Monday, April 29, 2013

Spring on the main floor

Like I mentioned yesterday, I am unconscionably late with my spring posts this year but since spring just came this weekend it seems like it suits. We have been working like busy bees getting our yard and patio going for this year. The fish are very happy that their pond is running finally.

The main floor of our home got the final pillows made early Saturday morning so I thought I would snap some pictures with the wonderful sunshine that was streaming through.

There's alot of them, I couldn't help myself.

In no particular order, Enjoy!

i love white orchids. love!


went for a little more pattern this year with pillows instead of just white. the hot house flowers are all over this room, plus moss green velvet, black & white moorish pattern from here and a great green and white geometric from here.
i love sewing my own pillows because i have this crazy ocd issue with having the same fabric on both sides of the pillow and zipper bottoms. its weird but its me.

sammy is emulating the tiger in the painting.


the farmhouse table all styled up for spring. i put most of the rabbits away after easter but there are still the 2 large ones out and about.


this table has attracted so much attention since we made it and is still the top post on this blog. it suits our home to a tee and didn't take us long to make. i still love it a year later.

i realized i hadn't shown this gallery wall in quite some time. i am always adding or changing up the items/photos on this wall. it is mish mash of photos, art, vintage finds, embroidery hoops, a painting we found on a trip to ohio, and family photos

i like this photo so much i threw it in again. the pillow on this chair and the other velvet chair is the barkcloth pillow i was chatting about last week and they are available in my store

Have a lovely Monday and we'll see you this week with some more spring photos and a neat media center reveal that I have been working on for a client.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Money shot......who took that?

To be successful in this amazing whirlwind world of blogging, and especially home decor blogging one thing is for certain, your photos have to rock.
I have learned so much from other bloggers tips (tripod and 2 second timer people) and from quite a few photography websites I wouldn't know where to begin.
I am still using a "point and shoot" camera Nikon Coolpix P80 on a tripod. I am in the process of picking a new SLR camera and cripes are there a lot of things to consider.

I have it narrowed down to a few options and will probably be sleeping with the manual until I figure out what is what.

For now though I have tried to learn the ins and outs of my camera's capabilities and learn a lot more about the basics of photography. My uncle would be proud. I almost always shoot in manual mode now and I honestly just happened by accident to figure out yesterday how to adjust the focus point by pushing ok. Good grief.

As a burgeoning photographer I am happy with the way my photos are looking and can recognize where they are lacking. I was editing photos this morning for some spring decor posts (which I am so late with as summer is just around the corner) and I came across a "holy bananas money shot"

I seriously felt like saying, "Who took that?"
In fact Trevor asked in a doubting kind of way, " Did you take that?" so it isn't just my imagination. lol
Not to toot my horn here and I probably couldn't replicate it but this picture is cool. 

It captured this mossy green chair and my african statue and travelled into the front hall with the hurricane lantern and one of our collection of tiger paintings by Edward Spera.
It is our house in a nutshell and I love it!

Just as a bonus, someone was being particularly photogenic in a Where's Waldo kind of way. Can you spot Sammy?

Has this phenomenon ever happened to you?
If so, toot your horn baby as we are learning a new skill to track the progress of our homes.

Have a great day and see you this week with lots of spring photos and inspiration.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Just a bit more... and stripping

Good grief, stripping wood you dirty minded soul.

This is probably the last post on our dining room renovation. At least for awhile.

I had an idea to simplify the areas on either side of our buffet and went on the hunt for antique doors. Did you know how much money some people charge for a pair of doors. YIKES! I came across this pair below on Kijiji and they were just what I had in mind and had the original track hardware on the top. They had many years of varnish and stain that needed to be redone or removed. I went with removed.

I used Citrstrip for this project which is a safer stripper with less chemicals and a less offensive smell. I had used it on the doors of our china cabinet and didn't have many problems. It took the varnish off and wasn't terribly hard to scrape.

Let me tell you though, the doors on the china cabinet were nothing compared to this pair of doors. The Citristip worked great to remove the stain and varnish however, because of the sheer amount of layers of varnish it became a huge sticky mess.

All those positive blog posts and information pages do not tell you that Citristip does not dry up to scrape like the regular furniture stripper. I went through 3 scrapers, 2 full packages of steel wool and a full bottle of mineral spirits.
I even harranged my poor husband into helping scrape after awhile. I spent 20 minutes letting the stripper do its work and 4 hours getting the goo off the doors.

I can see the benefit of using this product for small layers of paint and to be able to use it indoors if need be but I have figured out I am a chemical stripper kind of girl.

I love how the doors turned out and the warm colour they add to the room. It also worked out perfectly that the colour tone matches the table we found.

To do this decor reno we needed wanted a larger farmhouse style table and after looking in all the expected places, we came across an amazing harvest table in a local antique store. The only problem is the previous owner had refinished the top in that awful orangey stain with a shine that needed sunglasses because of reflection.

I went back to my chemical stripper for this project. Loaded on the protective attractive eyewear, rubber gloves and yucky clothes and went to town on the top.

