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Stand with Ukraine

For the month of March, I have decided to donate 100% of my sales (less postage, as I have no control over those costs) to an organisation called Fight for Right in Ukraine. They are an NGO that works with people with disabilities. At the moment they are working hard to help those with disabilities get out of the country, as well as continuing to support those that wish to stay.

Below is a link to the post that I made on Instagram & Facebook, announcing my intentions. I hope that you can help to support Fight for Right, an organisation that is on the ground now, that would benefit from additional help right now.

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February = Hearts

Heart & Red ScrappiesThese two little scrappies have been a favourite in our house, since I completed them on Saturday, February 6th. I honestly didn’t expect the enthusiasm I’ve had from the kids for these two, but every day since they were made, they have checked on them to make sure they’re ok & hoped that no-one would buy them.

The one on the left is comprised of a heart shaped piece of fabric that I came across in velvet (it was given to me with some scraps a friend had) & given that it’s February, I thought that it would be perfect to finally do something about it. I had thought of adding it to a much bigger scrappie, but decided to embrace the heart as the full shape. It was an instant hit.

The little red scrappie with a heart was also popular, due to it’s size, colour & the heart on it.

They really did make the perfect valentines day gifts to my kidlets today, who were incredibly relieved that no-one had bought them from my site. I am so happy that the kids appreciate gifts that are handmade, the way that they do.

Happy Monday πŸ™‚

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Coming tomorrow

Aren’t they the cutest?

These little scrappie critter, toothfairy pillows will be in my shop at 6am EST on February 5th, 2022.

There’s a little birdie who loves chickens & bright colours. A zebra who loves rainbows & two little purple critters who love snow & winter.

Really happy to be taking this month to make more scrappie critters available in shop.Β 

Making unique fibre art that I can share with others, is definitely something that makes me happy.

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Reusable wrapping

In 2019, we decided to finally take the plunge & use nothing but reusable wrapping for Christmas. It was a long time coming. I find it absurd that we buy wrapping paper to use for a short amount of time & then throw it out & (most of it) it can’t even be recycled. We were cutting back on consumption of other things, so why not wrapping paper? For me, I didn’t want to continue to add to the 100,000 elephant’s worth of wrapping paper waste generated each holiday season, in Canada alone. I was done!

I knew that in order for me to actually take the plunge though, I would have to get rid of the wrapping paper we had. I donated much of the wrapping paper we had to the school that the kids were attending at the time, as well as gifting some to a friend who helped run a youth group & also had her own childcare. It was important for me to donate it directly to those that would use the wrapping paper etc, rather than to just randomly donate & hope for the best. I know that most of it has ended up in the rubbish, it was wrapping paper after all, but I felt better about the process.

Once the wrapping paper was donated, I had no choice but to proceed with reusable wrapping options.

The first thing I had to address, was what to do about Santa for the kids. That wasn’t really a huge problem though, we resolved it with a “bag from Santa” that the kids helped organize & then they wrote a letter to Santa, asking if he could use it, instead of wrapping paper for their gifts, as it was better for the environment. Prior to this we had a huge roll of Santa themed wrap that I used every year for their gifts (only gifts from Santa came in that wrapping). I always wondered when they might find it though, so switching over was a bit of a relief in that regard.

Reusable gift wrap
Some of our reusable gift wrap

For everything else, I searched the web for ideas & discovered that the beautiful silk scarves I had from my grandmother, made awesome material for Fukoshiki wrapping. I cut up a Christmas themed flannel sheet, that tore so badly it had to be retired, & made some bags, sewing in some of the bits of scrap ribbon I had to be upcycled, to tie them. We still ended up using pillowcases for most of our gifts that year, but it felt good to make a start.

Even though the execution wasn’t as smooth as I envisioned, everyone loved the lack of waste & the easy clean up (fold up everything & put it away, ready for the next event). We went from a HUGE box to store all our wrapping paper & heaps of rubbish created to no rubbish & being able to fit all our wrapping options into a little pouch. It was also amazing to have everyone on board.

Gift tags
The gift tag process, from shellac to use

The next year (2020), I decided we needed to sort out some tags for gifts, so we knew who was receiving what.

I had thought of sewing some tags from scraps, but we also had some little round disks for other craft & art projects that were perfect. They could be decorated, have a hole drilled in them, some thin yarn threaded through, tied & voila you had a gift tag. The kids personalized them not only in their own art, but with names written on them too, something that would’ve been a little more challenging with hand sewn tags, not impossible though.

This year, our 3rd Christmas, I feel like we are more in the groove. We made a couple more bags & some more tags (as pictured), to add to our little collection. The tags from last year have been fun to look back on & next year, we will enjoy looking back at the last 2 years.

