minted holiday card - giveaway!

Is it too soon to be thinking about the holiday's? Probably! However, if you're planning on sending cards out to friends and family (especially those overseas) than it's feasibly not a bad idea to start getting organized. Perhaps, this giveaway is the perfect thing to get you started.

Minted Stationery is offering one of my readers $100 credit to be used towards flat Holiday, Christmas, or New Year's cards! Now that's a sweet deal.

Do you know Minted? You should! Minted is an online stationery store that sources all of its fabulous designs from independent designers who enter their design challenges. They believe that great design thrives in the hands of indie designers that people might not have access to through traditional retailers. Minted holds monthly design challenges for stationery, invitations, calendars and other categories and all graphic designers are welcome to enter. Winning designers can earn cash prizes, a place in the Minted Collection, commissions on the sale of their design and exposure!

They have everything from modern wedding invitations to save the date cards to birth announcements to personalized stationery.  (Haven't you always wanted your own stationery? I have!) Each card can be personalized in its own unique way from adding your own photo to changing the holiday greeting. Your cards can say Happy Hanukkah, Joyeux Noel, Season's Greetings or anything else you can dream up!

Here's how to enter the giveaway to win $100 Minted Credit. Visit Minted and look through their Christmas, Holiday and New Year's cards. Come back here and tell me which card you would choose and why you like it. (Honestly, this will be the hardest part of the giveway - it's impossible to choose one favourite - but do your best!) You have until Sunday, October 30th (midnight, EST) to enter the contest. I'll announce the winner next Monday.

The giveaway is open to all the countries on the list below: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea (Republic of, South Korea), Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovak Republic (Slovakia), Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Venezuela.And the United States!

So if your country is on the list enter away!

I think I might just order some of these for myself!


giveaway - fabric & handle tote bag

Awhile back, I posted a few items that were inspiring me. One of them was a tote bag by the company Fabric and Handle. Salinya, the talented woman behind these bags, reached out and contacted me and we struck up a bit of an email conversation. I had a feeling that these satchels would be very popular with my readers and I asked her if she would be willing to do a giveaway. Luckily, she said yes!

The tote bag Salinya is giving to one of my lucky readers is from her new line of bags. This version of the tote bag is designed to function both as an everyday bag and as a shopping bag.

It has a new spacious outside pocket with magnetic snap closure, soft double rolled leather handles, extra strong stitching, leather trim, and a leather patch on the bottom to reduce wear and tear. It also comes in a variety of colours and patterns.

In order to enter the giveaway just leave a comment on this post telling me which version (they have cute names like Geneva and Kyrie) of the tote bag you would choose. The giveaway closes at midnight (EST) on October 9th. This contest is open to all my readers (International, as well!) so enter away.  You can also visit Fabric and Handle's facebook page to receive a 10% discount code to be used on any purchase. I'll announce the winner next Tuesday, October 11th.

There's nothing I like better than a bag that is both functional and beautiful. The hardest part will be deciding which one to pick!



what a talent!

Alanna Cavanagh is a remarkable artist. She lives and breathes her work and gets a little on edge if she can't find the time to get "inky" as she calls it. Being a commercial artist is no easy feat. It requires not only being completed devoted to your craft but also being a savvy and smart business woman. Alanna is an agile artist who has found a way to work in many different mediums and with a diverse group of clients. However, each and everyone of her projects contains the essence of Alanna. It's the mark of an exceptional artist and someone who fully understands her craft. Today, I'd thought I would show you a selection of Alanna's work as it has appeared in stylish homes. None of these shots (with the exception of the last two) were taken with the express interest to showcase Alanna's work but I think it is incredible how much they really set the tone and feeling of the room.

This image is from a shoot of cookbook author Trish Magwood's home as it appeared in Canadian House & Home.

In Magwood's son's room, the graphic orange pillowcases were inspired by Alanna's A Room of One's Own print.

Finally, in Trish Magwood's little girl's room, Alanna's Alphabet Legs print adds an air of sophistication.

This image from the online magazine Covet Garden illustrates what a captivating presence Alanna's prints can have on a room.

This image of textile designer Bev Hisey's home appeared in this month's issue of Chatelaine. You can see Alanna's print of the Big Orange Scissors on the credenza. A fitting work for a designer!

I noticed this image in photographer Jodi Pudge's portfolio. I love all the red and white accents. UPDATE - Just found out this home belongs to Covet Garden founder and editor Lynda Felton.

Finally, these two images come from a photoshoot Alanna just completed with photographer Janet Kimber. Here is S is for Swing again.

And one of my personal favourites, Brooks Brothers Suit.

If you'd like the chance to win one of Alanna Cavanagh new works, An Empty Belly, please leave a comment on Monday's post. I know it would make a stunning addition to anyone's home. Thanks again, Alanna for such an excellent giveaway!

Image credits:
1-3 - Stacey Brandford
4 -Jodi Pudge
5 -Donna Griffith
6 - Jodi Pudge
7-8 - Janet Kimber

giveaway - an art experience

Some of you might know that when I'm not here blogging or here designing homes that I'm actually at The Art Gallery of Ontario working as an Exhibition Designer. It's something I've been doing for about five years now. After I received my Bachelor of Interior Design from Ryerson University I started working immediately at the AGO. It was a fortuitous time as the Frank Gehry designed expansion was underway and the gallery was reinstalling all of their spaces. I spent the next two years redesigning the entire Canadian wing of the AGO including this 16 foot high wall of projectile points.

Since then I've gone on to design exhibitions for Holman Hunt, David Blackwood, Paterson Ewen and Julian Schnabel.

Most recently, I completed work on Abstract Expressionist New York. This show features masterpieces from The Museum of Modern Art including works by Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Joan Mitchell. This is an unprecedented international exclusive and extremely rare opportunity to see all of these works in one place outside of MoMA.

I'm happy to say that I have two tickets to give away to see this show. It runs from now until September 4th so if you live in Toronto or think you'll be in the area sometime this summer enter to win. Just tell me who your favorite artist is (it doesn't have to be someone famous!) The giveaway will close on Sunday, June 12th at midnight (EST). I'll announce the winner next Monday.

And if you're interested in hearing more about my work check out this interview that Mason Studio just did with me.

Now, enter away!

Image Credits:
1 - Art Gallery of Ontario
2 - Dennis Marciniak for BlogTO
3-4 - Vince Talotta for the Toronto Star