My Leaside

My Leaside looks ill and sick and falling apart. It’s not that it is not a beautiful neighbourhood or that the people aren’t lovely. It’s just that people forget it is and they don’t take time to walk around it.

Did you guys know about this shop? IMG_6697



I love Refuel it’s located on Bayview, past Shoppers (if you are from Leaside) and it has by far the best tasting juices that I have tasted. By the way, I hate juice. So that in itself speaks volumes. Everything is fresh, done on the spot. You can call ahead if you wish to get your orders ready. He is so incredible that he will help you with parties, galas and receptions. It’s such a great alternative to an ice cream party. Why not?

Next there is this guy.


Did you know about Flying Wheels ? They don’t only specialize in bike gear you know. Ladies & Gents, if you are using a large wheel stroller and need a spare tire, there are options. These guys were able to change my tire with my kids still sleeping in it! It was such a relief after being turned away from Moms to be and More. It is by far the best service I got. Their prices are reasonable and they help you on the spot. It’s a hidden gem.

I see you see we all see!

If you are looking for an optometrist in Leaside, there is a very good one hidden on Bayview. Make sure to call for an appointment. Dr. Dennis Bader is on Bayview.

So why are we having such a hard time in the neighbourhood? So far, the street seems to be going through an economical phase where rent is too high for small merchants and shops to succeed. But according to a commercial property manager neighbourhoods go through these phases sometimes and it is actually quite normal. It’s a phase.

That’s great, but how do we support our local vendors, our shops and talent if spirits seem depleted? Did you know what is in your neighbourhood? I do, and I promise to show you some amazing discoveries and talent on a weekly basis.

Become and Arts & Crafts Specialist

A little while back I was working at Play Café (the Bayview location) and realized that I was really good at crafts. I didn’t realize how many parents struggled to entertain their children or give them ideas. I must admit that I’ve always been crafty and with time and social media, I can find a craft on just about anything. So can you, specially if you know about Pinterest and other craft sites.

Back at Play Café, aside from managing the shop, I ran some of the children programs. We ran the Baby Book Club, an after school pick up program, dance classes, Lego classes and more. The Baby Book Club was one of my favorites. At first the program was to read books, but babies don’t really listen and moms were a little bored. What they wanted was an outlet to meet other moms in a family environment and create a keep sake or get ideas to entertain their children. As working adults we forget how to craft and just play with basics. This is where I came in.

We did some really spectacular art together. It wasn’t all about letting the kids play because at 2 months old they can’t hold anything and at 4-6 months babies want to throw anything into their mouths. It’s an instinct. We solved some of these issues by creating keep sakes at first and as the babies grew, we adapted some of these crafts.

Some of these are harder to do with a baby, so if you can get an extra pair of hands to hold the child or do the painting part, it will go much smoothly.


Acrylic paint or any other paint that is washable and baby safe
Clean paint brushes (as many as the colours you intend to use) – you can get them at the dollar store
Water colour paper – or thick paper that absorbs paint
Painter’s tape
Glitter stickers *optional
A hard surface
A clean damp cloth, followed by a sink close by to wash hands or feet.
A rag or plastic to cover the adult holding the baby and the foot.
A frame to put your artwork in


The first thing you need to do is to tape your sheet of paper on a flat surface, a table preferably. The painter’s tape is safe because it will peel off your table and the paper without causing any damage or leaving glue.

The second step is to prepare all the colours you wish to do. This specific project was ambitious because paint dries fast, so if you are doing a rainbow like we did, you need to work fast and may need to reapply paint on the feet. And that’s ok, it will wash off the feet.

Make sure the baby’s foot is clean of lint. Make sure the adult holding the baby is wearing something to protect their clothing on their leg should the baby move. Use clean brushes, so as many brushes as paint. Apply a coat of paint and start your rainbow, work as fast and as efficiently as you can.

