Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I wish I could say that mine was blooming with flowers.  Although there are many showing their lovely faces, those darn dandelions are here again and the seeds from the maple trees are taking hold abundantly this year too.  

My thumb isn't that green, unless I've been using some Distress Inks, so I really wish we didn't have this extra challenge this year.  

Anyone know of a good quick fix for these challenges?

Thank you to everyone who sent us emails of encouragement, or dropped into the store to encourage us following the announcement last week. They were so very nice to receive.  What comes next is unclear at the moment, but neither Linda or myself will stop crafting.  I intend to keep blogging and sharing my passion of all things crafty.  We haven't cancelled the date we've reserved for the October Mega Crop Weekend and who knows, we may be able to get together for some card making classes too.  Just keep watching for further news on that front.

We had a great time at our Thursday Technique Class that was finally held last Wednesday.  What a mix-up that was, but still the ladies enjoyed making five cards with tags as the focal point.

Here are a few of them, I'll post the others on our Flickr site in the next few days.

This is a perfect masculine card with the postmark stamp in the background and the bicycle in the foreground. Quick and easy to produce, you could have tags ready to go on a card as needed.

Here we have a card using my much loved distress ink to change the colour of the tag.  Featuring an ever popular Kaiser stamp and punched butterflies, another quick to go card.  

Embossing the  background of  the card before adhering this tag gave some additional interest.  The rose was stamped with two distress ink colours and then the tag itself was punched at the bottom.  Two other colours of lace punching were added above and below the punched lace on the tag to give a pretty layered look.

With Father's day fast coming up have you started thinking of a gift your children can make for their Dad?  I came across this craft recently, but it was simply and image on goggle so I can't link you to it.  
You can see though that with some shrink plastic and by tracing around your child's foot, Dad could have a pretty unique key ring.

Don't forget to punch a hole in the shrink plastic before you heat it in the oven and use a permanent marker such as the Sakura Identipen so that the writing doesn't rub off. 
It could also be a tracing of a child's hand with the words.....
Hold my hand forever.

Have you been taking advantage of the sales that we have on at the store at the moment? 
Drop in to see and take advantage of all the savings that are there to be had.

If you're thinking you would like some different storage in your craft room talk to us about the paper storage stacks and peg hooks that we have for sale.  Pegboard is a great way to display your stickers and alphabets to see at a glance what you have. Doesn't need too much space either.

Don't leave it too long until they're all gone.  
There are also some ribbon storage troughs that you may find useful to organise your craft room.

Have you ever tried to cut wavy text on your Silhouette cutting machine?  
Here's a great tutorial on the steps to achieve that.

Maybe you prefer to cut in a circle, there's a link on the same page which takes you to a tutorial for that.

If you have Silhouette sketch pens you can use the same process to actually draw your text with your cutting machine.

I needed an award ribbon the other day for a page I was working on, so found this image doing a Google search.  I then went on to make a cut file from it using the trace and cut feature of the program.  

This is such a simple way of increasing your cut file library without the cost of buying files.

Have you made any cut files that you may like to share with others?
Let me know and I'll arrange with you to share it through the blog here.

With graduations coming up soon, you may have already begun to plan a special card for someone in your life, have you?  
Here's a great link to some printable greetings for the inside of a card, or even to put on a scrapbook page of the event.
The words can be downloaded as a JPEG file or PDF, whichever you 

Simple overhand knots ad to the casual look of this earthy necklace or bracelet.

Now that summer's here, you may feel that you'd like to make a new necklace or two.  I came across this from the Bead and Button Magazine and thought how summery it seemed.  With some hemp and a few beads it could easily be made by even the most novice of jewelry makers.

Simple overhand knots add to the casual look of this earthy necklace or bracelet.

Nothing for the needle artists this week, but check back next week, maybe I'll find something for you by them.

Our words for the week were sent to me by my sister.  I think I've used them before, but they suited the experience Linda and I had this week as people got in touch to express their sadness at our news, but to encourage us through our life changes.  
We certainly have found many friends by our side.

