Friday, 25 November 2011

Black Friday

As one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Black Friday has always been a day on which I've avoided making my own purchases. I've never been a fan of the corporate giants who dominate the market and the mass produced, cookie-cutter goods they sell at a fraction of the price. Because of this, I've always boycotted the shopping frenzy known as Black Friday.

However, this was before I discovered the eclectic and creative world of Etsy; a world where the little guy, the independent business/seller is able to prosper & share their goods with an international community. A few years ago, I bought vintage cameras for my husband off of Etsy and I vowed that all of my holiday gifts would come from small, independent shops that represented everything the mass produced products did not - thought, love, time. I am still a big supporter of buying handmade, buying local and buying from the small, 'little guy' businesses.

Be the change that you want to see in this world. As cliche as that phrase sounds, it is something I strive for each day and especially for this holiday season. I will not purchase items for my family members that can be found at any big department or box store, rather, I have purchased beautiful, hand-knitted cup cozies from Upper Duke Designs: & I will be making my own soy candles for the people I love.

Which path will you take this holiday season? What handmade products will you be purchasing and which local, independent businesses will you be supporting?

Rather than "buy nothing day", why not choose to support a small business today?

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Shabby Chic Flower Necklaces

One of my new favourite designs to create are my new line of Shabby Chic Flower Necklaces. The designs integrate bold cabochon flowers with elegantly beaded chain.

With each, I've been working with some of my favourite colour contrasts including shabby chic pink with turquoise stone, translucent glass blue with cream coloured cabochon flowers, and beige tones of pearl with white pearl & pink cabochon flower.

They've turned out better than my original designs, I've been tempted to keep some of the designs for myself!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Nearing Eleven Years...

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

As my husband & I near what I deem to be our 'real' anniversary, not the wedding anniversary that simply made us "legit" in the eyes of some, I cannot help but nostalgically indulge in those early memories. In 1999, my husband & I met at a particular place of employment, which shall remain nameless due to the inevitable embarrassment of some & the merciless mocking by most.

After remaining close friends for two years, my husband began his first year of university while I, a few years younger, had to battle the stereotypical monotony of our small town high school. Brontë, Dickens, Tolstoy & Hemingway alleviated the doldrums of small town life.

For our first date in Toronto, I think Zeus had us in his sights. Immediately, we faced comical scenarios that reached Marx Brothers levels: from a painful collision with several bicyclists to trying to outrun an unwelcome chaperon, a screaming, barely-clad man (Two words: loin cloth) waving a staked pineapple & shouting out biblical prophecies.

Thankfully, he relinquished the pineapple he had been relentlessly poking us with by chucking it at a passing car. He then quickly rode away on his bicycle (I'm assuming to obtain more pineapples & wooden stakes). On a side note, we did encounter this man several more times in the following years, always with a staked pineapple & once, in the grocery store, we found him stocking a cart with his coveted fruit.

But, I think it's how the date ended that fully captures 'us' in a sense. The date we had anticipated for years culminated in a simultaneous trip -somehow we had managed to hook feet & trip each other. Nothing like a clumsily-executed face plant on one of the busiest intersections of Toronto, Yonge & Bloor, to really commemorate a date.

We still bear the scars to prove it (ever wondered why my husband has a goatee?).

Although our date may have resembled a scene from Animal Crackers, I can honestly say, that night I fell head over heels for my husband.

Now, it's almost been eleven years since that night. We've lived in different cities, at times different countries & attended different schools & later, different universities. We've travelled the world together & built a "house of rented home".

We have supported each other through high school, through undergraduate, graduate & post-graduate years. In our tenth year of dating, we celebrated our relationship with our lovely friends & family.

The best is yet to come.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Pocket Watch, Glasses & 'Stache Necklaces, Oh My!

At long last, FrameBoutique has (back) in stock the much sought-after, antique line of pocket watch necklaces that quickly sold & emptied our stock last time (sorry for the delay for those who inquired!). We have three pieces from the previous line along with three new varieties, each with a distinctly unique design, which I will be listing later this week!

