The Never Ending Gallery Wall

As I've been working to finish off my

gallery wall

, it hasn't been feeling quite 'right'. It needed something and I just couldn't place my finger on what it was. 

I've shared my original gallery wall on here several times (most recently




) and I'm still totally in love with it. So stumbling with this 'expansion', if you will, left me feeling a bit unsure.

I've worked with


a few times, so when they reached out to help me with my art problem, I realized this was the perfect chance to get out of my rut. You can see a bit of my plan above (to scale! With door, sconce, light switch & baseboards haha) and I love the idea of creating the wall around one or two 'big' pieces. That beauty front & centre is over 30"x30" and will be the perfect focal point. Everything else is a mix of prints I already own, prints I'm planning to buy (I really could do a whole wall of gorgeous

photos from Paris by Anna

:) and a few from minted too. I love the mix of old, new, and personal touches, with a dash of quirky thrown in!

You know I'll be posting on


the second I get everything hung up, but until then, you can explore all my gallery wall shenanigans on Instagram with the hashtags




Ps, if you love that '

Done is Better Than Perfect

' print I own, make sure you

enter to win

one for yourself! The


ends tonight!


Disclaimer: minted is providing me with the art to complete this project, but all thoughts, opinions & ambitious gallery wall ideas are my own ;)

The Story of a Gallery Wall

I love a good gallery wall (if you follow me on Instagram you already know that!) and I have to admit I'm pretty proud of mine. But it's not something that happened overnight. It has been collected & curated over 3 years and it's still not quite finished - there's a good chance it never will be 'done' - but I've learned a lot along the way.

I shared this thought a few months ago with a photo of my wall & it's still true now:

Wherever you are, remember that all good things take time. This gallery (which, lets be honest, is so not important compared to many things) took over 3 years. And there were many moments of not-so-pretty (and more than a few extra holes in the wall) to get it to this point. Things take time - nothing in life happens overnight. So keep asking and seeking and working, you'll get there soon.

All the photos I could find of my gallery over the past 3 years - along with my thoughts on collecting & curating your own gallery are below.

The two prints that started it all. I bought these prints from Leigh Viner during a holiday sale after admiring them for years.

Here's another shot from mid-2012 - link.

Hopefully you can see the evolution in the photos above, but it grew pretty slowly. At one point, I decided I was not happy with the arrangement, so everything came down and I planned it out with paper. I mixed up the frames, the type of art, and the colours to try & achieve a more 'balanced' look.

Below are some daylight shots (and so you can see the blue I used to have!) and the reason you usually don't see my desk - haha! Thankfully I have more storage under my desk now so it doesn't get that bad, but oh man.

You have no idea how happy I was to finally

paint over that blue

! I purposely made sure I liked the frame arrangement before I painted so I could fill in all the holes I'd made over the years. The soft grey has made the biggest difference, and I could not be happier with how it turned out!

Starting to look a little more familiar, non? Some of the photos were switched, and I finally finished the bottom half of the wall (that took far too long to decide what to do with!), but here's what it looks like now:

Full of things that I love, that inspire me, motivate me and make me smile. I love waking up to this view every morning! And that blank wall you can kind of see in the mirror? Not so blank


! #cantstopwontstop

So, after 3 years & many nails holes later, what are my

gallery guidelines



// Pick art that you love, that speaks to you in some way. It will all come together.


// Try different 'mediums': photography, illustration, paintings, originals, text, etc.


// Let it grow organically. Start small, & build as you go.


// Paper templates are great, but eventually you just need to:


// Get out that hammer & do it! Guess what happens if you make too many holes? Nothing. Fill them in & try again (or just hang another frame overtop ;)

And one bonus tip: make it yours! Use your own photos, paint a little canvas, find something that can't be bought anywhere else. These are often the sweetest touches, & it also means that no one can recreate it :)

You can see some more shots of the wall on Instagram under the hashtag


 & follow me


to see the updates I've been working on.

Where do you stand on gallery walls? If you've got one of your own, share a link in the comments or tag me on Instagram. I would love to see!



Just a few things that have captured my love & attention lately...

Psalm 23
I know it's an incredibly popular passage, but when you slow down & really dig into the words? It's so beautiful. Thankyou to Grace for opening my eyes to it's meaning again. 

