Dans le Lakehouse

Home & life on the shores of lake superior

November 26, 2015

GlobeIn Artisan "Refresh" Box Review

GlobeIn Refresh Box

I'm not in the habit of reviewing products that aren't related to DIY, home improvement, or life on the lake, but when I was offered a chance to peek inside one of the GlobeIn Artisan Subscription Boxes, I was intrigued because it's an interesting concept.

The "boxes" are actually handwoven baskets, filled with beautiful, curated goods from around the globe, as well as an introduction to the communities and people whose wares you will get to enjoy.  Although they can be purchased individually - and their contents can be bought à la carte - a monthly subscription seems to be most popular.  You have to love a surprise to sign up for this, though! 

GlobeIn Artisan Box Review
GlobeIn Artisan Box Review - Refresh

Because I am finally indulging in some indoor baths (yay!), I chose the Refresh Box, which boasts spa goodies from all over the world:  dead sea soap (Israel), hemp wash cloth (Bangladesh), shea shampoo (West Africa), hand-painted candle (South Africa) and some tea (South American Atlantic Forest).  All of the products are fairly traded and help support remote artisans.

What really appealed to me about this subscription service is that so many of the items are consumable and usable.  If you subscribe, you will end up with some decorative and useful items (like the ceramic mug from Tunisia in the Cozy Box), but you won't get inundated with clutter and knick knacks.  Instead, you'll be treated to indulgences like cocoa powder from Ghana and vanilla from Madagascar - things you can enjoy and use up.  The quality of the items in the Refresh Box was lovely, but just note that the quantities of some items are sample sizes, with full size versions available for purchase.  

Fair Traded Gift Ideas
Gift ideas for students away at school
Gift ideas for travellers

Although I can think of many people who would love this idea - and welcome a parcel on their doorstep filled with goodies - I keep thinking that this would be a great gift idea for a student living away from home for the first time, or as a get well gift for someone on the mend.

Disclosure: I was provided a GlobeIn box but was not asked to provide a positive review.  As a feminist, I'm committed to empowering women and GlobeIn supports many initiatives led by women around the world.  Many men and women - especially in remote regions - have a difficult time supporting themselves and earning a living wage.  Hopefully GlobeIn can play a role by providing global reach to many talented artisans. 

November 23, 2015

Bathroom Update: Floating Walnut Cabinetry

Floating Walnut Bathroom Cabinetry

The walnut bathroom cabinetry was installed last Friday!  Unfortunately, two of the drawer fronts were damaged (and the one that wasn't damaged seems a little kitty womper - like the drawer isn't square).  I just can't catch a break!  Not to worry:  the cabinet installers noticed right away, so new drawer fronts are already on order.

Walnut Bath Vanity
Walnut veneer cabinetry

I was going to wait until the cabinetry is perfect to share, but I just can't wait.  Things are still a little unfinished, but that's a real life renovation for you!  It can require a lot of patience and you learn to celebrate the small victories.

Remember my dilemma about mounting the cabinetry?  As you know, I hate a toe kick and, in my experience, cleaning around legs in a bathroom is just a total pain.  Plus, in the townhouse the melamine vanity legs started to peel after only four years of mopping around them.  So I knew that I wanted wall-mounted cabinetry, but I didn't love the look of the tower and and vanity floating at the same height.  It was suggested that I just float the vanity and perhaps add legs to the tower...

But then it dawned on me: float them at different heights!

Wall mounted vanity and linen tower

The linen tower and the vanity are actually two different depths because the kitchen/bath designer who helped us order the cabinetry suggested that the tower be deeper so the door doesn't bump the corner of the stone counters.  Otherwise, we would have been stuck with a rounded corner but we really wanted squared off corners.  Her clever solution means that the counter can be as squared off as we want, and the tower door won't be damaged every time I whip it open.  This is why it pays to loop in the professionals!  I never would have thought of that - or even known that was an option!

