6.28.2012

Nursery closet




These are some in-progress shots of the closet in the nursery. The hole in the floor (which the old homeowner just carpeted over!) is fixed, new hardwood is in, and the new baseboard/quarter round is caulked and painted. Unfortunately, the old plaster walls got pretty beat up in the process. Adam has been doing lots of patching and sanding this week so that I can paint this weekend (which explains all the dust). The plan is to make the most of this small space by adding some built-in storage - and it has to look good because the closet is going to remain doorless. Baby stuff is too cute to hide behind a door anyway, right?

Here's hoping I have some fabulous 'after' shots to share with you next week...

6.27.2012

Style at Home's cottage style issue

We don't have cable, so whenever I travel for work I always take advantage of the opportunity to watch a little decorating tv in my hotel room. Since my work trip last weekend, I've been going through decorating tv withdrawal, so I was extra happy to see the latest issue of Style at Home in my mailbox.


I try to limit my magazine subscriptions and I've found that Style at Home is one those decor magazines I know I'll find inspiration in every month (this seems like a good time to mention that I'm not being paid or perked to write this - I just like sharing stuff I like).



One of my favourite monthly features is the very blog-inspired 'stylenews'. How cute is this month's DIY project, which uses paint to mimic the look of grosgrain ribbon on a vintage picnic basket?



I've been crushing on mint for awhile - in fact I'm thinking about painting our kitchen cupboards mint. If you don't want to go that far, minty accessories are a great low-cost, low-commitment way to enjoy the trend.




















If you've seen our master bedroom, you know our bed sits in front of a window. I was super excited to come across this photo and I'd love to find a similar headboard for our bed. I wonder if I can convince my husband to start stopping at yard sales...

There are so many beautiful cottages in this issue (all of which are about a million times nicer than my actual house). This summer home is probably my favourite - just look at that view!


This issue also gives a shoutout to my city - Halifax! The article mentions one of Halifax's tastiest cafes - Two If By Sea - along with the incredibly awesome Hydrostone Market (home to Halifax's arguably best pizza). Anyone planning a trip to Halifax soon?


So which decorating magazines do you subscribe to? Any recommendations? I've been thinking about adding Better Homes & Gardens to my list, so I'd love to hear from any subscribers out there. 

6.25.2012

Working weekend and a garden update

{Clockwise from the top-left: peas, cucumbers, yellow beans, and zuchinni, carrots and lettuce}

I spent the weekend working (my company only asks us to commit one weekend a year, so I'm not complaining) and managed to muster up just enough energy to clean the house and do some laundry when I got home late Sunday afternoon. I didn't get to check any DIY projects off my list, but starting the week with an organized house and clean clothes is totally worth it. I also picked some more peonies from our front garden, which are currently prettying up our bedroom and living room. I swear this plant only produced white flowers last year, but some are a beautiful shade of blush pink this year. Is that possible?

Above, are a few photos from our raised garden beds. Everything's up and doing well, except our green beans. I think the variety we bought takes a little longer to sprout, so I'll give it a bit more time before trying again (new cucumber plants keeping popping up, so I'm hoping the green beans just need more time).

How was your weekend?

6.22.2012

Guest Posting at Living Savvy


I'm super excited to be participating in Tiffany's Spray Painters Anonymous series over at Living Savvy today - make sure you click over to see my latest spray painting project and check out the rest of the series.

I'm away at meetings for work this weekend, but don't feel too sorry for me - I've had a short week. Have a great weekend!

6.20.2012

DIY bathroom reno reveal

During our recent road trip, we made a stop in Kingston, ON to visit our very talented friends Anne-Claire and Martin. Not only are they both brilliant (Martin just completed his PhD and Anne-Claire is well on her way to finishing hers), they're also skilled DIYers and renovators. They were nice enough to let me snap a few photos of their amazing bathroom makeover to share with you AND they fed me a seriously delicious lunch (the way to any pregnant woman's heart).

Here's what they started with:



The original tub, sink and toilet were crowded along one side of the room, creating an awkward-looking alley as you entered the bathroom (the first photo above shows the original view from the doorway). So they completely gutted the room and started over, keeping only the toilet. Oh, and the only work they hired out was the moving of the plumbing.


