The World
Of ElleSee
by LC McDonald

September 28, 2012

Birthday Mail

My birthday is next month, and it is one of my favourite times to get mail -- and you and I both know how much I love mail. In the days of Facebook and everyone writing "Happy Birthday" on your wall instead of through a card, it's nice to get a little piece of love in the mail.


So, I'm asking you if you would like me to send you a little piece of birthday happiness through the mail. Send me an email -- littleshopofellesee@gmail.com -- with your birth date and address, and I'll send you a birthday card!

Will it be weird to get a birthday card from someone that you barely know? Maybe, but know that I am sending it so that you can get the same joy out of getting a birthday card in the mail that I do.



Have a happy weekend :)





September 26, 2012

Vibrant, Kneaded and Slightly Imperfect: My Favourite Art Supplies

My art supplies are among the most important items that I use in my business -- and in my personal life. Even though you don't personally see the quality that they help me create in my original drawings, you do get to see the finished products in the form of the art prints and stationery. The art supplies that I use help create that kind of products that I want to sell to my customers.



I bought my coloured pencils several years ago because I wanted high quality coloured pencils that I knew I would use for some sort of art project -- some day. I went with Prismacolor arts quality pencils, and, I have to say, I'm very pleased with how vibrant the colours can be.



A lot of my little drawings are created with a  Zig Millennium black ink pen. I love it. I first used this kind of pen back in the early days of using my Mom's scrapbooking supplies to make Christmas cards for my friends at school. I like how imperfect it can be when writing out the words that I put on the cards, and how I can use it to colour in anything in the little drawings.




Most of the time, I will use the black ink pen to do the drawings or write the words, but there is the odd time that I need to use a pencil first -- especially for the more intricate drawings. When I use a pencil, I like to use the little fellow pictured above. The one I currently use is a brand new one, but these little guys have been my best friend since I started taking drawing lessons in high school. I could not draw without a kneaded eraser!



What are your favourite art supplies to use?




September 24, 2012

A Stand-Out Weekend

This weekend wasn't exactly a busy one, but there were lots of fun little things that I did, and I really want to share them with you:



I took the dog to the vet early on Saturday morning -- he is doing quite well, if you're wondering -- and then I brought him home quickly before I went back into the city to get my hair cut. I just wanted a trim because I'm currently trying to grow my hair out -- for something different. I like getting my hair cut because my hairstylist always straightens my hair. It is pretty much the only time my hair gets straightened -- I don't have time for that kind of thing.



After I got my hair cut, I picked up a couple of items for mine and my son's Halloween costumes this year -- I'm so excited about them -- and I got this little gem of a wooden box for a little DIY idea that I really can't wait to share with you, but, right now, it's a special little secret project. Shhhh...




On Sunday, my son saw the paint out that I was using for the DIY project, and decided that he would like to paint something. I had picked up some Clementine Art natural paint from a super cool local shop called The Better Good, and was really excited because this was the first time that he would be using it. I put out one of my little canvases for him to paint on, and he went to town choosing the colours that he wanted to use in his piece of artwork -- the purple was his favourite.




I also started working on some new product photography for the shop on Sunday morning. We get an unbelievable amount of natural light through our kitchen windows, and I think I've figured out the perfect time to take photographs of my stationery and artwork. Which means that it will all have to wait until next weekend to get done :)



What stands out for you from your weekend?





September 21, 2012

DIY Side Tables: From Boring Brown to Flashy Ikat

I've had the urge to paint the side tables in our living room for quite a while. I don't like how much brown we have in the space: the tables are brown, the sofas are brown, the bookshelf is brown, the floor is brown...brown, brown, brown!

I finally took the plunge a little while ago, and set to work wiping them down with a wet cloth to get any stickiness off of them. Then carried them into the garage -- the strong woman that I am -- and started spray painting them white. I wanted to freshen up the place.


My first mistake was white on brown, and my second mistake was the spray paint -- or perhaps no primer? Regardless, it took about four or five coats of paint to make them all glossy and purdy.

