I opened LAX TO YVR in June, and it's been so encouraging to watch it grow over the months. It makes me happy that customers have responded positively to my products. To celebrate, everything in the shop (except for gift certificates) will be 20% off (before shipping). Just use coupon code WINTER at check out.

Also, I'm just six sales away from reaching 100! Having almost 100 sales is more than I expected given that LAX TO YVR has been in business for only six months.

I'm looking forward to what 2012 will bring. There are some new products in the works that I will start rolling out come January, so stay tuned! If you'd like to stay up to date in regards to new products, special offers, and discount coupons, then sign up for the newsletter to be first in the know.

Also, in case you didn't know, gift certificates to the LAX TO YVR shop are available if you're looking for a last minute gift.

Lastly, I'll be taking a break from blogging for a couple weeks. I've been experiencing excruciating pain in my arms lately due to computer use. My right arm is especially useless due to mousing so much. Hopefully, I'll figure out a more ergonomic set up for my keyboard and mouse so I can work properly without killing my arms. Until then, enjoy the holidays!



Our latest furniture acquisition has been a pair of vintage armchairs. If you follow me on Twitter, you may remember how I was agonizing over whether to get them or not. We're in the midst of apartment hunting so it seems kind of impractical to get new furniture, especially when you don't know what your future space is going to look like.

But I saw these chairs when we visited Attic Treasures on Commercial Drive - a great resource for midcentury modern furniture and other vintage goodness, by the way - and they just really tugged at my heart. I wasn't even in the market for new armchairs since I already got one a few months ago. It's always when you're not looking for something in particular that you find that piece you know is perfect for your home. I simply fell in love with these chairs and I wanted them badly. But I didn't purchase them right then and there. I gave myself a week to think about it, and when I decided that I really did want them, I hoped and prayed they'd still be there. And they were! Hallejulah! 

What I love about the chairs are the tufted cushions, the strong 70s vibe, and the manly chrome frame, which also lend them an airy look. Most of all, they're just full of character. They actually remind me of E.T. for some reason; perhaps because they're short, squat, and brown. The armchairs now occupy the space where the ugly and very uncomfortable loveseat used to be.

I'm an advocate for buying used as much as possible when it comes to home furnishings. It's just a sound and sustainable way of decorating your place. That's why I'm an avid vintage home decor collector. I love looking around our place and seeing all the unique pieces I've accumulated over the last few years by scouring thrift shops, vintage shops, Craigslist, and estate sales. Hence, adding yet another piece of vintage furniture to our home feels like winning to me.



This holiday season I got the urge to make my own cards. I used materials I had lying around and whipped up these cards in no time - a fast, instant gratification project.

- Various felt fabric
- Yarn scraps
- Ribbon
- Blank cards
- Cardstock paper
- Glue

- Fabric scissors
- Pen

Ornament Card

1. Draw ornaments shapes on cardstock paper with a pen. Cut out the shapes. Then place an ornament shape on a piece of felt fabric and trace around it with a pen. Cut the shape, preferably with fabric scissors for a clean, crisp edge.

2. Spread glue lightly on back of ornament shape and paste it on the front of a blank card.

3. Pour a thin line of glue from top centre of the ornament to the top of the card. Glue a piece of scrap yarn on it. Then cut off the excess at the top.

4. Make a little ribbon with a piece of scrap yarn. Then glue it at the top centre of ornament.

Christmas Tree Card

1. Cut a triangle from a piece of green felt fabric.

2. Cut three ribbon scraps and glue them on the diagonal on the tree. Allow to dry for 30 minutes. Then cut off the excess.

3. Cut out a little tree stump from a piece of felt fabric.

4. Spread glue lightly on the backs of the triangle and stump and glue on the front of a blank card.

Trio of Pennants Card

1. Cut out a rectangular strip  of felt fabric. Fold lengthwise. Draw a diagonal line from the point where the corners meet to a point on the folded edge about 1 cm in from the adjacent edge. Cut along the line. Repeat this step two times with other pieces of felt fabric.

