Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I miss House.  
And with our basement still looking like this, I'll be missing him for awhile yet.

I miss projects too.  Just guessing that the owner of the house we're renting would not be thrilled with me whipping out the spray paint though.  So here's what I did today instead.

I got this frame for a buck because I liked it.  Never pass up a cheap frame - even if it has no glass.  You can use them in so many places!

I had seen this in my Country Living magazine and fell in love.  

So I went to Michael's and got these.  A cheap ugly frame (cause I needed the glass) and a mat (cause my picture was not big enough for the frame).  They let me use TWO coupons.  This is a first in my Michael's shopping experience.  Together it came to $13.42.

I put did some cutting and presto!  New art (for under $15.00) for House when he is ready.

And in case you are wondering what on earth made me love THIS picture...what it says is,

"A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest...wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his image."
~Joan Didion

We love you House.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


This post is dedicated to my brother in an attempt to win him over to the love of spray paint.

Awhile back I asked you all whether you thought I should paint my drawers white.  

The vote came back to paint them the accent colour of my bathroom.
But I decided to trump you all and stick with white.

Ha ha ha!!  I'm just messing with you.  That was just the primer.  Have I mentioned how much I am enjoying spray primer?!?

Here's the finished product:

I hope those who voted will approve.

That tray on top was another spray make-over.  It started out as a plain, $3.00 metal tray that I found at an antique store.

I sprayed it green, 

cut fabric to fit the bottom by tracing the back side of the tray on the fabric, then used spray adhesive to stick it on.  (I LOVE SPRAY ADHESIVE)

Ta da.  The girls will use it to store their brushes and such.

I also used the spray primer on another project.  I found this cute table on Kijiji for $15.00.

It reminded me of the side table in my living room so I thought they'd make a cute pair.

Now it had a very glossy finish which means you really should sand...which I instead I gave it a teeny quicky sanding, then used the spray primer and it worked like a charm!

Then I painted it my favourite turquoise colour,

antiqued it,

sprayed the handle, and presto - matching end tables!

So what do you have that you could give new life to with a quick coat of spray paint?  It's cheap, quick, comes in a lot of colours, and gives you a dramatic change.

Here are some things to remember:
~Paint outside or in a well ventilated area.
~It is much, much easier to lay your stuff out on an old board rather than messing around with newspaper.
~Be careful of overspray!!!  (Like, don't let the breeze carry your spray onto your vehicle...or worse, someone else's.)
~Many thin coats are best.
~Watch out for drips.

Now, if only a quick coat of spray would fix this little project up...

Friday, August 5, 2011

A New Look ~ Revealed

What a pleasure it has been to re-do Maddie's room!  Let's take a tour and then we'll talk details.
(For whatever reason, using a caption on the pics is messing up the post so just remember...BEFORE is on the left and AFTER is on the right.)

This is the view when you walk through the door.
Since Madeline's desk was rarely used, I chose to remove it and store her things on the dresser instead.

I shifted the bed from its old location to create space for a book wall.

The window got new curtains and I downsized the dresser.

The hooks got raised for a growing girl!

Okay.  Let's stop here and back up a bit.  The inspirations for the room came from looking through magazines and blogs.  I had Darla look through pictures and just tell me anything she liked.  We also asked Maddie if she had any requests.  I noted them all and then we started to shop.  

Several items I found on Kijiji and gave Mike and Darla (Maddie's parents) instruction on how to refinish them.  I also helped with a couple of the details like the wallpaper on the headboard and the antiquing of the chair.

Headboard (TEN BUCKS!!!)



Choosing the paint colour and accent began with the bedding.

I suggested a few possibilities and when we narrowed it down we were able to find a great shade from a child's room featured on another blog.

I also had Darla and Maddie purge and sort so that we would only be working with what was truly needed/wanted in the room.

Maddie is an avid reader so I wanted her to have a great spot for books.  These shelves are a fun and pretty way to display her collection of novels (including some beautiful vintage Nancy Drews which were a special gift to her from her neighbour.)
One of Madeline's requests was a wall word.  After some thought she chose "smile" - always wonderful advice!  

Mad also has a great collection of jewellery.  After some searching for a used jewellery armoire to refinish, we chose instead to shop the house and painted this little cabinet for her to store her stuff in.  The bulletin board keeps her necklaces from tangling.

A couple more requests were the photo collage (left) and Darla hoped for a chandelier (right).

The bench was my own cute and handy to use in a multitude of ways!

The closet clothing got sorted and we stored some rarely used items on the shelves.  Scarves are hanging through the shelving at the bottom and belts got hung on the wall.

While it feels amazing in the end, a big new look can start off feeling overwhelming.  So let's just go over some tips to take it step by step.

~Save pictures with spaces and ideas you love and that are practical for you to live's okay to copy!
~Make sure you are choosing new items that fit with the items you want to keep...bedding for instance.
~Be willing to purge and sort through your stuff. 
~Look for colours in photos so you can see how they look on a wall...rather than in a tiny colour card.
~Be willing to buy used and refinish.
~Make sure you list out all your must haves and address them...nobody wants a beautiful room that doesn't meet your needs!

Thank-you sweet Maddie for the wonderful opportunity to re-work your space!

I am including a source guide in case you see something you'd like to find.  Please let me know if I've missed anything.

Paint - Wythe Blue, Candy Cane Red, Oxford White - Benjamin Moore
Headboard, Chair, Bench, Dresser, Large Mirror, Red Baskets - Kijiji
Shelving - Jysk
Chandelier, Curtains, Rods - Rona
Garbage Can - Walmart
Dresser Knobs - Lee Valley
Smile Letters and File Folders - Michael's
Bulletin Board - Home Sense
Small Mirrors - Envy
Frames - Urban Barn
"m" and "M" Mug - Anthropologie
"M" - Target

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Up Up And Away!

House has been a wee bit stubborn about lifting off.  Dino has been working HARD.  He has given a lot of hours and endured some severe pain on his not-quite-healed achilles injury.  But after several battles, house finally gave in today.


Yup.  That IS a 100 year old, 3 story, 2700 square foot house 2 feet up in the air.  You can see right through to the other side.

Hey.  Wait.  Is that a crib in my kitchen??

And I seem to remember a fireplace in the den...

Oh!  Found it!!

Now this is how you hang a door!

The kids are checking out the future rec room.

Thank-you Dino for your willingness to take this on and create our dream home.  
We love you!!
S, J, S, E and C

Monday, August 1, 2011

A New Look

My beautiful god-daughter Maddie is getting her room redone.  Darla (her mom) and I have looked through pictures and found ideas.  Furniture has been purchased.  Room purged.  Paint chosen and walls done.  

We have managed to send five of our kids off to camp this week leaving us with my youngest and Maddie (oldest of our combined clan).

So.  We will shop for the last details.  We will arrange.  We will finish up projects.

And hopefully soon, we will show you the new look.

In the meantime, here are the before pics.

Looking forward to the big reveal!