Beyond Recognition

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The call of my people.

 
Decided to try a new recipe tonight, cause God knows I’ve had it up to here (I just pictured my Mum doing the action)  of making the same 20 things for the last 6981 days. Time for something new, I thought. So off to Pinterest I went, found a lovely recipe for garlic Parmesan chicken and, miracle or all miracles…I had all the ingredients. 

The recipe called for half a cup of mayo to spread over the chicken boobs…really?! Mayo, is that a hing people do? Put mayo on chicken and bake?  Well I was going to have a hard enough time trying to sell this to the kids anyway without the mayo part, so I substituted for natural yogurt. Everything else was pretty normal. Mixed in the cheese, and garlic powder (I think that can go in the bin, just looks weird and I always have fresh anyway) salt and pepper, spread it on the chook and chucked it in the oven.  Both kids expressed their doubt at this dish, at which I wittily remarked “just give chicken piece a chance!” Followed by the usual “get it, give peace a chance, chicken peace…pieces, get it”. No Dad jokes in our house, just pure gold from Mum. 

So after I finished explaining my joke it was time. My son was judging from the other end of the kitchen, which means he was next to me, we have a teeny tiny kitchen. I cut a small piece, smelt like crap, was not looking forward to this, took a bite, chewed, looked away from my son and indicated just how wonderful it was…then spat it in the bin. Crap. Mitch giggled as he got me a glass of water to wash out the taste. “So what’s for dinner Mum? ” By this stage they were getting something out of a box from the freezer, Bad Mother. Ah look, spring rolls and mini dim sims…into the oven with you guys. 

While I was waiting for these culinary delights to cook, I thought I would answer an Etsy inquiry. There’s a PC in the dining room so I could look after the, loosely termed, dinner. Typing away, bit more typing and send. Check dinner…open oven..”Oh for fuck sake, really!? Are you kidding me?” The dinner now consisted of little black nuggets, burnt beyond recognition.  Mitch came out to investigate and had a good laugh and well I couldn’t stop giggling, 2 dinners in one night! Are you kidding?  So Mitch called his sister for dinner and she had a laugh, we all laughed then went to McDonalds. 

Two hours later my husband got home and laughed also. 

Night 6982: Meat and three vege. 

Ruby Canoe Cake Topper in Top Australian Cake Decorating Book!

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Well, it would seem that is been a while since I posted anything.  Truth is I just didn’t get around to posting anything.  I felt like I didn’t really have much to say actually.  But looking back now I did have a few things to say and share and show.

Late last year I was contacted by a very busy stylist from Sydney, Olivia Blackmore, who was very interested in a Happy Birthday cake topper I had made.  She bought. I sent. All good.  The End…Well no it wasn’t, cause a few days after she received her order I received a request for more.  So I busily thought of some new designs, cut them, glued them packaged them, and away they went.  They were for the possible inclusion in an International cake decoration book.  Well can you imagine how excited I was? Really, can you?  I was super excited! 

People that do this for a living probably don’t get excited about working on magazines or books, they probably get used to it. Or at the very least learn to hide the little girl giggles when they see their hard work published. Bit of a shame really, how wonderful would it be if you walked into a news agency and some man is jumping up and down on the spot with excitement yelling “Look, look, I did this! I picked this font! Woohoo, isn’t this a great font?”  Kids do this, they don’t know how good they’ve got it, do they?  Or maybe you go to Maccas (Australian for McDonalds) sit down to have your bacon and egg McMuffin and who is sitting next to you? The 17 year old girl that started at 5 am and made YOU a bacon and egg McMuffin. She suddenly becomes your Mother…watching the first bite you take…you chew…”do you like it?” Isn’t it great?” “I made that you know!” She said through her very (in my experience) expensive braces.  Well, anyway, do you get my point? I was excited that one, or more, of my cake toppers might be in a book. One thing I didn’t know about books. It takes a really long time to complete.  But I totally understand why they take a really long time to complete. Lots of magic goes on between the covers of a book. 

Olivia contacted me recently to let me know that the book has been published and that she was sending me a copy. Which was very nice of her. I received my copy soon after and the quality was amazing. I was hoping it was one of those fancy cookbooks where the cover has a beautiful texture and looks as though it is meant to be handed down through generations, and it was exactly what I was hoping for.  I am very proud to have something to give to my children to keep in their kitchens and maybe show my future far far far away grandchildren. It’s just beautiful.  Amazing Decorated Cakes. 

  
Recently my Mum came to visit, all the way from Bagdad…not that one…the lesser known one in Tasmania (I still think they moved there because Mum and Dad love telling people where they live), any way, Mum was visiting, I gave my much treasured copy to my Mum. It’s still nice to see pride in your parents eyes, doesn’t matter how old you are. A few days after Mum had returned to Bagdad (not that one) I got a call from my Dad telling me how wonderful my cake topper was. Yes, you and I both know he couldn’t give a rats hoot about cake toppers it only mattered that his girl had something in a book…totally worth it🙂

  

Arranger of Pretties (Stylist):  Olivia Blackmore

Clicker Extraordinare (Photographer):  James Moffatt

Iconic Australian Publisher:  Australian Woman’s Weekly

I don’t know who picked the font but let’s give a thought to the great font choice.  Great job!

Available at rubycanoedesign.etsy.com

And don’t forget about my other Etsy store bigbluecanoe.etsy.com (vintage prints, blueprints, patent prints and much more). 

More posts soon, hopefully. 

Like or comment any old time. 

Did you make it all the way to the bottom? Really? How nice are you? Oh and that lipstick totally suits you. xxx. 

Plans for the Tardis

Tardis sepia framed, bigbluecanoe.etsy.com

These Tardis blueprints or plans make excellent gifts for the little Whovian in your life!  I have sold quite a number of these beautiful prints lately and shipped them all around the world too.  The A4 and A3 sizes are printed on watercolor paper which give it an excellent vintage feel with the benefit of thick (200gsm) long-lasting and acid free paper.  3 different colored backgrounds available. bigbluecanoe.etsy.com

Tardis, bigbluecanoe.etsy.com

The Tardis, bigbluecanoe.etsy.com

How many things can Mrs. Alfred Wells stuff into her station wagon?

