Art and Inspiration

I recently discovered the work of American artist Kevin Peterson online and was blown away. Wildlife and children in an urban environment, a combination I've never seen before. Make sure to check him out.

 Photo by Kevin Peterson

Photo by Kevin Peterson

In a few days we are headed to the Albright- Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo NY. I hope I leave feeling an urge to create, this often happens to me after viewing other artists work in person. There are quite a few murals I have discovered that are on my must-see list while we are in town. This is one of them entitled "We Are Here" by White Bicylcle Design Studio.

 Photo by Tom Loonan

Photo by Tom Loonan

I've been looking online trying to figure out what kind of moulding I want to do on the main wall in our living/dining area. This space designed by Amber Lewis caught my eye, our wall will be painted white. I like the spacing used and the flat pieces of wood (MDF). I've been wanting to get this project done for years, let's hope this summer it actually happens.

 Photo by Amber Lewis

Photo by Amber Lewis

The new Florence and the Machine album just came out and it's on repeat at our house. I always have music on while I'm creating and she is at the top of my play list.



This just arrived in my inbox, and it could not have come at a better time. "If you’re an ambitious, creative person you’re definitely going to have to train yourself to focus & hone in on what your mission is and what your priorities are all.the.time. because it’s easy to get excited about ideas, get distracted, and then feel lost in the noise. Don’t get lost. Stay grounded. And proudly be who you are. Stay boss." xx-Gina Moccio founder of Boss Babe Club

 Artwork by Libby Vander Ploeg

Artwork by Libby Vander Ploeg

Have a great week guys!




Bedroom Makeover

When we first moved into our home my now eight year old daughter Stellan wanted a pink room. Fast forward to today and pink is definitely not her favourite color. Here are a few shots of what her room looked like before.

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 All of these shots were taken by Lauren Kolyn.

All of these shots were taken by Lauren Kolyn.


To switch things up on a budget all I needed was to change a few elements. I bought a gallon of white paint to cover up the pink that I had very carefully taped out. Two yards of Nate Berkus fabric that was on clearance for $6 to re-upholster the headboard. A new darker duvet cover, white was not the best choice as I would often find pencil crayons or markers on her bed.


I had a small desk in my basement studio that I had got at an estate auction for $20. It is the perfect size for this space and now she has a spot to sit and draw. Her desk chair is one of two, the other one sits in my studio. I bought this metal occasional chair years ago at a second-hand shop and I have requested that she doesn't pile all of her stuffed animals on it so that she can actually sit here and read if she wants to.

Her gallery wall got a little smaller, she requested that we keep the pieces I hung back up. Thifted wooden butterflies, her first real painting she made when she was 3 and a unicorn that hung in her Aunt's room when she was little.


Her bedroom has a huge closet so a dresser is not required. She loves creating and last summer took a pottery class, this new shelf we picked up at Winners gives her a spot to display her favourite pieces. A few touches of greenery help to break up all of the various animals.


Her old nightstand has a shelf where we put baskets for her socks and underwear. This has now been put in the closet as it's on wheels and quite versatile. Since we now have a lamp on her desk she really didn't need anything too large beside her bed.

This vintage rug I scored at an estate sale was previously in our kitchen, but I thought these colours worked great in here. She often complained she would lose her small toys in her shag rug, this one is flat so all the Legos and Shopkins can stand up easily. Her mirror which I found for $10 was hung back on the same wall.


We had been looking online at wallpaper to put on the wall behind her bed, but it really was out of the budget. I decided to hand paint a fun pattern in a dark blue paint I already had on hand. Hopefully she likes it for years to come as it took me a few days to complete!


At the fabric store, she fell in love with this round pillow and bought it with her own money. The fun print above her bed by September Wren was previously on the gallery wall in our living room.  I thought it went perfectly in a kids space. That bentwood stool has been painted a lot, I had it in the basement and it fits perfectly for her water at night. I think I will repaint it again, but I haven't decided on a color yet.


This wooden planter previously hung in my husbands office in our basement. I took out the faux plant and hung it here beside the window. I already had the turquoise pot so it was an inexpensive way to add a pop of color to this corner. 


If you ever want a room or wall hand painted let me know, I had a lot of fun creating this space.


Holly's Dream Home

I know I'm not the only design lover who has been following along with Sarah Sherman Samuel's renovation project with actress Mandy Moore. Mid-century architecture is hands down my favourite style. Her space had me drooling from the start, and the design elements that were chosen are so good!!! In case you haven't checked out the article in Architectural Digest, I thought I would share some of my favourite shots with you.

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All photos by Architectural Digest. Check out the full feature in the magazine here. All those glass windows and that view, I can't even imagine!!

Today we booked tickets for our tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House next month. I can't wait to share our getaway with you.

My authentic self

I recently listened to a podcast by Kate Gremillion and honestly didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I did. I don't listen to a lot of them, but every now and again when I'm doing boring stuff around the house, like folding laundry, it helps time pass quickly.

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Selling yourself and your brand is something that is important in this day and age. Social media allows us to share ourselves and sell our product to people all over the world. Sometimes I wonder what it was that first attracted a new follower on Instagram or someone to my website. After listening to Kate's words I know that discovering my personal brand came quite naturally for me. I'm a visual person I have been since I was a child.

My strength is visual art and creating colourful artwork. I've mixed that with what I've always enjoyed, interior design & styling. "People want to share their experiences and make connections." -Kate says and I couldn't agree more.