With the cabinetry different depths, I decided that different heights for floating the two sections would look great.  We confirmed with the cabinet installers this was possible (it was!) and then Hubby and I installed the proper blocking behind the drywall to make it happen. 

The blocking lines up with the top and the bottom of the cabinets, with additional points in the middle for strength.  Long screws were also drilled through the cabinetry right into the studs.  The installers affixed the cabinets to the back and side walls, and then to each other from both sides.  It's so sturdy, you can sit on the vanity!

Deciding on the heights was the hardest part.  We wanted the vanity to be approximately 35" from the floor (including the stone), which meant the bottom would be about 13" off the floor.  With that height determined, we worked from there to figure out that we could lift the tower off the floor about 8" inches.   Now that it's installed, it looks even better than I imagined!  I'm so happy I went with my gut and pushed for all floating cabinetry.  I've already washed the floors since the cabinetry was installed and it's a breeze to reach under there to clean.  I'm thrilled with the function, plus it looks really custom - with that mid-century modern feel I'm after.

Floating vanity and linen tower

I'll let you in on a little secret:  at one point during the renovation, I found myself wondering if I should have gone with white cabinetry because it's not a huge, super bright room and I started to worry that the dark floors and darker wood cabinetry would make it seem small.  Well, now that it's installed, I have no more doubts because look at that grain:

Walnut bathroom cabinetry

I'm drooling!  Every night I sit in the tub (no shower curtain yet) and just gaze at it with a goofy smile on my face.  Hopefully we'll soon be looking at it with quartzite counters and my beloved aqua sinks.

November 20, 2015

DIY Evergreen + Feather Wreath

How to make an evergreen wreath

Living lakeside in the country has definitely changed my aesthetic, and I find myself turning to nature more and more for inspiration.  I put together a DIY evergreen wreath tutorial for Hello Yellow that has such an organic, earthy feel to it that I surprised myself! 
 Rustic organic looking wreath
How to make a natural spruce wreath

You can see the full how-to on Hello Yellow but as you can imagine, this was sticky, messy work.  I found that dish soap worked well to remove any sap from my hands, but someone on Instagram recommended butter - if you try that, let me know!

How to make a wreath
Crafts with spruce boughs
How to attach spruce to wreath form

Once I got into the rhythm of it, making this balsam fir bough wreath was actually really simple!  The trickiest part was creating a nice balance and keeping a round shape.  I wanted a really natural looking wreath so I kept the arrangement loose, but I had to be careful because it went really wild looking very easily.  I tried my best to tame it!
  How to make a natural spruce wreath

When I was finished with the wreath, I accented it with feathers.  I picked up a zillion Canada goose feathers from the yard one day and I was so enraged by their constant presence.  For some reason, vowing to make something pretty with their feathers seemed like the perfect revenge (I do not understand my logic).  I actually wanted to make something like Britt Bass' arrow art, but then I found adorable clip-on birds at the craft store and decided that an earthy wreath would be an even better use!  Take that, geese.  Ha!

After collecting them, I cleaned the goose feathers.  First I popped them all in a ziploc bag and placed it in the freezer for a few days (to kill any bugs), then I gently washed them in dish soap, rinsed, and let them air dry.  I mixed them with some shimmering faux foliage stems and a handful of teal feathers from the craft store for some subtle colour, inspired by the lake and it's moody, grey blues this time of year. 

How to decorate a wreath

The wreath is so full and lush - and smells amazing.  I love that it is huge because it makes such a statement on my walls. 

Midcentury modern holiday decorating
Ideas for crafting with feathers
Crafts with birds
Budget-friendly wreath ideas
Nature crafts
Modern Christmas decorating ideas

You can see this wreath - and tons of other holiday crafts, DIY projects and decorating ideas - in Hello Holiday!  And, if you missed my other modern holiday decorating ideas, check out my DIY agate wreath and DIY dyed bottle brush trees

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