Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tutorial: Paper Christmas Wreath

Since it’s Christmas time, just surfing to see any great craft ideas.

This wreath is so striking and made from one of my favourite mediums, paper!  This is a tutorial by Lisa Tilse a busy mom, blogger and entrepreneur who runs owns The Red Thread

Her blog is full of tutorials and the few that I did scan through were so beautiful.  I’ll definitely checking more out soon!

Paper Christmas Wreath Tutorial by Lisa Tilse

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bulembu: Handcrafted Wall Art

image Bulembu is a small town in Swaziland, South Africa, that was once a vibrant community supported by a local mine.  In 2001, that mining company closed down.  Much of the key infrastructures that supported this community such as hospitals, schools, stores closed or downscaled.  The community fell apart.  This sounds terrible isn’t it?  Well, there are people who cared and wanted to help.  In 2006, a group of developers and entrepreneurs purchased the town with the key intent to restore Bulembu to be again a self sustaining community. 

My company is a funding partner for Bulembu cause, I can’t remember exactly which year, but I think they sponsored this town close to the beginning when the town was purchased.  Over the past few years, we had numerous charity events and donation drives.  My company even give employees the opportunity to go the Bulembu as a volunteer!IMG_0467

This year, the Swazi people wanted to give their thanks.  The Creativity Centre in Bulembu made this handmade advent calendar as a gift!

IMG_0468It was such a pleasant surprise.  The quality of work is beautiful.  I wish you can see it in person. They hand stitched each felt piece; the detail work is amazing.

As beautiful as it was, we didn’t have a place for it.  So, after being displayed for a couple of weeks so everyone had a chance to admire it, we raffled it off and donated 100% of the proceeds back into Bulembu.   IMG_0469

My favourite part are the angels over looking the town.  I didn’t win the raffle, but I wish I did!



Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tutorial: Mini Clothespin Snowmen

 Mini Clothespin Snowmen

Lately I’ve been addicted to clothespins and clothespin crafts and I stumbled upon this cute tutorial by a fellow blogger Eyeballs by Day, Crafts by Night.  Click on the picture or the title to check it out!

I love her pseudo name

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Paper Place: The Katazome Contest


Last year, I missed out on an awesome contest held by The Paper Place called, The Great Origami Giveaway.  I literally found out about that contest one day too late.  It was such a major disappointment, I actually sulked about it for an hour because I love working with Chiyogami paper.  This year, The Paper Place is hosting a new give-a-way this season The Great Katazome Giveaway – 12 Days in December

The prize this year is one sample sheet  each of all 169 patterns of Katazome paper.  Of course I entered in hopes to win.  I’ve never worked with Katazome paper before but I know they are sturdier so it would open many new opportunities of creativity.  I’m already thinking of potential projects if I win!  The designs are so beautiful. 

If you haven’t heard of The Paper Place, check them out!  It’s a Canadian based store based out of Ontario, Canada.  They have such variety of paper and designs on their online store.  One day I’ll be visiting the East Coast and definitely be visiting.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Flower and Bunny Clothespin Cards and Tags


I had these decorative clothespins for awhile, I loved them, but really didn’t have anything in mind what to do with them.  Then one day, had my inspiration after needing to write a thank you card, and didn’t like the limited few generic ones you find in a store. 

What do you think?  I like the contrast of the brown cardstock on the flower ones, I was hoping to give it just enough masculinity for the men out there.  The bunnies were from a previous Easter giveaway I’ve done, I thought they’d be great for baby showers!




Friday, November 26, 2010

Feature Canadian Shop: quotesandnotes

I made some clothespin products for my Etsy and Artfire shops and thought to check what other sellers are offering for their items.  I stumbled upon quotesandnotes, an artisan who offers hand-printed designs on wood and fabric.  I love how simple but yet visual appealing gifts.

il_fullxfull.195579313[1] 5 Christmas Clothespins / Pegs - Joy, Peace, Faith, Hope, Dream

il_fullxfull.171331553[1] 3 in. x 2 in. Wood Mini Notepad (je t'aime - i love you)

il_fullxfull.194075808[1]Christmas hymn ragball ornaments - White-Silver (set of 3)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

CSN Stores: A Third Upcoming Review

Last month, Cameron from CSN Store’s Promotion Team contacted me and asked if I was interested in doing a third product review for them.  I just got confirmation that the first two products are on their way so it’ll be fun as you’ll get to read reviews about three different products!  CSN Stores has over 200 online stores so it’s going to be difficult for me to choose the third item!   Check out their counter height stools!  Right now, they are offering 15% off on orders over $349.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Origami Holiday Tree

Annually the American Museum of Natural History showcases a Christmas tree decorated with origami.  They have been doing this for the past 30 years!  And you can purchase origami  doves and ornaments there too.  

