Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Gold Dust Woman!

I don't know about you, but I have been loving all the rooms on new show Pure Design. Samantha Pynn has been hitting the nail on the head with every episode. All the rooms so far have been beautiful, elegant, a little glam, and apparently very "green" and eco-concious. Who doesn't love that?

I find that all her rooms seem pretty attainable to re-create and I love some of the projects they do.

Case in point: I am filing away this Project for when we move.

Gold Leaf Mirror


~ Frame to gold leaf

~ Gold leaf sheets

~ gold leaf sizing/adhesive

~ Brush

~ Soft Cloth / 2nd soft brush

~ Cheese cloth

~Satin Sealer

How To:

1. Apply adhesive/sizing to frame with brush. Make sure area to be covered with leafing is fully covered, but not sloppy. (Adhesive will dry clear)

2. Apply leafing to adhesive-covered areas. When surface is completely covered, smooth it all out with fingers. If leafing cracks and tears off, simply cover with a new piece. Use 2nd clean brush to flake off excess. Once complete, polish with cheese cloth.

3. Once everything is completely covered, and polished, apply Satin Sealer. Allow to completely dry for at least 2 hours and apply 2nd coat.

Reflecting on it all... I scored me a knock-off!

One of the first things my mom did when she started renovating her little old house, was to remove all the mirrors the previous owner had put up. I think that person was trying to use the old decorator's trick of making a room house look bigger by adding mirrors. It was simply not working in this place. They even had a mirrored backsplash in the kitchen....

Anyhow, afterwards there was only one large one, that still in really good shape- but she had no use for it. So she called me up, asking if I still wanted that large mirror from Ikea. I did, and said yeah, but didn't really have space for it right now, so wasn't going to buy it. She asked if I wanted her to make me one instead.

I was a little skeptical at how it was going to look. Especially since my mom's style is pretty traditional, and the mirror - the Mogstad from Ikea, is NOT. But she really wanted to do it, so I let her go to town.

Last week, when she came for Christmas, she showed up with this:
Boy, was I impressed. It turned out great, even though it doesn't show so well in the photo... I need to work on my photography skills for sure!! I wasn't sure if we had a place to put it, but after a little brainstorming and some picture moving, the wall in our bedroom was the perfect place for this full-length stunner.

**Mom put 4 coats of this ebony stain on it, and it was still pretty light. She left me the can and I will probably add a few more to get it a little closer in color to the rest of the furniture!

Thanks Mom!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We been Framed!

After looking at all the Christmas stuff we have and thinking about what I want to bring to the new house, and what I'd like to get new..... I realized that we have NO framed pictures of Cory and I together!!!???

At first I thought it was just cause I was lazy and hadn't had photos printed since I got a digital camera.... Then I realized that I didn't have any nice frames... Plus coupled with the fact that I don't have any pictures of the two of us, that I absolutely LOVE......I realized it wasn't that far-fetched!

(This one turned out awesome.. but I couldn't take a nice picture of it, to save my life lol)

But, I really wanted some nice pictures of us. But since we are not spending money right now on non-essentials, I knew this would have to be a low-cost project.

Armed with a couple dollars of my stocking stuffer money, I picked up 4 frames at my local Dollar Store. I kept everything black and silver, to avoid looking too cheapy and dollar-store like.

I knew there were a couple photos in the loft, that I had printed on cheap photo paper for another project, so I dug those out, and cropped them to fit.

Here is how everything looks on my dresser, with the addition of the three new frames.

The last frame contains a picture that I absolutely love. We look incredibly happy. Unfortunately, the angle it was shot at, makes Cory look HUGE. So I am respecting his request to not post it. :)

Holiday Clearance Score

Wouldn't you know it, I found a great little Clearance item at Save-On-foods last night.

Yup, as I was clearing the meat section, these little burlap wrapped mini tabletop trees caught my eye! Strangely enough, I used to do some Visual Merchandising and used to use these a lot in displays.

Best part of the deal? They were $2.00 each!!!

They also had 4 silver charger plates at $1.00 each, but for whatever God-forsaken reason, I decided to put them back. I am totally regretting that decision and may have to swing by on the way home to see if they were snatched up by someone else yet...
Gotta love a great deal!!!

Good news!!

We tracked down the camera. I told Cory he wasn't allowed to do anything til he found it last night. So he did, it was in his coat pocket!!

