Friday, December 21, 2012

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Sydney made this beautiful gingerbread house in her culinary class.  All hand baked by her.   I think this might be one gingerbread house that actually tastes good and doesn't risk your dental work!

No time to waste taking the pictures as we have some eager people in this house ready to start eating this one!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

18th Annual CBC Charity Craft Sale

In the last week I've had the Christmas songs playing while getting ready for my Christmas show in Toronto this Thursday.   I've been beading like a mad woman (well a happy one but sort of in a frantic way!)  Beads are, well, let's just say everywhere right now.  I'm hoping I can find the dining room table again before Christmas dinner!!

In amongst the beads, wire and chain I've been printing earring cards and having a trial run setting up my table.  I've been tagging and pricing and rearranging the table set up.  Phew no wonder I've been drinking a lot of coffee this week!  I also ordered new business cards - twice.  I'd love to say it's just because I love them so much that I had to order more.  Well, actually I am really happy with them except for the spelling error on the front.  Arghhh!!   My fault entirely as I just didn't see the error.  Perhaps this is a cue that I have a tad too many things going on at once! Anyways, the new and improved ones should arrive just in time for the show.

It is a busy time of the year but I'm really looking forward to this show.  It will be great to see some of my customers in person and to meet new ones.  It's also a great opportunity to meet some fellow vendors.

If you are in the Toronto area please come out and visit me at the CBC Charity Craft Sale
 CBC Building Atrium at 250 Front Street.
Thursday, December 13th 2012.
8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.  
You can find me at Booth #51 under Wallis Designs.

The Sale is in support of Unicef.  All proceeds from vendor table fees and public donations go directly to Child Protection around the world. 

While I'm at the show most of my Etsy shop will be travelling with me so I'll have reduced listings on Wednesday and Thursday this week.  I also won't be shipping those days.  I'll be back listing and shipping on Friday the 14th.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday Sale on Now!

My annual Cyber Monday Sale is now on.

Save 15% off all items in my etsy shop.

Perfect for gifts.

Holiday Glitz.

Something for everyone.

Use coupon code: HOLIDAY2012 to receive your discount.
Sale ends at midnight tonight. (EST)

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pretty Chic Boutique

I'm happy to let you know that Pretty Chic Boutique is now carrying Wallis Designs Jewellery.  If you are in the Guelph area please drop by and see my designs in person.

Pretty Chic Boutique 
34 Quebec Street
Guelph, ON
Phone: 519-780-2800

Store Hours
Monday - Friday 10-6
Saturday 10-5
Sunday 12-4

Pretty Chic Boutique carries a gorgeous collection of handmade jewellery exclusively created by Canadian artists and designers.

Stop by on November 21st and save 15% on everything in the store.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Year Ahead for a Scorpio.

Yesterday was my birthday and as a tradition I looked up some birthday horoscopes.  I know they are often quite silly and mostly amusing but I had fun reading these ones this year.

I liked these excerpts:

...Put creativity and effort into your domestic life.  Make a move or fix up your digs...    Better quit thinking and get those colours picked and start painting!

...Sometimes you might want more privacy, but because of your increasing popularity, this could become a burden.  (hehe)

...Although Mercury retrograde begins in Sagittarius, it slips back into Scorpio.  This means you'll be dealing with ex-partners and running into people from your past.  (no doubt this will happen while running to the post office in my yoga pants and no make up - that's usually when I see people I haven't seen for years!!)

Allow extra time for everything you do because you will be dogged by delays and silly errors.  (oh dear!)

My Chinese Horoscope: Dragon.
This is a day when you should be full of confidence in your ability to succeed.  You can be especially encouraging to people who don't share your attitude.  Fear of failure can make people hide and avoid taking risks.  Sometimes the best way to learn is by making  mistakes.  (hey, this works out with the fact I'll be dogged  by silly errors!)

This one though was my favourite and actually quite hopeful.

...No doubt you can find an excuse for giving up on a long-term goal, but you have come so far and achieved so much, why waste all that now?  Your birthday chart indicates you are so close to success - so keep at it.  (and I will!)

Thanks for all the birthday wishes yesterday!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thank you for making my day!

Last week I received the nicest handwritten card in the mail.   When I picked it up out of the pile of bills and advertising I didn't immediately recognize the name or return address.  Who's it from? and What could it be?

I couldn't be more surprised to find inside a thank you card from one of my customers.  This really made my day!

