Hi friends! I hope you all had a lovely relaxing 4th of July weekend. No long weekend here, but it felt long – in a good way! Sadly I had to work on the 4th and 5th, but with the US on vacay work was on the lighter side and I had plenty of time for fun. Thursday afternoon I celebrated the 4th with a picnic in the park. I got to meet a bunch of new people, and ended up having dinner with a few of them again on Friday. I’m kind of amazed at how genuinely friendly and inclusive people are here. I credit a lot of that to the fact that Toronto seems to draw people from all over – for every person I meet who was born and raised here, I’ve met 3 transplants like myself.
Saturday I joined up with my running group for a 5 miler – it’s amazing how much faster and easier a run goes while chatting with people. I’m running a half marathon in October so keeping training fun and not a chore is crucial. Post-run, I spent Saturday doing my other favorite form of cardio – shopping, obvs. Specifically, I went exploring in the Queen West neighborhood and its myriad fabric stores. Dubbed the fashion district (and currently occupied by ALL of the hipsters) Queen West is home to an endless strip of fabric shops, from the most high end with $200/yard fabric samples hanging on neat racks, to stores with tiny aisles piled to the ceiling with bolts of fabric. I found a happy medium at King Fabrics and scored some coral linen for my headboard and pink cotton for some throw pillows.
Rather than spend Saturday night sewing, I met up with my colleague Ava and her pals for some sangria followed by a night out at Beir Markt, a fun bar that I particularly enjoy given its proximity to my apartment – so close that I didn’t even mind that it was pouring when we left, and I ran the 2 blocks home in the rain.
After a snoozy Sunday morning and a leisurely coffee shop breakfast, I got down to decorating. Meet my new toy, ‘Lil Sew and Sew (adorbs, I know). For a tiny $40 sewing machine (read: super cheap) she’s pretty powerful and whipped through a couple projects.
Making that reminded me of how satisfying it is to make things from scratch, rather than just buying the finished product. My mom taught me to sew as a kid – we’d make all of my Halloween & Mardi Gras costumes together. And by we, I mean I’d generally hover while my mom did all the work. Somehow it rubbed off, and while I’m no expert I’ve got some basic skills.
First up, covering my headboard. Now, I have a pretty good track record with DIY headboards – I’ve made one for my last two apartments, and helped friends with them as well. Typically it’s a fairly significant undertaking, what with getting plywood cut, filling it out with upholstery foam and batting, topping it with a pretty fabric and stapling the whole thing together. This time I was a bit lazy and bought an Ikea bed frame that came with a soft headboard base. I obviously hated all of Ikea’s headboard covers, so I set about making my own. I simply draped the fabric over the headboard, pinned it in place, and sewed along the pins.
Where’d I get that adorable pink bow pillow you ask? Why, I made it myself! Kate Spade posted DIY instructions on their blog that seemed simple enough, so why not?
I made two little guys for my couch and a big one for my bedroom, but I ran out of stuffing! Guess I’ll have to go back…and maybe dream up a few more projects for that ‘lil sew and sew. If you’re interested in more detailed tips for the pillows or headboard assembly, let me know!
Have a great week y’all!