28 November 2011

Still finding my legs...

I am a new blogger...I have been blogging for several months now, but I still feel new, unsure and have yet to figure out where all this is going. I think I knew when I started that I would not be able to focus solely on one thing and that I tend to like to comment on whatever is on my mind at the moment and thus the name of my blog 'In Corners of My Mind'. This post is a perfect example, it is not what I had intended to post on this morning, but I happened upon Jen at Rambling Renovators post this morning about her new venture Blog Podium, and here we are.

I ventured over to the Blog Podium website and perused there, and as I read the bios of the three creators, and read about the purpose of blog podium I started thinking about it all. Who am I in this world of blogs, what kind of blogger am I and where do I want all of this to go? A lot of questions and only I have the answers, I just haven't figured them out yet. So...I already have my trade day pass for the Interior Design Show where Blog Podium will have their inaugural discussion, I will await registration for this discussion and plan to attend, maybe participating in this will help me define who I am and where I want to go with it, maybe it won't but I believe with the wonderful bloggers behind it all I won't walk away disappointed.

Now as for today's post, I had intended to apologize for my lack of posts last week, the week just slipped away. However the back hall was finally finished with my old window pane frame, and my driftwood sign (both DIY I completed last week and hubby hung last night) so without further ado, here are the after photo's...which are just taken with my little Sony point and shoot...I am realizing the merits of a really good camera...maybe in the new year.








The driftwood coat rack was a DIY creation of my husband's several years ago; a piece of driftwood, and some iron hooks found at our dollar store and for less than 5 dollars we have this! 

There is still some finishing to do, a little bit of trim work, but it is far more complete than it was a week ago, which means I am far more happy. Now all I have to do is decide which project to tackle next...hmmm

Happy Monday all!

21 November 2011

Enter through the back...

Happy Monday...it is a beautiful but very cold morning here in Muskoka. Last week saw the snow storm as predicted, and I would guess we did indeed get the 10 cm they were calling for...perfect snowman snow.


Alas it warmed up considerably and the snow is all but gone, and our snowman is looking a little worse for wear. I have reassured the girls that was just the beginning of the snow.

I was a busy little beaver over the weekend working on the rear entry to our house. This is the door we use daily, many times a day. It leads to the driveway and garage, but it is a small space that is perpetually untidy with coats, shoes, boots, umbrellas etc. It is really just a landing with stairs up to the kitchen and down to the apartment.

Some of you may remember some of my before photos of the house...this one of the hall shows the lovely (note the sarcasm) carpeted walls...yup carpeted...glued to the wall, and glued well. It has taken me three years to get this space as far as it has come. I'll tell you now there are no after photos just yet...they will come in the next few days.

We started three years ago by pulling the carpet off the walls, however it was foam backed carpet and every...and I mean every, square inch was glued to the wall. The carpet came away, the backing did not. We toyed with the idea of re-drywalling, but the hassle of it all seemed too much to deal with. So with chisel in hand I scraped away the backing...then sanded the walls, but it still wasn't enough...so we decided to use a bead board panel over top...that was completed probably two years ago...but left unfinished, unpainted trim, unpainted panels. So this weekend I sanded all the nail holes, and painted away...of course the rest of the walls needed a coat of paint as well which has been done as well as the ceiling. Now we just ave some touch ups to do...and by we, I mean my husband, as I do not do ladders...not past the third or fourth rung anyways...so once that is done and everything back in place I will post some after photos...until then enjoy my before...go ahead laugh...I do.

Just know that if I could I would have an entry way (front or rear) that looked more like this:


source
 Or perhaps this:
source
But these would require a whole new house...and that is not happening any time soon.

Have a great week everyone! Once again Happy Monday hope your weekend was a good as mine!

16 November 2011

Snow is in the forecast...

We have had a very mild November here in Muskoka...I'm not complaining, just stating facts. However it appears we are in for our first major snowfall of the season with over 10cm forecast for tomorrow. We'll see it the weatherman is right.

