Bringing a little more merry to my kitchen (my “use-what-you’ve-got” attempt at a quick DIY project)
My lady with her cats (and dogs) has adorned the kitchen wall above my stove for quite a while now.
I love her. She’s classy (there’s french writing on that print – doesn’t that automatically make her sophisticated?), and, well, she’s hanging out with several cats (which makes her pretty darn cool in my books.) It’s perfect. :)
But… I’ve been feeling the need to switch things up a bit lately. While I love my crazy French cat lady, I’ve been feeling the need for more colour. More oooomph, if you will. A little cheer and a lot of joy perhaps. So, with Christmas coming (and the gazillion free printables floating around Pinterest) I decided to make the switch. For the holidays at least. And then I’ll revisit my “art above the stove” dilemma again in January. (Stay tuned for another post on that in about 40 days.)
It didn’t take me long to find this…
…courtesy of the lovely ladies over at Eighteen25.
And it didn’t take me long to decide that it’s perfect for my little kitchen. :)
The only problem? Our printer, being a non-fancy-pants little machine, prints 8.5×11″ pages. It’s not a high-end printer by any means, and it maxes out at a standard papersize. Downsizing the original 16×20″ print to fit my tinier paper wasn’t a huge problem. However the matting in my frame was for my lovely 11×14″ cat lady.
My “use whatcha got” solution? Leftover scraps of scrapbook paper from other random past project.
Yup. I pieced together what I’ll call an “inner-matting” (technical term) using some sparkly blue scrapbook paper pieces I had leftover from some other random DIY project. For the record, I’m not a scrapbooker. But I love scrapbooking stuff. Paper and punches and pretty things… It all makes me swoon, just a bit.
And, when I was done my little project (I excelled at cut-and-paste as a toddler, btw), I was left with this…
Insert semi-frowny face HERE. The big reveal was most definitely a colon-S sorta moment. :S I’m undecided. It needs… something more. Like some red ribbon or some doodads or something like that (maybe there is in fact a little closet scrapbooker buried somewhere deep inside of me afterall.) Or perhaps it’s the blue paper that’s throwing me off. While I love the blue with the print, it’s just not playing nice with the gray on my walls.
So let’s consider this a 4 out of 10 for now, k? To be revisited again shortly. I have some deep red scrapbook paper kicking around somewhere in my scrapbook paper basket (yes, I have a designated container for pretty papers… don’t tell…) that I’m guessing will likely be the solution to all my kitchen print woes. Yep, there may indeed be a second “inner-matting” cut and paste project extraordinaire coming to a kitchen island near me.
Are you excited? Me too. :)
To be continued…
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A couple months ago, my friend Nad and I threw a baby shower for one of our BFFs, the (then) uber pregnant Tiff. And it was a lot of fun! We knew that our Tiffer was having a little baby boy, so we pretty quickly settled on a blue and green theme for the shower (since a colour theme is way easier to follow than, say, trying to work with an armadillo theme, or a backhoe theme, or something rather obscure like that.) (Blue is easy to find. Armadillos? Not so much.) And, being the Pinterest junkie extraordinare that I am, I volunteered to look after decor. Of course. :)
I worked and I toiled for weeks and weeks and I’m happy to say that everything was perfect and I was absolutely ecstatic with the final outcome. And (also important) Tiff’s shower was a success! Unfortunately, what did I NOT do? I did not take ANY pictures of the final product. At all. Oops. I know. Insert a dramatic and sad muted-trombone “wop-wop” here. Silly blogger. Nad and I were so busy day-of making sure that everything looked perfect, and ensuring that guests were eating/drinking/mingling/being merry, that it never once dawned on me to take pictures of any of it. And, sadly, despite all of the ooohs and aaahs that rewarded our decorating efforts, none of our guests took pictures of the decor either. Not one. Which, I suppose, I can’t really fault anyone for. The shower was for Tiff, afterall, and not at all about the decorations. (But I still really wish someone – ANYONE – would have captured just a tiny little bit of our lovingly planned-out and assembled decor.)
Suffice it to say: it was LOVELY. And I was proud. And Tiff was happy. So mission accomplished. :)
But despite that I don’t have actual images of the actual decor to show you, I wanted to pass along some of the free baby shower printables that I found while planning. These were all a huge hit at our baby shower, so I’m hoping that other shower planners might find these handy-dandy as well. :)
We could have purchased those fill-in-the-blank invitations that you can pick up at any party store or Walmart or, well, pretty much anywhere. That would have been the simple route. And, well, that would be very unlike me. I wanted to do a custom baby shower invitation, of course (which also required quite a lot more work, but the end result was very worth it, I think.) We didn’t have a big baby shower budget to purchase custom printed invitations, but, after a bit of an extensive search via my good friends at Google, I found these adorable customizable (including the colours!) umbrella invitations, courtesy of On to Baby…
Obviously the actual invitations themselves had a LOT more detail (and included important pieces of information like, um, names and dates and addresses and such.) But c’est cute, non? We were thrilled. And an evening spent with my printer and my beloved paper cutter later and – poof – we had invitations ready to go. :)
I made tissue paper pom poms, of course. Tissue pom poms are my thing. You could even, perhaps, call me the Pom Queen. (Ha. Get it? Pom Queen? Prom Queen?) (Groan… I know. K.) I made LOTS of them. In blue, bright green, and white. They were gorgeous, and a lot of time and love went into making each little fluffy ball of loveliness. We hung them behind the main table in the room, and so many people commented on how lovely and pretty they were and how they made the room look super cheery. I don’t have any pictures of those. Of course. But trust me when I say they were gorgeous. :)
What I CAN show you, however, is a free BOY subway art printable I used to add a little extra decoration to the main table in the room (printable courtesy of Simple Crafter):
I printed this on card stock and framed it in an expensive HomeSense frame and placed it next to the fun diaper cake we put together (as you may have guessed, I don’t have any pictures of our diaper cake either.) It was just a little something extra and fun, and not at all necessary, but it was cute. (And it now sits next to the change table in Tiff’s little blue nursery.)