This year’s theme is “Discovery”.  The tree will be displayed from November 22, 2010 – January 2, 2011.  Since I cannot be there myself this year, if any of you can share any photos, please do so!

The picture I believe is the 2009 tree, wasn’t it beautiful?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Framed Origami Art: Tulips and Butterflies

frame - tulips (11)Back in June, I made a personally designed graphic as their wedding present.  I really liked the frame I used for that present.  So when a birthday was coming up, I remembered where I got the “LOVE” frame, there was a matching “Hello.” one, which was perfect!

I was thinking of making these for my online store but the store no longer carries these frames.  Would you buy one?  I’m now thinking of finding the wholesaler for the frames or something of equal or better quality.

 frame - tulips (1)Lesson’s Learned

  • Allow adequate time when making a birthday present.  I only gave myself one week, would loved to had more time.
  • When taking photos, the best light source is natural light


Friday, October 29, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Stumbled Upon a Small Blog Mention!

tuesday02 I was researching and stumbled upon Jessica Cauthon’s blog The Chickadee Tree blog that mentioned my Art Fire Shop as one of her weekly Top Ten

September 21st – Tuesday’s Top Ten

Thank you Jessica for the mention!

Friday, October 22, 2010

“Inspire Me” by Hugh MacLeod

Inspire Me.jpg
Another great cartoon from business cartoonist Hugh MacLeod.
We all need inspiration.  Only time I work on my crafts, draw or even write my entries is through inspiration.  I would do any of them if I didn’t enjoy them and was inspired by something I read or see.  Last week I made specially stamped clothes pins and discreet papers because my friend mentioned her husband liked her love notes in various parts of his luggage and pockets during business trips.  I doubt I’d thought of that if she didn’t mention anything. 
Anything has inspired you to do create something today?

Friday, October 15, 2010

It’s All About Origami Love!

I was folding origami hearts with my daughter and saw my “LOVE” stamp.  I got inspired!   They are pretty simple but they conveys a huge message to the love of your life. 

I have been procrastinating on both my online store fronts lately, but they’ll be up and ready soon!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Toy Story: Feature Shops

toy story 3 

Finally took the time to watch Toy Story 3 this past weekend!  My favourite characters has always been the three aliens.  I remember the first movie when it first ran in 1995 and how it spurred the comeback of Mr. Potato Head.  I thought I’ll try to find Toy Story themed products that were not based on paper goods.  These two items were so cute! 


Buzz Lightyear Logo Keychain by boxhounds

il_fullxfull.171145579[1]Alien Clippie by PixiePretties

Sunday, October 10, 2010

CSN Stores: Upcoming Review

Last month, Cameron from CSN Store’s Promotion Team contacted me and asked if I was interested in doing a second product review for them.  I haven’t received the first product yet so you’ll be treated to back to back reviews.  CSN Stores has over 200 online stores and they sell everything!  They have everything you can desire, even console tables.  I’m excited do to another review and will in an upcoming post.

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Card was Featured in an ArtFire Collection!

cherry blossom, kimono card- traditional (3)

Asian Themed Any Occasion Card - Cherry Blossoms and Kimono

"Beautiful and exotic, the orient inspires thoughts of elegance and grace. Enjoy this collection whose pieces will whisk you away into another land far away."

I extend my thanks for Aria of Manifested Dreams for sharing my card in her collection.  This card can also be ordered through my online store West Coast Origami.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A How To: Increase your online shop's exposure through giveaways by soupdeli

It’s been a while since I browsed through the Etsy forums but I’m glad I did.  I have been thinking of doing a give-away on my blogs but never done one before.  I’ll definitely be following this seller’s tips when the right time comes!

This is a long read, but it’s worthwhile if you are considering hosting a give-a-way.

A How To: Increase your online shop's exposure through giveaways by soapdeli

Giveaways are fun. They create excitement and can be a great tool for getting consumers to visit your online shop. The more traffic you can bring to your shop, the higher your chances of making a sale. And while all giveaways don't mean sales, what they do equate to is great exposure, name recognition, and possible sales down the line. Running a successful giveaway, however, can be trying and I know a lot of indie business owners who have been disappointed by how little traffic their giveaway has yielded. Because of this I've decided to share my tips on how to run an effective giveaway for promoting your shop.

