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A blog about thrifty DIY, furniture makeovers, decor and design for the home with a farmhouse cottage lakeside feel.

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  • 12/22/12--20:30: Farmhouse Whites Christmas
  • While there is certainly colour in our rustic-farmhouse style home and Christmas decor,  I do use a lot of whites. Today I am sharing the whites.


    Our living room walls are white and I use lots of rustic elements. This vignette on a dresser uses lots of whites and naturals with mercury glass for some sparkle.



    I collect ironstone and used a large vintage platter and newer pitcher in this vignette. The chippy window pane was a $5 find.


    I also paint furniture and often use white, including this windsor chair I recently painted  Ben Moore Mercury Glass white.


    Our living room tree is neutral with white lights, rusty stars, brown sleigh bells, muslin and burlap ribbon, manilla deer tags, and lots of silver, cream and white ornaments and bells.


    Our living room is my favourite room to relax in and do needlework. I added some yarn balls in shades of white to a little wire bowl.


    The black Mennonite pine hutch in our dining room holds lots of white dishes and ironstone. Two of the bowls are filled with vintage linen and crocheted pieces in whites.


    I added more pine cuttings to the white pitchers on top of the china cabinet. The little battenburg lace star on the knob is there year round. 



    I use caterer's plates instead of paper plates at family functions and bbq's so I have quite a stack of them. For Christmas I slipped bits of greenery amongst the whites in the hutch. I recently started a collection of soup tureens and lidded ironstone dishes, and this week I found two more at the thrift store that I will share soon.



    On the white table runner on the dining room table is a large platter with white candles wrapped in birch bark.


    A little vignette in the kitchen on the recycling cabinet.


    A chippy white kitchen scale in the kitchen. I also like collecting white and vintage linens and crocheted pieces.



     Our family room has white slipcovers and fresh flowers.


    Our porch is decorated with naturals and whites too. If you would like to see more of our home tour, including more colour, you can visit this post.
     Thanks for stopping by, and if you are new here, or stopping by from the The Country Farm Home or Old Time Farmhouse, welcome! To my readers and friends, I hope your holiday preparations are going well and I wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas.

    I am sharing this at ...
    The Country Farm Home and Old Time Farmhouse's Country Whites Weekend 
     

    Vintage Inspiration Holiday Review at Common Ground
    vif187

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    For the last of our Christmas decor posts, I thought I would share a few decorations I added to our basement guest suite.



    I painted the shutter Aegean Blue (Martha Stewart at Home Depot $1 sample pot on clearance), one of a pair I got at a garage sale for $5. I hung the shutter high, just below the small basement window, because I am still searching for an affordable headboard.



    This is the stairway (horrible lighting-not yellow walls) going down to our basement where 10 years ago my brother-in-law Peter, with the help of my dad, brothers, brothers-in-law, and nephew added a large bedroom with walk-in closet, a bathroom, small kitchen and sitting area, a huge storage room and a closet.


    The shutter is the same colour as this $10 dresser I painted. The mirror is the same style frame as the trio of mirrors and plates reflected in it. I added stones to the large mason jar lamp.


    I painted this picture frame white and added the gorgeous print I won from Kat at Low Tide High Style


    The frames of these vintage paintings were also given a fresh coat of  Benjamin Moore Cloud White. I rehung the blue paisley drapes for privacy on the large escape window until I have time to figure out what I want to use.


    My sister and brother-in-law are staying with us and currently using this room so the pillows are not styled and the flannel and ticking quilt is on upside down. I just snapped some quick photos while I had a chance.


    The PEACE banner I made that hung in the living room window last Christmas is now on the shutter. I love that the blue glittery letters are a close match to the blue glittery snowflakes on the plates.


    I added a few simple leftover glitter snowflakes from the kitchen to the plates in the frames.


    This was a very inexpensive way to add interest to the walls. The empty frames were a couple of dollars each (marked down 90% at Michaels several years ago.) The plates were clearance at HomeSense and the architectural piece was a gift from a friend. Two of the larger frames I had made into mirrors for around $25.


