31 March 2010


I have a shameful secret. I am a big fan of marhsmallow peeps: those sunny yellow, sugar-coated, smooshy marshmallow Easter treats. I only discovered them a few years ago. As a Canadian child they were not available as an Easter treat when I was growing up. We had to make do with those rather awful candy coated, stale marshmallow eggs. Peeps, however, now make me long for Easter every year.

So today, an ode to peeps, but a lower sugar content version.

A version of that Peep deliciousness can be found in a Peep-flavoured lipbalm. These balms are available from rachel323.

A hilarious little guy that sits atop your finger. Found in the shop of humblebea is this wonderful fuzzy chick ring.

Five little peeps, perfect for adorning an Easter basket. Sporting a rusty yellow bell around their necks, these adorable chicks arrived from the shop of imaproudcrafter.

Finally, a rather dapper spring peep that can be used as either a pin cushion, or to decorate the top of your Easter cake. This adorable handsewn chick is found in the shop of Leafpeople.

These peeps are sweet. And not in a way that leaves my teeth aching.

30 March 2010


Because it is almost Easter, and also because they are just so darned cute... bunnies!

A spring brown bunny with a cotton-white tail. This wooden ornament has been made by GoodWoodDogs.

A trio of rabbits who look as though they are caught slightly off-guard. These darling pudgy fellows can be found in Fairyfolk's shop.

A darling Scandanavian rabbit, handcrafted from a Norsk embroidered tablecloth. I think I truly love him. He was created by donkeypony.

Another trio of bunnies, this time sharing a story (The Velveteen Rabbit, perhaps?). This whimsical print can be found in the lovely little shop of LoxlyHollow.

And finally, a fully functional bunny. Apart from look cute, she keeps your teapot warm. This grey felt rabbit shaped cozy was found in fuzzylogicfelt.

I hope you got your share of bunny love today. If not, there are loads of more gorgeous bunny items on etsy.

29 March 2010

Favorite Things - March 29

I have a fondness for afternoon tea with a little snack to get me through to dinner. Cookies are a nice treat, but not always the most nutritionally sound indulgence. I was delighted then to come across these Peak Freans Selections Vanilla Bean Latte cookies.

I didn't have a lot of confidence that these would be good, but decided to try them since they were on sale. What a surprise - these taste great! Vanilla bean lattes are a particular weakness of mine, but one that I must shun when I go to my local coffee shop. I can not justify a drink that is equal to fat and calories to a Big Mac. Egads!! So in a far less harmful way, I get to enjoy the taste through these cookies.

At only 140 calories and 6 grams of fat per three cookies, this is a tasty treat that I can justify indulging in on occasion. To further lessen the guilt, I only help myself to two cookies. Seems like an all around winner to me!

28 March 2010

Spring Has Sprung Contest and Promo.

Spring has sprung at String Me Along. In honour of the season, I am holding a special promotion. You can win a String Me Along prize pack valued at more than $50. There are 3 ways to win!

Every $10 spent in my shop gets one ballot. The more you buy, or the bigger the purchase, the more ballots you earn. AND...because I really want someone to win, every item in my shop (excluding items in the budget-friendly section) is now 20% off. (Prices have already been altered - no need to wait for a refund!)

The second way to win is to solve a little riddle. In my shop I have hidden seven letters. Find the letters and arrange them into the secret two word phrase. Convo (via my etsy shop) your correct answer to me to be entered into the draw.

Finally, since you have already visited my blog, just become a follower. Just leave me a comment on the blog to let me know that you have become a follower. And be sure to leave an email address where I can reach you if you win.

27 March 2010

Put a Pin in It

Just before I left Toronto I took an evening sewing class through the TDSB Adult Education Program. I was not completely successful. I couldn't cut straight, or stitch straight. Following pattern instructions baffled me. And, I kept pricking myself as I dove into my pin case.

I like to think all of my problems could have been solved simply by having proper tools at hand. I mean of course I had the needles, thread, pin, and an outdated sewing machine at my disposal, but they weren't very visually inspiring.

Come along, let's take a look at some items which I imagine might have improved my sewing skills.

Step one, you always need to have your pins handy. Every seamstress (even me!) knows this. This pretty little lilac pincushion comes from TheDailyPincushion. I really want to know where she found those pins, too!

