life

Social Saturday | January 15

gallery wall with a bunch of artwork hanging on it

Hello and happy Saturday, dear Reader. How was your week? Mine has felt a bit hectic, with a big project at work that I’m trying to finish up today. (Plus all the other things of daily life mixed in!) Earlier this week I took some new pieces to my display at the gallery and I remembered to snap a picture of what it looks like right now.

Some of the new illustrations are these three vintage dresses.

framed dress illustrations

I have also added this trio of dresses to my Society6 shop. They are available with or without words as greeting cards and I have prints too. I hope to do more of them, because vintage dress styles are just so fun to draw and paint!

Well, that’s all for this post and I hope you have a wonderful weekend however you spend it.

vintage style dress illustration

A New Year & New Closet Organization

closet organization for the new year

While I’ve actually been living in my new bedroom for a couple of months now, I figured that the New Year was a good time to share how I have finally settled my new closet organization. I love to organize, but I also like to make my closets and storage areas “aesthetically pleasing”, so here is how I have done that in my new room, in case you are also thinking of conducting a closet refresh for the new year!

rows of wooden hangers with shirts hanging on them

The closet in my old room (here) was designed with shelves across most of the area, in order to hold sewing fabric and supplies, with a small rod on the side to hold the UFO’s (UnFinished Objects) and Projects-In-Progress. So, when I moved into the room, as a bedroom, I had to change the way I sorted things, because of the small rod area. Now I have moved into a new bedroom which has a standard closet with a full rod, though there are small shelves on the left side of the closet, so I again have had to change the way I organize my clothes.

stacks of cream coloured hatboxes

Starting with the top shelf, all of my out-of-season hats are stored in hatboxes. While I do love to display my hats, they can get dusty, so I have opted to only leave out a few hats for the season. These cream hatboxes are ones I recovered with a map printed wallpaper and I’ve got labels taped on, so I know which hats are inside without having to pull everything down.

large blue storage box, a white fabric bag and a metal cake carrier

I also have hats stored in this large blue box. The cloth bag holds my petticoat, which I don’t wear all that often, and it takes up less space in a bag than hanging.

rose metal cake carrier

And no, I don’t have cake stored in my closet (I wish!)- guess what’s under that cake carrier?

hat inside a cake carrier

Yep, another hat! It was my mom’s idea to keep a hat in there, since I didn’t have anywhere to store the carrier- and then that way I can enjoy looking at the cool vintage cake carrier!

stack of shoeboxes

On the far right of the top shelf, I have a tall stack of shoeboxes. I keep all of my neutral coloured shoeboxes (not the neon orange Miz Mooz ones!) to store my shoes in when they are out of season. Since I don’t need to access them regularly, the stack is all the way to ceiling! Closets with headers are annoying, so I always like to keep infrequently used items up there. I also have these boxes labeled with what is inside.

In front, I have a spray bottle of vodka. Despite the fact that my closet is starting to resemble a pantry, it’s not actually for sneaking a drink; it’s for spraying clothes in between washes. Spraying clothes with alcohol is an old theatre trick to keep costumes free of odours in between shows. I use it for delicate and dry clean items or for things that aren’t dirty, but for which I want to extend the time between washes.

wool and fur coats

Now moving down to the rod, on the right I have all of my fancy evening dresses under garment bags in the very back of the closet. Then in front of them I keep my dressy winter coats. I keep these coats in this closet because I like to select them alongside my outfits, whereas I keep my everyday winter coat in the front closet.

hanging scarves and belts

Next I have my scarves, organized in the iconic IKEA Komplement organizer. I didn’t have enough scarves to fill it, so I folded it in half. I don’t love having the scarves in my closet like this, since it makes browsing a bit more difficult, but I don’t have a better place to hang them, so it works for now. In front of the scarf organizer I have a hoop shaped hanger to hold my belts. Again, not the best spot, but it’s what I have for now.

hanging bottoms and tops

After the belts comes bottoms on wooden hangers with clips. I have organized my items by type and each type of garment has a different kind of hanger.

For my tops, I have these vintage wooden hangers I got off of Poshmark. They were originally from a fur storage vault in Toronto. Since I’ve kind of got a capsule wardrobe right now (from getting rid of so many clothes in 2020-2021) I’ve switched from using slim velvet hangers to using these. They definitely take up a lot more horizontal space, and I might not use them forever if I add to my wardrobe in the future, but right now I am quite enjoying seeing these lovely vintage hangers in the morning when I get dressed!

hanging knitwear

After the tops, come the knits. I KNOW you’re not supposed to hang sweaters and knitwear, but I really can’t be bothered to iron or steam creases out every time before wearing them… and so I keep my most commonly worn knits hung up. I use vintage satin padded hangers, which, again, do use a lot of horizontal space, but they are so pretty that it’s worth it! Knits that I don’t wear as often are stored on a shelf, but for these, I’d rather hang them up than be wrinkly.

extra hangers

And at the end of the clothing rod, I keep my extra few hangers from items that are in the laundry.

organized and pretty storage shelves in the closet

Now moving on to the shelves along the left, which hold a lot of my accessories and knitwear. I use the top shelf as a bit of display area; here’s where the aesthetics perhaps take precedence over the economical use of the space.

top display shelf in the closet

I don’t like having all of my jewelry on my dresser, so I store my special occasion pieces here in the closet, and everyday pieces on the dresser. I also like to keep a few hats out on display, so I’ve got one sitting here and one on my dresser. I also put this little miniature tea set here just for fun.

