New Year New Home...Tablescaping

Every so often we like to entertain, and by that I mean a few times a month. I have found that between my mantle, kitchen table and island there are always surfaces that could use a little pizzazz when you are having guests over.

Here are my top 5 tips for creating the perfect centrepiece for your kitchen table, using inexpensive items found at your local dollar store, and from outside!

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stones found on a nature walk are a great addition to a natural looking tablescape. Gather about 3 medium sized sticks, stack them together and tie them with twine. Stack some stones throughout the sticks and you have a wonderful, natural centrepiece!

Jars a Plenty

Gather a few pretty jars and glasses from the dollar store, then head out to your garden. Snip some of your favourite flowers, fill the jars and viola! Instant table garden!

Going Gothic

At the dollar store, pick up a mirror, some candle sticks, and tape candles. Set the mirror up on the centre of your table, then light one of your candles. Drip some of the melted wax on your mirror, and let it run down the sides of your candle sticks. Place your candles in the centre of the mirror, and you have a beautiful centrepiece for an evening dinner party with friends.

Odd Numbers

Grouping items in odd numbered collections is the most proportionate and aesthetically pleasing way to display things. Consider pairing a piece of wood with a chunky candle and a tiny jar of flowers (grouping of 3), or five wine bottles used as candle holders down the length of your table.

Work with what you HAVE

Repurposing elements that you already have in your home is a great way to showcase your style on your table. Group a teapot with your favourite teacups when hosting your girlfriends for brunch, or use your child's stacking blocks and favourite stuffed animal for a centrepiece for their birthday breakfast. Easy Peasy!

What is your favourite way to decorate your table?

New Year New Home, Bathroom Wall Art on a Budget

I am thrilled to show you this piece of abstract art, created with DecoArt Glass Stains and a poster board frame that I picked up at a local department store for $20.

I wanted something to spruce up out master bathroom and there was this big blank wall over top of our soaker tub. When I had the opportunity to play with the glass stains, I knew that it would make for an interesting medium for abstract art.

Now, I actually used this paint on a thin sheet of plastic that was in the frame, not on glass. It gave the same transparent look to the piece, which I was quite happy about, and when I put a piece of inexpensive bristol board behind it, the colours really popped.

First, I brushed on some of the black paint, then let it splatter up to the let. Then, I brushed on some of the brown for a little added depth.

Next came the really excited part. I pretty much flooded the area with the aqua glass stain making sure that there was enough force coming out of the bottle to move the black paint around. It was such a neat technique to witness! The paint splattered about and made its own space within the piece.

Last, I put droplets of clear glass stain for some added depth.

I really love how this piece turned out. The texture, depth and movement within it are amazing and I am very happy that it has found a home on the wall in our master bathroom.

*Disclaimer: DecoArt is a supporter of the New Year New Home series on my blog. I received the Glass Stains to complete this project.


New Year New Home, Toddler Comfy Corner

When we made over Owen's room from babyish to his pirate themed toddler room, I knew that I wanted to create the perfect comfy corner for him. Something that he could snuggle into with some books and relax for a little while.

 What makes this corner so comfy? First and foremost, the Tigressa Cherish carpet from Carpet One Floor & Home is so luxurious and soft. As soon as we put the rug down on the floor, we all just laid there for a while in a big snuggly pile. Owen started jumping around, thinking that the pattern, Know You Well in Flagstaff, looked like puddles.

We love that the carpet gives definition to the area, and is soft enough to lay on while we read books together. The Tigressa Cherish carpet is the softest of its kind, featuring the finest nylon fibers on the market, and is made from colors that are specifically designed to trap color, meaning that this lovely sandy color won't fade overtime.

Add in a whole mess of throw pillows, and you have the perfect area for cuddling, reading, even napping!

Visit your local Carpet One Floor & Home store to see just how amazingly soft this carpet is! The ridges of the Know You Well style are perfect for making tracks to drive cars on too, something that the toddler put his seal of approval on.

Adding an area rug, such as the Tigressa Cherish, add warmth into any room and creates the perfect definition for a comfy toddler reading corner.

*Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Carpet One Floor & Home.


New Year, New home...New Laundry Detergent!

I am so thrilled to share this post from Tina Dean Designs, textile artist and eco-maven who had been known to grind her own flour and also make her own laundry soap.

For this weeks installment of New Year New Home, I asked Tina to share her recipe and instructions for her laundry detergent. It blew me away reading her post and realizing just how much money we are spending on our liquid detergent, not to mention how much waste we are contributing to our recycling bin.

One of the things that I've done for my family to save money is make my own laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent.  Now, I have tried making my own liquid soap (which looked quite gelatinous - read more practice needed), and also toothpaste which I got way too much salt in, so more practice needed there, too.  BUT, the two things that are a major savings to the family are the detergents.