Of course organisation is the key to everything. And maybe, if alongside my pin cushion, I had had the proper kit I would have found success. Perhaps a hand-embroidered Dupioni silk one to keep a couple spare needles and safety pins. These can be found in the shop of JennifersGift.

Now, if you like things that match, and want to be super-organised, this is for you. Oh, it is so pretty! This beautiful set contains a pin cushion, scissor case, needle book, scissor charm and sturdy tote. You can buy it from DashasCreations.

Ok..... I do realise that probably nothing will ever make me a seamstress, but these lovely pieces really make me want to try again..

26 March 2010


I have a weakness for ribbon - all ribbon. Solid, striped, polka-dotted, plaid. Silk satin, grosgrain, paper, velvet. Skinny, wide, ric-racked. Stiff or slithery. I have no bias. I love it all equally!

I must admit though, that apart from using it for wrapping a package, using it in jewelry, or tying up loose locks, I had no idea what else to do with. And there are so many wonderful ribbon crafts. A whole host of ways for me to justify my ribbon indulgence! Let's take a look at some of the wonderful etsy sellers who create with ribbon.

First, a simple, classic white dress is made even more perfect by the addition of an ombre ribbon strap. This comes from the shop of talented Canadian fashion designer, tangente.

I am swooning over the simply wonderful ribbon embroidery from bstudio. My goodness, how did I not know that the combination of embroidery and ribbon was possible? The result is gorgeous. Here a cornflower blue pillow has been gussied up with a simple climbing vine of white flowers and fluttery butterflies.

Now here is a very pretty, and very simple idea. This is one of those, "why didn't I think of this" type things. Crisp organic cotton pillow cases are given a ribbon tie at the open end. Practical, yet whimsical. These can be found in the shop of ERLdesigns.

Fun for kids (or gymnasts), come these wonderful ribbon wands. The wands are a waldorf-inspired toy, made by Syrendell.

Aren't these items gorgeous? Do you have any favorite ribbon crafts?

25 March 2010


Dashing off an email just is not as infinitely satisfying as sitting down to write a lengthy, personal note. And hearing the mechanical "you've got mail" voice, is not nearly as soul soothing as the gentle swing and click of the mailbox.

Writing a note to favourite friend should be fulfilling, a labour of love. Your friend as they bend down to collect the mail from in front of the front door, riffling through and coming upon your letter, should feel her heart flutter a little. Everyone loves to receive mail that is not a bill or a flyer. And everyone, everyone, loves to feel that someone thought them special enough to take the time to pen some special words just for them.

If the correspondence looks as wonderful as the words read, all the better.

Start with some beautiful note paper or an exquisite card. These elegantly flourished letterpress cards for example, can be found in the shop of pistachiopress.

Pick up a pen - not the pen that came free from the last hotel you visited, but something a little more dignified. Truly, having a pen that makes me feel elegant, makes me more conscious of my handwriting, making it neater, straighter, tidier. This is a pen that I am certain would turn my typical scrawl into a perfect old-world script. This pen, and other beautiful specimens for the true pen connoisseur, are available from moonskywoodworks.

Once you have poured forth your thoughts, and signed off with all your love and well wishes, carefully blot your ink, fold your note, and slide it into the envelope. Envelope gum is unappealing - don't lick it. Instead, add a charming finishing touch of sealing wax. All-natural sealing wax is a lovely alternative, and you can find it at greencraftstore.

Now, if you are lucky your friend will reply in kind, and soon you will bend down to retrieve the mail from in front of your door, riffle through and find a chatty, personal note waiting for you.

24 March 2010

Paas Pastels

Do you remember Paas Easter Egg dyes? They were an annual tradition in my childhood home. As the little tablets would slowly dissolve in the water, anxiously we would stand by hard-boiled egg in hand. Once the mixture was declared fit for use, we would start dipping.

I always loved the soft, pastel hues of the dyed eggs. (And I always hoped that an egg or two would have a teeny crack in it, resulting in pink or lavender egg salad sandwich in days to come!)

Today, a tribute to Paas, and all those lovely Paas colours.