Wow! I am so lucky to have such wonderful customers! Here's a good chance for me to thank all my customers for their wonderful comments and feedback.  It's a joy to work with you and know you are wearing my designs.

Thank you Laura for taking the time to write and send this to me! You really brightened my day!

Friday, October 26, 2012

My brother in law.

I'm a pretty private person and don't usually write things that are too personal.  I enjoy sharing my new designs, photos and recipes and I think sometimes you may catch a glimpse of who I am through my writings.  It's at this point though that all of these things just seem so trivial to write about and I can't really consider thinking about them without acknowledging the huge loss we have experienced in our family.

Earlier this month my brother in law (my husband's brother) passed away.  50 years young with a beautiful family including three fabulous daughters.  He died of melanoma and even when the cancer was spreading through every part of his body he remained optimistic and strong.

Mark Wallis
May 1, 1962 - October 9, 2012.

The things that I learned from knowing Mark are simple:  Live in this moment, approach everything with optimism, be kind to others, dance like there's no one watching (but if there is an audience that's even better!).

The loss is immense and heartbreaking but I will take the gift of knowing Mark into my own life.  I'm sure Mark is looking down at all of us and saying "Keep on Smiling"...and that is what we will try to do.

Please wear sunscreen.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


I can't believe we were here less than two weeks ago.  It's amazing how quickly you get right back into the swing of your normal schedule when you return.  Ahhh.   I guess it was inevitable to return to reality but it was nice while it lasted.

Pretty fabulous view from my lounger!

Oh yah, I could get used to this!

Surf's up!

A trip into San Jose del Cabo.

I'm pretty sure he's smiling.

It was fun while it lasted!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Renovating my Life.

During renovations you sure do notice all the other things in your house that need fixing or a face lift. Suddenly, the hall paint is looking pretty dingy and the carpeting...oh my, the will have to do for now with a cleaning after all this over.  We moved into this house with the existing carpeting and we're lucky it's a  neutral gray colour but it is worn and dirty and has really given us all it can give (add it to the list!).

Also, when we moved in almost every room had border wallpaper.  Some rooms had more than one border design!  We slowly moved through each room stripping wallpaper and border and choosing a more palatable palette. It's funny, now we are at the point in time that we are upgrading our own upgrades. What I once loved is ready for a change. The whole family knows the impending painting projects as they are greeted by tiny paint chips slipped into door frames or taped to the walls in different rooms.  My mind is always one step ahead of the work in progress when it comes to wall paint.  (I suppose that could be annoying to others!!)

For now though, I must concentrate on the bathroom colours.  I'm thinking we'll go pretty neutral but I do find neutral sometimes trickier - all of the sudden a once perfect paint chip looks greenish on the wall.  I also don't want it to look too boring or wishy washy.   One thing I have learned is that it's so important to buy the sample can and try it before you paint.  I like to put two coats onto a board that I can move around the room and view it at different times of the day.  Room lighting is so important and the amount of natural light can really change the look of a paint.  I also live by "it's only paint".  After sampling go for your gut.  It's usually right and if it's wrong you usually know pretty quickly so it's not a really costly mistake.  (Not like tile choices and locations of faucets...oh my I've had enough of these decisions lately!!)

Here's our bathroom at the end of last week.  You can see my two sample colour boards above the vanity. (inukshuk CC-460) and (pale oak OC-20) Unfortunately neither of these seem exactly right.  I'm looking at a couple of other colours now - one with a bit more grey and even one with a tinge of blue.  Hopefully I'll be able to get to the paint store tonight so I can have the samples ready for tomorrow.  We should be able to start priming the walls tomorrow night.

We're really happy with everything.  The shower looks amazing.  As I write this the plumber is hooking up the faucets and the toilet.  We might even have a working bathroom in the very near future! 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hello September!

I'm not sure what happened to the end of summer.  It somehow just flew by.  I'm not sad though as I always do love September and the fall weather.  September has always felt like the beginning of the new year and I always love that feeling.  This year there is also the promise of completed renovations.

In August I have grown used to the daily banging and scraping noises coming from our bathroom upstairs.  I can now tune out the two top squeeky stairs that I hear everytime the contractors go up and down the stairs.  I have accepted the fact that our house is encased in a thick coat of dust even right after vacuuming.

We've made such progress though and we're really happy with the changes.

We've gone from a completely blank room to new flooring.

We've chosen large 24 x24" porcelain tile with a neutral stone look.

Our shower went from this... this.  You can also catch a glimpse of our new vanity.

The shower was completely tiled this week and the countertop was installed.  I'll take pictures this weekend to show next week.  Hopefully by the end of the coming week it will be very close to a finished bathroom.  I'm so excited!  With school starting this week and four of us trying to get ready in the morning we will be thankful to have the extra space.

I also have some very exciting news.  A pair of my earrings are featured in the Fall 2012 edition of  DIY Weddings.  It's available now to order in print and will be available to download later this month.

I'm very excited and can't wait to see the feature!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Creative Burst

Good Monday Morning!  It's so nice to be listing some new items.

Pink Gypsy.

I couldn't resist these charms! Grateful for your love necklace.

These black and whites are fabulous.

More to come....
A cool breeze coming through the window.  Does this mean the end of summer already?

Friday, August 17, 2012

The beauty of rain.

Our camping trip this year ended on a rainy note.  Seventeen hours of straight rain that is.  Despite this it ended up to be such a fun day.  It started with a well deserved afternoon nap.  When we realized that it was not stopping we got our bathing suits on and headed to the beach (strangely there weren't many others sharing our enthusiasm for a swim!).  The air was cold but the water felt warm.  Later, back in our campsite, we played card games in our eating tent.  Two of us on each side of the picnic table squished together to avoid the rain coming in at all sides. We made coffee and hot chocolate and shared some laughs.

We went to bed in the pouring rain.  Often the sound of rain can be so soothing but not this night.  It was strangely loud and it took me a while to get to sleep.  I was hoping we would all stay dry inside (we did).  We awoke in the morning to silence except for a few lone bird calls.  Eventually, even the sun tried to peek out but was unsuccessful after a few minutes.

Our tent was soaked, our towels wet and sandy and we knew we would have heaps of laundry to do when we got home but we were still ending our trip on a happy note.  It was great for the four of us to be together with no other distractions and just ourselves to entertain each other.  I wouldn't have changed anything and I know I will always look back fondly at this trip.

While getting ready to pack up I noticed how pretty the droplets of water looked on the tent.

The girls will be returning tonight from a week with their cousins. It will be nice to have them back.  The renos are moving along pretty well.  The plumber is here now and with any luck I might just have the house to myself in the afternoon. Have a great weekend friends!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fall Forward into the new Colors of the Season

Image from Pantone
Definitely a bolder collection of colors compared to 2011.  This year's colors mix bolds, brights and neutrals.  At first glance the colors read almost too strong for me but sitting back I can see how they could play beautifully together in fashion and in my home.  Lately I've been moving to a more neutral palette on my walls  but if not careful this can lead to a boring room.  Color brings a room alive. Bringing some of these colors in with fabrics and accessories can really make a room go from ho hum to va voom.

Cheer up your deep brown sofa in French Roast with zesty pillows in Pink FlambĂ© and Tangerine Tango.  Think of mixing the warmth and softness of Honey Gold with accents in bold Olympian blue.  For a softer look pair Titanium with Rhapsody and Rose Smoke and if your adventurous add some pops of Bright Chartreuse to the mix. oh la la!

The most important thing with color and trends is to have fun with it.  You'll see these colors in fashion, furniture, bedding, home decor and more.  Add a splash here and there to give your room an instant update.

What's your favourite color from this new line up?  Stay tuned for some more ways to play with the new trends this fall.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

...and the walls came tumbling down.

The renovations have begun.

I've decided to show you real before pictures.  I took the photos as the bathroom was.  I didn't put away the bottles of shampoos and lotions and things.  I really wanted to show the transformation to a space that made us cringe to hopefully a peaceful space with an actual working bath tub! You can see here we kind of gave up on this bathroom a while ago.  The windows were replaced a few years back but we never did replace the window coverings. Yes, those are sheets that we used as curtains tacked to the wall. It can only get better!

After demolition.
 Gone is the vanity and tub. Not a thing left.  The bathroom is totally gutted.

I will not miss the purple on the walls. It seemed fine at the time when I painted it years ago but once we repainted our master bedroom it clashed.  I had really lost any enthusiasm to repaint while things were breaking and we knew repairs and renovations were in the future.

There goes the shower.  (good riddance!)

After demolition.
...and it looks promising.  Some expected water damage (but no mold which is great) and a weird pipe thingie (yes, that is the correct term) in the wrong spot that needs to be relocated.  A new subfloor needs to go in but best to start the work correctly.