Category Archives: Decorating

The joy of renovating…

… we are about to be kicked out of our bedrooms for about 3 nights. The final stages of our current renovation have become very chaotic. Today we decided last minute to pack the cats off to board at the vet for a few days while the upstairs floor & the stairs are sanded, stained & varnished. It was becoming too logistically stressful for us & them to have them confined to one room of the house. The dog is much easier to manage as she can patrol the garden.

The basement is also out of bounds now as the heated floor & new distressed wood look tiles are being layed. I had to make sure all our laundry was done at the weekend because that’s it until next weekend. It will all be worth I know, & it’s not too long now before we will have our house back. That’s when some of the real work begins – the great clean up.

Until then I will hibinate in my craft room & hopefully find something more interesting to write about. I’ve become really boring to read recently I know!

Wonder Woman!

Life got in the way of my writing – again! I know I have missed the odd day here & there this year, especially when I was on vacation, but this break was voluntary. I know I am doing too much, my body is telling me so, but have I listened to it? Not a chance! I am still in the process of giving my elder son’s bedroom a makeover. As you can see by  the photo I was inappropriately dressed to go to school yesterday, but I promised the kids I would dress up to do their haunted house craft that had required me to cut out hundreds of pieces of cardstock for over 40 grade 2 students & had me locked in my craft room most nights for 2 weeks. It was all worth it though as it appears to have been raging success so a big high five to me!). We have just started renovating our basement, lifting all the carpets upstairs & restoring the floors upstairs. Among all of this I am continuing to keep house & home while running the kids around, walking the dog, making sure we don’t have to resort to pet food for dinner, & begin getting organized for the crazy month of December (both boys birthday’s are during the holiday festivities, as well as our wedding anniversary & my father-in-laws birthday!).

So something had to give, & sitting down every evening for an hour & boring you with my life events was the least important task at the time. They say you should make time to write, but they don’t share the ingredients or the recipe to actually make more time. I’m still suffering with my neck, maybe not as much, & I’m certainly not taking as many painkillers, but enough to be aware of it most of the time. However, I have managed to squeeze in some fun. A girlfriend & I went for some retail therapy at the huge new outlet mall & had a great day trying on dresses for the up & coming winter gala for school. We were both successful in purchasing a knockout frock & can’t wait to enjoy letting our hair down on the dance floor.

Right now I just need to not be so impatient to get stuff done. I really need to stop & listen to my body when it’s protesting at being worked to hard. The thing is, my son is currently camping out in the spare room on a double bed with a tempur-pedic mattress, a mountain view (when it stops raining), & an en-suite bathroom. If I leave him in there too long I might never get him to leave!

Only 3-4 Shades of Grey…

Why are there sooooo many?

Elder son’s room needs a makeover & the theme is ski resort/mountains/Swiss chalet. The curtain & quilt fabric has been picked out, so today I popped to the Home Deport to get the colour charts for the paints. OMG! How many shades of grey are there… really? I brought home a forest worth of cards & now we have to try & narrow it down to just 3-4 shades. No wonder Christian was so messed up, but at least he had to pick 50, there is no hope for me!

While hubby’s away…

After a productive week with hubby on stay-cation we have done something I’ve been threatening to do for a while, only without his help just the boys & I – lift the carpet up in younger child’s room. Why & how the hell is what you are thinking, but I see my surgeon again on Friday & I want show her how bad I am if I just get on & do what I normally do in life. Now it’s fair to say I don’t lift bedroom carpets up every week, but if it wasn’t a bedroom carpet it would have been something else, & as my physio has always said, I was given boys for a reason. So, after discovering a little while ago that there was perfectly good wooden flooring underneath, younger child too was desperate for the ‘swamp’ coloured carpet (his description not mine) to go. Hubby was not raving about the idea (thinking of the noise more than anything), so while he was off on an epic bike ride with a friend we began decontaminating…

The wooden flooring underneath was a nice surprise when we found it, but I don’t think I was quite prepared for what else my younger child had been rolling around on for the past 4 years. Remembering that we bought the property from an 80 year old lady who’d lived there for 60 years, it is no surprise that as we’ve been working our way around the house we’ve found some interesting interior design choices. Wallpaper on the ceiling is one, but then there is wallpaper on top of wallpaper, on top of wallpaper in another room. She obviously had a thing about not removing what was there previously because when we lifted enough carpet away from the floor we found it had been fitted over another carpet. If the swamp carpet wasn’t bad enough in terms of stains & dirt, you don’t even want to know what the one underneath looked like, not to mention the offensive odour the escaped when enough of it was exposed. Why would someone do that? I can’t understand why you wouldn’t lift the old one when it is in such poor shape, and then to just put something else on top for it to fester for another few years. It was gross!!

