Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September Make n' Tell Challenge, Day #29 & #30: Gift Wrap for Earrings

Oh, and we've come to the end of the month, which is the official end of the September Make n' Tell Challenge.

This challenge opened up a community within our small group, and has certainly extended outward with our blog followers and friends.  If you are reading this, and would like to be part of our creative community, leave a comment with your blog post, and start the Make n' Tell!

I would like to extend a special thank you to Laura at A Frayed Knot Knits for being so innovative to start the September Make n' Tell Challenge, and for inspiring us to push ourselves beyond the limit!  The original 'rules' can be read here, but Laura has stressed that we all have our own schedules to keep, so these rules are 'bendable'.  I have many other weekly posts that I enjoy writing, but found myself immersed in the creative processes of the many projects I've completed in September.  I found that creating and blogging every day can be daunting, especially when I have so much else I'd like to share by promoting my fellow artisans.  I found that posting a few days' work every two days or so is a little bit easier for my schedule.  I'll still try to post what I make that day, but I will be making something every day!

Now, onto the last two days of the September Make n' Tell Challenge!

Depending on what you make and how much you make, you'd probably would want to gift someone just to exercise the "pay it forward" kindness.  Well, so happens, I have too much stuff from this past month, I don't know what to do with it all!

Day #30: Enter Ann, a friend of mine at work, and office manager of the Long & McQuade Brampton store.  She's a very fashionable lady when it comes to office wear, and we've even done a couple of clothing swaps - the best way to get some really cool clothes for free!  I had picked out two pairs of earrings I had made from Day #14 I thought she and her daughter would really like, and dressed them up all pretty for gift-giving.

Cassandra's Gonna Wear: Outfit #1

I'd like to think that I look pretty put-together when I leave the house for the day, especially for work.  The guys tell me on occasion if I'm extra-stylin', and ask me where I buy my clothes so that they can pass the word to their significant others, or buy them something pretty.  I may be approaching my thirties, but it doesn't mean I have to sacrifice style for the sake of "maturity".  Style is a sign of maturity.  We learn to like new materials and cuts, colours we'd never consider before start to infuse themselves into your wardrobe, and you start buying expensive clothing - but the basic stuff, like your good white button-up dress shirt, your black dress pants, the one, or two (or in my case, five?? why??) LBDs in your closet.  It helps, too, when you dress for a high retail environment, where business professional is the dress code, but you're still pretty active, running around the store at top speed a lot of the time.

I usually put my outfit together the night before because I like to sleep, simply put.  I'll squeeze in a couple more minutes of sleep where I can, without the expense of making myself late.  I could be late for anything else, but sleeping in doesn't sit right with me.  I had been wanting to wear the necklace I had made for September Make n' Tell Challenge: Day #14 for the longest time, but didn't really know how I could debut it in the right setting.  Well, here you go.
I love to wear green and brown.  They're my power colours; I feel grounded and in control of myself when I wear these colours.  I hate shopping for pants because I'm so short (5'2), so it can be really difficult to find the right fit without the fit of the hips landing around my thighs, and the crotch a little too low.  I'm also very slim, and even some smaller sizes can be a little big, which I'm glad for.  I trot over to the kid's section to find some stuff I don't mind destroying at work.

Here's what Cassandra's wearing:
  • Green military-cut khaki jacket, H&M.  The buttons were originally on this jacket, and decided to follow trend and change these buttons.
  • Brown dress pants, Rickis.  I am thankful for their amazing selection of petite styles, especially their wrinkle-free pants that seem to survive anything.
  • Yellow eyelet short-sleeve blouse, Value Village purchase; H&M.  This was a lucky find at my local Value Village for $3.  I couldn't tell you how much this shirt would have cost from H&M, but most likely much more than that.  
  • White eyelet camisole, Stitches.  I wear these out constantly, and I own a few of these.  They're in the washer often, and I wear them often underneath loose blouses.  They're adorable when worn alone in the summer with a cute skirt, too!
  • The bangles are a collection massed over a couple of years that I wear all the time.  I tend to switch between this brown-band Quartz watch and a wide black-band Dickies watch, depending on the outfit.  This one's the brown one!
  • Om bracelet, CNE/Arts & Crafts Building; Design by Cassandra.  I had purchased the bracelet a few years ago at the CNE Arts & Crafts Building, but it had broken.  I had fixed it and added the moonstones with the wood beads and had restored the paint job of the Om symbol on the wood piece.  I used to wear this bracelet all the time, which is probably why it broke.
  • Tiger eye necklace and matching earring set, Design by Cassandra.  I had made this set from some of the spoils of my CNE booty on Day #14 and I was so happy with the result.  
I think I'll post more outfits, and try my best to incorporate my own jewelry into my everyday outfits.  Leave a comment, let me know what you think!

