one more show coming up...

I posted about some of the incredibly talented Toronto Etsy Street Team members who were at One of a Kind with me last week. Well this week I'd like to share a bit about our upcoming show. Our First Ever Christmas Marketplace. Saturday, December 14th we'll be hosting a small and intimate affair down around Kensington Market (we're actually at the Church of Saint Stephen-in-the-Fields at College and Bellevue Ave). You may remember that I mentioned I was one of the leaders, and that means one of my responsibilites is creating our awesome graphics. Being as this show was in a church, I wanted to create a bit of a throw-back look to the days of Church basement craft shows (we've come a long way from those days haven't we?) so of coarse I had to give it a Christmas Sweater look - also because I did a lot of research into Fair Isle designs for the Polar Nights collection so my brain was already there!

Here's the lookbook, you can browse through the vendors and hopefully we'll see you there on the 14th.

Oh yeah, Santa Claus is going to be making a surprise visit too. Although I guess it's not much of a surprise if I just posted it eh?



I talk a lot about Teams on Etsy, I'm a huge fan of them. I'm a huge fan of community really. Being around other like-minded creatives (or whatever your interests/business is) is one of the best things for my soul. To chit chat about business, creative projects, listening to what others are up to, being able to swap stories good and bad... it all aids in our growth as humans and as business people.

I'm lucky enough to be part of one incredible team through etsy, the Toronto Etsy Street Team (TEST), and extra honoured that I can also say I'm one of the leaders. The group is full of so many talented people, and I've made some incredible friendships through the team. You may remember hearing about our Team show last June and our first ever Christmas show coming up on December 14th.

At this years One of a Kind show you'll be able to find more than a handful of TEST members and I thought I'd take the chance to show off some of them here, with you, so you can meet some of the amazing talent in Toronto.

and of coarse thunderpeep designs... but you know all about me ;)


Shop the neighbourhood

Saturday, November 30th is Shop The Neighbourhood - all across the country. Well really this can translate to any city in any country. But I don't know all the local shops in most other countries. So I'm going to list the ones I do know {and love}

If you're in and around Toronto here's some local shops for you to check out:
Artisans at Work - Danforth East
Arts Market - Leslieville & College/Ossington area
Beadle - Dundas West / Brockton Village
Freedom Clothing Collective
Labour of Love - Cabbagetown
Len - Danforth East

If you're in Hamilton, Ontario the Made by Hand show is holding it's Christmas Show featuring all sorts of fantastic vendors from all over Hamilton and the GTA.

Halifax, Nova Scotia
Dots & Loops
Halifax Crafters Society Winter Market

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Fiddleheads Kids Shop

Vancouver, British Columbia
Bird on a Wire Creations
Front & Co.
Oscar's Art Books {be forewarned you might get sucked into this store for hours ;}
Regional Assembly of Text

Feel free to share any of your favourite local shops in the comments!


Black Friday all weekend long!

As has become the trend the past few years, Black Friday sales are going online and have invaded the Canadian market. What was once a US based Holiday sale day, coming the day after US Thanksgiving, is now becoming a worldwide event.

Last year was my first year hosting a sale and it was well worth it. I wasn't sure if I'd do it this year, as I'll be at the show, with most of my stock. But last years sales during this weekend were too good to not do one again. Luckily for me I have a couple of great friends who are willing to help me out with posting the sales too!

Black Friday ONLY the entire etsy shop is 10% off BUT.... for the entire weekend (that's Friday all the way through to Monday night) I'm offering you FREE shipping*. And that's for EvErYoNe.... EvErYwHeRe in the world :)

So hit the Etsy shop tomorrow, stock up on all sorts of stationery goodies!

You can also get in on the sales this weekend in the thunderpeep Society 6 shop. Free Shipping all the way through Cyber Monday! That's all sorts of prints, phone cases, mugs, tees, totes and now.... onesies and kids tees.

Looking for more Black Friday deals from small creative businesses? Check out all the deals at the Poppytalk Marketplace!

*Unfortunately by Friday I cannot guarantee Christmas delivery to Etsy purchases outside of North America unless you purchase express shipping, which isn't part of the Free Shipping sale.


The weekend has been all wrapped up!

Wow, even I can't believe how quickly this month has gone by! This was the first weekend in the last year of my 30's (yes my birthday on Wednesday saw me turn 39 - holy crap) It's the last weekend before the One of a Kind show. Saturday was our first snowfall this season, it didn't last long but it's still awesomely frigid here! I finally have my living room back as the packing station was itself packed away, and all my stock is boxed are ready for move in on Wednesday. Lot's more happened in the past 24 days but honestly I don't even remember half of it, it's been such a whirlwind!

I started putting the final (and best) parts of the booth together. And man, is it looking sweet. I can't believe it looks pretty much the way it did in my head.

If you're in the Toronto area, come on down to the show to see the final booth, it's pretty fun! If not you'll get the whole post show wrap in a couple of weeks. I have some fun posts all ready to go during the show too.

I went searching and searching for a specific video for today's post. Unfortunately this one's an oldie (but goodie) so there's only audio. In honour of our first snowfall, this is one of my favourite Holiday songs. Because I love snow. And marshmallows. And sweethearts.


thunderpeep gift guide part 2

Thanks to the awesome peeps over at Society 6, I'm able to offer my designs on all sorts of fun surfaces!

All designs on Society 6 are available as prints, canvas prints, tote bags, tees, tanks, hoodies, pillows, iphone cases/skins, ipad/laptop skins, cards and MUGS! So much to choose from.

