Monthly Archives

August 2010


A DIY Gift Bag Idea and the Raplapla Dolls

raplapla dolls

diy gift bags

You can sew anything. Here is a cool idea that I spot last year at the Souk @ Sat. When I bought a few bags of absolutely delicious caramels and cookies from Dînette Nationale, they put them in a brown bag. For decoration, they sewed a tag and a long wool string with a contrasting thread. It is simple. Yet, it looks so adorable!

Raplapla Dolls and Soft Animals

raplapla dolls

Dînette Nationale is a candy maker that distributed her products at the fabulous doll maker Raplapla in Montreal. They also produced a series of Raplapla animals for babies. All her dolls and animals can be washed in the machine and hang to dry. Raplapla dolls and cuddly toys respect Health Canada safety standards. I own this one; she is named Angele. You can buy them on Etsy.

+ Raplapla dolls $56 USD on Etsy
+ Raplapla Soft Animals $38 on Etsy


Delightful Mondays | Sunflowers at the Farmers Market

sunflowers at the farmers market

sunflowers at the farmers market

Last Friday, I had lunch at the Copley Square Farmers Market in Boston. It’s a great place for an impromptu picnic. Gorgeous sunflowers were everywhere.


It was fun to see the diversity of the species. I wish that I carried with me my good camera to make better pictures.


At home, you can display them in tall glass flower vase. Neatly gather them with a Silver Aluminum Florist Wire to bring a modern flair to your simple arrangements.

sunflowers in tall glass vases


Cupcake Table at WordCamp Montreal 2010

cupcake table at wordcamp montreal 2010

cupcake table at wordcamp montreal 2010

WordCamp Montreal 2010 probably had the nicer cupcake table of any WordCamp events. It felt very Amy Atlas. This was the work of two talented girls who lived in Montreal. I like how they made the long three tier stand with simple boxes covered with nylon fabric. The brown, blue and white is a chic color palette.

Cupcakes and Sweets by Clever Cupcakes

cake lollipops by clever cupcakes

The cupcakes, cake pops and whoppie pies were from Michelle of Clever Cupcakes. Michelle is the one who baked the cupcakes for my husband’s Classic Video Game cupcake tower and that made these cute corn on the cob cupcakes two years ago. They tasted amazing! Cake lollipops are handy to eat. Plus, you feel less guilty to bite into a cake pop than to eat a second cupcake.

cupcake stand

The Design by Paper Candy

The dessert table, the labels and the banner were created by Samantha Star of Paper Candy. As you can see, the attendees enjoyed the dessert table. I was able to take a few photos before they ran out.

mostly emptied cupcake table at wordcamp montreal 2010

And I forgot to mention that we had blue cotton candy. It always fun to eat cotton candy.

Clever Cupcakes
Paper Candy
+ first photo and left photo of 2nd montage: Montreal Tech Watch
+ other photos: Kim Vallée


Creative Coloring Sets for Kids

creative coloring sets :: facebox zoobox and robobox by worldwide co

creative coloring sets ::  facebox zoobox and robobox by worldwide co

When I saw the Facebox set at Paper Source this week, I thought it was a cool idea. So, I had to visit the manufacturer’s Web site to see what else they make. I found out that the UK-based distributor Worldwide Co also makes a Robobox, a Zoobox and a Dinobox, which all share the same principles.

Each set comes with creative stencils and pens. The kid first chooses a head shape, then add hairstyles, features, sunglasses, facial hair or hats! They could draw more than 100,000 face combinations. It’s something to let them occupy at the restaurant or when you visit people who don’t have kids.

Mathematical Art

hypotrochoid drawing art set by worldwide co

Another fun set is the Hypotrochoid Art Set. This is a small version of what we know here as Spirograph. The Kenner Spirograph used to be one of my favorite drawing art games as a kid. Hypotrochoid is the mathematical term for a line traced by a fixed point in a circle (your pen) which is rotated around the inside of a larger circle.

+ Creative Coloring Sets by Worldwide Co
+ Facebox: Creative Stencil and Pen Set $11.95 USD at Paper Source
+ Hypotrochoid Art Set $8.55 at [affiliate link]


Cat Cabin by Loyal Luxe

cat cabin by loyal luxe

cat cabin by loyal luxe

Maud Beauchamp and Marie-Pier Guilmain are the two young Quebec industrial designers behind Loyal Luxe. They created a cool cardboard Canadian style cabin for cats that is shipped on a flat box. I saw it in stores and it’s a great concept.

The cabin is a cat toy where a cat can rest or play hide and seek. Your cat could sit on the roof. We used to keep a red nylon cat tent and our cats love it. I’m pretty sure that they would enjoy the cabin. As a design-savvy cat owner, I appreciate the more sophisticated look of the cabin.

Included in the box are four decorative ornaments for the façade. You can affix a moose head, a fish, a bird and a banner on which you write the name of your cat. Why not decorate the cabin even more with collage, poster paint, felt, or adhesives to complement your interior?

You can find the cat cabin at many retailers, online stores and pet shops across Canada and the United States. It is also available online through Loyal Luxe. Check their Web site to find a retailer near you.

+  Cardboard cat cabin by Loyal Luxe $24 CAD – available on their Web site


Festive Craft Letters

party letters made with wrapping paper glued on craft letters

party letters made with wrapping paper glued on craft letters

Decorating craft letters for a birthday party is an alternative or a complement to birthday banners. They can be used to label a station. Display them on a shelf, a buffet table or hang them from the ceiling.

I saw those at Paper Source yesterday. They glued a combination of decorative papers to create beautiful festive craft letters. They recommend PVA glue for this craft project.  I love it!

