Thursday, 31 July 2008

What Would You Save?

Sweet Rue has asked a question: "What would you be devastated to lose if you could only save your family and furry babies?" This got me thinking. I guess there is an advantage to not being able to buy the lovely things I want! Rue has so many treasures she would want to save, but I think that the only things I would run for besides pictures (8 boxes from my childhood, and our wedding pictures), would be my old books. Not all the books on this shelf are old, but they are my favourite books. When I need something cozy and sweet to read, I look here. Um, maybe the Chicago Manual of Style doesn't quite belong. Some of my old books belonged to my parents, and some belonged to KD's great grandmother. His family knows I like old books so they gave them to me last time we were in Ontario. I just love the worn old covers, the musty old-book smell, the thick yellowed pages... My oldest book is a textbook about Tennyson published in 1906. Some of the pages are still folded, because the edge didn't get trimmed properly, and I found an old envelope and a receipt inside. This book of Poems by Whittier is just beautiful. It was given to my mom by her friends sometime before she got married. I don't know how old it is because they cut out the copyright page. But it's lovely. Don't forget to enter the giveaway! Edited: Because I forgot to say that some of my books are from a used book store or a thrift store. The 1934 Canterbury tales translation was ordered from Chapters' Used and Rare books website.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Ruby Slippers

KD let me go shoe shopping last night without his supervision. Usually, that is not a good idea. Not because I would spend too much, but because sometimes I buy things that are just weird and I end up hating them. KD is my voice of reason. However, he needed to work on his CMA application (now that he passed the exam, he has to apply with this lengthy application which needs to be submitted before we go on holidays next week). So JK and I went to find me some sandals. The last time I bought sandals was about 7 years ago. I usually buy black or brown shoes because I generally only have about 4 or 5 pairs of shoes at a time. But this time I took a risk and bought red! I figure it's ok since I wear a lot of red, and it's summer, and it's fun. I probably wouldn't buy red winter boots though. At this point I don't think I will regret this, but you never know. The sandals are really comfortable. I learned how to do the flowers on my toes from this lovely new blog that I discovered but usually don't have time to read.
*****
I've decided to put the tiny butter dish in with the black and white giveaway. I may go get another one to add to the garden giveaway.
*****
Today I'm still working away at sprucing up our house. It's ridiculous that every time I turn around something new needs to be painted. I now need to touch up the bathroom vanity because the baby-proofing latch has scratched the paint. Sigh. We have decided to leave the half-bath updates until we get back because KD's application is more important at this point. But I'm thinking of painting it all white, with accents of tan and brown. What do you think? Oh, speaking of paint colours, for Jill and Heather, who asked about our bedroom paint colour, it's "Wainscott Green" from General Paint. I had to run downstairs to check, since it was painted by the previous owner. Lucky for you she left the paint can for us! I'll show you the rest of the bedroom once KD picks up his clothes. Every day he comes home and says "you didn't put away my clothes yet?" I say "no, I'm not going to". Now that makes me sound like a bad housewife, but you should understand that KD is dreadfully picky about how is clothing is put away, so the most I ever do is fold it and put it in his basket. That said, I am also very picky about how my clothes are put away. So we just each do our own. Can't wait 'til JK is old enough to put away her own clothes too!

Monday, 28 July 2008

100th Post Giveaway!

