Thursday, November 21, 2013

Put A Little Sparrow In The Treetop In Your Home

Thanks for all of your sweet comments on yesterday's post, dear readers.  You are why I'm comfortable being so honest!  You and, of course, my sponsors themselves; I've known since September that this was coming and I wanted my potential sponsors to have the full story before signing up so I told everyone who emailed and, because they're just that supportive, they continued full steam ahead with me.  It's really been so encouraging.

Anyway, yesterday I mentioned that most of my sponsors have been bloggers that I've known for a while but that I felt really lucky to have met some new people through this little adventure.  Emily's one of those fresh faces, and I'm so glad she took the plunge!  I joked on Twitter the other day that my favorite parts about Sparrow in the Treetop are her dog and her recipes, but she's definitely the full package.  When this girl writes, she pours her soul into her posts - I keep coming back to this one, Broken Glass, that Emily published last week - and I love how she shares her city with us.  (I know almost nothing about Ottawa, but it looks pretty magical through her lens!)  I'm really excited to see how Emily explores both now that she's made the scary and brave decision that journalism school isn't right for her, and I can't wait to find out what she does next.  One thing we do know: there's a podcast on the horizon!  Make sure to listen out for "Company on the Air" in the next few weeks.  And now, without further ado except for an Instagram photo that I've stolen from her because, well, you need to see the dog and the cooking that I referenced earlier, here's Emily!


(Wait!  I forgot to tell you something really important - it's about my monthly sponsor link-up!  Because Emily, Sara, and I all have young rapscallions, our topic for this month is furry:

How My Dog Is Preparing Me For Children

The link-up will be live at 8am EST on Monday the 25th, and we'd be delighted if you joined in!  You can take the prompt however you want - you could share memories of a pet you had as a child that was like a sibling to you or write about how your pet now is part of your family, for example - but this is an opportunity to post those silly stories and photos that you maybe didn't know what to do with before.  I hope you'll link up with us for this!  It should be fun and super cute.)

Hi Trans-lantic-lers!! I'm new around these parts! At least, this is the first time Betsy has given me the floor - I'm kinda nervous guys! My name is Emily and I have a little blog I love called "Sparrow in the Treetop" (named for my grandmother's favourite song). My boyfriend Mike and I live in Ottawa, Ontario (not, you know, across, the Atlantic Ocean from each other like some people... thank goodness that's over soon, amiright?!)

We're currently in the middle of re-doing our bedroom.

The genesis for the make-over stemmed from a really bad Craig's List deal gone wrong (I keep meaning to write that story down) and we find ourselves in the position of needing a new bed. Since the bed's gone, there's no better time to tackle the whole room - and of course I choose to start with the fine details, as opposed to the fundamental stuff :)

I want the new room to be really white and bright since we've got dark hardwood floors. I'm turning in our current bedside tables and I'm putting together something a little less "Ikea" and a lot more "Emily."

DIY Basket-Weave Bedside Tabletop


- a table that has a nice surface
- a piece of Sandpaper
- paint tape
- a Ruler
- one small can of White Paint (or whatever colour you fancy!)
- medium sized paint brush
- newspapers for drop cloth

Step One:
You'll need a rickety-old-nobody-loves-me-1986-sort of table. I took Mike on a forage last weekend to the local charity shop and just when he had asked me for the fifth time to leave (he's not a super keen thrifter) I heard a little voice inside my head say..."No Emily, just unearth another pile of scracted LP's - you might find "the one" .... and then LO AND BEHOLD; my beautiful perfect, soon-to-be-bedside table. The lesson my friends when you're thrifting? nevergiveup. (And keep and open mind!)

DIY Basket Weave Table

Step Two
Wash and sand the the entire surface of the table. A lot of that lovely 1980's vintage has a thick shellack and you'll want to rough it up so the paint sticks. I highly recommend the paint that's a 2-in-1 primer. If it's not, you'll want to prime the surface, otherwise the paint will chip off after you've put in all that hard work.

Step Three
This is the most finicky step. Start by measuring out your rows, width-wise. As you measure, mark the top and bottom of the table so you'll lay a straight line with the paint tape. For this layer, keep the distance between the rows even across the entire width of the table top.

DIY Basket Weave Tabletop

Step Four
Paint the entire table with the first coat of paint. When it's dry do a second coat over the entire table.

Step Five
Carefully peel the paint tape from your first set of lines. Now, you'll lay your first set of lines, length-wise. Start on the outside with a single length of tape. Leave an inch, then lay two strips side-by-side. Leave another inch and repeat. Finish with a single strip on the outside in the same way you started. Adjust this patter accordingly for the size of your table-top. Paint the table top and allow to dry. When dry, do a second coat. The multiple coats will help make the strips thick and the basket weave will be more pronounced.

Step Six
When it's dry, peel the paint tape. Repeat the laying of paint tape technique across the width of the table, one paint tape width, one inch apart. Paint. Let dry.


Step Seven
When you remove this last layer of paint strips, there will still be squares of the original table-top showing. Lay the tape, length wise, over the thick strips that were already painted. Do the last layer of paint which will fill in these holes (don't just paint the holes though, paint the whole length of the table in another smooth line.) You might need two coats here to make the paint thick enough to cover the original colour.

Et voila! (It's a labour of love.) It's subtle but adds a little Sparrow-in-the-treetop if ya' know what I'm sayin'!





I hope you enjoyed this! It's been lovely meeting you - let's keep in touch??

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  1. Can I write "How my dog(s) have confirmed that I do not want/should not have children?" Because love them, but seriously. SERIOUSLY.

    Also, you need to amend that to "pet(s)", because cats are ridiculous as well. And I'm sure bearded dragon-people have their sordid tales, etc.

  2. I love the subtle texture and cannot wait till I have space and access to supplies to try projects like this!

  3. Hi KC! Thanks for your kind comment! I hadn't done anything like this in a while, and I forgot how meditative and therapeutic DIY - time can be :) If you ever try something similar, I'd love to see how it turns out!

  4. so much fun to put your touch on something, non?!


I love reading your thoughts and suggestions! Please do leave a comment so we can get to know each other better.