October 24, 2014

Creating our Guest Bedroom.

Hi everyone!

Taking a break from the tragedy that has been the focal point of our country for the last few days. I know it sounds selfish, but for just a short time, I need to think about something else. The sadness is overwhelming, the sentiments heart lifting and there is more to come as we all work our way through this senseless act of violence. 

So for the next few hours, I'm spending some time Creating our Guest Bedroom. We've never had a guest bedroom as we had just enough children to fill up the bedrooms in our house. Once they began to move out, instead of designating one of the empty bedrooms for guests, we ended up creating an office so my dh could edit his films and a mini art studio space for me to lay out projects to work on. Then our eldest dd moved back home with our grandson and you can guess what happened to our extra space! Hence, the building of the new home in the country. 

We knew that living outside of our community meant that sometimes, we will end up with overnight guests. And we are hoping our boys will come to visit with their family's. Our oldest son is coming for Christmas this year and if we're in, he'll be the first to sleep in our guest bedroom. Decorating it has been in my end lately and we have decided that our "theme" is English Country Garden. Our current furniture for the room includes the following:

*we have an antique iron queen bed frame in cream
*we have an old dresser that is "shabby chic" in cream/pink
*we have the matching desk that is in cream/pink
*we have an old solid wood rocker that will be painted pink
*we have an old Jenny Lind crib that will be painted pink
*we have a small flowery lamp that is cream/pink/green
*we have a small desk lamp that is in the same shades
*we have a sweet round painting that is creams/greens

What we need to pull this room together keeps growing! So far, the list includes the following:

*bedding and a queen mattress
*two night tables
*window coverings
*a small table to sit beside the rocker

I went for a little wander through our local mall the other day and came across some sweet bedding in the Target store that just opened last year. I haven't shopped there much, just starting to explore it and was surprised to find this set. I would have thought this set would have been only found in a specialty linen or bedding store. I've now completely fallen in love with it and haven't found anything else to come close to the look we're seeking. Hope you like it!

Cream sheet set.
Will need to find a matching bed skirt.

King sized quilt to cover the bed.
I want a larger one so it hangs over the edge nicely.

Pillow shams for two pillows.
Will have two more behind in cream.

An accent pillow.
May not purchase this but took a shot in case.

The walls will be a light sage green, the trim white and the floors a warm wood tone. We may purchase an area rug to go under the bed and if so, I'd choose either a soft pink or a light brown. Once we've moved in and put this room together, I'll post the end project pictures to see how close to my vision we get! Should be fun to pull it all together. And lovely to have our guests stay with us!!

Do you have a Guest Bedroom?
If so, how did you decorate it?

October 22, 2014

Proud but Sad ...

I am proud to be Canadian.
I feel so lucky to live in this paradise.

But tonight, I struggle to find the words
to share the experience of today. 

Over and over, all I can think, all I can
say is that all of us are incredibly sad.

There are no words.
There is nothing to say. 

October 21, 2014

We Now We Have A Basement!!

Hi everyone!

Our "kitchen" appointment went very well. Lots of decisions to make but it was fun to map out where things will be going. So much to think about. More later as I figure it all out. Right now, my head is spinning with many thoughts.

But I do want to share a few shots when we discovered our basement floor had been poured. Now they are busy mapping out the rooms and tomorrow, the framing begins!

The turret will hold our daughter's dining area.
And beside, to the left, is our grandson's bedroom.

Rooms mapped out on the floor.
The theatre room is in the upper right.

Our daughter's bedroom.
She's been sharing with her little guy since birth!

The bow part of the theatre room.
Screen will go here with 2 rows
of seating facing, 1 row higher.

Our builder was out there today with the cabinet maker and will be coming over this evening as well to go over our siding, trim and front door trim. Hoping that part is going to be finalized so we can move on to other decisions. Fun!

How was your day?

A Few Things I'm Not Crazy About! AKA A Vent about Thing 1 and Thing 2!!

