Wednesday, June 14, 2017

DIY Monogrammed Glass for Dad - An easy Father's Day gift

If the Dad on your list likes to enjoy an ice-cold bevvie, why not put his name on it with a DIY monogrammed glass. Whether he prefers to sip a local brew or is a whisky connoisseur it’s a fun and practical gift. 


I took the classic etched, monogrammed glass and re-imagined it using enamel paint and a stencil you can find easily at a craft store.

This was a story I did for The Toronto Star last year. Did you know I created, styled, photographed and wrote over 100 DIY's for the Try It, Buy It Column?! That's a lot of crafting! 

I thought I would share a few of these on my blog. I'm trying to decide what I should do with these projects. A newsletter, a regular post, a book? Well a girl can dream....

Would you be interested in seeing more? Leave a comment or drop me a note at 

I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

 Make your own monogrammed glasses 
in 5 simple steps.

Step 1: Gather Supplies:
Enamel, gloss acrylic paint.

Stencil, I used an adhesive stencil that can be re-used

Paint brush or foam brush

Alcohol wipes

Step 2: Clean your glass

Wash and dry your glasses. Use an alcohol wipe or a little rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to clean the area where you will apply the stencil.


Step 3: Apply the stencil

I used adhesive, sticker type stencils that can be reused. They make it easy to position on the glass. Apply the stencil sticker to the glass and smooth it down completely so any air bubbles are removed.

Apply paint.

Step 4: Apply paint to the stencil

Apply paint to the stencil. Let dry for 1 hour between coats.

Step 5: Remove the stencil and let the paint cure.

Carefully remove the stencil while the paint is still wet. To cure the paint, let air dry for 1 hour. Place the painted glass in a cool oven, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes, cool in the oven, and remove. 

Make a cute tag, add twine and wrap.
 Ta da! So simple. The perfect last minute gift for Dad. Gift it with his favourite craft beer, cider or spirit.

Make your own monogrammed glasses in 5 simple steps.

*The glass can be washed on the top-rack of a dishwasher or by hand. Do not paint areas that will come into direct contact with food. Please follow individual paint manufacturers instructions.


Glasses, Dollarama

Folk Art brand Enamel Gloss Acrylic Paint in Wicker White, Michael’s Craft Store

Folk Art brand stencil, Michael's CraftStore

Monday, June 12, 2017

Let your favourite guy hang out in a stylish seat this Father's Day

The perfect Father's Day gift - the Cacoon is available for purchase in Canadian dollars with free shipping!

Someone just got an early Father's Day gift with the delivery of a Cacoon this past weekend!

I'm obsessed. It’s a nest chair or a hanging chair that you can escape to anywhere you feel like hanging it. The Cacoon was inspired by the weaver bird's nest which the designers ( a husband and wife design team) spotted while hiking in the jungle on a trip to Mexico. It was originally designed in the UK for a luxury spa.

We've wanted to get a hammock for the longest time but we never had a spot for one to hang properly. When I heard about the Cacoon and that it can be suspended from a (strong) tree branch I knew it would be perfect for our backyard.  

It's a cross between a tent and a hammock but better. I just love the modern design and it's sooo comfy! 

To celebrate Canada's birthday is having a special promotion. They are offering free shipping in Canada and the US as well as shopping in Canadian dollars until July 1st!

It makes a great Father's Day gift. Let your favourite guy hang out in the Cacoon with a coffee on Father's Day morning or a cold beer in the afternoon and he will be one happy camper.

Throw some outdoor pillows inside the Cacoon to maximize the lounging potential.

John put it together Sunday afternoon. It was simple to assemble. You don't need any tools and it comes with a 13 foot cord and steel carabiner. The tree branch we suspended it from is approximately 50 feet high but it was easy to order additional cord. So you can hang it just about anywhere.

They come in a variety of sizes. This is the double in light grey.

Julian snuck inside when John was bbqing and then I found him in it again after dinner lounging in the Cacoon.

You're probably wondering ... how did we get the rope over the tree branch? Well, apparently John missed his calling playing baseball because he was able to throw the rope over the branch on his first attempt. Once it went over the branch he knotted it according to the directions.

Two Cacoons hanging from a deck structure.

It's easy to hang from a tree. But if you don't have a tree in your yard you can also attach it to a ceiling with hooks, hang it from covered deck or porch.  

Suspend the Cacoon from a stand.

There are also stands available if you don't have a spot to suspend it using the cord.

The Cacoon would be great at the cottage!

It’s portable too. It comes in a carry bag and is lightweight so we can take it to a cottage or on a camping trip.  

Since the Cacoon is portable you can take it anywhere.

Here is the Cacoon hanging from a tree.

