Something To Remember

As we head towards November 11th, consider taking a moment to remember those who gave their lives in order for Canadians to have the freedoms we enjoy today.  To commemorate this important event, here are some handmade items that remind me of happiness, peace, and beauty.

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1) Crimson Silk Bella Dress by Faire Jour

2) Golden Poppy Pod Earrings by Foxine

3) Ceramic Poppy Plates by Clay Shapes

4) Tickled Pink Poppy Photograph by Sandy Wiggins Images

5) Silk Poppies Headpiece by Konigin

And The Cat Came Back The Very Next Day…

the cat came back

Here are some cute feline friends that are just purrrrrrrrfect!

1) Boyfriend Sweater with cat elbow patches by Minxshop

2) Black Cat Tank by Leah Goren

3) Grumpy Cat Card by Afternoon Coffee

4) Eco Tabby Cat Lunch Bag by A Little Lark

5) Kawaii Cat Plush by Little Happy Stitches

6) Cat Pouch by Harriet Gray

Don’t forget to check out the latest featured seller interview:  Giddy Up & Grow of Alberta!

My latest cat design experiment… what do you think?

kitten

©2013 Curious Nook by Christina Wilson

Featured Seller: Supayana of Montreal!

Our first featured seller interview of 2013 starts with a talented designer based out of Montreal who has over 11 thousand followers on Etsy.  Please visit her wonderful etsy shop or check out her general website for more information. 

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1) Tell us a bit about yourself.

Name: Yana Gorbulsky
Location: Montreal, Quebec
What you sell: women’s and baby clothing
Shop: supayana.etsy.com

2) Why did you start your business and how did you get started?

I started selling my designs on eBay when I was in University. I majored in Speech Pathology so fashion was more of a side project to help me pay for school.

3) Besides your handmade business, what else do you do? 

I do it full-time so I don’t have another job. For fun, I like to ride my bike, do yoga, and cross country skiing. I love plants and gardening. I also love animals. Last summer, I volunteered at a chimpanzee sanctuary and made a vegetable garden on the property for the animals. That was a great way to combine my interests!

supayana24) Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?

I usually design backwards, meaning I find my fabrics first and then I design my collection around the fabrics.

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5) What materials and handmade processes do you love the most or are experimenting with?
I know it’s pretty boring, but my favorite fabric is a nice woven cotton with a great print. Its what I love to wear the most. As for handmade processes, I don’t really do much other than sew. I do enjoy crocheting, but only for fun.

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6) How important is marketing for your small business and what has been most effective for you?

Luckily, I find that most of the time, blogs and magazines find me. I’m very busy working on new designs or fulfilling orders to really market myself. I do use Facebook and instagram and I find those are really easy ways to market yourself without really trying. I think my advice for a new business owner is to spend less time marketing and more time making an awesome product. Word of mouth is by far the best marketing! Make something that people will tell their friends about.

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7) What is one thing about running a small business that you wish you had known about before you got started?

Well, it started kind of organically so I didn’t really have any expectations. I guess I would tell anyone that they have to be very good at time management and money management. (Both time and money can be extremely tight if you don’t plan well!)

8) What are some personal touches you add to your products, packaging, branding and shipping that seem to work for your business?

I don’t have anything too special. I have nice woven labels for all of my garments, along with matching hang tags. I wrap up my orders in kraft tissue paper and seal it with a branded sticker.

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9) What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favourite design?

Top sellers are always changing for me. For a while it was my sleeve neck shirts, then it was shirts and dresses with the digitally printed animal “scarves”. Now I would say my top sellers are my digitally printed leggings.

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10) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully by then I would do less sewing and more designing. I would love to buy a teeny house on a farm not far from the city and grow tons of vegetables. Maybe I would have a barn where I could work out of in the summer. It’s nice to dream isn’t it?

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Thank you Yana for sharing your shop, designs, and business savvy!  If you liked this post, please comment or share this with your friends!

Last Minute Valentine Free Coupon Book Printable

Didn’t have time to find a special something for your valentine?  Print up this last minute valentine by Curious Nook.  A love coupon book handmade by you!  Just download, print, cut, and then staple or hole punch and tie them together.  A cute and fun gift to give to your loved one!

love coupons

Last Minute Valentine love coupon book by Curious Nook. For personal use only.

