Tuesday, March 29

My Easter Mantel {and other touches!)

Easter is still a month away, but I needed a little ray of sunshine given all the sadness of the past week.

Since creative energy is the BEST mood booster ever, I pulled out my Easter and spring stash. I managed to get my mantel completed, as well as a few other little spring touches.  Later in the week, I'll move on to my front door and entryway.

I normally do a bright and whimsy Easter mantel (think coloured eggs, gerber daisies, and a Happy Easter garland), but I decided to go a different route this year.  It's a little more muted and understated than usual.  But I am liking how it turned out. I really like how the 'vintage' bunnies look with the boxwood wreath and potted grass.

So what do you think? Would love your thoughts!

PS. I'm sharing this at:

All Things Heart and Home


Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

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Sunday, March 27

Keepin it *Real*: Awesome Egg Ideas!

Seems like more and more these days, "decorating eggs" means buying a bag of 'Made in China' coloured plastic eggs and a pack of foamie stickers from the dollar store. 

Um, guilty as charged! 

Hey, you can't knock cheap and fast.

Well, I don't know about you, but I long for the day when we decorated REAL eggs.

In our house, my 2 sisters and I were hard core egg dippers.  No wimpy 'hard boiling' for us.

We'd poke pin holes in each end of the egg, and blow the whites and yolk out before dying them.  More than one egg was crushed before it made it to the bowl of food colouring.  But that was part of the fun.

Well, this year, I'm going to try and restore that little tradition with my 6-yo daughter.  I am laying down a strict "no plastic eggs" rule. And, after seeing all these sweet Easter craft ideas made from 'cracked' egg shells, I won't be at all disappointed if she crushes a few along the way!

Check out these eggs-cellent ideas!






Crafts by Amanda

Crafts by Amanda





Oh, and PS, if you are wondering what to do with all those plastic eggs you still have tucked away from last year, well, get a load of this cutie...

Lesson Plans

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Saturday, March 26

The Gallery Wall: an exercise in patience!

It turns out that I wasn't finished with my gallery wall in my living room after all.

It also turns out that this gallery wall is just one more thing in my life that is going to make me crazy!

When I went in search for gallery wall inspiration, the examples I found all seemed so, well, perfectly imperfect. For me, their 'perfection' came from being imperfect. It didn't matter that the distance between each element was inconsistent, or that something was a little off-center.

So why is that I keep asking myself...Is that picture centered? Should it be? Is that picture level?  (I swear it was yesterday!) Should I fill that empty spot? Is it too crowded? Yes, each and every time I sit in my living room, I stare blankly at the wall and think...hmmm...that needs a little adjusting here...and that could be better there! 

But despite those little irritations, I really enjoy this wall.  I realize that gallery walls are not for everybody, but they are high on my list of favorite things. And, this one has really grown on me over the past month.

Here's where I started out...

Here's where I was with it the last time I posted about it:

At that time, I really felt that something was off.

The more time I spent with it, the more I determined what needed to change.

I determined that the sconces needed to go.  Because the large canvas was centered between them, it felt like everything else was just floating on top.  It felt like two separate wall groupings, rather than a cohesive 'gallery'.

I also felt like it needed more personal relevance and personality.  It needed to be meaningful, not just a bunch of pretty things. So I added more of my favorite photos, as well as my favorite rustic sign and a little chalkboard.  It now incorporates so many of the things I love - my favorite photos of my babies and my niece/nephew, a bird and a butterfly, french wine labels, pretty plates (one with the Eiffel tower), a chippy vintage sign, and a chalkboard.

And, tada, here's how it looks now...

 And here's a closer look at some of the elements I used...
I know it will probably be tweaked again later, but for now, it makes me happy. And isn't that what decorating is all about? :-)

 So how do you feel about gallery walls? Love em or leave em?

PS. I'm sharing this at

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

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"Ooh La La! " Take two.

I started a little something here awhile back under a different tab called "Ooh la la!"

My intention was to post ideas weekly from other blogs that truly inspire me.

Well, as you might have noticed, I've neglected that little area of my blog. There's like, um, two ideas there. It's not that I'm not inspired by others - it's more a matter of being totally overwhelmed by the creativity I see on other blogs and decorating sites. I want to try everything!

Well, after spending some time yesterday visiting some of my favorites sites, I was inspired to try this again. I like the idea of creating a little reference archive of my favorite decorating and craft projects so that I can eventually steal  oops, I totally mean *admire* them. OK, let's be honest, I'll probably *copy* them (a much nicer word than *steal* don't ya think?).  But, I promise to play by the rules, and give all the credit where it's due! Isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery?  I think so!

I hope to post these ideas each week, and file it under the label, "Ooh La La". To be an "Ooh La La" of mine, the idea has to be not only fabulous, but something I can't wait to try myself!

Hopefully, over time, I'll be able to build a nice little collection here of amazing, and totally do-able, decorating ideas that you can steal, oops there I go again, I mean, *copy* too!

So here's what I've been "Ooh la la-ing" about lately...

Source: Meg Duerken's blog 'Whatever'

Funny thing about this first one. I first saw it on tumbler.com, and immediately fell in love with the stunning use of colour.  When I clicked on its original reference, I was not at all surprised! It's from Meg Duerksen.  I was already a big fan of Meg's decorating style. In fact, another of her projects made my first "Ooh la la" post back in January (her READ gallery wall).  I just love how she adds  crazy pops of bright colour and bold pattern against a neutral background.  She knows how to do colour right!

Source: Decorpad

Not sure if "Ooh la la" even cuts it for this 'mud'room! It's more like 'fresh'room, lol. I am seriously drooling over that robin's egg blue bench, and all the white accents. It's so delicious. For me, this room is perfection.
Source: Chipping with Charm

The talented Laurel, at Chipping with Charm, recently created this spring wreath from a cake pan - YES, peeps, a cake pan.  I just know you have a dented 'bundt' pan lying around that would be perfect for this craft. I just LOVE it's simplicity!

Source: Just Another Hang Up, via Eighteen25

And, these crazy sweet little "Chick-sicles" made me smile.  One of my favorite blogs, Eighteen25, featured them, and I just had to find out who made them.  Turns out that Suzanne, from Just Another Hang Up, even included the pattern on how to make these!

Source: Pinterest
Finally, I think I could live in this office / craft room.  Seriously, if my office looked like this, I just might put a sleeping bag and a mini fridge in there and never want to leave! I actually think I might have a new favorite colour combo (cover your ears, turquoise!). Well, I'll always love robin's egg blue, but that fresh green/black/white combo is REALLY speaking to me lately.  I might have to include it in my basement reno . (If you look closely, at the bottom of the image you can see that the colour is a Benjamin Moore shade called "Sweet Daphne" (529).  LOVE it.

So what are you "Ooh la-la-ing about these days?