posts filed under the 'crafts' category :
December 18th, 2011

Christmas Crafts and Decor

Time is limited folks! I am smack in the middle of pre-Christmas-Sunday-Family-Holiday-Programming!!! But I wanted to share some of my Christmas Crafts and Decor with you!!!grape vine star

I was going to do this with driftwood, but I didn’t get a chance to scour the beaches yet for my driftwood stockpile, so I used some dried grape vine I had from an old arrangement. Jeff claims it’s a little Blair-Witchy, but I say Christmas Star all the way!

Next, I found THIS on pinterest, and had to give it a go. People always scoff when I say I save my corks to someday make a project, but to all those scoffers: how do ya like ‘dem wreathes!?cork wreath

I was going to document making this as a buoy bird craft, but the camera settings were all wonky and even after photoshop lightening the pics were STILL this dark!

cork wreath suppliesstringing corks

Eh, no biggie, instructions here! :)

Next was one of my favorite 2011 decorations. I found the most BEAUTIFUL hand cut paper snowflakes that my ridiculously talented friend Joanna made me a few years back, and I always wanted a special way to display them.

joanna's snow flakes

These babies deserved to be in a giant frame (found roadside in ol’ TO years ago)!

Some 1/2 off flowers for a cheery Christmas arrangement, a Tree, and I dare say we are ready for Christmas around these parts!

Christmas FlowersChristmas Tree 2011

Or at the very least, the Christmas Party we had this past Friday! Stay tuned to see how that turned out!

christmas elf 2011

Merry Hoho Everyone!

ps: MUCH love to my sweet boyfriend for making my blog “snow” yet again this Holiday season :) xo

December 9th, 2011

Christmas, Christmas time is here…

Oh Happy Day! I loves me some Christmas!

Jeff and I went and found our tree on Sunday, and started our first Christmas tradition since arriving back in NS! We found the perfect u-pick/u-cut farm a few communities over, and made a day out of driving through the coastal country-side on our way there. On the way home we stopped in the beautiful town of Chester, where we had a warm dinner and great beers in Nova Scotia’s oldest rural pub, The Fo’c’sle Tavern.

jeff and vikki's tree hunttree loveManly manfo c'sleYou may recall me bragging in the past about my supurb Christmas Tree  pickin’ skills. Actually, words weren’t spoken in the past, but isn’t a photo worth a thousand words? Well, this year I’m saying it: I pick a mean Christmas Tree!

Tree 2011We’re calling it a Chew-Humphrey Hybrid. A Humphrey Tree is historically known as one that is almost as fat around as it is tall. Mr. Chew happens to come from a home where the perfect “A” shaped tree is favored. I think we found a nice middle ground. :)

Our star from trees of years past has never been my favorite thing, and seeing as I come from a family where there is much love and tradition surrounding the Christmas Tree Star, I just knew I had to create something that could stay with us for years to come that would compliment our own tradition and style. So…..

christmas starI made it myself: you like??? :) Well, I glued lights to a pre-made grape-vine star, but it is just perfect for what is going to be the best country-coastal tree you ever did see!

And isn’t it truly a Christmas home once you have your lights on the tree? There is nothing like sitting in the living room with all lights off except a glowing Christmas Tree. I’m especially thrilled that we get to show off our tree in our big picture window: you can literally see it when you come around the bend up the road, and it gives me the feeling that I am truly coming home to OUR home. *sigh*

lit treeMerry Christmas Everyone! I hope your holiday season is starting off as happily as ours is!

Stay tuned for complete tree decorating; I’m making some fun changes this year! :) xo

***oh my, just realize it’s “Christmas, Christmas time is NEAR”, not here… which in the blog post’s case is actually more appropriate!

December 1st, 2011

anchor wreath update!

Ya know when something isn’t quite right? Well, the tiny little red bow on that anchor wreath just hasn’t been sitting right with me, sooo…

new bow…I *jujjed* it up a bit. :) Off to continue decking the halls! xo

December 1st, 2011

our anchor wreath

It’s December 1st, meaning… IT’S CHIRSTMAS!!!! :D

Now of course I know it’s not accctually Christmas, but the Advent calenders are out and Jeff is consuming that awful Advent calender-chocolate, so that mean I can say, “IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!”

