Styling practice...a photography shoot at my house

I had the absolute pleasure of having a wonderful photographer come and photograph my home last week.  Hope to share more about Maite and the photos with you soon.  
It was surprisingly hard work!  Not only does the house have to be show home tidy and full of flowers, but its amazing what needs to be moved because its reflecting in the windows or distracting from the shot.  A hint that all those magazine homes are not quite as they seem.

I was very pleased with how the house looked, it felt like all the years of planning and building and finishing (still finishing) were worthwhile.  And it was a real treat to have the house full of fresh flowers, these ones above were on my coffee table.  

I spent a lot of time tidying up those corners of the house that had got slightly out of control, and styling areas like the front door and our bedside table and en suite.  
I am thinking it should be a quarterly project - big tidy and organisation weekend with lots of fresh flowers and new candles as a reward.  


Happy Easter! Oscar, 2 months shy of his 3rd birthday, totally got the Easter egg hunt this morning. It was ridiculously cute and it brought back a lot of childhood memories. I hope you all have a lovely Easter. xo Linds

Ps., I think the Easter bunny found the Frog & Bunny eggs from the newly opened Target in our neighbourhood. The set also came with a fox and a chick.

Photo inspiration + weekend links

Images from here

I'm a day late with my usual Friday post, but we had some family over for dinner last night and I spent most of the day furiously cleaning my house (there was some faint hope that it would make the chaotic painting situation in the kitchen less noticeable - ha!).

I love everything about this dining space, but especially the art. Our dining room could definitely use some colour and I've been toying around with the idea of built-ins like these around the window. As usual, I've got too many projects on the brain and not enough time. Must. finish. painting. kitchen. cupboards.

Happy Easter!

-I think Cadbury creme eggs are delicious on their own, but some of these recipes look ridiculously good
-In case Easter snuck up on you too, some last-minute decorating ideas (#15 is my favourite)
-Wait, there's such a thing as a clean make-up bag?!
-I would love to wake up and find this in my living room
-Pretty spring dresses for $20 or less (OK, some of them are skirts)
-This has become our go-to salad dressing (the salad is pretty good, too)

Spring One of a Kind Show

My Mom and I went to the late night shopping event at the One of a Kind show last evening. So much fun. I found that there was a lot of reasonably priced art and sweet little items. I appreciate not everyone that reads my blog is from Toronto (or can make it to the show) but every vendor I asked has a website and ships, so I thought you'd like to see some new artisans that I enjoyed. But if you ARE close to Toronto, I highly recommend visiting. It's a super fun show. :)

The top photo is of one of the items that came home with me from Graham Blair Woodcuts.

Here are my picks from the show - in most cases the links are to the One of a Kind Show so you can find the vendors booth number, but from that page you can visit their website.

1. Ele Willoughby, Minouette on Etsy  - Graphic punchy art that would be awesome for a kids room.
2. Cashmere booties by Boogaloo Bubby Wear almost came home with me and I don't even little feet to dress. That's how cute they are.
3. Felted animals by Carolyn Misener caught my eye and at $35 they were amazingly priced. Mom bought a little Beaver for Oscars room. It's soooooo cute.
4. Tissage Magély Weaving - The most gorgeous blankets - this king blanket my Mom purchased.
5. Graham Blair Woodcuts - The first aisle and, my first purchase. His work is gorgeous and amazingly priced. I ended up picking up the top piece of art called "The Three Bears".
6. Heyday Design - Needs no introduction on my blog, love her stuff. And I met her and she's ridiculously sweet.
7. I'm still obsessed with mason jars + candles so I picked up some tealight holders for my mason jars from Pietersma Tinworks
8. Tissage Magély Weaving - Same as photo #4 but you can see some more of their blanket styles
9. Morico (Etsy Shop) - This little circus elephant caught my eye - I think it was around $70 and the only one they had made, and were making because it was so labourous to make. If I were designing a nursery I'd grab that one.

An organized, but still unfinished, closet

After I finally got around to painting my closet, I took some time to sort through my clothes - again - and added a few more things to the giant bin of clothes-I-can't-wear-right-now in our basement. Although I'm working on getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight (why does it have to be so hard?!), between those extra pounds and breastfeeding, I can't wear a lot of my clothes right now. Some twisted part of me thought it would be motivating to see those clothes hanging in my closet, but it turns out it's just depressing.

