Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Lately... oh, and Hashtag

It's not that often that I check in here anymore... but today, here I am! Super guilty of Instagram replacing blog posts... so you should follow me here if you want to keep up. Also, I'm in a major hashtagging mood - so... beware. Just a few bits and pieces to throw at you (aka #mostrandompostever)... just in case you think I haven't been keeping busy!! Here goes...

We re-organized our coat closet... here's the before #youmaywanttoscrollpast (sorry for the awful photos - such a tough area to get decent light!)
Yes, that top shelf has ripped out of the wall before. Why do you ask?
Rough, right? Eeeek. So, we moved the shelf way up because the closet goes wayyyyy up to 9 feet. If only I could reach that far. That added a bit more space so we could fit a filing cabinet (to replace those awful filing boxes - they ensured that I never filed because they were brutal for me to get at). The filing cabinet is the "Erik" from Ikea. Hard to believe that name is pronounceable considering it's from Ikea but it is! Anyway, it totally does the job. Kris custom built a shoe rack to fit in the left over space (he used pine, no plans and stained it Varathane gray).
Notice that the right side of the shoe rack actually sits on the baseboard so we could use every square inch of space?! He's the best! And now that top shelf only holds cleaning supplies and stuff we don't use often.
We got the deck all ready for Summer...  and my new Home Sense lantern has me aching to switch out the pillows for some neutrals (yes, I have changed them every year #igetbored)... just have to put up the globe lights again like last year! I desperately wanted to get some railing planters and fill them with impatiens but the baskets were going to be a fortune and impatiens are still unavailable thanks to last year's blight problem. Things just didn't go my way! Next year. I would love a rug too, but what's the point in buying a rug if you don't have the right pillows? Oh, the trials and tribulations.
Faithfully visiting my little corner store for flowers (ahem, bunches of peonies for $8).
Totally on the Rose (how do you get an accent on a Mac??) train for summer. So many delicious wines. Isn't this the prettiest bottle (yup, bought it for the label... total sucker for good marketing)?!
Re-grouted our ensuite shower #worstjobever. Next time I'll use a sledgehammer and get new tile. Grout is not fun to remove at all. Our grout has been cracked for some time and that shower gets heavy use so we had to deal with it. Pretty sure the grout consistency you see below is too dry. We also used Grout Renew and painted the grout that was salvageable. We have sealed and now need to silicone. Literally, this job has dragged on for 2 months and we have been living out of our tiny main bathroom. Awesome. Oh, and obviously I wasn't organized enough to take disgusting before photos #badbloggeraward
^^ Not my ugly foot (Kris' gross stomped on soccer toe).

During our re-grouting adventures, I went and bought a bunch of organizing containers. I love me some Dollar Store baskets, but god, they were ugly. So fancy acrylic organizers it was. Small pleasures, people.
Also during our re-grouting adventures, we pulled out the paint. Remember when I asked about this wall? And none of you helped me out?? Thanks for nothing. Except you, Jen. Anyway, I decided to stick with the wall colour on the rest of the floor and leave it at that. Reality is that we are moving sooner rather than later and I don't want to over-personalize the walls. But, I also learned that magic erasers are magic for scratched up walls (as long as you have flat paint). It didn't fix everything, but it sure went a long way towards reducing my painting load. Be careful if you try this... it can still leave stains on your walls and if you scrub too hard, it will disintegrate on your walls which is super annoying to clean up. But it worked for me. 
Also, I am the wall spackling queen. I am soooooo good at it. So good that I was able to spackle walls and patch them without painting the rest of the wall. Want to hear my technique? Of course you do. Once it's spackled, sanded and wiped down, I brush painted some paint on and then lightly sponged it with a dry cloth. It worked like a charm and you can't tell that I did anything. The paint wasn't even bought/matched in the same batch. Seriously. I am a miracle worker. #sendflowers

How disgusting is that wall??
Kitchen wall freshly painted!! No more pencil lines, splashes, scratches, denim stains (no names shall be given) and dents. It is amazing what some fresh paint does to a space, I swear. I painted all of the high traffic or beyond cleaning walls. Obviously, I couldn't stop there... I pulled out the trim paint and did a bunch of that too. SO MUCH BETTER.
I have an aversion to pre-made bouquets of flowers so I make my own... I mixed these bunches of snap dragons and spray roses and wrapped them up with a little kraft paper and white grosgrain ribbon. Pretty right? So easy, and much more personal. Just soak some paper towel, wrap the stems and put a baggie over it with an elastic band. Donezo. This was for my grandma on Mother's Day!
Oh, fresh bedding for $60. Thank you Ikea, I love you. Our white bedding was looking a little less than crisp.
Oh, I citrus stamped some tea towels!! I had a couple of housewarmings to go to and I thought I would do a "my favourite things" theme. These flour sack tea towels are my absolute fave (great for dish drying, big and lint free). I loosely followed this tutorial from Chelsea and made it my own... I used lemons and grapefruit (though I found the grapefruit worked better). Oddly, Chelsea had better luck with drier fruit while I had the opposite experience. My lemons were dry and made the paint go all chunky? Ick. I hand painted some complementary shades in after stamping to add some dimension. Heat seal them with the iron, and repackage - good to go! I think they're summery and fresh... So I made some for myself too. For one housewarming, I added some of my fave soaps with a cute cover from Bath and Body Works. For the other, a favourite bottle of wine since they are doing a winery trip this summer and a soap. I figure that these types of things are always usable!
And I pulled out my acrylic paints and canvasses... I was craving some colour for spring :)
And I can hardly leave you without a photo of some of my peonies!! #obsessed