Decide on a prize.

First and foremost you need to decide what type of item you'd like to offer as a prize. While it's tempting to offer that bracelet that never sold and sat in your shop until it expired, this is not the type of item you want to give away. Look over your shop or inventory and pick a product that has gotten a lot of positive attention. Even pick an item that you have sold and re-create something similar. Why? Because you want people to want to take the time to enter your giveaway and most will only do this if you're offering a product they like and can use. Think about who your target market is and what they would want. Also, be sure to keep in mind the retail value of your prize. People like big prizes - things they wouldn't necessarily be able to afford or justify buying without knowing the business or the product. Further, the broader the appeal of your prize, the more entries you're likely to receive as well. Remember that if you can't get consumers to enter your contest, then you're missing out on potential new traffic sources for your shop. Then decide on a prize.

Host your contest.

Now that you've decided what you're going to give away, you'll need to decide how to host your contest. If you have a blog or website, that's the best place to start. Not only will you increase traffic to your blog and potentially gain new followers, but you can set the terms you want for entering your contest as well. Don't discount having other sites host your contest for you though. Other blogs and sites often have different audiences which ensures you are reaching new people and not the same ones over and over again. If you don't have a blog, now would be a good time to start one with the giveaway giving you a big introductory push. There are free blogs that cost little to nothing such as Google's free blogging platform, Blogger. I highly recommend using Blogger for a first time blog as it's easy to work with and will automatically be indexed by Google.

Setting up your giveaway.

Setting up a giveaway really isn't difficult. Writing the copy is the easy part .After all, you already know everything there is to know about your product. However, what you do need to think about is what you want to gain from the giveaway. Do you want to increase traffic, gain sales, expand your social network? All of these are important things to consider. Personally I'd never pass up the opportunity to expand my social network through sites like twitter and facebook. Friends share things that interest them with their friends and so on, which can lead to a lot of indirect marketing the larger your network grows.

Here is how I set up my contests.

  1. Start with a paragraph about the contest. What can visitors enter to win? Include a brief description.
  2. Include a photograph of the prize.
  3. Expand on the prize being offered and/or include information about what you sell in your shop. This is your chance to not only show off some of your best work through the contest, but to push your shop and the other items in it. If you hope to gain sales from this contest, include a discount code here or a special free shipping offer if a purchase is made. Be sure you include a link to your shop.
  4. Include a spotlight of some of your other products if you like. Use a free program like to create a photo collage of some of your other work to encourage greater interest in your shop.
  5. Tell your visitors how they can enter your contest and set up your rules. When will the contest end? Who are you willing to ship to? How old do you have to be to enter? How many times can a contestant enter? Be sure to address how contestant information will be used as well. I always want visitors to have to browse the items available in my shop, so here's an example of what I might put here:

Want to win? Now through Sunday, May , 2010 11:59pm EST you can enter to win a free CONTEST PRIZE! To enter this contest simply visit YOUR SHOP NAME (WITH LINK) and pick out your favorite item. Then leave a comment with your favorite item to enter. This contest is open to residents of US and Canada ages 18 and up. Limit one entry per household/person/email. Please remember to leave a way for me to contact you if you win. Your contact information will only be used for acquiring your address information should you win this contest.

To increase exposure for your contest and to add to your social network, you can also add additional ways to enter. For example: You may complete each of the following tasks for one additional entry for each task completed. Please comment in a separate post for each task.

  1. Tweet this contest. Comment with your tweet.
  2. Become a fan of YOUR SHOP NAME on Facebook. Leave a comment. (Don't forget to include a link.)
  3. Blog about this contest. Comment with a link to the blog post.
  4. Sign up for my newsletter.
  5. Follow this blog.

Marketing your contest.

Marketing is a never ending necessity. It's great for exposure and can be more effective than advertising in the long run if done properly. While advertising and marketing together make for the best outcome, I understand that not everyone can afford to run ad campaigns. Therefore, to market your shop, you must market your contest. Here's how.

