Thursday, December 31, 2009

I found this blog, junk garden girl somehow, somewhere out there! It's a new favourite! I will definitely be studying the Christmas archives here next year. Wow -- great eye candy!!!!! She has great clothing layouts too. I can't wait to see what she posts when she comes back in early January!

This collection of photos was from a post entitled "Mason Jars for every season"
I have mason jars on my front porch right now that look like this! (well, maybe not on the cool turquoise chair.... but I'm thinking of painting my kitchen chairs this colour)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Favourite Design Blogs

Someone asked me what my favourite design blogs are -- I have so many! I'm not talking about art and musing blogs (like my own), but the blogs that show a glimpse into "dress, design, and decor" around the world. Here are my top 10 favourites:

Dress, design & decor
Made By Girl
Nom, nom, nom
oh, hello friend
(I regularly read about 150 blogs, most on google reader, but I often need to travel to individual blogs to get my total design fix). I don't buy as many deisgn or fashion magazines any more!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Journey into digital....

In January I'm going to take dj Pettitt's online class:

(this is an example of what dj does -- beautiful, non?)
I have always wanted to take a class from dj (I own some of her work), so this is a dream come true. If I can learn even a tiny bit from dj -- I will be thrilled.
The class starts on January 4 -- there is still time for you to sign up and play along with me!
(you need some kind of photoshop -- Elements or the full version-- to take the class) (click here for more information)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

ATC ornaments

(click on the image to see the ATCs a bit larger)
I made Dawn these ornaments as part of our Canadian Chickies ATC ornament exchange -- I also made her one of my owl ornaments and a cd with my favourite holiday songs. I hope that you like them, Dawn!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Solstice!

Of course, as school ends and the holidays begin, I am sick. I'm trying to fight this cold with oranges and rest, so today I'm plopped down on the couch watching HGTV. I should be completing the last two sewing projects (gifts) but I've decided that an IOU or two may be easier on me.

Tonight I plan to celebrate the Solstice by eating cookies, drinking tea and getting all cozy by the tree. There are big celebrations for the festival of lights in Kensington Market, but I'm going to have to pass this year. Are you doing anything to celebrate the longest, darkest night, and the subsequent return to light????

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Simple cards

I've been working on a lot lately, but I can't show any of it because they are Christmas gifts. But I can show you the cards that I've been working on -- I've misplaced all of my (commercially made) Christmas cards, so everyone is getting a handmade one this year. So I've had to make them simple. Still -- they are taking forever to make :)

I just love this Christmas tree -- the stamp is by Oxford ImpressionsThis image is PaperBag Studios -- it is from a tag that my mom made last year :)In my effort to recycle, I have tried to make cards from Starbucks cups and bags. I took a cookie bag and oiled it to make it translucent -- then glued it to a crap of black card and sewed the scrap to a card. Lauren seems to eat at Starbucks a lot, so we have lots of cookie bags. I'll show the ones made from cups tomorrow!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Jolly Sale aftermath

I had a fun day -- it was wonderful to see so many of my friends -- and to meet some people who I only know though blogland! I think that pretty much every person who came to the show bought something from me :) Unfortunately, attendance wasn't great -- I have volunteered to put lots of posters up and make a big sign for next year.

I used to work a lot in aluminum -- I was selling lots of old stock from yesteryear!

Today I'm baking some cookies and making Christmas cards. I'm determined to use lots of rubber stamped images...... I have so many!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A Jolly Sale!

Don't forget that this weekend is:

An Extraordinary Jolly Christmas Sale!

Saturday December 5th
Swansea Town Hall
95 Lavinia Avenue

I will be introducing my new "line" of Christmas ornaments. I will also have many of my aluminum ornaments and tags -- and likely some votive holders too. All for a warm and sparkly Christmas season.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Sew Somerset

Once upon a time, right here in Toronto, 9 friends got together and made some little 3x3 squares all in white. We traded them amongst ourselves, then submitted the results to Sew Somerset. Finally, a year later, we get to see some of those squares in print!
I am so proud to be in my fifth Sew Somerset. Every issue so far! (well, my square isn't actually shown)(it was in the preview that I was sent) but my wrapping is shown, lol
But can someone please tell me: What is the difference between Sew Somerset and Art Quilting Studio????