"Opportunities come to us if we let those around us know what we are interested in, and what kind of opportunities we are looking for." I need to start doing this more. My friends and family know that I have a passion for writing about interior spaces. I do it because I love to read them and share them with others. I don't get paid to write my blog and currently do not have any companies that advertise on it. Maybe I need to change this? I am putting this out there for all my readers. If you work or own a company that would be a good fit let's chat. If you read about a position online for a contributor to a design based website, send me the link. I have a few artist friends that have been very kind and supportive, sending me job postings they hear of. Keep them coming!

 Photo by Anne- Marie Ezeard

Photo by Anne- Marie Ezeard

If you have been following along since the beginning you may know that I taught evening art classes part-time for several years. That has recently changed and now I have a part-time job during the day, which still allows me time to create and spend time with my daughters.

I remember when I was in college my friend asked me what my dream job was and I told her working for a home decor magazine. I honestly had no qualifications and didn't love writing so I'm not sure why I gave her that answer. My friend went on to study graphic design and work for several in-house publishers. Today I have a blog and discovered that I actually do enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts and interests with others.


I have never considered myself a blogger, I do it because I enjoy it. Not because it's a job and I have to. Maybe one day this will change, but it's going on three years now since I started my website. Thanks for following along, encouraging me and giving my artwork a place to call home.



Shelf Styling Tips

After I graduated with my BA in Visual Arts I then went to college to study something I've always been passionate about; Interior Design. That was 18 years ago, it really doesn't feel like that much time has passed.

When my friend Lesley asked me to share a few shelf styling tips on her blog I was on board. We have built-ins in our living room and they really pull the entire space together. You may require help from a friend or expert, but when you get it right you will just know. I kept ours the same for three years! That is an eternity in the world of design. If you don’t do anything too trendy, they will look great until you decide to change them again.

Check out the entire post here at Swell Made.

 Photo by Swell Made

Photo by Swell Made

Highlights of the week

Two weeks ago I made a lot of new work for an upcoming collaboration I'm excited about. So this week was about trying to get my house in order and doing some much-needed gardening. 

 Last year I discovered The Modern House. Even though I'm not planning on moving to Britain, it's still fun to see all of the beautiful homes & inspiring designs they promote. This one caught my eye...that pop of yellow is so fun. The architecture reminds me of a vintage dollhouse from my childhood. I love me a bungalow!

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Our vintage/new dining table is finally in the kitchen. (Read about it here) Which means changes need to happen soon. I have always hated the backslash in our kitchen & after four and a half years of living with it, I think I may have found an inexpensive solution. Peel & stick tiles, now I have to decide on how much of a pattern I want. Debating if I need to order samples or just go for it. 

 Our kitchen shot by Lauren Kolyn a few years ago. The glass tiles are much more beige in person, and stores please stop selling accent tile! I'm not a fan.

Our kitchen shot by Lauren Kolyn a few years ago. The glass tiles are much more beige in person, and stores please stop selling accent tile! I'm not a fan.

 I kind of like this graphic tone on tone pattern.

I kind of like this graphic tone on tone pattern.

Recently I read Emily Henderson's post about her being on the set of the television show New Girl. I had only watched a few minutes here and there but decided I should give it a go. I've been binge watching it ever since and am now on the third season. I laugh so hard in every episode and my husband even enjoys it as well. 

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Netflix brought back Arrested Development and we're loving it as well... Gob Bluth is my fav! If you want to feel like you've got your shit together, I suggest watching this or Shameless. They are both very strange families.

My husband was out of town which means I sat in bed and watched random celebrity interviews on youtube and caught up on design blogs.  I discovered this show and had another great idea...but realistically I need more hours in the day to accomplish everything I want to do.

I love this hand painted wall treatment and am going to try something similar in my daughter's bedroom. We've been talking about switching things up for a while and I love to decorate so it's a go. She was hoping for wallpaper and I would love to get this from Juju Papers, but it's not in the budget. Wish me luck with this technique.

 Photo by Mr. Kate

Photo by Mr. Kate

Since my house is already a mess I thought why not repaint our master bedroom as well. I'm doing it first as it will hopefully be quick and easy. I just happened to go grocery shopping yesterday and drive by Sherwin Williams to see that they were having a 40% off sale. It was meant to be folks!


I went with the shade of green on the left, the color was inspired by this room that Mandi Johnson used in her study which she is currently designing.

 This will be on my summer reading list.

This will be on my summer reading list.

It's been a while since I checked in here so I thought I would catch you up on what's happening. This tired lady is off to bed!





House Feature - Kristi Lucero

As soon as I discovered Kristi through Instagram I knew her home needed to be shared on the blog. Some people just have a great eye and sense of style, this lady knows how to make a space look good! 


"Hi I'm Kristi, I'm a Realtor in Montana with a major obsession with Interior Design. My family (husband and two boys, 3 and 5) and I built our home a year ago."


"We wanted something modern and smallish (it's less than 2300 sqft) but with a large open living area. Basically the opposite of the two ranch style homes we owned before this. It couldn't be too precious.. because, two boys are wild and crazy."


Kristi knows the importance of curb appeal and your home making a good first impression. How fun is her door bell from Rejuvenation. 


When you enter Kristi's home you are welcomed by this gorgeous vintage Oushak runner she discovered on Etsy. The bench provides a perfect spot for her sons to sit and tie their shoes. Her favourite light fixture in the home hangs in the foyer. In the evening it gives off a soft checkboard glow.


"We love our sectional, it’s a custom Jonathan Louis design. Our wonderful, sweet, sweet puppy has chewed a few holes in the cushions.. but let’s not get into that. This is my favorite spot to sit and sip coffee and check my phone every morning."

