Archive for the 'etsy' Category


Favourite Things

Two new prints by Leah Duncan that I bought at White Elephant in Hamilton. I am so in love with the colours of these prints and everything that Leah Duncan does.

Favourite Things

Trying to decide what to put in this cool tin that I got at the 400 Market.

Favourite Things

I haven’t worn fragrance in years, but when Bre mentioned Black Coconut perfume a little while ago,  I really couldn’t resist. I LOVE coconut and this is absolutely yummy. Long Winter Farm also sent me a chocolate mint lip balm and it’s so great. I’m totally looking forward to exploring some of their other scents.

Favourite Things

My mom recently got back from a trip to Scotland. She brought me Clotted Cream Fudge and it’s pretty delicious.

Favourite Things

I bought this awesome necklace at the Spring Trunk Show. It was a collaboration between Rachelle Wilson and Emily Cumming.

Favourite Things

Fabric is always one of my favourite things. I’ve been organizing my fat quarter stash into bins. Spending time looking through my stash always gives me so many ideas for new projects.


Cool Couture Remake Dresses
ISBN 9784579112289
purchased from Pomadour’s Craft Cafe

So, I actually ordered two books with my last etsy order and this is the second one. ‘If you’re ordering one, you might as well get two’ is my motto for Japanese Dress Books.

I particularly like the dramatic black and white photography and styling for the first section of the book. It is quite a contrast to the younger girl posing with a cinnamon bun on her shoulder in the second section which is actually standard styling for these books.

I was really excited when I discovered this book which focuses on transforming sweatshirts, tshirts, men’s shirts and neckties into new garments and accessories. I love to cut up and remix old clothes or thrift store finds, so it’s great to get some fresh ideas. I usually just deconstruct one item, while this book shows how to use parts of one to four garments to create some cool looking clothing. I need to do a bit more studying to figure out which one  to try first – Tunic from Twin Tshirts (girl with hand on hip and stuffed bee in her hand) is a definite forerunner.


Happy Homemade Vol. 3
ISBN 9784579112470
purchased from Pomadour’s Craft Cafe

I went to Quilt Market in Houston, Texas over the weekend. It was both fun and exhausting looking at fabric and quilts for two days straight. I have lots to tell, but I haven’t even downloaded the photos off my camera yet. Soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to share my latest etsy purchase. I didn’t realize there were more volumes in the Happy Homemade series until Marilou brought her copy to the Japanese Dress Book class at the workroom. Of course, I had to have it for my collection. They’ve broken the book down into sections, showing variations on a basic style for each one. More and more, I’m wanting to customize parts of these patterns, so this layout is very helpful for mix and matching different pieces. ‘C-1′ basic is my favourite.

p.s. Today is the workroom‘s two year anniversary! Hooray! It’s also my birthday, my parents’ anniversary and Liz, Ashley & Esther’s birthday!


After posting about my shibori dress, I’ve been hesitant to post my next projects. I mean, it’s going to be hard to top that. BTW – Thank you for your super enthusiastic comments about the dress, I’m glad you like it too!

Yesterday, I got yet another Japanese dress book in the mail. I can never take a peek at Pomadour’s etsy shop without buying myself a book or two. Some people might call this an addiction.

The title of this book is Happy Homemade Vol. 1. I was especially hooked when I saw that there was a pattern for a cardigan. I don’t knit, so making my own cardigan sounds pretty exciting.

Since we also just got in the new nani IRO collection, I think you’ll be seeing one of these cute tops sewn up very soon.

p.s. A couple weeks ago was my one year blogiversary. I haven’t done anything to celebrate, but I’m going to add a few new ‘features’ to the blog very soon. Thank you for hanging around with me this year!


Etsy Canada Day feature

It’s the last day of my four day staycation. I’ve been busy whipping up some new dresses (Stylish Dress Book 2), finishing off some old projects (roman shade for the kitchen, watching girlie movies (What Happens in Vegas) and eating lots of candy (wine gums).

Back when Etsy came to Toronto, they asked if I would be interested in doing a Canada Day feature for them. I was totally honoured and overwhelmed. I didn’t realize just how hard it would be to narrow down my favourites to just twelve! It really made me realize how much incredible talent there is here in Canada. Seriously, you guys blow my mind almost every day.

You can see my little feature on Etsy here.

Happy Canada Day, everybody. I hope you had a lovely holiday.

Tomorrow, I’m officially back to work – which luckily happens to be one of the best jobs in the world.