Edited August 19: The winners have now been chosen. Visit this post to see who they are!
*****
Well, I've made it to my one hundredth post! I've had a plan for this post for months now. I'm having a giveaway! Actually two giveaways. Anyone can enter by commenting on this post. If you mention the giveaway on your blog, you can enter twice! Just email or comment to let me know. Since we go on holidays on August 3 and I'm really busy this week, the draw will be held on Monday, August 18 when we get back. So that gives you three weeks to get all your friends to enter! So, here is what you can win:
Giveaway # 1 has a garden-inspired theme. I made this door hanger a couple of months ago, with the intention of giving it away for my 100th post. I really like it so I think I have to make myself one now too. Along with this hanger (which is lightly scented with sweet woodruff from my garden), I will include a current copy of my favourite gardening magazine (I have a few favourites, so I'll see which one's current issue looks the best), and other little garden-themed items to surprise and delight the winner.
Even the back is cute:
*****
Giveway #2 has a black and white theme. I made this little blackheart pincushion the other day and it turned out just a cute as I pictured when I started. I'll include a current copy of my favourite decorating magazine (probably Canadian Home and Country, or Country Home), and other black and white themed items for surprise. I'm having trouble getting of decent picture of this cute little pincushion, but I'll keep trying and update as soon as I get some better ones. It's about 4x4 inches. Front:
Back: *****
If you have a preference for one giveaway or the other, you can say so. Otherwise, your name will be in the draw for both. Edited to add: I found an exact copy of that tiny butter dish while I was out shopping today, but for a much cheaper price! So I bought one to add to one of the giveaways. I also found a few other things. I'll be looking around over the next three weeks for things to add to the giveaways, so you never know exactly what you'll get if you win!

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Joining the mistreatment club

Edited August 18: Welcome to everyone coming over from The Nester's Mistreatment Party! If y'all are interested, today is the last day to enter my giveaway. Now here is my first window mistreatment!
*****
Remember those boring curtains that I made for the bedroom and then hated? Well, I finally fixed them, and now I love them! I decided to completely remove the rods and just use upholstery tacks. I couldn't be happier with the result. I think The Nester should write a book about mistreating windows. It would be a best seller. In fact, she could even have a TV show with the tag line "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful". This is step one. My hemmed, and properly-made (sort of) curtains thatI hated. I took the rod down, and tacked them up just above the trim. After adding the leftover fabric on top (which I did not hem or even iron), and of course my satin ribbon tiebacks (brown because our bedding is brown)... Ta-da! The room is so much brighter now that I have a way to keep the curtains open. I don't quite hate my bedroom as much as I used do. The wonders of upholstery tacks!

Friday, 25 July 2008

We've got baseboards!

Sort of, anyway. The front hall is done. We may work on them more tonight. Even with the nail holes still visible, they look lovely. Wow, the paint colour looks really sharp and lemony in these pictures. It's really much softer. The name of the paint colour both here and in the living room is "Baklava" by Behr Expressions paint, for those who are wondering. Today I have to prime the doors and frames. And I have to go buy black paint for the stair rails. After I painted the stair trim, the metal railing just looks awful. Every one thing I do seems to add at least one more to my list! I can't wait until I can actually sit and relax without feeling like there's fifty things I should be doing instead. 9 days 'til vacation!

Virtual Baby Shower

Today is the Virtual Online Baby Shower for Heather of Hopscotch and Hydrangeas. Her baby is due within the next few weeks, and Rhonda at Scooterblu's Whimsy decided to host a day of baby-themed posts in Heather's honour. I am thrilled to be able to do something to Heather. She is a constant supporter of my meager decorating and creative endeavors. My contribution to the baby shower is music! Here are some of my favourite baby-themed songs. To listen to them, click play on the player in my sidebar. When you're finished here, head over to Scooterblu's Whimsy for the rest of the shower. And go visit Heather to read the beautiful letter she wrote to her unborn baby girl.
*****
Home by Minnie Driver Angel, asleep on my shoulder You don't know, how you're gonna grow. Think you'll be strong and kind like your daddy Sweet and generous, as your mama too. Sky above, endless and ever blue filled with stars, shining their light on you They're there when you're feeling scared you're all alone, they lead you home. Home Angel, look what you've come to. Like the deep blue sea love is all around you. It's there when you're standing tall it'll be there when you fall It's at the edge of all the dreams you dream Sky above, endless and ever blue filled with stars, shining their light on you They're there when you're feeling scared, you're all alone, they lead you home. Home Angel, asleep on my shoulder you don't know how you're gonna grow. Think you'll be strong, like your daddy sweet and generous, as your mama too. It's waiting for you, it's waiting for you, it's waiting for you. ***** With Arms Wide Open by Creed Well I just heard the news today It seems my life is going to change I close my eyes, begin to pray Then tears of joy stream down my face With arms wide open Under the sunlight Welcome to this place I'll show you everything With arms wide open With arms wide open Well I don't know if I'm ready To be the man I have to be I'll take a breath, take her by my side We stand in awe, we've created life With arms wide open Under the sunlight Welcome to this place I'll show you everything With arms wide open Now everything has changed I'll show you love I'll show you everything With arms wide open With arms wide open I'll show you everything With arms wide open If I had just one wish Only one demand I hope he's not like me I hope he understands That he can take this life And hold it by the hand And he can greet the world with arms wide open With arms wide open Under the sunlight Welcome to this place I'll show you everything With arms wide open Now everything has changed I'll show you love I'll show you everything With arms wide open With arms wide open I'll show you everything With arms wide open ***** Welcome to our World by Chris Rice or Michael W. Smith (yeah, I know it's a Christmas song, but it makes me cry every time)
Tears are falling, hearts are breaking