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The family dog Nova making herself right at home.


"We live in MT, surrounded by mountains and lakes so I try to make sure our home fits our surroundings and is a true representation of the people who live in it. My style is eclectic with Scandinavian influences and a pinch of boho."


The palette in the kitchen is neutral and timeless. Kristi has chosen various materials that add texture to the space, including these gorgeous leather stools. The open concept floor plan makes this family home a great spot to entertain.


"Floating shelves were always a key part of our kitchen design. Our builder wanted a ridiculous price to install them and he didn’t seem to have a clue how it could be done without side supports. My dad installed some pretty sweet floating shelves in their kitchen, so I knew it could be done. Plus, they’re all over Pinterest. So we planned to do it our selves."

"My husband's biggest hesitation was drilling into the tile we just had professionally installed. So it literally took 10 months (and me requesting them as my Birthday gift) before I could talk him into doing this project. Once he started though, he realized it wasn’t all that hard. It only took him an hour from start to finish."


Kristi had a difficult time deciding on what piece of furniture to put underneath the television as they didn't need storage for electronics. "I came across this simple shelving unit from Ikea and decided I could push two together. It was a perfect solution and the price was right."


Now Kristi has a great spot to display her vintage pottery collection. My kind of gal!


"Big (black) windows were a must. I love that our home has an abundance of natural light!" I know I'm not the only person drooling over them.


"The big tree was an awesome Craigslist score, $55 for a house plant that big, yes please!!!  It’s about 9 ft tall, I re-potted it and viola! It weighs a million pounds and my kids like to dig in it with their toys. But I love it!"

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Kristi got this large Fluorite rock for Christmas from her in-laws. They know her taste so well & began this collection for her from their travels to North Dakota. From the size of them I would assume they were quite pricey, but Kristi tells me they are $20-$40 from a local gem shop. My daughters would lose their minds if I ever bought them one of these beauties...gorgeous!


"With two young kids, it was a high priority to have a designated play space on our main level.  We chose a floor plan with a Den/4th Bedroom that we can use as a playroom while they’re young. This way we can see what the kids are doing without them completely destroying our main living space. (disclaimer: they still destroy our main living areas, but this helps a tiny bit!)

"It was important to keep it kid friendly yet aesthetically pleasing. The wood cabinets are a stylish and affordable storage solution, they hold soooo many toys and games. The kids and I both really enjoy hanging out in here. It’s bright, cheery, comfortable and has a pop of color that I love."


"The coffee table is vintage and was such a score. My husband was demoing an old hospital a few years back and found this in their storage– it was covered in mouse poop and ready to go to the dump when he saved it. Smart man." It looks great paired with these junior Panton Chairs from Design Within Reach.


I love the mix of textiles Kristi has used in her youngest son's room. Nothing too juvenile that he will outgrow, just classic colors and patterns. I have the same vintage rug in our home, it's so beautiful.


One of my favourite elements in any home is artwork. Kids get so excited when they see something they made up on display, you can't have too much in my opinion.


"I love mixing in vintage treasures I've saved from the trash with vintage/handmade textiles I've sourced on Etsy with modern store bought things.  If you asked my husband what my hobbies are, he'd say collecting vintage dressers and chairs..only half joking."


"The boys’ bathroom was by far one of my favorite rooms to design. I love how playful the rope lights are for a kids space, you can knot them up or swag them anyway you want."


Kristi's art choices throughout her home are inspired by nature. She found this print on Etsy by searching Drone Photography. It looks great hung above these modern wall hooks. 


The large wood mirror from CB2 makes the space feel larger. A great trick to use if you have no natural light.


If you want to be that cool mom, then use chalkboard paint in your child's room. My daughters saw this and were very jealous. I honestly don't think I could handle the chalk dust.

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"My husband is an ex-carpenter so he was able to build a nice deck, and floating shelves in our kitchen and laundry room." I love how Kristi has treated this space like any other room in her home styling it with family photographs, artwork and collectibles.


"Our Master Bedroom is far from finished but I’m pretty happy with it in it’s current state. In fact, it hasn’t changed at all since we moved in. I still need to find a comfy rug, the perfect wood night stands and I would love to do a mural or wallpaper on the wall behind the bed. I have big plans later on, to panel the ceiling in painted white wood and add two wood beams. But since those things take time (and lots of money) I'll just enjoy it as-is."

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Kristi has been a realtor for almost ten years, so it's safe to say she has seen a lot of interiors. She hit the jack pot one day when a renter left this vintage Thonet chair in one of her Listings. "It was on it's way to the dump- I was like Nooooooo!!"


A perfect spot to sit and relax after a long day.

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I want to thank Kristi for sharing her home with me. If I ever travel to Montana you know I'll be looking you up so we can hit the thrift stores!

New Season, New Space & a Giveaway!

Spring is officially here, even though there is still snow on the ground. I think it's safe to say we are all ready to change up the decor when we look around our homes.

Is there a room in your home that could use some freshening up? I've teamed up with some local companies and we've decided to put together this ultimate giveaway. One lucky winner is going to win this amazing prize! Details on how to enter are at the end of the post.

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This painting I created will inject a pop of colour into any room.

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Sage Living & domino are inspiring coffee table books filled with endless decor inspiration. Check out Watson & Lou in Peterborough & shop their collection of unique handmade products. Also read about the fun & innovative workshops they offer.

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You know I have a weakness for anything mid-century. Dwellissimo in Port Hope has a wide selection of furniture & vintage decor. They are giving the lucky winner this modern chair. 

