Top 5 Etsy Shops for Wedding Invitations

With our wedding fast approaching in the beginning of July we are starting to tie up loose ends and make sure that everything is thought of. Planning our wedding has been really seamless so far. We haven’t felt stressed or overwhelmed at all and it has been pretty fun! Then it came time to pick wedding invitations and our difference in taste appeared. I love all things really feminine, floral and clean. He likes more simplicity and not so much “greenery” so I was really having a hard time picking something that we both enjoyed. I looked on Minted.com, Paperless Post and Etsy. In the process I fell in love with a few shops on Etsy that have the most incredible wedding invitation designs.  The greatest part about ordering a template on Etsy is that you can then choose your paper and have it printed locally which saves you money and time! Unfortunately, we couldn’t agree on any of these, and I ended up designing my own wedding suite which combined both of our tastes (which I am really excited about) I still wanted to share them with all of you, because they are really stunning.

White Willow Paper Co.

I love how whimsical these cards are! They are all unique works of art and created locally here in Montreal!

whitewillowpaperco

Georgia Blue Design Co.

I love the modern yet feminine simplicity of these cards!

Print

La Bohemme Paper Co.

There is a good mix of whimsy and modern simplicity here!

Print

Alexa Nelson Prints

These are not available in template form, but they are serious works of art and worth every penny in my opinion!

Alexanelsonprints

Shine Invitations

One of my favorites for their modern, sophisticated look. No florals here, but definitely feminine.

Shineinvitations

What are your favorite shops on Etsy for invitations?

The 2nd Annual Stroll for Kids With JFK

Once again, I had the pleasure of donating my time by photographing a great event supporting the Just for Kids foundation. Check out the first event I photographed for them here!

This past September on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning in Rembrandt Park, Cote St. Luc, the 2nd annual Stroll for Kids took place. With the sun shining bright, there were a lot of happy faces of all ages to capture! I have been taking part in this non profit organization for the last 9 months, volunteering for the annual hockey tournament and getting the opportunity to take photos. It is the least I can do for such an amazing cause!

For the past 2 years JFK has partnered with Stroll for Kids in a group effort to raise funds to purchase high-priority medical equipment for the Montreal Children’s Hospital. JFK’s fundraising achievements improve the effectiveness of doctors and nurses on a daily basis and help parents sleep better knowing that their children are getting the best possible care. To find out more, please visit www.jfkfoundation.ca.

This year over 500 participants strolled on Sunday September 25th. The Stroll was not only sold out but it succeeded in raising a whopping $180,000 in support of JFK to benefit the MCH. Featured in my photos are only a handful of the many faces and only few of the several sponsors who helped make the event possible. Local Montreal sponsors including RustiqueRichter, Urban Bonfire, Sumac, Mouton Noir Catering and ReJuice and the international brand; Keurig are just to name a few. You can find out about the rest of the sponsors, and see all of the photos from the event on the Stroll for Kids Facebook Page!

Here are some of my favourite shots of the day. Enjoy!

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DIY Abstract Art on a Budget

I love a good DIY, and i’ve done a few for my new place that I am hoping to post on here sometime soon. I will admit that I came to the realization while making my Ikea Hack nightstand (coming soon), that you don’t always save money. After buying all the supplies, and spending the time doing the work, I realized that I really could have just bought a finished piece at Ikea for the same price. That being said, I really enjoyed the process and the challenge of saying that I can make something, having a vision of how it will turn out and then actually doing it and being proud of the results. It’s thrilling to me, but I know it’s not for everyone. Plus with a DIY, you then have something unique, that you can’t find in a store or anyone else’s home. I don’t know, it really depends how much time you have on your hands and how much importance you put on making things by hand, but personally I know that even if it’s hard work, I am going to keep DIYing because I find it so rewarding and fun!

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I have posted on here a few times this week after being MIA for a while. I guess thats my MO. I get bursts of creativity, and ideas, and energy to make blog posts and then I go into hibernation for a while. I know that I should probably hold off on posting this project for a little while to space out my work, but I’m way too excited, because I really, really love how this project turned out and I feel like anyone can do something like it.
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When I moved into my new place I made two decisions. The first was that I wanted to start being more minimalistic. After reading Marie Kondo’s book; The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up, the idea of only holding onto the things in my life that I loved resonated with me. So when I moved, I only brought the stuff that made me smile into my home, and have been taking my time filling it, so as not to buy unnecessary items. The second thing I decided was that I wanted to make a lot of my own art. In my last apartment I had some of my photography printed and I framed them in simple frames to go above the couch, then over the TV in NYC. I think I might do that again soon, but I also wanted to try my hand at painting because I not only love it but I find it so therapeutic.
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I started doing a little research to find what pieces made my heart flutter. I went on Pinterest and pinned a bunch of art and then tried to zero in on what I really liked about them. I realized I was being drawn to abstract art, simple lines and feminine colours. With that idea in my mind I went to the dollar store (yep, this DIY is really low cost, high impact!) and bought brushes, paint and canvases. This whole project cost me under $20.00, and I ended up with two pieces of personalized art, one extra canvas that I still need to paint, and a ton of paint and supplies left over for future projects. Score! My bedroom has pops of coral, navy, gold and white, so I wanted to use those tones in the artwork to tie the whole room together. I used navy paint from my Ikea Hack Nightstand (which I will get around to posting about as soon as I get to putting the handles on it). I love how the navy in the canvas matches my nightstand perfectly, I also made a coral colour, and bought a light pink and gold.
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I really think that even if you aren’t artistic, you can definitely pull this off with a little research and some planning and this DIY will actually save you a ton of money, because art isn’t cheap.
Here is what you need: 
Several different sized paint brushes
Paint (you need at least 3 different paint colours. I chose gold, navy and coral because those were the colors in my room.
2 canvases
Paint tray
Paper towel or old dish rag
drop cloth

