Category Archives: General

Blog Hop!

Hi All!

I was nominated A LONG TIME AGO by my lovely friend Janene of Oobop to participate in this little challenge whereby one answers some questions and then passes on the torch, so to speak.

Well I am REALLY behind in my blog reading apparently and so I’m very late to the party but I am no less determined to make up for it so here we go! ^__^

Q1. What are you currently working on?

Pants!! Lots of them!! I haven’t blogged any of them yet but it’s on my to-do list. I have so far made a pair of Burda trousers, a BHL Holly jumpsuit (blogged here) and a subsequent pair of Holly trousers (not blogged yet) as well as a pair of Named Jamie jeans – hurrah! Making pants is ENORMOUSLY satisfying. Even though I’m still nailing down the finishing details, I’ve been getting a pretty darn good fit on all accounts and as my mum says “the rest will come with practice”. Love that – it’s so true! I have been trying not to get caught up in the minutiae, and instead of beating myself up trying to get the details perfect, to just let myself learn naturally 🙂 It’s MUCH more fun that way!!

Q2. How does your work differ from others in its genre?

Work as in sewing? Or work as in work? LOL.

My sewing differs maybe in that while I used to follow sewalongs and pattern trends in the beginning (which really helped me learn), now that I feel more comfortable learning independently as well as confident in the skills I have learned, my focus has shifted more to creating wardrobe items that actually suit my taste and lifestyle. Much more satisfying, although it’s sometimes tough not to let myself be led astray with the latest patterns or trends – that said, I’ve made enough wadders following other people’s styles that it’s getting easier to remember that 😉

And as for my work, well as Janene mentioned, like her, I am a graphic designer and illustrator. I guess where I differ is that much of my work has been focused on packaging design and print, whereas many designers these days are heading to the more digital realm; websites and the like. I have done that, but my true love is ink on paper (or paint on canvas, as it were LOL) 🙂

Portrait of H.R.Giger and Li – watercolour and ink on illustration board

Package design for Western Family product line of teas. Illustration and packaging design for this and many other Western Family product lines by Amanda Russell, through 612 Creative.

Q3. Why do you write/create what you do?

I started this blog as an online journal of sorts – a place to record my creative endeavours. Over time it became rather sewing heavy, so I assume it is perceived as a sewing blog but I don’t hesitate to blog other creative projects if I get a mind to 🙂 I create what I do as a release from projects which are client-driven to projects which are ME-driven.

People often think that having a creative job must be a creative person’s dream come true, and it can be sometimes, but not in the way you might think. Success in graphic design is much more than being visually adept. You also have to be an amazing negotiator, communicator, and compromiser, and at the end of the day, because it is such a collaborative process, success can be measured only in part by (your own opinion of) the visual outcome. The result is that, as an artist, I am often left with a desire to create something that is 100% MY vision. On the other hand, there is often not much remaining of one’s creative energy at the end of the day for one’s own projects. So sewing kind of works for me in that it activates my analytical brain a bit more and tricks me into being creative even when I don’t feel like I have much creativity to give ^__^ (and knitting is just downright therapeutic)


Q4. How does your writing/creative process work?

I take notes for myself along the way so I have something to refer to should I ever choose to revisit a process or pattern. Sometimes (usually with sewing projects) about halfway through, I begin drafting the blog post and then I refine it when I do the final draft. The worst part for me is taking photos – it’s really time consuming and tedious, but of course it is also the best part of READING a blog at the same time – nothing is more fun than seeing pretty pics breaking up those walls of text! LOL. This is where I feel my blog could use the most improvement. It is ironic, really, as I of course possess the skills to design, style and shoot professionally but I fall short when it comes to my own blog, partly due to limitations in my environment, but mainly due to lack of motivation because I actually really dislike being the subject in photos ^__^


me and my man at a Vancouver Canucks hockey game – because hockey is what we do, and this is how I feel about having my picture taken LOL



I do not photoshop or enhance my images (even though I could, quite believably LOL). I do correct colour, contrast, cropping, etc, however I make a point to do that as little as possible. If I were a fashion blogger or I was marketing a product, the artistry of the photo would be more important, but for documenting a process like sewing, I believe it’s more important to show it simply.

