Monday, May 30, 2011

How to Monday: Tsumami Kanzashi

I hope everyone has enjoyed the Memorial Day Weekend, I know I have. While I was scanning the internet for some inspiration I came across a new trend that I struck very close to home.
Kanzashi flowers.

These are flowers made from little squares of folded material that are then sewn together. Very popular right now amongst crafters.

Did you know 
 it is a traditional Japanese art that is in danger or disappearing because of the lack of trained artists? 
There are only 5 artists that are acknowledged to be trained in the traditional art form still alive and practicing.

is a studio run by a Kuniko Kanawa that still produces authentic pieces of Tsunami Kanzashi. Kuniko herself was trained by one of the few Kanzashi artists and strives to preserve this piece of disappearing Japanese culture.

Here are a few images from her 

Karyu (Cherry Blossom and Drooping Willow) 

Tsumami Kanzashi Bobby Pin

Vintage Kimono Momiji 

 (Japanese Maple) Tsumami Kanzashi 

Hair Clip with Black Onyx

 set of Shou-Chiku-Bai 

(Pine-Bamboo-Plum Blossom) 

Tsumami Kanzashi for Maiko 

 Kanzashi of January

I remember being a child and pulling very similar hairpieces out of the big cedar trunk where the kimonos were kept in the basement in anticipation of Spring Festival at the JCCC

Please visit the Atelier Kanawa website, you will find a wealth of information about the history and culture of the Kanzashi flowers. Just by learning a little about what they are you are preventing a beautiful art from disappearing.

Want to learn how to make these beautiful flowers?
Here is a tutorial can be downloaded by Christina Stoppa
a big thank you to her for making this great tutorial free to the public.

Please check out her Etsy store

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I Heart Heartsy

Heartsy - Daily deals on fabulous handmade items, at least 50% off.

I am getting a little obsessed with my new find Heartsy. I have always loved looking around Etsy but with my limited budget right now have never bought anything. Now I am combing through Heartsy's daily deals looking at all the wonderful stuff that I could buy at such a great deal. 
How Dangerous!

This is what I bought with my credit 
Love this kitty!
He looks very suspicious.

So pretty, I love sakura.

Birthday present for one 
of my sisters.

I adore the old French

Each of these tile pendants cost me $5.00 so I was able to get 4 with my voucher and only paid the shipping. In the end I think I paid total with the shipping $12.00 for $20.00 worth the merchandise, how great is that?

By the way, 
just for signing up they will give you $5.00 
off your first purchase.

Now you go, 
and tell me about the 
great deals you find!
Heartsy - Daily deals on fabulous handmade items, at least 50% off.

All opinions in this post are my own and were not solicited in any way.
I was not compensated in any way for these opinions by any of the above 
mentioned entities.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Freebie Friday Linky Party!

I am super excited this morning with the list of things I have to tell you about, not to mention having something else to focus on other than reading EKG strips!

As always click the images to get to the giveaway.

First, I found this amazing giveaway yesterday.

This amazingly talented lady is giving away $70.00 worth the jewelery from her Etsy store. Ms. Efrat, who is situated in my home town of Toronto, makes each piece by hand in her studio of which she has posted pictures of on her blog. I have a fascination with metal smithing and have a hero-like worship for anyone who can turn out amazing stuff like this. 

Giveaway close June 20th.

Ginger just doesn't stop she has another giveaway way going on her blog for a set of these adorable personalized sippy cups

A winner will be drawn on Monday.

This might not be free but I had to share because it is just that cool!
Have you heard of this?
Heartsy - Daily deals on fabulous handmade items, at least 50% off.
"Click me! I'll take you there"

Etsy seller's offer to allow you to by a "gift certificate" to their store for a hugely discounted price. In most cases you will pay half price.

I just bought a $20.00 credit to Karmacrochet 
for $9.00!! 
I'm going to by a bunch of these super cute tile pendants!

Alright here is the fun now,
link YOUR giveaway up here and lets share!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Schools In for Summer!

12 hour clinical's twice a week
4 hour lecture's twice a week

100 new pysch terms to learn
60 new psych meds to learn
6 cardiac rhythms to learn and identify 

4 weeks in psychiatric nursing
6 weeks in Critical Care Nursing
98 preceptor hours in the Neurological ICU

Monday marked the beginning of my last semester of nursing school. I apologize if posts become more sporadic but I spent a total of 16 hours over two days in class learning how to read EKG strips and learning new pysch medications.

