DIY Galentine’s Day Pouches

February 10, 2016

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As a child some of my fondest elementary school memories revolve around celebrating Valentine’s Day. Not only was it an excuse to have a day off from math class and eat cake (I’m more of an art class kind of girl) but making my Valentine’s Day mail box was what I considered to be the ideal way to spend my time. I also remember the feeling I got when I went home after class to sort though all of the Valentine’s I had received and the fun I experienced sending out my own, hand written Valentine’s. Not much has changed in the way of my love for arts and crafts and my feelings about Valentine’s Day…except now I have to dream up adult-appropriate ways to celebrate it. Enter: Galentine’s Day pouches! There really could be nothing sweeter than creating a handmade gift for your girlfriends, especially when they’re filled with make up, jewellery and chocolate! Because I wanted this to be an inexpensive DIY that anyone can create I turned to my friends at Joe Fresh for help. They have an amazing selection of affordable make up ($3-$12) in very appropriate Valentine’s Day colours and jewelry that packs a big punch. I picked up my choices at Shopper’s Drug Mart and got to crafting. These little pouches were so easy and affordable to create I see no reason why us adults shouldn’t be getting our mail boxes ready for them this Valentine’s Day. Get crafting ladies, your gal’s will appreciate it!
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What you will need:
1. Cotton pouches (I purchased mine at Michael’s)
2. Iron on transfer paper + iron
3. Scissors + towel
4. A selection of Joe Fresh beauty products/jewelry or that of your choosing
5. A variety of candy, chocolate, paper stuffing and confetti (I purchased mine at the Dollar Store)
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Step 1: Begin by creating sayings on Photoshop or Word, I used a size 40 font in Sweet Pea (one of my favourite free fonts). Because I was using make up and jewelry to fill my pouches I decided to write clever sayings that matched what was going inside each. “You make me blush” “shine bright like a diamond” and “you nail being my bestie” were a few puns/plays on words that I thought were cute and worked well for the theme. Before printing out the sayings on the transfer paper make sure to flip them horizontally to mirror themselves so that they will be ironed on correctly.

Step 2: Slip a small towel in between the pouch so that each side is separated. I used a thick piece of paper (shown above) but after some trouble I realized that a rolled towel would have worked much better.

Step 3: Place the saying that you want to be transferred on to the pouch, making sure that it is centered, even and will be transferred and read from left to right. Place the iron on top of the paper and follow the directions given on the package (normally moving the iron in a circular motion for 20-30 seconds). The first iron I used seem to be too hot so I had to use a less “professional” iron. Unfortunately the pouches I purchased were also not the best material for iron-on transfers and they seemed to brown easily so make sure to look for 100% cotton pouches and you should be a-ok. 

Step 4: Gently remove the piece of paper and you will have an adorable pouch with a sweet saying ready to be filled! I filled mine with pink shredded paper stuffing, make up and jewelry from joe fresh (in the appropriate pouches), chocolate, candy and some heart-shaped confetti. 
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Le Chateau Love Birds

February 9, 2016

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This year will be the 9th Valentine’s Day that I’ve spent with my sweet Jamie. I can’t believe that I’m saying that because it still feels like only yesterday when he gave me my first Valentine’s Day present (a white ceramic box with a tiny gold heart inside) on a bench inside of our high school. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun! We both love spending as much time as possible with each other whether that’s cooking a meal together with a bottle of red, hanging out on the couch watching Netflix (currently we’re watching Friends), and even working on this here blog together. So when Le Chateau approached us about being a part of their annual “Le Chateau Love Birds” series it was a no-brainer for us. We both absolutely loved spending the day picking out outfits at Le Chateau (they have some great men’s and women’s pieces guys!) and being able to have a little couple photo session. It was a freezing cold day but being able to snuggle up next to my guy in our new Le Chateau outfits was so much fun! 

