9.29.2011

Guest room progress

I've done a lot of work in our guest room since we moved in, so I thought I'd share my progress - along with some of the projects that are still on my 'to do' list. After filling tons of nail holes, I gave the trim, window and walls a fresh coat of paint (when we install new flooring, we'll paint the ceiling too). I also sewed new cushions for a thrifted and spraypainted bamboo chair and transformed a basic floor lamp by adding a new painted shade.



I sewed these curtains for our old apartment's dining room and they were the inspiration for this room's colour palette. The dresser was a hand-me-down from Adam's parents that I painted and added new hardware.

The fabric headboard was another DIY project. I still need to hang some art above the bed and add a couple of accent pillows, and we'd eventually like to upgrade our guests from a futon to a real bed (although I find sleeping on the futon kind of fun - it reminds me of my mattress-on-a-floor college days).

(New doors have been purchased, but still need to be painted and hung).

This gorgeous little desk/vanity was another hand-me-down from Adam's parents. I added new knobs and I'm on the hunt for an upholstered x-bench like one of these. The books are a temporary placeholder - they'll be replaced with a laptop when this becomes my little blogging spot (I'm big on ripping pages out of magazines for inspiration, hence the bulletin board).


The patterned box holds all my office supplies and I filled my silver-leafed frame with this free chair printable from Danielle Oakey Interiors - so cute!


So there you have it. I've still got a few things to do to make this room complete, but it's well on it way.

9.28.2011

Natural gift wrap


This is one of yesterday's wedding thank-you gifts all wrapped up and ready to go. I love wrapping gifts with kraft paper - it's so simple on its own, but you can dress it up for any season or occasion with a little ribbon and a few embellishments (and it's easy to re-use, too). I used leftover twine from our wedding and a few semi-dried chive flowers (picked from my mother-in-law's garden a couple of weeks ago) for a little pop of colour.

9.27.2011

Simple thank-you gift idea


Our DIY wedding wouldn't have been possible without loads of help from our parents, so of course we wanted to do something to say thanks (aside from actually saying thanks, which we've done many times now). Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of extra money to spend on gifts right now and I can't imagine my parents or parents-in-law wanting any of the thank-you gift ideas I found online (how many engraved objects does one person need?). And since our photographers took so many beautiful pictures that day, we decided to frame a few for my mom, my dad and his wife, and Adam's parents.

I found some pretty silver frames at Winners, all on clearance for $7-$8 (unless you're my parent or parent-in-law, then the frames are solid silver and cost hundreds of dollars). I ordered a few prints and bought a piece of mat board ($3), then got to work with my handheld mat cutter. As an aside, I highly recommend cutting your own mats. It's easy to do (with a little practice) and it's so much cheaper than having custom mats cut (I almost always prefer the look of custom mats to standard mats, even though I cut these to standard-size haha). Eventually I'd like to invest in a heavier-duty model, since my handheld occasionally slips and doesn't do corners as cleanly as I'd like. Anyway, enough about my mat cutter dreams, here's how the frames turned out:




I think this is a nice, simple thank-you gift that our parents will enjoy (at first I told Adam this was my new mantle-decorating idea: an homage to ourselves). Now I just need to find a pretty way to wrap them. 

9.26.2011

Sanded and primed night stands

Last week was a tough one, but losing my grandmother was a powerful reminder of the importance of family and of spending time with the people you love. I think she would have been happy to know that she brought us all together, one more time.

Before that unexpected road trip, I managed to remove the old hardware and sand our thrifted night stands. Last night, I applied a coat of primer.

Snapped with my BB

Sure, the photo's a little dark (it was early), but I can already tell how awesome they're going to look when I'm done. The plan is to paint them white and add glass knobs. Stay tuned for the reveal!

9.19.2011

Sad news


It's funny how life works sometimes. I spent Saturday celebrating a good friend's marriage and the growth of her family. On the same day, my family lost one of its most important members when my grandmother passed away. I have lots of happy memories of my Nana, and Adam and I will be travelling to Massachusetts tomorrow to celebrate her life with the rest of my family. That means the blog will be quiet this week, so thanks in advance for your understanding.

