Tuesday, June 30, 2009

a little Etsy red & white for canada day!

My creation

26. stringmealong


happy canada day tomorrow, lovelies!
a little red & white from 49 fabulous Canadian handcrafters & vintage lovers!
yay Canada!


{ in other fun canadian news:}
  • tomorrow, on canada day, i'm having a little ONE DAY YAY CANADA day sale in my shop! everything RED will be on sale! stay tuned for the fun details!
yay canada!


My creation
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Monday, June 29, 2009

a lilttle rikrak birthday party: abstract art -making

top row
turtle birthday party pack | by
birthday cupcake notecard | by creativeapples
happy birthday banner | by
yellow cupcake wrappers | by

2nd row
tub of homemade playdough | by
ocean party cupcake toppers | by
personalized artwork stickers | by
(so helpful all year round!)
felt crown | by

3rd row

pencils print | by
handmade pencil crayon holder | by
LilSticks (great idea!)
artist monkey apron | by
modeling beeswax | by
twinkleofmyeye (so fun!)

4th row
monkey thank you cards | by badinage (i love children's thank you cards!)
reusable sandwich pouch | by
(wouldn't these be fun reusable goodiebags?)
paint your own wood family | via gemmielou
Little boy blu photo | via
TSelena's photostream


happy monday, sweeties! hope you had a great weekend!

the past few weeks we've been celebrating a wonderful thing @ the rikrak home...
little rikrak's birthday.
we're so lucky to have such a little sweetie!

now... mr. rikrak & i am of the firm belief that birthday parties & celebrations are important wonderful things!
how about you?

so in this year's birthday partying brainstorming, one of the fun ideas that came up was a modern art-making party! everyone was so excited about it!
little rikrak is an avid artist in various forms, so it seemed like a fabulous, interactive, handmaking kind of party that he'd adore!

for the event, our family & a group of little rikrak's fabulous little friends headed to our gorgeous national art gallery here in ottawa (gosh i love that place!) and with the help of a fun & enthusiastic guide, we funly explored some of the abstract art @ the gallery. highlights were certainly
discussing movement & balance with the alexander calder sculpture jacaranda (seen below), and form & function with brian jungen's vienna plastic chair sculpture.

it was so wonderful to hear the children's ideas and wonderful insight into the sculptures & paintings!
afterwards, we headed into the studio to make some of our own art: abstract art tshirts with fabric paints! gosh: aren't children the best artists? and the tshirts are such fun party keepsakes!

i've included some fun handmade goodies above that would have gone perfectly with our theme for that party! wouldn't handmade modeling beeswax or handmade playdough be fun to take home in reusable sandwich/goodie bags! fun!

so thanks to the fabulous gallery for a wonderful event! still a couple more little rikrak birthday parties to come!
(the only benefit of not living in close proximity to our fun families = lotsa parties! :)

i never tire of celebrating that wonderful little soul!
have a festive day! hope it can be filled with some beautiful little celebrations!

calder's beautiful jacaranda @ the national gallery of canada
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Friday, June 26, 2009

with thanks!

happy friday, lovelies!
well, i have some long overdue thanks i'd like to send out today!

thanks to all of you nicies! your fun comments & followings & the like! i really appreciate it - i'm so lucky to have such a great bunch of folks with me in bloggyville!

square dot printable notecards by upup


thanks so much to all of the nicies who've been featuring me in their lovely Etsy treasuries. a special shout out to those seen here below, who included me in treasuries that went to the front page on Etsy in the past 2 months. many thanks to:
i've been so lucky to have been kindly forwarded some sweet blog awards from a couple of lovelies. thanks to
the yellow finch designs blog
r-anne-dom blog
the cuteasabuggy blog
for the *lovely blog awards*

while i'm not so great @ forwarding them on,
please know how very very much i appreciate it, nicies! that's so sweet of you!


a special thanks to the lovely sweeter than me/KristinFriesen &wonderful buttercupbloom, who were my 1700th & 1800th Etsy sales respectively! as always, i send along some extra few goodies in those 100th packs, and i really appreciate them jumping in to be those folks! yay you nicies!


a special thanks to the various lovelies out there who have so kindly been featuring my little rikrak goodies on their blogs & sites, lately, including:
...to name a few. so many thanks!

have a great weekend, nicies!
with a thankful heart - thanks so much for visiting.
and happy summering!

