One for You, Two for Me!



Today I am going to post for you a simple quick-fix Before and After so that I have still offered a decorating tid-bit before I talk about what happened to me!

Here is my coffee table/ottoman in the winter:


And my former bedding :


A little of this and a little (OK, a LOT of ) coffee:


Do this:

IMG_0618  IMG_0666

Get this:


Perfect for summer, and I didn’t cut anything.  Just scrunched, folded, squished, bunched, manipulated and stapled. (Don’t look underneath.) I’m assuming that when I pull out the staples and un-scrunch, un-fold, un-squish, un-bunch, un-manipulate and wash it, all the holes  made from the stapler will magically disappear!  Sounds about right in my head.

That’s the ONE for you.

And now here’s the TWO for me:  I received a beautiful little surprise – no, not a baby – two brand spanking new blogging awards!!

versatileblogger111      sunshine-award11

I am beyond thrilled and I accept!  Upon acceptance, there are rules to adhere to and they are as follows:

1. Thank the person who nominated you :

That would be Harmony’s Pearls. Check her out at   THANK YOU!!  She writes with a tender heart and a velvet hammer.  She also writes fantastic comments on posts.  I know this because I have been the recipient of said comments.

2.  Place the award badges on your Blog page :

Oh YES I did!

3.  Answer the 10 questions posed to me :

Will do. See below if you are interested.

4.  Pay it forward :

I need to nominate 10 bloggers too!  That will be fun.

Here are the 10 questions posed to me :

1) What is my favourite food?

- Pizza?  The question mark is because that’s what I think today.  It could very well be something else tomorrow. Or even by the time I finish this post.  I am fickle that way.  It’s food after all.

2) Who is my favourite Actor?

- Sidney Portier in To Sir With Love still makes me swoon. Sigh. Oh and to be fair, Meryl Streep because she can play ANY woman really, really well. (Hey, nobody said I couldn’t pick one from each side.)

3) Favourite TV Show?

- I just finished watching House of Cards with Kevin Spacey on Netflix. No, not actually WITH Kevin Spacey, he was IN it.  I love him. I also hate him. If you watch the show you’ll understand.

4) Favourite Tear Jerker?

- Nope. I don’t like movies that make me cry. I always feel crummy long after. Case in point, I just watched the new Colbie Caillat music video called TRY and I was sobbing at the end of it. Messy. Snotty. I’m still not over it.

5) Coffee or Tea?

- COFFEE no contest.  It’s what gets me up and at ‘em, through all my DIY’s, good times & bad times, all day long. The blacker and stronger the better.  I am very very addicted. Obv.

6) Favourite Sport?

- Volleyball to play and Roller derby to watch. It’s fascinating. But I can’t watch too long.  I don’t do real well with anticipation situations and unfairness. That sport makes me anxious and the potential for unfairness abounds. This seems like a really extra long answer for a question about sports.

7) What’s my lucky number?

- None. I have the absence of luck. Numbers are not my friend. (read my rope/lamp post.)

8) What’s my favourite Holiday?

- Christmas!! Hands down. For all the obvious traditional reasons. Oh and Jesus is the reason for the Season. Said it.

9) Twitter or Facebook?

- Now, I understand they both have their virtues, but I do neither.  I just Blog.

10) Favourite Christmas movie?

- ELF!!  Makes me laugh every year.


Here are my Nominees:

The Curator’s Collection

Double Whirler

Hello Lady

One Cool Site

The Modachrome Home

Home for Now

Lady Landsdown

This is Our Bliss

American Vintage Online

Apartment Envy


These are my 10 questions to my nominees:

1. & 2. If you could have anyone decorate a room in your house, who would it be and which room?

3. If you were stranded on a desert island what three things would you want to have with you? ( And don’t say a boat)

4. Disco or Ballroom?

5. What’s the furthest distance you’ve travelled?

6. Where do you stand in the family? (First born, middle etc.)

7. Is there anyone you would change places with?

8. Best summer book?

9. What do you put on your french fries?

10. Is Paris always a good idea?

Thanks again Miss H’s Pearls – I’ll still take you up on that offer to Find This, Paint That!



