Meet Regina’s Wanita Jane – Life, Style and Creative Guru

Meet Wanita Jane.

Wanita Jane

Wanita Jane

Wanita is one of the most creative and talented women I’ve ever met. I’ll never forget the first time I walked into the home she shares with her husband, Tornado Hunter Greg Johnson and their three kids, and being blown away by the unique decor items and creative installments that were virtually everywhere. The pictures in this post highlight just a few of the unreal pieces scattered throughout the Johnson’s home in Regina.



What was even more unbelievable was learning that Wanita sources almost 100% of her finds from flea markets, garage sales and yep – even the odd garbage pile. On that front, check this out:

Belmont Apts Wall Mount

Belmont Apts Wall Mount

The above Belmont Apartments doorframe, which Wanita reclaimed with permission from the contractor during the demolition of the building, was a piece she spied sitting in a garbage heap on the construction site as she drove by. With a little polish, and a clear coat of glaze to preserve the wicked vintage feel, Wanita turned the piece into one of the focal points of the Johnson dining room. It really is stunning.

Silver Grouping - Wall Shelf

Silver Grouping – Wall Shelf

Groupings: Odds & Ends

Groupings: Odds & Ends

Before meeting Wanita, I don’t think I had been to a garage sale in 20 years, but after being inspired by her unbelievable talent for scouting out and reclaiming beautiful pieces, it’s impossible not to want to go look for yourself.

In addition to home decor items, Wanita has also scored some amazing, like-new and high quality brand name clothing and accessories for her family for a tiny fraction of their original cost. Authentic Coach bag, $6 bucks? Seriously!

Hence, as the Saskatchewan second-hand season kicks off with garage sales, outdoor flea markets and auctions galore, I’m proud to introduce Wanita Jane as our newest Scene blogger. Here she’ll inspire you her tips and tricks for finding castoffs and turning them into works of art, as well as share some of her own killer finds.

As a Regina wife, mother and realtor, you can also expect to learn alot more about who she is – what she thinks, what she does and how she does it when she’s not treasure-hunting.

Kitchen - Wall Mounted Antique Map

Kitchen – Wall Mounted Antique Map

Kitchen Wall Mosaic - Multimedia

Kitchen Wall Mosaic – Multimedia

With that, I turn things over to Wanita – cannot WAIT to see, read and hear what she comes up with this summer, and beyond.

Welcome to the Scene, Wanita! – Tam xo


Saskatoon’s Blended Jive: Color Trends for 2012

From Fine Lifestyles, Winter 2011/12 edition:

Do you spend thousands of dollars renovating and decorating your home to ensure it looks and feels the way you want for the holiday season, yet often end up disappointed? Or do you want to start 2012 with a new feel to your decor? At Saskatoon’s Blended Jive, owners Brandi and Joline want you to know just how much of an impact new interior colors can have on your space – and its usually the most inexpensive renovation one can undertake.

“Winter color trends are soft greys, smoky taupes and dark, bold colors,” explains Brandi. “Introduce them throughout the home by using a monochromatic scheme, or by incorporating dark, bold rich hues with neutrals through color blocking – an easy, sophisticated way to highlight a feature, or simply dress up an empty wall.”

“You can apply the technique in your home with paint, or by adding textures and patterns with wallpaper,” continues Joline. “Bring a chic look to your bedroom space with one bold accent wallpaper pattern to emphasize the headboard wall. For a soft subtle nursery or dramatic wall space in the living room or dining area, create your own look with textured paintable wallpaper.”

“The trend for interior doors this season is painting in a dark contrasting color to the casing and moldings, bringing life to the entryway to each space within the home.” says Brandi. “By incorporating a few new paint colors, whether in an accent area or an entire room, a fresh coat of paint remains the most economical way to enhance and modernize your interior.” Quite simply, paint is the homeowner’s ultimate decorating tool, altering the appearance, impression of size and even the perception of temperature for as little as $50, and less than an afternoon of your time.

Bold hues or neutrals, Blended Jive know these paint color trends will have you reaching for your brush and roller…

PARA Paints key colours for Winter 2011:

Trendsetting Style P5220-24, Coin Silver P2146-04, Snappy Dresser P5221-24, Stoneware Tint1 P2062-01, Weathervane P2139-03, Teeter Totter P5161-75D, Fresh Avocado P5174-85 and Her Majesty P5149-85.

