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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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    Yesterday I shared our kitchen Christmas tour and today I am sharing our family room. Both rooms share the back of our home and the cathedral ceiling area. This is where we watch TV, use the computer and hang out together. We still have lots to do but I am really liking how it is coming together (on a tight budget.) 

    Painting the office storage armoire white to match the hutch in the kitchen made the biggest improvement as it seems to flow much better visually. We may not get the mantel up before Christmas so I'm going ahead and sharing the room decorated for the holidays. Lots of pictures!

    More greenery and red berry strands like in the adjoining kitchen that I shared here.

    This tree is our family tree and holds all our special collected ornaments. 

    My guys want coloured LED lights on this tree and I added red bead strands and a black and red check ribbon for garland. It's funny how the metal Santa angel I bought on a whim many years ago became such a tradition for our family

    The ornaments have a Canadian country outdoors theme with moose, bears, snowmen, pine cones, Santas, cows, horses, dogs and more.

    The cream blanket with red stitching acts as a tree skirt until I decide what style to make (the old one was too busy.) We have lots of wrapping to do yet but I am enjoying the red and white presents with simple string, yarn and tags.

    I decorated the office armoire with white denim bags with pockets that I shared here.

    I need to practice writing on the chalkboard I made out of a vintage frame but I love how it looks with the dollar store wreath.

    Some small quilts I stitched years ago and new pillow slips I recently made add seasonal colour. More colour than I am used to but it is fun for the holidays. I will be painting the walls a lighter shade in the new year.

    I shared the JOY and the red and black buffalo check pillows in this post, and then found the moose and maple leaf fabric at a local quilt shop to make a fourth pillow. The end table still needs to be painted white to match the other one and the bookcase is just there to make room for the tree.

    The antique silver sugar scuttle on the ottoman tray belonged to my paternal grandmother and was a favourite piece of my mothers..

    This Christmas countdown calendar is another one of those items that I doubt I would still be using if it weren't for our youngest son saying it was a tradition.

    Thanks for visiting! I hope to share our more neutral living room and dining room soon.

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    Our dining room is decorated for Christmas using lots of naturals and neutral colours.

    Keeping with a rustic country look I added greenery and pine cones to our already neutral palette.

    Our living room and dining room are adjacent to each other so the natural decor flows from one to the other.

    This large black bowl of candles, pine cones, stars and greenery is my favourite Christmas centerpiece to date. Lots of texture, rustic and natural, just the way I like it!

    Lighting in these rooms is difficult on the best of days (and we have had overcast days with snow flurries) but I like the light shining in the window like this. I had my guys move the white and turquoise pie cabinet to the upstairs hall when I bought this solid wood cabinet from a neighbour's moving sale for $20. I changed the drop down desk into a liquor cabinet and store glass ware behind the tall side door. 

    Shiny and matte mini ball ornaments and bells bring a little sparkle over from the living room.

    It is a weakness of mine to need vintage mason jars in every room lol. 

    The pine china cabinet is filled with new and vintage white dishes and ironstone.

    A vintage gold frame with a dollar store wreath is affordable and can be changed easily with the seasons.

    Below the frame is this new little white cabinet I bought from a local decor shop. It has a shelf inside.

    I sewed the little stocking from leftover white denim jeans and some lace.

    Here's my little trick to keep small bunches of greenery fresh longer. I saved a dozen or so from floral arrangements and they fit nicely in small places.

    Another centerpiece photo just because I like this arrangement so much.

    I also tied greenery and cinnamon sticks to napkins with twine after seeing something similar on Pinterest.
    So that's a tour of our dining room! Thanks for visiting and if you missed it, you can find our kitchen tour here, and our family room tour here.

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    Thanks for visiting! I appreciate how busy you are at this time of year and that there is so much to see on blogs. Finding different ways to use the same decorations is something I enjoy when the bins are pulled out each year. We enjoy a natural rustic look and this year in our living room I tried to keep the look consistent with the other main floor rooms, although with less red in here. Rustic with a bit of sparkle.

