Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Creative Process

The Inspiration
You never know when inspiration will strike. Yesterday I received an email about Crate Paper's new line called Fourteen. I fell in love immediately. Are you surprised? I truly LOVE that company. Look for that line in store in the upcoming weeks!

That email then lead me to Crate's blog. Ahhhh. Crate's blog. It is so pretty and inspiring. There was nothing in particular on the site that made me think, I HAVE to do this or replicate that. But it just had me thinking, I NEED to craft!

The Supplies
So I decided to pull out a frame I bought at Winners back in the spring. It was $19.99 and then marked down numerous times. It was scratched and in rough shape but what did I care? I was going to give it the Paper Pickle touch and they only helped me by adding a few scratches!

The Photos
I also decided to work with some photos that my sister Krystle took of the kids in May. Honestly, why have I not created with these before? The photo shoot is amazing....taken in the bush behind my brother's house. We set up a vintage bed that Krys bought from a customer of ours (thanks Kay!) and added a few vintage props and voila! Magical!

The Process

When I am creating, I like to pull out all and ANY supply that I think matches my photos or theme. And yes, I do go to the archives....old rub-ons, chipboard, and miscellaneous trinkets that were saved over the years from clothing tags to thread spools.

And then I do a basic layout of the photos....Shuffling from here to there. Next, I start throwing the embellishments at the project to see what "goes". Sometimes it just takes that one perfect embellishment to pull it all together to get the creative wheel rolling full steam ahead. That perfect accent or accents in this case were the thread spools. I knew they HAD to grace this project. As a side, I picked up a ziplock bag of spools from an estate sale months ago. I had no clue when I would use them but I knew they would be perfect for something! My advice is to not let those perfect little finds go. Pick them up. They may be just the thing you need for that next project!

Distress Your Heart Out
I distressed the frame with the heart distressing tool from We R and a nail file! I then added some rub-ons (notice how perfectly they were applied...ha!). I then took some random stamps and black staz-on and stamped sporadically. Various colours of distress ink was used to reapply colour to the distressed frame.

It's all about the Details
As I mentioned, the thread spools were THE perfect accent. I also used the beautiful diecut banners from Basic Grey's Lucille collection, Dear Lizzy and MME chipboard pieces, a cloth tag from one of Julia's dresses with a subtle Unity stamp applied. The saying was perfect "Let us play in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see." Ah. Love.

The Feeling

I don't know about you, but whenever I create anything, I can't stop looking at it. I take it everywhere I go just so I can study it a little more to see if I forgot anything. Then I like to share it! I sent a text to two sisters at midnight last night to get their approval. Krystle messaged immediately. Ah. Sweet success....she approved! What do you think? I know it will look perfect on my mantel!

Open today until 3pm. Stop in and see the project for yourself! If not, I wish you a Happy New Year! May 2013 be filled with creative victories and much joy!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Introducing...Homebaked Kitchen Company

I left you with a little teaser about a new bakery in town!  Well here are the details....

I introduce to you, Homebaked Kitchen Company....
Many of you may not be familiar with the name but you have definitely seen her product if you have attended any special event at The Paper Pickle including last year's Christmas Open House, the fun shopping event we had in April or Magenta's card class.  You guessed it....Homebaked Kitchen Company is owned by the one and only, Jen Aitken - my youngest sister!

Here is the proud owner at her bridal shower last year.
Yes, we MADE her bake for her own shower!
Here are a few pictures of some of Jen's beautiful creations.
Her gorgeous cupcake display from a wedding at The Retro Suites.

Everything Jen creates is an original recipe baked
with special care and amazing attention to detail.

Homebaked Kitchen Co's creations are as tasty as they are beautiful.

More than Cupcakes
More details are to follow about Homebaked's offerings but all I can say is that Jen makes the most moist and beautiful looking cakes and sweet baked treats!

Gift Certificates Available
Anyone interested in the perfect last minute gift should grab one of Homebaked Kitchen Company's Gift Certificates!  They can be made out in any denomination or why not buy a gift certificate for one dozen cupcakes ($18+hst) or two dozen cupcakes ($30+hst)?  I will be taking orders for gift certificates at The Paper Pickle today (Saturday 9am-3pm) and gift certificates can be picked up on Christmas Eve at the Pickle from (10-1pm).  You can also call Jen at 519.365.2398 or email to make your own arrangements.

Pre-Christmas Store Hours
The Paper Pickle is open today from 9am-3pm (Saturday) and then again on Monday (December 24th) from 10-1pm for any last minute grabs!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gift Certificates and Holiday Hours

Oh my!  Are we getting close to the BIG day or what?  The kiddies are getting so excited.  We had one Christmas concert last night for the Montessori school (was it ever adorable with the kids doing Irish dance and playing 'We wish you a merry Christmas' using only bells!).  Tomorrow is another Christmas concert.  Julia gets to play Mary!  I was so excited when I heard and then asked the girl how she was chosen.  She said it was because she told the teacher she had a blue dress!  Ha!  Well she does but not exactly right so we had to improvise by cutting one of hubby's dress shirts!  Don't tell!

