Tuesday, January 31, 2012

[ diy hoop art ]

I FIRST became smitten with embroidery hoop art on my visit to Purl SOHO in NYC back in 2010. When I walked through the door...

and saw this...

... I knew I would be creating my own little hoop wall somewhere {if you're planning a trip to NYC and you are a knitter or love to sew, it's a must-stop}.

I had an existing hoop art piece done by Lucky Jackson that I picked up at the Muskoka Arts & Crafts fair {read about it here} that I wanted to include in my grouping. I then purchased some embroidery hoops of various sizes.

First, choose the fabric {a great time to use up scrap pieces or buy some little quilting fat quarters for this}.

Cut them roughly to size and press out any wrinkles.

Although you can simply stretch the fabric on the hoop and trim, I decided to use some white glue to hold them in place and make trimming easier so they wouldn't shift around.

I found the best way to do this was to stretch the fabric over the hoop and press the top hoop over top to hold it, but don't press it down all the way. Then apply a line of glue on the back side between the inside hoop and the fabric. Push down top hoop completely and tighten.

Let them all dry.

Trim off the excess close to the hoop.


You can hang them each with a small nail or use some double-sided adhesive foam tape.

I love how cheerful they are and it makes me smile every time I walk into my studio.

It will be fun to continue to add to the grouping and perhaps create some embroidered pieces to mix in.


Monday, January 30, 2012

[ come on in ]

WELCOME TO a new week! I've always loved a pretty entry. Unfortunately I've rarely been blessed with a spacious, pretty space to welcome guests and set the tone for the rest of the house. Here are some swoon-worthy entrances to start the week...

I love that these all vary in size and style but every one has a lovely feel. I just noticed that none of these doors are solid ~ they all have windows ~ perhaps that's the key? Are you lucky enough to have a fantastic entry?

[houzz; hookedonhouses; vartNyaHem; kmldesign; countryliving;
jeffherrphoto; houzz; housebeautiful]

Friday, January 27, 2012

[ happy weekend! ]

SO WHAT do I have planned for the weekend? A little bit of...

movie going...

Timmie drinking...

and bookstore browsing...

What about you?


Thursday, January 26, 2012

[ pretty IKEA room ]

THE THING I love about this room? When you take a closer look, you realize that most of this room is done with a trip to IKEA. White Billy bookcases for some shelves, white frames for the gallery wall, all the storage boxes and mag files, the charcoal grey desk, white wicker chair, white slipcovered chairs and ottoman, sheepskin throw on the chair, white metal side table.

You obviously don't need to spend a lot to create a very pretty home office space. What would we do without IKEA?


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

[ diy french runner ]

I'VE LOVED french linens for as long as I can remember and not only the popular grain sacks, but the hand embroidered tea towels and table linens.

{I've even been lucky enough to find a couple of pieces with my actual initials!}

But they are not always easy to find, and when you do, they can be pricey. Inspired by Chania at Razmataz and the pretty runner she made from tea towel yardage from the fabric store...

... I decided to pick some up in the blue colour to make my own. Then I decided to try my hand at embroidery to personalize it and create my own French runner.

I picked up some yardage {enough to make a very long runner to use later on a long farmhouse table} and some embroidery floss to match. I've had this embroidery booklet I had picked up at a yard sale for a couple of years but hadn't used it yet {you can google to find stitch instructions online as well}.

I searched the internet for some free antique alphabets that I could use as my pattern. I printed it out and transferred it to my linen by tracing it with carbon paper.

ok, now for the fun part! I chose the simple stem stitch to outline the letter...

then filled in the wide areas using a satin stitch...

It really wasn't as difficult as I expected it to be. It took a couple of hours but not bad for my first attempt...

Because I only have our small round table for now, I doubled it over {it would look better on a table with a square edge}.

I think this runner now gives our place a French seaside feel. Two of my favourite things!

This was a fun project for an afternoon and I admit that now I'm kind of hooked on monogram embroidery. I have a feeling there will be more monograms in my future!

[dreamywhites; simplyfrenchvintage; laManche; razmataz]

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

[ chic apartment living ]

THINK YOU need to own a big space to live chic? Nope! And this gorgeous light-filled apartment could easily be a rental.

Just because you don't own it doesn't mean you can't live in a beautiful place. It's all about what you choose to put in it. Everything in this apartment can easily travel to a larger home down the line but for now, this apartment feels anything but temporary.


Monday, January 23, 2012

[ dubai: a visit to the souks ]

IF YOU want to experience a bit of traditional shopping in Dubai, the souks in Deira are the place to go. Souk is the Arab word for market and here you can find anything from spices to utensils, pashminas, shoes, perfume, textiles and most of all, gold.

We wandered around the narrow streets and laneways in this old part of town on Saturday.

Need a big pot?

...or restock your spices?

Delivery workers are ready to load up...

But the most impressive souk of all is the gold souk...

Dubai sells a lot of gold, most of it 24 carat, out of this souk. Some estimates say that there are 10 tons of gold here at any given time. Gold by the inch, elaborate Arabic and Indian designs or diamond jewelry, you can find it here and haggle for a good price.

After wandering and haggling in Deira, you can take a stroll along the wharf and watch the old boats from neighbouring countries unloading their goods...

Then take an Abra across the creek to the textile souk in Bur Dubai...

It was so interesting to experience this more traditional side of Dubai. It feels like an entirely different world from the glitzy shopping malls Dubai is now known for.



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