Wordless Wednesday, Issue #6: Guitars


Some of the axes around the house.

Photography credit: Cassandra Watsham

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Moral Obscenity 101: Kanye West

This is an editorial by the author.  Any comments made are of the author, and the author alone, unless otherwise stated.  I welcome your thoughts on this post.  (Resources:, Youtube)

For those who have been avoiding all things pop culture and relative news these past few weeks, you would have learned that at the 2009 MTV Video Awards, upon earning her win for Best Female Video for 'You Belong With Me', Taylor Swift was interrupted by professional jackass rapper/hip-hop artist Kanye West, who stormed the stage, stole the microphone out of Taylor's frozen hands, and stood shocked as he declared that Beyonce's video 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)' was the "best video of all time", to the shock, amazement and disapproval of the packed theatre.  Since, he has sparked the international catchphrase "and I'mma let ya finish ..."

For me, this was the straw the broke my Kanye camel's back.

Monday, September 28, 2009

September Make n' Tell Challenge, Day #26 to #28: Meet the Flintstones!

My goodness, where has this month gone?  Idle hands, they say!  Thank the stars for the September Make n' Tell Challenge, or I would be getting into so much trouble! 

The past couple of days my computer had been hijacked for a Season 5 marathon of Lost, and since it's not released on DVD yet, we've been watching it online.  I'm all gung-ho about making more Lost-themed pieces and have sketched some ideas out, but my brain's not quite there yet.  During this marathon, I've been hard at work at some more jewelry, just because it's the easiest to make when watching television.

I really can't quite remember which one started where, and when I finished them, so I'd like to consider this the the fruits of the past few days, in no particular order.


Finding some more critters from the depths of the dollar store treasures that keep popping up the past week or so, here's a stingray and a turtle ... or is it a tortoise?  Either way, they have pinbacks to adorn your favourite fishing hat!  I really like the stingray and may keep it, buuuuuut ... ah, we'll see.

Friday, September 25, 2009

September Make n' Tell Challenge, Day #23 to #25: A Little Too Much Television

Oh boy ...

I fell asleep last night with the television on during my rewatch of Lost on DVD, without posting my September Make n' Tell Challenge! (For those interested, I'm in Season 4 right now.  Kate and Jack just found Juliet, Daniel and Charlotte outside the Tempest station, just after the 'toxic gas' was 'made inert' so that it would kill everyone on The Island.  Trust me, you have to watch this show, especially with the last season airing in January 2010.)  I also haven't been in the greatest of health, still fighting the after-effects of a cold and all, but I've certainly been hard at work. 

Day #23 brought us a new trail mix!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

High Fashion Thursday, Issue #5: Special TIFF 2009 Edition!

Hello, my pretties, and welcome to another edition of High Fashion Thursday!

Every year I say to myself that I plan on going to the Toronto International Film Festival, that I'll buy the pass that will get me into any movie that I want, and take some vacation time from work so that I can devote a good schedule to some marathon movie-watching a few rows away from celebrities.  It would also give me a great excuse to wear some of those fabulous dresses I have in my closet just dying for a night out.

I couldn't make it this year, but that's beside the point.  I'm just more sorry that I didn't get a chance to see these beautiful works of wearable art with my own eyes.  Take a look and see what I mean!

