Saturday, June 9, 2012

Niece & Nephew

A couple weekends ago, my sister-in-laws brought their babies over for a Sunday evening. We had dinner and chatted and went for a big walk, and then we laughed and laughed at these two cuter than cute kids. I don't know where my camera was when they were laughing at the fluffy sheepskin rug or sharing/licking their light saber, but here they are getting fed by their mommas!

Wren, always keeping those hamstrings nice and stretched!

Jack gobbling it up!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wedding Invitations

I thought it might be fun to show a few elements from our wedding that we created ourselves. I just think there are far too many crazy difficult wedding-related things on this little internet of ours. There is simply SO much wedding inspiration out there it becomes overwhelming and frankly a little discouraging... cause you can't do everything. And you don't want to copy everyone else's ideas. And what gets me the most is the impression that's given that everyone should have an endless budget and throw money at it like a maniac! There are far too few resources for brides (and grooms) looking to do things affordably, without compromising on the look and feel of the day. Okay, maybe you'll compromise on things because of money, yes. But good taste is good taste and it has nothing to do with money.

If you want to see the inspiration for the feel of our wedding, see my Wedding pinterest board, by clicking here.

So I will share the first thing we made ourselves in the whole process: invitations, of course!

I wanted them to be more than some coloured paper glued together... I love texture and mixing materials, and  I had noticed lots of different things that are, indeed, paper but are not normal card-making papers. I guess re-purposing is what I'm getting at. And since a mix of neutrals was the look I wanted, there was no concern over matching turquoises or anything like that.

The front sheet was ivory linen-textured card stock we found at Micheal's on sale. I think it was something like 30c a sheet.  We cut it to size, printed the text using our friend's laser printer, and used a punch to round the corners ($20). The paper doilies are from the dollar store. I think we bought 6 packs of 15ish at $1 a pack. The kraft-paper cardstock on the bottom was a $25 stack from Micheal's which had all different patterns but the Kraft brown background in common. I had originally planned to use torn out sheets from an old dictionary to provide this 'patterned' layer. But when the time came, the yellowed dictionary I had was a really off colour next to the other whites and it just didn't work. So when we found this stack at Micheal's, we went for it. And we used every last sheet, so it was worth the money. The return envelopes came from Value Village. I love perusing their stationary section and had found airmail envelopes there before so I found more luckily. And I bought the large envelopes from Grand & Toy near my work because I literally couldn't seem to find them anywhere else ($8/25 I think). This is the largest envelope you can mail with standard postage and it made sense since we had the long airmail envelopes to fit in there. Also, I honestly can't get over the price of envelopes at places like Micheal's. I went to look for some for our thank-you cards but then realised it would have been like $1/envelope! And I don't want shimmery gold thank you very much! (their white envelopes all seemed to come with cards. I remedied this another way. WHOLE other post...)
The thread for sewing the sheets together was stuff already lying around so call it free. Some people's had brown thread, some read, but my favorites were just black thread. I used glue dots from the dollar store for attaching the top invite card to the doily paper. ($2)

 By far, the thing that took the longest was choosing the fonts and laying out the wording. We found that by making some words grey and some black, it made the whole thing look a lot more legible and kinda professional looking. Thanks to for the fonts Peach Sundress and Return To Sender ! The other text was all Rockwell. Everything was laid out in Word and printed on a desktop printer. Simple.

The back held the RSVP card, which was sewn on together with the doily and the kraft card stock. (that was easier than you might think too. Stack them, and push them through the sewing machine one after the other. Cut them apart later.) Before sewing the RSVP on though I took them through the sewing machine with an unthreaded needle to give it a perforation. Most people figured out that that meant you could tear it off. :) 

The Cow, Chicken and Carrots graphics were all found within 5 minutes of Google image searching. 
Love the internet. They, again, were correctly interpreted by most. :)

I was really attached to the idea of a hand-drawn map or something really cutesy, but frankly we didn't have the time. We just printed a Google Map to show how to get to the park as well as a park map to show how to get to the lodge. It looked better than I expected just because of the coloured paper background.

And that's all folks! I think all in all we spent more on stamps than on the invitations by far, so I would call it a success. And it was really really fun to do!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kitchen Little

Can I just share how little my kitchen is? Ok, I will then. Because it's really important that you know. I think I shall start a segment called "Small Apartments Bite: Tips"

It may or may not consist of more than one edition, this being the first.

You see, sometimes I have been known to have a good idea or 2. This post has 2. But they're both kind of the same. Anyhow, sorry if you've seen this already because you've been over to our apartment and I've inconspicuously pointed out how crazy good this idea was... sorry. That's all I can say.

Exhibit A:

Here you have my tupperware plastic container and baking supplies cupboard. Up top is a container full of containers. I mean, who likes stacking and organizing plastic containers on a shelf?! Not me. So I throw it in there and when I need to find something I pull it out.

