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Life, Make, Show

Write a New Story // Etsy Resolution 2017

We are well into January and I’m still thinking about resolutions.

It’s something I kind of do all year really, always striving to do more, do better.

It’s a curse, and I know I’m not suffering alone with it either.

I feel you out there. Making plans, maybe even purchasing a few tools to get them going, and then letting life get in the way of actually setting aside the time it’s going to take to launch.

Generally speaking I’m actually quite good at accomplishing the things I set out to do, but there are still a many many areas of that need some work.

Because I think I am seen to be a bit of a “do-er” however, I get asked often how I get so much done. I get asked questions like “How did you know that would be a good idea?”, or “What made you so confident it would work?”, or “How did you know where to start?”.

I’m going to tell you something right now that would shock a lot of bank managers.

I didn’t. I don’t know. I just started.

Here’s my secret.

I have been blessed with the blind confidence that if I put my mind to something, I can make it happen. I dunno. Maybe I’ve watched Field of Dreams so many times, there’s a whispery little cornfield in my ear repeating “If you build it, they will come”  so often it’s become my mantra.


I get an idea, I tell myself I can do it, and I. Just. Do. It.

Sometimes I try it on for size by actually telling people about what I AM doing, even before I AM doing it. Then I kinda HAVE to do it, and so I DO.

Is that nuts?

That’s a bit nuts, but by golly Miss Molly that shit works.

And that’s what I mean about “your story”.

Those little things you tell yourself, or others that, good or bad, eventually become reality. Some call it “self fulfilling prophecy”, and I’m here to tell you it’s the real deal. The only problem is, more often than not we are telling ourselves the wrong things to be successful. We start writing the wrong stories.

Stories like “I’m not a morning person”, or “I’m so disorganized”, or (and this is one of the worst) “I can’t do that”.

The key to being a successful person, and reaching your goals is to flip the switch on this crap talk. I can’t make you a morning person (I’m not one either, but I sure can fake it), but I can help you become a “I am really productive between the hours of 1pm and 6pm” person.

“I’m so disorganized”? Flip that sucker on it’s bum and bing bang boom, we’ve got “I use tools like scheduled reminders and label makers for keeping my life in order.”

And “I can’t”? Well there are just SO many ways of dealing with that one.

My personal favourite is to just remove it from my vocabulary, but I know that’s not easy. I believe that everything can be tackled when broken into bite sized bits.

“When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time” (Creighton Abrams).

For me, that means research and lists.

When I first began thinking about opening the shop, I got super excited, followed almost instantly by totally overwhelmed. But I knew I wanted to do it so I had to chop that baby up into tiny little nuggets. Location, Funding, Staff, Product.

And then I broke those nuggets into smaller nugettes like store front on Mill Street, Line of Credit/Family Loans, Tamara/Friends, Local Makers I know, and 3 months later I opened the doors to Hello Yellow (now Cheerfully Made Goods + Markets).


Opening day at Hello Yellow, July 2013

So what do you want to do differently this year?

Write it. Say it. And start making a conscious effort to banish any negative talk from your mind.

You are so powerful.

You’ve just gotta start using that power for good and good will come.


Me, happier than a pig in sh*t on opening night.

A lot of you seem to have “grow my business” on your list, and some have already begun asking me about upcoming craft shows, specifically Etsy Made in Canada. We WILL be hosting the show again this September (get on our mailing list and stay in the know!) and if this is something you have been dreaming about applying to, I’m going to give you a great tool to DO IT.


Shopper among the crowds at Etsy Made in Canada / Ottawa

It should be noted that you do NOT have to have an Etsy shop to participate in every one of our shows, but for the Etsy: Made in Canada, you do. If you’re not especially savvy with technology, opening up an Etsy shop can feel overwhelming. Not to worry, you’ve got lots of time.

In an effort to help all of us, Etsy has come up with a series of steps and tutorials to help you launch and/or perfect your Etsy shop. It’s called Etsy Resolution and this is the 2nd year in a row they’ve run it.

