Smash the Patriarchy

In honour of International Women’s Day, I am excited to reveal my 2019 IWD collage – “Smash the Patriarchy.”

I know I say this every year, but this might be one of my favourite pieces. It’s pretty and pink and these two gals have had exactly ENOUGH.

(Enough of what? This article from Crystal Jackson on Medium sums it up beautifully: On Wednesdays We Smash the Patriarchy.)

A framed print of this piece will be up for auction at MAWA’s annual Over the Top cupcake party and art auction, taking place on March 17 at 611 Main Street. If you’ve never been to an Over the Top event, make this your year to check it out. In addition to a TON of art up for grabs, there’s a silent auction, a raffle and ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT CUPCAKES. The event helps support the incredible work that MAWA does to support women’s art… and it’s a great time, to boot!

This print is also available at Caked With Love during my month-long show in the café. (It’s one of 49 pieces that I have on display until the end of March!)

…or just contact me and I’ll hook you up with a print.

And, while you’re here, check out my previous IWD art:

2018 – Who said anything about a prince?*
2017 – Nevertheless, she persisted.*

*prints available

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Canola Bookmarks

I’m always so excited when the Canola gang asks me to come up with a fun little project. The wheels in my head start turning and before long, I have a plan.

Nine times out of ten, however, the “plan” involves a technique I have never tried or a product that I’m not sure exists. (Evidently, my brain doesn’t care about these minor details.) Last time, it was yellow beads; this time, canola flowers. I mean, how hard could it be to find clay, wood, metal, fabric, or plastic canola flowers…? Turns out, all I had to do was order a four-petal flower fondant cutter set and make my own out of canola-yellow polymer clay. As one does.

This particular project was for a recent #canolaconnect event, celebrating the launch of Claire Tansey’s brilliant book Uncomplicated. Everyone in attendance got to take home a copy of the book and a handmade bookmark!

On a scale of one to oh-god-why, I would put this project somewhere in the beginner crafter range. Working with polymer clay is not unlike working with cookie dough – you cut it, shape it and bake it – and the rest of the project is just stringing beads tying knots. (Pro tip: ream your beads first!)

For the canola event, I provided the bookmarks as kits and everyone got to assemble their own. It was lots of fun and, as always, so awesome to see people crafting their little hearts out – especially the craft-adverse.

All in all, I’m super excited by the way these turned out. The four-string design means you can mark up to four recipes in your cookbook – great for when you are trying to plan a multi-course meal or a week’s worth of dinners.

And, honestly, they are heckin’ cute. I love the little pop of colour the canola flower gives to my cookbook shelf! I’m almost tempted to make bookmarks for ALL of my cookbooks…

Craft Tools That Will Change Your Life: The Bead Reamer

Welcome to our first installment of “Craft Tools That Will Change Your Life.” Will there be a second installment? I can’t promise anything.

This stabby little marvel is called a bead reamer and, despite its giggle-inducing name, is one of the handiest pieces of equipment that you can add to your crafting arsenal. EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT A BEADER.

Wait. What? It’s ok. I’ll get to that.

The sad fact of crafting is that into every crafter’s life, a few bad beads will fall. Sometimes it’s more than a few beads. Sometimes it’s the whole @*&$-ing package.

You know what I mean – the cheap wooden beads with too-small or weirdly shaped or non-existent holes. Try as you might, you just can’t. get. the. string. through.

So, after a bit of a struggle and some colourful language, the offending bead goes into the reject cup or, worse, gets tossed behind the couch or into a nearby houseplant. What’s a girl to do?

Say hello to the bead reamer (giggle), your affordable answer to wonky bead holes!

Just look at the difference it made in these (cheap) wooden beads! On the left are the beads straight out of the package; the same beads, freshly-reamed, are on the right.

Want beads like the ones on the right? It couldn’t be simpler.

  1. Stick the pointy end into the hole of the janky bead.
  2. Twist, gently working the bead up the shank (giggle), if necessary.
  3. Repeat on the other side of the hole.
  4. Enjoy your perfectly usable bead.

20190116_110358.jpgSee all those teeny scratches in the metal? They’re just abrasive enough to file rough edges, get rid of bead boogers and open the bead hole, without causing any damage.

