Friday, April 10, 2015

Two Magazines to Check Out

I used to love Martha Stewart's Living, but in recent years, the magazine seems to have lost its way. I wasn't able to find a good alternative, until I accidentally stumbled upon Sweet Paul. 

Sweet Paul had everything I felt had gone missing from Martha Stewart's magazine: great lifestyle and decorating articles, yummy food and fun, crafty projects to make. The graphic design was inventive and the photography was amazing!

A print subscription for Canada was a bit prohibitive, but luckily enough the digital version was very affordable: four issues a year for $9.99

This is the Spring issue, which celebrates the magazine's 5th anniversary. The cover is an artwork by artist Helen Hoverkamp. To make her photographs, Ellen's Hoverkamp painstakingly arranges plant specimens facedown on the glass of a large format flatbed scanner. Love her work!

Wonderful food photography from the Spring Issue of Sweet Paul Magazine.

The Spring issue also includes: artful Easter eggs, cocktails and cakes, copper pipe crafts, green and fresh spring flavours, and more artwork by Ellen Hoverkamp among other things.

The Sweet Paul blog is also worth looking into.

A good friend told me about the next magazine. Covet Garden is for those of you who like quirky,"undecorated" interiors. Each issue features the home of a single person or couple. It's not a big magazine, but then size isn't everything! I find I enjoy each issue.

The best news is that a digital subscription is FREE! You sign up by email and a link to the latest issue arrives in your email inbox each month.

The magazine also has a blog and a book in print. Go check it out. You have nothing to lose!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Upcycled Easter Baskets

I am fully convinced that many decorative household items are given away because they are an ugly color and people can't see past that. 

Such was the case for the first Easter basket in this post. It looked ugly because, the decorative metal edging and chicken wire were painted black. 

To give the basket a new lease on life, I spray painted an Antique White. The basket came with three tin pots which I elected to leave just the way they were.

Add in some pansies and a rusted Easter bunny silhouette and suddenly the whole thing 
looks vintage and rather pretty.

This next project started with a lined wicker basket that I got at a charity shop for just under a dollar. Charity shops are a great place to find old ceramic containers and baskets that were once used for floral arrangements. 

The only thing the basket needed in this case was a few flowers.

To make this next arrangement I used:

• 3 small pots of mini-daffodils
• a small pot of green ivy
• sheet moss
• yellow ribbon
• bird's nest
• 3 candy or plastic eggs
• 2 birds
• hot glue and glue gun
• a couple of tooth picks


Remove the daffodils from their plastic pots and place them in the wicker basket. 

Fill in where needed with a bit of trailing green ivy.

Cover any visible soil with pieces of the green sheet moss.

Chip on the first little bird to the basket handle. 

Use hot glue to attach the second bird and some eggs to the bird's nest. Using a couple of tooth picks, attach the nest to the moss.

Add a bow.

This final basket was again a sinister shade of black, so I spray painted it Antique White.

To make this next arrangement I used:
• wire basket
• a bottle (or glass vase)
• green sheet moss
• pink hydrangea flowers
• several pieces of green ivy
• pink ribbon


Place a bottle in the centre of the wire basket (you could use a small glass vase just as well). Place large pieces of the green more sheet moss around the outside of the bottle to hold the bottle in place. The moss also helps to disguise the container/ bottle for your flowers.

Add the flowers, trailing pieces of ivy making sure they are in the water.

Tie up the basket with a pink bow.

Happy Easter!