2. Lightly spread glue on backs of pennants. And paste on the front of a blank card.

If you don't have felt fabric on hand, coloured paper would work just as well. I used felt because I've got heaps of it (it's one of my favourite materials to work with).



my favourite house

I am head over heels in love with this house. It's in the Kitsilano area in Vancouver.

It's total eye candy. I love the dark grey paint job (surprise, surprise). In spite of its super modern look, the wood accents really warm it up. I'm dying to see what it looks like inside but I'm too timid to get up close to it and snoop around. Also, I'm curious to know who lives in this house.

my favourite house

Even the Dude likes this house, which goes to show you how much I've corrupted his tastes. He's a country boy from rural New England who grew up surrounded by by old, quaint houses.

We'll never be able to afford a house like this in Vancouver. As long as we live in this city, we'll be renters for life. Speaking of which, we've been busy apartment hunting. We're planning to move at the end of January. Not sure whether we'll be moving to a 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom. It'll probably depend on what we find. I'm very tempted to move into a 2-bedroom, but I'm afraid of accumulating junk to fill the extra space. As a reformed pack-rat, I've come to enjoy living with as little as possible. Even with the weekly purgings, I still feel like we have too much stuff.



If you follow me on Twitter, then you may already know that over the weekend I won a giveaway contest being hosted by Got Craft? Vancouver. My prize was a swag bag full of goodies from Got Craft? vendors. I was so excited that I won because I NEVER win anything. I rarely enter internet giveaways anyway, so this turn of luck came as a huge surprise to me.

I attended the Got Craft? show on Sunday and was blown away by the amazing stuff that people were selling. Seriously, I wanted to buy at least one thing from each vendor. Plus, I got to meet some Vancouverite Etsy sellers that up to this point I only interacted with virtually. It's so awesome that Vancouver has such a vibrant handmade community.

got craft swag bag contest winnings

These are just a portion of my winnings. I picked my favourite ones to show off here.
From top left, clockwise :

 1. Thistle Town Studio
 2. Maked
 3. Banoo
 7. Kukubee
 8. Abeego
Now I got to figure out what I'm going to do with all this stuff. I'm probably going to spread the love and give most of it away. 



This past summer I worked on a dining room chair reupholstery job for my relatives. I love the contrast between the simple clean lines of the fabric and the graceful antique chair. Having contrasts is one of the best ways to liven up a space. If everything is too matchy-matchy and coordinates seamlessly, then the room looks flat and sterile, i.e. booooring.

Upholstering the seat of a dining chair is the easiest type of upholstery that one can DIY. This is my favourite Youtube video on how to re-upholster a chair. There are also a countless number of tutorials out there. I read a few to figure out the best technique.

The obligatory before and after picture.

Dining room chairs

I'm a nut for stripe patterns. If I allowed myself, I'd have striped everything.

We acuired a teak lounge chair back in September. It was on sale at Sugar Barrel Antiques on Main St. so we snatched it up. Unfortunately, the cushions were friggin' ugly, and the fabric was worn through and ripped on parts of the the seat.

teak chair - before

I wasn't confident enough to take on the reupholstery project myself. So I paid someone a lot of money to do it for me. It took almost a month to get them back because they were super busy. Hence the reason why this blog post is long overdue.

vintage teak lounge chair

Unfortunately, I'm not quite happy with the results. It was the first time I ever had anything professionally upholstered so I didn't give specific directions. What I really wanted were boxy cushions, but of course, to my great irritation, the person couldn't simply read my mind. Anyway, I think in the future I may try to reupholster the cushions myself.

teak lounge armchair - after

It's a beautiful chair. I agonized over whether to get it or not. But it was such a good price that I couldn't pass it up. It's only going to go up in value because there's only so much midcentury modern furniture in the world and everyone wants a piece of the action it seems. SBA is a great source of MCM furniture and accessories in Vancouver. All their MCM stuff is in the basement, and I go weak in the knees looking at their vast collection every time I go.

