July 20th, 2012
This editor was totally against sandboxes until her son’s daycare mentioned that he was content playing in it for an hour straight. What they didn’t mention, was that a water table would keep him entertained for 90 minutes. It was a done deal.
The water table is safer than a kiddie pool, less dirty than a sandbox (albeit wetter, but water dries fast in the heat) and can be set up in a yard or on a patio or balcony. Pick one up from Toys "R" Us (pictured, $25), or make your own. A large under-the-bed-storage plastic box works great balanced on two cement blocks. Stick a few bath toys in there, and let the fun begin.
Just be careful if you do have a sandbox, too. This inevitably turns the water table and sandbox into two mud pits. Great for the production of tasty mud pies, less great when it comes to cleaning up. —Alexandra Sunher Isenberg
$25 at www.toysrus.ca
June 8th, 2012
While our own DIY skills are lackluster, we love wearing unique finds and supporting local designers and artists.
This weekend, we’ll take a break from the high-testosterone F1 events and head to Puces Pop, a fabulous craft and DIY fair. We have our eye on some prints by Julie Lequin, bacon treats (!) from Bon en Cochon, earrings by Rare Specimens ($35, shown)… and we’re willing to bet that we’ll stumble upon a whole lot more must-haves.
Unlike the race track, entry is free, Budweiser girls are nowhere to be found and formidable finds are pretty much guaranteed. –Christine Laroche
Puces Pop, 5035 St-Dominique, http://popmontreal.com
February 29th, 2012
Drawing on paper is nice, but let's face it: Any surface that feels “illegal” is so much more fun – just ask Banksy.
But because heading out in the middle of night to graffiti the neighborhood isn’t really our thing, we’re taking our craft to other unusual surfaces, namely duvet covers and tablecloths from Doodle by Stitch.
Pieces in the Stitch range, available at Mortimer Snodgrass, are set to look like a giant piece of graph paper and come with a set of eight ready-to-doodle-with markers. Kids young and old can go wild decorating it, and after a quick trip to the washing machine, it’s ready for more.
Verdict? No kid’s birthday party should be without! —Christine Laroche
Mortimer Snodgrass, 56 Notre-Dame W., Montreal, 514-499-2851, www.shop.mortimersnodgrass.com
October 21st, 2011
I must admit to having little patience for home decor, preferring function over fashion for everything from sofas to sinks.
But to add a little va-voom to my room, I drew inspiration from Marc Jacobs and Maria Von Trapp, and colour-blocked My Favourite Things: shoes and books.
Your favourite things (doesn’t have to be shoes and books)
A shelf (IKEA works nicely)
1. Put shoes on shelf.
2. Colour coordinate book jackets in a way that would infuriate a librarian but please Marc Jacobs.
3. Pile books from largest to smallest (or smallest to largest, if you feel a little naughty).
Et voila! Fashion meets function meets fabulous.
October 8th, 2011
We all complain that we don’t have enough time to do crafts or make children’s clothing, but Halloween is a great time to try making a costume. They only wear it for a few hours, so our sewing skills won’t really be put to the test… Here are three of our faves:
An owl costume for our little girl
This owl costume is made from an old t-shirt and scraps of fabric. We suggest you keep her warm by pairing it with black tights and boots, and have her wear the mask on her forehead if you are concerned about visibility. Try old towels for the feathers, to give them a bit more texture. Find the instructions on Alpha Mom.
Dress our little boy as Clark Kent
This adorable outfit requires shopping skills over sewing skills, just get your little one a Superman t-shirt, a white shirt and some pants. Layer long johns and a turtleneck underneath the outfit and voila! Your little superhero is ready to go. For directions skip to slide two on Quick & Simple.
Turn our little baby into a goldfish
This costume works best for wee ones who aren’t too mobile, as the tail is enclosed. You’ll need an orange onesie to wear underneath, and perhaps a glass bowl for an adorable photo op. Warning, this one actually requires a few sewing skills. Goldfish outfit from Martha Stewart.
—Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
Safety tip from the editor: Use reflective tape on the back and sleeves of the costume, if you are letting your kids out trick or treating by themselves. And make sure they carry flashlights.
July 30th, 2011
The ukulele is a great kids’ instrument: it is small, easy to play and it never gets too loud (reason why recorders aren’t allowed in this home!).
That’s why we loved this make your own ukulele kit (US $40) from Uncommon Goods. It comes equipped with a wood body, neck, and strings which are easily assembled, and then you can customize it with different paints, stains or decorations.
And, when you've heard Old MacDonald Has A Farm for the one thousandth time, you know how they put it together, so you can take it apart.
—Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
June 30th, 2011
We love a good DIY project.
Especially when the recipient is so gosh-darned cute, we’d do anything for her. Happy Sew Lucky kits come with everything we need to sew our own baby gifts. Our favourite? The dinnertime book. Printed on 100% organic cotton, it requires sewing only in straight lines (bonus!) and stars all the cute and cuddly characters in the Happy Sew Lucky family.
Just B.Y.O.S. (bring your own sewing machine). —Kelsey Dundon
February 15th, 2011
We’re not particularly artsy-craftsy, usually preferring to Buy-It-Ourselves or Hire-Someone-Else-To-Do-It. But a recent foray into DIY fashion has stimulated our creative spirit!
Miss Celie’s Pant inspired us to start sewing again (we’ll start with the bowties) and we forgot how much we love making jewellery until we saw these fab Ombré shoulder duster chain earrings from P.S. I Made This. But we found our most suitable craft on Outsapop: DIY Chanel involving a pair of gloves, scissors, and an appetite for destruction.
We’ve always enjoyed running with scissors.
October 29th, 2010
Naughty nurse? Lame. Saucy cop? We'll pass. We've created a list of DIY Halloween costumes that can be thrown together faster than you can say "the devil made me do it."
Set the spray tan dial to orange to hit Halloween as Jersey Shore’s most romantic guidette. Sport a long black wig or do your own hair with the tallest of Bumpits and layer on the Ed Hardy attire.
Jennifer Nachshen, Montreal editor
A sexy superwoman with a dash of science-fiction fantasy based on Brigitte Bardot. Leggings and a tight top, big hair and dramatic eyes. Done!
Elsa Vecchi, Montreal editor, French edition
I’m wearing a mini-cereal box (with a bloody plastic knife glued to it) as a fascinator. Eat your heart out Philip Treacy.
Athena Tsavliris, Toronto editor
Long blonde hair in ringlets,a red lip, some liquid eyeliner for her trademark cat-eye. Pair a simple dress with cowboy boots and strap on a bedazzled guitar.
Malwina Gudowska, Calgary editor
1960s model mash-up
Part Veruschka von Lehndorff, part Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, pairing long model hair and makeup (here’s some inspiration) with a Peter Pan-collared dress, knee-high socks and ballet flats.
Joy Pecknold, Vancouver editor
A black veil, red eye makeup, a meat onesie, 8-inch platform shoes. What could be cuter on your infant girl?
Sarah Bancroft, Editor-in-chief
June 1st, 2010
When people like Heidi Montag and Whitney Port have their own fashion lines, it’s almost embarrassing that we can barely stitch a hem.
We’re putting an end to our sewing woes, starting with the Basics workshop ($35) at Emeline and Annabelle’s Atelier Couture Café. Once we master bobbins and buttons, we’ll move on to the A-Line Skirt or Summer Dress workshops ($95 each), or just choose from one of their patterns and gorgeous fabrics to create our own looks on one of their 7 Bernina sewing workstations (drop-in rate: $7/hour).
Being a fashion designer is sew easy. Next up? Reality TV stardom.
6050 Ave. de Monkland, Montreal, 514-439-4550, www.emelineandannabelle.com