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Emerence of Stoney Lake Textiles has sewn this pair of gorgeous toss cushions that will instantly transform your sofa from blah to fabulous! The details like those gold zippers, I'm in love.

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Casa Alma out of Cobourg has an amazing collection of vintage rugs. Their collection of curated goods combines vintage finds, clean lines and globally influenced pieces. All of these colours are my favourites, it would look right at home in my entry.

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Aluminum black legs with a salvaged tongue and groove wood top. A touch of vintage charm to add into your space by Project Lola out of Cobourg.

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You know I have a thing for plants, they really do liven up a space & are an inexpensive addition to your home. The Local Bloom in Cobourg connects flower lovers with 100% locally grown blooms.

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Angie of Sticks and Strings Macrame is a busy lady, teaching workshops & creating these whimsical weavings throughout the Kawarthas. This boho wall hanging would look amazing in any setting.

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Thalita Murray Design is offering her design skills to you. Either an In-home consultation or e-package to help you transform your space.

This giveaway would not have happened without the amazing photography skills of Chantelle Watt. Based out of Cobourg Chantelle believes in "Capturing real love and real life. I love the chaos of family sessions and the love and support you can feel at weddings. I find joy in delivering clean, timeless photographs that will fill your walls, your heart (and likely your social media profile) for years to come."  She is giving the winner a $100 Gift Certificate!

You can enter the giveaway here. It runs until Friday, April 13th so tell your friends. It just may be you taking home all of these gorgeous pieces.

 I am blown away by how kind people are when you just reach out. Remember small businesses love other small businesses & want to connect & collaborate. Good things happen when creative minds join forces. I'm so happy to be apart of this & look forward to sharing more fun contests with you over the next year.


New Collages

In early January I set out to the thrift shop with one thing on my list. I was looking for some interesting books I could clip inspiration from to create collages. I've wanted to get out the scissors and paper for a while now but never made the time.  

 This was the starting point. I knew I wanted this graphic yet organic element to be the focal point.

This was the starting point. I knew I wanted this graphic yet organic element to be the focal point.

 I made two pieces I thought worked as a set, I was a happy maker sitting at her dining table.

I made two pieces I thought worked as a set, I was a happy maker sitting at her dining table.

I submitted these designs to Jenny's Print Shop & they really liked them, but asked if I could make a third. I was very excited as I admire Jenny's design approach and style. I spent an entire weekend playing around before I was happy with the collection of three. So what is this print shop you are wondering?

"Jenny's Print Shop is a digital print shop where all original, high resolution prints are just $15 each. Immediately after making your purchase you will be emailed a link that allows you to download your images to your computer and then print them however you want! No need to pay for expensive framing with limited sizes and finish options. You have complete flexibility to use the images the way you want to use them! One of the reasons I felt strongly about not offering physical prints or framing at this time is I really like giving you guys flexibility with the prints now and in the future. You will have your digital print files forever! And you can print them multiple times for your own personal use. Maybe you found a great frame at a thrift store for just a few dollars. You can save hundreds of dollars on custom framing by printing your JPS image to fit the great frames you already have!"

 Photo by Jenny Komenda.

Photo by Jenny Komenda.

As of today, you can download these collages through Jenny's Print Shop. I've never made any prints of my work before, so I think this is such a wonderful idea. The print shop allows you to choose from many images that Jenny has photographed herself or you can choose from one of the artist collaborations. All artist collaborations are priced at $20 each, affordable original art is something I am very proud to support. If you do decide to print these out and hang them up at home make sure you send me a photo so I can see how they look in your space. 

If you have never heard of Jenny Komenda before you should go check out her blog Little Green Notebook. I've been reading it for years and was so happy that these prints were featured in one of her recent design projects for the Gentry project.

Just a little tip for you. If you subscribe to their newsletter you get a code for buy two prints get one free! I've also added some new paintings to my online shop if you want to check them out.

Happy Spring, the snow is finally melting around here and I ready to put away my toque.

Holly's Dream Home

When I come across a beautiful home I get excited and a little envious. Gemma van der Swaagh is an interior designer out of Boston. Her family home is filled with colourful patterns, bold wallpaper and a mix of eclectic and modern furniture and accessories.

I admire Gemma's style and she has an art collection that makes my heart skip a beat. Check out these photos and see what grabbed my attention. I really don't think I can pick a favourite room, but her master bedroom is high on the list. 

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All photos are by Gemma van der Swaagh Interior Design.

Licensing Artwork

Last week I read a comment on IG that made this post topic come to life. The painting in the image below was styled in a space and someone asked who the artist was. We no longer have Target in Canada but I knew that it was available there as everyone on the internet appears to have purchased it. As I continued to read the comments, one appeared that said "I'm the artist", I was curious to find out more.

After browsing Pamela Munger's Etsy shop and seeing her work I sent her a message. We chatted back and forth and she has been so kind to share a bit of her journey. If you have ever thought about licensing your designs or artwork this post may be helpful for you. 

 Photo from Emily Henderson of Pamela's painting "October" available at Target.

Photo from Emily Henderson of Pamela's painting "October" available at Target.

 I know not everyone enjoys big box art, but this is very beautiful and affordable as well. It comes framed as shown above. 

There are a number of artists out there that may have feelings of self-doubt, believing they need an education in art to be taken seriously. Pamela is self-taught and here is a bit about her. Her Etsy shop has been open since 2006, and she enjoys working with oil and acrylics.

