Thursday, November 8, 2012

{pretty, happy, funny, real} Master Bedroom Challenge Edition!

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Brought to you by Like Mother, Like Daughter

Today I am joining in Leila's master bedroom challenge!

This little cross stitch was a wedding gift. I love its simplicity. 

But, oh, what a week it's been! It has been utter chaos around the house, all because of something, or rather some things, I can barely see - fleas. We discovered them in our house last week, and since then it's been a whirl of vacuuming and hot water laundering and pest control and more laundering. And I had just started to implement Auntie Leila's laundry sorting system too! Then suddenly I was faced with the prospect of washing everything, all at once, as soon as possible. There are still piles of clean laundry on the dining room table, but now I feel I'm at least on the winning side of things.

The silver lining in all this cloudiness was that I had to empty practically everything out of our bedroom anyway, which meant I had a fresh slate to start with. Auntie Leila's challenge came just at the right time - a glimmer of hope and a bit of focus.

Here is the before, taken a few days ago, mid-chaos, gross lighting:

Floor cleared, rugs temporarily removed, random stuff piled on surfaces. 

Not a pretty sight. Not our usual bedding either. 


And now when I walk in, it's a little haven of calm in the storm. :)

(I wish I had a sunny day to take pictures, but it's all rain and grey and gloom outside today.)

A clean, made bed. I also brought in that chair to put next to my little bookcase. 
The room is still missing a few elements due to cleaning in progress - a large area rug, the bedskirt, some pretty extra pillows. But I took the opportunity to hang a few things on the walls! I've wanted to get that little cross stitch up for quite some time, and this was just the motivation to do it. I also hung one of my small moosehair tuftings from up north.

The curtains are washed - but I can't decide whether to hem them up to the windowsill level (like in the before picture) or hem them to the floor. All I've got to work with right now is that tension rod to hold them up. 
By the way, I painted the bedroom floor this summer! It was a deep pink before, and latex. Now it's oil. I don't even remember what this colour is called; it's one of the historic colours from Benjamin Moore. (It looks different in real life. So do the walls, I think.) It was a bit of a fiasco because I didn't know what I was doing, but it turned out ok in the end!

Dresser cleared off! The dressers, which match, were got in two different provinces! This one we bought when we moved to PEI because it matched the one we already had, picked off a curb in Ontario! 

Micah's dresser, but my things on top of it. (Good thing he doesn't have too many things.) Micah's night table has his Grundig radio and a picture of us taken the day we were engaged, along with various electronic cords. 

I think the overall effect is quite pretty now, and I can tell you, it's also pretty clean!


This week of clearing out and cleaning up gave me a good opportunity to decide what little touches I wanted to have in our room. I focused on the things which tell part of the story of "us," and also decided to bring in some of my treasures from the Northwest Territories, where I grew up and where my family still lives. I know they are only things, but they bring happiness because of what they represent.

This bird is actually a jewelry box! Lace from one of my sisters, I think from Italy? 

Wine bottle from our engagement picnic, picture of wild roses from up north, and a shell with dried lavender from along Hadrian's Wall and a beaded hair elastic also from up north.

My birchbark containers - one with porcupine quill detail and the other with
moosehair tufting, both from Fort Smith. 

Why did I take this blurry picture?? Oh yes, I was trying to focus on the picture in the mirror! 

Now when I look around I am reminded of who we are and where we've come from. Hopefully this room can be a sanctuary, a place of peace from which to go on together where God leads.


Someone wanted to be in the pictures! This little one loves jumping on our bed.


I had a small stroke of genius which falls into the beautiful and useful category. One of the things living on the dresser before was a box of nursing pads. I had the great idea to put them into one of my birchbark baskets! So simple, so nice, so useful.

So, there you have it. Life is not quite back to normal yet, but our room feels lovely, and that makes a big difference! Thanks for the challenge!

round button chicken


Friday, October 26, 2012

{pretty, happy, funny, real} text only edition

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Brought to you by Like Mother, Like Daughter

* my pictures are inaccessible due to a computer backup, so here you go...

