Everyone loves a cute furry little critter. The little round bellies, the soft ears, their sweet little noses… But not everyone really wants them all living in their house. I think chipmunks are adorable, and have a well-known affection for little monkeys, but that in no way means I want one in my living room! (Good Lord, I would need a live-in maid and a lot of Prozac!). But don’t worry, you can indulge your love of precious furry faces without having to turn your home into a small zoo.
In a small town in New Brunswick you can find McBride House, home to some of the most lovable critter-types you could ever hope to see. Bella is a talented (and patient) needle felting artist, and she loves to create these fantastic fluffy friends:
With Easter fast approaching, Bella has reduced the price of all her bunny and chick sculptures by 10%… all the more reason to bring one home for the holiday!
If you want to bring one of these sweet creations home to live with you, stop by the McBride House Etsy shop. You can also learn more about Bella and see new works on her blog, or drop by for a visit on Facebook.
P.S. I know that it is just barely spring, and Christmas is a loooong way off, but if you are a “shop-ahead” kind of person, you won’t want to miss Bella’s felted Santa sculptures, they are lovely!
Everyone has different aspects of their personality, even if they don’t often get to see the light of day. Right now I am usually wearing my “busy working mother” hat, with the occasional “goofy friend” or “cheesy romantic wife” thrown in for good measure. But lately I am missing a few other sides of myself. I am currently working on re-introducing myself to the “adventuring traveler”, and maybe someday I’ll have the time to get reacquainted with the “wistful daydreamer” who used to hang out for hours in the branches of a favorite tree.
It is she, the wistful daydreamer who would feel perfectly carefree and at ease in the beautiful bohemian inspired clothing from the Barefoot Modiste.
Milli is a self-taught seamstress who calls Edmonton home. She started sewing at the tender age of eight, and hasn’t looked back since. You can sometimes see the influence of her African roots in her work, and there is a freewheeling gypsy vibe that brings to mind music, laughter, and stories around a campfire.
Milli has a mild obsession with fabrics, and is always on the lookout for fabulous finds that make their way into her pieces. Many of the materials she uses are reclaimed from thrift store or garage sale finds, so you can be sure that anything she makes is truly one of a kind.
~Here’s to embracing all the different sides of our many-faceted selves!
Monday was a big day for some very dear friends of mine. They welcomed a beautiful baby girl into their lives, and she has since stolen everyone’s hearts! (Funny how babies can do that so fast… You just can’t fight those eyes, and the adorable little fingers and toes). So I have had “baby girl brain” all week, and thus have stumbled upon Little Jumping Beans. They have the sweetest little shoes, bibs, and crib sheets, all in fabulous fabrics that any fashionable new parent will love.
Jaimie is a mom of two who has a soft spot for pretty fabric and hollywood gossip. She sews all of her creations in her Calgary home.
As an extra bonus, 10% of sales are donated to a different charity every month! I love it when you can shop and do good things for the world at the same time. Visit the Little Jumping Beans Etsy shop for more great stuff, or drop by Facebook and say Hi!
Celebrating the sweetness of new life,
It may feel that April Showers and May Flowers are still light years away, but the truth is that Easter (and all it’s Spring-y goodness) will be here in just a few short weeks. So I can’t hold out any longer, I just have to tell you about So Jeo and her stunning Pysanky. I discovered her gorgeous traditional Ukrainian Easter eggs last summer, and wanted to share them with you at just the right time. Folks, that time is now… Feast your eyes on the fabulous colours and intricate patterns, all designed and created by hand using traditional techniques.
The images are built up by using alternating layers of carefully applied hot beeswax and dipping the egg in various shades of dyes. Then the wax is melted away, leaving only the lovely designs to be admired and treasured for generations.
So Jeo even works with teeny tiny delicate finch eggs to create lovely Pysanky jewelry pieces as well. Once they are sealed and covered with a clear polymer finish, they are durable and strong enough to wear without fear of damaging them.
