Saturday, March 16, 2013

Personalized Project Life Cards

I just discovered one of the most exciting things to hit my Project Life album yet!

Personalized "that's what she said" cards!  Seeing as how The Office has long been one of our favourite shows and how my kids are always saying hilarious / inappropriate things that I too often forget, I can't wait to get these cards included in my album.

The cards are only $2 each and you get the digital files to print off as many times as you'd like.  Found here.  Just click on Custom Orders on the left hand side and she'll hook you up!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Day in the Life - February

I'm following Ali Edwards lead this year and doing A Day in the Life to add to my Project Life albums the last day of every month. you'll notice in the photo below, February's spread says March 1.  Why?  Well...a certain little man deleted all my photos off my phone about halfway through the day on the actual last day of the month.  Oh well, I'm still counting this as February!

Highlights from today:

Sage thrilled to pack her own lunch with the leftover Lebanese takeout.  Rex comes to breakfast and Woody comes to snack time!  My parents got an iPad and now my dad and I have constant Words with Friends games going on.  The hideous house across the street got put into foreclosure.  My globe collection.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Around Here

Around here..our renovations have been progressing!  The main floor is so close to being done.  

The excitement I feel at having spaces that finally look (at least a little bit) pretty is ridiculous.  I'm still thrilled with how the houndstooth chair I recovered turned out and is holding up.  The pillow is another story...a bit of a sewing disaster but you can't tell unless you pick it up.  ha ha.  The fabric is Amy Butler Lark Floral Couture Charcoal and is the same fabric that is the accent in our master bedroom.  I would love to find a rug for this space but since it's currently serving as our main entry and sees lots of traffic I've been struggling.  I'm thinking an outdoor one is going to be the way to go.

I adore this print from Vol. 25.  It's the perfect addition to our entry way and really the perfect saying for our family.

The living room is another place that is almost done.  I'm planning on making new curtains out of this fabric and we are still on the hunt for a better side table and coffee table / tables.  I am in love with these ones from West Elm.  

The rug from Overstock and frankly it looks far better in the picture than it does in real life.  When the budget allows, we'll buy a new one for here and this one will work just as well in either our family room under our red couch or in our master bedroom.

Above is the shelf Geoff built from a picture I had seen on Pinterest (of course!)  I love the rustic wood element it adds to the room as well as being the perfect place to add in pops of colour and house part of my globe collection!

And in the background you can catch a glimpse of my still unfinished pantry / mudroom.  Otherwise known as the disaster zone.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Reupholstery Project

I can sew!  No one is more surprised about this than I am.

Over the past few months in our new house I've made several sets of curtains and lots of pillows.  But now I was ready to move onto something a bit more challenging!  We had 2 brown ultrasuede chairs that matched well in our old place but stuck out like a sore thumb in the light and bright interior we've been going with please....I decided to reupholster them.  Myself.  Eek.

I have to admit that I didn't do any of the gutting of the previous chair or the stapling myself.  I wanted to but a certain Mr. someone thought that looked like fun and wanted to do it himself.  Only the first chair is completed...the second one has just been started so hopefully he'll let me do the stapling this time.  We didn't want to invest a lot of money in new tools seeing as how this could have turned out to be a complete disaster so we picked up an ultra cheapo upholstery staple gun at Harbor Freight.  Regular $25 on sale for $20!  Can't beat that!

All credit goes to this reupholstery tutorial found via Pinterest (of course).

I struggled with making the piping at first as well.  I didn't realize that I couldn't use my regular foot so had to run out and buy a zipper foot.  Made all the difference in the world!  This is the tutorial I used to make piping..also via Pinterest!

Fabric is Michael Miller Houndstooth Black bought on  I wasn't sure what kind of quality to expect from it and was very pleased when it arrived.  Not as heavy as the Premier Prints fabrics I usually buy but is good quality and seems like it will hold up nicely.

And that is my first reupholstery project!  I think I might be addicted...I'm scouring craigslist and kijiji looking for more ugly furniture in need of a makeover!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Art Attack

Our new house has a window or a door on every single wall.  Along with awkward light switch placement.  Combine this with the completely different feel we are going for in this place compared to our last one and it all adds up to mean that almost none of the artwork we own already is going to work.  I'll still use most of it...just not in the main living areas.

The big gallery wall we had in our old house just isn't doable here...there are no large walls!  I still love the look and feel of gallery walls..we're just going to have to do it on a much smaller scale.

Original art just isn't in our budget...frankly I don't think I know many people whose budget it is in!  I'm a huge HomeSense fan but I really want more of a personal feel than what their pieces seem to have lately.  And we need a lot of new art...not just a piece or two.  Lots of new art would cost a fortune.  So...with all the pinning I've been doing lately...I figured I'd give making my own art a shot!  I am so not a crafty person...this is all very new to me.

