Thursday, April 5, 2012

Welcome Springtime!

Spring is finally here and I for one is super excited. I have been spending lots of time in the yard and catching up with all the small details that I did not get to take care of at the end of fall last year. I am also looking forward to gardening and watching all my hard work from last year blossom into some beautiful flower beds. I also can't wait to get my herb garden going again. Just the thought of fresh basil and the aroma of thyme is making my taste buds tingle.

My husband Don and I spent a lot of time last year reworking our yard. We removed some much needed items and put to good use a huge pile of flagstones and other items that had been collected by his dad. Our goal has been to transform the yard into a beautiful extended living space, where the kids can have fun and where we can relax all summer long right into the cool fall evenings.

Here are a few snap shots of my wonderful Spring day . . .

I have also been working on my new designs for Verona Collections. Things have been slowly coming along, but they are coming along. I'm really hoping by summer and into fall, that I can participate in more events and re-surface with a great collection.

Thanks for stoping by my blog. Till next time, I hope that you enjoy your Springtime!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Closet Makeover

As part of my ongoing mission to organize not only my work, but also my home, I have been tackling a different project each weekend. I have to say however, that I have not gotten as far along as I had hoped, but the progress is steady.

My front hall closet was a complete disaster. It would get cleaned up and before long would turn into an impenetrable mound. Getting to the back of the closet was impossible and it was clear that something had to happen fast!

With the help of my husband Don, I was able to move the shelf and rod to the back of the closet. My husband had to re-cut the shelf and rod and smooth the edges. We then repaired the holes in the wall from where the shelf had been previously mounted and decided to freshen up the space with a fresh coat of paint. The entire project took most of the afternoon and into the evening. The next day the walls were nice and dry and things were put in place. I removed some items, keeping only what was needed in the space and donated other items to the local "Value Village." I added some baskets that I already had, and separated hats, gloves and scarves. I also added a newly recovered chair to the space (the sister to this one).

After preparing the walls we started added a fresh coat of paint.

The new layout of the closet has been great. It is easy to access things and a much better use of the space. An added bonus has been that my son Matt can also help himself in the morning and is able to but away his winter gab when he gets home without assistance (big time saver). My husband and I are currently working on the laundry room (Phase I), and I'll be sure to share the pictures when it is done.

This pass Wednesday I did my Crafted Spaces Radio show and discussed some great ways and resources on getting organized - "Organizing Your Creative Space." Getting more organized has been something I have been building on over the pass year. With two young children and two businesses to manage, I find it crucial (for my sanity) to keep things organized and to have a place for everything. I am also on a mission to reduce the things I have to deal with, hopefully resulting in less stress, higher productivity and more time with my family. I hope my little journey to a less drama filled, clutter free life will inspire you to make the changes you have been hoping to make as well.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Valentine

On Tuesday (Valentine's Day), I had the pleasure of celebrating another wonderful Valentine with my husband Don. This is a very special time of year for my husband and I, as it marks the beginning of our relationship as a couple. There we were on our date, looking at the new "Underworld" movie. Hardly a romantic movie for most couples, but what fun we had with our giant bag of buttered popcorn and root beer. The movie was great, 3D and action packed from beginning to end (certainly not recommended for children or the faint at heart).

I am not much for a roses and stuffed animal person. I cannot think of anything better than to spend time with my love and best friend. With two little ones, it is not often that we get time with just the two of us, so it was refreshing and a wonderful feeling. Thanks to my mom, the little ones were well taken care of and they greeted us at the door with hugs and kisses when we got home.

The previous night my son Matt, made the following cards for his class mates, which I think is cute. He has been learning about cartoon drawing and has been drawing caricatures of his friends. This one is meant to be of him wishing everyone Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Card by Matthew M.C.

Each day I look upon your faces, hear your voices, feel your touch and I know that I am loved :-)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Valentines His and Hers

Created by Verona Collections - Yvette-Michelle Cottle Darby on Etsy 

A unique collection that is great for the woman or man in your life.

This "Treasury" is just a small sample of some of the amazing items available on Etsy. You can find a great selecting on unique handmade creations for the special person in your life this coming Valentines. There are lots of sales and other great offers, including my 30% off Verona Collections sale.

To find out more about the designs featured in this treasury click here!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Shop Sale!

I have had a shop on Etsy since August 2010; however, I have not used many of the tools suggested for driving traffic or sales. A huge part of it has been about me learning more about the forum and understanding the economics of having to repost an item several times to get it noticed. The added cost of reposting an item several times along with other factors, made it seem a bit much. There has been changes made to the forum since I signed-up and I hope to utilize some of the many tools available this year.

Long story short and without all the boring details, I have finally decided how I will like to use my Etsy shop. This spring I will be adding some new designs to the shop and will make some other changes which I think will make a difference in the results. Some of the designs I have listed will no longer be part of my collection and I have therefore decided to have a SALE on my existing in-stock pieces. I'm still in the process of deciding which pieces I will continue to create and will love your feedback.

You will receive 30% off your purchase. Sale ends on February 29th, 2012.

Thank you!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Stepping Forward

Last year, I did not use this blog as I had originally intended. However, I hope to post more this year and share the development of my designs. I have also decided to use this blog to share more about my life and the everyday things that inspire me. I hope that I can encourage others to explore their creativity.

I spent most of 2011 focused on Crafted Spaces and developing Crafted Spaces Radio, as well as some great sewing classes and workshops. Crafted Spaces started out as a project, and is now a developing business. I am very happy with where it is going and all the amazing support I have received from so many talented and creative people. This new venture has provided me with a great outlet for my teaching and craft projects, and has also allowed me to connect with others in the design and craft community.

However, for 2012 I will like to put some much needed focus back on Verona Collections and my designs. The time I have spent working on Crafted Spaces, have provided me with an opportunity to think about the direction I will like to take Verona Collections. I have been sitting on a number of ideas and I think that this year is a great time to step forward.

I'm in the process of designing a new website and developing my collection for spring 2012. I'm excited and driven, but most importantly focused on what comes next. Having a second baby after so many years is a lot more challenging than I originally thought. Miles is an adventurous child and can get into anything that is not bolted. Therefore, I have been working at finding new ways of reworking my studio to make room for two businesses and have him close while I work.

To start off the year, I have decided to start with getting super organized. Things can get very cluttered, and then that feeling of being overwhelmed creeps in and takes over. So I have started my year by reorganizing some critical parts of my home and studio. Also on my list was to reupholster a pair of chairs that needed love. I used the steps in the diy project on the Crafted Spaces blog to redo the seats.

I had some fabric that I purchased last year that I though was very beautiful, but really did not have a clear plan for when I got it. I was just happy when I received my package of Anna Maria Horner print from her "Innocent Crush" collection in the mail, from Moona Fabrics on Etsy. It was my first Etsy purchase and I was very happy. I love the colours and I think it brightens things up a bit.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Colour Choices

I have been away from Verona Collections' blog for some time now; however I'm happy to return with a sneak peak into some of the colours that have been chosen for our spring designs. These colours are not new to those who follow the fashion trends, as they are some of the hottest colours in fashion for Spring 2011. Variations of these colours have been seen on fashion runways throughout the world and can already be seen at some retail stores.

There are many wonderful colours to choose from this fashion season; however, I felt that these colours best embodied Verona Collections' return to its traditional handcrafted roots. Hand crochet accessories and hand beaded details are just some of the features of our new collections. Designs will also feature more eco-friendly and upcycled elements. The colours that have been selected are great compliments to the nostalgic and romanic look of our spring designs, that will be presented at the beginning of May.


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