A Thing or Two About DIY Adventures

I have never been one to jump into DIY ventures. First of all, there has been a fear for hot glue guns festering inside of me since I first tried to attach impossibly delicate hair to a wooden angel doll at the age of six, and, on that same sticky notion, I find bits and pieces of dried glue stuck to my body as though I were slowly transforming into a reptile for what seems like a week after. And so, for the past while, otherwise known as this lifetime, my free time has quite lazily drifted over to my computer, or eating out with lady friends, or perusing down the streets popping in and out of stores. But lately, as I avoid looking at my bank account where the numbers that used to look back at me with such jolliness are now literally sneering and/or laughing at me, I have to say my eyes have strayed every which way into this other world. DIY doesn’t just appear as a little more appealing than before, it looks like something of a necessity to me if I want to have a somewhat visually pleasing room next year.

The world of my free time may be about to turn into… slightly-less-free-but-oh-so-joyously-productive time. Can’t say it’s a decision I want to make at this point. I’m still hoping I win some variation of contest that just violently throws money at me, as though my bank account numbers are yelling, “Yeah, take this! We’re multiplying like crazy! Whatcha gonna do about it, huh?” And I would laugh and say, “Silly money. I want more of you to love.” And then I would take one step into Anthropologie and *poof*, money be gone. It really would work that way. Let’s not even think about ABC House & Home at this point.

But see, I’m not a delusional person. I am painstakingly aware that my part-time job next year will not fuel these wistful ideas of mine. And so, thus marked the opening of Sweet Paul Magazine, no. 10. The edition of last year’s fall, but the edition that threw a pitcher of cold, sweet, inspirational water of DIY goodness in my face and opened my eyes to this hidden world. Instead of recoiling from the boiling weapon otherwise known as a hot glue gun, I think back to some fond memories of my grandma and me in a white-washed painting studio, and of the less aggressive DIY projects we took on – like painting rocks, or making photo albums. The kind of DIY projects I genuinely enjoyed.

So now I find myself walking down the street into a cafe and instead of thinking to myself, “That grid of watercolour portraits has to be the most visually pleasing thing I have seen all day,” to, “Who the heck says I can’t do that?”

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Don’t worry. I will find the artist of this collection next time I swing by, but in the meantime, just bask in this charming set of portraits with faces spanning decades and personalities that are entirely unapologetic in their variety. I feel as though any one of these fellows, or ladies, would have an entirely different answer to, “Why is your portrait up here?”

And so, some projects I am (no word of a lie) stoked to take on before the remainder of my summer becomes lost in the sounds of my keyboard. All brought to you by the sweetest of crafty folks, Sweet Paul. Some of them, admittedly, are still a little frightening to me, but baby steps involve just thinking about it, right?

DIY

Festive Pom Pom Frames!

Especially if one is partial to black & white photos, which are sometimes the classiest of colour hues, these cute little frames will give that much desired pop of colour that some folks (hey, what’s up, that’s me) can’t do without.

DIY2

City Scene Candle Motives!

I dig the traditional architecture (in fact, it looks like the Bay building in Vancouver to me), but most of all, I am swooning over the fact that the lights will be flickering with the candle (or LED flickering light) making the whole scene so whimsically alive.

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Jar Light!

Yes, this one is daunting as it involves actual electrical work, but the outcome is almost enough for me to maybe possibly consider it? Yes. Got my thinking face on now.

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Vintage Bookshelf!

If anyone is already lusting after those walls where there is a myriad of book pages pressed to the wall (like this), practically breathing inspiration into your room, then the idea of using a vintage book as a shelf might just be its equally whimsical sister. Imagine placing miniature teacups and delicate vases on top. Lovely.

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Castle Votive Lantern!

The young lady behind this magical creation, Lova Blavarg, is a Swedish princess. Well, at least the closest thing to, because she is gracing the world with the loveliest of crafts and art projects. She must literally only drink creative juices (bought in some obscure local Swedish farmer’s market) because I don’t know how on earth she comes up with some of these beautiful ideas. Who wouldn’t want a castle fit for faeries atop a desk bogged down with work? NOT I. I need a dose of DIY luxury in my life from time to time.

