Tag Archives: alberta

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Nanking Cherry Flowering.

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Plum Tree budding out.

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Haskap’s flowering.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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?

Fabric.com:

I would guess that around 70% of the fabrics I buy are from fabric.com  I kind of have a love hate relationship with fabric.com 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.  Fabric.com 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 fabric.com 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 fabric.com 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.

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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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Etsy.com

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.

Spoonflower:

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!

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Canvas Tote Bag

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Nordic Snowflake Booties

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Wrist Key Fob

 

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 https://www.etsy.com/shop/LogeePhotography
Handmade Therapy http://www.etsy.com/shop/handmadetherapy , https://www.etsy.com/shop/handmadetherapykids
Tinged https://www.etsy.com/shop/tinged
Maple and Oak Designs https://www.etsy.com/shop/MapleAndOakDesigns
Crafted by Lindy https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftedbylindy
Quirefly quirefly.etsy.com
Jennea Frischke Jewelry https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JenneaFrischke
Twisted Links Jewelry https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/twistedlinksjewelry
Salt Water Tea www.saltwatertea.etsy.com
Bubblegum Sass https://www.etsy.com/shop/BubblegumSass
Harmony Grace Designs https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/HarmonyGraceDesigns
Sleepy Holow Leather http://www.etsy.com/shop/SleepyHolowLeather
Sidonie Yang https://sidonieyang.etsy.com/shop/
Folly a Tet https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/FollyaTet
Hekkal and Hyde hekkalandhyde.etsy.com
Magpie Quilts https://www.etsy.com/shop/MagpieQuilts
Glimpse Glass glimpseglass.etsy.com
Urban Glow Art Glass https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/UrbanGlowArtGlass
Gregoire Photography https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/gregoireprint
Quadrophonic Image https://www.etsy.com/shop/QuadroImage
Knitatude https://www.etsy.com/shop/Knitatude
Wee Thing Mee https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/WeeThingMee
Bashful Belles https://www.etsy.com/shop/BashfulBelles
Cosmikgoo https://www.etsy.com/shop/Cosmikgoo
Chika Ando https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/ChikaAndo
Kiwi Tini Creations https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/KiwiTiniCreations
Pictorial Romance etsy.com/shop/pictorialromance
Becky Warren Design www.etsy.com/shop/BeckyWarrenDesign
Curious Cat Vintage www.etsy.com/shop/curiouscatvintage
Joy of Little Creations www.JoyofLittleCreations.etsy.com
The Tickled Cherub https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheTickledCherub
Medicine River Soap Co. https://www.etsy.com/shop/MedicineRiverSoapCo
Loves Pure Light https://www.etsy.com/shop/LOVESPURELIGHT
The Bleached Tee www.etsy.com/ca/shop/TheBleachedTee
Mammoth Beard Co. https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/MammothBeardCo?ref=si_shop
Old Wolfs Wood Shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/OldWolfsWoodShop
Creationz by Catherine www.CreationzbyCatherine.etsy.comhttp://www.Creationzmini.etsy.com
Nature of Crafty Things https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/natureofcraftythings
Rainy Gator www.rainygator.etsy.com
Jewel Notes https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/jewelnotes
Tribes Society www.tribessociety.etsy.com

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!

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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.

 

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

 

Calgary Home + Design Show, Want to go?

CHDS

The Calgary Home + Design Show is where it all comes together for every home improvement project! With big names like Colin McAllister & Justin Ryan, stars of Cottage Life TV’s Colin & Justin’s Cabin PressureBryan Baeumler, host of HGTV’s Leave it to Bryan, and celebrityChef Corbin Tomaszeski, plus more than 350 exhibitors and a slew of sensational new features, there’s expert insight, innovation and inspiration for stylish living at every turn.

This year they have added a Family Day and it looks pretty great.  Bring the whole gang to take part in kid-friendly fun like a children’s take-home craft and a canine show benefitting the lovely pups at AARCS. Kid inspired presentations on the cooking stage and exclusive goodie bags round out the perfect day for parents and little ones alike.

Personally I’d be all over the Trail Appliances Cooking Stage.  I could use a little kitchen inspiration!

