Sunday, 30 November 2014

One candle, two flames. You get the idea.

I am too busy. I don't like it. I am currently working what is really three jobs. I am tired and don't have time for myself, my home, or my family. However, I am trying to get us all to a better place. Financially, my world hasn't been good. I am certainly underemployed, in a province that is priding itself for job growth. My friends and I have not seen evidence of this much touted growth.

I am intelligent, and educated. However, I work part time. This is not the situation I had planned. Not knowing what else to do, I applied for a job with a company that installs advertising and coupons in some local grocery and drug stores. Just as I had accepted that job, I received a call about a writing project I had asked about over a year ago. So, I have been working my regular job, writing, and driving around my city with a car full of coupons.

I realize there is a plan and a reason for all of this. I just wish I knew what it is. I would like to be let in on the joke.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Warped Wednesday

I am sorry to have unleashed my sense of humour on your poor people. The Xanax is on the table beside the door. I believe this quote originated with the Gilmore Girls TV series. There are more times in my life this is a relevant statement than I'm comfortable admitting.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Warped Wednesday

As you get to know me, this information becomes increasingly relevant.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Warped Wednesday, on Thursday

In honour of Halloween I bring you something that makes me snicker each and every time I see it.

I thought perhaps...

I thought perhaps I could start a feature in order to give myself some structure. While the house should serve as a life time of blog posts I thought I could start to develop a regular posting schedule. This may help in not abandoning writing for long periods of time.
I'm here in part for my love of home design, but also to develop my expository writing skills. I'm decent at academic writing, but as I have realized the career push I've been working toward for the last several years isn't coming, I need to blaze new trails. I have no clue on the direction as yet.

However, that wasn't the point of this post. A day late I've decided to start a regular Wednesday humour post, framing my twisted sense of humour. I've decided on "Warped Wednesdays" as a title. I suspect this will be the reason I never have any regular readers, but perhaps that's ok. I can post terrible pictures and hang out in my pajamas while posting. So, I'm blogging with the metaphorical blinds closed? Hmm. Good plan.
I don't claim to own any of the pictures, memes etc that I post. However, everything should be a testament to my warped and special sense of humour.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Look at all the pretty colours!

I have what is best described as a schwack of paint chips downstairs. I, apparently, have to have the colours for the basement chosen for tomorrow morning. Pressure is not my friend.
We'd more or less had the colours chosen before. I have a rich moody green picked for the back entrance hall, called Whispering Pine, by Behr.
Whispering Pine

The bathroom is likely to be a colour called Persimmon Berry, as found at Home Depot, but I think it's a Dulux colour.
Persimmon Berry

The spare bedroom will go back to the Revere Pewter I'd painted it just before Christmas. That leaves the library, which will be repainted in Manuscript by Dulux again. I'd painted it last summer, and it aided a very busy space to feel more serene. The sample makes it appear more purple, at least on my computer, than it is.
Now, white trim with the Manuscript or the Espadrille we had before?
Decisions...that have to be made quickly.
I've been trying to put together a colour story. I'm not sure if it's working, but somehow I feel more confident about the whole affair after seeing what we've chosen above.

But the laundry room awaits... sigh.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014


Goodness! I knew it'd been a long while since I'd written, but I'm shocked at how the months have gone past. Their progression hasn't brought happy tidings, hence the silence in this space. I've kept checking in on all of the endlessly inspiring people who make my day better, whether or not they know it, and whether or not they have any idea who I am. That's fine; I love following each of you.

I don't know if I want to sit down and detail all of the events that have transpired over the past few months. Regardless, it's been a long haul, and I think I'm on the downhill side of it.

The basement is coming back together finally. I'd neglected the insurance claim in favour of more pressing matters. However, I got back on track. There are doorways where there used to be walls, and walls where there used to be doorways, and nothing where there used to be walls! It's going to be great.

As long as I don't screw it all up.

I'm trying to find paint colours and furniture for the living area downstairs, as a good portion of what we had was ruined when the basement flooded. I'm not a fan of looking at a televison. Mine has always been behind doors. I grew up in a trailer, and the television was always omnipresent. So, in hiding it went. However, it has become difficult to locate a wall unit that has doors like our old unit. I am scouring Kijiji (Craigslist is useless in Saskatoon) for a 5 piece wood wall unit, but little comes up. So, the search continues.

