What didn't get blogged....

Happy Friday! Here's what happened that I didn't have an opportunity to write about it on my blog. Overall it was a pretty quiet week...

[1] Oscar's 2nd Birthday Gift arrived! It is a group gift from some of us - I think we will build it and let him play with it prior to his actual birthday. (I'll reveal later which one we went with)
[2] Went flower shopping. I love the simple pleasure of walking to my local flower market to pick up a bouquet
[3] Business has been busy. :-)
[4] Hung out with my family, my brother watched Oscar for one night so Aubrey and I could grab a bite to eat ... solo. :)

Also, I am thinking of offering small box ads on my blog. It's been at the back of my mind for about a year. Part of my hesitation was that I didn't want to feel obligated to blog on behalf of advertisers. Over the last few months I've realized --- I'm in love with this blog and it's not going anywhere, so maybe it's ok to have advertising - Which will be nice, as it will help me contribute to the kitchen reno fund. ;) Anyhow, that's what happened this week!

xo Linds

Bookcase how-to

Yesterday I showed off my first Ikea hack and today I'm providing some more detail on how I went from this:

To this:

The first, obvious step was to buy and assemble three Billy bookcases from Ikea (the website says they're $49, but we picked them up at the Massachusetts Ikea for $39.99 each). I'd been envisioning white shelves against a black background for awhile and armed with some pinspiration, I decided to go for it.

I taped off the inside edges of each bookcase and grabbed a can of black paint I already had on hand (Sico's furniture paint in Grand Piano). But as soon as I put brush to bookshelf, I regretted it.

Sorry for the crappy photo, but the plastic-y backing basically sucked up the paint and there was zero adhesion (as in, the paint wiped right off with a dry cloth). Oops.

I immediately checked out this very helpful laminate painting tutorial from Natty by Design and went out to get some Zinsser primer. An extremely helpful salesperson at Home Hardware (I need to shop there more) recommended Zinsser's oil-based, odorless primer and after a good sanding with some 80-grit sandpaper, it worked like a charm. Once the primer was dry (another bonus - it dried in less than an hour), I went over it lightly with 220-grit sandpaper and followed that with two thin coats of my black paint (I used a foam brush for the edges and a small foam roller for the rest).

So much better than the plain white, right? And it doesn't hurt that it helps disguise our necessary-but-ugly DVD player.

Our house is a little older, so the floors definitely aren't level. Once I had the shelves where I wanted them, I had to play around with some shims until the bookcases were level and flush with the wall (this created a 1/4 - 1/2" gap between the bottom of the bookcase and the floor, which is luckily hidden by the trim). I used clamps to hold the edges of the bookcases together while I attached them permanently with several screws. I just screwed into the exisiting holes for the adjustable shelves, which worked well, just make sure your screws aren't long enough to poke through the other side (in the picture above, you can kind of see the screws in the holes directly below the shelf).

Then it was time to attach the trim. I used chair rail along the top and baseboard along the bottom. The width is entirely up to you, but I knew my baseboard needed to be at least 4 1/4" because of the gap between the bottom of the bookcase and the floor. Adam used a chop saw to cut the trim to size for me and I attached it using 1 1/4" finishing nails, making sure to pre-drill my holes first (it's helpful if you have a second pair of hands for this part, although I did it by myself). With the trim on, I filled my nail holes with wood putty and caulked all of the seams (this step hides a multitude of sins, including less-than-perfect corners).

I also caulked the seams where the edges of the bookcases met (alternatively, you could cover this part with a flat piece of trim). Once the caulk dried, I painted this part along with the trim (I had to prime the edges where the bookcases met, but my trim came pre-primed). I used a sample container of Behr's interior paint in a flat finish (apparently the sample sizes only come in flat), colour matched to Martha Stewart's Talc. I don't think it's an exact match, but as you can see in the pictures below, it's very, very close.

And that's it. The whole project cost around $175, which is significantly less than what we sold our old entertainment stand for. It could of course cost more or less, depending on which materials you already have on hand and the trim you choose (the store we bought it from only sold 8' and 16' lengths, but some places sell it by the foot).

Since these pictures were taken I've been playing around with the styling - the fun part - so expect to see some updates along the way.

Oh, and see that chair in the left-hand corner? It's my next project - stay tuned!

I'd Rather Be...

Typography Art Print by Ashley G - I'd Rather Be Thrifting

What would you rather be doing today? 

Stay tuned as we:
Enter our new shop space at The Modern Cottage Company
Sand, paint and prime some of the most awesome pieces of furniture for our new space
And welcome our FIRST Blogger We Love next Friday! 

Hope you all have had a great week! 

