So Canadian, eh? : Cobi Ladner

This week's 

has been a favourite of mine for quite some time. My admiration of her goes far, not only is she a working mother of two, the creator behind her newest business design venture but she held the coveted position of editor at Canadian House and Home for 15 years!

Please give a warm welcome to......

The fabulous Cobi Ladner!

She helped bring Canadian House and Home to where it is today, a magazine that can be found on every design aficionado's  coffee table.

One of my favourite renovation projects that was featured in Canadian House and Home was her fabulous kitchen. I love how she hung a chandelier in the skylight  - a brave and bold move that really helped add that extra sparkle to the room.

Cobi hung up her editor's hat in 2008, started a blog, features fabulous house tours on Steven and Chris {a Canadian TV show hosted by the fab design duo} and is spearheading a design campaign to bring more colour into Canadian households by creating cobistyle, a fabulous juicy new line of furniture, accessories, drapery and fabric exploding with colour and pattern.

Photos courtesy of Cobi Ladner

1.     Tell us a bit about your background? Your education? Has design always been in your blood?

I studied RTA (radio and television arts) at Ryerson and planned to become a tv producer like Mary Tyler Moore.  Landing my first job at Chatelaine as the jr. decorating editor, I found out very quickly that I loved magazines and I loved decorating.  I actually loved decorating at a very early age (hence, the insistence of  wallpaper on 4 of my walls as a girl rather than the usual 1 ‘feature wall’ - my poor parents).

2.     You were the former editor for one of my favourite Canadian publications, Canadian House & Home, how long did you have that position and what made you decide to switch gears? How has that job helped shape where you are today?

I was editor of H&H for 15 years (18 years with the company).  I worked there all through my 30’s and really ‘grew up’ with the magazine.  It didn’t only help shape what I am today - it reflected all of the steps along the way to where I am today.  I loved working on the magazine and was very fortunate to hold that position which gave me access to so much.  When I hit my mid 40’s however, I realized that you can have too much of a good thing and that if I didn’t strike out on my own then, I never would.  It was just time.   And so after a ton of soul searching and about 2 years of contemplation,  I jumped!

3.     Now you are the creator and driving force behind, cobistyle, a fantastically fresh line of furnishings, fabrics and accessories. What was the motivation and inspiration behind your new venture?

It was the combination of two things really.  1.  It didn’t take a rocket scientist  to figure out that people were being beiged-to-death.  The world has been bombarded with neutrals for the past decade (at least) and homeowners were crying out for change.  2.  People would ask me where I found things for my own home and I didn’t have good answers for them.  My best stuff, I found at flea markets; antique shops; chinatown; out of the way places that weren’t generally accessible.  I want to create products that are easily accessible to all and still have tons of character and personality in them.  It’s a lofty goal but I think we’re on the right track with the launch of cobistyle!

4.     Even though most of us would feel that your job would be our dream job, what goals or aspirations do you have for yourself and for cobistyle?

To have some help would be a good start!  Kidding, but I do look forward to building a team of like minded people though.  That’s what I miss most about the magazine.  The synergy of a creative team with a common goal is wonderful.  I just want to turn this whole crazy scheme into an actual business with a positive balance sheet and a roof (beyond my house) and maybe a pretty teapot in a staff kitchen.  That would be fabulous.  If it had a retail store with the whole story collection out in front, that would be even better!    I would also love to make an impact with the line -  south of the border.  A girl can dream, can’t she?  I’ve been asked to speak at High Point, NC - the big furniture mart in the US in October -  and I’m excited to introduce the line down there and see what our southern cousins think.  The fun part is that they don’t know me down there and so the line will have to speak for itself.   A good challenge that I’m totally up for.

5.      You still have your finger on the pulse of the design scene; tell us where do you find inspiration for your product line?

It doesn’t matter what you do - whether you work at a magazine or in a Dr. office -  if you’re interested in design, you find inspiration everywhere.  I find it shopping - high end or grungy junk shop; on the web; in magazines; books; music; nature; it doesn’t matter.  If you’re interested in something, all roads lead to Rome.

