Friday, March 14, 2014

ASCP Old White End Tables and Basement Stairs Progress

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?

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

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.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

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

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Half Bath Before a Work in Progress

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.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Double Wrap Knit Infinity Scarf

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!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Organizing Christmas Decorations

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?

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Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year and Top 3 Posts of 2013

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

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas and Ice Storm 2013

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! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Our 2013 Christmas Home Tour -Deck The Halls Holiday House Walk

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

Welcome to our Christmas 2013 home tour from the suburbs of Ontario, Canada. Today I am participating in the

 Did you see the 30 + homes featured this past week! So much inspiration no matter your decorating style!

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 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.

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, as well as 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 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 decorated in the same neutral colours.

I think my favourite arrangement this year is the large black wood bowl filled with greenery, pinecones, stars and birch bark wrapped pillar 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 in our family room 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.

Sharing this at the following great parties, too...

Christmas welcome

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