30 Jun 2013

The Week's End - June 30, 2013

Our stay-cation is almost over :(  It's been a really fun week! I am working away on a few home things and will have a fresh new post later in the week.  Have a great Sunday!

The Week's End - June 30, 2013

The Week's End - June 30, 2013

The Week's End - June 30, 2013

The Week's End - June 30, 2013

The Week's End - June 30, 2013

The Week's End - June 30, 2013

The Week's End - June 30, 2013

The Week's End - June 30, 2013

The Week's End - June 30, 2013

26 Jun 2013

Giveaway Winner & A Break

First things first...the winner of the Geographic Designer giveaway is......


Enjoy your poster Kathy!

Now, on another note, I am going to be taking a little blogging break for a week or two.  We were actually supposed to be away on vacation this week, but the world had other plans.  In case you hadn't heard, starting on Thursday of last week, Southern Alberta experienced major flooding.  I am not an expert on weather, but from what I read, a weather system carrying major precipitation hit up against the west side of the Rocky Mountains and it stayed there for days pouring rain on the area.  Eventually the water became too much and areas of Alberta started to flood.  It started close to the mountains in Canmore and then progressed east to Calgary and other parts of southern Alberta.

via the National Post
More than 65,000 people were under mandatory evacuation notice in Calgary alone.  The devastation that our province has seen over the past few days is heart breaking.   We were glued to the news and social media as we tried to keep tabs on our family and friends who live in the area.  I lived in Calgary for more than 5 years, so I was very familiar with all of the areas.  We now live 3 hours from Calgary and felt helpless as we watched the water pour in.

We had a week booked in the mountains that was supposed to start on Saturday, but after the flooding in Canmore, the highway was closed and there was no estimate on when it would open again (it is still closed).

via Wunderground

We decided it would be best if we cancelled our vacation.  So, we are staying home this week and having a full blown stay-cation.  Since this week is dedicated to spending time with my family, I am going to stick to my guns and try and not spend much time on the computer.  

I might be back with a Week's End post on the weekend, and then my plan is to be back with fresh posts mid to late next week.   We are going to explore our city, hang out, catch up on some tv and enjoy some good food.  That's what makes a good vacation, right?

Talk to you soon!

p.s. if you are interested in donating to help the victims of the floods, please consider donating to the Canadian Red Cross.


23 Jun 2013

The Week's End - June 23, 2013

The Week's End - June 23, 2013

The Week's End - June 23, 2013

The Week's End - June 23, 2013

The Week's End - June 23, 2013

The Week's End - June 23, 2013

The Week's End - June 23, 2013

The Week's End - June 23, 2013

The Week's End - June 23, 2013

The Week's End - June 23, 2013









21 Jun 2013

Navy Blue, White and Gold Credenza

I bought this credenza at a garage sale in our neighbourhood what feels like a million years ago.  In actuality, it was about 2 months ago, but for me that's a long time to have a piece sitting in the garage waiting for its day in the sun.


I knew as soon as I saw it that I'd be able to make it look 100 times better. It was simple, classic and had some really nice molding to work with. 

When I am out in the garage painting I tend to think about some pretty random stuff, and I usually spend quite a bit of time deciding on a name for that particular piece of furniture.  This guy I am naming JT.  I am loving Justin Timberlake's new song Suit & Tie, and to me, this piece reminds me of a classic suit and tie (that, plus the fact that I listened to that song probably 50 times over while painting!).

Meet JT now!

Furniture Makeover.  Navy blue, white and gold credenza from www.aswellplacetodwell.com


The credenza was laminate, so I started by using a deglosser to take off some of the shine.  I use Liquid Sandpaper by Dynamic, which I buy at my local paint store.  It's smelly, so make sure you have some breathing space when using it.  Then I primed the whole thing with a coat of Zinsser 1-2-3 Bullseye primer using a brush and foam roller.  I used white primer because that's what I had on hand.  If I was buying primer new I probably would have had it tinted dark to save myself an extra coat of navy blue. 

I let the primer dry for a night and then painted the navy blue, again using a brush and little foam roller. The blue is December Eve by Behr, but colour matched to Dulux interior eggshell.  It's the same colour that we have in our master bedroom, so I had some left over.  Because I was going over white primer, it took 3 coats of navy to get full coverage.   

I painted inside the moulding Benjamin Moore White Dove.  It's Benjamin Moore's Advance paint in the pearl finish, which we had left over from our kitchen cabinets (and a million other projects...).   The white only took 2 coats as there was already white primer underneath.

