After West Elm and Hudson’s Bay, Indigo is the latest retailer in Canada that carries a small collection of Etsy handmade wares. It continues to show that consumers want less mass-produced objects in their life. I am glad to see that more and more chain retailers are willing to bring small makers and designers into their shop. Indigo selected a mix of home decor, tabletop and entertaining, and style items from Etsy wholesale program.
+ Studiopatro tea towels $24 CAD
This initiative will make your gift giving easier. Personally, I put the Studiopatro tea towels and the Lily and Val chalkboard prints on my birthday’s wish list; which is next month. They fit nicely with the kitchen decor of the house we bought this week.
So, if you are in Toronto, drop by the Etsy pop-up store at Indigo’s Toronto Eaton Centre location. They opened April 1st, 2014. Otherwise, you can buy the Etsy at Indigo collection online.
If you dream of showing off your own drawings, you will love this next idea. Designed for iPhone 4 and 5, a Krillz iPhone set comes with a 40 page drawing and a clear iPhone case. There is a dye-cut iPhone cutout, that fits your model, on every page.
Where to buy: Krillz iPhone case for creative people at Neo-utility $35 USD
Keep it in mind for a creative gift for a teenager, for graduation or Father Day. If you draw well, why not customize the gift even further by sketch a case in the book?
+ photo credits: Krillz
I prefer drinking tea instead of coffee during the holiday season because it is easier in the stomach. In fact, it helps my digestion. I also keep a supply of herbal teas for my guests who don’t want the caffeine at night.
Here are three gift ideas for people who enjoy their cup of tea at night. First, every teapot needs its cozy. This colorful tea cozy is made of acrylic, which means that it is easy to clean.
I received free sample boxes of the winter collection by Four O’Clock from TRANS-HERBe. They come in 4 flavours: almond biscotti, banana cinnamon spice, gingerbread and truffle mint. I was delighted by the taste and became a fan of the almond biscotti. If a latte is more your style, take two bags of your favourite flavour from the winter collection and steep in 250 mL of hot milk.
As a bonus, the festive illustrations of the Four O’Clock Winter Collection given by Montréal artist Bruce Roberts will look great on your table. You can find this limited edition Winter Collection in supermarkets, gourmet food stores, natural food stores and pharmacies across Canada.
Lastly, Magisso proposes an innovative teacup for serving tea with tea leaves. I have them thanks to Magisso, who sent me a few teacups a while ago. I enjoy how they work. Each Magisso teacup comes in a nice box that makes your gift wrapping easy. The Magisso teacups are available at Amazon.com and might be available at David’s Tea.
Though we’re in store for a few more weeks of winter, spring flowers are already showing up at markets and in stores – we’re already thinking about spring decorating!
If you’re eager to brighten things up with a bunch of blooms, and want to learn how to transform potted plants and bulbs into something spectacular, don’t miss two new workshops at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto this spring with writer, stylist and creative wrapping pro Corinna vanGerwen.
Known for her genius wrapping ideas that have been featured in Canadian Living and Style At Home, Corinna is pairing her love of paper with petals for two one-day workshops.
On April 21, you can learn how to create a spring wreath from Japanese watermark tissue , or join her on May 12 to learn how to “wrap” daffodils, tulips and other spring flowers for gift-giving, party favours and other decorations. Learn more about the workshops and register at the Harbourfront Centre website.
Do not forget to check out the Corinna Wraps blog for more creative wrapping ideas. An idea to steal is her yellow striped suit gift wrap.
+ Corinna Wraps Blog
+ Harbourfront Centre Spring Workshops
Spring bouquets have started popping up in markets, a perfect pick-me-up in the middle of a very cold month. Pass on the pick-me-up to a deserving recipient with a bunch of blooms in a personalized flower wrap, as shown on the blog of letterpress studio Tokketok.
Just cut a square of kraft or decorative paper and freehand a message with acrylic craft paint. If you’re giving flowers as a hostess or birthday gift, you can also personalize the wrap with the recipient’s name. It’s an easy way to elevate a grocery store bouquet.
Now that you groomed yourself, you can think about looking pretty and smelling wonderful to seduce the love of in your life. Here are 5 gift ideas from some of the fashionable Style Collective girls. I let them describe their gift suggestions.
“Roses are predictable but Roseros are certainly not. French luxury perfumiers Diptyque pay homage to the ‘opposites attract’ love between Beauty and the Beast with a duo of candles, and with help from famed French illustrators Kuntzel+Deygas. One is Rose, a romantic garden rose, and the other, Eros, its spicier counterpart. Together they create a perfect harmony, hence the name Roseros.”
Because your home must also smell right to set a romantic mood.
“The DaLish Cosmetics and Jessica Jensen collaboration is the perfect makeup duo. Choose from five limited-edition kits, [each] including a selection of DaLish Cosmetics and a pink embossed ostrich-leather cosmetic bag. Look for my favorite lipstick color, Ruby Red, in the Berry Delight kit.”
Be My Valentine Kit $48 at DaLish Cosmetics and at Jessica Jensen.
“Smell like a boy (in a good way), whether or not there’s actually one in your life this V-Day. Designed by actress Kate Walsh, this new fragrance captures the scent of a guy, on a girl.”
