Easy French Graphic Tray Makeover

Another day,another tray makeover...

Every Christmas I get another cheapo rough wood tray filled with nuts and dried fruit as a gift basket.  And every year I make over that tray to look pretty.

I use a super simple way to transfer the image onto my piece.  Very simple but a bit time consuming...  Here's how I do it using just the image, a pencil and markers.

The last two trays I did turned out like this:

(click on these 2 photos for more details)

2015 In Review - My Favourite Projects

As usual, this year whipped by!  I do have a lot to show for it - could be why the year went so fast!!  Here are a few of my faves from 2015:

Click on the following images for more details.

The free chandelier I found at the dump:

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season. May your new year be filled with every happiness!

Thank you for following along!


With a small budget, big dreams and a love of a challenge, Anne blogs about renovating and decorating her tiny 1930s bungalow. A self-taught artist and professed power tool lover, she enjoys writing, gardening, photography, nature and diy'ing. And she's never met a dumpster she didn’t want to root through! Come along for the ride!! 

Cookie Cutter Garland & Mercury Glass

I am in love with mercury glass...  and Christmas cookie cutters, too!

I found loads of ideas for decorating with cookie cutters and settled on a garland for over my kitchen sink.   All it took was a $5 box of Christmas cookie cutters (I got mine at Real Canadian Superstore) and a ball of $1.50 twine from the Dollar Store.  Oh and I also used a tiny bit of holly twine that I also bought at Superstore.

Burgundy and Lime Green Christmas Wreath

I love burgundy - especially when used in Christmas decorating.  To me, burgundy Christmas decorations always seem like they're from another century.  I don't know why... feels to me like a colour from bygone days somehow.

I've been searching for a Christmas wreath that I liked but I didn't like any of the prices, so I decided to make my own.  I had these grapevine wreaths and a box of glittered fruit in my stash of Christmas decorations and I bought a roll of canvas ribbon with sequins along the edges.

A Simpler Christmas Decor

I really do love decorating for Christmas although I admit that most bloggers out there put me to shame! I do not have their sense of style!!!   I have come to prefer a much lighter touch for my Christmas decorating - in fact, I've gone from 8 Rubbermaid bins full of ornaments, garlands and lights to 3 (of course my last house was more than twice the size of this one...).

 Plus I have a major stumbling block in someone who lives in my home.

Yes, you regular readers know who I mean. This little bugger:

My Tiny Christmas Trees Through the Years

I thought it might be fun to look back at my Christmas trees over the past few years.  
I love tiny Christmas trees and they are particularly sweet with Max around since he tends to climb anything that even resembles a tree but he can't do much with these little ones (except to suck the lights...)
  I hope you enjoy my trip down Christmas memory lane.

Creating a Wider Doorway

My kitchen has no outside walls. That means it has no windows directly to the outdoors. UGH.

I love light, I love sunshine streaming through windows and lighting up my house. This was not the case in my kitchen. Last year I renovated the space and added a pass through window in one of the walls.  Now the sun can reach the kitchen - hooray!!  But it is still not a terribly well-lit space.

Cue my desire to open the wall between the living and dining rooms - the dining room is the brightest room in the house.  That, however, will be a big job because the wall is a supporting wall (at least I'm treating it that way, even if the building inspector didn't think it was).  I decided to tackle the opening from the living room into the kitchen instead since I know for sure that wall isn't supporting.

$60 Craig's List Dining Room

A few weeks ago I found an oval dining table on Craig's List.  It is EXACTLY what I have been searching for!  I was so excited.  The table was only $50 so I was prepared for it to need refinishing.  I was pleasantly surprised to find it was in reasonably good condition!

It wouldn't fit in my car, though, so I was looking at it with an eye to taking the whole thing apart when the man selling it offered to deliver it to my house.  A very generous offer considering we didn't live in the same town!  Several days later, the table was delivered AND set up by the man and his wife.  How sweet is that?!  Here is a look at the table when I first got it home:

DIY 2-Position iPad Stand (Ikea Hack)

I use my iPad ALL.THE.TIME. I use it as a mini-tv in my bedroom, as a reader, when I travel, when I don't want to sit in my home office or lug my laptop around (especially since the battery life is almost nil now!), and when I'm cooking because I use online recipes a whole lot.

I've been using a 360 degree iPad cover for the past few years but it is literally falling apart and won't prop up anymore. I took the cover off my iPad because it was frustrating me so much, but what to do??? I need something inexpensive to prop up the iPad so I can view it easily. I tried using a plate holder but it didn't work all that well.

