I am embarking on a new business project that I feel I can finally let you all in on..

I am officially relaunching the Tickety Boutique in the very near future.

It will, once again, be a dot com endeavour, accessible via www.ticketyboutique.com.

The new Tickety Boutique will be a lifestyle brand, specializing in handmade and thrifted goods.

Handmade items have been designed with comfort in mind, but it such a way that you don’t have to sacrifice style.

I have designed some lovely shift dresses, tunics, day dresses, shorts, pants.. all will be available in the softest, most breathable natural materials.

Some fabrics have been designed and printed in-house, ensuring the uniqueness of each piece in the collection.

Thrifted items that have been brought into the Tickety Boutique inventory will be carefully analyzed and then, if necessary, altered, embellished, and re-imaged to create modern fashions that are brand new and totally on trend.

Vintage elements to be added or accentuated include collars, trims, hem line, and silhouette.

Handmade feminist/witchy/strange enamel pins and loud necklace/bracelet/earrings statement pieces have been created by awesome crafters from all the world.

You will die when you see the wide array of items that the Tickety Boutique has to offer!

The Tickety Boutique will also have a lovely selection of handmade decor items. I am very excited about the decor items, as my sister is assisting in the creation of this inventory from the other side of the country!

Last but not least, I will be merging Epic Penny into the Tickety Boutique. Epic Penny, as a stand alone brand, will cease to be.

I will still have pet accessory products available, including collars, leashes, harness, beds, and toys, however, I will be reducing the size of my Epic Penny inventory to between 2 – 4 prints that I create at home.

Moving forward, I am hoping to take my newly developed brand and exciting new inventory to the Toronto Designers Market. Each stall is super huge. It will be like practically having my own store front again!

I will be back here a couple times a week to update you all on the progress of building up the Tickety Boutique brand once again.

I will also be contributing to some of the blogs other sections again. It’s been a long time, but I’m back and feeling fine!



What’s the Deal?

sewingmachine.jpgIt’s been an excruciatingly long time since I last posted and I am sorry for that. I had been on a pretty good roll and then life happened, as it so often does, and I’ve just been distracted ever since.

In that time, I launched my new business venture, Epic Penny Pet Accessories, specializing in 100% handmade pet accessory products, safe for all breeds of dogs.

I manufacture my pet accessories out of bright and exciting cotton prints built upon an animal grade polypropylene core.

There’s no reason why you should have to sacrifice style for comfort!

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Something’s a Brewin’!

vintage-1495129_1280Just yesterday I received my ‘Dottie Angel‘ Simplicity patterns, which I plan to adapt to create my new Tickety line of dresses and also use as inspirations as I reconstruct vintage dresses, as they come in.

If you are not familiar with ‘Dottie Angel’, as I was not until very recently, she is widely considered the founder of ‘Granny Chic’.

As far as I am aware, she is no longer blogging or creating under the ‘Dottie Angel’ moniker, which is such a shame, as I am just jumping onto that bandwagon and I hate being late to the party.

You can get a taste of what she brought to the world by visiting her blog over here. All of the attached links seem to be dead.

I have also recently received a book authored by Tif Fussel (Dottie Angel) and Rachelle Blondel (Ted & Angus, who also seems to be currently inactive). I purchased mine from Amazon, and you can too by visiting this link.

It is a super terrific trip into a world of craft and collecting and I am so happy to have added it to my collection. It contains a number of how-to’s and is overflowing with pictures of frilly things and and floral prints. All the inspiration you need to start you on your journey into Granny Chic.

I found that it validated a lot of my collections that I have felt guilty for having around for so many years. My religious iconography, in particular. I am not religious, by any means, but I have been an avid collector of catholic iconography for many years. I own portraits, crosses, and rosaries galore. Much of which is housed in treasure boxes kept on dusty shelves. Now, I feel like I have the permission to finally display more of my collection.

I felt very inspired, after flipping through the Granny Chic book, to immediately go thrifty for vintage sheets and fabrics that I could repurpose into the colourful pillows and lampshades depicted in the book.

Some years ago, I got rid of ALL of my fabrics, some of which was literally irreplaceable. I had been holding onto that fabric for many years and wasn’t actively using it for anything. Such a shame. It had travelled with me from one end of this country to other.. twice!

I really regret holding not holding onto it.

In the future, I will be more selective of what fabrics make it into my stash. I will be more careful about how my fabric is stored and organized and I will make every attempt to actively utilize my fabrics for creative projects, so that it doesn’t lay around, untouched, for years at a time.

I donated my unused fabrics and I really hope that they went on to find a crafty home where they could be utilized for all the creative projects that I never had time for. Dresses, stuffies, totes, and more…

I also recently bought some absolutely brilliant pattern making books, that I would love to tell you about.

