January 31, 2012

30 days until I turn 30.

I will admit that I am someone who actually thinks about this a lot. And have been for awhile.

For me it's a milestone and a benchmark. This deadline, so to speak, has been a driving force for me over the past couple of years. While I don't think I ever really said it out loud, there have been instances over the past while where 30 was the goalpost.

I didn't want to turn 30 and be struggling with my job and toxic workplaces.
I wanted to be surrounded by thoughtful, challenging, and meaningful relationships.
I wanted to be content in the moment.

And I have done all that.

There are things that I won't have achieved by 30. That's where the contentment comes in. In actuality, 30 is a silly gauge to judge yourself by and sometimes life doesn't work out the way you thought it would. But that doesn't make you a failure. What about all the years beyond 30?

You have to save something for those.

And I know the best is yet to come.

January 30, 2012

an oldie but a goodie, from Cat Power

January 27, 2012

I'm in Toronto this weekend for a design getaway and to visit the Interior Design Show. I love coming out here to see what's new and emerging, and bring some great ideas and products back to Calgary. I wanted to share some of the highlights here for you. So here is a roundup of my 5 favourite things from the show.

Halo Lights from Snob. These fixtures are made by taking a brass rod and forming it around the waist of one of the craftsmen in Africa. The name of that man is then inscribed on the ring, and the fixtures come with a card detailing the story of the creator.

Silk Orchid Rug Collection from Elte. These rugs are made from vintage silk saris. The saris are unwoven and then the fibers used to create yarns that are in turn used to craft these rugs. They are a limited edition series and each one is completely unique.

Felt Light by Antoine Laverdiere. These fixtures are made of felt, power coated steel and brass fittings, and feature 15 frosted bulbs which can be located anywhere within the fixture.

Digital Wallpapers by Mushaboom Design. This current collection was inspired by the Public Gardens in Halifax, and feature a variety of botanical and organic designs. Being digital, they can also custom colour to suit your requirements.

Conscious Design Living products, by Lori Harrison. I loved everything in this booth. That little side table was lovely, made of antique brass, walnut, and travertine, and featured a through drawer, meaning it can pull out in both directions, so you don't have an ugly side to the piece.

I will share more from the show later in the week!

January 25, 2012

Beautiful Himmeli mobiles from AMradio on etsy. They are just made of straws and string!

January 23, 2012

This song has me dreaming of warm sun, and definitely got me through last weeks subzero temps! Literally, I was dancing at the bus stop to this song.

January 17, 2012

Well, this is certainly going to be one hell of a before and after.

I wanted to share some shots depicting the current state of our basement. After months of agonizing over what to do, we are finally starting to proceed with the repairs. The basement specialists have been in and left us with a fancy new drainage system. Since our foundation is so old (it seriously looks like packed sand and gravel in places) and will probably allow moisture in forever, this was the best route to go in our opinion. And now we get to start putting it back together.

Here's a shot of the guest bedroom, where the bed is to be situated. The repair work will allow us to fix some of the strange and poorly installed casing details that have bothered me from the beginning.

Here's the lovely south facing bedroom window, which allows ample amounts of nothing into the space. Also note, there is no lighting installed anywhere in the two rooms down here.

Here's the pinky brown media room.

And another shot looking toward the actual media wall. ooooh, ahhhhh. Beyond that is the laundry and crawl space.

And this is the vignette at the bottom of the stairs.

Can get any worse than that right? I'll keep you updated over the next couple of weeks with our progress!

January 16, 2012

College feat. Electric Youth, A Real Hero. From the Drive soundtrack.

I can't get this catchy synth beat out of my head lately.

January 13, 2012

I'm not much of one for new years resolutions, but I know that I definitely want to spend more time this year curled up with a good book. And this video makes me want to dance with them too!

January 12, 2012

Back in November, I wrote about a little quickie makeover I was planning for my entryway. Well, we've now been living with it for about a month, and it is fabulous! So, here's what we did to get our wallpapered effect.

For those of you who don't recall, here's the mustardy before. Our entry is only 4' by 6', so it's really hard to get full shots of the space. The first step was to paint the wall. We have chosen a soft white to use in the house, Classic Gray, OC-23, by Benjamin Moore. We have been using the Aura paint in the matte finish. It is fantastic.

Next is to choose your instrument of choice. These are Sharpie poster paint markers! They come in three thicknesses, and I bought two of each of the larger ones, and one of the smallest, since I didn't know how much coverage I would get from each. They come in oil and water based, so make sure you get the water based. It will dry faster which is important for minimizing any smudges. I just picked them up at Michael's for about $6 a piece.

The other thing you will need is a straight edge of some sort. Using a metal ruler with a cork back is the best. It is easy to hold in place with one hand, since the cork gives you some grip. And since the markers are quite liquid when they go down, you want the cork thickness to raise the ruler off the wall and prevent and bleeding.

And then you start drawing. I had loosely planned out my design before, but it was quite spontaneous when I was actually working on the wall. Start at one edge and work outwards from the corners. You will have to do your longer lines in stages, so you should feather out the ends as shown in the photo above, which helps to camouflage where you had to reconnect the line. After a couple of lines, you will get the hang of lining up the lines perfectly with the various thicknesses of markers.

When drawing the lines, I kept a rag on had to wipe the edge of the ruler each time. I removed the ruler by putting pressure on the lower edge, which lifted it away from the wall, and was easier to grab. Be careful not to touch or smudge the lines, as they won't dry immediately. Wipe the edge of the ruler each time to make sure your hands are clean before touching the wall again. If you do smudge, its easy to touch up the lines with a bit of your base wall colour when you are all finished.

And here's how it turned out! I did lines of two different thicknesses at random angles all over the wall. I stopped myself short, since I was sure I could have kept going and would have over did it. All in, the linework took about 1.5 hours of work. Painting the wall was another 2-3 hours.

Here it is all set up again. The room isn't accessorized as I eventually want it (that mirror is far too tiny!), but it looks pretty damn good for now.

January 11, 2012

A great guide for all you working in creative fields!

Beautiful letterpress poster by Jessica Hische.

January 10, 2012

Beautiful painterly iPhone cases by Jenny Vorwaller.

Available at Society6.

January 9, 2012

Incredible cover of one of the best songs from last year:

January 3, 2012

In memory of the incomparable Eva Zeisel, I wanted to share with you a TED talk that Eva did a while back, speaking of play and beauty and her continuous search for adventure.

photo via

Rest in Peace, Eva.

January 2, 2012

Music Monday: The Head and the Heart