    I enjoy layering my thrifted, garage sale and clearance finds with home made pieces and architectural salvage. The actual Christmas specific decorations are from previous years at Real Canadian Superstore, Canadian Tire and dollar stores. A few of the decorations are summer clearance items from a country gift shop. 

    The only new items in here this year are the four mercury glass balls, the large pine cones on the tree and the deer ribbon on the pillows.

    I shared the coffee table arrangement here. I used a vintage linen cutwork piece to line the tray and layered in pine cones, greenery, large mercury glass balls, small balls and dollar store stars that I painted and glittered. I also added small glass ball ornaments to the lanterns.

    Since I have yet to finish sewing the second chair slipcover I am using a matelasse twin bedspread to cover the chair. I bought big bunches of pine and cedar from the grocery and filled lots of containers throughout our home. We like using pine cones year round, some are collected from the ground and the bigger cones are from the grocery store several years ago.

    The Pottery Barn inspired PEACE sign I painted was shared here and the vintage skis were $10 several years ago from a local recycling shop.

    Extra ornaments and greenery fill the footed mercury glass bowl on the dresser. The Madonna and child statue was 50 cents at a church craft fair last year.

    The little wire basket was gold and left over from a bath gift set. I spray painted it silver this year and filled it with vintage wood spools, pinecones, pine and glass balls.

    Another vintage mason jar is filled with brown bells and greenery. The little ceramic Santa and snowman are votive holders. 

    I recently switched out the white painted end tables for this pair I picked up curbside from a neighbour in the spring. I have plans to paint them.

    Our second tree, decorated in my style, rustic and outdoorsy with a bit of sparkle.

    Keeping it simple I used brown paper, yarn and fabric scraps and homemade tags to wrap gifts under this tree.

    Reusing ornaments we have had for several years, our tree in here is decked out in stars, bells, balls, pine cones, and glittered deer tags I made.

    Our family room tree has all the special collected family ornaments and coloured lights, so I really enjoy the simple cool and warm white LED lights on this tree. The mix of cool white and warm white was a happy accident. 

    I also reused the burlap garland and the muslin garland I made.

    More greenery with a simple burlap bow hangs on a chippy old window frame.

    My favourite look, neutrals and naturals.

    I keep spare vintage canning jars in this wire crate and filled them with extra tiny glass ball ornaments and silver bells. Thanks for visiting and I hope you are enjoying your preparation and activities leading up to Christmas. 

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  • 12/09/13--05:00: Our 2013 Christmas Home Tour
  • Welcome to our Christmas 2013 home tour from the suburbs of Ontario, Canada.

    For this tour I will be sharing the rooms on our main floor. I still have some work to do on the Christmas decor in our bedroom and basement guest suite. 

    We will start our tour in our small front entry. Our half bath is off the entry area.

    The stairs to our second floor and basement guest suite are to the right of the front entry. From here you can see past the living room and dining room to the family room at the back of our home.

    I have shared the four main rooms on this level of our home in four separate posts. You can find more pictures and details on the individual posts by clicking the links.

    Our front living room is casual and a bit rustic and is decorated year round in neutrals. We don't have a TV in here so this is the room where we visit with family and guests or read quietly.

    I enjoy finding new ways to use our decorations, both on our Christmas trees and in vignettes. 

    We buy several big inexpensive bunches of pine and cedar from the grocery store and spread them throughout our rooms.

    The living room tree is decorated with pine cones, sleigh bells, jingle bells, rusty stars, large clear glass balls and small glass balls in shiny and matte cream, white and silver, and glittered deer head images on manilla tags.

    We use cool white and warm white LED lights on this tree and it looks so pretty at night. Our presents in here are wrapped with brown paper, yarn, fabric scraps and homemade tags.

    This year I bought silver glittered snowflakes and large plastic snowflakes, as well as a pretty burlap deer ribbon that I added to pillows.

     Our dining room is across from our living room and is decoarted in the same neutral colours.

