Sunscreen, Naturally

I don’t put a lot of sunscreen on my kids.  I know a lot of people would balk at this but I just don’t.  For one I find most of the sunscreen options out there so full of toxic or harmful chemicals that I just can’t bring myself to use them on a regular basis.  Another reason is my kids spend so much time outside that they rarely burn.  I know there is more to sun protection than just preventing burning but most of that can be prevented with a hat and the right clothes.

I’ve tried natural sunscreens in the past and when I feel it’s really necessary it is what I use but it’s hard to find.  It’s hard to find really natural sunscreen and it’s hard to find one that is made locally. I’ve made my own in the past but it’s not easy and it’s hard to get it just right.


Recently I bought some deodorant and soap from my friend Amy of Plantiful and she passed on some of her new sunscreen.  I’ve tried it out a couple of times now and I have to say I love it.  It goes on smoothly, stays on well, and does a great job protecting.  I’ve used it on my kids and myself and despite the small container size I have a feeling the little jar will last me all summer.  Amy told me it would go a long ways and she was right.


There’s no junk in Amy’s Sunscream, it’s just all natural goodness.


Plantiful also carries lip butters, soap, shampoo bars, wool dryer balls, and more.  I’ve used lots of her products and really recommend all of them.


Getting Outside


As I mentioned earlier, we’ve had a cazy beautiful spring here in Calgary and that means we’ve been outside. A lot.  A couple of weekends ago Travis’ sister came up for a few days and we spent every day outside.  One of those days included a trip to Banff Alberta and a hike up Johnston’s Canyon.


Some of the falls at Johnston’s Canyon.

IMG_0811Johnston’s Canyon is one of my favorite places.  Both because it’s so beautiful and also because it’s where Travis proposed to me 11 years ago now.  We’ve been back several times but this time was extra great because the kids are all at a great age for hiking now. The older three had no problems keeping up and the youngest one hung out in the backpack carrier.


Her stamina never ceases to surprise me. She hiked a solid couple of hours with nothing but a grin the whole time.

IMG_0798 I grew up in the mountains of northern British Columbia so I get a bit nostalgic whenever we head to the mountains for a while.


Squirrel friend.

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Garden – Spring 2015

We have had an incredible spring so far in Calgary.  Warm days, lots of sun, and a fair amount of green already. I have no complaints.  Our fruit trees are budding early, some are even flowering!  The rhubarb is up, raspberries are leafing out, and our cold frames are full of various leafy greens.  There’s a mighty big chance we’ll get another bought of cold weather but I’m crossing my fingers for a steadily warmer spring.


Nanking Cherry Flowering.


Plum Tree budding out.


Haskap’s flowering.


Rhubarb, I can almost taste the crisp I’ll make in a couple of weeks!


Raspberry canes beside the house our leafing out thanks to the warmer soil.


More Haskap flowers. The various bees have been loving these early flowering bushes.

Doodle Stitching

I was recently given a book called Doodle Stitching by Aimee Ray.  It’s a book full of embroidery patterns from easy to elaborate, with basic stitching instructions included.  All the patterns are on transfer paper which makes it really easy.


The second I pulled the book out of the box, Kaed, my eight year old asked if he could embroider one of the designs.  He ended up doing two which he later turned into a lavender sachet and a small heat bag filled with flax seed.



My favorite part about this book is how easy it is.  If my eight year old can do it with very little help, I’m happy.  We have plans to get a few new patterns prepped and into hoops for him for our next road trip.  I also love that it’s got designs that are a mixture of easy and hard.  I’ve already picked out which design I’m going to do if I ever finish the cross-stitch I started well over a year ago!



Sourcing Fabric

IMG_9248The question I get asked the most when I’m selling at craft sales, and when people hear I sew is “Where do you buy your fabric?”.  You’d think, living in a large city would mean lots of really great, affordable fabric stores but unfortunately that’s not case.  I’ve heard good things about a couple of smaller quilt shops in Calgary but non of them are near the area of the city I live in and lets be honest, I don’t really want to take kids to the fabric store regardless of how near, or far it is.

This means that I buy about 90% of my fabrics online.  The only big exception to that are the solid fleece fabrics I use on my Baby Booties which I buy at Fabricland.  So far they seem to carry the best quality of solid fleece fabrics that I’ve found anywhere.

So where do I buy my fabric?

I would guess that around 70% of the fabrics I buy are from  I kind of have a love hate relationship with but it’s the most convenient place for me to source supplies.  It’s a give and take.  The pros fall in the line of most affordable, largest selection, and fairly quick delivery time.  Note that I said delivery time, not shipping time. is horrendous for shipping your order quickly.  It used to be better, but in the last year I’ve found that it’s a solid week to ten days from when I order to when it’s shipped.  Thankfully once it has shipped it’s usually at my door by late afternoon.

Another pro to is that they tend to carry a fabric print for a lot longer than most places.  That means that when I make a bag, dress, or pair of booties that sell really well I can be fairly confident that I’ll be able to keep that item stocked for a long time.  I also love that they carry a wide selection of notions and patterns so I can get the majority of my supplies delivered to my door.  Another bonus is their large selection of organic cotton, which can be next to impossible to find at our local big fabric chain, Fabricland.

