A Few Favourites from The Penny Paper Co. & a Giveaway!

One of the first blogs I started reading regularly was “Little House Blog’ by Lindsay Stephenson. At the time I think she and her husband were working on their dining room, but since then they’ve renovated their kitchen, finished their basement bathroom, redone their main bathroom and a slew of other projects around their home which are equally gorgeous. If I ever renovate either my kitchen or bath I’m honestly going to be heavily referencing her projects.

In addition to being a blogger and mom, Lindsay is the owner of The Penny Paper Co. – a wonderful online shop that sells art prints for adults and kids alike, amazing jewelry, and even rubber stamps and cute accessories to make sitting at your desk more fun. Lindsay has also had her artwork sold in HomeSense and Chapters/Indigo stores across Canada which is beyond neat.

The Penny Paper Co. has so many wonderful things, but here are a few of my current favourites.:

What do you think? Anything you’d love to have? I hope so, because in celebration of Penny Paper Co.’s 10th Anniversary Lindsay has offered a $50 gift certificate for anything in the store! Can you believe it? I’m rather jealous of whoever is going to win.

To enter visit The Penny Paper and Co. and then leave a comment here letting me know what you’d pick if you won. Would it be something for yourself, or maybe something as a gift? There are so many great things to choose from.

Want some more chances to win? Like Eamonn & Jack on Facebook or tweet about this giveaway for additional entries.

This giveaway is open to readers in Canada and the USA, and closes at 12:01am EST on Friday, October 3.

The Penny Paper Co. Giveaway

Meet Eamonn & Jack

When I started blogging in 2011 I did it mostly on impulse, and while I understood that my new blog needed a name I didn’t really understand what the implications of that name choice would be. When I chose the name Sweetsuite10 I thought it was cute, and it fit the subject on which I intended to blog about – namely my small apartment that happens to be suite #10. What I didn’t realise on that very early morning was that the scope of what I planned to blog about might change over time, and that a name that referenced an apartment unit was not a great long-term choice (while I love my apartment I really hope I don’t live here forever).

Here we are in 2014 and, as you can see, deciding on a new name for my blog literally took me years – either because the names I came up with were already in use by some other smart blogger, the URLs were unavailable, or, as in a couple of cases, after buying the domain I realised a few weeks later that it wasn’t the ‘right’ name.

Eamonn

Eamonn

The name Eamonn & Jack wasn’t decided on a whim – I first thought of it last fall and let it sit and simmer before making the final decision. What I think is special about the name is that there is only one other person in the world who shares the same relationship with the men who inspired it – my brother. Eamonn and Jack were my grandfathers.

Eamonn was born in Dublin, Ireland as the 2nd of 6 children. He and my grandmother met at a tennis club where they both loved to play. After my grandparents married they had 9 children – 5 girls and 4 boys over a span of 16 years. My great grandfather was a well-known builder/developer at the time, but instead of joining the family business my grandfather started his own, making wood furniture for schools and churches. One of my grandmothers prized possessions is the lovely dining room set my grandfather made for her. Sadly he passed away at the age of 46 before I had the opportunity to meet him.

Jack

Jack was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and, after the loss of his father at the age of two was an only child until his mother remarried and gave him a younger sister. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force and was stationed in England during World War II. When he returned from war he worked in Insurance and raised three children. In an era where major home improvements weren’t normally a DIY project, he and my dad did undertake a basic renovation of their basement to create a rec room for my dad and his sisters to use with their friends. Jack was an avid golfer and he and my grandmother loved to travel. They visited England several times, and even traveled though Russia before the fall of the Soviet Union. He passed away shortly before my second birthday.

These are the two men who this site is named after. It’s hard to put into a couple of short sentences who they were especially since I didn’t have the chance to really know either one. Even in these short descriptions I see facets of them – of what they did, and what they liked, that are strikingly similar to some things that I too like and enjoy. I can’t think of a more fitting name for my new site, and I hope they don’t mind that I’m using their names to share some of the things that I love with you.

Freaking Out and Lacquered Walls

Classes started again last week; on Saturday I had my first Interior Decorating 1 class and I’m admitting right now that I’m scared. So far the courses I’ve taken have been a little easy – no actual decorating happening. That’s going to change with this class, and I’m currently experiencing an overwhelming feeling of terror.

I’m absolutely terrified that I’ve made a huge mistake. What am I doing going back to school? Where in the hell did I get the idea that I had any sort of skill at actually decorating a room? There’s so much to think about, and source, and pull together, and I haven’t any idea what I’m doing, and there’s a looming deadline for the project and I don’t think I can have it done in time. Oh my God – what have I done???

*Breathe*

One of the projects for my class (one of two that are terrifying me) is to take an image from a fashion magazine that has a triadic colour scheme and translate that into a contemporary living room. After hours of searching (mostly at Chapters since I don’t own a single fashion magazine) I ended up with one from a issue of Fashion magazine from 2009 that is predominantly navy blue (And yes, I used the term ‘ended up with’- what’s with current magazines only having monochromatic or black and white fashion spreads? How terribly boring.).

Since I have to keep the colour ratio in my space the same as the image we’re using which means most of the room will have to be navy blue, and in order to accomplish that I’ll have to present a room with navy walls. This worried me for a while – how to do a contemporary room with dark walls given that when I think of a contemporary space I usually think sleek, modern, open, and mostly white with pops of bright colour.

Yesterday morning when I woke up it hit me – lacquer. Lacquer has been popping up more and more frequently in the magazines and blogs that I read and I’ve always rather loved it as it adds a little something extra and unexpected to rooms.

The image above is of Todd Romano’s Manhattan apartment, and it has laid to rest some of my fears about an all blue room feeling very traditional instead of contemporary. What do you think? Do the lacquered walls add to the contemporary feel to the space? Or am I simply grasping at straws?

Monday Morning Love – Hotel Mansour

During my Design Theory class last semester the final project involved using images to demonstrate the theories we’d learned. Naturally I used Pinterest as my source for images. I came across one picture that I loved, but unfortunately it wasn’t credited properly so I did a bit more digging and discovered where the image was taken.

This incredible space is part of the spa at the Royal Mansour in Marrakesh, Morocco. Can you believe how beautiful it is? I love the intricate lace details in the screens, and the lovely inlaid marble floor. I can totally see myself relaxing here before going back to my room and it’s private courtyard. For almost as long as I can remember Morocco has been on my ‘one day I must visit here’ list. I’m not sure what it is about the country that appeals to me but I know one day I’ll visit.

PS – in case anyone was interested I did a bit of digging, and a stay in the Hotel Mansour costs just $1400US a night for a one bedroom riad. Want to bring your family? A three bedroom riad costs just over $12,000US a night. I’ll now add this to my ‘places I’ll visit when I win the lottery’ list.