friday observations

Happy Friday. Here are some shots from over the week.

1. I picked up a Hape Alphabet Puzzle from Mastermind Toys for Oscar.
2. I think it's time I admitted I have a pillow obsession
3. Anyone know where I could find a similar scarf as in this shot? Love the style. *Note, I love the length especially. I find it hard to find LONG scarfs.
4. I joined a gym. I went at 6 am each morning for one week and quickly realized I am NOT a morning person. I now workout in the evening....and I'm much happier. ;)
5. Went to a wedding and it was gorgeous. I noticed that people (like myself) didn't bring cameras - everyone whipped out their iPhones to take photos. A lot has changed since I got married.
6. Peel + Stick Moustaches are a hit over here.

Other things I've boomarked because I enjoyed:

1. I loved how Joanna's husband diffuses an argument.
2. Love the packaging of these soaps
3. Behind the scene video shoot of the 2012 Princess Margaret Showhome. Gorgeous.

xo Linds


new kitchen accessory...

Some girlfriends were visiting Monday and one of them presented me with a little kraft box from The Ontario Craft Council. I opened it up to find my very own Heydey Design ceramic jar that I have been coveting since the Spring One of a Kind Show and just blogged about. I flipped out. It's beautiful and has a place of honor in the new kitchen. Yay! Ps., Thanks Kareen. xo


dishes // bone china

A few weeks ago Kay was asking via twitter where to find good white dishes and it made me think of our dishes that I adore. When Aubrey and I were married 8 years ago we received formal china for entertaining. But we totally cheaped out on our everyday plates. Total regret.  Our everyday plates were heavy and chipped easily (they may have been ceramic?) Although they were inexpensive per piece, it still adds up to be an investment when you buy a number of place settings. So should you be looking for everyday plates, I wanted to tell you about what we did.
As our everyday plates dwindled (due to chipping/cracking/breaking) I decided that we should maybe invest in good "everyday" plates. My Mom has beautiful dinnerware and she's the one that told me about bone china. Bone china is lighter and more resilient to chipping than our ceramic plates.

Although we picked up our set of bone china a few years back at the William Ashley Warehouse Sale just as recently as last week I was at HomeSense and found plates that were bone china. How can you tell? Pick up a piece and turn it around. You can see that it says what it is. As above, it says in small type "Bone China".

Anyhow, that conversation on twitter really sparked this post as I really adore our dinnerware. So if you're looking for new awesome dishes, maybe source out bone china for your house.

Update: We have the Dutchess brand of plates & bowls via William Ashley and a set of 8 of the Wedgwood "Night and Day" small bowls in addition (as shown above) The night and day bowls are perfect for berries or ice cream. :)


thanks for the help....

I got a amazing feedback on where to find blue & white pottery much like the ones I found antiquing in cottage country. Shadi snapped a photo of a page from HGTV magazine (shown above) and it showed these Chinese Ginger Jars are from a shop (Thank you for taking that photo!) Robbin via the comments told me that Bowing having a collection (and they are on sale!) and LouLou via the comments sent me a link to the Bombay Company's collection. Of course, there is Chinatown which is actually where I did find one similar a year ago, but the pattern wasn't totally to my taste. But I should go back down for fun to search out more treasures. Anyhow, just wanted to say thanks for the help but also - pass along these links should you want to find some too! xo Linds

grouting surprises

Grouting the kitchen backsplash is complete. :)  We had a little surprise when the grouting was done - Although the container from Home Depot said "Bright White" as you can see in the image below, it definitely isn't bright white.

It's kind of gray .... no?

Thankfully it was a happy surprise. For the longest time our kitchen was being used without grout and the spacing between the tiles made it look like we had done gray grouting. The look was growing on me and I was nervous to go completely white with the grout. But we did - partially because I like to play it safe. When Aubrey was done the grouting I said to him cautiously - "It looks kind of gray doesn't it?" He agreed, but then we kind of moved on because we both liked the look. It also plays well with the Caesarstone Misty Carrara countertop.

So conclusion to the pre-mixed grout? Awesome as there is little cleanup and you can use what you need, and put the rest away. Downside - the colour was a wee-bit off from the label. ;-)


Garage Sale Scores--Scale, Birdcage and More

I really found some fun things at the garage sales this weekend--a  great old copper tub, a wooden box, a birdcage, a scale and some drill bits for my husband.

I was thrilled to find this old Wayrite scale.  But....the biggest bummer of the day was that a girl right before me grabbed the cutest rusty old blue scale.  And she paid $3 for it!!  I would've preferred to have not even seen it.  :)  But, I keep telling myself that I have LOTS of scales, so it was not for me this time....  And, this scale that I did find is very fun!

Here it is in the house with some other recent garage sale finds (and a bird feeder from HomeGoods).

This little birdcage caught my eye.  I didn't care for it in black, but figured I could paint it.

Now it's blue/green.

I love this old box!  It's a perfect size to hold lots and lots of magazines.

 My husband is in the process of cleaning up the copper tub.  I will post about it when it's all spiffed up. 
Thanks for your visit!


