Thursday, April 30, 2009

Painting again

Do you remember this backyard table I made last summer out of left over deck joists and posts , well I meant to paint it but couldn't decide , would I go light or dark . So I went dark and raised it up a little , although I like the low lounge style it wasn't comfortable to eat at , so it occurred to me to raise it with locking wheels , good idea huh , well those wheels were pricey and these finials seemed a more thrifty option , just the right added height , maybe the dog will stop using it for his bed now ???
It looks so good painted I think , I am going to take my palm sander to it just to soften up the look .
Now to stain the deck , the last time I stained a deck I was 12 , first it needs a good scrub from all the muddy paw prints and if we could get a couple of days in a row without rain , I could actually get it done.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spring cleaning

There are few things more gratifying then a clean organized closet , it can be a BIG job like this one was . This is how it looked after a couple of hours spent sorting and folding and buying $6.00 worth of new hangers from the dollar store , I went with the clean thin metal ones. I installed a new metal rod that I had removed from my closet , I am glad I keep all these sorts of things. I also added a dress area in another part of the closet . My plan is to build in two walk in closets into this room , as this armoire will not provide enough space for the coming years , I should really work on that this summer.

Look at the state that I found it in , unbelievable huh! she did not get the tidy gene, what will the teen years be like ?

I leave you with happy spring island scape.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Solution for muddy yucky grass

I bought 7 big bags of cedar mulch and covered up our awful mud and created a little yard too .
I have to say this weekend I first watched HBO's Grey Gardens with Drew Barrymore , and then made my husband watch the original 1975 version of Grey Garden's oh my if you have not watch them both in that order I would suggest , he enjoyed it too , lot's of fun , Drew Barrymore was transformed and deserves and Emmy for sure .

Sophie will take possesion today

Come on in , stay a while .... One room shabby chic cottage , wood floors painted blue , charming cottage features , custom shutters , cedar shingle roof, perfect for easy entertaining , one of kind lighting , comfy upholstery , lots of designer touches , this one will not last , it is the perfect girl's getaway .

I will start from the bottom up , where I painted the floors blue to match a little birdie accessory , I also built in a bench for seating and lounging, I then used silver flower tacs to install the scalloped seersucker fabric to soften the bench . We bought one new pillow and I made the blue and dotted one . The walls were painted the same shade of pink as in Sophie's bedroom .

I built all new working shutters for the three windows.

I sewed a cushion and used fabric and foam and batting that was laying around in the basement , I cut out circles of co-ordinating fabric and sewed them to an existing pillow cover that I sewed smaller to fit a pillow insert that I had .

I made a little shelf from left over wood and brackets for some decor items.

I bought Sophie this tiny little ottoman yesterday , this is a surprise she doesn't know about.

A little apron .

I received this adorable lantern from my SIL's Aunt and it was perfect for this very girly space.

We found a tiny little trellis , and I re-painted an existing lantern that was in the garden .
I used all left over paints , fabrics , accessories , we bought a few key pieces to keep the cost of this makeover down , what a sweet spot now . I must call a gardener now , oh that is me too .
I can not wait for Sophie to see it after school.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sophie's Playhouse

Our playhouse ...
Sophie's play house ...
They are a little different aren't they , but this has lead to inspire me to do better . This is what all little girls would adore to have and to call their own , a gorgeous playhouse with endless charming details .

Look how sweet it is , a bed a kitchen and even room for a sitting area .

My wonderful friend Linda from Restyled Home encouraged her talented husband to create this wonder of creativity and charm , and it is perfection .

Sophie is a lucky girl .

Well as fate would have it and I believe Linda and I were fated to meet because I think she is my soul sister , for goodness sake we named our daughters the same name , we were both born with a natural ability to decorate in a very similar style and while saving oodles of money too , and get this we even attended the same high school but neither of us learned that until many many years later , funny huh , so I do believe fate had much to do with it , because although we have become friends though blogging we met because our sisters are friends , what are the odds , not to mention we live about 18 hours apart, so this was no coincidence.

