Wednesday, December 17, 2008

yikes & backtack 4.

i am so not prepared for christmas.
this is what i have bought for handmade gifts so far:
- fabric
- purse frames
- fabric
- tags
- ink pads
- more fabric
- business cards from etsy for my mom

and for the non-handmade things
- a wii system for my brothers
- a bose ipod dock for my dad
- an ikea stool for my mom
- and a little something for A that i know she'll love
- cute ceramic mugs with a ceramic spoon, and the handle is the spoon holder
- teas and hot chocolate sachets for the mugs

so many uncompleted projects. blargh. i will be home tomorrow so hopefully i will get something done instead of just idling in bed and watching heroes.
oohhh heroes.

so kirsty has finally received her backtack package! some of the things that i made:

christmas ornaments. had to redraw the bird pattern so many times until i finally got the tail right. in the back it says "peace", "christmas", "joy" in french.

fabric covered pushpins. the tin i bought from etsy (i bought 10 of them. so cute!).
and i used an invoice as a label.

a set of laser cut cards with the envelopes and circular kraft paper stickers. i just had to use a mini clothespin. this is from etsy too.

i also included a fabric envelope for lists and receipts (because kirsty likes making lists!) and two bottles of room sprays.

other things:
- john is finally updating his blog again. woohoo!
- i won my first prize in the blog world. thanks melissa!
- i love this lovely site. via joanna

i cannot wait for christmas! this year it's going to be different. :)
i hope everyone is having a good week so far, with lots of crafting and handmade things!

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Monday, December 8, 2008

snap coin purse and other things

hello hello and happy december everyone!
the world is white with snow. so lovely.

it's been quite a busy week at work.
the analyst luncheon that i've been planning for a month has finally come to fruition. it was held at canoe, this restaurant that i've always wanted to go to ever since i saw a chef at large episode on it. i never thought i'd be able to go (because it is so pricey!), but the boss asked me to come. i wanted to jump for joy! harhar. friday night was the corporate christmas party. i gave the hairdresser a bit of a hard time (i was a bit demanding, and well my hair is too short to put up, but she managed to do it!) and got my makeup done (for free!!!) at the dior table at the bay.

anyhoo, i finally got to making my first snap coin purse at home.
note to self: follow instructions, especially when it says to apply glue in a well-ventilated area.
i am so dizzy from the smell right now.
i have the window secretly open...if les parents find out, they'll have a little fit.

it was easier to make this time, and it took me perhaps 45 minutes to do (as opposed to the 2 1/1 hours from before!) and no seam ripping at all! :) harhar.
i used the same fabric as karyn's coin purse...i couldn't resist! this is part of a kris kringle exchange that i will be doing with my friends on wednesday night. i am going to include an f21 or h&m gift card inside.

how is everyone? i hope you are all enjoying the excitement and anticipation of christmas! :)

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Monday, December 1, 2008

etc, etc.

i used karyn's laser *cutter (thanks karyn!) (the most amazing thing in the world!) at the workroom over the weekend to make these and used my puncher to round out the edges. short and simple is always the best, and i am planning to give them away (including envelopes and these sweet circle labels made out of kraft paper) as christmas presents. i'm still trying to decide how to package them - kraft paper or fabric envelopes? hm.

other things i'm planning to make (as in, things that i can make with minimal mistakes, hardeeharhar):
- zippered pouches
- snap coin purses
- fabric covered push pins (i bought little tins from etsy to package these!)

i also started work on my homasote board! finalement! i still have to staple it onto the board and mount it, but i don't think it's bad at all! they came out nice and straight! :)

this picture makes me want to have a quilt.

i wanted linen, but used canvas instead. it was really cheap so i bought lots.

and in other non-crafty news:
- tomorrow i'm going to a toastmasters meeting with my best friend. it's about time, especially with all the teaching and TRENDS events that i have to do.
- friday is the grand fete! i'm getting my hair and makeup did. harhar. i've decided to wear my dress from zara. it needs to be taken in though. argh.
- lots of holiday parties to attend and kris kringles to participate in!
- i'm off work on the 19th to get ready for the little holiday party i'm throwing! stuffed mushrooms is in the menu. i would like to emulate this loveliness. there will also be gingerbread house decorating.

now if the weather would only's still raining. where are you snow?

