Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thanks for helping me kick cancer in the butt!

Back on October 1st, I told you that I was participating in the Growing Our Pits For Tits campaign with the Unshaven Mavens to raise money for breast cancer research and support. All I had to to was grow my armpit hair for the month of October. Which is actually a pretty easy thing to do – way easier than walking 60 kms or running a marathon! Oh, and I had to raise money too, of course! I optimistically set my fundraising goal at $500, but wasn’t entirely sure I’d be able to raise that much. Well…

pits goal

Yep – not only did I achieve my original goal, I more than doubled it with a grand total of $1,135! SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! I’m absolutely floored by the amazing generosity of my friends in Canada, the US, and even Australia! Big thank yous go out to Vanessa, Lana, Kate, Pam & Oded, Sarah, Mrs. O, my dad, Janet, Suzanne, Stephanie, Lisa, Nicole, Sonya, Heather, Maureen, Alisa & Ryan, Jennie & Mitch, Cousin Lynn, Donna, Jim & Susan, Ana, Sheila & Steve, Sarah, Carolann, Erika, Stu, Cindy, Rob & Sandy, and my hubby Brian for your support – I couldn’t have done it without all of you!

The campaign officially wrapped up last Friday night with the Red CarPIT Bash at The Space on Bank Street. There were a lot of bare arms and hairy pits in the room – and lots of smiles too :-) Plus keeping with the theme, there were boob cake pops and boob cupcakes to snack on. Wish I had pictures of them to show you, but I, unlike the rest of world, do not have an iPhone. But they looked a little something like this:

boob cakes

Prizes were awarded for Most Pitiful {least hair growth}, Jolie Pit {nicest pit}, Brad Pitt {most hair growth}, and Best Pit Crew and Pit Boss for the most money raised by a team and by an individual. Guess what - I’m going on a trip, because I was named Pit Boss! SHUT THE FRONT DOOR AGAIN! I won two tickets to anywhere Porter Airlines flies!

I’d love to go back to Halifax, but I’d also love to go somewhere I’ve never been before. So I’m thinking of flying to Myrtle Beach and then driving down to Charleston. Especially after seeing some of the beautiful architecture and gardens there…

SC 1SC 2 SC 3 All images from Pinterest

Winning the trip is pretty amazing, but even more amazing is that I was able to help the Unshaven Mavens raise a total of $10,000 for breast cancer research. WOOT! That’s a pretty good way to wrap up Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

On a related sad note, I just found out yesterday that Raylene Rankin from the Rankin Family died on September 30th after a long battle with breast cancer. She’s one of so many women who died way too young because of this nasty disease. In honour of Raylene and all the other who have battled and are battling breast cancer, here’s Raylene singing her beautiful trademark song, Rise Again

Ladies, take care of your boobs!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Kelly Wearstler effect

Remember the ombré effect I was trying to paint on the walls in the craft room? Totally over it. Ombré is so yesterday ;-) Well, no, not really – but I’m so loving Plan B for the room, I wish I’d skipped Plan A and all the headaches it caused. 

As I  mentioned last week, Plan B started with painting the short wall under the ledge PARA Paints Climb The Mast for no reason other than I had to cover up the ombré fail and start from scratch, and I didn’t have enough white primer. That’s when I had my AH-HA moment, and I painted the other wall under the ledge Climb The Mast as well. I originally thought I’d stencil the two walls – but quite frankly, I didn’t feel like waiting any longer to get this project done. Ordering a stencil would mean having to wait, and I’m an instant gratification kind of girl!

white walls

So instead, I used the Mulholland china pattern by Kelly Wearstler as my inspiration…


…and taped off random stripes on the two white walls using 1/4” and 1” painters tape. I kept taping off stripes till I ran out of tape. Which happened somewhere around midnight ;-) After each piece of tape went up, I stepped back to see how it looked. I didn’t have any specific layout in mind, I just went with what looked good to me.

taped for stripes

I seem to have forgotten to take a picture of the next step, which was painting along the edges of each piece of tape with Climb The Mast. This way, if any paint seeped under the tape, it would be the same colour as the wall. It’s the best way to get nice crisp lines. {I’ve posted a tutorial on how to paint a super-clean line here.}

Next, I painted two coats of PARA Paints It’s A Steal over the taped walls {the same as the colour on the rest of the walls}.

painted over tape

And then I held my breath as I started peeling off the tape. Always remove tape as soon as you’re finished painting – if you wait till the paint dries, it’s more likely that some paint will get pulled up along the edges of the tape.

