What We’re Working On – Nov 28

Hope all my Amerifriends had a great Thanksgiving!! Hopefully you are lounging off the turkey in your sweat pants, with a good cup of coffee. In Canada we celebrate our Thanksgiving back in October, so it was business as usual this week.

This is what we’ve been up to. Continue reading “What We’re Working On – Nov 28”

What We’re Working On – Nov 12

I have a new weekly feature on the blog starting today! It’s going to be called “What We’re Working On”. As we often have a bunch of larger projects on the go, our updates and project reveals are a long time in the making. As such, you don’t really see what we’ve been up to, and what we’re working on. This will be a weekly update with a quick check-in and summary of what we’ve got on our plate.

So here goes!

We are moving ahead well on the dining table & benches for Project Nelson. The table top is built, and this past weekend we got started on the legs after a quick stop to change the table saw blade. The new blade is an awesomesauce Freud blade. Once you switch to Freud blades, you will never go back.

Installing new freud table saw blade

With the new saw blade installed, we did all the kerf cuts for the table legs.

El Granto making kerf cuts on the table stretcher supports

The legs are notched out for the stretcher support to fit in, as well as the stretcher support is notched for the stretcher. (lots of gibberish I know, but it will make sense when you see it.) El Granto kerfed away on the table saw, while I removed the kerfed slices of wood, and cleaned up the joints with a chisel and an orbital multi tool. (check out this post from a previous table build to see how kerfing/notching the legs is done.)

After everything was notched, it was all assembled.

Assembling the table legs and marking for the dowels

We made the dowels connecting the legs to the stretcher support visible for an interesting detail. El Granto then spent a morning sanding down the legs, and they are now ready for stain.

Sanded visible dowel joints

I am also slowing working away at the powder room. I got a print of a vintage 1930’s Toronto street barber, and set out to framing it. It’s not going so well. Love the print, but the framing situation is off the mark. The mat either needs to go, our the frame (or both!)

framed barber print

Last weekend we added a couple new things to the workshop. We picked up a small heater (this one). This will hopefully give us a bit more time to work in the garage. While picking up our heater, El Granto happened to stumble on Shop Vac’s on sale, so a new shop vac came home with us as well. This lil yellow fella will be a sawdust vacuum, and spend his life hooked up to various tools in the garage, in an effort to control the sawdust issues a bit.

Assembling new yellow shop vac vacuum

I arrived home to a super fun delivery last week. Jeremy from Buddy Rhodes sent me down some of their new 10lbs mix. Cant wait to try it out, and show you what projects I come up with.

Buddy Rhodes 10lbs artisan concrete mix

So that’s what we’ve been working on this past week. What have you been up to?

Powder Room Progress

Work on the powder room mini makeover has begun, even with a 3 day trip to the cottage for Thanksgiving thrown in. Here’s a quick update on what I’ve been up to:

Removed the ornate mirror, and tried hanging the great portal mirror I grabbed at Value Village during the blogger thrift store tour. The mirror is AMAZING, and looks so good with the black wall color.

However… it is just too small for the space. Even with the convex shape of the mirror, it is just not big enough. Sad face.

You may also notice another item in that photo. While out on the motorcycle one day, El Granto and I spied a couple of wooden ladders and some old signs on the side of the road. I jumped off and scooped up all the signs we liked, then we sped home, dropped off the moto, and El Granto walked back and lugged one of the large 8′ tall wooded ladders home. It’s in absolutely fantastic shape, and can double as a decor piece and a functional ladder. (It’s a tool hiding in plain sight!) We propped it up in the empty corner of the powder room. I really like the height it gives to the small room. Maybe it will stay there, maybe not, but for now I am loving the wood tones against the black and white.

When I was in Denmark and Sweden this spring, I went on a bit of an art print binge, and during that time I picked up the full set of Warhol quote posters from Moderna Museet in Malmo, Sweden. They are nice big prints (70cm x 100cm or close to 27 1/2″ x 40″) and I thought one or two from the series would look great in the bathroom. We have 12′ ceilings in there, so they should be able to hold the big art prints without feeling claustrophobic. Now all I needed were frames. Of course, there is really only one place to get good quality frames that large (we’re talking three and a half feet tall!) for a good price. Like the prints themselves, my frame source was also Swedish. Can you guess where that is?

I hopped on the subway last night, and trekked out to Ikea Etobicoke, and picked up two large 70cmx100cm Ribba frames in black.