Here are a few of the images that I've been loving.

This is gorgeous.  And seems relatively simple to make.  But large...way too large for our walls.

These are perfect!  I can just imagine a wall covered in a whole bunch.

Love this.  I'm sure it's not nearly as easy to replicate as it looks...but sure would be fun to try.

Would be so fun to do this with Sage.  She's always begging to do crafty stuff with me.  She'd be in heaven.

This is probably beyond my barely-can-draw-stick-people abilities but I LOVE them.  I would buy one in a second if her shop were still open.

So just this morning I ordered myself a whole bunch of canvases and paints from De Serres.  Eek.  I was actually shocked at how great their prices are...for some reason I was expecting canvases to be really expensive.  I bought 18 mini canvases to attempt to make something like in picture #2.  I also got 5 larger canvases.  Have no idea what I'm going to make with them yet..probably something that Sage can help with too.  Let's hope it all turns out!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Piece by Piece

There is not one single room in our house that is anywhere close to being done but that is ok.  I've done a little bit of decorating here and there just to tide me over til we can get to the good stuff!

I have 2 typed pages of Short Term and Long Term To Do the end is nowhere in sight!  There is painting, sanding, trim fixer-uppering to do in every room.  Along with all the other little quirks that need to be addressed.  Oh that the garage is done we can focus our attention on the inside again!  Well the garage is almost done...still need to have someone come out to put up facia and eavestroughs.

Here are some of the rooms that I've been finding inspiring when it comes to doing our living room.  We've decided on white walls and trim for the majority of the main floor.  I love the bright yellow painted doors against the white in this first picture.

I love everything about this next image.  The turquoise chevron curtains.  The yellow flowered chair.  The Ikea Lack shelf (that is sadly no longer made).  All combined with vintage elements and natural wood tones.  Very much the kind of look I would like to have.

These next two are both Jonathan Adler designed rooms in one of Liz Lange's houses.  The turquoise with the black and white and yellow accents make me happy just looking at them!

This last room is a nursery but has all the crazy colour and layers of textures that I am LOVING right now.  Maybe it's because of all the stress we've dealt with this last year but both Geoff and I just want our house to be bright and colourful and fun!  Our last house had lots of neutrals and we have absolutely no desire to go that route again.

So with all those gorgeous images in mind, don't judge this last one too harshly!  The walls only have primer on them so we still can't hang any artwork but I'm slowly getting the bones of the room together.

The couch won't stay white.  I have big plans to dye it grey.  Eek.  Hope it turns out.  I love the look of the white couch but I'm too scared to let my children anywhere near it!  And I have no desire to live that way so grey it will be.

Monday, October 10, 2011

We Have Progress!

We've had a very busy long weekend around here!  It feels like we've had so much going on lately that all the house projects have been put on the back burner.  Either Geoff has been working late or on weekends, or we've had company, or we've had to go away.  Not anymore!  Here's what we accomplished this weekend:

Carport when we moved in.

Newly enclosed garage on Sunday morning

Garage on Sunday afternoon.  I did the majority of priming myself!  And I'm married to a former that I think of it, I'm not actually sure what he was doing while I was priming.  Hmmm.

Garage on Monday night!  After 2 coats of Benjamin Moore Midnight Blue (BM1638) and 2 coats of Devoe Safety Yellow on the door.  The Midnight Blue is definitely a dark grey...does have blue-ish tones when it's in the shade.

Geoff thought adding Jasper's car to the picture would be appropriate staging.  I am LOVING the dark grey with white trim and the bright yellow door.  It feels so fresh!  Having the garage finally closed in makes such a huge difference in the feel of our backyard.  And it's so much nicer to look out the back windows and see a structure instead of right through to the alley!  Though I must say that the garage looks so nice now that our boring brown house is looking even duller.  We're thinking about painting the siding this year instead of next if our amazing weather holds out.

Can't wait til next spring when we can do some of now the plans are to bust up all that ugly concrete and do some nice tumbled cobblestone pavers...there needs to be a pop of colour on the left side...can't wait to visit some nurseries!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

He's got Spark!

Me cleaning out the pantry.  Jasper too quiet.  This all adds up to the following:

A 2 year old boy with a 7 year old sister means that there are a few sparkles somewhere on his body at almost any given time.

When he sneaks into her room and dumps the sparkle containers out on the floor..well...then there are more than just a few.

This also gives a sneak peek at something we did to the second story of our home....white painted wood floors!  Surprisingly it took almost no convincing to win Geoff over to the bright side.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pinterest is Like Crack for Moms

My husband no longer makes fun of my obsession with Pinterest.  Why?  Because it has saved him hundreds of dollars in just the last few weeks.

