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Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Spring is springing every where!

Wow, it can't get much better than sunny and 22C or 72F in March!  Our kids are on March break here, so it works out great.  I'm so excited that I just had to drag some patio furniture out to enjoy it.
My youngest, Michael, in the reflextion
My parents are even stealing my idea!  
I want to take you on a tour of my bridge in my backyard, and what better day could we do this on?

Here is the entrance to the bridge
This is the sign at the entrance of the bridge 
Isn't it cute?  It's the previous owners doing.  I love it but, I never would have spent the money on this kind of stuff when their's so much I would rather have inside.  But, I'm sure not complaining they put it here!

This is the little deck that the previous owners built overlooking the creek and next to the bridge.  
I'm standing on the little deck, looking down and enjoying the rapids my youngest built.  Isn't it awesome?  At the bottom of this post I'm going to insert a little video so you can hear my babbling brook!!
It really does babble!!!

My oldest son Matthew (in the blue) and his buddy, crossing the bridge to take the trails to the store!

Check out our gate at the other end of the bridge!  Isn't it cute!  Again, I wouldn't have spent the money myself, but hey, it's mine now!!!

Closeup of the gate deer!

Now this sign is at the other end of the bridge.  On the walk trail side.  This is what everyone can see when they walk by.  I remember year's ago walking by this bridge and just imagining, but never expecting it to be mine one day!

The entrance to the bridge from the trail side.  The previous owners put this bench and pots here for people to sit and enjoy.  I could really spruce this up somehow.  Any idea's for me???  Maybe paint the bench a nice bright colour?

Now here's the video of the babbling brook I promised.  I sure can't wait til everything blooms and turns green.  

I added this pic of the window in my kitchen that looks into the pool room.  I took it first thing this morning.  Something about it just made me think of summer days.  I love my two new life rings that you can see through the window, hanging on the pool room wall.  I purchased for $4.99 ea at Michaels.  They're actually  made of wood but you can't tell.  They somehow cheer me up when I look at them.  (They look really tiny in  this picture but they're really not)

Well, thanks for coming on my bridge tour with me on this beautiful day!  Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Canadian Prices vs. American Prices

Today I want to write a blog about the difference in pricing from Canada to the United States.  I live on a border city to the United States.  Here, we know first hand how much cheaper everything costs in the States.  The dollar in the U.S. used to be worth much more than the Canadian dollar but, today the two dollars are virtually worth the same thing.  This is why it bothers me so much that the U.S. get everything cheaper than we do in Canada.

I want to give you some examples today of what its costs us here as opposed to purchasing it over there.

Here are kitchen cabinet pull handles by Martha Stewart from Home Depot in Canada and Home Depot in the U.S.A.  The name varies a bit but I can't tell the difference between the two.  You can click on the name and price below to see the product on it's web page.

Home Depot Canada $5.49                                                                    Home Depot U.S.A. $4.49

(Sorry, apparently Canada can't even get the picture larger)

Here are some more examples....

Home Depot Canada $179.00                            Home Depot U.S.A. $149.00

Again, the two have different names but the product # is identical.  Now how can it be justified to sell the same chandelier to Canadians for $30.00 more.  This kind of money adds up!

Lets continue.....

Lowe's Canada was $498.00 on sale for $398.00    Lowe's U.S.A. was $370.00 on sale for $341.10

That's $56.10 more for the Canadian to pay.  Are you starting to feel my Canadian pain yet?

Let's look at Pier 1.  That store just kills me.  First of all, we do not have the same selection as the U.S. stores, and secondly, I would never shop at the one in Canada because of the prices.

Pier 1 Canada Clearance $409.98                          Pier 1 U.S.A. Clearance $279.98

OK, they don't even try to change the name on this chair.  $130.00 difference?  How can I justify paying this when I can just drive across the bridge and buy it there?

The list could go on and on for ever but for now, I'm going to stop here.  I think that every time I come across a discrepancy in price, I'll add it to this page just so that everyone can feel my pain.  

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Secretary Desk Tutorial

A blogger asked me some important questions about my Secretary Desk.  She suggested that I was assuming that people would just know on their own what I was doing, and she was right.  I'm still learning at this Blog stuff so I have to learn not to assume and be specific.  My apologies to everyone.  Therefore, I am now correcting myself and giving a tutorial on how I DIY'd my Secretary Desk.

Firstly, this tutorial is referring to this post that I did in February.  

Here is a pic of the desk when I purchased it. 

In order for me to give it the look I was looking for, I began by sanding it.  Then I decided to try to spray paint it.  This was the first time that I had ever tried spray paint.  This is the Spray Paint that I tried from Home Hardware (Canada)

I did not like the results that I was getting.  As you can see below, it was too blotchy for me.  Maybe if I would have kept it up, it would have turned out but I wasn't willing to try.  

Here is how it was looking with the spray paint.  

