Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Little Bits of Christmas 2010

2011 is just days away now...

What a strange holiday it was for me this year..a bit surreal really. Trying to balance the excitement the kids have for the season with my dread of it. You see, it was my first Christmas in my entire life without my Mom.

I decorated, baked, shopped and wrapped almost robotically. Just going through the motions. Really, what else can you do? Children depend on their mother to create the magic.

My mother created magic.

In the end, her magic could still be felt...

In the smiles and wonder of our children... my Christmas eve dreams of her... the traditions I shared with my parents being shared with our children... the joy I can see in my fathers eyes as he watches his grandchildren... and even the pop of the Christmas crackers at dinner - special because my Mom had brought them last year and we had forgotten to use them.

We had a quiet but joyful day with my Dad, my brother and my sister-in-law. Although my Mom wasn't sitting with us I could feel her loving eyes and spirit watching over us.

I wish everyone a happy holiday season and all the best for 2011.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Poppytalk Boxing Week & Pre-Valentine Market

Poppytalk's Boxing Week and Pre-Valentines Market opens today.

Poppytalk Handmade is a curated online marketplace to showcase handmade goods by emerging design talent from around the world. The Market is curated by Poppytalk, a Canadian (Vancouver-based) design blog.

Poppytalk is a favorite blog of mine and I love participating in their markets. I'll be there beginning today!

Take advantage of the Boxing Day Sale and get 20% off your order during the Market.

You can visit my virtual table here

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fimo Critter Home

My daughter is a budding Fimo artist :) With their growing population they were in need of a safe home. My Dad came to the rescue with this sweet little cubby just for the critters.

This would be a great D.I.Y.

He used a shadow box depth picture frame for the box and added wooden slats. He added one of my daughters doodles as a fun background.

Now her Fimo critters have a happy little home!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

a quiet holiday table...

I'm hosting Christmas dinner this year.
I crave a quiet, relaxing day spent with those I love most.

This collection of lovely handmade products from Etsy shops is mixed with a few items from West Elm that I have my eye on.

I really love the combination of natural tones and textures created from a mixture of linens, porcelain, felt, and vintage paper. It creates a ambiance of tranquility at a time of year when things are not always so tranquil.

I hope you enjoy my choices for a holiday table....

1. A lovely custom vintage textile banner trio from Monkey Puzzle would be perfect over a buffet table don't you think?

2. A natural linen drum pendant from West Elm - a perfectly understated dining room light fixture.

3. A have a large collection of vintage glass Christmas decorations that would be perfect in a vintage cream planter like this one from All Things White.

4. This pretty linen table runner from Nell Gleason is simple, yet has a flirty feminine touch with the ruffle.

5. I have some antique handmade wood bowls that would be the perfect place for these felted snowballs from Apple Hill Dolls to rest.

6. Porcelain plates and trays cast from tin pie dishes. I love these! A fun way to serve some holiday goodies. Available at West Elm

7. Peace... handprinted linen napkins from Terre Mum

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy holiday Etsy finds

Some things that caught my eye this week on Etsy...

This cream patent leather carry case from French English is the perfect modern but ladylike bag.

I have had my eye on this vintage jewel bracelet "the dutchess" from Dreamy Vintage for awhile now.

Fun hostess gifts, tree ornaments or to adorn your gifts this holiday trio of vintage silver spoons by Hammermann is a favorite.

I know a sly little guy who would love this sweet fox stuffy pillow from Birdmafia.

A festive looking handprinted floor cushion from Mookah would be perfect in my daughters bedroom.

Leilalou has the sweetest linen stuffed toys including this wee linen boy mouse!

I'm almost done my Christmas shopping and I'm proud to say I bought many gifts from Etsy shops. I love giving handmade gifts.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's a start...

I know many of you are probably well into your Christmas decorating by now.
I'm just beginning...the shop has been busy (a good thing) and to be honest I'm just lacking a little Christmas spirit at the moment.

I did manage to get my urns primped a little for the holidays this past week. I used ornamental cabbages and a mixture of greens to create a very simple arrangement.
Flower designer I am not :)

I also created this very simple advent calendar today - very quickly as I am already 4 days late!

