Friday, May 27, 2011

Decorating with Books

As I have said before, my sister and my close friend are 'book people'. Love to read and respect books so much. My mom has always decorated with books and it brings a nice touch to displays. But when you decorate with books you don't necessarily care about the goodness inside- mostly you care about the colour of the cover. UGGG. Did you hear that sigh coming from the afore mentioned sister and friend? Yep, they can barely stand it.
A few months ago now, my (also book loving) m-i-l asked if I wanted some books from her office that were headed for the donation box. Um, what colour are they? Blue? Yes please!
It ended up being a whole set of Biblical commentaries that belonged to the father of the pastor that married us. Cool, pretty and significant too. Gotta love it.
My big man helped me unload and organize them. He is a good organizer and was all over putting them in order.

I put some on the new turquoise table at the bottom of the stairs...I put some in the cupboards next to the living room fireplace...
I put some on the mantel in the family room....
Cozy, don't ya think?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WIWW- a few colours beside grey and navy

I didn't get many real outfit pics, but here is a bit of visual proof that I was trying to get outside my grey and navy box from here.

Purple cardi and grey dress
Navy cardi, green striped tank and green skinny cargos
Grey cardi, flowered tank and turquoise necklace
And the weather has been mostly rotten. Here is my brown and purple look. Don't be shocked by y colourful creativity.
Brown cardi- Banana Republic
purple top- Old Navy
jeans- GAP
brown loafers- Lands End
This was what I wore on the day that was sunny.
top- Old Navy
jeans- Gap
The rest of the days I was wearing scrubs as I have been working a ton lately.

As always linking up to the Pleated Poppy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Boys Room Update

The boys room is very much still in progress. The grey blankets are working out well, I love seeing them every day. But clothes storage was also an issue in their room. They are getting bigger and so are their clothes, who knew? So a bigger dresser was in order. We got a great gift from our lovely friend who was downsizing. I am currently hunting for the before picture. But here is the during when A was painting it.
And here it is in the room without anything on it. This stage lasted exactly 4 minutes then we moved on to the 'covered in random LEGO projects' stage that I haven't so far been able to bypass. That means no pretty after pictures. So this is as after as it gets for now.
I will try and get some real before and after pictures maybe next week. I'll try.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ottoman in Progress

Remember I said that I was working on covering my leather IKEA ottoman with a burlap coffee sack? I know, it was a while ago. But I got it mostly done and then ran out of thread, Boo. SO I haven't been back to the fabric store (it can be an expensive so I try to minimize those trips). I did consider fixing the seams with the trusty glue gun, but couldn't decide how I felt about it so I didn't do that either. So here it is, kinda done. And I like it, even though it's not perfect. It's fun and it ties in the chair and my new beige globe my mom gave me. (I later found out the globe was actually a birthday present for my sister, so I guess really she gave it to me. Thanks sis!). I know most people think it's weird, but I really like it. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Sandals

I bought myself some sandals from Sseko a company in Africa. I first saw them on my very stylish friend and co-worker Sarah Jane's blog. I went to the website to look around and read about their 'not just for profit' concept and loved it. If you go there, don't read the blog with out at least a little kleenex. The stuff they are doing is so wonderful. Direct quote from the website:
"These women will not make sandals forever. They will go on to be doctors, lawyers, politicians, writers and teachers that will bring change and unification to a country divided and ravished by a 22 year-long war."
See you are getting a little excited aren't you?
But the sandals, the sandals are awesome too. They have interchangeable straps that can be tied many different ways. I bought 3 strap colours so that equals about 3 hundred different sandals all in one:)
And I tried tying them a few different ways already!! Look at how thick and comfortable the sole is. I love shoes but they must be comfortable.
Someone else in our family had to put on her pretty sandals too. And get in on the backyard photoshoot. I can't wait for summer!!
Please excuse my very un-pedicured feet. I was very excited to post these and my white legs and unruly feet haven't seen the light of day for quite sometime. Please just check out the sandals. I promise to at least paint my nails before I wear them in real life.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Reno News - Fireplace Details

The fireplace has been up and working for quite some time. The furniture was moved in the family room long ago. We have watched many episodes of Bones or Magic School Bus on the great TV. We even put pictures on the walls.

BUT.... the tile around the fireplace never got done. Yep, it's been cement board with screws showing for months. Since the grey blends nicely with my scheme you may not have noticed. But someone in this house noticed. That would be my reno-gifted husband who has a drive to see things finished. He is great at working at his own pace. He definitely could have been a home schooled child. Unlike me. My mom can attest that were I homeschooled as a child both she and I would both be dead now:^) Ok, tangent over.

C'mon in the basement and see for yourself....
Can you tell? It's kinda darker around the fireplace insert....

