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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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    This morning I dropped my teen boy's off at their friends' farm and headed into a neighbouring town for a little Saturday shopping. Not the grocery store/chore kind of shopping, but the fun craft store and home decor kind.

    At one of my favourite cafe/home accents/gift stores, A Country Mile in Milton, Ontario, I bought these two  distressed black petite signs. 'Best Dog Ever' is a cute little wood picture frame that I will add a picture of our dog to. The 'Expect Great Things' is a tiny metal sign and I like that it looks like a mini chalkboard. I also enjoyed leisurely browsing through the store and then enjoying a maple coffee and peanut butter and banana wrap -yum! 

    The next stop was Michaels Craft store for some sale items. I picked up some pretty 12" scrapbook papers at 6/$1 (reg 99 cents each.) I'm on a mission to add more of my favourite watery blues to our home.

    I also added some more craft paints to my supply. The trio of wooden trays were $4 at a new thrift store in another town. Hopefully I can share my finished project later in the week.

    I did finish this little sign with hooks. It is a copy cat idea but I'm afraid I can't remember the source. The hooks were less than $2/pair at Home Depot and I used a scrap of pine. The paint and wax I had on hand. Now I need to decide where to hang it and the petite signs. Don't you just love some 'me' time browsing your favourite stores and getting your craft on?

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    Simple vintage mason jars filled with fresh flowers are a great pick me up for these early spring days.

    I love the soft pink and coral of these roses and gerbera daisies. I added the flowers to vintage canning jars for a tablescape in our kitchen with ironstone plates, a vintage kitchen scale and some of my collected linens and doilies.

    The grass is just beginning to green in our area, and tulips are just starting to poke out of the soil. 

    Our days are still on the cool side (with night temps dipping around zero) and this week we are having a mixture of sun and lots of rain. 

    But I know that spring and some warmth are just around the corner.

    This little arrangement may not be a big project checked off my list, but it sure adds a bit of cheeriness to our kitchen on this rainy afternoon.

    Linking up to...
    Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm

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  • 04/17/13--09:17: Trays in Seaglass Blues
  • My favourite blues are water inspired turqoise, aquas and seaglass shades.

    I am enjoying adding more of these colours to our home for a lakeside farmhouse kind of look. Still rustic, country and lots of white, but fresher with pops of colour.

    My latest project is this trio of stacking trays that went from plain wood to pretty for a whopping $6 not including supplies I already had on hand.

    On a recent trip to Michaels I stocked up on sale craft paints (2/$1) and pretty shades of scrapbook papers (3/$1.)

    The trays were $4/3 with a coupon. The larger tray required two sheets of paper.

    The seaglass inspired craft paint colours I chose were Cloudless,

    Ocean Breeze,

    and Desert Turquoise.

    A bit typical of my impatience, I forgot to give them a touch up sanding before beginning to paint and I am not thrilled with how the mod podge left ripples in the paper. I need to work on my technique I guess.

    The pretty blues and patterns do make me very happy though! I'm looking forward to finding a spot for these. Just as soon as the weather warms up and I can give them a protective spray.

    I didn't want to post without saying that my heart aches for those affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy. But mixed in with the sadness is a huge amount of respect for the first responders, volunteers, civilians and medical personel that responded so quickly to help.

    I'm sharing this at the following parties...
    Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

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    The most important feature of pillows in our family room is that the fabric is washable and can stand up to frequent laundering.

    We have teen boys and a chocolate Lab. I like pretty fabrics, but it has to be washable and not so expensive that I cringe when I pick them up off the floor for the bazillionth time. Two recent trips to the fabric store has had me coming home disappointed in the choices available. Then I remembered a pair of tablecloths I bought on clearance last year at HomeSense. Lots of sturdy washable fabric for less than $10 each.

    Last week I sewed these blue striped pillow slips with simple envelope backs for a pair of 22" inserts. And now I can show them because last night I washed the white couch slipcovers. I did mention teen boys and a chocolate Lab. (Please excuse the off center couch and wrinkled slips, I find they smooth out when they dry fully.) 

