Babies Dressed to Kill

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Have you been wondering what to get for that new baby in your life?  Whether it’s yours, your friend’s or a newborn in your family?  Everyone would appreciate these handmade adorable newborn outfits from Dressed to Drool.  As it says in the Dressed to Drool Etsy shop, “This shop is created by a Mom who’s been making handmade things for her little ones and would like to offer affordable prices so that you don’t have to break the banks while having fun dressing up your adorable little ones. We’ve been selling our handmade items to people we know (co-workers, friends of friends, etc.), and thought we should join Etsy family as I love to shop in here.”

Now onto the cuteness!!!

Mermaid?  Turtle?  Piglet?  What’s your favourite?!

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There are so many more too!  Make sure you stop by this amazing shop for your little new someone!

– Lindsay


Sprouts Press Designs

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Sprouts Press Designs is a local Toronto business specializing in crafting hand-bound books using needle, thread and a variety of binding stitches.  Carolyn, the creator of Sprouts Press, designs and creates all the products that Sprouts Press Designs carries.  I don’t quite know where I first became familiar with Sprouts Press, whether it was through the store Freedom Clothing Collective, or at the One of a Kind show or somewhere else.  At some point these beautiful creations were all around me!

Carolyn says on her Etsy page, “Discovering and learning new bookbinding techniques and also historical book designs fuels my creativity. While I enjoy mixing new and reclaimed materials in everything I create, I especially enjoy reclaiming old book parts, when possible, by deconstructing and dissecting a book to it’s raw materials and then re-using what I can to create a new journal ready for a second life. I strive to respect this incredible and amazing planet as often as possible by upcycling materials whenever possible, but occasionally I cannot resist a beautiful Chiyogami or Florentine paper. Sometimes the pairing of new and old materials creates a beauty that has to be shared.”

At this point, I want to share with you some of the gorgeous products that Carolyn creates!

First, we have this Red Florentine Album Book.  The Italian paper used in this book makes it special and beautiful!

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Sprouts Press also creates Watercolour Sketchbooks!  These books hold 140lb watercolour paper that is perfect for any artist.

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Have you ever wanted to create your own hand-bound book?  Sprouts Press gives you that chance with their bookbinding kits!  This kit in particular allows you to make 2 soft bound books and 1 mini book all in one very inexpensive kit!  I bought one of their bookbinding kits at the One of a Kind Show this past December and I can’t wait to break it open and give it a go!

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Now we get to move onto cute and mini!  How about a set of 6 mini book magnets?  Perfect for your fridge!  If not magnets, what about a leather journal pendant?  These necklaces are tiny, awesome and completely functional!  You can write down your thoughts and dreams and keep them close to you!

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You are as in love with these hand-bound books yet as I am?  You can find out more by going to any of the below sites for more information.

– Lindsay


Mittens and KnitPicks

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I hope everyone is warm and toasty inside your home or at work!  Where I am today, it is simply freezing and I am seriously regretting not bringing mittens or gloves with me!  There’s something about mittens that makes me feel like a kid and I just love them!

So today I’m going to share with you two things that I love, mittens and KnitPicks!  KnitPicks is an online store that offers everything you would want in yarn, knitting and crocheting tools.  It is a fantastic store with exceptional customer service.  I love the knitting needle sets they offer, especially their interchangeable circular needles.  But one of the best things I like about KnitPicks is that they carry patterns and allow you to build kits from these patterns so that you walk away with everything you need to complete a project!

This brings us to my love of mittens!  KnitPicks has a wonderful selection of patterns and I’ve pulled out a couple of my favourite mittens and fingerless mitt patterns.  For you knitters or crocheters out there, you can make your own mittens and make them super special and unique just for you!

The Muskoka Hat and Mitts are super cute and colourful!  Just seeing this as an option makes me happy!  So many colours to choose from to suit anyone in your life!  Just remember to scroll down to see the kit builder option  Or if you just wanted the pattern, you could do that too!  The choice is yours!

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Next up, we have the super adorable and pretty Hodepodge Mittens!  These mittens are fun without being completely over the top!  The best part is that you can add whatever pop of colour you wanted or you may decide on a more subtle approach.