And I see that right next to it is my sweater-wearing hot water bottle - I've been looking for that! What a weird place for me to put it... but I digress.

So essentially it's a drawer. Which are a hot commodity in a kitchen this size.

get it!? I know... rocket science is hard but grand.

As for the baking supplies basket, It just made sense to me to put them all together because when you're baking you usually need more than 1 baking supply. The category kinda gets used in one shot, so in those cases you pull that bad boy out onto the counter and grab and go! 

The next exhibit  takes place in the fridge:

I just cleaned out the fridge, which gave me the idea of organizing it in a similar fashion!

And when I say cleaned out, I don't mean it is clean, I just mean there is no more rotting food in there. 

So when you have a super small fridge it starts to look like you have a gabillion condiments. Well, maybe we just do. Actually, that was a surprising perk about getting married. The condiment inheritance! Yay! But anyways, the point is, they can take up space and, well, I may as well tell you the whole story here....

....when we were storing 10 wedding cakes (baked by Mom) the week before the wedding, we had to make room for a rotation of one or two in here and so we took all those condiments, threw them in a cardboard box and put them out on the patio where they stayed fridge temperature, or so we hoped. After the wedding, we swiftly got that straightened out and put the cardboard box back in the fridge! Wow, I can't even believe that happened in real life... and let's pretend it didn't stay like that for three months following. Anyways, it kinda turned out nice to have those condiments corralled except when I wanted to use one. So now we have them corralled on a tray on the bottom shelf. It did appear that that tray (you may recognize from here hehe) was going to fit the other way in, leaving a perfect gap on the side for our water jug to stand up, but the fridge door would not close by this much. So it's in width-ways, but we'll see how long it lasts until I find myself the perfect sized tray. 

I think I like this application of my 'putting things in things' (I need to copyright that- don't mess with a good name!) because I can see almost everything on the tray and can pull it out - like a drawer - to see everything at the back! 

Aren't I so smart?!

I have 1 more tip for small spaces I think. Excited?

Buy tea towels and things in cheery colours that make you happy to look at. Unlike the dark brown cupboards you have to look at while you wash the dishes in your single bowl sink.

I'm in LOVE with the tea towels above. They're just striped. But they're vintage and the most gorgeous coloured stripes I've ever seen in luscious turkish linen. Yep, you heard right. Turkish. 

And no I did not let my dishes accumulate for 18 days (I would never...) I just did a lot of baking and cooking all in one night...for those who were too busy judging to locate my delicious tea towels underneath it all.

Exhibit C:

Hope this makes you feel better if you think your kitchen needs help. We're keeping it REAL right here! I have 13 cupboards and 3 drawers (and 1 single bowl sink). Count them.

That's all for now!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

The day he proposed...

I get the nervous jitters every time I watch it!

And I'll never forget this day or the crazy feeling of utter confusion over "who is this man, and what does he have to do with me?!" when I saw the picture of him in the magazine pullout and I'd seen him walking around the thrift store... the only thing that made it all add up was when he smiled. And then I still couldn't believe it!
I just kept saying "you're crazy, you're so nuts" and I couldn't stop laughing!!!

Best day ever! And I'm so glad it's documented so beautifully so I will always be able to re-live it!

Thank you Ron for always blowing my socks off. You never cease to amaze me!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lovin' every minute of it

instant camera fun, taken on our honeymoon in Mexico

Let's re-cap.

A year ago I was knee deep in school work, lacking sleep and motivation...
From graduation I went straight into the work world, having been hired the day before my last day of school at a larger design/build firm in downtown Vancouver. I was lucky. And very glad for the paycheck.
I worked through the summer and into the fall.

Then the boy proposed to me in the most amazing way possible. A day that will never be forgotten (not to mention the day before my first niece was born and I got to take the day and be with her!).
4 months later we were married, on February 18th 2012. We went on a beautiful honeymoon to Riviera Maya and now we continue with working good stable jobs living in a little old apartment perfect for saving up some money!

I feel so blessed, so struck by the feeling of  'we've got it made' and sometimes get an overwhelming feeling of happiness that can't adequately be described.

So I'll keep on blogging now, after a year that was documented in vast and various ways other than blogging.

