Saturday, April 30

Photo Love

I love photography almost as much as I love decorating.   I love taking pictures, and I adore looking at others' photos, especially creative angles and editing.  I guess it's all part of being a 'visual person'.

My camera, a Nikon D40, is a few years old now, and not as fancy as some newer models I've see around, but it's got all the bells I need (and more). I would love to know how to use more of its features, but there is only so much time in a day. So I rely pretty heavily on editing software to mask my rather limited knowledge ;-).

On an average week, I would say that I take at least 150-200 shots, and only a fraction of them ever make it to my editing software. But there are always a few keepers that I fall in love with, and ultimately end up in an album or scrapbook, or on this blog.

I thought I'd share a few of my favorite shots over the past week or two.  I've gotta admit, I can't really go wrong when the subject matter is a sweet as this :-). 

Hope you're having a happy weekend.


Friday, April 29

Picking Paint: When The Love is Gone

I love decorating, but I have to tell ya, picking paint colours is pretty low on my list of favorite tasks.

For me, it's a love-hate, ying-yang kinda thing. Excitement and apprehension. Gittyness and dread.

Right now, I'm trying to make some paint decisions for my basement development project and the love is gone. I'm really not having fun anymore.  Actually, let's be honest. I'm in paint chip hell.

I've been through Behr's, Martha Stewart's, and Benjamin Moore's entire decks.

I mean how many shades of gray and taupe and green can one brain really process at once? Does there really need to be a gazillion?  Did they miss the memo on information overload?

And, by the way,  why do they call something "tan" when it is clearly gray? Or "gray" when it it so obviously tan?  I swear it's a conspiracy just to fool us into buying more paint when the "gray-you-thought-was-gray-because-it-was-called-gray" was actually tan when you put it on the wall ;-).

Am I making this all too complicated? Because it wouldn't be the first time, lol.

Did I mention that I tend to analyze?  And, over-analyze?

And maybe my professional background has tainted me.  In in advertising and communications, colour selection is a critical element in persuasion; as much an art as a science. The psychology of a particular hue - from it's undertone to it's intensity - can be endlessly debated before a final decision is made.

But (tapping head with knuckles) it's just my basement, not a 7-figure ad campaign.  I mean, really. What's the big deal if I choose Providence Olive over Sag Harbour Gray?  Will the sky come crashing down?

That's it.  I am putting my five short-listed  paint chips in a hat and having my 6-year old pick one.

(Fingers crossed, she picks Providence Olive. Or, Sag Harbour Gray.  Or...)

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Wednesday, April 27

London Calling: Union Jack Fever!

The Union Jack.

Um...seen it lately?  Well, of course you have.  You'd have to be living under a rock not to! With the royal wedding looming, the British flag - and, in fact, anything classically "Brittania" - is suddenly very chic.

Or, perhaps, more accurately, more chic than ever.
Source: flickr.com via Nadia on Pinterest

Because, truth be told, the Union Jack has been a pop culture and fashion icon for at least four decades.  Associated with the Beatles in the 60s, and the anti-establishment punk rock movement of the 70s and 80s (think the Sex Pistols), the Union Jack has always been on the cutting edge of cool.  Apparently, it even hung on the back of Ferris Bueller's door in the iconic 80s movie!

The Union Jack actually has some personal relevance. I won't get into a long geographical, political or history lesson here (and if you are thanking me, you're welcome!), but the short story is that where I live, we have strong historical British ties.  So the Union Jack was actually our national flag (and then provincial one - once we joined Canada in 1949) until only about 30 years ago.  And it's not unusual to still see the iconic flag flying here.

I guess that's why I find the trend of using the Union Jack in home decorating so intriguing!  Lately, we've seen it used everywhere from rugs to pillows to furniture.  And I personally love it!  It makes a big statement.  There's just something about that graphic red, blue and white icon that adds instant personality to a room.  It brings immediate thoughts of red double decker buses, Buckingham Palace, Harrods, and The Underground ("mind the gap", lol).  I don't have anything 'Union Jack' in my home yet, but with all this awesome inspiration, I'm sure it's only a matter of time!

