Decorating 101 with Penney & Company

The Art of Mixing Old & New with Penney & Co.

Hey friends! Last week you may have noticed a photo of a fabulously awesome green chair I posted on Instagram.  This fabulous piece is one of the seats at the first ever Decorating 101 Class hosted by Penney & Co. at Pineapple Street. Are you familiar with these names? Good. Then you know how awesome Michael Penney's stores are. Not from the Durham Region in Ontario? Well then I feel sad for you because you're missing out on some of Downtown Whitby's best independent shops!  I'm going to share a little recap of the best bits of info shared by Michael, and also show you … [Read more...]

For The Love of Lavender! + Laundry Soap Recipe Update

Lavender scented projects for the home

  So a few months ago I shared with you a lavender-scented laundry soap recipe, and I'm here to tell you that I LOVE it. I love it so much, and even my mom loves it, which must mean I've done something right because she's a stickler for things that smell good and clean well, so I'm feeling like I accomplished something pretty spectacular here!  The best part about this soap is that it has lasted SO long! I use about 1 tablespoon per load (2 if it's an extra dirty one, like towels used to clean Luther's paws!), which means the soap is extremely inexpensive at $.25 … [Read more...]

DIY: Geometric Jewelry Trays

Jewelry trays made using thrifted pieces and electrical tape!

Ladies, this one's for you because if you're anything like me, you struggle with jewelry organization sometimes. Ok, for me, that's all the time! I swear, Alex must go nuts with all my necklaces and earrings lying around. Not to mention hair ties, oh and have I said bobby pins yet? Ok include those in there too! The thing with jewelry organization though, is that it needs to be easy to access, and you also want it to be pretty, am  right? I think I found an easy (and super inexpensive) way to help us all achieve that!  This was such an easy project that I want to make 100 … [Read more...]

DIY: Driftwood Candleholder

A quick and easy tutorial on how to make a candleholder out of pieces of driftwood. #DIY #dirftwood #candleholder

Earlier this week we talked about cottages and how adding a little white and warm wood tones can give you the feel of a beachy cottage without you actually being at one (though the latter would be preferred every time).  A few weeks ago my parents and I went to spend a day in Wasaga Beach, and at the end of the day my mom and I collected a bunch of driftwood. My dad wasn't surprised at all when we showed up back at the car with hands full of sandy sticks! Typical Thalita behaviour... I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them so I got home and started picking out sticks! Fun, eh? … [Read more...]

Cottage Dreaming & Giveaway Winner!

Cottage bedroom

Good day friends! So it's about that time of the year when I start feeling like Summer is over and Back to School supplies are taking over and the sun sets a whole lot earlier than it used to! Am I right? I don't know about you, but we've had a less than stellar Summer in terms of weather, too, so it's making me daydream a little more about lazy Summer days spent in the sun complaining about the heat, because let's face it - that's exactly what we all do! I've been craving a little cottage feel in my own house to create that Summery feel, and wanted to share some of my faves with you, … [Read more...]

The L.O. Turns TWO!

two 2

Good morning friends of the internet! Do you notice something different about the blog today? Something a little more blush and more gold, perhaps? It's true... The Learner Observer has a new look. Going into year 3 of blogging called for a look that's a lot more subdued, less busy and more me! What do you think? I still have a few kinks to work out, but this is pretty much it! So I missed my own Blogging Anniversary... sort of intentionally. It was yesterday! I wanted to post something short, but I figured I'd save it and make one wordy post today, because we wouldn't have it any … [Read more...]

A Chair Makeover – On Remodelaholic

Folding Chair Makeover

Good morning friends! Surprised to see me posting again after 6 days of Scarf Week? Me too!  Remember how I get the awesome privilege to be a contributor on Remodelaholic? Well today I have my next contributor post going live and it's a goodie! I am SO excited to finally share this project because it was a major trash to treasure tale and I really think you'll love it. So now that you know what they look like in the 'after' pictures, some see the before over at Remodelaholic today! I have a pretty good feeling you won't be disappointed - I mean, look at that marbleized fabric … [Read more...]

Giveaway Winners and a Recap! {SCARF WEEK}


OH MY GOSH! It's over! Can you believe it??!?! Scarf Week has been like the best week ever, and though I feel a little bit worn out from all of the late night crafting, post writing, photo editing and SEWING! Can you believe I sewed? I still can't...  I cannot thank the Scarf Week Team enough for this fantastic week. I hope you've enjoyed their amazing projects as much as I have! In fact, I think we should recap some of the awesomeness that we got to see this week, don't you? Bling Scarf by Dream a Little Bigger | 5¬≠Minute Twisted Bracelet by The Learner … [Read more...]