Monday I posted about my planned adventures in decorating the gallery for Christmas...well I'm done...I think. I am always receiving new items from artists so it is a completely evolutionary thing that is never quite done. Regardless all the Christmas paraphernalia is out and it looks pretty...I have even had Christmas music on to get me in the mood...or mode really.

Anyhoo...I thought I would share the fruits of my labour with you. So here are a few pics of the gallery at the moment...soon the art will be switched over but I need both my husband and I in the store to do that and that can't happen until my parents return from their trip in early December. So until then here it is.








Okay...that was a bit more than a few :o)

Happy Wednesday all!

14 November 2011

It's beginning to look alot like...

Happy Monday all! I hope you all had a great weekend and that this week starts out on the right foot...I love Mondays for that reason; you feel like it is a clean slate each week.

We had a busy weekend here with my eldest home for a few days and ending with a trip to Ikea...not bad at all.

I am feeling festive today. I love Christmas and it is that time of year isn't it. For me I have had Christmas on the brain since August, that is when I have to start getting my ducks in a row for the gallery. I have been doing a small facebook ad campaign for the last 5 weeks or so providing a gift idea a week for the 12 weeks leading up to the big day...some people are hating on me for that but what can I do? Did you know there are now only 6 Saturdays until Christmas? If you want to follow along, 'like' Silver Bridge Gallery on Facebook and if you see something that is of interest, let me know we can always ship.

So today is the day we start decorating the gallery...yay! I would love to do it earlier, but out of respect for our veterans we like to wait until after Remembrance Day. I am excited, but it is always a bit of pressure to fit in with all the great window displays on the street. Regardless, decorating for Christmas is fun and I am happy to start my week off in just this way.

To add to the Christmas spirit today, Chantelle at fat mum slim introduced me to the Gifted 2011 online magazine produced by Creature Comforts


via Creature Comforts
A great publication with some great ideas...check out last years while you are at it.  It is wonderful as well, with some great little DIY ideas. 

If you really want to get into the spirit, check out Jen at Rambling Renovators' blog today all about Christmas Street at the Bay. Enough to make you want to sing carols...

Happy Monday...ho ho ho :c)

10 November 2011

Here I go again...

Warning...long post 1 picture...proceed at your discretion ;)

As defined by Merriam-Webster :

Definition of ARTIST

1 a obsolete : one skilled or versed in learned arts b archaic : physician c archaic : artisan 1
2 a : one who professes and practices an imaginative art b : a person skilled in one of the fine arts
3 : a skilled performer; especially : artiste
4 : one who is adept at something <con artist> <strikeout artist>

Definition of ARTISAN

1: a worker who practices a trade or handicraft : craftsperson
2: one that produces something (as cheese or wine) in limited quantities often using traditional methods
Okay now that the formal stuff is out of the way I'll explain...I just...and I mean just read Emma's post over at the marion house book. This post is part of her 52 objects series. In it she refers to an article she read in the New York Times regarding authenticity...read it here if you want to know what put a bee in my bonnet today.
First of all thank you the Emma for sharing the link to the article. Without her I don't think I would have come across it, and it is so very important to what I do. If you have never read Emma's blog you should, it is one of my go to's for great design inspiration and a great read.
Alrighty then...
The first question that comes to mind when reading the article is; if an artisan is mass producing (and not by his own hand) for the likes of Restoration Hardware et al, is his product artisan made anymore? I don't think so. Now don't get me wrong, great for him or her if they have made the leap into mainstream, it is great, really, it will offer them a form of financial security that few artists or artisans ever reach. However for big box retailers to sell these items as artisan made (if they are indeed doing this) is a bit misleading in my opinion. Artisan designed perhaps, or artisan inspired but not artisan made. It is important for the consumer to know the difference. Only then can they make an informed purchase.  Worse than mass producing an artisan piece is to mass produce it in China which CB2 is doing...how is that helping the economy, not to mention the environment...but that is for another day.
Often times I will have artists come into the gallery and say 'tell me what sells and I will make/paint it' I always tell them that is not the way it works. Art and handmade goods have an element of passion to them that is evident to those who appreciate art. You cannot paint birds because they sell unless you have a passion for birds, or an emotional need to paint them. A painting with no soul will not easily sell while one that jumps from the canvas with it's emotion very apparent will walk out the door. And so it is that art is subjective.
The article asks, "have we finally reached a saturation point, where the “authentic” loses its eternal quality and becomes just another fad?" as retailers like West Elm, Pottery Barn and CB2 jump on the band wagon. It is a valid question, but I ask are they selling handmade or are they selling something that appears handmade? I would suggest it is the latter. While we're here, let's define authentic (again as defined by Merriam-Webster);

