Posts made in May, 2012

The newbies (introducing Irwin and Erik)

Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Tails | 2 comments

After we unexpectedly lost Loki (the most affectionate and amazing and special black cat ever) a few weeks back, Jacob started acting a little…  needy.  Jacob and Loki weren’t necessarily friends (at least they didn’t seem to be), but with Loki gone, Jacob suddenly started clinging to us.  And while it was really quite sweet in some ways (afterall, it’s really nice to be needed!), he would follow us around the house and meow at us for HOURS at a time.  It became a little much.  We decided we maybe needed to find a friend for our favourite orange cat.  :)

We’ve never been run-out-to-the-pet-store-and-buy-a-cute-kitten type of folk.  Our cats have always been strays and cats from rescue agencies (there are so SO many cats out there who desperately need good homes – loving and amazing cats who’ve just had back luck or bad owners.)  We adopted Loki from a rescue agency called Animal Alert in London (where we lived prior moving to Cambridge.)  After a short chat with our good friends at Google, we discovered Pet Patrol, a local all-cat rescue organization that finds homes for over 350 rescued kitties per year (which is pretty darn impressive since it’s all run out of one very cat-filled house and staffed by volunteers.)

When we visited Pet Patrol last week, we saw what must have been about 40 cats living in the house, all waiting for adoption.  The lady who runs the organization, Jan, seems to know all the cats very well, and seems to care about each and every one of them.  Knowing that we wanted people-cats, both Sweetie and I sat down on the floor and waited.  Whipple (a beautiful grey and white boy) came to me, and Velarian (a long-furred black adolescent boy) came to Phil.  And despite the gazillion other cats milling about, both Whipple and Velarian stayed with us while we were there at the Pet Patrol house.  It was love at first pet.

We weren’t necessarily looking to find Jacob TWO friends, but two friends for Jacob found us.  After talking it over (since adopting new fur babies is indeed a big decision) we went back to Pet Patrol on Saturday to make everything official, and Irwin (formerly Whipple) and Erik (who was the ill-named Velarian) are now acclimatising to our house in our back room until kitty Introductions Day.

Shall I introduce you? :)

Here’s Irwin.  He’s a little nervous still, but I think he’ll adapt – he’s super sweet and affectionate and rather adorable too (I think he might have a wee bit of British shorthair in him – he’s got the thickest fur ever and the gray parts are a lovely silvery colour.)

Grey and white cat Irwin

And here’s Mr Erik.  Erik isn’t yet a year old and he’s still clumsy and curious and very kitten-like.  He shares Loki’s easy-going-ness (perhaps that’s a long-furred black cat trait?)  We’ve discovered that he also loves sleep. :)

Black long-furred cat sleeping Erik

I think we’ll likely have Introduction Day later this week, or maybe even next weekend, once the newbies have adjusted to their new surroundings and to us too.  Fingers crossed that they both like Jacob, and that Jacob likes them too.  I already love them all.  :)


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More kitchen lust (yep, I may have a problem)

Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Kitchen | 0 comments

Let’s revisit the wonderful world of kitchens again, shall we?  :)  I know – sigh, groan…  We’ve been here before.  A couple of times.  But I spend A LOT of time in my kitchen.  It’s the first room I stumble to when I leap (er, blindly crawl) out of bed every morning (since that’s where my beloved and cherished coffeemaker resides.)  (Dear coffeemaker: I love you.)  And it’s where friends and family gravitate to whenever they’re over (I’m not entirely sure why – there’s a big comfy couch on the other side of the island, but everyone always ends up in my kitchen) (although really I don’t mind. :)  It’s where I make the most awesomest brownies ever (and a mean orzo salad too.)  It’s where I sing (like a big idiot) to the radio (and sometimes dance a wee bit too) while doing dishes.  And it’s where the fridge resides (and inside that fridge?  Wine.  ‘Nuf said.)  All in all, my kitchen is a pretty darn fantastic place.  It’s still not the prettiest place ever (although I’m working on that!), but it otherwise rocks.  Need a kitchen-reminder?  Here she is (original cupboards and cutesy little 1940s scalloped trim and all.)

