February Randomness

Just a catch-up post about all those “little things”… before I totally forget about them. 😉

For example, here (finally) is a photo of Erin’s couch that I had sewn covers for way back in November. The cushions are now super soft, washable (handy, with a new baby), husband-approved, and it saved both $ and furniture going to the landfill. Yay for comfy mancaves!

Recovering Erin's Couch

I’ve decided not to bore you with all the gory details about exactly how they were constructed… but here is a visual to give you some idea of the geometric hoops I jumped through during the process.

The Couch's Gory Details

Oh, wait! Even before that, remember I was saying that I had taken our traditional fall family photos at Confederation Park? Well, I *still* haven’t made the time to edit them (I used my “big girl” camera, and there’s some work to be done), but here’s a teaser I took with my iPhone, just to give you an idea. 🙂

Phone Pic From Fall Pics

And then there was the “Kirby” costume I was asked to make by Monkeyboy Junior Jr. for Halloween. Just a little rearranging of an inexpensive housecoat, plus some sewn-on details which I cut from old t-shirts, and Bob’s your uncle! He was pretty excited about it (though you can’t really tell it in this photo). Hmm… Bad belly day, if I recall.

Handmade Kirby Costume by KateWares

Then there were the book shelves I decided to add to the bedroom. With everything getting shuffled around these days, I needed somewhere to store some of my beloved library (yes, books are old fashioned, but hey, that’s how I roll – though I *did* purge a giant box of them). I figured since I do most of my reading before bed these days… so long as I kept the bulk of them far enough away from my head, it would be fine. Unconventional, but fine.

Adding Bedroom Bookshelves

I toyed with the idea of staining the shelves in a multi-coloured, beachy boardwalk pattern… and I even experimented with “resist” methods for in between the colours. (I was using Saman stains, which combined very well with both water – to dilute, and glue – to make the resist, and which can be combined with each other to make a vast array of shades.)

Testing Wood Stains

But ultimately, I decided on a calmer & simpler whitewash, to match the side tables, instead. I figure I can use the resist & beachy pattern on something else more funky in the future. Don’t forget the “varnish for protection” (thanks Debbie Travis)!

Whitewashed Shelves

I am still in the process of moving all the books from my office to these shelves, and I’ve picked up some great new photo frames and such to decorate around them, so I’ll post a photo when that’s all done and looking purty. What else, what else… Ah!

I attempted to make a beet soup to rival the amazingness that is my roasted tomato soup… and I completely failed! Okay, well not completely – I mean, it was edible and all, but it wasn’t anything spectacular, so I won’t bother sharing the recipe. I guess I just wanted to include it to let y’all know that I’m not as “perfect” as I probably come off seeming sometimes. There are a lot of duds that happen before I get to something worth sharing, just so ya’ know. 😉

Beet Soup Fail

Oh, yeah! My super funny and craftily talented friend Lori Gibbs had posted a photo of a planter she decorated for Christmas…

Glittery Planter by Lori Gibbs

… which inspired me to make one of my own for the black “urn” in the front yard! Thank you Dollarama! I also hung fake pine garland with sparkly pink and purple ribbons on the deck, and my husband hung an abundance of colourful LED lights – our yard was so non-tradionally festive! (In fact, our home came in 10th place in the community holiday decorating contest – and we weren’t even trying!!!)

KateWares Glittery Planter

Then Lori posted an idea for “rein-beer”, which I totally stole and used for some friends… That Lori’s pretty swell, I’ve gotta say. 🙂


Speaking of Christmas, we decided to go with a Scooby Doo theme for our “traditional” card photo (if you enter “Christmas card” into the search box on the main page, you’ll see what I mean by “traditional” – for us, anyway).

Scooby Doo Photo Shoot Outtakes

I know many people just don’t “get it” when we do this sort of thing… but it’s the ones that do that I really care about. ♥ And Santa would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids!

Scooby Doo Christmas Photo by KateWares

Then we *finally* got around to reorganizing Monkeyboy Jr.’s bedroom (as we had reorganized his brother’s room before Christmas). We took out the over-sized desk (which will eventually end up in the new computer room / book & game library), moved the dresser over, and then added some spiffy new red IKEA shelves. He’s pretty chuffed about the whole thing (and the room has stayed amazingly tidy – for weeks now!) Win!!!

New Monkeyboy Jr. Shelves

Of course, in addition to decluttering and reorganizing the ol’ homestead, I’ve been dealing with some repairs as well – like this fireplace glass, which accidentally got cracked when a super heavy stocking holder fell off the mantle, then onto me, then onto the glass. Ouch!

Broken Fireplace Glass

Thank goodness I was paying attention years ago when the maintenance guy came to clean and inspect the fireplace. The “fireplace specialist” we had contacted said that since they no longer make this particular model, we couldn’t get it fixed… so we’d have to buy a brand new (worth several thousands of dollars) one. Psssht, I said! I just took the framed panel to Crystal Glass, and for a much smaller fortune (ceramic glass is expensive!), they replaced the glass in the frame within 24 hours! I took the opportunity to also “paint out” the tacky golden trim (with heat resistant black) and am loving the new look! (You can scroll back up to “rein-beer” for a comparison.)

New and Improved Fireplace

And last, but not least, I’ve been slowly working through Susannah Conway’s 2016 Unravelling workbook. Starting with finding my word for the upcoming year. Last year (and even the year before) was all about “allowing” – allowing myself to rest & recover when I needed it, allowing all those feelings I had put on hold (to deal with the Monkeyboys and their reflux first & foremost) to resurface and flow again, allowing myself to say “no” to whomever and whatever I needed to, allowing the clutter to start going away…

Choosing My Word For 2016

Thanks to a “lightbulb moment” that I had, all owing to another 4-hour “lunch” with my dear friend Tara… I realized that there really is no way that I could possibly still be the “girl” that I used to be (given everything that has happened since I was her)… and that *that* is totally, and I mean TOTALLY, AOK. I don’t need to keep trying to get back to her, because it’s who I am right now that I need to be happy with. And with that thought firmly in mind and in my heart, my goal for this year is radiance – to recognize all of the good things about who I am now, to continue building upon them, and to share those good things with the world in the hopes of inspiring others to do the same. Quite simply, to shine. The whole “lit candle” effect.

<contented sigh>

And that, my friends, concludes today’s update. Whew. That was a doozie! Anyhow. Hope things have been rockin’ in your world. Have yourselves an absolutely wonderful weekend! ∗∗∗ Shine on!!! ∗∗∗


  1. My goodness, Kate, you have been one VERY busy girl!
    Those couch covers are absolutely amazing. I am sure your friends just love them.

    I love, love, love the last paragraph (ok, second to last, I guess!). It sounds like a REALLY good place to be.


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