Feb 1, 2014

Clever Ways to Reuse Old Plastic Cards

When I lived in Toronto, I had a stack of old plastic transit passes in a rainbow of colours that I knew I had to craft something with. At first, I couldn't decide exactly what I'd make, but I knew that it would be a mosaic of some sort, so I cut up all my cards of different colours into tiny squares and thought about covering a table top in the pieces.

Eventually, I decided to to make the mosaic about, a sort of nostalgic nod to my time in Toronto, entitled "The Heart of Toronto", partially for the heart shape of the map and for the fact that I picked the centre part of the map to cut the heart from.

I really love how it turned out and I should really get it framed one of these days!

A friend shared her stack of TTC cards awhile back on Facebook wondering what to do with them, and I suggested my mosaic table idea as well as a few others.  I figured I'd share some more ideas here in case any of you have a stack of plastic cards that  you want to use for something, and hopefully to get myself motivated to use up all the little squares of cut up plastic cards that are lurking in my craft stash.

Other Ways to Reuse Plastic Cards 

I love the idea of making guitar picks out of old cards using a handy guitar pick punch

This mirror frame mosaic turned out really great as well - it would definitely make looking at yourself fun!

Artist Thomas McKean made an entire amazing exhibit of art pieces using old Metro cards...totally amazing. Click through the link to see more of the pieces from the exhibit.

I also enjoyed this idea to make an ear bud holder out of an old credit card-mine are always getting hopelessly tangled in my giant purse.

Hope these ideas helped you use up some of your stash of plastic cards! If you've seen any other awesome ideas for reusing plastic cards, please leave me a link in the comments!

♥ Craftzilla  

Jan 31, 2014

January Cure: Plants, Floors, Mindfulness and Getting Rid of the Excess

I've been working my way through the January Cure still, but I got behind on my posts. Here's a quick update that will hopefully help keep me motivated!

Assignment 2:  Flowers and Floors 

I'm not much of a flower person for allergy related reasons, I decided along with another friend participating in the Cure that we'd visit a local flower store, Living Fresh, with the aim in mind of picking up a new air plant or two for hanging glass globe I already own (yes, I killed a previous air plant, I am skilled like that) Unfortunately, we had such a good time chatting that we got there after the store closed. So let's just pretend I got a new air plant for my glass globe already and I'll make it there soon. The photo above is my original air plant before it's untimely demise.

Floors: I had trouble with this being right at the beginning of the Cure. I think my house just wasn't tidy enough for this chore--too many things on the ground! I got through one floor worth of carpets and floors, so better than nothing though. Now that we're living in an a place with more than one floor, it's a constant struggle to keep the floors clean and tidy!

Assignment 3: 10 mindful minutes

I spent my 10 mindful minutes sitting in the desk chair in my office. I haven't sat there much since we've lived here, since my office is the last space that needs to get organized and unpacked to be a usable space. I had a lot of thoughts about how I can cross some of the problem areas of this room off my list, but they will all take time to accomplish, as my fabric and craft items are overflowing the space. I also have to put up a huge Ikea Expedit shelf that at friend gave me, which might require moving all the things out of the room to have enough space to put it together.

Assignment 4: Set up an Outbox

I usually always have an outbox on the go in some form to get rid of extra things, but I fell out of the habit since we've moved. Having any kind of reason to set up a box and get rid of things is totally motivating. The outbox is getting good use already - I definitely still have lots of excess items to purge!

More from my January (probably leading into February) Cure coming soon, including photos of my secret house messes to shame me publicly and motivate me to clean ' em up!

♥ Craftzilla 

Jan 5, 2014

January Cure: Creating a Project List

As a participant in the January Cure last year, I think that the most daunting part of the challenge has to be this first assignment. The act of going through all the rooms in your house and listing out the bigger projects and trouble spots can be a bit scary to do, especially if all the projects have piled up in the last year. I don't feel AS badly as I might have in years past though, since we did move apartments since the last time I did this challenge, and with new apartments often comes new stuff and new organizing issues and trouble spots.

However, here's hoping that this challenge can help kick start a more organized space in my apartment, especially now that I'm done school and have a  bit more time to spare for tidying and just being in my space. I am getting tired of the visual clutter and the lack of work space that we currently have, which is silly since this apartment must be twice the size of our old place.

Without further ado, here's my list!

Assignment: Create a Project List

-Purge and organize closet
- Move bed and dresser/side table. (The current set up involves me having to leap out the bottom of the bed each morning and is not working)
-Conquer excess of laundry mountain
-Put up curtains

Declutter and organize under sink
Continue to organize linen cupboard
Replace temporary labels for containers with permanent ones

Need some shoe storage
Declutter coat rack
Put away everything on the stairs
Need a landing area for keys, mittens etc.

