When it comes to decorating my home, I’m all over the map.  But today, I want to look at one specific style, Boho or Bohemian, and how I work that style into my farmhouse.

I’m drawn to lots of different styles and looks.  And I know I can’t have them all.  So, how do I make those styles work for us in our old farm house?  And not drive my family batty in the process? Well, I’m not sure about that last bit but that’s a whole other blog post!

Because I love decorating and spend so much of my time emersed in design, I see so many wonderful things that I love.  And some I don’t love…at all…  And gradually over time, I watched my own style changing from very primitive country that I used to decorate with to a more electic look that embraces some modern country, some retro and some bohemian.  But combining all those to make it work on my budget can be a challenge.  But fulling your home with what you love seems to work, design rules are meant to be broken, not followed to a T because that would make for a boring home.

To start with, let’s look at the Boho style to see the elements that tend to make up that look.  When I see a photo that screams boho to me, it usually has the same elements in the space – great texture, lots of colours, plants, a collected and causal feel.  Think old, worn-in leather furniture with simple lines, wicker or rattan pieces, rugs with loads of brightly mixed colours like reds, oranges and turquoises and then plants everywhere.  The overall look doesn’t look like you just went out to the closest box-store and bought it all new.  It has the look of pieces being thrifted or passed down and collected over time.  Pillows don’t match but are vibrant with colour and layered onto the furniture.  The woods are natural and earthy, not perfect but time-worn and weathered. It’s warm and inviting.  You want to put your feet up and have a long conversation with someone dear to you with a hot mug in your hand.

That’s the kind of space I want to create in my home – where guests feel comfortable, where nothing feels too precious to use and it is always changing as the perfect pieces find their way into the space.  I want my family to be able to live in our space.

Here’s what I’m doing to create that feel in my house.  I’m using rugs with lots of colour.  I have a few Persian rugs that I fell in love with years ago and have been moving from house to house with me.  Real wool rugs weather and age very well and are timeless.  They survived my children, guys.  The other rug I have in my dining room was a Winner’s score – the colours are great, the pattern hides almost everything that may fall under the table, so in other words – perfect!

I’m trying to collect some more pillows for the couch, but honestly, it’s hard when I know they’ll just end up on the floor anyway. Am I alone in that?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.  I scored some good ones at our local Value Village { you can read about that HERE } but I still need more.  More colour, more pattern, just more pillows.  IKEA has some lovely ones that I want…like THIS ONE or even THESE.

There are houseplants everywhere in my house and yet, I feel like I want more yet.  But, I’m getting a good collection and they all seem to be settling in and starting to thrive.  I’m on the hunt for a few different kinds to round out my collection.  And I finally { 3 or 4 years later } potted my fiddlehead fiscus, just in time for them to be deemed ‘not cool’ anymore….but whatever, I still like it so that’s all that counts, right?  You can read about my plant fetish HERE.

One of the things I love about Boho style is the woven textures of wicker or rattan.  I don’t have any furniture made out of it, I’m not sure it would be durable enough for our house.  But I do have a few things hung on the wall that add that texture to the space.  And that is a huge part of Boho style.

All together, it adds some great character to our home.  I love that there’s nothing ordinary about it, it’s filled with interesting items that seem to have been collected over time and each item has a great back story…remember when we stopped at the yard sale on our way to….that one came from that sweet little thrift shop in…could you believe someone was throwing that out…you get the idea.  Basically how I collect anything.

 

Our home isn’t going to grace the cover of any magazine anytime soon.  But it’s home to us.  It’s cozy, inviting and I know my friends and family feel the same way.  I love when people walk in and feel at home here.  { Also I love people’s reactions who have only seen the space online and then get to see it in person!! } Our home is a reflection of us.

Tell me – do you love the Boho look? What would you call your style?  Do you incorporate any of these elements into your space?

To be continued,

Lori

Today we’re chatting with Nicole of Oh Mother Care Kits. It’s fun to get to know someone you only know via social media.  And the neat thing I learned? She’s a Pictou County girl, too, and we even went to the same high school! { Years apart, mind you….I was long done by the time she graced the halls 😉 }

It’s a privilege to interview someone who runs a business you admire and get the chance to learn more about them and the ‘why’ of what they do.  I have done Creative Interviews in the past but it’s fun to talk about the business side of it.  I’ve not met Nicole, but I look forward to the day that I do.

