Saturday, January 29, 2011

Photo Gallery Wall

I can not believe how little time it took to feel completely overwhelmed and exhausted again. I thought the calm feeling would extend a little further into the month after Christmas break. I thought wrong. The past two weeks I feel I have been as busy as ever.

I do have some updates for you! Remember I said I had a few 'gimme's on my list? Adding more photos to my 'gallery wall' was one of them. I had plenty of great photos, but I hadn't got around to framing and hanging them. Luckily, I had a chance to pick up some frames from the dollar store before I got too busy again. A few hooks later, and they were ready to hang. Hope you've had a little more time to relax than I have!

Here was the 'gallery wall' before:

Here is the updated wall today. I added 8-10 more photos.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Appliance Overload?

Can you have too many appliances on your counter?

I'm not really one of those people who has to have an empty counter. For me, convenience is more important than clean lines and a stylish kitchen. The appliances I use regularly need to be close at hand, otherwise, it just takes me that much longer and I don't like that.

However, over Christmas, I acquired several more appliances.

I finally bought a new toaster. My old one had spent the past 8 1/2 years with me, since I moved out of my parent's home and into my university dorm to be exact. (Shhh, don't tell the rez police. It could have started a fire.) It was a $10, 2-slice special. It still worked, but I was ready for something new. I used a Christmas gift card and upgraded to a sleek, silver 4-slice model from Black and Decker.

My brother's GF also gave me a used breadmaker, because I'd commented I wanted one. Her grandma, "a hoarder of good things", had 3. I have already made a loaf of bread and pizza dough 4 times in it.

The dilemma? My "appliance corner" was already crowded. As you may have noticed in this photo:

Despite the crowding, the small toaster fit on the stove, and I could leave my coffee maker, kettle and George Foreman grill on the counter, without interfering with my workspace or the tool turnabout.

Not so much now. The toaster is now twice as big and doesn't fit on the stove, and the breadmaker takes up the entire corner. Only the kettle and George Foreman fit well in my cupboards, but I use them more than the breadmaker. What to do?! Is it too much if every one of these guys stays on my counter?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

One More Resolution

I need to add one more resolution to this list - Fix the labels on my blog.

When I started blogging, I didn't understand how labels worked, so I would tag a post with five or six. Now, I have this whackpile of labels, that no one would ever want to look at. I've added them to my sidebar, as a constant reminder to tidy these up. Hopefully, if I do a few every day, they'll be cleaned up in no time!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

There is Hope Again

I have faith again. After some hairy drywalling two weeks ago (I promised a post, and I'm assured it's coming), I am again hopeful I will get this embarrassing slow, and not-so-big, project finally done.

You see, I have been faced with the dilemma that the new drywall is not flush with the old plaster. There were multiple reasons for this, which I'm not getting into here, but I had a gap of about 1/4" on part of the wall and ceiling, as you can see here. In case you're wondering - the drywall on the right is not attached, but leaning against the wall. We didn't attach it paper-side out, as it might appear.

BF and I tried to patch with joint compound. It cracked:

Of course, it cracked! I read all over the Internet we needed to do thin coats, so as we gooped on the compound to plug the holes, I secretly wondered if it was a bad idea. I went to bed that night and had nightmares I would never get this drywall finished.

Determined to make progress, I went in search of drywall mud this morning, and I discovered this product at Canadian Tire - LePage Polyfilla BIG.

I read the label and the "product comparison chart" attached to the shelf, and realized this might be what I was looking for. Ignoring the price tag ($22.49 for a 5.5L pail!), I bought two pails. After all, I wasn't making another trip back to Canadian Tire if one wasn't enough, and I headed home.

The product looks like marshmallow puff. You know, the stuff in the little, blue jar.

Fluff, Marshmallow Sprd, (1) 7.5-Ounce Glass Jar

What the fluff? Yes, it was just as light and fluffy-looking.

I also bought a mud pan with scrapers on the sides. For only $5, it made the job not only easier, but tidier. I poured the fluff in the pan and set to work with my 8" drywall knife. I am almost doubtful, it worked so well. As I slapped it on and scraped away the excess, I found myself really enjoying the work, and the more I did, the more confident I felt. My faith in myself to get this done has been restored! Now when I walk in the room, I am encouraged by how bright and open it is... I see the light!

More and more, this project was starting to feel like a really badly botched, DIY attempt. Has any other DIY-ers felt that way or completely wondered how you ever thought you could tackle a project on your own?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fabulous Friend Friday

I've been trying to come up with a catchy name to share some of my friends' great makeovers and living spaces, and "Fabulous Friend Friday" was the best I could come up with. If anyone has more creative suggestions, I'll gladly take them. I'll post any day of the week too, not just Friday!

My friend Erin rents this uber-cute little house. It's one of those bungalows that looks like a square from the outside. Perhaps, you know what I mean? Anyway, she has a cute sitting room, kitchen and this lovely, little bathroom. It's not huge, but she's done a spectacular job decorating it. It has this comfortable, "at home" feel with the lace and pink-flowered shower curtain. The walls are white tile, and the door (not seen) and window frame are this beautiful, dark hardwood. Yes, that is pink tp!!