So, I decided to switch things up.  I went to Home Depot (Canada) and purchased a gallon of Behr Premium Plus Ultra Interior Semi Gloss Paint and Primer in One.  I bought this because the girl at the desk told me that the spray paint I had used, has oil in it.  Therefore, I now needed to use the primer mixed with the paint in order for it to adhere to the desk.  

I continued painted and let me tell you, it was a lot more work than I anticipated on.  Plenty of coats of paint over and over (I didn't sand in between coats and I probably should have)  I used a new foam roller brush everyday so that I would not have to clean up any rollers.  And, it was difficult to get into all of the cracks and make sure the paint didn't drip.  

When it was finally complete, I add these Cabinet knobs from Home Depot (Canada)

Then I decided that the back of the shelves needed some pizzazz.  I choose this wallpaper from Home Depot (Canada) but I cannot find it on their website.  This website shows the exact same wallpaper.  

And that is how I got this....                                          To look like this.....

Here's a couple more after pics....

How I named my blog

Do you ever wonder how people come up with a name for their blog?  I always do.  Today I want to tell you how I came up with the name of my blog.  Last July, I lost my brother, David to colon cancer.  He was like a best friend to me.

Here is my brother and I in the early 1990's on a trip in Florida

Anyways, when I was a kid, a friend of mine taught me a prayer.  I'm sure many people know it in many different versions.  It goes something like: And If I die before I awake, That's one last test I'll have to take. 
So, while I was contemplating about starting a blog, I was doing a lot of thinking one night about my brother, all the work I had to do on the new house we had just purchased and thinking about that prayer.  I think my thoughts started to get mixed up about praying for my brother and praying that all of the work in the house would get down.  So I said to myself, "and if I die before I awake, that's one last room I'll have to decorate." 
(Instead of One last test I'll have to take, get it, the take and decorate rhyme, lol) 

I then thought, hmmm, that might work for a blog name.  But, the die before I awake part seemed too depressing.  So I dropped the first line and left it with the second line.  

RIP my brother

So that's how my blog name came about.  Where did your blog name come from?

Friday, 2 March 2012

Geometric Mirror Tutorial

As I explained in my first post about my geometric mirror, I got my inspiration from this pic at Anthropologie.  

I new I could come up with something without spending Anthropologie's $648.00 asking price.  So here's what I created:

I already had 2 mirrors that I had purchased a couple of year's ago at a Target store in Illinois while I was visiting my sister.  (I live in Canada and we do not have a Target store)  They looked a lot like this one that the Target store has on line now.  But, I would never have paid $27.89 ea, sale or no sale.  Mine were about $14.99 or less if I recall.  

This is the actual mirror:  (my house is dark and hard to take a good pic)

So I took a trip to my local Michael's Store and found some Balsa Wood sticks.  

They looked like these:

They were 36" long and 1/2" X 1/2" and no more than $2.00ea.  I took them home and spray painted them black. 

Then I took my mirror, found the center of it, and drew a line down it with a dry eraser pen and a long straight edge, which happened to be a long level.  

I then need to find my center spot on the mirror.  I used the concept from art class as a child.  I drew two more lines from corner to corner, crossing over the first one.  Were the X meets is now your center of the entire mirror.  

I then needed to figure out how large I wanted the three squares to be.  I hunted in the house for something square.  The best I could do was this ZipLoc lid.

I felt that this was still a little large for my squares so I folded a piece of paper up into a square, just smaller than the lid.

I cut out my square and then found the center of it using the same X system as above by folding the square twice.  I then poked a hole into the center of the square so that when I placed it on top of the X on the mirror, I would be able to see the black markings on the mirror.  I also measure the square in order for me to no how big to cut the wood to create the square.  It ended up being 4 1/2" square.  

I cut 12 pieces of wood to the length of 4 1/2".  I then had to make a 90 degree cut in order to connect the pieces together like a picture frame.  To find my 90 I again folded my square from opposite corner to opposite corner.  This created a 90.  I laid it on top of the wood and cut my 90.  (I only work with hi tech tools here people)

  I then glued them all together using Home Depot's No More Nails:

I took my paper square with the hole in the middle and laid it onto the X on the center of my mirror, I then positioned my square on top of it until it was lined up and then removed the paper.  I then began measuring all of the distances I had remaining and centered the next two squares in the same way.  

I then measured the distance between each square in order to make my cuts to join up each square.  I laid everything out for a dry fit. 

I touched up all of my paint spots that needed doing and then I proceeded to glue everything down with the No More Nails trying very carefully not to use to much so that I would not seep out.  I did have to cut some away with a utility knife after it was dried.  

And that's it.  I ended up with my Anthropologie inspired mirror.  Now I just have one more to complete and then I have to decide where to hang them. 

                       Mine                                                                             Anthropologie's 

I am linking up to the following.....

Thrifty Decorating 
Organize With Sandy
Shine Your Light
The Shabby Nest
Serenity Now
Tatertots & Jello
Knock Off Decor
Addicted 2 Decorating
Thrifty Decor Chick