Monday, 31 December 2012

All the best for the 2013!

At the moment I am preparing for our New Years Eve dinner - a potluck with a few friends and family. Just made a last minute dash to the grocery store (along with almost everyone else in town apparently!) to get some final ingredients.Other than some yummy food and sitting on the couch, there are no plans for this evening....and that is the way I like it! A cozy and comfortable time at home with family and friends, good food and a movie. What more do you need?!

Happy New Year mofit

I hope everyone out there has a wonderful and safe evening and I wish you all the best in 2013!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Finished the mini-blanket...for the cat

I got back to knitting the other night and was surprised at how close I was to finishing the mini-blanket I had been knitting for the cat. I can't remember why I put away the knitting before finishing the piece (it was probably to work on the dining room) but it only took about 30 minutes to finish it! It is just a simple little garter stitch blanket for Buster - mostly for him to perch his bum on to keep his fur off the furniture. It fits nicely on his gold foot stool and I figured it would make the stool more cozy and comfortable.

Okay, seriously?! Who am I kidding? I made a blanket specifically for a cat - and not just any cat, but Buster cat (the most picky cat on earth)! I am officially insane. I doubt he will ever go near the thing (by choice). This cat is set in his ways like no other and cannot handle anything new like carpet or blankets and he certainly does not take well to furniture being moved! A new blanket just for him? It doesn't stand a chance! If I want that cat to stay away from something in particular, he will no doubt fall in love with the "forbidden" item, but pick something out especially for him and it's a safe bet it will stay cat-fur free for a long time!

I am forcing Buster to be one with the blanket. He was too tired to fight it!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Made myself go for a walk

Even though I am still feeling kinda crappy, I made myself go for a walk today...I suppose I thought the fresh air would do me some good? I can honestly say I felt okay for a while...but not long after getting home and parking myself on the couch I felt like I would never get up!

Grabbed some photos on the walk, besides a few people out shoveling their driveways and sidewalks, I don't think we really saw another human! Get out there people, walk in the snow!!!

Just around the corner from home, the streets were pretty snowy!

Took a detour from the usual route. We ended up following foot (and paw prints) right down to the river - I never knew the trail went that close to the water!

Back on track to the trail I am familiar with, things were looking quite different in the snow!

One of my favorite places along the trail. I think the land is an island in the middle of the river, but I can't tell for sure if there are any areas that connect to the opposite riverbank. Someone has found their way over there though, because there are two benches over near that massive tree!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

It snooooooooowed!

Yesterday was Boxing Day or as I like to call it, pajama day! I am not a shopper so it's not a big deal to me. If anything I try to stay home on boxing day and be as lazy as humanly possible. But I did pop out for a short while with my mum to grab a few things I needed (like a snow shovel...the forecast called for snow and we were shovel-less) and there were some great deals to be found. My mum was the champion, finding 4 pairs of socks for $1.58 and a Christmas book for 53 cents! We followed up those deals with an epic Boxing Day dinner (Christmas leftovers!) at my mum's house. By the time we went to leave we nearly had to dig the car out of her snowed (finally)! 

It kept snowing all night and this morning there was more digging to be done...but I have not done any of that digging because I feel like crap. Best time of the year to get sick is Christmas (no it's not). So today I am staying warm and cozy inside, trying to fight off this cold. The man (who I believe gave me the cold in the first place) went outside and did a bit of digging followed by a walk in the snow. He grabbed these photos, it is a cold but beautiful day out there!

This tree is huge and amazing, just down the street at the park that borders on the river.

Don't know how those geese do it! Must be freezing their bums off!

In the warmer months this stream is full of tiny fish heading out into the larger part of the river.

Although I rarely see people on the riverside trails, there is plenty of evidence that lots of people have already been out for a snowy stroll today!

Christmas Dinner...nom nom nom!

This year (as with most years past) Christmas dinner was at my mum's house. It was yummy (as always). Every year the dinner is pretty similar  - you don't mess with a good thing! And every year we take the usual Christmas dinner food photos. It is a bit of a joke, since every year the meal looks almost identical - there must be dozens of photos just like the one below! Usually the only difference to spot are the Christmas napkins on the table!

