healing properties of crystals and how to use them in your home

I promised a while back to give you the inside scoop on shungite, the stone powder we mixed into the primer for our bedroom. Why did we do this? Being sensitive to EMF’s, we wanted to create a wi-fi free zone and protected space for sleeping. See full post here.

Shungite is an ancient stone found in northern Russia that has been credited with many healing qualities, one of which is to provide protection from the electromagnetic radiation that comes from computers, cell phones, microwaves, televisions and wi-fi emanations.

This stone is also used for healing purposes and considered a ‘miracle healing stone’. It is positive, grounding, calming, and associated with the base chakra.

I work on a computer a lot and find it helpful to wear a shungite bracelet. I also find it especially helpful when I am visiting Toronto. (Wi-fi in the subway cars? Are you kidding me? Let’s bounce radiation around a metal box with people trapped inside and see what happens over the long term. Don’t get me started…)

Other crystals that are wonderful for your home:

Amethyst – protection, overall healing, aids with sleep and dreams

Citrine – cleansing, creative, abundance, joy

Rose Quartz – calm, loving, peaceful energy

Selenite – comfort, peace, protection

Clear Quartz – cleansing, healing, balancing, amplifying

Tourmaline – grounding, protection, balancing

My go-to source for information on crystals, and the one I use in designing my healing bracelets and jewelry is The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall. You might also find this great blog post helpful from The Luminous Spirit, titled Crystals 101: How to Use Crystals and Which Ones to Start With.

If working with crystals seems overwhelming, try just one. Go to a quality source, and see what calls to you, hold it in your hand and pay attention to how you feel. If it feels great, take it home, study it’s properties and place it in a location where it can greatly benefit.

If you are skeptical about their healing properties, the intense colour and beautiful geometric shape of crystals can simply enhance your home’s decor.

Once a year London hosts the London Gem & Mineral Show which takes place on November 18-20, 2016. It’s a great place to learn more about crystals and purchase something special for your home. Maybe I’ll see you there! xo

amethyst geode

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salad bouquets

A friend came over the other day and as I was sending him home with some produce from the garden, he commented on how I should sell these beauties. Well, I’m not sure I have enough produce to get into urban farming (something to think about) but I thought I’d share the idea with you! The next time you visit a friend, forget about traditional hostess gifts and bring them a salad bouquet. If you have a garden, this time of year you will have plenty of fresh produce to share. Any kind of green (kale, swiss chard, collards, spinach), fresh herbs, garlic, onions and peppers work well. Presentation is key (and easy) try something like this!

img_2929

Be sure to include your favourite, simple recipe, or use mine, below. Adjust all quantities to taste – I love lots of garlic! xo

glorious-greens

 

the perfect gallery wall in five easy steps

I was getting really tired of my dining room being a site where we stored construction materials and even though I told myself I didn’t want to touch a room more than once (who made up that rule anyway!) we needed to make a change. So glad we took a couple of days to move out the materials, paint and hang a gorgeous gallery wall (much of our artwork was still stored in boxes since Toronto!) This wall will come down when we open up the kitchen but until then I will enjoy this view.

If you’ve always wanted to hang a gallery wall but weren’t sure how to get that balanced, curated look, this post is for you! Check out my Pinterest board on gallery walls and get inspired to create your own.

Designer tips for success:
start with a freshly painted wall
take your time to play with the layout
add a few sculptural and/or quirky pieces
choose pieces you absolutely love
use a variety of shapes and sizes

Five steps to the perfect gallery wall:

One:
Select your art and lay it out on the floor and play with the layout until it feels just right (Tip: I laid it out on a white sheet so I could see what it would look like on the white wall).

Two:
Trace and cut out paper shapes for each piece of art. Kraft paper, clean newsprint and even the back of old wrapping paper works well!

Three:
Tape the shapes on the wall and adjust the spacing and arrangement ’til you’re happy.

