number thirty-four

One of the items on my thirty-six things to do before thirty-six was print and frame a photo. Done. pugwash2 DSC_0680

I chose my Pugwash photograph because it is my happy place and I think the print is a nice addition to the gallery wall. There are many places you can get photos printed and enlarged – like Costco and online services – however, I went with a local store to avoid shipping costs. Atlantic Photo Supply on Dresden Row in Halifax offers an easy online ordering system and gives the option to pick up (for free) or ship. They also have tons of size options and different finishes like metallic, canvas, high gloss and matte. I ordered an 11×17 print and it was $13.99.


I was lucky to score a bunch of Ikea Ribba picture frames at half price (thank you Jessica) and have been slowly filling them. You can say I have a bit of a white-wall-white-frame-oholic problem. DSC_0681 DSC_0685

Sorry for the glare, perhaps I should put take a photography class on my to-do list for thirty-seven.

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“Perhaps I can get in the pool once a week this winter.” says me, every year, no joke. I love the idea of swimming but I just am not disciplined about doing it.

There was this one time when I got pretty serious about swimming; it lasted a few months and I managed to improve enough to ‘comfortably’ swim 1000 metres. My cousin talked me into doing a duathlon (swim 750m and run 5km) and lets say it was not pretty. You know the sympathy clap? When everyone cheers for the last one out of the pool? Yah, that was me. I managed to make up for it with my run but it was a good lesson to learn – swimming takes practice and I need more of that. Plus, legs only and breaststroke are not ideal for these events. So, will this year be the year? No promises but I can say, not everything about this post is a FAIL.

One of my to-do items for the summer was buy some art. Not sure where this came from, but likely because I have a surplus of frames waiting to be filled (thanks to a 50% off sale and having a good friend in Montreal who buys me stuff at Ikea).

So what did I buy? A print from someone I pinned a long time ago. I love her stuff, so much so, it was hard to pick one. Honestly, it came down to two things.

  1. There is a palm tree (or what I believe is a palm tree) in Breakthrough
  2. It fits one of my frames with no need for cutting, cropping or purchasing a new matte

Here is the print up on the wall – next to the portrait of Henry. In the dead of winter, while watching one of the many dreary Netflix series online (currently addicted to The Killing), I can glance over at my swimming girl and remind myself to swim more. It really is the best.

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Check out more of Samantha French’s paintings here

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wedding weekend recap

Aimee and Caylum are married!

Want to see some pics? There are a lot, and they’re not great because I was busy enjoying the party, but we don’t judge. right? First off, it was such a treat – and by far the most involved I’ve been in a wedding from start to end (besides mine). I appreciate that they let a rookie* take over the design and some of the planning.

First up, at the beginning of the year the initial print items were developed, including the invite, RSVP postcard and information card. Aimee sent me an inspiration board on Pinterest and we talked about fonts and colours that best matched their taste but also complimented the venue, which was a pavilion at a vineyard in the valley.Design-1Once the invites were sent out, more pieces were developed for the wedding day including signs, the seating chart, a guest card and a mad libs to keep the guests entertained. The table numbers were attached to corks and labels were put on the wine bottles for each table.Design-2 Design-3As mentioned, the wedding took place at a vineyard and the weather was hot, sunny and there was a full moon at night. The Bride was smart to suggest making the programme a fan – the guests certainly appreciated the gesture although I am sure her assembly crew (aka bridesmaids) did not enjoy all of the cutting and hole punching.DSC_0133 DSC_0143

* * *

The day before the wedding, we arrived on site at lunch and started putting the space together. There were already strings of white lights up but everything else was brought in and the girls made the bouquets, boutonnieres and table arrangements on site. Tim, the tulle man spent the day on the ladder while the tables were set and most everything was put out.DSC_0111DSC_0119 DSC_0115 DSC_0112DSC_0116DSC_0129And here is the room coming together. DSC_0117 DSC_0120 DSC_0122DSC_0148 DSC_0147 DSC_0150 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4DSC_0127DSC_0132Because the floor was cobblestone, the couple provided flip flops for dancing. DSC_0124A special bouquet and candle were put on display for Aimee’s mother. DSC_0123On the morning of the wedding, a few finishing touches were done outside while the music was tested and the wine was poured. DSC_0134 DSC_0136 DSC_0142Finally, the Bride arrived (on time!) and the wedding began. DSC_0151 DSC_0158Once the ceremony and dinner were over, me my lovely friends (and team) and I took a few photos.DSC_0174 photo 1photo 22 photo 44Sparkles were lit when the sun went down.DSC_0227 DSC_0232 DSC_0234 DSC_0236And the tables moved to the side for dancing. I wish these photos turned out, wrong lens, wrong settings, but you get the picture. Good times.DSC_0237DSC_0269DSC_0301DSC_0322Congratulations Aimee and Caylum.

*Rookie as a professional wedding planner, not a rookie at anything else wedding related including design and styling. Call me. 

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save the date!

When I was in the thick of wedding planning … 8 years ago … Save the Dates were not very popular. But this was well before scrapbooking, scrapbooking stores and Pinterest. If you were getting married you’d send an invite. Done. Now with Facebook and its likes, everyone and their grandmother knows you are getting married as soon as you’re engaged. This is by no means a bad thing but it questions whether a Save the Date is a necessary expense in the already expensive big day.

