Posts Tagged "After"

I took a risk (surprised? Me too!)

Posted by on May 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Remember when I chatted a bit about painting my bedroom (here)?  That seemingly simple project took weeks.  WEEKS.  Truthfully, months.  Not because it was a particularly difficult project.  In fact, due to the coved ceilings and (rather obnoxious and eventually to be removed) faux fireplace and the various doors/windows in the room, there wasn’t a great deal of actual wall-space to be painted.  And, the delay wasn’t due to my (admittedly notorious) indecisiveness either.  I boldly chose a paint colour lickity-split-ishly and rushed out to buy the paint before I could question my colour choice (since, once paint is purchased, you’re committed) (because if you buy paint from the good Mr Benjamin Moore like I do, painting is a bit of a financial commitment.)

Nope.  The delay was caused by this…

One super adorable little nine month old - is there anything cuter than a baby in jammies?  I think not.

Yup.  An adorable squishy active smiley drooly nine month old.

Best reason for a delay ever.  :)

However, the lack of painting progress seriously started to wear on me a bit.  You see, that same ridiculously cute little man isn’t a particularly predictable napper.  Sometimes he naps for a glorious two hours.  Sometimes he barely shuts his lovely long-lashed eyelids and – poof! – he’s well-rested and ready to play again.  This lack of predictability made it super difficult to get much done on the painting front.  The days where I’d predict a lengthy nap were the days that I’d dip my virgin paintbrush into the paint and – bing! – he’d wake up.  On the days that I assumed he’d take a quick little cat nap, he’d sleep for hours.

Yup.  It’s hard to paint with a baby.

So, defeatedly, I called in the reinforcements: my parents.  Mom (happily!) looked after Squishy while dad and I tackled the paint job (thanks mom and dad!)  And I’m thrilled to have this project done.  Thrilled!  And I’m (almost) equally happy with the results!

Here’s what I started with…

Before - one very dark brown bedroom

And here’s the room lovelied-up with a wee bit of BM Copley Gray…

Benjamin Moore BM Copley Gray bedroom with orange accents

A full gallery of after shots is pending (there are curtains to go up and a mirror to hang and a few other to-do’s that I’d like to to-do before officially announcing the room DONE) but for now the painting part of this bedroom mini-reno project is complete (can I get a big ol’ yay for progress?)  (Yup – YAY!)

What’s that you say?  You thought I’d decided on Revere Pewter?  I thought I had too.  But it just seemed a little too predictable.  I painted our bedroom at our last humble abode, our happy little 1940′s house, in Revere Pewter and I loved it, but I wanted to try something different.  I’ve been eye-ing up Copley Gray for a while now, and I decided to take the slightly bolder paint-colour plunge.

So am I happy?  Mostly.  Admittedly, it’s greener on my walls than I’d hoped.  At some points in the day, depending on the light, one might even call it (cringe…) sage.  But at other times (and, really, most times) it’s a lovely gray/brown/green that is super cozy and warm and rustic (can a colour be rustic?  If so, this one is definitely rustic.)  And it’s far (far!) better than the poop-ish brown that adorned the walls when we bought this house, so I’m a happy girl for now.

And if, in a few years, I decide to repaint, hopefully Little Squish will be old enough to help?  Or at least stay occupied for a bit while mommy paints?

Wishful thinking, I know.  :)

 

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My first post in about a month, and it’s all about paper (the pretty scrapbook-ish kind of paper!)

Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I should really be far craftier than I am.

It’s true.  I love yarn.  I love painting stuff.  I love making things pretty (oh how I love making things pretty!)  And, most of all, I love (love!) scrapbook paper.

You know that aisle in Michaels with all the pretty, perfectly stacked piles of colourful papers?  I get lost in that aisle for hours and hours.  HOURS.  Combining different patterns.  Swooning over prints.  Marvelling over all of the potential for serious prettiness.  Yep.  It’s really rather silly considering I’m in no way a scrapbooker (since, honestly, I’m far too lazy for what appears to be a very finicky and fussy – albeit lovely! – hobby) and since (as previously noted) I’m not particularly crafty.

