Thursday, 30 July 2009

Interesting Idea - Glass Table

I came across an interesting item for sale in our city's online classified ad site: "This table is handmade from high quality repurposed glass. It can be used in your home as a side table or out in your garden as a table, bird feeder or just a wonderful art piece. Its an original. There is no other piece like it. open to offers. " I think this little table is adorable! What a great idea! The asking price is $60, and I'm sure the artist got the individual elements for free or at least very cheap. I just wonder what glue they used...

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Arthur Wood Shakespeare Pitcher

I went to a mission thrift store last week, and was taken by this pitcher. At first I thought "wow, that's rather ugly!" But then I looked closer, and I was intrigued. It is rather unusual. The band around the middle William Shakespeare Tercentenary 1564 - 1864. So I wondered whether this little jug could possibly be that old. I truly didn't think so, but the more I looked at it, the more I liked it, despite its over-the-top ornamentation. So I bought it for $2.99. I tired researching this pitcher online, and didn't find much, except for one site that said the mark on the bottom was used from 1954+. So I think my hunch was right it's not very old...it is probably just a reproduction of something made in the actual tercentenary. The lady at the store said it was donated with a tattered bouquet of dried flowers in it. But it does have some lovely crazing, and looks right at home next to my unmarked antique-show-jug.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Pregnancy - Nearing the End!

Well, it's happened. I cannot wear my wedding rings any more. I lasted a lot longer with this pregnancy than with the last one. Last time I developed a temporary gold allergy, so my rings made me itch. Juli likes to play with my new "necklace", saying "Mommy's rings don't fit!" Today I am 35 weeks pregnant. It seem surreal that the end is so close. I feel like I have been pregnant forever...and will be pregnant forever. I can't wait to be able to roll over in bed again. I also can't wait to meet my little boy and start getting to know him. I want to know what he looks like, what his personality will be like, and all the things that go along with the advent of a newborn. Since I only have five weeks left, and no energy at all, I have decided to drastically curtail my pre-baby to-do list. Between the pregnancy exhaustion, and the hot weather, there is no way I will be doing any more fence painting. JK's room probably won't get painted yet either. But I did manage to work on painting her dresser this week! I had KD move it into the basement so that I didn't roast while painting in the garage. I just have to do the inside of three of the drawers, spraypaint the knobs, then do a little decorative painting. I think I can handle that. My roman blinds are almost finished. I just have to assemble them. KD will help me with that tonight, then it's bye-bye to the blue velvet! Next on the list is window-coverings and bedding for JK's room. Anything else for her room can be worked on after she's already sleeping in her big-girl room. Then once she's moved, I can decorate the baby's room. But one of the most important pre-baby tasks KD and I have to do is find a name we can agree on! We're working on it, but it's hard! We've been reading The Baby Name Wizard's book, and even KD finds it quite helpful.
***
Even while I'm in the midst of anticipating the baby's arrival, I am having fun with my daughter. Yesterday, after a particularly cranky day, JK and I had some nice mother-daughter cuddle time snuggling on our bed reading her current favourite book. It is one of the first times that I've been able to relate to JK as a daughter, rather than as a baby or toddler who needs to be cared for. I am greatly looking forward to our relationship developing. I love my beautiful girl!

Monday, 20 July 2009

Gift Bags Made Gorgeous

I usually prefer using wrapping paper instead of gift bags, because I like to have fun with ribbons and flowers, and I have always thought that gift bags didn't allow me as much creativity. I may have to change my mind after making over these two 97-cent Walmart gift bags. This is how they started out: After I added some ribbon, flowers, and tissue paper I already had, and tied the bag shut with jute string, the pink one was transformed from plain to pretty: With the green one, I glued on the same ribbon, and free-handed a design with yo-yos that I made when I was 16 and staying at a crafty friend's house. I have a whole ziploc bag full of these yo-yos, and while I think they're cute, I didn't ever have any use for them. This bag was tied with jute as well, and for a card, I tied on the little tag that came with the bag, and glued a yo-yo to the outside, both front and back. This green gift bag went from garden-variety to gorgeous! Sorry for the bad alliteration...maybe I've been watching too much daytime reality TV. These gifts went to KD's niece, for whom I painted the pink-and-white box. (Sorry again...I just couldn't end this post with a preposition! My grammar-nerd tendencies can lie dormant for months, then suddenly break out all at once). See other lovely transformations over at Between Naps on the Porch's Met Monday. I love Susan's decorating tips that she posted today.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Summer Weeds in a Vase

