Whimsical Guest/Reading Room Makeover

I'm super excited to be sharing my favourite room in my house with you today. Not only is it something I started talking about almost a year ago, or shared the before pictures for six months ago, but it is also something I can finally check off of my to-do list.

Let's jump back to the beginning, for those who are only joining this long drawn-out process now.

As part of my 2014 goals, I aimed to put the finishing touches on an almost-finished room in my house---the Guest Room (recently renicknamed the Reading Room). This room is not only my home library, it is also my primary guest room and play room for my munchkins.

Here you see the before shots, in all its honest, messy, boring glory. The room was basically the drop-zone for mismatched furniture, and also used to serve as my home office. Despite the lack of space, I crammed in a few bookshelves and even a small cabinet filled with board games. If you look closely at the couch, you can see the million pieces involved in a plastic grocery store for the kids.

ATTENTION AUNTIES EVERYWHERE: Play-stores are one of the messiest toys you can ever have on hand for your munchkins. I advise against them. The auntie points are NOT worth the twenty minute cleanup, or the annoyance of finding fake plastic potatoes and bananas under the couch.

This room sat in an almost-but-not-quite-finished state for over a year.  I didn't know what direction to take it in... until I grabbed a couple pillows from Thunderpeep and suddenly it all came easy.

Here is the official After shot, in all it's cozy glory.

Isn't it pretty?! I love my reading room! There's so many owls, and gnomes, and books! Everything good in life, minus coffee. Although there's a coffee scented candle.

The room is now a relaxing space for occasional guests, and a fun space for the munchkins. And let's face it--as the primary user of this space, I am pumped to be so in love with it.

 There were a few major changes, including painting, replacing my futon (with another futon, of course. I swear by those things.) and making some pipe shelves. To summarize, here is what I did:
  • Added: Paint to the trim and doors.
  • Replaced: Mismatched bookshelves with DIY pipe shelves.
  • Replaced: Ugly plastic blinds with a throw blanket as a window covering.
  • Replaced: All of the hodgepodge furniture with a cozy sectional futon and my sweet vintage yellow leather chair that was tucked away in the basement.
  • Replaced: The pink office floor lamp with a cutesy tripod floor lamp. Yay!
  • Removed: Bright and colourful floor mats.
  • Added: Gnomes! Toadstools! And DIY quote art!
  • Added: Life! Plants are kinda sorta staying alive in here. They're pretty, anyhow.
  • Added: Fuzzy throws, new pillows, and a faux-sheepskin rug

All in all, I am glad I pushed myself a little further and finished this room. It is by far my favourite room in the house! Perfect room for cozying up with my book and tea, or for making a racket with my munchkins. All good things.

Noteworthy sources:


Friday I'm in Love: Type.Cast Letterpress

Today's Friday I'm in Love feature is something I've been sitting on for way too long. Are you excited? Good.

I love type. I love letterpress. I love all things to do with words, and paper, and the texture of combining the two. I love it all. So, when I found out that a friend in London has a roommate with a letterpress business, I knew I had to see the magic happen for myself.

In September, I made a quick trip to London ON to visit some friends and meet the maker behind Type.Cast letterpress. Andrew James (AJ for short) runs his shop out of a small garage in an unsuspecting residential neighbourhood. Housing two ginormous presses, this teeny garage has me rethinking the way I use space.

While visiting AJ and his shop, I arranged for a couple of custom designs to be printed. While AJ did his thing, I snapped some photos of the shop itself. I was swooning over all the different typefaces, inks, and equipment. This place is a stationery geek's dream come true.

Before leaving for London, I sent AJ some multi-purpose tag designs. My plan was to learn and watch the process first, figure out a use for the tags later. (Still working on that part!)

The design I sent for print was custom--meaning it needed a plate, not the use of the type he has on hand. Most letterpress shops outsource the creation of custom plates. AJ, the smart cookie that he is, can make his own in house. Here's a close up of my custom plate in all its glory:

It's been a few months, so I forget much of the lingo and keywords I would need to explain all of what he did next. But the gist of it: here are the photos of him turning the design into printed goodness. With a smile on his face, of course.

Even before the ink was applied to the rollers, I was absolutely in love. Look at the impression! The only thing better than words are words you can run your fingers over. Or see shadows in. Good golly, I love this stuff.

The final product was printed in a beautiful turquoise that matched the blog. While AJ cleaned up, I played around with this thingamabob that lets you take a much closer look at the end result. I felt like I was looking at diamonds.

And here is the end result after the ink set and the cards were cut. Beautiful, textured, perfect. I want to have their babies.

If you're interested in learning more about (or working with) AJ, you can find him here:

Website: andrewmjames.com
Instagram: @type.cast

Happy Friday!


Occam's Razor and Organizing the Pantry

You maybe have heard of Occam's Razor--- the logic that the simplest answer for something is usually the right one. You're also reading my blog, where I admit to nonsensical (and sometimes illogical) complications of things--- something I lovingly call "creatiopathy". Meaning I rarely accept the simple answer as the right one. I prefer complicated. I prefer pretty. Even if it irks me to no end until I get there.

