A Fall Shelf Display


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Better late than never, right?

We have this little shelf in our side entranceway that you see right when you walk in the door. It's hung on the wall of the stairway landing so you also see it on your way downstairs from the kitchen to the basement recroom.

I had good intentions to decorate for fall this year. On a routine trip to Homesense a few weeks ago I picked up some wiry, brown pumpkins as well as some faux berries in yellow, red, and green. They've been in the trunk of my car for the last 5 weeks. Ooops. Until today.

I've never decorated a shelf for fall before. I've seen some b-e-a-u-tiful ones online and today I was inspired.

Aside from the berries and the pumpkins, I used what I already had or what I found outside.

Just for your amusement, I'd like you to picture me, at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon, walking up and down the laneway behind my house in my winter coat, hot pink monkey flannel pajama bottoms, and Alex's big, black man-boots. I was searching for some twigs n' stuff to stick in my glass vases. (Hey, cut me a little slack I'm still sick. Hee hee.)

Cut some branches of this wispy stuff. I hope it's not poisonous.

I filled this candle holder from Crate and Barrel with my new faux berries.
There's a candle buried in there somewhere.
I also clipped some ferny leaf-things.
The tin pictures were already there. There's a handy little slot for them to sit so that they don't fall off.
The star was hanging on one of the hooks already, I just placed it on top instead.
I tied a bit of twine around the top of a glass jar and clipped some dried hydrangeas from my front yard.
This little guy is happy to be on display and not held hostage in the trunk of my car.
Phew, that wasn't so hard.
It's 5:19 p.m. Do I still have time to decorate for Halloween before the trick-or-treaters start to come?!?

Linking to:

Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Weekend Wrap-Up Party @ Tatertots and Jello
Sunday Showcase Party @ Under the Table and Dreaming
Check Me Out Saturday @ A Vision to Remember
Project Diaries @ Stories of a House
Make it For Monday @ Cottage Instincts
Sticks, Twigs, Branches @ Funky Junk Interiors

Workin' On Some Curb Appeal


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lately? No.

This summer when I wasn't dying from multiple cold viruses and lung infections? Yes. 

(Thank you for the well wishes that you left earlier this week. I am feeling a smidgen better {I heart antibiotics} but have barely made it through the last two weeks. I think my husband secretly wants to stab me in the eye from all of my horrible coughing. He was such a good sport though and made all of my suppers, lunches, and cups of tea. He's a keeper.)

Since I haven't been able to do anything around the house lately, I thought I'd share some curb appeal projects that we've tackled since we bought the house. There are still sooooo many things that we want to do but we've accomplished quite a bit so far.

Alex and Roary the day we got the keys. Look how small Roary is!

What we loved about our house when we bought is was that it was all original. The previous owners (there were only 2 families before us) maintained all of the character and charm of the original home. We shopped around for a whole year and found that all of the old, old homes had hideous or poorly done additions or "updates." Our plan was, and still is, to update the home but with finishes and features that reflect the age and style of the home.

In the above picture, please make note of the ugly, random bushes and vines, a light fixture that's so small you can hardly see it, and faux gold house numbers. Thanks to my adventure-loving dad the first thing we did when the snow melted was to chain those shrubs and bushes  to his pick-up truck and rip them right out of the ground. I'm sure our neighbours were so pleased to have us that day. ;)

Here is a list of all the curb appeal projects we've tackled so far:

1. We ripped out all of the old/ugly shrubs, bushes, and vines. They were half-dead and full of bugs anyway.

2. I painted the front door a soft, sage-y green colour. I spray-painted the front door hardware black to match the roof, railings, and light fixture.

3. The trim work around the front door was chipped and peeling so I scraped, primed, and painted it all a crisp white. 

4. We installed a large, glass lantern (that I love) to replace the tiny, crusty, old one.

5. I had a custom sign ordered out of slate with our street name and number to hang over the door.

6. Alex installed a new roof (with the help of oh-so-kind friends and family).

7. Alex built a picket fence so Roary could play in his very own yard.

8. We built, painted, and installed the longest window box you've ever seen in your life. 

9. I planted ten, yes ten, hydrangea bushes under the windows along the front and side of the house (inspired from a Country Living photo from a long time ago).