While at Ikea, I did a good amount of perusing. They have upped their game with their new store displays. It was looking good! There were also a few new great items in store, that are not listed online yet. I could do a whole post on it, but here is one of my instagrams from last night:


Alas I was not shopping for new armchairs or rugs (but hey, that faux fireplace would look great in my house!) I needed to source some bathroom items. I was hoping to pickup this Molger mirror (in birch):

But after seeing it in store the frame was much too deep for my space. It would get in the way of the faucet and and light fixture. Boo.

I saw this fab beauty, but it was like $120 (sorry no exact price as its not on Ikea’s site.) and thats more than I wanted to spend for the mirror for this project. Although I think two of them would be fab for my upstairs bathroom reno!

I ended up going with this simple square beveled mirror, and I may try my hand this weekend at a simple shadowbox frame for it. We’ll see.

I also left the store with a great toilet brush (no really!) This black svartsjon one for $8. Also, the 10 year old trapped in me, thinks svartsjon is a funny name for a toilet brush. Cause its got “jon” and “svarts” which I’m sure is how they must say farts in Swedish. Right? 😉

Then I went and carried everything home on the shuttle bus and the subway.


And no, that was not the most awkward nor heavy item I’ve carried home from Ikea on the Subway.

I can’t wait to get home from work tonight and start framing the posters. I want to see them on the wall!

I am still however on the hunt for a light, a small shelf, towel & tp holders, trash can, and accessories. I also added to my wish list a set of antique taps, which I have my eye out for (aka stalking craigslist and eBay).

If you guys see any taps like these (for cheap) let me know!




Pergola Progress

Not quite sure where this week went. Last time I checked it was somewhere around Tuesday, and then BAM! Friday!

Hey, I’m not complaining, but I sure do wish I got more accomplished around the house this week.

Here is what we’ve been up to.

The pergola started creeping off paper and into fruition. We made a stop at our local lumber yard and picked up all the wood, including the 12′ pieces. Thanks again goes to El Granto’s Mum and Dad for the car loan.


After some demolition of the current deck’s fence/top posts, a big shout out goes to the previous owner for stripping Every. Single. Screw he used to assemble the deck. Really awesome work… A sawzall with a nail cutter blade later, and a pry bar, and we were rid of them, busted screws and all.

With demo complete, we started building anew.

The new posts were measured, kerfed (to go around the ledger on the wall), and up they went.


Then the front and side beams followed suit.

This was a bit of a scary ladder moment (14′ drop to our new concrete walkway with hands above head holding a 2x6x12), but El Granto took over for me, and got it done.

photo 1(7)

Decent progress, but still a ways to go. We have to add the cross beams, which overlap each other, so some careful math and half lap joints are in our future. Then we have to add some more fence boards. This kinda sucks. As our new pressure treated lumber is greener than a 19 year old after St. Paddy’s Day and our current fence/privacy screen has faded nicely. I know you’re going to lay into me about staining the deck. That is a ton of upkeep, and I’d like to ride the bare wood train as long as we can. I bought some Cabot deck wash, so here’s hoping I can brighten up the old bits a little, and that those new PT boards will fade quickly.

Back to the pergola. Our plan for the is to have a large open pergola like our inspiration:

This means not a lot of cross beams for shade, but what it does mean is that we are adding a fabric shade canopy.

We selected a Sunbrella sheer outdoor fabric for the canopy, Shadow Snow. It will filter out the harsh sunlight, but not block it completely. The last thing we wanted to do is remove all the beautiful natural light from our bedroom. The canopy will be loosely draped over the frame, and removable for winter. (Thinking corner grommets and hooks on the top of the pergola.)

Speaking of fabric. Our whole Sunbrella order arrived this week, and I’m super stoked.


Looks like I’ve got a hell of a lot of sewing to do! Anyone want to come help? I’ve got two machines! That or I teach El Granto. I think that’s a damn good idea actually! He’s a great hand sewer. He’s the king of sewing  motorcycle patches to his denim jacket and vest. No, not the gang variety. We’re friendly neighbourhood bikers, not Sons of Anarchy bikers.

Where was I? Busying myself with projects apparently. Looks like we’re going to have another full weekend.

P.S. It was my birthday yesterday, and my awesome husband baked me a gluten free cake. The dog was a bit jealous, but man was it good. Best. Husband. Ever.


Have a great weekend, and follow us on Instagram to see what we get up to!