With my schedule gearing up you may notice a few less posts here but never fear, I intend to be very active on Facebook so please "Like" us and follow along this new and crazy adventure of mine.

Friday I will roll out a Linky Party for Giveaways. If you have a giveaway that you would like to get the word out about please link up with us on Friday. I will like always feature a number of giveaways, if you have one that you would like me to feature please contact me.

We are so close to 50 Followers that we will be having another giveaway soon, 
so keep you eyes peeled for the announcement.

Monday, May 23, 2011

How To Monday: Waste Fabric Tutorial

Remember those monogrammed hand towels I showed you? 
I thought you might like to know how I did it.
Here's how you do it.

Waste Fabric Tutorial
Step 1.
Measure and cut out the appropriate amount of waste fabric.
Remember those blue lines indicate 
5 stitch increments, 
not the ten that are blocked out on patterns. 
I made this mistake.

 Step 2: Finding the center
Fold your fabric in half lengthwise.

then fold it in half width wise

This gives you the center of the material, 
mark it with a pin.

Step 3: Secure your fabric
Line up the center of your waste fabric with the center of your towel and fasten the waste fabric securely.
Ensure that the waste fabric is on straight and very flush to the towel. 
If you are doing a larger piece of work I would suggest sewing the fabric down with a few large baste stitches, but for a small project like this a few pins work just fine.

Step 4: 
Find the center 
of your pattern
This is my pattern, 
I used a pattern maker which you can 
download for free here

The arrow is pointing to a small mark I put on my pattern so I can keep track of the center of my pattern. This mark indicates the center of your waste fabric, all stitches should be done in relation to this mark. 
If you mess this up your pattern will end up off center on your towel so double check!
Ripping out stitches really sucks.

Step 5: Removing the waste fabric
All done!

Trim the excess waste fabric from around the design.
Hang on to those scraps! 
I use decent sized pieces to put tiny bits of embroidery on baby clothes.

Fray the edges by pulling the threads out one at a time both length wise and width wise.

You may want a pair of tweezers to help pull out the threads that are under the embroidery.
Be patient and pull in a smooth motion, don't jerk or snap as you'll just end up breaking the thread you are trying to pull out. 
It's a lot like tweezing your eyebrows! 
Seriously, use that same even motion.

 Step 6: Finishing
Turn your work over and using a very pointed pair of scissors snip any stray threads and ends off.
The back of your work should look like this, very clean with nothing hanging out.

With the iron on medium press both the front and back side of your work.
Use a clean cloth like a pillow case or tea towel to cover your embroidery, this will protect it from the direct heat of the iron.

 Step 7: Admire Your Work
Since I had so much embroidery floss and waste fabric left over I decided to make another set of hand towels. I was going for a "His & Her" kind of feel except with a little more personality. I liked the cheekiness of the "Yours & Mine" set.
It's more fun than the traditional "His & Hers" hand towels.

If you like the "Yours & Mine" towels 
and want to make some for yourself 
you can get the chart here:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Made by Hand, Given From the Heart

I'm sure you have all been up all night wondering why on earth I would need monogram patterns.
Ha! I only wish, I only like to pretend I am that important. 
But, here as promised is my explanation.

A gal I work with s getting married and the office is throwing her a wedding shower. The problem is I am kind of broke having just paid off my last semester of tuition, and as much as I want to give a stunningly amazing gift, I simply cannot afford it.

So this is where I get crafty, literaly. 
I take these very blah and not so amazing white hand towels,
Hand Towels Set of 2 $2.99 at Target
Add some DMC Satin embroidery floss in Mother of Pearl, some waste fabric and a few hours of staring at my computer screen 

You now have a 
stunning set of hand monogrammed hand towels for the lovely new couple to be.

Here's a closer look at the custom monograms 
I did on these towels.

The letters came from a vintage chart on Handmade Adelaide Baby which were so pretty on their own I decided to make the monogram very simple. The leaf design was borrowed from a piece of traditional Swiss embroidery I saw in a book and then charted out on a pattern maker that I downloaded onto my computer.

The DMC Satin floss has an amazing sheen to it that gives the monograms some richness and really pops on the white towels. It was very easy stuff to work with and looks like a million bucks. 

For this project I used 14 count waste fabric and 3 strands of floss (meaning I split the floss in half) so that I had a nice heavy embroidery that stands out nicely.

