Restyling the Kitchen & a little Coffee Bar


Ever since my kitchen reno began, I've been dreaming of ways to improve the way I've styled the top of the fridge, area around the sink and my sideboard.  I kept changing it up, but nothing really felt right.

Last week I decided that my coffee pot takes up too much valuable counter space - not to mention all the mugs I have in my limited number of cupboards.  I read a blog post on creating a coffee bar in your kitchen and then the wheels began turning...

I moved the coffee pot onto my sideboard right away and with the coffee pot came the mugs I use most.  Then the containers for coffee and sugar.  I like to use paper filters as well as my gold filter (easier cleanup!) and I had a spare matching canister, so the filters were promptly "decanted".  I made clay tags for the containers, brought in an old fruit crate (another garage sale find) that I scrubbed with Murphy's Oil Soap and then oiled with baby oil to give the wood a bit of a sheen.

I used the extra hooks from my pot rack to hang the cups on and moved things around on my shelf.  I LOVE it!!

Into the Pink

Marilyn at the ArtsyGirl Connection has organized Project Pink to paint our Blog World pink on October 30th.

I wasn't sure how to offer a pink tribute but today the idea for a painting came into my head and when I had finished this painting, another image kind of painted itself on the next sheet of paper.  I can't really explain it any other way, I was splattering pink paint around and this image just appeared.

Hope you like them!

A photo of John Lennon brought the word Imagine to my mind today.  I began to imagine the future with no diseases and then the idea of a dove came to me.  I hope you'll forgive the shameless pilfering of a famous dove outline!


I had a lot of pink paint left over so decided to splash some paint around on another page.  After a few splotches I began to think about the anger and fear that comes with the diagnosis of the "c" word.  About 30 seconds later, one of the splotches began to resemble the figure of a man praying and I added the outline to emphasize it.  At least I think he's praying - maybe he's shaking his fist instead!!  Kinda weird and kinda cool all at the same time :o !

The Face of Cancer - 9 x 11 Acrylic on Canvas Paper
And the longer I look at this painting, the more images I see in it - like the legs of a child right below the kneeling man, I see a woman reaching for the man and child and I see another woman's face in profile at the top center of the painting - her eyes are closed. I see two sharks in the center, too.  That's symbolic to me, no one knows why a shark chooses one person swimming over another.   Every time I look at it, I see more faces... So interesting.  Makes me wonder who was really painting this picture!

I'm sure there is no one out there who hasn't been affected in one way or another by breast cancer.  My mom had a full mastectomy at the age of 60 and 24 years later, she's still going strong!  Luckily, my story has a very happy ending.

May anyone who is dealing with a diagnosis that is uncomfortable or frightening feel the love and support from all of us who are holding the faith that this disease will be defeated.

Keep the faith...

Linking to:  


French Cupboard
Paint Party Friday

Tin Tales

I've had this little tin for years.  I found it in a kitchen cupboard when I moved into my very first apartment,  left behind by a former tenant.  I'm not sure why I've carried it around with me for so many years, maybe as a reminder of that milestone of coming of age...  I kind of liked it and kind of didn't but, at any rate, it has stayed with me (usually hidden away somewhere in a cupboard).

Fabulous Freebie from the Dump

It's so amazing how many times this year I've stumbled across something that has been discarded that is exactly what I've been searching for.  And sometimes I don't even realize it's exactly what I've been looking for until it has been put in its rightful place.

Over the past year I've been replacing all the light fixtures in my house with ones that are more to my taste.  In the case of my dining room, I wanted a nice chandelier for over the table.  My dining room is a repurposed room since this house didn't have a designated dining room.  When the house was built, it was a 600 sq ft one-bedroom house (eek!).  The previous owners built a 600 sq ft addition to create 3 bedrooms and a bathroom so I turned the original bedroom into my dining room.  Naturally, there wasn't a chandelier in the room but being a 1930s home, there was a ceiling fixture in the center of the room and the fixture someone had installed there was a 24" 4-blade, white ceiling fan with gold trim.  Hmmm, sooooo ugly!  

