Monday, 28 November 2011

Narcissus papyraceus

This holiday season, I've decided to force some narcissus papyraceus bulbs.

Narci what?

You know. Narcissus papyraceus bulbs. No? Doesn't ring a bell?

How about their other name? Paperwhites? There we go!
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When we were in the States a couple of weeks ago, I scored a carton of bulbs for $5.00! Not bad considering they're generally double that at home (don't even get me started on the $6.00 orchid plants I saw while down there....I spent $19.00 on mine....)! Anyways, I've always loved the way these guys look, but for some goofy reason have never gotten around to trying them out for myself.
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Apparently it's a matter of me planting them in a pot....watering them and then waiting 3 to 4 weeks for blossoms. So in some ways, I guess that makes them like the adult version of Sea-Monkeys...minus the creepiness of Sea-Monkeys (there's just something about Sea-Monkeys that freaks me out). If all goes as planned, my bulbs should be looking snazzy by the week before Christmas. That is, if I get my ass in gear and actually plant them.
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I've stalled on planting my bulbs because I was on the hunt for a great looking piece to plant them in - but really haven't found anything that stood out and excited me. I'm thinking however, that they'd look great if planted in my whiteware fruit bowl....then again, where will my bananas live for the next couple of months?
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As much as I love the look of paper whites, I still haven't figured out why they and amaryllis bulbs are so popular during the holiday season...I get the whole poinsettia thing, but flower bulbs in winter? Regardless, I think they'll add some fun dining room table over Christmas.
And what happens if they don't come up?! I'll fake it with the silks ones I saw at will be our little secret.

Decorating begins tonight!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Looking ahead.

So here we are, November 24th, and I'm wondering - where did this month go? Seriously. Where did it go? Weren't we just enjoying Halloween like last weekend? It's almost the end of November and I don't have a single Christmas decoration up yet...I might be slipping!

I've been a busy boy to say the least! Work and life in general have been keeping me on my toes....and honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. I like a little bit of chaos. Or rather, organized confusion....

Work has been a lot of fun (who'd of thunk it?), I'm currently trying to piece together the last of my summer seasonal stuff for next year - I've been booking patio furniture and outdoor decor left, right and centre - I can't wait to share some pics of everything when it arrives. As of this morning, I was trying to navigate my way through a sea of fabric options for throw cushions and lounger pads...where's a guy to begin?
Throw in the stacks of catalogues of garden decor items along with catalogues of vanities, area rugs, lamps, bi-cast leather furniture and Christmas merchandise for the second half of 2012 and I'm not lacking any work!

On the home front, I'm feeling a bit like a bad parent for neglecting this blog! It hasn't been on purpose - really! My place is probably feeling the same way you guys are - I still haven't finished painting my living and dining needs loads of touch ups and I have to finish the trim up. Someday.

The only thing that I've been successful at is tackling the monstrosity that is my bedroom closet. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a little bit of a clothes times my bedroom looks like a clothing store that threw-up all over the place. I'm come to the conclusion that I own more dress shirts than any guy should have - whether he's gay, straight or otherwise....(is it wrong to bring in the gay thing to justify buying more shirts?).

After some serious digging and sorting Value Village ended up with four garbage bags of clothes that I'd either gotten bored with, outgrown, were too big or that I'd forgotten about all together. It's funny how getting rid of a pile of "stuff" can make a guy feel lighter and in some goofy way, happier. That and I found a couple shirts that I bought this summer and forgot about...tags still intact. Oye.

Looking ahead, work's only going to get crazier as I try to figure out how the hell I'm going to pull my seasonal projects together. And as we head closer and closer to Christmas things around home are also going to get nutty with dinners, parties, shopping and hopefully some Dan-pretending-to-be-crafty sessions. I'm hoping to yank some stuff out tonight...we'll see what happens. Regardless of how much, or how little I accomplish, you'll see the (hopefully not scary) end results!

Now, bring on the eggnog!

Did I mention that I'm planning on becoming an eggnog snob this holiday season? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Stamp it!