So Jeo is a self-taught Pysanky artist, who imagines the egg as her canvas, and is inspired by the natural elements around her Nova Scotia home. She even welcomes commissions, so if you have a vision for something you would like to see, she will do her best to make it a reality. You can see what she has to offer on her Etsy shop, or visit her website for a stunning gallery and to learn more about the traditional art of Pysanky. You can also join her on Facebook or Twitter.
How Egg-ceptional! (ouch… sorry!)
I will admit that I was a bit of a bookish child growing up. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly climbed my share of trees and rode my bike for days on end, but I have always found a good book to be something totally magical. It’s not at all surprising then, that for a good chunk of my life I entertained dreams of being a writer. I outlined plots, sketched characters for my great Canadian novel, and lurked around corners to hone my skills as an investigative reporter. Now I’m all grown up, and even though I may not be a Canadian Lois Lane, a really nice notebook can still make me swoon!
Why would you settle for a plain old boring notebook, when you can have something as fresh and pretty as these?
New Leaf Handmade Goods is the partnership between sisters Maria and Cecilia. Based out of Swift Current Saskatchewan, they have blended their love of paper and fabric with artistic talent and thrift-store sleuthing to create these beautiful books. The paper inside is all reclaimed, recycled or repurposed, so they are lovely to look at and easy on planet earth!
Mixed in among the blank pages in each notebook, you can find reclaimed treasures like sheet music, tracing paper, and map pages that give each book some serious personality. Maria and Cecilia even include a few notes about the origins of “your” paper, so you can truly get a feel for where the pages came from. Then it’s up to you to fill each page with whatever your heart desires.
There are even some childhood favorites that will bring back happy memories. I just read this one to my little girl a few days ago!
Want to see what else the sisters have to offer? Head on over to the Etsy shop where you will find plenty more notebooks to choose from, as well as a whole bunch of great pillow covers like this:
Then, when you are done browsing, stop by their Facebook page or Twitter stream and say Hello, or visit the blog for musings, DIY and even a newsletter. Also, make sure you wish the girls a Happy Birthday because New Leaf turns one year old in just a couple of weeks! Congratulations Ladies, and keep up the great work!
As many of you know, I have recently returned to my “outside-the-home” job after maternity leave with my little munchkin. This also means, among other things, a return to planning and packing lunches. So far I have managed to get something together every day and avoid starvation (or a desperate McDonalds’ run). However, usually my lunch has ended up thrown into a big ugly shopping bag. So what’s the big deal with that? Nothing really, but picture this: Me, attempting to look “professional” and “put together” (ha!), carrying my purse, baby’s daycare bag, and a grocery bag lunch, while balancing the baby on my hip and fishing my keys out of a pocket. Yeah, that’s what I thought.
So, while it might not be a huge deal to have a stylish and pretty bag to carry my lunch, I think it will make a difference in how I feel about myself each day as I dash off to work. Enter: Urban Harmonie Designs. I think these eco-friendly, reusable, and super-chic lunch and snack bags are fantastic!
These bags are made with laminated cotton, and are free of all the nasty stuff that normally accompany most plastic items. Even better: you can just wipe them clean with warm soapy water! Vicki (aka Urban Harmonie) has a love for all things vintage, so her fabric choices often have a retro feel. Her bags are all handmade in her Vancouver studio.
Now if only I could be as inspired about what to put *in* the lunch bag!
Here at my house we are in the midst of a not-so-fun baby milestone. My little girl is getting her first molar(s) and it is turning out to be a pretty difficult experience for all involved. The poor kiddo is either whimpering in her sleep, sobbing in pain, or clinging on for soothing snuggles and cuddles. We are doing our best using all the standard teething tips and tricks, and hopefully soon those sneaky teeth will come through and all will be well again. In the meantime, anything that offers comfort to my little girl is golden in my books! I think these adorable hug-able fleece pillow monsters from LemonPie are just the ticket.
These pillow pals would be perfect for a kids bedroom, or playroom, or the living room for a fun-loving family! I believe that every day should have smiles and snuggles, and these LemonPie monster creations supply plenty of both. The pillows come in regular size (about 7″ x 7″) or large (about 9″ x 9″) if you want more squeezable fun. Visit the Cargoh store or the Etsy shop to meet the rest of the LemonPie monster family. Head to the blog , facebook, or twitter, and get to know Klaudea and Lawrence (aka: the LemonPie team). There is even a giggle-worthy Monster’s Day Out video on YouTube!
