keep calm and smell the lavender

I was mak­ing some sleep and relax­ation balms and salves as gifts. Part­ly also because I want­ed to start mak­ing my own lip balm because the EOS stuff I’m using seems to make my lips peel…? Very annoying. 

Any­way, after doing much research and com­par­ing recipes, because I also don’t want to invest in a lot of mate­r­i­al to start (and essen­tial oils tend to be a bit cost­ly), I bought some basic mate­r­i­al and made some sol­id per­fume kind of balm, and a salve for heels as well. 

For the sol­id per­fume, I used one part beeswax and one part extra vir­gin olive oil. The olive oil we just always have for cook­ing, and the beeswax I got it from the Bee Shop, from local bee keepers. 

For the first batch I used:

  • 2 tbsp of beeswax
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Melt­ed the beeswax and oil in a dou­ble boil­er (which is a mason jar in a pot of sim­mer­ing water over medi­um heat)
  • After it all melt­ed I mixed in 15 drops of laven­der oil and 10 drops of cedar­wood oil
  • Dis­trib­uted in clean small con­tain­ers (tiny jam sam­ple jars and David’s Tea tins!) — I filled 2.5 con­tain­ers, and then made a bit more fol­low­ing the same beeswax to olive oil ratio to make 4 containers.

This sleep balm proves to real­ly work for sleep, applied to the tem­ples and soles of feet before bed. My friend and I both tried it and it worked! So If you have trou­ble sleep­ing I’d sug­gest giv­ing it a try! I tried it as a lip balm but it did­n’t go on very well.

I then made some salves for heels, because I was giv­ing it to some­one who does­n’t like strong scents. It has less laven­der, and has coconut oil. I used:

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp extra vir­gin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp beeswax
  • Melt­ed the oils and beeswax togeth­er in dou­ble boiler
  • Once all melt­ed, added 10 drops of laven­der oil and 5 drops of cedar­wood oil
  • Dis­trib­uted in 4 small containers

So I did some exper­i­men­ta­tion on myself with this salve. It works well on the heels, but not so great on the lips or face, as it is quite greasy-feel­ing. I think it’s also great for dry hands and it smells great. I think maybe this is why a lot of lip balm recipes call for shea but­ter or cocoa but­ter. I’ll give that a try when I have a chance to go to the health food store. 

Also, I only bought a 175g block of beeswax and I still have more than half left! It goes a long way.

Hap­py weekend!


adventures in flameworking

I’ve always been fas­ci­nat­ed by glass, espe­cial­ly the kind of small glass sculp­tures or beads where a form or swirls of colours are enclosed in clear glass. It’s like a world unto itself. I’ve been want­i­ng to take flame­work­ing class­es for a long time, but did­n’t quite have the mon­ey or the time. In the begin­ning of the year I decid­ed to make time to do some­thing I want­ed, and remem­bered that years ago I bought this small pen­dant of a jel­ly fish encased in a drop of clear glass from a local artist. So I looked her up, and found that she offers class­es at a stu­dio not too far from me, at quite a rea­son­able rate! Excit­ed, I signed up right away.

And these are my very first batch of beads!

To be com­plete­ly hon­est, half way through the first class I had the thought that it was a bad idea after all and I should just leave, because I was so uncom­fort­able with open flames, and the glass was­n’t melt­ing the way it should because I was­n’t hold­ing it in the right spot in the flame, I was ter­ri­fied of the glass or the torch explod­ing or me doing some­thing stu­pid and catch­ing on fire (vivid imag­i­na­tion some­times is a hin­der­ance to learn­ing), and I could­n’t see prop­er­ly because I was wear­ing these gog­gles on top of my glass­es… but towards the end of the class I seemed to have got­ten the hang of mak­ing round beads. I made three prop­er ones (the 3 green/clear donut-shaped ones on the left — the teacher made the small opaque green one as demo, she just let me keep it :D), and one of them I made into a neck­lace right away when I got home :D

The next class we tried mak­ing dif­fer­ent shapes and adding sculp­tur­al com­po­nents. That snowflake is a bit sad-look­ing but it was fun to try.

