I really love Flickr.  There are so many amazingly talented people on there, and it is such a great place to find inspiration.  I was perusing through my favourites the other day and realized that a large number of them were from ethanollie.  Her photos are such incredible still lifes - the way she styles them is amazing.  They evoke such a beautiful mood.
Most of the photos here are taken for her Etsy vintage shop.  They really capture that vintage vibe - don't they make you suddenly want one of everything?  (Or do I have a terrible shopping problem...?  Oh wait, that's a given.)
Hey Liz - got any spare chem equipment? :)
Thanks for your gorgeous photos Kim.


I went in to Smash Salvage on Dundas the other day after getting groceries (it is so close I can almost never resist!).  For those of you in Toronto, Smash is a fabulous store full of, well, salvaged goods!  They have everything from school desks to window grills, to piano crates and industrial lighting.  Very, very cool stuff.  Check out their flickr page to see the kinds of things they have at the moment - that is where I got this above shot.  When I was there, they had a whole bunch of these brass letter stencils put together in fun words.  While I was tempted by JERK (story of my life... kidding!), I was drawn to MOM - I wonder why? :)

So this little guy came home with me.  I had it just sitting on the mantel, but I felt like it wasn't really visible or readable enough, so when both kids were miraculously napping at the same time the other day, I dug out my bag of Japanese paper scraps and an old Ikea frame, and made this:
It's kind of fun, no?  It makes me smile, anyway.  I guess I just made myself my mother's day present!

Sun Room

For those of you who were wondering what we did with that gorgeous leather chair that was in the living room once we got our new white ones, we put it in the sun room!  I fact, I am sitting in it as I type, basking in the bright sunshine on a chilly, windy day. 
This great room just got nicer, as now Chris and I sit here on the weekends and in the evenings when we get a chance, and read together. You may also notice my lovely $12 curtains that were replaced in the living room also made their way in here. I kind of like them with the yellow walls!

Sadly, the chair is actually my parents' - they bought it here a while ago and didn't have room to take it back to NB when they went last time. Darn, huh? Maybe when they see how nice it looks here... :)

Howard Ikemoto

"When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me what I did at work.  
I told her I worked at the college - that my job was teach people how to draw.  
She stared back at me, incredulous, and said "You mean they forgot?" Howard Ikemoto
I read this wonderful quote today by California artist Howard Ikemoto, and wanted to know more about his work. It is as lovely as his words!

Happy Belated Earth Day!

Yes, I am aware that Earth Day has come and gone, but as any of my friends will tell you, I am not so good at remembering things on the actual day they occur.  I will note that they are coming up, with a mental "Must Remember!" and then remember again a day or two after the fact.  (Speaking of which HAPPY BIRTHDAY SELINA!!)  I have decided it is just one of those things about me that I have to embrace, because I can't seem to fix it.

So since I have a day of house cleaning ahead of me, I thought I would do a quick roundup of some of the eco cleaning options out there.
First up are these intriguing Eco Scrubbies available on Etsy.  They look like crocheted little poufs, but made with some cool scratchy material.  I want one.  I am sure you could buy something similar, but as you know I am all for buying something handmade insead.

Etsy also has tons of options for dusting - especially for Swiffer dusters.
There's the flannel Swiffer floor duster covers ($7 for 4),

the terry cloth version ($10 for 4),

Or the reversible crochet version ($8 for 1).

Of course, there is always the option of making your own - here is the pattern for the above crochet version.

For the swiffer/pledge duster, there are these fleece covers that can of course be washed over and over!

And remember all that tshirt yarn?  Why not knit up a few colourful washcloths?
Bundle them up, include a few of these sturdy (and handsome) spray bottles from Ikea ($1.79 each)
some baking soda, Borax, vinegar, and a few recipes for homemade cleaners, and you have a nice Earth Day gift!

You know...for next year...if you remember.

