Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oh Ikea - Why Have You Forsaken Me?

Over the past few months, we've been making headway with the family room.

New Rug
New Lamps
New coffee table
Paint (that was a trick - I haven't shown you that yet!)
New overhead light (forthcoming, my friends)

Anyways - one of the last purchases we want to make is a full length mirror from Ikea.

Specifically, the Songe full length.

Now - this mirror has been on my mind since the catalogue came out yet it has NOT arrived in store. I'm talking over a month, people. Seriously.

The online stock check told me that Vaughan Ikea had one in stock, and I went on Labour Day Monday. Yes that's right. I wanted the mirror that badly that I would brave the lineups that went from the BACK of the warehouse. Every line. It was sick. And not in a good way like how the kids say it these days.

But yea, finding a single mirror that was probably never there to begin with is an impossible task, so I went empty handed.

And still nothing. I check periodically and still no stock.

Why, Ikea? WHY?

This mirror is perfect. It is big - not skinny like a normal 'check out this outfit' mirror - it is big and perfect and won't cost me $500 like that one I really wanted from Home Sense.

Anyways - I will hold out. And the final pictures of the family room will wait until then. So if you want to see those pictures, with the paint and the light and my lame attempts at styling....you'll have to keep your eyes peeled for this mirror.

C'mon Ikea - you know you want to sell me that mirror!!


Monday, September 27, 2010

The Arrival of My Birthday Present!!

I know it is a few weeks post-birthday, but I was holding out until I could get this:

I know - to most people (especially my American readers) will think this is old news, but most Canadians know that these are not super easy to get (especially if you have a job and can't wait in line ALL. NIGHT. AND. ALL. DAY.

Seriously - this is crazy - the phone has been out for 2 months or something now and there are still lineups everyday.

Anyways - I've been obsessed with Iphones for eons but my work has always insisted on Blackberries until recently. So of course I had to go for it and get the Iphone! At least now I will have a decent camera on me to take pictures this ol' blog! Woot!

So now I'm looking for a good blogging app - for some reason I think BlogPress is only on the US App Store - I can't seem to find it. Does anyone have any suggestions?


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weekend Update - Crossed Something Off the List!

A weekend update in photos!

Hope everyone had a nice weekend!!!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Garage Update #5649390

Happy Friday everyone!

First off, thanks to everyone who has replied to my question re: themed blogs. It is so interesting to hear what people think on the topic. I have my own views, but am keen to see what others think. If you haven't had a minute to comment, please do so!!

Themed Blogs

And in other news, I have another garage update for you!!

J has spent many hours mudding and taping the drywall and has finally put up a coat of primer inside!! Check it out!

Here is a more "full" view of the inside now - you can see his motorcycle under the dusty cover to the right of the car.

I can't believe what a big job that was. J spent hours sanding the walls, re-mudding and then sanding again. At least I got an idea of what he'd look like when he is old and grey!!

Also, I haven't shown you guys a photo of the house-side of the garage:

Doesn't it look great?!  I LOVE the colour of the siding and the french doors.  We have purchased some lights to go on each side of the door (you can see the holes if you look closely) and those should be installed this weekend.

PS what is UP with light manufacturers not making awesome exterior lights WITH motion sensors?! We looked EVERYWHERE and seriously, we had maybe one option that didn't come from Home Depot or Lowes.

After that all that is left on the outside is this:

1. Paint the french doors (they are just primed)
2. Level out the stone pathway (gee, that sounds like fun)
3. Purchase a stone step to go underneath the door (I would prefer one large step, but haven't found one yet!)
4. Pray for the grass to grow (yes, it grew once, but didn't last)
5. Add some flowers/plants to the small gardens on each side
6. Re-do the fencing on both sides of the yard (waiting for the house next door to sell so we can decide together on style and split the cost)
7. Paint the inside of the garage (happening this weekend using leftover Abalone by BM)
8. Install all of the fancy workbench stuff that J drools over everytime we go to HD or Lowes.

Anyhoo - I just wanted to update everyone on my hubby's hard work - he has put blood, sweat and (probably) drywall-dust induced tears into this project and I couldn't be prouder.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Question for Bloggers Out There

So I have a question.