My process for writing on other topics is different. I will usually get inspiration to write about something, with no warning, and I will just go for it. Generally these types of posts start off being written on my iPhone, edited and posted while I’m on the go.

As for nominations well, I’m not sure if these ladies have been stung by the blog hop bee yet but I’ll take a chance because each of them has inspired me through their blogs and their personalities:

Annabelle because she is one of the most generous and genuinely lovely people I know, and is inspiring both as a person and in what she makes 🙂

Andrea because she is incredibly inspiring and courageous in her creative endeavours and in life 🙂

Sallie because absolutely everything she makes looks like it leapt off the pages of a fashion magazine, and so does she… and her photos are gorgeous 🙂

Sweet sweet fall

While others mourn the passing of summer, sunshine & heat, secretly I’m rejoicing: I’m a fall girl through & through, and I just wanted to take a moment to celebrate all the reasons I love this season most of all 🙂

Cool fresh air
Sleeping soundly
Fuzzy blankets
Cosy sweaters & socks
Great jackets & coats
Wearing tights & boots
Hot soup after a long day
Jammies & hot chocolate
Foggy mornings
Cold sunny days
Bonfire smell in the air
Waking up to the sound of rain

There are so many more but it’s only the second day of fall & I have lots of time to celebrate 🙂

I’m a little behind finishing my summer stuff but I’m hoping to have it mostly wrapped by the beginning of October and THEN!!!! Oh I have plans my friends…. hint: wool… lots of it ^_^


It’s my 2-year blogiversary today!! I knew it was coming but it snuck up on me so I haven’t got anything planned… no picturesque reminiscing, no project recap, no giveaway (cue stampeding hordes leaving the building lol)

It’s probably a good thing cause I don’t have much to show – tangibly at least. My shape has changed so showing old makes is moot, as they’ve mostly all been sacked by now. And as I work basically 2 jobs now there’s not much time to make new things so not much to show of late either.

No, the past year has mainly been spent on the internal projects of my life; surviving losses, depression, health issues, death, and recreating myself anew. No pretty pictures, but a quiet acceptance and peace, new joys & a rekindling of creative passions both old and new – there will be more to show in the next year, because of it.

For now though, just a heartfelt thanks to those who’ve stood by me & who keep reading despite the sometimes lack of pictures or positive news – bless you all xoxo

Did you miss me? :)

It’s been awhile, right???

I’ve missed blogging and this super awesome blogging community – although lately I’ve managed to start reading more blogs & catching up with what everyone’s been up to 🙂

So what have I been up to?

Well, since I started my job, I’ve gone through a somewhat tumultuous time, as the new job is not very suited to me. Add to that, I’ve dealt with the emotional runoff from losing my old job, while still doing contract work with them, and trying to stomach the dynamics/politics involved with that, not to mention a 3-1/2 hr commute every day and juggling the additional work in my diminished “free” time. I’ve had to reassess my career choices/path quite wholeheartedly in order to cope.

In short, this whole process has sucked a LOT of my time, energy, and passion from me, and I’ve been through some pretty depressing times. But I’m figuring it out, one step at a time, and while I don’t particularly relish the next year ahead, I know it will end and I’ll move on to the next chapter.

In the meantime, I have to work that much harder to regain my passion for my career and my creativity so it will be a challenge, but a good one, I think 🙂

But to end my comeback post on a very positive note, I have a happy announcement – we got a new kitten this week!!


Her name is Lola, and she’s a little fireball!!! But SO affectionate and sweet; a perfect companion for my Hutchie… look, they are already getting along and it’s only been 3 days! 🙂


I had to make do with the bad photo cause I didn’t want to risk going to get the camera & missing this moment ^__^ Also, she looks a little mangy here cause she had to have a flea treatment – ugh 😦

I was hesitant about getting a new cat after my beloved best friend (Hutch’s brother) died last year, but she is not without similar qualities to him – which I’m sure makes the transition a little easier for Hutch – but not TOO similar; she is a girl, after all, and quite the mischievous little princess at that ^_^

As for personal projects, I’m trying to work on them but it’s a LOT slower than before. Still, I count every little bit a victory, as my time is rare, and my creative energy & passion is still pretty damaged. So baby steps…. and hopefully something to show soon 🙂 Until then, God bless & keep smiling! 🙂

Some Blog Awards :)