Stay tuned for:
- a video of the proposal!
- vintage wedding gowns going up in the shop!
- a few little 'lipstick' renos around the apartment
and who knows what else!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I wanted to make sure I did a quick shout-out to all the people who've been treating me amazing lately! I have some amazing friends, family, and almost-family (especially considering they've mostly been completely ignored in the last year). I've had cards and gifts and surprise parties and shopping trips! Sooo much more-so than I deserve.So I'm so appreciative of the congrats, even though I still don't feel like it's ended - its just on to the next project!
The monkey card is especially accurate - it says "If you can swing it... take some time to celebrate!" Well, it's been busy. After getting a job the day before the last day of school, I had 4 days to soak up doing nothing, before getting completely back into the swing of real life this time. It's been almost a month now I think... and I'm finally starting to realise how lucky I am. I have an amazing job designing for a very well respected design/build firm in downtown Vancouver. I've been involved with some awesome projects, and (crazily enough) got introduced as "Ayla, a designer at our office" over and over today. (It was client meetings all day! Fun!) And can I just say - totally surreal! The amount of power I have over designs is also awesome (not just a cad monkey after all!) and I'm feeling very needed and appreciated at work (there were small fights over me :P) BUT I don't want to brag at all - this was all big fat plain LUCK! Sooo I'm not going to complain about the workload or the pressure or the fact that client's don't understand space planning when their 'space' is a box drawn on a napkin at a scale of their choosing - I am just going to enjoy and do my absolute best! Oh, and smile lots! Smile and nod. : D

Thanks again for all the support all ya'll - you know who you are! Love you!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday Inspiration

Found Here
Happy Tuesday Friends!
Hope you have a cheery one :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Grad Show Display...

Since I never took pictures at my grad show, I knew I wanted to do a little mock-up of what I displayed and take pictures... mom still hasn't seen it!
So I finally did that tonight. In reality, the grad show was in an open-office workstation at the Herman Miller showroom downtown Vancouver. It wasn't such a blank canvas, but anywho, here's what I did:

Portfolio stand on the right made by Ron, the tray held my business card and some take-home notebooks with my card clipped onto the front. And of course them there succulents (fake!)

The portfolio stand worked great for viewing at standing height, and got lots of comments! :)

The card design... on a tile of my favorite colour (I tried sooo hard to get my name to match the bright red/orange I wanted, but wasn't 100% happy.... I am not a graphic designer or photoshop officianado!)

So there's that - over a month later!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Procrastinating and realising I need a woven basket purse for the summer! Etsy is full of vintage ones, I've discovered, and I am planning to pick one of the following:

SUNDAY DRIVE. Vintage 60s Basket Purse with Leather Trim.

brown wicker and leather Vintage Purse
BASKET, Woven black wicker leather handbag
vintage natural straw woven bucket bag - As Is
SALE Vintage 1950s Hand Made Picnic Basket Woven Purse

Vintage Yellow Woven Plastic Purse by Lesco Lona

Monday, May 16, 2011

Final Material Board

Finally remembered to bring this home from school today; a bunch of people's boards were stolen from the classroom this weekend so I was lucky it wasn't mine - I didn't even have a picture of it! So now I do. Phew.

Back at it with the construction drawings for this - its a luxury skybox for a record label of my own invention ("Moontide Records") which is a label for blues/roots/surfie type artists. Laid back, yet luxurious, with lots of green design thrown in (see recycled corrugated cardboard carved wall/ceiling feature).

Friday, May 13, 2011

Coming up on the final week...

I wanted to do a quick blog post .... seems like yesterday I was counting down at 3 weeks, and now its 1 week (plus a 5 day extension on the major project) until school is done.
I'd wanted to chronicle everything during this intense school process, and enlighten people as to what it is we do as interior designers/design students. I don't know how to do that still, and simply haven't had the time to show a whole lot of stuff.  When I have time I will upload the pages of my portfolio which was prepared for our grad show a week and a half ago... which went really well.... I officially decided I feel ready for the work world!

In this moment, as I think about my final gruelling week of homework and studying, I am:
- amazed at what I've learned to execute and create
- excited to get finished with school forever
- not looking forward to NOT seeing my 20 peers everyday (and so thankful for the amazing friends I've made)
- extremely excited to soon be able to clean my house and trash a whole wack of old work, boards, drawings, etc.! That will be sooo fulfilling and liberating!
- can't wait for the freedom of no school and the lovely summer to play in!
- can't believe how much work I still have to do ... wow. anxiety.
- a little nervous

But anyways, since I really don't feel like I can capture the feelings I have right now, I'll wrap it up.

The REALLY exciting news is that I just got called for an official interview where I had my work week/internship next week! This is like .... my dream job for right now. It's a lot of office planning, some retail, some institutional.... simple basic stuff, but its a large design/build office which means there are lots of resources, learning opportunities, ecological design practices, and the people are amazing, down-to-earth and personable and exactly who I'd like to work with and for. SO let's hope this means I can start work as soon as I graduate - I did not expect to be able to do that AT ALL !!! (I'm cautiously hopeful, as the phone call contained the words "we think we've figured out where to put you...")

So I am celebrating by eating the whole $5 little bin of raspberries I bought the other day! (they really shouldn't be eaten without an occasion)

expensive raspberries, reflected ceiling plan on stand to get into autocad.... renderings from Seniors housing project