Taking a short bloggy break

I want to offer a HUGE thank you to everyone who stops by this blog. Your support and kind comments mean so much to me! I'm going to be taking a little blogging break over the next couple of weeks to enjoy the holidays with my family and friends, and to work on a few projects I can't wait to share with you in 2012. I will be sharing a few updates on Twitter, so make sure you find me there.

  I received a card from a friend recently that I think says it best...MERRY EVERYTHING!!

xo Amelia


Cozy hallways

Earlier this week I discovered hardwood floors hiding under the crappy carpet upstairs. It took me 10 months to find it, which is weird, because I totally swore that I checked shortly after we moved in and found nothing but subfloor. So maybe I dreamed that part?

Anyway, I peeked under the carpet in the hallway and remaining two bedrooms and found more hardwood! The hallway has been patched with mismatched wood in a couple of places, which means we'll have to put down new hardwood, or find a way to hide the patched area (at least we've got a supply of original flooring if the other two bedrooms have similarly-patched or severely damaged areas). And what better way to hide an ugly floor than with a pretty rug? Ok, all of these hallways have nice floors, but I love how the rugs help create a cozy, more intimate space.

Source unknown. Found via Pinterest here.


Found on Pinterest here.

 Spotted here.

 Found on Pinterest via.

happy holidays

I dropped all of my Christmas cards in the mail yesterday, which is a little late for me, but still within Canada Post's suggested mailing dates. The 'happy holidays' greeting means it doesn't have to arrive before Christmas, right?

I usually make my Christmas cards, but with so many house projects on the go, I decided to try photo cards this year. We had lots of pretty wedding photos to choose from (thanks to our amazing photographer), and I figured this may be the last time we have photos of ourselves we actually want to share with others ha.

I'm really happy with how the cards turned out, but it felt a little weird to send cards without writing personal notes on each one. Do people even expect personal notes? What do you think of photo cards? 


What I found

I had an awesome day yesterday, and not just because I took the day off work (I love my job, but I love vacation days even more). Adam made me huevos rancheros for breakfast (yum!), we took the dog for a long walk along the waterfront, I did some Christmas baking (turns out I'm not a very good baker) and I hung two of four new interior doors (what I lack in baking skills I totally make up for in general handiness). I still need to stain the doors and buy new doorknobs, but they're already 1,000 times better than what was there before - I can't wait to share the before and after.

Then last night when I was getting the guest room ready for door #3, I decided to lift up a corner of the carpet in the closet and discovered...hardwood floors! Which naturally led me to rip up all the carpet in the room and snap a picture with my phone (see above). The floors need some major TLC, but I'm so excited about the character they'll add to our home when the whole refinishing process is done. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll discover something similar in the other two bedrooms (I know the hardwood runs across the hallway, but I was afraid Adam would lose it if I started tearing any other rooms apart last night).

Oh, and to top it all off, I won this totally cool linocut in designwali's week of giveaways! How awesome is that?!


25 tips and tricks to make life easier

Happy Friday! I stumbled across this article on facebook and had to share it with you. It's full of simple, clever ways to make your life a little easier - I especially love #5, storing your sheet sets inside one of their own pillow cases. Seriously, why didn't I think of that?! There are lots of good ones, so make sure you check them out! Adam and I are off to an outdoor Christmas market this weekend, which I couldn't be more excited about. I visited a couple of German Christmas markets when I was living abroad and have always wished we had something similar here! Have a great weekend :)


Modern Christmas tree DIY

We're trying out a pared down look this Christmas and our tree is no exception. No watering, no needles to clean up, sounds pretty good, right? One of the trees in our front yard was sprouting a large branch from its base, which wasn't good for the tree, so I asked Adam to cut it off and got the idea that we could use it for a Christmas tree. We trimmed it down so it would fit in our living room, stuck it in a pot, and picked some of my favourite (and lightest) ornaments to hang (yeah, Adam has zero interest in tree decorating, so I was on my own for this part).

I picked up this garbage can over the weekend, thinking that it would make a good planter when the holidays are over. Its filled with leftover peastone from our driveway, which adds some nice weight to the base, holds the branch in place and keeps the whole thing from tipping over. I thought about adding greenery to hide the peastone, but I think I like the clean, contemporary look of the stone. The branch-as-Christmas-tree look isn't for everyone, so it's completely OK if you hate it :)

As you can see in the first picture, I moved a few things around to create a work/craft area behind our sofa. I still need to add a lamp, filing cabinet and style the area (it's pretty much a mess of sewing materials right now - hence the new sofa cushions), but I love having a dedicated work space. Having to clean up whatever project I was working on so we could use our dining table for actual dining got old fast - especially when I didn't clean it up and Adam and I had to eat dinner standing up, which happened more than a few times. Yup, pretty much can't wait to start pinning work areas for inspiring ways to style mine.