Here's the house over the holidays:

First, here's the tree. Yeah, I realize it's a small tree, but it was free. A gift from my dad, so I am not complaining.
It looks a little sparse of decorations, but don't worry, it was nice and full. Plus, you always have a to leave a couple prime spots for decorations you get as gifts. I received about 10 new ones, so those filled in any empty spaces. Unfortunately, the flash washed out the Christmas lights....

The stockings ( well ours at least) were hung from the thing masquerading as a mantle fireplace mantel from gorgeous hangers found at Walmart. Thankfully, they were the last two silver ones left!

I've had this pretty silver sleigh for a couple years. I didn't have a plan for it this year, so I simply loaded it up with some Holiday stuffies and they rode the sleigh all over the island counter!

The dining room sideboard is a nice place for a little Holiday vignette. The snowman guy is from the Dollar store. That large white bowl holds pinecones and holiday berry sprigs. I also believe one of our poinsettias ( we have a white and a red one), ended up finding a home here as well.

There were little knick-knacks everywhere... but I did't get photos of everything. I did however, get photos of my favorite part: THE TABLE!!!

I wanted something really Dramatic, and whimsical this year so red, white and silver was the theme!

The beautiful red tablecloth and napkins were found randomly at Save-On-Foods on a grocery shopping trip. The bright color really helped to make my Holiday dishes POP! These white dishes with silver band and stars were in a Superstore flyer years ago, when I fell in love with them and my mom surprised me.

The matching etched-star drinking glasses paired nicely with Ikea wine glasses and the Hampton House flatware in brushed stainless steel, is our everyday stuff.

Since it was a big "meat and potatoes" crowd, I opted to forgo the charger plates, and went only with dinner and bread plates. But to add another layer, I placed the napkins, complete with Silver Snowflake napkins rings, found at Canadian Tire many years ago.

Since the table was really long, I really wanted to fill it out, and make every part of it, visually stimulating. I'm not really a red person, and it was a lot for me, so I added some interest by using my Martha Stewart Limitied Edition Snowflake punch and some white cardstock to punch out snowflakes, and I just let them lay as they fell.

I knew the centerpiece had to be something unexpected, and something silver and sparkly. So I set off early that morning with a vision in my head. What I found were 2 of these reindeer candelabras!! I didn't want anything taller, and was worried about the stability of taper candles in those large cups, so I opted for silver, LED tealights instead. I think they look amazing!!

There was a lot of space to fill still, so I threw the sleigh and snowman in the middle as well. Silver-foil wrapped mini-presents, glittery white snowflake ornaments, and white tealight holders lined with gold leaf added extra sparkle!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Pretty Place settings...

Yeah, I know, Christmas has come and gone so quickly. But who says I can't post new ideas now, so that I can shop for things throughout the year, and be ready to go when next December rolls around.....??
Anyhow, here are some pretty table and place settings I came across the other day in Better Homes and Gardens. What I love about them, is that they don't scream Christmas, and that most of them could actually be used for different occassions, with a tiny change or two.

Hope you love 'em just like I do!!
This one reminds me a lot of the table I did this year, except I didn't use the blue accent color.

I think this might be one of my favorites!!! My favorite colors!!! I think I would add a bit more turquoise though... like in the trees and christmas balls!!

Now, this one didn't say Christmas at all to me, but essentially, would love amazing if your place was all blue. Plus, sub the blue for red or green, and it's perfect!!

I love the idea of a placecard, and I think these curtain clips are such an easy, inexpensive way to tackle two items: napking rings and placecards!!

A little cutesy, and a lot more traditional this would also be very well received at a Kid's table!!

This has a very Country-traditional vibe but still very cute!

This is another one of my faves and goes to show you, you don't have to use conventional "Christmas-themed" items...

These napkins were made using an iron-on transfer from a regular printer, and the napkin rings are vintage forks, bent into shape!!

if glitsz is your thing, try this Gold-decked affair!!!


Yup, I took some time to stress out over Christmas enjoy the Holidays, but don't you worry - Christmas means there's no stuff taking shape over at Casa Thibault/Savoy!

Posts in the works:

~ Christmas Gift DIY - Mrs. Thibault-style! What did my mom give me, and what Big-box store item did she knock-off??

~ Under the tree - What we asked for; what we got; how we're using them!

~ Decoration Re-vamp : Making those traditional decoration suit your personal style

~New Addition: we're working on two pieces of furniture right now...Including step-by-step tutorials on how to re-create them!

~Goodbye Christmas! - see how we store our Holiday decorations - it's surprisingly orderly!

