Button-spiration: Spring Flowers Pt. 4

Ok. Here is to hoping that we won’t need so much spring button flower inspiration going forward (fingers crossed for later this week). Maybe we can just pop our head outside and enjoy actual spring? Just in case you’re one of those poor souls that is still dealing with snow Sadly, we are some of those poor souls still dealing with snow (I wrote this post ahead of time, and seemed to have jinxed us, again… there’s a steady falling of snowflakes out there this morning). This then, is still a much needed project to keep your hopes up.

This pretty button project comes from Ashley of Little Miss Momma. She was inspired by hair pins from Anthropologie and was determined to figure out a simple (and inexpensive) knock-off. I must say, I think she was successful! I like her version even better than the ones from Anthropologie. You can find the full tutorial on her blog.

Ashley used fabric yo-yos from a vintage family quilt (of course, you can make your own yo-yos with the help of Heather Bailey’s great step-by-step instructions). Admittedly, part of the charm of these, is the vintage nature of the yo-yos Ashley used, but you can always score some lovely reproduction fabrics from the quilt shop to tap into that vintage charm. Then all you need are some bobby pins, buttons and a hot glue gun (alternatively, you could hand stitch these all together). Place a bit of hot glue on the end of your bobby pin, press onto the back of your yo-yo. Let cool. Flip the yo-yo over. Place a dab of glue in the center of the yo-yo and squish your button into place. Let cool. Put on a pretty spring blouse, along with your newly made hair pin. Go grab an iced tea & enjoy the day!

Yo-yo hair pins

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Our Week (so far)

Evenings spent hand stitching piles of these lovely lace flowers (destined to be accents in some new products)

Evenings spent hand stitching piles of these lovely lace flowers (destined to be accents in some new products)

His and hers coconut crack bar treats. One batch with agave syrup (for her) and one batch with peanut butter (for him). Both with loads of coconut flakes & coconut oil. All sorts of yummy!

His and hers coconut crack bar treats. One batch with agave syrup (for her) and one batch for peanut butter (for him). Both with loads of coconut flakes & coconut oil. All sorts of yummy!

Homemade biscuits (made with coconut oil instead of shortening) and some tasty bacon jam (not homemade).

Homemade biscuits (made with coconut oil instead of shortening) and some tasty bacon jam (not homemade).

Be still my heart. Our little man making his first button art project.

Be still my heart. Our little man making his first button art project.

Sam's completed button artwork, perfect on the mantel. One proud mama.

Sam’s completed button artwork, perfect on the mantel. One proud mama.

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Button-spiration: Spring Flowers Pt. 3

Here is the third installment of our spring button flower inspiration. Thankfully, spring seems to have finally arrived in Calgary over the past few days. The snow is gone We woke to snow this morning, but the ground is turning into mud, and we’ve had much needed sunshine! Hopefully you’re starting to experience some of this too, where ever you may be. Or maybe you’re already delighting in the cherry blossoms & daffodils. Just a touch jealous. We have some crocuses starting to pop up.

To keep our spring hope alive, let us turn to this easy-peasy, but adorable project from indieBerries.All you need for supplies are a pile of buttons, different sizes & colours (how much variation or uniformity you want is up to you) and florist wire. She has cute step-by-step illustrations/cartoons on her blog to demonstrate the project. I so very wished I had time to make some of these right now. I feel like our kitchen could use a little bright colour. Alas, the little bits of free time I have are being dedicated to prepping for the Boutique Wedding Market. Perhaps you’ll have a spare moment in the coming days to give these a try? I do hope so. Enjoy!

Stacked button flowers

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Down the Aisle

Boutique Wedding Market Flyer

Feeling very privileged to be invited to participate as a vendor in Calgary’s newest wedding market! The Boutique Wedding Market will showcase amazing local wedding vendors, designers, & artists specializing in unique, handmade items & services to help you achieve that perfect day! The talent in this show looks stellar! If there’s a wedding coming up in your life, and you long for hand-crafted details & high-quality creativity, this is the show to check out! Can you tell I’m just a bit excited about this new collective of local creative folks?! So here’s a quick preview of who will be at the show (besides little ‘ol me):

Kismet & Clover – Event Styling + Design (co-founder of the show)

by.Ginni – Accessories + Haberdashery (co-founder of the show)

