Monday, July 30, 2012

Ombre Felt Flower Ring

I love making felt rings and I have amassed quite a collection in many different colours.  While working on another project coming up next week, I decided to give a try with creating an ombre effect with a scrap strip of felt I used for my coffee cup collar.

1 - By putting the strip on its side in the dye,  I just let the colour begin to seep up the felt.

2 - when dry there was a slight ombre effect - maybe not quite the one I expected but it was there

3 - by cutting a strip approximately 1 inch by 5 inches and folded in half, I began to create my flower form for the ring.  You can find more details on technique  HERE.

4 - all stitched up, this version of the ring is subtle but pretty and soft

ps. the dye I used is cherry kool-aid - stay tuned next week for full details on using this as dye.

For other versions of the flower ring take a look     here    or     here 

There is nothing like a little flower power in the middle of the summer ... don't you think?

Monday, July 23, 2012

A few days ... for a bloggy break

I am taking a wee bloggy break this week. But rest assured, I have been working away on all sorts of projects.  Annoyingly, I sometimes do a bit of work on each one, not fully completing any of them, but that is another post entirely.

In a week's time, I'll be back ready to share the above and more.

In the meantime, I may be spending some of my time on the new window seat in my bedroom.  It was a floor model and perfectly fit into the jut out of my window.  I still have to decide how to deal with the curtains but I love how I can perch up over my front lawn, looking out at the oak trees and the hammock I have yet to perch on.

It's the perfect spot to hang out with my journal, mother's day pajamas and knitted socks.  The problem is, I only have the patience to hang out for a few minutes at a time.  There are so many summer projects, gardening projects, day trips and in general stuff to do, I often find that I don't appreciate the moments to enjoy some of the very projects I slog away at.

Well, I hope to work on that this week.

Here's to the breezy, warm summer days and nights that I hope you are all enjoying.  See you soon!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wrap it up Thursday - Cover Love

I am such a sucker for a great cover!  I am so sure that if the package is good, whether it be a book cover or a label for tea, it must be good.  This is just a small selection of what catches my eye (some I have thought about for a couple of years!)  in the stores, blogs or shopping websites and I just have to STOP myself from purchasing them right then and there.  So I can't recommend the following based on any experience at all - except that it looks good:)

sugarbaby  by Gesine Bullock-Prado -    Helana read her book on starting over and loved it but I just want to make the beautiful candy floss on the cover.  It has to be good, I mean, just look at it!

Falling Cloudberries and Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros - once again haven't read them or even looked inside but the spines are simply delicious.

Moonstruck Chocolate - They are from Portland, reviews on their website include - the best chocolate bar I have ever eaten - but I didn't know any of that.  I just know it has to be good by the paper cut design on the wrapping.

Kusmi Tea - never tried it but, Oh my gosh!, it has to be divine just look at the colours on the tin.

I love all the Love and Toast packaging and I have tried the lip gloss and hand creme.  I am VERY sure though that this shampoo is equally as lovely and how nice it would be on a bathroom counter.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Flea Market Tea Cups - Glitterfied!

Truth be told - I don't really work on projects with anyone else.  Except for classes, and one evening of making scented bath salts for friends, my craft projects are, for the most part, solitary endeavours.  So when my dear friend Tiffany Pratt asked me to spend an afternoon playing around with a auction score of hers, how could I resist?!

You may recall I made Tiffany  a Glitter Pie Bracelet, as a guest post, for her Glitter Pie Blog.  I had seen bits and pieces of her home in pictures and let me say it did not disappoint.  With a white back drop, she has layered projects, gifts, art supplies, flea market scores (this list goes on) to create a dreamy, ethereal space that can only but fuel a creative soul.

Tiffany loves to work with recycled supplies in her projects so we started by using up her candle remnants.  I was a little worried about heating it all up, but she had it under control and expertly poured all the cups with melted wax that had been made from some isolated white bits, orange bits and pink pits.  

The fun came when we dipped into our crafty supplies, some from me, some from her, and added glitter, flowers and paint to make them unique and unexpected.

I loved them set out down the centre of the table - I think it would look great as a centrepiece for a brunch, shower or mother's day tea party - the guests could take their own candle home after the party.

We customized each candle, according to the cup, keeping some simple and "ms. glitter pieing" others like the one top left.  Tiffany made that for me and I got to take it home!

I made this one for Tiffany.  She loves daschunds and I used the same sticky clear sheet I did for my chevron dish.  With a daschund silhouette drawn and cut from the sheet, I applied my dog to the floral area of the cup and painted over the area, creating a reverse stencil when I removed the sticker.

You might think, it wasn't the greatest idea to spend a hot summer afternoon in an space without air conditioning, heating up wax, but guess what? ... it was :) 

Thanks Tiffany, for a wonderful afternoon!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wrap it up Thursday - Pretty Pinterest Picks

I thought that today I would share some of my favorite wraps from my pinterest board - Pretty Packages.

1 - Calla lilies -  from Oh Happy Day
2 - pretty toppers of bows, flowers and pinwheels - from October Afternoon
3 - pastel blue watercolor popsicle with twine - from Creature Comforts
4 - toppers of bows, flowers, banners, ruffles and medallions - from Oh Hello Friend
5 - the beautiful simplicity of flowers and twine - from The Savvy Photographer

So far this summer, the days are easy and breezy as we begin to fall into a summer routine, after the end of the school year and our whirlwind trip. I've been working around in the garden and working on a few crafty projects I hope to share over the next few weeks.  I think I might use Ez's (Creature Comforts) popsicle tag for a cottage gift next weekend - I really LOVE it!

I hope you are enjoying the summer days wherever you may be - hope they are long, warm and full of smiles !