    I love stripes, especially for that lakeside feel as summer approaches. And everyone is happier when this mom is not stressed about real living happening in our home ; )

    We are enjoying some beautiful sunshine and almost warm temps this week. I had my guys haul the patio table and chairs into the backyard but it is still too early to garden, so I am enjoying some pinning and planning.
    Linking to the following parties...
    Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm

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  • 04/27/13--15:54: Some Birthday Gifts
  • I celebrated my birthday earlier this month and was blessed with many best wishes and gifts from my co-workers and family.
    Today I am sharing a few of the gifts that I placed on the dresser in our living room.

    One of the gifts is this cactus arrangement. I love the layers of sand and rocks.

    My co-worker and friend of almost 25 years gave me a gift certificate for my favourite country gift store, along with a cute canoe paddle key hook. I picked out this scented candle. Maple Cream -yum.

    I am enjoying the scent and view from my favourite end of the sofa in the living room while I crochet.

    Another co-worker gave me this Madonna and Child magnetic bookmark and a lovely bracelet. I really enjoyed celebrating my 48th birthday this year. The number really doesn't bother me because I feel much younger on the inside. And I'm enjoying some beautiful sunshine and warm (18C) weather this weekend. Life is good! 

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    With nice weather finally arriving I am beginning to add some seasonal changes to our front porch. 

    I'm pretty sure this year I am going to stick to neutral colours on our small front porch. While I would love to paint our front door turquoise, I don't think it would go with the brick and siding colours.
    Cheap & Easy Burlap And Scrap Beachy Blues Wreath

    This week I was inspired by this pretty Burlap and Blues wreath made by Shannon at Fox Hollow Cottage and tried a copy cat version.

    This was my first attempt at the rolled flowers and they are okay but I think I can practice more. I'm going to live with it for a while but I might need to add two more flowers, and I definitely need to fix the wonky bow.

    With the bow fixed, it might be a keeper. I'm still not sure. It has been one of those weeks where projects just aren't working out as planned. I ended up selling the pair of chairs we had on our porch in previous years because I didn't love them and because the porch seemed too crowded. Now I need to find something else or touch up the paint on the Muskoka chair from the backyard. It's still too early for planting here, so hopefully I will feel more inspired soon. Have you been working on sprucing up your outdoors?

    I'm sharing this at the following parties...

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  • 05/09/13--16:01: I Need To Find a Hutch Top
  • The moment I saw this photo it totally inspired me to be on the lookout for a hutch for our basement kitchen.
    Our small basement (guest suite) kitchen has cabinets on one wall that need a makeover, but it is the opposite wall that I have plans for just as soon as I find an affordable hutch top. Without the base sideboard I could slip a narrow table under it for guests to enjoy their morning coffee. That way both pieces would be narrow enough to not interfere with traffic flow. Good thing it is yard sale season and this is at the top of my list. Don't you just love finding the perfect inspiration photo?

    We have been having computer issues and had to send it away for virus removal but happily it is back. Hoping to get back to posting some projects soon.

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    I am super excited to finally have my hands on a copy of Romantic Homes June 2013 magazine. My blog is highlighted in the Site Seeing section.

    I was surprised and honoured to be asked by editor Beth Livesay to submit photos for a summer issue and did a bit of scrambling after work in overcast weather to try and take some photos that met the requirements.

    Lessons learned: 
    1. Never say never. It can happen to you. 
    2. Save your better untouched non-watermarked SOOC shots just in case. 
    3. I really need to learn more about my camera.

    Thank you Romantic Homes Magazine and Beth Livesay!

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     I scored some vintage black transferware dishes today at an outdoor antique show.

    Our 14 year old son is my garage sale buddy and really looks forward to our early Saturday mornings this time of year. He is difficult to get out of bed on school days but on Saturdays he is up at the crack of dawn with the garage sale listings he clipped from the newspaper on Friday. We found some great items this week, including an almost new Scrabble game for $1. I will share the other finds later. 