Back to the playhouse and my Sophie , I was doubtful that the playhouse would even be entered this summer , but much to my surprise Sophie decided to spiff it up as soon as the weather warmed. I have tried to pretty it up a little painting some of the walls , but it was an awful job because it is particle board and that is impossible to paint .

It needs a lot of help . So after looking at Linda's Sophie's playhouse I decided I must crawl and twist my body as it is not intended at this age to create a lovely retreat of our Sophie too.

This is how it looked and how Sophie looked when we got it , I think she was three , she didn't even have to duck when entering the door , the door it waste high for me so it is quite a feat for me to get in there , but believe it or not I can stand straight up inside . I think Sophie was 3 and Mason was 6 when they received this playhouse as a birthday gift from their Grandma and Grandpa , it has help up so well , lucky girls .

Vandals {Mason and Sophie } have had their way with the place over the years. Last year I did install fence boards for flooring to keep the buggies away , so it is nice and dry in there .

Doesn't that look like a sad and dissapointed girl , who could use a special place , although you will notice the bench seating I installed last night with my little helper.

We went straight to work this morning building working shutters for the windows , this will help keep the rain and dogs out , they leap right through the windows , crazy dogs. I also painted the front door to match our newly painted door in Flik and CO blue , which turn's out to be the shade on "Sophie's " playhouse too . I white washed the shutters so far, I am so with you on that white washing Linda , grown women are not built to paint playhouses are we.

Tomorrow if the weather co-operates I will paint the interior , which now has some decor items chosen just for this space and by Sophie too , boy did she love that , this is a girl who HATES to shop , unless it is just for her .
I can not keep the kids out of it already, three girls rode out a big storm this afternoon , it sure sounded like fun .

I will share with you the after's as soon as it is worthy , with Sophie's pushing I am sure it will be tomorrow .

Friday, April 24, 2009

Feeling so blue , but a good blue

Flik and Co. blue is it , I decided to give it a try on my little beachy abode front door , I am not sure if it is right , but it is HAPPY ! I can't wait to hear what hubby has to say . I will give it some time , I had thought something a little more greyish but this is what I had and so that was all the inspiration I needed .
I wanted to share with you my lake view , I am so sorry if you believed I actually lived on a beach , I call beach style a way of living not just a location , but squint real hard and you can see it , on a clear day anyway .

See around the side lite { the window that flanks the door on one or both sides} I did not like how it came with white mullions sandwiched on the inside of the glass , especially when I wanted dark trim that would have looked awful , little bright strips of white dividing the glass , so I added real wood to the bottom all the way up to conceal the mullions . CLICK PHOTO TO SEE BETTER
It is subtle from a distance , I also painted the upper porch door too , of course .
As you can see things are just starting to bud , I can not wait for tulips and leaves on trees , they are coming , I know many of you have them already , we are a little behind .

Weeken madness

This week was a complete bust , I caught a most terrible cold from my child , my strain left be bed ridden her's did not .
Thankfully I have girls because yesterday morning they made their own breakfast and packed snacks for their lunches , all which I normally do , but I was in so much pain I could not help much they were so accomodating . I kept the curtains drawn even though it was the first day of sunshine all week .
With all the rain we got this week and the cold I came down with tackling my table hasn't even begun , today I will get that started because I am feeling so much better now. All these shingles oh how I love them , this entry resembles mine quite a bit , maybe you can find me perched upon my ladder for another weekend project of shingling ??
On the list this weekend is sanding that table , building a daybed in Sophie's playhouse , maybe some early morning garage saling to find furniture to transform ?? staining the deck and backyard fences , doesn't that sound exhausting and digging a POOP composter .

Look at this set , isn't it the craziest ever , I think it would look devine painted white or pink , oh my . I found these listed on Craigslist they were very expensive , but I just thought you should see them too, I wonder if anyone bought them ?
So enjoy your weekend , I know I will . I am going to make my Home Depot list right now .

