Understanding Change

Over the years we have shared many moments together here on this blog on the topic of “change”.          Change ..

I have written numerous times about how I enjoy “change”

 “I like change and I like to change often“ talking about my 6th living room sofa.

“I like to change up my holiday décor each year” never adhering to any traditions.

“I change the linens and accessories in my bedroom” often!   master bedroom changes

To some of you this probably sounds like way too much work.

I’ve suggested to you on numerous occasions,

“Go ahead, change it up.  Embrace the new.  Take the ‘Mod’ from MODMISSY and “Mod-ify”!

Well here’s the thing…..I recently found myself ‘eating’ those words!

This past year I experienced a huge change in my life – I became gluten-free.

And if there’s one thing you should know about me is that wheat/gluten played a large part in my diet and lifestyle.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all about bread, pasta and baked goods.

In fact one of my very first blog posts was Stand With Style April 2011 where I wrote that life gets better and tastes better when things are elevated.  Like my delicious homemade Buttermilk Apple Cake.  (made with wheat flour!)  elevate your

It has been a big adjustment figuring out what to put on my dessert tray, in my pasta bowl and my bread basket.

Definitely a year of learning and maybe now I am a bit more understanding of how ‘change’ is not always an easy experience.

I am adapting though; can you tell which chocolate cake is the gluten-free version!!??  Gluten free chocolate cake

Bon Appetit!

All images via MODMISSY

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EARTH HOUR – pass it on!!

So here’s the thing I want to state,

This Saturday night I have a hot date.

I plan on engaging in a passionate and mindful moment,

That in the grand scheme of things is all about atonement.

Of what really should be done for what lies ahead,

Because if I don’t take care there will be trouble instead.

That’s right…..it’s Earth Hour this weekend,

So lights out is what they recommend.

A worldwide movement for the planet,

In keeping our Earth healthy and well dammit!

So holler some and make a big commotion,

Spread the word and share the notion.

That 60 minutes spent in the dark,

Will hopefully become a momentous landmark

But it’s not just about one hour

It about committing to using less power

And being more ‘green’ in everything you do,

Today, tomorrow and the whole year through!

Pass it on!!!!

                  Happy Earth

All words and images via Modmissy

Goodbye Penny

Sadly today we acknowledge the passing of Penny.  (1858 – 2013)

I have fond memories of Penny – at the candy store, the summer fair, bingo.

In Canada, a Penny is a coin worth one cent, or 1⁄100 of a dollar and as of today the Royal Canadian Mint stops distributing pennies to banks and retailers.

Up until 1996 the Penny was composed of ~98% copper thus giving the coin its name ‘Copper’.

Canadian Penny frontCanadian Penny back

Although the Penny has become discontinued currency, copper will still be visible in home décor.

The Copper Shade by Tom Dixon is a bright and shiny way to light a room.

Tom Dixon Copper Shade www.tomdixon.net

Nanocrystalline Copper Chair by Max Lamb.Nanocrystalline Copper Chair by Max Lamb

Copper Freestanding Tub by Elizabethan Classics http://www.vintagetub.comCopper Tub http://www.vintagetub.com

Copper door handles http://www.ashardware.co.ukCopper Door Handles

So….‘Penny for your thoughts” if you see a Penny on the street now will you stop to pick it up?

 

A New Year

Today is the first day back to school which in our house really kick-starts the new year.

The holidays were wonderful.  I spent lots of quality time with family and had lots of fun with friends.  For me Christmas is always about spending time with those you love.

This past holiday I learned 2 things about myself.

  1.  While spending a lovely afternoon Christmas shopping with my niece, who is a beautiful (mature) young lady, I was referred to by a saleslady as her ‘mother’.  What I had envisioned as 2 females ‘out on the town’ having fun, swapping stories, trying on clothing together was now shattered.  I must not look as young as I feel!
  2. One of my cousins who faithfully read my blog told me that I had inspired her to re-decorate her living room.  She had decided one day as she walked into her living room that it was time for a ‘change’.  Encouraged by my blog she tackled the re-decoration of the room with confidence.  Bravo!