Without further adieu, here's Tina!


There are a number of recipes on the web, but I'll share the ones that I find the easiest (both are powder).

Laundry Detergent
2 cups grated soap (I use Ivory) 1 cup washing soda (You can find Arm & Hammer Washing Soda in some grocery stores)
1 cup borax

Easy peasy - Use a couple of tablespoons for a load, or more if you've got a large load washer like me.  I also like to triple the recipe so I don't have to make it as often.  I've got two boys and a husband who create lots of laundry.

I store the detergent in a large plastic container, the kind you put left-overs in.

Cost: About $.03/load vs. about $.30/load of commercial detergent.

Did you read that? That's a savings of $.27 per load of laundry! And if you're like us, you probably do 6 or so loads per week. That makes...

Weekly savings $1.62
Monthly savings $6.48
Yearly savings $77.76

That's a new pair of shoes! A new dress! Or a dinner and movie night with your spouse!


New Year New Home, Laundry Room Storage

This month in New Year New Home, we move into the laundry room. It's one of the spaces that is often forgotten about but usually one that if it were to have a little TLC, it would be bright and airy. Maybe we wouldn't mind doing laundry if it looked just a little neater, more inviting and a little bit more inspired. {no? Did I take it too far?}

One challenge that we face with our laundry room is storage. Sure, we have these lovely built-ins above both the washer and dryer, but the way they were installed means that we can't actually adjust the height of the shelves inside.

This means that laundry detergent and bleach get stacked at the top, and I need a ladder to get them down!

Definitely not ideal and since I'm sure you can imagine the amount of laundry with a toddler and two parents who work out 6 days a week...definitely not practical.

So, I started looking around at the storage baskets that we already have. We have loads of them for storing Owen's toys, and I thought that they would be perfect for going on the washer an dryer to store the items that we use often.

But they needed to be pretty, so I designed these tags for the baskets and printed them on cardstock. I tied them to the baskets, and voila! Pretty basket storage!

Overall I'm really happy with how they turned out. There's one basket for small tools like screwdrivers and hammers, batteries and things of the sort. Then another basket for laundry needs, all within my reach!

Go forth, get organized and make your space pretty!


Toy Storage Solutions with Lovable Labels

Have you looked at your toy storage recently? The abundance of dolls, matchbox cars, coloring supplies, books and puzzle pieces? When I looked at mine and saw that it was a disaster, I got in touch with a lovely Lovable Labels rep, Jennifer, and we set out on a course of figuring out jut how to organize everything so that it was streamlined, neat, tidy but still accessible for my toddler.

What I love about the Classroom Labels is that you get over 350 waterproof, UV resistant {yay for color staying!}, peel & stick handy labels to organize literally everything.

Have a bin that your little one can keep his lovies and blankets? Put a label on it!
Trains and cars? Label them!
Rubber ducks and sea creatures? Label those too!

What's even better is that you can preview what labels are included in each pack prior to purchasing them!

Then there's the value...350+ labels for $25! That's amazing! I guarantee you, you will go on an organizational spree...just think of the spring cleaning possibilities!

And if you wanted to take it a step further, you could certainly organize your craft room, keep your spice rack organized and, my favourite, organize your outdoor bins and have them identifiable with your home address!

Stock up on Lovabe Labels today and have fun getting organized this spring!

*Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Jennifer Zehr, Lovable Labels rep


How To Make an Art Center for Children

This week in New Year New Home we focus on making your children an art center, while sticking to a budget.

We all know that with toddlers come a never ending amount of art paper, crayons, color wonder crayons, chalk, modelling clay...usually it all gets tossed in a basket and set out of reach of toddler hands, so as to avoid the inevitable mess they will make.

What kind of creative process is that?

I'm so excited to have given our son his own little creative corner. What used to be some pretty drab shelves and baskets for his toys...

Pretty boring, not a whole lot going on there since we rooted through all of the toys and got rid of anything that he really wasn't playing with.

But now? Oh it's a haven for reading and creativity!

My little guy has his own easel, from Ikea, with all of his supplies, colouring books and work books right at his level so he can foster his creativity and run wild with imagination.

The best part? By using the things that we already had on hand like baskets and supplies, the only thing new for this area was the easel. And was $20!

Stay tuned to New Year New Home as we talk toy storage and labelling with Lovable Labels in two weeks!


New Year New Home, The Kitchen Nook

Do you have a part of your kitchen that is dark and drab, maybe in need of a spring makeover inspired by some of the top trending colours on the market today?