This is essential, you need to hold the baby’s ankle or leg to prevent jerking around and control the print. The adult holding the baby needs to carefully lift the baby, you take over the leg and print it’s foot pressing gently and firmly on the paper. Lift the baby’s foot upright, clean the foot and repeat with the other foot. The print should be clean and crisp. You may want to do a touch up with brushes when you are done.

Once the paint is dry, it will dry quickly. Create the outline of a butterfly with one of your brushes, you can pick any colour you want, go with your child’s decor if you wish. Paint a line in the centre and a head with antennas. Once the paint is dry you can add glitters as accents.

You can make the butterfly in a solid colour too. It would look gorgeous in blue, purple, pink or red. Your imagination is the limit.

Beep! Beep! I’m Back!

It’s been a while since my last entry.

Essentially, life is busy.

This is what I have been up to:

I started working part-time while the kids are at school. Which led me to start a baby/mommy book club with crafts, I also started teaching knitting to adults in the evenings, volunteering at school and still attempting to design my jewelry collection.

Right now, I am also trying to start a mini Etsian Vendor Sale at my work place. If you are crafty and would like to participate, please contact us at All the information is available at

What is Play Café? It’s a family friendly coffee/arts & craft/play area that also hosts birthday parties, pop up vending shops and everything under the moon. We have all types of classes for adults and children.

In fact, we have Lego classes right now that are really interesting.

Instructor: Chris Macdonald



Time: 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Fee: $140 for 8 Sessions

Register at


But I digress. I just started this vendor market idea and I thought, why should we not generate views at a low cost? I can’t expect my employer to ‘lend’ us the shop, but renting tables (like in markets) and paying a minimum cost would be beneficial for all.

What do you think?

And here are some of my latest brooches:








I’m a Vendor at the Made by Hand Show!

Made By Hand

A little while back, I was chatting with a friend who is also an artisan/artist about trying to get into a few Shows to get sales but mostly to gain experience and what a wonderful surprise! We both got in!

This is a great opportunity for me to showcase my creations and get some feedback and hopefully some new customers! Here’s a great treat, they are raffling a $100 a gift certificate! Parking is free and they do have some kid activities. And it’s only $5 to get in, so you know, you are getting a good deal! So go on! Click on the link to win the give away! Spring Made My Show Give Away!

If you are wondering what I am up to, here are some pictures:

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Of course these are only a sample of what I’ve been creating. I haven’t taken pictures yet of all my leather bracelets, bookmarks (perfect teacher’s present) and other goodies on the way. I’m updating my Etsy shop constantly, so go on! Take a tour Little Gems by Luisa

Etsy Finds – Bonjour ma jolie

Hello Sunshine and welcome back! It’s been a long Winter and nothing makes me smile more than seeing the sun and hearing the birds chirp. Well at least for a little bit because Spring is just around the corner. Can’t you see it waving at you – or taunting. Oh well, let’s move on.

I was browsing through Etsy today and discovered another beautiful artist. The shop that I am featuring today is  Lazydoll. Bo is from Cardiff in the UK. The rest is a little bit of mystery. Is she self taught? Is this what she did in the past? I don’t know, but what I do know is that her clutch, wallet, hand painted purse, ipad cases etc are just spectacular. I’m not sure how to describe her style, but I’m guessing that if you walked into a fairy shop, this is what you would find:

Garden bird Hand painted Vintage Purse or

iPhone Case gadget case and probably this

Hot Air Balloon Clutch Bag.

I want it all! I love the colours, the prints, the way she put things together and her painting is incredibly beautiful. I dare you not to find something that you would like.


Meet Arlene MacAusland, she is from Prince Edward Island, Canada. Yay  a Canadian artisan! Arlene is an Indie Designer, a one woman show and a talented one at that. What first caught my eye were her bunnies. I mean how cute are these? Easter Plaid Bunny. At first I thought she only did security blankets with pockets where the bunnies ‘live’. But there is more to Arlene, aside from the bunny blankets, she sells:  bunnies individually, penny rugs, penny rug kids, tin punch, puppets and what she calls “missing socks” and more!