In life you win some, you lose some.  I am hoping that 2013 is a year of balance!

Inukshuk - balance

Image via Modmissy

Happy New Year!

I want to say farewell to 2012 – it was a good year.

I remember as a child on the 1st day back to school following New Years the teacher would write in big numbers on the chalkboard the new year.  And I would think “Wow.  The future.”  The future held so many unknowns, so many mysteries.  But that was when I was 7, 8, 9, 10…. and at that age my learning curve was steep and my ‘unknown’ curve was even steeper.

As one gets older life is broken down into increments of time.  4 year university degree, 20 year mortgage, 2 year bank loan, net 60 days, 40 hour work week, 8 hour shift, 3 weeks holiday, 2 ½ hour movie, 4 hour drive, 6 week delivery date, etc.  Life is intervals of time mapped out in doable increments.

The future is not quite as much a mystery but life undoubtedly is.

So let’s welcome in the New Year and start 2013 as a new beginning with lots of wonderful opportunities that lay ahead in our future.

Health and happiness for the New Year.

Cheers!

Happy New Year.

Brother® Business Smart

Nobody said you can’t have it all!

Speed, intelligence, versatility and outstanding good looks!

No not Superman but the Brother® Business Smart all-in-one printer.

Brother Business Smart MFC-J4510DW

At an exclusive event hosted by Yummy Mummy Wall Candy blogger, Sarah Gunn and Brother® I met the MFC-J4510DW.  And I fell in love!

With its cool, sleek, sexy design this new printer has the ultimate combination of printer, scanner, copier, fax and wireless networking.  With fast print speeds, low print costs and the ability to print 11” X 17” format using landscape print technology which greatly reduces the overall size.  The engineers thought of everything.

My Printer, Scanner, Fax vs. Brother Business Smart

But it’s the designers who I tip my hat to – this new piece of technology looks good!  In the past printers/faxes/scanners/copiers have not had a true sense of style.  Instead we always hid these bulky, boring ‘beige’ pieces rather than showcasing them.  We tucked them in desks, cupboards or drawers so they were out of sight.  Now not unlike other ‘smart’ technology the Brother® Business Smart is a piece of technology you display.  Its black and white, compact clean lined design fits into any home’s décor.  It’s cool, it’s hip.

As I always say “Design is everywhere” and finally that motto found its way into the world of printer technology.

Thank you Brother®!

 

IKEA – customized furniture

I believe there are a very high percentage of people who at some point in their life have or will purchase a piece of IKEA furniture/product.  Given the fact that the total number of IKEA Billy bookcases sold worldwide is over 41 million it is a good probability that at some point we will own one of the 9500 articles sold by IKEA.

With our recent cottage renovation I found myself visiting the big ‘blue and yellow store’ to purchase a number of IKEA products, the most important item was the kitchen cabinets.   Another IKEA purchase was the NORDEN table that we are now using as our bar/island.  Designed by Mikael Warnhammar whose idea was to create a Scandinavian furniture series in solid wood, inspired by the Nordic forests and barren landscape, this table is “straightforward, strong and generous furniture that does its job quietly.”  Exactly the feeling we were looking for.

But our NORDEN needed just a few adjustments to fit exactly what we needed.  For us to use this as an island with stools (also IKEA) we removed the 2 shelves and cut the 3 drawers down in size.  The result works perfectly.

Unfortunately the shelves are no longer present but knowing my husband they will not be wasted and instead re-invented into something else.

 

 

The Cottage Renovation – the after photos!

I started writing about our cottage renovation a few months back.  See start, gut, build, decor.  It was a renovation that took many months due to distance, weather and holidays.  But it is now complete.  Our initial goal was to raise the low ceiling but at the same time to create a cohesive relationship between the interior and exterior.  The cottage is truly about the nature and the ability to experience it.  In the end our renovation has given us more than just a new space.  The cottage’s clear lines and modernist approach has given us a greater appreciation of the amazing view beyond the large windows.  But more interestingly is the cohesive relationship now created within the family.   We spend more time together interacting as a family than ever before.  This is a space where we sit down together and share moments rather than racing through on the way to somewhere else.  We slow down and enjoy together.

