My FAV haunts for crafting & upcycling finds

I've been remiss with crafting lately... I've been working on TBD admin and design stuff the past few days. It was time to revisit all of my social media channels, the TBD blog and today was all about my TBD website. I first started updating the TBD Local Haunts page - new locations, photos and addresses. This opened up a big can of worms. A tweek here, a tweek there and before you know it... One hour turned into three. Oops!

These are the hot spots I'm featuring...

First my most favourite thrift store - the Lions Gate Thrift Shop at 128 West 15th Street in North Vancouver. This is where I tend to score FAB jewelry, clothes and crafty supplies. Plus the volunteers are super lovely!

The Good Stuff Connection is good for clothing and home decor finds. It's at 154 West 3rd Street in North Vancouver.

Note: visit my TBD website for the local Salvation Army thrift stores.

Of course I've included Button Button at 318 Homer Street in Vancouver... You can ALWAYS find something at Button Button!

And right around the corner is Dressew at 337 West Hastings Street in Vancouver. This is one huge fabric store with everything you'll ever need. Just avoid it leading up to Halloween... It gets insanely busy!

Urban Source is a crafter/upcycler's dream store! Urban Source is 3126 Main Street in Vancouver. You can either buy new craft supplies or grab a goodie bag and fill it with all sorts of 'junk' that is worthy of being upcycled.

I realize not too many people will find themselves dropping by the Gibsons Recycling Depot for fun when trekking to the Sunshine Coast but it really is worthy of a visit!

The Share Shed at the Sechelt Dump usually has furniture looking to be reloved. It's a deal-o-rama since everything in the Share Shed is $1!

Squamish ReBuild is a FAB spot for finding just about anything.

Any Habitat for Humanity ReStore is worth checking out. I've been finding tons of funky drawer pulls for my salvaged wood organizers for super cheap!

So those are a few of my FAV spots to hit for projects, supplies and inspiration. Check out my mini web update at www.thriftybydesign.ca. I added all of my social media channels, updated content and added a few new pretty pictures. I've been somewhat industrious today. Yay!


Feeling the crafty love & kicking some TBD butt

Ya gotta love the Recyclart love! This week two of my upcycling submissions were featured on Recyclart's website, Facebook page and Twitter. Yay!

First my salvaged wood organizer popped up in my Facebook feed. Nice to see the likes and shares!!

And then the next day my wine cork buttons were posted. Super kewl!!

And here's the homepage with both of my projects. Recyclart is a super inspiring website. People can be so innovative!

Meanwhile I'm gaining more followers on Snapguide plus a ton of likes. I definitely need to think of some more guides to add!

And then I've been playing with my tagline for TBD... I've used 'web designer, crafter extraordinaire and upcycler of things' for my personal website but I've decided to break up with web designer this year. It's time to try something new!

What do you think of 'community catalyst, crafter extraordinaire and upcycler of things'? I'm going to date the new tagline for a bit and test out the waters. I'd love to really see where this whole crafty, upcycling gig can go. Why not!

And so I reworked my blog, Facebook page and Twitter. Next I'm revisiting my TBD website. Fun! Here's my updated blog...

And Facebook page...

And finally my TBD Twitter...

Things are definitely happening!


Latest craft fail - an upcycled wool sweater wine bag

Well I have a craft fail to share... These things happen! And then you move on... I went to a friend's wedding reception a couple of weeks ago. She's the one I gave the frame update to. She asked guests to bring a bottle of wine. And I thought - why not make a DIY wine bag out of upcycled wool sweaters. And that's where things went awry - every time you think you've got a straight-forward project ahead of you... Well it never ever turns out that way!

I decided to start with some flower embellishments. I love these wool flowers! And the colours are super pretty!

I adore grey so used a felted wool thrift store vest for the bag. The flowers work perfectly.

I stitched the flowers on underneath where I envisioned cutting out a hole for the holder. This is where things became surprisingly complicated. Sigh!

Usually I use stitch witchery to seal the front to the inside of my wine bags. Plus it covers up the stitching from any embellishments I add.

I got my iron out for the stitch witchery. I ended up needing a front and back for my wine bag. I was hoping one piece would be enough... This would have worked with only the wool since it would stretch and hug the bottle. But once I added the felt there was no way the fabric would stretch. Darn it all!

So once I had the front and back stitch witchery-ed I then used my sewing machine to add stitching to the ends. I also did a rough stitch for the handle. I cut the handle and then buttonholed stitched the front and back together. Not really grooving on this project... It needs refining! Alas it's a craft fail. Nice idea, interesting implementation and not so pretty end product. Ah well!

I do love these wool flowers though!

Onwards and upwards! Next I'm making a headband for one of my Twitter peeps then mailing it off to England. I'm also waiting on some packages. Fun!


Crafty peeps are da best

Crafty peeps really are the best!! I've been connecting with a few recently that truly inspire me! Creativity and passion are super infectious!

I went to the opening for 'The Reclaimers' was on April 10th at CityScape Community Art Space. The show focussed on art made by recycling materials. I had a Resident Advisory Committee meeting that night for the Neighbourhood Small Grants through Vancouver Foundation. Once the meeting was over, I dropped by the last bit of the opening.

