, minestrone soup for lunch and checking again before she headed home for the day to make sure I was still functioning.  

She didn't stop there though..........
When I did finally make it back into the store for a prolonged period of time, (more than an hour), she brought me a lovely bunch of how nice a person is that? She says she's got me fooled when I tell her how nice she is, but she's fooling herself if she doesn't believe it.
My other ministering angel....well of course Linda who kept sending me home when I tried to be at work, but she saw I was low functioning with the headaches and fever.   Yes and of course the third one in the body of my husband who made sure that I was eating and drinking when I just didn't feel up to it.  
So how was your week?

Did you check out the specials that we've been posting on Facebook?  A number of customers have taken advantage of them already.  We will be offering different items through the month of March for National Crafting Month, so keep an eye open for them.  

Who knows, we may hit on exactly the right product for you!
I also take advantage of posting extra things on Facebook instead of sending out an extra newsletter or posting another blog, so make sure you "friend" us to be able to see what's going on through the week at the store.  

There's a list of supplies there for this week's card makers at the Spring All Day Card Class.  Did you see it if you're a participant?  I'll list it here as well, but that's a great place to catch other postings so keep an eye out.  Linda did explain recently in a newsletter how Facebook have changed some things for businesses so that you must make sure you "friend" us in order not to miss a feed.
Here's what she found out about that and mentioned in a newsletter.......

You may not be aware that recently Facebook made some changes to your newsfeed.  Now you will receive fewer updates from businesses - which means our Facebook page!   To make sure you are seeing all of our posts, Click HERE to go to our Facebook Page.  Next, login then hover your cursor over the word 'Liked' and click on the 'Get Notifications' text.

So speaking of the Spring All Day Card Class, did you call the store to register for the new date?  

If you missed out on the first class and still want to participate, we've opened a second class on Saturday, April 5th.  
Don't be slow out of the starting gate and miss that date too.

Here's the list of supplies for the All Day Card Class on Saturday.

Black water based Ink: 
Cats Eye Chalk Inks in the following colours....
Dark Moss or Green, Chestnut Roan, Dark Peony, Prussian Blue: 
White Signo Pen: 
Fine Black MarkerPen(Micron): 
Black Identipen: 
Black Permapaque Pen: 
Distressing Tool: 
Tim Holtz Piercing Ruler and Piercing Tool: 

We have another Technique class coming up on Thursday of this week and now I realise I didn't show you what we did in the last class.  
Linda always posts the cards in the newsletter and gives you a glossary of what we have done, but I like to post them here too in case you want to reference back to the samples.

The Technique class is an opportunity for just that, to learn a new, or expand on an old technique.  We are naturally able to teach more effectively in smaller groups at a class setting such as this, rather than at a class where we are hosting 20 people as we do on an All Day Card Class.

At times the techniques may be simply building on what you already know, or using a particular tool or ink differently, but whatever we show the ladies someone always goes away from the evening saying "I didn't know that".  

Why don't you treat yourself to a night out of creative learning every other week.  It's only $20.00 for a class and you go away with three cards and envelopes and guaranteed laughter throughout.  
All the techniques that we show you can be used on your scrapbook pages as easily as on a card. Remember a card is simply a small version of a scrapbook page.

 In these cards, we played with our ever favourite distress inks.  

Changing white cardstock to be pink and white, by inking the inside of an embossing folder.  Or with the help of a large background stamp, to be two shades of yellow and white as a tag or butterfly on a card.  
We so often prettily colour in the stamped image on a card.  Perhaps using pencil crayons, markers, distress inks as paint.  This time it was fun to simply brush some random strokes of distress ink in the approximate placement of the leaves and flowers of this image, creating a more abstract art look.
Stretching a Spellbinders folder was another technique used on the yellow card, to give the look of a large scalloped mat behind the image, when it was simply a small piece of cardstock top and bottom.  The same technique was used on the bracket stamp giving it a much wider look than the stamp actually was.

Have you ever wondered what we do at a Friday Night Crop and Craft Night from 7 p.m until midnight? 

Well Jane mentioned on Facebook how much she learned last Friday night as both Linda and I took turns sitting with her and helping her to learn a Photo Editing Program.  No we didn't take turns because she's hard to get along with, or because she was slow to learn!!!  We took turns because we both know different ways of making this program do what we want from it and therefore were more likely to pass more on to Jane in this manner.  

By learning this program Jane learned the potential it has to help her plan and be more productive at the Mega Crop Weekend she is registered for in April. She chose the map that she wants to follow and therefore knows already what sizes to print her photos.  