10. We built and installed two tiny window boxes on the driveway side of the house.

11. I purchased a metal flower trellis and planted some clematis to climb it.

12. I shopped for four years and finally found two ceramic pots with the same shade of green as the front door. Picky much?

13. We installed cement curbs in the driveway to stop grass from growing into the gravel.

14. I watered, fertilized, weeded, and babied the heck out of the grass to get it all lush and pretty. I may or may not be in a make-believe competition with a lady down the street for the greenest grass.

15. I found a creamy, rusty star and installed it in the empty space on the left hand side of the house. It looked unbalanced because of the large windows on the right hand side.

Here are the five things that still bug me (a lot ) about the exterior: 

1. We have no shutters. I know that it will instantly make the house cozier but I just didn't seem to have time this summer to make them. Shutters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2. The front door is ugly. I hate the half-moon shape of the window. I have a door picked out already. It's sooooo pretty expensive.

3. The concrete steps and walkway are also very, very ugly.

4. The metal screen door with the Neighbourhood Watch sticker is also very, very, very ugly.

5. The gravel driveway. Need I say more.

So, that's what we've done to the front of the house so far. It doesn't seem like much until you list it in a blog post. Maybe we're doing okay after all.

Any ideas for some more curb appeal? What have you done to the exterior of your home?

I'll leave you with one last picture that shows the ginormous silver maple tree that sits in our front yard. See all of those leaves? Guess who gets to rake 'em all up..... :)

Linking to:

Everything But The Kitchen Sink @ A Little Knick Knack
Remodelaholic's Anonymous @ Remodelaholic
Feature Yourself Friday @ Fingerprints On The Fridge
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
Style Feature Saturday @ Perfectly Imperfect
Before and After Party @ Thrifty Decor Chick

Window Pane Cabinet For the Dining Room


Monday, October 25, 2010

Our dining room was nearly empty for the longest time. We purchased our dining room table set (holy splurge, batman) when we first bought the house but other than that it was completely empty. We looked at purchasing the matching hutch from the same company but it wasn't my favourite and I didn't want the room looking too matchy matchy. We went to every single furniture store in town and I just couldn't rationalize spending $3000 on a dining hutch that was "mostly" wood. We looked at one in particular that was solid wood except for the particle board backing. Um, no thanks. We went to another store where they tried to sell us a cabinet in a white finish when they didn't even have a sample of their white finish and were never going to be able to get one. Everything was crap. 

One weekend Alex and I headed to Toronto on a little furniture shopping adventure. We headed to a few of my favourite stores at the time and one of them happened to be Flik and Company.

Flik and Company - Toronto

Flik and Company - Toronto

We took a look around and I was a wee bit disappointed. It seemed that everything was painted in their signature paint colour: Robin's Egg Blue. The pieces were beautiful but I'm a white-lovin' gal. I wanted a dining room piece in white. As we were leaving the store we struck up a conversation with the store owner and ended up chatting for quite some time. We chatted about cottage-y furniture shops, where to find white stuff, and our adoption experiences. We were so excited because we had just started the adoption process at the time and the owners had already adopted a little girl and were in the process of adopting a sibling. As we were standing there chatting I noticed a white cabinet almost hidden behind an over sized desk. At first they (jokingly) said I wasn't even allowed to look at it since they were saving it to put in their house. I took a peek and knew it was perfect. Not too big, not too small. Creamy white paint and exposed barn wood. Horizontal boards. Chunky. Distressed. I was in love.

The only problem was that there was no way we would be able to fit the cabinet in our Pathfinder. We called about a million places in Toronto trying to see if we could rent a vehicle but it was nearing the end of the day and all of the shops were closing, including Flik and Company. Finally we decided that we would pay a deposit, leave the cabinet there (gasp!) and drive to pick it up the following weekend. The store owner was super accommodating. I think he felt sorry for me once I told him where I lived and that there were no good stores there. He agreed to meet us at his store the following Sunday (even though their store was closed that day, sweet huh?).

That week we shopped around trying to find a rental truck or van that would accommodate the width of the cabinet. It was freakin' impossible! Alex was getting a bit frustrated and even told me he thought that buying the cabinet was a huge mistake.

NOOOOOOO! It was not a mistake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally, we ended up renting a ginormous gas-guzzling man-truck. We felt really silly driving around in it.