We recently acquired a pair of vintage armchairs (from Attic Treasures on the The Drive), and I can't wait to show them off here. But first we need to get rid of the loveseat (the last piece of ugly furniture we own) before they can take their proper place. Our living room is an unholy mess right now.



Here are some favourite vintage Christmas decor items I found on Etsy.

Letterpress blocks from Monki Vintage

Bottlebrush Christmas trees from Haven Vintage

Rocking horse from Recycle Buy Vintage

Sock stretchers from Little Byrd Vintage

Needlepoint stocking from Sugarpush Vintage (my own shop)

When decorating our home, I try to incorporate as much vintage stuff as I can because nothing adds more character and style like vintage does. And Christmas is an excellent time to mix in some vintage-y goodness with your contemporary decorations. I don't go nuts and deck out the entire place as if Santa and his reindeer came in and exploded. There's usually an Advent wreath, an ornament tree, and this year I added the Christmas felt garland I sell in the LAX TO YVR shop. A vintage item or two are, of course, thrown in to the whole shebang like these.

vintage egg ornaments

Typography is still very hot in home decor. Letterpress types are a fantastic way to add some holiday flair. I have a set of Scrabble tiles that I might use to say something appropriate for the season.

Happy decorating!



bag by bookhou

Although Bookhou is an Etsy shop based in Toronto, I actually made my purchases at the CircleCraft Christmas market a couple weekends ago. I'd been eyeing the stuff at Bookhou, especially the bag above, for a while now. And when I found out that Arounna was going to sell her wares in Vancouver, I went to CircleCraft without hesitation. I wanted to see the products in person before buying.

I love everything about Bookhou, especially their products that feature geometric patterns. I also couldn't resist getting this 2012 tea towel calendar. It's hanging in our dining nook, which had a big empty wall until now.

2012 calendar by bookhou
2012 calendar by bookhou

Seriously, buying handmade is the best. I'm always happy to buy things that are well designed, and it feels good to support the creative efforts of a real person(s) behind the product.

While on the topic of buying stuff from Etsy, my own Etsy shop, is having a sale this Thanksgiving weekend. Because we live in Canada where we already celebrated Thanksgiving in October, it feels odd that today's Thanksgiving and we're not doing anything to celebrate. Oh, well. Every year I mean to do a Thanksgiving dinner but things get in the way (this year is Photoshop class). That's expat living for you.

I'll also be offering special discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So be sure to check the shop on those days for all the details!




I love going down to Bellingham, WA whenever I get a chance. At first I went down only to go shopping at stores I miss like Trader Joe's and Target. But as I got to explore the town a bit, I have totally fallen in love with it. The Dude and I went this past Saturday, and I took pictures of some of my favourite spots.

We first went to Fairhaven, a cute little part of Bellingham that's right by the water. It's a bit of a tourist-trap but you can't help but enjoy its quaint old-timey atmosphere. We had lunch at Avenue Bread where they serve excellent sandwiches! Then we browsed through a great independent bookstore called Village Books.

fairhaven collage 2
Fairhaven collage

Then we went to Downtown Bellingham. It has a really cool vibe for such a small downtown. My favourite store to visit is Digs. They specialize in modern, vintage, and cool home decor. They carry Dwell Studio bed linens and Gus furniture! Need I say more?


A visit to Bellingham is never complete without getting a little something something from Rocket Donuts!


Violin shop storefront window.


Other cool downtown businesses worth checking out are Northwest Yarns, Mallard's (for super good ice cream), and Taco Lobo (for yummy Mexican food).



I've included some Christmas-themed home decor items in the LAX TO YVR shop. One is a green and hot pink felt garland. The others are JOY and NOEL painted in green and red on burlap. Also, new in the shop are $25 and $50 gift certificates.

