Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

August 31, 2011

Cat in the Cupboard

Remember how, in July, I got a little lucky with the yard sales and bought lots of vases and home accessories?  Well, after visiting our home town (where I found many of my fun finds) Hubby & I drove back to the townhouse, I hurriedly took care of a few last minute details and two days later I was overseas.  All of my finds stayed packed in a box (or two or three).  Now I am a bit overwhelmed by the task of finding everything a home, especially because my "home" for the last month has been so, ummm, "spartan" . . . 

My mom has a good handle on displaying beloved items without her space looking packed to the gills.  I love the cute little handmade goods and artwork she has scattered about her house, displayed in a casual but distinctly un-cluttered way.  I think the key is to have one piece showcased at a time.  This bookcase is pretty spare (other than being jammed full of books) and this one ornamentation is given room to "breathe".

Before I embark on my unpacking mission, what are your tips for not letting small bits and bobs overwhelm or clutter a space?

This handmade cat (actually a pen-holder) was purchased when I lived in Kingston, ON


August 30, 2011

Blogger Back in Town

Yay!  I am back on Canadian soil and it feels good. 

So sorry for abruptly abandoning the blogosphere.  I intended on blogging from overseas, but my computer had other ideas.  It is probably for the best because, while in Hungary for the last month, my desire to read, hear, talk about anything decorating-related really waned, on account of my living in total squalor (see photos below - the Hungarian Scholarship Board lied when they said we would be staying in a "hotel".  Oh well, it was free.). 

I was worried that maybe I lost my mojo.  But, home for only a couple days, I have already cleaned our bedroom closet, photographed a few pottery pieces I bought before I left and contemplated where to hang my Hungarian embroidery piece (I had it framed!).  So it seems there was no cause for concern.

I look forward to blogging (gosh, I missed it and I have soooo many posts backlogged from the summer) and trying to get caught up on your recent projects and fun finds.  Leave me a comment or drop me an email - I'd love to hear from my blog friends!

My room - shared with two German gals. 
One went barefoot a lot.  All day.  On the street.

My little nook - I snagged the bed on its own.

Our disgusting bathroom. 

My closet.  You can see how I gave up on keeping it tidy.
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August 17, 2011

DIY Martha Stewart Inspired Earrings

SO sorry, blog friends (and mom).  My month long study in Hungary has been madness and my computer exploded (I am at the mercy of my roommate, whose laptop did not commit suicide) and that combination has led to too little blogging.

But I was thinking of blogland and DIY projects today because I wore a pair of earrings I whipped up last month.  I wanted to share because none of the friends I have made here seem to care about DIY.  However, I am headed to a Hungarian Folkcraft Festival this weekend and am hoping to find some inspiration and like minded people.

What inspired the earrings I wore today?  Well, I was flipping through some hand-me-down Martha Stewart Living Magazines and spotted this photo of a DIY necklace with shell pink, pale lime green, silver and highlighter-orange beads:

I loved the colour palette, but not the project, so I made a pair of earrings in the same colours.  I really like the combination of pale pink with citrus-y hues.  I used the same technique I outlined here (for making more simple earrings), and attached the straight pins to a short length of chain for a more dangly effect.

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August 5, 2011

Inspiration: Tea for Twenty

While visiting my hometown, I spent some time with my Mummu (my grandma). My Mom, Hubby & I went over one super humid afternoon for a game of scrabble (we were in search of more air conditioned pastures) and my Mummu had set out some tea cups for us. Specifically, a few cups from the colourful set I recently contributed to with a yard sale find. Remember I mentioned she has one in every colour? (The black one is missing - there is currently an investigation and my grandpa is the lead suspect). I love this Royal Albert set so much, I snapped a billion photos of it and it has inspired a new collection: mismatched/matching mixing bowls!

Why is the caption "Tea for Twenty"? Although I have photographed a tea cup in every colour, my Mummu has duplicates of many of the colours and can serve coffee and tea to a houseful of 100 people, using this set (plus another set).

So here is how I was inspired: my Mummu found me this turquoise mixing bowl, yard saling - of course, but I only have the one.   My mom recently bought a lovely gooseberry printed pink and white set (see next photos) that I am envious of.  I LOVE nested bowls but think that collecting them in this pattern might be a nightmare.  Inspired by my Mummu's mismatched/matched tea cups, I plan to find the same style of bowl, but in different colours, for a unique set.

My lonely bowl . . .

My mom's lovely "new" set of Pyrex bowls.

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August 4, 2011

Vase Craze

I am still abroad, but am so back logged with photos of of purchases, DIY goodies and funny stories that my post will be un-travel-related for a few more days.  As a bonus, I am a bit homesick and blogging about home-y thing is making me smile.

While still in Canada, I went completely nuts for vases (see here & here).  Odd because I rarely fork over the clams for fresh cut flowers.  I guess I need to make more Billy Buttons.

I purchased this turquoise piece at a brand-spanking-new antique store that opened up in my hometown.  It was only $12!  It is marked "Staffa F" but, like most markings, it is lost on me.  I just love the colour and the beehive shape.  Sadly, it looked naked all by its lonesome . . .

This vintage 50s kitchen still remains in the top floor of my
childhood home.  My great-grandfather built the house and it used to house three families!

I rarely buy home accessories at Winner's or Homesense but I found a tall white vase (handmade in Sri Lanka) that has a splash of colourful glaze at the top and it looks perfect with my new vintage piece.  Check it out (living temporarily) on my mom's expedit unit (expedit love!).  I think the difference in height makes these two pieces the perfect friends.

I have been so absent from my favorite blogs, so tell me about your most recent find!
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August 2, 2011

Where in the World is Tanya?

Surprise!  I'm in Hungary.  On a different continent.  I mentioned awhile ago that I'd be taking a long flight and I did, over the weekend.  I am here because I won a scholarship in connection with my PhD research.  I'm studying here for a month with other students from all over the world (but I'm the only North American to have won this scholarship).  Hubby is still at home in Canada.

This trip is pretty crazily timed because we were JUST in our hometown visiting my family and attending a wedding.  We drove 1500 km home, then another 200 km the next day because I flew from another city.  Whew.

Even though I am abroad, there is a bit of a time lag in my posting - I still have fun projects and ideas to blog about, imported from Canada.  It might be a few weeks before I even have a chance to blog about any inspiration I pick up in Hungary!  But I'm hoping to find some great artwork here.  My posting frequency will also be a little less while I am here, too.

The painted tiles (first photo) that hang on my mom's walls are by a Hungarian artist.  My mom bought these years and years ago.  And the bottom etching in the bathroom (second & third photos) is also by a Hungarian artist - my mom picked it up the last time we were here and I artfully snagged it.  

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