Category Archives: DIY Projects

Spray Perfect Cabinet Door DIY

Painting outdated or boring cabinetry can make a huge difference in a kitchen or bathroom’s appearance. If your cabinets are in perfect shape but are not aligned with your taste, it can feel like a risky move to take on a potentially disastrous makeover. I experienced my own disastrous mess with my master bath cabinets which took lots of sanding, re-priming, re-painting, repeat….multiple times.

It worked out in the end but almost turned me off the process entirely. However, with items like new counters and floors eating up the budget for my powder room makeover, I had to brave this task again. I’m writing to share the process and hopefully help you avoid making the same mistakes I made.

A before pic of the cabinets:

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For some people these cabinets would be perfectly fine, I simply wanted a bit more oomph via an infusion of colour.

First of all, my cabinets are laminate. This really makes a difference. Re-finishing wood cabinets is a totally different process and you’ll find many blogs with good tutorials on how to do this. These directions are specifically for laminate.

Materials: Primer, Monamel  paint or similar product, tack cloth, foam roller, painters tape, fine bristle paintbrush, drydex, screw driver, drill, medium grit sanding pad, fine grit sanding pad.

Step 1: Remove doors from cabinet and remove hardware from door.

Step 2: If you plan on changing the hardware use drydex to fill in one or both holes left by the old hardware depending on what you are replacing it with. You will need to push the drydex into the hole to make sure it fills it out right to the other side.

Step 3: After drydex is dry, sand off extra with a medium grit sanding pad. If hole is still visible on the good side of the door add a bit more drydex right on top of the hole. Let dry. Sand. (Note: because you are working with laminate you do not need to sand down the cabinet and doors before painting. You only need to sand off the excess drydex)

Step 4: Cover the area where you are putting your new hardware with painters tape. Measure out where your new hole(s) should go based on your chosen hardware (measure more than once!) and mark on top of painters tape. Drill. You are drilling through the painters tape in order to avoid chipping the laminate. Once finished, remove tape.

Step 5: Use painters tape to tape off all edges of the cabinet where it touches the wall and floor. Also tape the back of the doors to avoid paint leaks.

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Step 6: Use a cloth dipped in soap and water to give the cabinet and doors a good scrub. Dry with cloth then use tack cloth to remove any remaining hairs and dust.

Step 7: Elevate doors on stools or books so you can easily paint the edges.

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Step 8: Apply Primer. First use a fine bristled brush to paint areas your foam roller cannot reach. Then use foam roller as much as possible in order to avoid brush marks. You should be able to prime the doors entirely with the foam roller. Load your foam roller with paint then roll back and forth on a piece of paper to help push the paint into the foam. Roll on more paint then start painting your door. This technique helps to avoid that splotchy look you often get your first couple of rolls. Because you are priming laminate the primer will not seem to stick very well this first coat.

Step 9: Let dry then repeat step 8 once or twice more. Between coats of primer use a fine grit sanding pad (pad, not paper, the paper tends to scratch) to gently remove any obvious dust particles stuck in the previous coat of paint. Remove excess dust with tack cloth before applying next coat.

Step 10: Your priming is done. Once dry, gently sand out any obvious dust particles stuck in last coat of primer. After wiping surface area with tack cloth to remove dust, use brush to apply monamel to hard to reach areas of the cabinet then begin to roll on paint.

Using a foam roller to give a spray smooth finish takes a certain technique that I have only recently mastered. Some important things to remember are:

a.) ensure that the foam roller is properly saturated. Use the same technique as noted before of rolling paint onto a piece of paper before re-applying paint to roller and moving onto the door.

b.) instead of trying to cover the door from top to bottom in one roll, do small sections. For example, with your first roll focus on the top few inches of the cabinet, apply more paint to roller, then move down to your next few inches, blending in with paint above. This way you are not trying to stretch the paint too far and you get better, more even coverage.

Monamel paint is also self levelling which helps the paint to achieve a spray like finish.

