Wednesday, April 9, 2014

100 sales on Etsy!

I just noticed my Etsy store, Olive + Iris, has reached 100 sales. Hooray! And along with a new Etsy banner, I've just added another invitation to the store as well. 

This polkadotty invitation was created for my daughter Finley's upcoming second birthday party. She is obsessed with ladybugs, so we are having a Ladybug Garden birthday party. I'm in the process of planning {how I love planning and designing kid's birthday parties!} but I was eager to add this design to the shop, with it being Spring and all. 

Ahhh Spring, by the way. The smell of mud and cow poo is making me very happy. So nice to have made it through that marathon winter!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014



If you can believe, on my husband's side of the family, there are six girl cousins, 5 years old and under. My husband and his two siblings each have two girls. That's a strong family X chromosome! 

One morning in March we armed ourselves with colourful tutus, treats and bribes in order to take a photo for my in-laws, Grams and Grumps. The morning ended up being quite fun actually, and the girls were amazing. The photos turned out great, and we enlarged one and had it printed on a giant canvas board. Just a little something we will cherish as the girls grow up. Especially during the scary teenage years.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

pretty little settee

Hello there, pretty little settee. I don't usually find good steals like this one ($20!). But one day last summer, I was driving and spotted it at a garage sale, couldn't stop thinking of it, and turned around to get it. Oh the potential it had! It didn't fit in the car I was driving, so I called my sister who also loves a good makeover, and luckily she was nearby and it squeaked into her hatchback. And the best part? My sister offered to give it to me as my birthday gift. So it actually wasn't even $20. It was free!

Although it definitely has vintage, shabby-chic charm as-is, I can't help but wonder what it has seen in its lifetime. It needs some refreshing.

Should I stick with velvet, perhaps a grey, like this beautiful settee from Nickey Kehoe?

Or this lovely geometric Dwell Studio fabric, Casablanca Geo, Citrine.

I'm loving these stripes too, as seen on Little Green Notebook

All would look great in my living room! And as a prop for photos. Now to decide the fate of this pretty little settee...any input is welcome.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

the dining room is coming together

It's been a while since I've shown any of our house improvements. Between two little ones and work, it's taken a long, long while to come together. We aren't there yet! But certainly on our way. Over the holidays we worked really hard at getting our dining room in order. There are still a few more pieces of furniture to buy, art to put on the walls, but here we are so far.

This once was a blank, carpeted room that was a dumping ground for bags, boxes, and a lot of junk. Now it's a fabulous room for family dinners and parties. We are in love with our custom 'roughed up and rustic' harvest table that sits 10 comfortably (remember my quest for a rustic, large table way back when?).

This is a happy room.

Check out our gallery wall too!

Custom harvest table and bench - Heritage Harvest Tables
Chairs - Structube
Curtains - West Elm
Chandelier - West Elm
Chicago Poster - Ork Posters
Custom trim and mouldings - Millard Bautista Designs

Thursday, February 13, 2014

happy day, valentine!

Happy Valentine's Day! Here are some Valentine tags created for my kids' daycare friends. I'm seriously loving Target lately, and found these cute Valentine bubbles for Sage's pre-school class. Finley's toddler class will receive these more age-appropriate stickers, also from Target.

(By the way, I can't seem to leave Target without spending $150. That seems to be my number. Every time. Anyone else have that problem?!).

Monday, October 28, 2013

art supply organization {an easy chalkboard spray paint project}

We keep most of our art supplies in the basement, but I usually keep a few on our main floor too, so they are easy to grab for the kids if they want to do a quick drawing or mush some play dough. All our supplies were a mess though - thrown into a clear plastic bin, crayons spilling all over the place, mixed with markers, paint and pom-poms. 

I had one of these old IKEA MOPPE mini chest of drawers. I'm not even sure they sell these anymore! This is vintage IKEA - for some reason I've hung onto this little chest of drawers for at least 15 years. It was holding a few travel supplies but wasn't really as functional as it could be. I wanted to use it to finally organize our 'upstairs' art and craft supplies.

On a bit of a chalkboard paint kick, I pulled out my chalkboard spray paint (obsessed with the stuff!) and set about on a really simple project of spray-painting the front of the drawers. I taped the edges just so it would be a bit neater.

It only took two coats of the spray paint, but the results were really effective. With my chalkboard marker (obsessed with it too!) I wrote on each drawer and my 3-year-old helped me organize all the supplies into their compartments. 


The drawers are surprisingly roomy. And while this little chest doesn't hold everything to do with art and craft, it sits nicely in our pantry for easy access whenever the art mood strikes.


Wow, I love little projects like this. Super fast and accomplished during a toddler's afternoon nap. Quick and satisfying.