1940s kitchen with original cabinets BM Stonington Gray

Yep.  Despite that the floor is still hideous (change coming soon!  I hope…) my kitchen makes me happy.  :)  Is it any wonder, then, that I’m mildly (ehem, majorly) obsessed with other 1940s kitchens?  Might I interest you in a peek into my kitchen world?  Let’s take a looksee at other older kitchens, via the good folk at Googlesearch…

I love this kitchen, with its old cupboards but modern stainless steel appliances, courtesy of Casapinka.

Casapinka's kitchen with old cupboards new appliances stainless steel

(And that floor makes me super happy too.  Oh!  And, in case you haven’t noticed it, looking all lovely back there in the background, just look at that SINK!  Sigh.  Goodness me…)

And check out Carolyns 1940′s kitchen makeover, via Apartment Therapy:

Apartment Therapy 1940s kitchen with 1950s cabinets

Love love love!  And the dark wood flooring kinda makes me want wood floors in my kitchen.  Again.  (I’m seriously never going to make a final decision regarding floors at this rate, you know.)

But I saved the best for last.  Are you ready for this?  Here’s my favourite of the bunch via The Home Project

The Home Project renovated kitchen original cabinets

Oh swoon.  Do you see what I see?  Stainless steel countertops, the most beautiful marble and granite floor ev-ver AND lovely old original kitchen cabinets.  So perfect.  I want to sing to the radio (and dance just a little too) while scrubbing pots in THAT kitchen, please.

So there you go – my top three picks (for now) for older kitchens that have been reno-ed (but retain their original and awesome charm.)  Here’s hoping that one day someone finds my 1940s kitchen project just as inspiring!  Until then, I’m pretty darn pleased with it, at least.  (Just don’t look at my floor.)


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The carpet is stripier from the other side of the room (Ha. Get it? Grass is greener? Carpet stripier?) (Yep. I’m a dork. See? This is what happens when I have a big fat migraine)

Posted by on May 19, 2012 in Living Room | 0 comments

First off, MANY MANY MANY apologies for my absence this week.  It was a migraine week, and when I have a migraine (especially a multi-day migraine) (ugh) I’m only marginally-functional (with lots of emphasis on the “marginally” part.)  The migraine-inducing culprit?  My guess: the weather.  While it’s absolutely fan-mazing-tastic that – poof! – over the past week it’s suddenly become summer (thank you Mother Nature!), my noggin paid the price, methinks.  That said, I’m all better now (knocking on wood), so I’m baaa-aack.  :)

Secondly… look at my living room!

Edgecomb gray living room with Ektorp sofa

I took my own advice (from THIS post) and decided the living room looks better/bigger when it’s more open (without the couch cutting across the room.)  And indeed it does!  I actually squealed once Sweetie and I had everything moved around (for, like, the the seventh time) (it took a couple attempts to get things just right) (it’s a good thing Sweetie loves me!)

Living room rearranged, BM Edgecomb Gray

And Jacob is pretty darn happy with the new arrangement too.  He has the hugest pillow ever (aka: the couch), right next to our big front window.  I’m predicting that I’ll find a prominent orange-cat ass-groove in that top cushion very very shortly.

Hope everyone has a happy and sunny Victoria Day Weekend!


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Going back in time, Wayne’s World style (a glance back at our living room before)

Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Living Room | 0 comments

Have I ever showed you the befores of our living room?  No?  I didn’t think so.  I’m thinking I may have skipped that step entirely (bad blogger Joy, very very bad!)  In my defense, I was just so excited to show off our new faux fireplace, I went straight to the grand finale and totally skipped the prelude.  But let’s make up for that now, k?  :)

Let’s travel waaay back in time to October 2010.  (Insert Wayne and Garth doing their squiggly doodle-oodle-oo… doodle-oodle-oo… flashback thing.)  (I tried to find that clip via Youtube btw, just to give you a visual, but alas, normally-dependable Youtube failed me this morning.)  (If you find that clip somewhere, please let me know!)  Because the house was an absolute disaster for the first few months we lived here (I’m definitely not one of those people who moves in and immediately has everything unpacked.  My friend Jess is.  Oh how I envy her!) (we still have un-unpacked boxes in the basement, in fact… shhhh… don’t tell…) I don’t have many pics from the living room’s orange days.  But here’s one I did find from Christmas right after we moved in…

Orange living room with white furniture - before

…ah Christmas.  :)  Happy sigh.

