Gabry Road



June 2013



Happy Fathers’ Day

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Last year, we were so fortunate to have my dad here in Ottawa to celebrate Fathers’ Day together. It’s been over nine years since we moved from BC (and close to my mom and dad) and for the most part, visiting back and forth works okay but it just isn’t the same celebrating events such as Fathers’ Day, birthdays and Christmas when family is sooooo far away.
I have been blessed with great fathers in my life. Both my dad and my husband are amazing people who truly do define a good father. My mom and dad, as do many, sacrificed tons to ensure we, my sisters and I, had everything we needed. It was probably difficult to see back when I was a kid or a teen, but as I get older and live the same lives they did bringing up children, I have so much more appreciation for everything they did and everything they sacrificed for us. I still remember my dad driving us to skating lessons all weekend and swimming lessons throughout the week after putting in long hours at work. My mom didn’t drive much back then and being an extremely talented seamstress, she sewed whenever she could. So my dad carted his three girls everywhere! I never was babysat as a kid. My mom and dad were always around. Which is kind of ironic because my own children haven’t been babysat either. What I am hoping to keep or take from my dad (and mom also) is their energy. They never stop. I know I have lots of energy right now at my age but hoping when I am near or at my dad’s age, I too will have the same energy. If my dad lived here with me in Ottawa, we would be building projects from sunrise to sunset. But being that he is sooooo far away, I send him plans. He builds and brings the projects with him or I await his next visit for special projects. He never complains nor does he question my intentions which is awesome!
So to all the fathers who like mine, always put their family first before all else, enjoy your special day. You deserve this day and many more!
My dad isn’t that tech savvy but if you are reading this, we wish you, the best father in the whole wide world, an awesome day!!!



June 2013



And just when I thought we were done renovating…

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…I got a craving to do something to my kitchen.

If you are a local friend, you will have been to my home and seen that every piece of furniture has been painted and distressed.
Un-painted Furniture



Weird as it may sound, I have issues with wood furniture meeting wood floors. So we have hardwood throughout the house meaning any piece of furniture (mine are all pure wood, no MDF) has been painted then distressed.
To date, I have used acrylic, oil and melamine paints. Oil paints are no longer sold in Canada. I do like the look of acrylic paints but some furniture or wood needs a stronger paint like an oil paint. I ran out of room to acquire more furniture a few years ago so the ‘painting’ bug kind of left about that time. I would see awesome pieces of furniture to paint but knowing that I did not have room to accommodate the new pieces, I just imagined what I would do with them.
Then, about a month ago, I learned Chalk Paint is now available in Canada and as luck would have it, one of the I believe fourteen vendors of Chalk Paint is in Ottawa! Woot! So I started thinking about painting because I have the itch to paint and make something old new to old again, if that makes any sense to you :). Please do read all about Chalk Paint and the wonders of Chalk Paint here.
Our kitchen is relatively new. We completely gutted the original kitchen seven years ago and created the one we now have. When ordering the cabinets, I made sure the doors at least were made of wood and not any synthetic ‘hard to paint’ material. So even though the kitchen is only seven years young, some parts are showing wear. The cabinets are currently painted in a Vanilla/Cream color which is great and I never tired of it but I have an idea, now that I know Chalk Paint is available, to paint only specific cabinet doors. I have selected the doors to painted with the pink check mark.
Kitchen Cabinets


**Note: all pics taken with iPhone 5**
Malenka Originals is the name of the store which carries the Chalk Paint.
I emailed the owner, Katrina, to confirm whether the paint is suitable for kitchen cabinets and much to my husband’s dismay, she said yes! (BTW Katrina is so very friendly and responded quickly).

So now the dilemna is which color. My back spash is currently ‘Italian Blue’, which I totally love but because the back splash is made of beadboard, the color can be changed any time. I am leaning towards the blues but am hoping to find a nice red.



So now my goal is to visit Malenka Originals, select a colour and then spend the next month creating letters of persuasion (kids taught me this one!) for my husband. I am hoping it won’t take many letters or much time because now that I have the idea in my head, I really really really need to see it done!

Will keep y’all posted!
Thanks for stoppin’ by!



June 2013



Custom Tote and a little Embroidery

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I have sewn and played with threads, fabrics, patterns and such for as long as I can remember but I have never really attempted any form of embroidery. I totally love the look and texture of embroidered items but for whatever reason, had never attempted to try until I was asked to create a custom tote for a child’s Tae Kwon Do uniform. I had a choice to either appliqué a Tae Kwon Do image or after giving it some thought, embroider. I decided to embroider an outline of an image.
Tae Kwon Do tote
Tae Kwon Do Tote


I believe I have found a new hobby 🙂
Although the child for who the tote has been created for is very young, I decided to make the tote a little larger only because of my experience with a tote I had previously made for my daughter. Children grow and as they grow, so do their uniforms and/or gear.
Ballet Bag


I believe my daughter was about two years old when I made this tote. It was well used as you can tell by the current condition. It was cute and functional until she grew which meant her gear and then the bag became too small and I am pretty sure we just used a shopping bag after that. When creating the Tae Kwon Do tote, I am glad I remembered the ballet bag and the short duration of its use.