(I didn’t want to pay wordpress $60 to allow me to post my how to video but if you go to my Fabrictherapy facebook page you can check out my videos for painting with a foam roller. Warning, it’s my first attempt at making a DIY video and it is pretty dodgy.)

After the first coat it will look pretty sketch but don't worry.

After the first coat it will look pretty sketch but don’t worry.

Step 11: Allow paint to dry. Monamel paint needs a long time to cure before applying a second coat. You can touch it after a couple of hours but wait 20-24 hours then gently sand away obvious dust and hair particles. Wipe down with tack cloth to remove dust then apply second coat.

Repeat step 11 then apply third and final coat. Do not sand final coat. Once you have the doors hanging again any stuck dust particles won’t be obvious. You just need to remove them between coats so you don’t have a build up of junk between layers of paint.

Step 12: Just to be cautious, give paint 24 hours to dry before attaching new hardware and putting doors back on the cabinet.

Step 13: Use an exacto knife to cut seam between paint and painters tape so that when you pull the tape off it doesn’t peel away the paint with it.

Voila! You just saved yourself hundred of dollars and your cabinets look brand new!

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Note: Some DIY instructions may suggest applying lacquer on top of the paint but monamel paint is one of the hardiest paints you can use for a project like this so you don’t have to worry about applying lacquer for durability.  In fact, I highly recommend you do not apply lacquer to the cabinet because it is super tricky to get an even finish on laminate as it has no wood grain for the lacquer to sink into (I speak from painful experience).

As always, feel free to post a comment or send me an e-mail at [email protected] if anything is unclear. Happy painting!

 

 

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Outfitting Billy

I am a neat freak stuck in the body of a mother of two. I bought a billy bookcase for storage in my kid’s play area and I’ve been bashing my head against the wall trying to figure out a display which is both attractive for me to look at and provides my kids with easy access to their toys.

I thought it would be super fun if they were able to use the last couple of shelves as a stage for playing with their copious amounts of Play Mobile so I set it up like this:

I only have two shelves that I am currently satisfied with. The rest need work.

I only have two shelves that I am currently satisfied with. The rest need work.

Can’t do it. Too messy. Too much colour. I don’t want to look at their toys. So I started looking for attractive storage bins. Shouldn’t be hard right? Wrong! While there seem to be hundreds of different bins that fit expedite sized cubes, finding a bin which has a depth of less than 10 1/4 inches, suited to a billy bookcase, is difficult.

So I spent hours. Literally, hours, online looking for attractive storage bins that will fit. This seems to be a fairly common problem people have so I thought I would save you some time by sharing some of my favorite finds:

Available at the container store in off-white, size small.

Available at the container store in off-white, size small.

Ciro Striped basket from Target comes in multiple colours.

Ciro Striped basket from Target comes in multiple colours.

Available in a variety of colours at Toys R Us.com

Multiple colours in size small Toys R Us.com

So pretty! Available at the container store.

So pretty! Available at the container store.

Available at CB2. Small size fits billy bookcase.

Available at CB2. Small size fits billy bookcase.

Super cute from Bed Bath and Beyond.

Super cute from Pier 1 Imports

These don't hide but would be great for books. From CB2

These would be great for books. From CB2.

Different flags available at Ali Express.

Different flags available at Ali Express.

Available at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Available at Bed Bath and Beyond. Size medium.

Great options. The bad news is that if you live in Canada like me, you may have to buy on line as not all the Canadian counterparts of these stores sell the same product. I say it’s worth the shipping costs to find attractive storage containers that fit.

I still don’t know what I’m going to buy. I found this great tutorial on how to make your own fabric bins so I’m tossing around the idea of going custom, just to make more work you know…

Hope this is helpful and will save you the headache of searching on your own for the perfect billy bookcase storage.

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Bold and Beautiful: Powder Room Makeover

I’ve been enamoured by the idea of treating a powder room as a “jewellery box” ever since I heard the term. Paired with the idea that the powder room is a place to “go design wild”, I’ve been anticipating the renovation of this room since we moved in.