     At the other end of this large bedroom is where I will add a twin bed as soon as I find a nice frame. This PB inspired mirror is still one of my favourites.


    We had our basement made into a suite for my parents when they lived with us. At the time I wanted a large storage room and now realize this made the TV sitting area too small. The furnishings are not pretty but they are functional. One of my brothers gave us the La-Z-boy recliner sofa and while I would love a small sectional in this area the budget doesn't allow it right now. My husband changed the fluorescent lights in the kitchen area yesterday and accidently used plant grow lights. Super freaky bright! They make the nice tan walls look pinky-purple.


    Our basement is super warm and dry, even in these cold winter months, because my bil that helped with a large part of the reno insisted on great insulation and moving heating ducts and bringing all the vents to the floor. 


     The little JOY bears on the basement kitchen counters are from our family trip to Disney in Florida. See how the wrong flourescent bulbs make the walls look pinky -yuck.


    Yesterday our 15 year old son hung this peg shelf for me near the couch.


    The peg shelf started as this yard sale find (a dollar or two) with a wallpaper border that we peeled off. I painted it black and kept the stained top. Easy peasy.


    The cowboy boots are a pair our youngest son outgrew years ago. The trio of mason jars are filled with chess pieces and dice I have collected. I plan to add more game pieces, dominoes etc as I find them.

    I still have lots of plans for changes to our basement guest suite but I move slowly as I need to do this with things we already own, items I can alter, or items I can find very inexpensively. I am happy that it is coming along though and it is a comfortable space for our guests.


    I stitched this little pillow with the navy felt star a few years ago, and the saying is what I wish you all 
    -'And to All a good night." Happy Christmas Eve.

    I am sharing this post at the following parties...
    Power of Pinterest Party at Debbiedoo's

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  • 12/25/12--03:00: Merry Christmas!


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  • 12/26/12--15:17: DIY Projects of 2012
  • Today I am sharing DIY, painted and handcrafted projects I completed in 2012. They range from whole room paint makeovers to painted furniture and hand stitched items. 



    It is a long post, with lots of photos and a link to each project, but it has been fun reflecting on all the things I accomplished this year in my world of too many unfinished projects. Sort of inspires me to keep at it.
    First up is this frame with an ag'R'icultural feel was made by painting a yard sale frame white and having our oldest son add some of his rabbit wire to the back to hang our family initial.


    The Feed and Seed sign was painted to be part of our living room gallery wall with an agricultural feel. I painted and sold a few chalkboards using old frames and sometimes painting right over the glass on outdated prints. I still have a few to finish that I plan to keep. Our 15 year old son made this Fresh Milk/Mountainview Dairy crate with castors at my request, and I stained it and added the lettering to each end. We stash rolled throws and quilts in it for easy access.


    The cute little desk with glass knobs was originally maple and I painted it with homemade chalk paint.. It was in our guest bedroom but I got an offer I couldn't refuse and sold it. The charcoal desk started out as a curb side find and I painted it and sold it. We had this barley twist table for awhile, a furniture store tent sale item, and I painted it grey with some stain in the crevices and light distressing. It hasn't sold yet so I am re-listing it in the New Year. The English chestnut and turquoise pine drop leaf table started out as a $10 yard sale purchase. It also sold.


    Another $10 kijiji find, the dresser started out maple and I painted it Martha Stewart Aegean Blue and added new pulls. It is currently in our basement guest bedroom. It is listed on kijiji and has not sold yet. The arch top oak mirror, another yard sale find, was painted white and now helps reflect light into our ensuite bathroom over the soaker tub. Not all paint projects need to take tons of time. This little wood tote was originally a thrift store hunter green before I painted it Martha Stewart grey.


    I made a few pillow slips this year, including a white denim pillow with  crocheted trims and buttons, a muslin pillow with a torn and ruffled detail and a Christmas Trees pillow using drop cloth fabric and quilting cottons in shades of white.


