Thursday, September 29, 2011

When one thing Leads to another!

If you have been following along, yesterday I was working on 'dipping' something as this technique seems to be my new love.  I was sure there was something in my house that I could 'dip' so I no longer had to just admire this look online but could have a little of its loveliness right here at home. 

I have been working on a huge house and yard fall clean-up list this week so have been refraining from any 'projects'.  I decided it was time for a little break and this would give me my 'quick fix'.

These vases sitting on the shelf in our 'water closet' were definitely in need of a little life.

A little measuring,

A little taping,

A little spraying,

Dipped Look.

But wait,  still fairly lifeless.  In hind sight I should have chose a color to spray the vases rather than a silver metallic.  My options were pretty limited though, as I only had white, black, Oil Rubbed Bronze, and silver on hand and I wanted to do them TODAY!!! (or yesterday).  So silver it was. 

This corner still needed some help though so off I went on a little tour to see what I could find to add some more dimension.  The box of leftover twigs from my twig wreath was the first thing I came across.  I sprayed a couple branches with my Oil Rubbed Bronze paint (they needed to be a little darker so one quick coat gave me the color I wanted but still left all the natural goodness showing).  Although a little better, still not quite enough.  I then stumbled upon some pallet wood cut-offs from another project.  Sanded them.  Glued them together.  Put a coat of polyurethane on. 

I love wood.

Needless to say, I never crossed one item off my fall clean-up list.  So much for just a 'quick fix'.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I have fallen in love with the 'dipped' look lately.


Something is getting the 'dip' treatment in my house today!!!  I'll be back to share tomorrow.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Natural Twig Wreath

Thanks to pinterest I came across this beautiful wreath.

The Painted Hive
A quick hop over to The Painted Hive and I was equipped with a list of supplies and directions on how to make this beauty.

A beautiful fall day led us on a sponaneous walk to the river to collect driftwood twigs with a friend.

The assembly of the wreaths was fairly straight forward.  The only change we made in the construction of our wreaths was to cut the glue sticks to the appropriate size, lay them around the backing and use a heat gun to heat the glue.  This allowed us to work in 1/4 sections of the wreath without having to glue each individual piece.  A quick reheat also allowed for easy adjustments.

As I still have many blank walls there was so many potential spots to hang this wreath.  A little tour around this house concluded that our ensuite was the perfect spot for this new addition.

My girlfriend plans to spray hers white.  While I orginally had it in my head I would spray mine silver I am enjoying the natural beauty of the weathered driftwood.

Want to make your own?  Check out the details from Kristine over at The Painted Hive.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Display wall for Photos, Cards, and Art

One thing my house has been lacking is an attractive way to display cards, children's artwork, and photos of friends and family.   All those school pictures, wedding invitations, and colorful drawings that usually clutter up the fridge clustered together under one magnet.  Don't get me wrong, I love each item that has been gifted to me, I am just not a fan of the overall appearance in my otherwise clutter free kitchen.  We already have the gallery wall in the children's play room which the artwork will graduate to eventually, but I needed a place for the everyday, and cards from birthdays, etc. A special note for me from my daughter on her very first day of kindergarten spurred me to finally find a solution to this problem.

This is the hallway that leads from the garage into the heart of our home.  As this is the entrance we use every day it seemed like a good location for these little reminders of those we love and special events.

First, using a level I drew 3 sections on the wall for the placement of my wood scraps.

I selected 8 pieces of walnut from my pile of off-cuts from my dad's woodworking shop.  These 8 pieces were all 2 1/2" wide, by 13" long and 3/8" thick.  Then I sanded with 220 grit sandpaper and sprayed with crystal clear varathane that I had on hand.

I decided to add a monogram to the wall by adding a 'M' for visual interest.

It was sprayed with Rustoleum's Metallic Finish in silver for the combination of wood and shine that I am such a fan of.

I used a hot glue gun to adhere my wood strips to the wall once they were dried.  The hot glue was used because it has a denseness that leaves a small cavity between that wood piece and wall to allow the pictures and cards to slide in between with ease.  A straight line along the top of each piece of wood left me with a nice slim ledge for the photos to rest on.

Here it is before it has been loaded up.

I am actually quite fond of the look without the pictures added so if there is ever a time where there is nothing to display, the little shelves will act as art all on their own.

And even loaded up, we have a nice tidy display that is convenient, and easy to rearrange as new pieces are added or outdated ones taken away.

Here is the artwork that prompted this display wall.  A note brought home on the first day of kindergarten inspired by the book "The Kissing Hand".  A must read for anyone with children in school!

The slim profile of this display leaves maximum space in the hallway and no bump hazard for shoulders, or heads of little people running though to welcome daddy home at the end of the day.

