August

Wow, I can’t believe that August is already over.. does that mean summer is over, too? August is probably my favourite month. And it might have a little something to do with friends, food, ice cream, and a birthday.

I did a lot of touristy things in August because we had some friends visiting.

I also watched some killer fireworks. Like, so good. Maybe not the best I’ve ever seen (Disney is up there), but this fireworks festival kills it every year.

I celebrated my 24th birthday with food, naturally.

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I showed off some new Simply Steph Ko cards at the Ottawa Makers Market. I’m now preparing for the Etsy show, which will be the biggest show I’ve done. Eep! Wish me luck.

And I ate a lot of ice cream. I think I might have a problem. Just kidding, there’s no such thing as too much ice cream (says the public health kid.. shh). Everything in moderation, right?

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I also said goodbye to my work friends, who finished their summer work terms. Au revoir, lunch buddies!

And now I’m off to enjoy September!

xo,

stephkoanie

P.S. Some posts from August:

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DIY Ombre Nail Polish Striped Phone Case

I could never leave the house without my phone being in a case. When I got my new phone, I stuck it in a sock until the new phone case I ordered online had arrived. I don’t know about you, but I am such a klutz that I would never trust myself to not drop my phone at least twice a day. If you’re putting a case on your phone, it may as well be fun, right?

For the Makeful Challenge last month, Makeful asked us to create a DIY with a clear iPhone case. I knew immediately that I wanted to do an update to an old DIY that I did in 2012.

At the end of the post, I will give away this case. So if you have an iPhone 5, and you’d like this case, scroll down to the end!

MATERIALS

  • Nail polish
  • Washi tape
  • Makeup sponge
  • Clear phone case (provided by Makeful)

HOW TO MAKE IT

Step 1:

Choose 3-4 nail polish colours that you want to include in your ombre. I used Essie‘s topless & barefoot, eternal optimist, peach daquiri, and mink muffs, but you can choose any colours that you like together.

Step 2:

Using a thin washi tape, tape out different sections ( I just eyeballed the spacing).

Step 3:

Using an old makeup sponge, dab the nail polish into the taped off section.

Tip: Put the paint directly on the tape, and dab it to spread the colour.

I had previously tested out putting the nail polish onto the case, and then dabbing, but that left a visible outline of the spot where I lay the nail polish. I also tried painting the sponge first, before dabbing the case, but that didn’t work either. The best method is to dab it onto the tape first, and then spread it out evenly.

And, ta-da!! Because the case I used is clear, you get a neat translucent effect with the nail polish. Since there is very little nail polish on the case, it dries fairly quickly. You can also dab a layer of clear nail polish on top to protect the design. Or you can leave it as is. If you get tired of the design, simply remove it using nail polish remover, and start again.

Once you’re happy with the design, snap the case onto your phone and you are good to go!

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GIVEAWAY

This is an iPhone 5 case, and since I don’t have an iPhone, this case doesn’t fit my phone. I would be happy to gift this case away. If you are interested in having this case, please leave a comment on this post below telling me what your favourite DIY you’ve ever done is! Giveaway closes on August 31st, 2016 at 11:59PM EST and is open to Canada and US residents only.

This tutorial is an update of the DIY Decorated Phone Case on my old blog, and this new tutorial first appeared on Makeful.

Urban Craft Spring 2015

I have never attended a craft show before. The closest thing is probably seeing a couple booths at farmer’s markets. So, I was VERY excited to attend Urban Craft in Ottawa this past weekend. This craft show is for “hip, modern, and handmade” items! Sounds perfect, right?

I decided that I wanted the full experience at Urban Craft. So I decided to sign up as a volunteer. If you can ever get involved, I would highly recommend it. You get a much better chance to meet the organizers and learn more about the behind the scenes stuff!

In the morning, we pulled out the tables and chairs so that the vendors could set up their stations. After all the heavy lifting was done, then came the fun stuff! Yiseul and I were in charge of outside decorations. This included lawn signs, sidewalk chalk and colourful pinwheels!! I love love loved the sidewalk chalk. It made me feel like a kid again, plus I love all things lettering, so how could I resist?! The pinwheels were also amazing, since they caught the wind, so the colour and movement totally caught people’s attention to bring them to Urban Craft.

When I got back inside, the vendors were all set up, and things started happening!! The selection of vendors there was ah-may-zing! If I could have, I would have bought soooo many things. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I was heading to the FIFA Women’s World Cup game (Germany vs. Sweden) afterwards, so I knew I couldn’t carry too much with me.

Instead I collected business cards, and chatted with vendors. I didn’t manage to get a business card from everyone, mostly because I get distracted a little too easily, and forgot to pick up cards at every table. But I did get to talk to everyone, and most people seemed to be having such a great time!

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Some of my favourite people to talk to were those who really told the story of their products.

Olivier from iLikeMaps, designed the software to take maps and turn them into beautifully coloured art prints. Then he gets the maps printed on cards, postcards, large prints, tote bags, pillows!! Seriously, very cool. Plus, he was nice enough to offer the volunteers a postcard or greeting card of their choice. What a nice guy! I chose London.

Stéphane from Pretty River Woodwork, makes magnetic key/knife/all-things-metal blocks out of wood. He inlays magnets into beautiful cuts of wood, and they are seriously gorgeous. They showed how one of their blocks is able to hold up a cast iron skillet.. a SKILLET!! I clearly forgot to grab a business card because I was so busy talking, haha!

Yoko from ART FREED, makes greeting cards and small prints (!!). I approached about starting a card and print business. She said that she was literally in my shoes one year ago, and that Urban Craft was her first ever show! Amazing! Congrats Yoko!! Her cards are so cute, too.

There were also places that were so busy all day long, and I wish I had more of a chance to talk to, like Moo Shu Ice Cream, and Split Tree Cocktail Co. I also really wanted to buy everything off the tables of Des Enfantillages, Jenny Rijke, Christian Roy, and Blondie Apparel.

And this is only a sample of all the amazing vendors who were at Urban Craft! I was seriously amazed at the mix of things; there was definitely no shortage of talent. I can’t wait until next time!

Thank You Card

This card was made as a custom request — one of my friends asked me to create an elegant thank you card. I’m not used to lettering elegance, but I’m always up for a challenge and am excited to experiment with new designs!! One of her mentors was stepping down from her position at their local Rotary Club, so she wanted to write a thank you card for her. A classy card, for a classy lady.

I took this time to also teach myself how to digitize my work. It took me SO LONG to learn how to clean up my work on Illustrator (I stayed up until 5am one night by accident!!! I was having so much fun though, haha). Playing with those handles and anchors gave me such a headache. But it was a necessary headache, and I am now not quite as slow anymore. It felt SO GOOD knowing that I now have a new technique in my repertoire. Until now, I have always scanned/taken a photo of my lettering, and then layered that image into my final product. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s the cheap and lazy way!

What you want to do instead is bring your image into Illustrator and trace it (that just means that your handdrawn lines turn into Illustrator lines). After that, you just have to put in a little bit of time to edit and clean it up to your liking. It is so much more advantageous to create a vector image in Illustrator. For one, the lines are clean, and the lettering can be resized to any size without losing any quality. Of course, this isn’t necessary most of the time, especially if you aren’t making multiple sized prints.

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This is only the first step (of many) to creating my own print shop. I can now digitize my drawings and lettering!! Get ready, world.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:8