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

better day.

hello hello!
so i'm not fired. i still have my job.

all these really dark thoughts were swimming in my head last night as i watched heroes (yay, i'm on ep. 6!) and ate a bowl of ruffles and fritos. i thought i had lost my job for sure (i tend to magnify things like this). but i got an email from my boss saying that it happens and not to worry.

what happened? to make a long story short, 7 boxes of conference materials failed to make it in time for the conference in planet hollywood, las vegas (which was today). it was all because of purolator. never trust purolator with your international packages. i know it doesn't sound like a big deal, but i couldn't help it, seeing as i'm new to this job and all and am still trying to prove myself.

anyhoo, i had a much better day today. today was the holiday printing party at the workroom. i completely forgot that it was today and remembering that it was today was a pleasant surprise (similar to when you wake up at 4 in the morning and you realize that you have 2 more hours of sleep to go and you feel so happy that it's 2 hours rather than 10 minutes).

it was a lot of fun! when you're doing something that you really like, time flies by so quickly. my last class for the year is the sewn men's tie class! i can't wait to make john a few ties for christmas!

afterwards i decided to walk along queen street. i wanted to buy packaging tape for my backtack swap and for the packages that i send john. i didn't want to use normal, boring scotch tape this time, so i bought these:

aren't they adorable?
i was admiring karyn's shinzi katoh agenda when i went for the knock it off class the other night and upon closer inspection, i discovered that these are shinzi katoh as well. another pleasant surprise!

sigh. i looove all things japanese. japan is in my top three countries (france, japan, germany / and languages to learn: french, german, japanese) to visit (and this is why i love going here). i've finally bought zakka sewing and am waiting for it in the mail. for those who live in canada, it's free shipping for orders over $39 at chapters!
then i went home and it was nice to see my dad back from out of town and yummy dinner on the table.

anyway, back to work tomorrow. i have never been so thankful to have my job. harhar.
have a good week everybody! when you wake up tomorrow, tell yourself: i love my job.
even if you don't mean it, it helps.

ps: woohoo gossip girl tomorrow! pssst rebecca, are you loving it yet?
pps: i'm going to the corporate holiday party and can finally dress up!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

j'ai peur. lots of peur.

for the first time in many months i'm home on a saturday and i've been able to sleep in.
so far i've cleaned the kitchen with my mother and am now trying to tackle my bedroom, specifically the closet. and afterwards the bathroom. hmmm...maybe that's why i haven't been staying home on saturdays. hardeeharhar.
i've made a mistake at work and is now beyond repair. sigh. i know that one learns through his mistakes, but i wish that i've erred in something else other than this. i'm trying to get my mind off it by eating and cleaning, but it's not working. my nerves are shot. and i am soooo scared to go back on monday. argh.
as soon as i get all these saturday chores done i'm going to while away the hours crafting and eating.
i've also started watching heroes. i'm only on the second episode and have a loooong way to go, but i need someting to occupy me while i wait for gossip girl's next episode. it's a bit freaky and had a hard time falling asleep. and although it's the same length as gossip girl, i feel like i've been watching it for hours. hm.
i hope everyone's having a good saturday. we had our first snowfall here a few days ago and it's nice to see that the world is still white with snow. :)

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

it rained the whole day.
and OMG. there's frost on the ground.
that telltale bite in the air is definitely a sign of winter's close arrival.
so adieu, fall.