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Thursday, June 25, 2009


thanks so much to everyone who is participating in this month's fun rikrak studio rockin' giveaway! below, please find the tally thus far! it's gonna be gorgeous! please help me keep it under wraps until the event - and then we'll spread the word! thanks so much! k.


www.stringmealong.etsy.com - gift certificate - rec'd
www.bovinebubbles.etsy.com - gift certificate - rec'd
www.kritterknitter.etsy.com - coasters set - rec'd
www.tomatedepingles.etsy.com - jewelry set - rec'd
www.bornagainpurses.etsy.com - recycled mittens - rec'd
www.randompretties.etsy.com - pouch - rec'd
www.arly.etsy.com - knit card - rec'd
www.minouette.etsy.com - moon ornament - rec'd
www.pinkfire.etsy.com - earrings - rec'd
www.puncezilla.etsy.com - zipper pull - rec'd
www.enthral.etsy.com - hair elastics - rec'd
www.2revert.etsy.com - recycled skateboard necklace - rec'd
www.suziescards.etsy.com - card set - rec'd
www.nancywallis.etsy.com - earrings - rec'd
www.laurabucci.etsy.com - eco cup cozy - rec'd
www.littlebitofpretty.etsy.com - bracelet - rec'd
www.stuffbysteph.etsy.com - cards - rec'd
www.tanisalexis.etsy.com - scented eco sachet - rec'd
www.rikrak.etsy.com - stocking - rec'd
www.offthehooks.etsy.com - cuff - rec'd
www.loopy4ewe.etsy.com - rec'd
www.julieellyn.etsy.com - gift certificate - rec'd
www.ivaart.etsy.com - earrings - rec'd
www.prairieblossoms.etsy.com - earrings & necklace set - rec'd
www.myhandboundbooks.etsy.com - leather notebook - rec'd
www.chelseavantol.etsy.com - adorned tin of fun! - rec'd
www.getreadysetgo.etsy.com - gift certificate - rec'd
www.littlereddoor.etsy.com - gift certificate - rec'd
www.blacklotusdesign.etsy.com - earrings - rec'd
www.alexkeller.etsy.com - necklace - rec'd

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the real life transformers

transformer screenprinted necktie by toybreaker

well well well.

here we are.
the last day of school for the little ones in ontario.
tomorrow it's sum-sum-summertime!

because the ads are EVERYWHERE, i know there is this mega-crazy franchise in hollywood called the transformers. i've never seen (and never will! it looks so scary & violent!! eek! is that really supposed to be a so-called "kids" movie?! heavens!) the movies, but because i was a kid in the 80's, i remember the basic idea: changing, morphing things; transforming into something else!

while i hope that we're not all "robots in disguise," (i guess you never know?! :) i can say i relate to this feeling, in abundance, of transformerly change of late. for me, there's this swell of talk in the cyberworld, at the park, in the grocery stores, about summer coming (it's here!) and the way so many of us, as adults, or children, morph into something else, especially this time of year. the real life transformers.

the transforming is varied: for folks with school-aged kids, the transition brings kids home all day, or off to camps, or perhaps a juggle in routines. maybe it brings college-aged folks home for a few months, or brings you yourself to a new home! maybe a change of pace at work. i've read many a great blog post this past week about finding balance in transitioning these days. it can be tough, whatever the season of transforming, can't it?

as a mommy who has a child in school for a couple of hours each afternoon, today is my last day with that little afternoon time to rikrakwork. our schedules change tomorrow, and while i know change can be a challenge sometimes, i'm really excited about the possibilities of a focal shift for 2 months. rikraking moves primarily to the night-shift. things move around a bit.

