Easter Floral Ideas

Here are a couple of budget friendly ideas for this holiday weekend. I prefer to use potted plants when there’s nothing available in the yard to clip from.

Table Centerpiece

My sister had been holding onto a couple of dishes that had belonged to our Nonna and to me they seemed perfect for floral centerpieces.

I used pansies in their plastic cell pack for one and simply put the container directly into the ovenware.

They’re the right height for being in the table and after the weekend they can be planted outside. Plus pansies are perfect for garnishing food.

Celebration Arrangement

For this arrangement I used 2 containers of potted tulips. I chose ones that were at different stages in growth, one being quite small so that there is time for it to bloom a bit later.

A video of the steps are here on my Instagram

There are pinecones at the bottom for drainage as well as on top to fill in any gaps. Pinecones could be substituted for pebbles.

I put little glass jars into the soil to hold some little blossoming branches I cut. The arrangement will change with time as the tulips grow.

Once the tulips are finished I will plant them outside to bloom next year and the pinecones will go back outside.


In the end of February we had to put down our beloved Cali. He has been my companion with every house project on this blog until now. He lived a full and healthy age until 12.5 years and home just doesn’t feel the same without him.

Here’s a look back to one of my my first home blog posts from 2014 when we started out in our first home in Montreal.


Holiday Home 2022

It’s a few days until Christmas, the snow continues to pile up outside & the house is decked out in fresh greens.

Here’s a look at how I decorated our house this year. I used Cedar, Noble Fir and eucalyptus.

This year red ribbon has been popular in my shop and I used shades of it in our home too.

The constants for me are fresh wreaths inside & out, pine/fir boughs in every room & bathroom, a tree alternative like branches or this year our 5′ tall ficus wrapped with lights.

I made 3 wreaths for the front windows from the same boxwood plant in our yard that I use every year. The more I prune it, the better it grows back.

There are lots of plastic ornaments available at thrift stores that can be painted. I used homemade chalk paint to change the bright shiny blue to a matte off-white that reminds me of snowballs. Make sure to let the paint dry between coats

This garland on the mantle is made up of a bunch of jars from our pantry. Real ones dry up as soon as the fireplace is on so I wanted to try an alternative. It works well, I would advise using large, wide jars that won’t tip over and fall.

The bowl that holds the pinecones we found belonged to my Great Nana.

This black vessel was my Nonna’s and the ornament was made by my mum with leftover wool from a coat I made.

The cedar is real as lasts a few weeks as long as the water is topped up. At the end of the holidays I will take apart the wreaths & put the greens in the yard waste.

Happy Holidays!

Holiday 2022 – Decorating Plans

Winter has already arrived in our city so I’m skipping right to holiday decorating. The snow came before I hit publish on the Fall Decorating blog post.

Here’s a look at what I am making this holiday season, for sale in my Etsy shop & my website.

Linen stockings are available these 6 different neutral fabrics:

The stockings can be used for many years to come. Leaving them neutral and unadorned allows endless possibilities to accessorize to suit future decor too.

Handmade Quilt by @thehappythimble

Here are the same cream stockings, 2 different ways:

Last year I introduced 100% silk ribbons when I couldn’t find anything in stores that I liked.

The ribbons are only available in my Etsy shop. New this year are these rusty reds and browns.

Etsy Shop :

Upcoming Decorating Event!

I love decorating for holidays!

This year I’m so excited to be decorating a sustainable show home called Wilden Living Lab for the Homes for the Holidays Tour. It is a fundraiser for the Central Okanagan Hospice Association.

The theme is Locally Sourced & Locally Made. Tickets are available online for the event happening Nov 19th here in Kelowna.

I’ve been collecting driftwood, pinecones and local evergreens to make lots of fresh wreaths.

More to come with ideas for how to create a natural, sustainable Christmas atmosphere.

Looking for inspiration & tutorials?

There are lots available here, search “wreath” to find more on the blog.

DIY Rustic Sofa Table

Do you have projects that you procrastinate completing and then wish you had made it sooner?

This sofa table was like that for me. I had the plan, the wood sitting in the garage and even the lamp ready but without any motivation to complete it when in reality it was quite simple to make.

I love the look of a table behind the couch and had made one in our last house too. It’s a nice spot to put a lamp for reading light and also to make displays with seasonal branches.