But, let’s chat with Nicole so you can get to know the mother and business owner behind Oh Mother Care Kits, one of Nova Scotia’s leading curated gift boxes!

Tell us a little about your self, starting with where you grew up, where you live now? Take us on the journey between then and now? And who you share your home with?

I grew up in rural Nova Scotia on the Northumberland Shore. For the most part, it was pretty great. I participated in the local 4-H Club, worked on a farm and spent my summers at the ocean. Choose your own adventure is really the name of the game when you grow up rural. As a child, I loved my proximity to nature – the wildness, the space, the quiet.

Once I hit adolescence though, rural living had barely any charm left. I was preoccupied with friends, frenemies and academics. I hated that I lived miles away from anything “cool” or “worthwhile”. By the time I graduated high school, I had one foot out the door.

I didn’t venture far. Off to Halifax I went, where I spent 7 years in university completing two degrees in the social sciences. I loved my post-secondary education but admittedly, I was pretty disillusioned about what I thought would be waiting for me on the other end. What I discovered was a whole lot of nothing but low to mediocre paying, contract positions to which EVERYONE was applying. Quite simply, I was overeducated and underemployed. The plague of the Millennial generation huh?!

I did the only thing that makes sense when you have thousands of dollars of student loan debt to pay back, I got a contract job, and that lead to another and yet another. And to be fair, some of these positions, I enjoyed. Some of them straight up sucked though.  

Having a strong passion for social justice initiatives, especially those that involve young women, lead me to pour a lot of love into this type of work for many years too, both as a community researcher, a grassroots initiator and NGO worker. Yes, it was rewarding but it also burned me out.

Along the way, I met my now husband, Ian. I was pretty sure I wanted to have a family but it always felt so far in the future and stubbornly, I wanted the awesomely, amazing career before I became a mom.

I honestly don’t know what clicked with me but I didn’t have an awesomely, amazing career to speak of when I had my son in 2015 and I didn’t much care. I was in my thirties and I was ready to raise a little human with my wonderful partner. That took centre stage.

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia is where I call home. I live in a little two-story home with my husband, Ian, our son, Llewyn (2 yrs), our dog, Sophie and our wee grey cat, Boo. Also, jammed into our home is the Oh Mother Care Kits headquarters (aka our basement) where there are boxes upon boxes of product inventory.    

You’ve created this business focused on mothers – tell us about where the idea came from and why you decided to focus on mothers specifically?

Moms are notorious for putting their needs last, right?!

I’m not proud of it, but before I became a mom, I didn’t fully get it. Ok, real talk? I totally misjudged other moms, including my own, for their self-sacrificing behaviour – like, I would think – make time for yourself damnit! I know, I want to slap this past version of me too.

Obviously, I was aware that self-care is an issue for moms but I was completely naive as to the extent and intensity until I was in it myself. And boy, was I in it…wow! Motherhood is a pretty all-consuming thing huh!? And really, it’s not like you’re sitting around being disgruntled about it. Because being a mother is wonderful and you want to show up, be there and ensure that they’re happy and healthy. But guess what? There’s no shutting this off. You’re always mom. Rising to every occasion, putting out fires, taking names and kicking butt. Needless to say, it’s pretty easy to forget yourself in all of it. The mom identity is a strong one.

So this is where my want to serve mothers came from. I know self-care as a mom is friggin’ hard and I wanted to create a business that acknowledged this struggle and reminded the mommas who would receive these care packages that they are loved and oh-so-worthy of some blissful pampering.

How do you source the products for the kits and what requirements do you look for in the products?

I work exclusively with Canadian makers. Small batch. Natural ingredients. Attractive packaging. Practical usage for mom life.

I scour Etsy all the time.

I also get recommendations from my customers, who are spread right across Canada.

I curate my care kits seasonally so I look to this for inspiration. What we crave in terms of self-care and pampering varies depending on the weather. For instance in Fall/Winter we want warm, cozy, immune-boosting goodies. In Spring/Summer, we want fresh, fun items that support outdoor, on-the-go activities.

