Friday, October 31, 2008

The Great Pumpkin Contest Winners!!

photo: courtesy, Country Home Magazine

Many thanks to those who participated in the contest I co-sponsored with Ki Nassauer of Junk Revolution. We had some great entries, both through this blog and via email. Who knew such creativity could be expressed through some junk and a pumpkin or two? Ki, that's who... and the talented ladies who took part in this challenge.

The first place prize ($100 gift certificate to Ki's online store) goes to: Terri at Paint 'n' Thread. This pumpkin has personality!!

Second place ($50 gift certificate) goes to the super talented Margo/Robolady of Margo's Junkin' Journal :

Third place ($25 gift certificate) goes to Diane Mazur, who emailed us this entry (what a lot of work!!):

The following are the winners of the random prize draw (they each win a $25 gift certificate to Junk Revolution's online shop):

Primtiques and Poetry and her fun entries (my favourite is the greyish-white pumpkin):

Linda Crispell, a very talented artist who junked up her pumpkin with old bottlecaps:

The final random draw winner goes to Karin at The Style Sisters. She took advantage of the revised contest rules and did a post on her blog about Ki's new business, website, and online store (again, opening November 10th).

**So, ladies, please send me your email addresses (to , and I'll hook you up with Ki and she will look after getting your prizes to you. Congratulations!!

Halloween Wishes


Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Witch is In...Happy Halloween!!

Taking a page from Matthew Mead's new Halloween magazine, I copied him directly (although not quite as lovely) and staged my own ready-to-wear Witch ensemble in my front entry. This was a fun and easy Halloween display: a pointy, velvet hat with shiny buckle; cape; witchin' shoes;, keys; pet crow; and of course...broom! Every witch needs a broom...


Traditions are very important to me, and some things just need doin'. In sickness or in health, with brothers or not. With a generous assortment of pumpkins, a bad chest infection (me) and two boy at basketball practice, Sophie and her little friend and her brother (their sister, too, was sick), their mum (my good friend and Scrabble partner) and I decided that pumpkin decorating just can't be skipped.

After a nice supper and some goodbyes to the men in our house, we started carving our pumpkin masterpieces. I made a skeleton, Sophie a scary Jack-o-lantern. Not very creative, I know, but better than nothing, right? I even toasted the pumpkin seeds, which are always a hit with the main man in the house.

After carving, we took the annual porch shot with our pumpkins. It is a bit sad that the boys didn't join in, but it just worked out that way this year, and my oldest had no interest anyway. ~Sigh~

To cap off the evening, the kids decorated some cookies from a kit I bought, and this was a big hit with the girls!

Can you believe I just remembered to dig this great runner out of storage? It is from Pottery Barn (last year).


**Check out Tanya's (Sunday Baker) post about her take on traditions. She invites you to share yours, and has posted a very special photo of her very own pumpkin carving memories. Tanya is my go-to gal when I don't know what to make for dinner, and I always enjoy each and every one of her posts.

I Want My Mummy

I try to give my family a little holiday inspired dinner
every Halloween.

This stuffed bread mummy is one of their favorites.
It's really quite easy to make.
First, you'll need two loaves of frozen bread dough,
thawed & risen.
Flatten the dough.Cream 8 ounces of cream cheese with
enough milk to make it easy to spread.

Add fresh chopped or dehydrated onion to the mixture to taste.
With a sharp knife cut the edges of the flattened dough
into 1" strips, leaving 3" down the center of the dough.

Spread the cream cheese mixture down the center of the dough.Add your choice of sliced meat. We like ham &/or turkey.Pull the edges of the dough across the filling,
crisscrossing the strips.
You can bake the two braided loaves
or cut the loaves into sections and
assemble the pieces to look like a mummy.Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Add olives for eyes, and enjoy your spooky treat.

Edited to add:
I've been boo-ed by Tidymom and Mrs. B.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bon Appetit!

On a rare occasion I will purchase home accessories at other stores than the thrift store. Last year I bought a little tin sign at a high end furniture store. They gave me a coupon for a percentage off of one accessory. I wandered the store picking up piece after piece looking for something I could afford, even with the discount. Finally I found this: I probably would have bought it without the discount because I really liked it. I've enjoyed displaying it on a wire easel in my kitchen.
Last week I decided that I wanted to make it a bit more substantial, as well as give it a more permanent home. I bought some molding and asked my supportive husband to make me a frame.
I then spray painted the frame black.
After it was dry, I spray painted it white.
I didn't do this because I changed my mind.
I gave it the two coat treatment because
I knew I wanted to sand it and distress it.
Sanding the white paint made the black show through.
Then I glazed it with a dark brown stain.
I used a hot glue to adhere the sign
on top of the frame.
I added heavy duty hook and loop tape
to the back of the frame and stuck it
to the granite back splash above my stove.
Now that's a substantial accessory
that looks like it came from a high end furniture store!

