Wednesday, December 16, 2009

happy holidays!

so beautiful! dotty angel's 'whatnot' gleeful tree.


well lovelies ... it's here!

time to take a wee little break from rikrak-ing + let my hardworking little sewing machine sleep.

+ time to take a wee little break from the daily fun of visiting with you lovelies. a little break to spend some extra-special full-time
time with the family rikrak in that funfun holiday fashion!

thanks so much for such a wonderful year here, and wishing you all a glorious, peaceful, thoughtful, laughter-filled holiday season.

looking forward to lots of fun + great new handmade delightfulness in the new year here on the blog. i'll be back at the start of january with lots more! hope to see you here!

so happy holidays, lovelies.
i'm so thankful for all of you wonderful, creative nicies out there!
be well,


isn't this brilliant?! *this year's tree* by ATLITW
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

the perfect gift!

gift of art-in-a-box traumatic therapy kit thru unicef

i love this time of year.
and i especially love gift-giving. but let's be honest, sometimes trying to make or find the perfect gift for all our loved ones... woowee - that can be a task, can't it?

i'm so lucky. in our family, we love to most often exchange handmade gifts: my very favourite kind of gift. i have this fabulous family that love to make thoughtful and wonderful little gifts for one another: might be a mixed cd, might be something sewn, something drawn, something written, might be special time set aside for something fun, might be doing a bunch of jobs someone else dreads ... i just love it!

for me, handmade's the way to go!

and you know how much i love buying handmade, too.

but beyond handmade; beyond making + buying, i also love gifts that are making a DIFFERENCE, too.
and really, you can't go wrong with making a difference kinds of gifts: the gifts that keep giving... so we've decided to give a number of these gifts to family and friends in the past few years. here are 3 of my faves:

----> the unicef gifts of magic: <-----

how about a *gift of play* like buying an art kit for counsellors to use to help children traumatized by natural disasters and conflict. or the *gift of education* where you can buy a school-in-a-box to help school 80 children and provide a teacher and school supplies, too. wow!

or the *gift of relief*:
providing 9 babies in crisis situations with a warm blanket.

---->donate in someone's name to spread the net: <----- a donation of $10 to buy a mosquito net to help stop the spread of malaria in Africa. (one bednet can protect children for up to 5 years)

----> or donate in someone's name to the stephen lewis foundation, <----- helping to *turn the tide of AIDS in Africa* : i especially love the grandmothers for grandmothers initiative: the foundation "directs these funds to community-level organizations in 15 sub-Saharan African countries that provide grandmothers with much needed support, such as food, housing grants, school fees for their grandchildren and grief counselling."

and another wonderful thing? many of these can be purchased online still, and a lovely info card will be sent to you to give to the receiver, in time for the holidays!

-----> a gift of TIME locally: <----
how about a visit to the local food bank or shelter. spend an afternoon there helping out with the whole family.

how about finding a group or organization or cause that really means something to you or a family member or a dear friend and donating your volunteer time in their honour. i know i'd love that!

so here's to making change, even in our gift giving! have something you like to support and give you'd like to share?
we'd love to hear!

happy giving, lovelies!
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Monday, December 14, 2009

come advertise with the rikrak studio blog!

thanks so much to the nicies who have come on board to advertise in these first few months here on the rikrak studio blog! the holidays are nearly upon us- and so i thought i'd let folks know that for the new month of january, i now have a couple of sponsor spots available, if you're interested!

it'll be a fabulous new year - a great time to build your wonderful handmade business, or blog, or group with reasonable ad rates! if you feel that your shop, group or blog would be a good fit with the rikrak studio blog feel & focus, and are interested in rates, please email me at . i have lots of fun surprises up my sleeve for the new year, so i hope you'll come join me for all of the fun! i'm also a handmaker & mommy and know it's a challenging economic time out there... so i try to keep the rates nice & low!

i'm also happy to design ads for folks that need them, too!
the rikrak studio blog is young but will hopefully continue to grow & grow! thanks so much for helping to build it, wonderfolk!

so come & be part of the fun!

and yay to the new handmade year ahead!
thanks so much!
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Friday, December 11, 2009

the rikrak studio sponsors *sharing happiness!* giveaway!

i just have the loveliest readers!
your kind words. your fun support. & your daily followings
are so very much appreciated! please know that i read each and every kind comment, and am so thrilled that you're joining me on this handmaking path!

and i also superdooper appreciate all of the lovely handmaking folks who have joined me as sponsors along my new bloggy route here! their support and beautiful work mean so much to me!

so... in honour of all these great things... and the holiday spirit, i thought we'd have a little *sharing happiness* giveaway!

