Friday, May 5, 2017

A Mother's Day Gift Guide - 10 Gift Ideas for her ... or you or me :)

Mother's Day gift shopping stress be gone! I've rounded up 10 things she will love. I would be lying if I didn't admit that this list wasn't the list that is in my head. The list I don't say out loud because instead I say "oh I don't need anything sweetie". Right. OK I'm not lying if I say I don't need it but I might want it. Don't you?  

Here you go... everything from fashion accessories to booze so you can get your shopping done this weekend and have it arrive at your door. Mum's the word.

Bags are my shoes. When they are a soft, buttery leather with Old English brass hardware I am smitten. This Danish brand has beautiful watches too. See below....

$255.00 USD

$115.00 USD

Refreshing Hand Cream & Soap, Black Rooster

 I really have no idea what these smell like but I like the packaging and it is decadent, at least in my mind when it comes to hand soap.

Black Rooster
$23.38 soap/$37.13 hand cream

I have to get myself over to this store. It really is a crime that I haven’t been there yet as word is it’s amazing and it’s so close by, in lovely Roncessvalles. In lieu of a trip to the sea, yes to this candle.

Home Smith

Living Laboratory Eyeglass Case, Lorraine Tuson

It’s time to lose that bulky case your spectacles arrived in for something soft, sleek and stylish. Made of thick felt, it’s the perfect gift for women of a certain age who need there glasses intact and more room in their bags.

Lorraine Tuson

This is perfect for controlfreak creative Moms who like to go to the flower shop and make their own bouquets but instead a bucket, A BUCKET! of fresh flowers from a farm in Prince Edward County is delivered to this creative soul every week so she can create and possibly share her blooms.

Floralora Flowers

Recently I was in London and I bought myself a set of enamelware roasting pans. Some people buy shoes, I buy kitchen stuff. I became obsessed with it while eating out in London. Lunch served on charming enamel trays or chips standing like little soldiers in enamel cups was a common experience while dining out in London. I had seen them before, featured in beautiful food photos in UK magazines and TV shows but I didn’t know the brand until I was able to turn over one of these pans and see for myself. It’s a dream to cook in and wash up. It makes your food look a zillion times better. I love Falcon Enamelware and I’m not getting paid to say that. PS I want it all.

Falcon Enamelware

More caffeinated beverages... and there is something about plunging the coffee that gives me satisfaction. If you have a neighbour who brings you a sampling of single origin Ethiopian roasted coffee beans to try there is nothing better than the press.


Red picnic cooler (Crate and Barrel) + Georgian Bay Gin Smash (LCBO)

Get summer ready – evenings with my girlfriends are priceless. Fill a pretty cooler with the Smash, the Rosé, lots of ice and … oops I forgot the gin and tonics and some cheese and we are good.

Crate and Barrel

Magazine subscriptions

I love my magazines. Are you with me? I prefer the printed page but sadly my love affair with UK magazines cost a small fortune to have shipped over the pond so that’s where digital wins. If your mama or sister mama or whoever loves to flip through the pages for inspiration than a subscription is a winner. Here is a sampling of some of my faves (foreign ones) including Jamie, Living Etc., Donna Hay, Delicious, Country Living UK and of course including Matthew Mead’s new magazine Upstyled Home Outdoors because he always has the beautiful, the inspiring and the “why didn’t I think of that” covered.  

Happy shopping!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Make your own fabric with Sharpie®

The other day I shared the new Sharpie® Color Burst Permanent Markers with you. Guess what? This is what I made with them! I designed my own fabric to use to reupholster a chair I found on Craigslist.

This was the inspiration board I made using the Sharpie®  Color Burst Markers. Testing out all the colours was a great way to also try different techniques for creating a watercolour effect. 

I decided to use the vibrant blue markers. I really like how the blue turned out. The colour is so vivid and the ink was quick-drying. The circles on the pillow remind me of Japanese shibori and the design on the chair has a Scandinavian country feel. It adds a nice pop of colour at my desk.

Here's how to create your own custom fabric and pillow using Sharpie® markers.

What you'll need:

  • canvas fabric
  • pillow cover
  • Sharpie® Color Burst markers
  • Rubbing alcohol aka Isopropyl alcohol
  • dropper
  • cotton swabs
  • cardboard or heavy paper to protect surfaces
  • upholstery batting
  • upholstery foam
  • scissors
  • staple gun, staples
  • spray adhesive
  • pillow insert
  • chair to reupholster

Step 1: Design a pattern

Lay the fabric on a flat surface. Ensure there is a layer of heavy cardboard between the fabric and table surface in order to protect the surface from the markers and later, the rubbing alcohol. You may want to practise your design and technique on a piece of paper or a scrap piece of fabric.

We stuck with a simple pattern of circles and dots for this project. Draw the design on the fabric. The more ink you apply, the more intense the colour in the end. Repeat the pattern over the entire surface of the fabric.

Step 2: Apply the rubbing alcohol

Use a dropper or for more precision, a cotton swab, and apply the rubbing alcohol to the ink. We used a cotton swab for this fabric design. Let the fabric dry completely.