I also snuck away to my cabin this weekend and, let me tell you, this place is a DIY heaven. Next time I head up there I will take a few snaps of what I mean. photo 2photo 3

The lodge is a place where all of the visitors on the island can go, but most of all, it represents the island as a place where interior design does not conform to the pages of the latest magazines, because the beautiful simplicity of this type of design is its timelessness. In other words, I could return a decade later and still find myself equally charmed by the quaint nature of symmetrical beds and faded floral curtains that have always allowed the most delicious amount of sunlight through.

The lanky figure in the second photo is an overgrown elf I found wandering through the forest, quick to assess the comfort of these beds (let’s just say the lodge doesn’t necessarily conform to the latest mattresses either).

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading, you lovely human!

*m

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Moving On From My Castle

You know, I became quite fond of referring to my single dorm as my “castle” or, to be more precise, my “500 bedroom mansion.” I repeated the joke a few times, maybe more, and adopted a haughty, noble manner when inviting newcomers into my not-so-humble abode. Instead of walking, I glided, and instead of laughing, I cackled, so as to insure everyone knew the wondrous position I was in. But sure enough, once I went into my own bedroom which was right next to the garbage room and directly above the unloading site for the residence’s junky tings, my humble roots resurfaced. I would settle into my closet-sized room, throw on my not-so-royal bathrobe, and feel more at home than ever.

When my cousin’s little toddler visited once, mystified by how tall my “house” was, she looked at her mum as though she was told that my bad jokes were nearly tear-inducing (which they might be, but hey, they were funny once upon a time, I swear), and said, “But… where are all her toys? And her parents?” (I particularly enjoy the fact that the existence of my toys is the more pressing matter.) But, see, that’s the thing. Even though it wasn’t necessarily the home I thought I’d identify with, there were so many aspects to this actually ridiculously humble abode of mine that made it home (see: stringed lights, favourite birthday cards, deers staring back at me on printed paper, tulips basking in all the sunlight every morning…) that will definitely reappear in what could be considered my first real house next year. We have called ourselves the House Elves (my five roommates and I), and I will now be sleeping on a double bed for the first time in my life, so, to me, that is a taste of the noble life.

So! What does this call for? Virtual inspiration boards, yeah! You got it! Ey! Weo! Let us begin this wondrous, fairy-tale like adventure.

ow

 Something tells me that if I were to sit down in front of these two giant deer, people would look upon me as if I were true royalty. Or at least really intimidating and/or wise. Not to mention I would resemble a garden gnome if I wore my pointy red hat because of the size proportions going on (this red pointy hat may still need to be purchased to complete my edgy look).

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The House Elves are in need of some practical use of a non-functioning fireplace. So, what better way to take advantage of the fact that we have a fireplace than to use it as a store place for our textbooks! And then, at the end of the year, after our frustration with academia has lit up into a firey rage… we can burn them all. Again, it’s a super practical idea.

That, and I think every fireplace should be celebrated with a giant wreath like structure draped over top of it, and a deer with groovy antlers such as these.

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What am I fancying lately? Hand-drawn portraits. Even if they make my eyes look like a fruit fly or my nose like a pleasant piggy, there’s something very endearing about an honest & personal touch to your home.

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A cluster of vintage frames for a cluster of vintage, saintly women. Or, a cluster of assorted frames for a cluster of house elves.

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Well, black sheep are cool. And unique from the crowd. But, neon yellow sheep are most likely the original sheep hipsters. Who says all mutations are bad? That, and it has made this starkly minimalist desk into just about the boldest little thing I’ve laid eyes on in a while.

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Ah, a classic touch for a house to become a home. I just received a collection of rainbow laundry pins for my birthday and they will definitely be making an appearance in my bedroom this fall.

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I am now convinced that anything hanging on strings will probably make its way into my favourite things list every time. A jar with a light inside? Whimsical and much needed in our backyard (or lack thereof, but somehow we will make do). If not? Bedroom it is. Flowers may be equally lovely in an already sunlit room.

*m

Starry Lights

It’s always interesting to me to see how people embrace the holidays. Some opt for the minimalist decor, a star here and there, christmas lights strewn across a table, maybe a single reindeer proudly standing next to the salt and pepper shakers. Others take these 25 days as something of a challenge to channel as much Christmas spirit into their home as possible. The whole tribe of Santa’s reindeers dangling from a chandelier, cookie jars with a smitten elf tempting you to reach in and grab one of grandma’s freshly baked shortbread cookies, a wreath dominating their door, a toy store of plush creatures from Santa Claus’ team suddenly occupying every seat in the house.
Whether you’re on one end of the spectrum or contentedly in the middle, I can’t deny how happy it makes me to see elves as a socially accepted addition to everyone’s home. 
The naturalistic decorator keeps things simple with the elegance of frosted pinecones and lacey stars sprinkled across their home. Candles are a welcome addition as well, but not too many, as their house is most likely built off of an abundance of wood.

