Monday 30 September 2013

Crafty Cucumber on Etsy

Today I have some very exciting news: Crafty Cucumber is on Etsy!

I have opened a shop to sell my handmade greeting cards. Nearly a year and a half of making at least one card a week for my 'card of the week' posts has left me with a lot of cards on I have a great supply to pull from, plus you know I'll be making more cards.

To start, I have listed six cards for sale. If you've been following along here for a while, you may recognize these:
I'll be posting more cards soon, so stay tuned.

I am so unbelievably excited for this new experience. I am so happy to be joining the Etsy community, the community of handmade. I am really quite beside myself today - heart pounding, butterflies in my stomach - and it is the greatest feeling. I have been talking about doing this for so long, and I am thrilled that it has finally happened.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this space - everyone who has read, made comments - your presence has been so encouraging to me and I thank you so much for that.

And of course, I invite you to visit me over on Etsy. A link to my shop is now at the top of my sidebar. Thank you.

Friday 27 September 2013

Crochet Purse & Pattern

I made this purse while watching my girls in their swimming lessons back in August. They had lessons every morning and while they were in the pool I sat in the observation lounge and crocheted. Half an hour every morning for two weeks and I was all but done - the only thing left to do was whip up the flower and leaves and sew them on at home.
Are you interested in making a bag like this? Do your children have soccer or hockey practice and you are wishing you had something to keep your hands busy while you watch? Well, this is a great little project for exactly such a situation.

I used a 5.0 mm hook and some cotton yarn. It might be Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, but I am not completely sure as I bought it as a mill end several years ago at a sale.

Here's what I did:

Bag Sides (make 2):
ch 35
sc in second ch from hook and then in each chain across (34 sc), turn
*ch 1, sc in each stitch across* repeat until piece measures 6 1/2 inches
To join sides of bag, put wrong sides together and whip stitch the side and bottom seams together.

Handles (make 2):
ch 70
sc in second ch from hook and then in each chain across (69 sc), turn
*ch 1, sc in each stitch across* repeat until handle is 1 inch wide
Attach handles to each side of bag directly beside the side seams.

This pattern is for a fairly small bag, perfectly suited for a little girl.
Of course, you can make your bag larger or smaller by simply changing the number of chains in your foundation row, and/or changing the height of the bag. The possibilities are endless.

And while I added a flower and leaves (click here for the pattern) to my bag you could embellish your bag with stars, pom-poms, or whatever else you can think of.

Happy crocheting, and if you have any questions please ask.

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Barn Board Wall Art

The wall above the sofa in our living room has been bare for years for two reasons: our sofa is very long and we have never found a piece of art long enough to fill the space (for a reasonable price), and my husband and I have very different ideas about what to hang on the walls of our home (it is a miracle we have anything hanging to be honest). All that to say, we were looking at this blank, bare wall for a really long time.
But then inspiration struck. Steve can't remember where he saw the idea - a magazine, a website, Pinterest - but the idea was presented to find some barn board and use it to make a piece of wall decor. Sounded like a unique solution to our bare wall problem, so we decided to give it a try.

We found the barn board at a local shop that specializes in reclaimed materials from old barns, factories, is a really neat place to wander through.

We selected barn boards in varying widths and brought them home. The first step was to play around with different arrangements: where to put each width of board, and how to space out the knots and imperfections in the wood. Notice that the end on the left is uneven. We played around for quite a while making sure that the imperfections were randomly spaced across the piece knowing we could just cut everything down to the final size once it was secured together.
Once we had the design finalized we needed to attach the boards together. To do this we cut small pieces of wood to size and laid them across the back of the barn board.
We glued and then screwed them in place and they, in cooperation with the tongue and groove edges on the barn board itself, held everything together quite nicely.
Once everything was secured in place, we cut the ends of our piece even in order to arrive at our final dimensions of 6" x 2". Sorry for the lack of pictures for this part, it was really a two person job with Steve manning the circular saw and me holding the wood in place. 

Lastly we added these little hooks to the inside edge of the end support bars, and ran some heavy duty hanging wire between them.
Here you can see everything. The three support bars running the width of the piece and holding everything together, the ends of the piece cut even, and the hanging wire strung between the two end support bars.
Then we hung our barn board on the wall above our sofa.
And we are so happy with how it turned out. It fills the space perfectly, yet does not compete with anything else in the room. The wood is the perfect color too, a little blue-grey which picks up on the pillows on the sofa.

