April 30, 2010

Cool stuff I’m diggin’

Thought I’d do a quick post with some cool stuff that I’m diggin’ at the moment…

iittallia Origo Orange Bowl

Sundeep at Designwali had a giveaway a few weeks ago. And I was the lucky winner!! There were three items to choose from, and I chose the iittallia Origo Orange Bowl. I love the bright colours, and it’s the perfect addition to our kitchen :-) Thank you, Sundeep!! :-)


NES Jewelry

I always hit the craft shows when they come to Ottawa. A couple of weeks ago was the Originals Spring Craft Sale. There were a lot of new artisans and booths this year, and one that caught my eye was the NES booth. NES is Nikaline and Sybelle, and they make really funky jewelry — they call their style “urban organic”. I could have bought a bunch of pieces, but I narrowed it down to a ring and a necklace:

nes 1

Amenity Home

I’ve been wanting to buy something from Amenity Home for a few years — and I finally did it :-) I couldn’t pass up their recent sale, so I bought a linen cushion in the Wildflower pattern — regular price is $70 and it was on sale for $15 :-) It’s going to go on the bed in the master bedroom, because the 9 cushions I already have on the bed isn’t quite enough ;-)

amenity cushion

Lisa Leonard Designs

A little while ago I discovered Lisa Leonard Designs through a blog giveaway. I didn’t win the giveaway, but I just had to have one of Lisa’s beautiful necklaces. And it was an easy choice — her beautiful Illuminate necklace with the image of a chandelier and a crystal bead :-)

sparkle 2

I’m also diggin’ the orange tulips in our front garden…

tulip 1

And this beautiful wallpaper from Graham & Brown


Thanks to my friend Lisa at Lisa Goulet Design for the inspiration :-) Check back soon to see what I did with this wallpaper…

Happy weekend!!

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April 29, 2010

It’s a Pirate’s Life!

I’d like to introduce you to our beautiful cat Scotty!


Like a cat will be, he’s quite a funny character! Scotty’s joie de vivre has us laughing at his antics and loving him wholeheartedly. We call our yard “Scotland’s Yard”, and believe me he owns it! (BTW: that would make my house “Queen” Victoria’s House; better known as Windsor Castle!). He loves me well enough, but he LOVES Brian more and seeks his lap every time he saunters into the living room. If he’s not on Brian’s lap, he’s laying upside down somewhere – on a chair, on the floor, on the sidewalk… any surface works just fine as Scotty’s bed! When he’s on the floor like in the photo to the right (below), he won’t move an inch when we approach – we have to walk over or around the lug!!


Xmas 2008 11One Christmas he was determined to join the family for dinner; he took my seat at his first opportunity (I was off to get more much-needed gravy!) and, except when I took his photo, he stared at the turkey on my plate with relish ~ eyes and nose inches away! MMMMM!!

When ever we’re trudging away in the yard, he’s out DSC02478there with us “supervising” our work. The moment we stop doing whatever we’re doing, he runs over meowing and flops down at our feet. He gets a few pats and then takes off back to his perch to watch us some more – we take that as our cue to get back to work!

Oh… and how could I almost forget?! He prefers his water from the fridge dispenser with ice in it. It’s hilarious! Every time I go to get a glass of ice water, he’ll come charging into the kitchen (off of Brian’s lap if he must!) and he’ll sit patiently by the fridge door until I pour him some, too. Yes… he wants it in a glass so the ice floats. What a weirdo kitty!! ;-)

DSC00564Poor Scotty has been through some traumatic times, too.

One time was when we had the vet shave off all of his thick luxurious fur because it was matted with burrs. He WAS NOT impressed! Although he discovered that pets felt soooo much better close to his sensitive skin!! He was so wonderfully funny looking!!

The other bad time in Scotty’s life was NOT as funny. Some nutcase in our neighbourhood DSC00807(we never discovered who – could have been someone passing by) decided to grab him by his tail and not let go… the result was a broken spine at the base of his tail, and that meant amputation. What a tough time for him!! And as you can imagine, we were extremely upset!

But true to his life-loving and adventurous nature, Scotty just continued to have fun!

So why am I sharing Scotty tales with you (you’ll pardon the pun?)?