:::::::::::: the prize: ::::::::::::
a fabulous $25.00 gift certificate from me to YOU to spend in

that's right... one lucky winner will get to spend the prize in any of my sponsors e-shops! i will also throw in free shipping if applicable* (*= up to $5.00 shipping) of your item worldwide! in the case of sponsors as blogs, you can use the gift certificate toward an ad spot with them! woowee!


:::::::: here's how to enter: ::::::::::::

1. visit my lovely sponsors' shops / blogs
(as seen on the left hand column).
come back here and leave ONE COMMENT on what your favourite item is from their fabulous shop! = 1 entry per comment.

you can visit as many sponsor shops as you'd like, and comment once for each shop. = 27 possible entries. ** PLEASE NOTE: some shops are now on *vacation mode* or sold out! if that's the case, please take a look through their SOLD items and find one you love! **

{ in the case of my sponsors who are blogs, please visit them and come back and tell us your fave thing about their blog!}

this month's sponsors are:
able mabel
adorn + cherish
alex keller
avril loreti
beads and bits
blacklotus design
blomma finds
bornagain purses
crow and iris

hazel + harlow
little bit of pretty
mich made
my handbound books
prairie blossoms
random pretties
paper*cakes finds
sunny day vintage
tanis alexis
the empty nest
the lovely teaspoon
the scribble group
theme fragrance
tomate depingles

2. in the spirit of the holidays, tell us something you're going to do to share happiness this month to those who surround you, and leave us a comment about it! = 1 entry

3. call, write or email a friend or loved one and let them know how much they mean to you!
then come back here and tell us about it (no need to use full names :) = 1 entry

3. come follow or subscribe to my little blog
(please note: to win this particular giveaway you
must be a rikrak studio follower or subscriber! thanks nicies!)
and join the fun everyday! = 1 entry
please leave me a comment about it.

4. you can also enter by twittering about the giveaway
= up to 2 entires (one for each tweet!)
and coming back here and telling me about it. please include my twitter account in the update: i'm @therikrakshop on twitter!)

5. you can also enter by blogging about the giveaway
and telling me about it here
= 1 entry

6. you can also enter by doing a facebook update
about the giveaway with a link, and tell us here = 1 entry

7. please just make sure that each entry is its own comment!


a) it is possible to have numerous entries total per person.
b) please make sure to leave each entry as it's own comment. thanks!
c) for this particular giveaway, YOU MUST BE A RIKRAK studio follower or subscriber,
old or new! thanks!

d) the winner of this giveaway will be chosen from on january 1st @ 9pm EST.
e) please be sure to leave me an email where i can reach you if your account doesn't link to one. thanks.
f) thanks so much everyone! and thanks for visiting the blog!


i'm so thankful for all of you!
happy happiness spreading, nicies!
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Thursday, December 10, 2009


yay! thanks to everyone who entered the lovely my handbound books 2010 planner giveaway! so glad to see everyone's in the NEW YEAR spirit! chose one lucky winner for us... and congratulations to... #77 ... olive street studios! congrats, olive street! check out their lovely handmade shop for lots of wonderful chenille quilts, baby delights and more! yay!

and thanks so much to rhonda for sponsoring the contest!
and tune in tomorrow for the launch of the final 2009 rikrak studio giveaway - you won't want to miss it!

happy thursday, sweeties!
hope you're all doing great!
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

my favourite things: cowls & scarves

My creation

gorgeous neckwear by:

it's true.
i'm not much of a shopper.

but if there is one thing that i'm especially addicted to, fashion-wise, it's scarves. scarves and cowls and neck-warmers.

i LOVE them.
i have quite an obsessive collection of scarves, if i do say so myself. a scarf if OFTEN the souvenir i bring home for myself from a trip or adventure. i love scarves. is it weird to love an accessory?

i wear them all the time.

bright + lovely springtime scarves.
dangly summer scarves.
wrap-around autumny scarves.

but my very fave would be warm, wooly winter scarves.

it wasn't even a surprise to anyone at my autumny wedding that i wore a scarf to the ceremony. i guess that's a sign that i'm addicted, and that everyone knows my scarfly weakness!
:) mmm.... and i love men in scarves! yay!

scarves are certainly one of the best parts of winter!
so as the snow flies fast and furious here today, let's bundle up with one of my very favourite things.

stay warm, nicies!

