Friday, July 29, 2011

Color Me Happy - Blue

Maybe it's summer, maybe it's age. Lately I've become very sensitive to colors, and how they seem to immediately change my mood. I plan to run a series of "Color Me Happy" to highlight a few color families that are eye pleasing.

First and foremost is one of my favorite colors - blue. How many shades of blue can you name?
(click on the image to enlarge)
1. Purple blue bouquet; 2. Tiffany Blue close to Robin's Egg; 3. House Beautiful Blue cover in Cerulean Blue; 4. Need I say this is Turquoise Beach? 5. The Royal Blue Sapphire Ring; 6. Grey Blue/Azure Chinoiserie Wallpaper by de Gournay; 7. Sophie Cook's Aqua Pod Vase; 8. de Gournay's wallpaper again and Domino book's cover in Beryl Blue; 9. Vintage Blossom in Dove Blue.

Before and After: Two-Tier End Table

I picked up this end table when I was at Salvation Army Thrift Store a few weeks ago. It has such great bones that I couldn't pass on without making it mine for $16: solid wood, steady construction and almost no nicks or dents. The only complaint is this yellowish brown puke stain.
 After one coat of primer, it's already looking better.
 After a couple of coats of Krylon Spray Paint in Pewter Grey, this is what it looks like now. It turned out blue-r than I prefer, but it also casts different shades of grey under different lighting.  
(click on the image to enlarge)

And this is the end table now in our master bedroom. It has tons of space for books, and my only wish is not to relive college days when I reached for the table by pushing through piles and piles of books.
Have a great long weekend everyone! And remember to enter your names for the $200 ottoman tray draw.

Monday, July 25, 2011

FREE Giveaway: $200 Ottoman Tray.

I have been a casual blogger (and an enthusiastic reader) since July 2008. Truth be told, I didn't even know how to enable the "Followers" until some recent guidance from Janice at Life Begins at Thirty.

Looking back, I have reviewed and commented on many decor/furnishing companies I dealt with, and gave them fair share of exposure. I am a strong supporter and believer of local small, family-owned business, and favour these hard-working and skilled entrepreneurs.

My first ever FREE giveaway comes from a skillful woodworker Dave MacGillivray at Trays for Ottomans valued at $200! I didn't know by chance I actually reviewed one of his woodworking projects before on my site under The Pursuit of Happiness (in Bargain Hunting). Dave is the master behind this incredible piece of French console table: would you please look at those legs?!

Of late Dave and his wife Pam came up with a niche to make wood trays for ottomans. They offer standard designs and sizes, or you can customize a tray to fit your furniture and needs. You can even hand Dave your own drawing and he will make it for you! Here are the varieties you can pick in addition to shapes and dimensions:
  • Solid hard wood: Oak, Maple, or Cherry, etc.
  • Stains;
  • Handles;
  • Designs;
  • Dimensions.
Here Is the Process to Enter the Draw:
  • Become a follower to my blog (Follower tab is now enabled in the right side panel);
  • Visit Dave's web site at to complete a simple and short survey;
  • Come back to this blog, and leave a comment to confirm your completion of the survey;
  • And that's it!
Random draw will take place on Friday August 5th, and the winner will be announced on my blog the same day. Dave will contact the winner to make their tray valued at over $200! Good luck everyone!

Note: I wasn't paid or perked for hosting this giveaway. I do this as my appreciation to my awesome blog followers and those that happen to stop in.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Front Yard

Other than adding carriage hardware to our garage doors, we are pretty much done with our front porch landscaping. A dash of rain last night and plenty of sunshine invite our Sharon of Rose Hibiscus bushes to blossom vigorously. The blue stain flowers steal my breath away.
(click on the image to enlarge)

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's Raining, and Surprise on Monday!

Yes, finally! Tomorrow I am hoping to wake up to a greener lawn and more Blue Sharon of Rose blossoms. That's right, check out these Hibiscus we planted a few weeks ago. Aren't these blue flowers gorgeous? Pardon the picture quality as it's taken from my BB.
Have a great weekend everyone, and check back in for some surprise on my blog on Monday! :-)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Boxes, Candle Holders and Pillow

At the risk of "over-accessorizing" my living room, I've decided to give my thrifty hunt adventure a rest. Who knew Salvation Army and Value Village can be as addictive as HomeSense? 

