30 x 30

Tomorrow is May. You might not necessarily know it, looking out my sewing room window. It snowed yesterday and through the night. There’s about an inch on the ground this morning.

I’ve decided to join David Suzuki’s 30×30 Nature Challenge. For 30 days, starting May 1st, I have committed to spending at least 30 minutes out in nature each day. Now that’s not a huge commitment, really, considering that in nice weather, I like to get outside anyway. Especially with Sam in the mix these days. He absolutely loves being outside! But on days where there’s snow sitting on the ground (AT THE END OF APRIL!!!), going outside for a nature adventure, will be challenging.

We’ll see how it goes. We will soon be without a kitchen and in the middle of chaotic renos, so going outside to the backyard, the park, or cabin will probably be a very welcome escape.

Yellow spring crocus(I know I recently used this photo on the blog, but I couldn’t resist posting it again. A little sign of my hope for spring.)

It’s finally here!

Spring, that is. I think we can safely say that spring is officially here to stay (even if a few more snow flakes fall in the next couple of weeks). Here’s what spring looks like at our house this year:

Sam and Marcus in the garden
Sam and Marcus working on the veggie beds
Sam eating dirt
My litte dirt eating monster (you can't tell from this look, but he really does love eating dirt)
Childern's garden tools
Sam's garden tools are getting lots of use now
Cloth diapers on clothesline
Diapers hanging out on the line (missed this all winter)
Yellow spring crocus
The first spring crocus blooming in the yard

Wishing you a wonderful weekend! Hope there’s plenty of sunshine and fun spring activities where ever you find yourself in the coming days. I hope to get back to sharing my Four Fab Finds post with you on Fridays, once I figure out what Pinterest has done to their site (some website updates are not necessarily for the better). Until then you can always check out my most recent treasuries on Etsy, if you’re needing a Fab Finds fix.

Colourful blossoms

Blush Rose Pink Button Pin by Bubblegum SassMagenta Button Brooch by Bubblegum Sass

I’ve been working on getting these little button brooches into the shop lately. Sticking with my desire to use up the materials I already have in the sewing room, these flowers are made from scrap fabric strips, some cotton, some silk or corduroy. All very cute and perfect for spring and summer! Or even for bringing a little cheerfulness to our “winter coats” which we have sadly continued to wear, with fresh snow falling each week.

I love how the flower acts as a little frame to those adorable buttons! Each brooch is one-of-a-kind, colourful, scrappy and eclectic. I’ve even been playing around with a slightly modern version, a ruffled button brooch that can be worn vertically or horizontally. It’s been fun to experiment with these AND to see my mound of scrap fabric getting a little smaller each week.

There is a colourful collection of these brooches now available. And of course, all my Canadian friends should take advantage of the FREE shipping for these gals.

Turquoise Ruffle Button Brooch by Bubblegum SassPurple Button Brooch by Bubblegum Sass

Button-spiration

These beauties remind me of the Christmas trees wrapped in yarn that I made in December (which I’m realizing I never got around to blogging about…sigh). These Easter eggs are pretty darn cute. They’re made with jute/twine, but I bet they could be done with scrap yarn too. You can find the full tutorial on FitzBirch Crafts.

All you need is styrofoam eggs, glue, jute/twine/yarn, buttons, and cotton crochet thread. Now, when I made my styrofoam Christmas trees wrapped in yarn, I used a hot glue gun. The tutorial recommends PVA glue and a brush, but if I was going to give this a try, I’d probably whip out the glue gun (especially if I’m not doing it with kids).

This definitely feels like a possible nap time craft. And just picture them in a basket as an Easter center piece.

Happy crafting!

Button-spiration

I so very much want to make a spring wreath like this one to hang on our front door! The door feels naked since I took our Christmas wreath off. The cute thing about this one is the use of fabric yo-yos and buttons to create the flowers. I do love the the bits of jute twine incorporated as well. I probably wouldn’t do fabric covered buttons for my own. Also, it seems like you could easily do this on a foam wreath form instead of a narrow embroidery hoop if you’d like a bit more substantial wreath.