    I didn't start the simple vehicles quilt for our 13 year old this year, but I did complete it. Nice and cozy and long for our almost 6 foot youngest son. The watermelon pin cushion started as a kit and I sewed and quilted it, adding the detail stitching, for my hobby room. For our 4-H friends' grand daughter I sewed the little John Deere pink and roses chef's apron and made an adult size at their request but forgot to take a photo before I delivered it.


    Using leftover plaid flannels from a matching throw I sewed a few years ago I made a plaid flannel pillow and a plaid flannel bunting for Fall decorating in our living room.


    The grout refresh project in our entry and half bath wasn't a fun project but I loved the results and it still looks the same. Now I have to get started on the kitchen tile.

     

    For the basement guest room, I painted this pine paned mirror similar to a Pottery Barn one.


    I crocheted and knitted this lined tote bag and hope to get it listed in my etsy shop, Rustic Maple, in the New Year. I also crocheted, and sold, this lovely chevron afghan.


    Mercury Glass by Ben Moore is the colour of white I chose to paint this Windsor chair (that I bought for 3/$10.) The other two still need to be painted but I love having extra chairs to use in different rooms and when we have guests.


    A turquoise and red distressed Christmas Tree Farm sign that I used in our kitchen for Christmas.


    This pair of denim and linen Christmas stockings was sewn using outgrown jean fabric and leftover linen tea toweling from my dining room table runner.

     

    I painted a pair of shutters I bought a few years ago at a yard sale, one Aegean Blue for the guest bedroom and the other a grey for our bedroom (shown in the stocking photo above but not hung yet.)



    I struggled with finding the right colour for this solid pine sideboard but ended up painting it white and selling it. I was going to keep it for our dining room but didn't have the heart to strip the top paint colours-gone-wrong off. The lesson I hope I learned? Have a better plan in place before you start slapping on paint.


    A peg shelf with 80's wallpaper border was stripped of the teddy bears and painted black for our basement TV room.


    Painting my sister and bil's kitchen and butler's pantry and touching up their hallway was a big project in March. She has a few more rooms lined up for me this year. I also spent a week this summer, with the help of one of my teen nieces', painting a colleague's kitchen, large guest room and guest bathroom.



    The only whole room paint project at our home this year was our basement guest bedroom that I painted early in the year. Not the easiest room to photograph accurately but the paint colour is Benjamin Moore Cotton Ball. I still have lots to do there, and in the rest of our home, but I sure love the new look.

    It would be awesome to have more time to work on projects, and a bigger budget ;), but I am happy with the things I accomplished. This coming year I need to get some bigger trim and maintenance projects completed as well as adding some more little projects to help make our home feel more like 'us'.

    I hope you enjoyed your Christmas. We had a great one with lots of family and food.

    I am looking forward to linking up to the following parties, and hoping to get lots of inspiration by visiting the other party goers....

    Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
    Fabulously Creative Friday Link Party at Jennifer Rizzo
    Top DIY Projects of 2012 at Southern Hospitality
    Budget Decorating Ideas at Creative Cain Cabin
    Home Sweet Home #100 at The Charm of Home
    Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage

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  • 12/29/12--08:59: First Significant Snowfall
  •  We have had our first significant snowfall this winter on the 27th and our dog is really enjoying it.


    It is fun watching Remington sniff and throw the snow about. 


    Then she races around and around.


    We are getting more snow today and our youngest son's team has advanced in the annual Christmas hockey tournament. That means lots of warm winter wear so it is a good thing I have lots of hand knit scarves and mitts to choose from. I might just start a new scarf this weekend. Is the weather cold in your area, cold and snowy, or much warmer? 

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  • 01/01/13--09:38: Happy New Year!

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    I am tidying up after my first paint project of the new year, but I thought I would share a glimpse of the finished hutch and buffet in our kitchen and some lovely vintage pieces I added to my collections recently.


    Between Christmas and New Years I had an afternoon to myself and decided to stop by the Beaumont Mills Antiques and Collectibles in Glen Williams (Halton Hills), Ontario. It is a lovely historic old mill filled with so many great antiques and vintage collectibles.


    I found a rolling pin with worn black handles (it isn't orangey-just my weird photo taking abilities)...


    and another aqua Crown Mason jar to add to my collections. They had a boxing week sale and I got the pair for $11 total.


