My Garden

Thursday, 27 September 2012

so much better... i hope

Well i have never stripped (furniture that is, you are not about to read an x-rated post) and sanded so much in my life! It would seem that who ever did this dresser before me finished it to last through the ages. And why not, with beauty like this you know you want the results to last... a life time.

yep that's a faux wood and crackle finish...

I have to say that pictures do not do this piece justice, it was WAY worse in person.  One thing that I will say though is that I did like the 2 tone effect, with the drawers being a little different than the body of the dresser. 

So in the end settled on this:

I wanted it to look a bit rustic and to have some wood grain peeking thorough the top and drawer fronts, so I painted them with milk paint in snow white and then wiped it back and then distressed it. The body of the dresser was done with homemade chalk paint and then distressed.

I picked up some cute owl knobs from anthropology for the top drawers. For the bottom I stripped the old wood knobs and painted them in the same chalk paint finish that I used on the body of the dresser.

I am so happy with this piece now, though my initial feeling was to have more wood grain showing through the milk paint.

Thanks for popping by.

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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

sometimes patience pays off...

I love vintage trophies; they are so pretty and classic. They are subtle, yet confidant. Who wouldn't want a few of these hanging around the house?

Two Vintage Golf Loving Cup Trophies - nessguide
Antiques and Collectables @ suite 101
A Beautiful Mess Antiques

jaimee rose

Oh and so we are clear, my love of trophies does not stem from a life time of receiving them. If I wanted to display my own trophies, well, I couldn't. Being win-less in the trophy department doesn't stop me from wanting one (or several) though. I just have to go about getting them another way...

I will tell you this tale causally, but just know, that was not how it went down... You see, in my own defense, I have been wanting a little vintage treasure like this for a while now. I had been waiting patiently for the right one to cross my path. Telling myself, I just have to be patient.

I told myself this while cruising online seeing soooo many perfect ones, with a not as perfect price tag.

I told myself this while in Home Sense with my mom (after seeing some ceramic trophies for a pretty fair price...) "no, no wait it out" I said as I put my treasures back on the shelf...

Low and behold, the right one was out there. Just waiting for me.

I'm so glad that you didn't see my crazy-eyed, mad dash for it! It was, for lack of a better word, crazy.

I'm also glad you didn't witness the high fives and happy dance that I shared with the kids (who are way too young to be too cool for these things).

I'm even more glad that you weren't there to hear my 3 year old say: "oh mom, you make me crazy..."

Regrets? Nope, not when I paid $1.99 for my perfectly tarnished trophy! Well, maybe that happy dance was a little excessive...

Hooray for thrift stores: where other people's junk becomes my treasure!!!

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Thursday, 20 September 2012

new couch gets new pillows

A few weeks ago we purchased a new couch. I got to pick it out, which was even more exciting, to me. I have wanted a white slip covered couch forever, but the couch we had was fine. There was no real need to get a new one.

This summer we decided that we needed a tv room in the basement, which is now an unfinished rec room. I like having an unfinished basement, its a place where the kids can go and create havoc and not have to worry that I will be following behind them singing the cleanup song (that's right - I do that - I will do whatever it takes to get some cleanup action around here and a 2 and 3 year old are motivated by music, so I'm singn'). But hey, if my husband wants to watch tv down there on a comfy couch, who am I to stand in his way.... Oh and while we are on the topic of moving our comfy living room couch downstairs, why don't we talk about new couch options, new white slip covered couch options...

Alas I have my new couch and I love her! She is so pretty and new. I wanted to celebrate that with some new, custom, pillows.  Oh and by "custom" I mean I was about to "make some new cushions". Out came my sewing machine, natural muslin fabric and burlap - yep you heard me burlap.

