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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Height of Fashion and The Latest Trend

Have you seen the "Deconstructed" line of furniture now available at Restoration Hardware?

They are carrying a ton of different styles in this line and they seem to be adding more all the time. I personally haven't seen anything in this style in anyone's home yet, but it must be the latest craze if Restoration Hardware says so.

Well, if you think that chair is impressive... Check this out!

That's right. I happen to have an entire deconstructed wall!

And I've been holding out on you. My bedroom wall has been sporting this of-the-moment look for about 8 months now.

I Know. How selfish of me to keep all this stunning inspiration for myself.

Don't worry. I'm not under the false impression that these pictures actually make things any better, they just have no where else to go right now. Our bedroom is a bit of a dumping ground for odds and ends lately.

As becoming as this look is, I'm actually hoping this wall will become a little more deconstructed sometime in the near future.

And then maybe a little re-construction wouldn't hurt either.

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Monday, 28 May 2012

Why am I still freaked out by thrift stores?

When I was growing up, my mom used to love shopping at thrift stores, and still does. I, on the other hand, used to not love it so much. Actually I found it an icky and traumatizing experience. Dreaded it.

Of course now, it's kind of part of the blogging deal, right? That's just something we like to do. Treasure hunting and fixing up old, neglected things. I've brought home many, many great finds from thrift stores in the last few years and have even had a great time out hunting for cool junk with my mom.

But until recently, I hadn't been in over a year. They say you should pop in every week so you don't miss out on a great find, but I find that every time I go, I come back with boat loads of fun stuff. So that's part of the reason I hadn't been. I just bring back too much clutter. And spend way too much, even though it's all relatively cheap.

The other reason is that I'm still a little freaked out by thrift stores sometimes. I know we all do it, but when I go in, I always feel like everyone's watching me. "What's she doing here? This isn't a place for her." "Why is she pacing up and down the aisles like that?" And what if I run into someone I know in this small town on my way in? How do I explain what I'm doing? "Oh, I know I should be home weeding the garden and mopping the floors or maybe doing something normal like filling up the gas tank, but I really just like to go dig through other peoples old smelly junk. For fun!" I know to you and me, that sounds like the best time ever. But I still feel like "normal" people don't do that.

So anyway, wanna see what I found?

I found the jackpot is what I found! I'm pretty sure that, in this town, they've not yet clued into all the amazing stuff we're finding in their stores because the prices were dirt cheap compared to what I'm used to in the city.

The top of one of those brass clocks everyone used to have, used as a makeshift cloche here: $1.99

Cake stand (oops, water spots!) and glass dome: $4 and $2.

Blue willow plates 69 cents each.

Blue and white bowls: 99 cents each.

Not too bad for one quick little trip.

Yeah, so maybe I'm not just like all the people in the thrift stores I see around here. And maybe I'm not doing what all the "normal" people are doing all the time. For this, I think I can get over it! Pin It

Sunday, 27 May 2012

A Fantel Update for Summertime

Happy Memorial Day weekend to all my American friends! In Canada, we had our holiday last weekend so it's now (un)officially Summer here. We've been spending soooo much time out in the garden and I wanted to give a little Summer love to the inside of our house too.

Just a little bit though. I'm still banning myself from decorating any unrenovated spaces (which is all of them, pretty much) because I make myself completely crazy over it and it never works out quite right. It's that whole lipstick on a pig thing again.

This is more just freshening up really. I used the same basic layout and materials as my Spring Fantel.

If you haven't met yet, I'd like to introduce you to my Fantel (Fantel=Fake Mantel). Chris made it for me in the Fall out of some barn wood and some 2x4s taken out of the wall when we were renovating Kennedy's closet.

It's definitely my funnest piece of "furniture" so far.

These bricks that I found in a pile behind the garage always seem to find their way back into my life.

A little star I made out of wire a couple of years ago inside my newest rag wreath.

Hosta leaves have become my go-to thing for adding a little life into whatever area of my house I think needs it in the last couple of weeks. I'm still waiting on some blooms from different plants and shrubs, so in the meantime, these do quite nicely. They last for weeks and they're kind of fun and tropical-looking.

