We’re back into the swing of market season and we’re so excited about our lineup this summer. We’re at Millarville Farmers’ Market, Stephen Ave, and Calgary Stampede Maker Market to name a few! We were very excited to be part of the inaugural Etsy: Made in Canada Spring market this year.
I love meeting new makers and was fortunate to be beside Nastasha of Nastasha Designs. She makes absolutely gorgeous watercolour flowers. They are available as prints (ready to frame or framed) and greeting cards. This market was one of her first markets ever! Before returning to her art, Nastasha did quite a bit of travelling through school and work. I enjoyed her stories throughout the day!
When I asked her about her favourite piece, Nastasha picked this lovely pink flower (buy it as a print or a card).
Did you know her flower designs are inspired by her daughter?
My daughter is the inspiration behind the flowers, she has brought so much love and beauty even if she’s little firecracker full of energy. The abstract flowers are a representation of our life now, blurry from the lack of sleep, time, energy but still incredibly beautiful. It’s nice to come back to my root after spending most of my 20’s traveling and working in the corporate world.
What a great inspiration! I had a hard time choosing which design I liked best and ended up buying a mixed package of cards. One can never have too many blank cards on hand just in case!
Huge thanks to our lovely organizers for putting on yet another fantastic event (learn more about Jillian and Lindy here)! Thank you to Nastasha for being such a great booth neighbour. Special thanks to everyone who came out to support the local talent. We couldn’t have a successful day without you!
How familiar are you with your neighbourhood pollinators? Do you know how to attract them to your yard? Here in Canada, we have five main pollinators :
Butterflies and Moths
This article focuses on bees and in particular native bees. However, many of the ideas will also encourage other pollinators.
Supporting our honeybees and native bees has become quite the rage over the last few years. Last season, native bee houses were extremely popular. I’ve put together a few tips to encourage pollinators to visit your yard. They will also improve your odds of hosting a successful bee house!
1. Attract More Native Bees (and other pollinators)
Supporting native bee species is a bit different than managing honeybees. Beekeepers can place a managed honeybee hive in a convenient location (with some restrictions). The bees are directly introduced into their new home. Native bees, however, need to be enticed. If you have a bee house, you will want to gently encourage them to inhabit the new home you’ve generously provided for them. The first step in this process is to provide a proper habitat to attract them. Good food and water sources can go a long way in attracting pollinators. In turn, it can increase the probability of a busy bee house!
Bees need both nectar and pollen for survival. Pollen, which consists of small grains and carries the male reproductive cells of the plant, provides a source of protein and fats. Nectar is a sugar-rich liquid produced by plants to encourage pollination. Foraging bees use this as a source of energy . Honeybees also turn nectar into honey. Some bee species are specialists relying on a single type of flower to survive while others are generalists. Bumblebees, for example, are generalists. They tend to be attracted most to blue or violet flowers although they will visit other flowers as well .
In planning your garden with pollinators in mind, it’s important to have food available all season. Crocuses, for example, are an early source of pollen. Echinachea provides pollen and nectar late in the season. Plan your garden to include plants that bloom throughout the season. Colour variety can also entice a variety of pollinators to frequent your yard. Heirloom and native plants have excellent nutritional value for pollinators. Native plants are also well suited to our climate. Some plants you may consider for your garden include:
It is extremely important for bees to have easy access to water because they do not store it. Bird baths tend to be too large for bees and introduce significant danger of drowning. Bee waterers, however, are easy to make. It’s fun to observe who visits them! These waterers provide landing pads for pollinators as they drink. If they happen to fall into the water, the landing pads are within swimming distance. To make your own bee waterer, follow the steps below:
Landing pad material (river rocks, marbles, and glass stones work great)
Place your landing pad material in the dish.
Fill dish with water leaving the top of your landing pad material exposed.
Tip: Since the dish is shallow and we live in a dry climate, keep an eye on the water level to ensure there’s enough water to encourage a steady stream of visitors. Last summer, I refilled mine as often as daily on the hottest days. A cat water dish or shallow dish from a second hand store filled with pebbles both work great!
2. Understand Your Bees
Depending on the species, bees are considered either social or solitary. Honeybees and bumblebees are two commonly encountered species. Both are social bees. Honeybees are a non-native species originating in Europe or Asia. These are the only species of bee that produce honey harvested for commercial purposes. Bumblebees, on the other hand, are a native bee species. They tend to live in underground hives with populations of 150-200 bees . Honeybee hives can reach a population of over 70 000 bees during peak honey flow. In Alberta, we have over 300 native species of bees, most of which are solitary. If you have a native bee house, these are the bees you will be aiming to attract.
3. Provide a Home
Once you’ve attracted more pollinators to your yard, the probability your bee house will be used goes up. Now, where is the best place to put your native bee house? The ideal location provides an environment which is:
In morning sun
Solitary bee species tend to be shy and skittish. Low traffic areas will allow the bees to feel safe. Providing shelter can help them avoid predators such as birds. Early morning sun is helpful to give them an earlier start to the day.