1959 VW Station Wagon a smarter way to go!  bigbluecanoe.etsy.com

Vintage adverts are just beautiful.  I can’t wait to have these printed for myself.  Why don’t ads look like this anymore? I would love to see a video of the process of making these ads, I am not sure I get the full effect just by watching Man Men.  If you know where to find such a video feel free to send me a link😀

Love the very retro colors, and I just love those levitating people there.  The dog, a St Bernard no less, these dogs were very popular way back when, the nannynun type person, the one hundred children that Mrs. Alfred could clearly afford to feed and house and the friend.  Implying any friend wants to jump into a car with all those kids/dog/nannynun and picnic baskets.  Ah it was a simpler time.  Rather quaint though.

Now available in my Etsy store bigbluecanoe.etsy.com in a variety of sizes.  Many more VW available along with planes, patents, rockets, Lego’s, helicopters, star ships, firefly, Star Wars etc etc etc  Stay tuned for more uploads every week.  Prices start at approx $8 (US)

1959 VW Station Wagon a smarter way to go. bigbluecanoe.etsy.com

Who Doesn’t Love a Bug?

Cut away of a 1963 VW

I grew up in the 1970’s in Australia and I was convinced that everyone’s parents had owned a VW beetle or bug at some stage in their lives. I remember being a little confused about getting the groceries out of the front of the car instead of the boot, such a novelty!  We had (I think) a light green one, and my Mum taped a note to the dashboard to remind her that the blinker was on the opposite side to normal Australian cars.  (Yes not only do we drive on the other side of the road we also have everything else on the other side of the car too).  I loved the sound of that car too, who can mistake the sound of an old VW coming down the road, not that you see or hear them as much as we used to, which is a bit sad, but that is life I suppose.

So I guess that explains my love for VW artworks.  I found this little gem in an original owner’s manual, I’ve cleaned it up a little and added a few things and moved a few other things to create this beautiful print.  I can’t tell you how much I love this print and all the beautiful retro colours.  Makes my little heart leap with joy!  I have this available in my Etsy store along with a heap of other Volkswagen prints.  Previously I have only had blueprints for sale on Etsy but after finding these beautiful little beetles and buses I just had to add them too.

So why not pop over to bigbluecanoe.etsy.com and see what I have been up to lately.  And don’t forget about little old rubycanoedesign.etsy.com  and there is a third store in the works at the moment, which is a combined effort with my son, stay tuned! 😀

VW 1963 cutaway red

May the Fourth Be With You

speederbike

Sick of hearing about a movie that is decades old?  Sick of hearing about some conflict in a galaxy far far away?  Nope, neither am I!!  This weekend I have watched all the original trilogy movies, and I watched it a little differently this time around.  I watched it and judged the hell out of it.  Verdict…it certainly has aged well.  I really couldn’t pick on any of the movies, well, except the new bits which was only a slight irritant.  Just a fantastic set of movies that has held up perfectly (my 18 year old daughter agrees).

After watching Star Wars (yeah, when I was a kid no one called it a New Hope, so I’ll just stick with Star Wars) over two days I then re-watched the new preview of the new movie for about the tenth time and then watched a heap of interviews.  Most of them from Comic Con (or others similar), but I was fascinated to watch Mark Hamill talk about all sorts of things.  That interview went for about an hour and, if you like that kind of thing, was riveting.   I really think that Christmas is way to far far away for my liking!  So I suppose I will inhale all that YouTube has to offer until then!

Oh and of course the Speederbike from Return of the Jedi is a new listing in my Etsy shop.  Different sizes available and different colors also available.  bigbluecanoe.etsy.com

MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU!

millennium falcon

millennium falcon

10 Tips to help your New Etsy Store grow.

10 tips to help your new Etsy store grow.

10 TIPS TO HELP YOUR NEW ETSY STORE GROW!

 

I have been selling on Etsy now for 2 years.  For the first 8 months I wasn’t really serious about it and was trying to find my place, my customer and my product.  The one thing I do remember about the first few months was that it took me hours to do a listing.  So if it’s taking you an hour or more to do a listing, you aren’t alone.  Actually any problem you are having most of us other Etsy sellers have experience that same problem.  I have Googled the weirdest things to get answers about my Etsy listings.

I’ve learnt a few things in the last 2 years, but this certainly doesn’t make me an expert.  I have a lot of improvement to make as well.  But Etsy is a never-ending lesson in adjustments.  So here are a few tips to get your shop moving.

tip 1

 

 

Fill out the store policies.  Shipping, refunds, FAQ’s, and payments.  Have a real think about your policies.  Have a look at other stores, I usually go to stores that have lots of sales, as they have lots of experience with sales and customers, but please NOTE,  when looking at stores make sure you check their reviews as well.  Any stores with regular bad reviews should really be given a wide berth.  When you find a store that looks good and feels good, have a look at their policies; which you can find when clicking on any listing and then clicking on the shipping and policies button.

Shipping and policies

When you have got a good feel of other stores policies you can form your own to suit your Etsy store.  Try not to just cut and paste all your information, put your own spin on it and make it your own.

 

tip2

 

 

Oh my…I cried at the post office one day.  Yep.  I surely did.  I had sold a small item, which I was very excited about, made the product, packaged it up beautifully, drove to the post office and was very happy to send it.  I am in Australia and this package was being posted to New York state.  It was a small package of cup cake toppers, made with paper and toothpicks, and I was charged $14.20 to send this parcel to America.  I charged my customer $2.75 for the postage😦 and the value of the goods was a whole $8, so when I had to pay $14.20 I felt like my business was no longer viable and shed a tear as I was paying.

The problem was that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, and sometimes the people at the post office don’t know what they are doing either.  I found out later I could have sent it as a letter if I hadn’t wrapped it in brown paper, then tied twine around the order and then added a cute little button…which all added to the weight of the order.

