Update and a Big Change

In the month+ since I last posted I’ve been busy. Classes finally finished mid-august and I will admit to being completely burnt out. I see now that I took on way too much, and it’s time to scale back a bit. I’m going to continue with my Interior decorating courses, but I think I might do just one this semester – three while working full time was just nutty.

Anyways, In order to recover a bit from my rather hectic spring/summer I took a bit of time off from blogging to visit my parents, work on a couple of small projects around my place, catch up on some sleep, and work on a big change that’s been on my ‘must-do-list’ forever.

My August: relaxing, picking 14lbs of blueberries, magical sunsets, visiting the Mascot Mine, and a couple of DIY projects that ensured my manicure was always ruined

My August: relaxing, picking 14lbs of blueberries, magical sunsets, visiting the Mascot Mine, and a couple of DIY projects that ensured my manicure was always ruined

If you’ve read this blog for a while you may recall this post from a few months after I started where I explained how I came up with Sweetsute10 and also talked about the doubts I had even then about my choice. Well, it’s taken 3 years (and more domain name purchases than I’d care to admit), but I’m finally re-branding.

Re-branding is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I wanted to make sure I was sure about the new name I chose – I didn’t want to have to make the change a second time. It’s been a lot of work and, since I’m attempting to do it myself, a lot of time googleing, watching YouTube videos, and making mistakes.

I’m hoping to have my new site up and ready sometime this week (keep your fingers crossed for me – this was supposed to happen in July but I had some technical problems , and there was a some procrastination). There’s still piles to do – hopefully the major stuff will be sorted out and I can get this launched – some stuff, like re-watermarking my 789 photos might take a while, but can be done after my new site is live.

Oh, my new blog name? It’s Eamonn & Jack. I’ll share the origin of the name one it’s launched – I hope you’ll continue to visit once it’s up and running.

My lovely new logo by the equally lovely Brittany Douglas

My lovely new logo by the equally lovely Brittany Douglas

Moving Furniture Without Lifting a Finger

When I first moved into my apartment I didn’t have a single piece of living room furniture other than my desk, and the media console I inherited from the previous owner. I’m coming up on my two-year anniversary and I’ve managed to accumulate a bit more furniture since move-in day, but it’s all been placed in the room in a rather unimaginative way – up against the walls. I’ve tried to imagine different room layouts, but the idea of moving all my big furniture around only to realise what worked in my head doesn’t in reality has stopped me from testing my out my wonder woman powers.

While trolling the internet one day looking for some more lighting for my living room I spotted something intriguing on the Urban Barn website. It’s an application called ‘The Make room’ planner and it allows you to try different configurations until you find the best layout for your space – all with barely lifting a finger! The application, which is online, allows you to create your own layout, and then add all you furniture and lighting elements. The  application comes pre-loaded with all of Urban Barn’s products, but because most homeowners buy from various sources you can add custom sized elements to represent furniture you already own. I don’t own any furniture from Urban Barn so I measured and created all my furniture on the program. Once you’ve got all your items gathered you can move them around and save different layouts for viewing again later.

I played around with it for a while, and I came up with some layouts that could work, but I need some help deciding which I should risk straining a muscle to recreate in my living room, and I’m hoping you might help (BTW – Urban Barn has no idea I’m writing this post. I found the tool and though it was neat so I’m sharing it).

Here are the furnishings I’m dreaming of moving around:

My New Coffee Table in Place

My New Louis XV Style Chairs

This is my current furniture layout:

My current living room layout

As you can see, it’s not very imaginatively laid out. And it’s a bit of a lie – those chairs are usually sitting up against a wall as I still haven’t managed to refinish them. Also my desk isn’t that clean – it’s currently covered in piles of papers. I don’t watch a huge amount of TV, but when I do the sofa isn’t oriented in the best way to do so.

Here are the layouts I created online. They are in no particular order.

Layout 1. The table and lamp behind the sofa would have to be purchased.

Layout 2.

Layout 3

Layout 4. The table and lamp behind the sofa would have to be purchased

Layout 5

Layout 6. The table and lamp behind the sofa would have to be purchased.

What do you think? Would any of the options above work better than my current furniture placement? Are there any I haven’t thought of?

Linking to: Beyond the Picket Fence, Addicted 2 Decorating

I’m Finally Pinteresting

I have a bit of a problem. I currently get two magazines delivered to my home every month – Style at Home, and Canadian House & Home. I like to flip through them to see what wonderful (and sometimes odd) things people are doing inside their homes. Now, some of you may have many more subscriptions than I, but my problem isn’t the number of magazines I get, it’s the number I keep. That’s right, I keep them all.

