Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Made with Love

My grandmother was one of my best friends growing up.
As a young girl I spent a majority of my weekends sleeping over at grandmas (by choice) and during our visits she introduced me to many of her great loves: book stores, romance novels, oil painting, movies, card games and terrible jokes. My grandma was also an avid sewer and knitter, she attempted to teach me these skills but I never quite caught on. Before my grandma passed away, she made me a beautiful blanket for me to keep for my first born. The blanket was carefully packed away and years later brought with me to my very first apartment shared with Mr. Bliss. As some of you know that apartment had burned to the ground and we lost everything we owned including that very special and sentimental blanket.

Just recently my mom gave me this blanket
Mom had inherited a few knit squares my grandma had made (she must have had them stored away for 15 years or so). Mom took those squares and finished grandmas project, creating this new blanket for me. My mama isn't too keen on the colors of the blanket but I think this is one of the most beautiful blankets I've ever seen. Two of the most amazing women in my life had a hand in creating this special blanket just for me. Ive decided to pass it along to my daughter and you never know..
maybe one day she will pass it on to hers.
Thank you grandma and mom for this treasure

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rustic Coat Hanger

Once we added the birch tree mural to our front hall we lost our handy coat rack (it was just too big for the space and didnt really mesh with the new forest).
Let me tell you it has been Missed (notice the capital "M"?)
A friend gave me a small piece of barn wood and I knew exactly what to do with it
One of the simplest projects ever! 
We picked up 3 hooks from the hardware store and drilled them right onto the barn wood. Tucked behind the front door we now have a lovely little rack for the kids coats and bags.

Thanks for checking us out!
Amanda xo

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

When kids happen to your stuff

Its been 14 months since we moved into our little bungalow.
Although progress has been slow lately we are pretty proud of all the work that we have accomplished in such little time.
Lately we have been spending more of our days "living" in our home rather than fixing it, and all this laziness leisure time has allowed us to realize that our sweet baby girl can really
 F#CK! Sh!t up around here
She looks innocent but she has a wild side too

She somehow flipped the chair and broke the cane on the back. It cant be repaired so I'm on the hunt for new chairs to makeover 

One spoon, a  determined baby girl and a matter of seconds. This one kind of stung  click here to read how I refinished this table


At the end of the day its all just stuff! We knew things would be ruined eventually.
Besides, who could possibly be upset with someone this cute?
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!
xo Amanda

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Living with white

I heart white.
White is fresh and clean and goes with everything. Whether you are looking for something modern, country, or vintage it seems you cant go wrong with white. As I look back on magazine clippings Ive kept over the years of inspirational rooms or pictures its seems most of them have this light and airy feeling consisting mainly of white.

A few years ago I posted some pics of white furniture and rooms on a Facebook album I kept. A few friends made comments about how they loved white too but it was unrealistic. One friend was chuckling at my ignorance as she wrote how I would "know" once I had my own kids. Well its been over 5 years and 2 kids later.. I've had white accessories, white cabinets and gasp white chairs. Most recently we even added a creme rug. Of course they get dirty but oddly enough its usually from adults. Let me be clear, we don't encourage our kids to grab grape juice and other super staining foods and tell them to roam and eat wherever they may. We generally stick to eating at the kitchen table and the kids always rinse off their hands after a meal.  Overall, I think white can be done in most households.. kids or not.

When we furnished our family room we opted to go with the white Ikea Ektorp chairs because of the scale and of course you cant beat a sale (at the time of purchase it was buy one get one half off). How can we live with white when we have young kids? we just do.
Most recently our chairs have had stains of fireplace soot, chocolate, coffee, marker, and what appeared to be some sort of oil mark or just really old dirt. Perhaps one day our covers will become toast and have to be replaced.. or I will just dye them as I did with the love seat cover (look here)

The Solution

Basically all I use is Oxi Clean. Following the product directions I spray the stains generously and rub. I let the cleaner sit on the fabric for about 10 minutes before throwing it in the laundry on warm water (I haven't braved hot water yet due to shrinking fears)
I have heard of others who also purchase another type of oxiclean specifically for the pres wash cycle. Another tip is to use a q-tip soaked in bleach for really aggressive stains.

Did I mention I heart white?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Romantic Wedding

This year Mr. Bliss and I will celebrate 18 years together. Really we were kids when we had met, I had only heard about couples in the "olden days" who met as young teenagers, fell in love, married and began a family. Sometimes in this world of divorce and couples choosing not to marry at all I applause the few couples who are lucky enough to make it to a 50th + wedding anniversary.  Those couples really really have gone through it all and lived to tell the tale...together.

One of the greatest couples of all time was my great uncle Jack and my aunt Doris. They grew old and grey together and rarely could be found without the other. Even as a little girl I could see how much they adored and loved one another.. the way she held his hand and how he smiled at her in a way that was only for her. Years later uncle Jack became quite ill and was admitted to the hospital. My mom and I went to visit and just before we were going to leave he asked for his comb.  He needed to "get ready and get handsome" because aunt Doris would be up to visit shortly. This is something I will never forget, the love they shared and how no matter what the circumstance was they always respected and cared for each other, never shy to share their love and clearly they never stopped dating.

