What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

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I am gathering with dear friends to sip, nosh and dance.
Oh, and to laugh, I suspect– to laugh a lot.

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Here are some images to inspire you this final day of 2013.
Thank you so much for stopping by every now and then– I look forward to seeing you in the new year!

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Bonne Année!

 

 

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Heads Up!

I hope you had a lovely Christmas, if that is what you celebrate. If not, I hope you had a nice few days off to rest and relax. We had a wonderful day with family, following a few days of the warm company of our dearest friends, LHR and GraphicDefiner.

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In addition to all the regular festive preparations, we were also pretty darned busy getting Delovely HQ in ship-shape for the arrival of all our guests. The weekend prior to their arrival, the Mr and I spent some quality time with power tools and paint brushes, sprucing up the master bedroom. Not that anyone besides us stays in there, but it is the first thing one sees upon climbing the stairs, so I wanted it to look nice.

So, let’s begin, shall we? First, I had to paint and repair my groovy faux taxidermy bargains. (As you know, often a bargain comes with the caveat that the item is damaged.) You’ve already had a sneak peek at the golden ibex makeover, but here is how I went about fixing the hole-y ram’s horn.

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First, I looked around to see what I supplies I had on-hand
& then I worked a bit of plastic (haha!) surgery magic:

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Using the glue as a kind of shellac/glue hybrid, I pasted a scrap of cotton fabric over the hole. The topcoat of glue helped to seal the hole and to allow the fabric to harden into a paintable surface. I made sure to use cotton so that the glue would saturate it nicely and so that the fabric was soft enough to be worked into the grooves in the horn. I let it dry overnight, sprayed it with some primer and then painted it up with my beloved Blackberry Punch.

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In the meantime, our new bed had created a bit of a wrinkle in Operation Master Bedroom Spruce-Up: the colour of the bed, while grey, is a much blue-er grey than the warm grey on the walls. The result? Jarring and kinda hideous. Suddenly, I found myself faced with having to repaint the bedroom. Le sigh.

Off I trotted to get some sample pots. I painted big swatches of each colour on each wall of our bedroom; I wanted to make sure that I could see how each one “read” in the changing light throughout the day, and to make sure that I got a sense of those changes from every angle. One of the things I loved best about our former paint colour was how it shifted and altered as the light in the room changed over the course of the day.

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Paint Colour Swatches:
1. Dark Pewter
2. Pewter
3. Downpour
4. Chinchilla
5. French Silver

We lived with enormous splotches of 5 different paint colours on our walls for weeks before I finally committed to Chinchilla, by Martha Stewart. Um, yes, that is the colour that appears to be invisible in the photos… Ahem. My favourite colour was actually Down Pipe, but both the Mr and I were concerned that it might make the room too dark– we both love our sunny southern exposure. Chinchilla is very similar to our former shade, Mount Rainier by the now-defunct Ralph Lauren line of paint, but it is bluer. I don’t love it the way I loved the former shade (I fear it makes our trim and dressers look too yellow… hello, decor snowball…), but it does look good with the bed. 🙂

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The little guy is sporting a nod to Christmas decor.

I will post a proper tour of Operation Master Bedroom Spruce-Up once we have a day sunny enough for me to take some quasi-decent photos. I’d like you to see the whole effect, from antique French sconce-supports to new dhurrie rug, to new bedding. But for now, I hope you like this little glimpse of the faux taxidermy and the cute print (by local lovely, Steph Sterjovski!) I picked up to go with the “heads.”

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‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

…and I finally got around to doing some festive baking!

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We are among the very lucky ones who were not affected by the ice storm and the widespread power failures that have left so many people without power or heat in these terribly cold days, so I was able to do a bit of baking to take to our neighbours. I love to bake for the holidays and it is always a pleasure to do so, but this year I was also full of gratitude to be warm and cosy in our well-lit, comfortable house. My heart goes out to all those who are still waiting for the lights and heat to come back on.

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I made my annual batch of chocolate shortbread cookies, jazzing them up a bit this year by dipping them in melted chocolate and sprinkling them with chopped-up candy canes. I added some peppermint extract to the melted semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate, just to give it a bit of festive flair.

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I wrapped them up in tubes of parchment paper, tied up with some green velvet ribbon, and delivered them to the neighbours, but I bet Santa would be happy to find a plate of these waiting for him this evening as he makes his rounds!

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Warm Glow

 Our dining room is FINALLY nearing completion. I still have a few bits of “artwork” to hang on the walls & I need to get a decent pad for under the rug, but I was so excited to get the lights up that I couldn’t resist Instagramming some photos of them.

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To my utter delight, @westelmtoronto re-grammed & tweeted my image of our dining room!
Talk about a warm glow. 🙂 Thanks for the shout-out, West Elm!

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Once I get things all set in the dining room, I’ll do a proper post.

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Via Pinterest.

Confessions of a bad blogger: things in the realm of pre-holiday prep are a bit off the rails at Delovely HQ.
Oh, I had plans, Interwebz, I had plans. In my head, I had oh-so-many lovely posts lined up for you. But there have been speed bumps (see spontaneous shorting-out of new pendant lighting in master bedroom; cack-handed hanging of artwork over bed that now needs to be taken down, holes patched & repainted, blah, blah, blah; dining room still unfinished and currently housing queen box spring; giant sculpture belonging to a friend still sitting smack in the centre of my living room…) and, as a result, there has been nary a cookie baked, there is a very long list of stocking stuffers and other gifts yet to be purchased, and the blog has been languishing most un-festively. The aforementioned are not excuses, just explanations.

In the spirit of offering solace (and maybe inspiring you to whip up something pretty and yummy!), I give you this bit of deliciousness. It’s almost too pretty to eat, isn’t it?

Via 100 Layer Cake.

Via 100 Layer Cake.

Find the recipe & Jessica Foster‘s gorgeous images here.

In my travels around the interwebz, I found this pretty little way to add festive flare to a holiday dessert.

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And that led me to discover the highly addictive Sweet Tooth blog.
Off you go, fall down the rabbit hole of loveliness.

You’re welcome & have a great weekend.