Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Tale of Two Pictures

It is taking me a while to get to all the things I want to do to create the Gallery Wall in the living room.

The theme of my gallery wall will be "The Garden." Anything that pertains to the garden--birds, bees, butterflies, plants, garden plans, all are included.

These are just two of my most recent projects.

Here's the Before and After:

The whole Maghilla:

The old piece of framed embroidery I found at Value Village many years ago.

I've always felt that I could do better with it, though.

While on the hunt, recently, I found this original piece of art at Value Village. I believe it is pencil crayon on watercolour paper.

One of the reasons I planned out the wall was to see if some of the smaller pieces I had --like the embroidered bird-- would fit as they were or if I needed to put them in a larger frame. I decided the bird and the strawberry would make great companion pieces inside identical 8 x 10 black frames.

It's hard to see, but the original frame for the strawberry was a bronzy-pink coloured metal (above). Not my taste. So, after I found a screwdriver small enough, I started taking it apart.

The frame of the bird was much easier--I just ripped off the packing tape.

There was a surprise with each.

On the back of the Strawberry print was this partial piece of artwork:

Isn't that wonderful? The writing says,

Lillian Pierson
Cold Lake, Alta

L. Pierson is sketched on the front. I wonder why she cut this up. Was it not good enough for her? I would have loved it--better than the strawberry. I'm quite sentimental about grain elevators, though, seeing as I have watched them all disappear from the landscape in my lifetime.

Inside the embroidered bird was another print as well:

It's an illustration by George Cruikshank entitled August. It feels like a page from a book and it is a bit yellowed.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the artwork.

I found the idea on-line, on another blog, now lost to me in cyberspace. I'm so sorry. I'd thought I had book marked it, but now I can't find it.

Essentially, I double matted each piece of artwork. The interior mats on each are brown. (I just kept the one that came with the strawberries and cut a piece of brown cardstock for the bird). The second outer mat, though based on the original green mat of the Strawberries piece was customized for each piece of artwork.

To make the customized mats, I first made a base mat from a piece of scrap cardstock for each piece--the outer dimensions were the size of my glass. The inner dimensions about 1/4" larger than the opening of the brown mat, all the way around.

Then, for the bird, I found some vintage sheet music via our friend Google. I manipulated it to be the way I wanted it, printed it out and started tearing it up.

Once I had it to my liking, I modge podged it all down to the grey mat.

For Strawberries, I was inspired by the handwriting on the back and used a piece of scrapbook paper I've had for a long time. (I believe it was an old piece by 7Gypsies).

I placed them between sheets of waxed paper and weighted them down.

I cut the mats after they'd dried.

And now, here they are:

The Bird:

and The Strawberry:

Again, in case you've forgotten!

Before and After:

Here's hoping the other projects for the Gallery Wall work out well.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Big Bed

My husband fell out of bed this morning.

He wakened me with a heavy thump as his feet hit the floor a few inches further down than he'd expected.

I laughed.

We got a new bed --not the box spring and mattress, we still have our set-- but a REAL bed, a Big Person's Bed, a Grown Up Bed with a headboard, a foot board, side rails and everything. I've never had one before. (Except for that bunk bed in the furnished apartment we had in Yellowknife when I was 10 or so).

Sorry for the wonky colour in these photos. It's an overcast day, today.

Ta Da!

It's the Lillesand Bed from IKEA. We went Friday night to check out the new Svelvik to see if it would do.
Our mattress and box spring combination is about 16" tall, so it will dwarf most bed frames. Unfortunately, the Svelvik was no different.

Much to my surprise, IKEA was having a sale on bed frames! 15% off. And the Lillesand on display had a mattress 16" deep, so it was easy to figure out whether it would work. Hard to get in and out of, however.

If you look by the window, you can see the different paint samples I'm trying out. None are contenders so far.

But that didn't worry me. The only thing which concerned me was whether I'd fall through the bars while trying to read in bed. I figured a pair of Euro pillows would solve that problem.

So, after we got the bed assembled last night I ran out to Home Sense and picked up the two Euro pillows and the two shams (Ralph Lauren, on sale, $19.00 each).

I asked my husband, "Do you like the shams? Are they OK? Not too girly?"

and he said, "What's a sham?"

I think they are perfect.

I'm looking forward to purchasing different solid coloured pillowcases for the front pillows to change up the look.

So, I guess I won't be making that headboard after all. I couldn't be happier, really.

Linking up to Wow Us Wednesdays #19.


Please do check out all the wonderful inspiration!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Menu Plan for June

I am hoping this is the last time I do my menu planning this way.

Apparently, there are now a number of programs which will let you import your recipes and then they will organize the ingredients and generate a list for you. I'd still have to cross check it against the pantry inventory, but it should still be much easier than sitting at the table for most of the afternoon!

As I have to create a new list every week for produce, I may just be able to try one program out per week this month.

Hey, that's a plan!