And here’s how the walls look now…

stripes painted 2

stripes close

I love how the walls turned out, and it was really easy to do. It just took some time and patience, and a big painting flop ;-)

So now that the walls are painted, I’m painting an old table that I pulled out of the garage, painting the door, I’ll be painting a bookcase (all more PARA Paints Blog Crew projects!) and hubby is helping me create a really cool wrapping paper holder. I’ll share the projects with you as I finish them, and it hopefully won’t be too long till the final room reveal. I’m really excited to get it done, because doing craft projects on the kitchen counter really isn’t ideal. Every now and then I find another splatter of paint from my colossal paint accident back in January.

Thanks again PARA Paints for selecting me to be on your blog crew. There’s a lot more colour coming soon!

And thank you Clydia at Three Mango Seeds for featuring my Kelly Wearstler-inspired craft room walls on your blog :-)

Three Mango Seeds

Linking up to…

DesignDreams by Anne 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A beach house built for two

Not two people – two families! Long time friends Dawn and Judy and their families split the purchase of this 1928 beach house on Lake Michigan in Indiana.

The families put a lot of work into fixing up the house. It’s now open and bright and and is dressed up in a pretty palette of pale blues, greys, greens, and white.

The house can play host to a whack of people – there’s sleeping accommodations for up to 19, with three over-sized bedrooms and four pull-out sofas.

The living room and kitchen are located at the back of the house and look out over the lake.

I love pretty blue dishes and glasses displayed on the open shelves.

The lucite chairs in the eating area don’t obstruct the view to the outside.

This family room is where the kids watch TV. When I was a kid, I watched TV in the basement ;-)

How do two families makes one house work for them?

  • Set up a calendar. Sit down together before the summer and decide who gets the house when.
  • Share everything – except closets. The master bedroom features two separate moveable closet units, one for each family.
  • Split the chores. Dawn is the decorator and Judy is the bill payer and keeps the house stocked.
  • Have an exit strategy. If one family wants out, the other family has the option to buy them out at a certain price. If the other family doesn’t want to buy them out, they’ll sell the house.

Have you ever thought about sharing a house? Is it something that you would be interested in doing?

To see more pictures and read more about this shared beach house, check out Midwest Living.

Happy weekend!

Thanks to everyone who commented on my Whose design is it anyway post. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts about whether or not anyone can actually “own” a design. Everyone is in agreement – nobody can claim ownership of a design, and no design is truly original. It’s how we interpret and execute an existing design that makes each design unique to each of us :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Whose design is it anyway?

Last night when I was painting my craft room a Tiffany blue with Kelly Wearstler-inspired stripes, I got to thinking about a blog post that I wrote back in January 2009. At that time, blogs were still new-ish, and there was no such thing as Pinterest or Tumblr or Instagram. Now that there are so many ways to both inspire and to be inspired by design, I thought it would be a good time to re-visit that blog post. I’ve updated it a bit, but the question is still the same…

Is there such a thing as a truly original design?

Can one person “own” a design?

Last week, I shared my chalk paint pumpkins with you. I created them after seeing pumpkins painted by Landee at Landee See, Landee Do and Shaunna at Perfectly Imperfect. And yesterday, I came across a pretty white bling pumpkin by Heather at Setting for Four.

pumpkin collage 2

Who came up with the idea first?
Did we all copy each other?
Can any one person lay claim to the design?

When you think about it, every design is based on another design. We take a design that we see and like, and then create our own interpretation of it, putting our own spin on it and giving it our own personal touches. This is my home office:

office 2

I painted the letters on the walls because I’m a glutton for punishment ;-)

office 1

No, I painted the letters because I saw this nursery on Rate My Space and loved it! {Unfortunately, I can’t find the original post on RMS, so I can’t give proper credit to the creator of this room.}


The inspiration for the letters on the nursery wall came from this bedding from DwellStudio {it doesn’t seem to be available anymore}:

dwell bedding

And this bedding was inspired by… well, I guess the alphabet. The history of the alphabet started in ancient Egypt over 4,700 years ago. So does that mean the ancient Egyptians get credit for these three alphabet-inspired designs?