So some of the things you will need is:

  • Postage app for your region, I have the Australia Post app and love it! And it’s free! and essential!
  • Digital scales; you can get digital scales for around $15-$20
  • Source a good supplier of envelopes or other packaging you need.  When buying envelopes ect have a think about how you want your shop to look when the customer receives your item.  I have recently switched to Kraft brown envelopes to fit in with the style of my shop.  Previously I used whatever I had on hand, which was not always ideal.  You can get really nice envelopes from Kmart and Target now, great prices too!
  • Packing tape, just plain old packing tape and a packing tape dispenser which is around $10-$15
  • Label maker (a great investment I have just made and should have done long ago!) retails around $90.  I was actually hand writing the addresses on the envelopes and boxes, which again was not ideal and I can’t believe how good the new labels are.

Try to set up a small area for all your postage and packing, if you don’t have room just made do with what you have and hit Pinterest for a few ideas on how to set up your work space effectively.

Packaging should, again, reflect your store.  I package each order like it was bought in an actual store front instead of online.  I am also trying to make my packages a little different.  I really wish I had done all this at the very beginning but I have learnt a lot in the last 2 years.

Ruby Canoe Design Etsy Packaging

tip3

 

 

Just because you know how to do lots of things doesn’t mean you should make them all available.  This is something I have to take note of myself, it’s so easy to get carried away.  And when you’ve got confidence with your first shop you can always open another one.  All you need is a different email account and a new shop title and away you go.  I have plans to open my third Etsy shop which will be digital downloads only.

When you do have your store stocked make regular checks of your products and any products that aren’t getting any views or aren’t getting favourited (not sure it that is officially a word?), just deactivate them or try to revamp them a little to make your product more appealing.  See Tip 4 Tags, Titles and Photos

 

tip4

 

 

If you read any tips about Etsy you will always read that your PHOTOS are very important. For good reason too.  Shoot your photos in natural light.  I got myself a big sheet of white poster board for backing and I take it outside (Caution: this poster board acts as a sail on windy days!) put my product on a table that is waist or chest height and take photos.  I am currently in the process of retaking all of my photos because I just didn’t take this advice.

TAGS TAGS TAGS, use all 13 tags available.  And make sure you don’t overlook the obvious tags, for example, I have a line of paper butterflies and I neglected to add the word BUTTERFLIES OR BUTTERFLY to my tag list!  It took me months to even notice!  That was a big derr moment for me!  You can also take a look at similar products in other stores, go to the bottom of their page and you will see all the tags they have used.  Have a look at the image below, this is the bottom of my Lego Blueprint (Big Blue Canoe) which appears on the first or second page of a search for blueprints.

When you have listed and published your item, search for your own item and see what page it comes up on…if you are on page 10 or more try changing some tags until you can get a lower page number.

tags

Don’t use fancy TITLES.  Use titles to tell it like it is!  Again with my paper butterflies…I have named my range of paper butterflies “SCATTERFLIES”  I love the name but I wouldn’t use it in the title as no one will search specifically for Scatterflies.  If you have a colour specific item, mention the colour and add the colour to the tags also.  Again, look at someone elses store, take information you learn from them and change it to make it your own.

 

tip5

 

 

You set what kind of payments you accept.  I strongly advise you accept all types of payments.  My sales increased after I accepted all payments.  Previously I only accepted PayPal, now I can take your money any which way! And up go my sales!

 

tip6

 

 

When listing your product you can list variations.  For example I sell paper hearts for weddings, the variations I offer are different pack sizes and different colours.  When my customer chooses to buy the heart pack, they pick the pack size and they are then charged accordingly.  Below is the Extra Large Paper Heart listing showing what the variations look like.

variations

 

Not every listing requires a variation, but if customers are messaging you asking how much it will be if they purchase 50 of such and such thing, maybe you do need to add a variation.  Listen to your customer, they always tell you what they want.

 

tip7

 

 

The first thing I do in the morning is check my stats.  As I’m in Australia I get most of my views when I am asleep.  80% of my buyers live in the United States, so I usually wake up to a sale or two or a conversation (message) from a customer asking a question.  You’ll get to know the average views you get in a day.  If you’re not getting enough views or sales there may be many factors that can come into place.  believe it or not the weather plays a part, when the US are experiencing massive winter storms my sales dip a little, when it is a bit warmer more weddings take place, therefore my sales rise.  When your store has been open for a few months you can go back a few months and look at your stats and see a pattern forming.  This is also good to set realistic goals too.

 

tip8

 

 

Search for items that you personally love.  Like items, favourite shops and some people will favourite your shop and like your items in return.  So when you add a new item to your shop, that item will appear on their news feed = instant prospective views!  The more people who favourite your shop the more people might just see your items.

bbcfav

 

 

tip9

 

 

Plan your day:  At the beginning of each day (10am most days, sometimes earlier) I write a list of things I want to do and things I need to do.  Then work through them.  I know it sounds simple but it really works for me.  If this isn’t you, do something you know works for you.

Plan your year:  Yes plan your year.  I have a list of each month and I have written what section of my shop I need to work on.  I know I will be busy making Teacher Thank You gifts in October and November and December so I make sure in September I work on these products and have them all ready for my customers to buy.

Customers don’t want to struggle to buy stuff from you, so be prepared for whatever busy season suits your product.

 

tip10

 

 

Making money takes time, a whole lotta time.  Promoting yourself takes time.  Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter ect ect takes time.  Unless you put in the time you won’t magically earn a $1000 a week on Etsy but you will learn as you go so don’t get disheartened and just work on your business.  Your business isn’t just craft, it is so many other things too, and you control it all.

So that’s it, 10 tips to help you and your shop along a little bit.  If you get stuck, and it’s really easy to get stuck on Etsy, just google it, that’s what I did and that’s still what I do.

If this post has inspired you to open an Etsy shop click HERE and use the link then you and I both get 40 free listings.  That’s enough to have a nicely stocked Etsy shop!!

Good luck and feel free to comment with the name of your Etsy shop and/or a link! And don’t forget to check out my Etsy Shops:

RUBY CANOE DESIGN

BIG BLUE CANOE

As a little gift from me to you please use this coupon code for discount when purchasing from my Etsy shops.

