A Few Favourites from The Penny Paper Co. & a Giveaway!

One of the first blogs I started reading regularly was “Little House Blog’ by Lindsay Stephenson. At the time I think she and her husband were working on their dining room, but since then they’ve renovated their kitchen, finished their basement bathroom, redone their main bathroom and a slew of other projects around their home which are equally gorgeous. If I ever renovate either my kitchen or bath I’m honestly going to be heavily referencing her projects.

In addition to being a blogger and mom, Lindsay is the owner of The Penny Paper Co. – a wonderful online shop that sells art prints for adults and kids alike, amazing jewelry, and even rubber stamps and cute accessories to make sitting at your desk more fun. Lindsay has also had her artwork sold in HomeSense and Chapters/Indigo stores across Canada which is beyond neat.

The Penny Paper Co. has so many wonderful things, but here are a few of my current favourites.:

What do you think? Anything you’d love to have? I hope so, because in celebration of Penny Paper Co.’s 10th Anniversary Lindsay has offered a $50 gift certificate for anything in the store! Can you believe it? I’m rather jealous of whoever is going to win.

To enter visit The Penny Paper and Co. and then leave a comment here letting me know what you’d pick if you won. Would it be something for yourself, or maybe something as a gift? There are so many great things to choose from.

Want some more chances to win? Like Eamonn & Jack on Facebook or tweet about this giveaway for additional entries.

This giveaway is open to readers in Canada and the USA, and closes at 12:01am EST on Friday, October 3.

The Penny Paper Co. Giveaway

My First Attempt at Pinch-Pleated Drapes

I’m going to let you in on a little secret – I’m a bad blogger. I start all sorts of projects (sometimes I even finish them) and then don’t blog about them until months later. Here’s one such project which I first mentioned in March.

You may remember last year I asked for a little help in figuring out how much fabric I needed to makes drapes for my living room. I was planning on buying some lovely fabric and wanted to make sure I bought enough given there was a pattern, and the window is rather large. I bought the fabric and then had a bit of a nervous breakdown at the thought of trying to actually makes drapes as I’d never attempted them before. Adding to the panic – I wanted to make pinch-pleated drapes – not the easier tab or rod pocket style, and I wanted them to be fully lined. I decided a trial run was needed to assure myself that a complete novice could do it.

My bedroom windows were elected for my first foray into sewing drapes, and I collected my supplies. I decided to keep it as simple at possible and stuck with a plain white fabric (I think it was this, and this was the lining). While it wouldn’t allow me to practice matching a pattern, the plain white best suits the design plan I have for my bedroom. I also wanted simple drapery hardware so I chose this rod and finials from Ikea because they were simple and inexpensive.Bedroom Curtains - pleats

Bedroom Curtains - touch the floor

Just touching the floor

This isn’t a how-to post simply because there are a lot of really great tutorials on the web about how to sew drapes. I mostly used this one by Kristi, and I relied on YouTube to teach myself how to sew a blind hem. This tutorial video was pretty good, and I practiced for a while on scrap fabric.

Bedroom curtains

My new 8ft tall pinch-pleated drapes

My new 8ft tall pinch-pleated drapes

It was a lot of work, but in the end I’m quite pleased with the result. More importantly I’m not quite as nervous to try making drapes for my living room. What do you think? Do they look okay? Have you ever sewn pinch-pleated drapery panels, or other types of window coverings?

The January Cure – an update

In my last post I detailed the list of things I hoped to accomplish this year in my home. The making of the list was prompted by the Apartment Therapy January Cure. and I though I’d give you a wee update.

Last weeks tasks started off pretty well. After I made my list, and started my outbox I made good use of the rush of energy that comes with the start of any project, but by the end of the weekend my enthusiasm for this month-long project had dramatically decreased.

First up – my front hall closet. Honestly my closet wasn’t too horrific, so it only took about 30 minutes to get this task complete.

