Posts made in October, 2012

We wish you a meow-y Christmas (and a happy mew year!)

Posted by on Oct 29, 2012 in Ramblings..., Tails | 0 comments

(Yes.  I just went THERE.  Couldn’t help myself!)

With October almost over, I can’t help but notice that Christmas is just around the corner.  And to that I say (rather enthusiastically): “YAY!”  There’s something so warm and fuzzy about Christmas – it’s like the holiday equivalent of a big ginormous hug (you know, if a hug could be all glittery and smell like cedar and cinnamon.)

Despite that I am more often than not the very last person on earth to get my Christmas cards in the mail (I was furiously throwing stamps on envelopes on December 24th last year), I adore the tradition of sending Christmas cards.  I love getting cards, and there’s something so lovely about sending them too.  A real live handwritten holiday greeting trumps a facebook message or an e-card (including those of the elf-yourself variety, btw – dear friends: that is not a replacement for an actual piece of holiday stationary) big time, if you ask me.

So, then, as can be expected, I start planning for holiday card-sending months in advance.  And, being ridiculously ever-so-slightly OCD, I become obsessed with finding the perfect Christmas cards.

Wait.  Let me rephrase that…  I become obsessed with finding the perfect Christmas cards THAT FEATURE CATS.

Yup.  My inner crazy cat lady takes over when it comes to Christmas cards.  I’ve never been one to go out and willy-nilly-ly select a random box of standard Christmas cards off the Hallmark shelf.  Nope.  I view Christmas cards as an expression of who I am.  And I am mom to three fantastic cats.  So cats WILL be on my Christmas cards.

The problem?  Cat Christmas cards can sometimes be a little hard to find.  I took a quick stroll through Etsy-ville this morning, and cat cards (cute ones, at least) were a bit challenging to find – I’m not gonna lie.  But, here are a few contenders that I stumbled upon.

Dear friends and family: consider this your sneak peek at what may be arriving in your mailbox in a few weeks’ time. :)

This card, from MadOldCatLady, makes me smile…

Happy orange cat snow angel Christmas Card

…and I love this retro-esque card designed by Vincent Desjardins Illustrator

Retro Santa and black cat Christmas card

An understated yet lovely brocade kitty card from RiverDogPrints

Red brocade ktty reindeer Christmas card

And these next two, from ASliceInTime, are collective-awwwwwwww-worthy…

Kitten Christmas card cute

Cat in santa hat sleeping Christmas card

Awwwww…  Yep, that, right there, is a whole lot of cuteness.

These cards, from OnCupcakeMoon are both cute and customizable…

Three cats with gifts Christmas cards

And my one, non-Etsy entry into this cat-Christmas-card collection is this card from PaperCards

Sleeping orange kitten Christmas card

Sigh.  Adorableness!  Like a tiny little Jacob (but one who tolerates hats.  Jacob doesn’t like hats.  We’ve tried.)

Yep.  There are quite a few options…  Which route will I go?  There’s the ever popular cute-route, but the retro-way is super fun, or the illustrated options are lovely too.  Ugh.  Decisions, decisions…

Or maybe I’ll just look for a card that says “Joy.”  That seems way easier…

 

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Happy anniversary! Happy anniversary! Happy anniversary! Haaappy anniversary! (To us!)

Posted by on Oct 25, 2012 in Ramblings... | 0 comments

Just in case you don’t recognize that song (and in case you think I’ve completely lost my marbles) (which, in fact, is always a possibility), here’s the Youtube proof (always a reliable source of truths!) that the Happy Anniversary song really does exist (well, in cartoonville, at least)…

Happy Anniversary a la the Flintstones

(Ah, Hanna Barbera – you were swell!)

Why the musical prelude?  Four years ago today, Sweetie and I got married on a rather brisk October day.  October 25th the year before had been positively balmy, of course – we had toured the prefect little white chapel where we eventually got married in our shorts and t-shirts that day.  By contrast, guests at our wedding a year later wore winter jackets, and our wedding party – being the incredible troopers that they were! – suffered minor frostbite during our outdoor photos at a local conservation area (but never once complained.)  We were so fortunate to have what can only be described as the best (and most weather tolerant!) wedding party ever assembled.  :)

But despite the cold, our wedding day was absolutely perfect in every other way!  I don’t recall feeling stressed or overwhelmed at all – instead, I remember being so unbelievably happy and full of love and so thankful for all the friends and family who celebrated with us that day.

