Housey Stuff

Sunday at Aberfoyle!

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Since the summer is rapidly (DAMN rapidly) coming to an end, and since Tami the Beautiful invited me, I decided to take the Sunday this weekend and travel to Aberfoyle Antique Market for my yearly “Buy Junk” antiques spree.

The morning started with a lovely snuggle from Molly, who was sad to see me heading out so early.

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Aberfoyle is actually much closer to the city than I thought.  After a quick stop for coffee, Tami and I were pulling into the parking lot while “sit-jumping” with excitement at all the dirty old things we would look at.

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The day was perfect for aimlessly wandering through piles of old shit.  As you can see, the booths were replete with old 70’s mumus and haunted childhood dolls.  So basically, my paradise.

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First, some of the things I didn’t buy:

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Whatever the fuck this thing was, I didn’t buy.

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Kim Mitchell Album I didn’t buy.

And of course, the usual gauntlet of AMAZING old furniture that I don’t need/can’t afford/have no space for:

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So, seriously, if I had a store I would have bought this huge island/display case in a heartbeat.  If I ever do buy a store I’m going to send these pictures to a carpenter and request an exact replica:

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LOOK AT THE BACK.  It’s beautiful from all sides>>>>>!!!!

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Anyhoo.  Other things I didn’t buy but considered buying include a wood-grain Thermos, a book on “Canadian” ettiquette, and a big blue desk with an old calendar thing on it.

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I regret not buying the Canadian Ettiquette book, because it included such useful information as “Where should wraps be checked?” at my “First Formal Dance”:

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OK, on to things I did buy.

I am doing a little side project right now that requires the storage of a bunch of shit.  Since I can’t stand the look of cardboard boxes piled in my kitchen, I wanted to get some super hipstery old dirty boxes to store things in.

I spent an inordinate amount of time deciding on *which* dirty old boxes to buy.  At first I thought the scotch box and the butter box with the rose on it…

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But there was something aesthetically pleasing about the two butter boxes together and I ended up buying the pair:

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Tami saw this first – a pure marble ashtray and LIGHTER.  So the lighter is like, a big marble cube and you put lighter fluid in it and IT WORKS AND LIGHTS YOUR CIGARETTE/CIGAR/QUESTIONABLE THINGS.  It is SO beautiful:

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I placed it with my other raw marble ashtray.  Because I want to collect them now.  I decided.

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Speaking of collections, my collection of Scheurich vases is slowing gaining momentum.  I think I have at least five already… but most of them are the cream/brown or blue/green, and I always lust after the red ones because they are SO MID CENTURY that they give me a design boner.

The red tall one below is really unique and I got a great deal on it.  The short crazy one beside it *probably* (read: definitely) isn’t West German, but it was dirt cheap and COME ON.  IT’S AMAZING:

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I put them on my shelf with my only other red Scheurich… a small little baby.  She looks so much more comfortable with her friends around:

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Tami and I also bought these two wicked pitchers.  They are our friendship pitchers.

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Bought this teeny glass box that I’m going to use as a terrarium.  Obviously.

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Finally, my collection of dirty old bottles needed to get a bit fleshier, so I managed to procure these FIVE wicked elixir and medicine bottles for EIGHT DOLLARS ALL IN.  WHaaaaaaaa???

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Finally, this old green goblet.  Why?  I don’t fucking know.  It’s old-timey looking.

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I’m still working on finessing my “dirty old bottle montage”, but I’m already happy about the direction it’s taking…

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What a profitable day (of unnecessary junk procurement)!  All that remains is to sit back among my dirty old bottles and watch the sun go down, gently nodding to my success.

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Posted in Favorite Things, Housey Stuff, Things, Vintage Love No Comments »

Deck Life 2013

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This summer’s deck motif be killin’ it.  It’s possible I ordered a bunch of vintage silk sarees and am planning to construct a sweet-ass saree-based tent in one corner of the deck.  And by possible I mean it happened and I’m going to.