i had such a lovely day with la meilleure amie today:
- breakfast drivethru at mcdonald's
- humanae vitae at st. mike's (so empowering)
- yummy bento box at avocado for dinner (i want to buy a bento box to use for lunches, instead of tupperware. their gyoza was very tasty.)
- a nice, chilly walk in yorkville
- rigmarole on the train (check little women)
- singing disney songs at the top of our lungs (we grew up on disney). oh and fiddler on the roof.

i'm working on my backtack...oh, kirsty! i hope you like them...i've never made anything like this before but i am thoroughly enjoying myself! :)

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Thursday, November 13, 2008


friday+payday = a very good start to the weekend.

i'm planning to:
- have dinner with mitch tomorrow
- hang out with A on saturday at an all day workshop on humanae vitae and go to the AGO (art gallery of ontario) afterwards. it's free admission for the entire weekend because they've just reopened, after, i believe, 2 years of renovation. so excited! so for those who live in toronto, come on down!
- craft all sunday. i need to. the last time i used my sewing machine was the night before halloween. that's way too long of a separation.
- sleeeeeeeeeeeeep in

everything's fine and dandy at work.
i just need to do my work really slowly because by 3:00 i have nothing else to do anymore.
where i used to work i'd just watch gossip girl. or read blogs.

speaking of gossip girl. i am finally caught up again and i am loving chuck more and more and more and more...sigh.

i also bought burlap. i don't know why. it was 99 cents a meter so i went ahead and bought it.
i'm thinking it might be good to wrap presents with rather than paper.

have a gooooood weekend everyone! :)

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

i am alive.

:D oui, oui, rebecca, i am, and to those who have been wondering about my lack of posts.
i've just been so tired from the new job that the last thing i want to do is type when i get home. i am also still recovering from a cold and cough.

but anyway, i thought i'd talk about the pros & cons of my new job.

let's start with the cons, shall we?

- i've been feeling lonesome, only because i've been missing the people that i have been working with for the past four-five years.
- i have no one to eat lunch with yet. but that's my own fault. i go for solitary walks (to burn at least 1/8 of the massive lunches i've been bringing to work)
- the office building, although very close to harbourfront/the lovely lake, is in the middle of nowhere. it's far away from the hubub of yonge street. it's a long walk to eaton's. and it does not have a concourse level.
- because it is in the middle of nowhere, i must take the streetcar after i take the train. it's not a long ride, but it can be a pretty long wait.
- i have a bigger and better workspace, but i no longer have a cubicle (which is good in a way because it forces me to be more productive). but sucks when i want to do private things like put on my makeup.
- no casual fridays/dress down days for me (this weekend i felt so happy to be wearing jeans!)
- i now have to think about what to wear the night before.
- no more blog reading. or blog updating, as i have mentioned. i wish i could though when there is nothing to do. i have to tell you how much i miss reading all your lovely blogs and it's going to take me a while to get updated!

- the kitchen has a bodecker coffee machine! i love that they have different flavors of coffee - irish, vanilla, hazelnut, breakfast, etc, and my current favorite, caramel. it even has hot chocolate and chicken broth (gross) pods. i am now saving so much money on coffee (and lunch. i've been packing my lunch every night and getting everything ready before i go to bed, this includes switching my bags, pressing my's getting to be a habit, which is also good)
- the kitchen has drawers of forks, knives and spoons. i no longer have to *ahemstealahem* them from wendy's or richtree (richtree was easy access though, hardeeharhar).
- my boss is very generous with the office supplies and tells me that she hopes that they are enough (more than enough! they can last me half a year!).
- i have teal folders. i always thought that folders only came in your typical blue, pink, yellow and natural. today i found out that they also come in gray and black. so classy, i must say.
- my boss ordered me a set of notecards, business cards and notepads with my name. hardeeharhar.
- i am learning to walk fast and run in heels again.
- i now have a toll free and fax number.
- the receptionist always has a bowl of goodies on her desk. this week it's jelly beans. the one with the weird flavors. i love the popcorn jelly.
- i joined the united way group at work. it's going to be fun. one of the things that we are planning to do to raise money is hold a wii tournament.
- i'm learning a lot. i'm planning luncheons, sending out invitations, calling hotels to book conference rooms, ordering lunches, searching for unique places to have a christmas dinner, being in contact with special events and catering coordinators. it's a fun job. a lot of talking. a lot of typing. a lot of googling.

