Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 8: A Bad Habit

I’m not gonna lie – It was pretty easy to come up with an idea for this day’s challenge.. I mean, I have more my than my fair share of bad habits!
  • Consuming more candy than any adult should
  • Nail biting
  • Swearing
  • Talking too much
  • Spending too much time on the computer
… the list goes on.
One habit stands out from the rest and really bugs me, but I can’t help myself: Hair twirling!
I only do it when I wear my hair curly, especially when it’s freshly washed… it’s just so twirl-able! And all the curls in the back stick together and wrap around each other so I spend way more time than I’d like to admit just idly untangling them and then twirling. I do it a lot at work when I’m in meetings because my hands are idle while I’m listening to others.
In my defense, if you saw how springy my hair is in person, you’d probably wanna twirl it too lol or at least pull a curl and say, “boing!”… which happens to me ALL THE TIME, by strangers no less. People are weird.
Hair Twirling with tape
To show the “action” of hair twirling, I set a longer exposure time (2 seconds) so that my hand would be a bit blurred while the rest of me remained still and came out relatively sharp.
I’ve also been playing around with digital washi tape that I found on Pugly Pixel. It’s cute and adds a bit of pizzazz to blog photos.

If you want to check out my previous photo challenge days, here are the links:

What do you think about this photo? Did I do a good job of capturing my bad habit? Would you have done it differently? What’s your bad habit??

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Condo News: Finishes Appointment

We finally got the call! The designer has called us to book our appointment to select the finishes for the condo. I literally was jumping up and down for about five minutes. I've never been so excited to give away thousands of dollars!

After posting on the issues and talking with some people who have bought pre-build houses/condos, we've quasi made some decisions on how we'd like to proceed with selecting finishes... but it all depends on how the meeting goes and what the prices are. It might be more practical to get some finishes installed before we move in and it might be more practical to do some ourselves. We'll know more after our appointment  - soon!

Kevin and I have been discussing the return on investment (ROI) when it comes to selecting finishes. This condo obviously isn't going to be our forever home. When/if we start a family we're going to run out of space in this place pretty fast and when that day comes, we'd ideally like to be able to rent out the condo (income property!) and use it as collateral to buy a bigger home. If our situation won't allow us to do that, then we'd sell the condo to buy our next place. I'm really hoping we'll be able to rent it out in the future and that's what I'm planning for, so we're going to rein in a bit on upgrades. So, hardwood floors are most likely out as they would eat up the large portion of the upgrading budget. I'm not too bummed about it though - after researching what renters look for in a space, I found that they just want a non-carpeted space, not necessarily hardwood, so it's all good. And there are some really good quality (durable and good looking) laminates out there these days. 

Do you have any thoughts on the ROI for upgrades? What do you think about laminate over hardwood in condos and in rental properties? Personally, I have a hard time dealing with carpet due to dust allergies so I always prefer non-carpet spaces - although I really really really love the look of berber carpet... 

photo source is here

Friday, February 24, 2012

New Computer and Windows Live Writer

A couple weeks ago, I reached my boiling point with my old computer. It’s refurbished (2006) and I’ve had it since my university laptop clunked out on me in Jan 2007… in the middle of my thesis no less! I bought this computer because it was the cheapest one at $400. I borrowed a keyboard, mouse and monitor from my parents for the rest of the term – I only had 4 months left of university anyway. In all honesty, it served me pretty well during our 5 years together, but I knew it was time for an upgrade when:
  • I’d turn it on then go eat breakfast because it takes that long to boot up
  • I’d wake up in the middle of the night because the fan would start whirring really loudly
  • I couldn’t upload all the necessary upgrades to install Windows Live Writer, which I keep hearing over and over again will change my blogging life for the better.
I called my brother, who is a whiz with computers, to ask for his advice on what computer to buy. He asked me my budget and told me if I could wait a few weeks, he could make me a custom computer. SWEET! He lives in Ottawa, hence the wait – my parents visited him for Family Day/his birthday so they brought it back with them. Daniel took pictures throughout the building process – check ‘em out!Install pics

I now have Windows 7 (smell ya later Vista!) and Windows Live Writer! I’ve been tinkering around with it a bit and so far so good… well I guess I should save my judgement until after this post gets published…

Does anyone else use WLW? Have any tips or suggestions?

