Category — Studios + Workspace
This week has been a bit bumpy so I’m really glad it’s Friday again! I feel like I’ve been fighting off a head cold, which makes sense since my kids have been alternating sick days, and a foggy head on top of my usual work load and the dreaded tax season (seriously, why do always leave it so late!) add up to some serious brain drain. But I’m shaking off the cobwebs and heading into the city tonight to meet some girlfriends for a night out, the perfect remedy! On an exciting note, a Hallmark movie will be shooting on location at my store, Spruce Collective, starting on Sunday! We’ll be closed for 5 days while they take over (I can’t wait to see how they transform the space overnight, literally!) and it’s a fun little burst of fame for our block in Downtown Abbotsford. I wonder if they need any extras?? Here are some links I’ve loved this week:
1. I’m feeling the urge to learn a new skill and calligraphy is right at the top of my list! I’m super jealous of anyone with hand lettering skills and have been craving a hands-on creative outlet so a class like this one (held in San Francisco recently) looks pretty top notch:
2. Speaking of new skills, one of my big dreams (I have many, it’s a problem!) for the shop is to have a big studio/event space someday. This one in the UK would be perfect! Now if only I had a magic wand:
3. There is so much natural light flooding into this Belgian home. That combined with layers of texture and vintage furniture make it such a warm and welcoming space, especially the main living room:
Elle Decor. Photo by Richard Powers.
4. I enjoy baking much more than I do cooking (might just be the stage I’m in with the kiddos, skeptical looks and “ew!” is pretty common when I try new dinner dishes. Muffins and cookies are always a win!) and would love to expand my horizons with that skill set too. One of my favourite movies is It’s Complicated, especially that scene where Meryl Streep teaches Steve to bake chocolate croissants (so romantic, right?!) and I’ve wanted to learn how ever since. This Knead and Know croissant making class looks absolutely scrumptious:
5. It’s no secret that I love concrete floors but I’m generally drawn to the honed or Acid-stained variety. The high gloss floors of this Danish home are so striking though, aren’t they? They become such a focal point for the space and almost look like water. Very cool:
What’s a weekend without music? Here are some new additions to my current playlist. Cheers :)
March 7, 2014 1 Comment
Living on the West Coast, we’re no strangers to wood. It literally surrounds us in live forests and is one of our most used building materials and resources for export. While I would never balk at painting out dated finishes (like those weird bleached pink cabinet doors of the ’80s or that shiny orang-ey oak of matching dining sets or lacquered cherry anything) I’m definitely a big fan of highlighting exposed wood throughout the home. It brings so much natural warmth to a space, especially when balanced with other finishes and textures to keep it from looking like a hunting lodge (not that I wouldn’t enjoy a good hunting lodge, especially with a roaring fire and hot toddy in hand but you get my drift). Our own ceiling (which you can catch a glimpse of here and here) are original circa 1969 cedar tongue + groove and were the selling feature when we first walked through the front door 6 years ago. I love them just as much now as I did then, especially when it rains. We have no attic and it really feels like we’re cozied up in a cabin in the woods (or possibly a hunting lodge) with raindrops (and often pinecones) pattering down overhead. Here are some great spaces made even better with the addition of natural wood accents:
Domino. Photo by Brittany Ambridge.
How genius is the above bench? Seriously, such a great idea especially for entertaining when it can just be tucked out of site or pulled out in a pinch. I also love that the designer chose a different wood colour than the floor to make it stand out. Not a fan of anything matchy-matchy, can you tell?