6.     What tips do you have for aspiring designers in getting their design work published or to hone their skills?

Pick up the phone!  Send an email!  There’s no special trick.  Take pictures and send them off.  So many good designers don’t self promote.  If you’re too busy - I guess that’s a good sign - but it really isn’t hard.  There’s no inside scoop.  It’s all about showing magazines what you’ve got and reminding them every so often that you’re around.  Once you’ve introduced yourself, just let them know through an email that you just finished a project and send them some snapshots.  If the timing’s right and the look fits the bill, you’ll be in.  They need to fill the pages with great stuff as much as you need the profile.

7.     What is one design faux pas that you wish could be banished?

Small pictures on big walls.

8.     As a mother to two children, you are actively involved in their daily life, how do you balance your family life and your work?

Lots of yelling ;)  No - moving my work home was a great thing.  Although I work insane hours -  I’m here.  And that’s a big difference when a kid comes in at 3:00 in the afternoon and can gab for 10 mins about their day.  But I will never be one to preach against women working outside the home.  I think good moms come in every walk of life and you just have to do what’s right for you.  Balance is a daily, possibly, hourly, goal for me.  It eludes me most days and I get very grouchy if I’m out of whack too long because I do love everything about the home - the kids, food, garden, decorating, entertaining, all that stuff - it’s cliche but I want it all and I get very peeved if I can’t have it!

9.   What do you like to do in your free time?

Clean up my house.  Reorganize.  Entertain.  Make a recipe.  Start a project.  Probably way too much.  I seldom sit and read a book (although I long to do that in another life).  I am a busy girl who always has something on the go.  I hope my daughter doesn’t emulate me too much.  I’m sure there are easier ways to get through life!

10   If you could meet anyone or do anything who or what would it be? 

Ok - I know I will lose the respect of many if I say Lady Di.  I did love her though.  Maybe I should say Kate?  Nah - boring.  A better answer is just to buy a one way ticket around the world and force myself to take only one bag.  That sounds like utter freedom to me.

1    You are surrounded by such amazing design inspiration, how do you decide what and how to decorate your own home?

I honestly don’t think about it too much.  I want it a certain way - and that’s it.  I think my bossy nature takes over and I just do it the way I think it should be done.  It’s usually only finances that stops the process.

 What are your views on the role of Canadian design on the world stage? Do you feel that Canadians have a unique sense of style, the way we design and decorate our homes? If so, what do you think sets us apart?

Yes.  I think Canadian’s have a wonderful sense of style and it’s partly due to our newness.  We aren’t mired in a specific look the way Italian design is or French.  We can try all kinds of things, from all around the world - some old, some new - and whatever works, sticks.  It’s a great way to be.  I also think that Canada is so big - with so much different geography - that even with age, we will never have a cohesive, national ‘look’.  And that’s great too!  Of course Canada has 5 looks rather than one - that’s so Canadian when you think about it!

Thanks Cobi for visiting this week. I am thrilled to have had the chance to delve into your world for a bit. I wish you the best of luck in your newest design venture, and looking forward to seeing your product line grace the homes of Canadians, because we know that with our dreary winters we could sure use an injection of colour into our homes.

xo Barbara

The Royal Wedding

The much anticipated Royal Wedding is a day away!

I plan on getting up early to watch and make scones and tea to celebrate!
I remember getting up in the wee hours when Lady Di married Prince Charles. My husband thinks I am crazy but he yet he gets up early to watch the Tour De France! 

What are you planning, will you be watching it live?

Here is a little Royal Wedding decor inspiration to get you in the spirit.

Projects Around the House

After a fun filled and eventful weekend away chaperoning 25 teenagers on a trip to the Oregon Relays, I am trying to get back into the swing of things. I managed to catch a awful head cold and am really finding it hard to tackle my to-do list. 

When I came home I found this package from Tonic Living waiting for me:

Can't wait to make pillows and a roman blind from these fabulous fabrics.

Also I am finished painting my $25 thrift store find. Here is a sneak peek as I am trying to finish the games room before I show you everything!

And a peek at a pillow I made using the this fabric I blogged about:

First, I need to clean the house and buy a few more sewing supplies.

XO Barbara

Check it Out : House of Fifty

One of my favourite bloggers, Janell Beals from Isabella & Max Rooms has decided to leap into the world of e-zines! Her newest venture, the online magazine House of Fifty premiered yesterday! 

