Marvelous Paper Marbling (+Gold Leaf! )

Marbling & Gold Leaf // Boots and Cats

No matter how many times I try it, how many colour combinations I make, marbling is just like…the coolest. After my very successful attempts at marbling with fabric, I decided to try something a litter different and go back to the roots of this craft- marbling on paper.

I knew immediately the challenges of paper would be different than fabric – but seeing as people have been marbling with paper for centuries it had to work…right? The biggest hurdle for me was dealing with the paper getting wet. With the technique I am using the paper would be wet multiple times (when preparing it with alum before marbling and rinsing off the carageenan after) and post-water wrinkled paper is my biggest pet peeve. (I had one of those Wreck this Journals when I was younger and loved destroying it until one page said put it in the shower. It was the worst experience ever and even though it was the point of the book to get over things like that, I pretty much stopped using it because of its crinkled, stiff state. But I digress)

Marbling & Gold Leaf // Boots and Cats

When doing research, it was actually pretty difficult to find out specifically what paper would be best to use actually use. Pretty much all the resources said to use the smoothest surface possible to ensure the paint stuck, but I couldn’t find any info about weight. Ideally you’d be working with something thin enough to bend when marbling, but thick enough not to wrinkle and curl into nothingness when wet. I tried two types of drawing paper and hoped at least one would work.

Even though I have marbled twice now, the bath seems to be slightly different each time (and I am even using pre-made kits, what’s up with that?). This time I was crafting with a friend who wanted to experiment with the world of marbling, so naturally it did not work out as well as before. The carageenan size wasn’t as thick as previous, and most of the pigment sank to the bottom or bled after being pulled. No bueno.

Marbling & Gold Leaf // Boots and Cats

Between my two papers, I found the heavier weight one worked better. The lightweight paper curled almost immediately after touching the marbling surface. However the thicker paper meant it was trickier to get a smooth lay along the surface of the size. While fabric will bend and then lay softly as you roll it along the surface, paper is stiffer and I found I would end up dunking the middle underneath the paint as I tried to get the edges to touch. This lead to more of the paint bleeding away when rinsing and it made the pan very cloudy and hard to see the patterns.

Despite the challenges, I did manage to get a few really good pulls. I knew I was making them as gifts, so I picked paint colours that I knew would suit each of the recipients. I am not sure if I will try marbling with paper again, maybe if I get a better paper recommendation. For now, I am way happier with the results I’ve been getting on textiles.

Back to the prints; while marbling is very pretty, it doesn’t have a particular focus and as a pattern felt like it was missing something. In order to give them as gifts, I had to take it up a notch; but how?

Enter the magic of gold leaf.

Marbling & Gold Leaf // Boots and Cats

I recently had the experience of working with gold leaf in some renovation projects at work and fell in love. Basically, it’s metal rolled out as thiiiiinnn as possible. You prep your surface with a special glue, then very carefully lay the leaf on top to stick. It is hecka finicky and SO delicate, but the incredible shine and finish is totally worth it. I had access to a few sheets leftover from the projects and decided to play them up here.

I chose some simple words, phrases and illustrations to accompany my prints. If you’d like to try it yourself, here’s how.

You’ll need:

  • Cardstock
  • X-acto knife/ scissors
  • Pencil
  • Small paint brush
  • Gilding size (glue)
  • Gold leaf
  • Soft bristle paint brush
  • Fine tip permanent marker

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  1. Select your motif for your print, either by drawing or searching the internet and print onto a piece of cardstock
  2. Using an x-acto knife and scissors, cut out your motif from the cardstock
  3. With a pencil, trace the outline of your stencil onto your marbled print. Trace lightly in case of mistakes or if you want to reposition it.
  4. Very carefully, with your paint brush, ‘paint’ the gold leaf glue inside the lines of your motif. The leaf will stick to anything remotely adhesive so be very careful not to get any drips or smudges outside your design.
  5. Once the glue is tacky, carefully lay your gold leaf down on top of your design. Let it set for 30 minutes.
  6. Gently start to pull away the gold leaf. Because it is so delicate, using a very soft bristle brush or muslin cloth is best for this part to keep the leaf from ripping off your design. The leaf with easily flake away (and fair warning, it will get EVERYWHERE. It’s worse than glitter.)
  7. Let your final design dry for 24 hours before putting in a frame. If you feel like you need extra contrast between your design and the marbling, outline with a fine tip pen.
  8. Enjoy your marbled, gold goodness.