If you’re in the city and would like to give flame­work­ing a try, check out the nano­pod stu­dio! (that’s me con­cen­trat­ing very hard in the plaid shirt)

On a relat­ed note, I saw an image of a bead­ed death’s head hawk moth one day, and decid­ed that I want­ed to make a bead­ed moth. So I looked up bead embroi­dery, found this very help­ful tuto­r­i­al, and tried just mak­ing a test one on felt, with the beads I have on hand.

I found it a bit dif­fi­cult to keep to the exact shape I drew on the felt, the wings are more round­ed than I intend­ed, but it may get bet­ter with prac­tice. Next time I’ll get more moth-like colour beads and try anoth­er design.

Hope every­one have a good week!


one busy elf!

Now that the hol­i­day’s over, I can show you the Christ­mas gifts I made and all the fun I’ve been hav­ing since the fall! This was one busy elf!

So I made a num­ber of wash cloths, to give with arti­san soaps that I got from craft fairs, very prac­ti­cal gifts that I thought every­one could use :) The but­ter­fly wash cloth is from this Pail­lon Cloth pat­tern, which was a lot of fun to make with a var­ie­gat­ed cot­ton. The tiny fish ones are for my niece and nephews, from this pat­tern on Rav­el­ry. The hang­ing tow­el was a mod­i­fi­ca­tion of the Cir­cle Cloth pat­tern. Also made a cou­ple of these pineap­ple hang­ing tow­els.


I took a work­shop in Novem­ber with my co-work­ers at a glass shop mak­ing mille­fiori pen­dants. I’ve made one for myself before and it was a lot of fun, so I made anoth­er for a gift :)

While mak­ing pom pom hair ties for my sin­cere sock cup­cake project, I thought I’d also try mak­ing some soot sprites hair ties for a cou­ple of Stu­dio Ghi­b­li fans :D

Caught in a per­fect­ly tiny tin! :D (that used to hold some spark­ly tea)

These hedge­hogs mitts are for my niece, made almost entire­ly in com­mute. Excel­lent pat­tern from

Spent a cou­ple of Sun­day after­noons at the Gar­diner Muse­um drop-in clay class, and made an army of orna­ments and tea bag hold­ers! It was a great way to spend a week­end after­noon cre­ative­ly, must go back sometimes!

And my newest inven­tion — sushi sock rolls! :D For my dear friend’s baby. I used this 2‑needle baby sock pat­tern, but had to mod­i­fy it quite a bit to get the black part long enough to roll around. So the socks are faaar­rr too big for the baby right now, they’re more for a tod­dler. But they’ll fit soon enough! And the idea is that when the child out grows the socks, they can be rolled up and sewed togeth­er per­ma­nent­ly and be used as play food, or a pin cush­ion :D

 Now, the biggest project ever under­tak­en — behold the polar bear blanket!!!

I’ve been work­ing on it for months and it’s for my par­ents! Wish I have a bet­ter pic­ture of it, but it’s just so big! I did­n’t have the room in my place or my par­ents’ for a good pho­to shoot. So here it is on my par­ents’ bed :) This is my first attempt at cor­ner-to-cor­ner cro­chet as well. I first made the polar bear blan­ket from Sim­ply Cro­chet mag­a­zine (issue 50), then thought my par­ents would prob­a­bly like a larg­er blan­ket. So I thought I’d add squares around it. I used the pine cone pat­tern from Make & Do Crew, then found and mod­i­fied some knit­ting and cross-stitch­ing graphs to make the snowflakes and the north star. Dis­cov­ered that Microsoft Excel is a great pro­gram to draft cro­chet charts! 

And now, one great gift I received from my sis­ter — from the awe­some Out of Print cloth­ing, a Miss Pere­grine shirt!

Stay pecu­liar and lev­i­tate!

(Well, maybe not too much lev­i­ta­tion this year. I haven’t tried tak­ing this kind of pho­tos for a while, and then after­wards my knees were a bit sore… anoth­er year old­er, after all. But stay pecu­liar, definitely!)