After a good scrubbing, the toilet was moved next to the window, where the tub used to be. I love the simple window covering they chose, which offers much-needed privacy and still lets in tons of light.


It's hard to choose a favourite feature in the room, but this Craigslisted dresser-turned-vanity just may be it. It brings a beautiful warm tone to the room and offers a much better view from the doorway than the blank wall of before. Oh, and how gorgeous is that light fixture?

The vanity provides lots of storage space, since Martin managed to salvage all of the drawers with some clever carpentry to accommodate the sink's plumbing.


  

The gorgeous new tub and shower offer some serious competition to the vanity. Martin did all the tiling himself and I'm pretty sure this was his first tiling job.

The tub now sits where the sink and toilet used to be, and a panel of frosted glass takes advantage of all the light coming in through the large window. On a sunny day, Anne-Claire says it feels like you're showering outdoors.


I wish I could make a trip back to Kingston before they sell their house (they're moving at the end of the summer), because they've done equally amazing work in their kitchen and a second bathroom, and Martin's in the process of installing and hand-finishing gorgeous pine floors throughout. Maybe they'll snap some photos for us (hint, hint)...

6.18.2012

Summer road trip

Because we just may be crazy, Adam and I decided to take a whirlwind road trip through Quebec and Ontario (crazy because I'm 7+ months pregnant). The drive turned out to be no big deal - I used a pillow to keep my back from getting sore and stretched out in the back seat for a few naps as needed (well, as much as you can stretch out in a Nissan Versa anyway). We had The Hunger Games trilogy audiobooks to keep us entertained, along with loads of snacks (pretty much my favourite part about road trips). Here are a few photos snapped along the way:




  1. Driving through Quebec on day one. I totally understand why they call it "la belle province".
  2. Pretty flowers at Montreal's Atwater Market.
  3. Mmmm...Montreal, you make good pastries.
  4. View of the city from atop "the mountain".
  5. Checking out the Plants and Animals show at NXNE in Toronto.
  6. Posing with Niagara Falls.
  7. Consoling ourselves with Thai food after learning that the Radiohead show had been cancelled.
  8. And then checking out the free Flaming Lips show instead. Also overheard a fellow concert-goer not-so-quietly commenting to her friend about me: "She's really pregnant. She should be wearing better shoes."
  9. After a quick visit with friends in Kingston (I can't wait to share the photos of their amazing bathroom reno with you guys!), we made our way home (stopping in NB for the night - we're not that crazy!).
  10. Arrived home to find these beautiful peonies blooming in our garden (alongside loads of weeds, sigh). I'm enjoying their delicious scent as I type this :)

We had a great trip - with amazing weather - and got to squeeze in a few visits with friends and family along the way. Of course, it's always nice to come home, too. Do you have any road trips planned this summer?


6.13.2012

Organizing your sewing supplies

Recently I volunteered to take on a few sewing projects for family and friends. Coupled with my own sewing projects, it basically meant that we couldn't eat dinner without clearing the dining room table of fabric and thread first. And if that was bad, my sewing basket was even worse:

{try finding a spare bobbin in there}
Then I remembered the small desk Adam's parents gave us a while ago, currently sitting unused in our "guest room" (I'm using quotation marks because it's actually just a room filled with tools and other random stuff at the moment). When the guest room is actually a guest room, this small desk will make a perfect sewing table (and I can easily stash my sewing machine in the closet when we have guests).

The desk has one large drawer that is basically the same size as the tabletop. While I was cleaning it out to make room for my sewing stuff, I found a package of paper placemats I bought at Homesense ages ago - on clearance for $3! I chose one of the four designs and used some spray adhesive and an exacto knife to cover the bottom of the drawer.

{before}

{after}

I used some dishes I found in a box in the "guest room" to organize my sewing supplies (yes, my collection of buttons is out of control - I picked through them after I took this picture and purged at least half).

{everything in its right place}
The next step (after finishing the room of course) will be turning the closet into a functional storage space. I'd love to hang my fabric pieces, and a few boxes or baskets could store things like craft paints, glue, punches, mat cutting supplies, etc.

via

I also need a place to store gift bags and wrapping paper and I love this idea from Brooklyn Limestone.


via


The closet will have a curtain panel for a door, so I'll have to make use of a wall inside the closet instead.

