Saturday, 26 December 2020

DIY Earring Display

My statement earring collection may be out of control...

You may or may not know, that I cut all my hair off.  Yep, I'm one of those girls who, in lockdown, decided to go for the big chop.  And since then, I've been obsessed with statement earrings.  So I started making them.  And then, selling them here.  

As a result, I've increased my earring collection immensely.  And they were sitting in a box.  Which was frustrating to find to wear.  So, I challenged myself to make an earring display out of what I have in my house.  I couldn't buy anything new to create this, and I think it turned out well for repurposed items. 

To make this display I used 2 small jute canvasses, a roll of natural-coloured ribbon, some of those pearl stickers, a picture hanging kit and some glue.  That's it!  Its pretty sturdy, and it holds a lot of earrings- evidently- but I can still see all the pairs I have to choose which ones I want to wear on any given day.

And then I hung up my necklaces to complete my jewelry display.  I like it hanging over my dresser so that I can choose my accessories after I'm dressed.  

Not that I'm getting dressed all that much these days.  But when it's time to get dressed again, I'll be ready.

Monday, 23 November 2020

Pine Needle Basket-Weaving

When I was in university, I majored in a liberal arts type major.  When I was with my science or engineering friends they would introduce me and say my major was basket weaving.  Little did they know that I would grow to love basket weaving, and looking back, I would have majored in it if I could have.

ANYWAYS, a few years ago, I learned that my grandfather was bi-racial like I am- he was Black and Indigenous- which is really cool.  I started researching about that part of my history, and talking to members and elders from my grandad's tribe in NC.  I learned a lot in those conversations.  While researching the arts that this group does, I came across pine needle basket weaving.  I thought it was really interesting- that the throw away part of the tree could be harvested and used to make baskets is really neat.  I looked up some tutorials, and started weaving.  It takes a bit to get the hang of it, but by the time I finished my first basket, I was feeling pretty good about it.  

I spent some time this late summer and fall collecting pine needles.  I live in Canada now, on the Eastern part of the country where the types of pines that we would have in NC are not available here.  Where Southern Indigenous groups would use Ponderosa or Longleaf Pines, which don't grow in Ontario.  So I used needles from the Red Pine with are considerably shorter (by like half) which means weaving them is a little tougher, but still doable.  Because the needles I use are shorter, I make smaller baskets.  

It is pretty fascinating to make something truly from scratch.  I had to forage for the needles, sort them, remove the fascicle sheaths (the part that attaches them to the tree), wash them, boil them and then I could use them to weave.   My house smelled like pine for a while... Luckily Don likes the smell.  

I also may have made Don come and get needles with me.  He actually liked it.  That was actually a fun day.  

Depending on what I want the basket to look like, I start with a wooden piece for the centre or not.  This one, I used a laser cut out flower for something different.  I weave with wax covered thread, and I use a plastic straw as my gauge to keep my coils even.  I did love sitting outside and weaving in the sun.  

And this is the basket all finished!  I love how it turned out.  Its cute, and I painted the wooden centre to match the thread.

And I made a little basket with black thread and no centre, that I really loved.  I love the bowl shape, so a lot of my baskets are that shape.  These baskets are very sturdy, but little.  And useful.  I couldn't believe how useful these little baskets are.

I've made about 6 of these so far.  They are relaxing, if a little time-consuming, and I think cute.  Once they dry out, they turn this really pretty reddish color.  This is one of my more rewarding crafts.  I feel more connected to the artisans that would have made these in the past and currently. Which is super cool.  


Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Macrame All the Way!

I love learning new skills.  And I needed a plant hanger.  So I took up macrame and added another craft to my craft-lexicon.  Its relaxing.  But its not passive.  Its a lot of reaching (especially if you are working on a large piece).  But the results are really nice.  Its not the cheapest of hobbies, thicker rope is pretty pricey, so you don't want to waste it.  

But it is kinda quick, and the things you can make are really nice.  And its pretty quick to learn.  You can make nice things with 2 knots, and then you can learn a bunch of knots if you are so inclined.