Gift Certificates
I know many of you know this already, but The Paper Pickle does offer gift certificates starting at $10 (in $5 increments).  You can stop by the store during our store hours to grab one or email me at and I can get that ready for you and meet at an alternate time!'s that easy!

Holiday Hours
Just wanted to let you know the hours of the Pickle over the next couple weeks:

Wednesday December 19 - 10am-5pm
Thursday December 20 - 10am-4pm
Saturday December 22 - 9am-3pm
Monday December 24 - 10am-1pm
Thursday December 27 - 10am-4pm
Saturday December 29 - 9am-3pm
With regular Store Hours resuming the first week of January.

We will continue to be open Wednesdays (10am-5pm), Thursdays (10am-4pm) and Saturdays (9am-3pm) until advised otherwise.  I think you guys are liking these hours so why change it!?!

I will leave you with a little teaser.  I want you to be the first to know.....there is a brand new bakery in town!  I will be posting details in the next day about how you can get these amazing little treats!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Back to Simpler Times - A New Concept?

So I normally like to post at least a couple of times a week to keep you guys in the loop with the happenings of The Paper Pickle.  I share new product information, special events and sometimes often ramble on about my life.  Today I am having a very difficult time finding words that will be light and entertaining.  With the events of yesterday, I think many of us have found ourselves touched and altered permanently.  It's funny how this can be the case, when many of us have no direct connection.  What got me what when I was watching 20/20 and they interviewed this little girl who was missing her two front teeth.  She reminded me so much of my daughter, Julia.  It was if that could have been her.  What if that was her?  What if she had been there?

Back to Simpler Times
This leads me to my point.  It is something I have been wanting to do for sometime now.....I think it is time to get back to simpler times and I think you guys are just the people to help me lead the charge.  It is time for all of us to slow down.  To not do things just so we can check them off our list.  Remember, each of these moments, each of these to-do items make up our life.  This is your life!

I would like to start posting little things on the blog about things we can do to bring joy to others through our love of the hobby.  If we all start doing these little things, I believe we can bring more love to those we know, more appreciation for others in the communities in which we live and ultimately more peace in our lives.

A Small Application - Gift Wrapping
Take wrapping your gifts for example.  Are you the type who runs to the dollar store, buys any old bag and tissue just so wrapping will be a breeze?  There is nothing wrong with this practice but do you realize how much fun and meaningful it can be to wrap a gift?  Here is what I like to do....turn on some music - ideally music that reminds you of that special person or when all else fails, how about some Christmas tunes?  Then go to my collection of wrapping paper (notice the key word here...collection!  I LOVE paper in ALL forms!) and pick a paper that I know that special person will love and I take my time adding little goodies like ribbons and tags or other fun embellishments (and we all know we got a few of those!).  All of this must coordinate with the gift and person in mind.  Have a look at the gift I just wrapped for my cousin's baby shower.  It uses very inexpensive kraft wrap, a little twine and literally scraps of decorative paper I had in my pile.  A little money spent and little extra time but a big payout when I see her smile....

Assembled with love....the adorable hat was attached with a large glue dot to keep it in place.

The gift without the adorable bear hat.
I once heard someone say "No one notices the packaging or wrapping."  Really?  When you take that little extra time to pull a gift together, that person will know that you thought of them all the while.  I do know there are others out there who will agree with this idea and live by it.  Now don't get me wrong....the packaging and wrapping does not have to be extravagant.  It can be some old kraft packaging paper like I used here or newspaper shredded and crimped in the bottom of a fun basket or jar or what about wrapping a baby gift with reusable swaddle blankets or cheese cloth?  This use to be common practice in simpler times....ah.  Simpler times.

I would love to hear some of the simple things you do to bring joy to others through your love of hobbies.  Please feel free to share here on the blog or come in and chat.  I know gift wrapping ideas will not change the world, but maybe our mindsets while partaking in these activities will....


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Great Gift Ideas - For Tweens & Teens

So what do you think of these gift idea blog posts?  I am constantly amazed with all the beautiful product.  There are so many awesome things that it is nice to see everything by theme!

So do you have a teen or tween on your gift list this year?  Worried that they are spending too much time on their phones texting?  Why not keep their hands and minds active by crafting! Check it out!  Do they still say that?  Or am I to say, "this product is sick!"