Where do you store your craft and sewing supplies? Any suggestions?

6.12.2012

Chic & Cheap Nursery



My nursery shelves are featured in a post about decorating ideas for small spaces on Cheap & Chic Nursery today! How cool is that?! Head on over to check out the rest of the ideas!

And if you found my blog via Cheap & Chic Nursery - welcome!

6.11.2012

Hey Monday



  1. Wildflowers picked from the woods behind my mom's house.
  2. Also from my mom's house, these books were among the many she's been saving for my future children. The jackets may be worn, but the pages are still perfect and I love the idea of reading my child some of the very same books my parents read to me once. The ceramic elephant was a $13 impulse buy  at Homesense.
  3. I was at Homesense looking for a large basket to store books and toys in the nursery. I found this one for $24.99 and it's perfect. Our cat likes hiding in it too.
  4. A cold weather snap didn't stop the lettuce I planted last weekend from sprouting. So far, so good.
It rained for most of the weekend, which is usually an excuse to relax around here. We squeezed in a short visit with Adam's parents, stopped by my mom's house, ran a few errands, Adam's band played a show (I went), and we watched a few movies too. That may not sound relaxing, but it really was. I even made crepes for breakfast (my current favourite).

How was your weekend?

6.07.2012

{29 weeks} Nursery shelves

As soon as I finished sewing the curtains for the nursery, I couldn't wait to install the floating shelves I found at Home Depot over the weekend. We contemplated making our own shelves, but when I saw these for $17.99 each, I decided I had enough DIY projects in the works.

Since we have a combination of plaster walls and oddly-spaced studs in the nursery, I decided to forgo the hardware that came with the shelves and picked up some heavier-duty metal anchors (I hung all four shelves by myself, so anyone can do it). After lots of measuring and level-checking, the shelves were up and it was time to play around with some of the art and accessories I've been collecting for the room (aka the fun part).



The vintage globe is from my favourite local antique shop, Urban Cottage, the yellow giraffe - my first nursery purchase - is from Chapters, the giraffe print is from this Etsy shop, and the numbers print is by the very-talented Lindsay (love it!). My mom has already started the baby's book collection (she's a former teacher) and she's been saving books for me and my brothers to read to our kids, so I'll be adding some of those to the shelves too. The dog piggy bank (or is it just a doggy bank?) belonged to my older brother when he was a little boy - I don't even know if they make piggy banks like this anymore. Obviously I'm still adding things to the shelves, but I'm super excited now that the room is starting to come together. Fingers crossed for nice weather this weekend so I can tackle my crib project...

And since I haven't posted a picture of my growing belly in awhile, here you go:

{29 weeks}
I'm getting bigger, but feeling great. I've noticed some slight swelling in my feet (but near my toes, as opposed to my ankles), usually after a long day, so I'm trying to remember to put my feet up now and then. I still have lots of energy, though I'm forcing myself to take more breaks and nights off from projects so I don't tire myself out. People keep telling me I'm all belly (with the exception of one woman who said she could tell my face was starting to swell - it's not, but thank you for saying I have a chubby face), but my upper thighs now rub together when I walk and yes, I bought myself a package of men's boxer briefs to wear under dresses and skirts. Pregnancy is NOT glamorous folks!

It's funny though, as big as I feel some days, I've probably never been this content with my body. Maybe it's because I know my body is doing exactly what it needs to do and I'm supposed to be getting bigger, so I'm not looking in the mirror and worrying about what's where or how big this or that is. It's incredibly freeing.

6.05.2012

How to make any pair of curtains longer

Remember these curtains?

{pretty curtains, but not taking advantage of the room's tall ceilings}

They were the perfect length for the dining room in our old apartment, but too short for our new home's high ceilings. When we decided to turn this room into a nursery, I really wanted to keep the curtains, but I also wanted to take full advantage of the room's height. I decided to try adding some length to each panel with a coordinating fabric (after all, if it didn't work out I'd just be back where I started: shopping for a new pair of longer curtains).

