Monthly Archives: January 2014

Book Art on the Cheap

Thanks to a “Christmas card” from my frenemy Revenue Canada (love the tax return, hate the tax audit), my art budget for my living room dwindled to nothing. However, not before I purchased these lovely (far too expensive!) frames from Chapters.

The warmth of the silver leaf frame and the texture of the linen matte are what made me fall in love with these frames.

The warmth of the silver leaf frame and the texture of the linen matte are what made me fall in love with these frames.

Due to the change in my budget these lovely frames hung empty on the wall for several weeks. My longer term goal is to order these simple, yet beautiful herb prints from etsy.

They aren't too expensive. Just too expensive for the moment.

They aren’t too expensive. Just too expensive for the moment.

Painted by "The Paper Wing" on etsy

Painted by “The Paper Wing” on etsy

However, since even these reasonably priced prints are a bit rich for me at the moment, I went out shopping with a budget of $10. One can only stand empty frames for so long! I headed to Chapters to look for some kind of book with pictures I could tear out and frame. Over in the bargain books section I found many options within my price range. I decided on a book full of cherry blossom prints which rang up a grand total of $6 (below budget!). So much better than blank frames!

Poor Steve spent so much time hanging the frames in alignment then I went and skewed them (as seen)

Poor Steve spent so much time hanging the frames in alignment then I went and skewed them (as seen)

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There were so many options. I also scored a lovely day planner, on sale for $10 with beautiful pictures from the collection at the FIT Museum (Fashion Institute of Technology). Fashion is by no means my forte but I know it will come in use for my fashion savvy sister whether she uses it as a day planner or frames the pictures for creative inspiration in her sewing space.

One of the images in the book

One of the images in the book

Another fantastic option for framing was the Penguin classic postcards. For under $35 you can get 100 postcards with pictures of different Penguin Classics. If I ever have a designated library/study room you can be sure I’ll be picking up these beauties and setting up a display like the one below.

Clearly I'm not the only one who realized how fantastic these would be to frame.

Clearly I’m not the only one who realized how fantastic these would be to frame.

A note of warning: If you plan on tearing apart a book for the sake of wall art, I recommend doing it when your toddler is not around…sets a confusing example 🙂

The kids are always in the picture...both literally and figuratively (you can even see the little hand in the right lower corner of one of the pictures above).

The kids are always in the picture…both literally and figuratively

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Filed under At home, DIY Projects, Inspiration

Beauty and the Beast

Hello. My name is Heather, most often referred to as mommy, and I am the Beast. More accurately, my two, almost three year old brings out the beast in me.

Sofia is…spirited…and it makes me crazy. Lately I’ve been wondering if I’m not the only one in the house with an ear infection causing decreased hearing because she doesn’t seem to hear a thing I say. Or at least she doesn’t listen. Somewhere in my mind I know that she is displaying classic toddler behavior but this understanding doesn’t seem to sooth the Beast.

In return for her behavior I am short, snappy, and impatient towards her. I act like this until I am slammed in the face with my own shame when she snuggles sweetly into my arms for a nap time story and song.  And then I have to reevaluate. Thank God for the time naps give for mommy introspection.

Yes, her behavior is unacceptable but no, I cannot allow myself to become a short tempered beast. She learns nothing from this. Despite how infuriated, frustrated, and tired I feel, it is my job as her mommy to guide her towards beauty. She is a toddler and I am the adult she spends the most time around therefor she learns how to react to life situations from watching me. If I react with frustration and anger when she does not obey me, how is she to know how to react patiently when her brother frustrates her? The relationship is different but the reaction needs to be the same: loving patience.

I need this reminder on a day like today when she is testing me. She may need to be corrected and/or punished for her behavior but not out of anger but rather out of a desire to teach her and help mold her into a beautiful person. I have been worrying lately about what my spirited little girl might be like when she is a teenager, if she will be “trouble”. As I reflect on this, I see that the chances of that depend a lot on what I am teaching her now. And you know what they say: practice what you preach or you might as well shut up (okay, I added that last part).

So instead of going blue in the face when she behaves badly, my goal for the rest of the day (must take these things one day at a time), is to model loving patience, because if I want my little girl to be a beauty rather than a beast, I must show her how.

