My Name is Sarah and I'm Afraid of Fabric With Colour


Friday, July 30, 2010

It's sad but oh so true. Let me explain.

I surf the internet all the time for fabric. I am constantly drawn to these beautiful, bold, colourful prints. I oooooh and ahhhhh at them and save their pictures in a special folder on my desktop but I never, ever, ever order or buy any to use for pillows, curtains, or any other fabric project in my home.

It's sad, really.

I'm too afraid!

Issue #1. There are no fabric stores where I live. Okay, I lied. There are three fabric stores where I live but they all have terrible selections. Terrible with a capital T. I chatted with one of the quilt store owners one day, and I kind of asked about some of the fabrics I was interested in. She told me that 99% of her customers had short grey hair and were making quilts for their grandchildren. She said that her customers would be "scared" of the kind of designer fabrics I was looking for and so her store would probably never carry any. Boooooooo.

That's when I started searching online.

Issue #2. I live in Canada. Which means I usually have to order fabric from the States and the shipping costs are, how do I say this, high. Shipping to Canada = bad.

Issue #3. I am terribly, horribly afraid that I will purchase/order some of the beautiful, bold fabrics that I oogle at online only to find out that they look awful in my home and I will have wasted all of that time, effort, and money. It's just so hard to get a sense of the fabric's true colour and texture through a computer screen!

So the reason this whole post came about is because I am working on our breakfast room makeover and the room will eventually need curtains and seat covers. I'm trying to live on the edge and make curtains that aren't white. Hello, colour!

After searching and searching and searching, I finally found this sweet fabric. It's called Smartie Punch and is a P. Kaufmann fabric. (Click on the image to see it up close.)

I think I like it so much because it's pretty, it's simple, and it has hints of other colours that I could possibly use in the the room. The background colour is white so I know it will blend in with my white table and chairs. Also, I am hoping to paint the room a cheery yellowish green.

What do you think of this fabric for curtains? Love it? Hate it? Think it's too bright? Too girly? Too plain? Just right?

Oh, I feel sick just thinking about it. My name is Sarah and I'm afraid of fabric with colour. :S

Full of Paint, Dust, and Drywall Mud


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hmmmm, how to explain this. We have a lot of projects on the go at the same time. The biggest project that's been on the go as of late has been the deck project. I am so excited to have a deck, I can't even tell you. I've been dreaming of suntanning on a deck with a Pepsi and a magazine ever since we moved into this house. It's just not the same sitting on a chair in the grass. Whenever the wind blows and grass touches your feet or legs it's like bugs are crawling on you. Not cool. You know what I mean.

Before Alex builds the deck, there were a few other projects that he needed to tackle. First, he had to replace some basement windows which will be inaccessable after the deck is up. Also, he had to install a door in the back of the house. Woah, Nelly! That's another story for another day.

Anyway, while Alex has and will be working on the deck for the next little while, I decided to tackle the "breakfast room" or the "back room" as we sometimes call it. It's a plain little room, 12x9, with two windows and now a door (woohoo!) which will eventually lead out onto the new deck.

It needs help.

So today I was busy doing all sorts of dirty, yucky work. I sanded the bleep out of two walls and baseboards, put drywall mud on all sorts of uneven places, and even primed and painted the hallway leading to the room. When Alex gets home from work he says he is going to show me how to install the trim that we are adding to the baseboards in the hallway and in the room. That way I can keep busy working inside, while he is busy working outside.

Eek! Trim sounds tricky!

Me making a big mess.

Gotta love those dings and dents.

This is the trim that we're going to add to the baseboards to build them up a bit.
Mitre saw, here I come!

A Flower For You, Yes You


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lately I've had some lovely folks sign on to be followers of this little blog. I am so giddy that you did. Every time I see a new follower I yell the news out to Alex and tell him what number I'm at. It goes something like this, "Oh my god, I'm at 38 followers!". I'm such a dork. He, obviously, already knows that.

So, I clipped this flower from my garden just for you. Thank you for signing on to be a follower and for leaving your comments. I appreciate it all very much.

P.S. Let's pretend that all the other flowers in the garden don't have giant holes in them from hungry, creepy bugs.

P.S.S. Let's also pretend that those coneflowers (or whatever they're called) didn't grow like, 5 feet tall and are currently blocking all the other flowers in the garden from view. Note to self: Gardening for Dummies.

Oh Etsy, You Have the Cutest Stuff


As I was surfing the net a few days ago, I came across a post (I forget which one!?!) that recommended a site called Feed Your Soul: The Free Art Project. Oooooh, free art. I like it. The only problem is that we have a black and white laser printer. No colour. :(

So I headed on over to their site and thought that the artwork was so freakin' cute. I clicked on an artist whose print caught my eye. It took me to her Etsy Shop.

