Christmas in July


It’s August!  One month closer to autumn.  sob..sob..sob

For me, July epitomizes summer and I am not ready to say goodbye so I advocate that July should be 60 days long.

Makes perfect sense.  Let’s keep summer around longer.  Right?

Funny thing though, yesterday I attended a ‘Christmas in July’ event.  I celebrated the holiday with Home Depot® at their 2013 Holiday Preview.

The event was held in the beautiful shop of Bobbette & Belle, Artisanal Pastries – a must visit bakery in the heart of Leslieville, Toronto.

Here is a sneak peek as to what’s hot (no pun intended!) in holiday décor for 2013.

The Winterberry Collection – red, gold and brown.  Very classic.  Winter Berry Collection

The Metallic Woodland Collection – gold and browns.  Very organic.  Metallic Woodland Collection..

The Arctic Holiday Collection – silver and blue.  Iconic colours with new shapes and designs.  Perfect for Hanukkah too.   Arctic Holiday Collection

The Midnight Holiday Collection – chartreuse, charcoal, turquoise and midnight blue.  Midnight Holiday Collection

Oh…..I loved the wallpaper behind the white cabinet in the above photo.  Thinking of it for a feature wall in my own home but that’s for another blog!

Of course no holiday is complete without a gift so Home Depot® and Bobbette & Belle sent me home with a goodie.  Thank you.  Christmas in July - Home Depot

So happy holidays and bring on more summer!!!

Happy Valentine’s Day

Will you be mine……….



Eames Eiffel chairs are red,

The Pascal Tarabay clock says its ten to two.

A very cool bamboo magazine rack,

And a Jonathan Adler pillow just for you!


Image designed by Modmissy

  1. Eames Eiffel Chair
  2. Classic Clock by Pascal Tarabay
  3. Red Bamboo Magazine Rack
  4. Red Letter Pillow

AGO 1st Thursdays

Last Thursday evening I attended 1st Thursdays at the AGO – a very happening ‘art-y’ party!

On the first Thursday of every month the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) closes its doors and lets the party begin.

1st Thursdays at AGODesigned to engage and entertain the 19+ crowd (alcohol is served!) 1st Thursdays are interactive art nights that feature performances, art-making activities (free nude life drawing and yarn bombing to name a few) artist and curator tours, talks and live events allowing people to see, make, do and hear as much art as they can.  The evenings theme, City Scrawl: Urban Intersections, was to bring Toronto’s diverse cityscape inside the AGO for one night.

Of course there were DJ’s spinning tunes throughout the gallery getting the sold-out crowd  in the groove.

Spinning tunes at the AGO


No party is complete without food and drinks so pop-up bars located in various areas provided signature cocktails and food. The Galleria Italia before and after!

Galleria Italia   Galleria Italia 1st Thursdays

At the Wheatpasting Workshop the evening’s theme ‘Urban Intersections’ challenged the idea of city and space through the practice of street postering creating collaborative murals that are appreciated as street art.

photo (21)

AGO - Wheatpasting Workshop  AGO Wheatpasting Workshop

It was a fabulous night, lots of fun and a whole new way to see the AGO.  Check out the website and consider booking a 1st Thursday event.

All images via Modmissy




A Modmissy Creation

This past holiday my family (25 in total) did the gift exchange/swap thing – everyone brings a wrapped (hence the secret) gift with an approximate value of $10.  Depending on the number you pull from a hat you then chose when it is your turn to unwrap one gift or steal from a gift that has already been unwrapped and revealed.

Fun and chaotic, sometimes even turning into a bit of a ‘sport’!

This year in true Modmissy style I decided I had to create a ‘one-of-a-kind’ gift that reflected me.  Chocolates are de-lish and lottery tickets could be $$$$$$ but just not my style.

Here is what I decided to create.

I started with this.  A Ralph Lauren oxford shirt that I decided my husband no longer needed!

Ralph Lauren shirt Ralph Lauren

And then with some black and white houndstooth check fabric I started to create.  Any guesses?

Ralph Lauren DIY pillow


A few cuts and stitches later this was the end product.  A Ralph Lauren oxford pillow!

Ralph Lauren Pillow

Ralph Lauren houndstooth pillowRalph Lauren logoRalph Lauren label

The front of the pillow was the Ralph Lauren shirt complete with the pocket and logo plus I changed the white buttons to black for more interest.  The back of the pillow was the houndstooth with the Ralph Lauren label that I removed from the inside of the shirt at the neck and re-sewed on to the pillow.

A Modmissy creation now adorning a niece’s sofa!




O Christmas Tree

I have decided that there are as many different themes to the Christmas tree as there are ornaments .

Throughout this holiday season as I go around visiting friends and family I love to see the many variations of the ‘tannenbaum’.   Whether it is a pine, fir or balsam; artificial or faux; or even a corrugated cardboard tree all say Merry Christmas in their own personal way.