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I recently ventured to CB2, Crate&Barrel's younger, hipper, and (relatively) cheaper counterpart. CB2 opened their first Canadian store at Queen and Bathurst in Toronto on January 20, 2012. The 2-story store is actually a heritage building that was built in the 1800s. Most Torontonian's are familiar with the building in its previous state - purple, and lots of it. CB2 spent $3 million restoring the exterior of the building to its original beautiful state, which involved stripping the brick of the purple and gutting the interior, but they did keep a few pieces of nostalgia, most notably The Big Bop sign hanging in the stairway to the second floor (you can see it on the top right photo)
Photos sources clockwise from top left: 1/2/3/4
The store was packed when I visited and was stocked full with new spring 2012 collection. There were lots of bold colours as well as neutrals to round them out, and I noticed a pretty heavy Scandinavian influence - simple lines and natural woods.

Here are a few items that caught my eye:

I loved these plates - the salisbury steak one for my meat-loving man, and the tofu steak one for me :) The white bookshelf is also great. Kevin and I have been eyeing the Expedit unit from Ikea, but this one has some potential too...

Have you checked out CB2 yet?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 7: Fruit

My choices in the fruit bowl for this photography challenge were dried orange, a grapefruit, and this apple... I pretty much give up on fruits in the winter (clementines excluded!) because they lose a lot of flavour. I can't wait until the summer!! Ultimately I chose the apple because it has a bit more contrast with colours than the grapefruit and orange. 

As per Kerry's suggestion in my last photography challenge, I put the apple in front of a neutral background so that the colours could pop. Comments and feedback are appreciated! :)

If you want to check out my previous photo challenge days, here are the links:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Condo News: Construction Update and Security System

Kevin and I attended a condo meeting recently. The meetings are held every 6-8 weeks to keep us informed of progress, which I appreciate. The main subject of this meeting was previewing the security systems, but they also had one of the construction managers in to talk about the progress on the construction of the building... A hot topic amongst all the buyers!
The security system (ADT) presentation was what I expected. I've never lived in a traditional high-rise building before, but all the information seemed pretty standard to me. The ADT representative (who looked like Jack Layton and seemed really nervous to talk in front a crowd) also talked about the access points in to and out of the parking garage. He said we're getting one key fob, which we can wave to enter the parking garage from outside, to enter the building from the parking garage and to enter the building from the street. I'm glad it's all on one device.
This is how the telephone entry system and fob key will be
The security guy also talked about the telephone entry (buzzer) system (pretty standard), fire alarms, elevator security, the CCTV system, and other general security around the building. While pretty much everything he had to say was pretty standard, I appreciate hearing it. I wouldn't say I'm a super secure person, but I've had someone break into my university apartment before and have had things stolen in supposedly "secure" places - plus my dad's a locksmith - so being aware of my security is something that makes me feel a bit safer. 

In all honestly, I didn't give a crap about security when compared to my desire to find out about progress time lines for the construction. I drove by the site a few weeks ago and even tweeted an Instagram photo. Let me tell you, it is woefully behind schedule. Figures. I know. These things never get completed on time. But it's still SO DISAPPOINTING!

The first delay was Consumers gas, then the hydro company, then there was a delay getting permits from the City of Toronto. Basically there have been delays at every turn. The dig-down for the 4 level underground parking is 14m deep, which requires a crazy number of 4ft wide cement columns for support...152 columns to be precise. They anticipate the dig-down will be completed by the end of March, then the foundation-laying can begin! 

I asked when they thought occupancy would be. It was originally early summer in 2012 and then it was later summer 2012. Now they're saying occupancy, starting from the ground up, will start in November, December 2012 to January 2013. Our unit is on the 10th floor of a 12-story building, so we're on the end of that time line. I feel like those goal dates are still pretty lofty, so Kevin and I could potentially still have a year or MORE before occupancy... We were told that we're going to get official notice (written) in April that outlines the delays and new anticipated move-in dates. 

The waiting game is painful... 

To not end this post on a dreary note, we were shown a demo video of the exterior and common spaces of the building. It was pretty awesome. I mean, I don't know necessarily that we're going to have that exact patio furniture, but it looked pretty swanky! They also showed us mood boards of the finishes and textiles for the common spaces and they looked great as well! That part of the meeting really got me excited about moving and helped me visualize things. Kevin and I are just chewing on the bit, ready for this place to be done already!

