Tag Archives: yyc

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?

 

 

 

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

Princess Dress

IMG_8451A couple of weeks ago I was browsing sewing patterns online when my daughter saw one for a princess dress.  You have to know my daughter to realize that she’s not a big girly girl and has never been into big fancy dresses but something about this one caught her eye.  She immediately asked if I could sew her a Princess Sofia the First dress.

IMG_8443So we ordered the pattern and then went online some more to pick out fabric.  She chose all the fabrics, trim, lace, and buttons herself and then patiently waited the week it took for it all to arrive.

IMG_8459 IMG_8454The pattern is the Candy Castle Princess Dress by Candy Castle Patterns.  I was a little bit leery of sewing such an involved dress but the pattern was so well done I had nothing to worry about.  There wasn’t a single step I was confused on and despite the detail the dress actually came together fairly quickly.

IMG_8436Both the white and the purple fabric are from the Michael Miller Fairy Frost Collection.  I’ve never been a fan of sewing with anything but knits or pure cotton when it comes to dresses so this fabric was perfect for me.  It’s got a pretty princess sparkle but it’s still cotton.  Win win.

IMG_8439I had to wait several days before she’d let me photograph her in it but I’m not complaining because that just proved to me it was worth all the work.  She wore it non stop for the first four days she had it!

I’m not in any hurry to sew another princess dress anytime soon but if I do, I can certainly see myself coming back to this pattern and fabric.

 

Summer

I can’t believe that Summer is nearly over.  I’m holding on to the fact that there’s a good chance we’ll have some really nice weather yet but the kids start school again in just over a week and I’m not ready.  We’ve had a great summer though, filled with lots of camping, fishing, and general outside goodness.

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I’m hoping our Autumn is filled with as much outdoors goodness as our Summer was.