Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Craft room: The Details

Wow! I never thought I'd get such an awesome response on my craft room! Don't get me wrong, I LOOOOOVE my craft room, and spend many an hour in there, but I figured it would be a bit boring to show. You know, more of a utilitarian space, not all pretty and cute. Boy was I wrong. Seems you girls love a great craft room as much as I do =)

I have received many questions about it, and while I've responded to you each individually, I thought it was worth a post on its own.

Firstly, what's surprised me the most about the comments was how much you all loved the wall colour. And here I was thinking of repainting it. Perhaps I'll rethink that now =)

It is a pretty blue colour, but it is VERY blue. I thought about toning it down, but you all have me thinking that it really is a pretty, peaceful colour, and the walls are in perfect shape, so I'll leave it for a while. Besides, painting this room is just not on the top of my priority list these days.

As far as the colour goes, that's where the bad news comes in. It was this colour when I moved in. The previous owners are actually now our neighbours, having built another house on the acreage next to us. I asked her, but she can't remember. She does think it was a Benjamin Moore colour, though. I have checked it out, and it seems fairly close to Benjamin Moore's Grey Wisp. Grey Wisp is a tiny bit more toned down and grey than this blue. It looks quite different on my computer screen, but when I hold up a sample to my wall, it's pretty close.

I also thought I'd show you just how I (ie really my handy hubby and I) put together this cutting table. All components (so far, which I'll explain in a minute) are from Ikea. Here's the recipe for this particular table:

1. 2 Vika Amon table tops (47 inches by 23.5 inches) $19.00 each
2. Aspelund Chest with 2 drawers $99.00 each
3. 2 Vika Kaj adjustable legs, $15.00 each (optional if you use 2 dressers)
(all prices are Cdn $-likely cheaper in the US)

The two table tops need to be secured together, so they don't slip and slide.  We used a small metal bracket, found at Home Depot, or any hardware store.  Simply screw the two together from the bottom.  The dressers provide extra support for the table tops as well (or the legs, which I'll explain more in a sec).

I have since made a few modifications to this cutting island. I added a second dresser unit, as I figured that I could also use my cutting table as a wrapping table. I store my quilting supplies in one dresser, and now my wrapping supplies in the other. I would not have needed to buy the adjustable legs if I just bought the two dressers at the same time.

My hubby is making one more modification to my table: A wrapping paper storage shelf, which will go in between the two dressers. It will be great for storing paper, but also fill in the gap between the dressers. I'll show you once he's completed it. This will be the only non-Ikea component.

Keep in mind: The height of your table is dictated by either the height of the components you place underneath (ie the dresser), or by the adjustable legs. My table is a tad too short, but for 2 inches, I was willing to go with this height as I liked the style of this dresser the best. If you want taller, you'd either have to use 4 adjustable legs in addition to the dressers, and therefore have a gap between the dresser and tabletop (which I don't see a problem with-it may be a great place to store paper or other flat objects), or use a taller dresser. This combination is 33 inches tall. I'm 5'6'' and find it fine, but like I said, a few inches taller would have been perfect.

If you rest the table tops on the dressers, you'll need to use one of those clear round doo-dads on each corner (or more, if you use larger table tops to create your craft table) to prevent the desk top from slipping around.  I couldn't find any to take a picture of, but they are the same things you use under decorative objects to prevent scratching and shifting on tables. You could also screw the dresser top to the table, but this now will ruin your dresser top, which I don't think is necessary.

Another key thing to keep in mind is that this style of table (ie with dressers) does not allow you to easily sit 'under' the table. I wasn't concerned with this, as I wanted hidden storage, and had another large work surface to sit at and craft. You could easily modify this design, if you require a more multi-purpose table, by using a different base. How about something like the expedit on either end? Use baskets for storage in the cubbies, and the narrow-ness of these units should allow for a stool to easily slide underneath the table. The options are endless!

Hint: Don't limit your search for desk components in the office section. I found the options for 'bases' in that department limited, and much more expensive. Search in the bedroom area (ie for dressers) and the entertainment and storage areas for cubicle type shelves. The are cheaper and generally work better for this type of craft table.
I may actually add a second work table in my space, but this time use the expedit system vs drawers as my base. I have yet another hobby that I want to get back into that I would love having another dedicated work table for.  Now, if someone can just tell me that I'm crazy to add in another hobby in my life seeing as how I'm about to have my 3rd baby, and I'm already up to my eyeballs in obsessions, I mean hobbies =)

I hope this will give you ideas on how to set up your craft space!

Linking to my Favorite Parties!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Putting it to a vote

Choosing a baby name is such a personal decision. So, naturally, I'm asking my nearest and dearest bloggy friends for their input!

You see, with our other two girls, we had no trouble choosing a name. It came easily to us, and we just knew it was the right decision. This little one? Not so much.

We have narrowed it down to 3 names (so far). You may love them all, or hate them all (if you hate them, please don't tell me....I'm awfully sensitive with all these pregnancy hormones raging =).