"My career as an artist started when I was teaching English and was looking for something to do creatively. I was given some art supplies one Xmas, painted my first painting and that was it. I was hooked. What started as a keen hobby grew to be a part-time income and now I work full time as an artist. I’m from southern California and currently reside in rural western Colorado where my husband and I have a farm where we grow hops for the Colorado microbreweries. The big open sky and land are a constant inspiration for my art."                                                                          

Pamela has sold work through Anthropology, HomeGoods & other retailers. Her work has also been featured on the television show Mad Men. "I’m all about experimentation with paint, surfaces and subject matter but I like to keep it simple and innocent, avoiding detail and not giving away the whole story. I lean towards the abstract because that’s where I can truly be creative and people can develop their own interpretation based on what they see, but I also do the occasional painterly landscape or still life." 

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"I was very lucky to be contacted online by the director of a major art manufacturer company called Artissimo Designs based in Los Angeles. She thought some of my art would work in the retail stores they work with so we agreed on a contract and I started submitting my images to them. They create samples of my work to present to the retailers such as Target, HomeGoods, HomeSense, Kirkland, etc. If one of my pieces get chosen, the retailer orders so many units and I get a royalty from that."

"When Target needed art for their new brand called Project 62 my painting 'October' was chosen to be reproduced under that line. It turned out to be popular with their consumers and has been great exposure for me as some design bloggers have featured it on their blog.  I have my name on a tiny sticker on the back of the painting so that helps also."

"Licensing art can be a great way to increase your income and get more exposure as an artist. Some artists don't care to have their work in the mass market industry and I can understand that but for myself, I think that the more people who can enjoy art, the better!"



Highlights of the week

A few things have brightened my mood lately which is needed when you still have a few more months of winter left.  This amazing pink sunset made my day last weekend, it couldn't get any more beautiful than this.

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My husband and I watched the movie Girls Trip recently and I really didn't go into it with high expectations. I didn't enjoy Bridesmaids, and thought this would end up being similar. I was wrong, I laughed out loud a lot! Comedian Tiffany Haddish, who acts in the movie, came out with a book and it's now on my need to read list. I will admit I don't read a lot of novels, it seems I'm attracted to biographies written by funny ladies, like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. I don't think there are any book clubs out there for me to join? 

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I recently discovered the talented photographer Julie Holder and was the lucky winner of one of her fine art prints. This is proof that people actually do win contests they find online, I have won three within the last year! (All art related) It was hard to choose a favourite as I have a thing for walls with texture and old doors. But, this piece titled "Blue" is on its way to me right now and I can't wait to figure out where I'm going to display it.

 Blue by Julie Holder

Blue by Julie Holder

Here are a few other prints of Julie's that I love!

 Pink Wall in Havana by Julie Holder

Pink Wall in Havana by Julie Holder

 Blanca by Julie Holder

Blanca by Julie Holder

 Color Blocking in Cuba by Julie Holder

Color Blocking in Cuba by Julie Holder

I've just started to doodle and create patterns on a tablet, this is very new for me. I am not an artist who uses a sketchbook to jot down ideas, so this has been fun and relaxing to use after the girls go to bed. I have my husband to thank for downloading me this app to use.


I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't watch the tv show This Is Us. I do know that Mandy Moore stars in it. I've been following her home renovation designed by Sarah Sherman and Emily Farnham Architecture. Her Midcentury home is so gorgeous, I had to share this. Below is a photo of one of the washrooms, you can check out to see the design plans and before shots in the link above. It's almost complete and I can't wait to see the space with furniture and accessories.

 Photo by Sarah Sherman

Photo by Sarah Sherman

I'm always looking around while I'm driving or walking, as you never know what may catch your eye and inspire a creative thought. Some friends have said that I find inspiration in the every day quite easily and I'm thankful for that.

 Photo from pinterest

Photo from pinterest

When all the holiday decorations come down I start to de-clutter and change things up. I also feel the desire to purge items that we don't really use.  Amber Lewis has great style and I recently saw this photo of her home and thought, I have that exact teak table in my basement! My mom thrifted it for me maybe nine years ago and I've always used it as a side table. I like how she uses it here as a coffee table in this seating area. I will definitely hold onto it now.

 Photo by Amber Lewis

Photo by Amber Lewis

My girlfriend and I don't talk as much since I moved from Burlington four years ago, but the other day she sent me a text that made me smile. She was catching up and reading my blog and came across this post. She liked the collage I did with my grandmother in it, and it has inspired her to create something similar in honour of her mom who has passed away.

I also received a lovely message from a collector after they opened up the painting I sent them. "AHHH! Your painting just arrived :) I am in love. LOVE. It is so pretty! Thank you very much Holly. I will get it hung shortly and photograph it. I really, really love your work. Don't stop painting :) you have a gift. Thanks for sharing it with me!

House Feature - Anne Tu Quoc

Anne and I began an online friendship last year and have since bonded over motherhood, our passion for thrifted and vintage decor and our love for a good cup of tea. Anne is an entrepreneur, like myself, and makes the most adorable baby moccasins which allows her to work from home and spend time with her growing family.

"i have two boys lenox and finn with my partner marc, and we live in a little city called fribourg in switzerland. we live right at the border between the german and french part from our country, so we speak both languages. we have lived in this apartment for 6 years, the housing prices are crazy high and we hope to one day buy a house. i think every room has changed at least three times since then. i love doing things myself and i always have idea's for changing things up. like painting a piece of furniture, sewing new pillow cases, or moving furniture around."

 Photo by maik-photography for

Photo by maik-photography for

"i love furniture. i sometimes dream of moving so i can start all over again and create a brand new space. i would describe our home as colorful and full of life. its's constantly changing. i love furniture with a history, and i have a story to tell about almost every piece we own. i think it is much more interesting to bring an old piece into a new home, it's so much more personal."


