Monday, 31 January 2011

Olive and Turquoise Revisited (and what have I done to my windows?)

 When I went to get paint colour cards for the neutral paint I need for the main floor, I also grabbed a few olive and turquoise colours.  A friend asked me about paint colours to match the above palette, so this is what I came up with.

All these colors are from General paint.
 For a pale, slightly dirty aqua: Rock Flour
A darker version of that: Folly (Rock Flour is half-strenth of Folly).
A slate blue, which isn't in the palette above, but should be: Neutron.  I fell in love with this colour.  I need to see lighter versions of it.  I think half-strength of this colour would be close to the light blue in the palette (second colour).
And the olive green: That Green.  A few others that I liked were close: The Loft (lighter), Sonata (slightly more yellow), and Redux (slightly more blue).

And here they are with my chosen wall colour, Packing Nut:  The colour is darker on the chip than it is on my screen.  I may go one shade darker.

I've been thinking for a while about putting a shelf above the kitchen windows, so the other day I started playing around.  This shelf I found next to the garbage shed in our last house, I'm sure they were used above the two windows at the back of the townhouse.  There are two of them, but one of them is missing the dowel.  That one is downstairs in my craft area.  This one has always been in Juliana's room.  I asked her if it was ok before I took it.  She'll get it back eventually.  I added a few decorative items, and some random curtains I had stashed.

I'm really glad I tried this out.  It made me decide on a few things.  First, I want a deeper shelf, to be more practical as well as pretty.  This one is only about 5 inches deep.  Second, I like the white curtains,but I want them to be even between the two windows, and not covering a third of the window like they are now.

And then I began drawing on my windows with my china-marking pencil to help clarify a character-adding idea I've been thinking about.  Yep, I have lots of plans for these windows.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

My Favourite Spring Flower

Oh, how I love tulips!  All colours, but especially yellow and white.  When Kevin and I started dating, he used to buy me some flowers; one bloom for each month we had been dating.  I don't remember what most of them were, but I remember what he gave me on May 15, 2001: four baby-pink tulips.

These gorgeous yellow ones are from Costco.  They're cheaper per flower than the bunch of five I usually buy  at Safeway, and I can already tell they're better quality. 

I usually don't get sick of winter until February or March, but we've had so much snow this year that I can't wait 'til it's all gone and it doesn't take 20 minutes to get the kids out the door to play (where they only last for five minutes).

Friday, 28 January 2011

My Free Dresser

 I finally finished my dresser!  This is the dresser that I found behind the goodwill donation depot/liquor store back in October.  Here is what it looked like before, full of mice droppings and smelling strongly of creme brule:

And this is what it looks like now:

 I used a dark Minwax stain (I think it was Colonial Walnut), and for a finish I used Antiquax.  I love furniture wax.  It gives such a soft rich-feeling finish.  I may add a coat of poly one day, but for now I like it.  I didn't change the hardware at all.  I think the pewter colour looks way better with the darker finish than it did with the pine.  Nico wanted to get in all the pictures.  I had to include one of him, since the poor guy doesn't have a picture on the dresser (I've hardly printed anything since he was born.)

Here is the rest of the room.  Feminine side:

 Masculine side:

The room still needs a lot, but is currently at the bottom of the priority list...well, maybe not quite bottom.  I really need to find a nice wicker laundry basket or hamper.  Our walk-in closet is teeny-tiny, so our laundry has to be out in the bedroom.  Our plastic baskets won't cut it.  And the dresser needs legs.  Two or three inches should do it.

I have big ideas for this room, which will be fun to make happen (think horizontal stripes).  But first, the kids' bathroom.  Next, the main floor.  Then we'll see about the bedrooms.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Neutral Paint Colours

The kids and I braved the icy, slushy roads this morning to make it to the paint store.  I needed to get some primer to paint the kids' bathroom (I already had the paint), and most importantly, I wanted to get some paint cards to start picking a colour or two for the main floor.  We've been here two years, and I'm more than ready to get a colour I like (and a good quality paint!) on the walls.  So that's what I'm using my Christmas gift money for.

For the walls, I want a neutral that is fresh, not renter's beige (my mom calls it smoker's beige).  I like the green/grey that is in the kitchen around the bay window, but I might want something warmer.  Not pinkish though.

What is your favourite neutral paint colour?  Or, what colour have you painted your walls and why did you choose it?

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Pretty New Lamp

We had lunch at Ikea today with some friends.  I found this glass lamp in the As-is section.  I've been eying it for a while, but lamps scare me.  Growing up, there were two table lamps in our house.  They were at least 2 feet tall (three when they had shades).  They used to have prisims too.  Anyway, those lamps didn't ever stay on the tables for long.  I remember my mom using them for extra light for her building and painting projects.

So I have no clue about choosing lamps.  But I knew I'd love this one.  Our living room has horrible lighting.

This is the lamp we've had before.  I rewired it and painted it and glazed it  It is too tall for it's width, and the shade is all wrong.  But I love the shape of the wooden base.  I may turn it into a candleholder one day because it doesn't seem to work as a lamp, and I can't find an appropriate shade.  Ikea has the perfect size/shape of shade, but of course those only work with Ikea lamps.

But back to my new lamp.  I think it is a little small in relation to our leather furniture and the huge poppy painting, but I still love it.  And it won't wobble every time I try to turn it on or whenever Nick bumps it.  There are two different larger versions of this lamp, but they're out of my price range at the moment.

So for now, I'll enjoy my pretty little green-glass lamp and hope Nico doesn't decide to throw it on the floor one day.