andthatisallisallisall. i miss your blogs, everyone! once i adjust to all this, i'm sure i won't be so tired anymore and will get to read more. :)

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

i started a new job.

which means:
no more updating my blog during the day
or uploading photos
or being up to date with my daily blog reads
for a while.


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Saturday, November 1, 2008

c'etait l'halloween!

yesterday was an awesome halloween!
after several difficulties with the fit of the hood, i finally finished it at midnight.
thank you so much for your encouraging words :)
i did as you said, took a bit of a break, and finished it off.

today i woke up at noon for the first time since christmas 5 years ago.
i have a splitting headache.
but yesterday was good and so much fun.

it was my last day at work yesterday.
(i'll save my last day at work for another post. )
and halloween+last day = no work done at all.

i went as little red. i wore my sleeveless old navy ruffled blouse, the black skirt that i made, and heeled peep toed patent mary janes. instead of carrying a picnic basket, i borrowed my sister's woven baskety looking bag (i don't know what else to call it). i wanted to put some fake blood around my neck, to show that i was eaten by the wolf, but opted against it.
so without further ado, here are the pictures!

doesn't brandon look great? i made his superman logo out of felt and sewed it onto his shirt. and to give him the "windswept" look, i stitched his tie onto his shirt in different places. his glasses used to be shades from the dollar store and he taped a piece of white paper to make it look nerdier.

robbie is a scaryass clown. he used face paint to get the bloody look on his chin. and his shoes were so clunky that you could hear him coming from a mile away. the flower squirts out water too (not shown)!
julie is a "medicine chest". hardeehar. it was a last minute brilliant idea!

after work, i met up with les amis at the grocery store to buy food. we were going to have a soup party but nixed the idea because i had no time to cook. so we bought chicken and wedges and pizzas. yuuuum. and leslie bought bubbly apple cider (to celebrate my new job. harhar. no alcohol.) and an ice cream cake from dq. we were going to watch a scary movie but we ended up talking our heads off until 1 in the morning (some of the topics included canadian and american politics, religion, astrology and horoscopes, dream interpretations, the canadian educational system and gossip girl. hardeeharhar).

i must go as i'm taking my little sister to see high school musical. teehee.
have a great saturday everyone! it's so nice and sunny out!

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

i am having the reds.

the confounded hood.

i'm going crazy/have gone crazy making this hooded cape.

what were you thinking, mel?
just because you:
1) own a sewing machine
2) can read instructions
3) have fabric

does NOT mean that you can make a costume.

in a fit of i-am-going-to-pull-my-hair-out (hardeehar, with the little hair i have left) frustration, i lashed out, ARGH, WHY AM I DOING THIS ANYWAY?!?!?

and my little sister, who is so wise beyond her years, said simply and calmly:

"because it is better to make your own costume than buy it at wal-mart."

she should have her own etsy store.
oh, gilly bean.

how could i have forgotten that?
so with that in mind, à la machine!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008


last year for halloween, because i had cut my hair like a boy, i wanted to wear a wig. so i thought i'd go as svelte, mysterious, demure morticia adams. i bought the wig from party packagers, and to my dismay, the wig was not as straight as it had been pictured on the package! (there are some great tips on how to straighten a wig here)

i combed it out to no avail (which i learned today i wasn't supposed to do) and resorted to being her daughter instead. i braided the wig and put together an outfit from my own closet: an oxford shirt (i would have wanted a peter pan collared shirt), a black 3/4 sleeve shirt, and a jersey skirt from american apparel. presto, you've got wednesday adams!
the great thing about it too was that it didn't look like a costume sans the wig. so i didn't have to change out of anything afterwards.
(les photos are from last year. please excuse the crappy 4.0 megapixel quality.)

