Category Archives: House Projects

Mint is the New Black

I’m back from vacation in Ireland and back to blogging! I will share some stories soon. For now, it’s back to the house adventures…

Mint is my new favourite colour. I’m currently sporting Essie Mint Candy Apple polish on my toes and I’ve been eyeing up these out-of-my-budget Paige jeans for quite a while. Even the dishes we eat off of everyday (Sophie Conran for Portmeirion in Sage) aren’t that far from being mint.

Lucky for me we live in this beautiful 70s mint coloured house! We’ve been renovating the house  to sell next year with the hope of at least getting what we put into it. As important as curb appeal is, we probably wouldn’t get the money back out of replacing the siding. I’ve spent the past couple years complaining about this fact but today I’ve decided to get over it and embrace the mint!

What we can do something about is those faded black shutters. No more mint chocolate chip ice cream. I’ve been pondering the best choice to update the house a bit. The inside has had an amazing transformation and it would be nice to do the same for the outside. I know you’re supposed to match your shutters to the roof but I really am not a fan of the black. My original plan was a dark sage green (I’m not up on my green names but hopefully you can picture it). In the spirit of embracing things, I’m starting to lean towards the pastel look of white shutters. White is fresh and clean and there are no worries of going through all that work to have it not match.

I took a few shutters down off the back and primed them. This step needs to be done anyway and the white primer will give me an idea of how it would look. When they’re dry I’m going to lean them up against the house for a couple days and ponder it some more. Any ideas???

To end things off, check out my beautiful poppy that appeared this morning! At 8am it was still totally closed and  at 10am it looked like this!


A Not-So-Lazy Sunday

Have you have you seen the Lazy Sunday 2 Digital Short? Not as good as the original but still pretty catchy.

I’ve been busy with yard work the last couple days. My plans of turning this disaster into a flower bed are going well. The photo is a couple weeks old so imagine it with a few hundred dandelions and everything about a foot taller!

Here’s where we’re at now. I’m still working away at moving the pile of gravel. It was much bigger than it looked– we’ve moved four wheelbarrows full so far. Speaking of wheelbarrow, I’m now the proud owner of this baby.

The whole project got slowed down with the discovery of 6 hidden tree stumps and a giant ant hill. Also my inability to stay on one project at a time didn’t help– but look how lovely my mailbox looks?

I’m so happy with how the yard is coming together. I was so into the house projects today that I skipped out on going to see Charles and Camilla’s visit to CFB Gagetown. Royalty a five minute walk from my house! I was so filthy and couldn’t be bothered to get cleaned up just to get dirty again.

Not quite fit to meet royalty!

Lucy couldn’t get her act together to go either.

Yard Rescue

Our yard is a work in progress. Considering we both abandoned our house for 6 months last winter/spring, I’d say we aren’t doing too bad. Actually, this is the first year (in the 2 years since we bought the house) that I’ve lived here before July. Last year it was pretty overwhelming starting when everything was over grown so I’m trying to get at it early this time. I’ve already raked 17 bags of leaves (in addition to the 20 in the Fall…look how little the yard is!) and made several piles of brush. Our March heat wave made for great weather to work outside. So far this year I’ve gardened in shorts and tank top, t-shirt and jeans, and winter jacket and toque…in that order!

Here’s a sort of before picture of the yard. This is when we bought the house in Spring 2010. I think a true before picture would show after we neglected it for a couple years. After some hard work last summer, it’s already looking  100% better. I’ll post some progress pictures soon!

Next on my to do list:

This beautiful bed was home to a super cool 70s wishing well. Last summer we hauled it over to the curb in hopes it would find  new home. After a couple days of no luck, Alan was sure he was going to get to do the sacrificial smashing. Luckily, it was spared by a passer by. I hope it has a happy new life!

The white gravel pile has got to go and then this will be turned into a flower bed. The lilies are the only thing allowed to stay. Other than that I will have to raid my mom’s garden this weekend for some more plants!

We have lots of weekends on the road this month so I’ll have to pick away at a few yard projects in the evenings.

Put a Bird on it!

Portlandia might just be the greatest show of all time.

I wish I had taken a before shot of this lamp. I found it in someone’s Spring clean up pile a few years ago and couldn’t let it hit the trash. Imagine it faded black with no shade. That’s how it sat for almost 2 years in our basement, waiting for Bryce Shivers and Linda Eversman to inspire me to “Put a Bird on it!”

The fabric is  hand-me-down African fabric from my mother in law. I had checked out lots of “how to” tutorials for covering a lamp shade but in the end I just did my own thing. I started by making a pattern out of paper that went half way around the lamp. That let me pick out the exact portion of the fabric that I wanted to use. I used a spray on adhesive to keep the fabric in place and then tacky glue to do the edges. I trimmed the excess fabric and then folded it over the edges. I didn’t want to use any sort of trim so I glued bias tape along the inside top and bottom.

For the paint I used Weather Sheild Rust Coat in Gloss Yellow. No need to prime! I started the process on a visit home and my mom had to finish it up for me because we ran out of time. It had to be sprayed from so many angles! I grabbed a big marble out of my toy bin for work to glue on top because it looked like it was missing something (literally, I think the top of the lamp was gone).

Did you notice the bird is sideways? I didn’t…but I like him that way. It’s kind of an awkward giant lamp so I haven’t found a permanent home for it yet. Perhaps I should decorate the spare bedroom around it!

First Post! Gallery Wall Progress

I should head this up by saying I don’t believe in measuring. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can’t make a straight line so I decided to go for the intentionally sloppy look.

Starting from the left, these are the pics:

  1. Nova Scotia print to remind us of home. I wish I could remember the artist. Bought at Love Me Boutique in Halifax, a very cool shop of things handmade across Canada.
  2. Guinness t-shirt that  I bought in Dublin 7 years ago and wore to death.
  3. My “Year of the Rat” stamps. The top one is Chinese from 1984, given to me by one of my students in Shanghai. The bottom one is Canadian from 2008 and the same as the one I gave the same student.
  4. My attempt at the crayon art seen all over Pinterest. Still thinking about adding a mouse on the ground under the umbrella.
  5. A print I bought in Edinburgh that I’ve always loved.
  6. The name my students in Shanghai gave me, “Kai Li.”
  7. A Norman Rockwell print titled “Day in the Life of a Boy.” Alan claims this depicts his typical day.
  8. “The Battle of Trafalgar” The wall was getting a little Holly heavy so I asked Alan to pick out something of his to add in. He’s a military history nerd, what can I say?
  9. A piece of wallpaper that’s pre-1900. Alan’s family is renovating their old farm house and found this hiding under a previous renovation.

Yay for bouquets of tulips! These were my impulse purchase at the cash at Superstore. I thought the candy tempting me was bad. I’m not sure where to go from here with the wall because the big ugly tv is lurking in the corner. I would like to balance it out with a few more frames that aren’t black. I’m really happy with how it has turned out so far. A nice change from how that wall looked when we bought the house:

Yes, those are mirrored tiles.