We've asked friends and family and had everyone pick a different favorite. My hubby and I are leaning to one of them, but aren't quite convinced yet.

Howza bout a fun little survey? I may pick the one that is most popular, on the survey, or I may not. We may choose an entirely different name, if one comes to us, but I would sure love to see what you all think of our (so far) 3 finalists:

We tend to like more classic names, that aren't too strange, but also aren't too common.

Here's a bit of background on the 3 so far (in no particular order):

1. Ella
-love this name, and thought it was so pretty when I first heard it.
-hesitation: It's becoming quite popular, and we don't want 5 Ella's in her grade 1 class =)

2. Amelie
-we have always loved this name, and seriously considered it for our second daughter. It's unique and pretty without being too different.
-hesitation: Confusion with Emily (she'll always be correcting people).

3. Violet
-I like this name more than my hubby, but it's growing on him
-classic and pretty
-hesitation: I knew a Violet once, and she was nicknamed Violent Violet. Also, Vi for short reminds me of a name for someones great aunt.

There you have it. If given those 3 options, which is your favorite?
Oh, what fun! I look forward to seeing what you think =)

Darn it all, I wanted to put in one of those polls in this post, but I can't figure out how to do it, so if you could just put your 'vote' in the comments, then I'll tally them from there =)

Have a great Monday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Contemplations on Wood Trim

I adore painted trim work and doors. Thick, chunky moldings and base boards, creamy painted mantels, luxurious crown molding. Love it. Raise your hand if you agree. Check out these beaut's:

Images: Pinterest
However, I find myself looking up from my computer screen at a house full of wood trim. Wood doors. Wood baseboards. Wood is a predominant feature in our new home. You probably think I'll be painting them, right? Wrong. I love them.

But hold on a sec, didn't I just rave about the virtues of painted millwork?

Well, there is a certain type of wood trim that works. 90% of the time, I would say paint out wood trims, but here are my thoughts on why I think the wood trim in our house works:

1. The type of wood used.
Our door trim, doors, and baseboards are fir. It's beautiful, almost with a rustic, West Coast quality. Not to be a wood snob, but I've seen many a 70's-80's era home with oak trim. Oak just doesn't do it for me. When I see Oak trim, I think sponge painted walls and balloon curtains to go along with it. Check out this example of wood done right:

Lovely, thick door trim. I think this would be perfect in a rustic country home. (pinterest)

Our yet to be decorated mudroom. Fir doors and trims.  

2. The style of millwork.

Our millwork is a shaker style, with thick, substantial moldings. Narrow/thin wood trim? Thing of the past. If you're going wood, go thick. As a matter of fact, I'd say the same for painted trim. The bigger, the better.

Our Great Room. You can see the thick moldings around the doors. It may be hard to tell in this picture, but they are 6 inches wide.

3. Mixture of wood and painted millwork.

You don't have to do your entire home in either painted or wood millwork. In fact, our house has a mixture and it works. Painted trim around windows and feature walls (board and batten in the sunroom, bedroom etc). I wouldn't have thought this would look right, but this house has taught me otherwise.
Pinterest image. Wood door and white trim?  It works!

Our Sunroom.  Notice the wood french doors, but white (actually cream) window trim and board and batten.   In fact, with the exception of the basement, all of our windows have white trim.  It's the same style and thickness as the wood trims, just painted out.

4. The style of the home:

If I were to put a label on our home, it would be "West Coast Farmhouse". It is on an acreage, surrounded by other farms, horses, tractors, farmy smells on a windy day...you get the idea. The style, with the use of a lot of natural elements, such as local woods, wrought iron etc, is also quite West Coast (oh, how I miss our West Coast roots!). These huge beams that flank our entry, and are also a feature in our basement, would look oddly out of place if all the rest of the millwork was painted or more traditional in style. Wood trims just seem to fit the style of our home.

What do you think? Still a die hard fan of painted trim, or do you love wood trims of any sort? Or are you like me, and while you may generally prefer one style over another (in my case, painted trims), can you appreciate a different style when done right?

Linking to my Favorite Parties!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's a Fairy's World

Surely you've been to Fairy World? No? Well, you really should go, it's a place of magic.

You see.....

My girls have been highly involved with Fairies since a young age. First there were the Potty Fairies, who brought them a small token each time they used the potty. Then, the Night Time Fairies, who did the same when they slept the night through on their own.

Let's not forget about the Garden Fairies, Snow Fairies, Santa's Fairies and so many more. All of these wonderful Fairies reside in Fairy World.

My daughters and I talk about what we'll do in Fairy world each night at bedtime.

When you fall asleep, if you think happy thoughts and think of the Fairies, you too will go to Fairy World, where magic abounds.

Oh, and you can ride Unicorns in Fairy World too.

One secret to gaining entry into Fairy World, is the Fairy door. Every house has one, but in order for the Fairies to want to open it, they must be inspired.

Inspiration comes in many forms: A good girl who's done her chores, a little one who's tried hard at something particular that day, but most importantly, the fairy tokens left in the room. These tokens can be pictures of Fairies, books about them, or anything Fairy related. It makes them feel loved.

I had a concern when recently decorating my 7.5 year old daughters room. While Fairies have always been a huge part of her life, she more recently talks more of Justin (as in the Beber), cell phones (pretend, of course), dsi's, wii's.... Oh, and I was just told that Justin is no longer cool, now we're moving onto Cody. Cody who??

Really? At 7.5 years old? What happened to princesses, pink, dress-up. Gone, and all too fast.

Back to her concern: If we were to only have 'big girl' decor in her room (such as her horse paraphernalia and posters of Selena Gomez), how would the Fairies find their door?

Good point. Mom agrees (secretly dreading removal of all 'little girl' from her room).

That's it, she declares, we can have both! She'll have her horse things in here, since Fairies love Unicorns, and they are a type of horse, you know, but she can also hang her Fairy pictures and other Fairy tokens, so they know she still wants to see them and be a part of their world.

Phew, dodged that bullet. Maybe at 8 she'll have a change of heart, and leave Fairy world for her little sisters to visit, but at 7.5, gosh darn it, she's still an honored guest in their magical land.

So, I ask you again, have you ever been to Fairy World? Now you know how to get there. I highly recommend it...whether your 7, or 37 =)

Linking to my Favorite Parties!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

This Week....

1. We'll (by we, I really mean my wonderful husband =) be finishing off my daughter's room and moving onto the nursery......

Board and batten is up, and filled, now awaiting final paint touch ups, then we move in and decorate (that's the fun part where I come in!).

2. I'll be spending a lot of time here:

Avoiding this:

A few projects I'm working on are a quilt in watery blues, creams and greens, and making another one of these cuties:

Next up in the quilting department is a baby quilt. I need to get on that, as there's not much time to go now!

3. I'll be continuing to work on growing this baby girl #3 of mine, although I'm not sure how I can get much bigger! I'm very edematous with this pregnancy-no wedding rings for months now, and my legs are like tree trunks. ugh!

4. I'll be propping up aforementioned tree trunks and starting to watch this:

I've heard so much about it, and can't wait to see it!

I think my nesting instinct is starting to kick in =) What are you up to this week?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Our Newest Addition

No, I didn't give birth (yet!). We have 6-8 ish more weeks to go in that department (and let me tell ya, I'm soooo ready. Well, maybe we should finish the nursery and buy some diapers first, but then, me and my old bod are ready to get this kid out of the booth!).

Back to our 'other' new addition =)

I search Kijiji everyday. Most days I find nothing, some days I find beautiful things that we either just don't need or are the seller is asking too much money.

I came upon a blurry ad of an antique dresser and it piqued my interest. It was hard to see on the picture, the drawers were partially opened and it was obviously stuffed in a closet. There were kids toys and mess everywhere. No wonder it hadn't sold quickly (I'm sure if they would have staged that picture better, they would have had a better response!). You see, Kijiji-ers can be a brutal bunch. If there's a great piece for a decent price, you need to be first in line or you will not get it. It's happened to us before, and it's upsetting to lose a great, unique piece because someone called a half hour before you. Anyhow, I sent hubby cross town after work one day to check out the piece.

I had a few things for him to confirm:

1. All the drawers fully opened and closed, and did so smoothly
2. All the hardware was present (in the picture, several of the handles were half on, and one seemed to be missing it's pull. It isn't missing the pull, but needs one screw to put it on-something my hubby can easily do).
3. It didn't stink
4. The marble top was in decent shape-patina is good, cracked and totally stained is bad. There is one chip out of the front, but I could live with that.

All checked out and it turns out the people selling it had bought it at an auction house in Victoria that both my hubby and I are familiar with (we both lived in Vic for years).

He brought it home and we were excited to examine it closer: square head nails (ie ooooold and a 'true' antique), dove tail joints, great shape for it's age, and just in need of a little tlc to bring it back to glory.

I washed with Murphy's Oil Soap (oh was it grungy!!!), then decided to rejuvenate the wood (which was so dry, it was like running your hands over firewood) with Tung Oil. I applied two coats as per the instructions and the difference was amazing. The wood just soaked it up and it brought out the grains and features of the piece.

Lastly, I cleaned the marble top and used a marble sealer, which also made a huge difference. It didn't make it 'shiney', but just brought out the lustre.

I have lined the drawers with paper, and now it happily resides in our Master, filling a space that bothered me as it really needed something there to anchor the picture above it.

I love it! I quickly 'shopped the house' to pull out some accessories. Not sure if they'll stay or if I'll find something different, but for now, it's good enough. I've been checking out terrarium inspiration on pinterest for some ideas for this glass one that my Mom found at the thrift store.

Do you regularly scan Kijiji or Craig's list?  Have you found any great pieces lately?

Linking to my Favorite Parties!