Are you a goal setter for yourself and your business? Where would you like to see yourself & your business in 5 years?

Goal-setting is crucial in business. You have to have some idea of what you’re after and where you want to go. Honestly, some of the goals I had in the beginning have been completely blown to smithereens. Healthy reality checks. Ha! So, you re-group and you set new goals.

I’ve learned to be open, almost experimental with goal setting, especially as a young business. I’m still trying to find my footing and see what’s possible.

I would like to still be doing this in 5 years so the hustle today is all about ensuring that I will be. Small businesses, especially ecommerce ones are challenging and trends are constantly changing.

What is your favourite part of running this business? Most dreaded task?

Bookkeeping/accounting sucks. It has to be done but it’s boring and tedious and I hate it. End of story.

Hands down, my most favourite part of running this business is hearing stories from customers about how much they loved receiving their care kit or how much their sister, friend, mother, daughter loved receiving her kit. These emails are the BEST. Without fail, they make me cry, every time.

Sometimes the stories are so painfully heartbreaking. One customer wrote me to say that she had purchased a year’s subscription of care kits to remind herself to take some recharge time. She anticipated that this would be needed as her and her husband, both recently retired and planning their many future travels and adventures together, just found out he had terminal cancer. Gah. Gut-wrenching.

Other moms will write and give me the whole play-by-play on receiving their kit and being so excited but deciding to leave it until post-bedtime. It’s ceremonial for them. And I love this. I love that moms swoon and savour their whole Oh Mother Care Kits experience.

But mostly, people write me to say “thank you”. These thank yous strike me so intensely and emotionally. I mean, I’m running a business but it feels like so much more and I’m grateful for that.

Thank you so much for sharing with us, Nicole!  You are doing an amazing job and offering a product that strikes a chord with mommas and friends of mommas!  Nicole was gracious enough to send a kit for me to review, as well as doing this interview with me.  I was amazed at the quality and quantity of product in the kit!  If you have a momma in your life, she deserves this!!  So many treats and treasures to help us take better care of ourselves, which we all know, as mothers, we suck at it!  I look forward to using the great products that are tucked inside! And eating that chocolate, because, well….chocolate!!

We wish you loads of success, Nicole!

To be continued,

Lori

All the photo credits from this post go to Dee Dee Morris Photography

{ Disclaimer: I was given a kit to review but my take on it just that. }

 

 

Learning new skills is always fun.  Especially when it involves glorious wool and friends, both new and old.

Instagram is great for introducing you to lots of great talent.  I’m not sure when I started following House of Woolly Thyme { you can follow her, too HERE and see her website HERE } but her weavings really caught my eye.  When I heard she was offering classes along the south shore, where she lives, I asked if she ever travelled and taught elsewhere.  Long story short, November 18th was set for the date here in Pictou County.  And the class filled up completely in a very short time.

We had another location booked but due to unforeseen circumstances it fell through and we ended up at my favourite community hall ever – ours here in Meadowville where I host the Homegrown Vintage Market!!! Filled with loads of charm and the smell of a very recently cooked Hunters Breakfast, it was the perfect location for our weaving workshop.

Mary Ann of House of Woolly Thyme walked us through the weaving process, step by step and offered advice and suggestions as we weaved.  It’s amazing to me that you put the same supplies in front of a group of ten people and everyone creates something so different.  Even Darlene and Amanda, a mother-daughter duo, used the same colours and theirs are each very unique, too.  It’s fun to watch as people create and build their project to see how it evolves and grows and as techniques are learned and the process is repeated throughout the afternoon.  You could see their confidence grew!  Everyone was so pleased with what they had created!.

I’ve played around a tiny bit with weaving, it seemed like a good idea since I have a yarn collection that I don’t do anything with except make pom-poms.  I don’t knit, nor can I say that I really want to learn. Knitting doesn’t appeal to me but weaving sure does.  In fact, I have a Pinterest board dedicated to it. Surprised? No, I didn’t figure you would be. You can see it HERE.  I can’t wait to dig into my stash of yarn and wool and make more weavings!  Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas!??!?!