How cool is this? It's a stamp rug!
A UK company has received the Royal approval to produce 100 percent New Zealand wool rugs that feature different British stamp counterparts. Available in an array of colours, like the stamps themselves, each colour represents a different value - 
1p Stamp Rug50p Stamp Rug
56p Stamp Rug62p Stamp Rug
Apparently they've been on the market for over a year, but its only been recently that I've started to see these unique statement pieces show up in the different design magazines and blogs that I read.
Part 3

Ethically produced in Nepal, each piece is individually produced - from dying of wool to setting of looms, to create a unique statement piece.
And though I'm madly in love with these pieces - they are pretty pricey. Well, actually they're like UBER pricey for the average Dan (or anyone else I know for that matter). Sure they're one-of-a-kind rugs, but with a starting price of roughly $1100 CDN they're definitely an investment piece.
Now, if this were one of those crafty blogs, I'd show you how to make your own version of this snazzy rug using carpet remnants and fabric paint....but who are we kidding? This is not that kind of blog, nor do I possess the talent to show you how to do something like that.

If you're one of those people that really want the rug, you'll invest in it....for the rest of us, we can admire the pictures. And, if you're one of those talented people that thinks you can come up with something similar using scraps of fabric and paint, I'd love to see what you come up with.


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Word up.

When writing the story of your life, 
don't let anyone else hold the pen.


Scheming. Holiday style....

Having not completely maxed out my Mastercard this past weekend, I made Mister stop at Menards on our way home from the States. At first he wanted to know why I wanted to stop at an American hardware store....trying to work things out in my head, I figured that I'd say something about how I should check it out due to 'work'...but then I realized that all I needed to say were two magic words "Christmas stuff."

Before you knew it, we'd grabbed a shopping cart and had proceeded to fill it with trims and pieces for our respective trees. And though I found some cool pieces at 25% off the lowest (already stupidly cheap) retail, I was especially excited by all of the clear Christmas balls I found for $1.99 per box of 6. 
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Sitting in the passenger seat on the way home I started to wonder what I could do with the 18 balls that I'd picked up. I'd had a few ideas while buying them, but it was more impulse than anything that had me putting them in the cart. So, wondering what I options I had, I figured I'd hit-up my beloved Pinterest to see what I could stumble across for ideas!

Here are some of my fave ideas! I haven't figured out what I'm going to do yet, but I've got a couple of ideas up my sleeves!
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Terrarium Christmas Ornament Handmade - Moss Nature Terrarium in a Clear Ball, Woodland Snow Globe - Single
Not bad huh? The big thing will be trying to a) find time to be all crafty b) figure out how to use a glue gun without burning myself and c) knowing when to stop. I find that whenever I attempt to do anything remotely crafty I always end up going overboard. I don't think that I'm ready for this tree to look like it came from the 'Liberace house of crap....'

So while I dig out my glue gun and try to figure out what I'm doing, let me know what you'd do! What idea that I've shown caught your eye?


All that glitters.

I was lucky enough this past weekend to head to the States for a couple of days. For those of you who aren't too familiar with concept of cross-border shopping it's a pretty big thing where I live. We're close enough to the American border that whenever a long weekend of any sort hits us, we pile into our vehicles and head south to see what deals we can find on stuff we a) either can't find at home, or b) stuff that we refuse to pay the higher retail for in Canada. That and there's always a stop at Happy Harry's....I'm still baffled by how a bottle of liqueur that retails for $89.99 in Canada can go for $19.99 in the States....hmmm.....
Anyways, in addition to my usual stash of cheap work threads (I love you Macy's!), Chex Snack Mix, discounted Bath & Body Works and other randomness, I found some AMAZING Christmas decorations! And though I don't plan on putting up my tree for a couple of days, I figured that I'd give you a sneak-peek of what I found!

Wanna know the past part? Everything that I'm showing you was found for under $1.00! As much as I found, I'm still kicking myself over the fact that I didn't bring home a couple more pieces! That said, when I add these pieces to the ones that I've collected over the past couple of years, I think that I'll be able to put together an awesome looking tree! 

I can't wait to show you!


Monday, 7 November 2011

Baby it's cold outside.

Monday evening.

It's dark. It's snowing. It's cold.

What's a boy to do besides throw on his sweats and crank up the heat?

Watch some bad reality TV? Iron his work clothes? Flip through magazines? about something a bit more exciting.

Say something like coming up with some ideas for my future digs...

Let's start with someplace that looks like this - room to roam around in, but still cute, cozy and full of character.
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Lately, I've had this thing for baths. I'm usually a shower guy, but with the cooler weather I've been finding myself wanting to just soak in a big tub. The thing is, I'm still living it up in my rental, which has a tiny tub, it's basically the opposite of a soaker, when the time comes, the papers have been signed and the moving truck has been unpacked, I'm digging out my sledge hammer to knockdown walls and make room for a freestanding soaker tub. I'll take the below bathroom please....
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Not bad huh?