A new way to win!

Ki Nassauer of Junk Revolution

For some reason, this Halloween is finding us all very busy, and doing some last minute scrambling to get organized and ready. Costumes planned, pumkins carved, treats bought...decorating pumpkins is often at the bottom of the list, especially if it is not a job you enjoy. I haven't even carved my own yet, although I plan to remedy that tonight! Either way, because you are all so busy, I am opening up the junk pumpkin decorating contest to include those who simply mention Ki's new website and its online shopping debut (the store opens November 10th).

If you include the following in a quick post, you will have a chance to win one of three $25 gift certificates to her online store. As women, we all strive to support other women and their creative endeavours. Ki is a junk expert, and has branched out on her own, once again, and I am hoping you will help me spread the word and allow everyone to benefit from her creativity, imagination, and expertise!

Leave your link in the comment section for this post. This contest will still be ending on October 31st, so hurry and join in. The prizes are great, but the shopping is even better!!

Here is what you need:

Include this logo:

and this information:

Join the Revolution!! Ki Nassauer, Country Home contributing editor, founder of JunkMarket, and now, Junk Revolution is officially getting her online store underway! Keep checking in with her website ( as she works to expand it to include valuable tips and inspiration. Beginning November 1oth, wonderful junk items will be available to purchase for yourself or the fellow junkers in your life. To get to know Ki better, follow her along on some of her junking jaunts, and to learn more about the history of her business over the years, check out her blog:

And that's it!!

**For those still wishing to enter a "junked up" pumpkin for consideration, go here! The dollar values for the gift certificates are: first prize:$100, second prize: $50, third prize: $25

Also, check out Margo/Robolday's blog for a chance to win this:

It's a beautiful vintage bag designed by Ki and created by her sister. Just a glimpse of the goodness that will be offered for sale on her new website!! Again, the shopping area will be up and running by November 10th.

Be sure to check it out!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

All trimmed out...

I live in a new house. I love the fact that I don't have to worry about mice, critters, weird bugs...frozen pipes, slow-moving toilets, or drafty doors and windows. My house is efficient, cozy, and very low maintenance. My house is also quite devoid of the charm that comes with older homes...
It seems to be the catch twenty-two of choosing old over new. Sure, we could technically have filled our home with salvaged fireplace mantels, banisters, old doors and more. We could have purchased old door knobs and spent hours returning them to their former glory. We could have laid reclaimed hardwood on my floors, too, I guess. However, the truth of it is that we can't. I/we have neither the funds nor easy access to said materials to do so; and the reality is that after living in a less than ideal rental home while building, just getting in seems like the only goal. So, up go the new (designed to look older) doors, lighting, fittings. We lay pre-finished flooring and are happy to have it. We end up with a home that we are happy to call our own, but loaded with architectural detail it is not.

I have long pined for wall panelling/wainscoting/bead board, etc. My doors are trimmed out in a trim style I love (Boston headers), and we don't scrimp and install the cheaper, flimsier version that most contractors use. Still, I dreamed of the flat panel detailing that my dining area and front entry was calling out for (you know what I mean...). Enter my Prince Charming, who casually announced two weeks ago that he would begin the project the very next day. Now, I admire those women who can do such projects themselves with ease. But, if I am to be honest, I don't think I am cut out for it. I am clumsy, accident prone, and like things done yesterday. Definitely not the attributes of a successful carpenter.

Happily, my hard-working husband laboured away installing the detailing, and had it ready for painting after only one day of construction! I dutifully picked up my trusty paintbrush, and after three days of painting, declared the project finished!

Next up is some crown-moulding in the living room, bead board in the mudroom, and something even better in the bathroom (although I have yet to decide what). New home or not, we will work at giving it detail and character, and our kids will do their part by chipping away at its newness by scuffing up walls, denting the hardwood, and dinging the trim work.
It's a family affair...!!