My inspiration for my powder room came from a somewhat unlikely source: a living room. I knew I wanted to use strong doses of blue and green as these are the accent colours used throughout my home but I couldn’t find any inspirational bathroom pictures to assure my shaking confidence that it was a good idea. I finally stumbled across this California living room:

Blue walls, green furniture, touches of white and rich wood. Yes.

Here is how I translated the look to my powder room, but first, a before picture to remind you how bad it was:

Boring, bland, no colour.

Boring, bland, no colour.

After:

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Colour galore! Quartz counter tops by Archstone; tile from Richmond Tile Centre; flooring installation by GL Installations; cabinet and wall painting by moi; light, mirror, faucet from Lowes.

Before:

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Cabinet from Ikea.

After:

I stained these new knobs to match the mirror wood and replaced the fabric with green fabric from Tonic Living.

I stained these new knobs to match the mirror’s frame and replaced the fabric with this green geometric fabric from Tonic Living.

It went from being the most boring room in our home to being the boldest and I am enamoured with it for this reason. Even though it is quite a bit more colourful than the rest of our home is still flows nicely because the same blue and green are used as accents in other rooms and the mirror’s wood tone mimics our new hardwood floors.

As I planned this room I kept having Ms. Frizzle (from the magic school bus) running through my head yelling, “Take chances! Make mistakes!”. Well Ms. Frizzle, I took a chance, and thankfully, it did not end up being a mistake. I love it!

Next I’ll be tackling my master bathroom which is my powder room’s equally ugly sister. She needs a serious face lift too. Can’t wait to share the next transformation with you!

 

 

 

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New Life for an Old Bedskirt

As previously mentioned, I am in the process of decorating my master bedroom on a bare bones budget. I bought new white curtains which did not match my beaten up ivory duvet so I bought a new white duvet which led to the necessity of a new bed skirt…hence this post. I love Ikea for their cheap textiles. Where else can I buy a duvet for $40 and curtains for $24 (I bought two sets  at $12 each and sewed them together to give them proper fullness).

I had wanted to make my own bed skirt but knew that I would need at least three yards of fabric. Given my taste, at $25 per yard it would have gotten expensive. To buy a new ready made bed skirt would have gotten just as pricey so I started imagining different ways to achieve the look I wanted.

Back to Ikea. When buying my new duvet at Ikea I noticed a lovely grey and white striped curtain and was struck by how nicely it would go with my curtains and headboard. I decided to buy the curtain in order to use the inexpensive fabric (only $13!), together with my old bed skirt, to form my new bed skirt.

This room is a work in progress. The wall behind my bed is crying out for some pretty. My husband and I made the headboard with Paul Kaufman fabric and I sewed the throw pillow shown.

This room is a work in progress. The wall behind my bed is crying out for some pretty. My husband and I made the headboard with Paul Kaufman fabric and I sewed the throw pillow shown.

Interested? Here’s the process below. If you don’t already have a bed skirt you can buy a pre-loved one cheaply at thrift stores like Value Village and Salvation Army. You can also purchase used curtains at these stores and use this fabric for your new bed skirt.

Step 1: Cut out 3 pieces from your curtain panel:

Two pieces measuring 86 inches by 15 inches.

One piece measuring 68 inches by 17 inches (17 rather than 15 inches because you won’t have a pre-existing hem).

Cut pieces as shown in diagram below using existing hems as possible:

This is my first foray into the world of diagrams. Does it help?

This is my first foray into the world of diagrams. Does it help?

Step 2: Hem the edges which have black arrows pointing at them in the diagram above. To do this fold 3/4 inch and iron. Fold the edge a second time and pin in place.

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Step 3: Sew about 1/8 inch down from the top of your fold as shown in the picture above.

Step 4: Edges with red arrows pointing to them in the diagram above should be serged or sewn with a zig zag stitch to prevent the fabric from fraying.

Step 5: Cut the skirt off your old bed skirt leaving just a an inch or two of the fabric. Serge or zig zag stitch the edge of the old fabric.