If you can identify the species you have in your yard, do a bit of research on their preferences to figure out an ideal location for your bee house. I’ve provided some resources below to help you get started. For example, mason bees use mud to seal their eggs in, so having moist soil nearby is a must. Sources of pollen and nectar within 300 feet of the house is also helpful for mason bees as that is their greatest foraging distance . A good location for your bee house if you’d like to attract mason bees could be at the back of a flower bed you don’t weed often. Other good locations may include a fairy garden, on a tree, on a building, or on a post. If the bees aren’t moving in after a season and you have a lot of bees in your yard, try somewhere else!
Encouraging pollinators to visit your yard can be an extremely rewarding experience. By implementing the ideas in this article, I’m sure your yard will be buzzing in no time! Good luck!
I can’t believe it’s time to start markets already! It feels like winter doesn’t want to end this year. Our first market of the season was the Downtown Valentine Market organized by Delisle Marketing at Gulf Canada Square. Aside from a couple small markets in January in years past, this has been our earliest market to date.
We had a fun day providing shoppers with unique gifts just in time for Valentine’s Day. I was fortunate to have a table beside Laula Handmade. Catherine and Nicole make beautiful knit and woven products.
When I asked what their current favourites were, Catherine chose their pom pom toques.
Nicole’s selection was a gorgeous scarf they displayed on their mannequin all day (except when it was being worn in this picture or tried on!).
I couldn’t resist using them as models 🙂
There were two items that caught my eye on their table – the woven scarves and wooden buttons.
We had a fun day downtown and I’m looking forward to the next market. Thank you to Laula Handmade for being great booth neighbours. Thanks to Delisle Marketing for putting on the event. Huge thanks to everyone who came out to support us.
I am so delighted to share this podcast and blog post with you! Last year, I had the opportunity to chat with Shannon from Earthy Decor. She has put together an amazing blog and podcast on earth friendly lifestyles.
In this episode, we had a great time chatting about bees and business. Check out the blog post for the highlights of the podcast along with a few resources I shared.
Sick of negativity? Here, we focus on human connection, earth friendliness, sustainability, nature hotspots, and wellbeing. Listen from expert guests in various eco friendly specialities such as:
Minimalism, urban farming, aquaponics, tiny living, zero waste, nutrition, environmental health, and sustainability. I also talk to those that live alternative lifestyles (off of the grid, van life, and tree house dwellers.
Let’s restore nature, ourselves, and the world around us. Let’s be Earthy (Earth Friendly).
I for one love following her blog posts and listening to new episodes of the podcast! I hope you enjoy it too!
I bought two of Melaine’s beautiful cards – a snowman and an angel. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture! I mailed them off too quickly. That said, the recipients loved them! I’m sure these two designs will be back in stock for the holidays this year.
Thanks to Lia and Brie for being such a great booth neighbour. Huge thanks to Candace of Curated for putting together FOUR weeks of awesome at Deerfoot City. Special thanks to everyone who came out to support the local makers this holiday season!
It was a pleasure to return for another market organized by Frizzle’s Artisan Markets. Kayla always does such a wonderful job!
I was delighted to meet Kate from Sweet As Candy at this market. Her products are so fun!
Kate’s goal is to share her love for all things sparkly and bright (with a unicorn or two thrown in). Her favourite product of the day was the Over the Rainbow Foaming Sugar Scrub. Today’s scent was lemon sugar cookie. Mmmmm. Her love for fun definitely comes through on this one with the mix of vibrant colours.
I have a snowman lover in my family, so her Snowman Bombs caught my eye. So simple and adorable! The only problem is they are too cute to use!
Huge thanks to Frizzle’s Artisan Markets for organizing this event. It was a pleasure as always. Thank you to Sweet As Candy for having such a fun display to look at all day! Special thanks to everyone who came out to shop. Your support means so much!
It was a bit of a crazy start to our holiday season due to the weather! Our first holiday market was Make It! Calgary. There were so many vendors!
One of the reasons I love the holiday season so much is because I get to decorate my setup! As a growing one person operation, November and December present a huge challenge. There are orders, markets, customer service, social media, and so many other things to do! Plus, my music life is usually quite busy too! For the last two years, I haven’t had a chance to decorate my house. Instead, my display gives me the opportunity to have some holiday decorating fun. This year, I added some snowflake lights, which I absolutely LOVE!
Greg makes stunning shelves, tables, and food safe platters from deadfall aspen. He finds all the wood himself in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Beautiful slabs of slate complement the wood.
This shelf was one of Greg’s favourites and it sold over the weekend!
This small freestanding piece kept drawing my attention throughout the weekend. I love the colours!
My small living space must reflect what I’m attracted to because this small shelf also caught my eye! These cinnamon stick candles debuted this weekend and I didn’t have a picture of them yet. Greg’s shelf was a perfect platform to showcase both beautiful pieces of work!
