Thursday, July 31, 2008

Have a Seat in My Foyer

Look at my Pottery Barn chair. I snatched it up at a thrift store for three bucks a few months back. I had no clue where I'd put it, but who could pass up that price! When I got it home I noticed that one back leg had been broken, but it's been repaired well and is nice and solid.
Last week after I moved my table into the foyer, the chair that was there looked out of place. So I washed the cover of my PB chair, and sanded and painted the legs black. Now it has a prominent place in my home.
While we're in my foyer, let me show you around. This area measures 8 feet by 11 feet. It's a great size, but there are doors and openings on every single wall, which makes it a bit of a challenge to decorate.This is the backside of my front door. When we moved here, there was a door and a separate long window. We replaced it with this door and side lights, which was a nightmare job for our poor carpenter. My hubby and I put up all the decorative molding. I really wanted to make a statement on this wall. We put lighting in the crown molding. It makes for a cozy light during the day, as well as at night.This little piece was on my doorstep one day. My neighbor was helping her daughter de-clutter and she thought I might like this. I do!
My hubby and I were given permission to remove this mail slot and elevator button from a very old hotel just before they demolished it years ago. Little kids always ask if my closet is an elevator. Wouldn't that be nice.
Well, that's it for today. But I'm thinking that my new chair needs a little something sitting right next to it, so I'm off to work on tomorrow's post.
Make it a good day!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ever so humble, happy camper!

photo source:
You are very nice people. Warm of heart, complimentary, encouraging...Last I checked, the comments for my playhouse post had reached the nineties. The nineties!! I don't think I have ever reached such a "comment high", and I doubt I ever will again!! I have to admit, I think I have the nicest blog readers/friends ever!! Thank you so much for your kind words, and I am seriously considering a playhouse addition to house those of you who wanted to move in. Only, you know I will put you to work...babysitting, mowing, you may want to rethink that notion!

In other good news, I am finally embarking on a camping trip, and my lonely camper has been getting a bit of a makeover. Last year, I added new cabinet hardware, a new "tin" panel to disguise the mini-fridge, and made a few purchases designed to make our little camper prettier. This year has been all about the slipcovers. Just for fun, my husband, daughter and I had a look through the new campers on display at our local Walmart's parking lot. I saw some purdy ones - ones with white cabinets, stainless steel appliances - but they all shared one ugly secret: they all housed sofas and cushions upholstered in the most monstrous of fabrics. This is most definitely the before photo of my camper's cushions!

Who makes the design choices for these things?? I figure it is a portly, balding man puffing on a cigar, with his polyester pants creeping below where no one woman wants to see, belching after eating a cheese dog or two, and pointing at some upholstery catalogue from 1978, exclaiming, "That one will do...just bee-yoo-tee-ful!!" At least I hope that is who is responsible...

Anyhoo, I have enlisted a friend, who just happens to be the most fantastic seamstress, to make me some new seat cushion slipcovers. True to my nature, I used fabric that was inexpensive, at hand locally, and will spruce things up on a budget. No sense upsetting my innocent husband with trivial matters. I have also ripped down the ugly valances that come with the camper and left things bare. Better nothing, than making do with ugly...
photo: Country Home
I'll show you the photos after I get back, and perhaps it will inspire those of you wrestling with the idea of making slipcovers for the ugly ducklings in your life! I'm off to pre-cook bacon, make a grocery list, and stock the food I already have, into the cupboards of the camper.
Here is my meal plan for those of you considering a camping trip of your own:

First night/day of arrival: (supper):

Pork chops (previously frozen to remain safe to eat!)
bagged salad (croutons added later)
pasta salad (kept well-chilled)
Day 2:
Breakfast: bacon (pre-cooked at home)
hash browns
maple beans (canned)

Lunch: hamburgers
potato chips
fresh fruit...
(for those who will actually bother to eat it!)
Supper: chicken and vegetable skewers:
(pre-chopped, frosen chicken breast meat, thawing in fridge), canned baby potatoes, mushrooms, red and green peppers, large chunks of Vidalia onions).
-packaged flavoured rice
-french bread (Dempster's, baked in our tiny toaster oven)

Day 3: Breakfast:
pancakes (boxed mix, just add water/milk)
Maple Leaf pre-cooked sausages

Lunch: hotdogs (we're camping, remember?).
Supper: hot and spicy pasta dish (veggies pre-chopped, chicken pre-cooked, left-over pork chop, sauce pre-mixed, just have to cook fettucini noodles).

Final day: Breakfast: cereal, muffins (baked at home, and frozen), toast

**Our meals may or may not sound a bit extravagant to some campers, but I like to prepare ahead so we can have relatively healthy, tasty meals. I figure enough chips, pop, and s'mores are eaten around the campfire, and I cannot overdo the hotdog thing...~~shudder~~...!!!

photo source:

photo: source unknown


To my complete and utter amazement, the Washington Post online just selected my post about Sophie's little playhouse as their Blog Watch pick of the week!! Thank you Terri Sapienza!!