Take a look...

Any Union Jack decor discussion wouldn't be complete without Miss Mustard Seed's famous Union Jack painted dresser.  It's been imitated, but not duplicated!

Source: etsy.com via Deanna on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Alina on Pinterest

So what do you think about all this Union Jack decor hype?  Are you on board, or so over it?

PS. Want to know how to paint your own Union Jack?  Well, wouldn't you know it, there's a tutorial out there on that too!

Until next time, happy decorating Royal Wedding watching!

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Wednesday, April 20

Basement Reno: An Update!

It seems like forever ago that I first posted about our *big* house project this year - developing the basement in our new home into living space.

We started the project back in November, and 5 months later, it is really only beginning to come together.

All I can say is that in my next life I'd like to come back as a contractor or a plumber or a plasterer or a painter. It must be sweet! They're the only professions where "I'll be there on Tuesday" actually means "See you three Tuesdays from now" (if that) and it's somehow acceptable, or perhaps just 'accepted'.

But I digress. ;-)

Things seem to be moving along nicely now, fingers crossed. Everything's been insulated and dry-walled.

Yaaaaawn.  I feel sleepy just looking at these shots.

Being the decor addict I am, I'm just itching to get on with it. I want to see paint, I want colour, I want to design the trim work, I want to order furniture, I want to make wall art!  If you could see my brain right now, it would look like this. (Actually, my brain looks like this a lot, hee hee)...

My (rough) vision for the space.
The plan for the basement includes a TV room, a playroom, a guest room, a full bathroom, and mud room.  But here's the super exciting part: We'll be moving the (current) upstairs playroom down there.

That means that with any luck my main level will no longer look like this...

Well, OK, the boys can stay, but that tent has to go!

or like this...

Those steel Tonka trucks have a lifetime warranty - too bad my furniture doesn't!


or this...

Currently in our living room, along with all of Miss G's 38 Barbies and their clothes.

And it also leaves an empty room on the main floor that will become...drum roll please...my craft room!  I already have a small office/craft room off our master, but it's too crammed for all my stuff.  This new space will give me lots more space to hide out work on projects.

Look at all that storage just awaiting my craft supplies!
And it even has built in cabinets and counter-top!

I'm thinking it'll be a least another 6 weeks before the space is livable. Can't wait to show you the before and afters.  Well OK, you just saw the 'befores'.  I wouldn't want to bore you with that again! I'll just show you 'afters'.

Until next time, happy decorating.


Tuesday, April 19

Blog Name Love {and Envy}

In my (real life) profession in an ad agency, I help create brands.  And, everybody knows that a big part of brand is its name.  Perhaps that's why I tend to really notice blog names.

Lord knows, it's not easy to find a good blog name these days.

When starting a new blog, the one thing you can count on is that there are already literally thousands of well-established blogs out there in your interest category.

And, if you have a list of five possible blog names in mind, don't get too attached yet. I can bet you that at least four of those domain names have already been spoken for, and maybe five.  If you're lucky, you'll end up with a name that bears some resemblance to your original idea. (Believe me, I know!)

So when I see a creative one that's made it through the initial obstacle course, it makes me smile.

For me, a great blog name is a lot like a great brand name.  It stands out from the crowd of similar blog names out there, and, it says in some way that this blog's for you; it resonates.  In other words, it's unique and memorable, and it also tells potential readers (your target audience) that they'll find some reward in spending 5 min a day on your blog. 

When I see a great blog name, I can't help but feel a little tingle of envy, like, oh crap, I wish I'd thought of that!  But mostly, it's admiration.

With that said, here are 10 names in the blogging world of home decor and crafts that I love!

