Thursday, 8 May 2014

ART - IT'S WHAT YOU MAKE IT

Over the last four years of home ownership I've accumulated some items that we have used as artwork.  Some of these things are a bit nontraditional so I thought I would (hopefully) offer you some home inspiration! 

You can use whatever you like as artwork.  Do you have a beautifully printed scarf that you love?  A pin or medal from a grandparent?  In hubby's case, a frisbee from an Ultimate Frisbee tournament?  There are no rules!  Frame them!

Here are some of my less conventional pieces.  (Some of these you may recognize from previous posts.)  I'll ease you into this with something not too wild and crazy.  This is a photo I took on our trip to New Orleans and I had it printed on a canvas on the Shutterfly website.


Again, from our trip to New Orleans, I bought three postcards at five dollars each and framed them.  They hang in our kitchen.


Don't make fun of me for this, but one time watching MTV Cribs (I know) we saw a collection of crosses hung over a fireplace.  Hubby and I both thought that was really neat so we pick up crosses on our travels (and by that I mean we have picked up exactly two).  Hopefully over the years we'll collect more!


I posted this little guy awhile ago.  Hubby and I used to say "Hey You" when we were dating.  I made this little sketch (took literally 2 minutes) and framed it.


This was another photo I took in Prague, Czech Republic, at the John Lennon wall.  I took tons of photos of the wall and then framed my fave.  She's in our bathroom.


And now my current favourite.  My grandparents collected tea towels over the years and there is a cupboard at their cottage that is full of them!  I snagged my favourite one (it must have been from a trip to western Canada due to the Rockies in the background) and had it framed with a vintage frame I found online.



There you go!  I hope this inspires you to frame something special to you that you have lying around your house!

Monday, 5 May 2014

WHERE WE BECAME A FAMILY

The news I referred to in my last post is... we're moving!  (Assuming we sell our sweet little house, that is.)  We have mixed feelings about it, but this means we'll be living together and both commuting to work in different directions.  The most important thing is we'll be together and we can deal with the rest.  When our house went on the market one week ago I realized I should take more photos so we can look back on our first home years down the road and remember this little place where we became a family.  I'm mostly sad about leaving this little home of our own, but I know it's the people (and animals) that make a home not the walls around you.

And just for the memories, here is the dining room and living room we spent the last four years of our lives in.  It's just little but it's ours and it's home.













Thursday, 24 April 2014

LEROY MEETS PABLO AKA PICK ON SOMEONE YOUR OWN SIZE

Today I am babysitting a little Havanese doggie named Pablo.  I have been taking photos of Leroy and P all morning because it has been hilarious to watch the two of them!  It started with Leroy being absolutely terrified and retreating (or being herded) into his "home" (kennel).  He was appalled when Pablo joined him and did his best to ignore the little doggie who was sniffing his face and trying to play.  Leroy's scared of doggies.  He gets that from his Mom.  (And also, he's more of a "people person" anyway.)

Eventually Leroy somehow decided that maybe it would be fun to play with P and they spent the rest of the morning chasing each other back and forth from one end of our house to the other...until they both collapsed and slept for most of the afternoon. :)

Forgive me for putting captions with each of these photos but this was the most hilarious thing to watch and I had to give you a play by play.  If you are a dog lover, enjoy.


 Above: Pablo herding Leroy into his home.  Where Leroy thought it was safe...


Above: Until it wasn't safe.  Leroy is trying very hard to stare straight ahead and I think he is probably thinking, "Maybe if I don't move a muscle he'll go away."


Above: Pablo looks a little defeated here and Leroy is still doing his best "avoid eye contact and don't move too quickly".


Above: Leroy looks like a real snob here.  He literally moved his face as far away from Pablo as he could.


Above: My favourite thing about this picture is how Leroy is pressed so far up against the cage that all his fur is poking through.  And honestly - look at his eyes.  That is what fear looks like, people.


Above: Just more of the same.  Avoiding eye contact.


Above: I thought this one was particularly hilarious since Pablo finally decided to give Leroy some personal space, but then proceeded to bark at him and corner him from the outside.


Above: I'm not sure what clicked for Leroy but he suddenly decided maybe Pablo wasn't a bad guy.  After all, he did bring his own toys to play with.  (Mind you, this was two hours after Pablo arrived.)


Above: A friendly sniff in between laps of the house.