This is the first thing I made.  I went for it.  And I learned a lot while making this, even though it only used 3 knots.  It hangs in my bedroom as part of Operation: Macrame my bedroom.  I'm going for a whimsical, but light theme for my bedroom, and this def fits.  It is pretty large too.  A little ambitious for my first macrame hanging, but I'm glad I powered through.

The other hanging I made for my bedroom is this plant hanger.  I got this lovely pot at the nursery I buy my plants from.  And its looks lovely.

I have a lot of plants.  So learning this has allowed me to hang my plants around.  One of my friends said it looks like "a hug for a plant." It does.

I have enough plant hangers, so I started looking for things I could make with knotted rope.  So I started making these coasters since I wanted some for our nightstands.  And I think they looked pretty cute.

I really enjoyed learning this, and I'm thinking of other ways I can incorporate macrame into my crafts.  Ooooh, maybe a lamp shade?

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Hand Sewn Patches (Iron-On because I did enough sewing)

For the past few weeks, I've been obsessed with embroidering iron-on patches for my jacket.  

You see, I couldn't find my favourite denim jacket when I was changing my closet over to fall and winter clothing (because I have a small closet, I store off-season clothes).  I was really sad, and I knew I'd miss it, so I bought a new one.  But, then I found it-- Of course I did.  So now I have one that I want to sew patches onto.  And since my tastes run, ahem, weird, I wanted to make my own.  And that's how it started.

I still haven't figured out my style.  I like super detailed things, so the patches I've made have a lot of details.  I waver between botanical illustrations, and graffiti.  Extreme. 

This bee was the first one I completed.  It was, ah, a little ambitious for my first one, but I like how it turned out.  

The process is kind of long though.  First I need an idea of a patch I want to make.  Then I sketch it out in a notebook, or on some paper.  Then I ink up the sketch so that I can see the lines to trace it onto the cloth. I trace it onto the cloth (I use cotton broadcloth for the backing).  I put my cotton and my stabilizer fabric onto the hoop, and start sewing.  I mostly stitch at night.  Its pretty calming.  

I've been saying "Dope" a lot since I got this shirt from my aunt:

So, you know... it made its way into my art.  And just because I think it so pretty, here's my organized embroidery floss container:

Sigh.  I love it when things are in rainbow order.  

Monday, 27 April 2020

Made: 3D Shadowbox Cards

Time for another tutorial!  For some reason, the sound in this one is not... great.  I'm not sure why; I used the same microphone.  Ah, technology.  So awesome, and so annoying at the same time.

Just like Quarantine (nice segue?), I made some Happy Mail for people since we're still in Quarantine, and found out that schools will be closed until May 31st 2020 now.  However, today there is supposed to be an announcement About the plan to "open up society" again.  I have no plans in going out until its safe again.  So, there's that.

ANYWAYS, tutorial!  I filmed a tutorial on how to make these cards.  They are fun to make, and I made a couple of them with some of my paper stash.

Heh, "I don't need therapy, I talk to my plants."  Would be funny if it weren't very true of me and my quarantine experience.  I even named my plants.  When they droop and need water, I call them drama queens.  Ah, I have fun.

Here are the materials you will need to make your own Shadowbox cards:

  • 1 piece of card stock cut to 8.5" x 11"
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Paper trimmer (not necessary but nice to have)
  • Scoring board (again, not necessary but nice to have)
  • Bone folder
  • Die cuts or stickers to decorate your card
  • Foam tape
  • Cut Card stock into 2 pieces, 1- 8.5" x 8.5" and 1- 2.5" x 8.5"
  • On the 8.5" x 8.5" piece, score on each side at 0.5", 1", 1.5", 2" 
  • Score on 2 opposite side at 2.5" and 6" (these are a cutting guide)
  • On the 2.5" x 8.5" piece, score at 1", 2" 5" and 8"
  • Liner pieces for the inside of the card measure 3" x 3" and 3.25" x 3.25"
Template- Cut away the pieces in grey.

And the video tutorial:

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Quarantine Food Diary: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Loaf

Welp.  This is all your fault California Girl.  I had to make some.

