DIY Embroidery Thread Savers

DIY Embroidery Thread Savers ~ Blog Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass ~ Washi Tape & Button Crafts

I was recently on a mission to tidy up my Love Catcher sewing box. It contains all the bits and pieces I need to prepare the embroidery hoops for the Love Catchers. I began pulling everything out of the box and sorting things into piles, which is when I quickly discovered a mishmash of embroidery thread pieces. They’re good lengths of embroidery thread (perfectly suitable to keep around), so I whipped out some clothespins and got to work on organizing them. When I posted a picture on Instagram of the nicely organized threads, folks were tickled {and surprised} at how a simple thing like a clothespin could make such a great thread saver. And so, I’m sharing it here with you. Pull out your sewing box and errant threads and let’s get to work!

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In the Garden: Garden Planning

Gardening Planning ~ Blog post by Bubblegum Sass ~ Garden journals from Taproot Magazine
Seeds from West Coast Seeds and garden journals from Taproot Magazine

There might still be the occasional snowflake falling from the sky these days, but it is time to turn some attention to garden planning & prep. My hubby is truly the brains behind the operation, while I lend my hands & time to the work in the spring, summer & fall. He comes up with our garden plan each year, while he plans out the other yards for his urban farming business. Even the seeds for our own garden get lumped into orders for Happiness By The Acre.

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DIY Paintbrush for Kids

DIY Paintbrush for Kids ~ Clothespins & Cotton Balls ~Blog Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass

We’ve been moving Sam away from nap time the past few weeks because his nighttime sleep was getting pretty crazy. He gets quiet time in his room instead of naps, which he is growing to like more and more. No naps in the afternoon can make for long days though. I recently whipped up this little activity for him to try out just to break up one particularly long afternoon.

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Mourning Mamahood

I blinked and he was suddenly three.

 

Mourning Mamahood ~ thoughts on motherhood ~ blog post by Bubblegum Sass
Sam a few weeks old (2012)

This has been a big week. Between bathroom renovations, our washing machine officially dying and rearranging bedrooms to accommodate Sam’s new big boy bed {all in a five day period} I feel like our home was turned upside down and inside out. Or at least, that’s how these changes are making my tummy feel. A little queasy and uneasy. I’m not necessarily a fearless person when it comes to change. I hesitate, I deliberate, I ponder and I get a bit grumpy.

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Around Town: Crafted Artisan Truck

Crafted Artisan Truck in Calgary ~ unique mobile retail featuring local artists & designers

It’s HERE!! Or Rather, it WILL be very soon. The Crafted Artisan Truck will be hitting the streets of Calgary next month. I was thrilled to see the crowd source funding for this project {which I blogged about previously} come through and it has been a pleasure to watch Pam’s journey since last June. The Truck, which underwent a bit of a facelift and re-brand, looks like it’s coming together nicely. Can’t wait to set foot onto it, once it’s all decked out with everyone’s work!

Speaking of work, a colorful collection of Bubblegum Sass items are on their way to the Truck. You’ll find a selection of Love Catchers, Button Brooches, Button Hair Clips, and Upcycled Cuff Bracelets by little ‘ol me in the Truck. I’ve been hard at work on making and tagging the last few weeks {including new stamps & tags as part of my rebrand). Feels good to have everything out the door now.

Make & Mingle Workshops from Crafted Artisan Truck ~ Register today for spring/summer 2015 workshops

The other exciting bit of news is the Crafted will offer workshops throughout the year, led by a variety of local artists & designers! The Spring/Summer 2015 schedule is up and registration is NOW OPEN! I’ve even registered for a couple workshops myself just for fun (hello weaving!) and for work (photo styling, yes please). Pssst… I might also have scored a spot in a workshop that you’ll have a chance to win next month. Seriously good stuff to look forward to!

