advent bags....on the floor

It's almost 2am. This is where the advent bags are - my dining room floor. For the life of me, I never clued in to how LONG this bag lineup would be. And I'm not about to figure out where to hang them, or how to, tonight. I do take some comfort in that Oscar is only a year and a half - so the concept of picking 1 bag from a lineup was going to be tough. What I'll likely do is give him a bag a day, so some fun can be had. Oh - and some of you asked what I filled them with - the bags were filled with fun little trinkets from the dollar store. A rubber lizard, a colouring book - fun silly little things. Happy December 1st!! xo Linds


I'm *almost* there

I've successfully ironed on 24 numbers onto Oscar's Advent Bags. I was fully inspired by Kai Ethier for House & Home Magazine who did these. And, it only took me a full YEAR to do it. I'm not kidding you, I actually started this last year. But I suck at iron on transfers, maybe trying to peel them back too soon, and 1/2 of the project was a disaster. With December 1st creeping on me way too quickly, I managed to perfect my skills at ironing on, letting them cool off and peeling back. Like my numbers? Because freebies are fun, click here to download my design of 1 - 24 so you can do your own. Now I just have to figure out 1. what to fill them with and 2. where to hang them. :)

Using Omni-Gel to Transfer Images

I love transferring images onto wood, metal, terra cotta, towels, etc!  I think I've tried almost all of the ways out there!  

Here's another option that works especially well on tiles for coasters, metal cans and even wood!--Omni-Gel.  I purchased it at Michael's. 

Follow the directions on the bottle:

Print off an image using a laser printer (or make a laser copy at Kinko's) on white paper.  Use the regular image NOT the mirror image for this process.

Apply a smooth coat of Omni-Gel using a foam brush.  Go in one direction over the image and a good amount around the edges.

Let that dry, (it takes about 15 minutes) then go over everything in the opposite direction with another smooth coat.

Let that dry, then brush on a third coat diagonally. 
Graphics from The Graphics Fairy

After it's completely dry, set the paper in a bowl of water.  (I use a Dollar Store dish bucket)

 Let that sit in the water for about 15 minutes. (extra time in the water doesn't hurt)

 I put the wet image on a piece of wax paper or foil so it doesn't move much.

I used to use my finger in a swirling motion to remove the paper, then I started using a micro-fiber cloth.  It is SO much faster and easier!  You may need to spray it with water or dip it back in the bowl to keep the paper damp while you're removing it.

(Please excuse the different images here.  I was making a lot of things at once.)  :)   This graphic is also from The Graphics Fairy

You will want to get ALL of the paper off as it will look cloudy after you've finished your project (not good!)  if you've missed any.  Using the micro-fiber cloth really helped.  I let it dry a bit, then go back and add a little water to see if any additional paper comes up.

If I'm planning to adhere the image to wood or metal, I cut it to size at this point.  I cut right along the edge of the graphic for wood or metal projects.  If I'm going to use the image for coasters, I wait until I have applied it to the tile so it covers everything perfectly, then cut right at the edge of the tile.

Then apply a coat of Omni-Gel to the back of the image and set it on the can or wooden piece.  Smooth out all of the air bubbles and let it dry.

Here is an image applied to a wood box using the same technique.
Graphic from The Graphics Fairy

If you want to make fun coasters, start with a 4" tile.  I purchased mine for 38 cents each at Lowe's.

Apply self stick cork board to the back. I purchased a roll of it at Michael's.

 Use the above process using Omni-Gel.
 Graphic from Graphique on Etsy

 Apply the image onto the tile using the above process.  Set your scissors right on the edge of the tile and cut it.  It will be a little slippery as it's wet with Omni-Gel.  Rub the edges into the rough edges of the tile so they really won't show up.

When it's dry, sprinkle a little bit of salt on the tile and spray it with a clear sealant.  I've had the problem in the past with some tiles where wet glasses would stick to the tile.  It seems to work well to add the salt to solve this problem.

So now you've got several projects you can make with Omni-Gel transfers.  

Happy Crafting!


