Some Thoughts After my First Craft Show

And the winner of the Wardrobe Embroidery book is….. Colleen!! Congratulations Colleen!! Keep an eye out for an email from me to day to get the details for where to send your copy.

This past weekend I did my first craft show as Knitted Bliss Stitching at the Craftadian craft show in Hamilton, and I think it went really well. I learned SO much about prepping for a craft show, and things I would definitely bring  or do differently next time. For example- even though I absolutely never like business cards, apparently you really need them because lots of people ask you for them! I tend to just look them up on social media and follow them right away so I can have a visual reminder of them later on, because I’m not likely to go through business cards after a craft show and look up their websites, but I guess I’m wrong about that, people love business cards! I will get some for next time.

Also – I need bags. AND I need a hand truck/dolly. Seeing the other vendors setting up and popping their boxes and such onto their own hand trucks looked pretty smart, while I stood outside on a loading dock waiting for one of the on-site ones to become free.

I also was seated next to Earth Love Bath & Body and I felt like I learned so much more about craft shows from her, while we chatted in the slow bits that happened here and there. Not to mention her stuff was amazing, and I definitely left with some goodies! I was surprised that the mugs (see photos) which I got specifically for craft shows- they are $10 each and the shipping is at least $12 for each, so they don’t make sense to mail to anyone- didn’t do that well, and I was shocked. So cute! So affordable! Why weren’t they moving quickly? So I asked Monica of Earth Love Bath & Body what products she had that she loved and thought should do a lot better than they did, and her face lit up and she talked about one of her favourite products, and how every maker has a product that they think should be a huge hit that somehow doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. I have been mulling that over since Saturday, especially when she said that every show was different and often something that sells well at one show won’t sell well at the next, and then pick back up again later on, etc. So I feel like there’s hope for the mugs yet!

I will definitely do craft shows again in the future (and Hamilton is such a great city, I like it there so much), but next I’d really like to do a knitting festival! If you know of any that are in Ontario, feel free to share with me so I can put them on my radar, and hopefully apply. 🙂

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles This Week

How to remember someone’s name.

A brilliant idea for staying connected with friends- a gratitude group chat.

Not all accidents are bad.

The 4 magic words to get helpful information from others.

Light from within.

My Favourite Links This Week

Low carb Chicken Parm

I’m not someone who eats low carb on purpose, but this dish is a wonderful dinner idea! Cheesy chicken streips on cauliflower rice (you could also just use normal rice, of you are not trying to eat low cab). THis dish easily comes together with some simple seasoning and a lot of simmering, and you could easily add more veggies to the rice part, as well. You know how I roll- adding veggies everywhere! Except dessert. that can get weird. Recipe for this dish can be found here.Classic Dessert Squares for the Holidays

These butterscotch confetti squares are an absolute classic in my mom’s house- I remember my grandmother making them when I was a child, now my mom makes them, and I am still doing what I have always done- expertly shovel them in! They are so retro and delicious, and super easy to make! If you also are feeling nostalgic about these squares, or just want to try something fun, find the recipe here.

 Mulled Spice Tea

We have all heard about mulled wine, but did you know you could also mull…. tea? This mulled tea recipe is so comforting, delicious, and fills your kitchen with the scent of christmas! This particular recipe calls for using oranges, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom, and it sounds SO DELICIOUS. I can’t wait to make this! Find the recipe here.

Free Nordic Crochet Pillow Pattern

This crocheted pillow is so perfect for winter themed decor that has a casual, Scandinavian feel to it. I love how the simple colour palette looks on these, but you could also customize and make them with red trees, or blue trees, or anything you wanted, really! Find the wonderful free crochet pattern here to make your own.

 

DIY Holiday Photo Ornament

This is such a cute idea to make an ornament celebrating your pet, or even to gift to someone who loooooves their pet! You basically print on some printable fabric (this is a good example), cut it out, and sew it together, adig some embellishments. What a fun idea, right? This could be a really sweet little holiday gift for a lot of animal lovers in your life! Find the whole DIY right here.

 

On Saturday I’ll be in Hamilton, Ontario all day at the Craftadian craft fair– if you are in the area and love craft shows, come on by! I’ll have not only kits, but mugs too! You can find tickets here, and if you prefer to watch from afar, I’ll be doing my best to take photos to share on instagram. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, no matter you get up to!

xo Julie

Review and Giveaway: Wardrobe Embroidery

I’ve been a big fan of Warunee Bolstad for a little while now- her stunning embroidery on knitwear is so inspiring, and at the same time feels accessible. So I was squeaky with excitement when the publisher of her book reached out about doing a review! This is Warunee Bolstad’s book, Wardrobe Embroidery – Knit & Embroidery Projects for Upcycling Clothes.