I have a few ides on how to spice it up a bit - maybe a bit of granny bunting, some Christmas bunting, a few colorful plates...but for now, I am thrilled with the warmth and texture that it adds to the room.

Monday 23 September 2013

Card of the Week: Four Thank You Cards

Good Morning everyone! I am so excited about this week's 'card of the week' post because I get to show you a card project that I have been meaning to do for some time now and finally got around to this past week.

I have quite a bit of paper from the Basic Grey Porcelain Collection (not sure where it came from) and thought that it would look lovely made up into a set of coordinating thank you cards.
What do you think? I think they are so pretty. And nothing is more special than giving someone a handmade thank you card.  

Friday 20 September 2013


The Memory Nest is sponsoring another challenge from Sketch-n-Scrap today. And this time it is a card sketch. I could not help but play along.
Everything I needed to make this card is from My Mind's Eye.
Want to play along with this challenge? Head to The Memory Nest to see what others have made based on this sketch, and then link up your own creations.

Thursday 19 September 2013

Run Run Rudolph

Time for another Christmas layout - this time of the Seasonal Concert at my daughter's school.
I love these pictures - the expression on her face, her wide smile. I had to lay on the floor right in front of the stage in order to get these shots, but it was so worth it.

I had the reindeer patterned paper in my Christmas bin and I have no idea what company it is from. Isn't it just perfect for this layout?

I added some red patterned paper (from Scenic Route) and a few other red embellishments to add a little color to the page and to pick up the red in Bridget's adorable reindeer hat.
Wonderful memories come flooding back to me as I look at these pictures. Bridget was so excited and proud to perform.

More Christmas layouts coming soon. Until then, Happy Scrapping!

Monday 16 September 2013

The Lake

The Memory Nest (along with Little Bit of Scrap) issued a triple challenge this week: scrapbook a summer photo with a water theme and include an interactive element.
Summer photos that featured water were easy enough to find - I think my girls pretty much lived in their swimsuits this summer - but the interactive element had me stumped for a bit. What to do?

After looking through my pictures from one of our camping trips I decided to tuck a photo with some journalling in behind the main photos that I used for my page.
The picture I hid away was of the view I saw as I sat on the beach and watched my girls enjoy their time at the lake. It is not a great photo, not one that I would normally choose to scrapbook, but it holds a special memory for me as it captures exactly what I saw and watched during our afternoon at the beach.

I have not often included interactive elements on my pages, preferring to leave everything out in the open, but this challenge has certainly opened me up to the benefits of doing so. Hiding my 'view picture' away allowed me to include it on my layout, which I likely would not have done otherwise.

The paper and embellishments that I used for this page are from Jillibean Soup - Happy Camper and Watermelon Gazpacho Soup.
Do you use interactive elements on your pages? If so, what are they? I am curious to know so please let me know in the comments.

Visit The Memory Nest to see how the other ladies on the Design Team made their pages interactive. And feel free to take on this challenge yourself and then link up your creations.

Sunday 15 September 2013

Happy Flowers

With fall slowly settling in around these parts, I am happy to look back at summer photos of my flowers in bloom. Using a few of my favorite shots, I made this layout for the Sketch-n-Scrap Challenge being held over at The Memory Nest.
It should come as no surprise that I used paper from Jillibean Soup - Country Pumpkin Chowder and Coconut Lime Soup.

I added some embellishment clusters around my photos.
And I love this quote - "Nature never goes out of style" - perfect for a garden page.
I really like this layout, in fact it is one of my recent favorites.

Head on over to The Memory Nest to see what the other incredible members of the Design Team have created for this challenge.

Thursday 12 September 2013

Under the Tree

Like I said earlier this week, I have been busy working on my 2012 Christmas layouts. I really want to get them done before this Christmas rolls around.

Today I would like to share with you a layout I did of my girls playing with their new Playmobil Castle on Christmas morning.
I love that in this picture they are not looking at the camera, but are totally engrossed in playing.

I used pattered paper and coordinating stickers from Bella Blvd. for this layout. I love all the different paper patterns and how I was able to use so many of them, in small amounts, on this layout without it looking cluttered.
I have a few more Christmas layouts completed and will be showing them to you over the next few weeks. I hope you don't think it is silly to be working on Christmas layouts in September (especially when I have so many photos from out summer holiday to scrap), but I am excited to get this batch finished. Plus I am hoping that my layouts will provide you with some inspiration for your own Christmas pages, either from years past or for the Christmas coming up.

