Sep 032014
 

I am declaring September 1st as my New Year’s Day!

September 2013 is when I began to blog in earnest meaning it is now my one year anniversary of blogging.  However, I must admit, I am not celebrating.  I am actually very disappointed in myself.  In reality I blogged, “in earnest”, up until April.  Then I fell into a slump and my entries became very sporadic to the point where this is the first entry since mid-July!  A mere 48 days!  How can I call myself a blogger and create a following if I don’t post anything???

I can certainly come up with a number of excuses…all very lame!  Sure, it was a busy summer.  Breaking my ankle and saying good bye to our lovely dog did not help.  Then a week vacation.  Preparing for Miss Nice to go off to University also occupied my mind and my energies.  Not to mention the arrival of a new fur baby, Chester.  More about him in another post.

Like I said LAME excuses.
If I were honest, I just got LAZY!

However, I did THINK about my blog often.  I’ve been thinking about:

  • the design: fonts and backgrounds.  I changed it up a few months ago but I am not completely happy
  • developing a series or two: a topic or theme I can post once a week allowing me to plan ahead
  • hosting a link party or becoming a co-host with some other bloggers.
  • but most of all, I thought about how to motivate myself to finish the b-zillion projects I have been ignoring for MONTHS!!!  After all, that was why I started the blog!  To share my passion for updating furniture, sewing, cooking and other crafty stuff.

Three days ago, we dropped Miss Nice off at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario to begin the next exciting phase in her life. 

Throughout my life, I always felt September 1st should be New Year’s Day because unlike January, so many new things happen in September.  Not just back to school but the end of the summer routine and more time indoors.  In January, it is just the same ole same ole.

So I am declaring September 1st to be is my New Year’s Day
and
my New Year’s resolution
is to get off my butt and
DO THE THINGS I LOVE! 

  • start writing posts.  I love writing and sharing!
  • finish painting the 7 pieces I have partially completed … for other people!  (My friends and family have far too much patience for me!)
  • work through the other pieces I have in the garage including some upholstery projects I was once so eager to get at.
  • organize my office! I have a wonderful, large space but it is by no means pretty.  It is a disaster.  You guessed it… a disaster of unfinished projects!
  • workout more.  My ankle is healed and getting stronger so why am I not visiting the gym.

I could go on but I will not for now.

I hope by the official New Year, I will be well on my way with these few resolutions.  Check back  in four months…

Do you agree September 1st should be New Year’s Day? 

resolution

…and a better blogger!

Happy New Year

Joan

Jul 162014
 

When you see a cool container, are you like me and have a hard time throwing it out, knowing it MUST be good for something!  Certainly there is a way to up-cycle the container to keep it out of the trash!

Well this is how I feel about the containers the Cascade dish washing  tablets come in. 

I have used it for my homemade dry laundry detergent until I found a bigger and better container. 

Then one day after my daughter and her friends had been in my car, I noticed they left so many tissues and wrappers on the floor.  (Pretty girls but slobs!)  So I decided I needed some sort of garbage container.  I was just going to put it in there as is but since I seem to have a surplus of scrapbook paper, a light bulb went off.

This little project took me literally 10 minutes!

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Up-cycled Cascade Container

I didn’t even remove the labels.

I cut the paper to size.  Added Mod Podge to both the container and the back of the paper.  I lined it up and pressed out the bubbles then added a top layer of Mod Podge.

Easy Smeasy!

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Such a cute and easy project: Up-cycled Cascade container

Now it is a matter of getting them to USE it!

What containers have you re-purposed?

I LOVE comments!  So drop me a line!

Joan

 

Jul 142014
 

Earlier this summer, I decided I would give Container Gardening a try on my second story terrace.  After doing some research, I came up with some great ways to re-purpose containers I already had.

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I wanted to try my hand at growing a  tomato plant, a pepper plant and a bunch of herbs.   In the past, I tried to grow herbs in my little garden behind the house but because we live on a ravine, critters got into the tasty plants.  Ground hogs just LOVE herbs as do deers.  So a container garden on the upper terrace was the answer.

About the same time I was planning this little garden, my neighbours put two large fiberglass plant pots out on trash day.  As one who does not like to pass up FREE stuff, I wandered over on the pretense of taking my dog out and had a look.  They were big and blue and had no drainage holes.  The latter two features could be easily remedied!  They became MINE!!  One of them would be perfect for the tomato plant which I understand needs good soil, space and lots of light.

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Big and baby blue.

 I also remembered I had a RED Christmas-y wine bucket in the basement that I was using for a garbage can.  Being oval and with a medallion on the front, it would add some interest.  It was part of my Spray Paint to the Rescue post and it looks great in it’s new colour.

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Red to Dark Bronze in minutes!