I promised the kids I would get the Christmas tree early part of this week and set to decorating it and the rest of the house.

Happy decorating!

Monday, November 22, 2010

So very happy!

What treats the Mailman delivered today!
I've been waiting for my copy of HOLIDAY with Matthew Mead to arrive. It is stunning.

I took a quick look through and could not believe how beautiful this book is. The paper quality is lovely to touch. The photography and design are brilliant. I can't wait to sit down with a cup of warm tea and enjoy it fully.

I have been a fan of Matthew's work for years. I've enjoyed his sense of style and creativity in the pages of many magazines and on his website. It was a complete thrill and honour to be invited to submit my papergoods for HOLIDAY. So thank you Matthew, Jenny and Linda!

Today is also bittersweet. My biggest sweet Mom, who I lost just 2 1/2 months ago isn't with me to share my happy news. Some of the hardest moments are when you want to share something special. I know she is with me in spirit, cheering me on and saying "That's great Hon (short for honey) I am so excited for you"



I also wanted to share this lovely delivery that arrived in my mailbox today from Pink Grapefruit Style on Etsy....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Winter Wonderland Party

I loved styling the party I recently produced for the lovely Babiekins Magazine. So I was thrilled to see that Ohdeedoh featured it today on their blog! Here are a few pictures from the shoot.
To see more you can check out Babiekins Magazine here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stocking Stuffers & Gifts

Just starting my holiday shopping now and I thought I would share a stocking stuffer gift idea - personalized note card sets for the kids. They would also be great as teacher or hostess gifts too. There are more styles to choose from in the shop. I'm also having a sale!

Have you started your holiday shopping? I will share a Holiday Gift Guide I am working on very soon...and a special Holiday giveaway.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dreaming of a new kitchen...

Today we had to go shopping for some new appliances. Nothing exciting really, just a dryer and a dishwasher. However, it got me dreaming of a designing a new kitchen.

We need, ok well we don't need, but we want a more modern, functional kitchen. The last remodel was done over 20 years ago and didn't maximize the space, especially for a growing family.

Have you seen the new Martha Stewart line of kitchens available at Home Depot? They are lovely. I'm not sure if they are available in Canada yet. Do you?

I know I want white simple cabinetry. I love the look of a solid surface counter top material like Corian. I'm not sure how I feel about open shelving. I really like the look and the opportunity to display collections but worry about dust. We live in an old house with plaster walls so dust is just part of the package.

Our dilemma is whether to leave the kitchen where it is and knock out a wall to make our main floor more open concept. It will also allow for an island...on my wish list. The other option is to move the kitchen into where our dining room is now and open up a different area of the main floor. What to do....???

Monday, November 1, 2010

Babiekins Magazine

Issue #3 of the lovely Babiekins Magazine is out today!

What a great way to start off a sleepy Monday morning! Exciting magazine launches are happening this week.

Today, issue 3 of Babiekins Magazine launches. I just love this magazine. It is always full of whimsical photos and lovely art. You can see my contribution too - a Winter Wonderland Party!

It's always a pleasure to work with the Priscila, the creative force behind Babiekins Magazine.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Week!

I thought I would share some images from a recent Halloween Party article I did over on Little Miss Heirlooms and Babiekins.

Planning and styling this article certainly got me organized with my Halloween decor early. However, I am just getting to creating the kids costumes this week.

My kids love to design and help create their costumes every year. We try to limit the store bought options. I like to see them come up with ideas using materials we have around the house. It encourages not only creativity but is also earth friendly.

Julian's Super Mario costume will be created using old pants that we will turn into Mario overalls. Last years Evil Red Riding Hood red cape will transform into Mario's red hat.

Isabella's costume is top secret but I'll let you see the final creation when she gives me the green light.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

An 1812 Era Historic Fort Party

My son celebrated his birthday at Historic Fort York in Toronto this past weekend. All I have to say is that this party theme is a surefire hit with 7 year old boys.

I usually do parties in our backyard. It's the first time I have ventured off site for a party. I can definitely see the advantages!

The boys arrived at Fort York and were assigned a Historic Guide named Eric for the duration of the party. He proceeded to give the boys a tour of the Fort. Highlights included "Drill Training", learning to march, a mock "charge!" on the hills, and free run of the beautiful grounds.

