Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lampapalooza Party!

Thanks to The Nester, http://nestingplacenc.blogspot.com/ , for hosting a lamp party! I was very busy this week and didn't put together the post I had planned. However, I'm dropping in at the last minute with this quickie.


Two of my favourite lamps are these I assembled with old blue Crown canning jars. I love the wavy effect of the glass and the blue colour. I bought the cord and lamp kits at a local country store and with a bit of adjustment they fit the larger size jars well. I like the narrower shades I found, the wider style I originally tried seemed too wide. I'm keeping an eye out for similar sized shades in a more rustic style (or I may try covering these in burlap or something.) They are in my undecorated hobby room at present waiting for final placement in the room after I finish painting and decorating (this is taking waaaay longer than I had planned.)


No before pics of these lamps I picked up for $10 each at Canadian Tire. They were a rusty brown colour with a cream and rusty shade with a rose pattern. Nice toile shades, but not really my colours. I spray painted the bases black and added new shades. Please ignore the skimpy tassel. I need some Nester tassels for sure!

I hope you enjoyed my quickie post and be sure to stop by The Nesters for some more Lampapalooza Party fun!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hooray, Camping season is here!



After a long winter our family is really looking forward to camping soon!

(Photo: our 2007 Palamino Yearling, our kids and cousins, stopping for lunch last August after we arrived.)


Ontario is a very large province with awesome lakes and great places to camp. Ontario Parks system covers over 78,000 square kilometres (30,460 mi²). We also have national parks and hundreds and hundreds of quality private campgrounds. Growing up, my family spent most of each summer at a rental cottage or camping.
(photo: our oldest and two great-nieces)

My husband and I decided to buy a large tent trailer in the fall of 2007, right after an extended family camp where the zipper on our second tent broke and the NEW airmattress (my husbands) lost over half its air each night. Oh yeah, it ALWAYS rains, no, pours, the majority of the long weekend when my brothers and sisters, grown neices and nephews and I (and our families) decide to camp together. We have just come to expect it. Funny thing, the rain does not slow the kids down at all!

We bought our Palamino Yearling brand new in the late fall to take advantage of after summer pricing (and saved lots.) We made sure the new trailer fit in our garage (with just 2 inches to spare!) for winter storage protection from snow and ice, and summer protection from sun and heat. And from the kids and neighbours bikes smashing into it :( By storing our trailer at home we also save the $40-$70 a month for renting outside storage. I did tons of research and price comparisons (both on the internet and at an RV and Trailer show) before narrowing our search down to a few. With specific prices in hand I went to our local RV centre to compare one last time. The sales manager told us he would like the opportunity to beat whatever price we had been given. He also added some upgrades, ceiling fan/light combos and an upgrade to the trailer hitch. We still have a good relationship with the local RV centre and get our winterization and any servicing done there. It has worked well for us to shop locally. If we have a problem, or need to pick up an accessory or part, they are just 10 minutes away.

Our trailer sleeps eight, has a table with two benches that converts to a bed, another u-shaped bench and table that converts to a bed, a queen sized bed on one end, and a king sized bed on the other end. We have a heater (often needed with our changing weather) a small fridge, stove and sink. The best part was that our Chevy Venture van pulled it easily. We bought a new truck this week, and although our trailer works for us, hubby and I are tossing around the idea of trading up to a full trailer. Not too big, but with a bathroom and a bit less work setting up and putting away. But, that is still to be decided. For now, our little family will be off soon to check out even more great parks here in Ontario and a multi-family trip to Darien Lake, NY State. In the near future we hope for a trip to Canada's fabulous eastern provinces and possibly one day to Vermont or Maine. Do you have any summer plans?

Baskets

Even though baskets can look great empty, I keep finding more and more ways to use them in our home. There are some really well made, high-end and antique baskets available, and some even increase in value over time.







While I love to admire these quality baskets for inspiration, I tend to buy my baskets on sale or at yard sales. When I thought about it I realized there is at least one basket in every room in our home, sometimes many. I'm getting pickier when I buy baskets too. I try to stick to simple ones, the more rustic or beachy looking, the better. I am hoping to find links for instructions to whitewash or stain some baskets soon. Most of mine are light coloured, but not as light as my photos show. I need a better camera or maybe I just need to figure out how to use the thing. :)


Our family room t.v. cabinet has baskets on the shelves that originally held a stereo. We fill one large basket with quilts the kids can pull out when they snuggle on the couch to watch t.v., and the other holds puzzles and colouring books etc. Oops, please excuse the dust, it shows up on the black so easily. Another basket in the family room holds floor pillows.


Our kitchen pantry cupboard (still a work in progress) has some great baskets with natural linings from Canadian Tire, a local home/auto/garden/sports chain. I bought both rectangular and oval on sale for $2.49 each, so I got a dozen! They hold paper napkins, linen napkins and cookie cutters. Paper plates and straws are easily toted to the backyard for large family barbecues.

A big, low basket from a yard sale sits on our breakfast counter to catch school agendas, notes and homework for easy view and pick up.

A great basket from IKEA holds cookbooks on top of the fridge.

I carried measurements of the pie cupboard for months before I found the perfect basket to hold/hide Tupperware lunch containers.

A picnic basket we received as a gift at our wedding shower holds bathroom necessities beside a pedestal sink in the powder room. Oh, I really am tired of the main entry/half bath ceramic tiles. They look really pink in this photo :(

I found this cute basket with the leather strap at a yard sale for 50 cents. I think it is intended for a wine bottle. I'm still thinking of how to use this one.

We have four bathrooms and baskets are a life saver for items behind cupboard doors and for keeping towels easily accessible. Hand towels and facecloths in baskets are close at hand in our ensuite bathroom and the main (kids) bathroom. Towels for guests are sorted by size in the basement guest suite bathroom.


Another IKEA basket holds DVD's in our masterbedroom for our family snuggleup and watch movie nights.

Our laundry cupboards hold various baskets for rags, lost socks, etc. A large laundry basket perched on top of the cabinets is for clothes that need to be dropped off for charity. Easy peasy--wash, fold, toss and when it is full, hubby drops them off on the way to work.

Our kids room's have baskets for books and toys.

My hobby room, still a work in progress, has baskets to sort the many sewing, wrapping and craft things I store in the cupboards. My snazzy Dymo label maker helps me organize everything.
I got these baskets from a yard sale for a grand total of $1.50. Now I need to decide where to use them. I have admired the painted numbers on some baskets. I would love to hear if readers ~I hope I get at least one :) ~ have other ideas for whitewashing or staining baskets. Wishing you a great day!


Sources:
1. Nantucket baskets
2. Country Living
3. Pottery Barn
The rest: our home

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy Victoria Day



Happy Victoria Day. We celebrated Victoria Day weekend with a 3 day long weekend (4 days for our kids with a school professional development day on Friday.) We stayed at BIL and SIL's place in the country and returned home to do some gardening today. Last year we took our trailer camping on the long weekend and were very cold and wet. This year we will wait to camp until at least June. Hard to believe school will be ending in just over one month. Have a great week!
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