Ah, spring – a time of rebirth, warmer weather and new inspiration. Crafty inspiration, that is! It's time to clear your schedule and get together with some friends for a spring ''crafturday.''
Here are six of the biggest trends in craft ideas to try out this spring.
1. Owls Whooooo doesn't love owls? Maybe it's their wide eyes or their pudgy little bodies, or perhaps it's their wee ear tufts? No matter. Put an owl on whatever you're crafting and you're bound to receive whoohs and ahs.
2. Geekery Crafting and geekery go hand in hand, so it's only natural that you're playing with ''Downton Abbey'' paper dolls while cross-stitching a Dalek from ''Doctor Who,'' right?
3. Studs Chances are if you're a crafter today, you were all about DIY as a preteen, too. And what crafty kid wasn't covering everything they owned with rhinestones? Now is the time to dig that BeDazzler out of your parents' basement and start studding. Studs and embellishments are everywhere this spring, from wool cardigans to sunglasses.
4. Blackboard lettering You've seen it on sandwich boards on sidewalks and all over Pinterest. Fancy blackboard lettering is bringing back the lost art of beautiful handwriting. It's easier than you might think. So get yourself some blackboard paint and white chalk, and start practising your cursive!
5. Braided leather bracelets The friendship bracelet craze of 2010 gets an upgrade with these mysterious braided leather cuffs. They're easy to make once you solve the mystery, and they look especially great stacked on your wrist.
6. Custom porcelain All that's standing between you and some fun, personalized dishes is a Sharpie pen and an oven. Just write a sweet message on a mug, pop it into a 350ºF oven for 30 minutes and you've got your own custom cup. People everywhere are throwing caution to the wind and drawing all over their dinnerware. I dare you to give it a try.
"I am the type of person who stops to smell the roses every day."
After having heart surgery at age 25, Barbara's life expectancy was 30. She's now 51 years old and enjoying life to the fullest. She is passionate about writing, so she started a blog and learned how to use social media to add more creativity to her life.
Watch the video to learn more about Barbara's inspiring story, her skincare routine and what being beautiful over 50 means to her.
Canadian Living x L'Oréal Paris present Perfect Age: Winter Beauty
After having heart surgery at age 25, Barbara was told her life expectancy was 30. She's now 51 and living life to the fullest. Learn more about her inspiring story and what being beautiful over 50 means to her.
Try the products below to get Barbara's gorgeous winter beauty look:
Are you keen for quinoa? Here are 2 easy ways to cook quinoa that work every time you want to add this superfood to your recipes. The pasta method In a large pot of boiling water, cook quinoa until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain well. The rice method* *This method uses the 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa, for example, for every 1 cup of uncooked quinoa, you'll need 2 cups of water. In saucepot of boiling water, stir in quinoa; return to boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer until all the water has absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand, covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. I like to have plain cooked quinoa on hand to add into a salad or use as a base for a vegetarian main dish, like our Quinoa Cakes with Lemon Yogurt Sauce but if you're looking for a sweet treat, check out our delicious Quinoa Oatmeal Chocolate Chip CookiesHow do you like to enjoy quinoa?
The best winter accessories are both fashionable and functional, which is why we love the Alder Headband. Staying warm never looked so amazing.
This Alpaca headband's soft, thick yarn and easy pattern make it a satisfying quick knit. The headband is designed using a simple two-by-two rib pattern with a unique twist. And it's so practical as an ear warmer, you might be tempted to make it in several winter colours.
The Alder Headband pattern is easy to follow and suitable for the beginner to intermediate knitter. Creating the twist may seem intimidating to new knitters, but the clear instructions guarantee great results. The headband is knit flat and sewn together. You may hide the seam at the back of your headband with one of Americo’s Ilo leather plackets for a special finishing touch. If you decide to do this, simply cut the placket in half lengthwise and sew onto both sides of your seam with a yarn needle and fingering/sport weight yarn.
Finished size: 20 inch (51 cm) circumference x 5 inch (13 cm) width. One size fits many.
10 stitches and 16 rows = 4 inches (10 cm) in 2x2 rib stitch, slightly stretched, using 7 mm (US 10.75) size needles or size needed to achieve gauge.
K, k: knit
P, p: purl
Ribbed/rib/ribbing: a pattern stitch – has vertical columns of knit and purl stitches, side by side, with elastic properties.
Examples: (K1, P1) aka 1 x 1 ribbing, (K2, P2) aka 2 x 2 ribbing etc.
Using 7 mm (US 10.75) size needles, cast on 24 stitches.
R1 (RS): P1, (k2, p2) to last 3 sts, k2, p1
R2 (WS): K1, (p2, k2) to last 3 sts, p2, k1
Work a total of 34 rows from cast-on edge or until work measures 8.5 inches.
Divide for the Twist:
Row 35: RS: p1, (k2, p2) until 15 stitches remain, k2, p1. Place the remaining 12 stitches on a stitch holder to be worked later. Turn your work and with wrong side row facing:
Row 36: WS: K1, (p2, k2) to last 3 sts, p2, k1.
Repeat these 2 rows, five more times for a total of 12 rows or until work measures 3 inches (8cm) from divide. Place these stitches on a second stitch holder. Break yarn, leaving a 6 inch tail.
Return to first set of stitches that are on a holder (right side facing), transfer to needle and rejoin yarn leaving a 6 inch tail.
