Sunday, July 29, 2012

outside is looking up

 For a couple of weeks we have been enjoying a little more outside time, its not much but it  and is ours. We still are waiting for grass but the lot is now mostly graded and ready for sod, but it has been very hot and very dry so we have had to wait and live with dirt. We were fortunate to have this larger than normal patio which has made the wait much easier to tolerate. The reason for that was that we were supposed to have a side walk across the yard to the driveway but I didn't see that as a good thing , I didn't want a sidewalk in the middle of our yard.
 I picked up these new oh so comfy chairs recently , they perfectly match the shutters on the house .

 I planted couple of trees last week, I have always wanted a birch, this one will be within the backyard/side yard fence. We went out last week for a dental appointment and we came back to a maple tree in our front yard a nice tall one too, I was so excited. Then Friday we got our landscaping package......dreary at best . It is included in the purchase price of our home, but I wish we had some say in the type of plants we were getting ... but that is the way it goes and we just get what we get. I do at least like sand cherry's so that was fine. I was able to choose their placement and they will fill in nicely, but then the rest was strange . What you now see is after I moved things around , replanted ripped out what I didn't like and made the best of what I didn't mind. I was able to give the offending plants to a neighbour who has just built a cottage so they went to good use. I went out and picked up 6 hostas to add to the sand cherry's and I moved the cotton asters along the walkway to the door , they are al right for now , but they will be replaced with yews eventually. I love hydrangea's so I added one on each side of the front steps, but there will so many more to come.
 I have such a hard time with gardening patience, but there is no choice I have to just sit back and wait to see how things develop over time. Don't even talk to me about the walkway , we will just pretend we don't see those. Maybe we can come up with a nicer look there next spring , but then again we will have to start the fence then....oh so much to be done .
 I'm crossing my fingers this will all be sodded this coming week.....
I'm looking forward to after shot of this with a lush green lawn , because this dirt is making me crazy , the house is getting pretty dirty inside with two dogs tracking it all in with them . The kids are longing for a trampoline so badly ....considering it !!! I know they are ugly but wouldn't that we so fun for them ...?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

living room lighting

 I have been searching for a few new pieces for our new built ins. They are a whole lot less empty now.
 Can't wait to get this carpet out and get the wood installed, but I'm waiting until we have grass to work on . Still no grass for us.

 I was shopping for shelf decor when I came across this lovely light fixture, I thought it might be just what we need for the living room. Simple and interesting, love. I found the light at Homesense , it was $99.00 and it also come in a lovely chrome, if the family room didn't need a fan I would have bought a chrome one also.
 There is still so much work to be done in this room , floors , drapes??maybe, wall treatment , I'm thinking horizontal planks behind the sofa. Those two chairs are going to have to go . But these things in time.
 I have definitely decided I am going to built bookcases here, the chair will go and that little wall will be beautiful bookcases.

This is the sofa I am considering for this living room. It is a new Ikea sofa called Harnosand , I think it is just great, I should probably go see it in person of course. I have lots of Ikea upholstered pieces and love them , but it is time for some new. The chaise would work better on the right and it is moveable so its perfect. Maybe Ikea would like to let me give them a go????? of course it is slipcovered, a must in our house,

Normally I wouldn't choose matching chairs but these just look so very comfy. 
Bookcases like this please. Slowly but surely things move forward. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Built ins complete

 After three whole days working on the built ins they are complete. I remember why these cost so much to do...there is a lot of work involved. But it is done and now I am happy . I can not wait to get this carpet out of here and continue the dark wood.
 I tried the mosaic tile for the surround and it fit into the existing space perfectly , only a small handful of cuts. I started by installing the corner tiles , its a herringbone pattern for the corners only , my favourite.
 I started off with these sheets of tiles and had to cut them up into strips and remove them from the backing mesh.

If its wrong to covet your own work I don't want to be right. Now I will rest and get ready for the next project I need to complete. I am going to concentrate on some partially finished projects before I start anything new.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

custom built ins, last bits of marble and a big old dump truck

 The plan was to build bookcases flanking the fireplace in the family room. I have built this type of storage for others but not really for myself. It was time. I tried to find examples of built ins , lower built ins beside windows , I really couldn't. So I just figured I was sick of seeing the cable box sitting on an old chippy storage box. I thought I would just go ahead and build them and see. Lucky for me it turned out. I started yesterday morning and now Sunday evening they are all primed, yeah me!
 It was so hard to decide on the size , but I am happy with the finished height. I'm not great at nick knacks so it will be minimal. Some tidy books or magazines will go on the bottom shelves. The electrical outlet for the components had a big impact on determining the shelf placement. So far so good. I'm going to go book shopping at thrift stores.
 Built in's are quite simple its just a box , with supports and braces all over , the edging adds lots of stability, its an easy enough project I will be sure to do over and over again.
 The final pieces of marble arrived late Saturday while I was priming the upstairs railing spindles. It is perfect. I even now have a beautiful hearth, I just need to cut down the mantel a sliver to slide the hearth in. I love that all our marble is from the same slab, its so very pretty . I am a bigger fan of marble now than I was before , it is just so authentic , which is what I love, can't beat the feeling.
Last week the grading process began. Lots of big red dump trucks came. It was all very exciting , but now its all just very messy . However we may not have grass but we do have a adequate patio to sit out on for now. Last night we even had a little fire and fun times out there. It has been very dry up until today so grass would be difficult to establish I suppose , so for now I will try to pick up great deals on things like patio chairs and trees. I got two trees for $20 each , a birch which is my favourite and a linden which I very much like. 