Hap­py first week of Jan­u­ary! Hope every­one had a re-ener­giz­ing hol­i­day and have a great start to the new year! :D



new year, new wallpaper! :D

I was feel­ing very proud of this fluffy wreath and its mer­ry mush­room friends (which I made from a giant pipe clean­er and wine corks), and Mike kind­ly took real­ly nice pho­tos of them and made it into a desk­top wall­pa­per for me, thought I’d share it with you! :D 

Just click on the size you want and it should bring up an image that you can save.




Wish­ing every­one a very hap­py new year! May 2017 bring much joy, lots of crafty adven­tures and many blessings :)


happy Christmas everybody! :D

Wish­ing every­one a joy­ous hol­i­day and many bless­ings for the new year!


And here’s a bit of behind-the-scene with this greet­ing card… every year Mike and I make Christ­mas cards togeth­er to send to friends and fam­i­ly. It’s a bit of a tra­di­tion of ours. This year we came up with the jel­ly­fish idea. We thought about lino block prints (which we may still try anoth­er year) and sim­ply print­ing an image from the com­put­er. Even­tu­al­ly we ran out of time, so I just thought I’d try my hands on what­ev­er we had in the house, which was an eras­er and a big old util­i­ty knife. 

Turned out not so bad did­n’t it? :D I’m quite proud of it actu­al­ly. I also carved the hol­ly stamp, and the berries are stamped with the end of a bam­boo skew­er. Mike typed the text with his grand­moth­er’s type writer.

Cheers to anoth­er year of sim­ple joys, new adven­tures and shared journey! :) 


a merry fluffy Christmas

Our decor is pret­ty min­i­mal this year but it does­n’t mean that it’s any less fun!

I was hop­ing to replace the paper flower wreath on our apart­ment door (which cov­ers up a half-peeled/­dis­in­te­grat­ing Neigh­bour­hood Watch stick­er), and I’ve been want­i­ng to make a pom pom wreath, but I know that I would­n’t have time to make all the pom poms. While brows­ing at Michaels I saw this giant, the most fluffy pipe clean­er, so I thought I’d try twist­ing it into a wreath! 

At first I was just going to twist it into a sim­ple, round wreath, with mush­rooms made of wine corks that I’ve been sav­ing for that pur­pose. But then I thought, what if the wreath has arms? What if it’s a wreath-shaped crea­ture? So the fluffy wreath with its mush­room friends were born :D

I’m only show­ing a close up of the wreath right now because these friends deserve their own post, so stay tuned! :D

(The wreath end­ed up on the wall inside the apart­ment because I could­n’t bear to leave them on the out­side of our door in the hallway)

The left over pipe clean­er turned into a tiny Christ­mas tree :D with a very excit­ed Totoro.

But we still need­ed some­thing fes­tive on our door. So I final­ly made the delight­ful plum pud­ding pom pom from Fleur Berna­dine! There are a num­ber of plum pud­ding pom pom tuto­ri­als out there, but I love that this one incor­po­rates a but­ton at the top. 

The fluffy plum pud­ding cer­tain­ly brings some hol­i­day cheers to the cur­rent­ly very grim-look­ing hall­way, which is cur­rent­ly under­go­ing ren­o­va­tion (please excuse the poor lighting).

I don’t have a pom pom mak­er so I made one with card­board using this tuto­r­i­al, which is very handy with tem­plates for dif­fer­ent sizes of pom poms. But it turns out to be quite chal­leng­ing (per­haps because it was my first time try­ing to use a home­made pom pom mak­er and I had dull scis­sors). Maybe I’ll invest in a pom pom mak­er. Just think about all the pos­si­bil­i­ties that pom poms can make! Pom pom ani­mals, pom pom fruits, pom pom wreath…

Mer­ry craft­ing! :D


the most sincere socks


‘Tis the count­down to Christ­mas, I thought I’d share a most sin­cere idea for the most prac­ti­cal gift. Who does­n’t need an extra pair of socks? Great alter­na­tive to choco­late cov­ered marsh­mal­low San­tas when you need to get an under $5 secret San­ta gift. 