Hi All,

Sorry I’ve been quiet; I’m not really feeling like sewing lately, although I continue to be inspired by all of you 🙂

I have however, been nominated for a few awards, which I’d like to acknowledge and thank the givers of said awards 🙂

First off, has anyone on WordPress noticed that sometimes when you get an email notification of a new post from someone you follow, and then click on the link it says “post not found” or something along those lines? The reason I ask this is because this happened to me today, and I did find the post, and it reminded me that there were several that I got which did this a couple months ago, which then reminded me there was one where Vicki Kate nominated me for an award as well! However I just thought the post had been deleted at the time, so hence my very bad manners in not acknowledging it til now 😛

So, thank you wholeheartedly to the lovely Vicki of VickikateMakes, and to CalicoStretch for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog awards – you are most generous and thoughtful and are very lovely yourselves! 🙂


I also got nominated again for the Liebster award, by MontanaDesigns, so thank you very much for the recognition, I truly appreciate it! 🙂


The rules of the first one seem to be that you need to write some stuff about yourself, and MontanaDesigns has provided me with some questions I am required to answer for the Liebster so I figured we could do it all at once, right? 🙂 Here goes:

  • What food would you be and why?

Chocolate, because I’m sweet, honest, naughty, and just so damn good LOL

  • If there were no repercussions, would you tell people how you really felt about them?

I do, and that’s why I have very few friends LOL

  • What animal would you be and why?

A cat; I’m pretty sure I have some cat in me as it is 😛

  • What is your favourite colour?

red, and sometimes orange

  • How would you describe your style?

the style I STRIVE towards is: classic, elegant, timeless, sexy, sometimes edgy

  • What music are you into?

Depeche Mode mostly, as well as eastern European and Meditteranean music (I discovered my love for this through belly dance)

  • What would you tell your younger/older self and why?

It gets better. It really really does. Hang in there – you’re so effing smart and beautiful, and one day you’ll see it.

  • Tea or coffee?


  • How long have you been crafting?

all my life, in one way or another 🙂

  • What season do you like best?

definitely fall 🙂 I absolutely LOVE the coolness, the fog, the smell of bonfire, the frost on the ground in the morning, and a perfect sunny cold October day which includes ALL of these things 😀

  • What is your favourite shop?

My happy places are Opus art supplies (I’m an artist first), Fabricland, and Chapters.

Thanks again, ladies, for the nominations, it means a lot to me! 🙂

I am supposed to nominate recipients, but I’m going to be naughty and say I refuse to choose only 11, or 7, or whatever it is, so you ALLLLLLLL get awards!! Whoop Whoop! Love you 🙂 XO


Someone pressed my ‘pause’ button

Yes, I’ve been a real slowpoke this past week, and definitely feel like I’m on pause 😛

The main reason is that it’s been a week on this diet, and while so far I’m doing really good, the first few days were really tough; I suffered from some pretty crappy detox symptoms, which apparently is normal when you cut starches and sugars out of your diet.

As a result I’ve been incredibly unproductive the past week, and barely got anything done.

The other problem is that now that I can see this program is probably going to work for me, I don’t see the point in continuing to make stuff that won’t fit me in a month or two. I’d rather wait and save my time, energy and pretty fabrics for when I can actually keep and wear them longer 🙂

I have been working on a cardigan, however, cause I had it started and I figured it’s ok if a cardi is a bit big 🙂 I just haven’t made much progress, because of the aforementioned lack of energy from detoxing.

Now that that’s over though, I have more energy and am feeling great! I suspect I’ll have something to post maybe by the end of this week – next week at the latest 🙂

Cheers all! ^_^

Technical Difficulties

Hi All!

Recently, MrsMole notified me that my comments on my last few blog posts were not working, and since I generally do all my blogging and commenting from my iphone, I hadn’t actually looked at my blog on a computer for awhile, so I gave it a check.

Not only were my comments ‘stuck’ but my formatting had gone all whacadoodle, so I temporarily installed a new theme to see if that solved the issue, and it did. Which is why we’re looking a bit boring at the moment!

I’m sorry for any difficulty and I am trying to fix the problem, but in the meantime comments should be working, and I’ll be extending the Pattern Pyramid draw til next week to give any more hopefuls a fair chance! 🙂

Cheers, all!

