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

June 30, 2011

Alice in Designland House Tour

I know, I know.  I promised photos of the painting I made for the bathroom.  Yesterday was the blah-est day ever and my photos turned out strange and gloomy.  If the weather cooperates Friday, I can make good on my promise. 

Until then, I have more exciting news!  The townhouse was featured on Alice in Designland the other day.  Check out the post by clicking here.  But, I'm warning you, you might lose many-an-hour because there is just so much eye candy to be found!  Definitely check out the other house tours.

June 29, 2011

Design*Sponge Feature

I am so excited!  Design*Sponge has featured my DIY Felted Wool Billy Buttons!  Click here to see the post.

This is truly an honor because I have been a longtime reader of Design*Sponge.

A huge "hello" to anyone who found their way here via the feature.  I hope you enjoy my bit of blog and I'd love to hear from you.  Check out my DIY Projects page for more projects I've done (I have more in the works) and my House Tour page for a peak around the townhouse.

To answer a couple Q's asked of me already:
  1. The lamp in the photo is a vintage Lotte lamp with a new creamy-white shade (the original shade was lost).  The sellers knew antiques but not mid-century, so this lamp (one of three purchased) was a steal.  As in, my mom bought it for a good price and I stole it.  But you could legitimately buy one here.
  2. This project doesn't require much wool.  I had a yellow roving, balled up, that was the size of a large grapefruit and after making my billy buttons and a wool bead necklace, I still had some left over.  The wool will shrink, about 50% from a puffy ball to a dense and felted ball.
For my blog readers, you might have noticed my Billy Buttons were "staged" (gasp!) for Design*Sponge.  To anyone new, I make my blog photos as real as possible.  Although sometimes I run the swiffer around or shove the laundry in the basement, if you popped in on me randomly you'd find the house looking pretty much like it does on my house tour.  But to better showcase my Billy Buttons, I set up a little faux vignette and I love how it turned out.

Want to see some behind the scenes fun?

This is where the Billy Buttons normally live:

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Iittala Find: Alvar Aalto Dish!

I really love the Iittala Alvar Aalto collection but the pieces I ogle most, in typical Tanya-fashion, tend to be the most expensive (go big or go home).  A vase over $200 would bring me little joy, I think, because I would be too worried about knocking it over to enjoy it.  Breaking vases is a real fear.  Years ago I bought an amazing chunky, gigantic vase at a yard sale, only to send it to the recycling bin after only a few uses.  Granted, one use was growing a pirate, so perhaps we were a tad rough with it?

At a super messy mid-century shop I ventured into recently, I spotted an Alvar Aalto dish.  With a typical price tag of $80-90, I think the $30 I paid is a good deal . . . ?

White Alvar Aalto Dish
White Alvar Aalto Dish
White Alvar Aalto Dish
White Alvar Aalto Dish
I can't stop photographing it, so pretty
& curvy.
In any case, it is bringing me joy.  So don't even think about telling me if I overpaid! 
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June 28, 2011

Paint a Wooden Bowl for a Fun Kitchen Accent

Have you ever picked up an item at a yard sale or flea market - loved it - but deemed it unworthy of purchase because it just "won't work".  I've been ogling giant wooden bowls for years, but we have too much wood in this house.  Between the hardwood floors, teak furniture and veneered cabinets (that I painstakingly re-varnished), a wood bowl would be too much.  But then I saw this photo and a light bulb went off:

Aqua Wooden Bowl
Better Homes & Gardens

Did you spot the turquoise bowl?  It looks to be painted on the outside and wood on the inside.  Not sure if this is a DIY project or not, but what an ideal to steal.  $10 says I won't find a single wooden bowl for the rest of my life.
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June 27, 2011

Grey + Yellow Bathroom Inspiration

With one (formerly) stalled bathroom decorated, I have decided to tackle the main bath.  Not much is needed at this point.  Just some more COLOUR (maybe in the form of artwork?) because with all the grey, it looks so disjointed from the rest of the townhouse.

Grey and White Bathroom

Grey and White Bathroom
Needs more colour . . .
I searched for inspirational photos this weekend and rustled up some fantastic, but perhaps too austere, results - like the lovely bathroom below.  Love the charcoal grey wall and crisp painting, but it just won't fit with the rest of the townhouse:

Living Etc. via Apartment Therapy
Then I saw this bathroom.  I really don't get the dress in the bathroom (or the radio - isn't that a bathtub no-no?), but the colour palette and mix of patinas gives me goosebumps. 

Velvet Moss
I am also really intrigued by the idea of almost neon yellow artwork with a neutral palette like mine.  The bedding in the photo below really reminds me of the tones in our bathroom flooring.

Completely Coastal
Grey and White Bathroom
The bedding in the inspiration photo above looks like the floor, right?

Living Etc. via SVK Kitchen & Bath
I think I might actually implement the grey & yellow scheme I have been mooning over
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June 24, 2011

Me? Awww Shucks.

Thanks to Barbara from Hodge Podge for passing on a Versatile Blogger Award to me.  I am honored because Barbara, and her blog, are amazing.  Her DIY projects are so fantastic you won't even believe they are DIY. 