i know we all go thru this, at different times in our lives. transitioning, transforming, and though it can be a challenge, i think it's an amazing and adaptable spirit we all have.

so here's to the transformers we all are!
amazing and adaptable. for all the roles we all fill, day or night, here's a little cheer for you
- you can do it!

wishing you all balance and wellness and fun, whenever transitions come your way.
tell us about transitions going on these days in your own life,
and we'll keep you in our thoughts, nicies!
to the real transformers! hear hear!
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009


as school wraps up for little rikrak tomorrow, we're happily wrapping up little homemade gifts for his lovely teacher, and i'm feeling so thankful for the amazing teachers out there.

lots of teacherly folks in my life. my mom's a teacher.
cute hubby is a teacher.
& once upon a time, i used to be an elementary school teacher, and an ESL teacher abroad before that. i'm so thankful for my wonderful new career path of handmaking, but i think i will always feel that teaching is one of the MOST important jobs in the world, right up there with parenting!

i've been so lucky to have had so many great teachers over the years myself. amazing folks who thru patience, their loving & kind ways, and encouragement helped me to learn more about myself, the world, & how to be a better person. when i've had a not-so-great -for -me teacher, it can be a tough haul, can't it? but when i've had a great-for-me teacher... WOW! it's magic!

my parents were (and are) my greatest teachers, for sure! and in school, i think fondly of mrs. d & mr. b , who encouraged me to find my own path, and helped me to have even more confidence in my own creative thoughts, and to believe in myself, on so many levels. in university, to dr. h. , who became a dear friend, and taught me to use "i" statements in all i do, and to try and see the world thru another's eyes. this revolutionized my thinking, and i tried my best, in my own ways, to use all of these teachers' wisdom in my own teaching, and now parenting. it's hard work, isn't it? but thanks to these and other teachers, i'm learning! :)

so thank you, teachers! it's an amazing thing you do!

who are teachers that have made a difference in your life?
tell us about them.
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advertise with the rikrak studio blog!

thanks so much to the nicies who have come on board to advertise in these 1st few months here on the rikrak studio blog! it's almost the end of the month - and so i thought i'd let folks know that for the new month of july, i have three new spots available, if you're interested!

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 rikrakmail@yahoo.com i'm 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! thanks so much! k.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

my favourite things: welcoming summer's light!

My creation

1. vintage summer dress | via mysweetiepiepie
2. candle diana photograph | by benconservato
3. vintage icebucket & glasses | via fabulousmess
4. wool felt fabric | via Litlbrownbird
5. litsea cubeba & lemon soap | by SoapalayaSoaps
6. summer cotton washcloth | by GriffithGardens
7. maria top | by IslaLunaGifts
8. willow photograph print | by ara133photography
9. spring forsythia - linen fabric swatch | by cicadastudio
10. fortune cocktail napkins | by avrilloreti
11.handmade recycled paper panels | by GreenPost
12. mello the monster | by gush4plush
13. pleat pillow slip | by yorktownroad
14. 2 yellow federal mugs | via jaditekate
15.giraffe graphic tee | by isotope
16.whipped sugar scrub | by Thistledelight
17. felted wrap | by vilte
18. yellow brocade bracelet | by becklaces
19. theme fragrance frolic | by themefragrance
20. everyday necktie | by MeandMatilda
21.soleil 1piece pomegran-it! | by PomLove
22.wallpaper lampshade | by drawflowers
23. bud vase, yellow | by barbdunshee
24.the traveler bag in dandelion | by PopulationOne
25. wooden star house bird folk | by urastarhouse
26. trumpet flower hook earrings | by scottshandmadecrafts


welcome welcome to you, wonderful summery light.
you're one of my very favourite things.

yellowy & lovely & clear & warm.
happy summer solstice & the beginning of summer, and all good things, lovely friends in the northern hemisphere!
(happy all things good to all lovelies, everywhere!)
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Monday, June 22, 2009

team canada road trip: look what you can win!

happy monday, superstars! hope you had a great weekend!

have i ever got something superfun to tell you about! what a great monday this is going to be!

you know how i just adore a roadtrip!
love it!
well... one of my favourite handmade teams i'm so fortunate to be part of is the cross-Canada sensation, the TransCanada Etsy Team. for the next few days, we invite you to join us for our road trip celebration for Canada Day to learn a bit about our country, stop in and visit our amazing artisans, and take advantage of some great specials.

and what road trip would be complete without some souvenirs? and woowee... what amazing souvenirs they are!!! we've got two amazing prizes to giveaway to participating buyers!