Jennifer Connelly at Roy Thomson Hall for Creation, wearing Bogetta Veneta

Drew Barrymore at Ryerson Theatre for Whip It..., wearing Alexander McQueen

Amanda Seyfried at Ryerson Theatre for Jennifer's Body, wearing Valentino

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday, Issue #7: "And What Do You Do?"


What was that thing that President Obama said about putting lipstick on a pig?  It's like putting a musician in a suit and tie.

These are some of the awesome people I work with at Long & McQuade Musical Instruments.

Photography credit: Cassandra Watsham

Three Cheers for Glory St. Germain!

I received an email from Glory last week or so, saying that she had ordered me a 'guitar hoodie', and would like my mailing address. You may remember this lady's shining face from the Ultimate Music Theory & Full Voice Workshop at Long & McQuade Brampton, and our visit at the MIAC/PAL 2009 trade show.

Well, to my surprise, look what arrived in the mail today, and I wore proudly to work!

We dress the professional bunch here at Long & McQuade Musical Instruments, with our shirts tucked in and ties presentable ... well, the guys, at least ... sometimes I wear a tie when I feel like it ... anyway, you know, we're professional salespeople and treat it as such.  It can also be pretty physical, running around the store, lifting heavy and large instrument cases, so wearing something like this wildly awesome and my new favourite hooded zip-up sweater to end all sweaters! would be absolutely appropriate, instead of the occasional constricting jacket or blazer.

I guess you've figured out that I absolutely love this guitar hoodie, and will be wearing it faithfully to work, well, every day!  Perfect fit and will be a very stylish layer in the chilly winter when they leave the Rental Dept. door open!

Thank you so much, Glory!  What a generous gift from a shining star!  Look in your mailbox - because I have your mailing address, too!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

September Make n' Tell Challenge, Day #22: Decorating a Tote & New Jewelry

Da da da daaaa de daaaaaaaa!  And they're out the gate!  It's the September Make n' Tell Challenges' final lap!

My schedule can be a little backward to most, I guess.  I am doing 'Makes' every day, just unfortunately I don't get to post every day.  Some are a day behind, yes, but I'll tell you a secret - I edit the post date!  I want to make sure I'm in line with everyone else, I guess ...

Well, without furthur ado, here's today's (ahem, yesterday's) Make n' Tell!

Remember these fun friends that I found at the dollar store?

I've started with the frog, yes, and have moved to the butterflies now.  I was thinking of ways other than jewelry I could do to use these critters, which made me think of this tote I had lying around for the longest time.  I bought it at my local Shoppers Drug Mart on clearance for $2.50.  Just a plain one, waiting to be graffiti'd.  Not bad, eh?

Monday, September 21, 2009

September Make n' Tell Challenge, Day #21: Scarab necklace

Whew! Just made it for today's September Make n' Tell Challenge!

Today's also a short one, and something so familiar ... well, I've returned to Agnes' beads to make a necklace with a combination of beads that had been haunting me, but I haven't been able to make something I really liked.  I think I finally came up with something.


The long striped rectangle bead is just one of a string that I bought at Walmart in their sale bin, and the turquoise scarab is something that I've always end up including in a piece, only to be destroyed later to make something else.  I think this one'll stick for now, at least for a while.

Well, there you have it!  Two close calls on the past few days, but I have more exciting projects lined up.  I think I have to start thinking of my Halloween costume soon.

What did my September Make n' Tell Challenge friends do today?

A Frayed Knot Knits

BeadCrazed by Lisa Lutz


Designs by Victoria

Life Stiles

Mrs Gryphon

The Tote Trove

previous September Make n' Tell Challenges:
Day #2 - The first Make n' Tell giveaway! Congrats to Tracy from The Tote Trove!
Day #10 & #11
Day #12 - Happy Birthday, Dad!
Day #13
Day #14 
Day #15
Day #16 & #17

Sunday, September 20, 2009

September Make n' Tell Challenge, Day #20: 'Renewing' A Favourite Coat

... and in the left corner, weighing in at 30 days, in the dark trunks - the September Make n' Tell Challenge! *bing bing!*

To be completely honest, I didn't do too much today as supposed to past days, so to speak.  I've been catching up on the whole blogging thing, but managed to do something in the spirit of procrastinating projects.