Navy blue, white and gold credenza from www.aswellplacetodwell.com

Once both the navy blue and white had some time to cure, I then used a small artist's brush to apply liquid gold gilding.  The gilding is Martha Stewart brand in Brass, that I picked up at Michael's, and is the same gilding I used on my emerald dresser. I used painter's tape to tape off some of the easier lines and then I just free handed the rest.  I also painted the hinges, the original hardware and the very bottom of the front legs in the gilding.

Navy blue, white and gold credenza from www.aswellplacetodwell.com

Navy blue, white and gold credenza from www.aswellplacetodwell.com

I decided not to poly this piece because I really like the matte finish that the blue has right now.  If it goes to a house (or stays with me!) where it's going to see a lot of abuse and action, then it would be best to apply a finishing coat.

Furniture Makeover.  Navy blue, white and gold credenza from www.aswellplacetodwell.com

Furniture Makeover.  Navy blue, white and gold credenza from www.aswellplacetodwell.com

I have a problem that I fall in love with every piece that I do.  I think I need to start painting in colours that I don't like!  JT is going to go up for sale and will hopefully find a nice home.  I hope he is able to be used as a bit of a bar station, because I think that's what he's suited for (no pun intended....).  If you are local to Edmonton and are interested in him please drop me a line.

Furniture Makeover.  Navy blue, white and gold credenza from www.aswellplacetodwell.com

I think this might be my last furniture redo for a while. I struggled to find the time to actually get JT done, and I hate having stuff just sitting in the garage.  Maybe once fall rolls around I will have some more time and won't want to be outside playing as much.  Now all I have to do is hold myself back at the garage sales throughout the summer!

If you love JT as much as I do (the credenza, not the man) I'd be really appreciative if you'd pin or share him.

Have a great weekend!


Linking to: Our Fifth House, Miss Mustard Seed

18 Jun 2013

A Swell Giveaway: Geographic Designer

I am so excited for this giveaway.  I don't have giveaways all that often because I promised myself with this blog that I would only give away things that I truly want myself.  I can honestly say that I would proudly hang Joshua Best's art in our home.

Let me introduce you to Joshua Best, the man behind Geographic Designer.  As his shop's name suggests, Joshua's art is based on geographic regions.  His latest collection is entitled The Provincial Patterns Project, and it comes just in time for Canada Day.

As per Joshua's website, "the Provincial Patterns Project reimagines the symbolism of Canada's provinces and creates modern textures that reference traditional icons".  

It's true - Josh has managed to pull icons that we would traditionally associate with each province and make them look cool, fresh, and modern.  If you have followed this blog for a while then you might know that I am a total history and geography dork.  I actually have a university degree in Canadian Studies (don't laugh), so I am a sucker for all things Canadiana and love the blend of traditional with modern.  

I am an Alberta girl through and through, so you know I am going to be quite partial to the Alberta poster.

Joshua Best

But, I also really like the Nova Scotia and Ontario posters.  

Joshua Best
 Joshua Best
You can check out the other 7 provinces in Joshua's Etsy shop.  Don't you think all 10 of them lined up in simple white frames going down a hallway would look great?  I even think they'd look great in a nursery with white walls and a white crib.

Don't worry my American friends, Joshua has also created the 50 States Design Project.  Each state has its own poster that highlights the unique personality of that state.

Joshua Best Joshua Best

Cool, right?  Maybe you like the poster from your home state...or maybe the one you live in now...or another one that has another special meaning.   Or maybe you are a geography dork like me and and want all 50 of them!  

The good news....Joshua has graciously offered to give away one 11x17 poster from his shop to a reader (see details below).  In addition to the giveaway, Joshua is also offering 15% off his entire Etsy shop to A Swell Place to Dwell readers.  To redeem the discount just enter SWELL at checkout.  The discount code is valid through to July 31. 

Here's the fine print on how to enter:
  • PRIZE: One 11 x 17 poster from Geographic Designer. Shipping within Canada or the United States.
  • NUMBER OF WINNERS: One
  • TO ENTER: Visit Geographic Designer on Etsy, pick your favourite poster in the shop and then come back here and leave a comment telling me which poster you've chosen.
  • ADDITIONAL ENTRY: For a second entry, like Geographic Designer on Facebook OR follow Geographic Designer on Twitter.  After you have 'liked' or 'followed' then come back here and leave a SECOND comment telling me you did so.  Only one additional entry is permitted (2 total).  (While you are at it, it would also be great if you like A Swell Place to Dwell on Facebook....shameless plug!)
  • GIVEAWAY CLOSES:  Tuesday June 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm mountain time
  • PRIZE SHIPS TO: Canada or the United States.
If your blog is private, or you comment anonymously please be sure to leave your email address with your comment.  Use (at) and (dot) so that the spammers (ugh, annoying spammers) don't glom onto your email (eg. aswellplacetodwell(at)gmail(dot)com).

