Fresh Ice Cream Anyone?

Did you miss me yesterday?  I was confined to my basement, because yesterday called for some art time. Sometimes I just love spending days in a quiet space, alone with my thoughts and tools.  There is really nothing like creating something from a blank canvas, and then admiring your creation when it's finally done.  No one knows the technique you used, the hiccups you may have encountered, the choices you made during execution, or the feeling behind a piece of artwork but you... and I like that bit of mystery.  There is something so personal and soothing at the end of painting.

I'm on a kick of creating these vintage style signs... and what better way of celebrating summer than with an homage to ice cream!

This was once again painted on a wood canvas with my brand spankin new paints.  I am happy with this one... I actually think the photo does it no justice because it is much crisper and more vibrant in real life... lighting in photos does strange things sometimes.

Now here's a question for you all... If I were to sell some prints of my art, such as this one, priced from about $20-$60 (depending on the size) would you purchase them? Honest opinions are encouraged! Leave me a comment and let me know :)

I am off to sun myself in the backyard and enjoy this beautiful Saturday!
xox Dana


Bedroom Tour

I know that you are all dying to see where "the magic happens".... ok really I just had nothing else to blog about today, so I decided to take you on a tour of my bedroom!! Yippee!!

My bedroom is the result of some intense planning and hunting for the perfect items. Seriously, I thought up most of the furniture and decor in my head and then set out to find it. Of course, I had no idea if such things even existed but I came pretty darn close to what I had initially pictured.  Without further ado... Benny and I will take you on a tour of the bedroom...

So if you can already tell, I'm a tiny bit obsessed with french provincial and chandeliers...

That headboard is my FIFTH CHILD! (the pets come first, obvi).  It came all the way over from the UK, and let me tell you, it was definitely an experience obtaining it. First of all, it's from the UK so right away it's like a million times more expensive than anything here, but I didn't care because it was perfection!  Secondly, the shipping took about 3 months and I had to have special people pick it up along the way, hand deliver it to the customs offices, go to said customs offices hours away just to sign for it, and then have a special delivery service send it to my house because there was no way that thing was fitting in my trunk.  I didn't even get to unwrap it for a couple of months because we were in the process of moving and I didn't want to get it dirty. Can you imagine? Waiting for something sooo long and then not opening it until months later?  It was worse than finding hidden Christmas presents.

All of the other furniture was found from classified ads or garage sales. The bed set is Martha Stewart.  The colours are all white, teal and turquoise. The walls are painted a grey/blue... sorry I have no idea what the actual name of it is because it was custom matched to the wallpaper that covers a wall with a big window in the middle.

The dress form lady holds all of my necklaces.  I gave her some clothes, and actually got that furry vest just for her!

I love my bedroom. It's actually pretty large and there are some less attractive things I left out, such as the TV mounted on the wall, the bathroom, and my walk-in dungeon closet, but you get the idea ;)

EDIT: ok ok, bonus pic....

xox Dana


Feeling Like a Superstar

Hi everyone! A couple of things today!

1)  I am guest posting over at {just.lovely.things} right now! Visit Heather's blog, where I take you through a photo tour of my little town as a part of her special "Hang In My Hood"feature!  I hope you like what I shared with you!

2) My Vintage Pop Shop Crate tutorial is featured over at Just Sew Sassy today, along with some super sweet words about me! I am feeling the love today! Be sure to stop by and show them some love too!

3)  I gave my lovely sponsor friend Acute Designs a blog makeover last night!  Check it out and let me know what you think!  This was my first design job out here in bloggy land, which I plan on offering more of. I own a graphic and web design company which keeps me pretty busy, in case you didn't know.  Once I have a free moment from that work, you might just see some blog design services posted up here. In the meantime, if you're interested in a little blog makeover, header, or banner design, just shoot me an email for pricing.

If you haven't added me on Facebook yet, plleeease do :)  Almost at the 900 mark and would loooove to see you there! Also don't forget to 'join my site' with Google Friend Connect on the right sidebar!!

xo Dana


Can we be friends?

Remember when you were little and making a new friend was as easy as simply asking another person if they wanted to be friends?  Why can't it be that simple for adults?  If you dare try that line on an adult, I can almost guarantee that they will either a) think you're a huge weirdo/creep b) think you are joking, or c) graciously accept your offer but never actually become a friend.