Chris Amat & Mike Seehagel – Photography

Diane + Mike Photography – Photography

Willow & Whimsy – Ethical Floral Arrangements + DIY

Ali Finch – Graphic Design + Invites

Bloom Invites – Boutique Wedding Stationary

Orange Trunk Rentals – Vintage Styling + Rentals

Laura George Designs – Custom Bridal Gowns

City & the Sticks – Reclaimed Wooden Signs

Lannie Rae – Baking + Pastry Arts

Penetration Attempt - Live Music

Admission to the show is FREE! Don’t want to forget to mention that happy fact! There will be some DIY workshops available (which will have a small fee attached to them). The show will be located just a few blocks north of 17th Ave at the old Exes Hair Salon building (1412 1st SW). The show runs Saturday April 26th 10-6 and Sunday April 27th 11-5. I’ll be there all weekend! Did I tell you I’ve been busy whipping up a whole bunch of new shabby chic wedding inspired items just for this show? I’ll give you a peek at the progress later this week. Also, super excited to be offering custom orders! ‘Cause when you’re planning your wedding, you want it to be unique & just-for-you.

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Our Week (so far)

It’s been ages since I tried a regular photo post! A year and a half, in fact… oh my. My “One Moment” photo/keywording posts were replaced by the weekly Four Fab Finds posts. I love sharing the awesome shops & items that I come across on Etsy, but lately I’ve started missing the weekly photo post. Time to try something new, just in time for spring (which might actually be arriving in Calgary this weekend). This desire to take & share more photos again has even prompted me use Instagram. You can find me on there as bubblegumsassy. So here goes, a fairly regular, if not weekly, post to share photos of random moments in our lives. No particular rhyme or reason to them, just things we’ve done, or small bits of our lives I’ve finally taken notice of. Thanks for popping by and taking a peek into our week, so far:

Loving the colourful cover (and the great articles) in the latest issue of Taproot

Loving the colourful cover (and the great articles) in the latest issue of Taproot

Realized that I received my BFA a decade ago. Wow! Here's where my current painting skills are at, making new artwork for Sam's room. He calls it the "Zoo Painting".

Realized that I received my BFA a decade ago. Wow! Here’s where my current painting skills are at, making new artwork for Sam’s room. He calls it the “Zoo Painting”.

Sam is discovering all sorts of neat books on our shelves. Here he is enjoying one of our contemporary art illustration books.

Sam is discovering all sorts of neat books on our shelves. Here he is enjoying one of our contemporary art illustration books.

When you've got a sick toddler on your hands, nothing makes you ALL feel better than freshly baked cookies. This time around it was peanut butter cookies with dark chocolate chips. Yummy in my tummy!

When you’ve got a sick toddler on your hands, nothing makes you ALL feel better than freshly baked cookies. This time around it was peanut butter cookies with dark chocolate chips. Yummy in my tummy!

When you get tired of waiting for spring to arrive, you make pretty flower garden collages using old seed catalogues. Sam is getting good with a glue stick. That opens a door to a whole lot of new crafting time!

When you get tired of waiting for spring to arrive, you make pretty flower garden collages using old seed catalogues. Sam is getting good with a glue stick. That opens a door to a whole lot of new crafting time!

Hope you are all enjoying the weekend, so far! Wishing you much sunshine, thawing gardens, & puddles for splashing (and perhaps a nice long nap too)!

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Button-spiration: Spring Flowers Pt. 2

Button flower pots by Flamingo Toes

Here is another adorable spring button flower project to keep you busy until we can enjoy actual flowers in the yard. The full tutorial can be found on the V Spot blog, by special guest blogger Flamingo Toes.

These little potted fabric flowers are actually quite small, only about 4″ tall. You can pick up all sorts of sizes of clay pots at the craft store these days (and they’re usually very inexpensive). You can either paint the pots, or leave them as is, depending on the look you’re going for. You’ll need some stuffing and faux green moss to fill the pots. Next choose some fabric and burlap to make your flowers. Really, you can use any fabric flower tutorial to create the blossoms, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the style she used here. I would likely use some of my scrappy flowers that I use to make the floral hair combs & brooches. However you decide to make your fabric flowers, just pop a button into the centre of each to finish them off.