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My favorite house is for sale and I can not have it

I am so sad to see the most beautiful house that I have always loved , is for sale $525,000.00 so it is well out of my price range , it is in the most mature and lovely neighbourhood and is on a huge double lot , this is hard to come by , I have always wondered what it looked like inside and it is quite beautiful , not perfectly my style but very well done and I would happily take it in a second. Get a fresh cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the tour.

Happy Earth Day

What do you do to pitch in ? do you make good green choices?
I think it is important to make mindfull choices , like the bottled water , we do not buy it , have your water tested , it MAY just be better than the bottled water , we had ours tested and that was the case for sure, we instead got a whole house water filtration system , and we send the kids to school with metal water bottles , NEVER a juice box , water is better , and imagine just how many boxes we save and straws wrappers etc. another plus is that they can re-fill them .
I use laundry detergent that is free of dyes and fragrances all of which are very unatural , even my stain remover is free of these extra chemicals.
I prefer to clean my toilets without the use of harsh chemicals and bleaches , I prefer vinegar and baking soda , it does a great job.
I buy all greener cleaning products .
I have stopped using swiffers , because of the cloths , I was going though one a day , I can just imagine them all in the land fill .
I love to re-purpose used furniture rather than buying new , Kijiji or Craigslist garage sales are great.
Washing clothes in COLD water , big difference.
Compact florescent bulbs are all I buy now .
Latex paint use age always.
My window cleaner is vinegar and water , it is better than Windex I swear.
I make coffee at home .
I consolidate my driving trips to cut down on emissions.
Try to bring my own cloth bags to the grocery store , this one is tough , I often forget but I am trying.
I feed my dogs high quality dog food made in Canada , it doesn't have to travel and it is made without chemicals.
Energy Star rated appliances .
I use a push mower over the gas or electric ones .
We always recycle , we have more space for recycle than for garbage .
What I can do to do better
shop at the local farmers market in the warmer months
make a dog poop composter { I am going to do this soon}

The Blues

Blue , do I really need to say why I love blue , soft, calming , cool, clean , refreshing & perfect!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Power outage

How would you spend a power outage ? this is how we did , the kids looked at photo albums , always fun , and I looked at old magazines always a good past time for me , I lit the candles and kept the cell phone handy and we rode out the storm , ok it only lasted about an hour , don't worry we are fine , actually we did suffer one casualty , while looking at my magazines I found my newest lantern , you know the BIG one , there it was in the pages of my magazine , somehow a twist of fate caused it to fly right off the deck at the exact same time , it looked OK , you know I had to go out in the storm to check it out , but one pane of glass was broken , so sad , I suppose it will be more expensive after all , sad !

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I have coastal style shingles too

I am so thrilled , it took two days and less than $70.00 {cost of three bundles of wood and a large can of stain that will also be used for our deck when the weather is right} for me to add my favorite feature to my house , and I have left over shingles too , those will clad the chimney in the back of the house next , maybe after all the cuts on my hands heal and we have another nice weekend.
This is an easy project , however I did have these recesses which were perfect for this kind of treatment . I will at some point remove the siding from above the door roof line and add either board and batten in white or more shingles. The middle peak could use some white wood work around the window , actually I would like to change that to a shutter like the one I have inside .
I want to make my house a one of a kind .

The stain colour is Light Lead by Behr. I think I will lighten the garage door this season , as well as the front door , something more beachy for sure. Not sure if I will add back the window box or perhaps I will relocate it to the railing at the entry , that area gets great sun .
I must share a little story , while cutting shingles with my power saw , I was approached by a little boy who is about 5 , he asked me " are you supposed to be using that ? is that your dad's? "
he seemed very confused when I said that it was mine , and that I like tools , he said " my mom doesn't like tools " , I know I am a different kinda girl , we are all different right?
I like doing these projects , they are my ideas and if I can do them then I will , for as long as I can .
I love my little house even more than before .

Grey Shingles

My top choice for exterior finish is certainly grey stained or weathered shingles , it is so charming , I thought I would share with you some of my most favorite examples. Enjoy

this house and the bottom two photos are from Oakleyhomebuilders in the Illinois area .