Looking for the Carp

Seize the carp! Or the day! Or the moment! Anything that will help make this life of yours richer, filled with love, and acceptance of yourself. This is my little journey to always be on the look out for that carp, grabbing it, and never letting go. This is the only life we have and it's too short for what ifs and maybe laters!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Life Book 2015

If you have been following me for a while, you know that I have been trying my best to stretch my creativity and artistic prowress. This journey has started with online courses from Joanne Sharpe and Jane Davenport which have been absolutely fantastic. I was ecstatic when Jane announced that she would be participating in next year's Life Book with a whole host of wonderfully talented artists from around the globe. 

Alas, one can not afford to take every single amazing art class offered because you would bankrupt yourself quite quickly if you are so driven like myself. 

This is why I am trying to win a spot to be able to partipate in this year long art class which would test and challenge myself every single month. 

If you are interested in learning more, check out the creator of Life Book Tamara Laporte here- http://www.willowing.org/2014/09/08/life-book-2015-teacher-line-up-blog-hop-and-give-away/

Wish me luck with this potential new stage in my artistic journey. :)

What is your carp?

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Hex Nut Bracelet DIY

Here is a little DIY post on how to make your very own hex nut bracelet. I saw a few how to's and even a bunch of videos so really the only thing I am doing differently is the materials. Most of the posts used some sort of jewelry clasp to finish the bracelet. However, I do not have any jewelry making supplies and wanted to keep the cost of this project down so I was not interested in buying them. 

 To make this you need : 

17 6-32 hex nuts in either brass or silver 
Nylon twine ( most tutorials use butchers string or swede/leather) 
BBQ lighter 
Tape or a clasp to hold your strings down 

So the reason why I chose nylon string is because it's strong, still easily braid-able, and with a little heat you can melt the ends off so everything looks finished. This is where my tutorial is different. 

So lets get to it ! 

 Step 1- cut two lengths of string. One that is about the length or your arm. Bring both ends of this piece together and cut a second piece which matches up to the halved first string. Knot them together as shown. Now all the pieces should be the same size. Use the lighter to melt the  3 ends closest to you so they don't fray while working with. 

Step 2- Start braiding. This is personal preference but most suggest to braid 1 1/2 - 2 inches depending on your wrist size. 

Step 3- start adding your hex nuts. I like to start on the left but it really doesn't matter. Always add the hex nuts to the outside strings and continue braiding. Make sure to keep everything as tight as possible. 

Step 4- I use 16 hex nuts (8 on each side). After they are added, continue braiding as normal for another 1 1/2 - 2 inches. 

Step 5- knot all strings to finish off braid. 

Step 6- add a hex nut after the braid. This will keep the bracelet on and work as our clasp through the loop made earlier. If you can get all three strings through the nut, that's ideal. If not, don't worry about it because you can melt down the stray strand to make it look nice and finished. Knot the two strings on the other side of the nut, leaving a little give. 

Step 7- Melting. So this is what my pieces look like after being melted. Obviously it was impossible to get a shot of using the BBQ lighter as I only have two hands. But you don't need a lot of heat to start melting them. After heating, I used the scissors to press the hot melted strings down and secure them because they are hot and will burn you if you don't have something to manipulate them with. A pair of pliers would also work well for this. 

Step 8- now your bracelet should look something like this. You can either stop now, or if you want to tackle that stray string by the loop, you can melt it the same way as before, 

( I melted mine as shown above. Again secure hot, melted string down using your scissors.) 


TA DA !!! All done :) I really liked that I could get everything at the hardware store and didn't have to make multiple stops for this project. Again, this is just how I did it using a synthetic string but there are lots of tutorials using other materials if you prefer, 

Now go have fun because once you got this down, they are super fast and easy to make. From start to finish, I can now make one in under 10 minutes. Great little project that is perfect for a unique, inexpensive, present! 

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

19th Carp- Mommy Con Boston

Have you heard of MommyCon yet? Well, if you haven't, you better sit down while I enlighten you on all the wonderful things this convention promotes, teaches, and supports for families of all shapes and sizes.

I first heard of Mommy Con when my oldest was about 7 months old. I was following The Baby Guy NYC on instagram and saw that he was having a TON of fun at the Mommy Convention in, what I think was, New York City. I then started following the Mommy Con instagram account and from what I saw, I was hooked. I promised myself, "I WILL attend one of these get togethers someday."

What did I see you may ask ? I saw a lot of babywearing, cloth diapering, guest speaker-ing, general supporting, and mingling of like minded parents. I saw a ton of great baby gear, and to my utter amazement, the giving away of all this crazy awesome baby gear. I saw laughs, tears, fun times, and inspiration. In short, I saw all I needed to get involved.

I knew that the closest event to my area would be Boston... a mere 8 hours and one border crossing a way. However, I felt that this was something that would be worth the hours in the car with an infant (second son) and, after speaking to my husband, he agreed and was even looking forward to it too! I couldn't wait until I could purchase my tickets in April for the August 1st event. Which was apparent after speaking to the creator of Mommy Con, Xza, as she said I was one of the first 5 people to have their spots paid for when the tickets went live. "Well," I told her, "I didn't know how fast they would be scooped up and wanted to make sure I grabbed a coveted VIP spot!" She laughed at my enthusiasm and thanked me for my support.

To show you the diversity of the Mommy Con event, I have the schedule from Boston to give you an example of all the wonderful information these ladies provide to countless families across the country.

Not to mention that while all these seminars are taking place, there is a full vendor area covering everything from nursing wear, toys, cloth diapering, car seats, organic food, baby wearing lounge, kid play area, and everything in between. My head felt like it was on a lazy Susan for the amount of time it was constantly turning in order to take it all in. 

Just before the event in August, I was chosen to be a scene reporter to document all the giveaways, speakers, gear, and swag that are associated with the weekend. It was incredibly fun and exciting to do since I was even able to meet some baby media icons like, The Honest Toddler and Jamie the Baby Guy. I had my little side kick pictured below to help cover the event as well, comfy in my trusted Baby Hawk Mei Tei. 

One of the absolute high lights of the day for me was being able to participate in the Human Milk World Record. It was amazing to see over 200 woman in one room nursing, pumping or expressing breast milk. I hope that this movement will help de-sexualize nursing in public and increase support and awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding. Big thanks to The Leaky Boob for your inspirational words after setting the Human Milk World Record!

Another aspect that I loved was meeting the men and women behind my favourite baby brands. These companies didn't send local people to cover the event, the top of the top went to talk to all the mothers and fathers about their products. Their passion was apparent and their enthusiasm catchy! I'm looking at you glittery goddesses Amy Appleton, Beth Valencia and Sue Appleton of Applecheeks Cloth Diapers!

I really can't describe how great the event was. But I can say that if you have the opportunity to attend one, I highly suggest you do. I have been wanting to try and find another do-able Mommy Con before my maternity leave is over, but alas they are all on the West Coast or in the Southern States. I do have one piece of advice though, don't go for the giveaways and swag. They are nice and an added bonus but to truly enjoy yourself, go for the community. It's like having a play date with all your best mom friends you've never met.... yet.

What's your carp?