Until Later....Happy Crafting


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Did You Have a Great Holiday Weekend?

Were you one of the many that traveled up to Muskoka to spend the unofficial start to summer weekend?

I remember when we used to leave Muskoka for that weekend, never quite knowing what the weather would be like.  Our weekends used to be spent camping with our family and we've had all kinds of weather.
Sometimes hot enough to swim, but also so cold that there was frost on the table as we ate our breakfast. Whatever the weather it's good to know that winter is well and truly behind us now.

Oops, we had a total fail with our Thursday Technique Class last week.  
Realizing we had double booked ourselves, we announced that the class would be held on the Friday...NO!  
It wasn't until we began calling those who were registered that the light went on that Friday was the beginning of the long weekend...what a fail!
Not to worry though, we are now having last week's Thursday Night Class on Wednesday of this week. Are you registered?  I think there may be one spot left, but drop in, call or email us to check that one out for sure.

Have you been up to anything exciting with your crafting this past week? I spent a couple of days with my daughter Sandra working on "stuff" for her upcoming wedding.  
Lovely though it turned out, I can't show you that presently. 

Rachel has her dress on a hanger now, almost complete and so very proud of her accomplishment.  Her Bumpa says she deserves to be proud.  

Certainly being a crafter has once again made preparation for a wedding so very much more fun.  
From wedding invitations to table favours to sewing for the attendants. Floral arrangements and decorating the hall, there's been much to do.  Maybe after the day we can share some of what we've been up to, but not quite yet.

Another thing I've been working on this past week is some scrapbooking.  Again I can't show you just yet as it's a gift for a family member and I know they look at the blog.  I'm striving to get about 10 double pages done in the next three weeks, what do you think, have I set myself up for failure?  I hope not.

I did make a bracelet on Saturday that I can show you though.  Thought I'd wear it for the wedding, but have to remake it as my wrist seems to have shrunk!!!  Not all bad news because I think I'm going to change the colours up a bit too.  Only took about an hour to make so that's easily found time.  

As with all photos, it doesn't show as lovely as it looks.  The lighting and the camera make it look more orange than the yellow tones it is, but drop into the store to see it in it's real life beauty and for some quick instruction on how to make it.

We had a lovely time at the store last week helping a new Silhouette owner to learn more about the program. She left feeling thrilled to realise that she has only scratched the surface of what she can do with the machine. Do you have one?  Have you downloaded the fonts I've mentioned to you?  You can find them here if you need to check them again.
Scroll down a little and you will find the link to Border Bits font, 09 Kutups font.  . A great site to look at for fonts or ding bat fonts is dafont.com   Check it out sometime.

I found a great free knitting pattern for a baby sweater this week.  Knitted from the top down, it saves all those seams to be sewn at the end of the project.  Have you ever tried knitting like that?  Here's the link to it
Though this pattern directs you to knit on circular needles for the sleeves, I would change it to straight needles and at least sew up those seams, because I don't like knitting on circular.  If you know me at all then you'll know the reason for that.

Here's another lovely cross stitch design from Lesley Teare.  She's so generous with her work isn't she.

Well by now you may well have read your newsletter and learned of the great change that is happening to our store in the next weeks.  This has not been an easy or fast decision and our desire would have been to have found a buyer for the store so that it would remain available to each of our customers that have become  important to us.  This has not happened thus far, but who knows what is around the corner.

Linda mentioned in the newsletter how we've been in the crafting industry for some twenty years now. Over the years that we've owned the Craft Nook, we have tried hard to share our love of all things crafty with you.  Hopefully we've caused you to become excited about a craft or two.  Caused you to explore your creative self and passed on tips and techniques that will hold  you in good stead.

We hope you will drop into the store to stock up on the items that are important to you.  Obviously the best selection is available now, so don't delay.  Should there be anything you want to stock up on that is no longer in the store, then let us know as we will be placing one more order in about two weeks.  These orders will have to be prepaid and the only discount will be if you have a valid discount card.
You may well  have other questions to ask us, so please be in touch.

