29 Oct 2013

New Adventures

Things have been a little quiet around here lately, and it's because behind the scenes I've been busily working at setting up a brand spankin' new photography business.  It's a little bit nutty, and a little bit of a leap of faith, but the timing is right for us right now and I feel confident in this next move for me and my family.  I've been building my portfolio, building a website, doing all of the business-y type things (i.e. accounting!) and lots and lots of photo editing...but mostly, I've been having a total blast.  I'll admit it, I am a sucker for being busy.  Add in photos and I am pretty much a girl in love.

So, let me officially introduce you to Fiddle Leaf Photography.

I am specializing in documentary/lifestyle type photography, which means unposed real-life sessions.  My passion is capturing life as it is.  I love helping people tell their story - their true and authentic story, through photos.  Let's embrace how we are today in the here and now, and remember what made these times special.  

I still truly believe that there is a space for more traditional portraits. In fact, I have many of them up on my walls from amazing photographers, but it's not what I love photographing.  Capturing life as it unfolds is what I love.  And usually while just hanging out with people, I am able to capture a few casual portraits too. 

If you are interested in learning more about Fiddle Leaf Photography, I'd love it if you checked out my fancy new website

Fiddle Leaf Photography. Edmonton Photographer

I have also set up a Facebook page where I will be sharing my latest sessions and other random shots from my life (like the snow we received this weekend - NOT ready for that!).  If you like my photography, I'd love it if you follow along there too by liking the page.  :)

Fiddle Leaf Photography. Edmonton Photographer

I've also finally joined the world of Instagram!!! I know, it's about time. Some of you have been asking me for quite a while why I haven't joined the revolution. My honest answer has always been that I couldn't handle one more form of social media.  The pictures I take on a daily basis aren't always DIY related, so it didn't make sense for me to make an account for this blog. With the launch of this new business though, it has been a perfect match and has allowed me to connect with not only clients, but also other photographers.  If you would like to follow me, I am fiddleleafphoto.  BUT, you have to promise to bear with me as I figure out this whole new insta-world.  Hashtags still sort of stress me out! 

This does not mean that I am leaving DIY behind. Oh no, no, no....have you seen the house that we have to tackle?  We have about a bazillion projects to still do.  In fact, just this weekend, I put the finishing touches on the main bathroom and will hopefully have a reveal for you later this week.  I will also still be posting my Week's End posts with my pics from the week.  If you do follow me in multiple places you might see the odd pic twice though.  I am also still working my corporate job, taking care of my munchkin and hanging out with my hubby...so you know, about a million things. Basically what I am trying to say, is that if things go quiet here time and again, that's why.  I think I've finally settled to the fact that life is about ebbing and flowing and to just let it go and let it happen - everything usually balances out in the end.

If you are local to the Edmonton area and are interested is chatting to discuss a possible session, I'd love to hear from you!   Please connect with me via Facebook or through the contact form on my website.  Mention that you visited from A Swell Place to Dwell for 10% off any session booked before December 31. 

Thanks friends!  Have a great rest of your day.




27 Oct 2013

The Week's End - October 27, 2013

The Week's End - October 27, 2013

The Week's End - October 27, 2013

The Week's End - October 27, 2013

The Week's End - October 27, 2013

The Week's End - October 27, 2013

The Week's End - October 27, 2013

Our new chair arrived....and it's so great! 

23 Oct 2013

My Bathroom & Duct Tape: A Match Made In Snake Skin Heaven!

You guys...this is why I love blogging.  After I published my post last week about my painted bathroom vanity, in which I had forgot to tile the toe kick, Amber from Wills Casa left me a comment asking if I had seen the toe kick over at Oh Joy! that Emily Henderson did.  Well, no, I hadn't.  How I hadn't is still beyond me, because it's one amazing toe kick as far as toe kicks go.  And then my wheels started turning and all of a sudden my vinyl tiled toe kick was starting to seem pretty sad and pathetic. I needed a snazzy toe kick! Pronto!

Enter my new love....

Snake Skin Duct Tape

Snake skin printed Duct Tape. This stuff will change your life. It's amazing.

I picked up my roll of awesomeness at Target for just over $5.  I came home, dropped the bags at the front door and ran upstairs with my duct tape. And in under 5 minutes (serious...that's even with sweeping out the random dust bunnies), I had this.

Snake Skin Duct Tape Toe Kick

Fancy Duct Tape...where have you been all my life?

It took 2 rows of duct tape and I was done. I let the edges overhang and then just cut them off with an X-Acto knife. Is it alright to love a project this simple this much?  I love how it looks with the black vanity and with the speckles in the peel & stick tile.

Snake Skin Duct Tape Toe Kick

I loved it so much that I could stop there. I was a duct taping fool.

I had been debating what to do with the ugly light fixture for quite a while.  