Painting everything but the kitchen sink,

Kitchen Counter Top - Cambria Quartz

I think it's safe to say that I'm not going with the marble for the kitchen. Although it is the look I want, I'm not prepared for the maintenance (or the worry).  The decision has been easy thanks to helpful e-mails from you, showing me your counters .... I'm seeing that I can get the look of carerra with other materials like Quartz, or Granite.

Which brings me to the photos above. I ordered a 12x12 sample of the Cambria Quartz Torquay on the weekend, and just a few days later it was on my doorstep. It cost me around $50 to get this sample to my door but it was totally worth it - Between juggling Oscar, my business, and, well - having a life - I decided to just get the biggest sample that they had, and see it in our house. I really, really like it. So this counter is in the running - the only concern I have is that it falls slightly on the modern side.  Some other counter styles are being shipped to me by other manufacturers so I'll show you those when they arrive. xo Linds

One of a Kind Show, Part 2

One of my favourite booths at the One of a Kind Show was Good Wishes Quilts. She had the most beautiful Easter baskets made with vintage Peter Rabbit fabric. They were just under $50 each and someone pointed out that they would make the loveliest heirloom baskets that a child could use year after year. My heart melted. I'm regretting not picking one up but with the kitchen reno we have little extra money to put towards things like this. But if you're not saving up for a kitchen reno - I encourage you to pick up one! ;) xo Linds

Billy bookcase hack

As part of our plans to re-arrange our living room, we sold our beloved entertainment stand and decided to put the money towards a new shelving/entertainment unit. Check out my first Ikea hack!

I'm pretty thrilled with how it turned out, especially because this is what I started with:

Three basic Billy bookcases from Ikea. I'll be back tomorrow with lots of how-to details and some more pretty after shots!

One of a Kind Spring Show

I went to the One of a Kind Spring Show on Wednesday. The show hosted a little breakfast to kick off the event and I was delighted to be invited. Although I always love going to the show (see old posts here, and here), this season it seemed to be exceptionally well done. Here are some of the shops that I looooved. More to come later. (Too many for one post)

[1] & [2] Moon Rox - Their jewellery is totally on trend, and drool worthy.
[3] Avril Loreti was at the show and have my favourite prints in napkin form.
[4] Sweet little wooden gift tags by Flakes Paperie would make a sweet addition on top of a gift
[5] Patouche makes the cutest clothing and I almost walked away with this vest for Oscar.
[6] Monster Factory - I love how they run their business. Awesome people, and an awesome line of Monsters. :)
[7] Mad Batter Bakery - I left with some bug cookies to share with my boys
[8] HeyDay Design - LOVE. You must check out her booth.
[9] & [10] Thorpe Toys - I picked up about $60 worth of toys for Oscar. If you knew how inexpensive they are, you will appreciate how much I bought!

Painted storage boxes

We've all got things in our homes that we once loved but aren't so sweet on anymore, right? Like these storage boxes. Nothing wrong with them, I was just tired of the colour and wanted something different. I thought about replacing them, until my cheapy side chimed in: why not paint them?

So I broke out my Zinsser odorless oil-based primer and got to work:

Michaels had several colours of Martha Stewart's multi-surface craft paint on clearance, so I snapped them up. You don't actually have to use primer with these paints, but I had the primer on hand and didn't want to waste time applying coat after coat of craft paint just to cover the stripes. I chose Sea Lavender from my new colour stash - a really pretty pale blue - and three thin coats later, I had a brand new set of boxes:

I allowed the boxes to dry overnight so I could stack them without worrying about messing up my paint job. I love how they turned out and I especially love that it only cost me $1.49!

Linked up with Thrifty Decor Chick's Spring Paint Party

Almost 2....

Oscar is almost 2. Two months away from turning two. Oh my. Within the last month I've seen a lot of changes. He's putting two words together. "Silly Mommy." "No Mommy." He's counting to 10, and can spell his name (which is hilarious, I must take a video). He knows his colours, and his favourite animal is still a turtle. He's also expressing himself a lot through screaming - which I've been told by other Moms, is quite normal. It must frustrating for him to not be able to properly articulate what is bothering him. Although we have tactics on how to deal with the outbursts (talking it through & patience) I have to admit, the iphone comes in handy in emergency situations (like above). The picture is just too funny. It was such a cranky moment, and I had to snap his expressive face. Love it.

Ps., On the subject of apps - right now our favourite apps are Interactive AlphabetLittle Fox Music Box, Eric Carle's My Very First App - Oscar loves the memory game and last week actually completed a full game matching animals. (It was crazy) Any ones you can recommend?

The unexpected happens...

You must wonder where I am.
I wonder that as well sometimes.
Here is the short version.
I dropped my laptop on the tile floor causing the hard drive to hate me.
The laptop was put on full life support but has yet to breathe on its own.
I have not allowed myself to think of life without all the pictures and documents it held.
No. I did not back anything up.
I always intended to, but hey my laptop worked great!
No plan of dropping it was in my mind.
The grief will set in later.
The 6000 or so photos I had will be missed.

