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Vintage Inspired Lifestyle Marketplace

Chris and I are on our annual snowboarding trip to Vermont.  I am currently in Stowe as I type this, SO lucky aren’t I?  We are having a great time except we are both a little sick so couldn’t hit the mountain today :(  We are hoping tomorrow will be the day.  Anyway, one of the reasons I love coming is our stop in Burlington on the way to hit the antique stores.  I just had to share this AMAZING place I discovered in Burlington called the Vintage Inspired Lifestyle Marketplace.  It closes at 5 and I was totally trying to rush to get there before it closed.  It was a must see on my list and boy was I not disappointed.

Check out the little nook above the door, I couldn’t wait to go in.

First thing I saw when I walked in were these awesome yard sticks.

Then these paintings which are by a local artist Sienna Fontaine.  I found out she was having a show there that night and they would be open till 9.  We didn’t need to rush after all.  I wish we would have had more time to stay for it.

This place was filled with so many unique things and there was something for everyone.  Here is a part of the vintage clothing section.

A view of the main room as you walk in.

Chris had kind of gotten ahead of me as I was going slow and taking it all in.  It was total sensory overload as I was amazed by all of the cool stuff (We don’t have stores like this in Ottawa, btw).  He came back to get me because there was something I needed to see and man was he right.

I am totally in love with old letterpress wood printing blocks.  I had picked some up in Paris years ago and have never come across them in person again.  I couldn’t believe the stash she had.  I wanted them all!!!  I settled for enough to spell PEABERRY (and a couple more which I will share at a later time).

There were so many pretty little vignettes everywhere, it was hard to know where to look next.

Old globes and maps are things that we share a love of and there were plenty of those to look at.

More eye candy.

I picked up a block and a couple other little goodies to take home.

The owner, Mary (whose focus for the shop is “vintage goods for an inspired lifestyle”) was the sweetest.  We complimented each other on our great taste and became fast friends.  We exchanged e-mails and she agreed to hook me up via mail if I needed anything as I couldn’t possibly have taken everything home that I wanted.  (We wouldn’t have been able to eat for the rest of the weekend, hahaha!)

Although, Chris did tell me about these ceramic dolls that I missed and it sounds like they would have been perfect for little assemblages.  We may have to stop there again on our way home, tee hee.

Word of the Year for 2013

It is time for my word of the year but first off, I wanted to say HAPPY NEW YEAR and a huge thank you to all my subscribers and followers.  You are helping my dreams come true and are deeply appreciated.

I am a part of this amazing group of “Flyers” and some of us have decided to do a blog hop to share our word of the year.  So, if you are starting with me, grab yourself a warm beverage and do the tour, I promise it will be worth visiting all of these talented ladies.

Choosing a word of the year may seem a little more difficult then having New Year’s resolutions, but I think not.  It is a good way to keep you focused and on task throughout the year.  Although, deciding on which word to go with was a little harder then I expected.  My motto which has come to me over the last couple of years is “Follow Your Bliss”.

(I finally got to do some painting today so I thought I would paint my motto and word of the year for when my studio space is ready)

In the past (prior to discovering mixed media) when people asked what I did for a living I would say, “I’m a paralegal, but I have yet to find my bliss”.  I am happy to report that I no longer say that.  My current answer is “My day job is as a paralegal, but I am an artist”.  It has taken me a while as it felt almost arrogant to say that, like “who do I think I am??”  Through the love and support of my man and friends, I have finally claimed ownership of my lot in life and man, does it feel great.  It has been a busy but amazing year and I am hoping that 2013 will be even better.  But I digress.  I kind of wanted to let you know where I was coming from when I say I wanted to pay homage to my motto and truly follow my bliss (practice what I preach, so to speak).  I kind of knew what I wanted it to be but couldn’t find a “pretty” word to my liking.  I then received my “Daily Truth” from the Brave Girls.

“Dear Courageous Girl,

When clarity finally comes, it is so important to not be talked out of it by voices that are not our own. So often, when we are making difficult choice, other people, other forces and other messages are completely opposed to the decision that is best for our own life. Change is uncomfortable, and we resist change in others often as much as we resist change in ourselves.