~Cleaning up and Clearing out: In the process of cleaning up, and trying to find space for all our new stuff, I clear out old stuff and mentally prepare for our new house.

That's just a few of the pieces I am working on right now, but I promise the next couple days will be chalk-full of new stuff we're doing.

Scent-sational find!!!

About a year ago, I fell in love with the scents of these Essenza reed diffusers. First, I spied them at Jarrett & Ashley's powder room. Next, I was sitting next to one at Scott & Riley's house. After some asking around, I heard they were at Pier 1 - wrong!!
I also heard they were at HomeSense - wrong again.
WTF??!! How was everyone able to get them except me???
I started mentioning them, everytime we were at a friend's house. Ashley had lucked out - her mom had bought tons, and had stocked up each of her girls. But she also gave me some good information : they were available at Costco!!!!
So last week, while I stocked up on appetizers for Christmas dinner.. I thought to have a peek. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any of the diffusers. However, they did have the candles and the hand soap. So I got a 4-pack of candles and am glad I did.
I love, love, love the Grapefruit Vanilla and it's almost all gone already. The pear isn't very strong and I haven't cracked open the other two yet.
Anyhow, I'm keeping my eyes peeled and as soon as Amazon gets more instock of the diffusers, I'm stocking up!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Star v.s. Angel?

At Casa Thibault/ Savoy, a pretty little Star graces the top of our tree.

When I was shopping for our first tree decorations last year, I was really torn over what to get. I grew up in a house that had an Angel at the top. It was also always MY job to get that girl up there!!

However, for my own tree, I was rather partial to a star. I also couldn't find any pretty angels, that didn't look creepy, and didn't cost an arm and a leg.... As well, in keeping with our Non-Denominational home, I think a Star was the better choice.

How about you? What graces the top of your tree? An Angel? A Star? A Snowflake?? Maybe even a beer can?? Let me know the story behind your choice!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

rather unexpected

Typically, when I see houses as Rustic looking as this one, I expect the interior to be something similar. So I was incredibly surprised to see the interior of this Victorian home.

The front entrance is beautiful, and very old-school elegant.

Brightly colored fabrics really make this room feel fresh with all the bright white paint.

I think this might be the most modern room in the house. Love the zebra rug. Love the glass table. (It's actually a rectangular table with two additional demi-lune tables as leaves.)
Talk about Dramatic! This birdcage bed, combined with the full-on floral wallpaper reminds me of something out of Domino!

The bathroom is very English Country.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Santa's Workshop

Well, only a few days left. I have to say though, that one of my favorite things to do this season, is to wrap my Christmas gifts. I like taking the time to choose the appropriate paper for the person, and I always coordinate the perfect gift tag, bow/ribbon, etc. that I think would suit the recipient the best.

Unfortunately, in past years, I have either set up shop on the floor or on the dining table. This year, I set up a gift wrapping station in the loft.

Although, when we move and have my own actual craft-room, I would love to be able to have a space like this!!!

Photo from: Pottery Barn

Friday, December 12, 2008

Holiday Helpers

In the spirit of giving THANKS. I would also like to give a big shout-out to all the other people in our lives who are helping us out this Holiday Season.

1. My Mom - who is forwarding us some money towards our downpayment. We love you very much, and appreciate this, more than you will ever know!!! Also, she has offered up her assistance with helping to prepare dinner if we need it.

2. My Dad - who has offered to pay for the Turkey and all the trimmings, as we are hosting once again this year. This is very generous. Especially since there will be 8 of us.

3. Cory's mom & dad - He would like to provide a gigantic Hutterite turkey. They're organically grown, and so fresh!!! She really wants to cook it. Cory has taken her up on her offer, and is going to have her over early to cook it, so that he can work until noon that day.

4. Cory's work - Baker Hughes - who have very graciously provided all their employees with a $50.00 gift card towards their Christmas dinners.

We have been amazed by the amount of assistance that everyone is willing to give this year!! Both financially and service-wise. I'm thinking that we will be able to provide a very lovely Christmas for all, at a very cost-effective price point.

hugs & kisses for everyone!!!!!!!

And the award goes to...

Cory's work gives them awards for accomplishments like Safety Awards, Hard Work, etc. Yesterday he received such an award!!! For being such a hard worker these last couple months Thankfully, instead of a plaque or certificate or something, they actually reward them with something tangible, of their choice!!! They have a website that they can go on, and choose ANYTHING THEY WANT OFF THE SITE!!!!! Plus, it's actually good stuff, and the price range appears to be all around the $100.00 mark. There's a lot of house stuff, appliances, home decor, etc.

