July 29, 2010

Round-up of really good stuff (and some thank yous too)

Normally, I have a plan when I write a blog post. I search the Internet for pictures (hello Google, why did you mess with the image search?? ARGH!!), go through my inspiration folders, and depending on the topic, I’ll do some research. And then I put it all together and voila, blog post.

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But today, I’m just going to wing it, because I‘ve found some really good stuff this week that I want to share, and I just don’t have the time to sort it all out. And I have some thank yous to send out too :-)

I want to live in a beach house

Not just any beach house. THIS beach house. It was posted over at CreateGirl earlier this week. It’s the Ocean Breezes beach house in New Hampshire. It was designed by TMS Architects, and it’s GORGEOUS. The exterior is beyond exquisite…


And the interior… breathtaking!! That’s a little body of water called the Atlantic Ocean out the window… LOVE THAT VIEW!!!


I’m absolutely in love with this dining room, especially the amazing window.


This kitchen would make me want to cook and wash dishes all day and all night!!


I don’t know if I’d be able to sleep in this bedroom, I’d just want to sit and look out at the ocean all day and night!!


If you want to see more—and I don’t know why you wouldn’t!!—go to the TMS Architects web site and scroll through the residential projects till you find Ocean Breezes. Also check out CreateGirl’s post, Lovelace Interiors, and photographer Rob Karosis.

New designer crush

Yesterday over at theLENNOXX, I discovered the amazing interior design work of Kathleen Hay. I’m totally hooked on this gorgeous dining room, especially the chairs. Notice how she’s used three different fabrics, and the nail head trim is perfection. The chandelier and fireplace and scones and accessories are pretty awesome too!!

fave DR

One common theme to Kathleen’s work is “go big or go home”. Check out the huge pieces of pottery on this dining table:

DR green chairs pottery

And the glass bottles on the kitchen counter. Not to mention the FOUR chandeliers and TWO islands!!


I just love the architectural details like the coffered ceiling in this living room…

coffered ceiling

And the “grid” walls in this dining room…

DR grid walls  DR large mirror grid

Kathleen uses the same grid detailing on the wall behind the bed in this beautiful bedroom. Notice how the headboard, bookshelves, and side tables are incorporated into one piece.

bedroom grid

The same technique is used in this beautiful blue bedroom, where the bed, headboard, side tables, and cabinet at the end of the bed create one big piece of furniture. And speaking of big, check out the HUGE shell on the headboard!!

built in blue bedroom

Big clocks rock!

Susan from Between Naps on the Porch wrote this article at Houzz about big wall clocks. I LOVE big wall clocks!!

big clock houzz

Susan’s article reminded me of my fave picture of a big wall clock from Things That Inspire. Not only does the clock rock, but the grid wall and windows and staircase are fab too!!

big clock things that inspire

A couple more awesome big clocks from Things That Inspire…

big clock amydmorris things that inspire

big clock things that inspire 2

You can see more beautiful clocks at Things That Inspire here and here.

And two big clocks my my latest designer crush, Kathleen Hay…

big clock bedroom

gallery wall

Gorgeous glass sailboats

I have no idea where these are from, and I’m not really sure what they are—maybe tealight holders??—but I found them at Jeff Allen Photography, and I love them!! Aren’t the shades of blue beautiful?? :-)

JA glass boats

And a bunch of thank yous go out to…

Home Beautiful cover A-M at The House That A-M Built — AM had a giveaway a couple of months ago. Five lucky winners received a copy of the June 2010 issue of Home Beautiful that featured A-M’s gorgeous home. And I won a copy!! Poor A-M paid a fortune in postage to send the magazine from Australia to Canada, but I’m absolutely thrilled to have my very own copy, and thrilled for A-M that her gorgeous home was not only featured, but it made the cover!!

You can see A-M’s beautiful home on her blog, as well as a short version of the Home Beautiful article here. And if you happen to live in Brisbane, you can BUY A-M’s house. Yes, believe it or not, A-M and her family have moved out and are going to embark on another home-building adventure. Good luck, A-M!!

AM kitchen home beautiful

Nancy at Marcus Design and Lisa at Lisa Goulet Design — Nancy and Lisa both had giveaways recently with CSN gift certificates as the prize. I won the $50 certificate from Nancy, and then a couple of weeks later, I won the $60 certificate from Lisa!! Yes, I know, I really should remove the horseshoe from my ass ;-) But I swear, I never win anything besides blog giveaways! Door prizes, 50/50 draws, lottery tickets… NOTHING. I’m looking forward to my CSN shopping spree — what to buy… these are some of the items Nancy found. I’m kind of diggin’ the peanut bowl :-)

CSN images

beautiful_blogger_awardmargie Shannon at What’s Up Whimsy recently gave DesignTies the Beautiful Blogger award. Actually, it was a couple of weeks ago, but we’ve been total delinquents and still haven’t written the ten things about us that’s part of accepting the award. We will soon, promise!! In the meantime, if you really want to know more about us, you can read about me here and Victoria here.

I know this post is a bit all over the place, but I hope you enjoyed the round-up of really good stuff :-) Leave a comment and let me know what good stuff you’ve come across recently…

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Unless otherwise noted, images are from the source(s) mentioned immediately before or after the images.

July 27, 2010

Who doesn’t love cupcakes?!