My new bag

Like my new bag?  I MADE IT!  I know - I am a little shocked myself.  I have had my sewing machine set up for weeks and have avoided making any eye contact with it.  Sewing is one of those things I know I should do, and know how to do, but I figured there would be a lot of work involved in re-learning, so I put it off.  Well the other night I saw this tutorial to make a reversible bag, and thought I would take it on.  (Wine may have been involved.)

Oh yeah - did you catch that? - it reversible!
I am ridiculously proud of myself.  Only at the end did I discover that I had the machine threaded wrong, which would explain the 50 times the thread broke or came out of the needle.  But sometimes being a stubborn Taurus comes in handy.  :)  Anyway, it is a great bag, and a great tutorial, and as long as you aren't sewing challenged like moi it would be a fast and easy project!  It is here, and can also be found on this great list of Mothers Day project ideas.


Check out these incredible leather pieces from Lemka and LemkaB.  33-year-old designer Ozlem Kilic from Istanbul studied fashion design in Italy years ago, then she went back to Istanbul to study Traditional Turkish Art at university, and started making her own designs.  Her intricate laser-cut leather works are incredible statement pieces, and a really reasonably priced.
Ozlem also makes and sells wonderful beaded pieces, and I love this bib with beads and leather:
This last one is just so perfect for spring!  Take a look at her Etsy shops, I know you will find something you like.  Thanks to Amy at Indie Fixx for introducing her to me!

Elephant doodle

Remember this weird blank canvas above Cameron's bed?  I painted a light green with a paint sample, and had fabulous plans of doing a collage/decoupage thing with Japanese paper.  Oh yeah - it was going to be a masterpiece.  Somehow, as with all of my best works of art, I never got around to it.  But the blank canvas bugged me - taunted me, really, every time I fed Cam in his room.  So I decided to fill it...
Hey - I never said I was an artist, but at least it is something fun to look at.  I am forever doodling animals and cars for Will, and I like elephants the best, so there you go!  (Sorry for the miserable photo - my nice camera was dead.)
Cam even helped - when I went to rinse the brush, I looked back and he had reached over and smeared the little bird on the ground.  I cleaned it up but left the smears - he obviously had an artistic message to make, and who am I to say it didn't belong? :)

Alison Sudol for Ban.Do

The amazingly artistic headbands made by Ban.Do are sensational, yes, but what gets me are these PHOTOS... the photographer Angela Kohler has created such an incredible mood - they are like modern Pre-Raphaelite paintings.  So, so beautiful.  And the model, singer Alison Sudol from A Fine Frenzy, is just stunning.  And after listening to her sing, she is totally my new girl-crush.  Her voice is kind of like Sarah Harmer, and the music is kind of upbeat pop-y, like a girl version of Keane.  Click the link above to hear it - anyone know how to put music clips on a blog?

But seriously...back to the photos.... sigh.  I think flaming red hair is my next dramatic make-over.
Thanks to Oh Joy! for showing me these photos...

Scrabble tiles

Dear Natasha, I found some tiles I think you might like.  I can't wait to see what words you and Steven choose.  Lots of love, Lisa
PS. Will they be in English?
PPS. please remember that Felix will read someday.

Tiles by Bokstavskakel, found here.

Will's Friends

William has a menagerie of buddies in his crib.  The first was this guy above, a "lovey" that I named Francine.  At one point Will said "Abby" for elephant, and henceforth this guy, and all his other loveies, became Abby - Elephant Abby, Giraffe Abby, and so on.  He carries them everywhere, and heaven forbid he try to have a nap without one!
Photos by Tara McMullen

He also has a bunch of bla bla dolls, and one stuffed Monkey that have naps with him.  Or rather, listen to his stories and sing songs with him.  So I decided to take portraits of them and frame them for his room.
The frames were on sale 2 for 2$ at Ikea.  Then I got some of that 3M velcro stuff and hung them up.
Not really an exact science - I eyeballed it.  I am lazy, yes.

Then just push them in place!
Kitty Cat approved.
I don't know if Will will be happy, or upset that he can't play with the frames photos any more...