Sunday, August 31, 2008

MSOE Treasury!

I just snagged a treasury! I've been pretty lucky getting these lately. So this time I decided to feature my Mad Scientist of Etsy team August challenge. The challenge was microbiology. Just search "MSOEteam challenge" on Etsy to find these items (and previous challenge entries)!

I normally don't like including my items in my own treasuries, but since not all of the team members have completed the challenge, I needed to in order to fill it up. A few of the items I chose weren't submitted for the challenge, but fit in the microbiology theme.

Felting Beads

After purchasing and working with some textile beads, and after making my own paper mache beads, I really wanted to try making felted beads. I just love the texture and interest it adds. So I bought this carded wool batt from yummyyarn.I chose this seller because of her Canadian location, and because the colours of this wool was exactly what I was looking for. Perfect burgundies, pinks and grays for fall.

I found many different tutorials online for making beads. It sounded simple enough. Make a ball of wool, dip in soapy water, wring out excess water, roll between hands. The hard part is making uniform beads. If you put even the slightest pressure while rolling the ball of wool between your palms, you get creases in your beads. The problem for me was the getting rid of excess water part. As soon as I squeezed, the ball was no longer uniform and creases were immediately there, no matter how little pressure I rolled with...Here are my beads. You can't really see, but each bead has an ugly crease in it. Thankfully, I have quite a bit of wool left... more practice in store over here.

Friday, August 29, 2008

They're here!

My birthday gift to myself arrived today!!! (OK, one of my gifts to myself...)

I needed a sweater jacket so that I could wear sleeveless shirts and t-shirts in the fall/winter. And to keep warm in the A/C here at work. So, of course, I went to Etsy. I haven't bought myself any clothing on Etsy yet, so I took my time browsing.

This ice garden jacket from Ahpeele immediately caught and held my attention. I had to have it. So I bought it. I wasn't too sure on sizing. I'm normally a medium... but I wanted to be sure it fit perfectly. Thankfully, Ahpeele has measurements in each of her listings, and I decided to go with large. I'm glad I did, because the fit is perfect ~ roomy enough to wear something underneath when it's cold out.

So Ahpeele is having a summer sale. I'm not sure how long it's going to run for, but if you buy any 2 articles, you get a free surprise t-shirt! Of couse I can't resist a free surprise!

It was difficult to choose a second shirt. I was torn. But I eventually settled on the Japanese koi t-shirt in navy. The front is pretty and simple, with some stylized clouds on the front. But the back is what kept bringing me back to this shirt:You can't even begin to see how awesome it is from this photo. Go check out the listing in Ahpeele. Honestly, as soon as I put it on, "F*** YEAH!" escaped from my mouth. It's that wonderful!

This is my free shirt: It's sleeveless, with a loose, collar-less neckline and in the prettiest slate gray. It features two thorny roses on the left side. I love everything! The quality is superb ~ definitely something you'd find in high-end retail shops. But sooooo much better because it's handmade by Hiromi and AdAm! And shipping was extremely fast! Go check out Ahpeele today ~ you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I WON, I WON!

I LOVE giveaways! I try to sign up to as many as I can, when I think about it. One of the blogs I check regularly, Christopher and Tia, has a suck-day (Monday) giveaway each week. On Monday, obviously. This week, they were giving away this awesome petite house, from PetiteHouse. Now, I'd never heard of this shop, but I have heard of the lady who runs it... the same as JessicaJane. Now I know for a fact that I've mentioned JessicaJane before ~ I love her shop, and bought a cute little bird charm from her a while ago.

And now I own one of her petite houses! And honestly, could this house be more perfect for me? Or have I never mentioned my love for all things pink, cute and tiny? Plus, I'm pretty sure the inside of the house is hollow, and the top lifts off, so I can hide little things inside (at least, the house in her shop does this, so I think this one does too ~ update: just found out this one is a non-opening house, but still cute nonetheless!)! And we all know I adore small containers/bowls/dishes! I cannot wait to get it!

Thank you SO much, both Christopher and Tia, as well as JessicaJane!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Treasury!

I snagged a treasury today! Go check it out --> here!

Etsy Feature: aprettyrock

Remember back when I was taking part of the 90 in 90 challenge.. where I was supposed to feature a great Etsy shop each day for 90 days? Well, I started at a bad time, because by the time I got around 30, I was knee-deep in thesis writing and defending, and my last semester before graduation. Needless to say, my blog and shop suffered. And I gave up on the challenge way too soon.