Pretty darn adorable project to decorate a fireplace mantel, small shelf or Easter dinner centerpiece. In fact, they’re so simple to make, you could put together one for each Easter dinner guest to take home with them. Attach a little name tag to the pot and you’ve got adorable seating place markers. Lots of ways to use these guys! Have fun creating!

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Four Fab Finds: Waiting on Spring

Yep, we’re still waiting for that elusive season called spring here in Calgary. Sitting in the living room last night and I heard a snow plow/gravel truck drive up and down our street. All I could do was groan. And looking out the window now, yep, it’s snowing again. Seriously. Here is some visual inspiration to help get through another wintery day:

1. Salmon pink leggings from Miki B Fashion
2. Aqua and gold flower beads from myCorabella (fellow Etsy Alberta teamie!)
3. Plush cat sleep mask by Julia Wine
4. Floral wood bangles by BeauMiracle Jewelry

Salmon pink leggings
1. Salmon pink leggings from Miki B Fashion

Milky Aqua Flower Beads
2. Aqua and gold flower beads from myCorabella

Sleep Mask Cat
3. Plush cat sleep mask by Julia Wine

Wood flower bangles
4. Floral wood bangles by BeauMiracle Jewelry

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Button-spiration: Spring Flowers Pt.1

The official arrival date of spring has come and gone. In Calgary, that typically means we get more snow (no joke). This year is not much different, except that it is unusually cold out still. By now, the temperature is a little more mild, but the last few days have felt like full-on winter again. Le sigh. I am feeling VERY done with the snow & cold this year. I’m longing for those days when we can spend hours outside playing & discovering with Sam. Soon, soon, I keep repeating to myself. Well, not soon enough!

As we wait for the snow to fully melt, the ground to thaw, and a tiny hint of green to poke through, I thought we could embrace some simple spring flower button projects. This one is the first in a series of ideas, all collected on my Button-spiration Pinterest board. This cute egg carton button art project is brought to you by Mod Podge Rocks. She cut up a paper egg carton to form the flower blossoms, then had her kids paint and decorate them. When the blossoms were dry, they glued a button into the center of each. A bundle of pipe cleaners were tied with a ribbon to create the flower stems. Everything was then glued into place on a canvas (which she had painted beforehand, although you can now purchase coloured canvases from the craft store, if you’re short on time).


Egg carton button flower art

Sammy and I are using this flower egg carton idea to decorate a spring wreath. Hubby made a large twisted twig wreath several years ago, which we hang on the front door at this time of year. It needs a bit of colour to offset the current dreariness these days, but I don’t want to permanently attach anything to the wreath. I like the idea of having a wreath we can decorate a few different ways. I’ll get Sammy to paint & decorate the egg carton blossoms, then poke two holes through the bottom of each blossom & attach some yarn, so we can just tie them onto the wreath. Once the yarn is through the holes, we can cover it up with a button in the center of each blossom. I’ll try to remember to a) take pictures as we finish working on this and b) find the time to post them.

Until then, have fun playing around with your egg carton flower art!

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Happy Food pt. 2

It’s been a little long in coming, but finally put together the second installation of my Happy Food series. You can find Part 1 here. Keeping with my intention of changing some of our food habits, I finally decided to get on board with my hubby and cut out all vegetable & canola oils (including shortening). I wasn’t using them all that much really, mostly in my baking. We already frequently use olive oil, butter, or bacon grease to cook with. We decided to start using coconut oil for some things. The switch wasn’t as difficult as I had built it up to be. In my mind, it was going to be a real pain in the butt and mean sacrificing some of my fave recipes (many passed down from my family) and having to find new ones to use.

This has not been the case. I found some helpful, easy tips online about substituting coconut oil for vegetable/canola oil & shortening. I also embraced the fact that things might not turn out “right” the first time. Armed with that attitude and determined to commit to the switch, I dove in. I started substituting coconut oil in my baking in the fall, and so far, there hasn’t really been a fail recipe. So today, I want to share some of the tasty things Sammy & I have been eating (hubby is low-carb, so he skips most of these treats… being low-carb is quite a big eating habit change, one that I’m not mentally or emotionally capable of committing to, yet).

