Monday, November 29, 2010

Mantel Moment!

After the Paper Whites Flowers on Friday I had some questions about the Fireplace mantel. Here's what we did!
To get the Mantel to this point:


From this:


First we covered the hole! I still have no idea why they would build a hole above the fireplace in that shape? We thought about boarding it up, but . . . . there are electrical connections there and that wouldn't be up to code, something about needing access to live wires ? ? . . . . I don't know, moving on. Then we thought about shrinking the hole to the height of the T.V. but the T.V. won't fit between the sconces anyways (I suggested a smaller T.V. Lee didn't go for that ). Then we thought shelves. We have lots of DVDs that we don't watch that often and that would be a great spot to store them. But, who wants to look at that all the time? 
So we combined, boarding it up, and shelves and came up with a swinging door idea. 



Lee added 3 MDF shelves to the inside. We don't have very much to store in there now but I'm thinking I might keep all the small decor pieces I like to change out periodically in there, things like candles and sea shells for summer, Acorns and Dried Leaves for the fall.
To add the "door" we measured the opening and had Home Depot cut a large piece of MDF to size (in case you didn't already know, Home Depot will do 2 free cuts on their huge saw for you, free of charge and every additional cut is only $1, although if you take your sister and not your husband with you it's pretty much and all you can cut buffet)  and hung it up with 4 hinges, It works really well for us. The seam is visible up close, but I don't mind it, and from just a couple feet away you can't see it at all!

I know what your saying, what about the frames?
They move with the door, they are secured into the door and swing open with it. We do have to be careful when we open it, but we only store items that aren't regularly needed. That door won't be opening more then a few times a year.

As for the frames themselves, they are glass front and back. I bought them from JYSK for $8 each. I printed out some old family photos in black and white and just added them in. Pretty simple. 




You might remember these old family photos and frames from our Old Manor. We used them in a larger grouping above the stairs.


and last,
I've been asked a few times if I had any tricks to spacing all the frames perfectly, I DO! A BIG ONE, his name is Lee and he does all the picture hanging around this Manor! I really have no idea how he does it, I see him use a measuring tape, and he mutters a lot of random numbers out loud while he's doing it . . . . . thank goodness for Lee, if it was up to me all of my picture arrangements would be in random haphazard groupings.

So, here's a special shout out to all the Handy Hubbies out there!!! Love 'em!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

If you liked it then you should have put some sealer on it!


Sealer is to Granite Counters,  what urethane is to Wood Floors!



I went to the local do it yourself store, and had a moment of cheapness, not thrifty-ness, not frugal-ness but pure unadulterated cheapness. I saw the $50 granite sealer, I picked it up, read the label and then promptly put it down for the $12 granite sealer beside it. Well, the $12 granite sealer . . . . . sucked. It was smelly, and it changed the color of our granite a little bit. Thank goodness we tested a small hidden spot before we did the entire counter. ALWAYS TEST!

So with 12 fewer dollars in my pocket I went back to the store and bought the "good stuff",. Polished Granite Sealer, again we tested in a small spot, It was fine and after the 24 hour wait period to make sure the sealer didn't adversely affect the stone I was ready to seal!

 
Here's what I learnt:
  • First you'll want to administer The "Paper Towel Test". Wet a paper towel, put the wet sheet of paper towel on the granite, if after a few minutes the granite is darker under the paper towel, your granite needs to be sealed! 
  • Buy the good sealer, aka buy the expensive sealer. After our first blunder I did some research, the concensus was to buck up, after all it could end up costing you a fortune down the road!
  • Clean your counters, dust is the enemy!
  • Spray the sealer on, working in small sections, unless you have very little counter space you won't be able to seal the entire counter in one go. Work in Small sections.
  •  Once it's sprayed on use a dry cloth or sponge (we used sponge) and rub into the granite for about 5 min. making sure the counter stays wet with sealer, if it absorbs it all spray on some more.
  • Once your done rubbing, let it sit for a few more min then wipe off any excess with a different dry cloth (we used a bar towel). Make sure to wipe off the excess before it dries (it's just way harder to get off if it's dry)!
  • Some sealers may require a second coat a couple days later but ours did not! 
 That's about it!
  • Don't clean it for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours do a test, drop some water on to the counter top and if it beads up, it's sealed!
Disclaimer: These instructions are based off of our particular sealers directions, every sealer will vary and you should read the instructions on the back! Just in case :)

Now, just because the granite is sealed doesn't mean that you can just drop what ever you want onto it. Granite Sealer can never fully seal the counter. It's meant to block the stain long enough for you to clean it up. So by all means if you drop beet juice onto your counter clean it up right away!

Also, be careful putting hot pots and pans directly onto your counter top. It's true that a hot pot can't hurt granite, it can however burn the sealer. And if the sealer gets burnt it will require a professional to come and restore it!