Now, during the summer, I picked my shop back up and started posting on my blog again. Although I love featuring Etsy shops now and again, it's too much for me to do one everyday. If I did that, this blog would never be about my crafting or my recipes or my life. And it is still my blog. So I haven't taken up the challenge again. I'm pretty sure I let everyone know I wasn't taking part anymore. And I hadn't heard anything about it until today.

Someone taking part in the challenge featured my shop. Go check out aprettyrock's blog ~ it's really great. I love her 101 list ~ 101 things to do in 1001 days. I'm not sure where she thought this up, but I think it's genius. I've started making up my own list.. I'm at 73 things, but I should be able to make it to 101 pretty easily. Just another way to get myself to complete my goals.

OK, enough rambling about me. This is a feature, all things considered. And I will be featuring Yazmin from aprettyrock. Her jewelry shop is superb! But you know what I like even better? Her supplies shop, RockStash, where I've definitely made a recent purchase (before she featured me). I was in need to some Swarovski crystals. The one's I'm most excited to get are shown above - light colorado topaz rondelles.

But, I'm sure not everyone gets as excited about supplies as me. For you, there is aprettyrock, Yazmin's jewelry shop. She has some really unique designs, you're sure to find something just for you. Here are just a few of my favourites:

This flora button ring is beautiful! I've never seen a button like this blue mother of pearl one. Get one in your size today!

I also love this garden cluster bangle. It features Israeli-faceted citrines, olive dyed coral, coppery red pearls and golden keishe freshwater pearls. A perfect fall selection! The coiled wire add a cool design that is sure to catch everyone's eye. Make sure you remember where you got it ~ I'm sure you'll be asked over and over!

These cluster hoop earrings are perfectly sparkly for all your evening wear needs. The cluster is made up of onyx and jet-coloured crystal, and hangs from a twisty, bright sterling silver ring. Simple, yet one of a kind and absolutely striking!

OK, so those earrings were going to be the last item I showed you before sending you off to Yazmin's shop. Guess what? I couldn't resist showing you one more item. This time, a stunning necklace.

This cluster design is a signature of aprettyrock, with golden beads wrapped with the wire around a ring. A cluster of light aqua prehnite dangles below. This makes a great statement, and would look beautiful on a blushing bride, don't you think?

OK, now you can go check out Yazmin's shop. I won't tempt you with anymore of my favourites before you go pick out your own. Have fun! And don't forget to take a peak at her blog and website!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Etsy Feature: August 7

August 7th was a good day. Wanna know why? Because both shops I'm featuring today opened on that day. Plus, both these stores opened this year, so they are brand new and looking for some hearts (and sales)!

The first shop I'd like to feature is inprint, and I'm proud to say I was their 4th sale. I mentioned before that I was going to buy an agenda from them, and I received it in the mail today. For a US to Canada package, that's pretty speedy! Carolyn and Lisa, the girls behind inprint, are very nice, easy to work with and have great customer service.

I chose this yellow agenda over this orange one. Still not sure if that was the right choice for me, but I'm VERY pleased with my yellow agenda! The colours ended up a bit more gold than the picture shows, but the quality of the print is good, and on good quality paper that should last the year. The agendas are small, a perfect pocket size. But there's lots of room for each day's tasks and appointments too.

Inprint doesn't just sell agendas though - they also have beautiful cards, personalizable notecards, and, more recently, specialty books. I really love the clean and calming design of these pretty blue notecards.

So if you are in the need of an agenda for back to school, or some lovely stationary, be sure to drop by inprint!

The second shop I'd like to feature today first caught my attention when this chromatic variations necklace was featured on a front page treasury. I was immediately struck by the cool textile beads (if you hadn't noticed, I've played around with textile beads a bit too, in black and turquoise). MariaCavallero makes these beads out of cotton yarn and suspends them on alpaca wire.

Although her shop is still new, there is a selection to choose from... this soft butter yellow is my favourite. I love how these earrings seem to float within the ring of wire. I also really like the interest and texture that the layers of thread give. And this changes depending on the shape of the bead... the oval ones above seem more streamlined than these more random rounds.

In this shop you'll find necklaces, earrings and brooches/pins ~ so far, anyway. You'll also notice that Maria incorporates beaded beads as well in some of her pieces. This Paris brooch, for example, features a large navy textile bead along with a pretty red raspberry - a bead constructed with tiny red beads.

So if you're looking for some interesting texture for your next jewelry purchase, MariaCavallero is a perfect shop to browse through!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Farmer's Market Finds

We went to a farmer's market this weekend (apparently there are quite a few in and around Hamilton) and I picked up some farm-fresh goodies. Lets start with the veggies. First, some yummy tomatoes. They're really firm and delicious.
Amazing cucumbers ~ I love them so much when they're this size / type. So tasty with just a bit of salt and pepper (same could be same for the tomato). But of course, most of these will be eaten in my tomato and cucumber salad. Yum!
We also picked up some delicious yellow beans that we've been munching on raw.