Have a look.

The before photo minus the furniture. (Just prior to gutting)

The After photos.

We forgo the upper cabinets opting for a larger window and a better view of the lake.  The wall above the stove is presently blank but waiting for the perfect piece of art that we have yet to find.

Counter space that we did not previously have is now a place for an ‘edible’ vignette.

I chose neutral but fun pillows to keep the space calm.

We are thrilled with the outcome of this renovation and love all that this cottage now gives to us.

All images via Modmissy

Kitchen cabinets, Rug, Stools, Island, Leather Chair – IKEA http://www.ikea.com/

Hanging Light Fixtures – Home Depot http://www.homedepot.com/

Chevron Cushion – Nesters http://www.nestershome.com/

Turtle Pillow, Wooden Tiered Stand – HomeSense http://www.homesense.ca/

 

 

 

My Martha (Stewart) Moment

It has been a while since I have written about my cottage renovation.  My story continues….

There were a few reasons why we decided to gut the interior space of the cottage the main one being that the ceilings were too low.  When my 6’2” son passed under the ceiling fan he had a good chance of being scalped by the whirring blades.  But we also had this fabulous antique hutch that we wanted to use but because it was taller than the ceiling height it languished in the boat house for over 10 years.  (Holding boat parts!)  I had purchased this hutch many years ago at the Aberfoyle Antique Market and it has moved with us from house to house, room to room.  The change to a more contemporary décor in our home meant that this large antique piece of furniture was out.  But not forgotten.  The hutch now has a proper purpose as the main storage unit in the cottage kitchen.  After a good cleaning and re-painting the hutch now houses all the plates/dishes/ glasses etc. etc.  so that all the kitchen ‘crockery’ is now in one place.  Amazing!

Every time I open the hutch doors I feel like I am having a ‘Martha (Stewart) Moment’!

Cooking and entertaining has taken on a whole new style – organized and fun.  As Martha would say, “It’s a good thing”.

All images via Modmissy

Ladies Lounge – after

A few weeks ago I wrote about my friend SW (SuperWoman) who was in the process of transforming her old wooden garage into a ‘ladies lounge’.

One year ago SW had decided that her garage could be better used as a backyard retreat rather than a storage space for ‘extra items’.

With a lot of love and elbow grease SW has achieved what she set out to do – she has turned a sow’s ear into a silk purse!

This was the ‘before’ photo with holes in the walls, old linoleum on the floor and lots of clutter:

This is what SW’s efforts produced – the ‘after’ photo:

Bikes, tools, ladders and garden paraphernalia used to clutter the space.

Now everything is tucked away out of sight behind softly draping white curtains.

What was involved in the transformation?  The walls and ceiling were stripped back to the studs and sprayed a calming white.  An old brick fireplace chimney was removed.  The old linoleum was ripped up to reveal wood plank floors and then painted moss green.  Holes in the walls, floor and ceiling were repaired.  An old work bench was given a coat of white paint so that now it can be used as a bar and/or buffet table.  Furniture and accessories were brought in.  The orange futon provides the hit of colour in the room and a great place to take an afternoon nap.  The round teak table with inlaid mosaic top (a real score!) is a fabulous nod to mid-century modern not to mention a great surface for a game of Scrabble.  Any furniture that could was given a coat of white paint.  In the lofted ceiling a light that twinkles like the evening stars was wired in.

The lofted ceiling.

A pretty vignette.  And by the way, SW made most of the baskets in the space – yes she does basket weaving too!

So in her relentless pursuit of happiness, SuperWoman has moved mountains (and junk) to create a ‘getaway’ worthy of a super hero!!  Bravo SW.

All images via Modmissy