There it is....
He picked the tiles (I wanted the same but with less texture). Apparently I am very uncool because all the things I want are never available. Instead I am just going to believe that I am so cool that the Poco tile shop doesn't have the cool things I envision in stock yet, maybe I am ahead of the trends. Yep, I am going with that one. Tangent two now over.

He is painting/cutting the baseboards this week so this room might actually be done soon. For reals. I just need to sew curtains. Remember tangent one? The windows might be bare for a while still:^)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

wiww- grey and navy

Talk about a limited colour palate - apparently my entire wardrobe is comprised of grey and navy:) Here are a few of my outfits for What I Wore Wednesday at the Pleated Poppy.

First three outfits from this week. The next two from April but never made it into a post. Last three shots are big K getting in on the action again.

Grey jacket- Old Navy (a few years old)
Grey T - Old Navy
Scarf- Joe Fresh
Jeans- Reitmans
Converse- Target (boys sz 5)
Purse- Aldo
striped shirt- Joe Fresh
jeans- Gap
navy shoes- Toms
grey belt- Zellers

Navy striped scarf- Joe Fresh
Sweater- Joe Fresh (this is lower in the back with a tiny little gather- cute)
Shoes- Toms
Sweater- Gap
Polka Dot T, grey tights- Joe Fresh
Belt- Zellers
Skirt- Le Chateau (this was actually part of my going away outfit from my wedding 11 years ago!!)
Grey city flats- Gap
This outfit was a blatant copy of A from Academichic, seen here.

Grey long cardi- Target
T- Joe Fresh
Jeans- Gap
Leather bracelet- H&M
Shoes- Lands End from Sears
Socks- Costco

Two notes on my model Kobester- he is indeed wearing grey and navy (dressed himself) and he seems to expertly pose by repositioning his left foot. Wonder where he learned that:)
Next week it's my goal to wear a different colour:) or at least put my kid in a different colour!

Reno News - Finally Hanging Art

I mentioned a while back that the family room was ready for artwork. But, I have continued to stare at the blank walls since then. Monday we took advantage of a rare day off together to avoid 'the almost but not quite done' look.

I took inspiration from this magazine: I got this issue a while ago and love tons of the images. I usually cut up my magazines but this one is on thick paper, a special publication, so I have kept it intact and go to it over and over again. It was this picture of a cabin bedroom that interested me:
See how the pictures are close together and centered on an imaginary line along the wall? Love it. Ok, I love the matching twin beds and burlap pillows too, but that's another story.

Here is what we came up with:

It is (from the left) - framed maps of N. Carolina (where we used to live) from a big map book that had seen better days.
-An etching my Aunt gave to my Dad.
-Two photographs one of my grandpa and his friend and the next of the mountain they climbed.
-A frame we have had since we were married. I was tired of the artwork inside (a postcard) so I printed a vintage botanical from the Graphics Fairy on cardstock and slipped it in the frame. The significance of the ferns? Well, they are everywhere around here thanks to the wet climate and they really say 'west coast' to me.

So remember the BEFORE:
I actually really like how it all came together! The tones are all brown and green and blue which works great with the rest of the neutral room and the turquoise and green accents. I raided my mom's stash of artwork (and created some of my own meaningful art) so it was a free project- my favorite kind.

And on the back wall another BEFORE:

and an almost AFTER:
Once more raiding my Mom's crawlspace. Two paintings that my Dad painted. The painting on the left is the ocean near my grandparents house in Victoria where we spent many weekends and holidays growing up. I believe the park in the picture is the cemetery where my grandparents are both buried. And the painting on the right is a broken down old pickup. Boats and old cars/trucks were often subjects of my Dad's paintings.

I do think the spacing is off and would like to move them a bit closer together... someday! Until then- done!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A little spray paint never hurt anyone...

A few weeks ago we inherited some furniture from a lovely family friend who was downsizing. The boys got a new dresser, their room is still in progress so I won't show you that one for now. But we also got 2 small pine cabinets. One for a side table in the family room and one fit just perfectly at the base of our stairs. It looks cute and I think it will be great for wrangling the overflow from the mudroom. You know, mitts and hats and sunglasses - all those little things that build up in the mudroom. And although it looked fine in pine (sorry I didn't get a picture of it) I had a can of turquoise spray paint hanging around. And I can't see a good can of spray paint go to waste just taking up space in the closet.

So.... it's turquoise now.
As are some star hooks that were originally intended for the boys room but have been in a cupboard for the last 2 years. Now the kids have a place for their backpacks that is just their height and equal distance from the backdoor and the kitchen - convenient on the way in from school and to pack lunches and collect on the way out the door.

This is the other side of the same landing.
So here's to an organized landing at the bottom of our stairs!

And now a little visual of the progress we have made in the last 2+ years.