Four:
Measure down from the top of each piece of art to where the hanging mechanism or wire is and then measure down from the centre of the corresponding paper and mark where you will put your nail. Did you notice this is the only measuring needed!

Five:
Hammer in your nail and hang the art piece. Remove the paper and repeat with each piece of art.

Sit back, relax and enjoy your newly hung art wall!  Here’s how mine turned out. xo

gallery wall

 

add drama with architectural salvage

One of the joys of working with an old house is finding and restoring the home’s original elements; i.e. trim, doors, corbels and stained glass. In the yellow brick beauty, we are restoring what we can, replacing when necessary and taking the time to search for just the right piece of trim, door or window to honour the house’s history. The old bathroom sent us on a search for some reclaimed floorboards, just in case we could either save what we had (100 years of urine – not going to happen!) or to replace the entire floor with something similar to the original.

What a lucky day when we discovered Artefacts in nearby St Jacobs! It is certainly worth taking a couple of hours to visit the shop and if you have something specific in mind, the shop owner (Chris Blott) is happy to take you through room after room of trim, moldings, windows and more. This must be what decorator heaven looks like!

Here are a few pics of what you might find on your visit. Artefacts also has a workshop where beautiful furniture and decorative pieces are created with salvaged materials. Inventory is always changing, so if you see something you must have, snap it up! I’ll be making a trip back with a truck for some door trim (they have the perfect match for my house). I’d better hurry!

A few tips to make your trip even more worthwhile:

  • make a list of what you are looking for
  • bring your measurements and measuring tape
  • take pictures of the trim you are trying to match (there are very subtle details that you might not remember when looking at a large inventory!)
  • keep an open mind, items can be modified
  • look beyond an item’s original use, small bits of salvage make great art pieces
  • talk with the shop owner, he is happy to share ideas and help you problem solve
  • keep in mind they have much more than what is in the showroom
  • set aside enough time to really look, don’t rush this!

Maybe I’ll see you there! xo

does empty space freak you out?

So you’ve cleared a lot of your clutter and are expecting to feel what I’d promised – light, spacious, full of possibility…and what you’re really feeling is anxiety about all of the empty space. Don’t worry! If you are used to being surrounded with lots of stuff, empty space can feel a bit uncomfortable, or even downright scary. You have two choices here 1) fill it with other stuff as quickly as possible or 2) sit with the emptiness a while, let it become your new normal. You already know where I stand on this. Relax. Breathe. And learn to find comfort in the empty space. Change can take a bit of getting used to, give it time. See the empty space as potential, as possibility, as open and wide as the sky. xo

find comfort in the empty space

sneak peek: Adam’s workshop

What an amazing transformation to the exterior! Thanks so much for your input on the stain colour. We agreed with those folks who chose the Westcott Navy and opted for a solid Arborcoat stain, another great product from Benjamin Moore!

We realize that the name is a bit deceiving, it’s not very navy! The deep grey colour blends nicely with the roof’s asphalt shingles and creates a gorgeous backdrop for my soon-to-be fall gardens. The final reveal pics are coming soon! xo

clutter finds a new home

A big question that may come up for you when clearing clutter is: “What will I do with the items I no longer want?” You might feel it’s important to ensure that items, especially sentimental ones, go to a good home and that, as much as possible, items are kept out of our landfills. I hope the following resource list will be helpful to my fellow Londoners when you get to this stage of your clearing. Non-Londoners note: many of the sources are provincial or have locations in other areas (click on the links to find a location in your city). Here is a link to a downloadable version.

Helpful tip: Add your name to a regular call list with the Canadian Diabetes or Cerebral Palsy Associations. Their calls provide strong motivation and a helpful prompt to have a box ready for donation every month or two. Keep at it, you got this! xo

goodbye clutter


Donate Household Items
Who What / Cost Where
Canadian Diabetes Association

 

Free pick up of clothing, linens, toys, dishes, household items and small appliances. www.diabetes.ca/how-you-can-help/clothesline

Call 1-800-505-5525 to schedule a pick up

Habitat for Humanity ReStores Drop off windows, doors, cabinets, tools, light fixtures, furniture. May be able to arrange pick up. Contact your local store to determine suitability of donation.