    By 9:30 we were finished at yard sales so I dropped him off at home. I then headed about 45 minutes west towards Guelph, Ontario to the Aberfoyle Antique Market for their Saturday Spring Special Antique Show (it is usually just on Sundays.) There is so much to see, some good deals and lots of expensive items. 

    Today I noticed a black transferware platter with a farm scene that I really liked. When I asked the vendor the price, he said he was only selling all of the pieces in a lot and for $20. I have seen lots of platters for that price so it was a good deal for the lot. The china came with a large platter, a medium platter, 4 side plates and 6 dinner plates (but I only saved these three because the others were badly chipped and cracked), a newer plate and a bowl. The side plates have lambs laying in a field and the dinner plate has cows and a barn (or maybe it is a home.)

    The medium platter is 11.5" x 15" and has a scene of men and women loading a hay wagon. The condition is great.

    This is the largest platter, 13.5" x 17", and it shows some discolouring and age. Love the cows and mill with a water wheel scene though. These dishes will be just for display as I don't like serving food on pieces with age or crazing.

    This newer plate has a Spode Copeland stamp, as does the bowl. The platters and plates do not have a stamp but have a Copeland impression. I'm not sure how old they are but I love that the transferware pattern has agricultural scenes.

    For now I am displaying them in the white pine jam cupboard in our dining room. Normally the door is closed and the view is through the wire on the door.

    I'll try to get some full photos of the cabinet once I finish arranging things and in better lighting. And I need to take tons more photos of the other things I found today. Thanks so much for all the kind comments on my blog being featured in the Site Seeing section of Romantic Homes Magazine (that post here.) Hoping you have a great weekend and I would love to hear if you found any great deals this weekend.

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    Today I am sharing some porch inspiration photos, a couple of simple makeovers, a garage sale find and Happy Mother's Day wishes. A real mix!

    via BHG
    I was considering lots of whites and neutrals with black and greenery for our front porch this year but these fun colours are drawing me to the bright side :) 
    I mentioned in a previous post about wanting to paint our front door a bright blue, something like Wyeth Blue. I'm not sure if it will work with our brick colour though. I'm going to start by introducing accents in the blue. We are also getting a new garage door and man garage door in white later this spring. The railing, porch post and door frame will also be painted white. That will just leave us with a light green-khaki aluminium beadboard porch ceiling. 

    Our summer porch

    Our covered front porch is on the small side but has enough room for one or two chairs and a small table. I bought these chairs a few years ago for less than $30 each and sold them a few weeks ago for $40 for the pair so I'm not out a lot of money. They were okay but I wasn't loving them. Now I need to find something to replace them. I may use an old Muskoka / Adirondack chair from our backyard and touch up the paint. I would also love to find a vintage wrought iron chair and spray paint it.

    For now I am hunting and gathering (and painting) decor items. This large green glass bottle was $5 at a yard sale yesterday. I'm not sure if it will work, but for that price I had to get it.

    I also picked up some trusty Krylon spray paint in my favourite shade, Blue Ocean Breeze. This formerly red tin barn star is going blue.  

    I painted this pine peg shelf I have had for years (from a garage sale for a few dollars) and hung it on the porch wall (on the old mailbox screws so I didn't have to drill into the brick.) Now it just needs some small plants and accessories.

    This is just a start, and I have a long way to go, but the ideas are starting to come together in my head. Besides that, after a beautiful week weather wise today we woke to near freezing temps and a mix of sun, sleet and hail with frost predicted overnight. I'm waiting until after the May long weekend to put potted plants out.

    Finally, wishing all you moms and grandmothers, and those who have mom's waiting in heaven, a Happy Mother's Day.

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    Through some pages I follow on Facebook I found more retailers in southern Ontario that sell Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and/or Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. 

    I plan to visit the other stores during the summer but was super excited on Saturday to head off on my own to visit The Painted Bench in Hamilton, Ontario (less than an hour drive.)