Because our silly Scotty is a pirate-hoarder!

Here… take a look at this:


These are Scotty and Shelby’s food bowls… AND Scotty’s stash. He takes twist ties, plastic bread-bag clips, strips of stuff like shoelaces & weather striping, dried twigs and leafs that he drags in from outside (it’s funny to see him at the door with a leaf in his mouth, waiting to be let in so he can add his new-found treasure to his collection!), and he brings them here to his bowls. He really, really likes dropping his treasures IN to a food bowl, like the leather shoelace above right.

Practicing good pirate security, Scotty keeps his treasure in 2 food-bowl locations.

X marks the spots!!

Fortunately for Scotty, Shelby (who has her own individual quirks, like happily pressing my fabric for me when I was making my pillows!) doesn’t mind sharing her food bowl with his junk. Ahem. I mean gold bullion!

Don’t judge us (LOL!!)… but it’s probably safe to say that we’re enablers of Scotty’s hoarding activity (bad us!!); rarely do we intervene by removing items from his stash zone or take any other action to curb his pirate behaviour… like picking up enticing tidbits we “accidently” drop on the floor!! And yes, when I clean the kitchen floor I work around any items lovely left… and when I’m cleaning bowls I generally put twist ties and such back in the bottom before placing the bowls on the floor… or I’ll “drape” a longer string ever so carefully half in and half out of his bowl in an attempt to re-create the treasure-trove scene! See… enabling!! ;-)

DSC02629In fact, his hoarding activities have become such a common place occurrence that we generally don’t take much notice except to smile when we fill the cats’ bowls.

Last week though (and the whole reason I’m sharing Scotty Tales with you now), when I was making my new dining room drapery, he had me laughing and grabbing my camera! You see, I had cut off some excess lining and left the long piece sitting on the living room floor (my “work table”, if you’ll remember!). Moments later – not even 5 DSCF0433minutes - Scotty came strutting in the front door, walked right up to the enticing bit of treasure and, without any hesitation, picked it up and started to drag it – between his legs, trailing about 2 feet behind him – to his little stash zone! He stopped along the way to flop down beside his find and pose for a photo, possessively keeping his piece of lining close at paw. You know… just in case someone wanted to pull it and wiggle it around for him to snatch and bite!!

What a KOOK!

Of course once he’d deposited the lining-strip into his bowl, he had to have a bite to eat! The life of a pirate takes a lot of energy!!





We LOVE our pets!!

Do you have pets that make you laugh and bring you joy?


I’m dedicating this look at Scotty’s pirate, treasure-seeking life to his best friend, Simon. We lost Simon just before Christmas, weeks away from his 12th birthday, and we miss him terribly!!



April 27, 2010

Sarah buys the farm

Don’t panic all you Sarah fans — Sarah bought the farm literally, not figuratively!! On this season of Sarah’s House, Sarah and Tommy are making over a farm house.

sarah tommy

On last week’s episode, Sarah and Tommy each decorated a kid’s bedroom in the new addition. So far, these are my two favourite rooms in the house.

Here’s the boy’s room designed by Tommy (with some help from Sarah). The barn board on the ceiling is a nice touch — it adds character and texture, and brings a bit of “old” into the new addition that houses these two bedrooms.

boys room 1

Check out the hanging pocket on the side of the bed. Great idea for holding books and midnight snacks :-)

boys room 2

boys room 3

And Sarah designed the girl’s bedroom. Love this shot looking into the bedroom…

girls room entry

See the square white cushions on the bed?? They were made from old blankets that Sarah found in the house. A nice way to tie in the old house with the new house.

girls room 1

The shape of the headboard echoes the peak of the ceiling. Sarah designed it, and it’s called Robin — which just happens to be the name of Sarah’s older daughter :-)

girls room 2

girls room 3

If you want to know where Sarah and Tommy shopped for the two rooms, you can check out the shopping guide.

Have you been watching season 3 of Sarah’s House?? What’s your favourite room so far??

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April 25, 2010

A dining room in need of drapery!

I got an email today from my blog partner Kelly saying I got nuthin’ for a Monday post (considering she carries our blog with her phenomenal posts, that’s totally OKAY!) and she went on to suggest that I share my new finally-finished drapery with our DesignTies readers!

