Oh Look…..it’s Me!

I went for a bike ride yesterday along Toronto’s waterfront bike trail.

Absolutely perfect weather and no crowds.

The bike trail was all mine to enjoy; very peaceful.  I pedaled along with nary a thought in my head.

Until I was quickly brought back down to earth when I saw a vision of myself posted on a billboard.

Freaky!!

Rollerblading

The likeness was uncanny even to me!                          Condo Billboard.

I’ve written previously about billboards, (see here) specifically billboards advertising new home developments with images of happy, smiling people living charmed lives but I never imagined I would be one of those people.

But there I was (or at least someone who looked a lot like me) rolling along the bike path, part of a new, vibrant, sustainable neighbourhood pictured in a huge billboard for all to see.  I had become that common face, the ‘this could be you’ person, living a life full of opportunities.  Charmed.

The billboard was part of the hoarding surrounding the upcoming Bayside Development.  The condos are being built directly on Toronto’s inner harbour of Lake Ontario transforming an underutilized, industrial area into an active and diverse mixed-use community and thriving waterfront destination.  With great views of the lake and a prime location to downtown Toronto who wouldn’t live a charmed life here.   Bayside Development

Toronto Inner Harbour

Fabulous, but am I ready for condo life yet!?

All images via Modmissy

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Welcome Back Commander Hadfield

Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield came back down to Earth last week.

Commander Hadfield, NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko made the return journey packed like sardines into the Soyuz capsule and safely landed in Kazakhstan after their 5 month stay aboard the ISS (International Space Station).   Soyuz capsule

To be honest I was nervous about the landing.  A little apprehensive.  After all Cmdr. Hadfield has been an important part of my life for the last 5 months.  I have been following him via Twitter as he shared his daily experiences and his many, many photos taken aboard the ISS.

With 144 days on the ISS, 2336 orbits around Earth and covering almost 62 million miles there was a lot of great photo ops!

The view from Cmdr. Hadfield’s camera lens was ‘out of this world’.  Here are some of my favourites.

Our blue Moon.  The Moon

The immensely powerful sun.  The Sun

The ISS glowing blue in the dawn over the Florida peninsula.  

Dr. Seuss-inspired swirls in the Black Sea.  The Black Sea

A big storm swirling off the Irish coast.  The Irish Coast

Cape Town, South Africa and the South Atlantic Ocean at the edge of the world!  Maybe the world really is flat!!??Cape Town, South Africa

The U.S./Mexican border – this photo really spells out same land, different politics!  U.S. and Mexico border

Ancient Saharan stone, burnished by eternal sand and wind.  Sahara

The Earth’s atmosphere is no thicker than the varnish on a globe. The Earth's Atmosphere

Thank you Cmdr. Hadfield for making the Earth appear like such a beautiful and wondrous place.

All images via Commander Chris Hadfield

 

 

 

Home Staging

I have not written in a while because I have had my head ‘stuck in a house’.  Head in House

Really!  For the last 2 ½ weeks I have been staging a huge house (a real biggie!) for real estate sale.  It will be listed for $$ million so a lot of pre-presentation work went into this house.

In total I counted 25 people who at some point throughout the 2 ½ weeks worked on this house.   At times it felt like we were ants crawling all over the house!  Bless the homeowners for being so patient as they lived in the house while all the work was being done.

To get this home ready for Open House presentation I had all the wall-to-wall carpeting ripped out and replaced with hardwood.  Interesting what you sometimes find underneath carpet.  Faux red brick!!!!!

Faux red brickThe stairs were treated to new updated wool Berber carpet.  The mint green walls were painted Benjamin Moore White Down, the dark paneling was painted Cloud White and the wallpaper border was stripped off.

Nothing dates a house like light fixtures so many of those were replaced.  Retro tulip light

All the outside fencing and decking were re-stained to make them look updated.

The garden was tended to.  All the windows were washed.  A cleaning crew went ‘full-on’ inside for a day.

And the homeowner’s contents were edited.  (!!!)  Then I did my thing – staging and propping.

Needless to say the house looked beautiful in the end.

I love ‘playing house’!

I was so focused on this house I almost missed a beautiful part of spring – the blossoms!

Magnolia tree

Forsythia

 All images via Modmissy

Fence Design – Love this one!

As previously mentioned the fence in my backyard needs replacing – 10 years ago!  And now with summer on its way decisions need to be made sooner than later.

So what’s the 10 year hold up you ask?

Design.

What should the fence look like, what style do I want?  Should I go with horizontal or vertical fence boards?  Stained or natural?  Should it have modern influences or be more traditional?  And what extra details should be incorporated into the design?

I have posted twice about fence designs. See My Fence Design Dilemma and More Fence Designs. 

Similar to a home’s interior décor I believe a fence requires as much thought to the style and design. 

