What a week!

October 19, 2012

If you follow me on Intagram you know that last week I was in Ireland - I had planned to share with you some of my pictures, but it’s now Friday and I haven’t even had a chance to look at them myself as it seems like I barely stopped moving all week. Maybe I’ll manage to edit some to share next week.

While this week was busy there were a couple of great things that happened. On Monday I found out that I won the ‘Paint it like new’ giveaway from Vanessa at Decor Happy. I can’t tell you how very excited I am about this. Remember the Kijiji chairs I got early last year? Well, as soon as I decide on some pretty fabric they’re going to get a nice colourful makeover. I think it’s about time I got a move-on with this project given I’ve owned the chairs for almost 2 year.

On Wednesday I went to see ‘Argo’ with D, and I quite enjoyed it. I’m too young to remember the Iranian hostage crisis, but even I know the story was largely fictionalized for an American audience. I found the Wikipedia article 'Canadian Caper', this one by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and this one on 'The Slate' helpful in clearing up a few things.

On Thursday evening a friend and I had the opportunity to head down to Liberty Village to attend the IYellow Wine Club Design Series event being held at the new EQ3 store. It was a fun evening – what’s not to like about checking out some wonderful furniture while sampling some tasty wine and appetizers? Crush VQA was sampling 4 wines and I have to say I rather liked their Riesling-Gewurztraminer – it would go nicely with relaxing on a summer patio, so it’s too bad we’re heading rapidly into fall - drat.

Anyways, here are some of the drool worthy things I spotted last evening (sorry – they were taken with my phone)
EQ3 Reverie two piece sectional in grey
If I didn't already have a sofa I'd be tempted by this one - the Reverie 2 piece sectional
EQ3 Marimekko fabric
I love the bright and colourful Marimekko fabric, and the creative way they used it as wall art
iYellow design series - Crush Riesling with a slider
The second of the two Crush wines I tried (the Riesling) and a tasty slider - one of the yummy appetizers (I'm a bad blogger and forgot the name of the restaurant that provided the food)
EQ3 Tahsis light fixture
Love the EQ3 Tahsis light. I have a very similar one in storage - I should really get around to hanging it in my dining room.
Eames Lounge chair in white leather
The Eames Lounge chair in lovely white leather. In a future home I will have one of these
I think I might have to go back for some of the fabric, and if I'm lucky enough to win the lottery the Eames Lounge chair will be coming home with me too!
*Disclosure - I was given tickets to the IYellow Design Series event at EQ3, however all opinions expressed are solely my own.


I'm 'Sew' excited

October 11, 2012

For my birthday in March of this year, my wonderful aunt and uncle J+ M sent me a little something in the mail so I might get myself something I really wanted. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted – do I buy clothes, or shoes, or a cute piece of jewellery that in all honesty I’ll hardly ever wear ‘cause I never remember to put jewellery on in the morning? (Think I’m exaggerating? – If you looked at any picture of me I’m most likely wearing the same three pieces of jewellery – a watch, pearl stud earrings, and my right-hand ring. It very rarely changes). In the end I settled on something a little more pedestrian, but hopefully long-lasting. I bought myself this:
New Singer Sewing machine
That’s right – a sewing machine. I’ve wanted one for quite a while. In ancient times when I lived in Ottawa I had custody of my mom’s sewing machine, and I made a few things – some tablecloths, two duvet covers with matching pillow cases, and a lovely roman shade. Years passed, and I moved back to Toronto, and then my parents sold my childhood home(sob!) and moved out west, and my mom took her sewing machine with her.

Since then I rarely thought of sewing, that is until I started reading blogs, and seeing all the lovely things people were whipping up in no time with the help of a sewing machine. Be it table cloths, napkins or curtains, the blogosphere is full of wonderful projects, and I want in on the fun (provided of course that the fun only requires stitching a straight line). Okay – I’ll be honest – I dream of one day actually sewing some window coverings which are sadly lacking in my little abode.

Anyways, I bought my little machine, and then it sat unopened in a corner while I tried to come up with a good first project. Preferably an easy one that wouldn’t take too much time, and only required the sewing of straight lines – it’s been a long time since I used a machine at all, and even longer since my last lessons on how to sew in grade 8 home economics.

Enter a closing Fabricland store having a 50% off sale. In all honesty I went in hopes of finding some fabric to make some curtains for my living room or bedroom, but as usually happens I didn’t find anything that screamed ‘make me into curtains’. I did however find some  lovely tea towel fabric which practically jumped up and ran into my arms.

