Tuesday, December 30, 2008

it's all about the food

I love the holidays - time off from work, spending time with the family, gifts, and of course, the food. I love good food and the holidays are no exception.

My mom doesn't really like making turkey, so she opted for prime rib and lobster (one lobster each!) for our Christmas dinner. No complaints here! My husband, who's a really good cook, did the meat while my mom did the lobster and everything came out REALLY yummy.

Check out the photos (haha, now that I have a new camera, this blog is going to be chock full of photos!)...

The meat and lobsters prior to cooking:

and, the obligatory "after" photos:

Monday, December 29, 2008

pandacub's exclusive loyalty program - get free stuff!

New for 2009 - pandacub's "Frequent Buyers" program! Are you as excited about this as I am (probably not, but you will be!)?

To celebrate the new year, I'm launching a fun little program to reward my loyal customers.

Every time you reach 10 items purchased from my Etsy shop, pandacub, you get your choice of a free pair of bobby pins, hair clips or ponytail holders!


How does it work?

1. Make your purchases from pandacub as normal
2. I'll keep track of your purchases
3. Once you reach 10 items purchased (it can be any combination - ie, 10 purchases of 1 item each, 1 purchase of 10 items, it doesn't matter) I will send a special "thank you" card along with your most recent purchase that has a special code just for you
4. The code is valid for ONE free pair of bobby pins OR hair clips OR ponytail holders of your choice and includes free shipping! Just return to my Etsy shop, pick your free item and "purchase" it (but you don't have to pay for it!) and remember to use your code in the "Notes to Seller" section

Is there a limit to how many free items I can get through this program?
No! Once you hit 10 items purchased and get your free item, I start counting your total again, which means every time you hit 10 items purchased, you get free stuff!

What if I've made purchases in the past, before I found out about this great program?
No worries - I'm going back and making sure all my past customers get to take advantage too. If you have made any purchases in 2008 from pandacub, those purchases count towards your total, so you may already be on your way to free things!

Other things you should know about this program:
- The free item does not count towards your total items purchased
- Transactions are tallied by Etsy account, so if you purchase from two different Etsy accounts, your totals will not combined
- You will receive your free item code with every 10th item purchase
- Each code is specific to your Etsy account and cannot be transferred to another person/Etsy buyer
- Each code is only valid for one item and cannot be used more than once

Still have questions about this program and how it works? Email me at pandacub.etsy@gmail.com!

Friday, December 26, 2008

yay for my new digital camera!

I'm very excited to share that my parents got me one of the things I've been wanting for a very long time - a new digital camera! It's a Olympus Stylus 1010 and is a sleek black little camera with 10 megapixel capabilities and an optical zoom of 7x! :D

This is great new for my blog as it means (hopefully) that I'll be able to put more photos on the blog soon!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Just wanted to take this opportunity in between family events to wish all my friends out there a wonderful Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

yay! new fabric!

I just got some new fabric - eek! Isn't it the cutest! I'm going to be able to make some REALLY cute accessories with this batch! I can't wait! :D

Thursday, December 18, 2008

it's going to be a white christmas, me thinks

The latest "long-term" forecast from The Weather Network web site (which I check more often that I will admit)...looks like we're going to be getting a lot of snow in the next few days here in Toronto (to add to the 7 cm we had yesterday), so unless there's a freak warm spell, I think we're definitely going to have a white Christmas this year.

I love white, fluffy snow. I DON'T love going to work in the snow, especially when it's not white and fluffy, but wet, grey, slushy, icy, sleety and messy. In other words, how snow looks in Toronto about 5 minutes after the snowfall. :(

I know that most crafters would be taking advantage of the weather and cozy-ing up at home to work on their craft projects, or do a little baking, but since I have don't have any days off except weekends, Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, all I have to look forward to right now is the long commute in the snow. Yuck.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

my lonely mitten

I hate the cubicle life. And my cubicle is GREY, so it's extra gloomy. I guess I shouldn't complain since I have a bank of windows to stare out of, but still...

In a desperate bid to embed some holiday cheer into my drab little cubicle, I hung up this adorable little mitten that I got from a co-worker. She gave me a Starbucks coffee card and this is their gift card "holder". So much cuter than a regular envelope. I may have to go buy another gift card for myself just so that I have a pair! LOL!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

re-discovering the crafty life

When I started out this little blog, the idea was to promote my new Etsy Shop, pandacub, and to share some of the other great crafty things I've discovered on Etsy.

But the more time I spent on Etsy, and the more wonderfully talented people I met, I realized that I wanted to share more than just "Etsy-ness". I wanted to share other fun things that were happening in my life. As my sister and husband often complain, I change hobbies every month or so and although I've tried to get better at sticking to one hobby for longer periods of time, I'm enjoying re-discovering all these fun crafts!

I'm still loving my little fabric buttons, but something I've ALWAYS wanted to do was make my own buttons. The pin kind with fun sayings and cute graphics. When I first started thinking of ideas for my Etsy shop, I had wanted to do buttons, but the button machine is uber-expensive and I just couldn't justify it, so I looked into other areas.

Now, my mind has been wandering back to button machines again and trying to figure out how I could finance one of my own... ;)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: lluviadesigns

Featured Etsian: lluviadesigns
Shop link: lluviadesigns.etsy.com

FLORECITA ROCKERA necklace (by lluviadesigns)

Give us the basics:

My name is Jenn George Burt, but I'm better known as JennGee to other lluviadesigns (lluvia means rain in spanish), i'm in west covina, california, but no one has ever heard of it, so i say i'm in l.a. (i grew up in l.a. and still miss it very much!). i make what i call "unwearable" jewelry. by the time i feel it's complete, it's usually huge and way out of hand.

