Friday, November 30, 2012

Festive Friday: Unusual Christmas trees

It’s less than a month till Christmas, so it’s about time to start thinking about Christmas crafts and decorating for the holidays. I’m not sure what I’m going to do this year – with two puppies running around the house, I’m thinking a Christmas tree covered in breakable decorations is just a great big accident waiting to happen. Not to mention that a tree skirt could easily be mistaken for a pee pad.

And I definitely can’t put up the usual tree in the dining room, because that’s the puppy playroom at the moment. Sooooooo… what to do, what to do, what to do… well, this might be a good year to try something different with our Christmas tree. Something small and safe from curious little dog noses and mouths and paws…

coastal trees 2

1. Love these pretty seashell trees. Glue a Styrofoam cone onto a wood base and go to town with a hot glue gun sticking on seashells. Pinterest

2. Simple & pretty tree made from pieces of driftwood. Basic Label*Sweden

3. Stack a bunch of starfish from biggest on the bottom to smallest on the top. Handmadeology

Love these next ideas for creating a Christmas tree on a wall. You could create any of these trees on sheet of painted plywood or a mirror and lean it up against the wall. And then you can re-use it every year.

wall trees 1awall trees 2a

4. Adorable pom pom tree and cute bunny :-) Pinterest

5. Draw a tree on a piece of kraft paper or a piece of plywood painted with chalk paint and attach ornaments to the “branches”. Style Me Pretty

6. Post-It notes could be replaced with squares of pretty paper or old Christmas cards. Livingetc

7. Zigzag Christmas lights in the shape of a tree .rework not waste.

fabric trees a

8. Cut out circles of felt and use straight pins to attach them to a Styrofoam cone. Bliss Bloom Blog

9. Pearl beads nestled inside loops of grosgrain ribbon (Kanzashi). Designs in Bloom (Etsy)

wood trees 1awood trees 2a

10. The People`s Tree. Festivetree 

11. Create a Christmas tree by attaching pieces of wood together. MarzaShop (Etsy)

12. Cut wood dowels into various lengths, paint them white, and stack them together. Pinterest

13. If you’re handy with a jigsaw, cut out a tree shape out a piece of plywood, paint it white, and attach rope lighting onto the back to make your own backlit tree. Habitat.

14. Hammer together pieces of wood and drape some lights over it. Basic Label*Sweden

Small versions of a big Christmas tree can go on a table, a window sill, or in a safe corner on the floor.

little trees 1alittle trees 2a15. Weekday Carnival  16. Better Homes & Gardens  17. The Essence of the Good Life 18. Habitually Chic
19. Welke

A Christmas tree can be anything you want – these are just a few examples of Christmas trees that aren’t really trees.

different trees 1

20. Birch branches, pinecones, balls, and ribbon dressed up with white lights. Simple & pretty! Inspirations of Old

21. Glam brooch tree – a pretty piece of Christmas art. Pinterest

22. A simple branch with a few little ornaments tucked inside a glass dome. La Maisonn d’Anna G.

Are you putting up an unusual or creative tree this year?

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Puppy love!

Sorry, I just can’t help myself – I’ll get back to regularly scheduled home decor stuff with my next post, but for today, it’s puppy love!

There’s a total of five puppies in Joey & John’s litter – their three other brothers are being fostered by a friend of mine.

Puppies 2puppy collage 2

And our two guys… Joey!

joey close 2 joey closejoey sleeping 2joey sly

And John!

john close 2john cute earsjohn sleeping 4john sleeping 2john joey 2 john joey

Squirt & Mini Me ;-)   

john squirt

My computer geeks :-)

computer geeks

So, who wants a puppy!? :-) These guys will all be ready for new homes in a few weeks – if you’re interested, check out the Catahoula Rescue Ontario web site for more info.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Puppies & paintings & PARA Paints Blog Crew project #4

On Friday, I showed you the projects that I had planned for this weekend. And I actually managed to get two out of three of them done, which isn’t too bad – especially considering the fact that two special little guests arrived late on Saturday night. Meet John:


And Joey:


They’re 12 week old Catahoula mix puppies and our newest fosters :-) Yes, two. We’re crazy! They’re soft & cute & cuddly and give great puppy kisses, which kinda makes up for all the pee and poop ;-)

Blurry action shot:

two playing

Poor hubby was on his own with them on Sunday while I was at my art class. But he survived, so it couldn’t have been all bad ;-) I made two paintings, which I’ll pick up at the end of the week after they’ve been lacquered. I’ll show them to you when they’re officially done, but here’s a sneak peek:

foil 1 close foil 2 close

A big thank you to my friend Susan Bailie at Art Walls for showing me and four fab ladies how to create cool foil art :-) We had lots of fun, lots of laugh, and yummy butter tarts :-) Susan is planning another workshop in January – if you’re in Ottawa, I highly recommend signing up!