The ‘Pattern Making Primer‘ has to be my favourite of the books that I bought. The examples of clothing and patterns shown within its pages are much more modern than what you would find in most of these pattern making books. At least that has been my experience.

It takes you through all elements of pattern making and clothing, visiting methods of implementing yokes, different sleeve styles, different cuts and fits of all manner of tops, skirts and dresses. As I said, the accompanying pictured styles are beautifully modern and chic.

The book also provides you with pattern blocks that you can use as you set out on your own projects and patten making endeavours.

The second book that I would like to mention is ‘How to Use, Adapt & Design Sewing Patterns‘, which I think I will really enjoy, as it directly addresses how to adapt store bought patterns. As an example, the ‘Dottie Angel’ patterns that I purchased from Simplicity are in the misses size category and I would like to adapt them to fit a women’s large to accommodate everyone. I will also like to discover the ability to significantly customize these patterns, to make them my own, so I am not at risk of plagiarizing someone else’s creation. A big no no!

So what about you! All of you ladies out there in the community!

What’s your style? What has been yanking your crank lately??? Are you jumping on the ‘Granny Chic’ bandwagon with me or is it all just old hat to you?

Do you have someone who particularly inspires you?? I would love to hear about what get your juices flowing in the comments below.

Remember, my goal moving forward is to take Granny Chic to the next level.

Granny Chic meets Indie Punk Rock!!

I think that it is a marriage made in heaven and a joining that has been waiting to happen. I see vintage frocks with huge cotton pockets, fringed with rick rack and lace, topped with vintage denim vests that are adorned with feminist enamel pins and punk rock embroidered patches, bright coloured leggings and lace-up boots!

What a dream!

Tell me what you think??


What the Fuck is Granny Chic!??

John Webster interior with ecclectic retro furnishings including cat portraits and crochet pillows:

Have I been living under a stone?! I have never heard of this term, and yet, it completely represents my style and taste so well!

The picture above is not my living room, but I could easily laze the days away in this room with my cats, my knitting, and a good book.

I stumbled upon the term while searching for vintage sewing patterns on Etsy that I could adapt for some some projects that I have in mind for Tickety. The term so perfectly represents the aesthetic, I am amazed I didn’t come up with it myself.

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A Little Peek…


As I mentioned in my last post, the “new and improved” Tickety Boutique will be seeking out an inventory and an image that is a lot edgier than it had been in the past.

I am hoping to bring my feminism and social interests to the forefront and I also intend to bring together the stories of individuals who are doing the same to you, here, in one great place!

I have maintained my connections overseas with my dress supplier that many of you have come to know and love. Now that I will no longer be operating out of the brick-and-mortar shop, I will have more time to spend with each garment. I will use this time to modernize and tastefully add-to these garments before they are presented to you in the Tickety Boutique.

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Hello Ladies.. So happy to see you here.

It’s been a long while since I’ve last blogged in this space. I needed to take a step back from some of my projects to relax and reflect upon what I was doing and how I was going about doing it.

When I first started this blog, it was to eventually be associated with my online shop, the Tickety Boutique, which I had been running as a brick-and-mortar store, prior to my very sudden decision to bring it online.

In hindsight, I realize that it was a rather manic decision that I was not able to sustain. Eventually, my initial energy and enthusiasm waned, as I was faced with some of the hurdles of bringing my once thriving business onto the web.

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How to Choose the Right Audience

how to choose the right audience

I love marketing!! It is a very crucial part of my business and of any business operating online or otherwise. As a business owner, you must make it a top priority to master this subject if you want your business to grow and be successful.

I, like many other homegrown business owners, got my marketing education at good old Google University. I highly recommend this learning strategy to anyone, especially business owners, who can’t see a conventional post secondary diploma in marketing in their future. It is crucial.

One of the most important aspect of marketing is determining your target market and figuring out the best methods to actually reach your audience.

For my business, I have focused my marketing efforts mostly on Facebook ads, as they maintain a community that is highly engaged and, through their targeting tools, it is relatively easy to effectively reach your ideal audience.

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Blogger Profile:: Skunk Boy

skunk boyI would like to introduce you to Katie!! She is just about the cutest host to one of the cutest corners on the web!! The SkunkBoy Blog!!

Katie is a wife, mother, artist, musician (The Mixtapes), and obviously an avid blogger.

The SkunkBoy Blog is filled with craftiness, thrift, colour, and whimsy.