PRIZE #1. a truly fabulous goodie bag (seen above & below) valued at over $350 US, featuring a wealth of handmade delights from across the country!

and then... Prize #2. a gorgeous t-shirt rug designed and woven by the amazing Pegg of Five Forty from repurposed t-shirts donated by team members from all across the country. isn't it gorgeous???

there are 20 amazing shops participating (including rikrak! :) ... for each $10 US you spend in any of these shops during the promotion, you'll get one e-ballot in the raffle for our two amazing prizes! (winners to be announced july 2nd). you can also get one ballot without purchase by writing a short essay describing your favourite Canadian thing (place, person, food, book, band, artist, etc). find out more here on our the team blog.

here are the participating shops!

PLUS: by using the promo code "road trip" in your purchase message with any of these shops, you'll also get one extra bonus e-ballot, too! woohoo!

so... check out the team blog, or my rikrak top of shop for more details!

and tune in on the team blog each & every day for fabulous features on each of the amazing artists participating as we road trip our way across this fabulous nation!

& hey... folks worldwide are eligible to win! woohoo!
so happy roadtrippin', lovelies!
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Friday, June 19, 2009

happy fathering day!

happy fathering day, nicies.
happy father's day to all of the wonderful daddys & grandpas & uncles & brothers & teachers & mentors & volunteers who help lovingly *father* the wee ones of our world. you're fantastic!

i'm so lucky.
i had a wonderful dad, who was all things loving & supportive & inspiring.
and while i miss him very very much, especially near father's day, i'm so thankful to have had such a great dad in my life.

and i'm so lucky now.
to have such a fabulous, loving, glorious partner in mr. rikrak, who, i think, is just an amazing & fantastic daddy to little rikrak. i so admire how he spends every moment he can playing with and teaching & learning with little rikrak. i love seeing him as the fabulous father he is. we're a lucky little family!

i've said this before, around mothers day, and i'd like to say it again. i certainly agree with the idea that *it takes a village* to raise a child. and i'm so thankful to all of the amazing men that create a community of love for my own child & children everywhere.

so happy fathering day to all of the wonderful men out there who provide love & support & encouragement to children everywhere, in so many ways.
thank you.
have a great weekend, nicies!
see you monday!
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happy friday, lovelies!
what a fun week it's been.
thanks so much to everyone who entered the fabulous bayan hippo totebag giveaway this week!

random.org kindly chose a # for us... and the winner is.... #4.... the lovely lovely crafterall! woohoo!

i'm a grand crafterall fan! i just love her beautiful paper cut artworks, cardworks & more. what a gorgeous sense of design & colour she uses in her lovely designs. congrats to you, nicey! hope you'll love your bayan hippo bag!

one more post to come later today.
til then, have a great friday!
& one more day to shop & save in my little www.rikrak.etsy.com shop sale!
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

father's day: grandpas & handmaking

100+ yr old wood working tool's belonging to
photographer's father's grandfather via purduebob's photostream

last month, when we were all getting ready for mother's day, we talked here on the rikrak blog about the wonderful connection some crafters share with their grandmas. that's a special connection i myself cherish from when my own grandmas were alive. indeed, handmaking & grandmas go hand-in-hand for me!

as father's day approaches, mr. rikrak & i have been talking lots lately about the kindred thoughts we also share with our grandfathers and handmaking.