How we need to hear from God You've been promised, we've been waiting

Welcome Holy Child Welcome Holy Child

Hope that you don't mind our manger How I wish we would have known But long-awaited Holy Stranger Make Yourself at home Please make Yourself at home Bring Your peace into our violence Bid our hungry souls be filled Word now breaking Heaven's silence

Welcome to our world Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us Tender brow prepared for thorn Tiny heart whose blood will save us Unto us is born Unto us is born So wrap our injured flesh around You Breathe our air and walk our sod Rob our sin and make us holy

Perfect Son of God Perfect Son of God Welcome to our world

***** Ruby Adeline by Minnie Driver Ruby Adeline Your life will be so fine Ruby Adeline You're gonna have the sweetest time I could wish you lots of things A clever mind and diamond rings The knowledge that you're always free Compassion for all that you see But the best thing, I can think of Is to wish you love Ruby Adeline Your life will be so fine Ruby Adeline You're gonna have the sweetest time So right from the very start I wish you a lions heart A little darkness let it come So that you will always know the sun May it shine down from above Let it fill your life with love Ruby Adeline Your life will be so fine Ruby Adeline You're gonna have the sweetest time

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Before and After: Rosewood Tray

Do y'all remember a long, long time ago when I showed you all the fun stuff I bought at Value Village for my birthday? (Honestly, they should pay me for mentioning them so often...but then I guess not, since I usually say how overpriced they are) This is the rosewood tray from that shopping trip. I took a while to decide what I was going to do with it. I loved the colour of the wood, and would have just left it, except for the cigarette burn in the corner. I finally decided to paint it white (with craft paint, because I was too lazy to open up the can of wall paint, with a crackle finish. Well, that didn't work out. The white glue I used to crackle the paint just ended up making it look splotchy. I think I thinned it too much. I wanted a subtle effect. So then I painted another coat of white, and let it dry, then thinned some brown craft paint to try to do an antiquing glaze. Again I think I thinned it too much, because that didn't work either. I didn't even wait for that to dry before putting on another coat of white paint. When that finally dried, surprise! I had the finely crackled white finish that I wanted! I still want to somehow glaze it to make it look old and not so stark white, but I'll have to figure out what to use that won't start disolving the paint and glue that is already on there. I think I need to add some plates or something above the try to balance out the narrow gold mirror below. and I need something white on the end table. I love the scrolly details on the edges, and the finish turned out exactly how I wanted it, despite the trial-and-error.

Is it Wednesday already?