Happy Scrapping!

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Crochet Seahorse

One day a crochet jellyfish and dolphin were swimming along when they met a seahorse.
I found the pattern for this little friend online (pattern available here).

To make him I used the last bit of Orange Chill yarn that I had in my bin, well there is a wee bit leftover for a bird beak or some other detailing if I need it, but other than that it is gone. I honestly never thought I would see the day; there is a lot of yarn on those big balls of Bernat Handicrafter Cotton and when you buy one, you are really committing to the color.

Like I have said before, crocheting toys is addictive. In the last month I have made an owla froga jellyfish, a dolphin, and now a seahorse. And I still have a few toys that I want to make. Watch this space for more crocheted toys to make their debut.

Monday 9 September 2013

Card of the Week: Christmas Dots

After a few weeks off, I am back today with another card of the week, this time a Christmas card. Yes, I realize that it is only September, and I for one am not keen on seeing Christmas things in the stores months ahead of the Holidays, but I have been busily working on my scrapbook pages from Christmas 2012 and had some scraps laying around that just begged to be made into a card. Can't fight that.

Nothing too fancy, just some funky Christmas dots.
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: Bella Blvd.; Cardstock: Bazzill; Circle & Border Punch: Fiskars; Sentiment Sticker: Bella Blvd.; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives

And it doesn't hurt that I have a Christmas card all ready to less to make during the busy Christmas season.

Friday 6 September 2013

Crochet Dolphin

After making my crochet jellyfish, I decided to crochet a little dolphin.
What inspired me to crochet sea animals? Why our trip to the ocean, of course. And what was even better was that we saw the real things when we were there - jellyfish laying on the beach that did not look at all like the one I made, and dolphins jumping over the waves.

The pattern for this guy came from my trusty source for cute crochet animal patterns - this book.
And of course I used Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (in Hot Blue), busting my stash even more.

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Daisy Wheel Dishcloth

Small crochet projects continue to happen around here. It feels great to start and finish something so quickly.

Using Bernat Handicrafter Cotton and a pattern from my crochet calendar (yes, a calendar with a crochet pattern for every day of the year), I made this Daisy Wheel Dish Cloth
Of course I will never use this as a dish cloth. I can not fathom using something so pretty to scrub the lasagna pan. Instead I will use it as a (big) coaster or as a mat under my houseplants.

Tuesday 3 September 2013

An Amazing End to Summer

I'm back. Late last week we got back from our first major family vacation in years. Our little family loaded up the minivan and took an 18 hour road trip from our home in Canada to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
We went for the ocean. The girls had never seen it and I hadn't seen it for quite a while, so it was time to go and hear the waves crashing on the shore, smell the salt was absolutely wonderful.

We had an incredible trip - even the drive was amazing (no complaints, no bathroom accidents). And once we got to the Island, we had a great time together. The weather was perfect (hot and sunny, a nice change from here where it has been a cooler summer) and everyone had a fun and relaxing time.

Of course we spent time at the beach. The girls found the size of the ocean, and the sand being pulled from under their feet as the waves rolled in and out a bit unnerving so they did not venture out into the water much beyond where it reached their knees. They did, however, love playing in the sand - building sandcastles and digging holes, and then running back to shore to get water for their sand creations.
We spent a lot of time swimming in the pool. Bridget's swimming has improved so much thanks to all the swimming lessons she has taken, and Claire was completely undaunted by the pool once we strapped on her water wings. We spent many mornings and afternoons at the pool, and even went swimming after dinner a few times which the girls thought was awesome. 
Our hotel was very close to a small shopping center and one night we walked down to the Ice Cream Parlor for a delicious bowl of ice cream. Doesn't Claire's face just radiate enjoyment? 
One of the best meals out that we had was at a seafood restaurant called Quarter Deck. We sat on the dock, overlooked the sea and I enjoyed these delicious crab cakes. I love crab cakes, and they taste so much better when you can eat them while smelling the salt in the air.
After dinner we walked along the beach and then to the end of the pier to watch the sunset. Absolutely stunning!

We took a day trip to Charleston to visit the South Carolina Aquarium. It was really incredible. The girls were so amazed at every turn and kept shouting at Steve and I to come and look at one thing after another. They were especially taken with this fellow, a yellow Moray Eel - what a strange looking creature. 
Walks along the beach, a few more seafood dinners out, and a wee bit of outlet shopping, rounded out our week. 
We had such a great time. Just incredible! It was an amazing end to the summer.