Month: June 2012

DIY Wedding Gift

We are headed to a wedding tomorrow for my dear cousin Lindsay and her fiancé Mark and it’s going to be a fabulous day with picture perfect weather. Lindsay and I spent many hours as little girls playing “wedding” in my Mom’s wedding dress, so it will be amazing to see Lindsay walk down the aisle. I’m sure there will be tears!

With weddings on the mind, I thought I would share a DIY wedding gift idea that I gave two of our friends, Lisa and Pete, on their wedding day back in November — a wedding invitation keepsake.

Lisa and Pete’s invitation was gorgeous — it featured a unique design in black, yellow and maroon. I wish I snapped a before photo of the invite. It was so them!

To make the keepsake, I simply cut the wedding invitation in small strips (approximately 1 cm each) using a sharp craft knife and ruler and curled the pieces around a pencil. Next, I inserted the invitation curls into the circular glass ornament being very careful not to break the delicate glass.

To personalize the ornament, I used my Silhouette machine and black vinyl to add Lisa and Pete’s names and wedding date on the ornament.

To top off the piece, I added some charms that I thought represented their union: trust, faith and love. A simple black ribbon was looped through the top of the ornament for hanging.

I was really excited to give this personalized gift to Lisa and Pete, especially since they both have an appreciation for hand-made items. It is currently hanging in their living room as a special reminder of their wonderful wedding day.

With wedding season in full swing, do you have any DIY wedding gift ideas that you like to give? I’d love to hear about them!

Playing in the Dirt

As I hoped, I got to spend some much-needed time playing in the dirt this weekend. When I think of the landscaping on our property, I think of it in zones: front garden, front side garden, back garden and back side gardens. If I thought of it any other way, I would be totally overwhelmed because….well, we have a lot of gardens and to tend to them all in one day is impossible! On Sunday, Mother Nature granted me a gorgeous day, so I got down to work on the front gardens (solo, I might add, as Ted was in Montreal for the Grand Prix — lucky guy!)

I was so gung ho to get started that I forgot to get before photos of the front garden. Really, it wasn’t in bad shape — it just needed a heavy de-weeding, some plantings and a serious mulch session.

But, since everyone loves a before and after, here is the before picture — like “circa-2008-what-the-heck-have-we-gotten-ourselves-into” before picture.

Yep. It needed some work… in new interlocking, roof, upper windows, garden beds, plants, trees and overall curb appeal. Granted, when we moved into the house in 2007, there were gardens in the front with shrubs, perennials and other plants. However, being the over-zealous, eager, first-time homeowner that I was five years ago, my Dad and I ripped out the front garden (I see a trend — Ted was also away that weekend at the Grand Prix in Montreal) and then it sat empty for over a year. Dreadful. The neighbours hated us young kids.

As you can see, over the past four years, we have done a lot of work to the front. The interlocking, new roof, upper windows and landscaping have all been completed. We’re at that nice spot in our home ownership experience where we are in maintenance mode, not major project mode.

But, back to Sunday. After I gave the garden a good weeding and tilling, I made up a shopping list before heading to the garden centre. I always find that this helps me focus my plant search, rather than wandering around aimlessly and choosing plants that may not be the best fit for our garden. I knew that I needed ground cover and two more hydrangea to add to my lonely, single hydrangea.

I ended up purchasing two Endless Summer Blushing Bride Hydrangea (which will bloom lovely light pink flowers just like my existing hydrangea) and eight White Nancy Lamium plants for ground cover around our boulders and ‘Pendula’ Weeping Pea Shrub.

I looked at a few ground cover options, but I ultimately chose the White Nancy Lamium in honour of Ted’s sister Nancy who is moving across country in a matter of days. It seemed fitting — like a part of her will remain in Ontario, even though she’s in British Columbia. *tear*

The hydrangea seem happy in their new home and I look forward to enjoying their blooms all summer long.

With the hydrangea in the ground, I got to work on the Lamium around the boulders…

…and under the Pea Shrub.

After that was all done, I lugged bags and bags of mulch (solo!) and put down a nice generous layer to keep the weeds at a minimum and the moisture in.

It was a successful day!

Next weekend: tackling the front side garden.

But, first, I need a massage! Sore. Muscles. Whoa.

Linking up with…
{aka} design
House of Hepworths
Liz Mare Blog


Last Friday I shared some snaps of our lilacs. They are still going strong (full of blooms and all) and, with all of the rain last weekend and this week, the rest of my garden has been blooming like crazy. My ground cover (pictured above) has tripled in size, which I’m totally jazzed about because more ground cover means less weeding.

This year, I didn’t plant as many annuals in the garden. The pressure to keep them watered consistently was too much for my busy schedule last year, so this year I opted for less. This approach seems to be working and my annuals are happy.

Here’s to a lovely and relaxing weekend ahead!

What are you plans? I hope to play in the dirt a bit and get some much-needed gardening work done (with maybe a haircut and a mani/pedi in between!)

DIY Spice Rubs for Father’s Day

My Dad is a great cook. In fact, he’s amazing! He has this knack when it comes to building delicious meals. Not one to follow a recipe, he tends to turn to his ingredients for inspiration and crafts dishes with what he has on hand.

With Father’s Day just around the corner, I thought I would share my gift for my dear ol’ Dad from last year — DIY spice rubs in mason jars.

My Dad loves to barbecue all year-long, so this was the perfect gift idea for him. I know that he likes to grill a variety of meats and poultry, so I made this my focus, but I also included some spice rubs that would be suitable for fish.

This is an easy DIY project to start and complete in an afternoon — all it takes is a little research online for suitable spice rub recipes and a trip to the grocery or bulk food store for ingredients.

I chose to package my custom spice rubs in mason jars, complete with grey striped fabric and colourful ribbon. To identify what each spice rub was and its suitable uses, I designed and printed labels on cardstock that I attached to each jar.

I’m happy to report that this Father’s Day gift is Dad approved — he loved it, as I’m sure most barbecue-lovin’ Dads would.

Do you have any great DIY Father’s Day gift ideas? I’d love to hear them!

Linking up with…
Home Stories A 2 Z
Tip Junkie
Liz Marie Blog
{aka} design
House of Hepworths


This is the first year since moving into the house that we haven’t been tackling a huge landscaping project. This summer, we’re actually able to sit back and smell the roses.

Right now, my lilac bushes are full of blooms. They are gorgeous and smell like heaven.

I wish they could stay like this forever.

Cheers to a great, rainy weekend ahead! Get outside and go splash in some puddles!