Along with the pocket watch necklaces I will be listing later this week (if my schedule slows down!), I will be listing my black glasses frame necklace (a favourite amongst friends & often, a whimsical party prop). As well, I finally have the moustache necklaces back in stock! Getting ready for Movember!

Happy Monday everyone!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

His Girl Friday

When I design new pieces, I like to watch old black & white films. Whether it be for inspiration, a reminder of classic, enduring style or simply for the smart dialogue & quick banter, I always watch classics; Roman Holiday, Garland's A Star is Born or my favourite, His Girl Friday.

I've been thinking lately, when exactly did actors stop dressing so elegantly? Why is it that current films & T.V shows tend to have dialogue that lacks the quick wit that demands your full attention? Now, I'm not over-generalizing. There are films & shows that simulate the brilliantly funny screwball comedy of the 30s & 40s such as Gilmore Girls.

"Walter, you're wonderful, in a loathsome sort of way".

Hildegard "Hildy" Johnson, the female lead, is sharp, clever & fully independent (well, sort of). As a film from 1940, it seems a contradiction to have such a strong female lead, one who is the best "newspaperman". I realize now that it was really the 1950s that began to instil that type of Betty Friedan, Feminine Mystique, view of women.

Rosalind Russell's comedic timing & delivery is nothing short of genious. She reappropriates the masculine by wearing black tailored suits & hats similar to men's fashion of the 30s & 40s. With some of my pieces I try to do this, on a lesser scale of course, with my moustache & upcycled tie necklaces, but nonetheless, the film serves as inspiration.

Hildy [speaking to Walter on the phone]
"Now, get this, you double-crossing chimpanzee: There ain't going to be any interview and there ain't going to be any story. And that certified check of yours is leaving with me in twenty minutes. I wouldn't cover the burning of Rome for you if they were just lighting it up. If I ever lay my two eyes on you again, I'm gonna walk right up to you and hammer on that monkeyed skull of yours 'til it rings like a Chinese gong!"

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The 'Stache Necklace

I had no idea how many people were into the moustache icon. I crafted had originally this necklace as a whimsical, funny addition to my shop, but I wasn't sure what its reception would be.

The Curly Moustache Necklace

Apparently, I've created something that people like since I've now sold four within 24 hours. Life is funny!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Sharing the (Free Printables) Love...

When I come across free printables or free designs, I cannot help but share with my friends especially those who are getting married and could use some free cupcake topper designs. One of my favourite blogs, Daily Suze, always has fantastic free printables to share. I thought I would share some here!

Thank you tags (in several languages) that you can attach to your product.

These manila tags are great for gifts or customer purchases!

Who couldn't use more thank you cards? I know I'm always finding a need for more and these cards have elegant lace bunting.

Now, I just have to buy some doilies and kraft card stock and create some of these lovely gift boxes myself.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Petals of Pages, An Upcycled Brooch

As a community, Etsy sellers & buyers constantly inspire & motivate me. Having my work acknowledged or "favourited" is very encouraging & the most rewarding is when customers request custom orders & sincerely love their new FrameBoutique item.

A few hours ago, I put the final touches on a custom order of my upcycled brooch design using "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho & I thought I would share some great links on upcycling.

Soon, I'll post a DIY tutorial for my upcycled pom and brooch designs!

A few months ago I decided to try my hand at decorative poms, but I wanted to use my own unique design & material. That's when I found a new purpose for a very worn Noam Chomsky book. I was surprised by the amount of people that contacted me, created treasuries or favourited this small, 6 inch pom I had made.
There was also something strangely cathartic about ripping apart a book after graduating with my master's in English.

Then I started to research this movement a bit further & found some interesting facts. Upcycling is actually very different from recycling or "downcycling" since the recycling process creates a product that is of lower quality than before.

With upcycling, designers like myself (& there are thousands on Etsy) take something that would otherwise be chucked into the garbage or recycling bin & repurpose it into a new product that is of an improved, higher quality.

In an effort to combine this newfound love of upcycled items & jewelry, I designed a upcycled brooch which I call "Petals of Pages". This brooch is the perfect size, 3 inches in diameter and 1 & 1/2 inches tall.

