Custom Flower Crochet Plarn Clutch Handbag

You may have seen me with this amazing bag at BlogHer, either in person or in my Instagram feed, and this month I thought that I would do an entire post dedicated to it.

This beauty, created by Tina Dean Designs of Virginia, is crochet out of platinum plarn, which has a fantastic metallic sheen to it. it is embellished with these beautiful ruffle favourite part...

The handstrap. I think it is absolutely genius and it definitely made carrying this pretty little clutch around BlogHer alot easier.

Size wise, it fix my postcard sized media cards perfectly while I was in the Expo Hall, and then was great for my ID, money and lipgloss when we went out in the evening!

While this clutch was custom designed for me by Tina, I am strongly encouraging her to make more clutches with the handstrap. I love it so much and look forward to adding more to my ever growing collection.


Tina Dean Designs Gets Trendy with Black and White Designs!

For the past few months, I have been absolutely in love with the black and white trend {particularly with tribal prints}. It's just so absolutely striking, and yet so simple.

Tina Dean Designs has created a brand new collection of black and white handbags, all made from eco-friendly plarn {upcycled plastic yarn} and lined with fabulous contrasting cotton fabrics. They are unique and definitely will become a statement piece in your wardrobe.

What I love most about these new handbags by Tina Dean Designs is that they can easily go from day to night. The small handbags are perfect for brunch with the girls, paired with an airy sun dress, but can definitely get glammed up with a black romper, bold metallic jewelry and some funky peep toe wedges.

The totes are perfect for taking to your local farmers market on a lazy sunday afternoon with your family, then can double as a beach bag to house your Kinlde {Kobo or Nook}, sunscreen and bottles of water. For evening, a great bag for local festivals and concerts!

Be on trend this fall with the Black and White collection by Tina Dean Designs!


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?

Eco-friendly Chic Camera Bag by Tina Dean Designs

Have you been keeping an eye on the eco-friendly chic handbags over at Tina Dean Designs? When I saw her new camera bag design, I knew that I needed to dedicate a blog post to it. It is simply amazing!

Tina created this camera bag for Virginia photographer Karen Presecan, and I love the details on the bag. Everything from the organized lining to the knotted details on the outer body of the bag.

My messenger bag from BlogHer'12 has similar details; the carabeener clips for the shoulder strap, a neutral lining and a fantastic design.

If you are in need of a camera bag that won't quit, check out the eco-friendly camera bag by Tina Dean Designs. It is made from plarn, a material derived from plastic bags and used to crochet eco-friendly designs, and features a comfortable shoulder strap, and loads of organization in the interior of the bag.

*Disclaimer: I was compensated by Tina Dean Designs for this blog post, however all views expressed are my own.


New Year New Home - Pirate Themed Toddler Bedroom

Ever since we moved into our new house last year, I wanted to give our little guy a space of his own. If I'm in my studio during the day, I like having him close by but want him to feel comfortable and inspired in his own space. That meant taking it from young-toddler room to preschooler room, and completely changing his bedroom decor.

I reached out to Laura of 2Clvr 4 U Designs and said that I wanted to play off of the airplane hanging from his ceiling {for sentimental reasons as it was my Dad's} and we met about a week later. She showed me pictures of a pirate ship that she had created, out of paper, and immediately I was hooked. My little dude loves pirates, and I love the vintagey look that Laura came up with, all inspired by Peter Pan.

I really loved the entire process of working with Laura. Each piece of paper art that she designed was created from scratch; there were no patterns, and really...I just let her go with whatever felt right.

What she created was beyond my wildest imagination. A pirate ship made out of paper, strung from the ceiling and floating on a vintage paper balloon.

She asked if there were any other decor elements for his new room that I would like to see. I told her that I currently had some framed lyrics flanking his windows, and some baseball photography over top of his dresser and she went to town with her paper art.

Now flanking the windows are these amazing worn looking paper maps with treasure chests on them, one of which is personalized with Owen's name.