    On the way to the local arena for our youngest son's Christmas hockey tournament I swung by the local thrift store and scored this vintage lidded ironstone dish for $4. For $15 dollars I was able to add these three pieces to my collections. I didn't need them and it is more than I would usually spend on items at yard sales etc. but it was a lovely hour or two spent browsing through the antique market. 


    Now I just need to figure out how I want to arrange my ironstone on the shelves and take some photos.  Are you still recovering from the holidays or have you started in on projects yet?

    You can find me at....

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    On New Years Day, while my guys took off on a day trip to the farm, I pulled out my paint supplies and got started on the buffet and hutch in our kitchen.


    This is the pine buffet and hutch I started with. It replaced a larger oak cabinet that was too deep for this eat-in area of our kitchen. You can find that post here. At the time I asked if a distressed white would make the ironstone disappear and I loved reading the answers. Painting the tongue and groove backing a contrasting colour was a popular answer and at first I was going to do that. Pale grey or an aqua blue. 

    But after giving it some thought over the holidays I decided to go with all white, for now. The armoire between the kitchen and family room is a different blue (that I am so tempted to change), the barstools are aqua, the farmhouse table and chairs are black and I didn't want to introduce another colour. I have another smaller cabinet that is Cloud White with an aqua back so I know how that looks and I wanted to see how this piece would look all white. 


    I am loving it. The white ties in so nicely with our white kitchen cabinets and the many whites and neutrals in our home. I 'borrowed' the black knobs from our laundry room cabinets because it is too cold to spray the ones that came with it and I didn't get to the hardware store.


    The paint is Mercury Glass white by Ben Moore Origins Collection at Canadian Tire. I added some plaster of paris to the paint for a homemade chalky-like feel. By adding the plaster to hot water first, there are no lumps and sanding is not required. I took the doors off and numbered them, but I should have numbered the hinges because I can see that two are mixed up and need switched.


    Whenever I first paint something I am always hesitant to start distressing it but this piece is pretty rustic and really needed it so I just took a deep breath and started. Heavier at the shelf edges and around the doors and knobs. I like how it turned out.


    In my last post I shared a few new vintage finds including the $4 lidded ironstone dish on the top shelf. All of my ironstone is thrift store finds and I have more in our dining room china cabinet.


    I have more platters but they are great to use in other places throughout our home. The most expensive platter was $6. I added some texture and natural elements with large pinecones and my collection of vintage wooden spools.


    My collections of  milk bottles and vintage clear Crown mason jars fill in some of the gaps, and hold tealights that we go through more quickly at this darker time of year.


    Way more photos than I need but I love the combination of whites and rustic.



    A sweet little local milk bottle with Brampton Jerseys on it, and one of a pair of lidded serving dishes.


     A trio of cream bottles from a blogging friend in Texas.


    And finally am English ironstone pudding bowl from a yard sale for a quarter. I broke its smaller twin last week putting decorations away.

    It is cold and snowy here so I painted this in the kitchen. The clutter and resulting few days of mess is always annoying but so worth it when it's all done. Now that this piece is finished (for now at least) I can make a new mess while I work on some closet and hobby room organizing projects.

    I'm sharing this with...
    Be Inspired Friday at Common Ground
    Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
    January Before and After at Thrifty Decor Chick
    SNS at Funky Junk Interiors
    Creative Cain Cabin's new Budget Decorating Party
    Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

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  • 01/08/13--14:42: Hanger Scarf Organizer
  • I have always kept my pretty scarves in a basket in my bedroom closet but now I have a new way to organize them. 



    I went to the dollar store to pick up clear shower curtain rings, inspired by a similar Pinterest scarf organizer. 

    While I was browsing the aisles I came across these office badge holders/clips. Six holders for $1 so I picked up two packages.


    I had planned to hang some of the million ball caps my guys have, hoping they would nestle together to save space. When I snapped the badge holders on this wood IKEA coat hanger, I realized they wouldn't swivel. Almost a fail. Then I thought about the shower curtain rings I forgot to pick up for the dressy scarves. When I thought about it, clipping the scarves on each time I use a scarf seemed easier to me than the rings.