The “christmas-all-year” decorator never quite lets go of the cheer and jolly spirits that pervade homes during December. She prefers to keep the cranberry accents and twinkling christmas balls as a reminder of the importance of generosity, and very well may end up tricking children and adults alike that she is in fact related to Santa Claus.

The starry light decorator keeps much of her home the same, but adds an absolutely whimsical effect in the form of lights dangling from anywhere she can manage to find an outlet. Suddenly her whole house is draped with the milky way and her feet become ever so lighter.

Ah, the eclectic decorator. The perfect home for entertaining as the combination of vintage St. Nicholas postcards, delicate strings of golden lights, and the seemingly never ending glasses of wine contribute to quite the party. 

The naturalistic decorator’s sister is more adept to adding in the touches of the outside wintery world with quite the luxurious pieces as well. She considers herself the Narnia decorator, where a tree stump is balanced with a minimalistic stool, and collected tree branches are in juxtaposition with white cylindrical spot lights. It’s like the forest if it were dominated by elegant paintings and brilliant lights.

Oh the gift wrapping artist comes out to play in this month of giving. She fully immerses herself in the art that comes with gift presentation, seeing with delight the looks of her impressed friends as they examine her work. If you walked through this lady’s home it would be marked by subtle presents peaking next to dolled up mirrors, and beneath hand-sewn Christmas stockings. 
The Scandinavian decorator! Oh you know my soft spot for Scandinavian style. Homes covered head to toe in a milky white, with feminine accents here and there, whimsical paintings, and when Christmas comes around? A collection of particularly warm strings of lights and storybook frosted trees popping up on miniature pianos. So endearing.

Lanterns really aren’t reserved for Halloween. They add such a fairy like element to any home, reminiscent of twilight picnics and starry nights. 
Now I really frickin’ wish I wasn’t in a dorm. Challenge? Deck out my dorm in Christmas swag? I could accept that. 
*m

The Christmas Frenzy

Easily one of my favourite things about Christmas season, aside from the cranberry red Starbucks cups peeking out behind mitten wearing hands, and the velvety voice of Michael Bublé crooning away during almost every hour of the day, is the sudden reappearance of the most loveable and dainty creatures of winter folk tales – reindeer.

And, at least where I’m from, I rarely get to see deer. They’ve become something of a mystery to me. So magical in their presence! So it’s only suiting they come out to play during Christmas.

ABC House & Home

Four Babbitt kids.

I want you all in my home immediately. 
*m

Disheveled Statements

I think finding yourself surrounded by everything you’ve created would be such a constant source of inspiration and motivation, too. Although, gotta admit, this really reminds me of the scene from the Black Swan, where she looks into her mother’s studio and the paintings of her all start screaming at the same time. Disturbing timez.
Will never look at Australia the same way. Sorry, Aussies, you forever live on an island shaped as a mouth.
Black & white & black & white & black & white. Usually I’d be begging for a burst of colour, but this room’s serenity comes from its simplicity.
Slash I’d totally feel like some brooding, moody, Parisian photographer. Which is definitely a good thing.
This room is actually insane. And not only because it looks as if it is literally a piece of artwork in itself, just think about the story behind that stained mattress, empty closet, with a wall full of meticulously framed artwork, but because it isn’t real.

Say whaaat? 
It’s a miniature scene! Every itty-bitty detail that was thought out for this room just became massively impressive. When I think of how precisely she must have used her fingers, not to mention the star surgeon’s hand she must have had to keep every move so steady, it just boggles my mind. God, I love miniature houses, or just miniature things in general. 
Highly suggest you go check out the rest of this gal’s work.
…I can now very realistically see myself as a professional doll house interior designer upon retirement. That and own six dachshunds. 
*m

{1, 2, 3, 4, 5: solid frog, bbz, ashley curry}

My Love for Ryan Gosling = My Love for this Kitchen (almost)

Ryan here, as you can see, has just about the highest amount of swag injected into his veins as humanly possible. Even if you weren’t a fan of say, one of the greatest love stories of all time, The Notebook, or the critically acclaimed Blue Valentine, or the just ridiculous Drive, (best playlist known to mankind), but seeing him saunter out of the airport like so. It’s too much. You can’t deny his swag. 
And then I lay eyes on this…

1. The light. So welcoming and cheery and full of hope, I can’t stand it. Cue the whistling birds on the window sill just outside.
2. Those darn cute pink chairs. Look at them for a second time, but this time, wash them over in a black colour. Or metallic. Yes the room is still a beauty, but is it as perfect as Ryan Gosling? Can’t say it is, can’t say it is. The injection of colour in this room is to the injection of swag in Ryan Gosling’s veins. It would just be incomplete without.