Oh, and did I mention that hubby will be leading one of the workshops? Yep, on June 29th, you can try your hand at planting & propagation with my man from Happiness By The Acre. Hurry over to the website and register today.


Workshop: Seedlings ~ From Crafted Artisan Truck ~ Workshop led by Marcus of Happiness By The Acre ~ Register Today

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Where in the World?

I’ve always wanted to sit down and map out just where my Bubblegum Sass customers are. As orders come in, I briefly note where they are headed, but I thought it was time to do a bit more than “briefly” take notice, especially with all these wonderful new customers purchasing Love Catchers. And so, now I can answer the question “where in the world are my dear customers?”

Bubblegum Sass Customer Map

Joining all these wonderful North American locations are the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, and Australia. I think the map might make it onto a wall in the sewing room, so that the next time I start to wonder if my small business is, well, just too small, I can see that it reaches people around the world. Thank you for being a part of my community, whether you’re right next door, or across the globe.

I’m happy to report that with Love Catcher orders coming in regularly, I needed to purchase a supply of shipping boxes. No more hoarding cereal boxes & every small box I could get my hands on around the house. Standardized shipping boxes simplify the packaging and processing task a bit. Feeling like quite the “big girl” now. I’ve even got a cupboard in the sewing room organized with all my tagging & shipping materials. Love it! If you’re looking for boxes, bags, labels and everything else related to shipping, check out Shippers Supply Inc. Hubby purchased his veggie bags from there too and was the one who suggested I look into their box options. So far, so good. This stack of boxes should last me quite a while.

Shipping Boxes for Bubblegum Sass

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DIY Paint Roller for Toddlers

DIY Paint Roller for Toddlers ~ Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass

Ok. So I have to admit that I actually did this project with Sam well over six months ago, back when he was a toddler. Somehow I didn’t get around to posting about it until now. Go figure.

This is a simple project for you to make when your creative time with the kiddos needs a little refreshing. Sam was getting bored with the typical paint options, so I put together his own little paint roller to add some fun.

DIY Paint Roller for Toddlers ~ Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass
Here are the supplies you will need for this project:

  • empty toilet paper roll
  • bubble wrap
  • scissors
  • tape
  • paint tray (we have cardboard trays that I saved from something, but use whatever you prefer, as long as it is wide enough for the the toilet paper roll)
  • canvas (or paper depending on what you want to paint on)
  • washable kids’ paint
DIY Paint Roller for Toddlers ~ Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass
Simply cut a piece of bubble wrap large enough to wrap around the toilet paper roll. Fold a couple pieces of tape under the edge of the bubble wrap to secure into place. Using your paint tray, pour in your child’s choice of paint colours {Sam wanted every colour}.
DIY Paint Roller for Toddlers ~ Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass
Once the paint is in the tray, it’s time to play. Have your child experiment with placing the paint roller in the tray to “pick up” different colours. When there is paint on the roller, have them try rolling it across their canvas.
DIY Paint Roller for Toddlers ~ Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass
The bubble wrap roller creates very interesting textures. Your child might like rolling it across the whole length of the canvas, or they might enjoy using it more like a stamp. Let them explore with it.
DIY Paint Roller for Toddlers ~ Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass
TIP: If colours start to get too muddy on the roller, simply give it a quick rinse and start over. Sam also enjoyed using some of his previously painted canvases and rolling new colours on them. They are some of my favorite paintings now.

DIY Paint Roller for Toddlers ~ Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass

 

After thoughts:

The toilet paper rolls are a nice size for the little ones to use, but you could also try empty paper towel rolls. And of course, I hope the the bubble wrap is inspiration for you to try other materials too. It’s fun for them to see what textures different things create. Here are some other DIY Paint Roller techniques to consider:

  • glue yarn around an empty toilet paper
  • stick those foam sticker shapes onto an empty toilet paper roll
  • cut your own shapes/designs out of craft foam sheet & glue to roll
  • glue leaves (or other natural objects) onto an empty toilet paper roll
  • glue buttons onto an empty toilet paper roll (just thought of this one & really want to give it a try)

Also, just a note to mention, that at the same time I was writing this post, my friend Kerri was experimenting with bubble wrap painting on FABRIC!! You can see the results of her project on her newly started blog Soham Design.

