Friday, September 30, 2011

September Giveaway

Well I have a couple lovely sponsors who are willing to give a couple things away:
1 lucky person will win both:
1 pair Candy Corn Fingerless Gloves from Karen at Hodgepodge Arty.
Yellow, orange, and ivory yarn knit to resemble deliciously sweet candy corn! Perfect for every Autumn.  Hand knit with a cozy blend of lamb's wool and acrylic yarn. Click here for more info.

25% off any item at Il Gatto Bianco from Giulia at Another Diamond Day.
The coupon will be e-mailed to the winner.

How to enter:

Mandatory: Visit each of the shops above and leave a comment below letting me know which item is your favourite in each shop.

Extra entries: 
(Please leave a seperate comment for each, in order for them to count as separate entries)
- Follow me via GFC (link to the right)
- Follow me via Twitter
- Follow me via Bloglovin' (link on the right)
- Follow Hodgepodge Arty via Twitter
- Heart Hodgepodge Arty on Etsy
- Follow Another Diamond Day via GFC
- Heart Il Gatto Bianco on Etsy

You have until 11:59pm EST on Friday October 7th to enter. Good luck and Happy Entering!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Helping the Bride: Guest Post with Atlantic Atlantis

Good morning everyone! I have another guest post for you today. I'm still working on relaxing and organizing after the big day. This one comes from a friend from Newfoundland, who I met months ago through my blog. Very exciting! Thanks so much Sarah we all need a little artistic inspiration in our lives :)
Hi everyone! My name is Sarah and I am visiting from Atlantic Atlantis. Sweet Margot became a blog friend of mine sometime ago, and I am happy to be guest posting for her once again!
One of the biggest sources of inspiration for me is other people's art. I love to see what comes out of person's mind and hands. It's amazing the creations that can spring from paper or fabric or clay. And nothing trumps seeing it in person! I love to visit the local galleries in my city and see the beauty that has been made all around me.
Earlier this week I headed to a gallery to view a collection done by a local artist, Rachel Ryan, entitled "Waking Dreams". I thought it would be fitting to share a couple of the photos I took on Margot's blog, as she too is so crafty with the sewing machine! Have a peek...

Magical, no? Tiny scraps of fabric and thin thread woven together to create beautiful art. Each piece told a story and I immediately went home and dug out my own sewing machine!
So when you feel like you are stuck artistically, it takes nothing more than a walk through a museum, gallery, - or even the internet! - to get those creative juices flowing again. And who knows, maybe someday someone will see your art as inspiration too. ♥

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sponsor Spotlight September!

My name is Karen Blackburn and Hodgepodge Arty is my shop and blog!  I live in Chicago with my love (husband) and our sweet dog, Nora. When I'm not spending time with my dear little family, I'm sewing, knitting, and cooking...usually while watching movies on repeat.  The blogging and Etsy world are new to me, but I love the community of crafters and makers that I've found.  The inspiration is absolutely everywhere!  You can find more information my work and makings here.

Get 15% off at Karen's shop with the code THANKS!

Hi! I'm Arvee from Flutter Happy.I blog about my life, and all things I find pretty on the web. ♥ I love good design, fonts, and typography. I love playing scrabble, reading books, and tweaking blog designs. ♥ I would love for you to come over to my blog, and say hi! ♥

My name is Giulia and I blog over Another Diamond Day. I am Italian and have been living in the UK for 4 years. I am currently living in London with my boyfriend Nick. I write alot about our little adventures in this big city on my blog. I also like writing about traveling, art and music and cooking!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Helping the Bride: Guest Post with This Lovely Life

Good morning everyone! I'm sorry I've been MIA for a little while. I meant to schedule these next couple posts for a few days now, and with all the wedding festivities it was a little busy. Today I have one of my closest friends sharing a delicious recipe with us. I'm going to have to find some time to make these. The wedding was wonderful, I'll stop in with a quick peek tomorrow!
Hi there! I’m Brynn from this lovely life, stopping in to share one of my all-time favourite cookie recipes while Margot is off getting hitched.  I couldn’t resist sharing these Newfoundland field cookies (how appropriate, right?), courtesy of JP’s East Coast family.  They are, in a word, phenomenal. They are sweet, yet salty; crunchy, yet chewy. They feel healthy, but still have the best qualities of a decadent dessert. Over the last ten or so years I’ve eaten countless field cookies (lucky me, I know), but I hadn't made them myself until very recently. They always seemed, though remarkably delicious, like a lot of work. They contain countless seeds and add-ins which means a special trip to the bulk store. But when Margot approached me to do a guest post during her wedding-week I knew I had to finally give this recipe a chance. So I did. And as soon as I tried a cookie from the first batch out of the oven I knew I had made a mistake waiting so long to make these at home.
And though they did require a trek to the bulk store, let me tell you, it was well worth it. Don’t believe me? Try them yourself. (Or ask my co-workers.)