A photo of carefully stacked, pretty teacups by Anita7276. So many of those wonderful pastels, and if you look at the bottom cup, it has that tricky striped pattern which was so difficult for little fingers to achieve using a standard egg dipping method.

Soft, barely tinted pastels. These might be considered a Paas-oops: too much water added and the omission of vinegar. I consider them pastel-perfect! These wonderfully genius chalkboard pots are from the shop chalknotes.

Palest blues, pinks, yellows, lilacs, and greens. What a gorgeous squishy mix! This beautiful merino roving can be found in the shop of knittedtoat.

Ooops, some eggs turned into chicks after all, but they hatched in exact Paas colours! These sweet chick cardstock cutouts are from katrinchen.

I still think my favorite Paas colour is lilac-purple. Did/do you have a favorite?

23 March 2010

What a Girl Wants

What does a girl want? Handbags and shoes, of course!

An absolutely stunning clutch purse in printed leather, comes complete with sweet polka-dot silk lining. This beauty is handmade by redrubyrose.

A wonderfully sunny wrist-purse in yellow ultra-suede, decorated simply by the addition of a flower made with Swarovski crystals. This bag was crafted by daphnenen.

A fabulous felted option, garnished with wool rosettes. This gorgeous one by Janesdesigns.

And now, shoes......

Custom-made ballet flats are particularly lovely made from an Asian-themed fabric. Made with vinyl soles, these are totally animal-friendly. Find these in the shop of HydraHeart.

With summer promising to arrive soon, you are probably already getting your pedi's to prepare for sandal season. These gorgeous handmade leather sandals are adorned with flowers and beads, and come from the shop of LilaSandals.

And finally, kick up your heels, your high heels that is. A simple vintage olivey-green pump has been given a whimsical treatment. These shoes can be found in the shop of whichgoose.

Hope you enjoyed this little indulgence today.

22 March 2010

Favorite Things - March 22

I was whipping through the local mall the other day when today's favorite thing stopped me in my tracks. A subtle, scintillating scent was gently perfuming the air. I turned toward the source. An darling little vase and flower diffuser on display outside the Fruits and Passion store was the surprising source.

The little lotus flower, available in three colours (natural, coral and plum), is made of paper thin slices of wood . It works like a traditional reed diffuser. The vessel is filled with fragrance oil. The lotus flower is inserted and as the wood soaks up the fragrance oil inside the vessel, it releases the scent into the air.

The reed diffusers do a nice job, but they are rather minimalistic in design. This is so much prettier than a jar full of skewers. There are three scents to choose from: Fruits of the Orchard, Lotus-Nenuphar, and my favorite - tulip. Replacement flowers are also available.

21 March 2010

Only a Few Hours Left....

...To help raise money for the Samaritan's Purse.

I am donating a portion of all my weekend sales to the Samaritan's Purse, through the designingdna.blogspot Virtual Flea Market.

Simply click here to shop at String Me Along on etsy. I am also offering free shipping to Canada and the US this weekend, so you win twice.

Spring Equinox

In the Northern Hemisphere, spring arrived in the wee hours of Saturday, March 20. Lucky for us here in New Brunswick, she brought with her mild temperatures and sunshine. What better way to welcome the season then with a trip to the local maple sugar bush.

Located just outside of Moncton in Stilesville is a complete enclave of syrup producers. Several families collect sap and produce syrup from the stand of sugar maples that cover the hills. Many of the producers offer tours and demonstrations and a short walk through the wooded trails will lead you to all of them.

Most producers have today adapted the more efficient method of attaching a network of tubing from tree to tree to a common vat as a mean to collect the running sap. I personally have a fondness for the old method of the spigot and bucket. The tubing really is not visually appealing, and there is an old-world romance about the simple sap bucket.

Young trees can only supply one bucket....

...while a good, sturdy old maple has enough life in it to supply multiple buckets.

The added benefit of the spigot method is of course that one can place a finger beneath to catch a drip of sap as it falls. If you have never tasted maple sap cold and fresh from the tree, you are truly missing out. It is the purest taste of spring freshness to be found.

Today, all terrain 4-wheelers transport the workers to and fro. Along the trail though, evidence of older transportation methods remain.

