What’s your style? (pt.2)

Here’s some more of the styles that the cuff bracelets are available in. If you missed yesterday’s part two post, make sure to check it out. These are the Gothic cuffs, with lots of black, silk, & lace. The perfect accessory for your little black dress.

Gothic Upcycled Cuff Bracelets by Bubblegum Sass
Gothic Upcycled Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass, Charcoal
Gothic Upcycled Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass, All Black

Here are the Glam Rock cuffs. It’s all about glittery sequin fabric, metal buttons, & faux leather with these. You’ll be set for New Year’s Eve!

Glam Rock Upcycled Cuff Bracelets by Bubblegum Sass
Glam Rock Upcycled Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass, Red
Glam Rock Upcycled Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass, Blue

How about a throwback to the 80’s? I’ve got you covered with these punchy cuffs! Bright colours on black, stripes, & big chunky buttons.

Glam Rock Upcycled Cuff Bracelets by Bubblegum Sass
Glam Rock Upcycled Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass, Aqua
Glam Rock Upcycled Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass, Magenta

Check out the full collection in person at Make It in Edmonton starting tomorrow!!! Eeek! Wish me luck!

What’s your style? (pt.1)

Did you know that the Upcycled Cuffs come in a variety of styles? Thought I would share some with you as the craziness of Make It approaches. Here’s Victorian Romance… Love the muted colours and all the vintage lace & doilies.

Victorian Upcyced Cuff Bracelets by Bubblegum Sass
Victorian Upcyced Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass, Gold
Victorian Upcyced Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass, Olive

These are the Funky Tribal cuffs, with lots of wooden & handmade leather buttons and faux leather.

Tribal Upcycled Cuff Bracelets by Bubblegum Sass
Tribal Upcycled Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass, blue
Tribal Upcycled Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass, Red

These are the Shabby Chic cuffs, available in a whole range of wonderful colours! Lots of vintage doilies, and pretty scrap fabrics. Plus, buttons, buttons, & more buttons!

Shabby Chic Upcycled Cuff Bracelets by Bubblegum Sass
Shabby Chic Upcycled Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass, Blue
Shabby Chic Upcycled Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass, Pink

Check out the collection in person at Make It starting on Thursday!

A shirt story

Upcycled Tribal Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum SassVictorian Upcycled Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass

I thought it was time to share my inspiration for the current collection of accessories that I’ve been making (and making, and making). The full unveiling is coming up at Make It on Thursday. Some of the items have been for sale in the Etsy shop this past year, but other designs, like the Upcycled Collar, will be on sale for the first time. I’m actually a little nervous, but hopeful, in how they will be received.

I started sewing the Upcycled Cuff Bracelets over a year ago, but my inspiration actually came a little over two years ago. I was facing the saddest moment in my entire life, the sudden loss of my oldest brother Blake. Through the course of that sadness, one of the tasks we took on was cleaning out some of his personal items from his house, to make room for a friend to live there until we could bring ourselves to sell it. My mom and I found ourselves cleaning out Blake’s big walk-in closet, folding up each shirt & pair of pants. My big bro loved clothes. He loved being fashionable and as such, he had an amazing collection of outfits. There were several items that we couldn’t bare to let of. My mom and I each kept a pile of things. My pile mostly consisted of dress shirts, some of my brother’s favourites & some that I simply adored. At the time, I kept thinking that I would make my soon-to-be-born baby a teddy bear out of various shirts, in memory of the uncle he would never get to meet.

Months past, and the pile of dress shirts remained untouched in my sewing room. They sat partly because I wasn’t ready to deal with them, partly because I didn’t have the time to sew (hello, newborn baby), but mainly because I couldn’t decide on the perfect project. Then one day, out of the blue, I found myself standing in the sewing room unfolding & re-folding the dress shirts. The next day, I took a pair of scissors and cut a off a cuff from one of the shirts. Then I just started grabbing bits & pieces of things from around my table, made a small pile and began to “play”. Before I knew it, I had a colour theme going and sat down in front of the sewing machine with that cuff and a handful of scrap odds & ends. I hadn’t felt that creative in a long time! I was so satisfied with the end result & eager to make more. Of course, it would be a while before I could really sit down to sew much, but gradually, as I gained more “mama time”, the designs started to flow.

Shabby Chic Upcycled Collar by Bubblegum Sass, Sea Foam GreenShabby Chic Upcycled Collar by Bubblegum Sass, Sea Green

Shabby Chic Upcycled Collar by Bubblegum Sass, RaspberryShabby Chic Upcycled Collar by Bubblegum Sass, Olive Green

When I first saved my brother’s shirts, I was keen to make something crafty in memory of him. Hence the teddy bear idea. But the more time the shirts spent sitting there in the sewing room & in the back of my mind, I had this nagging desire to make something funky out of them that I could wear. Something to capture my brother’s fashionable style, but with my own twist. I’m not too sure where the idea of using the cuffs & collars came from. It just sort of popped into my head. In the end, they have become the perfect way to pay homage to the shirt they were cut from, and an interesting canvas to design on. I love being able to use lots of scrap fabrics & notions & buttons! I try my best to use supplies I have on hand, since, let’s face it, I have a LOT of crafty odds & ends that have accumulated over my many years of sewing, but sometimes I see an interesting notion at the fabric store that I can’t resist. My fave find is coming across vintage doilies at the thrift store. All of these things get incorporated bit by bit into various cuffs & collars.