Step 6: Line up the wrong side of your new fabric beside the bit of leftover skirt (right side laying flat against the center piece) and pin onto center fabric. Make sure you are lining up your serged side, not your hemmed side. Do one side at a time, long sides first.

I didn't cut off my old skirt but it got in the way while I was sewing so I recommend snipping it off.

I didn’t cut off my old skirt (bottom left) but it got in the way while I was sewing so I recommend snipping it off.

Step 7: Sew in place, approx 1/2 inch down from your serged edge.

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The last three inches of the long sides should wrap around to the short end of the bed skirt so that there will be an overlap when you sew the foot piece on. You will need to bunch the fabric in the corner, as seen below, in order to make the turn. Don’t worry too much if it isn’t perfect. It will mostly be covered.

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Step 8: After both long sides are sewn on, pin on the short piece. Fold the ends back approximately 3 inches under itself so that the hems will be hidden and pin in place. BedSkirtTopViewStep 9: Sew in place and you’re done. Iron and enjoy!

 

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A Painted Door For the Strata Bound

If you live in the Greater Vancouver area and have a young family, chances are that you live in a condo or townhouse. It takes some creativity to step outside of the builders box and express one’s unique style and personality despite the identical exterior and floor plan you share with dozens of neighbours.

I have long been a fan of houses with colourful front doors like those pictured below. However, not until visiting my interior decorating instructor’s condo and admiring the bright red interior of her door, did I consider such an option for my own home.

frontdoormulti

I took the leap and chose to paint mine apple green since this is one of the accent colors I have used throughout my home. Honestly, a bit scary, but I love how it adds personality and color to the space. We also added a Dash and Albert runner to brighten up the dark brown floors. And now, I have one area of my home that is officially, 100% done! Okay, I need to touch up the paint around the stairs still, FYI, don’t paint first if you are planning to rip out carpet and replace it with wood, but otherwise I’m perfectly happy with it.

First a before pic:

I couldn't get a great shot from this angle but wanted to show you are blingy new flush mount lights from Lowes. The umbra coat hooks help to keep everything in place.

I had to strategically take pictures to get some without Charlie and his cars. That kid is all boy.

I had to strategically take pictures to get some without Charlie and his cars. That kid is all boy.

I had a difficult time getting any goodish shots of this area due to the lack of light and tight quarters.

Yes, that is a horse head hanging off the coat hooks...Sofia decided to gallop her way to the park the other day.

Yes, that is a horse head hanging off the coat hooks…Sofia decided to gallop her way to the park the other day.

Not convinced yet? Here are some more gorgeous front doors (in better taken photos!):

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frontdoorred

frontdoorblack

frontdoorblue

frontdooryellow

The process of painting your door’s interior is quite simple. All you  need is a medium grit sanding pad, multi surface primer, paint (I like monamel, a hard working trim paint found at General Paint), a brush, foam roller, painters tape and a paint tray.

Step 1: Sand your door with medium grit sand paper to roughen it up a bit and given the paint something to stick to.

Step 2: Remove the door handle and lock.

Step 3: Wash door with a wet cloth.

Step 4: Use a tack cloth to remove any excess dust or hairs.

Step 5: Tape off the trim surrounding the door as well as any bits of the door you want to leave unpainted.

Step 6: Prime, Wait, and Prime again. I like to use my paintbrush for any small, hard to reach spaces and my foam roller to get an over all smooth finish on larger surface areas.

Step 7: After primer is dry apply your first coat of monamel.

Step 8: Wait 24 hours before applying second coat. (Monamel is a terrific paint and becomes dry to touch in an hour or so but needs 24 hours to cure properly before a second coat. It’s worth the wait, I tried to cheat on another project and it didn’t go well.)

Step 9: Step back, accept that the finish won’t be as perfect as your original sprayed on white, and smile because it still looks awesome.

 

 

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Colour Infusion: DIY Acrylic Art

I have been looking for an abstract painting for my living room for many months without success. Not that I haven’t found oodles of gorgeous art on Etsy but either the size, colors, or price weren’t quite what I had in mind.

Inspired by my sister’s recent paintings, shown on her blog Elasticpantcity, I decided to try my hand at doing my own artwork. I don’t have my sister’s artistic abilities but my goal was fairly simple: to provide a wash of blues and greens coordinating with the color scheme in my living room and adhering to the relaxed vibe I have worked on creating.

Works of art like the beautiful images below, found on Etsy, were my inspiration for this project.

by The Attic Theory

by The Attic Theory. This Etsy shop is a must see, this artist is crazy talented.

For my own piece of art I picked up a large canvas from my local Michaels Craft Store, some cheapo paint brushes, and a few tubes of acrylic paint. Half the fun of this project was mixing colors. To get the variety of colors viewed in my painting below I only needed white, black, yellow, and blue. I created varying shades of greens and blues by mixing these basic colors. I wanted all the colors to blend into one another so I didn’t bother to wash my paint brush between colors.

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This colorful piece of work only took half an hour or so to whip up and since I had decided to go with it and not “try” too hard to make things perfect, I had a fun time. Literally no talent or experience is required to add a splash of color to your space in this way. It might not be a masterpiece like the beauties from Etsy but give it a go, you might be surprised by how much you enjoy the results as well as the process.

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Blue Skies and Peaceful Vibes: Living Room Remake

I’ve been in the process of re-inventing my living room for the past few months. What I had in there was nice and fit with the style of my old condo but I wanted to personalize the decor for our townhouse living space. It took me awhile to sort out exactly what my vision for the space was, but I knew that I wanted to use blues and greens. I have a tendency to be a bit fickle when it comes to decorating in my own home, so I chose to go with these colours for the sake of longevity since both Steve and I favour them.

I have been hesitating to show pictures because it isn’t done yet. There are new lamps and side tables in the garage waiting to be beautified and a jar in my cupboard slowly filling with cash for a gorgeous glass coffee table, but these things take time (especially when said jar keeps being emptied into the hands of my sanity-saving babysitter). However, now that we have finished having our lovely new engineered hardwood installed, as well as a stunning new fireplace surround, I figured it was time to share.

First a recap of how it looked before:

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I am terrible at remembering to take before pictures but you can get the idea: beautiful pillows but builders beige walls, blonde laminate, pictures which were too small for our new 9 foot ceilings and a dirty white shag rug. I don’t have any before pictures of the other side of the room but just picture more builder’s beige and matching beige fire place surround.

And now:

Trying to be artistic with my pictures but photography isn't a strong point for me (yet. working on it).

Trying to be artistic with my pictures, but photography isn’t a strong point for me (yet. working on it). The drum shade in the foreground is in the process of being recovered with blue fabric to bring some colour into our dining space.

Custom pillows by Shebajoux (that's me!); Ikea curtains; frames from chapters; rug from Jordans; prints from Beach House Gallery on Etsy.

Custom pillows by Shebajoux (that’s me!); Ikea curtains; frames from Chapters; rug from Jordans; prints from Beach House Gallery on Etsy; engineered hardwood from Jordans; flooring installation by GL Installations; wall colour Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore.

 

Green pillow from West Elm; chair slip cover from Fabricana; Ikea lamp; Fish scale travertine marble fire place surround from VanCity Tile; tile installation by GL Installations; vintage mirror

Green pillow from West Elm; chair slip cover from Fabricana; Ikea lamp; Fish scale travertine marble tile from VanCity Tile; tile installation by GL Installations; vintage mirror.

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We went with our contractor’s suggestion to forgo the hearth and I love the clean look and additional visual space added by the continuity of the flooring. This picture gives you a peek at a couple previous DIY projects: my dining room’s “wall of china” and the striped entryway.

The new colours remind me of green grass and blue skies and evoke a feeling of peacefulness. It feels sophisticated enough to entertain adults while at the same time remaining kid and cat friendly. The white slip covers can be bleached, there is nothing precious or easily broken, the rug has enough colour that it hides stains, and the cut pile does not interest the cats. Beautiful space for adults. Check. Kid friendly play space. Check.