The beauty of buying tea towel fabric is it’s already hemmed on the sides, which means I only had to do two seams on each towel – perfect for a first project, and also a sewer who is LAZY! They had 4 colours, but the red one had some issues with the dye being all over the fabric instead of in the smart stripes down the sides, so I just bought the green, blue and yellow. 
Tea towels with green, blue, and yellow stripes

tea towels hanging on an oven
I won’t bore you with a step by step how to – suffice it to say I folded over the ends twice, pinned, and then made a valiant attempt at sewing a straight line. I was somewhat successful. As I had bought enough to make 2 towels in each colour, I did that 12 times, and voilĂ  – the finished product. 
my improvised pincushion
Now that I’ve got my first project under my belt I have to start looking for some more. In the meantime I’ll also have to consider getting an actual pincushion, because while my solution worked, it’s not the most efficient as I’ll eventually need to wear those socks. Hey – maybe I can sew one! Anyone have any good pincushion projects they’d care to share?

Before & After

My $15 Fall Mantel (Er, Bookcase)

October 03, 2012

On Monday I told you about the fall decorating challenge that has been organised by Jeanette at This Dusty House, and how I was a bad blogger and didn’t get my shopping and planning done on the weekend. Well, yesterday after work (because while I planned on going to the dollar store at lunch I had to go to a meeting instead – drat) I made a mad dash to the dollar store and tried to figure out what I was going to use to decorate my mantel/bookcase. It was HARD!!! It might be because Dollarama had a lot more Halloween items than ‘Fall’, but it’s more likely that I’m not great at trying to decorate on a deadline – I like to think and rethink my decor choices before making a decision (ahem - exhibit A, the chairs I bought over a year and a half ago and haven't touched yet).

Anyways, I picked up a few things at Dollarama, and a few things at my local mom and pop grocer. The rest were items I had at home. Here are the items I used (and yes that's a stuffed bear - I'm a kid at heart, and he's cute):
Fall decor - items I used
And here is my finished fall mantel/bookcase:
Fall decor - $15 decor challenge

Fall decor - gourds in a white bowl

Fall decor - mums wrapped in brown paper

fall decor - maple leaves
And the total cost of my foray into fall decorating? Here’s the breakdown:
  • Brown paper (to wrap the mums)– owned
  • Twine (to wrap the mums)– Dollarama – $1
  • Candles – Dollarama – $1
  • Candleholder – owned
  • White bowl – owned
  • Gourds – Local grocer – 2 for $1 = $3
  • Mums – Local Grocer – $3
  • Fall leaves – Dollarama – $1 x 2 strands = $2
  • Apothecary jar – Owned
  • Mirror – Owned
  • Bear with pumpkin – Dollarama – $1
I’m not quite sure how I managed to only spend $11 as I was absolutely positive I was going to blow my $15 budget. Maybe it helped that the surface I chose to decorate is fairly small so I couldn’t do a lot with it. What do you think? Was I somewhat successful in this challenge, or should I steer clear of all seasonal decorating from now on?

Don’t forget to see what the other bloggers participating in the challenge were able to do – click on the links below to visit their blogs.

Before & After

The $15 fall Decor Challenge (Oh-oh - What Have I Gotten Myself into?)

October 01, 2012

Fall to me means some good things - Thanksgiving, Halloween, turkey, Pumpkin pie, and some bad - cold, rain and, even though it no longer applies to me, back to school (And no, it hasn’t escaped me that all the things I like about fall are food related). Fall is not my favourite season – that honour goes to spring, so it’s not one I really celebrate which means it’s very interesting to me to see fall being celebrated with such gusto all over the blogospere. Some people take their fall decorating quite seriously.

At my old apartment I used to hang wreaths (or other decorative stuff) on my door to mark different seasons, but that can’t be done in my current building, so I’ve kind of lost my seasonal decorating mojo. That’s about to change.

Last week the lovely Jeannette from This Dusty House put a call out on Twitter for some blog friends to join her in a little challenge. The challenge (if we chose to accept) was to decorate a space within our homes for fall with $15 of items we found from dollarstores, thrift stores, or other store where fall decor items are widely available for a few dollars. A lovely group of bloggers bravely took up Jeannette’s challenge, and here they are:
One major problem with the challenge is I don’t have a mantel which (other than front doors) is what I think most people decorate seasonally. A few emails back and forth between the participating bloggers showed me that I wasn’t the only one, so I’ve decided that the best mantel stand-in I have is my bookcase. Here it is in all it’s non decorated glory:

Bookcase top with temple rubbing and books
My fall 'mantel' before
I was going to be a good girl and go shopping on the weekend to get all my provisions, but stuff came up and I haven’t yet ventured to a dollarstore so I have no idea what I’m going to do. We will all be presenting our masterpieces to the world on Wednesday. After checking out their posts about the challenge today I can see that I’m a bit behind, so I have to get my act together tomorrow. Wish me luck!

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