Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bath Pouff Makes Huffington Post and further instructions..

Yes the infamous Bath Puff costume that Girl Child and her friend made last Halloween has made the Huffington can see it HERE

Before I try to go over the instructions again below, (original instructions HERE) I want to mention that this costume was made with no instructions. A year ago there wasn't a bath puff on Google. Now there are hundreds

Each girl did it her own way. We did not document it at the time as we did not expect to become the experts on bath puffs. I spent a good 2 hours (and later countless emails) writing a tutorial, including a mini mock up and replying to emails. I did not, and do not make money from writing bath puff how to's. So, if you can follow my version, great, if not don't start emailing me and telling me that you wasted your money, it didn't work, your costume sucks and you are out gas money to Fabricland and back. There are no guarantee's. A little thought, plus the tutorials on these links and readers comments should please...don't get lathered up.

I posted instructions on how to make this costume before, however I am getting daily emails about it. Half of you had no problems, and half of you a lot of trouble. A quick overview follows, plus Bath Puff #2's method.

1. Buy NETTING.  Not Tulle
2. You need to create several smaller pouffs and attach them to yourself. Make the bunches like you would a pom pom. Fold fabric into layers, tie in middle and fluff up.
3. Attach them to yourself. Either pin them onto a body suit or tie each bundle onto a piece of elastic cut to fit your waist. Tie on several bundles. Then make another layer with another piece of elastic so you have little skirt like tutu like layers.
4. You may need more bundles so you may need t buy more fabric
5. Fluff yourself up by separating the layers.

Here is the way Bath Puff 2 made her costume.

I am "girl child's" friend in the photo. I made my loofa a tad differently so I'll post my instructions too.

I bought a simple black cotton stretch skirt, and black cotton stretch tube top from H&M ($8 each). Then I also cut the Tulle lengthwise into segments. TO be honest, I did not measure them. However I scrunched up each segment and held it together with an elastic and they were each about the size of a large bath puff. 
Next step: I pinned each segment to the shirt until it was full. Then I did the same to the skirt. I fluffed them up making sure you couldn't see any black fabric from my skirt or shirt. Then I added a few extra scrunched up tulle puffs and pinned them - just for added volume. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


When we decided to go ahead and build a pool, we interviewed 4 companies. We checked references, read BBB reports and then made a decision. We went with a Company that had over 29 years of experience in the pool building and landscaping business. As you can see we made the right choice!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

At home we have the best neighbors anyone could hope for. The kind you call when there's an emergency, the kind that let your dog out and bring you soup when you're sick. Most of our neighbors have lived here for over 25 years. Despite the houses being on the small side, none of us would think about moving because we just love the people so much.

In Florida, despite a creepy vacant house next door, we also have great neighbors. Key holders for our house, and beer and wine drinking buddies when we head South. Directly opposite we have the best kept house on the street. I am sure that when we bought the house, they were hoping we would promptly tidy up the front which had a moldy fence, railroad tie garden box and shabby trees. We've been working our way around the jobs that need doing. We had these two awful looking benches in the yard. I was afraid to sit on them given they were rotten and flimsy. Our good neighbor across the street told us he would fix them for us. Today we got his email. "looking forward to your return" it said, along with before and afters of the benches he has remade for us. 

He also told us we would need a machete to get rid of the rain forest growing in our gutters. Gutter man promptly booked!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Diane Keaton's Beverly Hills Spanish Colonial Revival Home

 Ralph Flewelling | Stephen Shadley | Gerald Clarke | Scott Frances | Peggy Sirota |

I think this would look prettier in the daytime, so you could see the gorgeous iron window grilles, arched doorway, Cuban tile roof. I love the 2 towers
I would love to copy this fireplace in our house.

A beautiful sightline from the arched doorway through to the loggia with fountain and onward through another arched doorway.

