Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Tale of My Old/New Stool (aka. It Sure Took Long Enough to Write This Post)

Those of you who've been to my house have probably seen this stool - either as it started or as it now looks. It became a part of my home when Lana, Vickie, and I moved in - two Januaries ago. For a year and a half we used it as it was - it's appearance didn't matter. We only cared about it's usefulness. And useful it was! Billy (I've decided just now to give it a name) lived in our house - in various places, as a chair at the desk, as a object to prop up our closet mirror, and finally as a bathroom stool, providing a place to throw clothing while in the shower, or (once Derek and I were married) for Derek to put his work clothing the night before, so he didn't wake me at 4:00 in the morning by rooting around the closet. However, as useful as Billy was/is I couldn't help but be... unhappy about his blah, brown state.

Exhibit A: Boring Billy

So though I had ideas of what I might do with Billy, to give him a lovely makeover, it took me quite some time to actually get out and change him up (big surprise there, right?). But one sunny, June morning, I left the house for a walk, and stopped in at our local fabric store. I searched high and low for the perfect cloth to re-do Billy's seat, originally an ugly, out-dated, brown pleather fabric, (I wanted something subtle, with coral as the main colour) when my eyes fell upon this. 

Not at all subtle, but oh, so perfect!

It was destiny! I was sure. I snatched up a yard (as well as a yard of plain white fabric because the cloth was a thinner one and I wanted to make sure it wasn't see-through). When I took it home and showed it to Billy, he loved it too! (Billy became a very... flamboyant young man with the introduction of his new clothing). I also picked up a can of Rustoleum's flat black spray paint, because with such a lovely cloth, I couldn't leave Billy's legs such a boring brown!

Exhibit B: Removing Leg Brackets

The process of re-upholstering Billy was actually rather simple. I first unscrewed the brackets that held the legs on, and once those were apart, I took the old pleather off. Some of the staples were difficult to get out, and thankfully, my dear husband got in on the action (while I made us some supper).

Exhibit C: Dear Husband helping out... Mmmm...

From there on in, with poor Billy completely disassembled, I set to work figuring out how exactly to attach the new dressings! It took some playing around (and a fair number of wasted staples), but eventually I got it. First I stapled on the plain white fabric, pulling it tightly the entire time, and making sure that my corners were as crease-less as possible, and once that was done, it was time to move on to the pretty fabric.

Exhibits D & E: Stapling on the white fabric/what it looked like when the white was completely done.

Attaching the pretty fabric was essentially the same process as attaching the white fabric (though because its a little bit "silkier" it did cause some difficulties, and I also had to make sure that the pattern was lined up properly). But, all in all, I managed. And when Billy's seat was fully dressed up, all I had to do was attach the newly painted legs to the seat and set him up!

And of course, no tale of home decor improvement is complete without the after pictures. See how he shines? Billy is much happier, now, I assure you. For not only is he useful, but he's also quite handsome. Look how well he goes with the dark, moody bathmat, and the hugh, plush white and yellow towels! He fits right in. 

Exhibit F: (For fantastic!) 

So, that is the story of Billy the bathroom stool. Thank you all for reading!

I went and did it!

Yup. I pre-ordered Young House Love's book (coming out November 06 05 - wrong date... oops).

Picture found here.

For those of you who haven't seen before a mention to them on my lovely little blog, John and Sherry Petersik are probably my two favourite bloggers in the world. Fantastic style (when it comes to both home decor AND writing!). In fact, if I'm being honest, it was reading their blog that inspired me to start this little guy up - along with the obvious "post production blues". ;)

While you can find out way more about them (and their book) on their blog,, let me just say - as an introduction - that they're a couple who live and work together on their blog and on their home. As they say,  they're "two DIY dorks learning as we go and sharing all of the details". 

Anyway, all this to say that I can't wait until the book shows up (three months!) and I get to dive into all the never-seen-before photos and home decor tutorials!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

I slept in this morning. I didn't really mean to, but it just sort of happened. When my alarm (aka. Derek texting me) went off at 8:00am, it was raining outside, and I just lay there in bed, listening to the rain. This went on for two and a half hours - I drifted in and out of dream-filled sleep - until Derek texted me at 10:30 (lunch break for him), and I pulled my heavy body and tired eyes out from the wonderful comfort of the bed sheets.

It's becoming increasingly difficult for me to get up on time. Before Derek and I got married, I almost always went to bed at the same time (around 11), and got up at 8:00... Now that we're married, now that my roommates are gone, my schedule has fallen to the wayside. I don't know what caused it, the sudden change of, well, everything? The fact that Derek is always up before me?

There is so much I want to accomplish - so much I know I ought to be accomplishing - but even little things like doing the dishes seem too far away. I need a schedule.

Oh schedules. North American life depends on them - these life filing, time watching lists that keep us organized and productive. Sometimes it's easy to get trapped in them, but I think for me, today, and at least for the next little while, I'm trapped in the opposite. Yep, I need a schedule.

Friday, 10 August 2012

As Promised...

