DIY painted outdoor rug

I finished painting this rug for our patio a few weeks ago, but I wanted to see how it would hold up outside before sharing it here. We've had at least two heavy rains since then and it's holding up great! Unfortunately, heavy rain = fallen leaves, dirt and debris (our patio is, luckily, shaded by some lovely trees). I tried sweeping it off before I took these photos, but I guess I didn't do a very good job. Also, it's the outdoors.

I bought the rug here and cut it to size with a pair of scissors (it's now a 5' x 6'). I picked up a few sample pots of indoor/outdoor paint and painted the rug with a coat of Behr's Canterbury Bells. I had grand plans to use painter's tape to map out my diamonds, but that didn't work at all (the tape wouldn't stick), so I made a template out of cardboard and traced my pattern onto the rug (I did some measuring to make sure my rows were straight-ish, but it was pretty straightforward stuff).

The trickiest part was trying to work the paint into the carpet fibres; I used a small artist's brush for the diamonds, but a stiffer brush would've worked better. I went outside the lines a few times, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out overall. The navy blue is Behr's Very Navy and the white is leftover from our exterior trim. Again, I only did one coat, but two would probably be better.

I realize the speckled light makes it hard to see the diamond pattern (sorry!), but hopefully you get the idea. It was an easy, inexpensive project, and it's a great way to get the rug you want - even if you can't find it in stores. I'm still on the hunt for a little side table to use out here, I just haven't stumbled across "the one" yet. It's starting to look like we'll be finished out here just in time for Fall ;)


Musical rugs

This rug just may make into every room in our house before we move :) Most recently, I moved it into our bedroom. I originally purchased it for our living room, but after a couple of doggie accidents and one very large coffee spill, it became apparent that the rug needed a safe haven. We moved it into the basement for awhile, but now that we're converting that space into a shared office and playroom, the rug needed to go. Jute rugs seem to be a popular choice for bedrooms, so I figured it was worth a shot.

The rug just fits - it's actually more like wall-to-wall carpeting - and it feels lovely underfoot. The room feels much cozier now, too. Thankfully I measured first, because I almost had a heart attack dragging this thing upstairs by myself.

(Oh, and don't mind that dirty mirror. Hannah has been known to give her reflection sloppy kisses, and really, I can't blame her.)

With the rug in place, the room feels a bit beige. I'm thinking about switching up the bedding - maybe plain white with a great throw? If you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them!


On getting married

I'm guest posting about marriage on my friend Laura's awesome blog today! Please stop by and leave me a comment letting me know why you decided to get married - or not - and then take some time to read through the rest of this great series.


How to throw an impromptu birthday party

We didn't plan a party for Hannah's birthday this year, but we sort of accidentally ended up having one anyway. We invited my mom, my brother and his fiancee over for dinner since they live nearby, as well as Adam's bandmates, who Hannah adores.

That afternoon I picked up some simple party decorations at Target and Adam threw together a few homemade pizzas and a huge Caesar salad. One of the elements in our oven went just as we put the pizzas in (of course!), but luckily our neighbour's oven came to the rescue.

Hannah's uncle gave her this adorable party dress last Christmas and she let me put a barrette in her hair for all of five seconds ;) We Skyped with Hannah's Florida cousins while we waited for our pizzas to cook, and my mom ordered an ice cream cake with a picture of a train on it for dessert - Hannah was thrilled! 

She got to open a few presents and stay up way past her bedtime, so I think it was a pretty good birthday!


Turn your favourite photos into canvas prints


We just got back from a mini-vacation to Cape Breton and the District of Guysborough. I'll share a few highlights from our trip later this week, but let's just say that I couldn't have picked a worse time to forget the memory card for my good camera at home!

Anyway, before we left, this beautiful canvas arrived from Easy Canvas Prints. They contacted me a few weeks ago to see if I'd be interested in reviewing one of their products, and of course I jumped at the chance. You may remember that I talked about ordering an oversized print of one of our family photos in this post, so I knew exactly what I wanted to order. This is one of my favourite shots from our first family photo shoot.

The plan was to hang it in Hannah's room, but when the canvas arrived I immediately wanted to hang it in a more central location. The canvas is massive, so there were only a few spots it would fit, and the huge blank wall leading upstairs was one of them. It's one of the first things you see when you enter the house (depending on how much crap we have lying around), and this photo definitely catches your eye without being too, "hello, giant family".

The quality of the canvas is excellent, even up close, and I love how bright the colours are. I checked with our photographer before placing my order, and she sweetly sent me a higher resolution version of the photo - high enough that it still looks great in a print this size.

It was really easy to order - just upload your print, choose your canvas size and preferred border (I went with black) and enter your shipping info. I was a little worried about it getting damaged in the mail, but it arrived unharmed and I like that they didn't go overboard with the packaging either. Oh, and the cost of shipping - which we Canadians always worry about - was very reasonable. I think it was around $13 for this massive canvas.

This is my first canvas print, but I'd love to add a few smaller prints to my collection in the future. It's a nice alternative to framing, and they'd look great mixed into a gallery wall. It's an awesome gift idea, too!

I received a 24" x 36" canvas print of my choice from Easy Canvas Prints in exchange for sharing my experience here. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 


Hannah is 2!

Hannah is 2 today! Her current obsessions include trains, trucks, hopping, painting, "reading" aloud, going to the park (playground), Yo Gabba Gabba! and playing with her collection of Little People. She's almost always talking, which keeps us - and everyone around us - very entertained (the kid likes to talk with her hands). Of course, her big personality can be a challenge, too. She's lucky she's so darn cute ;)

Happy Birthday Hannah!

I took a photo of Hannah every month until she turned one. Now I'm taking her photo every six months. You can check out the rest of the series here.


The fence is done!

I somewhat dramatically insisted that Adam trim the fence posts before we left for Tatamagouche, out of fear that any added height would cause Arthur's winds to topple the whole thing. In the end, the posts are trimmed and the fence is still standing!

More recently, I added simple fence post caps to finish it off. We decided not to stain or seal the fence, at least for now (I've heard mixed reviews about their effectiveness in harsh Nova Scotia winters and I'm not eager to add another annual maintenance task to my list). I also like the grey colour of weathered wood and I think it will look nice with the caps we chose, but we'll see.

Now that the fence is done, we can focus on the landscaping. We need plants! I may have mentioned before that we have a bunch (a ton) of hostas that need to be divided. Hostas and ferns look amazing together and both are great for shade. I can picture it perfectly, but so far that hasn't been motivating enough to actually do the work.


I did, however, start moving copious amounts of dirt to level the ground beneath the fence. I still have another 4-5 wheelbarrows to go, but the picture below gives you a rough idea of where the plants will go.

The ground back here is a mess, so I think we'll dig up the patchy grass and extend the pea gravel all the way from the patio to the end of the fence. Isn't it funny how one project inevitably leads to another? Funny, and in our case, usually back-breaking.

This rug. I love it so. I've searched high and low for an outdoor rug (to divide the "lounging" half of the patio from the "dining" half and give Hannah a softer place to play), but nothing compares to this one. Then I read this post and ended up buying this rug on a whim. I've wanted to try painting a rug for awhile, so I'm excited to see if I can create something similar to my inspiration with paint. I'm also terrified that it will just end up looking like a terrible painted rug.

I'm still on the hunt for a small end table to use with the lounger, but I haven't stumbled across "the one" yet. Future plans aside, it helps to remember that about a year ago it looked like this back here:

*I'm still learning to always wipe my lens before taking photos!

Crazy, eh?
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