A new fixture wasn't in the budget (plus...let's be honest, I didn't want to haul the spackle and paint out again either!), so I was thinking I'd take it off the wall and spray paint it and then just hang it back up.  But while I was standing there with the tape in my hand I had another idea.

And...about an hour later....I had this.

Snake Skin Duct Tape Light Fixture #ducttape

It took a bit of finagling and quite a bit of cutting, but I was able to work the tape around the light sockets.  I did strips of tape going from top to bottom, starting at one edge and working my way down.  I decided to leave the socket parts brass so that I didn't risk the tape getting too hot.  

Snake Skin Duct Tape Light Fixture #ducttape

It was a bit of a hot sweaty task, and I did incur a few lightbulb burns, but all in all it was really a pretty simple project. And one that came in under $6 (including the toe kick!). 

Want to see it with the lights on? Sure you do!

Snake Skin Duct Tape Light Fixture #ducttape

I can't show you the whole bathroom just yet...but here's how it looks with a tiny bit of the shower curtain.

Snake Skin Duct Tape Light Fixture #ducttape

I didn't get as much done as I had hoped to over the weekend, but at least I have a bit of snake skin in my life now.  I've been busy working on new business ventures and of course the set up always takes longer than I expect (why can't websites just build themselves??). More details to come shortly.


Happy Hump Day!


p.s. this is not a sponsored post and the people at 3M have no idea who I am :)


20 Oct 2013

The Week's End - October 20, 2013

The Week's End - October 20, 2013

The Week's End - October 20, 2013

The Week's End - October 20, 2013

The Week's End - October 20, 2013

The Week's End - October 20, 2013

The Week's End - October 20, 2013

The Week's End - October 20, 2013

The Week's End - October 20, 2013

18 Oct 2013

Living Room Progress

We have been in the new house for a month now and I still feel like we are living in chaos most days. We always tend to have lofty ideas of how much we will be able to get done, but in reality, little things take so much longer than you expected. The living room is still very much a work in progress, but we have made some serious headway (i.e. actually hung art!!). 

Living Room at ASwellPlacetoDwell.com

Most of the furniture was in the living room in the old house, but we have been able to add a few other pieces since this room is much bigger than in our old house.

We had originally thought the white credenza would go up in the loft, but then we carried it in from the moving truck and decided against it! Moving that sucker up the stairs would have resulted in much swearing and a few dents, I am sure.  I am glad we left it in the living room though as I really think it anchors that big wall.

Living Room at ASwellPlacetoDwell.com

I also like that it's a big space for me to display a few things. 

Living Room at ASwellPlacetoDwell.com

When my grandma passed away my Mom brought that teak frame home for me. It is still filled with the old photos she had in it. I thought I'd replace the picture with one of my own, but the longer I have it up like this the more I sort of like. That's me in the middle :)

Living Room at ASwellPlacetoDwell.com

Our photo books and some wedding mementos have made it to this area as well. 

This is the view from the dining room into the living room.  

Living Room at ASwellPlacetoDwell.com

We picked up the lamp with the green and blue shade at Ikea.  I had a hack in mind for it and gave it a shot, but I didn't like how it looked so I took the whole thing apart.  DIYs don't always succeed....
I think I might use some spray paint or my sprayer and still do something with the black. 

Living Room at ASwellPlacetoDwell.com

I moved the couch in front of the window.  It's the Ikea Kivik sofa that we got in the as-is section a few years back for a steal. For the $300 or so that we paid for it, that sucker has held up amazingly well.  The cushion covers all come off and can be washed.  Love that.

The window still needs casing (and the floors need baseboard!), but I've already whined here about how long that process is taking! I bought the curtain rod at Ikea and then put some sheers up that I bought at Urban Barn (during one of their amazing sales!!). I didn't like any of the finials at Ikea, so I need to come up with some sort of DIY project for that. My thought is that once the casing is up, I will add some bamboo roman shades too.  Oh, and the trees are scheduled to come out in a few weeks...can't wait!!!

Living Room at ASwellPlacetoDwell.com

The little brown table used to live in our entry.  Above it I put my 2 Lucy Snowe Guinea Hen prints (that used to hang here) in Ikea Ribba frames. (If you love the Guinea Hens, Lucy still has them for sale in her shop.) Beside the table is my vintage sewing kit. I love that sewing kit to pieces.

Living Room at ASwellPlacetoDwell.com

I don't really like the twigs or the lamp there, but they are just sort of filling space until I figure things out.  I am thinking that a pendant lamp swagged in from the corner might be the answer.  This room doesn't have a ceiling light, so it needs lots of lamps.  I am also thinking of adding a sofa table between the couch and the window, so that might be a place for more lamps.

The coffee table is a trunk that I bought at Pier 1 years back.  On it I've put a candle, a few coasters and my Peaches and Fred tray.  I can honestly say that it's one of my favourite vintage finds ever (you can read about it here).  We might just have to celebrate their 50th anniversary in a few weeks!

