Delphite Blues

April 30, 2012

Some of you might know that I collect vintage Pyrex. I can't get enough of the bright colours and patterns, and I definitely have my fair share of the stuff. My absolute favourite, though, is what's known as delphite.

It's an opaque light blue glass, a lot of which was produced in Canada. Delphite Pyrex is considered to be pretty rare, and I have to admit that I tend to agree with this. The only pieces I've ever seen were in antique stores and usually with a pretty hefty price tag. When I see something with a decent price, I snap it up!

And although this weekend was positioned firmly at the not-very-productive end of the life scale, Saturday afternoon was spent at the Roadshow's 400 Antique Mall in Innisfil. While there, I came across a 12" delphite plate. There was a saucer as well, but it had a large chip and wasn't worth buying.

I bought the delphite plate, as well as a really cool old milk glass plate with a "lace" edge.

delphite pyrex plate delphite pyrex sugar bowl milk glass lace plate

delphite pyrex sugar bowl milk glass lace plate delphite pyrex plate

I already had the sugar bowl, which is unfortunately missing it's friend the creamer. I also have a delphite "fridgie with the corresponding delphite lid.

Does anyone else collect something? Mike collects all things Mr. Peanut/Planters.

Psssst! I've linked this post up to...
The Shabby Nest

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Frivolous Friday - Antique Light

April 27, 2012

I want this light with everything in my heart and soul.

I came across it yesterday, and it was lust at first click. Like, Fifty Shades of Grey lust.

victorian pan light 3 shades
1910 Victorian Antique Light Fixture from Lighting Restoration on Etsy

brass light pan victorian
1910 Victorian Antique Light Fixture from Lighting Restoration on Etsy

victorian etched glass lamp shade
1910 Victorian Antique Light Fixture from Lighting Restoration on Etsy

I don't even know if the seller will ship to Canada. I'm afraid to ask because if they say yes I'll respond with "SEND IT RIGHT NOW". And if they say no, I'll probably offer up unsavoury favours or a first born child or something. Either way, I don't have $200 to spend on a light. Or a child to exploit.

I forced Mike to look at it, and his response was something along the lines of "it's okay" which is typically the closest we get to agreement on anything.

I would put it in the upstairs hall, and molest it with my eyes every day.

Blarg. Does anyone else ever fall head over heels in love with things?!

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Bathroom Reno Update - The Vanity!

April 24, 2012

I'm officially considering our bathroom renovation to be a marathon. But no matter. It's already turned into my favourite room in the house and I'm spending more time in there than any other room. You might think I'm kidding - but I'm totally sitting on the floor and finishing projects and practicing taking pictures on the manual setting. Oh ISO and aperture, you will be the death of me.

But anyway, remember when our vanity looked like this?Or for those of you who might be new here...take a look at what our vanity looked like before.

victorian farm house bathroom renovation


Well, I hope you think what we did is an improvement - I really, really do!

vintage bathroom crown mason jar cobalt jar mini delft pitcher chintz dish

The wall colour, as I mentioned back here, is Vintage from Sarah Richardson's Designer Palette by Para Paints.

Gerber daisies are my favourite, and I couldn't resist these vibrant red beauties staring at me at the grocery store.

vintage bathroom crown mason jar red gerber daisies chintz dish mini delft pitcher

The chintz dish was my Granny's, and it's a perfect catch-all for earrings and tweezers. The mini Delft pitcher is just wee and cute - it came from the same auction as my $5 chairs (which I received the fabric for - yay!). And I just can't get enough of vintage mason jars. Trendy schmendy.

A friend of mine got me hooked on Bath and Body Works candles, and when I was in there today scoping out their new scents, I noticed that they make these neat holders for their pump soaps (which also smell amazing).

vintage bathroom crown mason jar chintz dish mini delft pitcher cobalt jar bath and body works

I grabbed a bunch of stuff while I was in - like the little candle and holder that you can see at the far right, above - and the total was less than the price of another soap dispenser that I had my eye on at Home Sense. Hoorah.

The faucet is Peerless, and came from Home Depot for only around $65. The cobalt jars came from the Barrie Antiques Center for just $2 each, and they're perfect for corralling cotton pads and Q-tips.

vintage bathroom mason jar cobalt jar chintz dish delft pitcher

I talked about the sconces back here, the mirror back here, and the vanity here.