The Spanish tiled floors are weathered and beautiful

 Ralph Flewelling | Stephen Shadley | Gerald Clarke | Scott Frances | Peggy Sirota

Ever since purchasing our 1936 Monterey Style home in St. Petersburg, Florida, I've become a little obsessed with Spanish Colonial Revival and Mission Style homes. In my research on this style of home, I have discovered that Actress and Producer Diane Keaton has become a faithful restorer and preservationist of this style of home in California. She's also put together a couple of books, one of which I am reading right now...California Romantica. I am not sure if I can say written because the text is by D.J.Waldie and photos by Lisa Hardway and Paul Hester, but her compilation of photos in this book is fabulous. This is not about the decorating, purely about the stunning architecture. 

The house featured above was featured in Architectural Digest, I believe in 2008. You can read the article HERE.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Haphazard Arrangement

In the early 1990's I worked for a very high end design shop, in the capacity of Go Girl.....Go get me this...Go get me that.....Go make coffee for the wealthy ladies, as they shopped and liaised with their designers in their quest to make their grand homes even more beautiful. (although someone once said that "People with taste need money and people with money need taste" I thoroughly enjoyed it, learning the ropes of the design trade from an extremely talented, though sometimes difficult, owner. She used to tell clients she went to the New York School of Design, which delighted the client, but really meant she learned what she knew on the street, working the flea markets, working retail, browsing windows and watching carefully how the big designers operated.

One of the tasks I was assigned, presumably because I showed a bit of an aptitude for it, was flower arranging. Remember this was the 90's. Silk flowers were fashionable, and the Lakeshore Ladies used to bring huge silver tureens and antique blue willow vases, into the shop for me to fill with hundreds of dollars worth of silk flowers. The bigger and the more variety the better, these arrangements went home with the ladies to adorn their enormous dining tables and buffets and to delight guests on their front hall tables. 

It was kinda fun, but no floral piece I ever made, was EVER a reflection of my taste, nor would it fit in my suburban cottage of a house. If I had to pick between a massive, expensive arrangement or a $4.99 bunch of carnations, my heart would have to be with the lowly carnation.

Today's bunch were a treat for myself as I did a quick lunch time shop for Kitty treats and a chewy for Frenchie.....I spied them at the cash desk and popped them in my cart. They cheered my up after a morning of watching a drapery rod collapse under the weight of some very pricey drapes at a client's home.....luckily my installer is experienced. He politely ignored my obviously wrong choice in brackets and rods and suggested we cancel the install. He helped fold the new drapes and put them away and he re-installed the old drapes until I can sort out the hardware issue. I get very stressed when things mess up in a client home. It is easily solvable with a better rod and bracket, but in the meantime I have to tell my customer something's not right...and then I go away and over think my incompetence vs. the shoddy nature of the hardware fittings. But, I do have to eat the cost of the shoddy rod system, and the cost of having the installer come back again. So...I've lost about $350.00 today...

Tired and cranky, I tossed Frenchie his chewy, and popped the carnations into 2 little cream jugs that came as a gift from someone special in England many years ago, and placed them on the mantle to engage with the vibrant sunflower abstract painting.

Frenchie paraded around with his chewy, not sure whether to eat it or bury it, full of excitement and tail wags, moving this way and then, worried the cat would take it, or me, but finally settled on the rug beside me, glancing at me with delight but slobbering away on the bone......and suddenly, my grumpiness lifted, and I'm gearing up for dinner out with friends tonight, and a Sunday country drive for lunch out with my Sweet Mama.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

1. RH catalogue for baby and child 2. Cross from Mexico 3. A sliver box made in Barbados from a broken piece of china..a git from a friend) 4. Pretty filigree on this old wall lamp. 5. the pretty but unbalanced mug from Anthropologie 

I've been perusing baby names, and also names for grandparents in different cultures....since I was born in Kenya, I thought a Swahili name for the Raz Man and I would be fun. That would make me Bibi, and the Raz Man, Babu. No-one seems that impressed with this, but they don't realize I'm dead serious. If anyone has a good nick name for a granny and granddad, I'd love to hear it. I've also been looking at baby furniture...have you seen what Restoration Hardware has for babies...quite grand.

