Browsing Tag



Note Cards by The Beautiful Project | Etsy Finds

let's get together card

let's get together card

The Beautiful Project is the work of Jeannette, a red-hair Vancouver Web designer and graphic artist. She has a thing for vintage items. Sending a card should not be only on Holidays or for birthday. You can make an every day invite more personal by sending a note card to invite a friend for a chat in front a cup of coffee or tea.

flowers in mason jar thank you card

She put her twist on the traditional Thank You cards and Birthday Cards. The Beautiful Project’s note cards can be found at selected retail stores, at goodEGG Industries and on Etsy. Most of her birthday cards are unisex. A few models are suitable for kids.

retro style happy birthday card for him or her

You save if you buy a bundle of 6 cards at $20. I do not know about you but I will order some.

+ Let’s Get Together note card $4 USD on Etsy
+ Mason Jar of Flowers Thank You note card $4
+ Retro Inspired Birthday Card. Happy Birthday and Eat Lots of Cake notecard $4


Happy Canada Day!

upside down scultpure on the piers of vancouver :: happy canada day

A quick note to wish to my Canadian fellows a Happy Canada Day! I took this picture when we visited Vancouver two years ago. But if you go to Vancouver, you would not be able to see that sculpture. It seems that people in Vancouver did not appreciate the upside-down church sculpture. At the end of 2008, the sculpture found a new home in Calgary.

Revisit these posts if you are still looking for menu ideas to celebrate Canada Day:

+ Menu ideas for a family picnic
+ A menu based on the Best of Canadian cuisine
+ Canada Day menu filled with tarts, fish and vegetables
+ Food presentation tips for home cooking


Stackable Mu A Stools and Home Accessories

mu a stackable stools by 18Karat

mu a stackable stools by 18Karat

As I selected my top 3 things from March 2010 of the Canadian House and Home, I stopped to browse the catalogue of 18Karat. I first introduced that design, import and distribution company back in 2007. Their catalogue is filled with great home accessories.

The Mu A Stool is the latest addition to the MU stools collection. They select MU because it means wood in Chinese. They later discovered that, in Japanese, MU is the gap or the quiet, the small spaces in-between the constant being of our lives, or the space in-between structural parts. It is funny how coincidence works. Mu A can be used as a stool or a side table. The fact that is stackable makes it a great option to add extra seating when you are having a party.

18karat white vases :: woven, sweater knit and ramen vases

This picture of the woven, sweater knit and ramen vases would have fit well on my white on white home decor story. Event though it is not new, I am still fond of sweater knit vases.

18karat linea table linens :: napkins and placemats

Finally, 18Karat is a good source for pure linen placemats and napkins. Made from 100% Lithuanian linen, I appreciate the raw colors and textures of the  Linea line. This is the style  you need for casual chic entertaining that will enjoy for years.

18Karat operates a beautiful store at 3039 Granville Street in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

+ Mu Stool Collection Mu Counter Stool $480 CAD, Mu A stool$380
+ Kitchen textiles at 18Karat $50 CAD for 4 napkins, $75 for 4 placemats


Modern Gingerbread House Competition

sugar shack by Nick Milkovich Architects

Last year, Creative Room launched a friendly Gingerbread competition and auction to raise money for Architecture for Humanity. There are only a few hours left to bid on the edible modern Gingerbread houses designed by 11 architecture-related firms located in Vancouver.

The Earthship Lollipop by eastside design

Even if you do not wish to participate in the auction, I think it is a cool ideas to redefine the look of the gingerbread house. These cute creations illustrate that any type of habitations can feel festive.

+ Creative Room’s Gingerbread Competition + Charity Auction 2009


Fairmont Hotels’ Bee Hives for my Eco-friendly Tuesday

beehives at the royal york and the waterfront vancouver

Did you know that an hotel chain is fighting against the shortage of bees? In June 2008, the Royal York in Toronto installed three hives as a natural extension of their decade old rooftop herb garden. The rooftop apiary was established in partnership with the Toronto Beekeepers Cooperative and FoodShare. Both initiatives deliver fresh local product in a sustainable way to hotel guests.