The only place that requesting to be someone's "friend" actually works is in the online world via Facebook or other social networking sites.  Even then, you do not usually become real life bffs if your request is accepted. I'm talking about movie nights, sleepovers, 'come over just to cheer you up when you're down' friends.

Why?  Is it that adults are too busy with their adult lives now to make time for new friends, or that they are too judgmental about the whole idea of a new friend entering their circle?  I am mostly talking about girls here.  We are so quick to judge people when we meet them (especially other females), whether we know it or it's subconscious. It's because of that I almost feel like making a new friend or attempting to enter an existing group of friends is just as tough, if not tougher, than entering the dating world.

Most of the friends I have are friends I met through other friends.  Now that I live farther away, it is tough to see them, and because of that a few friendships have faded.  I don't know anyone in this town besides a few random people, but I have absolutely no idea how to go about creating a brand new circle of friends... and part of me hesitates. I am unsure of myself being able to be a good friend in return, and how much I want to share with someone new.  I miss goofy girls' nights, road trips, and just having a friend to laugh with, but at the same time I wonder if that part of my life has simply passed.

If we all had the mentality in the friendship department that we had back when we were children, think about how easy it would be to accept new friends into our lives.

What do you do to make new friends?  Would you consider yourself judgmental of potential new bff candidates?

all photos via pinterest.


Friday Night Rewind

Friday night started off pretty normal. D and I made a campfire out back while we waited for his friend to arrive from Michigan.  I roasted marshmallows as usual while D kept the fire going by cutting up 2x4s with a hand saw... yes that's how we roll. Even though our backyard is a forest, for some reason he insists on cutting up 2x4s the whole night.

Sorry for crappy cell phone pics...

I was cuddling my little Bear and we were having a good goofy time. Soon after, I noticed Bear just standing there with his back towards me. I told him to "come" to me and he didn't move. I proceeded to walk him around the fire pit towards the house, and suddenly my little Bear was not at all himself.  He stood there, his legs wobbling like he was about to faint.  His eyes looked glassy and tired. I picked him up and put him on the deck. I wasn't sure what was wrong with him but I knew something was up because I have never seen that look in his eyes before.

He sat down on the deck and I poured some cold water on his head, thinking that maybe he was too hot or something.  The whole time I was holding his head up because he looked like he was about to fall right over.  Then he threw up, and pooped at the same time. Something else I had never seen him do before. We brought him inside and laid him on the cool tile floor. He just laid there, panting and so sad looking, as I pet him and squirted water in his mouth with a syringe.

I was scared. I didn't know what to do and I had no idea if he should be taken to an animal hospital or not, and if he were to go, I had no idea where the closest one was.  Did he eat something poisonous outside?  Was he overheated?  I curled up on the floor with him with tears in my eyes and wished for him to get better fast.  I kept talking to him and telling him I loved him and he was going to be ok (because I like to believe he can actually understand me... ;)) and did all the things that I would have done for a human... got him a cold cloth for his head, made him try to drink water, etc.  I had no idea if these things would make a dog feel better or not, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to try... and I couldn't just NOT do anything.

After about half an hour of laying there together, I got up to get something from another room. The little sweet boy pulled himself up out of his sickly state and followed me.  I was so happy!  He was moving again!  I sat with him some more on the carpet of our living room and he instantly started to look better.  He even started drinking the water I was providing for him out of the syringe. I'm pretty sure he thought it was a fun way to drink, because he wouldn't touch the water directly out of the bowl.

Then one of our neighborhood friends knocked at the door. Bear was back to his old self and ran to the door to greet him.  I was shocked at how fast he recovered from his random bout of deathly sickness.

This morning, I went out to the fire pit to clean up a bit. What did I find on the ground where I first noticed him being wobbly? My marshmallow stick with some marshmallow goo on the top.  I then put it together... the little guy was eyeballing my marshmallows all night long, and had probably tried to eat the goo on the top of my leftover stick.

The moral of this story: never give a dog a marshmallow.