To see other condo news posts...
Our Condo Floorplan!
Condo Finishes Waiting Game
Keeping It In The Family

Photos sources: key fob, intercom

Monday, February 20, 2012

Impressive Zinio Customer Service

Let me start this post off by saying I wasn't going to post today. Today is Family Day in Ontario (and Alberta and Saskatchewan), but I don't have the day off because I'm a public servant. I went to bed in not the greatest mood because I knew I would have to work today, even though I had a great weekend at home with Kevin.

So here's the story:

About a week ago I got an email from my friend, Sara, who told me I should read this month's issue of Chatelaine magazine because it had some great small-space solutions in it. I currently have two magazine subscriptions (Canadian House & Home and Style at Home), which I read mainly using Zinio.

About Zinio:
Zinio is the world's largest newsstand and bookstore. With its many digital products and services, Zinio creates better ways for people to discover published content, get more of it and do more with it. Now, readers can purchase content once to be read on any screen. Zinio provides the ability to shop for, search inside, read, share and save digital content in 23 local newsstands in any country in the world. 

I barely even glance at my paper subscriptions anymore because with Zinio I can read them over a week earlier than the mailed version. I also found a Zinio app for my iPhone so I can read my magazines anywhere - no computer necessary. Sweet!

So yesterday, while perusing Zinio on my iPhone, I decided to check out the digital price for this month's Chateleine magaine: $2.99 for one month, $12.99 for a 12-month subscription. Really? $12.99 for 12 issues? They were practically giving it away. How could I say no? I put through all my information, but I got an error message...

 Gah! That sucks! I'm not the most patient person. I love buying things and getting them immediately, which is exactly what I was expecting, so this error message was less than ideal. I followed the instructions and sent them an email, including the above screen shot. I wasn't expecting to hear back for at least a few days though (agony!) because it was 1. Sunday night, and 2. it was a Sunday night preceding a holiday. Double gah!

Much to my surprise, I got two emails from Zinio within a couple hours (but I was already asleep), where they were apologizing for the inconvenience. Emails like this are always appreciated! First up was this one:
 Then this one:

That's right...FREE. I read this at 6am this morning thinking, "Sweet, they're gonna give me a free issue." No folks, the whole subscription is free! Woohoo Donald L! You are the shizzzz!

The value is $12.99 - nothing huge, I know, but it definitely started my day off right :) And I love being able to share positive customer service experiences. Note: I always love to share negative customer service experiences too and have been known to blacklist companies forever. Le Chateau, I'm talking to YOU!!!!!!!! Worst customer service EVERRRRRRRRRRRR.

To continue on in my positive mood, I had an absolutely clear drive on my way to work this morning and got here in record time because there were no cars on the road. 

So far today is feeling like this: (seriously, if you want to get your day off to good start too, watch this video).

Friday, February 17, 2012

Liebster Award

In the last week, I was lucky enough to be the recipient of two Liebster Awards. The award was passed on to me first by Beatrice from The Crafty Bee and secondly by Krista from Nook of Wellington. Thanks ladies! I love when these awards get passed around because I learn about my blogger buddies and I also get the chance to find out about new blogs.

Some background: the Liebster is awarded by bloggers to other, newer bloggers, who have fewer than 200 followers, to spread the word and help the new(er)bies gain wider recognition. The award comes with four conditions that each recipient must satisfy when accepting:
  1. Choose five up-and-coming blogs (with fewer than 200 followers) to award the Liebster to.
  2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  3. Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you are giving the award to with links to their sites. Leave comments on their blogs so they know about the award.
  4. Share 5 random facts about yourself.
And here are 5 random things about me.

1. I'm a middle child
My brother, Daniel is 30 years old today(!) and my sister, Michelle will be 26 years old in less than 2 weeks, which makes me a middle child... Some of you may have heard of the dreaded "Middle Child Syndrome". Well let me tell you, it's true! I have noticed that I more closely relate to people who are also middle children, specifically when the middle sibling has one same-sex sibling i.e. Boy-girl-girl (my family), girl-girl-boy, boy-boy-girl, girl-boy-boy OR boy-boy-boy/girl-girl-girl.

I read this on Urban Dictionary (not a credible source, I know!) and burst out laughing! So true!!