Wednesday has sneaked up on me this week! Yesterday I spent the day trying to cross as many things off of my list as possible. I managed to take a bag of clothes to Goodwill, go grocery shopping, scrub out the fridge and freezer, paint my ugly spot, touch up the rest of the paint in the kitchen, finish the last coat of paint on the stair trim, sweep the floor, and wash the dishes. All this while trying to keep a clingy-cranky baby happy all day. Don't my stairs look nice? I love the look of glossy white trim. It makes everything else look so fresh. Much better than the chipped pinkish-beige that was there before. I still need to touch up the wall paint where the white leaked under the tape (Why does that always happen? No matter how much I press the tape down). I'd show the whole stairwell, but I haven't yet finished removing the tape. One thing that didn't get started yesterday was installing the baseboards. They are still sitting in a tidy pile waiting for KD's help. I probably don't really need his help, but the mitre saw (which I have just recently discovered is also called a chop saw) intimidates me. My dad cut off part of his thumb with one. I really want to post some better pictures of my lovely living room, but since it currently is a mess with all the stuff from the hall and kitchen all over, not to mention the baby's toys and other stuff that I need to find a place for, I'll have to wait until the baseboards are installed to show off my place of refuge. This is what it looks like now. It's messier than Rue's basement! This post was going to be longer, but I decided to make it into two posts. That will make up for missing yesterday anyway. It's amazing how easily I get sidetracked! Next post coming right up!

Monday, 21 July 2008

New Artwork and New Baby

So, my friends, this is what I did with my pre-distressed frame that I bought on Saturday. I got the pictures from Flickr (I only searched for ones that are available for download, so I don't think I did anything illegal...but if I did, I think I need help! First the roses, now the pictures...lock your cars, everyone!). The pictures are printed on plain cardstock, not photo paper. I really like how the green complements the wall colour. It is exactly what I wanted for our bathroom. Very peaceful and spa-like, I think. It is hung opposite the large mirror, above the towel rack. Hiding a Very Bad Plaster Job.
*****
I finally got to meet Baby L! She's so tiny and skinny-newborn-ish! It's amazing how small babies look before they get plump. And she feels like she weighs about as much as JK's leg. JK tried to steal the tissue and cellophane from L's gift. When she wasn't allowed that, she contented herself with Aunty T's keys. JK with Aunty T (who does NOT look like she just had a baby. She looks terrific!): The new mama and baby: I'm so happy I finally got to see this sweet baby. JK now has 5 girl cousins...no boy cousins yet.
*****
Thanks for all the great suggestions on what to do with my ugly spot. I think for now I've decided to paint it the same colour as the wall and see how it looks. That's the way I was leaning initially anyway.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Saturday Walk

JK and I went for a walk today. When KD left this morning to go to his brother's stag (paintballing is the thing to do for Christian stags around here), he made me promise that we would get out of the house and go for a walk. I decided to go to Value Village. It's about 20 minutes away walking. The only thing I saw there that I might have bought is a pretty cream-coloured cake plate. But they wanted $15 for it, and I knew that I could get the same thing for the same price or less at Home Sense, brand new! So I left it. We don't have the counter/cabinet space for a cake plate right now anyway. Value Villiage is often overpriced like that. Goodwill is much better. Since Home Sense was on the way home, I decided to stop in there just for fun to see if I was right about the cake plate. And I was! I found two very similar white cake plates for the exact same price. And a glass one for only $7.00! So if I were desperate for a cake plate, I know where I'd go! I bought some wooden Mellisa and Doug building blocks for JK. I've heard about their non-toxic wooden toys before. I think she'll like them, even if just for banging together. I also found a picture frame for $5.00 It was originally $12.00, but the frame is scratched and chipped. I thought it was great, since I won't have to do the distressing myself! I have been wanting a frame like this for the bathroom. I really like the stock photos that are already in the frame, so I'll have to see what I can do to duplicate the look. I think I was bad today. I stole some roses from someone! They were growing through the fence by the sidewalk. I know that if a neighbour's tree branch is growing into my yard I would have the right to cut it off, but I'm not sure how that rule applies to public property. Anyway, the roses were really thorny, so I think I got my punishment. But they sure are pretty in my little jug!

