About a month ago Matt and I went to Home Sense looking for a few things, and I'm not sure if we found what we were looking for, but we did pick up two small items for the main floor.
The first - a little stool for the dining room corner that Matt loved. Not sure what to put on it yet, but the good thing is that it can be put higher and act as another seat at the table, and eventually I will probably put a planter on it to add some green growing things to the dining room - something that does not need too much light.
The second - a round mirror for the living room corner. Wanted something on that wall some rounded edges and I thought this mirror was so pretty!
Really makes that wall feel less bare.
With the light on (which I'm hoping to replace soon with a light from West Elm!!!)
Two weeks ago I actually went out in the garden, raked all the leaves, pulled weeds, and transplanted some of the day lilies so they are in smaller bunches. I was covered in bug bites and a bit sunburnt on the shoulders by the end of it, but I was proud that I went out before the weeds got crazy and tidied things up.
Nice and clean front garden - you can see all the little patches of green on the top right - they used to be two big clumps - now growing as 6 smaller day lily clumps which will hopefully not take over the sidewalk this year.
View from the porch
Something obviously needs to be done about the doormat - the penguins are now melting in this heat, and the porch itself needs a really good clean. Also needs to find some flowers to put in with the birch logs.
You can see behind Matt that the back gardens are another story, although more in bloom today after a week in the sunshine than they were when this picture was taken. But there is still a pile of wood and tarps there too...
Matt had a week off work (well he finished his job on April 26th, and starts his new one on May 6th), and he decided he wanted to build some outdoor furniture. We meant to do this last summer, but with all the travelling we did, there wasn't a lot of free time! He bought a whole bunch of cedar and got to work!
Gotta love a man who can use a saw
Planning out the coffee table design
Tabletop looks good!
Adding the base
And the legs - they are removeable for storage
When the sun beats down right on the thermometer it gets a bit carried away...
While I was at work a lot got done this day! Base of the bench seating done!
Adding supports and the backs
Plus a good sand of everything including all the corners and edges
All done! They look great! Need to be stained (maybe) and sealed, and waiting for the cushions from Pier One to come in (another week yet). They are white with navy, lime, and turquoise stripes.
Some temporary decor using things I already had. Plates are from Loblaws!
Another March Break project was to paint the kitchen - I did the ceiling, primed, and did 2 coats of paint, then the trim. It was a big job, but I like how bright and airy the kitchen looks now, and a lot cleaner too.
Kitchen before - I didn't mind the medium greige colour, but it needed an update
Also pre-grout work!
First step was to patch all the uneven walls - Matt did that
Also a lot of sanding...I took preventative measures to minimize the mess...
...still ended up with chalky shoe prints up the stairs from my dear husband.
View from the ground after the walls were primed and ceiling was painted (ohhhh my back!)
Lucky we have so many drop sheets to cover everything
2 coats done, now for the trim!
Took off the tape to reveal that the last painters were not too careful with NOT painting the trim...
All done - much brighter entryway
The cupboards need some updating - they are starting to yellow which really stands out now that the trim is whiter, and everything is cleaner. Also still have to do a bit of decor, of course.
*Insert bad "caulk" joke here...
Once I finished the grout colouring, I noticed that a lot of caulking between the counter and tile was peeling away, and in the corners as well. Despite knowing this, I had to finish the kitchen painting, and then forgot about it for a while. Luckily Matt surprised me this past week by removing the old caulking and redoing it! Gotta love that guy!
Too easy to remove, in my opinion...
We actually removed the cover to find they had caulked it to the wall - it took a bit of work to fix it.
The grout colour would not stick to the caulk in the corner either
To do this job, you need rubbing alcohol to remove the old caulking, and maybe an exacto-knife and sandpaper, some painters tape to line the edges (crucial in getting a nice even line), and of course a caulking gun. It doesn't take a lot of work to remove it - the alcohol makes it nice and soft and easy to peel away, and then just clean the area, scraping away any excess and smoothing it out, plus wiping it clean and dry. Line both the top and the bottom with painters tape, caulk the lines, and immediately remove the tape before it hardens. Let it sit 24 hours before getting it wet (although the caulking says it will be ready in 2 hours), and voila!
Caulked edges - you can be a bit messy with the painters tape
Peel away to a nice clean line
If you don't use the tape, you won't get a smooth and even line above and below the edges
All done and cleaned up!
