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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Black & White Photo Art.

I love preserving a memory with a photograph. Whether it be printing it and putting it in a frame, sharing it on Instagram or even uploading to Facebook. My aunt Marilyn has been so great to take photos over the years and to keep them organized (the hardest part!) and to make copies for those who should have them. I love going to her house and looking through the albums she's collected over the years.

When Posterjack, an online photoprinting company, contacted me about trying out one of their products, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I have a copy of a photo of my Dad when he was small doing the laundry for his mother. I think it's the sweetest thing ever!

I had visions of enlarging it and hanging it over my fireplace. Unfortunately, the quality of the photo is just too poor for enlargements so I had to nix that idea. A total bummer but I kinda figured so much.

That's my Dad standing on the chair:)

This summer, we spent an amazing week at a cottage and spent the majority of the time at the most beautiful beach. I feel pretty lucky to live here on the Island as we are surrounded by beaches but this particular one blew me away. I took hundreds of photos throughout the week and decided there much be one that I could use that would perfectly capture that memory.

After pouring through all those photos, I chose one a beach scene that I loved. I uploaded to the Posterjack site and using their editing tools to change it to a moody black and white. There are many printing options available but I went with the Satin Matte Poster in 28 X 42.

It's big and turned out beautiful! I can't wait for you to see it but there is a bit of a DIY plan in place for getting up on the wall over the fireplace but it hasn't actually happened yet. I need to get on the ball! Stay tuned.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Rapture Red Door.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you are aware that something in my home recently got a big dose of color. That color is red. Benjamin Moore, Rapture to be exact. If you guessed that it was going on the front door, you were right!

*side note* I find it highly annoying that my kitchen light is on and you can see it through the window in the door. Although, apparently not annoying enough that I retake the photos.

It's funny, actually. While I do like all colors, if you were to ask me which ones I'm drawn to when decorating my home, I'd answer, white, cream, blues, greys, a little bit of black. But never would I say red. In fact, I think I almost had an aversion to it at one point in time. I may have even called it my least favorite color.

Sometimes however, the home itself can dictate your choices. Since I've bought this home, my mom has insisted that it needed a red door. She liked the green door but has always loved a good red door. She had a point. The house is white, the trim is charcoal grey. Mixed with red, it's just a good combination.

I steered away from it, feeling it was too traditional. I wanted something a little more trendy. Which was why I chose the green and loved it for a while. Then, after stripping it all, I didn't have the heart to put more paint on it after the work of taking it off and considered varnishing it and leaving it au naturel.

While it likely would have looked great, there was still some paint in the nooks and crannies of the door that I wasn't so inclined to get digging out so painting it was brought back on the table. I tossed around a lot of color ideas. I love love love black doors but it just wasn't going to work with the charcoal trim.

We got new house number too. Well, I shouldn't say new, since there hasn't been any at all for the last 5 years. Much to the delivery man's frustrations, I'm sure. I'm just fussy and wanted a more modern number font than I could find at any hardware store. I ended up ordering these ones online and Steph mounted them onto a leftover piece of birch from the beds in the bunk room. I love how it turned out. I'd like to get a new doorbell too!

Fall is the prettiest time for front doors. Bright mums, pumpkins and gourds are just so much fun!

Long story short, I was pretty indecisive about this door but red won out and I am happy with my choice. It's really not a true reflection of what the inside of the home feels like, since I much prefer softer tones versus bursts of color, so it's a little strange to me.

Hey, my mom was right. This house needed a red door.

Paint on door: Benjamin Moore Rapture
Paint on trim: Para Paints Weathervane
Wreath: Target (recently on sale)
House Numbers: Amazon

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Moroccan Poufs.

A while ago, I purchased two Moroccan poufs for the living room. I guess I forgot to blog about them and every now and then, they pop up in an Instagram photo and someone will ask about them.

I had been on the hunt for a pair of poufs but found the prices and shipping from most companies a bit more than I wanted to pay. Then it occurred to me that I should check out Etsy. I'm not sure why I hadn't thought of it before. There were plenty of options! I ended up ordering from Maison Marrekech. There was a 10% off coupon available at the time (looks like it's still on! ) so I paid around $175 for the pair.

Shipping was a little expensive at $40 but it was still what I considered an affordable option compared to other sources. They arrived unstuffed in a plastic mailbag and aside from a strong leather smell, I was very pleased with the quality.

They aren't quite identical, which is characteristic of anything handmade and I like that they aren't a perfect match.

Stuffing them was an adventure. You would not believe how much one of those suckers will hold! I was replacing our sleeping pillows so I put the old ones in there, along with an older set of sheets, a couple of old towels, and a ton of clothes that I was going to sent to the Salvation Army. We joke that 20 years down the road, I can wear the clothes again, as they will be back in style! My own time capsules:)

So far, they've been thrown around, sat on and jumped on. They still look the same as the day they arrived. I can certainly attest to their quality.

They are versatile as well, we use them as footstools in front of our living room chairs and sometimes drag them over to the couch when we are watching TV. Their most useful and unexpected purpose has been for keeping Beaufort off the chairs. If someone came to the door when we weren't home, he would jump up on the chairs and scratch them with his claws. We simply pop the poufs on the chairs before we leave and he stays clear.

I also like that they can be tucked away under the coffee table or you can stick a tray on them as use them as an additional tabletop. They are primarily footstools though. We are a feet up family and it keeps them off the coffee table!

The living room is in a state of limbo right now. You may notice a new rug and chairs. It's in a total transition phase but is slowly moving into the direction that I envision for the space. I'll keep you updated as I go!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

PEI Cottage Vacation.

It's me again! The absent blogger.

I had big plans for August. I was going to paint my living room, figure out what to do with the front door, touch up the trim in the porch.. and the list went on. Instead, I was really busy simply enjoying summer. My sister and brother were both home for a couple of weeks, which meant lots of family barbecues, evening bonfire, antiquing, shopping, etc. We sure know how to relax.

Family reunion
We ended their visit with a huge family reunion on my father's side. It was so great to reconnect with some of my cousins that I haven't seen in years. There are 58 of us cousins, not to mention all the great-grandkids who've joined the mix. (My dad is one of 14 children!).

Steph and I decided to extend the reunion weekend by renting a cottage for the whole week, not far from the reunion grounds. The cottage was more like an old house and has completely equipped with everything we'd need and big enough for the six of us who stayed there plus, a few others who joined us on a couple of nights.

The path to "our beach".
We spent most of the week on what we called "our beach" since there was hardly anyone there. I now say it's my favorite on the island. You could walk for miles on the white sandy beach and the water was cool but clear of seaweed and jellyfish.

 A couple of days were cool at the beach but a small fire kept us warm.
 We stopped in to buy some wine at Newman's Winery.
What a beautiful setting with the water in the background.
Souris is an area that I spent lots of time growing up, since my grandmother and lots of aunts, uncles and cousins lived there. I never really appreciated its beauty until I got older. The eastern part of the PEI is stunningly beautiful and it was so great to spend some extended time there, although it went by much too quickly.

I loved being able to have Beaufort with us on vacation, as I'm always stressed when we leave him behind. He was a little confused and agitated the first day but settled in nicely. He loved the beach and his naps with his dad:)

We did lots of paddleboarding. Mostly Steph but I really enjoyed it too.

I'd love to do it again next year. Even though I've been off all summer, I never feel quite as relaxed at home as I felt there. I read a book, ate way too much, paddled the waves, walked the beaches, ran the dirt roads, roasted marshmallows, stayed up late, woke up early.. it was great.

Now back to reality. I officially start back to work a week from today but I'm heading in this morning to start setting up my classroom!