Oldest: Hey I just turned 16!
Mom: Lets go pick you out a car!
Oldest: Yay!

-1 1/2 yrs later-

Middle: Hey I just turned 16!
Mom: Oh.. er.. well we're still paying for your sib's car, so you'll have to just borrow from her when you can..
Middle: >.>

-2 yrs later-

Youngest: Hey! I just turned 16!
Mom: Yay! And I just finished paying for the other car! Lets go get you a car!
Middle: Hey! I should be the next one to get a new car!
Youngest: but its MY birthday
middle: Thats stupid
mom: Be nice to your little sister on her birthday!! Come on, birthday-girl! Lets go get that car!
Youngest: WOO!

2. My favourite show is 1 Girl 5 Gays. 
I love love love that show. I could watch it all day. Vish, David Roberts, Dean, JP, Thomas, Michael Yerxa, Dylan, Juan, Jonathan S, Jonathan N., Gerry... those guys are all awesome!

3. My Myer-Briggs personality type is ISTJ. 
According to Wikipedia:
The MBTI tool consists of multiple choice questions that sort respondents on the basis of the four "dichotomies" (pairs of psychological opposites). Sixteen different outcomes are possible, each identified by its own four-letter code, referred to by initial letters. (N is used for iNtuition, since I is used for Introversion). The MBTI is approximately 75% accurate according to its own manual.
  • I – Introversion preferred to extraversion: ISTJs tend to be quiet and reserved. They generally prefer interacting with a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintances, and they expend energy in social situations (whereas extraverts gain energy)
  • S – Sensing preferred to intuition: ISTJs tend to be more concrete than abstract. They focus their attention on the details rather than the big picture, and on immediate realities rather than future possibilities.
  • T – Thinking preferred to feeling: ISTJs tend to value objective criteria above personal preference. When making decisions, they generally give more weight to logic than to social considerations.
  • J – Judgment preferred to perception: ISTJs tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability.

Yup... that's me to a T!

4. I signed up for a half marathon
On May 27th, I'll be doing the Toronto Women's Run Half Marathon. I did the 5mile/8km in October and I loved the experience. In all honesty, my training has taken a severe nose dive in the last 2 weeks, so I really need to get back to training! The longest distance I've run so far is 6 miles/10km.

5.  I once met Mariah Carey. 
My friend Sara's mom won second row tickets and backstage passes to Mariah Carey's Charmbracelet concert. Don't judge! Sara and I are both biracial (half-black half-white) like Mariah, so obviously we thought she was awesome lol! When we got to the backstage waiting area, the security people told us that we were not to ask for autographs, even though we told specifically to bring her latest CD so she could sign it. Oh well. They had a "professional" photographer there who took this photo of all of us, then mailed everyone a copy. Right after this shot was taken, everyone was standing around awkwardly.. I guess no one had told Mariah that they'd told us we couldn't ask for autographs, so she turned to me (me!) and said, "Do you want me to sign your CD?" I said, "Yeah ok!" Then I whipped out my CD while frantically motioning for Sara to get hers. Sara got her CD signed then security kicked the whole group out of the backstage room, which conveniently opened up to the road in front of the main entrance to the Air Canada Centre. Once outside Sara and I jumped up and down with joy for about 10 seconds before thinking better of things because everyone was giving us death stares and we were worried someone would try to steal our signed CDs from us. Yes we were geeks. At least I'm not an overweight geek anymore :)

I would like to pass this award to:
  1. Sarah from {rad: Renovations Are Dirty}
  2. Kerry from This Tinder
  3. Amanda from Amanda Cromwell Designs
  4. Lauren from The Wee Lass
  5. Shannon from EightFootSix

Happy 30th Birthday Daniel!

I wouldn't normally post for a sibling's birthday, but my big brother turns 30 today! My family is taking Friday off (Family Day on Monday makes it a 4-day weekend!) to go visit him in Ottawa, but I had to stay behind because I don't get Monday off...grrrr
For those who do have Monday off, have a great long weekend! Be safe and have fun :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Canadian House & Home - March Roundup

The March issue of Canadian House & Home is all about COLOUR...something I always struggle with. I'm such a grey and beige lover. This issue definitely helped me see why I should get out of my neutral comfort zone and into the world of kaleidoscope colours!