R1 (RS): P1, (k2, p2) to last 3 sts, k2, p1
R2 (WS): K1, (p2, k2) to last 3 sts, p2, k1
Repeat these 2 rows, five more times for a total of 12 rows or until work measures 3 inches (8cm). Place these stitches back onto a stitch holder.
Next row will be the cross over row.
With the right side facing, cross the first set of 12 stitches over the second set of stitches (right over left) and slip all stitches from the 2 holders onto the working needle. The row is now re-joined with 24 stitches back on the needle, and with a twist in the centre.
Keeping in the rib stitch pattern, work the second half of the headband for 34 rows.
Americo Original is a Canadian yarn company and online knitting shop with its own line of quality yarns, knitwear patterns and accessories. Americo’s yarns are made exclusively in the Andean highlands of South America, using only natural fibres, including luxurious wool, llama, alpaca, cotton, linen, silk and cashmere. Americo and its in-house design lab are based in Toronto, offering international shipping from its online store: americo.ca/shop.
Rediscover Ottawa, which walks the line between charming town and cosmopolitan city, with first-class cultural and historic experiences.
Modern digs: Alt Hotel Ottawa Rest your head at the Canadian-owned Alt Hotel in downtown Ottawa, where you can grab snacks (or full meals) in the lobby and keep up your yoga practice with the hotel's new Nama-Stay yoga videos. Bonus: The Alt is eco-friendly, with geothermal energy used for heating and cooling, plus energy-efficient lighting.
Historic haven: The Century House Bed and Breakfast Ottawa With just four rooms, The Century House offers a quaint stay without skimping on modern amenities such as free parking and Wi-Fi. It's known for its gourmet breakfasts (think indulgent waffles or a hearty frittata), served up family-style in the dining room.
Morning munch: Benny's Bistro Hidden behind The French Baker in the ByWard Market, this is a tiny gem that serves some of our all-time favourite brekkies. Order the buckwheat crêpe, which is stuffed with ham and Gruyère and topped with an egg.
Dinner hour: Absinthe Café Stop by this Wellington West hot spot for French-inspired cuisine and a taste of its namesake drink. On Monday nights, there's a special fondue menu; go with friends and order cheese and meat varieties to share, then finish with the Valrhona chocolate fondue for dessert.
Sweet treat: Moo Shu Ice Cream & Kitchen Try small-batch ice creams and ice cream truffles made with Ontario dairy and fresh, sometimes surprising, ingredients, like craft beer or lime leaves.
Spring: C'est Bon Gourmet Food Tours Take a guided walking and tasting tour of one of Ottawa's famed foodie neighbourhoods: the ByWard Market, Wellington Street, Preston Street (Little Italy), the Glebe or Chinatown.
Summer: Yowttawa This outdoor music fest will celebrate the country's 150th anniversary with performances by Canadian artists, plus contributions by other international artists.
Fall: The Canada Science and Technology Museum After $80.5 million in renos, the museum will reopen in November, just in time for its 50th anniversary of celebrating Canadian innovations, such as a prototype of the world's first pacemaker and a cobalt-60 therapy machine from the '50s—at the time, a revolutionary new way to deliver radiation to cancer patients.
Winter:Nordik Spa-Nature Spend a day rotating between the spa's seven outdoor baths and eight saunas. Book a massage for ultimate R&R.
WHAT'S CLOSE BY? If you have the time to range farther afield, here are three other spots to see in Ontario.
2 1/2 hours away: Thousand Islands A pretty archipelago with ton of history (it was once pirate territory!), this region is now an ideal spot to go boating, hiking and exploring historic castles.
3 hours away: Prince Edward County Visit a few of the dozens of artist studios and galleries in the region, where you can even take an art class—in between wine tastings, of course.
OTTAWA THE GREAT To celebrate Canada's sesquicentennial—the 150th anniversary of Confederation—Ottawa is leading the charge with a full year of awe-inspiring events. Here's a small sampling of what's on in our nation's capital.
March 3 and 4: Red Bull Crashed Ice Watch downhill skaters race to the finish line on a huge track that runs along the locks of the Rideau Canal— which will be the final leg of the 2016–17 ice cross downhill championship.
May 20 to Sept. 4: Inspiration Village Located in the historic ByWard Market, Inspiration Village will pay tribute to our provinces and territories, while also showcasing special exhibits and performing-arts events.
All summer long: Kontinuum, an "underground multimedia experience" Though the Confederation Line of Ottawa's Light Rail Transit won't open until 2018, one underground station will be transformed into a futuristic world by a 10-weeklong multimedia presentation.
Nov. 26: The 105th Grey Cup This year, Canada's capital will host the CFL's annual championship game.
Ignite 150: In a series of 17 stunts spaced throughout the year—from yoga on a barge accompanied by a live orchestra to gourmet dining at a table suspended nearly 50 metres in the air—Ottawa will delight visitors and residents with once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Ottawa Welcomes the world: Ottawa's many embassies and high commissions will be given the opportunity to take over Aberdeen Pavilion and the Horticulture Building with multicultural celebrations including food, art and music.
Agri 150: More than 20 unique one-day outdoor events in 2017 will showcase Ottawa's food and drink, such as the Wine and Words Tour, which will take participants to local wineries to sample wine and cheese, with a local author to tell stories at each stop.
With our country's 150th birthday around the corner, Ottawa will be pulling out all the stops when it comes to entertaining, enlightening and engaging Canadians. We can’t wait to take part in all the amazing events scheduled throughout the year.