And don't forget to repeat the "Paper Towel" test every year to make sure the counters are sealed! Giving an exact time frame on when you'll need to re-seal your counters is impossible as it varies so much depending on the stone, the color of the stone, how many times the counter had been sealed already. That's why it's just a good idea to administer the Paper Towel test at least once a year, it only takes a second and it could save your counters.

I liked it so I put some sealer on it! Woah oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh oh, Woah oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stylish Blogger Award

I'd like to thank the Academy . . . . just kidding! I really should be thanking Kinga and Joe from Blueloom. They've passed on The Stylish Blogger Award to The Maillardville Manor!!!


Because This is my First Award I had to read up on the rules:
         I  have to Thank the person who sent the award my way. 
         List 7 things about myself.
         and pick  new blogs I've recently found and enjoyed! and Pass the award on to them!

So Here goes:
1) Thank you again to Kinga and Joe of Blueloom! You might remember Kinga from her guest post here back in September, if you missed it Follow the Link.

2) 7 things about myself

-I am married to a very sweet, very gentle Giant, for 5 years now!

-We are hoping to start a family in a few years through Adoption or surrogacy.

-I don't like to travel much because I don't like leaving our dog Max :) (I know, it's crazy).

(he weighs 4lbs and 2 of those lbs are tongue!)

 -I hate conflict but can hold a grudge a long time ( right Lee . . . . like the time you forgot me at the Mall!!) haha Seriously though he did!

-I can be a little obsessive, I get on these kicks, like a cholesterol kick where poor Lee couldn't have an egg yolk for almost 6 months. Or an every meal has to be from scratch kick, I mean, even the ketchup was homemade, that kick didn't last  long.

-I love to play Volleyball, it's where I met Lee, but I HATE going to the gym!

-I have a tattoo of a Canadian Maple Leaf, I got when I was 16 (and I am finally old enough to say, "who gives a 16 year old a tattoo anyways?" Oh so old now! haha)

3) Pass it on to  bloggers I've recently discovered! This one was harder because with the big move I haven't had much time to surf the blog world.I could name hundreds of bloggers I've followed for years that I find Stylish! But I'm going to stick to the rules and name 2 new to me bloggers I find Stylish!


 Cupcakes and Ruby Slippers - Love that name by the way!!!

 Buttercream Barbie - my new go to for anything baking related!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Flowers on Friday: Paperwhites!

Today is not only my first Flowers on Friday from the new Manor, it's also my BIRTHDAY!
The BIG 27 oooooooooo . . . . . . . Although I don't think I can put BIG in front of any number that starts with a 2, so I'll just say I'm turning 27 today. Another First Today, we got the first snow of the season !! Also, the first time I have ever had snow on my birthday (it's unseasonably early this year). And for anyone who was wondering,  although we live in Canada it doesn't mean we have snow all the time, we live on the west coast, it's like cold California up here, hehe, well . . . . almost :)


With Christmas just around the corner I've been thinking about mantel ideas. Here is the start of our Christmas Mantel! Also a sneak peek of our living room progress!!!


Paperwhites are one of my favorite flowers mostly because they remind me of Spring, and around December I could use a reminder!! One thing I don't love about them is their smell (I know that's something they are commonly desired for) but I'm not a big fan. There are two other varieties are"Grand Soliel d'Or" with yellow petals and cup and the "Chinese Sacred Lily" (neither Chinese nor a lily) with white petals and yellow cup. Both, have a fruitier scent then the traditional paperwhites, however they do not produce as many blooms as the traditional paperwhites so they are much harder to find!
Hope everyone has a great weekend, I will be dining with friends and family tonight, then sewing my rear end off this weekend.
I am a terrible sewer so many melt-downs are expected!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Taking Care of Business!!!

Not the most exciting post ever, but like the title says, we're taking care of business. Meaning, we are ensuring that our floors are protected, and Clean before we start loading them up with furniture!

So in case you were wondering here's what we are using to care for our new Hardwood Floors.
BONA you can find it at BED BATH and BEYOND (I guess it's part of their Beyond section hehe).
It's what the professionals recommend. I went to two different flooring stores and after faking interest in purchasing new hardwood floors, I was let in on the secret and apparently it's BONA (it was really expensive at the flooring store, but I found it for much cheaper at BB&B).


We purchased the ultimate Hardwood Care Floor kit!
It comes with the washable, reusable cleaning, dusting and polishing pads! Much better then throwing out the swiffer pads every time we mop the floor!

Another reason we chose Bona is because it is a  non-toxic waterborne solution which is super safe for kids and pets!! Seriously if you drank the entire bottle of cleaner the recommendation on the back is to drink a glass of water to dilute it.

So that's what's been going on here this week, making sure our floors are ready for all the furniture we'll be putting on them :)

Come back tomorrow for the First FLOWERS on Friday from the new Manor!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Arthur, the Antelope!