We use our reusable gift wrap year round, but they definitely get more of a workout at Christmas time. Our reusable wrapping materials, are a mixed collection of drawstring style bags, silk scarves & hemmed pieces of fabric. There are some Christmas themed fabrics, but we don’t have different themed wrapping that only comes out at certain times, in fact the Christmas ones have been known to be used for birthday’s. You could do themed if you wanted to, we just don’t care enough to do that.

Whilst I wish that we had started earlier, instead of getting hung up on the wrapping we had yet to use, I’m glad that we actually did it. So, if you’re on the fence like I was for years, you should just do it, you won’t regret it, I promise. πŸ™‚

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Scrappie Critten in Purple Firefly & Butterflies

Today, one of my scrappies was adopted.

Each scrappie, I create has a story behind it. I have had a few people mention how they appreciate it when I share the stories behind my creations, so I am going to try do that more, starting with this newly adopted one.

As with all my scrappies, no design choice is random. This one was created when I had requests for pink & purple scrappie critters.

The butterfly “ears” (ribbon) relates to my connection to the Deaf community.
Did you know that butterflies are deaf & are used a symbol of deafness? Whilst I am not Deaf, I have several friends that are. In fact, one of the reasons that many of my Scrappie Critters didn’t have any “ears” related to my connections to the Deaf community. Of course, I have since changed to including “ears” on many of my scrappies, with the belief that just because one has ear’s, arms or legs, does not mean that they are anything more than cosmetic & that we should not just assume that everyone has the same abilities because they look outwardly the same as ourselves.

The firefly motif relates to summer & the joy that they bring. I’m glad that I have been able to share the joy in catching & releasing fireflies with my children. There is something quite magical about a bug that has a butt that lights up, don’t you think?

This one has 2 legs, but no arms, this design choice happens often & it has to do with the fact that my arms are a frequent source of pain, due to chronic issues with subluxations etc, as a result of having EDS. My arms are often a cosmetic & yet very painful feature, so they are often a lacking feature on my scrappies. This one has legs, but don’t be fooled, it doesn’t mean they work any better.

The choice of patterned materials, for the legs, hold personal meaning too, especially the strawberries.

Strawberries are a wonderful sweet dessert, which are such a treat. I love going strawberry picking with my kids & the desserts & fresh jam that follows. My husband’s parents used to own a strawberry farm in Australia & when my mother in law passed away after a long battle with cancer, I inherited not only her sewing machine, that I still sew on, but several other items that she created with strawberries emblazoned on them. So, now when I create something with strawberries on it, I think of Caryl & the love the she showed me, in the short time I knew her for. The memories of those that we hold dear in our lives, do in fact live on.

The leg that features flowers, mostly daisies, in a hippy style, is very much a reflection of me & my the love of nature that my family & I have, something that I like to think my scrappie critters also share.

I love that each & every scrappie critter I make, is made to be uniquely imperfect, with their differences embraced & celebrated. They truly are a joy to create.

Farewell little scrappie, may you bring much joy to the little one you are destined to be with & may you both enjoy the adventures that await. πŸ™‚

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In person events

When opportunities come your way, sometimes you need to take them, so I am doing two shows next week & then I will call it done for the year. Both shows are local, oneΒ will be at a pop up shop at Spencerville Pharmasave & the other is in Prescott for a Christmas show at the Leo Boivin Community Centre

Spencerville Pharmasave is hosting pop up shops once a week for local makers for several weeks until xmas. For more details check out their Facebook page. I will be setup from 11am – 3pm on Thursday December 2nd. Here is the post from last week for Rudie Jo who was the first pop up shop & the announcement for the maker this week, Knotty C’s Macrame.

After my pop up shop at at Spencerville Pharmasave on the Thursday (Dec 2nd 11am-3pm), a couple of days later I will be at my next event. The Prescott Holiday Market (part of the Prescott Farmers Market) at the Leo Boivin Centre.

Be sure to check out their Facebook page for updates & announcements for all the awesome local makers & producers that will be there . They also have an Instagram account too

Then, if you miss me at either of those locations, I will be back to online purchases, either through my website (where you are reading this now) or you can reach me via Facebook or my Instagram accounts.

I will be bringing a wide range of stock with me, Christmas stockings, aprons, hanging towels, oven mitts, bookmarks, bow ties, boxed bags, scrappie critters and much, much more. Anything that is on sale on my site, will still be on sale at both events too. Hope to see you at one of the events next week πŸ™‚

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Visible Mending

Those who know me reasonably well, or have followed me on IG (Instagram) & to a lesser amount on FB (Facebook), no doubt already know that I like to mend items. I have been doing it for years, mostly for us, but every so often I will do so for others too. I particularly enjoy mending that isn’t trying to be entirely invisible too. When you mend something, you are adding to the story that it carries. Making that story more apparent to everyone who see’s it, is actually a lot of fun. Of course with mending, often comes increased lifespan, which is really important, especially if you are trying to live in a more sustainable way, as my family is.