Lighting Options (Sponsored Post)

I love lighting!  Now that I'm about to start ripping walls down and expanding spaces (God help me!) I'm looking at picking up new chandeliers and ceiling lights for my dining room and home office and I've been exploring the different online shopping sites.  

I love this traditional look:
or maybe with the white shades...

How to Add Insulation Without Ripping Down Walls

Welcome to my little 'ol 1930s cottage bungalow!  I love the character of old houses but I don't love the lack of insulation. There are several ways to add extra insulation to old homes without having to tear down interior walls.  My solution is the least expensive and the cutest (in my humble opinion!)

Building a Shed with Old Doors

I began September by working on a project to extend the eaves of my workshop so that the snow wouldn't settle at the foundation and flood the shop in the spring anymore.

Since my goal is to clean out all the scrap materials I've been hoarding storing in the shop, I decided to build awnings over the shop windows.  That fell apart pretty quickly when I realized the windows were not properly framed out.  Obviously they had been an add-on installed by someone who had no idea about framing.

That project became a lean-to shed instead.  (I've always been a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda girl LOL!).  I had 7 old doors in my shed of various sizes and shapes and I thought they would make excellent siding, so I got cracking building a frame to attach all the doors to.

House Tour 2015

Every year when I take stock of my seemingly never-ending to do list on the house, I think I'm close to finishing the work. This year I KNOW I'm close!! I got so many of the little niggling things completed and took a big whack at a few of the larger things too!

My goal this year was to create a larger opening between the living and dining rooms but a leaky front entry ceiling took precedence and the living/dining room opening will have to wait...

Here is my new front entry complete with a new front door and storm door!

Easy Cottage Style Update - Bead Board Wallpaper

I've been using textured wallpaper lately to give the new addition on my home a cottage style boost to match the paneling in the old section of the house.

This particular wallpaper is pre-pasted and super easy to cut into lengths.  It stretches a tiny bit and is a bit tricky to trim unless you have a super sharp blade and a metal wide putty knife.  Other than that it is awesome!  And you can paint it too!

I got my wallpaper from Graham and Brown, an online wallpaper supplier with a wide range of styles and types of wallpaper.

Here are some of the ways I used their textured bead board wallpaper:

I added a wainscot to my main bathroom:

Ikea Hack - Making Ikea look less Ikea-ish

It's no secret, I love vintage furniture.  I have several Ikea pieces purchased long ago and I've been changing up the look of those pieces with trim and paint.  During my bedroom redecorating project, I began a makeover of my Ikea Leksvik dresser. I like the look of the dresser but I was ready for a change.  And I changed it 7 times!  Take a look at all the different looks this dresser went through before I decided what to keep.

Turning Bi-Fold Closet Doors into French Doors

Bi-fold doors are not a favourite of mine. I dislike the way they take up so much of the opening to my closets and in my house the bi-fold doors are hollow-core so I dislike them even more! 

When I found half-louvered wood bi-fold doors at a yard sale, I snapped them up planning to install them on my master bedroom closet.

Instead of using the bi-fold track, I decided to install them on hinges attached to the trim around the closet opening.

Night Stand Makeover - How to add Height

I have an old style, hand made night stand that I didn't terribly like much but it did the job. Then I got my "princess-and-the-pea" extremely high king-sized bed and this old style night table was much lower than the top of the mattress. Why are mattresses so huge these days anyway???

I made over the night stand several years ago, stenciling the top with a Fleur-de-lis pattern that I liked but with my new cottage style look I decided to take the time to fix up this night table once and for all.


Hiding Ugly Pipes in Laundry Room

Another day, another project to disguise weird stuff in my house.

So it's back to my laundry and mudroom where the pipes for the washer and the electrical for the dryer come up straight out of the floor! Whoo hoo - who thought that was a great idea???

Time to take things into my own hands.

New Front Door & Organizing Ideas for a Tiny Front Entry

My new front entry is complete!  New exterior door, new door handle, new wood storm door and some of the landscaping done around my newish front landing!

I am thrilled with my new door and old style wood storm door.

 Take a look!

Embracing 1930s Vintage in Guest Room

Guess what I found on Craig's List?! An antique iron bed - I am in HEAVEN!!!  It is a 3/4 sized bed so it fits beautifully into my somewhat tiny guest room.   Of course, a makeover of my guest bedroom was now in order.

I am thrilled at how inviting this room has become. I no longer have that ugly futon as a guest bed.  I love that this iron bed is from the era of the house and that everything fell into place effortlessly.   I really do think this house whispers design choices to me.  And I have been unusually successful this year at finding antiques at incredibly low prices.  I think the house is behind it.  I've also been hearing murmurings that it wants to be called "Ashcroft Cottage" instead of "Ashtree Cottage".   Sheesh.   Maybe I need more sleep...

