April, 2009

DIY: Bulletin Board (of sorts)

April 30th, 2009


Our cat Isha likes to jump up on the desk and circle the computer, all the while brushing papers off with her tail and getting post-it notes stuck to her paws. Last night John tried to work next to me and he suffered a similar fate. Thus, today I decided to clean up my act and finally put up a bulletin board and implement yet another folder system in my already multi-tiered filing system.

I picked up some folders from Midoco on Bloor St. – they say stuff like Bills, Documents and Stuff. I then put some eye screws in the wall and stretched a piece of wire across to make a sort of “clothes line” effect (I used the lowest gage they had but it was tough going so I recommend using something more pliable like picture wire). I am not going to take any credit whatsoever for this idea, as I have seen it here and there and all over the place. But since I can’t seem to find a big sheet of unframed cork, this seemed like a nice simple solution.

Oh and that little orange thing in the bottom corner is a cool light that folds up into a pill shape.

– Juli –

Photo by Juli Daoust

Filed under: General | 1 comment

Kitka Update

April 30th, 2009

For the last three point five months we’ve been writing willy-nilly on here, acting sporadically as either a collective “we” or as a single individual. We’re not sure if you are ever confused, or whether you even care to know which one of us is writing from the personal, but we’ve decided that we need some sort of sign off for each post (this stemmed from John’s concern that you may think he sleeps with a stuffed bear named Sebastian). So for now we’re going to sign our names. Simple. Effective.

Kitka update on the update (as of July 2009). We continue, willy-nilly, as an entity of one. It doesn’t really matter who’s doing the talking at this point anyway…

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Cottage Reno: Flooring

April 29th, 2009


Today we took a road trip out to The Timeless Materials Co. in Waterloo and after 1.5 hours of touring the grounds for an upcoming store watch, and gabbing the ever-pleasant and helpful Ken, Gerry and Kory’s heads off, we ended up buying our flooring!

We first discovered the Timeless Materials Co. at the Green Living Show, where we were immediately drawn to the flooring above. Upon seeing it again, this time in person and not on a computer screen, we decided that maybe we should invest for longevity.

Originally we were going to sand and paint the linoleum floors with white epoxy in the living room/bedrooms and lay slate tiles in the kitchen and bath but upon further investigation we learned that the only material that won’t crack during the winter was ceramic/porcelain and we just didn’t want to go that route. Earlier research on wood flooring came up with prohibitive prices, even for laminate. However, at The Timeless Materials Co. they have a wide selection of reclaimed wood, starting at $3.50 sq.ft for jack pine (unfinished).

We chose the wood above for obvious reasons – it’s unique. Reclaimed from Kaufmann Furniture in Collingwood, we love the white wash with the random pattern and defects as well as the varied widths of the floor boards. We got it for $5 sq.ft. and since installation would run about $5-6 sq.ft. we’ve decided to install it ourselves. Our mantra is quickly becoming DIY to the fullest extent. But really, why assume we can’t do it, if we haven’t even tried?


On Monday we went up north to do some more demo. John removed all of the cabinetry and ceramic kitchen tiles! Progress is being made!

Of course, this new flooring completely changes the finishes we were originally considering for the kitchen cabinetry aswell as furnishings…

But we have some new ideas up our sleeves.

– Juli –

Photos by Juli Daoust

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Before & After: Upstairs Nook

April 29th, 2009

We have a long neglected (what a surprise) nook in our upstairs hallway that we’ve never really been sure what to do with.


The one major problem with it is the granite surface – we find granite super busy and not terribly good for displaying favourite objects. Up until now, the space has been used as a storage shelf, much like the rest of our hallway (which currently houses an unused sofa, some photo paper I have to sell, a bulletin board center and a lamp).

John had the great idea of getting a wooden shelf made to fit over the granite, an affordable and nondestructive solution to the granite problem.


Oh my goodness what a difference! We bought the cool modern painting from Rogue Gallery, the Arabia Finland plant pot from Twice Found and the African sculpture from my parent’s trip in the 70s.


The shelf is made with solid walnut. We asked to leave the sap lines in to create more contrast between the naturally dark wood and the highlights the sap creates. It was finished with tung oil, which leaves a beautiful natural finish that is very smooth to the touch.

– Juli –

Photos by Juli Daoust

Filed under: Home Reno | 5 comments

Etsy Find! Toshiba Alarm Clock

April 28th, 2009

We’re currently making over the bedroom, trying to integrate a more modern aesthetic with the random French theme that I started with. I’ve had a lame hardware store alarm clock for years, and although it works well, it’s not that sexy. I recently came across a nice clock/radio on Etsy store owner and Kitka reader FoundVintageStyle’s online store.


I am one of those people who needs dark and quiet to sleep and often I find when I get up in the middle of the night, that even though I don’t turn on any lights, I am squinting because it’s so bright. One of the worst offenders is the red digital display of the bedside alarm clock. I actually find myself draping my stuffed bear Sebastian ceremoniously over my eyes like an eye mask, or building a barricade with an extra pillow. Yes, I realize I could just wear an eye mask, but I have an overactive imagination and would be constantly concerned about the possibility of the bogey man (for lack of a better term) standing right over me ready to attack.


Guess what? The genius who created this clock/radio put in a dimmer so I am not blinded every night. Of course, in the morning, it’s almost impossible to see the time, but that’s neither here nor there.

The other quirk of the alarm clock is that for some reason when it goes off, it emits a low buzz sound that is, to say the least, alarming. No soft music to lull me back to sleep. And you know what? It’s kind of working! Because I am a snooze-a-holic but since it’s such an unpleasant noise, I don’t really want to experience it every 5 minutes. So I get up and start my day. Hooray!

FoundVintageStyle is based in Toronto and is giving Kitka readers a 15% for the next 7 days (until Tuesday, May 4, 2009). Just make sure to enter “Kitka” in the notes to the seller during checkout so she knows who you are! See below for a sampling of her other wares: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Thrifting | 3 comments

Highlights: Green Living Show

April 27th, 2009


An exhibit that helps to visualize carbon emissions.

I love the pretense of the Green Living Show but I was disappointed that it still hasn’t gone beyond my expectations. I guess I felt that there wasn’t enough “new” innovation. I mean, one of the exhibitors was Aveda.

These sorts of shows are full of content, some of which is of interest and much of it which is not.  So here is a sampling of the things that stood out the most to us:

Four of the great ideas seen in the green innovation area:


We saw the Cista rainwater harvesting concept at the Interior Design Show and it holds up as being a viable and innovative idea. Basically, it’s a fancy rain barrel, that you can hook a hose up to in order to water your garden.


With all the BPA frenzy, these stainless steel baby bottles are going to quickly become ubiquitous.


We loved the Triton’s Sawfish, a deepwater logging machine that is able to harvest perfectly preserved trees that stand beneath reservoirs floorded by hydroelectric dams. We are all for reclaimed wood!


Toronto based Lumolar‘s fish inspired LED chandelier is made of recycled felt and glass/acrylic and is fully recyclable. And if you ultimately choose to get rid of it, you can use the lamp shades as organic fertilizer.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Toronto | 3 comments