Top 5 “one of a kind” picks for the crafty gal

The One of a Kind Christmas Show & Sale starts Thursday. Do you know what you’ll be treating yourself to? Start with these:

One of a Kind Christmas Show & Sale Picks for Women

  • Shirley Underpants. When was the last time your underwear made you smile? These cheery colours will certainly perk up a grey winter day. The price may seem high but they’re fantastic: they last forever, they stay put, and they look good on every shape. The Candi Factory, $20.
  • The Gills Hat. Love the three-brim design, the bright red colour, the shape that covers the ears and the overall elegance. Wildhagen, price unknown.
  • Contemporary Quilt Pillow Cases.  Striking colour combinations of new and used fabric in a patchwork style. Precious. Studio K, $34 each.
  • Chatterbox Pocket Book. When I first came across these purses, I was smitten. The artist takes apart old books and reuses the covers to create the most delightful accessories. Talk about judging a book (and its carrier) by its cover. Noelle Hamlyn, $110.
  • Water Collection. Isabel Desy has a knack for combining colourful semi-precious stones, glass beads and pieces of pewter. I’m always in awe of her latest collections.  Stella Bijoux, price unknown.

If you’re looking for a unique gift alternative for your gadget-loving guru, take a look at this OOAKS guide written for WorkLivePlayCafe.com. For the children on your holiday list, see my Top 5 “one of a kind” picks for crafty kids. The show runs November 24 to December 4 at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place.

Enjoy the show!

Manly paint colours

I admit, I have a problem when it comes to home decor. I’m always changing things around the house — not exclusively but most certainly when working on a home decor article — and I’m always dreaming up what needs to be done next. My husband has perfected the art of rolling his eyes.

Next on my list is painting the master bedroom. I opted for white after writing an article about an all-white house for Style at Home magazine. It was so wonderfully peaceful that I got the okay from my husband and went ahead. Oh, how I hate it! It’s so cold. So unemotional. So blah.

CIL's new lines of paint colours for men includes "Sucker Punch"
Sucker Punch. Image courtesy CIL.

Now, three years later, I can say I’ve tried to like it. And now, three years later, after listening to me complain weekly, my husband has agreed it’s time to paint the bedroom.

Enter CIL. I received a press release today for the “first paint colours for men.” Called Ultimate Man Caves, the 20-colour collection includes names that have meaning to the male sex, like Beer Foam, Rust on my Truck, Centre Ice and Deathstar.

“When it comes to paint names, it’s all about the emotional connection and our research shows that men and women tend to relate to paint names differently,” states Alison Goldman, marketing communications manager for CIL Paints. So while  Cloud Nine will still exist in the regular palette section, men will have Iced Vodka. Rather than Butterscotch, they can look at Beer Time. I still haven’t picked a new colour, but I’m working on it. And maybe, just maybe,  we’ll be able to live in harmony under the same roof. You know, if I stop moving the furniture around.

Geek Chic

Do check out my post for the site WorkLivePlayCafe about the best tech offerings at the upcoming One of a Kind Christmas Show & Sale. I love everything about this artisan show and will highlight some more crafty and kid-friendly items in the next few days. But if you’re  already itching to know what will be available, this article is a good start!

DIY Delight

Book Review: DIY Furniture by Christopher Stewart I just received a copy of DIY Furniture: A step-by-step guide by Christopher Stuart from Raincoast Books.  I remain in awe of people who see potential and beauty in the oddest things, like black plastic water pipe (newspaper table), rubber doormats (poltrona armchair) and styrofoam (sedia e sgabello chair).

While all the projects are worth a mention for their creativity, three really stand out: the oddstock floored wardrobe is quite lovely with its zigzagged-pattern doors made from clearance flooring; the split box shelves (see image below), which marries art and functionality by assembling logs and strips of plywood into an array of boxes; and the simply perfect writing desk, inspired by furniture of the 1950s and 1960s but suitable for any corner in need of a table, especially in a child’s room.

The 30 projects are divided into 7 sections, namely tables and desks, storage, lighting, seating, bedroom, outdoor and miscellaneous. Along with the step-by-step instructions, each is also accompanied by hand-drawn plans  and a list of materials and tools that you can pick up at your local hardware store.

Follow along or be inspired…a one-of-a-kind, made-by-you piece is  easier than you think.

DIY Furniture: a step-by-step guide, by Christopher Stuart. Published by Laurence King Publishing, 2011.