Newfoundland field cookies
Makes about 5 dozen

1st Bowl

3 cups flour
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 ½ cups chocolate chips
1 cup raisins
1 cup flax seeds
 1 ½ cups sunflower seeds
½ cup sesame seeds
½ cup poppy seeds
½ cup coconut
½ cup pumpkin seeds
2nd Bowl

2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cup butter
1 tsp vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix dry ingredients.
3.  Cream wet ingredients together.
4.  Add dry ingredients to wet, combine well. You may need to use your hands.
5.  Roll into balls, drop on cookie sheet, flatten with a fork and bake at 350 degrees for 10 –12 minutes
If you have time, put the bowl in the refrigerator for an hour or so; they roll up a lot better when cold.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Beauty and the Bridezilla!

I have been lucky, so have my friends and family. From what I hear I am a very calm bride-to-be. I have had a few melt downs, but only in front of my mom and Reggie (and not at the same time), but for the most part things have been pretty calm. I feel good about it all; and with only one day to go that is saying a lot.
This week has been busy with last minute preparations. But the nice thing is, I have had a little time to relax. My mom got me bridal package at a salon in Orillia (where the wedding will take place), and I was in on Monday for a pedicure and my trial hair-do! I go back in today for a manicure, and then tomorrow one last time for my up-do. I even decided to splurge a little bit and get myself some new make-up; I will be doing my own, and some of the stuff I have had lying around since university needed desperately to be replaced.
We have the rehearsal this evening, followed by a relaxed dinner at my parents hours. I can't believe it is almost here. It seemed like for so long the wedding was as far away as could be, and now, only one more sleep.

I'm excited :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Helping the Bride: Guest Post with My Girl Thursday

So as most of you already know I am getting married, in a very short three days! And a few of my friends from around the blogoshpere have offered up some guests posts to help relieve me of my blog duties pre & post wedding. I will of course be popping in here and there, but for the next few days expect to see some lovely guest posts from some lovely people! And first up we have a real-life friend and fellow blogger Thursday!
Good day all you pretty people! My name is Thursday and I'm the one-lady-show behind My Girl Thursday. I'm so happy to be here with you today while Margot is enjoying one of life's very special times!

When I was considering what I would like to write about today I kept coming back to all of the happy little details that make up a wedding. I was fortunate enough to be invited to a wedding recently and at the reception I was immediately drawn to the couples unique guest 'book'. Actually it wasn't a book at all - it was a guitar! Attendees were given a silver Sharpie to sign their names and well wishes on a black guitar. How cute is that?! (I wish that I had a photo to share with you but I was taking the night off from taking photos.)

So in celebration of their fantastic idea I thought I'd share with you just some of the creative guest sign-in ideas that I've found recently. Some are diy and some you can buy. Enjoy!
What I love about many of these projects is that they can go beyond a wedding. Having a birthday/retirement/anniversary/housewarming party? There's no reason you shouldn't have a guest book there too! I find that creative elements like these really make a shindig memorable. Now let's get cracking - don't we have a party to plan?

Late Summer Craft Show

Last weekend I took a little break from wedding prep to go to a craft show with Crystal. It was the Late Summer Craft Harvest to be exact. It was a small event, at the home of one of the vendors.

You can see in the poster above all of the vendors, and although we looked around thoroughly before spending any money we had to make some difficult decisions. I ended up with:
Some printed cards from Jackson Creek Press. This is a sample print he was giving out, and I actually bought some Christmas Cards. There is just something I love about block stamps, ink and textured paper. So pretty!
Then, I found this super cute pendant from Erin at Twenty Six Mermaids, or you can go directly to her blog Apples with Honey. I love the teal colour in the glass, and the image of the windows within the trees.
And I got a chance to chat with my friend Stacy who writes Let it Unravel, and has a well filled Etsy shop: The Raw Edge. I bought a couple cotton crocheted cloths, and these beautiful linen napkins from her! So lovely :)
And it was in talking to a few people at this lovely craft show that I decided perhaps I would try to prepare for  a Christmas Craft sale. It means I would need to spend my days working hard at rug-hooking and the sewing machine...
What do you think, should it give it a try?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekend Wedding Update

 So in one week from now I will be thoroughly enjoying married life. Recently everyone has been asking me "are you getting excited?". And yes I am, but I'm also very tired. It was a crazy busy summer with work and planning a wedding at the same time. But as you read earlier my summer contract has ended and I have this coming week to do nothing but last minute wedding arrangements. Between final dress fittings, ring sizing, finishing favours, hair appointments, arranging the seating plan and finishing the playlist it is bound to be a busy week! I'm sure I won't even notice that I'm not working;) I'll be sure to check in once or twice with a few peeks here and there, and there might be a few guest posts from some friends in the next couple weeks so look forward to those also!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Every end is a new beginning!

