Tag Archives: Craft

From My Hands to…?

bead 1As with about 95% of the population, I am too busy. Too busy to see my friends, too busy to cook enough healthy meals, too busy to know if I managed to remember to put my clothes in the dryer… Just, too busy. Do you ever feel that you have so many things running through your head that you wish, for a moment, you could find some zen and peace and quiet?

I think the only time I really find that place is at the end of the day, when I’ve picked up my beading, and the tiny droplets of glass beads tell me what to make out of them. At that point I am instantly transported to my happy place and can – quite literally – feel the day’s troubles melt away.

LEEDM.D.1960.0119At the risk of sounding too rhetorical, my love and fascination with beadwork – and why I consider it so much more than just a “hobby” – is the sensation that when I sew these tiny glass beads together to form a piece of beaded fabric, I am participating in a tradition that goes back thousands of years. When I first started learning different stitches and techniques, I couldn’t read enough about the evolution of beads and different styles and uses of beadweaving in different cultures. Ancient Egyptian, Grecian, Native American and then modern Art Deco and Art Nouveau: it was all so fascinating!

jewelry2Today I’m so fortunate that I have the opportunity to share what I love to do with others. I sell my jewellery online and at shows. I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that someone will pay me real money for something I’ve made, but still think it’s pretty neat! Nothing gives me more pleasure than to hear someone say “Oh, that bracelet is SOO Aunt so-and-so; she’d just love it!”. I sometimes wish I could see the journey a piece takes: from inside my head, to my hands, and then shipped or traveled or given to it’s eventual owner. I’ve been able to send earrings to Norway, to Australia, and to all corners of the US and Canada. I truly believe that there is something magical about handmade goods. I know it sounds crazy, but I put a lot of heart (and blood, sweat and tears sometimes!) into every piece that I make. Sharing that, along with thousands of years of ancient tradition, is – for me – the neatest thing about handmade goods!  “From My Hands to Yours”

bead 2


Creative Corner – Monday, March 30, 2015

Silk Tie Easter Eggs

Nothing says Easter quite like a decorated egg. This beautiful tradition goes back centuries and has been reinvented hundreds of times. Martha Stewart herself has no more than 47 methods on how to transform an ordinary chicken egg into a work of art! easter edd

These silk-dyed eggs are a new one for us, and an easy way to use up Dad’s old ties! Do you have any Easter Traditions? Post them below! We’d love to hear from you 🙂

gt_botegg01_vert egg1

Friday Find – Friday, March 27 2015

Kid’s Spring Science Projects!


We’re all patiently impatiently waiting for Spring to arrive. Last week was simply a tease! If you’re stuck indoors with some little ones over this unseasonally cool weekend, why not bring a little of Spring’s sunshine in with these neat craft and science projects for kids. (Kids not required!) Check out more of our Friday Finds here!


Reposted from this Blog.

Creative Corner – Monday, March 23 2014

Spring Furniture Transformations

spring trans

Spring is a time for transformations: grass goes from mushy brown to bright green, trees begin to leaf, and gardens everywhere start to reveal shoots popping up from the earth. Spring is also a time for cleaning, organizing, and getting to projects that may have fallen by the way-side in the winter. Here’s hoping that today’s Creative Corner post inspires you to transform a piece of old furniture into something new and beautiful!

Our favourite: This adorable and extremely practical pop up potting station!


Creative Corner – Monday, March 9, 2015

International Women’s Day


What did you do on International Women’s Day? Well, if you’re looking for ideas for next year, take a look at this great list compiled by Seeds and Stitches!


We particularly love #6 and #10!

#6: Join in with the Craftivist Collective footprint making. Stitch a thought, quotation or lyric onto a printed fabric footprint and either keep it for yourself to remind you to stay on the right path, or give it to someone to encourage them to be their best selves and leave a positive mark on the planet. You can even leave your footprint in a public place where members of the general public will spot it.


#10: Make a vat of popcorn and watch a film that passes The Bechdel Film Test with your daughter (if you have one) or friends and talk about the female protagonist and what you liked about her.