Definition of AUTHENTIC

1 obsolete : authoritative
2 a : worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact <paints an authentic picture of our society>
b : conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features <an authentic reproduction of a colonial farmhouse>
c : made or done the same way as an original <authentic Mexican fare>
Note that original and authentic are not the same thing. Authentic implies reproduction, not original. I think it is fair to say that these two terms are oft used in the wrong way.
An artist or artisan that is reproducing, or allowing the reproduction of their work has in my opinion crossed over to the other side. That is not to imply that the other side is the dark side, or the wrong side, but I believe they are now on the corporate side of the fence as opposed to the handmade side.
Some of the individuals interviewed for this article seem to feel that their one of a kind or handmade items have lost some of their place at the hands of mass produced 'artisanal' objects ; as Casey Barber says in the article “If you spend enough time looking at this stuff” — objects that are vintage, handmade or that just appropriate those looks — “you get overloaded pretty quickly,”
Ms. Barbers feelings are worrisome for me and the the artists/artisans I represent. Big box retailers already have the upper hand where pricing is concerned, if they begin to mass produce 'handmade' (ish) items at a fraction of the cost, where does that leave me, my business and my artsists?
Supporting local businesses and buying handmade is a proactive way to 'occupy' Wall Street. By spending money in my store (or one like it) your hard earned dollars filter to me, the artists and out to my community and theirs. I just said this afternoon to one of my artists that every dollar spent here means another dollar I can use to buy local or buy handmade. He (Michael Scott) made a great analogy that buying local or handmade means the money is flowing out, not up...I thought that was an incredible observation and so easy to visualize.

Red Sky by Michael Scott
We can't buy everything local, or handmade, but where we can we should and the difference will be palpable.
It is important that I note that even I have a few mass produced items in the gallery...much to my chagrin...but I am always honest and up front about what is handmade and what is not...that way you, the buyer, can make the decision.
Thanks again to Emma at the marion house book for her post and to Michael and his brother for listening to me ramble this afternoon when all they really did was come in to drop off new paintings...which are fabulous by the way!
Happy Thursday all!

8 November 2011

A change is better than a rest...

For all of my followers  (yes all 8 of you ;) you might have noticed my blog change a couple of times in the last few days...or maybe you didn't.  I thought I would check out blogger's new dynamic templates, not realizing that I would not be able to get back to where I started if I didn't like them. I didn't like them...

So I played with the standard templates trying to come up with what I had originally but no luck there. I settled on something only to view my own blog the other day and realize that everything was amiss. Anyhoo here we are now with something that I think works. (let me know if I am wrong)

I am still new to this blogging thing and must come clean, there is much I still do not understand like RSS feeds, and how to customize the blog layout beyond what blogger gives you, and is the whole AdSense thing worth it...to name but a few. What I do know however is that the blogging community are a good bunch of people and it is a joy to be a part of it.

source

Everything else I will figure out in time. In the meantime if any of you have any tips to share on successful blogging I'm all ears...well eyes really but you know what i mean ;)

Happy Tuesday all!

7 November 2011

Conflicted...

Happy Monday everyone...hope you all had a wonderful weekend...I did.

I'll start by saying the slipcovers did not happen. I had such good intentions but Saturday just slipped gloriously away from me as the girls and I meandered through the day...we even took a nap together...it was splendid! Sunday saw more pressing matters that needed to be dealt with like cleaning gutters and putting up Christmas lights before it gets too cold. I waited until the end of November last year and froze my finger tips off (not literally in case you were worried). It too was a wonderful day with lots accomplished.