I found the perfect fabric at Fabricville - on sale for $2/metre with my membership card. It comes across as plain white in photos, but it actually has a very subtle texture and barely-there, cream-coloured vertical stripes in real life. In person, it helps tie in the curtains' creamy background with the bright whites I'm using in other parts of the room.

{v2.0}

Since I was feeling thrifty with my $2 curtain update, I decided to forgo a new curtain rod and spraypainted the existing one black instead. Thinking about lengthening your own curtains? Read on for the how-to...

The trickiest part is figuring out where to insert your new fabric. I measured the distance from the ceiling to the floor (minus a couple of inches, since I planned to hang my curtain rod 2" from the ceiling), then subtracted the length of my existing panels to figure out how much length I needed to add. Instead of just adding fabric to the bottoms (which I worried would look like too obvious), I decided to insert new panels. I thought it would look best if my new panel was the same height as the section below it, leaving one longer section above:


{the plan}



I measured up 19" from the bottom of my existing panels (adding an extra half inch for my seam) and cut. No turning back now.

{step 1: cut your existing panels}
Next, I cut panels from my new fabric, adding a half inch all around for my seams (the dotted lines = seams).

{step 2: cut panels from your new fabric}
Now the easy - but also tedious - part: pinning and ironing your seams. I pinned and ironed the seams on each piece first, then pinned my pieces together. This way you can make sure all your edges line up and make adjustments if needed. Finally, sew it all together (I recommend sewing your vertical seams first, followed by your horizontal seams).

{steps 3&4: attach your panels and sew along seams}

{the finished product}

I love how they turned out and I especially love that for $2 and an hour of my time, I was able to reuse a perfectly good pair of curtains instead of buying new ones!

And in case you're wondering what's up next for the nursery, it involves this blank wall...


6.04.2012

A garden update

Back in April, I shared our plans for the yard this year. Last weekend we had some mulch and topsoil delivered, so Adam added more mulch to our flower beds (especially where we extended them) and filled our raised garden beds with soil (which he then mixed with several bags of manure).

With the danger of frost (mostly) behind us, it was finally time to plant a few new shrubs we picked up - and our garden! We've been keeping the plants outside in their pots, in the spots we plan to plant them, and bringing them inside for the night if it looked like the temperature would dip below freezing (Nova Scotia is at least a month behind Eastern Canada and the US in terms of climate, in case you're noting that you've had your plants in the ground for weeks). Since Adam was in the studio recording all weekend, my mom came to help me (as in, she did all the work while I messed around with the garden).

So what did she plant?

A couple golden euonymous shrubs...

{the larger euonymous was the same size as the two new guys when we planted it last spring}

And this pretty little shrub. I've completely forgotten the name, but it should be sporting some little yellow flowers soon.

{waiting for little yellow flowers to bloom}

Here's how that flower bed looks now:

{yes, our lawn DESPERATELY needs to be mowed - we're just waiting on a replacement part for our mower}

She also added a small spirea shrub to one of our front beds. When I looked over our plans, I realized we meant to add two of these guys, so I'm off to pick up another one soon.


In terms of our overall plans, we've made some real progress.

Side bed:
-extend bed and add new mulch
-add rocks to fill dead space
-add 2 small golden euonymous shrubs
-add divided blue hosta from front bed (we may have missed the boat on this one until the fall)
-add yellow flowering shrub

Small front bed:
-extend bed and add new mulch
-add rocks to fill dead space
-add 2 new spireas (still need to add 1)
-replace rose bush with red japanese maple
-add new holly bush

In case you thought I was just standing around watching my mom work, here's some photographic evidence of my progress in the garden. I used a measuring tape and string to plot my rows and followed the directions on my seed packets in terms of spacing (both for the rows and the seeds).

In the first bed, we're hoping to have peas, beans (yellow and green) and cucumbers:

{peas, yellow beans, green beans, cucumber}

And in the second bed, I planted zucchini, carrots and several kinds of lettuce.

{zucchini, carrots, and a whole lotta lettuce}  

We're also planning to plant several tomato and pepper transplants in containers, so wish us luck!

Did you plant a garden this year? Any tips?
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