The vanity got dressed up with some inexpensive pulls from Lowes. I didn't like the knobs that came in the box, but didn't really want to spend a lot. I wanted pulls rather than knobs, and these $3 pewter guys were perfect.

pewter drawer pull

Moving forward...I've started working on the cafe curtains but I probably won't share those until we get our new windows in. And speaking of windows...we got a quote, and it's ugly. If you take a look at the exterior of our house, you'll notice that all of our windows have rounded tops. Knowing that, we decided to get two quotes - one for a regular square window which would have to be topped off with aluminum to make up the gap where the brick is arched, and one for a round top window that would fit like a glove. The price difference is significant. A round top window is nearly three times the price. But, we decided to bite the bullet and go with the round top window. The only reason we can do this is because we're just doing the one window right now. If we were doing every window at once? It wouldn't have even been a discussion. But, thankfully we have a choice because of how we're doing our renovation. I hated the idea of choosing the cheaper window just because it was cheaper, and regretting the choice every time I looked at it.

How about one last look at the vanity?

vintage bathroom crown mason jar cobalt jar mini delft pitcher chintz dish

Dare I ask for thoughts?

Psssst! I'm linking this post up to these parties!

Home Stories A2Z

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Bloom into Spring Exchange Reveal

April 20, 2012

Last month I let you guys know that I had signed up for a gift exchange organized by Lisha from One House One Couple and Meaghan from Local at Last. I was paired up with Katie from Adventures of a DIY Dork.

I received her gift, and it was full of awesome-ness!

bloom into spring exchange adventures of a DIY dork

It's so perfectly springy.

bloom into spring exchange first home dreams adventure of a diy dork

This burlap wreath is beyond cute and is definitely being hung on the door.

bloom into spring exchange adventures of a diy dork first home dreams

My absolute favourite part, though, is this wee little chalk paint pot. And the packets of seeds. And the garden gloves (I was in the market for some new ones anyway!).

A big huge thank you to Katie!

I'm off to Guelph for the weekend to visit with two of Mike's aunts. Each adopted a puppy from the same litter as Tahsis, so we're getting them together for a little spring reunion.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Psssst! I also am way behind in thanking some other lovely ladies. Christine from Casa de Christine "tagged" me back in the beginning of March in a game of blogger tag, and I played along in her comments section. Last week, Maria from All Things Luxurious nominated me for the Versatile Blogger award, and just a few days ago Barb from Turtles and Tails did the same. Thank you so much to all of you!

If I Had A Million Dollars

April 18, 2012

Name that band!

As per usual, we're still plugging away on the bathroom these days. That's not really true. We're actually spending more time not working on it at all. But that's life, I suppose.

I'm still waiting for the fabric that I ordered for the new kitchen chairs to arrive, but those will get done eventually, too.

So in the mean time, while we're procrastinating and waiting, I'm going to jump into la la land and "build" my dream bathroom. What it would look like if it didn't have to double as a laundry room. And if we didn't have a giant turtle tank. And if I got to make every single decision and had a significant other who didn't care. And if we could afford marble hex tile floors. Sigh.

Speaking of floors, lets start there.

This modern version of marble hex tile is pretty nice.

But deep down in my soul I long for plain ol' black and white.

*Yes, I know that's a kitchen and not a bathroom. 

For the longest time, I wanted a clawfoot tub. My mom and dad put one into the 1950's era house that I grew up in, and it was big and unique and lovely. But, lately I've been pining after one of these corner tub guys.

They're quirky and I love it. I've never seen a reproduction, so I imagine I'd have a time and a half trying to find one. Good thing I'm not getting one.

The next thing on my dream list is something that I'm actually getting - subway tile! We're laying it in the traditional pattern shown in the picture above, but I would love to do a full wall in a herringbone pattern.

Where the subway tile ends, let the beadboard begin!

Floor to ceiling might be a little bit too cottage-y for me. But this?

It's perfect. I'll take that cast iron Kohler utility sink, too.

And that bright paint colour above the crisp white beadboard? Heck yes. How about orange?

Oh look, there's that sink again. Which happens to cost an obscene amount of money.

In place of the stacking laundry pair, we'd have a shower stall. A neat one.

I may not get my sink or hex tile or fancy shower stall. And my subway tile may be traditional instead of herringbone. But we can always add beadboard later (like in a few years when Mike's focus has shifted to other areas of the house and he's no longer adamantly opposed to beadboard in the bathroom). And paint and shower curtains and towels and window treatments are flexible. They can change.