Then, by accident, I ordered something. It only made sense because the artist, Angela Vandenbogaard, is from Ontario and the shipping was super cheap!

Plus, I find it so hard (in my neck of the woods) to find prints that are a) unique b) cute and c) in light, pastel colours. So, here is the print that I chose. It's called Fireflies.

Words can't express how sweet I think this print is. I will be stalking the post office every day until it arrives. :)

Your Dream Half-Bath


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bah ha ha. More like the ugliest half-bath you've ever seen in your life! This is what our bathroom looked like when we moved in. It's the only bathroom on the main floor and it's in a tiny hallway right off the kitchen. So there was no way we could ever ignore this masterpiece.

One day last fall I came home from work and Alex had the guilty-little-boy look on his face. He told me that he "tried" to take the wallpaper down in the bathroom but then everything else started to look even uglier so then he just ripped everything out.


I am proud to say that he did all of the work himself: plumbing, tiling, trim, electrical, everything.

Now it's my job to finish it off. Hee hee, I always get the fun jobs!

Since the bathroom isn't ready for a reveal just yet, I thought I would share our only two "before" pictures.


P.S. You're going to want to click on the above pictures to see everything up close.

P.S.S. I'd love to hear what you think was the ugliest feature. I'm going with the light fixture. Blech!


DIY Doorway Shelf


Saturday, July 24, 2010

I am super duper pumped to say that I did this project completely mostly by myself. I even used a compound mitre saw for the first time (in the driveway at 10:00 at night, which was completely thrilling I might add).

Here are some photos which were my inspiration for this project:

Cute, right?

Materials I Used:

- Pepsi with ice (essential)
- 1 piece of pine board (with no knots, boo to knots!)
- 2 pine shelf brackets (I had to find ones that were slim enough to fit on either side of the doorway)
- 1 piece of pine trim (the same width as the pine board)
- compound mitre saw (woah!)
- carpenter's glue (sticky)
- staple gun (Alex's idea)
- nail set (I like this little gadget)
- wood filler (tinted white)
- sandpaper (fine grit)
- primer (Fresh Start - Benjamin Moore)
- paint (Simply White - Benjamin Moore)
- screws (long enough to go through plaster and then wood)
- drill (I finally know how to change the drill bits, woohoo!)

See the sawdust on there? That's from me!

First, with Alex's supervision, I used the mitre saw to cut the pine board to the length I needed. I also cut each end on an angle to match up with our charmingly crooked walls. I also cut the piece of trim to match the length of the front of the board. Before I attached the trim I made sure to sand and prime each piece.

Because the trim I selected was so thin, I was able to use a staple gun to attach it to the front of the pine board. I also used carpenter's glue to make sure it adhered properly. I used a nail set and wood filler to conceil the 7 staples I used. Easy peasy.

Finally, I gave everything 2 good coats of Simply White by Benjamin Moore (which matches the trim in the room). I attached the brackets to the wall on either side of the doorway with a drill and screws and simply placed the board on top.

And here's how it looks all finished, crooked walls and all.

I don't have alot of trinkety things to put up top this little shelf yet, but I'm always looking for an excuse to go shopping. :)

Before and After - Mini Table & Chairs Get Striped!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A few months back my aunt and uncle gave me a little table and chair set for Roary's friend (just in case you were wondering, Roary is our golden retriever and Roary's friend is our future babe from Ethiopia). It's been sitting upstairs just waiting for a makeover ever since school ended and I've been on holidays. Oh, how I love summer vacation!

I knew I wanted the table and chairs to be white but I wasn't sure if I was going to add anything "extra" to add a bit of interest. Although we've requested either gender for our referral, we're fairly certain that we will be referred a little boy. So, I kept that in mind throughout the project.

First I gave the table and chairs a good sanding to remove some of the previous finish. Next, I primed the set with Fresh Start by Benjamin Moore.

Once it was primed I painted two coats of Benjamin's Moore's Simply White allllllllll over. It took forever and I got a bit frustrated. Between Roary walking by and shaking/flinging dog fur and bugs landing, squirming, and getting stuck in the wet paint I had about a million touch-ups.

Then, I was stumped. At first I decided to do polka dots all over the tabletop and chair seats with three colours: pale green, pale blue, and pale purple. I bought the paint, bought the stencils, and tried out some sample dots. I didn't like it. Then I contemplated leaving the set plain white but that would have been too plain. I thought about painting numbers on the seats of the chairs but that would have left the tabletop plain, too. Finally I decided to choose something that I knew I would love......