I have been searching for a chandelier that I like in a price point I'm willing to pay for over a year.  Nothing has appealed to me.  Last weekend on a trip to the dump, I stopped into our Re-Use It Center (a place where people can leave stuff they don't want that is still in good condition).  I could see something that looked like white glass shades on the top shelf tucked away into the corner, so I climbed up to see if they were something that I could use and this is what I found:



Holy crap!!!  Somebody didn't want or like this and I absolutely loved it.  According to the sticker, it was manufactured in 2003 so the wiring wasn't going to be an issue.  It was dusty but in perfect condition.  After playing around with it, I found an extra 12" down rod tucked inside that would lower this fixture to a better height for hanging over my dining room table.


I am so happy :).  All it took was a little patience and exactly what I wanted fell right in my lap and for free to boot.  Life is sweet!

Autumn Storm over Farmer's Field

I love autumn the best of all seasons.  A few weeks ago, I was totally inspired by a photograph of a brightly coloured red barn with a stormy sky brewing behind it.  Here is my depiction:

11x14 Acrylic on canvas

I decided to paint a black border around it and add the black corners - just like the old photo corners my mom used to use to keep photos in her albums.

I totally love this painting, sometimes I can't believe how well my vision translates onto canvas.  I hope you enjoy it, too!

Have a great week.

Linking to:

Homemaker on a Dime
Between Naps on the Front Porch
Coastal Charm
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Cherished Bliss
Homework
Not Just a Housewife
A Bowlful of Lemons
A Beach Cottage
Saavy Southern Style
DIY By Design
Clean & Scentsible
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Thrifty Decorating
The Artsy Girl Connection
The Vintage Farmhouse
Crafty, Scrappy, Happy
From My Front Porch to Yours
Brambleberry Cottage
Beyond the Picket Fence
LaurieAnna's Vintage Home
2805
At the Picket Fence
The Shabby Nest
Days of Chalk & Chocolate
My Romantic Home
My Repurposed Life
My Simple Home Life
Paint Party Friday
aka Design
Funky Junk Interiors

Tray Chic Revisited or My 21 Steps of Design

I found a tray at a garage sale and brought it home.  It was huge, way to big to sit on a table.  I could have made a table out of it if I actually needed a table - which I emphatically DON'T (I need to get rid of furniture...).  So I decided to make a sign out of it (not that I have that much wall space to spare either!!)  Here, follow the example of an indecisive, obsessive, do-it-yourselfer, wanna-be decorator...

Step 1:

Take your tray out:


Step 2: Find a sign you like and copy it.  I hand painted mine because I had no idea how to transfer an image.


 Step 3:  Add embellishments to fill in the blank spaces:


Step 4:  Hang it on the wall: 

Step 5:   Live with it for a while (I gave it a month).

Step 6:  Read way too many blogs of really talented, artistic women, then suddenly at 2:23 am on a Wednesday night get a really awesome idea and let it simmer overnight (keeping you awake the whole time) until you figure it out.  

Step 7: Log onto Graphics Fairy and find  the PERFECT image.  Pay attention to your blog feed, an easy technique for what you want to do is sure to appear.

Step 8:  Paint the tray with one light coat of  Behr's Almond Cream.  

Step 9:  Paint BM Stone House lightly over the top of the Almond Cream paint with an almost dry brush to make it look more aged.  

Step 10: Print Graphics Fairy image, duly reversed.  

Step 11: Paint liberally with Mod Podge both the image and the section of the tray where the image will be pasted   

Step 12: Center the image as best you can and press it face down onto the tray, smoothing out any bubbles:


Wait until morning to proceed!!

Step 13: Drench paper with water, wait until it soaks in really, really well.  Peel paper off.  I used a paper towel to rub the little bits off.

Step 14: Hang on wall: 



Step 15:  Decide this looks like a big mess.  And don't tell your readers how many times you actually painted using different colours & techniques...

Step 16: Paint around the images with BM Lenox Tan, paying special attention to the edges of the images.

Step 17:  Hang on wall again:


Step 18:  Decide it's still lacking something...

Step 19:  Google more images.

Step 20:  Hand paint more stuff onto tray, decide to make it look more beat up and worn out.



Step 21:  Hang up your finished masterpiece.



Move onto next project...

Cheers!


Super Simple Christmas Sign

I found a folk art Christmas scene on Pinterest and I had to have it!!  I decided to make a sign with it:


These are the tools I used together with a printout of the picture (laser printer!):


SUPER SIMPLE!!!


