Whooooo Are You?


As everyone knows, I got the idea of starting a sewing studio after meeting Annabel, who owns Little Pincushion Studio (and Confetti Studio with Alessandra).  One of the first projects I saw on her blog were the sweetest little owls.  They became a “must do” for me.  So, taking a page out a beginner sewing book and inspiration from Annabel, we made these little guys last week.  I couldn’t be more proud of my Littles because these owls are just the bees knees.

These were all hand sewn by the Littles – I mean the whole thing – button eyes, the owl pillow, the tummy patch.  It may be that these girls are a little advanced …

L xo

Doing the Dishes


Remember when Martha Stewart sent me that huge box of craft supplies?  I had plans for that box, oh boy did I have plans.  And then something called “work” and another thing called “sick children” kept me from digging into that box.  Oh, and add “recover the dining room chairs” and “spray paint an etagere gold” to that list so neither my family nor my books needed to spend any time on the floor.

So the deadline drew closer and even though I can’t win because I am Canadian, I still wanted to put something together.  But after running on empty for days, I just had no idea what to use these amazing supplies for.  And then I opened my kitchen cupboards …

We have had our day to day dishes since we got married.  Don’t get me wrong, they are have served us well, but after 2 boys, multiple moves and all that jazz, there aren’t many left.  But I haven’t bought anything new because, like always, what I want and is out there, are two very different things.

So Martha Stewart Crafts came to the rescue.  And it was pretty fast (see above for why this is important … I have no time).  And the project came out exactly how I wanted and exactly how MS Crafts said it would.  And I am in love with the supplies I used and the full set of dishes I have.

Let me show you how I did it (and if I can pull this off, anyone can).

I started by gathering all my materials.  Dishes, scissors (my MS ones are super sharp and super long and I use them for everything), MS Crafts Multi-Surface paint (that really works on anything … including Grade 4 LA projects), MS Craft Stencils and washi tape.  I also had a pan of warm water off to the side to put the stencils in once I used them.

There are a ton of stencils you can choose from – Michaels has them all lined up on display.  I used the ones I was sent because I just loved them and they were perfect for the Project.  I am not going to lie though, I went and bought others after because they are just that good.

So my first step was to make sure that the plates were clean so I ran them through the dishwasher and gave them a quick swipe with rubbing alcohol.  Ready to go.

I took my plate, cut out the stencil I wanted to use, and placed it on the plate taped down with some washi tape.  Now, in all honestly, the washi taping it down thing didn’t continue for very long.  The stencils themselves have a little stick to them and because of the curve of some of the plates and bowls, taping just didn’t work.  And I wasn’t looking for these to be perfect … I was hoping it would turn out a little random.

And then it was time to paint.  I got out a piece of cardboard and squeezed a little paint out and started painting.  But rather than using a brush, I gave the MS Craft paint dabbers a try.  These dabbers are pretty much what made my project go so quickly (and look so good, if I do say so myself).

I stamped over the entire stencil doing by best not to go over and then pulled the stencil off while it was still wet.  And here is the great thing, make a mistake, wipe it off.  Don’t like how the stencil came out, go wash it in the sink, dry the dish, start again.  THAT EASY.

Because this was so easy and the Project was working out just as I had envisioned, I just kept going with painting more dishes.  And rather than sticking to the gold tones I had originally thought to use, I broke out the brights.  And I am not sure which I love more …

Switching between colours wasn’t difficult.  I just used one colour and the stencils over a few plates, put the stencils and the dabber into the pan of warm water, switch to a different colour, dabber and stencil and did some more.  When I started to layer the colours, I just waited 30 minutes until they were dry and then put the stencil on top and painted over.  Again, I tell you, it really is THAT EASY.

The dishes have to “cure” so you can leave them sitting for 21 days and that will do the job or you can put them in a cold ove, let it warm up with the dishes in it to 350 degrees and let them bake in there for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, turn off the oven and leave the dishes into cool.  My super way for getting that done was to do it right before I went to bed so I could turn the oven off at bedtime and leave the dishes in until morning.  Two nights later, two new sets of dishes.

And here is the best thing.  Unlike my old Wedgewood Weekday/Weekend dishes that cost a fortune which meant trouble for whomever broke them and the assurance they would never be replaced, these dishes are from President’s Choice (the same people bringing all that great JOE FRESH clothing) so if one breaks or I decide I don’t like my dishes, I can go get more, no problem.

I think that 8 of the dinner plates, soup bowls, regular bowls and side plates came to $60.  And while I used a ton of paint, I still have left over.  And while some of my poor stencils didn’t make it all the way through, I was amazed at how long they actually lasted.  I mean I used those stencils over and over and washed them over and over and they pretty much lasted until the end.

The other great thing about this Project is the gazillion colours you can choose from.  The kind folks at MS Crafts sent lots of paint but I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I couldn’t resist buying just a few more colours …  The ones I used for my dishes were Party Streamer, Meadowlark, Marmalade, Surf and Lake Fog (which is the colour of my walls at home – love, love, love it as my new favourite neutral) and Champagne, Light Gold, Yellow Gold and Rose Gold (I couldn’t find plain old gold to save my life but it didn’t matter in the end because there were so many others to choose from).