Creative Corner – Monday, February 9 2015

Creative Valentines Day Cards

It’s that time of year! Stores are full of red and pink decorations and chocolate and heart shaped things are everywhere! Whether you’re a sucker for February 14th or a bit more cynical, it can still be fun to get crafty. Check out these adorable (and strangely addictive) Valentines Day card ideas!

card4For the Traditionalist: an adorable pop up card with pink hearts!


For the Colourful: a bouquet of rainbow coloured balloon-like hearts!


For the Nerdy: the cutest possible Valentines Day pun

Craving More Crafts? Check out these!


Creative Corner – Monday January 26, 2015

30 DIY Scarf Tutorials

From Flamingo Toes Blog

Let’s face it: Winter Sucks. It’s cold, windy, and waking up to a dark sky in the morning is not fun.Quite possibly the only positive about winter is all that time spent hibernating can allow for some pretty intense crafting.

Four Piece Circle Scarf

So our Creative Corner for you this morning is designed to help cure some of your winter blues  and perhaps provide some much needed neck-warmth while you’re scraping off your car!

Check out the full post here!

Creative Corner – Monday, January 19th, 2015

DIY Body Butter


When temperatures dropped last month, I noticed how dry my skin became. It got to the point where my hands felt like they were throbbing and it really started to hurt! I needed to figure out some sort of remedy. I searched online and found products upon products that claimed to cure my dry and cracked hands within a week. I ended up landing on a page that turned to natural remedies rather than products that had chemicals in it that we couldn’t even pronounce! So, over the holidays, I experimented quite a bit and made a few batches. My dad, who has very deep cuts on his fingertips (from his skin cracking), was a very helpful guinea pig! He would give me feedback and now I have come up with my favourite combination. Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 3/4 cups of unrefined shea butter
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa butter
  • 1 cup of beeswax
  • 1 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup of olive oil
  • optional: essential oil

Put all of your ingredients except your essential oil into a double boiler and let it melt. If you don’t have a double boiler, it is super easy to make. Add a few inches of water into saucepan, place a glass or metal bowl on top of the saucepan and voila! Just make sure that your bowl fits snugly on top of the saucepan. It should look similar to this:


After everything is melted together, remove from heat and stir in your essential oil. This is entirely optional but if you would like to add it in, add in about 25 drops. This is just a suggestion as some may like their body butter more scented than others. Personally, I love the smell of the cocoa butter and it really dominates over the rest of the ingredients. Otherwise, you can add some lavender oil which is great for helping to soothe and relax.

weAfter you’ve added your essential oil, let the body butter cool down a bit. You can then pour it into the container that you want to use. If you want to speed up the process, you can put it in the fridge after at least 20 minutes. This will help the shea butter in your product maintain a smooth texture since a drastic drop in temperatures will result in a grainy texture. Your body butter will solidify and you’re ready to go!

This recipe is fun and versatile because you can switch out one butter for another. For example, if you don’t have cocoa butter, you can just use more shea butter! You can also mix it up and use different butters such as mango, avocado, or sweet almond butter. You can also opt to use a different type of oil such as grape seed oil or jojoba oil instead of olive oil. Also, if you find that this recipe is far too soft for you, you can add more beeswax! You can also take away some of the beeswax if you want a softer butter.

I personally like to use this body butter right before bed because it is a little greasier than store bought products. However, it is all natural and I know exactly what is going into it and it’s such a great feeling knowing that you made your own healthy product! Also, the skin heals the most overnight and while you’re sleeping, so this body butter will give it a bit of a push so that it can recover faster.


You can buy shea and cocoa body butter in most health food stores, but you can also find great prices online. Wherever you decide to buy it, make sure you buy the unrefined butter. This means that the product has not gone through any transformations and therefore, holds all of its benefits. If you dislike the nutty scent of shea or the overwhelming chocolate scent of cocoa, you can just add essential oil. Usually, the refining process eliminates the scents and alters the colour of the butter to make it more aesthetically appealing but unfortunately, the consequences include a significant decline in the good stuff that you want to be using! Don’t forget that the colour of these butters vary so if it doesn’t look exactly like these photos, don’t worry! On the left is shea butter and on the right is cocoa butter.

shea cocco