First off, you might ask, why coconut oil? It’s not locally grown or made and travels large distances to get onto my pantry shelf. This is one of those instances where healthy outweighs buying local, that is, until we have our own dairy cow & can make enough butter to keep our household happy without breaking the bank. For hubby, who believes in low-carb eating, the fat in coconut oil is not something to be scared of, but embraced. You can find plenty of info and ugly videos on just how disgusting vegetable & canola oil is. With the limited time we have on this earth, I’d much rather put yummy organic coconut oil in my body than that stuff! Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE butter at our house and have been trying to purchase butter from pasture-raised, grass-fed dairy. Simply put, it’s expensive, especially in the quantities we already use. The good quality milk to make the butter is pricey too. Again, I dream of days when we have buckets of milk from our own dairy cow to make yummy, healthy butter.

So let’s check out some of the tasty treats.

We’ve made yummy pancakes, waffles, even Sammy’s birthday cake. Some of these were done with a box mix for dry ingredients (hey, I didn’t say we were perfect). Homemade biscuits are great with that touch of coconut taste. And we’ve made lots & lots of muffins! Coconut oil in muffins has been a delightful discovery. Try it! Another wonderful recipe find has been Coconut Crack Bars. They’re a super snack at our house now, that even Sam loves! I even figured out a low-carb version for hubby (skip the agave syrup & salt, increase the coconut oil, melt some of the coconut oil beforehand and add some lime juice). And who can forget THE best gingerbread cookies I’ve ever made!?! Yep, for Christmas this year, I stuck to my commitment to avoid shortening and made my mom’s gingerbread cookie recipe with coconut oil. Best batch I’ve ever made! Seriously. That officially ended my fear of substituting coconut oil into my fave recipes.

By the way, frying some veggies (like kale & chard) and meats (like beef) in coconut can add a nice change in flavor. I sometimes put just a dab of it on cooked veggies before we serve them (so yummy on carrots). There’s a lot you can do with coconut oil!

Here’s our fave muffin recipe for you to try:

Banana Chocolate Chip Coconut Muffins

Banana chocolate chip muffins by Bubblegum Sass

Ingredients
• 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 egg
• 1/2 cup coconut oil (or a touch more for even more moistness)
• 1/2 cup plain or vanilla greek yogurt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
• 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or more if you want)
• 1/2 cup finely shredded coconut (optional)

Directions
1. In a medium size bowl, combine egg, yogurt, and vanilla. Microwave for 20 seconds & let sit.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. Measure out your coconut oil & melt it.
4. Add the melted coconut oil to the bowl of other wet ingredients. Mix well with a whisk.
5. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
6. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips and optional shredded coconut.
7. Fill parchment paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
9. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire racks.

Tips For Baking With Coconut Oil

  • To substitute coconut oil for vegetable oil, simply use the amount of oil called for in the recipe & then melt it. It’s a straight 1-1 substitution amount.
  • To substitute coconut oil for shortening, reduce the amount of oil used by about 25% (for example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of shortening, use 3/4 cups of coconut oil).
  • To melt my coconut oil for baking recipes, I usually pop it into the microwave for 15 sec. The “experts” on coconut oil recommend a double boiler. If you use a microwave, just be very careful not to over heat. Coconut oil melts easily.
  • Coconut oil has a lower smoke-point than vegetable oil, so keep that in mind if you’re frying it.
  • The  most helpful thing to keep in mind, if you’re adding melted coconut to other wet ingredients in a recipe (like eggs & milk), make sure those ingredients are not straight-out-of-the-fridge cold. Start your baking by mixing together the cold wet ingredients, microwave them for 20 sec & let them sit while you organize everything else. This will ensure that when you add the melted coconut oil to the wet ingredients, the oil won’t start to cool & re-solidify right away. The first recipe I tried, I didn’t heed this advice & the dough never was a great consistency for mixing thoroughly.

Hope you enjoy experimenting with coconut oil! I’ll try to post some of the other recipes we use, like our homemade biscuits and gingerbread cookies, later this month.

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Button-spiration: Stacking

This is such a cute idea! Little button stacking toys with wine corks. All I’m lacking are the self-adhesive velcro dots, otherwise, Sammy & I would be playing with these already. It’s the perfect project for this crazy mama who is determined to instill her love of buttons on everyone, especially her son. Find the full tutorial on the No Time for Flash Cards blog. If you’re looking for other button inspired kids games, check out the one I posted about back in July too.


button stackers

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