Want some holiday images?

Beginning today, December 1, Lisa Vollrath, at Ten Two Studios is starting her annual image countdown -- you get a new fun holiday themed image sheet to play with each day!

If you can't wait for the images, then you can buy them, and many more at her shop!

Tim Holtz does a "12 Tags of Christmas" While this is not a giveaway, he show how to make 12 different festive tags. He also gives away many prizes. Starting today :) (you can also check out the How to's of 2007 and 2008 on his site!)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Creating Joy

Today I'm puttering around making ornaments. This afternoon we're going to the One of a Kind Show! I'm hoping to find some treasures -- and lots and lots of chocolate for my dad. This is the real start of the Christmas season for me. I sold at the show for 10 years and I miss it so much! But the steady paycheck, and the joy that I get from teaching makes it worth it.....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Extraordinary Jolly Sale!

Our annual Extra-Ordinary Jolly Christmas Sale—organized by Karen Arts—will take place on Saturday December 5th 2009 from 10 am till 4 pm at the Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavinia Avenue, Toronto Ontario M6S 3H9.For instructions on how to get to Swansea Town Hall, just follow this link.

Here’s a list of the artisans and their nifty creative stuff.:
Susan Williamson will be selling mixed media art, digital prints, collage sheets, new CDs of images and her book: Creating from the Inside Out.
Karen Arts – Works of Arts
Beautiful and unusual gemstone bead and silver, one of a kind jewelry
Carmi Cimicata
Resin, paper and fibre embellishments, buttons, magnets and baubles
Mary Ambrose
Eclectic / vintage style jewelry and home accessories
Marissa Decepida-Wong – MDW Designs
Collection of unique jewelry, hand-made cards and art pieces.
Aracely Cruz
Quilled art and collection of exquisite ribbon jewelry
Sharon Ginsberg
Fabric boxes, vintage, framed tree ornaments, doggie knits
Martha Brown
Soft and sparkly ornaments hand-crafted from fabric and aluminum
(I swiped this information from Susan's blog -- thanks Susan!)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Layered, Tattered, Stitched

Ruth's new book is finally here -- and I LOVE it!!!! If you like fabric collage, you'll love Ruth's book. If you ever get a chance to take a class from Ruth, take the class! I have taken fabric and jewelry classes from Ruth and she is a fabulous teacher
Ruth is teaching at ArtUnraveled in Phoenix, next August, which has registration open NOW -- I'm taking "The Journey" from her (I hope, if my registration gets there in this busy holiday season) I'm going to be highlighting the classes that I'm taking over the next few weeks. I vowed only to take fabric and jewelry classes, but I'm not :)


I am SO excited that the Kindle is now available in Canada (you said it would never happen) WooHoo!! Check it out on -- You can't get it yet on -- but now you can order it from the US and now you can load it up here too! I am definitely getting one after Christmas! It comes to about $311. 00 US (including shipping and customs fees) and each book is about 5.99-11.99 US

Why am I so excited? I tried Maija's and It ROCKS! It's not like reading a computer screen -- no glare, and the background is an adjustable grey -- not stark white-- and you can read it outside. I can carry it on the subway, and when I travel.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My talented mother!

Do you remember when I showed my paper doll that I made when I was at my parent's home? Well, lots of people wanted to see my mom's paper dolls. Maybe I didn't want to show them because she would outshine me, did you ever think of that? Well, in the interest of sharing beautiful things, here are my mom's dolls. Aren't they wonderful? They just blow mine out of the water.
As you can see, the backs are just as special as the fronts:I love these girls -- they look like they got into their mother's closet and are playing dress up!Not a great photograph of Lady Luck, sorry mom.
My mom is going to have the most beautiful tree for her "All dolled up" Christmas!
We have been asked to each bring a doll. I'll likely bring my cloth-paperclay doll if I ever finish her, but I've already sent my Prim Annie!If you have time -- go and look at Nicole's dolls -- they are my favourite Annies on the internet. And she's thinking of quitting making them! Go buy one now! I'd love another one for Christmas! Hint hint.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's a Holly Jolly Christmas!