So now I have new, awesome dishes and the ability to make more … And, as I was painting away, I filled my head with other MS Craft ideas like using the floresecent orange MS Crafts paint and the dabbers to decorate the trick or treat bags my little sewing friends made at the sewing studio last week, or filling up clear balloons with MS Multi Surface paint (and glitter, of course) in Halloween colours to give to the kids I listen to read (I volunteer as Reading Mum)  at my childrens’ school (instead of candy, which they get enough of).  And don’t even get me started on how I am going to change up the treat boxes MS Crafts sent and make some awesome cupcake toppers.

While I wish I had more time to put into the Project, I have to say that this turned out exactly as I had hoped.  I was amazed at how easy it was, how it didn’t really take that much time, and that the products I used did exactly what they said they would.  For someone like me, who tends to do projects over and over to get them right, having this go so well means I’ll be doing more.

L xo

Ta Da

{photography by Terri Champagne Photography}

My very good friend Terri came over yesterday and used her amazing photography skills and took some great photos of the Studio.  I am completely in love with the space and love how inspiring it is.  I think that Terri has capture the feeling incredibly well in her photos.  I can’t wait until the Studio is filled with bright, shiny faces.

L xo

Leanne + Martha = True Love 4 Ever

Right before I left for New York, I was asked by Martha Stewart Crafts to join a contest with MS Crafts and Michaels showcasing all of the amazing MS Craft product.  The very kind folks at MS Crafts sent a box full of goodies and it was waiting for me when I got home.  I have a million ideas and just don’t know where to start.  Since the contest closes in the middle of October, I kind of have to get on it.  You can see all of the amazing projects on the new Martha Pinterest board. I know some of the other people participating and I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

Stay tuned for updates … And if you have any ideas, let me know!

L xo

PS – The glitter yarn and neon glitter are my hands down favourite.  But you could have probably guessed that, right?

Light Reading …

Or how I spent some of my weekend …

L xo

Up and Running


Class registration is OPEN!

L xo

P is for Pillow


Pillow making is all that seems to be getting done around here.  Pillow cases, dog bed pillows, pillows for the sewing studio.  It isn’t much but at least it is sewing.  I pretty much only know how to make envelope closers for the back but am told inserting a zipper is easy peasy so I plan on giving it a try.  Envelope backs take about 30 seconds to do so it will take a little to make me a zipper convert.

Some of the pillows are blocks for swaps I did eons ago.  The big green pillow was whipped up in about an hour – Chester and Sherman needed dog beds in the sewing studio so a quick trip to Ikea for pillows and fabric (Ikea’s cotton twill fabric is amazingly inexpensive and is super cute) and their wish was my command.

Sewing on pom poms was all new to me but it wasn’t half as hard as I thought it would be.  And who doesn’t love pom poms.

I am sure more pillows will be added as the summer comes to an end …

L xo



I have been thinking about projects for the classes in the Fall all summer.  And I got the great idea of sewing with paper from Terry at Out of Hand.  Now Terry knows a lot more about sewing than I do so when she told me of projects her daughter brought home sewn out of brown paper from groceries bags, I knew it was something to look into.

While I will be asking for all of my groceries in paper for the next little while, I think that using brightly coloured vellum like the picture above with some grosgrain ribbon (with a little glue stick to keep it all together) would make for a great straight line sewing practice (and a lovely way to brighten up a room).


L xo

A Picture is Worth …

Once upon a time, I got a very swanky camera for my birthday.  It is the bees knees.  I took it all the way to Paris.  And then realized that the boys had removed the SD card.  It probably wouldn’t have been the hardest thing to find in Paris (internet service was the hardest thing to find in Paris), but I didn’t search very long or hard for an SD card.  Instead, I used my iPhone.  Is that awful?  Maybe. But I did get quite a few good pictures.  And am putting together an Instagram book of some of them as a thank you to my sweet mother for taking me.

So, if you are like me and are starting to use your phone more and more for photo taking, you need to read Elizabeth’s post about her favourite photo apps.  You really don’t need to read that far into her blog to see that Elizabeth to see that she knows what she is talking about because her photos are just lovely.  I know that some photos on her blog are Photoshopped (Photoshop scares me, I confess) but lots are from her phone.

So, before you head out on summer vacation, you may want to take a quick read and download a few.  (I actually downloaded them all …)

L xo

PS – I also downloaded the 8mm app.  You would not believe the number of “S doing flips on the trampoline” videos I have.  This might make them awesome.  Check back and I’ll see if I can post one.

PPS – Elizabeth has about a gazillion amazing tutorials on a ton of crafty things.  It’s a big source of inspiration for me.

For the Love of Neon

{courtesy of MADE}

I make no apologies for my love of neon.  I loved neon in the 80s when I was a kid, and I love it now.  Love it!  I was super excited to come across this great tutorial from Dana at MADE for awesome neon painted totes.  I think they will be perfect for lugging all our beach stuff back and forth to the lake.  And to use at the grocery store.  And for the library.  And for just kick it around.  You get the idea …

For certain, there will be a trip to the craft store this afternoon to stock up on neon and metallic paint (I think S used mine all up – love that kid and his love of neon too!).

L xo