Friday, October 29, 2010

a lil' nursery sneak peek

So the nursery is pretty much finished but there are still a couple little things I want to add to it before I post it. But because I know everyone wants to see it...I decided to share a section of it that I love! I had a ton of amazing fabric swatches from Tonic Living left over from when I was picking out the pillow and curtain fabrics. I kept looking at the pile of them sitting by my desk and I wanted to use them in some way but didn't know how since they were just tiny pieces. And then I thought...pennant flags!! So one Saturday afternoon Melanie Bloomer and I got our "Home Ec Circa 1990's" on and managed to figure out how to use my Mom's old Singer sewing machine. It was so much fun!! I think I'd like to do more Home Ec projects in the near future!

First we had to decide which fabrics made it in...I wanted them all!

Ouchy finger cramps from cutting them all into little triangles!

Our Home Ec we know how to thread a bobbin?!

Voila!! Project complete!

Can't wait to show you the rest of the room...just waiting for one more yummy design detail to arrive...oh yah and the baby!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Project De-Suburbanization 1: Dining room table

Well, task #1 of what I like to call Project De-suburbanization is complete. I fully made this term up, by the way. For me, it means "differentiating my house from all the others on the block that look exactly the same." On both the inside and outside, of course. So, for me, de-suburbanization starts with having things that no one else will be able to find (not in an expensive way, just different). SO. I decided to start with my dining room table, and there's a story about why. My best friend Aliya (who has since left me to move to a more exotic, warmer part of the world, sniff sniff...I miss you friend), found this old table on the side of Madison Ave about 5 years ago. Even though it was in rough shape, Aliya has an eye for "junk" with serious potential. She picked it up and brought it home, but didn't have anywhere to put it, due to her nomadic lifestyle. So, into storage it went, but then, when I got my house this summer, we thought, perfect, we will restore it! This is the first restoration project for both us, and I documented the whole process. What do you think?!

To start, here's the junk that was found at the side of the road:

Note the layer of gross veneer on the tabletop (eek). Our initial thought is to try to remove it, then stain it a darker colour:

The legs are also in rough shape...pieces missing, and look what's hiding beneath the poorly painted white

Step 1 for the tabletop: we try to chisel off the gross veneer, and it works well on one end but not the other. So, we use a hand-held electric planer and plane that nasty stuff away...

Step 1 for the Legs: We apply paint remover to the legs. Ugh. We find a layer of green, then brown underneath that, and it's sticky for some reason! This leg alone has taken me 3 hours...need a new plan:

Tabletop: Look, the veneer is gone!! This is looking yummier than we thought. Could it be possible that we can leave the top natural? Methinks so!

Plan B for the legs: We power wash the ef*ing paint off of there. This is kind of fun, by the way. We each take turns because it's satisfying:

And then...we sand the top. Tedious...

LEGS UPDATE: Meanwhile, the power washing WORKED a LOT better than the paint remover. We sand it down:

TABLETOP UPDATE: we sand some more, but mother ef*er, our backs are starting to hurt!

but look how good it's looking!!!!

Legs: All the pieces that fell off the legs need to be sanded and then glued back on... we glue, and we wait.

BUT while we WAIT, we apply a natural stain, what some more, then put a sealer on top...gotta prevent it from food and drink spills! It shines up NICELY, look:

...and then we FINALLY prime the legs. Ahhh sweet relief, the green is gone:

THEN WE PAINT IT ALL UP, PUT IT ALL BACK TOGETHER AGAIN, AND THEN....are you ready to see the final product?!

Voila, the table, on my NEW marvy hardwood floors (thank you Ryan - and Craig - for your brilliant work!).

Look at how neat the grain looks with the strips of green wood which I learned to appreciate from the way, we are told this wood is probably cherry...

You can see the contrast against my new "graphite" floors. I love combining light natural wood with dark wood. It makes for a lighter, less heavy "old man" vibe:

See the grain again:

And voila, the dining room with my new table thus far...floors CHECK, table CHECK...blinds to come soon, paint to be put on the walls (will keep it white), need a place for my planties and perhaps something cool on the wall...will show you the finished product when I get there!

{PS. Thank you, Aliya, for this project, it was so fun to do this together. I'm so glad we got to finish it before you left on your worldy adventure! Thank you, Grandad, for shaping the last three feet for me!! And thank you, Dad Bloomer, for letting us do this in your driveway and also take over your garage. We should probably get fired for the mess we made, but it's all cleaned up now!}

Monday, October 25, 2010

umm...can i live here too?

Check out this incredible apartment that was in the New York Times this weekend {thanks for sending Tyler!!}. This family lives at the very top of Seattle's Smith Tower. I'm so envious right now even though I know it's not cool to be envious of people. But I WANT this place!!!I I really need to learn how to be more of a wheeler dealer. I would never think to even ask about these types of things but this lady certainly knows how to make things work for her! Check out the article here that answers pretty much every question I wanted answered about how she is able to live there!

Apparently it's quite the trek to get up there and involves elevators and lots of stairs which would be tricky with groceries and if you were unwell OR pregnant! But holy moly it would be worth the hard work. She basically salvaged a ton of incredible pieces from the building - things she found in the basement or were abandoned in the empty office spaces. A lot of it came from a Chinese banquet hall...check out all the ridiculously awesome doors and screens! They even have a zip line for the kids to play on...this is SO my house!! She even managed to score huge slabs of marble that were taken out of an office and left for trash! So she has a marble counter top and bathroom! The only question that remains unanswered is how cold/hot does it get in there??

Friday, October 22, 2010

my fav spot

On the way to my Dad's from my new house, there's a willow tree I have to drive is certainly maybe my favourite spot! Thought I'd share...happy weekend Bloomers!