Also, organizing my closet is on my list of goals this year. I don't have a dresser, so this little closet works pretty hard for me. By getting rid of some clothes, I was able to make space for my DIY jewellery holder and a shadow box displaying mementos from our wedding.

The shoe organizer is from Adam's parents (it was sitting unused in their garage). I've had it for awhile, but I decided to dress it up with pretty wrapping paper and Modge Podge.

It doubles as a place to store my jewellery boxes (I just finished a little DIY project for the empty spot next to them, which I'll share soon as soon as I snap a few pictures).

All that's left to do now is install the baseboard and quarter round. Unfortunately yesterday I started painting our lower kitchen cabinets and we're hosting a family dinner tomorrow night (she says as if it was not completely her own doing), so the pressure's on to clean up that mess first!

DIY Magnetic Chalkboard

This project falls into the "Could be Cheesy" category.
Lets be honest with each other though...
Some of us blogger people sometimes do cheesy projects.
Can I get an Amen?

Okay, so let me preface this all by saying, I hate stuff hanging on my fridge.
I have stuff hanging (on the sides) of my fridge.
I love my kids sweet (if many) little drawings they make me though.
I like for them to see them hanging proudly.
Then there's that dentist appointment card reminder thingy.
The count down till vacation.
And so on and so forth.
These things need there own places in the circle of life.

So I actually didn't use a cookie sheet cause I already had this sheet of metal stuff that a friend of mine gave me.
She thought I could use it for something.
She was right.
I like the kind of friends that gift me with random sheet metal.
So I took my gifted metal and I:
Took a hammer and nail and punched two holes in the top for my twine to go through.
I then decided that there had to be an easier way to punch holes that didn't involve my ears bleeding.
Enter the Dremel Tool.
I used it to drill my other two holes for the upside down wood desk pull.
Now you could stay primitive and stick with the hammer and nail.
If you have the dremel, use the dremel.
You could also just glue the handle to the metal.
I guess.
I would strongly suggest using the Spray Chalk Paint because it will adhere to the metal much better than brushing it on.
After it dries then thread your twine in.
Screw your handle (pull) on.
Plop on your magnetics.
Now wait for your life to be transformed and automatically organized.
Or not.

I (and "I" use "I" loosely since it was actually the husband) picked up the magnetic hooks at the Wal-Mart.
You don't have to go the magnetic route if you don't want.
Dremel some more holes.
Go for real hooks.
If you want.

By the way...
I am going to Florida.
But it's not in 40 days.
I'm excited.



little Easter time

I am enjoying these little letters, hope you are too.  It makes me focus on the good stuff, and sometimes I need to be reminded there is good stuff.

Dear M family I can't wait for your Easter visit!  An easter egg hunt is always so much more fun with two families!
Dear Sydney weather be kind to us over the Easter weekend, we have lots planned that would be better with lovely weather.
Dear Grandpasaurus and Granny S, thankyou for the lovely and unexpected Easter parcel.  What a lovely treat!
Dear hot cross buns why are you so irresistable, its just not possible to stop at one.
Dear Easter Show I can't be bothered.  Crowds and show bags filled with junk, you can keep it.
Dear Miss J I can't wait to see you on the easter egg hunt.  If only we could all rediscover that one day you wake up and chocolate eggs have mysteriously appeared in the garden.

As always feel free to add your little letters too.  Have a wonderful long weekend!

One of a Kind Show, Easter Table Design

The One of a Kind Show starts today, and I was honoured to have been one of two people asked to design an Easter tablescape that was on display at the show. The task was to design an Easter themed table setting the incorporated 3 items from artisans that are exhibiting at the show. More after the jump!
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Late summer days

We are having a gorgeous late summer heat wave of blue skies and sunny days, brief thunderstorms and still evenings, perfect beach and bbq weather.  I spent a lovely morning fossicking in the Manly markets this past weekend with Miss E and friends.  All the summer gear is on final sale and there were some lovely breezy bargains to be had, in this humid weather clothes must be loose rather than clingy.
The colours of this cotton dress and green amethyst ring just spoke to me of cool salty sea and sunsets.  Coral and mint again, my colours of this season it seems.

bunny place card holders

I decided to make some seating cards for the Easter table. Originally I was going to use just some sculpey and make a circle to hold a card - but then at the last minute I added ears and I think they are super cute. Here's how I did it. 