Amy Tangerine Mini Albums & Accessories

These albums are the perfect little projects for a teen or tween.  They are small enough to not be overwhelming but have enough pages to add lots of goodies like photos, concert stubs, love letters....oooooh! Each album includes fun stickers and pre-printed pages to prompt creativity.  Here is a book opened up so you can see just how fun and eclectic it is!
There are also many accessories that go with this Amy Tan line (die cuts, tabs, etc).  Albums range from $6.99-8.99 depending on size.  We have three designs in stock now!

 Washi Tape
Ok.  Check out how sick this is!  OK...I will NEVER get use to that saying!  Rewind....check out how sick cool this product is!  Decorative washi tape.....use it instead of ribbon to dress up a page, card or box!  Wouldn't this washi tape go great with the album above!?!  There are a few other patterns at The Pickle!

Basic Grey Card Kit

I know I keep posting about this but look how adorable these cards are!  Kits are $14.99 and include instructions and all supplies to make 12 cards (four of each design!).  I made these last week.  I was so impressed with the step by step instructions.  Have your kids put them together for their teacher's gift or for a grandparent or special friend! 

Echo Park Mini Theme Collections
Brand new to The Pickle.....These collections are so fun.  You get 6 double sized 12x12 sheets of paper and a large sheet of themed stickers ($7.75).  I love the number of different collections available!  Have a look...there is something for anyone!

Smash Books

As you know, these are the perfect go-to gift for anyone....especially hard to buy for TEENS!  You know what I think of them.....yes.  I swoon over them!  Watch the video and you will have to buy one for everyone on your list.  Priced at $14.99 per album and accessories from $2.50-3.50 they are a no brainer.  Dare me to sweeten the pot for all you blog fans, yet again?  Between NOW and Christmas, buy a Smash Book (any size) and receive an accessory FREE ($2.50 value)!  

Hope to see you this week!  Open Wednesday 10am-5pm, Thursday 10am-4pm and Saturday 9am-3pm!


PS....You have all been asking and I forgot to post, but the winner of the amazing Christmas Open House basket was Linda Ritchie!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Stockings were hung...

Time for a few more Christmas gift ideas.  Today's theme is stocking stuffers!  Which, by the way, could be pretty much anything in our store but I have narrowed it down for you!  All of these amazing photos are brought to you by my incredibly talented sister, Krystle aka the photographer sister!

Glitter Ritz
So you thought all glitter was created equal?  I'm sorry but I must tell you that it is not.  Glitter Ritz is the most elegant glitter on the marker.  I know elegant may be a funny word to describe glitter but this product takes glitter to a whole other level.  It is so sparkly, and soft....and a little jar lasts forever!  Priced at $5.95 at the Pickle, I don't think you will find it cheaper anywhere else!  Did you hear we have a million more colours in stock now!  I know a few of you were looking for the limited edition colours and I am sorry to admit that they have stuck to their word and they are definitely limited editions!

Pencil Crayons
We only carry the best at The Paper Pickle and these Prismacolor Pencils are the best!  The colour palette is unreal and the lead is so blendable.  You use gamsol and paper stomps to blend these babies (also perfect size for your stocking!).  A nice product to use on their own or in combination with copic markers.  As a side, we still have many Copic colours to choose from ($6.49 per marker) but I will tell you that once they are gone, they are gone.  Anyone needing refills, I would be happy to order them in for you anytime ($7.99 each).  Go on.....get some coloured pencils in your hand and feel like a kid again!

I wonder how many strands of ribbon could fit in my stocking?  Could you imagine?  As you know, we love ribbon at the Pickle and we have a great selection priced at $1.00 per strand!  Come on in and find that perfect colour to wrap a special gift!

Tim Holtz Embellishments
Anything Tim would be just fine in my stocking this year....hint....hint!  Wonder if Santa reads my blog?  Anyways, we have tons of Tim back in for the season.  Have you seen this adorable film strip (I forget the price...sorry!) and his tissue tape (9.99 for two rolls)?  We have also brought in his adorable tiny fastener ($17.50) and his unbelievable (and NEW) tissue wrap (9.99).  It is soooooo beautiful!

I better get going.....15 minutes until work starts!  Darn.  I'm not sure who came up with this start time, but they are fired!  Ha!  Open Saturday 9am - 3pm!  See you later!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The most wonderful time of the year - Christmas Product

So I promised in my last blog that I was going to bombard you with pictures (including pricing) of all the new items we have in store now!  A promise is a promise.  As there are too many new items and as not to over stimulate you, I decided to pick a theme.  Today's theme is....Christmas!

Authentique Festive 12x12 Collection ($18.99)
Includes 2 sheets of stickers and double sided cardstock.