Although hubby returned not best pleased we had taken matters into our own hands, I think he was reasonably impressed with the quality on the flooring we’d exposed – even if it does sound like we’re in a bowling alley when they play marbles, but also removing a large health hazard had to earn me Brownie points too. Of course initially elder child was adamant that his carpet was staying, but of course now he’s seen how much nicer younger brother’s room looks without his cesspit he’s now seriously considering the option. Unfortunately his Ikea furniture is significantly heavier & his room a lot smaller, I now have to somehow convince hubby to help us & who knows what treasures await us under there…

Do you ever find that…

… you don’t know what you’re looking for until you’ve found it?

Well today I found it. Since my craft room was completed in March I’ve been trying to decide what to have at the window. I don’t want drapes because they won’t fit with the room, & they will be awkward to open & close behind my big table. Blinds seem the obvious choice but the way in which the window frame is configured leaves very little to attach anything to. It is a quite a big window & at first I thought roman blind, but that would require a fairly industrial fitting for it to work properly – & as yet I have never made one. I was sure that any decent custom-made blind company would have a solution, but that’s going to cost me an arm & a leg.

In the end my BFF & I set off in search of fabric, first trying our go to place that has never disappointed yet. She was also looking for fabric for a couple of projects. We spent nearly an hour wondering around an extensive selection of patterns, colours & types but neither of us really found anything. I came away with a small amount stuff to attempt to make a small Roman blind for my boys bathroom. At some point we might have mentioned that we should go to our go-to-store for most things, but on that day decided to head to the shopping mall instead!

Then, today, we pop the roof down & enjoy the sunshine while we drove out to a place east of Vancouver. It was the first place I ever bought fabric from & continued to do so for sometime, again it always had lots of choice & was well priced. However, today we discovered that they were obviously doing very well for themselves & had gone a bit up market…

First of all we walked in to find the store was a fraction of the size it used to be & there wasn’t a roll of fabric in sight. I questioned this with the smart business suit sat behind the desk , & she informs us that you now order from the samples – we should have left then, it just screamed out expensive! So we looked anyway, but nothing had prices on them – again we knew what that meant but did it stop us? Nope, we just carried on pawing through all the beautiful fabrics until finally some decisions were made & it was time to enquire about pricing. A large book was then thumbed through to find the code of my fabric, & it turned out it was sold by the yard – which always irritates me. BFF & I work out how much I might need while the business suit thumbed through her bible of codes & announcing what a beautiful fabric I’d chosen…

Oh it was beautiful alright, $70 a yard of beautiful! I was hoping to dress a whole window for less than that. After some sideways glances & an enormous amount of tongue biting we made a sharp exit. There was no way in a million years I’m draping $300 worth of sheer fabric up at my bathroom window – this is meant to be a temporary measure until we renovate it, that price is almost a renovation in itself.

We sat back in the car with the sun beating down on us & took one look at each other knowing we were both thinking the same thing… Ikea. It’s our go place for everything basic & functional at a good price. Half an hour later we had found drapes & fabric for both our projects, & for an added bonus, a blind system that will work in my craft room. It was exactly what I didn’t know I’d been looking for. It fitted both mine & hubby’s criteria without compromising on style or function – in fact it is probably better than just an ordinary blind system. Win, win for all.

Will we learn from this & just go there first next time?

Hell no, we might miss out on something elsewhere!!

Note to self…

Today I finally ventured out after living in a viral fog for almost a week. We had a number of places to go, including Ikea & Costco, thankfully all in the same area. When we arrive at any of these places, my younger son has an irritating habit of getting into the store & then declaring, after we’ve passed the bathrooms, that he needs to go. Of course he’s bursting which he most have known when we passed them. So hubby took him while my elder son helped me write out the isle & bin number for my new craft room furniture. We were done very quickly & there was no sign of the other two so we slowly carried on around the store. I hadn’t picked up a cart so I ended up carrying some items, which were awkward. When we got to the elevator there was still no sign of them so I asked my son if he could text his dad using my phone, as I had my hands full. Why did I not put the items down & do myself?

It’s not very often I let my kids use my phone, it’s usually to chose music in the car or if I’m driving to see who’s texting me. He simply wrote ‘where are you?’ & pressed send. We waited a few minutes, no reply, but then we saw them & that was that, I mentioned the text & didn’t think anything more about it. It wasn’t until some time later when we were heading to are last store – Costco – that I checked my phone…

There was a panicked text from my BFF asking if I was ok, she was worried about me. I was, of course, quite confused about this, wondering why she was asking. When I went into the phone to reply there was the answer on the same thread. My son had texted her & not my husband, probably because she was the last person that I’d texted the night before. I quickly declared that this was the result of allowing your 9 year old to send a text on your behalf – note to self! I reassured her that all was well & she need not worry, to which she was relieved to hear.

No wonder my husband didn’t answer my text!!


