Inspired Embroidery

I've been itching to try some new textile pursuits lately. I didn't get around to any knitting this winter and my sewing machine sees more dust than action. I love paper and tape and crafting pretty mail and daily drawing but it's feeling a bit rote at the moment.

But you know what is tempting me? Embroidery!

There's so much interesting stitchery going on in the embroidery world. Textile art. Adorable patterns. And how fabulous is that embroidery sampler above? Designed by Karen Barbé, a Chilean textile designer, who's also behind this sampler. Wouldn't you love to attend one of her embroidery workshops? But since my schedule doesn't seem to include a crafty adventure to Santiago (and the last time I was there, Chile and I didn't leave on the best of terms!), luckily there is so much wonderful stitchy inspiration to be found online...

Inspiration like Cate Anevski's Ice Cream Face patterns. Be still my adorable ice cream loving heart! You can buy this pattern in her Etsy shop.

Or Liz Payne's vibrant art featuring bold painted colour and modern stitches. I follow Liz on Instagram and her progress photos are always inspiring.

More work from Karen - this time needle weaving! Needle Weaving! I know, I was pretty excited about it too. And look at those little tongues of colour. So fun!

And I'm quite enamoured with the idea of stitching on top of printed fabric. This flower spotted over on Radish Blossoms is gorgeous!

So, where to start? I signed myself up for Carina's Mini Embellishment Club - a weekly mini embroidery pattern to stitch. It's a fairly small investment - both time and money-wise - and I think it's a great starting point. Carina literally wrote the book on stitching flowers after all. Learn a few new skills, polish up some old ones while discovering if this is something I love doing as much as I love admiring!

What crafts or materials are inspiring you lately?

Pinning For Spring (And Shopify!)

I won't hesitate to admit that I've been pining for Spring since about mid-February. While the days are definitely getting longer there's still a blanket of (dirty) snow outside my window and I'm more than ready for a little more colour!

Needless to say, I was pretty excited when Shopify asked me to come pin all things Spring for them this month...

Hello fresh colour! 
Hello bunny rabbits! 
Hello a really great excuse to discover new-to-me shops! 

Follow along to see what I'm pinning, drink in all the Springtime colours and discover new-to-you shops. Oh, and enter our giveaway! There are two $50 Omiyage craft packs full of colourful crafty goodness to be won. All the details here.

Happy pinning! (And hopefully less pining).

Point Of Inspiration - Modern Eggs

The internet is a funny place - so huge and yet at times it feels likes we're all pulling inspiration from the same pool of creative ideas. This can create some challenges but also, some beautiful results. I love seeing what inspires others but also what it inspires them to create!

Here's a fun duo of modern eggs that demonstrate how the online creative community inspire each other in some delicious ways!

I'm a big fan of Baba Souk and love the seasonal wrapping papers Stephanie creates. For Easter, she shared this fab modern egg print (amongst others - go download them here) designed with Marie-France Auger.

Which then inspired Sara over at Tell Love and Chocolate to bake up these gorgeous Easter cookies. So good, right?

I guess you can have good design and eat it too!

Nature, City, Japan - masté SS15

I'm totally enamoured with the new line of masté tapes for SS15! This season, the tape designers at Mark's Inc created a series of washi tapes inspired by Nature, City and Japan. There are so many gems - unpacking our latest order was a huge delight! Let's take a closer look at them...


I just never get sick of throwing a bunch of tape into a messy pile and taking a gazillion photos. The best!

Nature is full of quirky prints and dreamy destinations. Illustration and photo realism. And hot pink dinosaurs. Who doesn't love hot pink dinosaurs?!

City might be my favourite series if only for the trio of coffee prints. Doesn't the coffee table design look like an Instagram feed in tape form?

Japan has a little something for everyone - the modern japanophile, the traditionalist, the foodie. I've been craving a gyudon with a side of sushi since I first set eyes on these tapes!

The masté collection is now available in the shop.

Do you have a favourite of the new designs?