I have this dahling peacoat jacket cropped at the waist, and like many of my other favourite coats I wear the lining out of, the buttons were falling off.  They were nice buttons, don't get me wrong.  I mean, take a look - I could probably put them somewhere else, right?  Whaddayou think?  What shall I do with these?  (Leave a comment on this post with your suggestion!)

I've replaced 'em with these sparkly ones from a dollar store!!


Nothing spruces up a fall jacket better than a change of buttons!

Today's a short one for now, because I really gotta get to bed.  Don't forget to visit my other September Make n' Tell Challenge friends to see what they're up to!

A Frayed Knot Knits

BeadCrazed by Lisa Lutz


Designs by Victoria

Life Stiles

Mrs Gryphon

The Tote Trove

previous September Make n' Tell Challenges:
Day #2 - The first Make n' Tell giveaway! Congrats to Tracy from The Tote Trove!
Day #10 & #11
Day #12 - Happy Birthday, Dad!
Day #13
Day #14 
Day #15
Day #16 & #17

Patrick Swayze 1952-2009

"I dream that the word 'cure' will no longer be followed by the words 'it's impossible'. Together, we can make a world where cancer no longer means living with fear, without hope, or worse"
Speaking at the multi-network simulcast of Stand Up For Cancer in September 2008, appealing to the general public to make donations for the cause.
Patrick Swayze was a big part of my adolescence.  Not a day went by between the ages of 12 and 16 where my sister and I wouldn't put Dirty Dancing in the VCR and sing along to every song he and Jennifer Grey danced to.  To us, it was the epitome of the 'converted bad boy' that we dreamed to meet one day.  Dirty Dancing still remains to be one of my favourite movies.

So to hear that Patrick had passed away after suffering from pancreatic cancer since January 2008, I was happy to hear he wasn't suffering anymore, but still confused and sad that someone I consider so young to be taken away from us so soon.

Photography: Nature Walk

Nick and I took a little nature walk out behind one of Brampton's many parks and nature trails.  I brought my camera along as we went for a stroll.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

September Make n' Tell Challenge, Day #18 & #19: Dollar Store Couture

What time is it, kids?  It's September Make n' Tell Challenge Time!  (While a diddy close to 'Howdy Doody' dances in my head.)

I'm sure folks can agree with me, when you're on a roll, you're on a roll.  I am a machine.  I find myself on the third piece of the night, and it's almost 3:30 in the morning.  Yep, I have a job, and I should get some sleep for it.  So, I do pardon for the tardiness in the post.  So, this'll be another combination of two days' fruition.

I would like to make a point that I do become obsessive with finishing a piece at times if I know that I can do it within a reasonable amount of time.  I do know my limits, sometimes I push them just to relieve some 'creative pressure'.  I can get multiple ideas at a time, and would want to start them all, but if one thing that this month's challenge has taught me, is to finish the project I start.  So, excited to start the project after the one I'm currently working on, I focus on the current piece and finish it as quickly and efficiently as possible, so that I don't really have to go back to it again.  Sure, on occasion, I may pull out a piece I had made a while back, see it with 'fresh' eyes and change either something, if not the entire piece.  It's the nature of growth that our tastes and preferences change.  It's always best to embrace them and let them take you where they may, even if it's something you weren't entirely confident in - hey, at least you tried!

We participants of the September Make n' Tell Challenge have already delved into things that we may not have taken a second glance at, or haven't glanced in an eternity, or even glanced once in our dreams, we accomplish this on this month, the month where we begin to believe that anything through hard work and focus is more than possible.  How's that!

Ah, man - and this cold isn't shaking.  I think it was psyching me out when I was feeling better, except for this dumb cough.  (Generally I would use a stronger expletive than 'dumb', but this is a family show, folks, but that stronger expletive is more accurate to how I feel.)

Yesterday ... well, I mean, on Day #17, I was inspired by Victoria's piece to reuse some of her chains, and thought of the pile of chain I had sitting in a 'hardware' container.  I had always envied the girls - and guys - who could pull of the 'multi-chain' look, especially with eclectic and exotic charms.  I love Victoria's necklace she created on Day #16, incredibly elegant; I picture it on a bride!