Living Room at ASwellPlacetoDwell.com

In the opposite corner is my work station.  The desk is working great and I am so happy that I added that stripe.

Living Room at ASwellPlacetoDwell.com

There is a great big empty spot on the corner of the rug that needs to be filled.  Mr. Swell has been dreaming of this chair for years, and we decided it would look great in this spot. Stay tuned...maybe it will live with us soon.

So there you have it! The living room as it is right now.  I love that this a truly adult room that isn't consumed by toys.  It's still kid friendly, but when Fin goes to bed, it's nice to have an adult space that feels slightly sophisticated.  I also love that there is no TV in this room.

I've got a busy DIY weekend ahead of me.  I hope to be able to finish up the bathroom and do some clean up in the yard.  What are you up to?


16 Oct 2013

A Painted Bathroom Vanity

Did everyone have a good weekend? I know, the weekend was about a million years ago, wasn't it? It was Thanksgiving here in Canada last weekend, so we had Monday off which is making me all messed up this week! But, I was thankful for the extra day off, and some seriously beautiful weather.  Reality is hitting that winter is on its way, but for now I will enjoy the days that are still semi-warm.

If you ask Mr. Swell, I bet he'd tell you that all he did on the weekend was hang baseboard and casing. Seriously...it seems like the never ending project. But, we are getting there.  While he was working on that I finished painting the vanity in the main bathroom.

I showed you a couple of weeks ago how the bathroom was looking.

main bath before

It was coming along, but I had a vision of a shiny black vanity to go with the shower curtain and the black stripe on the ceiling.

And now I have it.

Painter's Touch High Gloss Black on bathroom vanity  #paint #bathroom

It's amazing what a couple coats of paint can do!

I took the doors off and used my paint sprayer on them. 2 coats of Painter's Touch high gloss black. The cabinets weren't shiny, so I just gave them a good cleaning and then went ahead with the paint - no primer. I used a brush on the cabinet base.  

Painter's Touch High Gloss Black on bathroom vanity  #paint #bathroom

For the price ($14/qt), this paint is seriously amazing. No brush strokes! 

Also, these pictures are reminding me that I forgot to add vinyl tiles on the toe kick! Oops. 

Painter's Touch High Gloss Black on bathroom vanity  #paint #bathroom

I decided to keep the old hardware. It was so unique and I like how the white pops now against the black. 

Painter's Touch High Gloss Black on bathroom vanity  #paint #bathroom

At the rate I am going, I think it might almost be doable to do this bathroom for just over $100. I have a DIY art project in the works and then I just need to shop my house unpacked boxes for some accessories. 

Switching topics slightly, I want to give a huge thanks to those of you who participated in the Pumpkin Parade on Friday.  Some seriously great projects and lots of pumpkin inspiration. The 12 of us who hosted the parade are each featuring a pumpkin today.  You guys know I like bling and glitter so my choice was easy.


I chose the ombre glitter pumpkin from Dani at Life Over Easy that was published by Shauna at Satori Design for Living.  I love how it's not traditional Halloween, but would still pair perfectly with some shivery silver skulls and black bats.  If you love the glitter pumpkin too, please make sure to pin direct from Satori Design for Living

You can check out the other 11 blogs to see if you were featured. 



Have a great day! If all goes well, I'll be back later this week with an update on our living room.


13 Oct 2013

The Week's End - October 13, 2013

The Week's End - October 13, 2013

The Week's End - October 13, 2013

The Week's End - October 13, 2013

The Week's End - October 13, 2013

The Week's End - October 13, 2013

The Week's End - October 13, 2013
My Mom & Fin made them...I take no credit!
The Week's End - October 13, 2013

The Week's End - October 13, 2013

11 Oct 2013

Pumpkin Parade Link Party

Pumpkin Parade Link Party

It's Friday! That means it's just about the weekend AND it's time to link up your most fabulous awe-inspiring pumpkin projects.

In case you haven't seen them throughout the week, below is a quick little summary of our pumpkins.


 Left to right, top to bottom
Please use a permalink and link to as many projects as you wish, as long as the posts involve pumpkins. The linky below will stay live through Tuesday. Next week, each of us will spotlight a few of our favourite projects on our blogs. Well also pin those projects on our shared Pinterest board.

The only rules: 
1. Please share a pumpkin post - could be decor, crafts, cooking or something else.
2. Please link back to the Pumpkin Parade and at least one of our blogs.
3. Please go to at least one other blog and comment. This is what makes the parade extra fun.

If you don't have a blog and you don't know what a link party is, don't worry about it! If you want to see all sorts of pumpkin goodness and discover new blogs, just check out the links below.

Have a great weekend! I'll be busy checking out your pumpkins.


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