Cup_Cakes_Banner top tier cakesTop Tier Cakes

Staci at Staci Edwards Design had the fun idea to host a Bake-N-Blog event. All the participants are going to try a cupcake recipe from the yummy selection at Ming Makes Cupcakes. The idea is to blog about the baking experience and let everyone know how delicious the cupcakes are.

If you want in on the fun, just visit Ming Makes Cupcakes, decide which cupcake you want to make (if you can narrow it down to just one!!), and sign up at Staci’s blog.

Staci Edwards Design Blog

Then you just have to whip up a batch of your selected cupcakes and do a taste test before August 19th. That’s the day that we’ll all post about our cupcakes. No, not THOSE cupcakes, Ming’s cupcakes!!

I’ve signed up to bake a batch of Graham Cupcakes with Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosting. Because anything with “lime” and “cream cheese frosting” has to be dee-lish-us!!!

lime cupcake

Your cupcake awaits!! Go make your selection at Ming Makes Cupcakes, and sign up for the fun at Staci’s blog!!

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July 24, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Disappointing

Over this last week my design-talented and clearly colour obsessed ;-) blog partner Kelly has festooned us with glorious colour as she narrowed down and decided on a stunning paint colour for her front door.DSCF0862DSCF0791


I have a yummy colour project of my own to share.

Only… while my beautiful Orange Copper is scrumptious, and the chairs that I (with the help of blogger and sweet-volunteer Nancy from Markus Design) painted are now wonderfully lovely to LOOK at… disappointingly… the project didn’t turn out so well :-(

Perhaps you’ll remember the scenario… I purchased some fantabulous outdoor pillows for DSCF0876the furniture on my front deck. I re-stained my table and chairs to a rich warm brown so that they would coordinate perfectly with 2 of the pillows… but my 2 ugly Adirondack (or Muskoka – which ever name you prefer!) chairs just didn’t fit into the design plan. Come to think of it, I don’t know if they EVER fit in!!

My lovely pillows, with their hits of Orange Copper don’t make the chairs look any better do they?!




Truth be told, while these chairs were comfy to lounge in, they were in horrible condition… the stain was wearing off (why did I EVER choose that colour in the first place?!) and Brian has had to reinforce both chairs with additional pieces of wood so that they couldn’t collapse with us sitting IN them!!

We really should have just replaced them.

But I saw a project in them; I wanted to paint them my phenomenal Orange Copper!

DSCF0861And that’s exactly what I did, with Nancy’s help…






Nancy is such a doll!

And a good painter ;-)

We applied 2 coats of paint to all the areas that we could reach without turning the chairs over… painting the underside was going to be my job later in the week, after the paint we applied had a chance to fully cure.DSCF0886


But you know… as we were painting our first coat I KNEW we had a problem… and I expressed that concern to Nancy.

I had completely forgotten…

The original stain was oil based :-(

And our first coat coverage of the latex paint suggested that we were going to have adhesion problems. Even after the second coat – which really should have been the final coat – we found we couldn’t fully eliminate the peek-a-boo original stain.

Even though I knew the rules around painting over oil-based paints/stains, I told myself that I’d just let is sit a couple days to fully cure.

Here it is, a week later, and it’s clear that the project was a bust!!

DSCF0885You see… while the paint is essentially “dry”, it’s weeping or sweating a slightly tacky substance that makes it impossible to sit in the chairs :-( Take a close look at this photo… it was taken in the morning so it’s spotted with dew… only when I touch the dew drops the water turns white. Yep… yucky stuff that’s come from the oil-based stain :-(

Brad the Painter GuyMy brother Brad – a professional painter (among other wonderful things, which I’ll share one day!!) – tells me that the only thing to do is strip the chairs down, prime (which is what I should have done in the first place!) and paint again. But like I said before… these chairs are in declining physical condition; painting the chairs was in large part my way of seeing the chairs last us another year or two. So – really – it’s SO not worth the effort to strip and re-do :-( 

So what will we do?

Well… for now we’ll pick up some in-expensive blankets to cover the chairs so that we can use them. Then we’ll purchase 2 new chairs in a raw wood so that I can paint them my glorious Orange Copper!

Let me show you how fantastic the chairs look… seeing them like this gives me incentive to buy those 2 new chairs and get them painted right away!!





The Good = My absolutely fabulous Orange Copper!

The Bad = Not preping properly… bad me!

The Disappointing = Not having 2 beautiful, re-furbished Adirondack/Muskoka chairs to lounge in on our deck

But I have a new un-opened can of my favourite Orange Copper, ready and waiting for the purchase of 2 new chairs!! I’ll be sure to post photos of the lovely chairs we WILL get Butterflyto enjoy… once I paint them!!

I’m sharing this almost-transformation with the readers over at Between Naps on the Porch; Susan’s is hosting her 80th Metamorphosis Mondays!


July 23, 2010

I think I found the perfect turquoise

I popped into Lowes this morning to check out Sarah Richardson’s colour collection for PARA. Seeing as I was in the paint section anyway, I picked up some turquoise & green chips… and I think I found the perfect turquoise for the front door :-) I was actually planning to paint the door next summer, but I might have to just go ahead and do it now, because I LOVE this colour!!

It’s Sea Breeze EB8-2 from the Eddie Bauer Lakeside Cottage collection:


Here’s how it looks against the grey & white bricks:   

chip 3 chip 2

Is it a YES?