Bonus fact: one of my nicknames for Bear has always been little marshmallow.
I'm just glad he's back to normal. I don't know what I would do without that little face.
xox dana


It's a cover up... How to make an iPad cover tutorial

Happy Friday!  Are you as happy as I am that it's almost the weekend?  In honor of that, I thought I would leave you with a little weekend project.... Custom iPad/Kindle/Whatever case!

I literally just threw this together, and it was all done on a trial and error basis, but I think it turned out ok!  It is plush, thick, and protects it from scratches. I created this cover for my iPad, so if you're making one for another device, measure it first.

Originally, I was going to use a pattern created by somebody else, but a lot of the patterns on the net called for some kind of thick batting or auto foam stuff.. and let's face it, I just don't have that laying around. Although, I could have just pieced one together like this guy... (how cute is it when men craft? LOL)  But I wanted something not made with tape, so I decided to use multiple pieces of felt as my batting and here's how it all happened:

You will need:
  • 5 or 6 pieces of felt sized 9x12
  • Pretty Fabric slightly larger than your felt
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Velcro
  • Any embellishments you like

First, I grabbed three pieces of felt and a graphic fabric. The standard size 9x12 felt sheets are just the right size for an iPad.

Then, you want to stack your felt sheets and place them on top of the wrong side your graphic fabric. Wrap the edges of the graphic fabric around the edges of the felt as pictured and pin.  Then sew all edges!

This will be one side of your completed cover.  It should look like this when you're done...kind of like a placemat...

All 4 edges should be stitched.  Take your other pieces of felt (I used 3 sheets on the above step and 2 sheets for this step... the more you add the thicker your cover will be) and cut off about an inch and a half from one side like so:

Sew the felt pieces together on this shorter end so it looks a bit finished. The graphic part in the photo on the right will be your fold over flap.

Now, pin the "right" sides of your fabric and felt together, face to face, leaving the 1 1/2" space at the top of one side.  Sew along the edges, just inside of the initial stitching on the graphic patterned piece. Leave the finished edge open.

Flip that sucker inside out (or is it right side in?)... the first picture is demonstrating the flipping haha. Anyways, here's what you should have:

Now that it was flipped the right way, I wanted to fix the sides of the top flap, so I just folded them in a bit more and sewed them down.  Then, I grabbed some velcro and stuck it on. I actually attempted to sew this, but my sewing machine did not like it one bit. The stickiness of the adhesive seems to be tough enough though.

That's pretty much it! You can add whatever you want to it now. I added some lace to the flap because I wanted it to extend a little longer. Here it is! It fits my iPad perfectly, and I didn't even have to properly measure anything!

If I were to do this again, I think the only thing I would do differently is make my fabric slightly longer so that the flap sits more in the center of the cover. What do you think of my first random iPad cover attempt?

xo Dana


We take back everything we said about you

Have you noticed anything different here? If you've checked out my sidebar you would notice I have added some lovely new sponsor friends!  Check out each of their sites, they are all wonderful!

I am happy because I can finally also share with you my latest plush creation... This one was made for D's cousin for her high school graduation.  I wasn't able to share it earlier because I wasn't sure if she would see it or not if I posted! Now that she has received it though, the secret is up!

A cute little graduation unicorn!  I created this one with my usual felt, some vintage houndstooth fabric, and even made a little grad hat with a tassle!  His sash can snap right off by the little snap button I added just in case she gets tired of staring at "2011".  I like this one quite well :)

I'm feeling giving today... so I've created a coupon code for you all to use in my shopGet 15% off your purchase with code:

Bonus points if you can name the song in this blog title ;)

xo dana

today i am linking up with:
Tickled Pink at 504 Main


Thank You Mr. Mailman!

I was so excited when I heard the doorbell ring today and standing there was Mr. Purolator man!  Horray for mail!  I was excited because my art supplies had arrived!  This may not seem like a big deal to most of you, but when you haven't purchased new supplies since highschool, all of your existing supplies are scattered somewhere in your mother's basement, and you finally have an area suitable to create artwork, you would be just as happy as I was!

New paints, mediums, brushes, and boards! Now are you ready for a laugh?

My "suitable area" to create artwork is not really that suitable... It's basically just a tiny area in our unfinished basement, by a window. The lighting down there is so poor, so I pulled my stuff up to the only workable window.  My workspace?  It's an old drafting table and I am using that antique chest/ottoman thing for a seat for now.... because I'm classy like that.