We have an entire new (to us) house to decorate.  And the majority of furniture we have left from our old place just doesn't work in this one.  Oh darn.  But frankly, I'm not even concerned about furniture yet.  I'm more worried about the fact that we now live in the middle of the city with neighbours that can see directly in our windows.  So curtains were a necessity..and fast!

I made the decision early on in this process that I'm not settling for what's on sale, or what is a great deal unless I absolutely love it.  I will happily live with nothing until we can find items in our budget that we both love.  Geoff is still not so sure about this concept but I'm winning him over.

This picture above is the look I'm going for in our living room and dining rooms.  Similar colours and patterns but mixed up a bit between rooms.

Love the colour of these curtains from Z Gallerie.  I wasn't entirely sure about the pattern but at $60 a panel they were a great price.

This one made my heart skip a beat.  I needed them.  I almost bought them.  But they were $140 a panel.  That's $280 in curtains just for one room.  I realize that in the world of curtains this is really not a bad price.  But I knew I could do better than that.

So I made my first ever purchase on and for the grand total of $108 I got 19 yards of fabric.  That's enough to do curtains for both the living and dining rooms and 5 other yards for other craft projects!

Only thing standing in my way is the fact that I haven't used a sewing machine since 8th grade.  Eek.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Loathe Plaster and Lathe.

I'm not sure I had ever even heard of plaster and lathe were before we bought this house.  And if I had known how messy it was I think I would have run screaming.

That lovely entrance way?  Here's what it looked like shortly after we got our hands on it.  Who am I kidding?  It wasn't lovely.

We figure that the house must have originally had a coal furnace.  As soon as we started tearing off the lathe, clouds of black dust poured out from everywhere.  We were black from head to toe for at least 2 weeks straight.

Our main efforts were concentrated on the main floor.  The 2nd and 3rd stories mostly just got a coat of paint.  Fortunately Geoff owns a paint sprayer so those 2 floors got down in just a couple hours with one coat!  Hard to believe when you consider that we were covering up black, red, brown and green paint colours with bright white.

The mess...oh the mess.  But oh so worth it.  The plaster was in horrible shape, chunks falling off and cracks in the walls.  Not to mention that there was no insulation in the walls!  With our cold Canadian winters and high hydro costs that wasn't really something we wanted to experience.

We made the decision to switch around the 2 main floor rooms.  The living room would now become the dining room and the dining room the living room.  I like being able to see my family hanging out while I'm cooking so this just made much more sense for our lifestyle.

Here is a pic taken from the middle of what is now the living room.  And here is a very bad blurry shot of it mid demolition.  We had the wall completely removed and a beam put in to replace it.  It makes such a huge difference in the feel of the main floor.

The kitchen is still unfortunately still pretty much the same.  I painted the cabinets white and the countertop dark grey but that is it for now.  We are hoping to be able to replace it sometime this winter.  We've gone over-budget (surprise, surprise) so will concentrate on getting all the little things done before we tackle another big project.  Geoff will also be building our new kitchen again...just like he did our last that will be a huge cost savings.  Plus I love the idea of being able to customize the cabinets to exactly what I want.

Now onto the upstairs!  Each room, including the landing, on the 2nd story had a different laminate floor in it.  Now I don't hate laminate, it had its place, but we were just hoping for so much more.  We knew the odds were pretty good that there would be wood floors underneath that laminate, we just didn't have any idea what kind of shape they would be in.

So while Geoff was busy doing something else I decided I would tear out all the laminate.  You're welcome honey.

Yippee!  There's wood!  And no more red paint!

Yikes.  Those are some bad patch jobs.  Same story in each room.  Geoff ended up cutting all those mismatched pieces out and replacing them.  Then I got to give everything a run over with the sander we rented.  Yes I did it.

Found a picture of the landing after all.  This is after it's been sanded a couple times.  Look, there is a paint tray on the floor in Jasper's room.  Why would we need a paint tray if Geoff sprayed all the walls?  Hmmm....

Another view from the landing.  This is the teeny tiny staircase up to the Master Bedroom Loft.  I write it that way because it makes it sound much fancier than the ghetto looking entryway that it is.  This also still looks pretty much the same.  All of those treads need to be replaced and we will tear off that horrible fake paneling and replace it with drywall.

And that's it for today.  We've come a long way on this place but still so much further to go.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Let The Blogging Begin

2 days in a row.  Hopefully this is some kind of a fresh start.

Onto the tour of the 2nd and 3rd stories of the former hovel and current home!  So we climb that beautiful staircase from yesterday's post (or soon to be beautiful at least) and at the top of the stairs on the right hand side is this room.  It was most likely used as a master bedroom by the former owners.

American FourSquare style homes typically had 4 equal sized bedrooms and one bathroom on the 2nd story.  At some point in the history of this home, the two bedrooms on the back of the house had been converted to one.  Here is a photo standing almost in the centre of the room.

