The Irish Independent, Weekend Magazine

Last Saturday’s Irish Independent Weekend Magazine featured a piece written by Emily Westbrooks all about how DIY needn’t be so daunting. And to prove just that it featured our coffee table contact paper makeover [along with the ever creative Linda of Make Do and DIY!].

I had every intention of sharing the piece on Saturday, but we spotted a man laying on the side of the road with a gash on his forehead on our way home [very long story short; we tended to him, called an ambulance and he was taken care of], so I completely forgot to share my mention that evening as we were a bit distracted, to say the least!
Thanks again Emily for the mention and for including our slightly-less-gaudy-rental-coffee-table thanks to a roll of contact paper and some elbow grease. And if you’re curious, you can see my full coffee table tutorial here

Colour correcting a Christmas tree

Last Christmas we got a new Christmas tree. We had our previous skinny tree [as seen in this post] for 6 years, which we bought especially for our first apartment which was the size of a matchbox. Such a skinny tree always looked odd in our current living room, so last year I thought it was time to treat ourselves to a full sized tree.
I looked for a couple of weeks but couldn’t find a decent secondhand faux tree online, so we went for a new tree. I picked one out, we brought it home, I opened the box and immediately had an awful feeling. The colour was very wrong. It was way more yellow than a normal tree which made it look dead. A dead looking fake tree.

You can’t tell the true awfullness of the colour of our tree in last year’s pictures because I actually edited the colour on my computer before sharing the pictures. That’s how horrified I was with the colour. The feeling of dread crept up when I soon realised I’d be unboxing our vom-coloured tree again this year, but then I had a very simple idea – just paint it.

The above will give you a better idea of the colour difference – on the left is our previously Exorcist-Green Christmas tree compared to a piece of proper green garland. It may not look too bad here, but when you’re looking at an entire tree that colour, it was very obviously wrong. 
I headed to All City Graffiti on Crow Street last week on the hunt for a merrier green to spray paint our tree and found the perfect shade of ‘Amazonas Green’ …

That afternoon I took our entire Christmas tree outside and set it up / opened up all the branches. There was a light breeze, which I used to my advantage, and I used it to lightly mist the whole tree vs. spraying it with an intense stream of paint. Holding the can about 1 foot away from the tree I sprayed one section at a time, turned it, sprayed another section, turned again, and repeated until I was happy with the coverage. It was incredibly easy to paint in this way and I was finished in about 20 minutes [including drying time as the light breeze was again very helpful].

I’m really so much happier with the colour of our tree. The last thing I wanted to do was have to buy another Christmas tree as that would have been a complete waste and I’m very conscious of buying things unnecessarily, so I’m so glad it turned out looking as good as it does. It’s a proper Christmassy green now and it no longer makes me cringe when I look at it. Yay! o/

I put 2 sets of lights onto it this year [one plain, the other chasing lights] and I’m quite happy with just leaving it like that. I like the idea of just lights this year. Leaving it as a naked tree. What do you think? I’m going to add some sort of makeshift tree skirt and maybe some ribbon to the very top, but overall, no decorations. I just really like the idea of keeping things a bit simpler this year. 

Lately + a bit of a rant

It’s been so long [for me] since I last blogged. It’s been 6 weeks since I last published something here and considering I’ve been blogging at least twice a week for the past 5 years, going 6 weeks without doing anything has been weird and a little scary. Work has been really busy as well as most of our spare time in general these days, so by the time I get home I usually have zero cares left to work on anything. 

Actually, truth be told, the reason I haven’t done much blogging is because anything I want to do around our apartment I can no longer do by myself. Which is a world of frustrating levels of bullshit. Yes, I realise I’m pregnant and I have to be careful, but I’m not someone who has ever had to wait for someone else to help me before jumping into a project [bar electrical stuff]. I’m not dainty and I don’t value my looks very much so in the past if something needed to be done, I’d get stuck in regardless of the physical harm that may come my way. I mean, when I swapped the two beds in our apartment, one of the beds [now in our bedroom] weighed, I shit you not, about 300lbs. Maybe even 400lbs. It’s solid wood and it needed to be turned on its side to be able to move it down the hallway. I did all of that solo. But now. Now that I’m with child. Oh sweet baby deity … Never have I been treated so much like a tiny injured bird and it makes me feel a spectrum of useless. I do realise I have to take it easy for the next few months, and I’m trying, but I really cannot wait until I am allowed to move something really heavy or do something by myself. It’s tough as when I get an idea I have to stop myself and say, “No, hold on. I have to wait for Robert to come home to move that for me.” So that’s partly why I haven’t been able to do much around our apartment, and subsequently, not been able to blog much. 
It’s a big learning curve for me so I’m trying to get used to asking for help. As of this week I’ve had a burst of wanting to get things done so the mahogany mirror that’s been sitting in the corner of our bedroom for more than a year [as seen here] is finally up and hanging in our hallway! Special thanks to Dad DIYer and Robert who hung it up earlier this week [I wasn’t allowed to help as it’s very heavy]. I’ve also been taking some pictures for a very exciting feature coming up so I’ve bought a few new things I’ve been eyeing for a while. One of them being this brass candle holder from Article, a few peonies from Appassionata and some new bedding … 

ME –          “I want to look at new sheets for our room today.”
ROBERT –  “We need new sheets? But we already have sheets and a duvet on the bed.
ME –          “We need new sheets. Sheet-sheets.”
ROBERT –  *Total confusion*

We got new sheets in the end.