it's funny because when i got to work, someone had dressed up as morticia. (yes they stand on desks here at work. we have monthly meetings that are called "standups" where the big boss stands on a desk so that he could address the entire floor.)

with mary, who's dressed up as tonks. i think. i'm not sure. her cubicle was awesome though. she made an actual hogwart's door. perfect against nosey co-workers. harhar.

do you need last-minute halloween ideas?
why not go as the cereal killer? hardeeharhar
or as a box of crayola? this is the perfect group costume.

this year i've decided to go as little red riding hood (i'll be holly next year. please remind me not to cut my hair. harhar). i'm going to fabricland today to get red fabric. i found a great tutorial on how to make a hooded cape. i'll be wearing my black puffy homemade skirt and heeled mary janes and i will be lugging around the family picnic basket.
another funny thing i discovered AFTER i planned my costume for this year, is that alix did something similar for wednesday AND little red right here.
i must be doing something right then. :)
have a great day everyone!
ps: 2 more days till candy!
pps: 2 more days till the fabulous four are reunited!

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

it was a good weekend.


for polaroid lovers like me, check this out. unfortunately it's for mac users only. and i am waiting for the day that they come up with something for normal pcs.

aaaaand, thank you for all your sweet comments, ladies! :)

on friday night, after several attempts to straighten my hair, i gave up and gave it a wash.
which helped, TREMENDOUSLY. i'm actually liking it now. it was definitely the ridiculous amounts of mousse that she massaged into my hair.

it was back to regular goodness in the weekend, despite my lack of sleep. i finished the powerpoint at 3 am, and girlies, i am running on 5 hours of sleep and am ready to drop.
* it was my first class on saturday and i am loving my group of grade eights. they asked lots of questions and kept me on my toes, which i really love!
* the TRENDS event was a huge success! we held it this time at the lovely hart house at uoft. there were so many girls that came that some of them had to stand...this has never happened before! it was so nice being with teensies again. it makes me feel younger and hipper (ahaha. who says that?)
* the bake sale was super fun...and very tasty. i had too many samosas and white chocolate chip cookies.

and someone please save me from etsy.

or do i even want to be saved?
in the span of a week i bought
* more fabric from matatabi
* the adult couture dress and smock blouse (thanks for the tip anabela!)
* and a pair of vintage two-tone spectator heels with tassels
and the shopping isn't even done. i have to buy other supplies for my christmas presents.

i've also signed up for three classes at the workroom:
1) knock it off - we get to learn how to re-create a pattern from a piece of clothing that we have
2) holiday printing party - we get to make a set of holiday cards, gift tags and wrapping paper!
3) sewn men's tie - i finally get to learn how to make a tie for john. i've promised to make him four for christmas! i'm also thinking of making my brothers some for christmas eve.
i am so excited!

i also started making a dress last night and i can't wait to be finished! it's made of knit jersey and has ruffles on the neckline :) i'll make sure to take pics.

thanks your comments again girls. they really made my day!
i hope everyone has a good week :)
4 more days till candy!

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Friday, October 24, 2008

it's friday, but it's not so great.

1) it started off with a bang on the train.
an awful experience with a girl who kept hitting me with her bag. ON PURPOSE.
i can hold my bag in such a way that it won't hit anybody's knees. and if it does, i apologize and move my bag out of the way.
i called her on it and asked her what she was doing.
she said that i:
a) "scowled" at her
b) "hit [her] bag"
i was fast asleep when she hit me the first time. i was more startled. and how could i have hit her if i was, again, asleep?
i told her that i didn't want to argue with her and went back to sleep, after which she tried hitting my knee again. very immature. completely ignored her after. i'm sure she was making faces at me, but sometimes it's more annoying to them when you ignore their attempts to provoke you.

