Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Crafting

With the whirlwind season we're having at the shop this year, I kept the Christmas crafting to a minimum.

*Spoiler Alert!*

For each of my girlfriends I made little stacks of linen sachets filled with lavender and rice, and stamped them with perhaps the best purchase I ever made as far as craft supplies go.
That little gadget in the bottom right is a stamp that lets me spell out anything I like.
I think I got it at Michaels. I can't be sure about that, but I can be sure that you probably need one.

I even stamped the girls' names on the tags.
I've got etsy on the brain again and I think I may make some of these for my shop.

My sister Meghan is the only family member who got something handmade this year. An advent calendar like the one my mom made for us growing up.
As usual I had lots of help from Bernice.

Here's mom's advent calendar:

And here's mine.
It's missing the animals and little girl and boy at the bottom, but I ran out of felt.
It happens.
I bejeweled some pieces to make up for it.
I really should plan ahead a bit more, but give me a break.
I don't care if Clemmie is almost 11 months old. She's still technically a baby.

Brad and I hosted 13 people for Christmas Eve dinner here.
It was our first big family affair in the house and though at 3pm on the 24th (when I was still in the shop helping save the butts of more than a handful of VERY last minute shoppers) I thought about the distinct possibility that I may well be insane for choosing my busiest day of the year to throw a party, it was actually really really fun!
It was a little...shall we say "intimate", in a 4-people-on-a-loveseat kind of way, but that's what Christmas is all about don't you think?

In the morning we woke up and went over to mom and dad's to open presents.
Clemmie and her cousin Cohen each got a pair of Chuck Taylors from aunt Zoey.

And Meg and Jeff bought her a sled so we can get around in this winter wonderland we're experiencing.
It was a lazy, happy holiday for all.

Colleen told me if I do nothing else today, I have to write about the fact that we're having a BIG sale at Blackbird this week.
30% off all remaining Christmas merchandise.
We had a great season and the store is looking a little picked over right now, but new merchandise is en route!

Our online shopping site is in the works and will launch in January with a big handmade component as well as some creative gift giving ideas.
The wheels are always turning friends.
Somedays I can't decide if it's a blessing or a curse.

And so ends nap time, and another belated blog entry.
Hope you all had a wonderful holiday with family and friends.
Until next time.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Christmas Story

Our Kid's Night made the cover!
Laura Wright (an Ottawa Citizen intern) came to join in the festivities at our busiest Kid's Night ever last Thursday night.
I thought she might give us a little blurb, or write up a "places to visit" paragraph about the shop. But no!

Saturday morning before work I rushed to the corner store to see what kind of coverage we got, and there we were.
Right there in the top right corner of the cover.
The COVER of the Saturday paper.
Inside, on the front page of the Business Section (did I mention this was a Saturday issue by the way? Like the fat one? The one all paperboys and girls dread delivering each week?) was a beautiful picture of our special door, and a very sizable article that even extended to the second page.
It was a pretty amazing article too.
The phone has been ringing off the hook with people asking if I'll be doing another night before Christmas. I won't. I can't. Don't make me.
But I may have to add a third night next year. (If you'd like to stay in the know about events at the shop, head to my website and join our mailing list.)

I could NOT have bought publicity like this. I am just totally thrilled about the whole thing.
Want to read it? Click here.

And if that wasn't enough to get me into the Christmas spirit, Brad, the Clemenator and I went to Cedar Hill Berry Farm today with Scott, Andrea and Sophia to chop down our first family Christmas Tree.
What a perfect day it was to do it too.
Outside it was (and still is) snowing those big, heavy, insulating snowflakes that make me actually enjoy the snow. The only way it could have been nicer is if it was a bit sunnier, but we had some gay old family time nonetheless.

We don't have a huge space for a tree this year, so it was nice to have our pick of the litter.
We packed up the kiddies and headed for Cedar Hill where loads of people had gathered in search of their own Christmas tradition.
We'll definitely do this every year.

When we arrived we hopped on a tractor-pulled wagon that drove us to the tree lot.
It took us a while to agree on a tree (in fact, I'm not sure we ever did) but we're home now with a pretty little Fraser Fir all ready for the tree stand.
Here's the one Clemmie chose.
I'll try to remember to take another one of her sitting in front of it when it's trimmed in our living room.

Clementine and Sophia (as you can see in this picture) enjoyed themselves immensely.

Two weeks until Christmas and I can't believe it's so close!!
I love December, but January really isn't my favourite when it comes to retail. I've got a few ideas brewing in hopes of stimulating some traffic, and it'll be nice to have a little break, but I love the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

I also love that I can rope Brad in to doing stuff he might not otherwise enjoy if it wasn't for tradition sake.
Like chopping down a tree in a snowstorm.
Dragging it half a kilometer back to the car.
And spending an hour in the cold garage hunting down a tree stand that's only going to give him grief anyway.

You know. Fun family stuff.

The end.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

'Tis the Season

Clearly 'tis the season when I'm too busy to blog.
The store is CRAZY busy and I LOVE it.
Excellent chance I'll start the new year in the black (save for what I still owe dad of course) and I am just FULL of Christmas spirit.

Kid's Night is this week. Thursday and Friday from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.
And, get this! The Ottawa Citizen called yesterday to ask if they could come write a story about it! (After my ever-thoughtful, marketing genius of a friend Melissa wrote them! Thank you Melissa)
Is that FAB or what?!
We're going to have to look especially elfish this year.
OOOooooooo I'm excited.

I am making several of my gifts this year (in all my spare time) but I won't post pictures of those until I'm done.
So basically never. I will never post pictures.

Instead, I thought I'd share some of the websites that have inspired me lately.

How cute is this Holiday Garland from Homemade Mamas?
I mean, anything with clementines really.
I wish I had a mantle to hang this on.
I might make one anyway.
A garland. Not a mantle. I'm crafty, but I'm not that crafty.

I think I might have to make some of these for the shop for Valentine's gift toppers...or something.
Her tutorial is so simple. Love that.

Have you checked out Today's Creative Blog lately?
That's where I find this stuff you know.
It may well be my favourite website, but I have to limit the number of times I visit it this month.
I have 4 (but who's counting) unfinished projects on the go.
One of which is refinishing my kitchen cupboards.
An excellent time of year to do something like that don't you think?

That's all there's time for today.
Once this week's over, and the article hits the stands I will be sure to post about it.
Have a happy week!