XO Barbara

Happy Easter

I am going to be MIA for a few days. I am chaperoning a high school track trip to Oregon.

 I will be stuck on a school bus with 25 teenagers and 2 crazy track coaches.

Good thing we are going shopping, maybe I can convince them to drop me off at West Elm?

I will be enjoying my time with my two teenage daughters, despite the fact that they pretend they don't know me, until they need money. 

There will be no "So Canadian, eh?" feature this weekend. Come back next week as I have lined up more fabulous Canadians to feature! 

Have a wonderful Easter holiday.

XO Barbara

I'm Featured

A few of my projects have been featured around blog land last  week. Thanks for the love!

First up: 

My Craigslist find that got a gorgeous coat of blue paint

was at Shrimp Salad Circus last  Monday

Then my silver leaf lamp was at:

Thanks ladies for the love.

XO Barbara

Guest Posting at Brooklyn Limestone

Today you can find me sharing my favourite nook at Adventures in Renovating  Brooklyn Limestone.

Come and stop by to see the room that makes my heart sing!

XO Barbara

So Canadian, eh? : Lisa Goulet

This week's aspiring designer is.....


I have been drawn to this designer as she seems to be following in the footsteps of so many, finding her true calling in design later in life. A path that I too have been following, being passionate about design throughout my life but not truly embracing it until later. {When I say later in life, I don't mean that we are by any means old, old is just a mindset, but we are reaching a point in our life when we know who we are and are confident in how want our next chapter to read.}

This week I am so proud to have Lisa Goulet visiting from Lisa Goulet Design.

She is an aspiring designer who is carving out her niche in the local design scene of our nation's capital, Ottawa.

This woman has got some serious talent and DIY skills.

Just this week she single-handedly stencilled her hallway! How are the biceps feeling Lisa?

Doesn't it look amazing?

Check out this fantastic kitchen reno Lisa oversaw.

Her fabulous backyard - when's the pool party?
I'll bring sangria :)

 Lisa Goulet Design

Tell us a bit about yourself? What is you background? Your education? Did you study art/design? Have you always wanted to be a interior designer?

My background is quite varied.  I originally took legal administration in school and worked in a number of law firms.  When I had my first son, I stayed home with him and then we had three more children, so going back to work at that time was out of the question.   Once the kids had grown a little, I went back to work and kind of fell into a job as a conference coordinator.  I am a very organized person so it was a good fit for me.   Interior design was always a calling for me and I decided to go back to school and finally do what I have always wanted.  So I am now a certified interior decorator, which just goes to show that you are never too old.....

What made you decide to start blogging?

Two years ago, I didn’t really know what a blog, so it’s quite funny that I am now blogging.  My children think it is hilarious that I’m blogging and tweeting.....  I have to credit Donna Hargrove ( and Kelly James ( who inspired me with their blogs and encouraged me to start one. 
I love to talk design and so it gives me that creative outlet to talk design and decor with others that share my interest.

 What have you enjoyed about blogging and what has surprised you along the way?

I have been absolutely fabulously surprised by the wonderful people I have met through blogging.  I am proud to say that a number of fellow bloggers have become friends.  This has to be the most enjoyable part of blogging, along with getting comments!

Do you find having a blog has helped your design business, Lisa Goulet Design?

I really feel that reading blogs helps to keep you current in our industry and gives you loads of inspiration, without even having to leave your computer.  As far as my own blog, I think it helps to get what you do out there and clients can visit and  get a feel for how you design and who you are.

Any tips for aspiring designers?

Well, since I still feel like I’m an inspiring designer, I would just say trust your instincts and try to make a niche for yourself.  I am still working on that myself.

What do you like to do in your free time {that is if you have any}?

My husband and I share a passion for traveling, so I’d have to say that that is where most of our spare time goes.  We also spend a great deal of time at our cottage in the summer.   I love to read and I have quite a stack of design magazines as well as quite a few books that I’m hoping to get to when I’m at the cottage this summer. 

Where do you go for inspiration for your blog, for your design work?

The inspiration for my blog as well as my design work comes from absolutely everywhere, and especially from the places I’ve travelled.  Seeing how others live and design in their countries is so interesting to me.  Sometimes I am overwhelmed by all the inspiration I feel and I have lain awake with tons of ideas running through my head.  I usually have about 10-12 blog post drafts going at one time so that I can remember some of these inspirations.

