Archive | Journal

My love affair with Indigo!

I don’t know about you but when I walk into my local Chapters/Indigo store I actually feel all the tension and worry vacate my body with every exhale. Being completely surrounded by all the creative energy and endless knowledge contained within the walls of this modern day sanctuary makes my heart sing!

indigo pics

I feel connected, inspired and in awe of everything I have yet to learn. Am I alone in this? I hope not…I have a book and paper obsession… and I always have to check out the collection of notebooks and journals, they are my favourite! What is it about a beautiful notebook that makes my heart skip a beat?

I resist the temptation to bring them all home with me every time. When I do bring them home, I can’t bring myself to use them right away. I used to think it was because have a specific purpose…or they were to pretty to tear up for grocery lists! I now know that it is out of fear! I know some of you are thinking I am ten shades of crazy right now….afraid to use a pretty notebook???? If you are one of those people who can’t relate, feel free to move on if you must…no judgement.

Marianne Williamson says it best…

”Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

I don’t know about you all but I have always felt the weight of this unidentified calling, like wearing a heavy coat that is always three sizes too big.

I was terrified of finding and owning my voice! I haven’t quite figured out how all the pieces fit together yet and I’m learning that that’s okay.

What matters is I use my voice and God given talents to connect with others. Whether its using a paintbrush with my clients, encouraging my students in a workshop. Creating blog posts like this for the world to see or writing the rough draft in a beautiful crisp notebook with a sharp #2 pencil.

With all of this I am telling the universe I am open and ready for what God has in store for me.

How about you?

Is fear holding you back from trying something new or breaking old habits?

I would love to hear about it.

mini bird footprint signature


Can’t Wait 100yrs for the look you want?

I absolutely L-O-V-E when I unearth a gem like this out of a dusty old barn!

The flaky, old layers of crusty paint each colour working together to create this masterpiece!


Well I don’t have as much time to go rooting through the countryside looking through barns these days. Sometimes you just have to take

matters in your own hands and create the look you want!  Thankfully Amy Howard makes it easy to recreate the cracked patina finish on old pieces.

Cracked Patina button

I started with two coats of Atelier One Step paint on both sides of this really heavy old door.  Cracked patina is thick like honey so you want to make sure you shake it up really well.  Resist the urge to paint this on too thick, one thin full coat will do the trick.


For a large project like this I find it best to work in sections.  I have found that drying time can vary depending on the season and

temperature of my studio.  Once the cracked patina is dry it looks shiny and slick.


This next step is when the magic happens! I chose Vintage Affliction One Step for my next colour.  If you haven’t used this colour yet you should give it serious consideration because it is gorgeous!  I am a little light on the photos for the next couple steps so here is Amy Howard’s cracked patina video to get you through the last part.  Its ok go on and check it out now!



This is just one of the looks you can create with cracked patina.  You are only limited by your imagination…my next challenge is to recreate the look of this old gal!


What colours would you combine to create your perfect door?

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Happy 2015!

I don’t know if its because winter has finally hit southwestern Ontario blasting us into the negative double digits,

temperature pic

or the calm after all the holiday festivities but I still haven’t gotten back into a solid routine.  If you follow me on facebook then you may have noticed that the shop has been closed occasionally so far this year.  Nobody panic…this is a good thing.  I have decided to make the most of January and take some time to work ON my business not just IN my business.  SO please, if you are planning on a visit to the shop check the Operation Magpie facebook page for daily updates.

I will also be working hard to map out a plan for 2015!  Do any of you have a plan of success or maybe some goals figured out for 2015?  This is a new thing for me, I know it sounds very cliché but I am making myself and my health more of a priority instead of an after thought!  I joined Miss Mustard seed and a thousand other women on the Whole 30 Challenge.  That means No sugar, No dairy, no grains, No alcohol, No legumes, No cheating and most importantly NO Excuses!  Today is day 9 for me!

whole 30

I plan on making 2015 a year of multiple successes….I am going to say that again, I plan on making 2015 a year of multiple successes!!!  This May will be the first anniversary of my little shop and I have lots of exciting things that I want to make happen this year.  How about you?

Lots of Love,

mini bird footprint signature


Halloween Time!

I haven’t posted anything on here in a while. Today’s post will be a little different than anything I have done before.
A little fact about me… I’m crazy about Halloween, and it’s not about the candy… I LOVE creating Costumes and I get a little nutty about it! I am notorious among my friends and neighbours for creating elaborate themed costumes for the whole family.

So far we have done, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Super Hero’s, Scooby Doo, Vampires, Zombies, Star Wars and last year it was purple Minions.

Here are a few pictures of previous years.





The theme became a big secret in the early years so the big reveal was more memorable. My son will be 9 this year and the older he gets the more difficult it is to keep it a secret. Every year he gets a little more independent and over the last few years it has become his decision as to whom he would like to be.

So now that thanksgiving is over it is now time to start thinking about Halloween… Did I mention I almost always leave it to the last week or two before the big day to START!

Well this year I have big plans so wish me luck and check back after Halloween to see the final reveal!


Paris is Always a Good Idea

This was a project I completed a while ago that I haven’t revealed yet. I am a huge Restoration Hardware fan, however it’s no where near my budget. I fell in love with their oversized map of Paris but at $3000 I knew I had to recreate it on my own. I bought a large canvas on clearance from Michael’s and used it as the base to mod podge my map onto.

Here is the royalty free map image laser printed page by page.

I started by painting a border on my canvas using dark grey paint as my canvas was a little bigger than the map.

I used the matte finish mod podge to apply each map segment, page by page and row by row.

Once the mod podge dried I was left with a new looking map…it needed a little antiquing.

I tinted the mod podge with some acrylic paint and used that to make the edges of the pages look stained and discoloured.



Once I was happy with the antiquing process I painted the border again getting closer to the map edge using more dark grey and also an antique gold.

I was so happy with the outcome and it only cost around $100.
I hope this inspires someone else to create their own masterpieces!
I would love to know what you think!


Like a Bird on a Wire

It’s no secret I have a thing for birds, so when it came to giving an old hutch a new look this was the end result! I love pieces with a bit of whimsy to them…






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We are open!!!

I finally opened the doors to my shop last week. I feels really good! I’m happy to say all 38 colours of Amy Howard One Step Paint arrived yesterday!!! Here are some pictures of my shop so far.











Paper Project Reveal

Better late than never I guess, this is where all the beautiful paper went! I needed a clever way to cover a less than perfect wall and an excuse to finally paper a wall with book pages!



New beginnings

Work has now begun at my new shop! I hope to have it ready for business soon! The shops not ready for pictures yet but when it is you can visit me at 82 York St, in downtown London!