Wardrobe Embroidery - Knit and Embroidery Projects for Upcycling Clothes

So, spoiler alert- I adore this book completely. This is the book I have ALWAYS wanted and didn’t know it until I saw it. As someone who is really into both knitting and embroidery, this felt like the perfect thing at the perfect time, you know?

The book includes a getting started guide that has instructions on working various embroidery stitches in the book, as well as some tips and tricks for embroidering on different types of fabric that are really helpful to anyone just starting out with embroidering on their clothes. Then it opens into a great section with embroidering on different types of fabric for upcycling clothes- jeans, dresses, tops, you name it.  There are also 9 knitting patterns included, with designs for embroidery as well- the 9 patterns are for 3 sweaters, 2 cardigans, a top, a headband, a jacket, and a neckwarmer. The embroidery designs could easily be worked on a variety of items, so while certain items are shown with a particular embroidery design on them (15 embroidery design templates are included in the book), you could easily switch them out for others in the book, and mix and match.

Here are 2 of my favourite embroidery designs from the upcycle projects, although it was hard to choose!

That floral design on the dress fronts are such a showstopper, aren’t’ they? This is the Dress with Flower Meadow design, and would be so beautiful on just about anything.

I particularly love the branches and buds design on the Little Black Dress with Leaves, which looks so pretty worked in a single contrasting colour. Those branches could also be worked all over for a scattered effect.  Would be pretty on a sleeve, too.

And out of the 9 knitting and embroidery patterns (it was so hard to choose favourites!) These are my top picks:

This Rendezvous Sweater is working with fingering weight yarn held double with a strand of mohair for a soft-as-a-cloud effect, and the lace yoke is a fully charted design. I love how the embroidered flowers nestle into the the garter stitch panels in the yoke, such a pretty effect, don’t you think?

This Headband with a Twist is a brilliant stashbuster for small amounts of yarn, and is also fingering weight held double with a strand of mohair. The flowers are stitched on with the leftover yarn for a subtle floral, although you could work it in contrasting colours, too!

I love the scattered floral effect on this Three Day Cardigan, so named because Warunee actually made it in three days! I love the deep V neckline, and the scattered, almost cherry blossom effect of the flowers fluttering down the cardigan. It’s just so dreamy.

The Botanica Sweater is a quick knit in a bulky weight yarn and 6mm (size 10) needles, and how beautiful are those embroidered flowers around the yoke?! The embroidery is worked with standard embroidery floss, and you could really have fun with different colour ideas and arrangements around the neck and shoulders of this sweater.

Should I get This? I Should Get This.

If you love knitting and embroidery, or even just embroidery, then YES, you should get this. It’s the holiday season, so feel free to send book links to people who are looking for gifts ideas for you- this would be a perfect holiday present for you or for a friend or family member that you know would love this.

Suitable For Beginners? Yes!

Most of the embroidery techniques and the knitting patterns are suitable for adventurous beginners, with some of the knitting patterns requiring skills for place knitting or cables that might be a little more challenging for a brand-new new knitter. But the simple, classic shapes of most of these garments make these great beginner-friendly patterns, if you’ve got a few knits under your belt so far.

These Are All Amazing, I Want to See More!

Warunee Bolstad lives in Oslo, Norway and has an eco-friendly knitting accessory brand, as well as being fantastically creative with knitting and embroidery! Her Instagram account has been a favorite of mine for a while- check out lots of embroidered knitting inspiration here.

You Said Something About a Giveaway, Right?

You can purchase this wonderful book  on Amazon here, or for international orders, on Book Depository (also owned by Amazon) here.  But you know, independent booksellers are always the best place to buy your books, if you can!

Thanks to the fabulous folks at Zakka Workshop, we are having a giveaway (International)! Please leave a comment here let me know which pattern from the collection you are most excited to knit/embroider! You can get an extra free entry by leaving a comment on the instagram post about the giveaway, too!

Contest will close at midnight Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, December 2nd. Winner will be announced on Monday, Dec 6th. 

 

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles This Week

6 reasons why making art is good for you.

This is such a wonderful idea, I really hope it happens quickly- creating a sanctuary for overfished species in the pacific ocean.

Gardening for climate resistance.

The joy of rediscovering people’s homes.

