My first crochet project is finished! I learned a lot of lessons from this little guy, namely the horrors of "yarn puke" (as disgusting as it is frustrating), how to rewind yarn (the only antidote to aforementioned yarn puke), and the importance of counting accurately (a kindergarden skill I seemed to have lost). It's far from perfect, but I'm still pretty proud of it. And when all is said and done, as long as it keeps baby Thurston cozy and warm, I'm sure he won't mind my uneven stitches. Haha!

While I was crocheting this blanket, I joked that once it was finished, I could consider that craft learned, cross it off my list and start learning the next, quilting. I even had a stack of quilting books waiting. I guess I wasn't expecting to get addicted. As soon as I finished, I immediately bought new yarn and began searching for my next pattern. I found out the hard way that you should actually choose your pattern before your yarn, but it all worked out. Here's a sneak peak of how it's going so far.

While searching for patterns, I also discovered Ravelry. The last thing I need is another social networking site to distract me, but this site goes way beyond socializing. It's a fantastic resource for knitters and crocheters to keep track of their yarn, tools, project and pattern information, and to look for ideas and inspiration. You can find all the details of these two projects there. If you're a member, look me up and say hello!

Denim Daze

Running your own small business is full of insecurities and challenges that make you question why you ever decided to open up shop in the first place. But there are also amazing moments that affirm and remind you that you are doing what you love and heading down the exact path you were meant to be on.

Recently, I stumbled across a couple bolts of fabric that literally made my heart race and my stomach flip. I couldn't take me eyes off them at the cutting table and I couldn't wait to get my hands on them as soon as I brought them home. I figure, to get that excited and passionate about fabric, I must be in the right business!

The two newest aprons in my shop are cut from that very cloth. One for the men and one for the ladies. I hope you fall in love with them as much as I did!

Please visit my shop for more photos and details.

Pop-Up Buzz

You may or may not have noticed my lack of presence on the interwebs the past week or so. Hopefully you know not to take that personally — it only means I've been a busy busy bee.

April brought in many June brides requesting custom totes, I restocked the shop with a few new aprons, I attended all but one of these events last weekend, and I've been in cahoots with the lovely ladies from White Elephant in their top secret Field Trip pop-up shop plans. You may have heard that they are generously giving away loot bags at the event tonight, well I printed their logo on all of the bags! Here's your sneak peak of the outside (as an amateur screen-printer, I'm pretty proud of how they turned out); click here for a sneak peak of some of the amazing handmade goodies you'll find inside. The whole city seems to be buzzing over this pop-up shop. Check out the write-ups here and here. I'm so happy I was able to contribute in my small way.

As if the pop-shop wasn't enough, I found out this week that the textile graduates of Sheridan College are opening their exhibition at art crawl tonight as well, showcasing their works of handmade genius, plus the art graduates of McMaster will be setting up shop in the Loose Canon Gallery!

It's so incredible that Hamilton is starting to get this level of attention. I hope to see you out on the streets of James North tonight. I'll be the one excitedly dragging around four out-of-towners. Haha! Otherwise, have a great weekend!

E xo

Hamilton Happenings: May 2011

                                                                             Photo via Hindsvik

I like to try to stay positive, but I'll admit it's been a crummy Spring so far. I can count the number of rain-free days on one hand and our precious seedlings are looking pretty spindly from lack of sunlight. Mother Nature took April showers pretty seriously this year, but judging by the gorgeous weather today, fingers crossed she's serious about May flowers too! The next couple weeks are rammed full of amazing things to see and do in Hamilton. I hope to see you out and about... without an umbrella!

AGH Art Sale: May 5-8 / "After spending the winter months visiting artist studios and province-wide art fairs and exhibitions, AGH Art Consultants have selected a variety of works for the home, office, and finally... the garden! Enjoy a bright and dazzling selection of original art from emerging and established artists."

Doors Open Hamilton: May 7-8 / This is one of my favourite events of the year. Hamilton has so many beautiful heritage sites and this is your chance to peak inside them, completely free of charge! Being a tourist for a day in your own city may be just what the doctor ordered after a long, bitter hibernation.

West Hamilton Artists Tours: May 7-8 / A unique opportunity to tour the studios of your favourite local artists. It seems I have a touch of voyeurism when it comes to artists studios — I am obsessively interested in where the magic happens. You can imagine how much this event excites me! I'll definitely hit a few in my neighbourhood.

Spring Sprint: May 7 / 9am / My family fundraise and participate in this 5k walk/run for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada every year in honour of my father, a brave brain tumour survivor. If you can't make it out to the event to cheer us on, please consider sponsoring our team here, or at least think of us huffing and puffing around a track when you wake up Saturday morning.

Makers' Market: May 7 / 10-3 / 252 James Street North / The first makers' market of the season kicks off this Saturday at Christ's Church Cathedral. If you've never been, this is a great little community market featuring local art, handmade goods, fresh foods and much more. They set up about twice a month and are celebrating their fifth season. A good place to go for a last-minute Mother's Day gift, perhaps?
Mother's Day: May 8 / all day / Don't forget!

Art Crawl featuring Field Trip: May 13 / 7-10 / 118 James St. N. / This is one art crawl you will not want to miss! Preloved (Toronto and Montreal), Robber (Toronto), Fieldguided (Toronto), and Victoire (Ottawa), along with hometown lovelies White Elephant and YarnOverMovement, will join forces in a pop-up shop! Break out the piggy bank for some amazing clothing and accessories, folks! (Sorry for all the exclamation points, but I can't contain the excitement!!!) As a little extra incentive, White Elephant will be giving out loot bags to the first 25 shoppers in the door! Believe me, you want one of those bags. You may want to camp out. Seriously.