Favours are one of those seemingly unnecessary extras, and Nad and I debated quite a bit over whether to do favours for the shower guests. I am a big fan of the non-trinket favour, so I was pretty adamant that if we did do shower favours, they needed to be either usable or consumable (and not just some random item that would eventually be thrown away.) Rachael Ray came to the rescue with a free printable and customizable chocolate bar wrapper…
Coincidentally, Walmart had Cadbury Caramilk bars on sale for $0.60 each around this time, so we were able to do favours for our group of about 20 guests for about twelve bucks (well, plus taxes.) And (most importantly) people loved them. :)
So there! Those are a few of the free printables that made our darling Tiff’s shower pretty and special. If I can’t share the photos, I can at least share the printables!
And, well, to put things into perspective: pictures may be worth a thousand words, but a happy friend with a beautiful baby boy (he’s now about two months old and he’s absolutely gorgeous) is worth way, way more. :)
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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…)
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.)
Here’s the picture that originally got my map-loving-ness all in a frenzy (courtesy of the amazing folk over at Restored Style):
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.
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…
…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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I seem to be alllll over the place with projects lately. I may, in fact, have decorating-ADD. There’s my very unfinished (due to newly adopted cat occupation) sunroom project. And my bedroom? It still needs paint (although the walls are all patched now, so she’s all ready to go!) (once I, um, decide on a colour…) So, while we’re in project-limbo for the moment with those two tasks, let’s just move right along to the next item on my list, shall we? :)
And what would that be? I think I need a gallery wall. Actually, I know I need a gallery wall. You see, there’s a big empty wall (temporarily being quasi-under-filled by a rather random green star) that’s begging me for frames. Just look…
Or, more precisely…
(For the record, I’m not sure why the walls look positively peachy in that second picture. That’s a little odd… I promise – they’re most definitely a lovely shade of Edgecomb Gray griege.)
I didn’t notice the abysmal blankness so much when the living room was in its previous configuration. But now that it’s all (awesomely!) rearranged, you see that wall from the couch (where we most often sit in the living room) and the walls are seriously starting to plead with me for substance. And, never one to say no to a wall, I’ll obviously oblige.
Sadly, I’m not one of those people who can ingeniously lay out frames of several sizes/shapes and – poof! – have the whole shebang look brilliant once up on the wall. Truth be told, this sort of approach kinda stresses me out (although it looks lovely when other people do it!) (Yet another example of things I love in other people’s homes! LOL.) Nope. I crave simplicity, a) because I’m too lazy to be bothered with anything more complex than straight lines and identical sizes and b) I have a plan in my head, and it looks just like this (via the good chaps at decorpad)…
Please note the chairs (oh! Look. I have the same Ikea Ektorp Tullsta white slipcovered chairs.) Please notice the configuration (side table between the two chairs? Why, yes. I have that too!) And do you see that wall colour? (Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter, you say? Golly, my walls are the next shade lighter on that same paint card. What a coincidence!) Yep. This may as well be in my living room. (Minus the pink tulips. I’d actually really love some pink tulips please.) Yes, if there was ever a sign that a gallery wall was meant to be in my little living room, I think this would be a big neon flashing florescent yellow one. (This also might be a sign that I should paint my little green side table too.) (I’ll add that to the list.)
For this project, I’ll obviously need a trip to Ikea (yay!) From what I’ve read so far (and, yes, gallery-wall research is super important) the Ribba frames work particularly well for gallery walls.
And then, the big question? What to include in those frames. The obvious answer would be pictures of the cats. Of course. :) And cats may indeed end up in a few of the frames. Cats, and perhaps a few pictures from our wedding – it makes me a wee bit sad that we haven’t put up any pictures from our wedding yet. (Um, almost four years later…)
So yep! That’s the next project in queue. To officially begin whenever we make it to Ikea next. Which could be a ways off still (although I’m always looking for an Ikea-excuse!) Regardless, it’s good to plan ahead, no? “Glorious gallery wall”, you are officially on my to do list. :)
(And little green sidetable? Consider yourself due for a paint job shortly too. Blame decorpad for that one. :)
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A quick post just to show off what arrived yesterday for my laundry room (yeppers – that little closet of a room gets art and everything!)
How perfectly laundry-room-ish eh? Can’t wait to put this on the wall (once the shelves are up and stuff – my replacement washer is coming today I think [yay!], so hopefully shelves will go up next week!) Purchased from etsy-seller honeytree (did I mention I’m an etsy addict?) just a few days ago (click here for more of her work!) shipping was crazy super fast, and it was packaged sooo nicely. This is what I was greeted with when I opened the envelope…
So simple, but so cute. I almost didn’t want to tear into that little kraft-paper-tape heart (but I did.) :) Now I just have to find the perfect laundry-room-art frame for my pretty little print!
(Aside: I never thought I’d get so excited about my laundry room. I think this might mean that I’m officially grown up. Or just weird.)
Happy Friday! :)Leave a comment