Another example of my husband's work to add vintage character to our home:

Lovely examples of great details anyone (with a bit of skill and a few tools) can add:
(Note, the following are not photos of my home)

(top photo: source unknown)

Middle and bottom photo: Country

(Photo below: House to

A Quick One

This little door shelf was our very first piece of door furniture---even though it was actually our second. We were in the middle of building our entertainment unit and things were going very slow. I was frustrated, so I brought out another old door, and various wood pieces. I told my husband that I needed a project with immediate gratification. I drew up a design plan and then left for a meeting. While I was gone, the sweet man I married started building. When I came home, a couple of hours later, the project was ready for me to paint. It was just what we needed. I had a project that I could work on while waiting for the completion of the entertainment unit, and since this project came together so quickly, it gave my hubby the excitement and confidence and to finish the next.
For years I used this piece in a corner of my kitchen to display antiques and other pretties. About a year ago I decided that I needed a change and the door shelf was moved to the basement. I walked past it last week and it caught my attention. It looked unloved and neglected. I knew, that with a little paint makeover, it could be a cherished piece again. So now it stands in it's glory, ready to live in my son's room (as soon as I paint the walls).
Let me tell you a little about it.
The back is an old door.
The legs are two stair balusters.
The top piece was a part of a crib headboard
I found at the thrift store.
We used fencing material to build the shelves.
It's rough and gives it a more rustic quality.
We added an old hinge above the door knob
to hide the hole left from a deadbolt. I painted it satin black,
then heavily distressed it with the sander.
I finished it off with a coat of maple stain.
I wanted it to look like it's been stored for years
out in grandpa's barn.
It's going to look great in my youngest son's room
and I won't have to worry about
the extra distressing it will get.

Four Seasons Condo in Miami $1,300,000

Four Seasons condo on Brickell Ave. Miami Florida
The Four Seasons in Miami is 70 Stories High

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Four Seasons Miami view
The views are amazing from this corner apartment, where one can see the City of Miami from one side, and the beautiful bay from the other side. Included with the apartment is a membership to the exclusive Four Seasons Gym.

The Four Seasons security and professional staff provide five star service, including the utmost in comfort and safety, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is a 24-hour concierge service, and all hotel amenities are available to the proud owner of this fine downtown Miami residence.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Little Bit of Not Much

Today I'll be trying to catch up on a few projects. I'll be applying a paste wax to my new table. I used regular brush on latex paint so to help give it a hard finish, I like to rub in some wax. It will help protect it from cars being driven across it and shoes and bottoms being plopped on it.Many of you asked me the color. It was an oops paint. Saturday, I ran to the H Depot to see if I could find a close match. I am sorry to say that there wasn't one. The closest thing I could tell you is that it's a muddied version of Lemon Grass.

When it gets a little warmer, this afternoon, I'll be spray painting this:
Yes, it's also made from an old door. I'll be changing the color to a nice satin black (big surprise!). It will be going in my youngest son's room along with some other pieces of furniture that I'll be painting this week. Hopefully the weather will stay in the sixties so I can get a lot accomplished!

All Hallow's Eve...

Doesn't everyone have a pet crow? I have had this "caged crow" for a few years, now, and love hanging from my porch.

I plopped this wig on this glass head and it is one of my kids' favourites. Easy peasy decorating!!

It's almost here...soon bags of candy will be stuffed in our children's closet - wrappers will be found under beds, on every flat surface, tucked under pillows, stuffed into pockets. Pumpkins need carving, candles bought, costumes need to be rustled up. For kids, it is a magical day. Honestly, could it get any better than being out after dark, endless treats, and a good game of dress-up? For me, the fun is also in the planning: pizza for a quick supper, costumes layed out on beds, and decorations of course...
A rather unassuming Mona Lisa...

...and her more sinister twin:
(I got this at Zellers (Cdn), and the image changes as you pass by)

I had promised to show you what my mum, Sophie and I made on our annual girls crafting night. Normally, I am very prepared with all the supplies in order. This year, I was betwixt and between over what to make. I saw this fun skeleton over at Julie's blog, and decided on the spot that it was perfect for us: a little glitter, a little happy spookiness, and easy to boot. I hunted down some miniature skeletons and ended up buying a garland of them at Walmart for $4 each. I cut up my garland and decided to instead hang them individually on my Halloween tree, and this is what I ended up with:
I used my crown stamp on some cardstock, and then cut it carefully out, glittered it, and hot-glued it to my skeleton. I have three with crowns, each wearing a framed B or O to spell BOO, of course! For the others, I used a witch hat stamp and also glittered the bones a little to give some added sparkle.

Here are some more "pretties" hanging on my tree:


Don't forget about the pumpkin decorating contest with Ki...awesome prizes...yours for the taking...and only four days left!!