For those of you who don’t know, my biologic, the injection that I take every 2 weeks for my arthritis, is an immunosuppressant. Therefore you would expect me to come down with every bug & virus known to man – especially with tow young kids & a husband that works with sick children. I am normally quite the opposite everyone else in the family seems to get sick but me, I just become more achy & sore instead. However, my elder son has been quite sick with a virus for over a week now. My husband also came down with it, & unfortunately this time so did I.

What is interesting about me this time is that I sound & feel virally, but my body hasn’t responded in the same way. Yes I’m achy but I’m still decorating & putting the house back together after the renovations were finally completed at the end of last week. This morning my cleaner even told me I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing I should be resting. I do not know of this ‘resting’ of which she spoke. I’m sure the reason that I’ve been more susceptible this contracting a virus this time is because I am running on empty. Both my mental and physical capacity to cope at the moment is constantly being challenged by the continuing knee saga. Today I made an appointment to see the orthopaedic surgeon again because I don’t know whom else or where else to go next. I see her in two weeks so watch this space…


Back to normal…

As operation ‘she shack’ comes to a close & our home begins to return to normal again, there is still so much needs to be done. Before I can move anything into my new craft room I have to stain the woodwork & touch up the paint. It is the start of a weeklong staycation for my husband, we have set aside the time to complete all the odd jobs that we’ve saved up for some time. We all do it, save up stuff for ‘when we have more time’ the problem is that if you don’t have the time when you say it, you never will. Well we have a list (you knew there would be a list involved didn’t you) on the fridge that is now almost full of all the stuff we are going to get done this coming week. It will be interesting to see if by the time our friends arrive from the UK, on Easter Saturday, just how much of that list is ticked off.

It’s also important that we spend some quality time together as a family. Life has been very chaotic recently with the renovations & everything that’s been going on with me knee that any spare time has been dedicated to what we need to do get done & not what is important as a family. We do have one thing planned for next Friday, & I would really like to see my elder son get out on his road bike if the weather holds. Of course we still have Java, & my boys love going to the forest & exploring, that in it self is a great fun family thing to do, but probably not very knee friendly.

We’ve managed to con a friend of ours into helping us get sorted on Sunday, in exchange for a decent home cooked square meal. His wife & kids have gone back to the UK for spring break so I need to make sure he eats some vegetables than he can at least be honest with his wife when she asks.

I should be really excited about finally having my own space, but right now I’m just trying to figure out where I go next. I’ve now had so many conflicting opinions I really don’t know what to believe or whose advice to take for the best. I’m sure once I start filling my room with fancy paper & fabric & let the creative juices flow I’ll feel very excited.

Georgian Green with a hint of Java!

First of all, in my defense, the stupid beast pushed past the ladder I was standing on & nearly knocked me into next week in the process, brushing herself against the wall. She did this not once, but twice, so not only does she have one side of her body shaded in Georgian green, my kitchen wall is shaded in hint of Weimaraner. Thankfully it’s water based paint so it’s already faded a bit in the rain so no harm done. At least it’s at the beginning of the vacation hopefully by the time her family returns the evidence will be long gone.

On the whole she’s settled in very well. There’s been copious amounts of bed swapping (between Java & Tess), bone swapping, synchronized peeing, double the amount of barking (still not as annoying as the curly cloud that yaps next door) & only one accident. I haven’t lost her in the forest yet, but I am concerned that if her ridiculous ears flap a bit to hard when she runs she might just take off – Dumbo style! In fact, Tess disappears a lot more than Java so we’re always waiting for her to catch up. My elder son did loose a sausage at dinner this evening, it shot off his plate when he tried to cut it & didn’t even hit the floor before it was snaffled up. I have to say watching this thing eat is quite remarkable. As soon as you put it down in front of her she vacuums it up in a matter of seconds – I don’t think it touches the sides.

All total madness here but quiet & calm sounds like it would be boring &… normal!

I love the word ‘organising’

Here I am once again doing too much. It is nearly 9.30pm & this is the first time I have sat down all day. I know this is not good for me physically, but mentally I need to occupy my mind. Not satisfied with resuscitating my bathrooms by giving them a fresh new look, I have now started on the kitchen. Among the madness of the renovations this sounds utterly ridiculous, but my theory is why not have all the mess at once? When the dining room is finally put back together, & I move all my toys in to my new craft room the last thing I’ll want to do is create another mess. The kitchen is wallpapered, & although it is also in a hideous old lady kind of pattern, is has actually been applied professionally. This means I don’t have to strip it off, so today I’ve primed it so I can just paint over it – easy!!

I have wanted to paint one wall in blackboard paint for some time so I can have a central point for messages etc. I’m finally going to do that, as well as organize the jumble sale that is known as the cloakroom/mudroom. My type A personality gets very excited about something when the word ‘organising’ is used. I am one of those people who could spend days wondering around storage stores – I LOVE Ikea. I can talk about boxes & label machines for hours, & unless you have time to kill, don’t even get me started on lists!