Is this not pathetic?! Haha.  I feel like I deserve my own custom created space... and better lighting. I've been planning out a craft/art room the past little while and am definitely going to make this my top priority. 

(those Rheotech paints.. yeah, they're from highschool... and yes I still use them! talk about long lasting!)

I have some ideas but would love to hear if you have any too!  What should be included in my future arts and crafts room?

I am also still accepting a couple more blog swappees... free advertising on here for a month anyone? 

Bonus pic: Tilly made herself comfortable as soon as I pulled the bubble wrap out of the box:

Happy hump day!
xo dana


Blog Banner Swap

Hello lovelies!!  So, I just decided to start a banner swap for one month.  

What is a banner swap? It's when two blogs (mine, and yours!) swap sidebar banners with each other... Think of it as free advertising for a month!


Right now, I am accepting "swapees" (new word) to be featured on my blog for a whole month! If you feel that your blog would be of interest to my readers, please email me dana@thewonderforest.com with subject line "BLOG SWAP" by July 25th and let me know:

  • Your name
  • Your blog name
  • Your blog URL
  • and send a banner ad sized at 180px wide by 150px high.

If I feel that your blog is a good match for mine, I would love to feature your button on my site!   I will only be selecting 10 or so banners... but everyone is welcome to send me a submission!  Once I choose them all they will go up! I will be placing this section closer to the top of my sidebar so you all get maximum exposure.

What do you have to do?  All that is required is that you grab one of my buttons and put it in your blog sidebar too! This is a swap after all ;) I can create custom sized ones if you need.

I also just created some brand new banners that you can put on your blogs... just scroll down my right sidebar to check them out! They have transparent backgrounds so work well on any colour blog.  Hope to hear from you soon!

xo Dana


When life gives you lemons...

Here is my finished painting that I mentioned I created over the weekend. It's a simple reminder to myself to look for the positive in situations.  "When life gives you lemons... Make lemonade!".  For some reason I had this image in my head for the past few days and a strong desire to make a vintage looking sign.  It measures 12"x20" and is painted on a wood board.... because apparently when I have no canvas or surfaces to paint I dig around my garage for a suitable blank slate!

I haven't painted in a while so this was my motivation to get back into it. There are some things I would have liked to do, and some I would have done differently, but all in all I think it turned out ok. I am my own worst critic! Vintage was what I was going for though, and I am happy with it. :)  It looks great in our house too!

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
xo Dana

p.s the winner of my $25 Shop Credit giveaway is....

Congrats Rebecca! Please check your email!!!


Ending the week... or starting a new one?

*sigh*. I hate Sundays... I mean I love Sundays... but I hate being reminded that it's the end of the weekend.  I wish weekends were longer so I could get more stuff done!

I really wanted to get a project post done for you lovely readers, but wasn't able to finish in time. I've currently got a couple of things on the go... the first being this painting I was suddenly inspired to create. I started working on it yesterday and am almost finished.

The other thing I am in the process of making over is that antique wood chest/ottoman/whatever it is from this post (first pic). By the way, does anyone even know what this is? It is a square box, and the lid lifts up. There are little wheels on the bottom, but it seems too high to be an ottoman... and too square to be a chest. Anyways, that will be getting a makeover shortly. I ordered some lovely fabric for the top of it today!

I've also been planning the layout of our basement. We are nowhere near ready to start finishing our basement yet, however, I am totally ready to start working on a craft room down there. My crafting supplies are scattered all over the house and my sewing machine currently resides in our bedroom. I've been trying to pick the best place to put it and I think I finally figured it all out!

Lastly, I have a huge amount of picture frames to refinish and hang.  I am running out of wall space for those though, and may have to wait until the craft room is complete so I can hang them in there!

Anyways, stay tuned for my completed painting... I will post it very soon when it's done!!

Here are a few things that I am totally loving lately:

Starfish Hair Clip via ShepherdoftheSea

Starfish hair clips... I love these lately. Why would you NOT want to feel like a mermaid!?