I then set to work painting the tops. I didn't want some plain white tables, I wanted something unique...something with funk. After seeing a tutorial on The Nate Berkus Show -- which doesn't exist anymore and I couldn't find for the life of me -- I decided that I wanted to paint a piece of furniture with an ikat pattern.



Well, I attempted an ikat pattern anyway. I wasn't too sure about the paint job that I had done after taking the tape off, but it has grown on me. I actually really like it, and find it quite unique. Besides, I can always paint over it :)



I think it looks a lot more fresh than it did before. It really pops out of all that brown!


Have you done any fun DIY projects recently?





September 19, 2012

Packages Tied Up With String


I hadn't really thought a lot about the packaging that I use for the items in my shop, until this little gem from the Etsy newsletter popped up in my inbox. It really got me thinking about the way that I package my items, and made me want to be as unique as the shops that were featured in the article. I wanted to step it up to the next level!

I like to protect my items in transparent bags -- just in case the envelope that they are traveling in gets wet -- but there had to be some other ways of packaging my cards and art prints than with just a ribbon and a card that I printed off on some card stock.

So I would like to reveal these guys to you...


The new packaging for my cards.


The new packaging for my little art prints.

I know what you're thinking, "Oh, another person that uses baker's twine in their packaging," but I've always liked the look of baker's twine from any of the shops that I have ordered from. I think it adds a touch of whimsy.

Right now, I am writing out my shop name on every piece of paper that is wrapped around the cards and art prints, but I would eventually like to get a stamp of my shop address. I'd also like to eventually get a stamp of my little dog logo instead of using the bird stamp, but that's what I will use for now because I really don't want to draw the dog out every single time :)

The personal little notes that I write to every customer, as well as my business card, are now tucked inside the package -- I used to write a note on the back of the big business card that I would attach to the package with a ribbon.

I was so excited when I came up with this new idea, I hope you like them as much as I do!




September 17, 2012

Cruisin'

Last Monday, my parents asked us to help celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary by joining them on the local river cruise. It was so much fun, and a very different perspective of the river than we normally get while driving across the bridges or going for a walk.






We really enjoyed it. It is was such a fun, and unique, way to celebrate my parents' happy day. We'll have to take Little Boy on it again when he's a bit older...maybe for our 36th Anniversary :)







September 14, 2012

Gonna Eat a lot of Peaches

My all-time favourite pie -- in the entire universe of existence -- is peach pie. I would die for a peach pie. I would kill for a peach pie. Peach pie is my Klondike Bar.

But, excitement aside, I want to share with you how easy it is to make a peach pie. It really is the easiest pie you could ever make.



All you need is a pie crust -- be it one that you've made, or one that someone else made for you -- and some peaches. I use freestone peaches that are lovingly grown in British Columbia -- I like to use local peaches -- because they are easily removed from the pit.

Pour some boiling water over the peaches, and after about a minute move them over to some cold water. The skin should peel off quite nicely. Cut them into small sections -- or whatever size you like -- and place them in a bowl where you will add a mixture of sugar and flour that you've already prepared -- 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 a cup of flour stirred together.



Put the pie on a cookie sheet -- to catch any juices that may come juicing out -- and place it in a 450F oven for 10 minutes. Then turn the temperature down to 350F and cook for 40 minutes until the crust is a golden brown.



And there you go! It's easy as, well, pie :)




September 12, 2012

On Absorbing the Opinions of Others

During my last year of high school, I had the opportunity, along with my art class, to visit the local art gallery that was showing an exhibit of Joni Mitchell's artwork that she had created throughout her lifetime. Being from the area, this exhibit was a big deal for the city and for my high school.

There were many different paintings. So many so that the exhibit filled the entire art gallery -- she was a busy woman. The one that I remember most is the self-portrait that she did of herself as Vincent Van Gogh, and I remember the friend that I was walking around with stating how much she disliked the painting because she couldn't be original and had to copy the work of another artist.


Joni Mitchell, Self-Portrait as Vincent Van Gogh, 1994.