I saw this peanut butter bread on another blog, and INSTANTLY got a craving. Its doesn't take much to make me crave peanut butter.

I was in a training session and we were introducing ourselves with one of those silly games-- you know, the kind that no one seems to want to do, but we all go along with it anyways-- and we had to talk about our dream meal.  People had some really fancy foods in their fantasy meal: steak with potatoes and fiddlehead greens; a grandmother's chicken and dumpling stew with a martini or whatever.  And then it got to my turn.

I said peanut butter.  'Cause that's my favourite food!  I have simple tastes.  Ok, many not such simple tastes... more a 6-year-old's palate.

So if someone has a recipe for peanut butter ANYTHING, I'm down.  I'm going to make it.  If there's a chance I could add chocolate to it, then its definitely happening.  

I didn't stick to the recipe, because apparently it wasn't that peanut buttery.  That's just not ok.  Also, I'm not a vegan-- but my husband is gluten-free/ dairy-free so this is how I made it.

Makes one loaf.
Prep Time: 20 mins Bake time: 60 mins


  • 3/4 to 1 cup peanut butter (You choose your level of PBness- the more PB, the moister your cake)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 AP flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup milk, I used almond milk
  • 1 cup (or way more) chocolate chips (reserve some to sprinkle on top)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.  Grease a loaf pan or line with parchment paper. 
  2. In one bowl, mix the peanut butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla until well mixed.
  3. Whisk dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  Combine milk and yogurt in a 3rd bowl.
  4. Add 1/2 the dry mix to the peanut butter mixture, mix well, then add 1/2 the yogurt mixture.  Alternate adding the dry and yogurt mix once more until just combined.  
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips, and spoon into loaf pan.  Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
  6. Bake for an hour, until a toothpick poked into the loaf comes out clean.  
Should keep for a week in an airtight container.

One confession:  I didn't have enough chocolate chips, so I took other chocolate I had from a box I got for Valentine's day, and chopped that up to put inside, and used the chips for the top.  It may have been too much chocolate  It was the right amount.

Ok, two confessions: This did not last as long as it should... About 3 days in my house.  So I don't really know how long it will keep.  Maybe freeze some if you're not a PB and chocolate fiend.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Quarantine Thoughts- Part 1

  1. I should miss going places more than I do.  Right?  I think I may be built for lockdowns.  I don't miss going outside.  I don't miss restaurants, parks, movie theatres... Any of it.  I like being able to stay in and not be judged for it- you know, the people who say "but its such a nice day outside!"  

  2. We are out of meat, and milk and almost eggs.  We order our food more than 2 weeks in advance, and usually don't get the entire order.  I can't go into the stores because I'm high risk due to my lung condition; so I'm at the mercy of the staff.  It's stressful.  I'm lucky though, because if we are really stuck, D can go in and pick up things and knock down old people if necessary. (joking. sort of.) 

  3. FREAKING HOARDERS! Why do you need 1000 rolls of TP? So that other can't get any?  Then they feel the need to hoard too, and then no one can get anything because you drive up scarcity.  Think, people!

  4. I think its pretty funny that people who thought they could be profiteers with the TP and hand sanitizer are stuck with all the stuff they bought.  This one grocery manager basically told people "tough titties" for buying too much TP, and no they can't return it.  Ah, sweet justice.

  5. I was talking to D and I wondered, "If it was the end of the world, would be even know?  If its not a huge event, but a virus that moves through the population, how long would it be before we knew it was the beginning of the end?  What would be the signs?"  Isn't that a happy thought?  No more dystopian books for me for a while.

Friday, 17 April 2020

Now on Bloglovin'!

Hey there! Since I'm into reading new blogs, I signed up to Bloglovin'. I thought, if you're interested in a random-blog with stuff to do, you could follow me there.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Quarantine Food Diary: Homemade Granola Formula

The food situation during this Quarantine is not ideal for me... I'm unable to go into grocery stores due to being so high risk for complications if I get COVID-19 so I have to depend on the pick-up service and that hasn't gone... smoothly.  No shade to the workers who are doing their best; its just we've had to get creative with meals since we can only get food every 2 and a half weeks.

