On the fence about the bench

I mentioned in last weekend’s big music room reveal that I’m still working on this little piano bench that I picked up several years ago at a garage sale. It started life looking like this (after being hastily reupholstered):

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Here it is, primed…

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Painted…

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And now I’m ready to upholster that bad boy! So now I need YOUR input. Here’s your chance to help me make my decorating decisions! I figure this way, I won’t wander the aisles of Fabricville aimlessly for the rest of my life.

Who am I kidding? Fabricville and I are locked in a tragic cycle of dependency.

I have two options for upholstery: A) dark grey fabric (possible trims include yellow or grey) or B) yellow and white print (grey or white trim)

I realize that the yellow in the carpet is a mustard yellow, but the yellow elsewhere in the music room is a brighter yellow. Remember this?

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So what do you think? Will it be A or B? Please take a moment to make my decorating decisions for me vote in the poll!

I’m off to India today, so I’m not promising any regular posts for the next week or so, but I’ll be sure to have plenty of updates when I get back. I’ll be working with the kids at Angel’s Place again, and I am so pumped to make music with them this week!

See you on the other side!

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Here comes the sun, do do do do… Here comes the sun and I say… It’s time for a music room reveal!

As I said in this post a couple of weeks ago, this makeover has been a long time coming. We moved into this house in November 2013, and basically plunked things down in here and left it at that. The time for a more permanent (and aesthetic!) set-up had definitely come.

Since this is a music room: drumroll, please…………………………

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Ta-da!

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Since the music room is in the basement, I went for a nice bright white on the walls (Ben Moore’s Simply White) and lots of sunny yellow accents. I’m so excited to get working in this room, now… Which was the whole point of this exercise!

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One of my favourite details are the ombré labels on my file folders. I used paint chips, collected from various hardware stores (because, you know, they kinda frown on you making off with their entire stock of yellow chips), which I cut to fit the front of my file folders. I’m so happy with how they turned out!

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Another of my favourite little details are these two framed travel prints of Spain and Mexico City. Can you keep a secret? They’re both greeting cards! One is from my family in Mexico and the other I bought at Omer deSerres yesterday for $4.50. Oh, and the frames came from the dollar store. Budget-friendly decor for the WIN!

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All of the yellow boxes came from Ikea, from their Tjena series. They’re really reasonably priced, so I got three large boxes, two small ones, a large box with insertable dividers, and two file folders for $24.

I decided to forgo new furniture and just use what I had. The two small white bookshelves are hand-me-downs from my parents. They’ve definitely seen better days, but they’ll do the trick for now (the bookcases, not my parents).

The black bookshelves are care of a colleague of my mom’s. Again, they’re holding up my music and not falling down, so that’s good enough for now. :-)

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The little potted yellow plant came from Home Depot and cost a whopping $1.90. I mean, come on: I had to buy something to justify taking off with all their yellow paint chips!

All of my “styling” stuff are things I already owned. It’s amazing what you can come up with when you shop you own home. Plus, knick-knacks don’t come cheap these days. I must have wandered seven different decor stores looking for tchotchkes, only to realize that I had a pretty good (and free!) selection waiting for me at home. Plus, HomeSense doesn’t really approve of drinking wine and shopping in your PJs…

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The “Parapluie – Revel” print dates back to my university days, and graced the front hall of our apartment for a few years. I’d kind of forgotten about it, until I went looking for decor for this room and discovered it in a box that we hadn’t even unpacked! Free decor is the best kind of decor.

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The rug came from my parents (thanks, mom and dad!) and of course I already owned the drums, piano, and general music paraphernalia. In fact, the only things I bought for this project (so far) were the paint, blind, yellow boxes, greeting card, and plant.

