Bottlecap Magnets

I should start by saying that I am NOT a hoarder. The difference, of course, being shelving. If I were a hoarder – which I am not – my giant tub of used bottlecaps would be on the floor under a pile of old magazines, not organized on a shelf beside a pile of old magazines. Excuse me – vintage magazines.

How I came to have three million bottlecaps is another story for another day. Today, I wanna talk magnets.

I have been waiting to do a magnet project for aaaages, but the opportunity hadn’t presented itself until recently when the lovely Ellen approached me about putting together a craft for an event. This was it – a chance to make a dent in my bottlecap collection by making upcycled bottlecap magnets. It was also an opportunity to do some digital creating, which I’m always hesitant to do because paper and glue is my thing. Could I get the same satisfaction from virtual paper? Turns out I could!

The event that these are for celebrates the new Canada Food Guide, so I wanted to include some of the messaging from the Food Guide (eat with others, eat mindfully), along with some rah-rah-agriculture messaging (and a few puns thrown in for good measure.) Armed with a mouse and some free image downloads, I came up with a series of graphics to go in the bottlecaps.

It was a bit of trail and error to get the template made, but once it was good to go, I came up with 9 different designs to fit my theme and sent them off to the printer. I am absolutely thrilled with how they came out and, to be completely honest, I didn’t really miss the cutting/stamping/gluing part of the process.

After that, it was just a matter of gluing magnets to bottlecaps, punching out the graphics, and assembling the little kits… and making the FIMO canola flowers. (I couldn’t resist getting my hands dirty for at least part of the project.) By the time you read this, 33 dietitians will have the cutest little custom magnet sets on their fridges.

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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…

Canola Harvest Camp Craft 

For the second year in a row, I had the amazingly awesome opportunity to design the craft for the Manitoba Canola Growers’ Harvest Camp.

Each year, 15 “campers” (bloggers, chefs, nutritionists and professional home economists) spend a weekend in September exploring rural Manitoba in search of a greater understanding of where our food comes from, and along the way, they get to meet the people who grow it, raise it and gather it. (I had the privilege of being a camper a few years ago and I can honestly say it was life-changing.)

Last year, the Canola gang contacted me about making a special craft for the campers to create as one of their souvenirs of the weekend. After a little brainstorming, we came up with the idea of a set of charms; each representing the different stops that make up Harvest Camp – everything from a bison farm to a grain elevator. The charms were a big hit last year, so we decided to do it again, with a few tweaks.

To read more about the charms, click here: Canola Harvest Camp Charms – 2017

~ R

Canola Summit Window

The challenge: create a shadowbox filled with 10 charms for the Canola Summit, held this spring at Kelburn Farm. The shadowboxes would be given to each person in attendance as a souvenir and memento of the day.

Playing off the idea of the Harvest Camp charms, I came up with 10 crafts to represent the themes at the Summit – everything from bees, to community, to the big, blue sea.

Click here to read more and see the final project: Canola Summit Window