Fun & Easy Watercolor project for beginners

Happy beginning of spring! There’s something about longer days, filled with sunshine and above zero temps that make people happier, more optimistic and inspired to use color!

I thought I’d share a fun and easy watercolor project for beginners that is sure to boost your creative spirit and mood!

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Beautiful Moments Whilst Celebrating a Birthday!

I always say that everyone should enjoy champagne on their birthday and that I did!  But this birthday was a little bit different than all the rest.

This year, I didn't plan anything, I rather went with the flow and enjoyed being in the moment.  Leading up to my actual birth-day, I had quiet moments to contemplate where I had been, where I was going and who was by my side.

Yup! I got deep and went inward to discover that as I grow older and wiser, I am more clear about what is most important to me.  At the very core of who I am, is really about being able to enjoy beautiful moments that I spend with beautiful people.  It made me think about the experiences that I wanted to have, the relationships that I want to grow and the people that I want to spend more time with!  

In essence, it's having more time to enjoy beautiful experiences with beautiful people! Easy right?! 

We live in such a busy, fast paced society that I am actually tired of talking about how busy we are and how time flies, and sometimes feel so overwhelmed with what I "have" to do, that I shy away from doing fun stuff! So these past few days, whilst celebrating my latest birthday, I chose to live in the moment, enjoy my hectic but beautiful life and the life around me, knowing that another year has made me more wise, a little more confidant, and connected to what is truly important to me - enjoying beautiful experiences with beautiful people!

Here's a peak at just a few fun experiences that we enjoyed this past weekend!

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For years I wanted to attend Nuit Blanche in Toronto.  Once a year, for one night from sunset-to-sunrise, Toronto comes to life through an all night, contemporary art exhibit featuring installations from artists from around the world. This past weekend, the family and I were able to enjoy the event together ...with the other million or so visitors.IMG_8939

Garden Tower by Tadashi Kawamata was the first on our stop of the dozen or so installations that we planned to visit. I was amazed by the sheer height, amount of chairs used to create this tower and couldn't help but think, hmmm, I'd like one or two of those chairs for my dining room table!  Remember, it's contemporary art...

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Ai Weiwei, Forever Bicycles' was the headliner of the event and standing in and amongst the piece, I understood why!!  3,144 bicycles lined up beautifully, lit from underneath and easily enjoyed from every angle.  

IMG_8960The metal, the geometric shapes, and the sheer size of this installation was breathtaking.  Watching other people's reactions to the piece was beautiful.  It was so structured, hard lines, and yet, it was playful as people enjoyed spinning the wheels, crawling in and around the piece.  It was very cool!

IMG_8962Then there was Clothesline Canopy, where a group of artist strung 5,000 pairs of socks from various clotheslines, thus creating a canopy that we slowly strolled under.

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We quite enjoyed this installation and although I didn't quite "get it" at the time, I remember how I felt walking through and underneath, and touching the socks as we walked past.  It was playful. The lighting and trees made it feel cozy. Later I read that each pair of socks represent the amount of people without adequate housing in Toronto.  Crazy that with all of the development happening in the city that there isn't enough options for people who need basic shelter. {food for thought}

IMG_8972This canopy created shelter and comfort for us as we walked through - very powerful.

Then there is art and beauty of another kind...horse at the fair ... these amazing, stunning, majestic horses we got to meet at the local Fair.  Love at first sight.

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I'm not necessarily a fan of horses, but these were stunning and had quite the personality - from trying to eat a tassel from my purse, to kissing my daughter on top of her head!!  IMG_8933How about that pink spot!!? 

Fair A ride on the ferris wheel offered a fab view of the colourful trees, and fields in the distance.  

What I loved most about this weekend and this birthday in particular, is that it reminded me to be in the moment, go with the  flow and enjoy beautiful moments with beautiful people year around. 

Oh, and yes and of course, the champagne for breakfast, the sparkly gifts, and beautiful messages made it yet another great celebration.  Cheers to another year to grow wiser and to more beautiful moments to enjoy and share!

Nicki

x

Here's my Secret to Getting Happy Fast!!

Imagine this... you walk in your front door and you notice that school bags are thrown onto the floor, your foyer rug is crooked and needs replacing, there's nothing on the walls in front of you to inspire or welcome you home.  You continue on past your living room and you notice the pillows on the couch have seen better days, there is "stuff" strewn all over the coffee table and you are reminded that you need to spend a few days, if not weeks de-cluttering.  You continue on into the kitchen where dishes are left to fossilize on the counter and sink, the milk has been left out and you have to clean up before you can even think of getting dinner started.

How do you feel?

Sit with that for a moment.

Now,

imagine this....

you walk in your front door and you notice that the school bags are left on the floor, next to them, is a neat, bright rug, you look up and there is a beautiful art print on the wall listing your family rules *it makes you smile*.  You continue on past your living room, your bold pillows make you sigh and the inspiring photography books and gardening magazines remind you that you'll be relaxing and enjoying those soon enough.  You continue on into the kitchen, alas, fossilized dishes remain on the counter, but as you flip on the light switch in the kitchen, that orb light fixture that you just had to have illuminates the kitchen and inspires you to cook up something healthy and nourishing - just as soon as you pour yourself a glass of white and tidy up the kitchen.

Which one is closest to how you feel when you arrive home?

Do you even notice how you feel when you walk into your home, a room, your space?!  Or do you not look for fear of all that you want to change?!

Here's my secret to getting happy fast!

I've been known to change and re-arrange furniture ... a lot.

It makes me happy when I've swapped a table runner, or cushion covers, or even moved the couches around.

It instantly shifts energy, I feel like I'm in a fresh environment and it inspires me to de-clutter a little bit.  I'm of the mindset that your environment affects your mood, your productivity and your happiness level - being happy is at the top of my list!

It doesn't have to mean a huge renovation, or a time consuming project, simple touches are where the bang for your buck is.

My biggest secret to getting happy fast is to frame a piece of art and change it up every now and then.  My mood changes, my inspiration changes, and so does my art work.

Here are a few examples of some ways that I use art in my own home.

Photography art{Our own photos from Paris which we took on a recent trip that we cropped and framed.  It reminds us of our great adventure together.}

Kitchen art display{This is my kitchen shelf that gets switched up the most!  These are all my pieces and they remind me to be creative everyday.  I like the pop of colour in a neutral space too}

Kid's Room Art{I've installed a few floating picture rails in my daughter's room where she can place knick knacks and her most recent creations!}

Living Room Art{Using a piece of furniture like this antique desk that I refinished and painted black, adds interest to a corner in our living room.  Place a few great pieces on it and around it and it makes for a great stage to re-decorate as often as you like! It even doubles as a bar when we are entertaining!}

For more art ideas, visit the art shop and have a poke around.

What do you do to change up your space?  Do you have any tips to share?  I'd love to hear from you.

P.S. {If you think this post will help a friend make a few tweaks to their space and inspire them too, please share it!}

Nicki xo