The custom shoe creator thingie over at Keds.com!  I have been playing with this way too much haha. I made these shoes to match my blog! How cute are they!?

via just.lovely.things

Headbands from just.lovely.things. I recently got my hands on this one! I love Heather and you should too!

Umm i WANT HIM!!!!  Seriously, someone find me one of these dogs. Couldn't you just eat him up!!? ah! 

Finally, I am loving THIS.  "Still" is a book compiled by all of the ladies from the Female Photographers of Etsy team and it is GORGEOUS!  Bonus: It includes a couple of my photographs ;)  It comes in 4 different styles, from hardcover to softcover which range in price. Pick one up if you love looking at beautiful photography!!!

By the way, my GIVEAWAY ends tomorrow so be sure to enter fast!!

That's all for today friends!
What did you get up to this weekend, and what are YOU currently loving??
xo Dana


Stuff you probably don't know...

Well, it's Friday and in the spirit of taking it easy, I thought it was the perfect opportunity for you to get to know me better!  So here are some random things about me that most people don't know:

I have a major designer denim addiction, and can name every style and wash of each brand in my closet.

I don't do heels.

I need to put on my makeup every day or I feel so naked! Even if I'm not doing anything. I just don't feel like myself without it... and I think that's totally ok.

My favourite clothing brand is Wildfox and I have about a billion of their pieces.

I have TMJ so it's really annoying to eat sometimes because my jaw is always CLICK CLICK CLICKING on one side.

I've been growing my hair colour out for about a year now. my roots are about 8 inches long. this is the first time in 14 years i've seen my natural colour. So if my hair looks funky you now know why.

My hair is also naturally super super straight and I hate the fact that everyone else seems to have some lovely natural waves because it makes me feel left out!

My favourite artist is Mark Ryden.

I used to have five ferrets.  I was kind of obsessed with ferrets.  They all died of cancers or adrenal gland disease (ferrets are prone to this happening). :(

For breakfast I usually eat Special K with bananas in it.

My favourite fast-food is Mr. Sub.  I used to work at Subway and totally sided with the enemy.

I love adventure video games (nerd alert)

My favourite nail polish colour is turquoise of course!

Your turn!! Leave a comment and share something about yourself that most people might not know!

p.s. don't forget to enter my $25 giveaway if you haven't yet!


The Pop Shop Vintage Crate DIY

Of course you know that I love free stuff, but right next to free is .25 cents and I can sure deal with that as well!

If I told you that this vintage soda pop crate only cost me .25 cents, would you believe it!?

Well guess what, thanks to a little garage sale digging, and some at-home supplies it did, and I'm going to show you how to create your own .25 cent masterpiece. Alright, I can't guarantee that yours will cost only .25 cents as well, that all depends on what you have at home already. ;)  Talk about a burst of motivation today!

I found this handmade shelf thing at a garage sale for (you guessed it) .25 cents!  Sure, the workmanship was a little sloppy, but I kind of liked it that way.  When I got it home I spray painted it with one coat of Rustoleum white and scuffed up the edges. It was just bare untouched wood before. Oh my that sounded slightly risqué.... moving on....

It kind of reminded me of one of those old pop crates that they used to use back in the day, so I grabbed my handy dandy Cricut machine and set out on my new project.  I used my Plantin Schoolbook cartridge to cut out the letters that would be my new stencil.  I set them at about 2.5" tall.  If you don't have one of these magic machines, you can always just use a stencil or cut your own!

When my little bug dude stopped cutting, I peeled the paper away to reveal my new stencil.  (make sure to keep the inside pieces of the O's and P's, etc. because you will need them!)

Then I cut out the words and taped them onto the side of my shelf.  This is where you'll want to tape the middle of your P's and O's down too.

Next, I grabbed a trusty old stamp pad and a rag and went to work. Immediately I loved the look that the ink was giving the letters. Just like old vintage letters were stamped on the side of the crate!  I dabbed and scrubbed the ink in lightly.

When I was done I was so excited to peel the stencil off to see my creation!  Here we go....


All this shelf/crate needed now were some hooks to hang it by.... I snagged these off of an old picture frame and screwed them into the top:

Then the fun part came... hanging it and filling it up!!

Easy as pie!! No one will ever know it only cost me .25 cents!  I now challenge you to make your own for .25 cents or less!!

xo Dana
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