And who knows - maybe I can put some hex tile somewhere else, where there's a smaller area to be covered? A kitchen back splash, perhaps? And we do have original bead board in the kitchen, so maybe I just need to appreciate that some more.

It's time to get back to reality. Even without a million dollars, our bathroom will be lovely. Laundry and turtle tank and all.

5 Reads Worth Reading

April 16, 2012

1. If you're in a thinking mood... Antibiotics and Farm Animals by On the Banks of Squaw Creek.

2. If you're in need of a laugh... I re-watched the Titance so you don't have to. You're welcome. by Jezebel. <--- seriously, read this. I laughed unbelievably hard.

3. If you've got blogging on the brain... Blogging Is Like Any Company by Ramble Ramble.

4. If you need a laugh and simultaneously have blogging on the brain... The Secret World of Blog Advertising by The Art of Doing Stuff. <--- every single post of her's is hilarious. I highly recommend subscribing.

5. If you happen to like the Vancouver Canucks, or the song "Somebody That I Used To Know")... Canuck's Playoff Song (Somebody That I Used To Know Parody) <--- it's a video! Careful now.

Haaaaaaappy Monday!

$5 Auction Chairs - The Road to Recovery

April 13, 2012

Last week, in a fit of insanity, I proclaimed to the world that I was going to complete a gigantic list of tasks, one of which involves the rehabbing of four chairs that I bought at an auction for $5 (total, not each!).

The fabric was stained and ripped when I bought them, but it's even worse now since they spent a couple of weeks outside in the weather before Mike relocated them to the shed for me. After yanking them out of the shed this weekend, they're definitely looking a little frumpy.

Using this handy dandy reference guide, I knew I probably needed 2 yards of fabric per chair, but since I'm hopeless when it comes to measuring things, I decided to be on the safe side and get more than I probably needed.

But before I went and actually bought some fabric, I figured I needed to look around on the good ol' Internet for some inspiration.

Awhile back I found this...

I find this example particularily hilarious since it boasts a price tag of $1,199.00. Yeah. Right.

This one caught my eye, too.

Chair upholstered with Oborne & Little fabric, photo courtesy of Kelly Interiors (but pulled from La La Linen)

But, although I like to look at white furniture with bright fabrics, I don't think it's really "me" (or Mike, for that matter). I need something that hides dirt, because the cat tends to nap on the kitchen chairs. The white parts of the fabric I used to cover the previous chairs ended up turning a little dingy. So, what to do?

I scoured my fabric board on Pinterest, which is full of great designs from Tonic Living. My top picks for these chairs are...

Ragg Tagg from Tonic LivingSweet William, Teal from Tonic Living
Dapple Dot from Tonic LivingBrussels Washer Charcoal from Tonic Living

Clearly, a few of them still have a potential for dingey-ness. Although, I'm admittedly getting better about regularily vaccuuming these days...

That all being said, I decided to see what I could find at FabricLand.

I found nothing.

So back to the interwebs I went, and rather than ordering swatches like a normal person, I decided to just dive in and buy something. Well, two somethings.

Now you'll just have to wait and see!

Update: See a finished chair here!

Turtle Power

April 11, 2012

When Mike and I were dating back in university, we went to a party one night and the people who lived in the house had this turtle that we were enthralled by. Despite rules prohibiting animals other than fish in student residence, we went out and got a turtle the next day. Yep, we're impulsive. We chose a Red-eared Slider, which is by far the most common species of turtle kept as a pet. We named him Toby after Toby Flenderson (Name that show!).

Although we're impulsive, we're also hyper researchers. And it's a good thing we are, otherwise Toby the Turtle would have been long gone by now.

Despite popular belief, turtles are not cheap, easy, and short lived pets that are perfect for children. If you're interested in learning why, keep on reading for a brief and simplified overview of Red-eared Slider husbandry.

Properly housing a turtle is expensive.

While a turtle the size of a quarter might look like it has plenty of space in a fishbowl aquarium, it doesn't! Aquartic turtles should have around 10 gallons of water for every inch of shell length. Full grown turtles range anywhere from 6-12 inches. Do the math - that's a big tank! It's recommended that you buy the largest possible tank that you can afford, to avoid having to buy several tanks as your new little friend grows. We aren't perfect in this department - we started off with a 20 gallon and have now moved up to a 40 gallon. I can't say whether we'll move up from here or not in the future. We just got the new tank set up in the bathroom on Monday night, so it's a work in progress at this point.
The actual aquarium is the easy part. Baby turtles need water that's around 80 degrees Farenheit, while adult turtles need slightly cooler water (75 degrees ish). That means you need a water heater.
Turtles are dirty. You need a filter, preferably one rated for a tank way larger than the one you actually have. The style and filter media varies - we've gone through three different cheap filters but finally broke down and bought a high quality (Eheim) canister filter.