    I think my favourite arrangement this year is the large wood bowl filled with greenery, pinecones, stars and birch bark wrapped candles.

    I love the greenery and pinecones added to our white dishes in the pine china cabinet.

    I sewed the little denim Chistmas stocking and added a dollar store wreath to a vintage gold frame.

    Moving past the dining room is our family room where we watch TV and use the computer. The fireplace wall and TV nook are still works in progress (as is most of our home -ha!) It is here that more red and colour starts to happen, but still with a neutral base.

    Another simple dollar store wreath on a vintage gold frame that I made into a chalkboard hangs above the fireplace. The fireplace wall and TV nook are still works in progress (as is most of our home -ha!) so we are presently mantle-less and will hang our stockings with command hooks!

    This tree has all of our family and special collected ornaments. The ornaments have a Canadian country outdoors theme with hockey, moose, bears, snowmen, pine cones, Santas, cows, horese, dogs and even Tim Horton's (a popular coffee shop chain popular across our nation.) Strings of red bead garland and black and red buffalo check ribbon adorn the tree, along with the coloured lights my guys prefer.

    Favourite handmade items from years past join newly sewn pillows in the seating area.

    Our kitchen, here, shares the back of our home and the cathedral ceiling with the office area of our family room. While the front rooms are lacking in natural light, these rooms are flooded with light from the patio doors, windows and skylights. 

    Painting the hutch in our kitchen and repainting the office armoire the same Mercury Glass white this year really helped the two rooms flow better.

    I added more red bead strands, greenery and pinecones to my ironstone and vintage canning jar collection on the hutch.

    The open shelves are much simpler this year with a growing collection of vintage aqua Crown canning jars and ironstone pudding bowls.

    The deer sweater plates ($3.49 for a set of 4) are the only new Christmas purchases this year for our kitchen.

    The work area of our kitchen from the patio doors and eating area. It is 15 year old builder basic and not fancy, but it's home and where our large extended family can visit!

    Thanks so much for stopping by! I will share more rooms if time permits. We are looking forward to finishing these last few weeks of school and work and then settling into enjoying Christmas with our loved ones. I wish you and your families a blessed and Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

     Jennifer Rizzo's holiday housewalk link party. Link up your home for a chance to be in next years house walk.

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    I'm just stopping in to share some photos of our ice storm. 

    We started getting freezing rain late last week and all weekend. Our whole town and surrounding areas had power outages. Our neighbourhood lost hydro for a day but lots of areas in town are still without power after four days. The sun came out yesterday and I took some not great iphone photos.

    The ice would be pretty if not for the damage. There is a lot of tree damage in our neighbourhood but even more shocking is the loss of mature trees in older areas of town. These photos are from yesterday, and we have had fresh snow and colder temperatures since then.

    My nephew and his family live across town and have been staying with us because their hydro is still out. Even worse is that Mike slipped on the concrete steps at their home and cracked some ribs. They are hooking up a generator today so their girls can have Christmas morning at home. 

    The stories we are hearing of neighbours staying with other families, offering showers and meals, and moving seniors to warming stations shows the kindness that exists. Living without the luxuries for a day or more makes one appreciate the conveniences we have that much more. With last minute shopping not so much a priority it was fun to take the time to show my young great nieces how to knit and stitch. It kept them occupied too. 

    We will be enjoying this Christmas Eve surrounded by family. Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas! 

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    Happy New Year 2014! Even with a pre-Christmas ice storm that was very challenging and had us without hydro, and then housing family that didn't have their power restored, we enjoyed a great Christmas with lots of fun family time. New Year's was on the quieter side with a nsmaller gathering with extended family and doctor's orders to rest so I don't end up in the hospital with my kidney infection again. I was so looking forward to the extra week off work to get some projects started around here but that didn't happen. Since I did spend lots of time laying around, I was able to look back on my top posts from 2013. 

    Funny enough, number one was my first paint project of 2013, the hutch in our kitchen that went from honey pine to a pretty Mercury Glass white. Last year at this exact time I had my decorations packed away and the paint brushes out working on this piece. This year the decorations are all neatly organized in their new clear bins but still stacked on the dining room table. 