3.White on dark wood. The perfect balance between maintaining that airy feel that you will inevitably have with so much light, but giving the room some much needed contrast, à mon avis! 

4. Last but not least, the organization of it all. The wall of cabinets, surrounding that fridge (which is actually so beautiful), it’s very refreshing to see, partly because it isn’t the classic cabinets above the counters type thing. This way, they can have more space above the surfaces, like, say, another window, or glossy tiling behind the oven.
I could go on, but I don’t think you’re interested in me analyzing every detail of what makes this room perfect. You just need to look at it, and you’ll know what I mean. 
And there ya have it. Perfection in a kitchen and perfection in a man. Weoo!
This could change your mind on which is more perfect.
Or maybe this. You never know 😉
Hope your Monday was as happy as a Monday can actually be!
*m
ps. Check out Jessica Helgerson mastermind interior designer. Pictures are larger too, so ooh la laaa.

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This is a happy room. It is clinically impossible to be unhappy while you’re surrounded by so many vibrant colours.

And P-POW! Hello crazy cool nails. You’ll be on my hands one day soon when I (realistically) have about four hours to spare. 
Still can’t fully tell if this is a painting or a photo, and that’s why it has left me so intrigued. That thick black nail polish, reminiscent of a witch’s long tendril of a finger, pressing into the lips of what could be Snow White, it’s all so fantasy-like. 
This has been saved on my computer for ages, but I could never find the right post to slot it in. A post about colour, however, now that can work. That yellow is the boldest, most cheery yellow I’ve seen in a while.
Her silky, dark hair against her milky, white skin is such a beautiful contrast.
Now excuse me while I go look up just how I can master those nails. 

*m
ps. TGIF.

{1, 2, 3, watercolour, 4, freya}

Delicacies

This’ll be short and sweet collection of photos… because of the math textbook taunting me on my desk, waiting for me to study, because that is what my life consists of lately. Studying. I’d much rather be with all of you guys, but duty calls. Save me anytime!

I feel as if I could just slip into this dress and all worries would slip away with it. So pure.

I’ve actually come across this photo so many times and have always forgotten to save it. That single modern chair leaves such an impact on the whole room, but without taking away from the ruggedly romantic, even sad in a sense, atmosphere. So perfect.
🙂

And by delicacies I don’t mean a scrumptious form of exotic food, (not that I wouldn’t be down for some exotic food right about now, I am so damn bored with what I eat), but just a collection of photos that have a certain “delicate” air about them. When I was scrolling through, that one word kept popping into my mind, so I couldn’t help but pull them all together.

Happy thursday night everyone… (one sleep till Friday!)
*m

Scandinavian Haven

I have always been drawn to the crisp whites of Scandinavian design, and so of course this home was just irresistible to me. The kitchen is just perfect. I would cook yummy pasta salads all afternoon, with the light pouring in through the generous windows, and have a friend or two playing the ukulele in the corner while we laugh over life’s frivolity. Oh hawhawhaw! Life is grand.

But honestly, this is one of my favourite examples of Scandinavian design. The cheery yellow of the desk chair, along with the abundance of animal portraits on sheets and pillows, the rustic windows, the set of retro lockers… it all conveys such a clear, easy-living lifestyle. It’s also inevitable that if the walls are painted such a white white, that the furniture and design of the home will speak for themselves. They dictate how the home will feel. Whether that is minimalist, retro, rustic, or romantic. Scandinavian design allows for you to express your individuality, but in a subtle way.

*m

ps. Sorry I left you without some rabbit ears for the weekend. I was away at a women’s leadership conference. It was fascinating. Not to mention I met someone who is currently living my dream job – a sustainable architect, so I’m a happy camper.

Highly recommend you watch this documentary as soon as you can. It’s appalling the direction our media is taking us.

{Living Agency}