DESIGN: Cricut Design Space Star Top 10

Hey all, I know this is a day late, but how was your weekend? I was up in Ottawa for the big Etsy: Made in Canada show and just rolled back into town late last night. Yesterday also happened to be my birthday. Feels so great to be 25……again. Spending 5 hours driving back from Ottawa wasn’t actually a horrible was to spend the day because it was just gorgeous and I took back roads so I really enjoyed all the fall colours and driving through some great little towns. Stay tuned for a full update on the show and my weekend a little later.

The best birthday news I got yesterday is that my floral cake topper that I shared with you a few weeks ago was chosen as a top 10 contender for the Cricut Design Space Star Challenge. Woot! Woot! And even more awesome is that 2 other of my Lucky 13 teammates, East Coast Creative & Suburban Bitches are also in the top 10. You could say we’re kinda kicking @ss.

cricut explore flower cake topper 4

The winner is based on votes so I need your help. You know that part of your day where you’re totally bored and just looking for distractions from what you’re actually suppose to be doing? Yeah, that’s when I want you to head over to the Cricut Design Space Star Challenge voting page and vote for my floral cake topper project. You can vote once every day, so just go ahead and do that. Thanks! (I’m pretty sure you have to LIKE the Cricut page to see the voting under the Vote Contest tab)

Cricut Design Space Star Challenge Top 10 / The Sweet Escape


Etsy Made in Canada ottawaRemember on Monday when I told you how hard I was working to prep for the Etsy: Made in Canada show. yeah, well it’s here! And I admit I’m a little burned out, but also excited. I’ve been making stuff like crazy and this morning I’m heading off to Ottawa. My loft has turned into one huge beautiful mess.  But that’s part of the process, the mess part. If only there was a magic fairy to come and clean it all up before I return on Monday.

Sorry for the brief post but I have to get on the road. Here’s a peek of what I’ll be selling at the show. If you’re in the Ottawa area or looking for a mini-roadtrip for the day, come say hello. It’s at the Sensplex in Kanata, Saturday from 9-4pm.

Remember these gold monogram plates I did awhile back? Yeah, I made bunch of those but I added some fun icons along with the E-A-T set.

plates process

Etsy Made in Canada Gold Plates / THe Sweet Escape Etsy Made in Canada Gold Plates / THe Sweet Escape Etsy Made in Canada Gold Plates / THe Sweet Escape

All I have to say is thank god for my Cricut Explore machine! It allowed me to bring so many ideas to life for these cute cake toppers.  Along with the wedding and floral cake toppers I already shared with you last week, I’m also adding these to the bunch.

Etsy Made in Canada cake toppers / THe Sweet Escape Etsy Made in Canada cake toppers / THe Sweet Escape Etsy Made in Canada HOORAY  cake toppers / THe Sweet Escape

Etsy Made in Canada happy birthday cake topper / THe Sweet Escape Etsy Made in Canada happy birthday cake topper / THe Sweet Escape Etsy Made in Canada happy birthday cake topper / THe Sweet Escape

wedding cake topper Etsy Made in Canada wedding cake topepr / THe Sweet EscapeThere you have it! Man it only took me 2 minutes to upload all those photos even though it took me two weeks to pull it all together! One thing that I didn’t quite have time for is updating my Etsy shop. The plates are a little tricky when it comes to shipping so I gotta think about that one but I plan on having the cake toppers up there as soon as I have a spare moment. So if you can’t make it to the show check back on The Sweet Escape Etsy shop soon and you should see them up there.

Have a great weekend!



THRIFTING: Value Village Thrift Store Tour

value village savers thrift store blogger tour / The Sweet Escape

Well you know where this is going. A bunch of bloggers who love thrift shopping going on a Value Village store tour in some brand new & roomy cars? Ok, twist my arm to say yes. That’s what went down recently and I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday. After another super successful and fun BlogPodium conference, a small group of us Value Village lovers decided to go on a thrifty road trip. So what happens when 5 bloggers are let loose in 4 Value Village stores with $100 each to spend and 2 Ford Escapes to fill? Keep reading to see how the treasure hunt unfolded. Spoiler alert – there was no hair pulling.

value village savers thrift store blogger tour / The Sweet Escape

Here’s the crew – myself and 4 awesome ladies ready to get our thrift-on at our first stop. Dani from Life Over Easy, Kristen from Storefront Life, Lucy from Craftberry Bush, and Virginia from Fynes Designs. Look how excited we are!

