corkboard in the kitchen

I installed some cork squares on the back of a kitchen cabinet door - I've seen the idea on Pinterest and I thought it was a brilliant way of staying organized. The cork is from Dollarama, (package of two for a dollar) and I attached it to the door using Gorilla Glue. Aubrey and I can now stay organized and pin up phone numbers, flyers, coupons and grocery lists but we don't have the mess of seeing it out on display. (Visual clutter gives me the heebie jeebies) I purposefully installed the cork on the back of our "junk" cabinet door as I didn't want to necessarily see cork board every-time I went to grab a glass or plate. It has been installed a week and has already made a huge improvement in our organization.

The second picture of our kitchen bench is random, and no relationship to the cork-board  I thought it was an especially pretty shot. :-)

Ps., In somewhat related news, Ikea posted a link to our cookbook shelf on their facebook page. And some of the responses to the shelf are a wee bit funny. :-) (For example installing a cookbook shelf above our sink means we obviously don't cook) It's all in good fun. I do appreciate the major link love from Ikea. It was a nice treat, and hello to new visitors.

don't you love...mirrors and chinoiserie

So while I was looking at mirrors the other day I came across this gorgeous bathroom (House & Leisure).  Romantic bathrooms are very much my thing.  If I ever manage to take a good photo of mine I will show you mine, its the one room in the house I like every time I walk into it.
And it drew me down a little chinoiserie hunt across the internet.  Rose pink silk chinoiserie wallpaper, love every one of those words so together its just heavenly (via Griffin and Wong

Butterfly botanical detail, detail of succulents and roses via Style Me Pretty.  Would love to work both chinoiserie and botanical images into my home.

What to Wear with boyfriend jeans

One of my resolutions this year is to start dressing better. I don't dress badly (I think), but I definitely don't put as much thought and effort into my wardrobe as I used to (you know, before I was house-obsessed). One of the items on my list for spring is a pair of boyfriend jeans. For $29, this Joe Fresh pair could be "the one". There's still plenty of snow on the ground, but I had fun thinking about what I might wear with them after the snow melts.

1. Joe Fresh stripe cardigan ($19)
2. Joe Fresh boyfriend jean ($29)
3. Steve Madden sandals ($69.95)
4. Topshop bag (£35.00)
5. stella & dot bib necklace ($128)

diy desk updates

I'm trying to organize and decorate my office a bit better - One thing is, I'm not overly happy with this wall of bulletin board and have considered taking it down. But taking it down would perhaps damage the wall, so I'm not sure whether to live with my design mistake or succumb to my OCD about it. Anyways, apart from the look of the office, one of the things I needed to address was organization.

A month ago I decided to make the DIY desk slightly larger. I needed more space to store orders waiting to be shipped. To give some background in how I run my shop, I use these dollar store stackable baskets to organize orders. When an order comes in, I place items in the basket. Sometimes orders have products that have different production times (stamps take 14 days to make, whereas I have gold glitter ribbon in stock) so in order to make sure things stay together an gets it's own basket. If you've ordered from me, your order has likely been in one of these baskets. It's an amazing little system that has meant that orders get shipped faster, there is less product wandering around my office and order mistakes have 99% dissapeared. Little steps that help me as my shop is shipping out more orders on a weekly basis.

How we designed this desk was was similar to how we did my desk, but it actually was a lot easier. More after the jump.
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A Silver Sign

My pal Sheldon from The Silver Craftsman is going to be at an upcoming show called Funky Finds.
So, he had commissioned a sign for his last show in November and I....
I misunderstood the deadline and...

So I was ready this time around!
(thank you for your patience and forgiveness Sheldon)

I can't wait to see his stuff all set up at the show with his own custom sign adorning the booth.
Oh the joy!

The cool thing is, Funky Finds  is doing a giveaway from The Silver Craftsman right now.
Go check it out their blog to enter for your chance!


Winter Pinterest Challenge: DIY book box

I pinned this image a year ago. I think I pinned it because of the pom-poms above the crib, but later I discovered the book box under the window. I mean, what a great idea! I immediately decided to make something similar and one year later...

...I did.

Not gonna lie, I'm kind of obsessed. I know it took me a year to get around to it, but the funny part is that it was easy to make (isn't that always the way?). All the details after the jump...