Make Your Own Kimono From a Scarf {SCARF WEEK}

How to make a scarf into a Kimono in under an hour!

Can you believe it's the LAST DAY of Scarf Week projects? Part of me is sad, because seeing all of the amazing things being made by my fellow Scarf Week-ers was ahhhh-mazing... but part of me is slightly glad I can stop sewing for a little while. You know I'm not exactly good with needles and thread, right? I mean... this week was a first of many for me - first Scarf Week, first sewing project... It's been grand! Speaking of first sewing project... This is also my first clothing project. EEEEEK!!! Are you ready to see it? Now let me tell you something about this post. As easy as it … [Read more...]

Tie-up Scarf Sandals {SCARF WEEK}


Day 3 of Scarf Week is upon us! And I'm back with another no-sew tutorial for you. I have a feeling I will be using this tutorial myself for quite some time because the possibilities are kind of endless, and when it comes to accessorizing, more options are always better, right? How about scarf sandals? So I know I told you that the scarf bracelet was the easiest thing ever to make? Well then this must be the second! All you need are 3 things: Ok... 4 if you count each flip-flop, but they come as a pair so I only counted them as one! First, you'll need to cut your scarf in half lengthwise so … [Read more...]

Scarf Turned Camera Strap {SCARF WEEK}


You guys!!! It's day two! Can you believe it?!?! I really can't. I am SO. EXCITED. about this week still. I can hardly contain myself! I seriously can't get enough of seeing Rob Lowe in a pink scarf. It's pretty much the best! So, today I bring you another repurposed scarf: I'm going to make this tutorial as short and sweet as possible - and full of pictures. It's super simple, so let's get to it. First, here's what you'll need: The camera is for us crazy bloggers who need to take pictures of all of our projects. Because I made this strap for my main camera, I used my old point-and-shoot … [Read more...]

5-minute DIY: Twisted Bracelet {SCARF WEEK}

Quick DIY using an old scarf and a wooden bead by The Learner Observer

Hello friends! Today is the official first day of Scarf Week projects, and I am SO. EXCITED! My first project is an easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy-5-minute project you can make any day, any time! All you need (technically) is a scarf. For realsies. That's it!  These are oh-so-cute for Spring and Summer, or any other season, really, as long as you don't choose pastels like I did! I am not kidding when I say this takes 5 minutes. It also doesn't require many materials, which is always a bonus, isn't it? Here's what you need: Yep. I forgot to put my scissors in there to take a photo of them, so … [Read more...]

Introducing: SCARF WEEK

SCARF WEEK 2014 (square)

When I was a kid, I always had this irrational fear of sharks. I had nightmares about them, imagined seeing a fin while swimming, and even felt a little uneasy in pools! Like I said... irrational! Yet one of my favourite movies was Jaws and I had this sick need to watch Shark Week on The Discovery Channel every single year, and again when they repeated the shows. Am I alone here? Please say no...  Ok, so where is all of this going? Well the amazing Lauren of The Thinking Closet with her genius punny mastermind came up with Scarf Week. And yes, it happens the exact same week as Shark … [Read more...]

Kate Spade Inspired Storage Box

Kate Spade-Inspired Storage by The Learner Observer

Hello friends!!!! Long time no blog, I know. I've been a busy bee working on many many projects, as you may have kept up with on Instagram with some sneak peeks! Well now you get the full tutorial for one of my favourite projects lately - a little black and white beauty! I can't even explain to you how obsessed I am with this. Who doesn't love a little something Kate Spade Inspired? As you can see from the image above, I'm kind of obsessed with black and white... if you didn't catch that already from my kitchen chairs and my recent table/lamp makeover! Here's what I used to make … [Read more...]

Je t’aime, Paris!


So we left off with a less than exciting view of France, but I promise, this post will change that.  Like last time, this is filled with photos - even more, actually, because we spent a few more days in Paris than in London.  Be warned: this post is over 2000 words and has more pictures than any other post ever! Alright...let's get to it! Paris Day 1:  We arrived in Paris in the late afternoon and promptly took a train to the center of the city. Upon arrival, we quickly realized we were lost! Finding our apartment was not easy, and it took us about an hour, but in … [Read more...]