Category: Holidays + Parties

For the Love: Valentine DIY Roundup

January 18, 2013

This week got away on me once again and here we are at Friday already! I’m off to work now but thought I’d leave you with some Valentine’s inspired DIY’s to start thinking about. We’re far behind on getting a class schedule up this month at the shop (still recovering from the bustle of our first holiday season!) but have a number of fun and crafty workshops in the works. If you were to take a hands on creative class, what type would you choose? I’d love to know!

Oleander & Palm

Delia Creates

A Beautiful Mess

The Proper Pinwheel

A Subtle Revelry

Delighted Momma

Photo by Alice Patterson forThe Sweetest Occasion

We’ve been enjoying plenty of cold crisp sunshine in these parts and there’s more in store for the weekend. I’m looking forward to a rare weekend off and lots of time bundled up outside with the kids. Wishing you bright days wherever you are and I’ll be back to chat again on Monday 🙂

In With the New…

January 2, 2013

Happy New Year! We’re officially launched into 2013 and I cannot wait to get started on my goals and resolutions! First and foremost, my fitness and health took a major backseat while starting up Spruce Collective but I really need to focus on getting back into shape. Less wine and cheese (a lot less!) and more daily exercise and sleep (a lot more!) starting today. I know that my energy and productivity will see a huge boost, much needed for the busy year ahead! I haven’t had time to really absorb the blur of the last few months but I really do need to sit down and reflect on it all. Opening a store was very likely the scariest/bravest/biggest gamble/craziest thing I’ve ever done but it has been such and unbelievably amazing experience already and I am so proud of myself and my four equally brave partners for taking the leap.  I came across this guide to setting goals for creative businesses over at Nicole’s Classes and think that it will be a great way to get some thoughts down on paper….

Nicole’s Classes

Hitha on the Go

Style Me Pretty

The Stroller Coaster

Helt Enkelt

More one-on-one time with my husband and kids is also high on my priority list as well as more quality time alone with my thoughts…away from the computer! How about you? Do you set resolutions or goals for yourself each year? Feel free to share…sometimes saying them out loud helps me stick to my resolve a little better 🙂

Pretty Affordable Christmas Wrap

December 19, 2012

Christmas is officially less than a week away! I’m definitely off of my game this year and will really need to hustle to check the last few gifts off of my list. I’m not exactly sure when it’s going to happen but after last week’s events, I’m not too stressed about it. I started wrapping gifts for my kids’ teachers yesterday and took just a little bit more time than usual packaging each one. With 6 teachers between my 3 kids (they each have 2…job share positions are pretty common here) plus the principal, I couldn’t spend a lot on each person but wanted to let them know how much we appreciate everything that they do. It’s the little personalized touches that make presents all the more special, wouldn’t you agree? The thought and time that goes into thinking about the receiver of each gift means much more than the value of the gift inside, in my humble opinion. Here are some beautiful and inexpensive wrapping ideas for the holidays…

Free Printable by Lindsey Bee via Babble

Katie’s Pencil Box

Sarasota Magazine via Creature Comforts

It doesn’t take much more than a printer and some simple supplies to recreate any of these adorable packages. I just picked up some washi tape and baker’s twine from Spruce and will definitely be giving this bunting a shot! Kraft paper and vintage tins are always a good idea but I’m especially loving the printed family photos and hand painted watercolour papers this year…


Country Living

Candice Stringham

Sweet Paul. Photo by Alexandra Grablewski.

Creature Comforts

It’s high time that I put together a wrapping kit like Ez’s over at Creature Comforts, although it’s far too pretty to hide away in a drawer or cupboard! I’ve got a busy day ahead full of school performances, shop talk and an afternoon trip into the city but will catch up with you again on Friday. See you soon 🙂

Creative Holiday Wrapping + Gift Tags

December 22, 2011

Only three more sleeps ’til Christmas! My shopping is finally done and now I can get on with the fun business of wrapping, wrapping and more wrapping! I still haven’t sent out Christmas cards and am debating between a festive email with lots of photos of the kids from over the fall and winter (although it somehow seems so impersonal) or just sending out Happy New Year’s cards with a couple of recent photos inside. An email will definitely be easier than the written word…what do you think? Is a newsletter totally tacky? Or can I get away with it for just this year? We did just get our family photos taken with my parents, sister and brother-in-law last weekend so I’ve now got some more great photo options now, thanks to Jayme Lang…I’m wearing the purple coat, in case you’re wondering!