BLOGDISCOUNT

Thanks and goodluck! xx Ruby

rubycanoedesign.etsy.com

Well, it’s almost the end of the second month of the year.  Time flies when you’re having fun right?  Time flies even when you’re not having fun as well…it’s all relative.  February is a good month for us in Australia, it means the hot weather is starting to be less than the temperature of the sun.  And, with any luck we are able to venture outside (without melting) and get shit done.  Yay!

For the last month we have had rain and sunshine, and everything is strangely green, bright green, hurts your eyes green.  And boy oh boy is the grass/weeds growing rapidly.  The lawns are being mowed 3 times a week at the moment.  I think if I sat on the front steps and watched the grass I would be able to see it grow.

I’ve been a little busy this week making a heap of Wedding Cake Toppers in preparation for wedding season, which apparently is March April and May (keep reading it’s not all about soppy weddings, unless you like soppy weddings, then it totally is about soppy weddings).  I’ve made a heap of these last week, as they will be featuring in a Contemporary Cake Book, along with 3 or 4 others that I’ve made.  When it is released I will certainly do a post or four about it and my cake toppers.

These cake toppers aren’t specifically for weddings, I can change the wording and certainly change the colors for you too.  Click HERE to go to Etsy

Very exciting, gunna be in a cook book, do dah, do dah.

These look just beautiful.  And there is more to come over the next few weeks. If you have any special requests please contact me via Etsy or my Facebook page and I will certainly try to help you with anything.

Just a special mention about the paper I use if anyone is interested.  Recently my supplier stopped supplying the KaiserCraft paper I used everyday.  I was royally pissed off to say the least, considering I had invested many hundreds of dollars in keeping up a good stock level of many different colors.  I even contacted the suppliers head office (which I usually do not do) to ask what the go was.  Anyway, long story short, the KaiserCraft paper was being replaced by AmericanCraft paper.  I looked online and thought the paper would be identical as the packaging was.  But I was delighted by the new AmericanCraft paper.  Just beautiful to work with, and I highly recommend it. And the colors are so so beautiful, I used mostly AmericanCraft paper in the above photos.

Whilst I love my paper, is doesn’t come cheap, and I have found when you want to only sell quality items you can not cut corners.  These are a few of the things that go into the pricing of my products…

  1. This paper I use is not cheap, using a cheap quality paper produces lousy cuts and a poor quality finished product.
  2. When running paper through my cutting machine, I have the machine set to quite a slow speed and I also do double cuts (cuts twice), this produces a perfect cut everytime.
  3. When I send my products I like to package them thoughtfully, so that when you recieve your package in the mail it’s exciting and like receiving a little present, even if you did pay for it🙂
  4. And then there’s all the other stuff: electricity, glue, scissors, pens, rulers, skewers, tooth picks, books, sheet music, dictionary’s, atlases, upkeep on the machine, bought designs, and about one hundred other things.

So, rest easy my friends when you purchase a product from me, you won’t be purchasing cheap and nasty, you will be purchasing well priced (for you and for me) items that are well made and a product that I love too.  Oh and don’t forget you can tell all your friends that you purchased your cake topper from a shop that has cake toppers in an actually real true blue cook book.  (Little hint: It’s probably Australia most famous cake cook book company) We all love bragging rights, right?

Anyway it’s almost 1 am so I should go off to sleep.

Have a good day/night!

Ruby xxx

What To Draw and How To Draw It.

Ruby Canoe Design

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A little discovery I made on http://www.archive.org This is a small selection of the book, What To Draw And How To Draw It by E.G Lutz.  I think these illustrations are just fantastic.  If you have kids, these illustrations would be great for them to follow.  I remember those “easy” to follow “how to” instructions, you know the ones, the ones with all the bloody circles.  I’m sure they were great for most people but I found them very confusing.

So give these little beauties a shot.  Just love the hummingbirds and the owls!

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So cute!

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Just love the tails on all of these bird illustrations!

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Things just don’t really change much, do they?  Even a hundred years ago, people liked to draw owls.  Ya can’t go wrong with owls, right?

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Whereever you are in the world, have a great day/night.

(Tuesday morning for me.)

♥Ruby RubyRuby♥

♥♥

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Ruby Canoes New Etsy Shop!! Now Open!!

ASSORTED LISTINGS BIG BLUE CANOE

As my lovely daughter pointed out recently, I have not posted a blog entry for quite a while.  So here it is…

I have been very busy lately.  Christmas orders, Wedding orders, end of school gifts for teachers.  So, as you can see, my Etsy Shop Ruby Canoe Design is coming along quite well.  So what’s better than one successful (semi-successful) Etsy shop?  Two successful (semi-successful) Etsy shops.  Well that’s what I am hoping for anyway.

The new shop is staying with the canoe theme…Big Blue Canoe was born at the beginning of this year and I am extremely happy with the progress so far.  Getting heaps of views and a few sales, which is just great for a new shop.

Big Blue Canoe is stocked with Patent Prints and Blueprints.  These come in 4 different color choices, which you choose at check out.  Color choices refers to the background color.  Blue, Black, White and Sepia.  Also available in different sizes of A4, A3 and A2.

SR-71 BLACKBIRD

I’ve just added the Lego prints recently and these are my favourite so far.  So why not pop on over to Big Blue Canoe on Etsy and have a bit of a looky look.

Available:

  • PLANES
  • CHOPPERS
  • FIRE TRUCKS
  • RETRO DRESSES
  • LEGOS
  • ICE-CREAM CONE
  • AXE
  • GUITAR
  • VIOLIN
  • BRIDGES
  • and heaps of other things, both weird and wonderful!

Just click here to visit Big Blue Canoe

ASSORTED LISTINGS BIG BLUE CANOE

 

Retro Rocket Boy!

