Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Our Front Entry

Over two months ago, I completed a project in our front entry - our bland, boring entry.

I didn't take a true 'before' picture, so just imagine a bench beside this wall and forget about the ladder :)

There was nothing exciting about this entry and it definitely didn't reflect our family. So, I decided to change it. Wall paper is very trendy right now, but the one I loved was very expensive - and Mr. E did not want to hang any. So that was the end of that idea.

Another popular option is stenciling - we could get the style and colour we wanted. This handmade stencil from Jones Design Company looked great in her office, and all the how-to details were written down. So, this was the project we decided to tackle for the entryway.

I downloaded the stencil and traced it on to cardboard, so I could use it over and over. To keep the design straight (ish), I enlisted help to hold the laser level so I could trace the design vertically. Conscripted might be a more accurate word - it was definitely not a volunteer position. My oldest lost the rock-paper-scissors competition so he was my 'helper.'

Can't you see the genuine enthusiasm? Um - I can't either. That is definitely a look that says 'are we done yet?'

This took a LONG time - I won't lie. And knowing that I had to go over the pencil with paint was tough - that meant it would take even longer.

I won't go through the details - there are tons of explanations about how to do this, with better pictures than mine. I did learn a few things along the way, which I will share.

1. Make your pencil lines very light or they'll show through your paint. Realistically, nobody will notice - and if they do, just give them the paint and brush so they can add another coat. :) But I switched to a lighter pencil about halfway through and the lines aren't noticeable after that.

2. Start with a small paintbrush - you can always go over your first brush strokes with larger brush but you can't make the brush strokes any smaller. Unless you paint over it with your wall colour and start again.
Go ahead, ask me how I know that.

3. Don't start painting the lines on the right side of the wall unless you're left handed. I'm not - so after a couple of awkwardly painted rows, I let it all dry overnight and started on the left side the next night.

4. Double check how level the level your 'helping' son is holding before you start tracing the lines on the wall. you don't want to have to erase and re-draw them. Again - go ahead and ask me how I know this.

5. Make sure you have something comfortable to sit/lie on when you're painting the bottom portion of the wall. Especially if you have tile floors. They're very hard on the knees when you have to kneel on them for a while.

After a week of working on this after work, it was finally finished - and I think the result was totally worth the effort. I love the wall now:

It is such an incredible difference - the entry has depth and character now. Yippee!

Overall, this was a time consuming project, but a very economical one. In total, I spent $5. Yup, that's all. I bought a sample colour at Benjamin Moore - I had everything else. 

You can't beat that - good looking and cheap. That's my kind of project.

I'll show you the rest of the front hall update soon, I promise! :) Here's a sneak peak:

Until next time,


Monday, 28 November 2011

Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding - a definite make again recipe

I love trying new recipes, and I've been cooking and experimenting for a long time - one of these days, I'll share the story of why I started cooking. Anyway, I love it and do some crazy stuff sometimes.

Like trying a brand new recipe when I promised to bring dessert for a party. Yup, I like to live on the edge.

I have a huge stack of recipes ripped out of old magazines, so I decided to start there. And of course, something caught my eye  - Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding. I mean, with a name like that, it has to be good, right?


It was amazing.

It took a couple of days to make this - I made the banana bread in advance so I wasn't rushing around like a crazy woman on Saturday afternoon. Or a crazier-than-usual woman. The banana bread sat in the fridge for a couple of days and the kids had strict 'do-not-eat-under-pain-of-death' orders. (banana bread doesn't last long in our house - a day or two, tops)

The recipe was fairly straightforward and got rave reviews. The host told me that it was good enough for seventh or eighth helpings and I had requests for the recipe from the other guests.

So, if anyone is looking for a huge ego boost and a relatively easy dessert recipe, here it is:  Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding

Yummy. It's definitely a make again.


Thursday, 24 November 2011

I have lots to say . . .

I do have lots to say, even though I haven't posted on here for more than a month - where does the time go?

Life has been taken over by kids, work, kids activities, work travel, kid stuff and work stuff - can you see a theme emerging? I was traveling nearly every week for more than a month, for at least a day or two at a time. (I put more than 1200 km on Mr. E's truck in two days)

That seriously cuts into leisure time - which means I want to spend more time with the family when I'm home. And that seriously cuts into blog time.

And, family wins - hands down, every time. So, no blog posts for more than a month. Not that many people read this - yet. (Hi Mom!)

My trusty notebook with blog ideas has been coming along for the traveling though, and I have lots of ideas of things to do and share. You'll have to forgive the badly lit pictures (it is pitch black here before 5pm every day) and the lack of painting (it's too cold to paint outside and I've decided not to subject the family to paint fumes from the basement - very often :) ).

So, I'll try to update this blog every few days and keep everyone in-the-know about all the goings-on around here.

I know, you can't wait, can you? ;)

Cheers until next time!