Check out the beautiful gold mirror she's used to add some metallic and less girly flair to the room. I love the shutter doors on her closet. If you haven't noticed, I have a thing for white cupboards. I only had my BB, otherwise I would've snapped a few more pics to give you the full flavour of the room. 

Charming. Just plain charming, it is! 

Happy Fabulous Friday to you!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Say It's So - Target is Coming to Canada!!

Photo from Target Addict.

BF sent me a message tonight asking if I'd heard the news? It can't be, can it? After years of making Target a destination of choice, not just for myself but many Canadians who head across the border in search of selection and deals, Target is coming to Canada!!

That's right, my bloggy-friends south of the 49th, Target does not exist in Canada. {Insert shocked gasp here} We have a significantly less-popular, similar department store called Zellars. Personally, I like shopping at Zellars.  I spent the majority of my life in towns where this was the ONLY department store. The stores were well looked after, clean and had great selection. Over the years, I came to realize that not all their stores are quite so nice. I have to admit, I am a little happy-sad. I was hoping Zellars was reinventing themselves as the hip, Canadian version of Target.

Not so. According to, Target purchased 220 Zellars locations and stores will start opening in 2013.

All this Savvy Homegirl has to say is "hurry up and get here"!! Just make sure you keep the awesome, discount Jules & Julia jewelry line carried by Zellars (that's my secret to great, value-priced accessories).

Sunday, January 9, 2011

You never know what you'll find in a junk drawer (cupboard)

I found it! Well, perhaps it found me. I have been looking for this drill charger for a year. That's TWELVE  months! 12 months without a drill. Well, actually, it was 9 months, then bf was kind enough to lend me his. Regardless, what kind of Savvy Homegirl loses her drill charger and isn't in such dire need of finding it over the course of the 9 months its missing that she has to get another one?!

Obviously, one that is too busy to be very savvy about her home. I definitely could have used my drill on multiple occasions, but I managed with a screwdriver. I am SOOOOO happy it's back though! You know when you misplace something, you know it can not be far away, but you can not find it anywhere? I was going insane unable to locate this charger.

I was looking for this IKEA hook that Hip House Girl blogged about when I discovered the charger buried in my junk cupboard. {Eeek - yes, cupboard. See here for more.} Needless to say, I didn't find the hook. I needed my drill to screw it into the wall anyway. First things first! Ha!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rake Leaves in the Fall? That's One Option...

Back in late October, I spent the waning daylight hours after work one evening raking leaves. My neighbour was kind enough to lend me his leaf blower, making the job significantly easier, but after over an hour and 10 bags, I was out of light and bags.

Over the next two weeks, we had nasty, rainy and windy weather. The rest of my leaves fell and there was not a nice evening or day when I was home to finish raking. So, I didn't.

Another couple of windy days and some travel out of town, and I came home to this.

It doesn't look like much, but there was nearly 1 foot of leaves in front of my side door. 

A tiny part of me felt a little guilty. All my neighbours, who had so nicely tidied their lawns for fall were being subjected to the migrant leaves from my lawn. Only a tiny bit, though. I wasn't going to rake them in the rain, after all.

Fast forward 6 more weeks. After a deep-freeze, snow, unseasonably warm weather, rain and then cold again, I finally got back out there on Monday and raked these suckers up. There is something wrong about raking leaves in January, in your winter coat and toque. I'm sure my neighbours had a good laugh, but nevertheless, the leaves are gone!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Craft Room Makeover - Floorplan

Here is (finally) a (long, overdue) update on the craft room project.

We have nearly completed Mini-Project #2. The spikes are gone and we're progressing on the drywall. It only took three months to finally get back to it! The past few days haven't been without many learning opportunities either! Watch soon for a guest post, sharing all the pain fun of what we thought would be just a 'little drywall project'.

In the meantime, I've been playing around with with some craft room layouts. At first, I found this to be a fidgety program to work with, and I had trouble figuring out some of the features. I never loved geometry, however, and graph paper and I just don't get along, so I decided to try the program out again.

After some playing, here's what I've come up with, both with the 2D and 3D views.

Since my room is not very big, I plan to use the wall space next to the door for a large bookcase, for totes or books, then the old closet area will have a work bench, with shelves above for totes and craft supplies. A round table will give me room to work, from any side, and also act as a makeshift desk, if I feel like doing 'work'. I found I barely used this room as an office when it was set up as one, so I doubt this will be often anyway.

You can't see it in either image, but there is a screen in front of the patio door. There is a photo of Domino magazine's Style Director, Dara Caponigro's home office in the Domino book, in which she's used a folding screen next to a window. Seeing this, I realized this would be a great way to screen out the patio window, for a cozier room when I wished. There's more great suggestions for using a screen in this post at The Interior Perspective.
The day bed on the left is the IKEA single futon I currently have. It's similar to this one, currently available from IKEA, but mine is plain white.

I'd like to pull it out, and load it up with cushions, since it's impractical and uncomfortable to sit on as a chair. If this doesn't work, it will go to Kijiji, because it doesn't fit anywhere else in my house.

So, I'm curious. Any suggestions? Also, if you've done a floorplan before, what tools have you used?