Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2011

Halloween cat

Meowzer hanging out with my attempt at fall decorating. To be honest, she enjoys biting chunks of stick off and then spitting them out on the floor. We have pumpkins outside, but didn't get around to carving them this year. It's not like we get any trick or treaters anyway living out in the boonies! Hope everyone has a fun and safe night!

Gallery Wall Creation, Part 3: Putting It All Together

October 28, 2011

In our little corner of Blog World, things don't happen all that quickly. We both work full time at jobs that keep us out of the house, and even small projects often have to be spread out over a couple of days in order to be finished. But to quote Sherry from Young House Love, "One of the challenges with sharing stuff on a blog is that unlike a makeover show, it takes months and even years to get to the after!" And while this photo gallery wall isn't taking months or years, it's taking more time than it probably should based on the level of difficulty.

I finally got around to putting the ads in their frames, and moving them all around on the table top until I found a layout that I liked.

Photo Gallery Layout

But after much switching and swapping, I just couldn't get it right. The space was too big, and I didn't have enough stuff.

So I revised my plan. Remember these maps?

wall for picture gallery

I decided to keep them in the kitchen, and involve them in the gallery wall.

They might not stay, because Mike doesn't think they "go" with the rest of the kitchen theme. He's right. But shhhh. 

Gallery Wall

It makes me really, really happy! Let's take a look piece by piece at the things you haven't seen.

Pyrex Daisy Lid

I'm a newbie Pyrex collector (and a contributor over at the Pyrex Collective II), although I typically use all of the pieces I own. This little lid is so faded on the back, so much so that I would never use it. But for 99 cents at Goodwill, I couldn't leave it there! The pattern is known as Daisy.

Quaker Oats and Kraft Cheese

Quaker Oats and Kraft Cheese, both delicious! The Quaker ad is from 1964, while the Kraft ad is from the 1930s.

HP BBQ Sauce 1964

This little HP Sauce ad is from 1964.

Antique Plate and Maple Leaf from Mom

The plate on the left was given to me by Mike's mom, and it dates to the 1880s, the same era our house was built. The maple leaf was given to me by my mom, and is made of cast iron. It's heavy!

Campbell's Tomato Soup 1938

Grilled cheese (made with Kraft?!) and tomato soup, anyone? From 1938.

I'm glad that's done in time for the weekend. Because it's the weekend before Halloween, we have a couple things on our social agenda, and I also have a couple little crafty projects I'd like to work on, which I'll hopefully be sharing with you next week!

Enjoy your weekend!

I linked up to...

Gallery Wall Creation, Part 2: Supplies

October 27, 2011

After the preliminary planning of our gallery wall project, we knew we needed supplies. I make lists probably twice as often as I draw sketches, so of course I needed a supplies list!
  • Frames - black, various sizes
  • Fabric swatches or scrapbook paper - various colours
  • Picture hanging strips*
We've decided to nix the shadow boxes mentioned in the last post. The objects we'd like to display don't need 'em.
Image sourced from here.

*3M Command Picture Hanging Strips are MAGIC! Our walls are made of ancient horsehair plaster and lath, covered by several layers of wall paper. Sometimes they just don't enjoy being penetrated by nails or screws and essentially vomit plaster dust instead of holding it together. These velcro-y little guys are the perfect solution! (We were not sponsered or gifted anything to say these things. All opinions are entirely our own and based on personal experience).

On my way home from work, I hit up HomeSense to see what they had going on.

Unfortunately, the frame department was a big ol' bust. But...I did find my new favourite friend!


After wandering around the store, carrying my new friend in the crook of my arm, occasionally giving him a pat on the bum, I paid for him and then headed over to Wal-mart.

Here I bought the things on my supply list, including a few extras like fabric glue pens (cool!), a sharpie, and some bright  yellow acrylic paint for an addition to the gallery wall. Details on that soon.

Photo Gallery Wall Supplies

That's as far as I got for the day. Because, in other very exciting news, we have the washing machine hooked up!!