So naturally, things are going to run out.  Like my favourite granola.  And it's out of stock because the company is having difficulty sourcing ingredients.  So... I made my own.  And its pretty good.

I thought I would share the formula- not a recipe per se as you control everything about this granola.  Don't like it sweet?  You adjust the sweetener. Don't have any almonds?  that's cool, I've made it with every nut on hand- even salted peanuts and it was pretty good.  This is a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure recipe, hence me calling it a formula.

This granola is everything you store bought granola is.  You can eat it with yogurt, milk, other milks... I think you will really like it.  And it's easy to make.

Stephanie's Granola Formula


  • 3 cups oats (for gluten-free use GF oats, or popped rice cereal, or puffed quinoa.  Most grains will work here)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (or pecans pieces; walnuts [but only a 1/4 cup they can be bitter]; peanuts, any nut you have on hand.  I use salted nuts once, just use 1/4 cup and increase the sweetener to compliment the salty.  It good if you like the salty/sweet combo.)
  • 1 cup mixed seeds (I used 1/4 cup flax, 1/4 cup chia, 1/4 cup pepitas/ green pumpkin seeds and 1/4 cup sunflower.  You can use any combination that you have, but I would go too heavy on the flax seeds.)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup dry sweetener (Your choice.  Brown sugar, white sugar, stevia, What ever.  You can even use liquid sweetener like Maple Syrup, or honey-- just note that your granola will be stickier than if you use a dry sweetener.  Use the amount to your taste.  Or go hardcore and have no sweetener at all!)
  • 1/2 oil (I used coconut oil that I melted in the microwave, but you can use vegetable oil, melted butter/ margarine, flax oil, corn oil, even olive oil but it will have a distinct taste of the oil if you use a heavy oil like that- not bad, just noticeable.)
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon (optional, but nice)
  • 1 cup of any after baking add-ins you might like (raisins, dried fruit, coconut flakes (if using sweetened cut sugar to 1/4 cup) 


  • Heat oven to 350F and line a lasagna pan or 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Or don't line it if you like washing dishes.
  • In a large bowl, add the oats, nuts, seed, sweetener, spices and oil and mix so that the oil coats everything.
  • Spread on the pan(s) and bake for 15-20 mins, then flip and mix with a spatula, and put back in the oven to bak for 10-15 mins more.
  • Take out of the oven, and let cool, stir while cooling to avoid clumps- unless you like clumps, then rock on.
  • Store in air-tight container for up to 3 weeks. 

I really like it and its not too labour intensive so I make it a lot now.  My granola bill has significantly reduced too.  Not like I had a huge granola budget before... ANYWAYS, you should try it.  Its great!

I like my granola with yogurt and bananas.  How do you eat your granola? 

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Made: 3x3 Card and Card Holder

Sometimes you just want to make a bunch of little gifts to give to people so that they can have a bright spot in their day. Since its week 4 of Quarantine for me, I decided to make little things to give to the people that help me get food, and deliver medicine to me just so that they have one little nice thing in this dreary time.

So I made a tutorial, just in case you want something quick and cute to make to give to someone who could use a pick-me-up.


1 12" x 12" sheet of 3" x 3" cut aparts (I used the Craft Smart Llama Love)
1- 6 1/2" x 7 1/2" solid coloured cardstock
1- design paper cut to 3 1/4" x 4"
1- design paper cut to 3 1/4" x 1 1/2"
5- kraft card stock (or any colour for card bases) cut to 6" x 3"
5 3x3 envelopes
Ribbon to decorate (optional)
Paper Trimmer (optional)


Who are some people that you can make these for?

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Made: DIY Journals

I thought that I would try binding a book, so I made a little journal from scratch.  It was quite the ordeal-- and the video I taped was not helpful.  I should post it purely for entertainment value-- but it would make all actual book diners (bookies? no... that's something else) cringe with anger.  So you will have to settle for pictures of my final (finally!) project.

For materials I used American Crafts "Wildflower" paper collection (which is really hard to find!), some chipboard and plain white paper.

