October 4, 2013
Floral arrangements are one of those things that I insist on having in our home at all times. For just a few dollars every few weeks, you can truly transform your dining room table. This simple act brings me an inordinate amount of joy each and every day, and it’s come to be something I just work into my monthly budget. And what better way to bring some life to your space with a foraged fall inspired bouquet the likes of this beauty from Amy Osaba & Rylee Hitchner. Read on for a few tips on creating your own romantic centerpiece, perfect for this time of year!
::Tip No. 1::
Use a wide mouthed vessel. The wider mouth encourages the florals to fall loosely and haphazardly creating a more organic feel.
::Tip No. 2::
Try to stick to no more than 3 different colours in your palette. This will ensure your arrangement remains elegant and sophisticated. Here, Amy stuck with a rich palette of burgundy, pink and white.
::Tip No. 3::
Grab blooms, branches, leaves and any other interesting findings from your own yard. Vary the scale and texture of your pieces to create a more interesting arrangement.
::Tip No. 4::
Start with your largest, heaviest branches. Next, start layering in some of your single stems, rotating the arrangement as you go to ensure it looks fantastic from all sides. Don’t worry about perfection here! It’s virtually impossible to mess this one up.
::Tip No. 5::
Save your fullest blooms for last, placing them closer towards the center of the arrangement.
September 13, 2013
I have a lot of skills when it comes to decor, but coming up with brilliant DIY projects is simply not one of them. Instead of beating myself up about the fact that I lack in this regard, I’ve decided to turn focus on the others that excel at it. The following projects are a few that I’ve come across through my internet travels, and are well worth a peek. I’m fairly confident that a number of these will be making their way into my home in the not too distant future.
December 19, 2012
I’ve mentioned in the past that when it comes to wrapping presents I do not mess around. People have since come to expect their Christmas gift to be clad in something crafty (the pressure!) After scouring multiple paper stores around Toronto I’ve come up with a theme: winter mint with a twist (indulge me, won’t you?) The combination of red, white & mint keeps things feeling festive while straying from the a-typical.
Once I wrapped my first present I took a step back and decided that something was missing. The washi tape, twine and polka-dotted gift tags were all well and good, but it needed a bit of pizzazz. After all, I had to compete with that year I swapped wrapping paper for tin foil (some ideas are better than others by the way). So in came the pompom! Once the template was created and cut out the process went pretty quickly (and the template lasted for the 15 others I’ve since made). I’m beyond thrilled with how the entire ensemble came together and cant wait to distribute my gifts come Christmas morning.
Step 1: Trace two small circles onto thick cardstock (or cardboard). As a rule – the smaller your circle, the smaller your pompom. I used a shot glass for this step (keepin’ it classy)
Step 2: Place a smaller template (in my case, a nickel) in the center of your first circle and trace around it
Step 3: Carefully cut your circle templates out (this does not need to be perfect)
Step 4: Place both circle templates together and tie a long length of wool around them
Step 5: Wrap the wool around the templates
Step 6: Keep wrapping…
Step 7: … until it looks something like this. If your length of wool runs out, not to worry, simply tie a new length on and keep going – nobody will know. (Note: the more times you wrap the string, the denser your pompom will become. This pompom ended up being QUITE full)
Step 8: Holding the wrapped templates between your index finger and thumb, carefully cut the wool using thin, sharp scissors…
Step 9: … until it starts to look something like this
Step 10: Once you’ve cut all around the template, spread the two cardstock pieces apart
Step 11: Thread a short length of wool in between the two cardstock templates and tie it in a tight knot. Then, carefully pull the cardstock templates off at either side. (note: your pompom may need a bit of a trim if he’s looking a little uneven)
Ta da!! Now tie it on to your gift using a ribbon (or twine in my case!)
November 15, 2012
I can’t take full credit for this DIY as I’ve seen it floating around the interwebs in the past, but it’s a goodie and one that I’ve long wanted to duplicate myself. If I must admit, I had originally planned this post last fall but I just never got around to it. The sticks were gathered (this is no easy task when you live in a condo downtown Toronto), the glass votives were purchased and they’ve hung around all lonely-like ever since.
When I woke up last Saturday morning, I felt the urge to get crafty so that’s just what I did. It was so simple that I almost feel silly writing out the steps, but what kind of “DIY’er” would I be then? So here it goes:
What you’ll need:
-a hot glue gun
-a sharp exacto knife
-a handful of (straight) sticks
-glass votives (I picked mine up at Ikea for $2.99/pack of 12)
using the exacto knife, carefully cut the stick to your desired length (mine were approximately 3″ long)
repeat with remaining sticks until they’re all similar in length
add a dollop of hot glue to the bottom of the stick
hold it firmly against the votive until the glue dries
repeat until the entire votive is covered
wrap twine around the base, using hot glue to secure it in place, for a more “finished” look.