Despite the late date of this posting, I am still trying to get my garden in. I know. I know. Trust me. I didn't have a chance earlier. So, I spent today out in the garden pulling weeks so we can have it tilled, and earned a sunburn for my efforts.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Progress at a glacial pace, as always.

Insurance. Ugh.

So we finally have a total approved for the basement rebuild. It's just pennies shy of $29,000.
So, we have to start picking things out. We're tossing around the idea of doing black and white floor tiles, laid on a diagonal throughout the basement kitchen, hallway, library, and bathroom. The classic feel of the black and white is the appeal here. We're approved essentially for replacement costs, and what was down there originally was VCT tiles. I'm not too upset about that, as those tiles tend to wear like iron plate. However, I also don't want this no budget basement renovation to look like an elementary school. So, considering the options.

I'm not sure if I am really excited about that style of flooring in the library, which really has a gentlemans club vibe to it, and would likely decend entirely in that direction if I wasn't opposed. I just searched for a few images of formal living spaces with the sort of floor I am considering, and really didn't find anything.

Am I going the wrong direction? I would really like a classic feel for the space, with some leaning towards play in the kitchen/ games area, which opens into the family room.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Spray Paint to the Rescue?

Because this house is largely a disaster (he said affectionately) I tend to get ahead of myself with projects. For some reason (I am likely to blame) projects move at a snails pace around here. I moved into this house coming on nine years ago. I thought I would have it done by now. That hasn't happened, by a long shot.

So, I tend to obsess about little projects. For example, I am currently wondering how I can transform my excellent and perfectly serviceable coffee maker, a Cuisinart Grind and Brew into something that actually matches my world. I am not a great fan of stainless steel appliances. I suspect at some point in the future they will be the harvest gold of the appliance world. However, that's not the point here.
You see, the coffee maker currently sits right beside my new favourite thing ever, a Kitchen Aid Professional mixer in Tangerine. So, the two don't match at all. Do I paint the coffee maker, or just get over it? And in case you were wondering, yes. The drama in my life is largely self inflicted.

image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

What would you do? Would you do anything? Or just wish that you didn't fall in love with an off coloured Kitchen Aid? 

Thursday, 6 February 2014

To hold off, or to make do?

Since Christmas I've been looking for a buffet of sorts for our little dining room. I love serving dishes and pretty dishes and all the rest of it. My guests said my dining room looked like it was straight out of Martha Stewart Living. I think they were deluded, but I love them all the more dearly for it.

 My little kitchen doesn't have enough storage for all of the things that I want to put into it. Stacks of platters and candle holders don't hide very well on their own. Perhaps some day I will show my hoard.

So, I've been stalking Kijiji to see if anything suitable is out there. And, there is a lot that I want. My original thought was to find a leggy 1920's or so walnut buffet. My dining furniture is walnut from about that same vintage, and I love it. It should be refinished, but that's a few projects away from where I am right now. I've been looking for something like this:
Image courtesy of Google.
Or like this:
Image courtesy of Google.
But it seems that I will be needing to pay for the privilege of ownership here. While I know what I want (or at least I think I do) I don't want to pay $800 or more to have it. The furniture above would suit the room overall and really be a piece I would use and love. I don't plan on getting rid of the furniture I have now, especially as the low china cabinet I have was a gift from a very favourite aunt who is no longer with us.

However, to be blunt about it, I am frugal. Or cheap. With no budget for pretty things at this moment. With things that need/ want to be stored away. Hence, the consideration of this option:

Kijiji Saskatoon maple buffet.

But am I settling? I would normally like this piece, except it's not at all what I have going on otherwise. Can I make it something more suited to my space? Or, will it turn out to be that thing I thought I would like that I come to hate? My cabinets will be painted, so at least there are going to be other painted items in the area. I wonder if I could refinish it darker, to make it feel more suited to the space. However, I'm worried that it will just look modern and dark, rather than sort of vintage, which would be the desired effect from redoing it.

