Last week I got to go to Homesense for one full blissful hour without children.  I can’t tell you how peaceful it was to just take my time and browse, rather than having to referee the kid’s fights, continually remind them not to touch everything, and chase after Isabella.

Anyways, Homesense had lots of great new products on the shelves since the last time I was there, and I thought I’d share a few of my favourties.

I loved these mirrored trays!  

I have a thing for elephants, and just loved these bookends!  They were $14.99 each.

They had all different carved wooden whales that I thought were so cool.

I loved these carved stone boxes!

This cute little urn was a steal at $11.00!

I loved this retro inspired fan!

I love me a beautiful lamp!  It was all I could do not to bring one of these home with me!

I thought these patio dishes were cute!

These dishes aren’t my usual style, but I really liked them!  

I’m a sucker for pottery with little birds on it!

These colourful dishes reminded me of Fiestaware, but without the Uranium oxide!

I loved this small vase, and the price was right!

Then I found a slightly larger vase for $14.99.

I loved this chair, but didn’t even bother to look at the price tag.  Sometimes it’s depressing to have it confirmed that you can’t afford something you like!

Last, but not least…..

….I loved these mirrored sconces!  I think they would look fantastic in a bedroom, and were totally affordable at only $14.99 each!

I just love Homesense!  Happy shopping, everyone!

I sure would like to go for a spin on my bike this weekend, but unfortunately, it needs a few repairs.  Oh well, I guess it’s just as well, since all week I planned to strip the stairs and the new front door, and I didn’t even spend five minutes doing either.
Check out these great posts that I enjoyed this week:

Hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend!  
See you Monday!

What do you think of my new logo?  I scrapped and re-made it like, 900 times yesterday, and finally settled on this version…..mainly because my head was pounding, and Isabella had torn the house apart while I obsessed over coming up with my design, lol.  Ok, so it’s not perfect, but not bad for someone who taught themselves (ok, Mike kind of taught me) how to do Photoshop.  Mike cleaned it up a bit for me in Adobe Illustrator today, and I love it!  I plan to use this logo for my business cards and my snazzy new blogging button.

Please feel free to grab my button from the sidebar on the right to post on your site,  if you do that sort of thing. :)

Hey internet friends!  Today I’d like to introduce you to a blog that I stumbled upon yesterday.  How I did not know about this blog before now is beyond me, but I feel truly ashamed of myself.

ModHomeEc is written by Shelly Leer, who holds a B.S. in Textiles and Design Education, and now teaches DIY-ers to “create, restyle and design” their own home furnishings at her studio in Indianapolis.

Shelly also writes a weekly DIY column for The Indianapolis Star, is a featured writer at Curbly, and contributes DIY projects to ApartmentTherapy-Chicago.

ModHomeEc is a treasure trove for the adventurous DIY-er, with a tonne of tutorials and tips to guide you through the completion of some pretty amazing furniture transformations.

Just look at this:

So run, don’t walk (ok, fine, click really fast) on over to ModHomeEc!

I thought I’d take a moment to show you all a dresser that I worked my DIY magic on.  About a year ago I was given a really ugly dresser.  I didn’t take a picture of it, but here’s a dresser with similar wood apliques.  I found it by googling “ugly 1970’s dresser.”

My first impression was, “Ew.  No thanks.”  Sometimes it’s difficult to look at something and see that it could ever be anything other than an ugly piece of crap.  I’ve refinished a dresser like this before, and knew how much work would be involved.  I wanted no part in it, but when Mike told me he’d help, we brought it home.
Now, you might think that the drawer fronts of this dresser are carved, but you would be wrong.  Those are simply wood apliques glued/nailed  to the drawer fronts.  If you are very careful with, say, a flat screwdriver or chisel and a hammer, you can pry them off.  Keep in mind that there will be damage and/or nail holes to fill once the apliques are removed, which means that you will probably want to paint the fronts, not stain them.
Well, Mike never did end up helping, but I managed to finally finish the job myself, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.  What do you think?

