Thursday, September 29, 2011

Temporary Fix to Ugly Tiles...

One room hasn't been shown, and that is our Master Bathroom. Let me show you what we started with.  It was yellow and pretty gross. The following photos were from when we walked through the house right after buying the house + are with the previous owners stuff. I honestly look back at these pictures and think we were pretty brave for taking this house on...

Awesome eh? But we had no room in our budget to replace anything. We were faced with a dilemma. What was a way that we could update the bathroom temporarily and inexpensively, to help us hold off on doing any renovations. I also wanted a nicer bath, as I love my baths. So, our fix paint!

 We hired someone to come refinish our tub, and at the same time, paint the yellow tiles.
It was a temporary fix that cost us $1,000. It was money well spent as since them I've been able to enjoy baths and feel as though our bathroom is somewhat appealing. 

But here is the flip side. With any temporary fix, there is that word temporary. The bathtub is showing signs of wear and the paint is chipping in certain spots. We are doing everything in our power to extend the life of our little bathroom. The two rooms, our Kitchen, and Master Bath are the only 2 rooms we never touched, and, the two rooms that are showing MAJOR wear. Aubrey actually said to me "It would make sense to do the bathroom at the same time as the kitchen." to which I freaked out at the idea of TWO renos going on. (Not a good freak out, but panic freak out!) So we kind of have two renovations that we are researching now....Give me strengh.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

16 months

Oscar is 16 months tomorrow. I am rather shocked when articles make reference to my "toddler". Surely they are mistaken. I can't believe he is a toddler.

He's at the stage where he is asserting his opinion. Like refusing to allow me to put pants on him.(Hence the missing pants above) or deciding half way through our walk that the stroller is not the mode of transportation he wants - so he starts to whip toys out from the stroller and I know that a meltdown will soon follow. I end up carrying him home to avoid nice old lady neighbours commenting that "The pour child is likely hungry*". (Um, no. He is not hungry, he is just super pissed off at me because I won't let him run into the street...But thank you for your help)

But as quick as he is to turn red and throw himself against a couch in protest to something, he is just as quick to run over with a book and snuggle. He wakes up with me up by putting a toy lion in my face and with a little voice says "ROOOOAR". He's loving the vintage Fisher Price toys I've picked up at Value Village and also on Etsy, where I found this awesome Fisher Price train.

I wanted to say that many of you have commented on my Oscar posts sometimes, offering comforting words. You may not know they are comforting, but to know that for example sleep issues are just at our house, makes everything seem "normal".

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Framed Bow Ties

Did you see Steven + Chris today? Look what project they did... Framed Bow Ties in Ikea Frames! Maybe one of my favourite Designing Duos* saw Oscar's Bow Tie?? :) Love those two.

*Sarah and Tommy are obvioulsy the other Design Duo that we all love!

Monday, September 26, 2011

A lovely weekend

I went to my cousins wedding on Saturday night. Apart from being a gorgeous evening, the event was adult only affair. I'm not unfamiliar with "adult only" weddings - we made our wedding adult only aswell (young babies who needed their Mommies came, but no toddlers). Oscar needs one of us at home at night* so Aubrey took one for the team and I attended the event with my immediate family. .It was such a nice time. It was a different event (for me) having no child.

My Dad asked me to dance, my sister, Mom and I boogied on the dance floor, and I had amazing conversations with my brother and his awesome girlfriend.  I even got to come home with one of the gorgeous centerpieces thanks to a mutual friend and bridesmaid (Hi Courtenay!) who helped make sure I could have one. Not having little Oscar there, I ate at a regular pace had some lovely conversations with those I love. And although I wouldn't change the food being thrown at me at home, it's definitely nice to have a night out with just adults.

*Why didn't we get a babysitter? Oscar is not an easy "bedtime" child, and also sometimes wakes a lot during an evening. We have to go in and help him get back to sleep. So, an event like this we devided and conquer. He's getting better at sleep but for now, we don't want him to wake to someone else and really freak out!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Basement, Completely Done

Exciting news - The basement is 100% done. All I needed to do was pay some attention to adding extra detail and hanging some art to get me to the finish line. And although the entire basement is considered as my workspace + studio, the space naturally divided itself into sections.  This was probably our biggest DIY of all, having broken up the concrete ourselves, replacing the drains, moving plumbing, it took a whole 6 months. I thought a proper showcase of the finished space would be a nice way to close the door on the design process for this space.