Comfort is not my main priority here, oh these pillows look comfy but they'll scratch your pretty face right up, if you try to sleep on them, or what have you... This is the living room after all - it is not meant to be snugly comfortable. We have a family room for that. Whose with me??? Yep, this room needs some form of repellant. Something that says "come on in, get comfortable, wait, not too comfortable." Burlap pillows should do the trick. You wouldn't want to hunker-down with a peanut butter sandwich and hot chocolate while lying face-down on these pillows. You'd have to move into the family room for that kinda comfort. Burlap = perfection.

So here are 2 of the pillows that I whipped up. There are a few more scattered throughout the room - cause I love me a theme and some cohesion...

Speaking of themes, I am going through a bit of a Swiss thing right now. I seem to be plastering swiss crosses on everything... these ones are lightly stuck on with adhesive spray. I plan to stitch a little border around the crosses, but am not sure what colour/type of floss to use and so have left them for now.

You can see them sitting pretty on my new couch below. Just don't judge the rest of the room, it doesn't really photograph well - I mean I don't photograph it well - and I also didn't stage it - this is a pic of how we live.

Oh and for the record the kidos actually do eat peanut butter sandwiches and yogurt and they drink milk all over our furniture - I am trying to keep these bad habits to the family room though (if outside of the kitchen). We do like to live in this house and like to enjoy every room. I just don't want to live too hard on my new couch - not yet!

Here is a little taste of what I am working on:

 not too bad you say... well feast your eyes on this:

This guys previous owner used every faux-finish known to man on this poor boy. Fake wood grain, fake crackle, a little bit of metallic in there for good measure. The funny thing is, when I stripped this thing down to the actual wood grain, I discovered that it was lovely...

Thanks so stopping by!

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Monday, 17 September 2012

saving a marriage with milk paint - yes - you heard right

My computer is "fixed" and I am so glad that I now have more control over my on-line time!  While I was off-line I managed to get quite a few lingering projects finished up. So I guess that is the silver lining...

There are a lot of words ahead, so I'm interspersing some pics of my latest milk paint transformation
throughout this post. Hopefully it breaks things up a little and is not too confusing. 

So here we go....

Given the title of this post, you may be thinking that I have a marriage in crisis. I don't...  but I do have this one tiny little habit (I'm pretty sure it is just the one) that drives my husband CRAZY: re-decorating/improving our house.  It has been pretty constant. And in my own defense I rarely spend money on my improvements, instead I shop the house.  To me it is an evolution, a beautiful change, a freshening up. To my husband these "improvements" are lateral, yet confusing, moves. Okay, fine, I can see his point when he goes to flop onto the couch to watch TV, only to find I have moved the TV and replaced it with something so much more beautiful (that "improvement" didn't last long).

Enter my milk painting experiments (you can read all about them here, here and here).  These days I have no time for relocating furniture and re-painting walls. I'm too busy painting other things, milk painting other things. It has been over a month since my last big redecoration (oh wait I did repaint my daughter's room the other day - but that doesn't really count, does it?).  The deep sigh of relief I hear from the hubby, when he comes home and finds everything just the way it was when he left, is my first clue that he is much preferring my new hobby.

So this is my latest milk paint project: a mustard desk with chalkboard painted top and drawer fronts. It was so much fun to do and if I had the space I would keep it! I oiled the milk painted parts after this pic was taken and it really darkened the colour and made it so much richer - sorry no pic of that...

Oh and here's the before:

So there you have it one marriage that wasn't really in trouble saved. Thank you milk paint.

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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Art in Our Park

I have not really been connecting to the world wide web lately... probably due to the fact that I wiped out my computer a little while ago and have had to beg, borrow and steal (this is maybe a stretch) to use other people's computers. I can't really blame anyone for not wanting me on their computers, as I do have a tenancy to destroy electronics. Did I ever tell you about the time I ruined our cable connection because I absolutely had to re-decorate the family room while my hubby was away, and so in my haste to beautify I neglected to disconnect the cords from the tv/wall... oops... ah well who needs cable anyway. We are better off without.