  • 2″x 12″ Pine Board – Cut to Size
  • Kreg Jig for Pocket Holes
  • Screws
  • Wood Glue
  • Chisel to Roughen Edges of Wood
  • Wood Stain

I was able to use one 2″ x 12″ x 12′ pine board that was wide enough to hold the lamp and would be the perfect fit with our house. As with all my other projects I had the wood cut at Home Depot.

To assemble it I used my Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes. I only have a few basic tools and the Kreg Jig has been the best investment that I have used countless times.

These are the stains I used, a mix of what I already had from previous projects.

Here is what the room looked like before I painted the walls and fireplace.

Quilt Made by my Mum

The last part of the project was fixing up the lamp. The glaze was uneven and a bit chipped so I coated it with a layer or homemade chalk paint (which works for everything!) In an off-white.

Wood & Lamp Before
Wood & Lamp After

Sometimes making a table the right size is easier and less expensive than buying one and the materials may be better quality too.

Related Posts:

Sofa table stained with steel wool and vinegar.

Fireplace Makeover: A Simple Update with Paint

Homemade Chalk Paint

Old Lamp / New Look

A couple of weeks ago on Instagram I shared a clip of a recent lamp makeover. It is one of three styles I’ve done in the past few months.

Here are three secondhand lamps, all changed slightly. Sometimes it can be switching a lamp harp (about $5 at a hardware store) a lamp shade or for others paint was used as well.

Homemade Chalk Paint + Baking Soda

This lamp was the perfect size and shape but I didn’t like the flower on it. I added a couple of coats of homemade chalk paint, mixed with a bit baking soda to add texture. I don’t love the baking soda ( I know this has been popular online for awhile) but I found it rubs off easily. Maybe I used too much and should have put a top coat on.

This is the room where the lamp is going. Below is how the table originally looked, first brown and in an earlier coat of blue paint.

Wicker Lamps

These lamps were in excellent shape and all I did was switched to matching drum shades and did a white wash

Oversized Ceramic Lamps

This oversized ceramic lamp is my favourite. I loved the size, texture and colour of the base but not the way the shades sat up so high and the set wasn’t matching in height.

I wanted to keep the cost low and easily find the shades so I used ones from Home Depot and then changed the harp so the shade would sit lower.

These are in our bedroom on oversized nightstands.

My favourite projects are the ones that use creativity to reimagine something that already exists.


In an effort to reuse as much as possible I am now offering pillow covers made of boiled wool and soon linen.

The way that a coat of paint can change a room, so can switching pillow covers. These are made to work with existing cushion covers already in the home.

I have standard sizes available and can do custom as well. These materials pictures are all 100% linen and are available. More to come soon.

Holiday Decorating 2021

Here’s a look at some of the holiday decorating and wreaths I made for 2021. I will do a second post with all the wreaths from this year.

If you’ve been reading my blog or seen my Instagram, you’ll know that I love making wreaths and using fresh material to decorate.

Fresh Greenery

We try to limit how much stuff we store in bins so using fresh greens that go into the yard waste at the end of season does the trick…and bonus smells good too! The only place I use artificial is for a staircase garland.

I started early with making boxwood wreaths to hang in our windows with greens clipped from our yard and silk ribbons that I made (available in my Etsy shop).

Boxwood will last a good 6-8 weeks indoors, especially if it gets some moisture from fogged up windows.

Tree Alternatives

I cut branches off some of our trees and shrubs to make “trees” in the front planters, indoors and as out Christmas tree.

I have tried potted trees in the past but they need to be maintained all year so instead I use branches. That way, at the end of season to the yard waste they go.

Benefits of using branches instead of trees:

  • No trees wasted
  • Less maintenance than a potted tree
  • Nothing plastic and bulky that needs to be stored.

Front Door Decor

The front porch area changed in the Spring with the One Room Challenge when I added seating. For winter I made a new pillow cover …maybe we’ll have a cup of hot chocolate here on a mild day.

The front door set up is similar to last year. I start setting it up in November with a winter look and then add some sparkle in December near Christmas.

After the holidays, I remove the sparkle and keep this display for the rest of winter. I added battery powered tiny lights to the trees that add a glow to the trees for the 3 pm sunset.

For the past few years I have been selling wreaths locally in December. I will share more pictures of the ones I made this year in another blog post.

To see more photos of the outdoor decorating I have a few Reels on my Instagram to get a more detailed look.

Linen Stockings & Silk Ribbons

Recently I have turned my love of decorating into items available in my shop.

Well made pieces made with natural materials aren’t always easy to find in stores so I’m making them.

I have several neutral linen fabrics that can be mixed and matched. They can be personalized with ribbons, ornaments to change the look over the years.

