homemade faster: the housewife disaster

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Victoria Day

This day often marks the start to the summer season.  Here in Canada it is a statutory holiday that always falls on a Monday and makes for a 3 day long weekend.  A lot of people are away camping for the first time in the season and others spend the weekend getting their garden planted.  We spent some time by our fire pit bbqing homemade burgers and toasting marshmellows.  The boys worked on their fort and I of course had to work at work (I'm a server for a popular chain of restaurants and I work every weekend).  We did local things like movies and swimming. But none too exciting.

I got to thinking that I didn't know much about Queen Victoria or why we celebrate so I did a little research and thought I'd share with you.  I have had such and obsession with female English monarchs.  I think my grandma shares a close resemblance to Queen Elizabeth II especially in the younger years...maybe that's where it started.  I think all little girls imagine themselves as princesses.

Anyway, I found this amazing self portrait of  Victoria that she did of herself when she was just 16.  It reminds me to never throw out the kids artwork and to display it all over the house as it truly is a work of  heART when it comes from someone so innocent and without the knowledge of what lies ahead.   
Victoria was the only child of  Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke of Kent and the King died in 1820, and Victoria was raised under close supervision by her German-born mother Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld until she was crowned Queen at the age of 18 in 1837.  Queen Victoria married  her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (ewwwe!!!) and they had 9 children.
The Queen wrote in her diary after her first night of marriage:

I NEVER, NEVER spent such an evening!!! MY DEAREST DEAREST DEAR Albert ... his excessive love & affection gave me feelings of heavenly love & happiness I never could have hoped to have felt before! He clasped me in his arms, & we kissed each other again & again! His beauty, his sweetness & gentleness – really how can I ever be thankful enough to have such a Husband! ... to be called by names of tenderness, I have never yet heard used to me before – was bliss beyond belief! Oh! This was the happiest day of my life.

How romantic is that?  I bet Albert tenderly cried afterwards too, right?

And here are all of them, Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and all 9 kids with not one looking at the camera.  Even the royals have off days with their children.

Isn't this one sweet of the Queen with her eldest daughter

Prince Albert died in 1861 of typhoid fever. Devastated, Queen Victoria mourned the next 40 years until her own death in 1901.  She wore black and seldom made public appearances.  She reined for 63 years which subsequently made this time the Victorian era.  This era was a time of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom. 



Victorian home in Trinidad
Homes like these went up like crazy all over the US, Canada, Caribbean and Australia.  Around where I live these homes are very expensive to buy.  Have a look at the insides of the well-to-do.  Moulding was used in a abundance as was wallpaper, heavy drapes, guilt mirrors and framed art and soft cushy furniture.  People had big families and liked to entertain them in style.

Victorian parlour 1850's

Henry Treffry Dunn

Nowadays people still like to have their homes inspired by the Victorian Era.  And modern culture has definitely improved things a lot.  Out with the heavy drapes and in with the light and bright.  Nothing speaks to me more than a successful mix of styles in a comfortable, clean , well organized room.  Breezy, airy, simple and most of all, influenced by the way you live, the people you love and history.


House Beautiful
Designer Melissa Rufty painting by Amanda Talley

House Beautiful
mid mod coffee table, wicker chairs, gilt mirror, Victorian style sofa
what a mix!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How about some Sunday inspiration

Ideas for the kid's rooms

Today I took the twins to the pool and now that they're eight years old, I don't need to shave my bikini line, put on my stretched out suit, and think about the warts, athletes feet, and used band aids floating by me.  A nice lady told me the rec center password (which apparently is a secret) and I found a plug to charge my laptop.....I'm on my way to blogland for a little visit!

I'm again thinking of the boys rooms and thought I'd document some inspiration.  I'm doing three rooms for three very different boys.  For Kaleel who's 8, I wanted to do one that was a little rough around the edges and a bit beachy as he is obsessed with Roatan, Honduras.  My other boy, Rylan who is also 8,  could just spend the whole day drawing so I thought a highly organized looking room that could display his artwork with loads of bright color might do the trick.  And for my oldest boy he would like a funky vintage vibe with black and white photography and plenty of cool animal references.  One stipulation:  I want the walls all white.  I also have a 4 year old little girl but more to come on ideas for her room....soon.
I love this 'ball of string' pendant.  I want to make one for the kids room.
Hope it looks as good at this one.

