"you NEED to do yoga."

this is what blue said to me the other day.

i hate to admit it, but i had a mental breakdown last week.

i completely melted into a sobbing ball of emotional ooze on the front steps of a clients house.  unreal.

(that's not me . . . it's natalie :D )

i've been practicing yoga off and on for about 4 years now, unfortunately the period of not practicing was starting to creep up on me.  all i wanted to do was get to my very talented friend's class, at sacred mountain yoga.  and it just seemed like i was a mario cart and everyone in front of me was tossing banana peels to try to trip me up.

so i cried.

flash forward to after my cardio boosting, chakra opening, punching bag workout and i felt FANTASTIC!  everything seemed clearer to me and made soooo much more sense.  my job/career, this wedding and our lives and living situation in general.  being able to stretch and center my thoughts and feelings is such an advantage, to the point where i am now being instructed to continue doing it on regular basis.

i thought it was funny because he was so serious.  yoga has become the remedy.  

i've never experienced anything like this before.  maybe i've never been stressed out like this , but the fact that my mood changed almost instantaneously is extraordinary to me.  

thanks babe, i think i will. :)



diy #1101 - paint your furniture

i met with a client the other day who had the most amazing collection of random furniture . . . it was all over the place.  when she told me she inherited the house AND everything inside, i had to pick my jaw up off the floor.

my task:  to come up with a way to use and re-purpose as much of what she already has.

so i found this company in burlington that specializes in repainting furniture!  (google it where you live!)  this is a good option if you find yourself short on time or don't feel confident taking on these kinds of projects.  also, as in my case, when there are MANY pieces that would get a new life with a little update.  i cannot not possibly commit myself to refinishing her pieces and considering she is a mom with two youngens, i know she will want the easiest solution.

the company is called paint it like new.

awesome stuff.

the best part is that they use benjamin moore colours!

this last image is very similar to one of the cabinets i want my client to paint.

sorry for the awful picture . . . i swear i took a better one . . . 

i think this would look hot painted out white, or better yet, grey.  it could be easily incorporated into any room, but i think it would be best used in a principle room, like the living room.  with a fresh and funky coat of paint, this buffet would get a new lease on life.  

the other, and perhaps more economical way to go is to paint the piece yourself.  keep in mind that taking on a project like this can be time consuming, so be realistic about your timeline and schedule.  on the plus side, completing this job would be so gratifying!  not only would you get a thumbs up for a job finished, but you would be left with a stunning piece of furniture.

here are some basic instructions courtesy of ehow.com, so you can see how straightforward it is.

1.  Make sure there's no chance that your piece of furniture is an antique whose value could be destroyed by  changing the finish.

2.  Set up your work area in a well-ventilated place with nothing around that could produce flames or sparks.

3  Remove drawer pulls and other hardware. Place the furniture on a layer of newspaper or a disposable drop cloth.

Sand the piece of furniture until smooth with sandpaper or liquid sander. You may need to sand the furniture two or even three times, starting with relatively rough sandpaper (100 grit) and moving on to progressively finer grits (150). Wear gloves, safety goggles and a dust mask.

Remove any residual sawdust with a hand vacuum, brush or a tack cloth - you don't want to wet the wood.

Apply a coat of either white brush-on or gray spray-on water-based primer, depending on the size and area of the piece of furniture you intend to cover.

Allow the primer to become dry to the touch; this usually takes 1 to 2 hours. If you're not sure, read the recommended drying time on your can of primer.

8. If the primer coat looks spotty or thin, apply a second coat and allow it to dry.

Sand any rough areas.

10. Add a coat of water-based paint. Brush it on with even strokes, going in the direction of the wood grain. With spray paint, make slow passes with the can 8 to 12 inches from the wood surface. Allow the first coat to dry.

11.  Add a second coat and allow it to dry overnight

so there you have it.  and easy project or one that you can outsource depending on your skill level or schedule.  either way, repainting furniture is a fantastic way to refresh your collection and give an old piece a new life.



etsy crawl for shawls

so . . .i have an idea in my brain . . . amongst everything else.  

i want to make a shawl/bolero/shrug thing.  

i was recently watching that new show with betty white, hot in cleveland, and one of the girls was wearing this AWESOME shrug.  it was so rad, i've never seen anything like it.

so i'm off to etsy to see if i can find it . . . 

(french felt)

love the paisley print of this one . . . and the fabric weight is kind of what i'm looking for, or even lighter like a linen.


man, this is right up my alley!  the fringe is cool  on the sleeves.  It's the closest one i found to the design in my head.  as a plus, this shrug doubles as a scarf.

