5.31.2015

Burlap hanging planter gifties & DIY

Summer is here! And what better to do on a sunny, warm Vancouver day but get crafty. I sat outside and made 3 upcycled burlap hanging planters for friends yesterday. All you need is burlap, hemp, rope, a wire hanger, a darning needle, pliers, scissors and chalk... Plus a plant liner, potting soil and flowers of course!



I found a 14" plant liner works perfectly with the wire hanger. I made some with a 12" plant liner and needed to trim the wire hanger insert by a couple of inches.



First step lay the burlap sac flat then place the plant liner on top. Fold in half and trace around the curved edge then flip over and trace the other curved edge.



Now connect the two traces together to create an oval.



Next trace another oval 1.5" outside of the first oval. This will be the seam for the hanger.



After adding the outer circle, cut out the oval along the outer chalk pattern. Now add box pleats to the burlap - this is to create the bowl shape the plant liner sits in. Use pins to create the bowl. Adjust as needed to fit loosely around the plant liner.

Note: leave a space between the folds so the opening isn't too narrow for the insert.



Next thread the darning needle with hemp. Hemp is the perfect 'thread' for stitching the burlap. Sew a seam 1" in from the edge - this is to hold the folds in place.



Stitch around then stitch again so you end up with a solid line of stitching.



Once you've added the seam then prep the wire hanger. Take it apart then create a wire circle - this is for the opening of the hanging planter. If using a 12" plant liner you may need to trim the wire by 1" or 2".



Turn the burlap inside out then bring the top through the wire hanger circle. Fold the edge of the burlap over the wire circle and pin. We're now adding a stitch to keep the wire circle in place. Whip stitch the burlap to hand sew through the two pieces of burlap while keeping the wire in the centre.

Note: A whip stitch is an easy way to not only finish the edges but to stitch the wire hanger in place. I found spacing the stitches 1/4" to 1/2" apart was perfect!



Once you've added the whip stitch around the top, turn the burlap planter inside in again. Now insert the plant liner and we're ready to add hangers! I used sisal for this part - rope is also a great touch or braid burlap if you prefer.

Use the end of your scissors to create a hole in the threading of the burlap. Don't cut the burlap just enlarge a space in the threading.



Tape the ends of the sisal so it doesn't fray - plus it's easier to pull though the hole this way. Pull the rope through. I pulled from the inside out.



Tie the end of the sisal twice.



Add a wooden ring through the sisal then pull the end through a hole diagonally across from your first hole. Then tie the end twice. Do the same with another rope but perpendicular to the first hanger. Remember to pull the rope through the wooden ring.



Now you're ready to fill the planter. Add potting soil and fertilizer...



Then dig holes for the plants and insert them into the holes. Massage the soil around your plants. Add more soil as needed.



Once you're done then hang and water the planter.



You're done! It shouldn't take you too long - an hour tops! The hand-stitching takes a bit of time but it's worth it!



Love it! And the sisal really adds to the planter!



Now it's time to give these to their forever homes. Yay for crafty love!

5.30.2015

Back to kicking craft butt

And I've got my crafty groove back! Yay! I'm working through the crafty book and I am so close to being done. Phew! 40 DIYs - done... 10 additional write ups - done... And the intro and added pages are in the works. I'm gonna make it!

I dyed burlap this week and made burlap flowers for my crafty book peeps. They've been awesome - great cheerleaders, helpers, editors, etc, etc, etc. I'm adding this cute burlap DIY to my list of fun and easy go to crafty projects.

Here's my witches brew of purple dye and burlap...



I wrapped stem wire with hemp then glue gunned a purple burlap rose to the top.



And then added some plain burlap leaves to the top. Uber pretty, aren't they?



And now that the book is coming to an end it's time to ramp things up with my agents. Nigel and Ben from Integral Artists are pretty fabulous. They helped with the book deal and we have plans... BIG plans for some crafty awesomeness. Next week we start working on our schemes. Yay!



And then I've been reconnecting with my uber FAB crafty peeps like Kate from Bird on a Wire Creations. We met and discussed partnering up on some upcycling workshops in the Fall. Stay tuned for details - projects and dates to come!



Last night I hit the Friday Night Market... Over the years this event has grown like crazy. There must have been 1000s there. Seriously... North Vancouver is becoming kewl. Who knew?! And I guess by default I'm kewl since I live in North Vancouver.



And lucky me.... I connected with another kewl crafty peep at the Friday Night Market. Lo and behold I ran into Meike from The Love of Lavender. I've known Meike for years. I used to help her with her website years ago but we've never met in person. I love it when you have a cyber, crafty friend and then you finally meet in the flesh. Meike is so lovely!



