Sisters, Sisters

(If you’ve ever watched the movie “White Christmas” you will know the tune going through my head when I picked the title of this post.)

I’m one of those lucky people whose best friend happens to be my sister. I can only hope the same for Sofia and Anna when they are older (Anna being not in my belly would also help the situation).

My sister is one of the most extraordinary and talented people I know. We share a passion for beauty, in nature and in design, though my sister veers towards fashion and I towards decor. She lives along with her husband and three young boys in a cute house set in a trendy Vancouver neighbourhood. The owners of the house had, let’s say, “eclectic” taste, and have left many marks of their presence in the home including gecko stencils on the trim (yikes) and random pieces of gorgeous old decor (yay real Persian rug and mid century modern chairs!). My sister has been itching to give their living room a makeover since they moved in and her husband has finally given her the thumbs up.

Today, while our combined five children ran amuck in my house, we stole moments to look at some furniture and paint colours. Now, post bedtime, I’ve been having fun putting together some ideas based on our conversation. Here is my best attempt to show you (and her!) what my mind has been up to.

(note: these are just ideas, fabric and paint swatches etc. would need to be seen in person to assess true compatibility)

A loungy neutral sectional, vintage vogue posters, brilliant blue walls, and funky patterns would make this living room a classy.

A loungy sectional with neutral textured fabric, a gallery wall of vintage vogue posters, brilliant blue walls, and funky fabrics would infuse this eclectic living space with energy to match that of three rambunctious boys.

So sister, what do you say?

(special thanks to my dear husband who guided his technology deficient wife through making my first online idea board).

2 Comments

Filed under Eye Candy, Uncategorized

This and That

I promised myself when I started blogging that I would never blog just for the sake of putting out a blog post. The temptation was there when I started but it takes blogging from pleasurable to stressful so I’ve abstained from this pit fall. Hence, you haven’t heard much from me since I found out I was pregnant in September. My favorite times for blogging were nap time and after the kid’s bedtime and though I have written many fine blog posts in my mind, they have all stayed there, followed by much needed naps and early bedtimes.

I am currently 23 weeks pregnant and still rather low on energy but as I mentally prepare for my interior decor classes to start up (I took off last semester), I feel myself being drawn back towards blogging, though time will tell how fruitful my fingers are on the keyboard. I am starting this year eager to do some design work for a friend and itching to show you what I have been up to in my two upstairs bathrooms.

I took my husband’s time at home over Christmas break to work on the last room in our house to remain untouched- the kid’s bathroom, and I finally finished off our master bath with a new quartz counter top (Happy Birthday/ Merry Christmas to me). I can’t wait to share some pictures but I’m still waiting for the last step: moving over the light fixtures. Currently they both look like this:

2014-12-30 09.17.13

Master Bathroom

Isn’t that light fixture gorgeous? I’ll have much better pictures when it’s all done. If I was more computer savvy I would photo shop it to move the light over and get on with my post…but I’m not. I’ve been trying to get an electrician in since September but it still hasn’t happened, partly due to poor planning on my part. This brings me to my New Years Resolutions. They’re pretty simple really:

1.) get an electrician

2.) make it to the hospital on time to get an epidural

and (most importantly),

3.) make sure I never get pregnant again.

Okay, maybe number two and three aren’t entirely within my control, but I’ll do my best.

Happy New Year!

Leave a comment

Filed under At home, From the Heart: Thoughts on Life and Family

Fun and Funky Alternative Christmas Trees

Next Saturday my little family will be bundling up against the (likely rainy) weather and heading to a Christmas tree farm for the second year in a row. This year will be extra fun and crazy as Charlie will be tramping around on his own two feet. However, if I find the creative energy earlier this week, I will be adorning our little playroom  with an alternative Christmas tree of its own.

I had a great time typing random ideas for alternative Christmas trees into Google images and never once failing to find that such a tree has already been created. My favorite, the one I plan on re-creating in mini version for our playroom, is one of the most simple:

papertreecasasugar

I find Christmas decor can be a bit overly colourful at times so I like the idea of holiday decorating with a bit of white. I’m hoping it’s not overly difficult. The instructions can be found here on Pop Sugar. The directions are somewhat lacking so if I make one I’ll try to write out a step by step and post it.

Here are some other alternative Christmas ideas that struck my fancy. Even if crafting isn’t your thing, some of them are quite simple, like the bay leaf tree below.

As simple as spray painting a bunch of bay leafs and gluing them on a cone.

As simple as spray painting a bunch of bay leafs and gluing them on a cone.