    {Sorry for the blurry photo!}Now I need to add hooks to our closet to hang the scarf hanger and some belts. Our closet makeover is not finished, but it is coming along nicely. Now I need to find something to organize all the ball caps. I was thinking another hanger with curtain clips but I would need a hanger that opens. Any ideas? 

    I'm sharing this with....

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  • 01/10/13--13:35: Our Winter Porch
  • We made some slight changes to our Christmas porch to transition it to a winter porch.


    The mixed pine cuttings are still nice and fresh outdoors so the only thing I had to do was to remove the gold balls from the planter on the white farmhouse bench. The rustic wood stars, pinecones and burlap bow will work nicely for winter.


    Even the sap bucket on the chippy old window fits in nicely with the "Let It Snow" cutout and another burlap bow.


    And a Canadian winter and skates go hand in hand. The red and black buffalo check ribbon reminds me of a warm snuggly blanket or flannel sheets.


    This wood bear sign with matching buffalo check scarf is staying to watch over the porch until spring.


    I love no cost decor! Our weather is warming up for a few days and the snow is starting to melt but the temps are expected to drop again next week. It is only January, and we are sure to have a lot more winter ahead of us.

    I'm sharing this with...
    Feathered Nest Friday
    Home Sweet Home
    Be Inspired
    Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

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  • 01/13/13--11:09: Our Living Room for Winter
  • With all the Christmas decor put away I have kept a simple winter look in our living room.


    Our living room has a mix of browns and whites with accents of black and pops of my favourite blues. Rustic with a farmhouse feel and a bit of sparkle too You can see how it was decorated for this past Christmas in this post.


    This little white table is a temporary coffee table. I moved the footed mercury glass bowl filled with pinecones to the shelf and a great smelling candle with a wood berry wreath is on top. 


    The vintage skis also stayed, along with the burlap Wrangler "LONG LIVE COWBOYS" bag filled with my knitting and crochet projects so they are close at hand.
     

    The trio of mercury glass tea light holders were half price after Christmas ($1.25 each.) I love the details and crocheted edging on the runner my friend gave me a couple of years ago.


    I kept the ironstone platter and pitcher but replaced the Christmas balls and beads with clear blown glass balls. The large mercury glass balls stayed in the thrifted wire basket. I may still add some pinecones.  


    I like the mix of the chippy window and the sparkle of the beaded and mirrored snowflake. I loved the pine bundle I had here at Christmas but it was very dry so I chose to take it down.


    Although our home is quite energy efficient, cozy throws and quilts are always nice to snuggle with. This faux suede and sherpa throw has a zipper with removable lining and is quite heavy. I like how it brings the dark brown of the leather couch to the lighter white denim slipcovered chair.


    The white table next to the window has a wire bowl filled with balls of wool and a turquoise frame (have to have my hint of blue!)



    The other little white end table has a snowman candle holder (I simply put his matching Santa away.) Keeping it real with the phone too. The only items we paid full price for in this room are the heritage leather sofa and the $4/each mercury glass balls. The other furnishings and accessories were handmade, yard sale, thrifted, repainted and repurposed or bought on sale or clearance.

    After dinner and evening Mass tonight, you can find me on my favourite end of the sofa with the candles lit and my latest stitching in hand. A great way to unwind on a winter's night. We have had some unusually warm weather and rain this weekend so most of our snow is melted. But I'm sure winter is not over yet!

    I am visiting the following parties...
    Creative Cain Cabin


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  • 01/20/13--10:12: Valentine's Kitchen Shelves
  • The shelves in our kitchen always get a makeover for the change of seasons and holidays. While I am enjoying the simple winter look in the rest of our home, it is fun to add Valentines decor to these shelves at the end of our upper cabinets.



    I don't use red or pink in the rest of our home but it is fun to pull out the few red and pink items I have to add colour to our kitchen. Eveything I used for this area was stuff I already had on hand. 


