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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Living room... how to style it?

It's not often that I get to style a room!  But our new wedding-present furniture just arrived (thanks, parents!!), we have a new living room rug, and now I get to we get to (sorry Mike) pick out some fun accents for the room.  Here is a quick shot of the current living room:


Looks kinda bare, doesn't it?  I also have a few issues to deal with:
  • The room is pretty dark right now: dark furniture and dark wall paint
  • The colours of wall paint are interesting... orange and a dark yellowy-beige - they don't quite "go" with our new grey furniture
  • The curtain (came with the place) is bronze
  • The room is on the smaller side
So here are some ideas I've got for decorating it:

 This garden drum stool would look very stylish next to our chaise, I think.  I've seen one at our HomeSense that actually has a distressed damask print painted on it.

These are two posters I got Mike for his last birthday.  I think they will look fabulous hung in the living room.

To tie the mantle, the lamp and the rug to the grey furniture, I thought some ivory pillows may look nice, with some coloured accent pillows to brighten the space up.

Now I'm no style expert... I'm wide open to critiques and advice for this challenge!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Today's online thrift-site finds

So today I broadened my search to PEI.  There can be found some lovely items, including:


... this chandelier.  I love it.  I only wish I could put it in a suitcase and take it back to NL with me... think they'll still be a hot style item in a few years when I move back to the Maritimes?
Now this next item might look a little ho-hum:

... but its true value is revealed when you flip open the desktop:

Aside from the fact that I am just dying to dust it, I rather like this little desk.  This would give a home office a lot of character.

Now, this surprises me.  Reportedly Gerd Lange originals from West Germany (the ad even shows the manufacturer's stamp), this style of chair is so current:


Couldn't you just imagine them gathered around a certain harvest table?

I have my eye on this bed (two available) as an item for a future PEI cottage.  Looks like L.M. Montgomery herself might have slept on something like this.  That cozy wool blanket is calling to me on a chilly night like tonight - luckily I have one just like it upstairs!

Well, that's it for today.  Let me know what you think of these finds!

Monday, August 24, 2009


During my blog surfing over the past few months, I came across this recipe for Coconut, Tomato and Lentil Dhal on Heart of Light.  I immediately bookmarked it, thinking I'd make it on some long winter's day.  Well, you know me and my tastebuds - I just couldn't wait that long.


Rachel at Heart of Light describes it as an "insanely delicious meal" and I would whole-heartedly agree.  There are many ingredients to the recipe.  Shockingly, I actually found everything I needed today at the grocery store - not something that often happens, especially when the delivery trucks have been stuck in North Sydney on account of a hurricane!  Normally I wouldn't include every last item in a recipe but this time I did and I can't imagine skipping on any of them.  Among the key flavours were the lime and cilantro... the flavour just explodes! 


And the toasted almonds added a perfect little crunch.


Now, I'm not gonna lie - most of my favorite 'homemade' curries in this life have come out of a bottle.  But it was fun this time to do it from scratch.  The only semi-hard-to-find item (in Newfoundland anyway) I think would be the garam masala... not sure where you'd find it, actually.  I had some in the cupboard that Dad had acquired at a grocery conference in Toronto.



So, consider this recipe recommended!  Let me know if you try it, and what you think.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Beverage service

I am generally a beer-and-wine girl, but my imagination has been captured by the many home cocktail-bar set-ups I've been seeing around the blogosphere (e.g. here and here and here).


The idea has been in the back of my mind since seeing my friend Kaitlin's awesome tray stand-style wet bar in 2007. And it was rekindled when we moved into our current house - there is a little spot between the dining and living rooms that just cries out for such an attraction.

After much deliberation, Mike and I decided on what our dream bar would look like. And sadly, this dream bar is simply not available for purchase in Newfoundland. I have scoured the classifieds sites, the furniture stores, and the thrift shops. So, until that little cart/table of our dreams comes along, we will just have to make do with an attractive little placeholder.


Not only is it attractive, I found it on sale for $30 at Wicker Emporium (I am fairly proud of myself).

Until next time, cheers!


Friday, August 21, 2009

This is our house

My husband and I moved into a new (old) house a few months ago. We are not yet prepared to buy, and are happy to rent this little place. It has several very charming features that are worth sharing.

For instance: the doorknobs. The amazing thing about them is that they all work perfectly, and are in place on every interior door.


Next: the fireplace catches your eye immediately upon entering the home. The original iron grating is surrounded by brick-look tiles and a cream-coloured mantle. We have yet to use it but it apparently works fine with those supermarket logs, you know the ones I mean.


Finally (for now): the tie rack. Smacking of 1950s professionalism, it is mounted in an upstairs bedroom. Since this photo was taken, it's been adorned with numerous ties. I think it's very happy to be in use once again.


I intend to make a future post once Mike and I add a few more charming details of our own to the place. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Currently knitting...

The project that I'm currently working on is actually a repeat performance. I knit the "Give a Hoot" mitten pattern for my sister, a.k.a. tidyowl. Ravelers can find the pattern here. Here are my sister's mittens:


I hope she takes it as a compliment that I loved the mittens so much I had to make my own! So there is another pair currently on the needles.

The reasons I love this pattern so much:
  • It holds my attention
  • It lets me do cables without committing to a suicide sweater
  • It knits up quick. I finished an entire mitten on the morning of my sail from NL to PEI in July. This attracted a lot of attention from fellow knitters on board.
  • This one relates to #1. I just love knitting mittens. Just when you are getting sick of the cuff, bam, it's done. Then onto the thumb gusset. Before you know it, you're sliding those stitches onto a holder. Then, and this is the part I really like about this pattern, you are into the cabling. Where every stitch and row count. Really makes the body of the mitten fly by (normally, this would just be one long sleeve of knit stitches). Then decrease. Then you have a really cool, attractive, cozy mitten *with an owl on it*.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Today's online thrift-site finds

Mike and I have been eyeing this table. At $185 it is slightly more expensive than our current table (a thrift-store find from 8 years ago) but is oh-so-trendy...

This antique 'kidney desk' (ever heard of one before?) is available for a cool $475 in St. John's.

These two basic chairs would go a long way in designing a living room. $400 each, in St. John's.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Julie & Julia

I went to see Julie & Julia last night with a few friends. What a story. It's about food, finding yourself, and - surprisingly enough - marriage. Which is timely right about now...

As well, I will be purchasing "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". I have a new Dutch oven that would fit a mean beef bourguignon.

Why I'm not minding today's weather

It is a pretty grim day out there.


But I'm not minding it, because yesterday - thanks to Anna - I had my fill of beautiful weather and the outdoors. Blueberry picking!


The taste of the first blueberry sent me back to the early '90s. In a meadow somewhere in Eastern PEI with my siblings not far away. With a half-empty Country Crock tub in one hand, and a tongue stained blue.

But back to yesterday. The view was amazing, as is typical of the Newfoundland coast.


A nice cool breeze was blowing in off the North Atlantic, eventually necessitating long sleeves in spite of the mid-August sun. The hillside was very zen.


Now I'm looking forward to baking with the berries this week. Baking on a rainy day, perhaps?