That thought stuck with me, and for the longest time I had a very poor opinion of Joni Mitchell as an artist. I am sad that I couldn't walk around the exhibit and enjoy it for myself. I had to absorb the opinions of the people around me, and let it affect my opinions on great pieces of art. These opinions had an effect on what I thought of her as an artist as a whole, and it wasn't until a few years later that I actually started listening to her music.

It is awful when we let the opinions of others affect us in a negative way, and, from that, we are unable to develop our own thoughts and ideas -- or it takes us a very long time to do so. As I have grown older, I have not been as greatly affected by the negative opinions of others, and I hope it continues that way. But, I also hope that, as a parent, I will not fill my child's mind with negative opinions. I must teach him to keep an open mind, or he'll only be limiting himself.







September 10, 2012

Favourites From Etsy: September Edition

I want to share with you a few of my favourite items that I have recently found on Etsy. I love exploring new shops, and finding fantastic little goodies. Right now I'm starting to think about Christmas gifts. Have you started your holiday shopping?







I hope you have a fantastic Monday!




September 07, 2012

The Joy of Mail

I love getting mail.

I love when I get home from work, and there is a package or an envelope sitting on my desk just begging me to open it. Sometimes the mail that I get is a card from my Mom and Dad, a little letter from my Grammie, or birthday and Christmas cards, and other times it's something that I've purchased in an online shop.



Yesterday, the dress that I ordered from ModCloth arrived -- I'm really excited to wear it to a wedding on Saturday; on Wednesday, I received a small envelope with a card inside it from Julie Ann at Julie Ann Art, and last Friday I got a huge boxed package from Jo Totes -- inside was my new camera bag that I absolutely love.



There's just something so exciting about having something tangible in your hands. A little piece of love that someone wrote or packaged up just for me -- I know that Julie Ann always sends a little bit of love :)

I also love sending mail myself. I love getting ready the items that people have bought from my little shop. I enjoy writing a personal note to go along with it, and sometimes I send it with some extra happy vibes so that it get to its destination within the time frame that the customer needs it.

I know that sending mail seems like something of the past, but I think that there is a sort of movement happening that's trying to get people back to sending mail again.

I don't know about you, but that's the kind of movement that I could get behind.



Do you send mail? Do you want some mail? Email me (littleshopofellesee@gmail.com) your address, and I'll pop something in the post for you :)



Happy Friday!





September 05, 2012

The Summer List: Complete

As Fall was dawning, I finally completed the The Summer List, but I'm going to argue that it was still Summer because the children had not yet gone back to school.

It was mid-July when I first mentioned The Summer List to you. I only did one thing on the list during my holidays in July -- I took Little Boy to an outdoor swimming pool -- because I wanted to save a lot of the activities on the list to do as a family while my husband and I both had time off in August.

We did four more activities on the list, and we even went to another outdoor pool -- this one had water slides, and Little Boy loved them! This past Saturday, I completed the list with my Mother. We took Little Boy to a park that my Mom took me to when I was a little girl. It's fun to be able to start doing those kinds of things.



#2 - Go for a walk by the river.



#3 - Get ice cream from The Bus.
It's a Double Decker Bus in the middle of downtown.



He doesn't quite get the concept of eating ice cream out of a cone.



#4 - Take Little Boy to the library for the first time.



#5 - Go to three different parks.
Number One - A beautiful park in the city where we live.



Number Two - A park that's in our neighbourhood. 
We go to this park almost every night after supper.



Number Three - The park that my Mom took me to as a little girl.



Did you get everything done on your Summer List this year?





September 03, 2012

Shop Update: The Big Announcement

I have an exciting announcement to make regarding the shop: I have decided to bring back a couple of the Lil' Monsters. I originally made them with the intention of eventually making custom monsters for people, but my shop was young, and I was naive, so I let the listings expire and moved on to the next project. But there are a couple of monsters that I really like, so I'm putting them up for sale again.



They are going to look slightly different -- only slightly -- and they will be in the small print format that I currently sell -- just in time for Halloween!


I look forward to sending these little guys to some very loving homes :)




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