Marbling & Gold Leaf // Boots and Cats

Easy Origami Advent Calendar

Origami Advent Calendar // Boots and Cats

Advent calendars have really become all the rage in recent years, especially for adults. You can find calendars filled with fancy chocolate, wine, gin, beauty products…you name it! For the past 3 years (alongside my fancy chocolate calendar) Rory and I have had a calendar full of Christmas-time activities to get us into the spirit of the season. It has lived in many forms, including a scrapbook and hanging ornaments, and needed a fresh face for this year.

I wanted something bold and pretty (geometric has also been my jam lately) but also very quick and easy (all honesty, I put this together 2 days ago). I was toying with the idea of origami boxes or the like, then Rory suggested folding ‘fortune tellers’ that we used to make in school. This would also make the calendar into a bit of a daily game and adding to the surprise of what we reveal each day.

Origami Advent Calendar // Boots and Cats

December snuck up on us quickly this year, so no judgement if you didn’t have time to make one of the many beautiful crafty calendars Pinterest can provide. This one is quick, easy and full of things that will bring you closer together with friends and family and fill you up with holiday cheer.

You can totally whip this up this weekend in an hour or so and you can join in on the fun!

Origami Advent Calendar // Boots and Cats

You’ll need:

  • Christmas-coloured card stock (whatever Christmas colours means to you and your decor)
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Pens
  • Hole punch

Origami Advent Calendar // Boots and Cats

Begin by refreshing your grade-school memory on how to fold ‘fortune-tellers’. I made sure to practice on a scrap piece of paper before moving onto the good stuff, but it turns out, it’s just like riding a bike. Each one will hold 4 activities, so for the 24 days til Christmas, you’ll have to make 6 of them.

This is an opportunity to play with your paper colour selection. You can make all 6 from the same colour, multiple colours alternating in a pattern, or sort of a gradient effect like I did. This is the most ‘design-y’ part of the project. (For me personally, finding good card stock in a variety of pretty, saturated tones was always a challenge, until I found this!). If you enjoy the simplicity of the folded lines, leave them as is, but if you’re all about the holiday bling – go nuts with glitter, ribbons and any other ‘accessorizing’ you can think of.

Origami Advent Calendar // Boots and Cats

Once those are folded up, brainstorm 24 activities, treats and things to do each day that will bring festive excitement and merriment. Some of my favourites we use are “go out for tea”, “go tobogganing”, and “watch Christmas cartoons”. If you are bold, you can go for an activity each day, but I am not gonna lie, about 12 of our activities are “eat chocolate from the Christmas stash” because as delightful as these things are; December is a busy month! We’d be exhausted (and not to mention probably resentful of our calendar) if we forced ourselves to do something every single day. This is an unfortunate side effect of adulthood.

Once you’ve narrowed down your activities (and chocolates) it’s time to fill up your calendar. On the inside, on top of the flaps, write a word or symbol (Christmas related is preferred) that will act as the ‘door’ that will reveal your treat for the day. Underneath, write down one item from your list. Randomness is totally valid here, as your daily activity will be chosen by surprise chance. I did keep a bit of balance and wrote 2 activities and 2 chocolate treats on each one.

Origami Advent Calendar // Boots and Cats

Once all 6 are filled in, you’re done! If you’re ambitious like me (and still have a giant stick from years past) you can punch a small hole in each ‘fortune teller’ and hang them on the wall, but these are cute enough on their own, or stashed in a festive bowl or basket.

