Sunday, February 28, 2010

[ new website! ]

I'VE BEEN working diligently to put together a new website for my handbags and I'm so excited to say that it's now up and running! Eventually it will allow purchases directly on the site, but for now it links to my Etsy shop. Please check it out and tell me what you think!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

[ i'm in heaven ]

IT WAS A gorgeous sunny day today so I thought I'd head into Dublin and see if I could source out any new fabric shops (up until now, I hadn't had much luck other than The Woolen Mill or Hickeys). And as I was walking through the winding little streets, I came upon Murphy Sheehy & Co., a rather tiny shop (but then I have found that some of the best places are in tiny jewel boxes). Well I think I may have died and gone to heaven. This little shop, family owned since 1940 was overflowing with such a great selection of drapery and interior fabrics as well as Irish wool and linen. There were bolts everywhere but that's what made it fun - digging through them to see what goodies I could find. I'm thrilled with the little bits of damask and wool tweed I brought home and can't wait to get sewing!


Friday, February 26, 2010

[ happy friday! ]

WELL THE WEEKEND is finally here and I'm really looking forward to putting my feet up tonight and maybe watching a chick flick with a cozy cup of cocoa. I love Friday night.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

[ shopping therapy ]

I WOKE UP today to a sprinkling of snow on the ground and thought 'blah'! but I wasn't going to let some snow get me down! no better time to head to Dublin and get inspired by some some of my favourite shops. Topping my list is Avoca. What started out as a weaving mill in 1723 has evolved into a fun shop with 6 locations throughout Ireland, carrying fashion, accessories, homewares, cookbooks, a café, a food hall, and their traditional woven blankets. Their women's line Avoca Anthology has some of the cutest pieces, my favourite being their coats. I'm a bit of a coat person - probably comes from growing up with endless months of winter and having to be bundled up everyday and often the only outfit anyone would see. I've always enjoyed switching them up just to make things interesting. Looking to add something fun to your home or wardrobe? See what goodies they have on offer on their website.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

[ seeing spots ]

WITH POLKA DOTS being such a popular trend for the upcoming season, I thought I'd create some new clutches that follow along with the trend. I love mixing patterns and these are just so cheerful. Clutches are such a popular style of bag and I think these would be so versatile - great to add some fun pattern to a pair of jeans or to finish off an outfit for any party, prom, wedding or summer picnic!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

[ inspired to work ]

I CAME ACROSS these gorgeous workspaces from Better Homes & Gardens today and I just had to share. It's hard not to be inspired to create beautiful things when you're in an environment like these.


Monday, February 22, 2010

[ upcycle ]

ONE OF THE hardest things about living so far from family is that my nieces and nephews just grow up so fast. Every time we visit, they've grown by leaps and bounds. My littlest niece, Emma, seems to be growing like a weed. I bought her a cute orange wool jumper dress for her birthday recently and it's hard to believe she's already outgrown it. Since I've made a few handbags from vintage suit jackets, my sister-in-law asked if I could possibly transform this favourite jumper into a handbag. And so yesterday I got to work planning and completing a special little handbag for Emma.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

[ etsy treasury! finally! ]

IT'S ALWAYS a thrill to get a message from someone saying that they've included your item in their Etsy treasury. It's such a compliment! Out of all the items out there on Etsy, yours has managed to make their top 12 list! I've been trying to create a treasury on Etsy for a while now but can never seem to get one - until today!  So I thought I'd share my treasury with you. Feel free to go to the link, add a comment and visit all the individual shops to see their range of amazing items.


Friday, February 19, 2010

[ woo hoo! ]

I WOKE UP this morning, checked my emails and found out that I had made the front page of Etsy! This is a first for me so I have to admit that I was bouncing off the walls! What a lovely thing to wake up to! Thanks to michabella for including me in her beautiful treasury.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

[ pretty petals ]

ONE OF THE things I love about walking around Grafton Street in Dublin are the flower stalls - they're so cheerful and really put a spring in your step!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

[ in the buff ]

BOTH STELLAR magazine and Vogue are showing a big trend for spring which was also seen at New York Fashion Week for fall/winter 2010. nude. I don't mean naked, nude as a color.

Inspired by these soft skin tones and all the pretty, feminine details, I've decided to design a bag that echoes those trends. I decided to combine the soft buff tone of cotton twill with the feminine touch of crocheted lace, trimmed in velvet ribbon. Not only does this bag have a pretty, feminine feel, the cotton lace lends itself to a vintage-inspired look that would pair well with all the soft boho florals also on-trend for spring.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

[ there's no place like home ]

IT'S A LOVELY sunny day today in Ireland and so I decided to go out for a walk to get some fresh air, exercise and all-natural vitamin D. Since my apartment here is located across the street from the shopping centre, my walk ultimately led me right to the shops. The stores are receiving some really fun spring stock and M&S always seems to stock the cutest shoes. I came upon these red beauties today that would even make Dorothy swoon.