Above: Tired out after a good game of chase.  Leroy might still be playing a little hard to get, but all in all a successful day... Until tomorrow morning when Pablo returns and I'm sure we'll go through the same thing all over again!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

LIFE HAPPENS

Sigh.  The stress.  It is aging me greatly.

Our household is currently under some stress and there are some big changes coming our way.  I am studying for my licensing exam, preparing for residency in another city, trying to figure out how we will make that work, just returned from two weeks away for school, buying a new car, second guessing what kind of car to buy, and to top that off - my two oldest friends both had major life events this week (one had a baby and one got engaged)!  It has been a highly emotional week to say the least.  (Not to mention planning a very expensive trip to Europe in the midst of all this.  The tickets were booked prior to knowing about all these other changes or we would be foregoing a trip this year.  There must be a reason why it happened like that, right?)

Life happens.  I definitely married the right person because I have been in a complete tizzy for the last couple of weeks and when I ask hubby how he's feeling about it all, he says, "I can only laugh".  Well, that makes one of us.  And thank goodness for that.

Leroy is somewhat oblivious to everything.  (Is he?  Is he really?)  The last week has left us all feeling like this:


More updates to come but at the moment we are (still) trying to iron everything out.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A COAT OF PAINT

For the past two weeks I've been living in a hotel and attending class in preparation for our licensing exam in May.  It is really difficult being back in class - in the past year I seem to have reverted to the attention span of a three year old.  Studying in a hotel and eating out for every meal hasn't been ideal but I've thankfully managed to fit in some gym time and a little bit of blogging.

Before I left last weekend I put some photos on my computer knowing I wouldn't be very inspired in a beige hotel room.  (And on the subject of photos, one of my classmates also has a Nikon D3100 and she has researched a lot of camera tips and tricks so we went for a little walk this week and she taught me some things!)  And on the subject of beige...

I think I mentioned in a previous post I painted the hallway that leads to our bathroom and master bedroom?  It was the remaining bit of beige in the upstairs (I'm not currently a beige fan).  I wanted plain old white to brighten things up in an otherwise dismal hall.  Here is the before and after.


Obviously this is the before picture (although it's really a "partway through" photo from after I started to paint).  Here you have a little peak of the LIME GREEN bathroom.  I have to put that in caps because it just SCREAMS: LIME GREEN!  Gah!  It is definitely not my favourite colour (although better in my bathroom than in my bedroom).  And as I typed that I remembered a good friend of mine painted her room lime green and purple in high school. :)  At some point the bathroom might get a fresh coat of paint, too...


And after with clean white walls and a little glimpse into our bedroom (with Leroy's landing mat).  It was such a small project that is inexpensive and really only takes a couple of hours, but I think it makes a nice impact.  We all know what a big fan I am of a coat of paint.

Until next time!

Friday, 4 April 2014

CALGARY VISIT

As you probably already know from my post last week, I took a little weekend trip to Calgary with some Air Canada credits I had to use before this fall.  I had a lovely visit with my friend F, a close friend from my undergrad at X.  Seeing her was wonderful and I was sad to leave but look forward to the next time our paths cross!

This was my first time in western Canada and it's fun to see how much our country differs from one coast to the other.  Here on the east coast we're fishermen and woodsmen (historically speaking and somewhat still) and the west is all about black gold.  And obviously black gold is a lot more lucrative than fish or trees.  I was surprised by how much I noticed this!  Even subdivisions (which in the maritimes consist mostly of small bungalows) were incredibly different, with Alberta subdivisions having much larger and nicer homes.  I didn't expect those kinds of things.  And as a city, I liked Calgary.  I'm a country mouse so big stores, restaurants, the ballet...these are a few of my favourite things.  F showed me a good time - and since the purpose of this trip was completely just to visit her, my expectations were far exceeded! :)


The Calgary city landscape.  Last year with the flooding, this low lying area was underwater!

The mountains were hidden behind the clouds and fog for most of my visit.  F's family apparently has a mountain view, but I didn't experience it!  My last day there we drove to Banff and Lake Louise and as the day warmed up some of the fog and clouds burned off and I finally got a peek of these Rockies I've heard so much about.


This was my first glimpse of the Rockies on my last day!  You can see the clouds and fog are obscuring part of the view, but I think they make the photos quite pretty.


Once in the National Park, we took a side road towards Lake Minnewanka.  (Photo above.)