What else is on the wish list?

How about a couple of Lucite 'ghost' chairs?
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As impractical and uncomfortable as they probably are, I'm in love with Starck's classic design. Perhaps they'd look great in my fictitious dining room, or in the front entry...or better yet, put to use in a study. 

And because my future digs will have plenty of storage room, I'll have a pantry off of the snazzy kitchen - complete with uber-fun wallpaper and floor to ceiling shelving for all of my serving pieces, extra bar ware and whatever I bring home on a random whim.
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Speaking of wallpaper - I don't think that I've ever discussed with you just how much I love and adore wallpaper. I don't get why people are terrified of it. Maybe it has something to do with childhoods filled with spending the night in a grandparent's guest room - complete with the ugliest of orange and pink floral prints (or ferns in the case of my Grandma's place....).

That said, times have changed and now there are amazing styles to suit every taste. I've got a couple of different ideas. Perhaps something completely out of the box like this map print (....erase those memories of the ugly map wallpaper murals that you used to see in the Sears catalogue when we were kids....) - 
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Or maybe something a bit more classic like this awesome birch print - I can totally picture doing this along side my beloved HBC blanket and a big overstuffed duvet!
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What else have I been dreaming about you may ask?

Well, I don't know about you, but I've always wanted to have a home with an attic! I know nothing about attics - really. Apparently they're cold in winter and hot in the summer, but that's all secondary! I want rooms with dormers and slanted ceilings! That and all of the cool storage spots and built-in cabinets for music and books! Swoon!
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That or what about an attic dressing room? How much fun would this be? I went to a Birthday party when I was young where the kid's Mom had an attic dressing room....nowhere near as glamorous as this one, but still....I want! (A toned down version that is....this is a bit too Liberace for me.....but still!!)
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Bathtub. Chairs. Closet. Attic. Pantry. Wallpaper obsession. What else?

A kick-ass custom designed outdoor kitchen.

Since picking up my BBQ a couple of years ago, I've developed a love of grilling - it might sound a bit nutty, but I find it relaxing. And while my little red BBQ will keep me going for a couple of years yet, I dream of the day when I can build (that's right....I can use power tools) my own outdoor kitchen. It's a little known fact that I did brick and stone work for six months out of college (secret skills!) would love to create something of my own. Something like this - 
I'm also madly in love with this set-up! Imagine coming over and having me make you my signature tequila lime chicken on this bad boy!
Hmm....also a must - some snazzy art!
*Snazzy art does not come from the home decor aisle of Target or Homesense. Rather, snazzy art is discovered during travels, on random Sunday afternoons while wandering around markets and country auctions. Snazzy art can and may possibly include beautiful photography of far-off exotic locales.
Not a bad list of ideas huh? It's going to take awhile to get there...quite a while. So before any Lucite, wallpaper, picket fences or custom grills maybe I should start with two things that I can actually afford without blowing the bank - 
and also
That's right - a blank journal, a pen and a glass of whatever I've got kicking around....ideas and doodles don't cost anything. Why not let my imagination run wild. While I'm at it, I may as well consider what I'm going to be parking in my future garage - do I go for the Land Rover in black with tan leather or in black with black leather. Hmm.....

I've shared some of what's on my wish list. What's on yours?

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Fun and games around the office.

So usually my Thursday thing is sharing my latest thrift find with you. The thing is, I haven't hit up a thrift store in what feels like ages. Actually, it was the other night, but really, with the except of my quick couple of minutes wandering around, I haven't been on an all out 'thrifting adventure' in over a month. Gasp! Shudder! I know....

So instead, I figured I'd share with you a shot of what I've been investigating in my office....behold my latest potential project!
That's right! I have a possession where I get to go into the office and check out Christmas stuff!! Jealous much? Haha! Right now my employer really hasn't strayed into the wonderful world of Christmas merchandise, but we think that there could be some awesome potential for us....for 2012. That might seem like ions away, but in reality, when it comes to seasonal merchandise you're looking purchasing product months and months in advance. Review now, place orders in February, receive in August, merchandise in September, blow-out in December, repeat. 

So, long story short in addition to trying to finalize some spring & summer seasonal orders for the coming season, I'm now hunting down information on more fun that I love....trees, lights, balls (get your minds out of the gutter), garlands, inflatable snowmen! I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I can prove to them that I can make this work.

We'll see how it goes!

What's on your must-buy list for new holiday decorations?



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