I wanted to check out the show and support a few of my crafty peeps - Lorraine Kwan, Karen Yaremkewich and Ron Simmer. I applied but didn't really have anything appropriate so unfortunately I didn't get in. Next time!

I loved the mix of pieces in the show like this sculpture from an upcycled toaster by Graham Schodda.

And this portrait of the Queen using pennies by William Frymire was also pretty stunning!

I spied the Marlboro man out of matchbooks on board.

Here's another one of my hip and happening artist friends... Duane Murrin. I've known Duane for 20+ years (holy smokes that's a long time!). I used to see him and his band, Big Tall Garden, but now I tend to run into him at craft fairs. He's a man about town selling his paintings, coasters, lanterns, etc.

I ended up dropping by his studio with a friend this weekend. He's prepping for multiple craft fairs plus the North Shore Art Crawl.

His studio space is kewl! I'm pretty jealous! He's even got a few power tools kicking about!

If you want to find out about the North Shore Art Crawl... And to drop by Duane's studio, visit www.nsartcrawl.ca/brochure to download the 2014 brochure.

Hope you'll either check out 'The Reclaimers' or pop into some studios during the North Shore Art Crawl... Or why not do both!

Another kewl crafty peep of mine is Chelsea. She's an amazing photographer whose become a good friend. I gifted a couple of my projects to her - a stuffie for her soon to arrive baby and then one of my salvaged wood organizers as a housewarming present. She posted a few photos to her Facebook page of the organizer.

Upcycling and crafting is the best when you can share and pass on the good vibes.

Thanks to everyone who follows me, shares with me, cheers and crafts with me and TBD. I'm feeling pretty darn fortunate!


Revisiting old projects & feeling inspired

Ever go through old DIY projects, furniture updates, etc then get inspired? I was looking through old photos for potential Snapguide tutorials and found some of my FAV furniture updates. I might have to revisit the whole furniture refinishing thang this summer!

Here's FAV project #1 - it's a $1 chair from the Sechelt dump that I refinished with funky thrift store fabric...

And FAV project #2 is this art deco dresser I found at the Gibsons Recycling Depot for $4. I shabby chic-ed it since the wood was pretty crappy. I then invested in some uber lovely drawer pulls.

FAV project #3 is one of my Sechelt dump chairs. I paid $1 for this chair and managed to refinish it within a few hours. I sanded, oiled then reupholstered. Was super easy peasy! I adore the wood grain... Shellac is nasty!

And then my most prized find is this cabinet that was gifted to me. Yup it was free! Total score! The wood drawer pulls were so darn dated. I sanded the cabinet, stained it then had a craft date with my Dad. We drilled new holes then added some swanky pulls.

I love the transformation of this free cabinet... And it's perfect for storing all of my fabric!

The new drawer pulls were expensive but so worth it!

It's got me thinking... Spring has sprung and I may just have to drag some furniture outside and make it pretty!

Here's to sunshine, getting outside and turning dated furniture finds into fabulous pieces!


Happy forever homes rock!

I love it when I get photos of my projects in their forever homes! I gifted this salvaged wood organizer to my friend Chelsea. She's an amazing photographer whose expecting her first baby and just moved into a new place with her partner. I gave her one of my organizers as a housewarming gift.

Chelsea was going to hang it by her door for coats, etc but it ended up in her bedroom as a jewelry organizer. It looks awesome!

I picked out one of the super rustic looking organizers. I love the imperfections!

I should hang one up for myself! For scarves or jewelry! It looks so darn fabulous.

Here's a quick collage using my FAV app, A Beautiful Mess.

I still have a few more. I'll keep these on hand for my upcoming workshop at the fourth annual Vancouver Mini Maker Faire happening on June 7th and 8th, 2014 at the PNE Forum. Both of my workshops are taking place on Sunday, June 8th. Check my TBD website for more info!

I'm hoping to make more of these in the next while so I can maybe sell them in a store. Time to look into selling my wares again and see what happens! Feeling very grown up!


My newest addiction - Snapguide

Have you heard of Snapguide? Maybe tried one of the guides? Snapguide provides users the opportunity to create and share step-by-step "how to guides." So kewl!

I installed the app awhile ago but didn't try it until last week and now I'm hooked! You can find how to's on everything - FAB recipes, crafty stuff, etc. So of course I've been adding a few of my kookie projects. You can find me at www.snapguide.com/denise-corcoran. I now have 12 guides and 37 followers plus a bunch of likes. Yay!

I first added my wine cork jewelry project. You can see how many views, how many likes and how many comments. Plus users can rate your guides. The ratings help you tweek your guide and see if people find it helpful or not!

It's easy to create a guide - first you add the title and description then the project supplies and finally photos/text for each step of the project. It's easy peasy if you use the app on your phone.

It's so easy that I ended up adding 12 guides the past few days! My metal washer jewelry guide seems to be a hit!

I've got more guides to add. Why not! Sharing is all about caring... I'm collecting photos for upcoming guides - cereal box organizers, wool sweater masks, etc.

And to make it even better - Snapguide has an upcycling contest happening right now. I've submitted a few of my guides. Why not add your own! The more the merrier!

And now to craft and create... Upcycle... It's gonna be a FAB weekend!