Bouquet Abundance

In my ideal dream world, I would have a big decorating budget. Part of that budget would be used to fill my home with fresh bouquets. I think this dream is brought on by gazing at so many home design magazines. Isn't there a fresh bouquet in practically every photo?
Then it occurred to me. I could achieve my dream! I didn't need an unlimited supply of money. All I needed was a little creative thinking. I needed to think beyond the florist shop. Now I'm enjoying fresh bouquets throughout my home.
A bunch of cat tails freshly cut
from the side of the road,
while on a date with my husband.
A few fern fronds picked from my yard.An inexpensive flower bunch from the grocery store,
placed in several jars for more impact.
It just goes to show, that with a little creativity,
you can achieve your dreams!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This One's For You

Two posts in one day? Yep, cuz my blogging friend Shirlee wants some inspiration from a little project that she noticed in one of my previous posts.I bought this wooden clock face at the thrift store. It was someone's unfinished project. I brought it home, finished the paint job and distressed it, then added some big chunky ball feet. I use it to as an anchor for my vignettes.
I'm always willing to help out a friend. Good luck my friend!

Change With That Sale

Look what I found on the garden clearance!
Isn't it a fun accent?
Although I like the rusty finish, it doesn't match
the other garden accents in my front yard.

So there's just one thing to do---
get out the spray paint!

Can you guess which color?I like it even more now!
It's lost it's rustic qualities and has found it's elegance. It looks so nice on my front porch,
with the fake grass that I don't have to water.
It looks so nice that I'm feeling the need to change out my porch decor.
Doesn't this bouquet look summer-y?
I rescued that metal thing from someone's garbage pile.
I bought new pillows at the thrift store
for my old church bench.

And the frame came from there too.
The topiary is one of those items that gets moved
all around my house.
I need a rest from the heat of the summer
and they say "a change is as good as a rest"
I think they may be right!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Table of Contents

Look at this lovely little table!
Can you guess what it's made from?Does the hole in the bottom corner give it away?For years it served as a short, four panel door
in someone's home.
It still has the original weathered stain.
I just stained it's top to match.
Don't you think it's a-door-able?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A pretty, little playhouse!!

It's time for the big unveiling...

It is as complete as it will ever be, and I have to admit I/we are as happy as can be with how it turned out! As I have mentioned before, I have wanted this for our daughter long before she even came along! To me, a playhouse is the quintessential little girl's dream, as it was for me as a child. Since I didn't have one, I always vowed our daughter would someday...

Rather than go on and on about how happy she is with it (she's thrilled to bits!), and how I finally feel like I can relax and just watch her play with her little friends in it, I will simply give you "the tour". I hope my pathetic excuse for a camera will do it justice...

I decided to play it safe, and paint the playhouse yellow to blend in with our home. I flip-flopped between painting it pale pink or a soft, fresh green, but my reserved side kicked in, and yellow it is (that's not to say I won't change my mind and repaint it next year!). I used Flik and Company Blue on the door, and I am so happy with that. We used a locking doorknob, and she loves using her very own key to unlock it each morning! House numbers were hung above the door (her daddy made the door, too), and the old mailbox and door knocker I had kicking around. I purchased the outdoor "lights" at The Christmas Tree Shop, and no, we didn't run electricity to it.
This is what you see when you open the door: My husband built a day bed, and I used a second-hand crib mattress for it. I bought the bedding (crib sheet and small quilt) at TJ MAXX, when I visited Bangor in the spring. I got the body pillow at Walmart, and the pink pillows at Homesense. I picked up the vintage-looking bird cage and glittery GIGGLE sign there as well, and the little mats were 1.99 at Marden's.

My husband was about to finish boarding in the eaves, when I decided that it would be so nice for her to be able to lie on the bed and look up at the trees (and stars). So, he made a plexi-glass window of sorts, and it is one of my favourite things about the little house. This is also a good view of the white-wash effect I decided on out of laziness (one-coat wonder!) and for the simple fact that I like it.

This angle shows her babies' beds and the only functioning window. It is a door insert, but works well to let fresh air into the house. The curtains are from the Shabby Chic collection at Target, and I hung them simply from a branch and some cup hooks.

Moving around the room, we find the "kitchen". This is undoubtedly my favourite thing about the playhouse! I had asked my husband to make a counter area of sorts that I could place her little stove on, and "sink a sink" into. I figured he'd just secure some wooden planks, and cut out the hole for the sink. Not my husband!! As I was painting, he took it upon himself to create the prettiest "butcher block" counter area I have ever seen! We used iron brackets to support it, and they look so nice. I had also told him I wanted the sink in the corner, and this is what he came up with:

The sink is a stainless steel bowl I got for a couple of dollars, and the tap is an old salvaged one I got from a used building supply store. I simply spray-painted it with chrome spray, and its grimy facade disappeared! The dish rack and dishes came from The Dollar Store, and she loves putting some water from the nearby outdoor tap in the sink and washing up her dishes. Of course, looking out her window makes the chore less dreary!

