Christmas crafting with Guildford Library

My first of six Xmas Crafternoons took place on December 3rd with Guildford Library. We upcycled items from our recycle bin for reusable packaging. Items included cereal boxes, Mason jars and tin cans. We had a full house of awesome and super keen crafters!

These two lovely ladies made a BFF date to craft with me. They were a hoot!

Here's a Mason jar update in progress... Cork top, ribbon, tissue paper and a pipe cleaner tree. Super cute!

Another Mason jar update... I had some lid inserts I bought awhile ago that I brought along. Such sweet snowflake inserts for the top. Perfect for a usable Xmas package!

Lots of fun crafty dates in the room...

A coworker of mine donated a bunch of these big coffee tins. Perfect for a larger gift... This tin can was wrapped with festive paper, ribbon and then a doily to jazz up the lid.

Loved these two! They were so much fun to craft with!

Tada! A completed Mason jar project.

Three cutie patootie crafters...

A few more completed DIYs...

Our super duper sparkly participant Amelia! Amelia brought her crafty mojo and sparkles to the Crafternoon... I adore my crafty peeps!

Go team Xmas Crafternoon! We had a great group of about 30 participants make total upcycling awesomeness happen! Thanks Guildford Library for having me!

Here's hoping I get to craft with these lovely peeps again sometime soon!!

Stay tuned! I'll be sharing photos from the other five Xmas events I was part of. December was filled with tons of festive making!


My 2016 in review hit list

Funny how the end of the year comes and you feel like you haven't accomplished much. At least that's what I was thinking - this was my year to recover from a bad work situation, intense workload with writing the book and getting married plus focus on starting 2016 with a new gig. Seemed easy peasy but this year became so much more! And I'm ending it knowing 2017 can be just about anything... Over the Xmas break, I'm gonna start stewing on my plan for awesomeness in the new year. I'm feeling inspired!

Here's the rundown on some of the FAB stuff that happened in 2016...


I started the year with a new gig working at Capilano University in the Communications and Marketing department. A temp job that turned into a more senior permanent position. Yay! I also received 2 Employee Recognition Awards - one was the 'Capilano Spirit Award' and the other was a 'Team Innovation Award'. It's been a blast working at Cap U - so many kick butt coworkers and we start 2017 with a new president, a new brand and so much possibility to make things even better!


This was the year of going to see my husband Roly, applying for him to immigrate to Canada and finally him moving here so we can start our life living in the same house, city and country together.

This is us back in April after we sent in our immigration application... Adventuring from Varadero to Havana.

Then in October he got his visa...

And moved to Vancouver in December. Within a week of being here, we got his documents in order and he had his first job in Canada lined up. We're kicking butt!


I set up a few interviews and features to do with the crafty book, 'Raw Crafts' and Crafternoons this year. Loved sitting down with Sheryl MacKay from CBC's North By Northwest. Sheryl is awesome! And after listening to her for years, it was so FAB to meet her in person.

If you missed the interview, here it is in full.

The interview also included a web feature on the CBC website. So kewl to get so much CBC and crafty love happening!

Next I applied to be part of the 2016 Papergirl YVR Artist Interview Series. And they featured me - yay! Find the feature at Artist Interview: Denise Corcoran. Goes to show ya gotta put yourself out there in order for nifty things to happen!

Next up was a random request for a feature with Ming Pao Newspaper (Canada) Ltd. I was interviewed by Judy Yeh about TBD, upcycling and my Crafternoons with the City of Richmond plus I shared a simple DIY. Judy was so much fun!

Find the feature at www.mingpaocanada.com.

We then met up in December for a second interview. Not sure when it's coming out but this feature will focus on the crafty book and the story behind me authoring a book.

Finally I was asked to be a Cut Out + Keep DIY Superstar by Cat Morley. As a featured maker on Cut Out + Keep, I shared 7 easy peasy DIYs for each day of the week. Find the interview and DIYs at www.cutoutandkeep.net/superstars/thrifty-by-design.


Well this year included a couple of crazy book related events. 'Raw Crafts' came out in November last year but the real promo didn't begin until March with 2 kewl happenings - the book launch and an author presentation.

The book launch took place at Book Warehouse on Main Street. I talked a bit about the book, we crafted and then I signed books. We had 20+ peeps show up and join in the fun.

Then later in the month, I gave an author presentation at the North Vancouver Public Library. Talking about the crafty book, how I got started and my love affair with NVCL. So great to share my story!

The presentation included showing sample projects from the book, a giveaway, connecting with friends and family plus making new peeps. Perfect!


This year, I even got the chance to up my skills. Free classes are just one the awesome perks of working at Capilano University. So kewl! I took a few Continuing Ed classes then signed up for a couple of credit classes. Such a great decision! I rocked the Community Development and Outreach (CDO) classes - this term I not only received an A+ for my Intro to Community Development class but I also got my Community Capacity Building Citation.