{last chance to enter to WIN the fabulous my handbound books 2010 journal giveaway i'll draw tonight, too! hurry! don't let the snowstorm stop you! }
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

slumber party { part 7 } : top 3 Holiday movies


don't you just love a slumber party? comfy pjs, silly movies, telling your friends, old & new, your thoughts & crushes & dreams.... such fun! join us! you can catchup with some of our other slumber party fun here: and for today's party question:
what are your top 3 favourite holiday movies?


aren't these repurposed film reel bows fabulous? by undoneclothing


we just love Holidaying movies here at our home. and many a decembery-late night sewing stockings at the rikrak home in the past few years has involved a holidaying movie playing festively in the background!

so here are my very favourite 3...


rudolph the red nosed reindeer: i just love this tv delight! i can safely say that along with anything muppets, the cute cute artistry of rudolph (and those funfun eyes!) wonderfully influenced my own drawing and animal design for years to come! and those hilarious little characters in that movie! and those funny funny sound-effects? love them!


white christmas: the singing, the dancing, the bing crosby everything. i love the pacing and style of this film. and who wouldn't want to twirl around in one of those gorgeous dancing red velvet gowns?!


a charlie brown Christmas: the music. the music. the music of this film is certainly my very favourite. it plays on constant rotation in our holidaying home. so yay to vince guaraldi, snoopy, that lovable cast, and that sweet little Christmas tree. love!

okay! so i've confessed!

so there are my choices for my top 3 holiday movies! now... let's snuggle into our cozy sleeping bags, open another bag of sour cream & onion chips, crank up the band aid *do they know it's Christmas* cassette, giggle & whisper and hear yours!

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Monday, December 7, 2009

slumber party revealed: follow up to *what 3 places do you dream to travel to? *


vintage globe via ethanollie

don't you just love a slumber party? comfy pjs, silly movies, telling your friends, old & new, your thoughts & crushes & dreams.... such fun! so i thought i'd invite you to the fun continuing series on the rikrak studio blog... the rikrak slumber party. here's a followup to the question i asked a while back: what 3 places do you dream to travel to? as the snow falls in ottawa today, i thought we'd take a little triparoo! thanks for your fun answers! be sure to visit all of the slumber party posts here and chime in!


oh i just love *cyberspace* slumber party travelling with you cuties! so many fabulous places we can all adventure to together! here's a fun sampling of some of the glorious places you dreamt of visiting, maybe for the first time, sometimes for a second time, and always with such warm & wonderful reasons!

le petit bistro by Bueller

ceratainly the most popular place most of you dreamt of traveling to! paris, or lovely france as a whole were wishes for bundled, jen t., vadjutka,
rjcharms , lilethevy, & bebeandalice, among others!


the blue door by rachel lake

glorious greece is the next stop for dollarstore crafts,

donna vw


paro, bhutan by blogmulo

beautiful bhutan inspires
jojoebi & eliza ( me too!)


examining the icons by pmorgan

thrilling st. petersberg tops melissa's list


ocean view by natureatitsbest

brooklynechaos is just back from mexico and has been wonderfully bitten by that travelling bug!


sunlight by daniel starrason

and iceland was one of the very most popular dream destinations. see you there, karley,
parallelbotany, eliza, & jojoebi


swallowing the ruins by stuck in customs

and that cute mr. rikrak chimed in that he dreams to travel back to amazing siem reap/ angkor wat , this time with our little rikrak. me too, sweetie, me too!

happy travels, lovelies!
(and bring your sleeping bag back tomorrow when you visit here as a whole new slumber party adventure awaits! yay!)
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Friday, December 4, 2009



& wow! what an amazing response! the rikrak studio fabulous handmade MEGA GIVEAWAY (valued at over $450) was so fabulously received by all of you nicies! yay!

we received over 2000+ entries!


and it was marvelous reading the *whats* and *whos* you are celebrating this season. what loving, and touching entries! what a wonderful, warm-hearted bunch of superstars you all are! yay to celebrating!

