video from around our house

I recently switched from a blackberry to an iphone. You likely caught this switch if you follow me on twitter because I suddenly went crazy with finally being able to post instagram photos. :) I'm in LOVE with the phone. I'm slowly finding awesome apps, like the 8mm video app that I'm in obsessed with with. And since I'm on vacation this week I decided to take the opportunity to try something creative non-work related and played around with some videos that have accumulated on my phone the last few weeks. I've never been a video girl, but I think these apps that make it so easy, will make me venture more into this territory. Any apps you love, especially creative ones?

gold sparkly hats + honkers

After Christmas came and went, I had this immediate overwhelming need of of calm - just wanting to be low key, hang out with Aub and Oscar and my family. No commitments. No major plans. Do you get like that? Sadly, part of that meant that I also avoided my office - where I do my blogging. Oops.

This weekend is New Years Eve, and Aubrey's little sister is also getting married. I'll go to the wedding with Aubrey and Oscar but sneak Oscar away in the evening so Oscar can get some sleep at my parents house - where I'll wear a sparkly gold hat, one of the ones pictured above, and honk in the New Year with the dollar store honkers that I picked up today. New Years at my Mom & Dads is perfection to me, you see about 10-15 years ago I gave up on the parties and came to terms with the fact that eating party sandwiches and being with my family was much more fun than any wild party on the town. Do you have plans?


finding inspiration: kitchen

Aubrey and I walked to Starbucks today for a lovely coffee date, and on the walk there casually talked about boxing day sales, and perhaps we should look online to see if we should consider any sales. Our focus for the past six months has been to find a new fridge as our current one makes gun shot noises that we've grown to ignore. A few hours after that conversation we were in Lowes and, an hour later, had purchased not only our fridge, but new oven, dishwasher, and above oven microwave. Wow. That was easy. We're no where near being able to afford the rest of the kitchen, but with the appliances all checked off, we're kind of pumped. Which brings me to my latest inspiration for our kitchen. I spotted it on Barbara's latest "So Canadian, eh?" features.

This is the kitchen of Ashli Malinek from Mini Manor in Vancouver. What made me bookmark this was the spot for cook books at the top - the relief of cabinetry to allow for some colour is perfection. So this is totally going into my inspiration folder for our kitchen reno. Which may be that much closer now with all of the appliances. :)

Super Easy Ribbon Storage

I love buying ribbon, but sometimes it's hard to remember what I have. I found a set of three of these hangers at the store for $3.99.  They are meant for hanging slacks.  They are very sturdy and the foam holds the spools really well.

Each hanger holds at least six spools of ribbon.   I have tried storing it in plastic boxes, but I think this is the easiest way to store it, to see what I have,  and to get to it when I need it.

 Thanks for your visit!


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Merry Christmas!

I'd like to wish a very Merry Christmas to all of you!  When I started blogging last January, I never expected to meet so many incredible people or learn so much!  It's been an absolute pleasure.

I hope you and your families have a blessed Christmas!

Thank you all for your friendship and the inspiration you've given me.



'twas the friday before Christmas....

A year ago I pondered on our blog, how Santa gets in on Christmas Eve should you not have a chimney. He's got a lot of tricks in that big red bag of his, so I know he always finds a way. But a lovely neighbour/friend of mine saw that post awhile back, and it made for a lovely conversation on how Santa gets into their house. Apparently, he has a special key.

One chilly morning this week I woke up and popped outside to see if the mail had come. Although there was no mail, I found something wrapped ever so nicely in our mailbox. A small little package that had a lot of weight, and a tag read "With Love From Santa". Curious, I opened the parcel.

A key. A beautiful old skeleton key. My heart skipped a beat. I suppose that my lovely neighbour passed along to Santa that we needed a key for our house. Honestly, I love our neighbourhood + neighbours.

Our special key by our tree
Ps., It's my half birthday! Yay! :)


Gifts for Neighbours

Do you do gifts for neighbours? I try to every year do something small. There are also people that stop to say hello when they see me walking with Oscar, or wave hello as they drive by on the street. Many are simple interactions, but they build up over time, to give me this huge sense of community. Previous years I've made Candy Cane bark. But work was so busy, and adding Oscar into the mix, I really just didn't have time. So I did what anybody with lack of time does - you buy pre-made baking. Don't judge.
The loveliest Biscotti from Costco. A bin cost under $8.00. The aroma of the biscotti is absolutely perfect for this kind of gift.

I put about 4-6 pieces in little paper bags that I have here in stock, that I sell in my shop. But you can find likely at any bulk food store, or packaging store.

Once the cookies were in the bag, I closed it and punched a hole through the bag, and tied red twine through it, and put a little card with a simple Holiday Greeting on the back. [Cards are from my shop but are sold out right now] I then attached a single bell.

This was the scene in our kitchen yesterday afternoon. Even the reindeer got bells!

And ta-da! A lovely gift for those you love that will be very economical and stress-free. :) Oscar and I went door to door last night, the gifts jingling away in his stroller, it was somewhat magical - he and I walking in the dark, looking at all of the Christmas lights and delivering little treats to everyone. Hope this inspires! xo - Linds



Before the Christmas Tree went in, this was our Living Room. I bought a HUGE canvas to finally make some art. I bought it from the best art supply shop in Toronto, Gwartzman's. Have you been here before?  In High School my Mom used to take me all the way downtown to go shop at this store to pick up supplies for my art classes. I remember the trips so fondly, she and I going, and being in awe of all of the supplies to make art. My first easel came from this store. A tip for new visitors - Mr. Gwartzman is notoriously grumpy but I think it only adds to the charm of the store. ;)

When I needed a canvas, I obviously thought of them but I first called DeSerres for a quote [they are closer to me] and they quoted me $120 for the canvas. I them called Gwartmans and the canvas was approximately $30. Gwartmans even shipped it to me the total bill coming to around $50. With the money saved on the canvas, and by me doing the artwork myself, I will likely get it framed, much like this, at my parents house.

