Monday, August 29, 2011

TUSAL- Post #9


Happy to report that the month of August was much more productive than the previous month was  :^)

Tracey

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sushi loves to Cross Stitch!

Going through old photos last week, I came across some of when Sushi was once helping me to cross stitch.  I just had to post them to see if they make you smile.  
Sushi appears to be seriously studying the material count.
She wants to know just where to begin her stitching project.

Anxious to get started, the look on her face tells me
to get my hands OUT of her way.
This is one serious stitching cat.
I can't wait to see how much help she is going to be when I start my 24 page pattern of "Clora".  And for those of you who follow regularly.... note I said, when I start.... (I'm dragging my heals, can you tell?)
Bonnie

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tis the Season

I decided to buy this pretty book by Blackbird Designs about a year ago when I fell in love with one of the patterns in it.  This pattern just so happens to have one of my favourite red birds in it (see last post).

Cover Picture

The odd time when I pick a new pattern to stitch, the supplies for that piece can be quite pricey.  This is one of those times. So I bought what I needed in stages- with the fabric being Stage #2...

32ct. Pear by Lakeside Linens

Stage #3- About a month ago I was itching to buy something "stitchy" (more so than usual), so I thought this would be the perfect time to buy the silk floss I needed.  This is the first time I've ever tried Belle Soie floss by Crescent Colours... they feel heavenly to the touch- and such pretty colours.  Can't wait to actually stitch with them!


Notice the cute little gold flowerpot scissors?  Well, they just happened to fall into my "cart" while shopping online  :^) ... a girl can always use a new pair of scissors, right?

Now when will I begin to stitch this you ask; now that I have all my supplies together ??  That's a good question...

I will keep you posted...

Tracey

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Beauty of Nature

A few weeks ago we noticed a new nest in the little tree just outside our front window.  Since this time we have been watching a mommy cardinal sitting on her eggs, patiently waiting for her new family to emerge.  Sure enough, about 10 days ago, we noticed 3 little heads poking up above the nest, anxiously awaiting their next feeding from their mommy and daddy.

It is so amazing how quickly they grow!  This past Wednesday when we had our monthly cross stitch meeting here, Bonnie and I were watching the babies get their evening meal.  When Bonnie stopped by yesterday (just 3 days later), she could hardly believe it when she saw that those babies were now out of the nest, full of feathers hopping around and flying!

 (It was so hard to get good pictures through the window because of the angle... lots of glare.) 

Mealtime
Daddy keeping watch from the maple tree
Baby out of the nest
A day older... waiting for food
Here comes mommy with some

It has been so much fun watching the progression of this beauty of nature.

I'm going to be sad to see the little ones go...

Tracey

(As I was typing this post, we could hear both the mommy and daddy frantically chirping out front... when we looked there were 2 neighbourhood cats lurking close by!!  Will have to be on close watch the next couple of days...)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favourite Things

While rearranging my 'new room' this past week, I decided to move objects around a little - just to enhance the new look.  

While purging this week, I discovered that I have trouble parting with gifts that people give me, especially if it is hand crafted.  One friend had made this shelf for me years ago, and it's a little outdated now, but I'm not ready to part with it. On the top shelf - I have a vase that Paige decoupaged for me when she was about 6 years old. Can't part with it - I love it.  When Jody had once given us all a gift bag, in it was a little pot of greenery.  I slipped it into the vase and it has lived there ever since.  Funny... when I was at Anita's once I noticed she has a little greenery in a clay pot that her daughter had made for her and I commented on how cute it was.  She laughed and said, I was gathering things up when we moved and I had the greenery in my hand and I didn't know where to put it when I was grabbing a box and I saw the clay pot and I just quickly put it in there to be safe and I thought 'hmmmm - that looks quite nice.'  So now, it too, has a permanent home.

The bottom shelf has a unique picture frame that Tracey came across (she found 4 of course - we always have to shop in 4's) and she stitched our initial and gave it to each one of us.  Then of course there is the 'Four from Forest'. This picture was taken a few years ago in this very room at Christmas time; thinking about it now - I guess since I'm hosting Christmas this year and we alternate each year, that means this picture was taken in 2007. Outdated shelf, outdated picture - at least I'm consistent.   Who cares though, right?    These are the small things we aren't allowed to sweat about.  Moving on...