I’m a print girl and a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to weddings. I strongly believe in mail-back RSVPs and fully support Canada Post when it comes to inviting people to such an important event, however with this being said, these days I’ve been suggesting an email Save the Date for the following reasons.

  1. Time. Once your Save the Date is designed and your contact list is ready you can send them all out in one click.
  2. Expense. You can have the same look but save on stamps, envelopes and printing.
  3. Formality. If you are going to skimp on something, I’d suggest the Save the Date as it are not required and it really doesn’t say much more than the obvious ‘Save the Date’. With the overload of banners, photo booth props, signs, table numbers, the program, an information card, the invite, a rsvp card, a guest book, favours and flags, you will have plenty of opportunities to present your theme.

But… do you really need one (print or email)? That is totally up to you. I’d say a definite YES if you are having a destination wedding or inviting a lot of out of town guests. It gives people plenty of time to book hotels and make travel arrangements. Although a Save the Date can be a great way to introduce your theme, it does not have to match your invite set. A Save the Date is a perfect opportunity to have fun and be casual. Here are some things to consider before you make your final YAY/NAY decision.

  1. Timing. Are you ready? It is six months before your wedding. At this point you should have your venue booked so it is safe to say you can send out a Save the Date but if there is only four months until your wedding, you should probably hold off and allow your invite to be responsible for getting your guests to the event.
  2. Expense. Regardless of the format (print or email), you still have to get it designed. Depending on your arrangement, it is an added cost.
  3. And in the end, if you are a NAY on a print or email Save the Date, please be a NAY on a Facebook Wedding Group Event!

I did make a Save the Date (magnet) and it was mailed out but as I said at the beginning, I am a print girl. I cut costs in other areas and had the resources to do the design and printing myself. I think every bride needs to take the time to decide what they want, and not what everyone else is doing online. Budgeting is crucial when planning and can easily be overlooked so before any decisions are made, write a list all all the items you need / want / would like / don’t really need and start from there.

Enough chitchat already… lets see some Save the Date ideas!

  • You hired a photographer and the package includes engagement shots, why not use one for your Save the Date? I recently made this Save the Date for a couple who already had lovely photographs to work from:

Save The Date_1


  • Think out of the box … or better yet, make a box. Catherine, designer extraordinaire, made this for our friends Jessica and Matt (and it still sits on my shelf … hence its condition).

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And here are some fun ideas found online:

It's a date

A. Tie it / B. Consider Yourself Booked bookmark / C. Hang tag with heart thumbprints / D. Sticker / E. DIY Matchbox / F. TYPE / G. WOAH / H. Photo booth Magnet / I. They Met Card / J. Bad Dancing Guaranteed

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And to my already subscribing readers, sorry about the glitch the other day – I was adding a Bloglovin’ Follow Me button and things got complicated. My bad.

hang it. series three.

I love filling my walls with affordable art and (in my opinion) have grown a nice collection. There is always room for more, but here’s what I have so far… or at least what I can source for you online. Some of these have stories, and if it is not too evident from below, a lot were collected while travelling, as it is a nice reminder of places we’ve been and memories made.

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A. A free download – I downloaded it and sent it to a photo lab. It looks lovely in the bathroom
B. A trip to the Art Deco store in Miami Beach, and I came home with this poster – still waiting to be framed
C. A poster of the Grand Canyon straight from the gift shop – still waiting to be hung
D. Three Wind Toys, 1962 by Wayne Thiebaud came from the SFMOMA museum store
E. Found this by Flag Tag Prints and loved the Montreal and France references – still waiting to be hung
F. When designing my kitchen, I had this piece titled Cincinnati No. 5006, from Pancake & Franks in mind. It found a perfect home above the dining table
G. I love these maps by Ork Posters! The Ratified Green Print of Philadelphia reminds me of my first marathon
H. The Mostly Sunny Screenprint of San Francisco map by Ork Posters! reminds me of our first big trip with David, he was 7 months old
I. The Numbers Poster by Binth Studio was purchased for David’s room
J. Jim Datz City Series – Manhattan from Three Potato Four was a gift from my sister – we’ve been there twice together
K. The Alphabet Poster by Binth was purchased for David’s room – I saw it in a store in Hong Kong before he was born and did a lot of Googling to source it online.*
L. The Boston Blue Screenprint by Ork Posters! reminds me of a trip with Mike before we got married
M. Bought when I purchased Golden, it was nice to have three animal prints for the hallway plus, proceeds from this one went to polar bear preservation
N. Another long Googling journey – I saw Golden by Eleanor once and a year or so later I tried to find it again – typing “Golden + Print + Screen print” brought on many many images of people’s dogs.
O. Bought when I purchased Golden, it was nice to have three plus the title was Nova Scotia… how random, the artist is from the states!
P. How many alphabet prints is too much? I have three! This is Olunda from IKEA

Museum gift shops are great places to find affordable art and you can usually score a tube to roll stuff up in. I often travel with one in my suitcase just in case I find a gem.


*Note: when shopping abroad and you see something you like, take a picture of it! It will make sourcing it a lot easier when you get home!