    In October I used chalkboard paint to change a faded print in a vintage gold frame into a pretty chalkboard for our family room.

    Finally, the third most visited post was this vintage wood dresser that I painted white with grey drawer fronts. This was a piece that almost got tossed more than once, but I'm glad I stuck with it and I was happy that it sold so quickly. 
    So that's my top three but I did enjoy looking back on lots of simple and budget friendly decor and projects for our home. Now I need to get hubby and the guys to help me carry all those pretty new bins of decorations to the storage room in our basement. Wishing you and your loved ones all the best in this New Year!
    Joining the following parties:
    Be Inspired at Common Ground

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    Like many of you, last week we headed back to work and school after the holidays with snow and frigid temperatures and this weekend the temperatures warmed with rain and freezing rain.

     With cold and wet weather I have been inspired to stay indoors after work and continue with organizing lots of cupboards and drawers. Today I am sharing our Christmas decoration storage.

    Our Christmas decorations have always been stored in shoe boxes placed in big totes. Even with labelling I was finding it hard to figure out what was in each shoe box. I was inspired by Yvonne at StoneGable's Christmas decoration storage using smaller clear totes. The contents are easy to identify and just the containers needed at the time can be brought upstairs to decorate.

    Early in January I bought 25 clear storage containers when they were on sale half price.

    Taking down the trees and storing all our decorations was so much easier this year. The bins are stored on a heavy duty wire shelving rack in our large basement storage room. The three largest clear bins store large balls, small balls, and ribbon. To keep the glass balls safe I kept the original trays they came in and got rid of the outer flimsy (and sharp) plastic boxes. (The first picture shows the balls as I was gathering them off the tree and sorting by size, before I thought to use the original trays.)

    Four deep smaller bins hold tissue- and bubble-wrapped clear glass balls and special fragile ornaments. The shoe box sizes were perfect for bead garland, faux berries, jingle bells, pine cones, stars etc. When I came across stray ornaments I forgot to put away (like glittery deer on the living room lamps) I could easily find the container. 

    We still have four huge totes (Christmas village, faux greenery, indoor lights and tree toppers, and stockings/quilted) stacked beside the wire shelf unit. And this is after I purged Christmas decor last year. I was considering parting with the village but my boys aren't ready for that. The four shelf rolling organizer peeking into the photo above keeps extra bubble wrap, tissue paper and clear ziplock bags close at hand. Whenever I pop downstairs to the freezer I enjoy seeing the new Christmas storage. I'm weird like that ha!

    I like to organize year round but in November I started deep cleaning and organizing all our storage areas, right down to the smallest closets and drawers. I'm not finished yet but is amazing how spaces can become cluttered again so there is lots of purging going on. While they are usually not pretty pictures, I may share more of my storage before and afters, like our front entry closet that I shared here.

    Do you tackle organizing projects year round, or are you a January resolution-type organizer?

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

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    This cold winter weather has encouraged a few new knitting projects including an infinity scarf I just completed.

    I bought bamboo needles for the first time and I love how they feel. The variegated Loops and Threads Charisma yarn is lovely and soft with a nice bulky weight. The pattern is from here.

    I decided this infinity scarf would be lovely as part of my niece's birthday gift. It looks fabulous doubled and she will be nice and warm walking to her classes at university. Now I'm working on an off-white version. Small organizing projects and needlework fill my spare time after work lately and I hope to find inspiration to work on a few larger projects soon. Wishing you a great weekend!

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    We have a half bath, or powder room, off our front entry that has been in need of a makeover for some time. It is a small space with no window and a pedestal sink.

    I have been waffling over using bead board, or one wall in rustic wood planks, and even board and batten. Since I have been having so much trouble deciding (and have other projects in need of funds) I am going to go ahead and give the room a fresh new colour and live with it for awhile. The faucet needs replaced and I may move the light to our upstairs hallway if I can find one I like.

