Friday, May 25, 2012

Jonathan Adler at Homesense!

I have been a fan of Jonathan Adler's pottery and animal menagerie for a while now.

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Unfortunately, while I appreciate the aesthetics of his style, his wares can be a little pricey.

In the past, Homesense has done a good job of providing me with some Jonathan Adler knock-offs for less.

His refined ceramic birds below.
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My much less refined (but still beloved) knock-offs.

His dachshund bookends designed for Barnes & Noble (not actually that pricey, but expensive to ship to Canada).

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My almost identical version from Homesense. Slightly off topic, but Homesense often prices what obviously are paired items separately. So in their infinite wisdom, the front end of the dachshund was priced separately from the back.

So while I have bought a couple of Jonathan Alder "themed" items from Homesense, I have never actually come across the real thing until last week-end.

As I was perusing the Warden and Eglinton location, a beautiful yellow and gold bowl caught my eye. I have no need for any more decorative items, but the bowl was so striking, I picked it up to get a closer look at it's glossy finish.

I flipped it over and was surprised to see a Jonathan Adler makers mark. The price was $29.99 and said compare at $110.

I don't always trust the compare at price at Homesense, so I did a quick Google search and realised that yes indeed the item I was holding was in fact an authentic Jonathan Adler bowl that was priced at $110. It was the Persephone Bowl from the Santorini collection.

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Both the yellow and turquoise bowls were available, so I spent some time trying to decide which one I should take. You can probably guess what happened next.

Yep, I came home with both.

There were some other items from the Santorini line still available in the Warden store last Saturday.

And when I visited the new Spadina store later on in the week-end, they had both Persephone bowls and a vase. I think they're all seconds but the flaws are so minimal they won't affect your enjoyment.

So if Jonathan Adler floats your boat as much as he floats mine, get thee to Homesense and score yourself some colour!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I'm back!

Well after a long, unplanned absence I am back on the blog! There's no real reason for my absence, I just felt uninspired and like I had nothing to share. I have a number of updates planned over the next little while, but for now I thought I would share my latest purchase from the local antique (junk?) market.

It's a peacock painting! I have no need for any more art, in fact I kind of have more pictures than I have places to hang them, but I couldn't resist this cheerful piece (especially for $30!) Now I just need to figure out where it can fit.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why I love Craigslist

I hate paying full price. Whether it's home stuff, clothes or whatever else I spend my hard earned money on, I'm looking to get what seems like a deal to me.

So when I first bought my condo, and was spending all my money on bringing it out of the '80s, I was looking to stretch every penny I had to go from just about zero furniture to a full 600 or so square foot's worth.

Enter Craigslist, the place where secondhand furniture goes to be reborn. As I scanned through those listings for the first time, it was like I had found my mecca. I plunged straight into the world of the second hand deal and have never once looked back.

Like many of the newly converted, I felt the need to spread the Craigslist gospel. It's sad though. I espouse my love of Craigslist to all and sundry, and I'm met with skepticism and derision.

Isn't Craigslist just full of Grandma's crap? (Yes, that plus more!) Don't people ask ridiculous prices for their "beautiful, like new, 15 year old couch"? ( Yes, yes they do!) Am I going to bring BED BUGS into my home from second hand furniture? (Well, possibly, but hopefully not if you're careful! And scary fact - some retail stores have had bed bugs too. Shhh.)

Anyway, I've seen the Craigslist light and feel driven to share it with others. So in my next post, I am going to tell you how to find what you never knew you needed and unearth the furniture jewels from all the coal. As I have also experienced the joy of selling on Craigslist, I will also at some point soon give my tips for a safe and easy transaction.

Bur before I go ahead and give away all my secrets, and to show that I practice what I preach, I give you my living room:
Please excuse my amateur blurring of the view out my windows.

And now a source list:
See there? What's the number one source of furniture in my living room, in fact accounting for 50% of the major items showing? Why, it's the list of Craig. And just to explain why I love that guy so much, well let's just say I paid more for my Ikea items than I did for any item I bought second hand, including my sofa.

Coming soon: my personal tips and tricks for finding what you're looking for on that giant wall of text!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Case of the Disappearing Antenna

Now you see it...

Now you don't...

I have been using the Philips Silver Sensor for over 3 years to capture over the air high definition television. My position in the sky facing south means I get a large number of channels from both Toronto and Buffalo for free. Obviously, free is great.

What has not been great is having a big antenna pointing out the window at all times. It was too wide to hide behind the TV and so I had to have it on display at all times. I thought this was just what I had to live with in the name of free TV until I suddenly realised there might be other options out there.