One of my life goals is to have a place for everything and everything in its place. When it comes to storing food, it is often easier said than done. Especially in a way that is also cute. Because, clearly, that matters.

I have a narrow pantry next to my fridge which I had big dreams for when I bought my house. I wanted it to look like the picture above. But life happens, and not everything fits into perfect glass jars. This is my pantry about two years ago:

I admit, it wasn't that bad. But it bothered me. I wanted it to be beautiful! I wanted to be blissfully functional. But I was stuck. My usual approach was not working---I couldn't decide between form and function. I wanted it to look something like this:

{via HGTV}

Glass storage is absolutely beautiful, but real life comes in odd shapes and sizes. Sometimes cupboards need a more Tetris-style approach to organization. This is where modular storage comes in. Maybe modular storage would solve all my pantry woes!

{via chezlarsson}

A friend of mine sells Tupperware. Good ol' fashioned, name brand Tupperware. I went to several of her parties and thought about buying the plastic modular storage sets. They are designed specifically for organizing pantries. It seems like the easy answer. but I always resisted---largely because it was expensive, but also because plastic just ain't pretty.

After sitting on the issue for a really, really long time, I came to the realization that modular storage was probably the way to go. I also realized that, having avoided the issue for two years, it probably wasn't all that important. Not important enough to keep dwelling on it, and not important enough to shell out hundreds of dollars on perfect looking glass modular containers.

Last spring, I gave in. I bought the full set of modular storage. Within a week of making that decision, my cupboards felt less hectic. Not pretty, really, but still. This is now what the inside of my cupboards look like now that I've sold out and bought name brand utilitarian Tupperware:

Like I said, I know the before picture wasn't that bad, so the after isn't very dramatic. But it feels so much neater!! And I just totally ignore this unimportant spot of my house now, without dreaming of glass storage.

Despite my urges to overthink the whole thing, in the end I went with the easiest and most utilitarian solution. The result is neat, tidy, and practical. And since there's a door that closes to hide it all anyway.... That'll do, pig.


#30daysketchchallenge - Week 2 Recap

In case you aren't following me on Instagram, I thought share my #30daysketchchallenge doodles. You can see the first week here.

Happy Friday!

A photo posted by C.Lem (@creativeclementine) on
A photo posted by C.Lem (@creativeclementine) on
A photo posted by C.Lem (@creativeclementine) on
A photo posted by C.Lem (@creativeclementine) on
A photo posted by C.Lem (@creativeclementine) on
A photo posted by C.Lem (@creativeclementine) on


Kid Birthday: Carnival Party

My nephew's second birthday party was one of the first elaborate parties I helped plan, and was one of the parties that inspired me to start Clementine up in the first place. It's hard to believe that he is turning six this year, and that I haven't blogged a single party of his since the first one! For shame.

For my nephew's third birthday, his mom and I decided to go for something a little more social. He had been in daycare for a little while, and had made a few new friends we wanted to welcome. A carnival theme was a no brainer! 

Every kid---maybe even every grown up---loves a good old fashioned carnival. What's not to love? There's great food, games, activities, food, face-painting, food...

*Ahem* ...My main priority for this party was the food. Surprised? Not serving carnival-appropriate food at a carnival themed party is just... well, it defeats the purpose of having a carnival theme party at all, if you ask me. And besides that, my sister is really good at entertaining people. I'm good at feeding them. It was a built-in division of labour/priorities.

In the interest of boycotting the sugar-highs associated with the three main carnival sweets (candy apples, cotton candy, and snow cones), we opted for three menu items that we never miss out on when there's a carnival in our neck of the woods: Corndogs, Nachos, and Fresh Lemonade.

The lemonade was the good stuff. Real lemons sliced up and mashed around in a jar with some sugar and water. As you can see from the pictures, the guests were drinking it faster than we could make it! The bottled water was the less fun backup plan for when we ran out of lemons... which we did, eventually. Sad, lonely water.

And of course, no birthday is complete without cake! At the request of the birthday boy, I made vanilla cupcakes with cherry filling. He has good taste, that boy.

Some of you may be thinking:

"Ummm...hello!? CARAMEL CORN?!"

Don't you worry.

We would never miss such an important detail!

For the party invitation, we handed out little individual packages of caramel corn. The label itself had a tearaway admission coupon on the back of it.

To make the invitations, we folded the print out in half, perforated the coupon by running it under an unthreaded sewing machine, and then stapled it to a ziploc bag of caramel corn. (The popcorn bag had a nut allergy warning on it, underneath the invitation. Better safe than sorry!)

All in all, it was a fun day filled with face painting, salty snacks, games and prizes. Pretty authentic, if I do say so myself.

I have a serious weak spot for Carnivals! Am I alone in this?! I'd love to hear all about your favourite Carnival snacks/adventures in the comments!