My Embarrassing Overflowing Bookcase

Behold my bookcase – that bottom shelf is pretty much all magazines that I’ve kept on the off-chance that someday I may feel the need to flip though one that’s two years old (or more) for decor inspiration.

As I’ve recently been plotting a project that will require my bookcase to be emptied, I decided to start shifting through the 3 years of decor magazines collecting dust on the bottom shelf. But, what was I going to do with them? I couldn’t just recycle them – what about all the great stuff contained within their glossy pages? I could tear out the pages that I liked, but then I’d have to figure out where to store the random pages.

For the past few months I’ve been silently stalking Pinterest. I’d login occasionally, take a look at some things people had ‘pinned’, maybe save a few, and then log out. I didn’t do much with it, until I decided to sort through my stack of magazines.

For those of you who aren’t aware of Pinterest it’s described as ‘a virtual pinboard’ – a way to store and save all those things you find on the web, that you might need one day. I prefer to think of it as a more visual way to store all those bookmarks you have in your internet browser, but instead of folders you have boards.

Here is what Pinterest looks like:

Main Pinterest page

To make saving images from the internet easy you install a small ‘Pin-it’ button to your bookmarks bar, and then whenever you see something you’d like to save you click on the button. A little pop-up window appears and you select the image you’d like to save, and then decide which of your boards you will save the image to. You can also add a comment to each Pin to describe what it is.

Pinterest starts you with a few default boards, but you can rename them, and add more depending on the items you’re going to be saving.

My ‘For the Home’ Page

You can also search Pinterest for images that appeal to you, and if you find something you can re-pin it to your board. I don’t particularly like this function – If I find an image I like, I’d rather go to the originating website and pin-it directly, but that’s simply a personal preference.

Pinterest also allows you to follow people, or you can follow individual boards, so if there’s someone who’s taste is similar to yours you can see what they’ve pinned. Here’s my profile if you’d like to see what I’m pinning.

If you have a blog or website you can also see what images people have pinned from your site –  type this into your browser with your site’s full url (without the www.): http://pinterest.com/source/insertyourwebsite’surlhere/

My Slightly More Organised Bottom Shelf

Anyways, after several hours of magazine flipping I now have a Pinterest page with 14 boards and 149 pins. I also have a bookcase that is slightly less crammed with magazines. Hopefully I’ll be good and periodically purge my magazine collection. Next up is sorting all my books, and deciding which I really want to keep, and which can go to a new home.

What’s in a name?

When I started writing my blog back in January I struggled to come up with a name for it. I didn’t want something too simple like ‘Michelle’s Blog’ (besides – this was taken), and wanted something that subtly indicated what my blog would be about. I read quite a few blogs and they all have great names that reference what they’re about, and are usually something a little catchy and easy to remember like StyleNorth, The Art of Doing Stuff and Bye bye, Brooklyn.

After much trial and error I came up with Sweetsuite10, and here’s why:

  • I live in a condo, which could also be referred to as an apartment or suite.
  • I wanted a descriptive word in the name, and I love the way alliteration looks and sounds.  Given I was working on my blog name late at night when I should have probably been sleeping some of the‘s’ adjectives on my list were stupendous and snazzy – luckily sanity returned and I decided on sweet. I also enjoy that both words sound the same but mean different things and are spelled differently (Yes, I’m aware I’m a bit of a nerd).
  • I would have left it at Sweetsuite, but someone else on the internet had already claimed it (Boo!), so I tacked on the number 10 to represent my unit number.

So, that’s the name I picked, and it’s great, but I’ve recently started having second thoughts as to the wisdom of my name choice. While the name sweetsuite10 is a good fit now, what happens in the future? What if down the road I move and no longer live in an apartment? Or my unit number is no longer 10?  If, for example, I was to move into a house that was number 59, would you think Sweetsuite10 was still a good fit for a blog where I’m basically write about my efforts to decorate it? (Before anyone freaks – no, I don’t have any plans to move in the near future – I’m thinking about down the road – like any good Girl Scout I’d like to be prepared).

Anyways, I though I’d put the question out there and see what everyone thinks – should I plan on keeping the name even if in future it no longer references where I’m living and decorating? Or, should I start moving towards a name change? If I do decide to change my blog name what should it be? I’m open to suggestions as given the difficulties I had coming up with my current name, any attempt to come up with another is bound to be even more arduous. So, please leave me a comment or send me an email at sweetsuite10(at)gmail(dot)com to let me know what you think – any input would be appreciated!