Get Creative

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With the Spring Equinox almost upon us and the weather still cold as ever, Jo and I have been feeling a little drained. The days always feel too short, I was sick for quite some time with a kidney infection (OW) and we’re both in the process of moving, which is exhausting all on its own.

We couldn’t have asked for a better time to attend Hunt and Gather’s workshop with Witch in the Wild.

Let’s face it, a bad day (or month in this case) is no match for fresh blooms, self care products, and a touch of crystal magic. This two-part girl gang workshop started with an awesome lesson on blending your own organic, vegan, crystal-infused floral toner. The medicinal meets mystical with this simple DIY, and I loved how fun it was to make, even for a terrible crafter like me.

Part two was taken over by Tellie, one of my favourite florists, and owner of the brand new Hunt and Gather (go there and buy ALL the plants – you won’t regret it). Faced with amber jars and buckets of fresh flowers, we got to arranging our own divine bouquets to take home and treasure.

Topped with tea, treats, and a healthy dose of girl power, this evening event was exactly what Jo and I needed to recharge and power up. See you at the next workshop?

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Get Creative

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First off happy (almost) Valentine’s Day! Do you have any special plans? We’re big fans of Vday at RAOP – after all, it is the most pink holiday of them all! We love the day of love so much in fact that this year we’re going to be rolling out a whole month of fairytale-inspired, lovey dovey content.

But with our own twist.

There are so many kinds of love in this world – friendship, family, love of food and feasting, pet love (which many argue falls into the family category) and most importantly, self love. I know, I know, it’s cheesy as can be, but if the last few years of adulthood have taught me anything, it’s that there’s nothing more dazzling then giving yourself a constant supply of love, compassion, patience, and care.

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When HP asked us to put together a Valentine DIY project for someone we love using the HP Deskjet 3755 printer, I automatically racked my brain for someone who needed the love… and in the end, I decided that was simply ourselves. Our in-house craft expert Jo got to work creating some different ways to frame your HP photo prints, and each of us submitted a handful of images that make us feel happy, or in other words, feel the love. Together, they create a gallery wall designed to put a smile on everyone on our team’s faces.

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Here’s a little bit about why we each chose what we did:

Alyssa //

We’re only a month into 2017, but oh have I ever learned a lot. In so many ways my trip has been amazing, life-changing even, but it’s also shown me my weak spots with glaring clarity. Though I used to be a very happy introvert, somewhere along the way I’ve forgotten how to be by myself. I’ve jumped from relationship to relationship, breakfast event to evening soiree and back again, and looking back I haven’t really truly spent time with myself in years.

My picture picks all celebrate things that make me happy, regardless of how many people are around – bubble baths, tea, sweet treats, inspiring women in my community (even if that means just keeping up with their blogs) and long walks with my pup Honey are just a few of the things I can do almost anytime, anywhere to make myself feel positive. They’re simple, but they work every time, and sometimes when it feels like the world is falling apart, finding stability in yourself is all you really need to get through.

Kelsie //

When I think of self care I think about the things that make me happy no matter how bad I’m feeling, even when I have a jam packed schedule and $5 in my bank account.

The one constant in my life is the need to travel. Literally nothing in this world can make me happier than a hotel booking or a flight confirmation, and so many spontaneous trips (and a fair amount of debt) have all come from the comfort of booking a new adventure.

When I’m not able to fly far away, I usually make an appointment to get my hair done. It truly is the ultimate pick-me-up (shoutout to Jaymi @ Good Day Hairshop for making it happen.)

Most importantly, spending time with my closest friends is the ultimate self care, because I wouldn’t be myself if it weren’t for the incredible people I surround myself with. They are truly my Valentines!

Johanna //

My favourite way to take care of myself is to keep my hands and brain busy making things. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I pretty much always have my hands busy painting and drawing, but over the last couple years working here at RAOP I’ve been able to hone skills I never thought I would.

Since the job is ever-changing, the skills I’m learning closely mirror the landscape; from coding, marbling, cake decorating and wreath building… the list is always growing. The best part? Sometimes I get to share the fun things I make with you! Like this pastel gallery wall DIY.

Speaking of, scroll down for the full DIY!

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This HP Deskjet 3755 is the perfect addition to the RAOP office space. We’re all about minimizing clutter this year so the fact that the printer itself is only the height of an iphone is pretty convenient! It’s ideal for quick and easy print jobs and especially photos, the paper tray clearly marks out and accepts sheet sizes of 8.5” x 11”, 5” x 7” and 4” x 6” – all your standard photo sizes. So while my Valentines (TeamRAOP) are away I’m relaxing on the couch, wirelessly printing and putting together a wall of our favourite moments.

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What you’ll need //

Old Frames
Acrylic craft paint
Spray paint (if your frames are metal)
Coloured and/or patterned craft paper
Glue
Painters tape
Paint brushes
Ruler
Scissors or a paper cutter

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First decide on a colour scheme, I chose pink, rose gold and gold, and a little pink glitter for extra Valentines spirit. You’ll want to pick up a couple different colours of acrylic craft paint to use as well as some different corresponding paper colours to use as mattes.

Then you’re off on a vintage frame treasure hunt. Value Village, or other thrift stores are the best place to find inexpensive but fun and unique frames to DIY, I got a bag of 4 for $1.00 and some larger ones for under $5. Look for frames that are wood as opposed to plastic if you’re planning on painting it and keep an eye out for ones with mattes inside you can also paint and repurpose.

