Catching Up Alphabet Styles

I was randomly thinking of a friend the other day, that I hadn’t spoken with her since shortly after the holidays and now it’s the end of March, so I sent her a little email.  I started off with just a few things to tell her, but my bloggyness came out  and I ended up updating her alphabet styles.  She responded in turn, which made me laugh at my desk, and the result is a slightly modified blog post.

A. Gordon is huge
B. It’s mostly fur
C. She’s actually only about 9 lbs. (editors note: she gets groomed on Wednesday, get ready for some dramatic before and after shots!)
D. Our house is painted
E. With the exception of the upstairs bathroom and the two spare bedrooms (we painted the bathroom and our closet this weekend, LOVE the painted closet – what a difference, so now we have the two bedrooms and 4 closets)
F. And trim upstairs… a lot of trim
G. I’ll be very happy when it’s all done, but the difference already is awesome.
H. Work is Crazy-pants
I. As in really busy
J. I’ve continued to go the gym 4-5 times/week.
K. I’ve seen very few changes. (this is still true, although the Boy did call me skinny the other day… that was nice.)
L. Some changes I guess… but come on! Not impressed. (As a result of the skinny comment I weighed myself at the gym this morning… no change.  I stand by the not impressed)
M. I should go back to sleeping in and sitting on the couch.
N. I took my first sewing class yesterday, last Monday (second one is tonight)
O.  I’m not a natural.
P. All of my classmates (with the exception of Sista) want to be able to sew their own clothes.
Q.  The instructor encouraged this.
R.  I said I just wanted to know how to sew a pillow and some curtains because COME ON why are these things so expensive.
S. She laughed and said, wait until you see how much work goes into those – then you’ll understand.
T.  This was not encouraging
U.  I took this to mean that I should give up now and resign to paying $40/pillow.
V. But sewing your own clothes is reasonable?!
W. Give me a break.
X. I haven’t heard from you in a while – So I thought I’d say hi and see what’s new with you. (this now applies to all of you)
Y. Can you believe I made it to the entire alphabet?!
Z. Blog post?! I think so.
What’s new in your world this week?


Chillin’ with the Family on Family Day

The American’s have President’s day and for Canadians living in Ontario or Alberta – we’ve got Family Day.  A long weekend in February, quite possibly the most brilliant idea ever. I love a long weekend that doesn’t have an event involved in it.

The Boy and I had a pretty low-key Family Day weekend, but we did hang out with the family and we did have some productivity.

The Boy,  the Brother and I headed to Lowes on Saturday afternoon to embark on a family adventure that could end in disaster or the start of a new family business.  The business of ottoman making.

Getting all the pieces - I heart Lowes

Do you remember a couple of weeks ago I shared this picture

are we handy enough?

And I thought DIYing would either result in a BEAUTIFUL custom made piece of furniture and a great sense of accomplishment, or shenanigans.

I’m happy to report that we are halfway there. We have a great sense of accomplishment – but it’s not quite beautiful yet.

some handy work of handymen

If you’re in need of a storage ottoman – I know two boys that can help you out.  But I can also tell you that from our first DIY experience – DIY doesn’t always mean cheaper.  We’re at about 25% of the cost of the one we were looking at at Urban Barn – but we haven’t bought batting or fabric yet.  I hear fabric can be expensive.

Plus – labour is expensive.

These boys aren’t cheap.

fabric me

The rest of the weekend included a family dinner, a family knitting bee, a family effort to clean our dirty house, and a family walk.  Different family members for each of these events, but in the cold and snow of February, I’d rather spend a long weekend with the family than the President!

Before and After

The Boy and I just enjoyed a full 2 weeks off of work for the holidays.  It was much needed and completely glorious.  We spent time with family and friends, between Christmas and New Years, but the bulk of our second week was spent turning our house into a beautiful after from a very blank, very white before.

We had some help, my mom’s interior designer came over and helped us pick colours.  Some people might love working from a completely blank slate, but I found it really overwhelming and was very grateful for the help – and the ability to choose from bigger swatches than just the 2×2 inches you get at the paint store.

When we bought our house, all the walls were builders white. Personally, I don’t know how the people we bought from lived with builders white for a 5 years.  It was driving me crazy! It might be because it was the crappiest paint job I have ever seen. I might have been able to live with a decent looking builders white for a while, but really – for me the starting point is paint on the walls.  I’ve lived with white walls before, many of my apartments were white walls, but for some reason, likely because it’s our house (and did I mention the crappy quality and dinginess?), I couldn’t do it. It didn’t feel like we should bother hanging many pictures or find a rug, or even organize our small book shelf before we put a some colour on the walls.