I think it would be great to have indoors too. Maybe in a sunroom or a kids playroom.

Although the Cacoon is available in a variety of sizes the one that I have is the Double Cacoon. It comfortably fits two adults, if you want to get cozy (weight capacity of up to 200 kg). They also have one for kids called the Bonsai Cacoon. What a cool place to hang out.

The Cacoon is available in 11 colours.

The Cacoon is made of top grade fabrics that were developed for the marine and camping industries. It's a mix of cotton and polyester so it feels great, just like canvas, but is also machine washable. Each Cacoon is treated for anti-mold, UV protection and water resistance. They come with a nylon rope and carabiner.

I love how you can be hidden away and sheltered, relaxing in your yard. You can purchase an insect net and a door that can be attached if you really want to cocoon inside. 

Give me a glass of rose and a stack of magazines or a good book and I will happily float away in my comfy nest.

This post is sponsored by

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

IKEA Canada partners with local Indigenous fashion incubator

I love the new ÅTERSTÄLLA collection from IKEA Canada but I especially love the story behind it - it's a winning collaboration.

IKEA Canada has partnered with Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator, to co-create a collection made using only salvaged IKEA textiles that would have otherwise become waste. 

Some of the women artists from Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator

Setsuné is a social enterprise based in Toronto whose purpose is to foster the work of Indigenous women artists working in fashion, textiles and crafts.

A unique,handmade textile collection made from salvaged materials. Photo credit IKEA

Each item in the ÅTERSTÄLLA collection, which consists of an apron, small bag, basket and a tea towel is completely unique, crafted by the artisans at Setsuné.

IKEA Canada says it's the first time they have partnered with social entrepreneurs with a collection based in Canada. 

The benefit of this business partnership is two-fold. It not only works to improve the lives of Indigenous women but it’s also a sustainability project, keeping textile materials out of landfills and upcycling it to create something beautiful. 

"This is an urban take on a traditional philosophy of how to live," says Sage Paul, Co-founder of Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator.

The ÅTERSTÄLLA collection will be available exclusively at IKEA Etobicoke starting June 8, 2017 and will be available while quantities last.
ÅTERSTÄLLA Collection from IKEA Canada - Photo credit IKEA

ÅTERSTÄLLA Collection from IKEA Canada - Photo credit IKEA

Setsuné programming works to empower Indigenous artists through professional and artistic development, presentation of works and strategic partnerships. Setsuné is a collective composed of women artists, designers, arts managers and community members. 

*This is not a sponsored post. Photo credit IKEA.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Dreaming of a lavender and fern garden

Have you been working on your garden yet? The rain has made everything green and lush. I'm itching to get in the garden and do some planting. 

Our beds need some order brought to them. So we need a plan. I prefer a more monochromatic coloured garden but I'm thinking I want to try out adding lavender (various types) and lavender coloured plants and flowers. More hosta and lots of ferns in different varieties.
A pot of lavender I picked up from the green grocer on Bloor Street and some hosta and ferns I spotted on Plant World's website. They have a handy tool called plant finder

Here is a shot of part of our backyard right now. Time to get it organized this weekend.

Our backyard before we tackle some organizing and planting. That's the green bench on the left that I bought via Craigslist. It will go at the back and we will add a backing to it at some point.

Last year we built two modern looking sheds at the back of our yard. The plan was to have a potting table between them. I finally found one I love a few weeks ago on Craigslist. It had been sitting in someones garage for decades. When we turned it over to check out the bottom, as one does when you want to know where it came from, we spotted an original tag and stamp marking it as Property of Northern Telecom. I guess someone took it as a work souvenir? So, it's a gorgeous faded green hardwood bench that will be perfect for my pots. I have a lot...I'm kind of obsessed with garden and plant pots. I regularly scoop them up at thrift shops and markets when they are a good deal. 

the old bench and soon to be potting table + my thrift shop find

Casual country bar cart via Wayfair / Andorra low round bowl via Restoration Hardware / Glass cylinder vases via Terrain / antique crock pot is mine picked up for $3 at a thrift shop!

Look at this cart with all the glass. I need a bigger yard or perhaps it could go on my deck against the privacy screen. It would make a great bar cart. If it came with those jars it would be mine. I love old glass. It's another obsession. Apparently I have a lot of those - glass jars and obsessions.

In my dreams I would open a shop filled with old things and plants and kitcheny decor goodness but I live in Toronto and retail space is crazy expensive so I'm thinking I should just start selling online. What do you think? PS I just had this amazing idea pop into my head when I was writing this. So now I have to go and spend some  time with it.

Anyways, just a little inspiration and behind the scenes of what is going on around here + a little rambling ;)