.... without further ado! 2000+ entries... $450 dollars worth of
amazing prizes ... 35 fabulous artists... and has chosen one ONE one lucky lucky ducky winner... and the MEGA prize pack goes to.... #1587 ... kate of the superfun shop *scientific culture* ... goodness sakes - what adorable creations you make, nicey! love the funfun microbe button wristlets, plush microbe and famous scientist finger puppets! any budding scientist (or lover of adorable cuties!) will want to hurry over to her lovely shop! woohoo!

so congrats, scientific culture!
and many many thanks to the amazing artists who made the giveaway possible! yay! and to all of you who entered by celebrating... thanks so much! you can keep on celebrating by heading directly over to the latest rikrak studio giveaway, WIN a 2010 planner from the amazing My Handbound Books! woohoo! so thanks again! and happy celebrating, lovelies!
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

collections & a giveaway: with my handbound books

i just love seeing what folks are collecting. i guess i kind of feel it tells us just a little bit about what inspires them, what they love, and what they choose to surround themselves with in their home. today, i'm delighted to present the next in the rikrak studio's collections series: 11 & a 1/2 quick questions with a wonderful artist on what they're collecting, (apart from their art supplies! ) you can also check out my new *the collectors* series, based on these posts, on Etsy's blog, the storque! hope you'll just love: santas with the wonderful Rhonda of My handbound books.


well here we are!
we're dancing into december and there is festive merriment all around! yay!

and if you're like me, thoughts also turn to the wonderment of the *new year* ahead, time to re-organize, re-evaluate, re-imagine!

so just imagine my delight with the wonderful shop my handbound books! it's filled to the brim with gorgeous handbound journals (a gift everyone would love - and how about treating yourself to one for the new year - to re-imagine yourself with!) AND her fabulous 2010 weekly planners - to get the new year off to a wonderfully organized start!

rhonda and i first met on the fabulous TransCanada Etsy team (psst: there's still time to WIN that fabulous giveaway on that blog, too!)

i came to quickly admire her as a wonderful leader, supporter and encourager in the handmade world! she's also a fabulous crafty mommy, and a wonderful bookbinding artist. so you'll be especially thrilled to hear that you can also WIN one of her amazing pieces here! yay!
and there's still time to shop for your holiday gifts in rhonda's beautiful shop! yay! so visit her beautiful and ever-popular shop, her wonderful blog and read more about the fabulous woman behind my handbound books here in her etsy featured seller interview! and now for rhonda's lovely collection!


who (are you) : Rhonda
what (are you collecting) : Santas
when (did you start) : when I was a teenager
how (many do you have?): I counted at least 50 this morning; although, I haven't fully unpacked my tree ornaments yet...
where (do you find them) : Craft shows, various shops, and as gifts
where (do you keep them) : Most of the year, I keep them neatly packed in boxes then I rediscover them every year in December.
what ('s a crazy/interesting story behind one) : I'm amazed that Santa ornaments can be made from anything: sticks of wood, mussel shells, sand dollars, star fish!! what (piece would you like to add): Some antique Santas might be nice. why (do you love them) : Santa's story and history and all his manifestations in different cultures is so fascinating and magical. which (one is your favourite) & why : I have one that is three silly Santas standing on each other's shoulders. I gave it to my Grandmother many years ago and a few years ago she gave it back to me so it always reminds me of her.
what (else do you collect) : Artist's books. And envelope security patterns.


what a festive collection, myhandboundbooks! thanks so much for sharing it with us! and now... the lovely rhonda has something else marvelous to share with you... one of her uber-popular 2010 weekly planners! woohoo!

just think of how beautifully organized we'll all be!

here's how to enter the giveaway!

1. go visit the lovely myhandboundbooks shop
... take a look around ... come back here and leave a comment in this post about your fave goodie from her shop & why.= 1 entry

2. visit the myhandboundbooks blog and follow it!
... then come back here and tell us about it. = 1 entry.

3. become a follower of myhandboundbook on twitter (@myhandboundbook)
and come back here and tell us about it!

4. tweet on twitter
about this giveaway and leave us a link to it in a separate comment here. please be sure to include @therikrakshop so i can find you! :) = 1 more possible entry.