What follows is a mending project that came about with a simple message & an image.

Crime Scene Pic

A couple of weeks back I received what was described as a CRIME SCENE pic. I recall laughing as I waited for the picture to upload via FB Messenger & then let out a gasp so audible, that my youngest came over to see what I was looking at. Crime Scene pic was definitely accurate.

The toy (a treasured possession of her son’s) was a cat, called Floppy, who had, had an unfortunately incident with a family pet, ironically a dog. I didn’t want to promise anything, but I said I would have a look & see what I could do.

I mentioned that I couldn’t match the fabrics exactly, but as I had made a set of memory scrappies for their family & still had the fabric available, I could perhaps use that to mend Floppy? At which point, I was offered some baby blankets & clothes that had been kept of her son’s, to incorporate if I could, instead, which was absolutely perfect.

Floppy before mending

I lost count of the times that I took Floppy out of his little plastic bag to peruse the damage & build up the courage to mend him. A little boys treasured toy, was in my possession to fix. He had already been told that Floppy would be different, but his mum had told him that if anyone could do it, she thought that Miss Eva would be the one. So, clearly failure was not an option (hahaha). With each moment spent looking at him, confidence grew, as did a plan of action. One just had to just get over the initial shock.

I had been sent a picture of Floppy’s “brother” a rabbit, which helped greatly, because at least from that, I knew the general shape to aim for. I cut up a couple of the baby blankets given to me and set to creating a pattern. It took a bit of fiddling around, but once I felt that I had a big enough piece of fabric, I tacked it in place with some black thread & then used a quilting pen to outline where the edge of Floppy was in relation to the fabric. I would then use those markings to refer back to when the fabric was pulled out. That way I could trim the fabric a little more to create an actual pattern rather than have too much extra fabric tucked up inside. I chose black thread, because it would be easier to see, snip & remove.

Temp tacking- Front
Temp tacking – Back

Here are a couple of pictures of the tacking. I didn’t take any pictures of the piece that I inserted before it was sewn in either time, but this gives a bit of an idea of what I’m talking about.

As you can see in the pictures above, he was starting to look whole again. I carefully unpicked a section of the pattern, included a piece of fabric from a little top, cut out the shape required from the new piece to be inserted, ironed on some interfacing to give the fabric more stability (& hopefully increase lifespan) & sewed it all up by hand. This time, I did so with a matching thread colour, to the main colour of Floppy. The extra tears (from teeth) were simply sewn together with the matching thread. I didn’t cut flaps of “fur” only added fabric to Floppy where needed, to make him whole again.

I’m so happy that I was able to revive this little guy, he has a bit of extra character to him, which I really like. Mending Floppy has added to the story that he carries & I hope that his little owner loves him at least as much as he did before.

Here are few pictures of the end result. What do you think?

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Scrub Caps

Recently, I was approached by Nurse J, to see if I could make her some scrub caps. We had connected last year, when I was making headbands for medical personnel & I made her a pile for CHEO to share with her colleagues. Now, with COVID patients being shipped around the province (Ontario), including adults going to CHEO, she was looking for some scrub caps to protect her hair.

I decided to incorporate the kidlets into the process, just as I did with the hundreds of headbands made last year. They researched different patterns that they could find online (I already had a pattern, but I wanted them to understand the research process), then they picked out some fabrics, which were then ironed, cut & assembled.

My oldest still boasts about how he is an expert in sewing buttons, because of all the headbands they helped with last year, and really enjoyed attaching more to these caps too. I’ve loved seeing their confidence grow with each project we do together, so really appreciated working on these with them.

Here are the scrub caps we made, what do you think?

Hopefully, the scrub caps, we’ve made, bring some joy not only to Nurse J, but to everyone who see’s them. I can’t even begin to image how hard it is at the moment, to be amongst it all.

Bag with lavender sachets made by the kidlets

I am a strong believer that the little things in life count & that doing things for others, brings happiness. Whilst, it would be lovely not to be re-enforcing those values in the current state of the world. It would also be remiss, not to. NOW, more than ever, I want my kids to understand the value in the little things. Every action, after all, has an equal & opposite reaction, even if they don’t notice it immediately.

In this line of thinking, as a little added surprise, the kidlets made some little lavender sachets (we confirmed Nurse J likes lavender) on their own & my youngest decorated a little bag to put it all into. A little parcel of joy πŸ™‚

Be the change you wish to see in the world – Mahatma Gandhi