There was lots of consulting and on-the-spot brainstorming. There was also a lot of “but do I really need that?” and “I sooo need that” and thankfully not one single “you could put a bird on it”. Shockingly there was no fights, maybe just a tiny jealous glance into the cart every now and then. We all seemed to have different enough tastes that no one was going after the same thing. Also because we had to drive around together all day.

value village savers thrift store blogger tour / The Sweet Escape

So what did I spend my $100 on? Lots of stuff! That kinda money goes a long way at Value Village, which is awesome. I didn’t really have a project or hunting list, I was just waiting for cool stuff to jump at me off the shelf. And by ‘jump’, I mean buried under and amongst lots of not so cool stuff. I mostly stuck to housewares because that’s my weakness. I also was hoping to have a few before & after projects to show you but unfortunately life got in the way a bit. BUT I can still share my thrifty scores with you and some of my plans to hopefully inspire you to be open minded when you’re on the hunt next time at Value Village.

These teal & gold plates made me squeal. They are absolutely perfect as is. I can’t wait to add them to the open concept shelf in my new kitchen. Aren’t they beautiful?! I know smoking is ugly but these old brass ashtrays definitely are not. I’m thinking of turning them into candles with some simple white candle wax.
value village savers thrift store blogger tour / The Sweet Escape

One of my most questionable finds of the day was this huge flower pendant light fixture. Have you ever seen anything like it?! I definitely questioned it as a hit or miss but my gut just couldn’t walk away. It’s a little off season now but transforming this next summer will be one of my biggest thrift challenges yet. What do you think? I would love to hear any good ideas you have for this gal.

value village savers thrift store blogger tour / The Sweet Escape value village savers thrift store blogger tour / The Sweet Escape

How cute is this lamp?! I think it would look great in a child’s bedroom or playroom. A little gold paint to simplify and freshen up and it’s good to go. 
value village savers thrift store blogger tour / The Sweet Escape

These planters were my first find, I really lucked out. That is real brass along the top, which I love. The bamboo could possibly use an update with a solid coat of white or black but I’m kinda liking them au natural as well. What do you think? I’m planning a bit of a plant section in my place so these will come in handy. 
value village savers thrift store blogger tour / The Sweet Escape

Old wine racks are a dime a dozen at Value Village but they usually aren’t my style. I happened to be looking for one and this one was perfect. It was already brass but I decided to give it a fresh coat of gold spray paint and now it looks perfect on my gold bar cart.

value village savers thrift store blogger tour / The Sweet Escape

Yup, we definitely did some damage. We had no problem filling those Ford Escapes right up. The motion foot activated trunk opener came in super handy with our hands full after each stop. I’m also used to driving a small 10 yr old car so the smooth ride and touch screen options were a treat.

value village savers thrift store blogger tour / The Sweet Escape

Overall it was a great day of thrifting. I admit that going to Value Village is usually a solo mission for me but I think it’s because most of my gal pals aren’t into digging through the rough to find the diamonds. These ladies and I were on the same page. I loved having someone confirm a decision or take a questionable item out of my hand and put it back on the shelf.  I’m thinking this may have to be a regular thing!
value village savers thrift store blogger tour / The Sweet EscapeInterested to see the treasures that the other ladies scored? Check out these links to read about their finds and some great thrifted before & after projects. Thanks for a great day guys!!

Thrifted Home Accessories, Craftberry Bush

Thrifted Lamp Makeover, Storefront Life

DIY Candle Holders from Thrift Store Bowls, Life Over Easy.