2) had a horrible haircut which i paid a lot for.

HUGE barrel brush+hairspray+bobcut=not a good idea.

i want to cry.
i did...
...after i tried to put it up in a ponytail and my guy co-worker jokingly said that there's not enough hair.
and i didn't think about halloween and my plans to be holly golightly.
i've never cried about my hair before. even when i got it cut really short.

3) i have a powerpoint presentation for tomorrow that is beyond done.
whenohwhen will i ever learn my lesson?

i hope it gets better by the time i leave work. 3 more hours and counting.
i'd love to be able to just go home and make something, but i'm going to be quite the busy bee this weekend, starting tonight:
- must finish presentation for trends
- teach tomorrow morning
- trends event tomorrow afternoon
- bake sale on sunday

check out
- this blog post, shared by johnny. it will make you melt!
- this awesome blog i discovered

have a great friday everyone! :)

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

crafty space #4

happy thursday!
i'm sure that most of you who love to craft and make things have been to alicia paulson's blog. can i tell you how in love i am with:
- the things that she makes
- her photos
- her lifestyle
and how i am very, very much in love with her studio?

i chanced upon her blog probably two years ago, waaaay before i started making things. and ever since then i have been drooling over (ack, not a pretty picture, but you get the idea) her lovely space. alicia kindly gave me permission to share some of her pictures from here.

notice the audrey hepburn picture! :)
yummy, yummy, yummy.

i love the doors, the brightness of the space, its whimsiness, the color of the walls, and how it leads to the garden.
sigh. one day, mel. one day. when my crafting gets pretty serious.
but for now, i'm satisfied with my desk in my room.
what do you love or not like about your working space? it doesn't necessarily have to be for crafting. it could be your homework/study/etc space too :) i'd love to know! :)

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Monday, October 20, 2008

getting ready for lots of making.

hello hello!
i'm having a good morning so far, how is yours?
i think it's because...
* i had a great night in last night! monday evenings, my best friend usually comes over. we have dinner together, and she does her school work (she is in teacher's college) and i do my crafting, with the promise that i will not talk to her (which is difficult sometimes because there's just so much to say and she and i talk a lot. haha). BUT nothing tops having your best friend over and just standing by the counter eating nutella and ice cream right out of the box. she literally made an ice cream sandwich- nutella and ice cream inside this really yummy soft bun. sigh. love you, A.
* it's finally cold enough to wear gloves and a hat, and cold enough to stuff my pants into my boots. harhar.
* and it's really quiet here in the office...i like it that way in the mornings. unless it's a friday afternoon. or when i'm overtiming. then my co-workers and i would belt out queen, madonna & celine dion songs (celine dion songs is one of my guilty pleasures, i have to admit).

on a craftier note, i've started buying supplies and fabric for christmas presents! yeah!

i got these from etsy!

these are sold at the workroom.

i'm thinking of making:

coin purses
little sets of gifts tags/tiny christmas cards
little patchwork pouches
more turd guys/softies for the boys
neckties for men (if i'm able to take classes...i signed up for it but not sure if there's still any space left *crosses fingers*)
throw pillows
zippered pouches

i also have to begin work for the backtack swap.
my very talented swapping partner is kirsty.

hello kirsty! :)

here are a few things that i made last week:

i finally used the cloud fabric to make an envelope throw pillow case. the other pillow beside it is the VERY FIRST thing i've ever made on the sewing machine! it's funny, now that i look back on it, it took me more than an hour to make it. this time it took me 15 minutes to whip this up. measuring out a perfectly sized rectangle took forever though.

nadine, this is part 1 of benjamin's presents (john has the other part and will send it to you with this one). it has its imperfections though, i hope you don't mind! i'll make you a better one next time, but know that this is the first pouch i've ever made and you get to have it. :)

this was for an adorable little girl named jennifer.

and that is all.
i hope you guys have a great day!
and thank you for all your sweet's really, really nice to meet all of you!

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