Apr 30, 2012

Fashion to Figure Giveaway!


I was pretty excited last week when I was contacted by Jessica from Fashion to Figure (www.fashiontofigure.com) asking if I'd like to host a giveaway for my readers. 

Of course I would! 

Fashion to Figure caters to women sizes 12-26 and they have so many great items - 
from tops to jeans to dresses to bodyshapers. They even have fantastic accessories, 
so no matter your size I'm betting they'll have something you'll love!

This giveaway is for your choice of any item $30 or less from their site. 
Their prices are so affordable that you won't have any problem finding something 
perfect for you. In fact, the only trouble may be narrowing it down to just one item!

Here are a few of my favourites:

Wish Upon a Frock Cap-Sleeve Dress
$26


Open Front Cardigan with Pockets
$22


Short-Sleeve Tee with Beaded Neckline
$28


Suede Flap Messenger Bag
$38.99 (not <$30 but I still want it!)



So what do you have to do? Go to www.fashiontofigure.com to see their selection.  
Come back here and leave a comment with your name and email address 
letting me know what you would choose if you won!

The giveaway is open now and closes this Friday night at midnight (May 4th).  
I'll choose a comment using random.org and announce the winner on Monday, May 7th.  
(Note: Giveaways can only ship to U.S. addresses.)


Good Luck!








Apr 27, 2012

To Disqus or Not to Disqus?



I'm asking for your help today.  

Next week I'm planning on having a cool new giveaway 
and I want everyone to be able to enter.  



VS



The Problem

I currently use Disqus for commenting - mainly because it allows me to reply directly to all comments. Blogger currently won't let you do that. With Blogger I can post a reply but it just shows up at the bottom of the comment list, not below the original comment. So Disqus wins a point.

However, I personally can't view Disqus when I'm at work because it's considered a social networking site. That means I have to wait until I get home at night or on the weekend to reply to your comments and questions. That point goes to Blogger. (Maybe I shouldn't be messing with my blog during work hours anyway, hunh?)

The Question

Do you have any difficulty commenting here using Disqus?  Is it slow, hard to maneuver through, impossible to access at all? Of course, if you can't use Disqus at all you won't be able to tell me, so if you could drop me an email at bamarshall@hotmail.com it would help a lot. I can then decide whether or not to disable Disqus and go back to using the Blogger commenting form.


Have a great weekend!  

I'll be spending mine painting, painting, painting. Oh, and Big Bike riding! I raised $340 for Heart & Stroke research. Thank you to everyone who helped me do it!



Apr 26, 2012

Terrycloth Pillows

The need to sew pillows overcame me again yesterday. You all remember my dollar store placemat pillows? They were very popular in blogland, and with a certain big yellow dog. I find her snuggling one all the time.

I had planned to go buy some striped placemats to make pillows for the patio furniture, but then decided I wanted something softer. Suddenly it hit me - what about teatowels? Bonus that the dollar store has a far larger selection of pillow-suitable teatowels then there had been of placemats.

The ones I chose came in a two pack for $2, one patterned and one solid. I bought two green and two blue because I couldn't decide. And you can never have enough pillows, right? I scooted over to Walmart to buy some zippers and headed home.


Sewing them up was pretty easy, although I did have to put the zipper in twice because - surprise! - the two teatowels weren't exactly the same size and I'd started with the larger one. Nothing like pinning a zipper in place and finding that it ends an inch past the edge of the material.

What do you think?

The pillow is a little longer than I'd anticipated. If I make more in the future (after these four), I might cut the material down to two-thirds of the length. The total price was $2 for the teatowels + $3 for the zipper  = $5 for a brand-new (oversized) pillow! I have a closet full of throw pillows from Goodwill so I didn't even have to buy new stuffing.




And Chloe loves this one just as much as the Paris pillow.  



She even went looking for it when I put it up out of the little dog's reach (The new pillow is not a chew toy!)  But I see why she loves it - it is really soft and cushy. The terry cloth makes you just want to snuggle right into it. Plus with a zipper the cover will be easy to remove and wash when it gets dirty - and you know it will.


I love the bright green & yellow stripes. The blue towels have polkadots. I can't wait to show you those. And I can't wait to test the pillow out on the hammock.