I’ve always loved rockets.  And how I wanted to be an astronaut, I particularly loved the idea of space camp…still do, truth be told.  Oh, how about adult space camp, where we get a 3 course meal at the end of the day and a bucket of wine…oh yeah!  (Take a moment to ponder the awesome Adult Space Camp…….).  Anyway, back to reality (Poop), I’ve been seeing quite a few retro rocket prints floating around (  <——Space reference) on Pinterest lately.  They are just adorable!  So thought I would find a great design and then make my own and put it up for sale in my Etsy Store.  It turned out pretty cute!

Since I have completed the photography for the Etsy listing I don’t really need the papercut anymore😦 and I don’t know of any Williams.  So if you know a kid called William or if you own one and want this papercut (it is actually listed for $20 {Australian Dollars} in the Etsy store) just contact me and you can have it for $10 plus postage.  You can comment here or go to Etsy or my Facebook page..or email or twitter or instagram or telegram or send a pigeon if you like!

I will be doing a matching airplane papercut shortly, so if you want the William one and you have another cherub, let me know and I will put their name at the bottom and you can have both for $10 each.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO MY ETSY STORE.

New Etsy Listing For Halloween

New listing ready for Halloween.  We don’t do much Halloween here in Australia, but the retail stores keep trying to make us do Halloween.  But it doesn’t need to be Halloween to use these cake decorations.

A few years back my sister got married so it was my task to organise the Bridal Shower.  My sister knew I was planning it, so that part wasn’t a surprise, but as she was, and is, a life long horror movie fan I planned the whole thing as a Fancy Dress Horror Bridal Shower.  And it was spectacular.  She was quite horrified when she arrived after she spent 3 hours doing her hair and make-up and everything else, just to sit down and have everybody do her horror make up and then dress her up. Completely ruining all her good work.  However, a great time was had by all.

You should try a little something different for you next get together, it’s a riot! 🙂

 

This cake decoration comes with 3 rows of flags, one skull cut out and 2 sturdy paper straws.  All ready to be assembled and put straight onto the cake.  Easy Peasy!!

Happy Birthday.

I made a wedding cake topper yesterday and had a few flowers left over and a few little bits of card as well.  Most of my off cuts go to the local Kindy but I really loved these colours together, so the local Kindy missed out this time around😦

I was so happy with how this turned out and only did it for my own amusement.  So if anyone wants it, it is ready to ship on my Etsy store.  Is attached or not attached, to a sturdy squewer to pop into the top of a cake.  And if you really loved it, you could probably put it in a frame too!

I have listed about 20 new items in the last week or two, so if you haven’t visited my Etsy store recently or ever why not come over and have a little looky around.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO MY ETSY STORE.  LOTS OF GREAT STUFF!

After I made this one I made one for my sister.  She loves her birthday so much so actually throws herself a birthday party every year.  She is a wacky one!  I am totally opposite about my birthdays.  However it might be a bit of a sad birthday party this year as she just messaged me on Facebook that her beloved poodle had just died in her arms.  One of her furry babies is gone.  So sad for her.

RIP Polly Woodle! Luvs ya sis! xxxxx

Ruby xx

Three Lessons in Life

The answers to life
  1. STOP:  Sometimes you just gotta stop.  Stop doing that. Stop saying that.  Stop putting that off etc.
  2. COLLABORATE:  team up, get together, come together, band together, work together, work jointly.
  3. LISTEN:  Just listen.  Sometimes the answers are given to you but you just aren’t listening.  Listen.

The answers of life are found in a Vanilla Ice song? Yep.  Sure is.

lessons in life

Where Is All Your Money Going?

PICARD

Well, I have been MIA from my blog lately.  Had a little break.  I didn’t go anywhere, but just wanted a little break from spending so much time online, you know what I mean?

I spent a fair bit of time lately getting my house, therefore my life, under control.  The difference in just great.  I did the usual clean out of the linen press, donated some things and threw out other things, just generally purged the linen closet.  I was just amazed at how much room was actually in there, and let me tell you it is quite small.  It is very easy to clean out and purge things out of your life, you just always have to remember NOT to fill it back up again.  You are not making room for more shit in your life.  While I was cleaning out the linen press I was thinking, thinking, thinking…all about how much money we waste in our lives.  I have said for years that every time I leave the house it costs me $100, which is almost true.  Go up to the shop for one thing, come back with a whole lotta stuff you really only wanted because the store set it up that way.  The first port of call for saving money in our house was electricity, unfortunately you do have to spend money to save money, so we bought an energy reader thingy.  It tells you to the cent how much your electricity is costing you.  I had suspected, for a while now, that our old fridge and freezer were the main culprits in our house, so that’s where we started…sad face…I was right…sooo much waste…such old technology, we actually calculated that they were costing around $1200 a year to run !!

Where is all your money going?  You'll be amazed where it is all going!

So…need…to…buy…a…new…fridge/freezer…wa wa waa. We shopped around (which we would never do before) got the best deal online, so we went to the local retail store and negotiated, yes I negotiated and scored $50 less than the online price (which also happened to be more than $1500 off the recommended retail price).  So it can be done, I used to be the one that saw the price on the price card and go “here’s my money, I’m buying it!”.  Well not anymore dude.  That’s my money and we work damn hard for it too.  So we picked up the fridge/freezer and laughed a little watching my husband and my son and my sons mate trying to get it up 13 steps and into the house…a big fridge it certainly is!

Well I thought I was on a roll, in the saving money dept.  And I had a giant fridge/freezer to fill, because most of the food in the old fridge was only mildly coolish, I am actually surprised we are all still alive, because the difference in temp between the old one and the new one is astonishing.  Anyway, back to filling the fridge.  Went to the shops, kids were at school and Uni, so I could take my time, and did the shopping.  I created 2 rules for that shopping trip:

  1. Don’t buy unless I really need it
  2. Don’t buy unless it is reduced and I need it, or it is essential

Where is all your money going?  You'll be amazed where it is all going!

Finished shopping and looked at the docket, due to my expert shopping, I saved $101.  I also got a years worth of laundry detergent (on special at $9 off) a months worth of cat food ($30 cents off) and a few other things I can’t remember.