What’s your favourite smell?
cilantro and wet clay

How long have you been doing your craft?
i've been making jewelry for over 20 years.

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
i look at magazines, strands of beads, my garden, and other etsians, or course for inspiration. most of the time i just have to peruse through my large bead collection and the beads alone inspire me.

HIBISCUS repurposed necklace (by lluviadesigns)

What do you like least about your craft?
i hate selling the stuff. i hate waiting for new beads to arrive at my doorstep.

What’s a normal day for you?
i get up around 6:30 am, have coffee, check email, make a to-do list (i'm very disorganized), take a hike or walk with my dog, do "house" stuff, make some jewelry, list some stuff on etsy. right now i have the luxury of only working part time and being able to take 3 hour walks with my dog and make jewelry all day in my pajamas if i want to.

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
list a lot of stuff, like always try to have A LOT of items in your shop, advertise outside of etsy, spend time in the forums getting to know the AWESOME people you're sharing this space with. i've met some great people both online and in person through etsy.

How do you discover new things on Etsy?
i pounce! i love pouncing and pounce every day, just to see what and who is new.

red bamboo CORAL freeform sticks (by lluviadesigns)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I had a great time at the Holiday Trunk Show and sold quite a bit of my accessories.

The most popular item of the day HAD to be my Robot magnets. I made these cute magnets especially for the show, but I ran out of buttons so I could only bring a limited number of sets with me. Well, they were snapped up quite quickly and I think I was out of them within the first hour of the show.

So I'm definitely going to be making lots of these and stocking my Etsy shop - watch for them soon!

Also, I went a little crazy today and bought 10 fabric prints. I restocked some of the robot fabric, but also bought lots of adorable new prints, including honeybees, sailor boys, owls and daschunds. I can't wait to start creating new buttons!

Of course, that means I need to re-stock on blank buttons. It seems I'm ALWAYS running out of blank buttons!

Monday, December 8, 2008

the holiday trunk show at the workroom

As you all may know (since I've talked about nothing else on this blog lately), I took part in my first ever Trunk Show yesterday! It was held at "the workroom", a lovely fabric/supply shop that also holds craft classes and rents space/machines by the hour - a great little hub of craftiness in Toronto!

I had less than 2 weeks to prepare for the show, so I was definitely busy! I created new packaging for my products (which I love so much, I'll be using this method permanently from now on), prepped an old, beat-up case, printed business cards, etc, etc. Check out my display, all set up!

And yes, I was drooling at all the pretty fabric the workroom had for sale (you can see some of it in the background of my display!)

I wasn't the only one preparing for the show! My amazing sister, Suziesaurus, came along to support me and handmade me this beautiful mini "apron" - it had pockets for a pen, my phone, a little notepad and all my change!

It was busy from open to close and I not only had a fun day, I met lots of other great local crafters, including the talents behind Karissa Cove, Operation Sock Monkey, Dear Sukie, pupa pupa, lines by davis and many others (which you'll probably see show up on this blog sooner or later. )

Special thanks again to Karyn from the workroom, for giving me this amazing opportunity to sell in-person for the first time and to meet such a wonderful and supportive group of people!

images: all images taken by and belong to Suziesaurus

the paper place chiyogami giveaway

I have a bit of an obsession when it comes to fabric, and sometimes that obsession teeters into the "paper" section as well. There are some ultra gorgeous paper prints out there and as always, the Japanese are way ahead of the curve. Beautiful Chiyogami papers inspire even the most un-crafty people to dream of great excuses to buy the papers.

Well, what if you could WIN your own supply? The awesom shop, The Paper Place, is running The Great Chiyogami Giveaway! From now until December 31, 2008 you have the chance to win a sheet of EVERY SINGLE Chiyogami pattern then sell - that's 637 patterns in all (that's almost $2000 CAD in cool paper!) How's THAT for inspiration?

I'm definitely entering! Click to The Paper Place for your own chance at this amazing prize!

Friday, December 5, 2008

busy little pandacub...

I've been remiss about posting on the blog this past week, but it's because I've been super busy trying to get ready for the Holiday Trunk Show at the workroom! As I mentioned, it's my first time selling in person, I'm not only nervous and anxious and excited, I'm also woefully unprepared and have been running around buying receipt books, a little calculator, labels, making up business cards, price signs, etc, whew!

So, if you're in Toronto, please come by and say hi (see my previous post for all the details) as I would love to meet you!

Monday, December 1, 2008

pandacub's first show!

I'm so excited! As mentioned in a previous post, I'll be "peddling my wares" at the workroom's Holiday Trunk Show. If you live in the Toronto area, or happen to be there on the right date, I'd love to meet you! There will be some free snacks, great vendors selling lovely handmade items, lots of crafty people having a fun time, and did I mention free snacks??! :D

Check out this flickr page for all the info, including a list of vendors and photos of the pretty things you can buy. I've already spotted a few things to get for myself - I can't wait!

Click on the flyer to get a larger version that you can actually read! LOL

It's going to be my first time selling "in-person" so I'm both excited and nervous. Those butterflies are starting to swarm in my tummy! I've been a busy little panda, putting together packages and getting other business-related things together (receipts, business cards, change, etc).

Hope to see you all there!