Here is the menu plan for June:

I even managed to sneak in five new recipes for us to try! I'm getting so tired of the same old 30 recipes or so.

Monday, June 6, 2011

From the Dungeon, Part Two

I'm too tired for words.

In order to work on this:

I had to spend the day here:

Do you get the feeling we just toss things down the stairs and deal with them later? Both kids were on camping trips this weekend. Boy, was I glad the laundry room was clean!

This is the area to the right of the stairs.

Now it's a much more pleasant place to work out!

Here is the area to the left of the stairs.

Now, I can start spray painting!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Small Thing

Another item to be checked off the summer project list!

I slipped the couch into its cover. Or, rather more truthfully, I wrapped and folded the cover onto the couch. It's about 500x too big--it takes forever to put back on.

teal pillows-whitecouch
It almost didn't last until its photo shoot. Half a mug of hot chocolate was spilled during its debut hour. It was deja vu.

Back in January, I finally took the slipcover out of its bag and put it on the couch. I'd only had it stashed away for about--oh--four months or so. As I'd feared, almost instantly, the bottom piece, used to cover the cushions, became stained. I actually didn't notice it until after I'd washed--and dried it. I thought it was done for.

two-tone sofa--orange pillows--cozy couch
I achieved a warm and cozy feel for winter, I think, but, I'm not really a fan of the two-tone sofa look.

So, I borrowed a steam cleaner and went over the couch--twice.

I'd coveted those peacock blue pillows since the day after I'd picked up the orange ones at Pier One. But, unfortunately, as you can see, my couch is a "muddy" colour of green, while the pillows are very, very clear and clean. They do not go together. The artwork also clashes (and for some reason, looks teeny tiny).

So, I bought a throw to see if that might help.

It didn't.

It was time to take another swipe at the stained cushion piece. It was too simple. Just a little bleach and a lot of time --I managed it just a few days ago when I cleaned up the laundry room in the dungeon.

So, shall we see that again?

teal pillows-whitecouch

Let me just say, dishwashing detergent and baking soda are miracle workers.

But the artwork still isn't working. The husband and I bought it, rather impulsively, so many years ago I've forgotten. It was back when the dining room was painted peach with orange paint sponged on top of it. Yes, that long ago. Early oughts, anyway.

Time for a change. More than time. So, I worked on this today:

Please don't mind the rug. It has been shampooed twice and looks worse than ever. I'm on the hunt for a replacement. No, I checked. does not ship to Canada.

Hopefully, I'll be making holes in the wall soon, but I've some spray painting and printing and mod podging to do first!

Linking to the 124th Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.
Do you know I actually try to have something done, just so I can link a post to the party?

Lots of great projects to check out.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tales From the Dungeon

Once upon a time, there were exciting projects to be accomplished: curtains to sew and trim, bedroom walls to be painted and loveseats to be covered. But a wicked witch put a stalling spell on all the fun projects: decisions could not be made on curtain trim, vision blurred and skipped in front of multiple colour swatches on the walls, and cording for the slip cover vanished from the kingdom. Utterly. There was nothing to do. So, the princess was at a loss, until, that is, she remembered the dungeon.

This is her story.

Here's what faced me yesterday:

Of course, there are no servants in this Kingdom of Equality. We all have to do everything ourselves. They tell me it was different in the old days! But, I can proudly say, I made the magic happen all by myself:

The main task was to clean up the area by the washer and drier:

Most of that is the slipcover for the royal couch. It came in two parts--one for the bottom cushions and one for everything else. The piece for the couch cushion had stained--and it hadn't come out in the first wash. So, I took the time and babied it while I cleaned up--and voila--success! Now, I'm re-washing the large bit --taking off the dust and hopefully smoothing out the wrinkles!

Here is the area now:

To the left of it is a small dresser and a huge stack of blankets and pillows, all wrapped in plastic bags.

It's hardly ideal.

Notice how the after has more stuff than the before? Most of the mess was simply our winter blankets and such which needed a wash--and then to be put away. (yes, here. That's "put away.")

However, I also wanted to clear out the donation station.

It doesn't look like much is gone, does it? Believe me, though, there's lots gone--and the best of it went to help a smaller kingdom to the North of us in desperate need. I've never felt so happy clearing it out. I just wish we had more for them.

I puttered about and put away a lot of Christmas stuff. Yes, you heard me. Christmas stuff: table cloths and oven mitts. And Christmas lights.

Yep, I found the Christmas lights and extension cords, bundled them up (what, don't you use purple ribbon?)

and put them in a new home:

My son worked for his father for about three months to earn half the money he needed to purchase this. I was glad I could re-use the box, rather than recycle it! Silly, I know.

Then, I swept,
and I swept,
and swept some more.

(I think it was Don Aslett who said that you can sweep concrete forever and still find something to sweep up.)

Didn't spin any of it into gold, though, unfortunately.

But, do you suppose I can reward my efforts with a new broom, anyway?

I could give this one to that witch!

The End.
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