It was serendipitous that I happened to not be working on December 1st, as it’s allowed me to jump right into my Holiday crafting/decorating/over-indulging. And keeping with the trend of turning our little sea-side cottage into a nautical extravaganza, I figured I’d bring the holidays and the sea-theme together, and I came up with this:

anchor wreath

Move over simple, round Christmas wreath, you’ve been replaced by the new kid in town.

I have been brain-storming about this one for a few weeks now, and although I originally thought it was going to require a mess of chicken wire as a frame, I soon found out that chicken wire ain’t cheap in old NS, and I wasn’t shelling out 16 bucks when I only needed 2 feet. Plan B: Coat hangers.

shape coat hanger

I started by shaping my coat hanger into one side of the anchor. One coat hanger did one “side”, and I replicated the shape so I was left with 4 curvy bits of hanger. Four coat hangers = FREE from my friendly neighbourhood dry cleaner!

coat hanger template

I knew I wanted to double up my coat hangered-garland, so I had two coat hangers per side.

coat hangers doubled up

Next, I attached evergreen garland ($6 for 3 bunches) to each individual coat hanger shape with zip ties. I found really tiny zip ties so that they would be easily hidden when all was said and done.

garlandmini zip tagsattach garland to hanger

The garland was wired and it took to the shape of the coat hangers pretty well, so I just attached with the zip ties every few inches. And I know that some of you might be thinking, “What’s the point of the hangers if the garland is wired?” Well, the garland isn’t THAT strong, and it would definitely droop and not hold its shape, so in this case the coat hangers are the strong, sturdy base. And doesn’t every good project being with good bones?

Once I had two of the coat hangers covered in garland, I laid ’em out to see the basic gist of where my anchor wreath was going. And just as I suspected, only one layer of garland looked skinny and sparse.

thin wimpy wreath

I doubled that bad boy up and now I had the beginnings of a nice beefy anchor wreath.

big beefy wreath

I continued on to my third coat hanger, and once completed I realized that if I added a fourth, the middle shaft of my anchor was going to be MUCH beefier than the rest. So instead, I just added extra small pieces of garland to the bottom and top sections of the third hanger.

three separate garland hangers

Put it together and:

starting to look like an anchor

Ta-da! Dense foliage all over!

Next I had to figure out what I was going to use as the circle at the top of my wreath (I later realized I could have use an *actual* small wreath for this, but my way was more fun ;) ).

lobster trap opening

Any guesses as to what that is? No, I did not make it myself… No, we have not found Blair Witch-like crafts hanging in our back woods…

It’s the opening of an OLD lobster trap! I picked a couple of them up from my new friend when I got these, and they happened to come in handy sooner than I expected! It’s amazing that all this stuff use to be made by hand. Fishermen of days gone by: you have my respect.

So I covered my round lobster trap opening in garland, the same as the hangers…

round anchor top

And took a step back to eye-ball where I was heading.

lookin good


Next I had to attach the whole kit and kaboodle, so using bigger zip ties, I connected all my pieces.

bigger zip tagsattach all the pieces

I gave all the zip ties a trim…

trim zip ties

And Voila! Evergreen anchor!

evergreen anchor

A red bow ($1 for two!) for some flair…

pretty red bow

And there you have it! A nautical take on a Holiday classic.

anchor wreath hung

Of course the final step of calling your boyfriend outside to justify your crazy craft is optional. ;)

my Christmas elf

Happy December Everyone! xo

UPDATE!!! Anchor Wreath got an upgrade later that day! Check it out HERE! :) 

Post *linked up* to Sally Lee by the Sea’s Holiday Link Party!


November 13th, 2011

a perfect sunday evening

Hello friends! I know I keep coming back and sharing not-so-exciting/informative updates, skipping over all the details of new-home-ownership, but sometimes one just gets caught up in the simpler moments.

perfect sunday nightSuch as a Sunday night filled with cottage magazines, local wine, and making your first monkey’s fist knot! A perfect quiet night here in Bayside. :)

Buuuut, I promise to get my buns into gear and get posting about more home-related things, such as:

  • The Move-In (gotta get on that, it’s been over a month!)
  • A Halloween 2011 recap
  • Things being painted white, white, and more white
  • An inspiration board or two for upcoming projects
  • How freakin’ excited I am for our first Christmas in our first home!

All good things coming your way! Stay tuned! xo

*tutorial on the monkey’s fist here!