Last week I bought some $3.99 daisies from the grocery store. This week, I wanted some flowery-stuff, but didn't want to pay for it, or rob my garden of any blooms. So I was weeding the lawn in the backyard, and found a really tall clump of clover next to the garage, growing out from under some scrap fence wood. I like clover, so I decided to find some more weeds to make an arrangement for inside the house. I tried to apply what little flower-arranging tips I have gleaned over the years, and I think my little bouquet turned out ok! I started with the short foxtails, then the longer grasses. That combination looked nice, but I thought it was too stiff-looking, so I'm glad I had the clover to add. When I was a teenager, I used to pick alfalfa from the vacant lots in the neighbourhood. I just love the shape, colour, and smell of it. Alas, there isn't much alfalfa around here. While I was arranging, JK was eager to help, but she was damaging my clover. So I set her up with her own "vase" to arrange. Here's what she came up with: Not bad for a two-year-old! And, as you can see in the above photos, I finally got around to spray-painting my second wire-thing. It is the one thing I actually got accomplished today...on a day that began with burnt toast. I just knew it would look good in black! Now I have a black one and a white one. Which do you like better? Right now I think I still like the white best, but that's probably just because I am not used to decorating with black yet. I did see another one just like this at Goodwill a few months ago, but I didn't buy it...I guess I could have painted that one a bright fun colour. I'm very close to being done with the second and third of my roman blinds. I'm sewing on the plastic rings, then I have to insert the dowels, have KD cut the batten, then assemble them. I hope to get it done on Monday maybe. We're going to the lake for the weekend with KD's family. Stay tuned for a gift-bag transformation on Monday!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

My Piano - a White Elephant?

I have been doing some thinking about my beloved piano. It is old. It is out of tune. It is falling apart. It has major internal problems. And it is beautiful. I do not play the piano (I can play "The Rose", that's it), so it sits collecting dust and taking up space. KD does not like my piano. But it is beautiful. I love the cherry wood that it is made of, and the details. I will not sell it.

I'd like to get it restored, but that would cost at least four times the actual value of the piano. And if I force myself to think realistically, I know that we will never be able to justify spending that kind of money on it.

Our living space would be much improved if we got rid of the piano. But I'm torn. I love the family history behind it, but I am starting to realize that it is just in the way. And it is not really healthy or Christlike to be so attached to a posession...expecially one that is hard to move and weighs a ton!

So. I'm thinking of taking it apart and keeping the wood. The insides would be discarded, and I would someday use the gorgeous wood for building other beautiful furniture. I just can't decide. And of course I have to discuss it with my family...it is their heirloom too.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Price my Space Party...if the "space" can be one window.

All of my "space" is a work in progress, so I didn't think I had anything to contribute to the Nester's Price My Space party. But then I remembered that I hadn't shared the cost for the roman blinds I made. I figured out exactly how much it cost me for materials for my one trial blind, because I wanted to see how it compared to Walmart's $30 blackout blinds that didn't come in the right width, and also to the $250 estimate I got from the budget blinds place for custom blinds (that estimate was just for blinds made of the blackout liner only, with no facing fabric).
My total: $37.75
Of course I did actually spend more than that because I couldn't buy the exact amount of the materials that I needed. But still, I was impressed that it didn't cost more! The facing fabric is from a 5x12 canvas dropcloth that was $14.97, and the blackout lining (the most expensive part) was from a discount fabric store for $6.99 per metre. All the rest of the stuff came from Home Depot and Fabricland (just the nylon cord is from the expensive fabric store).

Thursday, 9 July 2009

DIY Day - Roman Blinds

DIY Day @ ASPTL
I know I'm late to the party, but we had internet connection problems (of course a simple billing change would knock out our internet and TV...why shouldn't it?) I wanted to show off my latest project for Kimba's DIY day party at A Soft Place to Land. In fact, it was the anticipation of this party that made me actually get it finished (well, one of three is finished, anyway). You may remember my complaint a few weeks ago about not being able to find ready-made blinds that fit our windows, and not wanting to spend $250-300 for getting them custom made. Someone (I'll have to look up who it was) suggested that I make them. I really didn't want to have to. I was all ready to buy the $30 walmart blinds and mount them outside the window frame, but KD really didn't think that would effectivly block the light. So I finally decided to at least look up the instructions on making the blinds. Well, it didn't seem too difficult, so I decided to try one on a trial basis. I used these instructions, but later discovered that I should have used their updated ones, since some of the instructions weren't detailed enough, and at least one illustration was wrong. The updated ones look great though. One tip I discovered - Use lots of pins!: The blackout lining is very shifty. It wasn't hard to do, just complicated, if that makes sense. I recommend having at least a little sewing experience when attempting this! I'm lucky to have a seamstress for a mother. It took me 5.5 hours to get this far on Friday, then it sat all weekend while we worked on the fence: And here is the result! We mounted this one and tested it at night. It blocks the streetlights and the sunrise beautifully! This is what the technical side of the blind looks like: KD screwed in the wood batten for me after cutting it to size. I had a difficult enough time cutting the wood dowels! He also helped with the upholstery tacks. I followed the assembly instructions in order, but with the next ones, I'm going to assemble it all before screwing it in place. I think it will be much easier that way. I'm currently working on the other two blinds for this room, then we will finally be able to take down the dreadful blue/purple polyester velvet curtains. I want to put up some white shears or something lighter. So, what do you think? My mom gave her seal of approval this afternoon. I'm actually quite proud of my efforts. I don't usually attempt projects that are this detailed.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Some Favourite Posts