Monday, February 15, 2010

[ mmm... banana bread! ]

I'M SURE everyone encounters this at some point - lonely bananas sitting there on the counter acquiring beauty spots but no one wants to go near them? Today was that day in our house and so it's time for my delectable banana bread recipe! The great thing about this recipe is that it's super easy and it uses basic ingredients which you are sure to have on hand. This recipe always turns out (even when i've had to adjust for Irish ovens and ingredients!). enjoy!


lisa's almost famous banana bread

1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 mashed bananas
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
salt sprinkle 

1. Heat oven to 325-350 F. Combine mashed bananas and eggs in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, cream together butter and sugar and add to banana mixture. Add vanilla. Add in dry ingredients and beat with mixer on low. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake for 50 min. to 1 hour. Check for doneness with a toothpick - it's ready when it comes out clean. Eat!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

[ a roll of the dice ]

IT'S VALENTINE'S DAY and in the spirit of treating our partners to all things love, I thought I'd plan a romantic dinner and assemble a goodie bag of sorts with chocolates, a card and these novelty Love Dice. Just roll the dice and you get an instant romantic gesture wherever in the house it lands on. The funny part was when he read the warning on the back of the package. warning: choking hazard. contains small pieces. not suitable for children under 3 years!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

[ go Canada go! ]

THE 2010 OLYMPICS are underway! While I currently may be across the world from my homeland and watching on a 5 hour time difference, I'll be cheering just the same! Here are some pics from the opening ceremonies at BC Place Stadium taken by photographers Robert Gauthier and Wally Skalij. Go Canada!


Friday, February 12, 2010

[ handbag inspiration ]

I'M ALWAYS anxious for spring to arrive and love browsing through magazines to see what the new trends are. I've decided to add a new handbag style to my range of bags and in the March issue of Stellar, an Irish lifestyle and fashion magazine, they've picked out a few trends to look out for. Dots and bright, fruity colours are big for spring and so I thought I'd incorporate those into the first of a new bag style which i'm naming Gisele after a lovely friend of mine.

I've chosen a juicy watermelon shade of ultrasuede (faux suede) and added a cheerful lime green polka-dot cotton for the lining just to make you smile everytime you look inside.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

[ beautiful bodies ]

WITH THE 2010 Vancouver Olympics about to begin, the current issue of enRoute magazine is full of articles about people who are contributing behind the scenes. Anne-Séguin Poirier, the costume designer and set-design consultant for the opening ceremony was interviewed about the challenges of coordinating costumes and fittings for over 5000 volunteer dancers, athletes and artists from across the country. While the interview was interesting, I was probably more taken by the photo of her and all those gorgeous vintage mannequin dressforms! I've been wanting to hunt down one of those beauties for myself for a while now - it would be such a feature in my studio and would come in so handy for photographing my handbags on to show scale.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

[ bits and bobs and baubles ]

ONE THING about being away from home for an extended period of time is that I don't have access to my closet and organizational system. While living out of a suitcase is ok for awhile, the lack of organization soon makes me feel a little crazy. When I came across these ideas from Lonny magazine for storing my baubles, all I could do was dream of what could be, if I only had one of these spaces in this temporary apartment.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

[ girly girl ]

MY DIGITAL March issue of Style at Home magazine arrived today and I just had to share this pic with you. What isn't there to love about this room? It's just so girly! The bed skirt is like a prom dress and those floral sheets look like they've been picked from a summer garden. The vintage lamps really make a statement and I love the finishing touch of the floral painting above the bed. Maybe not a look a man would love but it's so pretty and inviting - I just want to nap right now!


Monday, February 8, 2010

[ mmmm.... cheesecake! ]

THESE TARTS are the cutest little treats! with Valentine's Day just around the corner, I'm always looking for some new sweets for my sweetie. These are from Better Homes and Gardens. I think i may just give these a try...


tiny raspberry cheesecake tarts

2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut up 
1/2 teaspoon shortening 
1 2.1-ounce package baked miniature phyllo dough shells (fifteen 1-1/2-inch shells) 
1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened 
2 tablespoons dairy sour cream 
2 tablespoons powdered sugar 
2 teaspoons raspberry liqueur or milk 
15 fresh raspberries (optional) 
Fresh mint leaves (optional) 

1. In a small saucepan, stir the cut-up chocolate and shortening over low heat until melted. Remove pan from heat. Using a clean small paintbrush, brush the inside (bottom and sides) of each phyllo shell evenly with the melted chocolate mixture. Return each shell to plastic tray included in package. Chill phyllo shells in refrigerator about 20 minutes or until chocolate is set.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese, sour cream, and powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in liqueur or milk. Transfer mixture to a small resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Snip off a corner of the bag. Pipe about 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture into each shell. Cover tarts loosely; chill 2 to 4 hours.

3. If desired, garnish each tart with a fresh raspberry and mint leaves. Makes 15 tarts.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

[ heads up! ]

WELL WE managed to arrive safely in Ireland. Ok, well maybe not all of us. During our red eye flight, we all woke up to a big bang. An overhead compartment had popped open and someone's carry-on had come flying out and bounced off someone's head. Nevermind giving out headsets! What about helmets!? Luckily no one was hurt but needless to say everyone was sleeping with one eye open after that! On a lighter note, aren't these the cutest little suitcases? If you're looking for a cute little vintage case for kids, just visit Jen Klair Kids.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

[ across the pond ]

SO I'M off to Ireland for a bit. my bags are packed (with about 80% of it being sewing supplies!). I'm looking forward to wearing my shoes again and putting the shovel away for a while. You can see how springy Dublin was in February last year - I wonder if it will be the same this year? Time to bid farewell to lovely Muskoka and embrace some Irish cheer!


Friday, February 5, 2010

[ winter wonderland ]

A SNOWY shot looking out to the river from my living room. So peaceful. So fluffy.
Happy Friday!



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