Customer service at can be either really good, or really bad.  I’ve had excellent service when I received a wrong item, and I’ve had terrible service more than once in regards to items being out of stock that I had ordered.  All in all I’d say they do not have reliably good customer services, but they do have their moments.



A.L. Francis Designs

All my waxed canvas comes from A.L. Francis Designs on Etsy.  The quality is fantastic, prices are really good, and I’ve been more than happy with shipping times and customer service.

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When I’m looking for something a little more unique I browse Etsy for fabric shops.  There’s a great mix of small fabric shops, and gorgeous hand printed fabrics available so it’s usually where I go to splurge on something really nice.


I haven’t ordered through Spoonflower very often, but when I have I’ve been very happy.  My favorite part is that when I’m ordereing fabric I’m also supporting an independent fabric designer and that always makes me happy.  I very recently purchased some fabric from a Calgary local designer, Tara Put and I look forward to turning her gorgeous designs into a bag.

Thrift Stores:

Thrift stores are a fabulous place to buy fabric.  Sometimes you’re not successful in finding usable, great fabrics, but when you do it’s so worth it.  The prices can’t be beat, and you can feel good about using fabric that might otherwise have been thrown out.


Of course with finding great fabric shops, you also sometimes don’t have the best experiences either.  Here’s are some thoughts on places I most likely won’t buy from again.

Girl Charlee Fabrics:

I’ve been continually disappointed with the quality of the knits I’ve ordered from Girl Charlee.  Often the fabric fades and pills quite quickly.  Aside from that, I have ordered from them a lot in the past.  I was a big fan of their bargain lot sales as the prices were unbeatable, and the slightly flawed bundles were great for using to sew either a new pattern or clothes for the kids.  A few months ago however, they stopped shipping the bargain lots outside of the USA.  That kind of rubbed me the wrong way so I really can’t see myself purchasing from them again.

Where do you purchase your fabrics?  Do you have any amazing shops to add to my compiled list?




Canadian Christmas

There’s a big sale happening on Etsy, members of the Canadian Collective are offering discounts anywhere from 10%-20% off in their shops with the coupon code canadianchristmas . Both of my shops are offering 10% off but it’s only until the 24th!

The above shops are all offering discounts and if you click through you’ll see a few more.

I just added several new items to both of my shops so if you’ve been eyeing up Christmas gifts, now is the time.  Holiday shipping cutoffs are happening really soon!


Canvas Tote Bag


Nordic Snowflake Booties


Wrist Key Fob


Saskatchewan Duck and Goose Hunt 2014

IMG_8856This year we had yet another great hunting trip in Saskatchewan.  We had fantastic weather, good company, and good hunting.  This year was especially great because I actually managed to get a few hunts in.  There are definitely some perks to not having any more babies breastfeeding or on the way!

IMG_8849I even managed to bag a few birds!  This was my second goose and first snow so I was pretty stoked.


I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed the bush aspect of big game hunting but I can’t say I complained about sitting in one place, watching the sun rise or set, with my coffee mug and camera.  Watching the massive flocks of geese fly overhead was just as amazing as actually putting a few of them in the freezer.

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We also did a bunch of duck hunting.  Duck hunting was a lot of fun with the kids.  They loved to run and get the ducks once it was safe.


Since we’ve been home we’ve had several requests to skip school and go duck hunting instead.  I think one of these days we’ll just have to do it.

IMG_8619 IMG_8713 IMG_8754IMG_8755We turned nearly all those ducks and geese into sausage.  It’s fantastic.


Etsy: Made in Canada

Last week Saturday brought about the first ever Etsy: Made in Canada. Twenty Three locations across Canada hosted a pop up marketplace, bringing together local Etsy sellers and communities in celebration of the country’s maker movement.  Calgary was one of those cities and I had the privilege of organizing the event with Jillian of Logee Photography.


Jillian, Hilda, Lindy, and Suzanne, our dream team standing with the incredible 3-D wood sign Lindy crafted with the help of her Dad.

A job this big required some extra help though, so we enlisted the volunteer hours of Suzanne of Tinged and Leonie of Maple and Oak Designs.  On top of that we used the talents of Lindy Turner of Crafted by Lindy to do the decorating for the event.

Having some fun with the photo booth we set up at the market.

Having some fun with the photo booth we set up at the market.

The event was held at Symons Valley Ranch Farmers Market.  The Made in Canada event took place in a large tent area as well as a section of the second level of the market.  There were 40 Etsy Vendors in total.

The interior section of the Etsy area.

The interior section of the Etsy area.

Outside in the tents!

Outside in the tents!

If you were lucky enough to be one of the first fifty shoppers the morning of the market then you got one of our incredible swag bags, filled with goodies donated by the vendors.  We had an unanticipated number of shoppers lined up bright and early!

Shoppers lined up to receive their swag!

Shoppers lined up to receive their swag!


The day was cool and cloudy but despite the less than ideal weather we had crowds!


Shoppers checking out the goods of Folly a Tet and Chika Ando

Made in Canada included a fun photo booth area, a coloring table for the kids, and seating areas to rest up for a while.