I definitely do, and while the pieces that are displayed in our kitchen nook hold alot of meaning to us, they are all one color.


A brown brick. A vase filled with brown coffee beans and a red and brown candle. Brown tone thrown pottery. This little nook has also become a catchall for things like sunglasses and cards. There just seems to be no life to this corner, so I went in search of items around the house that are lighter in weight, design and color.

What did I find?

Small vases in the perfect tones of Coastal Surf, one of the new trending tones by DecoArt
A pewter candle holder
Honey Brown Sugar flameless candle by Energizer
Ivory teapot

Updating your home decor can be as simple and easy or as complicated and calculated as you want it to be. For this project, I wanted to use items that we already had in our house and more them to an area that needed a new breath of life, some lighters and brighter colours, and a touch of glossy metallic to reflect the natural light.

I love the way it is pulled together as a classic, yet ecclectic, little collection!

Have a nook in your kitchen? Bring in a splash of fresh spring color and post a link in the comments!

*This post contains affiliate links, however all views and opinions expressed are my own


New Year New Home...with Tupperware

Do your cupboards overfloweth with a bounty of baking supplies?

Baking crumbs
Baking Soda
Baking Powder

The list goes on and on for me; I think I literally have every ingredient out there {even molasses!} and did you know that all of that packaging is exposed to pesticide sprays in the back of the grocery store? It's true! When I met with Tupperware Consultant Leslie Owen, she educated me on packaging and pest control practices at the grocery store.
Part of what I love about the Modular Mates is that you can get all of your supplies out of their packaging and into an airtight container, which not only preserves their shelf life, but also keeps out nasty creepy crawly bugs that could find their way into your home {especially in the warmer months when they seem to just appear out of nowhere!} and gets rid of the packaging that has been sprayed with pest control measures in the back of the grocery store stock room.

I also love that they are stackable, which makes them natural space savers. While we have alot of cupboard space, they're narrow and were custom built so the shelves are a little difficult to move around. The Tupperware Modular Mates neatly store all of my ingredients, and I can see everything at one glance, which saves me time in my busy schedule.

Modular Mates are available in three colours {black, blue and red}, and come in a variety of sizes. The large  square perfectly fit my flour, and I love the small oval for my brown sugar. Storage for brown sugar is something that always drives me bonkers. I find that it always hardens and becomes one big lump of sugar, which means I have to get a new bag and lose money in the process. The Modular Mates solve that issue with the airtight seal; fresh sugar, all the time!

Get your cupboards in shape for the new year with a set of Modular Mates from Tupperware!

*Disclaimer: This post in the New Year New Home series was sponsored by Leslie Owen, Independant Tupperware Consultant. I was provided the Modular Mates to review, and was compensated in return for advertising her wonderful brand. 


A New Kind of Blogging

I've mentioned that there are going to be some changes in the blogging platform this year. One of those changes is that every month, I'm going to be taking you through a new room in the home and how you can overhaul it with a few simple projects and design techniques.

I'm really excited about this New Year, New Home feature and cannot wait to take you through the projects.

What will I be taking on next month? The kitchen.

wooden Eat sign by Dime Store Vintage on Etsy

We all have it...the dreaded and cluttered cutlery drawer. The unorganized mass of plastic containers and lids. It can be a really daunting task to get it all organized, and make it look pretty, but never fear...that's what I'm here for!

Do you have things that you want to learn how to do? Items that you admire, but think you could make...just aren't sure how? Let me know in the comments and maybe I'll tackle your project!


Making Resolutions

It's a new started today. Have you made your list of resolutions yet?

Each year, I sort of sit back and reflect. What did I accomplish? How do I measure those achievements? What do I want to improve on for the next year?

What did I accomplish?

I was able to get my work into the hands of some really amazing people. Meryl Streep, Tina Fey, Elizabeth Banks, and Keira Knightley {and her amazing stylist, Camilla Pole} just to name a few. As a measure of success, I think that's pretty huge. Being able to create custom works of wearable art, wall sculpture and canvas art was an amazing experience.

I joined an incredibly amazing organization, London Mompreneurs, and met some fantastically driven women who have inspired me to keep pushing myself and the boundaries around me.

I have landed freelancing positions with Manilla and Crave Handmade, and will be bringing some amazing art companies into the fold here this year.

This year, I resolve to stay true to my art and focus more on painting on canvas and honing my sculpting skills.

I resolve to pursue galleries, and to stay determined in have 3 gallery exhibitions per year {my ultimate goal}

I resolve to bring you a home decor how-to, each and every month

I resolve to continue to make happy accidents, pairing colour and trends in unexpected ways, to bring you beautiful works of art that you can't wait to put in your home.

What are YOUR resolutions this year??