She's formatted the photos to fit her plan ready to send for printing and even discovered it was easy to see how a large photo could be shrunk down to keep all the content, though printed smaller.  However if she did want to crop a photo, she could easily choose where to place the cutting tool to maximize the look she wanted.  
Along with printing the photos she wants to scrapbook, she is also printing a photo of her plan with her photos embedded into the plan so that she can easily follow it on the weekend.  

Jane was a tired but happy camper by the end of the evening.

Here's a layout I had saved on my PC that you may find interesting.  It was a Basic Grey layout at some point in time. A very simple and quick layout to complete, with some strip journaling on the right side.  Don't forget when you see flower embellishments, if you're not a flowery person then put in an embellishment of your choice instead.

I found some great embroidery patterns this week, despite the fact that I wasn't on my PC much.  I hardly contacted anyone in fact, so unlike me only answering those who emailed me, but I did find some lucid times to browse a bit. 
BLOG  flower hearts - bluebells - Simulation

With Spring beginning in a few short days I thought these quick little cross stitch patterns would help to herald it in.
BLOG Mother's Day Flower basket - Simulation

 This artist has generously shared both the stitching and colour chart on her blog for your personal use here and here.

Don't forget also that we carry not only the Aida cloth to work these on, but a full range of DMC embroidery floss, including their newest colours.

If you already have a selection of Embroidery floss, do you need to organise it onto bobbin winders?
We have both plastic and cardboard in the store and it makes for a much easier and tidier way of storing your floss.

If you are one of the lucky owners of a Silhouette Cutting Machine, be it a Cameo or Portrait, have you taken advantage of any of the "Dingbat Fonts" that are free to use on the web?

There are so many of them available and by typing a letter that your machine will recognise as a letter, but the dingbat font will translate to a shape, you have a vast number of "free" cutting files available to you.

Here's one that I've downloaded in the past for my personal use. It offers you all kinds of shapes and swirls that you can cut easily.  Just make sure that you print out the Key so that you know which letter prints out which shape when you go to use it. This is from and there's a whole section of dingbat fonts to choose from, so take a few minutes to browse and see if there's anything else there that interest you.

And now the words for the week. One of the things Linda and I hear often is that I don't have time to scrapbook/craft/jewelry make.  I work full time and have children and a home to run, etc.etc.
We think that's so sad, as to us creativity is part of our everyday life and no matter what, we find a little time for it.
Yes I know, I'm at one end of life's spectrum and Linda's at another and yet, both of us make sure to fit it into our daily lives.

In saying that, so does Linda's husband Randy. He's a keen photographer, attending a photography club to help him grow his skills.  Last night when they were here for dinner, he looked out of our dining room window at what to us was a garden full of snow, but he saw the shadows of the tree trunks lying on the top of that snow.

What time is it, was his question.  It was 5:35 p.m.  Okay he said, I'll be here tomorrow night at this time to take some photos of those shadows, they're kind of neat.  Yes he was here, in the bush, up to his knees in snow with his camera on his tripod taking photos.   He's thinking these photos will suit the topic for this month at his photo club.

We all lead such busy lives, so why is it that we don't find time more often to do things that please us?   I think these words are very appropriate because of that.

Until Later....Happy Crafting,


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Great Bargains- Did You Get Some or Miss Out

There were ladies waiting outside the door at 9:00 o'clock to get some of the great bargains that were to be had on Saturday, were you one of them? 

Even those who treated themselves to a late rise on Saturday morning were still thrilled with the selection that was available later in the day. 

With four tables loaded with "stuff" there was a great selection.

If you decided too late to be a vendor in this Garage Sale, then start purging your stash for next time. As you work away at your crafting, and come across "stuff" that you don't use, set it aside in a box and be ready next time.  It's really easy to be a vendor.  All you do is register for a $5.00 space, mark all your "stash" at a great price so you don't take it home again with you, and that's all there is to it.  Doesn't have to be full packages even, just mark it accordingly.

Did you see in the newsletter that we've opened another date for the Spring All Day Card Class?  

If you missed out the first time, then get into the store or call so that you can reserve your spot on this new date. 

It's April 5th 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.  

I know the snow will still be on the ground, but we can think spring just the same!   The snow is going, slowly just the way we want it to.

Remember I've been telling you about the cable mittens that I helped a customer with recently? 
Marilyn's pattern called for a medium weight yarn and she was knitting with an extra bulky.  To be able to work the cable in and to figure out the right number of stitches so that the mitten was a mitten, rather than an oven mitt, we basically re-wrote the pattern.  Marilyn was very tenacious, and although she had a false start she stuck with it and her grand daughter is thrilled with the mittens I hear.  
Marilyn's now starting on an intricate sweater with cables.