We share a similar love for greenery, although I don't have the green thumb that Anne has been blessed with. Each room in her home is filled with such unique vignettes and collectibles. The addition of plants really is an inexpensive way to elevate the design. The pink cactus print is by Anny Who.

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This Scandinavian teak bookcase is the perfect spot to showcase the families favourite books, toys, photos and treasures.


"you will find me at the thrift store almost every week, and most of the time i end up with some new pieces even though i wasn't looking for them. i see some chairs and i know these must come home with me, and i need to sell my old ones."


Anne has mixed a few pieces from Ikea and splurged on the vintage Togo Ligne Roset sofa designed in the 70's. The space is very open and her boys often play and make forts in this seating area. Her son Lenox made the hearts and black and white drawing that hang above the sofa. The skateboards are Marc's. Anne loved the colours and designs so she turned them into instant sculptures by hanging them on this gallery wall.

 Photo by maik-photography for

Photo by maik-photography for


The entrance leads you straight into the kitchen or to the living room on the left. The kitchen is compact and designed with modern appliances and hardware.


Anne has such a good eye, she thrifted this entire set! A classic Ghost chair mixed with open back metal chairs adds to the eclectic vibe in the dining room. A dark animal hide grounds the open space, creating texture on the light hardwood.


Natural light pours through the windows that lead to the backyard. I love the vintage pendant that Anne discovered above the table. Who needs a bar cart when you can have multiple shelves designated for your favourite cocktails!

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"i own a little company called petit mai and i produce baby leather moccs made of vegetable tanned leather and i love it! it's so great to be able to turn what you love into an actual job!"

How cute is the packaging these little shoes come in? It makes me want to have another baby so I can dress it up. 


The master bedroom is kept clutter free with the use of bookshelves and floating nightstands with storage. The drawing above the bed was done by her oldest son when his baby brother was born. It is their first family picture, what a beautiful keep sake. Anne has an ever changing collection of toss pillows in all of the rooms. The cloud pillow is made in Denmark by normadot. I'm envious as this is such an easy way to transform a bed or sofa. You can never have too many textiles, my husband may not agree though!


"i discovered my love for plants about two years ago, before this time i didn't own a single plant and the ones i had usually died after a couple of weeks. i don't know why, but since i started buying plants again almost all of them have survived. maybe it's because i talk to them, and maybe also because i love that they bring life into our home."


An up close look at a few of Anne's favourite plants. A true jungalow!


Every shelf in this home is so good! Her son's room looks so cozy with twinkle lights and a hanging canopy. The perfect spot to read a book or two.


"i like to change the look of our home with accessories like carpets, pillows, and some fresh paint. i don't really think of how i decorate our home a lot. it just comes naturally. i often walk into places and with my inner eye i imagine what i would do with it, i love doing this." The bunny print is by Anny Who.


In her other son's room a hand painted polka dot cabinet, as well as his collection of rocks and feathers create a focal wall. Anne's dad helped her build this bed and she sewed this canopy to create a cozy nook for Finn.


Anne studied piano for ten years and when her parents no longer had room for it she brought it here for the boys to practice on. "the lamp is an italian brand called stilnovo. i got it from my parents, who saved it from friends who wanted to throw it away. my parents didn't realize it's a vintage piece with some value, but they just thought of me and suspected i might like it. they were right!" The colorful landscape is by Swiss artist Iuna Tinta.  

Spaces like this really keep me excited about connecting with others who have a similar passion for design and interiors. If I ever travel to Northern Europe I will try my best to stop by for a tea, I can only imagine how fun it would be to go thrifting with you Anne.



Holly's Dream Home

The reality is that, it is freezing cold out, and we've been enjoying a lot of our holiday indoors. I'm becoming quite skilled at Uno and today I made my daughter quite happy by braiding her dolls hair, complete with beads. She looks like she was just chilling on the beach, while I'm wearing my toque 24/7.

I think I'm going to start sharing more spaces here that I come across online that just make me happy. I discovered this home last Spring and kind of forgot I wanted to share it with you. I hope you are cuddled up nice and warm on your sofa sipping a hot beverage. This space is so unique and eclectic. It's filled with colour and my favourite thing, art. The home owner is a graphic designer and the family has since moved but damn, I love it all! She has such a good eye and that bulletin board wall is so good.  I think I need to add a neon sign somewhere in our house this year.  

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Photography by Katrine Rohrberg for Another Ballroom.


Our New/Vintage Dining Table

Way back in July my husband and I scored a vintage replica Eero Saarinen dining table at an estate sale. I would show you a photo, but it was in two pieces when we picked it up and it is unfortunately still sitting in our dark basement not put together.

 This gorgeous design by Jonathan Adler is part of his new Trocadero Collection.

This gorgeous design by Jonathan Adler is part of his new Trocadero Collection.

As soon as I saw this image, I thought to myself that I really needed to try and get this beauty upstairs. The top is similar in design and the colour of wood is almost the same. This version is Rubberwood, I believe our's is teak. It really is a beautifully crafted table that will seat 6-8 people, and we will use it everyday for dining. As I said to my husband while we were bidding on's an heirloom piece. Hopefully our kids will fight over it one day for their own homes! I have also wanted to add moulding to the wall behind the table since we moved in four years ago, 2018 I think it might be the year.