Friday, 18 July 2008

JK and the floor

I am feeling much better today, though my head feels like it weighs three times as much as it should. JK is 100%, and getting in to everything. Yesterday and today, while I was showering, she lifted up the shower curtain, letting water cascade onto the floor. She insisted on being able to see me. And she's fascinated with the shower. But I love her in spite of the messes. We saw five houses yesterday, and two were very nice! But we have decided to concentrate on selling ours first before we find a new house. So for the next two weeks, we will be fixing the bathroom, installing baseboards, and painting, and possibly storing some things at the in-law's house. I'm excited to do the fluffing and staging. We're going to try to sell our house through Comfree instead of a realtor, because $10,000 is a lot of money, even in Canada! Our realtor is skeptical of course, but he wishes us well. And I have nothing to post about today, since I'm still feeling blah. So here is JK modelling the new flooring. I feel so rich having a pretty floor for the first time in my life! With this borrowed camera, it's difficult to get JK's normal facial expressions. It has a bright orange light before the flash that makes her scrunch up her face.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Rambling Incoherent Thoughts

Our floor is finally done! Or at least it will be once we get the baseboards done. I'll post pictures when that happens, maybe this weekend. I don't know what is in this medication the doctor prescribed, but today I feel like I'm positively floating. I didn't even take the pain pill yet today, but just from the ear drops, I feel disconnected and confused and foggy. My arms and legs are not quite cooperating with my brain. The good thing is that I finally managed to have a good night's sleep for the first time in a week! The doctor said that my left ear is so inflamed that she was surprised it wasn't bleeding. She thinks I did something to injure it, like jam a q-tip in there, but I'm sure I didn't. All I did was get a cold, then go to the dentist. Anyway, I'm sure y'all didn't come here to read about my poor sore ear. I have made no secret of the fact that I am not the Martha of housekeepers. I discovered Flylady a couple of years ago but never really got going with it because of my inconsistant work hours. I decided to give it another try. I function really well when I can get a routine going, so we'll see what happens. Last night's bridal shower went very well. The bride was totally surprised. It was a lingerie-themed shower, held in a private room at a cafe. Very fun. JK was pretty good for the most part. It was nice having a private room, so I could let her crawl around and play. She kept trying to steal the bride's gifts. We're going tonight to look at more houses. Now that the laminate is done, the rest of the work on our place should go quickly. I hope. I'm kind of conflicted about this whole house hunting thing. I'm not sure I want to move! It's kind of strange, because every other time I have moved in my life, I have been really excited about it, with no regrets. But this is the first place I've lived in that is not rented. I know I'll learn to love our next place, but I don't want to leave this one yet! I just have to keep in mind the noisy neighbours, the lack of privacy in the backyard, the lack of storage, and the yard that is pretty but not very good for a toddler. The problem may be that I haven't seen a place that I love yet.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

What should I do with this ugly spot?

Hello, I'm Jo, and I'm feeling miserable. I still have a cold, which means I'm coughing all the time, and I sound like "a cross between a frog with laryngitis and a country-western singer" (old-school Adventures in Oddessy fans may recognise that line). Now I'm pretty sure I have an ear infection, so I'm going to the doctor this afternoon. Trying to sleep last night was Unpleasant and Unsuccessful. And I have to go to another bridal shower tonight (I think it's the last one). I didn't know what I was going to post today until I was getting JK some breakfast. I remembered that I have this ugly spot in the kitchen. When we moved in, there was a microwave hanging above the kitchen sink. Besides the fact that they're not supposed to be above the sink, it also cut into the headroom, and I was forever bumping my head on it while trying to wash the dishes. We took it down last year when I painted the kitchen, and managed to break the glass tray inside. This clumsiness gave us an excuse to get a new microwave, which we did not hang above the sink. Anyway, the point of this is to say that now the bottom of the cupboard above the sink has ugly holes and spots on it, and I don't know what I should do to make it pretty. Here are a few of the options I've been considering:
  • Fill the holes, sand, and paint it white.
  • Fill the holes, sand, and paint it turquoise like the walls
  • Glue on some shelf-liner or wall paper or other pretty stuff.
What do you think I should do? Can you think of anything else that would look better than the things I've come up with? Thanks in advance for your help! PS: a picture will be added as soon as blogger lets me. PPS: Woohoo! Finally blogger is cooperating! I've added a picture of my ugly spot.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Country Rose Bear for Baby L