  • Under the Table & Dreaming - yup, I can just picture myself curled up under there in the fetal position with my latest interior decor mag, hiding from the dogs, the babies, and the blackberry.  This name makes me smile.
  • In Between Laundry - This one makes me laugh because it taps into a real life truth for any crafty mom. When else would we find the time to indulge in decorating or crafting?
  • I Heart Nap Time - When I first saw this one, I think I might have yelled back at the screen, "Me too!"  Nap time = mommy time. The babies' nap time that is.  I don't get to nap.  Ever.
  • Fingerprints on the Fridge - First thing I thought was oh, thank god there are other mommy bloggers around here whose homes aren't perfect.  I immediately liked this blogger!
  • A Diamond in the Stuff - Upcycling. Trash to treasure.  I get it.  In like 2 nanoseconds flat.  Count me in.
  • Less Cake, More Frosting - I immediately smell a cake baking. Might as well call it "Come this way for all things sweet and yummy!"  Love it.
  • Making the World Cuter - Exactly.  Decorating and crafting isn't brain surgery or a solution for world peace.  But, darn it, the world is definitely a little cuter after every project!  Makes me grin.
  • {Primp} - Awesome in it's simplicity.  Says everything it needs to say in 5 little letters.
  • Reinvented - Again, just one word but packed with meaning.  I immediately get it.
  • Craftaholics Anonomous - Taps into a truth for anybody addicted to their glue gun.  It says, don't worry, you'll find others here just like you!

So, tell me, what blog names do you love (and envy)?


    Saturday, April 16

    Another 10 Letter Word for "Excitement"!

    How about "Silhouette"?


    My Silhouette delivery finally arrived!  Unfortunately, it's not widely available in Canada, so I had to order it from the manufacturer in the US.  It only took 2.5 months, but that's another story!

    Let the crafty fun begin!


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    Wednesday, April 13

    My New Colour Crush: Tangerine!

    You may have noticed, I'm a HUGE fan of the cool side of the colour wheel - like blues, greens and whites.

    This tends to be the box I'm most comfortable in.  I say "box", but what I really mean is rut.  I want to branch out, I swear I do, but my love for cool tones holds me back. Blues and greens are my safe 'go to' colours.  I rarely move right or left. Well, except for a touch of red here and there.  I love red...in small doses.

    If you'd asked me a few months ago what my least favorite colour was, I probably would have said orange, in any shade.  Perhaps it was all that "80s peach" carpet that we ripped up with our own hands when we purchased our first home ;-).  And orange is a colour that, rightly or wrongly, I associate more with retro, minimalist decor rather than the contemporary cottage style I love.

    So I've surprised myself with my new colour crush: tangerine!

    I've been struck by how much tangerine I've noticed - and liked! - while making the rounds at my favorite home decor sites recently.  It's a colour that makes me instantly happy.

    The thing I like best about tangerine is how well it pairs with my all-time fave, robin's egg blue.

    color combos - orange
    Source: Houzz
    I never would have thought about using these two colours together, but they really are a stunning combo. It makes perfect theoretical sense: after all, they are complementary colours on the colour wheel. And, it never fails to amaze me how many colours look fabulous with the turquoise family.

    I'm not sure if I'll be brave enough to paint a wall in tangerine, but I definitely think I'll be on the hunt for tangerine accessories in the near future.  It seems like a perfect injection of colour for summer!

    So what about you?  Do you like tangerine?  Could you use it in your house?

    Here's some eye candy for you to peruse while you think about it!

    color combos - orange
    Source: Houzz

    color combos - orange
    Source: Houzz

    color combos - orange
    Source: Houzz

    ducduc™ modern kids
    Source: Houzz

    Living Room eclectic living room
    Source: Houzz

    color combos - orange
    Source: Houzz

    Michelle eclectic living room
    Source: Houzz

    Tineke triggs contemporary bedroom
    Source: Houzz

    Tineke triggs contemporary bedroom
    Source: Houzz

    color combos - orange
    Source: Houzz

    Source: Houzz
    I'm betting your answer is now yes! ;-)

    (Any available original source info about these photos can be found at Houzz by clicking on each picture)

    Until next time, happy decorating,

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