Post hiatus post haste blog post

I’m not even sure that title makes sense…
Ooofff  definitely my longest blog dry spell. I did three posts in September! Geesh, what a go-getter I was.
Here’s a list of all the things that have happened since my last post…

1. Halifax Crafters Winter Market – always so much fun. Maple’s second show at a whopping 4 weeks old. Fun was had by all.

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2. Holidays with both my family and my partners family. The Davar/ Listons meet the Murphy/ Papierski’s (minus my biggest bro…) !image

(family walk on Citadel hill)

3. My partners grandfather passed away. Very sad and right before he could meet his great granddaughter. Death is always a shocker no matter how old you are. The silver lining was being able to see family again so soon after the holidays (a rarity unfortunately) and having Maple meet her great-grandmum who was over the moon hanging out with this little squirt.

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4. So much snow. SO MUCH SNOW

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5. Also ice… Ice everywhere trapping us all in our homes for weeks and weeks…

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6. Halifax Indie Wedding Social. My first ever and, although the weather was despicable, there was a great crowd, the other vendors were lovely and I’ve received a ton of custom wedding work since.

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7. Halifax Crafters Spring Market! The sun even came out and the crowds beat out last year’s numbers in the first day. As always, a blast…

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8. More snow, not as much but enough to piss everyone right off, just enough to crush their hopes of spring.

OK, a bit of a truncated list, but I’m doing this on my phone while Maple plays on the floor so, I’m just giving you the highlights (and I’m probably forgetting a lot…)

So here we are May!!
Gearing up for my very first East Coast Momma Collective show taking place tomorrow, May 2nd at St. Mary’s Boat Club. Looking forward to it and I think the sun might just be out!
Will also be stopping by another craft show this weekend, this time just as a customer. The Dartmouth Makers are hosting their first ever show at Kings Wharf this weekend and it looks like it’s going to be great. Admittedly I missed the boat on applying as I had already been accepted to the ECMC show and was strongly advised by friends who have done it not to do two shows in the same weekend while being a breastfeeding momma. So after some hemming and hawing, I’m feeling good about skipping out and just being able to go to a craft show with my family. (Also I hear there is a holiday show in the works so I’ll definitely hop on that one!)

Hooray! All caught up.

OK with any luck it won’t be 4 months till my next post…

Big changes and the NSDCC Christmas Market

Woo! It’s been a while, but I’ve been oh so busy… First off, I had a baby. Little Maple Lux came into our lives early in the morning on Saturday November 8th riding in on the tails of some beautifully cold air and bright sunshine. She’s without a doubt the coolest and most chill little creature I’ve ever met. Life is surprisingly the same but utterly different. Here we are writing this blog post with cheesy giddy smiles:

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Maple came along at a pretty crazy time, the height of the holiday craft show season. I pretty much finished my stock before her due date, but towards the end of my pregnancy, those last few weeks, I (as well as my partner) could not concentrate on a damn thing… So hard to stay focused, all we could do was go on long long walks and watch netflix… So I didn’t get everything done in time, BUT some magical grandma elves swooped in and saved the day! Both my mum and my partners mum arrived in Halifax right after Maple was born and whipped up all of my last minute tasks; making mini books, ornaments, building my set up and feeding us delicious food 🙂 Needless to say, I could not have pulled off last weekends NSDCC Christmas Market without these ladies and my wonderful partner.

Here is my mother in law pouring us all a much needed glass of wine and my mom working away at mini books:

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In the end, the show was fantastic! Maple was such a trooper, she pretty much rocked the entire 3 days all the while winning the hearts of everyone who saw her. So proud of this little one…

Here’s a slideshow of the event..

 

Actually made an effort to go around and snap some photos now that I had a crew working for me!

So getting all ready for this weekends Halifax Crafters Society’s Holiday Market! Three days this year in honour of its 10th anniversary. I do know they are on the lookout for some swell volunteers, so do get in touch if you want to be a part of the magic!