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 Design by Allison Crawford, photo by Nicole Mlakar

Design by Allison Crawford, photo by Nicole Mlakar

Most Saarinen tables are oval, ours is a 60" circle. My husband thinks it will be tight, but I know it will fit and we will adjust to the space we have to walk around it just fine. We currently have a vintage rug under the table and it will not fit with the new one. Our hardwood is similar in tone to the table top so that's the only thing that I think will bother me. Our current table is glass and the one before that was glass, which is not ideal for kids but windex has been my daily friend for over 10 years.

 Photo: The Modern House

Photo: The Modern House

The above image is similar in design but our tulip base is white. The wood top appears to be divided into sections like Adler's design, this one looks like one piece of veneered wood. 

We have enough furniture now, so I really need to slow down on my thrifting skills in the New Year. My friend recently said that I'm the gal to go to if you are looking for that perfect piece, I'll take that as a compliment.


I save a lot of images on my phone and computer whenever I see something that catches my eye. I recently scrolled through them and decided I would share a few of my favourites with you.

 Photo by Nicholas Scarpinato

Photo by Nicholas Scarpinato

I just discovered California photographer Nicholas Scarpinato and his candy coloured cacti prints are amazing! I believe that shipping is included if you are in the US so that's a plus. 

 Photo by Black Crane

Photo by Black Crane

As soon as I saw this image it made me want to attempt to paint it. The dress by Black Crane is such a beautiful design and colour. I kept looking at it on my phone, and then one day I sat at my dining table and enjoyed the process of trying to paint an actual person. I will admit that it wasn't anything special, and I recycled it the next day. Inspiration usually doesn't come in the form of fashion for me, but hey I gave it a try.

 Photo by Sarah Sullivan

Photo by Sarah Sullivan

I am in love with Sarah Sullivan's work. From textiles, wall hangings and paintings, everything is so darn gorgeous and colourful. I scrolled her IG feed all the way back to 2015, so much talent! Sarah is based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, check out her shop here.

 Sarah's pillows are a work of art.

Sarah's pillows are a work of art.

Sarah says: "The personality of each piece is essential. Whether the life of the party or just a welcome friend, my work hopefully transports people to a place of pure, simple joy. I use traditional craft to create a world of youth, comfort, and whimsy. With a modern palate and a graphic eye, I hope to give society a break from clutter and chaos by providing art that one can literally wrap around themselves."

 Photo by Mandi Johnson

Photo by Mandi Johnson

When I sit and relax at the end of the day I often read a few design blogs instead of watching television. Mandi's blog Making Nice In The Midwest is new to me, and I love this sunroom she has recently designed. Her taste is neutral in comparison to mine, but her mid century aesthetic is what first attracted me. 

 Photo by Gray Malin

Photo by Gray Malin

Gray Malin has captured some incredible images over the years, but his latest collection is hands down my favourite. Iconic mid century designs styled in room vignettes in Bora Bora...crazy!! The above photo is "The Den" Eames classics have never looked so good.

 Photo by  Cassandra Lavalle

Photo by Cassandra Lavalle

My friend Laura is just that. A determined entrepreneur trying to raise her family and live out her creative dreams. She is a talented artist in Ontario whom I met a few a years ago. We began an online friendship and had the opportunity to meet in person over lunch and discuss art and our backgrounds in the field of interiors. She is such a supportive friend and I'm lucky enough to have my artwork in her home.

A makers auction called "Making Spirits Bright" begins next week to support Laura and her family. They have experienced a number of hardships this season and it's a blessing to be able to support them in this time. Please consider following along on IG @making.spirits.bright the auction is live December 12th. You get to shop some beautiful hand made gifts. I have recently finished this colourful plant study that I will be donating. My last collection of plant studies were created on canvas, this time I'm challenging myself and painting on wood panels.

 Eucalyptus in vase, with wallpaper inspiration from the  JuJu papers .

Eucalyptus in vase, with wallpaper inspiration from the JuJu papers.

Corner of my home

I got a delivery the other day and this handmade piece was inside. I love all shades of blue and this is the perfect addition to our living room. Liz at Elle Jay Home used vintage mud cloth fabric, check out her shop for unique one of a kind items. She has some great designs out for the holidays that are designed out of vintage wool blankets, complete with fringe.

 Reality is that my daughters love to use our throw cushions to make forts and cuddle with on the area rug.

Reality is that my daughters love to use our throw cushions to make forts and cuddle with on the area rug.


This is my favourite spot on the sofa, this blog post was written with my butt on that cushion and my feet up on that ottoman. One of the best decisions I made was getting this foot stool recovered with a flokati rug that we no longer used. I love the texture it adds to the space. A little 70's vibe, yes please!


My mother-in-law gave me this new plant, I read online that I should not water it during the winter months. I'm going to follow those rules, lets hope sunshine can keep it alive! I'm not a fan of red Poinsettias, so this pop of colour suits me fine for the holidays. I think I'll like it even more when it's just leaves.


It was 12 degrees the other day, which is crazy here in Canada at this time of the year. This gave me the perfect opportunity to finish painting our dining chairs. You would think I would have this on my to do list during the summer, but I'm a procrastinator. My almost 8 year old said it looked silly mismatched, I told her I would get them done before her Birthday party this weekend. I win! Check out this post to see the before of these thrifted beauties that were an amazing deal.

House Feature - Megan Buckland

I met Meg last year through Instagram. This photo captured my attention and I was curious to see what was behind the walls. It took a while to get it ready for the tour as they were finishing up some projects, but the time has arrived. Let's check out her wonderful space!