Turtles like to bask! In addition to an accessible platform that's completely out of the water, you need a heat lamp, as well as a special light bulb capable of producing UVB rays (to mimic the sun). Without this, your turtle won't be able to maintain a hard and healthy shell. The heat lamp encourages your turtle to get out of the water and dry out completely from time to time (also incredibly important in maintaining a hard and healthy shell).

I've dreamt of building an indoor pond like habitat rather than a typical aquarium (which surprisingly can be more cost effective), but we just don't have the space.

Turtles live for a long time. At least they should.

If properly cared for, a Red-eared Slider can live for 20-50 years! Unfortunately, most captive turtles are lucky to survive for even a year. Toby is 4, and still going strong.

Turtles can carry Salmonella.

In some places, it's illegal to sell turtles under a certain size. Guess why? Curious kids can pop baby turtles into their mouths and get Samonella poisoning (at least that's the common story behind this rule). As far as I know, there's no way to find out whether your particular turtle is carrying the germ, but it's definitely a best practice to wash your hands well with soap and water after handling the turtle itself, accessories, or even tank water.

Red-eared Sliders are an invasive species.

Maybe you have a Red-eared Slider and just don't feel up to looking after it anymore. Have a nice pond nearby? Please don't set it free. Red-eared Sliders are an invasive species in a lot of areas, meaning they can thrive in habitats where they aren't normally found, and often out compete native species for food and space. Here in Ontario Painted Turtles are native, but Red-eared Sliders can easily kick their butts.
Painted Turtle, photo by Rachel Laurenti

Other "fun" facts.

Aquarium gravel is a big no no! Turtles will eat, or try to eat, anything. Many a turtle has met an early death from ingesting aquarium gravel and having it become impacted in their digestive tract.

Choose aquarium decorations wisely. You don't want your turtle wedging themselves in a tunnel and drowning.

Turtles are escape artists. I've lost track of how many times that Toby has escaped from his tank, fallen to the floor, and then crawled to hide away somewhere in a dark corner. Watch your water level, and build up an extra barrier around the edges of the tank if necessary.

Interested in learning more? This fact sheet produced by PetCo is great. Do you want to talk turtles? This forum has a gazillion knowledgable people, and was so helpful when we first started caring for Toby.

Farm Auction Finds

April 9, 2012

This weekend was incredibly non-productive, despite my ginormous list of things to do that I posted on Thursday. But, that doesn't mean that it was a total wash!

On Friday, Mike and I went to our first auction of the year. This particular one happened to be mostly farm equipment, with the majority of it being old and rusty. There was almost 500 people there, and I actually bumped into a friend from university (Hi, Chelsey!). We didn't stay until the end - stuff was going for far more than we had to spend (one cast iron tractor seat went for nearly $500). But we didn't leave empty handed.

We snagged this Plain Jane tractor seat for $40.

Eventually I want four to refinish and turn into bar stools.

This rust covered cream can was ours for a whopping $7.50.

I'm not sure what my plans for this guy is yet. With a little bit (maybe a lot) of elbow grease, eventually we'll have these looking half decent. Whenever we get around to it you know I'll share the process with you!

Saturday involved puttering around to a whole whack of different stores with Mike's mom. I would tell you everywhere we went, but I'm fairly certain that you don't care, especially since neither one of us bought anything. The best "store" though, was some guy selling antiques and things out of the back of a transport truck trailer. It wasn't sketchy, I promise. His prices were so good, but we were without a truck. I have every intention of going back (and hoping he's open when I do - he doesn't keep set hours).

Sunday evening we had dinner at Mike's parents place. All of my family lives in British Columbia so we don't split our time between two families on holidays...

In between visiting and gallivanting, we did manage to finish tiling the bathroom floor. I think I might torture you and not show you anymore progress pictures until I'm ready to "reveal" the room. Ha!

The weather was great, so we managed to enjoy quite a bit of outside time with the crazy dog. Really, she's bonkers.

Happy Monday!

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