Tuesday, 25 June 2013


I know some of you have been patiently following along as I prepared decorations for my son's graduation.

I know I promised to post pictures of the event with everything in place.

When I walked into the hall, it was nothing at all like what they had told me.  The plan flew out the window and we had to readjust everything.  Luckily, they had two little dividers in the hall just sitting in a corner, so I quickly claimed those to make the best of things.  My big plans for the cake table got downgraded to just this one garland with a backdrop of ferns...
...and most of the other garlands got put to use in this makeshift backdrop for the photo booth.  (Meet the boys if you haven't before...).

I had big plans to take pictures of everything set up, but when I finished my part, other people had to work on theirs.  When we showed up for the event, there were lights to turn on, candles to light, people needing help, and children meeting up (some of them for the last time as they move in separate directions).   So, no pictures of centerpieces, photo booths, stage display, etc.  Instead, the centerpieces went home with the students, the garlands are at the school for future events (bake sales, open house, spirit committee, book sales), and the photo booth props are at the school for one last hurrah.

Next time...

Linking up with: Eco Kids Tuesday at Like Mama Like Daughter since some of them have been following
                        along from the start.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Working on a display.

My new display stand for gift tags...I had intended to use it to display only the white gift tags (one of my tables at the next craft show will be all white pottery), but I really think it looks quite plain.  I hope that's not a preview of what that entire table will look like!  I will be adding in some of my earlier, coloured gift tags to see if it helps with the overall look of this.
My inspiration was found on Pinterest (of course) and comes from the really clever blog blah to ta-da.
Isn't it pretty?  In my recent search for craft show display ideas, I have determined that almost all of the ones out there are for jewellery.  I find that odd.  Anyways...
For my display, I cut the following pieces:  2) 9" x 15", 1) 9" x 6", 4) 9" x just under 3".  The two largest were scored 3" from the bottom...
...enough to bend, but not cut all the way through.
I glued them to the 9" x 6" base (I used white glue because I couldn't find the carpenters glue and I find that both work better on cardboard than hot glue...use whatever glue you fancy).
Then I glued two layers of the 9" x almost 3" on top of the base to make it a little more sturdy.
Tape off all your edges.  In hindsight, if your cardboard is plain (not printed all over the place) and you use some cute washi tape or fancy duct tape, you could stop here.  I painted mine with the same leftover paint I used for all of my signs - matchy, matchy.
Draw on all of your frames...this was the hard part for me because my gift tags change every season so I opted to make them all bigger than necessary so my tags will (hopefully) always fit inside.  Punch a hole through (I used a needle, then a bigger needle, then a nail, then a bigger nail because I had to have room for the string).
These tags are a little small for the "frames" I find, so I may draw a second set on the back for small tags, and leave these larger ones for the larger tags.  Or...I will just mix large and small since this set looks a little blah on it's own.

Happy Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice to all of my "local" friends...and happy Winter Solstice to those of you on the other side of the world.  Regardless of the season you are in, I hope you have a great day.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

An Event!

Looking for a day trip? There is a very interesting event taking place on August 24th and 25th (2013) at Whispergreen Farm in Carlisle Ontario (L0H 1H0).  A craft show meets pioneer festival is the best way I can describe it...old fashioned, family friendly, eco friendly skills, wares, displays, and demos at their finest.
This link is for the full list of vendors that will be at the show - all from Southwestern Ontario, and almost all Etsy vendors (I am including a link where possible so you can shop even if you can't get to the show).
                               There is going to be:
a canoe maker,

 garden art from Gibson's Garden Accents,


upcycled clothes from HoneyBea Designs,
 dolls by TheFancifulDoll (I am more than a little in love with this one),
 baking (yes, please),
fantastic embroidered pieces by embroiderwee,
jewellery made from classic books by TheUnwrittenWord
rustic and primitive pieces (this is a stack of pebble and cork coasters) from Rustic Revivals,

a period seamstress, steampunk, a blacksmith, stained glass, photography, candles, painting,cool drinks, and more.

There are demonstrations (all of the following pictures are from last year's show, with permission from Julie of Rustic Revivals - from their facebook page):

There are activities, story telling, buskers, games, contests, and costumes. 


Here is a link to a post on Ontario Rural Routes with maps, links, pictures and reviews.

I apologize to any vendors I have missed.  Leave me a comment so I can find you and I will add you in!

And here is their poster so you can "Pin" it, if you wish.

                         Eco Kids Tuesday at Like Mama Like Daughter

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Tent weights...

...for craft shows and for camping.

I haven't done an outdoor show in years, but last year when visiting Artwalk I saw so many of the vendors tents blow over in the wind that I decided I needed some tent weights for my upcoming show in August.