Snowflake pillow

Holly Goose tote bag

BergTroll iphone case

Polar Bear Canvas print

Midsummer Dreams framed prints

There are tons more designs to choose from, head on over to my Society 6 shop to browse.


thunderpeep gift guide part 1

need some help finding fun paper gifts for your friends and family....

1. All thunderpeep Holiday cards and gift tags can be found here

2. Get Shit Done and Honey Just Do it notepads

3. Holly Goose and Owlie letter writing sets

All these pieces are available now online and will be with me at the One of a Kind show (except for the tote bags) I'll also have a limited selection of the gift wraps that you may have seen over on the facebook page

You may have seen the sneak peek of the mugs on the facebook page, but come back on Thursday when I'll showcase some other exciting pieces that would make excellent gifts for your peeps


Weekend Rap

I had the opportunity to hang out and catch up with some of my crafty circle friends this Saturday and it was exactly the medicine I needed. I am truly blessed to know some extraordinary women who run creative businesses, all different mediums, at all different stages of their business. All inspiring and encouraging. I wasn't sure, when I first moved back to Toronto from Vancouver, if this was going to be the case.

I"m less than 2 weeks from a crucial time for my business and it's been a tough couple of weeks, for the business and on a personal level. But as I sit here typing on Sunday evening I feel like I could kick the crap out of anything the universe throws me.

But enough of the Dr. Phil moments. Friday I got to hang out with the Roses at Ikea. I love that place. I may have to cut out the Swedish dinners from now on (yeah, Ikea is most definitely NOT a gluten free friendly eatery!) But all my booth building necessities were acquire and some salty licorice seemed to have fallen into my cart as well (I can't leave Swedishland without some sort of treat ;) and the building of thunderpeep arcticland has started. Guys.... I am SO excited for you to see the finished product. Ao psyched about this display!

So, I'm on schedule. The product is all packed. I feel ready. I know I still have a ton to get done. But this is going to be the best Christmas season ever.

There's a couple of really fun posts coming up this week, to help kick off your Holiday shopping - that is if you haven't already started. Maybe some more extra ones as I'm feeling guilty about last weeks lack of posts.

Now... I've been saving this one for a few weeks, but now that the Christmas show season has started I figure it's safe. It's a bit more Solstice oriented and pretty funny.... enjoy!


Weekend Rap & Upcoming Fun

So, this happened on Friday. One of my Christmas cards popped up in the local Metro paper.  
That was pretty exciting. If you spot any OOAK ads with thunderpeep products feel free to send 
me a pic, it never really gets old!

My weekend wrap ups are getting boring. No seriously, even my Le Day Job coworkers don't bother asking what I'm doing over the weekend because they know the answer. Working (ie: packaging). Even when that awesome 80's cheese "working for the weekend" came on the radio, they accused me of requesting the song, because that was my weekend (all in good fun of coarse)

So, this post is going to be about some of the FUN things coming up in the next few weeks (and not all One of a Kind events!)

This week I'll be stocking up my stockists in Toronto with Christmas goodies, so if you're out shopping keep an eye out for them.

• November 16th is the Toronto East Rotary's Christmas Fair. I'm sad I couldn't participate this year but I'll definitely be there to shop. If you're in Toronto, check it out. One of my favourite shows of the year!

• November 23-24th is the Swedish Christmas Festival. Now, you know how much I love all things Scandinavian so I'm so PSYCHED to be able to attend this year. I always have a show the same weekend and miss out. I've definitely been missing all the scandinavian influences I had out West, this is going to be good for the thunderpeep soul. Plus they have a real St. Lucia parade. I'll have loads of pictures. Extra Plus it's my birthday weekend so extra celebrations.

• Oh yeah, it's my birthday on the 20th. Last birthday before the 4-0. Last year as a 30-something. Going to be a great one too (and of coarse looking forward to the massive 40th year trip - really must start the planning!)

• Of coarse I'll have all the thunderpeep goodness at the One of a Kind show (november 28 - december 8), but for all the non-Torontonians the Etsy shop will be open for business the entire time. Including during Black Friday / Cyber Monday. Sales all weekend long so be sure to save the date. During Black Friday everything in the shop is 20% off, and for the rest of the weekend it's 10% off - right un until midnight on Monday.

• Very important is the release of the 2nd Hobbit movie on December 13th. Can't wait for Bilbo and co. to continue on their epic journey.

New Years is fast approaching too. I never know what I'm doing until right before but if you're planning a party or dinner.... perhaps you need some swanky invitations. I have you covered. 8 pack sets are available in the shop, but if you need more/less that can be arranged as well!

Now I'm also prepping blog posts during the days of the show, so you'll still get thunderpeep reads. I have a few ideas, but if there is anything you would love to see me post about let me know. Ideas always welcome. Also there will be a ton of FUN updates on Instagram and Facebook so be sure to follow along there as well!

Now, it's time to break out in dance, because being an adult doesn't have to be such a bummer!
Happy Sunday peeps!


Reliving moments

Blogging has been a challenge lately. Not just to find time, but to find interesting topics!

This is leftover from the Blog Challenge I did in September.... Write about a moment you'd love to relive. I loved just thinking of what moment I would love to relive! What a great way to spend an hour. Plus today was one of those days.... if you haven't heard about Toronto's lovely Mayor, just google him. This is the "civilized" city I live in. It's definitely getting to be time for a move, so I was already thinking of all the lovely places I've travelled to and while there are a billion moments in those travels I could relive, my visit to Estonia is a perfect one for today.

