Tuesday, November 30

Vintage / Shabby EAT Letters

My DIY Shabby, Vintage EAT Letters!
I've been seriously inspired by some of the things I've seen around here over the past week.

The truth is, it's been far too long since I've pulled out the spray paint and sand paper. The past year with our twin baby boys has been one of sheer survival. It hasn't left much time for crackling or glittering.

But I am feeling more like me every day now, and it's time to get back to doing what I love!

So last night, after all 3 kidsthe hubby and 2 dogs were asleep, I pulled out my craft supplies and got working on a couple of mini projects I've been imagining up for awhile.

The first project was to create vintage looking letters for my kitchen that spell EAT (my favorite thing!). Given my lack of time for crafting recently, I considered buying the letters if I could find what I was looking for. Etsy had lots of great options, but nothing was exactly what I had imagined. And, the ones that were in the right category, cost a lot mote than I was willing to pay. So I decided to try it out myself.

I purchased large standard mdf letters from Michael's.

They weren't exactly the font I would have chosen, but the choices were limited.

Next I sprayed them with a coat of Robin's Egg Blue spray paint and waited for them to dry.

Next came the crackling coat, which I painted on with a small brush.

An hour later, that was dry, and my letters were ready for a top coat of white acrylic which I applied by brush (I find that a spray top coat doesn't work well when crackling).

When the crackling coat had worked it's magic on the white paint, and it had dried, I took out a pair of scissors and used one of the blades to sand the edges of the letters to give them a more authentic and aged look. I'm not gonna lie, that's when things got messy!

When that was completed to my satisfaction, I used some chocolate brown stamping ink on a sponge to add an even greater aged effect to the edges.

The final step was a top coat of clear spray varnish, and presto! I had my vintage EAT letters for a fraction of the cost. They turned out just as I had imagined!

Now, the big question becomes, where to put them in my kitchen!

Click here!

As seen on CraftGossip.com

Linked to the Weekend Wrap Up at

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Monday, November 29

Winter Wreath Inspiration!

Oh my gosh, I'm feeling soooo inspired here!

Thank you to Kimba at A Soft Place to Land for providing me the perfect idea for my door.

I've always struggled with decorating in the 'in between' season from Halloween to Christmas. In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving before Halloween (in early October), so by the time November 1st comes along, I've already done pumpkins and fall decor for about 6 weeks and am ready for a change. However, it's too early to bring out the Christmas decorations. So this year, when the jack-o-lanterns were taken in, I simply placed a large evergreen wreath on my door, and dressed my potted Alberta spruce with some greenery and twigs while we await the Christmas decorating season. I like the simplicity of it, but have been racking my brain for ideas on how to dress it up a little without overdoing it.

Well, voila!

I visited A Soft Place to Land this morning, and here's what I found!

Photo credit to A Soft Place to Land.

And the best part? My surname initial is R as well, so it was like fate that I found it.

OK, I'm being a little over-dramatic, I know, but I am just so delighted to have found this great idea.

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Saturday, November 27

Subway Stop Artwork, the DIY way!

Ooh la la!

I've always loved the raw and whimsical look of subway stop artwork found at stores like Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware (see right).

I think these pieces would look awesome in my TV room.

Well now...

Photo credit to Between You and Me

I just came across a great decorating blog which provides instruction for a DIY project!

I actually like the shabby chic aesthetic of this homemade piece even better!

I think I am inspired to try this project myself.

You can find the instructions at the lovely blog Between You & Me, Living Authentically.

Check it out!

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Tuesday, November 23

Discovering Etsy and Studio Mela

I only only recently discovered Etsy.

Can you believe it? Well, I can't! I mean, how can I call myself a respectable online shopaholic and wanna-be decorator without knowing Etsy! Shame on me.

I've stumbled upon it many times in the past while shopping online for home decor and baby items, but I never joined or shopped there. That all changed a few days ago!

And, can I just tell you, I am HOOKED.

For those of you who already know Etsy, you'll understand my enthusiasm! For those of you who have not yet visited, you must! I found the most delicious things - everything from vintage linens, to distressed french bistro signs, to one-of-kind whimsical artwork. I was a kid in a candy store.

My very first purchases on Etsy came from Studio Mela.

This shop sells the sweetest, happiest and most colourful artwork I've seen in quite awhile. I purchased three 8x10 prints which I plan to frame in large white mats and hang them together in my kids' playroom.

If you have children, this is a great shop to visit. Even if you don't, this artwork is sure to bring out the kid in you!

Photo credit to Studio Mela on Etsy.com.


Thursday, November 18

My Drapes, My Nemesis

I am discovering that when you are a stay-at-home mom, you "stay at home" a lot more often than other people.