Step 1: Roll a circle out of Sculpey + take your seating card (or something of the same thickness) and create a slit in the centre. Next, create some ears out of Sculpey. To attach the ears, with your fingers wedge open the slit you created with the seating card, and gently attach the ears to the front half of the bunny head.

Step 2: Take your seating card and put it back in the slit and mould the head again around the card so the card fits snugly, but you know it will be able to act as a card holder. You do this step because after fiddling around with attaching the ears, your bunny head likely got slightly distorted.

Step 3: Follow the instructsion on the packaging and bake. (Mine took 15 minutes)

Step 4: Mix some light pink paint and paint the inside of the bunny ears.

And ta-da! A simple seating card holder for Easter. I purposefully decided not to put a face on the bunny to save it from going too cutesy

Materials Used: Clay; Sculpey. Seating Card; Cloud Mini Card via The Penny Paper Co. 

Ps., Sorry for hitting you with so many posts in a short amount of time. Typically I space out posts but because this project is related to a holiday that is right around the corner, and this project was 100% last minute, I figured I should publish it now. 

Wedding Signs... again

If you're still in the wedding mood then raise your hand!
Okay...well the great thing is, these don't have to be wedding signs.

They can be front porch signs, pool signs, bedroom signs, kitchen signs.
Well maybe some of those would be slightly odd.
The point is...
Anywhere you and the Mr. or Mrs. are, there can be a sign to make sure you know that you're there.
Or is that odd too?
Decorating is 50% trend and 50% whatever makes you happy.

Go with the happy.
It'll last longer.
I added some new signs to my Etsy Store.
(Not the one right above since it would require a U-haul to transport it)
Make yourself happy.
Buy a sign.


gold scissors, take two

As much as I liked (and still use) my DIY gold scissors I continued to lust after the "real" thing even after my spray paint project. That's the thing about DIY's - Sometimes a DIY will hold you off from spending big bucks money. Like our Rast side tables. (They are still going strong, still love them and haven't had the urge to replace them ever.)  But the scissors, oh, my scissors. I blame Steph who told me via the comments that West Elm had a pair. Granted, they cost me under $30 so really aren't that expensive.  They make me smile whenever I see them on my work table in my studio.

DIY striped closet

On Friday, Janice's freshly-painted dressing room inspired me to do a little painting of my own.

Back when I painted our bedroom, I think I ran out of paint and was too lazy to go buy more, so I figured I'd just paint the closets later (I'm pretty sure new baseboard wasn't installed for the same reason). I've been thinking about painting my closet for ages, but Janice inspired me to finally get off my butt and do it.

On Friday night, I painted the whole closet (walls + shelves) with Behr's 'Heavy Cream' (the paint was leftover from the guest room). On Saturday morning, I measured and taped off my stripes (to keep things simple, I aligned them with the shelves along one side of the closet). I used Sico's 'Shiatsu' for the stripes (again, this was leftover paint we had in the basement).

I peeled the tape off when my paint was still wet, but it took quite a bit of paint off with it. Probably the result of not priming + fresh paint (if you're doing a similar project, I'd recommend using painter's tape designed for freshly painted surfaces). Luckily it was easy to touch-up and before long I was done (with painting, anyway).

I'm making a few more tweaks to the closet before I load all my clothes back in, so check back later this week for the 'afters'!

easter goodies

So just a few Easter things going on over here. First, it's worth re posting this project that will occupy your time with the littles this week. Simple DIY painted rocks that look like Easter Eggs will give you hours of fun and not to mention some pretty cool decorations for the house. I'll probably be heading to the beach to collect new rocks with Oscar to do this all over again. Here is a link to the original post.  See more of our decorating around the house after the jump.
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something fresh from Blu Dot

I spotted an interesting lamp, the perimeter floor lamp from Blu Dot, in the latest edition of Belle magazine and went on an internet hunt to find out more.  I was delighted to discover it was actually available in Sydney, so I went on a real life hunt to the store.  
The store, in Alexandria, has only been open a month although Blu Dot has been selling online in Australia since 2012.  In store I met the enthusiastic Brett Conroy who is passionate about their philosophy of creating affordable designer pieces - useful, affordable, desirable is their mantra.  