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DIY Dream Catcher

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I have this weird space in my bedroom between the door to my outdoor balcony and a column that I have been meaning to fill with something – originally I had two hanging plants there, but since I have a fundamental lack of motherliness, they both died within a week and have been sitting against the wall, dried up and dead for over a year, like plant-skeletons mocking my matronly ineptitude.

I thought that the space was perfect for a large-sized, uber-hipstery dream catcher, and since I refuse to pay money for anything that I can reasonably make myself, I set some time aside to throw one together this weekend.

It’s surprisingly easy – I looked at the quick figure below for about 30 seconds then got to bisznas.

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The first thing you need is a big ring.  I wanted a really big dream catcher and it’s actually pretty hard to find purpose-made “dream catcher rings” in large sizes, so I improvised and used a big embroidery hoop.  In retrospect, it’s a little too flat along the edge, but I don’t f-ing care that much.  What am I, the Queen of England?  Pffffffft.

Then you wrap the ring in leather or “faux ultra suede” like me.  IMPORTANT NOTE: you need much more leather than you think you do.  Much more.  Err on the side of caution and buy A LOT.

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This part of the dream catcher is the most annoying and boring, so it helps if you’re drunk.  I recommend a big, frosty craft beer.  It helps the “faux-ultra-suede” wrapping part go by quicker.

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Alright, wrap the whole hoop then tie the ends tightly.  You can see in the photo below that I have TWO ends on each side of the hoop.  That’s because I underestimated how much leather I needed, used it all and only got half-way, then had to go back to the store and buy more to finish the other half.  If you are a normal person, you will only have one end.

Anyways, as per the figure up at the top, you basically just wind the center thread in a repetitive pattern around the hoop over and over.  Some tips:

  • It’s really hard to get all of your first level of loops evenly distributed.  I recommend wrapping them all, then going back and sliding and adjusting them afterwards while keeping the loose end tight;
  • Keep your one hand continuously on the end of the string while looping it through the holes with your other hand… and use a consistent motion (i.e. over-under; over-under…. not over-under; under-over… that will suck);
  • Similarly, you can continuously adjust your loops by tightening and loosening the end of the string with your other hand as you continue to add more levels.

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At some point, you have to string a bead into the dream catcher… that is the “spider” apparently.  Whatever.

I chose a white bead.  Make sure you like the colour of bead, because you can’t pull that sucker out without undoing the whole thing.  I’m not sure I like my colour of bead.  Which sucks.

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Anyways, once you are happy with all of your web, tie that sucker off and leave a bit hanging – you’re going to tie a feather to it, don’t worry.

Then you just, like, tie a bunch of shit off the end of the dream catcher to  make it look all boho-y and junk.  I tied some leftover “faux-ultra-suede”, some embroidery thread, and twine and other garbage.  I might go back and put some better stuff on later.  Who knows.

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After you’ve tied all your junk on the end, you should put some beads and feathers and stuff like that on it.  It makes it even more ultra-boho-hisptery.

BLAM!  Dream catcher all up in yo’ face:

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Posted in Arty Art, Crafty Crafts, DIY, Housey Stuff 2 Comments »

DIY Retro Kitchen Appliances

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Hey.

Remember this?  I likey.  I likey a lot.

You know why I likey so much?  Because it’s all poo-green like in the olden-days. I like the olden-days, much better than I like the current-days, mostly because of the appliance colours.  I mean, let’s be honest.  Appliance colours really do define the zeitgeist, more so than political change or social movements.  The main reason that the 2000’s sucked was because of all the stainless steel appliances.  You know what stainless steel appliances lead to?  Paris Hilton.  Obviously.  And nobody wants that.

Anyways, so the other day I was sitting on the floor of my kitchen, staring aimlessly into space as I often do, wondering how I could make my kitchen more old-timey without spending a jabillion dollars, as I often do.  And then I realized the solution was simple.

