{Blog Life} Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup 2012

Saturday evening was the Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup at the beautiful Brassaii Restaurant & Lounge.

Vie and Daniella did an amazing job organizing the event! The speakers featured were Cameron MacNeil and Lisa Murphy of House & Home, Cassandra LaValle, with a surprise visit from Brian Gluckstein!

They all shared some great tips and stories, although my memory is already a little hazy at this point (a little tipsy from the wine and a lot tired from all the recent events!), but I really enjoyed it all!


 Cameron MacNeil

 Lisa Murphy

 Cassandra LaValle

 Brian Gluckstein

I was a little nervous going in, but it was a great extension to BlogPodium for meeting some of the people behind the blogs that I love. I realized though that I really need to update my subscriptions and create a new blog roll list for my fellow Canadian bloggers! I keep putting it off even though I have a lot of links already saved in my bookmarks, but now with the BlogPodium directory and some business cards I really have no excuse!

The amazing sponsors who made this event possible: House & Home, Delta Faucet, Cottonelle, Ikea, CIL, GlucksteinHome, and AyA Kitchens. Sponsors for the prize table also included: Green Light District, Rowenta, CB2, and Kravet.

My mom is in love with the Jonathan Adler designed toilet paper roll cover we were each given in the fabulous swag bags (I got the one with the blue lid), so I think I've been tasked to look into getting one for the powder room except that none of the colours match.

{Blog Life} BlogPodium - Blogs + Media

On Friday I was able to attend the panel discussion on Blogs + Media at BlogPodium which was hosted by the Interior Design Show.

Moderated by Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault, the panel included Margot Austin, Kimberley Seldon, Kate Moore, and BlogPodium co-founder Jennifer Flores. Photographs were taken by Jason Hudson and I can't wait to see how those turn out! I spoke too soon - Gorgeous photos found here.

This being my first blogger event, I didn't know what to expect from BlogPodium but I came away with a lot of good ideas and advice to keep in mind as I figure out 'a Girl Called Kim' and the path it's going. Being such a newbie to the community, I'm still trying to figure out my groove and how to balance a full-time job, a part-time job, family, friends, life, and on top of all that, trying to complete projects and find inspiration to share with everyone!

At one point it was mentioned that our blogs should "stay on topic"... so I guess my topic is "random"? I wasn't kidding in my little blurb on the side there, "This is the place for all my gibber jabber about house & DIY projects, food adventures, life, and other random musings." This description will definitely have to be edited (another key point!) in the future!

Another great piece of advice (one which we were probably all glad to hear) for giving your site more exposure was to pin your own stuff! It'll probably still feel weird when it comes time to pin, but I will really have to avoid taking night time photos, which is difficult when I'm often finishing projects after work and day light is long gone.

Consistency with posting each week is important as well. Jen recommended at least three to four times a week. I struggle with having just one prepared! I usually try to draft one or two posts on weekends, but it's hard when my brain shuts down at 4:30pm on Fridays... Eventually I will try to up my weekly post count, but for now I will be consistent with at least one! Hopefully. (This week will be the exception with three events in two days!)

All in all, this first talk was a great success (and the first of many) for BlogPodium! Jennifer, Lindsay, and Shannon pulled together a fabulous event and all their hard work did not go unnoticed!

Oh, and the sponsors are kind of awesome too: IDS12 Interior Design Show, Delta Faucet/Beige Is Dead, OlioBoard.

Afterwards, we were able to explore IDS12 and photos of that will come later this week once I upload and sort through them all...

{DIY} Tall Boy

Over the years I have accumulated a lot of clothes. In university I used two of these drawers for anything that wasn't hung in the closet (like hoodies, long sleeve shirts, jeans, etc) but I slowly outgrew those.

We had an extra tall boy in the guest room so I decided to take it since I like the colonial style of it. I didn't get a before photo of it but it basically looked like the one below. (My parents have 2 tall boys and 2 low boys, all with different hardware but essentially the same style! I don't know why they were purchased so sporadically in the 70's.)

I don't like painting over wood if it doesn't need to be, but with 4 different furniture finishes in my room, I wanted to coordinate the colours a little better. I spent a lot of time debating between painting it black or white, but I finally decided to paint it white with black hardware.

I only painted the exterior and left the interior wood untouched. Don't mind the mess. I was painting while the hardwood floor installation was happening.
The second coat of four coats of paint.
It's hard to see but the left side is more white while the right side is slightly yellow. Yah... next time I'll have to remember to stir the paint better.
I used an old ramen box to hold the hardware so that I could spray them with Krylon's Black paint in satin finish.
Didn't spray it so evenly... 
There's a little ding near the top in the middle. My dad flipped the hardware over too soon (it had cured for 24hours at this point) and the paint stuck so I had to spray them again and I let them cure for a week instead!

My set up to ensure the handles were sprayed evenly when hung upside down. It was so awkward when people walked past on the sidewalk lol.
Finished product!

Next up, I was planning on painting the extra low boy that replaced the tall boy in the guestroom, but it took me months (May to August) just to finish the tall boy! So this got pushed aside for this coming summer, though now with the condo I don't know if it will fit so I'm not sure if I should bother painting it. I probably will and I'll probably remove the mirror that my dad added and hang it separately.

I used a paintbrush to paint the tall boy, but I'm planning on using a small foam roller for the low boy since I couldn't get much coverage with the paintbrush. Still undecided though.