"Our home is tiny at just under 1000 SF and it works for us. We try really hard to be minimalists - keeping only what we need and using everything we have. Our design and decorating philosophy is pretty strict - if it requires too much effort or too much time, it gets simplified." I am trying to become more of a minimalist myself, but still have a lot of collectables and thrift shop finds that require lots of dusting...which everyone knows is no fun.

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"My husband Tony is a graphic designer, I'm a commercial interior designer turned stay-at-home-mom (2 years ago), and we have three kids, Oscar-9, Penny-6, and Simon 3. We live in Bloomington, Minnesota, which is a suburb of Minneapolis, in a 1950's ranch-style home which used to be Tony's grandma's! Although it's pretty unrecognizable to what it was when we moved in, his family gets a kick out of visiting and seeing the changes. I love that our home has history."

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Living in a smaller space with three kids can be challenging, but the family puts storage to use in the entryway. An Ikea cabinet has been customized with a solid wood top & a wire basket collects shoes and sports equipment.

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I love this bold pop of colour in the kitchen. The print is by artist Angela Hardison.

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Meg loves to cook and the family spends a lot of time hanging around this tulip dining table. The kids each have their own Stokke chair in red. If you are not familiar with this company you should check them out. The adjustable design ensures a comfortable and ergonomic seating position at any age. 

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"I love the kitchen and spend most of my time here. It's set in the back of the house and has great natural light. We remodelled the kitchen in 2008 and it's time for a refresh. We'll keep the basic layout the same so the changes are mostly cosmetic this time around. New appliances and cabinet fronts are being made." 


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When I asked Meg if they were doing the renovations themselves I laughed out loud at her response. "Except for painting, we haven't done any of the work to our house. Outside of operating a drill, neither Tony or I are all that handy and have little patience for projects. Paying for contractors is a lot cheaper than paying for a divorce! ;) And a good contractor you trust is as good as gold!" My husband and I renovated the kitchen in our first home years ago before we had kids and it definitely was a time consuming process. We didn't have to seek couples therapy afterwards so I guess thats a good thing!

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Whenever a family member celebrates a Birthday these white lanterns are strung up. A simple and modern idea for kids or adults.

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Yum...cake! I noticed that this art piece on the wall here was always changing in Meg's IG feed. I asked her how it worked and here are the details. "The photo wall is made up of a product called Photo Curator by the Curator Company. I bought them nearly 10 years ago on FAB, when that was still THE way to shop for design goods! (I miss them). I have 45 sets and each set holds one 4x6 photo. There are little clips in the corners. Tony usually designs the layout and we get the photos printed at Costco. We can change out the wall for under $10! It's such a fun thing in our house! We change them out at every birthday and they also hold 4x6 index cards so once in a while the kids will create art on each card."

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"This is the room we live in. We eat here, watch TV, read, build trains, do homework, play, you name it. Our furniture is kid friendly and easy to clean." The streamlined designs are high off of the ground allowing your eye to travel through them. With the use of light weight pieces the family can easily move them around if the kids need the rug to play on.

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With select pieces in the living room they chose to splurge on this iconic Womb Chair. I love the soft grey fabric & bet that they take turns sitting here to watch TV. Meg commissioned her son Oscar to create the artwork on the wall and draw out the names of each family member. I love adding kids art to my own home, it's such a personal and inexpensive way to decorate.

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"When we did our first remodel in the kitchen in 2008, we chose to keep the kitchen separate from the living/dining area as opposed to a more open floor plan which is popular in ranch home remodels here. Living in such a small home with five people, it's nice to have some separation of space." Lots of hidden storage in the drawers and cupboards in this room.

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Meg's son made this parrot hat at art school. They loved it so much they framed it and display it proudly in the heart of the home.

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"Our bedroom doubles as Tony's work space. He designs almost every night after the kids go down so we've worked hard at accommodating what he needs to work and what I need to sleep!" I looked up Tony's website and guys he just designed that red N that pops up on your Netflix home page... I had to tell my husband I was very excited! 

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Tony's art is hung throughout the home. "I believe in simplicity, clarity, and the importance of all design disciplines."

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"We added additional lighting controls in our bedroom to support work and sleep and it works really well. We keep our room stripped of anything extra to help it feeling open and light."



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"Our boys share a bedroom. One is very tidy and the other is very...not tidy. I help the messy one clean up almost daily to keep the peace! I think adding a bedroom in the basement might be in our future!"

 I love this vintage lamp. I think my girls need similar storage for Lego.

I love this vintage lamp. I think my girls need similar storage for Lego.

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Meg has a small workplace with the best gallery wall featuring Larry makes me smile. A few years ago she taught herself how to make simple and modern quilts. 

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 The geometric pattern and colours on this piece really caught my eye.

The geometric pattern and colours on this piece really caught my eye.

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"Penny has the best room in the house! It's super small, has a huge window, and is located in the heart of our house." What girl wouldn't adore this space? She's got her own art collection started and a small desk to sit and draw.

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"Last year for her birthday, we surprised her by converting her weird, unused closet into a hideaway for her. The closet sits up a couple feet because it's over the stairs to the basement but it's the perfect size for her to read, color, draw, or get away from her brothers. As our only introverted child, it functions perfectly for her." 

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"Though our house may be tiny, our back yard is huge for a city lot. We added a slatted wooden fence this summer and it's easily becoming our favorite place to be in the warm months. Our kids really enjoy being outside any time of the year so I'm especially thankful we have a place for them to be."

I want to thank Meg for sharing her home with me. I think it is wonderful that her kids will grow up in a home that has such meaning and family history. Good luck on your kitchen transformation, can't wait to see it!

Highlights of the week

Highlights of the week


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My Creative Process

My Creative Process


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