Tuesday, 4 June 2013

No Longer The Scientist's Wife

No worries - we're still married! Whew. Scared you, didn't I?

It looks like things will be changing a bit around here since Scientist Husband has decided to become Med School Student Husband. Um, yeah. Doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?

The bittersweet news is that we will be relocating to another city and leaving this house (and most of my projects) behind. Though we aren't selling, but renting it out until we come back, I'm really glad that I blogged about most of this house's projects so that I can look back on them and smile.

I just have a feeling that bigger and better things are coming along for us, which is exciting and a little scary all at the same time. Blogging about the last two years has been awesomely fun and provided a great creative outlet. But, I've decided to stop writing for and developing this blog. The content will continue to float around in cyberspace (and maybe on Pinterest?), so I hope people continue to read and enjoy some photos in this little space.


The Scientist's Wife

Monday, 15 April 2013

Evicting The Slipper Chair

Ah, here it is: one of two chunky microfiber slipper chairs that I have. This one sits in my living room ...

Doesn't everyone have a saddle in their living room?

Here's the scoop. These chairs were originally purchased by my mother at a grocery store. No lie. When I moved to my own place, they came with me. Then they moved again to my current house. They were under $100 each and I have to say they've held up ridiculously well. They've outlived the cat that clawed the corner of of them (RIP, Spiffy). They've been spat up on, completely dogged, and jumped on.

Yes, they've served us well. And they will continue to do so in the basement rec room. Seriously though, I'm sick of seeing this chair in my living room. Since it doesn't have arms, it isn't well suited to lounging for a good period of time. Plus, it's just chunky - a giant cube of microfiber. And it's microfiber. I can't tell you enough how much I loathe microfiber.

I've been dreaming of replacing our black leather couch (from scientist husband's bachelor pad) with a gorgeous (and expensive) distressed brown leather couch. But yeah, that's not in the budget. However, I think I could settle for a distressed brown leather chair instead. Why all the leather? It's amazingly easy to clean and care for and dog hair brushes right off with the swipe of a hand. It has its pitfalls, though: it's cold in the winter and sticky in the summer. But the advantages outweigh the whomp whomps for us.

Here are a few choices that appeal to me:

Eames chair. Practical, comfortable and the leather looks divine. From sylvesteroxford.com
Loving the nail head detail. From my deco.com

The chrome adds a little modernity. I can't believe I lost the source to this one. Bummer.

Ok. Here a little secret: I'm in love with the BBC show 'Sherlock' and every time the character lounges in his worn in Corbusier chair, I swoon ...

... but, I'm not sure I like how they look brand spanking new.

I'm digging the clean lines of this chair. It feels nice and vintage, without any hipster activity. The 'Sorensen' can be found at RestorationHardware.com

Ack, the choices. It will mostly come down to a price and quality balance when the time comes. But one thing is for sure: the slipper chair must go ...

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

They Grow Up So Fast: Giant Ruler Growth Chart

So I made the infamous ruler growth chart that is everywhere online. Everyone who has ever made one has also written a tutorial, so I won't. But check out the pictures for inspiration, because there no such thing as too much inspiration when you're a DIYer. I believe the idea and product originated at the Pottery Barn, but don't quote me on that.

Seriously though, this is the easiest project and it is also inexpensive - I'm talking about $20 and that is only if you need to buy new materials. If you're a beginner crafter, this one is for you!

I used a 1x4x6" plank of white pine, a sanding block, a bit of MinWax in 'Red Mahogany' and a black Sharpie marker.

Oh man, was I tired of seeing these penciled in chicken scratches on the doorway to the dining room ...

I was surprised at how the MinWax stain brought out the grain in the pine. When we were poking through the pile of planks at Rona, none of them seemed to look very grainy at all. Love the result, though!

Still needs to be hung. For some reason, I can only find one half of my flush-mount hardware. Ha, how does that even happen?

Hand-numbering is the way to go. It's not that hard, I promise!

Monday, 18 March 2013

A Wee Library is Born

Every day before nap and every night before bed, the little dude and I read a story. Ok, that privilege is sometimes revoked for naughty behaviour, but lets not talk about my parenting skills. For quite a while, all of the borrowed library books ended up in a plastic bin (IKEA's GLES box) beside the dude's bed. It's functional and easy, but I didn't like how it took up valuable floor space and stuck out like a sore thumb. It's red, after all. Like, the fire engine variety.