Coming up next week on my reno “show and tell” is the revamp of this builders blah powder room. Think dark blue walls, green cabinets, and a bit of bling.

It couldn't be much more boring.

It couldn’t be much more boring, though our new tile can be seen in this picture.

 

 

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Budget Style: Stenciling vs. Wallpaper

Not going to lie, I love wall paper and where there is the money I would always choose it over stencils. However, when it came to the wall in my children’s play area I knew that spending $600 + on wallpaper that may possibly get drawn on was out of the question. Instead I paid a visit to one of my favorite Etsy shops, Cutting Edge Stencils, and picked a fabulous tree stencil to go along with my aforementioned “wood land whimsy” theme. Here’s how it turned out:

You can catch a peak of our new flooring and baseboards here too.

You can catch a peak of our new flooring and baseboards here too.

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As long as I don’t look too closely for the flaws I love the look. And as Steve encouraged me, “It’s a forest, imperfections are organic”. It was terribly time consuming but considering it was my first venture into the world of stenciling I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Everyone who sees it thinks it is wallpaper so why bother spending that extra $400 if you are willing to put in some grunt work!

This project got me excited about stencils as a decor tool which led to a prolonged internet search on stencils vs. wallpaper. I was amazed by the variety of motifs you can paint using stencils. Here are some great pictures of gorgeous wallpaper and their stencil counterparts.

"Fuji" Wallpaper

“Fuji” Wallpaper

Vs.

"Fuji" wall stencil. This is the one I want for the wall behind my bed.

“Fuji” wall stencil. This is the one I want for the wall behind my bed.

 

Faux bois wallpaper

Faux bois wallpaper

Vs.

Faux Bois Stencil

Faux Bois Stencil

 

Floral wallpaper

Floral wallpaper

Vs.

Floral Stencil

Floral Stencil

 

wallpaperdamask

Damask wallpaper

Vs.

wallstencildamask

Damask Stencil

 

Cat wallpaper

Cat wallpaper

Vs.

How cute is his cat stencil. I would love it in a laundry room which housed the cat's litter box.

How cute is this cat stencil. I would love it in a laundry room which housed the cat’s litter box.

 

Cloud Wallpaper

Cloud Wallpaper

Vs.

Cloud Stencil. Precious for a nursery.

Cloud Stencil. Precious for a nursery.

If you are willing to put in the grunt work, the possibilities with stencils are limitless. I had to restrain myself from not going on with more pictures, there is such a variety available for any style of decor. As someone who is super picky about colour I also love that I can customize my stencil colours to be exactly what I want instead of searching for a wallpaper that will work.

Cutting Edge Stencils has a great tutorial on ‘you tube’ that I found super helpful. They also recommend with some patterns that you use an adhesive to help stick the stencil to the wall while painting, a technique which I think would have made my own stenciling experience less frustrating. Stencils on their website range from $40- $100.

Are you inspired to foray into the world of stencils? It will be worth the work.

 

 

 

 

 

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Renovating, Family Style

Thanks to a very generous monetary gift, given with instructions to spend it on our home, we are currently in the process of revamping our townhouse with new engineered hardwood. Goodbye cheap blonde laminate! In order to stretch this gift to do new tiling in our bathroom as well as around our fireplace, Steve and I decided to remove the laminate and tile by ourselves (a feat not possible without the babysitting assistance of grandma and grandpa).

Have I mentioned before that I’m super hot in protective eye wear? Really, it was a hot day and and I kept fogging up the glasses. FYI, it’s good to be able to see what you are doing when using power tools with sharp saws attached.

Removing the groat between the tile with our handy new dremmel tool was a piece of cake...chipping of the tile with said tool less easy...Steve took over with a hammer and chisel.

Removing the grout between the tile with our handy new dremmel tool was a piece of cake…chipping off the tile with said tool less easy…Steve took over with a hammer and chisel.

It was hard work but worth the new tile we are going to enjoy!  When we brought the kids home that evening they were enthralled by the novelty of our messy home. An enthusiastic dance party ensued:

(note, if you are not an adoring grandparent, aunt or uncle, the long sequence of pictures to follow may not interest you 🙂 )

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All dancing done to Sofia's enthusiastically monotone version of "Let It Go" from Frozen.