Pat prefers yellow over green beans. I can sort of tell the difference between the two, but they both taste pretty much the same to me.

Now on to the fruit. When we arrived at the market, it was 2pm, one hour until close. So we hit "power hour." Which means I bought all these plums:And all these apples:For $5.25! That's over $9 in fruit! I was excited! We got a pint of mixed plums, which is fun, and the seller added in another pint of the red plums. We also got a bushel of scrumptious, tart, hard apples.

We also picked up some blueberries ~ not the regular, large kind you find in the supermarket, but the original, smaller, wild blueberries. From Sudbury, no less!!
(Sudbury is about 30 minutes from my parents house, so these are the berries they would be buying on the side of the road ~ if my mom wasn't picking them herself.)

Since Pat had his last 2 wisdom teeth removed on my birthday, I made him a smoothie with the blueberries:It was really tasty ~ and such a beautiful colour!

Now, last but not least, my birthday cake... a couple days late because we went for DQ ice cream cake on my birthday instead of icing this cake:I almost blew out all the candles in one breath.Anyone want a piece? I still have lots...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My First Sewing Project

Here it is, my first project: a pincushion.I used Heather Bailey's Square Deal pincushion pattern. I had a little trouble lining up the side piece with the squares, but all in all, I think it turned out great!I used a yellow button on the top and a turquoise one for the bottom. The yellow ribbon was hard to get through the stuffing (I broke 2 crappy needles last night trying). But with proper needles (which I bought today on my trip to the marketplace on Ottawa St.) it was easy.I used these fabrics, which I bought from orientalfabrics, an Etsy shop that sells really cute Japanese fabric.

I have 2 ideas for my next projects. One will be some simple covers for the wooden seat of the chairs around my craft table. I hate how my legs stick to the chair when it's hot out and I'm wearing shorts. I also want to try to make a skirt ~ I bought some pretty white and light blue linen for that.

I think I'll practice a bit more before I try making a skirt.

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Birthday Gift

So Pat is all about surprises when it comes to gift giving (he gets it from his family). Here's what he did for my birthday:

When he came home with gifts on Wednesday, he hid them in the bedroom and told me one was hidden and another was hidden under a rug in the bedroom. It was pretty obvious, out in the open.. a fairly big box. I had no idea (until later I remembered a conversation we had).

When I got home from work on Thursday (my birthday), he had "wrapped" my gifts. He had his last 2 wisdom teeth pulled, so he wasn't really in the mood. I did have a large box from my parent's birthday package, so he "wrapped" something in there (and drew flowers and "I (heart) U" on the box). There was also a small gift bag and a card.

In the bag: a small egg shaped terrarium with seeds for a fly-catcher. So cool! I really hope it grows... Then Pat asked me to gently shake the big box. It was SO heavy! Inside: my old textbooks and a terrarium-style herb garden. I really, really hope they grow! I've always wanted to grow herbs (and other things) so I was pretty happy. But sneaky Pat had something else up his sleeve!

"Sit down and close your eyes." Heavy box placed on lap ~ and this one is actually wrapped! And I had guessed right:

A SEWING MACHINE!!!!
It's a Kenmore and has 51 stitch options. I LOVE it! I've already picked out (and started cutting) my first project: a pincushion. Nothing fancy, but I barely know how to use the machine! Starting small... besides, I need to organize my needles. So I figured it was a perfect starter project.I chose Heather Bailey's square pincushion pattern. It was simple enough, but I had some trouble. It didn't line up exactly right, and I sew slightly crooked... I also forgot to put down the foot a couple times... But all in all, it didn't turn out too bad.

I'll post pictures tomorrow when the light is better for taking pictures. I'm not done besides. The pattern calls for sewing ribbon around the square... I had one needle that fit a pretty yellow ribbon. I got it through the material, but it got stuck on the stuffing... I pulled and pulled and finally broke the needle. So I managed to find another needle with a tiny hole, but bigger than the majority of my needles. I barely fit a thinner turquoise ribbon through. I tried to move the stuffing out of the way, but it wasn't good enough. I broke that needle as well. Arg. I had a couple more that seemed the same size, but for the life of me I couldn't thread the ribbon. I frayed and cut away 2 inches before giving up.

Shopping tomorrow for needles and thread. And maybe more fabric. Fun, fun!

And the winner is...

So I used the random integer generator over at Random.org to fairly choose my giveaway winner. There were 14 entries, so I asked the generator to give me one number between 1 and 14.