In January of 2010 I took my dream trip. The one I'd been dreaming of and planning for years. I twas supposed to be a trip through Estonia / Finland / Sweden but thanks to a snow out at Heathrow I lost a few days and had to drop Sweden from the itinerary. So really it was a trip to Finland, with a day trip to Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia and oldest capital city in Northern Europe. Because I went in January when NO ONE travels anywhere near the colder climates, I was a lone traveler. Which I kind of like. It means I get the locals all to myself ;) Including my lovely tour guide, yes I had a private tour. You can't ask for a more perfect trip.

The reason that one day within my trip, was so memorable was hands down the people. Estonians are the warmest, most genuine people I've ever encountered. They truly have a zest for life. They've been to hell and back and embrace their freedoms like nothing I've ever seen. They know how quickly it can be taken away from you. Now growing up in Canada it's easy to take these things for granted, but that one day changed my life. I see the world in a very different light. Some days I forget that, but all I need is to look at the people around me to remember what it could be, and good even my shittiest of days would look to a whole other nation of people.

One day I hope to make it back to Estonia, and see more of the country. And eat their yummy food (I tried real homemade sauerkraut during that visit and it was delicious!!!) And get lost in the Estonian culture. It'll happen :)

I could write forever, but I thought I would share some images instead. My day there was pretty foggy and damp, but I got a handful of pics (just goes to show that the feeling you come home with is always better than the pictures you might take!) I'm sure at some point I'll write more about it, just not today....

One place I would just love to sit, and write or draw or just be is The Song Festival grounds. What a beautiful place and unbelievable part in the independence of the country. Read about the Singing Revolution in Estonia here

And what can I say about ALL THAT SNOW!!!!


Weekend Rap - not really

This weekend hasn't wrapped up yet. Even with that extra hour this morning, there is still an ever-growing to-do list, as I sit here and type. I was staring at it while trying to think about how I'd sum up my weekend for this post. You know, to make it more interesting than just saying "hey, I packaged a lot of shit this weekend". I did also do some crafting and burnt my finger with the glue gun. That was exciting, there is still glue stuck on my poor finger.....

But instead, I wanted to say something else.

I'm stressed. I'm not really sleeping. I work all the time. And yes, I'm happy. Maybe not in the exact moment I'm wondering if I'll have enough money in the bank to pay the bills or if I'll get my display perfectly built, or if I'll make all my money back at One of a Kind. But I love what I do and I'm doing it for myself. I'm not stressing myself out for someone else's gain (ie: someone else's business). I don't want to be one of those people who constantly complain about my job, but stay in it for YEARS without doing anything. Too often I hear them say - they're waiting for the right time, to get their portfolio ready, waiting for blah blah blah..... no excuses. There are too many excuses in the world and not enough doing. Been dealt a crappy blow, that sucks. I feel for you. We've all had rough times in our lives, some more so than others, but we've all had them. But it's how you react and respond to those bad times that makes you the person you are. I've always been a fighter. And I'm going to fight for my little business right now. I've made the conscious decision to take it to the next level and I knew there would be some tough times (and they are tougher than you ever think they are going to be) but it's not always going to be like this. The sleepless nights will turn into being able to set my own hours. The stress over finding money for all the things I need to get done, will turn into me being able to do all the creative things I want to do. And one day I won't have to work for someone else to pay my bills, I'll be able to do it all on my own, with my own little business (hopefully sooner rather than later) I'm always going to push for things to be better, so there are going to be good times and hard times. That's business and that's life. To all those people who keep asking me why I'm doing it all, is it really worth it, you are going to kill yourself (insert any stupid question you've ever heard) I feel sorry for them. Some people are happy to just go to work, come home, cook dinner etc. But most of those people I know aren't happy. At the end of my life, I'm going to know that I did something (I've done a lot of somethings already)

I guess this was a bit more of a rant than a rap. But you can blame my lack of sleep and social interaction on this one. Or you can just take it for what it is meant to be. Me just telling you that's it's ok to live your life the way you see fit, no matter what anyone else has to say on the subject. And if you don't understand someone elses dreams or goals, you don't need to. They're not yours.

I don't have a video to share, but I do have a song that has the same spirit as this post. The first time I heard it I was on a train trip and in one of those down moments where I started to doubt myself but I realized something. I've done a lot of things most people won't. I tried. Sometimes I failed, sometimes I succeeded, and everytime I had fun and wouldn't change any of them (except maybe moving back to Toronto - I really, really miss Vancouver) but when I die my life will be a pretty interesting tale - and it's not even half over yet ;) There is no video, so it's just a picture of pretty Ryan Tedder and the audio to the song "I Lived". You'll get it.


Meet the 2013 Polar Nights Collection

I'm super excited about this years Polar Nights Collection. I got so busy last year and didn't plan well ahead and well... you know the fallout. No Polar Nights at all :( I am such a bad winter lover.

So, this years collection had to be Extra Special. Super Awesome. SpEcTaCuLaR. And honestly I'm in love with this years collection, it's especially close to my heart (and not just because of that giant Troll ;)

The story started back in the summer when I decided I really wanted to expand upon my Troll characters, give them more of a story and maybe even a new Troll. And then I started watching Frozen Planet. Haven't seen it? You should. Since humans are doing such a great job at destroying the Arctic I figured a big intimidating Troll would be the best Defender of our frozen wonderlands. And he'd be the biggest and baddest of Trolls.... the GrandDaddy of Trolls. And he needed a catchy name (and leg warmers) As much as I'm inspired by so many Nordic and Scandinavian stories and design, I did want to try to do something a bit closer to home, and with a large part of Canada being in the High North this works perfect for an Arctic themed collection. So Arctic Troll's name is a Inuit and a bit Scandinavia. I found the word Siku, which in Inuit means "Ice" and this word is so close to a scandinavian name I love = Suki, so I figured it was the perfect name for this new Troll. His decoration is inspired by Norwegian sweaters and Inuit boots and his colourings are all shades of ancient glacial ice.