Lesson of the day, if you do not know what penny rugs are Wikipedia describes Penny rugs “are not actual rugs for the floor, but decorative coverings for beds, tables and dressers and mantles.”

She was generous enough to share her latest project with me

hoot and her baby Meet Hoot and her baby. I have a few friends that just adore owls and I would bet that they would love to add this to their collection. How cute are they?  Arlene does takes requests for orders, just email her and she will get on it.

You can view her items in different via her website Twisted Knickers INC , her Facebook page and in her Etsy shop at TwistedKnickersInc.


On another note if you want to visit my shop and get 20% off click here NerdwalletCOUPON

Etsy Finds – Bonjour ma jolie

I’m a new seller in Etsy and I developed a passion for perfection and learning. Etsy is an organic learning process. You not only simply post items online, you need to perfect the art of tagging, titles, pictures, description, promotion, etc.

But then there is the other side. There are other artists out there some that just blow my mind. The level of talent in Etsy is incredible, it doesn’t matter if you want something to wear, to gift or to learn, Etsy has it.

Meet Lynda Moseley. I would just love to sit with her and learn her art. She not only creates incredible quality polymer clay jewelry, she sells beads and offers tutorials! She did an excellent job with everything from presentation to titles. I have a lot to learn from her.

Take a look at this bracelet Licorice leather bracelet and these earrings polymer clay earrings

If you have a chance, please visit her shop in Etsy at DivaDesignsInc.


Meet Yvonne Stewart, she is a talented artist living in St Andrews, Scotland. Her Etsy shop is Coramantic. There are some individuals born to do this.

Her items are  archival giclée prints from original gouache illustrations and mini paintings. If you are wondering what that is, I’ll paraphraseWikipedia as  fine art digital prints made on inkjet printers. This term is used for high quality printing for art work. You can click on the link to get a history, description, etc.

I am personally in love with this Hummingbird print. It’s just stunning and the price is right too at $30.55 CAD.

I can picture this in a bright office, child’s room, classroom etc. Why do we have to be so serious, her work is just beautiful, go for a gallery virtual tour

Have a great day!

Fabulous Etsy Finds – Bonjour ma jolie!

Please come along with me and travel through my Etsy Journey. I would like to introduce you to some fabulous, talented, interesting artists that live within the enormous world of Etsy.

Let me introduce you to Linn Warme. She is a textile designer and artist from Gothenburg, Sweden. She loves making patterns, illustrations and all sorts of crafts.

And so it shows throughout her beautiful work. She sometimes spends hours drawing one piece until she feels it is perfect. She puts a lot of effort in her work. She cuts the pieces by hand and ensures that they are professional from the front and the back. Her packaging is also quite stylish. She may not be your crystal and silver kind of a girl, but she is quite unique. Her style is floral & fauna with a twist of vintage all the while she uses intense colours or black and white. Each piece is quite beautiful.

Why don’t you see for yourself?

Colorful Flower earrings

Purple Christmas Rose Flower Brooch

Flying Flower Birds

Go take a look and take a look at her shop Linnwarme on Etsy.


My next victim 🙂 is Anya. Illustrations by Anya

Anya is a mom, just like me, and just like me she has a passion. She creates illustrations that are quite unique. At first, I only saw the Ketubot or the Ketubah. Do you know what those are? I didn’t until I met Anya and visited her shop. Wikipedia states Ketubah as “… a special type of Jewish prenuptial agreement. It is considered an integral part of a traditional Jewish marriage, and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom, in relation to the bride. Nevertheless, there is no agreement in modern times as to the monetary worth of the ketubah, and its enforceability even inJewish courts is in question even in theory; in practice it is never enforced.[1]

The art itself is so beautiful and magical. Why not have something else besides your wedding bad as a souvenir? Sure there are pictures, videos, keeping the dress or not (depending what you want to do with it). And then there is the Ketubah. Take a look at her shop because I think that it would be a beautiful thing to receive as a gift for the birth of a baby, an engagement present, a housewarming present, an adoption and so on. But Anya doesn’t stop there, she creates interesting designs for children and signage. Her usage of colour is interesting.