I've been working steady this week cutting kits for the upcoming card day, and helping Linda as she creates layouts for the upcoming Mega Crop Weekend.  
Consequently I haven't created much this week.  I did however have an itch to make one of those felt bracelets that I showed you last week though.  So take a look at last week's bracelet here (just scroll down a little).  
Here's my interpretation of the same bracelet. 
Do you see the similarities?

Speaking of the Spring Mega Crop Weekend.  Planning is well underway for that now, but we do have a few spots left if you've been tardy in registering. 
Call us and get a kick start on your layouts and albums again.  
That's what one registrant was telling me today.  She needed a kick start to get going again. She plans on coming into the store so that we can help her with some planning beforehand.  

You can be so much more productive on the weekend with a little planning and prep.  We'll be expecting to see Barb in shortly with her photos and layout decisions, as she chooses the paper to go with them.  

By sorting your photos into groups of 6-10 photos per double page layout, putting a sketch or map with them along with paper and embellishments, you have a greater opportunity of being more productive.   
I'm forever reminding people that if they were to knit a pair of mittens for example, or sew a dress, they would start first with a pattern.  

It's the same with a scrapbook layout.  Not many of us are graphic designers, so a starting point helps us to create a great looking layout.  
Mine never ends up looking like the original sketch as I change it up to suit my photos, but it gives me the jumping off point that I need.

Here's a layout that we used at an earlier Mega Crop.  Anyone recognise it? Did you know that by mirror imaging your sketch, or flipping it, you can get a totally different look as well.

Don't forget too, that we are offering a class in which we will show you how to put together 6 quick single page layouts.  These could be extended to double page layouts later if you chose.  If you weren't one of the lucky ones to receive this class as an early bird registrant, you can still participate for just $20.00.  
Let us know if you'd like to, so that we can get your kit cut.

Are you curious about the arm knitting that is sweeping the web?  
By using a few strands of extra bulky yarn and your two arms as knitting needles, in a very short time you can create an infinity scarf.  
If you look on the right sidebar, there are further tutorials for the knitting and finishing of this cowl.

We  have a number of extra bulky yarns in stock if you feel a need to try this craft.

2014 Easter Egg - Free Embroidery PatternI came across this lovely Easter egg design and though it's intended as an embroidery design, I thought it could easily be used on an Easter card too.  
Here's the link to the design and the how to for the embroidery stitches as well.  
All the supplies that you see here, can be purchased at the Craft Nook.

The words for the week are as much for you, as perhaps for a friend of yours that you can reach out to.  

We all live busy lives and too soon forget to stop and take time to reach out to one another. 
Do you have a friend who has forgotten the words and needs you to sing them back to them?

Until Later....Happy Crafting


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Is Spring On It's Way? Or Do We Have to Wait Until June?

Are you like me, tired of this hard winter?  When chatting with my sister- in-law, she says that she hopes the rain holds off long enough to dry the clothes outside.  Can you imagine hanging the clothes outside in the cold temperatures we're having!

I had a customer in the store last week who hasn't knitted in a long time, but is making a lovely cable hat, scarf and mitten set for her grand daughter. What she has done thus far was gorgeous, but she was running into problems with the mittens as the yarn she was using was thicker than what her pattern suggested. So, we were re-writing the pattern to suit the yarn. 

You know that's not as easy as one might think and it took us a couple of attempts to make it work properly, neither one of us being pattern writers, but we did it.  The cable was a little like this, so quite intricate.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine was in need of a file folder tab cutting file for her Silhouette SD cutting machine.  It took me a couple of days to get around to it, but I did finally make a file and share it with her.

I was exploring some blogs recently and came across one that explained how to share a Silhouette file without sending it from one computer to another, which is what I do with my friend, and also with my sister-in-law.  
What I did next is what I typically do, and then wish later that I'd done more.  I copied down the instructions, but didn't keep the blog address!!!  

However I do know now how to share the file with any of our blog readers that would like to access it.
All you have to do is click here and you will be able (so I understand) to download the Silhouette cutting file I made.  (Fingers crossed)  

There are three items in the file, a short tab, a long tab and a fold over tab that look like the ones on the left.  These are simply my working copies though, not the cut file, that's in the previous paragraph.  