How about this lighting idea?  Try stringing up two wires
and laying the cords across them.  just need to figure out how to hard wire this project.

I have been spying designer  Jenni Juurinen  for some time now.  I just adore the highly stylized photos and will be using them for tons of practical ideas.  LOVE IT like pasta loves sauce!  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Lighting: the DIY way

 ideas that are inspiring me

I believe that an amazing room can be out of control amazing with a great light. Ceiling fixtures, lamps, and light boxes give your personal space loads of personality and obviously provide function.

In an effort to save money I have decided to do a little do-it-yourself on light fixtures for the 3 boys rooms that my husband and I are redoing.  One room is small while the other two are even smaller.  So to distract the eye from the obvious negative I want to focus on the positive: light!
I was looking for some inspiration and I found it in  blogland.  Check out these lights.  They seem easy enough, inexpensive, and most important, beautiful.

Also consider finding vintage fixtures online or at thrift shops and yard sales and have them rewired (I'd do it myself but maybe you wouldn't :b)

this website has a great how-to.  I think I'd do this in turquoise....no orange...wait olive (you get picture)

 Restoration Hardware pendants that start at $350.  I love them but hate the price

definitely harder than glue and string

Maybe not for a small kids room but I had to include it...cuz it's fly

this is so easy.  I really have no excuse

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I needed that...

Do you ever feel like the world is working against you?  I do.  Often actually.  No matter how hard I try it seems to be that it will never be hard enough.  I've resolved to the fact that life is tough and I need to just get used to it.  Hahaha....

 I use laughter and funny jokes to try and tolerate and manage stresses.

 I tell those that I love "I love you" all the time because I do and I need to hear it back.

  I steal hugs and kisses from my kids because I secretly think that children have a "crack-like" substance that is emitted from their skin, hair, and breath that I am addicted to.

 I clean my house because it distracts me from dealing with things and it's so productive. 

I listen to music to imagine I'm a different person with a different life who is carefree and beautiful and a really good dancer!! Lol

 I love to make things like soup, art, cookies, and Pinterest boards.

 I thank God for all the lessons I've learned the hard way.  And the lessons I've learned in a way that just wasn't fair....  I say thank you to Him.

 I pray for strangers and for the stories I read about of the people I see in distress. I just want to help, sincerely, but feel helpless (do you ever feel like that?  Helpless to those that need a meal now or a place to stay now or a government to
give a crap about them now?)

Reading what I've wrote it sounds like I'm ungrateful.  Or that I need to just suck it up.  But my life isn't what I hoped it would be.  With all the wonderful people in my life and there are lots of them, I still feel stressed, stretched, overwhelmed, overworked, and alone...Not everyday but still.....

If you can relate then I'm sure you will appreciate this print.  I was busy with a little web research on a couple of vintage paint-by-numbers that I picked up in a thrift store for dirt cheap.  Even though they were $3.50 a piece, I needed to justify them.  So I was attempting to see what I might expect to get from these beautiful paintings of roses if I ebayed them (hypothetically).

 Enter Jen Renninger's print from her Etsy shop: Pleasebestill.

Thanks Jen.  You may not know it but you made all the difference for me, right now!

Here is a pic of the 2 paintings that I nabbed.....
Your heart's singing right now isn't it?


                                                               marina found at highstreetmarket.blogspot.ca


Saturday, April 16, 2011

kitchen rant

Pantone Honeysuckle: colour i like but layout i heart

Okay...I love interior design.  I can hardly do anything in my spare time besides pour over blogs about this subject.  I know it's my obsession because my friends and family tell me so.  But that's okay.....I know I am.  I have nearly every room in my house redone, in my mind, and it looks better than I could have imagined. 