See the last picture? It’s a fabulous reno of a formerly hideous space (so rude, I know but you really have to see the entire transformation to see what I mean!) and I love how Daniel painted out the original wood floorboards (gasp! don’t worry, they were in really bad shape) before building a natural wood desktop and floating shelves. What do you think? Well, I’m off to the shop now to sort through the vintage treasures that my partner Jessica and I bought yesterday (we went on a mild spree South of the border!) before a creative brainstorming session with the rest of my Spruce girls. Have I mentioned before that I love my job? Because I do :)
March 5, 2014 2 Comments
Hurray for the weekend! I’m feeling a little low on the energy scale this week, you know that feeling when you’re moving in slow motion and start several tasks without finishing any? Yeah, that’s me. But the weekend is here so I’m hoping to reboot and recharge before jumping into several creative projects, both at the shop and at home. Speaking of creative, my Spruce Collective girls and I recently filmed our first YouTube video (totally out of our comfort zone, fyi!) and I thought you might enjoy a little look behind the scenes in addition to some other links I loved this week:
1. Our first YouTube video for Spruce Collective!:
2. Although our own basement renos have slowed to a snail’s pace, I still love living vicariously through other peoples renovation adventures. Can’t wait to see the end result of Sarah‘s home and here’s a glimpse at her DIY studio in the meantime:
3. Winter can be a little lonely, can’t it? Especially when temperatures drop, brrr! But I can’t think of a better way to come out of hibernation than with a communal dinner like this one, attended by Shannon Eileen and hosted by Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle Et Vanille:
4. A big kitchen reno is high on my wish list but isn’t remotely realistic at this point in time (wah!) but I’m hoping to come up with a few creative and budget friendly tweaks to make it at least a teeny bit happier. Loving the concrete counters and open shelves in this small Dutch kitchen:
5. I love a good motivational quote and absolutely love this DIY “wallpaper” by blogger Marij Hessel! So awesome and sooo easy too, my kind of project!
Off I go to attempt at least somewhat of a productive day, wish me luck :) And have yourself a fabulous weekend too!
February 28, 2014 4 Comments
There are a few areas of my life that feel a little out of my control lately (including but not exclusive to mounds of laundry, bulging closets + our ongoing basement renovations) but I find that starting and finishing one organized task every now and then can make all the difference. Single small tasks make that looming mountain of to-do’s suddenly seem achievable (or at least within reach!), one baby step at a time. My partner Jessica and I spent a couple of hours yesterday styling some new product displays at the shop and, while it certainly didn’t solve world hunger or magically fold my laundry, it sure felt great to purge some shop clutter and make things look pretty! Although it’s all just stuff, I think our personal surroundings reflect our emotions in at least some small way, would you agree? Here are some more orderly shelves, art + collections that are soothing to the eye and to the soul:
Spruce Collective (excuse the iPhone pic!)
Image removed at request of photographer. See The Glitter Guide for photo.
Oh Joy! Photo by Casey Bradley.
Do you find organizing your living space therapeutic or overwhelming? A combination of both? Me too! With my busy schedule, I find it much easier to tackle small tasks like a drawer or single kitchen cupboard rather than pushing my luck with an entire closet or room. Organized moments may be fleeting these days but they sure feel like a breath of fresh air!
February 19, 2014 3 Comments
Hey, it’s Monday! And after a weekend spent sitting fireside with friends, lazy mornings, and cozy evenings, I’m feeling refreshed and ready (sort of) for the busy week ahead. The countdown is on for Alt Summit and I’m so excited to hop on the plane first thing Wednesday morning. I’ve got my outfits ready to pack (my stylish sister-in-law Amy helped me out big time on that end, phew!) and am off to pick up my pretty new business cards this morning (I’ll share them with you asap). It’s been a long time since I’ve travelled alone and I must admit that I’m feeling pretty nervous-cited (my girls’ favourite word) to leap out of my comfort zone. Definitely more excited than nervous but going to a conference of this size on my lonesome is a huge leap for me, as it is for many I’m sure! So I thought I’d calm my butterflies with these cozy finds:
Do you travel a lot for work? How do you get over any initial jitters before the networking begins? Any tips are welcome :) Well, off I go to work before getting my house in order for my time away but I’ll be back to chat as usual on Wednesday. Enjoy your day!
January 20, 2014 2 Comments