Archive for the Alberta Tag

Romance in recycled materials

If you’re looking for something unique and a little romantic to wear this summer, look no further than Edmonton-based Pondhopper.

These gorgeous dresses and accessories are all made with reclaimed, previously- loved garments and bits and pieces of textiles and sparkle. The many layers and overstitching are Pondhopper signatures, and lend even more texture to these pretty pieces.

The dresses in particular, with their jagged hemlines and almost patchwork effect, remind me of some long-ago (and imaginary) Shakespearean wood-nymph!

Something as simple as grey and white t-shirts can become… this breezy little number:

Pondhopper tshirt dress - featured on

Swing it, girl!

Unchain My Heart dress by Pondhopper on Etsy - featured on

The "Unchain My Heart" dress - so romantic!

This Promenade Jacket is In.Credible. Incredible!

Promenade Jacket by Pondhopper on Etsy - featured on

Stunning and gorgeous and spectacular.

Grenada Fog skirt by Pondhopper on Etsy - featured on

What a fun, summer-filled skirt!

Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d say: These spats are so pretty!

Forbidden Liaison spats by Pondhopper on Etsy - featured on

A fun way to add some spice to your outfit!

You can find out more about Lorraine and her creative, organic pieces on her blog, her Facebook page and you can certainly do some shopping from this Edmonton based artist at her Pondhopper Etsy shop!


Tea for Two*

In keeping with the world wide obsession with all things Royal this week, I have decided to celebrate something wholeheartedly English… Tea!  I love tea, as my collection of teapots can attest, so I thought I would share a few tea related items with you today.  Each would make a great gift for any upcoming wedding (even if your invite to Friday’s main event *did* get lost in the mail.. just like mine!).   No vow-swapping events in your near future?  You may wind up wanting one for yourself!

What’s mine is yours? hmmm… maybe not when it comes to your favorite beverage!

<image source>  This set from Vancouver’s Petrulia finds a nice balance between “couple-y” and “personal space”… love it!  Also, everything in the shop is recycled/reclaimed and then given a new (and beautiful) lease on life with handpainted designs.

oooh... this would be a perfect addition to my collection!

<image source>  This hand-thrown set from Chalk and Mud has such a beautiful blue colour.  It would be a lovely accent to almost any kitchen.

You could say this one is just about Purr-fect... (*groan*)

<image source> This unique wavy piece is courtesy of  Caroline Bousquet from Montreal.  I think the shape is appealing, and the mischievous cat makes me chuckle.   Caroline also has some great hand painted glass  items in her shop, including this super-cute turtle that stole my heart.

No matter if you are a tea fanatic, a coffee aficionado, or a hot chocolate chugger, everyone can appreciate a little bit of style and fun when you are sipping your drink of choice!


*My mother swears that the number of teapots you receive at your wedding symbolizes how many children you will have.   Has anyone else heard of this before?  Or is she just wishful thinking? (We got *five* at our wedding, and I treasure them… but not sure that I need a kiddo for each!)


Barefoot and loving it!

Everyone has different aspects of their personality, even if they don’t often get to see the light of day.  Right now I am usually wearing my “busy working mother” hat, with the occasional “goofy friend” or “cheesy romantic wife” thrown in for good measure.  But lately I am missing a few other sides of myself.  I am currently working on re-introducing myself to the “adventuring traveler”, and maybe someday I’ll have the time to get reacquainted with the “wistful daydreamer” who used to hang out for hours in the branches of a favorite tree.

It is she, the wistful daydreamer who would feel perfectly carefree and at ease in the beautiful bohemian inspired clothing from the Barefoot Modiste.


It has a hippie feel without being shapeless, and the fabrics are lovely

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Milli is a self-taught seamstress who calls Edmonton home.  She started sewing at the tender age of eight, and hasn’t looked back since.  You can sometimes see the influence of her African roots in her work, and there is a freewheeling gypsy vibe that brings to mind music, laughter, and stories around a campfire.


I love the colours, and the fitted top/flowy bottom combination in this skirt!