First, measure your window and decide how big you want your book box to be. I picked up a few pieces of pine shelving at Home Depot and Adam cut them to size for me using our table saw (of course you could also have the folks at Home Depot cut them for you). I wanted the view from the front to be of a solid piece of wood, so I planned the layout and measurements accordingly. It's kind of tricky to explain in words, so here are a couple of pictures - the first one shows all my pieces laid out and the second one is basically what happens when you "fold" them into place.

The important thing is that a) the front is one solid piece of wood and b) the sides extend slightly beyond the back of the box. This is because I attached the box to the wall using a cleat. The longer sides will make it look like the box is flush against the wall.

To assemble my box, I ran a bead of wood glue along each seam and used finishing nails to hold it all together. When nailing my boards together, I used a carpenter's square to keep everything, well, square. I used a nail punch to set each nail, then filled the holes with wood filler and sanded everything smooth.

To match the rest of the dark wood tones in the room, I applied one coat of stain (Minwax's Jacobean) and sealed it with a coat of satin poly.

To attach the box to the wall, I made a cleat from a scrap piece of wood. The cleat is secured to the wall with screws (make sure to screw into studs) and the box is secured to the cleat.

Since a wooden box + books = heavy, this approach ensures that it's nice and sturdy. The last step is to fill the box with books and enjoy!

I love walking into the nursery and seeing the new book box. The room feels much less cluttered now (before the box, the books were just piled on the floor) and the best part is that we were able to make use of previously wasted space (which is a pretty big deal in such a small room).

I've linked up with the Winter Pinterest Challenge! Click here, here, here and here to check out lots of great projects.

don't you entrance mirror

I have been wanting to make our entrance hall prettier for a long time.  What I really wanted was a mirror like this one.  That's one huge wow factor!  Lacking the several thousand dollars I have been trawling for bargains on ebay.  Finally success!  

Chrysanethenum botanical illustration 
Its not as huge as this one but its big enough to make an impact.  Can't wait to see it in a few days, lets hope it works!!  The border looks a bit gold and nasty from the ebay photos but I am planning to fix that with some paint and creativity.  Watch this space!!

Whats your favourite bargain find?

the most gorgeous fabric ever

I'm so excited. The major element in our TV room update - the roman blinds - arrived yesterday. Yay! We haven't hung them yet as it will be quite the task making sure they are all placed properly, so for now they sit on our dining room table and I pet them as I walk by. I love, love linen.

I think I'm in a minority - Most people pick bold colourful prints but I'm most comfortable with a linen. (Another example of my love of this kind of fabric is my living room drapes). I want everything in linen.  Which isn't awesome with a kid but for drapery I can get away with it. Side note - You can find linen look alikes that are more durable, like we did for our dining room chairs, and, our kitchen bench. Both give me the look of linen but with water resistance which is perfect for cleaning up little fingerprints/spills.  But back to the romans. The fabric we went with was the Tuscany Linen, Oatmeal Slub. It's unfortunate that the fabric has "Oatmeal Slub" as a part of it, it makes it sound rather bland. But there is nothing bland about it, it's so, so gorgeous.

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2013 Life List

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I participated in the Coldest Night of the Year walk - which raised $56,000 for a fabulous local organization - and I'm thisclose to finishing a project for Hannah's nursery that I can't wait to share with you (just waiting for paint to dry!). Today I thought I'd share the list of goals I've been working on to replace my 30 Before Thirty list. I've learned a few things from last year, so I'll be focusing on a few goals each month (hence the longer list).

In the month of February (my birthday month), I've been focusing on three things:

1. Take a month-long sugar break
2. Organize my closet
3. Lose the baby weight

Clearly, all three goals are related: I'm taking a little break from refined sugars in the hopes of establishing better eating habits that will help me lose the baby weight, and cleaning all of the stuff I don't/can't wear out of my closet so that getting dressed is no longer a negative part of my day. Obviously I don't expect to lose the baby weight in a month (I wish!), but establishing a regular exercise routine and eating less sugar should help get me started and I'll gradually lose the weight as the year goes on (at least that's the plan). Anyway, I'll check back in March to let you know what I'm focusing on that month and how I'm doing with the goals I started in February. Wish me luck!

ikea sells fancy blogger trees

I killed my white fig tree. Obviously not on purpose. I did all I could to keep it alive but week after week the leaves just fell off. When the last leaf hung there and I watched it turn yellow I came to the realization that the tree wasn't shedding, it was gonzo. I'm not awesome at keeping plants alive which is why I refuse to spend big bucks on anything green for our house.