The drawers are painted with a striae effect in white melamine paint, and sealed with three coats of Minwax Polycrylic in clear gloss.

The original ugly drawer pulls were removed, and I used a spade bit to bore holes in the drawer fronts.  This was economical because I didn’t have to invest in new drawer hardware, and instantly made my dresser feel more modern.

The body of the dresser was stained with about 4 or 5 coats of Minwax stain in Bombay Mahogany.  It is almost black.  If I were to do it again, I would totally skip the stain and opt for black paint.  

I lined the drawers with a vinyl-y scrapbook paper, in 9 different patterns, all in the same white and red-orange hue.

Here’s the cost analysis for this project:
Dresser:                  $0
Paint:                      $0  (already had)
Stain:                      $16
Polyacrylic:            $0  (already had)
Scrapbook paper:   $17 
Not a bad dresser for $33!

I’d say TGIF, but then, weekends aren’t much different than weekdays for me.  I’ll still wake up early.  I’ll still cook.  I’ll still renovate.  I’ll still clean.  I’ll still try to keep the kids from killing one another.  

This weekend I’m hoping to finish striping the stairs, and hopefully take the kids to the zoo for a picnic.  Maybe I’ll top off that awesomeness with some laundry.  

While I’m doing that, you should check out some of the posts I enjoyed this week:

Hope everyone has a super-fantastic weekend! See you Monday!

Recently, my husband and I celebrated 15 years together.  It is so hard to believe that 15 years have passed so quickly.  I was only 18 when I met him; still a wild, crazy kid.  Don’t believe me?

Maybe this will help to paint a clearer picture of who I was:

Yeah, that’s me hanging off of a bridge.  And yes, my head is shaved.  This picture was taken by my friend Heather Saitz when she was first learning to use her camera.  Now she’s a successful photographer and graphic designer.  I’m sure that she could look at this picture now and find all of the technical faults with it that she didn’t find then, but I will always love and cherish this picture.  It just completely captures who I was at that period of my life.
 Check out Heather’s body of work here.
So where was I?  Oh, right….wild and crazy kid.  The first Christmas that my (now) husband Mike and I spent together, we didn’t have a lot of money, but we were determined to give each other a nice holiday. It’s funny that I forget a lot of the gifts that I’ve received over the years, but I can still remember what we got each other that first Christmas together.
So one of the things that I really wanted was tarot cards.  Yeah, I know.  As if you didn’t want some stupid stuff when you were 18.  Anyways, Mike gave me a beautiful set of tarot cards, and a beautiful book to learn how to read tarot cards.  I LOVED this gift, and was really into learning about tarot reading for about a year.  Then the cards sat in their case in our bookshelf.
Or they did, until about 3 years ago.
While decluttering, I came across the cards.  I knew I would never read another tarot again, but I just could not bring myself to get rid of them.  I’m not normally a sentimental person, but those cards represented something more to me, and I just couldn’t bring myself to drop them off at the Goodwill.
That’s when I came across a huge frame at Value Village for $8.  I bought a cheap piece of white (matte finish) bristol board from the dollar store, and mounted the cards to it using double-sided tape.  I spray-painted the frame black, and re-used the grey mat that came with the frame, and voila!  A cheap and easy way to display my first Christmas gift from my husband.
(This set of cards are called The Tarot of the Witches, and were featured in the 1973 movie Live and Let Die.)
Here are some close-ups of a few of the cards:

I still love the bright, vibrant, quirky artwork on the cards, and they look amazing in our bedroom.  Every time I see them I am reminded of the excitement I felt at beginning my life with my husband, and  of what a great life we’ve built together.

Not bad for $8!

FINALLY my laptop is completely fixed, and I can start blogging again!  I have missed it so much!  Call me a computer snob, but I just can’t use anything but my Macbook!