    Love this grain sack pillow and the stripes on the dresser are really cool.

    I came so close to buying this lovely grain sack inspired table runner, but I have too many runners as it is! Heather from New House New Home New Life sewed the pillows and runner.

    The Painted Bench is right in the heart of the fabric and design district on Ottawa St. N. in Hamilton. So worth the drive for a whole street of stores with fabric, antiques and home decor. The Painted Bench is in a lovely shop at 208 Ottawa St. N., Hamilton where you can find the MMS Milk Paint TM line, beautifully painted and finished furniture, unfinished finds to paint yourself, and lots of unique one of a kind pieces including bird houses, pillows, table runners and more. I know I will be stopping by again soon. I really enjoyed chatting with one of the co-owners. She was full of great tips for the Milk Paint.

    To start I bought a packet of Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Ironstone and a bottle of bonding primer.

    More good news for us close to Hamilton.-The Painted Bench is a new stockist for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint TM and will be stocked in about a month's time. That will make for some great summer time painting.

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    I finally found an affordable large mirror for our living room and painted it white this week.

    When I bought the $10 wood dresser I knew I wanted a bigger mirror but made do with the smaller rose framed mirror. I propped a chippy paned window in front of it to help disguise how small it was.

    It is not in our budget to spend a lot on decor, so I waited for garage sale season to start and the hunt began.

    For now the mirror is resting on the dresser and I will probably hang it. And I added the window frame back because I like it.

    This is the gold frame before. I thought it was well worth the $8 asking price at the garage sale. Slap on some white paint and good to I thought.

    What I thought was going to be a simple mirror painting makeover ended up being a bigger project than I expected. I have painted lots of mirrors and frames but this time I saved some cereal boxes to stuff between the frame and the mirror. It would save taping and be a super fast project. Wrong. Even though I tried to take the boxboard out when the paint was still wet, half of it got stuck. What a mess pulling it out with tweezers and taking away some of the paint from the mirror edge. Oh well, lesson learned! Next time I will  take the mirror out of the frame before painting. 

    I love the detail of the frame and I'm thinking of adding another layer of white (maybe my new MMS Milk Paint in Ironstone) and possibly some glazing to bring out the detail. At that time I will touch up the mirror edges.

     I'm going to live with it for now. I'm not in the mood for more hair pulling this soon ;-)

    I added the wood crate and faux green and white berry spray to the side table. I have also painted a few photo frames in turquoise, aqua and even a green to add some colour. I bought a fun new fabric to make some pillows that hopefully I can share this week.

    Don't you love how our chocolate Lab matches the brown leather couch and blinds lol. Yes, we finally got around to hanging the blinds in the living room and now need to reinstall the curtain rod. 

    And the reason we have white sheets and throws on our white slipcovers (besides my guys), Remington in her favourite spot.

    We are enjoying the end of a long Victoria Day weekend. Saturday the guys went up north to buy goats to show as their 4-H projects (besides Dairy and Rabbit Clubs.) I had the whole day to myself and headed to some paint and decor stores in Hamilton and Cambridge. I'll share more later. Yesterday we had a big family bbq and firepit in the evening and today we are relaxing. Love Long Weekends!

    I'm sharing at the following great parties. Stop by....
    Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm

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    I love original art, handmade pieces, special framed photos, and yes, sometimes even mass produced prints that speak to me.

    This little end wall opposite the fridge in our kitchen was needing a little something so I added a pair of framed prints.

    The "Count Each Day A Blessing" framed print is one I have had for years. It has a primitive look but is a great daily reminder. Each and every day is truly a blessing and I love this reminder to slow down and appreciate every one. Recently while shopping a favourite country store with a gift certificate from a friend, I saw the "Spring Flowers For Sale" print. We really love old barns and farmhouses so this one had to come home with me. 

    Our son has promised to help me finish up all the board and batten in our kitchen and fireplace side of the family room this summer when I am off work. We are so close and just need some last pieces and touch ups, plus a mantel. 

