weekend whirl wind

I am totally sewed out!

Thank you to everyone who came out to support me this weekend. It was my first time at the Queen West Art Crawl's  Art in the Park and I had a great time. It was so fun to be part of such a creative community!

I didn't have a lot of opportunities to escape my booth and check everyone out, but I did manage to find some like minded sewers over at Quilted City and foxymop quilts. Sadly I missed Melanie LeBlanc, my fave jewellery gal, but I know she sells her stuff at Made You Look. I also loved the booth diagonal to me -  Rare Birds Clothing. Carla won in my books for booth design. It was so creative and her kids clothes are super cute.

While I had many awesome people come through my booth, the highlight was Sarah Polley, her husband and their little baby daughter. She liked my soft baby cubes and contemplated between the yellow/grey cubes and the red/black moose pattern, but in the end continued on her way. Maybe next year...

I've got inventory left folks, so when I have the time I'll be getting my etsy shop back up and running. Stay tuned!



DIY green bin bags

Why is it that every time you change the bag in your green bin that nasty brown juice has leaked out and  pooled at the bottom? Even when I use the fancy green bin bags I still get leakage. So, when my BFF, who is an engineering whiz, made up a bunch of  DIY green bin bags using my old newspapers I was totally stunned. Why didn't I think of that? I guess, because I have her in my life to think of these things for me (thank you!).

Anyway, I've been using my stock of newspaper bags for the last five days and they work like a charm. No more leaks and easy on the wallet.

Make them yourself! Here are my step-by-step instructions. It's pretty easy.

1. Take a section, I like to start with the Sports, and open it up. Like this...

2. Fold it in half on a diagonal, bottom right corner folds up to meet top left corner.

3. Take the right side, then the left side and fold into the middle so they are overlapping.

4. Fold down the top flaps.

5. Open up! There you go you have a bag.


April 03, 2012 — AlannaB

diy chairs




So my best gal pal, RV, recently transformed a pair of old and dank dining room chairs into beauties. She's not even an expert in furniture repair or reupholstering.

A couple of weekends ago I was at her place and was totally gobsmacked by the updated seats. Naturally, it made me want to do the same. So here are some tips if you're planning on giving it a go:

  1. Buy a couple of old chairs - RV bought hers for $15 a piece.
  2. Give them a good wash and sanding - you really have to give them a smooth surface.
  3. Buy good, heavy weight fabric - don't go to Fabricland! I suggest the workroom, Designer Fabrics or macFab Fabrics.
  4. Gather your tools - staple gun, scissors, glue, foam, good quality interior paint.
  5. Check out this tutorial!

Happy updating!



antique road show

Andrea Ford 2011

Every so often the Hubs and I wander west along Queen Street and snoop around Queen West Antique Centre. We love mid-century modern furniture and they've got lots of cool treasures (desks, couches, tables, chairs) to admire. I'm not sure why we bother; we always leave empty handed. That's when we need our friend Andrea on speed dial to help us out.

Andrea is an interior stylist and the owner of RE:Style Studio (ever heard of it?) she helps clueless antique-ers bring their treasures to life through DIY workshops (re-upholstery anyone?). Her most recent offering is an antiquing trip to the South Simcoe Region this Thursday June 2. She'll be taking 10 urbanites to the country (via passenger van) in search of diamonds in the rough at three market stores (some opened just for the trippers on that day). From 9:00 am to 9:00 pm participants will be shopping, lunching, light dining and taking in a play put on by the Arts Council. To register go here and if you go you'll receive a discount on upcoming re-upholstering classes or studio time at RE:Style Studio (now that's a deal).

Happy shopping!

May 30, 2011 — Alanna Banks

diy tea glass cozy

You see these glass cozies in hip boutiques along Dundas West, but you can make them yourself for half the price (and they're your own creation). I made up my own pattern to fit our tea glasses so if you have the same size (see photo above) you can try it out.

You'll need:

  • Yarn (if you live in TO check out the bargain basement at Romni)
  • Needles size US 5
  • Darning needle

Then you:

  1. Cast on 40 stitches
  2. Garter stitch (knit every row) until it's long enough to fit around the glass
  3. Sew ends together...and you're done!

Happy knitting!

May 13, 2011 — Alanna Banks

diy deodorant

So after I had L'il E I had some major postnatal sweating (totally normal) and to fight it I started using Secret Clinical Strength deodorant. Now, 3 months later I think it has clogged my pores or something because I have this constant deodorant/stench even after the shower (the stuff is waterproof!). Totally grossed out I took to the internet to find out if there was a natural way I could combat this odor.

Baking soda!

I've discussed the benefits of baking soda as a weekly facial exfoliater, but who knew it works on your pits too (smiley face). All you do is dip a cotton ball into a dish of baking soda and pat it on your armpits after the shower, just like you're powdering your face. It totally works! No more smell! I also learned that if you want to make it an antiperspirant you add cornstarch.

Happy sweating!

April 27, 2011 — Alanna Banks

zit zapper

Now that my pregnancy is over so is the beautiful skin that came with it. Those pesky occasional zits I used to get are back (sigh)! I noticed a few blemishes on my chin last night and remembered that tea tree oil is good for zapping unsightly pimples so I tried it. The results are amazing! I woke up this morning sans zits (yay!). All you do is put a bit on a cotton ball and swipe it over the blemished area after you wash you face. Voila!

I use Good Hope Botanicals Essential Oils and buy it a Herbie's Herbs at Queen and Bathurst. The lavender essential oil is also very nice for the bath or sprinkling on your pillow at bedtime.



baby toque

Project #17 Dylan's Baby Blanket and Hat.

Our little babe received its first gift! A little homemade baby toque for it's chilly February arrival (thanks Kiva!)

If you're a knitter you'll love browsing through the beaut of a book this little hat came from. It's called AlterKNITS by Leigh Radford and includes gorgeous photography of all the projects.

Happy knitting!

October 14, 2010 — Alanna Banks

holds anything bag

I love showing off my new sewing projects and here is the latest (big smiley face!)

My BFF Robi loves bags and the colour green so I thought I would whip up a homemade bag to celebrate her birthday (the big 3-0).

I modified the pattern slightly to include two contrasting fabrics, just to spice it up a bit. There is a pocket on the side and a huge pocket right on the front. The pattern is from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing (my fave!)

I think it looks rather glamorous beachside.

August 26, 2010 — Alanna Banks

sewing up a storm

The long weekend is here (yay!) and that means I can get some serious sewing done. My latest project is panels for our bedroom closet (I know so exciting).

I'm using this really cute Japanese fabric that I bought at the workroom.

Bring on three days off!

What are you making this weekend?

July 31, 2010 — Alanna Banks