I love it when some of my favourite bloggers (Like the Nester and Kimba) do posts linking to great projects they liked on other people's blogs. I've been wanting to do that myself...mostly to keep my favourite posts somewhere that I can find them again. If you haven't already seen these posts, enjoy! Living With Lindsay reincarnates a thrift-store chair. I would love to rehab a chair like this. It's gorgeous. (Lindsay, if you notice this link and come check out my post, I wanted to let you know that I've been unable to comment on any of your posts for some reason, but I really love your blog!) Manuela at The Pleasures of Homemaking paints her deck. I love the checker-board pattern, expecially since it continues the floor pattern in her kitchen. Jen from Sanctuary Arts at Home has made an adorable valance out of dropcloth canvas (which, by the way, is such an amazing deal on fabric of that quality! I'll be sharing a dropcloth project of my own soon). Anything Jen paints is beautiful.
*****
As for my own projects, I'm currently working on one that is frustrating me to no end! Yesterday I was so grouchy toward KD, and he didn't deserve it at all! Today is even more frustrating! And at the rate I'm pricking myself with pins, I'm going to run out of bandaids soon. I already have one stain on my fabric (thankfully it's the lining, not the good fabric). But I'll post about my project soon! We also worked on the fence this weekend. The posts and cross-pieces are all in place. I just have to finish painting them, then we can start working on the pickets. We have a bit of a rain delay though.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Where did this two-year-old come from?

Today, my little girl turns two! She woke me up this morning by yelling "Stuck, Mommy!" from her crib. She had her leg stuck between the slats of the crib again. It was really stuck this time. She cried hard when I was trying to get it out. But she quickly recovered, especially when I reminded her that today is her birthday. She said "have balloons for birthday?" That's the only thing she's been asking for.
It's amazing how quickly a baby grows from a tiny newborn, into a sassy kid. The exasperated way she says "Daddy!" sounds exactly like a teenager. I love watching her personality develop. She's such a funny little girl.
I'm looking forward to watching her continue to grow up. I love this little girl! Happy birthday Juliana!

Friday, 3 July 2009

What I'm Reading This Week

At our Moms' Group get-together this week, a friend asked me what I am reading lately. I thought my blog readers might be interested in what I'm reading too. I might do this regularly, we'll see. Books: Quick Country Decorating from Country Home Books I love this book already. I'm only half-way through, but I've already jotted down a page of ideas I can use in my house. Just looking at all the gorgeous glossy pictures has started my mind working on how to solve problems that have been plaguing me ever since we moved into this house. The book is divided into the four seasons, and gives great ideas for decorating for each season. Magazines: House Beautiful - July 2009 While I enjoyed this magazine, I didn't find very much that inspired me. I usually read more country/cottage-focused magazines. But I loved the article "Small and Rugged", about a rural guest house and farm house. The pictures are all lovely, and I love the peaceful feeling each room as. The striped wooden floor on p.62-63 is gorgeous! The advice from designers ("Colour Just One Wall" p.16, and "The Last Word" p.120) is interesting, and made me think about feature walls and storage in different ways. Fresh Home - Summer 2009 This is a new magazine with DIY ideas for the home. I think it's great! It's full of pretty pictures and great projects that don't look too difficult. KD looked at it too, and I think he likes it. It's not very often we like the same magazine! I liked the article "I've Got a Feeling" (p.48), and I'd love to attempt building the indoor/outdoor table (p.54). But my absolute favourite thing in the magazine is the gorgeous garden arbour (p.94). I'm definitely saving those plans. KD liked the lawn care article(p.78), and will probably use some ideas from the garage storage article (p.86)

Thursday, 2 July 2009

My dream-chairs come true

First of all, happy Canada Day! We spent Tuesday night and all day Wednesday at the lake. It was a fun day. On the way to the lake on Tuesday, we picked up some chairs that I had found on Kijiji. I've been wanting to get new kitchen chairs for at least 5 or 6 years, since I really disliked our uncomfortable metal Ikea ones. KD didn't want antique chairs because he thinks they're rickety junk. So on Monday night, I found these gorgeous ladder-back chairs, so I emailed the seller. She replied on Tuesday and said she has had so much interest that she wouldn't hold them for anyone. Whoever got there first would get them. As luck would have it, it was right on the way to the lake, so I said we'd pick them up that evening. For the rest of the day I had my fingers crossed that they'd still be available...while also trying not to get my hopes up! When I called to get directions, I was happy to hear they were still available! KD had a bit of struggle fitting them in the car, but eventually we were on our way, with the four chairs crammed in the car, and KD's kayak on top. I love the details, and the colour is nice (though I'm sure I will eventually paint them). I think they're from an unfinished furniture store, since they just have stain on them but no varnish(and the colour is not uniform). But they are sturdy enough to satisfy KD, and exactly the kind of chair I wanted. Just replacing the modern chairs with these traditional ones transforms the look of my kitchen (even more than the sofa does!) Now I just need to sell the metal ones. I'll be so happy when they go out the door!
*****
This is my colour starting-point for JK's room. As soon as we can get the basement organised enough to move the office down there, we can paint and start putting it together. The wall colour is the third one from the top.