 

www.habitat.ca

317 Adelaide St S 519-659-1949 x281

5-40 Pacific Crt 519-659-1949 x225

Society of St Vincent De Paul Large furniture pick up (needs couches and kitchen tables). Drop off of smaller household items at either location.

 

www.ssvplondon.com

585 York St 519-438-7071

1005 Elias St 519-433-9210

Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy Free pick up of clothing, linens, small appliances, books and household items. www.ofcp.ca/donate/collection/

Call 1-888-238-6327 or 519-620-0918 to schedule a pick up

Goodwill Industries Drop off clothing, books, household items and furniture. www.goodwillindustries.ca

255 Horton St 519-850-9000 and others

Freecycle Join a network of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free. Free to join, individuals will pick up items. www.freecycle.org

 

City of London Depots Will take mattresses, electronics, appliances, tires, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, and more. Fees are related to weight. www.london.ca/residents/garbage-recycling/recycling/pages/depot/aspx

519-661-4570 or email questions to

es@london.ca

1-800-Got-Junk Things for which you have no other option. www.1800gotjunk.com

1-800-468-5865


Sell Household Items
eBay Sell almost anything. Easiest for smaller items, charges a small fee, you arrange shipping. www.ebay.ca

 

Craig’s List & Kijiji Free, online listings, buyer will pick up items. www.londonon.craigslist.ca

www.kijiji.ca/h-london/1700214

now is the time to clear your clutter, once and for all

If you have been procrastinating tackling your clutter, wait no longer. The stars are especially aligned to support shedding activities over the next few weeks. You may also feel like I do, that September is a chance to start over. A new year, with new beginnings. So let’s make room for the new by clearing out the old. It’s not just physical clutter, it’s also the emotional and energetic stagnation that is attracted to the clutter that needs to shift. And it will shift. There is a lightness that comes from letting go. A sense of breathing a bit easier, of spaciousness, and what I can only describe as a sparkle. And who doesn’t love a bit of sparkle?

There is much information and many books written on the subject of clutter clearing. One of my favourite authors on the subject is Karen Kingston (I will be studying with her this fall!), author of Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui and Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui. Check out her website here for lots of great tips.

Some experts say tackle it all at once, some advise one small area at a time and whether you find joy in each item you own (and keep) or choose to eliminate it all and start over, the process may be different but the end result is the same. A shift to a more conscious space. A lighter, fresher home, full of possibility and promise.

No matter how you tackle it, to me it boils down to this bit of wisdom.

Favourite William Morris Quote

During the next three weeks as you move through your own clutter clearing, I am happy to answer questions and help you get through moments where you might feel a little stuck. Send your questions via the comments below or a private note to me on the services page.

To get us started here are my top five FAQ’s regarding clutter:

  1. What if someone I love gave it to me? Oh, the guilt gift, we all know this one. We don’t really like it but we hold onto it for fear of insulting the giver. Look at it this way, every time you look at the item or even think of the item, it is depleting your energy. Lighten up and give it to someone who will appreciate the item. As for the giver, their intention was not to give you a gift that would bring you down, right? (and if that was their intent then you need to let go of more than just the item…just sayin’). Seriously, once the gift was given, it is yours to do with as you wish.
  2. I’m so overwhelmed, where do I start? I would say start with one room and set aside enough time to go through it start to finish. Start with closets or cupboards. Pull everything out, make the decision to keep, donate or throw away each item. Be sure to give both the room and each item a cleaning before putting it away. Return all items that belong in other rooms. And get the donation and garbage piles packed and out of the house right away.
  3. What do you mean by energetic cleaning? Lower frequency energies are attracted to clutter and create a heavy, dull feeling. By physically moving items, and getting rid of items that are personally heavy for you, the energy in your space will shift to a higher frequency, which feels light. In addition to clutter clearing, there are many ways to consciously raise the energy levels in your home, such as; a good vacuum cleaning, burning sage, using sound (bells, clapping, drumming) or having a professional energy worker clear your home.
  4. What if it’s not my clutter but belongs to someone I live with? This is a tougher one. There are reasons why each of us hold onto things. If that person is not ready to let go, they will quite quickly replace the clutter you have cleared. The best way is to focus on your own things and spaces. The shift will benefit the other and hopefully inspire them to do some clutter clearing of their own. If it’s a child, teach them to regularly go through their belongings and make decisions to pass along toys and clothes they no longer need or use.
  5. Is there really a connection between my outer world and inner world? YES! One reflects the other. Are you disorganized? Are your thoughts? Is your house drowning in stuff? Are you feeling heavy, overweight, depressed? Are their untended repairs in your home? What part of you are you neglecting to nurture? There is a definite connection between your physical space and your inner being. The saying “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” is true. In the sense that you need to be clean (clear) to access the divine spark within you. Creating a nourishing, conscious space, free from clutter will help you connect with your own truth, your deepest desires and your ability to see the opportunities all around you.

Obviously, I believe that clearing clutter is incredibly powerful. I also believe it can help you to shift in other areas of your life through the simple act of letting go. Try it for yourself! I challenge you to clear your clutter. Roll up your sleeves and get to it! Imagine me in the background cheering you on…you got this! If it’s too hard to do on your own, enlist the help of a friend who is kind and able to be objective. Once your clutter is gone, pay attention to how you feel and how your home feels. Keep an eye out for shifts in places you were stuck, for new opportunities that pop up, for connections with new people and most of all any new desires, journeys, and paths that unfold.

Good luck everyone! I can’t wait to hear what has shifted for you. Please share your stories! xo

demo has begun…again!

Not sure how many people spent their holiday Monday on house renos…I’m certain we can’t be the only ones! We had a great time tearing apart the old bathroom space – and by ‘great time’ I mean a physically exhausting, incredibly dusty but absolutely rewarding day. Once we removed the tub and closet nook, the room is actually quite a nice size – perfect for my yoga/meditation room!

Check out my Pinterest meditation room board to get a glimpse of the inspiration for the space.

The befores…

The in-betweens…

The afters might take a while. The layers of flooring came up this morning and many of the wood boards underneath are rotten, patched and have huge holes cut for the fixtures. I reluctantly have to admit they are beyond saving.

The empty space presents an especially exciting point in the process for me; the dreaming, the inspiration, the endless possibilities to create something magical. I think I’ll linger a while…xo

the black walnut is not your friend

How can something so beautiful be so destructive to a veggie garden? A black walnut tree two yards away has destroyed my veggie garden in a matter of days. I figured I learned the hard way and maybe can spare a few folks some heartache by sharing a bit of info about black walnut trees.

The trees produce a substance called juglone which many plants can’t tolerate being around. Its secreted through all parts of the tree; the roots, the nuts, the leaves and even the rain that falls off of its canopy. Because the canopy and roots can be pretty extensive, it is best to plant veggies and other susceptible plants at least 50 feet away. Be sure to pick up leaves and any nuts that may have fallen into your garden (or been brought by squirrels!)

  • susceptible to juglone: tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, raspberries, pears, potatoes, asparagus, cabbage :(
  • plant these instead: beans, onions, carrots, beets, corn, squash, melons and move your other veggies as far from the tree as you can
  • we seem to be having luck with: kale, swiss chard, basil, thyme, parsley, lavender, chives, camomile, garlic and fennel

We are already planning for next year and hope London is ready for some front-yard veggie gardens! xo

black walnut

giant black walnut, I still love you :)