My DIY Desk is still going strong. Coming in at around $300 for the project, it really is one of my favourite DIYs. The baskets on the Ikea units acts as drawers, keeping useful things like camera cords, stamps, personal stationery. In this area there are actually 3 bulletin boards (1, 2 having their own blog posts) - and - all different sizes. But I upholstered them all in the same fabric to give them a unified look. Bulletin boards are a necessity in my life, as it helps me be creative.

2. Work TableBehind my DIY Desk and Computer is my IKEA Table where I put together orders and  pack + get orders prepped for mailing. The table height is much taller than my desk - a great height for crafting. On the shelves I keep packing materials organized in handy clear boxes to see what is inside. Running an online shop requires a lot of little things, so organization is really key in my space.

3. Lounge I love this area as I think it will be a spot where Oscar can come chill when he is older. With a casual couch covered in a slipcover, and wall mounted TV  - it is the perfect space to take a break from work. Unique artwork hangs in this area - I've framed my art that I sell in my shop, as well as pieces like Oscar's first bow tie, and also his awesome moustache on a stick that was wandering around the house looking for a home. Instead of it getting lost, I framed it. New pillows and a great coffee table make this space comfy.

Little Nook By the stairs to the main floor I fit a little vintage desk, where we've put Aubrey's laptop. Aubrey needed a space to work, so this area was perfect as it is separate from my space. This desk was $25 and I updated it by painting it white and adding in new knobs. For seating, you may recognize this chair as the same as in our dining room. Since we had 2 extra chairs from the dining room we put one down here for Aubrey - and if we need it for a dinner party we bring it back upstairs.

There are other areas down here that are worth mentioning. Our Washroom, and Washer + Dryer area. There you have it. A few unique awesome spaces developed over the course of decorating this area. It is kind of nice to look around and not have blank walls that keep screaming for something to be on them. And it is the perfect space to be creative. For those of you just joining my blog --- this is what we started with....

I am sooo proud of this space. And the fact that we did it 99% all on our own, is kind of crazy. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What we did today

The film crew came this morning at 9am and at 4:15pm we were waving goodbye. It was a long day, especially when you factor in managing a one year old. Aubrey actually did the most of that, but as a Mom you're always not too far removed. ;) One funny thing happened -  just before the filming at the house started, the postwoman handed me my new pillow cases! I bought them for the couch in the basement as the final touch. I love, love stripes (My wardrobe is right now 1/2 stripes) so it is no surprise that my decor is the same. (Take a look at the runner I chose for our stairs)

Between takes, Oscar and I read Brown Bear, Brown Bear on the couch one of his favourite books that was given to him by my Mom. All in all, quite a lovely day. I'll post more pictures in a bit. Right now I'm going to go curl up on the couch, watch TV and not talk. I'm all talked out. :)

Pillow covers by Milk & Cookies Canada.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Snot Sucker, Tool for Parents

Oscar has had his first cold right now. :( Poor little guy has a runny stuffy nose which makes it hard for him to sometimes sleep. The problem with baby colds is that they don't know how to blow their nose, and as a parent you want to help them. Which is where Nose Aspirators come in -  They help you suck the snot out. My friend Erin told me about the Nose Frida (also known as the Snot Sucker.) And it has been a lifesaver. To see how it works, I'm going to encourage you to visit the Snotsucker website to get the jist of it, but I can tell you it is THE best tool to have. Add this one to your "must buy" list. xo Linds

Monday, September 19, 2011

Updating a regular bulletin board

I love bulletin boards in my studio. I like to tear things out of magazines for inspiration and have them in front of me. Patterns and colours I see in home decor and fashion magazines help inspire not only my home, but my stationery.

Although I like bulletin boards, the cork colour isn't my favourite. So the same night I updated the bulletin board on the opposite wall, I wrapped this board with the same canvas (the same as we made a tent out of!) This board had a frame that made it the perfect contender for some nail head detail.  So this is what I started with...

And I updated it to this...

SUPER easy.
I stapled the canvas over the bulletin board using my desk stapler. Lots of awesome tutorials out there on that but really, you stretch the fabric and staple. Done.

