Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cleaning the Cobwebs from my mind...

I had the best day.
I know I am about to paint myself as a veritable lunatic, but my happy day was all about cleaning. Cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning. My fridge is suddenly empty after ridding it of all its spoils. I surprised my muscles by lugging and pushing beds over carpet to vacuum up long-lost popcorn seeds, cat hair, and foil wrappers from tiny Easter eggs. I did endless loads of laundry, washing all of our winter coats and mittens to pack up nicely for next winter. Speaking of winter, our cold weather wardrobes were finally purged, and tossed unceremoniously into plastic storage bins. I soon realized I have a pretty empty closet that requires a bit of shopping to add spring colour.
As I rotated load after freshly laundered load on my clothes line, I felt my mind actually clear of the kind of stress one can control. Because it's not just about having a clean house or "getting things done". It's about controlling the things we can in this crazy world. We can't control what's going on outside our own insular worlds, but we can take care of our families, ourselves, and create a home that makes us feel safe, warm and calm when we are tucked within. And that is where my satisfaction came from today. I cleared the cobwebs as I cleaned, both in my home and in my mind. Worries were pushed aside as I scrubbed, heaved furniture, and hung out clothes. My mind worked through what problems it could as I laboured, and the physical work quieted the rest.

And then I hung out with my family.

photo credits:
second and third photo:

Gables Estates Coral Gables - Casuarina Concourse Estate $49 Million

Coral Gables home - 11 Casuarina Concourse, Coral Gables Florida, home of Alan Potamkin, in Gables Estates just south of Miami 11 Casuarina Concourse in Gables Estates, Coral Gables Florida - Alan Potamkin's House

Gables Estates Coral Gables, one of Miami's loveliest communities, is an area with ultra-luxurious homes nestled in a neighborhood of 192 properties, and is home to former Miami Heat coach Pat Riley. Entering the guard-gated, exclusive community of Gables Estates, via Casuarina Concourse, and driving all the way to the very end of the peninsula, passing some of the most beautiful homes in Florida, one finds him/herself in front of, perhaps the most grandiose property in all of Coral Gables, 11 Casuarina Concourse, home of Alan Potamkin.

Situated on a 3.5-acre lot, the spacious 20,862 square feet house, with 8 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, and 2 half-baths, faces the open waters of Biscayne Bay, with breath taking, testimonial views of Miami’s unmatchable beauty. It is no wonder that Miami is so often referred to as the magic city. view of Biscayne Bay from 11 Casaurina Concourse, a Coral Gables home Gables Estates mansion in Coral Gables Florida, Alan Potamkin's house

Last week, the estate was listed for sale with a price tag of $49,500,000, making it Coral Gables most expensive home. The property juts into Biscayne Bay and is surrounded by 880 linear feet of waterfront. Attached is a 150 feet long dock to accommodate a yacht of equal length. Replete with a lighted tennis court, adjacent to a private guest suite, which sits on it’s own acre, the estate was built to satisfy those who can afford the very best in real estate.

Some additional features of this marvelous Coral Gables mansion are an upstairs master suite with a full gym, billiard and media rooms, luitron lighting & a 12-camera security system. Any takers? Photos courtesy of Avatar Real Estate Services

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Change Is Good

I've been working on a little project for my office closet. Let me rephrase that...I've been getting incredibly frustrated with a project that I thought would be little, but is turning out to be a gigantic pain. At first I wasn't going to post about it, but then I figured that there is a lesson to be shared.
Do you see these pretty red boxes I found at the thrift store?
For some strange reason I decided that I wanted them to color coordinate with the other storage boxes in my closet. So I painted the lid of one using craft paint. Fortunately, I stopped at just the lid because after it dried, all it took was the scratch of my fingernail to take off all of the paint.
Then I got another great idea. I tore up pieces of craft paper and scrunched them. Then I applied the craft paper to the box using watered down mod podge. The result looks great, kind of like leather. But it took almost two hours. TWO HOURS for one little box and I still have two boxes to do! I just don't think this is worth my time. I mean really, it's not like my closet is going to be featured on the cover of some nation wide magazine.So the lesson to be learned?
Give yourself permission
to change your mind!
If something isn't turning out exactly as you planned, it's okay to reevaluate and make some changes.As I was taking this picture my youngest son asked if I was going to decorate the other two boxes. I told him no because it took too long. He asked, "So do you regret doing it?" My answer, "No, because I learned something. There are no regrets when you learn a lesson." I tried something that I've wanted to do. I will probably try this technique again, on something bigger like an old trunk.
This lesson can be applied to almost ANYTHING in decorating. If you're half way through painting a room and you absolutely hate the color, it's okay to change your mind. It's just paint. If you loved your couch five years ago when you bought it, but now you think it's an eyesore. It's okay, make or buy a slipcover for it, or sell it and use the money to buy another one that you love (new or used). If you thought you'd love a house with a country feel, but find yourself not feeling at home in your own home, then change the decor.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with going in a different direction than you first intended as long as the end result is a home that you love and feel comfortable in. Because really, shouldn't that be the main goal all along?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