PAINT THAT SHIT.  Like… with house paint.

I submit as evidence, the kitchen scale that I bought for $2.00 at a yard sale last year:

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It has a marginal retro vibe, yes.  But it is pretty boring.  IMAGINE IF THAT BAD BOY had an old-timey appliance colour?  I can guarantee no one would be selling it at a yard sale.  They’d be putting that shizz up on Etsy for like $150.00.  FYI: Old-timey appliance colours fall into the following brackets:

  • 50’s-60’s: mint green and like, farty pinks
  • 70’s: poo-greens and eyeball-attacking oranges
  • 80’s: anything with lasers painted on it

My kitchen has beautiful, imported, calm blue Italian glass tiles for a back splash (due to my MEGA BALLERDOM), and although I really like my poo-green Kitchenaid, I felt that a mint-green would be appropriately old-timey.

DIY Retro Kitchen Thingamajig

Materials

  • Appliance Thingamajig (i.e. yard-sale scale)
  • Can of paint (need ideas for colours?  I just gave you some.  Avert eyes upwards.)
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Paintbrush
  • An Exuberant Spirit and Positive Outlook (optional)

Step One:
Tape the areas that you don’t want to be all retro-looking (i.e. the areas that actual have functional parts and moving levers and pulleys and junk):

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Step Two:
Prime the Thingamajig:

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Step Three:
Paint it mint green.  Slap a coat of low-gloss polyurethane on it.  Bask in the glory of your mint-green success.  Put fruits on it.  Take pictures of it.  Instagram them.  And so on and so forth.

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Posted in Crafty Crafts, DIY, Housey Stuff, Vintage Love No Comments »

meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh

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I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I feel/am very uninteresting lately.  Every morning I think to myself  “Do I have something interesting to share with people in an online format?” and similarly, every morning I think to myself “No.  No I do not.”

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But Molly doesn’t care – she give me stinky kisses regardless of my ability to wax philosophical-slash-make people interested in me.

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As long as she has her gross old Green Ball and she has access to a sun beam, preferably both, I am the best/most interesting person on Earth.

In an attempt to keep my brain churning, I am at least working on a few projects to be revealed soon.  This one might be familiar if you follow the blog… another huge Slatty creation that is going up in a very special place.  This one will be for SALE, so if you want a huge Slatty Map, but don’t want to put in the MULTIPLE HOURS of back-breaking labour into making one (trust me, I forgot how much work goes into it…), you can buy it.  Willing to hear what you are willing to pay so that I can price it.  May I suggest THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS of dollars in pure gold?  Feel free to pay that.

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In other news, I am starting to plan for the garden much earlier this year, because now at least I have an inkling of what’s hiding under there.  Look at my damn-ass beautiful field of Crocuses.  I know.  It’s like I’m the Crocus Whisperer.

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I have grandiose plans of buying annuals and actually planting window boxes and shit like a retired woman in Austria.  I imagine that is what retired women in Austria do – just spend the year planning out the window boxes to hang from their Austrian ski chalets and shit.

Finally, since I am a crazy person, I also have a whole other project in the works.  I haven’t really tested everything yet, but basically, it will be awesome.  TYPOGRAPHY!  CANADIANA!  WOOD!  All of the things that go into awesomeness will be present.  Stay tuned.

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Posted in Canines, Crafty Crafts, Housey Stuff No Comments »

I don’t ask for much…

My Bedroom Retreat

… but I ask politely, demurely, anxiously, sexually (less so… but still), that you take 2 minutes out of your day and vote for my “spacious” bedroom in Apartment Therapy / Legget & Platt’s My Bedroom Retreat contest.