LG Washing Machine

You wouldn't believe the backlog that we have, but it will all be history soon.

Until next time...have you ever had to have something you saw in a store, even though it was obscure?

Gallery Wall Creation, Part 1: Planning

October 26, 2011

We have a wall in our kitchen that we feel is just perfect for a gallery wall.

wall for picture gallery

The maps currently hanging there will be relocated. More on those in a future post.

What we really want to see in here are kitchen-y vintage advertisements and other related things.

Remember this guy? Err...girl? She won't be lonely for long.

Pin It

I mentioned in a previous post that we had a couple more vintage ads waiting to be put into frames.

Vintage Pyrex Advertisement

Antique Cornflakes Advertisement

Well, we were recently given a whole whack of old magazines dating as far back as the 20's and as recent as the 60's. Whoohoo!

In addition to the old ads, we'd like to incorporate a few neat objects displayed in shadow boxes. We haven't decided yet what will make the cut.

There's a lot of prep work that goes into creating a gallery wall. Some people have enough vision to be able to just throw up pictures and things and have it look amazing.

I'm not one of those people!

Enter Pinterest.

Ann Beck Photography Wall Gallery Inspiration graphic

I need to sketch things out by hand in order to best visualize, so here's a (really) rough sketch of our gallery wall in the making.

Kitchen Gallery Wall Plan

As we bring together the pieces that we want to display, this will likely be tweaked as needed.

Do you have a gallery wall in your home? Does it include pictures as well as objects? Did you have to sketch it out first in order to visualize it?

Monday Musings

October 24, 2011

Another weekend has come and gone, and we've slashed a few more things off of our never ending to-do list.

We're trying our best to get a lot of exterior work done before it gets too cold to do so. The weather hasn't been cooperating lately, gifting us with bucket loads of rain. However, this past weekend provided some relief and we had gorgeous weather! This brief period of awesomeness gave us the opportunity to...
  • finish shingling the mini barn's (a.k.a. the shed) roof
  • apply one coat of paint on the mini barn
  • get the satellite hooked up
  • install an exterior light at the back of the house
To be quite honest, Mike did all of this himself except the painting, which I did. I mostly did traditionally gender appropriate things like grocery shopping and cleaning, and tending to the furry beings that live in our house.

I'll be back tomorrow with pictures, because I totally dropped the ball yesterday and didn't take any.

I do have a picture of these neat little things that I've recently acquired, which I'm assuming to be jelly molds.

vintage jelly molds, plastic and plastic

The dozen metal ones came from the same auction as my $5 chairs. They were bought with a bunch of other junky houseware things, for $5.

The pastel coloured ones were given to me by Mike's mom. They are colourful and happy and make me think of Easter.

How was your weekend? Did you get anything done on your to-do list?

Hello there, pretty.

October 18, 2011

My window is finished!

original wood window

This is the only before picture I have of it actually in place. It will likely freeze up again this winter, because it doesn't have a storm window. However it's been cleaned up immensely, and the weatherstripping has been replaced.

in progress restored wood window
Almost there...

I hate using tape when I'm painting. For some reason I find it so incredibly tedious, and I would rather scrape away excess.

scraping paint from glass
Scrape, scrape, scrape.

And finally, here it is back in it's place!

restored wood window
Last night.
restored wood window
This morning.

restored wood window and black cat
Last night with Meowzer.

It's far from perfect. And although the process was tedious, it was much easier than I was expecting. This is definitely something that the average do-it-yourselfer can do. Although hard to tell from the pictures (which is turning everything more yellow), the colour is Country Dairy by Behr. Because we were just doing the one window for now, we purchased one of their sample sized pots rather than a full quart.

The frame and casing still need some work. I'm hoping that the top coat is shellac because that will be the easiest fix.

It also needs a proper latch - it's currently being held in place with a golf tee. The surface mounted slide bolt that was there when we moved in was not the right fit, and I don't want to drill imperfect holes into my newly restored window sash. I think a transom latch with a universal catch will do the trick...but at $15 - $20 each...the golf tee will do for now (or a long time).