Sometimes we just have to keep sacred things to ourselves until our resolve, decision or goal is not feeling so wobbly and timid and fragile. Sometimes we have to give it time to grow and to become strong and solid and clear before it is safe enough to share it.

Remember the peace you felt when the decision was finally made. Remember the clarity you felt when you knew the answer for sure. Remember that you knew it was right. What made it muddy was the outside opinions, preferences and judgments that really have no business making these kinds of decisions for your one beautiful, precious life.

Stay strong, dear girl. You know the way to go. You know what to do.
It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

You are so very loved.

So, after reading that, flowery or not, I chose CHANGE.  I have realized that it does not have to be “pretty”, it is what I want for myself and my family in the next year.

(Chris made the awesome aluminum word plate for me and below is the entire painting.  Don’t you just love the felt rolls?)

Some of my favourite CHANGE quotes:

“Life is change.  Growth is optional.  Choose wisely.”

“Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown”

“We must become the change we want to see”

Now to make a -to do- list to help myself achieve all of this great change.  I think I might also make myself a bracelet with my word as a daily reminder.  Look out world, here I come!!!

Don’t forget to head over and visit the talented mixed media artist Michelle Hill and check out what her word is.

Full Circle Exchange

I just wanted to share this amazing program called the Full Circle Exchange with you on this chilly winter night.  I thought it might warm you all up from the inside.  Such an amazing thing this program is.  One of those little programs that helps restore your faith in humanity.  Their mission is to empower women and whole communities to rise above poverty through economic opportunities that are sustainable and dignified.  Here is a little introduction (The colours and scenery are so vibrant).

The lovely and talented Melody Ross is teaming up with them to design a collection for the exchange.  She will be heading to Manila to teach “her SOUL RESTORATION curriculum as part of the Full Circle Women’s Empowerment Initiative to the girls in the Hope House as well as providing hands on training and skills to create a beautiful NEW COLLECTION to empower them economically so they are able to go to college as well as support their families and never feel trapped again”.  Talk about job satisfaction and truly making a difference in people’s lives.  Wow, so envious.  One day I hope to make such a contribution to society.

I am truly looking forward to her collection but in the meantime, check out a few of my favourites amongst the beautiful bags these women have created.

Bali BrownAmazon Shoulder BagVillage Clutch "Soiree Collection"

Works of art.  I wish I had of discovered them prior to handing over my wish list to Chris because one (or all :) would have definitely made the list.  If any of you have any shopping money left (I know, I know, ya right, haha) or have a special someone with a birthday coming up, head on over to the Full Circle Exchange website and make a purchase.  It is for an amazing cause.  They also have beautiful baskets and amazing looking coffee and chocolates.



Category: Inspiration  One Comment

Phasha Journal

Merry Christmas everyone!!  I hope you are enjoying the holidays and were spoiled as much as I was.  I just HAD to share this amazing Phasha Journal my man gave me for my art.  I cried when I opened it.  It is the best journal I have ever seen.  He is so thoughtful and always makes sure to get something that is me.  Check this out…

So much detail and isn’t the stone in the middle an amazing touch?

The binding is pretty great as you take out the pages and refill it if you want/need to.

Even the back of it has all this intricate embossed detailing.

The inside pages are thick, textured and just waiting for me to get painting!!  Maybe I will get to over the holidays, I wish I had more time off work though.

LOVE it!!  I think this was my favourite gift.  Although I did get quite a few amazing things.  He even got me an external hard drive for me to save all of my pictures, posts and art stuff on.  One of my new year’s resolutions is to back everything up.  Just a reminder to all of you out there to start the new year off right and back-up all of those treasures you have sitting on your laptops/computers/devices.  You never know when one will crash or get stolen.  Both of which have happened to close friends and it made me realize how devastating that would be.


Category: Art Journal  4 Comments

Sunday Journal – Butterfly Art Journal Page

Time for Sunday Journal as it has been a while.  This one was dedicated to my girls and I decided to go with a butterfly art journal page.  As it goes with the whole “We give them wings so they can learn to fly”.  Or so we hope :) I started with this background.  I used my favourite plastic doily as a stencil in the bottom right corner with black paint.

