canvas bag + iron on transfer + embellishments = Mother's day gift packaging

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Mother's Day is just two weeks away and I thought that now would be a good time to share with you a little project that I created using an iron on transfer, a canvas bag and some fabric & ribbon scraps. The best part about this project is because you made it yourself ... I know that this gift bag will be treasured more than the gift inside!

So here's a quick tutorial ....

1. Download my art. Print the art on an iron on transfer sheet on your ink jet printer.
*see my notes below regarding the art to make sure it is printed in reverse! Cut the design out leaving a small amount of white space all around the design. Set your iron to "cotton" and NO steam. (hint: remove all water from your iron before starting to be safe)
2. You will need to iron on a hard, flat surface. Granite counter tops work great. Laminate counters are not a good idea! (So beware.) Ironing boards with holes in them will make holes in your transfer so be aware. Heat resistant pads for crafting are perfect to protect surfaces when you are using iron on transfers. I like to iron with a clean white pillow case over my work area. Iron the canvas bag flat.
3. Place the transfer sheet face down on the canvas bag. Look at my finished project to give yourself an idea of where on the bag to position the transfer sheet. You want to leave space for the flower at the top of the bag. With the paper side up on the transfer sheet, you are now ready to iron. See the directions sheet in your transfer kit for ironing how to suggestions.
4. Once your transfer sheet has cooled, peel back the paper to reveal the design. If a little bit of the design is still on the sheet ... don't try to iron again ... it will not work. Slight imperfects are okay. The instruction sheet says to peel hot or cold ... I have tested them a lot and find that peeling slightly cool works best for me.
5. I cut my flower petals out of fabric using the Cuttlebug machine and the same die that I used for the paper flowers I made here.
We have the Cuttlebug and the flower dies at our Toronto store ... if we run out, just flip me an email and I can tell you how much they are and special order them for you if you are interested.
I love that I can cut papers and fabric using the same dies on my Cuttlebug. Just use the two "B" plates to sandwich the die and a layer of fabric ... then crank them through the machine.
6. Carefully remove the excess fabric and you are ready to make your next batch of petals.
7.  I used two cotton prints, heavy canvas and felt to create my flower petals. You could also try this using denim, leather and suede scraps. Along with the fabric petals, you will need a button, a couple of pieces of green ribbon (I used a satin & organza ribbons) and some embroidery floss.
8. First I sewed the green satin ribbon onto the canvas bag using green embroidery floss ... it was positioned so that it extended above and below the iron on transfer design. I tied a single knot in the scrap of green organza ribbon to create two "leaves" and then sewed it onto the bag.
9. To make the flower, simply layer the petals from smallest at the top to largest at the bottom. Using a contrasting colour of embroidery floss and a button, sew the flower onto the bag as shown in the picture above. I tied my knot on top of the button for interest.

This is what my {free} download for the iron on transfer looks like (when it is ironed on).
I hate to waste space on my transfer sheets so I filled the sheet!! That means, you can make one of these bags for your Mother and for a friend! I had some space at the side so I added the word LOVE ... and I will share with you a project that you can use it on later this week.

Please be aware that I reversed the art for you in the download ... so it will look like this when you print it on your inkjet printer ...
I always suggest test printing on plain paper before printing on your transfer sheets. If you can read your image (normally) then it will not transfer properly.

Please remember, as always, this download is for personal use only. No commercial use is permitted.

The canvas bag for Mom was one of the projects that I talked about at our April 26th workshop/demo event ...

We had a great evening. Everyone was so nice and I enjoyed having the opportunity to talk to so many people about projects that they are working on. I hope that everyone went home inspired and with a full tummy (those sandwiches and cupcakes were so good!). The Toronto Creative Bag associates and I had a great time and I hope to see many of you again at future workshop/demos and my classes which will be starting the end of May. Stay tuned for more details about the classes and how to register online.

Lauren & Adam's Wedding - part one

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

I'd like to introduce you to Lauren & Adam. Lauren and Adam are getting married on July 1st in Toronto. Lauren asked me a couple of months ago if I would be interested in working with her on some projects for the wedding and of course I said yes! I am going to post projects that we are creating on the blog over the next few months. Lauren and Adam have agreed to share pictures from their wedding day so that we can see how everything came together on the big day.