Well Anya, I do hope you get many visitors and orders because I know how much essence you put into your shop.


Have a great night and a +!




New Listings

All this snow that has fallen and covered the lovely green grass, the trees and anything else that had colour has turned me into a colour monster 🙂

I’ve created a new collection lately to add colour to all this blah… I can’t take another black or grey scarf, I just can’t it isn’t in me. It’s ok if you like it, I understand. But I have a confession. I love colour. I think the world is prettier in it and happier too. Lets take for example the tropical islands that you can visit. Do you see anyone wearing black from head to toe? Probably not and there is a good reason for it. Black in the sun makes you very very hot. But it also black is also a traditional colour for mourning and I did a lot of that in my time.

Having a young family and seeing the world through their eyes for the first time, trying really hard to slow down and embrace things, I have  come to love colour more and more. It’s hard to slow down, but isn’t it nice when we do?

Here are my latest things posted in my Etsy shop. What do you think?

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A little pink to add to your coat, your hat or perhaps to hold a soft scarf. A lovely purple and pink necklace that adds a touch of Spring. What if you prefer something blue? This lovely blue crochet necklace is perfect for anyone. It is light, and bold enough to make a statement.

Happy trails everyone.


Oh and should you ask how is the knitting going? Please don’t. I twisted my wrist during one of the cold spells we had pushing a stroller, hitting a patch of ice (it felt like an iceberg) and had to put everything down for two weeks. To my dismay, two sweaters were washed in the washer by DH – it’s ok – I know, there were a lot of words that cannot be repeated screamed as I realized what I was pulling out of the washer and then after I calmed down – I thought to myself “well, now I just have to knit two new sweaters”.

So I will be back with some knitting and more if this thing called snow melts and my body isn’t pushed to its limit by dragging to kids to school and back.



DIY Crochet Necklace


These past few days have been difficult. Between the Polar Vortex, the kids getting sick or waking up at night and my new mood swings from lack of sleep, well let’s just say it hasn’t been rainbows and sunshine.

I design one of a kind beaded jewelry out of natural semi precious stones, shell, pearls, crystals, wood and other beads. I try to combine colours that appeal to me and unique ideas.

There are many things that I love to do and one of them is to make jewelry. Jewelry is one of those hobbies that allows me to have almost instant gratification.

The crochet necklaces I make usually find homes pretty quickly. To create one you will need the following material:

IMG_3526IMG_3529IMG_3526 Bead Plate IMG_3541 IMG_3538 IMG_3551 - Version 2 IMG_3550 IMG_3549 - Version 3

Artistic wire or silver wire – gauge should be no less than: 26 or 28
Crochet hook
A selection of beads – I like to use between 25 and 35 beads per strand and you will need to crochet 3 strands. So multiply the number of beads by what you are using in strand number one.
A clasp and a jump ring

Are you ready? First things first, you will need to strand x amount of beads in your wire. Keep track how many you use.

Form a loop with your wire and start single crochet 3 or more hoops. Following this, crochet one bead, leave a space – or not and continue until the rest of the beads are crochet. Do not forget to crochet 3 or more hoops at the end. When you are done, cut your wire making sure you leave about 2 or 3 inches to wrap the wires together and into the clasp.

Once you have done the three crochet beaded strands, twist the end of the strands together and braid the 3 strands. Twist and close the opposite end. You are almost done.

With your pliers, use the tip to wrap the wires around it – do not close it – insert your clasp and wrap around it neatly. When you are done, do the same with the jump ring. Tidy up the ends and cut closely the wires sticking out.

Congratulations you are done!

Do you need help on how to crochet? Check out this tutorial from YouTube: