challenge accepted

Fun fact: I got a D in drawing in my first year at University. I’m not proud of this but I’ve accepted and moved on.

Sadly this near-failure lead me down a path of a limited logo and photoshop work; preferring layout, copy editing, rulers, and alignment. So, I decided to let loose and try the 31 Day Flower Drawing Challenge by the most adorable, talented and knowledgeable Brittany Watson Jepsen of The House That Lars Built. I did not do this in May and I did not do this in 31 days but I did it and you should too. I dare say, it’s a bit meditative and I learned a heck of a lot about flowers!

Check out my skills… I’m giving it a C.

And if you’re wondering, each flower lesson is less than five minutes and you can draw along at her pace. I added some colour but that’s not a part of the lesson. “Snap-dragon to it”, Y’all!


Next up… photography!

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I made my mom proud… I’m a hooker! IMG_2085Way back in February, when I was snow-bound at my parent’s house on the Wallace River, I wrote a list – thirty six before thirty six. I completed 32 out of 36 items and #14 was: Learn how to rug hook.

It may seem like a random goal for a gal who’s not even 40 but when you’re snow bound and your mother is a rock star hooker, why not add it to your list? After all, on occasion I still like to dabble in the arts – I have to put that BFA to good use!

My first project was a throw pillow – and here’s how it went down:

Step 1: Iron the piece of burlap so it is super flat. If you are making a 16 x 16 inch pillow (like I did), make sure your piece of burlap is at least 1-2 inches wider on all sides.IMG_2071 Step 2: Roughly sew along the edge of all four sides to keep your burlap from fraying.
IMG_2074Step 3: For framing purposes, add a few more inches of scrap material to all four sides of the burlap. This can be done quickly. IMG_2076Step 4: Once the burlap is ready, draw with a ruler your artwork frame (mine was 16 x 16 inch square)IMG_2077IMG_2078 IMG_2079Step 5: Draw on tracing paper a design the same size as your frame. My mom suggested keeping things simple – meaning more curves and less small details and hard angles. The fun part was coming up with a design – I drew a folkish flower arrangement in a pot because it felt like the right thing to do for my first rug hooking adventure.IMG_2080Step 6: Pin the tracing paper over the piece of burlap, match the frames and trace your drawing – when you trace it hard, the drawing shows up on the burlap.IMG_2081Step 7: Now you are finally ready to hook! IMG_2082Step 8: Secure the piece of burlap to a hoop frame and start hooking away with your hook and yarn. I started with the flowers and jumped around, making sure to use lots of different colours. The yarn should be long enough that you can happily hook without running out too often. When doing small items (like petals, you may only need 6-12 inches). Once you get the hang of it, you will get better at judging how much yarn you’ll need. As you move around your design, you can adjust the hooking frame to keep the working area in the center.IMG_2083 IMG_2092 IMG_2140 IMG_2151 IMG_2156Step 9: Once the flowers were done, I did the flower pot and background. These two sections were a lot less exciting but yet mindless and easy to work through. IMG_2145IMG_2165Step 10: When everything within the frame was covered, I was finally able to pull it out of the hooking frame, remove the scrap material and make a finishing edge around the 16 x 16 inch artwork with yarn. To do so, fold under the edges of the burlap outside of frame and pin in place. Lay your artwork face down on an ironing board and cover it with a piece of cotton or a towel and iron. Then you can finish sew along the four sides and remove the pins. DSC_0220 DSC_0221 DSC_0223 DSC_0225 DSC_0227 DSC_0228DSC_0562Step 11: (This is when I handed-off the project to my mom) *cheater. I had scrap material which she used to make the backing of the pillow. We stuffed it and sewed’er shut. DSC_0564Step 12: Voila! DSC_0570 DSC_0567Hooking is fun and easy. Sure, the better you are, they better it will look but what I love most about it is you can hook-away almost anywhere. The majority of my hooking was in the car (on our trip to Sunday River) or in front of the TV.IMG_2164I plan to start a new project this winter – for me, it really is a seasonal sport – I have a design and am excited to show you what’s next. Spoiler: I am going to try type.

psst. For those who want to hook but are not keen on drawing, there are kits you can buy. You can also hook fabric instead of yarn. There is an awesome hooking store in Amherst, Nova Scotia for all of your hooking supply needs – and even better, you can order online. 

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flower filled wedding wednesday

Remember last Wedding Wednesday when I said ‘pay for a good photographer because the photos will last forever’ (unlike the day and your memories)? Well, flowers will not last forever no matter how much you pay for them BUT having a beautiful bouquet will not make your future-self cringe. With this being said, ordering a bride’s bouquet plus flowers the girls in your wedding party plus corsages and boutonnieres for your families plus table arrangements plus room decor can add up!

Mike and I each had only one person standing* with us so we ordered the two bouquets and the family corsages and boutonnieres from The Flower Shop in Halifax. Prep_MG_5049 Detail_MG_5226However, we were lucky because my aunt graciously grew an abundance of wild flowers and Sarah (maid of honour) put them together in to beautiful table arrangements. IMGP449300740016

A great cost saving idea is ordering your bouquet from a flower shop (splurge and get want you really want!) but save on table arrangements, corsages and boutonnieres by either doing them yourself or better yet – hiring someone to make them for you from flowers you got for a good price.

I know not everyone has an aunt who’ll grow a field of wild flowers but did you know you can order great flowers (in bulk) from places like Costco and the Superstore? An affordable way to add flowers to your space. If it local you want, check if there are U-Pick flowers in your area – one that we love is Hennigar’s Farm in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. The problem however is it takes time and talent to put it all together once the flowers are purchased. I was lucky because Sarah has professional floral experience.

Relying on your wedding party to help you with your floral arrangements can be tricky. These days the lure of Pinterest makes everyone believe they can DYI everything and although some pinspirations are easy, it can be time consuming – especially since you need to work on flowers the day before and are likely busy. With this being said, look into hiring someone to help bring everything together. Someone like Sarah can help you source ideas and then shop and make great arrangements, which can be delivered to you on your wedding day. Or, you can arrange to have her teach you and your wedding party how to DIY ahead of time if it’s what you desire. 

And… We are excited to announce an opportunity to do just that! If there’s a couple interested in hiring Sarah please let me know! Plus, we’re offering a special pop-up floral workshop to one lucky bride. A night of drinks and appetizers with your wedding party and us! We’ll teach you how to make your own arrangements, which you can then replicate for your big day. See below for details!

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The Pop-up Flower Workshop includes:

  • 1 pre-event phone conversation with the bride about what she likes, colours and favourite flowers
  • 2 bottles of wine and a cheese plate (you are welcome to bring more food and drinks with you)
  • A 2-hour pop-up workshop – we will supply the flowers, tools, ribbon, note pads and pens!

Please reply by leaving a comment below and I will announce the winner in March.

* Tip: The smaller your wedding party, the cheaper your wedding.

Photos 1, 2, 5 and 6 are by Shannon George
Bouquet and corsage by The Flower Shop in Halifax
Flowers grown by Maureen Woodlock and arranged by Sarah Overmars

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summer lovin

Yesterday I really caught the summer bug. I think I was actually hot, outside! The leaves are starting to come out and flowers are finally blooming so, in celebration of summer and the fact that we have a backyard worth using this year, I have created an inspiration board. Lets have more BBQs this season friends!


A. Pigeon Toe Pleated String Light Set / B. Endeavour bracelet / C. fly by off-white bird feeder / D. Go Porch Swing / E. Marimekko Ahonlaita Picnic Bag / F. Bose Free Space® 51 environmental speakers / G. Retro Fan / H. Mon Oncle BBQ Grill / I. Goblets and pitcher / J. The Luna Sandal / K. Beach Towel / L. Prana Estelle Hat / M. Beach tote with mat / N. J.Crew Tank and Bottoms / O. high gloss white windmill / P. Kamada Joe BBQ / Q. the Solair Chair / R. Pink Flamingo yard ornaments / S. Tropica Stripe Beach Umbrella / T. Swan Pool Float / U. Striped Terracotta Pots / V. Neon Soccer Ball / W. Your Own Thing tee / X. Brass Herb Markers / Y. Pendleton Throw / Z. Whisteria Lanterns

psst. Not tagged in picture is the bottle of Sanpellegrino Aranciata

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg