Sunday, May 31, 2009

10 green decorating stumbles

Living green doesn't have to be ugly.

Iconic Panels: reclaimed and recycled wood veneer

How to Wash the Smell out of Thrift Store Furniture

Top 10 Tips for Decorating on the Cheap

Wall-Mounted Aquarium: Ditch the TV, Install Life

From Junky to Funky: Designing Your Outdoors with the 3R’s In Mind…

My Repurposed Life: Gail is a DIY maven!

26 Ordinary Objects Repurposed Into Extraordinary Furniture

Self Watering Living Wall System

About Tile Materials: the attributes of basalt, ceramic, granite, limestone, marble, porcelain, sandstone, slate and travertine

A Guide to Furniture Woods

Friday, May 29, 2009


I don't know the origin of this inspirational JPG. I love it's message:

"I've lived through things I would never have thought I was capable of and I'm much less afraid than I used to be.

The process of wounding awakens us to our strength. It shuffles our values, and the top priority is never what you thought it would be. It's never about perfection or power. It always turns out to be about love.

Knowing ourselves to be vulnerable and our time here to be limited, we're freed to live more passionately and fully than we have before to discover what's worth fighting for and who we are.

Real strength lies buried at the depths of any wound we have survived."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Just fiddling around

I'm trying out my new-to-me camera. My husband got another last fall and gave me this one. This is the first camera I've owned with advanced features and it intimidated me with its complexity until this week.

The lens helps me view things differently and I am becoming intrigued.

Here are some shots I took tonight.

I. Supper: French bread, sharp cheddar, dill pickle and a salad. As you can see, the meal satisfied my tastebuds. Now I'm washing it down with a cup of chai cooled with mulled apple cider. Mmmm...relaxing.

II. Husband: I love his face.

III. Tools: Ratchets in hubby's toolbox.

Happy belated birthday, Angie

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Lauren!

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Isn't she pretty? She is a sweet, 5-month old, little Staffordshire terrier that my friend adopted recently. The way she is looking at her unseen owners in the pictures conveys how happy Purdey is to have them as her forever family.

The American Kennel Club breed standard lists the following for their temperament: "From the past history of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the modern dog draws its character of indomitable courage, high intelligence, and tenacity. This, coupled with its affection for its friends, and children in particular, its off-duty quietness and trustworthy stability, makes it a foremost all-purpose dog."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who are the people in your neighbourhood?

My husband and I took our dogs for a walk in our neighbourhood today and brought our cameras with us. I wanted to share some glaringly bad taste that emanated from, what look like, perfectly normal homes. Who are these people? Didn't someone, at some point, discourage them from their decorating choices?


This neighbour acquires old gas guzzling autos and reupholsters them with either carpeting, as seen below, or floral damask. On the dashboards, he glues on figurines and, on the perimeters of the windows, fringe.


This prize appeared about 2 weeks ago and even the garbage truck won't take it. It's obviously been around for a while and I'm guessing it has won the Ugliest Sofa Award Known to Man consecutively since its purchase. Where they chemically impaired when they walked into the furniture store?

Sidewalk Art

The lady who created this is very sweet and so proud of her neighbourhood beautification project. This vignette resides in the area between the sidewalk and the road.

Blue Virgin

You see a lot of religious displays dotting the neighbourhood. I was too lazy to walk far enough to get pictures of the truly bizarre ones so this will have to do. I can appreciate the folk artsy displays but this kind really irks me.

Scroll Saw Run Amok

My basset hound's hackles went up when we came across this one. The house is in good repair. The grounds are manicured. The trees are trimmed. The tole painted lamb sports a demented grin.

Project Recycle

Let's see, we've got 2 old rusty bathtubs; let's plunk them on the lawn as planters with the wooden cow keeping watch.

The Wall

This decorated privacy fence is a prelude to the outrageous back yard behind it. Too bad that I couldn't photograph that but it is illegal to photograph people's private spaces without their permission. Surprisingly, that plastic planter cut in half was the only vandalized piece that we saw on our entire walk.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

10 using colour stumbles

Colour planning is pivotal in graphic, commercial, fashion and exterior or interior design. Here are some very good colour links that provide tools and tips for executing your projects.