Origami Advent Calendar // Boots and Cats

Now it’s time to play! If you remember playing these on the school yard, you’re ready to go. If your memory is a little foggy; it goes a little something like this: Hold the fortune teller in two hands, thumbs and fingers in each section so you can move it around, kind of like a puppet. For the first round, switch the sides the number of times as the date of the month (Eg. today is the 2nd, so we’d move it twice; once forwards, then again to the sides). Then from the two visible symbols (or words) on the inside, have your friend or partner choose one and count out again the letters of the word. Eg. Candy cane would switch 9 times c-a-n-d-y-c-a-n-e. From there, they chose one of the two visible symbols, then lift the flap they chose and voila! Your treat for the day.

I hope you all have a magical and crafty December. Cheers.

Adventures in Fabric Marbling

Fabric Marbling // Boots and Cats

It was nearly a year ago, when over a hot cup of tea my friend Courtney and I poured through the print edition of Seamwork magazine. The styling, the features, the tutorials filled us with giddy sewing & fabric glee. But one piece quickly jumped out at the both of us: The Art of Marbled Fabric. We were taken by the soft swirls and twirls of ink on textile and wanted the results for ourselves.

Fast forward to late this summer and we’d finally sat down and put that craft date into our calendars. We tracked down the materials, brainstormed projects and settled in for some exciting trials in the world of paint floatin’.

Fabric Marbling // Boots and Cats

The basic principle of marbling is using a thick, high-density liquid (called Size) to float paint on it’s surface. You can then swirl, pull and twist the paints together in intricate patterns before gently laying your fabric (or paper) flat to the surface to pick up the design. Your fabric is treated with Alum beforehand to help the paint stick to it. Any fiber type will take the paint; what’s more important is that you have a smooth, fine weave for your paint to adhere to.

We did a bit of research for supplies and ultimately determined that this Jacquard kit would be the easiest and cheapest way to acquire everything we needed. We ended up using 2 kits (over two sessions) which marbled around 5m of fabric projects and odds & ends. The kit supplied us with plenty, leaving us with lots of the paint and alum leftover. If we had more project ideas, fabric and endurance I am sure we could have yielded even more works from the Size pan we had going.

Fabric Marbling // Boots and Cats

Since there was no specified ‘best’ fabric type, I dug out multiple white swaths of fabric from my stash to play with. This included a soft (but slightly textured) woven cotton,  a mystery twill and a bunch of rigid weave polyester leftover from making a tablecloth for an event booth. Courtney also brought a myriad of textile scraps, including some really light cotton and a flowy chiffon.

Fabric Marbling // Boots and Cats

The Seamwork article suggests small pieces, for lingerie, bias tapes or table napkins. But for me, I felt it was go big or go home baby. My grand scheme was to make a pastel marbled Sway dress. It would be a masterpiece and a dress of dreams. The one limitation of marbling is the area of your tray. We calculated how much of the Size our kit would make and found the biggest bin that would work for that amount. I luckily had the perfect under-the-bed bin that would allow us to marble decent sized cuts. The bin was, however still too small for the entire length of the dress, so I altered the pattern to have cool angled seamlines at the waist to create smaller pieces to marble.

Fabric Marbling // Boots and Cats

After weeks of excitedly planning projects, making the size, preparing our fabric, we were ready to marble. We took the dyes and mixed a beautiful deep cranberry paint, filled the dropper and…bloop….it fell straight to the bottom. We thought it was game over – we had no more size to make it thicker (and thus the paint floatier). In an effort to salvage the day we tried a few other colours.  And lo, it started to work! It turned out the ‘pure’ highly saturated colours floated (and took to the fabric) best, and using a lighter application method (paint brush flicks vs a big dropper) helped a lot as well.

Fabric Marbling // Boots and Cats

In my nature of being prepared, I had already planned, cut and overlocked the edges of the projects I KNEW I wanted to accomplish, mainly the Sway dress and two pillow covers. This was under the assumption that all the fabrics would work out perfectly the same. Naturally though, some fabrics were better than others.

Those with smoothest surfaces took best, mainly the tablecloth polyester (which I used for the pillow covers) and the chiffon, leaving us with colours and patterns bright & true. Some of the cottons worked, but faded a bit when rinsed, unless they used deep tones like dark purple or black. Interestingly, one fabric didn’t take AT ALL – with the paint literally rolling off the surface when lifted, which makes me think there must have been some sort of treatment or coating on the fabric that I did not know about. Before our second run, I washed the fabric in hot water and scrubbed it real good, but it had no impact on the result.