My Office
Put together shelf
Organize bookshelf
Put all the things stacked everywhere on the floor onto new shelf or in closet
Put up pictures/crafty projects

Organize cupboards and drawers
Declutter surfaces
Organize shelves and items in pantry cupboard
Remove one shelf from metal rack in the pantry

Storage Room 
Build second metal shelf for storage (once 1 shelf is removed from pantry shelf)
Purge Purge Purge. This room is where all the random bits go

Living/Dining Room
Purge all the newspapers stacked everywhere
Organize Bookshelf
Put up curtains
Declutter all surfaces

Zen's office
Buy a few bins for storage
Declutter newspapers (they're everywhere!)
Hang curtains or a blind
Move ottoman in living room

Phew! That's quite a list! Wish me luck!

What are the problem spots in your space that you're planning on getting organized this year?

♥ Craftzilla

Nov 19, 2013

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Hi Friends!

It's been ages since I posted, but I have good reasons, as usual :

-I got not one but THREE new jobs! And they're all in one city, and most of them even involve working out of one office. And no commuting! Only walking to work for this girl now!
-I am still not done school : 1 interview, 1 paper, 1 assignment and 1 class left until I apply to graduate to have me a fancy Bachelor of Social Work!
- Having 3 jobs is a lot of work, and I'm busy learning lots of new things!
-I think I'm still recovering from all that commuting...I have been having a lot of naps after work! On the couch, with nice TV shows and snuggles with that boy and dog of mine
- I am doing some fun things! Last week I went to Knitters Guild, to a livestream of a  Royal Shakespeare company production of Richard II (starring David Tennant, eeek) at the movies,  and to Brownie camp for the weekend where I did adorable animal bead crafts and had absolutely no sleep, since 8 year olds + sleepovers=crazy
-I even wrote a sponsored post this week, about the awesomeness of the Aviva Community Fund

Running off to another meeting, but I'm hoping to visit this space a bit more often in the coming months, and actually have some craftiness to share with all of you!

What have you been up to lately? I'd love to catch up!

♥ Craftzilla

Nov 18, 2013

Make Your Ideas a Reality through the Aviva Community Fund Competition!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Aviva Community Fund for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Have you ever had an idea to engage youth, your neighbourhood or your community and given up on it because of a lack of funds to make the idea a reality? The Aviva Community Fund helps to make these kinds of ideas a reality, through a yearly competition where individuals, groups and communities share their ideas to improve their communities, get votes and vie to win over a $1,000,000 in funding, sponsored 

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How the contest works:

1. Submit an idea on the Aviva Community Fund website until November 25, 2013

2. Share your idea and get votes --finalists are chosen based on number of votes

3. Want to be even more likely to win? Talking to a local insurance broker and getting them to sponsor your idea makes your idea even more likely to win!

aviva_holyrood_5 photo 05-gardening_zps1b588d69.jpg

What Type of Ideas have won before?

I've been following the Aviva Community Fund each year for a few years now, and some of the ideas I've seen that have been shared have been groups looking for funding for new play equipment, humane societies trying to expand or start new shelters, non-profit organizations looking to start desperately needed specialized programs, fund youth programs, a photography book that makes kids with serious illnesses into superheroes or community gardens. The photos throughout this post are all from past projects that have won funds in this contest, to help inspire you to submit your own idea!

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Learn More and Submit your Own idea!

Want to learn more or submit your own idea? You can visit the Aviva Community Fund website, Like Aviva Community Fund on Facebook or Follow @avivacf on Twitter to get updates about the competition or find out how to submit your own idea before the deadline to submit an idea on November 25, 2013.

Have fun and change the world with your ideas!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sep 26, 2013

Things I Made and Saw: Buttons, Gloves and Things I Left at the Thrift Store

It's been a busy few weeks as usual, and I thought I'd share a few photos from the last little while.

I finally finished some knitting projects for a friend --I think the fingerless gloves and scarf turned out pretty well. I love the pattern I found on Ravelry, Half Pint Fingerless gloves. Now that the cooler weather is here, I could definitely see wearing these while drinking a delicious pint, and I may have to make another pair for myself.

In other yarn and fibre news, I've recently joined the Knitter's Guild in my new city, and they throw a yearly yarn show which was a lot of fun. I wo(manned) the door for a few hours, chatted to some awesome knitters and came home with a few goodies, one of which I can't share since it's a gift for my mom. But look: fancy handpainted yarn --Briggs & Little SoftSpun, which is handpainted and soft. This colourway is coloured Bubble Gum. I also love the fabulous colours of these yarn bats I got for needle felting!