More on my pantry a bit later. As you will see, I'm really loving the handy dandy chalkboard paint trend!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

new in my etsy store! baby name vintage postcard printable

I just added a little something to my Etsy store, Olive + Iris. I made this little vintage postcard print last year for my daughter Finley's room, and I've been asked about it a lot, so I decided to make it available for sale.

It's lovely and delicate and perfect for a baby girl's room! I will customize the name and date of birth of the baby, as well as the weight and height. The print is 8" x 10". Once I customize the file I will send along a high-res .jpg file for printing - so you can print it yourself on your choice of paper (which saves extra printing and shipping costs from my end!). If interested in the print, please click here to purchase.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

my work: amanda forrest website

I had the great pleasure of working with interior designer and TV personality, Amanda Forrest, on the design of her new website. Together we were able to create a look for her site that matches the style, glamour and sophistication of her interior designs.

Not only is Amanda a busy interior designer, and resident Design Expert for The Marilyn Denis Show. But she is the mother of five kids. FIVE!! And she still manages to look amazingly glam. This woman is my hero.

Check out her new site and her amazing portfolio here.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

family photos

Back in August we had some family photos taken by my friend Quenby of GingerSprouts Photography.

I created the GingerSprouts logo a while back.

Quenby did an amazing job! I am in love with each one of them and now I have to decide on a few to frame. 

I am usually behind the camera taking thousands of pics of my girls so it's nice to have photos with all of us in them. Thank you Q!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

paper flowers

Love love loving this paper flower display made of old book pages that I saw in the window of Club Monaco the other day. It's giving me ideas for a very blank wall in Finley's room.

I actually found this simple photo tutorial on Pinterest! It looks not too tricky, right?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

sage's third birthday: an art party!

On Saturday July 13th we held a birthday bash for Sage's 3rd birthday. She wanted an Art Party. What a fun theme. And actually a pretty easy one to pull off - the colour scheme was pretty much anything goes! 

I was inspired by this Paper Source wrapping paper I saw at Chapters.

I created this invitation, with a watercolour by Sage on the flip side.

The tone was set for the party! Watercolour splashes and dots became the motif. Using this awesome Trend font throughout a lot of the decor and designs helped pull everything together.

The party was held outdoors, and thankfully it was a beautiful {although extremely hot} day. As I think I mentioned once before, usually it rains or snows on our outdoor parties! Including our wedding. But Mother Nature was smiling on us this time around. I did add some party spirit inside the house though, in case guests needed to cool off.

I had used this old window frame to display photos for Finley's party, but used it as a sign for Sage's.

Favourite photos of my three year old {wha?! how?!} from the year were displayed on a big photo wall. I didn't use washi tape to stick them up this time though. Lesson learned!

Ok, let's head outside and into the back yard where everything was happening!

Polkadotted gate!


We were lucky enough to borrow a lot of tables, tents and umbrellas from Mr. P's parents who hold a huge family reunion every year and they have quite an inventory of outdoor party gear!

And this is where we put the art in the pARTy...canvases were hung on the fence for each wee guest, along with customized 'smocks' {large white t-shirts} for painting. The littlest guys had wee canvases.

The kids loaded up their paper plate palette with all sorts of paints at the Picasso Paint Station.

Truthfully, I didn't quite believe the kids would actually paint. At least not all of them, and not at the same time. But to my surprise they did! They all did! Even the littlest ones. It was an adorable sight actually, all the kids lined up in their giant t-shirts.

Yes that's a crayon jumping castle you see in the background! I had no idea there was such a thing. My hubby, Mr. P., found it online at a company nearby.

These cute little snack cups are from Target and went along with the colourful dots motif.

Sage's favourite colours are pink and blue. So even though I decorated with a rainbow of colours, I did mainly stick with pink and blue for the tableware. I spotted the watercolour dot napkins on clearance at Party City

Sage's yearly 'love' signs were hung on the fence. It's so interesting to see the changes from year to year!

As mentioned, it was a sweltering hot day! And our house is pretty new so we don't have a tree or stitch of shade in the backyard. So we set up a sprinkler and a little kiddie pool filled with water and balls. The water may have been more of a hit than the jumping castle. It's the simple things.

Here's the birthday girl, cooling off in the sprinkler and having a blast in the pool. Seriously. Why did we waste our money on a jumping castle?!

Let's not forget about the loot bag! Lots of art-filled goodies in here and some old fashioned candied dots. They tasted like wax, but whatevs! 
{Lesson learned from this party: taste the treats before you hand them out}.

The day after the party, Sage was eating breakfast and was very quiet, very reflective. She wasn't saying much and then blurted out "that was a really great birthday party." Awwww....what a sweetie she is. Love that girl. And that's why we keep throwing these big birthday bashes again and again!