Fabric Marbling // Boots and Cats

Naturally – the fabric that did not work was the one I had cut my Sway dress of dreams from, and carefully planned the colours and designs. It was going to be perfect – but fate would not have that. Goodbye dream dress. Luckily there happened to be some OTHER fabric craftiness going on that day, so the dress pieces got folded up all nice and dunked into an indigo bath instead (more on that another day).

I did not have enough of the other fabrics to re-cut the dress, but I really wanted to make a marbled garment. The polyester had the best results taking the marbling, but is quite rigid. It needed a pattern that had volume and structure to accommodate that, without needing extensive yardage (I didn’t have much left).  The wonderful sewing blogosphere led me to Workroom Social and I downloaded the Tate Top pattern and cut a crop top version.

Fabric Marbling // Boots and Cats

The Tate Top is a free pattern which is awesome, but is also such a flattering cut for me and a very quick, satisfying make. The simplicity of the lines, especially with the darts on the neckline, allowed the marbling to be shown off. The dress of dreams became the crop top of dreams and I love that it is a completely one-of-a-kind object in my wardrobe. I’ve been slow to get into the crop top trend but I have had fun pairing it with high-waisted skirts for work and special events. The fabric is also comfortable, which I was worried about honestly, but so far no complaints. There will definitely be more Tate tops in my future, time will tell if they end up marbled or not.

Fabric Marbling // Boots and Cats

Playing with colour is one of my favourite things, so creating combinations of shades and tones, then swirling them together was so addicting and fun. I found the more you moved and worked with the paints, the finer the detail and more intricate the designs would become. We used every last scrap we had on hand just to experiment with new colours and patterns – even if we had no intended use for them. I selected combinations with bright and interesting colours (usually no less than 3) and it wasn’t until our very last dip before wrapping up the day did I realize the impact of monochrome. That last scrap of black and white was probably one of my favourite pulls of the day. My brain is swirling (ha) with possibilities of single hue marbling, or playing with varying tones of one colour.

Marbling fabric was such an interesting and fun experience, and I love the impact of the results. I think in my next endeavors I will try marbling some paper – it would be great for art prints, envelopes and gift tags…so many ideas, especially with the holidays coming up. If you have had any experience with marbling, especially paper,  I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for next time. And if you have any questions for me please ask – it was honestly far easier to do than I ever expected and so gratifying (plus you’ll love the oohs, aahhs and OMG YOU MADE THAT?!s that come along when people see your work  😉 )

Fabric Marbling // Boots and Cats

Hooray for marbling!

Special thanks to Dallas Curow for the styled photos and Courtney for being my fabric partner in crime

Dreamy DIY Ombré Paper Backdrop

DIY Ombré Paper Backdrop // Boots & Cats

It should be no secret by now that I love backdrops. I’ve had a love affair with them since the moment I joined Pinterest. I made my first one from metallic fringe for New Years Eve in 2013 and haven’t looked back since. Give me any occasion and I’ll try to whip one up. Luckily I have a large swath of empty wall space in my living room that just begs for a backdrop wall installation year round! I’ve shared some of these with you before, including this geometric autumn garland and last year’s spring floral set up, as well I’m sure you’ve seen peeks of the golden medallions, and strings of stars making an appearance in the background of other projects. It’s gotten to the point where the wall looks sad and naked without anything there.

Ideally I’d like to change up the artwork with the seasons, but sometimes it’ll only get changed twice a year. Last spring, I was so eager to leave winter behind, I built up the florals in early April as my foray into spring. My warm-weather dreams were kinda destroyed though when it continued to snow for a few more weeks. To avoid the soul-crushing, I decided to wait a little while longer before getting the spring backdrop ready this year.

Then life somehow took over and what was supposed to be ‘holding-out-for-a-few-more-weeks-until-the-snow-is-gone’ became ‘holy-crap-how-is-it-already-July?!’. But here it is, in it’s bold, ombre and super pink glory.

