Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Back Entrance

We use the back entrance of our house all of the time. Rarely do we use the front, and we encourage people to just come round back. Until we painted it I was embarrassed to welcome people into my home in the state it was in.
You know how I've complained before about the crappy workmanship by the last owners? This space epitomized all of the bad things in our house, all in one spot. I won't go into massive detail here, but follow along and you will get a taste of shoddy painting and weird electrical and then you will see how much nicer it is now!!!

Ugly brown, one coat of sloppy paint, a four-switch switch plate where there are only three switches, nictoine stains, everything painted one colour, broken ceiling fan that appeared to have caught fire at one point (yes you heard that.. IT HAD CAUGHT FIRE AND WAS NEVER REMOVED!!!!!), gross carpet, dingy feeling ambience.

double blech
I didn't even get a picture of the old ceiling fan because we pretty much beat it up and tossed it out. It was a hazard to good taste but a hazard to our home as well. Bye bye!

trim and door painted white! holy freshness Batman!

the view into my kitchen

still have ugly carpet. funky baseboards going on here. these stairs used to be a closet.

the view to the back door
As you can see, it is one million times brighter and happier in this space. The ceiling is so high that when it was painted the ugly brown it just looked like a giant empty space of suck. The paint colour is called Vanilla Milkshake (in Behr paint, I swear by it) and I was so lucky to have picvked it up from the mis-tint section at Home Depot. It was $8! I wanted a light yellow but the shade didn't really matter so when I saw it I got REALLY EXCITED. I don't know how much I totally love this colour but you know what? At this stage I don't care!!! It will look better once we put down new carpet or tiles at the back. Blue just doesn't go with anything :)
As I said, the stairs used to be the cloest in the downstairs bedroom which is now my kitchen. There is some funky shit going down in this space due to some shoddy workmanship but really this isn't the worst I have seen in this house! If you see that picture of the baseboards you can see how the section of wall going up kind of slinks out of nowhere and turns into a bulkhead:
This is the new light we bought. It is hard to get a real good picture of it, but I quite like it. It is made out of real metal and glass, not plastic! Woo hoo! Also it hasn't been burned so that is a plus.
Thankfully there wasn't much technical stuff to be done here besides putting in the new light and painting, but we had our electrician come in while we were doing the den because the wall with the light switches here was shared with the den and we had to do some switching around of switches. He put new switches in, and now we can turn on the basement light at the top of the stairs, not just at the bottom (which is SO AWESOME! Don't take this feature for granted!). I bought a heavy solid brass faceplate at the ReStore on Walkley that had three holes for switches not four... yes they do actually make these! You wouldn't have known that by seeing the old one!
scratched up by hey so am I.

Anyways all new electrical, new switches, new fresh paint, and some artwork really spruced up this dark hole.
value village for $5

check out all that yarn art goodness! this was in great shape, no stains or age spots.

another value village find, only $7. oil painting with no frame. have to make one for it one day!
Greg also made a coat rack out of a piece of old painted wood he found in the garage.

So now when you come to my house you'll be greeted by warm sunshine! Please stop by whenever you want :) We'd be happy to see you!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Why I Love Freecycle

Freecycle, or Fullcircles as my local one is called (it branched out), is awesome. You can give away your old stuff to people who will actually use it, instead of donating it to Value Village where it might languish for months before being shipped to Africa, or destroyed. There are all sorts of things offered up, sometimes broken, but it's free and if you can fix or use it, who cares, right?
I first joined Freecycle because I wanted a 50's dinette set. I knew it would be a miracle if one ever showed up.. but not a month later, one did!! AND it was yellow, just what I wanted! I think it was the universe sending me messages again. Anyways, though it took awhile for me to get the stupid thing, I did. And then I started getting more stuff.. and more... but it's all good. I feel like I am pretty lucky, most of the things I reply to are gifted to me. I think it's because I am polite but humourous in my messages to people, and I do truely only ask for things I will use. I also give alot of stuff away so I think it is true, you get what you give.
Anyways, I wanted to show you guys some of the amazing things I have been gifted from Freecycle. These are just the decor items, lord knows I have a tonne of stuff in my cupboards, or little things that would be useless to tell you about, so here goes!

The Dinette
As I said, this was my whole reason for joining. The girl had bought it at an auction but had found a more size-suitable table for her new house. The chrome on the legs of both the table and chairs is totally rusty, and two of the chairs have little rips, but really those things aren't the first thing you notice. And it will tide me over until I find a real fancy (and hopefully affordable!) new one.
Alejandro and some oranges. More on the hutch later.
The Green Chair
We had an old green chair that was sort of wooly, and Cletus tore it to shreds. So we got this one from a nice family not far from our house. It had been their aunt's chair. I wasn't sure about it at first, but Cletus doesn't seem to like it so that makes it good in my books!

Encyclopedia Britannica 1910
This set, including the stand (original? Possibly) is the 11th Edition, printed in 1911. It is pretty hilarious to read, because so many things haven't happened yet. There are lots of pages to unfold with crazy pictures and maps. The pages are that really thin paper, like an old Bible. The spines are well worn but the covers are in good shape.