Here it is.... Starting with Suki - Defender of the Arctic, and his 4 Arcticland wildlife buddies. For the next 4 Fridays I'll be showcasing a different featured animal, to help you learn a little bit about all that is at risk right now, in our Arctic regions. If you are looking for more info, you can learn all sorts over at the WWF's website.

The Polar Nights will be available starting at the One of a Kind in Toronto (November 28th to December 8th) show with card sets and prints, and during the show $1 from each piece sold will be donated to the WWF and it's efforts to help protect the Arctic. As of Saturday, the Society 6 shop will have all the illustrations available as canvas prints, totes, iphone/ipad cases etc. The Arts Market will be stocking the card sets after OOAK as well as framed prints. Hopefully more venues will be stocking this goodness soon too!


Staying Creative

This time of year especially, life can get crazy busy and creativity suffers. So here's a bit of inspiration I found on the Uppercase blog

29 ways to stay creative 
(click for the video - sorry blogger won't let me embed vimeo videos)

Have a safe and scary Halloween - try not to eat all the candy ;)

Don't forget to check back on Friday for the launching of the 2013 Polar Nights Colleciton!


Weekend Rap with no paper cuts!

Whew. This past week was exhausting. Even the weekend, gone in a flash. Mind you it was a fun flash, but still. It really is true when they say "the older you get the faster time flies". Gosh....

I had stacks of Christmas cards, and notepads and paper all sorts just waiting patiently for the big packing party weekend. I thought, no biggie, it won't take us long. Lesson learned. Plan LOADS of time for packing piles and piles of cards. Like more than one evening kind of time.

Packing and tying and stamping oh my! Plus my first attempt at gluten free pizza. Successful weekend all around.

This time of year is busy for everyone, so trying to get a group of my friends together in one place, at one time was challenging. Life happens. But my friend Steph was a trooper. She came, I fed her, she packed, and cut and folded and tied for hours. She also brought Kettle Corn. And good chats. I have to say it's the first time since we met last Spring that we really sat down and chatted about all sorts. I got to know her a whole lot better. And I'm really happy for that. She's definitely a refreshing addition to my life!

And did I mentioned we packed? It was overwhelming how much work packaging really is. Cutting all the cord for the tags, cutting enough cord for the hundreds of card sets that needed to be tied together. That alone filled Friday evening (along with more of the Halloween Horror Fest). But it's almost all done. At least my One of a Kind show stock, forget about the Etsy and Brick and Mortar stores I have to stock. Being a small business is draining, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It's funny how this kind of work for some random workplace would be crap, but when it's for yourself and you're surrounded by friends and good chats (not to mention good eats) it's an adventure. Oh yeah, did I mention I made my first gluten free pizza. I used Bob's Red Mill pizza dough - so not totally from scratch, but it was so tasty. I think next time I'll have to add some spices to the dough, it was a bit bland. But I found some Sheep's Feta to top the pizza and holy moly it was SO tasty. Unfortunately the cupcakes I attempted failed miserably. I blame that on the oven, I've made the recipe a billion times with tasty results. But my current oven has some issues....

Hopefully next weekend I can wrap up the majority of all my packaging, and turn my attention to my display. I have it planned out in my head, just need to build it now. 1 month to go, plenty of time ;)

This musical Monday contribution is for my packing minion Steph, and all the other small business ladies out there. A little Annie & Aretha for you!


Scary Movie Marathon

It's October... Fall is here as is Halloween.... And I love watching truly scary movies (and the odd TV show). Not the slasher, blood and gore types, but the ones that have me in a tense ball of nerves, wondering what's going to happen, the ones that are just believable enough to leave me sleepless for days. The ones that understand sarcasm. The TV shows are tough, it doesn't take long for the story to become predictable and characters truly annoying, unless you are American Horror Story (seriously I will forever be creeped out by Zachary Quinto after season 2...)

So, in the spirit of the season, I thought I'd share my 5 favourite Scary movies with you:

1. The Exorcist (1973) I still can't sit through the entire film without getting up and taking a break. And don't get me started on that re-release, those added scenes were some of the creepiest, weirdest things I have ever seen. At first glance, I didn't quite understand why they were deemed to extreme, until I stuck in the middle of the isle, in a theatre full of people, with no escape, watching that re-release. If you haven't seen this one yet, definitely watch the original first, it's well creepy on it's own (then watch the re-release to see the scenes that were deemed to extreme for 1973)

2. Halloween (1978) I love this movie. Jamie Lee Curtis kick some serious ass (especially that stabbing with the knitting needles) just enough build up and tension so that you will need a massage after watching it. And that music. All the greatest scary movies have a killer theme song. I also love that this was one of the first "slasher" type films but it's not all blood and gore like today. What you don't see is what makes it scary.

3. Candyman (1992) Now, this one might be a surprise, but it's one of those urban myth type movies that works. The scary part isn't Candyman and his bees (although Tony Todd does a great job and being creepy and alluring all in one) it's Helen's journey in crazy. Did she go bonkers from all her research, or is the myth real and she's the only one who can see it. Wouldn't that drive you nuts? Being locked in the mental hospital and going to prison because NO ONE BELIEVES YOU. That kind of stuff creeps me out.... which leads us to #4.