In having a successful blog, is it imperative that it is 'themed'? For instance, it is pretty clear that my blog is 99.9% about my house and the projects that keep me busy.

But what if I wanted to write about something different? What if I didn't have any house projects going on but still wanted to keep in touch with my readers? Do people read this just for our house stuff and would I lose you if I wrote about other things?

Anyways - I'd love to hear what you guys think about the content of blogs - what makes you read one over another and more importantly, what keeps you coming back to the same one?

And for the sake of not having a picture-less post, check out the washer and dryer I spied at Lowes last weekend - gorgeous!!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What I should have bought

Instead of fiddling with the Craigslist lights.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Thanks Ed!

I'm not sure if you guys remember, but we have a gross, scary crawl space under our house.

Case and point:

That, my friends, is plastic holding up loads and loads of insulation. This is what protects the pipes and kitchen floor from the cold.

This is why my kitchen is FREEZING every winter. Seriously cold. And to be totally honest, hubs and I think that the insulation makes a nice warm home for some furry rodent friends.  We've never seen any mice in the house or anything, but when the heat/air turned on, we'd often get a weird smell that I always attributed to mice. For all I know it was old musty insulation, but either way it had to go.

We didn't want to do the work and clearly couldn't call on friends for this type of job, so off to Craigslist I went. Craigslist has ads for lots of people who are looking to provide general labour so I sent off a few ads and got replies really quickly.

We hired a guy named Pat. He looked kind of like this:

I'd show you a real photo, but our buddy Pat quit after 45 minutes of work. And this was after rescheduling twice. Ugh.

So we turned to our neighbours. While Jay was building the garage, he often had people ask whether he needed any help etc, so he took a chance and put a sign out back asking if anyone was looking for work.

Ed phoned. We explained what the job was, he was interested, and on Saturday morning he showed up bright and early and ready to work.

9 hours later (spread over 2 days), we had this on our deck:

And this:

And this:

CRAZY eh?!

So I will get under there next weekend and take some after pictures. Plans include fixing up any of the ducts that need it, getting a water pipe installed to have water supplied to our fridge (the previous owners never installed that), and then we are getting the entire ceiling of the crawl space insulated with spray foam.

Hopefully, that will provide the warmth we want, protection for the pipes, and make the crawlspace less habitable for mice etc.

One can only hope.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Weekend Project

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I had to make a change to my "About Me" section today. Sigh.

At least I don't have to say "30-something" yet, right? That comes in one or two years, right? Right??!!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Craigslist Chairs Get a New Look!!

I've been holding out on this post for a while, but I think it will be quite a bit longer before they are totally 'done' so I will show you were I am so far :-)

Okay - let's start at the beginning for those of you who haven't been reading so long (or who don't have my craigslist purchased memorized - tsk tsk).

1. Buy some AWESOME chairs on Craigslist thanks to Shannon's sleuthing skills.

2. Think about keeping them as is - they are pretty nice right? Unfortunately, the wood tone is very similar to our floors, and it just didn't work for us.

3. Think about alternatives and land on a photo that inspires both me and my husband (and that NEVER happens!)

4. Wait months because summer (and laziness) gets in the way.

5. I use white spray primer first on the caning and then a double coat of the ever-popular "Heirloom White" by Rustoleum.

6. Leave chairs to fester for a few weeks. I told you, I get lazy!

7. Spend what feels like hours taping magazine pages to the caning of the chair. This isn't as easy as it looks!

8. Next up, spray the visible parts with grey primer.

9. I then gave it a good coating of glossy black spray paint (Rustoleum again).

10. Get very excited when  you see how nice it looks - the shape of the chairs was screaming for this kind of makeover!

11. Take off the paper and voila!

 (yes, this chair needs the bottom/webbing part to be re-done - it's on the list).

In all honesty, there were a few spots where the black found its way through layers and layers of "How-To"'s and Special K ads. I just took a sponge and sprayed it with extra Heirloom White and just dabbed it on the spot. No problem!