Because everyone deserves the comfort of a warm, friendly hug… even if you aren’t busy growing molars!
A dear friend of mine is expecting her first baby in just a few weeks. Everyone is understandably very, very excited, and hotly anticipating the big arrival. But there is one problem: they don’t really know what to do with the nursery. You see, baby’s gender is remaining a mystery, and Mommy and Daddy-to-be prefer a modern style. Cheesy over-the-top teddy bears or overtly “babyish” cartoony animals just won’t cut it. So, being the good friend that I am, I have used my “expert googling internet-thingy” skills to hunt up some pretty, gender neutral, and 100% cheese-free wall decor that would be perfect for any nursery.
Leo Little Lion is based in Montreal, and they create unique, original wall decals and work with you to make sure that your decal is exactly the way you envisioned it. To top it all off, every purchase you make from Leo Little Lion is a purchase that makes a difference. A percentage of all Etsy sales is constantly reinvested at Kiva.org to support micro-loans that change lives all around the world. That’s something that can make you feel as good as your newly decorated walls look!
There are also decals that can go anywhere in your home, so baby doesn’t get to have all the fun. I particularly like this bouquet of tall roses:
You can find Leo Little Lion on their website, the Etsy shop, Cargoh shop, Facebook, and Twitter. What a fun and easy way to add some style to any room, and simple to change whenever the mood strikes!
Lately Sarah and I have both been feeling the need for a little “me time”, some quiet space within our busy days that is just for us. A peaceful moment filled with things that inspire us and make us happy. Since lovely jewelry always makes me smile, I knew that I wanted to share some with you today. Billy Would Designs are made with reclaimed hardwood, and feature smooth, elegant, organic shapes and designs. The moment I saw Adea’s work, it was as though a wave of calm washed over me, and it was just what I needed during an otherwise hectic morning!
Of course we believe that men should accessorize too, and Billy Would has a whole selection of items made from used and broken skateboard decks that would be perfect for any gender! I know that Sarah’s husband received a fantastic pair of cuff links for Christmas, and I am tempted to play follow the leader* and get a pair for my dear husband! I also really love the belt buckles and the vintage feel… so cool.
You can find Billy Would products in her Cargoh store, or click here for a list of retail locations, maybe there’s one near you! You also won’t want to miss her website to see an even bigger assortment of her beautiful work. If you tweet, then follow along on Twitter, or join the party on Facebook!
*hey, I am the little sister, and while I heartily deny ever “copying” Sarah, I will admit that from time to time she has been known to get to a good idea first! At which point it’s not so much copying as it is a vote of agreement. :-p
In less than two weeks my baby girl will be celebrating her first birthday. In the midst of all those “how did my baby grow up so fast?” moments, I am planning a small but joyful little celebration fit for an energetic, cuddly, and all around amazing little girl. Yes, I am admittedly biased, but I think that is my prerogative as her mother! I have a plan for a couple of gifts (handmade, of course!), and intend to bake a delicious cake that I will hopefully manage to transform into a monkey. But, as this is my first attempt at planning a birthday party for my very. own. child (eek!) there are many details that I haven’t ironed out quite yet. One of those would be a topper for my hopefully magnificent monkey cake. So off to the internet I went, and boy, did I hit the jackpot! Lesley Wellington Cake Toppers (aka: The Cat’s Pajamas), are unique, fun, and super-cute. Just right for any happy celebration you can possibly imagine.
Lesley also has fabulous ornaments that will capture your heart and personality. I know it’s a little early for holiday shopping (ok, a LOT early – our 2010 tree is still in our living room), but why not do it now while the holidays are fresh on your mind, and the storage boxes are still easy to reach!
Lesley sculpts her little creations from polymer clay at her home in Hamilton, Ontario. She also welcomes custom work, just let her know what you are looking for, and she can make it happen!
Here’s to celebrations all year round!