Perfume & Pearls
Me & Balenciaga go way back - back to the days of living in downtown Toronto & falling in love with this chic scent. And double pearls? So fun!

I mean, art always makes me happy :) But handprinted, imperfect, limited edition loveliness from Kelsey of Pinegate Road? Over the moon!

I promise I didn't plan to match my nails to my new Chapters mug on purpose, it was just a happy accident :) Both colours are from Julep's December box, and the gold monogram mugs are currently 50% off!


Artist Love: Holly Sharpe

Does anyone else get a little nervous when they email others about possible blog features? I don't know why I get a bit worried, but I do and I'm always so thrilled when I get a 'yes!' in reply!

You may recognize Holly's work from my Etsy post a few weeks ago. I adore her work and was so excited when she agreed to a little interview & giveaway for you guys!! You can check out her shop here, and keep reading to find out what inspires her gorgeous art!

Sketch V
Who is your perfect customer? Does she have a story?
I wouldn't say that I have a perfect customer. I would just like to think that people buy my work because it either inspires them, or helps their mind to wander or simply because they think it is beautiful. So I guess their story is just to have an appreciation and awareness of these things.

Peacock Girl II
What inspired you to start selling your sketches & artwork?
I guess when I first started to sell a few drawings this made me realise that people actually wanted to buy my work, so this prompted me to continue doing what I was doing and hopefully the demand would still be there. Aside from that, I wouldn't have enough space to keep them all!! I don't plan on ever stopping creating artwork so it has to go somewhere!

Some of your pieces have a very 'mixed media' & layered feel, what's your jumping off point? 
I always start with an idea, concept or feeling, that I can't exactly put into words, but I just build on this feeling and then the artwork is in some way my translation of this idea/feeling. Since this idea is often relatively complex, the mixed media/layers helps lend itself to convey whatever it is I felt the urge to convey.
Fashion Illustration
Is there a cool back-story behind one of your prints?
A lot of my work has come from so called accidents. Which either come about from sketching, or taking things to the next level - like when I think a drawing isn't working, I am not scared to ruin it, so I try something different or crazy and often that is when I have 'break throughs'. Or on the odd occasion when I am feeling really angry or more passionate than usual, I just feed this into my work - which sometimes works and other times doesn't... and probably ends up making me more emotional than to begin with! Photoshop is also a great tool to experiment and put things together easily that you maybe wouldn't have otherwise thought of, or had the time to do. Photoshop is a super fast way to test out if something is going to work or not. There have definitely also been some 'aha' moments amidst the 'accidents'. It's hard to pin point them exactly, but usually I need these moments to take my work further and to expand/develop a series of drawings/illustrations.

What is your favourite item in your store?
Hard to say.... it changes all the time. For now I think I would say, the original drawing of 'Afterglow'. It was part of a recent commission I did for Derwent pencils.

Thankyou so much Holly! Loved reading about your design process. The way other creatives work is always inspiring to me :)

If she wasn't lovely enough already, Holly has offered the gorgeous print below for one of you to win!

'Tribal Girl' (colourway) - A4 hand-finished and signed, digital print on 100% recycled cotton rag, beautifully textured and thick. Due to the handcrafted nature of this paper the edge of the paper has a natural, slightly torn finish. Hand-finished with ink and pen to bring out details and/or colours, this means that each one is unique.

I've left the image quite large, so if you open it in a new tab you can see the gorgeous texture of the cotton rag. I'm a wee bit jealous I can't enter this one :)

You can enter via the Rafflecopter widget below (might take a second to load):

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Be sure to check out Holly's shop! You can visit her on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram too!


Ampersand Love

Ampersands are one of my favourite things, along with botanical prints. Design like this & this just make me happy, so I wanted to experiment.

Above are all oak leaves from the International Oak Society (did you know there was such a thing?). I'm not the best at keeping plants alive (my basil is looking pretty sad...) but I love botanical images, especially the big charts. Takes me back to science class :)

I need more ampersands in my life - I'm thinking a print, but a pillow would do just fine too. Any favourites out there?