A Wall of Baking Treasures, Fynes Designs


DIY: watercolour dye wine bag

DIY watercolour dip dye wine bag


Do you think of yourself as a good dinner guest? Well you can make yourself even more popular and one-up your competition by showing up at your next dinner party with one of these unique watercolour dip dye paper wine bags. Just like the dinner guest list, no two are alike. Hop over to the Kendall-Jackson Wines site to see the full tutorial and for lots of inspiration on what to put inside your fancy new wine bag. KJ watercolour wine bag 12DIY watercolour dip dye wine bag

TUNES: music for a monday

Hey all. How was your weekend? I spent endless hours crafting (I hate that word but there’s no better replacement) to prep for the upcoming Etsy: Made In Canada show I’ll be part of next Saturday. You’ll have to keep an eye out on Instagram for a sneak peek of what I’m making. So if you see the blog a little lighter on content this week, you know why. I’m not being lazy, in fact I’m working like crazy. Prepping for a handmade show can get a bit redundant sometimes but what really helps is some good tunes and it’s the perfect opportunity to listen to something new. Here’s what I’ve Shazam’ed lately. As usual I’m all over the place. What do you like to listen to while you’re working on a project?

Budapest by George Ezra

All About the Bass by Megan Trainor (this video wins the prize for completely opposite of what I expected)

Everyone Falls in Love Sometimes by Tanto Metro & Devonte

Like Real People Do by Hozier

I’m a huge Bahamas fan and can’t get enough of his new album. The song My Little Record Girl  is quickly becoming my favourite. There’s no video just yet.

Bahamas is Afie

…and here’s another beautiful song from his last album.

Lost in the Light by Bahamas (this gets lots of play around here)


SAY I DO: Mr & Mrs wedding cake topper


Wedding Cake Topper heart glitter

It’s a double-header kinda day. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m kinda hooked on my new Cricut Explore machine right now so I couldn’t resist showing you another fun cake topper I made for this month’s Design Space Star Challenge. This one is for the Mr & Mrs and was a bit tricky because although it’s just one layer it’s a more delicate design and I really had to play with the elements to give the piece enough structure not to fall apart or any floating pieces. I tried it using a super thin piece of birch wood but the design didn’t really lend itself well to the material. Although the machine cut the wood, it struggled with the smaller details and the cuts just didn’t look clean enough. I found this great gold posterboard at Staples and it works great.

Red Heart Glitter Wedding Cake Topper / The Sweet Escape

I ran my design through my Cricut Explore and it handled it like pro. You can read more about the Cricut and see it in action in yesterday’s post. After the piece was cut I just added red glitter by hand using some white glue. Then I cut a wood skewer to size and used a small dab of hot glue to create the stick. Isn’t it cute?!

Red Heart Glitter Wedding Cake Topper / The Sweet Escape

I think it’s the perfect cake topper for a small & simple cake with just the right amount of bling. This was just for fun but if I decide to make more, you bet I’ll make the Mr & Mr and Mrs & Mrs version.

Red Heart Glitter Wedding Cake Topper / The Sweet Escape Red Heart Glitter Wedding Cake Topper / The Sweet Escape

So just another reminder to watch out for this project or any of my Lucky #13 Cricut teammate‘s great projects on the Design Space Star Top 10 page. Hopefully you’ll see this loveable cake topper or the sweet floral one I did on the Top 10. Red Heart Glitter Wedding Cake Topper / The Sweet Escape

Ok, now I’m going to let you in on a little styling secret. Actually I don’t know if other stylists do this but they should, because it totally works and saves a bunch of time. I love making cakes and 99.9% when you see a cake on my blog it’s real. But this time around I didn’t have any occasion to make a cake, it wasn’t a food post and I was pressed for time but I really wanted to show how great this topper looks on a cake so I got creative. I actually just iced a tupperware container. And as if that wasn’t lazy enough, I only iced half of it! Fake it ’til you make it people. I promise I’m not trying to fool you all the time but sometimes we all need a shortcut.

icing cake styling trickAnd here’s a behind the scenes peek into my beautiful photo studio – aka the top of the landing where I have a south facing window. Notice the high tech and professional masking tape and plant stand & foamcore table? We run a pro operation here at The Sweet Escape. I love providing a pretty Sweet Escape from your every day but every once and awhile I think it’s good to show you what’s under my skirt.

Mr Mrs Heart Cake topper 9



DIY: floral cake topper with Cricut Explore

cricut explore flower cake topper5

Hello, my name is Melissa and I’m addicted to the Cricut Explore. Today I’m sharing with you my first official Cricut project – a super cute floral cake topper. Seriously, how freak’n cute is this?!?

