February 28, 2013

DIY pendant lights

Our dining room was looking extremely uninviting with a couple of bare bulbs pig-tailed from the ceiling.  But all the pendant lights I really loved were way too expensive for us at this point in time.

Tom Dixon, Bronze copper lamp shade, Metallic Lighting
The Bronze Copper Shade by Tom Dixon is a big favourite of mine.  I even checked out suppliers in Glasgow for these when we were over last summer hoping they would be cheaper in the UK (where Tom Dixon is from).  
No luck.  Same price.


The Octo pendant light by Secto is also a light I considered until I saw the cost.  Love these lights.  
Maybe one day!  
Actually, I have recently seen these beauties in action over the dining table of a good friend.  They do not disappoint in real life!  
Simple and beautiful!

But I needed to find a cheaper option.  
So I went to West Elm and saw these.

Definitely in my price range.  Love the wood tones.  But I didn't love looking into a bare bulb at the dinner table.  And frankly I couldn't get the Octo pendant out of my mind!

So I decided to pick up a couple of cheap pendants from Ikea, hook them up and replace them later with something nicer.  At least I'd have something there in the meantime, right?!
I found these.
MELODI Pendant lamp IKEA Gives a directed light. Good for lighting dining tables or a bar area.

$9.99 for two!  Can't beat that!

Before I got to install them, I was in The Home Depot and happened to see some birch veneer edging strips.  I loved the colour and thought I might be able to jazz up my pendants by making a sort of lamp shade like the West Elm ones.

I cut a couple of rings out of particle board that were the same size as the top of the Ikea shade and then started stapling veneer strips all around it.

After awhile it started to look like a funky hairdo.  But I kind of liked it!

I originally planned to glue the loose ends on the bottom together to make a sort of sphere, but decided against it when I got them up.   Actually, I was kind of worried I'd mess them up!

I wouldn't say they are my dream pendants, but I do really like them!  They have a soft, organic, Scandinavian feel to them.
And for the cost, and the little time they took to make, I will not feel guilty replacing them down the road. 

February 18, 2013

Puppy love

Gosh, it's been awhile since I've written!  I really have slowed down my pace since we moved in.
 I do still feel like I'm busy, but now I'm not stressed about getting so many big things done.  It's all stuff I just want to do, but that we can live without.  
And I have been MUCH more patient with the kids because of it.  So really, this is a better place for me. 
I have just realized that I haven't even been taking as many pictures as I should which is leaving me with very little to show on the blog.
Sorry about that!  I will have to get on that in the next few days.
I have put up mirrors and door handles and clothes rails and light fixtures.  I've painted and organized and cleaned as well!  I just have no pictures to show, unfortunately.
But I did take pics of our most exciting recent news.
We are getting a puppy!!

I just love this little girl already!
The kids have named her Keltie Blue and she is an 8 week old Brittany Spaniel.
We get to bring her home next Sunday!

We went to visit her at the breeder's last week-end.  
Seven puppies in one room---  little girl heaven!!

Since I have never had a dog of my own (only lived with my room-mate's Irish Setter in university), I have been reading up a storm on how to prepare for this little bundle of joy.  It's a bit like having a kid!  Only, as my friend put it, I can still leave her in a crate for a couple hours-- something that is kind of frowned upon with children.  ;-)
I really wanted to have the basement space available to us for playing with and training Keltie so I called back our drywall guy.  

Once again, my pictures are shamefully behind, but we are now finished all the drywalling, the priming, and the painting on the ceiling.
Tomorrow he finishes painting the walls, then trim and doors.
We should be ready for Keltie's arrival on the 24th!

The floor in the basement has been a bit of a problem for me. 
In the beginning, I planned on calling in a company to polish the concrete floor as our finished floor. 
So I looked into Marmoleum and cork.  
Still expensive.
So Paul suggested I try to polish it myself!  Ack!  I've heard that before!!  Like when I wanted to hire an Architect at the beginning of this reno project!!
Although I suppose that worked out well enough in the end.  So I'm going to give it a try!
I promise I'll take lots of pictures of this time-- even if it's a monumental disaster!