Organization

Organizing Stuffed Animals

Organizing Stuffed Animals

I love pinning ideas for things to do with my kids, organizing our home, and meal ideas (don't we all?). I realized recently, though, that I was not actually TRYING many of these ideas so I've decided to do some test drives on my pins to see how well they really work.

My daughter's stuffed animal situation is out of control so I decided to start with figuring out how to wrangle them. I've tried some of my own ideas in the past but her beloved collection has outgrown all of my efforts...

5 Easy Morning & After School Hacks To Make Your Life Easier

5 Easy Morning & After School Hacks To Make Your Life Easier

Mornings, especially once you're thrown back in the routine of school and day care, often become crazy and chaotic trying to make sure everyone has everything they need and gets out the door on time. I've gathered up five easy-to-implement morning and after school hacks to make your life easier...and you might even have time to sit down and drink a whole cup of (HOT) coffee or tea.

Learning How To Take Time For Myself

Learning How To Take Time For Myself

When I tell people I'm a stay-at-home parent who also works from home as a writer and blogger, I often get that faraway dreamy gaze that seems to suggest I've reached the Top Level of the Parenting Game for managing to do what many parents dream of doing while on mat leave: figuring out a way to stay at home with the kids and make money.

Unfortunately, it's not always quite as idyllic as it sounds.

Don't get me wrong, I count my blessings (along with my hats) every single day. But that doesn't mean it's not a challenge. And, while I'm busy trying to keep track of everyone else's needs, my own needs often keep getting pushed further and further down the priority list...

Family Sanity-Saving Calendar

Family Sanity-Saving Calendar

I searched high and low for a big family calendar that we could see the whole month for that had both words and pictures for my pre-readers. I wanted something that would be able to be adapted as they got older.

Not finding anything that had the option to personalize it with images and words, I finally decided to cobble together my own version

Grown-Up Crafting at Hue Design Studio

I love crafting but most of the time these days my crafting consists of a lot of glitter, white Elmer's glue, and crayons. When Michele Muir of Hue Design Studio on Sullivan Street in Halifax's trendy North End invited me and a few other local bloggers over to check out her space and take one of her workshops I was first in line. A craft-er-noon? With new friends? And no glitter? Sold!

Michele is an interior designer who opened her own decorating boutique last year. Her charming shop is packed full of gorgeous items like paint and wallpaper from the UK's Farrow & Ball (she's one of their only two retailers in Nova Scotia), custom designed throw pillows, adorable accessories like artwork and unique pull knobs, and a complete selection of Canadian made FAT Paint and FAT Paint products.

The new Amanda Forrest Collection - hot off the presses

The new Amanda Forrest Collection - hot off the presses

Michele got us settled in with snazzy FAT Paint aprons and a counter filled with snacks and told us a bit about the process and the paints we'd be using. FAT Paint is a chalk-style paint and is Canadian through and through. It is owned and operated in BC by a brother-sister team, Victoria and Bradford Lambert, and it started in September 2012.

Hue Design Studio is one of only three Nova Scotian retailers to carry this product and the only one in Halifax. She offers regular workshops, such as FAT 101, for people who want to learn how to use this paint - no experience necessary! She also offers Sign Making Workshops with FAT Paint which is what we were doing.

I decided to make a sign for our Dining Room to post each day's dinner menu with a Bon Appetit! stencil. Choosing the colour was the hardest part for me but I finally settled on Dutch Door, a deep burgundy red and chose Antique Wedgewood for the lettering.

We sanded down the wood then got started with the painting. I hadn't used chalk-style paint before and really loved the texture and how well it covered the board, even with just one coat.

My favourite moment of painting - the first brush stroke

My favourite moment of painting - the first brush stroke

We let it sit for about 20 minutes while we noshed and talked blogs and family. It was so wonderful to meet some of my favourite bloggers, reconnect with ones I'd met before at BlogJam, and learn about some new blogs I'm now following.

Once the second coat was dry I taped on my stencil with painter's tape and put a dab of the Ancient Wedgewood on a plate.

Michele showed us how to remove most of the paint from the brush so it didn't bleed on the stencil and then we went at it.

Okay, I changed my mind. My favourite part isn't the first swipe of paint any more. It's removing the stencil. WOW. I need to start using stencils more often and Hue carries a whole stack of them that I can't wait to start collecting.

Once this dried we brushed on, then rubbed in, some FAT Wax to seal our creations and give it just that extra bit of oomph to the colour and look.

When I got home I finished the last bit of my project which was adding a painted chalkboard on the bottom. I taped off the edges and covered the stencilled part with newspaper and used some black chalkboard spray paint on the bottom.

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After a hour or so I peeled off the tape and the next morning I hung it up on the wall with that night's dinner menu displayed.

Today's Special is...

Today's Special is...

Thanks so much to the East Coast Mom Media

group for connecting us and, of course, to Hue Design Studio - the workshop was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon and would be a great activity for a group of friends or family who want to get together and try something new, and leave with something beautiful. 

You can find Hue at 5585 Sullivan Street in Halifax (steps away from the Starbucks in the Hydrostone) and at www.huedesignstudio.ca

Disclosure: I was provided a free Sign Making Workshop from Hue Design Studios but all views are my own.

Check out the blogs from the other crafters who attended that day and see their creations!

My Life in the Sun

Curtains Are Open

Farm Fresh Style

Simple Local Life

Halitrax