    This is the skylight end of this center wall between the kitchen and family room. The photo was one of the ones that didn't make it into the recent Romantic Homes Magazine Site Seeing feature.  

    I am so happy to see so many new people stopping by Blue Clear Sky and following through my FB page, GFC (800 wow!), Pinterest,  Linky Followers and email subscriptions. But it is my friends I connect with on a regular basis, through comments, emails and your blogs, that really make my day. Thank you for that.

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    Vintage and farmhouse collectibles are not the easiest things to find at garage sales around here, but the hunting is fun.

    There have been lots of garage sales these past few weekends and my youngest son and I have hit a lot of them. At two different sales I found these crocks, #1 and #2. I don't know if they are vintage or not.

    I have also found quite a few vintage plain and aqua Crown Made in Canada canning jars. The prices on these are higher than ever due to the demand, but if you look hard enough there are still affordable ones out there. I am getting to the point that I have too many so I am going to sell some.

    This smaller pitcher and wash basin was a consignment store find. I'm listing it on kijiji to see if it will sell.

    The reverse has a floral pattern. This past weekend I also picked up a large roll of warm and natural quilt batting for $10 and an old dresser I plan to paint. The dresser was a bit pricey at $30 (needs some work.) It was a bit of an impulse buy that I am trying not to regret. Hopefully I can make it work. Have you found any items at sales lately?

    Wishing my American friends a great Memorial Day!

    I'm sharing this with...

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  • 06/02/13--05:00: A Rainy Street Festival
  • This is the time of year that it is especially easy to pass up projects I should be working on to spend time taking my boys to their 4-H club meetings and taking in outdoor activities.

    Last night my nephew was working at a booth making funnel cake at a street festival in nearby Milton, Ontario and asked us to stop by. Of course we said yes to strawberries, whip cream, caramel sauce, cinnamon and icing sugar. Okay, so at least the fresh strawberries were healthy! Yum.

    The festival filled the downtown part of Main Street and we paused to eat our funnel cakes outside one of my favourite decor/gift/coffee shops, A Country Mile. They sell the Muskoka chairs above, made from recycled materials that never need painting. I would love one for our porch, or a few for the backyard but they are not in the budget at this time. There were also several stages set up with local bands to enjoy as we strolled up and down the street.

    It didn't surprise me that even on a rainy evening, with heavy rain at times, the crowds were plentiful and people seemed to really be enjoying themselves. My nephew said it was busy all day long too. But then I guess with all the loss and destruction due to storms in the U.S. it puts simple overcast and rain in a whole new perspective.

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  • 06/03/13--05:30: I {HEART} DENIM
  • A great pair of jeans is my favourite thing to wear. Cozy and rustic and oh so comfortable. Dark wash or perfectly faded and worn in. Denim used in soft furnishings may not be everyone's style but I love using it in our home. 

    And I love how worn denim can be transformed into beautiful projects. Legend Blues is responsible for my heart beating just a bit faster this afternoon when I stumbled upon these photos of denim upholstered furniture. The company produces "one-of-a-kind items that tell a story that is authentic to its owner."

    Denim with rivets, zippers, pockets and seams still intact. Dark woods and nailhead trim -oh my!
    Furniture love I tell you.

    I would really love to try upholstering something like this. In the late 90's I sewed by-the-metre denim slip covers for a large leather couch, love seat and chair that really worked well for us at the time. But now I need to use real jeans with all their details and imperfections.
    Obviously I couldn't pull off a wonderful piece like this sleeper sofa, but maybe I could try a smaller chair. I already collect my family's old jeans and I will keep doing that. I wouldn't want a whole room full of denim, but I do love how it goes so well with whites, leather, grainsacks and can be dressed up with a pretty pattern or a bit of bling.

    A couple of years ago I sewed these denim and whites pillow slips with old jeans, white denim, and drop cloth with added lace and crocheted trim.

    This past Christmas I made a pair of denim and linen Christmas stockings.