I always feel like baking in the Autumn...I've got a few banana loaves in the oven to repay kind neighbors who leave food on my front porch all the time. Last night my friend Disey knew I was on my own and dropped by a huge bowl of spicy meatballs and sausages in her homemade tomato sauce. You just can't beat that kind of neighbor. The other day I was eating a gorgeous coconut lemon square. The Raz Man asked where I got it. "on the front porch" I said. "who left it?" he asked....and I had to admit I had no idea, it was there when I got home from walking Frenchie. So, if you want to poison me, just leave cake on the porch, I'll eat first and ask questions later.

I loved this mug from Anthropologie despite not like initials on things. Love the colour of this, however, it's pretty but not so stable. The handle sits quite low and isn't very functional or comfortable when you have a full mug of tea.

Frenchie has recovered nicely from his surgery. The vet is so concerned about his fear of vets, she has me call from the parking lot and she comes outside to check him. A few cookies on the floor and those butt stitches were out without him knowing it. After a long walk in a few minutes, I'll be ready to settle in to watch the X Factor (I love L.A. Reid, when he really likes a song and starts bobbing and swaying his head and closes hi eyes). I'm also thrilled to have Dexter back (there's a name you cannot name your baby) and if anyone is looking to a FABULOUS AUSSIE drama, download RAKE. You'll love Richard Roxburgh playing the bad ass Cleaver Green.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Canadian Thanksgiving

Canadian Thanksgiving was yesterday. Unlike American Thanksgiving, we have a nice breather before Christmas and I am happy that we don't have back to back Holidays like my Southern friends. We've still got warm sunny days and cool nights, and the leaves turning yellow, orange and red provide us with a perfect backdrop for Thanksgiving.  

I was fortunate to be able to climb into bed at night with my kids under one roof and of course, my daughter in law with her growing tummy. We spent quite a while chatting about baby names and what the baby would call the grandparents. We were blessed with another house guest; my Daughter in Law's grandmother arrived with the Montreal contingent on Thursday night and it was wonderful to have her grace our Thanksgiving.

We seemed to brew endless cups of Nespresso and made our way through apple pies and spicy pumpkin bread, 2 turkey dinners and a recycling bins worth of wine and beer, and ice cold non-alcoholic beer for our mother-to-be. My mother and sister joined us for dinner and we have much to be thankful for this year. Since I'm not a fan of New Years, I think of Thanksgiving as my place marker, a time to reflect and to think. Last Thanksgiving we were celebrating at my son's wedding reception and the 365 days since have brought both joy and sadness to both sides of the family.

We were able to give thanks this past weekend for a Stem Cell Donor that is preparing to donate to a person most beloved to us. I really want to PLEAD with you to get on the list and register as a bone marrow or stem cell donor. HERE is a link for US readers. You can find the registry for your Country on Google. I have signed up. It involves a brief questionaire after which you are sent an envelope containing 3 cotton swabs. You swab the inside of you mouth and return the envelope in the post. The cells are analysed and your info stored confidentially until when or if you are needed. My cousin's life was saved by a bone marrow transplant when she was only 5 years old. She is now 28. PLEASE, PLEASE, register yourself and have the opportunity to save a life.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Feather vs. Poly

Time it took for the cat to try out the new sofa......5 minutes.....

My new sectional sofa arrived yesterday. It has huge squishy feather/down seats and a gorgeous linen slip cover. I have always wanted a sectional in this room so we can seat the whole family, however the Ektorp from Ikea was too long on the one end, and the Pottery Barn one was too high (7" higher than this), and so I had this one made by Gresham House..a local Trade Only Company with all Canadian made frames, seats and upholstery. I was so excited yesterday when it arrived.

It meets the Raz Man's criteria of having to be Nap Worthy, and it appears that Hanna Cat approves......I swear that cat know the difference between a feather pillow and a poly one.