Monday, February 28, 2011

Headboard - 2 times on the 1 time

Due to being away this weekend, we didn't have any progress on house projects. Instead, I thought I would post an older project as we continue to work with our master bedroom. 

We decided we wanted to do an upholstered headboard for our master.  I'm not going to go into step by step details of the process, since there are tonnes of tutorials online, and it's pretty much just like wrapping a present (but with a staple gun instead of tape).

We found some fabric (for a steal!) and a good deal on foam (for anyone in Toronto - Foamite has great prices, we went to the location on the Danforth). I should preface this story by saying that I am not the fastest decision maker. So, I tend to decide as I go as opposed to coming up with a master plan beforehand. Whether this is good or bad I don't know but it's how I'm working.  We also didn't know the pick-all-your-fabrics-first-and-paint-colour-last-rule.  So, the first version of our headboard turned out like this:
The fabric colour looked much more yellow in our room, and REALLY did not go with the paint colour (for those of you wondering, we lived with a primed-only room for 10 months until we did the closet, so we couldn't WAIT to get it painted). Unfortunately, that meant the fabric really clashed with the room. So we went on a fabric hunt but I just couldn't find anything that I liked. 

Then one weekend after a trip to Homesense we had an epiphany. The Mr. suggested using a tablecloth for the headboard (ha!) instead of fabric since it would be a lot cheaper. We bought a few white and cream options but neither looked good. I then pulled out a gray tablecloth I had bought for the table (who would have guessed?) and draped it over the headboard. That was the winner! We ripped off the ugly cream/yellow-y fabric, and re-upholstered the headboard in the gray tablecloth (who knew??). The tablecloth was actually great to work with because it was large enough that we had enough width to do it without seams. The second go was much smoother both in terms of our process and the outcome!  Here is the final result (with some new bedding and fab pillows):
The quality of the photos is not great (not much you can do at 10 at night, after realizing you didn't have an after picture...).  More on the bedroom decor later on. 

Weekend Recap

So, for the first time in a while I actually watched the Oscars last night...and I was not that impressed.  I don't expect to be impressed by the show, but I do hope to be impressed by the fashion!  I did miss the first part of the red carpet in favour of the Amazing Race, and judging from what I saw during the awards I'm happy I watched the Race! I just wasn't blown away by anyone / anything. I thought that a number of people looked good but no one stole the show for me. And I thought the show itself (and hosts...I think AH should have stuck to impressing the red carpet instead) were bland. For an entertaining (and sarcastically snarky) take on the night check out Lainey Gossip

On a higher note, the wedding we attended this weekend was fantastic! Loads of friends, fun, and FOOD. Boy oh boy did we eat.  It was a beautiful sunny, clear day in Ottawa and the couple was thrilled to be celebrating with everyone. Congratulations to J&A.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday faves

We are heading to a winter weddding this weekend (yes, the spring in my step is gone. It's still winter, with more snow to come today to prove it). Here's to beautiful winter wedding inspiration for this week's Friday Faves.

Image #132652

These people are crazy. Plain and simple.Cute photo but no one would be able to talk me into this one!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Antiquing we will go

On Sunday we ventured to the St. Lawrence antique market. I had never been and it seemed like a good way to break up the weekend (between house work, rad covers, and not-so-exciting-running-around). At the very least it offers an eclectic mix of...stuff.  And people. For anyone going - please don't wear a backpack. It's busy. And the booths are small. And for whatever reason, the sellers seem to place breakables right at the edge of the tables. Needless to say, we heard a few crashes (we can happily say we weren't responsible for any!).

There were really only a few things that held my interest, but I did take some photos of the random stuff that is on display.
A collection of copper items (don't remember how the cigars fit into the picture)

Breakables.  This was some of the nicer crystal, other sellers had assorted dishes and some older patterned Pyrex.

Cuff links galore (a lot with monograms...what are the chances of finding a matching monogram?)

I was surprised that we didn't see more furniture. I think because the sellers have very limited space they primarily stick to things that are easy to sell cash and carry. I'm looking forward to frequenting some antique fairs in the summer (any suggestions?), and to revisiting the strip at Queen W and Roncesvalles.

One seller had some great black and white prints / photos of Toronto from the 20's. I loved the ones with buildings that are still landmarks in the city, like the clock tower near city hall at the end of Bay St., and St. Lawrence market itself. I didn't buy one, but they might be my main reason to return.

Fear not - I did not leave empty handed! I picked up 3 brass urns. Not quite sure what I'll do with them yet, whether I will leave them empty or put a plant/succulent in one of them to liven them up. I'll have to clean them up a bit but for now they have a new home in our entryway.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

101 vs. cookies

I found Sarah101 to be pretty boring tonight. To be fair, it didn't start off well with HGTV's volume tuning out for the first segment - was that just me or did it happen to others? That led me to click away from the channel for a bit and then to click back to see a mix of cream, gray, and peach (she said apricot, the camera shows peach. Not my fave). The episode was a bathroom, which looked nice in the end, but I just didn't think it looked absolutely ah-mazing. The Mr. had a great point in that he was surprised that Sarah took away a double sink, and just used one sink in its place. I don't know about you, but if I was used to a double sink (a girl can dream, can't she??) I wouldn't be happy to find only one sink in my master bath.