9.16.2011

I'm loving...purple

Hello, Friday. I've been running here, there and everywhere all week, which means I haven't had time to tackle any of the projects on my 'to do' list. Adam has been not-so-silently cursing me for selling our old nightstands on kijiji before I even started sanding the new ones. Our table lamps, alarm clocks and everything else are on the floor right now, which makes hitting the snooze button challenging (though apparently not challenging enough to stop me from doing it at least four or five times each morning).

Anyway, I've been loving the colour purple lately (it must be the cooler weather) and I definitely want to find a way to incorporate it into our decor for fall. Here's a little purple inspiration for your weekend:

via HouseandHome.com

  I absolutely love this lavender wreath. How cute would it look on a bright yellow door?

via Williams-Sonoma.com

This deep purple dresser is a definite DIY project...

via Pinterest

...and these accessories are an inexpensive way to add a little purple to your home. 
via CrateandBarrel.com


via Pier1.com

I'm in love with these cute little shoes...

via Etsy.com

...and something about this painting of eggplants just makes me happy.
via Etsy.com

Have a great weekend everyone!

9.13.2011

Back to school


It's been more than 3 years since I earned my masters' degree and started working in my chosen career field. Don't get me wrong, I love my day job, but as my interest in DIY design grows, I realize I could benefit from a few lessons in colour theory, design principles and basic space planning. Plus, it would be fun!

I've been thinking about taking an interior design course for awhile, but today I pulled the trigger and registered for an introductory course at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. I'm lucky to have a super supportive husband who immediately encouraged me to spend our hard-earned money on my little 'hobby'. My class won't start until the end of October, but I'm already excited (and a little nervous - there are only 15 of us in the class, eek!).

9.12.2011

Yard sale-ing

I've been doing more planning than projects lately, which is why the blog has been so quiet. It all started with a door-painting project-gone-wrong that zapped my DIY energy. It was one of those projects I got really excited about, had all planned out, then realized part-way through wasn't going to work (in other words, our interior doors are just too damaged to be salvaged). The good news is that we scored a great deal on some much, much nicer interior doors yesterday! But more about that in a future post...

I got some DIY motivation back on Saturday at Musquodoboit Valley's annual 50-mile yard sale, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. My first find of the day was this $2.00 shadow box:


With a coat of white paint I think it will make a great addition to our gallery wall (I'll likely use it to display some wedding mementos, but we'll see).

Adam scored our next two finds (three if you count a delicious cup of coffee) - a ball-peen hammer ($2) and hacksaw ($3):


I'm not sure why we need a ball-peen hammer, but Adam assures me that you can never own too many hammers.

Along the way, we also picked up:


  1. More upholstery tacks for a future DIY fabric headboard project (50 cents)
  2. A 25-cent plate for my dining room's growing 'plate wall' 
  3. Some great books, including this Reader's Digest collection of funny photos (25 cents per book for a total of $1.25)
(Adam also bought a couple of Led Zepplin tapes for our car. Yes, our car is so old it plays tapes).

But our biggest (literally) find of the day was a pair of solid pine nightstands for $10 each:



They're not much to look at right now, but the plan is to rough 'em up, paint 'em and add some new hardware. I think they're going to look awesome and I'm drooling over all that storage!

9.04.2011

DIY book wreath


Yesterday I hung that gorgeous piece of stained glass - a wedding gift from two of Adam's parents' oldest friends - and finished my wreath of book pages (which admittedly looks more like a ball in this picture).

I wish I could claim this idea as my own, but I followed this tutorial from living with lindsay - with a little twist (I couldn't find a styrofoam wreath, so I had to improvise with a piece of foam cushioning). It was really easy to make and the final product was definitely worth a few burns from the glue gun.

And as an added bonus - I finally found a use for my old masters' program textbooks.



9.02.2011

Grab your glue gun


I snapped this photo with my BB this morning on my way out the door (sorry it's grainy - it was 5:30am). I won't tell you what it is, but let's just say that I finally found a use for the Institutional Ethnography textbook from my MPA program. Hopefully I'll finish it tonight (don't laugh at my big Friday night plans) for a weekend reveal.
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