styling - a tale of two faiths

A couple of months ago I had the privilege to work on this story for Today's Parent about how multi-faith families celebrate the holidays at this time of year. With Hanukkah right around the corner I thought it would be a good time to share it!

Nothing says Christmas and Hanukkah like a snowflake wreath with dreidels! This amazing craft and the others throughout the piece are by a woman named Steph Hung who worked at Martha Stewart Living in the Craft Department. I peppered her with questions about what it was like to work there, if she ever met Martha, and what Martha's expectations were for each shoot. It was fascinating! If you'd like to learn how to make this wreath you can check out the DIY over at Today's Parent.

My fireplace! Yes you guessed it they shot the story at our house which made for some easier styling for me. It also took out one huge component of styling which you could call "schlepping". So much schlepping is involved when you style a shoot. (By the way, if you pick up the December issue of Today's Parent you might recognize the front cover as well. Also shot at our house with a real Christmas tree I chopped down by myself - very proud of that fact!)

The lighting of the menorah is an integral part of Hanukkah. If you would like to learn how to make this modern version you can follow Steph's easy DIY tips over at Today's Parent.

These traditional Christmas crackers blend the two holidays perfectly when filled with Gelt. We chose a colour scheme of orange, blue, silver and shimmery accents for this shoot but you could use a combination of any colours. The DIY for this craft is also over at Today's Parent.

Do any of you celebrate blended holiday's at this time of year? Do you have certain traditions you keep and others you let fade away to make room for the new ones? I'd love to hear!

Photography - James Tse
Art Director - Alicia Kowalewski
Crafts - Steph Hung


easter moodboard

With Easter coming up at the end of this week I pulled together a pastel-inspired, table setting moodboard for the people over at HGTV. Personally, I love decorating at this time of year. Spring flowers, hands down, have to be some of the prettiest. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, muscari and all those beautiful flowering branches get me every time. Then of course there are all the fun crafts you can do with dyed easter eggs, mini bird's nests and other spring related activities. For all the details on this moodboard swing by HGTV and have a peep!

By the way, if you're looking for an easy yet beautiful craft to do with your children I suggest heading over to Rachel Riordan's blog The Stay Lucky. She recently did a great step by step post on how to make monogrammed, speckled Easter eggs for your kid's Easter basket.

The end result is nothing less than spectacular.

In fact, it was so good that this month's Today's Parent magazine has an entire spread featuring Rachel, her decorating prowess and her adorable twins.

Image credits:
1 - The Marion House Book
2-3 - Anya Chibis for Today's Parent

hgtv and today's parent

When I graduated from University (the first time around) I wanted nothing more than to work for a magazine. Trouble was, the country was in the middle of a recession, I had no connections and at 21 years old not a whole lot to offer. So it is with great delight that I now find myself contributing to and popping up in magazines.

In the summer, I received an email from an editor at the fairly new HGTV magazine (this is only their second issue.) She has seen the blue bedroom my partner Yasmin and I worked on that was profiled in Chatelaine magazine. She was wondering about the paint colour we used on the walls and thought it might be a good fit for a reoccurring column they have called, Wow, What Paint Color is That?

After a few emails back and forth and phone conversation to New York my job was done. I have to say that it is quite surreal to be standing in a bookstore and see your name and work mentioned in a magazine. You kind of want to point it out to everyone visiting the store! I'm proud to say that this is the first time one of our projects has graced the pages of an American magazine.

This month, I also have a small craft how-to in the Canadian parenting bible Today's Parent. I was asked if I had any ideas for a Valentine activity that parents could do with their kids. I immediately thought of all of the fabulous projects that Abbey from Aesthetic Outburst got up to last February. I remembered she made some easy felt bracelets with hearts and then attached them to cardstock to be sent out as Valentines. She actually got the idea from Katie of the blog Katie Did.

I modified the craft so that it included two different sized hearts layered over one another and opted for a ribbon in place of the felt band. I asked my friend Kristin (of Hello! Neighbor fame) if her son would mind writing some of the cards for me. There is something so delightful about kids handwriting. Thanks to both Abbey and Katie for the original idea. This craft take a bit of time to get together but once you get the assembly line of hearts and ribbons going you can make quite a few of these quite quickly.