Made by Paige when she was six with a little help from Aunt Deb.
Remember... I love Vintage, Victorian style... anything!


I have had some peacock feathers for several years now and I've never really displayed them where you can see them nicely.  I love them, but I just never found the right spot.  Paige gathered them up from one of our adventures at Story Book Gardens (Gee... there's a thought for a posting sometime... - someone remind me).  So I decided they would look nice beside the Willow Tree Angel that Anita gave me.

Anita gave me this angel a few years ago. 
I think she gave me an angel because I remind her of one..
ya...that's it.
This next picture is what I have set up in my 'cross stitch' corner.  The table is an antique that used to belong to my grandparents.  On the table is one of her old crocheted doilies and I laid out a pair of my gramma's evening gloves and her pearl necklace. If you zoom in on the pearls, you can see the unique diamond studded clasp.  LOVE IT!  The lamp ... too funny.  I made that lamp years ago in ceramics class for my former in-laws.  When they purged, it was handed down to my daughter, now handed it back to me because it really doesn't suit her 'Ikea' style decor.  Now my favourite part... the two little Critter Cross Stitchers sitting beside the cross stitched "B" - that was given to me as a gift from our Brentwood retreat this year.  


Ok, so the story of the Little Critter Cross Stitchers.  Many years ago, Jody had found a Hallmark Collectable Cross Stitch ornament with a little critter stitching and since she had Anita's name for Christmas - what better gift could she give her.  When Anita opened it and we all gasped, Jody had said "I don't for the life of me know why I didn't buy four of them!!!:"  So ever since then, we buy in fours. 

So as a professional shopper, I decided to scour eBay to find four little Critter Cross Stitchers.  I found only one, a tiny chipmunk sitting in a rocking chair stitching, but I just couldn't find anymore - so I just had to keep it.    A few months later I tried again and I was able to find 4 of the same ornament of a rabbit sitting and stitching the word Joy.  How appropriate because when I finally found four of the same ornaments, it brought me joy.   So each of us four now has the same ornament.

If you notice the blooper in this posting
- be the first to post about it and I'll send you a prize.
...and no...sorry... it will not be a Little Critter Cross Stitcher.  

Bye for now... someone has invited me to come out and play.  
I'll stitch later when it's dark. 
Bonnie

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Do-It-Yourself New Floor !!

Think back…, remember when grey and dusty rose were the ‘in’ colours.  Well that’s how old my carpet was. Yep… over 25 years old and time to be ripped out.  My living room has been transformed many times throughout the years. 

In 1986, when we moved into this house, the living room had green and blue shag carpeting, paneled walls and a wood stove.  After a minor fire, it was good bye wood stove and hello new carpet. We replaced the old slider window with a patio door with the intent of a deck to follow, but sadly...that hasn’t happened yet. We tore out the two small walls that separated the living area from a small entry way and this opened up the room immensely.  

Here is Holly at 6 months old sitting on the green and blue shag carpet.
I understand shag is making a comeback...
All I could think of when I saw this carpet
was an old saying from when I was in school;
"Blue and Green must never be seen, unless it's in the washing machine!"
Where ever you see pink insulation is where the room was NOT insulated. 
No wonder they put in a wood stove for some heat!
I mean seriously - Who does that?
This is the south corner of the room - the doorway is to the immediate left.
As you entered this room, there was an entry way.
We originally took these two walls down with the intent of putting up a partial wall with spindles; because that was the rage then.  But when we saw how much bigger the room looked when we removed the walls completely -
we didn't bother to create a half-wall.
New carpet, new walls, new furniture, new window.
Holly and her little friend playing on the new floor - 6 months later.
Then after a few years when sponge painting, opps I mean faux painting, was the rage I painted the walls dusty rose and grey to add some colour to the room. 
Oh, did I mention that I used to collect carousel horses? 
But please... just look at the paint.
A few years later, I decided to sponge over top of the pink and grey with some burgundy paint to splash things up a bit.  I called Tracey over and said, “What do YOU think?  I don’t think I like it.”  