June 27, 2012
I’m thrilled to share my contribution to this months Xquisit magazine. For this issue, I’ve put together a wonderfully simple tutorial that takes you through the steps necessary for creating your own necklace tree, for just a few dollars. If you have a second, pop over and check it out (it can be found on page 87 here)!
April 12, 2012
When Justin and I first moved into our condo we picked up a few discarded wine boxes at the LCBO for a dollar a piece, unsure of what exactly we’d do with them. For the last year they’ve sat stacked next to our bed as a nightstand placeholder until we could afford those we really wanted. Though they were unfinished, their rough and tumbleness began to grow on me. When operation get-bedroom-finished came into full swing not long ago, I decided they could stick around (dang budget) but they needed to step it up. Enter: stain. After two quick coats (and three days of air drying on the balcony), I brought them in and couldn’t believe the immediate difference. The result feels rustic and well-loved, bringing about an immediate sense of warmth. Extra bonus: you would never even guess that the entire project cost a mere three dollars (plus a can of stain, which I happened to have on hand). I think I’ll keep them around, for a while at least.
February 10, 2012
I am far from what you would call a Valentines day enthusiast, but I do appreciate any reason to do something special for those whom I love. While I don’t partake in lavish gifts and over-the-top celebrations, I like to recognize the event in little ways. Whether it’s for your significant other, your best friend or that neighbour who simply needs a pick-me-up, here are a few great ways to celebrate in a simple fashion. Besides, everyone could use some additional love now and again:
one:: heart-shaped egg in a hole
two:: paint edible hearts and messages on your dishes at brunch
three:: heart-shaped sugar cookies
four:: diy sugar cube hearts (for their morning coffee)
five:: cupid’s arrow red velvet cupcakes
six:: diy glitter cards
December 14, 2011
Considering the notion of a well plated dish tasting better than one that was just haphazardly thrown together, I believe the same is to be true for the presentation of ones Christmas gift. The packaging surrounding it always seems to make the contents that much more appealing (obviously there are exceptions: hi aunt Betty and your hand knitted kitten sweater! I’m not sure a pretty package could save this one.) With that in mind, each year I try to take that bit of extra time to assemble my gifts. While not all of my ideas end up being well thought out*, I am pleased with how my gift tags fared this year. They’re simple, inexpensive and add a little bit of sparkle to the organic vibe of my wrapping.
*One year I wrapped all of my gifts in tinfoil thinking they would look sparkly and glamorous. They didn’t. People still bring it up.
here’s what you’ll need:
a scrap piece of cardboard
a sharp exacto knife
blank gift tags
and here’s what you’ll do:
step 1: cut desired shape out of cardboard using a sharp exacto knifestep 2: place your template overtop your gift tag
and spray a thin, even coat of spray adhesivestep 3: sprinkle glitterstep 4: brush away excess glitter. Yes, it’s that simple!
August 24, 2011
I think it’s fairly safe to say that our apartment is more or less complete in the decor department. Apart from the bedroom, which always seems to be the last place to receive that special touch (why is that?), everything else has fallen into place.
Most recently, we’ve added art to our otherwise naked foyer. After a recent stint at an antique store in Prince Edward County, I stumbled upon this beautiful burlap flour sack. For a mere $10 I decided that it needed to come home with me, not yet sure where it would end up. In the end, we framed it in a $34.99 Ikea frame, resulting in a huge, 28″ x 40″ piece of art for just a few dollars. It instantly warms up the empty wall in our entryway and I could not be more pleased with the results.
When we first moved in to our condo I was concerned how we would fill up our many, many blank walls on a quite limited budget. But with a little patience, and a touch of creativity it’s all coming together.
June 23, 2011
The idea of dying my own fabrics to create something unique and one of a kind has always been something that intrigued me. When I stumbled upon this do-it-yourself recipe in the latest Sweet Paul Mag for doing just that, I had to add it to my list of things to do in my lifetime. And the fact that you use produce from your local grocery store to achieve this beautiful look makes this process all the more appealing.
aaand here’s how it’s done:
all images found here
ps. if you have yet to peruse through that which is Sweet Paul‘s online mag, I highly recommend moseying over. It’s riddled with delicious recipes and lots of pretty things to feast your eyes on.
April 20, 2011
How pretty are these tie-dyed business cards? So simple. So beautiful. So unique! Head over to Caro’s blog (here) for the step by step guide on how to make your own.
June 8, 2010
I’m sure you’ve seen these pendant lights around before. They’re kind of everywhere! (As an aside, I totally designed a wire one with semi-transluscent beads while I was in school, well before they became popular. I’m just putting that out there guys. Call me avant-garde. Trendsetter. A fool for not selling them to Ikea. Whatever. Mine had beads!) I love the way they look and make a space feel, but I do not love their price tag upwards of $1000.00 a piece. Lucky for us, Pickles has put together a tutorial on how you can make your own! So nifty! I’m absolutely going to try this – and I’ll let you know how it goes.
Click here for the step-by-step tutorial.
May 28, 2010
This made me smile this morning (click on it to see its full size).
found via 9Gag