Fire Starters with Wax and Fir

October 12, 2016 § Leave a comment

Amanda at House Revivals shared this lovely crafts project:

Amanda House Revivals firestarter_tutorial_christmas

Amanda at House Revivals.

Such cute – and fragrant, I bet – fire starters! Visit her site for more photos and full instructions. Thanks for sharing, Amanda!

(Note: I do not not publish sponsored content, or accept gifts or discounts to write about products. Blog posts are based on my personal opinion.)

Summer Basement Project

October 7, 2016 § Leave a comment

This post really should be called Years-Long Basement Project, for it has taken more than this summer’s effort. It has been in the works for a long time, but I think we’re finally achieved the most important.

We knew we didn’t want to finish our basement, per se, because we have plenty of living space as it is. But we didn’t know what the “something” we wanted to do was. And that turned out to be the biggest problem – because we weren’t set on anything specific, for the longest time we couldn’t decide on a plan.

I’ve always found the color of unfinished concrete incredibly depressing, however, so it had to be painted at the very minimum. I landed on the idea of a darker floor and white walls, and found inspiration photos both for the space in general and for a green floor.

Mr. E worked on roughly finishing the ceiling a few years ago:

Ceiling Test After

Then life happened again, and the project pushed off as non-critical. Last summer we had the walls treated with a white water repellant and the floor painted.

Painted Basement North Wall

We then started adding shelving and rearranging the space, but stalled yet again – which turned out for the best, for we needed to have a lolly post added to address structural issues.

Basement New Support Post

This past summer we finally built a little more storage and arranged everything both in the garage and the basement. (I’ll post about the storage we built another time.)

We have boxes and bins and bags to group the smaller items and protect them for dust (and spiderwebs). Items are in zones: pantry-related (extra cans, jams, bottles); additional food prep items (like canning jars and Mr. E’s brewing supplies); household supplies (like light bulbs, batteries, recyclables to go out, paper products to go in, potting soil & plant pots); tools and the like (hammers, screw drivers, drill, etc.).

Finished Basement East Wall

We also have a few large storage tubs for seasonal items and decor, some pushed into corners, some on the shelves. The heating vents are still visible in all of their silvery glory, which sometimes bugs me, but not enough to take action.

Finished Basement South Wall

The main achievements are the improved color situation and sensible storage. Ahh, it’s so lovely to have dedicated places for everything!

Colorful Styling from Sweden

September 13, 2016 § Leave a comment

A while ago I discovered the blog of Sania Hedengren and Susanna Zacke, stylists and home dec journalists from Sweden. It’s so lovely to see cozy, colorful Scandinavian style – not everything and everyone in the Nordic countries revolves around modern monochrome minimalism, you know. 🙂

Just a few favorites:

Sanna Sania Aug 2015 Front Hall 12

Sanna & Sania / Sania Hedengren and Susanna Zacke.

Lovely blue and white front hall with touches of pale wood from an article of theirs in Hus & hem magazine some time in 2015.

Sanna Sania Kitchen Bench Pillows Sept 2015 12

Sanna & Sania / Sania Hedengren and Susanna Zacke.

Detail from a dream kitchen with white and blue.

Sanna Sania Leva O Bo Attefall Barkarby97435.IIQ.p

Sanna & Sania / Sania Hedengren and Susanna Zacke.

Scene from a small pine cottage.

Sanna Sania Apr 2016 Blue Yarn 4

Sanna & Sania / Sania Hedengren and Susanna Zacke.

More blue and pale wood.

Whoops! That’s almost only blue and white and wood. Well, I do know what I love. 🙂

 

Colors in the Kitchen

April 4, 2016 § 2 Comments

A few lovely kitchen pics for a sunny spring day!

Painted kitchen drawers make for a lovely surprise glimpse of yellow:

Lindsay Everything LEB Yellow Kitchen Drawer

Lindsay at Everything LEB.

By Lindsay at Everything LEB.

A wonderful combination of white and bright colors by Jutta at Kootut murut:

Jutta Kootut murut Kitchen Remodel2

Jutta at Kootut murut.

