01 March 2012

Whoa, What The Heck Happened This Week? (and other updates)

Hey folks. So sorry for the accidental Houdini act this week: I'm not even exactly sure what happened! One minute I'm promising you a glimpse into projects new and old in the house and the next I've blacked out, apparently (was I ruffied?!) and it's Thursday! Hello, dudes from The Hangover? Yeah, I'd like my week back, please ...

Anyhoo, what's done is done, and it's not like I haven't been working over here. I haven't been working all that hard, but effort is assessed on a relative basis anyway, right? Stuff's getting done and that's what's important (at least, that's what I'm telling myself!)

First up is the never-ending mirror beautification project which is, unsurprisingly, never ending. If you're not familiar with the saga of the mirror, you can check out the project from the beginning here and here. If you're all caught up, then you'll know I've been searching high and low for the perfect accent to the line the perimeter of the mirror like so:

Well, I've found it! During a spontaneous trip through Michael's (again) at the Dixie Outlet Mall earlier this week, I came across some crushed shells that were the perfect colour and texture: exactly what I've been looking for. The fact that they're generally minuscule and have to be glued and applied individually ~ yes, one shell at a time ~ just makes it better for me because honestly, why would I make things difficult on myself when, with just a little more effort, I can make it impossible?? It's a motto I live by religiously.

So the bottom line is that the shells will look amazing, and will probably take me several weeks to complete. Here's a glimpse at my first effort, which you should keep in mind took me over an hour:

It's covering up the ill-fated gold paint experiment nicely, and the colours are just beautiful. As well, the shells will tie well into some other elements in A's room that lend themselves to a beachy, cottage-y sort of feel. It's really going to magnify the relaxed vibe we're creating in there. And for those of you who are thinking that the finished product might look too busy against the mirror frame, which is busy in itself, I was worried at first about the same thing. But having made some significant progress in first corner, I was relieved to see that at a viewing distance (say, 2 or 3 feet away from the mirror), the individual shells are really indistinguishable and it just looks like a single, shimmering surface. It's really going to work and I can't wait, in a few weeks time, to show you the finished product.

As well, I've been working on my editorial calendar for the blog. Several bloggers (whom I hold in very high regard) attended the recent Alt Summit earlier this year, and through discussions after the fact, editorial calendars were highly promoted as an excellent method for organizing, maintaining and growing your blog. I didn't need to be told twice. Since January I've toyed with a couple of online versions, trying to find or develop a process that aligned with my organizational style and that would be easy for me to keep up. In other words, trying to find one that worked.

As it turns out, I'm not so much of an online organizer. The two templates I tried, no matter how I customized them, always felt constrictive and sort of itchy. So on Tuesday I broke down and headed to Staples, where I picked up a large desk calendar for the bargain-basement price of $5.95. With my favourite fine-tipped writing markers, I established a colour-to-content system and I was off to the races!

The paper-based system is working out ever so much better for me, and feels a good deal more comfortable than any of the electronic versions I tried initially (not that the templates were inherently wrong or flawed, they were fine. It just turns out I'm more of an old-fashioned kind of girl). I've populated January and February and into March so far, and will be working over the weekend to flesh out the rest of the year. Already I can see how it's going to help me monitor and ~ most importantly ~ follow up on content: it's one of my worst habits in the blog (and in life!) to start things but never track back on them to provide any sort of conclusion. I imagine it will make things a good deal more satisfying for you folks as well, if I don't leave you hanging all the time mid-project or, worse yet, mid-idea!

The hallway is nearly finished (the cutting in is killing me, but the rolling is going fine); it's taking me so long because the walls require a few more coats than I originally anticipated. What I'm most pleased about is an ingenious little idea I had to solve this problem:

When the old, larger thermostat was ripped out and replaced with the new one two years ago (when we installed the new furnace and A/C), it left some bare patches, lifted wallpaper and a couple of holes (that aren't visible in this shot) around the new one. We've been racking our brains for a few weeks now as to how to fix/hide the damage, and earlier this week we hit upon the solution. I'll won't give the whole thing away until I post the full hallway reveal, but let's just say that it involves my favourite store (the dollar store), some paint and it's genius if we do say so ourselves.

I've also finally started work on my grandmother's recipe book, the one that I scanned these photos for. As usual, it's taking a little longer than I expected to pull it all together but it's coming along nicely. I'll have some progress pictures for you next week when I'm a little further in (the dips and sauces section isn't all that exciting).

That's it for today but check back tomorrow (seriously, come back. I'll be here, I swear) for this month's TOP 10 list!