Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hello, friends. Merry Christmas! I hope you have an enjoyable and relaxing holiday season.

I'm sorry I wasn't around much last week. I ended up getting a nasty tummy bug that knocked me out for a night and a day. Thankfully it cleared up and I woke up Friday morning feeling well enough to host our Christmas party that night. I tried all of the recipes that I shared with you last week except for the bruschetta. I just forgot about it! We had more than enough food though. Everyone really liked the prosciutto wrapped asparagus. I think I made close to 60 asparagus and about 80 deep-fried shrimp. Using the coconut oil was very tasty and it smelled amazing! A big thank you to the ladies who helped me pull it all off. It was too much for one person to do since it all had to be cooked just before we ate! Nothing like inviting your friends over and putting them to work! I guess we all got to enjoy the fruit of our labours.

Kids were also invited to the party and I think there were around 10 who came. They had the run of the house and after the party I found a piece of our plumbing upstairs. It had somehow been disconnected and then made its way up from the basement! It obviously wasn't an important piece and we were able to put it back where it belonged. And I keep finding toys tucked away in the strangest places as I clean up. Too funny. Our house is officially broken in thanks to our dear friends, and that's just the way we like it.

From our home to yours.

I doubt I'll be around much this week, but I hope to be back January 1st to celebrate my 2nd year of blogging. A giveaway is definitely in order so I'll see what I can muster up for you.



Image via Pinterest

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Big Blue Velvet Moves In!

Look what showed up on my doorstep today! The sofa is here and just in time for Christmas. We like.

We went with the Liam sofa by Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams and ordered it through ELTE in Toronto. Yes, that means we made the purchase without seeing it in person. Yikes! I was a bit nervous doing that, but I had seen the sofa used in quite a few spaces (in pictures) so I knew I liked the look and style of it, and I thought a navy colour would be nice.

It turns out that the colour is close to navy but not exactly. There are some strong grey hues in the upholstery. It's a bit lighter than I was expecting but I like it, and it ties in really well with the area rug. Probably better than a true navy would have.

It looks great with the sideboard too. The back of the sofa is straight so it meets up really nice with the back of the sideboard. Our old sofa had an angled back which looked kind of funny against the straight back of the sideboard. 

We went with a java colour for the feet and the bronze nail heads (you see them running along the arms and the bottom of the sofa).

The tuxedo style is modern but still very classic - clean and simple and you feel kind of cocooned in it when you sit down. It's elegant but very comfortable and doesn't feel too precious. I'm breathing a sigh of relief to have it here and to be happy with it!

This was definitely a splurge item for us although we did get 20% off. A sofa is something that seems worth the splurge; it's a piece we plan on using for a VERY long time.

Yay! Now I get to find some good pillows and maybe a throw to drape over the one arm. I'll show you the design board I've created for the living room after I tweak it a little. The slightly more grey colour might change a few things.

Catch you later!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday Randoms

Hello, friends! I can't believe it's the week before Christmas. It's going to be busy around here because I really procrastinated this year. Oh well. We did have a productive day yesterday; I got most of the shopping done, we wrote our Christmas letter, and I started wrapping. I also have some fun party prep to do this week as we're hosting a Christmas party this Friday for some friends. Here are a few things I'm planning on making. Most of these recipes are new which I realize is breaking the "nothing new with guests" rule, but it all looks so good - too good to pass up. If you follow me on pinterest you will have seen me pinning these recipes lately.

Proschiutto Wrapped Asparagus

Fried Coconut Shrimp

Pesto Bruschetta

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Caprese Salad Bites

Hungry yet? There will also be a cheeseball that's always a party hit and some samosas and spanikopita courtesy of Costco. Oh, and don't forget the desserts and drinks. I'm looking forward to it. I wish y'all could come!

I also tried this recipe the other day. It was delicious. (via She Cooks, He Cleans)

I used trout rather than salmon. The fish was very moist and rich. I often think of fish as a "light" protein compared to beef say, but this kind of took it out of that "light" category. I think I would go a little easier with the cheese next time, but it was VERY good. I did make my own mayonaise as the recipe suggested.

The kids and I got our craft on this morning. The nativity scene is a printable I downloaded from Design Dazzle. You have to like their facebook page to get the download, and I accidentely liked it under my husband's profile. Sorry, honey! Just what you wanted, right? Please excuse the PJs and bedhead.  

In other news, we went carolling at our local, small town nursing home over the weekend. It was fun. The kids were adorable. They sang along with me for a song or two and Avery recited her Christmas scripture (from Luke 2). They were both so sweet going around shaking all of the senoir's hands afterwards and wishing them a Merry Christmas. Loved it. Oh, and we're still waiting for our sofa. I'll let you know as soon as it arrives because I'm pumped to show you!

I'm going to wish you a super productive week because, if you're like me, you need it!


Friday, December 14, 2012

Chinoiserie Love

So, it's Friday afternoon and no sofa. It must have been delayed with the snow and cold. Hopefully it shows up next week. I'd really like to have it by Christmas. Talk about an awesome Christmas gift!

Thanks as well for your sweet comments for Kim and her stunning artwork. I know she saw the post and she appreciates the kind words.