Now for the ol’ budget breakdown:

Paint & Supplies   $80.00 (We have a lot left over for another project)

Boxes                   $24.00

Plant                     $1.90

Blind                     $57.00

Spain Card           $4.50

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Total                     $167.40

Not bad at all! I still plan to purchase a new light fixture (the current one is actually broken, so that has to happen sooner rather than later). I also need to recover the piano bench (more about that ongoing saga on Wednesday), and either buy an office chair, or make a seat cushion for the one I’m using now. It’s one of the chairs I made over last spring for our deck. It’s slightly off-white so I’d like to either get a white office chair, or maybe paint up another chair to match the piano bench.

All in all, I anticipate that this project is going to cost around $250. I guess we’ll see how close I come in! For now, I think I’ll kick back and enjoy a glass of wine write 300 report cards. At least I can write them in my pretty pretty new music room. Sigh…

P.S. Thanks, everyone for the blogiversary wishes! If you missed that post, you can check it out here.

Happy First Blogiversary!

Break out the bubbly, friends: it’s Flourish & Knot’s first blogiversary!

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I really never thought I’d stick with this for a full year. In fact, this should be the blog’s second blogiversary, but since I did a grand total of three posts in the first year, I’m discounting the first 12 months of its existence. :-)

So, today – Saturday, February 21st – is our official blogiversary! On this date last year I wrote my first post, which got the ball rolling. photo-9

I think that might still be one of my favourite projects! One of the pitfalls of being a DIY blogger is that you always feel the pressure to have a project ready for today’s post. Of course I try to remind myself that I don’t do this for income, so I really have no-one to please but myself; yet, I still fall into the trap of feeling rushed or pressured. That first arrangement was special because I created it solely for pleasure, and then decided “hey, I started that blog thing – maybe I should actually post this!”

Shortly after, I published my first foray into furniture makeovers with my little DIY nightstand project, fondly titled ‘One Nightstand’. Still the snappiest title on this blog. ;-)nightstand final

The posts that introduced F&K to a more international audience (hi, Italy!) were about my obsession with love for the ‘Outlander’ series. If you missed those posts, you can find them here, here, and here.

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The rest, as they say, is history.

And because every day is a good day for an infographic, I thought I’d try my hand at creating one! Here’s F&K’s first year, by the numbers.

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Here’s to the next 12 months of DIY bliss!

P.S. To keep the blogiversary love going, I’m madly working on finishing my music room for a big reveal post tomorrow! Same time, same place. :-)

Wing it Wednesday: simple Valentine’s Day cards

As anyone who works in an elementary school can tell you, Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. The kids are all wired up on sugar and anticipation! It’s like Halloween, only A LOT colder.

This year, I thought it would be fun to get back to my crafting roots and make some DIY Valentine’s Day cards. My mom must have anticipated that I’d be in a crafty mood, because she sent me a bag full of Valentine’s stuff she’d found. In the bag were these awesome wood cut-out hearts that I thought would make perfect stencils.

So I set myself up with some different colours of card stock, some acrylic paint, brushes, and the stencils and went to town!

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Once I’d stencilled my hearts onto the smaller pieces of card stock, I pasted them onto the larger, folded cards. I finished them off with bits of leftover ribbon (from my wedding). So everyone who gets one of these cards has a little token of luuurrve. :-)

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It was such a simple, yet relaxing, way to spend an evening. I ended up with A LOT of cards from which to choose. Some I’ve mailed already so I couldn’t show them on the blog, but here are a couple of the finished cards.

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Erick says that one looks like a uterus. (There’s a word I never thought I’d use on a DIY blog.) Guess which one he’s getting for Valentine’s Day.

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Plus, I thought you guys would get a kick out of seeing how AMAZINGLY well my arrangement from last week’s WIW is holding up. Whoever said that grocery store flowers aren’t good quality was WRONG. And the real kicker? Two out of three bunches of these flowers came from the cast-off bin!!! Take that, Loblaws! I will see your cast-offs and raise you one marvellous bouquet.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Wing it Wednesday No. 2: Snow Blossoms

I’ve been feeling pretty low this week. No particular reason, but it’s just been cold and snowy and blah. Well, today was a different story! It warmed up enough for me to enjoy my outdoor yard duty at recess (gently falling snow, kindergarteners making snow angels, children throwing snow in each other’s faces… the joys of winter), so I left school feeling renewed and even a little refreshed!