Here's the best part 
this is what I spent:

Hand Towels Set of 2 - $2.99
DMC Satin Embroidery Floss - 99 cents
Waste Fabric - $ 1.99
Grand Total = $5.97

Even better I still have a ton of the floss and most of the package of the waste fabric, which means I can make more of these!

This is a great project for wedding gifts, baby gifts and even graduation gifts. Who doesn't love getting something made especially for them.
And if you shop carefully, they can be very thrifty.

I really hope the happy couple likes their gift!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Surfin' Saturday

welcome to the Surfin' Saturday Blog Hop. 
This is hosted by Chubby Cheeks ThinksTwo Monkeys & a Washtub,  and  The Coupon Challenge and Dandy Giveaway! 

This is a great way to find new blogs.
So hop on over and take a look at those who have linked up and link yourself up.

on to my issue this morning.
First,there is no coffee and the car is being borrowed, thats just wrong!
Second, I am looking for cross stitch monogram patterns. 
For anyone who is wondering what the heck I am talking about, monograms used to be more than just a set of initials that got stitched onto towels or your shirt pocket.
Monograms were artistic, half the beauty of them was the intricate bordering and detailing involved. 

Like these beautiful vintage reprints,
image property of
image property of

I found these on Handmade Adelaide Baby where lovely Miss Adelaide, a mom herself, keeps a plethora of great ideas for home made baby gifts and other frugal tips.  
Just my kind of lady! 

There are several more charts containing alphabets and borders. Each set of charts are available to download from her site as PDF's, which makes them able to be enlarged when viewed. Believe me it makes it way easier to read the stitches.

If you have never cross stitched before and want to try a simple initialed item is a good starting point because of how small the project is and it doesn't usually require any switching of colors. It will give you good practice on counting and stitching that will be useful for larger more intricate projects.

Believe me it's not that hard, I taught myself how to cross stitch with a booklet and a little help from my friend Tina. If you stay tuned I'll post a few tips and pointers over the next week.

Oh yes, I bet you want to know what I needed those patterns for,
I'll show you tomorrow!

Another blog hop
I joined! 
Take a peek 
make new friends.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Freebie Friday

Ugh, too early in the AM, but I have coffee on hand so let's do this and forgive and major grammatical errors.
As we do every Friday lets review what I have deemed the coolest giveaways in Blogdom this week.

New this week is the quirky little blog
Love it for the fact that this gal professes quite publicly about her love for greasy food! None of this dieting stuff!
If you HURRY she is offering up this awesome apron,

Apparently made to be unisex (that flower detaches) so you can give it to your favorite Grill Mister.
This contest only runs until Noon today.

The next couple of freebies feature first time giveaways.
These talented ladies are giving up some great swag.

is giving away this gorgeous brass filigree ring.

Also I HAVE to give her a shout out, she is Canadian (like me!)
which just makes her uber cool!
Victoria's giveaway ends May 31st

Another first time giveaway is happening at 
This crafty gal is giving away reusable sandwich and snack baggies.

These are cute AND eco-friendly. 
I love it!
Tracy's giveaway ends
May 23rd.

What Freebie Friday post would be complete without mentioning my dear blog stalking victim Ginger over at 
She is teasing us this week, she has reached 250 followers and you will need to keep and eye on her blog because she is announcing a new giveaway soon...
I hope!

That's what I have for you this week dear readers, if you have a giveaway or know of one that everyone should know about please contact me and I will include them in our Friday shakedown!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Random Bargains

I love shopping, 
I hate paying full price, 
what a dilemma! 

Here are my favorite deals I found this week.

Blue quartz styled glass beads
99 cents at Jo-Ann's

Glass pearl beads,3mm and 4mm
99 cents at Joann's

Wooden kitty cat pendant w/ chain
$1.50 at Forever 21

Even better I found a great new community 
Crafty folks "sell" their creations for "whoops" 
(basically credits) 
Then use them to buy other beautiful creations. 
What could be better?

These are a few favorites of mine.

by kittycatsandairplanes
2 Whoops

by Christine Fortier
2 Whoops

My Little Pumpkin by Jazmin
3 Whoops

There are tons more great items up for trade on this site and it costs nothing to start an account with them. If you are crafty but low on cash it is an excellent way to get really cool stuff without having to pay a huge price tag.

For anyone looking for rose combs and doesn't have the cash for them, I am trading them on

So what great  bargains did you find this week?
Please share any pictures or links!