How cool is that? Thankfully, Cory is not so good at choosing things, so he let me have a pick this time. His last griddle choice, has yet to make it home for me to see or use.......

My choice was this, Wilton Armetale Tablo Salad Bowl w/Tongs. You're probably thinking, a god-damn salad bowl????!!! But I am very happy with my choice. It's beautiful, plus it appears to be insulated or something, as it keeps food either hot or cold. I'm thinking we would get the most use outta this, plus we don't really NEED anything...
So Thanks Baker Hughes!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

First Impressions

Our front door is not often used. Living in a carriage style house, our "front door" is technically on the side of a building, and doesn't even face a street, but a grass courtyard. We also, primarily enter our own home from the garage.

This makes me really sad, as I think the front entrance is such a fun area to dress-up. However, Cory has restricted me from spending too much money for an area that no one will really see.

So in an effort to make the best first impression for the visitors we get, as well as appeal to my desire to make all areas pretty, here's the bare minimum I've done, on a super huge budget:

Here's what our front door looks like as of the other night. Unfortunately the Harvest wreath is being retired tonight. So stay tuned later in the week for a transformation.

Step inside and leave your boots on this pretty little mat. This was a $25 score from Zellers .

I saw it from afar, and the colors drew me in ( they're much more vivid in person).

**Note - the mat is not dirty, it's abused lol - the cats love the feel of it on their claws, so they use it as a scratching post lol**

This is really all there is when you come in... you can go up or down (excuse the pic it's from Construction) ** I will note, that we did add a painting by Cory's uncle on that wall heading downstairs.

This is the front door, from the angle Cory and I see it from, as we come up from the basement. I've kept it pretty basic, but still pretty. The black framed mirror is a Debbie Travis score from Canadian Tire that I got for my birthday a couple years back.

I originally wanted to hang some beautiful black, Gothic, wrought-iron hooks under the mirror for guests to hang their coats, but Cory was worried that anything protruding into this area would be a bad idea.

See, as there are so many stairs coming up, and with us often carrying things, he didn't want anyone to get hurt. Which is also the same reason we don't have a nice, big potted plant in this space.

There are coat closets on both the lower level entry, and upstairs at the main floor, so we have no need for a console table. Plus the stairs serve as seating for putting on/taking off shoes.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thinking green(ery)

I'm a fan of plants, always have been. Growing up, my mom had a plant in every room, and then several in both the kitchen and living room. It was my job to water them, and it was actually time consuming to do.

Now that I am in my own home, I've started slowly emassing a small collection of house plants, but truthfully, I've only ever paid for one myself.

I have however, always wanted to do a terrarium, or mini-greenhouse thing. But never got around to it. This little feature over at Domino got me thinking about how easy it would be, if I just actually did it.

Here's a how-to on growing your own indoor plants, herbs, whatevers:

~clear glass containers with large openings to allow for easy access (bell jars covers are commonly used)

~assorted small plants

~potting soil

~ charcoal



~newspapers or dropcloth

~dry sheet moss (optional)


1. Gather up all your assorted plants. The best plants for this are ferns, succulents, cacti and tropicals.

2. Lay down newspaper or drop cloth, to protect your work area from getting dirty.

3. Create proper drainage in your glass container. This is essential in a terrarium as they are very humid. Add a solid layer of gravel to the bottom of your container (this keeps the roots from sitting in water) Next, add a 1/4" layer of charcoal, then a layer of potting soil that should reach less than half the container's height.

4. Prepare your plants for transplant. Holding the soil, wiggle the pot off. Carefully remove the remaining soil from the plant, and separate the roots.

5. Use the pencil to create a small hole for the plant, in the potting soil. Insert the plant, and gently cover the area with surrounding soil to ensure it is securely in place. Do not crowd your plants, they need room to grow!

6. Pretty it up! If you're using a bell jar-style terrarium, you can pot your plant in a plastic take out container, and then cover it in moss, so that it looks pretty.

7. Take care. If your terrarium is enclosed, then it only needs a light misting every 6 weeks - even less if it has any cacti inside. For ones with lids - remove the lid for one day a month for proper air circulation. As with any plants, remove dead leaves and prune back, if needed to keep your plants healthy!!

**All instructions and photos from Domino>