Happy first day of Spring!

Spring Pinterest Par-tay

Over a month ago now (almost two…seriously behind on posts) I had the honor of hosting a Pinterst party. I was so excited for it! Gave me something awesome to look forward to. It was also a great excuse to scour Pinterest for new recipes & party ideas. The theme for the party was “spring”, so I decided to go with lemon flavored treats, fresh fruit and flowers. Here’s what I put together:

Chewy Lemon CookiesChewy lemon snowdrop cookies

Flower cookies with brush embroidery

Flower cookies with a no-egg-white royal icing and brush embroidery (a very amateur attempt at cookie decorating… need more practice)

Flower pot fruit cups

Flower pot fruit cups with button toothpicks, my own invention, inspired from ideas found here.

Lemon Feta Dip

Lemon feta dip, so tasty on crispy crackers and I’m sure would work well as a dip for veggies too.

As with previous Pinterest parties, guests brought a craft project along to work on. Keeping with the “Spring” theme, I made Sam’s roller derby onesie in preparation for the season opener.

Sarah's Derby Onesie

Christine was using her knifty knitter to work on a pretty purple scarf.

Christine's Knitting Loom

Ellen was crocheting a lovely, and oh-so-fine, spring scarf. Her patience with that particular project is amazing! That wool and I would have parted ways long ago.

Ellen's Crochet Scarf

After finishing up a couple more tag blankets, Shauna began braided together strips of fabric to make a necklace or headband or both. So muh fun! And the colours were so springy! Probably inspired by this.

Shauna's Braided Headband

And Jan was working on this lovely spring wreath made from a foam wreath form, yarn and felt flowers (which she also made). Jan has an entire Pinterest board dedicated to wreaths!

Jan's Yarn Wreath

That was our night of craftiness. A good time indeed! And now it’s almost time to start planning the next Pinterest Party. (One day I’ll catch up on posts. Probably. Eventually.)

Happy Spring

Wishing you a very lovely first day of Spring! Of course in Calgary Spring always feels like one of the shorter seasons. Sometimes I miss living in Vancouver just because of the spring season they get each year with actual flowers and pretty blossoming trees. Oh the cherry trees and grape hyacinths! Anyway here’s a bit of spring for Calgarians to enjoy… a bouquet of floral pins. I made this as a birthday card for a friend, so she would have some pretty pins to wear. The fabric flowers can simply be unpinned from the card. And of course I had to add some buttons leaves!

Floral pin card

Floral pin card detail

One swell weekend

Make It Calgary booth
Minibytes and Bubblegum Sass booth...
aka The Table of Cute!
It is now Monday, which means I survived the craziness of Make It! It was a looong weekend and I’m super pooped right now, but it was a lot of fun! Things worked out great with Kalen (minibytes). Got to meet some fellow Etsy Alberta Street Team members who were also vendors at the show and some members who just came down to shop. Always great to put a face to a name! It was also just good to talk to fellow vendors about the craft market scene. You end up learning so much from each other.

Make It Calgary table
Bubblegum Sass goodies: small purselettes, hard drive purselettes & button magnets
Surprisingly, Sunday seemed liked the busiest day of the show. The sun came out and it ended up being really lovely outside. Silly Calgarians are so tied to their weather. I swear the sun made everyone just happy enough to start buying things. Maybe it put everyone more in the mood for spring and summer, who knows. I think, all in all, it was a decent turn out considering that this is the first time that Make It has done a spring show in Calgary.

The organizers, Jenna and Chandler Herbut, did an awesome job promoting the show, so a special thanks to them for doing a great job with that!

The flip side of all this positive happiness, is the hard truth that I sadly didn’t have anywhere near the number of sales that I had expected. Many of the vendors were disappointed with this too. It certainly makes it difficult to attend these shows, if you can barely make the table cost back, and I was sharing a booth. Certainly slow sales were not the case with all the vendors and I’m happy that some folks did so well. Which just makes me reflect even more. Is it the show? Is it the Calgary craft scene? Is it simply this year? Is my product line not fitting with the customers? Are my prices all wrong? Should I use different fabrics?