I'm starting to delve into a more boho-meets-urban look on accessories with a project I might be undertaking, and figure I'd start with a more rock n' roll look for my multi-chain necklace.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

September Make n' Tell Challenge, Day #16 & #17: Fruit for the Trail Mix & A New Bangle Necklace

Well, make it a September Make n' Tell Challenge, 'Point n' Laugh' Part Deux.

It had been a while since I worked a 'burn shift' (working an 'open to close' shift), and didn't realize how tired I was until I fell asleep reading and woke up at 4 am!  Nick had left to go to the weekly jam session at Tracks Brewpub for a couple of hours, and found Edward, my new kitten, curled up under my chin, and me askew on the bed with book on the floor, both of us asleep.  I wish he had taken a picture.  He then came to bed, and when I finally awoke at this ungodly hour, I couldn't get back to sleep.  It didn't concern me much, because I knew I'd be sleepy in another hour or so.

Well, remember the fruit in the dehydrator?  I snuck a peek and they turned out pretty good!  I think I might have let them sit a little too long for my liking, but they're still tasty.  Now, with all this dried fruit, what could I do with it?

Did I hear someone say 'trail mix' ... with a 'Cassandra twist'?  Oh, yes!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday, Issue #6: Kittens


Bug and Edward, 3 weeks old.

Photography credit: Cassandra Watsham 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September Make n' Tell Challenge, Day #15: Fruit in the Evening ...

Good day to all!  It's time for the September Make n' Tell Challenge of the day!

I have a food deyhydrater my parents had given me when I had moved out.  My stepmom tries to snack healthy all the time, but even chocolate can defeat the best of 'em.  It's been sitting in the kitchen for ages, and I've decided now that I'm not infested with the evil cold, I'd cut some fruit and put it to work!  I started with apples the other day to make sure it's still working ... it does!  So, I've loaded the dehydrater this evening with a cornucopia of fruits - peaches, grapes and strawberries.

We'll see tomorrow morning how they look!

I'll be working a double shift tomorrow, so this is an earlier night than most.  I'll be catching up with my September Make n' Tell friends tomorrow evening!  Why don't you pay them a visit, and tell them I say hello!

A Frayed Knot Knits

BeadCrazed by Lisa Lutz


Designs by Victoria

Life Stiles

Mrs Gryphon

The Tote Trove

previous September Make n' Tell Challenges:
Day #2 - The first Make n' Tell giveaway! Congrats to Tracy from The Tote Trove!
Day #10 & #11
Day #12 - Happy Birthday, Dad!
Day #13
Day #14

Monday, September 14, 2009

September Make n' Tell Challenge, Day #14: Fun With Beads from Artfaerie!

Weee! A special September Make n' Tell Challenge!  Why?  Because my Etsy purchase from arrived today in the mail!


I had purchased the red adventurine hearts and turquoise chips, and was surprised to receive some surprises in store!  Agnes had also included the pink glass leaves, circle shell pieces, a small container of brown crystal beads, and these great silver endcaps!  How generous this lovely lady is!  Thank you very much, Agnes!  I was so inspired when I put everything together that I had my tools out as soon as I got home from work.  So, for this Make n' Tell Challenge, I made a bunch of stuff using the beads from Agnes' package, and mixed in a couple of my own.  Take a look!

Etsy Monday! Will Be Postponed ...

... until September 21st!  I never thought the 'Back to School' season would start off so busy-like!

In the meantime, I hope everyone had a great Labour Day weekend and the start of school doesn't jar you too much, and I'll have lots to talk about - my latest September Make n' Tell Challenges, Nick and I spend the day at the Canadian National Exhibition, Lost appreciation art, Etsy stuff and more!

Talk soon, everybody!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

September Make n' Tell Challenge: Day #13: Bangle Ornaments

What do we have here?  Another September Make n' Tell Challenge!

Nick and I didn't end up going to the World War I Air Show today, as he has caught my cold.  I'm just getting over it, and he is just starting up.  I called Dad to cancel, because I really don't want to get him sick.  He understood.  He did come by before he went to the show so that I could give him the card I made him yesterday.  He loved it!