Eight Fall Must-Have's

That about sums up my fall wardrobe. I have real life versions of everything above - except the striped shirt (which is coming home with me asap!) and I wear them almost exclusively. There's a reason sweater weather is my favourite weather :)

+ I have two, no three, grey sweaters that get the most use - one is a drapey-waffle knit from Joe Fresh, one is a men's sweater with double buttons & elbow patches from H&M, and the third is a grey-multi-stripe-number that is part ugly + part fantastic from Value Village. It cost me $5 and I adore it - it is the most perfect grandpa sweater ever.

+ I love Old Navy tees for the length. And bonus - they don't shrink in the wash/dryer!! They are a little on the thinner side, but nothing a cami underneath can't fix. I like their long sleeve waffle tees too.

+ Dark or black jeans are a staple, same with a good pair of riding boots. My boots are from Joe Fresh (you'd never know by looking at them) and they're one of the best things I've bought in the past few years.

+ A pretty blouse is always nice :) I have a cream polka dot one and a navy one with knit sleeves - so comfy! (another VV purchase btw) That teal one from H&M looks really lovely.

And that concludes my fall fashion lesson! What are your must-have's for fall?


Etsy Love: Tried & True

clockwise from top: white roses, moon print, moths, ampersand
I've been sorting through a lot of my old Etsy favourites recently, sorting them into lists (SUCH a great feature by the way!!) and I wanted to share some of the ones that I am seriously re-crushing on.

I have an empty spot on my wall that would fit one of these perfectly - now which one to pick??

What have you found on Etsy lately?


Chip Kidd is awesome.

You've heard of TED, right? Good.

Last weekend I had a painting project to work on, so I listened to a bunch of TED talks in the background, one of them being 'Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is' by Chip Kidd. I'd never heard of him, didn't know what he'd designed, but I like books and I like design and designing book covers sounds like an awesome job, so I listened. Video is embedded below, but you can also view it here.

And this is what I realized:

1) Designing book covers wouldn't be an awesome job, it would be the BEST job. Seriously. Can someone write a book so I can design the cover? Kthxbye.

2) Chip Kidd is awesome. How have I not heard of him before???

'Dry' (below) might be my favourite cover, because it is just so brilliant. But the 1Q84 cover (below) is also pretty genius. Chip Kidd is also the one that designed the original Jurassic Park cover (above) - recognize that dinosaur? You can view more of his covers in this Time slideshow.

So. If you have ever wondered what goes into designing a book cover or even if you just like books or design, you should most definitely check out his talk.

Any other TED talks I need to watch?


Artist Love: Stephanie Sterjovski

Today I am so excited to be featuring a designer I so admire. If you don't already know who Stephanie Sterjovski is, you should! She's been featured on The Everygirl, Framework Mag, and HGTV Magazine to name a few. Her style is impeccable and her print shop is full of the loveliest prints I've ever seen. She is incredibly talented and can only keep rising from here :)

AND, if that wasn't exciting enough, Stephanie will also be speaking at BlogPodium! I'm so thrilled to be speaking alongside her :) (Her talk is 'From Blog to Business') If you want more information on BlogPodium (or on either of our talks!) there's a button in the sidebar that will take you there :)
I am so excited to be sharing an interview with Steph today - a little bit of insider knowledge on her lovely shop :)

Your shop opened last summer, what inspired you to open it? What was/is your goal or motivation behind it?
My readers inspired me to open my shop after getting asked every week if I sold my “Wordy Wednesday” posts on my old blog. I had a huge love for graphic design as well, and loved creating these fun pieces. My goal was just to spread positive expressions in everyone’s home.

Proverbs 31:25
Who is your perfect customer? Does she have a story?
I value all my customers, and especially love working on custom orders with them or hearing how my prints (especially the words I choose to use in my designs) have touched their lives in a positive way.

Good Things
You have come out with some seriously beautiful collections & prints, where do you get your inspiration? 
Thank You! I get inspired by so many things, I literally write a new idea down everyday in my notebook, or on my phone while I am out exploring life, immersing myself in fashion and design. I go through all my ideas at the end of each month and then fine tune them in to a collection.