+ Craft letters $3.75 each
+ PVA Glue $9.95


A Mermaid Birthday Party for a 4 Years Old

mermaid birthday party games and cupcake toppers

mermaid birthday party games and cupcake toppers

Sherry Willis wrote to me about the nice Mermaid Birthday party she hosted for her 4-year old daughter. She did a great job designing cute cupcake and cake toppers, fun games to occupy the kids and imagining the party decor.

mermaid birthday party theme for a 4 years old

I like the idea of decorating an homemade Bean Bean Bag Toss game. It’s a simple idea that adds a personal touch to the party. Another fun activity was the fishing game. She custom made everything. Each guest has a bucket with a name tag to put in their catch of the day.

mermaid birthday cake

With a little work and creativity, it is not that hard nor expensive to tailor a kids birthday theme. To give you a head start, you can stop by Sherry’s etsy shop. She sells banners, cake toppers, birthday hats, favor tags and invites. Have a look at her Circus party favor tags. The Mermaid theme should be available in a near future.

+ More details about this party at Party Pops
+ Party Pops shop on etsy


The Collectible Momiji Dolls, Mugs and Key Rings

Momiji key rings and hand-painted collectible dolls

Momiji key rings and hand-painted collectible dolls

The Momiji Dolls are just for little girls. It is mostly young women who collect them. Each hand-painted Momiji highlights a personality trait and has her own look.  The collection is created by up and coming designers from around the planet. The dolls are as diverse as the designers who made it, which means that they don’t always have an Asian flair.

momiji mugs and dolls

You can find derivatives products such as key rings, mugs, notebooks, pens and bags. I would hang the key ring on a purse, a handbag and simply use it as a key chain. The doll prices range from $10 to $16 and the key rings are at $7.50 on the US online store of Momiji. They are so adorable that I might become a collector. They fit nicely in a wooden rack.

Founded in 2005, Momiji HQ is a little office in Henley in a small English village called Arden. The village is famous for its ice cream.

+ Enamel key ring: lucky $7.50 USD
+ Enamel key ring: sister $7.50
+ Enamel key ring: best friends $7.50
+ Dancing Girl Momiji doll $16
+ Dancing Girl Momiji mug $10
+ Poppet Momiji mug $10
+ Mabel in box $15


Nursery Posters | Etsy Finds

Custom Baby Birth Posters by chaiv on etsy

Custom Baby Birth Posters by chaiv on etsy

It is sweet to incorporate details about the baby’s birth in a nursery. One fun and elegant way to do that is through personalized art prints. Etsy is the place to find great posters, typically made by graphic designer moms. My heart is torn between two sellers as I cannot decide which one I prefer the most between the art prints of Penny People and the posters by Chaiv. They both played with typography to create remarkable custom-made posters.


Chaiv developed a unique design concept where birth details with the baby name are nicely layout on a custom made poster. Although there are plenty of information for a small piece of paper, the result looks great. You get to choose between two styles, available in two the color palettes of your choice.

custom baby birth poster and nursery poster by chaiv on etsy

Chaiv’s poster size is 11″ x 14″. They also make nice generic number posters and cute Dizzie Chick alphabet posters. They mix well with the custom baby birth poster, if you stay in the same color palette.

Penny People

Penny People found a clever way to write a baby name. I bought one for a friend who got a baby last year. Her alphabet print displays all the 26 letters of the alphabet in a personalized way. You get to choose between 7 colors for the baby name.

nursery posters custom alphabet print and number print by penny people

I also like her Number print. They are available in 8 x 10 and 13 x 19 formats. You won’t have any problems finding a frame since they fit in an Ikea Ribba Frame.

+ Custom Baby Birth Poster Style 2 by Chaiv $40
+ Dizzie Chickie On Alphabet Hill Poster PINK $28
8×10 Alphabet Print, 7 colour choices for names $15 – 13×19 Alphabet Print $25
+ 8×10 Number Print by Penny People $15 – 13 x 19 Number Print $25


Sweet Sweets Cake Art

artistic wedding cakes by sweet sweets cake art in toronto

artistic wedding cakes by sweet sweets cake art in toronto

Ida Thibeh Wiese sent me an email where she presented her cake design studio. I’m glad the she did because the woman behind Sweet Sweets Cake Art is a talented cake artist. She creates superb cakes for her Toronto clients. Her wedding cakes are impressive, unique and elegant. I like her style.

wedding cakes by sweet sweets cake art in toronto

Sweet Sweets designed each wedding cake to uniquely suit the couple’s taste and style. Her commitment does not stop with look. Her menu features a nice variety of cake flavors, icings and fillings. No additives, preservatives or artificial flavorings are present in the cakes. If it is not on the menu, Ida will accommodate your request. Sweet Sweets also makes specialty cakes for birthdays and anniversaries.

+ Sweet Sweets Cake Art


One Open Plan, Two Ways to Use the Space

open dining layout

open dining layout

We often repeat some layout elements from one home to the next. We do it by preference and sometimes by habit. It is OK to repeat them as long as they still fit your lifestyle. Even with almost the same floor plan, no two persons will use the space exactly the same way. My open kitchen/dining plan shared similarities with the house I grew up as a teenager. Still we used the space very differently.

My mother would serve all the family meals at our spacious counter. My mother, who was working and still managed to cook our three daily meals, designed that house to reduce the amount of steps she needed to serve us. We would eat in the dining room every Sunday, on holidays and when my parents entertained.

Kitchen Stools

counter culture

Like most people these days, my husband and I always eat at the dining table. Even when I eat breakfast alone, I will sit at the dining table. For us, the counter area with stools is a conversation area. I like it when my husband and my guests sit at the counter while I cook dinner.

So, what’s about you? Do you eat every day in the kitchen or in the dining room? What is the relationship between your kitchen and your dining room?

+ Open Dining at Crate & Barrel
+ Counter Culture at Crate & Barrel