I’ve been hearing about October’s Crafter of the Month for months. Our marketing director, Marnie Peters, just raves about her sister Alison’s crafty prowess and with good reason: her cards are GORGEOUS. I sent Alison a few quick questions and she happily obliged with great answers and examples of her handiwork. One thing — my web browser is being a little finicky and won’t accept all of the pictures I want to show you, so check back Monday for a few additional images.
Thanks, Alison, for sharing your work with me (and with the blogosphere).
1. How did you get into making cards? Did you take a course or did you just pick it up by trial and error?
I started to make cards about five years ago, when I was planning my wedding. I wanted to provide my guests with personalized thank you cards so they would have something to remember my wedding by. I have always enjoyed getting nice cards myself, so I thought it was to take the time and make something heartfelt. It was also so much fun to do.
I did start by taking a few stamping courses and by reading a lot of magazines, but I found the development of my cards has come from trial and error.
2. What are you favourite supplies to use? Do you have a favorite store where you shop for materials? Or do you order online?
My favorite tool is the ‘Quick Kutz‘ personalized dye cutting system. You can pick from thousands of shapes and characters, and they are so easy to use to cut out and use. I typically order these online but many of the scrapbooking stores carry them as well.
For ideas through and paper products I like to shop at The Paper Place [in Toronto]. This store has wonderful paper products and so many note cards, boxes, and book-binding ideas displayed around the store. It is a fantastic store to go to for the most beautiful paper and for general inspiration.
3. Are you often looking for new crafts to try?
Now that I have children I am always looking for new ways to store the crafts and notes they bring home, so I learned how to make special paper boxes. They are terrific ideas for gifts for people to use to store notes, pictures or jewelry.
I most recently learned how to bind books. I write a journal for my children, so having a personalized journal that I have made is extra special. This is a new technique for me but I enjoy the challenge of learning something new and just can’t wait to become even better at my book-binding. There is so much you can do with the skill.
4. Do you make your own Christmas cards, party invitations, etc? If yes, how far in advance of the holiday/event do you start?
I make my own Christmas cards. This holiday is when I make the most cards and I typically have to start my production in November. I find that it takes me the longest time to create my design as there is so much lovely paper to choose from! It’s hard for me to narrow down the design I want to go with! Typically I make about three different types of cards so not everyone in my family is getting the same card. I also take an annual course on card-making, in November each year, just to help generate some new ideas and learn from other card makers.
Overall, I like spending time making things for other people as I know they appreciate the gesture and they keep my cards and books.
It’s the end of the day on Friday. And I (like many of you) am just about to head into weekend mode. One of my favourite things to do on the weekend is eat brunch. Since I’m often asked where I like to eat out when I’m not cooking, I thought I’d share my favourite breakfast spot with you. It’s Lady Marmalade – a cute little spot on Queen St. E in Toronto.
There are two other locations in Vancouver. It’s pretty incredible. Take a look at what arrived at the table when I was out for brunch with friends a few weeks ago.
fresh fruit parfait:
with yogurt, granola, honey. Served w/ half a toasted cinnamon bagel & berry coulis.
The real club: bacon, chicken, avocado, tomato, red onions and chipotle mayo.
Baked “crepe croque monsieur”: ham, cheddar and miso-scallion cream. Served with poached eggs, spinach and potatoes.
Aged white cheddar & spinach waffles: with smokey tomato-orange cream, scallions, bacon, roasted
tomatoes & a salad.
What’s your favourite brunch spot?
A few months ago, my personal trainer asked me if my boyfriend and I ever worked out together. We don’t, and when I told her that, she said, Well, wouldn’t it be great to wake up and spend a Sunday morning together at the gym?
I guess that’s a nice idea in theory, but in reality, my ideal Sunday morning involves lattes and lounging around, not lunges. However, it turns out she might be on to something: USA Today reports that a recent University of Connecticut study of overweight individuals found that those who dieted and exercised with their partners lost more weight than those who did it on their own.
Regardless of your workout goals – weight loss or otherwise – I’m sure that exercising with your partner is a huge motivator to get to the gym, but I don’t know anyone – anyone! – who works out with their significant other. Do you?
I had to post this deal, if only for the cute raccoon holding the jack-o’-lantern:
Fly away somewhere cool this winter. Book your tickets before November 2 to get the discount. (And if you book a flight, tell me in the comments so I can be jealous.)
Is there any better way to spend the weekend than shoe-shopping? Oprah doesn’t think so. She’s offering this coupon for 50% off anything at Payless Shoes:
Click on the image above, print it and bring it into any Payless Shoes store before the end of today — I know, so quick! — to get the discount.