I may also be obsessing about nothing. I'm fairly good at that.
What would you do? Go with the perfectly fine and workable piece for $100, or hold out, hoping something vintage comes along that is less than $800?

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Because this house hates me, Part 1 of many.

My world has been a bit overwhelming as of last. I had a birthday with more candles than I care to report, and my house decided to attack me.
More specifically, due to the odd weather Saskatoon has had this winter, my water main broke. Right out front. So, what's a couple thousand litres of water going to do? They are going to flood into the sewer line and then up into the closest basement. If you guessed my house was closest, you win. So, we woke up to find several inches of water and mud sitting in the basement of the house. It's just as lovely as you imagine.

So after calmly (not calmly) calling my insurance company and calmly (also not calmly) calling a disaster service to come and help, my basement is gutted. My insurance adjuster is coming on Tuesday to have another look at everything, and we'll start getting quotes for the rebuild. So, yeah. I have pictures on my phone and on my camera that I am afraid to look at. It's a little disheartening, especially since we just had Christmas down there.

The basement had been rented out since I'd purchased this house, but with changes in my life, it no longer seemed like the best use of space. So, we'd moved into the basement and enjoyed it. Friends keep telling me I get a new basement out of the deal, but with the terminal amount of chaos that happens on the main floor of this house I was pretty OK with the basement for the time being.

I thought I should dig up some of the pictures, so the eventual and soon reason that I completely loose my grip on things is evident.
That is not the colour of the floor, or of any floor I ever want to consider.
This is after the water receded a bit. This floor was just off white. The guck is mud. If it isn't, I don't want to know or think about it.
There is carpet under that water...also formerly off white. There was also an IPad on that floor. Take a guess as to how it fared? Is it wrong to have a funeral for a device?
Other end of the hall. The cats are confused, and frightened. I am with them on that front.

Granted, the library was still a work in progress anyway, as we discovered we did not have enough bookshelves. I suspect that may always be the case. However, I had purchased two more bookshelves the day before. They are still on the main floor, in boxes, waiting for this room to be habitable again.

I was going to post about this room on the other side of the studs. I finished painting it at four in the morning Christmas eve, I think. It's always been known as the "Ugly Room". We had guests stay over Christmas, so finishing the room was a priority. I guess we get to do it again?

Family Room, into the Library.

Bathroom. It appears a fence picket was holding up the bathtub? Fancy.
So there you have it. So, in case you find your home projects causing you to spiral into despair, fear not! You could be me, and your house could hate you.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

We are officially a few days into the new year. Many blogs are doing a "Best of" series. Clearly, I've not been here long enough to do any of that. While I do have a room makeover in progress, I haven't started writing about the ugly room as yet. However, thinking about the progress we've made around this house in the past year makes me smile.
This house was once the ugly rental property on the block, in a neighbourhood that was once beautiful, went to the slums, and is on it's way back. I was looking for my first house, and despite this one really not being at all what I was looking for, fell in love.
My better half agrees with me, not having been a part of the house purchasing progress. This little old bungalow has a good feeling about it, and that gets better and stronger with each repair, each touch we add to it. It's a bit like the house is smiling, and breathing. It was never not alive, but is getting stronger and healthier with each project down.

This was the original listing picture. The blue with blue trim looked sad to me. The paint was peeling off in chunks, and the whole thing read "ghetto" to me.

 Even in Saskatoon the snow occasionally melts. There are so many more pictures of this house somewhere, but they are currently lost in the office, where plumbing has raised it's ugly head. So, with me sitting at the dining room table, I don't have a clue where to find more pictures of the house.

I have no idea why it seems I only take pictures in winter. However, this is a better representation of the colour of the house right now. The front door in this picture is dark brown, but it's been replaced since then, and is currently white. I think it will be repainted black in the spring. Right now, it's about -25 C outside, with far  more snow than this picture. So, no.

The outside of the house is again coming due for painting. I am thinking of a dark mossy green, with white trim, and staining/ painting the parging a dark charcoal grey. However, I'd love to hear any suggestions you may have! I have plans to replace all of the 1960's aluminum windows with energy efficient ones, and then have the house foamed and resided, but that's a few years away yet.