Monday, 24 January 2011

A New Look after Three Years

Do you like it?   The red poppies are gone, and in their place are some of my beloved old books.  I've also widened the main column, so let me know if it's too wide.  I don't want anyone to have to scroll sideways.  I needed to do it because blogger's "large" photos, which were just the right size, are now larger, so they have been getting cut off.  And since I was changing the width, it was just easier to try to make a new header than to try to re-size the one I had.  I eventually want to figure out how to make the background stationary so that it doesn't scroll, and how to add some sort of solid translucent rectangle under the text so the background doesn't show through as much. 

In other news, I got my first paid editing job of the year!  And it's a big one too!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Kitchen Cleaning Motivation: a Pretty Tablecloth

I've been wanting a tablecloth for a while.  The ones in the stores were too modern or too grandma or too fancy.  When I saw this 2 metre piece of fabric at Ikea for 50% off, I immediately envisioned a tablecloth.  I've had it on the table for most of this past week, but just got around to hemming it yesterday.  I have just enough leftover fabric to either make 4 napkins or an apron.  I will probably do the apron.

There's something about having a pretty table that makes me want to scrub the rest of the kitchen to match!  The first day I had it on there, I cleared off and reorganised the counters, shined my sink a la flylady, and even scrubbed the half-bathroom.  Juliana had a blast cleaning with me, with her squirt bottle of water.  Even Nico tried to help.


Saturday, 22 January 2011

Old House Details

Oh, just look at this gorgeous bedroom.  THIS is why I love old houses.  They have quirky unexpected details.  New houses don't even have room for such details.  They are too space-efficient.

This photo is from a "furnished house for rent" ad in the university area of my city.  I am tempted to sell my house and furniture just so I can live in this bedroom. And I love the wall colour too.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

I Will Always Need You, Juliana!

Yesterday, we were at Safeway.  As I was checking out, Juli stood in the cashier's spot of the next till over (it wasn't in use).  So I jokingly asked her, "Are you working here?"

Juli replied, "No, but someday I can work here, when you don't need me anymore."

I said, "Oh honey, I will always need you!"

"Why will you always need me?"

"Because I love you."

"Well, maybe you can work here with me when I'm bigger."

The cashier ringing through our groceries was amused.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Organisation Feels Nice

 Overcrowded utensil drawer, before:

Only slightly overcrowded utensil drawer, after:

Stair landing, before:

 Stair landing after:

Freezer, before: Sorry, forgot to take a picture.  Envision a freezer stuffed full of every thing in the after picture (plus some stuff that I threw out), randomly shoved in and about to cause an avalanche.

Freezer, after:

No before picture, but here are some wonderful organisers on the pantry door.  I particularly love the one for the rolls of things.  That freed up almost a whole drawer!  Which is very important when the entire kitchen only has 4 drawers.

The plastic drawer organisers, the long wire shelf, and the double laundry sorter (to be used for kitchen laundry and refundable containers) are all from Zellers, on sale.  The pantry door wire things are from Walmart, not on sale.

It may not be pretty, but it's nice.

Inspired by this blog: I Heart Organizing

Monday, 17 January 2011

Olive and Turquoise

I can't stop thinking about this colour combination.

I even dream about it.  Olive.  Turquoise.  I think that combination would be perfect for my main floor.  Unfortunately, my new curtains wouldn't really work with that.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Marker Roll

This morning Juliana got so frustrated trying to put her markers away, back into the plastic envelope they came in.  They all have to stay upright, and she has trouble keeping them that way as she puts more in.  So I asked her if she wanted me to make her something else to put them in.  I used the same concept to make her a crayon roll in the summer.

I am happy with how it turned out, even though my sewing machine was doing weird things with the stitches and making it look like I can't sew a straight line.

Ikea had a 50% off sale of 2-metre cuts of their fabric the last time we were there.  This is the first time I've used this one.  I'm not sure what to do with the rest of it, since it does look rather circusy.  I might make a Rollie Pollie or something similar.  Until then, Juli has a fun and colourful marker roll.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

The A Word

I am not afraid of spiders.  They gross me out, but I'm not afraid.

I am not afraid of the dark.  Just the things my over-active imagination creates in the dark.

What I am afraid of is something very simple.  It's something my younger siblings mastered when we were growing up, but not me.

I am afraid to ask.  For anything.  I don't want to impose and I don't want to appear weak.  I feel guilty asking for anything because I worry that the person I am asking would feel pressured to say yes, even if they didn't want to. Yeah, I have guilt issues too.

So, what am I afraid to ask for this time?  It's simple.  I want a day off.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

My Morning Smoothie

I've been forgetting to have breakfast lately.  Or eating things that aren't healthy.  So when I went grocery shopping last night, I determined to buy things for making healthy breakfasts and lunches.  Thanks to my friends H and M for the smoothie ideas.  Today I threw in:
a banana
a mango
vanilla yogurt
ice cubes
red river cereal (cooked)

So between my delicious smoothie, and happy kids, and some lovely music, I'm having a great morning so far.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Lion Rampant

I finally painted a shirt for myself.  This is a heraldic lion.  It's blazon would be something like: sable, a lion rampant or.

I just love heraldry, and the lion rampant is on the Scottish royal flag.  I should have done the lion a bit bigger, I think, or centered it.  But I like how it turned out anyway.  My plan was to do it in black, which I did, but when I started to take the stencil off, I realised it didn't show up enough on the gray.  So I put gold over the top.  

(the photo above is a mirror image)

My Tools

Thursday, 6 January 2011

A Yellow Dog, and a Beauty

I love how Declan's shirt turned out.  He's a year and a half, and loves dogs, or so I've heard.

 Chloe's Beauty and the Beast shirt is pretty, but don't look too closely.  First, I forgot to iron on the underarm piece on the sillhouette so I had to try and mach the purple, then I guess freezer paper doesn't stick very well to already-painted areas, so the lettering bled a lot.  I love how the gold stars turned out though.  I used my corner-rounder punch to make them.