What you need to do:
1. Start by going on pinterest for inspiration, figure out what look you are going for before you start. With a vision in mind it will be a bit easier to get started, but I find once you start it just comes to you and you go with what looks good.
2. Prepare a workspace with a drop cloth to avoid paint splatter on your furniture.
3. Start with one colour on the canvas. I chose to start with the gold. Make several random lines using different brush sizes on the canvas. Continue using other colours to fill in the spaces around it. You can adjust the shades by wiping away excess paint of the canvas in certain parts to fade the colour, or blend colors. Continue adding lines in different thicknesses and lengths, blending where you can to create a cohesive piece.
4. Hang and enjoy.

How do you feel about DIYing? As I mentioned earlier, sometimes it ends up costing more, but is it always about the money or is it about the challenge and fun? I found this article on Huffington post that says to use a flowchart when trying to decide on whether to DIY it or Buy it. Could be a helpful way to decide! Check it out here. 

Inspiration: Little Geo Prints

I am really loving these tiny geo prints and with spring right around the corner I like to find ways to make some subtle, affordable changes to my space and not only do these tiny geos pack a big punch but they are growing to be a key print and pattern trend for 2015. I’m seeing them everywhere and really want to see them in my home…

Inspiration-small-geo-prints{Left Row – Top to Bottom} BeddingWallpaperAccessories, Throw {Right Row – Top to Bottom} Bowls, Tiles, Matches, Art

They have a delicate and pretty yet sophisticated look in washed corals and calming greys, often paired with blush pinks, nudes, teal and yellow accents. I really love them, don’t you?

Mickey Smith: Darkside of the Lens

Sometimes you come across something that speaks to you, that moves you in one way or another. Something that sends chills down your spine, and you feel some sort of connection to it. I remember watching this short film for the first time over 4 years ago, and feeling just that. I was in the final year of my undergrad degree and I was at a point where my career was all I was thinking about. Fast forward 4 years and nothing has really changed, I still think about my career all the time and this film still brings chills down my spine. Figuring out what it is you want to do for the rest of your life is a big deal, and while money is an important factor, it has never been my driving force. I believe that if you love doing something, the money will come through the passion, drive and focus you have for what you are doing. If you care about something enough you can move mountains and you won’t mind the hardships that may come, because you know in the end they will all be worth it. This is what came across to me in Darkside of the Lens and why it spoke to me so much.

“If I only scrape a living, at least it’s a living worth scraping. If there is no future in it, at least it’s a present worth remembering. The fires of happiness, the waves of gratitude. For everything that brought us to that point on earth at that moment in time, to do something worth remembering with a photograph, or a scar. I feel genuinely lucky to hand on heart say I love doing what I do. And though I may never be a rich man, if I live long enough, i’ll certainly have a tale or two for the nephews. I dig the thought of that.”

-Mickey Smith

Mickey Smith, a surf photographer released this short film, quietly on the internet in 2010. What was created for his nephews in memory of his sister, who was his biggest fan, ended up winning multiple awards and drawing heavy attention to his work from all corners of the globe.

Every aspect of this film is beautiful. The narration alone is powerful, but combined with the mind blowing imagery of a cold, wet paradise it delivers a strong message of passion, gratitude, determination and the desire to do something that is worth living for.

If there is anything that keeps me motivated to continue searching for that passion, to continue practicing gratitude, and to take full advantage of the cards i’m dealt every step of the way, it’s this film.

Enjoy,

Darkside Of The Lens from mickey smith on Vimeo.

Friday Finds

Friday-finds-feb-26

1. Photo printing using the sun // A Beautiful Mess 

2. These amazing toasted marshmallow peanut butter bars // Sunday Public

3. These delicious fruit infused water flavours // The Beauty Department

4. This super soft Lou & Grey popover top i’m dying to buy // Loft

5. This amazingly easy Ikea Hack DIY // The Vault Files

6. How to create a capsule wardrobe // Unfancy

Happy Friday! Have a relaxing, enjoyable weekend!

Inspiration: Floral Arrangements

Nothing makes me smile more than a vase filled with fresh flowers. It’s one of those things that I try and make room for in my budget because it really brightens my day. That and a nice smelling candle, can almost always improve my mood. I’ve never been one for traditional bouquets of 12 perfectly cut roses. I’ve always liked something a little unique, a little more rustic and wild. Different flowers, mixed with things like fruit, or greenery that jets out. The imperfect look of it all makes it perfect to me. I have been drooling over Saipua’s Instagram account that fills my feed with images of their amazingly creative bouquets and makes me wish I was a florist! Here are some of my favourite floral arrangements at the moment.

inspiration-floral-arrangements{Left Row – Top to Bottom} Image 1 // Image 2 // Image 3 {Right Row – Top to Bottom} Image 4 // Image 5 // Image 6

Happy Tuesday!