4. Season 2 American Horror Story (2012) This season was set in an asylum in the 60's and houses some serious deranged characters plus the fact that every season of the show is based on factual events makes you wonder just which events are true. Being wrongly committed is up there with drowning, one of those horrific things that could happen to you, that you would be 100% aware of the whole time. I was watching this season all after it originally aired, and usually I watched an episode or 2 a night if it's really awesome. I had to stop watching this as it was giving me nightmares. Now that's what the horror genre is supposed to be about! Can't wait for season 3 (has Kathy Bates = Awesomesauce!)

5. 28 Days Later (2002)  Call me weird but I don't find zombies scary at all, gross yes, scary - not so much. What was really eerie about this movie was the human reaction. If zombies ever were come to be, I'd be more likely to believe this scenario to something like Walking Dead (really can they all just die already) That moment when Jim wakes up and is wandering a very empty London, makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. Can you imagine waking up from a coma and NO ONE is around. Anywhere.

Honourable Mention: Dead Snow (2009) Ok, you've heard me talk on and on about this one. I have to say, it's really not that scary of a movie but there's that one scene with the outhouse.... gets me every time. I already had a slight phobia of outhouses, after this movie I'll never EVER go in one again. Now, even though this movie isn't really scary, it's all kinds of amazing. Fun and silly and gross and really well done. And FYI - this one is subtitled, but Norwegian is such a fun language to listen to :)

What it comes down to for me... movies that make me jump out of my seat all good fun, but movies that keep me up at night, wondering what every little bump in the night is, those are the ones that are true horror films. But ask anyone, they've all got an opinion on what's scary.

Happy Halloween Peeps!


Holiday Shipping!

Someone posted on facebook that there are only 9 Saturdays left until Christmas.

I was shocked. I mean, I KNOW it's the middle of October, but still... only NINE Saturdays?

So, I can't help you with your shopping, but I can help with shipping woes. I certainly don't want you to be that frazzled person standing in the massive Post Office lineup so I've put together some super FUN shipping deadline graphics for you. Feel free to download them to keep on hand and pass around so all your friends and family send out their parcels on time (especially the ones to you ;)

These are based on shipping out of Canada, if you're outside of my awesome country just check in your countries postal website. I'll list a few at the bottom of this post for you.

Now, if you're looking to order some gifts from the thunderpeep etsy shop or the Society 6 shop (which are both fully stocked with Holiday goodies) here are my shipping deadlines to ensure arrival by December 24th. Don't forget that during the super busy Holiday shipping season things can get delayed, especially crossing borders so it's always best to order ahead of the deadline.

Here's a list of links to some other post offices:

United States Postal Service

Australia Post

New Zealand Post

UK Royal Mail


Weekend Rap

Last week SUCKED. I don't know what was in the air, but it was one of those weeks where everyone seems to be off and nothing goes right.  This weekend was a welcome retreat. And I do mean retreat. I burrowed in and worked the weekend away, watched some scary movies and played with the kitty cats I'm looking after for the next week. You may have seen pics of Brutt on my Instagram but now she's got a younger bro, Jasper, who's a bit of a diva. They get a long for the most part, but if I pay too much attention to Brutt then Jasper gets a bit jealous and gives a wicked stink eye!

Brutt and those soulful eyes ~ Jasper is just a big sucker for attention

The pressure is on to get everyone ready for One of a Kind. I have a gal in my building who has been doing the show for years and she was giving me some advice on how much stock to bring and now I'm starting to think I need to plan on more. MORE. Oh my gosh, my little house is already stuffed to the gills and so much packaging needs to be done. Plus I have to start planning my online stock and all my lovely stockists. The Joys of small business. I do have a packing party planned for next Saturday. Putting all the little elves to work stuffing and wrapping and cutting and stamping.

On some really FUN thunderpeep news I put the finishing touches on both my 2014 calendar as well as the Polar Nights collection. I'll be test printing this week and then the calendar will be available next weekend and the Polar Nights on November 1st.

The Calendar is a collection of typographic works of some goofy and perhaps somewhat inspiration sayings. Kind of like the cards, but not really occasion based. I realized last year that the season illustration calendar was a harder sell when my customers are all over the globe. Not everyone has the same seasons at the same time as I do here in Toronto. There are some really funny ones, and some will make their appearance as cards next year. Oh yeah, and I forgot to tell you, in 2014 I'll be officially switching over to silkscreening all the cards, not just limited edition ones. Yay. That will mean some re-designs, but that's all good!

As for the Polar Nights collection, I may have mentioned that this one was inspired by my love for the polar regions and this year I stayed closer to home, focusing on the Canadian Arctic. The illustrations feature and new Troll character as well as some Arctic wildlife among polar scenery. I'm in love with the collection and I was showing the cards to a coworker who is usually my first test market and is a pretty good gage for what will be well received, and she was ooing and awing and giggling so I'm super excited to bring it to everyone else :)

As it is still October, the month of all things horror, I watched a lot of scary movies this weekend. That means I didn't have any musical inspirations for your Monday video. SO.... how about one of the most awesome music videos ever made, that features Vincent Price. Can you guess?

Happy Monday peeps!


Long Weekend Rap full of Good Food and Thanks

As you may have heard, it was Thanksgiving Weekend here in Canada. An extra long weekend to spend time with friends and family, enjoy big feasts, sleep in and even take naps. It also meant I had lot's of time to finish off all the work in progress, including the Holiday Collection, which I posted about yesterday, finishing up the 2014 Calendar and the Polar Nights Collection.

I can't wait to share the Calendar - hopefully I'll get a test print this week so I can share it with you next weekend. This years calendar is 12 months of extra special quotes. These ones are just too damn special special for regular old cards, so I decided to use them on the calendar. All month long you'll be able to see them and have a little giggle. Who wouldn't want that?