A nice lady in Westboro gave away her stuffed hawk, and I was the lucky recipient! She said she had had alot of interest in him. I think my story about Petey won her over :) Anyways, the hawk has a back story I thought was really interesting: Years ago, the lady was travelling through Europe, and she stopped to see a friend in Spain. The friend gave her this hawk, as a present, but she was not done her travels so then had to lug it around with her! She had a hard time getting it back into Canada because of what it is, but she did, and now he lives on my dining room hutch. He is going to get a nicer home once we get the shelves for the den finished. Anyways I like him alot.

The Bookcase in the Den

I picked this up around Christmastime from a guy who was giving away some sweet stuff. It is exactly the height and style we were looking for, for the den. All of the wood in that room is teak or that shade so it suits perfectly. There are some burned spots on the top (or maybe it's just stained, it's hard to tell) but it doesn't matter to me! And it's going to be covered up with books at some point anyways.
Big Metal Desk
I wanted a big desk or table for sewing, and it was used for that purpose sporadically, but now it has been taken over by Greg. Sorry about the mess in the picture, but Greg is trying to revive a plant in his vintage chrome slate-bottom tank. We also use it as a potting table for our million houseplants. Therefore you could say it is very versatile and well loved. I like the Formica top on it... I think I might use a pattern similar in my kitchen. I believe these desks were used by the Government back in the 60's and 70's, and the thing is solid metal. It weighs a frigging tonne.
the chair came with the house. I love it.

it's hard to tell from this picture, but the table is light grey with darker grey weft pattern. chrome legs and trim. awesome.
Eames Era Chair
No, it is not an Eames. Those are too pricey for this thrifty gal! The maker of this was John Doerner and I am not sure, through my research, if his company made the whole chair or just the metal part on the bottom. Apparently there was some lawsuit involving sale of a company and then they didn't abide by the rules set out in the contract.. anyways it is a fakes Eames that I got from a woman who was cleaning out her father's house. I didn't really want it because of the colour but Greg told me I was crazy to let it go.. so I got it. As I went to pick it up there was another man picking something up and you could tell he was super jealous. :)
The Little White Chair
I got this chair from the same house as Cristobal, but like a year apart. Freecyclers really just keep on giving! Anyways, I was having 11 people over for Christmas dinner and I needed another chair, when this one popped up. I have never seen a chair who had extra spindles on the back crossing over like that, I thought it was really neat and the paint is all shabby and cream-coloured.. anyways now it and Cristobal are reunited and it feels so good.
the cushion cover is temp till I get around to sewing a cool one.

Else's Change Table
This was a wooden dresser in not the greatest shape. It was maple coloured, and is solid wood not that MDF crap you buy nowadays. Anyways we repainted it and put new hardware on, in a simple rough brass finish and ta-da! Else has a nice change table! The top has a ledge around it so it keeps her change pad from falling off. It has been very useful for me because it is high up and all her clothes are right there for me to dress Else in each day. This was a big score for us!
The Hutch
I didn't actually get this off of Freecycle but it was free and I saved it from the trash so I think that counts!! My friend Jen J's sister has an awesome design blog you've probably seen, Desire To Inspire, and this used to belong to her. It was in their parent's basement and she was going to put it to the curb when Jen told me about it and if I wanted it. Heck yes I wanted it!!! So we stuffed it in the back of the Subaru, which was no easy feat, and lugged it up to our apartment. It had a really great spot in the apartment but unfortunately we haven't found the best place for it in our house. It is currently in the back corner of the basement acting as a bar. I would love to bring it back up to the kitchen, maybe when we redo it there will be a spot! I think my Pyrex would suit it just perfectly :)

original glass. I think it must have been painted red or grey originally, I can't see any spot with other paint besides turquoise.

Thus concludes my Ode To Freecycle. You should join up cause there's so much stuff to be had!! Here is the link to find one near you, or check out Fullcircles here

* I should clarify that I mention both of the organizations because they have both been good to me, but I am currently on the Fullcircles list. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Okay people.
I have a confession to make.

I am an addict.

I love lamps.

Everywhere I go I see a lamp that needs a home. Big lamps, little lamps, mid century ones, Victorian ones, more modern ones.. I want them ALL. It has taken me a lot of restraint to not fill my house with hobnail milkglass lamps... you know the ones, with the little glass or metal tray underneath... PERFECT for the bedside table! If only I didn't have those OTHER bedside lamps!
See what I mean?

To honour my lamps, I thought I would show them to you and share their stories. Every lamp has a story to share.

This lamp didn't impress me much. Greg bought it somewhere he doesn't remember, and it was always just this boring, wood and metal pole lamp. He loved it though. AND THEN HE FOUND THE SHADE. Holy crap did that blow my mind. It was like I could see my future lamp obssession before me and I wanted to embrace it with open arms. When Greg told me how much he paid for the shade I just about dided (it was $40, marked down at an antique store in Peterborough. I was expecting $10, cause that is usually what regular shades cost at the thrift stores) Anyways I learned that it was indeed a great price for a 3 tiered lampshade. So here is the lamp:

just need to mention that i made that awesome pillow!