hhhhh.... asyiknya liburan

                                                                                  Assalamualaikum smua....

pada tanggal 20 april anak klas XII UN. so, bagi kami-kami yang baru kelas X dan XI bleh libur sampai tanggal 27.

ternyata destination Aul ke panyalaian...
sebuah tempat di lereng gunung merapi bukit tinggi...
Jorong Kubu Di atas...

mo tau, knapa Aul milih tu tempatt...??

coz, skrg ni lagi nulis novel judulnya where're you mak..??

n suasana di sana cocok buat nyari inspirasi...


Asyiknya liburan...

Be My Guest

This may look like a continental breakfast for house guests but it was just a little Sunday morning treat for my family. I thought it would be nice to spoil them a bit and treat them like guests.
Embracing a beautiful lifestyle
doesn't have to cost a lot.
All of the food was bought on sale. All of the serving dishes came from the thrift store.
I enjoyed giving my family a little surprise that was easy, delicious, and pleasing to the eye. Their reaction? One son told me he was disappointed because there wasn't any waffles. Did I let his comment take away from the happiness that I received by creating the treat? No, but next time I'll know who to assign the task of making waffles.

For those who wanted to know how I made the monogram wreath on yesterday's post, it was made with the leftovers from this wreath. I just wired them onto a wooden form of the letter A.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Inspired By Nature

I've been putting together a few vignettes inspired by the great outdoors.My dining room shelf/mantle is brimming with nests resting amongst electric candles. The apothecary jars are filled with faux nature elements.
Flowering bulbs Moss and fern fronds from the dollar store.
My foyer table displays a sweet little girl garden statue that I brought inside, along with a small birdbath filled with bleached moss, both resting on a silver tray.
With indoor displays inspired by nature, I can enjoy the beauties of springtime no matter the temperature outside. For another idea inspired by nature click here.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

No Ordinary Boler...

If you are at all familiar with my blog, you know I am a big fan of camping. Each summer, I fuss over my little tent trailer/pop-up like it was a real vacation home. I have recovered the cushions, picked up fun accessories, doctored what I could and daydream about what else I can do to make it prettier. While the Airstream remains the coup of all campers, a close second would have to be the lovable, vintage Boler. As any Boler fan would tell you, owning a Boler puts one into a very select group. Pride of ownership shows for most every Boler that has been rescued and renovated, and seeing them bob happily down the highway brings a smile to any camping lover far and wide.
Typical Boler layout (above).
Both photos, above, found here.
I am happy to report that the Boler is a Canadian invention, as many great things are! With such vast, untouched wilderness and ocean access, camping is a very Canadian past time. Wouldn't we all enjoy camping in such great, portable summer homes?!

Shaggy, Velma? Can you believe this Mystery Mobile? You just know camping with these folks wouldn't be boring...!

Scooby Doo Boler photos source (above):

This Boler looks like a very fun, creative family bunks within:

Boler photos above: source,

Although I love the juicy orange of this Boler, if I had one, it would most definitely be painted in Robin's Egg Blue! Would you expect any less?

Orange Boler photos, source:

I love this vinyl flooring that these Boler owners are contemplating for their Boler:

Photo source:

Want to see more?

Check out this link to great Boler photos on Flickr!

Read the history of Bolers, here, or here! If you are thinking of joining the inside world of Boler owners, this site is a must see! Also, click on the links beneath each photo to be taken to the actual Flickr site.

Do you love your camper?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Union Jack Cushions and More!