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Filed under From the Heart: Thoughts on Life and Family

Pursing Persimmon

Recently Pantone announced “radiant orchid” (read: pinky purple) as the colour of the year but personally, I’m on the hunt for persimmon (read: red-orange. It’s a fruit, who comes up with these names?). My pursuit of persimmon began with this Robert Allen fabric:

Robert Allen's Ming Dragon in Admiral

Robert Allen’s Ming Dragon in Admiral

Love. Love Love his twist on florals. I plan on using the fabric for some throw pillows to bring a splash of bold, but not bright, colour to my couch. I’m a serious colour-phobe but it is my ambition to introduce colour into my very neutral home. I’m going to rely on indigo blue (the background colour of this fabric) as another neutral and have some fun with green and persimmon accents (you can spot just a bit of the red-orange colour in the fabric in the top right corner). I’ve been searching out products for bringing the persimmon out in my living room and I love these curtains from Crate and Barrel:

These curtains from Crate and Barrel would be a subtle nod to my accent colour with their red stripes.

Okay, so they are still mostly white but baby steps you know.

The rule of thumb for accent colours is that you are supposed to have at least three hits of the colour in a room so I’m on the look out for a couple more. In the meantime I’m inspired by these beautiful rooms:

Wish I knew where the persimmon knick-knacks on the bookcase are from. Love the

Wish I knew where the persimmon nick-knacks on the bookcase are from. Love the bookends.

Painting the window frames: a funky and low cost way of introducing colour to a room. And that couch! Gorgeous.

Painting the window frames: a funky and low cost way of introducing colour to a room. And that couch! Gorgeous.

I'm contemplating going a bit wild in my powder room and painting it a colour like that wall. We'll see...

I’m contemplating going a bit wild in my powder room and painting it a colour like that wall. We’ll see…

If only there wasn't a tot kitchen under my bar counter...I'd have stools like these.

If only there wasn’t a tot kitchen under my bar counter…I’d have stools like these.

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Ooh la la, if I lived a different kind of life I wouldn’t mind a dramatic dining room like this.

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Filed under Eye Candy

Presents and Projects

As Christmas winds down and our tree heads to the chipper, I feel a need for other, less seasonal greenery, to fill the void our pine-scented friend leaves. The Flower Recipe Book, a present given by my husband, provided great inspiration with it’s pages of splendid floral sculptures. I headed to the florist with my new book in hand, ready to pick up the necessary “ingredients”, only to find out that  none of the flowers are in season. Though I did not get to try out my floral art skills, these lovely lillies fill the void our tree left in this corner of the house.

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As for projects, I am proud to point out the wall behind the flowers which is no longer a banged up builder’s beige. Over my husband’s vacation we finally decided to commit some time to painting our living/dining area. Back in the summer when I discovered that I didn’t suck at painting as much as I had previously thought, I made a goal to paint our house, one wall per week. I made it through the three walls of the kitchen then got caught up in other projects until this past week. Over the span of four days (these things take time with two kidlets around) we transformed the look of our space with a couple coats of Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter. Grey walls are so trendy but too glum for our Vancouver weather so I chose this warmed up greige (has that word made it to the dictionary yet?). I’m loving it. Next step: new art above the couch. Being shipped as I write!

Thankfully, due to a present my hubby and I bought for one another, a fancy (not-so) little Nikon camera, I’m now able to present you with some half decent pictures. I haven’t gotten beyond zoom in, zoom out, point and click but the improvement upon my last camera is still phenomenal. I can’t wait to get up to some new projects and figure out how to best capture them with my camera!

A beautiful arrangement of paperwhites I picked up from the florist atop my "Flower Recipe Book". Christmas may be over but I can't resist leaving up some white lights.

A beautiful arrangement of paper whites I picked up from the florist atop my “Flower Recipe Book”. Christmas may be over but I can’t resist leaving up some white lights in the kid’s play area.

Because it is impossible not to take pictures of Sofia when the camera is out.

Because it is impossible not to take pictures of Sofia when the camera is out.

PS. Has anyone else become mildly addicted to chocolate over the past couple of weeks?

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Filed under At home, DIY Projects