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Once again I’ll be holding a giveaway to win two tickets to the event!  Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Satchel Bag

Satchel Bag

This Spring’s Sew Fab Sale includes my own pattern, The Satchel Bag!  The Satchel Bag is one of my best selling patterns.  It’s an easy pattern, no zippers, no fancy stitching, and it has a nice simple look that can be changed up easily with different fabrics.

Satchel Bag

I love a good canvas bag, which is pretty obvious by my choices in fabrics.  A nice organic cotton canvas is actually pretty easy to find, which makes me love using it even more.

Satchel Bag

Satchel Bag
HT 008 Satchel Bag

I get most of my organic cotton canvas from Fabric.com and all my purse hardware from a great shop called Tantalizing Stitches.

Today is your last chance to purchase The Satchel Bag through the Sew Fab Bundle!  The sale ends tonight!

Read more about the Sew Fab Bundle below!

For one week only, you can have nineteen patterns (plus a fun bonus pattern), chosen specifically for this sale, for only $29.95!  That’s over 80% off the retail value of the bundle!  Plus you can enter to win one of two amazing sewing themed giveaways!

For less than $30 you get a library of sewing resources that you can use over and over again.

Buy It Now

If you’ve never sewn with a PDF pattern before, let me tell you how great it is!  After downloading your pattern, you will print out the pattern itself, creating pattern tiles, if you will.  Simply tape the tiles together to create the full pattern!  At that point you can cut out the size that you need and pin the paper pattern directly to your fabric, or you can trace the pattern size that you need onto sewing paper or tracing paper and cut it out, saving the paper pattern for later when you need to sew another size.  PDF patterns are so convenient because you can print them out as many times as you need!

Now for the part you’ve been waiting for… the patterns!

A collection of 19 PDF Patterns from 19 well-known and up and coming designers are instantly accessible to you by PDF download upon purchase of the Sew Fab Pattern Bundle.  Imagine all of the combinations that you can put together with this bundle of patterns, with many transitioning to fall and winter as well!  Here are the patterns that you will receive (click on the links below the collage for more  information about each pattern.):

Sew Fab Spring 2014 collage

The Laurel Dress or Tunic by Greenstyle Creations, The Satchel Bag by Handmade Therapy, The Lexi Knit Dress and Top by MODKID, The Piko Top by EYMM, The Bowling Shirt from Scientific Seamstress (unisex), The Seraphic Pant by Figgy’s (unisex), The Tulip Pinafore by Too Sweets Patterns, The Big Tote Bag by Things for Boys, The Doll and Carrier by Patchwork Posse, Poppy and Pip Penguins by Betz White, Leather Accent Foldover Pouch by LBG Studio, The Norah Dress and Tunic by Mouse House Creations, Crayon Art Folio by Gingercake, The Tennis Skort (12M-12Y) by Heidi & Finn, The Ruffled Bustle Top by Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Long Beach Board Shorts (unisex) by Terra’s Treasures, The Cupcake Top (unisex) by Sewing Mama RaeAnna, The Saffron Twirl Dress from Paisley Roots Designs, The Sweet Tea Shorties by Molly Blossom Designs.

New this year is the Sew Fab Pattern Tour!  Some of our favorite sewing bloggers will be sharing their versions of the Sew Fab patterns on their blogs this week, so be sure to check in with them throughout the week of the sale to see how versatile these patterns are!  Here are the stops on the pattern tour…

Sew Fab Pattern Tour Graphic

This Sew Fab Pattern Bundle is only available for one week and will never be available again!  You can purchase the bundle from May 5th at 8 a.m. EST through May 13th at 11:59 p.m. EST and there will be no late sales offered.  Due to the nature of the sale there are no refunds. The pattern bundle expires six months from the end of the sale, so please download and save your patterns upon receiving them.

You don’t want to miss this unique opportunity to purchase a ready made collection of 20 PDF sewing patterns from 19 of the best designers out there!

Buy It Now

This post contains affiliate links.  When you purchase the Sew Fab Bundle through those links I earn a percentage of the sale.  Thank you so much for supporting the Sew Fab Sale!  We all appreciate your business!