A few weeks after it went into the garbage, I spotted a REAL fiddle leaf fig tree at Ikea for $15. Cue this commercial. Here I was searching around Toronto last Summer trying to find one when IKEA obviously carried fiddle leaf figs. (No, not obviously, since when did Ikea sell these trees!!?*) Anyways, I will have to re-pot it and put it in a nice basket in our TV room. Until then, I bring it to the sink to water every Monday. I sometimes dust the leaves and talk nicely to it. Maybe the love will make this one stay around longer.

And lastly - I wanted to post this picture for more than just showing off my new tree.... I wanted to show you reason #85 why I love, love having 1 huge sink basin vs. it being split in two. You know, so you can put monster house plants in it.

*Kay gave me a tip that Ikea had them a few months back so I knew to look out for them there. But really, I'm shocked Ikea sells these. 

don't you love...a little bit of glamour

It's very seldom that I post a whole article from somewhere else but I just could not decide which of these images not to include.  It's pink (it seems I am still having a pink moment) and glamorous and perfectly styled, it's quirky and unique and slightly over the top.  It's the home of mother of 4 Christine Dovey who blogs aBijou and Boheme.  Read the entire article with more pics on Style at Home.   

Those light fittings are seriously off the charts fabulous and crazy!  Makes me even more mad that I missed out on a crazy mid century chandelier at auction last year.
Love the layers of pinks and textures, the warm rug and floor prevents it being too candy, and I have always had a thing for chinoiserie style paintings or wallpaper.

I was looking for styling tips and this home has so many great vignettes.  Great collections of decorative objet and art, perfectly put together.

Antique silver, white porcelain and old fashioned roses.  I am struggling to imagine this house full of children, tell me your secret Christine!

Clever clever, the marble splash back has been finished with a small piece to create a shelf.  May have to copy that to finish the tile edge in my bathroom!  Would create the perfect space for candles and pretty bath products.  Careful editing on the shelves again.
Books, art, flowers, old mirror - so good!
All photos by Donna Griffith via Style at Home.
Have been toying with having a bench behind my dining table like this too.  It makes the narrow space seem generous and comfy instead of slightly awkward.  

Is it too much for you or do you love it like I do?

Little letters of gratitude

Little letters of gratitude:
Dear sun: thank you for coming out today, we all enjoyed going to the zoo.
Dear Voice of Reason: thank you for being my valentine every day
Dear Miss E: thank you for brightening the world
Dear Miss J: for cuddles and kisses
Dear friends: thank you for putting up with my obsession with blogging and pinning
Dear body: thank you for being strong, I promise to get you fit soon
Dear imagination: thank you for always coming up with the next idea, life would be boring without you
Dear readers: thank you for your lovely comments, they keep me going more than you know

My friend Robyn at Every Bit Counts lost a friend unexpectedly last week.  He was young and fit and loved and is now gone too soon.  It got me thinking of the little things I am grateful for.  Sometimes they get lost in the hustle and bustle of getting things done.

I think I should make this a monthly ritual.
Feel free to add what you are grateful for too.
This lovely idea is from the Freckled Fox.  

happy friday

I love that you love the "Big Deal" button in my last post. I seriously thought only two people would comment so you caught me off guard with 91 awesome comments. Because of the super kind replies I'm going to increase the giveaway from 10 buttons to 20. I only wish I could afford to mail each and everyone of you one. (Trust me, I had my calculator out and was doing the math) I'll be commenting on 20 replies shortly, so go back to the post and see if your comment wins. More house changes next week but for now here are some new product shots. Because that's all I've been doing all week. (really - that is pretty much the only thing I did this week) xo Linds

Ps., More cool new products in the gold glitter tape. The coolest thing since sliced bread. And an assorted glitter ribbon set. 

Photo inspiration + weekend links

images via wood & wool stool
There is something so cozy and comforting about these photos. I want to jump right in. Also, I want soup.

Wood & Wool Stool is filled with beautiful images like these, so make sure you stop by for a visit.

Here are a few links for your weekend. I have a couple of projects I'm hoping to get to this weekend and my big walk is tomorrow - wish me luck! See you Monday.