We also took an outing to pick up a package this weekend, and made a stop into the thrift store. Here are a few of the amusing animal-themed goodies that I spotted on the shelves.

We also stopped into Word on the Street, where we ate yummy cookies, tried to best others at Scrabble and make some fun buttons! Here's a picture of mine below. I also drew an owl for Zen's button that said "Reading is a Hoot". He thought that was quite amusing and I sense a possible cross stitch in my future!

And because I've been a lax blogger lately, and because all blog posts deserve some cute dogs, here's a picture of Jesse wearing an adorable t-shirt.

Jesse was also feeling sick for awhile, so took to sleeping on a pile of laundry in the closet to make himself feel better (it was also really cute!) 

We also finally went for a long walk with my friend Greg and his dogs Dakota and Casey awhile back, who I think were contemplating eating the park swan in this picture. Silly dogs!

♥ Craftzilla 

Sep 4, 2013

Life Lately

I saw this list post by Erin over on Bluebird Baby, and a list is always a good way to edge back into posting for me when it's been awhile since I've written. The summer has been full of unpacking, of trying to relax and sometimes, just being too hot to move much. I have been trying to get back to being more creative before school starts up again, and am taking an online course called Creativity, Innovation and Change, which I'm hoping will help me to think critically and deeply about my creative side and how to let this knowledge guide me more in my day to day life. I'm also planning on a taking a blogging course next month which is also exciting!

Lately I am....

making :  An effort to get all the boxes of stuff unpacked from our move
cooking : Baked chicken, corn and asparagus for dinner -yum!
drinking : Coffee, tea, lemonade and milkshakes when I can get 'em
reading :  Anna Karenina when I'm feeling literary and some YA vampire books when I'm not
wanting : to move on to a new opportunity now that I'm getting close to the end of my degree
looking : for time to be creative!
playing : toy with the dog, he loves to chase his ball around the apartment 
wasting : time watching more X-Files than I probably need to
sowing : dreams for the future
wishing : It was not too late to make another pot of tea
enjoying :  the cooler weather coming on...I love hoodies and blankets!
waiting :  for school to start next week
liking :  the new pencil case I got for school - it has an adorable monster on it 
wondering : how to make everyday life feel less repetitive and more meaningful
loving : the market near our house- we are starting a new tradition of getting breakfast on Saturday morning and then heading to the market 
hoping : that the last class  of school goes quickly
marvelling : at the deliciousness of home-baked cookies 
needing : Some new jeans and yoga pants, as always. Mine are always wearing out
smelling :  the cool night air coming in the window
wearing :  Comfy clothes and yoga pants
following :  up one step ahead with the next one
noticing : That I never head to bed early when I know I'm tired
knowing : that going to the gym, even the two times a week I have time for, will make me healthier and stronger
thinking : I should go and walk the dog before I fall asleep on the couch again
bookmarking : links about blogging, upgrading to wordpress, thoughts on creativity and knitting patterns for hats and shawls now that fall is in the air
opening :  up my dusty notebook and trying to organize my ideas and be more creative
giggling : at the silly way that dog will flop his head pathetically onto your knee while you're eating dinner
feeling :  excited to see a friend for breakfast tomorrow

I hope you enjoyed this little slice of my life lately, and if you decide to join in, leave the link to your post in the comments!

♥ Craftzilla

Aug 17, 2013

Crafty's Free Knitting Patterns : Breaking Free from the Summer Blues of Knitting

I was recently contacted by the folks at Craftsy who came across my blog and discovered my love of knitting. Craftsy has recently redone their pattern search to put a whole bunch of awesome free patterns into an easy search page, and asked me if I'd like to have a look and share my thoughts and a link to the free patterns page with you, my awesome readers. (scroll to the end of the post for the link!)

Searching for Knitting Patterns is Easy 

The search interface on the Craftsy site is easy to use, and lets you choose what category of item you'd like to make, such as an accessory like a headband or clothing like a sweater, and choose other options below for the type of pattern and who the item is made for, making it easy to find a free pattern for your next knitting project.

Fun Projects to Try!

I've been in a big of a knitting slump lately, so I jumped at the chance to go and browse some patterns and hopefully kick-start my knitting bug in time to get some Christmas presents on the go (August is not too early to start planning and creating, especially when it comes to knitting!) Here are a few of the new to me patterns I found on the Craftsy site that I might be casting on soon!

Get Free Knitting Patterns 

So there you have it-Craftsy is easy to search, has lots of free knitting patterns and hopefully the few patterns I linked to above are enough to intrigue you and get you knitting!


 Happy Knitting! Feel free to share your favourite patterns in the comments - I always love more inspiration!

♥ Craftzilla
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