Can't believe Christmas is next month! Have you started decorating your home yet? I start decorating on the first Sunday of Advent, which this year falls on November 27. I usually begin by making an Advent wreath, but I think this year I'll be skipping it because the fresh pine and leaves I typically use tend to aggravate my allergies sadly. Maybe I can make one by using leaves made out of felt fabric or lots of tinsel! Both are quite flammable though, which perhaps is a bad idea for an Advent wreath...

I've already gone to one Christmas craft fair this year. I'll be attending the Got Craft? holiday craft fair on December 4. Looking forward to seeing some Etsy sellers there!

Finally, stay tuned for an announcement regarding the upcoming U.S. Thanksgiving weekend sale in the LAX TO YVR shop! If you'd like to stay up-to-date on shop sales, then sign up for the newsletter.



griffith park observatory "entrance"

This blog post will be relevant to those who deal with skin problems like I do.

I just wanted to share with you about my struggle with acne. It frustrates me to no end that even in my early 30's I still have to deal with pimples, zits, whiteheads, what have you. Acne has been the thorn on my side (or face, I suppose) since adolescence. I've tried everything: topical creams, special cleansers, antibiotics, vitamins, and birth control pills. Sometimes they're effective initially but then things go back to their usual state of acne pandemonium.

But a couple months ago I accidentally discovered a regimen that's helped my skin tremendously. The best thing about it is that it doesn't cost anything! In September, I underwent laser eye surgery and so I couldn't let water near my face for a week in order to protect my eyes. That's right, I had to go a whole week without washing my face! I was really worried that this would cause a breakout of apocalyptic proportions. Plus, I couldn't wear makeup. So I went around with a bare face, and the only thing I could do to clean my face was wash it with a damp, warm washcloth at night. In the morning I didn't bother cleaning my face. To my surprise, not using soap on my face and not wearing makeup improved the condition of my skin very visibly. I think gently scrubbing my face with a warm, damp washcloth every night would exfoliate the dead skin cells, which prevented my pores from getting clogged.

So that's what works for me! I'm not saying this is the solution to everyone's skin problems. But I think face wash in general, even a gentle one like the one I use, dries out your face and causes acne. I've read that dry skin causes your oil glands to overproduce to compensate for the dryness. Oil is good for your face, but too much of it can clog your pores, causing acne. Actually, I read a tip years ago from a girl who had dealt with acne suggesting that in the morning you should just wash your face with water and that's it, since your face is already clean from the previous night's washing. I implemented this tip earlier this year and saw some improvements. But avoiding soap altogether has been the best solution for my skin problems.

The downside is that I don't wear make-up as often as I used to since if I do put it on then that means I have to wash it off with a facial cleanser. Sadly, I look really haggard without make-up. But it's so nice not to have pimples and whiteheads dotting my face. I do have occasional breakouts of course depending on my menstrual cycle, but I've seen a 90% reduction. Seriously.

So this is my simple skin care regimen for reducing acne breakouts: 
:: Avoid wearing make-up or wear it as infrequently as possible
:: At night, gently scrub your face with a warm, damp washcloth (avoid soap or any facial cleanser!); follow with toner and moisturizer
:: In the morning, either don't wash your face or only use water



new office

This fall the Dude and I have been busy doing a major overhaul of our apartment. I painted the walls in our bedroom and living room. Furniture was re-arranged, purged, and acquired. Now the part of the apartment that looks the most different is my office.

My office has gone through a few reincarnations. It takes up a portion of the living room, and it's been placed in different corners of it throughout the last couple years. This and this is what it looked like just before. Now the office is completely furnished with IKEA products. I've accepted that when it comes to office furniture and accessories, IKEA is really one of the best options. Their office furniture is so modular that you can easily create a custom office for yourself. I'm quite pleased with the results.