    On the breakfast bar I added my newest rolling pin to the jar and took out all the Christmas cookie cutters. I exchanged the gingerbread man tied to the outside with a heart cookie cutter and then added the glittered Kisses. The little red plate holds two heart clay pieces made at school by one of our boys several years ago.


      The little bunting says "Happy Valentines" and is made from scrapbook paper and a tag punch.



    The pink toile paper is my favourite.


    I like a mix of rustic and more feminine pieces. Chippy paint on rustic wood, delicate roses, my favourite aqua mason jars and ironstone.


     I added a glittered XOXO to the vintage kitchen scale and HUGS and LOVE to my collection of aqua Crown canning jars on the top shelf.


    I hope you are enjoying your weekend. Our youngest son Josh turned 14 the day after my niece turned 18 so we had a combined dinner. We are getting some fresh snow and it is quite cold. Definitely still lots of winter left. I had fun playing with the shelves this afternoon but now I need to get busy tidying the house before I head back to work tomorrow. Thanks for visiting!

    This post is being shared at the following parties...

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    I came across a lovely blog the other day, FARMHOUSE 5540.


    I asked Megan if I could share some photos and she kindly agreed. Megan and her husband are "renovating, decorating and creating in an 1867 Pennsylvania farmhouse."

    Sitting Area, Farmhouse 5540

    I guess Pennsylvania is a great place to find some lovely vintage and rustic collectibles because she has some awesome pieces. 



    Lucky Megan has a husband who constructs some of her rustic furniture pieces too.



    If you haven't stopped by FARMHOUSE 5540, you might want to head over and check it out. Megan also has an etsy shop, Farmhouse Supply.

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  • 01/25/13--06:38: Knit Candle Cozy and Hearts
  • I love the texture and tone of chunky neutral knits and fleecy fabrics. Using leftover cream chunky yarn and cotton quilting batting I made a candle cozy and some fabric hearts.

    The candle wrap was knit in a simple K1P1 ribbing with a buttonhole and a heart button. The wool was leftover from two afghans I crocheted for our family room.  



    I put the cozy on a chunky pillar candle and created a center piece with a tray, vintage napkin, wire cloche, vintage wooden spool and a tarnished silver pedestal plate.


     Hand knits always remind me of winter so I think it goes quite well with my winter-y hutch arrangement. 


    When I decorated the kitchen shelves for Valentines I realized I don't have many Valentines themed pieces and red or pink items to choose from. I decided to come up with a few heart projects that were more neutral in colour and not specifically Valentines themed, but that I could use at this time of the year. So after a few minutes in my studio/hobby room I decided to use leftover off white cotton quilt batting to make some hearts. I like the fuzzy character of the batting and stuffed them lightly for a bit of dimension. Super easy and free- my favourite combination ;)



    I added two to the cloche and a third to the stack of vintage ironstone platters that are looking a wee bit too yellow in the poor photo lighting. I may just have to retake these photos this weekend. Argh! 


     I can see a lovely bowl filled with these fuzzy hearts in my future.


    Using scraps of the linen tea towel fabric from my faux grainsack table runner project I made a linen heart. I love that this little heart has a grainsack look to it even if it is not vintage.


    I also love how some leftover supplies and a few hours in the evening can add a few more items to my winter/Valentines decor.


    Now if you are looking for some beautifully crafted heart lavender sachets using authentic grain sack, among other gorgeously created items, check out Ann's On Sutton Place etsy shop.

    Heart Lavender Sachet from vintage European grain sack blue stripes

    I'm sharing this at...

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    We have lived in our home for 14 years, a new build at the time, and in almost all those years I have hated the popcorn stucco ceilings.


    The stairwell to our basement is visible from the front door, the living room and the dining room and this patch of sloped ceiling and the patch above the landing bothers me the most. I wanted to start updating this area by painting the walls, trim and doors. I was talking about this to our almost 16 year old son and mentioned that I wanted to take the stucco off but that was not a project I was looking forward to. Kyle said we should give it a try before I painted. Within 10 minutes of talking about it, our youngest son took the lower railing off and Kyle set up some plastic garbage bags to collect the falling stucco. He started slowly, spraying just the spot in the photo above with warm water in a window cleaner bottle. Two swoops and it came off super easily.