Next, I wanted to make it more finished so I decided to do nail heads. I had heard that upholstery nail head detailing came on "trim". It is quick, and easy. The way that this  trim works is that it nail heads (with no pins) come on a piece of "trim". Every 5th nail is a hole, you punch in a "matching" nailhead that has a a tack that holds the trim in place, and it is supposed to blend in. I searched EVERYWHERE for this and finally had to buy it sight unseen from the manufacturer in Toronto. Total cost for this, $30 + shipping.

Problem is. The stupid "Matching Nails" that are every fifth spot didn't match! Want to see the proof, look at the picture below. The best spot to look is the top row. How on earth can they sell it like this? Bah. So mad. I think my exact words when I saw it was "You've GOT to be kidding me". Even though they didn't match I tried to see if it would work. Nope.

In an ode to Tim Gun I said to myself "Make it work". I bought some silver paint and tried to paint the little matching heads to blend in. Looked awful. I then cut pieces off the trim and glue gunned the nice looking pewter heads over the discoloured. But the problem is, the ones I glue gunned we're higher than the rest so, well, they still stood out. I threw my hands up. The easy route of this trim was not for me.

So, I went to MacFab here in Toronto, where they had a HUGE selection of nails and bought 500 individual nails and...

It is a little hard, and requires some concentration to put each one in in a straight line but I had a natural guide of the frame. Even still, any variation in the angle I put one in, could throw the whole look. But I'm really happy at how it looks...

Love it. Probably also because it reminds me of my beloved Colette Bed.

(And pssst, you can see the start of a matching project on the other wall)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Having a deadline to finish decorating...

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Today Aubrey and I celebrated our 7th Wedding Anniversary. We had a nice quiet dinner, very low key. Just the way I like it. :) I spent the weekend trying to finish random projects that in my studio. I have a  bit of a deadline because a TV crew* is coming Wednesday to film my studio. A lot of unfinished projects started accumulating, so having a crew come has been a definite motivator to just get things finished.

So, one change is, is that I changed the art above the couch so now I have an IKEA Ribba picture ledge with some of my favourite art.I love the relaxed feel of these picture ledges, but the only downfall is, is that it doesn't hold really big art. (It falls over). I was kind of bummed because I was looking forward to having big frames on it. That being said, I quite like how it looks.

 A few other changes have almost been completed, fingers crossed I can get them all done by Wednesday morning. Totally excited to show you though because I think I needed the deadline to just get it done. :) They pro

*And yes, I'm freaking out about the TV crew.

Friday, September 16, 2011

little changes

A lot of little changes are happening around here, some DIY projects in the studio/basement are coming together, but aren't yet complete. But another change that I have yet to tell you about is that Oscar has been out of his crib for some time now. Crib is gone, and he is on his own little mattress on the floor in his room. But here is the funny thing....he actually never slept in the crib. He always slept with me. I hadn't intended to be a co-sleeping family but it just worked out that way. But, I was wanting my own bed back and so since August he's been transitioning to his own bed in his room. And it's super cute. So where his crib used to be is now his rocker.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bulletin Board Revamp

I had a burst of creative energy the other night in my office and did a lot of projects to try to give this space  a cohesive look. One change I did was to my huge bulletin board that rests on my cutting/work space desk in my studio. [Blogged about here, and here]. It never got hung because I never really loved it. So here was the "before"....

And the After....

I painted it out white, and added some fabric to soften up the cork board. Now, I'm not going to lie. I felt ill as I touched white paint to the gold frame.  I was exhausted that night and debated whether I was in the right mind to be making creative choices. This was what was going through my mind as I painted ... "Was it going to look "Shabby Chic"? I really don't like shabby chic.I hope it's not too shabby chic. Maybe I'm ok with Shabby Chic". 

So deliriously I just did it - something I likely wouldn't have done if I wasn't a bit loosey goosey from exhaustion. But I love it. Although it *can* be shabby chic it does a better job of blending into my decor than it previously did. It was too dark for the basement and it was too ornate to put anywhere else in my house. (The fabric is actually the same that I used in this project) Sometimes you just have to try something. And I'm glad I did - I love it in the studio. It is softer, and allows other things to stand out. Next up, we have to hang it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How do you find inspiration?