Starting a project with wonky beads? Take a few minutes to mindlessly ream all your beads (sorry, not sorry) and your crafting will go a LOT faster, I promise.

I picked my bead reamer up at Michael’s for under $10. ($9.99 less 40% – remember to use those coupons, kids!) So far, it has saved me at least 10 times that in rejected/discarded beads and general frustration.

Also important to note: In my experience, this particular reamer works only on wood and clay beads; but, to be honest, I’ve only had trouble with those two materials. If you have metal or glass beads with too-small holes, buy finer string or wire.

I kid! There actually are reamers made for glass and gemstone beads. They’re a bit fancier, with much thinner shanks and (I kid you not) a diamond-dust coating that has to be used wet. I am nowhere near that hardcore.

Other uses for the bead reamer? I’m glad you asked.

It’s a sharp, pointy stick, so there’s that. You can use it for poking holes in things, obviously, but it’s also super-handy for positioning little bits of stuff, placing stickers and, of course, self-defense. I’ll update this list as I remember more…

Ready, Set, Boo!

Halloween is just around the corner and I have three new projects to help you get ready for spookin’ season. Each one is super-easy and super-affordable, thanks to some homemade craft products and dollar store supplies.

Click the links below for full instructions and remember to tag #smallcraftwarning in your crafty posts on social media!

Project: Halloween Votive Holders
Even the littlest ones can help with these easy, colourful votive holders, made with homemade Podge (recipe included.) Light ’em up with flameless tealight candles for a safe and happy halloween!

Project: Spooky Ghosts
Don’t worry – these are friendly ghosts! And, thanks to a little homemade fabric stiffener (recipe included), they don’t come with a scary price tag.

Project: Scary Soap
Make this and quietly leave it beside the sink…

 

As Seen on TV – Upcycled Jewelry Display

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to talk about upcycling on CTV Morning Live. I took a few projects with me, but this one has received the most attention. Made from a kitchen drawer and a handful of salvaged hardware, it’s an awesome project, perfect for beginners or anyone with a desire to turn trash into treasure!

Click here to learn how to make it: Upcycled Jewelry Display

Who said anything about a prince?

This year’s contribution to the MAWA “Over the Top” auction is quite possibly my favourite. Of course, I say that every year.

Some years I go with a political message, some years I am inspired by an inspirational quote – this year, I went with straight-up cheekiness. I think it suits me.

The original collage will be auctioned off at MAWA. If you want to get your hands on it, make plans to be at the auction on March 18. Full details are here.

After the auction, I will have limited-edition prints for sale, right here and via my Instagram page. How limited? There are only nine up for grabs! Message me for details.

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Nevertheless, She Persisted

 

I’m beginning to lose track of how many of these gals I have made for the annual MAWA “Over the Top” cupcake party and art auction. 6? 8? 10?

This is my 2017 contribution – “Nevertheless, She Persisted”

To give you a little background on the quote – or a refresher if you’ve forgotten the story – it comes from a debate in the US Senate in February of 2017. Senator Elizabeth Warren was speaking against Jeff Sessions’ confirmation to Attorney General and, as part of her speech, read a letter written by Coretta Scott King in 1986 that denounced Sessions (who at the time was nominated to federal court judge.)

Senator Warren was interrupted several times and was told to take her seat, preventing her from finishing. Later, Senate Majority Leader (and all-around fun guy), Mitch McConnell said “Senator Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Naturally, feminists and Warren’s supporters turned McConnell’s butthurt words into a rallying cry/hashtag and I just had to use them for this piece (which, incidentally, I created on International Women’s Day!) Suck it, McConnell.

 

The original sold at the MAWA auction, but I have a few limited-edition framed prints available for $35/each. Contact me to order!

 

Can I hold that photo for you?

Or business card or concert ticket or…?

photo holders cardFor as long as I have been crafty, I have been moderately obsessed with Mod Podge. I’ve used it for full sized pieces, like chairs and cabinets, all the way down to my signature Domino Pins. Be warned: if it stands still long enough, I will stick paper to it.

My latest project: fun wire photo holders with Mod Podge’d wooden bases. They’re easy, inexpensive and, most of all, cute AF.

Click here for full instructions, or contact me for a custom order.