As per the rules, I have to share 7 tidbits about myself.  On the heels of my Kreativ Blogger and Stylish Blogger awards you might not want to know anything else about me, but here goes:

I use cans and cans of hairspray to control my fine hair and this grooming habit necessitates a simple, clean bathroom that is easy to clean.
    Not a lot of accessories here for a reason.
Sometimes I am consumed with envy.
    Sigh.  Jen Ramos' Kitchen
    Via Apartment Therapy
I love travelling, even to unexciting places.
    Not suggesting Kentucky wasn't exciting . . .
I drive a manual transmission vehicle.  Always have.  Always will.  And I'm weirdly snobby about this.
A messy house makes me edgy and irritable.


I'm not that big on birthdays.


I miss the Gilmore Girls.


Now, to pass on the fun.  The bloggers behind these blogs are truly versatile and it is a pleasure dropping by their little piece of the blogosphere because they make me laugh, or think, or smile, or relax.

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June 23, 2011

Inspiration: Yellow & Grey Rooms

This is the story of how I (sometimes) come to like the things I like: my mom starts to like it.  At first, I'm ambivalent.  Then I start to see how the thing (colour palette, furniture item, etc.) works for her.  Then I keep my eye out for it, for her.  I endure it.  Then I snag a couple pieces for either of us.  Then I start to like it, slightly.  Then I become obsessed and barely remember not liking it.  This has happened with:
  • Mid-century design
  • Teak (the oiling, the denting - I wasn't always a fan)
  • Natural fibres for clothing (I was into polyester, at first - wash & wear, baby)
  • Cashmere (now I can't wear my old - itchy - wool sweaters)
  • White walls (I once painted mine kermit green!)
  • The eyeliner flick
  • The monkey song
And now, with the stellar combination of yellow and grey.  I know, I know, it has been done to death but, thanks to mom, I'm hooked.  Just look at how many inspiration pics I've amassed:

Design Sponge

Design Sponge

Ish & Chi Home Tour
Ish & Chi Home Tour
Apartment Therapy
Apartment Therapy
Via Habitually Chic
Via Nordic Rooms
Via Stacy Sheppard
I definitely want to make cubbies like this!
Via Pinterest
How great a take on the herb wall is this?
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June 22, 2011

To Expedit, With Love (Part I)

UPDATE: Check out my Expedit Hack here and take a look at my second round-up, this time of Expedit Hacks, right here.

I love our expedit bookcase.  So much so that I quickly abandoned the idea of replacing it, even with an amazing, vintage teak modular unit, when we were considering options for Hubby's desk.  I have actually owned four expedit bookcases!  Two were left at my parents' when I moved out because they fit the awkward space under the slanted roof on the top floor perfectly.  The fourth resides in our basement.  I love that the expedit never warps and makes organizing books by theme, or by colour, a cinch - plus the little cubbies are great for adding decorative items.   

With ideas for Hubby's desk still in the works, but a replacement for the expedit definitely off the table, I thought I'd pay tribute with a post dedicated to some nicely curated expedits. 

Do you have an expedit bookcase you'd love to show off?  Send me an email with a photo of your expedit, plus your styling tips, ( because I'd love to feature it on my next "To Expedit, With Love" (yes, there will be Part II.  I am like a lovestruck teen here.) 

The Decorologist
Apartment Therapy
Ten June

Design Manifest
Cameron MacNeil
Such a cool idea, right?
Alanna Cavanagh
The madness!
Poppy Kat
And mine (which really pales in comparison to the awesome ones above.  I think some rearranging is in order!):

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June 21, 2011

Suggestions for Framimg Oddly Sized Art?

I bought this vintage 20X24 print (the first of a series) a few weeks ago.  I was hoping to find a great frame and post some photos of it on our walls but no such luck.  This print is homeless and frameless and needs your help.  Ikea, Michael's (and so far, treasure hunting) have all failed to yield results.  Any ideas for a great (affordable) frame?

Not quite as vivid as this pic - more subdued
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June 19, 2011

Treasure Hunting Report

Fondly referred to as "Treasure Hunting" by one of my friends, hitting yard sales on a warm summer day thrills me.  The last few weeks of treasure hunting, including a couple estate sales, yielded modest results.  I'm trying not to fill our house with things we don't need, but it is hard - especially when yard sale finds are so inexpensive! 

I found a great mid-century chair (solid oak and teak) for $25 this weekend, but walked away.  We already have two random teak chairs (guest room & living room) and have no need for a third.  A pair I would have taken home, I'm not going to lie.  But what we need is a chair Hubby can use for his (currently imaginary) desk.  So I'm holding out for something perfect. 

While I may exercise restraint for larger items, the smalls get me every time.  Here are two of my recent favorite finds, plus an oddity I couldn't resist.

I found this gorgeous, spike-y glass vase for $4.00 at an estate sale last week.

I need another vase like a hole in the head.
I also found another McCoy Planter (the smaller white one), to add to my growing collection, for only $1 at a yard sale last weekend.

White McCoy Planter

Yesterday (among other finds) I picked up this cute little trivet, thinking some spray paint would spruce it up.  Then I saw it is stamped "Finland".  Now I hate to paint over it, but it has seen better days . . . thoughts?

Do you go treasure hunting?  What great finds have you taken home recently?
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