If it works for  you, then maybe I'll link more that I've made, or maybe you have some files that you may like to share.  
Remember they cannot be files purchased with your machine, or from the Silhouette Store, or that you have downloaded from anyone else's blog. 
They have to be files you've made yourself.
Don't forget you can pick up free cut files for your Silhouette by downloading dingbat fonts that will cut shapes.  Here's one for you to try. There are a multitude of frames, shapes, banners and even a couple of mustaches in this font.

Did you look at the household tips that Di linked us up with here

I thought of another one today and you may well know it, but here it is anyway.  
You can keep celery fresh and crisp for a number of weeks in your fridge by simply wrapping it tightly in foil. I've done this with cauliflower too and it stays white and fresh for much longer than storing it in a container or plastic wrap. 
It's great when it's on sale and you can store it longer...give it a try.

Speaking of specials, have you been over to our face book page and looked at the special Linda put on today?  She's going to put a number of specials on for the month of March to celebrate National Craft Month, so hop over there to take a look and save yourself some money.  Just tell us you saw the special on face book.    Here's the link.   

Don't forget with the changes to business face book pages, you need to log in, hover over the word "Liked" and click on the "Get Notifications" text to be kept up to date as we post there. 

 So what have you been crafting at this week?  I made another felt coffee mug wrap.  I do love working with that felt, such bright colours and easy to embroider.  Here's the latest one.  

See that cute little rose on the front, it is soooo easy to make.
All you need is a rough circle of felt in the colour of your choice.

You then cut in a spiral into the centre of the circle like this.  

I wrap the felt around itself, starting from the centre out.  Some people prefer to go from the outside in, either way is just fine.  On the coffee mug wrap, I stitched the spiral onto the felt with embroidery floss, pulling the "petals" in to look more rose like, and added some yellow french knots to the centre.

Can you imagine the uses for this style of flower?  
It could be on a card, scrapbook page, a pin, headband, a bag you have sewn.  
So many possibilities, and with a few extra embroidery stitches it can look spectacular.
Drop into the store to see the sample mug wrap.

I learned in the last week or so, that we have another budding crafter in the family, and thought you may like to see some of this young persons work. 

Matilda is just eight years old and crafts with her Grandma and sisters in England. 

She has a great imagination which shows in the pillow she just made and decorated by herself, with an elephant face.

She had also made a pincushion earlier.  She has much potential don't you think?

It pleases me to see the younger generation wanting to needle craft, as there are so many people that don't know how to knit, sew, crochet, embroider or anything that pertains to needle crafting.

Keep up the good work Matilda and thank you for sharing the photos with all of us in Canada.

Kids sewing projects
I'm sure there are many children and adults who may like to make this easy bracelet  for St Patricks Day. 
Imagine though instead of a shamrock as the focal point, you made a rose like the one on the coffee mug, it could be worn any time then. 

Drop into the store to get your supplies to make this super easy and fun bracelet.

Were you one of the lucky ones that scored the free scrapbooking class at the Spring Mega Crop Weekend?  There were some eager beavers at the store early on Thursday morning despite the cold.  Some were there just to register themselves. Some were there to sign up multiple spots, in fact up to five when their phone went off to say a friend was caught in a meeting, will you sign them up too please.   
After all, what are friends for if not to come through in a pinch!  

We do still have a few spots left so if for some reason you were late out of the starting gate, drop into the store and secure one of the remaining spots and enjoy a weekend of scrapbooking fun. 

Also for those that didn't make the free class, you can still participate for just $20.00.  You will be making SIX single page layouts for that price, all supplies included.  
All you have to do is insert your what kind of a bargain is that?

DO NOT FORGET the Garage Sale this coming Saturday, March 8th. Starting at 9a.m. in the morning and going through the day, but remember the best bargains will be there first thing in the morning. We've had great response from our vendors, so I'm thinking there will be something for just about everyone.  

There's lots going on at your local craft store in the next few weeks.

With the Spring All Day Card Day coming up in about three weeks on March 22nd.

Did you miss out of the first class, because if you did, get your name on the waiting list for a second class. 

Be sure to check your newsletter each week, the blog and face book page too.  Sometimes we put extras on the face book page through the week, so make sure you don't miss those postings.

And so we come to the end of another week's blog.  What words of inspiration or fun can I offer you this week.
There is so much peer pressure in the schools, and indeed in the world in general, that makes us doubt ourselves and our abilities at times.  

We perhaps wonder how we measure up against this person or that person, when all we should really concern ourselves with is, how WE measure up as a person.

These words, once again from Ginger's House, seemed appropriate encouragement no matter whether you're young or old.  Perhaps you know of someone you'd like to share them with to encourage them.

Until Later....Happy Crafting