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 www.pageturnersbookshop.ca.

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 www.facebook.com/alohahulagirldesigns.
To see more of her designs, go to her Instagram page at www.instagram.com/alohahulagirldesigns.

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.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Simply Entangled

During the event, Nest in the City, I met Katelyn, who weaves and does macrame. Her items include plant hangers, wall hangings, key chains, coasters, and even custom orders.


She knew how to knit since she was a child and always wanted to expand into weaving and macrame which she was able learn when she was in University.  Besides running Simply Entangled, Katelyn, is a full time social worker which is why 15% of purchases go towards Makaway Kid's Camp.  She is a talented lady with a very big heart.


I love her plant hangers and regret not buying one but the hubby gets grumpy if I spend too much mula.  There is another option on how to get lovely items for the home.  I could make them myself at one of the workshops that she provides.  Also, if you have an idea of an item you would like but she doesn't have it, she will custom make it just for you.

To view her beautiful products, visit her Etsy shop at etsy.com/shop/simplyentangled.  If you would like to request a custom made item or to sign up for her workshops, please message her on Etsy or Facebook.  www.facebook.com/simplyentangled.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

My Dogs Rodger and Nakita

We got our first dog, Rodger, from the Humane Society. Rodger was part Jack Russell, part Hound and three years old.  I still miss his stumpy little legs and soft ears.


I was giving him a walk, with my daughter in the stroller, when we came upon a flock of birds sitting in the park.  For some reason, I thought that he would enjoy chasing the birds off leash.  I had treats with me, thinking that would bring him back to me.  This was not the case as he caught a scent on the path which lead him onto the road and he was hit by a Jeep. When I got to him, as he left me in his dust, I picked him up and put him in the bottom carrier part of the stroller.  I was quite far away from home so I called my husband and told him where to meet me.  Since his heart was still beating, I had hope that he would still live.  We took him to the Animal Hospital but he died in the car on the way there.  I felt all sorts of guilt because I let him off leash.  I loved Rodger so much and was crying hysterically as they took him away and especially when they gave me his collar.

We brought Nakita home 8 years ago, two weeks after Rodger died. She is a Jack Russell Terrier who is turning 9 years old in August, but you wouldn't realize it by looking at her.  She is feisty and likes to bark a lot, at the chagrin of my neighbors.  Her favorite past times are eating and trying to get out of the fence.  It is annoying when she barks but she is just trying to protect us.


My early memories of Nakita is when she would jump in the bathtub with the baby and keeping the floor clean from cheerios and other food that got chucked on the floor.  I also have a cute video of Nakita chewing on a wrapping paper tube.  She bent it back and it hit the baby on the head, twice. Don't worry, the baby didn't realize what had happened.

Even though she barks a lot she does like to snuggle with us on the couch.  She has to sit between anyone who sits beside me.  She's so jealous of my attention. She's not the perfect dog but she's my dog.

If you like my blog, don't forget to subscribe by e-mail by clicking on the link.  Please like and share.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Fringe & Feather - Follow Your Gypsy Heart


When I was at Nest in the City, in May, I wandered into the Fridge and Feather booth to get out of the hot sun. Thankfully, their items were housed in a tent which gave relief from the heat.  Inside, I found that they had crafting kits for sale.  I absolutely love crafting kits because it limits how many decisions I will need to make. First they had different bases to choose from such as the unicorn, which I chose, a dragon, or a mermaid (plus a few others).  I had a hard time making up my mind because my daughter loves dragons, but the kits for the unicorns were so pretty.  Pretty won out as I loved the pink ribbons and beads.  The material kits were stored in a crate with the name of the project on them.  Chantelle gave me a quick tutorial on how to loop the yarn through the holes to construct the mane and I felt ready dive in to my new crafting project.  I think the result turned out quite nicely.


They also sell key chains, wedding headbands, and other jewelry. What I found to be really interesting was that they have special essential oil diffusing bracelets.  Just add your favorite essential oil to the black lava stones and enjoy the scent.

If you are wanting to purchase any of these items, please go to their etsy shop at etsy.ca/shop/fringeandfeathershop.  To see their photos on Instagram, go to www.instagram.com/fringeandfeather.

So you have a favorite craft you like to do?  Does the material come in kits or do you like to pick out your own materials?  Please like and share.

                                         

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Blogging vs. Vlogging Part 2

Now where was I...ah yes, blogging.  There is a lot to learn in blogging as well.  First you need to choose a platform.  I chose a hosted platform, Blogger, because I looked at word press and almost had a heart attack. I would have to build a website from scratch, unless I was willing to spend money on certain web packages. Oh my head!  Blogger is FREE, and all the software come with it, FREE.  "Sign me up,"  I said.  And then I started doing research.  **Bangs head on table**  Then I find out that serious bloggers don't use hosted platforms, but if I wanted to I could always move my blog to Word Press if I get my domain name registered.   Moving the blog would be tricky and take some cash.  I am not sure how serious I am at this point, so I think I'll stay where I am until I feel like it or I get really popular. **Crosses fingers**

At St. Albert's Farmer's Market
The fun part of blogging is going to different shows and Farmer's Markets, meeting different vendors, and writing about their products and stories.  The part that isn't fun: SOCIAL MEDIA!  For the longest time I didn't understand how to use hashtags.  I thought the more unique the word, the better people could find me.  What!?  I had it all backwards, until my blogging friends set me straight.  That's why all the blogs about blogs say that bloggers need to talk to each other, either through social media or meeting up with them (safely, please).  Now that I know that I need to use popular, plain, everyday words, I am getting a lot of likes on Instagram.  I still only have five followers on Twitter, but 65 on Instagram.  A lot of vendors are saying they don't use twitter anymore.  Instagram and Facebook are king.

St. Albert's Farmer's Market
So that's a little insight in to my blogging journey.  Are you a blogger?  Do you find social media hard to navigate?  Does any body have any tips on accumulating Twitter followers?  I would love to hear your comments. You can find me on Twitter @shopberni.






Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Boreal Folk Apothecary

I went to the Nest in the City event at the Meadows Recreational Centre on May 27.  It was a really hot day and it zapped me of energy pretty quickly.  Part of the event was inside, but most of those vendors were selling baby items and since my child is school age, I wasn't drawn to them. About 10 vendors were outside in the scorching sun. I noticed a sign that said "Apothecary" and was very intrigued.



There I met and talked with Raphaelle who didn't seem phased by the heat.  She began telling me about how she makes her oils, clays, and butters from sustainable wild plants in the wilderness of Alberta.  Then the story got more interesting.  She and her husband Mark work in a converted 99 square foot bus where they make their skin products using solar power. They live a nomadic lifestyle travelling around Alberta, harvesting and making their products.



This business started because Raphaelle has traveled all over the world and learned from other customs on how to create products.  She believes in pure and natural ingredients without extras like essential oils.  Because of her dedication and care, she has created blends that sensitive skin will love.
My hands are extremely sensitive to any type of scent because they will turn red and itch.  I purchased the all purpose skin balm and my hands feel softer.



They also make bath salts from minerals they find as well which I think is fascinating.  For more information or to order their wonderful products, please go to www.borealfolk.ca.  You can also follow them on Instagram: @borealfolk.  

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 v...