My poor new baby niece is sick! She's in the hospital with a serious case of jaundice. Poor child. Poor new parents who had to leave her in the hospital all alone last night! They hope there is a bed available for my sister-in-law to stay tonight. The light treatment should help her get better quickly. I finished the bear for baby L this morning. I could have finished it last night, but I was getting a bit frustrated with it. The rose fabric is gorgeous, but it is horrible to work with. At least for something small anyway. While my last bear was primitive/country, this one is more shabby-chic/country. I hope the new mom likes it. She is much more modern than I am. Of course she won't say outright that she hates it. I'm always a bit intimidated when making something for KD's family because they're not crafty, and I worry that they think I'm just cheap. This bear has some rice inside. It makes a great shelf-sitter, 'cause it has a bigger bum than the other bear. I accidently sewed the ears on inside out, but they look cute how they are, so I wasn't going to change them again. I already had to unstitch them once.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Weddings and Babies and an Award

I survived the wedding, despite being sick. I was ok until we had been at the air-conditioned hotel for about an hour. Then I started to think I needed to do something to help me breathe. I made it through the rest of the reception with the help of Halls and some really bad coffee. The next day (yesterday) I bought some Advil Cold & Sinus as was recommended by 3 different people at the wedding. All day Sunday I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I was miserable, and I didn't want to go to the wedding shower (the one that the black-white-and-yellow-wrapped gifts were for). KD insisted I go, so on the way I took some of that Advil. That was 4:00. I started feeling better within half an hour, and managed to enjoy the party! I just stayed away from the other babies there so I didn't make them sick. I'm normally not one to take pills for anything other than a headache, so I had never tried any cold medicine before. I'm amazed at how well it works! Today I feel much better. This is a picture from the video that KD took at the ceremony. He said "You're not supposed to look at the camera!" But I wasn't. I was looking at my sweet handsome husband! This is what we gave the bride and groom. Inside the bag that is wrapped around the bottle is 2 packets of microwave popcorn and a blockbuster gift card. It goes with this gift, which is a DVD player. Now they can have a romantic movie night when they get back from their honeymoon. They actually haven't opened the gifts yet (the first one is still sitting on our counter) because the gift opening is tonight, but I'm pretty sure they don't read this site. I think they probably have better things to do as a newly married couple. And if they are reading it, oh well. A hint for gift wrapping: If your ribbon isn't long enough to wrap around both ways in the traditional style, it just might fit wrapping around the corners! That was my problem with this red ribbon. I'm lucky it fit perfectly this way.
*****
On Saturday morning, the same day as the wedding, KD's brother's wife had a baby! JK has a new baby-girl-cousin! She doesn't have any boy-cousins yet. Of course KD and his other brother had to rudely point out to the new daddy that his daughter's initials are LSD. So that's what they the two of them call her, instead of her name. I think the new mom and dad should just ignore them and enjoy the beautiful name they have chosen. It's not like the kid will go around telling people her middle name all her life anyway. I'm so sad that I can't go visit the new baby because I am sick. So I'm passing the time by making her a teddy bear. Which I will be sure to show off when it's done. It's taking longer than the first one because I'm embroidering her name on it with ribbon.
*****
I had a sweet surpise this morning from Heather at Hopscotch and Hydrangeas. She has given me an award! It's the Brilliante Weblog award. She thinks I'm brilliant for some reason! Well, I think she's brilliant too. You should go see the room she has just redone as her office/craft/sewing room. It's so gorgeous and peaceful. I love it. So here are the rules for the award:
  1. Display logo and the link of who gave it.
  2. Nominate at least 7 blogs.
  3. Add links to those 7 blogs.
  4. Leave the nominees a message that they received the award.
I nominate: All these women are brilliant in different ways, and I love reading their blogs. There are many many more brilliant blogs that I read, so this is just a small sampling of some of my favourites. I encourage you to go check them out!