Speaking of wrapping, if you’re looking for easy yet creative packaging ideas and printable gift tags, look no further! Here are a few of my top picks for the season, most of which only require tidbits from around your home and a little bit of time and extra care…

Sass & Peril

Love vs. Design

Heather Bullard

Creature Comforts

Scout’s Honor Co.

I came across this amazing vintage portrait wrapping idea from Martha Stewart’s Craft Department last week and I am so in love with the results! Wouldn’t it be perfect for a birthday or bridal shower as well? Or picture vintage children and infants for a baby shower…so sweet!

Martha Stewart: The Crafts Dept.

Better Homes & Gardens

Please to Meet via Copy Strands

Man Made


Lowes Creative Ideas

Gatherings via Decor8

Mini Eco Co. UK

Ikea Home via Mia Linnman

There are so many wrapping options, many of which you can find from around your own home. Kraft paper, book pages, fabric scraps and children’s drawings are some of my favourites and it’s nice to use recyclable options. I love Heather Bullard‘s evergreen embellishments and think I’ll definitely be borrowing that idea in the days to come! Rachel will be posting our last holiday post tomorrow and then we’ll be taking all next week off to spend with our families and friends so you won’t hear from me for a bit. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas filled with loved ones and we’ll see you in the bright and shiny New Year…Cheers!

Unique Table Numbers + Decor

August 4, 2011

Phew, what a week it’s been! Rachel and I have been so busy with market planning, family fun, and another exciting project that we’ve got to keep under wraps for just a wee bit longer. Yesterday, we had a fantastic (and very hot…in the full-sunshine kind of way!) photo shoot with the lovely Jayme Lang. We’re pretty excited to see the final photos! We used a gorgeous yellow settee from Jessica of Trove’s amazing furniture stash, packed up some of our own vintage treasures and headed out into the field behind the EcoDairy with our new market partners, Helinda Vanderkoii and Tanya Curtis. We had lots of giggles and more than a few awkward poses but it was really fun….even the horses kept coming close to see what in the world we were doing in their field!

Needless to say, I’m feeling a little bit fried in the brain department right about now but I did manage to collect some pretty and unique table settings to share with all of you brides and party hosts out there…

Twig & Thistle

Style Me Pretty

Once Wed

Source Unknown via Lou, Boos and Shoes

Style At Home

Style Me Pretty

Petite Moulin via Frolic!

Canadian House & Home via Poppytalk

Isn’t that window seating chart incredible? So beautiful! And I’m loving the DIY script projects in the latest edition of Canadian House & Home. Off to regroup before we leave on holidays to Oregon next week. Don’t worry, we’re filing away blog posts to share with you while we’re at the beach!


April 20, 2011

With our shady lot, I’ve been a bit deprived of flowers so I’ve been looking around for some kind of flowering plant to add in the small patch of our yard that does get some sun.  I haven’t pinpointed a suitable plant yet but I do have a few on my list.  Whatever it ends up being will have to be hardy.   That small spot of yard dries out in the heat of the summer and as much as I love to garden, I can’t be out everyday tending to high maintenance plants.  One of my favourite flowers is the Ranunculus.  These generously sized flowers are relatives to the common buttercup.  And since buttercups love our lawn, I am hoping that the Ranunculus may be the lucky candidate.  I still need to do a little research before any decisions are made.

Jackie Reuda

There are over 400 varieties of Ranunculus but I especially like the varieties with layers upon layers of petals.  They make a wonderful cut flower and with the wedding season fast upon us, you may see more and more of this lovely rose-like flower in bouquets and table centerpieces.  They hold their own very well but look just as stunning combined with other flowers especially poppies, tulips and roses as well as interesting filler, like the pussy willow below.