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thank you ... Merci!

These are the goods I picked up when we hit Paris on our trip and made our way to a concept shop called Merci.  I had read about it on other blogs and knew I wanted to make a stop there at some point during our travels.  I am such a sucker for packaging and I love the wording on the bags.  It reminds me of Lululemon and their inspirational quotes on bags.  I picked up a sweet little scarf to remind me of our trip.  And the girls and I picked up simple journals to fill with things we picked up on our trip.  The little red thread and Merci charm has yet to have  purpose but really ... does it need one?

This is the courtyard out front.  I was a little disappointed the car wasn't all jacked up with a display like the ones I have seen before (see below).  The little library behind Scott in the picture is a charming lunch spot.

These pictures provided the inspiration I needed to put this shop on my to-go list.  I first saw a look into Merci through decor8 here.  And found other stories from Les Carnets du Design and Ella Georgia.

The linen pillows, duvet covers, napkins and aprons are that rough, rustic linen that I love.   If I could have,  I definitely would have brought a bunch home but we travelled with carry on bags.  Pretty good for a bunch of girls don't you think ? Scott doesn't know how lucky he is...we could have travelled like the car bottom right.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Barcelona Inspiration

I mentioned in my last post that in celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary, my husband and I took Helana and Ali on a trip.  I hinted that one of our destinations was Paris (where we started our honeymoon) but to start our short jaunt abroad we landed in Barcelona for a few days.  I should be showing you all the beautiful Gaudi architectural sites but instead I thought I would start with design inspiration from a lovely little restaurant called Luzia.

We found this lovely spot by catching sight of the adorable to-go window, as we walked along Las Ramblas.

Down the side street, you enter the restaurant - we could tell by the kitchen this place was for us.

I loved the line up of toppings, ready-to-go for their tapas selection.

The space was so dreamy with the lights, benches with pillows, linen and washed wood.

I had to get a shot of the lights.  It was like a beach bag.

The bar table had a selection of treats and a cooler built in - how great would this be for entertaining!
And I love the washed wood.

Don't we look happy.  We finally found a place we could all find something on the menu we liked.  Not easy to do with two picky teenage eaters.

I'll try not to bore you with too many pictures and posts ... I'll try ...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Why do I do this?

on my bedside, find it here

I'm writing this, while I am a little lost in translation.  We've just come back from a week on the road to celebrate our wedding anniversary (more on this to come) and I find my energy is coming in waves as I try to acclimate to our time zone (and also try to save our garden - who knew it was going to be this hot in Toronto!)

You may have noticed on the sidebar there is a link to a course that  I have been taking.  A blogging course - BYW 2.0 with Holly Becker of Decor8 and author of the bestseller Decorate Book on design for the home.

This trip required some preplanning leading up to departure and 8 days on the road.  This meant there was a conflict with the last half of the course and I debated if I should wait for the next one when I would have more free time to devote to the homework and lessons that fill the 4 weeks of classes.  In the end,  I couldn't help myself.  I got so much from the course BYW 1.0 last fall that I just couldn't resist.

Let me tell you it was painful not to dive right into the last few lessons from Katrina Tan of Pugly Pixel and all the tips and instructions on photoshop collages, mats and general blog bling ( I can't wait until the dust settles in my brain and I can go through the lessons thoroughly)  There was also great inspiration provided by  Jeanette Lunde of Fryd Design - especially with her insights into the world of on-line magazines.  Oh how I wanted to get my feet wet right of the bat - but that will have to wait.  Nicole Balch of Making it Lovely also had great insights into the business of blogging and how she has made it work for both her own life and that of her family's in regard to income and as a balance.  Finally, Holly (and technical support from her husband Thorsten) shared experience and insight and a dizzyingly huge array of tidbits about publishing, resources and a seemingly unending wealth of ideas for blog posts.

I diligently read all my resource materials (while trying to pack and plan my trip as well as finish off the school year!) and finished my homework on time.

This leads me into the theme of today's post, as this was the final homework assignment of the course and a source of frustration as I couldn't do it while I was on my trip.  Our assignment was to discuss what blogging means to us and maybe why we do it and/or what we get from it.  I have thought alot about this while I was on the road.

Why do I blog?  Some days I hate it, some days I dread it, some days I feel stupid ... BUT more often than not the world of blogging fuels me.  It makes me feel connected to a world that inspires and motivates me.  I become a student learning about styling, design, photography and graphics.  I have a way to express my creative side and a reason to keep creating and learning.  And maybe most importantly, I have a connection to other people that feel the same way.

I have many friends that I have known since I was little, others from highschool, some from university and some from my life with my girls - school, our neighbourhood.  But most of these friends don't share  the same interest in "pinning" or crafting that my virtual friends do.  They don't follow my blog or share  their boards on great party decor.  The world of blogging has connected me to group of like-minded souls that share their interests in design and crafting and family and support my ideas on the same.

Do you have a friend that maybe you don't see that often but when you do you just feel so good after?  Maybe they just make you feel good about yourself, or validated in some way or maybe they just fuel your creative side.  After your meeting you just feel energized and ready to face anything that comes your way.  That is what a blogging does for me.  It connects me virtually and in some cases personally to a kindred spirit and that in the end, I think,  is what life is all about - learning and growing as a person and sharing what makes you feel fulfilled as an individual.

Simply put - this last year of blogging has pushed me to get out of my shell and put myself out there.  Not for anyone else but for myself.  Thank you Holly for sharing your insights and knowledge and to everyone that has ever given me support and advice through this blog.  I hope I do the same for you and that both virtually and personally we can continue to support and inspire each other.

ps.  here is a hint of what I have been up to the last week - more to follow ...

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