If you're thinking you would like to purchase a paper stack or some other display stand, these will all be offered for sale.  Let us know what you may be interested in.  There are also lots of pegboard pegs for sale if you want to set up a small corner of your craft room as I did.

I was asked today if I would be bored without the store to keep me busy.  No that will never happen with all the ideas that run around in my head.  As for Linda, like she says she has no idea where she is headed, but for her too the time is right for change.  

Perhaps C.S. Lewis said it best when he said this....

That's what I have chosen to do.

Until Later....Keep on Crafting


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

So What Did You Think?

Was my short post last week, short?  I do have a hard time with keeping things concise.  
I'm the kind of person who, when telling a story, will tell you the colour of the sky, or the fact that the sun was shining that day, or that it was 2p.m. when this happened, whatever it takes to paint the picture in your minds eye so that you see it as I tell the story.  
However, that can sometimes be annoying to the person listening who just wants to get to the point of the story.  I had a conversation with someone on Monday about much the same thing.  Is it better to get to the point right away or pad the point with some words?

My point here?   Not sure I could ever do a "short" post, my mouth (or fingers in this case) runneth over!  Of course being wordy can sometimes be an asset I'm sure you would have to agree.  If a letter/email has to be written, I'm likely one of those that would be asked to at least draft it out, so not all bad.

However as you see, I once again digress. I'm supposed to be talking crafting, not words.

So what did you craft at this week?  Some of you may know that we have a wedding coming up in the family and it's coming up quickly now too.  To us, a wedding means lots of opportunity to craft in different ways, but often not to be able to share all those crafty ideas just yet.

Sandra's theme for her wedding is peacock colours and to that end she made some beautiful invitations that when folded doubled as the envelope too.  

Here you see the envelope folded where the address label was placed.

Also the opposite side with the seal to hold it closed. You can see where Sandra stamped a peacock feather on the left side using tone on tone ink to give a very subtle look.

Below is the open invitation showing the actual invite and information on the left matted in blue for this card.  Again the peacock feather was stamped in green and the centre enhanced with some colouring.
And a more detailed look of the coloured feather. 

Sandra had a hard time deciding on which colour combinations she preferred, so some invitations were made using the green as the predominant colour and others made using the blue.  
Either way I'm sure you have to agree they came together beautifully didn't they.

It makes you aware of how a handmade invitation can be uniquely personal. With some thoughtful colour choices and a little help from our friend Buffy at the UPS store in printing the actual invite, which Sandra designed in the font of her choice.

Over the weekend we designed and made a necklace and earrings for Sandra to wear, which of course I can't share with you right now.

Outfits are being either being put together or final touches being made to them.  Here you see the shrug I knitted to complete the flower girl outfit.

Rachel was excited to have the bodice of her dress fitted tonight. Not too much more work before she will be wearing it now.

Later  this week Sandra and I will be having some "girly" time as we work on the flower arrangements.

Working on  a wedding can be an exciting crafting experience as ideas are explored, tossed around and zeroed in on. 
However the going as a group to your local clothing store to purchase the right tie or shirt for the event can be a fun experience too it seems. Changing the thought process together and making that event so much more than a shopping trip. 
Mind you, you have to have a bride that is just happy enjoying the whole process, and striving to be sure everyone involved is as happy as she is.

So there you have an insight into the crafting I've been up to....how about you?  What are you busy with right now?

Unfortunately in being busy in this way, Linda and I messed up a little with dates for this coming week.

You all know how family is important to us and we strive to be at all the events that the children are involved in.  

We confused the day of Rachel's concert this week and it unfortunately impacts the regularly scheduled Thursday Night Technique class.
So this week only, the Thursday Night Technique class will be held on Friday May 16th!

That could be good for some people who find Thursday not an option for them.
Let's make lemonade from the lemons we have found in the basket.
As we only realised this mix-up tonight, those registered for class will be called tomorrow morning.
If you're not registered, maybe you would like to now?

I was very fortunate to be at Grandparents day at Monck Public school last Friday.  This was the first year I didn't have to visit the classrooms of three grandchildren. 