    In this before photo you can see the first coat of fresh ceiling paint but not the nicks and holes in the drywall from lots of abuse use. I touched up the grout in August 2012 and shared it in this post. The grout refresh looks as good as the day I did it. Pretty cool since this is our main entry (no mudroom) and sees tons of traffic and snow and salt. This bathroom was previously painted in BM Monroe Bisque but read a bit too yellow for my liking.

    After work this week I have spent a few hours picking up supplies, patching and sanding nicks and screw holes, and giving the ceiling a second coat of white ceiling paint. Today I will start painting the trim and door with Ben Moore Snowfall White (our trim paint colour throughout our home.) Then it will be time to paint the walls. I can hardly wait to see the new colour on the walls. The reveal will be a bit because I need to still find a few items and figure out how to trim out the plain builder mirror.

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  • 02/17/14--11:41: Half Bath Painted Gray Owl
  • I have finished painting our half bath on the main floor and I'm really happy with the fresh new look. 

    This is not the best photo for lighting but truer to colour than with the overhead light on. You can see a before photo in this post but it doesn't show all the drywall repair and sanding involved.

    For the walls I chose Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore and our trim and door colour is Snowfall White by Benjamin Moore. I also painted the ceiling a flat ceiling white. Now I need to find a new light and try framing out the mirror. A new rug and some accessories are on my list as well. I don't work overly fast but I am getting lots of little projects completed.

    Today we are enjoying a nice Family Day holiday Monday at home.

    I'm sharing this at the following parties...
    200th Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm

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  • 03/08/14--13:33: Quilted Denim Dog Bowl Mat
  • While out shopping recently for a mat to place under our dog's food and water bowls in our kitchen it dawned on me that I could easily sew a washable version.

    We had been using a folded bar towel and just threw them in the wash with dog towels when they needed freshening. 

    This morning I dug through my huge basket of collected denim fabric and cut 2 1/2" strips out of an assortment of pieces. After sewing the strips together I sandwiched a piece of Warm and Natural quilt batting between the top and a large square of denim for the backing. Remington is a chocolate Lab so the mat measures 12" x 21" to accomodate her larger bowls. 

    To save time I finished it with binding from double fold bias tape. Then I added some simple quilting to the piece. The whole project took less than an hour from start to finish and the best part is that I had all the supplies in my stash.  

    I adore new and weathered denim and save our outgrown and worn jeans for sewing projects like my denim and linen Christmas stockingsdenim and white pillows and a denim quilt

    I will make a few more, probably with some pretty fabric binding this time, because we do like to machine wash them.

    February was a busy month for us and with the cold weather and continued snow I have not felt like taking photos. I did accomplish some smaller organizing projects however. Hoping March brings more snow melting and motivation. I am so looking forward to March Break and a week off from work this week.

    I'm sharing this with....

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    We are nearing the end of our March Break week off school/work and I have a couple of projects in progress to share that I have worked on this week. 

    Early in the week I visited The Painted Bench, an Oakville Ontario retailer of Annie Sloan and Miss Mustard Seed's paints. I already had ASCP in Old White and the Soft Wax, and this time I added ASCP in Provence and Miss Mustard Seed's antique wax. 

    For the first project I decided to paint a pair of end tables. Nice solid pieces with a drawer but with a tired finish. Our youngest son Josh (my 15 year old garage sale buddy) and I found these for free last summer. I didn't use primer this time, just two coats of ASCP in Old White. I had read that Old White needed an extra coat or two so next time I will probably prime first (to save the more expensive paint.)

    These are the finished pieces, above and below, waiting a while to cure, with two coats of ASCP, AS Soft Wax and then some light antiquing with the MMS antiquing wax.

    Not the best lighting to show the dark wax, but I did keep it light and mostly in the crevices and detail areas. I'm going to visit the hardware store to look for pulls, but I may end up just reusing the originals. The end tables are a nice size for our living room but I will try and sell them first.