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This shift dress has such a simple shape, but the African print gives it such energy and personality!

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Milli has a mild obsession with fabrics, and is always on the lookout for fabulous finds that make their way into her pieces.  Many of the materials she uses are reclaimed from thrift store or garage sale finds, so you can be sure that anything she makes is truly one of a kind.


I really like the textures in this skirt, and the mod feel of the shapes on the front!

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You can see more of the Barefoot Modiste’s free-spirited creations in her Etsy shop, or stop in and say “Hi!” on her Facebook page.

~Here’s to embracing all the different sides of our many-faceted selves!


Babies Love Jumping Beans!

Monday was a big day for some very dear friends of mine.  They welcomed a beautiful baby girl into their lives, and she has since stolen everyone’s hearts! (Funny how babies can do that so fast… You just can’t fight those eyes, and the adorable little fingers and toes).  So I have had “baby girl brain” all week, and thus have stumbled upon Little Jumping Beans.   They have the sweetest little shoes, bibs, and crib sheets, all in fabulous fabrics that any fashionable new parent will love.


Oh I think new baby P and my wee girl need matching shoes (proper girlfriends always share style, right?)

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So pretty and feminine... soft and washable too!

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Jaimie is a mom of two who has a soft spot for pretty fabric and hollywood gossip.  She sews all of her creations in her Calgary home.


You choose the fabric, Jaimie will sew up a safe and snug crib sheet for baby.

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That’s one small step for baby… one giant leap for baby-kind…

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As an extra bonus, 10% of sales are donated to a different charity every month!  I love it when you can shop and do good things for the world at the same time.  Visit the Little Jumping Beans Etsy shop for more great stuff, or drop by Facebook and say Hi!

Celebrating the sweetness of new life,


Knittles: Warm Gear for the Young and Young at Heart

It is supposed to be relatively warm-ish in Ontario this week.   Everyone I know is pretty excited by the prospect of maybe seeing those temperatures climb into some positive digits, (so much so that my dear husband is already planning to dig the bbq out of the snow to have some steaks on Friday!).

Maybe it’s a bit of pessimism due to a long sleepless weekend with the toddler, but I can’t help reminding myself that we are not out of the wintery woods quite yet.  I expect that once this little warm spell passes, we will still have a few blasts of frigid arctic air to contend with before the *real* warm-up starts to happen.  So, instead of being sad, I have decided to celebrate our Canadian wintery-ness by sharing some sweet and pretty cold weather gear from Knittles.

Baby can look this adorable *and* have warm ears? Win-win!

Calgarians Mavis and Olga create these cozy and cute pieces, along with an occasional “guest designer” named Marcy.

Eeee! It's a Baby Beret!

What’s that you say? Adult sized ears have been known to get chilly as well?  Don’t worry, the Knittles crew have you covered (literally).

They call it a "wooly helmet"... it's like your personal armour against the icy air.

They also have a whole selection of neck warmers and scarves, some fingerless mittens, and even patterns for the crafty guy or gal who would rather DIY.

Visit Knittles at their Etsy shop, their icraft site, or follow along on Twitter.

Even if the weather is chilly outside, all Cupid needs is one of those precious little aviator hats!

Here’s hoping that your heart is warm with love on this Valentine’s Day.


It’s a (very cute) bug party!

I love it when I get a chance to hear the story behind an artist’s work – in this case, Amanda of Small Box Design was inspired by a trip to Peru. Seeing children in the villages playing with vintage soapbox cars, riding and sitting on them, she decided she wanted to take a children’s stool design she’d made in the past and take it to the next level! Something functional, but also something a child would love.

And so, Creature Comforts was born.

Bumblebee trio by Creature Comforts -

What a great accent to a playroom or bedroom!

These adorable stools are so fun, and a great way to add a little personality to a child’s room or playspace. Also? They look like they might be a little more comfortable for the, um, more mature members of the family when they’re invited to the tea party. Those little plastic stools from the big blue and yellow store (coughIkeacough) are not conducive to a long leisurely “lunch” made in the “kitchen” with (plastic) “food” by the 5 year old. I speak from experience.