Here's what it gave me:
Scroll through the comments to #8 and the winner is...

Bearlytimetoscrap!

I've sent you a convo through Etsy to tell you the good news! I just need to to respond with your address so I can mail you your great prize!

Everyone else, you should check out the Bearly shop ~ there are tons of great scrapping and other supplies, and some really cute needlefelting! This little bun is my favourite:Thank you everyone for participating! It was fun, I'll have to do it again sometime...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY!

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!

For anyone wondering, I'm 22 today. That was my sunrise this morning. Yeah, I was a little excited and couldn't sleep! Plus, the Pioneer Woman had set a challenge in her photography section to take pictures of a sunrise, so I did that this morning while I was up.

I'd like to thank everyone for all the well wishes. As a little thank you, I'm hosting a giveaway to one lucky blog reader of mine!

In this giveaway, you stand to win three awesome prizes:
That's right! You get not one, not two, but THREE great prizes! It's like your birthday too! You can check out this listing in my shop for more pictures!

All you have to do to win is go to my shop and pick out your favourite item. Then come back here and post a link in the comments! You have until midnight tonight (OK, make that 7:30AM tomorrow morning since I'm nice enough to give everyone a full day to enter) and then I'll randomly select a winner! Make sure you leave your email for me to contact you!

Good luck!I hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Celebrate!

Oh wow! We just found out that Pat got a promotion ~ he's now a senior programmer! I'm so proud of him! Just the way his project had been going, and the meetings he had, he thought for sure he wasn't getting promoted this September, but he is! With the amount of work he's been putting in, he deserves it!

So with that and my birthday tomorrow, it is ongoing celebrations here.

MY BIRTHDAY IS TOMORROW!!!

Yeah, OK, I'm excited. And Pat just told me he's stopping at the mall to do his shopping for me. I promise I'll close my eyes when he gets home.

On a side note, I signed up for Twitter. I know, I know, such a waste of time. But, believe it or not, I was wasting time at work today! So I signed up. If anyone wants to come follow me, my username is Ulixis.

**** please note: that cake is from Wiki, not my kitchen... unfortunately. BUT, Pat will be baking me a white cake, so hopefully that turns out!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Birthday Gift

My mom mailed me my birthday parcel yesterday at 2 pm from the small post office in the rural town where I grew up. Now, granted she sent it express, but it arrived at noon today! I think that's incredibly fast!

I called her right away and opened the box. I have 3 gifts from mom and dad, a card from my younger brother and a gift from my older brother and sister in law. There was also a gift for Pat from my parents (his birthday is Sept 7) and a small gift for the two of us: some birthday napkins, candles and a gift card for Dairy Queen. So, although Pat took my birthday off to go to the dentist and was planning on baking me a cake, I might just tell him to go get me an ice cream cake instead. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

But I have to wait until I'm on the phone with her on the 21st to open the gifts. ARG!

Anyway, after making up my birthday wish list, I really needed some retail therapy. I know, I have a problem. All the things on my list were a little (or a lot) out of my price range though, so I did some shopping at AnnieandOlive instead. I fell in love with their pretty heart pendants almost a year ago, so I thought it was about time to get myself one. Or two, as it turned out.

My first love was Sarah, shown above. The delicate pinks, green and flowers really scream me. But of course, who goes shopping without browsing? And I admit, I've browse through this shop on many, many occasions. I love Gretchen, and Mary was soooooo tempting, she kept drawing me back. And since Sarah is a pendant, I was really considering this orange crush pin, you know, for something a little different. Plus the orange is perfect for Halloween...

But in the end (OK, and after some help from my friend jellybeans), I decided to also get Dorothy, another stunning little heart pendant: So, assuming I love these as much when I get them as I do now, I'm sure I'll be a returning customer. There are just so many I want ~ and the solid felt ones are adorable too. I'll probably go with a surprise heart next time... so much easier on me!

Speaking of needing help choosing something... I was also torn between 2 agendas. I settled for this one this morning, after advice from the lab tech I share a bench with. The yellow is just brighter than this more orange one I was also tempted to get. Still, I really, really like it... I got a note from the sellers, inprint, saying they're coming out with notebooks soon. So if they have one in that design I might just have to get it.I love getting a new agenda each year. Shopping for school supplies was the best time of the year. Too bad I don't need pens and pencil crayons anymore!

OK, that's it for my second post today! I'll let you know what I got from my mom once I can open it! And be on the lookout for a birthday sale or giveaway, I haven't decided which to hold yet... but keep an eye out on Thurs!