(crochet butterfly)

a knit turtleneck/with handwarmers! perfect for spring or fall. in my mind, this is something i would wear to the local pond for a romantic ice skating date. ;)  i would look awesome until i fall on my ass.


this one is just pretty.


the hippy in me LOVES this.  however, with my job it would get destroyed in less then 2 hours.


this bolero is called strawberry fields . . . which makes it even cooler than i originally thought.

so i didn't really find anything that resembles what i want to make, yay!  but at least i know what's out there . . . well on etsy anyway.  sometimes i can't believe all the cool things that can be found on etsy!  not only is it great for shopping, but it's even better for inspiration.  roaming around etsy and visiting other people shops has quickly become one of my favourite activities.  it's just so refreshing!

it'll probably take me a few tries but i'm confident i can pull this thing off.  now all i need is for the days to longer so i can find the time to make it.  i'll be sure to post once i transfer the idea from my head to real life.  who knows, maybe it'll go in MY etsy shop. :)



today's homework: kitchen inspiration

i have another new client! :)  the count is now at three at the same time.  it's making my brain feel stretched.

this new one is a kitchen renovation.  it's a small kitchen, i've got to make the most of the space and hopefully make it bigger.  so in order to get in the mood, i decided to visit styleathome.com and see what's new and exciting in the world of kitchens.

white is crisp and clean and automatically makes a space feel larger. i love the natural elements of the butcher block counters and the texture of the full height back splash.

sleek and ultra modern.  simple panel cabinets streamline a space and super beneficial in small areas.  the colour is so rich, without being too dark.  clearly a have a thing for texture, because i adore the brick wall.  so perfect. :)

this is considered "new country".  this is my favourite by far!  grey is a hot trend in kitchens for 2011 and, surprise surprise, love the counters!  i would absolutely replicate this in my house . . . but i don't have one yet. *sigh*

get ready for it . . . a fridge concealed with a chalkboard!  brilliant!  hide the fridge (plus!) and create functional space. (plus plus!)

gorgeous counter and full slab back splash.  this is another option for my small space kitchen, minimize the seams and it will feel more open.  the stark white is a bit too much for me, although there is an orange bag in the picture . . . reality dictates that it's not there all the time.  a really great piece of art with lots of colour would do it for me.

hmmm . . . good start.  i've got A LOT of work ahead of me though. :)


today in my travels . . .

just a few neat-o things i've found on etsy today . . .

from anythinggoeshere . . . 

(click on image to view shop)

from hindsvik
(click on image to view shop)

from shopdirtsa . . .
(click on image to view shop)

from thefancylamb
(click on image to view shop)

from WellWudJaLookAtThat
(click on image to view shop)

also from WellWudJaLookAtThat
(click on image to view shop)

from looking glass house . . .
(click on image to view shop)

i looovvvee surfing etsy!  i have to stop or i'll be up all night!




BSing (brainstorming, that is!) my wedding vision

as most of you already know, mr.blue and i are getting married!  if you didn't know and this is coming as a surprise, well, surprise!

it's only been about a month, but in that short span of time, i've managed to slam my brain with all sorts of idea as to how it will look and my vision for the event.

i know, i know, some of you are saying that i'm creating too much work for myself.  and others are ALREADY sick of hearing about it, but i can't help it!  my job as a home stager and designer is to "present" a space and for me this is no different . . . and much more fun!

so here is a sneak peek at some of the brainstorming i've done.  i want an apothecaryg/library feel.  i don't know if that makes any sense and the test is going to be whether or not i can pull it off.

these images, for the most part, are images i found are from other wedding blogs i've come across . . . great ideas from other really great weddings.

trees. and lot of 'em!
ceremony site ...
and the reception.
bowls, jars, antique implements . . . 

beakers, globes and random science equipment . . . 

lots of glass and lights and interesting jars . . . 

 especially hanging ones with candles.

simple flowers.

rustic elements.

feathers and plumage instead of flowers.

wedding favours.

too cute!

for hanging outside in the trees maybe?  they have such a unique effect.

so there you have it.  we shall see if i should be declared certifiably insane.  i hope you don't mind sharing this process with me.  you will officially be my sounding board/notebook. who knows . . . maybe something you see in my blog will tickle your fancy like other blogs did mine.


time to get out of the damned closet.

it has been about 2 yrs now.

2 yrs of talking about it, planning it, looking at themes for it, dreaming about it, saving things to say on it . . .

it's great that E's so busy with his other clients . . . unfortunately that leaves me blogless and watching everyone else fly by me.

screw it! now more than ever i need an outlet to get stuff out of my brain. so that's what i'm doing. created my own blog.

so it is here i will vent about work, share interesting thing i come across everyday and now that i'm getting married . . . my stresses, happiness and the process (anyone who knows me knows that i'm going all out!) will finally have a place to go.

so here it is. love.fresh.design has a home right now, i'll deal with the fallout later from E later.