Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Here in the Bennett household we are always looking for new things and new ways of doing things. Last year for Halloween I bought loads of fun toys and stickers for the young ghouls and goblins. Surely the wee ones appreciate Play-Doh over Dubble Bubble and I hate spending money on cheaper than usual candy, and I like to be sensitive to kids that might have a food allergy or diabetes. I almost had this idea too late - making my mini pony colouring book even more mini! It was simple to scale down the artwork, cut up, make covers from card stock and staple together! I squeezed 8 pictures on to one letter sized page, but could have scaled them down to quarter fold size too. Have a fun and safe Halloween peeps!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Celebrating 100 Etsy sales this week

It's funny - I still have to indulge in the little milestones after all these years. I just happened to be on my cellphone that the Etsy seller app went cha-ching too! It's silly, but worth celebrating :-D If I had more items in my shop, I would offer a coupon, but...

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fancy Fashion at Lougheed House

My most recent visit to Lougheed House was a reminder that I don't visit enough. The last time I visited there was an art association in the basement and it has been a few years since they left! Lougheed House is really a local treasure. It's hard to imagine that it marked the edge of Calgary when it was built in 1891. It's actually remarkable that the grounds and house are still preserved. Locals know how Calgary is always in a constant state of construction.

Mom and I visited recently to catch the 1920s "Daring Deco" fashion show. I really enjoyed it because the dresses were once owned by Alberta women and it represented my great-grandmother and grandmother's era. I only have a few pictures of my great-grandmother, so to imagine that she may have once worn such fancy clothes was pretty cool. The 1920s don't really get a lot of appreciation - anything beyond 1950 is thought of as dull and bland sometimes. There were all sorts of exciting things happening such as new textiles, new music and new freedoms for women.

Textiles and clothing tell a silent, but ever present version of history. We wear clothes every day and special clothes for special occasions. Clothing conveys social status and wealth or personal history. Memories are stored in them. Studying clothes is more than meets the eye!

It took me a few moments to realize that the dresses were about 100 years old. That in itself is an amazing fact. Textiles aren't very good at surviving the ages. Pests, disaster, climate and poor storage all count against fabric. Natural fibres naturally degrade and wear and synthetic materials have an end of life too. As a fibre major, I was thrilled to see a sample book of fabric to touch. Fabric is so very tactile and taken for granted. Some of the fabrics felt scratchy, but other ones were very plush and smooth.

Back to the house however - unlike some historic houses where the building and belongings pass from family to trust, Lougheed House had many lives as a women's military barracks and blood donor clinic, so the museum is in the process of repatriation. This isn't a disadvantage at all though - one can still enjoy admiring the architecture and decorations in the house like the stained glass windows and ornate ceilings. It's a lovely place to have a wedding or event, and yes, the staff can help you out with that :-)

The gardens are lovely to visit starting after the May long weekend, but there was much and even during autumn there was much to admire such as ornamental cabbages, rudbeckia and sweet Williams. Our main reason for visiting was to catch the 1920s fashion show - I will be sure to keep abreast of the events at Lougheed House in the future though. And I must return next summer and get some more iris photos.

The conservatory has been turned into a restaurant that is open for lunch on weekdays and brunch on weekends.  It was delightful to have a cup of tea from a vintage tea cup :)

Mom and I finished our visit with brunch in the restaurant that used to be the conservatory. It was so dainty to have tea from a vintage tea cup and the staff were kind to let Mom and I split a bacon and waffle breakfast (otherwise it would have been too much food for her). The brunch has a good variety of meals along with a feature dish. The restaurant staff were fabulous and friendly. It's a good place to take small groups or friends. If you visit Lougheed House, check out some reviews on TripAdvisor and remember to show your AMA card and save on admission.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Just what's new and current in my Etsy shop

I haven't made an Etsy Mini in forever! I'm just a couple of sales away from 100 :-)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Made in Canada Etsy Show

It's been a few days and I am still exhausted from the Etsy Made in Canada show on September 26th. The sheer amount of preparation that went into the show was itself exhausting, from my trusty printer breaking down in August to a supply shipment that was lost in the mail. I was afraid of not having enough inventory and started getting up early in the mornings to cut paper, trim magnets and print design sheets. Nine to do lists kept me on track :)
It was worth it though as customers were lining up outside bright and early to get in! I have only seen that kind of enthusiasm at the comic expo. The time to wait in line varied from 20 to 60 minutes...when I managed to sneak away for a bathroom break, the line was still winding through Golden Acres Garden Sentre and out the door. I wasn't able to get a picture of my table either because I could just not get in front of it :)
Speaking of Golden Acres, the staff were so helpful to the vendors. It was a unique location and bedecked with orange Etsy flags. It rained in the morning, though, and drips happened throughout the day. That's why I plastic wrap fact just after a staffer gave me a flower pot to catch the water and joked about it with a customer, someone had a coffee spill :D Sales were really good and steady and a lot of old customers stopped by. Four people used Square, which was pretty amazing too! I was also able to test out a new foam board display that worked like a charm!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

If I'm more quiet than usual...'s just that I'm super busy getting ready for the Etsy Made in Canada Show :-) It's almost a month away!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Now You Can All Say...

You know an award winning artist ;-) My last minute idea for the Papercraft and Calligraphy section at the Calgary Stampede Western Lifestyles showcase really paid off - literally! My second place section win came with a cash prize. This is the best photo I have been able to get of this picture, which is called Three by Three. It's three layers of paper that features three different animals in three different environment in three feathers. Whew! The idea came to me around the end of May and then thankfully my friend at Sketch Art Supplies had ample time to frame it :-)