Birthday Wish List (Part II)

ONLY 2 MORE DAY UNTIL MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

I'm not excited at all. And I haven't been birthday shopping on Etsy either. I just decided to make up a list of things that I really, really like. And I just happened to make this list today. Just a coincidence, OK?

First off, as soon as I get my birthday money, I am buying this ice garden sweater jacket from Ahpeele. I am seriously in love with the cool design. And normally I like hoodies, but I think the collar on this sweater is a nice change. It's a perfect jacket for work when the A/C is blasting, or for wearing skimpy shirts when the weather is too cold for them. I love it!

Next on my clothing wishlist is a gorgeous shirt that I've been eyeing for a long time. Actually, "drooling over" is more accurate. If only I had that kind of money to spend on a shirt (I realize it's the same amount as the sweater above... but jackets are supposed to be more expensive than a t-shirt). But this really is no ordinary shirt! Made by VenniCaprice, the ruffled drawstring neckline is extremely flattering and unique. I also love the light silvery gray colour.

I wonder if I could actually pull this shirt off...? That's the one downside of buying things online ~ you can't touch the fabric, or try things on to see if the fit is right. I would hope that clothes designers are OK with returns due to sizing.

Anyway, this next t-shirt is an example of something that probably doesn't need to be tried on. A t-shirt is a t-shirt. And luckily, Deadworry has measurements in each of their listings so you can be sure the size you choose will fit you. Their bunny fufu shirt is my absolute favourite rabbit shirt on Etsy. Knowing my rabbit obssession, it won't be long before this one resides in my wardrobe.

No more clothes, I promise. But I'm not done with the bunnies. Actually, a live bunny would be the absolute best birthday gift! Fat chance of that happening though...

Instead, this bunny mug rug is sure to bring a smile to my face every morning. Embellished with a sweet sprig of berries, it would be hard to actually sit a full mug of coffee on this coaster ~ I wouldn't want to get it dirty! Handcrafted by NeedleWoodDesigns, this is another bunny I'm expecting to see around the house sometime soon.

Now if only I could find some money to actually make all these purchases... Why can't I win the lottery? Why???

If I did win, this necklace would also be one of the first things I buy. And guess what? Yep, more buns! This one is crafted by cravejewelrydesigns, where I've seen other really sweet bunny charm necklaces. This little row of golden bunnies is absolutely adorable though! And I see they've sold already (since I found them last night). Lucky for me, they aren't one-of-a-kind.

I don't see enough gold jewelry on Etsy ~ I really like to wear it, but it's hard to find stunning pieces of gold jewelry. I have a few classic pieces that I can wear all the time, but that's about it. This necklace would surely add to my collection...

While I'm adding jewelry to my collection, I can never resist some great flowers. I have tons of flower jewelry, but I think I'll have to add this posey pendant (and maybe some matching earrings) soon. The unique design, by rubygirl, caught my eye quite some time ago. I love how the bead are held on to the metal disc! You can find this design in different colours, and it was hard to choose this one over the primary colours (bright blue, red and yellow blossoms). But recently, I've been really attached to the combination of red and turquoise. Either one (as well as the all red pendant) would look fabulous with the red posey earrings also sold by rubygirl.

Another recent obssession of mine has been small, dainty earrings. I recently purchased some simple amoeba ones from colleenbaran and I wear them all the time. I really like these mistletoe ones by wildflowerdesigns not only because they're flowers, but also because the centre is peridot, my birthstone.

When I was a kid, I hated the August birthstone. I thought the green was such an ugly colour (as my aunt thinks, who's birthday is Aug 10). But as I've grown up, I've come to like the soft, light green that is peridot. It's very easy to wear. As I imagine these earrings would be.

Wait, if my birthday is in August, and it's August right now... well! My birthday must be really soon! How soon? 2 days!!! That's how soon!!!

Nope, not excited at all.

Well, if you've been paying any attention to my blog, you'll also know that bunnies are not my only obssession (long standing, not the fleeting ones like colour combinations and favourite pieces of jewelry). The one I'm talking about is small dishes. I know, I have a problem. It's just that cute little plates and bowls really do it for me.

So the last item on this list (I promise it's the last one... I could go on for much longer, but I'll resist) is this dainty little pomegranate vase is by whitneysmith. Whitney has a shop full of adorable china, but this eye-catching vase is definitely my favourite. OK, I'd also kill for her lichen plates and nesting lotus bowls, but that's beside the point.

Although I think this would be even cuter as a little bowl with a lid.

Now, the whole point of this list is so that you can buy me things. Don't you dare go and purchase any of these things for yourself! I've already lost 2 things from my first list (I was devastated to find 2 of the cute little bowls I listed gone.... they better be shipping to my place!!!!), I don't want to lose all of these too!