Because I like pockets in my notebooks, I put on in and added some uplifting cards to remind me that this Q-Tine can't last forever.

I used the We R Memory Keepers Bookbinding tool to put it together.  It was pretty easy to use, and it comes with everything you need to bind your first book (Even thread- even though the reviews say it doesn't.).

I used some embroidery thread that I swiped across a beeswax candle for more slide as I sewed the binding.  Sometimes its nice to have a pop of colour where you aren't expecting it.

If you want to make your own journal, here are some tutorials that are way better then what I would have come up with.  I'm going to follow the experts for the next one I make.

Sea Lemon Book Binding Stitches- Jen is a book binder extraordinaire.  She has a whole playlist on book making for every style.

SundayMornings- Journal making 3 Ways- She gives you 3 different styles of journals AND step-by-step instructions on making them using what you have on hand.

DIY Art Journal for Beginners- Johanna uses an old book as the start of her journal-- way to recycle all those books you are clearing out since the big clean you did while being at home!

If you are anything like me- you have many notebooks- but being able to make your own is great.  You can make a notebook that suits your style and needs!  I will be trying this again.

Have you ever made a book?  Are you a book binder?  Any tips to share?

Monday, 30 March 2020

Made: Magazine file-style box

Let's make something!  I'm stuck at my place, self-isolating and wanted to do some organizing.  Can't go out to buy containers, so, like any good crafter I made one!  This one is much better than what I would buy; where would I find a taco box anyways?

I recorded a video for the method I used to make this box, but I zoomed past the materials and measurements, so here they are:

Materials needed:

(A kit for this project is available at
  • 2 pieces of 12 x 12" medium-to-heavyweight chipboard or 4 pieces 8.5 x 11" to make the same size box I made in the video (you can use cereal boxes in a double layer, or cardboard, or if you are in the GTA you can order from here )
  • 2 12 x 12" pieces of solid coloured card stock (any paper will work though-  If its thin, you will need some tape to help strengthen your corners)
  • 1 sheet 12 x 12" design paper (You can use anything here too: wrapping paper, construction paper, paint, a gift bag- something you like the look of)
  • Scissors, craft knife or paper trimmer (something to cut with)
  • Thick glue (any white glue should work, I use Tacky glue from the Dollar Tree)
  • A ruler
  • A pencil


From the chipboard:

  • 2 pieces cut 9" x 7" (22.9 cm x 17.8 cm) for the front and back (to cut the slope: measure 2 inches or 5 cm in from the top left corner and mark with pencil.  Measure 4" or 10 cm from the bottom right of the panel and mark it.  Connect the dots with a diagonal line and cut on that line.
  • 1 piece cut 9" x 2"22.9 cm x 5 cm) for the spine of the box
  • 1 piece cut 7" x 2" (17.8 cm x 5 cm) for the bottom of the box 
  • 1 piece cut 4" x 2" (10 cm x 5 cm) for the front of the box

From the solid paper (for the gussets):

  • 2 strips of card stock or paper 9" x 2" (22.9 cm x 5 cm)
  • 2 strips of card stock or paper 7" x 2" (17.8 cm x 5 cm)
  • 2 strips of card stock or paper 4" x 2" (10 cm x 5 cm)
  • 2 strips of card stock or paper 2" x 2" (5 cm x 5 cm)

From the designer paper (what ever you are using to decorate the box with):

  • 2 pieces cut 9" x 7" (22.9 cm x 17.8 cm) or if you want a border you can substrate 1/2" (1.3 cm from all measurements) )for the front and back (to cut the slope: measure 2 inches or 5 cm in from the top left corner and mark with pencil.  Measure 4" or 10 cm from the bottom right of the panel and mark it.  Connect the dots with a diagonal line and cut on that line.
  • 1 piece cut 9" x 2"22.9 cm x 5 cm) for the spine of the box
  • 1 piece cut 7" x 2" (17.8 cm x 5 cm) for the bottom of the box 
  • 1 piece cut 4" x 2" (10 cm x 5 cm) for the front of the box

And to put it all together, here's the video!

I would love to know how yours turned out!  Let me know in the comments below!