Sunday, April 28, 2013

Inspiration: Hand-Printed Fabrics

I'm game for pretty much any DIY, but lately hand-printed fabrics have been catching my eye. Can't find the pattern you want? Make it yourself. There's a screen-printing course at The Make Den that I've been hmm-ing and haw-ing over for a while. However, I don't have the space in my home to really get into this right now. Yet another thing to add to my future dream craft room :). So I guess I'll just have to admire from afar:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DIY Short Necklaces

This past week I have become obsessed with short, beaded necklaces. Inspired by gorgeous spring jewellery collections, I encountered two problems: poverty and wanting things immediately. So bring on the DIY.

I bought many of my beads (including those lovely turquoise stones) at my favourite bead store in Toronto, Chaton Beads BUT just this weekend I learned (the hard way) that Chaton Beads is no more. Sadness. Yes, there are a dozen other bead stores on that same block, but this one was The One.

Anyhoo, this DIY is waaay quicker than my other necklaces and adds a lovely pop of colour to any outfit. Also it really doesn't matter what beads you use so if you can't decide, just make several! I set out to only make one, but clearly went overboard. Nothing new here! *blush*

What You Need:

Beads (whatever you like, enough for a 2-3 inch strand)
Fishing line (beading string)
Wire cutters
Small crimping beads (Full disclosure: the ones I used were way too big so they turned out quite wonky. I'll likely redo them at some point because I can't deal with wonky.)
Jump rings (4 per necklace)
Chain (2 strands at 8.5 inches each*)

The finished necklace measures 19-20 inches, dependent on your beads. *My advice regarding the chain is to always always cut a bit more than you think you need and clip it later once you've tried it on.

Step one. Decide on a pattern. Honestly, this part always takes me ages. AGES.

Cut several inches of your fishing line.

String your crimping bead and a jump ring onto the fishing line. Loop the string back through the crimping bead, leaving a tail. Pull tight, and smoosh the crimping bead shut with your pliers. Your string should be trapped.

String your beads onto the fishing line, tucking the tail through the beads as well, effectively hiding it.

When you come to the end, string your last crimping bead and jump ring on the fishing line and this time when you double back through the crimping bead, string your fishing line through a few beads only and pull the end tight. Smoosh the crimping bead. Trim the tail. (I realize that was a tongue twister.)

You're done the strand! It was so quick and easy that I made several. Whoops.

Using jump rings (and pliers to open and close them), connect your chain strands to the clasp and to your beaded strand.

Wear it.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Yesterday was crafty-errand day. Did some serious supply shopping (while it was hailing, I must add), discovered my favourite bead store—Chaton Beads—closed forever, then checked out the glorious City of Craft and was so overwhelmed with inspiration that I went home and made way too many necklaces.

Find me on Instagram @owlswakeup to see the rest of my pics!

Leather and Sewing Supply never fails to get me drooling.

Looking for the perfect strap for a tote bag for my friend.

Some truly amazing artisans at City of Craft! Something to aspire to ;)

The bead obsession in full swing.

New clutches and another necklace DIY coming soon!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

New Clutches

New fabrics trickling into the shop today! Still lots more to come…

It's been a busy week of sewing things, shipping things, shopping for things, applying to craft-show-related things (ohgodohgodohgod)… So for now, check out the new things!

Green and Yellow Vine Clutch

Pink Floral Tapestry Clutch

Purple Lace Foldover Clutch

Pink Floral Tapestry Foldover Clutch

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Wood Burning

So I went to Michaels a little while back to get gold paint for this post when I was quickly coerced into buying a wood burning kit. I was not a hard sell. Truth is I was already thinking about using wood burning to make myself a wooden owlswakeup plaque for my home/future craft shows etc. Anyways, I was browsing the paint when a sales associate asked me what I was making. When I told him about the leather bookmarks, he asked me if I had considered heat embossing the leather. Naturally, I was intrigued. He took me over to show me what I thought were the wood burning kits, but it turns out you can burn many things. I was sold.

I tried it out while I was visiting my parents (it sure helps that they had spare pieces of wood leftover from their deck) and quickly discovered that wood burning is extremely difficult. The grain does not want you to burn a straight line and will fight you till the end.

But it sure smells amazing! I'll post more pictures of things I've burnt once I get good at it. If I ever get good at it.

My parents had the perfect piece of wood to practice on!

Waiting for it to get (surface-of-the-sun) hot.

Different levels of burny-ness while waiting for the wand to heat up.

Keeping control was incredibly challenging!


Definitely something worth practicing!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

DIY Collar Necklace

Hello again! Time for another DIY!

The Peter Pan collar trend is still going strong, although I must admit I wasn't always on the bandwagon! I'm still not 100% convinced that I could rock one of these collars on a blouse, so I made a more subtle one in necklace form. Also, if I had a cameo she would be right smack dab in the centre. But alas I do not. Maybe you do??

What You Need:
Beads (I used 66 for this project), eye pins, jump rings (3), clasp, round-nosed pliers, pliers, wire cutters.

String your first bead onto your eye pin. Using your pliers, bend the wire at a 90 degree angle.

Using your wire cutters, clip the wire so you are left with just under 1cm.

Using your round-nosed pliers, bend the wire to form a loop. Leave the loop slightly open. Set aside.

Repeat with your next bead. These beads are going to be linked together to form the "chain." Slip your second bead's eye pin loop through your incomplete loop to connect them. Using your round-nosed pliers, close this loop. See photo for illustration:

Continue these steps until you have two lengths of 19 beads each, and two lengths of 14 each.

Note: the numbers of beads listed is simply what I used for this project. Feel free to make it longer or shorter dependent on the size of beads you use! It's up to you!

The two longest chains are connected with one jump ring. Two more jump rings are used to connect the beads to the clasp. Use your pliers to open and close your jump rings.

Here is where the jump rings should be attached:

The final step of this necklace DIY is attaching the shorter bead lengths that will serve as the loops of the collar. One end of each also connects to the jump ring in the middle (as shown in the photo below) but the other two are to be connected in the middle of the longer chain. I have connected mine after the 9th bead from the front jump ring.

Note: changing this position will change the shape of your collar so feel free to experiment to find what style you like.

Using your round-nosed pliers, open the loop just enough to slip it through the loop from the bead's eye pin that you're connecting it to, then close securely. That was a bit of a mouthful, so here's a close-up of what this connection should look like.

Do the same for the other side. And you're done!

Not the greatest photo, but here's what it looks like on!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sewing Day

Happy Saturday! Today is a serious sewing day. I've got the lovely Bat for Lashes on shuffle, a cup of Vanilla Oolong (from the perfection that is DAVIDsTEA) and some gorgeous new spring fabrics to work with! Let's go!

New pretties...

Ready to rock!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Designer Crush: Biko

I thought about doing another Wednesday Wishlist but then I realized that this girl's entire website would be on it! My friend and I discovered Biko at the One of a Kind Show last week in Toronto. We kept going back to Corrine's booth but in the end came away only with her business card. I just couldn't make a choice! Here are some of my favs:

All images from

Happy Wednesday!