Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Best (FREE!) Holiday Printables Round Up

Every year I design my own gift tags and Christmas cards around now for the upcoming holiday season. This year, things are different because we aren't going to be home for Christmas and we also have a lot going on with the new house build. So, since physical and wrapped gifts will be few and far between, spending hours designing tags seems like a waste of time, especially when there are so many amazing options out there already. I love all of these below and I'm sure you will too. And you really can't beat the price ($0). And from one label/tag maker to another, a huge thank you to all who shared these. I know the hours that go into designing, so it's so appreciated to have them available gratis.

Perhaps my favourite of the bunch are the first in this round up. I love their simplicity yet the inclusion of typical christmas graphics like trees and reindeers. These are oh so similar to some I designed for myself last year (and similar to the cards I made), but I like these better, so I'll probably be using these this year! From the crafty Creative Index blog and can be found here.

 How cute are these? Definitely perfect for a Kate Spade lover (or anyone who loves classic black, white and gold!). Download here from Pretty Darn Cute.

Lovely pastel tags below from Best Day Ever. Download here.

Love these kraft and ice blue printables by Catch My Party. Banner and labels and more can be found right here.

These kraft and white tags are also super cute and simple. Find here from Muffin Grayson.

Love these hand drawn labels below. The come with a white background so print on any colour paper you like. Find them here from Hey Look. 

If you're going to be making some gifts this year, these are the tags for you! Hand lettered chalk art and FREE. So beautiful.  Find them here on World Label.

Lots of great kraft tags can be found over here at Shanty 2 Chic. 

What are you planning to do for gift tags this year? How often do you take advantage of free printables?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Designing a Home | Balls to the (Dry)wall

I can't believe I haven't shared more house build things on here. I guess it's just felt like such a long process and it's taken a while to really see the house take shape to a point where it feels real. Well, folks, it feels real! The drywall is in and as I was leaving the other day they were about to prime the walls - eeek!

I'm sure nothing will top finally getting to see the kitchen in -  right now bare walls don't feel so homey. But it is still incredibly exciting to see.

Below is our front hallway - Kevin is standing in the laundry/craft room and the second opening is the door to the basement. If you turned right after the right hand wall, the hall would lead you to the powder room and mudroom (garage entry). Straight ahead is the great room with the living room on the left and kitchen/dining room to the right.

Don't mind the scaffolding, but below is the living room (I should have stepped back to get a wider shot). Out the back, we have our yard, then there will be fence, then a back lane, and then some "lane style"" homes. We liked the buffer that the back land provided, and if we want, we could put a gate in the back fence for future yacht storage (yeah right).

Without the scaffolding and prior to the fireplace hole being cut.

This view is from the other angle (I'm standing in between the kitchen/dining room for this shot.) As you can see, plenty of natural light which is exactly why we chose so many windows. We will have to wait and see how that plays out with heating and cooling in the home. 

Below is the kitchen. The two small holes in the ceiling are our island pendants to give you a better idea of placement. This wall will have our stove centered on it and cabinetry on either side. To the right is the walk-through pantry (of which another blog post is to come) and on the 90 from there, is our fridge and pantry wall.

And here is the dining room. I was really really concerned about not having a window on the far right wall of the dining room or in the kitchen (since the sink is in the island, and the stove is on the wall, I wasn't sure where to put one without drastically changing the configuration). But, after seeing how much light the home gets, I'm not all that worried anymore. One day, I will do a post on things I learned while building a home and what I wish I had changed/done, but that may be a ways away.

Below is the fireplace with the beginning of the cut out for our 60 inch fireplace. Although our home came with a standard gas fireplace, we opted to omit it in favour of a modern ribbon fireplace (which will be electric). The gas version of the fireplace we wanted was atrociously expensive (many thousands) and we were more concerned about looks and ambience than the gas heat (which is expensive to run if you are looking to heat a room). How we are finishing the fireplace is still very much up in the air. We went to a tile store yesterday and there were so many options that I am beyond overwhelmed. I do still have my white stacked quartz that would be perfect BUT I don't have enough of it to cover the roughly 100 sq ft of the fireplace. Options and a request for your opinion to come in another post!

Look at how happy my hubby is. The cutest. Although this process has been stressful and exhausting at times, this man has kept me sane and his enthusiasm for this build might even surpass mine. Best of all, he loves (most) of my design choices which makes it that much easier. To help even things out a bit, he took the reigns on the exterior and fortunately we are both happy so far!

And there she is in her most recent state! We have hardiboard up to the part where it is finished, and will have acrylic stucco on the unfinished parts (and for my BC friends, stucco is THE main exterior finish of choice in Winnipeg, so although it might seem odd for us to be doing it, it makes sense regionally). And the door has yet to be painted (and because it's already freezing here, it won't be painted until, oh, next summer probably.)

Hope to post soon with our floor plan FINALLY. I really want to design the floor plan on floorplanner.com as opposed to just scanning the plans, so that I can show furniture layout, etc, but I just haven't found the time.

Ciao lovelies!

Sunday, November 2, 2014


Who would've thought that of all the decisions we faced during our home build, that lighting would be the MOST difficult part? (Okay, maybe the marble decision was a tad harder but this is a close second).

I'm not sure exactly what it is. The fact that lighting can be trendy and go out of style quickly? That it can get really expensive and I'm incredibly indecisive? All of the above. I'm also not looovving any lighting out there. Nothing knocks my socks off and makes me think "I gotta have it". Not having that feeling, and needing to spend mucho denaro anyways, is a bummer.

I'm also completely confused about which metals I can use in an open space without looking clashy. I have never been a matchy-matchy decorator, but can I pull off black for the entry light, chrome and glass for the island pendants, and brushed gold for the dining room? In our great room, you will be able to see our pendants, dining room fixture, stairwell pendant, and a peek of the entry if you stand in the middle of the room. So what's a girl who doesn't want to match but doesn't want to clash to do?

Despite my lack of passionate love for lighting at the moment, I have compiled some that I like enough to consider.

This brushed gold chandy from Capitol Lighting (initially spotted on Joss and Main) is my top contender for the dining room. It's the only one I actually really kinda like. But does it play nice with the other options? Black/ORB in the entry and chrome glass pendants over the island? AND I just checked and it's now on sale at just $299 and it was over $450 the last time I checked. I think I have to order it! At that price, I will happily replace it if we ever go to sell and the lighting is too specific to my tastes and not the general public.

I also really love the lines of this one from Lamps Plus, but not loving the colour, so a major spray paint job would be involved. The lines also play well with my top dining room contender, so this could work in the stairwell in the great room (we have 18 ft vaulted ceilings and we need a large pendant that will be halfway up the stairs that will be visible from both living room/kitchen/dining room). It's only $299 so maybe not a big deal to spray it?

While not my favourite light in the existence of all lighting, this Capitol lighting could work because it's from the same family as the dining room, and it substantial enough to go in such a large space. What are your thoughts? And it's $410 which is pretty good compared to the $1K plus options I've been looking at.

This is what I'm loving for the island. It's from Shades of Light. Simple, clean, classic. But again, can I do chrome (actually this is polished nickel) and brushed gold in the same space? Or do I need to match them? Help! We are doing two pendants over the island instead of three so I cna't go for the mini pendants out there or they won't be to scale.

Have you ever had to pick out a bunch of lighting at one time, and do have any insight for me? I consider myself fairly well versed in what works and what doesn't for home decor, but I'm really stumped on this one!