I also managed to finish another PARA Paints Blog Crew project – I painted the door to my craft room. It was originally typical white with polished brass window trim. I taped off the brass trim and sprayed it with grey primer and then black mat paint. Then I painted on a silver metallic paint to create a faux zinc effect. The door is P5196-51 Platform Sandals with P5021-34 Splurged Again along the edges. Oh, and I replaced the brass lever knob with a brushed nickel egg-shaped knob. It’s hard to get decent pictures because the room is small and the light sucks – this is the best I could do without giving too much of the room away. Gotta save something for the final reveal!

dooredge 2zinc

Considering how much time and work the puppies require, I suspect I won’t be getting too many projects done over the next little while. It’s amazing how much pee and poop comes out of their little bodies! Our two guys and their three brothers will be available for adoption in a couple of weeks – check out the Catahoula Rescue Ontario web site in a day or two to see all their pics and read their profiles :-)

Friday, November 23, 2012

An artful weekend

This weekend, I’m taking an art class being taught by my friend and artist Susan Bailie. I’ve shown you some of her paintings before…

petit puff Wonderland-2

I’m so excited that this weekend, I’m going to learn how to create my very own foil painting! Susan asked each person taking the class to each come up with an idea or concept for our paintings. I’m planning to do a little something like this…


And if I have time {which is highly unlikely, but hey, why not dream big?!} I’ve got another art project in mind using a bit of this and this…

blueprint art

Thanks Victoria at The FAT Paint Company for the sample can of paint, and to Kelly at The Lily Pad Cottage for the blueprint art inspiration :-)

I’m also in the middle of another PARA Paints Blog Crew project for my craft room using these colours:

para colours

And just because I like to go totally overboard, I’ve got another art project in mind that looks a little something like this:

button letter Image via Baby Lifestyles

Luckily my weekends are four days long, so that gives me two extra days to get it all done! But there’s something else happening this weekend that could throw all these plans out window… I’m going to keep it a secret for now so I don’t jinx it. But if things work out, you’ll find out all about it on Monday :-)

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

CHEO Dream Home 2012

CHEO panorama

Every year, the Dream of a Lifetime Lottery raises money for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) here in Ottawa. The grand prize is always pretty impressive, and this year is no exception – one lucky winner will get a fully furnished and completely decorated Minto dream home worth over $1.4 million, $100,00 cash, a 2013 Lincoln worth $56,000, house cleaning services for a year valued at almost $10,000, and $5,000 in groceries. That makes for a pretty impressive haul of over $1.6 million!

CHEO exterior

This past Monday, Ottawa decorators and designers were invited to tour the dream home. The event was hosted by La-Z-Boy, which provided all of the furniture throughout the home. La-Z-Boy is more than just recliners!

CHEO sofa

Kiss Design Group has been decorating the CHEO dream homes for over  20 years. They have the daunting task of taking all of the donated products and creating a cohesive design that will appeal to the 80,000 or so people who view the dream home each year. No pressure there! Their inspiration for this year’s dream home design was nature and bringing the outdoors in. The home is on a ravine in a semi-rural community outside of Ottawa, so lots of great inspiration all around.

CHEO family room 1

So let’s take a tour of the 2012 CHEO Dream Home, starting at the front entry… the first thing I noticed is the chandelier, which is the same chandelier that we have in our front entry. I love the dark grey closet doors.

PM CHEO entry

As you walk into the house, the living room is to your right and the dining room is to your left. The wall treatments in these rooms and other rooms throughout the house are hand-painted. Love the fireplace and beamed ceiling in the living room.

PM CHEO LR dining

Straight ahead is the family room. Sunlight just streams through the wall of windows, and the barn board wall adds a rustic element. I am SO in love with this ceiling!


The kitchen and eating area are next to the family room. Love the pendant lights over the island, they look like flowers. And the vent above the stove is a great design – very sleek the way it blends in almost seamlessly with the backsplash.

PM Kitchen

Around the corner from the kitchen is a butler’s pantry, and around another corner is a pretty funky powder room. I love the combination of the barn board wall with the crystal chandelier.

PM CHEP powder butler

As you can see, the back of the house is more rustic than the front. It actually feels a bit disjointed, but the designers had to incorporate a variety of elements into the home – including nine different types of flooring – which is a challenge in itself!

There’s also an office and a mudroom on the main floor, but I didn’t get good pictures of them – other than this one of the bead board in the mudroom, which I love.

CHEO mud room

Upstairs is an expansive master bedroom & ensuite. The bedroom is above family room, and has the same amazing sunlight streaming through the windows.

PM CHEO master br

I LOVE the chandelier over the tub. I SO want to do this in our master bathroom, but I suspect it breaks all kinds of codes. But hey, rules are made to be broken, right? ;-) Also love the tile inlay in the floor, and yes, that’s a TV in the shower!

PM CHEO ensuite

There are three other bedrooms upstairs (one with an ensuite), a full bathroom, and a linen closet in the hallway.

PM CHEO bedrooms

Oddly, it’s the boy’s bedroom that has the ensuite – you’d think girls would need it more! Anyway, I really like this wide accent stripe in the shower…

CHEO boys bath

And now let’s go down to the basement. I think this kid’s play area is my favourite part of the basement – it’s colourful and cozy and the art on the walls is cute :-) Notice how it inspired the mural on the blackboard wall.

PM CHEO base kids

The rest of the basement is more adult-oriented with a bar, pool table, home theater, and wine fridge.

PM CHEO basement

There’s also a workout room and a full bathroom in the basement. I kept noticing the shower details!

CHEO basement bath

And speaking of details, this is a great one. It’s a mirrored outlet cover on the mirrored bar backsplash. Genius!

CHEO mirrored outlet cover

So, are you ready to move in? All you need to do is buy a ticket and cross your fingers! Oh, and you have to live in Ontario – sorry to my non-Ontario readers. But feel free to send me the money and I’ll buy you a ticket – then if you win, I get to move in with you ;-)

All photos taken by moi with my new little Samsung ST88 16MP pocket-sized camera :-)