For 2012:

All shades of purples, from the smoky mauves of Big Shot P5195-44 to fruity Grape Hyacinth P5099-63. Darker burgundies shine with a hint of raspberry in shades like Truly in Love P5143-75D, or smolder with one of the darkest purples in the Para palette – Little Black Dress P5195-85. Other trends include optimistic yellow hues of Sun Flowers P5058-52, Absolutely Beaming P5052-52 or the dramatic Saffron P5055-73.


Shop the Scene: Saskatoon’s Tonic

Coming home after spending my early twenties working in London’s finance sector, I knew two things: I loved this fabulous province more than when I left it, and losing daily access to the British shopping scene felt like losing a limb.

So when my best girlfriend dragged me out of my stubborn fashion funk for a visit to Saskatoon’s Tonic, it was like coming home again, again.

It had everything I loved about great boutique shopping in London and on frequent Eurostar zips to Paris – a style bounty accompanied by loads of shiny, textured accessories, and to complete the trifecta of retail goodness – I could afford it.

So Tonic, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.

Location, location – one of the first businesses to bust a move over to Saskatoon’s trendy downtown 2nd Avenue, the bright and spacious boutique is enticingly full, but not packed to “why bother” levels.  Displays are inspiringly pulled together, while shelves are artfully arranged throughout.  Even better – Tonic has recently opened a new location in Saskatoon’s Broadway district.  The newly renovated space is smallish, but the clean, modern decor and well-organized layout will keep you lingering just as long.

The picture doesn't do this adorable little olive green number justice - check the sweet detail on the front.

Roxy rocks.  Tonic’s owner Roxanne Woodley is a seasoned Saskatchewan entrepreneur – in business since she was 22, she first experimented with a vintage decor haven that branched into customized t-shirt/bunnyhug type fare.  In fact, Roxy made the classic mistake of growing too big too quickly.  Now in her thirties, Roxy credits the junior mistakes she made as invaluable lessons she’s applied to evolve Tonic into the success story it is today.  Friendly and unpretentious, a relaxed Roxy is well put-together in a way that doesn’t send customers casting anxious glances down at their own outfits.

It really is a shop For Women.  Moms feel as comfortable as their high school daughters thanks to classy, tailored co-ordinates lined up alongside the fun, flirty pieces favored by teens.  Roxy, a mother herself, makes sure she stocks up on well-fitting and flattering designs in plenty of sizes – recognizing that retail therapy is a right, not a privilege.

Very me.

Very someone younger (but not cuter) than me.

As the old saying* goes, “accessories are for everyone”.  Tonic’s got them – lots of them.  From delicate to bold, hats to tights – and ranging in price from $10 up.  What else can I say?

*Probably not an old saying.

Did I mention I can afford it? You think boutique shopping, you think expensive, don’t you?  Stop.  Roxy stocks Tonic with both low and high-end lines, and even better?  She actually loads up for sales!  How cool is that?  Boxing Day, the legendary annual Saskatoon’s summer 2nd Avenue Sidewalk Sale – Roxy wants you to find a great deal, instead of just throwing out the token sale rack full of wonky sizes and stuff no one needs.  She works with her suppliers to source lines that pack fashion punch for less.  That being said, if you’re in the market for knockout pieces to splurge on, she’s got plenty of those too.

I could go on forever, but I won’t (let’s face it – I already did).  The bottom line – Tonic Saskatoon is proof the very best shopping is right here at home.

Love Tonic?  Leave a comment and tell us why, or email me at  We’ll send you a wicked Tonic discount card!

Tonic Saskatoon

Downtown ~ ph: (306) 975-1529 ~ 122 2nd Avenue N ~ Saskatoon, SK S7K2B2 ~ Mon – Sat: 10 – 6 Thurs: 10 – 9 Sun: 12 – 5

Broadway ~ ph: (306) 652-2252 ~ 802b Broadway Avenue ~ (corner of broadway & 10th ST) ~ Mon – Sat: 10 – 6 Sun: closed

Twitter @tonicsaskatoon or Facebook