Fleshy used to live at my friend Meeka's house. One Halloween party, we were gifted this lamp and another (see below) to take home as she was moving in with Ren and didn't have room. At that time it was a "give it a temporary home" sort of deal, or so I thought. I was quite drunk at the time. Anyways Greg and I stumbled down the street, in the rain, dressed as an old grandma and the Dream Police, with our lamps under our arms. I think the cabbie that picked us up thought we were slightly weird. Anyways Meeka was told soon after that she wasn't getting her lamps back (was she confused as to why she even wanted them back? Maybe. I think she really did GIVE them to us!)

fleshy looks so good in the blue room

This was the other lamp Meeka gave us. He lost a plastic stick somewhere very uncomfortable (like the back of a Volkswagon?) Anyways he is still pretty sweet. He was rewired at some point, so he should last a good long time.
I should also mention that Greg is very good at rewiring lamps. Therefore there shall never be a lamp that goes to waste in our house!
Lord Ramathorn guards the records with Sputnik to light the way

Every year the neighbourhood know as The Glebe has this effing amazing giant yard sale (imagine... blocks and blocks of amazing deals). I scored this lamp for $10 from a stern older woman. My friend Jen also bought a lamp from her though I forget what it looked like; I was too busy planning where I'd put mine! It needed rewiring, and also a shade. I picked up the shade from Kijiji for $25 which was probably a lot but it suited the lamp so whatever.

I went up to see my friends Erin and Trevor in Kirkland Lake 2 summers ago with some other friends. On the way up, not far from New Liskard, there is an antique shop that sells a tonne of old lamps and lamp shades. I bought a really sweet pole lamp for $15. It too needed rewiring and a lampshade (I should have bought a shade from the store but I didn't have room in the car.. boo) and just this past weekend I did get a shade for it!! Good things come to those who wait.
the shade is a nice medium green. Heart.

the base of the lamp really makes me HAPPY.

We went to the Value Village in Orleans one Sunday, the day we usually do our trolling for deals, and there was this AWESOME couch and chair set and these two huge awesome lamps. I think someone had finally redone their 60's livingroom. Anyways, we should have bought the couch and chair cause someone else did and sold it on Kijiji for $600. Anyways we went back a few weeks later and the lamps were still there. We had a coupon for 30% off so the lamps, that were $20 each, ended up costing $30 for both. They are now in the bedroom. They will match my awesome curtains I have yet to finish.

i love the texture of the shades.

I bought this lamp at a yard sale for $10. It (surprise!) needed rewiring and so the guy was willing to knock the price down from $25 for me. The base on it is really cute, and I love how the paint is worn and the 'candles' are discoloured with age. I JUST got a lampshade for it today from a nice Kijiji lady. I think it suits the room well, but may be a bit small for this particular lamp. I might do some switching around of shades in the future, but for now I really like it!! 
cletus is the laundry guardian.
look at the fake wax drips! also the little scrolls on the arms!

This is the third lamp given to us by Meeka and Ren (Thanks guys!!) This one was a housewarming prezzie. They got it from their friend Drew who has some really amazing stuff. He is currently in Else's room, awaiting rewiring and a new bulb. Unfortunately the rider's foot is chipped off but I don't care, I still love them!
i like the leaf finial and the spot in the back to plant your fake plants.

One day we were at the Sally Ann and they were having a silent auction. There was only one other bet on this lamp so Greg bid on it. We won! I like his fiery eyes the best. I think he was a popular model, I've seen a few around but not in as good shape as Horsey.

I have these lamps that have been displaced. There is a set that used to be our bedside lamps until we bought the ones above. They had been a set for many years and then were split up, one to Grammy's house and one to her brother Morely's. Anyways we got them back together when we lived in our apartment, and they shall stay together forever more. However I don't know WHERE they will stay together cause we don't have the room for them! I think my sister-in-law wants them now and she is welcome to them.
The other lamp is one that never really had a good home. He has been moved all over the basement, until we redid the laundry room and disconnected the (scarily wired) fluorescent light in there. So now he sits on my government-issue metal desk and provides light for me when I do laundry or need something out of the chest freezer.
laundry room lamp

one of the pair, sitting in the middle of the floor, waiting for a home.


I know they're not lamps but they provide light and I like them, so here are my favourite light fixtures in the house.
The first swirly one came from our apartment. We liked it too much to leave it, so we switched an ugly nipple light from the house, with this one. Now it is in our bedroom. The next globe one is in the upstairs hallway. I've always liked these little guys. I also love the scalloped base on it. Beneath that is the yellow shade that used to be in the bedroom, that we now have in the den. Lastly, my wall sconces in the front room. You have to plug them into the socket. The wire scares me; they only get turned on when company's coming!!