The cabinet was so heavy that when we got home at midnight we had to call my dad to come and help Alex lift it out of the truck and into the dining room.

Long story short, we finally have another piece of furniture in our dining room. I'm still working on styling it, though. It's only been over a year. I'm so slow!

Giveaway Winner - Woot Woot!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Let's see if I can figure out how to work this random number thingy. Here goes......

The winner of the $55 gift certificate to CSN Stores is........ commenter #18!

Woot woot! Chris mentioned that if she won this giveaway, she would purchase a new dutch oven in red.

Chris: I will be forwarding your email address to the promotions team at CSN Stores and they should be contacting you ASAP to give you your gift certificate code. Congratulations and thank you so much for participating!

Thank you to everyone else who also left comments and who fueled my nosiness curiosity by sharing items that are on your wish list. I totally snooped at all of your links.

This giveaway was really fun. Hmmmm, maybe I should have another one to celebrate 200 followers.... :)

Aw, crap. I just deleted the number generator thingy off this post by accident when I was trying to fix the spacing. Darn Blogger! You'll just have to take my word for it that the lucky winner was #18. Pinky swear!

$55 Giveaway - Last Chance!


Is it Friday already? The days just seem to blur together when you have the cough-1000-times-per-minute chest cold. Oh yes, the pity party is starting now. I'm sicker than sick (again) and have nothing new or fun to report. No fun shopping. No painting. No breakfast room progress. No trunk-painting decisions. Nothin'. My lovely friend did drop by last night to deliver a gift - some cough syrup with codeine in it. How awesome is she? I won't tell you how much of the bottle is already gone.

The GOOD NEWS is that if you haven't entered my very first little giveaway (picture me doing the Carleton dance) you still can! I'll be choosing a winner if I'm still conscious tonight at 10:00 p.m. I'd love for you to win so don't forget.

P.S. This little ol' blog reached 200 followers yesterday. Yay! AND, I only had to bribe a few of you with a giveaway. Hee hee! 

To enter (you know you want to) click on my giveaway post.

To Paint or Not To Paint


Monday, October 18, 2010

Please ignore the faded cushions, the old curtains from my first apartment, and the floors that desperately need refinishing. And the wrinkled slipcovers. At least they're clean.
Alex and I bought this trunk on one of our first roadtrips together. It was our first "real" antique. We currently use it as a coffee table in our living room. Furniture placement is a little tricky in there since we have five doorways leading into/out of the room. To be quite honest I've always been pretty content with how it's looked in the room. It added a bit of warmth and texture. But then. But then. But theeeeeeen I read two different posts from two different bloggers about how they magically transformed their antique trunks by painting them. And now I am obsessed with the idea of painting mine. I am so in love with these two photos that I have honestly and truly looked at them every single day since I came across them.

I am in l-o-v-e with this.
The above photo is from the blog: Freckled Laundry 

Also in l-o-v-e with this.
The above photo is from the blog: Life in the Fun Lane

Except I think my husband would seriously kill me if I painted ours. He would say something like, "Not everything has to be white, Sarah." Oh, but it does. It does!!! Maybe I could justify it by telling him that it was already painted before. If you look closely you can see where it used to be painted a deep, brick red colour. Red does not go with anything in our house. But white does. If you look closely you'll see scratches on the front of it too (from the dogs playfighting). Another very good reason for a coat or two of paint.

I'm having a crisis of the heart. I really, really, really want to paint it.

My other option is to purchase a trunk that I found on kijiiji and paint it white (see picture below). That's if it's still available. 

For sale on Kijiiji right now. Let's pretend it's not on someone's creepy unmade bed.
So, what do you think? 

Should I........ leave it?

Should I........ go for it and paint it white/grey?

Should I........ buy the kijiiji trunk and paint it instead?

P.S. I ♥love♥ hearing all of your opinions and ideas.

An Old (Maybe Antique) Window


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Last spring I went to the Christie Antique Show for the first time. It had more than 300 dealers and more than 10 acres of antiques. Even though it was only May, the temperature was sweltering the day of the show. We arrived at 9:00 and were only able to last shop until 3:00. We didn't even make it to half of the booths!!! I still ended up finding some really unique pieces. I picked up an antique children's chair (see post about it here), an adorable wire basket (see post about it here), as well as a few other goodies.