Is there any one accomplishment that you are proud of?

It sounds corny but my proudest accomplishments are definitely my four children.  They have grown into people that I’m so in awe of.  I couldn’t be more proud of them.

As far as design goes, my proudest accomplishment would be our cottage.  My husband and I took an uninhabitable shack and totally transformed it into a cute and comfortable cottage.  And we did this with very little money or paid labour.

How would you describe your design style?

My design style is classic, clean and elegant.  I definitely like an eclectic mix of furniture styles but I like to have a starting point, which usually is a client’s existing piece (that they love) to feature their personal style.  I am a practical person so it helps fulfill that part of my sensibility.

If you were given the opportunity to meet anyone or do anything, what would it be and why?

I would love to meet Barbara Barry.  I love her furnishings and design sense, and that would be a great thrill for me.  As far as doing anything, I would love to travel the world from end to end.  That would give me an endless source of inspiration.

 As a mother of  4 children how do you manage to balance life and blogging?

Life can get very busy, especially with four children.  Now that they are older I definitely have more free time.  It’s a real treat to be able to work from home, so that when needed, my schedule can be adjusted. Blogging takes a great deal of time and I tend to do it at night, while watching television, so usually I have no idea what we are watching... ;)

What are your views on the role Canadian design plays in the world design scene? Do you feel that Canadians have a unique sense of style and design, and if so, what is it that you think sets us apart?

Canadian design is coming along, we aren’t out there as much as I and probably most of us, would like, but I think we are being seen on the international stage more and more, and hopefully this will continue.

As far as our own Canadian design style, I think, we embrace the four seasons that we are blessed with, and because of that, most of us change up our decors to match the seasons.   This also keeps us in tune with nature and inspires us to use natural elements and products in our own interiors. 
Since we are typically open minded individuals, we welcome international esthetics and designs from different countries into our homes.  This helps to give us our unique sense of style and I think, sets us apart.

Thanks so much Barbara for including me in your Canadian, eh! feature.  I am thrilled and very honoured to be participating with all these fabulous Canadians in design.

Thanks Lisa for giving us a bit of insight into your life! I am looking forward to seeing you work your magic!

To follow Lisa as she shares her design projects, please stop by her blog: Lisa Goulet Design

XO Barbara

Black and White Striped Armchair : The Reveal

Remember the sneak peek of my chair I gave you last week

It is finished. Yay! 

Took me forever. 

Bought the chair for $50 in November and it is now April. 

Yup, took me forever.

Here is a quick rundown of what was involved. 

Removed the ugly vinyl that was nailed on with a gazillion 1" nails and nail heads. 

That took forever, patience was needed. 

Then removed second layer of dusty fabric that was nailed onto the frame with hand forged nails. Those took forever to remove.

Can I say that again? 

Achy hands set in. Took a break. Cursed a bit. 

Found straw stuffing under the upper part of the chair. Sneezed a bit. 

Stapled fabric onto chair. This was by trial and error. Cursed some more. 

Then nailed in 223 nail heads. 

Don't ask me for a tutorial, I might throw the chair at you.


I am happy. The chair is done. 

Want to see?



Will I ever try something like this again?

 Not sure, after all that work I don't think I would hesitate paying a professional.

But my total cost might make me try again.
Chair: $50
Fabric {from Ikea}: 2 m @ $7.99m = $16
250 nail heads @ $ 0.8 ea = $20

Grand total: $86

 Have a wonderful weekend all my lovely readers!

 I finally finished my painting project that I have given you peeks of on my Facebook page. Hoping to set it up this weekend. 

What are you up to?

XO Barbara

*This chair is visiting:
SNS @ Funky Junk Interiors
Addicted 2 Decorating
Designer Garden
*Oct 29, 2011 visiting
Junkin Junky

The Tale of Two Tables

*This blog post is brought to you buy two thrifting pals, who never leave a thrift shop empty handed! 
If you want to read the other half of the story you can read it here.

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, where the rain falls freely, giant trees tower above, snow covered peaks loom and the ocean waves crash upon the shore...