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tricky fixes

This past week I had a very interesting request for a wedding guest book on the fly. They asked me to bind a children’s book the groom had written a few years back that would serve as their guest book. They decided on a Japanese stab binding and some lovely book cloth, but the process was a bit tricky so I had to get crafty fixing this bugger up. The loose pages they provided me with came from the proofer and were pretty roughly cut, not leaving a whole lot of room for the spine space that stab bindings require. After carefully trimming the pages down, I decided to add little extenders to each page with some white acid free paper. I feel like I’ve done this before, this same fix up, and then realized that there is a bulk where the original pages overlap with the extenders. To solve this problem I glued in some spacers so that the spine thickness would be even throughout. I left it a bit rough because I liked how it looked rather than attempting to make it all flush and having it be not quite so (what I wouldn’t give for a nice big stack cutter!). I think it came out really sweet looking and the bride told me it was a hit which made me very happy. Here are a few images I snapped of the process…

 

I love projects like this, so sentimental, practical, functional and a bit of a challenge.

So aside from a few project I have on the go in the next few weeks, including another miniature leather bound book with author Meghan Marentette (!!), I’m just getting ready for this weekends workshop at Patch Halifax and then the Etsy Made in Canada show on the 27th at the Forum. Still need to get my applications together for the Halifax Crafters Holiday show, a 3 day event this year to celebrate 10 years of the HFX Crafters (hot damn!) and the NSDCC Christmas show. Life is pretty bonkers at the moment, only to get far far crazier… My goal is to have all my holiday show stuff ready by mid-October so I can spend the (hopefully?) two weeks before this baby arrives (please be on time little bean….) getting cozy and doing random things around the house like organizing the junk drawer and baking and cooking like a crazy person. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking… but a girl can dream, right?

tibs pop up and other glorious february things

So this past weekend I took the ferry across to Dartmouth to join the Halifax Crafters Society at Two If By Sea cafe for the second Pop-Up Show, this time….in the key of love. A good time was had by all, love was successfully spread in the form of crafty goodness and sweet tunes from CKDU. Here are some photos from the day

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Looking forward to the next pop-up!

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This months workshop is already filling up, so if you’re in Halifax and interested, email ASAP!

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and one last thing!

Just a few more days till Valentines Day, grab a DIY Love Kit at Plan B Merchants Co-op on Gottingen St. or at Mule Mother’s studio on Falkland St. (just drop a line first!)

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You don’t know love till you’ve made a book with your sweetheart.

Or read one out loud with.

Or written one together.

This just made me think of that John Waters quote…

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I couldn’t agree more my strange friend.

on to the next thing…

Relaxing here on a Monday morning post Halifax Crafters Society Spring Fair… realizing that I have only the next hour or so to relax, then it’s back to work! Received a slew of repairs and custom work that I need to get cracking on and time to start preparing for my next show- the NSDCC Summer Craft Fair in mid/ late July at Victoria Park. This will be my first NSDCC fair and I’m really looking forward to it!

First off, the HFX Crafters Spring Fair was a hit! So many amazing artisans and crafts-folk made for so much eye candy it was hard to stay focused (and not spend all the money I made!) Here’s a few shots of my table and of the fair at the Olympic Community Centre a few seconds before the doors opened:

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In other pretty spectacular news, my journal was featured on television thanks to Reverend Bob down at Plan B Merchants Co-op. Plan B is an AMAZING shop here in the North End on Gottingen St. that caters to artists, antique collectors, vintage clothing lovers, freaks, weirdos, coffee drinkers, video game players, oddballs and the like with a fabulous collection of things from about 60+ different artists, designers, curators and collectors. This shop is a gem and I am honoured to be a part of the Plan B family. SO! Plan B is associated with a site called The Gift Network which is essentially a collection of awesome little Canadian boutiques that are featured on the site that you can buy directly from. So if you love a little shop in Toronto but can’t get there to peruse, you can hop on the Gift Network, find your little shop, buy that cute thing you wanted and have it shipped to your front door… awesome. 

Anywho, here’s a clip from the show on the theme of Mother’s Day gifts… and although they don’t mention Mule Mother, it’s pretty sweet that my boombox notebook made a tv debut… click the link below!

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so long, February

It’s getting to that time of year (in Atlantic Canada anyways) when folks start talking spring. In the past few days, I have heard many people express their done-with-winter sentiments, and although I do to a certain extent agree (I will always chose warm over cold), I feel this winter has not been my worst by far. Ice skating has kept me outside (also lack of an automobile), the days haven’t been as grey as usual and, although I never feel like I am not doing enough, I’ve been getting things done.