And another photo of the other side.  There is also a good sized balcony off this room that sits on top of the small mudroom addition on the main floor.

This is the room that has become Sage's bedroom.  It's quite small but it's amazing what we've made fit in there!

And this is the room that is now Jasper's.  Exact same size as Sage's.

Bathroom.  Ugh.  Not a single spec of storage.  Seriously?  Who renovates a bathroom and does that?  Never mind the fact that it feels like we've stepped into a sauna with those floor to ceiling giant tiles.  Or that the window looks directly into our neighbour's window.  Great way to scare away the new neighbours!  And check out the grungy floor tile.  From what we can tell, this place sat empty for around a year before we bought it.

I don't have a picture of the landing but it was nothing special.  There is no linen closet in this house so we're trying to come up with the best plan to incorporate one.  I LOVE this linen chest from Ikea...sadly they no longer make it in yellow.

Now onto the 3rd story.  Very bad shot of the very black "loft".  It's not a loft, I have no idea why everyone refers to the 3rd story in these homes as one.  There are closets on either side of the staircase which is a nice bonus.  Only one of them has been completed but it's not a big deal for my very handy hubby to finish the other one.  Disgusting pee? stained floor and oddly off-centre fireplace.

Back view.  No she ain't pretty.  We're still not entirely sure what our plans for the back are.  The deck needs to be re-built.  It's so high that we can see right into our neighbour's yards.  The windows in the addition are coming out when we turn it into a mudroom.  The plan is for wall to wall closets on the far right and a narrow pantry on the left.  The metal roof and railing will come off the balcony and be replaced with some wood and chunky to match what we do to the front.

And there you have it!  I look back now on what it looked like when we bought it and think that we must have been crazy.  We put an offer in at the beginning of June and got possession on June 21.  Spent 3 weeks doing more work than we even imagined possible and moved in July 16th!  I'll post pics tomorrow of what some of the reno work looked like.  We are still so far from being anywhere near done but it's light years away from what it looked like here.  Well the interior anyways!

Monday, September 12, 2011

From Crack House to Crib

Where to even begin??  Let's see where 6 months of no blogging brings us.

Insurance settlement is done and over with.
We went on a much needed family vacation.

We've moved!  From the middle of nowhere country life to a house right in the middle of a historical downtown area.  While we loved the house we were renting after we lost our home to the tornado, it needed a ton of work and had an inflated asking price.  So we bought ourselves a foreclosure in major need of a complete reno in an area we had long admired.  These pics were all taken the day that we first looked at the house so no worries, the interior has changed quite a bit!

Not so bad from the outside.  Not a fan at all of the siding colour but it's quite new so is very far down on the list of projects.  What we are planning on doing is replacing the metal railing with something chunky and wood, fixing the bay window..the siding job is terrible, replacing the window on the bottom right with a new's beautiful stained glass original to the house but needs repair.  Obviously updating the landscaping and painting the iron railing around the front yard in a glossy black. But those will all be spring time projects!

Now here is where is starts to get scary.

Actually still not so incredibly horrible.  This is what you see when you step inside the front door and look to your right.  This was the original living room that we have since converted to the dining room.  The wood floor is obviously in major disrepair, bad patchwork on the walls (which are plaster and lathe!) and a yucky stucco ceiling.

Now the room that we're standing in...from the old house plans I've found online it's called The Parlour.  Fancy.  It's a decent sized entryway.  Lovely stucco ceiling again!  And an entire wall of mirror behind the staircase.  Love the boob light in the ceiling too.

What you couldn't see just to the right of this picture was this beauty..

Yes the house came with a piano.  I have no idea what we are going to do with it.  We don't play and we don't really have the wall space for it.  But Sage has fallen in love with it and is insisting that it stays.  I think I might see piano lessons in our future.  If it's staying, I have big plans to paint it a glossy turquoise.

Let's head into the kitchen shall we?  How bad can it be right?  It's bad.  Really bad.

Door and wall between kitchen and dining room.

That doorway is into a little box of a room that was added on at some point.  It will become our mudroom / pantry.  Curiously there was absolutely no kind of storage or hooks in there.  I can't figure out why some people do big projects and then just forget about finishing them.

This room is the original dining room.  It's on the left hand side of the house next to the kitchen and behind the original living room.  A patio door was added at some point which we like.

French doors between dining room and living room.  One of them is broken in several places and just not salvageable.  The other one is though and has already been repurposed!

So that's the main floor.  The house style is called an American FourSquare and the majority of them had 2.5 stories.  We are loving the space of the 3rd story.  I'm going to do my best to get back into a blogging roll and I'll post pics of what the rest of the house looked like before we moved in tomorrow!