Happy anniversary to my Sweetie.  Four amazing years down, and looking very forward to at least seventy or eighty more.  :)

 

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Our dining room (some befores, some afters, and a whole lot of pine)

Posted by on Oct 22, 2012 in Dining Room | 0 comments

So, I’ve likely referenced my dining room, like, a gazillion times in previous posts (ok, well, maybe not a gazillion, per se.  Maybe twice.  But that’s still lots!) but I’ve never actually posted anything about my dining room.  It’s like the Polkaroo of my house.  The Mr Snuffleupagus of our abode.  Today, my friends, that changes.

(Did I just build it up a little too much?  Crap.  K.  This had better be good…)

When we bought this house just over 2 years ago, the dining room was ugly.  It was so un-pretty, in fact, that the sellers’ listing agent hadn’t even bothered posting pictures of the dining room in the house-listing.

The walls were white, but not a nice clean white – they hadn’t been painted in years and looked dirty and dingy and worn.

Dining Room Before white walls brown trim gold drapes

(And yes, those are gold drapes.  They came with the house.  Fancy eh?)

The trim…  um…  it was brown.  But not “nicely stained in a lovely wood finish” brown (which is the really good kind of brown!)  Nope.  All the baseboards and trim had been painted dark brown (in a glossy finish, of course.)  It was gross.

Dining Room before with ugly brown trim and white walls

And don’t even get me started on the light above the dining room table…  Ummm… here.  Just look.

Ugly dining room light

AGH!  I know.  What IS that?  Yep.  We were the crazy people who bought the house with THAT light in the dining room.

We’re brave, brave souls, Sweetie and me.

BUT!  Here’s our dining room now…

Dining room pine table white chairs Gossamer Blue BM

Dining Room Gossamer Blue with white antique chairs and pine table

The walls are painted Benjamin Moore’s Gossamer Blue, and all the trim, baseboards, the closet door and ceiling were repainted Snowfall White.  For the record, it takes many many coats of white paint to cover up dark brown glossy baseboards.

Benjamin Moore BM Gossamer Blue and Snowfall White paint

We found the refinished dining room chairs on Kijiji (I adore Kijiji!)  And the table is an old Ikea table (I don’t think they carry it anymore) purchased from a local Ebay seller shortly after Sweetie and I bought our first house.  It’s not the prettiest table in the world (I think the most appropriate term would be “well-loved”), but it works.  :)

White refinished antique chairs and ikea pine table

And Jacob says it makes a rather good kitty fort.

Ikea pine table

The dining room light was a Home Depot find.  It was cheap.  It is cheerful.  :)

Wrought iron dining room light chandelier

The bowl of balls on the table is just that: a bowl of balls.  (But it’s a pretty bowl, containing pretty balls, of course.)

Dining Room Benjamin Moore Gossamer Blue

Simple dining room centerpiece bowl with wicker balls

Admittedly, there’s A LOT (like, a WHOLE lot) more pine in this room than I’d like.  It almost has a “country-cottage” feel to it (and I’m not really a country-cottage kinda gal.)  Some day I’ll get around to painting the Leksvik china cabinet and bookcase.  But until then, they’re functional and not overly offensive-looking at least (and, given that they were both also Kijiji scores, they hardly cost us anything, so I can’t really complain…)

Ikea Leksvik china cabinet pine in Gossamer Blue dining room

Ikea Leksvik bookshelf in pine

The bookcase holds odds and ends.  The lower shelves contain my Scentsy stuff (I obviously need a better place to store all that.)  The higher (ie: more visable) shelves hold more practical things (cookbooks, reference books, my lampe berger, random pretty things…)  And yes, that is indeed a Mozart teapot on top (just in case you were curious!)

Green glass jars and a green antiqued star

Martha Stewart cookbook and other kitchen-ish reference books

Newfoundland souvenir little orange painted house

But the most important item in the room?  The little red chair by the window.  It gets a lot of use.

Black cat looking out window from red ikea chair

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the progress to date!  It’s definitely a cheery little room, and the colour is one of my faves (I love turquoise.  Or teal.  Or seafoam.  Whatever you prefer to call it.)  :)  Finding somethingmerother to put on the walls is my next project.  And I’d like to replace the closet doorknob too (it’s still gold, and even though I’ve heard that gold is “back”, it isn’t really “back” in my house.)  (Just sayin’.)

Gossamer Blue dining room with Snowfall White trim, pine table and white chairs

But yes!  The dining room is house-listing feature-photo suitable now.  Not that we’re planning to sell our house in the immediate future, mind you.  There’s still lots more painting to be done!  (Sigh…)  But if we WERE to list the house, it would now be acceptable to post pictures of the dining room in the listing, I think.