It's definitely a luxury to have extra work space finally! And to have all my craft supplies in one place instead of in five different places around the apartment. 

new office

I love having the rubber plant at the corner of the desk. It's nice to have plants near me while I work.

plants in new office

stuff in new office

task lamp in new office

The red task lamp, which I found at an estate sale, is one of the very few non-IKEA furnishings.

new office

vintage toolboxes - new office

My vintage toolbox collection.

stuff in new office

I read one chapter from Don't Sweat The Small Stuff every day before I start work. It provides plenty of good advice, reminders, and much needed perspective. Mountie coaster - I used to have a thing for Mounties.

The plumbing pipe desk we built is now the dining table. It's replaced the last piece of furniture from the Dude's bachelor days - a kitchen table that got sold on craigslist. He pretends to be indignant about my systematically purging his furniture, but deep down he knows that good decor means happy wife means he's better off.

Isn't it ironic now that finally when the apartment is set up in the optimal way that works for us and is starting to look decent, we've decided it's time to move?



ACE hotel sign

Although we stayed at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs just a few weeks ago, already it feels like a distant dream. It was nice to be back in the desert. I LOVE the desert. It's one of the things I miss the most about Southern California.

I've been wanting to check out the Ace Hotel ever since I learned about all it's design-y goodness. It used to be a Howard Johnson, and now it's the hippest hotel in Palm Springs. I thoroughly enjoyed the two nights we stayed there and wished we could have stayed an additional day. This was the first vacation the Dude and I took just the two of us since our honeymoon in 2009. All our vacations since have involved visiting family, which is fun but not very relaxing. I really needed to get away to somewhere where I could go and do absolutely nothing but lounge around.

I should mention that right before we arrived at the Ace, we spent the morning going through my stuff in storage that I hadn't seen since 2004. It was super stressful as we didn't have much time. It was also physically and emotionally draining as I threw away most of the crap I saved. By the time we got to the Ace, it looked like a veritable paradise. So my experience may have been a bit coloured due to the sheer exhaustion I was feeling when I arrived.

ACE pool collage

Needless to say, I spent a lot of time by the pool. I'm not normally the lounge-by-the-pool-all-day kind of gal, but that's all I wanted to do while we were there because I was feeling weary and it was too damn hot to do anything else.

Now I'll shut up for a bit and let the pictures do the talking.


ace hotel room


I was absolutely in love with the side table on the right.


wall art

french doors

ace hotel room bar


I really dug the light fixtures, particularly their industrial look.


Next time I'd like to stay in a room with a private patio. You get your own fireplace!

ace hotel lobby

The hotel lobby. I really wanted to take the leather chair home.

ace hotel lobby

The famous plumbing pipe shelving unit. It inspired this internet sensation, which prompted a slew of others to make their own version. When I saw it, it felt like I had reached a pilgrimage destination.

king's highway restaurant in ace hotel

King's Highway restaurant on the hotel property. It used to be a Denny's. Gosh, I love the paint-dipped legs of those Bentwood chairs.

The first night we ate at the restaurant it just happened that it was Sissy Bingo night. The hostess, Linda Gerard, would belt out a song occasionally while calling out the bingo balls. My favourite song was "Who Do You Have to Fuck to Get in a Movie." Linda is in her 70s, but given her energy you wouldn't know it.

king's highway restaurant in ace hotel

Love the tile work.

king's highway restaurant in ace hotel

The Dude was cracking me up with his silly antics. Again, love the pendant lamps. Whoever designed the property really paid attention to lighting.

The food served at King's Highway was absolutely delicious. Most of their food is local and organic. And they have the BEST, DAMN coffee EVER - Sumptown Coffee. If it weren't for my bladder condition, I would have stolen more than just a few sips from the Dude.

ace hotel card

One thing I really appreciated about the Ace is that they have an entertainment offerering almost every night. Our second night we attended a karaoke event in the Amigo Room, which is a cozy dark little bar. It was so much fun. I can't wait to stay at the Ace again as I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. And I hope to visit all their other locations, two of which are in the Pacific Northwest!

My photo collection of the Ace can be found here.