Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Large Scale Photo Art.

We are snowed in today on PEI. I love love love a good snowstorm! The ones where you have no choice but to stay home and everything completely shuts down. Out my window, all I see is a white fluffy wonderland of blustery snow. Feels cozy and warm in here!

Inside, I'm surrounded by white as well. Before Christmas, we gave the whole living room a coat of crisp white paint. When I say whole, I mean walls, trim, fireplace, built-ins, the whole deal. Of course, it took longer than I anticipated and I never wanted to see another paint brush again, but I love how it all turned out.

I'll show more on the whole space another day but today, I wanted to share the refreshed fireplace. When I moved into the house, the fireplace was red brick and I covered it in many many layers of primer and white paint in an attempt to give it a little update. It worked out fairly well and stayed that way for several years. However, when I painted the walls white, the fireplace looked absolutely terrible against the crisp white walls. I expected it to appear a bit yellow but I didn't anticipate the dull grey. It absolutely had to go.. asap.

We thought the smart thing to do would be to tape it off and spray paint the brick. Unfortunately, that didn't work at all and we ended up having to tackle it using a paint brush and dabbing paint into all the nooks and crannies. Thankfully, Steph took on this job, while I repainted the built in. You can see the difference in colors. I can't believe how different it looks.

Ultimately, I'm thrilled with how it turned out. It feels so bright and clean!

My favorite part, however, is the large scale photograph that we hung above the mantel. I was contacted by Posterjack, an online photo printing company, a few months ago about trying out one of their products. I knew right away that I wanted to do some sort of large scale photograph over the mantel so I jumped at the opportunity.

I chose to upload one of the beach photos that I'd taken during our summer cottage vacation. I used their editing software to change it to black and white and chose to print it as a 28 X 42 Satin Matte Poster.

When it arrived we removed it from the mailing tube and trimmed it slightly to fit into the largest Ikea Ribba frame, without the matte (27 1/2 X 39 1/4). I really like the proportions with the scale of the mantel.

Christmas was easy in terms of decorating the mantel but I've struggled with it since then. I don't want it to appear too busy since the built-in cabinet beside it is so full of books and objects. I also don't like it completely bare either. For now, I have a few plants and occasionally some flowers. I'm sure inspiration will strike one of these days.

It's been a while since I posted. Life has been busy but I think of my blog and its reader often. I'm not ready to abandon it just yet! I hope those of you who are in the path of the storm are cozy at home today! 

*Posterjack provided me with the printing of the poster. I am happy with the product and wouldn't hesitate to use Posterjack again.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Outdoor Christmas Pots.

I can't even believe that Christmas is so quickly approaching! I set the goal that I would have all my Christmas shopping finished by the 12th and I'm realizing this is only days away... I'm on the right track but doubtful that I'll be done by then. Oh well! I did, however, have the tree and the outdoor pots on the agenda for the weekend and got those two things accomplished!

Here is a little peek at the front porch with the outdoor pot I through together.

I used spruce and pine boughs, birch branches, red berries and a few warm white lights.

My dad makes the the Joy and other nativity scenes. I think it looks pretty sharp with the red front door.

So pretty with a little dusting of soft snow.

I meant to put up a fresh greenery wreath but didn't get around to it. I think my red fall wreath may work double duty this year.

 How about you? Do you do any decorating outdoors? Do you use natural elements?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Christmas Projects Past.

I'm starting to think about getting started on my Christmas decorating! We are supposed to get a significant snowfall tomorrow so I'm assuming it may put me in the spirit.

I'm also going to take the opportunity to go through my decorations and do a bit of a purge. I used to go a little wild when decorating and now I enjoy a more restrained approach so a lot of things haven't been used for the last few years. Someone (my mom?) may be getting some new decorations!

Last night a took a look back at some of the decorating and projects I've shared, here on Modern Jane. Let's have a peek at some of those, shall we?

I also came across this photo and it made me a little sad. That was our one and only Christmas with the Zorb. Any readers remember the Zorb? That was such a pretty tree.

How about you? Anyone started their Christmas decorating yet? 

You may notice things look a little different around here. Needing a change, I had my blog design revamped by Designer Blogs. It feels so clean and simple. Hope you like it!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

MacAusland's Wool Blankets.

I had a few inquiries about the blankets we used on the beds in the bunk room so I thought I'd do a post about them.

A while back, House and Home magazine did a spread on wool blankets and I remember being shocked at the prices listed on the blankets. While I wouldn't disagree that the featured blankets were beautiful, I wasn't prepared to fork out that kind of money. I knew that we had a wool mill, here on the island, and decided to look into the product and the prices.

MacAusland's Woolen Mills is a family owned business located in western PEI. I first checked out their website and while they offered some good information, I decided I might as well take a trip out to the mill and see it for myself. I was on summer break (ah, the life of teacher!) and decided to make a day of it.

The sign at the entrance. The mill is actually called MacAusland's Woolen Mill.

Guests are welcome to walk around and see how the wool and blankets come to be. I took the opportunity to snoop around for a bit. It was dark, dusty, loud and totally cool. 

I also learned a few things. The family owned mill first operated as a sawmill beginning in 1870, then began producing woolen yarn in 1902 and blankets in 1932. That means it's been in the family over the course of three centuries! Located in western PEI, it now operates as the only mill in Atlantic Canada, and one of the few in North America, that produces 100% virgin wool blankets.

I was totally impressed with the whole process and found the blankets to be something to treasure, upon seeing them in person. I was also pleased to see that the blankets were really quite affordable and decided I definitely wanted to go that route for the bunks.

I first purchased the blankets in the twin size in Light Gray. Once I got them home, I realized that I had made a mistake and should have chosen the Dark Gray. They didn't have any in stock but make them custom and they were ready for me within a little over a month. I didn't mind waiting.

Just to answer a few questions that were asked..

How much were the blankets?
I paid $76 each for the twin size. See the pricing guide here.

Are the blankets available in other colors or sizes?
There are a lot of different options. See a list of products here.

Are the blankets soft?
Yes, in a way. They are extremely soft considering they are made with wool. However, I did layer a soft fleece blanket underneath each of them.

Does the mill ship?
They certainly do but are not set up for online ordering. You have to call or email directly to place your order. See contact information here.

*I was not compensated for this post. I simply love sharing products I love and supporting local businesses.