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Now, we’re going to talk about fingerless mitts.  These are the perfect option whenever you need to use your fingers for something.  I know a lot of my knitting friends will wear them while knitting.  That way their fingers don’t get cold as they’re using them and all is right with the world!  There are so many options to choose from but my favourites are Candy Stripes and Lattice Work.  For Candy Stripes, just imagine the possibilities with the colours!  You could go with “Spearmint” and “Toffee” as a combo or how about “Sweet Potato” and “Mauve” for a bit more fun?  And Lattice Work…just look at those cables and that texture?  Oh my!!

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Okay, I’ve given you a couple patterns and ideas so now, what are you going to do with them?!  We want to see!!  Post your favourite mittens or share your favourite patterns for us to see!

– Lindsay


Finding the perfect button

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In my knitting, I use a lot of buttons and sometimes it can be difficult to find just the right one.  Depending on the wool thickness, colour, type of project, you might be looking for the typical plastic or you might want something more like wood, ceramic or clay.  Something that makes it stand out that much more.  Give your project a little oomph.

Let’s look at wood first.  You could go with a polished piece that looks very finished and refined or you could go with a more natural look!

forestinspiration shows us what rough and smooth wood buttons can look like using different types of trees and finishing.  The first set are from blackjack oak trees and the second from rod trees.

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WoodaCooda makes beautiful juniper tree toggle buttons.  I can see these on my projects right now!

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If you would like wooden buttons that are more finished, how about going with custom designed buttons?  rememberwynn makes custom engraved buttons with your logo, name or design!

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The next type of button to explore are made from polymer clay, such as these adorable sunflower or dinosaur buttons by Wildflower Button Studio.  Such cuteness! il_570xN.507692318_j8sd  il_570xN.646693076_3p76

Finally, you may wish to look at ceramic buttons.  Mimsical Studio made this beautiful handcrafted and painted flower button.  il_570xN.546459804_fuus

Sheppard Handmade made the gorgeous stamped and glazed buttons here.

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Next time you think you can’t find the right button for your project, take a little tour and I can guarantee that someone makes just the thing for you!

– Lindsay


Joseph Émil Design

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While I was at the One of a Kind show with the husband, he stumbled across a booth that left him a little dumbstruck.  He couldn’t wait to show me the booth.  It was Joseph Émil Design.  Joseph lives in Eastern Ontario where he built is own workshop to create the beautiful pieces that I’ll be sharing with you soon.

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Joseph makes one of a kind, often custom designed, gorgeous wood furniture.  As Joseph says on his site, “I am passionate about the creative process and always dedicate all the time needed to design and build objects I am proud to describe as fine woodworking.  My woodworking method relies on both traditional hand techniques and modern machinery and tools. My focus is on one-of-a-kind pieces and, as a result, creations coming out of my shop are unique and contemporary in style and allure.  Designs are either the result of ideas I conjured on my own or based on a collaboration with clients.”

My husband cannot wait for us to save up so we can get a piece of our very own.  Something like this definitely would deserve a place of honour in our house.

Now to show you some of the creations!  The thought, skill and detail that goes into these is outstanding.

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You can see Joseph’s designs at a variety of shows but also in person at Jacob’s Treasures Gallery in Hawkesbury, Ontario.  Joseph also welcomes people to visit his workshop to get an idea of his process and what goes into making furniture for you.  You can contact him at any time to inquire about specific pieces or something custom made just for you.  You can also keep in touch with Joseph Émil Design through Facebook.

I hope you fall in love with his work as much as we have!

– Lindsay


Looking for Beads?

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Are you working on a project right now where you need beads and have no idea where to get them?  It could be for knitting or cross-stitching or something completely different.  You’ve been to a couple general craft stores and haven’t found anything quite right.  Well, I’ve found it!  The haven of beads!  BeadFX is where you want to go!  I spent an absurd amount of time last night searching this site and buying 33, count them 33, packs of beads!!  What I’m going to do with them all still remains to be seen!

They have an excellent online store but also a retail store!  The prices are amazing, the shipping very reasonable, and quality is great!