I was first introduced to the Cricut back in January while attending Alt Summit and at first I wasn’t so sure it was really for me. BUT – Once I saw some of the great projects that people like Mandi from Vintage Revivals were cranking out with this machine my brain started spinning and I decided I had to get my hands on one. That’s why I was beyond excited when I was chosen to participate in the Cricut Design Space Star Challenge along with my Lucky #13 team members.  Expect to see some great projects the next few months and I’ll be looking for your vote to help me on my path to stardom as the Cricut Design Space Star winner. This here is the magic cutting machine in case you’re not familiar with it.
Cricut Explore

It’s pretty cool. It can cut everything from paper (duh!), vinyl, fabric, iron-on transparencies, wood and lots of other things you can think of. It also can draw pretty much anything your brain can imagine. You just tell this machine what to do and it does it. It’s better behaved than any boyfriend or child. You can either design your own stuff which is what I do, but don’t worry, if you’re not a designer you can buy designs that are available and make them your own.

cricut explore 3

Ok, so onto the creative stuff. The theme was celebrations and florals and not surprisingly for me I decided to make my first project a bit of a challenge. I decided that before I even know how the Cricut Explore works I’m going to tackle a multi-layer project. Here’s my fresh & bold colour selection of cardstock – that’s no less than 5 different layers.


Then I got to designing my piece, which hopefully you’ll see available for download on the Cricut Design Space in the future. Check this out, it’s so cool to see my design come to life through the blade of the Cricut. I admit, I let out a little squeal when this came out of the machine.

DIY Floral Cake Topper with Cricut Explore / The Sweet Escape

So it’s a bit of a process to do something with mutiple colours & layers. I won’t get into the details but you can see how it comes together:Floral Cake Topper using Cricut Explore / The Sweet EscapePretty cool huh? Sure you could use a knife and do this by hand if you have like a million hours to kill but let’s face it, you probably won’t be able to cut everything exactly the same so it lines up just perfectly.  I added a bit of gold glitter for a little bling bling. It is a party after all.

cricut explore flower cake topper 2

Just add some wood skewers with a little hot glue and it makes the sweetest topper for the sweetest cake for the sweetest occasion. That there is what I call a Sweet Escape. cricut explore flower cake topper 3 cricut explore flower cake topper 4

Can you see why I’m loving my Cricut so much? If you’re a big crafty DIY’er and you’re dying to get your hands on one of these awesome machines you should check out the Cricut I Made It! contest. There’s the chance to design your own (!) Make It Now Design Line for the Cricut Design Space as well as be featured on The Design Network. Contest closes September 26th.

cricut explore flower cake topperHere’s my awesome Lucky #13 crew. It includes Monica of East Coast Creative, MJ of Pars Caeli, Sarah and Jessica of Pretty Providence, Erin & Tricia of Suburban Bitches, Sadie Jane of Simply Sadie Jane, Crystal of Sew Creative Blog, Katie of That Girl Katie, Celina of Petit A Petit and Family, and Andrea of Andrea’s Notebook.You have to check out their great floral themed projects below and stop by the Cricut Design Star Challenge page between Sept 29 – Oct 3 to vote for your favourites. 

Design Space Star Brand Page

Cricut Explore Design Space Star Team 13

Cricut Design Space Star / A Floral Affair

  1. The Sweet Escapes Floral Cake Topper
  2. East Coast Creative’s Photo Backdrop
  3. Andrea’s Notebook Floral Pinwheel
  4. Sew Creative’s Paper Bridal Bouquet
  5. Pars Caeli’s Flower Lights
  6. Petit a Petit and Family’s Birthday Kit
  7. Suburban Bitches’ Floral Chandelier
  8. Pretty Providence’s Simple Elegant Thank You Cards
  9. The Sweet Escape’s Wedding Cake Topper
  10. That Girl Katie’s Floral Vases
  11. Sew Creative’s Flower Girl Barrettes
  12. Simply Sadie Jane’s Flower Stamped Cake and Flower Party Hats

GOOD EATS: no cream (cauliflower) cream sauce

No Cream Cauliflower Cream Sauce recipe / The Sweet Escape

Guys!!! I’m about to blow your mind. I have a total recipe game changer for you. Unless you drew the lucky straw in the genetics dept. or you’re a gym junkie you probably love you some creamy carbonara/alfredo sauce but your hips, not so much. Well I have a no cream cream sauce recipe to share with you. That’s right, creamy goodness without the calories. After you read this and your eyes eat these pictures up, cauliflower will be your new best friend in the kitchen.