During my most recent trip to Michaels I picked up no fewer than fourteen (yup – fourteen) (see?  I’m obsessed…) sheets of gorgeous paper.  Did I have any particular plan for all these beautiful papers?  Nope.  I just really liked them.  I also bought a few super inexpensive (they were three whole bucks each, I think) ready-to-paint (or ready-to-leave-in-their-lovely-unpainted-state, in my case) picture frames.  And then I came home and started looking at the fireplace mantel in my dining room.

(Aside: I find it important to clarify that this particular faux fireplace mantel is located in my dining room, since we have no fewer than three faux fireplaces in this house.  The previous home owners were indeed faux fireplace fanatics.)

And then the wheels started turning.  And then I realized that the sheets of lovely coordinating scrapbook paper, and those unpainted frames might look sorta rustic-ish-ly cute on my dining room fireplace mantel.

And so began the rearranging.  (Does anyone else get a little OCD when it comes to fireplace mantel decorating?)  And the fussing.  And the tweaking.

And here is what I finally came up with…

Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray dining room with wooden star and fireplace mantel

Scrapbook paper in frames - a super easy diy project!

…the other side of the mantel

Faux fireplace mantel with scrapbook paper art prints

It’s not done yet.  It needs something… more.  Perhaps a few miniature pumpkins in honour of fall.  Or some Christmassy bobbles and doodads (but not for a few weeks – I adore Christmas, but it’s a little too early for that at the moment, even for me!)  For now, and until I get around to adding additional adornments to the mantel, those lovely papers are making me happy.

That all said, there will be more faux fireplace fussing to follow, I’m sure.  And definitely more frivolous scrapbook paper purchases made in the not-at-all distant future.  (I just can’t get enough!)  (It’s weird, I know.)

 

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Nursery natterings (part four: the grand-ish tour of our sweet little nursery)

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Uncategorized | 12 comments

Today is my due date.  TODAY.  It’s wonderful and unbelievable and crazy and scary and exciting all at once.  As of last week’s OB appointment, Baby hadn’t yet made much of an effort to join us out here in the real air-breathing world, so I’m guessing that he or she is still feeling comfy cozy in there.  Which, truthfully, is rather fine by me.  That said, I’m very aware that time is now ticking away quite quickly and that Baby could make an appearance at any moment.

And I’m also very aware that I’m ridiculously ginormous…

Maternity picture photo at 40 weeks

Crazy eh?  I’m still not entirely sure how I manage to stay upright.

Last week, with nesting instincts in overdrive, I put a few last minute touches on the nursery.  Curtains were hung, art was placed up on walls, the more-complex-than-anticipated baby monitor got installed, and I fussed over silly little details (would bashful bunny look better here?  Or here?)  And, with Baby overdue as of tomorrow, I’m happy with the rather peaceful teal, gray, white and mustardy yellow space that this nursery has gradually morphed into.

Gulliver Ikea crib with lamb mobile and teal and mustard and gray

My dad found this metal wall hanging at a street art fair.  I added the ribbon and hung it from the door.  It’s perfect in every way.

First we had each other, then we had you, now we have everything art

Teal white mustard yellow gender neutral nursery

We’re using Ikea’s Hemnes dresser as our change table: it’s a good height for both normal-sized me and super tall Sweetie, it has lots of room for the change pad and diaper related stuff, and (most importantly) it’s rather lovely-looking.

Ikea Hemnes dresser in white as nursery change table - BM Woodlawn Blue nursery

(Unfortunately it was also rather difficult and time consuming to assemble.  But that’s a whole other blog post for a whole other day.)

The Celebrate Everything canvas was a HomeSense purchase (on clearance, no less!) made a couple of years ago, long before Baby and nursery planning had ever started.  Again (and again and again): I heart HomeSense.

Nursery art canvas print with bunting flags Celebrate Everything

Nursery art canvas print with bunting flags in shades of teal mustard and coral - Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue

And this trio of friendly stuffed animals will eventually be relocated to a shelving unit of some sort (I’m still in search of the perfect bookshelf for this room.)  I’m hoping to find something fairly small, but still very functional.  Until then, these three will bravely stand guard over the change table.

