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Toxic Paper Factory

Hello-  So I know I promised a fashion sewing post… and I do have 3 of them planned out, it has just been really dark and dreary lately and not so good for taking pictures of the things I have made. So instead, I will fill this gap with the CUTEST craft project ever!

The other day I was over on the blog How About Orange , looking through old posts and free downloads that she had found, when I came across a post for these little paper cats from toxicpaperfactory.com

I instantly clicked the link and found myself absorbed by the amazing little creations on the website, there were so many different designs. Not all of the designs are free, and I think they change which ones are free, since the cat one was no longer free when I went to the website, but they did have free downloads for each chinese zodiac animal!! 
To which I was instantly like “what is my chinese zodiac!!?!”- I was with my mom at the time, so naturally I looked up hers (horse- cool, majestic), then my sisters (snake -also really cool and my sister loves snakes), then my dads (tiger- WOW awesome these are so cool), then mine (year of the…… goat…. – yeah okay). I did look it up later, and apparently it is the year of either the goat OR the sheep, depending on which translation you go by, it could be either- and I was much happier to think that I was the year of the sheep, a cute fluffy sheep :), so from this point forth I will refer to my zodiac animal as the year of the sheep… not that I’m jealous….  
Anyways, it really doesn’t matter because each of these little paper creatures is unbelievably cute, no matter what chinese year you are born into. So I downloaded the horse, sheep, snake and tiger and set out to make a little chinese zodiac family!
They are simple printable downloads, I printed them on white cardstock from my regular colour printer (which decided to whimp out on my little sheep and it is a bit more albino than it is supposed to be…) . Then you cut them out and glue it all together, I used regular white glue with a fine applicator, but it was also helpful to use a toothpick to spread the glue at some of the trickier and finer points. They do have a little video tutorial on the site that shows generally how they go together. I wouldn’t say that these were super simple paper crafts but SO worth it- I mean how cute are these?
Our happy chinese zodiac family (snake sister, tiger dad, sheep me, horse mom)
also- please ignore my sister, her laptop and the two empty glasses of red wine in the background
 (this is how I craft)

I’m so impressed with these little guys and they have so many more amazing design downloads that you can buy- I’m looking into a couple of them, but you can also donate, which I will definitely do- since I was so impressed with the result of these! and I may or may not be planning to make a complete set of the zodiac animals… 🙂
Now that my shelf has been made infinitely cuter by the presence of these little guys, I’m off to do some more sewing- with a promise to post really soon! 
xo erin

Creative Outing!

A couple of weekends ago, my sister and I went to the Creativ Festival in Toronto- a convention of sorts for all things creative including: sewing, quilting, beading, knitting/crochet.. etc. As much as I do love all things sewing, I was completely side-tracked by all the shiny beads! (how can you not drool a little looking at this..)

– I also got side-tracked by a huge crochet aquarium display, that included many cute little friends- this one in particular that I will have to make sometime soon!
But as I said before, my sister and I got really carried away and spent most of our day ‘ohhing’ and ‘ahhing’ over all the pretty sparkly beads, and we brought quite a number of them home with us – only the ones we couldn’t leave behind of course!
There was also a booth where you could buy bracelet kits and make them right there, which we decided was a good option since we had been standing for a few hours at that point. 

Despite the terrible quality of this phone pic (sorry)- this was my little beading area while I worked on the kit, I picked a jazzy green number. I had never made a charm-style bracelet like this and I found it really fun and inspiring! So inspiring that as soon as I got home I jumped all over my sister’s expansive bead collection and started beading, making some original creations!

The first one I made was the black/gold/silver bracelet (inspired by halloween) and the second was the blue/turquoise/silver one, followed by the chandelier-style necklace for good measure. I made sure to included at least one of my favourite bead purchase from the show into each piece- which I like to call the ‘galaxy bead’ (the main top circular one on the necklace, shown well below in the bracelet) It is a midnight blue colour with sparkles and it just reminds me so much of a night sky… I’m a little obsessed with them…

Something about this style of jewelry making is so appealing to me, working the metal and making all the little charms to attach- it makes my creative side smile :). I am really looking forward to doing more of this!

After the creative festival Kristie and I went to an art show being held in the same building, that was recommended to her by one of her art profs. We saw some super cool things! Although I can’t say that I am the best art connoisseur, and I had my fair share of ‘what is that?… I don’t get art…’ moments, but there were some really cool things to see.

Then – just so we could finish with a bang- we went up the CN tower for dinner, mostly because Kristie, being Canadian for all 24 years of her life, has NEVER been up the CN tower, which is an abomination, and because you get a free lift up the tower if you order an entree in their restaurant, and we needed to eat anyways!

It was so high up! and, as you can see, it was dark by the time we finished dinner and went to the observation deck to take pictures. The whole day was so much fun, so inspiring, and it was also a little colder than we thought it would be- so I also picked up these little hand-friends. (other mitten not shown as it was needed to take the picture)

I think these will keep me good company over the winter :). 
Now off to make more jewelry! 
xo erin
-also, I suppose I haven’t mentioned this before, but all comments are welcome 🙂 !