DIY Ombré Paper Backdrop // Boots & Cats

I’d been inspired by this post on Style Me Pretty for a long time, having ‘pinned’ it years ago and just waiting for the moment I could deploy it. I love its dreamy softness, yet geometric, 3D, sculptural-ness. I also knew that I wanted to inject a pop of colour to the mix, and a little bit of ombré is never a bad idea.

I followed Erin’s instructions pretty closely, except that I used coffee filters instead of wax-paper so it would take the dye. This also had the handy bonus that they were already circles, so I got to skip a step! Yay for efficiency.

It was a little meticulous and time consuming to put it all together, but there aren’t too many materials needed and the process was so much fun. I’ve never had as much Instagram fodder as when I was making this. It was just so visually bold I wanted to take photos with the materials non-stop along the way (which is also probably why it took so long…)

DIY Ombré Paper Backdrop // Boots & Cats

Let’s get to it. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Coffee filters (I used a full pack of 100)
  • Food colouring or fabric dye (I used Wilton gel icing colours)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • String or twine
  • Large sewing needle (a knitting one works great)

DIY Ombré Paper Backdrop // Boots & Cats

1. The first step is dyeing your coffee filters to the colour of your choice. It’s actually a very easy process, you just need a little bit of space to make a mess and let them dry. I used this tutorial, but it’s pretty self-explanatory. To get the ombré effect, I mixed my darkest tone (mixing Christmas Red and Pink icing colours) and began dyeing about a fifth of my filters. I then diluted my dye bath with water and dyed the next fifth and so on. For the lightest tone of pink I just added a few drops of the pink to a new bath of clean water just to get it ever-so-slightly pinked. I also dunked the plain white ones in clean water and dried them out so they would have the same texture as the rest.

2. Lay them out to dry and Instagram as much as possible.

DIY Ombré Paper Backdrop // Boots & Cats

To make them into the cone shapes, you need to cut the circles in half. As I was doing this, surrounded by piles of paper, I made a discovery. It’s pretty ground-breaking and I am so excited to share with you. Ready? Two words. GIANT. CONFETTI. They flutter around in the air when tossed and it is pretty much the most fun EVER. Like playing in an autumn pile of leaves without fear or spiders hiding underneath. I’m definitely keeping this idea in my back pocket for my next party. It would be so fun to dye a few different colours and toss them about with friends. Plus, since they are large, they are WAY easier to tidy up.

You’re welcome world.

DIY Ombré Paper Backdrop // Boots & Cats

3. Once you feel you’ve frolicked enough, take your half circles and turn them into cones. I found white glue worked the best as the filters just soaked it up and held strongly. Apply glue in a strip along half the edge, starting in the center.

4. Bring both ends together, overlap them a little bit, and hold for about 5 seconds. Set to dry, and repeat.

5. Take many photos of your tiny mountain range. (If I could figure out how to adhere them to the wall like this I SO would have. Pink spikes? Yes please.)

6. Once dry, decide on the layout of your design. Do you want the colour gradient from left to right? Top down? Bottom up? Should the strands all be the same length or should they be staggered? You’ll also need to measure the size of your display space so the strands aren’t too long, too short or too wide. I arranged all my rows on the floor to get an idea of the size and colour design before I started assembling.

7. Next, you’ll need your string, sewing needle and knot tying skills. Cut a string about 20 cm longer than your intended length of the strand. Starting from the bottom up, you’ll tie a knot in your string, then sew it through the tiny hole at the top of your cone. I found I usually needed a double knot so it would be thick enough stay in place, but a dot of glue also helps keep it there if the cone wants to slide past the knot. Once it’s secure, tie the next knot above it and work your way up adding the cones. For spacing between the knots I just sort of eyeballed it, but you could definitely measure each one to be more precise and even.

8. Once you have all your strands complete, cut another piece of string about 30 cm longer than your intended width. Tie the strands to this string using basic knots. They’ll be secure in place, but still have the ability to slide along so you can adjust your spacing once it’s on the wall.

Now you just need to put it up! I used a few pieces of trusty washi tape to adhere to my walls since the filters are quite lightweight. I also love the look of Erin’s where it is tied to the rafters. If you have that option, I’d say go for it!