    Game on! He went to work on the rest. Adding just enough water to moisten the stucco and make it come off easily but not so much to saturate the drywall. This is the point where my sister-in-law called saying she had locked their keys in the truck and could I come pick up my brother and her and get the second set of keys. We left Kyle and came back less than 30 minutes less and all the stucco was off. (Hubby was at work and he prefers laundry and dishes to diy.)


    The stucco left quite a mess to clean up. On a larger area we would spend more time laying plastic sheeting and protecting the walls but this was just a small trial project and I plan to paint.

    When I walked in the door he said "Mom I had to walk to the kitchen, you might not want to look." 


    Surprisingly with a shop vac, swiffer and finally a wet mop it cleaned up pretty quickly. In the photo above you can see the projects we need to complete to make this area more attractive. Now that the stucco is off and two small nicks filled and sanded the ceiling is ready for paint. I will freshen the paint on the basement door and trim. The walls will be painted and I can finish the board details around the wall opening and the drywalled post. We also need to add hardwood to the landing (my brother's dog ate the carpet that was here.) I also plan to sand down the short handrail and use a darker stain, plus spray the supports black (the rail going upstairs is a project for another time.)


     But now I will be doing these projects in the right order and not ending up still having the stucco that I hate.


    Smooth ceilings. Ahhhh! Looking so much better.


    Hopefully I can get started on the painting soon. First I have a dresser to paint for my sister. Hoping you are having a relaxing or productive weekend, whatever suits you.

    Edited: In older homes (some say pre 1988 others the 70's) asbestos is a real danger in textured ceilings and building materials. Always check before removing building materials. Mike Holmes says you can have small part of the material tested first. Our home was built in 1997.

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    We have a pile of old postcards exchanged between my paternal grandparents when my Grandfather immigrated to Canada around 1910.(My maternal family line goes back to the 1600's and the first permanent settlers.)


    My Grandfather spent time establishing himself and then sent for my Grandmother Nellie (Mary Ellen) and young son James, who lived in Machester, England. My dad was a late in life child born here in Canada 15 years later.


    Other postcards, like the ones below, were exchanged when my Grandmother spent time at the seaside in the summers, with young Jim.




    Love the period costumes!



    And others are postcard type greeting cards for birthdays.


    This one would be between my grandfather William "Jack" John and his sweetheart at the time, my grandmother Mary Ellen "Nellie" Pittaway.


    In the box were also postcards that were collected but not written on, and these three are a series.




    My nephew has these cards now as he likes genealogy but he sent me scanned copies to enjoy. Amazing that they are 100 years old or more! It is fun seeing them again, especially as Valentine's Day approaches. 

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     A sweet friend surprised me with a grey knit star this week and I added it to the display in our kitchen hutch.


    I love the chunky wool it is stitched with and look forward to using it in lots of vignettes.


     I am still searching for more ironstone and white pieces for my cabinets and shelves but I like how the collections are growing.


    I also added a few vintage farm themed flashcards to the shelves.


     We kind of like farm themes around here!


    Thanks T for the sweet star and for thinking of me! We are looking forward to our youngest son's Confirmation and family get together this weekend. I sewed a new bedskirt for our king bed and need to hem the curtains before I share some photos. I also am in the middle of painting a dresser for my sister. That is just some of the projects we are working on. I have some real project ADD. Is there intervention for that? hehe.

    I'm sharing this at...

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  • 02/08/13--12:36: Snowy Day Painting
  • The big snow storm that was predicted arrived yesterday and it is still snowing. 


    When my guys and I were coming home from our schools yesterday (3 different ones in two different school boards) we were hoping school buses would at least be cancelled for today. We woke to find out the schools are closed. Yea for a snow day! Although we are excited to stay home from work and school (and I have more time to prepare for our son's Confirmation tomorrow -if it isn't cancelled) we know that this weather is serious and hope that those that have to get to and from work, emergency personel etc. are safe.