One of the things that I'm always on the look out for are pictures of kitchens that have the same layout as my future kitchen.  So enter Pantone's colour of the year! 18-2120 TCX Honeysuckle is very pink  (as if my firefighting slash plumber husband would ever let me use it on cabinets, but the way this story is heading, remember, is for the layout.)  The sink on the window wall without uppers and the adjacent wall with range and double hung uppers meet the criteria.  So does the complete departure island that says, "I wasn't in the original design, but I'm here anyway.  And I will NOT have a glossy black counter, nor will possess any storage possibilities.  And I will never EVER be Pantone's colour of the year!"  I like islands with attitude.  They provide the necessary tension that a kitchen needs to look and feel decorated over time and never predictable. 

So there you have it:  a suitable layout with surprising island.  I should mention that opposite the window wall I'll have a pantry wall with doors painted some shade of turquoise.  Maybe it's Pantone's colour of the year from 2010: 15-5519 TCX turquoise (boo-yah! my favorite colour).  We'll also have a vintage stove with plants on it and the good tea towels that the kids and my husband are not allowed to touch, which we will only use when we need the extra burners.  That will be opposite the range wall and next to the "deep-freeze-in-separate-room with-attractive-wallpaper,-window,-hooks-for-bbq-utensils,-and-extra-fridge". 

It will be perfect!!
Hope your day is fantastic,

Pantone Turquoise: colour i heart. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Still Breathing

I have been spending the past 6 months reading and reading other people's blogs and although enjoying them, I've secretly been having my pangs of guilt having abandoned my own blog.  My argument (with myself) being I don't know how to use my computer, I don't have enough time and I don't know how to use my computer.  The list goes on (mostly about uploading photos...I just don't know how to do it....and I'm nervous).  Anyshway I think that if I've got this far in life I should take the plunge.... I have so many other expressions that would fit better in that sentence so don't judge me...I could say that I got this far in life I should just "grip it and rip it" (a golf quote) or I could say that I should just "grow some balls" (one of my husbands quotes...boy oh boy wouldn't he be surprised if I did!) But one of my favs that I use when describing fearlessly using technology to obey my every command is....I've got this far in my life I should just dive into the 1990's and learn how to upload photos for crying out loud!!!!

And look... I did it!  You have witnessed another first for me.  I am ready to take the world by storm now.  I actually uploaded a pic of a lovely vintage stove that I think would whip up a delish batch of carrot soup!  (thanks Keshyra for helping me)  and can you believe how wicked that stove is?

Much love and have a great day!

Friday, August 13, 2010

blogging....for the first time....I think I'm blushing

I guess there's a first time for everything.  My inspiration, you ask?  Julie and Julia.  It wasn't that it was about cooking or more so the thrill of a challenge or even more so the constant nagging of the ever present arduous goals we make for ourselves, but mostly I decided to blog because it just looked so easy in the movie.  And because I set goals for myself that are too high and I don't enjoy the process.  That's about to change!  Because I am absolutly convinced that I can take on a project at home, reach my goal and enjoy it every step of the way. 

My project, you ask?  Christmas.  Go ahead and roll your eyes.  My husband hates it when I talk about Christmas in the summer....He totally cringes.  But if I think of it now I won't get all stressed out about the impending deadline. 

Early this week I grabbed my dogeared copy of Martha's Holiday Handmade Gifts magazine from 2006 trying to get ideas for my dream homemade inspired Christmas with my family.  I saw things like homemade candles and soaps as well as perserves and breads.  And tons of fun little crafty ideas to do with the kids.   I just love all this stuff and wish I could do it.  According to the magazine I can.  The world wide web seems to think I can too and it offers tons of advice on how to do it.  Then I think about all the cool stuff I can do with sewing machine and in the kitchen and I could set up huge assembly lines in the dining room and if I did more with my garden I could grow things like chamomile and figs......I have more ideas than the watch on my wrist has time for.  Did I mention I have 4 children?  They tend not to look after themselves very well.

I will set a realist goal for myself and will not turn into a housewife disaster.  It's not just the goal it's the journey...........