Thursday, 17 August 2017

How We Affect Our Surroundings

Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash
Let's say that you have already had a bad day and you haven't even had your coffee yet.  The baby spit up on you or the dog left a present on your carpet. Yuck!  So you are at your neighborhood cafe waiting 15 mins to order. This means you will just squeak into work on time, so long as your drink is finished in 5 minutes.  The girl that took your order got it completely wrong, and now you have a regular latte when you specifically asked for soy.

Photo from Pixabay
So now you are upset.  Let's see what happens to the whole cafe when you show your anger towards the barista.  You go back to the barista who made your drink and the whole morning just slides off your back.  Not only is your drink wrong, you are now late for work.  "This is the second time this week that my drink has been made wrong!  I don't like the attitude of the barista at the till, and I want to talk to your manager!"

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
Now let's say you're the barista at the bar and you were having a good day so far.

Drink were steadily flowing out of the cafe in a timely manner and then an angry customer upsets the flow.  You run and get the manager, but now you have eight drinks to make instead of two.  The customers are giving you that "I'm going to be late" look and you decide you need more hands.  Now you are totally stressed out and need to catch up on your work.

We will now switch to one of the customers in line.  You were also having a good day until the line got held up by the infuriated customer.  Now you will have to wait longer which means you are also going to be late for work.

I made up this scenario, but it could happen to anyone.  Sometimes as customers when we get upset, we forget how our attitude will affect the people around us.  I've done this myself and wished later I've been more understanding.  So much emphasis is put on customer satisfaction that sometimes we feel that means no mistakes should be made.  Sadly, as humans, we all make mistakes.  We can't control what the other person does, but we can control ourselves.  Instead of releasing the anger onto the other person, let's think of them and the people around us, and how our words and actions will affect them.  I always hear that laughter is infectious, but so is anger. Another saying we hear all the time is "Treat people the way you want to be treated."  It might sound dumb, but it's true.

We are going to go back to when the drink was served and you realize it's made with regular milk.  If we say to the barista, "Excuse me, but my drink was made with 2% and I ordered soy.  Can you remake my drink please?" Then the drink can be remade and everyone's day and proceed forward.

This goes for everyone in the cafe too.  If we are aware of how our attitudes, words, and actions affect others, we can make a bad day good again.  Or at least okay.

Thank you for reading.  I hope you are having a good day.  Please like and share or leave a comment.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Larry's Unique Birdhouses

Back in June, I went to the St. Albert's Farmer's Market.  It was a the largest Farmer's Market I've ever seen! There were vendor tents as far as you could see.  When we turned the corner, there were more tents down the end of that street too.  It was a little overwhelming, but in all those tents, I found two vendors that I wanted to write about.  

This post is about Larry's Unique Birdhouses.

As the name says, each birdhouse is unique. No two houses are the same.  Larry likes to model his birdhouses after original historical buildings in America.  The materials are salvaged from old buildings, barns and antique shops.  They are so adorable!! I love all the details of these houses.  There was also a jail birdhouse with a little noose (check my Instagram for the picture).  I had to take a picture of the cafe since I also work in a cafe.

I love that the school house has a tire swing, and he also made an outhouse birdhouse!  These birdhouses were fun to look at, and Larry was fun to talk with as well.  

If you would like to contact Larry about his birdhouses or his market schedule, please contact him by e-mail at

Thank you for reading, please like and share.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Barnwood Bellas

Thank you for your comments last week.  I really enjoyed reading them.  Please keep them coming!

The last vendor that I am going to write about, that I saw at Wholly Made in Sherwood Park, are the Barnwood Bellas - Rustic Home Decor.

There were other vendors at this event that sold Indoor Decor made of wood, but then I started chatting with Shannon and Afton.  They told me that some of their pieces are made from the family's 100 year old barn.  I love re-purposed art because its usefulness has not yet ended.  It served its purpose as a barn and will continue serving on a wall as an imaginative decoration.  Salvaged useful material gives me hope that even with my depression and anxiety, I will always serve a purpose.  We need to all remember this as we get older, have an accident, or struggle with a condition.  We are more than a broken down barn.

Not all the pieces are made from this wood, but wait.  There's more.  They also sell crochet bowls, rustic stools, and chicken wire frames.

If you would like more information or are interested in these items, you can visit them on  I would highly recommend visiting their Facebook page as their pictures are bold and beautiful.

Thank you for taking time to read my little blog.  Please comment, like, and share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pintrest.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Page Turners Bookshop

There's nothing better than losing yourself in a good book in the middle of winter, underneath an afghan, with a steaming cup of hot chocolate on the side table.  But what happens when our beloved books start falling apart beyond repair?  At the Wholly Handmade Event in Sherwood Park, I met Sarah who own and runs a mobile bookstore call Page Turners.  She collects books and sells them at Farmer's Markets and Trade Shows.  When she comes across classic books that are out of commission, Sarah assembles the pages of these beloved editions into art.

The page is framed with a quote from that page, written on top of it.  The pages are from well-loved classics like Little Women and a Tale of Two cities.  You can also purchase pages without frames if you would like to do that yourself.

She also sells wreaths, book marks, cards and Christmas ornaments from the up-cycled book pages.

If you are interested to know where Sarah will be selling her artwork and books, please go to her website at

If you would like to contact her directly, there is a contact form on her website.

What did you think of Sarah's creations?
Please leave a comment, like and share.
Thank you!

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Knitting with Berni

This picture speaks volumes about my current knitting project.

