Thursday, October 30, 2014

Photography Series | Part 2, DIY Custom backdrops for under $10

This is my go-to trick for 99% of my styling - I buy wood boards from Home Depot and buy sample pots of paint. Easy, inexpensive, and the results are crazy good.

The sample pots at Home Depot are $5.00 and a board is also $5.00 - so for $10, I'm looking at a great backdrop for whatever I'm shooting. While waiting for the paint, I also tend to stock up on great colour chips, for you never know when you need that perfect shade for a project. And I hate picking colours in a store, so if you have a great collection of paint chips at home, you're saving yourself a step.

When you have your paint colour picked, just paint a board and, you're good to go.

Results in...

 Here are some more examples of boards that I've painted in custom colours....

The photo below is shot in the kitchen, and that is indeed my wall colour, however instead of my wood kitchen table, I placed a white board on the bottom.

Although all of the above look different they were all shot in the same spot.  Crazy right? Work space is small, but man oh man, you can get great shots with the right light and, the right backdrop.

The other thing you can do is paint things like kraft paper. It gives you a little more texture.... like one of my favourite shots below from this post and this post.  A little paint goes a long way.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

police officer no. 4

Blue CardiganPolice Hat / Tickets (Free Download)  / Ticket Alternative / Police Badge /
  Police Whistle / Aviators (dollar store) / Play Handcuffs 

Oscar has never really been one to dress up for Halloween so I've always resisted investing too much time and money in a particular costume, for fear that (a) come Halloween he won't wear it and (b) he'll decide last minute on something else. This year, as an example - he's told his class he is going to be A Ghost, The Easter Bunny, A Marshmallow, and well, I'm sure a ton of other things. I took him to Party City and they had a wall of pictures of costumes, which I think helped him visualize what he wanted and he picked out the Police Office costume. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Photography Series | Part 1, Learning from Successful Retailers

It isn't uncommon that you find me, at least once a day, doing a photoshoot in my house. Not the elaborate kind, with editors and stylists. But instead - me in the kitchen mid afternoon, my hair in top knot bun, coffee on the kitchen table, when the sun is at its best - standing on a chair, cranking my neck over a board, or holding a reflector with my chin as I try to get close to a product. Over the last ten years of business I've explored photography .... what makes a great shot, how to achieve that great shot and how to do it without a lot of money.

Monday, October 27, 2014

listening to right now

This is on repeat in my office today. His voice kills me. Swoooon.


I'm looking for someone who would like to work a few hours a week, helping out at The Penny Paper Co. It's right now for the Holiday Season but it has the potential to continue into the new year. It's getting too busy for me to manage all aspects of it all, and although I have great help on the production and logistics side of things, I'm finding some creative areas are lacking as I'm totally swamped. (Which is a good thing!) But I think it's time to bring on some help. Maybe it's you, or, someone you know who may be a good fit?

Looking for - someone who shares our love of social media, loves beautiful products and photographs. Someone who is creative - either with words or, graphics. Creativity, or, the love of the creative process is an asset. You can work from home, on your own time - daytime hours are preferred. It would be a few hours a week.

Assests include: Someone who can dedicate a few daytime hours a week, or, can so some work evenings but can then post to social media in the daytime. (We think posting to social media when people are awake, is a good thing).

How to Apply: E-mail us at with your resume, or, an introduction to yourself and why you think you'd be a good fit!

Although living in Toronto isn't a requirement, it would be awesome as it may lead to more down the road, as our shop grows.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Yup. Doing this again folks. A few of my print styles are in Indigo stores across Canada! A wider selection is available online but you can find a few styles in stores. (Only two were left at the Eaton Centre so I was only able to grab that one particular style in a photo) Just a personal "OMG. OMG." moment. xoxoxox