Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Luggage Tags

A few months ago I booked a big expensive trip with a travel agency and as a great big fat thank you they gave me this lovely set of plastic luggage tags.

I'll never use them because I make my own from scrap magazines (tutorial here).

So, instead of just chucking these out (they were a gift after all), I slathered on some Mod Podge, covered them with some cute paper, and added one each to the Easter bags for my niece and nephew.

I think they turned out pretty cute.  My niece and nephew travel and come visit their relatives every once in awhile so these should come in handy for them.

Or they can just attach them to their school backpacks.  Who knows?  Maybe they'll start a new trend!

What do you do with the trinkets that travel agents dole out?  Leave a comment below~

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Second Hand Score

I don't normally check kijiji (Canada's version of Craig's List) for anything, ever.  But for some reason on Easter weekend I took a peek and did a quick search for wicker furniture.  And what do you know?!?!  The perfect set was right there waiting for me, just listed!

Luckily I had the Monday after Easter off and was able to go pick it up immediately after the seller called me back.  And it all fit in my vehicle perfectly!  It's like it was meant to be.

It's great quality and looks awesome in my front porch.  I got a love seat, 2 chairs, a glass top coffee table, and even a planter all for $200!  I didn't even bother haggling, I knew I had a score.

Still needs a rug
Unfortunately, that Monday was the first and last nice day we've had this spring so I haven't been able to spend any more time in this space.  Please send some positive thoughts up to Northern Saskatchewan and wish all this darn snow and rain away for me...(before I totally lose my mind), and then I can hang out in my sun room.

I blame my obsession on Three's Company.  I was pretty young when it was on and wasn't really allowed to watch it.  It was considered too risquĂ© but every once in awhile I got to stay up late (probably 8:30) and got a sneak peek.  For some reason Jack, Chrissy, and Janet seemed to me to be living the high life in their luxurious wicker palace.

No fewer than 7 pieces of wicker in one room!
Do you have a penchant for wicker furniture?  What's your favourite TV sitcom set from the past?  Leave a comment below~

Monday, April 28, 2014

Movie Monday - Heaven is For Real

If you've been looking for an inspirational movie that you can take your whole family to, then this is the one:


I admit I shed a couple of tears the first time I watched the trailer but once you prepare yourself you probably won't become too much of a mess in the theatre.

The movie is based on a book which is based on a true story.  It's the kind of film that will make you think and will make you feel something that will last longer than your large popcorn, which is rare in most movies these days.

The night that I saw it was a regular price weeknight and the theatre was full.  The audience was filled with people who were probably 5 years old right up to 80.  It's emotional but it's also humourous, and it doesn't hurt that Greg Kinnear is in it too! (I've always like him)

Have you already seen it?  What did you think?  Leave a comment below.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tell a Tale: An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth

Normally I only tell you about fictional books I've read, but I had to make an exception for this book...because it's something everyone should read.

Summary (from Goodreads): Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft. The secret to Col. Hadfield's success-and survival-is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst-and enjoy every moment of it

In An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don't visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff. 

You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Col. Hadfield. But his vivid and refreshing insights will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth-especially your own.

While @Cmdr_Hadfield was in space I couldn't
wait to see what new perspective of Earth
he'd share each day.

Review: As much as I love space, science, self-help books, and Colonel Hadfield, this one took me awhile to read. It’s not the kind of book you can breeze through. That being said, once I did finish it I felt like I had actually accomplished something.

To me, the most fascinating parts were the descriptions of launching into space and returning. I had no idea that the astronauts have to undergo so many extreme discomforts for such a long period of time to reach their destination.  (This and watching Gravity with Sandra Bullock have cured me of my interest in actually going into space in the future.)

But that’s not really what this book is about. It’s about the life lessons that Chris Hadfield has learned along the way and how we can all benefit from his experiences. He’s lead an incredible life. His stepping stones would be milestones in anyone else’s life. From the moment he realized that he wanted to travel to space that’s what determined almost every decision he made. But he always seems to have had the strength of character to be prepared that should he not achieve his ultimate goal, that it was not all in vain. I think this is a concept that our “All or nothing” society could definitely benefit from.

He’s quite adamant about “sweating the small stuff”, which is understandable given his vocation. It seems to be a mantra more than a message because you will see this theme come up in all of his writing, public speeches, tweets, etc. He’s the ultimate Boy Scout…Always Be Prepared.

I enjoyed the book and will probably recommend it to anyone I know who enjoys self-help books, auto-biographies, or is even slightly geeky…like me~
Astronaut Chris Hadfield returns
Hadfield and fellow Cosmonauts upon their return to Earth,
to weak to stand after 6 months of living with no gravity.