Giveaway Winner!

The giveaway winner, chosen randomly by my awesome iPhone app, Answer! is:


Congrats!! I’ve sent you an email with the deets! 🙂

Thanks to all who entered & be sure that though this was my first giveaway, it will definitely not be the last, so keep reading!! 🙂

Giveaway! First Annual Blogiversary!

October 18, 2012, marks the one-year anniversary of my first blog post on this here project blog. Little did I know what an amazing community I was yet to discover and become a part of!! I’m gonna get all down & personal here now, so if you wanna sit this one out, or just skip down to the giveaway, I’ll totally understand 🙂

A lot has happened in a year; I’ve learned so much, and come so far!!

In sewing, I’ve participated in my first sewalong, made my first pants, did my first FBA, sewed my first buttonhole and used boning for the first time, along with so much more! I’ve learned so much about fitting, fabric, and technique. I’ve begun to discover my own personal style & have started my first planned capsule wardrobe!

In my personal life, I’ve spent the last 10 months trying to improve my health, inside & out. For me personally, unless I follow a strict diet & exercise plan, my self esteem suffers greatly. I have a really slow metabolism so I easily gain weight, become lethargic, and just feel generally gross – physically and mentally. Through tracking calories & a daily exercise regime, I’ve lost over 30 lbs! I still have a ways to go but I’ve come a long way & I’m on the right path^_^ I am also very blessed to have a wonderful man and mum in my life who are loving, supportive, and patient with me no matter what I’m going through 🙂

In my professional life, I just recently lost my job of almost seven years. No boo-hoo-ing though; this is one of those transitions that was meant to be. As emotional as it was, (after so long, the people there are like family to me), I was going stagnant there from lack of creative stimulation. With the changes in the company’s focus, there was less and less work for me, so while I still do work for them a few hours a week, I’m free now to try & find a new home that will challenge & grow my creative abilities… and that’s exciting! (even if I have to be poor for awhile lol)

Over the last month, two lovely bloggers I’ve met along the way have nominated me for blog awards. Thank you to A Gastronome’s Closet and PunkMik!! Since I have already received one recently and handed out the honours to others, this time I would like to, instead, give back by hosting my first giveaway!!

The giveaway is for a set of three patterns; one for each of my award nominations and one for my one year anniversary! ^__^

The first two are brand new, unused patterns:

Simplicity 2339 Amazing Fit blouse:

And Simplicity 4192:

In addition to these two, you will get one of your choice from the vintage patterns shown here

Alternatively, if you’re not a sewist, I’m offering a personalized blog header for your blog, designed by me 🙂 (you tell me what you want & I’ll design it!)

This is my thanks to you all for being so awesome!!! Feel free to pass the giveaway info on to your friends; anyone is welcome to participate!!

To enter, please leave a comment on this blog post by the end of October and let me know what prize you prefer 🙂 I’ll draw the winner on November 1st 🙂 Happy October!!

Fabric Shopping for the Environment!

In my beautiful city of Vancouver, there is an amazing non profit movement to help keep waste from the apparel and movie industries out of landfills. It’s called Our Social Fabric, and these wonderful volunteers host a sale every month to local crafters & fabric enthusiasts.

The fabrics are generously donated by various companies, and OSF volunteers then take them and set them up for each monthly sale.

Fabrics in remnants are sold by the bag, and on the roll by the yard. Like thrift store shopping, you really have to dig through everything; it takes time but is so worth it!! It was pretty crowded but everyone was so nice and polite ^___^

Large paper shopping bags are provided and believe me, they hold a LOT!! Check out what I got for a mere $25!!!!

3m plus two half meter remnants of black cotton batiste – so awesome! Not ‘fun’ perhaps but always useful for lining/underlining 🙂 Check it out; one of the remnants is already partly interfaced! lol

Some lovely medium weight wools:


5 m of a linen cotton blend; I wasn’t sure on the colour but couldn’t pass up such a large cut; most fabrics are only a meter or two at best; the rest are remnants.

Some interesting coating material which upon burning, revealed itself to me as cotton (maybe enough for an Anise?)

Couple more cottons:


And some various mystery fabrics:




All in all I spent less than $2/meter!! Considering my recent financial downfall, this is great news for me! And I'm helping the environment! Thanks OSF! 😀