After we refueled with cold drinks, snacks and cupcakes all they wanted to do was head outside to explore the Fort and play.

The favor bags were fun to put together. The boys got a replica pop gun, war of 1812 era soldier toy, and a "candy ration". I packaged them in a cotton muslin bag to which I added the image of a Union Jack.

I highly recommend Fort York as a birthday party destination. It was the perfect mix of fun and education in a stunning location. My son declared it the best birthday party ever!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halloween Party Ideas

The kids were eager to pull out all the Halloween decorations yesterday. We spent the evening adding a little Halloween decor to the outside of our house.

My kids always want it to look scarier while I am more partial to a fresh orange, black & white palette with hints of the macabre. I think I will have to give in a little this year and let them add a little more Halloween scariness to appease!

Be sure to visit the lovely blog over at Little Miss Heirlooms to see my take on a Halloween party.

How do you like to decorate for the holiday?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone (in Canada)!

We are enjoying a weekend celebrating with family. Although a difficult first holiday without my Mom we have much to be thankful for. As one of four sisters, it was her holiday to host every year. Dad, my brother, myself and our families have stepped up to take on the Thanksgiving tradition that my Mom so loved.

Enjoy your special celebrations.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Hostess Gift Set Giveaway!

Good morning! I hope everyone had a great weekend.

It really did feel like Fall here in Toronto. We had a busy weekend with soccer tournaments and a special day on Sunday when we participated as a family in the Run for the Cure to honor my Mom.

I'm excited to share with you a giveaway I am hosting this week on Pepper Design Blog. You must check out Morgan's blog. It is always full of creative ideas and inspiration for everything from design to kids parties!

Visit Pepper Design Blog for your chance to win!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Etsy Finds

Some sweet, cheerful finds found on Etsy I thought I would share...

1. The "Perfectly Imperfect Pendant" from Her Pretty Bird
2. A perfect little pilllow from Baby To Go
3. Pom Pom Flower Ornament perfect for party decor! from Tracy B Designs
4. Inspired by a paper doll...fabric doll from Baby To Go
5. Happy art - personalized wall art from Pilli Pilli Handmade
6. "She liked to rustle her red crinoline" from Janet Hill Studio

Babiekins Model Cover Contest!

Babiekins Magazine is looking for the next model for the Summer 2011 issue. That means it’s time for you to send in your favorite picture of your little one!
Send in your pictures and then the judges over at Babiekins (including me!) will pick their favorite 10. Then tell your family and friends to vote once a day for who they want to see on the cover. Winner will get a photo shoot near them and will also get to keep all the designer clothes used in the shoot!
I'm thrilled to be invited by Babiekins Magazine to be part of a panel of judges for this contest.
To enter child must be aged 9 months (by December 6) to 10 years of age
Interested? Visit for more information.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Giveaway on Holiday with Matthew Mead

I am so thrilled to be hosting a giveaway on Holiday with Matthew Mead.

Be sure to reserve your copy of Holiday magazine. I cannot wait to see the magazine in print!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


On Sunday, my world was forever changed. As the sun rose that morning, my dear, sweet Mom passed gently away.

It was like a whisper as I held her hand. I breathed a sigh of both relief and sorrow. She had suffered and now it was over.

For the past two years my mom has battled a recurrence of breast cancer. It was only in the past 4 months or so that it began to overtake her. Even so, her courage and will to fight this horrible disease never faltered. She wasn't ready to go. She had much to live for. She loved her family and couldn't bare to leave.

The last weeks were very difficult, especially the last few days. Every day I lost a little bit more of my Mom. It was the most painful week of my life. A good friend once told me that people don't realize how horrible breast cancer can be. I know I didn't. You can't possibly until you have borne witness to it.

The past few days I have experienced an unbelievable outpouring of support and love for my Mom. She touched many lives....

Today was her funeral. It was a true celebration of her spirit.
Three dear friends of my mother spoke of her with such eloquence, emotion and love. I will always remember their words. Thank you.