    This twin sized denim quilt is great for snuggling while watching TV in our basement TV room. I collected quite a few pairs of jeans to get all these 6" squares.

    Recently I won a mini loom from the very sweet Dru and her hubby John at The Country Farm Home. I can hardly wait till the end of June, when I am off for the summer, to learn this new skill. 

    Right now I am trying to get through this last month of work and enjoying lots of family activities. I spent an overcast early Saturday morning checking out local garage sales with my usual buddy (youngest son) but this time my sister-in-law tagged along. Then my sil and I spent a great day visiting some shops and lunching in downtown Oakville, Ontario. Saturday night we visited a street festival in nearby Milton, Ontario and today  I started some small paint projects and had my sister over for dinner. Did you have a good weekend?

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    I found some time today to take photos of a few pieces I have painted recently. 

    I love finding pieces to paint at garage sales but if I don't take the time to get them painted the pile can get out of control. Can you relate to that? We still have 3 weeks of school and work left before summer, but I squeezed in some painting projects in the evenings and now have a few more completed. 

    For this pine box I layered black over a base coat of blue then distressed it and finished with a wax.

    It is a great spot to store shelter mags for now but it is one of those pieces that could have lots of uses. Can you tell that I am still excited about the feature in Romantic Homes magazine?

    This is the before, a $3 pine box that might have been intended as a planter. 

    I also finished painting this little bookcase with a home made chalk paint mixture in Ben Moore Origins Mercury Glass. I'm still deciding whether to use it here in the family room, or in the little exercise area of our basement guest suite bedroom. Now that it is painted white it looks nice, but this was one of those pieces that I regretted as soon as it came home.

    I found it on kijiji for $25 and sent my husband to pick it up. I told him to check that it was real wood (the online picture was blurry.)  He didn't check and it wasn't real wood. Seriously, a man who worked in and ran his father's lumber mill for years didn't check to see if it was real wood. Good thing he is super sweet and will pick up all my purchases and lug them from room to room! It is a pressed board with a pine finish. After debating tossing it I decided to try painting it since it was a solid bookcase. It turned out okay and I will keep it until I find a real wood one.

    This robin's egg blue painted box has been shared before on our basement kitchen counter but the lighting was off so I am sharing it again today. We use it here in the office end of our family room to store all the necessary cords for cameras, phones, ipods etc.

    The paint is craft paint mixed with plaster of paris for a home made chalk paint, and then distressed and waxed. A super cheap and easy way to update a $4 thrift store pine breadbox. I love how buffing the Minwax paste wax brings up the colours and has a subtle shine.

    I'm back to painting again today. I'm trying to mix Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Ironstone again. Last weekend I had trouble mixing the MMS Milk Paint I bought a few weeks ago. Good thing I only mixed a small amount because it didn't work out. I watched all the videos but the problem was that I think I added too much bonding agent and/or I used a battery operated frother to mix it. It was full of bubbles that transferred to the tray I was painting and didn't lay down nicely, even after leaving it to sit for awhile. I keep hearing how people are loving it and that it is easy to use so I am a bit frustrated that I messed it up. Here's hoping I mixed it better today!

    I'm sharing this post at the following link parties....

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     I made a few changes to our living room this week with a coffee table and some new pillows.

    The pillows might be a bit bright for this room but they were brand new on clearance for $5 each (inserts are more than that around here.) I can always move them.

    On the weekend I finished painting this pine coffee table with a home made chalky paint using plaster of Paris and Ben Moore Origins in a white called Mercury Glass. Minwax furniture paste protects the finish. The Windsor chair in the corner is the same colour. I really like the mix of white painted pieces with the darker woods and our leather couch.

    The tables were free on kijiji, our local online classifieds. I still have the end tables but I didn't want a matched set so they are unfinished and in storage for now.

    Previously I used a small white bench as a coffee table but the scale wasn't right with the couch. I also tried a really nice dark wood oval table but it just seemed too dark and I couldn't get up the nerve to paint it. I ended up selling it.