So here it is, the annual Christmas dinner photo:

Two kinds of stuffing, turkey, peas and carrots, roast potatoes, brussel sprouts, mashed swede (turnip), a bit of bacon (the turkey was wrapped in) and plenty of gravy! Missing from my plate are roasted parsnips (I was overlooked when parsnips were being handed out!)

Monday, 24 December 2012

A bit of Christmas Cheer!

Like a squirrel with an acorn, over the past few months I had been collecting Christmas ornaments and hiding them away! Of course, with how busy we had been getting other areas of the house finished, we only just got the Christmas decorations up over the past few days! Normally I would have things up a couple of weeks before Christmas, but this year we had to wait. Below are a few shots around the front sitting room (Christmas central). This is mostly so some of the friends and family (near and far...Ireland!) who cannot be here with us, can have a peek!

View of front sitting room through TV room - Christmas music on TV of course (haven't been able to find the fireplace channel like years past!).

Grumpy cat pouting after being told off for chewing on the Christmas tree...he is also hating the shag rugs so much!

Christmas ornament thanks to Jane in York!

Christmas ornament from my mum, brought back from Holland...weighs so much  we nearly had to reinforce a branch!

Last minute dash to the local Value Village and I found these ornaments 50% off! Even with so much going on at the last minute, I found the time to get my thrift store fix!

A few Christmas cards - one from Ballinagree (Macroom, Co. Cork, Ireland!) sitting in front of  the map of Southern Ireland (need to get the map framed in the new year). Bonus: naked lamp in the corner getting festive!

Of course we had to have this Christmas needle point when we saw it!

Just in time for Christmas!

Just in time for Christmas, the dining room is finally complete! We were really pushing it, I mean we were working until about 11:30 last night (December 23rd)! From the time the ceiling was started/finished by the plaster dude a few weeks ago until just last night, we were hard at work sanding, cleaning, preparing to paint and then painting the crap out of the room! There was also the task of finding some new furniture (dining table and a few chairs to be specific), getting a few pictures up and some blinds to block out the neighbours driveway (and the creepy neighbour dog that peers at us through their makeshift curtains*). Everything is pretty well ready today, which is a good thing, since there are family and friends we have not seen much of for weeks coming over tonight!

Home inspection day, just a week or so after the initial viewing, the place was still staged for a sale.

Just a couple of pictures of the work in progress, when there is this much work to do you don't stop to take photos!

Found a table at Ikea which was a great size. It is nothing like what we were originally looking for but works well in the room. Grabbed a few new chairs and are using the unbroken chairs left from the last dining table.

A few area rugs makes a huge difference. The house can be pretty cool, so it really warms the place up and cuts down on the echo! Hopefully there will be curtains and a few more bits and pieces on the walls.

This cabinet nearly killed me. I cannot stand painting cabinetry  I suppose its pretty impossible to get things as perfect as I would like, so I get hung up on the little details. The hardware is the same, but everything is painted to match the trim in the room and I topped the cabinet with some gorgeous floral fabric and a piece of plexi glass - a huge improvement if I may say so myself!

Since the dining room is done, it has allowed for a few other outstanding things to be taken care of in the TV room and front sitting room. The cream coloured shag carpets we ordered (and received months ago) have now gone down and what a difference it makes! We held back on getting them out since the place was pretty dusty while work was happening. Now the entire place has had a clean and is looking much more homey! Funny thing is, the cat loves the area rug in the dining room - seriously LOVES it, but he is terrified of the shag rugs! He won't set a paw on them and even climbs across furniture to avoid touching them! Bonus: the Christmas decorations are finally up!

*I don't judge makeshift curtains, we still have some dirty old "blinds" left from the previous owners hanging in select windows and even have a bed sheet in one bedroom happens!

