Brown and aqua is always right

>> Wednesday, June 25, 2008

This is the standard reaction (by Frances) to any bag that is brought into the house

I don't have enough time to craft lately (well not as much as I'd like which is all the time), so I seem to be scooting over to etsy to find things that other people have made. It's odd when you know how to do it yourself, but practical or not, I love buying handmade things. I like to see which fabrics people choose to put together and how. I think it's similar to the stash impulse. Like I've bought a tiny bit of someone else's fabric stash.
I love the brown polka dot on the back

So today I received this wonderful quilted tote by the talented Ms. Minshall. Visit Sarah's etsy shop for lots of crafty treats.



>> Tuesday, June 24, 2008

flower decorations made by my niece

I've been busy with artwork for a few assignments, including final artwork for a book I've been working on since last fall. It has to be confidential until the book is published, so I may be some time before I can show what I've been up to. But I wanted to mention it in case you think I sit on the couch and eat bonbons all day.

But the main reason for the quick post, is to mention that the lovely and talented Karyn from the Workroom now has a blog. Which you should visit.

Oh and this, which I love. (Thanks for the link Simon).

Ok that's all I had to say.


Vintage lamps

>> Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Yesterday I went to the stitch 'n' bitch at the workroom. We had such a nice time with lemonade and cookies and chatting and sewing. As usual it's a great way to see what others are working on and get ideas. And buy more fabric...

I bought these fat quarters, then some other fabric for a skirt which I'll show in another post. I was inspired by a vintage navy blue British Airways bag with white piping I saw in a vintage store on the way to the workroom so that's what the navy blue is for. The others are just because I love green right now.

On the way there my friend and I stopped off at Queen Antiques, a wonderful dusty old shop that sells vintage and antique lamps and lampshades. I managed to find two matching milk glass shades that are perfect for my new blue lamps (as previously mentioned found at our family garage sale).These shades aren't vintage, so very reasonable at $6 each. I've always wanted to go in this shop, it always has beautiful vintage lamps hanging in the window. But it's usually closed when I go by.
I like the little scallop detail at the base of the lamps.

It's the kind of place where it helps to ask for help, because there were things tucked away all over the place that I didn't see, including these shades. I can't remember the exact location of the shop but it's on the north side of Queen St. between Ossington and the workroom!When I got home I washed the shades right away and tried them out. When I turned on the lamp in our kitchen for some reason it made me nostalgic for doing homework on the kitchen table when I was little. It suddenly felt like a fall evening in the 1970s in our kitchen. Our telephone was next to the kitchen table and it looked like this.



The weekend before last I finally did a whole bunch of craiglisting and swapped all kinds of furniture. I sold two storage ottomans(men?) and threw in the cushions I'd made for the top because the person who came for them seemed to like them so much. I sold an IKEA bureau that just had camping gear - all that went into the shed. I sold a sideboard and a bedside table, also from IKEA, neither of which had a place to go anymore. And finally our very tall IKEA hutch. Oh, and my old camping backpack. I can't tell you how good it was to clear all those things out!!

Before: this corner of the kitchen used to be a workshop, with all the tools and supplies for the renovation.

Then we bought a new hutch in a vintage style I like so much better, and a glass door bookcase that now holds all my yarn and some spillover fabric. I'll probably post that later once it's sorted out. The new hutch is similar in style to our china cabinet that holds all my fabric, I would guess 1930s, which seems to be my favourite decade for design.It's nice little details like this handle that I like so much:Then we bought the new IKEA Fusion table and chair set, which luckily matches the hutch since the wood finish on the hutch is very nice and I wouldn't want to paint it. So now our kitchen nook is almost done!
The lamp on the table was a family yard sale find, there's a pair of them and I just need to find glass lampshades for them.

It's basically done, but someday we'd like to replace the sliding doors (that don't slide very well), the ceiling fan and the dusty old stucco on the ceiling. The Fusion set is great because the chairs curve around the table and it doesn't take up much room. I didn't care for the black seat covers, so I replaced those with a striped aqua and white fabric that I bought at the Textile Museum Yardage sale.
I was trying to pick a fabric then noticed this one matches the curtains perfectly, hurray!

Speaking of which, I can't tell you how much great stuff I found at the Yardage sale, but to paint a picture, I looked like a bag lady who lives on a bicycle on the way home. I had huge tote bags sort of wedged and tied to the baskets at the back. Most of it is in the new bookcase so you'll see it then...


Kitchen fan

>> Monday, June 09, 2008

Thank you for the shelf comments, they really cheered me up! This weekend we finally put up the fan back up over the stove, and I can't tell you how happy I am about it. When I say "we" I mean Bradley because I did very little aside from finding screws and washers, picking them up when they fell, and holding the fan for a few minutes. Also saying things like "wow, it looks so good", "do you want me to leave you alone now?" and "I can't believe you finished that bit already". The latter because it was much more difficult than expected.

The problem in the first place is that given the height of the cabinets and the hole in the wall where the fan used to be, there was a new gap between the two. Otherwise the cabinets would have been too low on the wall and too close to the countertop. This is the kind of thing that makes installing your IKEA kitchen tricky.

So first Bradley used finishing panels to construct a box that would be the shelf. Finishing panels are just big flat pieces from IKEA that have the same finish as the door fronts so that you can attach them to the sides of your cupboards so that they match. So dad-in-law helped cut pieces to size with his table saw. That was a few weeks ago.

Then after assembling the box, Bradley had to move the entire row of cabinets (they hang on a rail) a tiny bit to the left to fit the box in, then back again so that it was snug. This involved taking everything out of all the cabinets. Then finally an extra hole was needed in the wall for the fan to fit in place and then the fan was attached onto the new shelf.

This is sort of what it looked like before (I took this picture before the countertop was installed). The fan was sitting between the stove and countertop since it was still attached by a power cord. It was in the way, was accidentally scorched when I turned the wrong burner on one day, and was generally driving me nuts.And this is the fan finally back in place! With an extra little shelf that I've decided to put our Denby Blue Linen baking dishes on. I just need to do a little caulking and paint touch-ups. And in case you're wondering we don't usually have a blue jug of peonies on the countertop, I went out and picked them specially for the photo shoot. ( I guess without the fan there the countertop was looking kind of bare). I love peonies and was thrilled to see two bushes grow up this spring, one in our front and one in the backyard. Such a luxury after condo living.


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