Hi everyone!

There are so many things that I'm so excited about for our new house. But like any venture, there is a couple of things that I'm really not crazy about. I'll share those today, as I anxiously wait for lunchtime, when we get to finally meet the custom cabinet maker on site. An exciting day!

There are only 2 things I am not crazy about and when you think about all the elements that going in to creating a house from scratch, that's not a bad average at all. We know someone who built a house last year and it got frustrating at times (I can share this as she doesn't blog nor is a reader of blogs) to listen to her complain about every aspect of the house, from the design stage to move in day. It's not clear why she built to begin with, other perhaps to keep up with her friends. There didn't seem to be anything she liked about the whole process. And now she is always complaining about her house and the builder. So many people would be grateful to have her experience but she doesn't see life that way anyway, so trying to share wisdom would fall on deaf ears! The good thing about her experience for us is it's made us appreciate ours even more. We've loved every moment, even the ones that haven't been perfect, but I think that's because we waited so long to do this and also have a different view on life from her. She's miserable. We're thrilled. Not much to say there. 

So back to the 2 things I'm not crazy about. We have dubbed them Thing 1 and Thing 2. Let me first say that of course, these are not "deal breakers" or "end of the world" situations. We haven't lost sleep over them or fussed so much our builder hates us. They are just things I wish we could change but can't so we find ways to live with them.

Here's Thing 1: 

See that lovely orange line with a big "G"?
Yup, that's where the gas meter will go.

And now for Thing 2:

See that lovely meter looking thing 
beside our front veranda?
Why yes, it is a meter. 
For the electricity!

Sticker indicating we passed inspection.
And the gas will go in, with the meter, next week.

Our builder made sure our electric line has lots of
extra for any shift in the house, minimizing our
risk of a future hazard, like a fire. Love that he
is so conscious of the things that we worry about!

So there you have it. Thing 1 and Thing 2!! What we don't like is they are both at the front of the house because of the location of the incoming lines and where our utility room will be in the basement. To run them to the back of the house was fairly expensive, would have required a lot of additional trenching and would run us of the risk of future expenses if anything every went wrong. This route for both lines makes sense in so many ways. And we're very grateful to have power and gas so readily available to use. It's just not very pretty! We'll have to get creative with our landscaping to mask the meters nicely. For now, they'll stick out but in the spring, we'll plant some nice bushes or climbing vines. Or put a cedar fence in front of each. A little picket fence. Or a nice flag! Or a statue! Any ideas?

And that's the new house update for today!

October 18, 2014

Writing to Pen Pals!!

Hi everyone!

I started writing to a Pen Pal across the sea at the age of 14 and continued for several years, until marriage, then children became the focal point of my life. I loved writing and learning about another culture, another way of life at a time when I was just figuring out mine was really exciting. A great experience and one I've been hoping to recreate the last few years. I joined 2 free Pen Pal sites and as of today, I have 10 great pals to send letters too. Each of us is in the same age range, all wished to receive and send "snail mail" letters, and all live in England, Scotland, Ireland and the Netherlands, countries I personally adore. I'm having a great time writing long letters and then weeks later, finding a return letter in our mailbox. A couple of weeks ago, a letter arrived on the day before our baby walk and I "saved" it for the end of that day, when all my tasks were completed and I could sit down and read it, knowing my work was done. A reward for a long, tedious and draining day. I know that letters will be a great boost to my life once we're living out in the country too. Can you imagine the thrill of a long letter written by a kindred spirit, from across the sea, on a cold, wintery day? I'd make a pot of tea and curl up on the window seat to read the letter from a dear friend, brightening a dreary day. Winter won't seem so bad!

Have you ever had a Pen Pal?
Do you love to write and/or receive long letters?

October 13, 2014

Garden Gifts in October!

Hi everyone!