CLICK  HERE: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/natalies-spacious-bedroom-my-bedroom-retreat-contest-186628#contest-widget-7758

WHY???  See below:

  1. My write up is ditzy and I sound stupid and now I’m embarrassed that I said my bedroom is for “play[ing] with my dog Molly for long periods of time… she loves rolling around on the bed.”  I sound like such a sexless loser.  So feel sorry for me and vote.
  2. I am the only person I know who doesn’t have an iPad.  I know – first world fo’ sho, but still, come on.  You will significantly increase my ability to waste time AND I will be more likely to post to my blog about things that have no consequence in your life.
  3. I did the whole thing myself with my brain-hole and I didn’t have any help (…not even from my boyfriend.  Like, NONE.  He sat on the couch in his underwear.).
  4. The room is 90% thrifted and DIY.  I’m so Parkdale-Hipster-Lady-esque that YOUR BRAIN MIGHT EXPLODE.
  5. I will send one karma unit  of incandescent happiness to everyone who votes, so your day will probably become awesome.
  6. Some of those people submitted their DAMN bedrooms like four weeks ago and have FOUR WEEKS of additional voting time under their belt.  UNFAIR?  Maybe, but what would I be if  I complained about the equity regulations of a contest that could potentially give me an iPad?  A stupid person, that’s who.  SO VOTE HARD.

Thank you friends and lovers (mostly friends).

Posted in Favorite Things, Housey Stuff, Randomness No Comments »

Outdoor Movie Night

Last Friday was the inaugural Outdoor Movie Night on my deck – an amazing idea from Tami who is full of amazing ideas all the time.  We decided to watch Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I had never seen before and which I now love with all my bosom.

Despite the fact that it was HOT AS SWEATY BALLS outside… and the projector was emitting a blinding yellow glow… and I forgot to buy speakers…

Fun was had by all I think.

Next time we’ll be able to shake out the kinks faster.

Posted in Housey Stuff, Parkdale Fun, Randomness No Comments »

DIY Floor Pouf

As mentioned previously, I had someone doing a shoot of my apartment this weekend (HA HA HA I am so fancy.  I have people “doing shoots” of things in my life.), and I felt the need to complete a few last minute unecessary crafty things to make my place look more interesting than it is.

My loft space has that huge, blindingly bright Turkish Kilim Rug, and although I LOVE it, it’s really really hard to design around because it’s like, overwhelming and basically attacks your eyeballs.

On an unrelated-but-related note, I have been thinking about making a floor “pouf” for some time.  First, because it’s always good to have extra seating, second, because there was this extra space at one side of the loft, and last because I like to say “pouf”, over and over and over.  POUF!

I saw these at West Elm.  And they are beautiful.  And I thought that the crazy same-but-not-the-same kilim fabric would compliment the craziness of my rug.

AND THEY ARE THREE HUNDRED AND TWENTY DOLLARS.

Like, seriously?  Come on.  FINE.  I get that they are like, “one of a kind” and someshit like that, but you clearly just took old rugs that couldn’t be sold as rugs because they were defective and cut them up and sewed them into fucking squares.

Then I was all like “I CAN CUT SHIT UP AND SEW IT INTO SQUARES ON MY OWN.”

So I went to designer fabrics and found me some “kilim-esque” fabric.  25 bucks a yard.  Bought a yard and a half.

Molly approves.

 

Then I cut it into two squares and four long rectangles.  It’s not fucking brain surgery.  Here are your instructions:

Then you stuff the box with shit.  I literally filled it with a bunch of old blankets and some old gross pillow or something, then I tore apart the stuffing from some other pillow I didn’t want any more and filled that shizz up.  A note – you will need WAY more stuffing than you think you will.

Molly approves.

Then you top-stitch around the seams at the top and bottom of the box. That is all you need to do.

I’ve just saved you $280.00.  You are welcome.  Buy me a present.

Posted in Canines, Crafty Crafts, DIY, Housey Stuff 6 Comments »

Apartment Therapy Shoot

Through a friend I managed to get in touch with one of the Toronto photographers for Apartment Therapy… she perused my bliggity blog and decided that I was worthy of a shoot and house tour on the site.  Yeah.  I know.  I pretty much exploded out of my brain.

