Make It!: The Handmade Revolution

A few weeks ago, Jenna Herbut, the organizer of Make It!: The Handmade Revolution offered me the opportunity to give away ten pairs of tickets to their upcoming show in Edmonton. In addition, I was also provided with free tickets to attend the show myself, which was a nice bonus, and one I took advantage of on Friday.

Alongside many other Edmontonians, Mack and I braved the cold, and arrived at a very busy hall at the Alberta Aviation Museum. Although the Christmas season is fully upon us, I did think the weather would have played a larger factor in attendance numbers. But then again, maybe I don’t give people enough credit.

Make It!

Over 115 vendors were present, selling everything from accessories to clothing, home decor items to food, making it one of the largest craft shows of the season. Similar to the Stop and Shop (which was put on in part by one of the Make It organizers), Make It! has a DJ on site to liven up the atmosphere.

Mack looking to find a companion for Netty

Browsing the vendors, I really wish I wore more jewellery – there were a ton of unique pieces for sale. We also came across some items we hadn’t seen before, including “Metavores”, tiny creatures made from recycled computer components.

Jewellery tree


In the end, we picked up a few gifts including A Jam Story by Sarah Jackson and Gabe Wong’s Blockheads. Mack also bought a small blueberry and peach pie from Cutie Pies, which was advertised as an “Oilers pie”, a name courtesy of its blue and orange filling. We found out later that the vendor was actually from Calgary! Clever marketing indeed.

Another Make It! is scheduled to happen at the end of May – check the website in the spring for details. Thanks again Jenna for the tickets, and great show!

Card-making 101: Holiday Stampin’ Up Workshop

Back in high school, I used to scrapbook. I think I made one scrapbook a year, filled with photocorners, glitter-glue page titles and magazine cutouts. Sometime since then, I’ve channelled that energy into other endeavours, but can still appreciate the tangible thrill of looking upon something beautifully assembled by one’s own hand.

Ornament card

My friend from high school Jane, on the other hand, never did lose her creative flair, and recently became a Stampin’ Up demonstrator For those who aren’t aware of Stampin’ Up – it is a company made up of crafty entrepreneurs who lead workshops where attendees pay to assemble cards in a fun and supportive environment. Nearly all supplies are provided by the demonstrator, making it easy for non-crafters and lapsed crafters like myself to participate.

So last Sunday afternoon, Janice, Annie and I headed to St. Andrew’s Centre for a workshop alongside a dozen other people. I paid just under $40, which included materials for 15 cards and a “snail adhesive”, a plastic applicator filled with double-sided tape – it was the first of many words specific to the Stampin’ Up world that I would learn that day.

Janice and I

Jane explained that we would be rotating through the five different “stations”, and would be assembling three of each type of card (Jane had created four out of the five designs we would be making). Before we got started, she demoed how to put each card together, from embossing to die-cutting, attaching brads (tiny metal accents that work like duotangs) to using dimensionals (double-sided foam stickers that provide a 3D look).


Although the steps to some cards seemed daunting at first, we helped each other around the table, and Jane was always around to answer a question or lend a hand. The fact that almost everything was pre-cut and ready to go simplified the tasks for us, but there was also room for creativity – each table had more than enough colour and stamper options, so those who could think outside the sample could indeed experiment.

North Pole card (the penguin one is my favourite)

I haven’t played with glitter in years, but I think I got more than my share of sparkles at the workshop –it seemed as much of it ended up on me as on the cards!

Reindeer “sparkly and bright” card

The card that we embossed was probably the coolest design – not only did we get to use a heat gun to set the slightly raised and shiny stamped image, but the card incorporated a clear plastic cup to be filled with candy to look like a colourful ornament. It is definitely something not easily found in a card store.

Season’s Greetings 3D ornament card

Though we initially thought that the three hour time frame for the workshop was too generous, Janice, Annie and I were the last to leave, nearly three and a half hours after the session began! I have to say that we weren’t hard at work during that entire time though – Jane had brought snacks with her as well, and even baked mini cupcakes the night prior for the group to nosh on.

Annie shows off one of her creations

It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and I am certain that those who are given a handmade greeting will appreciate it more than a generic boxed card. If you’re interested, Jane will be hosting another workshop on January 17, 2010 – she says that Valentine’s Day cards will be in the mix. Check out her website for more information.

Thanks again Jane for the opportunity to rekindle my creative side!