Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas in the Country

I love spending Christmas with my family at our cottage north of Montreal. The drive there is always beautiful, I couldn't wait to get there.

The beautiful country roads on my drive.

Our picturesque old schoolhouse church.

Since there is no heat or electricity inside, we all wear our finest winter wear as we sing Christmas songs.

We found a beautiful pine tree from the forest around the cottage, it makes the whole house smell great. With ten of us spending Christmas together, there are bound to be lots of gifts under the tree!

We decorate the tree with our handmade decorations from our childhood.

I found this vintage sled at my local thrift shop and couldn't wait to have my friend's three kids to enjoy it.

The view from our front window. We love watching the deer eat out of the feeder at night.

If we don't see the deer, at least we can tell that they've visited...

The cottage is a French-Canadian style that is covered in barn wood.

Our wood shed although functional looks beautiful in photographs.

The frozen lake is so peaceful and quiet to walk on.

I am grateful to have a beautiful place to spend holidays and such an amazing family to spend them with.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas too and will have a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I found these blocks spelling out the word NOEL at my local thrift store. At 50 cents a piece they were a bargain but certainly looked like they were only worth that much!

The blocks were made of plaster and were painted gold in some areas and left unpainted in others. I knew they would look fantastic if they were given an aged look and I did so using a crackle paint technique.

Now they are ready for a beautiful Christmas table setting...Happy Holidays!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Great Gifts!

Christmas is approaching fast...visit my store for some last minute gift ideas and take advantage of the sale prices!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Lovely Lantern

I found this lantern at an outdoor flea market this past fall. It had been exposed to the elements and developed a beautiful patina and rust. It had old wires running through it and was intended as an outdoor light.

Instead of re-wiring this lantern, I decided to use it at a beautiful Christmas decoration. I removed the top part that would attach to a ceiling and added a chain to hang it. All of the original glass was there but I didn't use it all. I kept the glass on the underside in place to hold in the candle, but I left out the glass on the sides. With the lantern now open, the candle is really featured and we can appreciate more of the rust and patina on the inside. A red satin bow and a branch of berries finish off this holiday look.

Even though we don't have snow in Montreal yet, this lantern is really putting me in the Christmas spirit!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Story of Stuff

I came across this amazing short documentary a few years ago and it really changed me. At the time I was working as a product designer in the home decorating industry. I was contributing to the chain of stuff and didn't even know it. The products I was designing were only meant to last a short while and then be thrown out, either because they were such poor quality or because they were no longer in style. These products were being produced and shipped from the other side of the world so that we in North America could enjoy them at a low cost.

But where does all that "stuff" go when the next trend comes along and all the new "stuff" is brought in to replace the old? We aren't encouraged to think about this because if we did, guilt and conscience would certainly put a stick into the spokes of the cycle of consumerism.

When I started my company, I wanted to approach decorating more conscientiously and "the story of stuff" was never far from my mind. I didn't want to go into a home and have my clients get rid of everything only to replace it with the newest trend. I believe that displaying family heirlooms gives a home such character and it tells a story about our lives. When a client has dated or well worn furniture and objects, I often refurbish and update them. I do my best to keep newly purchased items on my decorating projects to a minimum. Garage sales, vintage stores and the internet are where I find so many unique and quality pieces to decorate with which keeps pre-loved items circulating locally and out of landfills.

We've been convinced for too long that we need to buy the next biggest and best thing to keep up with our neighbors and appear that we've "made it" but this kind of consumerism has come at a high price to humankind and the earth.

Check out this amazing thought provoking documentary