Canada Day Etsy Feature


I’m not too sure how we ended up in the middle of June so quickly, but the official start of summer is this Sunday! Which coincidentally is also the date for the Garden Party Trunk Show. We have some familiar faces and also quite a few new vendors at this show. I’m excited and I’ll be on the lookout for a bunny of some sort to add to my collection.

We had the pleasure of having Krystal Speck and her colourful ceramics at the Love & Rummage Trunk Show and it’s a treat to have her back. I just love the folkloric imagery and saturated colours she uses. With wedding season upon us, I think her lovely vases would make a beautiful wedding gift or perhaps just a summertime gift to yourself.

You took both textiles and ceramics at OCAD… How do you feel that textiles have influenced your ceramic work? Do you still do textile-based work?

Krystal : Textiles have played a huge role in my life…my mom’s fabric collection was the greatest discovery I made as a child. I think her gloriously patterned fabrics were what originally inspired me to be artistic! Clay came into my life much later. As a result, I can’t seem to paint a pot without looking to textile patterns first for inspiration.

I still sew whenever I can find time, though my sewing machine is angry at me right now for neglecting her. I hope to eventually incorporate textiles into my product line, and have my two loves come together again: clay and cloth!

You wrote a great post on sustainable ceramics. As an independent artist, have you found it challenging to ‘green’ your practice? Have you been able to incorporate any changes that you are particularly proud of?

Krystal : Yes, you would assume that as an independent artist it would be easy to make your art practice very sustainable. But I’ve discovered it really depends on your chosen medium and your financial situation. For example, I would love to own a solar-powered kiln but this isn’t a viable option at the moment (for both monetary and geographical reasons). There are some small things I’ve been trying at my studio such as: collecting and filtering my used water to remove glaze ingredients that would otherwise be poured down the drain, reclaiming my slip (liquid clay) and bagged clay to be reused, and firing full kilns with work I’m pleased to fire into permanence.

I know you’ve recently started an entrepreneurial program. What is the most useful thing you’ve learned so far about business?

Krystal : I’m currently taking part in Bizstart, an amazing eleven-month business incubation program started by YES (Youth Employment Services) which allows you to work full-time towards launching your own company. I think for creative business people, the most important factor is learning to price your work correctly and confidently. We all love to spend our time designing and making, but you have to sit down and “crunch” the numbers, as they say. For example, I see a lot of crafters selling great products for low prices. This is good when you’re starting out, but once you cross over in to becoming a business you have to make sure you’re paying yourself for your time and talent! Happily, I think people are gradually becoming more aware of the value of handcrafted objects and are willing to pay fair prices for handmade.

Sunday marks the first day of summer. What do you most look forward to in the Summer?

Krystal : I most look forward to eating big slices of juicy watermelon in Trinity Bellwoods Park, having morning coffee with good friends, swimming at Ward’s Island, and whenever I can muster it, visiting my family in Muskoka and swimming some more! (Can you tell I’m excited?)


All photos (except #3) courtesy of Krystal Speck


It was brought to my attention last week, by D’Andrea that some of the etsy team was making a trip to Toronto and Montreal to meet up with Canadian etsy sellers to talk about their future plans for etsy and to get feedback from them in person. They didn’t have a set location for Toronto, so I was more than delighted to offer up the workroom as a meeting point.

Just under fifty people showed up for the meeting Friday night and somehow I had wrangled just about enough chairs and stools for everyone. Chad, Sara and Liz were the enthusiastic etsy representatives who came to meet with us. Not surprising they had some flight delays with Air Canada, but everybody just mingled and introduced themselves as we waited for them to show up.

I’m not an etsy seller, yet. But, it’s something I’ve really been thinking about for a while. (I’ve also been wondering if I should start twittering?) So, the meeting was really interesting for me to hear about some of the features that etsy is focusing on improving such as better search engines (such as being able to search local AND with key words), clearly stating that prices are listed in USD, being able to rearrange the items in your shop, and easy currency conversion.

The attending etsy sellers each introduced themselves by real name and etsy shop name and gave really great feedback. It was fun putting faces to products and when many people introduced themselves there were shout outs of ‘Hey, I love your stuff!’. Things like having the option for local pickup, support for coupons or gift certificates, batch editing of listed items, being able to change your etsy name (especially when you chose the name ages ago without thinking that it might be a future shop name), and better support and tools for the street teams were brought up with group consensus. There were lots of great ideas bounced around for creating applications that would allow bloggers and sellers to promote their favourite etsy items or shops easily. There is a hope that developers will begin to create these tools outside of etsy, similar to facebook or the iphone.