This took way to long: Shelf before and after

I have a very bad habit of starting one project after another (after another, after another...) before finishing what I was previously working on...this means it takes me forever to finish even the simplest things in a reasonable amount of time. A perfect example is this shelf:

Before: Shelf has just had a bit of a clean and a sand - also some wood filler in areas.
I found it way back, around the end of August/beginning of September (I can't even remember now!). It was covered in stuff at an antique market in St. Jacobs. It was a horrible colour and had a terrible finish to it, but I liked the fact it was a cheap, small-ish shelf that could be used to display some of the bits and pieces I have collected over the years. Almost immediately after getting it home I got to work on it, cleaning it and sanding away the gross finish. Since this was my first time painting furniture, I made plenty of mistakes and learned quite a bit...over the course of the three months (give or take) that it took me to finish it!

This is what dining tables were made for! Giving the shelf a couple of coats of a protective finish.
To protect the shelf I used this Polycrylic finish. This stuff does a nice job, but its a pain to put on anything white! No matter how much I cleaned and prepared the furniture and work space, somehow little bits of dust and fibers find their way onto the furniture - the dust particles are now a permanent feature!
Shelf sitting in its new home, waiting to dry completely before it gets filled with stuff. Not a great photo, it was getting dark. 
Finally after sanding the hell out of this thing, giving it approximately a million coats of paint, then a couple (actually 4 - I am a bit compulsive) coats of a clear satin protective finish, it is complete! It now proudly displays some of the things I have had sitting on the floor of the living room waiting patiently (collecting dust) until the time came to put them away!

Now that this shelf is done it leaves 4 more pieces of furniture waiting in line to be painted/refinished, but with my track record, it should take some time (it doesn't help that I keep finding more items and adding them to the to-do list!). The next piece to be finished is a tiny china cabinet type thing. It was purchased at the same time as the shelf, and I have been working on them simultaneously, so it should be done within the next week or so, photos to follow!

PS. I wrote this post weeks back but never got around to posting it. By the time the shelf was dried and ready for goodies, I was well into working on the dining room, and that took priority over everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) else in life! Unfortunately the china cabinet got put on the back burner for a while so it won't be ready to put in the dining room for Christmas.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Christmas goodies!

Late yesterday I popped my head outside to check the mail, and wedged in between the screen door and front door I found a package! A package that came all the way from Ireland! I was pretty excited, but knew someone else who was going to be even more excited, so I sat tight and waited for Jeremiah (lovingly referred to as the Irish One) to come home. He ripped into it and we were so happy to find chocolates and a Christmas apron/oven glove set from Jeremiah's family!

Oh yes!
How did they know I needed new oven gloves? I am proudly going to wear this Christmas Day!
Organized, which means the Irish one will easily be able to track what he eats...I don't expect to get much!

So a big thank you to Jeremiah's family over in Ireland, we both look forward to getting into the chocolates!*

*I tried to eat one tiny choco last night and someone nearly bit my head off! He is possessive like no other when it comes to chocolate!

What's been happening?!

What's been happening lately? I haven't posted for a while because I have been so busy trying to finish the dining room. Besides trying to get it all done for Christmas, it's a real pain working on the room that is in the center of the house - plastic sheeting up, paint and tools and general crap everywhere! I was hoping to have everything wrapped up today, but it hasn't quite happened. Most of what is left are the touch ups and cleaning the place up (and re-assembling some other items that were taken apart). But I have hit a wall. I am so sick of painting and I am so sore I cannot bear to do anymore! So I am taking a quick break...very quick, because I can't live with a ladder and buckets of paint in the kitchen for much longer!

Once we got to work on the dining room, we soon realized the baseboards were in worse shape than we thought, we had planned to just paint the walls and clean the trim. Unfortunately we could tell right away that the place would still look pretty crap with clean walls and busted down old off they came for a serious sand and they have now been painted white, along with most of the other trim throughout the house. I was a bit sad, since it was the only room that had almost all of the original wood trim, but it had just taken such a beating over the years and I was not prepared to try and salvage the wood. Since the baseboards were all getting cleaned up, it only made sense (to me) to fix up the cabinet in the corner of the room. It looks like old kitchen cupboards and is painted a yucky purple-ee-brown like the kitchen cupboards. I am sure it will look better when its done, but I HATE painting cabinetry!