His dresser is quite possibly my most favourite part of his room now. Paper boats, a skull and cross bones, and the most boyish yet beautiful paper bunting. I absolutely love it and Owen does too!

The next job for his room are creating a comfy corner with handpainted pillows, a stained wooden treasure chest to hold books, and some rope name art for over top of his bed {an idea that my husband and I came up with together, which we both really love.}

If you are in need of some custom paper art, be it for your home decor {how pretty would a wall installation of paper flowers be?!}, party or wedding, I would highly recommend working with 2Clvr 4 U Designs. Laura makes the entire process easy and seamless, and really gets your vision...then takes it to the next level!

Disclaimer: 2Clvr 4 U Designs is a sponsor of the New Year New Home blog series. While all of the opinions and views expressed are my own, I was compensated for this post and provided the decor to review for the purposes of this post.


Fashionista Friday: Beach Bags by Tina Dean Designs

Yes...I'm dreaming of days at the beach this week. Baby Shmizz and I are so fortunate to have Tina Dean Designs working on some amazing handbags for us for BlogHer13 this year, and I am really excited about my custom unlined tote bag, with braided rope like handles.

I had a very abstract idea when I talked to Tina about needing a tote bag that I could toss my stuff in, but also use for trips to the beach, for my art supplies and quick shopping trips to the grocery store.

As always, she didn't disappoint and took my abstract vision to the next level. Tina knows that I have a special place in my heart for all things nautical, and wanted to be sure to incorporate that into my tote bag. The handles with the knots are perfect and I absolutely love how she created them {yes....she made the handles from scratch!}

I am really excited about this bag for BlogHer13 and cannot wait to show it off in person! An ecofriendly handbag for every day!

Disclaimer: I received this tote bag as compensation for helping promoted Tina Dean Designs' wonderful line of upcycled and ecofriendly handbags. All views and opinions expressed are my own.


Guest Blogger...Tina Dean Designs

When Shannon asked me to guest post and talk a little about my new Eco-Home line, I was both thrilled and honored. You may know a little about my work as an eco accessories designer/textile artist from some of Shannon’s previous posts. I was absolutely thrilled to sponsor Shannon at BlogHer ’12 with a messenger bag and a couple of clutches.

My primary work has been to recycle and upcycle plastic bags and vhs tape into eco-friendly accessories like tote bags and purses. Expanding into home goods just seemed to be a natural extension. Continuously thinking of new ideas to save plastic bags from our landfills and waterways has become a way of life. The Eco-Home line will allow people to have a handmade, eco-friendly, vegan items for their homes.

TDD’s Eco-Home line is starting with baskets and will branch out to other home goods through 2013. The baskets will be available in different sizes for use as home décor, in the bathroom, in the kitchen or anywhere else.

These will be available on the website when it relaunches in the near future. TDD also does custom work.


Fabulous Finds Friday: Eco Chic Candle Holders

As we turn into fall, I find myself reminiscing about ecochic finds... for home decor. Items that make a home feel warm and cozy.

There are some really reasonably priced, and really funky pieces on Etsy that I am so excited to share with you!

Can you guess what these candle holders used to be?

Furniture legs!! What a great use for them to house long tapered candles, once painted and treated, and maybe even distressed a little.

Picture them on a long farmer-style kitchen table, or even in an old woodburning fireplace that no longer serves as functional.


You can find them here

BlogHer Sponsor Love: TPH Canada

When looking for a printing company to collaborate with on my business and media cards for BlogHer, what really stood out to me about TPH Canada was how enviromentally responsible they are.

Since their founding in 1961, they have continually been searching for recycling programs, putting sustainability as a top priority and offering eco-friendly printing and paper solutions to their customers. Knowing that my cards were printed with heart...that's pretty amazing!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Tina Dean Designs

I am so pleased to be the first to blog about a new product hitting the shelves at Tina Dean Designs!

Tina is hitting the nail on the head with these designs. She combines colour blocking with an eco-chic fold over clutch design, and is even dabbling in adding texture, stripes and vintage fabric!