Before CollageSo over the last week we did just that.

Day 1 – ceilings.

Day 2 – living room – October Mist

Day 3 – kitchen – Windham Cream; small bathroom – Wheat Penny

Day 4 – entrance and up the stairs – Raintree Green; upstairs ceiling.

Day 5 – trim

Day 6 – new IKEA wall unit –  installation and filling/decorating

Day 7 – just as God did when creating the world – we rested.

In between we had a small break for New Years Eve and we (and by we I obviously mean the Boy – I showed up for unpacking) moved the Brother.

My God, we are tired.

In Progress CollageBut it was totally worth it.

Now we’re decorating, choosing a rug, looking for pictures and it generally just feels so much warmer and more homey.

Seriously love it.

A sneak peek at the after - some better ones to come.

A sneak peek at the after – some better ones to come.

What was your first project in your house?

Wordless Wedding Wednesday


Checking in with the Numbers

148 Favour Tags cut and stuck.

592 corners rounded.

18 Days to go.

Thank goodness I’m sending these out to a wonderful friend of mine to tie and finish.

Favours Check!

When a knitter gets hitched

It’s started.  I’ve ventured into the world of Wedding DIY.  I didn’t think I was going to do much… but I think I may have caught the bug.

It started with a post from It’s Simple Love which led me straight to the source – Ruche for what seemed to be a really straight forward How-to.  Blow up a balloon, dunk yarn in glue with water wrap yarn all over balloon, let it harden and enjoy.  Simple enough.

I passed the email along to the Sista and Mom, and asked if they were having visions because I sure was!  Sista responded that she wasn’t having visions so much as flashbacks to when one of our aunts got married and our weekends were suddenly filled with crafting.  In that case painting small plant pots “so that each one is unique and different.”  I remembered it well too, each of us trying to get through as many as possible, not putting too much care or percision into it while my Aunt sat in pre-wedding bliss giving each pot special love and attention.  Did I mention we weren’t old enough to drink?  It definitely qualified as child-labour But of course we were just thrilled to help out!

I tried to entice the Sista with wine – she claimed that barely made it better, but since I’m her only sista and she loves me… she would do whatever I asked (I now have this in writing – muahahaha). I promised I’d make a prototype before we started making 100s.

I bought a starter set of supplies.

I tried a few different sizes.

I waited for them to harden.

I got bored of waiting and tried little tiny ones on sticks.

I carefully untied the balloons.

I’m in love.

Let the crafting BEGIN!

What did you DIY for your wedding? What are some great ideas you’ve seen?

A little DIY… sort of

Boy – “I think your flowers are dead”

Me – “They’re not dead, they’re drying”

Boy – “They look pretty dead”

Stay until the end of a wedding and do you know what your reward is?  The centrepiece of course. At the wedding we went to on the May long weekend – the reward was worth the sore feet at the end of the night.  Beautiful bouquets of peonies, roses, carnations, and other flowers I don’t know the names of.  Pink and white, with just a little green (which was much to the bride’s dismay, but as  beautiful as her florist had said it would be).

The great part about a centrepiece like this – it “dies” nicely.  Well… sort of.

At the point of the conversation above, back when the Boy first started asking me to take care of the dead flowers they did look pretty dead.  It was mostly the fault of the carnations.  I love carnations.  I don’t know what Charlotte was thinking, they are not “filler flowers.”  They’re awesome.  They last forever! As it turned out that was the problem with the dying/drying centrepiece – the Carnations still looked great so it didn’t look like an arrangement of dried flowers.  It looked like an arrangement of dying flowers with the Carnations straggling behind, stubbornly postponing their fate.  I should have taken a picture, but picture this arrangement….

Beautiful and full

but all of the flowers have shrunk down a bit in the drying process… except for the carnations.  Havoc.

My DIY mess

I persevered – or was simply reluctant to throw all of that hard work away so I held on to the notion that the whole thing would eventually dry well.  Enter the DIY project.

The next problem I ran into – some of the flowers and greenery did not dry well.  Mostly the flowers that I don’t know the names of… so I took them out and was left with holes in the beautiful centrepiece.

What is a girl to do? Probably throw it out – except unknowingly the Boy had saved the day!  He bought me roses just over a week ago and because of the terrible heat in our apartment (I can only assume) they dried beautifully too!

Bird's eye DIY

So I clipped out the red roses from the Boy, filled the holes and voila!  Beautiful!

I told the Boy I was going to clean up the “dead flowers” before he left for baseball on Tuesday night… he still hasn’t noticed the new addition to our slanty shelf.

Next DIY putting pictures in the frame!