Stuffed animals for nursery Indigo lamb and Gund bear

Because the nursery is fairly tiny, we didn’t want a crib that felt large and bulky (as so many of them do.)  Enter: Ikea.  Of course.  We fell in love with Gulliver (and hopefully Baby will too!)

Ikea Gulliver crib in white

My friend Nadia (we’ve been friends since Grade Nine) (which means we’ve been friends for… um… many many years) made Baby this gorgeous yellow and teal baby quilt.

Simple handmade baby quilt for nursery

And the small vintage rocking chair, that long ago belonged to my grandparents, was reupholstered by my mom and dad as a gift to Baby.  It’s the perfect size for this little space.  And I love knowing that I’ll be rocking Baby to sleep in a chair that once belonged to people who, while no longer here, were such an important part of my life growing up.

Vintage small reupholstered rocking chair rocker in nursery

Keeping watch over everything from beside my beloved rocker is the ever adorable bashful bunny (along with his good friends the happy hedgehog and hilarious hare.)

Chapters Indigo Bashful Bunny

But my absolute favourite part of the nursery?  This sheep mobile from amazing Etsier (and fellow Canadian) TheMemis

Etsy baby mobile sheep and stars and moon gender neutral

Gender neutral sheep lambs mobile with stars and moon - handmade

Each little sheep has a different expression on its face.  It’s absolutely perfect, and I can’t say enough good things about Emi at TheMemis. :)

Gender neutral teal and yellow mustard and gray and white nursery, painted BM Woodlawn Blue

So there you have it.  Our sweet and peaceful (and gender neutral) little nursery.  I’ll likely continue to add to it as time goes on – I have lofty gallery wall plans for the wall opposite the crib, I still need to find that bookshelf for stuffies and books and toys and nicnacs and such, and I’d love to add a little more coral (if Baby is a girl) or greens and navy (if this belly-wiggler is a wee boy) once Baby arrives.  And my friend Shawn (who I’ve been friends with pretty much since forever) has commissioned a baby blanket for me as a gift for Baby from another mutual friend (Sheilagh) who is an amazingly and incredibly talented quilter (you can see some of her work over at her site, Lay it on Me Baby) – I’m so excited about planning the blanket with her once Baby is born!

But for now I absolutely adore this serene little space, just as it is.

Let’s hope that Baby does too.

Whenever he or she decides to make a big appearance.

 

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Tying up loose ends (small projects for those of us with big bellies)

Posted by on Jul 31, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I’m tired.  Yup, it finally happened.  At 39 weeks (plus three days!) pregnant, I am ever nap-ready and having a hard time finding much motivation these days to do a whole lot of anything.  Which, according to all sources (Sweetie, my friend Jess over at Little Townhome Love, my family, random strangers), is exactly how it should be: for the past few weeks they’ve collectively urged me to nap more and relax lots and just sit and enjoy the time that I have right now.  For the record, I’m terrible at relaxing.  My most common response to these subtle suggestions to sloth: but I have things to do.

But now I think I’m done.

Not because there aren’t a gazillion things I could be doing.  (Dear neighbours: please please please disregard our front flowerbeds.  I promise to be a far better gardener next summer.)  (And dear dustbunnies: please stop multiplying so quickly in the corners.)  But because I just don’t have the energy right now.

It’s a super hard thing for me to admit.  I’m definitely feeling a little defeated.

That said, I had two joyously productive moments yesterday: I finished a couple of tiny little projects.  And I’m quite proud.

First, I swapped out the front entryway doormat for a new one I picked up at HomeSense (oh how I love HomeSense!) a few days ago.  I went from this stripey snore-fest…

White door with oil rubbed bronze door knob and lock

(Obviously file footage, since I’ve since painted those super ugly green walls!)

…to this…

Edgecomb Gray entryway with slate tile and gray and white rug

Gray and white quatrefoil doormat on slate tile

My new rug gets its closeup

Small entryway directly onto living room

Admittedly, it’s not a massive change, but it makes me happy to think that any post-baby visitors will have a much nicer mat to land upon when they walk through my front door.