DIY Ombré Paper Backdrop // Boots & Cats

I am super happy to have finally finished this project (better late than never, amirite?). The living room is so bright and cheery, which is just how I want to feel in the summer. Though there is now a definite hot pink theme happening in the space, which I find keeps happening, even though I still tell myself it’s not my favourite colour.

This project was just the creative change of pace I needed to take a small break from sewing. Like a crisp breath of fresh air I am ready to jump in and try more new things and get new projects done. If only these sweltering temperatures didn’t make me feel so lazy…

Ring in the New Year // Confetti Popper Printables

How to make your own confetti launcher. plus FREE printable // Boots & Cats

I guess it’s time to say it, 2014 is another year gone by. Many people get nostalgic at this time, looking back at what they’ve accomplished this past year. They then get proactive and start planning the next. While I do participate in these rituals to a degree, this year there is only one thing on my mind: PARTY!

Growing up, I would always see these glamorous New Years’ Eve parties on TV and in the magazines. Sparkles, champagne, fancy dresses, balloon drops. I saw this and I couldn’t wait to be old enough to go to those parties. Then I grew up and noticed that they weren’t as common as they appeared to be. So in an effort to make sparkly dreams come true some friends and I teamed up and are planning the ultimate glamour party to ring in 2015. It couldn’t be more exciting.

How to make your own confetti launcher. plus FREE printable // Boots & Cats

We’re making most of the evening’s decorations and accessories, from invitations and hats, to centerpieces and photo backdrops. Creating things from scratch has been really special and a lot of fun. One of my projects to prepare for the evening is one of my favourite things ever: confetti! No celebration is complete without clouds of confetti floating through the air, amirite?

I had initially planned to purchase pre-made confetti poppers off Etsy, but I wanted to have as many as possible and soon the price became prohibitive. So I got crafty and made my own.

To make these confetti poppers you need only a few things:

  • Dessert push-pop containers
  • Tissue paper/ribbon/cellophane/any confetti material
  • Card stock
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided tape

How to make your own confetti launcher. plus FREE printable // Boots & Cats

I designed custom New Years Eve labels for my confetti launchers, printed them on shimmery card stock and cut them out. (You can download the labels for free below). I wanted to see the pretty confetti on the inside, so I made the labels cover only part of the popper. Using a strip of double sided tape on the back of the label, I wrapped them around the circumference and for extra security used a matching piece of washi tape at the ends to keep them from peeling up.

How to make your own confetti launcher. plus FREE printable // Boots & Cats

For the confetti inside, I once again looked online and found for the amount of confetti I wanted, it was still more cost effective to make my own. I purchased a few sheets of tissue paper and grabbed my scissors. I kept the sheets of tissues nested together, cut them into strips, and then into squares. NOTE: If you are going this route, it is time consuming. Find yourself a good Netflix series before you start. For extra sparkly bits I took some metallic curling ribbon and cut it into little squares and I shredded other metallic wrapping materials hoarded from Christmas.

How to make your own confetti launcher. plus FREE printable // Boots & Cats

Once you have a sizable confetti mountain. Start to fill your poppers. You’ll noticed that the confetti compresses A LOT, so you’ll probably need twice as much as you originally thought. Once appropriately filled, snap the lid on and you are ready to ring in 2015 in style!

How to make your own confetti launcher. plus FREE printable // Boots & Cats

Hope you all had an amazing holiday and I wish you all a very happy New Year!

How to make your own confetti launcher. plus FREE printable // Boots & Cats

First Knitting Project // Arm Knit Scarf

Arm Knitting // Boots & Cats

As a seamstress drawn to vintage appeal, it would only seem natural that I was swept up in the current knitting renaissance that is happening now. I’ve been invited to a number of ‘stitch and bitch’ sessions and been asked if I had made certain knitwear pieces I happen to be wearing.

Yet, can I actually knit? Nope. Nada. Zip.

The concept actually hurts my brain. In sewing, I can visualize how the pattern pieces will fit together to create a 3d shape. I get it. However, in knitting, my brain just simply cannot comprehend how the heck it works. How on earth do knitters get the yarns to bob and twist and swirl around each other in such a neat and tidy pattern?