A brief discussion was also held concerning creating a wholesale platform that would assist potential retail buyers to find and interact with etsy sellers. This could potentially help sellers move to the next step with their business of doing bigger volume.

It’s clear that etsy is a huge and dynamic community and it was impressive to meet some of the people from etsy headquarters and to hear how dedicated and excited they are about the future of etsy. I can’t wait to see the changes that come about in the next little while.

Were you at the meeting? Did anything stand out for you? Does anyone else have points about etsy they think need improvement?

I didn’t take good photos at the meeting, but hopefully etsy will post up the video or group photos they shot! {NOTE : the group photo is here!}

Local etsy sellers are having an event at the Gladstone Hotel on Saturday May 16, 11am – 4pm. Drop by the ‘A Spring Handmade Market’ event to shop local etsy in person!

{ADDED NOTE : Minouette posted very detailed notes on the meeting here!}

{ANOTHER ADDED NOTE : Liz from etsy posted her report on the Canadian meet ups here!}


If you invite Shannon Gerard to your trunk show, you are pretty much guaranteed that she will be the first to arrive to help set up and when she opens her trunk you will be simply amazed at the things she has made out of yarn. People say that crochet is ‘so easy’, but I can’t quite wrap my head around how you go about making plants you can’t kill, sprouting avocado seeds, strawberry-topped tarts, mustaches (or plushtache in Gerard-speak) and other anatomy from a couple sticks and ball of yarn.

Of course, this is just a small fraction of Shannon’s talent. I would encourage you to snoop around Shannon’s blog, her website and her etsy shop to learn more about the lovely, humourous, but deliberate work she creates.

You are involved in a lot of diverse craft – crochet, comics, screen printing, etc.. Where did it all start for you?

SHANNON : My crafting started with storytelling– I used to think of myself as a writer before anything else– which led to bookmaking and drawing. I started to make books that weren’t traditionally structured and got into the sculptural qualities of book binding materials. Then I learned crochet because I wanted to create the Boobs and Dinks as a side project to a book I was writing. But since then, crochet has taken over my whole life! Once I started, there was no stopping.

What is the story behind your Boobs and Dinks project?

SHANNON : Boobs and Dinks was first just a side project to Hung no.3; Lonely Tylenol, a comic book I wrote that tells the story of my boyfriend finding a lump in his testicle. We were pretty scared about it and tried researching online, but found very little information for men. Of course there are millions of resources available to women about breast health, but not so much for guys. So I asked a friend to teach me to crochet because I had this vision of wanting to get at the fear with some useful information that was delivered in a soft and humourous way. I really wanted to make plush warm-up toys that educated people about body awareness and crochet was the perfect medium. Although it is definitely still connected to the book, Boobs and Dinks has become a huge multi-dimensional project of its own– people really respond to it! Since it started, I’ve found out about so many other amazing craft related projects that deal with cancer and human frailty and fear. I’ve also connected with so many other crafters and video artists and writers and organizations that deal with very similar issues.

Oh and, my BF was fine– the lump turned out to be just a dilated vein– but that fear when we discovered it was so intense, and I hope the project humanizes that kind of panic in a way that people can understand.

Is there anything you can’t make with crochet? Seriously!

SHANNON : Well, I want to make cowls, but I can’t read or write patterns. I’ve made a few attempts at learning, but just gave up. The beautiful and addictive thing about crochet is that you can just think of any shape you want to build and then make it up as you go along. There are only a few different variables but no end of ways to combine stitches to get the design you want. But sometimes the math is a bit tricky to work out the first time. You should see some of the prototypes for my projects- they are so hilarious and lumpy.

What was your biggest craft triumph?

SHANNON : Crafts mostly always feel triumphant! There is such a strong community spirit in crafts. Ideas are constantly evolving and growing because of the inspiration of others. Because there isn’t a lot of “mine mine mine”, you can work on projects with friends (at a workroom Stitch and Bitch for example) and always know that your work is respected. And many times ideas become strengthened by the input of others. Last year at the Valentine’s Trunk Show, I was talking to Ayalah at the workroom and since she is a medical illustrator, she gave me lots of tips for making my plush hearts more anatomically correct– so this year I have a whole new and improved pattern! Stuff like that is my favourite thing about crafts. Everybody triumphs!

Are you planning on selling some rummage at the show? if yes, what might that be?

SHANNON : Yep, I’m combing my stores for rummage– so far I have a few odds and ends of yarn, a batch of 35mm colour slides, some old blank mini-journals, and maybe some fabric squares I cut out for a quilt that never happened.