October 28th, 2011

happy halloween!!!

Hello lovely friends :) I hope you are gearing up for a spooky weekend; we here at 4389 certainly are (whoa, 406 no more!)! However, with the move-in, things have been MUCH tamer this year with regards to Halloween (much to poor Jeff’s disappointment :( ). It’s just been difficult to find the time with the unpacking, working (Jeff), job-hunting (Me), and all around getting settled.

BUT! Are Spooky Chew and Icky Vikki going to let a Halloween just pass them by!? NEVER! Behold! The Buoy Bird Halloween Craft of 2011:

Good House Keeping Spider Pumpkin

image from Good House Keeping

You might recall last year when I came up with this spooky little treat: great fun :) When I found this year’s craft online last night I thought why not share it with you and make the BB Halloween Craft an annual event!

For this year’s craft you need to meet the following requirements:

  • NOT have Arachnophobia (fear of spiders)
  • NOT have Arsonphobia (fear of fire)
  • NOT have Cucurbitophobia (fear of pumpkins… seriously, google it!)

Must procure:

  • cute mini pumpkins (color of your choosing)
  • black pipe cleaners
  • tea lights (dip into that bag o’ 100 that everyone has in a drawer somewhere)
  • tracing devices, knives, and fancy carving tools of your choosing

spider pumpkin suplies

First, remove the wax portion of the tea light from its casing. It makes tracing the diameter on top of the pumpkin much easier. Trace your circle, erring on the smaller side so that you don’t end up with too big a hole (which would allow your candle to fall right in).

trace your tealight

Next, pick your carving tool and lop off the top of that gourd! Again, keep on the inner edge of the circle: always better to be too small and make it bigger later.

knives and kitties

Spot the mischievous feline? BLK (bad little kitty).

Next, gut that cute little guy (the pumpkin, not the BLK)! Scrape out as much pumpkin-goo as you can, and take a big whiff: it’s the smell that brings you back to childhood pumpkin carving; a special smell usually encountered only around this time of year (unless you are a year-round pumpkin pie maker: I’m looking at you Doms! xo)

gutting the pumpkin

Next, return your candle to its casing, and squeeeeeeze your candle into the hole. The tin-cased tea lights have some give, so you really can wedge it in there, but if need be, widen your opening a little, but make sure to keep it a snug fit. Push it down to be as flush as possible without it falling into the pumpkin. When it does fall in (which it will unless you are an expert unlike myself) fish it back out, wash the pumpkin-goo off your fingers, and try again.

insert your tealight

Next, mark out where you want to place your spidey legs. Fake being a lefty if need be for the sake of getting a non-blurry shot with your dominant hand. Use a sharp knife to make tiny circles into the pumpkin flesh, deep enough so that the pipe cleaners will push into the softer flesh with ease.

cut leg holes

Fold your pipe cleaners in half and cut in the middle (4 pipe cleaners = 8 spidey legs). Insert your pipe cleaners into the leg holes, until you end up with what looks like a scared spider, all 8 legs raised in surprise!

insert legs

Bend the pipe cleaners at the tip to make little feet, and then again in the middle-ish of the leg to make “knees”.

bend legs

Find somewhere spooky for your new friend, and light that bad-boy up! TA-DA! There you have your very own spooky spider pumpkins! You can add eyes, a face, etc. if you wish, but I liked the classic, clean look of the white pumpkins. Even without creepy bug eyes, you get the picture.

pumpkin spiders

Oh! This is a good time to mention: NEVER EVER EVER leave your candles unattended, especially if you’re working with home-made holders. Trust me: the Christmas Party Fire of ’08 was a close brush with disaster (another story for another time), and I don’t want a cute Halloween decoration turning into tragedy. There, due diligence done! :)

I hope you enjoyed this year’s craft (original inspiration found here)! If you have any holiday crafts you’d like to share please add ’em in the comments section (I’m even already prepping for *the-holiday-with-the-­big-jolly-red-guy-that-is-not-to-be-mentioned-until-after-Halloween* ;) )!

Happy Halloween Everyone! xo

ps: I’ll be back next week with more new-house updates, promise, promise!

June 4th, 2011

seven stories

Ok, that title is deceiving because I really only have ONE story to share with you today, but you’ll see where I’m going.