Ok now that sounds great doesn’t it…yep, until you have to put all the shit away in your teeny tiny pantry😦 Okay so next thing to do was to clean out the pantry and organise everything so I can see everything so I know what I have and don’t have.  I had a hell of a lot of miss matched containers and half empty packets.  So, going from shelf to shelf, I took everything out and placed it on the bench, and wondered what to do with it all.  I couldn’t just reorganise it and shove it back in, because clearly that isn’t working for me.  So, off to spend more money to save money.  (This takes place over 3 days, I am not a miracle worker you know).  I did the rest of the groceries sticking to the two rules mostly (had to be realistic) and also bought 2 trays of mason jars (24).  I just gotta say I love mason jars, and it is not really a thing in Australia, but let me tell you it should be, pretty and functional too.  So anyway, groceries are done, so many bargains, oh so many. And now for the crappy part…organising it all.  Crap.  What have I started.  So I took my time, thought about placement of items and got stuck into it.

I have 50% more items in the pantry and have 25% more free space than before and have eaten 50% more healthy food, just because I am organised.

Okay, realistically, I know that everyone can’t just go out and buy a new fridge just cause the old one is crap, I really know that.  The fridge was at least 25 years old and the freezer was 16 years old, so let me tell you I have put up with crap. The real point of this article (can I call it an article?) is this: know where your money is going, you earned your money, keep a hold of as much as you can. Think about how much it cost you to run the dryer, when you could just hang it out, think about how much it costs to run the washing machine again, because you forgot about the clothes for the third time, it all adds up.

For example:

I have started buying 3lt of milk on a Friday from Woolies, 3lt of milk is $3, because when we ran out over the weekend (which happened 4 weeks in a row, yeah we are real quick to act in our family) we would buy the milk from the convenience store which is conveniently (as the name would suggest) place 200 metres from our house.  When buying the milk from the corner store, it would cost $6 and then there is a $10 minimum at that store as well, so already we spend $7 more than we should and of course the extra items wouldn’t always come out at $10 so we spent up to $20 to get milk and all the other stuff we don’t need.  Over 4 weeks that was between $60 and $80, and that is crap.  Let’s look at that again my 3 lt milk just cost $60 when I should have spent $12…what an idiot.

So sit back and have a bit of a think about your money…YOUR MONEY…IT’S YOUR MONEY.

 

PICARD says it's your money, so find out where it is all going for heavan sake.

Some quick tips:

  • Turn off the lights when no one is in the room (yeah obvious and easy)
  • Make lunches
  • Take water with you when you leave to go shopping
  • Get a banking app on your phone and check it every day, from home, not while you are out
  • Get the local supermarkets app on your phone, check for super specials every Wednesday
  • Go over your junk mail and know your prices
  • Treat your pantry like an organised mini supermarket, including checking used by dates
  • Any coins go in a jar, or in our case, a vase.  It can add up over the year
  • If you see a significant super special try to get a years worth
  • Keep an eye on the local paper for free activities for adults and children alike
  • Try and do all your shopping in one day and try to keep away from the shops
  • Buy magazines from second-hand book shops.  Can start at 10 cents for a recent magazine
  • When cooking try to turn off the cooker just before the items are cook, it will continue to cook and you won’t waste your gas or electricity
  • Know your finances, do not leave it to one partner to do
  • Shop around and negotiate
  • If you have bought something from a supermarket and it is not satisfactory take it back. I bought a kilo of bacon from Woolies and it had no taste, so instead of throwing it away I took it back, I got a refund and a replacement pack.  How’s that? 🙂
  • Try and understand that not everyone you know needs a Birthday present every year
  • Have a special dinner at home
  • Make extra for dinner and have for lunch, saves money and time
  • Know when the sales are on and wait for them
  • Write lists, grocery lists, things to do lists, people to call lists, bills to pay lists ect
  • Always try to eat at home or eat home made…kinda like some other points but it is important
  • Remember cheaper is not always better
  • Do maintenance checks on cars, appliances etc
  • Before you need to buy things post a request for the item on your Facebook page, maybe a friend would like to get rid of it, you never know until you ask
  • Buy yourself a pressure cooker, I prefer these over a slow cooker any day, fast means less electricity (well in my mind it does)
  • Follow rules, sound weird doesn’t it…don’t speed, don’t park in the wrong place, don’t pay bill late, these all cost money, and sometimes they cost a lot of money…follow the damn rules!

So if you want to add to the list or have anything else to say, feel free to comment or like or share🙂

Thanks for staying until the end,

Ruby C xx

Kaisercraft Paper American Craft Paper

Kaisercraft American Craft

Ruby Canoe Design mostly uses Kaisercraft paper, which I love.  I have a huge stock of them in the studio and, maybe once a month, buy a bit more of the colours I need…until last week!  I was a little (a lot) horrified to find my local supplier is no longer stocking Kaisercraft and is replacing it with American Craft paper.  A little bit of panic set in.  That is until I did about 30 seconds of research and, judging by the packaging of American Craft paper packs, it looks like they may well be the same product with different names.

After banging out a few panicky emails to my supplier they are getting new stocks in about 2 months time…ain’t no body got time for that!  :(  But they did send me a colour conversion chart and here it is for anyone that also needs it.

Kaisercraft American Craft

Paper Dressed to Impress

Been super busy this week, designing and cutting, cutting and designing.  So I decided to take today off and watch a bunch of Project Runway episodes.  And got all inspired!

I really wanted to drag out the old sewing machine and the overlocker, but couldn’t be bothered.  Instead I got a pair of scissors, paper glue, paper clip and one of the vintage sewing patterns that I recently scored, and made something I have wanted to make for a very long time.

I hope you like it!

I won’t be listing this item in my Etsy store, so if you are interested please comment here or pop on over to my Facebook page and shoot me a message. CLICK HERE TO GO TO MY FACEBOOK PAGE

Have a nice weekend guys xx RUBY xx

 

A Little Something For The Boys!