Take a look at my antique iron bed:

Master Bedroom Makeover Cottage Style

With cottage style sweeping through my home, it was time to rethink my master bedroom decor.  I had enjoyed the look I had going on, but it was not light, bright and airy.

I had a couple of boosts this year - Graham & Brown offered me free wallpaper and D. Lawless Hardware sent me a second set of the antique handles I had used on my antique washstand project.  With the wallpaper, a can of paint in a greige tone and a can of Benjamin Moore Simply White paint I took on the bedroom challenge once again...

I began by installing a high wainscot with the textured bead board wallpaper.  I used 1x4 pre-primed mdf molding to cap the wainscot.  Then I painted the molding to match the trim and I painted out the Lenox Tan paint with a half shade of CIL's Manuscript.  I love this paint colour!!

Antique Washstand Restoration

Once upon a time there was a little antique washstand. Somebody thought it looked better without the mirror, so they removed it. Then somebody thought it would look nice painted green. Then painted yellow. Years passed and the cabinet was sold. To me. Whoop!

Here's what this piece looked like when I bought it (please note, this is not my home)

Stylish Cat Bed from a Crate

My Max has impeccable taste! His all-time favourite spot to sleep in is an old fruit crate that I decked out for him when he was tiny and had to sleep in the laundry room while my other cat, Eloise, got used to him being around.

Now, of course, they sleep like this:

or this

Home Office Makeover - Organizing, Purging & New Furniture

I have TOO MUCH STUFF! Are you feeling the same way lately? Sometimes I wonder if this need to purge and edit is related to the position of the stars and moon, everyone I talk to seems to be feeling this way.

I had this huge old office desk in my kind of tiny home office which is made even smaller by the HUGE wardrobe I refuse to part with that is stored in here as well.  Soooo I took the desk apart and reused the desk top for my pretty new washstand project, took one side of the drawers to the dump and repurposed the other side of drawers as a stand alone filing cabinet (project still in progress).

I found a sweet little console table type computer desk for sale online and scooped it for $30.

This is what it looked like when I bought it:

And this is what it looks like now:

DIY Vintage Washstand with Towel Bar

I have wanted a vintage washstand with a towel bar for a long, long time. Unfortunately, this type of cabinet doesn't seem to ever come up for sale in my part of the world so my challenge began! How am I going to recreate this look??

I think I did pretty well!  

My main goal this year is to clear out my workshop of as much of the hoarded materials as I can.  I am tired of clutter!  I began to assemble a pile of components that I could use for this project.

Cottage Dining Room with Painted Furniture

Now that my dining room has new curtains and my hutch has a new paint job, it was time to change up the space a bit more.

I love my ladder back chairs.  I have 3 of them, two that match and one that is slightly smaller.  This is what they looked like originally.

Oy that orange!!!!!  Thankfully now a distant memory...

Iris & Peonies & Roses, Oh My!

Don't you just love the early summer garden?  Our spring this year was much earlier than usual and much warmer, too.  The flowers have been GLORIOUS!  I'm so happy to see my faves blooming with such gusto.

I adore iris, peonies and roses (and so many other flowers too!).  This photo-heavy post is a little peek at the fabulous blooms I enjoyed this year.


Hanging out with Our House Now a Home

Happy Friday!! Today I'm over visiting with Emily from Our House Now a Home on her "Share Your Space" series.  Pop over and say hello!

Turquoise Hutch

Another day, another dining room makeover!  After I scored my new linen drapes a few weeks back, the one thing in my dining room that stuck out like a sore thumb was the colour I painted my hutch last year...   Although I love the way the hutch turned out, that shade of grey/green just did NOT work with the wall colour.

It also didn't fit with the rest of my decor, so guess what?  I painted it again!!  In aqua.  I have an awful lot of  aqua paint on hand...

How to Install New Doorknobs

Hello!  I am thrilled to bits with my latest upgrade - lever doorknobs for my interior doors!!

My very first home had lever doorknobs and I loved the ease of them.  So much better than knobs for those times when your hands are full.  I love the look of them as well.

My latest house has mismatched doorknobs throughout.  The original, 1930s house has glass doorknobs which I kept.  The new part of the house had chrome knobs and every time I opened or closed a door my knuckles would bang against the door frame.  Curses!!!  Thanks to my partnership with D. Lawless Hardware, I was able to install gorgeous lever doorknobs from a manufacturer called Copper Creek in a  Tuscan bronze finish that matches most of my light fixtures and the kitchen hardware.

