December 31, 2012

Window Seat ~ Reveal!

Yesterday was a beautiful winter's day. The unexpected sun was a lovely surprise and a perfect opportunity to finally take some photos of the finished window seat at the top of our stairs. There are still are few things I would like to tweak but for now I am happy with the outcome. It's cosy and relaxing and at the moment decorated for the winter season.

I picked up the red berries from my favourite garden store down the road a few days before Christmas. Their days are numbered but they still add a pretty winter colour to the neutral palette. The clay planter has been kicking around in storage for a while. I spray painted the bottom half gloss black and the top half white to achieve an ombre effect.

The cushions are all made from material collected from thrift stores. I should have ironed the fabric first but patience when working on a project isn't always my strong suit. Oh well. The black reading lamp is from Ikea and the little silver trees are from the Dollar Store. The curtain is an old Ikea sheer panel and the silver balls are left overs from a Christmas wedding I decorated last December. 

I am not overly excited about this art piece. My vision was definitely in a different direction. But true to my nature I tried to fix a mistake by adding more and this is what I ended up with. The owls are a wallpaper sample I had ordered online from a supplier in the UK (still trying to track down the company in my email). I was initially thinking of using the wallpaper to line the back of a shelving unit but you had to order a whole roll so the cost would have been too high in the end. The words are the title of one of my favourite children's books growing up. I do like how the effect on the matte resembles birch bark though. I may definitely revisit this project in the future.....we will see.

The black wooden letters are from Walmart. 

The faux sheepskin rug is from Ikea and the grey material covering the bench is also a thrift store find.

All the art on the left wall is DIY'ed. I have posted about the crayon art and the hockey tape art here and here. The other pieces will get their few minutes in the spotlight hopefully in time.

I have to say my pride and joy in this area is definitely the tree stump side table. I had snagged the stump from my Dad's wood pile last summer and left it in the basement to dry out for a few months. It was covered in thick bark and moss but I saw it's potential right away. It was love at first site. Actually I grabbed two stumps and am hoping to make another side table for the family room in the future. The second stump has a special characteristic so stay tuned.

After this stump had dried out I took a hammer and chisel to it and spent a couple of hours removing the bark as best I could. Then I spent a few more hours sanding it down. The wood was quite soft and sanded easier than I expected. Finally I sealed it with two coats of semi gloss wood sealer.

The two vintage books belonged to my Mum. The silver tea light holders are a Dollar Store find. The white ceramic bird is one of a pair I found at the thrift store a few years ago, along with the grey glass ashtray turned candy dish.

I love the colour variations and imperfections in the tree stump.

Apart from the accessories and decor, we also painted the old ugly wood panelling in this area white, caulked around the window and gave it a fresh coat of paint, repaired the ceiling tiles with dry wall filler and painted them a light grey, found the ceiling light cover in the shed, and finally added moulding around the ceiling. 

Eventually, along with the rest of the house, we will be tearing all of the wood panelling and crappy drywall out, starting from fresh with new drywall and redo this area properly. But for now with a little elbow grease and a few bucks, it's definitely a huge improvement!

Total Cost for this little update:

Reading Light - Ikea = $11.99
Faux Sheepskin Rug - Ikea = $12.99
Tree Stump - Dad's garden = Free
Cushion/Window Seat materials - Thrift stores = Less than $20 total
Cushion inserts - Reused from old cushions around the house = FREE
Window Seat Foam - The Foam Shop = $46
Clay Planter - Reused = FREE
Silver Xmas Trees - Dollar Store = $1 each ($3)
Silver Xmas Balls - Reused = FREE
White Ceramic Bird - Thrift Store = $4.99/pair
Grey Glass Ashtray - Thrift Store = $3.99
Silver Tealight Holders - Dollar Store = $1.50 each ($3)
Canvas' and Picture Frames - Dollar Store/Walmart = Less than $20 total
White Sheer Curtain - Reused = FREE
Black Wooden Letters - Walmart = $1.99 each ($10)
Paint for walls and ceiling - Had on hand from other projects around the house

Total Cost = Approx. $135.00! Not bad for a functional and attractive little nook.

And just as another reminder of what this space started out as....