The Boyfriend Kit is sold exclusively at Sephora for $95 USD
“Lowe and I have fallen for this beautiful yet simple gold Mini Hamsa Curb Chain Bracelet by Jennifer Zeuner. Not only is gorgeous, the Hamsa (or Khamsa) is supposed to ward off the evil eye – SCORE! Positivity 1, Negativity 0! Happy Valentines Day.” $190 at charmandchain.com.
“The only thing more delightful than a little love note is something sparkly.” Afiya selected a necklace by Lanvin.
The Canadian indie bloggers of Style Collective – I’m a member – decided to do a round-up of what we consider to be awesome gift ideas for this Valentine’s Day. I split the gift ideas into 3 parts. I start this coverage with what you can use on your bathroom.
1. Sameera of Well.ca
“Have your man try something new and shave the old-fashioned way with Natural Grooming by Herban Cowboy Shave Soap ($5.95 CAD) and the Organic Grooming by Herban Cowboy Shave Brush ($7.47 CAD) for a more comfortable, quality shave. You can warm up together in the tub with Aura Cacia aromatherapy ($3.59 CAD), and sip mugs of Cocoa Camino ($8.59 CAD), which offers a yummy-licious array of indulgent cocoa products.”
It sounds like a great date, Sameera. These products are available at Well.ca.
“For him, Gillette Fusion ProGlide and Kiehl’s shave oil together deliver the closest. shave. ever. The Dermalogica buffing cloth is a bracing a.m. body wake-up and exfoliating superstar. For her, the LoveFresh gift box, with delish Pomegranate sugar scrub and body butter, is loaded with natural oils and moisturizers for silky, luscious limbs.”
I would like to try the scrubs. It sounds marvelous.
Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor, $14.99 at drugstores; Kiehl’s Close Shavers Shaving Formula 31-0 Shave Oil, $26 at kiehls.ca; Dermalogica Ultimate Buffing Cloth, $24 at dermalogica.ca; LoveFresh Body Goodies Scrubalicious Gift Box, $42 at lovefresh.com
“Nothing says sexy time on Valentine’s Day like a shower. We can’t get enough of these cheeky Soap & Glory products. The flirty scents contain delicious notes of citrus, bergamot, mandarin, jasmine and freesia on a mix of musks, sandalwood, vanilla and amber. As for the Sexy Mother Pucker lip gloss, the name alone is enough to make us want it.”
I like the vintage packaging.
Soap & Glory Clean, Girls body wash, $9.99 CAD; Scrub ’Em & Leave ’Em body buff, $14.99 CAD; Sexy Mother Pucker lip gloss, $9.99 CAD; all at Shoppers Drug Mart.
With my ribbon collection now organized, I’m on a hunt for creative projects that will help me use up my stash and, in turn, allow me to replenish it with new colours, textures and patterns.
This simple DIY project from Martha Stewart is a smart way to get custom ribbon for cheap. With the heat of an iron and rubber stamps, you can burnish words, monograms or pretty symbols into velvet ribbon (just don’t try this with satin, silk or polyester) – then use the personalized ribbon as a thoughtful addition to gifts. Here are a few ideas:
- The next time you plan to gift a favourite read, pair it with a luxe, handmade bookmark made from wide ribbon imprinted with the recipient’s initials.
- Give a framed photograph and create a ribbon matte (check out Martha Stewart’s how-to). Add the year or a special sentiment on the ribbon to complement the photo.
- Skip the gift tag and add initials to the ribbon you’ll use to wrap a gift.
- Create personalized ribbon to tie up wedding, shower or party favours.
+ Set of 5 Velvet Ribbons on Wooden Spools from Sundance
+ Monogrammed Velvet Ribbon Tutorial from Martha Stewart
+ Frame with Velvet Ribbon Matte Tutorial from Martha Stewart
During the winter months, every woman needs a cute bag to carry her shoes when she visits a friend or goes to a party. The adorable shoe bags are the creation of Jak’s, a handbag brand founded by two sisters from Quebec City. They come in several colors and three images to fit your style.
A shoe bag would make a thoughtful gift if you look for something different to bring to the hostess. She could use it when you reciprocate her invitation.
+ Jak’s Shoe Bags $20-$25 CAD (I think)
+ Where to buy the Jak’s collection
Christmas Eve is a big day in Quebec. Tonight, we will be celebrating with the family. Before I wrap my last presents, I want to wish you and your family a Wonderful and Merry Christmas time.
I will publish a little during the Holiday season but I will mostly rest and plan what is coming next year for At Home with Kim Vallee. This Christmas will mark the end of an era. Next year, we will be celebrating with our baby boy.
Enjoy this time of the year!
+ Christmas Deer Wrapping Paper £12 at Cox and Cox
+ Personalised Christmas Ribbon £16 at Cox and Cox
After every Christmas, I am faced with the same dilemma: a few half-used rolls of wrapping paper I must store for 12 months, and which, inevitably, will be pre-empted by newer, more colourful prints and patterns the following year.
This year I’m attempting to avoid all that excess by choosing neutral bags, boxes, paper and tags that will work for occasions throughout the year. Kraft paper, shipping tags and office labels provide the perfect canvas for colourful ribbon, sparkling buttons and other festive embellishments – yet they can also be dressed up for other celebrations that warrant a gorgeously wrapped gift.
While researching materials, I discovered Olive Manna Textiles & Paper Goods – an online shop filled with basic yet charming packaging options. From glassine bags to baker’s twine and sweet stamps, I’m stocking up now for all of the gifts I’ll give in the year ahead.
+ Olive Manna Textiles & Paper Goods