(If you are a boy and you click just because of the title…nup no boobies here honey!  Sorry! Sad Face! )

 

Well I finally got around to making some bout, boutin, boutinear…buttons holes for grooms and groomsmen!  This one is entirely hand assembled (at no time did I use my feet).  It is high quality thick paper/card attached to florists wire and the stems are then wrapped in twine for the rustic effect.

All colours are changeable and so is the twine.  Just suggest something and I will see what I can do!  It debuted in my Etsy store tonight at $20 a piece.  (One can take up to an hour to create, cutting, designing, waiting, assembling, and generally doing pretty stuff).  I am hope to do a wide variety of prices, starting from $5.  Discounts are offered when purchasing more than two and I can combine postage to make it cheaper.  Just message me and I will do an Etsy custom order for you and have it in the mail within 3 – 5 days, sometimes quicker.

CLICK HERE TO FIND MY ETSY STORE!!

I am also working on a range of Wedding invitations as well, so if you would like to keep up to date you can follow me here, go to Ruby Canoe on Pinterest, or find Ruby Canoe Design on Facebook and Etsy!  I am everywhere…and sometimes no where!

Thanks for stopping by, chat later alligator! xxx Ruby xxx

 

 

Hot Pink Butterflies

Here is another listing from the SCATTERFLIES range, by Ruby Canoe Design.  Ain’t she pretty?  These Scatterflies are great to use at a wedding, toss them across the wedding tables, make your own back drops or garlands or even decorate some cupcakes with them!

In the next few days (more likely weeks) I am thinking of posting a few tutorials on what to do with these things.  The first one is probably just some place cards and then we might move onto something a little more adventurous like backdrops.

So why not follow my blog or check out my Etsy shop to keep up to date on all the new products.

FYI:  Scatterflies are supplied in packs of 30 or 100 (pack of up to 300 in the works) and are priced at $5 (Australian Dollars).  Just click HERE to purchase.

Psst! Have You Heard Of Scatterflies?

So, have you heard of Scatterflies?  Probably not, cause I just made it up.  I decided to do a new line of products for my Etsy shop.  Complete with proper big girl packaging. And here is the completed product.

Scatterflies.  Hand punched paper cutouts of butterflies, dragonflies, and hearts…so far.  There are currently 27 in the range, but I do take requests…not to sing, cause nobody wants that! So if you are interested in Scatterflies or the concept of Scatterflies, but don’t see one in the colour you like or don’t see one in the shape you would like, just ask me!  :)  You could also request a custom order from Etsy just by clicking HERE

So remember SCATTERFLIES by Ruby Canoe Design  $5 (Australian Dollars).  Tell your friends!!  xxx

Vintage Greeting Cards

I really do miss receiving these kind of cards.  When we were kids my Mum always kept any cards we got from family or friends.  The cards lived in a large plastic bag in the middle shelf in the middle cupboard of the hall way.  Every so often I would drag out the bag of cards and look at them (it was a while ago, and we had no internet and only 4 television channels to choose from, we made our own fun).

The above card was my absolute favourite card.  We had many of them kept safely in the plastic bag…wonder what happened to those cards? Anyway, they still sell these cards today and of course I have bought them for my own daughter for her birthday…once or twice.

Beautiful images.  Print them, frame them, love them.  Have a good day!

Ruby. xx

Mouthful Of Oil Anyone?

Okeydoke, here we go.  Sitting here typing away.  Two cats sitting on the floor looking at me like, well they are looking kind of concerned.  I have bulging cheeks. And there is a strange noise coming from my mouth.

I am oil pulling.

Soooo, have you ever heard of oil pulling (not that kind, out of the gutter people!).  Until last week I had never heard of it either.  I haven’t told any of my friends, I told my husband and he kind of went “alrighty then” (the general rule in our house is: happy wife happy life, I did not make this rule, but it seems to work).  Anyway back to oil pulling…oh God just typing this makes my stomach turn…When I was pregnant (keep reading it’s only a short little story) with my second baby, I didn’t want to go over the due day by 2 weeks like the previous child.  So I took a spoonful of castor oil (oil pulling does not use castor oil, so don’t panic) and threw up, holy crap that shit is disgusting (and I must have swallowed some of it, cause I went straight into labour within 1 hour), even now I know where that stuff is kept on the shelf at Woolies and I can not look at it, cause I dry reach and it is a little embarrassing in public. So the though of a spoonful of oil in my mouth was yukky.

Oil pulling is…um…basically using oil instead of toothpaste.  Keep reading and stop rolling your eyes.  So you put a teaspoon (or whatever suits you) of raw coconut oil in your mouth and you swish it about for twenty whole minutes.  Eye rolling yet? Yes twenty minutes.  Who has the time to do that you ask?  I do.  I work from home and have a few things to do during the day, so after school drop off yesterday I tried oil pulling for the first time.  I didn’t throw up, BONUS! I put a teaspoon of raw coconut oil into my mouth and swished and swished and did a few things and after twenty minutes of swishing I spat it into the bin (not the sink).  It feels good so far.

Now why you ask?  Apparently it whitens your teeth and it removes the bacteria blah blah.  I have heard it cures (yes cures!) cavities…I don’t understand that bit really?  How the hell that works I don’t know.

Anyway it is just a little experiment and I can’t see the harm.  I would just like whiter teeth and that is really the only reason.  There is plenty of info floating around so google away people.  Just remember to take some information with a grain of salt.  And seriously I am not recommending you do or try anything.  Just letting you know what I am doing.

Eye Spy

What I see when I look out my window:

  • Brown grass that crunches under foot (could do with some rain)
  • weeds (could do with a gardener!)
  • beautiful wrens (these beautiful wrens are fascinated by seeing themselves in the mirror of my car, this explains the poop in the side of my car…)

  • double bar finches
  • Lol a chicken egg (we have a ghost chicken…we have never seen it but we get about 3 eggs a week, just randomly placed in the garden…as you do)

  • Roma tomato plant
  • cherry tomato plant (both tomato plants have grown randomly, I suspect the seeds were washed down the sink…at this rate I will be able to make a chicken caesar salad complete with poached egg and chicken, just from stuff I find in the front yard)
  • gum trees

  • palm trees
  • wattle trees

  • a bus shelter
  • the park
  • walking track (I lied, it is really just a path to the local shops, but walking track sounds so much better)
  • jet fighters (RAAF base)

Short and sweet post.  What do you see when you peek outside?