Come on warm weather, where are you?

~~~~~~

I'm linking up here this week.  

Call the Detectives

SOMEBODY peed on the carpet.  


But who looks guiltiest?  







Apr 25, 2012

Kitchen Lighting

We're taking baby steps in decorating the main floor to suit our tastes.  So far we've:
- painted the living room, kitchen, & foyer,
- updated the powder room, and
- changed out the foyer light.

We've also almost completed the  foyer closet - I just have to paint the doors. I really hope to have an update on that by the end of the weekend.

And we bought a new stove. (!!!)



What other plans are in the works? The kitchen cupboards don't match the new wall colour at all so I've decided to sand them down to get rid of that awful green and stain them a dark brown.  I'm leaning towards Rustoleum's Espresso.  I was considering Kona, but I'm a little afraid it'll turn out too dark.



Recently we also found a new kitchen light that we could both agree on.  The previous light was just a boring flush-mount circle on the ceiling.  


It has two circular bulbs and one of them is always burning out.  


When we took it down I was happy to find that there was only a small hole in the ceiling.  I'm not worried about the marks from the old light since the ceiling has to be re-painted anyway.


Our new light is a semi-flush mounted chandelier with three lights. We like that it doesn't hang so low that you're bumping into it, yet it has more presence than a flush-mount would. The glass is white and the metal is oil rubbed bronze.


For some reason I didn't take any pictures with the lights turned off.  Here is what it looks like on the company website (brushed nickel finish). It is called the Essex by DVI. They also make one with 5 lights (which we might get for the living room) and a huge two-tiered one with 9 lights.


There are two glass covers for each light - one frosted, one clear - that are clipped in separately, so if we get some pretty bulbs I'm going to remove the inner frosted one.  


It comes with a chain so it can also be converted to a full chandelier.  We like it so much that we've decided to get another one for the attached dining area , but we'll use the chain and hang it lower. 


This shot has no purpose, it just makes me laugh. It looks like an ammonia molecule. (Why yes I was a chemistry major before eventually switching to accounting.)




Apr 24, 2012

I'm Like a Bird...

Back in the day, before I knew anything about craft blogs or design blogs - or blogs at all really - one of my first forays into being creative was designing my own wedding card box.  As you know, many people bring cards, with or without money in them, to a wedding and you need a secure place to put them.


I've seen decorated shoeboxes and fancy mailboxes, but I wanted something that would be pretty and dainty and sit on the table. I'm not dainty at all,  but this was the one place I vowed to be girly. (Vowed, haha!) I was all over the wedding forums at that time, and there was a lot of talk about decorating a wire birdcage with tulle and ribbons. That appealed to me so much.

I purchased a decorative cage at Homesense, stocked up on white tulle from Michael's, and went to town. I loved this so much.  Doesn't it look like a little church?




Several months after our wedding my cousin got engaged and I promised to make a cage for her too. You might ask why I didn't give her the one above. Well, I sold it right after the wedding. Not thinking ahead I guess.

I had a hard time finding something I was happy with and, with no time to spare, finally settled on a wire magazine holder with flower details.


Her bridesmaids were wearing green so I added some green accents to the center of each flower. 


The sides and top are done with a basket weave pattern.  


I fashioned a little door on one side using a wire coat hanger so that she would be able to open the cage later.  Considering the frame I had to work with, I think it turned out quite nice.

When another cousin announced he was getting married a few years later, I started looking for a cage right away. This is the beauty that I found.



I love it so much.  It came with its own stand (that I kept and turned into a magazine rack here) and is nearly 2 feet tall.  That took a lot of tulle. So much that I looked to Ebay and Etsy instead of Michael and his outrageous prices.

I worked for weeks on this one.  I wove it and took it apart a half dozen times. I planned on giving it to the bride at her shower and stayed up until after midnight the night before getting it perfect. (Shannon, if you're reading this, don't feel guilty - I did it 'cause I love you!)  Here is the final product.



I'm so proud of this one!  The wine-coloured ribbon is a striking contrast to the white, and the little roses add just enough femininity.  I really hope she loved it as much as I loved making it.




So far I've only made these three.  We need some more people in the family to get married!

If there was a market for it, I could be happy making and selling these forever.  If you know a person looking for something like this, let me know - I'd love to help them out!

Apr 23, 2012

Cuba - final installment

It's a dreary, rainy day here today - they're even talking of slushy snow on the radio - so how about a final round of Cuba photos to warm the place up?

We went on an excursion to the local towns of Ciego de Avila & Moron.  On these types of trips I'm always obsessed with taking pictures of the buildings.  I just love the detail, the colours, the smooth walls.  It's so different than anything we have here in Canada.





And yes they are sometimes dingy & in need of repair, but that doesn't take away from the beauty.

I also couldn't stop taking pictures of these trees. I know now that they're called Royal Palm, but I just called them the "fatty trees". (I mean like, "my dog is a fatty", not like "let's go smoke a fatty". What kind of blog do you think this is?)  



Though the sharp teeth were kind of scary (may not be a royal palm here).


And the flowers, oh the flowers!






Don't these look like radishes?



I'll leave you with my little anole friend.  He was showing off by the pool one day.  


Or maybe he was warning me away from his deck chair.




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