{pretty} are the leaves that twirl from the trees
and the grass, still green, that stains her knees

{happy} is the girl with a sleepy head
in a bright big room, in a brand new bed

{funny} are the babbles from a six month boy
and the songs she invents to share his joy

{real} are the storybooks strewn around
and the Bible in the midst of the ups and downs

Wishing you all a season of abundant contentment!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

music room shuffle

The "music room" in our house has gone through a number of versions in the two years since we moved in. It has been a storage room, a throw-all-the-stuff-I-don't-know-what-to-do-with room, an extra guest room, all the while housing our musical instruments and most of my books.

I decided it was high time to get it together in a way that I liked so we could open the doors from our regular living room and make it part of our liveable space. One day when Granny was over we decided to just do it!

I don't really have any before pictures, but the piano used to be on the outside wall with the octagonal window - not the best place for it, especially since this room gets rather cold in winter. My main goal was to get the piano to a more comfortable location, and we worked everything else around that.

After the big shuffle (and it was a big job to move all those books!) I am quite satisfied with the results! I took everything out of the room that I didn't want to be there. Now it feels lovely and peaceful and liveable.

The view from the main living room into the music room - now I'm happy to leave the french doors wide open! The shelf you can see from here houses music books and my other "nice" books, including my LM Montgomery collection.

There's one of our pump organs that we got for free! This one actually works, though I rarely play it.
The chair is a recent kijiji find, and the rug is from a family member. I have yet to put up curtains,
but I have a lace pair somewhere that I think might work in here. 

The piano used to be on this outside wall. I moved 2 out of the 3 shelves over to this corner. These are all my theology books. It bugs me to no end that that octagonal window is not centred on that wall!!
(That is one of our old couches. We moved the big couch from the set to the basement.)

The piano's new home on the inside wall, with other musical instruments. I love having this big picture over the piano!  Now I just need to get the piano tuned...

The view from the music room into the living room. 

I still need to pick a paint colour for both living rooms. That flat white primer in the music room is just not doing it for me. I kind of like the colour in the living room, but there's only one coat of it, so it could use another to make it richer. Any suggestions for something that would look good in both rooms? Though the rooms are south and west facing, the windows are so small that I'm afraid to do a darker colour, especially with the current living room furniture.

Overall, though, I'm quite happy with the rearrangement, and now it feels like we have a much bigger living space! The music room also feels more like "me" now, which is also important.

So there you have it!


{pretty, happy, funny, real} fall fun edition!

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Brought to you by Like Mother, Like Daughter

* I forgot that I was going to show some pictures of my rearranged music room in this post! If you would like to see those, I made another post


We went apple picking on Saturday! It was quite a chilly day, as you can see by how bundled up we all were. But the orchard was beautiful in the sun and we got lots of apples - mostly Liberty and Cortland.

Granny braved the cold and came with us!

Jack stayed in the stroller and supervised.

Arden loves her apples - and her sunglasses!

Lots of apples!

Still bundled up. He was fascinated with the trees and the sun coming through the leaves.

Ok, now I'm getting cold...

Apple pickers!


We spent a happy Thanksgiving with some friends. Arden had a grand time playing outside after dinner with the older boys. She was introduced to the culinary art of making mud soup! By the end of it, she was covered in mud from head to foot, but she had such fun it was worth the dirty clothes. (Although, I don't think the red dirt is ever going to come out of her jeans!)

Sneaking a photo while they weren't looking...

Focused on her concoction

Adding more of the main ingredient

Meantime, Jack has been trying out some new food too! This was applesauce.


Arden is just getting the hang of dress-up!

And here's our funny little man!


The days are getting colder! We try and go outside as often as possible, though it takes a little more time to get us all out there. Arden loves to help Daddy with his chores, especially if it involves a ride on the tractor.

He couldn't move even if he tried!

Riding the tractor

Daddy's little helper

round button chicken


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cousin Fun in Wheatley River!

Has it really been two months since we were all together on PEI? Here are some memories of the cousins having fun together in Wheatley River.

Shucking corn on the kitchen floor!

All the girls helping

The littlest artist

Soccer on the big lawn

Uncle Micah helped them pick bulrushes

Hendrik picked his own

Zucchinis from our neighbour

Having a swinging time

They decided to have a "nap" in the big bed.

Hendrik joining in the fun

Matching shirts! Too cute!

Having fun on the steps - a little too sunny perhaps?


The little cousins loved the big cousins!

All the little cousins had a trip to the pond

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