What Valentines gift would melt your heart?

SHANNON : For Valentine’s Day this year I’m dreaming of a collection of security buttons from Sweetie Pie Press– I want to get some of the rare pink ones before they’re gone.

The Love & Rummage Trunk Show will be at the workroom on Sunday February 8, 12-5pm.

All photos courtesy of Shannon Gerard. “Last Year’s Heart” photo by Alison Westlake.


Once again, we’re approaching another trunk show here at the workroom, in collaboration with the City of Craft ladies. The Love & Rummage Trunk Show will be a little bit different than our previous shows, as we’ve asked our vendors to also go through their crafty closets and package up some vintage supplies and goodies, as well as making their special wares. I have a strong suspicion that many of them have a treasure-load of stuff and I can’t wait to browse through it.

I’ll be profiling vendors every day up until the show, so I hope you drop by to take a peek at what’s in store. Today I’m super excited to introduce you to Margie Oomen of Resurrection Fern. I first discovered Margie on flickr when I saw a picture of one of her crochet covered sea stones. The first thing I did was check to see if she had an etsy store, so that I could buy one. Alas, at the time she didn’t – but her etsy store opened recently and seems to be doing really well. If you want one of her stones, you have to be mighty quick, as they sell out shortly after being posted. I have a feeling the same will be true at the trunk show.

Nature plays a big part in your work. How did the play between craft and nature develop for you?

MARGIE : I have always been a nature girl and also a maker of things from a very young age but it seems only in the last year or so that the two have really become covalently bonded. I have been doing a great deal of reading and thinking about how we can do our part to help increase awareness of the effects of global warming and unregulated consumption on our little planet and what I came up with was the concept of helping people see and experience what it is that is worth saving. To put this more simply, I really want to do my part to motivate people to go out there in the woods, meadows, seashores or even there own backyards where they can then slow down, and see what nature is trying so desperately to show them in the hopes that it will motivate them and inspire them to be creative.

Tell me the story behind your delightful crochet-covered rocks.

MARGIE : The story started with me crocheting the “rock babies” which were two little smooth stones I half covered with crochet one day and then my daughter said they looked like little babies wrapped in blankets. I smiled and then decided to add very simple facial features with a permanent marker and thus they were christened the “rock babies”.

I loved the look of an eyelet fabric covered stone I saw on flickr made by Stephanie ( little bird ) and decided to crochet some lace like covers for some sea stones I collected on my summer vacation in Cape Breton. The rest is history.

What/Who is inspiring you these days?

MARGIE : Nature is and always will by my greatest source of inspiration. I have made some great friendships through flickr and my blog and this creative community feeds and nourishes me everyday and also keeps me grounded.

What was your worst crafting disaster?

MARGIE : There is no such thing as a crafting disaster, they are only lessons to learn.

Are you planning on selling some rummage at the show?

MARGIE : I have been cleaning out my storage craft area and will have some vintage buttons, ribbons and trim and some vintage fabric bundles for sale and again a few surprises. I am not sure how all of this will fit in my vintage suitcase but maybe it will be a magic suitcase like Mary Poppins carpet bag.

What Valentines gift would melt your heart?

MARGIE : The best Valentine’s gift would be to spend the day snowshoeing or cross country skiing in the forest with my husband and having a winter picnic with a small fire. Our hands, feet and noses might get cold but our hearts would be toasty warm.

All photos by Margie Oomen


A lot of my internet surfing and blog reading has to do with coveting. Coveting and inspiration. I came across this photo by Something’s Hiding in Here. Since I already covet everything that Something’s Hiding in Here makes, I knew these magazines must be amazing. Coincidentally, I had just discovered Leslie’s blog the day before and Leslie is a source for all good things Japanese. I quickly emailed her and she promptly ordered me four issues and shipped them out to me last week before she left for a holiday to Hawaii. (lucky duck) They arrived within days. The postal system still amazes me.

My lovely brown box arrived packaged so sweetly with a few extra treats. It included a piece of Junko Onishi’s Bloom fabric & a piece of Lotta Jansdotter fabric, both of which I have been coveting for a long long time. This was way more than a ‘little’ goodness, Leslie!!

The magazines are delicious and I’m looking forward to really pouring through them over the weekend. Look at all the boxes and cupboards and just plain gorgeousness of every simple detail. Tiny little swing on a miniature plant?! Sigh. I love it all.

Have a lovely lovely weekend!