The wedding will have a vintage theme and I adore the custom designed invitations. The lace graphics are similar to the lace on Lauren's wedding dress. The kraft envelopes have been an inspiration for some of the reception details. More about that later!

Our 2012 Wedding Contest starts on July 1st so I am hoping that Lauren & Adam's wedding photos will inspire other couples to enter the contest!  Lauren & Adam, in case I didn't tell you already .... you can't enter the contest. 

We just received a handful of Wedding Smash books in the Toronto store this week. I love these journal books and if you have never seen or heard of a Smash book before then you have to check out this video ...

I wish they had these when I was planning my wedding ... they are so beautiful. Every page is different and they are so much fun to fill with ideas, scraps and notes.  I don't think that they will be in the store for long so if we run out and you want one let me know and we will order more in. 

This book is so cute ... I might have to get one for myself. I'd like to start planning a 30th wedding anniversary party {just don't tell my hubby because it is going to be a surprise}.

I look forward to seeing everyone who is registered for my workshop/demo on Thursday night. We had 50 people register for the event in less than 24 hours. If you have registered and will not be able to attend, please let me know asap because we have over 25 people on the waiting list.

I am currently working on details for some classes that I am going to offer in May and June. They will be hands on classes and we will make projects that I have designed. The classes will have a fee to cover project/class costs. If you are interested in attending please save the dates of Thursday May 24th and Thursday June 21st. I'll give you more information on the blog as soon as everything is confirmed. If you are following me on the blog by email you will get advance registration notice.

Creative Inspiration with glass vases & jars .... oh and a {free} label download!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Glass vases and containers are very popular items for parties and weddings. I have seen them used in so many ways as table decor and on sweet tables. But after the party is over ... what do you do with them? If you ask me, I'll tell you that there are lots of ways to reuse and restyle these wonderful containers. I love to use glass vases and jars in my home decor.

Pictured above are some of our glass containers that I'm currently using in my home office to organize some of my office and art supplies.

I saw a similar desk set up in a Pottery Barn catalogue earlier this year ...
the price difference between PB's glass containers and ours is huge but the quality is the same. I should give one of the home decorating magazines a call and get them to do a "high" vs "low" article with us!

I used the large studio glass candle jar to hold my watercolour pencils and assorted sizes of glass vases to hold paper clips, tags, note paper, scissors, ruler and my pantone book.
Here's one more picture of my desk top. I love how clean and organized it looks.

We just received these really nice glass jars with lids. The cut glass details on these jars gives them a very cool vintage look. The best part is that there is a bevelled area that is perfect for a label. I used three jars to contain my collection of glitter and designed a sticker label to fit in with my office decor.

I created a page of vintage looking sticker labels that you can download if you want to do this yourself.
These labels have been designed so that you can print them on the new "STICKER YOU" Make+Print your own custom stickers. I created these to fit the 8.5"x11" blank sticker sheet. You can add text to the art on your computer before printing or write on the printed labels ... it's up to you. There is space for text under the numbers. I was able to fit three blank labels at the bottom of the page so you don't waste any of the sticker page.

Please note that the art is for personal use only. No commercial use is permitted.

you are invited to a {free} download!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

The response to the invitation for my workshop/demos on Thursday April 26th has been amazing. We have reached our limit of 50 and registration is now closed. I will continue to take names for a waiting list in case anyone cancels! I look forward to seeing everyone at the Toronto store and I have lots planned so you may want to bring along a camera or notebook.

I have designed a number of projects for the workshop/demos around a birthday party theme so I thought that I'd share with you a free download for an invitation that I created with a chevron design. As you can see in the photo above ... I punched two holes in the invitation so that I could attach it to the stem of a silk flower. I think this would be a great idea for a spring/summer baby or wedding shower and we have many different colours of silk flower so you could easily adapt this idea to fit any colour scheme.

I created a similar invitation with a flower for my daughter's 6th birthday a number of years ago. We had so much fun walking to her friends homes to deliver the invitations in person. Everyone just loved the idea and I hope that you do too!