 This week was my last week of my summer contract working at the park. I am always sad to see it go, the people I work with, the programs we run, the time I spend outside in a provincial park during the summer! But seasonal contracts are the way of the park system, and although I am looking for other options during the winter, Reggie and I decided I would take some time to breathe. So over the next two weeks I will be doing final wedding prep, resting after the big day, doing some much needed house/yard work, and spending some time with my two favourite boys.
And then... 
And then I think I will put some energy in creating something beautiful, or many things beautiful. I will be working a little, part time, but I am going to spend some time rug-hooking and sewing and finally giving in to all of my creative urges that have been nudging at me all summer long. I can't wait!

And we talked briefly about me entering a craft show closer to Christmas. Eep!

Have there been any exciting changes in your life recently?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Autumn is in the air!


This morning was cool, crisp and dark when we woke up. And as I leaned out the door to say goodbye to Reggie, I thought: fall is on the horizon.

It is coming.

With its frost kissed mornings, bright colours, blue skies, abundant fruit, and warm afternoons; autumn is almost here. I can't wait. Although I have to, such is the joy of living in a place that sees 4 distinct seasons.

I have been feeling poetic lately, and rather creative. I am hoping to share some of this creativity with you soon! What have you been up to? I feel so behind after the busy days of summer!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In the Garden: More Harvest

So recently we have had some more delicious treats from our garden, take a look!
Sorry again about the bad photo quality. These shortening days of fall are killing my photog abilities. That and I need a camera with higher megapixels. Anyways, so here we have zucchini, banana peppers, cayenne pepper, green beans and sweet peas. The tomatoes still aren't ripe, but there are some large ones out there!

I have a sweet recipe in mind for the zucchini (I already made spaghetti sauce with some), and I will be sure to share!

Anything good come out of your garden recently?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekend Wedding Update

I know, I know, the weekend is over. I meant to stop in quickly with a wedding update, but I just didn't have the time. I went to Orillia this weekend to visit my parents, while Reggie had a weekend away with the boys. My parents and I ended up going to their cottage, and on the way to and from mom and I got all the wedding decor figured out.
Mom and I chose some really beautiful mums to help decorate the outdoor area where we are having the ceremony. And decided on how all the centerpieces are going to look. With pine cones, natural grapevine, and fall colours my love of the outdoors and especially fall is really going to show through!
And recently I mentioned that I found the ties for the boys, I warned them they were bright! I think they will look great with the light blue shirts I picked out, and they are so close to the girls dresses everyone will be coordinated :)
All in all it was a good weekend. We got some relaxing in, including Gunner, decor decisions were made, we had a nice visit, and the boys had a fun weekend together. I just checked the long-term forecast - 20degrees and sunny, let's hope that rings true on the day. Only 13 days to go now!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Fabric Gifts!

Recently a friend of mine, who I worked with all summer, long celebrated her birthday. This year it was the holiday Monday of labour day weekend (only three days after mine) and I though wouldn't actually get to see her, I had a few crafty creations up my sleeve for her.
I'm not sure if you read Crystal's blog over at Crafty Ave, but she recently posted about goals revisited, and stated that one goal is to include something handmade with every gift they give. And I have to agree that they are doing well, I have received many handmade gifts from them (more on that later).  Well I am trying to do something similar, to create something unique, handmade and full of love to include in most presents that I gift people. And I think I've already started planning out Christmas :) Eep! So excited!
I made Kathleen a fabric bucket, told hold slippers, hats and mitts, wool, or anything else she can think of to put in there.
She also got a map pillow. She loves maps, and one day at work we had a bit of a discussion about maps. I decided to get some ink-jet fabric, find a cool map and make a small decorative pillow out of it. I was really happy with the ink-jet transfer, although the map colours were fairly light and I think in the future I would try on paper more than once to enhance the colour saturation.
Finally a small kleenex holder. It was only a prototype, but I think a good compliment. It was inspired by Marysza, she sent me one as an added gift when I ordered my guest book for my wedding. So cute!

Have you made anything for anyone recently? I'd love to take a peek!