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When Life Keeps Giving You Lemons

You either get sick of drinking lemonade or

choose to stop seeing things as lemons to begin with.

Small Upcycled Love Catcher by Bubblegum Sass
On the outside, I live a fairly average life. Married. One child. A cat. A house. Stay-at-home-mom. Introvert. Passion for all things crafty & creative. Learning to be a green-thumb. Dive one layer deeper and you discover that I have a very close relationship with my family, keep a small, but tight group of friends, and struggle with all the insecurities & worries that come with being a parent.

Keep going deeper… you learn that both my hubby & I balance our own small businesses, along with that close knit relationship with our family. We’re working on making our big, long-term dream of living on a farm a reality. We have a passion for happy, healthy, locally produced food and a desire to share that with everyone we meet.

Dig deeper… I’ve struggled with the health complications of massive uterine fibroid growths since 2009. Had one, highly invasive, major surgery to remove them. Except they grew back and are now bigger than before.

Keep going deeper… I started my crafty business in 2011 after being laid off from my job in Calgary’s creative tech sector. That same year I finally found myself pregnant for the first time, but sadly miscarried. A couple months later my mom was diagnosed with cancer. A week later I was pregnant again. Five months after that, my oldest brother died.

Even deeper… I witnessed & experienced the heartache of watching my oldest brother struggle with the ugly disease of alcoholism for over a decade. More heartbreaking as each year passed. I’ve gone through the uncertainty of being able to have children (going through it again as we try for baby number 2). I’ve watched my parents suffer the terrible loss of a son (it’s burned into my eyes & heart). I’ve also been watching my mom courageously battle cancer for almost four years now. The joyous birth of our own son in 2012 was seen as a huge beacon of light in my family, after much darkness.

Deeper still… my mom isn’t winning her battle with cancer. This past year her physical & mental health has declined greatly. No more chemo treatments now. Doctors just want to make her as comfortable as possible, for however long she has left. And so, after well over a decade of “lemons” being dealt our way, we go into 2015 with this very real possibility, that it will be the last year I spend with my sweet mom.

Small Upcycled Love Catcher by Bubblegum Sass ~ Vintage Buttons Shabby Chic Home

Maybe not quite such an average life after all.

A lot of people will read everything above (and even below) and question our sanity. Some might be able to relate to a few of the life challenges we’ve walked through. And I’m hoping, that others will see it the way I struggle to see it every day; a blessed life.

Dig deep to my core… you will find my belief in God, in Jesus, in the Holy Spirit. THIS is what keeps telling me to stop seeing things as “lemons”. I truly live a very blessed life. If there is one thing that I can walk into the future with, it is an appreciation for God’s timing, right down to every heartbreaking moment. I will trust in Him. Oh, how I WILL trust in him.

But you caught that part about it being

a struggle every day, right?

Every. Day.

I am by no means running through each day with the wind blowing in my hair, a smile plastered to my face, while I belt out praises and love with grace. I’m just a woman balancing her roles of mama, wife, daughter, sister, and now auntie; wanting to hold my family so close, but knowing I will have to let go one day. I love as best I can. I’m learning to forgive and ask forgiveness. But the greatest challenge of all, is learning to be thankful even in the darkest hours.

It’s how I’m starting to see things, not as lemons, but as part of His blessings. I can’t worry about what tomorrow or next month will bring, but only hope that I come right back to reading this post if I begin to see those “lemons” rolling my way. It’s mostly a reminder for me. I would love if it were a reminder for you too.

Small Love Catcher by Bubblegum Sass ~ Shabby Chic Country Kitchen Decor

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