Ps: In case you’re interested here’s a little Q&A we did with Le Chateau on their blog today
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What I’m Wearing c/o Le Chateau: Jacket (here) // Top (here) // Leggings (here) // Heels; (here) // Hat (here)  // Rings (Here)

What Jamie’s Wearing c/o Le Chateau: Coat; (similar) // Vest (here) // Shirt (here) // Tie (here) // Shoes (here)

Expert Tips: Creating a Valentine’s Day Centrepiece with Sweet Woodruff

February 9, 2016

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Valentine’s day goes hand in hand with flowers. Whether they are from a loved one, a gift to yourself or in the form of a centrepiece for a table, there’s nothing quite like having fresh blooms to brighten up your home. This year I knew that I wanted to create a Valentine’s Day inspired centrepiece but in all honesty I had no idea where to begin. So with that I enlisted the help of my friend Lisa, who owns one of the most beautiful floral design studios in Toronto, Sweet Woodruff.

Lisa and I met rather serendipitously months ago over Kijiji when I was selling a rug that I had purchased for our living room that was too big. I had already followed Sweet Woodruff via Instagram and was a huge fan of their work. When Lisa mentioned that she was the owner of the shop via e-mail I was thrilled to have connected.  I had been waiting for the perfect opportunity to collaborate with Lisa and the Sweet Woodruff team, and with Valentine’s Day this Sunday I knew this would be the perfect opportunity.

I’m beyond excited to share this tutorial on how to create this garden inspired Valentine’s Day centrepiece, but also because you can use this very helpful information as a guide for making any centrepiece or bouquet. Lisa and her team are seriously magicians when it comes to flowers, so in my opinion this tutorial is like opening the floral version of Pandora’s Box. I hope you are as inspired as I am!
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Lisa loves the look of loose, whimsical arrangements and likes to think about what a garden really looks like in nature. When creating the shape for her bouquets and centerpieces she thinks about “what is old is new” and draws shape inspiration from old Dutch paintings. Lisa creates bouquets with either a sweeping “S” shape (starting low on one side higher to the other), or an “M” shape that dips into the middle”. Our centerpeice was a mixture of the two as you can see from the photos. 
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To begin start by making a grid on your vase out of waterproof floral tape, we made a 3×3 grid as you can see in the photo above. Once you are happy with your grid placement start creating your initial shape with the greenery (either the “S” or the “M”) being mindful that the greenery and flowers will begin dictating where they want to go.  Lisa says “when you are starting with the greenery you will notice that it will fall where it wants and begin cascading and leaning. “It will look like it wants to be placed there.”  In The Sweet Woodruff shop nothing is wired on manipulated, Lisa likes to “let the flowers fall where they may.”
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Before you start adding flowers to your centerpiece be sure to give them a fresh cut on a diagonal with shears. Cutting the flowers on a diagonal allows for more surface area on the stem which in turn allows the flowers to drink more water and stay alive longer.
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From L to R: white hellebores, pink peonies, blush sweetheart roses, peach roses, peach tulips, pink stock
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Once your greens are placed where you like them and the stems of the flowers are trimmed, start adding the focal flowers, in this case we used pink peonies and peach roses.  When adding the flowers try to group the varieties together in small clusters. You can see from the photos that our peonies are grouped together instead of sporadically placed around the centrepiece. Creating clusters looks more natural and garden inspired. 
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After the focal flowers are placed in the centrepiece add your other varieties (tulips, sweet heart roses, white hellebores). Be sure to think about things like grouping colours just as you grouped the flowers. Begin with your whites and lighter colours, letting the centrepiece grow into the darker colours. When adding the flowers into the centrepiece use your fingers to guide you, it’s okay if some are sticking out more than others, just make sure that all of the stems are touching the water.
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Finally consider layering for texture, being aware that not everything is on the same plane. Having flowers and greens layered on different planes gives you more dimension and depth of field.
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Tulip trick: To create this open faced tulip begin by stripping off all of the greens from the stems. Then using your thumb and index finger gently pop the petals outwards towards the ceiling one at a time. Once the petal is popped, gently use your thumb and finger to slide the petal towards your body. this will allow the peals to stay open and give your tulips an entirely different look. Try to touch the flower as minimally as possible as the more you touch it the less likely it is to last and stay open as the oils on your fingers can hurt the pretty blooms.
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