{I Want} Brooklyn Brownstone

Whenever I'm in New York, I usually stay with one of two architect couples in Brooklyn. I stay in this apartment less often, but I adore it! It's more minimalistic than I could ever do, but it's also one of the reasons I like it so much.

They renovated the top floor of a three unit 1920's brownstone building and added the panelling next to the counter to create a bedroom for their first baby girl two years ago. They just had another little girl so they've been house hunting and these photos are actually from their listing. All these years I meant to capture my own photos, but always kept putting it off and now I'll never see this apartment again. *sad face*

When you enter the apartment, the kitchen is to your left. White cabinets make me nervous for stains and dirty hands, but it's so clean and pretty! 

This area used to be opened to the kitchen and the dining table was once where the toddler bed is now.

The bathroom is on the other side of the kitchen. They've got a deep soaker tub and from the window in the shower you get a wonderful view of downtown Brooklyn and a bit of the Manhattan skyline. I don't know what kind of tiles those are, but I love them. There's a skylight which helps bring in natural light, so even with those dark tiles you don't feel claustrophobic.

Here you can see the den/"bedroom" with it's sliding door next to the kitchen. On the left you have the office wall where the printer, personal files, and other random things can be kept. It's kind of hard to see but the orange ceiling is lower in this middle section of the apartment because they created storage space above! You have to use a ladder to access it, but it's a nice hidden space to keep larger items that are not used frequently.

I think this extra storage area is my favourite feature of the apartment, next to that view from the shower!

Here's the living room with the bedroom on the right. The ceiling is really high which is why that above storage space was doable. It's bamboo flooring throughout and they have quite a bit of closet space in the bedroom and just out of view in the living room, next to the door to the bedroom.

Btw, I want that coffee table.

I love staying here and I'm always so amazed at how clean it is! Aside from some missing bath products in the shower, a bottle drying rack in the kitchen, and their pug's bed, this is essentially how the apartment always looks! Even with the toddler and her toys!

The white walls are a little plain for me, but it works! I wish I could be this clean, but I'm a packrat and take forever to put things back where they belong... But seriously, I wish I could live here!

{Inspiration} Anthropologie Displays

If I could live in an Anthropologie store, I would be all over that.

Not everything there is to my tastes, but I love the rustic, whimsical vibe of each store and how each store has their own team to create the displays using the most common, generic items anyone can find in their own home. It feels so cozy, yet glam - I love it.

This past weekend I was in New York and made my usual trip to the Rockefeller Center store. As I approached the sale section, I noticed the colourful display behind the racks.

Those are cable ties! CABLE TIES!!!

I think they sprayed some fake snow or something on some of these. I didn't want to touch it but it was definitely sprayed with something.

I can't even imagine the number of hours spent putting all of this together, but it sure is pretty!

I didn't even know these pretty colours existed for cable ties, but I'm happy that they do.

They even had a mini display above the staircase leading down to the main display.

On the main floor, lovely use of fluorescent lights.

Outside, the team was setting up the new window display using fruit baskets!

Neither of the windows were finished when I went back the next day and then I didn't have time to check up on it before I left, so hopefully when I return in February this display will still be there. Or maybe someone else will upload it to Pinterest... 

I wish there was a website out there that has display photos from every Anthropologie store. Unless it does exist and I just can't find it?!?!

Below are some other displays I like. Honestly, I would've added more but you get the gist. I'm not even including the ones that Kara Paslay has done, but I adore her Post-It Notes one especially.

I wish I were this creative!

{Deals & Steals} Ribba Madness

Emily-Jane told me about Ikea's 50% off frame sale, which was perfect timing since I figured we should buy a couple for the freshly painted powder room.

So on Boxing Day I was off to Ikea with my mom and aunt. I had also been meaning to get a few more black frames to add to my collection for my currently non-existent gallery wall and we came out with 19 frames!

The two white ones are for the powder room, two of the larger black ones are for my parents' room, and the rest are unclaimed!

I picked up a small canvas painting in Barcelona and a pencil drawing in Florence from my recent trip, so those will find homes in these frames but with new mats to properly frame them since they're random sizes. And then the rest, we'll just have to wait and see!

Thanks for the tip EJ! Nineteen Ribba frames for about $90!

I'm kind of regretting not buying more...

{Eat} Winter Holiday Treats

Happy 2012!!

I finally had some time during the holidays to bake even though it was already past Christmas. They ended up being for friends only anyway since most of the office was gone between Christmas and New Years Eve. I was the sucker who stayed behind, but I'm taking three days off this week to head off to NYC, so it's all good!

I baked two batches of sugar cookies which yielded about 70 2-2.5" cookies, but next time I need to either bake three batches, or somehow alter my icing recipe to make less. I was trying to use as much icing as possible when decorating, but I still had a lot left over.

 A sampling of the designs I did. It gets a little repetitive always doing the same few designs...

 My progress after night one of decorating.


 Personalized cookies!

 Christmas trees.

I call the right one "Rudolph's nose" and the two on the left "Rudolph blinking in a blizzard", as inspired by Calvin and Hobbes' "Polar bear blinking in a blizzard", seen below.

I hope the cookies were good (I only tried one iced one but I ate a lot of plain ones) and that everyone had a wonderful holiday!