Hibernation Preparation

So now that Halloween is over, and the long winter is ahead, I have decided to prepare for my inevitable hibernation (not wanting to leave my bed ever) by making myself a new duvet cover.

My old duvet cover had a pretty flower print on a white background, but was prone to yellowing near the top where it would come into contact with my face, that may or may not have been properly removed of make-up before going to bed.. Anyways, this time I wanted something very pretty, and perhaps a little more off-white, to at least appear clean for longer, so with some help from my mom, I picked out this fabric:

With green being my favourite colour, and the lovely serene print- I figured that I could sleep very soundly bundled up in a cocoon of this. So I set to work making a queen sized duvet cover and matching pillow cases for good measure. I also set out to prove to my mother that I can use the serger that she bought for me for my last birthday (although I do have a slight fear of sergers), and I have learned to love it! It is a beautiful Husqvarna Viking H class (pictured below) and it really did make this project easier. (see mom, it was worthwhile!)

This picture is a good representation of my sewing process – machine in front of me, and laptop beside me playing an audio book- Audio book of choice was Paper Towns by John Green, which I actually enjoyed more than his more recent Fault in our Stars- however I would recommend both! I also like that they are short enough that you can listen to the whole book in one day on a sewing marathon. In general I would say that this project was really simple, just a lot of working with huge pieces of fabric that can get a little awkward at times, but I was so happy with the result!

Complimentary shot of the vintage fashion posters *cough* pictures cut out of a calendar *cough* above my bed.
The duvet cover is simply a big rectangle (lined with off-white poly-cotton blend) with an opening at the bottom to fit the duvet in, with ties to keep it closed. The pillows are a little more decorative. I designed them so that there would be a border of fabric around the outside of the pillow, and I did a bit of piping detail on the front, as well as having an overlapping back to fit the pillow in, instead of having a zipper or side opening.
– the piping detail, using the same green grosgrain ribbon from the curtains in my sewing room.
– dark and awkward hand shot showing the back overlap opening of the pillow.
Overall I am so happy with how this turned out, and am excited to snuggle into bed every evening, which realistically looks more like this picture below, once I have piled more pillows and all the appropriate stuffed animals onto the bed, along with (of course) my laptop.
I do realize that this blog seems a little more involved in the ‘home decor’ area of sewing, but I promise that is only because I have recently moved, and I really don’t do this home decor stuff very much. My next post will be a fashion sewing post. And now you can clearly imagine where I will be creating that post from :).
Sweet dreams!
xo erin

Fighting Evil By Moonlight…

♫ It’s the most wonderful time of the year ♫- yes Halloween! As both a sewing and Halloween fanatic, I can declare that this is indeed the most wonderful time of the year, a time of year where you can dress up however you want, in whatever costume, and you can make it yourself!

This year, I will admit that I let my make-up loving side get the better of me and went as a sugar skull- which has no special costume elements in particular and I just wore a black dress…. BUT THE MAKE-UP WAS SO COOL! – I did lose a part of my sewing soul though….
BUT I did have a chance to make a costume earlier this month (making up for my lack of epic costume on Halloween), and as the title of this post suggests- ♫ it was the one named Sailor Moon ♫! I was huge a fan of Sailor Moon when I was a kid, and I remember watching them thinking “they’re so pretty and brave!” and that tuxedo mask probably still had cooties… anyways 
It all started when my sister said- “Hey there’s a super hero themed pub night at my college, want to make us some costumes for it?”, and I said “DO I?! – YES!!, when is it?”, and she said “tomorrow night”….. So after a frantic trip to Fabricland, and to H&M to get two white v-neck t-shirts, I started on my marathon of sewing to finish our Sailor costumes: Sailor Moon (for my blonde sister) and Sailor Jupiter (for brunette me!). 
After quite a few hours, and an unknown amount of “will I get this done on time?” moments, that were calmed with chocolate, I finally finished the costumes!! And they were amazing!
After doing the first one, the second one was a lot easier to whip up. And seeing as everything in the costume has ample amounts of lycra, eyeballing all the measurements worked out fine. Some of my favourite costume elements are the gloves, and the bows, who doesn’t want a huge bow on their butt?, and as I am Emerald Erin, I was quite pleased with the overall colour scheme that Sailor Jupiter has going on.
This is a photo taken at the actual event and, as you can see, my sister is the gloriously tan and blonde one, and I am the almost fluorescently pale brunette, and in the middle is our friend who went with a batwoman theme. – I can say that we were perhaps more dressed up than most, but our costumes were generally loved, and I do feel like this makes up, at least in part, for my lack of sewn costume this Halloween. 
As a last little tidbit to this Halloween post, I will share the Halloween costumes of my favourite stuffed animals growing up, my first models for sewing as a kid, I’m not sure how old I was when I made them these costumes, probably 10-12 – a witch, a pumpkin and a fairy! And I still dress them up for Halloween every year!
Happy Halloween!
xo erin
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