Oct 062013

I have had a crazy busy week!  I have not made too much progress on my furniture projects  but i did sell a couple items.


What I have been busy with has to do with my role as Chair of a registered charity associated with my daughter’s school.  As a dedicated Arts focused secondary school, the school does not get any additional funding from the school board to support the many unique needs and expenditures.  The school is highly acclaimed in the city of Toronto and in the national media.  As a result, there is a high expectation about the quality of arts education these talented students will get at the school and truly deserve.

The school is now over 20 years old and so is the Theatre, the musical instruments, the lighting equipment, etc.  Sadly, with cutbacks everywhere, the School Board has to make hard decisions and “if it ain’t broke….”  The role of our organization is to provide funding for projects to bring the school up to 21st century standards.  Our current initiative is called th “Theatre Renewal Initiative”.

This past week, I have been immersed in meetings and activities intended to bring new, interested parents and alumni on board to help with our fund-raising plans.  I must admit, besides helping the school, I do have a personal agenda and which is to find a replacement for me!  It is my daughter’s last year and I think I will want to “retire”  when she’s no longer there.  Or at least have a less active role.  We’ll see!

Back to blogging…
I began setting up my blog at the beginning of August 2013.  Because of vacations and traveling, I like to think I “officially”  started blogging, in earnest, on September 1st 2013.

So as of today, I have been blogging for 37 days.

calendar My Blogging Status After 37 days!

  1. According to Bloglovin, I have only 8 followers 🙁
  2. According to Google AdSense I have earned $1.30 from clicks on  the ads on my page 🙂
  3. According to Google Analytics, blog has been visited by

Am I disappointed?



jump for joy

Just like this little guy!

Source: http://brightondogphotography.co.uk


Thank you everyone for all your support!

If you have any suggestions,
be sure to pass them along!


Sep 222013

Today, I want to write about how creative people use their talents to help others.

The Drawing Hope Project is the brainchild of a talented photographer living in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.  His photographic creations for this project are so unique they are difficult to describe with mere words.  However, I feel  Shawn Van Daele summarizes it best on his website:

“I take drawings done by children born or living with health conditions, and turn them into magical photographs – starring themselves – for a storybook series filled with HOPE.”

Click on the links above or the photo below to see Shawn’s creations, read his story and be inspired.
On the Drawing Hope Project Contact page, find out how a child, suffering from a debilitating health problem can request be part of his initiative.

 "We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the darkness”

“We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the darkness”

Although I have never met Shawn, I became aware of his endeavors through one of his long time friends, a very talented quilter who just happens to be my  lovely niece Sheilagh.  Recently, Sheilagh helped bring happiness and assistance to the family of Marco, the subject of the photo above.  Sheilagh designed and created an “I Spy” themed quilt with over 400 squares.  She solicited donors to sponsor each square and the proceeds were given to the family last weekend.
Click on the photo below to read her very touching account of her  visit to Marco and his family.

Marco's Quilt

Marco’s Quilt

Sheilagh is a full time Interior Designer by day and in her “spare” time, the creative owner of Lay It On Me Baby   (Isn’t that a great name for a quilting business?!) Although she creates quilts of all types, I especially like her baby quilts and crib sets.  Each one is very unique with a theme and design meticulously planned and tailored to the client’s decor and colour palette.   They are so adorable!

Be sure to visit her blog and website to see her creations.
Contact her to discuss ordering a custom made gift for someone!
Christmas is just around the corner!

I have been so inspired and humbled by these artists and their endeavors to bring happiness to others.

Visit their websites and be inspired too.

Sep 172013

 Blogging may be very new to me but being the “handy wife” is not.

Over the years, there have been so many projects I have undertaken which brought me compliments and admiration.  Sadly the process was not documented very well, if at all!    I may be late to the blog game, but I still think some projects are worth sharing.  So today I am sharing three handy dandy projects I did in the past year. I guess this could be called “PRE-blogging”.

Two of the projects I did just before Christmas. The first idea I got from
Natalie at Where North Met South.
Natalie was inspired by Sarah, the Thrifty Decor Chick.
Either link will give you full instructions on how to make a very simple faux sofa table.

For our living room, this little “table”  has made a big impact.  Not only does it move the sofa away from the wall making a more cozy seating arrangement, it also provides a shelf for books, candles, lamps or whatever.  I used pine shelving cut to the correct height and length at Home Depot, L-brackets and a few coats of MinWax PolyShades in Bombay Mahogany.  (NOTE: Originally it wobbled so I added some scrap wood as braces between the legs.   Also, my husband cut a notch at the bottom of each “leg” to accommodate the molding and allow the table to be flush with the wall.)