Below are my favourite picks.  The Charlie rug ($699) has great colours that will mix easily with other furniture.  A good price for its size (approx 1.8 x 1.2).
I really like that hint of pink and grey with the more traditional reds and browns.

The Splash Coat Rack is another good looking piece.  At $389 its stylish and practical, great for renters who can't hang a coat rack, and not a huge investment in the dipped look that is so hot right now.  

Photo inspiration + weekend links

source: A Cup of Jo

Did you see this San Francisco apartment tour on A Cup of Jo? A family of four, 500 square feet. It's inspiring stuff. I love this home tour because our house is small (we have around 1200 square feet + a basement) and I get tired of clicking on articles promising 'small space solutions' only to find a kitchen that's at least twice the size of ours. Size is relative, I know ;)

Here's my tip for making any space feel larger: fill your home with baby gear for 6+ months, then get rid of it. Now that Hannah's sleeping in her crib and the pack 'n play is no longer in our room, our bedroom feels palatial. The storage room in the basement, on the other hand, keeps getting smaller and smaller...

We're doing a little tile shopping this weekend, so hopefully I'll have something to share with you next week. Happy weekend!

-An interesting look at the 'touch-screen generation'
-Apparently Capote had co-conspirators.
-How to move from Google Reader to Bloglovin (follow me on Bloglovin here)
-12 Pretty Pastel Colored Nurseries (and Hannah's is one of them!)
-I want it to be time for one of these again (Um, snow? That's a not-so-subtle hint to please go away)

Chair Renew- Fabric Painting

Don't drop your teeth.
Yes it's me.
Posting more than once in a weeks time.
Miracles (and sick kids) do happen.
You may remember about a year ago I picked up this little number from a local junk shop.
You can see the post about it here.
I did a semi-good job of disguising how dirty the fabric really was on the chair, despite my best scrubbing.
I had plans to paint the fabric, but I am anything but fast!
I've lost to the snail on many an occasion.
So yesterday I had three sick kids at home and needed something that was easy to do, not much mess and I could be right there with them.
the chair.
Now let me make a few notes here if you plan on doing this kind of little redo.
1. Make sure you have a chair that has the kind of history where the only way to go is up.
2. Make sure you're not looking for perfection. (what's that?)
3. Make sure you don't want fuzzy soft fabric when you're done.
4. Make sure you're sure.
This is a simple easy peezy project that I didn't even take "how-to" pictures of.
You just need:
A spray bottle with water in it.
Acrylic paint (I mixed my own colors)
Paint brush.
Rag to keep things un-drippy.
And this:
Do I know if you could do it without Anita's Textile Medium?
No I do not.
I've only done this once and since I already had the medium then I thought I would throw it in.
You can throw it out and see what happens since you only spent pennies on the dirty chair that you're getting ready to paint too.

So I mixed up some paint, some medium and a fair amount of water.
I shook it.
Watched my arm flap.
Thought about working out.
Decide shaking the jar was a pretty good work out.
I sprayed the fabric till it was damp to the touch.
Dipped my brush in my concoction and gently applied,
I say gently cause I mean gently.
Don't go slopping it on like chili on a hot dog.
Use some grace.
Some finesse.
Do that all over and let it dry some.
Do it again if you see some spots you missed.
I did it about 3 times.
Making sure my fabric was damp each time.
You can see on the front of the chair that I should have gone back and done it a little more.
It actually doesn't show as much in real life though.
So the variations in fabric color and all that was actually like that before.
It is a velvet kind of material (a good one to paint).
So it changes when stroked in different directions.