We have enjoyed making an individual range of Union Jack cushions over the past year - the one above was one of my favourites! Recently, we were commissioned to make several extra-large Union Jack cushions and whilst the sewing machine was up and running and our vast stash of vintage fabrics was strewn across the studio, we took the opportunity to make a few extra for the website. Each of the following three cushions are very different in style...

We though we would mix things up a bit with this one! It has been nicknamed 'The Italian Job' and is made from vintage French fabrics!

This pretty pastel cushion has some lovely old Sanderson fabrics in it.

This is a beautiful mix of warm tones and again includes an old Sanderson fabric and a rich floral patterned red linen.

We hope to make a few more special items from our vintage fabrics over the coming months, although we are currently pretty busy with the day-to-day running of the website. Our buying trips are such fun and we have enjoyed great success in finding some exceptional vintage treasures just lately. We have recently featured in several magazines and the Daily Mail, and I understand we are currently in Berkshire Life magazine but I haven't seen a copy yet! The response and interest has been tremendous and fuels our enthusiasm to bring you even more beautiful and interesting vintage goodies! Thank you to everyone who has recently purchased from Vintage Home or left a comment here on our blog - I will be back soon with more news and photos! Enjoy your weekend! Clare

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fisher Island Condo Sold For 60% Of Asking Price

Fisher Island condo - view from condo on Fisher Island,in Miami Beach Florida
Fisher Island Condo at 7912 Fisher Island Drive Sold for 60% of the Asking Price

A Fisher Island condo, on the ground floor, just steps away from the ocean with northeast views of the pool, and cruise ships in the distance, and just a few steps from the beach, sold last week for $5,457,000, just over 60% of the $8,970,000 asking price. The finely designed home, features a master bedroom suite, with an adjacent gym, and renovated and expanded guest bedrooms.

The 5,600 square feet condo has 5 bedrooms, and 6 bathrooms. Originally listed in August 2007 for $12,500,000, the price was dropped twice, and the property finally sold for less than half of the original price. The sale should serve as a good lesson to those sellers who have a need to sell, but are still pricing their properties at inflated values, remaining oblivious to present real estate market conditions. condo on Fisher Island, Miami Beach condos for sale, 7912 Fisher Island Drive

Fisher Island real estate encompasses a 216-acre private island residential community of unrivaled luxury and splendor. The classic, Mediterranean style, private residential community of Fisher Island is nestled in a tropical-lush island club resort. Here, residents discover the privacy and security of an island where cultures from 40 nations blend against the backdrop of a cobalt-blue sky and the Atlantic Ocean. This private Miami Beach community, with its own zip code, is easy to reach by boat, seaplane, helicopter or car ferry.


I've been adding a few finishing details to my office closet. One very important detail are the labels. I adore labels for organizing. With labels I never have to hear the words, "Moooooommmmm, where's the _____?!?" or "Honey, where do I put this?"Labels don't have to be office supply ordinary. It's always an enjoyable touch to turn the practical into the pretty. It gives you even more reason to smile when opening an organized closet.Interestingly enough, my husband and I had a discussion about labels a few days ago while out on our morning walk. We didn't discuss the labels that help keep us organized, but rather the labels we tend to give ourselves. We all do it. Unfortunately, personal labels aren't always as wonderful as organizational labels, although both can serve as a means to contain. Have you noticed that often the labels we give ourselves are not positive and character building? In fact it's the negative labels that truly do keep us contained and boxed up. Personal negative labels keep us from growing and experiencing all the good that life has to offer. Negative labels can also keep us from giving the best of ourselves to others. I realize this daily in my own life and I'm trying to break out of my boxes with negative labels. It's definitely not an easy thing, especially when the labels have been there for years. But I know that if I am to become the person I am meant to be, I have to remove the stifling negative labels and replace them with encouraging positive labels.
Spring time is a time of change and renewal in nature. It's also a excellent time to make changes in ourselves. Will you join me and think of a few positive labels to describe yourself and then daily work toward those attributes?
The incredible thing about giving positive labels to ourselves is that it can become contagious and before you know it, you'll find yourself giving those around you positive labels too.
Why don't we all start
a positive label epidemic!

The View from the Couch...