I just love it and it was so quick to put together!

Sofa Table
Board, L-brackets and stain
Sofa Table2
Faux sofa table and my little green bird
Sofa Table1

Faux Sofa Table

 For the next project, I needed my lovely husband to help.  Or maybe I was just lazy lonely.  Being an avid photographer and proud parent, I like to display pictures of family and vacations.  We are very fortunate to have the perfect long hallway on which to display them.  But honestly, I hate all the holes and lining them up, etc.  So when I saw a DIY Photo Gallery Wall on Tidbits From the Tremayes I was very eager to try it out.  Sadly I don’t have a before picture but essentially it was a bare wall.

Now, when I walk past the gallery, I often think about streamlining the look with matching frames and mattes and or subject matter.  However, we’re an eclectic sort of family and I love to look at the variety of photos and art as each piece is special in some way.

picture ledges1 picture ledges3 copy

This last project was completed the day my neighbour brought over his compressor for me to “borrow”.  (Actually, he calls it “off site storage” 😉 )

I had two old folding chairs with rips on the seat and frames the colour of a cardboard box.  Blah!  After removing the seat and the back, I removed the ripped vinyl and replaced it using my super duper compressor charged staple gun and some lovely turquoise fabric I had already.   I spray painted the chair frames in white, re-attached the top and back and VOILA!

Now, these cute little chairs are much nicer than new!

Ripped and dull to C-U-T-E!

Ripped and dull to C-U-T-E!

Ties into my rug!

Colour ties into my rug!

Now, when we need a extra chair in the dining or living room, like at Book Club, I can bring out cute chairs that tie into my rooms.

I hope you enjoyed these simple projects that provided so much punch!

I am curious? Can you guess my favourite go-to colour is these days??


This week’s Linky Parties

A Bowl Full of Lemons
Inspire Me Tuesday @
A Stroll Thru Life
TDC Before and After

Sep 062013

The other day, a comment from Andrea on one of my posts, led me to her blog, the Cottage Market where  landed on Junkin Joe Friday Linky Party.  Having not landed there before, (not that I can remember) I just had to have a lookee-see.  Then, half way down the page I saw it!  Low and behold…

featured 2 copy

After I un-dropped my jaw, I did a little happy dance around my desk and smiled and smiled and smiled!

Thank you so much Andrea for enjoying my French Graphic table!  It is wonderful when someone compliments your work.  However, it is the HUGEST compliment one can receive when creative, talented fellow furniture artists feature one of MY make-overs on their site!  As a newbie blogger just beginning to showcase my work, I am even more over the moon!

Sep 052013

So this is what led me to this blog….

  • I like keeping busy and being  a handy dandy homeowner
  • I decide to paint my dining room furniture
  • I discover Pinterest  and I’m addicted
  • I finally make some decisions and I finish the dining room
  • I love the new look AND I realize I love painting furniture
  • I sew and I like textiles and fabric
  • I decide to try some upholstering
  • I discover I love upholstering
  • I start to collect furniture pieces
  • I do some work for some friends
  • I sell some random pieces
  • People keep saying “You should start a Business”
  • I think “Hmmmm?”

So here I am and here is what I’ve got:

  • I got a cute business name:  Nicer Than New
  • I got a blog  (that’s why you’re here)
  • I got a business Facebook Page and Pinterest Account
    (Don’t look!  They’re both looking pitiful as of today!)
  • I got a sore seat from sitting at my computer creating the above Social Networking Sites
  • I got a garage full of several pieces of “junk”
  • I got a husband who just shakes his head and turns away

Now, here is what I DON’T “got”:

  • followers
  • customers
  • advertisers and sponsors
  • income

Should I be worried?

Apparently not.
I do good work.
I’m a Virgo.
I’ve done research: it takes time.
A lot of time.
Life is a journey.

In the meantime, while I am creating blogs, Facebook pages, Pinterest accounts,


It’s a crazy circle.
Tomorrow, I will get out of bed and complete at least one project and make it nicer than new.

Until then, let me share pieces of future projects… .


Found a convenient well priced foam dealer!


So elegant but not nearly finished!


Top: Retro.
Bottom: Amazing neutral @ $3/metre


I love Paris and yes I know it’s backwards

I guess it hasn’t all been social media prep after all.

Is that retro fabric super cute or what?

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