Leaving all things up to the last minute has been my forté for as long as I’ve been me. As was the case with my last deadline- an application to the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council, which I delivered one hour before deadline. It’s always the writing that gets me, and it wasn’t even that involved (this application). It was really just explaining things I already know, but for some reason, writing gives me terrible anxiety… (this is essentially why I started this thing-a-ma-blog… to get over being a bad writer…) I was thinking the other day that if I could invest even a quarter of the energy that I output when I’m scrambling to meet a deadline 3 months before the deadline in small increments, I could save myself so much anxiety… In a perfect world.

 

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On the much more enjoyable side of things, my friend Marc Comeau, owner of Old Birch Workshop, his lovely lady Ashley and I took a trip to the Tandy Leather Factory in Dartmouth the other day to get some supplies. I think this was only my second or third time in the shop and I must’ve somehow missed meeting the shop dog, Hunter. I fell swiftly in love with this unbelievably lovely pup. Here he is chillin’ on the hair on cow hides…

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…and here’s leather worker extraordinaire, Marc with Hunter in the shop

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Definitely go check out his stuff. He’s only just begun his biz and already he’s created quite a buzz (that is so corny sounding, I’m gunna LEAVE IT). But really, there is some gorgeous leather work coming out of that studio, and I have a feeling it’s only going to get better.

Tandy Leather has so many gorgeous leathers and I love going in for a visit. It is a bit out of the way from North End Halifax  (I think there is one bus and it runs every hour and a half or something) so it’s great when friends with cars and leather hobbies ask you if you want to join them (thanks Marc!). I picked up some great new material and along with the heaping pile of beautiful leathers my partners’ folks sent over from Manitoba (thank you again so much for that!!), I’m going to have some really lovely new books for the Eyelevel Gallery Zine and Printed Matter Fair in early March and the Halifax Crafters Spring Market in early May.

In other very exciting news, I dropped off a fresh selection of journals and book kits at Plan B Merchants Co-Op  (here’s the new set up)….

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and got some great press! – Mule Mother Books’ DIY Book Kits were featured in this weeks edition of the Coast here in Halifax, NS along with some pretty lovely words about my stuff. Check out the write up here.

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Made for a super day, feeling pretty grateful and motivated to create.

So, you know, winters not been so bad. I’ve lined up some deadlines that’ll carry me through these last few gloomy weeks with some more in the works and I’m feeling pretty good about this little operation I’ve got going on here.

till next time, over and out.

craft show micromanaging

With the Halifax Crafters Christmas market a month (give or take) away, I am only just starting to freak out… I am sure a much more profound and severe freak out is on the horizon. I’ve now done a few of these craft shows and am only starting to get a kind of rhythm down for what to expect, how to get ready and how to manage making so many things! For the first time I’m micromanaging everything. I made a spreadsheet of what I wanted at the show and broke down all the materials, priced them out and then went about searching for the best places/ cheapest deals.

So after I got this mega-load of supplies in the post, I took a trip to the Dawson Printshop and Letterpress Studio at NSCAD University here in Halifax (where I also graduated from… this printshop is a priceless gem here in the city!), and went to work on this beautiful machine (also other machines, but this one is my favourite!):

Speaking of a priceless gem, this machine is actually called the “Peerless Gem”.

So, what would have taken me probably 2 full days of work with this guy:

… Took 4 hours with the Peerless Gem… Oh Cutterpede (thats what this little plastic cutter is called) When I use the print shop, I realize I am crazy for not using it more. Cutting insane quantities of paper with the Cutterpede or worse- by hand is one of the reasons my back is ruined (the other one is food service + bad shoes … damn you food service!!)

So now I have all this paper cut (so. much. paper.)

(this doesn’t look like that much paper… there are stacks behind me also.. I’m known to exaggerate, but really though, there’s a lot)

Also, yes that is the show Lost playing on the laptop…

So, instead of doing what I normally do, which is just to go at it at random, I am taking it slow and doing one thing all the way through and then moving onto the next thing. I have already gotten through awling and have made the tiniest of dents in the sewing.

I am guessing this will take at least until the 3rd or 4th season of Lost to complete (I know, I know…)

Even though things feel a bit slow getting done because of the way I am working, I think in the end I’ll save a ton of time doing things this way, which in and of itself is worth its weight in gold. It’s also just a great exercise in managing my attention problems…

After I’m through with all this sewing, I’ll prepare all those spines and then I get to the best part which is designing book covers. It’s killing me that I am not allowing myself to put down the sewing (my least favourite part!) and do something more fun, but I think this is just a much smarter way of working.

Someday, I swear I’ll learn some discipline.