Here's another example. This is our upholstered bed:


My husband and I came up for the plans for it and built it. We based it on the Wallace upholstered bed from Restoration Hardware

wallace bed

…and this bed that Sarah Richardson designed for a bedroom on Sarah’s House {season 1}:

sh bed

There are obvious similarities between the three beds, but differences as well. All three have a nail head trim detail. The headboard corner cut-outs and legs on our bed are based on Sarah’s bed. But Sarah used a bold patterned fabric on her bed and we used a solid brown velvet, similar to the Wallace bed.

So who owns this design? I say all of us – and none us. The beds I used as inspiration for our bed were likely inspired by other beds. In fact, Sarah had to change her original headboard design because the original wouldn’t fit up the stairs to the bedroom. Which is an example of how a design evolves as you move through a project.

Nobody can say that a design is 100% {or even 99%} theirs. Every design is a collaboration of people and ideas – from pictures in books and magazines, TV shows, blogs, a friend’s house, stores, hotels, nature… design inspiration is all around us and in all of us.

That’s what I think – what do you think?

I’ll be showing you my new-and-improved craft room walls soon, complete with all my sources of inspiration. I want to put together a little painting tutorial for you to go with it :-)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ombre walls: EPIC FAIL

I’ve admitted defeat. The ombré walls in the craft room are a no-go. My fifth attempt on the weekend was the deal breaker. Even with tips and suggestions from two professional painters, good quality glaze, all the right tools, and spending an hour getting the colours just right, the ombré effect was a total flop. {Sorry for the crappy picture quality – it’s a small room in the basement with no window or natural light.}

ombre wall fail

I gave up after two hours when it was obvious that all I was doing was making the wall look increasingly crapp. So back to square 1. Actually, square pre-1, because I repainted the wall white to help cover the ombré crap. I painted the wall next to it white too – you’ll see why in a minute.

room 2

See the painting leaning on the ledge? I decided to at least try painting an ombré affect on canvas so all the time and money I spent wouldn’t be a total loss. The painting looks kinda splotchy, but it looks a lot better than the wall did. Here’s a closer look {it’s still wet} – I think I’ll buy a big canvas and create a larger version to hang in the craft room.


I’ll be doing something else with the two white walls. Last night, I thought I’d do stencilling on them. These are some designs from Cutting Edge Stencils that I was considering.

image  image image  image
Clockwise from to left: Zamira, Houndstooth, Birch Forest, Birds of Paradise Damask

Then I thought, seeing as one of the walls under the ledge is already white, why not paint the other wall under the ledge white too, tape off a design, then paint the walls blue and pull the tape off. First I thought I’d do diamonds. Then I thought plaid. But both would require a lot of measuring and making sure things are perfectly straight, and quite frankly, I’ve already spent too much time working on this room. Then I had an Ah-Ha moment – the Mulholland china pattern by Kelly Wearstler that I had originally planned to do on the bookcase and/or desk.


So that’s where things stand now. I really wanted to have pretty ombré walls to show you today, but nobody ever said that design is always pretty!

I’ll keep you posted on the new plan…

On another and more successful note, there’s one week left in my Pits For Tits campaign. I’m way over my goal of $500 with a total of $770 raised so far, thanks to my friends and family and blog buddies :-) I'd love to reach $1,000 – if you can spare a few bucks, please click here and send it my way to support breast cancer research & awareness. My pits and I thank you! ♥

Friday, October 19, 2012

I could live here: Rustic with a touch of coastal charm

A few days ago, I fell in love with this room that I saw on Facebook:

LR 2 big

The rustic wood beams & ceiling & door, the comfy looking sofas, the pretty watery blue striped fabric and accents… I just want to want to jump right into this picture!

I did a bit of Googling and discovered that the room was designed by Toronto designer Jill Kantelberg. And there are more pictures of this beautiful home on her web site. Wanna take a look? OK, let’s go!

Here’s another view of the living room that shows the gorgeous stone fireplace.

LR 1

The dining area with a unique chandelier.

dining room

How awesome is that huge window in the kitchen?

kitchen 2

kitchen 1

Love the wood frame around the huge upholstered headboard. The white bead board walls and door give the room a touch of coastal charm.


The rustic wood dresser has so much character.

dresser 2

Right down to the vignettes, this home is just filled with such wonderful texture and rustic charm with a bit of a coastal vibe…

rope vignette

I could move in right now! How about you? Have you seen any rooms or houses lately that you’ve fallen in ,love with?

Happy weekend!

The ombré wall project is still going… I’m hoping attempt #5 will go better than #1, 2, 3 and 4! Fingers crossed I’ll have some finished walls to show you on Monday.