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Things I love: Shoes of Prey

Things I love: Shoes of Prey
shoes of prey
My new soft grey leather oxfords, problem solved!

 

Last spring, I finally realized that the pair of soft grey oxfords I had bought four years ago had fallen apart. Properly, completely fallen apart. I searched everywhere for a replacement, but nothing quite worked for me.

Then, I found Shoes of Prey.

This is one of those make your own shoes online sites. What drew me to this one, besides the truly awesome name, is their reasonable prices and 365 day return or remake.

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Things I love: great selection of heel heights, massive selection of colours, up-to-date shapes.

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I threw together this d’orsay flat in a cool floral snake imprint leather that I’m pretty keen on, $129 Canadian. I have another pair of much-loved gently pointed black flats that has ended its natural life, and I was bemoaning finding another until I remember I could MAKE SOME. This is perfect for those who struggle finding the shoes they love in the heel height they are comfortable in. If you don’t know where to start, browsing the gallery will give you some ideas, and the Style Advice section is a good resource of curated ideas using the newest shapes and materials.

At the end of all that, your shoes arrive in a gorgeous box with a cloth bag, wrapped with a piece of real ribbon. It’s lovely. And I’m off to go design my new black flats right now…

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Gift Guide: House Proud

Gift Guide: House Proud

house proud gift guide 2014

 

Who wouldn’t love some gorgeous wooden lids for their mason jars, a beautiful modern twig hook,  or some cute sea otters to cheer them in the morning?

Clockwise from top left: Paint by numbers deer pillow cover by StudioLiscious, New York Porcelain Chemists Bottle by Revisions Design, Twig modern wall hook by StudioLiscious, Porcelain egg sprout planters by Revisions Design, Sea otter print by TripleStudio, Set of four wooden mason jar lids by Cattails Woodwork

PS – Still haven’t written your Christmas cards? Check out my favourite photo cards from Minted – all by independent designers.

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How to make this centrepiece for $15 from IKEA bits

How to make this centrepiece for $15 from IKEA bits

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Standing in the As-Is department of IKEA, I came up with the idea for this centrepiece. I am a sucker for fake flowers. Real ones are beautiful, obviously, but I try to stick to things grown close by and in the end of November in Canada, there isn’t much around. So when I spotted branches of less-than-perfect white ones for 59¢, I dug around the garish pink blossoms to come up with three nice stems. If your As-Is department comes up empty, the regular stems run about $1.29 – $2.99 each, I used three here.

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The vase is the bigger of the two ENSIDIG vase sizes ($2.99), and I filled the centre of it with two strands of the SÄRDAL LED light strings with the battery pack attached ($3.99/each). Cramming the artificial flower stems inside and pressed along the outside edge disguises the battery packs. Just pull some of the lights around so you’ve got some poking out the top and some illuminating flowers from behind.

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Lovely things: short wellies

Lovely things: short wellies

short-wellies

 

Ah, autumn. In Vancouver, that means days and days (and days) of drizzle. While big Hunter boots are everywhere, and I do love my Ilse Jacobsen wellies for epic downpour days, they feel like overkill when it’s just a regular rainy day.

Ankle-height wellies that look more like regular boots are what I’m looking for this autumn, and I found some interesting ones. Clockwise from top…

1 // ASOS Gamble wellies

2 // däv Glasgow boot

3 // Joe Fresh Moto Rain Boots

4 // Mel by Melissa Big Plum in navy

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Win tickets to the Vancouver Modern Home Tour

Win tickets to the Vancouver Modern Home Tour

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I love walking around my neighbourhood in the early twilight, when people have turned their lights on but not yet closed their blinds. It’s the small glimpse into their homes that makes me happy – what do they have on their walls, how big is that front room – that kind of thing. I don’t quite have the gall to show up at open houses and gawk when I have no intention of buying, however house tours give me license to wander and stare all I like.

The heritage house tours are fascinating and I love the laneway house tours for ingenious ideas in (very) small spaces, but it’s hard to beat modern house tours for sheer drama.

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This year, the Vancouver Modern Home Tour has been curated by Western Living magazine editor-in-chief Anicka Quin, and there are some beauties on the list. I’ve already earmarked two I’ve seen from the street that I’ve always been curious about (like the house in the photo at the top of the post), so I’m quite excited to see how all those corners work from the inside. There are newly built structures as well as incredible projects that started as older houses, smaller spaces and sprawling mansions.

Garden.

This is a self-guided tour, so you will need transportation between the homes, a few of which are in West Vancouver. You have from 11am-5pm on Saturday 20 September to visit the homes. Tickets are $30 in advance, and $40 on the day, kids under 12 are free.

I’m a bit of a house tour nerd, so let me share what I’ve learned:

– Wear comfortable slip-on shoes of some sort, as you have to remove them at every house, and bring a bag to carry them in as you’ll be ferrying them around
– Leave the big backpack behind, a small cross-body bag is best – you don’t want to knock anything over in the tight spaces
– Don’t bring a big camera, these are peoples’ homes and photography is usually not allowed
– Plan your route ahead of time, including a lunch and/or coffee stop
– Agree with your touring partner if there are one or two homes you’re okay to miss and plan the route accordingly, often time gets tight at the end of the day, so it’s good to see the ones you’re really keen on first

The nice people at Modern Home Tours have have given me sets of two passes for my readers. Go forth and enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Review

All photos courtesy Modern Home Tours

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