I had mixed feelings about this next one but its fun factor won me over.

umbrellachristmastree

Parents of young children will cringe when they see this next alternative but it’s a cool idea for a Bachelor, especially if he happens to have an industrial loft.

christmastreeladderintheloop

One of my favorite bloggers to read is Kate from Kate’s Creative Space. She is an extraordinary crafter/mother/decorator and I adore how she turned this mannequin into a “Christmas tree” for her kitchen.

kate'sfirladytreeAnother alternative that I could see my children trying to scale but is beautiful none-the-less.

walltree

And at the risk of giving your children the wrong idea about Christmas:

presenttree

So unless you happen to be a master metal worker this next one isn’t exactly a DIY project. You can buy it online here.

metalchrstmastree

One idea I love and could not find a picture of is using painted thrift store china plates to make a wall Christmas tree, not unlike the one made from shelves a couple pictures above. I already have my wall of china (see below) so I won’t be experimenting with this one myself but if anyone happens to come across such a picture please do post it in the comments.

We tried out our "new" dining room on some friends for a dinner party.

Have you come up with any of your own fabulous ideas for alternative Christmas trees? Please do share!

Leave a comment

Filed under DIY Projects, Eye Candy, Uncategorized

Mama Bear, Up in Arms

There are only a couple things which draw out the mama bear in me. That is the crazy lady at the park you see yelling at children from time to time: a) seeing a child bullying one of my children, or any other children for that matter, without their parent intervening and b) seeing a child harassing an animal, without an adult intervening.

I was disappointment in Queensborough Elementary for a couple of reasons today when I took my kids for a rainy day trip to the park which happened to coincide with the school’s recess. I was surprised to see a.) how long it took for the supervisors to finally join the kids at the playground, and b.) how some of the children behaved in their absence (I should hope that their presence would have tempered the children’s cruelty).

I have a soft spot for animals and I am very fond of our Queensbourgh wildlife, in particular, the ducks. Today at the park mama bear came out on behalf of the ducks which were being terrorized by a group of four children. I told the children to leave the ducks alone. They ignored me. I yelled at the children to leave the ducks alone. They ignored me and chased the ducks until they flew away. When they went after the last lone duck, encircling and clearly terrifying it, I really yelled. They backed of this time. I told them I would be watching them until a supervisor came out and I stuck around until one (finally) did.

Maybe you think I over reacted. But the thing is, if you allow children to bully animals which are smaller than them, more helpless and vulnerable than them, whose to say that they won’t bully smaller and more vulnerable children. I would not be suprised if those kids who were bullying the ducks are the same kids who currently do, or will end up, bullying other children. Children need to learn to value and care for those who are weak and vulnerable. Modeling this kind of behavior and directing our children to respect and be kind to animals is a very basic way of teaching them to value creation and one another.

I’m not big on yelling. I especially don’t relish yelling at strange children. But if at your dinner table tonight your child talks about the crazy yelling lady at the school playground, I’m her, and proud to be. I would have however, preferred that the supervisors had been around to do their job. I would hope that they would have enforced a respect for nature and that the children might be more willing to listen to them. Fingers crossed that the school steps it up before I send my kids there.

1 Comment

Filed under In the Royal City, Uncategorized

Breeding Discontent

One of my greatest guilty pleasures (after watching stupid teen shows like “Vampire Diaries”) is looking at real estate. Specifically, I like to look at charming old houses which are outside our financial scope at this time but may be within it in ten years or so. I love to go through the pictures admiring the craftsmanship and planning renovations which enhance the original charm of the homes (what a travesty when over zealous renovators strip these lovelies of their detail!).

Right now I am drooling over this 3 bedroom heritage home in New Westminster’s West End:

English Garden, Sloped roof, front porch. Oh yah.

English Garden, Sloped roof, front porch. *Drool*. Picture via.

And rooms like the following with molding and arches:

heritagekitchen

I look at this room and my mind moves a mile a minute in excitement. I imagine new tile floors, built in banquette seating with gorgeous throw pillows surrounding a round pedestal table, whimsical wallpaper above the wainscoting and a gorgeous light fixture.

All fun and games until I start to indulge these fancies for too long, hence it being a “guilty” pleasure. I start to want the houses, really, really want them. I feel so frustrated that this dream is out of my grasp that discontent starts to grow in my heart. When it gets to this point I have to give myself a mental slap in the face in order to remember how much I already have.

Three years ago we would never have even imagined being able to own a three bedroom townhouse. Not only do we have the space we need for our family but also added pleasures like an en-suite, large closets, nine foot ceilings, and neighbors we adore. There is so much to enjoy and be thankful for in my current circumstances.

And not just in terms of housing. I have two beautiful children who have actually started playing together (between episodes of Sofia pushing Charlie over and him biting her in retaliation), as well as a healthfully growing baby who no longer makes me want to vomit every minute of every day.