Some shirts get donated to me by friends, but most I pick up at the thrift store. There is one cuff sitting unmade from my brother’s shirts, the rest were used up long ago. I like the idea of being able to wear something of his, keeping him close to me. I often find myself wondering about the person who previously owned a shirt, when I’m making a cuff or collar. Did they give the shirt away because they were tired of it, did it no longer fit right or was it donated by their family after they passed away? I like to think that I’m giving new life to these shirts, but often wish I knew their story.

Shabby Chic Upcycled Collar by Bubblegum Sass, AquaShabby Chic Upcycled Collar by Bubblegum Sass, Plum Purple

Shabby Chic Upcycled Collar by Bubblegum Sass, Dusty PurpleShabby Chic Upcycled Collar by Bubblegum Sass, Dusty Pink

Go team, go!

Just thought I would take a few minutes to tell you about a few of my fellow Alberta Etsy teamies who will be at the Make It show in Edmonton. It’s less than a week away now!!! Eeek! Still trying to check things off the long list of to-dos, but first, let’s check out some of the good stuff you’ll find at Make It:

J2 Studios Photography
Amazing photo collection by Larry of J2 Studios Photography. He travels to some pretty interesting destinations each year and captures lots of awe inspiring landscapes. I really admire Larry’s ability to notice old building details. He’s a regular at the Make It shows, along with his wife Christina, but this will be the first year they will both be traveling to the Vancouver Make It show. Best of luck guys!

J2 Studios Craft
Larry’s wife Christina of J2 Studios Craft will also be at Make It, showcasing her collection of kanzashi flower hair clips, headbands, and more! She makes such super cute, good quality accessories. I’m sure you’ll find some great stocking stuffers at her booth!

Miss Mac Glass
Fellow teamie Deanna of Miss Mac Glass will also be in attendance with her beautiful blown & fuzed glass items. I’m hoping to pick up one of her newest designs, an olive oil decanter. Think it would look lovely in our kitchen, plus, I could use a better oil dispenser. Deanna always has items in a variety of price ranges too, to fit your Christmas gift budget. Love her belt buckles too!

Hop n Flop
I’m excited to see Jenny from Hop & Flop. Her card creations are simple, and adorable, with a modern edge. Looks like she has some new designs ready for the holiday season too! Jenny also makes wonderful knitted accessories, including fingerless gloves, boot cuffs, and bottle cozies.

There are a bunch of other crafty folks that will be at Make It who have been on the Alberta Etsy Team in the past, including Maple and Oak Designs, Mumble Tease, CoutuKitsch, Tweeling, AVW Photography, and others. You’ll just have to pop by the show and check all the great talent out! There’s still time to grab your discounted early bird tickets or your $1 off admission coupon! Can’t wait for next week!!

Making, making, making

There has been a lot of making going on in the past several months. I’m finally starting to feel like I *might* have enough inventory for Make It. It’s a good thing too because we’re down to only a few weeks before the show. Eeek! Also, did I mention that we’re leaving for a two week road trip to Colorado, today. Super eeek!!

I did manage to list some new cuff bracelets in the shop a while ago. Plus, a shipment of new items made their way to Treehouse Boutique in North Bay last month. Busy making indeed. Here’s a little look at some of the upcycled cuff bracelets that have come out of the sewing room. Getting really excited to see them all on display at Make It! If you’re thinking about checking out the show, you definitely want to grab your discounted early bird admission tickets.

Red Tribal Upcycled Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass

Sea Green Upcycled Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass

Brown Corduroy Upcycled Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass

Sea Foam Upcycled Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass

Here we go again

Well, it is official… Bubblegum Sass will be joining the long list of talented artisans & designers at the Make It! show in Edmonton this November!! Whoot, whoot! Major happy dance in the sewing room yesterday when I received the news. And this morning, the enormity of the whole thing is becoming a bit more real. I will have to be away for 5 days (I’ve never even spent one night away from Sam yet…) and the show itself is a FULL FOUR days of selling. Two of those days the show is open for 11 hours! But I didn’t let any of that stop me from applying. I know that I can pull this off, with plenty of help from my biggest fans, my family. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pumped to have this opportunity! The space for the show is amazing, the vendors are always inspiring, and the packed aisles of enthusiastic shoppers is incredible! The energy of the entire show is simply put, phenomenal!