Read More →

SPACES: kitchen makeover update

So do you remember wayyyyyyy back in February I mentioned that I would love to give my kitchen an update and posted all this great kitchen inspiration? Well I’ve been busy trying to make it happen. You know, doin’ it not just dream’n it. I’m super excited to give you a little update today. I love progress reports because they keep it real. A dramatic before & after is fun but it’s kinda nice to see the in between parts sometimes.

Just another reminder, this is what my kitchen looks like. Well this is what it looked like until a few weeks ago.

Kitchen Makeover: Before picture / The Sweet Escape

This is what it looks like as of today. It’s like one of those celebrity without makeup photos. So exposed!


But the good news is that all those cupboards are now back in my possession and looking super sexy.  But let’s rewind for a second. So I knew that I kinda hated my cupboards. I mean, there wasn’t anything particularly offensive about them but they reminded me of the 90’s (along with the multi-colour laminate counter) and I’m not a fan of beech wood finish. But really they are perfectly good cupboards and a blank canvas which made them perfect for a spray paint makeover.

That’s where my friends at Paint It Like New come in. I discovered the makeover magic people at Paint It Like New when they did a fab budget kitchen makeover for Cityline. I’m always a fan of upcycling and that includes my kitchen. The cupboards were in great condition and a simple clean design so they just needed some fresh colour. Like a hot new eyeshadow for my kitchen. So the first step was to take down all the doors, that was easy. I dropped them off to Paint It Like New’s Toronto location then went home to agonize over which exact colour to choose.

cupboards takedownI know this will make me look crazy to most people but those fellow home decor/designer colour addicts out there will know that there IS a difference between these two colours. It was a showdown between Cooled Blue and Restful. This was really stressful because usually I’m not so indecisive about colour but I was pretty much 50/50 on this one and didn’t have a second pair of eyes to push me one way or the other. Is it killing you to know? You’ll have to wait until the end to see the winner.

kitchen colours

Meanwhile back at Paint It Like New my old cupboards were in the makeover chair. The pros took those guys and gave them a good cleaning, sanding and priming. cupboards sanding

Then the fun part, painting! The black cupboards are for the island.
kitchen cupboard spray painting process

Then fast forward a few weeks and like a proud mama, I brought these babies home yesterday. Do you love them as much as I do?!?!?! They are just chillin’ out for 48 hours getting used to their new home. It was Cooled Blue for the win!
cupboards afterI’m sooooooo happy with the results. Thanks so much to the helpful team at Paint It Like New for giving my cupboards a hot new makeover and for putting up with my multiple visits and rambling about colour selection. I highly recommend considering professionally spray painting (leave it to the pros)  as an option rather than trashing your old cupboards and trading them in for $omething new.

I’m also excited to share an update on some of the other elements of the kitchen makeover to pull together the look. With the exception of the countertops which I’m still trying to decide on 100%, these are the actual elements that I’ll be using and I think I got it pretty dang close to my inspiration board. Win for me! Now I just have to put all the puzzle pieces together. This is when I wish I was from a huge family that included a plumber, electrician, and tiler.

Get the Look: Vintage Modern Kitchen 1.  Gold Pendant, Wayfair  /  2. Gold Hardware, D. Lawless Hardware  / 3.  Sherwin Williams Paint Colours, Cooled Blue & Tricorn Black / 4. Kraus Black Undermount Onyx Granite Sink  / 5. Novecento Hexagon Marble Tile, Home Depot / 6. Delta Trinsic Brass Faucet / 7. Wood Countertop / 8. Black Quartz Countertop


Stay tuned for the final reveal and at least one installation horror story that I’m sure is in my future.


Yes, you’re on the right blog. It’s no secret that I’m a huge colour lover. I usually find myself having to hold back on going too crazy with colour but today I felt like taking a breather. Don’t worry, there’s PLENTY of colour in my near future (kitchen update coming soon!) but today I’m inspired by the beautiful lack of colour with these white images. I couldn’t help but think of my blogger pal White Cabana while putting this colour story together.

Color Story: White / The Sweet Escape

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