Fresh sap deteriorates in quality very quickly and it must be processed the same day that it is collected. Wood fires are always kept going to be sure that precious time is not lost. This means that maple logs must always be kept at hand. Behind the logs you can see some of the blue tubing that makes up the complex maze of the sap collection network.

To turn the sap into syrup requires hours and hours of slow boiling in an evaporator. The evaporator sends billowing clouds of steam up through the towering chimneys, and slowly as the water content is reduced, the syrup thickens and sweetens. This sugar shack chimney is made from welded together metal barrels, which makes for a particularly colourful and cheerful beacon in the midst of the grey tree trunks.

And at the end of the walk, the one treat that is available for only limited days each year - fresh maple taffy. Pouring hot, new syrup onto fresh, clean snow results in a sticky treat that must be very quickly twirled around a stick.

We enjoyed a spring breakfast this morning of pancakes, liberally doused in maple syrup and maple butter.

20 March 2010

Samaritan's Purse

Just a reminder that from all sales made in my etsy shop this weekend, I will be donating 10% to Samaritan's Purse. This charity is helping to rebuild homes in New Orleans that were lost in Hurrican Katrina.

To entice you to buy more so that I may donate more, I am also offering free shipping within North America on most items.

The event is a virtual, on-line Flea Market hosted by designingdna. It will be held on March 20th and 21st. Click the square on the side to learn more, and/or donate to this cause directly.

Shop ahead for Mother's Day, wedding season or buy yourself a little springtime treat and help out a good cause while doing so.

Click here to see my shop on etsy.

19 March 2010

Just a Bunch of Cute!

Sometimes we just need some cute in our lives. And today is the day!

True, he may grow up to be a bit of a nuisance, but honestly, how can you not melt a little over this little masked face? This little fella was photographed by Sharon Montrose. Be warned.... cute overload in her shop!

Oh, the thinks this pig must think! Look at the dreamy far-away look in his eye. This darling was photographed by the talented Montreal-based photographer Jane Heller.

There is nothing I like better than a great big old scruffy dog. The scruffier and further from pedigreed the better. An example of a perfectly fuzzy-faced canine is here, photographed by TheTwoMinds.

I had a dream of a child of having a pony. I have never completely let that dream go. Do you want to know why? Its those nuzzly velvety noses. I adore them! This nuzzly, velvety nose was captured by Katalystphotos.

Ok... that's enough. I better keep some cute for another day. Thanks for looking!

18 March 2010

Happy Dance

I woke up to the most exciting news yesterday morning. Not only had I been in one, but two, front page treasuries on etsy!

Each of the treasuries were curated by etsy admin. Thank you ETSY!

This first one features my beach rose necklace.

This second one features my yellow chrysanthemum hairsticks (now sold!). These were nominated for review for my good etsy friend, fiveforty. I am also in the company of two of my fellow Canadians: nancywallisdesigns, and fluur.

17 March 2010

Fresh From the Emerald Isle

May the leprechauns be near you, To spread luck along your way. And may all the Irish angels, Smile upon you St. Patrick's Day.

Happy St. Patrick's Day. Let's celebrate Ireland!

A quintessential portrait of rural, idyllic Ireland. A white-washed cottage squats alongside a rushing stream, amongst the emerald green hills. This photo by felixmcginley.
A sampling of the shorebirds of Belfast Lough can be found in this monoprint booklet from BridgetFarmerBooks.

Because we are all a little bit Irish on St Paddy's Day, grace your home with this cushion. Baile is the Irish word for home. This linen, screenprinted pillow has been crafted by placed.

A beautiful felted rose necklace, in the green and orange of the Irish flag. This can be found in the shop of Crafts2Cherish.

"Whenever you're out on the liquor m'lad; beware of the pretty Colleen". This clothespeg charmer is from the shop of WeeCuteTreasures.

What may well be the most oft slurred phrase of the day, but more likely to be heard in Boston than Dublin. This "Kiss me" St Patrick's rosette comes from the shop of homespunireland.

And what would any post about Ireland be without mention of the wee folk. I couldn't find a leprechaun today - they are all hiding those posts of gold at the ends of the rainbows. I hope a gnome will do. This one has been felted by WoolyWings.

May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. And rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.