I then used my Stampin Up! Medallion Stamp with pink ink and stamped it on vintage book paper.  I cut it out then podged it on.

I then took all of these beautiful sparkly butterflies…

and ran all of the black and white ones up the page, which are supposed to represent the average person or child (no offence to other children out there, haha).  Then chose a brightly coloured one to represent each of my girls because they are the light in our lives.

The pink one was for my little Amelia.  I put the first letter of their names next to each butterfly that represented them.  Ava was the green and Milah was the blue.

I stenciled the word “Daughters” across the back of the little insert.

I had to add a little washi tape in there as well, since I am all about the washi tape lately.

Voila, all done!!  I hope you are getting a little art time in amongst all the holiday chaos!  Christmas eve tomorrow. SO exciting!!

My Own Studio Space

I finally get to have a studio space all on my own, YEY!!!!  You have no idea how amazing that is.  I had an area in our unfinished basement that I never went to as it was away from the family and the lighting wasn’t great.  After having a chat with my man about possibley having a room upstairs with better lighting and closer to the kids, he totally agreed.  I love him, SO supportive.  We are building Milah (our oldest) a room in the basement and shifting the girls around upstairs so I can take over one of the rooms.  Super excited.  I have a few things I have been collecting in hopes that my studio would soon come to fruition.  I bought these old paint brushes at an antique place out in Wakefield thinking I would one day turn them into a chandelier.

I googled paint brush chandelier to see if I could find something to give you an idea of what I was thinking and the only thing that came up that had any relevance was a picture on Instagram of Kelly Rae Roberts’ studio.  I found that a little funny as I recently took her online class Flying Lessons and have become part of this amazing group of women who have become part of my every day (on-line) life.  I was hoping to do something similar with mine.

I found this antique egg thing-a-ma-bobber at a cute shop out in Lakefield (near Peterborough).  I honestly have no idea what it was used for.  Many have speculated but no one is quite sure.  Almost looks like something you might use at Easter.  If any of you know, could you please fill me in?  I am hoping to put some little dishes into it and use for storage of some kind.  Maybe buttons.

My “Create” painting will finally have a home.  I am still deciding if I want to paint a couple walls teal or orange.  Both of which are in the painting.

I loved the print on this duvet cover I found at Ikea.  I am going to turn it into curtains.

I think I might move my teak chair into the studio as well.  It has been with me for almost two decades and has been across the country and in every apartment/home I have ever had on my own.  My first real investment in furniture.  It came from Indonesia and I just had to have it.  I gave up a shopping trip to Edmonton when I lived in Yellowknife in order to buy it.  Now that is dedication to the finer things, hahaha.  Especially for an 18 year old.  No one ever sits in it where it is anyway so I am sure it won’t be missed.  It is made for the vertically challenged as it is lower to the floor then most chairs.  It was meant for me :)

My cousin and her daughters are coming in from out of town to have a craft day and make Christmas ornaments tomorrow.  I shall share the fruits of our labour when we are done.


New Workshops at St. Elmos Fire

Is everyone ready for the holidays???  I’m not, but getting close.  I still have some gifts to buy and baking to do.

I just wanted to let you know about some classes I have coming up at the beautiful St. Elmos Fire studios out in Stittsville.  It is in a gorgeous old heritage building with tons of character and history.  I am pretty excited about getting to teach there.  I will be doing 3 workshops which will be entirely separate entities so you can do one or all if you like.  If you are interested in doing all three, book through me and it would only be $75.  Depending on how things go, I might extend the series to add more workshops.  I am planning a Coffee & Canvas series coming up in the new year where I combine two of my favourite things.  It will involve making art and road trips to my favourite coffee shops in the region.  So exciting isn’t it?  More details to follow shortly.

Here are the details on the workshops and prices.  They haven’t been listed on the St. Elmos Fire site yet but if you are interested you can let me know directly.



January 20th, 2013 1:30pm to 3:30pm

We all have a story to tell.  Whether it is through the written word, art or a combination of both, one must have a beautiful book to contain all of this brilliance.  We will be turning a vintage book into a journal and work of art.  I will show you a few different binding techniques and we will complete the front cover.  Everything will be supplied.  If you have an image that you feel represents yourself, please bring it.