Yes! They’re done!!


But nope… I’m not sharing them with you!!

How bad am I?! Well… the reason I’m not sharing today is because I have some DSCF0453patchwork to do in first. You see, back when we were renovating our bedroom we used our dining room as our temporary sleeping quarters… and that meant hanging drapery for privacy. The rod – and hardware - that we use for the bedroom drapes however are different from the rod & hardware purchased for the dining room drapes. So… before I can hang (and hem) our newly-made-by-me(!!) drapes, I have to sand and paint over Brian’s patches so that he can hang the rod.

In anticipation for the big drapery reveal (coming to DesignTies soon!) I thought I’d share our dining room’s transformation – you know, to help you visualize just how fantastic the drapes are going to look in the wonderful room that Brian built for me…with direction from moi, of course! ;-)

Let’s start with the BEFORE:

Here’s our dining room posing as a make-shift kitchen. We made all of our easy at-home meals – or dished out yummy take-out - in this room while our kitchen was being remodelled. The drapery and lace sheers (the white bit you see) came with the house and were UGLY! Oh… and the wall colour was UGLY! And the chandelier… not pretty at all (really).

[07Dec26] Temporary Kitchen 2

Our little house didn’t actually have a dining room… this room was originally supposed to be a bedroom. See…

New Beem

In this photo I’m standing in our kitchen area - the door on the left leads to our “dining room” and the door to the right to our living room. To make this a real dining room – and to open up our spaces a little more for better flow – we blew these doorways OUT!


At the same time, we were tearing out all the lath & plaster from the walls and ceiling! What a huge and messy job!!


Once the room was gutted, and the great archway in place, we built a new interior wall. You see… we were stealing 2 feet of this room and giving it to the bedroom next door. You can see the wall leading from one edge of the new archway in this photo below, with the old wall in behind (it came down later):


Next… we replaced the window.

You know… climbing the front stairs that first day we viewed the house I saw this window and KNEW that I wanted this house. I loved the simple leaded glass! Of course upon closer inspection we realized that it just couldn’t be kept – it was cracked and so badly painted shut that it would never open. So out it came and we replaced it with a window that I happen to love even more!!


Now that the new wall, window and archway were in place, and the walls were snuggly insulated (no insulation originally!), it was time to put everything back together. Our house was built in 1939 and we definitely wanted to create that sense of character you find in older homes. You’ll have to tell me if we did!

Drywall and our new chandelier…


Shaped forms in the archway’s corners… plastered…


Simple wainscotting was installed around the room and the trim around the window was inspired by a local Craftsman style house we love…



I painted the room one of my favourite colours – orange (Benjamin Moore’s “Bronze Tone”) – with BM’s Cloud White for all the trim and wainscotting.

To give the ceiling a little more interest I asked Brian to create a coffered look for me. He accomplished this look with strips of wood that he glued and screwed to the ceiling… framed up with a simple crown moulding. The shape of the “beams” were inspired by the mullions in the window. I painted the ceiling in BM’s Sandy Brown, but haven’t yet painted the ceiling trim – bad me!! It’ll be Cloud White, too.


The little piano window in the side wall really wasn’t very special. We considered replacing it with one that matched the casement window you see above, but decided to leave it. Instead, I created a faux leaded glass look instead. I wrote all about this particular project here. It looks great and I love it!!

Piano Window

And here’s what my dining room looks like today (except imagine white patch-smudges above the window!! Ha!). It’ll look fantastic with my new drapes!!


I wish… I could purchase a new dining room table! Brian is my financial conscience and he tells me we have too many projects to complete first. One day!!

Here’s a photo that shows you just how fantastic our new archway works for the room… scroll back to the beginning of this post for a reminder of what it looked like before!!


Oh ya! It’ll look spectacular with my new drapes!!


Funky Junk


This post is being shared with readers from Funky Junk; Donna hosts a wonderful blog party!!. If you’ve come from Donna’s place – welcome!! Now… be sure to make your way back to Funky Junk to see all the other lovely home decor, DIY, crafts, sewing and scrumptious food photos & recipies being showcased in this weeks’ Saturday Nite Specials!!

Thanks for dropping by… and be sure to return soon to see my drapes HUNG!