Amanda first ventured into the craft show scene at December’s Make It! show in Edmonton (how great is it that we have shows like Make It! that really support emerging artists! Love it!), but she’s already working on new concepts to include storage and mobility. I see wheels in the future. Also, maybe, a flower table? A girl can dream…

Caterpillar by Creature Comforts -

What a cutie pie (and the caterpillar is sweet, too!)

Bugs by Creature Comforts -

The whole set would be so colourful and fun in a garden theme playroom!

Amanda has been taking orders at shows and via email, but has recently launched her Etsy shop at Small Box Design. Don’t forget to check out the fly, he’s really cute… for a fly ;)


Tutus and toe shoes

Our eldest daughter has developed a fascination with Angelina Ballerina, a TV show about a little mouseling in pink tutu and ballet shoes. Most days, she can be found spinning around the house, practicing her version of “grand jetées” and she has recently requested that I make her an Angelina costume (mouse ears and tail!) for her birthday.

So, when I saw the artwork of Wendy Schmidt, I couldn’t help but smile. For every dancer, small or big, there are memories in these shoes.

Wendy Schmidt artwork -“All Together”

In Ms. Schmidt’s experience, dancers are reluctant to part with costumes and shoes from past performances and hours of practice and often have closets full of treasured pieces. Thus, her series called “In my closet” was born.

Ballet by Wendy Schmidt -

"In my closet: Ballet"

Wendy has studied watercolour, acrylic, oil and sculpture but most often prefers to work with oil. She also explores abstract and still life themes, such as the set of three canvasses in the Prairie Summer piece below.

Prairie Summer by Wendy Schmidt -

"Prairie Summer"

To see more of Wendy’s work, visit her online gallery or her retail space Lakeland Art & Framing in Sherwood Park, AB.



Perfect Papercraft

There is something special about writing in a lovely journal – even if it’s just jotting down the day’s to-do list, it feels more “permanent” to me when it’s written on paper (and yes, I know how strange that sounds coming from a girl who spends most of her limited free time with a keyboard in front of her!)

I saw the notebooks from Edmonton’s Sushi Papercraft at a Handmade Mafia event back in the fall, and loved the vibrant colours! I wanted to scoop them all up and immediately start writing the great Canadian novel, or some angsty teen poetry. These journals, notebooks and sketchbooks are all created and bound by Jenna O’Flaherty, and some even feature her original artwork on the covers.

Artist's Sketchbook by Sushi Papercraft -

If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ll likely know that I’m partial to maps. Jenna is after my heart with her lovely Africa and European map journals, perfect for a traveller… or someone who’s just dreaming. I love the clean edges, the coptic binding which lays flat (the better to write close to the center of the book) and that the pages inside are blank to accommodate doodling and sketching!

Africa Coptic Stitched journal by Sushi Papercraft -

This is also the perfect time of year to start making good on that New Year’s resolution to finally get organized. Sushi Papercraft has some lovely agendas available that are undated, leaving you with a flexible start date and lots of room for notes and planning.

Undated Agenda by Sushi Papercraft -

Undated Agenda by Sushi Papercraft -
Jenna has a lovely way of looking at her notebooks – born of a love for writing and drawing, and wanting to surround herself with inspiring places to record her thoughts, Sushi Papercraft journals are…

“…a place for people who get joy out of putting marks on a page. There’s something about the immediacy of a book, and setting pen to paper, that can’t be recreated by technology.”

I agree wholeheartedly.

For more on Jenna’s notebooks, you can visit her blog (and soon-to-be new website!) or check out the selection at her Etsy shop.

Happy journaling,

A spoonful of Sugar is good for the Soul

I met Christine from Sugar Soul Studio last year and have made it a personal goal to buy one of her hats this year. No, really, they are that cute!