Since then, three more Fairmont hotels established their apiary. The first US hotel to join that initiative is The Fairmont Washington, D.C.. They expect their 105,000 Italian honey bees will produce 300 pounds of honey within the first year. Other sites are at The Fairmont Algonquin in St. Andrews, New Brunswick and The Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Honey harvested from the Fairmont’s Bee Hives are used in soups, salad dressings, pastries, ice cream and other culinary delights in the hotel restaurants. They are also used to make cocktails at the bars.

I applauded this initiative. Bees are important to the ecosystem as they play a determinant role in pollination. The next time I will go to any of these hotels, I would like to have a tour of the installation.

+ Fairmont Hotels


Kilowatt Cat Beds and Maow Feeders for my Eco-friendly Tuesday

I was looking for a different angle for my eco-friendly column. I own two cats. I decided to check what was happening in the cat product market. This is how I came across two Canadian design brands from British Columbia that make modern pet accessories with green considerations.

Plus, as an interior designer, I am thrilled by the look of the cat products. Instead of hidden them, you will want to show off your cat gears.

Modern Style Cat Beds

Kilowatt Studio produces two handcrafted cats beds made from wool, bamboo and organic cotton. Nest and Pod are suitable for cats and small dogs. Nest intertwining design reproduces the way birds make their nest. Even though the design of Nest is more unique, I prefer the clean lines of Pod.

Kilowatt gives a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every cat bed to the Vancouver Orphaned Kitten Rescue Association. Beware that these cat beds are not cheap. They are available online at Vûrv Design.

Raised Cat Feeders

Raising the bowl a few inches from the floor make it more comfortable and healthier for your cat. One of your bowls is 1 inch higher from the ground than the other and my cats fight for it. I am thinking of giving them raised bowls. Maow feeders are made from bent-ply and finished in a choice of real wood veneers and metal laminates. They are quite durable.

I am showing you the Maow Deluxe feeder, which is a prototype right now. It should become available in a near future. The Maow comes with three bowls: two on each side for serving food while you put water ion the middle bowl.

My cats drank from a fountain. The water stays fresher and colder that way. If you go often for the weekend, a big fountain simplifies your life.

+ Nest cat bed $529 USD
+ Pod cat bed $459 USD
+ Maow Fedder wood finish $98 USD, aluminum and painted plywood $106


Stashing Journals and Handmade Soaps as Gifts for All Occasions

journals and handmade soaps by pink door paper company

One way I simplify my life is by storing a few gifts that I can use for any occasions. This way when I am invited to an impromptu event and I am too busy to go shopping, I do not panic.

I spotted those pretty journals and beautiful handmade soaps at Pink Door Paper Company, a small Vancouver based studio founded by Sean & Renuka Carter. They sell their products online with delivery in Canada, the United States and the rest of the World. Plus you can order a set of note cards to save you more time.

I first imagine their products as great ideas for a simple Mother’s Day gift. Then, I thought of my gift stash. Journals and aromatherapy soaps are always appreciated as thank you for your girlfriends or your kid teachers.

+ Pink Door Paper’s Journal $16 CAD – available in 4 print covers
+ Pink Door Paper Company’s Aromatherapy Handmade Soap $10 CAD


Free Parking for Hybrid Cars at Opus Hotels

free valet parking for hybrid cars at opus hotels

When we went to San Francisco last winter, we rented a Prius. It is a fun car to drive. We stayed at Hotel Vitale and two Fairmont hotels. My husband and I truly appreciated the fact that Fairmont gave us free valet parking because we drove a hybrid car.

Unfortunately, Fairmont green generosities extend only to California. I find the hip Hotel Vitale with its relaxing and good for the soul experience is missing the boat by not having a similar policy. This is the only area where I give a failing grade to Hotel Vitale.

Opus Hotels in Vancouver and Montreal

As a Canadian, I am proud to announce that the Canadian boutique hotel chain Opus Hotels started to offer free valet parking to anyone who shows up in a hybrid car. Opus Hotels has a blog where they tell how what measures they are taking right now to lesser the impact of environment.

What Can You Do As A Guest?

As a hotel guest, we can also make a contribution this summer on our vacation. Simple actions like turning off the light, music and reducing the air conditioning power when we go out add on the energy we consume as a society.

You can watch the following video with Katrina Carroll-Foster, VP Sales & Marketing, Opus Hotels, for more green living tips.

These ideas are a start. Do you integrate green living into your vacation plan? I am curious to know how you do it.