Back up your stuff people.
And don't try to blog from a tablet.
After this I won't either.
I'll be back when I can steal a new computer.

Yours truly,

Guest Posting at First Time Fancy

I'm over at First Time Fancy today sharing an affordable DIY art idea. Make sure you stop by to check it out!

Kitchen Plans

Over the weekend Aubrey and I sat down with a calendar and planned out when our kitchen reno could happen. It has been set (kind of) .... June 4th our demo starts. So exciting!  For a long time we've known how we want our kitchen to look. It hasn't been that hard because the layout isn't changing very much. But we're taking our time and trying to see if we're missing creative ways to add unique elements, and make a "out of the box" kitchen look custom. Yup. We're likely going with Ikea. It's not 100% as we haven't actually bought the cabinets yet, so still things can change, but for now let's assume it's IKEA.

Here is what our initial design is. [Ignore the huge space between each side of the kitchen, we don't have that big of a walkway!]

[1] Above the sink --- open shelving for cookbooks like we saw done in a Kitchen Cousins episode.
[2] Where our fridge is now we're going to put a pull out pantry beside it and cabinets above.
[3] The biggest change to the space is that we're carrying through the base cabinets into the eat in kitchen. The counter will carry through from the kitchen area to the eat in area - marrying the two spaces. This is where some handy work will be done, and some IKEA hacking.
[4] Our GE Cafe Microwave will go above the stove.
[5] Layout Change: The oven is moving from the end of the counter, to the middle
[6] Flooring: We're continuing the hardwood from the rest of the main floor
[7] The blank wall between the end of the counter and the basement entrance is going to be a wall of tiles [I think]

White cabinets, and tiles & counter top to be determined. More on that later. Anyhow, thought you'd like to see the initial plans!

Update: Ignore the ceiling height in this diagram. Aubrey and I forgot to plunk in that measurement, but we're trying to go for the tallest cabinets possible.

Aubrey and I for a long time really were leaning towards custom cabinetry, and the place we wanted to work with was AyA Kitchens. If we had a bigger budget, we would do it in a heart beat. The service was amazing, and their cabinetry is wonderful. (I've seen it installed and it's perfection) But we're not at a stage where we can afford that level yet. But check them out because I LOVED their service.   

Turning curtains into doors or Things I bought at Ikea: Part 2

I spent most of the weekend working on a project that I can't wait to share with you - just as soon as I finish it. In the meantime, here's a much smaller project I checked off my list.

Much like our interior doors upstairs, the door to our basement storage room was a mess, so we chucked it. But as you can see in the photo below, we needed something to obscure the view.

Um, try to ignore the ugly stucco on the walls. It actually only covers a small area (thank goodness), so we're going to cover it up with pegboard to create a stylish storage area (why is it that simple projects get put off the longest?).

Anyway, on our trip to Boston I picked up a couple of inexpensive curtain panels at Ikea. Last week I bought a $6 tension rod and over the weekend I turned one of the curtain panels into a door.

TBC, as in, to be covered
I washed the panels first to allow for shrinkage, then measured the door opening and hemmed one panel using the iron-on hemming strip that came in the package. So easy. Unfortunately it probably means that we'll continue to put off organizing the storage room (out of sight = out of mind), but on the plus side, I can't wait to cover up that stucco.

What didn't get blogged

I forgot to show you something that came in handy over here when researching counter tops. I save things from magazines (remember, I tear things out and toss the magazines?) Well, in my kitchen file there was this helpful breakdown of counter tops from House & Home Magazine in 2006. I've scanned it so you too can review it if you'd like to gain some knowledge of counter styles.

  • The One of a Kind Spring Show starts next week. I'm going to be one of the judges in an art competition. Yay! How fun is that!?
  • I think I'm going to order that sample of the Cambria Quartz to see if I like it in our house. Although I'm leaning to marble, Aubrey isn't because of the durability factor. So we're going to try to find a compromise.
  • We're loving the appliances, I must show you in more detail next week
  • This week someone commented in my blog post, she dislikes when I do the "Read More" on my posts. Sadly it wasn't very nicely writen. I'm open to critique and comments, but have we lost manners online? If you start off a post saying "I'm not trying to be rude" or "Don't take offense" .... it doesn't make what you're about to write less rude. Anyways that whole thing brings me to ... did you notice that I updated my blog a little bit? The text area is wider and the header changed a bit. More changes coming up over the next few weeks. ;-)

Have a great weekend! xo Lindsay

19 Weeks

This is a just because post. Just because I realize I haven't shared a picture of my growing belly yet. And just because I have a really sweet husband story to tell (sometimes it's the little things that remind me how incredibly lucky I am).