    Also, we are continuing work on the upper section of our basement stairwell and stairs. I painted the door and trim with my usual Benjamin Moore Snowfall White and really like how fresh it looks. Our 17 year old (in two weeks) returned from a week at a relative'sdairy farm and today sanded down the railing, spray painted the railing supports and stripped the carpet off the stairs. Now I need to buy hardwood for the landing and replacement stair treads (the builder used cheap pine planks.)  

    Kyle was getting his 'farm fix' since he had the week off, and another chance to visit with his first newly born Jersey calf. Kyle is the proud owner of the mother and this little girl was born the day of the photo. 

    I really enjoyed the freedom of having a week off work and spending some time relaxing, working on a few projects and lots of time with family. It was especially nice since this winter has seemed incredibly snowy and long. With the extra 15 cm of snow we received mid week it will be awhile before all our snow melts. I can hardly wait! Are you enjoying Spring weather where you are, or does winter still have a strong hold?

    I am sharing this with...

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  • 04/26/14--15:30: Out and About and An Update
  • I took an unexpected blog break. We had a long winter and Spring has been very slow pulling into our area. My decorating and diy drive took a hit and I just wasn't inspired to blog after long days at my real job. I have been out and about recently looking to get some inspiration. One of the spots I visited recently was Artefacts in St. Jacobs, Ontario. Gorgeous reclaimed pieces and architectural salvage.

     above two photos: Artefacts
    The second stop was Timeless Material Co. in Waterloo. It is the sister company of Kieswetter Demo and the 1870's barn has four floors of antique lumber and salvaged goodness, Farrow and Ball paints, and furniture pieces and mantels crafted from the reclaimed materials.

    above two photos: Timeless Material Co.

    I switched our leather couch to the family room and I'm saving up for a new sofa for the living room. I sold a few furniture pieces to add to the funds. This vintage secretary was one of the pieces I sold. I took out the wobbly cubbies and advertised it as storage/bar and it sold fast for 8 times what I paid for it. Last year's garage sale went really well so I have been spending some time organizing for one in the next month or so. I plan to add more vintage items to the sale this year.

    Our family is doing well and our guys recently celebrated their 17th and 15th birthdays. I just celebrated my 49th.

    Hockey season has finished up and we are proud of our youngest son who won League Most Improved Player. 

    I also finally found some affordable lamps in the style I wanted for our family room. I'll share photos of them with the couch switch soon. Since Spring is a bit elusive so far this year, we still need to get busy on some yard work. Hoping you have a great weekend.

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    Hey all! I am back after another extended blog break to share the new resin wicker Lakeside chairs we bought for our front porch last month. At least now the weather finally feels like summer!

    I had surgery just over a week ago and since I can't do anything for the next month or so I thought I would upload photos of the new chairs, door mat, and plans for some exterior work. 

    The 'Lakeside Collection' resin wicker chairs are from Canadian Tire. We bought them right before I went into hospital so we haven't had a chance to add any accessories. When I'm allowed to drive (and shop!) I will find some accent pillows. The door mat is from the ROOTS Beaver Canoe collection at Target (Canada.) I love the pieces they carry in that line. 

    Since good weather was so late coming this year we didn't get a chance to power wash the front porch or start some exterior painting jobs. I'm the painter here so I figure by mid July I will be able to tackle the front door and porch post. The porch post and door trims will be white to tie in with the window frames and wave board above the second floor bay window. I just have to decide whether to paint the front door white or black. I'm leaning towards black as it is in our brick. Our soffits/eaves will stay a khaki colour but I'm trying to lose some of the more greenish paint.

    In late Fall we had a new garage overhead door, garage side door and opener installed. The 15 year old builder doors were literally falling apart. The new garage door never needs painting -hooray for that!

    After a very long and cold winter we discovered peeling paint on the bay window so that will have to get painted too. 

    The roofs in our neighbourhood have been showing their age as well and the roofers have been busy keeping up with the demand. Our roof and replacement skylights are scheduled for next week and while we won't enjoy that expense it has to be done. The once brown, and now faded and worn out, shingles will be two tone black.