So what does all this have to do with the title of this post...well nothing...just updating you so I can move on to the real reason for this post.

Why are you conflicted? I'll just say it...I hate exercise. I really do. I hate that I have to drag myself out of bed before the sun and the wee ones rise so I can fit in 30 mins of cardio...I hate that I spend that 30 min watching the clock. I hate sweating. No conflict here right? Well here is the conflict; I love how I feel after I have exercised. I love the feeling of accomplishment. I love the surge of energy I get about an hour after I workout that makes me feel like it's gonna be a good day. I love the feeling of absolute exhaustion that tells me I gave it my all. Above all else I love what it does for my body.

before and during

So it is that each day I wake with a heavy foreboding feeling, I drag my a$$ out if bed shlup downstairs praying that neither girl wakes up at the creak of the stairs...I put in my time and hate it while I do, but then the reward of accomplishment comes and I feel for a brief moment that maybe I don't hate exercise all that much.

Happy Monday...here's to a successful week!




4 November 2011

Happy Weekend...

Well week one comes to a close and it has been a successful one on the whole. Down 4 pounds in total which proves that my body was ready to get a move on again. (if you are wondering what week one is all about check out this post)

It is also week one with my parents gone. For those who do not know, my parents live in an apartment in our basement and my mom is my daycare provider. They have gone on a month long RV trip through the States with friends...that means no daycare for us...so far I have only had to take the girls to the gallery with me once, other than that my husband and I have been able to spell each other off (he has been able to take some time out of his other job), and we have a friend helping us out on Saturdays. That means I get the first whole weekend away from the gallery in almost two years...I'm kinda excited.

A whole weekend away from work means I can turn my attention to some long forgotten projects around the house. I might...and I stress might...attempt slipcovers for my two armchairs in the living room.


These chairs have seen better days...sort of. They have been in my family since I was a young girl. When my parents first aquired them they were orange vinyl...then they were re-upholstered in the fabric you see here. 

Almost a year ago I bought this fabric...  


and I have been working up the courage to use it on these chairs. I think I have decided that I will try slipcovering them myself. I only paid $4/mtr for the fabric so it seems silly to spend over $300 per chair to re-upholster them especially since I am afraid I won't love the pattern for the long haul...so I figure what the heck...I'll try my hand at slipcovering...If I attempt it this weekend, I will be sure to let you in on the outcome...good or bad. In advance of that if anyone has a good slipcover tutorial or has tried it themselves and can share some tips...I'm all ears.

Apart from that I am looking forward to a nice weekend with my girls and not thinking too much about the gallery.

Hope you enjoy your weekend whatever it has in store for you!
Happy Friday!


1 November 2011

Halloween wrap up...

I am not a huge fan of Halloween...I never trick or treated when I was a kid, my parents preferred instead to take my brother and I out for dinner and then to the mall where we could pick out something special.

As a mom I find it a bit stressful. Coming up with costume ideas and then feeling the need to make the costumes myself. Having said that, when the costume is done it is a great sense of accomplishment, but it is just one more thing on the ever growing 'to do' list.


This year we opted for easy...still home made, but easy. The girls went as black cats...a far cry from the original purple sponge that Izzy wanted to be and a whole lot easier. I simply made cat ears and a tail that I sewed onto a black shirt, painted the tip of the tail white, painted on the nose and whiskers, and Bob's your uncle, we had kittens!


They had fun, my husband had fun,and I handed out candy. All in all it isn't so bad. Izzy has already informed us she wants to be a puppy next year...we'll see if that one sticks.

I did partake in a few candies despite it being day one (see post here) however day two has me down 1.5 pounds...so it proves that drinking water and exercise makes all the difference in the world...and it proves it is exactly what my body has been waiting for...hence it's quick response. That result won't be everyday, but it is a good start. And as for the candy...well we threw all our leftovers out and only kept two small buckets for the girls...I can steer clear of that.

I hope every one had a great Halloween.
Happy Tuesday!