Anyhoo, here are a few things I picked up over the past few weeks:

Lacquer Keepsake Box in Robbin Egg (love the chinoiserie chrome hardware): from HomeSense at $19.99, perfect for stowing away remote controllers.
 More Lacquer Keepsake Boxes in Black, from HomSense at $19.99 each.
Remember those vintage marble eggs from Salvation Army for $14.99 a set? I found these vintage brass candlestick holders (~$12 for all of them) to display them, and I like how it turns out.
If there's a deal out there, I will find it (or so according to my husband). Truth be told, these days I almost never make (or stick to) any impulsive purchase. Perhaps we will soon hear some research reveals, in addition to love, pain, money and cocaine, "saving" lights up the same area of brain. :-D

If you are looking for pillows in designer fabric without breaking an arm and a leg, look no further than SanMarino shop on Etsy by very talented and super nice Robert Campbell. This Windsor Smith Pelagos pillow is from the shop, and I went back to order another one as soon as I received it in the mail.
And that is all, two blogs in a day, what's wrong with me? Hope you all stay cool and hydrated. This heat is just brutal.


Our backyard hardscaping was completed just in time for my lovely cousin's visit last week. So far we were able to host one BBQ party due to the extreme heat -- I surely feel for those back ribs on the grill I tell ya.

First thing first, here's a quick recap of what my backyard looked like a few weeks ago -- where did all the darn rain go now?
And this is what it looks like (yes, I know our lawn looks depressing):
(Click on the image to enlarge)
  • Unilock Brussels Block Sandstone pavers and Limestone border;
  • Unilock Brussels Block Sandstone and Limestone retaining wall;
  • Lowe's Garden Treasure 8' x 8' Gazebo;
  • Suncast 7' x 7' Resin Storage Building/Shed;
  • Ikea Tarno Folding Table;
  • Canadian Tire Hudson Patio Set.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Front Yard Sneak Peek

The landscaping project is still underway, but thankfully the big mess has now moved to the backyard. Tomorrow we are adding some flagstones into the grass and large decorative rocks. Here is a sneak peek of our front yard as of today. We have Neon Blue Spruce as the focal point, then two Blue Satin Rose of Sharon Hibiscus bushes on each side to flank the Spruce, then Blue Rug Juniper as ground cover. Do you guys have any idea how breathtakingly stunning Blue Rose of Sharon looks when it blossoms? I saw some pictures online and can't wait to see it in person. It should be any day now.
(click on the image to enlarge)

Who would know an outdoor project could be so stressful and exhausting? Control freak you might call me, but if I want the project to turn out exactly (well almost) the way I designed, I'd better keep a close eye on the daily progress. There will always be deviation and you just can't rely on your contractor to guess your mind, right?

Enough excitement for a day. Another busy week awaits next week, so we'd better get some much needed rest this weekend and recharge our energy. More landscaping pictures to follow.

Living Room...Day 4

After over a month's wait, the antique architectural illustration prints I ordered from have finally arrived. Just to be fair, Canada Post strike was to blame for the delay. The solid black frames add some depth to a white wall, and anchor the space (or so I hope).
Click on the image to enlarge
And this is the mantel now dressed with a pair of spire ceramic urns. I am still waiting for the Sophie Cook vases to add a splash of watery colors to the room.
Our landscaping project is almost done so I will post some pictures in a few days. Enjoy the gorgeous weather everyone!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Thrifty Finds

Inspired by Jen at Rambling Renovators and Shannon at 8 Foot 6, I officially set my foot in a Salvation Army Thrift Store today. And I walked out of the store kicking myself about why I didn't shop there earlier! The deals are incredible and the finds are fabulous.

Here are a few things I picked up today.

Silver Napkin Holder $2.99 (by Leonard Silver in Italy) and Sugar Bowl $3.99 (by Viking Plate).
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White Ceramic Pheasant by T.A. for $2.99
And I was floored when I saw the price of these quartz (amethyst, celestite, and moonstone) eggs -- $14.99 for the entire set! Each can go as high as $90 on some auction sites! Woohoo! I need to find some brass egg cups or stands to display them.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Red Velvet Cup Cakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Our landscaping is marching forward under this gorgeous weather. Other than going to see Billy Elliot The Musical tonight, we are not going anywhere else this long weekend. While I was chillaxing at home, I thought what other better way to celebrate Canada Day than bake some red velvet cup cakes and share with our neighbors that have been putting up with all the dirt and noise from our landscaping project, and our contractor that's throwing in overtime to get things done for us?

See the "Selection II" Hand Mixer in the background? I inherited it from my mother-in-law, and this vintage piece works wonders. And that's why you buy things "Made in Canada" because they last for-ever! 

Happy Canada Day everyone!
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