The pom pom on top is actu­al­ly a fun fes­tive hair tie! I’ll show you how I made that as well.

I got a pack of 5 reused yarn socks from MUJI, they’re soft and love­ly (not to men­tion that it’s such a nice relax­ing expe­ri­enc­ing when brows­ing around at the MUJI store) and cost around $20 CAD, which rounds out to about $4 a pair. 

This is super sim­ple and involves things that you prob­a­bly have stashed away at home if you’re a crafter:

  • A new pair of socks in cup­cake colour
  • An elas­tic band
  • Light card stock or scrap­book­ing paper (I bought a sheet of gold metal­lic paper from Michaels for 99 cents)
  • Cup­cake wrap­per tem­plate (there are tons of print­able tem­plates out there, I can’t seem to find the one I used >_<, but this one seems just as great)
  • Scis­sors
  • Scotch tape
  • Mug of tea (essen­tial!)

Here we have our pair of socks, and the elas­tic band.


With the socks stacked togeth­er, fold them in half length­wise. The heels will stick out but that’s ok.


Start­ing from the cuff end, roll up the socks.


Secure the sock roll with elas­tic band.


Have a sip of tea. Trans­fer cup­cake wrap­per pat­tern onto the back of card stock / scrap­book­ing paper, and cut out the pattern.


Wrap the wrap­per around the sock roll, and secure with a piece of tape.


Repeat with all the pairs of socks you’ve got and set them aside.


Now we make the pom pom hair tie :D 

I used: 

  • A fork
  • Small amount of red worsted weight yarn 
  • Small amount of spark­ly sil­ver yarn (for a fes­tive touch)
  • Scis­sors
  • Hair elas­tics
  • Fab­ric glue (great to have, but not essential)

Using a fork to make small pom poms isn’t my orig­i­nal idea. There are a few tuto­ri­als out there, like this one from Eskim­i­mi Makes.

Basi­cal­ly, you would wind the yarn around the prongs of the fork (as you can see I used two dif­fer­ent yarns, and I cut off a length of the sil­ver yarn for wind­ing, rather than wind­ing direct­ly from the skein, to make things easier)…


… after you’re done wind­ing, cut yarn. Then cut a length of red yarn about 6 inch­es long, and tie the yarn around the mid­dle by thread­ing one yarn end through the base of the 2nd and 3rd prongs of the fork, and the oth­er yarn end between the 2nd and 3rd prongs at the tip.

Trim the pom pom but leave the tying yarn long.


Using the tying yarn, tie the pom pom to the hair elas­tic with dou­ble knot. Apply a dab of fab­ric glue (if you have it) to the knot to extra secure it.


Here we have our cup­cake top­pings! I also bought these adorable straw­ber­ry bells from Etsy sell­er Mim­iLo­lo, I attached them to cell phone charm hang­ers (not sure if they’re called that, but you know what I mean), thought they’d make great zip­per pull or fes­tive back­pack orna­ments! :D

If you know that the gift recip­i­ent won’t like hair ties or zip­per pulls, a sim­ple Toot­sie Pop might make the best alter­na­tive topping.


I pulled the hair elas­tic / cell phone charm hang­er through the mid­dle of the sock rolls using a cro­chet hook.


Ta-da! The most sin­cere socks of them all! Linus would be proud. (see It’s the Great Pump­kin, Char­lie Brown)


I put some of them in recy­cled pack­ag­ing from gift soaps.


And I made a flat-bot­tom gift bag with wrap­ping paper fol­low­ing this tuto­r­i­al. I then fold­ed the top down, punched two holes at the top through all lay­ers, thread­ed a fan­cy string through and tied a bow.


Have a sweet week, everyone! 




weekend quick make, with hex nuts!

Came across a book on mak­ing jew­el­ry with hard­ware store mate­r­i­al one day, was curi­ous about what peo­ple make with hex nuts, and spent an evening look­ing at all the dif­fer­ent hex nut tuto­ri­als. Espe­cial­ly love this bril­liant ear­ring idea from Cafe Craftea.

