Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Thanksgiving trip home

Well, I'm back from the country, and exhausted after a long drive home. It was great to spend time at home with the family, though it was too quick. A long weekend really isn't long enough when you have 2 families to visit and a 10 hour car ride home. Pat and I rented a vehicle with his sister and her boyfriend, so we drove them back to school in London before coming home to Hamilton. It was a long trip ~ we took some back roads in order to avoid the stop-and-go traffic / parking lot that is Gravenhurst to Toronto (and all the way to London, no doubt). But the scenery was amazing and it was all well worth it to see this cute little face:

My nephew, Eddy, sure is getting big!! He's changed so much since the last time I saw him! This is the one thing I hate about living in Hamilton ~ I don't get to see my family as much as I would like. I won't see this little guy before Christmas, and by then he'll probably be walking. Thankfully I'll be there for his first birthday, the 31st of December. I just wish it were feasible to visit more often...

Today, I'm really too tired to do too much, but I thought I'd post a bit of an update on what I've been up to. I know I haven't posted anything on Etsy in quite some time, but I'm working on that. I was quite busy, but I was still crafting ~ it just wasn't anything that I could post. Here are some pictures of my recent creations:

This notebook I made for myself. It's sort of a scrapbook / journal. I made it with recycled paper (some printed on, some heavier card, some lined, graphed, blank) and cardboard (from a recent purchase at IKEA). I haven't started using it yet because I'm still only halfway through another one I made myself. You can see that one in this picture of my work table. As you can see, they're clearly for Amanda. In the background you might be able to make out my laptop screen ~ with Etsy on the browser. I use these to jot down ideas and sketches, make collages with any scrap paper I might have and as a scrapbook / journal. It helps to get me in the creative mood, or helps to relieve some "creative stress": just the need to create something, anything. This is the marker for the first (pink) one: "BELIEVE". Always in yourself.

I recently made my first Etsy purchase(s). I bought two lots of beads from charmerz. I got 25 Czech glass flower beads in fuschia lemon and 100 4mm round Czech glass beads in Alexandrite AB. They were shipped right away and came in good time, packaged in a bubbled bag. Each kind of bead came in a little bag with a label stating exactly what's in it. A print-out of the Paypal receipt was also included. The beads are gorgeous, as you can see!! I couldn't resist the delicate flowers, and made myself a necklace. A simple dangle of 7 flowers (with a silver metal bead centre) hangs from a short length of chain. I love it!! I'm very tempted to make matching earrings, but I'll have to get some findings first.

I haven't used the other beads yet, but I'm sure an idea will come soon. Since then, I've made 2 more Etsy purchases: one is the necklace from tqbdesigns that I have already posted about ~ but I still haven't received it (soon!). I'll let you know when I get it and post more pictures. I can't wait, it's SOOOOO incredibly gorgeous!!!!! The other is a trio of earrings from toewees. I featured her fall earrings a while ago and she let me know about a contest she was holding, where you had to answer 6 clues, all for items in her shop (very clever idea) ~ and I won a $5 gift certificate!!! So I bought the fall earrings I featured, as well as some white heart earrings and some blue-gray button heart earrings. I can't wait to get them in! Again, pictures when everything comes in! Can you tell I love to shop??

I was quite busy last week finishing up an order my gramma and aunt put in (I brought it to them this weekend). I made 3 notebooks for my gramma and 2 for my aunt. I hope they like them and use them (I know my gramma is going to put at least one away as a souvenir...)! My Auntie Cathy wanted a larger notebook and a small one, both lined. She was gone to a wedding, so I wasn't able to give them to her (my gramma will). Her favourite colour is blue, so I went with that as my "theme". I really like how this large one turned out, especially the beautiful blue button I found to use as a bookmark. The button is topped with a smaller blue button and backed by a cream one. I lined the front and back cover with this lovely blue-lined paper, with a strip of denim blue on the front. The front is embellished with a square of leather-looking paper covered in a square of a lovely textured fibrous paper. This is topped with a metal parchment engraved with a flower. It's very pretty and classy, I think my aunt will really like it. The smaller one is monogrammed, and the inside covers are lined with the same homemade blue paper. The back has a square of the flowered paper that is under the C. This one is also very cute, and a perfect size for stashing in her purse. You can always use a piece of paper to jot down ideas and phone numbers!

For my gramma, I made 2 matching little notebooks. I went with a star theme, using light yellow, silver and yellow-lined white paper for stars and moon embellishments. One was bound in dark blue paper (with a silver stripe on the front), the other with the yellow-lined white paper (with a denim blue stripe over the spine). They're both very cute!! Gramma seemed to like them a lot, and said she would put one in her purse. The larger notebook I made for my gramma turned out to be a surprise! I had the idea of making a sort of wavy / hilly pattern with torn and cut paper, and then embellishing with paper flowers. I envisioned this with only a few types of paper and in purples and blues. But once I went through my paper, I couldn't resist the orange gingham, the brown and red corduroy and the metallic green crinkle paper. Then I found a few more and they all looked so nice together! I made a hilly pattern with 5 base papers (orange gingham, metallic green crinkle, thin brown handmade, sage green with cream flowers and metallic copper brown corduroy) and 3 accent papers (burgundy corduroy, fibrous pastel green and metallic copper quilted paper). I embellished with some flowers here and there and used an orange ribbon with buttons (orange-red and cantaloupe buttons topped by a small burgundy one) as the marker. I really, really like how this one turned out!! I will definitely be reproducing this design, both with the same papers and with the purples and blues I had originally planned. Of course, I won't be able to reproduce this exactly: I just cut and tore random wave / hill patterns in the papers ~ and I would probably change around the order of the papers as well. Each would be completely one of a kind! Check my shop soon to see those designs!!

But really, I just can't get over how much I LOVE this notebook! I was almost sad to give it to gramma because I wanted it for myself! But I'm glad I made it for her, and I hope she puts it on her hutch in her kitchen and use it like she told me she would!

Wow! This is turning out to be quite a long post! But I'm almost done. How do you like my use of fruit in my photography? I was really just playing around with my snack before the trip home! Hehe... Draped on the lemon above is a button bracelet I made for my mom. Another one I was tempted to keep for myself. I found a stash of dark blue buttons, and in it were these 3 square ones. I flanked them with the white and light blue buttons and that blue heart was a perfect dangle. Very cute and not too "young" or zany for my mom.

I wish I had more pictures of home, but I'm not naturally inclined to take lots of pictures. I forget most of the time. I did get a few of the trees from the car, both are taken between Sturgeon and North Bay. The top one was taken driving home Sunday morning from NB after staying the night at a friend's. This last one is as we were coming into NB, leaving Monday afternoon. These picture don't do the colours justice, but that's always the case. It's really unfortunate that I only see this once a year.

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