I am linking to the following parties:

Making Ikea cabinets look custom

I have always loved the look of crown moulding around kitchen cabinetry, especially when you're using "Big Box Store" cabinets. I think it's one of the key elements in making something out of a flat packed box look custom. (See Carol Reed's blog for inspiration on ways to make Ikea kitchens look custom) Early in the design process we accounted for having crown moulding above the cabinets.

First thing - we went with the tallest Ikea cabinets possible. After accounting for the space between the counter and bottom of the cabinets (18") we were left with enough for a 2" crown moulding. Prior to installing the crown moulding, I painted it in Benjamin Moore's Paper Mache. Because we're working with a lot of whites, it was important to match the Ikea doors.

If you're going to do the same - make a note of the fact that Benjamin Moore's Paper Mache is a perfect match for Ikea's Adel Doors. Ikea Adel doors are not white - they are a creamy tone. I fretted about this originally, but I'll tell you now that the cabinets are gorgeous and I love the tone. I think if they were any whiter they would look too white. You can see in the photos above the crown moulding against the ceiling colour (bright white). The cabinets are definitely cream. By painting the crown moulding the same colour as the doors it makes the entire upper cabinetry look built in. Best decision.

Almost there! We really have only one thing left to do.....

Ps., Thanks to Leigh-Ann for helping me figure out the paint colour for the doors! If you don't have a friend that is a part of the Benjamin Moore Design Team then do what I also did and bring an Ikea door with you to your paint store and start pulling out paint swatches to try to match. (I did this to double check that we were going with the right tone)


Reluctantly Accepting that Summer is Ending

I love summer.  I love everything about summer.  I'm probably one of the few people who doesn't eagerly anticipate fall's arrival.  Yes, I enjoy the coziness of fall and love to watch football, but I know that soon after fall comes snowy, non-gardening winter.  :)

It usually takes me awhile to buy fall flowers, as my summer flowers are generally still doing well.  Unfortunately, if I wait until my summer flowers look horrible, it's too late to get fall flowers.  Oh the dilemma.  haha
(Full disclosure here--this was the pot at its prettiest a few weeks ago.  It did not look this good yesterday when I pulled all of the flowers...)

 I love the Wave Petunias and Cosmos in here.  I will definitely be planting Wave Petunias in all of my pots next spring.  They get huge!

 This and the next two pictures are right after I planted the pots in May. 

And now I have Mums.  The plants I bought were so big (thank you Costco!) that I wasn't able to fit anything else around the edges.  Maybe a simple planting is perfect for now.

Thanks for visiting! 


Cottage Country Finds: Canadian Crown Jars

Ever since I spotted Heydey Design ceramic jars at the One of a Kind Show last year, I have wanted to have one in my house. It seemed like pure Canadiana to me and while antiquing in cottage country last week, I spotted in two different shops collections of old Canadian Crown Jars. Although I would still love one from Heyday Design, the price of the real glass ones were too good to pass up.

The weight to them is significant, and on the blue one, you can see that the glass is far from perfectly blown. Indents here and there make it feel like you're holding a piece of history. Unlike the new canning jars that you buy today these have significant weight and beautiful imperfections. I'll stop my collection here as I don't want to take away from the pleasure I have looking at these two, reminding me of our summer trip.

The blue jar I almost passed up, until the shop keeper pointed out that it had on the back T. Eaton Co. And 190 Yonge Street - the location of Eaton's as of 1883 [Source]. Although neither jar are likely worth much, they are finding spots in the (soon to be revealed) kitchen. :)

Ps., I really wanted to find an original beaver jar but I was told they are really hard to come by - and therefore, are expensive.


blue and white pottery

I started noticing that a lot of the interiors I liked had blue and white pottery in the room design. Finding some at a reasonable price in the city proved to be impossible but I lucked out while shopping in cottage country last week. I came across a collection of them in the back of a shop and I immediately bought them all. The pots varied from $10 - $25 and although not super cheap in the scheme of normal barnyard finds in cottage country they were far less expensive than I would have found in the city. Aubrey initially didn't get the appeal, but once in our house he said he did like them. :) To see some other (fancier/more expensive) ones in interiors read more below.

Read more »


kitchen progress

Aubrey was doing a lot of this today.....

Grouting!! We're almost at the finish line. We went with a pre-mixed white grout. Although the container says "ultra white" it it kind of is still greyish. It may be that we're using a lot of different tones of white in our kitchen which shows the difference in whites a lot more. Regardless of the darker colour than I expected, I love it.  Almost there!

running an online shop / prepping for the holidays

A little break from home stuff..... I'm organizing and prepping my office/studio for Christmas.

I know that sounds nuts but for the last 8 years of running my shop I've come to realize that getting ready now helps make my busiest 4 months of the year run smoothly. Although running an online store and a bricks and mortar location are very different - I think one similarity is an online store requires the same "editing" of product and attention to merchandising.  If you walk by a storefront that hasn't changed its window display in 4 months, you tend to feel as though the inside of the store hasn't had any updates either. This is why I like to try to rotate things in the store, so it continually feels fresh.