Here are just a few of the trees I would like to share.

The first tree is mine.  This year we decided to go back to ‘basics’ with a tree we cut from deep within the forest near out cottage.  It is a beautiful tree with a ‘gentle’ look to it but subsequently not strong enough to hold the weight of most of my ornaments.  So we made paper ornaments and I bought mini-mini lights.  And I thought a tree like this just had to have a Hudson Bay blanket for a tree skirt.

Modmissy Christmas Tree 2012

This is my friend’s tree.  As space was a restriction this narrow faux tree covered in snow and decorated with many glass ornaments that reflect the glow of warm blue lights this tree is perfect.  I love it!

Karen's tree

This tree is in a friend’s home where Hanukkah and Christmas are both acknowledged.  Tree ornaments of Santa Claus hang next to Dreidels and Star of David.  But the coolest thing is that when my friend had me put on a pair of special 3-D glasses all the mini-lights on the tree appeared as Star of David.  Truly a Chrismukkah tree!

This photo was taken through the lens of the 3-D glasses.

z Hannukah-Christmas Tree

Of course leave it to IKEA to come up with their interpretation of a ‘flat-packed’ Christmas tree.  The JULMYS Christmas tree is made from cardboard that can be decorated with the accompanying stickers or your own ornaments.  No fallen needles to clean up and easily stored away until next year.   How simple is that!?

Ikea Julmys Christmas tree

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can’st give me;
How often has the Christmas tree
Afforded me the greatest glee!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can’st give me.

So….what does your Christmas tree look like?


My Christmas Door Wreath

The wreath:  A circle of flowers, boughs, or leaves worn on the head, placed on a memorial, or hung as a decoration.

The door wreath whether you celebrate Christmas or not, is a wonderful way to greet guests at this time of year. (especially if your door is ugly and needs replacing like mine – but that’s another blog!)

My childhood family’s first Christmas door wreath was a faux cedar one that my Mother was quite proud of.  Mom had paid a good penny for this wreath and subsequently that wreath adorned our door for many years.  It was very pretty at the onset but should have been laid to rest sooner than it was.  Note to self: cost cannot always be amortized!

As a kid I remember making my first Christmas wreath from IBM Punch Cards.

IBM Punch Card.

For those of you who may not know what an IBM Punch Card is (ie. too young) they are probably the earliest icon of the Technology Age.  Before computers of today these ~3” x 7” cards were coded or ‘punched’ with data and then fed into a computer to input information.  Seems primitive but we wouldn’t be where we are today if it were not for these cumbersome cards.

An IBM Punch Card Wreath

IBM Punch Card Wreath

When I moved into my first apartment I had a pine cone wreath that I purchased from a co-worker who was making and selling them.  But when the pine cones started falling off beyond repair this wreath became fire tinder.

Pine Cone Wreath

Over the years I have always purchased a natural pine or cedar bough wreath.  Beautiful.

But this year I decided to change it up.  Since my Christmas tree is not ‘strong’ enough to hold decorations I made a door wreath-ornament-holder.

So I started with this…

DIY door wreath

And DIY-ed this….

Door Wreath


Brother® Business Smart

Nobody said you can’t have it all!

Speed, intelligence, versatility and outstanding good looks!

No not Superman but the Brother® Business Smart all-in-one printer.

Brother Business Smart MFC-J4510DW

At an exclusive event hosted by Yummy Mummy Wall Candy blogger, Sarah Gunn and Brother® I met the MFC-J4510DW.  And I fell in love!

With its cool, sleek, sexy design this new printer has the ultimate combination of printer, scanner, copier, fax and wireless networking.  With fast print speeds, low print costs and the ability to print 11” X 17” format using landscape print technology which greatly reduces the overall size.  The engineers thought of everything.

My Printer, Scanner, Fax vs. Brother Business Smart

But it’s the designers who I tip my hat to – this new piece of technology looks good!  In the past printers/faxes/scanners/copiers have not had a true sense of style.  Instead we always hid these bulky, boring ‘beige’ pieces rather than showcasing them.  We tucked them in desks, cupboards or drawers so they were out of sight.  Now not unlike other ‘smart’ technology the Brother® Business Smart is a piece of technology you display.  Its black and white, compact clean lined design fits into any home’s décor.  It’s cool, it’s hip.

As I always say “Design is everywhere” and finally that motto found its way into the world of printer technology.

Thank you Brother®!


One of a Kind Show

I attended the One of a Kind Show on opening day – fabulous!

I hate to admit how long I was there for (6 hours!!) but there were so many great things to see, beautiful things to buy and over 800 talented artisans to meet.

The One of a Kind show first started in 1975 and is the largest consumer craft show in North America.  Everything sold at the show is made by hand in North America by Canadian and/or American artisans.