All you have to do is visit, enter your email address, and beginning January 27th your inbox will start receiving little bite sized steps, tips and tricks to both launching, and killing it on Etsy.

No, I am not being paid to endorse the program.

Yes, I have done it myself and, as a result, can attest that it’s exactly what you need to get off your wee crafty tush and start selling.

So there you go.

This year’s story is going to be different because you’re going to take action one step at a time. Whether it’s growing your business, or spending more time with your family, or making new connections, or ALL of those things. You can DO it.

I’m here if you need me.

xo Em

Life, Make

Before + After // My DIY Office Makeover

Photo Credit: Sarah Evans, Shoebox Pics

My latest home makeover project was a true labour of love.

First things first. The BEFORE pic.

Courtesy of our real estate agent. (Keep in mind the major wide angle on this baby. Look at the size of that doorway. It’s just a standard sized walk through and this pic makes it look like we need to get ourselves a set of french doors.)


OMG so boring. So so boring.

Another built in. For the love.

Here’s what I’ve done with it over the past 12 months living here.


Just ever so slightly embarrassing. Between the laundry basket full of ill-fitting clothes I need to donate, to the stack of invoices on my desk, to the baby thermometer…the chaos is real folks.

It’s all too real.

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Life, Make

Recipe // Shamrock Shakes with a twist

We love celebrating St. Patrick’s Day around here. Always have.

My dad’s name is Patrick.

His mother’s maiden name was McCarthy.

He believes this is his holiday, and so since I was a kid we celebrated St. Patty’s like it’s his birthday.

All that really meant was green milk with supper, and Shamrock Shake’s at McD’s, but with my kids I’ve kept the tradition of eating green going.

Personally, I’ve really been eating a lot cleaner lately (no really), so McDonalds was kinda out of the question. Fortunately one thing I love even more than a well-themed holiday, is tricking my family. Especially into eating something healthy.

I took to the kitchen and shook up the Shamrock Shake recipe into something entirely (almost) good for you.

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Life, Make

Art Therapy // My first abstract art piece

After high school, in lieu of taking a year off to “find myself”, I went to Sheridan College for a one year program called Art Fundamentals. It’s the kind of course that kids who want to get into Sheridan’s esteemed Animation Program take to give themselves a leg up the following year. And it was the kind of course I needed to get my artistic jollies out before moving on to my career focus of advertising.

I loooooved Art Fundamentals. We did everything from charcoal life drawing, to photography, to textile printing, to glass working, to 3D design.

T’was amazing.

It was exactly what I needed. It gave me the essential base skills for so many things, and has truly made me the type of person who isn’t afraid to explore a new artistic medium. It also taught me how to live (platonically) with boys. But maybe we’ll talk about that another time.

Something I used to love more than anything was painting.

I haven’t done it for years, but when I started my latest home reno project in my office, I knew I reeeeeally wanted to save some pennies by tackling a bunch of DIYs.

Big art. The room called for Biiiiiig art.

(I’ll show you the whole room in a Before + After post to follow. Just hold your horses. I haven’t finished yet.)

My friend and neighbour (BONUS!) Sarah Jaynes is an art teacher at a local area high school here and an incredible artist. She’s the girl behind this project, and this Instagram account documenting her budding business. (I carry her charcoal prints in the shop).

Sarah has quickly become my art project enabler. She was all over the idea of teaching me through the process of an abstract piece, and honestly, I could NOT have created anything like this without her fine tutelage. (STAY TUNED FOR A WORKSHOP!)

I booked a date with Sarah, bought myself a big ass wooden canvas, and away we went.IMG_4987

Inspired by THIS ARTIST I’ve long coveted on Etsy and  THIS RUG I purchased on Society6 from Barbra Ignatiev, Sarah went ahead and pulled out the colours we needed to work with.


You can copy me and nab one of her gorgeous rugs here! OMG do it.