I just love pouring over Katie’s fun posts about her beautiful home, “weekly wears” outfit features, the garden, Snapshots, “SkunkBoy Creatures” featuring some of Katie’s cute and cuddly creations, “Home School” which follows her experiences with her own kids, “Camera Challenge” which follows Katie and her camera on different adventures, Sewing, and her band The Mixtapes. So many topics to browse through!!

I assure you, each is full of lovely photos and interesting dialogue.

Katie is also a regular contributor to A Beautiful Mess, which is another one of my absolute favourite blogs. Her contributions usually include sewing projects like this adorable ‘Match Book Doll’, which can be found on ABM here and see it pictured below.

skunkboy match book doll

You can take a look at more of Katie’s creations, and even take one home with you, from her web store here. You may even request custom orders, during certain periods of the year.

I would say that my favourite features on the SkunkBoy Blog would be a toss up between her Sewing page and her Outfit features.

As I sew myself, I am really drawn to and inspired by Katie’s various projects on-the-go. From updating vintage pieces to outfits from scratch, doll making, and more!! She always seems to be working on something uber creative and I love it!!

The Outfit features are also very colourful, creative, and inspirational, making me want to borrow some of that creativity and apply it to my own wardrobe. Thank goodness it’s Spring!! I am sure that there are many great outfits to come out of Katie’s closest! I hope that she shares them all with us!

So if you find yourself looking for something to brighten your day, inspire your mind, or maybe you just want to pass the time, I would highly recommend you take some time to click over to the SkunkBoy Blog.

It’s real good reading over a warm cup of tea, with some sweet tunes playing on your iPod, and a little kitty on your lap.


Artist Profile:: Talk to the Sun

Talk to the sun

I have been an active member of the Etsy community since April 2011 and I have a very impressive list of favourites that I carefully curate for all of my Etsy followers.

Of all the shops and individual items that I have favourited over the past 5 years, I would have to say that the Talk to the Sun shop and all of her brilliant hand carved stamps are some of my ultimate favourites.

The shop boasts nearly 1,000 different stamp designs, ink pads, cleaners, and paper sets. Riyo, the owner and maker behind Talk to the Sun, hand carves each piece individually with a turn around of about 2 – 3 business days. Some custom stamps are available for weddings, businesses branding, and etc.

Riyo also hosts another shop dedicated to supplies called Talk to the Sun Supplies, which carries fabrics, DIY stamp making kits, scrapbooking supplies, ink pads, and stamp cleaners.

Riyo got an early start in craft and DIY, with instruction and encouragement from her mother in Japan. She began working with rubber stamps in 2008 at the Glebe Market in Sydney, Austrailia and quickly decided that making rubber stamps should be her full time career.

She enjoys making her customers happy through her stamps and she often pretends that she is making each piece for friends and family, ensuring that each piece is extra special.

It is Riyo’s goal to keep true to herself as a person and as an artist and to keep creating with love.

As she puts it, there is nothing wrong with having a slow and simple, creative life.

I totally agree.

Talk to the sun


Craft Feature:: Encaustic Beeswax

Craft Feature:: Encaustic BeeswaxIn 2013, I opened a brick-and-mortar vintage store in Toronto, Ontario with a girlfriend of mine, Heather Doherty. Heather is a lovely lass and a brilliant artist, skilled in many mediums, including encaustic beeswax.

I’ve always wanted to learn how to work with encaustics, however, these days I am working on re-launching the Tickety Boutique and Heather is still hard at work over at the brick-and-mortar.. who has the time?? Hopefully, one day we will get together and figure it out. I miss my gal!

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with encaustic painting, I have found some examples that are available for sale on Etsy.

the paper butchery

Pig, encaustic painting and collage on panel:: $200

deer encaustic

Deer Silhouette Encaustic Painting:: $30

abstract encaustic

Abstract Encaustic Painting:: $125

As you can see, the possibilities with encaustics are truly endless. All you need is a little bit of inspiration and the right materials and you are well on your way to creating something brilliant of your very own.

So what exactly is encaustic beeswax painting?

Well, Encaustic painting is basically the process of adding pigment to heated beeswax. The liquid or paste is then applied to a surface, usually prepared wood, although canvas is also frequently used.

There are actually many recipes for creating the encaustic mixture (remember: the internet is your friend) some of which contain other types of wax, damar resin, linseed oil, or other ingredients. The simplest is made using the classic beeswax mixture.

Pure, powdered pigments can be used, though some mixtures use oil paints or other forms of pigment.

You can follow this link to find an informative video which illustrates the encaustic process using the damar resin. The host isn’t the most animated, but the video is extremely interesting.

Personally, I have a ton of ideas that I would like to apply to an encaustic project one day in the future and I look forward to eventually trying my hand at it.

Are there any encaustic artists reading this post?? I would love to see examples of your work!! Please, send pics!!