Art at my parents house - serving as inspiration for the framing. [Although I'd take that art too]
So the next step is painting it. I've painted on canvas before but the style of art I want is abstract - which I am new at. I may try to find some inspirationa before I put a brush to the canvase. Anyhow, to read more and see more pictures on Gwartzman's click here.

Ps., The bird painting in this post found a home at my sisters apartment. :)


Twig Christmas Tree Art

I love rustic Christmas decorations and certainly loved the project that Kindra  At Home With K's blog did to make her twig Christmas tree. Here's my version of it. 

I started with this frame from Michael's.  I spray painted it white with Rustoleum 2x Flat White Paint.

 I was disappointed that there was only a piece of cardboard on the back of the frame.  This definitely made it harder to get a good stretching of the burlap.  I put a thin piece of batting under the burlap and hot glued the edges of the burlap to the back of the cardboard.

I used Tacky Glue to attach the twigs to the burlap.  I spread the glue on the twigs pretty heavily.

This is before the glue dried completely.

 I used a heavy pan to hold the twigs in place to dry.

 I added a starfish to the top and was done.  (You can still see a little of the tacky glue.  It was still wet here, but did dry clear)

Thanks for your visit!  And Happy Holidays!

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Wrapping Style...

Every Christmas I find myself wrapping the special gifts to those I love in a theme. It's never elaborate, or intentional. I just happen to find something I love and want to use it on all my gifts. It's either a ribbon I've found that I end up using or a wrapping paper that I adore. This years inspiration was once again unintentional.  I have bells in my craft collection and I tied some together for Oscar so he could play some music. I adored the jingling sound as he walked through the house, it seemed so festive. So for 2011, my parcels will all have bells.

I took a card [throw out that plain envelope!] and punched a hole in the top and tied ribbon/twine through it and knotted two bells. The c ard adds beautiful colour but the best part is, the sounds of the jingling bells as you carry them into someones house will be so beautiful. It just brings a smile to my face. [You can do the same style of card, just take a beautiful holiday card and punch a hole through it. Leave the envelope elsewhere so that the card becomes part of the gift.]

A simple wrapping style but oh so sweet. :) Super easy to recreate - you can find packages of bells at the dollar store, or any craft store. xo Linds


christmas market 2011

I'm in the final stretch of rush orders for the Holiday Season, but I took a needed break from work and visited the Toronto Christmas Market yesterday. My neighour told me about the market  a week ago and it sounded awesome, and when I saw Jen's post it prompted me to tell Aub, an hour later Aubrey, Oscar and I were in the car en route to visit. Cool little vendors...

But my favourite, and, most obviously Oscar's, was the Carousel ride. I was in tears from laughing so hard at how hilarious Oscar's reaction was.

My new camera has a video function that I'm getting used to. Excuse the bumpy video but it was too funny not to share how much Oscar LOVES music.


Front of the house

Although I love my magazines, my blogs, my Pinterest searches and Google image search, sometimes finding inspiration is a matter of snooping on your neighbours. Previous years we had just strung the white lights straight across the porch. But, that felt a little stuffy as of lately, maybe having a child does that to you. We were on our way to go replace the bulbs with coloured lights when I spotted the neighbours who did this - and we decided to do the same seeing as we already had the white lights. To read about how we hung them read more....
Read more »

a little more christmas shopping...

After doing the 4 sponsored posts for Canadian Tire, I got pretty excited about the selection that they had in store, that I went yesterday to my local shop and did some shopping. Although the previous posts were sponsored --- this product was not given to me, I went and bought it myself (vs. the other products that were given to me in a series of "challenges".)

To see what I picked up, read more.
Read more »


wood boxes, little gift idea

Whenever I see natural wood products I get a excited. The idea of staining something makes my heart go pitter patter. I know. I'm a nerd. When I was at my new favourite store on this planet, the dollar store, I found wooden boxes in a variety of sizes, priced between $1-$3. Here is a really easy project to do if you want to make someone a gift. It's also a project that you can involve kids in on, which makes it extra special. Enjoy!

For this part above, I measured the top of my box and I designed something for the top on the computer. I was inspired by a Tommy mythe Quilt that is red chevrons. You can do the same on your computer or cut a collage out of a magazine, or, glue a drawing to the top (read on) To attach, what I did next was mixed a little water with glue, to create my own "Hodge Podge" mix. My Mom did this for us as a kid, I'm not sure if this is the right way, but it works for me. Alternatively, you could simply just paint the top a fun colour.

But I also did this for Aubrey's Birthday...

I took Oscar's first crayon drawing and attached it to the top of the box. A combined project that Oscar and I did, together. I was pretty happy when Aubrey loved it. And there you go - a really, really inexpensive gift idea for those on your list.

Simple Country Christmas Touches

I've finally finished decorating for Christmas.  I waited on most things this year until my daughter came home from college, as she loves to decorate.  I like to add Christmas touches to the things I already have on display. 

I added some ornaments to the scale that I inherited from my Mom, and a bow to a topiary I made last summer. 

 I added ornaments to a set of antique apothecary jars on my mantel.

And in some more apothecary jars that are sitting on an old radio.

I learned how to make a bow from  Maple and Magnolia's Blog and added a wreath to the mirror on the mantel.

I hope decorating your home and celebrating the season are going well!
Thanks for your visit!

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