    I have also continued to add some more blues throughout our home. While I had some turquoise craft paint out for another project I decided to quickly add some grain sack inspired stripes to the white painted Windsor chair. It is one of three that came with a round oak pedestal table that I sold for more than I paid for all four pieces. That made the chairs free. I still have the other two to paint.

    I'm also still searching for a larger side table for this end of the leather sofa. The little round table was painted for the basement TV room and my husband would like it back beside his chair down there. Last week was big items garbage day and I scored two solid wood tables with drawers from our neighbours. I'm going to paint them and see how one would look in this spot.

    I'm still loving my$8 mirror that I painted white for the $10 dresser. Gotta love decor that is cheaper than a trip through the drive-thru. I filled a vintage Crown canning jar with blue stones ($1 clearance at Fabricland,) 

    Nothing stays the same around here for too long but for now I like this casual coffee table. I may end up adding a plank wood top or maybe I will come across one that I like better and this one will end up being sold. Also on my list for this room is an area rug that fits our budget and I still need to rehang a curtain rod and some drapes.

    An hour after I took these photos I was inspired to try moving this wood crate from the end table beside the slipcovered chair to the ledge in the wall opening. 

    We have quite an assortment of prescription sunglasses and regular sunglasses that we keep handy near the front door and I'm hoping this will be a better way to corral them all. I told you nothing stays the same for too long ;) 

    I was wondering if you have an opinion on the gallery wall above the sofa. I'm thinking of adding some more pieces to it but I'm not sure what to add. Any ideas? Hoping you are having a good week and thanks for stopping by!

    I am joining the following link parties...

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    Every Saturday since the beginning of May my 14 year old son and I get up early and head off to local garage sales. He cuts the garage sale classifieds out of the newspaper and makes me promise to set the alarm. Some weeks we buy only an item or two, other times we find more. 

    A lady in our neighbourhood was selling this grey plaid throw for 25 cents. I did a double take when I saw the sticker. She said it was a gift she hadn't used. I washed and dried it and it is still super soft. It will be great for this fall and winter.

    This gold framed print was $5 and my guys would like me to keep it as is but I would love to make it into a chalkboard. I love the chunky frame.
    I also found a brand new in box Pampered Chef 4 cup batter bowl/measuring bowl for 50 cents. I have the large one and use it tons. 

    It is always a balance to make sure we only buy items that we need or can see a use for, otherwise we would end up needing a sale of our own. We are looking forward to getting out again this Saturday morning. Have you found any good deals lately?

    Sharing this at the following parties...

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    I have been having some fun adding more blue to our neutral home, this time in the kitchen with some colourful hand towels.

    My oldest sister Kathy often crochets right onto the top of each towel, as you often see at craft fairs, and gifts us new towels at Christmas. But with lots of traffic in our home I like to change out the towel at the sink at the very least daily. This way I can switch the towel and not have to crochet as many tops.

    Our kitchen is pretty builder basic and I have been adding a bit of character with mouldings. I still have some finishing work to do and I want to add some bead board to the backsplash. My plan is to get to that this summer.

    The hand towels are from Dollarama and I like the fresh blues and greens. The little wooden crate is part of a gift to us from my sweet sister-in-law Georgie. The canning jar soap pump is my first attempt at making one and it worked out okay. I used a new jar with the two piece ring top. I'm hoping to get brave enough figure out how to punch a hole in a vintage one piece zinc lid with the milk glass inner part.

    This isn't the sharpest photo but you can see the basic idea. The pattern called for a button to loop over a door handle/pull, like on our oven, but with knobs on our cupboards the hole at the top works better.

    I sort of followed this crocheted towel holder pattern via Little Birdie Secrets but changed it up a bit as I went. The yarn is Handicrafter 100% cotton from Michael's and I used a 5 mm hook. Easy peasy and a simple project to do when kicking back with a nasty cold virus with my 14 year old son on a quiet Friday. We are spending a quiet day here today and will be having a Father's Day bbq tomorrow.

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