This probably should have been the first post from our new manor, but  didn't think of it until today so it's going to be the second post from the New Manor (I wonder how long I'm going to refer to it as "The New Manor"?).
Anyways,
When you come through our front door the first thing you are greeted with is Arthur, The Antelope! I love deer heads and moose heads, but could never imagine hanging a real one (Seriously,  a real animal head on the wall must be terrible feng shui, hehe), So I set out on the hunt for a deer head.
Then I found one, and somehow all I could think of was christmas! So I dragged Lee kicking and screaming asked Lee to accompany me to the store to see what he thought and he agreed kind of christmas-y.
Then he said what about the antelope head, and it sounds funny but I never thought of an antelope head (I mean really, how many of us have thought of an antelope head),
Long story short,
Meet Arthur! We call him ARTY!



He looks kind of mean in this picture, but it was dark when we took the picture so the artificial light from a nearby lamp was creating some menacing shadows, but I can assure you he's the nicest, iron antelope head :p

So there's Arty, I love the little sense of whimsy he adds to the house. I've never enjoyed houses that take themselves to seriously (or people for that matter, haha

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Maillardville Manor: The Sequel

Hi,

It's been 3 long weeks but I finally have Internet! I feel like I fell off the face of the earth . . . . .  it was kind of nice, me and Lee just running around the house, eating breakfast at new restaurants, going to home depot, checking out new stores, going to home depot again (last night we walked in and the greeter said hi MAX, you know you've been to home depot too much when they know your dog's name).
But I'm so glad to be back!!!

I was just reading my last post. The one where everything was falling beautifully into place and nothing went wrong, well, lets just say the honeymoon is OVER!
I promptly scratched the top of our new washer and dryer the first load of laundry I did. The laundry machines don't cover the water pipes so we had to buy the pedestals for the machines (probably a good thing since we're both tall) but at an extra $400 ouch! and they aren't in stock until the end of the month. The bracket for the T.V. was missing half of the hardware, so back in the car for the 1 hour drive back to the store. The sconces I bought for above the fireplace are way too small, and the next ones I bought were way to big, third times the charm, NOT they were all wrong too.
Bought the wrong sealer for the granite.
And Last but definitely not least, the dog got sick all over the brand new couch this morning, while the cable installer was sitting on it, kind of funny, I thought the poor man was going to be sick too :) but definitely a bummer!
oh and someone got a poo shoe (enough said)!

 There has also been lots of great things going on too.
I found the perfect clock for our living room.
Bought the right granite sealer and now the counters look great!
Figured out the perfect place to store my cook books.
Found and promptly bought the perfect table lamps for the living room.
But with all said and done we are super happy here in our New Manor!

We've accomplished a lot in our 2 and a half weeks but I wouldn't say any room is done! The laundry room is close, the kitchen is even closer, and the living room is almost finished! Well . . . . .As finished as any room can be, you know what I'm talking about, I'll be changing, re-arranging, re-decorating and just about any other re- you could think of for years to come. But for now It's getting close, and just in time to re-arrange it for Christmas!

I would love to share a big room reveal with you, but I can't so I thought I'd share a sneak peek of the only parts I've taken pictures of,  our Living Room progress!

Here's our new clock (which also happens to be my slightly early birthday present)


This is the palate for the living room.


All the colors have been taken from this fabric!


And here's the cozy little reading corner, complete with a pillow from Homesense and a Throw from COSTCO!


So glad to be back! Check Back Tomorrow for some more Living Room updates,
I'll be  picking up the new sconces in the morning (just simple white shades to tie into the dining room fixture :) Picutres by the evening (okay maybe not that fast :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

We're on Remodelaholic today!!!!

Moving is going great! We're in, we're super happy . . . . . we're exhausted! But, it's totally worth it! We have some amazing friends who helped us move, some took off time from work (and rode our mattress down the stairs), some baked us cookies, some brought us dinner (mmmmm . . . . lasagna). Everyone walked up and down the one million stairs in our townhouse, carrying boxes. One did it with a baby strapped to her.

Do you ever feel like the wind is behind you and just pushing you along, everything is coming up roses and that just maybe the stars have aligned for a brief moment to make everything amazing. That's how we've felt, for the last 2 months, we've been in this whirlwind of good fortune. We sold our house with perfect timing (three went on the market the day after the subjects were removed and they are still sitting on the market), we bought our house with perfect timing (our builder had 4 to sell just sitting on the market, and so was much more willing to entertain our offer, and the day after they accepted the offer, 2 more of their 4 had offers and sold), the forecast said RAIN for our move day, and we had SUN (lots of sun). Friends all came over and helped us move (which included a fridge and three flights of stairs) and said fridge fits in it's opening with less then a 1/4 inch to spare. I could go on and on, but all I know is tomorrow morning I'm buying a lottery ticket!!!

In the meantime, we are on REMODELAHOLIC today!!!! Well I should say our townhouse Craft Room is! It will be nice to see it as a craft room again, it's been a powder room for a couple of months now!
So if you'd like a blast from the past, check out Remodelaholic Today!
Thanks so much to Cassity who must have seen the empty blog lately and decided to share some Maillardville Manor with her readers and mine!
So pop over to Remodelaholic and I'll meet you back here next MONDAY!!!



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