My front Hall closet - before

My front Hall closet – before

I’m a BIG believer in using all the same hangers (preferably wood ones – Ikea sells packages for a good price, and so does Homesense) – this by default will make your closets look neater, so I was a bit dismayed to find some other types of hangers when I opened the door and really took a look.

Use hangers that are all the same - it make a big difference

Use hangers that are all the same – it make a big difference

The wire hangers were the first items to get added to my outbox, and were quickly followed by a couple of jackets I no longer wear, an old purse, and a pair of winter boots (I had bought a new pair just before Christmas). While cleaning out the old purse I discovered this which I’d forgotten I had:January cure - Starbucks

Woohoo! Cleaning is making me money!

My front hall closet - organized

My front hall closet – organized

Next I moved a few steps over to get started on my linen closet. I opened the door, and then was completely and utterly overwhelmed. Take a look – see overwhelming (I can’t believe I’m sharing my disaster with the world).Linen closet before I decided to take the easy route and started on my actual linens. I pulled everything out and discovered I had an awful lot of sheets for a home with only 1 bed. I also discovered I had a whole selection of never opened new sheets and pillowcases at the bottom of the big pile. I ended up adding about half my old sheets to my outbox, so that section of my linen closet is looking a lot better. When I looked at the rest of my closet I lost my organizing mojo, so it will have to wait for another day.

Slightly more organised

Slightly more organized

The tasks for the weekend were three fold – I was to mop my floors, buy green cleaning products, and buy myself flowers. If you’ve read this blog for a while you know I don’t have any difficulty buying myself flowers so that task was easily completed. I was less successful with the other two. I only managed to mop three rooms – my living room, the kitchen and the bathroom – my bedroom and dining room currently have random piles of stuff everywhere that I need to find homes for, and I was too lazy to move them to mop. January Cure - first flowersThe last task for the weekend was to buy new ‘green’ cleaning products. I already have cleaning products, and while they may not be ‘green’ I can’t see the point in buying new stuff until I need some – wouldn’t throwing out what I already have be just as bad for the environment as using it? Other than buying some toilet cleaner (because I needed it) I’m putting this task in the ‘not completed’ column. I will commit to buying green products from now on, so this task will eventually migrate over to the completed column.

I case I’ve given you the impression I didn’t accomplish much, by the end of the weekend my outbox had become 4 boxes, one table, a computer monitor and a bag of clothes, and instead of leaving it all to languish in boxes in my living room (which is a classic Michelle thing to do) I actually hauled it all out of my house and donated it – Yay me! January cure - out boxesI also drove out to Oshawa and picked up this Kijiji bookcase which will help me with the ‘get more storage’ item on the list of tasks for my living room, and I’ve decided it will be the project I commit to completing this month (Picking the project was the task for day 5). I really want to paint it (it’s currently black and rather institutional looking), but spray-paint is out since it’s winter, so I’ll have to come up with something else. Hopefully something amazing will come to me soon since it’s already the 11th of January.

The sellers photo

The sellers photo

Are you guys doing the January cure? Are you having any success?

I’m Honoured

In the past two weeks my little blog has been featured on two blogs that I read daily. When I spotted both in my feed reader I nearly jumped up and squealed, but that didn’t seem too appropriate while at work, so I kept my giddiness at bay – at least for a little while (you may have spotted some electronic joy if you follow me on twitter or Instagram).

First up my refinished dresser was featured on Lindsay’s Better After blog:

In the interest of full disclosure I did submit this project to Lindsay in the hopes she might share it, but it was still beyond exciting to see it featured as I had no idea if it would be. I love her site – she shares all sorts of projects from around the web, and her introductions are rather amusing.

Last Monday my console refinishing project was featured over on Apartment Therapy. This one was a complete and utter surprise – I have no idea how the people there saw it, but when I saw this in my reader there may have been an ‘Holy SH@#’ whispered by yours truly.

It’s always nice when others appreciate what your work, so I’d like to thank both Lindsay and Apartment Therapy for sharing two of my most loved projects with a wider audience. It’s very much appreciated.