I did however have a wonderful opportunity to listen to Emily as she played a flute solo in front of a packed audience in the school gymnasium.

You can well imagine how happy I was for her, when I heard a grandparent across the aisle say...."Wow" as she played.
She is a grade 6 student taking music at Monck and was truly amazing. Composed and confident as she played her solo. Yes she loves her flute and practices a lot at home and that time spent shows in her ability to perform in this way.
Above you see her performing last year at the Rene Caisse Theatre. 

Here's a little look into what Rachel has begun in her Home Economics Class at school (not sure if that's what they call it, but you get the gist).

They have moved from sewing to knitting now and though her teacher said she could opt out of knitting in favour of sewing her dress, she wanted to try it.  So last night we went over the basics of casting on, a knit stitch and purl stitch, along with decreasing in two different ways.
That was about eight last night. She now has two legs, an arm and body made for the "Mittens Lamb" stuffed toy.
This is what she's aiming for, though hers is a grey body with a white snout, feet and hands.

She knows she still has quite a bit to do to complete it, but has begun to think of her next project now.

It may well be a stuffed toy for Interval House she thinks.

The pattern for Mittens Lamb is a free pattern on Ravelry.com take time to check it out.

Linda has some pretty nice sales going on if there's an artist in your midst. Drop into the store to check them out.

Did you take the opportunity to pick up the $10 box and cards kit last week.  Still a couple available, you can see them here.  

One of the ladies put her kit together at Crop and Craft Night last Friday and tells us she'll be making more of those now she  has the pattern.  
Did you miss Crop and Craft Night?  It's a great time to learn more of the craft that appeals to you.  Last Friday we worked more on the Silhouette Program, unlocking yet another aspect of it for one of our crafters. We had another crafter that needed help with her crochet, and she was so pleased with the evening and what she accomplished.  If you haven't been attending these evenings, you've been missing out on an opportunity to grow in your craft.  Make sure you drop in or call to register for the next one, May 23rd...not it's not the long weekend then.

Well that's all for tonight folks.  Our words for this week...let me see. Well I think I have to share two with you this week.  One I'm pretty sure I've shared before, but the timing is right for it again this week.

I've shared with you all the different crafting I've been doing lately in my craft room.
Sometimes sewing with Rachel, jewelry making with Sandra along with any crafting I've been doing myself so you can imagine what my craft room looks like right now.

Imagine is all you'll get to do, because you won't get a chance to see it in the state it's in, believe me!

The real thought I'd like to leave you with though is this...

It's so easy to give more meaning to anyone's life with a simple act of kindness.
We all like to be the giver don't we, but sometimes we have to allow that role to others. I am blessed to have someone who often brings meaning to my ordinary day.
It may be with the goodie she drops into the store and we simply hear the bell as she slips in and out, never seeing her but seeing the goodies she's left for us on the counter.

This past week she dropped in to bring me these.  Aren't they beautiful?
She said it was in case my children forgot to get me some on Mother's day, as if, but lovely just the same.

I thought you may like to see the lovely flowers that I also received from my children and grandchildren who were a little intimidated by Janet's kindness to me.  Feeling that she was "muscling in" on their space they wanted to make sure I appreciated them too. Here's their gorgeous bouquet.   Maybe I need to get them into some water.

My point here though is that  and you can do that with a simple act of kindness to someone.  As simple as opening a door for them, or carrying their groceries to the car.  It doesn't have to cost you anything but a little effort and thoughtfulness.
Try it, you'll be surprised how good it makes you feel. Why not set yourself a goal to give some extra meaning to three people's lives this week.

Until Later....Happy Crafting,


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Short Version Today

Well, we'll see if I can do that, a short version that is.  Usually I sit down to write the blog and find I have so much more to say than I thought, with the end result I drop off some things I was going to put in. Let's see what this week brings.

Did you get in to the store to pick up some of those lovely sales we had going on?  In celebration of National Scrapbooking month and for Mothers Day coming up, we are going to continue the sale.  If you've "liked" our Facebook page you will be able to check out the sale items there.  
To "like" us, find us on your Facebook page, then click on the drop down arrow beside the Liked button and click on Get Notifications...easy as can be.

