April 28, 2010

My Neighbourhood

{a small town in a big city: the sharpening truck}

If you have not experienced the sharpening truck before, he drives around ringing a bell much like the ice cream man. If you come out to the truck he will sharpen knives, scissors, lawn mower blades, etc. while you wait.

There are some definite signs that the neighbourhood I live in is more like a small town then a big city, for example the sharpening truck. I love that people and services like this have been able to survive which I believe is because I live in a big city. I grew up in a small city and am sad to say that when I go to visit, it has lost most of it's small town charm, all of which has been replaced with big box stores. Am I the only one to notice this? I will be posting more examples of this phenomenon. Save the family owned small businesses.

April 27, 2010

The Prettiest Chef's Apron

If you are a friend of mine you will inevitably receive something handmade as a gift. I really enjoy coming up with new things to sew and craft for the people I care about. A couple of months ago I was coming up with a gift for a friend of mine who enjoys cooking. I wanted to make her an apron but I didn't want it to be too girly and it definitely had to be functional, from this the apron below was born.

The shape of the apron is similar to a traditional chefs apron with ties that double up and tie in the front, a pocket and a loop to hold a towel for your hands. All of these details allow it to be a functional apron that isn't too frilly. That said I wanted it to be reminiscent of an apron your mother or grandmother would have warn which led to the fabric choice. I then choice a 1 1/2 inch twill tape that was in the same colour family for the ties and trim.

I made a tag for the gift from a luggage tag that I stamped and embellished. I know that my friend Jessica is enjoying her new apron, I now plan on making one for myself.

April 23, 2010

Photo Palette

Photo by: Cassandra Radstaak
{Favourite things: Inspired by Magnolia Tree Photo}

I absolutely love Magnolia Trees and was instantly inspired by the photo above to put together a grouping of items I love that share the same colour palette as the Magnolia Tree Photo.

1. Ben Simon shoes that I bought in Brooklyn last spring 2. Coloured Vinyl Mark Sultan 3. Coloured Vinyl The Fresh and Onlys 4. Club Monaco Limited Edition Reissue Sweatshirt 5. Diana+ with Instant Back I love this camera 6. Parker Pen 7. Graph Paper (possibly from my Math Teacher Days) 8. Moleskine Notebooks from my notebook a month year planner

Spring on the Patio

{citrus and sherbet}
Above is a colour palette created from the colours on my patio and some of my favourite flowers.

A yellow plastic stool makes the perfect side table for a drink and a snack.

My orange Solair chair with my custom made back pillow. I used this vintage inspired fabric to compliment the retro Solair chair.

A gorgeous Forsythia Bush down the street. An immediate sign of spring and one of my favourites.

April 21, 2010

Monograms and Personalization

Clockwise from top left: Sweaters (J. Crew), Stationary (Kate Spade for Crane), Tote bags (Martha Stewart.com), Christmas Crackers and Boxed Stationary with Martha Stewart Stamp Pad (Cassandra Radstaak)

From sweaters to stationary I can't get enough. There is something very satisfying about pulling out a card to handwrite a letter and seeing your name or initials printed, embossed or letter pressed onto a piece of card that could only represent one person - you. The same goes for sweaters, tote bags or even pyjamas and robes.

This past Christmas was all about personalization. I wanted to add a personal touch to our Christmas dinner with personalized Christmas crackers. I started with toilet paper rolls wrapped them with craft paper, stuffed them with shredded paper, toys and movie quotes, tied them up with some wide ribbon and embellished with japanese masking tape and each persons first initial. It was easy to execute and fun for everyone.

Personalized stationary, in my mind, is the gift that keeps on giving. I really wanted to make some stationary for my friend Ann Marie but have found that when I design stationary and give it as a gift people tend to want to save it and it doesn't get used. To combat this issue I decided to have a stamp made creating never ending possibilities for the recipient. It was very easy and reasonably priced.

If you're looking for a personal touch monogram it.

April 19, 2010


It has been beautiful the last couple of days and I think I can finally say with all the trees in bloom that spring is here. This photo was taken with a Diana + camera with the Instant Back attachment and embellished with Japanese masking tape. It looks so pretty I might turn it into a card or gift enclosure.


"Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second."
-William James