I'm really excited to launch the Polar Nights Collection next month. I didn't release one last winter so I had to make this one extra special. I wanted this collection to be more personal and Fun. I'm been wanting to created more Troll stories and illustrations and as I was working on a new one, he kind of evolved as a bit of a super Troll. The Grandpappy of all Trolls and since I wanted the collection to be a bit more Canadian inspired, I figured he should be from the Arctic - the Protector of the Arctic. Because we need one..... That's all I'll give you for now, maybe a few more sneak peeks before the official launch at the One of a Kind show ;)

That's what I was up to this weekend, on top of dinners with friends and making my first ever Gluten Free stuffing. It was surprisingly easy (this was my first time ever even making stuffing from scratch). I had this basic recipe from GlutenFreeGirl and the toughest part was finding the right GF bread. I certainly wasn't make it from scratch! My house smelled sooooo delicious while it was cooking, I think one of my candle making friends needs to make a sage scented stuffing candle. Yum! It turned out ok. A bit mushy and not quite as flavourful. I think my next attempt at Christmas will be more adventurous, maybe some cranberries. Any suggestions?

Instead of leaving you with the soundtrack of my weekend, I thought I'd leave you with something a bit more festive... you can watch the entire Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on YouTube!

How did you spend your weekend? 


Holiday Well Wishes

It's finally all ready to go. The 2013 Holiday Collection that is. This one is smaller than previous years, but there's more variety, and one product I'm SUPER excited about. (all products available online here)

The Cards

2 new designs... all in good Holiday Fun! (seriously, what IS the point of a naughty list?)

Don't want to write out a bunch of cards? No worries... we've got Gift Tags!

2 designs - both come in packs of 8 tags!

This year we've even got GIFT Wrap 

2 designs to choose from. Will come packaged with 4 sheets - for the Wreath design you'll get 2 of each colour
(sorry kiddos, this one will only be available at the One of a Kind Show and select stores in Toronto)

and the big top secret piece... ready made Letters to Santa!

I've had this one up my sleeve for awhile. And it was all hush hush, you never know who's watching, and I couldn't find anyone doing anything similar - I wanted to keep it that way ;)

You can sit down with the kids, help them fill out all the info the Big Guy needs to know to fill his Big Bag of Gifts before liftoff on December 24th. Fold the letter in and use the awesome stickers to seal it shut. And if you live in the US or Canada you can just drop that letter into the mailbox (yeah, Santa is such a Rockstar you don't need postage to mail him a letter) FUN all around! I was excited to be able to design some stickers to go along with the set, what kid (or some grown ups I now) doesn't love stickers. I wish they could have been scratch and sniff, but we'll have to work up to that one!

So, I'm almost all ready for the Holiday rush now. Just need to finish off the Polar Nights collection, which will be the centrepiece of the One of a Kind booth. *hint... I stuck a bit closer to home with my inspiration, it seems our Arctic was in need of some serious protection ;) Look for the launch later on November 3rd.

*Order any of the Holiday goodies during the month of October and you'll get Free Shipping (blog readers this one is just for you because you've been so patient with me lately) use the coupon code BLOGXMAS at etsy checkout. Hooray for Free Shipping! There are also some of last years cards still up in the shop, and they are part of the Free Shipping deal as well.

PS. As this is Thanksgiving Weekend here in Canada tomorrow is a Holiday (yay for an extra day to sleep in) so the Weekend Rap will come to you first thing Tuesday morning!


Long overdue Weekend Rap

I do love fall. The warm sun and cool breezes. All the colours of the changing leaves. Knowing that winter is right around the corner. The insanity of prepping for the Holiday rush (ok, that last one might not be one of my favourite things!)

What I don't love is the head cold that hits, without fail, every September. All 3 years I've been back in Toronto I've gotten knocked back on my ass for days with snot and coughs and drowsiness. This one was exceptionally bad because I had so much work that had to get done, so I had 2 down days then had to work through the rest of the cold. That's life as a grown up :)

So, with that, I've been a bit absent online, so lot's to catch up on.

The Holiday line is starting to pop up in the shop. I'll do a post on that later this week, to introduce you to all the goodies. Some are still being finished up (yikes, where did all that time I had go?) Prep for One of a Kind continues, although I'm still not firm on my display. It's so tough. I did acquire an AWeSOME new (vintage) drawing table, that is helping with the creativity. Seriously, it's a sweet setup.... check it out

yes, that IS my love seat as a drawing chair. It works unbelievably well!

Holiday prep is well under way, but as I'm learning you always have to be a step ahead, the Midsummer idea board is already and up and filling up. Um, yeah. Plans for the launch at next spring's One of a Kind show are starting to form. So many ideas. My head is all full of good fun. And this spring I'm officially in a grown up booth. I have LOADS of space to fill with stationery goodness. Excitement (and nerves) I'm also working on a new photoshoot for the cards. Stepping it up a notch, have to stay ahead of the pack! Oh yeah, and there's that book with Trolls in it.

It's a wonder I have any time to sleep!

Speaking of sleep.... those 2 glorious days I got to spend in bed in being all snotty and coughy, I watched a lot of movies and TV. And when I'm sick I tend to go for old favourites, as I know I may doze off and don't want to miss out on any important details. On that list was one of my favourite TV shows that went bye bye WAY too soon... Being Human (the UK version not that crappy sappy US version) I love British TV for loads of reasons, but one of those reasons is the awesome soundtrack they provide. At least Being Human did. So, during one episode in season 2 they played one of my favourite Cure songs.... Lullaby. Suited the moment too, all dark and creepy. I was inspired to pull out all my Cure songs, I'd forgotten how much fun they are!