I have been working on some ideas and items to make with a bunch of traditional Indian bangles I had bought from my local Value Village.  I had already made some necklaces using these bangles as part of the pendant design, and will be posting some of them as designs.  I had also come up with another idea to make ornaments out of the bangles, and enlisted the help of Katee, Nick's sister, to put together some bangle-and-bead combinations last night and set them aside for me.

She came up with a bunch!

Making a Wedding Gift Basket: A Zen Dinner for Two

The tricky job of shopping for a wedding present when there's no registry calls for some creativity.  Most purchase wedding presents that provide functionality, like small appliances, flatware, linens and the like, so when it comes to the practical presents you think might be duplicated, what does one shop for?  How do you give a gift of originality, something that will stand out from the rest?  You already know the answer if you're reading this - you create something!

Gift baskets and 'care kits' are a joy for me to make.  I'm always the person who will find a great present for someone, and afterwards find a few more items that would compliment the present extremely well.  This used to be a habit of 'overspending' on Christmas and birthdays, because I always tend to start shopping early.  As of late, I had changed those habits slightly to curb my overspending by starting with a main gift, and purchasing smaller gifts themed around it.  Find a decorative storage basket, bin or bucket, purchase some cellophane to wrap it all together, and you have a fantastic little package full of neat little toys, tidbits, trinkets and treasures!

So, for a great wedding present for Megan and Mike, two very good friends of mine who were married in April 2009, I had constructed (with Nick's help!) the Zen Dinner for Two Gift Basket, with all the flatware and servingware a couple will need for a relaxing dinner at home!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

September Make n' Tell Challenge, Day #12: Happy Birthday Dad!

Hidey-ho, crafterinos! Time for another September Make n' Tell Challenge, neighbour-oonie!

Well, the congestion's still there, as well as a phegmy cough, but I keep plenty of tissue around.  I'm happy to say that I feel much better, and I'm able to breath through my nose without the aid of a decongestant.  Nick says that I sound really cute, too, with a stuffed-up nose, so I'm sure he's disappointed by now. 

It's my Dad's birthday today! He and my stepmom have been awfully busy lately, so I wasn't entirely sure if I would have a chance to see him. I am a good daughter, though, I did wish him a happy birthday, and has invited Nick and I to watch an Air Show at the Brampton Flying Club, featuring replica planes from World War I! Right up Dad's alley. With our family being full of war vets and heroes, we both have an appreciation for its history. We're looking forward to spending time with Dad and seeing a piece of history!

I do get to see Dad for his birthday!  Oh, what should I make for him?  He's always been one to say, "Just get me a card, that's all I need," and with the fact that my parents are trying to 'downsize', so to speak, I wouldn't want to get him something else they'd have to dust.  So, taking a cue from Mrs Gryphon's blog in the spirit of handmade cards, I decided to pull out my watercolour paints after years of hibernation and try something, well, not very complicated.

I like how it turned out.  Take a look!

Since going with the theme of airplanes, I thought I'd give him one for his birthday!

Friday, September 11, 2009

September Make n' Tell Challenge, Day #10 & #11: Finishing the Resized Bracelet

Thanks to everybody for the well wishes!  It's just a nasty cold, s'all.  I'll be heading to work tomorrow come headache or cough because I'm suffering from 'cabin fever'.  At least I kept my hands busy!

Lots of housework during the day, and the evening to catch up on some projects.  So, without furthur ado, I give you the September Make n' Tell Challenge for Day #9 and Day #10 - in one post!

The first was 'fixing' the bracelet I had bought at the CNE when Nick and I spent the day.  The bracelet came from 'The Painted Lady' booth for $10!  I love the leaves, and I'm always a big fan of off-beat colour combinations, like the pink rhinestones with the black and brown stones.  It was a little long, so I managed to sacrifice two leave and make earrings.  I did those yesterday, but here's a picture of them!

Here's a picture of the original bracelet ...


And here's a picture of the new bracelet!

(Pardon the slight colour difference - the light had burnt out and I'm using a desk lamp.)

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