2015: The year of awesomeness, gratitude and possibility

2015 was definitely a great year! I ended up getting my much hoped for hat trick... Things happened that I didn't know I wanted, that I didn't know were possible and that I didn't know would be such game changers. But ain't that the best about life... Open yourself up, have no expectations and see what possibility comes your way. Be fearless and let your freak flag fly.

I'm ending 2015 knowing I can make 2016 even better. Why not?! Negativity begets negativity... The same is true for the good and great. Having gratitude, seeing possibility and putting the positive vibes out there - all this can create a FAB foundation that you can build on. So we'll see what I can do.

I've listed my top 10 highlights from 2015 below with my top 3 being my hat trick - getting married to my awesome man, the crafty book and moving on from my job of 7 years for a leap of faith. Leaps of faith are da bomb!

Number 1 of 10: Getting Married

April 30th was the big one... I got married to my person. Roly was a big game changer for me. I thought meeting him was a big enough deal but we fell in love and then sealed the deal. When love comes, no matter the logistics, ya gotta go for it.

Even my Mom adores him. He's a keeper!

And I was so thankful to have a couple of my BFFs join us for the big event.

This guy... He's one of a kind. And so darn cute!

Such a total sweetheart and he's mine til the end. Yay for love!

Number 2 of 10: The Crafty Book

Sometimes things just pop in your lap and ya gotta decide - do I go for it or wimp out. Well 'Raw Crafts' just came along and I decided I had to go for it. It was a tight deadline with most of the work needing to be done before I went off to get married. Spring was crazy and very crafty! But it happened and I am so grateful for the opportunity with RotoVision Books.

The book is out now and I've been signing copies for family and friends. Total surreal experience to be honest. In 2016 I have a couple of book events lined up plus a bit of promo. The crafty goodness just keeps truckin' along.

I redesigned my TBD website and blog with a new logo and tagline. Feeling very grown up to add 'author' to my repertoire. So exciting!

And big thanks to Ben and Nigel at Connekt Creative Agency (CCA). Kewlest agents ever! Here's hoping there's another book in our future!

Number 3 of 10: A Much Needed Leap of Faith

This is the face of a girl whose decided to take a big leap of faith... Just before Xmas I left my job of 7 years for unknown adventures. I have some contract work lined up but I left a very stable job to look after me. And my man. To create awesomeness cause life is too darn short for anything less.

Number 4 of 10: Crafternoons

I tallied up my craftiness for the year. Pretty darn awesome stats: 18 upcycling workshops, 6 craft tables at local events, 1 night class, 1 conference presentation and 1 event demo... Plus authored 1 crafty book. I figure I've crafted with 800+ peeps this year. Crafternoons and my crafty peeps truly ROCK. I am one lucky girl.

Here I am with my Mom and helpers at my last NVCL Crafternoon of 2015.

Yup - Crafternoons really are da bomb. I get paid to craft, meet awesome peeps and generally have fun. I'm pretty darn lucky!

I had a couple of presentations and demos this year too. Partnering up with Our Social Fabric for an event was awesome.

And crafting with people of all ages and all skill levels is quite fabulous. No matter where I craft and with what organization I always meet kick butt people like these two cutie patooties.

Number 5 of 10: Adventuring

Life should always be filled with adventuring... Whether you're staying local or traveling afar, approach life with adventure. It's an attitude and this is when things just happen. This year I visited Roly twice - once for the wedding and honeymoon then again for quality time together. My trip in September was great - time with Roly, time with his family and time trekking around.

He's one very lovely man.

Havana is so worth a visit... Especially Old Havana. There is a beauty and vibrancy you don't find just anywhere. Walking around you happen upon people, sights, etc.

It really is like Paris, Berlin or New York... There's beauty. Really there is. And an energy you don't find in all cities.

And you can just meet people. Find out about the local culture. I met this fisherman along the Malecon. Good people are good people - there are no boundaries or borders.

Havana is one city you can just escape into and see beauty everywhere. Don't you just love traveling and finding places that are endlessly stunning?

Awww... Love this guy! He kept me fueled on caffeine while in Havana. Kind hearts connect despite language barriers.

And the best part of adventuring are the surprises along the way... This guy - like I said he's a game changer. He came along and made me believe in true love, getting married and making plans. He's the cake, the icing and everything else.

Number 6 of 10: Crafting with 'Crap'

I taught a continuing education class at Quest University Canada this spring. Such a fun experience! And I met a few awesome BFFs. We met, we connected, we crafted with 'crap'. What more could you ask for?!

Number 7 of 10: Family

Family is everything! Whether it's close friends or parents, siblings, etc... This is the stuff. I am so lucky to have the bestest of parents, a kewl sister and tons of lovely BFFs. My bank account in this area is brimming.

Goofball Dad - check!

Super lovely Mom and sister - check!

Uber wonderful sister, brother-in-law and rockin' nephew - check!

A new family to add to the mix... Roly's family has embraced me 100% and I them.

Number 8 of 10: Friends

The past few years I've nurtured old friendships and garnered new kewl peeps. Whether rich or poor, a good group of BFFs will get you through almost anything. My BFF and crafty peep Meike has been a gem for cheering me on. Find her at www.theloveoflavender.com.

My Mom with a couple of my favourite friends - Mike and Christina.

You always need that friend that you're in stitches with for HOURS. That's Erica. We laugh, we love, we cheer each other on. Erica is vivacious, fun, vibrant, etc.

And as I get older I want to be like these ladies... They're volunteers at the Lions Gate Hospital Thrift Shop and are fun, sexy, joyful... And 'seniors'. Getting old is not like it used to be. There are no boundaries on age my friends.