Project number two involved dressing a long-naked window in our living room.  When we moved in, the previous owners had left some rather hideous and dirty-looking blinds on this window (which I promptly removed.)  I was left with this…

Old window without curtains

Unfortunately, and rather oddly, this window frame is positioned unusually high – it almost reaches the ceiling (I’m guessing that at some point someone dropped the ceiling in this room to run new, non-knob-and-tube wiring through the house since other ceilings on the main floor are a good foot taller.)  As a result, I’ve hummed and hawed over what to do with this window for several months now.  Yesterday, I had Sweetie hang a curtain rod right at ceiling height.  And yesterday, I finally added curtains to this window.

Ikea Matilda white tab top curtains in Edgecomb Gray living room with Tullsta chair

And today, I am very happy with the result.  The curtains (which are Ikea’s lovely Matilda panels, btw) don’t hide the ugliness of the window itself (see all that stuff on the window?  Spray foam.  Between the panes of glass.  Yup, some not-so-bright but likely well-meaning previous home owner decided that this would be a good solution to winter draftiness.)  (For the record, spray foam between the window panes is never ever a good – or, at least, nice looking – solution to draftiness.)  But the curtains do make the window look better (which this soon-to-be momma is content with for now, until we find a way to disassemble the window and scrape out the offending foam.)

Pretty pretty Matilda (on an ugly ugly window)

So there.  Those are my two most recent tiny little accomplishments at the old mauve house.  Significant?  Not particularly.  But I at least feel like I’m still making some progress, despite that my body is most definitely slowing down.

Now, if you’ll please excuse me for a moment (or two), this momma-to-be desperately needs a nap.   :)

 

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A quick closet makeover (another “slap some paint on it and it’ll look so much better” sort of project) (aka: paint fixes everything)

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Some people have scary basements.  I had a scary closet.  (Well, I have a scary basement too, but that’s a whole other story for a whole other blog post.)  How scary was our bedroom closet?  It looked like this when we moved in…

Scary bedroom closet in old house

Wallpapered scary closet in old house how to clean and make pretty

Ack.  Nightmarish, eh?  Yup.  Absolutely terrifying.

And since “make closet pretty” wasn’t first and foremost (or even seventh and semi-important) on my big ol’ home reno to do list, it stayed that way for the past ten months.  Empty.  Ugly.  Mocking me.  Daring me to step inside (which I would never ever ever do due to the aforementioned scariness factor.)

So where were all of our clothes?  In the nursery closet of course.  (See where this is leading?)  But, with Baby on the way in a few short weeks (yep, you guessed it), it was time to clear out that closet.  Meaning that it was also time for us to face the scariness once and for all and make our bedroom closet a much more hospitable, much less horror movie-esque little place.

So what did I do?

I painted it.

And by that I mean that I really quickly and lazily painted it, using leftover Edgecomb Gray paint that I already had on hand.  Did I remove the wallpaper from the walls?  Nope.  Did I sand down the drywall compound patching job that Sweetie did (since originally there were plaster cracks on the back wall of the closet that made it look even more terrifying?)  Nope.  Did I prime or prep or do anything to make the ugly innards of my closet more humane-looking?  Nope.  I just slapped some paint on those closet walls and called it a day.

And it didn’t turn out so bad.  Behold the after…

Scary closet makeover with leftover paint - after shot

I even tossed a quick coat of paint on the baseboards.  Same colour as the walls.  We’re not talking anything fancy here (it is a closet, afterall.)

Painted baseboards in closet

Yep.  A quick coat of paint and suddenly the closet ain’t so scary any more.

(I mean, I wouldn’t want to hang out and read a book in there, of course, but it’s way better.)

So there.  That’s my scary-closet-turned-not-quite-as-scary-due-to-Baby’s-impending-arrival story for you.  Since I’m guessing that Baby will need its own closet.

You know, for cute little onesies and pretty dresses (if Baby is a girl) or tiny overalls (if this wiggly little belly-mover is a boy) and stuff.  :)

 

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