Flower Corsage Tutorial

Fabric Flowers by Curious Nook
As part of my product development research for my Etsy shop, I decided to take out my mother’s vintage Japanese floral iron to practice my fabric flower making skills.  I had already made some fabric flowers for my wedding which included my own millinery head piece, but I decided to use various cotton patterned fabric that were cutoffs of old projects this time.  The result?  I made a bunch of flowers that turned into a fun bunch and a couple that were turned into wrist corsages for my friend’s young daughters.  Please forgive my horrible pictures. Vancouver winters don’t really provide that much natural light and I was too lazy to properly light my process, but I think you’ll get the idea.  

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Here’s what you’ll need…

floral supplies

STEP 1:  Take your fabric, place in your waterproof container, and then soak it in fabric stiffener.  I like to squeeze the liquid so that it penetrates throughout the fabric.  I like to use the full strength of the stiffener, but you can water it down if you’d like a less rigid flower.

Step 1 Fabric Flowers by Curious NookSTEP 2:  Lay out your soaked fabric on wax paper or any waterproof surface to dry.  I like to air dry my fabric overnight.  When the fabric is dry, you’ll find that the fabric will be flat and rigid like paper.

Flower pressing

STEP 3:  Cut your fabric into flower shapes using scissors made for fabric.  I freehand the shape of my flowers, but you can find many templates online if you don’t know where to start.

STEP 4:  Place your fabric flower pieces onto a piece of foam covered in cotton fabric and press the tip of the floral iron onto the middle of each petal.  Stack your ironed pieces to see if you want to iron them some more.

petals stacked

My floral iron set used to be my mom’s so I’m not sure where she got all her supplies.  The fabric covering the foam seems to be like a gauzy handkerchief material, but any loose weave soft cotton fabric would work.  Do not use a synthetic on this foam or it will melt.  The whole purpose of using the foam support is to allow the fabric you are ironing to fit into the curvature of the foam when it is pressed down.  The deeper the press, the larger the curl.  The size of the tips also determine how your petal will shape when heat is applied. A small petal requires a small tip and a large petal needs a large tip.  My floral iron only seems to have two temperature levels, so I sometimes turn my iron off and use the heat while it’s cooling down.  If you have it on too high, it can scorch your fabric.  In fact, you can see in the third picture above that I burned the petal… I was focussed too much on taking the photo I guess!

**OK… I had to resort to drawing out the rest of my instructions at this point.  Hope it’s not too confusing!

STEP 5:  Prep your pips or stamens to be used in the center of your flowers.

pips

florals

Tie this little sweet corsage around a wrist or add it as garnish to some gift wrapping.  If you sew on a longer ribbon, it can be used as a hair band or floral belt.
corsage2*Do you want more tutorials like this?  Leave a comment!

Free Letterpress Colouring Page by Curious Nook!

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I tried my hand at creating some colouring pages intended for children and the young at heart.  My cousin’s adorable daughter Lily was kind enough to test some pages out for me and I think they turned out well.  As a thank you for stopping by my blog, I’ve posted this free printable colouring sheet of vintage letterpress blocks. Just click on the image below to download.  Great for colouring with felts, crayons, and even paint. Frame your kids finished product as artwork or use it as some creative wrapping paper!  Enjoy!

letterpress

For personal use only

Start Fresh with a Free Printable from Curious Nook!

Happy 2013 everyone!  To celebrate the beginning of another year, I hope you will join me in starting fresh with the help of a new year’s resolution printable sheet created by me!

www.curiousnook.wordpress.com

Needing something to write down all my goals on, I decided to create this vintage polaroid themed sheet based on one of my fabric designs available in my Spoonflower shop.

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You can fill each “frame” with one goal, or with a list of goals by category.  It’s up to you.  Kids can also use this sheet to draw their goals in the form of pictures.  If you like it and want to see more like this in the future, please share this post with your friends and/or leave a comment.  Thanks and Happy New Year!

www.curiousnook.wordpress.com

Free New Year’s Resolution Printable from Curious Nook
For Personal Use Only

Welcome to Curious Nook!

Hi!  My name is Christina Wilson and welcome to my blog!  I am a maker, dreamer, & collector of all that is handmade, vintage, and reinvented.  My love of crafting has led me to start this blog in order to serve as a catalogue of my ideas, discoveries, and experiments.  I’m currently in love with drawing, painting, sewing, felting, jewelry making, and fabric design.  I don’t know where this journey will take me… are you curious?