Anyways, so I spent the majority of the weekend furiously cleaning my house, completing some last-minute and totally unnecessary DIY projects, and basically creating a fictional utopian home design environment that I felt would be suitable for the post.

For example, I do not usually have single, perfect blooms of flowers in small French ceramic vases next to the faucet in the bathroom.  HOWEVER, for the purposes of the shoot, I needed to increase my fanciness.

Hopefully, all went well.  I *think* it’s going to be on the site in late August.  Of course I will milk it to death if/when it is posted, so don’t worry, you’ll know.

I also had to answer one of those surveys that asks me like, what my “style” is and what my “inspiration” is.  I hate those so much because you sound like a huge poser no matter what you say.  If you say “My style is mid-century modern with a dash of edgy flair”, you sound like a poser.  If you say “I really don’t have a style, it’s more whatever grabs my attention”, you sound like a poser.  Rest assured, my answers were poser-y and you will read them and be all like “What a poser.”.

Molly was unimpressed.

She always thinks I sound like a poser.

Posted in Canines, Crafty Crafts, Housey Stuff 2 Comments »

Easy DIY Herb Planter Thing

In the spring, I had these grandiose plans of creating an organic utopian herb and vegetable garden on my deck and dancing around it in while wearing long floral dresses in barefeet and playing a tambourine, but then I thought “I have TONS of time to make an herb garden”, and decided to get drunk in my underwear and watch The Bachelorette.

Then, on the weekend, I realized it was friggin July and my poor deck was still barren of organic herbs and shit.  Unacceptable.  So yesterday I decided to get my shit together and get started.

Problem #1 – What to plant
Although I would like to say that I picked my herbs and vegetables based on future plans of cooking up some delicious domesticated pasta sauce recipe like mothers on mom-blogs and shit, it was  mostly dictated by the following:

  1. The vegetable plants that were left at the local corner store and didn’t look like they were on the verge of death; and
  2. Herbs that I could put in booze to make a delicious cocktail.

So I got a tomato plant that was big (but no tomatoes on it…), a pepper plant that was small (with no peppers on it…), but looked like, green or whatever, and the following herbs: basil (for caprese salads), mint (for mojitos), lavender (for fancy aromatic classic cocktail things), and parsley (because I needed four to make my herb garden symmetrical and I couldn’t think of anything else).

Please note my helper in the top right corner of the photo.  She made sure she was around me at all times, snoozing leisurely while I sweat and slaved in the heat.

Problem #2 – How to hang them up
So I had planned to hang my herbs up on the fence, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on some like planter-hangy thing because I’m cheap.  So I put something together that was likely modified from something I saw on Pinterest or some shit.

Basically, you buy terra cotta pots, and those like, tube holdery things that are silver and you always see at the hardware store and you think to yourself  “What the hell are those things?  Could I make something with them?  It looks like I could make something with them.”  Test the size and make sure they go around the pots, but stop right at the lip (so you can hang them).

Also buy galvanized wire, nails, and picture hooks (galvanized means “no get rusty”).

Here is my super-ghetto hanger creation:

Then you just smack the picture hook into the fence, hang the wire-tube holder thing on it, and stick your plant in it.


Ghetto?  Yes.  Expensive?  No.

Note – when I hung it, the planter was tilting a *little* too much, and the water like, spilled out the front of it, so I had to add another nail in the wire closer to the ring to keep it tilted up.

BOOM.  Instant herb garden for like, ten bucks.

I also planted my tomaters in a big pot as well as my “pepper plant”.

I give them both a 10% likelihood of producing edible fruit.

Here is my new and improved organic hippie garden!  Time to put on some Donovan and dance with a tambourine!

I decided to reward myself with things that are bad for me.  Molly also thought she deserved a rest from ALL THE WORK SHE DID.

Posted in Canines, Crafty Crafts, DIY, Housey Stuff 2 Comments »