The invitations are available in four different colour options ... use one or all four!
Please note that these are for personal use only. Commercial use is not permitted.
You may notice that these chevron invitations co-ordinate with many of our bitty bags and paper straws.

save the date {Thursday April 26th, 2012} for my next workshops/demos

Thursday, 12 April 2012

I hope that you will mark your calendar and plan to be with me on Thursday April 26th from 6:00 to 7:30 for an evening of creative inspiration at the Toronto store. I'll be showing you lots of projects and ideas using many of our new products like the glass bottles & jars, stickers and iron transfers. Sound like fun? I think so! And it doesn't cost you anything to attend.

We are going to do this after the store closes so you will have to register for the event so that we can prepare a space in the store for everyone to sit down.

Enjoy private shopping after the class and receive 10% off your entire purchase as a special bonus!

RSVP by email to or call 1-800-263-1418. Registration will end on April 24th and seating is limited so make sure that you register early.

Creative Storage for Baker's Twine

Monday, 9 April 2012

I like my supplies to be organized and easy to find. And if I can find a way to achieve this AND make my studio office look nice than I am a very happy girl. So when I noticed that one of our new eco mason jars was the perfect size to store a roll of baker's twine I was more than just a little excited.

I knew that I wanted to add a hole to the top of the lid so that I could easily pull the twine out of the jar. As soon as I got home with the jars I headed straight for my stash of decorative grommets ...
I punched a hole in the centre of the lid using a metal hole punch*. Then I used a grommet setter to attach the grommet to the lid.

I used large pink flower shaped grommets for my containers but you can easily do this with a small or large grommet in any colour or shape that you want ... whatever suits your decor.  

*Note: Both the hole punch and grommet setter were from the Making Memories tool kit.

We have had so many new products arrive into the stores the past couple of weeks ... bottles and jars, stickers that you design on line and so much more. I am planning to do another creative workshop and project demos this month on Thursday April 26th. If you are interested in attending please "save the date" so that you can join me. I'll post more details about the event later this week on the blog!

Happy Easter

Sunday, 8 April 2012

I hope that you had a wonderful Easter weekend with family and friends. The kids have another day off school tomorrow and I'm sure they will be spending part of the day eating the chocolates and candies that they received today. I wanted to quickly share with you a last minute Easter packaging project that I created at the cottage this weekend.

I used the pink and white striped tin tie coffee bags to package Easter candies for my daughters and nieces. After I filled the bags with assorted candies I simply closed the bags using the tie backs and then decorated the top of each bag with a paper flower glued to a wood clothespin ....
... these are the same paper flowers that I created here. This was a very easy project to do and I something that I would do again for a shower or birthday party.

100 brides + an afternoon at the spa = lots of happy girls!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

I wanted to share some of my pictures from the Bridal Spa Sampler event that we took part in last weekend at Featuring ... You Spa in Toronto.

We had just over 100 brides take part in an afternoon of fun and pampering. Mary Orlando and her wonderful team put on a splendid event and I had the pleasure of meeting many lovely brides.

The Creative Bag display was set up beside Jane Dayus-Hinch from Wedding SOS (SLICE TV) and it was so much fun to hear the brides talk about their wedding plans. Jane has so much great advice and I personally learned a lot from listening to her. The staff at Creative Bag were very excited to see Jane at our Toronto Store location yesterday when she came to visit us. Hopefully we will be seeing more of Jane at Creative Bag in the near future ... I'll keep you posted!!!!

The food was amazing.  Alvaro from The Big Cannoli and Alexandra from the Art of Food keep everyone's tummies full. And Julia Duz from Petite Tiramisu (416-278-0068) made the most amazing cookies that would be lovely tucked inside one of our cookie boxes for a wedding favor.

I wish I had of taken some close up pictures of the flowers at the spa ... they were created by

Have a great Easter weekend!

Salad in a Jar ... our new jars and bottles have arrived!

Monday, 2 April 2012

We have just received lots of new bottles and jars our stores and I'm so happy that they are finally here. I have been wanting to use some of the glass bottles for some parties that I'm planning and I'll show you more of them in the next few weeks.

I recently saw a picture of a salad in a jar on the cover of a magazine while I was grocery shopping and as soon as I saw the 12oz eco mason jars on the shelves I knew that I had to put together a salad recipe of my own. The "aspenware" wood forks and baker's twine are also available in our stores as well.

I think that these would be great for a party.
I can see these lined up on a picnic table at the cottage for a family get together ... so much cooler than a bowl of salad and paper plates!