The board was stained with a light oak stain on one side.  I painted the modpodge on both the wood and the face of the image, pasted them together and let it sit overnight.  The next morning I washed the paper off in the sink and rubbed off the leftover glue with my fingers until I couldn't feel anything on the surface anymore.
Then I printed "Let it Snow" and drew the snowflake with a big chiseled Sharpie.

I really like the effect I got and I plan to make a few more of these to give as hostess gifts this year.


With a couple of holes drilled near the top and a ribbon threaded through them, this becomes a wall hanging or something to hang on a doorknob:





Linking to:
Redhead Can Decorate
DIY Showoff
Cherished Bliss
My Uncommon Slice of Surburbia
Not Just a Housewife
Bowlful of Lemons
Saavy Southern Style
DIY by Design
a Beach Cottage
Clean & Scentsible
Thrifty Decorating
The Artsy Girl Connection
The Brambleberry Cottage
Beyond the Picket Fence
From My Front Porch to Yours
Finding Fabulous
The Shabby Nest
My Romantic Home
A Little Knickknack
Designer Garden
My Simple Home Life
Funky Junk Interiors
Mod Vintage Life
Homework
My Repurposed Life

Autumn Wreath & Fresh Salsa, too!



This wreath is super easy, all you need is a few flowers of a single type (I chose silk flowers so my wreath would last for more than just this season), a few yards of ribbon, a wreath of your choice (I chose a pre-made grapevine wreath) and a glue gun.
     

Wrap the ribbon around your wreath, secure the ends to the back of your wreath with glue.  Cluster your flowers in the lower right hand section, as many or as few as you like.  Tie a really simple bow in the upper right hand section and VOILA!   Easy, peasy wreath for your front door.





I also have a recipe for you to try out.  This is a biggie cause usually I just throw together everything I have on hand willy-nilly without paying much attention to what I've done.  For this batch, I actually wrote down what I did here - OMG!!   Good thing I did, this one is a recipe I'd like to repeat.

I had a great tomato harvest on my single tomato plant this year.  As most of the tomatoes reached the ripe stage at the same time,  I did my trusty spaghetti sauce recipe (that is always different because I don't follow any instructions...) and then I came across a Salsa recipe from An Oregon Cottage that started me on a Google quest for the perfect recipe for me.

I combined a bunch of ingredients from different recipes that I found to come up with my personal favourite, chunky, tasty and mildly spiced salsa that isn't runny.

Salsa It Up

8 large tomatoes, cored & chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 jalapeños (add more for spicier salsa) chopped finely
1 clove garlic, squashed with a knife & minced
Juice of 1/2 a lime
3/4 can of Herb Tomato Paste (the littlest can!)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp fresh cilantro
2 tsp Greek herb mix
1 tsp gourmet pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp sea salt

Throw everything in a pot and cook over medium heat stirring often, until boiling, then simmer for 30 minutes or so - keep stirring!!  Cool & serve.  Makes 3 cups.  I made a triple batch of this, put it in one-cup mason jars and froze it so I don't have to can (I'm such a lazy cook!).

Fresh is so much YUMMIER.  Serve with sea salt rice chips or tortilla chips.








Enjoy!

Stylish Storage for the Front Entry




Ever since I first moved into my house last year, I've been challenged by my 5 1/2' x 6' entry foyer/porch. There is no closet in it or even near it.  The previous homeowners had a row of hooks on the wall and a sofa table against the opposite wall and that was it.  I tried my best to live with it like this for a little while:

A Wicker Trash Can Lampshade


I have one Ikea pleated lampshade that broke to smithereens when it got knocked over the other day.  I really love the look of wicker lampshades and I have a wicker trash can that has been sitting in a closet because I have no use for it. The trash can is a perfect shape for a lampshade:

 

Since Ikea lamps don't use a harp, I wracked my brain for a solution of how to attach my trash can to the lamp.  Enter little Ikea lampshade that also was sitting in the same closet:



The trash can fit perfectly over this lampshade leaving about 3" of room at the very top so I didn't even need to drill a hole in the trash can to let heat escape :).  PLUS the white surface of the inner lampshade reflects a ton of light rather than it being absorbed and diffused by the the wicker.  Now I have my wicker look and I've re-used two more things that were just taking up space.  Happy!

It seemed a bit too "new" so I wiped some coffee cream paint over the wicker with a rag:



So now it has a little more depth to it and a bit of an antique wash.







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