I wasn't invested in the episode so I decided to make cookies instead. I saw someone eating homemade chocolate chip cookies at lunch today and instanly wanted some! It seems as though I have had good food on the mind lately! Here is what we ended up with:

Yumm. I probably just passed along some cravings with this post.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Yumm yumm

We celebrarted the family day long weekend with a lot of work on the rad covers, other work and errands around the house, some antiquing (more on that later this week), and delicious meals.

Tonight we had Coq au Vin from the Three Chefs cookbook. The Mr. was actually looking through this yesterday to find something for dinner, and came across this recipe. Being a BIG fan of french cooking we decided to go for it, but it was supposed to marinate for 24 hours. Luckily, with the long weekend we transferred the dinner idea from Sunday to Monday (and had mussels and pasta yesterday as a delcious backup plan).

Here were the results of our hard work:
Coq au Vin

GOOP's Lava Cakes

This is what they look like out of the oven. Delicious, non?  The recipe is no-fail, and uses mainly ingredients most households have on hand. Just make them already. I initially posted them in one of my Friday Faves here, and have been making them steadily over the past 4 years or so.
Ready to eat - yumm.  I usually forego the creme fraiche that is called for in the recipe in favour of french vanilla ice cream (just because we usually have it on hand).

Happy Family Day!  The extra day this weekend really came at a great time :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Gallery style

I am going to do a gallery wall on one wall in our living room. It is a narrow wall that is beside the entry way to the dining room. I want a gallery wall to display some of the great photos we have stored on our computers from our travels. That is really the only downside of digital - is that I don't print nearly as many photos as I used to. I also want the gallery wall to balance out the traditional artwork we have above our couch.

I went and bought a bunch of frames on Saturday, but now need to look at the placement and photo options to put in them.  Am thinking I might do a mix of colour and black and white, matted and non-mattes. Here is some of my inspiration:

entrances/foyers - gilt mirror photo gallery blue green gray black yellow entry foyer  SFGirlByBay's beautiful photo gallery!    Beautiful ornate
bedrooms - Dwell Studio Peony Pillow daybed eclectic photo gallery green walls paint color office  Thanks to Design Sponge!    Dwell Peony Pillows!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday faves

I heard earlier this week that wine or beer can actually help women maintain their weight (apparently that is not the case with men - ha!).  They said up to 7-9 drinks (5oz wine / 12oz beer) per week helped women keep their weight down over time.  (*I swear I heard this this week, but when I googled it to find an article to link to everything was from March 2010. Regardless, good news is good news. Click here for more info).

In honour of this, I will share some of my favourite everyday wines.  TGIF :)

Casillero del Diablo Carmenere

Chateau Puyfromage - we first got this wine as a gift, and it is now one we love giving as a gift.

Peppoli Chianti - we recieved this as a gift also, and absolutely loved it!

I tend to drink red more than white, but here are some of my favourite crisp, go-to, whites:
Argento Pinot Grigio - I've had this so often I am on the verge of overdoing it, but it always pleases!

Champagne...ahhh bubbly. I love champagne. The only downside is that unless you have a good number of people to share it with (or a big desire to drink the whole bottle) it can be a waste, which is really a pity with such good bubbly. I can't say this is really a daily bubble, but it is delicious none the less.
Veuve Clicquot - a nice treat when in the mood for champagne

I like pretty much every other kind of sparkling wine, brut, or prosecco but generally don't have it often enough to have favourites.

Let me know your favourite wines of choice - I'm always interested in new options!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A spring in my step...

...not only due to the new boots I wore today (that I now love and know they were meant to be), but due to the above zero temperatures, and the general feeling of spring in the air. The mounds of snow around Toronto have lowered significantly and the only time I like the sound of dripping water is when it is snow melting.  Today was by no means a beautiful spring day, in fact the morning walk to the subway was downright treacherous with said boots in a bag in one hand (to spare them from ice/snow/salt) and an umbrella in the other, with fresh freezing rain falling all over the sidewalk. I ended up walking along the road and managed without a tumble.  The rest of the day was cloudy, but the high point was leaving work without mittens and without have to brace myself against the cold as I stepped out of my office building.

Some spring images to inspire:

I want to be as lighthearted as her when it rains :)  And "parapluie" - the french word for umbrella - doesn't that sound like a much more glamourous way to enjoy rain?

bedrooms - green wallpaper turquoise blue chair  bright room peacockfeatherblog  green metallic wallpaper and turquoise blue chair.