It only took me about 10 minutes and since I used the same basic ideas as a layout I knew would work, it didn't make me panic and think that nothing would ever look good in this house ever and how are we ever going to find time to actually renovate anyway?

Whew! No, that didn't happen this time. Thank goodness, right? The mind of a blogger can be a scary place.

But not today! So I'd say this one's a winner in my books! Pin It

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

It's your sometimes-weekly front hall update!

So, what's been going on in that potentialful front hall of mine that I've been working so hard on? Is it done? Is it almost done?

You deserve to know. You deserve to have something beautiful and inspiring to look at.

You just won't find it here!

Instead I offer you this:

It's in pretty much the same state as what I showed you last time. Only messier!

You see, I've been trying to get some progress happening. And there has been some.

I did manage to put up that little bit of chair rail there all on my own. Actually, no, it's not really up. It's mostly just cut to the exact size so it wedges in between the other two pieces of vertical molding.

All the other pieces that need to go up involve me learning how to use new power tools. And I can. I have no doubt that I can. The problem is that to figure all that out and then get working and get some installation going on would take pretty much a whole day. Or more. And then I think I'd feel guilty for all of the other things I'd miss getting done during that time. Yup, I over-think things. So I haven't yet. But I might. Or Chris may just do it in "20 seconds" like he says he can sometime this weekend.

I did get a new thermostat though! It's something I'd been meaning to do anyway while I was working in this hall and I ended up getting it for free through the hydro company. Isn't it pretty? OK, well it makes me happy at least. Now if I could only figure out if and how we can rip down that ugly non-functioning humidity controller thing beside it.

So there you have it, my friends! It's not much, but progress is progress, I say! Pin It

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Thanks for the memories, White Slipcover.

I've shown you my living room before now and then. Right in the middle of my living room, you find my trusty Ikea Ektorp sofa, about 8 years old-ish.

It's still comfy. Sometimes it doesn't look half bad. I've even had people ask me how I keep it so white.

I don't!

This is our second slipcover for this sofa. The first one was beige and lasted about 4 years.

We picked this one up basically because it was a $300 slipcover on sale for $40. We weren't really excited about it at the time, but the old one was done for. I've enjoyed having this white floral pattern though for the last 4 years. It's really grown on me.

But it is well past the stage where laundering helps it and flipping the cushions doesn't help because there are spills on both sides of all of them.

So the time has come. I Googled slipcovers and landed on the Surefit website.

So many choices! So affordable!

I ordered a bunch of swatches last week, but I may need your help deciding. It's a big decision if it's going to last us another 4 years. We may even get around to finishing the living room by then!

This is one of my top choices, but then I was thinking of something like this for the curtains, so that wouldn't work.

I really really love this fabric, but I think that may be too much on the biggest piece of furniture in the room.

I think this might be the sensible choice. I get the pattern I want, but I can still do the type of curtains I have in mind. But is the color a bit too soft? Only time (and the fabric swatches) will tell.

Does anyone have any other trusted sources for slipcovers? Surefit seems to be the best I've seen in terms of selection and price. As excited as I am about them, this isn't a sponsored post. It's just looks like a good product!

So, any thoughts? Pin It

Monday, 21 May 2012

Holiday Weekend at the Beach

This weekend was the Victoria Day long weekend here in Canada, the unofficial start of Summer.
My mother-in-law has a place on the beach only about a 30 minute drive from here so of course that's where we spent the weekend. And probably most weekends now that the hot weather is here!

How could we not spend as much time here as possible?

I love this path to the beach, especially the moment when the water becomes visible.

And then you look out towards the pier and see the lighthouse.

Looking in the other direction down towards the public beach.

At least a couple of sandcastles were built of course.

Later on in the evening I was reading and Chris came up to tell me to grab the camera and come down to the beach, quick.

It was hard to capture how neat the light was, but the water and they sky were the exact same color. You couldn't see where the horizon line was and it felt like you were almost looking at a painting that you could reach out and touch.

The sun set a little further and I took some photos of these strangers throwing rocks.

I guess I'm the weirdo who does stuff like that now!

Kennedy got bored of course, because she's 7 now and thinks that's cool. I told her to take some pictures so she found an old cup to take a picture of. Isn't she artsy?

