Thursday, 28 February 2013

Mail Art Swap

It's one of those of things that I have heard about, thought about, but had never attempted...until now. A Mail Art Swap.  An art swap is where you send small, whimsical, lightweight works of art through the postal system (aka, snail mail).  In typical Beth fashion, I accepted the invite without really knowing what I was getting myself into.  Apparently, mail art dates back to 60's and it was created by artists who did not believe that art should be limited to gallery and museum walls. Yikes! What? Artists?! I'm not artist!!  I guess I should have read the details.  I am merely a crafter. A crafter of the easiest, quickest, and cheapest projects, a crafter who stopped any original thoughts since I discovered Pinterest!

So, needless to say, I have been struggling to figure out what to make. I thought about making small pillows, or some cute little stuffed creature. I tried some DIY painting project, but was less than impressed with the results. With little to no time left to get my "art work" complete, I simply chose a subject that I know best - fashion! It's still nothing special, but I am actually quite happy with the results. 3 whimsical fashion illustrations.

I hope that the recipients of these pieces will be happy. If not, I have a feeling I will be receiving some hate mail in the near future!  All in all, I am glad that I was a part of this art swap, but I think this might be my first and my last.  I'll stick to my crappy crafts that my two girls think are masterpieces.

  I ripped pages out of a magazine and then painted the image on using acrylic paint. Once it dried, I added the pop of colour.  

Have you been a part of a mail art swap? What was your experience like?  I would love to hear your stories!

Thursday, 21 February 2013


When we first moved into our house just over 6 years ago, I knew that my dreams of ever having a walk-in-closet were never going to happen. A 100 year old home + 4 bedrooms + 2 tiny closets = no walk-in-closet for me!  Since our "master" bedroom is one of the rooms sans closet, my clothes have lead a bit of a nomad existence. Good news for me and good news for my clothes - things are about to change.

The smallest room in the house, which used to the nursery room, is now going to be, wait for it - my walk-in-closet! If you haven't figured it out already, I am so freakin' excited about this. I will not have to go to three different rooms to create one outfit. I will no longer have to sneak into Andy's room and search for items in the dark.  I will no longer have to house my jackets in the basement. This my friends, is going to be life changing. OK, so maybe not life changing, but it's certainly going to kick ass!

Here is what the room looked like before:

The nursery.

Fast forward to 5 five years later. After raising two girls in this room, this is what it looked like only days ago....

This is what the room looks like now. Once I'm done posting this, I will heading up to start the painting.  Can't wait to see and show the final results. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Valentine's Day Love Bugs

I wanted to find an easy craft (duh!), one that Ryan could help me do, one that kids would love and that didn't involve chocolate or candy!  Then I found this awesome Valentine craft from 
dandee designs. I know right?! Super cute.

If you are limited on time, you can use the free printable of the jars from her site. Then all you have to do is cut them out and add your bug of choice.  I opted to make my own jars & went to a trusty ol' dollar store to pick up these squishy little spiders.  

Place them in a see through bag, and there you have a super easy and cute Valentine.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Fashion Show Birthday Party

My daughter Andy loves to dress up. No joke, she has at least 2 "outfit" changes a day! She is quite particular about what colours she wears - definitely no browns allowed and black is OK in small doses.  If this is what she is like now, I can only imagine what we are in for when she is a teenager! That being said, I am actually quite excited to see how she "plays" with colours, styles and textures when she is older.

When it came to planning her 3rd birthday, there was no doubt that we were going to do a fashion show. Complete with jewelry, hair accessories, a rolling rack with dresses and the party favourite, makeup.

Ryan went for the smokey eye look, and made a bold statement with a bright pink lip.

 Showing off her bling.

 Time to choose an outfit.

Getting ready to strut their stuff on the runway!

 The pose off.

 The after party.

The beautiful birthday girl, who opted for the natural look.

The party was a hit and Andy had such a wonderful time with her friends.  I have a feeling we will be doing another dress up birthday in the future.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Pom-pom Garland

If you have 5 minutes, then you have time to do this super easy and colourful craft.  All you need are some pom-poms (mine were purchased at Michael's), a large darning needle, and some yarn.

Thread the needle with the yarn and start creating your very own pom-pom garland. It really is that easy.

 I made one for Andy's room.

And one for Ryan's room.

The girls love them. Now I want to make one for every room in the house!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Room Swap

What can I say, I like change. Change makes me happy. If I could, I would repaint, refurnish & rework almost everything in my house.  Not that I don't love our space - I just simply like change. However, I have a husband who hates change. So, in order to keep my marriage alive, I have to throttle back my desire to change things (just a little bit).

After 6 years of marriage, I have found a few ways to make changes that require little or no involvement from Dean, AKA Mr. Things Are Perfect Just The Way They Are.  Sometimes it's as simple as adding more pillows or switching curtains without him even noticing. Other times, it requires moving furniture around - to which he fights me, but still does it to make me happy. And in the end, although he hates to admit it, he loves the changes too.

Now, on to the room swap! With the arrival of a new year, one that started out a little bumpy, I thought it would be the perfect time to make some changes in our living space.  Our living room was lacking space and comfort.  And since our girls are growing at an incredible pace - our 4 year old is a head taller than all her classmates and our soon to be 3 year old is all tall as her sister's classmates - I wanted a living room that could accommodate our size, our lifestyle, have room to play, cuddle, read, relax. This meant swapping the living room with the dining room.  Well, I am sure you can imagine how the conversation between Dean and I went...

...Since Dean thought I was crazy, I had no choice but to call in backup.  Lucky for me, I have a friend who is an interior designer.  Enter Jen Storey of Jen Storey Designs. She is exactly what you would picture an interior designer to look like. Tall, beautiful, funky and stylish.  Heck, if I couldn't convince my husband, I knew that she could!

After our consultation with Jen, I was even more excited to get going on this project. The paint colour she choose for the "new" dining room was perfect. Sherwin Williams Mossy Gold - a mix between pea soup and a dirty diaper. Trust me, it's awesome.  Now, I just had to find the perfect time to start painting.  As I mentioned earlier, after 6 years of marriage you know how to navigate these kinds of situations. I simply waited for the long weekend Dean had to work. Picked up the paint on Friday morning and finished painting Sunday. Clever? Yes. Sneaky? Absolutely! At least I did all the dirty work.

Well, let me just say, the next two days were spent moving furniture, compromising, convincing Mr. Things Are Perfect Just The Way They Are that it was going to look great, and more compromising.  The end result? Our room swap was a success. It is now a functional, comfortable space. We (yes, Dean loves it too) are all very happy  with how it turned out and we are using the space the way I envisioned.  Cuddling & playing more as a family. Change is good.




Sad news - during our room swap, we put a crack in the beautiful mirror hanging above the couch!
That's why you no longer see it in later pictures. 

During - the first wall in new dining room painted with Mossy Gold paint

The chaos!

A few more after photos.

I still have a few more things to do to finish things off, but overall we are loving our new spaces.  Now onto my next project - turning the nursery into my walk-in closet! Yay!  Just do me a favour, and don't tell my husband.