I have a couple purses leaning in the back, but I might replace them in the future with a picture. I have a small print of this piece by Marc Johns, and I’d like to put it in here once it’s framed, even if it’s something that only I will see, because it will bring a smile every time I look at it!

knits and berets on a shelf

The next shelf down also holds knits- the ones I don’t wear as often. I put in this wooden half shelf (which fits perfectly!) so I could double the amount of space and put my berets here too.

row of purses on a shelf

The next two shelves hold my purses and bags. My small vintage clutches and travel shoe bags etc. are stored inside the cream overnight bag and the large wicker bag.

row of purses and luggage on a shelf

And finally, on the floor at the bottom is a basket I use to hold my work clothes… the old ones I wear to refinish furniture or other messy tasks like that, but don’t need access to all the time.

vintage metal laundry hamper

To the right, under the shorter hanging garments, sits my vintage laundry hamper. I will always be indebted to my brother for this hamper, because I found it at the thrift store for $2….and their debit machine wasn’t working. I didn’t have any cash, so he lent me the money (forfeiting whatever he had found) so I could buy it! Since then I have seen people selling these for MUCH more- sometimes for up to $50, so I am so happy that I got it when I did. Oh, and yes, I always carry cash now, just in case!

jewelry oval frame organizer

Now moving out of the closet and to the left, on the wall beside my dresser I have my jewelry frame. I made this probably 14 years ago, and it has proven to be one of my most useful projects. I did a terrible job attaching the fabric with hot glue, but even so, after 14 years it’s still holding up! And it works so well to organize long necklaces, brooches and dangly earrings. I am a person that needs to see what I have or I will forget to wear it, so this works perfectly for me.

drawer full of fur collars

In my dresser I store my “unmentionables”, socks and tights in the top two drawers. And then in the bottom drawer…fur collars! A bit unconventional, but I decided to put them here to keep the dust off them… it works.

rows of shoes on a bookshelf

Lastly, to the right of the closet sits my bookshelf. I use the bottom two shelves to store shoes and boots; I keep my everyday winter boots in the front closet, but all the other shoes stay here. I keep them here so I can match them to my outfits easily, but also to keep them from getting battered in the communal closet! In the basket, are all of my shoe and clothing care items.

So that’s pretty much how I organize my closet! It always varies a bit from season to season, but I think this will be how it stays for a while. This is only my in-season clothing too, by the way. The rest of my summer clothes are stored in two plastic bins under the bed. I don’t like keeping everything in my closet year round because it overwhelms and clutters the space, and I think it is good to give my pieces a rest from hanging if they aren’t being regularly worn.

(Oh and, not pictured, I keep my fabric tote bag and everyday purse hanging on the back of my door, along with my bathrobe and shawl, for easy access.)

How do you set up your closet? Do you like to do a closet organization refresh in the New Year? Do you prefer to put an emphasis on the practicality or the aesthetics when you are organizing?

hat and jewelry box on display

Social Saturday | It’s 2022!

candle on a windowsill

“Happy New Year” Dear Readers! Does it feel like it should already be 2022 to you?

I’ve had an enjoyable and productive last few weeks of 2021, how about you? Above, I received this lovely pottery dimensional candle holder for Christmas, and it’s so nice to have it sitting on my windowsill reflecting the light in the evenings. 

star new year wreath

I like to change out my wreath depending on the season, so I put gold stars on it for New Years, just for fun!

beautifl sunrise

I don’t often get up before dawn, but the last time I did I was met with this beautiful sight. I haven’t gotten up that early since, though, I guess it wasn’t enough of an enticement to leave my cosy warm bed. 

mystery orange plant bloom

One of my mom’s succulents is blooming. I have no idea what this plant is- it didn’t have a tag. Do you know what it is? We call it the “alien plant” since it has long stems with round leaves and spines that look like antennae. 

zippered pouch with a house embroidered on the front

As for projects lately, I’ve been enjoying some more embroidery. This time a little pouch for my sister. I’m really enjoying making these, and I’ve been contemplating adding some to my Poshmark Shop.

two little baby sundresses and bonnets

I’ve really been wanting to make things with my hands lately- embroidery, sewing etc. However, I haven’t felt like sewing anything for myself because fitting patterns is the worst part of sewing, so instead I’ve started making other things- like baby clothes. Not because I’m having a baby anytime soon, but because kid’s clothes are so fun to make! I plan on creating a bit of a stockpile of them to gift to families in my church who have little ones on the way, as well as bringing some pieces to the pregnancy care centre. 

baby felt boots and hairbows

These little felted boots are so adorable, aren’t they? And little hair bows are a quick and easy (and cute!) project to whip up in an afternoon. I’m having so much fun making these, that I may have been dedicating just a bit too much time to them lately…. well, it’s the New Year now so time for a fresh start! 