At the last Design Blogger Meetup, Tommy Smythe gave a presentation to the crowd showing pictures from a recent trip he and Sarah Richardson took overseas. One of the lessons he wanted to share was that he and Sarah took photos of the lovely architecture and scenes to provide themselves inspiration for future room designs. That story had a lasting impression on me and I also realized that what he did for his interior decorating wasn't far off what I do for looking for inspiration for stationery design. You realize that as a creative you turn to many different things to inspire.

For example, one photo that I snapped on my blackberry inspired a good portion of my new collection for The Penny Paper Co.  I was walking home from Starbucks with Oscar and as I approached the school near our house I noticed on this day, that the chain link fence had a lovely pattern - It looked like tear drops and  had a Moroccan vibe. I have walked by this chain link fence hundreds of times, but it was on this day that the pattern stood out. I took out my blackberry and snapped a (bad) photo of it and e-mailed it to myself.

It was the inspiration for some stationery.

I sometimes miss school for this reason - learning how to look at things in different ways. You were forced to try new things, push your boundaries. I often debate going back to school to get back into thinking creatively in different ways.

Anyhow, sometimes it's fun to see how people get inspired. And although I still turn to magazines and blogs as my main source of inspiration for the home, you can see that inspiration for certain things can be in the unlikeliest of places.

Top Photo: By Leah Kirin from Forever Moments

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tea Drinkers

During the day I'm a coffee drinker. Love, love my coffee. But in the evening nothing beats a nice cup of tea. Have you ever noticed that tea it tastes better when someone else makes it for you? Aubrey makes me a cup at night, a little ritual I adore. I've been drinking it more at night, curled up on the couch, playing on my ipad. I'm a fan of the basic flavours, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Orange Pekoe.

However as much as I adore my "regular" flavours I got to try some "fancy" flavours when I got to go to the Gemini Award Gift Lounge last week and tried a flavour by David's Tea - Movie Night . It's a popcorn tea and it actually is quite warm and sweet, a lovely tea for a cold night. Because it's no fun drinking alone (I do realize that is usually applicable to a different drink) I arranged a little giveaway*. Enter to win a Harvest Tin from David's Tea of your choice Pumpkin Chai, Mom's Apple Pie, or Carrot Cake. And heck, wouldn't you want to try a TEA that tastes like carrot cake?

To Enter: Tell me - Do you like tea? Are you a fan of the simple flavours like I am, or have you been exposed to other flavours? Open To: David's Tea will ship to anyone in North America.
Ends Friday September 16th

* I didn't receive anything in return for this post. At the gift lounge I got to taste the tea, and take a sample of the Movie Night Tea home.


Comments closed. Winner will be picked soon by someone outside our blog. :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

What didn't get blogged about...

Here are the things that didn't make it into posts this week but that I'd love to share with you.
I was also blogging over here...
Have a great weekend!

xo Lindsay
[*Repeat of this post, accidentally got posted twice]

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Doing a reno for resale, but also for enjoyment

Although I'm bummed we can't afford a kitchen reno right now, I'm taking great delight in planning what our kitchen "could" be. Why I am focusing on this kitchen reno idea? Taking out the emotion of loving the house, it boils down to resale. Although we're not moving any time soon, we will likely move one day.

You see, we've improved the entire rest of the house with the exception of our Master Bathroom. Not doing the kitchen will be a glaring "to-do" for buyers and in my mind, devalue the rest of our investment. [We brought in a local real estate agent who confirmed that thought].

But then there is the enjoyment factor. I'd like to do the reno so we can actually enjoy the kitchen, instead of doing it for someone else. I hate thinking resale because it makes you think it's not your home. But it is our home and I'd love to enjoy the "new" kitchen as well as know it was a solid investment.

Aub and I have no idea how much it would cost us. You see numbers floating around of costs but until we actually hunker down and do spread sheets of expenses we're not sure what we're in for.  So Aubrey and I are on board to start researching and planning. Therefore, we're educated and prepared and know a good deal when we see one. Right now the kitchen table is filled with papers of measurements and magazines as we casually look over designs and talk about our wish list. It's kind of nice not having the money to do it right now because there is no pressure. So here is what we're doing...