Two blogging and thrifting pals, Barbara from hodge:podge and Carol from The Design Pages, were on the hunt for an end table for their lovely daughters. While on one of their thriftting excursions they hunted high and low for the perfect table, one that had good "bones".  But alas, they came away without finding that perfect table {but they found other treasures, that is a another story for another day}


The one friend decided to search Craigslist to see what she could find. One stormy evening she stumbled across a bedroom set that had the perfect pair of end tables. She emailed the seller and asked if they would be willing to separate the set. The seller said "yes". Quickly,  the ever-so-excited-friend emailed the other friend a link and asked if she was interested. $50 bucks for the pair! 
"Why yes!!!" she said, "how perfect!"

The thrifty gals took their tables home and worked their magic on them, transforming them from their 70's lacquered horror to glamourous side tables fit for their princesses.

They went from this:

To this:

Carol  painted her table with a glossy black paint and silver leafed the top and handles to create a table fit for a queen.

Want to know her costs? And how she did it? Visit her blog to find out more.

Want to know how I worked my magic? 

My costs:

Table: $25
Paint: 1 quart Behr indoor latex in satin finish, $18
{colour matched to Benjamin Moore's Spectra Blue}
Primer: Benjamin Moore's oil-based primer, already had on hand {cost $18}
Sealant: Diamond Finish Sealant in satin by Varathane, already had on hand {$14}
Handles were left as-is

Total cost: $34

How I did it:

Using a power sander I sanded the surface of the table as the finish was quite damaged. Then I painted on a coat of oil-based primer with a foam roller for a nice smooth finish and using a foam brush for the crevices. Next, I painted the table with 2 coats of the Behr paint, using a foam roller and good quality paint brush.  Finally, using a foam brush I painted on 3 coats of the Varathane sealant.
Screw back on the handles and 


And this table lived happily ever after.

The End

xo Barbara

DIY Diva: The Crafty Bee

There is a new Canadian blog hailing from one of my favourite Canadian cities, Montreal.

She is a DIY Diva, with fantastic projects on her blog! 

Head over to The Crafty Bee

She emailed me this recent DIY she tackled, a Crate and Barrel Colette bed knock-off.

Looks like the real thing!

Want to see how she made it? 
She has a great tutorial to follow, you can read more about it on  her blog.

Her most recent DIY are gold and silver leaf eggs. 

You know I like silver leaf, so this DIY is right up my alley!

Hop on over {like my pun?}and give her some blogin' love!

XO Barbara

Do you have a DIY you want featured on my blog? 

Send me at email:

So Canadian, eh?: Bijou and Boheme

This week's

is one fabulous blogger who, in my opinion, has exploded onto the blogging/design scene like a rockstar!
She is such a stylin' lady and her daily posts are dripping of pretty.

I admire her tenacity, she is not afraid to "wow"!

I first fell in love with her living space,

It's the IT girl on the block, 
Christine from Bijou and Boheme 
{even the name rocks!}

Well hello there Hodge Podgeites! I'm so happy to be here today sharing a little bit about me.
Before you start reading, you might want to grab a coffee...getting to the bottom of my blah blah might take a while;)

Tell us a bit about yourself? What is your background? Your education? Did you study art or design?

My background is in Psychology and education. I studied both and was an elementary school teacher for 11 years. I taught grade 3 homeroom and was a subject art teacher. Although my background is not actually in art or design, I have always loved both. I audited art history classes in university and have memories of decorating my childhood house from about the age of 10. My co-workers used to tease me that my classroom was like a little gallery in itself. I suppose I should have clued into the fact that the decorating of the room itself and the display of all the kids' pretty things was perhaps my favourite part of the whole gig. Don't get me wrong, I loved the littles and all, but design itself has always had my career heart.

 What made you decide to start blogging?

My eldest daughter actually gave me the push I needed to start blogging. After selling every ounce of furniture we owned in the matter of a few weeks, I slowly began putting things back together. I'd spend hours on decor blogs trying to figure out what my point of view was and eventually ended up sending pictures of some fabric I had purchased to Katie of the blog Revival. She ran a feature on my living room and the thrill of the whole thing was just almost too much to bare. My daughter insisted that I share for myself what I had been putting together, so one sleepy Sunday afternoon I opened blogger and started playing around...voila my blog was born.