I wanted to share some of the great free DIY designs I've stumble across. Here are some great links that are specific to upcycling: or or’t-recycle-that-5-cool-diy-upcycling-websites/

If you would like to share a upcycled project, post it here or shoot me an email. A great read for those interested in upcycling is Michael Braungart & William McDonough's "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things".

To see my Etsy listings, check out:
Petals of Pages:
Shabby Chic Pomander:

Friday, 26 August 2011


Today is a good day! Already listed in three beautiful treasuries featuring three of my favourite items! Plus, I'm on route to the cottage for the first time this summer!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Textile Monster

I adore this Etsy shop!
I splurged and bought myself a beautiful scarf and it's perfect!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Engagement Photo Shoot of Cobblestone Paths & Sandy Beaches

Today began with anxious concerns about the unpredictable and extremely stormy weather. Raging storm clouds and lightening can definitely ruin a photo shoot.

My subjects were not just anyone, but very close friends & I wanted to ensure that I took the most fitting shots of such a lovely & thoughtful couple. Most of all, the photos should reflect their enduring & genuine love. As individuals, they are both down-to-earth so I aimed to capture more candids rather than posed shots to accentuate their unique personalities.

After watching the two of them fall in love & their relationship evolve, it makes me very happy to be able to witness the two of them celebrating & sharing their love with their family & friends. It has been an honour to be a part of their lives & their celebration.

Overall, the shoot was incredibly fun. I was given the chance to creatively express myself & now, I am seriously considering exploring this avenue next spring!
“Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot.” D.H. Lawrence

Japanese Fabric Button Earrings & Brooches

I've recently fallen in love with Japanese fabric. Although the fabric can be a bit on the expensive side, the quality, durability and overall appearance far surpasses any other fabric I've worked with.
I ventured to a local Toronto Japanese boutique (Things Japanese) and immediately fell for the patterns: symmetrical lines, geometric shapes and my favourite, the traditional Japanese wave pattern.

Nautical Fabric Button Earrings, Japanese Fabric, Traditional Waves in Cerulean and Navy Blue

Geometric Boho Chic Japanese Red Fabric Covered Earrings, Studs. Red Geometric Stars & Diamonds

I hope other people love brooches (or buttons) as much as I do! I'm still working on some and I've only listed a couple of these pieces, but I'll list more soon. Fabric earrings just in time for the fall season!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Antique Pocket Watch Necklaces!

I've been so excited for these! They're finally listed on my Etsy. Yes!

This style is more of the Steampunk design since you can see the internal gears and mechanisms working.

Our Fall Fashion line of necklaces is almost all listed!

Monday, 22 August 2011

New Fall Fashion Designs!

The design for this miniature necktie necklace started when one of my partner's ties ripped and he was going to throw it out. I decided to create my own "party tie" as a quirky, whimsical piece for my birthday party. Now, I have four different colour combinations that have been crafted and upcycled out of vintage silk ties and they seem to be a great hit with customers.

I also have a new line of pocket watch necklaces coming out soon in three different designs. One of the designs which I have yet to take photographs of is more of the steampunk style since you can see all the internal gears and mechanisms working.

In addition to these pieces, I have a plethora of new earring designs which I seem to be creating faster than I can list them on Etsy.

Some of my favourite from these new additions are the vintage cabochons which are mostly of German and Japanese designs. They have been upcycled to create these stunning earring studs.

Here's a sneak peek at some of the other designs I've been working on. Some of these pieces have not yet been listed, but can be reserved. Contact me if you are interested in reserving any designs you see on my blog or in my Etsy store. Check to see which listings are available at!

This earring stud gift set is a collection of Japanese vintage cabochons. Each are speckled Millefiori glass.

A beautiful lavender purple vintage cabochon that has been upcycled to create this great ring.

I love the teardrop shape of the bronze filigree earring stud post that these vivid aqua blue cabochons are set against. Very unique design.

These red checkered earring studs are actually upcycled vintage buttons that I found in a button boutique.

This melon ribbed cabochon comes in a variety of colours and I've used them for rings and earring studs.

I especially love these vintage white Japanese cabochons which give the appearance of confetti or flakes of various colours set inside the glass. I've set aside so many of these for myself! :)