So refreshed that I was seized by the sudden urge to arrange flowers! And then photograph them! In the SNOW!

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I tried to be more disciplined about taking “during” shots, so that you could see the process that goes into creating a bouquet like this. It really is the easiest thing!

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I used a combination of deep red and peach alstromeria, and peachy-pink ruffly carnations. I know what you’re thinking: “carnations are SO 1981!” Well, I thought that too, but they really can be a fabulous alternative to roses or peonies if you are doing an event on a limited budget. If you get them with a tight centre and then blow on the outer edges, it gives it that frilled look of a garden rose or peony. Something to think about if you want to save money on your next arrangement. (Or if you are a bride on a budget!)

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I always choose one or two really pretty blooms to act as the centre of the bouquet or arrangement. See what I mean about those ruffles?!

Exhibit A: peach carnation from Loblwas – $1    Exhibit B: peach mini garden rose +/- $6 at a florist

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                                                                                                       photo courtesy of Fifty Flowers

I rest my case.

Once I’ve established the centre of my bouquet, I keep building around it, alternating blooms and colours, and always crossing the stems in the same direction. This give the bouquet flexibility and stability. Stuff won’t be slipping out all the time, and it’s much easier to re-position the blooms.

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Once you have your bouquet, put an elastic around the base and be sure to check it out from all angles in a mirror. You can decide on a front at this point. You need to choose a front if you are doing any fancy wrapping techniques, like the one I used. (And by “fancy” I mean “so simple a monkey could do it but it looks like a million bucks”.)

When you’re happy with your bouquet, wrap the stems with floral tape. This stuff is made to get wet, so if you are doing a bouquet and need to leave it overnight, just plop it in water and wrap the ribbon in the morning. I talk more about some wrapping techniques in this post.

Once I had wrapped my bouquet, I took it outside (which is the Canadian thing to do) and had some fun taking pictures. Oh boy, I cannot wait to buy myself a new camera! But that is a topic for another post…

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And just so that you can see HOW DEDICATED I am to you, dear readers, here is a photo of what my boots looked like post-photo shoot. You’re welcome.

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Now please excuse me while I wrap up in a blanket and drink hot cocoa. xo

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You can catch up on the first Wing it Wednesday here.

Music room progress!

What a difference a day week makes. I’ve almost finished painting the music room! As you can see in today’s photo, I have some touch-ups to do on the ceiling (damn those salmony ceilings!) and the walls definitely need another coat. And I have to paint the trim. Luckily, there’s only the baseboards, window, and around the door frames. It’ll be a pretty fast job.

I made this little side-by-side comparison to show you the HUGE difference! For the record, I did not touch-up either of these photos, so what you see is what you get. I particularly like the whole light-fixture-dangling-from-the-ceiling look. Work it!Music room b&a

I cannot wait until this project is completed! Now that I can see the room changing, I really feel fired up to get a move on. I haven’t had a chance to show you guys yet, but I’ve been working on making over the piano bench as well.

I found it for $5 at a garage sale a couple of years ago. It was dark brown, a little beat up, and had needlepoint upholstery. I wasn’t really feeling it, so I re-upholstered the top and left it at that. Now, though, I’m ready to give it a second lease on life!

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I’ve removed the top and plan to upholster it. *Oh shoot, I have to go to Fabricville! Twist my rubber arm!*

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I’ve primed the bottom with two coats of white, and I’m planning to go with a nice, bright yellow. This pin is my inspiration.

Well, sorry to post and run, but I *have* to go to Fabricville. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. ;-)