Monday, November 29, 2010

Profile: Jamie Irving

Jamie Irving started making Tutu's this pass summer. Her Barrie, Ontario based company Trendy Tutus was born out of a desire to make something for her little niece. Jamie joined us this pass week at Crafted Spaces to share with us her whimsical collection, and to chat with us about what she does.

Jamie Irving, Designer & Owner of Trendy Tutus

Jamie's creations have made quite the hit and can be found at community craft shows and via her website. She indicates that she gets her inspiration from the ribbons she finds.

"I like to start with the ribbon and choose the tulle after . . ."

Customers can order a tutu in any size and colour combination. They are available for newborns to adults and can range in length. Orders are available within two to four days of ordering.


You can also order a tutu for your little angel and her doll or teddy bear!

Jamie has sold her tutus across the province, and has also reached customers outside of Ontario and into the United Sates. However, her tutus are available worldwide. In addition to her collection of tutus, Jamie is also a talented photographer. Her photography services focuses on children, families and weddings. She has been a photographer since 2008, and especially love taking pictures of children wearing tutus. She has combined both business ventures by offering customers a combined "tutu/photography" package.

View our studio interview with Jamie Irving, as she chats with us about her creations and her new creative business venture.

Jamie has a wonderful charm and it was a joy having her visit us at Crafted Spaces. To find out more about Trendy Tutus and to order a Tutu of your own, just visit her website and fill out the form under "contact us."

Please check out the following links:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Closet Transformation

In an effort to enhance our studio and maximize space, we decided to transform our VERY cluttered closet into a functional workspace nook. It took a little thought and some furniture moving, but recreating this closet was lots of fun and well worth the effort.

The overhead shelf is home to some craft magazines, a sewing machine and just a handful of other items. A vintage desk and iron chair makes for a comfortable work area, while small baskets were used to store some supplies.

A magnetic calendar makes keeping track of the days simple and within view. There are still a few additional touches that are pending, however the changes that have been made so far have made a world of difference. This is a great solution for those that are short on space or will like a workspace that can easily be tucked away behind closed doors.


The closet had become a catch all for supplies, inventory and photography props. It seems as if everything was in there, except the kitchen sink. It is now a functional storage and workspace.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Plantable Stationery

If you love flowers and like to make paper crafts, perhaps you can think of a project or two that can be made using this great eco friendly product. I have gotten hooked on this seed paper which ranges in size from 3x4 to 11x17 sheets. The paper is available in several colours and not only is it great for a variety of paper crafts and invitations, but they are plantable. Instead of tossing it in the garbage or recycle bin, just plant the paper in a pot or in your garden for an assortment of wild flowers.

Seed Paper
100% post-consumer waste paper

The Winnipeg, Manitoba based company, Botanical Paperworks produces a range of products that are created from 100% post-consumer waste paper. Invitations, greeting cards, calendars and so much more can be found on their website and at select retailers.

Selection of Greeting Cards

I visited Cry If I Want To at 1175 Queen Street East, Toronto, several weeks ago and purchased some of this great paper. Co-Owner Allison was also kind enough to chat with me way pass her closing hour about the product. If you visit the Botanical Paperworks website, they also have the paper available online, as well as various craft projects and a list of retailers.

You can also visit Cry If I Want To at their blog:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lighting Your Studio

The right type of lighting can add to your decor and enhance your productivity. It is also important to consider the effects that lighting has on your vision and health. When selecting the lighting for your studio, craft room or office, consider the type of task you are doing.

There are three layers of lighting, task, ambient and accent lighting. The most important of these three is task lighting. It is important that your task lighting be aimed at your hand and that it is not too bright. Your ambient lighting is usually an overhead light that creates a balance in the room or workspace, while your accent lighting is optional.

Natural light through a window can be wonderful; however, it is not recommended to place your computer or desk directly in front of a window or with the window directly to your back. A side position is usually best to avoid glare and improve contrast. You can also adjust your window treatment as the day passes to help with this issue.

Overhead lights at Crafted Spaces studio

Desk lamp!