Next post? Kitchen painting job!
This project actually took place while I was on March Break...just forgot about the pictures and project until Matt started doing the caulking this past week. Our grout was originally white I believe, and it turned a gross yellow over time. I tried cleaning, scrubbing, and everything to get it back to white, but nothing would help. So here's what I did, in pictures:
BEFORE: Also before I painted the kitchen, was just prepping the walls
A close-up...very dingy yellow
Chose a gray as I figured if I did it white, it would just go back yellow again.
If you read the ingredients, it's pretty much just paint. Squeezed it into a bottle and applied it with a foam brush
Wipe the excess from the white tile with a slightly damp towel. Some grout lines will required two coats.
It took me 8 hours over 2 days to do this whole room. You need to go slow and be patient.
Did around the stove on Day 1, and around the sink on Day 2.
Finished work - I like it!
Crisp and clean!
Coming up next? Caulking around the counter and tile, painting the kitchen, staining the living room TV unit, and of course, or backyard furniture project!!!
Here are a few shots from today's shower for Hope and Jamie - 11 weeks until the big day!!!
Ladies in blue - momma, Lynn and my mom
Like father, like son - 3 shots and Pete's eyes are closed in all of them, but good shots of Dave and Bob
Mardi playing server (with delicious food!)
Bunting (!!!) by Joni
Aww Jamie and Hope M...
Presentation shower for their honeymoon (St. Lucia, perhaps)
John and Jack
Conner, Hailey and Hope watching "Despicable Me" - I really wanted to join them...
Giving them their honeymoon gifts including some awesome Pitbull shades
...plus some beach toys
The happy couple
Conner and the hammock
Guestbook pictures - drawn by Hailey (what would I look like as a dinosaur?)
Matt's eyes were closed in about 4 of 5...this was the best one
Best one that Matt took of Hope and I...still slightly blurry...*sigh*
My dad retired last Friday. He had a work party with his TTC friends that I posted about here, and this weekend my brother and I threw him a party for friends and family at Mill Street Brew Pub in the Distillery District. We headed down early to set up and meet my parents for dinner before the other guests arrived.
Cab ride over - balloons!!!
Distillery + balloons = fun
Adam and Matt with their flights of seasonal beer (I like the lemon tea beer the best)
Even mom drank beer - Frambozen!
My aunt Andrea made a toolbox cake with cookie tools!!! Incredible!
It was really good - thanks so much Andrea!!!
Party decor - see my post on DIY Paper Bunting here
Adam was in charge of the balloons
He also framed a picture of my dad that was in the paper years ago, and got everyone to sign the matte around it
Matt cut a slot in a memory box I got and people wrote messages about what they thought my dad should do now that he is retired - a lot had to do with renovations and house work!
Very convenient that the Mill Street decor matched mine!
My brother and I were proud of our party!
...and then I gave my camera to Adam and Jessica. They then proceeded to take about 400 blurry pictures. The following are all that I could salvage, haha. In the end, there were only 10 of 430 pictures that THEY took that were NOT blurry, and they are all in this post!!!
My mom taking a picture of Adam taking a picture...I want to see the other side of this!
Dad talking with family
The girls...and he really liked that "yeast" sign for some reason...
BEST pictures of the night award goes to Jess
Dad with Margaret and Frank
Thomas and Annick
Me realizing that I may not have that many pictures to work with...
Best of 10 blurry ones Adam took...this one is kind of cool. Only when I saw this did I ask "are you licking me?"
Grandpa and uncle Pat - grandpa had a great night, though the Distillery has changed a lot since he was last there
Aunt Francis and Andrea
Adam with my cousin Mischa
Matt talking with my dad's friends - Ross, Peter and Frank
More party scene
Dad with Adam
Dad and I
Adam eating a hammer
Cheers to a great night at Mill Street!
The moms and dads
Adam wanted to take home 2 balloons
He had a hard time putting his coat on...
Success (with Matt`s help)!!!
Pretty lights of the distillery
Raiding the leftovers when we got back home
He popped these right before he left...I did not enjoy that.