Make Four Leaf Clovers

While we usually don't do much to celebrate St Patrick's Day around here (basically, if they don't make a chocolate-covered-marshmallow treat in honour of a holiday, it doesn't really make it onto our radar), I had a hankering to make four leaf clovers. Maybe it's an end of winter craving for green!

These four leaf clovers are a super simple sticker that you can use any way you please. Here's how:

Start by applying strips of washi tape to your favourite backing paper. Parchment paper or the non-waxed side of waxed paper work well.

For each clover, cut four small hearts out of the washi tape covered paper.

Build your clover one heart at a time so that the points of the hearts meet in the middle.

These lucky washi tape clover stickers would be super cute decorations for cards, gift tags or to decorate gifts, don't you think?

How would you use washi tape clovers?

365 Days Of Letter Writing

I love long term creative projects - it's so interesting to see what people will devote themselves to for a year or longer and what they learn or how their skills evolve over the course of the project. This is (hopefully) the first instalment in a series on creative projects.

Since pretty mail is near to my heart, it seemed appropriate to start with a 365 project all about snail mail. Andrea Raymond-Wong sends a lovingly assembled piece of mail every day and shares her adventures on Instagram. It's a daily delight to see what she's sending and I've discovered quite a few fantastic greeting card brands through her project.   

Here's Andrea's story:

Could you tell us a little bit about your project?

I started 365 days of letter writing on January 1, 2014 and continued to write letters and cards each day until December 31, 2014. I sent mail to family and friends, and met penpals along the way.  On January 1, 2015, I felt I couldn't just stop writing letters daily, so I decided to continue. 

What inspired you to start your 365 project?

I've always loved to send cards and letters via snail mail. I enjoy taking the time to put pen to paper and send a note to someone I am thinking about. The 365 days of letter writing was inspired by a stationery company called Fawnsberg. They make these lovely floral cards (I am such a sucker for florals), and back in December 2013 had invited people to join them in 60 days of letter writing. I decided to take on the challenge, and to post my progress on Instagram (I thought that would keep me motivated). As the 60 days progressed, I 'met' two gals who were also taking on the challenge, and the three of us decided to turn it in to a 365 day challenge. I managed to complete the year - and since January of this year, have continued to send mail each day (but I've stopped counting the number of days).

Who are your favourite stationery designers? 

There are so many fantastic stationery designers - it's tough to choose!

I love Rifle Paper Co. Anna Bond's florals are simply gorgeous. 

I discovered Hooray Today during my 365 adventure, and I think their cards are way cute (especially 'You're a Peach!')

Sapling Press is basically hilarious all of the time, with great text-based cards. I adore letterpress. 

Shout out to some local Canadian faves: Gotamago, Flakes Paperie, Sea & Lake, Made in BV, Queenie's Cards and Xenia Taler (to name but a few).

What's the best thing you've ever received in the mail?

Hard to choose! I think I'd say a hand carved stamp with my name on it that one of my penpals made for me. Over the last year, I've met a lot of awesome people, and have penpals again (which I haven't had since I was about 10-years-old). Penpals send really thoughtful, awesome mail. I did a happy dance after I received a pair of scissors shaped like the Eiffel Tower.

What's your favourite extra to include when sending pretty mail?

Washi tape! And stickers. I also like to include tea, or chocolate. 365 days of letter writing gave me the chance to expand my ever growing washi collection. I find that paper-obsessed people love washi. It's definitely common practice among penpals to send washi samples with each note that goes out. I also like to send mini notebooks and notepads.

Why is snail mail so important to you?

It's a piece of love delivered to your mailbox. I love that in our technology-filled world, we can still reach out to people in an old-fashioned way. It's really quite amazing that you can get to know someone through exchanging letters, and that you can send someone warmth through the mail. Writing letters also allows me to take some time and reflect on the day, to slow down and to get creative.

For anyone interested in snail mailing: 
You can follow Andrea's letter writing adventures on Instagram @dreyray. She'll also be launching a new snail mail subscription service with fellow paper lover Queenie Best of queenie's cards. Q&A Letterbox launches this April. Stay tuned @qandaletterbox on IG and Twitter!