We have some of the kits still available for you to make a very quick layout like these.

We chose to highlight two months and use photos from those two months.  
You may choose to use photos from three or more months, or even just one month.

Whatever your choice, it's a great way to make a quick page or two.

For just a "Toonie" plus tax, here are just a few sample selections you may want to choose from.

We also put together a kit that would be great for the Mother in your life, be it your own mother or a mother that you know that you would like to give a small gift to.

In just about an hour you, or the recipient of your gift, could put together a card box like this one with six cards ready to send. The cards are embossed, have embellishments for you to colour and a variety of sentiments.   

The kit includes the materials for six cards, envelopes and the pattern, cardstock and patterned paper to make the box. 
Wow you say, well when I tell  you that all that is included for just $10.00 then you will be even more amazed.

The kits are similar to this one here, though papers will vary.

Drop in to pick up a kit or two.  They would make lovely gifts for a shut in needing some cards to send.

So have you been busy crafting, or out in your garden cleaning up from the winter?  
I've been doing a bit of both and some sewing in between time.
With a daughter getting married soon and a granddaughter making her own dress for the wedding, it's been a busy week of sewing.

However today was a lovely day to rake the winter debris off the flower beds and lawn, hence the decision for a short version of the blog tonight. 

I do have more to share with you though.  I found a lovely dingbat font for all you Silhouette owners, at least it's lovely if you like Disney.  I found it at my favourite font sit dafont.com and it's a freebie to boot. Click here  and it will take you right to the Mickey font.  
Should you choose to download it to use as a cutting file, make sure you print off the key map too so that you know which key gives you which graphic.  It's a little confusing with all the download buttons you see on the screen, but you want the one that's at the top right corner of the page.  

You will have to test them as a cutting font as not all dingbats work well to cut.  If they are too complex they may not cut well.  I think these should be good though.  
This is what you get when you type the letter "A".  

Are you looking for a quick craft for the children to make for Mother's day? No not for you, but maybe for a Grandma or aunt. Here's a cute idea using paper towel or toilet paper rolls.

Though these have been painted, I'd be more inclined to wrap them with my pretty patterned scrapbooking papers. Not only would it be much prettier and easier, but would make the rolls more sturdy too.  Never a good idea to add water, which of course is in the paint, to paper or cardboard as it tends to weaken the fiber.

So picture this with lovely paper around it, well let me help you picture it.  
I've covered it with paper using my photo program, well pretty much covered over it.  
You can see how much nicer it would be with your lovely papers though can't you.

By wrapping each tube and then gluing them side by side you can make this as large or small as you like.  Adhere it to a piece of paper covered chipboard and you have a pretty nice gift.  

Keep this in mind for a teacher gift also.


Do you still knit in the summer months?  Here's a lovely lacy shrug to make to wear on top of your dresses for the slightly cooler evenings.  

It's a free pattern through my favourite knitting and crochet site,  ravelry.com     I've linked you to the original source in case you haven't yet opened a Ravelry account, though I don't know why you wouldn't have by now.  

We had a great time again at last week's card class.  Three cards were created with a variety of techniques on them, some new, some re-visited.

One of the ladies was thrilled to go home with a card ready made for her daughter's birthday.

Here's what they made.  

A centre step card involving easy but careful measurement and scoring for the centre step, along with masking of a large background stamp for the focal area.

 Our second card was a shaped gate-fold.
Though not a favourite with the ladies, it was still a good technique to be exposed to.
A shaped template was used to create the front opening of this lovely card and the pearls were coloured with a brown marker.

Our third card was this lovely hydrangea easel card. Always a favourite fold, this card had other techniques to please the ladies.
With the use of a mask, the top corner of the focal point was kept clean for the greeting when stamping the script.
The hydrangea was stamped inside the card with a very light pink Distress Ink and again on the focal point with black Memento Ink to enable us to colour the flower by painting in three different colours of Distress Ink.  
With the added touch of the punched butterflies being stamped over with the script stamp, this whole card came together beautifully.