  1. Utilize your social networks. Use platforms like twitter and plurk to announce the contest to your followers with a direct link to enter. Share your contest with others on facebook. Post about your contest on other social network platforms and social communities you may be a part of. This may include forums like Crafster and blogs on sites like Ning networks.
  2. Submit your contest to popular sweepstakes sites. You can google for these and pick and choose where you'd like to submit your contest. Ones I recommend are and I also like as they directly target handmade interested consumers and will post your contest, regardless of venue, as long as the prize is not commercially produced.
  3. Draw your winner. Once the contest has ended you'll need to draw a winner. A great way to do this is to use a random generator. You can find one at You'll then need to email your winner for his or her shipping information. Be sure to ship out the winner's prize within a reasonable amount of time. If it takes you a month to ship the prize, this could reflect poorly on your business practices.

I hope this article helps everyone who has wanted to run a contest but hasn't been sure how. After all, contests are a wonderful marketing technique and are often less expensive than advertising.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sherlock Holmes: Feature Etsy Shops


We recently watched Sherlock Holmes.  I read all of Sir Arthur Doyle Sherlock Holmes series and many movies in my teen years. 

What I loved about this movie is that the director, Guy Ritchie portrayed Watson more accurately to the stories.  Not a heavy set sidekick, no.  Guy Ritchie’s Watson kicks some evil butt in this movie.  I really enjoyed this movie.

So to continue my theme of Etsy searches based on movies, here’s my favourite finds!  I love the doll pattern.  Who says Sherlock has to be male!

il_fullxfull.176110908[1] SHERLOCK HOLMES Girly Doll PDF Email CROCHET PATTERN by HandMadeAwards

il_fullxfull.140490024[1]Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ... mini wooden library book by elloh

il_fullxfull.146660539[1]SHERLOCK HOLMES Pendant - When you have eliminated the impossible by pretentiousjewelry

Monday, September 27, 2010

“Create is” by Hugh MacLeod

Create Is.jpg
I got this recent newsletter from a business cartoonist Hugh MacLeod featuring this cartoon.  He meant more for media, but this reigns true for anyone who loves to create:

Making stuff is more fun than buying stuff. That's because there's love in making- you can put as much love into the process as you want- the only limitation is the human heart. Whereas with buying stuff- you can love it all you want, but it can't love you back.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Origami Design! GenLux Magazine 2008

Stumbled upon this stunning fashion magazine ad!  Photos are done by Bootsy Holler Photography


Monday, September 20, 2010

Mr. Potato Head – Feature Etsy Shops

Potato Head We just returned from Disneyland and just wrote about my Mr. Potato Head Story.  I had to see if there were creative souls out there who loved the toy as much as my family did!

Feature Etsy Shops!

il_fullxfull.105102588[1]POTATO HEADS Lampwork Style Charm Bracelet Mustache by FyrestormCreations

il_fullxfull.147502336[1] Cake Toppers. Needle Felted Personalized Custom Made by HeatherBays (Canadian Seller)

il_fullxfull.171752451[1] Mr. Potatoe Head Ornies by BlueEyedPicapye

Friday, September 3, 2010

We’re Going to Disneyland!

We’ll be going on vacation to California and we plan to visit Disneyland!   I don’t plan to blog for a next couple of weeks.  However, I’m testing a blogging application on my iPhone so if I see any random crafts or handmade items and find access to free wi-fi down there, I might make a short entry or two!  If not, I leave you with two Canadian Etsy sellers who has disney themed products!

Mickey Mouse Pacifier Holder, Toy Holder

 Mickey Mouse Pacifier Holder, Toy Holderrainbowstardesigns

Cinderella Inspired Princess Hair Clip   Cinderella Inspired Princess Hair Clip - sarahscreativeside

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Stunning Fields of Rice Art – CBC Video

Rice farming has sustained the people of northern Japan's Inakadate village for two thousand years. Today, the ancient rice fields are the source of food and art.I just watched this video the other day, local farmers in a small village in Japan plant intricate art in their rice paddies using different coloured rice plants!

It’s absolutely amazing and so beautiful!  They make it a family affair as they involve all the villagers to plant the rice shoots.  It’s sad that this only has a three month expectancy before they have to harvest.

Japan's Rice Field of Dreams – Celia Hatton

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My First Artfire Sale and Kudos Comment

clothespin - flower (1)

A few months ago, I decided to give Artfire a try.  Artfire is a online marketplace for handmade goods, similar to Etsy

I just got my first sale a couple of weeks ago for some decorative flower clothespins.  Today the buyer must have just received it as I got also got my first Kudos (Artfire’s term for positive feedback).


I know it’s small, but I like to enjoy any positive thing that happens in my life.  Life’s too short and it was such a great feeling.  It was a great highlight to my weekend!

Did anything happen that made you feel great this weekend?