more day planners

A few of the day planners I've been working on recently - and I just listed them all in my Etsy shop.


Living Room - Before and After

So, this is the final installment (for a little while anyhow) of the house makeover series.  Above, you see the living room when we first moved in.  The main change that we made immediately was to replace the laminate floors with hardwood.  Which, as you can see, left us little money for furnishings!  And, left me little money for jeans.  I know it was only six years ago, but those jeans are truly tragic - what was I thinking?  The paper lantern was a desperate attempt to cover up a dated brass and glass light fixture.

And, here is the after, from the same vantage point.  We have basically new everything, except for our couch.  All were inexpensive finds - the chandelier was again found curbside, the TV cabinet from a used furniture store and the chair and coffee table are from a major department store. 

This is the living room from the couch, looking toward the hallway.  Our fireplace doesn't work, but I just love it as a focal point.  We have an electric heater in there for cold days.  As well as my "Keep Calm" print, I have a "Good Day" print from local artist Anna Stowe (love her work - check her out!), a little German figurine from my trip to Austria last year and a carriage clock from my grandmother. The big, chunky mirror was also one of my grandmother's old pieces. The large glass ball is an antique fishing buoy.

This is from the chair, looking in to the dining room.  I like the way that the downstairs of our house is so open, and all the rooms connect.

These are some chairs that I picked up at a yard sale and had recovered in a red boucle.  All the cushions in the room come from Ruby Stella Home on Etsy.  I just love them.

And, here is Milo on his favorite perch!  (Note: the ignored dog bed in the corner) He is, by far, the best thing in this room.


Dining Room - After

Continuing on in my house makeover series, I present...the dining room!  I don't have a before picture of this room, but trust me - it was horrible.  There was a 1970's brass light fixture, which I replaced with this curbside find.  It was also brass, but it's been spray painted white.  The disco ball was added as a Christmas decoration a few years back, and I liked it so much, it stayed.

My collections of books and artwork are displayed on two Expedit shelves from Ikea.  Most of the artworks are small pieces in ready made frames (the large piece is a Camilla Engman tea towel from Third Drawer Down, the lemon painting and dog print were purchased locally from Seeds Gallery, the Yeti is from Owly Shadow Puppets, the lady in the teacup is a trade from Dawbis, and the white ceramic piece was a gift from the lovely Shona of Lala Dex Press).

A change I made just recently is replacing the fabric on my dining room chairs with this pretty yellow chevron.  A quick and easy change which - hopefully! - picks up on the yellows in our printed curtains.  The dining room set itself was from a local used furniture store, made by a Canadian company called Kaufman, which no longer exists.  I'm not sure if it really has much of a pedigree, but it's solid wood and I like the mid-century lines.  It also has two leaves, so we can have huge dinners or spread out lots of work.

I would still like to get a rug, and to recover the ottoman you see in the back there - we use it for extra seating when we have more than four diners.  But, as with the rest of the house, it's all a work in progress!


Before and After - Kitchen

We have had a mini kitchen makeover in the works for awhile.  We have been living in this house for about six years, and the kitchen, literally, started falling apart.  We would love to rip it out and start over again, but decided to just paint, tidy things up, and install some new hardware until we can save up for a full reno.  This was done over a period of years - it took ages.  We painted the cupboards about a year after we moved in, and then had a new sink and countertop installed a few months ago.  Anyhow, without further ado, here is the after....

This photo was taken from the exact same angle.  The Chinese lantern was a gift from our neighbors when they went to New York.  We have it there to distract from the horrible lighting fixture that we haven't got replaced yet.  As you can see, there are still a couple of little jobs left to do (naked plugs need a cover!) but overall, a big improvement.  Oh - and I almost forgot to talk about the floor!  Those are peel and stick tiles.  They are not the typical shiny vinyl ones though - they are a bit thicker and have a duller finish.  Kind of a fake slate.  My mom and I installed those over a weekend.  I didn't want to take the quarter round up - so it was torture!  We had to try to cut the tiles to fit exactly.  My advice - take up the quarter round.

 Here are the open pantry shelves.  I love having all of my flours and things visible.  I keep adding jars as I get more grains.  The "backsplash" is paintable wallpaper.  I painted it semi-gloss white, and then painted it with a special roller that only paints the raised bits.  I painted it to match the walls in Martha Stewart's "Spring Melt" paint from Home Depot.  I am planning to trim out the edges with some white trim - but I haven't got around to that yet.  It is surprisingly wipeable when I've splashed things on it.

This is the stove area.  Previously, the fridge and stove were just kind of "floating", so I rescued an old steel lab table from the University where I work and painted it white.  We have a lot of bottles and cans stored under it, and the large basket in front holds things like foil and plastic wrap.  The old laundry cart is our recycling station - I put papers and bottles in the wire baskets underneath.  The chalkboard wall is always the first thing people comment on when they come in - we use it to write shopping lists, menus and "welcomes" to friends that come by for a visit.

We put these little floating shelves up above the stove to store odds and ends - pretty things that I don't want to keep tucked away.  

This is the area above my dishwasher where I keep some of my cookbooks (yes, this is just some of the collection!) and our fruit bowl with it's little wicker hat.  The cookbooks are where the previous owners had their microwave, but I vehemently anti-microwave (I know, it's weird - but don't even get me started), so we use this nook for cookbookery.  As you can see, there is a sneak peek into the dining room, which I'll talk about in an upcoming post.  

All in all, I'm happy with the improvements to the kitchen.  Looking at the before, I'm amazed at how far we've come!  But - there is still room for improvement.  Because I love to cook so much , I need a space that is a bit more functional with more storage and a better work triangle.  But, this will come with time.


hooded perfection

I get obsessed searching for the perfect thing - perfect boots (I think I have found them - Frye Paige Riding - but I need to save up!), perfect pizza (so far it's Caffe Moretti, but I am still looking) and the perfect raincoat.  I think I might have found it in the Gregg Coat by BB Dakota. I am not sure how waterproof it is, but I just love the slouchy, oversized look of it.  It comes with a belt too, but I think I like it just like this.  Could the search be over?


the society inc.

Martin spent this Christmas visiting his family in Sydney, and when he asked if there was anything I wanted him to bring back, I immediately asked for the book Etc. by Sibella Court.  I have loved Sibella's style since seeing her NY loft in a magazine a few years ago, and my love was further cemented by seeing the "Man Shops Globe" Sydney episode.  Martin said that her shop, The Society Inc., was in a bit of flux when he was there.  They are in the process of turning it into an old school hardware haberdashery - swoon!  I just think it's amazing the way that Sibella has taken her passion for collecting old things and turning it into her work.  I have that same passion, but my family and friends would just call my stuff "junk".

(Image from Society Inc. website.)


new year, new book

It's been ages since my last post.  After a very busy Christmas season, I just felt like relaxing with friends and family - far away from the internet.  But now, I'm back - and I wanted to show you some of my new work.  I have started making day planners - I worked with a very talented graphic designer to create the pages and bound them as little binders.  They sold really well at my shows, but I did have a few left that I just put up on Etsy.  There are a few designs available, but I think that the linen and twill is my favorite.

And, when you open it up, the endpapers have this cute bird/butterfly print - it looks like a vintage wallpaper.  The insides have blank spaces where you can write your own dates, so it's not too late to start planning!  Maybe I should start one so that I could be more organized and post on this blog on a regular basis. ( :

Have a happy new year filled with all the best things!  I will see you back in this space soon!