Their products range from beads of all kinds – seedbeads, Swarovski crystal, metal, stones, pearls and more – to tools, leather and other supplies!  Everything you need to get that project completed or start a new hobby altogether!

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BeadFX also offers classes!  Or you can also arrange for a private class.  For January, some of the classes they offer include making a double-sided tennis bracelet, a medallion pendant, or bead weaving on a loom.  Something I would definitely be interested in trying.

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More information on BeadFX can be found on their blog or Facebook page.  And remember that when 2 hours passes and you’re still looking at different beads, that it’s okay and there are other people right there with you!

– Lindsay


A Different Kind of Ottoman?

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Do you want to give your living room that unique touch?  This can be achieved simply by the amazing ottomans from Reiner’s Original.

Reiner’s Original is a family business started by Reiner Henneveld who worked in the garment and handicraft manufacturing business.  From his work with leather and fur, Reiner transitioned to making animal keepsakes and then ottomans!  The company is now being run by Reiner’s two sons, Rob and Jesse.  The focus of this company, based in Ontario, has always been quality.  As it says on their website, “We are proud of the quality that goes into each and every ottoman – individually designed, hand cut, hand sewn and hand stuffed by Rob, Jesse and our team in Kitchener, Ontario. We think Reiner would also be proud.”

You can pick from the most adorable hippos, rhinos, elephants, pigs, bulldogs, cows, bears and moose!

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I was lucky enough to get one of these guys for Christmas!  I finally have a puppy!  I think the bow makes him a little extra special and all mine!

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You can order online or see these guys in person and fall in love.  You can look at their Facebook page to see if you can catch Reiner’s at any upcoming shows or check their website for store locations that carry these amazing ottomans (or in my case, pet)!

– Lindsay


Pretty and Useful

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When you come across beautiful art that is also useful, it seems that all is right with the world!  Back Bay Pottery brings together stunning pottery with everyday uses!

Christine from Back Bay Pottery says, “One-of-a-kind and handmade is close to my heart where it will always be…”  I believe this is a motto we should all live by!  Embrace handmade and our lives will be the better and more enriched for it!

Using a technique called slip trailing, which is drawing with liquid clay, Back Bay Pottery can create pieces that are all unique.  If you need some inspiration on how to incorporate handmade into your everyday life, let us take a look at what Christine has to offer.  Their pieces range from beautiful but simple mugs, cutlery and sponge holders, cream and sugar sets, salt and pepper shakers and even butter dishes!

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They have much more than what I’ve decided are my favourites so please check out their store and decide what you like!  You may decide that your favourites are their super awesome buttons!!

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To find out more about Back Bay Pottery, you can check out any of the below:

– Lindsay


Chris Smart Photography

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Drawing inspiration from the people and streets of Toronto and southern Ontario, Chris of Chris Smart Photography finds beauty in the most unlikely places.

Chris has worked in the video game industry for over a decade as an artist but photography has always been his passion.  And now he is sharing that passion with us.  I find that I’m inspired by Chris’ work.  His photography varies from:

Industrial decay

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Nature

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City Scenery and Architecture

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And especially Fashion

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Chris has an ability to draw us into his world and honestly, I could spend hours just staring at some of his photographs.  I bought the icicle lamp photo that I posted above and I intend to put it in a place of honour so I can look at it everyday!

There are many ways you can keep up to date on Chris’ work – through his Facebook page, his blog, etsy store, twitter or instagram.  Be sure to check him out!

– Lindsay


Disney Cross Stitch

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John Lohman has done it again!  After his last fantastic Star Trek Cross-Stitch book, John wrote another book!  This one is on Disney Classic Cross Stitch!!

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Unlike the last, this book is actually a kit!!  Inside are patterns for 12 different projects and materials to make two of the ones in the book!

John created a number of the patterns in the book but also enlisted the help of a few Sprite Stitch members, including myself!  Not to toot my own horn or anything!!  🙂  I’ll give you a peek at what I worked on.  I created the pattern of the Cinderella carriage and I cross-stitched the pattern of the Sleeping Beauty Castle that John made!  Now to find a frame for it…

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This kit is available instore and online at Barnes & Noble.  Be sure to pick up your kit today for all the Disney cross-stitch lovers in your life!!

– Lindsay