Most of the time I make ribbons for myself and now added them to the shop. They are 100% silk with frayed edges and available in a few metallic colours.

Stripe, Cream and Oatmeal
Stockings with Silk Ribbons

Right now my Etsy shop is where I have the ribbons available. www.shibangdesigns.etsy.com


Here’s a look at my winter wreath making. These boxwood wreaths are for the front windows in my home. We are so lucky that someone planted a boxwood shrub in our yard years ago.

I cleared out the Fall decor (cooked the pumpkins, put the grasses in yard waste) and I’m beginning to decorate the front porch, more to come soon!

Faux Finish -Plaster Accent Wall

With the weather now perfect for leaving the windows open, I’m catching up on a couple of indoor painting projects. I wanted to give our room personality on a tiny budget of time and resources.

A few basic supplies was all that was needed. I had an idea of the look I was going for and then just jumped in and started improvising.

Here is how the room looked after adding these painted end tables turned nightstands (see previous post).

Here are a few pictures of the process.

There is some subtle texture that shows when the sun shines.

The lamps looked a bit different when I brought them home. I added new lamp shades and replaced the harps to lower where the shade sat, rather than searching for a uncommon shade size. The harp and shades were from Home Depot.

These were the nightstands before. I chose them for the open style on the bottom and the fluted detail around the top edge.

Homemade Chalk Paint

With a darker, warmer paint colour on the walls the room instantly feels cozier with a shoestring budget – both in supplies and time. Those are my favourite kind of projects these days.

Now that its Autumn I’m making wreaths again. I will have more of these wheat style wreaths available in early October. They ship within Canada and will be available for local pick up too.

Homemade Chalk Paint

Painting to refresh used furniture is nothing new.

Over the years I’ve done lots of pieces using brand name chalk paint and now I find that making my own works just as well and it’s so easy to do.

Basically by adding Plaster of Paris to house paint it adds the grit needed to help it stick to the wood surface.

Homemade Chalk Paint Recipe:

  • 1.5 cups Interior House Paint
  • 1/3 cup Plaster of Paris
  • 1/3 cup Water

*These are estimates. Once the supplies are mixed the paint will start to thicken slightly.


Mix the supplies together. First apply primer on the piece of furniture, then coat with the chalk paint. Seal with a clear coat intended for chalk paint. I tried a water based product that was applied with a brush, it didn’t have the toxic smell like other wax sealants do.

Some Examples

Primer and First Coat of Homemade Chalk Paint

There are so many used pieces of furniture around and changing the colour can easily update them.

After Applying a Clear Topcoat

I keep a box of Plaster of Paris and there is plenty to mix up gallons of chalk paint with leftover house paint. It works well on cabinets, mirrors and end tables.

Once you have the basic supplies it’s so easy to whip up a batch for the latest thrift store/marketplace find.

ORC – Spring 2021 – Reveal

Here we are at the final reveal for the One Room Challenge. As I’ve mentioned before, I love these challenges as motivation to complete a project with others working on theirs at the same time.

I set out to continue projects started in Spring 2020 which included exterior updates and in the vegetable garden.

Vegetable Garden

Here’s a look at where we started when we moved in July 2019 and where we are now almost two years later. The changes are mainly from changing paint/stain colours and adding furniture, plus fencing to protect the vegetable garden from deer.

Summer 2019
Summer 2021

The majority of this area was completed last year for the One Room Challenge. I painted the existing raised beds white, stained the hot tub taupe & built deer fencing to create a garden room.

Summer 2019

I added a couple of other raised beds this year and as well as an apple tree nearby and a nectarine tree.

We went crazy with the peas and now that I’ve harvested them all the beds look empty.

Front Porch Reading Area

The biggest change this year came from adding furniture to make a cozy reading area at the front of the house. Now we actually use this space.

I had foam cut and I sewed an outdoor bench cushion for this wicker loveseat. Since I couldn’t find a round table the right size and price I used a sturdy basket upside-down as a coffee table.

The cushions I made and the bright yellow one is from leftover linen I had from the masks I’ve made.

Since deer hang out in the shade next to the house too I’m not bothering with plants and instead clipped some branches from shrubs we have that I know deer don’t like. Bonus, no watering in this extreme heat.

To see what this space started like head to Week #1 ORC – Spring 2021 -Exterior Updates Week #1

To see what everyone else completed for this round of One Room Challenge check out the blog: www.oneroomchallenge.com/blog/orcspring2021wk8