A mess!  I'm not talking about the pattern, I'm talking about my brain!  I have restarted this project four times already.  Okay, so I haven't knitted a delicate lace pattern since 2012 according to my Raverly account.  I'm sure I have done more knitting than that, I just decided not to record it.  It's even been a while since I've casted on a project, so I even had to review that.

Why did I decided to take on this project?  When I went to the Edmonton Fiber Frolic (that was in June, I believe), I saw tons of beautiful hand coloured yarns and wanted to buy a yarn that had a pattern that I could make a project with.  I like to buy yarn for a project instead of buying yarn and then searching all through Raverly trying to find a pattern that I want to do and that will work with the yarn I have.  Knitting is kind of like baking.  You can't just through a bunch of components together and hope you have a sweater that fits or bread that rises. There are different weights of yarn such as sock, DK (double knitted), worsted, bulky and super bulky.  The weight of the yarn usually decides what needle that you need.  Usually, the thicker the yarn, the bigger the needle.  Not so with my project.  I'm using a US 8 or 5.0 mm with sock weight yarn, because I'm doing a lace pattern and you do want to see the holes, because that's what makes the pattern.

Lace patterns are trick,y because there are lots of increase and decrease stitches that need to happen. When a mistake is made and you are on round 3, it's just easier to undo the project then undo the round you just did.  Oh, and did I mention I'm magic looping?  This technique is not hard except when you are using a sock yarn with a 5.0 mm needle and have big fingers.  I feel like I'm doing vein surgery with a ....well....with a 5.0 mm needle!

So why am I going to try a fifth time on this project?  Because lace is pretty and I would like a circular shawl with pretty green beads and this fabulous yarn called Intergalactic.  As all women know, being pretty take time and effort.

What projects are you working on right now?  It doesn't have to be a knitting project.  Do you feel like pulling your hair out yet?  Please share with me in the comments and maybe there is a person that is reading this that can help.  And please don't forget to like and share.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Aloha - hula girl designs

On June 3, I drove to Sherwood Park for the Wholly Handmade market.  There were so many vendors there, I was a little overwhelmed.  That's why I enjoyed stopping at the Aloha booth to talk to Jennifer.  She was as bright and cheerful as her hair clips.

Showing off my Hula Girl Designs
Hair Clip
Jennifer is one of the lead dancers and Marketing Director with A Hawaiian Holiday Drum and Dance Company.  She has been to Maui where she learned the techniques for making the flowers and the traditional way of weaving the leaf for making lei and hula skirts.  Each piece that is worn has a specific meaning in the Hawaiian traditions and is very important to her as Maui feels like "home".

She has also been to Oahu and trained in Hula dancing on both Islands from many Kuma Hula (master teachers).  She has performed in Waikiki and was a guest performer in Maui.

That is where the business started, making flowers for costuming at first and then gifts for her hula sisters.  Of course, the more people saw her designs, the more requests she received for them.

Here in Canada her mission is to spread Aloha across the Canadian prairies with her flowers.  What's better on a dreary Albertan winter than seeing a bright flower?  I hope when I wear my flower that I can put a smile on someone's face.

If you would like to purchase one of her flowers, she will be at City Market 104 in downtown Edmonton on August 12.  She is also doing a popup at Triple Flip clothing store. You can also contact her on facebook at
To see more of her designs, go to her Instagram page at

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Tips for Stress Free Shopping

When I first starting going to different craft shows and farmer's markets, I would get stressed out and wished I would have stayed home.  However, I am glad I didn't stay home, because there are talented vendors out there whose products are worth seeing.  Here are some tips for stress free shopping.

Going to St. Albert's Farmers Market with Kaisha
aka. fabulous_gal_bykaisha

1.  Directions: If you are unfamiliar with where the event is being held, make sure you take a few minutes to study where it's located and the surroundings.  When I drove to the Butterdome, I was very unsure where to go.  There were signs, but I didn't realize that parking would be 10 minutes away from the event, and I have to walk across the campus.  Since hindsight is 20/20, it would have been a good idea to look at a map of the campus to find where the Butterdome was located and what buildings were around it. I also was afraid I wouldn't find my car again because of how far away I was parked.  For the next Butterdome event, I took the train which took care of parking and it was far less stressful.

2. BYOB - Bring your own bag: A lot of vendors do have plastic bags they can give you, but I prefer to bring my own bag.  We all know bringing our own bag is better for the environment, but it's also better for your sanity.  If you are Christmas shopping, for instance, it's better to have five items in one bag then having one item in five bags.  Much easier to carry and remember to buy the heavy items last.

3. Refreshments - This is important if you have allergies and intolerances like I do.  Usually, there are food trucks at craft shows and farmer's markets.  At one show, the food trucks just had pork items for sale.  Being allergic to pork, I had to wait until I was done at the market to eat and was starving.  At the next market, I packed a bottle of water and a snack in case there was a lack of food choices. Water is very important, especially if the event is outside in the heat.

4. Money - Nowadays, most vendors have access to debit/credit machines or have POS software for their cell phones with a portable card reader attachment.  There are still a lot of vendors that only take cash, so it's a good idea to bring a good amount for them.  Having your credit as a back up is a good idea for those vendors that do take credit.

I hope my tips will help your shopping trips to be fun and productive.  Please like and share to spread the love.

How We Affect Our Surroundings

Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash Let's say that you have already had a bad day and you haven't even had your coffee yet.  The...