Beautiful New Entry - Part 1

Last winter I had moisture issues in my front entry which is a covered porch that someone enclosed somewhere along the way.  I've actually had issues for the last few winters but couldn't figure out exactly what was causing them until this past winter...

What's been happening is that the ceiling would leak water.  There's an attic vent to the outside that would frost over when the temps dropped during the coldest months.  I thought it was air leaking through my door and focused on weatherstripping and sealing, but that wasn't it.


I knew something had to be done when puddles appeared again in February this year, so last month I tore down the ceiling.  My beautiful, 85 year old tongue & groove original fir ceiling.  Wah!   What I found was a complete lack of insulation behind the 6" trim boards which clad the upper portion of the walls, no vapour barrier and someone had thrown extra insulation into the attic space which had completely covered the soffit vents.  This was a recipe for disaster!!!

Simple Changes for a Summery Cottage Style Look

This weekend I made some very simple and effective changes to my living and dining room that really ramped up the cottage style look I love so much.

I had two lucky breaks to kick things off - first I scored 3 sets of creamy white Ikea Aina linen drapes for a total price of $15 at a yard sale (WHOOP WHOOP!!!!!!).  Thanks to the stitch witchery that Ikea loves so much, it was easy to pull the hems apart and re-iron them to the length I wanted.

Early Spring Garden

We've had such an early spring this year - I LOVE it!!  I was able to get out and begin my new beds and landscape plans at the beginning of April.  I still have a long way to go, but this photo-heavy post is full of my new plants and plans!

Cross-Canada Insider's Tour! "In My Hood" Series

Bloggers across Canada are participating in this blog series by acting as tourists in their own towns.

You'll get a tour through Canada - from sleepy towns to hot spots with insider scoops on where to go and what to do! For my American readers, this is a great year to travel to Canada with the exchange rate so hugely in your favour.

 I'll be sharing links to the series on my Facebook page, so be sure to pop in there to catch up on all the cool places you can visit - click HERE to like my Facebook page.

5 Ways to Add Cottage Charm to Your Home

My style has changed several times since I first moved into my current home.  Last year I discovered the style that speaks to me and works best with my 1930s bungalow.  Here are 5 ways I've used to add cottage charm to my home.

1.   Painted furniture

What's Inspiring Me This Week

I spent all day Saturday tearing down my beautiful 100 year old tongue & groove fir ceiling in the front entry.  Why?  Because it was leaking all winter and there was no other way to access the attic of my tiny front entry.

I'm sorry to see that pretty ceiling go, but it was all moldy on the attic side of the wood so good thing it's gone...  Since I won't have the finished entry to show you for a while, here are things that have been inspiring me this week!

ADORE this space, isn't it stunning???  sigh... want this in my bedroom!!

I love, love, love this designer.  Check out more examples of her work HERE

Speaking  of bedrooms, I am so going to repaint mine.  Here's the photo that inspired that idea.

Simple Jewelry Organizer

You know how much I love shutters, right? This past weekend I accidentally came up with a great idea for a shutter repurpose - this shutter makes a really cute jewelry organizer!

This idea happened in a similar way to how Hillary Swank's character in "PS I Love You" found her calling...  I dropped my earring and it fell perfectly placed on a shutter I had decoratively placed on my dresser.    Did you see that movie btw??  I loved it! especially the sister - so funny! oh and the friend who was looking for the right guy, too!  um, ok back to the shutter story.  

This is a yard sale shutter I found many years ago.  I love it to death.  I actually found 8 of these and I've dragged them with me through 6 moves.  Sometimes being a packrat pays off.

Cottage Style Laundry Makeover

My laundry room got another makeover!

I have been steadily changing my house decor over to a mix of cottage-farmhouse.  This past weekend I added shutter doors to my open laundry cupboard and also to hide my stacked washer and dryer from view.  Here's the full tour!

Cleaning Up with Shutter Doors

I recently scored several louvered bi-fold doors at a flea market. I love the way they look like shutters (and I adore shutters!!!) I decided to take one set apart and add them to my laundry storage cupboard to hide all the junk supplies.

These doors were unpainted, unvarnished and unstained when I picked them up.  I had painted a single coat of white paint on them to brighten them up.  I used one set to hide the stacked washer and dryer.  I stuck a pipe insulator (pipe wrap) onto the back of them to keep them from banging when the laundry was running (makes it MUCH QUIETER).  I hung one of my paintings on them with an S hook to dress them up a bit.

My two Ikea kitchen trolleys got moved here when I renovated the kitchen last year.  Put together, they make a nice little work station and storage space.  The smaller set of bifolds were dismantled.