April 30 - Rain, Taxes and a Monday too!

April 30, 2012

Sorry I've been a bit off the radar recently - I needed a little blogging break. For those of you who blog have you ever just wanted to take a little break? I normally try to keep to a one-post a week schedule, but I do sometimes feel tremendous pressure to come up with something even a little interesting once a week - I have no idea how those who blog several times a week, or even daily do it.

Anyways, today is a 3 times yucky day. It's a Monday, which is my least favourite day of the week (I'm guessing its very few peoples favourite). It's raining, which while I know is needed to make all those spring flowers bloom, is still depressing, and lastly it tax day for us Canadians. See what I mean - 3 times yuck!

Handily today is also the last day of the April (How did that happen - how are we entering the 5th month of 2012 already?) which means it was my last day to buy myself some pretty flowers for the month. Flowers always cheer me up. So does chocolate. The last part is just an FYI in case you ever need to buy me a gift - I'll be thrilled with either ;)
Bright pink mums in a white vase
April flowers - Mums
This month's flowers are Mums in two colours - I'm not sure what it is about the lime green, but I love it paired with the pink.
Mums in pink and green

Pink and green mums
In the next couple of days I hope to show you a store I got to explore during a recent trip to the Big Apple.
Pink and green mums on a table

Before & After

A First Birthday, Ikea, and More Than a Little Cursing

April 10, 2012

My boyfriend D has a little nephew who recently celebrated his first birthday (and he's the cutest thing EVER). Not having children myself, and living hours away from my friends who do I was at a bit of a loss as to what to get him. I ventured into that kids store that used to have a giraffe as it's mascot (whatever happened to him?), but found the selection too overwhelming, and everything I though was neat was made for older kids. While I rather like the idea of staggering gifts so kids can grow into things, I didn't think his parents would appreciate having to store his 1st birthday present for 2+ years until he was old enough to play with it.

Inspiration struck when I saw a post via Apartment Therapy of a little Ikea kids table a chairs by Chris Loves Julia. They turned the Latt table from this:
Ikea Latt Table
Ikea Latt Table Image source:
Into this:
Chris Loves Julia  Ikea Latt Hack
Ikea Latt hack via Chris Loves Julia
Seeing what they did set my imagination soaring and I came up with a great Idea. Unfortunately my imagination over estimated the size of the table top, so my brilliant, extra-cool idea had to be tossed aside, and I came up with plan B.

Plan B evolved after I spent a bit of time perusing my favorite online fabric store - Tonic Living. I've been stalking the site for over a year now - I've even ordered piles of fabric samples three times (a steal at $1 a piece BTW), but I'd never actually purchased anything. I spotted this fabric and an idea began to take shape:
Tonic Living - Font Tastic fabric
Tonic Living fabric - Font Tastic
I purchased a yard, and then moseyed over to Home Depot to buy three sample pots of some colours that are decidedly brighter than any paint I've ever purchased (I've just passed my two-year anniversary of owning my home, and all my walls are still white - sigh).
bright paint colours
Paint colours: Rolling hills, Water Flow, Southern Blue - all by Behr
The first parts of this project were decidedly easy, if a little time-consuming. I started by priming all the pieces twice (the table and chairs are made of unfinished pine so there was some bleeding through the first coat of primer), and then painting everything but the table top and seats with the three colours I picked. Next I used a little spray adhesive to attached the fabric to the table top and the seats.
Primed pieces of Latt table
Primed and ready for colour
Next up was assembly, and I figured I'd have the three pieces put together in 15 minutes. I know people love to complain about putting together Ikea furniture and how confusing the instructions are, but I've never been that girl. I've never had any difficulties putting together their stuff (what can I say - those little stick men diagrams just make sense to me), and even put together a bookcase without instructions when they weren't in the box (BTW - I learned later that if you ever discover your instructions are missing they're all available on the Ikea website). This project however was a decidedly different story.

If you decide to make something like this yourself please learn from my mistakes - when painting DON'T let any of the paint get into the grooves in the table or chairs where the top or seats go - this will make getting those pieces of board into the slots REALLY hard. I had to attack my freshly painted pieces with sand paper and an x-acto knife to get the pieces to fit properly. Also, if you use fabric or anything on top, don't wrap it over the edges of the boards - this adds too much bulk and again the pieces won't all fit together. Anyways, several hours later, and some language that is not really appropriate for anything relating to kids, I finally managed to get the table and two chairs put together.

Last up was several coats of polyurethane. Two coats on the wood, and I used four coats on the fabric top and seats to make it as impervious as possible to little kid messes.

