at the shop

I mentioned a while ago that my friend opened a shop across from the art college we attended, and I was renting some space for my plush… I don’t think I’ve ever showed you pictures of my plush in the shop! 

Here they are! :D



That was back in April. I’ve added more stuff this past weekend.

Fierce octopus pins!


The prototype had eyes made of beads from the gift package that my friend sent me — they’re extra fierce, bulgy eyes! So I had to keep it for myself :D


Close up of the extra bulgy eyes…


Also made tea rose pins that can also be worn on a necklace.


And the updated shop! :D


Mike brought the new items to the shop and took this picture for me, because I didn’t have time to go that day. If you look closely you’ll see that one of my snow mushroom lid has been pushed into the jar… I suppose a customer thought it belonged inside the jar rather than sitting on top of it. And I suppose that’s one of the risks of putting my beloved plush into a public, physical shop. My friend kindly fixed it for me afterward. 

I actually found it difficult to walk away from all my plushes when I put them into the shop. Felt like I was leaving them behind… :’( So I like selling online for this reason, I can keep my plushes with me indefinitely, until someone buys them. At the same time, sales have been extremely slow at my Etsy shop, while quite a few things have gone to good homes at my friend’s shop. So I’ve been contemplating whether to keep the Etsy shop…

Also, I’ve been hearing a lot about unfair practices on Etsy lately. The latest news came from one of my favourite crafters

I won’t repeat the stories here (if you’re interested in learning more please visit the above and following links), but I will certainly join the protest, because a lot of what has happened is simply not right and our voices need to be heard.

Some believe that closing our shops for one day won’t make a difference. My shop, for instance, will likely not make any sales on any given day even when it’s open. Thus, its temporary closure pretty much means nothing to Etsy in terms of profit. But I suppose by joining in the protest I can at least let the company know that I’m not okay with its unfair practices toward my fellow crafters and its inaction toward reselling.

Some expressed concerns that all the shops that are involved in the protest will be closed down by Etsy. I personally don’t believe that will happen. And if that happens then I will definitely not partner with an organization that operates through dictatorship and simply seeks to eliminate all expressions of opposition. I suppose the stakes for me is not as high as artisans who depend on their handmade business to make a living. So that’s all the more reason for me to contribute my voice to this protest, in the hope that things can change for the better especially for crafters and artisans whose independent businesses are their main sources of income.

Support handmade!




earth owl and many blessings

My friend Nancy sent me a package in the mail, full of treasures! :D

There were lots of craft supplies, each thing related to a blog post I wrote! I was so moved by the thoughts and kindness behind this gift. It meant so much to me. Opening all the tissue paper-wrapped and ribbon tied parcels felt like Christmas!

Amongst the many things in the package, there were beads! I love beads! I poured them out into a paint palette and marveled at each one. There were a lot of stone chip beads and each is different. It was fascinating. I particularly love stones that are transparent with streaks of colours in them. Reminded me of the tiny bottle of tumbled stone chips I got at the Big Nickel when I was a kid.


It was a such special gift and I wanted to make something really special with them. Something that I can carry around with me.

And so the earth owl came into being! :D


I haven’t done a lot of wire work so this turned out better than I thought. I kind of just bent the wire into an owl shape in a free-formed manner. For the body and the wings I attached/strung the beads on by crocheting with a 2mm hook and thin wire. The eyes are also crocheted.

I found these gorgeous, sparkling glass beads from the package for the eyes. 



And the best thing about the owl is that I had a super fun time making it. The beads inspired many hours of creativity and pure joy.

Feeling so very thankful and blessed.


Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!




sewing frenzy, episode honest ed!

Before showing you the blouses and skirt I made, this is the place where I got the fabric.

Honest Ed’s! If you’re ever in Toronto, be sure to visit Honest Ed’s, it’s one of the most awesome places on my list! An old-fashioned discount store that sells pretty much everything. AND! All the signs in the store are still hand-painted! It also has the most bizarre decorations. This giant one-eyed zombie elk clock is located between houseware and menswear. 

Anyhoo, I saw this tutorial for making a blouse with scarves, so I wandered into Honest Ed’s with the intention of finding scarves. They didn’t have a wide selection that fits what I’m looking for, but then I spotted the bandanas! Loved the pattern on them, and they were 50¢ a piece. I thought if I stitch two together I would have just enough fabric to make a square top! :D


I like that there are brown stripes down the sides and at the shoulder seams.


Also goes with my magenta cardigan! :D (And it looks much better when I ask someone else to take full-length pictures of me. Look, I can even hold a plant as a prop.)


I did get two scarves to make a blouse from the tutorial, but the scarves I bought were much wider than the ones in the tutorial, so the blouse is very fluttery :D


And then I bought more bandanas to make a skirt! Basically I sewed 3 bandanas together into a very wide tube. Then I made another fabric tube that was the same width but a bit shorter with some white light weight fabric leftover from an Ikea curtain for a lining. I sewed the two tubes together along the top edge, then folded down the top edge to make a casing for elastic. And that is all :D 


The top I made last summer from a men’s shirt.

Over the weekend my mom gave me a bunch of fabric from her years of collection — some came from Hong Kong! :D I remember going to fabric shops (and yarn shops!) with her when I was a kid. There was always a musty but strangely comforting smell amongst the bolts of fabric. I can certainly keep making square tops but I think I’m going to try adding some small details or variations. 

Have a great day! :D





sewing frenzy, episode one


I spent much of last week sewing. My goal was to make several light square tops in preparation for the super hot Toronto summer (although it’s rather unseasonably cold at the moment. Also, there’s an awesome super easy square top tutorial by C&C if you’re interested :D).

Bought this fabric at a very friendly and affordable fabric shop downtown (will visit again!). I first made a square top, and then I thought it would look great if it were longer, so I added more fabric to the bottom. But then it looked really wide and a bit tent-like on me, so I added two buttons and crocheted button loops on the sides so I could fold the sides in to give it some shape. 


So it ‘s more a rectangle than a square. And here’s how the buttons and button loops are placed.


More of a front view… 


On a separate note, while taking these photos with a self-timer I attempted to take levitating photos like the awe-inspiring ones by Natsumi Hayashi (it’s fascinating! Check them out if you have a moment :D). Thought this would be a nice top to levitate in style :P But it really made me realize how very difficult it is to not only jump at the right time but also look naturally floating in mid jump! Plus the shutter speed of my point & shoot isn’t really fast enough to take good levitating photos. I gave up after 10 jumps or so (really out of shape!) and therefore don’t have any successful pictures to show… but maybe I’ll ask Mike to help me with his super camera some day…

More sewing projects to come! :D

Happy Wednesday!