Sunday, 31 March 2013

Easter Cookies

Not too long ago, I attended a buttercream cake decorating class on a whim.  I managed to get through the 4-weekend course but I wouldn't say I was at the top of the class.  2 years and $200-worth of supplies later, I made my first attempt to decorate with royal icing.  I thought why not give out home made cookies for Easter instead of my usual store-bought chocolate?  After all, how different is royal icing from buttercream anyway?  Surely after my class and investment on materials, I am fully-equipped for the challenge.  HUGE MISTAKE!

After 3 days of trial and error, I was able to come up with a batch of half-decent cookies.  For the base, I followed the recipe from and I have to say, the sugar cookies are indeed one of the best I have tasted.  I also went through several youtube videos and found this tutorial on decorating with royal icing very easy to follow.

I bet you are now curious as to how the cookies turned out.  Here are Aimee's easter cookies.....(I hope my teacher is not reading this)

Have a Happy Easter Everyone from the Craftmates!

Friday, 29 March 2013

pwp#19 - legoland

While waiting for Canada’s Wonderland to open for summer, my DD was delighted to find out that Legoland had recently opened its first location in Canada, close to our neighborhood.  So needless to say, we have to check it out during one cold, gloomy winter weekend.  It is an interactive indoor facility with a wide range of play areas including a 4D cinema, brick pools, rides and a Miniland exhibit featuring iconic Toronto attractions.  It was a fun afternoon well-spent!

Here is my layout...

I used Papertrey dies (tag sale #7, little hot rod for the train and modern alphabet) and stripes patterned paper.  I also used Avery Elle's Framed Fonts stamp set,  Echo Park's red patterned paper and Simple Stories' journaling card. 

I am also linking this to Leigh Penner’s Pages with Papertrey Challenge to use 3 different die cuts on a layout.  That is probably my most favourite challenge todate!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

pwp #19 - school photo

I have a layout to share showcasing the portrait photos taken at my DD’s school and daycare last fall.  I decided to put some of them in a layout because I know I will lose them otherwise.  I am also reserving one copy of the photo for a future layout I plan to make when she is older which would have all her portrait shots in chronological order.  It would be nice to see how she has grown over the years (not that I am in a hurry for her to grow up or anything, but just wanted to have something handy).

Here it is... I love how the black stripes create some interest on an otherwise clean and simple layout.

I used Papertrey’s alphabet dies (modern and script), one of the Heart to Heart sets for  the banner and various bitty dot patterned paper.  The striped paper is from MME.

I am also linking this to Leigh Penner's Pages with Papertrey challenge on using 3 dies in a layout.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


On a recent trip to Hamilton, I discovered a local sewing shop called Needlework. It is located along James St. North in downtown Hamilton. It's painted a super cute blue so you can't miss it.

It's a wonderful store with gorgeous fabrics, lovely fat quarters and pretty embroidery threads. You will also find a large variety of patterns, notions, sewing tools, and books. They also have sewing and knitting classes. In fact, I recently signed up for a beginner's knitting class. 

This shop is absolutely charming and a place I would visit often. Since discovering this place, I've already been back three times : )

Please do check out Needlework if you are in the Hamilton area. 

Till next time!

Monday, 25 March 2013

papertrey march blog hop

It’s that time of  the month again... 

For this month’s Papertrey Ink Blog Hop, the challenge is to create a project using one of the trends pooping up in paper crafting projects nowadays... sequins! 

I don’t have sequins as part of my supplies and probably will not as I am not really a big fan.  I also do not want to have another item that I will hoard as these babies rarely come in small counts.   But I am happy to realize that I used them in one of the make and takes at a recent Crop and Create event I attended.  No less than Kelly Purkey took us through the process of creating this very hip and trendy focal point using a gold doily, wooden embellishments and sequins...  you couldn’t be any trendier with that combination!

Here is my card... I fell in love with Heather’s inked background technique so I used it again on this card.

Aside from my trendy focal point (which I do not have the manufacturer details of), I used Papertrey’s Stamper’s Select White cardstock, ink (aqua mist, simply chartreuse, hawaiian shores, smokey shadow) and the Happy Trails and Butterfly Dreams sets.

Here a closer look at the sequins...

Thanks for stopping by and happy hopping!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

NEOB Summer Festivals

One Sunday after brunch, my hubby and I decided to hit the local attractions.  We stopped by a lovely lavender boutique and farm, Niagara Essential Oils and Blends (or NEOB).  We had the opportunity to meet the owner, Rob Achal, who cordially took the time to explain to us the health and wellness benefits of lavender.  We came to find out that together with his lovely wife, Melissa, they grow their own lavender, extracts oils from the plant to create an array of health and beauty products.   Recently, NEOB product line expanded to include extracts for food.  Actually, what drew me to the place was the outdoor sign advertising their lavender ice cream : )
NEOB runs three festivals in the summer held on the farm premises amidst the lavender fields.   Picture this: strolling through the festival, meeting the locals, shopping arts/crafts, produce or culinary while enjoying the scenery and fragrance of lavender.  What could be better outing on a warm summer's day?