mr. rikrak had the special joy of growing up in close proximity to his grandparents, and working with, and in, his grandfather's magical wood shop. i love hearing his tales of the shop, filled with amazing handmade machines that whirred and turned and invented fabulous wooden things! i know those are such special, fond memories for my cute hubby, time creating & handmaking with, and learning from, his grandpa.

i have fond handmade memories with my own grandpas, too.
one of my wonderful grandpas has an amazing collection of antique tools that he gathered over the years, and his favourites were always the handmade tools his own father made on his farm. i could see how my grandfather so deeply cherished those handmade keepsakes more then almost any other artifact. he polished and cleaned each tool all of the time. he took such pride in his own dad's handiwork & craftsmanship, and hung them in a place of honour in his own workshop. my grandpa, like my great-grandpa, could build just about anything he set his mind too. indeed, i feel so fortunate to be part of a family that really truly values handmaking.

so as father's day nears, i feel so thankful for grandpas & the way they some share and pass on their love of handmaking with their grandchildren. thanks to all of the grandpas, & uncles & dads & fatherly figures that share their love of handicrafts with our world.

do you have a story or handicraft you think of about your own grandfather?
i'd love to hear about it.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

the answers: an *inspiring* little game { part 3}: sketchbooks

question mark cross stitch pattern by andwabisabi
i'm so glad some folks added their fun answers to part three of the *inspiring* little game post from yesterday!

PLEASE NOTE! if you haven't had a chance to play the game yet,
please stop reading this post lickity-splitly and head on over to the game post here!

then you can come back here to see the answers!

the answers to the sketchbook & artists matches are...
A5: tad carpenter

B6: carina envoldsen-harris

C4: ouou
D1: mondopanno
E3: alanna risse / angrypirate

F2: senyol

many congrats to two entries who both guessed 4 out of 6 matches correctly!
here's to:

the lovely eNVe jewelry shop!
just look @ her beautiful creations. so pretty & with so many great deals in the shop.... she has a new clearance section, too! hurry & shop & save! great guessing!

and congrats to
annemarie, of the shop dinah's friends,
who makes these adorable teeny tiny needlefelted sweeties! oh heavens! aren't they so sweet?!

and congrats to the wonderful ouou, who guessed 4 of 6 correctly as well,
including her own fun sketchbook entry! :) thanks, nicey!

great guessing everyone! and thanks for playing!

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handmaking with kids: homemade father's day ideas!

fun date with dad handmade tickets project

for me, there is nothing as fun as making something with kiddies! the curious, creative, limitless possibilities of a child's mind is so inspiring! here's a fun new series for the rikrak studio, with lots of fun, easy, inexpensive handmaking projects for you to make with your children, your younger family members, your students or some fun kiddies you know & love (or easily adapted for adults to make as their own fun projects!) i've invited various fun folks to share a handmaking with kiddies idea with us. it might be a craft or art; a handmade excursion or handmade recipe. today is the next... a roundup of fun diy father's day gift ideas from around the blogosphere! enjoy!

father's day is coming up this weekend & so here's a roundup of some fun DIY handmade father's day gift ideas that you and your little sweetie(s) can make for dad! please add your own links below to fun projects you might be making for dad!

make your own family silhouettes project

fun projects to make with the kids:

  • how about duct tape wallet for dad (watch a how-to video here) from wikihow.com
diy stenciled tshirts project

magnet bookmarks


superdad cake pop project

in the kitchen or backyard:

so there are a few fun ideas for you!
happy handmaking for father's day!
and yay to all of the handmade-loving, crafty-forward dads out there!
you're great!

thanks so much to everyone who has been taking my little survey: the feedback is so fascinating & helpful! thanks thanks thanks! if you have a moment, please come by and answer the questions! thanks

and... tonight i'll post the winner of yesterday's guessing game: there's still time to get your guesses in (the prize is a a little mini-feature on the blog for you (& your handmade shop, if you have one!)

and finally... still 2 more days to enter the fabulous bayanhippo summer tote bag giveaway, on now, here on my blog! see here for all of the details.