This year’s show had a real ‘bringing back the cottage’ vibe with a lot of natural, organic and re-purposed designs.

Here were some of my favourites.

Tremblay Mills  had beautiful salt and pepper mills.  Made with original materials (mill on right is made from the banksia nut) and vibrant colours these works of art give a whole new meaning to ‘Seasons’ Greetings!

Cedar Mountain Studios creates wall art from reclaimed cedar boards.  In their backyard studio a team of nine artists, 2 dogs and 1 cat design and build pieces that will make you stop, read, ponder and laugh.

The Identity Apparel Co. had a colourful booth.  I love Hudson Bay point blankets and Identity has re-purposed them into pillows and totes.  Also knapsacks made from 1945 Swiss Army mess hall tents waxed canvas were very cool.

Industry keeps making the same thing over and over expecting a different result from us.

Imagine Woods goal is to create new wooden tools that really work for you… like a curved spatula for round frying pans and one-handed salad tongs. The result is a line of Rock Maple kitchen utensils that are ambidextrous, beautiful, long lasting and most of all, useful. Brilliant!

Wineplanks creates from recycled oak wine barrels unique serving trays, and candle holders.

And I love the undies at The Candi Factory  Sweet!

Definitely a show worth checking out.

All images via Modmissy

Opposites Attract

On this day, November 16th 1959, The Sound of Music opened on Broadway and on November 16th 2001, the first Harry Potter movie opened.  Both were blockbusters.

Set in 2 completely different eras, one in the mid-20th century and the other in the 21st century.  Maria is governess to 7 children of a widower and Harry is an orphan.  Maria flies around the countryside singing to the mountains, while Harry flies on a broomstick.  If The Sound of Music were to open in theatres today we might find it dated and if Harry Potter had been viewed in the 1950’s it might have been too modern.  Yet Maria finds magic through the sound of music and Harry finds magic through wizardry.

Opposites attract.

Mixing of eras, mixing of styles.  But a connection exists.

And thus in décor the same happens.  The juxtaposition of modern with antique, contemporary with vintage, in some way there is a wonderful partnership.  Pieces that blend and contrast at the same time give interest to a room.

A modern fabric will ‘pop’ new life onto an antique settee.

The warmth of the wood of this antique desk pairs well with a modern chair producing an office space that makes one reflect.

The mixture of chairs all within the same colour palette combined with modern abstract paintings and an antique sideboard creates a cohesive dining room.

I love the mix of ornate old character and clean modern pieces in a contemporary white space.

The boldly patterned wallpaper provides the perfect background for mixing of styles in this entryway.

Whatever your style, whatever your preference – mix it up and create your own ‘blockbuster’.

All decor images via

Living Aboard a House Boat

I wanted to share a glimpse into the life of a Live-aboard or ‘LAB’ person.  Last week I visited the home of a reader who lives on a house boat.  Amazing!  Quietly nestled on the shore of Lake Ontario located minutes from downtown Toronto this home has it all.  It is a 2-storey with a 3rd floor deck, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room, entertaining-size dining room, deck off the living room, deck off the master bedroom, ample closets and storage space, central vac and a show stopper kitchen!!

Let me share.

The entrance driveway boasts a stellar view.


The neighbours,


And as I walked into this home I was greeted with the most unique, one-of-a-kind design detail.

A boat in a boat!





An old classic cedar strip boat had been converted into the kitchen island.  This boat, affectionately known as ‘Bob’ had been used for several years at the owner’s cottage but it was decided that it should be placed into permanent ‘dry-dock’ service.  So cool!


The kitchen cupboards and fridge were also clad in wood with hardware that mimicked hardware from a boat.


My kind host served a delicious lunch of salmon cakes (fittingly!) and we were joined by 2 other LAB neighbours.


The owners are true audiophiles as evidenced by their large collection of CD’s and LP’s that were cleverly built-in to the house boats design.


In front of the large living room ‘port hole’ window was a convertible sofa that could be used in many different ways as items aboard always need to serve multi-use functions.  The owners hinted that there have been many fabulous ‘themed’ parties taken place here as the space is outfitted with a screen projector and movie nights take on a whole different scheme.  Think Martini Night with a classic James Bond movie and a boat.  Sounds fun!


The walk-out from the living room to a waterside deck – and did not have to be reached with a 2 hour drive to the cottage.  How relaxing.


The newel post at the foot of the stairs leading up to the 2nd floor,


The stairwell is outfitted in all things nautical.


The walkout from the Master bedroom.


I also have photos of the floating Artist Studio where the owner gets her creative juices really flowing.  Stay tuned.

I want to extend a big thank you to my host for a fabulous afternoon aboard a house boat.

So…..what do you see from your window?

All images via Modmissy