There was one corner booth that had some really neat architectural salvage. Many of the pieces were way too ginormous to use in or around my house. But I did come across a very old (maybe antique) window. I'm not really sure how old it is or where it came from..... all I know is that I wanted it. 

I thought the window would be perfect to hang in our dining room. We have a dining room hutch/cabinet thingy that is an odd height (about 4 feet). The wall above it has always looked a little empty and lost.

Unfortunately my feeble mind forgot to take into account that the window weighs about 5000 pounds. I was informed by the boss Alex that it must be hung on wall studs. Well that just made it too tricky for me.

The window has been leaning behind a piece of furniture ever since. It's filthy and dirty and still has the price tag and sold sticker on it. I pulled it out this afternoon and fell in love again.

I think it's about time to tackle this little project. I'll need to give it a thorough cleaning, scrape the paint off of the glass, and then try and convince Alex that the house won't fall down if we hang it on the wall. 

My other idea was to hang it above the wide doorway in the dining room, but it is really heavy and I wouldn't want it to fall and crush someone during one of the daily blasts that shake our whole house. Did I ever mention that we live in an old mining town? That's why Alex is forever patching the cracks in the walls.

It was really funny because once I had purchased the window and was walking around with it at the antique show, I kept getting envious stares from everyone with good taste that I walked past. I literally thought that one woman was going to pounce and wrestle me for it. Don't worry though, I gave evil death stares to anyone who looked my way. Sorry if that was you. ;)

P.S. If you haven't already, pop on over here and enter my first ever giveaway for a $55 gift certificate to CSN Stores. You could, like, buy stuff!

A Giveaway for You, Yes You


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Roses are red
Violets are blue,
I have a little
Giveaway for you.

{Insert squeals of delight (yours and mine) here.}

The ever-clever CSN Stores online company has offered to give away a gift certificate to one of my lovely, loyal readers. That's you, dude. You! They have like, 200 different online stores where you can buy anything from a white scalloped Emile Henry pie plate (it's on my wishlist) to a cozy bar stool for your newly renovated cottage kitchen (both of those are on my wishlist, too)(the stool and the renovated kitchen). They even have an adorable bubblegum pink vintage-look ceramic kitchen set that wants to be in my kitchen very badly. How did I not know this before!?!?!? You can take a look at some of their goodies here.

Soooooo, because you are reading this you are awesome you have a chance to win a gift certificate for a whopping.......


I know, right? Pretty sweet. I'd like to win it so I can get that darned pie plate. Is it illegal to enter your own giveaway? Hmmmm, I'll think about that one for a few minutes.

So, I'll give you two magnificent chances to win. I think the word magnificent is under-used. We should really use it more often.

First chance to win:

- Be a follower of this blog and let me know with a quick comment that you already were one or now are one (it's about time, hello!)

Just because my self-esteem is based on how many folks join this dorky site and since only one person joined today I'm in a bit of a funk. Kidding! Sort of.

Second chance to win:

- Leave a second comment telling me what your #1 wishlist item for your home is (from CSN Stores or any other store of your choice). A link to your wishlist item would be pretty sweet, too. It could be anything. Even if it's a toilet paper holder with ducks on it or a brass lamp from Sears. We all have our own tastes, right?

Just because I'm nosy and want to know what kind of stuff you like. I'm also hoping you'll include some links so that I can distract myself from doing any work for school. 

P.S. I'll be using that random number thingy once I figure out how to work it.

P.S.S. This little giveaway will be open until next Friday at 10:00 p.m.

P.S.S.S. You don't have to have a blog to enter or to be a follower. You just have to sign up to Blogger with a hotmail or google email address or something like that. It's so easy. That's a hint for you, Jeni.

P.S.S.S.S. I'll even let you enter the contest if you're the one person who picked the option "Sarah has disgusting taste in light fixtures" on my light fixture poll. ;)

Poll Results, A Show, A Wedding, Thanksgiving, and Fall Decorating


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Welcome to another totally random post! Yippee!

Poll Results

First of all, can I say thank you to those 60 lovely folks who gave into my poll nerdiness and voted. You guys seriously light up my life! Bahahaha, get it? So anyway, back to the poll.

