Interview with Ming Pao Canada Newspaper

I love the randomness of the crafty stuff I do... From being asked to author a book, speak at an event, craft with 'crap' with various peeps and organizations to being interviewed about what I do. I received an email this week from Judy at Ming Pao Daily News, a Chinese language newspaper in Richmond. She saw the listing of upcycling workshops I give with the City of Richmond and asked if I would be interested in being interviewed. And of course I said yes!

We met at Capilano University where I work full time these days (I love my new gig - Cap U is awesome! Yay!) and we sat down for an hour talking about the workshops, what I do and a potential DIY to include with the interview. Judy was unbelievably lovely!

She's hoping to have the feature in this Monday's edition. I'll post it once I have a copy. So exciting! Note: the interview will be in Chinese so I'll have no idea what it says. So great to see the reach of DIYs and upcycling.

Stay tuned for further info about the interview. Judy also thought we could do another feature on my side gig, Thrifty By Design. Or maybe further DIYs. Sometimes that one random, out there request can turn into something pretty darn fabulous. Plus I met an awesome and fun new BFF. Score!

And after a day filled with thoughtful notes from my coworkers (I am truly lucky to work where I do - so many kick butt peeps plus an amazing boss) then the interview with Judy, hearing from my very sappy husband and then this snail mail package from the hugely kewl people behind Fieldtripp. Life is good!

I'm adding Fieldtripp to my roster of people who do kewl things. They share moments, not things and are so darn lovely. I've never met them in person just via social media but man they ROCK. Hopefully one day we can make crafty magic happen together.

So here's to random opportunities, connecting with awesome people and organizations and to having a heart filled with love and joy. And to think it's just gonna get better. Wow!


Kewl peeps doing kewl things: Jenn Ashton

Welcome to a new feature I'm adding to my blog, Kewl peeps doing kewl things. In my crafting and upcycling travels, I've met some pretty darn awesome makers. Whether it's making nifty stuff out of 'junk' or being part of making community happen, these are a few of the peeps that have inspired me. And I hope they'll inspire you!

My next FAV person to feature in my Kewl peeps doing kewl things series is Jenn Ashton. She's one super duper creative dynamo.

I've known Jenn for a few years. We've connected via social media, common interests, shared friends, etc but never actually met in person. Such is the modern world! Thankfully this weekend I finally got to meet Jenn and spend time with her.

Photo credit: Papergirl YVR from Artist Interview: Jenn Ashton

Jenn creates magic in this cozy studio... She seems to always be making, painting and creating. Plus sharing online and then selling and exhibiting her work all over. So much happens in this space and by this one individual - it makes me feel lame in so many ways to see how much she's accomplished. And will accomplish!

Art is everywhere in her place like this series of collaborative pieces...

Mini paintings, little sketches, ideas in the works... How can you not be inspired when you see the whimsical, fun and bright artwork in her place.

I also got to meet her trusty and uber cute dogs - Django...

And Obi...

And lucky me... Not only did I get to hang out with Jenn, her dogs, be inspired by her art but I also got to leave with my very own awesome Jenn Ashton original. Yay!

Find Jenn at www.jenniferashton.ca. Visit her news listing and her events calendar to see where you can find her art. Or just like her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see the awesomeness that is Jenn.


A gifted succulent and a thrift store find make a FAB pair

Last week my Mom gave me this lovely succulent. It was sitting on the window sill in their kitchen feeling a bit neglected so I got it. I took it home and decided I would find it a very happy home.

In my thrifting adventures on Saturday, I found this... A swanky metal teapot from England for $5. It was a bit extravagant for me but I figured it could work really well with the gifted succulent. No harm in trying!

I brought it home, cleaned it up then added some cushions to the bottom. Turns out my teapot was made in England and came from The Carlton.

Next I added some rocks for drainage. Not totally necessary but I figured I'd had them anyways.

After the rocks, I added some soil then transplanted the succulent. I added a bit of water and tada! I was done. Isn't it super cute?!

So there ya go - an easy peasy DIY and super thrifty.

I think these two make a very happy, gorgeous couple! Succulents and thrift store finds make me swoon.

Happy crafting!


Friendship Postcard Making Event 1 of 2

Last weekend I helped my crafty BFF Sanam with her Friendship Postcard Making Event at the North Vancouver City Library. This was event one of two. Sanam received a Library Small Grant to cover the cost of the events. The new Library Small Grants program is targeted at promoting connection among North Vancouver City newcomers and long-term residents.

We had about 20 participants.