I CAN NOT believe that Buoy Bird is almost one year old, and I haven’t shared this with you yet! This window frame-turned-mirror is one of my favorite things that I have ever created for our home, and one of the items I get the most compliments on, yet here I have been, keeping it from you. mirror window frame

You likie? I made it mysellllf :) Well, kinda. So the story goes that I was in a production of Seven Stories by Morris Panych about 3 or 4 years ago. The play is about a man (or in our case, a wo-man!) standing on the ledge of a building, contemplating his/her life and death, and through a series of opening and closing windows, he/she gets to consider the options from a number of different takes and POVs.

To get the effect of being on the side of a building, our set was built at least TWELVE FEET off the ground (yes, it was as scary as it sounds.) and there were double door windows all along the set, which we would pop out from throughout the show. The windows were these great, old, chippy-white-paint wooden beauties, and after the show closed, I begged our set designer to bestow one upon me. I was in luck: there was a spare window in the shop that he had been using to replace the set’s panes of glass with (like, for instance, when one of the actors accidentally put their hand right through the very real glass pane mid-show. Again with the scary.)

I lugged my score home, and it sat under bed, sofa, desk, etc. for months and months. Then came upon me the great idea to get some mirror into those empty frames! Luckily, I am an experienced glass cutter (stained glass university electives WHAT!?), and had all the material on hand to create my work o’ art. Armed with a couple crappy full length mirrors, my glass cutting tools, and some caulking, I whipped this baby up, hung it above the sofa, and have been enjoying all that reflective, crackly-paint goodness ever since. mirror window frame2

And ya wanna know who I get the most compliments from about this? MEN! They love it! The men who have passed through our doors mention it right away, and some even long after they leave, stating that it’s their favorite thing about our decor.

Well all I can say is me too boys, me too. :)

May 3rd, 2011

i *heart* 406 media

23 days!? Really? It’s really been 23 days since I last updated Buoy Bird!? Shame. On. Me. I’m sorry BB followers; I could offer you a plethora of excuses, ranging from general pre-summer blah to spending most online hours house hunting, but I will simply ask for your forgiveness. I *heart* you!

But, as the title states, I too *heart* 406 media! I mean, sure I’m biased, its owner being my boyfriend/best friend/all around awesome guy, but hear me out! My man took the leap less than a year ago to become a self-employed sole proprietor, pursuing his *second true love of web nerd-ery, and he hasn’t looked back. Going out on your own takes ridiculous bravery, skill, and determination, and Jeff has not been short in any of these areas. And it’s paid off! His client list and portfolio speaks for itself, and he daily wakes up to a girlfriend grumbling about the fact that he gets to stay in the nice warm house while she trudges out into a rainy May day.

Seeing as our residence IS also Jeff’s place of employ, I figured we needed to mark it as such. I decided to make him a little treat.the beginning

Off to Michael’s I went with no more than a destination: the route was to be inspired by whatever the shelves had to offer.paintspaint mixed

After much time, money, and drool, I finally made it out alive. Seriously, our *house down payment fund* is lucky that Michael’s is two subway rides and a walk away, else we could kiss this home ownership thing bye-bye! But I digress.

Michael’s offered up most of the supplies, but an impromptu stain made up of paints and mediums from under the sink helped accomplish that rustic vibe that Mr. 406 loves oh-so-much.a little glue

This seriously might be one of the simpler projects I’ve ever whipped up, but it was still loads of fun warning Jeff to “stay out of the kitchen!” whilst making it.stamp padmy fav nerd

And I got to put my awesome new stamp supplies to good use. Nerds + Crafters = True Love Always.and done

And VOILA! 406 media attains its first (and Jeff claims only [so sweet!]) sign! Not only am I grateful to Jeff, as he literally built Buoy Bird for me, but I am so proud of him and his accomplishments. A sweet little sign is the least I could do to show him my love and support.406 media

Show him a little love of your own and check out all of his work over at his website. Tell him the grumbly rainy-day gal sent ya ;)

*(ahem! The first being me, of course! ;) )

March 23rd, 2011

the big news

Snow!? Seriously? Lots and lots of SNOW!?! Ugggggghhhh…

…but I digress.

So, I mentioned on Monday that you may have noticed my little “home design” blog being particularly light on the “home design”, and stated that there is a reason for that.