Worked like a dream. It just crumbles off and I didn't have to throw out my scrapers this time. Trevor went a little bananas in one area and it came out dried and streaky. I found a product to try and revive the wood at Homesense called Howard's Feed N Wax.
You just rub it on, let it sit for 20 minutes and then buff it out. Worked like a dream and brought the wood back to life without a heavy shine.

You can see the wood grain beautifully and this table has worked out perfectly. It was a bugger getting it into the house. A one piece table takes a little bit of fanangling to slide it through doorways.

The base was left as is and the harvest drawer in the center got a new milk glass knob. There were jokes bandied around about the drawer being a great place to put the food you don't like. Grrr.

Have you had any weird experiences with Citristrip or is it just me?

Have a great day,


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Have you heard of Blogger Homes?

In case you haven't, this is a website designed and run to corral a lot of blogger homes in one space. The photos can be searched by type of space ie. dining room, living room or by the blog you are looking for ie. MT-Tails, My Sweet Savannah.

You see the space you are looking for and the link directly to that space.

Can be helpful when looking for a certain type of space and Pinterest is giving you a lot of crap or you want to see a specific blog's living room and don't want to sort through their sidebar to find the post.

This website is always growing and some of the blogs already there are wonderful.

Blogger Homes

Check it out here.

Our dining room is featured there here.

Have a great weekend
We woke up to snow and sun today so here's hoping.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Church pews and fabric

Thank you for all the amazing comments on our dining room makeover. I love the room no matter what and it is exciting to know you share my affection of green and old stuff.

I was originally looking for all bankers chairs for around our ficticious at that point table or a mess of old chairs and paint them all the same colour.

Then my mom called.

She found a lady selling 11 foot church pews dirt cheap on Kijiji and I had wanted one for our front porch so of course we roped in our husbands to go pick them up for us.

I should have taken a picture of them coming home with these massive pews hanging out the back of our truck it was funny, compounded by the looks we got when they got out of the truck.

What the hell are you going to do with this thing? 

It was a Kodak moment, I tell ya.

Instead of putting the pew on the porch we decided to chop 'er down and put it in the dining room. Can you still hear the groaning?


the pew in its entirety being sized up for chopping. usually underneath the seat there is trim that can be removed and then remove the nails and then the end cap just slides off. of course, that sounds a little easier and there is some swearing and malletting but the end just comes off.


next up, measure, measure again and use your handy frogtape to mark off where you want to cut. do no forget to account for the end you removed in your total length.


time for the reciprocating saw. not a bad idea to have another person sitting on the other end of the pew so it doesn't shake.


end-less. don't worry about the center support being in the wrong spot. they are usually attached with just a few screws and can be re-centered in no time.


now, fit your end cap back in place. it may need a little tweaking as the back rest may be a different angle slightly. wood fill all the new screw areas and sand away.
this is a good project if you are planning to paint the pew,  you may need to strip and restain to match the filler if you are going that route 

in the room ready for paint


i love annie sloan chalk paint. little tip from me to you on a large scale piece especially light pure white. even though you do not need to prime with chalk paint, that little quart is not cheap and it is much more efficient to prime and then paint to save money and worry that you may not have enough and then wait for your supplier to ship you more.
after painting we added felt feet to the pew and chairs to help them slide easier and no floor scratching.


 these chairs were a combo of oak and bad painting but now are happily mismatched with ASCP pure white just like the pew

Onto the fabrics:

the pew saw 2 green velvet pillows and 2 fashion fabric black and white stripe. i hung an antique black stripe grainsack over the back to help tie all the tones together.
the pillows can scootch right under the buffet if extra room is needed when we have lots of eat-in diners.


the little rosette looks great in white


the ikea byholma chairs got the celerie kemble hot house verdance pillows. 
oh my i love this fabric.

I hope this inspires you to chop up your own church pew.
Be prepared for all the last supper comments.

Have a great day,



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Oliver and Rust pillow happenings

This has been a fun week with the reveal finally of our finished dining room and showing how I used my favourite colour via Miss Mustard Seed on a new buffet.

I thought I would pop in today and share this amazing find I came across in a local antique store. Multiple finds actually. This lady has a whole room jammed full of vintage fabric. I mean jammed/stuffed and mushed. I almost feel sad for the fabric but it also means that I get it a smidge cheaper and have to break out an iron. I only had time to pull out these 2 but I will be going back to hunt for more.

The first one was this amazing blue irish botanical linen. It is so pretty it makes me want to add more blue to my house. Almost. I did add some of this in our bedroom though.

sometimes i find these linens look just as amazing wrong side out which is what i did with this one. i love the vintage feel of it this way. fantastico!


ah right side out and still gorgeous. i bought a lot of this so i can make custom sizes or multiples if you are interested. send me an e-mail or convo me through the shop

this is the nicest toned barkcloth i have seen in awhile. some of them are just a little crazy in colours. this has an emerald green in it the exact colour of that boxwood ball i snuck into the picture

And while we are at it, some other neat new items that are popping up.

A sneak peek at some upcoming items not yet listed but they are coming soon......

Stop by and have a looksy. You never know what I scooped up for your house.

Have a good day,