    This is our backyard around noon today. We have over 30 cm (12") of new snow already and it continues to snow and blow.


    Our 15 year old son woke up today and asked if I wanted him to paint the first coat on the basement stairwell walls (see this post). He wanted to get started before he went to work this afternoon (his part time job) shovelling snow with his dad. Are you kidding me?? I couldn't get the paint supplies out fast enough!


    This is only the first coat and the door needs painting, the trim finished etc. but it looks so much fresher already. Now I need to get busy baking a big cake and hoping the Confirmation isn't cancelled tomorrow morning (the one scheduled for tonight was cancelled.)

    Edited: My husband came home at 2 pm for some lunch and to pick up our boys to help shovel and barely made it down our suburban street. When they went to try to get back to work a couple of hours later our van got stuck on our street so they pushed it back in the driveway and walked out to the main road and my sister picked them up. We haven't had this much snow in 5 years!

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  • 02/10/13--13:16: Collected White Pieces
  • I'm sharing some white china pieces I have added to my collections recently. 


    To keep within my budget I shop yard sales and thrift stores for my pieces. Today I stopped by what was advertised online as an indoor yard sale but was really an estate sale. It was supposed to be just on Saturday but the weather was poor so the lady from the company hosting it emailed me saying they would reopen today. All the furniture pieces I was interested in sold, and they had lots of glassware and colourful china but my eye always goes right for the white pieces. I bought all three pieces for $5.


    I only bought three pieces because except for the unmarked white pieces everything was antique store prices (it pays to ask if something is not marked,) I was pleasantly surprised that this little Meakin ironstone creamer was $1.


    This sweet little jug has a real farmhouse feel to it and was also $1. The platter was $3 and is made in Portugal so although not an antique I will be quite comfortable using it for parties.


    One way to find affordable pieces is to visit a favourite thrift store fairly regularly. I try to stop by the one near us on the way home from work once or twice a week. On one stop I added the white jug on the far left to the top of the china cabinet in the dining room. It is actually a new TAG branded large piece measuring 11" high that I found at the thrift store for $5. I love mixing my vintage and newer white and ironstone pieces.


    This large soup tureen with plate and ladle was a $6 thrift store find in January. I shared a photo of it on top of the kitchen buffet and hutch that I painted mercury glass white but I have since moved it to the dining room china cabinet.


    I am sharing a hint of how I displayed the little creamers. I will share more photos tomorrow in a post for Marty at A Stroll Thru Life's Winter Cloche Party. Hope to see you there!

    I'm sharing this at the following parties..
    Thanks for the feature, Linda!
     http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/


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  • 02/11/13--03:00: Winter Cloches
  • Our kitchen table is one of my favourite spots for a cloche center piece.


    I don't have a glass cloche (the huge one I had broke a few years ago) but I do have a pair of tall black wire cloches.



    After visting an estate sale this weekend I decided to use the platter and two little creamers I picked up, for $5 total, in a little cloche vignette for Marty's Winter Cloche Party.


    I layered some crochet edged napkins to the new platter on a tray I painted charcoal grey.


    Then the large wooden spool was added to give some height to the little Meakin ironstone creamer.


    I used the other little creamer and two tiny vintage spoons for interest.


     My favourite colour combination -shades of whites with woods and grounded with black.


    This is a very simple little vignette pulled together with my collected pieces but I love how it mimics the colours and textures from the display on the freshly painted buffet and hutch behind it.


    And this is the same cloche from earlier in the month with the chunky candle cozy I knit and some little hearts I sewed.


    I used a vintage cutwork napkin in the tray and added a tarnished pedestal plate to give the cloche a lift


    The hearts were sewn with leftover cotton quilt batting and linen tea towelling fabric.
      

    Even the little knit candle cozy has a heart -a heart button!
    I will be sharing this at...
    Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
    Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
    Be Inspired at Elizabeth and Co.
    Marty at A Stroll Thru Life's Winter Cloche Party
    Country Whites Weekend at The Country Farm Home and Old Time Farmhouse

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