I'm so excited with this direction that Tina is taking her work, and have been privy to some new colours and designs including ruffles, bows, dripped texture. Truly unique and artistic, yet functional all at the same time!

The eco-fused line is the perfect compliment to your snazzy dress for a girls night out, date with that special someone or even with a lovely summer dress for a brunch with the girls!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Tina Dean Designs

Catching up with Tina from Tina Dean Designs this oh man has she ever been the busy bee!

She's been styling some amazing photo shoots with er incredible photographer, Karen, and is even undergoing a redesign and new launch in the next little while. I've been privy to some sneak peeks, and they are gorgeous! Stay tuned for those updates!

What has been amazing me lately is the custom designs that Tina is creating for some amazing eco-chic celebrities.

Eco-tote created for Tenley Molzahn


Such an awesome bag! Tina has such impeccable attention to detail. For Tenley's bag, she matched the polka dot lining to the ribbon, and added in a funky bamboo handle. Then, there's a slight green fleck in the bag to carry that element through for a cohesive design.

Absolutely amazing!

Fabulous Finds Friday: Pom Pom Dahlia's

While I'm not even sure that I can grow Dahlia's in our region {speaking of regions...anyone know what region London, Ontario is in??}, I really admire these for their unique shape, ribbon-like texture, and massive pop of colour!

Aren't they incredible?

For the front of our house, it's like a wall of grey. Our house is a light grey stucco, our door is a dark grey. Our grass, obviously is green, and the driveway is an interlocking concrete brick.

Lots and lots of grey.

How amazing would these pom pom dahlia's be for a pop of colour?

BlogHer Love: Tina Dean Designs....custom creations!

We’ve all done it; dreamed of the perfect handbag to hold exactly what we need to go shopping at the market, out with the girls for brunch, a full day out with the kiddos….everything that you need in one stylish bag. 

It’s a dream, absolutely, and it’s the perfect situation to go to Tina Dean Designs for a custom creation.

custom tote for Cari Cucksey of HGTV's Cash and Cari

The process of working with Tina on a custom creation couldn’t be easier, and I should know! Right now, she’s finishing up my messenger bag for BlogHer…a custom design that she created just for me! It’ll be based on her peppermint tote bag {below, and also custom designed for Lauren Conrad!} but in a messenger style with an adjustable strap and flap closure. The lining…a chevron to match my logo and branding!

And it’s pretty awesome to work with a down-to-earth designer who has made custom bags for Lauren Conrad, Cari Cucksey, Tess Masters, and Zooey Deschanel. 

So much intricate detail and time goes into each one of Tina’s bags, and each piece is made with precision. Tina has recently been working on more custom pieces and has many more designs that will be making their way to some Hollywood A-listers. Pretty incredible!

Get your hands on a custom Tina Dean Designs bag before it’s too late!

Fabulous Finds Friday: Toiley Paper Planters

That's right...toilet paper planters.

When I first saw it on Pinterest, I thought "ya a million years"

but then I considered it. It saves space and totally saves time, and starts your little plants off right. Most toilet paper tubes are made from undyed materials, often times recycled materials. An eco friendly option...put them on a tray and leave them on your deck.


As our humble little garden comes together, I'll reveal it all to you. We have two lilac trees in the back that I'm really excited to see bloom.

The front yard...a complete clean slate, and a project to pin next month!

Happy weekend!

Fabulous Find Friday: Pallet Herb Garden

I would love nothing more than to grow our own vegetables and herbs...teach Owen the importance of planting, and reaping what you sow...caring for your veggies and herbs, and enjoying them.

Our yard? Yeah...not really conducive to that! I've noticed that it doesn't have great drainage {really nowhere in our city does} and our yard as it is isn't the having a full on vegetable garden really can't be in the works.

Then I stumbled on this idea for an herb garden and think that it would be PERFECT against our fence, in between our lilac trees

It's made out of old pallets - pretty perfect use for them, I think! It's rustic and attractive, and completely practical!