February 3rd, 2013 1:30pm to 3:30pm

Come make a gorgeous “Home” page in your art journal or on a canvas.  We will be using papers, acrylic, washi tape, inks and all kinds of textural goodies.  All supplies are included except for your art journal or canvas.



February 24th, 2013 1:30pm to 3:30pm

Come make a playful and creative “Art” page in your art journal or on a canvas.  We will be layering vintage papers, acrylic, India inks and more textural goodies.  All supplies are included except for your art journal or canvas.




Category: Classes  3 Comments

Deer Mixed Media – Birthday Workshop

Just a wee post to share a pretty cool deer mixed media piece that was done last week at a birthday workshop.  It was a small group of artsy ladies who seemed to know the guest of honour Alysha (in white) quite well.  They all played it safe and stuck to her colour palette.  Here they are hard at work. – The pics were taken with my phone as my camera battery died :(

Having a bit of a laugh.  Love it when everyone is having fun as that is the whole point to these workshops as far as I am concerned.  To relax and forget about everything for just a little while.  Restorative time if you will.

Here is the gorgeous piece all done.  As the group was small they got to see some of the finishing touches right at the class.  Sorry the picture is so fuzzy.

Isn’t the background awesome?  It is canvas covered with a scrunched up patterned tissue paper that I rubbed paint over once it dried.  They added birds and all kinds of stuff to the antlers which is what I was hoping for.  Totally cute.

I brought my awesome Pennants Builder Punch from Stampin Up! and two of the girls collaborated to create the title with it which ran along the bottom.

They called it “Wild Life”, not sure if they were implying that Alysha is a bit of a party girl or just to the animals but it is nice to keep people guessing ;)

Indoor Christmas Decor

We are back from Peterborough and I have decided to finish the decorating before heading back to work tomorrow.  Thought I would share our indoor Christmas Decor.  Here is our mantel with all our stockings (which haven’t been labelled yet).

An old school bugel that belonged to Chris’ grandfather.  I love mixing new and vintage items together.

Our Tree which is in the front room (or living room I guess) next to the mantel.  We decorate it as a family every year.  Some of the must have before we get started, eggnog, chocolates and freshly baked cookies.  We did it last weekend, Milah and I made homemade shortbread.  One of my favourites.

Mostly in blues, silver and neutrals.  A few green pieces as well, just to add a little something else.

The banister going upstairs.  Isn’t that cracked glass bulb amazing?

The Nutcracker in the hallway on my grandmothers old sewing table.

Aren’t the glittery acorns adorable?  They are hanging off of branches I collected from the backyard.

Our mini tree in the dining room.   With my new deer pillow in my old teak chair :)

Above the window in the dining room.  Love the felt ball garland I found at Winners.

Except for the front room, the rest of the decor accents are red.  A traditional Christmas colour.  Here is another mini tree which is in the kitchen.

I haven’t gone overboard with the decorations this year as I have left lots of stuff in their boxes.  Chris came home and said “Feels Christmasy in here”.  Mission accomplished.  Now I just have to finish the outside decoration and lights!!

30 Craft Market – Peterborough

We are in Peterborough for my hunnie’s family Christmas and I found out about a new and local craft fare in the area so I just had to drag my mother in law there :)  It is the 30 Craft Market and no item at the fair was over $30, making local handmade wares affordable for everyone.

Great idea!!  It also helped me get closer to my goal of buying almost all handmade or local gifts for Christmas this year as I bought a few gifts from there.  So many awesome fabrics.  I bought this cute little clutch.

From The Little Bird Designs.  Check out the huge button on the curtain behind her, adorable!!!

I also got this gorgeous roll up paintbrush holder.  I kind of want to keep it for myself, haha.

It was made by Amanda of Lemon Seed Creations.

She also had these journal covers that I really liked.  Must of been the corduroy.

My FAVOURITE table was Rabbit & Bumble.  I could have bought a ton of stuff from them, for myself.

Check out these adorable mushrooms, LOVE them.  All the felt and owls, I had to contain myself, haha.

I did end up buying these felt hand painted letters to label our stockings.  There wasn’t an M for Milah but I got a mushroom one and will add the M to it myself.

How is your Christmas shopping going?