All dancing done to Sofia’s enthusiastically monotone version of “Let It Go” from Frozen.

Introducing the first one year old break dancer.

Introducing the first one year old break dancer.

 

He's teething, everything goes into the mouth: his shirt, the couch, mommy's thigh...

He’s teething, everything goes into the mouth: his shirt, the couch, mommy’s thigh…

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After being told why she needs to keep her shoes on: Where are the slivers?

After being told why she needs to keep her shoes on: Where are the slivers?

The novelty had worn off by the next day and the kids began displaying signs of antsy pants due to the disruption caused to their home zone. We are staying out of the house as much as possible as the work proceeds and looking forward to the completion of the project. Here’s where we’re at now:

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Not exactly kid friendly but we will work with it as the workers take Tuesday off to celebrate Canada Day. On that note I will wish you a Happy Canada Day as I fall into sweet, dusty slumber.

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Filed under At home, DIY Projects, From the Heart: Thoughts on Life and Family

You and Me Babe

As a mother it is sometimes easy to forget about taking care of your own needs. It is easy to resort to eating your child’s leftovers instead of making your own meal, to seek recreation for the children and forget rest for yourself, and in the case of this blog post, to decorate the kid’s bedrooms and leave my own untouched.

When we first moved in we whipped together a headboard and had the walls painted but otherwise left the master bedroom undone. No curtains, no art, etc. My thought process was…”well no one ever sees it…”.  Because of this I haven’t wanted to shunt any redecorating budget in its direction. However, with two wild children running about the house, creating a haven of our master bedroom has become a necessity. I still don’t want to spent much money there so to manage the budget I have been sewing, re-purposing, and thrifting.

One of my favourite new additions to the master bedroom is “the wall of us”. I have always been a fan of gallery walls so I decided to make one devoted to Steve and I. Frames can be pricey so I sifted through some local thrift stores looking for ones with interesting detailing. For seven frames I only spent $40! I had some sample pots of paint kicking around which corresponded with the colours in my master bedrooms so I went to work to paint over the gaudy gold frames.

I’m heading in the direction of “romantic vintage modern” (if that is such a thing) in our bedroom. To this purpose, I did a shabby chic finish on the frames. I simply did one thinnish coat of paint on the frames to mostly cover up the gold but leave a bit of glimmer showing. I decided to go with mostly black and white prints to fit in with my vintage vibe.

I'm not ready to show too much of this room. As I said before, it's a bit of a work in process. Like what should I do with the ugly record player which we so enjoy listening to?

I’m not ready to show too much of this room. As I said before, it’s a bit of a work in progress. Like what should I do with the ugly record player which we so enjoy listening to?

In this picture you can get a slightly better look at the "shabby chic" paint finish. Wall colour: cool cucumber by Benjamin Moore.

In this picture you can get a slightly better look at the “shabby chic” paint finish. Wall colour: cool cucumber by Benjamin Moore.

This wall show cases a collection of some of our best memories: our wedding, camping trips to the Yukon, Oregon, California, our trip to Europe, holding our first born. It is a celebration of our friendship, the path we have made in this life together and the blessings we have shared. The kids like looking at it too and Sofia loves to hear about how she was “in mommy’s tummy” in this picture or that.

But know what’s sad? We couldn’t find a single picture of just the two of us since our children were born. For reference, that’s almost three and a half years. Our marriage is all the stronger for having produced these beautiful little human beings but this was a reminder that it is not just the raising of gracious children or the creation of a master retreat that should be a priority. You and me babe. We are important too.

That seems kinda terrible to write down, to voice a recognition of our own importance, but it’s true. It is far too easy to forget that in order to take good care of our little ones we need to take good care of ourselves and our marriages. This gallery wall is a delightful reminder to me of the beauty of us, together, and an inspiration for future togetherness.

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Filed under At home, DIY Projects, From the Heart: Thoughts on Life and Family