STRIPES! Okay, so I'm a bit obsessed with stripes. But they just look so darn cute all the time.

So I busted out my pencil, measuring tape, and sample size of Benjamin Moore's Gray Timber Wolf (same colour I used on my other tiny chair).

Once the stripes were done and thoroughly dry, I grabbed some sandpaper and started distressing each piece. To tell you the truth, even though I love the distressed look, I've never actually done it myself before. I was nervous. I had to sleep on it and gather up the courage to do it the next morning.

After the first swipe, though, I was hooked. At first I used 100-grit sandpaper and then I moved onto 220-grit sandpaper to smooth it out a bit.

I have to say that I love, love, love the finished product. The colours are tame enough that I can put the table and chairs anywhere in the house and it won't look too bright or too out of place. And of course I can put it in Roary's friend's stripy bedroom. Although I'm really hoping it won't be stripe overload in there. Hee hee!

P.S. I shared this project here:
Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden

Piece of Work Wednesday @ Primitive and Proper

Road Trip to Cottage Country


Monday, July 19, 2010

Last Friday my mom, aunt, and I went on a road trip for the day to a region called Muskoka. If you've never been, it's an area about 90 minutes North of Toronto, where there are 1600 lakes, millions of trees, and, well, let's just say it's gorgeous. The area is full of cottages: beautiful summer homes on the lake with boathouses and guesthouses. If my doll-sewing career ever takes off (probably not at the rate I'm going... 6 in 6 months.... :S) then maybe one day I could afford to have a cottage there. As of right now, the million dollar price tags on most of them are a little out of my price range.

Anyway, amongst the lakes are all sorts of quaint towns that are perfect for sight-seeing, eating ice-cream, and shopping. We decided to make stops in: Rosseau, Huntsville, Bracebridge, and Port Carling. We visited so many stores and antique shops that it's impossible to remember all of them, however here is a sneak peek at a few of them:

Antiques at the Red Barn, Port Carling

Blackbird Vintage Gallery, Huntsville

The Yellow House Antiques, Port Carling

Urban Rustic Living, Huntsville

Simply Cottage, Bracebridge

I looked everywhere for a teeny, tiny mirror for my teeny, tiny bathroom and finally found the one below. Oh, how I wanted this vintage ceiling tile mirror. Alas the $109 price tag made me put it back. Sigh.

I also found the most adorable little telephone table and chair set. As soon as I set my eyes on it I could picture it painted white, with pretty glass knobs, a little distressed, with a sweet little cushion in my bedroom as a little make-up table. Oh, how I wanted this set! The $225 price tag made me leave this one behind, too. Double sigh.

Just look at those little doors and the tiny drawer. And a little spot for a basketful of lip gloss....

Even though I left two treasures behind, I still came home with four cuter-than-cute finds (see earlier post).

Other highlights of the trip include having lunch at a lakeside restaurant (on the dock!) where I got to mow down on the best sandwich I think I've ever had. Greek chicken flatbread sandwich, yum!

Hearing my aunt yell, "OH DEAR!" when this little fellow ran straight out in front of my car.

And, eating mint-chocolate chip ice-cream (in a waffle cone, of course) at a bakery where they also sell "big ass pies" (see bottom of picture above).

I love road trips!

P.S. If you live in Ontario and know of any other good places to shop, pretty please let me know. :)

Little Project Sneak Peek


Sunday, July 18, 2010

After a trip to Lowe's I am ready to start my next little project.

I needed a pine board and a thin piece of trim....

....two pine shelf brackets....

....and a little nook.

Four Cuter-Than-Cute Finds


Friday, July 16, 2010

I just got home from a furniture/decor/antique road trip today and while my brain is too fuzzy to go into too many details, I just can't contain my excitement for the following cuter-than-cute items:

1. A creamy white pitcher with stripes and scalloped edges. Do I need to say more? I saw it buried behind a million other kitchen items and it caught my eye right away. The saleslady had to pry it out of my arms to put it on the counter. No word of a lie. I already have 4 white pitchers, but, I need at least 5 of them to make a collection, right?

2. A round, metal/wood tray for the dining room. I've been looking for a tray of some kind for the last few months. I knew the second I saw it that this was the one. I can't help but notice that the little swirls are almost identical to the ones on my little metal basket.

3. A teeny white fish bowl. This just might look perfect in our newly renovated bathroom (before and after pictures coming very soon).

4. A small painted metal flower. It was only $2.50 and it's got a little cream, a little green, and a little purple. Sold, sold, and sold!

P.S. I'll share some details about (and photos from) my trip later on this weekend. :)

P.S.S. Can you see the yellow walls in the background. Ahhh, yellow (happy sigh).
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