Note: All items were provided for this giveaway.  A Swell Place to Dwell was not paid for this giveaway. Last day to enter the giveaway is June 25, 2013. 6:00 pm Mountain Time.  The winner will have 72 hours to get back to me after I email them. If the first winner does not respond in 72 hours, a second winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.

16 Jun 2013

The Week's End - June 16, 2013


www.aswellplacetodwell.com // The week's end - June 16, 2013

www.aswellplacetodwell.com // The week's end - June 16, 2013


www.aswellplacetodwell.com // The week's end - June 16, 2013

www.aswellplacetodwell.com // The week's end - June 16, 2013

www.aswellplacetodwell.com // The week's end - June 16, 2013

www.aswellplacetodwell.com // The week's end - June 16, 2013

www.aswellplacetodwell.com // The week's end - June 16, 2013

www.aswellplacetodwell.com // The week's end - June 16, 2013

www.aswellplacetodwell.com // The week's end - June 16, 2013

www.aswellplacetodwell.com // The week's end - June 16, 2013

14 Jun 2013

The Basement Stairs

Ok, I am going to declare the basement stairs officially done! Phew! 

I honestly don't think that we have had a project in this house that has lasted quite as long as those stairs.  They were the one thing that neither of us were excited about and we just kept putting it off and putting it off.  We'd do one little bit and then take a big break before we could muster up the energy to do another task (breaks that were months long...bad, bad, bad).

Whoever built this house didn't do a great job and there were gaps between the stairs and the walls.  It look a bit of manoeuvring and some plywood, but we were able to fix it (just don't go jumping on the very edges next to the wall, ok?).  We also drywalled, taped, mudded, painted, laid the flooring, added nosing, added moulding, installed a light and painted and re-hung the banisters.  We decided that the drywall on the ceiling was beyond our skill level so we did hire that out (thank the Lord or I might have had a melt down).  

The flooring is vinyl planking, which is the same flooring that runs throughout our basement.  It's TrafficMaster by Allure in Maple.  I can't say enough good things about it.  It was super easy to install, inexpensive and so far has been very durable.  The only downside is that it doesn't have matching stair nosing or transitions.  To solve the problem we used nosing that is intended for linoleum.  

**I apologize in advance for some of these photos. This stairwell gets zero natural light.  Pair that with an overhead light, and you basically have the worse conditions possible for photography.

stairwell @ aswellplacetodwell.com


Half way down the stairs there is a ledge.  I was quite undecided on what to put there for a while, but I finally landed on a big vignette of some of my favourite things. 


The grey chalkboard is the one I made a few months back from an old dresser mirror.  I'd really like a projector so that I can do some fancy artwork on it (my drawing skills end at stick people), but for now my song lyrics will do. 10 points to anyone who can tell me what song that quote is from (and no Googling...).


I added a few frames that I used to have up in the kitchen and filled them with some recent barn photos I took.


I had all of the spines of the books facing out, but it started to feel too busy, so I turned them all around.  I know it's a little shabbier this way, but I like it.  There was something about the old book pages and the sage green walls that really appealed to me.



I found the little globe at a rummage sale a few months ago for $3.  It was the first thing I saw when I walked in the door and I scooped it up in lightning speed. 


On the other side of the ledge I have leaned a big poster in a simple frame (too bad the ceiling light is stealing the poster's thunder!!).  This poster was actually my brother and sister-in-law's and they gave it to me years ago (after a bit of begging...).  It's old, but I still totally love it.  I don't think I will ever get rid of it....maybe just treat it to a new frame one day.  I am a bit of a country girl and the #1 radio button in my car is set to the country station (hint for the 10 point question above...).


Since these stairs took us so long to complete, I am really happy that they turned out the way they did.  I like being able to see little bits of us sitting on the ledge whether I am going up or down the stairs.


The colour on the wall is Spartan Stone by Behr, which is the same colour as throughout the rest of our basement....which one day I might clean enough to show you!

Hope you have a great weekend.  We've had rain (and tornado warnings) here all week so we are very much hoping for some nice sunny weather.  I have a Week's End post coming up on Sunday and then a very cool giveaway on Tuesday, so make sure to come back for that.


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