If you go here, the Canadian Space Agency has compiled the most common questions Chris Hadfield received while in space with his answers.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mini Hat Boxes

I got this set of pretty papers from Wholeport this month:

Retro Scrapbook Paper
It clearly says in the product description that the paper is 21 X 21 cm, which is only about 8 X 8".  In my head though, for some reason, I was expecting something bigger.  And the whole time I was waiting for it to arrive I was envisioning it all done up using this Silhouette design:

Tutorial HERE

When the paper arrived I immediately realized I had made a mistake in the size but I also noticed that it was the perfect weight for the design, and my heart was still set on making this box so I just shrunk it way down in Silhouette and made it...smaller.

I decided to skip the dividers.

These are the perfect size to give to someone filled with candy or a nice set of earrings or any other small trinkets.  They'd also make lovely storage containers on your dresser or night stand.  Because of the weight of the paper they're pretty sturdy.

They'll come in very handy for Mother's day too!

Wholeport now has all kinds of lovely papers, embellishments, and even stamping supplies.  Check it out in their new Scrapbooking and Stamping & Embossing sections.

*This post is sponsored by Wholeport however no compensation was received other than the products shown and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gorgeous FREE Labels

While wasting away the hours in front of my computer last weekend, I stumbled upon a very cool website that is bursting at the seams full of FREE labels and pretty printables.

World Label Blog

I think it's just a company that specializes in custom lables, but their blog has links to loads and loads of amazing FREE printables.  Take a look at just a small sample of what you can find there:

Cathe Holden - Woodland Roses

Wallpaper Rose Labels - Cathe Holden

Mitzy's Miscellany - Vintage Labels

Cathe Holden - Paint By Numbers

Obviously I'm very drawn to Cathe Holden's designs, but you'll find all kinds of styles there.  From Chalkboard labels to party printables and cupcake toppers, it's all there.  Just use the search function on their website or have fun looking back through old posts, you're sure to find something interesting.

Have fun!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Movie Monday: Chris Hadfield

If you've been following Etcetorize for awhile, then you already know that I'm a bit of a Chris Hadfield fan. He spend his entire life preparing for his time and space and he's making the most of the whole experience.


Come back on Thursday and I'll tell you more about the book he wrote.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Convertible Top - FREE pattern

Considering we just had another snow storm here last weekend, it's a little early for this type of top, but at least I'll be ready when (if) summer finally arrives in Canada.

This top couldn't be any easier to make.  And I love that you can wear it so many different ways!

To get started, first create your pattern.  These measurements are for a small/medium.  If you want to make a large, just make the width of your rectangle a few inches wider.  A good guide to go by is that the width of the rectangle times 2 should be around 10" longer than your bust measurement.

Just make a rectangle with one side slightly longer and then join the top with a gentle angle.  Make sure to mark 5-6.5" from the top on that longer side.  You'll need to remember that when sewing.

1) When cutting out your fabric, place the shorter side on the fold.  And while you're at it, cut out a long thin rectangle about 2" wide and 32-40" long.  If you don't have enough fabric you can always use something contrasting, a ribbon or other trim, or just put some elastic in the middle like I did.

A nice soft flowy rayon works best for this top
but you could try a thin well woven T-knit too~

2) With right sides together, sew the long edge of your big rectangle together, stopping at that 6.5" mark.

See how it's still open at the top?
3) Finish your seam edges with a serger or zigzag, iron flat, and then finish the top and bottom edges as well.

4) You need to sew down the seam at the top where we left it open.  Just fold under your seam edge to meet the fold, press and pin, then stitch it down in a long V shape.

5) At the top (the end with the opening that you just sewed down), fold over the finished edge about 3/4" and stitch close to the raw edge to make a casing.

6) Set that piece aside and make a drawstring from your long skinny rectangles.  Hopefully you've cut 2.  Just sew them together at one of the short ends and then, with right sides together, fold the long piece in half lengthwise and stitch.

7) Trim away about half of the seam allowance (you kept it wider for sewing for stability but now we can trim it down).  Using a safety pin or turning tool, turn the whole long thin piece right side out and press.

8) Using a safety pin to work the drawstring through the casing.

9) Try on your new top just to make sure of the length, mark it, and then hem it.  And NOW you're done!

So easy!  You can wear it over your shoulder, tie around your neck or put the tie in the front or the back. You can add elastic on the bottom edge or make it a little longer and add a peplum.  You can make it a lot longer and turn it into a dress.  So many options!

How will you wear yours?  Leave a comment below~

Thursday, April 17, 2014


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