The long and winding ROPE



Check out my lamps!

Here’s a shot of the lamps before – formerly of the living room, moved in their green state to reside in the bedroom.

IMG_0765  IMG_0767

I bought three packets of rope, each 50 feet long, $7.98 each.  At first I thought one package would do it, 50′ sounded like a lot of feet!  I am so very bad at math.  But I bought two packages in case.  Because I know I am very bad at math.

This is how painfully close one package of rope got me.  That right there is 50 feet.  Shocker.  I know. I had to go back and buy another package of rope. Because I am worse at math than I thought.  Sigh.

IMG_0779   I have maybe 10 feet left.  I hoped to have the rope left-overs fashioned into something amazing to act like I had it planned all along, but suffice it to say this didn’t happen yet- but it will, I’m pretty sure.

IMG_0780 The how-to is so simple I didn’t really bother with many pictures.  All I did was wrap the rope around and around, adding blobs of glue gun glue as I went.  I started gluing the rope at the back by the cord.  On my lamps, there is a rib every couple of inches, and I aimed the glue for them.  I did learn by the second lamp that a push, blob, push method was effective in keeping the rope tight against the previous row and held well to the rope (and listening to 60′s French pop music in the sunshine while winding the rope was tres fun too).


Let me say that as fab as they look and as hard as it is to refrain from hugging your beautiful new lamp, don’t.  Very prickly- trust me.  And also surprisingly stinky.  Not horrible, and the smell is fading more every day but I wanted to give you the heads up on that.  No unnecessary surprises for you.  The great thing for me is that once I grow tired of this look or want to use these lamps in their original glory, I just have to pull and unwind.  And then I’ll have 100 feet of rope again, no wait, it would be, lets see, 50′ x 2 plus about …well never mind.  I won’t embarrass myself any further.  You get my drift.

Blinged-up Bar Stools


I almost did this post without any words, just a photo progression of step one to the finished product, but I just couldn’t do it.  With the pics, I could leave you thinking how genius I am and how my project went off without a hitch.  HA!  By now you know that’s not what  happened.  I’m here to expose the underbelly of the DIY world. Well, my DIY underbelly anyway.


Started out with good old cheapie 2 for 1 vinyl barstools.  They survived 5 years in my house.  They were cracked, piping peeling off, scratched and BROWN (they were always brown, but that’s not their fault).   Five years.  That’s pretty good, I figured.

So. Three fold solution. One: I got me a post idea!  Two: I can fail because 5 years says I can buy new ones if necessary. (It’s MY logic, and I stand by it)  Three: I tried this solution once before and it works.

IMG_0736   I got out the plastic furniture spray paint that I used on my shoe storage project.  See it here.  Gave the chairs three coats to be sure I covered all the angles.  Once dry, I taped off the seat, taped off about four inches at the feet for the dipped look, and went to town with my  gold metallic spray  paint.  Beauty.

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Even painter’s tape can’t promise this won’t happen.  No biggie.

Next I happened upon this stencil that matches the fabric on my dining chairs.  $5.00.  Score.  (Ignore the bottle of gold craft paint and stencil brush. Tried it.  Didn’t work.  New solution needed and discovered).  Here’s something I found impossible to do this project without.  Repositionable spray glue.  Splendid.

IMG_0710 IMG_0711

I used good old fashioned wax paper to cover all the parts I didn’t want painted, since even after curing for 4 days, the painter’s tape was untrustworthy – as far as peeling off the paint goes.  I used the same spray glue to hold the wax paper in place.  Easy removal or repositioning.

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And as careful as I was, I still got overspray here and there.  Some of it was easy to fix, but some like in between the pattern itself I had to leave since I ran the risk of ruining the whole design going back and forth with the paints.


The metallic gold on the design has a cool reflective quality but the same paint on the chair legs took on a soft burnished look.  The “dipped” feet add a bit of whimsy which I am always after.  Always.

All in all, a successful solution to a decorating dilemma.  How long they will last is yet to be seen, but I figure all I’ve lost is $10.00 for the stencil and glue (and not even really because I’ll use them on something else in the future) and some time outside in the sunshine.  Which is no loss at all!