With that said, here's your Monday musical offering. Maybe not the most upbeat one I've provided, but after being dragged down into a week of sleepless nights I thought this particular one would be well suited!

Happy Monday Peeps... hopefully this doesn't give you any nightmares, but it is almost Halloween so get used to the creepy ;)


Ten things

 that make me really happy

1.sitting around a campfire
2. long rambling chats with good friends
3. sleeping in past 6am
4.the sound of giggles
5. unexpected mail
6. any kind of mail that isn't a bill and has foreign stamps on it!
7. when someone I know gets one of my cards, and it wasn't from me
8. hugs (this one surprised me, but it's quite true!)
9. being completely consumed in creativity
10. the quiet of a snow falling & that crunchy sound of walking in really cold frozen snow 

and this picture!

what are the things that make you happy?


Weekend Rap

The Heat is on! It's only 2 months until the One of a Kind Show and I'm feeling the crunch.

This weekend was part work, but also part hangout time, as I'm realizing these moments are going to be harder and harder to come by in the next 2 months. Gulp!

Bright and early on a VERY rainy Saturday, I was up and headed downtown to my friend Steff's house for a bit of crafty fun, and brainstorming. Steff is an amazing quilter and her mission was to help me make myself a new everyday bag. I'm a pretty tragic seamstress.... but she's a very patient teacher so we're a good match. I learned to cut properly, even fold my fabric properly, and I even got to freestyle on my applique's. It was all kinds of FUN. The result was a super cute little tote

Not a bad job eh? I was especially impressed with that freestylin' birdy (the one with the houses was my second attempt, big improvement from the first bird and it was a ton of fun to do!)

The rest of my weekend was spent trying to finalize the Holiday collection and to start building my OOAK booth. I'm really upping the game with my booth. It's tough with cards, it seems all the displays are way too similar, so I want to do something really different and really special. I'm pretty handy at building... we'll have to see how it goes. I'm in the process of building a 3D model to help figure it out, you know I'll share pics of that crafty project!

Now, for your post-weekend dance party. It's been 25 years since we first heard Canadian Rapper Maestro Fresh Wes. Wow, does that make me feel OLD. I remember that coming out. Back then, mainstream rap was nothing like it is today. Let Your Backbone slide was pretty fun (I hadn't even heard of grunge at this point) So, this past Saturday Mr. Fresh was inducted into the Canadian Walk of Fame. I can only hope thunderpeep has a solid 25 year (and more) career, so I tip my hat to you Maestro and everyone else. Get up and dance!

PS. If you're reading this Monday morning before 11:30am, you still have time to make it down to the Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto for the Etsy panel "The Digital Future is People Powered".... a panel of great women discussing the need for personal connections in social media (oh and I'm one of those panelists :) You can find the details here


I spent the weekend in the park

This past weekend was one of my favourite outdoor events of the year. No, I take that back. It IS my favourite. I live in the East end of Toronto, just off the Danforth (remember the Taste of Danforth madness?) and a bit farther east from my place is East Lynn Park. Home to the East Lynn Farmers Market, which I learned is put on by the very same folks who put on the Danforth East Arts Fair.

Outdoor shows have always made me uneasy. Rain and dampness are the arch nemesis of paper goods (and I don't really like them either) But DEAF, in the 5 years it's been running, has always been blessed with good weather. Have I said how much I love this show already? Anyhow, this year was my second year participating, I had some great expectations, but I was also looking forward to hanging out with some of my crafty buddies and getting some facetime with my giggling customers. It was a long summer of creating and packaging and plotting, not enough socializing. 

it's amazing what you can fit into a Mazda3 - into a 10x10 tent - what treats you can hide behind your display!

This weekend was well worth the wait. Eastenders are extremely engaged shoppers. They're always interested in you and your story, the story behind the products. That's golden for a creator. You know whatever it is you are selling is going on to a good home. And they have the sense of humour to hang in the thunderpeep tent (although listening to a mom explain the new Marriage card to her 10 year old son was a bit awkward, until she just said "one day you'll have a wife and understand" - loved them!)

hello baby goodbye sleep card is in the show now! Catnip ball is available at Lynn's Lids shop

Saturday was gorgeous and sunny (although a bit chilly in the shade of my tent) and tons of locals came out to play in the park and browse all the awesome vendors. it was a perfect day in the East End. Sunday was a bit more overcast, but it was still warm and a surprising number of dogs in the park. It was a fun break from all the cute babies the day before. The East End is really family oriented, not a surprise then that the new Hello Baby card (in Lavendar) was the big seller of the weekend. Do I know my Eastenders or what?!

high fives for this best t-shirt of the weekend! Goodies from Heart's Haven & LureArts Pottery!

I didn't get a chance to do a whole lot of shopping unfortunately. I did wander a bit when the moment arose, and ordered myself a new iphone case (custom made too) from the super fun Dolalee and picked up a felted catnip ball for the critters upstairs, from my booth neighbour Lynn's Lids.

Now the focus is all on the Holiday rush and One of a Kind Show. I'm also starting a newsletter (shocking I know) I wanted to do an actual mailout one, but no one wants to give me their address. Weird, right? If you want in on the email version you can email me your email address and I'll add you in, first one is due out beginning of November. If you want me to mail you a physical copy... I'm still game ;)

How was your weekend?

Now, it's Monday you know. So I'm obliged to provide a soundtrack to your day. There's no particular theme, I wish I could have gotten some video of one of the musicians playing in the park this weekend. But that didn't happen so you get some Smashing Pumpkins since they are currently playing at Casa Peeps at the moment! Happy Monday peeps :)

To note.... I just discovered that one of my friends has one of those fun little video cameras that are so popular these days. Perhaps so silly thunderpeep videos to come?


