December 28, 2011

It’s a Wrap (Up)

I can’t believe how quickly 2011 has flown by! It’s been quite a year, with ups – buying a house – and downs – Connor escaping, twice! I’ve gone back through the 310 posts I’ve done this year and have picked your favourites, or at least the ones that have had the most comments.

1. Connor the Houdini dog. Over Labour Day weekend, Connor managed to let himself out my back door and escape. I spent a frantic 24 hours trying to find him, worried sick that something bad had happened. connor3When I finally got the good news that someone had him, I realized that he was only a few blocks away. He was found by a lovely woman who kept him in her yard, hoping that I’d drive by and see him. But since I am new to the neighbourhood, I didn’t know about the section where she lived. Incredibly, two weeks later, he managed to nudge open a window and escape again. IMG_7496I am pretty sure that contributed to the grey hair count on my head!

2. My New House – After more than a year of looking for a new house, I finally found the perfect place - a 110-year old farm house with a small yard. xmas2The moment I saw it in the real estate listings, I knew it was the right house. But it was a foreclosure, so I knew it would not be a smooth path to settlement. It eventually stretched to more than 90 days, and settlement was postponed several times, but I finally signed the papers in mid-May. back yardThere was a bit of work to be done, including sanding the 110-year old heart pine floors, and painting almost every surface. But it’s been a lot of fun making this old house into a new home.  And stay tuned for more work on the house, including planning a garden for next summer.

3. Wooden Tennis Racquets and One King’s Lane – As I write, I am awaiting a shipment from OKL, but I still manage to find a lot to laugh about with their Tastemaker Tag Sales. One of the funniest was when they advertised four vintage wooden tennis racquets for $267. racquets 4When a commenter said that she didn’t think they could be found, I took her up on the challenge and managed to find one in seven hours… and for six of those hours, I was at the office!And then a few days later, I managed to scare up ten at one thrift shop. I think that the most expensive one was less than $5.00. For more OKL hilarity, click here.

4. Books – One post that struck a chord with many readers was one I did in January about using books solely as decorations. As in books-by-the-yard. Or books with the covers torn off and bundled into anonymous stacks for effect.  Or books covered in white paper. Ugh.book_bundlesI love books too much to relegate them to being a decoration. I have stacks of books that I refer to, that I browse, that I curl up with on a cold evening, that I go back to time and time again and that I just plain love. I get such pleasure out of seeing them stacked up like happy building blocks, reminding me of all that’s possible, and all that I can do.

5. My slipcover - In a fit of insanity, I decided to make a slip cover for my long sofa. Having only been sewing for a year at that point, this was quite a daunting challenge and it took me much longer than I anticipated. But with you cheering me on and encouraging me, I finally finished. finishedOf course, I see every flaw in it, but it looks fine. The best thing about it is that it’s washable. I couldn’t have made this without the help of some other bloggers who had posted tutorials.

Tomorrow, I will share my favourite posts, and then on Friday, I’ll share some of the great experiences that blogging has brought to me, especially the people I’ve met.


  1. These are all good ones. Looking forward to many more in 2012!

  2. Happy New Year Meg. Cheers to you and keeping Connor in the house :)

  3. Meg Oh I was so worried about Connor.

    Your slipcover looks really great. I still cannot believe what a super job after only a year of sewing..

    Art by Karena

  4. I am in desperate need of a slip cover.

    Trade you some wooden tennis rackets and blue glass mason jars.

    That's like a 1000,00.,right?

    I'm so glad i got to know you in 011.

    xo Jane

  5. Dear Meg,
    I certainly have enjoyed your blog in 2011. May 2012 be a wonderful year for you!


  6. Meg, your slipcovers were phenomenal. I have been sewing for more than a year but I am far too sloppy to take on something like that.
    I remember the books too. What a crime!

  7. I am so inspired by your slip cover! I couldn't manage to complete one for a Martha Washington style chair!
    Paula ~ Mise en scène

  8. At the risk of sounding fawning, one of the great delights of 2011 has been finding and following your blog, Meg. Photos of Connor cheer me up immediately if I'm a little down, and I love hearing about your adventures and observations in my hometown. Thank you for all the work you do and effort you put into this site.

  9. Just curious regarding the house hunt a) did you visit many homes that were in foreclosure? b) was your current residence an owner "occupied" house or was it a foreclosure on a house someone tried to flip as an investment? C) During your house hunt did you find the situation for Baltimore slowly recovering economically, not a problem economically, or a long road to recovery-- Are you aware of the city of Baltimore offering funds to assisted qualified people to purchase homes-- how much is the city doing to house people?

  10. Hi Meg, I have loved following your "ins and outs" during 2011. And I am still gloating that I WON THE BILLY BALDWIN BOOKS!!! Here's hoping that 2012 proves to be even better for all of us!! Blessings. Mary

  11. Thanks so much for the recap. When I find a blog I enjoy, I do want to catch up on all that happened before I found it, but of course that's not always realistic. Love your enormous house and am so impressed about the slipcover. I have a Queen Anne chair that belonged to my Grandmother and for some reason I didn't have it recovered when I had the rest done (ran out of money, I'm guessing). I keep meaning to do something about it...a slipcover would probably be the cheapest option at this point. Perhaps I'll give that a go in this new year.

  12. Anon@11:11... In answer to your questions:
    A) I looked at a few houses that were foreclosures. I had also put in a contract on a short-sale, but that took ages, so I withdrew it.
    B)The house was empty. It was a rental property so the last people had moved out months before. It was on the market for several months before I saw it. I think it was probably an investment property. They bought it for cheap and then renovated it. It looks like they took a home equity loan on it, too.
    C) There are a lot of good prices on homes, and incentives to buy in the city. Look at the Live Baltimore website for some options. If you go through some home-buyer courses, you can get incentive money.

    Hope this helps.

  13. In particular I loved your post on books. I have been appalled at the "books as matching decor" trends -- they are objects of beauty because of what they hold inside. I recognized a kindred spirit in your comments.


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