How do you display photos, birthday cards, and children's artwork?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Design Dilemma Solved By Groupon

I'm sure many of you have heard of Groupon.  It is a subscription to daily deal coupons to businesses in your area.  Some of the purchases we have enjoyed great savings on have included hotel stays, golfing, photobooks, and canvases but there are so many other deals to be had as well. 

When we first moved into our home back in October the boys bunk beds were set up in the room they happened to be delivered to by our moving helpers and that is where they stayed.

In the early spring we decided we needed to add curtains to this room to block out light for our early bird two year old and that necessitated a rearrangement of furniture.

So this was the arrangement that we came up with that allowed proper room for the curtains to hang freely and also accommodated the older boys desire to have the beds side by side.  I received many great suggestions from you wonderful readers on what to put above the beds.  Many suggested something personal showing a little about each child, something shiny, etc.  I was seriously considering purchasing two shiny airplane propellers for above each bed but the most affordable ones I could find were $250 each with the addition of shipping costs.  I thought about some sort of bulletin board but was afraid of the clutter that would prevail on the 'B' side as he is a collector of all precious treasures.  The drawer you see in the book case is his special drawer filled with his prize possessions.  It is often filled to overflowing with various miscellaneous treasures.  I did however add a large bulletin board behind the door for displaying all their wonderful school work and art creations. 

I still however had not solved this dilemma so it was placed on the back burner as we began our exterior landscaping projects.  Still wondering what this has to do with Groupon?  While we were right in the midst of planting our 34 trees I received an email saying my groupon purchase was going to expire in 4 days.  I had purchased the groupon for 2, 16x20 canvases from 44 Wide the previous summer with the intention of taking some more photos of our three kids and gifting them.  Well with house construction the previous summer I just hadn't gotten around to taking the kids out for a photo shoot.  And those 4 days were slated chock full with tree planting leaving no time for even an impromptu photo shoot.  Rather than waste my groupons, one evening I quickly picked out a picture of each boy, converted them to black and white, and uploaded them to the 44 Wide web-site.  5 days later the canvases arrived and they were hung above each bed.  I was resisting the idea of photos above the bed originally because I hadn't wanted to duplicate the look I had done in the kids bathroom to label the towels.

I love the end result however so thank-you groupon for prompting this decision.  The canvases were a steal at $36 each versus the $120 original price tag.   The only addition will perhaps be a shiny silver frame around each canvas.

What do you think? Frame or no frame?

* This post is not sponsored by groupon.  It is simply my own experience using their daily deals.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Temporary Decor Changes

All over North America kids have been returning to school for the 2011/2012 school year.  In our household we have a very seasoned student in grade 2 guiding a shy, nervous kindergartner through the joys of education.  Over the summer we have savoured the relaxed, sleepy mornings, the spontaneous outings, and many days spent at the lake enjoying surf and sun.  Normally at this time of year I am reluctant to see the return of routine and early nights. 

Three weeks ago, on route to the family cabin we stopped in to visit some friends camping at a nearby lake.  A refreshing wakeboard on a hot day left me with a tore MCL and ACL on my right knee.  I have been practicing watersports my whole life so this was not a new activity for me just a twisted fall.  I have spent the last three weeks with a knee brace and limited movement.  Although I am able to get around relatively pain free I don't seem to have enough speed to keep up with 3 active kids, household duties, and acreage yard maintenance.  The focus has been on the kids but the slower pace has them bored and therefore pestering each other.  The return of another school year will allow me to catch up on household maintenance during the hours they are away and some more one on one time with my frustrated 2 year old in the slow learning process of being independent.

For the duration of the slow recovery of my knee injury we have implemented a few necessary but temporary decor changes.  Temporary because they definitely don't fit with the rustic modern theme I would like to achieve in my home.

The recliner from the basement was brought upstairs to accommodate icing and elevation requirements.

We purchased an exercise bike for my physio therapy rehab.  My husband was very happy to add this to the other dust collectors we currently own residing in the basement.  Perhaps someday we will develop a portion of the basement into a gym.  In the meantime this piece sits in our bedroom conveniently for the five minute stints I am to be doing on it numerous times a day. 

And a few inspirational photos from those who managed to work recliners and exercise equipment into the homes decor permanently.

Real Estate photography in he Bay Area SF contemporary home office
                                                                                     Mark Pinkerton

CLASSIC-FS/ TOPOS modern kitchen
                                                                                           Leicht K├╝chen AG

Ardsley Residence contemporary kids
                                                                                  Eisner Design LLC

by Jodi Feinhor-Dennis contemporary family room
                                                                        contemporary family room design