Love it!

Fabulous Find Friday: Planting Guide

Spring is here, and here to stay!

Sadly, there isn't a garden to be found on our new property...though that will be changing soon! My goal is to start planning our gardens, landscaping, the feeling of our outdoor space so that come Earth Day {April 22nd...dontcha know!} systems will be a god, and we can bring some beauty to our yard!

But I started thinking...are there rules about when to plant what?

Off to Pinterest I trot, and lo and behold...The Planting Guide!!

Happy planting!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Tina Dean Designs

You’ve heard me talk about Tina Dean Designs since just before Christmas and how the lovely Tina is making my clutch and messenger bag for BlogHer’12.

Well, I am so excited to unveil the pictures to you of the photo shoot that I did for her with Hanlon Lain Photography

The Eco-Evening Wristlet Clutch is the perfect bag for a night out on the town with the girls, and where better to show it off than in NYC?! It features a super soft exterior that is made from repurposed VHS tape, which is made into plarn, and yarn. It is crocheted expertly with extraordinary workmanship, and I love that it has an antique looking chain attached, to make sure that it stays on my wrist at all times.

I love it because it is the perfect size to hold only the things that I need while on a night out: lip gloss and chapstick, my Blackberry, debit card, hotel key and ID. What more do you need when you’re spending an evening with your friends, having a few drinks on a rooftop patio, then hitting the town to go dancing?

I absolutely love the pop of colour that Tina worked into the lining.

My wristlet is lined with a beautiful batik fabric, featuring swirls of colour. It perfectly reflects me as an artist and my funky personal style.

What I love even more is that Tina took the time and care to make it personally for me, specifically for BlogHer. I am so excited to show it off…only a few months to go!


Local Love Monday:

I started brainstorming a couple of weeks ago, and there are some really awesome small businesses in London, Ontario that deserve a shout out or two, so why not a Local Love series??

Why they are certainly local businesses, I'm sure that their reach is much further than the local community. Take for example...

Is your community on a 6 day garbage rotation? Find that you're always searching to see when the neighbours have put their recycling out, or trying to remember where you put that garbage collection calendar that always seems to go missing at the worst possible minute?'s your answer!

It's so fool proof, and I love it. You can set up a reminder that will be delivered directly to your email to say "Hey! it's Garbage Day!", meaning that you'll never forget again!

Coming soon: text message reminders!


I love that this is a local company and that they're all about saving you time and frustration. I know in our home, we often forget and then hear the garbage or recycling truck go down the road. More often than not, it happens just before a holiday weekend, or on a Friday when there isn't garbage collection for a full week.

A full week. EW!

Definitely a local company that I recommend and fully support! Check out today!

Special Post: Tina Dean Designs GIVEAWAY!

One of my amazing BlogHer'12 sponsors has collaborated with GoGreenAmericaTV to host an amazing giveaway in celebration of her involvement in the GBK Academy Awards Gifting Suite!

What can you win?

a eco-chic mini tote with repurposed lining from an old pair of jeans!

And since it's a Rafflecopter giveaway, entering is a breeze!! Enter now and enter often!!

Sponsor Love: Tina Dean Designs

I got a very special delivery this week from my BlogHer12 sponsor, Tina Dean Designs.

My VHS plarn wristlet is here!! I'm so excited!!

The batik fabric liner is perfect, and definitely suits my taste wonderfully! I cannot wait to bring this cute little bag to BlogHer12 next summer, and may even take her for a test run at a holiday party we have coming up this weekend.

Tina does a fantastic job constructing these bag - I am really impressed by the quality of the product and how sturdy it is as a bag. I'm kind of a clutch-snob, and this one is definitely going to be in regular rotation in my collection!

The chain that attaches to the bag is perfect and while I'm not usually a wristlet girl, I absolutely love the functionality of this bag. It isn't going anywhere, but around my wrist!

Check out Tina Dean Designs for the most beautiful, eco-friendly bags around!