Yesterday Sofia and Charlie spent like and hour "reading" together on our dismantled chaise.

Yesterday Sofia and Charlie spent like and hour “reading” together on our dismantled chaise.

I’ll keep these blessings close to my heart and mind as Steve and I enjoy being looky loos at the open house this weekend.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under At home, Eye Candy, From the Heart: Thoughts on Life and Family, In the Royal City, Uncategorized

Modern Patchwork Pretty

Patchwork? Modern? It might seem like a clash of words in your mind. Patchwork is more commonly seen and associated with country design like in the cozy living room shown below.

Cute. But not everyone's cup of tea, especially if you live are a city dweller.

Cute. But not everyone’s cup of tea, especially if you are a city dweller. Picture via

Because patchwork by it’s very nature is busy looking it fits well with country design where patterns tend to be a bit fussier. In fact, to call any design involving patchwork “modern” is a bit of a misnomer since modern design should be more minimalistic.¬† I say this mostly as a disclaimer in case my decor instructor ever reads this and thinks I’ve learned nothing. So let’s just say I’m looking at a more modern take on patchwork.

I essentially love patchwork because I love fabric (hence the name of this site) and with patchwork you get to enjoy a plethora of gorgeous fabrics in one object. It also opens up great options for using up scraps of fabric…which I happen to have left over from my living room pillows, my dining room shade, my chair slip covers…etc. I haven’t been able to find an appropriate table runner for my dining room table and I decided that a combination of these scraps would make a patchwork pretty table topper.

This West Elm pillow convinced me that I could take a more modern approach to patchwork which would suit the considerably not country style of my home.

patchworkpillowestelmI haven’t made the table runner yet. That’s another post for another day but now that I’m in my second trimester I’m beginning to find the energy to get off my butt. My hands are starting to itch and once little Charlie gets over his cold I’m hoping to get to some sewing. For now I just have some gorgeous pictures of how patchwork can be used beautifully in modern interiors.

It would be quite the commitment but wow!

It would be quite the commitment but wow!

ab1faa9005b72a5079b5ca814b59fc54

Patchwork isn't limited to fabric.

Patchwork isn’t limited to fabric. Picture via

patchworkpillow1

There’s a variety of gorgeous patchwork pillows for sale on Etsy like this cutie.

This couch has to be my favorite. I bet it costs a pretty penny.

This couch has to be my favorite. I bet it costs a pretty penny.

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under At home, DIY Projects, Eye Candy, Uncategorized

Wild Dreams

tortoise kiss

Animal prints are one of those design statements that travel in and out of style with ease. Zebra prints particularly come to mind, perhaps because they tend to be more in style than out, and perhaps because I have a personal liking for them. Flipping through my daughter’s Kid’s National Geographic Magazine I was struck by a different kind of animal print: tortoise shells.

On a side note, as I recover from my first trimester of pregnancy I have been doing a lot of day dreaming. I’ve been too tired to get around to much actual DIY but my mind has been keeping busy with a variety of random notions. For example, I wrote an epic story in my mind and actually typed out twenty-two pages before I started reading the Hunger Games Series and realized my ability to translate my story from mind to paper is fully inadequate. I next became enamored with the idea of decorating my whole home for fall with a series of DIY projects invloving leaves, pumpkins, paint and glitter. I got as far as buying the glitter and letting my daughter make a mess of glue and glitter on paper. Finally, my mind has settled on tortoise shells.

My latest day dream is to develop a collection of home decor fabrics with patterns inspired by a variety of tortoise shells. Of note is the fact that I have little hands on artistic ability, no connections in the industry, and more generally, no idea how to make this dream a reality. But a girls gotta dream when she’s sitting at home with the kiddos.

Check out what I mean. I looked around for fabrics with the kinds of patterns exhibited on the shells below and didn’t find anything to compare. I love the the variation of light and dark neutrals, the texture and the lines. So beautiful. Could you imagine it on a pillow? a curtain? a rug even? I could.

One of my favorite patterns is on this African star tortoise.

One of my favorite patterns is on this African star tortoise.

A delicate but beautiful pattern on this African Helmeted Turtle.

A delicate but beautiful pattern on this African Helmeted Turtle.

This spider tortoise has a stunningly bold pattern.

This spider tortoise has a stunningly bold pattern. Look at the texture the ridges create.

The sulcuta tortoise.

The sulcuta tortoise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most likely nothing will come of my wild dreams but it is beautiful to imagine. My sister directed me towards a website where you can create your own fabric. If I give it a go I’ll be sure to let you know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty, Inspiration, Uncategorized