August 03, 2013

Sweat Shop Gramma...

Have you ever stared at something in your home as you go about your daily round and thought, if I don't do something about fill in the blank I'm going to go crazy! That's the relationship I've had with our living room curtains since 2007! I know, 2007! When we moved into our new house I didn't even want to rehang MC's bachelor curtains. I knew what would happen. We would have lots of other house projects to do. The curtains weren't loved but were 'functional' so replacing them would get pushed further down the to do list. '2007' is still shocking me as I type this in 2013! 

Anyways...My mom hopped the pond for a summer visit and kindly offered to make a roman blind for our bare dining room window. We had some fabric I had originally purchased to recover our living room chairs, 4 metres to be exact. This was more than enough fabric to make one blind. Sooooo, I suggested we make the living room blinds first. I like how I use 'we' as if I had anything to do with this sewing project, besides getting my mom cold drinks and telling her she was doing a great job! 

This would be a good time to mention that the summer of 2013 has been record breaking warm! Like almost every home on this little island our house has no air conditioning. By the end of my mom's week of sewing we were calling her 'sweat shop granny'! My poor mother sat sewing with a fan blowing on her in our kitchen with temperatures soaring to 90F! She deserves a medal, or at least a trip to Highclere Castle, a place she has been wanting to go to for quite some time. I promise, the next visit...we are so there! 

Our '2007' curtains...Even then I was pushing them out of the way to get a better look at that beautiful Victorian woodwork!  


Our 2013 curtains...






Gramma always comes baring gifts...Bea and MC staying cool in the blow up pool my mom packed in her suitcase and brought with her from the States! 






We love you Gramma! You always know exactly what were gonna need before we do!  





"Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. 
Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust 
over the lives of little children." 

~ Alex Haley 


July 31, 2013

Order of Play...

The wonders of life as explored through science and technology are breath taking! MC and I are expecting our second baby in October. We recently had an ultra sound and saw our little one's heart beating. How amazing is that! I must be getting old! In the past few years the new technology that surrounds us impresses upon me beyond youthful expectation. Bea thinks nothing of touch screen technology or chatting to her grandparents on the other side of the pond via Skype or FaceTime. These tools that keep our family close are much appreciated but sometimes it's nice to take a step back...


With a bun in the oven, MC and I decided to take a couple days to ourselves and head to London. We scooted by The Natural History Museum on a recon mission to see if the museum was age appropriate for Bea. Being 'toddler free' for a couple days in London is always a treat. Even if you find yourself in a very family friendly spot like the NHM! We had a moment to explore the museum's bones both literally and architecturally. I have an enduring love of Victorian architecture and the NHM did not disappoint my adoration! The attention to detail is almost visually overwhelming! 








I like how London offers up little gifts to us every time we visit. A new restaurant, an enchanting shop or just a beautiful scene. On this trip into the city I discovered the hidden streets that make London unique. In the more affluent neighbourhoods of this world city mews were streets of stables or carriage houses that resided behind grand homes. After WW2 many of the mews houses were converted from stables, carriage houses and garages into small but fine homes. If we ever moved to London, with some money in our pocket, I would want to live on one of these inviting little streets.      






Growing up on 'the grid' in a new world country has given me an appreciation for old world city streets that curve and seem to disappear before me. I feel a bit like Alice chasing that rabbit. Curiosity always gets the better of me on streets like this... 


One of the reasons we visited London was to not only wander aimlessly through the city but to also take in a bit of sport. Tennis anyone...Attending Wimbledon, particularly this year, was fantastic! The grounds of The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club are beautiful and the matches we saw weren't to shabby either! I liked seeing the scenes that happen in 'real time' like the ball boys and girls in the midst of a crowd...


...the line judges actually moving...


...and of course, the sport...


...it wouldn't be Wimbledon without a rain delay...



...You cannot be serious! Oh, but I am! We saw the Macs in action...



So this was our final little getaway before our second one arrives on the scene in a few months time. MC and I had a lovely time wandering, spectating and discovering new places in our old town that never disappoints. 


"The fairies, as their custom, clapped their hands with delight over their cleverness, 
and they were so madly in love with the little house 
that they could not bear to think they had finished it." 


~J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

June 01, 2013

The Gathering Room...

I prayed for quite some time to the Goddess of home and hearth to grant me a wish. My wish? That our dining room would function as an office and play room by day and a calming adult dining space by night. Was this too much to ask? Could we make one tiny room function as three? You know what they say about 'wishing'... I had my doubts. Then MC and I put our creative brains together and came up with a room that is as much form as it is function. Thanks to Bea's wonderful, smart and very talented Grandad our ideas became a reality!

This is where it all began six years ago...Our sweet little Victorian terrace house needed some love. We started by opening up the wall between the living room and the dining room to let some much needed natural light in.    

The dining room felt like a cave! 

 As the bricks came down sunlight came streaming into the room!

The pre-Bea tidy dining room. I still shudder at that lamp shade!  

Bea has arrived! It was time to adapt the dining room for toy storage...

Hey! We've got a cute kiddo we adore that's taking over our once tidy house! 

Meltdown! 

Bring on the sliding doors...

That's better...

There are three sliding doors that cover the back wall of our dining room. Each of the three sections, behind the three doors, has a different function. The left hand side is our home office...


Home office 'before' and 'after'...



The middle section is platter and filing storage...Our theme, 'no space left unused!' 


The vintage riddling rack used to reside in the right section which we moved to another wall...Would you like some Bollinger with your ABC blocks! 


Last but certainly not least...Bea's toy storage! The bottom shelves are for toys she uses on a daily basis. The top shelves are for art supplies and miscellaneous storage. Bea loves sliding the door open to get out her toys!  


Bea's toy baskets...

Art and craft supplies...

After we've said goodnight to our sweet Bea we slide the doors shut on our work and play for the day...We still have a few finishing touches to add, like a frame at the top of the doors and curtains for the window but we're thrilled with the results...