Authentique Festive 6x6 pads ($6.00)
 24 sheets of double sided cardstock with a reduced pattern

Authentique Peaceful 12x12 Collection ($18.99)
Two sticker sheets and double sided cardstock

Authentique Peaceful 6x6 Pads - ($8.00)
There are 36 double sided sheets in this pad so a little more
but totally worth it for that gorgeous array of papers!
My LYB - Winterings 6x6 Paper Pad ($6.00)
Great combination of colours.

Big Shots ($99.99)
They are in stock but they go quickly this time of the year.
A little  bonus for my loyal readers...mention you saw this post
and you will receive a two pack of textured impressions folders
(your choice) when purchasing this item.

Sizzix Textured Impressions - ($11.99)
Basic Grey designs (so of course I love these!)
Includes two folders and a bonus die!
There are now 4 different designs in stock now!

Sizzix Textured Impressions - ($11.99)
Two designs from our buddy Tim

Sizzix Textured Impressions - ($11.99)
Another Tim!
What do you think?  Did I give you some ideas for last minute Christmas cards and projects?  We are open today!  Wednesday 10am-5pm.  Hope to see you soon!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Get what YOU want locally - Why not order from The Pickle?

I just love how my customers are so open with suggestions and ways to make The Paper Pickle even better!  Let me share a little story with you....last week a woman (let's call her J) emailed me and asked if I had the Tim Holtz Distress Markers in the store.  I proceeded to tell her that I did not but I would LOVE to order them in for her.  I told her that between my two suppliers, I can pretty much order ANY paper crafting items in.  I thanked her for thinking of "The Pickle" first for this purchase.  And this is when the magic happened, the "ah-ha" moment if you will....She said "who else would I think of?  Order them online and spend my money out of country when our own country needs it so badly.  I believe in keeping our spending in our own country".  Whoa.  I couldn't help but rub my eyes and wonder if I was reading correctly.  And you know what J, what if we even took that thought one step closer and say "I believe in keeping our spending in our own city...the city of Chatham-Kent"?  

I will not go on and on about this but I will say that this email conversation taught me two three lessons:
  1. It is time for me to better promote the fact that I can order items in for you.  I would love to help you find the products you drool over when seen on the various blogs!  I mean, I'm drooling over here wondering if you guys would even like it and if I should bring it in!  Your requests would give me that little push that I sometimes need!!  NOW, the best way for me to help you is for you to send me an email to  I check this email account regularly throughout the day from my computer or phone (my new boss does not mind!).  If you give me the company name, item name and number, I can tell you quickly whether I can get it in or not.  Most new items are available!  The times I run into trouble is when the items have been out for a while and may now be out of production.  I find with paper crafting, you have to grab the product while you can.  OR trouble occurs if it is a product called Memory Box.  This company is SO hot, it is almost impossible to get these dies in....FYI:  my order is expected THIS week!  I know all of you looking for THE window die will be happy!
  2. It is time for me to list my pricing online (or on the blog at least) for all items that I have brought in for us.  That way, you can see that it is my mission to be price competitive and there is no need to order from The WKW Co. (that's short for Who Knows Who Company) online!
  3. There are people out there that "get it"....this give me hope as a small business owner.
Thank you to those of you who choose The Paper Pickle.  Your patronage does not go unnoticed.


PS...Look for many more post over the next couple of weeks!  I have so many new goodies that I MUST share with you (with prices included)!  Seriously, if you have not been into the store in the last two weeks, you will not even believe the new products and companies we are now carrying!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy Saturday - Open 9am-3pm

I mentioned that everything changes, yet stays the same. Last night, as I was checking in our latest order (AT my kitchen table!) I couldn't help but think that everything changes yet keeps getting better. Take the paper crafting product that is now available. The designs and quality of paper has gotten SO much better! Yes, there are some lines that I wish were still available but there are NEW papers that have come along that are equally, if not, better!

And what about my new life? It has changed and I BELIEVE it is better. Maybe I better save the details for another day or I will never get this post out!

Get to The Pickle now! There are so many new products you won't even believe it!
Here is a quick list of things you will find:

• MORE Authentique - could this be my new favourite company? One of, that's for sure! We have Festive, Lively and Peaceful 6x6 pads in! I have also brought in the Peaceful 12x12 Collection

• Little Yellow Bicycle - Winterings 6x6

• Echo Park - this & that, various theme packs, winter wishes 12x12 and 6x6

• Sizzix Textured Impressions - tons of NEW!

• Spellbinders - the matting dies are here!

• Ranger Archival Inks - Yes. Inks! After the Magenta class and seeing a card made by Linda Heavens, I thought I have a little space...let's bring these in!

That's all for now! Stop in and see me! Open Saturday 9am-3pm or visit through the week on Wednesday (10-5) or Thursday (10-4). What do you think of these new hours anyways? Let me know if these new times are working for you!