I read through the March issue about three times.. and every single time I looked at Ferm Living's peacock pillow I thought, "Neapolitan ice cream", which of course makes me want this pillow! Anyone else see Neapolitan? No? Alright then, moving on...

I've mentioned before how much I love grasscloth. It's so purrrdy and textured.. what's not to love? It's usually a material one sees in very neutral colours and understandably so, as the texture alone has enough impact. But check out these lovelies here: red, pink, purple grasscloth! I especially love the purple Ansai Sisal one through Design by Colour. It is by far the least expensive so my inner grasscloth lover must be a frugalista! By the way, that capri teardrop lamp by Jonathan Adler ain't too shabby either. I'm really digging the proportions and the smooth base. 

While I'm more a fan of white textured bed linens, I had to post these duvet covers and quilts. They're so pretty! I'm a sucker for stripes so my top pick is the preppy navy and white striped duvet cover from West Elm. Which one do you like best? 

This home is a tall Victorian semi in central Toronto and it used to house a boys' school. Currently, it is the home of Alexandra Bennett her husband, Brian Moore, and their family. I looked at this picture over and over because I knew there were elements of it that were great, but it took me a few look-throughs to pinpoint them all. First up, is the painting - that's easy. It's beautiful. Looks like a peony to me and was painted by Vancouver artist, Bobby Burgers. Second up, the blue door. Look how TALL it is! Victorian's generally have taller ceilings, but that door is a masterpiece. Stunning. Third up, the beautiful thick white trim and baseboards. Those baseboards are practically knee-high on their daughter! Very luxe. Also, I need this quote by Alexendra to remind me to use colour a bit more: "It's only paint. It can be changed"
Photography by Virginia MacDonald

You know I love a good DIY. Everybody loves a good DIY, right? Well, this DIY here is canvas material that was hand painted with water paints in a chevron pattern, then stitched into a roman shade. Love! Great idea. I love the soft colours. Someone needs to try this out. That someone would be me if I had a window to cover!
Photography by Michael Graydon

How do you feel about colour? Do you splash it all over your house like Alexandra or do you use it more sparingly? Maybe you're like me and you barely use it at all (grey and beige are colours too dagnabbit!) 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Photography Challenge - Day 6: From A Low Angle

I took a bit of a break from the 30 day photography challenge, but I'm finally back! Today's challenge was about taking a photo from a low angle. A low angle...what does that even mean? Taking a picture of something on the ground? Taking a picture of the sky or ceiling? I wasn't too sure, so I ended up taking some really weird pictures of the vaulted ceiling in my bedroom. While the ceiling looks great in person, it doesn't translate so well in photos. I turned to Wikipedia, which stated a low angle shot is from a camera "positioned low on the vertical axis, anywhere below the eyeline, looking up." Alright, that makes sense! A low angled shot is basically a little camera trickery to make something seem bigger or more imposing. I took a couple low-angled shots of myself to make my 5'4" self seem "big and imposing" and I ended up with some horrifically unflattering photos. I'll spare you the details. Then I thought it would be cool to make something small-ish look huge-ish using the low angle method. That's where my little green elephant comes in. I recently purchased a super cute green elephant piggy bank from Urban Outfitters. I love elephants, so obviously I had to snatch up that little guy as soon as I saw him. 

So, here is my attempt at making my little green elephant look large:

Here's an angle from slightly above the elephant. He looks pretty big here too lol. In reality, the elephant stands 7 inches tall from foot to trunk. 
I'd love to hear your feedback! Did I succeed in the day 6 challenge? The top picture is definitely a low-angled shot, but I think the elephant looks bigger due more to the closeness of the shot, rather than the angle of the shot.

If you want to check out my previous photo challenge days, here are the links:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day! Cookie edition...

Kevin and I don't make a big production out of Valentine's Day. I like wearing something red or pink and baking some cute heart cookies, but that's about it. I don't think we've ever gone out to dinner on Heart Day, but we are this year. I guess there's a first for everything!

Kevin loves shortbread cookies, so I usually end up making them for him for Christmas, his birthday and Valentine's Day. My absolute favourite recipe to use is from The Joy of Baking. This recipe has served me extremely well and I highly recommend it!

Shortbread Cookies:

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1 cup (2 sticks) (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (60 grams) powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar
1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract (I use a about 1.5 teaspoons)

Note: use the best butter and vanilla you can afford - it makes a difference!