Via: Is Green the new Black? [Opus Hotel Blog]


Floral Birthday Cakes by Cupcakes Vancouver

birthday and wedding cakes by cupcakes in vancouver

Heather White and Lori Joyce are two best friends who grew up together in Victoria on Vancouver Island. These two girls founded Cupcakes. They gathered a team of talented cake decorators.

Heather and Lori sell cupcakes in their Vancouver cake shop. A cool interface enables you to build online your own cake for a birthday celebration, a baby shower or a holiday party.

I wish the Cupcakes shop was closer to home. This year, I want an outstanding cake for my husband’s birthday. I made a note to taste their cupcakes on my next trip to Vancouver. Their collection looks delicious.

Their portfolio of wedding cakes is filled with modern aesthetics and a touch of romance. I posted my favorites later on.

Scrumptious Cake Decorations

Every decorative detail is hand sculpted in gum paste, a kind of flexible sugar dough. Yes, the flowers on these cupcakes are handmade and edible. Another breathtaking creation is a wedding cake with a cascade of orchids. The flowers look so real.

For a touch a fashion, include some jewelry in your cake design.Chelsea did these cakes. She is a cake designer at Cupcakes in Vancouver.

Needing Your Help

I am still looking for this level of cake making in the Montreal area. If you know an outstanding cake decorator in Montreal, please inform me.

June 21st, 2008 Update: I was at a great 40th birthday party last night. A girlfriend told me that she stopped by Cupcakes last week. She recommended the shop. I am glad!

>>> Sourcing:
Learn more: Cupcakes in Vancouver
Photo credits: Cakes by Chelsea, photo set by Jamie Anderson on Flickr – some rights reserved
Via: Wedding Cakes [Jenn Ski Studio Blog]


Affordable entertaining products designed by Vancouver-based 18 Karat

18 Karat Home decor and accessories

My friend Mel used to tell me that I should have a look at 18 Karat Home Store online. Even her husband knows her passion for the brand. Mel loves designer jewelry, bags and beautiful home décor items. I trust her taste.

We talked about 18 Karat fabulous designs while we were out so I kept forgetting to have a look. Wow, I was missing something great for people that like to entertain. They design, import and distribute unique products that are affordable, in vogue, organic and fresh looking.

Home decor accessories, vases and planters

18 Karat is the place to find the perfect accessories to finish up your home décor. You find conversation pieces with an organic sense like these Grande Vine Ball Vases at $225 CAD each.

To create a great entrance which is a must if you like to entertain at home, 18 Karat carries a huge selection of large scale vases and planters. They have stuff you cannot find anywhere else. Two floral industry veterans started up 18 Karat sixteen years ago by designing and importing floral containers for large volume users.

The 51 inch high Black Shiny Elato Planter is also one of many models. The Elato Planters can sustain the Canadian winter. There are made of frost resistant ceramic with a shiny black glaze and has drain hole. They cost $480 CAD.

Tableware collection

On the tabletop front, you can find unique design at 18 Karat Home. They have dinnerware and serving ware in solid white, black, pink, olive and citron.

For casual dinner and family-style entertaining, the Quadra dinnerware will make an impression on your guests. Its design is a little bit quirky. I like the fact that this semi-matte glazed ceramic is misshapen. With the Quadra Cream and Sugar set at $10.00 CAD and the salad plate at $9.00, the biggest question is where I store this new set?

The Epicurean Egg Tray makes a cute hostess gift for just $16.50 CAD. I like above all the Epicurean 5-petal Flower Plate. What a great shape to serve your nuts, small bites and vegetable platters. At $42 CAD, it is not even a luxury.

18 Karat tabletop catalogue

I can go on and on with their stuff. I grasped Mel enthusiast now.

About 18 Karat

18 Karat is a design, import and distribution company specializing in innovative products for the home and body. From vases and planters, the line has diversified over the years into home decor, tabletop, textiles and lifestyle products.

18 Karat produces two catalogues annually; each with a new creative concept and more than 500 new items. The look is simple, organic and modern. 18 Karat designs fashionable collections that are comfortable to live with.

18 Karat products are sold throughout North America, Switzerland, Australia and Japan. Located in South Granville shopping neighborhood, the 18 Karat Flagship Home Store has become a design Mecca in Vancouver.

Buy online: 18 Karat Home Store
More info: Retailers that sell 18 Karat home and body products