Some rocks. This actually gave me an idea for a craft. I'll have to bring some rocks back home with me next weekend.

Hope you had a lovely weekend as well! Pin It

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Staying Home is Hard

Some of you may know that about 3 months ago, I quit my full-time job to stay home, take care of the family, and hold down the fort. Please enjoy these recent photos of things around here while I rant.

Staying home is hard.

Not because I miss work. Not because I feel lonely or out of the loop. I'm not finding any sort of difficulty in being overwhelmed by the day-to-day tasks. My house isn't in chaos. I have schedules and routines. I clean the washrooms on Thursdays. I mop the floors on Wednesdays. Laundry happens everyday. Most days I get a little baking in and I always have a nice square meal on the table at 5:45pm when Chris gets home.

The hard part is in all the little grey areas. They nag and annoy like a sort-of scratchy tag in the side of a new shirt that isn't quite scratchy enough to go get the scissors and cut out right now. Is this how it's supposed to be? Is this the right way to be a mom/wife/home-maker/house-keeper? Unlike being at work, there's no boss to tell you "good job." There aren't any co-workers to measure yourself against. You just have to know. Or fake it really really well.

Am I doing enough? Well, I could physically do more. I could get up yet another 30 minutes earlier and get one more household task done. Does that mean I should?

 Or am I doing too much cleaning and organizing? All these people with their messy houses and their "just toss the mess out of the frame of the photo" attitude, are they on to something? Should I be ignoring all the little messes and be focussing more on big, noticeable renovation style tasks? What will they think if I do? What will they think if I don't? I have a streamlined system for getting lunches packed easily and on time, but that's not something that's particularly noticeable when you walk through my front door.

And what about this saying that goes "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"? Is that what I should be tackling? Should I just be really really happy, all the time? Should I have a messy, chaotic house and unfinished projects, and unstarted projects but just be really super relaxed about it? How relaxed is too relaxed? After all, I know it well that a big part of the goodness that comes from my being home comes from my just being there. And Kennedy knowing that I'll be there. With snacks and help with homework and time on my hands to sit and do nothing after school for a while.

I guess what I'm saying is, I can tell, just from the shear amount of thought that I put into this new job of mine, that I love it, and it's something I care deeply about, but staying home is hard! Pin It

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Gardening Season has officially begun!

I've been seeing all these garden posts around blogland the past couple of weeks so I thought I'd throw ours into the mix as well. We may have bitten off a little more than we can chew with this fairly large vegetable garden we dug up last Fall, but it should at least be an interesting learning experience.

While we're at it, let's look at some other areas around the property as well, shall we?

This is how the front of our house is looking right now. Oh man, do I ever need to tackle those weeds in the path there. But realistically, I complain about the landscaping around our house way too much. It's pretty well done and was probably really expensive, even if there aren't enough blooming plants yet for my taste.

And the side of the house. Same weeds, same pain-in-my-butt landscaping rocks and weed-preventing fabric that doesn't really work that now I need to rip out so I can actually plant what I want to in there. OK, I'm complaining again. It's really not that bad.

This is another little free-standing garden near the driveway. It used to have all that rock and fabric too, but I conquered it! And now I can plant anything I want in there! Anything!!

Like some lilies to start with.

We're experiencing a serious lack of flowering plants around here, especially because our giant lilac just didn't bloom at all this year. I was so looking forward to that.

Luckily, this pretty new friend of mine decided to make an early appearance.

One day it looked like this.

And the next day...

Kapow! What is this? A tree peony? I don't even know. Lucky for me the normal (herbaceous?) peonies are about to go too, so I should have plenty of flowers for a few weeks at least.

Here's our big new garden before the weekend.

And after! OK, it's not that dramatic, but there are plants in there. You'll have to trust me on this.

We planted pretty much everything we could get our hands on and we still have more room!

See? That's a plant.

There's another plant!

This is a picture of a plant that we hope might actually grow.

Chris built this little retaining wall in one area where we had to dig down to keep it all level. I kind of like it!

So that's what we've got so far. Hopefully within a few weeks things will fill in a little more and I'll be able to show you something that looks more like a thriving vegetable garden and less like a big brown rectangle.

Hope you liked the little tour anyway!
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