“Nah…me either. Those colours just don’t look good together, it’s too much of a contrast and they don’t’ blend well.” So I said, OK – and I took the roller and swiped a solid path onto the wall.   “What do you think now?”  Tracey gasped and said, “I love it.  Do the whole room, not just one wall!”  
I had a hard time finding a clear picture of the burgundy walls.
(thank goodness for my new camera)

I forgot to mention that I also painted the cloth vertical blinds.  I wasn't sure if it would work and I was prepared to purchase new blinds if didn't, but they turned out really good. Inventive, frugal and a tad tacky,
but I was happy with them for a few years and my budget was happy too.
So we lived with the burgundy for a few more years and then I decided it was time to warm things up with some chocolate brown.  

When choosing the paint colours, I didn’t think I would like the entire room in brown so I was going to have one accent wall in chocolate and the other 3 walls in a colour two shades lighter, and the ceiling would be two shades lighter than the other 3 walls rather than a stark white.  When it was all done, I didn’t like the ceiling colour so I added some of the chocolate brown to warm it up a bit more.  While it may seem like a dark room to some, it is actually quite cozy. And I tell you, pouring that chocolate brown paint into the tray looked just like melted chocolate. Yum!  (Pictures of the brown walls to follow) 

Ok, so now it’s 2011 and it’s time to really change things up.  The carpet was a mess, but I just didn’t have the time, energy or budget to get someone in to do the work.  So my darling children said, “We’ll do it on our holidays - the first week in August.  We’ll help and we'll get it done.” 

I was so excited to get this work done; and then I got sick and I was out of work for almost the entire month of July.  So the kids had to do all the heavy work while I supervised.  Awwwwwwww.

When it came time to actually laying the floor, it was a slower process than it would normally be because I had to be very careful not to over-exert myself.  So what should have been able to be done in a day and a half - actually took 4 long days with many many breaks.  Other than sore knees and a sore back, I managed to survive it with help from the kids.   This was also good experience for Niki and Shawn and now they are excited to go home and lay the same flooring in their kitchen. The flooring is a heavy duty press and peel vinyl that comes in 3 foot planks and looks like a hardwood floor. Niki mentioned that the flooring looked just like what they have at home in their hallway.  So I gave them a sample piece to take home to see if it matches what they currently have. When they got home, they were excited to call to say that it matches the floor perfectly so when they do their kitchen it will blend nicely.

So now... Let’s take a look at the step-by-step process we went through this week. 



Step 1 – Fake illness for one full month in order to get your kids to tear out the disgusting carpet. 





Step 2 – Always tie your curtains in a knot before beginning any job.  This gives the cat something to inspect while posing for a cross stitch picture (note the picture in the background).  She forgot to curl her tail. 



Step 3 -  Unlike all your eggs, keep all your tools in one basket.  This way you have all tools readily available, at all times, wherever you are situated in the room.  Did this concept work?  No.  It should have, but it didn’t.  Therefore, tools now = eggs; don't keep them all in one basket.  It's a waste of a basket. 



Step 4 – Prep the floor – fill in any chucks of floor that you have no idea how they got there because they have been covered with carpet for 25+ years. 



Step 5 – Remove as much furniture from the room as possible, so you don’t have to keep moving it all from one side of the room to the other while you prep the floor.  We actually put some furniture out to the road in hopes that someone would come along and take it. (They always do….)

Note the warm - chocolate brown walls.  Love it.
This north wall is where the couch has sat for several years now, with matching chairs on either side on the east and west walls.


Step 6 – Bring in the new floor.  It’s time to get laid.


Step 7 – Get the ‘plum’ line just right!  The first strip is so important or the entire floor will look like the House that Jack Built.(...well don't tell anyone... it already does)





Step 8  – Hey! - Where did every body go?


Again...I wondered where the dog went... and everyone else for that matter.
Took a peek out the front door and this is what I saw.

Step 9 - Almost done…. Almost done….

I had called Tracey to see if I could borrow her knee pads, but she no longer had them, so I just used one of those garden kneeling pads.  Much like the tools, it was never at the end of the room I was at when I needed it. It was about this time that Tracey popped in the door with knee pads in her hands.  She had kindly picked some up for me when she was in the city.  What a difference. 
So before doing your floor; Step 1 - pick up knee pads.


Step 10 -  OMG One more strip.  It’s getting onto 9pm on the 4th day and my knees and back are killing me. I can't wait to soak in a hot epson salt bath...