Just over 3 weeks ago, I posted some pictures of what I thought were the last flowers from our garden this year. But look what popped up this week, a warm and sunny October. Can you believe it? Beautiful buds and healthy stalks. Not sure how many more days these will bloom but I picked a bunch to make a little bouquet and couldn't resist taking a few shots to remember this day once the snow arrives. This is personally the longest I've ever had blooms before, especially from summer plants. So pretty and so very welcome at this changing time of year!

Blowing in the wind.

Still for just a moment!

Cut and laid out.

Dark shade.

Pretty in pink.

The green is so vibrant.

Ready for the blooms.

And finally, arranged for all to enjoy!

Is your garden done blooming for the year?

Turkey Soup!

Hi everyone!

After years of throwing out the turkey carcass after Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, my dd talked me into trying to make homemade, from scratch, turkey soup. It was easy, tasty and a great way to use up our leftovers. I added in red onion, sweet potato, green peas, carrots and noodles. A bit of seasoning and some grated cheese on top and we now have a new favorite soup for winter. Now I'm looking forward to our next turkey dinner! Dreaming up new versions and a variety of ingredients to try out. YUM!

Many apologies for the shadowy picture. 
I was trying to balance the bowl on my knees!

Have you made turkey soup from scratch before?

Our Last Thanksgiving ....

Hi everyone!

Yesterday, we celebrated the last Thanksgiving Dinner that we'll ever have in this house. A year from now, we'll be out in the country, nestled in the forest, but creating new memories in our new space. I'm sad to be leaving here after all these years but excited too for our new adventure. This has been a good home, a safe and warm shelter from the harshness of life outside these walls. A place to be ourselves, a ongoing project of trying out our DIY skills and a haven for our children to be born and sadly, for some of them to die. We'll take with us our memories, our experiences and our gratitude for a lovely place to call home!

It was a relaxing day shared with family. Here's some shots from the warm, fall day that we were gifted from nature: 

Pumpkins, scarecrow and an excited little boy!

Front hall. Warm lights. Vintage butter dish.

Turkey, spicy gravy, cranberry sauce and warm buns.

Veggies, pickles, buns and Thanksgiving crackers!

My family, waiting for my mom to make the salad.

Random shots to fill the space ....

Teapot for gravy, owl butter knife, preschooler's tree and me!

Always so much fun to plan a big meal. We were supposed to be a party of 8 but our dear friend has come down with a nasty flu bug, so we were sad he wasn't present but happy he could stay home to rest and recover. Our menu was roasted turkey, gravy made from the pan drippings, fresh cranberry sauce, veggies in butter and seasoning, mashed potatoes, salad with cucumbers and bacon strips, and warm from the oven butter buns. Mmmmmm! Today, we're slowly simmering the bones for turkey soup. And warm turkey buns to go with the soup. 

The last shots of the day were the sweetest. Top left corner, see the green tea pot? No, we did not have tea during dinner! We had to compromise because I somehow packed our insulated gravy pitcher. Oops!! But truth be told, the tea pot worked really well. Hmmm! You can also nicely see the old but new to us 8 candle holder with pumpkin colored tea light holders. Found at our local charity shop last week, on sale, for a mere $2. Snapped it up and love the glow it provided. In the next shot, you can see my other charity shop find, the vintage butter dish, for another $2. Loved the delicate lacy border. And resting on the dish? My $6 find at Hallmark ~ an owl butter knife. I have a spring one for our Easter dinner and a sweet Christmas one and now, a Thanksgiving knife. Next in the left corner is B's contribution to our special dinner ~ his art project, a colorful tree. Finally, in the bottom right hand corner, my dear husband insisted on a shot of moi. I'm always behind the camera but he wanted to show off my new April Cornell finds ~ a pretty fall dress with a silky underskirt and a lovely new apron we found on our recent trek to the mountains. She is my favorite designer. I love the vintage look and feel of her clothing line and her linens for the home. 

That was our Thanksgiving Dinner, the final in this house. A day of family, love, memories, gratitude and peace. All I could ask for and hope for. It is, in the end, all that matters!!

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?