Enter the Terk Omnidirectional Flat Antenna. Omnidirectional means the antenna can pick up signal from all directions. The Philips Silver Sensor is directional, meaning it needs to be pointed directly at the signal.

I found the Terk on Amazon for less than $50 and had it in my hands within about 48 hours*. And so far, so good.  It tucks in nicely behind the TV and picks up the channels I watch most often. I will have to pull it out towards the window for certain channels with weaker signals, but all in all, this is the solution I was looking for.

Now that I have solved that issue, I just need to sort out the mess currently happening behind my TV. It's very obvious from one angle.

But thankfully less obvious from the other more frequently seen angle.

My future plans include:
  • Covering the thermostat
  • Hiding the dvd player in a drawer (big plans for this, I hope it works!)
  • Moving my modem and router onto one of the shelves by drilling holes in the back of my tv unit
  • Covering up the air intake vent with a plant
  • Tacking the extension cord to the baseboard (after the baseboards have been freshly painted)

Yep, I have lots of plans.

But for now, I will just enjoy my free crystal clear TV picture without having to look at an unsightly antenna.

*The Amazon price has gone up since I ordered my antenna.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

And so a new year begins...

Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were fun filled and 2012 started with a bang.

I had a great time, I had the week between Christmas and New Year's off and spent a few days in Montreal with good friends bidding farewell to 2011. I have lots of plans for the upcoming year to share soon, but first thought I would show a few of the lovely gifts I received and sales items I purchased over the last couple of weeks.

Santa (aka my parents. Yes, I still get a stocking) was very good to me! Along with lots of chocolate and edible things, I received a few fun and useful kitchen items.

Egg-Perfect Egg Timer

I always struggle to get my boiled eggs just right, but this deceptively simple timer makes the process so easy. Just add it to the water with your eggs and the colour slowly changes as your eggs move from soft to medium to hard boiled.

I tried it for the first time last night and my eggs were perfect. The only downside is you have to actually be looking in the pot as the colour changes, but setting a timer to shortly before they should be done helps with that. I also read some reviews that talked about a burning plastic smell, but I didn't have that issue.

I have this oven mitt hanging on my oven door for when I need to check a baking sheet or stir some roasting vegetables. It has already become one of the most useful items in my kitchen.

I found some design books under the tree (one was a present to myself!) These are by a couple of my favourite design bloggers: Holly Becker from Decor8 and Grace Bonney from Design Sponge. I haven't had time to go through either book in any great depth yet, but both have amazing photos and seem so inspiring.

I bought the Moose from Indigo Books on sale. I love it so much I'm not planning to put it away any time soon. I think it can pass as a year round decoration item (or at least that's what I'm telling myself). This was the last one in store, but Moose and Squirrel globes are still available online.

And finally, I received the iPod docking system I was hoping for: the Geneva S! I love it, the sound is great and it looks pretty nice sitting in my living room. The bass is strong and it can get pretty loud (too loud for my condo!) I have listened to more music in the last week than I have in a long time. I'm not sure I would pay the regular $350 price for it, but on sale, it's a good buy.

And that rounds up some of my gifts from Christmas 2011! I hope the season was good to all of you too.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! I will be taking a break from this blog to celebrate the holidays, but will see you in 2012 with more ramblings. :)

Left to right; Ziggy, Bria (my parents' dogs) and Darcy

Monday, December 19, 2011

Update from my Parents' House

There have been many changes since the last time I posted an update on my parents' house.

The biggest change is that the dining room is finished!

And we're all really happy with out it turned out. When I last posted, my parents still wanted to add a rug and a buffet. Well, we found both in the last couple of weeks.

The buffet is from a Craigslist seller called YesterYears Treasures. He takes older pieces of furniture, updates them and then sells them on Craigslist. The buffet is perfect and looks like it was made for the dining room.

The rug is an indoor-outdoor rug from Crate and Barrel called Savannah Cane that looks just like a natural weave. It's perfect for a dining room, as if any food falls on it, it can just be taken outside and hosed down.

The former dining room now study/ office is also looking a little more put together.
Most of the furniture was just moved from the front room back, but the rug was formerly in my condo. I gave it to my parents as it was just perfect for their space. We all love the new seating area, it is so warm and cozy to sit there with a book and feet up on the ottoman. We also put up an oil rubbed bronze schoolhouse ceiling light from Union Lighting.

So just as a reminder, here is how the two spaces once looked.

And here they are today.

The only thing we are now looking for is a desk for the space where the Christmas Tree is currently sitting. The little desk that is currently next to the pine cabinet will go. And eventually the two armchairs need to be recovered, as they have a few rips and tears.