...The Count of Monte Cristo. Okay. I actually didn't promise to write a post. I just mentioned that I really ought to write a post about it. But here I am, so we can say it was a promise (because it's actually being fulfilled!). I wish that there were some photos that I could share with you, but alas, all I have at the moment is the play poster. Maybe sometime in the future I'll be able to share more visual pretties, but for now, I'll just do my best to describe some of the process and experience in words. After, of course, sharing the poster.

Don't worry. Our actual count was much less creepy - and pedophile-esque.

Basically, things started with the play back in May, though I wasn't a part of it until mid-June (busy getting married/honeymooning and all). But it was alright, because I really only missed the read-throughs. Which I then got to do on my own! 

You'll have to keep in mind that this was QUITE different than the movie. Richard basically abridged the book directly into the play, so the two characters that I played aren't even IN the movie (though one of my husband's was). I played Madeline Caderousse, and Madame Villefort. My characters were both quite interesting, though it was not at all surprising that I was cast as them - they did fit into the general role that Richard puts me as.

Madeline is the poor wife of the tailor Gaspard Caderousse. The two are greedy, and somewhat crude in their attitudes and mannerisms. Gaspard is drunk almost every time he's on stage. Madeline is loud, demanding, a terrible nag. They never have a kind word for each other - finding it much more "fullfilling?" to argue constantly. About halfway through the play, Gaspard kills his wife, only to be later killed in the third act. Tragic... but no one's sorry to see them go.

Madame Villefort is the second wife Monsieur Villefort - the man who sent Edmond, aka. the Count, to prison to save his own skin in the beginning of the story. However, as it turns out, she is even more corrupted than her husband. Though she retains a subtle, soft-spoken character (except when dealing with her son, in which case she's snappy and mean), it is eventually discovered that, by means of poison, she has killed her husband's original in-laws, and eventually kills her step-daughter, accidentally kills her son, and in the end kills herself.

Essentially - good times with the Count of Monte Cristo. The play turned out quite well. It was about three and a half hours long, but the audience didn't seem to mind. We got a number of comments about how people were just sitting on the edge of their seats the whole time! Though that might have been because the chairs at the Manitou Opera House tend to be a bit uncomfortable.

The costumes were fantastic (props to Ruth and Vanessa). And the sets/props just added to the entire thing. It was gorgeous. I really wish I could show some photos. Maybe eventually? Well, that's about it. Thank you to such a group of wonderful actors (and backstage peoples). Made my summer a blast.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Bathroom Mood Board

Well, it's been awhile, I must say. Almost two months since my last post. Where has the time gone? Silly Chana. Maybe the inspiration to blog has come from the fact that I just finished a play this past weekend (did The Count of Monte Cristo with Candlewick Productions). The blog was actually started because of those inevitable down days following the "play high". Speaking of The Count, I probably ought to do a post dedicated to that, but ah well... Onto the exciting bits. For those of you who've been reading on this blog, you may have noticed that our bathroom has gotten most of the home-decorating focus (painting, decor upgrades, etc.). Well, I figured I ought to share some ideas I have of where it might be heading. Now, mind you the mood board might not look the prettiest/organized (as this is the first time I've attempted to create one) but I think it gets some of the general ideas across. The idea is for it to have a fairly fun beachy feel to it. So, here goes!

1. Well, this basket Derek and I actually own already. It's from Ten Thousand Villages and I got it several months ago. In fact, I mention it here on the blog. It goes with the beach theme and adds a nice natural feel to the room. (We use it to store extra toilet paper rolls.)

2. This shower curtain from West Elm is kinda what I'm looking for. I want something with a bigger pattern - preferably in grey - so as not to compete with some of the smaller patterns/items in the room (ie. the stool that sits next to the curtain). At $60 with shipping, though, it's a bit out of my price range. I'm considering DIYing a shower curtain like it, but we'll have to see about that.

3. These towels can be found at Pottery Barn for $34.17 each, however Superstore actually carries almost identical ones for either $13, or $17 (for the oversized ones). I love the white simplicity of them, but the coloured stripes keep them from being boring. And I don't know about the Pottery Barn version, but the ones from Superstore are pretty darn comfy! I actually picked up a couple in tan today (they looked grey in the store) however, when I got them home, I realized the colour was off, so I'll be returning them tomorrow and picking up to in yellow instead.

4. This beauty of a stool is something I DIYed a couple months back. I think I mentioned it and said I'd be blogging about it in the future... still gotta give a detailed post on it, but she's quite lovely. and very handy. Good place to put clothing while you're showering, or to store a drink if you're taking a bath, etc. Love it!

5. I found this guy on Urban Outfitters today, and it was love at first sight! I'm not normally one for loading up my counter space with all kinds of objects - tend to like to keep it clear - but can't you just imagine him? He'd completely "fun" up any bathroom. And he'd free up space in our overflowing medicine cabinet!

6. These are some of the basic colours that seem to be the dominant theme in the bathroom. They're not EXACTLY the colours I'm going for (they're all actually a bit too pastel-y), but you get the idea?

7. Finally, I'd love to see some sea-shell/barnacle/rope etc. themes happening in the room. Not sure how exactly to implement them, but I'm creative.

Well, everyone. That's my latest post. Hope you all enjoyed it. And I really do hope that I'll be back again soon with all kinds of things about my life.