To set the ink: Although Sharpie® Color Burst Markers are water, smear and fade-resistant you may decide you want to go an extra step and set the ink. When the fabric is completely dry, you can set the ink by putting the fabric in a dryer on a low to medium heat setting. Do not use an iron to heat set the fabric. Once the fabric has been set, you can launder the fabric in a cold water wash.

*Rubbing alcohol is flammable and is a skin irritant. Use in a well ventilated area. Not recommended for use by children. Please use care when handling.

Step 3: Prep the chair for upholstery & add batting

Remove the seat from the chair using a screwdriver. Remove old fabric, staples and if necessary, old foam or batting from the seat.  If replacing the foam, trace the seat onto the foam and use scissors or a utility knife to cut the foam. Adhere the foam in place using a spray adhesive.

Turn the seat face down on top of the batting. Wrap the seat with the batting. Ensure the batting is taut. Using the staple gun, staple the top and bottom first, then the sides and corners. Ensure you leave the screw holes to replace the chair seat exposed.

Step 4: Time for the fabric!

Lay the fabric on a flat surface. Place the seat face down on top of the fabric. If you have too much fabric, cut any excess fabric away. Ensure you leave enough fabric so that when you pull it up on each side of the chair seat you have at least a couple of extra inches. If you have a pattern, now is a good time to make sure it is straight. Attach the fabric to the chair using the staple gun. Start at the top, pulling the fabric so that it is taut but not too tight and staple in place. Repeat on the bottom and then each side. Save the corners for last. The corners can take some practise to get right. The easiest way to get a neat finish is to gather the fabric in delicate and smooth folds at the corners. Once you have stapled the fabric in place, trim away any excess fabric. Reattach the seat to the chair.


Here is the finished chair.

The pillow ...

The pillow has more of a watercolour effect. To achieve this look, draw solid circles on the fabric. Apply the rubbing alcohol with a dropper. I found the most effective way to do this was to apply a small drop let it soak in and then apply a little bit more. The ink will gradually spread.

Let everything dry completely. 

As I mentioned earlier, Sharpie® Color Burst Markers are water, smear and fade-resistant however, you may decide you want to go an extra step and set the ink.

To set the ink: When the fabric is completely dry, you can set the ink by putting the fabric in a dryer on a low to medium heat setting. Do not use an iron to heat set the fabric. Once the fabric has been set, you can launder the fabric in a cold water wash.

*Rubbing alcohol is flammable and is a skin irritant. Use in a well ventilated area. Not recommended for use by children. Please use care when handling.

I love how the pillow turned out! Here it is on another chair. Isn't the colour amazing?!

Here it is again on the chair I reupholstered with the fabric I designed using the Sharpie® Color Burst Markers. 

I had some extra fabric left over so I made a bunch of ribbon for gift wrapping.

To make the ribbon, cut or tear strips of the fabric and have fun adding designs to the fabric. I used the same big dot technique for the ribbon using one of the pretty green Sharpie® Color Burst Markers.

The new, limited edition Sharpie® Color Burst Markers are available at Walmart, Staples, Loblaws, Deserres, Michaels and and retail (MSRP) for $5.99 (5 pack) and $28.99 (24 pack).
Follow Sharpie® on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Disclaimer: Wear protective gloves.  Wear eye or face protection. Use in a well-ventilated area. Keep away from heat, hot surfaces, sparks, open flames and other ignition sources. Keep containers tightly closed when not in use.  Do not eat, drink or smoke when using these products.  Wash hands thoroughly after handling.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

DIY Paper Tassel Holiday Gift Tags

Holiday prep is in full swing at our house. We are hosting Christmas dinner for our families so there is lots of gift wrapping, menu planning and tidying up on the calendar for the rest of this week.

Last year I picked up a bag of amazing paper off cuts from a warehouse sale at The Japanese Paper Place. I wasn't quite sure what I was going to create with them but the colours were so pretty it had to come home with me. 

So I made these colourful paper tassels. They are a fresh, colourful alternative to traditional holiday colour schemes and are so easy to make.

I love to use plain paper when gift wrapping and make the gift tag the focal point of the package. It's fun to come up with ideas from materials I already have lying around the house rather than buying pre-made items plus it's cheaper!

I know you probably don't have a bag of colourful paper strips lying around ready to be transformed into tassels but you can still make these quite easily. If you have a paper shredder put it to use shredding paper that is lying around your house. Maybe it's those scraps of paper that you end up with after wrapping a gift, or you could recycle any old paper you have around your house. A package of colourful kraft paper from the dollar store could easily be used for this project.

Here's how to create your own paper tassels.

Step 1: Gather the shredded paper into neat little bundles and fold in half.

Paper Tassels Step 1

 Step 2: Tie the bundles together with string

Paper Tassels Step 2

 Step 3: Trim the ends

Paper Tassels Step 3

Step 4: Add a gift tag

That's it! You're done. Keep making more and add them to your wrapped gifts.

Happy wrapping!

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