Made in Canada included a fun photo booth area, a coloring table for the kids, and seating areas to rest up for a while.

I’m incredibly thankful to all the hard work put in by my fellow organizers, as well as to Etsy Canada who were a huge support throughout the entire process.  Here are a few more shots of the fun that day.

Decor and tables

Decor and tables

A quieter moment in the tents.

A quieter moment in the tents.

The fun was contagious!

The fun was contagious!

Chalk art was done by Rozzie Lee.

Chalk art was done by Rozzie Lee.

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Once again a HUGE thank you to everyone who came out to Etsy: Made in Canada.  It was an incredibly fun and successful day thanks to all of YOU!  If you’d like to see a list of all the vendors that participated go here.

Click on the photos below to see larger versions!

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Thanks for coming!

Thanks for coming!


For more pictures and details on the decor visit Crafted by Lindy’s blog!  All photos in this post were taken by myself, Hilda, or Lindy Turner.




Calgary’s Made in Canada Day Vendor List!

Ready to find out who all the Vendors will be at the Calgary Made in Canada Day?  The full list is below with links to each Vendors shop on Etsy so you can check them out in advance!  Additionally you can click on each photo to get to the coordinating Etsy shop.

 MIC beckywarren  bubblegumsass chikaando cosmikgoo craftedbylindy creationzbycatherine  follyatet glimpseglass gregoireprint harmonygrace hekkalandhyde  jenneafriskecuriouscatvintage jewelnotes joyoflittle kiwitini knitatude logeephotography lovespurelight magpiequilts mammothbeard medicineriversoap natureofcraftythings oldwolfs pictorialromance quadrophoic quirefy RainyGator handmadetherapykidssidonieyang sleepyhollowleather thebleacedtee tickledcherub tinged tribessoceity twistedlinks urbanglassglowart  weethingmee handmadetherapy

Logee Photography
Handmade Therapy ,
Maple and Oak Designs
Crafted by Lindy
Jennea Frischke Jewelry
Twisted Links Jewelry
Salt Water Tea
Bubblegum Sass
Harmony Grace Designs
Sleepy Holow Leather
Sidonie Yang
Folly a Tet
Hekkal and Hyde
Magpie Quilts
Glimpse Glass
Urban Glow Art Glass
Gregoire Photography
Quadrophonic Image
Wee Thing Mee
Bashful Belles
Chika Ando
Kiwi Tini Creations
Pictorial Romance
Becky Warren Design
Curious Cat Vintage
Joy of Little Creations
The Tickled Cherub
Medicine River Soap Co.
Loves Pure Light
The Bleached Tee
Mammoth Beard Co.
Old Wolfs Wood Shop
Creationz by Catherine www.CreationzbyCatherine.etsy.com
Nature of Crafty Things
Rainy Gator
Jewel Notes
Tribes Society

As you can see it’s a pretty amazing Vendor Lineup!  We can’t wait to see you there!  Don’t forget that the first 50 shoppers through the Made In Canada doors at Symons Valley Ranch receive a Swag Bag full of amazing swag from all the Vendors!  Doors open at 10am!


Etsy: Made In Canada Day!

Made-In-Canada_1200x627_EN_grayIn two short weeks, all across Canada markets will be popping up in select cities!  Calgary’s location will take place at Symons Valley Ranch and includes some really fantastic vendors.  Not only will you be able to shop from 40+ different locally based Etsy sellers, you’ll also be able to shop the Farmer’s Market!

Below are some of the Etsy Vendors participating in Calgary’s Etsy Made in Canada Day

 MICbeckywarren  bubblegumsass chikaando cosmikgoo craftedbylindy creationzbycatherine  follyatet glimpseglass gregoireprint harmonygrace hekkalandhyde  jenneafriskecuriouscatvintage jewelnotes joyoflittle kiwitini knitatude logeephotography lovespurelight magpiequilts mammothbeard medicineriversoap natureofcraftythings oldwolfs pictorialromance quadrophoic quirefy RainyGator handmadetherapykidssidonieyang sleepyhollowleather thebleacedtee tickledcherub tinged tribessoceity twistedlinks urbanglassglowart  weethingmee handmadetherapy


In addition to all the great shopping we will have a photo booth set up so come prepared to dress up a little, take some pics, and share!

The first 50 customers to make it through the Etsy doors (located in the bottom level of the market, through the marked doors) will receive a pretty amazing Swag Bag!  I’ve been collecting swag from all the vendors over the past few weeks and I have to say I’m sincerely disappointed I can’t get a Swag Bag for myself!

We have a couple of other exciting things in the work for the Market as well and will keep everyone updated through our Facebook Event Page.

You can also find the Calgary event on twitter: @EtsyCalgaryMIC and see what else is happening with the other markets across the country with the hashtag #etsymadeincanada

Want to learn more about Etsy Made In Canada?  Watch the video below or go to the Etsy Made In Canada homepage to find a market near you.




The Market will take place from 10:00am – 5:00pm at Symons Valley Ranch 1455 Symons Valley Road Northwest Calgary,AB