This is a close-up of her little, wooden stove. I got it at Homesense, and it was originally a dull, wooden finish. Sooo, out came the pink spray-paint, and voila! A few scrap-booking embellishments, and it is now as pretty as can be!

Across the room/house is the eating area:

Before you think I've gone mad, yes, that is hardwood flooring. Our kindly neighbours gave us their left-over flooring, and to be honest, it is nicer than what we have in our own home!
I bought this pink, iron table set at Homesense (are you getting that this is one of my favourite stores?). It is the perfect shade of delicate pink, and is just the right size for little ones to sit. I have, however, had to squeeze myself into one of the little chairs, and, I can assure you, they are not very comfortable! I definitely "eat" quickly when I am invited to a meal in the playhouse! Above the table is a shelf I had kicking around. I placed her "appliances" on it and the little drawers house her cutlery. A girl has to be organized!!

This is where she hangs her baby buggy. It is ready to go, whenever she has to "run some errands"!!

This is the area above the door. Sophie likes having a clock that is all hers, now that she knows how to tell time.

She also had to have a phone! My mum picked this phone up at a yard sale. It was previously white, so of course I had to paint it pink!! Thank goodness for spray-paint!

Every little playhouse needs a chandelier!

Now, I may find something with a little more pizazz, but for now, this outdoor chandelier I got from IKEA (about eight years ago) fits the bill. Again, I painted it pink, added a few crystals I had lying around, and hung it from the center of the eaves. It is a rather unassuming, little chandelier, but pretty enough... and basically FREE!!!

This is the interior view of the door. I simply hung a little chalkboard on it and she writes notes like, "No boys allowed". My youngest son likes to torment her at times and lock her out, pretending that he's "messing it up". She doesn't like it one bit. She is very territorial...

And so ends our little tour. I hope you enjoyed your visit!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Miami Beach Home For Sale $15,900,000

2046 N. Bay Rd. Miami Beach Florida For Sale $15,900,000

2046 N. Bay Road, Miami Beach is a great address, because the property includes a magnificent new classic contemporary home boasting 15,000 square feet of interior living space, on a very generous sized lot of 38,314 square feet (almost an acre). The water views from this particular location are very charming and the property has 112 linear feet of waterfront. The Miami Beach house is on the market for sale, with an asking price of $15,900,000.

That amounts to just over $1000 per square foot of living space. The gorgeous estate has an 80 feet pool, a gazebo and spa, a 4-car garage, and a guardhouse. It’s a beautiful home located in the very heart of Miami Beach. When you consider that just a few months ago, a Miami Beach condo sold for more $2,000 per square foot, it seems like a pretty good price for those who can afford the very best.

I Should Get a Commission

I promise you that I DO NOT work for the Rustoleum company or the Rub 'n Buff company---but maybe I should. Maybe I should show them all of my projects and then they could pay me a million dollars for my incredible ideas and then I could share it with all of you, since you're the ones who inspire me to create more and more projects. . . .Well, it's a great thought, right?
Here's my latest project:(sorry! the picture is dark)
I bought this lovely little statue at the thrift store for three dollars. It's beautiful as is, but I think that I know why it was donated. It's a bit top heavy, and easily tips over. There are some marks on the base that look like the previous owner may have weighted it down with a rock. It also has that verdigris finish that was very popular years ago, but not so much now. All of those problems can easily be fixed with a scrap of wood, a can of black spray paint, and a little R'nB in a copper color. With those little fix-ups, it's now updated,
and looks like this:
I identify with the birdy that chooses to do things
his own way.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Our little garden...

I have mentioned before that I have a small garden, but I am prepared to squeeze out every inch of usable space from it. I certainly don't have a green thumb, but it isn't black, either. I love combing the garden centers for pretty flowers to plant in my garden, and I love the planning process each spring.

While I admire those who have a meticulously planned garden, I prefer cottage style planting for my own home. I love meandering paths through a garden that seems more lovingly planted than methodically planted. I guess there are two types of gardeners: those who turn around, throw tulip bulbs over their shoulder and plant them where they land, and those who lay them out, colour-coded of course, and plant them in planned clusters. Neither is right nor wrong - but they are inherently different.
I enjoy looking out my window and seeing lush plantings of "old-school" plants: peonies, stock, astilbe, black-eyed susans, sweet william, and, of course, daisies. I love tall plants intermingled with lower ones, and I don't want my garden to look like it was planted according to a map. I think I have achieved a more relaxed garden, and I look forward to adding to it, and cultivating its "free spirit".

What kind of gardener are you?


This is the old buggy I "stole" from the dump on my "dump date" with my hubby a while back. It was rusty and dirty, so I painted it this lovely aqua shade using spray paint, of course. I planted it with flowers, and it sits outside Sophie's playhouse. Can you see where I am going with this?

Check out this sneak peek:

What do you see in the background? You guessed it: the playhouse!! I will finally post a picture tour of it on Monday. I hope you'll come back and see it!!