1. Looking for inspiration. The kitchen in Style at Homes March 2008 by Margot Austin is one I've always had in mind, as it is a small (like ours). Done primarily in IKEA it's something that would be awesome to do.

2. Researching Appliances for a small space. Something I hadn't been prepared for is figuring out appliances as they dictate cabinetry. Did I mention our dishwasher is leaking? So not only is our fridge on the brink of blowing up, our dishwasher is about to join it.

3. Measuring the space. It's good to have the dimensions so we can start researching cabinet sizes, counters, sinks. Oh, well, everything. So Aubrey went through and measured the whole kitchen and I'm translating that into a nicely drawn drawing on the computer.

I know. Pretty boring but all in all kind of fun. Like I said, no pressure because we know we can't do it right now but it means that we can take our time researching and in the end, be prepared. If you did a kitchen reno how long did it take you to plan? Did it cost more than you thought? Any advice to bestow upon us?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No Sew Tent

I have had an obsession with teepee's and I really wanted to get one for Oscar. Buying one turned out to be  expensive , and the DIY method seemed difficult [I don't own a sewing machine]. So I was kind of bummed we wouldn't have one. A few weeks ago, I happened across this post on the blog "Cakies" where Rubyellen made an A-Frame tent. Although her version was 99% perfect, her version still required sewing. So I modified her idea to be a no sew alternative to a teepee and her A-Frame idea. And this is what I made....

I LOVE it. So it's REALLY easy to do. (And so does Oscar as you can see above.) Before I get into my instructions, if you do decide to tackle this project you should see Rubyellens step by step as it is awesome. So my version of the project is broken in to 3 Parts [1] The Frame [2] The Cover and [3] Bunting Flag.

Read more after the jump

Monday, September 5, 2011

Etsy Shop: Pigeon Toe Ceramics

I've been browsing Etsy a lot lately. It's like your own personal "One of a Kind Show" online. I love buying unique quality items with the click of a button. The downside to Etsy is that there are so many shops which makes it hard sometimes to find the good stuff. One way I find new shops is that I rely on the "Suggested Shops" feature in my Etsy account. They provide me a list of shops that they think I may like, based on my favourites already.

One little shop that just came on my radar is Pigeon Toe Ceramic. I hearted about 5 things in a matter of 1 minute. I've been collecting ideas for gifts for birthdays and the Holidays coming up. The simplicity of the white ceramic with the burst of colour on the inside is classic -yet modern.

Items: Top Photo, Clockwise from Top Left: Scan Birdhouse, $120Rope Birdfeeder $72Folder Salt & Pepper CellarsMini Creamer $20  Bottom Photo: Mason Jar Votive Lantern, $36

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Method Cleaning Products +

It's almost the weekend. Yippee! Well. I don't really have weekends like you. Because Aubrey works weekends. But happy early weekend to all of you! To end the week here is a little post about a nice shopping experience I had. Because it's nice to highlight the good companies, don't you agree?

Last week I saw a tweet by @SimplyFrugal  saying that there was a Method  sale over on a website called I headed on over to check it out. You see, I LOVE Method products, but what got me to order was that offers free shipping in Canada. So I ordered, and a few days later [like super quick] my order arrived and I'm now using, and loving my Method cleaning products.

Now, my US friends you may not get the big deal but here in Canada we get shafted on shipping rates a lot. Website that do ship to Canada - always seem to charge. But more often than not, most US website don't ship to us. It's such a bummer. So to find a site that does, and it's no strings attached is pretty newsworthy in my life. So that is all. Just telling you about it. Because I love cleaning and I love myself a good story on how to save money. (Follow @SimplyFrugal, and shop at stores that offer FREE shipping)

* does have a referral program as you can read about here but I'm not doing that, so you don't have to click on any links or mention my name. I just like spreading the word on good companies.

a quiet moment in the morning...

Oscar, 15 months
The above photos were taken a few mornings ago when I was feeding Oscar cheerios with a big spoon. He grabbed the spoon from my hand, and proceeded to feed himself. I grabbed my camera and snapped the process of him putting the spoon in the bowl and successfully getting cherrios into his mouth. I just let him do it, and watched quietly as he figured it all out. I won't lie - There was a pang of sadness as it was an obvious indication that he's growing up. But that was overshadowed by my excitement that he is learning, and wants to try to do things on his own.