I am linking to the following parties:

Savvy Southern Style's Wow Us Wednesdays 


Photobucket The Graphics Fairy

West Elm Holiday Picks

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

This Thursday is the Etsy night at West Elm [Blogged about here] that my shop was invited to participate in. I'm a big fan of Etsy and I'm a big fan of West Elm so the combo is pretty fantastic in my mind. As I gear up for the night, I'm making a list of some West Elm picks I want to grab while there.  xo Linds


Gingerbread House

This past Saturday, Oscar and I decorated a gingerbread house, along with one of Oscar's friends from the street. My friend and I each bought a pre-made gingerbread houses for the boys and stocked up on extra cool candy from the Bulk Barn. I whipped up some extra icing, got out my cake decorating bags (um, yes, I once took a cake decorating course with my Mom) and went to town. My idea of the perfect gingerbread house is recreating Hansel and Gretel's house. To me, that is the perfect candy house imaginable, no? Oscar kind of  went bananas on sugar (oops), watched as I decorated, and playing with his buddy. Overall, an amazing time was had by all and will surely be a tradition we continue on. Want to see how excited Oscar was with the final product? .....
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New Blog Series - BlogPodium

So the big news I had to share got announced via Twitter last Friday night. The news is, Jennifer from Rambling Renovators, and Shannon from What's up Whimsy and I, have come together to create an awesome series of talks all around the topic of blogging - a new series of talks called BlogPodium. [See Jennifer's post on it here] It's pretty fantastic.
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things that make you love where you live

Do you have things that happen in your neighbourhood that just make you love where you live? This past weekend was one of those reasons. A little Santa Claus Parade for the kids - Complete with homemade floats, the local police division handing out candy canes, the Beach Citizen of the year, the high school band - Things like this are what memories are made of - for kids, and adults. :) I'm sure it takes a great deal of effort, and a lot of volunteers but it is honestly, such a great idea for a neighbourhood.

See more pictures from the parade when you click on read more
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Try, Try Again--The Tale of Painting a Table

I found this table at a garage sale this summer for $5.
(For the table redo on the left, click HERE.  For the wall hanging redo, click HERE)

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it, so started by sanding it down.

I decided to try homemade chalk paint.  I mixed together 3 parts black paint,  1 part Plaster of Paris and a little bit of water.  I only did one coat, but decided that I did not like the look of it at all.  It was much more grey than I wanted.  Of course, this was after only one coat, so I'm guessing that it would've improved with more painting...

But, it wasn't the look I was going for, so back to sanding it down again.... 


I then sprayed it with Rustoleum 2x Flat Black paint.  After the first coat, I sanded it lightly on the top with 220 grit sandpaper.  I applied another coat of black and it looked pretty good.  After that dried, I finished by spraying the whole thing with Rustoleum's 2x Clear Gloss.  

I added this cute knob I found (I may have found it at Hobby Lobby, but it's been a long time and now I'm not sure.)

I put this old candy machine on it, along with some billiard balls in a jar and a plant.  I'm not sure that I'll keep this stuff on there, but it's a start. 

I would love to try redoing another piece with chalkpaint at some point, and I know that painting it all black might seem boring, but it works with the other furniture and accessories in the room.  And it looks a whole lot better than when I found it.  :)

Thanks for coming by!


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What didn't get blogged

I've been up until 2am most nights working. Being self employed you take the work when you can, and push yourself - because around the corner there is likely going to be a slow period. It's part of the thrill of running your own business. So seeing as it's my busy season for work, my "creative" projects around the house have been put to the side for the next week. Anyhow, here is what didn't get blogged about
  • I found an old CD Cover I had designed for Markus. (Mine is the one that has the sleeping baby). I totally wish I had more time to illustrate. That is something that I've had to let slide while juggling everything.
  • Love these shoes
  • Everything in this inspiration board I want. Especially that Kate Spade bag. I'm a sucker for stripes.
  • I'm hoping you'll see an announcement from myself and Jen today - we're on the cusp of announcing something that is really very exciting.
  • We're going to our neighbourhood Santa Claus Parade this Sunday. We went last year and it's SO fun. Aubrey has to work so it's likely going to be me and Oscar party crashing on other peoples family time. ;)
Have a great weekend everyone. xo Linds



I get a lot of e-mails about what camera I use so I thought it wouldn't be weird to show you my early Christmas gift. I used to have a Canon Rebel XTi that I've been shooting with for three years, but the camera started to malfunction a bit, and truthfully I was drooling over the features of the updated cameras for awhile. Last week, this beauty came home with me - a gorgeous Canon 60D. For the record, I have a number of cameras in my house including my "purse" camera that I toss in my bag - This camera isn't a "toss in your purse" kind of camera. This is a camera that is off limits to everyone. Even Aubrey. I've VERY territorial with my SLRs. So, the functions on it are crazy cool on this, allowing for wireless speed light control (meaning you can put your external flash somewhere else in the room, and have it go off when you want it to - wireless) This may not seem very important for the regular photographer - but for product photography that I do - this is really cool.