So lucky lucky me, I was able to get the heating grate off the wall - it will make it easier to clean and paint and it has also allowed me to clean out the heat duct...I could see crap in there but couldn't get it out any other way...this is just some of what came out:

Yes, that is for was disgusting...that baby fork had food stuck to it...ugh. Oh, and it was not hard getting the grate off the wall, so no excuses for the pigs that let it get that bad!

In the next few days I hope for the room to be as complete as can be, I have no choice with Christmas coming! I will post after photos* when the day comes!

*Seriously, how many times have I said I would post after photos? So far I don't think I have been able to post any...what I would give for just one project to be complete!!!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

That room from nearly done!

So the good news for this week is that the Blue Room from HELL is nearly finished. When I say nearly finished, I mean I have started cleaning out the mess from all the painting/plastering and have moved some furniture and bits and pieces in. The finishing touches should come soon (light fixture, curtains, rug, more furniture...). When the place is a bit more decent, I will post photos, but it's still a mess. I am just relieved to have the major mess of that room done and over with, and in about a week's time it will officially be checked off the to-do list. After the living hell of working on that room, I don't know if I can stand to go in there when it's done...but I am itching to get back to work on some of the projects I have lined up in my mind (sadly, I know that won't happen for a while since there are still so many "house" projects in line before the artsy ones can begin).

Next on the to-do list is the dining room, which you may know, is already underway. There is some serious sanding and cleaning* that needs to happen before painting. Once the sanding is done things should fly but right now I am stuck with the messy work and my hands are not happy. As if the weather wasn't already bad enough for drying out my hands I have to sand?! And all the hand washing when you are doing yuck work, that makes it even worse! What I would give to get a manicure and forget the work for a while! It's getting to be too much and I can feel myself slowing the work pace...not a good thing since Christmas is creeping up on us and we don't have a dining room!

*As with every room so far in this house, the dining room is emitting dog hair. Everywhere I turn, dog hair. Coming out of baseboards, painted into the walls, stuck to the ceiling, above the wood trim of the doors...either someone was running a dog grooming business out of this place or a black lab exploded in here...I don't know what would be worse. The scary part is how much I have already cleaned, yet it keeps coming. I fear it will never end and I don't know how I will come to terms with it...but I know I need to suck it up, there are worse things to deal with in an old house!

Ridiculous cute things at Christmas!

I am not really much of a shopper. I can handle not going to the malls (especially at Christmas!), I don't usually browse (or shop) online too much, and when it comes to spending money, something really has to grab me to make me buy it! But recently I have been keeping an eye out for Christmas decorations and other bits and pieces for the home, since I am trying to make the house extra homey, cosy and Christmassy this year (since half of this place is still a bit of a war zone!). That is when I came across these two gems:

Crochet robin,  tiny robin christmas decoration
This decoration would be great on my mini Christmas tree. I used to keep a tiny bit of Christmas in my apartment through December, even though I always went home for the holidays. For so long it was hard finding any decent ornaments to put on a small tree - now I would have trouble choosing from all the goodies out there! 
CHRISTMAS MOUSE - unique - needle felted ornament animal, felting dreams made to order
This little guy is too much for me to handle - with the pink tinted nose and the sweet smile...oh god, and the sweater?! I love mice and little handmade things (especially when they are so full of tiny details!). The cuteness levels are off the charts on this one. I want!!!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Decorations I want for Christmas

For me, Christmas isn't Christmas without a healthy dose of colour...and if that colour can come in the form of awesome (albeit tacky) vintage Christmas decorations, then bring it on! Although I have been working hard to collect as many decorations as possible for my first Christmas in the new home (since I am starting from scratch), my collection would be so much more fun (and complete) if I had a few of these goodies:

Vintage Plastic Santa Christmas Decoration - Light - 1950sVintage Pink Ornaments, Christmas, Mercury Glass, Indent, WWII, Unsilvered, Glitter, 1950's, Set of 3

Vintage 1950s Christmas Decoration  :  Pink Red Gold Blue Green 9 Foot Stars Garland Made in Japan

Russian Christmas Decorations - Vintage Glass Baubles Ornaments  - set of 20 - 1970s - from Russia / Soviet Union / USSR

vintage Santa and sleigh Christmas decoration

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