And now I'm off to make a couple of burlap hanging planters for Lee at Agro Cafe... Just a small giftie to thank her for all the burlap she's donated to my upcycling workshops. Happy sunny Saturday everyone!

5.27.2015

Frameworq's Upcycled* Fashion Show

Now that I'm back from the wedding / honeymoon adventure and nearing completion of the crafty book I'm authoring, I'm super stoked about having a life again... Getting out, seeing friends, making new ones and finding inspiration. Saturday was my friend Irina's Upcycled* Fashion Show at FIVESIXTY Nightclub.



It was a great show - there was a comedian, fashion show, booths, etc.



I saw a few familiar faces... Like my peeps from Wood Shop Workers Co-op.



This guy was pretty darn funny. James Kennedy is a local comedian. Here he is warming up the crowd.



And then the show was on!



Here's an action shot... Saw some awesome work, met fun new peeps and Irina (aka Frameworq) kicked butt.



And before you know it, it was over... Definitely a great success!



Then there was the giveaway...



And then we wished Irina well and congrats, planned a crafty date and that was that. An awesome evening out!



Here I am with Irina and my date Claire.



Big congrats to Irina... One awesome crafty peep! We're both kicking it this year.

5.24.2015

The wedding dress saga

Just over 3 weeks ago I got married. And what a wedding it was! Not at all what I had in mind or expected but perfect nonetheless. Thanks to my husband for organizing 95% of the wedding and reception.

I did help with the paperwork of course and then worked on an idea for my wedding dress. It all started with this $4 thrift store dress that I wanted to restyle.



The dress was a size 16 that needed to be trimmed down to a size 8. I'm no seamstress so paid a friend to help me rework my thrift store find.



We first pinned...



Then did a quick stitch job... The top was too loose and the hips were too tight so my friend next reworked the fitting of the dress.



Unfortunately due to some unforeseen circumstances (car breakdowns, moving, pneumonia) we scrambled to get it finished in time. Here I am a week before leaving for the wedding. This is the dress done...



We added a swirl to the bottom as a fun detail which I love.



The top was still a bit loose but I thought that dry cleaning it would make a difference. Oh and check out the awesome pendant a friend bought for me to wear on my wedding day. Score!



And I found the perfect shoes for the day too!



But alas when I got to Havana and tried the dress on it wasn't gonna work - the hips were still too tight and the top was still a bit too loose.

I ended up renting a dress through the people we organized the reception with. And it was... Stunning! Even if the restyled dress had fit better it wouldn't have been right. So all fell into place perfectly.



And man did we look wonderful together... My dress, Roly's suit... It was an amazing day! The dress, makeup, jewelry and hair cost 50 CUC ($60 CDN) - it was so worth it!



I'm not giving up on my restyled dress. My BFF Thelma is going to help me with the dress and hopefully we can update it into what I had in mind. Maybe it'll be the right dress for our wedding in Vancouver next year. Or by then I'll have something else in mind. But for now I had a kick butt wedding - it was one magical day!

5.23.2015

GardenSmart upcycling workshop was a blast!

Thursday night was my first workshop in partnership with GardenSmart and it was AWESOME! The GardenSmart Workshop Series is a collaboration between the North Shore Recycling Program, the Edible Garden Project (EGP), the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre and Cultivate.

I proposed an upcycling project and it was a go! Registrations were a bit slow then all of a sudden we had 8 participants. Yay! So stoked to be connected with GardenSmart - it's a FAB program run by pretty wonderful peeps. Emily, EGP's Program Manager, organized the day, location and registration for the class. She's so great to work with!



I invited my Mom to be my go to girl if anyone had gardening questions so it was a Mom and daughter date so to speak. We got there early, set up and we were good to go!



Here's my sample burlap hanging planter. It turned out so well! Love it when that happens. I've had some craft fails lately so nice to have an easy peasy DIY that turned out beautifully.



Here's my Mom and Emily...



We ended up only having 6 participants. The group are close friends that booked a date night to craft with me and GardenSmart. They were fun, industrious and a teeny tiny bit silly. Loved all of them!



We ended up with some kick butt planters...



I loved this one with the use of the colourful text and stripe.



Big shout out to Agro Cafe at 550 Clark Drive. If you're looking for free burlap sacs to upcycle email Lee. I picked up 12 burlap sacs Thursday morning for the workshop.



So now I'm back to DIYing for the crafty book. It's so close to being done. Phew!