 What have you enjoyed about blogging and what has surprised you along the way?

I think the better question is what haven't I enjoyed about blogging? It's fair to say that it has given me a piece of me back. Us moms all know that being at home with children, though the sweetest of privileges, can be very isolating. Blogging has given me my voice back and handed me a way to connect to such a huge community. And because we are all so similarly inclined, it has provided me an instant group of people I really consider my friends. Being able to share ideas with people who just get it, is really a total delight. Although blogging does admittedly take time away from my kids, I think it's making me a better mother because I feel like it's providing them with someone who is more excited about the world as a whole. I truly look forward to my blogging time each day and feel as though it's helping me to discover what I'm actually meant to be doing. What has surprised me most about the whole thing is how utterly rewarding it is. Blogging has honestly given me a whole new confidence in my creative voice. I've also been surprised at just how quickly it's created new opportunities for me. I would never have been able to guess a few short months ago that I would now be exchanging emails with the likes of Meredith Heron or attending the launch party for Dabble Magazine.  Blogging truly feels like a fresh start to a new phase in my life and I couldn't be more excited.

  What do you like to do in your free time {that is if you have any}?

Good call on the brackets on that one! I honestly don't have a great deal of free time these days but when I do I actually like to do nothing, as boring as that sounds. The simple act of watching my kids play in the backyard, with a glass of wine in hand is my greatest luxury. On the weekends, I love taking day trips with my family, sampling little back alley restaurants, shopping in quaint boutiques, and meandering around picturesque towns. My greatest solitude activity is painting. I'm really not any good at it but my house is filled with my DIY numbers and it's akin to prayer for me- relaxes my brain in a way nothing else can. I end each day with a hot bath and my favourite shelter mags. Reading these days is like total opulence, and there's not much I love more than a quiet hour with a fabulous read.

You have such impeccable taste and really take chances with decorating your home that have really paid of, where do you go for inspiration?

Well first off...thanks Barbara!! I know it sound cliche but I honestly look everywhere for inspiration. I often find decor ideas when looking at an outfit or piece of art. I try to appreciate and take in how pattern and colours play together more than looking for a specific formula etc. Having said that, I of course also pour through design magazines, blogs and online publications for ideas. I am always drawn to spaces that mix old and new, high and low, modern and ornate etc. Trying to create as space that feels collected and undecorated is always a goal of mine. I've honestly applied entire colour schemes to a space based on a book cover, so for me, inspiration can most certainly come from even the smallest of things.

  Where do you go for inspiration for your blog? 

Again, I look everywhere for inspiration but for my blog, I would say other blogs are the first place I go for ideas . Finding new pages that inspire me creatively, is such a joy. I am most drawn lately to blogs that explore fashion illustration/design, photography and decor. I think the mix of all things beautiful makes for a really dynamic page and I love seeing how other bloggers envision/produce their specific vision. I also spend a lot of time reading decor mags for new leads on fabric, wallpaper and art sources.

 As a relatively new blogger your blog’s popularity has really exploded, what tips would you have for someone starting out?

I'm not sure I'd say exploded but thanks for the thought! I think my biggest tip would be to spend as much time as you can visiting other people's blogs. Reaching out and forming bonds with people is the only way you can interest others in yours. I try to visit as much of my daily list as I can each day. I know how happy I feel when others leave comments on my blog so I try to do the same in return. Another tip I would have is to try and always be as positive and friendly as you can. Like in life, just being nice (though I don't love the word) goes a long way. I think blogging is just like networking in simply have to spend time meeting people and connecting. I also think that if you want to be good at blogging, you have to work hard, spend a lot of time, and hone your craft. I'm constantly trying to learn new ways to layout pictures, change fonts, improve content etc. and I'm embarrassed to admit how much time I spend on things like making sure the spacing is always correct between photos. I know it sounds silly but I really do think subconsciously, people notice when care is put into presentation. Another tip I would have is to reach out to shops/artisans etc. for sponsorship, giveaway opportunities. People have written me before asking for tips and I think they're surprised to know that I ask for the giveaways- they definitely don't always just fall in my lap. Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and the worst that will happen is that the person will say no and in all honestly, it's never happened to me. In general, and this is about to get really sappy up in here, if you do onto other as they would do on to you, you will be successful. I try to respect other people, and take the inspiration I have gained from all of their collective genius, and then have my own voice...which leads me to my last tip. Have you own thoughts- replicating another persons style or content will never prove successful. Credit everything you can (and I know how hard it can be,) show your own creativity and say your thoughts. Being true to yourself is always appealing.
Phewf...sorry if that started to sound preachy- just my loooonger than intended 2 cents:)

What are your hopes and dreams for you and your blog and where it might lead?

