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.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Bunk Room Reveal.

I suppose this post was a long time coming! It seems like forever ago that I started  talking about the trials and tribulations of the bunk room. For some reason, I just didn't get around to blogging about it. Or about anything else for that matter! Just to back track a little, here is a little background on the room. 

We needed a functional room for the kids when they come up on the weekend. The room also had to be super functional to make use of the small space. We came up with a few must haves for the tiny room:
  • Must fit two beds.
  • Easy to keep clean and organized.
  • Space for storage. This house doesn't have a linen closet or a coat closet.
Let's take a peek back at what it looked like in the beginning.

We stripped off the hideous yellow floral wallpaper, only to discover the walls were in terrible condition underneath. This led to a whole lot of plastering and then the inevitable decision to cover the walls in paintable wallpaper.

Next, Steph built out the wall and started framing for the bunk beds. 
I'll share more on this process in another post. 

 We wallpapered the walls in a paintable beadboard paper and gave it all a coat of BM Chantilly Lace.

It all started to come together from there. We are pretty happy about how it turned out and so far it's been easy to keep tidy and organized! 

The whole process of getting this room to where it is now was a challenging one. We ran into lots of problems along the way. We had just finished the big bathroom reno and perhaps we assumed this one was going to be a walk in the park. We definitely thought wrong.. although, I suppose even time has passed that we've almost forgotten:)

It's not a very big room but we certainly made use of it all. Knowing traditional bunk beds were going to take up too much room, Steph came up with the idea of  "floating" bunks. They take up very little space and provide the more modern look we wanted for the space.

There was enough space under the bottom bunk to slide a row of baskets underneath. These have been great for storing backpack on the weekend instead of having them on the floor. We also added sconces to the wall above each bed for reading in bed at night.

The bunks are of course my favorite part of the room and the ladder is no exception. Steph welded that one afternoon and it suits the bunks perfectly. A man of many talents!

The little armoire was from Ikea, years ago. I gave it a couple of coats of white trim paint and it fit perfectly in the space between the bunks and the wall. It acts as my linen closet with lots of space for towels, sheets and extra blankets. 

I put a couple of felt baskets on top that basically hold little odds and ends that I pick up.. we are a family of clutter bugs! The felt is great for pulling on and off without scratching the paint. We also cut down an Ikea floating shelf to fit and put up a few decor items.

This little sunny corner of the room holds a basket of teddies, throws and slippers. The hanging planter is an Etsy find that I absolutely adore. That door that you see is the closet door and it's actually a decent size closet (for an old house) and holds our winter jackets, extra toiletries, and other junk I can't seem to part with.

We wanted to keep the bedding simple. I like the streamlined, almost military look of the tucked-in bedding and the fact that they are somewhat easy to make. We ordered the blankets from MacAusland's Woolen Mills, here on PEI, and they are beautiful and warm. We will certainly have them forever. Of course, I had to add some fun pillows but they usually end up on the floor!

The antique gold light fixture was gifted to us from my aunt and uncle the last time we visited them in Montreal. They had been hanging on to it because it had hung in my uncle's childhood bedroom but didn't have a spot for it in their home. They said I could have it, if I promised to use it somewhere in my own home. We found the perfect spot!

There you have it! I hope you liked the tour of our little bunk room. I would like to add a cozy rug for the floor and somehow include an accent color in the room (mustard yellow) but for now, it's fine. Actually, it was officially the last untouched room in the house. Time to start all over again?

Even Beaufort likes it!


Paint - Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
Blankets - MacAusland's Woolen Mills (Dark Gray)
Striped Sheets, metal basket, wicker baskets - Target
Felt baskets - Walmart
Wall Sconces - Ikea
Roman shade fabric - Tonic Living
Hanging planter - The Vintage Loop

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Black & White Photo Art.

I love preserving a memory with a photograph. Whether it be printing it and putting it in a frame, sharing it on Instagram or even uploading to Facebook. My aunt Marilyn has been so great to take photos over the years and to keep them organized (the hardest part!) and to make copies for those who should have them. I love going to her house and looking through the albums she's collected over the years.

When Posterjack, an online photoprinting company, contacted me about trying out one of their products, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I have a copy of a photo of my Dad when he was small doing the laundry for his mother. I think it's the sweetest thing ever!

I had visions of enlarging it and hanging it over my fireplace. Unfortunately, the quality of the photo is just too poor for enlargements so I had to nix that idea. A total bummer but I kinda figured so much.

That's my Dad standing on the chair:)

This summer, we spent an amazing week at a cottage and spent the majority of the time at the most beautiful beach. I feel pretty lucky to live here on the Island as we are surrounded by beaches but this particular one blew me away. I took hundreds of photos throughout the week and decided there much be one that I could use that would perfectly capture that memory.

After pouring through all those photos, I chose one a beach scene that I loved. I uploaded to the Posterjack site and using their editing tools to change it to a moody black and white. There are many printing options available but I went with the Satin Matte Poster in 28 X 42.

It's big and turned out beautiful! I can't wait for you to see it but there is a bit of a DIY plan in place for getting up on the wall over the fireplace but it hasn't actually happened yet. I need to get on the ball! Stay tuned.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Rapture Red Door.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you are aware that something in my home recently got a big dose of color. That color is red. Benjamin Moore, Rapture to be exact. If you guessed that it was going on the front door, you were right!

*side note* I find it highly annoying that my kitchen light is on and you can see it through the window in the door. Although, apparently not annoying enough that I retake the photos.

It's funny, actually. While I do like all colors, if you were to ask me which ones I'm drawn to when decorating my home, I'd answer, white, cream, blues, greys, a little bit of black. But never would I say red. In fact, I think I almost had an aversion to it at one point in time. I may have even called it my least favorite color.

Sometimes however, the home itself can dictate your choices. Since I've bought this home, my mom has insisted that it needed a red door. She liked the green door but has always loved a good red door. She had a point. The house is white, the trim is charcoal grey. Mixed with red, it's just a good combination.

I steered away from it, feeling it was too traditional. I wanted something a little more trendy. Which was why I chose the green and loved it for a while. Then, after stripping it all, I didn't have the heart to put more paint on it after the work of taking it off and considered varnishing it and leaving it au naturel.

While it likely would have looked great, there was still some paint in the nooks and crannies of the door that I wasn't so inclined to get digging out so painting it was brought back on the table. I tossed around a lot of color ideas. I love love love black doors but it just wasn't going to work with the charcoal trim.

We got new house number too. Well, I shouldn't say new, since there hasn't been any at all for the last 5 years. Much to the delivery man's frustrations, I'm sure. I'm just fussy and wanted a more modern number font than I could find at any hardware store. I ended up ordering these ones online and Steph mounted them onto a leftover piece of birch from the beds in the bunk room. I love how it turned out. I'd like to get a new doorbell too!

Fall is the prettiest time for front doors. Bright mums, pumpkins and gourds are just so much fun!

Long story short, I was pretty indecisive about this door but red won out and I am happy with my choice. It's really not a true reflection of what the inside of the home feels like, since I much prefer softer tones versus bursts of color, so it's a little strange to me.

Hey, my mom was right. This house needed a red door.

Paint on door: Benjamin Moore Rapture
Paint on trim: Para Paints Weathervane
Wreath: Target (recently on sale)
House Numbers: Amazon