What’s the next step in preparation? Sitting down and figuring out just how much stock I need to make (and hopefully sell) to make this show a success in my own eyes. This is likely to be the one and only show I attend this year, so from here on out, I’ll be designing & sewing like a mad woman to make stock. Oh and I need to come up with a new booth design, since the products I’ll be focusing haven’t been sold at any past shows (*insert heart pounding just a bit faster*). Deep breathes, lots of coffee and a hubby who is willing to spend lots of time with his son… Make It! here I come!!!

Make It!

Shopping at Make It

Besides the wonderful folks we met at Make It this past weekend, we also scored quite a nice collection of items! It’s hard to resist all the handmade goodness!

Ole Originals Tees and Flight Path BeltA little bit of Alberta… Tees by Ole Originals and leather belt & buckle by Flight Path

Belt by Flight Path

Food items from Make ItBib by Mally Bibs, coconut peanut butter from Monkey Butter, wild mushrooms from Untamed Feast, rescued urban fruit jams from Fruits of Sherbrooke.

Fruits of SherbrookeCan’t wait to give these a try, Raspberry Rhubarb and Almond Pear jams by Fruits of Sherbrooke (they rescue local urban fruit to use in preserves).

Friendly faces of Make It

This past weekend, hubby, Sam and I ventured up to Edmonton for the spring Make It show. We just intended to spend one night, but ended up staying two because of the snow. Yes, still snowing in April. Let us focus on the brighter side of things, though, like the friendly faces of Make It. I was delighted to meet and chat with several Etsy Alberta teamies at the show, some new faces and some old. I know I didn’t catch everyone (we had a lot of teamies at the show). So many good things to check out, I got a little sidetracked here and there. Nonetheless, here are some of the great folks I got to meet:

Heather of Mumble TeaseHeather of Mumble Tease

Larry and Christina of J2 StudiosLarry of J2 Studios Photography & Christina of J2 Studios Craft

Keri of Keri Dawn StudiosKeri of Keri Dawn Studios

Deanna of Miss Mac GlassDeanna of Miss Mac Glass


Make It Happen

I recently heard about this wonderful project, Make It Happen, a documentary about everyday folks who have started creative businesses selling handmade items. It’s a great story to tell. The journey of building a business from the ground up and making a living doing what you love. The team putting this documentary together is Neil Mangan and Jenna Herbut (co-producer of the Make It craft show). Currently, there is a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo to raise money to complete the documentary. Go watch the trailer and then check out all the wonderful perks available to those who donate (Oh and if you scroll down far enough, you might recognize one of the official handmade sponsors…ahem… yes that is little ‘ol me). They will be fundraising until the beginning of May, but make sure you donate soon if you want to take advantage of the bigger ticket perks, including a chance to be interviewed for the movie and handmade business training through Make It University (another of Jenna’s awesome projects). Super excited and can’t wait to watch all the interviews with local Canadian artists! Let’s help make this happen!

Celebrating 200!

Another milestone on this here little blog of mine. This is the 200th post! Yeppers! 200! I figured it was the perfect time to read back through past posts and pick out some of my favorites. So here, in chronological order are my top ten favs (click on the text link in the list below to read the original post):

  1. Trick or treat goodness (part two)
  2. To you, from me: packaging made pretty
  3. A Keyword Story
  4. Sassy crafter
  5. Cat Eye-licious
  6. A Look Back
  7. If you go out into the woods today…
  8. He has been set free
  9. Giving thanks
  10. The longest month

Now, these are my favs for many different reasons. When it came to Bubblegum Sass business-type post, some of them were just enjoyable to write or research, while others were satisfying to share new sewing creations. When it came to personal life-type posts, many marked fairly monumental changes, some positives and others just sad, from being laid off to losing a brother. This has been my life for the past year & a half in 200 posts.

I took a peek at my Google Analytics to see what the most viewed blog posts were, knowing that my favorites were probably not among these. Surprisingly, the most viewed was Purses grow on trees, a post about the purse display stand that my father and I made. Go figure. Following close in second place are a series of posts I wrote in preparation for the Edmonton Make It show in November. These posts were “tweeted” about by the show organizers, and so they reached a larger audience than my blog normally does.

When I started the blog, I made a long list of ideas for possible types of posts and in all honesty, I’ve only tapped into a small portion of these. One of the big things I wanted to post more often on the blog were tutorials with step by step photo documentation of projects I completed. I also really wanted to post more about past projects, crafty and arty. I’ve been making things for years and I feel like showcasing some of my past projects would give readers better insight into where I’ve been in my creative process and the possibilities of where I might go. Plus, it’s just fun to share. Oh how I miss the days of critiques in art school.

My goals going forward with this blog is that I hope to do more tutorials and be more of a resource for your own crafty endeavors, to post regularly about past projects (including my artwork) and start another weekly Keyword Story series (to make sure I keep my keywording muscles toned). I think it would also be awesome to start featuring some of the incredibly creative people in my life.

And so we’ll see where this blog goes for the next 200 posts. Thank you so much for reading along! Not even sure how many of “you” there are out there. But no matter the number, it’s always a pleasure to write and share about my small corner of this very big world.