Lastly, knew I had large EMPTY Rubbermaid bins in our storage area.  These are left over from dance costume and dress up clothes storage.  A phase in our family life that is now sadly long gone!

Using my drill I made holes in the bottom of these containers.

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Made good use of my trusty drill

The best find I came across was at our local Dollarama (Canadian dollar store that is EVERYWHERE!) !  They had these PERFECT flower pot supports with CASTERS for $2.50 and $3!   Bargain!

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These pot stands were PERFECT and so affordable!

So, I used the big, previously blue pot for the tomato, a saved poinsetta pot for the pepper and the ice bucket and Rubbermaid container for my herbs.  Best of all, they are now all on wheels!

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I love this little plant corner!

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If these end up ripening, they will be pricey but de-lish!

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This is such a tiny plant! Not sure how big these peppers will get!

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The herbs are doing great!

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The time is a bit skimpy but I added compost recently so hopefully these will florish.

So now I have TWO two natural vignettes to look at while I rest my broken tibula, drink my tea and read the news and my books! 

I am LOVING this space more and more this year.

I have been very successful with my perennial gardens but I am not too sure about this new adventure with containers.  I don’t think the terrace gets quite enough sun for the tomato but the herbs with the exception of the thyme are thriving. 

Do you do container gardening? 
Do you have some suggestions for successful container gardening. 
I plan to try it again next year too.

I love comments and read each and everyone so drop me a line!

Joan

 

NO Affiliates in this post.

Jul 112014
 

Ombre NEVER seems to lose its appeal.  We see it in everything!  I would like to share some ombre inspirations I have stumbled across…

Ombre collection copy

I recently posted a picture of my daughter in her senior prom dress.  Interestingly, it was in an ombre style.  There were a few ombre dresses at this prom and I think the style really set them apart from the “everyday” prom dress … if there can even be such a thing!

Senior Prom - OMBRE

Regardless, the dress was stunning and let’s face it, not everyone can wear GREEN and get away with it!  I certainly cannot!

This dress has inspired me to perhaps paint one of the dressers I have in the queue using  an ombre technique.  I went to Pinterest for some inspiration and I thought I would share my finds with you.

 OMBRE  IS EVERYWHERE

  • FOOD
  • BUILDINGS AND DECOR
  • FASHION
  • AND OF COURSE FURNITURE

FOOD

I have to admit, Green and Blue cake do not really appeal to me but these cakes are GORGEOUS!

BUILDINGS AND DECOR

 

FASHION

Hair, nails, fabric, shoes…

 

FURNITURE

Dressers in particular lend themselves to being painted using an ombre technique, due to the fact the drawers can each be a specific colour. 

I love the dresser on the left with shades of green on the top and shades of turquoise on the lower drawers.

The dresser on the right is very unique and shows us that all ombre treatments need to be done with paint.  Brilliant!

two shade ombre

Source

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Source

 

I hope you enjoyed this round up of Ombre Inspiration.  I’m not sure what shades I will choose for the dresser in my garage.  Stay tuned.

Have you ever finished a piece or wall or whatever using the ombre technique?
If you did, what colours did you use?

Love to here from you!  Comments make my day!

Joan

Jul 072014
 

I have been having a lot of fun sprucing up our upper terrace and in particular the very boring brick wall.  The outdoor mirror has been a real hit with us and our guests.  I just love the added dimension it gives to this outdoor space. So I decided to create an outdoor vignette.

composite copy

Most years, I add a couple pots of flowers and put them more in the centre of the railing where there is an angle to the shape of the deck.  But this year, with the added mirror, I decided to sort of “decorate” around the mirror.  This way, not only could the person sitting in the “non-view” chair see what is behind him or her, they could also look at a display of flowers and nature.

As I previously mentioned, this upper terrace gets a great deal of shade from the crappy maple tree next to it.  I say crappy because there is ALWAYS some debris falling off on to the deck.  Over the years, I have fell in love with the BEST SHADE FLOWER EVER:  Tuberous Begonias!!  Their flower looks like a rose in full bloom and they bloom well into our cool autumns here in Toronto.

So I started my vignette with a big pot with these gorgeous flowers in them.

Outdoor Vignette

Tuberous Begonias

Nice, clean look but displays are better with an odd number of items…

So how about my owl on its freshened up  plant stand.  Super!

For the third element I have used some of the birch tree branches I collected after the winter ice storm.  

pinnable miror 2 copy

I rather like this look!  It was an incredibly boring brick wall and now, it has reflection, colour and more nature!

AND for me with my fractured tibia, it is a GORGEOUS place to sit, read , contemplate while all the time my foot is up and being iced!

This is a real first time I have REALLY tried to “decorate” outdoors
but for me it makes one of my most favourite features of our home really inviting!