So as I’m sure you all can imagine, we have been extremely busy since I posted the tour of our main and upper floors.  The house is starting to (slowly) be transformed into the home that we dream of.  Ok, fine, the home that I dream of.  Mike just agrees to share my vision and help make it happen!

Unfortunately, before things can get better around here, they’ve had to get worse.  How much worse, you ask?

Well, lets just say that Mike has now hidden the crowbars from me. 😀
I stand accused of being overly destructive, and not finishing what I start.

Let’s take a look at the evidence against me, and see what I can get up to when left unattended:

Exhibit A

Sometimes I get bored, and instead of cleaning the kitchen, I decide to tear off the walls.  Yes, really.

The section of insulation is covering an old doorway that used to lead out to an addition.  We’re going to re-install a door, and re-build an addition, which is where Mike’s office will be relocated.

The horrible drop ceiling also had to go.  Mike is going to move that pipe so that it’s inside the original ceiling.  By removing the drop ceiling, we regained the original ceiling height.  It’s amazing how an addition foot and a half can make the room seem so much bigger!
Here are some pretty pictures of what the kitchen ceiling now looks like:
Although our house has a brand new 200 Amp fuse panel, the electrician who supposedly rewired the house figured that no one would ever find the original live knob and tube wiring if he spliced it in the walls and ceiling.  Thankfully, Mike has electrical experience, and can fix the wiring himself, but it still sucks. 
I still need to finish tearing off some of the remaining strapping, the old wainscoting, and some plaster.  Mike needs to fix the wiring, and bury the pipe in the rafters.  Then we need to drywall.  Eventually (as in, the distant future) we’ll replace the cabinetry, countertops, and backsplash.
Exhibit B

I like to strip paint off of things.  Lots and lots of things.

As I mentioned before, the original trim for our front door was found in the shed.  I have since stripped, sanded, and painted it, and it is awaiting the nail gun.  The picture below shows when I had pried off half of the cheap trim that the previous owner had flanked the door with, but I have since finished the job.

As alleged, these jobs all remain unfinished.
Exhibit C

After I ripped the kitchen walls down when I was supposed to be washing dishes, you would think that Mike would learn that I cannot be left unsupervised.  But I guess after a few weeks with no demolition, he started to let his guard down. 
 Big mistake, Mike, big mistake.  
Remember how I told you that I hated the laminate floors in the kitchen?  Well sometimes you just wake up in the morning, and you think, “I don’t care what’s underneath those floors.  I just can’t live with them anymore.”  
And this is what happens next:
I tried to convince Mike that it was my mini accomplice, and not me, who had initiated the demolition of the kitchen flooring, but I don’t think he bought it.

So what was underneath the wood laminate and two layers of 1950’s laminate?  The original thin plank hardwood floors!!!  Covered in glue, but still!  
So after a few weeks of living with them looking like this, and feeling horrible and dirty under foot, the dog’s water dish got kicked over, and I realized that the glue turned to mush when it was wet.
Five back-breaking hours later, the floors looked like this:

I can’t wait until we can sand and refinish the floors to match the rest of the hardwood floors.  It will be amazing to see a uniform floor from the front door to the back of the house.  Mike did such an incredible job of refinishing all of the floors in our house!  Here’s a little reminder of what they look like now:
Eventually, when we remove the cabinetry, I will need to strip the floor under them, since the hardwood goes all the way to the walls.  Then it will be up to Mike to work his floor-refinishing magic.

In My Defence…..

I have not JUST been breaking stuff around here!  I’ve also been being somewhat productive, as well.  Here’s a sneak peek of what I’ve been up to:



(don’t mind the wood filler on the trim… there’s lots more painting on my to-do list!)
And trying to still be a good mom, even though I’m completely overwhelmed with the task of making this house a home:
I have lots and lots of progress pictures to show you, but I’m going to make you come back and visit me again.  I’m so happy to be back, and will try to post every day and respond to your comments and emails.  I do read and enjoy all of them!

See you tomorrow!