A Nod to All Things Nautical



Here I am, another summer coming, and I am back to square one with my outdoor rug.  For those who have been with me for awhile, you may recall the above photo.

And how I started with this:

IMG_0363 For those who care to see, check it out here.

This is how it looked at the end of the season:IMG_0609

Much like waxing the winter leg hairs (minus the pain), I ripped off the white duct tape and was left with this:

IMG_0611 IMG_0610

A semi-clean slate.  Still being the tight-wad that I am, I checked through the scads of paint remnants I have, found a few suitable blobs and this thingy:


I don’t recall which painting job I bought it for – I think poly-urethaning something large scale, like a floor since this has a hole to attach a pole on the top of the wood chunk -(do you love my technical jargon?).  I smeared the turquoise and yellow paint all over the rug, drew out a rough sketch and got this:


Did the following, (you know, assume the position, blah, blah blah):

IMG_0621 IMG_0626

I dipped the bottom of my gold craft paint into the paint itself and used it to add gold polka dots randomly on the rug. I outlined everything in white and then gold and piled all the outdoor furniture back on it…..covering the design I just spent all that time on……Hmmmm…..Oh, whatever!  SUMMER’S coming!!



IMG_0629 IMG_0633

Great Wall of China


Ok, I exaggerate, it’s not GREAT, but it’s pretty good!

The wall  before was ok, but lacked in any visual punch.  My brother made the large blue plate back in the day, and it’s been on many a wall.  Still loving it.


I always thought I’d put artwork or paint a feature colour to help beef up the wall, but never felt it was quite the right move either way. I even bought a large inexpensive (translate: cheap) canvas to paint and mount there, but then where would the plate go?  (Can you imagine the dither I’d be in with any real world problems?  Good thing I have no  super powers – everyone might just get a pony and lots of penny candy…)

I rounded up the collection of plates we use daily – some were thrift store finds, some were gifts, some inherited.  Confession – I bought the fork and knife plate on a whim – but look at it!  Adorable.



And here some of you will shake your head or roll your eyes.  I randomly stuck push pins in the wall, moved push pins, puttied holes, hung up plates, puttied holes, stood back, adjusted where needed, puttied holes…

My planning method is no planning.  But you probably figured that out from the beginning of my blogging history.  I went with how it “felt” and continued with that process until I was done.

I like that this wall is not just a repeat of the artwork gallery walls I do, that when I look at the plates I think about how I acquired them, and sometimes I’m annoyed that a particular plate is up there if I think I could be using it for something.  I can switch them out anytime thankfully, maybe even adjust them to suit the season.  As long as they don’t come crashing down at any time, it’s all good with me.




Hit me baby one more TIME…


IMG_0573See what I did there?  TIME…CLOCK, well you get it.

Here’s the Before wall, Chartreuse green with a series of international times on the clocks:


And how I got to the After: First I painted the wall Peppertree by ICI, Dulux or Glidden; it’s all the same company, or you can use Piedmont Grey by Benjamin Moore for an almost exact match (and of course I would get it colour matched at that big box store everyone seems to have for even more money saving).

I will confess to you here that I miss that green!! But I’ll be fine.

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I drew out the shape I wanted the grandfather clock to be with chalk, (The clock itself is glass and was hot pink with orange flowers – spray painted flat white – use your imagination here) and taped off the lines I wanted to have be straight and crisp.

If you learn nothing else from me today except this next tip, I will be forever famous in your mind on the day you paint stripes of any kind, any where. So don’t forget where you read this, either.

The tip is as follows:

1. Tape off the stripe

2. Paint the edge of the tape on the side you will be painting the 2nd colour - with the  ORIGINAL  paint colour. Let it dry.

3. Now when you paint your second colour, it will not seep under the tape because the ORIGINAL PAINT ALREADY DID! (I tend to get excited about genius time saving steps). You’re welcome.




Fill in the body with the colour of your choice – I used the same high gloss white I used on my Mid-Century sideboard.



See here where I peeled back the tape? Razor sharp. Careful.