When F asked if I wanted to go to Lake Louise I said yes!  You see tourist photos of Lake Louise everywhere and I was expecting that beautiful, green water - of course forgetting that this was March in Canada.  Water freezes, dummy.  It was still a lovely spot with the ice cleared for skating, an ice sculpture and the Rockies.  In the above photo, the Lake Louise Hotel is behind me, overlooking the lake.  And there's a tea house on top of the mountains to my right where F says Will and Kate stayed on their Canada tour post Royal Wedding.  (She loves them too.)

 
Another mountain view on our drive (above).


We spent the rest of our day in Banff at the hotel and hot springs having a massage (I was veeery spoiled on this trip, I'll freely admit).  It was a wonderful last day to spend with a good friend!  On our way out of Banff F quickly pulled off the road and told me to go get a photo of this guy (above).  He and a friend were just hanging out in someone's yard.  Elk, apparently.  We don't have them on the east coast, and I'll tell you, he was as big as a moose!

All in all a fabulous trip and I will definitely be returning to Alberta (with hubby) some day!  I wish traveling in Canada was more convenient and affordable.  Sadly, my ticket to Calgary and my ticket to Switzerland for June were basically the same price.  It makes it hard when you have fellow X Men who you love spread out across the country!

Thank you for such a wonderful time, F and family!

Will you hate me if I leave you with this cheesy video that hubby has been singing since I got home?  Canada is the Rocky Mountains... ;)

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

NOAH THE MOVIE AND A KIMONO

We don't often see a movie on opening night mainly due to the annoyance of long lines, but this weekend we ventured out for the opening night of Noah, as per hubby's request.  He was very excited to see it and read the (small) section in Genesis earlier in the week as preparation.  I re-read it a few days after seeing the movie and here are the things I took note of from the Bible and movie:

1. Nephilim. I'm sure when I originally read Genesis I had probably never heard of the nephilim and didn't bother to look it up so didn't really grasp what the Bible was talking about.  "Nephilim" are the offspring of an angel and a human.  Genesis 6:4 says "The Nephilim were on the earth in those days - and also afterward - when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown."  Huh.  The movie focused a lot on fallen angels and their role in the building of the ark.  That, however, is not in the Bible.

2. Men were bad.  Like - really bad.  After the movie I asked hubby if he thought humans now were any better than before the flood, and with that train of thought it's probably important to note Genesis 6:5. "...every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time."  Every thought was evil - all the time.

3. All the sons had wives (it seems).  As we were watching the movie which focused very heavily on the fact that only one son had a wife (and therefore the other two sons wouldn't have the chance to pro-create and become "men" - Tim Allan grunt) I was pretty sure that was different from the story...and I was right.  Genesis 6:18. "...and you will enter the ark - you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you."  So as you can see that is wives - plural.

4. The animals. They were my favourite part, I think. I had never thought about how the animals got onto the ark and the movie showing them all swarm the ark together was pretty cool!  The Bible says, "Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark..." That's pretty awesome.  And I had forgotten that there weren't just two of each (as movie Ham tells us).  There were seven of every kind of clean animal (a male and its mate), and two of the unclean animals and birds.  Who knows how they kept the animals alive and fed - the Bible doesn't go into that - but I thought the movie version of putting them into a drug induced sleep was a cool idea.

5. Hollywood, a flare for the dramatic.  As far as we're told in the Bible story, none of the daughters-in-law were pregnant and there was no stowaway on the ark.  Nice try, though.

6. Vegetarians before the ark?  It seems to me (with zero Bible college education) that they were vegetarians before and now, post-flood, they can eat meat. Genesis 9:3.  "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you.  Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything." 

7. The naked scene?  Yeah, that basically happened.  It's true that Noah planted a vineyard, got drunk off the wine, and got naked.  Genesis goes into a little more detail than the movie, showing that Ham found his dad like this and told his brothers.  Shem and Japheth covered Noah without looking and then Noah cursed Ham for not covering him and telling his brothers.

Those are the few things I noticed from the story of Noah (Hollywood version vs Bible version).  And to add a couple of photos, I thought I'd share my movie going outfit.


Coat from Zara, old.  Kimono from Top Shop. Similar here. Tank top from Banana Republic outlet.  Jeans from J Brand.


Skull bracelet from Shop Bop, old (I can't remember the brand).  Rubber turnlock bracelet by Marc Jacobs , old.  Still available on the Marc Jacobs website here.


Booties from Aldo.