12. Bring them inside and revel in the glory of something that actually turned out how I had hoped!

I love the back view - it is like this chair really came to life with the makeover!

So there it is - a makeover that flies in the face of natural-wood lovers, but that makes me very happy!

So next up we are going to put a high gloss lacquer on the black wood and we have to get new cushions - am thinking of making slipcovers so that over time we can easily change the colour etc.

Hope you like the transformation!!!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Craigslist Lamp Revamp Part II

Yesterday I left off by showing you the fancy paint job on my new lamps.  Here is the rest of the story!!

When I bought them, I thought a paint job and new shades would be it, but the cord was kind of gross and had some wear and tear and it seemed silly to put all this work into it and have it be a fire hazard!

Off to Home Depot I went, and I came home with two of these:

It is a neat little kit of stuff you need to re-do a lamp!!  It was perfect (and cheap - 16 dollars!).

Here is how it went:

1. Buy the kit (duh)
2. Try to take apart the existing lamp. Try not to swear when you can't wrench off some of the old bits that have been on the lamp since the 1960's.  
3. Give up and leave some of the bits on the lamp - you were going to replace that stupid ring anyways, right?  In all honesty, it didn't cause a problem - it was the two bottom rings that go under the part that you put the bulb in so I just left those and replaced the rest.
4. I cut the cord at the bottom of the lamp and basically connected the old wires to the new wires.  Then I carefully pulled the old cord out of the top of the lamp, until the new cord was pulled through. Ta Da!
5. Two wires attach, everything else is basically screwed on and voila! A newly wired lamp!!

I picked up two drum shades from Walmart with the intention of maybe covering them, but for now I think they will stay as is.

Drumroll please....


It is currently on the magazines because it marks up the crappy paint job on the old Loblaws sidetable - I will eventually put felt on the bottom.

So here is the budget breakdown:

Lamps = $15x2
Spraypaint = 5.49
Primer = 5.49
Lampshade= 14x2
Wiring kit = 16.94x2

Total (not including tax) = $102.86 for two lamps

In all honesty, I don't LOVE them enough - I've seen nicer turquoise lamps at HomeSense for $60 a piece that wouldn't have required all the work. But, they definitely do the job and I won't feel bad repainting them if my (I mean, our) tastes change down the road.

Anyhoo - there it is. Any thoughts? Suggestions? Think I should just sell them and start over? Have at'er!

I would take a full room pic to show how they look, but I have some other surprises coming your way so I don't want to give it away too early :-)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lamp Re-Vamp

So week one of my holiday was pretty amazing. Started out with the best weather ever (seriously, sunny and 34 every day), where I spent my days reading on the dock and swimming when I got too hot.


When the clouds rolled in, I knew it was time to get moving on one of my projects.

The Craigslist Lamps!

Remember the before picture?

Well I took them up to the cottage with me and started with some primer.

Unfortunately, the flowers on the lights (which I didn't realize were there when I found them on CL) still show up, but I figured I would go through with the overhaul.

Next up was a little bit of this:

And next thing you know I had this!

Next up - rewiring and new lampshades!

In other news, stay tuned for another craigslist "revitalization" - I finally made a decision (and took action!) and I can't wait to show you!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Garage Update - Are You "Board" Yet?

More board and batten went up last week - just one side left now!!

Just have to paint out the last bit of wood trim and the front is done! Woot! Doesn't it look great? I'm so pleased with how the siding has turned out. The colour is perfect and basically a darker version of the front of our house.

Week two of the holiday starts now pretty much - I'm ready to paint the family room, finish the tub chairs and the craigslist lamps. I would like to get the desk done, but it might get bumped. Who knows?!

Happy Labour Day weekend!!

P.S. Not sure if anyone noticed, but I got changed the commenting on the blog. You no longer have to put in one of those random combination of letters to post a comment. However, now I will have to approve comments before they show up. I have no intention of being selective in what posts, I will only not approve spam. The whole reason for the change is my own frustration with having to put type one of those crazy words before I comment on other blogs. Nothing special!  So keep commenting - I will publish it as long as you aren't trying to link me to a sketchy website or something in a language I can't read or understand :-)