December 13, 2012

Window Shopping ~ Craigslist Part 3

I haven't done a Craigslist post in a while, but that's not to say I haven't been looking. I usually browse for a few minutes in each of my preferred categories every few days.

Over the past few months there just hasn't been anything worthy or interesting up for grabs. I find that the same items are listed over and over again which makes my time spent quite boring. I have honestly said out loud to myself a couple of times, "will someone just but that _____ already!"

Even though it's the Christmas season and not really the 'right' time to be spending money on things that aren't presents for others, I did come across a few items today that caught my attention.

Wooden desk chair - $25

This isn't too bad of a price for this vintage wooden desk chair. I picture it in an old study where the walls are lined with the classic worn novels and the lucky owner is sitting behind a large desk, wearing cosy slippers and sipping a hot mug of tea.


Vintage Small Wicker Purses With Decorative Metal Clasps - $15 (Burnaby)

 I really like these little wicker purses! I'm not a purse person normally but I could definitely see myself proudly carrying these for a night out on the town. They kind of have a rockabilly feel to them. I may just buy these as a Christmas present for myself.  


Laundry or bakers table - $25

If you can look past the junk surrounding the table, you will see that it is quite fabulous. Even though we don't really have room for it at the moment, it would look great either used as a kitchen island or in the laundry room as a folding table. It would also be perfect as an office desk. Hmmm....


Antique Dresser - $75 (PNE)

The price is a little above my limit but I love love this dresser. The photo is pretty dark and you can't see the drawers but the shape, size, mirror and legs are exactly what I dream of in an antique dresser if I were ever to pick one up.


Shakespeare comedies and Tragedies - $15 (Abbotsford)

Speaking of old studies lined with novels...this Shakespeare set caught my eye. I definitely have a thing for old worn books but never pick them up when I see them as I have no idea of their real value and what I should pay for them. Anyway these would be good to use for staging or to have out on a side table for when one is in the mood for some light reading.



These president brass money banks were produced for promotional purposes in the States around the 50's to 70's.  I think one or both would be such a great addition to a bookshelf and/or as a conversation piece. I don't know if I would pay $45 each for them but after doing a bit of research some are selling online for quite a bit more. These two kind of remind me of Night at Museum 1 and 2. If you have seen the movies hopefully you will understand why.

I notice a theme taking shape in today's Craigslist window shopping installment...Do you? Maybe because the winter weather has me dreaming of cozying up with a good book by the fire with a hot cup of tea :)

December 6, 2012

Christmas Lights & Crows

D and I spent last Sunday afternoon putting up Christmas lights at 9808. He wanted me to document the task as it was our inaugural house lighting Xmas event.

We had quite a discussion about what type of lights we were going to use. I am pro all white lights (I think they look very classy) and D is pro multi coloured lights (he says they are the true Christmas light). I was initially going to try and stand my ground on the white lights but I am also very anti-LED bulbs. Even though they are the better option energy wise and the way of the future, I really don't like the look of them and they kind of hurt my eyes. So after much debate we decided to come to a compromise and go with the old school (energy guzzling) multi coloured Santa-Lites (yes they still sell them).  I didn't get stuck having to stare at LED's and D got his coloured bulbs.

D did most of the work whilst I did a lot of standing at the bottom of the ladder handing up plastic clips.

We bought 5 strings of 25 bulbs each which ended up covering 3 sides of the bungalow. It's a modest start but we plan on adding a few more strings each year. I would love to wrap the front porch, dormer window and possibly even Mr. Roboto, our Japanese Maple next year.

I also suggested that maybe we could switch out the lights to the all white option every other year. One year D gets what he wants and the next year I do ;) An added expense I know, but a gal can dream.

The front of the house is slowly improving but we still have a long way to go. Looking at this photo reminds me that we really must get on taking down the satellite dish and the air conditioning platform from the side of the house. Also the pile of asphalt from the driveway hanging out on the lawn isn't aesthetically pleasing either.

We were almost at the end of hanging the last strand when literally dozens of crows decided to have a crow convention above our house. I would estimate there was at least 100 of them. The experience was quite spectacular. The dark rain clouds made it quite ominous and the sound of 100 crows cawing at the same time was incredibly loud and pretty intense.

After a few minutes they calmed down and a bunch of them hung out in our tree for a while.