-Here's a cool way to make packing your kids' lunches fun (thanks Monique!).
-I really want to be friends with Alison Brie. Like, really.
-This makes me want to dig out our collection of Calvin and Hobbes books (see larger images here).
-The deaths in Quentin Tarantino's movies - all 560 of them - have been charted. And there's a Kill Key.
-Mario makes it look so easy. And delicious.

Don't you love...peacock bed heads

I have spotted these gorgeous peacock bedheads before, they have got quite a bit of editorial coverage, but I didn't realise there were so many options!  I discovered The Family Love Tree on a late night web crawl and was delighted by all the colours and patterns.  Also delighted that they are an Australian business so the pretty bed heads are available right here!
I love the tangerine and the berry, but then turqoise is always so pretty and white so classic.

Good prices too, $430-$499 for a double, queen or king depending on the style, and you can order online.  They do other things too, cushions and chairs, tables, pop over and have a look.

How lovely does that turquoise look against the dark wall.  
Which colour is your fave?

I think I need a hanging window shelf

source: Poppytalk via vtwonen

Recently, I remembered seeing this clever hanging shelf idea on Poppytalk. I would love to keep a few potted herbs in our kitchen, but the layout makes it tricky to find a spot that gets enough light and isn't so out of the way that I'll forget to water them. We have a well-lit window over our kitchen sink, truly the perfect spot for plants, and this shelf seems like an easy enough weekend project. I think I have to make this.

In other kitchen news, we finally bought the paint for our lower cabinets! We couldn't find the right lumber to trim out the doors (plus it was pouring rain, so not exactly lumber-buying weather), but hopefully we'll get a chance to try again this weekend.

So, do you have an indoor herb garden? Any tips?

Psst! It's now easier to pin images straight from my blog. Just hover over the image you want to pin (or tap it once if you're using a tablet or smartphone) and a 'pin it' button will appear. Happy Pinning!

Over a cuppa with... other bloggers

I was lucky enough to go to Alt Summit in Salt Lake City this year, (huge and fabulous blog conference if you don't know it).  It was so inspiring to be surrounded by other bloggers and creative people and I wanted to keep the momentum going at home in Sydney.
So I have rounded up every blogger, future blogger and blog lover I know and we are going to get together tomorrow, over a cuppa, and get to know each other off line.

I can't wait!  I made these I shared a cuppa with... notes so we can all remember who was there.  I have a feeling that this year is going to be all about connections and collaborations, and where better to start than with the lovely people you know already.
Watch this space...and if you are keen to meet up too drop me an email and I will let you know when we are meeting next.

you are a big deal around here...

I am working away over here on orders for the shop, so sadly no more progress on the bathroom design to report on. :(  Anyways, I needed to make up some buttons for a project and they turned out so sweet. I have some available in my shop but I would love to give some away. If you would like one, just comment below - I will hold a draw and pick ten winners. I know it is a super small giveaway but I thought that they would be sweet to send to some people. Anyways, comment below if you would like one - maybe tell me what the weather is like where you are, or just say hi. No pressure. I will draw ten people randomly on Friday. xo Linds

P.s., Did you know my shop as a facebook page? Well, if you like my shop I would love a follow over there! xo

More mint-spiration...

Still feeling all thing mint this week.  It reminded me of a kitchen we had three houses ago.  It was truly horrid, a black and white chequerboard tile splashback and dubious yellowing cupboards.  We painted the cupboards mint, it was cute and retro, kept us going until we could tackle the kitchen properly a few years later.
Grey and white kitchen with mint chairs (Pinterest). Love the tree draped with mint and coral streamers, a beautiful backdrop to an outdoor wedding via Hey Look.
Mint, grey and white in the kitchen again, love the scarf on the chair (Design My Heart Out) and the ultimate in mint retro, the always cool Vespa.
The most gorgeous kitchen, those are old cabinets refreshed with paint, a steel top and glass splashback.  Love the shelves with vintage tins (An Ordinary Woman).  Retro styled tables via Ontwerpduo.
Vintage scale (via Steffi's kleine Welt), not quite mint I know but it made these cups and flowers I found on Tumblr look so pretty.
Garden rose and succulent bouquet via Once Wed.   Retro geranium bauble necklace from Orange & Pear.

I love the mint doors that lead into the little courtyard and the teeny galley kitchen (The Glam Lamb).  And finally a lovely mint front door detail via Tumblr.  

Think I need to freshen up with a Mint Julep...

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