    And by mid summer I may be able to add some pretty accessories to our porch, like this sweet candle that was a gift from my friend. In the meantime I will be very thankful for my helpful husband and I will get my decorating 'fix' by visiting my favourite blogs and Pinterest.

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    Between short strolls and lots of resting I have had plenty of time to search magazines and online for decorating inspiration. One of the areas that I will be tweaking is the bay window area of our master bedroom.

    We I have lots of painting to {eventually} update on our exterior trim, main floor and  two upstairs bathrooms so my plans for changing the wall colour in our bedroom will have to wait. (This picture was taken two years ago and the wing back chair and drop leaf table have since been sold.)

    We have a large flat screen TV on the wall opposite our bed and I have been looking for comfortable seating to enjoy the occasional TV show or movie, away from our teens and hockey games in the other TV rooms in our home. In an effort to keep the cost as low as possible with all the big ticket home improvements happening this year, I am thinking of using an inexpensive IKEA Ektorp loveseat with a white slipcover. Two comfy chairs and an ottoman would be really nice but more expensive. We have white slipcovers in our living room and family room so I can deal with the kids/dog/white part lol. I think with some cozy pillows, a throw and a little side table with lamp for my tea and book it will be a great spot. The new paint colour (and desperately needed new flooring) will have to wait awhile. 

    We are fortunate to have 3 IKEA stores within an hour of us so as long as they have them in stock I will be getting hubby and the boys to pick one up soon. I just won't remind them that it comes in boxes and needs assembled haha.

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  • 06/12/14--05:30: Garage Sale Chandelier Find
  • In early May I came across this chandelier with pretty crystals at a garage sale for $10. 

    It is shiny brass and I was considering spray painting it and hanging it in our master bath or laundry room, but I'm not sure. The shades are too fancy for my style, but maybe just the chandelier spray painted white, black or silver with just the crystals might work? I considered trying Rub n Buff for a more aged brass look but I can't find that around here. Has anyoune tried Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on brass? 

    The older couple selling it were downsizing and removed it on the realtor's advice but the gentleman assured me that it was working and had all the necessary wires/ceiling plate etc.

    We took the quick evening photos when we brought it home last month and it is now in basement storage while I decide. I'm going to have to check out Pinterest for inspiration. Any ideas?

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    Today I am sharing new pillows and lamps for our family room. I have been enjoying all the summer home tours and decided it was time to bring more of my favourite blues into our neutral main floor TV room. 

    Since my husband is in charge of vaccuming while I am post surgery I didn't do any cleaning or styling for the photos. I had been searching for affordable lamps for some time. I had been admiring a pair very similar to these in a nearby decor shop for some time but at $150 each they were out of my budget. After stalking HomeSense in April I finally found this pair for $50 each (Cdn.) and bought them for my birthday. I love black as an accent in our home and the turned base appeals to me. I had considered large bottle type glass lamps but worried about possible encounters with my teen boys' big feet.

    The pillows are actually Ralph Lauren napkins from HomeSense and I couldn't resist one of my favourite shades of blue. Almost an exact match to ASCP Provence. The feather pillow inserts are from IKEA.

    Later in the summer I plan to freshen the wall colour with something lighter, possibly white, and rework the photo gallery. A few months ago we switched the leather couch and the white slipcovered couch between the living room and family room. It will be easier keeping the white slipcover clean in the living room. I shared the ASCP Old White end tables here, and I still need to spray paint the drawer handles black.

    The pretty etched glass picture frame was a sweet birthday gift from a work colleague.

    I added a Kalenchoe to a zinc pot on the end table for a bit of 'life' in the room. So nothing to fancy and still lots to do but I am enjoying the change on this lovely and warm Friday afternoon. I wish you all a great weekend. 

    I'm sharing this at...

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    Happy first day of Summer! And it is a beauty weather wise here.  

    This morning was the perfect summer Saturday for garage sales and there were lots in our neighbourhood. The tall apothecary jar, the mercury glass pair and the milk bottles were all from one place.