As we were setting up for the workshop, we were chatting and Meg and Mary Ann mentioned someone how makes jewellery with antlers and how cool it would be to do a weaving on an antler.  Now, Mary Ann had a delightful collection of drift wood to use for the weavings but something struck a chord when the antler was mentioned.  I had a single antler that was just sitting on a shelf.  It’s from one of the bucks the handsome Mr. Byrne had gotten.  I scooted home to grab it and brought it back to the hall and everyone agreed, it would be awesome.  I love how it combines two of the things that Michael and I love – his hunting and my creating.  Perfect!  And guys – look how awesome it turned out!

I wish I had’ve gotten a picture of our whole group together with their completed weavings.  But as some people finished up, they left while everyone else continued to work away.  But here are a few of the completed weavings.

I highly recommend taking a class to learn something new.  Creative skills are so awesome.  And with a great teacher, like Mary Ann, you can’t go wrong!  Maybe you’ll never do anything with it again, but maybe you will.  And maybe you’ll connect with a great group of people who love to make, too.  So, get out of your comfort zone, sign up for a class and MAKE SOMETHING!

To be continued,

Lori

 

We live in Atlantic Canada and Maple Syrup is a huge part our of culture, right?  I love me some maple syrup and the old sap buckets are plentiful and so handy!  

I’m excited to announce a new partnership happening here on the blog with one of my favourite stores – Phillips & Chestnut!  I love what Rosemary and Steve are doing in their store – the salvage products, the paint, the classes and the knowledge they share – so I’m thrilled to bits about this!  And I hope you are ready for lots of creative projects, too!  I’ve worked with them in the past on a few classes and projects, which you can read about HERE and HERE.  Plus, I toured their barn HERE and showed you want I took home HERE and a quick store tour HERE.

So, the first partnership project is showcasing a sap bucket but it isn’t so much about the sap bucket as the decoration ON the sap bucket.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself here, already!  I’m just too excited….

First things first – I painted the bucket.  I did zero prep, no washing, no sanding, no bonding agent in my paint. I like low/no prep projects like this! If the paint chipped in places, I was good with that.  I used Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Mustard Seed Yellow, I thought about Farmhouse White but I did my test piece in that but I like colour, so I went with yellow, instead.

I wanted to try out the transfers on something that didn’t matter if I screwed it up, so I grabbed a flowerpot I had painted a thick, chunky layer of paint on and very easily rubbed the transfer on with no problem.  I actually cut it into sections so that I could easily get it to fit on the flowerpot. And I have to say how much I love how it turned out!

Then it was time for the transfer on the sap bucket.  These are something new that Phillips & Chestnut have started carrying from Iron Orchid Designs, but they remind me of scrapbooking supplies I had years ago.  You can check out them out HERE to see the complete line of their Decor Transfers.

I didn’t seal it before I applied the transfer.  I wanted to be sure the transfer was going to stick.  I just put my two coats of paint on and gave it a light sanding and wiped all the dust off. Then came the fun part, rubbing the transfer on.  I positioned the transfer and grabbed the handy dandy little stick they include and rubbed the image onto the sap bucket.  It’s so easy.  Just. Don’t. Move. It.  In fact, they recommend taping it down with some low-tack painters tape. I couldn’t find my painters tape so I used some washi tape instead 😉

There, it’s done!  You could seal it with a wax or sealer that doesn’t have harsh chemicals in it but, I’m ok with wear and tear on a project like this.

These sap buckets are great for decorating inside and out year round.  Pop some fresh flowers or blooming branches in for Spring.  They’re great for keeping some drinks on ice for summer time and in the fall, fill it to the brim with some gourds.  I love filling mine with different seasonal goodies and putting it on display.

All the products I used for this project are available at Phillips and Chestnut.  You know I love using Milk Paint, I enjoy the process of mixing my paint and the easy application of it, and they carry the complete line of Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint.  The Iron Orchid Designs products are something new that they started carrying and I’m thrilled to be able to showcase them.  I received some of these products from them at no charge so I could demonstrate them for you but my take on the products is just that.  I’m already working on the next project! So stay tuned…

To be continued,

Lori

 

 

  • Holly clarke - November 15, 2017 - 7:14 pm

    So sweet! I love sap buckets, now I want some for my front step.ReplyCancel

    • lori@farmfreshstyle.ca - November 16, 2017 - 6:25 am

      They’re so fun to use for decorating! I love having a few around as options!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - November 16, 2017 - 7:57 am

    I love this!!ReplyCancel

    • lori@farmfreshstyle.ca - November 16, 2017 - 7:58 am

      Thanks, Sarah!! ReplyCancel

  • Anne - November 16, 2017 - 10:43 am

    Wonderful! The possibilities aren’t endlessReplyCancel

My baby turned 8 this week. I’m not quite sure how it happened, I mean, wasn’t she just 3?