So maybe what this blog should really be about is an idiots journey through blogging. And no, for the record I will not tell you how I wiped out my computer. It is too ridiculous, even for me (who happens to have a PhD in ridiculosity) and so it will stay between my computer and I (oh and the husband, who has to fix the problem, and anyone he chooses to tell over beers, you know for a laugh...)

Okay there was actually a point to this post, and it was not to ramble about my obvious intelligence...

Here is my point:

I will be at the James Ramsey Park in Riverbend (a community here in Edmonton,AB) this Saturday, September 15th from 2-6pm for Art in Our Park with my sisters-in-craft selling our wears. So if you are in Edmonton you should come and pay us a visit. We will have some re-imaged furniture, home decor, baby knits (beautiful handmade bonnets, hats, etc), and "playhouse" decor (you can check out some of the items here).  This event promises to be pretty awesome with all kinds of art, music and interactive events for the fam.

check out the brochure 
Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

trying something new

I have been ramping up production around here as a couple of weeks ago we (my craft club, yes I have a small craft club - and yes we do fancy ourselves quite cool...) discovered that we made it into a big craft show in November ( make it ). I did my first show in March and have done a few since - but November is really the "big time" as far as our local markets go. So we were super pumped to be picked out of so many applicants to be a part of this show. Anyway, my partners-in-craft do amazing handmade items, and while I do some handmade stuff, I mostly just re-imagine stuff... 

Speaking of re-imagining, I decided to try a new-to-me technique involving gesso to spiff up some random thrift store finds, which will be appearing at my up coming show. I had never used gesso before and to be honest I had never heard of it before a few months ago. There is a great gesso tutorial over at villabarnes, I found it really helpful and inspiring, Rosemary gets some of the most beautiful and authentic looking finishes, you should definitely go and checkout her stuff, if you haven't before.

So, without further ado here is all of my newly gessoed stuff (in my state of excitement I did not take before photos but I will tell you that this was a sea of gold, in the before state) :

I used white gesso, it was all that michael's had (and it was a little pricey - anyone know where to get a good deal on gesso?) and layered it over varying shades of grey paint.  With the mirror and the frame I was pretty rough in putting it on, I wanted a real worn look. For the sconces I wanted a little more of a polished look, so I was a little neater with the application.

This stuff was fun and easy to work with. I loved the mat finish and texture that the gesso gave all the pieces. I didn't seal the any of the pieces because none should see too much wear and tear on someone's wall - I really wanted to preserve the finish. Apparently there is also a grey and black option, so I will be seeking these out for future projects.

Has anyone else used gesso? Any special techniques?

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Saturday, 1 September 2012


I am sure we have all been there, cruising through pinterest appreciating, liking, and repining. Then something comes out of no where causing wild eyed stares, full faced grins and dare I say heart palpitations (okay maybe we all haven't been there, and maybe I am exaggerating a little; but who says I can't use dramatic license from time to time?).  So are you dying to see what this uber-pinspiration is???

Well hold onto your socks people cause here it is:
I will never pass up another set of wooden salt & peppers at the thrift stores again... #diy
via pinterest

Listen, you, don't give me an unenthused eye roll.

Admit it, these are darn tootin cute (and I don't pull that kinda language out willy-nilly).  Even better is that these are so accessible: we could all hit our local thrift store tomorrow and find some wooden S&P, so how do you like it now???

Well, regardless, I love them. I love them so much I did up my own.

sorry for the terrible pic...

I'm telling you, I love the results. My S&P went from blah to beautiful in no time. Only issue is that in my haste to diversify my colour palate, I used a colour that doesn't exactly go with my kitchen. So these little guys are going on the chopping block - or should I say selling booth.

Oh but let this be a warning to you, when you see me out thrifting don't even think about getting between me and the wooden S&P!  

I just want to give a little thanks to Cassie at Primitive and Proper for featuring my nightstand project this week! YAY!!!!

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