    I have a few mercury glass pieces so this pair will fit in nicely.

    The little calf salt and pepper shakers are new purchases from a gift and decor store recently. I couldn't resist them. I love the graphics on the bottles from two Ontario dairies.

    The vintage cookie/biscuit cutters were $1.50 each and I will use them for display only. 

    This afternoon I visited with my sister and her family (also in our neighbourhood) and I gave them some guidance with their gardening. Our boys are officially on summer break now. Our oldest son bought his first truck last week and is off to a cottage with friends so I think youngest and I will enjoy relaxing around the backyard fire pit tonight. I hope you enjoy this first day of Summer as well.

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  • 07/01/14--14:59: HAPPY CANADA DAY!
  •  Wishing a Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends and readers.

    True North Strong and Free!

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    Today I am sharing a tour of my studio / hobby room at Where Bloggers Create 2014. It is the 6th annual blog party to share our creative spaces hosted by Karen Valentine of My Desert Cottage.

    Where Bloggers Create

    We are fortunate to have a large guest bedroom in our basement suite so I am able to use our smallest 4th bedroom on our second level as my studio. It is not a huge room so I am often making changes to get the best use of the space. The last time I shared a full studio tour was at the 2011 Where Bloggers Create in this post.


    The above collage shows some of the before photos. Last year I moved the large black metal shelving unit to basement storage and finished painting the walls Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls. This week I got my husband to take out the large farmhouse table because it was just too deep and tended to collect piles of stuff. I also sold the vintage printer's drawer that held my threads because they kept getting knocked off.


    We moved the painted buffet and hutch from the kitchen for a combination of open and closed storage. The photo boxes store new greeting cards and my large collection of paint chips. The wicker laundry basket holds quilts in progress as the little sign announces.

    I use both new and vintage pieces for storage and display. The antique wooden bobbins hold my favourite laces on a tarnished silver pedestal.

    My mason jar addiction carries over to the hobby studio for storage of pretty buttons, laces, trims and more.

    My current favourite creative activities include sign painting, card making, knitting, crochet and home decor sewing and crafts. I also like to quilt and scrapbook but have less time for these hobbies at this time. I used vintage pudding bowls for stamp supplies, glues and a few punches. A gravy boat holds glitter, and galvanized tins sort and store Fiskars scissors, pens, paintbrushes and more. 

    Vintage jello molds sort little bits.

    This simple shelving unit is temporary while I search for a tall shallow cupboard with doors. The baskets on top hold yarn and the drawers on the bottom contain scrapbooking stickers.

    Gift bags and wrap are stored in the closet but for now ribbons, bows and tissue paper are on an open shelf.

    On the short wall beside the door, opposite the window, I replaced the large farmhouse table with a temporary smaller table for my sewing machine. I am searching for a smaller scale farmhouse table so I can spread out a bit without it being too large. No fancy Serger or quilting machine here yet, just my sister-in-law's old super sturdy sewing machine.

     I plan on adding to the gallery wall above the table.

    I made an inspiration board with a white spray painted garage sale frame and chicken wire. White ruffled fabric covers an old lampshade on a mason jar lamp.

    I downsized from two cubbies to just one for my craft paints. 

    My smallish stash of quilting fabric is stored in clear plastic shoe boxes in the closet to prevent fading. The closet also holds a three drawer wire storage unit for decor fabric, our central vac hose/accessories, iron/ironing board and my guys suits and dress shirts. 

    Some gifted and collected pieces on a little cupboard that sits on a small chopping block table.

    Wicker baskets store my collected denim fabric and vintage white linens. The tiered fruit basket is a catchall for scissors, pens, and sewing supplies.

    Ending the tour back at the door. I really like a neutral space with a little colour but with craft supplies it is hard not to have lots of colour. Hopefully I will find the perfect cupboard to store the wrapping supplies etc. behind closed doors. And if I don't soon find a small farmhouse table I may just have to make something. 

    I would like to thank you for visiting and I hope you have a moment to comment and let me know that you were here. 

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