Well as you can see, my short version wasn't too short.  I really do ramble on too much I guess, so I'm done for now!

Oh no, I almost forgot your words for this week.

We all have people in our lives that we become very comfortable with, usually family members or friends that we expect will always be there.

Of course given time, life teaches us that that unfortunately isn't always so.

Sometimes for whatever reason, those people aren't with us any more and we realise that we've unconsciously not ignored them, but perhaps taken for granted that they will be there tomorrow, as they are today.

Perhaps we haven't taken time to let them know how much they mean to us.

I came across these words this week and thought what a great reminder this was to us all not to take someone who loves and cares for us, or for whom we love and care,  for granted.
Don't wake up tomorrow,  realizing that the opportunity has been lost to let them know we care because we were too busy enjoying life today.

Until Later....Happy Crafting.


PS.  If you didn't craft last week, make sure you get registered for this week's Friday Night Crop and Craft Night.  Don't allow another week to pass you by without being creative!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

We're Ready, Are You?

National scrapbooking weekend is this weekend and as we promised, we have some sweet deals for you that we are posting by way of the blog and our Facebook page.
Remember these won't be on sale until Saturday, but you can check them out early and decide what you'd like to add to your supplies.

Do you have a guillotine yet?  They are so nice to have as they self sharpen each time you use them.  No more replacing blades or having fuzzy cuts when you own a guillotine.
We have three different brands on sale for Saturday.

The Martha Stewart Heavy-Duty Paper Trimmer lets you cut your papers quickly and accurately.
Regularly priced at $56.99 it's on sale for just $39.99 Saturday only.

The Xcut guillotine has a precise measurement grid and extendable measuring rulers. It's non slip and perfect for cutting 12 x 12 papers.
Regularly priced at $53.99, you can purchase it on Saturday for just $39.99.

Then we have the Tonic Guillotine, another good piece of equipment that will provide you with clean cuts every time.  Not a wide bed, but it has an extendable arm for cutting 12 x 12 papers and the arm stored beneath the cutter.  Regularly priced at $56.99, Saturday's price is $39.99. 

Each of these have a $15.00 - $20.00 saving after tax.  Now is the time to make that purchase if you were thinking of it.

Martha Stewart Scoreboard.  A great tool for decorative scoring, box making or envelope making. Decorative pinwheels are so easy to make when you own one of these boards.

Regularly priced at $23.69 on sale for $18.97 on Saturday only.

For all those fine embellishments that you want to glue to your page, a Xyron machine is invaluable. 
 Simply feed your embellishment into the machine, turn the handle and out comes your embellishment with glue on the back, ready to stick down 
We have the Xyron 250 machine plus the refill. 
Also the Xyron 500 refill and the Xyron 510 magnet refill for creating those lovely fridge magnets and much more from your scrapbooking papers.

The 250 machine is regularly priced at $28.79 on sale for $19.99
The 250 refill is regular price $11.99 on sale $7.99.
The 500 refill regularly priced at $16.09 on sale $9.99
The 510 refill regularly priced at $21.59 on sale for $9.99.

Are you the proud owner of a digital cutting machine that you take to crops and weekends away?
Then maybe you are in need of a wheeled tote to transport it, your PC and some of your "stuff" all together?

The Silhouette Tote is on sale Saturday only for just $54.99, regularly priced at $89.99

We have a selection of Xtra Giga Punches regularly priced from $23.99 -$30.59 on sale at 50% off the regular price.

All in stock Spectrum Noir alcohol based, affordable markers on sale at 25% off the regular price of $14.99.  Each pen is double ended and great for seamless blending and colouring or simply for writing on your scrapbook pages.

All Rubber and Acrylic Stamps are on sale Saturday only at 20% off the regularly marked price.

All scrapbooking stickers are 20% off the regularly marked price

All scrapbook paper is buy 2 get one free.

Surely from this long list there's something that you feel will help you as you pursue the craft that you love.

Remember, it's limited quantities and it's Saturday only. So make your list and we'll see you early Saturday morning.

Until Later....Happy Crafting