thanks, sweeties! see you tonight for the guessing game winner(s)!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

an *inspiring* little game! { part three }

sketchbook A

it's time again for another fun round of gaming! last month, we played part two, seen here.
so try your hand @ round three and be inspired!

the person who guesses the most correct matches wins a little feature here on the blog!


i love games.
and i love seeing others' inspirations!

so here's a fun game for all of us.

i've become very fascinated of late with the idea of inspiration boards & sketchbooks & the like. i've seen images of many amazing sktechbooks dedicated to carefully collecting different little drawings & so-called "doodles" ...goodies that inspire the artist & their art! i love it!

i'm fascintated with how they look. how they feel, and what folks choose to add to them. i'm also interested in how they relate (or not!) to the artist's work! i love it!
so i found some of my faves in the blogosphere, and I thought we could do something fun with them!

take a look @ the images below (and the one at the top!) .... each sketchbook belongs to a fun artist whose work I’ve featured at the end of this post in the *the artists* section.

see if you can, without looking/researching, match the sketchbook to the artist. (i.e. A1, B2, etc).... please post your guesses below in the comments!


each image links to the artists’ photostream... BUT try not to look until after you’ve entered your guesses. it doesn't matter if you're right or wrong - i just thought it'd be fun to try and guess!

thanks so much to the artists for sharing their amazing sketchbooks with us!

i’ll be posting the answers later tomorrow in a separate post. at that time, i'll also feature the person who commented with the most correct answers! so be sure to play! (*in the event of a tie, i will feature a couple of the winners!)

(but if you're REALLY eager to know which belongs to who.... just click on the photos!)

happy sketching!


sketchbook B

sketchbook C

sketchbook D

sketchbook E

sketchbook F


the artists!

artist #1: mondopanno

artist #2: senyol

artist #3: alanna risse / angrypirate

artist #4: ouou

artist #5: tad carpenter

artist #6: carina envoldsen-harris


thanks! do you have a sketchbook you'd like to share with us?

leave us the link below: i'm looking for more to share for next time. thanks!

and don't forget to enter the fabulous bayan hippo's wonderful totebag giveaway, on now here on my blog! & thanks to everyone who's taking my survey! keep 'em coming!

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Monday, June 15, 2009

1/2 birthday party : a sale, a survey & a giveaway

handknit birthday cupcake made by the lovely missamyo {the Peach} , via her photostream

happy monday, sweeties! hope you had a fabulous weekend.
wonderful news! we're talking a sale, a survey & a giveaway!
here @ the rikrak studio blog, i'm celebrating my 1/2 year birthday!
that's right... soon i will have been blog blog blogging now for my first 1/2 year!
it's hard to believe it's been that long. as a thanks to all of you, the nicies who've been reading along, leaving kind comments, & joining me for lots of fun,
:::::: i'm having a reader appreciation :::::
::::: SUPER SALE in my rikrak shop.::::::

so all this week you can shop & save on lots of eco. goodies!
all eco. wallets+
regularly $12.00 on
NOW for only $9.00

all birdie, heart, number & butterfly iron-ons

regularly $4.50

on NOW for only $3.25

all eco.art pieces
regularly $24.00
on NOW for only $19.00

* sale on thru june 20th, or until items sell out! *
(+ maximum of 4 wallets per person with this deal. )
thanks so much!



so thanks so much for making the first 1/2 year such a fun one! i just love it!

AND... because i appreciate your feedback so very much, i've also made up a little blog survey. if you have the chance, there are just a few easy questions, & i'd superlove your feedback as a reader, to help craft the blog!
thanks so much... you can take the
survey here.
{ps: there's a little coupon code for a little gift for you @ the end of
taking the survey! thanks!}

so thanks again, nicies!
what fun it's been!

and don't forget to enter the fabulous bayan hippo's wonderful totebag giveaway, on now... here on the blog. you can enter up to 6 times {please see the rules for more details!}

thanks so much & see you tomorrow, sweetiepies!
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