I will use home decorating as the example for this post. I'm redoing my deck and want the colour scheme to complement the existing fixed elements such as the bricks and the balcony. I also want to do it on the cheap and incorporate some of the existing furniture. There are many ways I could do it.

I could upload a picture of the deck into the Colour Palette Generator to produce a colour palette before I choose the paints that I will use to refurbish. You can also save the palette to a CSS style sheet or a Photoshop 'aco' file.

I could go to the Colour Scheme Designer and select a dominating colour of the deck in the mono palette and then look at the complementary, triad, tetrad, analogic and accented analogic colour palettes to see which works. There is also the option of adjusting the scheme for saturation & brightness.

COLOURlovers web site is a colour & design community for creative inspiration; a good place to go to see the current colour trends and associated colour palette choices.

To see if your colour palette works in real life settings, you can use the Idée Inc. Multicolr Search Lab. Pick the colours that most closely match your palette choice and it will generate a collection of photos that use those colours.

Colours can create moods, have emotional associations, and make subliminal statements. There is a page on the Color Wheel Pro web site that explores the meanings ascribed to different colours.

Color Wheel Pro also has a page that gives examples and discusses the classic colour schemes such as monochromatic, analogous, complementary, triadic, and tetradic.

Color Blindness Tests provide two online tools: colour arrangement and the RGB Anomaloscope. These can help in determining whether you are hampered by colour blindness.

Once you determine your colour palette, the Benjamin Moore web site provides an online tool called the Personal Color Viewer that allows you to upload a picture of your intended project space. Then, on the second tab, you can select colours by moving the slider so you can see an approximation of the result. It gives the choice of the names or the numbers of their particular paints to order.

If you want to know more about the theory of colour, here are two good links to help you expand your knowledge.

Color Worqux provides a detailed tutorial on color theory.

Color Contrast & Dimension in News Design is an interactive educational project.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Between friends

Sometimes in life
you find a special friend;

Someone who changes your life
just by being part of it.

Someone who makes you laugh
until you can't stop;

Someone who makes you believe
there there really is good in the world.

Someone who convinces you
there really is an unlocked door just waiting for you to open it.

This is Forever Friendship!

Image & poem source: unknown - given to me by a friend

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Watermelon lemonade

I intend to sip on this all summer this year. In addition to sounding absolutely delicious, both ingredients rate high as an alkaline food.
Adapted from Southern Living

- 15 cups seeded and cubed watermelon
- 2 (12-ounce) cans frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
- Ice
- Garnishes: watermelon wedges

Process watermelon, in batches, in a blender or food processor until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large pitcher. Add lemonade concentrate and whisk to combine. Serve chilled and over ice.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My beautiful cards

Members of the Creative Parchment group sent me greeting cards from all over the world when I was ill. Words seem inadequate to express my gratitude in receiving such beautiful works of art. I feel so honoured by their outpouring of love and kindness.

I would like to share these cards with you and have provided scans of them below. Most of them are parchment cards done in the craft style called Pergamano. The last two use different techniques.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

10 movie stumbles

Here are my top 10 favourite movies, in descending order. These have have withstood the test of time and multiple viewings. Leave me a comment and let me know your faves, too.

If you get a chance to see the foreign films, I would recommend that you get the subtitled versions instead of the dubbed. That way, you will at least hear the lines the way they are meant to be delivered instead of poor translations read by dubious talent.

Cinema Paradiso

Babette's Feast



The World According to Garp

Out of Africa

Life as a House


Letters from Iwo Jima

Joy Luck Club

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cutting away your wisdom

This guy is hilarious. He states that he believes he hasn't cut away his wisdom but the mention of vampire gorillas sort of negates that. LOL!

Friday, May 15, 2009

I'm lovin' it

Country songs don't generally speak to me but, every once in a while, I'm exposed to one with lyrics that really grab and hold on.

This video I'm Movin' On by Rascal Flatts is a keeper. It was used as a theme song at a friend's graduation party. Hope you enjoy it, too.