I have seen people use cinder blocks, buckets of sand, jugs of water, work out weights, and pvc filled with cement.  You could purchase a variety of different weights (google it if you wish...the variety is pretty amazing), but you know me...I'm all about using what I have on hand.  Here is my version:

We have just finished replacing some metal and brick pillars on our front porch with wooden columns, so my husband generously offered to cut the pieces of pipe into 2 foot lengths for me.  They were already heavy as they were so I thought they would make a good start.
I had this bag of concrete left over in the basement from some other project,  I do believe it's about 3 or 4 dollars if you have to buy one.
The only thing I had to buy was this package of eye hooks.  I bought the biggest I could find, and a package of 5 cost about $4.00.
 I only mixed enough cement to fill one pipe at a time since I didn't want to mix the whole bag (the instructions are printed right on the bag if you haven't done it before).
I scooped the wet cement into my piece of pipe.  Make sure to use something long to tamp it down as you go.  You want to remove all of the air pockets and make it as heavy as you can.
I let the cement set a little before inserting the eye hook.  Give it a little jiggle to make sure all of the cement forms down around the threads.  In the picture above, the second one from the left is most solid.  In the future, I would sink them all that low.  The other ones can't really be pulled out, but they do wiggle a tiny bit.

The weights will be getting a test run on our "dining pavilion" (the canopy I will be using for my craft show) when we go camping in a few weeks.  That should determine if they are heavy enough as they are or if I need to make some more.  For the actual show, they will be wrapped in burlap or fabric and tied shut with a ribbon - you know, to make them look pretty.

For those of you anywhere near the area, here is a list of vendors that will be at the show.  There are going to be pioneer games for the kids as well as music and buskers and demonstrations of old-fashioned skills.  I'm quite looking forward to it.
Linking up with: Homemade Mondays over at Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity
                         From the Farm Blog Hop over at Fresh Eggs Daily
                         The Backyard Farming Connection
                         Eco kids Tuesday at Like Mama Like Daughter 

Monday, 10 June 2013

Graduation Prep Part 4 - Centerpieces

For those of you who are new, this series is about decorating for a school event (in this case, grade 8 graduation) on a very limited budget.  I'm a true believer that you don't have to spend a lot of money to have a nice event, and that a little effort can make those dollars stretch a lot farther than buying a bunch of cheap, decorations that make very little impact.

The tables we will be using for the event are your standard folding rectangular table (usually seat about 8).  I'm going to lay 3 pieces of ribbon (from my stash) lengthwise along the table, and then in the center, there will be one of these "lanterns":
along with a large pinwheel and a potted plant with a glittered pinwheel in it (groups of 3, right?).

 These are the little potted plants that the pinwheels will be in...they will be wrapped in matching paper the day or two before so that I can still water them for the next two weeks.
Originally, the plants were going to be significantly larger - I was thinking a nice flowering plant - but then something happened.  The money for graduation dinner (each family pays for their own dinner - the school pays for the students) and the money for the year end class trip was STOLEN!  The money was due, turned in, locked up, and the STOLEN all on the same day!  suspicious!!!  So, needless to say, the "decorating money" shrunk even more.  So instead, I dug these up from my front yard and potted them up in little pots I had in the shed, and will camouflage that with some pretty paper. 

I know most of my readers can tell how to make this little "lantern" just by looking at it, but for those of you who are new to crafting, here are the steps:
 Wrap a piece of jewellery wire around the jar (don't cut it yet) and twist it together tightly until the short end is all used up.
 Decide how long you want the handle to be, and then cut the wire (using wire cutters, not scissors) about 
1 1/2" longer.
 Add some beads to the handle - the beads you want for both sides...all at the same time.
 Slide the end of your wire under the piece of wire wrapped around the lid.
 Twist it together and then slide half the beads back over to the second side.
You can make them all the same if you want, but I was using up beads (white, black and blue) to match the party colours.  Then just add your sand (or rocks, or glass beads, or even coloured water) and add your candles.

Total tally for the 24 "lanterns":  $3 and change for a bag of sand
       -the jars were free - my family and friends have been saving spaghetti sauce jars for the past year or so
       -the beads were from my stash thanks to my dear sister
       -the candles I found at the dollar store ---25 candles for a total of $6.25

Total for the potted plants: $1.00 each roll for 2 rolls of wrapping paper that I am hoping will do all 28        plants, and some potting soil (about $3.00 worth) from a large bag.

The downside is that in the last month of school, the grade 8 class usually "pays it forward" by doing a fundraiser for next year's graduation.  This year, they are going to do 3, but all of that money will be used to replace the money that was stolen.  So, one person's actions have actually affected 2 years worth of graduating students at least.  On the bright side, the principal is hoping this will be a life lesson in "resiliency".

Linking up with: Keep Calm Craft On over at Frontier Dreams
                         Eco Kids Tuesday at Like Mama Like Daughter
                         Creative Friday over at Natural Suburbia