The finished floor:
This carpet is from my dining room and is temporary until
I find just the right one for this room.

This corner is going to be my 'cross-stitch' corner.
It still needs some TLC to get it just right... 



These next two pictures are the before and after of the south wall corner and entrance.
Before:  large bulky swivel chair removed from this room.
The video cabinet was moved from the south wall to the north wall
and the corner tv unit is gone.
The tv now sits on top of the video cabinet. The dresser the cat is sitting on is actually where the entry way walls used to be.
P.S.  the cat is not Sushi - it's Larry;  Niki and Shawn's cat.
When he visits, we all have a hard time figuring out
whose cat is walking into the room.

This is the same corner as the picture above.
Amazing difference isn't it?
Because the TV is now on the north wall where my cross stitch used to be, Santa was moved to the east wall right by the entry area.  I love this picture in this room because the colours suit it so well and Tracey pointed out how much the frame matched the floor.  Tracey has a good eye for such things. 

I think it should feel like Christmas every day so I leave Santa up year round.
Well that's a sampling of 25 years of redecorating in just one room.  I'm hoping the kitchen is next. While it needs a complete gutting and overhaul... it's only going to get a basic redecorating for now. Stay tuned to watch the transformation from wedgewood blue and dusty rose to ....????
Bonnie

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A New Leash on Life - Part 3 of 3

When we came home from the beach, Libby decided she wanted to show off some of her tricks.  She had a little bit of trouble on the slippery floor, but she finally found her footing... and the treats.  As time goes on, I'll upload more videos of her updated tricks.  I'm trying to teach her how to 'dog-sing' and say 'I-ruv-rou', ...so we'll see how she does.
 
video

Having a carefree and happy puppy around for a week certainly gives you a new leash on life. 
Bonnie

A New Leash on Life - Part 2 of 3

Apparently - you cannot put more than on video in a posting??  So I've split the previous posting into 3 parts. Enjoy!
After I found Libby, we headed to the beach for her first run in the sand and water.  She wasn't too keen on the waves, she was more interested in eating all the slimey 'lake-weed' and drift wood that washed up on shore.  Shawn finally picked her up to introduce her to the water, but she still was having nothing to do with it; she did however, humour Shawn by doing a bit of a dog paddle above water as he held her.
video

Having a carefree and happy puppy around for a week certainly gives you a new leash on life.  Bonnie

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A New Leash on Life - Part 1 of 3

There's nothing like babies, kittens and puppies to brighten your day.  Libby was here for a week during her first summer vacation and one day when I wondered where she had wandered off to, I found she had gone upstairs.  When I called her to come downstairs I noticed for the first time - that when she runs down the stairs she looked like a happy little lamb. I've never seen a dog do this before.
video

After I found her, we headed to the beach for her first run in the sand and water.  She wasn't too keen on the waves, she was more interested in eating all the slimey 'lake-weed' and drift wood that washed up on shore.  Shawn finally picked her up to introduce her to the water, but she still was having nothing to do with it; she did however, humour Shawn by doing a bit of a dog paddle above water as he held her.

When we came home, Libby decided she wanted to show off some of her tricks.  She had a little bit of trouble on the slippery floor, but she finally found her footing... and the treats.  As time goes on, I'll upload more videos of her updated tricks.  I'm trying to teach her how to 'dog-sing' and say 'I-ruv-rou', ...so we'll see how she does. (grrr...unfortunately, these last two videos would not upload for me - I'll try them again another day - perhaps it's just one of those 'glitch' days)

Having a carefree and happy puppy around for a week certainly gives you a new leash on life. 
Bonnie






Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Happy Girl

At HomeSense I found this lonely chair (on sale!) looking for a new home...


While shopping today I found this cushion cover for a mere $2.00!  Already had a cushion on hand that fit it just like a glove...


Put them both together and you have the perfect addition for that empty corner in our newly renovated bathroom...


Doesn't take much to make me a happy girl  :^)

Tracey

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Face The Day

You never know what you are going to find at the bottom of your cereal bowl after you tip the bowl up and drink that last bit of milk...


Tracey

Monday, August 1, 2011

Out For A Sunday Drive

Nothing beats a hot summer day, out driving around the countryside with the windows down...





...well maybe enjoying a rum raisin ice-cream cone along the way  :^) 
  
Tracey

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