It isn't hard or poky.
Just not soft and velvety either.
It isn't perfect.
Just perfect for me.
The snail.
With floppy arms....
I'm going to go work out now.


bits + pieces

Another "iphone" post for my blog. Again, this is howI feel my week has been - random. I feel like we're all over the place trying to fit everything in that we need to do. Anyhow, here are some things worth sharing to end the week. xo
  • My friend Jenny has a super cute Easter post on her blog. She just has an all around sweet blog.
  • Saw this on my friend Steph's wall. Are you a social farter? 
  • Thinking about balance bikes for Oscar. How cool is this one? 
  • You have a chance to win a custom stamp over on Shannon's blog!
  • Aubrey and I went to a birthday party for friends at Big House Pizza on the Danforth and I had a bite of the "Sir John A. MacDonald" pizza and it tastes like a Big Mac. They deliver. Order. I assure you it's good. 
  • We're thinking of going with a pre made vanity for our washroom reno and hacking it so Aub and I browsed vanities at Lowes. More on that later. Can you tell I'm dragging my feet with this reno?
  • The photo in the bottom right just makes me smile. Oscar and I went for a date - we went swimming at the sports club and shared an ice cream in the restaurant. Actually, he ate the ice cream and occasionally offered me a bite. And we played cars. :)
That's it! I'm off for an afternoon tea (not high tea as some refer to it) at the Windsor Arms hotel with some lovely ladies on Saturday to celebrate my sister's birthday. Have you been for an afternoon tea before? If not, I highly recommend endulging one day. ;) Anyhow, I hope you have a nice weekend. xo

where Miss J and I work

This is where I post from.  Usually Miss J is seated next to me in her little lavender chair busily drawing with her crayons.  A pad of office paper covers her entire table so she can draw anywhere she likes but I have to keep an eye on her because she does like to draw on the floor.
A gallery of far flung family and friends watches over us.  
When Miss E is home in the afternoons she can sit at the twin desk to mine, on the other side of Miss J.  Three busy B's in a row.

This side of the room is mostly tidy, if things are not put away in the draws they get moved by Miss J.  But don't be fooled, the other side of the room where the toys are is not as serene.  More storage is on my to do list!!  But for now I can turn away from the maelstrom and dream organised blog dreams.
Realised that everything white is from Ikea, all the desks and the frames.  I am hoping they have the solution to my toy storage too.

All photos by Eva of BuildHouseHome
Have a lovely weekend everybody.

Refresh an old light fixture in 5 minutes

Life's little details have been keeping me busy lately (i.e. I spent an hour shovelling our driveway this morning. Winter, I'm so over you), but I wanted to share a quick DIY lighting update. The plan is to replace the vintage globe pendants in our kitchen with recessed lighting (the placement of the current light fixtures is really wonky, so I'm hoping to switch them out and add another recessed light), but in the meantime I wanted to fix them up a little (lipstick on a pig, if you will).

As you can see in the first picture, the finish was really beaten up and no amount of cleaning was helping (I tried several of the internet's tips and tricks to no avail). I had some leftover liquid gilding from this, this and this project, so I applied a quick coat and left it to dry. I also took the globes off and gave them a good wash (there were dead bugs, it was gross). Not a dramatic before and after, but much improved - and free!

my life via my phone....

It's one of those weeks where I feel the above best describes what is going on over here. A mishmash of everything. Anyways, here is what I captured on my phone over the last 7 days. Ps., a little one, who will go un-named dropped my iphone and the back of it smashed. So I *may* be getting a iPhone 5 that I've been itching for. I find it hard to upgrade phones when my current one still works - So the phone smashing was perhaps a blessing in disguise. ;)

[1] I launched a new collection in my shop of products with clouds that feels very pretty spring like. This was a shot of me bringing my Mom samples - she's my product tester. (She also got a note pad that is super cute)

[2] I have embraced the wall of cork board in my office that I had previously debated taking down and it's actually proving to be helpful as I tack up inspiration for my Summer collection as well as bathroom reno inspiration pictures.

[3] I'm trying to get back into sketching. Oscar usually makes an appearance in sketches.

[4] I'm in love with the used bookstore in our neighbourhood. Although I order a lot from online I'm trying to  remind myself to go into our local store to browse. It's pretty special. Anyhow, our store was having a 50% off kids book sale so I stocked up on books for the cottage.

[5] Blinds from Tonic are up, reveal coming soon!

[6] Oscar has dropped his nap but occasionally he'll pass out in my bed.

[7] My family's sense of humour. (Ps., his name is Andrew.)

Still loving these blocks (and be sure to enter for your own).

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