Dec 27, 2011

The Naughty Elf

Post Christmas Carnage
We had a $100 limit each this Christmas.  My defiant hubby bought a bunch of things from my Christmas list, all items I carefully considered - for UNDER $100 and STUFFED them in my stocking.  Then he wrapped some new garden clippers and attached them to the outside of a pair of amazing brown leather riding boots.  Just to throw me off.  He couldn't decide between boots so he bought me a second pair of black thigh high leather boots.  

And then he gave me a final gift that he prefaced with: "Don't be mad at me" It was a new SLR camera. Jerk. 

We went to Lake Louise yesterday for some winter wonderland fun and to try out the new camera. 

Rocky Mountains from the car

Pit Stop

Icicles that put ours to shame

At the stating rink on Lake Louise
Ice Castle

Ice Castle - the kid in the yellow was bossing me around.  I was annoyed.
Ice Bar with Jagger luge - tempting. 

Eating Snow

Mountain view

Stopping for lunch and hot toddies in Chateau Lake Louise


Dec 19, 2011

Happy Holidays

To all my mid century friends and followers.  Happy happy holidays. 


Dec 9, 2011

A Crafty Mid Century Modern Christmas

For the first time in my LIFE, I will be celebrating Christmas without my family (parents / brother). This will also be our very first Christmas in the Prairie House. I'm excited but sure I'll be curled up crying under the christmas tree on Christmas eve. 

First order of business for the Prairie Christmas is decorations. We pulled them out from the crawl space last weekend and realized that after several moves into parents' basements (while I was in grad school), a couple downtown apartments and a townhouse, we have accumulated a substantially crappy collection of Christmas decorations - consisting mainly of tinsel garland and old candy canes.  

And since hubby blew this year's Christmas decorating budget on his Christmas village ...  Popcorn garland anyone?

...which by the way is a little piece of Christmas magic

So I did some research on mid century modern Christmas decor...

A festive pimento olive and ham tree. Yummy.

Toothpick and glitter tree

Christmas ornament mobile
Uhhhhh - glitter, toothpicks and Styrofoam balls? I think I'm safe with the popcorn garland.

Voila! The mantle all dolled out for MCM Christmas.  

The garland is felt balls that I made from Merino wool roving.  I found mine at Shuttleworks, south of Calgary in De Winton. A bag chocked full of 32 colours was about $40. I used a felting needle (also from Shuttleworks - 5 for $7) to decorate the balls.

The colour selection of wool roving.  

Dr. Suess inspired colour palette
I cut the selected colours every 8", then split the roving into 4 sections.  I spread out each section and laid them perpendicular, then rolled them up in a ball.

I made about 52 balls total.

Then I stuffed each ball into an old pair of nylons and tied a knot around each to keep its shape. I washed them in a hot cycle with a splash of detergent.  After the cycle was complete (no drying necessary), I cut one out to make sure that they had shrunk to the right size and rolled each ball to shape.  (wash again to increase shrinkage)

Then Lily and I used a felting needle to make patterns on each ball.  

Isn't she cute and crafty?
I used the felting needle to attach wool to each ball to make it into this decorative spray.  Then I strung each ball onto wool using a large needle to make the garland. More detailed instructions can be found here on Purl Bee.  I just discovered this website last weekend. It makes me want to quit my job and buy a loom.

The rest of the mantle decor I scored at 30% off at Superstore.

More to follow!


Nov 17, 2011

The Prairie Barn

I know, I know - hardly mid century.  But there is nothing more beautiful, more elementally modern in both form and ornament than a prairie barn.  A collection from my travels in Alberta the last few months. 

CPR barn - near Vulcan

patchwork barn - Mile 34

raise the roof - near Milo

barn exoskelton - Mercoal

red barn (1918) - near nowhere 

log barn - near Edson

CPR barn - near Champion

griege barn - near Vulcan

ventilated barn - near nowhere

bird's barn - near Milo

arched barn - near Evansburg

barn face (see it?) - near Carmangay


Nov 13, 2011

Speaking of Time Warps

I'm finally getting out of my time warp and have started Tweeting (my mom taught me how last night). I'm sure I will be a complete nimrod starting out so please be patient. 

I was out for dinner last night at Cassis Bistro in Calgary (which is divine) and was thinking I should tweet it, but couldn't figure it out on my phone.  Sigh... I'll get the hang of it. 

Find me at mcmcalgary


Nov 11, 2011

Let's do the Time Warp Yeah...

I have a bad case of the 'newies' right now.  Every house we've gone into lately is new or recently renovated with thoughtful space planning with the perfect shade of gray on the walls.  I find myself dreaming about how nice it would be to have an open concept main floor, or proper lighting in the living room, taps that don't drip, a basement without Egyptian-themed wallpaper and a bathroom I'm proud to show off (curses to you, El Pinko).

My biggest frustration with restoring a house right now is the time warp factor.  I've consciously resisted painting the fir wood panelling in the living room  and the trim in the bedrooms in order to preserve the original character of the house.  We've even held onto the nautical themed light fixtures in the hallways.  (Apparently the original owners owned a property on a lake).  Add to that my obsession with thrifting... 

Regardless, whether new or old, every single thing that is brought through my slightly obnoxious nuclear yellow door, is time warped back to 1950.  And not this 1950... 

 Cocktail Hour at the Spencer Residence in Santa Monica (1950) (Julius Schulman)

Yah, this one looks about right... 

1954 Interior (Midcentury Home Style)
So I'm officially torn.  Do we tear down some walls, paint out some trim?  If we try to keep what we have, what can we do to make it less oh so 50 years ago? 


Oct 30, 2011

Bedroom Blues

I just realized that after almost a full 2 years of LMCMHP, I have not shown one picture of our 'Master' bedroom. Hardly a master as the house was built before the concept of 'Master' bath or a separate wing for the Master suite.  It just happens to be the biggest room in the house with the biggest closet.  And it's on the same floor as El Pinko and our eldest.   

We chose (read: I chose) the colour (Caribbean Blue from Benjamin Moore) prior to moving in.  Then had absolutely NOTHING to match it with bedding and decor-wise. I finally found some Marimekko sheets from Crate & Barrel bold enough to handle the colour.  We have yet to find some curtains, a rug and some art.  I love it, stark as it is.  Feels like I'm sleeping in a Smurf house. 

My bedside table.

Chair that we negotiated into our purchase of the house, waiting to be recovered, a modern art piece waiting to be framed and a dead stick of a rubber tree waiting to be replaced with new. 

Popular spot for kids fashion shows

Our shared closet with original fir sliding doors.  
Bedside reads: Salinger's "To Esme with Love and Squalor"
Cute little nook where Jason hides his clothes. 

I would love any suggestions anyone may have for window coverings.  Patterned?  Plain?  Neutral?


ps. Happy Halloween! (more pix to follow)