Monday, 30 June 2008

Organising Books

I read a post a long time ago (so I can't remember whose post it was). The person had organised all her books by colour instead of size or topic. I thought it looked really pretty, but I didn't feel like doing the work of reorganising. Well, now that my living room is torn apart, I figured that now was my chance! What do you think? Does it look totally dumb? I think I like having different sizes of books all mixed up. I used to organise by topic then size, and that was just boring. The top shelf contains my special books. It's the shelf I go to when I need something to read. The rest of the books mostly just sit there and look pretty. Or not. I'd love to have a whole library of books like the ones on the top shelf.

Silly Songs Day!

Every now and then I get a silly kids song stuck in my head. Especially the ones from my eighties childhood. so, I thought I'd share the fun! If you'd like to post a silly, crazy, ridiculous song, add your link at the end of my post. I've been wanting to try a Mr.Linky anyway. This song is from Sharon, Lois, and Bram's Elephant Show. It's Canadian, so I doubt many of you have heard of them. One elephant went out to play
upon a spider's web one day He had such enormous fun that he called for another elephant to come Two elephants went out to play upon a spider's web one day They had such enormous fun that they called for another elephant to come Three elephants went out to play upon a spider's web one day They had such enormous fun that they called for another elephant to come Four elephants went out to play upon a spider's web one day They had such enormous fun that they called for another elephant to come Five elephants went out to play upon a spider's web one day They had such enormous fun that they called for another elephant to come Six elephants went out to play upon a spider's web one day They had such enormous fun that they called for another elephant to come Seven elephants went out to play upon a spider's web one day They had such enormous fun that they called for another elephant to come Eight elephants went out to play upon a spider's web one day They had such enormous fun that they called for another elephant to come Nine elephants went out to play upon a spider's web one day They had such enormous fun that they called for another elephant to come Ten elephants went out to play upon a spider's web one day They had such enormous fun but there were no more elephants left to come. ------ No, I don't really collect elephants! I like to pick up small ones on vacations, but one year at Christmas, KD and his mom seemed to think that I loved everything elephant. So that's where the two biggest elephants and the cute small brown one came from I also have some elephant stuff on the wall in the stair landing. The wooden mama and baby elephants I carved out of a tiny block of wood. Not bad for my first ever try at carving anything! The three white quartz elephants are from our honeymoon in Mexico, and the blown glass one is from my first trip to Ontario. The small brass one was my first elephant, and he was a gift from my younger sister.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

House Hunting

You know how I've mentioned that I love our little townhouse, and I'm finally painting the living room the exact shade of yellow that I wanted, and I am enjoying my little garden and all that? Well, KD has decided that it's a good time to start looking for another house to buy! I was planning on waiting at least another year before we sell this place, and there are so many things that definitely need to be done beforehand. Another thing he has decided is that he would like to move to a very small city that is 15 minutes away from the one we live in...this is instead of the small town 25 minutes away that we had been initially considering. The funny thing is that I had been already looking at houses there, thinking that when the time came to think about moving, I would bring it up with KD to see whether he would consider moving there. I guess he was way ahead of me! Possibly because his brother just moved there. The above picture is of a house we are going to see tomorrow (picture borrowed from the online Comfree listing. I'd include the link except then you would all know where I live!). I think it would be cute if it wasn't hiding behind all the overgrown shrubs. We have one other appointment tomorrow, and then we will try to get to some open houses as well. Today we went to see 4 houses. I spent all day Friday setting up appointments, because KD didn't want to sign on with a realtor yet. House #1: Lovely kitchen with pretty glossy black cabinets in the kitchen, but the rest of the house was really dated and the basement smelled like mildew or something. House #2: Nicely updated, but only two bedrooms on the main floor. Kitchen is small. Parents apparently sleep in the partially finished basement while the kids get the bedrooms. House # 3: The realtor from #2 said it was "just around the corner", so with 20 minutes before our next appointment, we agreed to go see it as well. It was beautifully and completely updated, and the only thing KD didn't like about it was the price. About $20,000 above what we want to spend! I thought it was a nice house, but it was boring! No character whatsoever. Could have been just because it is not lived in at the moment. But I just didn't like it, despite the huge yard with the lilac bush. House #4: Well, I walked in, saw the gorgeous fireplace and the really expensive beautiful leaf-patterned carpet, and I swooned! I loved it. The kitchen was all redone, all the main rooms were huge, the basement was in the process of being finished, and it had a huge jacuzzi tub. I loved it. The yard was to die for. Huge with peonies and lilacs, and a hill. KD didn't like it though. All the windows were original to the house (1962), and probably needed replacing. There is a leak in the ceiling above the tub, and the outside of the house was ugly dirty-looking stucco. I told KD that the outside could be perked up with paint and shutters and a brightly-painted door, but he didn't believe me. Now that I am home and away from that seductive fireplace and gorgeous kitchen, I can see clearer, and I agree that we shouldn't buy that house. The traffic noises behind the house are what convinced me. We can always fix the windows and exterior with enough money, but we can't move a road. So we keep looking. We're not in a hurry. And in the meantime, I have an ever-growing list of things to fix in this house before we sell. Good thing I'm already working on painting the living room and entry hall. Here are the ones I can remember, in no particular order:
  • update 1/2 bathroom, including replacing the sink, light fixture, and backsplash
  • replace lino on main floor with laminate or some nice vinyl flooring
  • replace all main floor baseboards
  • fix and paint all upstairs baseboards (except of course the bathroom, which was already done)
  • touch up paint in kitchen
  • paint all doors and window trim.
Whew, I'm going to have a busy summer!