Happy Friday the 13th!

Tomorrow is a big day. And Sunday too. It's finally here. The official kick-off of the craft show season. Well the second show season of the year.

The Danforth East Arts Fair is a great big arts party in the park (East Lynn Park that is). I LOVE this show, who can't enjoy spending 2 days outside in the park, meeting other incredible artists and getting to interact with so many fun loving paper lovers. And the East End is home to some amazingly supportive peeps. Last year was my first time as a vendor and I was blown away by how involved the shoppers were. People didn't just stroll past your booth. They came in, they asked questions, they were curious... and they laughed. Boy did they laugh. I can't wait for all the giggling over the new products this year. They make me feel happy that I took the leap to pursue my little stationery company.

If you're in Toronto hopefully you'll make the trek to visit, and make sure to stop by and see all the new products and maybe, just maybe, I'll have some of those famous PB+Chocolate cookies with me ;)

And not to forget my Blog Challenge duties.... I leave you with this awesome portrait I got done a few years ago by an amazing artist in Calgary (todays challenge was a self-portrait, this counts - right?) AND it's Friday the 13th so extra bonus points!


life's big moments

Blog September Challenge for today: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.

This one is so easy. 

boxes everywhere! all boxes were numbered, with a list of everything packed in each box:) I'm so efficient

In March of 2011 I packed up my life in Vancouver and moved my ass back to Toronto (yeah 16 years earlier I took the train across the country and settled in Vancouver ). I left a job that was pretty much my dream job (due to the fact that no one reads newspaper or magazines anymore - not just because I felt like it), a great group of friends (who will always be my friends), and those mountains. Oh.... those mountains. I won't sugar coat it. It was hard. Really hard. It still is hard. There still isn't a week that goes by that I don't miss Vancouver. Not to knock Toronto, but I'm an outdoorsy lady. I live for forest adventures. But the opportunity came up to make a change, something I knew I needed to do. And I may not have a dream job anymore, but I'm creating my own new dream job in thunderpeep. And it's all mine. It's evolved so much in the past 2 years, so much more than I could have anticipated. And I've met some amazing new friends that have helped me grow as a person and find my Toronto self. I don't have regrets... but I know I'll make it back to the beautiful West Coast eventually. Just not tomorrow.

the last days in my sunny Vancouver apartment. I had a view of those mountains. I miss that apartment...

Have you made any big changes or big moves in your life?


I'm a what? and I listen to what?

For today's blog challenge I was instructed to take the Jung personality test and share the results.

I'm a big fan of these kinds of things. I always read my yearly horoscope from Georgia Nicholls and then put it away to read on New Years Eve to see if it all came true - so far none of the foreign romance that she keeps promising :( Come on Georgia!

Bu this test, was pretty spot on. Scary. Not sure how answering what seems like random questions can say anything about me, or am I just reading into it? Either way, here's what random questions say about me.

(FYI this is the test I took - if you decide to take the 10 minutes to fill it in, feel free to share your results)

Hello, I'm a INTJ.
I'm an idea person, anything is possible (even trolls)
I'm a doer
I'm not very good at social situations (you said what?)
I'm extremely private (even though I am learning to share some things with you now)
I rarely share my deep dark feelings. It's way more fun to share the crazy stuff!
I sweat the details (oh nothing drives me more nuts than a vague message - please don't send me one) some may say I over-think. I prefer the positive spin on it ;)
The point that made me laugh out loud was that INTJ's hate small talk. That is totally me!

There are many more points, and this post could go one forever, but even I started to get bored reading it (guess this is the one time I can bypass the details ;) If you would like to know more you can read it all here.

Oh yeah, and since it's Monday, I can't forget the fun musical contribution. And this one is golden. At first I was confused, then it was just pure awesome. My friends this is the Paul Anka doing {the} Nirvana (you see now why confusion is your first response... but just watch and enjoy)


I ain't afraid of no ghosts...

I don't even really believe in them. But that's a whole other story. Today's challenge is to tell you about a time I was afraid. 

Now, I watch a lot of scary movies. It's not uncommon for me to be freaked out. But a couple of months ago I had one of the most terrifying nightmares ever. The kind where you wake up in a pool of sweat and just can't shake the horror off of you to get back to sleep. Some of you are going to laugh about it, some of you are going to get it. 

This is how I feel about having babies....

Friendship Rule #11: when your friend can no longer drink, you must drink her portions!

No seriously, I have no ticking clock, no maternal instincts... no urge to add to the world's population. That's for everyone else to take care of. 

I this horrifying nightmare I was extremely pregnant. Not the glowing with life kind, the waddling, bloated and uncomfortable kind. And woman all around me were going into painful labour. It was horrifying. Seriously. Freaky. Shit. I woke up and still had that feeling that I was carrying around a 20lb baby in my belly. Honestly, this was before the Celiac diagnosis so I probably just ate too much gluten laden food and was bloated. I will never forget that feeling though. Even that morning at Le Day Job my coworker and I were laughing about it. I could still feel that horrible belly and the fear of hearing these women popping out human beings.

I'm sure the miracle of life isn't so nightmarish, but I will still leave it for those of you who are up for the challenge. I clearly am not - and seriously I'm ok with that ;)

Happy Friday - and what do you think of the new card? was a bit hit before it even hit the shop :)


free advice

Today's September blog challenge was to pass on a great piece of advice or super useful tidbit of information you've learned and always remembered.

So, here it is.

Happy Thursday little peeps... tomorrow is FRIDAY :)

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