Now is the time that I start planning out the release of new products, I look over my existing inventory and remove designs that aren't selling. I'm taking product photography (like the photos above), re-evaluate the fonts I use. I look back at when I did sales in previous years and I have notes to what did well. I either plan to do the same sales, or switch things up a bit. This process can take weeks and weeks and although time consuming it is really refreshing.
In the last month there have been some cool new developments with my art. They have yet to blossom into something substantial enough to talk about but the news was enough to make me giddy about the future. This is a nice spot to be in vs, how I was feeling 2 months ago.

I thought I'd post on the process of editing & prepping for the holidays. As running your own online store becomes easier for everyone (way easier than when I started 8 years ago) I thought I'd give some insight into some of the important things to keep in mind in maintinain a store.

Anyways, back to the house. The kitchen has two things left before I can take the reveal photos. The grouting, and adding the valance by the under cabinet lighting. It's hard to finish the little stuff once a kitchen is usable and looks not so bad. You kind of keep putting things off. But I think Aubrey is grouting today, so that will be nice. :)

xo Linds


family news

BIG family news. My brother Peter proposed to his amazing girlfriend Lindsay. Eeeeek! I totally played this immediately. Anyways this may explain why I start adding wedding stuff like crazy to my pinterest account. :) I may have also done this...

Love happy news.


mini donuts

I got the itch to make mini donuts after seeing some gorgeous ones on Pinterest (like a pin from Sprinkles Bakes.) I really enjoy to bake simple mini treats. (Like these) Anyways I ended up finding some donut trays on and immediately bought two. To my surprise, the order arrived 24 hours later at my doorstep. (And I picked regular shipping too - not express!) Seriously, I'm doing most of my shopping online these days because of that kind of service. Anyways, back to the treats...for photos from the baking with some tips (if you want to make your own) then more after the jump.

Read more »


DIY Coasters

I'm going to a "Favorite Things" party tonight hosted by my friend Ali @ Just Me and decided to do another coaster project for it.  We have them all over our house and I've given several sets away as gifts.  I really do love the look of them.   

HERE is a link to my other Omni-gel projects.
I started with 4" tiles from Lowe's.  They are called Agora Almond and were 33 cents each.  I put a piece of cork on the bottom of it, cut to just a little smaller than the tile.  I bought a roll of self stick cork at Michael's.

I used graphics from The Graphics Fairy (the Ball Jars, Watering Can and Cloche) and the Bicycle and Ampersand images I found on Etsy.  I printed them off on my laser printer using the normal print (not mirror image).  Remember, if you don't have a laser printer, just print the graphic off any printer and make a copy at Kinko's, then you'll have the right type of copy.   I used the wallet size on Picasa and did one graphic per page.  (I tried to do 2 and 4 graphics per page and they printed too closely together).

I used a foam brush and applied even coats of Omni-gel.  (I buy Omni-gel at Michael's.  It's not easy to find, so you may have to ask a salesperson where to find it there.)   You'll want to brush it on in one direction, let that dry completely, brush it on the opposite direction, let that dry, then brush it on diagonally and let that dry.  Be sure to cover enough of the graphic and surrounding paper so it'll easily fit on a 4" tile.  I then cut the graphic to about 6" square so it's easier to work with.

Once it's all dry (I let them sit overnight after the 3 coats), set the graphic in a tub of water.  I used a dishpan from the Dollar Store.  Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.  If you leave it longer, it's fine.

I took it out and set it on a piece of wax paper.  I used a damp microfiber cloth and rubbed the paper off in a circular motion.  Be sure to get all of the paper off.  I usually run it under some water to try to get everything off.

I then set the wet graphic on the tile and carefully cut to fit the tile.  (it works best if the graphic is wet so it doesn't slide around on the tile while you're cutting it)  Be sure not to cut too small or too big. The edges of the graphic will fit nicely in the grooves at the edge of the tile and you won't be able to see them.

Carefully lift the cut graphic off the tile (it shouldn't be delicate as it's kind of rubbery at this point), spread Omni-gel in a thin layer on the back of the graphic and the top of the tile.  Use your finger to spread the Omni-gel and get rid of any air bubbles.  You can apply some Omni-gel to your finger to spread it easily.  You will have to peel the Omni-gel off of your hands.  :)

Set the tiles aside to dry overnight. 

I put a little sprinkle of salt on them, then spray with a clear sealant.  I found that the salt keeps glasses from sticking to the tiles later on.

I hope whoever gets my 'favorite thing' likes them as much as I do!

Thanks for coming by!


A BIG Thank You to Palatin Remodeling, Inc. for naming my blog "Best Innovative Blog 2012"  I am thrilled to have won!!

Presented by:
Palatin Remodeling Inc
I am linking to the following parties:
Debbiedoo's Newbie Grad Party 
Savvy Southern Style's Wow Us Wednesday 
DIY Show Off
The Graphics Fairy
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Home Stories A2Z
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special