RubyRubyRuby

 

Dedication

kawika-singson-standing-on-lava-shoes-tripod-on-fire

Amazing photo.  This defines dedication.  Seriously, just look at this photo for a few seconds and try to understand what we are looking at.  What dedication this man has.

 

Scroll

 

 

Now, I just researched this photo a little.  When asked if this was real Kawika Singson replied, the flames are real.  However the flames appeared, not due to the lava, but an accelerate. 

Still a great photo.  And it was taken because he wanted a cool (pun?) photo for his Facebook cover.  Why not, I say.  But a few people have made up their own description, which is fully understandable.  Look at the photo, and caption it without knowing the “truth”.  And who is to say that what I typed, about the real story, is the truth.  Ah the internet.  You confuse me.

Reminds me of the old saying “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear” maybe it should be added to “and believe some of what you read on the internet”

Note:  Pop over to Pinterest and search for this pin and read the comments…humans are funny.

xxxrubyxxx

Featuring: Diorama Man and Wild Girl

And you thought doing diarama’s at school was a challenge.

I took this photo when I was at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane last year.  Simply amazing isn’t it? I saw this floating around Pinterest lately and wanted to share it again.

By Nguyen Manh Hung, Click to visit

I haven’t posted much of my art work lately, because, well there hasn’t been any.  I have thrown all of my time and money into creating a successful Etsy store.  I still have lots to learn about it but I certainly know what direction I am going in now.  The Esty store is coming along nicely by the way.

I think I might have to start drawing again, just one a week and see where it goes.  My favourite still has to be Maxine.  I called her Maxine because I set out to pay homage to the greatest book of all time.  A book of which I own a hard cover version and a soft cover version.  A book that didn’t require a film, but got it anyway, not that it was terrible, just unnecessary.  A book whose story captivated many generations over many decades.

Where The Wild Things Are

Yes, when I drew Maxine I was actually drawing how I imagined myself in the book.  Because that’s how I read books.  I am the hero.  Do other people read books like that?  I remember the first time I read that book.  In my primary school library.  It had the same cover it does today, and on the cover where all those fancy gold stickers from all the awards it had won.  Did the stickers make it more special? I don’t know really.  What I do know is…

it….

is…

PERFECT

AND

I

LOVE

IT

the end

PS do you now the worst thing about having a little blog?

Thinking of a title for each post…

Most Views On My Blog Ever…

So, I need about 40 more views today to achieve this months goal.  The goal, this month, being to obtain the most views on my blog and to obtain the most view of my Etsy shop and to achieve the most sales on my Etsy shop…

Results:

Etsy Shop:  Most views achieved 2110 views.  Most sales achieved!  Apparently if you treat your Etsy shop like a shop you make a little bit of money!  Who would have thought that huh?

Blog:  The most views I have received was in May last year.  So I picked this month to try to top that, completely forgetting February has 28 days.  Cursed you February.  A pox on your house Feb. Just 40 more views.  11.5 hours till the end of this Australian day.  And if you are reading this you have helped so here is a picture of an ice-cream.  Enjoy and Thanks! xx

Picture from bighoneydog.com^ great picture too.  NomNomNom

Budget Cake Toppers

Budget cake toppers.

So, with the budget cake toppers, I just supply the cut out paper and you arrange it.  You also save with postage as well.  The wooden sticks are not supplied so the paper cutouts go straight into an envelope, lovingly cuddled by some thick support cardboard, and off to your place…all for the low low low price of $5!

 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE CAKE TOPPERS

🙂

Film Strip Cake Topper (I’m tired and couldn’t think of a witty title)

More cake toppers…topper.  Order any colour combination and do with it as you will.  Put pictures in the film strip, cut out some hearts and glue them in, write in it, stick some flowers in the film strip, so many options.  This cake topper is actually from the budget range.  Guess how much?

$5. Only $5 for this little one.  At my Etsy store (yes, as usual) so click HERE

When I do little budget ones like this,(which I love to do, and sell quite a bit of) it gives me ideas for some more expensive ones.  Thinking of making little 3D paper cameras and having them as cake toppers.  Or hanging a paper camera (complete with camera strap) underneath this film strip.  I really have to make some time for these kind of things.  Maybe next week…Maybe…

Ruby sleep now…zzzzzz xx

Butterflies, Books And Birdhouses, Oh My!

 

  Two newbies at the Etsy store.

Butterfly Cake Topper is only $7 for one

Birdhouse and Books are $20

I am taking orders for these Birdhouse and Books Cake topper for Graduations.  It doesn’t take too long to make them but I have received a few orders already.  So send me an email or comment or go to Etsy and place an order as soon as possible :)  Custom orders taken.

Have a great day all!

Ruby.

No Cake Decorators Were Harmed In The Making Of This Stunt Wedding Cake!

I wanted to revamp the Etsy store recently, so I decided to make a wedding cake…as you do.  Not just a wedding cake, but a stunt wedding cake.  Not for eating…although the icing is pretty damn good! (So I am told!)

So I have created a whole heap of new cake toppers in the last week.  And these are just two of them.  So why no take a look at the Etsy store and see if you might like a little something.  Don’t forget that I take custom orders all the time.  Just need to ask.

More cake toppers to come in the next few days!

Stay tuned🙂

Click Here For My Etsy Store

Don’t forget you can Pin from Etsy and share to your Facebook page as well🙂

Extra Extra Read All About It!

I kinda miss the days of clipping cool articles…I suppose that is what Pinterest is all about these days…that sounds really old doesn’t it?!

Remember clipping magazine photos and articles.  I remember I had a large scrapbook and I seem to remember I clipped a photo of the couples from ABBA.  The I cut a zig zag between each couple (because they split) and wrote something very very lame above the pictures.  Looked pretty weird.  Weirdo.