Hudson with the husband – part 1

Ye Olde Curiosite Shoppe in Hudson, Quebec | flourishandknot.com

Over the March break, Erick and I went for a little jaunt out to Hudson, Quebec. We took in the beautiful (albeit teasingly spring-like) sunshine and gorgeous landscape, along with some lovely local shopping and dining. You should know that this is NOT a paid write-up! Just my account of a wonderful afternoon.

Our first stop was Ye Auld Curiosité Shoppe, a surprisingly large antique store right in the centre of town.

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I laughed when I saw the store’s sign, because I have to wonder if the “curiosité” bit is simply a way of appeasing the Office de la Langue Française… Hope I didn’t just bring their wrath down on my little blogosphere.

Anyway, this place is a real treasure trove for collectables, and boasts a reasonable selection of furniture as well. If you are a doll collector, Ye Auld is a Mecca for you. Ten years ago, I would have been all over their collection of gorgeous antique dolls. I’ve since kicked the habit, but I admit to spending quite a bit of time poring over the extensive selection. My favourite was this one, because she reminded me of Beth’s doll in the Little Women movie.

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If you’re unsure of which doll I’m referring to, you need to go back and watch Little Women IMMEDIATELY and with a large box of tissues at hand. *SPOILER ALERT* When Hannah squeezes the little doll’s hand, just after Beth dies… I’m tearing up just thinking about it. Moving on.

I thought that this chair would make a great re-upholstery project, but since we were on a strict no-buying policy, I had to pass.

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Great bones and in pretty good shape. I can see it stained darker with navy and white striped upholstery. Something like this.

Our second stop was for lunch (breaking the no-buy policy, I know). We found this great place called Les Artisans de Hudson, which was FANTASTIC!

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We were greeted by the owner/pastry chef, and were fed some absolutely delicious fare. We both had the same thing: sweet potato and pear soup (gotta try that at home) with two open-faced sandwiches. One was caramelized onion and pecan with fig preserve and bacon and the other was grilled vegetables with goat’s cheese and parmesan. Absolutely mouth-watering! Here’s an idea of the gorgeous cakes and pastries they also serve:

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Yeah, I definitely looked a lot like this:

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Don’t judge me too hard, fellow flourishers.

I’ll be back soon with the rest of our afternoon in Hudson! We’re planning a return trip this spring, so anyone with good tips for antiquing, shopping, or dining in the area is welcome to leave a comment.

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Guest Post: DIY ink-blot artwork

DIY Inkblot Artwork

Hey fellow flourishers (I think that’s your new name)! I’m thrilled to introduce the first of what I hope will be many wonderful guest posts. This one is by my friend Annie, who you’ll remember from this post. She did some really great DIY artwork recently and she agreed to write up the step-by-step instructions to recreate it at home.

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I couple months ago, I was feeling sad about the bare walls in my apartment. I love art a lot, but cash is tight and I have expensive taste. I decided that I wanted to make some paintings to occupy the space until I could afford the good stuff. Unfortunately, it was a Sunday and all the good craft supply stores were closed. Not to be deterred, I decided to experiment with some of the materials I had on hand… like food colouring.

First, I painted a small dessert plate with diluted gel food colour.

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Once I’d achieved a cool enough pattern, I took a piece of watercolour paper, lined the middle of it up with the plate, and smacked it right down there!

The result looks like this:

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Cool right? I made a few of these babies so I could hang them up as a series.

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To finish each piece off, I signed it , and gave it a print number (you know, to make it look professional).

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I found some inexpensive frames at my local dollar store and stuck the prints inside once they dried.

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The whole process start to finish took about 30 minutes and everyone who passes through my door compliments them (ha! If only they knew!). You can replicate this with any watery paint. You can even layer colours and patterns if you want. It’s honestly a pretty foolproof process.
Happy crafting guys!

Putting the moves on our bedroom update!

Our bedroom was pretty sad-looking when we first moved in. Exhibit A:

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Note the particularly horrible boxspring-camel-toe and the fondue-parmesan wall colour. Also note that these photos were taken in full-on, mid-day sun. Oppressive.

Exhibit B:

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Admittedly, I did little to “help” these photos at all. The kleenex box stayed right where it usually is, and I didn’t so much as pass a helping hand over the creases in our duvet.

So, one sunny Saturday afternoon in January, Erick and I decided to do something about it. Off we went to Canadian Tire, full of dreams of a blue, grey, and white haven.

We already owned a beautiful duvet cover and matching pillows, so we started with a pretty set colour palette. It was “Marrakech” from Linen Chest, and we bought it about 2 years ago. We also had two really lovely cobalt-blue glass lamps from Pier 1 and a co-ordinating lamp from Ikea.

We chose “Blue Silk” by CIL, which is in their “mellow and comforting” line. We liked that it had grey overtones to it, but was still distinctly blue. Because we had a gift certificate, the paint and supplies set us back about $100. Pricey, but we needed to buy things like new rollers, an extendable roller arm, brushes, painter’s tape, etc.

It took us about three weeks to complete the project, because we both work full-time during the day. To be honest, there were days when we were both too tired to even lift a paintbrush! One of the most time-consuming jobs was painting the two doors (there’s one to the hall and one to the master bathroom) and the trim. We hadn’t really realized that the ceiling and trim were SO beige until we primed the walls white. So that added some time to the project, too.

I sewed  curtains using faux-silk fabric left over from one of our DIY wedding projects, and we bought the blind from Home Depot. (We bought one for the guest room at the same time, and used another gift certificate, so the two blinds cost us about $60.) We also bought a bedskirt from Linen Chest, using the last of our wedding registry gift cards. The jury is out as to whether it is as “wrinkle-proof” as the salesgirl advertised. Hm.

So, without further ado, here is the “after”! Drumroll, please………………..

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Collective sigh of relief!

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Sorry for the grainy-ness of that last photo. I couldn’t seem to get a decent shot.

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And I forgot to straighten the bedskirt… again.

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It is by no means finished (I’ll have a list of future updates coming soon), but it is certainly a huge improvement. It’s pretty amazing what a little paint and a lot of hours can do!

You can leave me a comment and fill me in on any painting quick-fixes going on in your home!