What did you, my dear readers, think? This is how you voted:

#1: Serena Antique Mercury Glass Pendant - Pottery Barn

#2:  Rustic Glass Pendant - Pottery Barn

#3: Gramercy Pendant Light - Sundance

Will you believe me when I tell you that those are honestly, truly my top three choices in that same order? I know, it's weird. You and I must have the same, really good taste (heh heh heh). I am loving the crackled glass on light #1, the shape of light #2, and the size and finish of light #3. Oh, the decisions!

A Show

Have you ever seen the show Flipping Out on Bravo? I have, and I'm soooooo addicted. I was behind a whole season but not anymore (insert wicked laugh here). I've already watched the first 5 episodes of Season Four in the last two nights. The housework is suffering.

Jeff. We're on a first name basis.

A Wedding

I was crazy busy this past weekend with my friend's beautiful wedding. I was a bridesmaid and got to do all sorts of bridesmaid-ly things that included riding in a real, live limo for the first time ever. I don't think I'm fancy enough for a limo but I pretended for one day.

I'm wearing a dress, I swear.

After the wedding we drove up to the family cottage for Thanksgiving dinner. Mmmm, turkey and stuffing. We didn't get to stay as long as we would have liked but our quick visit was fun nonetheless. It is absolutely stunning there at this time of year.

The view.
Fall Decorating

What fall decorating?!?!?! Does putting the the fall wreath I made 4 weeks ago on the door count? What about putting 5 pinecones on the tray I fixed up on the weekend? I'm so behind!!!!!!!!!!!

A Little Square Tray - Before and After


Monday, October 11, 2010

Sometime this past summer I had stopped into this kinda cheap home decor store called Bouclair to look for window panels. I saw a cute, white, square tray up at the front of the store and was thiiiiiiis close to buying it. I had never even owned a tray 6 months ago but ever since I found the one I mentioned in this post, I've been itching to have another. When I originally saw the tray it was $29.99 and more than I had wanted to spend at the time. 

I dropped into the same store last week and found the very last square tray at the back of the store in the clearance section. It was marked down to $14.99. Woohoo! While the tray wasn't too bad in its original state, I thought I could improve upon the uber-shiny-stark-white finish as well as the silver leaf design that was sprayed on top.  

Red sticker - score!
I gave the tray a light sanding, then primed it with interior latex primer. I used one coat of white latex paint over top (I was feeling too lazy to do two coats) and then lightly distressed the corners and edges with some 100 grit sandpaper.

An 11.5" x 11.5" square.
While my paint was drying I tried my luck at cutting a perfect square out of this lovely paper. The reason I chose this paper was that: a) I already had it and b) The braided rug in our living room also has some light purple in it. Okay, okay I will admit that I just might be turning into a crazy scrapbook paper lady after all.

A few supplies.

I was a bit nervous to do this step because I had never really used Mod Podge before. It wasn't so bad. Although now I know what people are talking about when they mention bubbles and ripples and smooshing the paper. Not gonna lie, mine is full of bubbles, ripples, and lumps.  

Gluey and goopy.
 Even though the paper fit inside the bottom of the tray perfectly before I glued, it ended up a wee bit short on two of the sides and a wee bit long on the other two sides. Not really sure how that happened.

I was a bit impatient for the Mod Podge to dry so I took out my awesome new hairdryer (called The Speed Freak, oh yeah) to speed up the process. Then, onto the fun part. Sticking random things in it and then taking a million and one pictures.

The tray is actually going to go on the trunk/coffee table in my living room. I wasn't able to take any pictures of it there since my couches have been stripped of their slipcovers for a steamy, hot, bleach-filled wash. I wandered downstairs the other day to find this guilty-looking culprit snoozing on my clean white couch. Apparently he's been sneaking up on both the sofa and loveseat when we're in other rooms or gone to work. Um, we can see your pawprints and dog fur on there, you silly dog. 

Check out these other deeeee-lightful projects:

Saturday Soiree @ A Little Lovely
Make It 4 Monday @ Cottage Instincts
Style Feature Saturday @ Perfectly Imperfect
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on The Porch
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Anything Related @ All Thingz Related
Lucky Linky @ Lucky Star Lane
Power of Paint Party @ Domestically Speaking
White Wednesday @ Faded Charm
Transformation Thursdays @ The Shabby Chic Cottage
Hooking Up W/ HoH @ House of Hepworths
Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ Somewhat Simple
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
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