The Garden

The garden is just exploding in this heat, and I am loving seeing everything come up!  I went a bit camera-crazy the other night - here are a few of the many shots I took!  I LOVE the peonies, but my favourites are always the ferns.

Happy [Spendy] Spaces

I somehow happened upon this Happy Spaces site and bookmarked it ages ago.  I love the bright graphic artwork, most of which could look great in a boy's or girl's room.  Actually, you can search by gender, by colour, by size, by artist, etc.  However, I have to include a caveat - when making this post I noticed that these artworks are about $140 CDN each.  How did I miss that the first time?  Not sure.

I have to say this has somewhat dimmed my view of this site, but maybe I am just in a cheap mood.  I usually think that we are too used to paying for cheap, mass-produced crap for our kids (and ourselves), and that you have to pay more for quality, hand-made, one-of-a-kind pieces, especially for the artist to be properly compensated for their work.  On the other hand, I am sooo tired as a new-ish Mum to feeling like I have a big SUCKER sign taped to my back.  I think that a lot of stores and companies tend to prey on a mother's overwhelming desire to do right for her kids. (Could be that I am just feeling foolish for being the owner of a $30 towel that ties behind the neck for newborns.  Fool me once...)  And there is so much beautiful original stuff that you can buy direct from the artist on sites like Etsy...  Anyhoo, here is the copy from the site, and some lovely children's artworks to admire.  What's your take?
Happy Spaces brings you a collection of colourful and imaginative wall art for kids by some of the world's finest artists. We pride ourselves on offering art that is refreshingly different and fun for children! Exciting adventures, fabulous stories and lovable characters, are all here waiting to be discovered by your child through the medium of art. All our pictures, reproduced on cotton canvas, are made with love and are exclusive to Happy Spaces. Each canvas is expertly finished, beautifully wrapped and supplied with a specially designed postcard.


I have had tushtush's etsy shop bookmarked for a while - I saw her tiny canvases on Apartment Therapy a while ago and thought they would be so beautiful as part of a gallery wall, or for those tiny spaces where you would never expect to see a piece of art.  The artist, Tali, is a graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design, and I really like her renderings of her friends especially - the poses and the light are so lovely and relaxed.
Aren't they sweet?  She is an illustrator for children's books as well, and has another etsy shop with these mini canvases featuring her more playful characters.  They would be cute in a little kids reading corner or nook.
 All of her Esty shops have regular sized artwork as well, in case the small stuff isn't your thing... :)

Tone matters

Oh man I am tired...
From here.

The Kitchen

You may have noticed (or not) that any house photos I post, either here or on some of the house tours on other sites, do not include any photos of the kitchen.  That is because our kitchen makes me crazy.  The night we moved in, I stayed up until 3 am painting the cabinets white and crying.  (I was also preggo, which may explain the slight over-reaction, but trust me - the kitchen was not a pretty scene.)  Just LOOK at that ridiculous fridge placement.  And that horrid range floating in no-man's-land.  And the lack of counter space.  And NO DISHWASHER.  And no cabinets.  And the plastic floor covered in perma-stains.  Yup, this kitchen makes me nuts.
 Somehow it doesn't look quite so nasty in these photos, but this kitchen will finally meet it's maker this summer.  We have decided to bite the bullet and replace it with a full reno!!  Of course my first order of business was scouring the internet for inspiration - and there is so much out there!  Here are a just a few from my "what about this?" files.
Unfortunately, because I saved them for my own reference, I don't have sources for them all - if you recognize any, please let me know.  Here are the ones I know: 1) A Brooklyn Limestone 2) Cotswold Furniture Makers (gorgeous stuff) 3) Elle Decor 4) _JohnMuir Flickr photo 5) Canadian House and Home 6) The Kitchn 7) Not sure 8) Don't Know 9) House Beautiful

However, when I saw this one on Apartment Therapy, I knew it was The One.  It is the kitchen of Cellist Wendy Sutter, Philip Glass's collaborator and partner, and was designed by Luke Mulvey. You should go check out the 'before' photos.
It worked perfectly with all of the new stainless appliances that we got at Lowe's (for the cheapest prices I could find) and we even got that faucet before I saw these.  The best part is that the cabinets are Ikea, and when I went to price them, I found that the bottom ones are being discontinued - and were 50% off! Sweet.  Plus, it is both white AND wood, marrying the two styles I could not decide between.  And of course - cellist + Philip Glass + I work for an orchestra = FATE!  :)

It has been so much easier to make decisions having this photo in mind, and because of the timing for the reno, I had to make up my mind quickly.  The work will start in the next few weeks - so stay tuned for updates! :)

Music I Like: The Morning Benders

Wowee - I haven't posted in a while cause life has been BUSY.  My mom was visiting, I had some birthday celebrations, we are getting ready for some summer trips, and we also decided to renovate our kitchen!  My time online has been a bit curtailed (or spent looking for countertops) but I am jumping back in with both feet.  Already this evening I have had some great luck with music recommendations from my blogs.  First up is The Breakers - recommended by Jen at the Haystack Needle (who also just had her birthday!).  Fun, upbeat tunes - I just downloaded it.

Then on Simple Lovely, Carina Schott posted this awesome video of Excuses by The Morning Benders.  His voice is great, and i sooo wish I could have been a part of this!  Anyone out there need a mediocre, self-conscious back-up singer (who prefers singing as part of a large group)?  No?  Your loss, man.

Check me out again!

Ana from Rearranged Design emailed me through my Flickr account ages ago (February I think) asking to do a house tour, and once I responded, I kind of forgot about it.  So I was thrilled when she let me know last week that it would be up today!  I love her house tours - and her whole site really.  It was one of the first ones I subscribed to.  I am so flattered that she wanted to feature these photos.  Go on over and check it out!

1 by FRYD

It seems like suddenly there are a whole lot of online magazines out there in blogland.  Decor8 has a great listing of many of them here.  While they will never replace the real thing for me, they are a great addition to paper magazines and design blogs.  What I find amazing about 1 by Norwegian designer and blogger Jeannete Lunde of FRYD + Design, is that she one day decided it would be nice to make a magazine, and now almost 17,000 people have viewed it in the last week! (Oh and I should mention that the English version just went up today, so all those people read the magazine in Norwegian...)  I am not sure what kind of programme you need, or what it costs to publish it, but how cool is it that you can just up and make your own magazine??

Hers is as lovely as her blog, full of white and pink, and amazing photos of her home.  It is so beautifully designed and laid out (of course, she is a graphic designer!).  There are DIY projects, recipes, children's rooms, sewing, gardening tips - you name it!  You can read it or download it here.  Here are some of my favourite images:
So... any of you going to design your own magazine? :)

Ingela P Arrhenius

Looking at the art made by Swedish illustrator Ingela P Arrhenuis, I can't help but think she must be a super fun person.  Her characters look so optimistic and gosh-darn sweet.  She works in a whole variety of media, from posters and cards to fabric patterns and amazing packaging.

While I love all of the above and more, I think my favourite are her adorable wood block creations.  According to her blog,  she has done hundreds!  I could see how they would get addictive.
I will have to start saving wood scraps too!