How to clean your phone, computer, and every other screen you’ve got. Because let’s face it, they are all long overdue.

My Favourite Links This Week

Avocado Chicken Flatbread recipe

Easy weeknight pizza dinner recipe? Yes please. The recipe for the flatbread is included, but you could also cheat a bit and buy a flatbread from the grocery store, because no judgment here. The toppings- avocado, chicken bacon, and more- are a great way to use up leftovers kicking around the fridge and pantry, and it’s versatile enough that you can easily make substitutions. Find the recipe here.

Caramel Apple Crumble Recipes Easy

 This is a VERY easy recipe for a wonderful caramel apple crumble, which feels just right for this time of year. Everything is just mixed with a spoon in a bowl, and baked. The sliced apples are tossed in a mixture that gives the crumble the caramel richness, and I think you’ll like it! The recipe can be found right here.

Knitted Gift Ideas

This Little Moons lace wrap would be a wonderful knitted gift, I think – for yourself or to give to another! It looks equally beautiful in a solid colour, or would be quite interesting in a variegated yarn, too. Find the free pattern on Purl Soho, here.

Tassel Crafts, DIY, holiday crafts

I am completely smitten with this DIY tassel tree – doesn’t it look so great?! It’s a quick project, and the tray/frame it is in would be great to paint white and reuse from either something you have around the house or possibly even from a second hand shop (or absolutely you could buy a frame too!). Find the full DIY right here.

Laura Ingalls Wilder quote

This quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder feels especially true in this current on ramp to the busy season. It’s given me some pause for thought. I found it here. 

Have a great weekend everyone! The weather has turned cold here in Toronto, so I think it’s time to start up the hot chocolate. I hope that you have a cozy, happy weekend, and enjoy a treat or two.

xo Julie

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles This Week

These icebergs are floating art.

How to use your brain’s delete button.

These status and tributes to dogs around the world are so sweet.

On friendship with older women.

How to be the guest that gets invited to every dinner.

My Favourite Links This Week

 Roasted cauliflower and sweet potato tacos  recipe

A veggie-filled weeknight supper is on deck with this easy roasted cauliflower and sweet potato taco dish. I love that it’s basically everything roasted together on a sheet pan, and while there’s a detailed recipe for the sauce, honestly I find that you can get great sauces premade from the grocery store these days so I go for that over making my own every single time. Super easy – veggies, avocado, corn tortillas, and some creamy cilantro lime sauce (or siracha mayo sauce would be amazing, too!) Find the recipe here.

These coffee blondies are a perfect weekend treat – the coffee adds great depth of flavour to the deliciously nutty and chocolatey bits, all crammed into squares of goodness. I think, if you like weekend baking for a great cold weather treat, these will likely be just the thing you’d like to treat yourself with this weekend. Recipe can be found over here.

Winter cocktails, winter gin and tonic

The gin and tonic is my favourite cocktail by far- it is a lighter alcohol, and I find that you can make them pretty gentle (or stronger!) to the level you prefer, and there are so many ways to dress them up! This pomegranate version is perfect for the holiday and winter season, should you be looking for some winter cocktail ideas. Find the how-to right here.

Free ankle sock knitting pattern

This is a great stashbusting knitting pattern for you sock knitters- these ankle socks are so cute and would be amazing to work through leftover bits of fingering weight yarn. You could even stripe them! Find the free pattern here- click the black bar that says to download the pattern to get it.

Free corchet pattern for adorable owl

I know that many people are against novelty yarn, but look at this freaking adorable owl!!! Quite possibly the cutest owl I’ve seen! it’s mainly crocheted with a faux fur yarn, which you could find in larger craft stores or local yarn stores that also stock some novelty yarns. Perfect for making toys and stuffies, don’t you think? Find the free pattern for the cutest owl ever here.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, everyone! It’s been a busy start to November- with no signs of it letting up any time soon! I am excited to be a maker at the Craftadian Hamilton Market, and I’ll be there December 4th (Saturday!). This is my first time doing this, so I’ve been prepping not only kits but doing things like getting display materials, figuring out show specials, getting a banner made that has my logo on it, and all those things. I’m hoping that this will be the first of many, so if you know of a craft show (for 2022, I won’t have enough product to do more than one big show before the holidays!) please send me a message and let me know so I can put it on my radar for next year. Oh, and if you are in the Hamilton area, you can get tickets to attend here. I’d love to see you, of course!

Have a beautiful weekend, friends!

xo  Julie