Orange walls and accents from the home of Adelle Robinson and Justin Keefe, found via design*sponge:

DSponge Adelle Robinson Justin Keefe adelle3

Adelle Robinson and Justin Keefe; via design*sponge.

I’m not a friend of subway tile, but in the picture below they’re tolerable (but still not handsome enough to tempt me):

DSponge Katie Graham 4katie

Katie Graham; via design*sponge.

That yellow toekick on the other hand – very nice idea! Photo by Derek Swalwell; found via design*sponge.

Last but not least, blue kitchen cabinets!

Desire to Inspire 7_Balmoral1arent and pyke

Arent and Pyke; via Desire to Inspire.

Design by Arent and Pyke; found via Desire to Inspire. Such gorgeous floors, too! (I’d hate to change the bulbs, though; I’m not that good with heights.)

I’m taking the rest of the month off, blogwise. Happy April!

(Note: I do not not publish sponsored content, or accept gifts or discounts to write about products. Blog posts are based on my personal opinion.)

Kitchen Rag Rug & Marimekko Poppy Curtains

October 13, 2015 § 2 Comments

Weslie and Kristina’s north Texas kitchen is not only lovely, it pings my Nordic radar. And no surprise: Kristina is Finnish.

Weslie Kristina selma-ikea-kitchen-after-3

Weslie and Kristina’s kitchen. Found via House*Tweaking.

I LOVE the rag rug on the floor! Lots of white and a little blue, green, and red, plus a dash of black, with varying stripe widths. Goes really well with the modern look, including the red Marimekko Unikko curtain fabric. Apparently it’s a handmade vintage piece which was a gift from their sister-in-law in Finland.

Found via House*Tweaking.

Various Bits of Yard Work

May 15, 2015 § 2 Comments

The weather was unseasonally gorgeous and warm last week. We spent a lot of time outdoors and got a lot accomplished. I moved a bush that suffered from melting snow and ice from the roof:

Bush Move Mashup

The poor bush had quite a few broken branches. Some I cut off, but most of them I splinted with sticks and strips of fabric:

Splinting Mashup

They seem to be doing well; there are new leaves coming in beyond the breaks in each branch. Yay!

Mr. E dug a new vegetable patch and prepared the two existing ones. In the photo below, the left side will be potatoes and the right one already had cucumber seeds planted…

Potato Cuke Patches 2015

…and by the deck we will hopefully get some melons…

Melon Patch 2015

…everything fertilized by authentic bull dumpings from a local farm:

Our Own BS

In addition, we’ve raked, pruned and weeded, sawed off a dead branch, removed another that had fallen on its own but gotten stuck, taken down an awkwardly placed young pine and partly undone a small stone wall to relocate it Somewhere Else(TM).

I still want to dig up and relocate some wild plants that I want to keep but not where they set themselves up. Yesterday would’ve been a good day otherwise, but it was 86 F / 30 C after lunch, which was way too hot this early in the season for me, and I suspect for the transplantees as well.

The flowers have really come out, too. The flowering pears bear a white cloud each, there are both white and purple violets here and there in the grass, and a few other wild flowers have found their way in again. Bees and bumblebees buzz around, and birds are singing. Ah, I love spring!

We also have blossoms indoors: I updated my wreath form with spring colors…

Spring Wreath 2015

…and the saintpaulia is blooming!

Saintpaulia Blossoming 2015

Even with tree and grass pollen making my life miserable, spring is the time of the year I love most. 🙂

Finnanagrams

May 11, 2015 § 2 Comments

We discovered that it’s possible to play a word game with Bananagrams rules and a set of Finnish-distribution Scrabble tiles that Mr. E’s father made for us. The most difficult thing was to adopt a new set of tricks to play one tile at a time (when someone says “Peel”); it really was a brain exericse! Here is one of Mr. E’s word sets:

Finnanagrams

He started with the long word in the middle, älypuhelin (Engl. smart phone). I’m seriously impressed!

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