This is a toughie because I'm honestly not 100% sure what I want from this. I can say with certainty that I would like it to lead me to some type of design career, and this is where it gets a little muddy. The evolution of my blog has shown me that I LOVE graphic design, I love fashion photography and I love art, more than I ever realized. Having said that, I also adore interior design. I think realistically, my dream job involves that latter, with maybe some burgeoning hobbies on the side and speaking of, I may have just stumbled upon a little jewelry design business so watch out for more on that:) For now, I'd love to have my blog continue to be a place where I can express my outlook on design as a whole. I'm crossing my fingers that it doesn't start boring people to tears anytime soon and that someone somewhere will read it one day and hire me for some gorgeously fabulous job write on the spot- hehe.

   Is there any one accomplishment that you are proud of?

Without a shadow of a doubt, my three kids. There will never be anything that makes me prouder than them and they truly, make me better in every possible way. Aside from that, I'm proud of following my heart and actually creating rooms/pages/designs that I think are pretty ok. Like everyone, I'm my own worst critic so I'm happy to just be embracing my own strengths, along with the weaknesses.

 If you were given the opportunity to meet anyone or do anything, what would it be and why?

Hum...I'd love to meet one of my design icons and shadow them for like ever. I'd loose my shirt to work alongside Kelly Wearstler, for example. Oh and I'd like to buy a brownstone in NY, while working for said fabulous firm, and live happily ever after as well. You know, adult fairytale kind of thing;)

As a mother of three amazing children, how do you stay sane and balance life and blogging {and now a kitchen renovation}?

Wine!!! Just kidding- kind of. I think trying to 'balance' things is just setting yourself up for failure, as is trying to define sane;) I'm pretty sure I'm a little batty at this point but that just adds to the fun. All joking aside, I think I'm able to keep things mostly up in the air because I'm (sorry in advance boys) a woman and we all just do...multi-tasking is our collective middle name. I'm pretty sure I can clean a room, blog, change a diaper, put together a meal and talk on the phone all at the same time- hubster, god love him, not so much. On a simply practical note, I try to keep our daily routine relatively simple. The kids and I have a loose schedule and we try to not pack too much into one day. I think I'm teaching my kids to find the little things entertaining and am never going to be the parent that has like 50 zillion classes/activities going at once for the kids. I find moments in time to get different little things done and try not to stress about things way down the road- I'm a worrier by nature so this one is definitely a work in progress...this is where the glass of wine at 5'oclock comes in handy;) All in all, I'm pretty sure my littles think that my mini laptop is an appendage at this point but at the end of the day, I'm present and here for them, and available for other things as well.

 What are your views on the role Canadian design plays in the world design scene? Do you feel that Canadians have a unique sense of style and design, and if so, what is it that you think sets us apart?

I think Canadian design kind of parallels our place in the rest of the world.  People don't always think of first or as the biggest or best but quietly, we have a way of winning you over.  I think Canadian's have a very sarcastic and dry whit that likely translates into design- we're alright with being a little quirky.  I also think our style is very reflective of the great cultural diversity we have here.  Being exposed to such a variety of peoples and traditions surely lends to an eclectic (another meh word but it serves its purpose here) design aesthetic.
Thank you so so much to Barbara for having me.
And thank you to all of you for taking the time out of your day to read what I have to say here, and over at Bijou & Boheme- truly means the world to me.



{photos via What Anna Loves, The Vamoose, Vogue, Quote Book 1/2, Hello Steph, The English Muse,
 Blonde Espisodes}

Christine, that was so wonderfully put. I am glad that we have become blogging "buddies". You are always so kind and supportive with the wonderful comments you leave on my blog! Thanks for participating, despite your busy guest blogging schedule, glad you could visit hodge:podge today and give us a peek into your mind and world!

XO Barbara