Once you have your frames and supplies plan out which photo you’d like in which frames. Measure each frame and print your photos accordingly. If you’re adding a coloured matte behind leave an inch all the way around the photo and the frame. You can use the backings from the frames to trace around your coloured or patterned paper to use as backgrounds. Try a double matte with a solid colour and a glitter paper! The options are pretty endless

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Make sure you’re frames are clean and sand off and finishes that may be on them, start painting! It may take 3 or 4 coats to get even coverage. If you’re frames are metal I recommend spray paint instead. Your frames should be fully dry before you start adding photos.

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If one of the frames came with a matte you can create this half and half look below.

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Take apart the frame, carefully remove the glass and set aside somewhere safe. Place the matte back inside the frame and tape in place, turn the frame over and measure the middle. Draw a line across and remove the matte. Use a piece of painters tape to block off one half and give the frame and the matte a few coats. Once it’s dry carefully remove the tape and put your frame back together.

Hang up all your masterpieces together paying attention to shape and size, it’s easiest to build out from the middle. You’ve made yourself a monument to good memories! The best part is with our HP Instant Ink subscription we can print and re-print new memories each season with brand new ink cartridges delivered to our door each month!

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Get CreativeRandom

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It’s a well known fact that us RAOP girls are obsessed with all things floral – from treats and tea to candles and perfume, we seriously cant get enough.

DIY queen Johanna wanted to carry the the obsession over into skincare, and of course she added a bit of crystal magic to the mix in modern witch style. Here’s how she did it:

Harnessing the powers of roses and rose quartz I decided to try my hand at creating one of my favourite beauty go-to’s: Rosewater skin tonic! Since it’s Valentines month, a time of year when we could all use a little more self-love, I decided to infuse my potion with the love-drawing power of rose quartz.

What you’ll need //

1 cup Distilled water
Rose essential oil
Witch Hazel
1/4 c dried food-grade rose buds or petals
Small piece of raw rose quartz
Empty glass spray bottles

Start by boiling the rose buds or petals in distilled water in a saucepan on the stove for about 20 minutes, remove from heat and strain. Set this aside to cool completely.

*The darker the dried rose and the boiling time will effect the colouring of your final spray

Now, break up your rose quartz specimen into small pieces, place it in a plastic bag, on a hard surface use a hammer to break it up.

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Place 3 or 4 pieces at the bottom of each spray bottle.

In the bowl of cooled rose water add about 4 teaspoons of witch hazel and 3-4 drops of rose essential oil and whisk. Carefully pour into the spray bottles and shake, you’ve made yourself a rosey skin soothing magic potion! Spray all over your face and neck after cleansing and before moisturizing.

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Here’s some of our other favourite self-care potions:

Province Apothecary’s Lovers Oil
Witch in the Wild’s Amethyst Face Serum
Herbivore’s Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist
Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence

Get Creative

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Everyone in Toronto (and Canada in general I presume) is having a tough time getting out of the bed. Since our team gets to work at home anyway, we thought we’d find a way to sweeten the deal and make our stay home club even cozier. With the help of amazing pastel sheets from Bedface and Johanna’s handiwork, we turned my bedroom into a magical escape so cozy you almost forget the weather outside is frightful.

Scroll down for instructions!

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What you’ll need //

2 flat sheets (we used Bedface and we adore them!)
3 1/2″ wooden dowels (3-4 ft long)
6 screw-in hooks
Measuring tape
Level
Rope
10-15 alligator clips (make sure they are the same size as your wooden dowels)

+ Pillows, blankets, tassel garlands and cozy details from #ShopRAOP (optional)

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Instructions //

Start by using a measuring tape and level to draw 2 small x’s on the ceiling for each wooden dowel. 2 will run parallel to the edges of the bed and one will cut directly down the middle. Use 2 Hooks per dowel.

Once you have these hooks screwed into the ceiling you can cut 4 pieces of rope (each approx. 30 inches long.) Tie these 4 pieces into circles and set aside. Now cut 2 pieces each 14 inches long and tie them as well.

The 4 longer pieces will get hung on the two outer hooks and the 2 smaller pieces will hang on the middle hooks. This will give you your ‘house’ formation.

Place the wooden dowels inside the hanging hoops of rope evenly so they are sturdy. Take one sheet’s top edge and use an alligator clip to secure it’s middle to the middle of the highest wooden dowel (the centre of your fort). Work your way, scrunching and clipping as you go to either end. Repeat on the other side.

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Now you have two sheets attached to the centre dowel of your fort. Gather each sheet and feed it over the outer dowel and clip in the middle and at each end to secure. Repeat on the other side.

Now add lights, tassels, pillows and blankets!

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Get Creative

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This time of year, we’re all about gift giving. We make massive donations to a local youth shelter and treat friends to special surprises, but we wanted to do something little for you guys too. Our awesome intern Olivia designed these mega-cute RAOP holiday desktop/phone backgrounds, and we’re obsessed! We hope they bring you warmth and lots of cheer this holiday season!

Download links below

Mitten 1 //

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Download it for Desktop here: +++
Download it for Mobile here: +++

Candy Cane 1 //

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Download it for Desktop here: +++
Download it for Mobile here: +++

Candy Cane 2 //

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Download it for Desktop here: +++
Download it for Mobile here: +++

Coffee //

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Download it for Desktop here: +++
Download it for Mobile here: +++

Holly //

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Download it for Desktop here: +++
Download it for Mobile here: +++