I got my love of photography from my Dad -  a shared joy that we have. I remember my first camera that I got, when I showed interest in photography to get a badge for Brownies. Ever since, I've been an avid photographer. I just really, really like it.
Photos I've taken over the years
Sometimes people ask me what the tricks are to good photography and I wish I could be eloquent enough to explain. This isn't a post about my photography tips - There are a lot of factors, all deserving of their own post. But, what I always tell people about (most) of my shots in our house is that one of my BIGGEST tricks is that I really try to avoid flash.  By not using your flash, you need to allow that shutter to be open just that much longer to allow more light in - so get a tripod. I don't always use the traditional tripod, I use a stack of books, chairs, tables. But having a camera on something steady when you don't have a lot of natural light is a necessity.

But sometimes what you see, is manipulated after the fact. Take for example my pumpkin shot. Shot in daylight, but even still it seemed dark. So I manipulated the levels of the photo on my computer until it seemed right. It's always easier to manipulate photos that have been shot in daylight vs. artificial light, not sure if that's because I'm a novice, or because working with lighting is just overall hard to do.

The big DSLR isn't for everyone. It's big. It's not something  you can toss in your bag (you shouldn't at least) but for someone like me that takes great joy in house shots, product photography, photographing people and events, as well as testing out differen lenses, different settings, it's the best gift ever. :)

Another DIY Advent Calendar

Image credit: Oh Happy Day
I'm working away on my advent calendar/bag project still - ALMOST done! But when I woke up this morning and read this post on Oh Happy Day, with my morning coffee, I thought it was soo good not to share. You can download the free template from Jordans site when you visit the post, and these are actually the exact same bags you can buy in my little shop. Oh, the uses of bags - the only limitations are your creativity. :) xo Linds


West Elm + Etsy Night with yours truly

The lovely folks at ETSY e-mailed me awhile back to let me know that West Elm had picked my shop* to be a part of the Holiday Handmade Night at the Toronto West Elm. Apart from the fact that I will be there, it sounds like a really fun night of shopping. If you do come, I hope you say hello! xo
*My 13x19 Prints are sold exclusively in my Etsy Shop Here

Beachy Clock

My husband made some tops for the wine barrel tables that I posted about last week. You can see that post HERE.   As neat as the tops were, they just didn't look right on the bases.  I stained them the same, but because the wood was different in some way, it didn't stain the same color. 

I used Minwax Provincial, then sanded it all down a little.  I kept trying to match the barrels, but it wasn't going to work...

 So I used the wine barrels without the tops and set his project off to the side....

The other night it came to me that the top would make a neat clock.  I had purchased a lot of 3" starfish on ebay a couple of years ago and thought it would be fun to use them instead of  numbers on the clock.

My biggest problem was finding clock hands that were big enough.  I bought some at Michael's, but they were sooo tiny that you could hardly see them.  After searching online and finding some possibilities, but not being thrilled with paying $3 for the hands and $6 for shipping (and then waiting several days for them to arrive!), I remembered that I had some clocks I wasn't using, and luckily, one of them had hands that were pretty big.  

Because the wood was stained such a dark color, I needed light clock hands.  I spray painted them a sand color.

My husband routed out a spot in the back for the movement (so it wouldn't stick out from the wall too far) and attached hooks and a wire for easy hanging.  We did all of this before attaching the starfish to the front.

I then laid out the starfish around the edge.  The starfish are somewhat uniform in size, but some are flat and some aren't, some have all five "fingers" (legs?) the same size and some don't...  I just tried to evenly space them around the board and realized that they wouldn't be 100% perfect, but that was ok.

I used Tacky Glue to attach them.  I like it because it dries clear and doesn't burn the skin off of my fingers like a hot glue gun.  :)

We then attached the clock hands to the movement and hung it on the wall.  It was a really fun and easy project.  (The light spot that shows up in the pictures pointing to the "6" on the clockface doesn't show up like that in person.)  

Thanks for your visit!


I am linking to the following parties:


Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special