Next, a little gold highlighting and a little black shading…

IMG_0563IMG_0567IMG_0566 And a little hit of yellow that is pulled from all around the house.

Now the clock.  If you are at all like me, you have far too many decorating magazines which you cannot bear to edit down in any way for a near impossible chance that 1998 styles will return in your lifetime and you will need that picture to guide you in how you style your living room.  But a little nip tuck will surely go unnoticed if you choose to do so.  I chose to do so.  I found some fun numbers (Of course you can use stickers, stencils, found objects – as long as they don’t impede the hands from going ’round).  Get out the handy glue stick and Bob’s your Uncle, as they say.

IMG_0570  IMG_0571

And that’s it! Time’s Up!





IMG_0524Here it is, my next big save from the thrift store.  I’ve been looking for some time for some sort of seat that was narrow enough to pass by, comfy enough to sit and put on your shoes, easy to look at and most important, as usual, CHEAP.  This one came with a delightful little bonus – storage!!  There are far too many shoes in this house, and honestly they aren’t even mine.  Honestly….

Here’s the before:


Here’s the bonus:


A cool $15.00 and she was mine.

Since it is made of vinyl and I did NOT want it to stay brown, I pulled out all the stops and purchased Rustoleum spray paint for plastic in flat white (4 coats – 2 cans – a darker colour would take less).  I considered painting the trim charcoal or even painting a monogram or graphic stencil on top, but I wasn’t really feeling it, and decided to leave it simple.  I can always add to it or paint it out again if it seems to take a beating.

And SHABANG!  If you recall (and even if you don’t), I posted the Before and After of our front door going from black to Sapling yellow.  And here you can see I’ve used some of the leftover paint as my little surprise inside.  It’s high gloss, so should repel scuff marks made by the shoes.



Those shoes will be placed in nicely like this:


Oh who am I trying to kid.  They will totally end up like this:


But no worries, I’ll just do this:

IMG_0529  Oh and disclaimer, the rug you see is actually a runner folded in half that is usually in my hallway.  I have yet to find the entry rug of my dreams.  Remember I told you magazines do this all the time for staging, they just don’t tell you.  They will move things around and even bring things to the shoot.  Shhh it’s a secret.  Just keeping it real, people!






Mid-Century Modern-er

IMG_0401 Here is what I’m noticing.  People are getting creative!  Not only because of the influences of the old standbys of decorating shows and magazines, there’s Pinterest, Instagram, Websites and Blogs that inspire us, help us to dream and spur us on to try something we may never have thought of doing or just encouraging us to go for it.  I have seen and loved many examples of the mixed high gloss/wood sideboards.  So why not love my own?

Case in point – a treasured family sideboard we had already modified to house our electronics.  Before you wood lovers (men) flip out and demand your blog reading minutes back, here is my evidence to justify what I did.

IMG_0381   See the water stains and warn wood? “Yes, I see it” you argue -”Sand and Stain!” you shout, shaking your fists at me.

But ask yourselves this, would this blog entry create any kind of response from you had I taken the less offensive route and just stained the darn thing?  I dare say not!  So, you are welcome if I have stirred up emotion or an opinion or for you to declare “Injustice!”.

Here’s how it played out:

IMG_0377  We oh so gently slid the monster TV onto our recycling box and I taped off what I wanted to stay wood.


I used a latex, high gloss white paint.  I would have loved an even glossier finish, but then I would have had to lug it down to the automotive detailer and of course, shell out much more than $13.00.  Now THAT’S injustice.IMG_0386 So, I settled for the high gloss I had easy access to and painted 2 coats with brush and foam roller.  I do recommend putting down a drop cloth….do as I say, not as I do, or clean up the messy floor after.  Your call.


IMG_0491So far, I am very pleased with the shiny hard-as-a-nut finish. I did waffle a bit on how much to paint out, but for now it’s good.

I hope all my wood-only loving followers can find it in their hearts to forgive.  If you wait long enough I may redeem myself somewhere along the way, but don’t hold your breath.  If it can be painted, it’s fair game!


This Little Light of Mine

IMG_0420Spring has Sprung!  Time to put away the warm wooly winter accessories and bring back colour!