For my dad's retirement party this past weekend, I decided to get crafty and make some decorations. I am in love with all the bunting pictures gracing the party scene lately, so I wanted to make it myself. You can do it with fabric, but since I am pretty much useless at sewing anything but buttons on shirts, I decided that was out. I went the paper route with ribbon. So I dared to enter Michael's on Friday and get supplies. As with Ikea, I have a love-hate relationship with Michael's. I walk in there and I see it is where Pinterest was born, but at the same time, it is so hard to navigate and there is so much selection that I feel overwhelmed. I managed to find some primary colour scrapbook paper and some ribbon, all with fun polka-dots, and was out of there after only a half hour of wandering around, haha. They seriously need some of those Lowe's panic buttons where you just hit the button, stand still and weep uncontrollably until someone comes points you in the right direction.
The first step in the bunting process is deciding on triangle size and shape. Most sites I went to go for the "perfect triangle" which I grew up as knowing as an equilateral triangle, but whatever. That would be all angles 60 degrees and all lengths the same for those geometry-challenged. I thought I would go for the isoceles (2 angles and lengths the same) as I wanted them a bit longer and more pennant shaped, but not TOO pointy. I whipped out my trusty ruler and protractor and went to work. After doing a few rough designs, I decided on 2 angles of 65 degrees and the other 50, and the top length 13 cm (because I love 13, I know, weird). I also have a paper cutter to make sure my lines were straight (way back from the scrapbook days).
I cut my triangle out on heavy cardstock, so it would be easy to trace. And then traced them onto the back of pretty polka-dot scrapbook paper.
I could get 6 on a page and used 2 pages of 4 different colours. That left me with 48 triangles and I ended up fitting 38 to my ribbon.
I got this paper cutter from the dollar store about 10 years ago. A DOLLAR, and the original cutting blade is still great (and it came with a second one that has not yet been used). I do not have steady hands, so cutting by hand was not an option for me when it comes to cut and paste projects. By the way, the dollar store usually has lots of fun scrapbook paper and accessories too, so no need to always head to Michael's and spend the big bucks (although my sister in law is a pro Michael's coupon shopper, haha).
Then when all my triangles were cut, I had to decide on spacing and pattern. I went in typical rainbow pattern, of course.
Each space was 4 cm from the top of the last triangle. I made a little pencil mark, and then pulled out the trusty hot glue gun (again, $5 purchase - it's just a mini-one - a must for any crafty person), and went to town. I wasn't too picky with exact spacing and height, but I tried to have the triangle tops just below the top of the ribbon.
A note of caution - if you want the bunting to go back and forth, you need to first measure you length, because when you reach one end and want it to go back in the other direction, you need to twist your ribbon or glue your triangles in the other direction. If not, they will be coloured one way, and you will see the white backs the other. I didn't really know the size of the space I was working with, so I just decided to one long chain, and either cut it and use two or space it all between one section. I brought scissors and duct tape to the party with me just in case, haha.
Finished product - looks pretty good and the glue held up well. I folded the entire chain back and forth to keep the paper from creasing while we were bringing it over to the venue.
All hung up between two large pillars at Mill Street. My brother bought balloons, and I also got a memory box and I (well Matt) added a slot to the top for people to write messages to my dad. We had a pictures for everyone to sign too.
Definitely added a festive touch to the brew pub, and I think the whole project took me about an hour and a half.
Awww brother-sister love!
**This post is more for my family - sorry to all those DIY and home decor followers who have been bombarded with my family posts lately - kitchen posts are coming soon!**
Here are some pictures from my dad's retirement party this past Thursday. This one was hosted by his coworkers at the TTC - he has worked there for 34 years, and 19 of them have been at Wheel Trans division. My brother and I area also hosting a party for him in the Distillery next weekend.
Mom and Dad
Jessica - my light tester. Neither light was good so B&W I went!
Adam and Jess
And speeches begin!
Just a few of the attendees
Stewart - the MC, and first speaker
Lots of laughs
Adam and Jess (yep, being a creeper)
Next is Ross (I like this picture with Stewart laughing behind him)
Wheel Trans coworkers and friends
Third is Bob
Adam definitely knows I am shooting him, haha
Parents listening on
Long time friends
Susan - representative and friend from ACAT
Dad with Spiros
Listening to dad speak
We listened for a while...there were a lot of pages...
(including one telling everyone I am 30...ugh...)
The family (minus Matt, who was at the bar, haha)
Conversation with friends
Now here's the whole family
And the TTC family too!
Dad with Valdo from ACAT
Dad with Mazin from ACAT