Knitters (and crocheters) seriously impress me. And I want to get into the game.

After catching my eye on Pinterest, I became interested in the concept of arm knitting. Basically it is knitting as if your arms are the needles. Seems like perfect first baby steps into understanding.

Arm Knitting // Boots & Cats

Yarn in hand I was ready to make it work and I took to the floor. It seems I work best on projects when I am seated on the floor.

I used Flax + Twine’s tutorial to get me started. It is brilliant, well photographed and split into 4 parts for each stage of the process. For visual learners I highly recommend. I wish I could say I got going first try, but there were tangles and re-dos at the beginning. One big plus to knitting over sewing is that if you screw up, you can take your materials right back to square one without wasting any.

Arm Knitting // Boots & Cats

Shortly though, I was on my way and creating my fuzzy scarf. I LOVED seeing the blanket of large loops forming on my arms as I progressed.  So satisfying. And the best part was that after about two episodes of Gilmore Girls on Netflix I had a whole scarf. Instant results!

I am looking forward to wearing this awesome chunky knit now that the frigid temperatures hit and I have two more knitting projects on deck (with needles and everything!). To knitting!

 

Spread The Love- Liebster Award

Liebster

Last week I was checking up on the blog, and to my lovely surprise I was nominated for a Leibster award! The talented Eclectic Threads did me the honor. (Make sure you check out her blog too. It is full of all types of sewing and vintage love.) I was a little giddy that someone thought my blog was good enough to share with their readers, I couldn’t not do the same. (Plus we are in the middle of moving and chaos so all my crafting supplies are packed up!)

Basically this award is like a big collaborative love fest, where, in the style of those email chain letters we sent in jr. high, we nominate other small blogs to get their names out and encouraging people to discover new blogs. It works like this; you begin by sharing 11 facts about yourself, followed by answering 11 questions that you were asked, then nominating 11 other small (less than 200 followers, though when I googled some people go by less than 3000 followers, but anyway) blogs, and leaving 11 questions for them to answer. What fun. Here we go!

award

Phase 1- 11 Facts

1. I love cats. Didn’t you know? I remember checking out books about cats from the school library in elementary. The greatest day of my young life was getting my cat Cinnamon in 1998. So I loved cats before it was cool. (How hipster of me…)

2. I also really like tomatoes. Like, I will eat the big ones fresh like an apple. Rory thinks they are the grossest thing. Guess it means we are a good match. I get to eat all his discarded tomatoes.

3. My current fitness activity is hula hooping. It is so much fun and there are endless tricks and variations you can just keep spinning all day!

4. I have never traveled anywhere outside Canada or the United States. Though it is definitely not from lack of want. I am at the age in my life where at least 3 people I know are travelling in Europe or Asia or Australia at any given time. It’s hard to not be jealous. One day!

5. My university degree was in Clothing and Textiles. We covered everything there is to do with the concept of clothing from costume history, pattern drafting, design, material culture studies, surface design, textile sciences and business. I came out of there very well rounded, but now I want to focus on print design.

6. I am naturally blonde. I don’t think it suits me though.

7. I have a small (but growing) collection of vintage dresses that I love but I never wear out of fear of ruining them.

8. I hate my handwriting. I feel like it looks messy, and not in a good way. I am eternally striving for cute, pretty, flowy script.

9. I have a mild journal addiction. In that every time I see a pretty notebook or journal, I have to have it. Even if I don’t need it. At the moment I have 5 different blank books waiting to have something written in them.

10. Growing up, my favorite movie was Legally Blonde. I still know all the words to it. If you asked me today I don’t really know what I would say. I like a lot of different things for a lot of different reasons.

11. My latest television obsession may or may not be watching old episodes of Reboot.

Phase 2- 11 Answers

1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? Hmm, that is a toughie. Right now I probably will say Montreal, but there are so many other places I haven’t visited yet to know if I would want to live there or not. Maybe somewhere in Europe.