I usually get an itch about now to have something new in my decorating inventory, but alas and alack my bank account as usual groans in anticipation. What?! I ask…just a little something to feed this spring decorating disease I say, trying to control my level of rising panic.

Oh whatever, I shall shop my house instead – the service is bad but the prices are excellent!

Swapping the Master bedroom lamps with the Living Room lamps should do the trick – sort of.

IMG_0431    Former Living Room lamp now in Master (future post).

IMG_0391  Former Master lamps.

But of course, not good enough.  How to bring some bling now that I’m all about that? …And there it was…my Christmas impulse purchase – gold metallic spray paint.


Cue the clouds parting (figuratively AND literally).  I had a beautiful day to paint, and paint I did.  I have to say, with my full on Spring-fever delirium I may have gone a little overboard. Don’t judge me, but if I had had a chunky chain lying around, I may have Flava Flave’d a nifty clock of my own (google, people).

IMG_0395    IMG_0397  IMG_0398

So, there they are, my “new” Living room lamps – just enough bling to light my way into a new Spring, and my bank account approves.




Years ago I made my living as a decorative artist.  Ok, I’ll clarify and say with my husband working a full time job, I was able to pursue a career in my “spare time” as a decorative artist.  By spare time I mean that we had three kids so it was something I could do on my schedule.  Sounds complicated,  but like many families out there, we made it work.

At one point, I discovered floorcloths. Canvas primed and painted to match any decor, polyurethaned for durability and ease of clean-up.

floorcloth blog-floorcloth tiger floorcloth

I sold them at craft fairs, art galleries, gift stores, on line – any way I could think of.  I once sent photos of some to Home Decorating magazines in hopes of being picked up by just one.  It did happen, and my floorcloth was photographed in a minor celebrity’s home for a major magazine, and also was seen on a Home Decorating TV program (which is no longer on the air waves – so you’ll just have to take my word for it…).

Experimenting with things in a more simplified way I discovered I could make a floorcloth without all the hassle of cutting, gluing edges and priming by just using vinyl flooring!

To show you what I mean, I picked up some scrap vinyl flooring – I tried to find the cushiest flooring possible – something like Fibre Floor would be ideal. ( I used that brand once to replace a bathroom floor and it’s kind of spongy and cuts like butta.)  No such luck this time, but the one I chose is still pretty good, UGLY, but good.

(Don’t worry what it looks like) IMG_0293  IMG_0327  IMG_0328  Cut it to size,

IMG_0330  flip it over, ( you need to do this step if it has a shiny finish, using the other side could cause paint adherence problems with the finish on the vinyl – but you could prime it with a plastic primer.  Sometimes the edges refuse to stay flat when you turn it over.  You can test it and see, if it tends to curl up when on the reverse side, just paint the right side with the plastic primer and you should be good to go).

For the design, look for inspiration around your house – a pattern you love, a colour combo you’ve wanted to try, as simple or as intricate as you want or think you can handle.


These are beautiful little coasters daughter number #1 made for me.

IMG_0342  A plate with damask pattern,

magazine photos, IMG_0338 IMG_0335

and in the end, I prefer the KISS method – (keep it simple, stupid)….

IMG_0334   Paint the main colour, and let it dry- no priming or folding edges needed – side note - you could cut the vinyl to any shape you want – or easier yet, buy a ready made vinyl mat and paint over that.

Time for the chalk ….  IMG_0344

Draw out your pattern, and start painting!  IMG_0346 IMG_0347 IMG_0349 IMG_0348 IMG_0350

I used dollar store craft paint and left-over latex house paint.  It doesn’t really matter what paint you use, you will probably want to brush or roll water based polyurethane on it when you’re done, if for no other reason but to keep any white paint, well, white!  It makes it easier for wiping up spills etc.  Since I will be using this by my kitchen sink,  garbage will for sure hit that mat no less than 80 times a day. (You probably think I’m exaggerating, but sadly if anything, I am being gracious.)   I don’t recommend oil based polyurethane, it tends to yellow over time.

And there you have it!  Cheap like borsht, pretty like a pony, durable like the Rock of Gibraltar and you made it yourself – or at least you should!