Friday, 27 June 2008

Random Photo Day!

Editing to participate in Candid Carrie's Friday's Foto Finish Fiesta. The above picture is one of my favourite because JK is in one of her favourite poses. Almost every time I say the word "head", she smacks her hands on her head like she's saying "oh no!" And if I ask here where her hair or ears or eyes are, she does the same thing. Smack! Sometimes she actually gets her hands over her eyes, but it's not often. This is what happens when I have nothing to post about and I start playing with the camera. I think JK wants to start a modeling career...or maybe comedy. Her hair is all funny because I had just washed the apple sauce out of it.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Peonies and Paint

I guess my Peony is white after all! I thought it was pink, so I almost bought another white one this year. I will probably only have the one bloom, but it does look healthy! This is my grey primer. It actually looks blue in person. And here is a preview of my lovely yellow paint colour. The first picture is on the wall with the piano, which I can't finish painting until the rest of the room is completely done. It shows the real colour better than the second picture. I can't wait until the room is done and I can accessorize!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Rona is great!

Oh, I think I'm in love with Rona. The store. They are terrific! I opened my can of primer this morning so that I could finally start painting the living room. As much as I stirried, I couldn't get rid of the lumps. I tried rolling some on to the wall, and it was just awful. Then I franticly tried to find the receipt. I even called KD to ask if he had seen it. I don't have it, I'm sure I threw it out! I decided to take the primer back to Rona anyway, at least to find out how to fix it if they wouldn't exchange it. Luckily there was a Behr representative in the store today. She told the Rona person that there was a few batches of primer that got frozen this winter, and mine was probably included in that. Even though it didn't have the right batch number, she said to exchange it anyway with out the receipt! I am so glad that I didn't have to use lumpy primer (then sand off all the lumps once it dried). Ok, I'm off to continue painting, since it's JK's nap time.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Bear for Lily

I went to mom's group today, which was also a surprise baby shower for one of the moms. True to my nature, I forgot about it until this morning, when I realised that I needed to get a gift. But JK was tired and wanted a nap so I was stuck at home. So having no way to buy a gift, I spent an hour and a half in my craft room, and came up with this little primitive/country-style bear. I ran out of stuffing, so the belly is filled with rice. I wasn't sure at first if it was good enough to give away, but the mom said she really likes it. Y'all should go check out what my sister Pixie made to celebrate summer.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Hey, wait a minute...It's Summer!

I totally forgot about the changing of the seasons! Usually I notice the date and have a "yay, it's the first day of summer" attitude all day. With all the party planning going on this week it slipped my notice! I thought y'all would get a kick out of my living room now that I have torn it all apart. (yes, I do say "y'all", even though I'm not from the south...and I'm not even American. It's such a handy word, since the english language doesn't otherwise have a general, all inclusive version of "you") I had to take all the books out of the bookshelf before I could move it. Our shelf is from Ikea, and is too flimsy to be moved with even half the books left in...it is pretty though.

Fun with Family, Friends, and Flowers

We had a busy weekend! On Saturday, we went to KD's work picnic. It was held at a water treatment plant run by the utility company that he works for. We went on a not-very-exciting tour of the plant. We had lunch, watched a plane fly over, and went home. On Sunday, we had another bridal shower for the second of the weddings I am in this summer. It went well, though we (the bridesmaids) were rather disorganised. By some miracle, since I got hardly any responses to the invitations we sent, we had exactly enough food. One of the games we played was the toilet-paper-wedding-dress. But there was a twist! Since it was a couples shower, we had two teams of all men. Oh, it was so funny! Unfortunately I left my camera in the car so I don't have any pictures. Just imagine two very manly men with stuffed shirts, trains, veils, etc. JK had no sleep all day yesterday, and she finally cut a tooth, but she was surprisingly good! She was a little cranky, but for the most part, all the new people distracted her from complaining too much. I have to say that if I ever plan another bridal shower, I will again suggest that the duties be split between the bridesmaids. For this one, I was in charge of the invitations and decorations, another bridesmaid was in charge of games and activities, and the third bridesmaid was in charge of the food. Of course we all helped each other, but it was nice to have one person making the decisions for each aspect so that there was no chance of argument or any drama. It worked very well. Before we left on Sunday morning, my mom stopped by to drop off my sister's sister-in-law's boquet from her wedding. When my sister got married, I took all the bridesmaid's boquet, dried the flowers and arranged them in a shadow-frame. So my sister wants to do the same for her sister-in-law. I forgot to take a before picture of the lovely boquet, but here are the flowers all laid out for drying. In about a month I'll buy the shadow frame and fire up the glue gun. I just hope the flowers don't loose too much colour. I'm considering buying more of this stuff: It's silica, for drying flowers. Under that mess is most of the roses from the boquet. I think I should do the dark pink carnations too, 'cause I've heard that they turn brown when drying. The other two shadow frames I've done both had gebera daisies, which stay beautiful and take up lots of room. I'm not sure how the carnations will turn out. So, stay tuned for the after pictures...in about a month. How's that for suspense? Today, I am taking down everything in the living room and plastering holes for painting. I hope I can get all the sanding (of the plaster) and taping done today. Then tomorrow I'll do the first coat of my lovely grey primer on all the walls except the one the piano is against. I'll have to do that last I think. Any tips on how to get a straight-looking line against a popcorn-ceiling? I didn't do a very good job with that when I did JK's room. In the kitchen I was slightly better, but still not great.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Pretty Houses