Here's a side by side to end the post:

comparison of restored wood window beforecomparison of restored wood window after

Take it easy, take it easy.

October 17, 2011

We're in for the long haul.

Over the weekend, we decided that we're going to continue to tackle the house by doing one room a year. We're both in entry level positions, and we want to borrow as little money as possible because paying interest is so not appealing.

The bathroom will be done this year. That's 2011.

2012 - Living room and hall
2013 - Master bedroom
2014 - Office
2015 and on - ??

We're in no hurry to do either of the spare bedrooms (one of which we're sleeping in right now). They may have bumpy walls and unfinished floors, but that's okay because they're not often seen by visitors, or us, for that matter.

The kitchen isn't even on the radar right now. It will definitely be the last room to be dealt with - so maybe we'll get 10 years out of it. This will be a job that we'll have to borrow money for...although maybe not because we likely wouldn't be purchasing new appliances. We'll see.

Now, this timeline doesn't mean we're going to be sitting on our behinds doing nothing. Believe me, there's plenty of little things to do around the house. But the big expensive stuff will be saved for. Our house is livable, and we're lucky. It may be ugly inside right now, and I do find it tough to deal with when I'm browsing Pinterst daily and seeing lovely homes. But, our house will be there one day; having a pretty home right now isn't worth going into debt over.

In the mean time, we'll strip and repaint trim and doors. We'll rehab windows. We'll put in exterior outlets so that we can put up Christmas lights (Mike did this yesterday, actually!). We'll plant a garden and work on landscaping.

And we'll also enjoy our house for what it is right now - our home, not just dream of what it can be.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

October 13, 2011

This past weekend, I attended an auction that combined a number of estates. I wasn't on the lookout for anything in particular, but I ended up with some stuff that I'm pretty happy about.

miscellaneous glasswares
Mish-mash of random glassware and other housewares.

It was actually a pretty sad auction. Most people attending were just there with cars, so big items were going for ridiculously low prices. A double pedestal Duncan Phyfe dining table, worth retail around $4,000...sold for a piddly $150.

We also only had a car, otherwise I'd be all over that. Seriously.

My favourite purchase of the day were these chairs.

wood chairs with arms

While they need to be recovered, and there is a small amount of damage, it's nothing that I can't work with.

Wanna know how much I paid?


Not each.


That's $1.25 a chair.

So excited! Unfortunately, Mike isn't nearly as excited as I am, so they won't be making an appearance around the kitchen table. They will be split up around the house. One will most definitely be my cloffice chair!

Have you ever found an outrageous deal at an auction?

Update: See a finished chair here!

Frivolous Friday!

October 7, 2011

Hinges can be beautiful.

Yes, a totally mundane, necessary piece of hardware can be stunning.

And I want some.

Big, intricate, steeple tipped hinges.

But at $20 per hinge and up, it's not really in the cards. Sometimes I wish our simple farmhouse had of been built with a little more flair, and that we had some of these babies kicking around like so many other lucky old house owners.

I'm not giving up hope, however. I will continue to browse antique and salvage stores (online and in real life) looking for the elusive reasonably priced Victorian hinge!

Window Rehab Update

October 5, 2011

The end is in sight for my first window restoration! I installed one of three window panes back into the sash last night. I decided to just do one rather than pushing through and potentially rushing the last two. They will get done tonight.

There's definitely a learning curve involved with working with glazing putty. My first attempt isn't great, especially since I ended up using a butter knife, but it'll do. As I've said before, this window is high up and out of sight from future visitors. As long as the putty stays in place, I'm happy!

installing glass with glazing putty
So it's a bit lumpy...

glass installed with glazing putty
Pretty clean glass - staying put!

In other news, an article I wrote was published over on Addicted 2 Decorating. I wrote about How to Get a Custom Entry Door for Less.

Happy Wednesday!

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