Tips for selecting your lighting:
  1. Light your task first
  2. Use a combination of lighting
  3. Arrange task lamps so that the bulb is about 15" above the work surface
  4. Soft white bulbs are best for task lighting
  5. Consider three-way light
  6. Use energy saving bulbs
For a guide to eco bulbs visit the following link:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Craft Show Storage Solution

It can be a challenge to find the right containers to transport and store inventory for craft and trade shows. There are many creative ideas that can evolve out of the necessity to keep things organized, and there is a never-ending supply of storage containers available. However, keeping things as simple as possible for setting-up and taking down at the beginning and end of a show can save you both time and frustration.

Over the years we have done many shows, from community craft and bake sales to professional wholesale trade shows. Among the various factors involved in getting organized for the shows is also the question of: Where do I store things during the show? Often on-site space is either limited or none-existent. With limited storage space available, under the table or behind the drapes becomes the best solution. However, you still need something that will "tuck away" nicely.

We have recently been asked what we have been using. We have several solutions depending on the show, but recently started using these Sterilite containers, which we wanted to share with you.

"Footlocker" Latching Tote
31 1/4" L x 17 5/8 W x 13 7/8"H

They have been used at a few shows so far and seem very durable. They have metal hinges and latches and can be locked using a standard-size padlock. They stack easily on each other and the wheels are an added bonus. We have only found them in green (but we can live with that), but they available in other colours (including bright orange). We purchased these at Walmart for $17.00 each Canadian.

Perhaps these containers will also be handy for you at your next show. They are also great as regular storage, camping or travel solutions. Please share your thoughts and ideas on the topic. Do you have a storage solution or container that you will like to share with us? You are invited to post your pictures on our Facebook wall.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Making a Knitted I-Cord Flower

This week we are happy to introduce our new DIY project. We had the pleasure of meeting with knitwear designer Jennifer Gontier of Hipknitized last week (read profile), and she demonstrated; how to make a "Knitted I-Cord Flower." This project requires two double point knitting needles, yarn and a tapestry needle. There are lots of possibilities for how you can use this flower to embellish your projects.

Please find below our video tutorial:

Featuring Jennifer Gontier of Hipknitized
Knitwear Designer and Guest Instructor

A FREE instructional sheet has been included with this project to help you to create your own.
Click for FREE download

Your comments are welcomed. You are also invited to join us and share images of your finished projects on our Facebook wall.

Have fun!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Profile: Jennifer Gontier

Jennifer Gontier is the designer and owner of Hipknitized. Hipknitized is a knitwear company that focuses on handmade fashion accessories for women, men and children. Jennifer met with Crafted Spaces to talk about her designs and her passion for knitting.

Jennifer decided to become a stay at home mom, after having her son three years ago. She wanted to work from home and have the flexibility of spending as much time as possible with her son. Faced with the added challenge of being a single mother, Jennifer wanted to do something that she could develop into a viable business and that she is passionate about. With the added moral support of her family, Hipknitized was established in 2009.

Jennifer Gontier, Designer and Owner
pictured above with "Fair Trade" items

Jennifer designs a great collection of hats, scarves, cowls, booties, mitts and accessories. She also provides a collection of "Fair Trade" products, produced in India. Jennifer's original designs are created with environmental consciousness and comfort in mind. Some designs are created using yarn from reclaimed sweaters and are embellished with reclaimed buttons.

Hipknitized is a vibrant collection, with rich texture and bold detail. Jennifer tells us that she is not afraid to break the rules. The result is a unique product line that is fashionable and skillfully crafted. She also took the time to present us with a DIY project on how to make a: Knitted I-Cord Flower.

Baby cap with a floral pin

Hipknitied designs are fashioned from wool and synthetic fibres, employing a range of knitting and crochet techniques. As indicated, an assortment of items is available; however, the collection is primarily for teens and children with a wonderful selection of items for babies and toddlers as featured in these photos.

There is something for everyone. Jennifer also provides custom order service and will design an item to your specification. Hipknitized designs are available direct from the company, as well as online at its Etsy shop or at select retailers in the Barrie, Ontario area.
Baby crochet hat with vintage button


Jennifer has recently added a collection of "Fair Trade" items (seen in first photo above) to her business. These items are available at trade and craft shows. This unique selection of items from India are ethically made and have been designed with environmentally friendly processes. For more information about these items, please contact Jennifer for more details.

View our studio interview with Jennifer Gontier:

To order your Hipknitized design email; of visit the blog at
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