Today was the Santa Claus Parade here in Toronto. It is now officially the holiday season here. I'm playing Christmas music and making ornaments.. WooHoo!

I've decided to do a small Christmas show here in Toronto this year. Mark your calendars!

An Extraordinary Jolly Christmas Sale!
Saturday December 5th
Swansea Town Hall
95 Lavinia Avenue

I will be introducing my new "line" of Christmas ornaments. I'm considering this a test market. You might see them at the One of a Kind Show next year! I will also have many of my aluminum ornaments and tags -- and likely some votive holders too. All for a warm and sparkly Christmas season.
If you have any questions about the show, please contact the organizer,
Karen Arts
karen (dot) arts (at)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Quilting Arts Gifts

Does anyone know where I can find a copy of Quilting Arts Gifts in Toronto? I've been looking for months.......
(late edit -- Thank you to my wonderful friendHeather in California who found it there for me and sent it to me. I'm still not sure if it ever came to Canada......) (and thank you to Vivian and Colette who offered to track it down in the US for me too!)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

El Día de los Muertos

Yes, it is the Day of the Dead, All Saints Day, All Souls Day. The Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated in Mexico (and by Latin Americans living in the United States and Canada). The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration occurs on November 1st and 2nd in connection with the Catholic holiday of All Saints' Day which occurs on November 1st and All Souls Day which occurs on November 2nd. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.
José Guadalupe Posada created a famous print of a figure that he called "La calavera catrina" ("calavera of the female dandy"), as a parody of a Mexican upper class female. Posada's striking image of a costumed female with a skeleton face has become associated with the Day of the Dead, and Catrina figures often are a prominent part of modern Day of the Dead observances.
I made these fantastic banners for an Altered Art Obsession swap -- I got the images from itkupilli -- check out the store -- she has wonderful digital images. They are very freakish. I am just loving her zombies too.

I'm really enjoying the freedom of being able to just join things when I want, and not having the pressure of someone's book to work in. I had no idea that I was getting so burnt out.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


You'll likely see quite a few dolls on my blog in the upcoming months. My mom's Christmas theme is "All dolled up" .
At Thanksgiving (Canadian, lol). My mom and I spent an afternoon making paper dolls. Here are my two:
The images are Catherine Moore's Character Construction rubber stamps. They are so fun to work with.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And the winner is......

Well, hold on , I have to light the candles...
then after I blow out my candles,
Ray will pick a name from one of my favourite vintage bowls.....His head is turned the other way, so he's not peeking......Here it is!
Congratulations Jennifer!
Jennifer also has a giveaway happening over at her blog. It is super cool. I really want to win, so maybe you shouldn't go over there and enter. Oh, all right, go on over...... Good Luck!

Etsy Update! Owls!

I've added these super cute owl ornaments to my etsy shop.

Also: you have until 10pm tonight (Wednesday, October 28) (toronto time -- Eastern Standard)
to enter the giveaway below)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Poe Day 13 - and a giveaway

Remember this?Well, it's finally time to reveal what it turned into.
Well, it's all wrapped up in this:(I used crumpled waxed paper and sewed on a card with an imaged that I stamped. I think that the stamp is from Red Lead). So I made this pin keep. Actually, the felt can be removed from the middle and it can be a little "pocket book" Or a signature of paper can be sewn in to make a little book.
This is the cover:(the Raven is actually sparkly, but you can't tell in this photo)
inside the front cover:
inside the back cover:the back cover:
I'm going to give away one of these to one lucky commenter on this post. You don't have to be a blogger, but you do have to leave me some way to reach you. I'm going to draw the lucky person on Wednesday, October 28, which just happens to be my birthday!
(I'm going to draw the name at 10 pm EST)