I love houses. One of my favourite things about England was all the old buildings. North America doesn't really have the same concept of "old". I'm always looking for houses that are good looking, because honestly, here in Alberta most of the houses are ugly not very charming. This is the house that I saw with mrs.heidi when we went walking (that's mrs.heidi, baby D, and JK in front of the house...I had to cross the street to get the picture). It is such a unique looking house! It looks way nicer in person. The entrance is nice and substantial, and I love the baby-blue lamp post. This next one is a house in a charming-though-touristy town called Merrickville. KD grew up in that area, so when we go back to visit, we drive by this house quite often. I love that it has a tower! And real shutters that open! My mother-in-law took these pictures for me because I didn't get a chance the first couple of times I visited. I also love looking at real estate listings, even though we aren't even thinking of moving right now. I won't show any of those, though I did find some cute ones. Lastly, I have fun with house plans! It's sometimes frustrating, because the all start looking the same to me. Every now and then I come across one that I think is perfect, or nearly so. Most of the time the layout is great, but the rooms are all just too big...which could be easily fixed, I'm sure. These are some I've come across in the past week or so: European style Lots of porches The second one is my current favourite. It is not likely that KD and I will ever build a house, but if we do, it will be very difficult to agree on anything...and I have expensive taste (slate floors and soapstone countertops anyone?). Yep, I love houses.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Gift wrap tip #1

First, thanks to everyone who came over from The Nester's IDHTBPTBB post! And thanks for the nice comments about our bathroom. Unfortunately I lost the before pictures, but picture pumpkin orange walls, 1970s tiles, and lino just like the stuff in the kitchen, only brown instead of blue. We chose the green colours to coordinate with the countertop, because we couldn't change that and didn't want it to look outdated like it did before. I like the spa-feeling those colours give to the bathroom. Tip #1: When wrapping a gift, take a cue from the gift itself for wrapping inspiration. I had fun making this card. It is sitting on the gift. When my friend opened the card she said "How did you make that?" The answer: "With a knife and lots of time." This is the inside of the card, making use of all the cut-out bits from the front. I love playing with bits of paper! And here is the gift all wrapped and ready to go. I think tulle is my new favourite gift-wrapping supply. I wanted black tissue paper to wrap it in, but the only black I had was cardstock. So I dusted off the box-making skills that I learned in a calligraphy class when I was 10. I managed to take a picture of the nest again, getting a blurry glimpse of the beautiful eggs. It was kind of obvious when we got eggs, by the way Mrs. Robin would fly at my head every time I opened the back door. But yesterday I discovered that she may have abandoned the nest! One egg is smashed on the ground, and I didn't see Mrs. Robin all day yesterday. I was actually lying awake in bed last night worrying about it! Maybe she decided that the nest was too close to the door and went off to make a new nest...if so, how could she abandon her babies! Or maybe she was scared off by my attempts at picture taking. I feel terribly guilty. But if the nest is abandoned, I really want to take it down (because it's a mess), and if there are any eggs in there, I'd love to blow them out and keep them...but I'm too scared. What if there is a baby bird in it! What should I do? To make myself feel better, and because it as been way too long since the last gratuitous picture of JK, here are some pictures of my baby. The baby who is going to have a birthday in two and a half weeks. Yikes!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Imperfectly Beautiful

The Nester is doing a post about things that are Imperfectly Beautiful.
So, here is my beautiful bathroom. We renovated it in January to deal with some 30 year old mildewed groutless tile in the shower. I love how it turned out. But, here are some imperfections that have ceased to bother me. I'll probably fix them right before we sell the place. #1: The stripes don't line up in the back of the cabinet. #2: There is some white caulking that needs to be sanded and painted at the top of the tub-surround. KD added more after I had already painted it. #3: I couldn't get a good picture of this one, but you may be able to se a bit of glossy white paint showing through the green. That is because I didn't tape when I painted the trim, thinking that I would be touching up the green paint anyway. Well, I should have sanded the glossy paint, because the green wouldn't stick to it. #4 The screws are too long for the cabinet handles. I need to get some washers or something for inside the cabinet. Anyway, those are just some of the imperfections around my house. But I love it anyway.