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For the love of washi tape // Makeful DIY

It’s been a while since I took on one of Makeful’s weekly DIY projects.

(Voting now open btw!)

And not because I haven’t been wanting to. It’s just that, I don’t know about you but my 24 hours runs double time. I swear. The craft challenges usually come out on a Friday with a Sunday due date and, lets face it, that’s like 2 hours according to my watch.

Fortunately, when yesterday’s email came out, I was looking for a distraction. See, it’s tax time. That means receipts, books and other boring, super stressful things I should be dealing with.

I don’t know about you, but Friday is not a good day to do that shit.

This week’s project theme is washi tape. No rules or guidelines, just washi tape.

Check out the major Scotch Brand selection I found at our local Staples. They have a wicked line called Expressions that I pretty much ruined by slobbering all over. Nobody saw though so I only paid for these three.

Hardest decision I had to make all day.



Anyone else have a major soft spot for confetti?

It’s so celebratory!

Just me?

Now sometimes I spend way too much perusing Pinterest for inspiration, but this time, I was quick to decide. I stumbled upon this great website full of free geometric templates. I had a shop customer email me recently with a request to have us offer a workshop in which we could make “adult mobiles”.

And it got me thinking about what that might look like.

Ever the sheep when it comes to trends, I’ve got a little thing for geometric shapes. And so, the idea for my Makeful project was born.

I tossed a sheet of cardstock into my home printer, selected what I thought looked like a basic shape pattern, and the game was on (if you read that in a Sean Connery voice it’s way funnier btw).

suppliesSo here’s what you need:

  • Washi Tape (obvs)
  • Scissors
  • Cardstock
  • Printer
  • Glue or glue dots or double sided tape (I used glue)
  • Embroidery thread
  • Hoop or Dowel for hanging. Get creative! I used what I found in my craft cupboard, but I’ll be the first to admit my craft cupboard is pretty impressive.

And here’s what you do:

Print out the design of your choice. Again, here’s the website I used. Go nuts.

I chose the dodecahedron, cuboctahedron,and pentagonal antiprism. Because I am a genius and totally knew not only what all those shapes were, but also how to spell them.

Cut your shape out and then using the blunt end of an Exacto knife, lightly score the lines.


I think someone more anal than I would perhaps try to score the side without the lines, but since the plan was always to cover them with washi tape, I didn’t worry about that.

Gently fold along your score lines and you’ll see your shape start to…er…take shape.


Now I didn’t photograph the next step because my hands were covered in glue and also, it’s not easy to hold the shape together while gluing, so you’re on your own here.

Using glue or some other adhesive of your choice, lightly cover the folded tabs and wait a few seconds until they’re tacky.

Then, carefully start attaching the sides to one another.

Wait a few minutes until the glue is pretty much dried, then further strengthen (and beautify!) using washi tape. tapingshapes

See? Lines covered!

Using a needle first, and then a bamboo skewer, I poked a small hole in the top of each of the shapes, cut a few lengths of embroidery floss, knotted them at the end and stuffed the knot into the hole.



I then found two orphaned brass rings (you really should see this craft cupboard), made them a little more interesting by attaching them together with…wait for it…washi tape!..and hung the shapes at different lengths from it.


A little more washi tape was added to separate the strings a bit and save them from tangling.


Look at them dangling above my little shop. Come on with the adorableness.

Come on.

I really loved this project. You should totally try it and then share it with me over on Instagram.

You follow me right?

mobileI loved it SO much in fact that I made another one.

A bigger one.

I took a big sheet of cardboard over to my local print shop and asked them to blow up one of the downloaded pdfs to fit.

Because they love to entertain me (aka know from experience that I’ll probably just hang out in the lobby until they do it), they did.

And I promptly turned this:

cardboardInto this:

washipendantHeck yes it’s a light.

A washi tape and cardboard hanging pendant.

IMG_4921 IMG_4925


Vote for your favourite project by clicking here!

No pressure. They’re all good :)

xo Em