Mr. Bliss and I have been married since 2006 and although it seems like yesterday when I walked down the aisle I would be happy to marry him all over again, I know that we are the lucky ones.  Recently I have been helping a bride find her way through the wonderful world of wedding planning. Looking online for inspiration its amazing how different weddings are even in the short time since we were married.

Ahhhh if I could go back in time and do it all over again

I would wear something like this

Or perhaps this

I would carry a beautiful bouquet

And meet my beloved just before sunset at a place like this

We would have a very intimate and casual gathering of friends and family somewhere like this

Bliss and I would have a simple sweetheart table

With a touch of simple handmade decorations

We would dance under the stars

and end the night with a show in the sky

All images are from Pinterest

Hmmmm.. now to win the lotto and convince Bliss to do a vow renewal

Enjoy your day xo

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Vintage inspired DIY art

Finally our Ribba frames are no longer empty and it cost us nothing!

We began by adding scrapbook paper to the frames, we had a book of  paper which has been used for many projects throughout the year like this and this and this. Best $14 spent! We thought of adding some black and white prints to the frames, or perhaps silhouettes or maybe even some text. At the time we were just happy to have a touch of color

And then...
Mr. Bliss' mama dropped off another batch of old magazines she had hanging around her place. I appreciate the magazines and looking at some outrageous advertisements of the past however I do not knit or cross stitch. I hated the thought of recycling them and so we decided to find a way to use them

We ripped out some of the pages and chose a few of our favorite FREE images from The Graphics Fairy. Using our printer we printed the black and white images right onto the magazine paper

This image seems to be printed on some type of cross stitch pattern

We cut the printed image into a square so it would be somewhat balanced in the frame. We also thought about taking away the colored paper and using plain paper or making the print larger but thought a splash of color wouldn't hurt. Mr. Bliss calls this project "mold" modern meets old.. (step back ladies, he is all mine)
Once the prints were cut we simply taped them to the centre of the scrapbook paper and framed. I would probably suggest using a spray adhesive or double sided tape however I didn't have those items on hand and I am super impatient.

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Breath of fresh air

The first sign of the weather warming up (a few degrees) and it feels like spring. Well not really but a girl can dream about the end of winter coming sooner than later right? Once Xmas decorations are packed away and the tree is hauled out it always feels bare and lacking. The front room was definitely in a slump although we did have a sad attempt to update things (look back HERE)  But alas, we scored some super cheap curtains at the Rona clearance bin and that was all the motivation needed to actually add something to the Ribba frames we've had hanging for awhile now. We were actually getting use to the blank frames and that was our first sign of needing to get a move on it.
We had no intentions of using gold / yellow in this room since its already one of the colors we chose for our family room however its refreshing and $20 curtains can be very tempting.  I think we will hold off on bringing the other half of the Ikea Karlstad sectional back into the room for a while. So far we are not missing the extra seating and the kids like sitting at the table to play lego and look at books.

Hello Freshness..

I think we are getting closer!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Candlelit path made from balloons

Over the holidays me and the little guy decided we needed to ensure Santa would find our house. Alex sprinkled a mixture of seed and glitter along our walkway for the reindeer and together we created a glowing walkway for Santa. Christmas is done and over with but I think the Candlelit path was really beautiful and would be a wonderful way to greet guests for a party during the winter months. This project was so simple and lots of fun for the kiddo.

To create our path we made sweet little ice bowls using water balloons.

We began by filling regular balloons with water

and added a few drops of food coloring to each filled balloon. Unfortunately the only thing that turned out colored was our hands

We set the balloons outside to freeze


We let the balloons sit outside for the day and when they felt solid we removed the balloon from the frozen ice inside. Each balloon created a cute little ice bowl. We then added a tea light


Thanks for visiting

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Beefed up Billy Bookshelf

I love bookshelves, the perfect place for books, plants, photos,  knick knacks.. and a great place for hidden storage. A number of years ago we invested in the Billy bookshelves from Ikea and created a built in look using some trim, baseboards and moulding. When we sold the house we were sad to leave the bookshelf behind (it was requested as part of the sale). When we moved into baby bungalow I really missed having the shelving so off to Ikea we went. It's taken forever over a year to get the shelves assembled and beefed up (clearly we've been busy) but its finally happened. Baby bungalow has a bit of a slant to the ceiling so it doesn't look "built in" like it did in our previous home but it certainly takes the shelving up a notch

Here is how we beefed up our Billys..

Supply List

billy bookcases
billy bookcase extensions
billy book case doors (if you like)
window trim
crown moulding
primer and paint

1. Assemble Billy bookshelves from Ikea, we used 4 of them plus extensions which fit right on top of the shelving. We chose to add doors to the lower portion of our shelves but this is completely optional (I wanted a bit of hidden storage)


2. Once shelves are secure add crown moulding to the top and baseboards to the bottom. You may need a saw to make corner cuts. We used a nail gun to secure the moulding. Next secure trim to the front of the seam where the bookshelves are pushed together this will give the shelving a unifed look

3. We chose polyfilla to fill in any nail holes that were showing. Once this is dry sand the filling until smooth

4. Now its time to paint and prime the trim, moulding and baseboard. We applied just one coat of primer and two coats of Benjamin Moore "Paper Mache". Its not an exact match but pretty darn close.

I'm thrilled to have our Billys back!

Front Room

complete bookshelf
area rug
side table project
window treatment
purchase sofa

Thanks for visiting!!