Today, I am supposed to be in Halifax (our nearest city) spending quality time (shopping) with my two teenage boys. There is not a whole lot of mutually agreeable activities to do with boys of their age, as I am not very good at "Shaq-ing" basketballs, don't care for BMX biking, doing sweet jumps, and couldn't navigate a video game controller even if world peace depended on it. So, shopping for spring/summer clothes is something I can do with aplomb, and if I feed them a take-out meal I will be a reasonably cool mum, indeed.

Then, the dreaded stomach flu reared its putridly ugly head and took up residence in this little girl:

Hopefully, she is on the tail end of it all, as her best friend is having a birthday sleepover tonight. So, I have one very anxious little girl who pitifully moans, "But what if I can't go to the party?" as she clings to her "bucket" in full need. Desperately thirsty, she crunches on a "medicine freezie", aka Pedialyte frozen treat, and offers up one question or observation after another. Apparently, the stomach flu hasn't affected her well-trained vocal chords:

she: "Mummy, don't say maybe, or 'I don't know', but are we ever going to go to Florida?"

me: "Oh, maybe someday. Yes, definitely we might someday." (I am so good at stalling...)

she: "What about someplace tropical? I want to go someplace tropical"

me: (thinking to myself, um, nooo...have you heard the news about Mexico?? The highjacked plane in Jamaica?), " Ask Daddy, sweetie. Ask Daddy..."

Everyone who knows him, knows he just loves to spend large amounts of money on travel!!

To sum it all up, no bonding over shopping, and no travel to tropical places. I am disappointing everyone today!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Simplicity At It's Best

Sometimes it's the
simplest of things
that make you smile.Moss and rocks from the yard
in a pretty little white dish,
resting on a book with a great title,
with a motivational thought
thrown in for good measure.
If you want to make your own fork easel,
just click here for directions

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bookcase Interior IdeaS

DIY: Raised Bed with Expedit Bookshelves

Make your own Raised Bed with Expedit Bookshelves for Storage. It may not be the most aesthetically pleasing bed however it is functional! Parts needed: * 3 X Ikea Expedit Bookshelves ($90 each) * 2 X Ikea Observator Cross Braces 393 Version ($5 ea ...

Also Chair

Those who have space issues will certainly appreciate the ‘Also Chair’ by designer Akin Bacioglu. This chair is all about multi-tasking as in few easy moves one can transform it into a table. It also features a bookcase so to make sure your f ...


The IKEA STOCKHOLM is a new add-on unit H that is selling for $200.00. It comes equipped with adjustable shelves that can be spaced according to one’s need and goes perfectly with the IKEA STOCKHOLM bookcase that measures 28 3/8×87 3/8R ...

Bookcase with Integrated Giant LED Clock

We are all for multi-tasking and hence could not resist the Bookcase with Integrated Giant LED Clock by Hong Kong manufacturers Anka. This bookcase measures 28 (w) x 14 (h) x 5 and also moonlights as a LED clock as the oversize clock conceals red 7 ...

Flexform Oltre sofa - Bookcase Sofa!

Here’s a great practical sofa for impratical people. Wow, take a look at this beautiful multi-functional Bookcase Sofa, Flexform Oltre sofa! If you are multi-tasking like me, watching TV, reading books, and using the laptop on the sofa, it’ ...

Bed With Bookcase by Point Architects

Point Architects from Tokyo have successfully managed to combine a bed with a bookcase. The whole process looks really interesting and you should check out the step-by-step construction on flickr. Let us know what you think and would you ever dare t ...

The Black Sonoma Captain’s Platform Bedroom Set

The Black Sonoma Captain’s Platform Bedroom Set can be purchased directly from here. The Sonoma Collection has the look and feel of much more expensive millwork and includes Platform Captain’s Bed, the Bookcase Headboard and the 2 drawer ...

Ron Arad ’s New Bookshelf

Trust Design Guru Ron Arad to come up with always something unique. His new bookshelf has been inspired by the map of the United States and we must say, it looks absolutely gorgeous. You can catch it at the Timothy Taylor Gallery in London between ...

Dolce Dark Walnut Folding Bookcase

Not necessarily for the bookworms, people will always come to a point where they need proper storage spaces for books, magazines and journals. Maybe toss in some small pieces of furniture and you will find this Dolce Dark Walnut Folding Bookcase qu ...