My mom was my biggest fan. I hope she knew I was hers.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Simple Summer Craft

My daughter had a couple of friends over last week and they wanted to craft.
I improvised and came up with these fabric scrap pins. They were fairly simple for the girls to make and they loved designing them.

I gathered up some scrap fabrics and they cut them into strips or shapes. They then layered the fabric and stitched them together in the centre. They added a button and a safety pin was sewn on the back. We didn't have proper brooch pins so we used the safety pins.

This would be a fun way to use up ribbon or even paper scraps as well.

Happy crafting..

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Memories of P.E.I. 2010

Some shots from our recent holiday to Prince Edward Island....

We just returned a couple of days ago and are already missing the beach and quiet beauty of our favorite island. We have been going for the past five years and the kids love it. So do we.

The kids created a blog this year so friends and family could follow their adventure. It was a hit! It was fun to chronicle the trip there from Toronto with stops in Montreal, the St. Lawrence River, and New Brunswick. On the way home we had a three day stopover in lovely Boston. We also stopped in Bangor, Maine, Portsmouth, NH and the Hudson Valley.

Looking forward to returning again next year.

Hope you are enjoying your summer!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Blog Love!

We had a bit of excitement in our house this past week as Isabella's recent Paris themed party was featured a few of my favorite blogs! A shout out and thank you to Ohdeedoh, Peppers and Pollywogs, and Little Miss Heirlooms.

You can also see Isabella and Julian (my son) on
Ohdeedoh today in a post on traveling with kids. Thanks Ohdeedoh!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Printer Rack Display

I love this old printers rack I picked up at Aberfoyle Antique Market recently. I was planning on using it to hold some antique alphabet stamps but decided it would be a great display piece instead. Now I'm having fun filling it with odds & ends that catch my interest.

vintage finds..

I was out running some errands this morning and decided to pop into my local second hand shop.

Look what I found! A great vintage jar with a pretty green lid, a sweet old muffin tin, and a very old glass fuse. My biggest find was these three Fiestaware cups and saucers at $1.99 a piece. I just love the colours of everything and can't wait to put them to use.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ella's Room

--> A Room Tour

Recently, I had the privilege of photographing 7 year old Ella's bedroom. Stylish mom Kelly designed an inviting and whimsical space for her daughter to enjoy.

Ella’s sweet vintage inspired bedroom is a mixture of antique heirlooms and refinished new pieces. At only 80 square feet, it is a cozy nook for 6 year old Ella to play, create and dream.

Colin and Kelly used a soft, neutral color palette, combined with quilted bedding, a few handmade pieces and accessories gathered from craft shows, garden centers and discount stores to create an understated bird and nest theme.

Accessories such as a porcelain owl used as a bookend, outdoor bird hooks and birdhouses found at garden centers were brought inside. According to Kelly, “Ella believed for years that there was bird living in there- and she loved the idea that birds lived in her room!”

At the wise age of six, Ella knows that there are not birds nesting in her room but she loves it’s coziness, the birdhouses and the special pieces she created to help make her room home.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Isabella Goes to Paris!

Isabella's wish list always seems to include a trip to Paris. So this year we decided a trip to Paris was definitely in order, at least of the birthday party kind.

What a fun party to plan!

Invitations designed as vintage Parisian postcards were sent to friends inviting them to an afternoon in Paris.

We made perfume, Eiffel Tower Glitter Globes, ate sweet lemony madeleines and many other patisserie.
The guests left with mini travel kits which included travel size soap and shampoo dispensers, a luggage tag, a pocket french language guide, a travel journal and of course the perfume and globes they created.

Decor included a bunting made from vintage photographs of Paris, lots of Breton inspired stripes, Eiffel Towers, chalkboard signs, a Parfumerie, and a Patisserie table.

Memories of Paris Snowglobes - such a cute party craft.

The invitation....available in my shop now!

Part of the favor bag - a travel kit!

The Patisserie - yum madeleines, tarts, cupcakes & more

The Patisserie table - I made a bunting out of vintage Paris photos I picked up on Etsy.

The Parfumerie - all natural perfumes were made using distilled water and essential oils

I also took photos of the girls wearing berets and we packaged them in these sweet envelopes with a thank you postcard. I bought these envelopes at this great Etsy shop- Crafting Bug