In a separate bowl whisk the flour with the salt.  Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes).  Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated.  Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour or until firm.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with the rack in the middle of the oven.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch (.6 cm) thick circle.  Cut into rounds or other shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter.  Place on the prepared baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. (This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baked.) Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until cookies are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Shortbread cookies will keep in an airtight container for about a week or they can be frozen.
Makes about 20 shortbread cookies.

I put the cookies I baked into a glass jar ($1 from Dollarama) and made a little label to go on the front. I bought a $0.29 piece of striped pink card stock from Michael's to frame a white piece of card stock that I decorated with adhesive stickers (kind of like stick-on tattoos, but for paper - $1 from Dollarama). I used a star-burst hole punch at the top of the label, strung a piece of silver ribbon through it, then tied the ribbon around the lid and curled the ends. It's not super fancy, but it's just a way to personalize a cookie jar... and it only cost me  $2.29. 

Do you have anything planned for your sweetie tonight?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Kitchen Island Potential

I've always wanted a kitchen island. In our last apartment, I really want to get the Utby table from Ikea, which isn't technically an island so much as a table, but I would've used it as an island and put some counter height chairs around it. Kevin nixed the idea because he wanted a tradition 30-31 inch high table...womp womp. In the condo, I think I might be able to swing a small island (Utby, you might be able to come home with me after all!) in addition to a dining table. I'm refraining from buying anything before we move in (heck, the place isn't even built yet), but I spotted this picture in House of Fifty magazine and let me tell you, there was some major swooning going on...

Do you have an island? Or do you wish you had an island, like me?

Photo source: House of Fifty Issue 4 Spring 2012 Pg 24

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tutorial: Fluttering Hearts Frame

I love doing crafts and projects and must talk about it incessantly (hehe whoops) because a few months ago I got asked to put my mad skillz (sarcasm) to use and make a wedding guest book. The bride sent me some inspirational pictures and told me she wanted white hearts on a white background with 2 pink hearts - one with her and the hubbie's initials, and one with their wedding date. I spent an afternoon doing the project, but the wedding ended up being called off (eeek!) before I ever had the chance to show it to the bride. 

Valentine's Day is around the corner and I thought this would make the perfect DIY gift tutorial. You could definitely also make this as a wedding guest book and have everyone sign in the hearts, or you could use coloured/patterned paper or pages from your favourite book for the hearts. It's completely customizable, super cute, and only costs about $20 if you're buying all of the supplies from scratch!


  • Shadow Box Frame (mine was originally $13 from Michael's but I waited until they were 50% off)
  • Mat Board (already had)
  • Paper or Cardstock (already had)
  • Glue Stick (already had)
  • 1 inch Heart Punch (mine was originally $8 from Michael's but I used a 50% off coupon)
  • Ruler (already had)
  • Pencil (already had)
  • Something with a not-too-sharp edge like a paperback novel

Total cost for me: $11.50 + existing supplies


Step 1: Remove the paper template in your shadow box and use its dimensions to cut your mat to size

Step 2: Once cut, figure out how much border you want around your hearts. The frame I bought was perfect for 49 stars (47 were sign-able for the guestbook). Knowing I would be making 7 rows of 7, I found and marked off the centre of the frame. I started by making the centre horizontal line, then the centre vertical line. This helped me keep the lines straight. Note: I only marked the first heart's location (the one in the centre). For the subsequent hearts, I just used my ruler as the guide and made sure the bottom points of the hearts were 1.5 inches apart horizontally and vertically. 

Step 3: Punch out those hearts! I used just over 1 sheet of white craft paper and cut out about 50 hearts - I cut a few extra just in case. 

Step 4: Using the spine of a book (or something else with a hard 90 degree edge), put a crease (not a complete fold) vertically down all of your hearts, except for any hearts you want to stand out from the rest. When I originally made this as a guest book, the hearts were pink, but now they're glitter and they're kind of awesome :)

Step 5: Glue your hearts to your mat! Start with the centre heart. Alternately glue the left side then the right side of the hearts so that you get this pattern... look, they're all a-flutter!

Step 6: Enjoy!

This project took me an afternoon to do and I'm very very pleased with the results! If you give it a go, I'd love to know how it went for you. 

Do you have any DIYs up your sleeve for Valentine's Day? 
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