Hannah is a happy little bundle of warmth, she wakes up smiling and pretty much continues all day long. If you’ve met her, you know this to be true.  So, what do you do when all she wants for her 8th birthday is a new cat?  You get her a cat.

We have two cats already.  We adopted Buttercat, aka BB, from Harrier Hill and he loves it here.  Although I think he’d rather be a studio cat.  Hannah loves BB and would do anything for that cat, including still petting him after he got sprayed by a skunk!!  That, people, is love.

Our other cat we acquired by, well, his choice.  He goes by Cuddles or ‘Grey Fluffy Cat’.  When we moved in, we would see this grey, fluffy cat wander through the yard but we could never get close and then weeks or months would pass before we saw him again.  And then we saw him around more and more and we could get closer but still not pet him.  And then one night he was going crazy trying to get into the house.  I called his real owners, our neighbours, and they came to get him.  And days passed and we thought nothing of it….until he kept showing up and sticking around more and more.  They come to get him and take him home again and then he’d be back.  So, come to find out, he hates their new dog.  HATES.  As in, he’d rather live outside at our house with BB, who he also hates, then be in that nice warm house where he was well cared for and loved { his ‘real mom’ is a vet, for crying out loud! }  So we have an arrangement, he lives here with us, we love on him, they drop off cat food and can’t get within feet of him….seems to work alright!

But here’s the thing about Cuddles and BB, they are old.  Like, somewhere in the range of 17 to 19ish? Old, right? We decided we wanted a new cat, a young cat.  And Hannah begged for the new cat to be hers.  How can you say no to that? Lena couldn’t care less for the cats but Hannah is all heart-eyes.  So, we decided we would start to keep an ear out for a new cat.  And I saw a few in my news feed on FB.  But you know when something is right, when you sense it in your bones?  Yep, THAT post came up and we met Casey the next day and took her home with us.  She was in a loving home but due to allergies, she has to be re-homed.  And we knew she was the right cat for us when we found out she’d be 1 in November.  If you’ve been around enough, you know that November is  birthday month for all of us girls.  So, she’s the perfect fit 😉

Anyway, we took her home and settled her into the studio and we love her.  So much!!  She’s an expert level hider, it took me 10 minutes to find her one morning, she can curl herself up into the smallest little spot, in the darkest, most tucked away corner she can find.  But now, she greets us at the door, purring and trying to get as close to us as she can.  We’ve let her out in the yard a few times but she’s so shy, it makes me nervous that she’ll run away and we’ll never see her sweet face again.

So, even though Casey has lived with us for a bit before Hannah’s actual birthday,  she is still considered one of the gifts.  And of course, she set the theme for Hannah’s party.  Crazy Cat Lady Party, because if the shoe fits…

I have stopped killing myself over parties for the girls.  They don’t care if they are ‘pin-worthy’, all they want to do is play with their friends.  Hannah’s only request for her party was that we had a kitty litter  cake.  Appealing, right? Not.At.All.  But, when you’re turning 8, you get what you wish for. Ta-da!!!

Her friends showed up with kitties in tow, ridiculous giant cat masks and gifts for a sleepover.  They blew up the air mattresses and crashed on the guest room floor.  Well, when I say crashed, I mean at about 11 pm when I hollered at them to shut it down 😉  My friend/the girls’ babysitter, Alena, crocheted a bunch of sweet little kitties for the girls to take home instead of some treat bag filled with candy { who needs more candy the week after Halloween, right? } and dollar store junk.  Pretty sure they had a good time… 😉

We jokingly call Hannah our Crazy Cat Lady, she says she isn’t going to get married but she is going to have 9 cats and live in the field across the road.  And with owning 3 cats now, I’d say she’s well on her way!

Happiest of Birthdays, Sweet Hannah!

To be continued,

Lori