Final­ly went to Cana­di­an Tire on my lunch break one day and picked up the small­est hex nuts I could find.

I sim­ply glued the hex nut onto a 4mm ear­ring post with some E6000 and let it cure over night. Very sim­ple. Made a pair with­out glit­ter because I like the slight­ly steam­punk look :D


And for the glit­ter ear­rings, I glued the hex nuts onto the ear­ring posts like the plain ones, then I filled the hex nuts with a bit of glit­ter nail pol­ish with the help of a tooth­pick. Once the nail pol­ish is dried, I applied a lay­er of Mod Podge Dimen­sion­al Mag­ic to seal it, also with a toothpick.


Quite hap­py with how they turned out :D

Have a good week­end everyone!



I haven’t writ­ten in a while, but I’ve been craft­ing day and night (lit­er­al­ly, I knit in the sub­way in the morn­ing and I chip away every night at this mas­sive cro­chet project as soon as I get home), and have made so many things, that I can’t show you because they’re Christ­mas gifts! But I promise there will be an exten­sive Christ­mas craft­ing post after the holidays!

I do want to share with you this found object art­work I made in a car­ing for self work­shop last week­end (if you can trav­el to the Toron­to area and are inter­est­ed in work­shops that explore the ther­a­peu­tic qual­i­ties of cre­ativ­i­ty and art-mak­ing, do check out Petrea’s web­site and work­shop offer­ings, some free projects there too!). I’ve always loved found object art. This one is — pearls of wis­dom ris­ing out of moss, with a mon­u­ment of past bat­tles that shape this ground, bathing in moon­light. Kind of in the same line as my last post about moss.


And this is an exer­cise about inten­tion. We think about an inten­tion that we bring to our work, and while think­ing about or med­i­tat­ing on that inten­tion, we choose dif­fer­ent yarn and things to wrap around the twig. There’s a mar­ble in the space where the twig branch­es out, to rep­re­sent clarity.


There are also oth­er neat things I learned from the work­shop, like draw­ing man­dalas, which I’m try­ing to prac­tice at work as a way to take breaks. Try­ing is the word :S But I’ll share the draw­ings when I have a few more. 

In oth­er news, I attempt­ed to carve a jel­ly fish out of an eras­er. I’ve nev­er tried this before and I think it turned out not so bad! It’s part of a hol­i­day project, which will be revealed at hol­i­day times! :D


Hap­py week­end everyone!


keep calm and carry moss


I bought these beau­ti­ful vin­tage shad­ow box pen­dants from Etsy shop youarenot­the­bossofme to put moss in :D It turned out beau­ti­ful­ly, I’m so pleased. Looks like there are a few more of these pen­dants for sale, pop by the shop if you’re inter­est­ed in mak­ing some­thing sim­i­lar! I bought the moss from the mod­el-mak­ing sec­tion of my local art store. Or one could put in small stones or yarn or tiny shells or what­ev­er one finds mean­ing­ful to car­ry around.

I’ve always felt more con­nect­ed to water-relat­ed analo­gies — like the riv­er, or the sea, going with the flow, fill the gaps, like what Bruce Lee said,

“You must be shape­less, form­less, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bot­tle, it becomes the bot­tle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

One can’t make a dent in water, it can’t be hurt. 

But I’ve been feel­ing drawn to moss late­ly. Ground­ed and tena­cious. It can be pulled out of the ground and be dam­aged, but it comes back again, reach­ing and cov­er­ing even fur­ther grounds. Its roots spread wider than eyes can see. It re-emerges always after win­ter frosts.

So maybe it’s about acknowl­edg­ing the hurt rather than say­ing to myself that things don’t or should­n’t hurt. And maybe it’s about stand­ing my ground rather than fill­ing what­ev­er gaps or needs oth­ers put before me, try­ing to be every­thing to everyone. 

A bit of reflec­tion as I enter anoth­er year in my life! :D Anoth­er year wis­er, hopefully.

Thanks for vis­it­ing today!