Thank you to the organizers of Make It! Calgary for all the work they put into the event. Huge thanks to Greg of Aspen Stone for the great conversations throughout the weekend and being a great across-the-aisle neighbour! Thanks also to everyone who came out to support the artisans. We couldn’t have events like this without you!
I am NOT a winter person by any stretch of the imagination. However, I LOVE the holidays. To me, looking forward to Christmas means 2 less months of winter to endure. Or perhaps 3. It depends on the year whether I consider October winter. Anyway, back to Christmas! Stockings have always been a tradition in my family. It’s so much fun to shop for little treasures you know your family will enjoy! In this gift guide, I’m going to share with you my top 7 picks for stocking stuffers this year (in no particular order).
1. Lip Balm
Here in southern Alberta, it gets pretty dry. A dry climate leads to dehydrated lips and that’s not fun at all! Save someone’s lips this holiday season with a regular or mini lip balm. Whichever size you choose, it’s a perfect stocking stuffer!
Not everyone likes candles. We understand! If you’d still like to add some scent to your favourite space, melts are a great option. Our melts are made with all natural ingredients and scented with essential oils. That way, you won’t be giving any nasty chemicals for Christmas! Melts can be used in electric or candle powered warmers.
With lips taken care of with lip balm, give the gift of hydration for the rest of the body! This solid bar liquefies with body heat and friction so it can be spread over dry patches. For me, that would be pretty much everywhere this time of year… If your giftee is a big air traveller with no checked bags, these are perfect. They will appreciate saving precious space in their liquids bag for other goodies. The lotion bar is in a convenient tube so melting won’t make a mess at that hot winter destination!
I love the ambiance candles create. I’m sure the candle lover in your life can relate! Tealights are perfect for casual and regular candle burners alike. They are small enough to fit anywhere and fit all sorts of occasions. Light them during a holiday get together, enjoy them with a good book, or use them for date night. Keep it simple with a set of natural tealights or have fun picking out a scent your giftee will love. They will have the best smelling stocking out!
When the weather cools off, it’s time to drink even more hot beverages than usual. Our reusable tea bags are a perfect stocking stuffer for the loose leaf tea lover on your list. Pair a cup or pot size tea bag with some tea from Tearrific and you will be their new favourite person (if you aren’t already!). Some of this year’s favourites are Chai Biscotti, Mulled Cider, and Lavender Earl Grey.
Mini tapers pack a big punch in a small package. How can you go wrong? They fit in a stocking, feature a fun honeycomb pattern, and are available in many colours. Your giftee will be delighted long after the gift is open. Give them a set of taper candle holders from your favourite potter to add the finishing touch to your gift.
What better way to celebrate the holidays than to give the gift of time? They say good things come in small packages, but I think we can change it to GREAT! If your giftee is a maker and loves to learn new things, sign up for a workshop you can do together. It’s a fun excuse to get together after the holiday craziness is over. Everyone is so busy these days, spending time together is extra special!
Remember that gift giving is supposed to be FUN not stressful. My favourite strategy to keeping it fun is to shop early and often. Picking up little things here and there throughout the year reduces your stress level as the holidays approach.
All the best to you and yours this holiday season. Happy shopping!
Once everything was set up, it was a pleasure to meet my booth neighbour Cornelia from StarSeeds of Grace. Not only does she make beautiful jewellery, she is also an energy healer.
Cornelia’s work is absolutely stunning. She works with copper and silver in sacred geometries. She also integrates crystalline energy with crystals, minerals, and meteorites.
When I asked her which piece was her current favourite, she picked this white beauty.
One of my favourite pieces was a black pearl pendant, which I forgot to take a picture of :'( I ended up buying one of her beautiful halos though.
Thank you to the organizers of The New Earth Expo. Thanks to Cornelia of StarSeeds of Grace for being such a wonderful booth neighbour. Huge thanks to everyone who came out to support all of us at the expo. Look forward to seeing you again next year!
It’s always a pleasure to be part of Etsy Calgary events and this time was no different! They are well organized and I know there are going to be amazing people there.
I enjoyed catching up with the vendors I already knew and meeting new ones. One of the new people I met is Jenny from Hop & Flop.
From art to put on your wall to calendars and cards, Jenny hand paints each design. She started out by creating custom illustrated cards for friends and family. The reactions from friends and family were positive. Jenny decided she needed to share her talents with the world. I’m so glad she did!
When I asked her what her current favourite product is, she picked this wall calendar. Adorable!
As I was looking through all her cute cards and canvasses, I spotted this bee canvas and had to share it.
Thank you to the organizers at Etsy Calgary for putting on yet another wonderful event. How can you go wrong with a fun environment and great people? Thank you to Hop & Flop and Emm and Skootch for being great booth neighbours. Huge thanks to everyone who came out to support the local artisans.
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