For today's post I thought I'd share some chinoiserie loveliness. Over the top pretty if you ask me. Chinoiserie refers to the recurring theme in design and art that seeks to reflect Chinese artistic influences. The motifs are often whimsical, imaginative, and highly ornate and decorative. Many of the patterns and scenes are charmingly imperfect and asymmetrical. In short, the look is entirely beautiful. Sending you into your weekend with a post-full of gorgeous.

I've got some good stuff lined up for next week so "y'all come now ya' hear?" Enjoy your weekend, friends. If you're like me you're going to be stroking things off that Christmas to do list.


All images via pinterest

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fun for a Day

Today we sneak attack daddy's office and decorate it for him but shhhh! It's a surprise. There's going to be a big sign that lets him know how great we think he is. He'll probably like that part the best although we've also got balloons, streamers, a mini Christmas tree, and lights! The kids are having a pile of fun and so am I.

So, I'm off to turn a boring, old office into something special for a pretty special guy.

Catch you later!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Artist: Kim Johnston

You may remember the Philosophy Design feature I did a few weeks ago. I had mentioned Kim Johnston as an associate designer here in SK and said that she was a talented artist as well. You got to see some of her artwork in the interiors I showed, but she's just recently added a small gallery of her work at Peridot in Vancouver (the homeware boutique where she sells her artwork). I'm thrilled to be able to share her fabulous work here today! It's insanely good.

So good, right? Kim is a self-taught artist who lives in Regina, SK. She has been painting for 10 years now. I love her use of colour and the romantic flare to many of her pieces. She's got mad skillz, and she reads my little bloggy blog from time to time so give her some love folks. Tell her how much you adore her work in a sweet comment below. Please and thank you.

Gosh. I want to paint like this. So much pretty.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kitchens with Bold Colour

I do love a white kitchen. Always have, always will. That doesn't mean I can't admire kitchens with bold colour though. Kitchens that do colour in a big, all-out sort of way.

The look is very dramatic with such a cozy feel to it. The rich colours make the space feel more like a den and less like a kitchen. I doubt I would ever have the guts to paint my kitchen navy or green, but I admire people who do! It sure has big impact.

As an aside, I'm in a constant state of excitement this week as our new sofa is scheduled to arrive. I think I told you that we had looked into getting our old sofa reupholstered but it was going to be mucho money (we would have paid more to have it reupholstered than it cost brand new). So, we decided to purchase something new. It made more sense. I'll wait until it arrives to show you, but it's going to be good. Navy, velvet, modern lines... just dreamy. Can't wait to show you!


Image Sources: via Pinterest; Miles Redd; Kelly Wearstler, Lonny; J Randall Powers Architectural Digest

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sewing Shower Curtains

First up, choose a fabric you like. (I let my kids choose since it was going to be for their bathroom.) It's very unlikely you will find a fabric you like that's wide enough to only have to sew one panel, so bite the bullet and purchase enough to do two panels (that's my suggestion anyway).

The fabric I used was 44" wide and I needed about 5m of fabric. I ended up cutting about 10" off each of the panels to make them more narrow. The panels just would have been too bulky otherwise. I used 6 grommets per panel.

You'll want to sew a 2" hem along the tops of both panels and then hem the sides. Each panel was 30" wide when I was done hemming. So, start with two panels that are 34" wide. Fold over 1" and then another for the sides (2" seam allowance). For the tops, fold over 1" and then 2" to create the top hem (3" seam allowance). Make sense? Here's a close up look at the tops.

Once the tops and sides are stitched, you're ready to put the grommets in. The grommets begin about 2" from the sides and are around 6 3/8" apart. 6 grommets per panel. You'll want to space yours out evenly depending on the width of your panels. Again, mine were around 30" wide with the sides hemmed. Once you've determined where the grommets will go, trace a circle using the grommet and cut out the teeny tiny hole with scissors VERY carefully.

For these small grommets you'll need a grommet tool as it's called. The grommets themselves have a front and back piece to them.


Grommet Tool

The grommet tool is supposed to help you punch holes in the fabric where the grommets are going to go, but it DID NOT work for me... AT ALL. I ended up cutting the tiny little holes with scissors. The tool did work for attaching the grommet though, so then we were friends again! You'll also need a hammer and a hard surface. Here's how it works.

"Nut" piece of grommet tool

Larger Half of Grommet

Larger Half of Grommet sets on Top of Nut, Place on a Hard Surface

Push grommet through hole in fabric (You've cut holes with scissors), nut is underneath, fabric is right side down

Take pronged grommet piece

Place over/around larger half of grommet, prongs facing down

Place second piece of grommet tool on top

Hammer Hard

Finished (view from the wrong side of fabric)

Finished (view from the right side of fabric)

It was pretty easy once I got going. I hung the curtains and then marked the hem to break just at the floor. The hem got stitched in place, the panels got ironed and there they hang. Voila!

We used a double shower rod which I highly recommend. The curtains can go on the outer rod and we can hang towels to dry on the inner rod. (Picked it up at Home Depot.) The curtains can be pulled closed and the towels are out of sight!

You won't likely find shower curtain liners narrow enough for 30" panels so just buy two and cut them to size. Easy.

I think we have the cutest shower curtains around. Let me know if you have any questions or need some clarification; I'll do my best.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!