Are you tackling a 365 project or year-long creative project you'd like to share? We'd love to hear about it in the comments!

Tea Time Pretty Mail

There's nothing better than pretty mail in your mailbox, don't you think?

I love to receive lovely things in the mail but must admit I've been a bit remiss in sending mail lately. It's easy to let things slip - even if you love them - once you're out of the routine. So I set aside a bit of time on Friday afternoon to play. Since I ended up with a tea theme, I calling it my own personal Crafternoon Tea!

When crafting pretty mail, I'll often start with the card - the main event, if you will. In this case, I used some of the teacups from this washi tape plus this doodle as inspiration. Are you allowed to take inspiration from yourself?  Oh well, too late! I don't always send handmade cards - there's so much fantastic stationery out there - but it is a nice way to create useful art.

Of course, a handmade card needs a pretty envelope to match. Simple cup shapes create a fun pattern with a little ribbon of white set aside to write on. This envelope will end up inside a larger one for mailing, so I only needed a small space. If it were slated to be the outer envelope, I would have left more space for the address.

And don't forget the back of that envelope! A mix of stripes, dots, crosses and lines make this envelope fun from every angle.

Next I started thinking about extra treats to include in my tea-themed pretty mail. Of course, my favourite washi tape stickers came to mind!

So simple to make - though a bit time-consuming. I simply applied tea time washi tape to my favourite backing paper (parchment paper or waxed paper work too) and then cut out the shapes.

While you could simply slide a handful of loose stickers inside your envelope, it's also fun to experiment with different packaging ideas. Here the stickers are placed inside a small flat polybag and topped with a header made of pretty paper and a doily.

I also included matching washi tapes wrapped around shipping tags. Do you ever share washi tape samples with friends or pen pals? 

Then I grabbed a template and a book of pretty paper and created some mini envelopes.

Pretty cute, right?

I'm excited by the potential of a book filled with pretty paper. (I just got a really exciting one  - I'll tell you about it soon). These mini envelopes are fun to make, but I think there's so much you can do with the paper. What do you use pretty paper for?

I'm not quite done yet, but since I'm writing this post before sending out the mail (very bad form, I know!), I'll stop here and leave a few things a mystery!

How about you? Have you sent or received any pretty mail lately?

Washi Style! Book Giveaway

Are you a book lover? I am a life-long book worm... the internet is full of wonderful things but none so wonderful as getting lost in a book. There is nothing better than a quiet afternoon curled up with good novel, a cookbook filled with gorgeous pictures or a craft book brimming with creative inspiration. So it fills me with such joy that out there in the world is a book with my name on the cover, the pages filled with projects I created with my own two hands (and, of course, a mountain of tape).

I finally was able to see Washi Style! in the wild on the weekend (our wee town being a bit too wee for a big beautiful bookstore). Exciting! Have you spotted Washi Style! in your local bookshop?

I'm super excited to share this book - which I have (unofficially) taken to calling My Treasury of Washi Tape Ideas - with you! From pretty mail to clever gift wrapping to jewelry to crafting with kids, Washi Style! encourages you to really get creative with your washi tape collection.

Even more exciting? Thanks to the publisher, St Martin's Press, you could win a copy plus 10 rolls of wonderful washi tape to get crafty with! There are six prizes to be won...

Enter for a chance to win a Special Signed Bookplate Edition of Marisa Edghill's Washi Style! PLUS a grab bag of Washi Tape! Five more winners will each receive one Signed Bookplate Edition of Washi Style!

Book giveaway is open to US/Canada residents (excluding Quebec). Full contest details at the link.

February Doodles

Some of my favourite doodles from February. You can see all the doodles from this month here and follow along day-by-day on Instagram.

Thoughts at the end of February:

Patterns are my favourite. Especially tropical ones.
A month-long theme (even a loose-goosey one like "Things I Love") feels suffocating
Posca markers are still the love of my doodle-life.
I'm enjoying adding in other materials like tape and paper.
I'm not enjoying my new sketchbook - a new new one is in the cards.