And I met some amazing people! My class this fall was filled with lovely peeps... It was such an inspiring and enriching experience!


Yup - of course Crafternoons are on the hit list of 2016 awesomeness! I had 22 upcycling workshops this year plus I helped with 2 Friendship Postcard Making classes, had 2 book related events and then presented my NSG story at the Neighbourhood Small Grants Summit. I also hit a milestone with my Crafternoons at the North Vancouver City Library. We had 60+ participants for the Back to School workshop with 20+ people not able to join us since we hit room capacity. Feeling the love!

Old and new partners... The year showed that crafting with 'crap' is super fun and so many people want to get involved!

And I got to see most of my regulars... People who have been on this adventure with me these past few years. You guys make the Crafternoons so darn kick butt!

I also got to help my very sparkly BFF Sanam with her friendship postcard making events. The moment Sanam and I met, I knew we were gonna be super duper BFFs.

And so we crafted together...

Sanam's workshops were supported by a Library Small Grant through NVCL. Here's Mikale from North Vancouver City Library, Sanam and me -Thrifty By Design.


This summer/fall, I got back into updating furniture. Just cause. I updated this chair project. It's my favourite find from the Sechelt dump's Share Shed. So happy with how the new upholstery turned out!

And I refreshed this thrift store chair as well. Why not!

I then found some furniture in desperate need of TLC to refresh like this chair from the Salvation Army thrift store. And the Ikea fabric was also a thrift store find! Total score!

And I updated this side table! I love this table - the wood, the details... Wow!

I missed refinishing furniture so this was a fun one to bring back to life. Hoping to do more furniture rescuing in 2017! Roly and I are on the hunt for an office chair and dresser for him. Let's see what we can do!

Love these two together! *swoon*


This year, I crafted with old and new partners. I met new crafty peeps. Vancouver is bustling with so many events and workshops.

I love crafting with North Vancouver Recreation and Culture! I get paid to show up and craft... How kewl is that!

Here's Emy and Vivian from my City of Richmond workshops. I might not be crafting with them next year but our time together has definitely been magical! So we'll see!

I've been the curator for The Makers Nation Vancouver digest for a couple of years now. This summer, I got to meet the Toronto curator. Tara also works for Camp Tech. Was so great to connect with her in person. And I gotta say courses with Camp Tech rock!

Old friends like Rick from Homestead Junction are fun to support and connect with. Rick and I did a blog post exchange. He's good peeps.

And so are the people working for him.

New peeps include Heather from The Craft Lab. I took one of her classes this year. She's a lovely new BFF and she's partnering with another kewl peep - Irina from Frameworq. They had a Textile Fix It / Clothing Repair Drop In class together. FAB combo!

I also got to craft with Adea from Billy Would Designs. She was my first ever NVCL Crafternoon co-host. Our crafty date was a big hit! I'm hoping to plan more co-host workshops in 2017.

Old friends include Rebekah and Norbert from The Hive Printing. Love these two!

Big love for Our Social Fabric as well. They're in a new space making diverting fabric waste beyond kewl. And having fun being sustainable!

And my latest local love affair is with Fieldtripp. Definitely check these guys out - they are going places! Sign up for a workshop, share your event, read the blog - maybe even become a Fieldtripp Ambassador!


I was thrilled to be asked to present my NSG story at the Neighbourhood Small Grants Summit. I adore NSG and Vancouver Foundation! I presented my project, saw old friends and made new ones.

My love affair with NSG and Vancouver Foundation just gets better!

So honoured I got to take part in the Summit, connect with other NSG recepients and continue being a NSG cheerleader.

Here's the video of my presentation. Not the best quality but worth sharing.

I even signed up for my second stint on the Resident Advisory Committee.


I only went on one adventure this year. With Roly moving here, I thought it best to work and focus on my classes. We did have our adventure in April which was fun! We saw family, trekked to new places and enjoyed being together.

One year married! Wow...

His family is super lovely and sweet. Roly and his sister, Zuri.

Zuri, me and her kids.

Roly, his mom and I.

Here we are at his dad's place...

I love my family-in-law... Joyful, happy, fun people. I'm lucky!

And this is the women he bakes cakes for. Roly is loved!

Date night in Cienfuegos. Here's hoping we get to go on a big adventure soon... Or maybe him moving here will be a big enough adventure for the next while!

And that was 2016! Not a bad year at all - an amazing new gig, loads of Crafternoon awesomeness, my husband being here and learning new skills. I suspect I'll be able to kick more butt in 2017! We'll see!

Best wishes everyone for a wonderful 2017! May it be everything you hoped for and more! Maybe it'll even hold some awesome surprises for you! xo