And having friends you can do awesome stuff with is pretty kewl. Aren is on the board for the LG Thrift Shop and my very talented, kind-hearted friend Simon whose a photographer and videographer extraordinaire during our video shoot, Community Feature: Lions Gate Hospital Thrift Store.

And my two BFFs who came to my wedding in Havana - Diana and Marnie. These two are so great that my parents have adopted them. We now have dates lined up so my parents get quality time with them. That's how it works with the Corcorans. It's all or nothing.

And crafty online peeps soon enough become in person BFFs. This is Fawn. We somehow connected via Instagram then Facebook and Twitter and now in person. Once you have the in person date then ya know you're in it for the long haul. Fawn and I are committed to the forever friendship.

Number 9 of 10: New Partners

I added new partners to my roster... Bird on a Wire Creations for one.

I gave a Crafternoon at Mamquam Elementary in Squamish. 50+ kids + old wool sweaters = Xmas awesomeness.

And my GardenSmart workshop with my Mom as helper. So much fun!

And then there's my love affair with Vancouver Foundation. * swoon* These guys and their Neighbourhood Small Grant program... Talk about wow. This is what covers the cost of my beloved NVCL Crafternoons. I've had a crush on them for ages, we've dated and now I'm 100% committed.

And all my local suppliers - you are what make my Crafternoons. Agro Cafe (for my endless supply of burlap sacs), UrbanSource, Strathcona BIA, LG Thrift Store, etc, etc, etc. Thank you for your support, inspiration and more.

Number 10 of 10: Features on TBD

I had 2 interviews and 2 blog posts this year. Big thanks to Barb Lunter at North Shore News for this awesome article about TBD, the crafty book and Crafternoons.

I even got this swanky headshot thanks to Mike Wakefield at the North Shore News.

Earlier in the year I had this interview with Ben Lypka from the Squamish Chief about my Crafting with 'Crap' class.

I also had a feature with Tara Galuska for her 'Hello Wonderful' series. Find it at www.taragaluska.com/hello-wonderful/thrifty-by-design.

So that's my year of awesomeness. A top 10 filled with love, craftiness, gratitude, change and adventure. Nothing to complain about and so much to build on. Bring on 2016! I'm ready!

Best wishes for a 2016 filled with possibility. It's never too late to create a life filled with goodness. Happy crafting! xo


An abundance of Xmas Crafternoons

Wow... Wow... Wow! It was a very festive season this year! I thought I had 6 Xmas events but I actually had 8 (5 Crafternoons and 3 craft tables at local events). By the time Xmas got here I was pretty much done with crafting. Hard to believe I know!

Here I am with Santa. We just chilled and I already got what I wanted for Xmas - my 2015 hat trick... The crafty book, getting married and making a work change. I decided to leave my job at the City of North Vancouver just before Xmas to make room for big, new, crazy adventures. 2016 is gonna be one rockin' year - it'll have to be to top 2015.

I have a new crafty partner... I partnered with the North Vancouver Community Arts Council for a craft project at the Carol Ships Festival of Lights Shoreside Celebrations. We upcycled cereal boxes. It was quite the night - torrential rain, tons of mud and intermittent lighting. It was fun yet messy.

We had lots of kids visit us to make ornaments. I hope to work with North Vancouver Community Arts Council more next year. They're awesome!

I also crafted with North Vancouver Recreation and Culture at the festive celebrations in Lynn Valley Village. We made ornaments out of cereal boxes and then made reindeers out of upcycled wine corks.

These guys made tons of reindeers... I even donated my samples.

So originally I thought I had 6 Xmas events equaling 150+ crafters but I had 8 Xmas events equaling 200+ crafters. Feeling the TBD love!

And I just tallied up my craftiness for the year. Pretty darn awesome stats: 18 upcycling workshops, 6 craft tables at local events, 1 night class, 1 conference presentation and 1 event demo... Plus authored 1 crafty book. I figure I've crafted with 800+ peeps this year. Not bad! Bring on 2016!

Visit www.thriftybydesign.ca for upcoming events. Best wishes for a FAB holiday season... And to 2016 - may it be a year filled with love, joy, happiness, possibility and adventure! xo

Gifting my 'Raw Crafts' projects

The time has come to pass on the crafty goodness. There's really only so much room in my place and the projects from 'Raw Crafts' need to be gifted to happy homes. Sharing IS caring.

First was gifting these burlap lavender sachets. These went to a new buddy Susanna. I left them at her work as a surprise. Hopefully she likes them!

Then I gifted this burlap pillow to my buddy Chris. The pillow is a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n roll. Just like Chris! They're the perfect combo! And it was his birthday so even better!

I gifted this to a friend's daughter... She was receiving a copy of the book for Xmas so the bag seemed like a great way to wrap the present. Still love the upcycled belt handle...

And the funky easy peasy felt pocket.

My burlap ornaments and bunny have found new homes. The bunny went to my old boss at Quest University Canada. She's expecting a baby and I thought the bunny would be perfect decor for the nursery.

Next item I gifted was this wine cork tray. This went to neighbours who bought the book plus who are big time wine lovers... I feel like I'm a matchmaker finding the perfect happy homes for my crafts. So much fun!

A few other items looking for homes include this burlap pinboard...

A burlap organizer...

A burlap lunch bag. I have a couple of these to gift. Yay! One bag is gone to a coworker who bought the book. Love this whole 'sharing is caring' thang.

My kick butt wreath is looking for a home...

Purging the crafty goodness has been a ton of fun! Plus it'll free my place for new DIYs and projects. It's a win-win!