All ages and skill levels showed up and got crafty with us.

This little guy made 10 DIY cards and LOVED it.

Happy crafters galore.

The front of one completed card...

And the inside. This was my FAV!

More sample projects...

Everyone got super duper crafty and had fun.

This is my initial sample project. I upcycled a cardboard round from Urban Source and used some stamps for the text and hearts. Cute!

I also made a snazzy gift tag from an upcycled laminate sample. This is the front and back - 'follow your bliss'.

This is an upcycled magnet with a snazzy design... I made this for Sanam.

Another one of my DIY cards using a donated piece of origami from my craft renenade.

One very proud crafter...

Here's Mikale from North Vancouver City Library, Sanam and me - Thrifty By Design.

Big thanks to everyone who popped in for some awesome card making and community building. And of course thanks to Sanam and NVCL for making it happen!

Hope to see you at the next Friendship Postcard Making Event on July 30th from 1:30pm to 4:30pm.


Live & Local Summer Culture Kick Off

A couple of weeks ago, I partnered with North Vancouver Recreation and Culture and Lynn Valley Village for the Live and Local Summer Culture Kick Off. We upcycled paper plates into fans and masks.Turns out the project was a hit! Here's a completed project by Sienna.

My awesome helper Ben with his DIY mask. A paper plate + feathers + a pipe cleaner = kick butt crafting.

A cutie patootie crafter.

Thumbs up for crafting with 'crap'. And for wearing tutus for crafty dates!

Project #2 of 4... Crafting is addictive!

This guy was so proud of his mask. It was pretty darn great...

He then helped his sister with her project.

Here we are rockin' and rollin'... Watermelon fan and spooky mask.

Feathers, gems, a paper plate and a bit of glue is all you need...

Big thanks to North Vancouver Recreation and Culture and Lynn Valley Village for including me in the Live and Local Summer Culture Kick Off. Love working with them!

Check out the NVRC online calendar for more free summer events at www.nvrc.ca.


Stenciling is da bomb

Stenciling is not only da bomb but is highly addictive! Seriously... Once you start you then finding yourself searching out items to stencil! It helps that it's an easy DIY and a simple way to jazz up a dated item.

Last weekend was inspired by some free items from my job at Capilano U. At the end of term, students leave 'treasures' in the hallways and lucky me I scored a couple of wood panels and another item I suspect is for propping small canvases. First weekend project was gluing some cork panels I've been meaning to refresh for awhile to the wood panels. The free panels are the ones with paintings on them.

Free wood panel number one... The sides of this panel had been painted black so I painted the sides of both panels black. I wanted these to be a pair.

First step was painting the sides black...

Then covering them in Mod Podge.

I then added the cork tiles. I had to trim the cork tiles for the smaller wood panels.

I even tried to use up the scrap pieces so nothing was wasted. Once I added the cork, I then allowed the glue to dry. I placed books on top to ensure the cork dried flat.

This was my other free item... I thought I could do a mini update to make it more funsie while keeping the wood au natural.

I used one of my Martha Stewart stencils from Michaels plus a gel pen... First step was filling in the stencil design.

I added a coat of Mod Podge to seal the design. I even tried adding a coat of wood varnish to give the design a resin finish but that didn't work so I stuck with 2-3 coats of Mod Podge and was done.

While the wood piece was drying, I added a design to my two smaller panels. I thought these could be a funky pair for someone. I used one of my other Martha Stewart stencils from Michaels. I taped down the stencil then got out my white craft paint and a sponge brush then got crafty!

You don't need a lot of paint on the sponge brush for this - too much and the paint will seep under the stencil. Not good! So slowly build up the paint and ensure the stencil doesn't move around.

Here's the larger wood panel with a swanky design...

I love these cork panels... Very rustic and perfect for gluing to wood panels. These were given to me ages ago and it's nice to finally use them up.

The wood panel has a 1 inch depth which is great for hanging on your wall.

Here are both panels... I used scraps for the smaller one. Hopefully it's not too noticeable.

Such an easy DIY for office decor... Next I'll be stenciling words on the other cork tile panels. These are perfect for collecting business cards, personalized inspiration boards, etc.

Meanwhile my mystery item is done with a lovely stencil - the perfect home for my crafty book. Totally unplanned but the design and colour really suits the look of 'Raw Crafts'. Score!

Sometimes you just need a bit of time, a few materials and the crafty mojo to make awesomeness out of random items. Love it!

Yup - stenciling really is da bomb! Stay tuned for more stenciling adventures crafty peeps.