(Aside: that picture kinda makes me want to rearrange our furniture – I rather liked our living room like this.  Hmmm…)  (See what happens when you venture into the past?  You earn a fun furniture rearranging session!)

And here’s a (rather sterile-looking) shot from the original house listing…

Orange living room pre-paint

While the orange wasn’t terrible, per se, it just wasn’t me.  At all.  I like orange (quite a lot actually!) but just not on my own walls.  On your walls though?  Awesome!  :)

So that’s when I got my paint on.  Needless to say, it took a good couple coats of primer to dull our glowing pumpkin walls.  But a wee bit of Edgecomb Gray paint later, and I think it was all worth it.

Living room white furniture BM Edgecomb Gray

(Please ignore the messy laptop and cords on the little green side table…  Let’s call this an au naturel image, taken this morning, sans any staging k?)  :)

So there you go!  Just a quick little prequel post to show you where my living room all started.  It still has a ways to go (SOMETHING needs to go in the far left corner, but I’m still not sure what), but it’s a far calmer space now than it was when we moved in (screaming-orange walls aren’t especially soothing.)  Jacob agrees.

Now please excuse me while I go rearrange my furniture.  Again.


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You can paint anything! (Well, sort of…)

Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Painting | 0 comments

My grandmother’s hope chest was once passed down to me with the proviso: “Just don’t paint it.”  Yep.  I’m THAT person (and apparently it’s well known.)  And while I’m sensible enough to know not to paint family heirlooms, I do have a bit of a penchant  for painting pretty much anything .  And why not?   If you’re not happy with an accessory or a piece of furniture or, well, pretty much anything, a coat of paint can bring instant pizazz (does anyone say pizazz anymore?  They should!) to a sad looking something-mer-other.

Case in point.  I present to you… a mirror.  Tada!

Old plastic mirror painting project

I’ve had this mirror since my early university years (so it’s at least 15 years old) and I think it was a $9.99 Zellers special originally.  The frame is definitely some sort of plastic, and over the past decade and a half, it’s done that yellowing thing that white plastic does over time.  It’s also been marred by the occasional renegade mascara wand…

Old white plastic mirror painting project

But, despite being ugly, there’s otherwise nothing wrong with it.  The glass isn’t wonky (you know, when mirrors get to the point where they’re just SLIGHTLY warped and they make your toosh look ginormous?  Yep – hate that!) and it’s sturdy and it’s survived about seven moves since my tiny little university apartment days.  This mirror is definitely a trooper.  (An ugly trooper, but a trooper nonetheless.)

So, my solution?  Paint.  Of course.  Did I bother to scuff ‘er up at all?  Nope.  A light sanding probably would have been a great idea, but it was an extra step that I didn’t feel like taking for a once-$9 mirror (I’m super lazy like that.)  That said, I did indeed prime it with a high adhesion primer (my beloved Zinsser Bulls Eye Primer.)  And then a couple coats of Snowfall White paint later (to match my trim and baseboards) and I suddenly have a much nicer looking mirror specimen…

Old plastic mirror painting project

Mirror painted Snowfall White

Old plastic mirror painting project

Easy eh?  It’s obviously not perfect (I had a moment of dirt-blows-in-fresh-paint-panic while painting the mirror in my backyard – one of the hazards of painting outdoors), but it was free (since I already owned both the paint and the mirror) and it’s absolutely fine for the top of our stairwell (which seems perfectly suited for a full-length mirror!)

So see?  You can paint anything, really!  Except maybe your grandmother’s hope chest.  :)


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