Colossians 3:14
Is there a cool back-story behind one of your prints? 
My pink & gold LOVE print was a happy accident, I was playing around with placement of the letters moving them around to create them into a diamond, and all of a sudden I loved how it looked where I had placed them to be separated. That one kind of just stuck with me :)

Only Happy Thoughts
What is your favourite item in your store?
My favourite item in the store right now is my new print, Only Happy Thoughts. The gold foil combined with those profound words remind me to focus on the joy, plus I am gold obsessed right now!

Thankyou so much Steph!! Love the story of how your 'LOVE' print turned out - such a beautiful 'accident'!! And the gold foil prints are stunning. Need to find room for one! (I already have & love this print!)

Steph's blog is one of my daily reads - she always has the most beautiful photos! (clearly evidenced by her shop photos above too!) She posts on everything from style to beauty to the lovely little things that make her smile :)

You can check out her shop here & be sure to follow along with Steph on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, & Instagram!!


Artist Love: Chloe Trundle

This was the post I told you I was excited about :) SO excited to be featuring Chloe's shop today!

I first found Chloe's shop, NoLoveLost, via her Watercolour Ampersand print. I love ampersands and adore watercolour, so of course I favourited it immediately and went on to check out the rest of her shop. Gorgeous photos, witty words, and seriously beautiful type all merge in her lovely little shop.

And after talking with her, I'm even more in love with her little shop. So fun to find a fellow font nerd who creates such beautiful work. Especially when they are as genuinely lovely as Chloe!

Chloe was gracious enough to answer a few questions about her shop and offer a 15% discount for you guys!

Love You to the Moon and Back
How did you come up with the name for your shop? What inspired you to open it?
My shop name came about after I had created my first few prints. Some of my initial prints, like this vintage Street Girls print, my Keep Calm Parody and this Some People Suck design have a sort of dark humor to them, and I felt my shop name No Love Lost, was quite fitting. I decided this name reflected the nature of my prints - as most are a bit strange and quirky, but others are a bit on the sweeter side.
The inspiration behind opening my store stemmed from my love for creating things and indulging in one of my passions - graphic design. I adore the idea of my prints making their way to the other side of the world and being placed on the wall of someone's front room. That thoughts makes me pretty happy!
Less is More
A lot of your work features awesome type, do you have a favourite font? 
Yes it does! That's because I am a major typography geek. I love it! When I was studying, it really became a bit of an obsession. I got so into beautiful type and the ins and outs of typography. I find lettering and type is quite heavily influenced by trends and fashion - and as a designer, you have to be really careful not to get too sucked in! Otherwise it can influence your design choices too much. Right now I am loving anything that has a hand crafted element to it. So hand rendered lettering with a big, inky brush is a favourite and also handmade letterpress type is also a current love. As for a particular font, I always find I spend a lot of time drooling at fonts over at You Work For Them.
Think Less
In a sea of people
What was the inspiration(s) for your 'photo & type' prints? Do the photos inspire the text, or do you find a photo to match text you want to use?
So, first of all comes the photograph. The images that feature in these particular 'photo & type' prints are my own, taken from around the world. I think one was taken out of a plane window whilst my sister and I were flying over Australia. The other two were captured when I was living in New Zealand. I then overlay a favourite inspirational quote in a pretty typeface, and that's it really!
Drink More Gin
Is there a cool back-story behind one of your prints?
One of my most recent prints was a happy accident. My best friend was moving in to her very own new flat in London and I wanted to make her a special framed print, for her to hang in her new kitchen. The first thing that came to mind was her (well, our...) love for gin and how pretty much every time we hang out we're giggling over a lovely gin and tonic. So that's how this Drink More Gin print happened! I was really pleased with how eye-catching it came out, considering it's just three little words! And she loved it, which is always a nice outcome :)

North South East West
What is your favourite item in your store?
Ooh, this is a tricky one. I have a few. But right now it has to be this Watercolour Ampersand print. I think it's because it has lots a nice detailing - such as pretty paint bleeds and inky details. I painted it myself and it made me realise I should be using watercolour paints way more than I do! Sometimes it feels awesome taking a break from the Mac and cracking out the paints. I loved making that print. Another one I'm really fond of, is one of my older ones - this You are my North, South, my East, West quote print. I love the wording and really like how the illustration compliments the saying.

Watercolour Ampersand
Thankyou so much Chloe!!

