me and the queen west art crawl

I'm so stoked!

I just found out that I've been selected to have my very own booth at the Queen West Art Crawl Outdoor Art Show & Sale!

So, mark September 14-16 on your calendar friends and come out to Trinity Bellwoods Park to check out my stuff.

I've got a lot of sewing to do before then, but I'll have some cool designs and affordable items you can stash away for gift-giving.

This celebration of creativity and community has been going on for 10 years now and it's amazing. Last year I bought this at the show and could have bought so much more. It's a great way to spend a lazy Saturday and Sunday and support our local artists!

I will keep y'all updated as we get closer, but I just wanted to share my news!







santa's workshop

My dining room is swimming in metres of fabric and the rest of my house has been trashed by L'il E (toys and books everywhere), but I don't care because I'm busy getting my items ready for the Artisans' Gift Fair!

I'll be selling my lavender eye bags, knitted xmas ornaments and dinner napkins SATURDAY DEC.10 . It's at the Tranzac Club in the Annex (292 Brunswick Ave.). Come on out and even if you don't want to buy anything it would be nice if you just dropped by to say hi (I'll twist your arm). I will have treats at my booth so at least come for the sweets!

Back to the grind and you won't likely be hearing from me for a while. Sorry!




my latest creation

I had my first go at felting this weekend and it's a very cool effect. I decided L'il E was in need of a homemade stocking so I stopped off at The Knit Cafe for some inspiration. They have a wall of various modern patterns to choose from so I knew I would find the perfect stocking pattern. The one I chose is called "xmas stocking" and it's super easy. Using large (7mm) double pointed kneedles and fat wool made it a breeze to knit up and to felt it all you do is throw all your hard work in the washing machine with dish detergent and voila. I highly recommend it!

Measuring in at 27 inches long maybe I should have rethought the size? It's going to be a big stocking to fill every year, but I'm sure we'll make it happen.

What are you knitting up for xmas?

October 18, 2011 — AlannaB

the perfect cuppa

For the last couple of weeks I've been on a mission to make the perfect cup of coffee using our french press. I'm newly back into the coffee scene after a four year hiatus and I'm taking my coffee drinking very seriously. I only have one cup a day so I want it to be a good one. You know?

So after a lot of trial and error and some researching I finally mastered the perfect cup of joe! It's all about the water to coffee ratio, the temp of the water and cream is a must, if you don't drink it black.

Want me to fill you in? Here's how:

  1. Buy good quality beans from your local coffee shop and make sure you store them in an airtight container and in a cupboard. The airtight container keeps the beans fresh and the dark cupboard keeps your beans away from light.
  2. Now comes the water. This is crucial. Fill your kettle with cold water and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling turn your kettle off and let it sit while you follow the next few steps. You don't want to scorch your little beans!
  3. Your Bodum french press likely came with a scoop, it looks like a tbsp but it's not, it measures weight and that's what I use to scoop the beans into my grinder. I use four scoops of beans which is approximately one ounce for my 12 oz. french press. Most coffee geeks recommend one rounded tbsp of coffee grounds per 4 oz. of water.
  4. The grinding of the beans is one of the key components to your perfect cup. You want them to be coarsely ground but not too coarse, it's a fine balance. I usually hold the button down on my grinder for about five seconds. If you want to go really crazy, invest in a conical burr grinder. They are the best grinders for french press pots because they uniformly grind the beans every time and that brings out the best coffee taste. The Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder is the best and it's a decent price at about $120 (I know, still expensive).
  5. Dump the ground beans into your french press and add the water steadily. I only fill my 12 oz. french press about three quarters full. Give it a stir, this step is not mandatory but it aids in full extraction of the coffee.
  6. Place filter assembly and let steep a few minutes.
  7. Plunge! Be sure to get a good grip on the plunger and slowly press down.
  8. Pour into your favourite mug and that's it. The perfect cup of coffee.

Try it tomorrow morning!

Now to make that french press cozy. Isn't it cute?


give and you shall receive

I've done it again! My etsy shop is back up and running just in time for the beginning of the crazy craze holiday season.

I know the summer just ended, but if you start now you'll be able to skip the frazzle of Christmas shopping. Every year I tell myself I'm going to start early, but I usually leave it all to the week before Christmas. We'll see what happens this year.

So, here is my gentle nudge. While you're thinking about it, check out my super cute tree ornaments. Perfect for anyone on your list!


cozy baby blanket

I've been dying to show off this cozy blanket I knit for my BF Ren! She's having her own little babe this Fall and when I saw this pattern I immediately thought of her white house. It's very easy to knit once you understand moss stitch. I didn't get it at first and ended up knitting an entire blanket that was ribbed (ugly!). So before you get started check out this tutorial.

Don't you just want to snuggle up underneath? Luckily I have enough yarn left to knit one for L'il E.

Get knitting!

pass the crochet hook

Image source

Now that summer is half over (sad face) I've been digging around in my knitting basket and getting excited about a few knitting projects, but man I wish I knew how to crochet! How cool are these Granny Square Pillows!? Our couch could use some updating this Fall and I think these would be a nice touch - modern sleek style meets Granny's house. Hey if friendship bracelets can make a comeback (totally making one) so can these.

Who's up for giving me a crash course in crochet?

August 09, 2011 — AlannaB

busy bee

I am busily sewing my signature lavender eye pillows for a bride and her bridal party. Isn't that a thoughtful gift?

If you're looking for a special personal gift for the bride-to-be or for your wedding party get in touch with me.

I've been told by people that buy my pillows that they also de-puff your eyes (oooh!)

Want one (or several)?


June 23, 2011 — AlannaB

quilt accomplished

My quilt is finally finished and I'm SO happy with how it turned out. Not bad for my first attempt!

I based my fabric selection off of one fat quarter and despite the mix match of patterns and colours they all fit together perfectly (at least I think so). There is something very nostalgic about one or two of the fabric choices and it makes me want to curl up with it on my lap. Next time I think I'll use a patterned fabric for the sashing, just for fun.

If you are interested in trying a nine patch quilt yourself I highly recommend the class at the workroom, if you're not into sewing/quilting but want one, drop me a line and commission one from me.

Here is a close up of my fave patch:

Stay tuned for more of my quilting adventures!



June 12, 2011 — AlannaB

diy cosmetics bag

Now that I've got all kinds of scraps left over from my quilt I have fabric for some small easy projects that I've been wanting to get started. So, last night I churned out this super cute zippered pouch (I'm using it as a makeup bag). I love how the little birds fit so nicely in the bottom right corner (that was not intentional).

To make this sweet pouch I followed the zippered pouch tutorial on one of my fave craft blogs make it perfect.

Give it a try!