Adam occassionally works at a home for adults with intellectual disabilities and sometimes he works overnight. Last night was one of those nights, and because my BB - which doubles as my alarm clock - was nearly dead and my charger was at work, I asked Adam to give me a 6:30am wake-up call. He didn't need to be awake at 6:30am, but he called me anyway.

Me: "Can you call me back in 15 minutes?"
Adam: "Like a snooze button?"
Me: "Yes."
Adam: "OK."

It's just one of the countless, slightly obnoxious things that I ask him to do for me on a regular basis, which he does, without complaint. He is awesome. I am lucky. That is all.

All 'Jacked' Up...

Okay, so I said I would never do it but I caved. I fell into the trap. I painted a Union Jack piece! 
Now, I can't say that I loved painting this piece at the beginning. I searched all over for a tutorial and no one really gave full detail (and now I know why) of how to paint this design. 

Now, I know you all are thinking, "What's so hard about painting some stripes and lines?" Well, it's not as easy as you'd think especially when you're like me and just want to GIT ER DONE!

 I guess if I'd really thought out the process of laying the tape from the beginning, it would've been a whole lot easier! 

But, alas, I did not. This baby took me two days to fully paint and tape and another couple of days to wax and finish. Now, granted, I AM doing this in the midst of some massive sleep deprivation thanks to our new, sweet little one. 

I am, however, in love with it. And, I am so much more appreciative of the time, talent and skill it takes to accomplish this look. 

And one more confession...I think I am addicted to painting them now so don't be surprised if you see them popping up on more of my pieces! 

I will have to post of tutorial for this when I attempt my second piece. Until then, enjoy my "mess up" photos...

I went from this...

To this...

To this...
Table before wax

And voila!

Countertops, continued

Thank you for the amazing comments yesterday. It still remains that I'm in love with marble but still equally terrified. I'm still reading through all of the comments, taking my time and visiting the links that you've taken the time to include. (Thank you!) One of the links was from Jo, who directed me consider Cambria Quartz counters, and the style called Torquay. I have heard of Cambria, and when I saw the image my mouth dropped. GORGEOUS. I have yet to see it in person but it's kind of awesome, no? Turns out it's the counter from Ramsin Khachi's own kitchen. It could be a nice way to get white into our counter tops, without me freaking out if someone is in our kitchen?

Credit: Photo from Cambria's Flickr Site here

Modern Easter Egg

Last year I posted this DIY project on my modern approach to the Easter Egg and I loved seeing everyone be inspired to do it. [It was even on Craft.com] But like many of you, I get inspired to do holiday carfts, maybe um, the week of the holiday, so it doesn't leave much time to do the project and post it for inspiration for others. I'm seeing Easter projects pop up everywhere so I felt like I could respost it now ahead of time for you to try. I think it's a pretty fun thing to do with kids. All you need are some rocks + paint. It's that simple. But if you want to see the original project, click here.

Paper terrariums

When Nicole shared this gorgeous terrarium postcard set from Quill and Fox, I immediately envisioned the cute prints in frames, hanging in our bathroom. I picked up four VIRSERUM frames at Ikea last week and last night I got to hanging.

A pretty simple project - in anyone else's house - but the area above our toilet (where I hung the prints) was filled with hard-to-remove plastic wall anchors (there must have been a cabinet hanging there at some point), so I had some patching and painting to do first.

I've yet to come across an easy way to remove plastic wall anchors, so I just hammer them into the wall and patch the dent. I'm sure it's not at all what you're supposed to do, but it's easy and it works for me.

Since the mats that came with the frames were too large for the postcards, I just flipped the ad page in the frame and mounted the postcard on that. I like how the grey tint compliments the wall colour. Oh, and I lightly traced the inside edge of each mat with a black coloured pencil, just because I thought it looked better than the white on white on white.

I still need to add a few things to the tank lid to fill up the empty wall space - maybe some magazine storage? A pretty vase filled with blooms?

Here's another view - snapped while standing in front of the vanity mirror. At first I was tempted to add two more frames and call it a day, but from this view I think that would be overload (the frames are actually larger in real life if that makes sense). A few well-chosen objects would add interest (and maybe some colour) and help fill out the space. What do you think?

On Heavy Rotation...

So, I guess this is kinda a blogroll of sorts. I just felt like sharing some new and "old" blogs that I absolutely love and follow and some of my favorite posts from their sites!  Now, this by no means is an exhaustive list but just a few that I'd like to share!

Be sure and head over and pay a visit and let 'em know I sent ya! 

Hope you all are having an awesome week!

 Stay tuned for updates on my progress of refinishing pieces for our store in Tacoma and an introduction of the ladies who now make up our beautiful storefront!  (Four of which are at the top of my blog list, of course!)

Here we go! 


Bride on a Bike 


All for now! 


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