Holiday Decorating

I am now officially on maternity leave! It is a strange feeling, not to have work obligations. I don’t think it has really sunk in yet, but I’m sure it will over the next couple of days.

My nesting has kicked into high gear which means the house is practically spotless, the laundry is very much done, meals have been planned out for the week and groceries have been purchased, the hospital bags are packed and the little dude’s room is all done (save for a few sewing projects that I will be knocking out over the next couple of days). I’ve also started buying/working on Birthday and Christmas presents. Around these parts the majority of family birthday’s fall within the 2 months before and 1 month after Christmas.

So needless to say I’m so beyond organized I’m already contemplating what our house is going to look like at Christmas time. We don’t go crazy, but I have stocked up a good supply of Christmas decor that I like to pull out every year. I have some specific ideas this year that I didn’t want to forget (baby brain and all) so I started sketching them out. Full disclosure – I am no artist. I don’t even pretend to be. But I wanted to put my sketches here and then come back in a few weeks and show you how I did. The plan is to start working on the “crafts” that need to be made and then I’ll be putting everything up in the beginning of December, because as much as I love Christmas, I really can’t stomach putting the decorations up before then.

I realize this sounds crazy, since I’m supposed to be giving birth at the end of November, BUT if the little dude hasn’t shown his face yet I figure it will provide me with a distraction!

This is what I want for the fireplace:

I have grown up with fun fancy villages on the fireplace mantle at Christmas and I want to create one for our house without having to go buy the miniature houses (they are expensive, yo!). My solution? Save up milk cartons in different sizes, cut doors and windows out of them and then paint them. I’m debating between painting them all white and drawing on them with black Sharpie or painting them more realistic colours. What do you think? I’ll put down some cotton batting for snow and try and string some lights through each house so they glow at night. This year we will have three stockings hanging from our fireplace, the husband and I already have ours so I have to go try and find one that sort of matches for the little dude.

There is currently a greeny-blue painting on our mantle that will stay put because it hides the ugly cable outlet that is up there. I think it will provide a nice background to the winter scene, especially if I decide to go with the “all white” houses.  I bought some fishing line from the craft store so I could hang stuff from the little dude’s ceiling, but I haven’t gotten around to making anything to hang yet so I thought it would be fun to use some pieces here. I’m going to try to find some wooden cutouts of snowflakes that I can paint (white) and then put glitter all over. I’ll string them up on the fishing line and as long as they are light enough I should be able to just tape them to the ceiling and they will hold. If I can’t find wooden snowflakes, or if the ones I find are too heavy, I’ll just use paper and do this.

We have a pretty white china cabinet in our kitchen that our tree sits next to. I like to dress it up a little too. Here’s what I want it to look like:

I have been wanting to make bunting FOR-EV-ER so I figured that this is the perfect opportunity to make some. I have some great fabric in my stash that will be just perfect for this! I’m not going to go too Christmasy with the fabric selection, I think it will be better that way. I love making snowflakes from folding up paper and cutting. It’s always such a fun surprise when you unfold it to see what you’ve made. I’ll make a few and stick them on the glass part of the cabinet. I’m contemplating glittering these up just to add some extra sparkle.

Fearlessly Finding Awesome: The Club and yes, I’ve been away for a while

So it’s been a while. But that’s ok. At least I feel like it was ok. Life happens and I got busy and distracted with all things that come with working full time, raising a child and trying to have some semblance of a life. But, I’m here now and on the cusp of redecorating our house and building out our unfinished basement, I feel compelled to write again.

I stumbled upon a blog called Vintage Revivals oh probably about a year ago and fell in love with Mandi’s design and decorating prowess. I’m forever going back and looking in awe at this transformation that I want to use as inspiration for our front room re-do.

Anyways, Mandi has started a club. The Fearlessly Finding Awesome Club that I want to take part in. Because I love awesome things and also love taking part in a group activity. Makes me feel like I’m part of something bigger which some days I really feel I need. Also, nothing gets me motivated like seeing other people make pretty things. This is what I need!

Vintage Revivals

FFA #1 is called “Catch A Dream” – the challenge is to write about our own personality traits and some of our favourite things about ourselves. We then need to connect that to how we want our home to feel. Not look, but feel! So here goes..

Personality traits – I can be crazy. Like not insane asylum crazy, just quirky, strange-crazy. I am also bold! Not offensively, just happy to be out there and happy to tell you what I think. I used to be painfully shy and life is so much better on the “bold” side!  I’m also very warm and loving. I’d like to also add some of my husband’s best traits, since this is a space for both of us. He is warm and kind and insanely organized.

For our home I think striking a balance between random quirkiness and organization is key. I want the space to be unique and different but not feel like chaos (insanely difficult with a 1 year old!). It should feel warm and inviting and comfortable. And lived in. I don’t want it to feel stark or museum-like. It should feel like a warm hug from your best friend or wet sloppy toddler kisses. It needs to feel this way for all members of the family, not just me!

I don’t know if we are supposed to go this far but as I was thinking about this it helped to think about what sorts of things would help me achieve this feeling in our home, particularly in our front room space. Here is a brief list of a few items -

  1. Storage – and lots of it. Ottomans, bookshelves etc. This helps with the organization / less chaos factor
  2. Comfortable seating – I want the space to be inviting for guests and a spot we want to be in the weekday evenings.
  3. No useless knickknacks – don’t fill the space with meaningless junk. If it’s going in the room it has to have a reason. Don’t just put that ceramic pig on the shelf to fill a space, does it have meaning? Did you find it at a great thrift store? Get it from a dear friend?
  4. Something for everyone – for me it’s blankets and books, for the husband a spot to entertain friends, for the kid it’s toys and books. Figure out how to work each of these elements in.

That was a really fun exercise and it makes me look at the design process as so much more than just picking paint colours and finding couches. I’m looking forward to the next challenge!

A post about summer

These last few months have absolutely flown by, I can’t believe that fall will be here in no time! Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at Starbucks and I’m itching to break out the tunics and leggings. However, the weather has been fantastically warm and it will continue to stay like this for the next week at least (I refuse to look at long range forecasts and get my hopes up). So summer will continue. They call this an Indian Summer, don’t they? Well whatever it is called, I’m happy summer finally showed up and I’m happy for it to stick around a little while longer. You can get that Pumpkin Spice Latte iced, can’t you?

Here are a few of my favourite photos from this summer:

What have you been up to this summer?

Busy days

I just can’t find the time to continue with this blogging thing on any sort of regular basis. So I’m not going to. Instead I’ll post when I have something fun to say or have the time!

I’ve got quite a few pregnant friends and I’m off to a baby shower tomorrow. I made a bunch of stuff (nursing cover, bibs, bloomers, pillowcase dress and diaper cover, stuffed animal) but I’m perhaps most proud of this onesie. I thought it up shortly after giving birth to my little man and thought it might be fitting for any new mom out there:

Teehee.

Hope you are all having wonderful summers!

Happy Canada Day (a little late)

Hi friends, I’ve been busy with work and so my posting hasn’t been as regular as I would like it. We were away this past weekend for Canada Day for a little family reunion with my in-laws complete with epic horseshoe battles, dance parties and many rounds of Jass (a Swiss card game). Needless to say, we had a blast. The kid took his first plane ride and was a champ!

Just wanted to say “Happy <belated> Canada Day” and “Happy Independence Day” :)

Here’s a few of my favourite shots from the weekend:

I’m away again this weekend so expect more sporadic posts. Hopefully life will get back to usual soon!