I fully realize that I am jumping ahead of myself here, and not only could we have more snow but we still have some time for a cold snap. Just let me have my little moment of spring fever!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fabric yardage

My post tonight might be a bit of a cop out, but I think this is incredibly useful information. Apartment Therapy posted about appropriate yardage for various upholstery projects - click on over and check it out (I'm making sure to save it to use as a guideline in the future!). I am usually scared of being JUST short on fabric, so I end up buying more than I need and thereby spending more than I need to. Their post provides a guide with many different styles of furniture, and the approximate yardage you will need for a re-upholstery project.

Click here for the post.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

101: thumbs up

I think this week's episode of Sarah101 was one of my favourites so far. In general I think the design will work for the family. Of course I have my own personal thoughts of what I like and don't, but this episode gets a thumbs up.

One random comment - the dress Sarah was wearing at the beginning of this week's episode with the patterned border / neckline? Love it! Cute option for an intro to spring.

Now onto the room...

 I like the colours. Although gray and yellow is nothing new, I like the fabric and rug choices.  She sewed 2 smaller rugs together (I think from West Elm) to get the size she wanted for the room. Pretty creative solution for a long and narrow space. Although the patterns didn't lineup perfectly, with the furniture in place you don't even notice.  The only potential downside to that rug is that it's quite light in colour...and with a 2 year old running around it may have a short life span! But really, gray and white zebra - loved it. The light fixture in the dining room is very similar to some Moroccan-influenced ones at Homesense right now. I saw someone leaving with 2 huge perforated metal light fixtures and some flashy cushions a couple of weeks ago, and I thought it would be a great combination for a covered patio space. The one feature I wasn't crazy about was the grasscloth on the walls. I don't think the bamboo tones really do anything for the room, and would have personally been happier with good old paint.

Overall, this episode is a great example of what you can do with a long, narrow, open concept space. When we were looking for our house we noticed this floor plan is extremely common in Toronto homes. This is definitely the best use of that space we've seen!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's menu

Like many others, the Mr. and I are celebrating with a nice Valentine's Day dinner tonight, instead of trying to rush around like maniacs tomorrow after work.

Here's our menu:

This mushroom soup doesn't rely on fattening cream for flavour.
Oliver & Bonacini Cafe Grill Mushroom Soup - from the 3 Chefs cookbook, featuring the three chefs from Cityline (one of my Christmas presents). Although soup is always better after it sits for a day, we didn't have the chance to get it going yesterday, so it is cooking now and wil have several hours for the flavours to strengthen before dinner.

Filet mignon, arugula with grape tomatoes, goat cheese, and prosciutto crisps with white balsamic vinagrette, garlic mashed potatoes, and bread (I could NEVER give up carbs).

For desert we will have carrot cake with cream cheese icing, from a Canadian Living recipe (it's dead easy).


Happy Valentine's Day weekend!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rad Covers - Part 1

This weekend marked the continuation of our rad cover project.  We were going to do covers for all of our rads, but the metal or wood mesh that goes in the inside makes it a very expensive project, so we're focusing on the main floor rads for now.

If you want to know what I'm talking about, you can see Rambling Renovaters' version here (a HUGE thank you to Jennifer + Handyman who sent a very detailed reply to my email inquiry about some of the details!).  It also an episode at some time on Pure Design - I came across this while trying to find suppliers for the wire / wooden mesh screens.

We did a trial last weekend for our rad in the entry way. We did pretty well considering it was our first time using a (borrowed) table saw.  Here are some of the steps we took:

Our very official planning strategy

We are able to reuse the shelf that sat alone on top of the rad, which makes the project a bit easier. Now just to prime, paint, and insert the mesh in the centre!

We are considering a few options for the mesh centre.  We have a 3'x4' sheet from Danforth Lumber which was $80. Rona sells smaller sheets (3'x2') for $41.99 each (Home Depot doesn't have anything), and Octoperf is the product Rambling Renovators used. We were quoted $228 for a 4'x10' piece. Although it would provide for many of rad covers, it's still pretty pricey. I have contacted Ferrier for their pricing, but they are only open 9-5 M-F, so it will have to be an excellent deal to make that work!

Today we made the cuts for the covers for the living and dining room. The Mr. glued the frames together and tomorrow we will make cut outs for the pipes on the side, and attach the sides to the frame (levelling as we go!).

We're pretty excited about the aesthetic these will add to our main floor. Will post the finished products when we are done with all the details (sanding, painting, installing).

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday faves

Who doesn’t love fresh flowers? With my brain constantly on spring, and of course Valentine’s Day coming up I wanted to share some of my favourite blooms (although flowers on Valentine's day are always appreciated, they are rarely as good quality as you can get any other day of the year!  good old supply and demand). 
In reality, I love all fresh flowers, but if I have a choice I tend to stay away from roses. In fact, for my wedding I had only two parameters for my bouquet: no roses and primarily white.  Here’s a shot:
Bouquet by Tivoli in Ottawa

I think my all time favourite flower has to be the tulip – nothing says spring like it

 Tulips via

Peony 8x10 
Peony via Etsy 
Hydrangeas via
via - I love the scent of lavender. So fresh and sunny.

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