Tim’s Sally: Painting for me, is a nostalgic descent back to my childhood – a time when dolls were a huge part of my life. Today is not altogether different. I think of my paintings as play sets where I dress my dolls up and create their own environment. Sometimes this “land” is a sweet setting of animals, nature, and innate innocence while others are captivated by a mysterious engulfing darkness. I can relate.
Memories of playtime and my special collection of “neat stuff” that I kept in a wooden trunk made specially for me by my uncle were treasures to me. Baby doll heads, vintage dolls, sweet scents of everything yummy are areas of great inspiration. Artists such as Mark Ryden, Joe Sorren, and Casey O’Connell also capture my heart with a sweet tenderness encompassing subtle moments of time we all would like to revisit; a dream state so unique one could only wish to take part.
Although we are a full month away from the official first day of summer, this past weekend was, for most of us, the “real” start of the season. Up here in the middle of Canada, the Victoria Day long-weekend is when we start wearing white shoes, planting our gardens, and firing up our barbeques. Sure, you can try to do those things before “May Long”, but you run the risk of a major fashion faux-pas and frost damage to your tender seedlings. (There’s really no compelling reason to hold off grilling, but I think it’s more fun when the evenings are long and the spring veggies start to appear in the market.)
I can’t help you with the white shoes, but I can help get your garden off to a good start. These upcycled seedling jars (above) made by Morgann of Bragging Bags make cute, little vessels to hold and protect your seedlings until they’re ready to go into the ground. The chalkboard “labels” will identify the contents and wipe clean for a fresh start next year. (They’d also be fantastic on your desk to hold paperclips, pushpins, etc!)
Once you have started your planting, you’ll want to keep everything neat and organized with a few pretty garden markers. Jacquie flattens and stamps vintage, silver-plated spoons to create these elegant upcycled markers, pictured above, for her shop, J Lynn Creations. Sets are made to order, so yours will be just like your garden – one of a kind.
If you’re like me, when it comes to working in the garden, the gloves are off. After an afternoon of digging in the dirt, there’s nothing like a good scrub to get those hardworking hands clean and soft again. Abbey James makes her Gardener’s Soap (above) with a blend of pumice, clay and cornmeal to clean, and a combination of oils, butters and coconut milk to soften.
All of that planting is bound to work up an appetite; if the weather’s nice, you might as well stay outside and grill up something good for dinner. Whether you are in the mood for skewers of Jamaican Jerk Shrimp, Bollywood-inspired Tandoori Tofu, Adobo Chicken fajitas, or a classic Texas BBQ steak, this dry-rub collection (above) by Cook Outside the Box literally puts a world of flavours at your fingertips. The rubs are blended in small batches, packaged for freshness and perfect for gift giving.
I said earlier that I am a no-glove gardener; the opposite is true for cooking. After getting my fair-share of burns over the years, I have finally learned to reach for my mitts when the heat is on. These cool, upcycled grilling mitts, pictured above, by Undone Clothing are made from durable lead-shot bags and an insulating layer of batting. Generously sized for maximum protection, they’ll fit both the King and the Queen of the Grill.
I clearly just need to start a category called “Please buy this before I do” — and this bag would be first on the list. Doesn’t it just shout Spring?
lima bean home: I use a mixture of “reclaimed” and new fabric in my projects–I visit my local thrift stores often to see what neat items people have given away that can be cut up and repurposed into unique things.
The hubby and I recently relocated from our one room studio to a two-bedroom house. It is, for the most part, married bliss. There’s nothing like having more than one bathroom to keep a marriage strong. However, there is one major drawback to the home: plaster walls. Those familiar with plaster will know that it is messy at best, crumbling and cracking at worst. We’ve got a bit of both. Short of repairing the walls and throwing on some new paint, I don’t want to stick anything bigger than a nail in these 60-year-old walls.
So what do we do? I want to decorate, but I’d rather not hang heavy sconces and shelves, only to come home to a hole in my wall the size of Texas. Thankfully, alternative inspiration came to the rescue! We were at a TMBG concert this past weekend, and the boys from the band were handing out window clings. Remember those lil clingy bits of plastic we used to buy from school magazines and stick on the bathroom mirror? I grew up and forgot, but luckily there are enough people in the world that grew up and remembered.
I am absolutely in love with that birch forest by Wall Decors. It would look smashing in a living room or entrance hall. The best part is, like those old school window clings, they’re non-destructive and easily removed. So even if you don’t have a lick of patience for painting and gluing you’ll be able to get this mighty forest up in your living room with no hassle.
There’s another caveat to married life that I failed to account for: the mighty french rooster. Every Italian kitchen has a rooster, of some shape or variety, sitting on the counter. Our house is small, so is the kitchen. We need every ounce of space we can get. However, as a good Italian homemaker I can’t let my kitchen go chickenless for long.
Chuck E Byrd Wall Art to the rescue! This mighty rooster would be proud to grace any kitchen wall. The variety of color options ensure a proper match for even the most eclectic kitchen.
We’re still enjoying the “honeymoon stage” of our marriage, but I’m sure there are quite a few readers out there with little bundles of joy along the way. It feels like all of my friends are having kids, and I’m either running to showers or singing at first birthdays.
Wouldn’t that tree by Original Walls look darling in your little girl’s room? Not to be outdone, there are a plethora of boy’s options too, from full-blown motorcycles to monkeys swinging in the trees. We all eventually hit the age where we want to decorate and define our own space, and wouldn’t it be so much easier if the beautiful mural of a horse was easily applied and removed, instead of repainting the entire room?
If you’re looking for something a little more gender neutral, I’m a big fan of these lights by Pop Decors. They’re a bit unusual in the best way. I’m particularly keen on the two little winged lights.
Vinyl wall art compared to paint and stencil is considerably more time and user-friendly. I can’t paint a circle to save my life, but I sure as anything can put a sticker on the wall. Remember these work best on clean, even surfaces, and don’t like being put on and pulled off too many times.
If you have cracks in your wall or ceiling (like I do) be sure to repair those before putting up any paint or decals. This way you’re not avoiding a potentially bigger issue. I know it’s tempting, but even though it may be pretty, if it’s hiding a problem it’s only a big ol’ band-aid.