If you have some time this summer, visit one or all of these events.  They will be held on the grounds of NEOB lavender farm at 758 Niagara Stone Road in the picturesque town of Niagara on the Lake.   The Lavender Festival will be held on July 13&14, Food Fight for Foodies on August 17th and Niagara Garlic Festival on September 14th.   The festivals will feature attractions such as the annual lavender pull, food trucks, cooking demonstration, and so much more.


While you are in the area, enjoy the local attractions that Niagara on the Lake has to offer such as Shaw Festival, award-winning restaurants, and wineries.

For further information, send an email to

Happy Sunday!


Saturday, 23 March 2013

happy birthday bebsy!

Today is a special day as it is one of the Craftmates' birthday.  Happy happy birthday Bebsy!

To celebrate, we had a fabulous girls' night out yesterday.  We did not do any crafting but it was a lot of fun nonetheless.  We spent the night chatting, laughing, eating and dancing.  Favourite story of the night:

Bebsy's neighbor:  Hey girl, you look fabulous!
Bebsy:  Oh, we're gonna go clubbing for my birthday.
Bebsy neighbor:  Yeah, you're driving a van and it's 5 o'clock!

Ha! That's how we roll!

I made a special birthday card for our special friend.  I had to customize its size because I want to put it in an envelope that is big enough to hold my other (crafty) gifts to her. 

Here is my card...

And the inside...

I used Papertrey’s Stamper’s Select white cardstock, dies (fabulous frames, leafy vine border, rosie posie), stamp (rosie posie, fillable frames for the sentiment outside, signature greeting, birthday basics and mega mixed messages for the sentiments inside) and aqua mist patterned paper.

Here is how I have packaged it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 22 March 2013


As we finally say goodbye to winter, I have one final winter layout.  We had one of the nastiest snow storms last Feb 28.  And since it was a Thursday, my DD had school (yep, school was not cancelled).  Her school is just one block away from our house so walking is her mode of transportation.  Here she is braving the snow just to get to school...

I kept it really simple so as to keep the focus on the photo which I thought was very dramatic.  I used Papertrey dies (modern alphabets, heart border) and pure poppy cardstock.  The gray cardstock is from DCWV.

Closer look...

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

more winter layouts

I have a few more winter layouts to share.  This time, they are from our Muskoka trip last Family Day weekend (mid February which was a long weekend here in Canada)  Even though I made them very very clean and simple, I still enjoy looking at them as it allows me to focus on the photos and see my DD’s big smile on all of them.  She has found her new favourite season! 
Here they are...

I used Papertrey’s modern alphabet die, patterned papers from Crate and MME and Ali Edwards’ Favorite Memories stamp set (don’t you just love “cherish this story. celebrate this life”?).  

Closer look at my favourite shot

The next layout is that of our dogsledding experience.  It was the first time we tried it and by the looks of it, will not be the last. My DD did not want to leave the place and wanted several more rounds!  Good thing they were already booked for the day and there was no way for us to be accommodated.  So next year it is!

 I used Papertrey’s modern alphabet die and dark chocolate cardstock. I also used  Studio Calico’s patterned paper and the country landscape die from Memory Box.  The “Savor the moment” tag is from Jillibean Soup.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

First Embroidery Project

For my very first embroidery project, I decided to embroider a tea towel. I made the tea towel from two muslin fabrics that I sewed together so that the back of my embroidery cannot be seen. In hindsight, I probably should have used a thicker fabric. I made the mistake of setting my iron in the highest setting and burned the muslin fabric. I was making this project at night (in our basement) so the lighting was not too good. After seeing my finished project in daylight, I was surprised to find the burned spot.


I used the pattern from the book - "Doodle Stitching" and added the little banner on top by drawing it myself. 

Here's the tea towel hanging in our kitchen. 
I placed a red ribbon in one of the corners to hang on a hook.
I only used the back stitch for this project. Maybe I'll be adventurous in my next one and try other stitches. 

Till next time!

Monday, 18 March 2013

mim #108 - inked backgrounds

Heather showed us a cool technique to create inked backgrounds in today's Make It Monday over at Papertrey. I bought my ink blending tool awhile back thinking I might need it someday.  Today proved to be a great time to actually use it.

Here is what I came up with...  I first stamped my image using Versa Mark ink.  Then I topped it off with some embossing powder which I then melted using my heat gun. Then came the fun part.  I applied various hues of green ink using my Ranger blending tool.  Love the effect it gave on my background and how it allowed my image to pop. This may be a common technique for many but this was my first time trying this so I was thrilled!

I used Papertrey Delightful Doilies set (I forgot how fun it is to use this set), Countdown Details for the banner, Stamper's Select white cardstock, ink (simply chartreuse, aqua mist and hawaiian shores) and button.  I also used some twine from Jilly Bean Soup.

Here is a closer look at my embossed image.

Thanks for stopping by!  It's almost spring and we are still having snow tonight.  Stay warm!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

The Craft Bug

If you are feeling creative lately, you were probably bitten by the craft bug.  March is National Craft Month in Canada and US.


National Craft Month was started in 1994 by the Craft and Hobby Association with the goal of reviving crafting.  A lot of arts and crafts businesses and organizations are offering free classes, discounts tutorials and contests such as below.

I already have projects lined up for the month.  I am hoping you do, too.

Happy Crafting,
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