Lots of people make the “Oh, I’m not a hat person” claim, but I personally think everyone can be a hat person, they just aren’t used to seeing themselves wearing the RIGHT hat. Maybe a fab Sugar Soul cloche is your style – like this one:

Denim Flip by Sugar Soul Studio -

This is a summer-weight hat (I'm wishful thinking, here in snowbound Alberta!)

Or, the inspired Cadet –  a little touch of femininity goes a long way! There are sparkle accents on that bow, friends!

Cadet by Sugar Soul Studio -

Such a cute look for a wintery day!

Red Wool Beanie by Sugar Soul Studio -

Love the bright colour, and the upcycled sweater-turned-toque!

With the change to a new year, Christine decided to challenge herself to work on a 365 Hat Project. She’ll be making and posting a new hat to her blog (and to her Etsy shop) each day. She’s on day 11, and it’s been fun seeing new fabrics and styles pop up every day. You can check out her blog here.

My favourite from the 365 series so far was Day 6’s beige and blue plaid. It sold at a local market this past weekend, I’m told, so I’m just going to have to keep watching for my next favourite!

Beige + Blue cloche by Sugar Soul Studio -

The one that got away...

You can see all of Christine’s offerings on her Etsy shop (she also sells bags and hair accessories), drop by her blog or follow her on Twitter and Facebook! If you live in the Edmonton area, she’s a fixture on the local craft show and market scene – even heading to Calgary and Vancouver once in a while – and has a great selection of styles and one-of-a-kind offerings! Come join me on the “hat person” team!


Event Alert: Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, London, and Winnipeg!

Are you looking for something to do this weekend?  Maybe you still have a few last minute gifts to pick up? Take a peek at some of the great events taking place this weekend!  If there’s one in your neck of the woods, be sure to stop by and see what your local elves have been busy creating in their workshops!

Vancouver, BC: You won’t want to miss the One of A Kind Show and Sale, taking over the New Vancouver Convention Centre this weekend.  Open daily at 10:00 am until Sunday (closing at 9:00 pm Friday & Saturday, 5:00pm on Sunday).  Tickets are $10.00 each, or $6.50 for seniors/students.  Click here to purchase & print your tickets online to save $2.00.  Sarah sent rave reviews after her first visit yesterday, and I know she’ll be heading back later this weekend to give her feet (and likely her wallet!) another workout.

Vancouver, BC, part deux: It may be smaller, but no less awesome, don’t forget about Shiny Fuzzy Muddy.  The 11th annual Holiday sale is happening at Heritage Hall (3102 Main Street, Vancouver) this Saturday and Sunday.  Hours are from 11:00 am to 9:00 on Saturday, and 11:00 am to 7:00 pm on Sunday.  Take a sneak peek at the blog, then visit the show, admission is free!

Edmonton, AB: The University of Alberta’s Butterdome hosts their Christmas Craft Sale.  Doors will be open from 11:00 am to 10:00pm today, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday, and 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Sunday.  Directions, transportation, and parking details can be found here.

Ottawa, ON: Visit the Originals Ottawa Christmas Craft Show and Sale.  The 36th annual show is being held at Lansdowne Park from now until December 19th (but closed this coming monday -dec 13th).  Stop in on weekdays from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm, or on the weekends from 10:00 am  to 6:00 pm.  Adult tickets are $7.00, Seniors and Youth are $4.00.  Lansdowne is at the intersection of Bank Street and the Rideau Canal (onsite parking is $5.00).

London, ON: Dig yourself out from all that crazy snow, and stop by An Artists Affair at the Convergence Centre (999 Collip Circle, Western Research Park).    Running on Saturday only from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Admission is $5.00, but if you bring a non-perishable food item for the food bank (and we suggest you do!), it’s only $3.00.

Winnipeg, MB: It’s the Last Chance Christmas Craft Sale, coming to the Canad Inns (Club Regent Casino Hotel).   This event is running on Sunday only, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Click here for a map to the location.  Admission is only $2.00 with half going to support Cancercare MB.

As always, happy shopping!  And thank you for continuing to support Canadian artists and crafters!