2. What is the favourite age you’ve been so far? Right now! It’s such an exciting time; being done school, starting new creative endeavors, planning new adventures. It’s perfect.

3. What was your favourite subject at school? I obviously loved Fashion/sewing class, as well as Art and Drama, but I also had a soft spot for History.

4. If you could go back in time and live in any era, which would it be? The late 50’s/ Early 60’s. I have been told many a time I am living in the wrong era.

5. What is your fail-safe dinner-party recipe? Chocolate, toffee and Bailey’s trifle.

6. What animal are you most like? A cat. I sleep in without even meaning to, can be shy at first and I like to bat around shiny things.

7. Do you have a life plan, or do you prefer to coast along and take things as they come? I like to plan things relatively short term, within a year- 3 years , to let life intervene as it may, but always having the big dreams in the back of my mind.

8. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? My first instinct tells me cheese, but I am going to be smart about this and say my Grandpa’s homemade slurpin’ soup. (There are spaghetti noodles in it) It is full of vegetables and noodles and goodness, so I could pick apart components as I got tired of eating the same meal again and again.

9. What is your most treasured possession? I am big on memories, so my photos and journals I have been keeping since I was pretty young.

10. What is your favourite Disney film? Beauty and the Beast.

11. Name five people, dead or alive, fictional or real, that you would invite to your dream dinner party. I think I would want a beautifully planned dinner party with women who are ambitious, strong willed and have amazing style. Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, Garance Dore and Elsie Larson. I have no idea how the conversation would go.

Phase 3- 11 Blogs

Here are my 11 blogs I am nominating. I didn’t check their exact numbers of followers, so some may have more than 200, but I don’t care. These blogs are a huge influence to me and inspire me in very different ways, and I want to share them with you!

Retro Reporter– An awesome blog to read for vintage gals! Laurie is so stylish and has some pretty awesome posts about living the vintage girl life in the modern world.

Peaches and Mischief– An inspiring blog from a gal I met at Blogshop in Vancouver. She has an amazing aesthetic that is really refreshing to see as she shares style posts and downloadables.

Squirrelley Minds– Another fellow Blogshopper, Tan has an impeccably crafted blog and shares beautiful crafty DIY’s often. Its a pretty amazing blog to start following.

C’est Moi [Say-mouah]– I met Julianna in our University program and loved her style and enthusiasm. She captures both wholeheartedly in her blog where she mostly shares her photography work.

TEXTURES– This is the blog of Montreal based textile wholesaler, Télio. Here they share inspirations, fabrics and DIYs almost daily. It’s a fairly new blog, but it is already on my daily gotta-check-it list.

The Design Center– This is another fabric inspiration site that I love. Based from The Design Center at Philadelphia University, this tumblr posts daily images of vintage textile swatches.

Danger De Lux– This is a really unique blog focusing on retro and rockabilly lifestyle and fashion. The style posts are my favorite. She also has her own accessories line she sells on Etsy. So much fun.

The Advantage of Doing  This blog is full of inspiration and stories of people who aren’t afraid to go for their dreams. The author is a writer and avid traveler, so it is an easy read and there are fun stories. It hasn’t been updated recently since she is off traveling the world. So lucky.

Cupcakes and Asanas– Claire has some really cool craft projects going on, and her posts are always really fun and upbeat to read. And who doesn’t love cupcakes, too?

Canvas and Thread I love following blogs of textile designers, and this is no exception. I love seeing inspiration and process. Plus she has the cutest SpoonFlower shop.

Danielle S. Fuechtmann– Danielle has an exciting spirit and it is fun to read her posts. She has some serious style and she covers local fashion events, but I think one of my favorite segments has been Manners Monday.

Phase 4- 11 Questions

1. What inspired you to start blogging?

2. What is your best pick-me-up song?

3. If you could be someone else for one day, who would you be?

4. Do you have any ‘unique’ talents?

5. What is your favorite piece of literature?

6. Do you have a signature fashion style or do you mix it up a lot?

7. Do you have a hipster ‘thing’ (Something you loved before it was cool)?

8. What is your favorite season?

9. Have you ever had a near-death experience?

10. What is the best gift you’ve ever received?

11. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?