So that's what has been going on around here , a few steps forward most of the time.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Dealing with the deck

I know I'm a girl but I don't really like soaking in the tub , I find it too boring. So we made sure to add cable to the bathroom this time so I can chill out and watch something girly , but nothing about this tub is drawing me in just yet. The unfinished wall and the ugly floor tile that looks like it crawled up the side of the tub , I hate! So to me there was nothing pretty about this soaker tub in my master bathroom, well the fact that it is separate and large and has a nice window and most of all it isn't a corner tub and all that makes me very happy to have this tub. It was finally time to address this eye sore and to make it more functional.
 I started with framing the apron out with thin pieces of masonite I attached with no nails.
 The marble installer came by last Friday to install the deck pieces, two went in after a lot of fine tuning but the third and final front piece broke on a vein....dang it . After seeing the two side pieces in place I knew I wanted more marble , so I put together this pattern. The subway tile is from Home Depot and the little chicklet is from Lowe's.
 I first moved on to adding some bead board to the center panel and a little simple trim to cover the seam. Oh did I mention I installed and built in our jam cupboard into the wall in the bathroom to make it more seamless , it also tucked in about an inch closer to when it was free standing, then I trimmed it with the same baseboard.
 Bad blurry iphone pic but it shows what I accomplished today , backsplash...and oh my back . I just love it, that photo does not do it justice, it looks so gorgeous in real life.
So blurry , I will take better photos in the morning light. It is starting to look pretty , finally. I really enjoy installing wall tile , it's just the grouting I could skip.
I may become a bath girl after all , I'm still shopping for the right tv for the bathroom. We may have a tv problem...? nah we like our tv's , LED all the way.

Hopefully grass and grading tomorrow , they are toying with me.
Edit , here are some clear morning shots of the bathroom, not that you

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

birthday party pretties

This past weekend we celebrated both Mason and Sophie's birthdays. Mason 14 and Sophie 11. They were born just one day shy of three years apart. That's right June 26th and 27th. I am exhausted from two back to back parties. I thought I would still try to share with you some of our birthday details.
We once again went with a Luau theme, I am a winter baby so how much do I love a summer birthday?  so much!
We placed the chalkboard on the front porch to welcome our guests, this is always an easy touch.
 I decided the dining room was the best place to decorate for the girls parties. I dug out my flag banner I made a while back. It is just triangles of fabric I cut with pinking sheers and sewed into bias tape, talk about easy.

 I picked up streamers which I normally do not do. I think I am a streamer convert though, I loved them .
 We chose a cake design from Pinterest . I tweeked it by adding ground graham cracker crumbs that looked like sand on top. I used a flour sifter to apply the crumbs. The pinterest image had hand done gum paste flowers but I made things easy by picking up faux flowers from the dollar store.

 I once again made dipped marshmallows, ones with sprinkles and one with more graham cracker crumbs, mmmm to smores marshmallows. I got the nice big picks at a dollar store also. Don't you just love dollar stores? you never know what you will find. Like these little dishes were 25 cents each...
 These are jumbo strawberry marshmallow pops.
 We went with three Luau inspired colors for the vanilla cake. I just divided up one box cake batter. I used pure white cake to allow for the best coloring of the batter.
 One healthy option at least , right.
I loved this simple icing style. Just smooth out the icing and then drag a off set spatula around the sides while spinning the cake, so simple and pretty. 
I remembered I had a bunch of curtain rings that hadn't fit a rod , I used them to hang the streamers from the chandelier , this made for an easy installation. I just used a stapler to attach the streamers to the walls. Just two little pin holes were left behind.

The one thing about having both birthdays back to back is that I get a nice long break before we have to do this again . At least next year we will have a backyard to enjoy. 
Oh I should mention one of the games I came up with for the younger girls. It was a balloon scavenger hunt. We happen to have a pond across the road from our house so we ( my husband ) filled about 50 or so water balloons and Sophie and I wrote random numbers onto the water balloons. We placed the balloons all around the pond not too far off the path . We gave each child a bucket to gather the balloons with. We sent them off to find as many balloons as they could . Who ever had the largest number won a prize. You could do this game anywhere really , I would suggest outdoors. 
 The day before we did a much more low key gathering for the teen party. One Direction of course.
I found a local bakery that was able to print out a a photo of Mason's favourite boy band. Marshmallow paper , not to yummy , I'm just saying.
She chose a brownie instead of cake , I couldn't complain... I am going to recover from all this birthday madness this week.

They told me landscapers are on site today .... I'm still waiting .I am thinking positively that we will have grass within the nest couple of days, we are ready to water some grass...