Calgary Make It table
Minibytes goodies: crochet foxes, bears, mice, squirrels, bunnies, chickens & owls
I just don’t know. The uncertainty makes it so hard to know where to go from here. What should I spend my time making?I try to stand by the theory that if you make a product that you truly like, than others will like it too. Is this just some lofty business theory? I mean, you HAVE to stay true to yourself, right? No self-pitying here, just a tinge of disappointment. The big show of the spring/summer kinda flopped for me in terms of sales and now I’m left questioning my next step. Oh the joys of running a business. No straight clear path to follow. No pre-determined recipe for success.

stud'f sock monster booth
Stuf'd booth: the gang of amazing sock monsters
Will I attend another Make It show? TOTALLY! I’m really keen to be a vendor at the fall/Christmas show. If there is one thing that I’m learning, it’s that you can’t necessarily judge a craft show on a single attempt. It can be so very hit and miss (another joy of having a craft business). It all seems like one big mystery. Maybe it will never become any clearer for me, but I’m going to be patient with myself. I’ve been working on my business for less than six months and I feel good with how far I’ve come. Little steps with a couple bigger ones thrown in.

nik naks booth
Beautiful fused glass peices from Nik Naks
For now, I keep marching on. I’ll be attending another event as a vendor in just under two weeks. That’s a bit of surprise, but I’ll give you a hint. Two words, “roller” “derby” 🙂 I have new fabric to sew up a bit of a different product line for that, so I’ll be hiding out in the usual spot for the next while, in front of my sewing machine. Also have some gifts to make and another custom order to complete. Going to take a brief moment today, though, to sit outside in the sun and recharge.

Wishing you all a lovely, sunny Monday!

PS – Both Stuf’d and Nik Naks are fellow team members.

Yet another PS – Make sure all you Canadian folk get out to the polls today and vote in the federal election!! Exercise your democratic right in peace and please don’t turn an apathetic cheek towards this day.

Another weekend, another storm

Snow on windowIt must be Saturday because the city is getting slammed with more snow. Feels like most of our snow storms this year have arrived on weekends. We’re expecting 10-15cm or more of snow (that’s 4-6 inches for our American friends).

So I’m doing the most sensible thing and trying to stay indoors. There’s plenty of entertainment at home these days. Especially since my mother-in-law, Judy, dropped off the first load of her yarn inventory. Yep, that’s right, her yarn inventory. I’m currently looking at 8 garbage bags of yarn. It’s kinda like yarn heaven in the dining room right now. With more bags on the way (once the snow stops), I really need to get a good handle on what type of yarns there are, which means whipping out the spreadsheets and doing inventory. FUN! No really, I like spreadsheets, so this could be a very fun weekend. Plus, touching all that beautiful yarn is like an at-home therapy session. Oh the possibilities of things to be made!

So needless to say, Bubblegum Sass may very well turn into a bit of a yarn business. I’m sure hubby is hoping I can sell some of it. Though we have plenty of room in the basement, I think the idea of being surrounded by bags of yarn is a throwback to his childhood. I’m sure when we got married, he had no idea that I would eventually become a yarn junkie. He was familiar with my sewing habit, but I didn’t take up crochet until a few years ago. He’s a patient sweetie though and knows just how much I love and NEED to craft.

Here’s hoping that wherever you find yourself this weekend, it doesn’t involve snow storms or car accidents or slipping on sidewalks.

P.S. – I’m headed to a concert with my friend, Shauna, tomorrow night. She recently introduced me to the music of Steven Curtis Chapman, which I am loving right now. Yes, he’s a Christian musician, so maybe he won’t appeal to everyone, but I’ve definitely reached a place where I need, want, and very much enjoy that in my life. So look him up in iTunes if you’re interested.