Chloe has generously offered you guys 15% off all prints in her shop with the code "G8DISCO15". Be sure to go take a look - just pop the code in at checkout :)

For more NoLoveLost love, check out her blog (which is seriously gorgeous!). She also pins, tumblrs, and loves instagram!

Are you loving Chloe's work as much as me?


Artist Love: Amanda Brown

Y'all (just let me pretend I'm from the South for a minute), I haven't done an 'Artist Love' post since May of last year. That's shameful.

BUT, I am so excited to share one of my favourites with you today! I've had Amanda Brown's work in my favourites folder for a long time and was so thrilled when she agreed to let me interview her and share her work. And, she's offering my readers a discount!

Amanda runs an Etsy shop called Brown Bear Studio. She creates beautiful watercolour works, and has a series called 'the small things series', which I adore. I almost became an ophthalmologist before switching to new media, so I love art that combines some element of science. But she explains it all much better than I can, so onto the interview!

The Winter Circle

How did you come up with the name for your studio? How long has it been open? 
I started my studio when I moved to New York City a little over 2 years ago. It was sort of tongue and cheek because I didn't even have a desk to work on let alone a whole studio. The name came from my nickname Brown Bear, which I chose over my actual name which is so common.
You Betcha
Most of the prints in your shop are watercolour. What do you love/hate about using that medium?
People often see watercolor as this prim and pretty medium, but to me watercolor is wild. It goes where it wants to go creating depth and shadow where it pleases. You can guide it a bit but watercolor is the boss. Thats why I love it. I let it do its magic, help it along the way and then go back in and sort of bring order to the chaos.
What gave you the idea for your small things series? What made you want to paint microscopic forms?
When I started college, my major was biology. After an assignment which my teacher instructed us to do something original, not a paper or a research project. I made a painting of the mitosis of a plant cell. My professor actually bought it from me and I decided to change my major to art. I was more inspired by the aesthetics of them than their science, although the science inspires me too. In general my work is inspired by the macro and micro, and how they mirror each other.
Is there a cool back-story behind one of your prints?
My piece entitled "Nor'easter" was made when we were stuck inside during Hurricane Sandy. Unlike the downtown area of NYC, uptown was relatively unaffected, lucky for us, but we were still stuck inside with no place to go for a while. I was moved to make a piece inspired by weather patterns, since they were making such a big impact at that time.
What is your favourite item in your store?
What? How can I answer that? They are my babies! Ha ha ha. But really, I love all the work that is up there, that is the only way I would have to guts to show it to the world. It may not be perfect but it's my expression of what needs to be said.

Thankyou so much Amanda!! Love the story behind your 'small things series' - I adore the combination of art with science. And your comments about watercolour being wild are so true! It is a lovely medium, but you have to have such patience with it.

If you love her work as much as I do, you can check out  her Etsy shop. She also creates a free monthly calendar (here's April's) so be sure to check out her blog. You can also follow along on Facebook & Twitter for the latest updates.

Amanda has graciously offered my readers 10% off her work, just use the code GALLERY8 at checkout!
And let me know what you buy (or would like to buy) in the comments!


Smoothie Love: Pineapple Spice Cake

I posted a while back about green smoothies & my favourite recipes. And since then I've discovered a few more that I love :) I occasionally post my smoothies on Instagram, and when Tiana from l'esthetique asked for the recipe for this one I realized I hadn't shared it and thought it was high time to do so!

This is truly one of my favourite smoothies. The best way to describe how it tastes is 'tropical Christmas' haha There's the pineapple & mango to make it tropical-y and the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger combo make it Christmas-y :)

The original recipe (from Green Smoothie Revolution) called for 1/2 a pineapple but my blender couldn't hold that much with all the other ingredients. It also called for 1 whole mango, but I use frozen mango so I just do a rough cup. I use 1 or 2 bananas depending on how many bananas are in the house & need used up. And I use a packed cup of chard - I really can't taste it in the smoothie, but you could use spinach too (spinach is really tasteless in smoothies). The amount of ginger that I use varies (the original recipe calls for a 'small piece'), but it is quite strong so I try to not put too much in.

Do you think you would ever try a smoothie like this? Let me know if you try & what you think!!