So when I saw a Pinterest pin that led to a tutorial for building slim shelves for behind a bedroom door, I knew it was the perfect solution. Sort of, anyway. You can check out the original tutorial over at The Quaint Cottage, but I decided on a few changes.

First, I was looking for a more minimalist aesthetic, so I decided against building the bulky side supports. Second, the bar used for leaning books against in the original version would have nothing to attach to without the side supports, so I ditched that too. At the little dude's stage of coordination, I thought that omitting this bar would also make it easier for him to remove and replace (yeah, ok) his books.

So, by following the above posted tutorial, I just skipped a few steps and came up with a way to securely attach each ledge to the wall. For stability, I used a spade bit to countersink two screws into the ledge's base and secured them to the wall with simple plastic drywall anchors.

I intend to pop some wooden caps (*snicker*) into the countersunk holes and give the whole thing another coat of paint. In hindsight, I would have made the shelves a tiny bit longer, but overall, I'd say the new library is a success!

Let's read!

Monday, 25 February 2013

The Foyer Hooks Are Up

The aforementioned hooks from a local antiques store have been installed, and I'm digging the outcome quite a bit. A mirror or artwork would finish things off nicely, I think.

(Please look beyond my filthy/stained carpet. Scientist husband won't let me tear it up ... Yet.)

Friday, 22 February 2013

Foyer Storage. Just Can't Get Enough.

Yeeeeeeah, I hate foyers, overall. The word "foyer" is pretentious, too. Usually, these spaces are cluttered, wet, sandy places that cause panic when a group walks in the front door. That group is usually my family, and the pandemonium is every day. The coats and boots all end up in various places where they don't belong. In this house, the entrance is right at the bottom of the main stairs - whoever designed this house was clearly an idiot. Just saying.

Last year (maybe two years ago), I followed Sherry's example from Young House Love and purchased two RETUR recycling bins from IKEA to use as shoe storage. Best. Idea. Ever. They are easy to keep clean and have a streamlined look that doesn't overload this already super tiny space.
Stoooooorage! This puppy holds a lot. The top one is actually filled with winter mitts/hats right now. And hey, toes!

Best dog ever, keeping it real.

We do have a coat closet, but no one really likes to use it because you have to take your shoes off and walk a few feet before you reach it. So, coats usually end up on the stairs or anywhere else that isn't a hanger in the closet. It's weird. I can't fight it, nor explain it, so I decided to install some coat storage closer to the door. Scientist husband was against this idea, so I've been stewing over this for a few months. But screw it, I'm doing it anyway.

We have a few rental places in town, which is great because we have lots of building odds and ends in the basement. For one particular office space, we had used beadboard wallpaper under the chair rails and still have quite a bit leftover. Since our house already has real wood beadboard in the foyer, I thought this could be put to good use.

I did buy a few pieces of casing to trim off the wallpaper and some quarter round to finish the existing baseboard.

The before.

The in-between. 

I have my eye on this robin's egg blue wooden board with cast iron hooks at a local antiques store. I'm thinking it'll help finish off this project and we can actually hang coats when we first come in. Woot!

Signs That You Are, Indeed, Turning Into Your Mother

It was inevitable, I'm sure. The time has come. I'm turning into my mother, with an unhealthy dose of my father.

Here are the signs that you may be doing the same:

  1. Organizing and/or relocating your utensil drawer is exciting. The rest of the family is pissed because they keep opening the newly appointed dish towel drawer when they need a fork.
  2. Baseboard cleanliness becomes an actual concept. 
  3. When you rant at your kids, your brain is so tired that you mess up your words. The kids giggle. You lose. Walk away and drink wine.
  4. Mascara is applied roughly once per week. Twice, if you have an doctor/car/school appointment. God forbid the real world know what lurks beneath the makeup.
  5. You start slamming cabinet doors, tossing books, and lobbing toys into their place to show your disapproval of the house's messiness. No one notices the reason behind it - you just look insane.
  6. The kids start asking why you look mad when you're not even mad.
  7. Your joints hurt and you're still under 30.
  8. Coffee is the answer to everything before 11AM. 
  9. Wine is the answer to everything after 5PM (4PM on weekends).
  10. You start finding new ways to use everything. Pre-Pinterest, this is what moms always did, we just didn't see the genius until that magical website came along. 
So, thanks, Mom. You're rad. A little insane and borderline alcoholic, but so am I.