Thanks for stoppin’ by and hope you have a fabulous weekend!



May 2013



String-Tie Closure Envelope – A Tutorial

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I had the pleasure of creating string-tie closure envelopes for wedding invitations. The client had seen the envelopes I have listed in my Etsy boutique and after carefully selecting the perfect paper for her invitations, we created these envies:
Custom Envie

If you have the tools, you can create these yourself! It’s really pretty easy! I had posted the tutorial on a previous blog but in case you didn’t see it way back in the day, I am re-posting here!
First you need to create the template. I use the Big Shot Pro with an envelope die but most people don’t have this monster machine kicking around their studios so the next best thing is creating your own template. Simply carefully take apart an existing envelope and trace the envelope with all wings spread out.
I would though suggest you trace the envelope pattern onto a study and clear plastic material such as Template Plastic.
It’s best to use the clear template plastic in the event you are using a patterned paper which has a distinct direction.
Template 2
Next, gather your tools!
You will need: circle punch, eyelets, eyelet setter and wax string. Well really, you can use any time of string, floss, yarn, etc. but I prefer the wax string which you can find in the jewelry/beading department of most craft stores.
string tie 1
After you have traced and scored the envelope, punch two circles from a co-ordinating piece/scrap of cardstock. Do not use light weight cardstock. Because the string has to wrap under the punched circles, you need a heavy weight cardstock for the closure to last more than for a few opens/closes 🙂 Fold the envelope as it will appear finished and mark the center on both back flaps to indicate where to punch the eyelet size hole.
string tie 4

string tie 5
Because it was difficult to see where the pencil marks were indicating where I would be punching an eyelet hole, I used the eyelets to show about where the holes should be punched.
string tie 7
Either pre-punch the circle or, put the punched circle above and centered on the mark you made and punch an eyelet size hole.
Take the string and feed about 1″ through the opening so the 1″ is on the inside of the envelope. Hold the string to the side and….
string tie 8
…add the punched circle and eyelet (I used 1/8″ eyelets). Use your eyelet setter and secure the eyelet. The eyelet setter will also secure the punched circle and the string.
string tie 9

string tie 10
Repeat the same on the other flap but omit the string. For the opposite flap, you need one punched circle and one eyelet. Presto and voila! you have a string tie closure on an envelope! The same principle can be applied to fabric using real buttons but you would instead sew the string to the area under one button. A shank style button works well but regular buttons will do a great job, especially if the ‘holes’ are towards the center of the button and not near the edge of the button.
string tie 11
string tie 12

string tie 14
If you are planning to use the envelopes in journal pages simply punch the holes or use your binding system on one side of the envelope. Get creative! You can use so many materials to create these envelopes. Think fabric or try using the grocery and store bags, not the flimsy plastic bags but the nice bags you use to get groceries these days.

If creating the envelopes yourself doesn’t work for you, you can simply visit my Etsy boutique where you will find a nice assortment of handmade envelopes with either string tie closures and adhesive strip closures.
Thanks for stoppin’ by!



May 2013



Earbud Pouches = Great Gifts!

Written by , Posted in Ear Bud Pouch, Just another day...

Red Apple - Earbud Pouch
As soon as I spotted the fabric with the cute red apples I knew it was designed to be made into cute teacher gifts. And because I have been on an ‘ear bud pouch’ marathon of some sort, I created a bunch of ear bud pouches using fabrics appropriate for teachers or graduates.
I have so many plans for so many projects to create but seem to be drawn to creating these little pouches:
Navy w/ Dots Ear Bud Pouch

Green Apple - Ear Bud Pouch
Vintage Alphabet - Ear Bud Pouch
Math Equations - Ear Bud Pouch
Typewriter Keys - Ear bud Pouch
I figure I love making these pouches because they are tiny, they can be completed quickly and they are extremely practical. I was trying to figure out a great catch-phrase to place on a tag for the teachers but the best I could come up with so far is ‘This bud’s for you’ which may not be too appropriate for teachers 🙂 but then again…
So if you are inclined to sew your own, you can find the pattern and the tutorial here.
If you wish to purchase a completed pouch, visit my Etsy Boutique where you will find these are many more styles to select from.
Thanks for stoppin’ by and hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

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