Psst...I'm linking up to Megan's Christmas Cheer Link Party today - come check out all the beautiful trees!

Also linked up to...


Holiday wreath ideas

I picked up this cute little wreath over the weekend - love the feathers. It's currently hanging in front of the mirror in our entry-way. You may have seen my bookpage wreath in yesterday's post and if you follow me on Twitter you saw the green and gold wreath we hung on our front door last night. Wreaths are definitely one of my favourite holiday decorations and I love these spins on the classic wreath. What kind of wreath are you hanging this year?



Master bedroom tweaks

I thought I'd take a little break from Christmas posts (I'm sharing pics of our non-traditional tree tomorrow) to share a few master bedroom updates. I finished painting and hanging the closet doors with the exception of a few touch-ups, which has completely transformed the room (it's also prompted me to start throwing clothes, shoes, belts, etc. onto the floor of my closet and closing the doors - it's a total mess in there). I've gone back and forth on the room's design, but ultimately decided to stick with my original plan for a neutral room. To keep it from being bland and boring, I'm trying to layer different types of fabric, textures and materials. On Monday, I spotted this heavy crystal lamp at HomeSense for half-off. It has a chip on the bottom (which you can't really see because it faces the wall) and came without a shade. Luckily I had a shade at home I wanted to use, so I think it was meant to be. I love the sparkle and shine it adds to our bedroom.

I feel like the dresser is missing something...any suggestions?
Total sidenote: the Stonehenge art is actually a tea towel I stapled to canvas stretcher bars. I used a gift certificate to pick up this charcoal vase over the weekend. I have plans to DIY an upholstered headboard with charcoal fabric and a two-toned glossy white and charcoal chair, so the vase will eventually make more sense in the room. I love its subtle honeycomb pattern.

Finally, I picked up this vintage map on our honeymoon in Iceland and had it plaqued at Costco (I had an art poster from a trip to NYC plaqued there a while ago and was equally thrilled with how it turned out - it's a great way to add affordable, meaningful art to your space). I love maps and it's fun to look over at it while laying in bed and remember our trip.

So there you have it. Have you been making any tweaks lately?


Felted garland and mantle reveal

I finished my felted garland over the weekend! Adam says it looks like an Easter decoration, but it reminds me of a string of Christmas lights. Either way, it's cute and colourful and easy to make. 

I tried the panty hose method (great tutorial here), which basically involves rolling your wool roving into balls by hand, putting them into a pair of panty hose and throwing them in the wash. I ran out of panty hose (you have to cut the balls out when they're done washing, so it's a good way to get rid of tights with runs or holes), so I also tried the hand-rolling method (see here), in which your hands act as the washing machine (think: roll, dip in water, roll, dip, roll, dip, roll, dip, and so on). When the balls were done, I used a large needle to thread them on a piece of twine and I hung them on the mantle using good-'ol-fashioned hot glue.

Rolling the balls by hand is definitely more time-consuming (I actually can't imagine rolling all of these by hand - my arms started to get tired after 5), but I found that you get a much rounder, smoother ball this way. The panty hose method is a lot faster, but the balls tend to come out with creases in them and I found I had to re-work a few of them by hand anyway. So, if you're a perfectionist and you've got time (or you're not making very many balls), I'd recommend the hand-rolling method. If you're making a lot of balls and you don't mind a few imperfections, try the panty hose method.

As you can see, I'm keeping the mantle pretty simple this year, but I put up a few other decorations this weekend (including our tree, which I can't wait to share) that help the room feel more festive. Have you started your Christmas decorating yet?



Yay for Fridays! First off, HELLO and WELCOME to new followers and THANK YOU to everyone who takes the time to leave a comment. They are so very appreciated and always make me smile, so please keep them coming :)

I've been a pillow-making machine lately! The plan is to take some new photos of our updated living room this weekend, but here's a little preview of the Kijiji chair I slipcovered a few weeks ago. I'm loving the black and white stripes. In addition to these pillows, I was up way too late last night making felted balls for my garland, which I can't wait to share with you on Monday (still have to string them into a garland, hang it and take photos). I tried the dryer method and the hand rolling method, so I'll walk through the pros and cons of each in Monday's post (basically, you need to decide how much of a perfectionist you are and how much time you have).

Adam and I are off to the Valley for a much-needed visit with our families this weekend. My mom finished her last session of chemo today, so we're going to start the weekend by celebrating her clean bill of health  - with champagne of course! What are you up to this weekend?


Felted garland it is!

Remember this garland from yesterday?

Last night, I went to Michael's (without a coupon - oops!) and picked up this:

Wool roving! There are two colours in each package and a friend is giving me some white she already has on hand (which is so nice - I was surprised by how expensive this stuff is, almost $5 per 0.25 oz package). The plan is to follow this tutorial to make my own felted balls (there's a joke in there somewhere), so wish me luck and check back for a mantle update soon!
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