5. blog about this giveaway and leave us a link to it in a separate comment here.= 1 more possible entry

6. follow or subscribe to the rikrak studio blog
and leave me a comment here telling us that you do! = 1 more possible entry.

each entry must be it's own comment.. thanks! ::


:: RULES ::
a) it is possible to have a maximum of 6 entries total per person.
b) please make sure to leave each entry as it's own comment. thanks!
c) using, 1 winner of the my handbound books giveaway will be chosen on
wednesday december 9th @ 9pm EST
d) please be sure to leave me an email where i can reach you if your account doesn't link to one. thanks.


i should also note that myhandboundbooks is one of my sponsors, and i'm thrilled to have her!

yay books!
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

up close & personal with the rikrak studio *MEGA* giveaway goodies


hot diggity dog!
there's just 2 more days to enter to WIN the AMAZING *let's celebrate* MEGA prize pack (valued at over $450.00!! here on the rikrak studio blog!

what a fantastical response from all of you lovelies! so glad you're loving these amazing shops, too!

so i thought i'd give a little up close & personal look at the goodies ONE MORE TIME and the lovely folks who handcrafted them for you!

be sure to visit all of these great shops (many of whom are having terrific sales righ now, too!) and then head over to the CONTEST BLOG POST to enter to WIN! i'll be drawing the lucky ducky winner tomorrow (thurs.) evening!

please don't post contest entries in this post, as unfortunately they won't be able to be counted!

happy entering! yay yay yay!


milemarker -
prize: beautiful art print leaf photograph

julie ellyn -

prize: fun gift certificate for 20% off your $50 or more purchase

kristin friesen
prize: beautiful garnet red glam drop earrings

the empty nest
prize: gorgeous recycled sweater gloves

offthehooks -
prize: warm and wonderful handknit wrist cuff

prize: beautiful + dainty white earrings

enthral -
prize: a set of fun button hair elastics

laurabucci -
prize: eco friendly cup cozy


random pretties -
prize: a gorgeous appliqued zipper pouch

littlebitofpretty -
prize: stunning stitched seed bracelet

bovinebubbles :
prize: a fabulous $20 gift certificate for her shop

stuffbysteph -
prize: a set of beautiful handfolded cards


getreadysetGO -
prize: a $10 gift certificate to spend in her amazing shop

2revert -
prize: gorgeous + sporty recycled skateboard necklace

bornagain purses -
prize: warm & fabulous recycled mittens

prize: festive retro card set


chelsea vantol -
prize: the most fantastic adorned tin of fun!

the little red door -
prize: a $15 gift certificate to spend in her fabulous shop

prairieblossoms -
prize: beautiful earrings & necklace set in wrapped wire

loopy4ewe -
prize: sweet handknit lip balm cozy

myhandboundbooks -
prize: the loveliest mini-sized leather notebook

black lotus design -
prize: the most beautiful garnet red earrings

alexkeller -
prize: fabulous recycled + vintage chain necklace


nancywallis -
prize: romantic + whimsical drop earrings

prize: an adorable handknit sweater card

puncezilla -
prize: festive fabric bunny zipper pull

prize: a fabulous recycled jewelry set


kritterknitter -
prize: the loveliest crocheted coasters set

minouette -
prize: a spectacular block printed moon ornament

prize: a wonderful $10 gift certificate
for her shop

tanisalexis -

prize: lovely organic sage eco sachet


ivaart -
prize: gorgeous + festive dangly earrings

rikrak -
prize: eco friendly recycled felt ruffle stocking

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

healthy handbook: the balancing act

shades of grey photograph by everydaymoments

happy december, lovely ones!

goodness sakes alive! it's a crazy busy season, isn't it?

everyone i know + love seems to be frantically juggling busy-at-home lives, trying to keep their loved ones well + healthy, coping with crazy work or school, balancing financial worries + expectations, nutsily getting ready for the upcoming holidays, and trying to squeeze in all of those funfun parties and events this month for celebrating!

so here's today's query for you: ----> how do you do it? how do you find balance and banish stress in this busy busy season?

i thought our morsels of wisdom might be helpful to one another! let's help each other out!

do you make up a batch of grandma's chicken noodle soup recipe?
make a lot of lists?
get out the yoga mat?
breathe deeply?
play in the snow?
watch a festive holiday movie?
have a cup of cocoa?

what helps you juggle this season's stresses?

how do you bring balance to your days?
wishing you all peaceful thoughts amid this flurry-ville time of year, nicies!

and hang in there, nicies! you can do it!
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