1. Holly Becker via Lolalina 2. Pink Lily Press 3.  Honeytree


1. From My Atelier 2. Whitney Smith 3. Design*Sponge

1. Design*Sponge 2. Beacon Lane

Rock Paper Scissors Events

I remember from planning my own wedding, that not all flowers are as available as you might like them to be or they tend to be fairly expensive if they are not local.  I loved this lovely paper version and I think they are just as stunning as the real thing.  Sunny & Stumpy has a good selection of pretty blossoms to choose from and if you are the crafty type, there is even a DIY kit for you to try.

Sunny & Stumpy

Pretty, right?

For the Love of Bunting

April 11, 2011

Is it Monday already? While I didn’t quite have time to relax with coffee and the morning paper, I did get a chance to read the May issue of Canadian House & Home magazine while the kids were at swimming lessons Saturday morning (multi-tasking again!) and was so excited to see The Old School Market mentioned in the upcoming events section! Rachel and I have been busy bees, organizing our little market while keeping up with the shop and blog, not to mention daily life and all of the little hiccups along the way. I’m thinking we’ll have to reward ourselves with a good spa day after we make it through market day on May 28th! It’s all been a lot of fun and we’ve learned so much along the way but I know we’re both really hoping to fine tune and streamline our process one of these days!

Through all of the busyness of the last few weeks, I was somehow caught off guard for my son Gabe’s 8th birthday. His actual birthday is this coming Wednesday but my husband’s work schedule suddenly booked up and we decided (5 days ago!) that yesterday would be the best day to throw Gabe, not one, but two birthday parties! Crazy though it seems (and is!), I prefer to clean and decorate once and get both the friend and family parties finished on the same day. It seems to keep the festivities from dragging out over the entire week. That being said, I usually start preparing several weeks in advance and I was feeling a bit panicky late Wednesday night. I came up with these recycled map invitations and they ended up setting the tone for the whole decorating scheme. I simply printed the text onto old atlas pages using our printer and then Gabe and I  folded them into paper airplanes to hand out to his friends. They turned out even better than I expected, were totally free and super easy to make…

Gabe loves looking at globes and maps so the theme was perfect. It also happens to coincide perfectly with our schoolhouse theme for The Old School Market so we’ll likely be able to reuse some of the decorations…bonus! I received this Supah Fly print from Yellow Heart Art on Thursday (perfect timing!) and added it, along with some skateboard art painted by Gabe when he was 2, to our brick chimney wall. More maps were used as place mats and to make paper airplanes and straw flags and Rachel donated some map flag bunting that she made for her husband’s birthday a couple of weeks ago. The rain held off and Brad entertained the boys and their skateboards outside with some ramps that he and Gabe made out of wood pallets…who says a party needs to cost a fortune?

The easiest birthday “cake” idea, besides good old Betty Crocker cupcakes, that I could come up with in a pinch was homemade ice cream sandwiches and they turned out to be delicious! I simply made up a batch of our favourite Triple Chocolate Cookies and sandwiched cookies ‘n cream and mint chocolate chip ice cream between them…what a hit!

Some quick furniture rearranging after the kids’ party to make room for 12 adults…thankfully Gabe only wanted pizza for dinner! I had a few ice cream sandwiches left for dessert and made my go-to Flourless Chocolate Cake, served with whipped cream and strawberries. It’s gluten free but is so moist and fudgy, you would never know. Good thing I’m getting a 10km training run in this morning!

Wedding season and summer party weather is almost upon us and I still never tire of bunting and garlands. There’s something so light-hearted and celebratory about these colourful flags, isn’t there? I especially love the feather version, so romantic! Not just for parties, bunting looks just as cheerful in children’s rooms or around the house…

Style Me Pretty

Green Wedding Shoes. Photos by Steep Street.

Love Made Me Do It. Photo by Otto Schulze.

Toast (Christmas 2010) via Emmas Design Blogg

While simple and affordable to make yourself (free, if you have an addiction to vintage atlas’ like I do!), if you’re planning ahead and are pressed for time, there are plenty of crafters out there ready and willing to do the work for you. From garlands to cards to needlework and more, bunting is a trend that seems here to stay…

Inspire Lovely

1. Sara Tops 2. Ink Whimsy 3. Kiki La Ru 4. Earmark

a.e. wilder

Do you have any celebrations planned in the coming months? Do you plan far ahead or decorate in a pinch, like I did this weekend? Please share!