Dear dining room: you are no longer a Snuffleupagus.  Oh, no.  Consider yourself the Grover of our little 1940′s house.  You’re a little odd, and you still need some work, but overall you’re pretty darn cute.  :)

 

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S&J’s photo of the day, number three (and yeppers – it’s a cat) (call me crazy, but a trend may be forming…)

Posted by on Oct 19, 2012 in Tails | 0 comments

What’s that you say?  Oh!  You’re right!  I HAVEN’T posted any pics of the cats lately.  Shame.  On.  Me.  Let’s rectify that right now, k?

Black cat by window

Eric ADORES the windows.  He props himself up with his little kitty bum on the back of our living room sofa, plants his two front paws on the windowsill and stares out at the outside world.  Like, for hours.  He sits there looking out for so long some days that he actually sometimes dozes off in that position.  Yup.  He’s our narcoleptic kitten.  It’s odd, but – meh – it keeps him out of trouble, so I just go with it.

And, well, he’s a kitten.  And he’s cute.  So I really just let him do whatever he wants anyway.

(Except climb the drapes.  Erik has already decided that drapery-ascent is super fun.  We disagree.)

So there you go!  Cat photo quota filled for yet another week.  :)

Happy Friday!

 

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I think I need a map (on my wall, that is) (and not in case I get lost in my own house) (although that has happened…)

Posted by on Oct 15, 2012 in Living Room | 0 comments

I miss maps.  Sigh.  Don’t get me wrong – GPS seriously rocks (especially for those of us who are directionally challenged even at the best of times.)  But there’s something so comforting about pulling out a map that’s all soft and worn at the creases from being opened and lovingly refolded many many times.  The challenge in identifying both where you are now, and where you’d like to go, choosing the most straightforward (or leisurely, depending on your plans) route to get you from point A to B, and then seeing it all laid out there on paper in front of you.  The crinkling as you readjust the map just a little – it’s far more soothing than the harsh GPS voice (who is that lady anyway?) who tells you rather forcefully “turn right” and then haughtily scolds you for having to recalculate your journey.

Yep.  GPS certainly makes life easier, but given the choice (and, well, a co-pilot to drive while I hold the map and navigate) I’ll take a map any day.  :)

So, then, is it any wonder that I yearn for maps on my walls?  Maps are nostalgic.  They remind me of gradeschool and the smell of classrooms and erasers.  They remind me of roadtrips – we had a well-worn map of Ontario in the car at all times growing up (there were two sides to that map: the Southwestern Ontario side, and the “everything else up there” side that never ever got referenced during our trips.)  They remind me of the pride in being able to identify the places we’d travelled to, and the excitement of planning out new journeys.

GPS?  You rock.  But maps?  Maps are the bomb.

(Do people still say “the bomb”?)  (Meh.  I’m sticking with that.  Anyway…)

Where would I put said map?  On what has affectionately become known as my “star wall” (aka the wall where I randomly and temporarily hung a green star, for lack of anything else to put there at the time.)  (Um, like, a year ago.)  The same wall where I’ve also pondered adding a gallery wall in the past.  But a map?  Hanging one large map would be so much easier than coordinating multiple images in multiple frames (and don’t even get me started on the challenge of keeping everything aligned and straight…  All that nitpickyness could indeed become a wee bit much for perfectionist moi.)

Living room for possible map on wall

Here’s the picture that originally got my map-loving-ness all in a frenzy (courtesy of the amazing folk over at Restored Style):

Restored Style living room with map

Lovely eh?!  The map is so well coordinated and blends in so well with everything else that it’s no longer a map – it’s art.

And don’t even get me started on all the mappage available online!  Here are a couple I’m considering (both from etsy, of course)…

This one from Here & There Shop is super simple, and super duper cute.

HereandThereShop map with heart from Etsy

I imagine our map would have a little dotted line connecting the village of Ailsa Craig (where Sweetie and I got married in a pretty little white chapel) to France and England (where we honeymooned.)  :)

Or this one (from English Muffin Shop) is fun and cheery…

englishmuffinshop map with greens blues and yellows

…I think it’s meant for a child’s room, but I absolutely adore the colours.  It’d look rather nice in our living room, I think!

I might also scour our local antique shops for an actual vintage map (since a map seems like something that an antique store would have, no?)  Really, I’m sure there are a gazillion (give or take a few, of course) different shops (both online and onstreet) where I could find a lovely little map for our living room.  And we could, in fact, simply frame an actual map (which would be the obvious and simple approach!)  (And there are some rather pretty maps out there.)  Yes, the problem may not be where to find myself a lovely map, but instead, which one to hang.  :)

In the meantime, the truth is pretty obvious.  While GPS may indeed make my life a bit easier, a map will likely look way better on my wall.  :)

 

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