Do you “decorate” your outdoor spaces? 
Please share!

I absolutely LOVE comments and read each and every one of them!

Joan

Jul 042014
 

In June, before my bad luck break, I spent some time working on sprucing up our walkout deck. 

Installing an outdoor mirror was such a brilliant idea.  Not only does it fill in rather boring brick wall, it now gives the illusion of a window or moving painting.  We just love it!

When I spray  painted the mirror frame, I gussied up a few other things too.

I have had this cute little plant stand for many years and it has really rusted over time.  For the past few years, my super adorable cement and resin owl has been perched on it.  As you can see, the owl was sitting in moisture and has begun to crumble.  I currently researching how to repair it.  If you have any experience with BONDO on cement, please contact me and let me know how it went.

owl and stand

Love this owl.

rust

Rusting Plant stand

In addition to adding my usual flower pots to this walkout, I am going to try  my hand at container gardening.  Stay tuned for a post on what I used and how it is progressing.  In my search around the the house for cool containers to use, I spotted a RED ice bucket of sorts with a medallion on the side.  Very Christmasy.

I love the Rustoleum Oil Rubbed bronze and since I seem to like to use colours from nature to decorate, I decided to use it to spruce up the stand and container.

Spray Paint

Don’t they look amazing! Like new!

While I was at it, I painted up our VERY RUSTY wheelbarrow.   I didn’t take a before picture (must remember this!) but basically there was very little paint left inside the tub.  It’s also sporting a new NEVER GO FLAT wheel.  Looks like new! And at a fraction of the cost of a new item!

Spray Paint Updates

Spray paint makes things look like new!

Be sure to pop by and check out my container garden post coming up soon!

You know you are a real DIYer when you are excited about painting a wheelbarrow!!

Regardless, it just feels good to see items that are often
Nicer Than New!

 

Joan

Notice:  The links provided are NOT affiliates.  I am NOT being compensated.  I just like the products!

Jul 022014
 


pinnable miror copy

Adding a mirror to your outdoor space can be so effective.

We live in what many call a “raised bungalow”.  When you arrive at our front door, it looks like a bungalow but because we live on a ravine, we have TWO storeys at the back.  The “basement” is actually a walkout to a patio and backyard. 

However, one of the  best features  on our main / 3 bedroom bungalow floor, is the walkout rooftop patio with access from both the living room and the master bedroom.  Yes, it is VERY nice (if I do say so myself).

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Access to walkout from the living room.

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Access to walkout from Master Bedroom

When we moved in, this walkout had a wood railing and a blacktop floor covered by outdoor “turf” carpeting.  It was nice but not ideal.  The carpeting would get drenched and the large, yucky sort of maple tree next to it was always dropping stuff on it, requiring to be cleaned.  Our home up-keep philosophy is: every year, we do some sort of  a major upgrade or upkeep to our home.  This year it is the roof (…coming soon!).  However, about 5 years ago, we upgraded this walk out patio by removing the view obstructing wood railing and adding a classy glass railing.  In addition, we had an outdoor vinyl flooring installed.  Oh my!  What a difference!  In the summer, we use this area far more than our large deck with a outdoor dining table and chairs.

This walkout gets lots of shade and we love to take my morning coffee and newspaper out there.  You feel like you are in the country and not in the suburban metropolis of Toronto.

A year ago, I  saw a photo somewhere showing a covered patio with a mirror on the wall.  A lightbulb went off!   ” YES!   I want this”!!

Because as you can see, when you sit in some of the seats, you look at the sliding glass door and a brick wall.  How sad is that when everyone else sees  green nature!

Outdoor Mirror

From some seats, you miss out on the beautiful, natural view.

If you read my blog, you may know I  have been somewhat addicted to on-line estate sales.  It was through one of these sales, I found the perfect mirror!  This baby weighs a ton, is metal and was PERFECT!  Oh how I like perfect!

Outdoor Mirror

Heavy metal framed mirror for $25

So earlier this month, I taped it up and spray painted it with some Brown Rustoleum paint I had already.  Oh my, I could not wait to hang it  on my boring brick wall!

Mr. Nice did the honours of hanging and even he had to admit, it was a really nice addition.

Outdoor Mirror

Outdoor Mirror

I must admit when we did this upgrade, and we were shopping for furniture,  I knew the type I wanted.  But at the time I was not so obsesssed with colour.  AND being a very outdoor / natural  view, I wanted to see EARTH TONES when I looked out.  I am not sure I would choose brown cushions now, but it is what it is!

 

Outdoor Mirror

Enjoy the view!

This is only the beginning of the walkout freshening up!   Stay tuned for more! 

Don’t you love it?  It looks like a window!

Have you ever added a mirror to your outdoor space?

Joan

 

Comments just make my day!  I read each and every one of them!
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