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DIY Holiday

I can’t believe it, but it’s already December. As it gets closer and closer to the holidays, I thought this would be a good time to highlight some of my favourite holiday DIY gift ideas. I’m definitely going to be making use of some of the tutorials and recipes for my own gift giving – it’s inexpensive, fun, and it adds such a nice personal touch to each gift!

Are you going DIY for the holidays this year? What recipes or tutorials are you using?

Here are some of my favourites:

Paint chip wall art

Tote bag

Maple, citrus, and ginger cranberry preserves

I’ll try to build on this list as it gets closer to the holidays, so stay tuned!


Is there going to be an auction nearby? Make sure you go!

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to do a post. A long while – sorry!

I went to Saskatchewan last week and was it ever fun. Feeding cattle, going to a farm show, eating buffalo (yummmm)… There was one particular event that stood out, though, and I have to share.

The auction! It was an estate auction in Laird, Sask. and while I was told it was small in comparison to the others that often happen, it was still fantastic in my books. There were lots of household items including furniture, bakeware, appliances, books, and toys, but also farm equipment, trees and even a house. The main reason I wanted to share this is because of the creative potential that can result from an auction. Depending on where the auction is and who else is there, you may very well be able to pick up a great piece of furniture (or another item in which you may have an interest – craft supplies, bakeware, fabric, etc). While the item you pick up may need some refinishing or sanding or cleaning, you could easily turn it into a re-sale product or something great for your home or apartment. The potential is there folks, so go check out an auction! Fun and worthwhile.

If you live in Ontario, you may want to check out this link for auctions near you.

Ottawa Ravenswing – TODAY!

Today’s the day!

Today is Ravenswing – the DIY festival. You’ll find it and me at Minto Park (Elgin and Lewis) or the Jack Purcell Community Centre (across from the park, in the case of rain) from 10AM to 4PM.

I’ve got earrings, necklaces, headbands, aprons and a BUNCH of baked goods! Be sure to stop by and check it out… All profits made are being donated to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.


More DIY jewelry & getting ready for the festival

There’s only a few days left until ravenswing – Sunday, May 29 from 10am – 4pm! Be there! It will be great and fun. Great fun!

My life has been saved thanks to a friend who was kind enough to drop off a sewing machine for me to borrow. I’m so excited to be able to get started on the aprons and wall organizers. Everything’s ready to go, so I’ll be getting started on that tomorrow.

While I decided to save the sewing for tomorrow, I still got quite a bit accomplished tonight. I prepared my business/product cards to hold my earrings, pushing the earrings through the cards… I did something similar for a few pairs of feather earrings… and I finished another button necklace:


I already explained, in a previous post, how I made the button earrings. I made the feather ones by attaching feathers to three-sided earring clasps with hot glue. To make sure everything stays in place, clamp the two outer edges into the middle. Finish them off by attaching the desired type of earring hook. I added a little something extra to a few of the pairs by putting a few links of thin chain between the clasp holding the feathers and the earring hook. There are lots of ways to experiment with earrings… Try it!

I finished off my business/product cards by adding short lengths of hemp string and writing the name of the blog on the front. On the back I included my website, email address and name. I had to experiment with a few different pens (I know, such excitement..!), and finally decided on a gel pen to avoid any bleeding of ink. I’m really happy with how they turned out.

Anyway, things are actually starting to come together. I’m really excited to see how the aprons and wall organizers turn out. The aim is to have everything done by Friday, so that I’m ready to bake my Saturday away to oblivion.

More to come soon!

DIY button necklace & homemade business cards

Well, my sewing machine has temporarily failed me again. I was all optimistic after my last post because I got the bobbin holder to stay in place. Now, though, it turns out the bobbin holder is missing a “notch” or “groove”, necessary to keep the tread in the right place while sewing. Anger! Rage! Okay, it’s not that bad, but I’m bummed that I won’t get to sell many sewn things at ravenswing next weekend…

On a more positive note, I did get a few crafts done today for next weekend’s DIY festival. I finally found a way to successfully make a button necklace that stays together well. I “simply” wove a long piece of medium-thickness metal wire though the button holes. I have “simply” in quotes for a good reason, though – it takes a long time to do this well and is very finicky. I had previously made this type of necklace by weaving a stretchy plastic string through the button holes, then lining the back with a thin wire attached by hot glue. This method will eventually fail and fall apart. It’s far better to spend the extra time to weave with wire from the beginning. I would recommend a pair of needle nose pliers to help keep the wire in place while you’re feeding it though the button holes.

Aside from the button necklace, I also got started on making some business and product cards to be attached to the items I’ll be selling at the festival. I used water colours on plain tags that can be found at any office supply store (around $4-$5 for 100 tags). I tried to use a colour/style similar to that of the blog and will write the price, website, etc on with a fancy pen once they’ve dried. Attach them to the product with some ribbon and you’re set! I think this is a great way to make sure people know who they’re purchasing from, without having to spend to spend very much at all. It’s simple and definitely goes with the theme of the festival – DIY.

DIY Aprons – fabric selections

So, I’ve made a few more pairs of button earrings, but have now temporarily moved on to making aprons. I want to test out my new, used sewing machine… which has sadly been acting up (SIGH). I think I may have to get it repaired…!! Regardless, I wanted to share what I’ve done so far.

To make the apron:

  • Make a pattern – sketch out some possible designs and once you’ve found one you like, decide on the appropriate measurements
  • Draw the design on large sheets of plain newsprint paper (or whatever else you may have lying around)
  • Cut out the pattern
  • Pin the pattern to your freshly ironed fabric
  • With a fabric pencil, mark out the shape of the pattern onto your fabric
  • Cut the fabric, leaving about a 1/2″ of room from the edge of the pattern
  • Repeat with all the pieces of your apron

This is the stage I’m at right now. I have the main portion of my apron ready to be sewn, but sadly the bobbin part on my sewing machine is being a jerk… Anyway, you can see the two fabric selections I have made for my first two aprons. Hopefully I can make more progress on this project soon!

Munny from the forest floor

Every year here in Ottawa, Lost Marbles, hosts a “Munny Show”. The reason I post on this is because few, very few, know what a “munny” actually is, which is understandable. It’s kind of annoying when you’re talking to someone and say, “hey, how’s your munny coming along?”… or, “I need to go pick up my munny”… or, “I finally finished my munny”. Sounds confusing to everyone, but that’s just the name!

Basically, a munny is a blank, white, vinyl figure. They come in the shapes of many animals. People decorate, paint, cut up, mould, etc, them and then other people look at them… You get the gist. Simple as that, essentially. This is mine from last year:


It took me FOREVER to decide what to do with it. I’m not the most creative person sometimes, so I found this project surprisingly difficult. My original plan was to paint him, then roll him in what I’d call “forest debris” to make him look all woods-like. I then figured that this would be extremely messy and the glue might show too much. I ended up going to a park and gathering some dirt, twigs, crumpled leaves, and debris to attach, in a more planned fashion, to the munny after he was painted a wood-type colour. I attached the debris with hot glue, which worked okay but wasn’t consistently sticky enough for the long-term or for transportation. It worked well enough, though, for what I needed at the time, and for the amount of days I had left before it had to be submitted. For his head, I lined it with foil and then filled it with succulents from the market. He’s still alive and well today, and the aloe’s grown like mad. I’m glad I chose this design – it’s alive and a nice contribution to the room he’s in. Also a conversation starter, as people always wonder what the heck he is and why I have him.

Anyone else ever done a munny?