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Opinions, please!

Okay... so there's a couple little things in the house that I am stumped on right now so I'm looking for your feedback!!

First up, our kitchen/dining chairs:
I recovered the seats several years ago with the material that you can see pictured, but the spindle backs really bug me. I don't want to paint them, so I thought maybe I could cover the chair backs with a linen-like fabric to make them a completely upholstered chair like this...
Pottery Barn London Chair
Restoration Hardware Hudson Collection
Restoration Hardware Martine Upholstered Side Chair
BUT, I can't find a tutorial anywhere, or even anyone who has done it... so what do YOU think? Can it be done? And if so, how? I have a basic idea in my head, but really not sure if it will translate and I CANNOT ruin our chairs!

Next up, this wall in our kitchen:
Previously, you've seen our chalkboard hanging here... But I feel like it's a bit awkward. I actually have wallpaper that I have had since I bought the house, but I've outgrown the style. I would love to make this a feature wall, maybe something like:
  • A black wall (?!?!)... but afraid that it will suck the light out of the room
  • A printed wall like this (I kinda love that it's done with a sharpie!):
via Vintage Revivals
Or....??

So, pleeeeeease tell me what you think and share your ideas!!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Perusing Home Sense...

Home Sense (or Home Goods for any Americans out there) is one of my favourite places to wander around when I have time to kill. It's usually pretty hit or miss for me - often, I find nothing. Other days I need 5 shopping carts. Today was a 5 shopping carts kind of day... but I was VERY well behaved. Here's some of the stuff that I wished I could take home with me.

Loved this table...
 Lots of cute throw blankets...
Wouldn't this be an awesome statement mirror in a entryway?? $150 and it was huuuuuuge.
I'm attracted to things that sparkle. This was on the cusp of gaudy but in the right space, would be so cute. It was a coppery gold tone... I contemplated them for our bed but then thought about Kris wringing my neck. So I put them back.
I thought this looked very "Great Gastsby"...
 Loved these vases!!
Even though I was very well behaved, I did come home with a bag. I picked up these gray drum shades - it's so rare to actually find a matching pair that are also undamaged. Our living room lamps have needed new shades desperately since one took a tumble and ripped (wind storm + open window = fail). I think these fit the bill. Here's the old ones...
This picture is actually flattering and minimizes the damage. See on the right, where the frame actually pierced right through the shade? And how the shade is starting to uncurl at the edges? Yikes.
 Just testing out the new ones before I commit ;)
I like that they have a kind of linen look/texture to them. I'm still debating whether or not to leave them here or switch them with our bedroom lamp shades (they are beige)... I'm worried these are a bit too gray and don't provide enough contrast. We'll see.
Well, I call that a success!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Hi! I like gold.

Breaking the radio silence with a little post :)

I thought I'd give my Nate Berkus (from Target) coral a little makeover to make her more exciting. I debated between mint and coral... but committed to coral. I also wanted to try a little gold dipping for the tips but it was quite a challenge. How do people gold dip objects without using TONS of paint?? I did the best I could. I was using liquid gilding which is super runny so I couldn't just paint it on. Plus I really wanted the consistency of the dipped look. But here she is... in all her coral & gilded tipped glory!
No before photos so a couple progress shots will have to do!
So what if I use my herb trimming scissors for completely unrelated tasks?
Yes, I am truly too lazy to kick my shoes out of the way for this photo. Meh. The colour is a bit wonky in these last two photos... the previous shots are more true to life for the colour. On another note, I am turning into a crazy plant lady. Plants errywhere.
What do you think? Better before or after? I wasn't really sold when I finished (one of those projects where Kris says, "you should have just left it alone, it was fine before!") but she's growing on me. I love a quick and dirty makeover with instant results!

In my long silence, I have worked on a few projects that I'm going to try to post soon. Is anyone else with me on the fact that blogging is just getting too time consuming? I don't want to give up on it but I find it hard to get motivated to spend the time it takes to take good photos, edit them, write the post, format, etc, etc, etc. I blame some of that on Instagram... so quick and easy to post a quick photo and it feels more like a real time journal. That said, I'll still be around here for now :) Feels good to break the hiatus!!