Recently a neighbour of mine decided it was time to tear down their old dilapidated garage and install a parking pad and build a new privacy fence.  Yeah for me!  The [ugly] garage is now gone and there is a really nice fence to admire.  And…..I love the design.  Fabulous Fence Design

The fence boards run horizontally and are staggered in width with narrower boards at the top creating interest and a sense of design.  To break up the abundance of wood 2 panels of sand blasted glass were incorporated giving a contemporary feel to the fence.  sand blasted fence

I like the gate hardware, a black lever-style handle, a variation from the norm.  A peep-hole ‘viewing sliver’ has been built into the design also.  fence hardware and peep hole

So…..is there hope/inspiration for my fence replacement?

All images via Modmissy

 

A Day at the Spa

Do you like going to the spa?

Being personally pampered and indulged in all things comforting, calming and relaxing.  Totally therapeutic – right?

I had a few girlfriends ask if I would like to join them for a day at the spa during my week of ‘stay-cation’.

I declined.

I am not a spa girl.

A Day at the Spa

For me my ‘therapy’ is visual.  I would rather spend a day strolling about just looking and seeing.

Often that ‘looking’ involves retail, admiring window displays and set designs that constantly change to reflect colour and trends.  I love to visit art galleries and see the beauty there.  I like to walk about different neighborhoods admiring homes.  I enjoy walking around downtown viewing the architecture of commercial buildings, skyscrapers – both historical and modern. 

I have come to realize that I am not a ‘spa’ girl but rather I am a ‘spatial’ girl! 

Here is what I saw while on my stay-cation. 

An early morning walk to Lake Ontario revealed a scene of tranquil beauty. 

Lake Ontario Toronto

This home renovation made me smile with its colourful plywood framing.

Plywood stained boards

The beautiful blue skies made St James Cathedral seem even more magnificent.

St James Cathedral

I thought this was really cool how the glass building seemed to disappear into the blue sky!

Clouds reflecting in window

Of course a visit to the AGO is always a must even if it was to just appreciate the Henry Moore sculpture on the outside of the gallery.

Henry Moore AGO

The cantilevered portion of the OCAD (Ontario College of Art and Design) building in downtown Toronto always makes me pause.  And look….there’s the CN Tower peeking through!

OCAD

The view from the floor to ceiling windows atop the Sheraton Centre is a great place to get a view of downtown Toronto.

Sheraton Centre, Toronto

Last week I had a wonderful stay-cation in Toronto seeing all the sites and visiting with family and friends.

All images via Modmissy excluding spa photo: www.blog.invitationbox.com

 

 

 

The Winter Blues

With the February blahs behind us and almost mid-way into March I find I am craving for colour.

Next week is school break for our household.  My boys head off to the Rockies for a week of skiing and I am staying home; a stay-cation as I like to call it.

I prefer to set my sights on somewhere warm and colourful.

This photo I took last summer is a retrospect in blues and a reminder that Lake Ontario located at the end of my street can sometimes look like a ‘tropical’ getaway.

So until I book that ‘colourful’ getaway I will just have to imagine.

Feeling the Winter Blues

 

Have a great weekend!

Image via Modmissy

Floating Artist Studio

Continuing with yesterday’s post of living aboard a house boat I’ll now share with you a peek inside the owner’s floating artist studio.

In a house boat that was built over 25 years ago and now lovingly restored by its new owner a fabulous artist studio and retreat awaits a short walk away.

Under a very mod curved ceiling and vintage inspired wood built-in cabinetry the owner has set up her drafting table, cutting table and all the other necessities required for her passion – drawing, sketching and painting.

Who wouldn’t be inspired with the view out of the wrap-around sloped windows?

There is even a kitchen where snacks and refreshments are kept close to hand.

And I even had my sketch done!

Once again a big thank you to my host for sharing her home with me and all of you.

All images via Modmissy

 

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 Summer Away

I have been remiss on my posting duties of late.  I apologize but summer seemed to have had a strong pull on me.   When I visit my cottage in the north all technology and ‘city’ responsibilities get pushed away – happily.

I thought I would share with you some of the reasons why I went missing.

This is the first thing I see when I open my eyes each morning at the cottage.  The view from bed with the sun streaming in and the sparkling lake – what’s not to love!

Once up I go for an early morning ride in this vintage boat while the lake is still like glass.

Of course the early morning call of the loon is like nature’s melody that lulls you into awe and harmony.  And even more special if you happen to witness the union of adult and offspring during feeding.

Watching nature – colourful.

Observing wildlife – amazing!  Notice the little fawn I came across on a quiet walk through the forest.

Bunnies too!

An afternoon water ski!!

The magnificent spectacle following an afternoon rain shower.

And the setting sun after a wonderful day at the cottage.

What’s not to love and possibly make you forget all of life’s commitments?

All images via Modmissy