Did I mention that all through this process I was battling a doozy of a cold? It was so bad that according to some co-workers I sounded like an old man when I coughed. The upside - I couldn't smell anything, so painting and urethanening inside my apartment was no big deal. The downside - I was still sick for the actual birthday party so I didn't go - just in case I was contagious. I was really looking forward to it - I've never been to a first birthday party (well, I suppose I went to my own, but I don't think that counts).

Anyways, here's the finished product:
Ikea Latt table and chairs hack
Ikea Latt table and chairs
Ikea Latt table and chairs hack

Ikea Latt chair painted with fabric seat

Ikea Latt chairs and table hacked with paint and fabric
I hope he likes it, and gets lots and lots of use from them. What do you think? Too much colour? Too little?

One of a Kind Show

The One of A Kind Show - Spring 2012 - Part 2

April 03, 2012

Alright, firstly I need to apologise. I fully intended to write-up part two of my favorite things from the One of a Kind show on Saturday morning, but I got a little busy. First I went with a few friends to a Pysanka workshop, and later Saturday evening we went to see Gotye live in concert. Kimbra was the opening act, so it was an excellent show. On Sunday, D and I went to see the stage production of War Horse at the Princess of Wales Theater here in Toronto, and I have to say I don't think I can remember ever seeing a play that I appreciated more. If you have the opportunity to see it please do - you won't regret it.

Anyways, without further ado, here is the second part of my favorite things from the Spring 2012 One of a Kind Show (if you missed it - here is part 1).


OOAK - Heyday Designs
One of a Kind Show - Heyday Designs
Heyday Designs (Booth E-29) is a line of vintage inspired ceramics made by Claire Madill. The ceramic jars created from molds of vintage mason jars were particular favorites of mine. Sm Dominion jar $38, Sm Imperial jar $48.

OOAK - Eikcam Handmade Ceramicwares
One of a Kind Show - Eikcam Handmade Ceramicwares
Eikcam Handmade Ceramicwares (Booth N-8) are created by Grace Lee. I really liked the little kidney-shaped plates ($28) and the small vase with gold detailing is lovely ($155).  Eikcam on Etsy 

OOAK - Porcelaines Bousquet
One of a Kind Show - Porcelaines Bousquet
Porcelaines Bousquet (Booth E-22) are created by Louise Bousquet and are beautiful in their simplicity. I absolutely adored the serving bowls above - my photo doesn't do them justice. Salad Bowl (large) $144, Fruit bowl (Medium) $120, Vegetable bowl (small) $76


OOAK - Merganzer Furniture
One of a Kind Show  - Merganzer Furniture
Merganzer Furniture (Booth O-09) is designed by Brett Lundy. He creates one of a kind furniture pieces are incredibly interesting. The coffee table above is $700.

OOAK - Studio Liscious
One of a Kind Show - Studio Liscious
Studio Liscious (Booth I-32) is run by Patrick Lajoie (His wife, Mara Minuzzo was featured in Part 1) and he creates wonderful furniture and wood accessories. I came 'this' close to buying those neat little wood blocks ($115 for the set - priced individually) The bench is stunning ($1500) and the twig coat peg racks are neat too (Various prices).  Studio Liscious on Etsy


OOAK - Tat Chao Design
One of a Kind Show - Tat Chao Design
Tat Chao Design (Booth E-5) was an incredibly interesting booth. The candle holders above are made entirely of up-cycled glass which was found at garage sales and thrift stores ($80 each)

OOAK - Larch Wood
One of a Kind Show - Larch Wood
Larch Wood (Booth L-44) is from Nova Scotia, and they create stunning cutting boards out of the Larch Tree. These cutting boards are so beautiful they made me want to become a better cook so I could justify buying myself one. The rectangle board was $160.

OOAk - Monster Factory
One of a Kind Show - Monster Factory
Monster Factory (Booth P-5) I've always been a little partial to stuffed animals, so these adorable monsters had me hooked as soon as I saw them. They each have a name, and come with a character card telling you about the monster (clockwise from top) - Wendy, Mr. Jefferson, and Clarence. Clarence is scared of needles (I have a strong aversion) so he and I bonded a little. The Monsters ranged in price from $35-50.

There were over 400 artisans at the Spring 2012 One of A Kind show, so I've shown you just a tiny little sample of the incredibly talented people who were there. If you didn't get to go to the Spring show the Christmas One of A Kind show will run from November 22 through December 2 at the Direct Energy Center. I know I'll be going.

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