Well, the reason is: WE’RE MOVING BACK TO NOVA SCOTIA! Ahhh, just saying the words makes me think of salty-aired mornings and family within a two hour drive.

Now let’s not jump the gun: we’re not moving YET. Jeff and I decided last October that we would have one last (awesome) Toronto summer, heading back to the ol’ NS in September/October of 2011. So far, so good, as we’ve started saving, scouting, and getting the word out to close family and friends.

Guys, we couldn’t be more thrilled. Toronto has been an amazing chapter in our lives, teaching us patience, open-mindedness , and lessons in growth and happiness . It’s just time to “go home”. We always said TO was never a *forever* thing, and after 5 years of schooling, working, partying, and living to the max, we’re ready to move on to the next chapter. This includes buying our first home (YAY!), buying our first car (DOUBLE YAY!), and really settling into our chosen careers.

So with this decision I guess I started envisioning the future, and put a lot of current home-updates on hold. Don’t get me wrong: I haven’t “checked out” of Toronto living yet. Jeff and I just both decided that it might not be as fruitful to keep bringing things *IN* when we shortly plan on moving *OUT*. So the little apartment has been pretty much the same; no major changes (although I am DYING to paint the bedroom white… we’ll see).

What I can share with you are some of the pre-existing projects around the house! I always forget that I made these things before Buoy Bird’s launch, and have to remind myself that although they are not “new to me”, they could be “new to you”! So on that note, here’s a little project I whipped up sometime last year: a MUCH needed jewelry rack!jewelry rack wide

My earrings were everywhere, and with two very mischievous kittens always looking for something to bat around, I had to figure out a way to get my precious (and not so precious) gems up out of kittens’ reach.earrings upclose

I can’t remember if I saw this idea online, but I do remember seeing something similar done with chicken wire when I featured Freedom Clothing Collective! If I could populate my jewelry board with their beautiful wares, I would be an even happier lady.

I used 1/8 inch pegboard to start. I had a great old frame laying around, so after painting each item white before assembling (always best for cleanest results), I glued the pegboard into the frame, and voila! Many little holes for my earrings to hang from! I also needed storage for long necklaces and bangles, so I decided to add a few small knobs to hang things from.knobs

Here is the back of the pegboard to show how the knobs are attached. One of the knobs worked from the back to front (right hand side), and because I didn’t have anything to cut the too-long bolt with, I just used a stack of washers to take up space.screw backs

I also added a small white box to the lower corner of the whole unit, to store things like stud earrings and loose pendants.little box

I attached the box in a similar fashion to the knobs.trinket box screws

A quick piece of hanging wire on the back, and my jewelry rack was in business! It has become much more filled up since its inception, so perhaps a chicken wire version will soon be in order!jewelry rack long

And how could I not feature this: the sign which hangs next to the rack (and above the toilet):if you sprinkle

“If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie wipe the seatie”! We had this sign in our camper when I was a kid , so when I saw it a couple years back in a roadside gas stop, I had to grab it. Not only do people get a kick out of it, but it’s a worth while reminder too!

Well, I hope you guys enjoyed the project, and we would LOVE to hear your feedback on our big decision. We are certainly going to miss many things about Toronto (mostly people!), but look on the bright side: you’ll have a cozy place to stay when you wanna get away to the east coast (which I will be pressuring you plenty to do ;) ). Much love to all our friends and family, both in TO and in NS; we appreciate all your love and support, and we love you!

***Linking today’s post on Faded Charm’s White Wednesday, Savvy Southern Style’s Wow Us Wednesday, A Beach Cottage’s Good Life Wednesday, DIY by Design’s Swing Into Spring, Debbiedoo’s Blogging and Blabbing Newbie Linkup, and My Backyard Eden’s Make It Yours Day!


February 19th, 2011

yah, we’re havin’ a party

Aw, the immortal words of Mr. Rod Stewart. It is that groovy attitude that fills the air today; the day of Dev and Ern’s ENGAGEMENT PARTY!hearts strings

Oh, I’m not giving it all away! Just a couple hints, a couple allusions of what is to come.seaglass

This is all very fun for us as it is usually Devon and Ernie throwing the parties for us. Keeping them mostly in the dark about this one has left us giddy with excitement.stars

We’ll see you tonight, love birds! ;)

(special thanks to my gals at Love It A Lot for certain inspiration; more on that tomorrow!)