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I make a list of 3-4 goals for the year, whether personal, creative etc. Last year I planned to finish organizing my hard drive and compiling a photo album of all of my Instagram photos…but I didn’t get to it…so, it’s back on the list for this year. Other than that, I haven’t thought of any other goals, but I’m sure I’ll come up with some in the next few days.

I hope your 2022 is off to a great start! Happy New Year!

Social Saturday | July 31

stack of books with a cup of tea on top

Here we are already at the end of July and beginning of August! The summer seems to be going past very quickly- how about for you?

This has been the Year of Reading for me- I’ve just finished book #33. I’ve been trying to spend my evenings reading, rather than browsing the internet. It’s been nice to get through quite a few of the books on my list, although of course, as soon as I cross one off, I find several more to add to the bottom!

vintage copy of Mistress Pat book

I requested Mistress Pat by L.M Montgomery from the library (review: not my favourite of her books, but still enjoyable) and the copy I received was this beautiful first edition from 1935! I love it when they keep older editions of books in circulation, rather than replacing them all with new copies.

mallard duckling

We had some exciting visitors to our place; my sister walked out the back door, and spotted two lost Mallard ducklings in the flower bed! When their mom never showed up, we brought them inside and put them in a brooder, and then my mom brought them to the wildlife rescue shelter a couple days later. They were so tiny and cute, and actually very quiet as well. (At least compared to the chick we’ve got inside; we named him Mortimer, because he never stops cheeping!) They were hard to photograph and got a little bit panicked when my sister picked them up, but I’m glad I got a couple of pictures to remember them by.

three tiny paintings of potted plants

I’ve been working on some more watercolour illustrations; this time houseplants. I’ve been trying out this mini format- just 4″ x 4″ and I quite like it. So far I’ve done a Kalanchoe, a grouping of Cacti and a Pothos.

I’ve added them to my Society 6 shop as greeting cards or mini prints. There are “hello”, “happy birthday” and “thank-you” cards as well as blank ones available. I will also be listing these original paintings in my shop here, but am waiting for some mats I ordered to arrive first (hopefully they arrive soon!).

card with pothos on front

Ps: I’ve also added some more photography prints to my shop, and am slowly adding more as I have the time.

How has your summer been going so far? I hope you have a great weekend!

two card designs with plants on the front

Social Saturday | May 1

kolanchoe succulent plant with orange blooms

Happy first day of May! Is it warm where you are at, dear Reader? We’ve been having a bit of a rollercoaster lately- going from coat-and-scarf temperatures, to hot and having to wear a sunhat, then midweek there was a snowstorm and then it’s now back up again to warm Spring weather!

orange flowers blooming on a kolanchoe succulent

  • One of my houseplants is finally blooming, after years of stubbornly refusing to. I grew this one from several cuttings, and I believe it is a Kalanchoe- it’s so much leggier and scruffier looking than the ones I’ve seen online. I pruned it ruthlessly a few months ago, and I guess it decided that meant it was time to bloom!
  • This week I listened to this interview on The Daily Connoisseur YouTube channel, with the author, Richard Thompson Ford, of the book  “Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Changed History”. It sounds like an excellent book, so I’ve just requested it from my library.

stack of books found at the thrift store

  • In other book related news, I love Agatha Christie mysteries, and have amassed quite a collection of them. As I add more volumes to my library, though, it becomes more and more difficult to find copies of ones I don’t already own. But, when I went to the thrift store a couple of weeks ago, I found a whole stack of Agatha Christie books, a couple of other books, and some smocked pillow patterns.

sketch of ladies in dresses and hats

  • I’ve started doing fashion sketches again. I’m not sure if I’m going to do anything with the sketches, but I enjoy the process of putting all of my fashion dreams down on paper. It’s so much easier to sketch than to sew, and it’s nice to be able to indulge in all of those garments that will most likely never come to fruition.

a pile of art bookmarks

  • I have also turned one of my abstract watercolour sketches into art bookmarks. I plan on including one of these with every order that is placed either in my Art Shop, or Poshmark Shop. It’s nice to open a package and receive a little something extra, isn’t it?

So, those are just some things that have happened in the past couple of weeks. I hope you’ve had a lovely week, and that you’ll have a good weekend too!