Staying at home sure has its advantages, but for a decorating addict like me, it can also be an expensive venture! You see, you start to notice a lot more things around your house. You see things you never did before. The empty spaces jump out at you, begging you to decorate them, and the things you don't really like about your house become even more irritating.

Well, for me, one of those irritating things is the drapes hanging in my open concept living/eating area. They are perfectly lovely pinch pleat drapes in a tasteful fabric, fully lined, and hanging on wrought iron drapery rings. They were custom made about 6 years ago, and they cost me a small fortune, yet I now find myself trying to 'decorate around them'.

While they were custom made, they were not custom made for this house, and herein lies the problem. I had them made for my last home, which had standard 8-foot ceilings, vs the 9-foot ceilings in our new build.

Having spent so much money on them, I couldn't bare to leave them behind in the sale of that home. That was my first mistake. So, fellow decorators, hear this: drapes made for 8-foot ceilings DO NOT WORK in homes with 9+foot ceilings!

Wish I realized that then! Instead, we took two sets of these drapes and hung them in two large windows on the back wall of our new home. To compensate for the lack of length, we mounted the rod on the mouldings above the windows (gah!), a solution which seemed not ideal but reasonable to me at the time (wrong again!). But the longer we've lived in this new home (now 3 years), the more irritating these drapes have become. Visually, this decorating 'mistake' actually brings down our high ceilings, and they appear lower than they are.

My other problem with these drapes is pure aesthetics. While they are relatively 'neutral' in both colour and pattern, I can't escape the fact that I selected the fabric for a different home which had different lighting properties and a slightly different colour palette than I now have. While they don't stand out as having any real "ick" factor, they do nothing to highlight my new, softer colours. It's time for these drapes to go! I need to throw in the towel and start over!

If only it were that simple!
  • It's going to be a big investment to replace them. I am not a fan of privacy sheers (too fussy), so these drapes need to pull across the entire window which means a tonne of fabric. One window is about 12 feet in width, while the other is 8 feet. Yikes!
  • I am also concerned about spending another small fortune on custom-made drapes, only to change my decor again in another 5 years.
  • I am also wondering how I am going to convince my hubby, lol...hmmmm

I've been investigating 'custom-look' options via Restoration Hardware, specifically, the silk taffeta pleated ones (pic below). Still pricey, but less than half the cost of custom drapes.

Aren't they just dreamy? Perhaps a project for early 2011. That is, if I can hold out through the Christmas season; but I have to tell you, I feel the urge coming on, and I'm not sure if I can drown it out! My soul is telling me I NEED these drapes!

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Wednesday, November 17

My Little Holiday Project that Could


As a matter of habit, I post many of my decorating projects to HGTV's Rate My Space for feedback from a community of crazy decorating addicts like me.

Well, today I posted my newly decorated holiday mantel, and the feedback has been wonderful.

As of this evening, my project was the most highly-rated holiday project of the day (out of 23 uploads), of the the week (out of over 100 uploads) and of all time (out of over 1000 uploads!). I know this will change as more fabulous holiday projects are added by other members, but for now, it makes me happy!

You can take a look at the whole project on HGTV.com by clicking here. Enjoy!


Homesense: A Cup of Christmas Cheer

Now this is my kind of contest! Decorate a virtual holiday mantel with discount store finds for a chance to win a $1000 shopping spree! You had me at shopping!

Homesense: A Cup of Christmas Cheer

Tuesday, November 16

Hello blog, it's nice to meet you!

Hello fellow decorating addicts!

Today marks my first entry in my newly-created blog, devoted entirely to feeding my soul through random musings about interior decorating. I been a committed blogger for a couple of years now, but my other blog(s) have been about something entirely different - children and motherhood. I am a mommy to three beauties: a 6-year old daughter and 1-year old twin boys. My life is pretty chaotic these days, but decorating (and re-decorating) provide me with time to exhale. Everybody has a true passion in life, and mine is clearly anything related to home style and decor.

While I am not formally trained as an interior decorator, I've always worked in a creative environment. After completing my commerce degree and MBA in Marketing, I went to work as a strategic planner in an ad agency where I was surrounded by some of the most creatively talented people you will ever meet who taught me a whole lot about design aesthetics...and the value in breaking the rules from time to time!

Now a full-time stay-at-home mom, I am able to indulge my passion for interior decorating in my 'spare' time! Hmmm, I never thought I'd be using the phrase 'spare time' these days, and the truth is that I have very little of it. But during the time that I do have to 'spare', there is nothing I enjoy more than making my home an even nicer place to live.

Thanks for dropping by, and I hope you'll come back soon!