I'm sure we've all been there!  What do I do with all the photos....the tangible, physical ones?  In this day and age of digital photos, you can just print as needed, but back in the day before these wondrous cameras, you either had to place them into photo albums (a tedious job to say the least!) or like me...keep them in a rubbermaid box!  That's right!  So unorganized! 

            I was a busy, working mom & wife.  I didn't have time for organizing photos.  Really?  I was lucky if I got the laundry caught up!  You just don't have the time or the inclination to do it.  You'd find an envelope of newly developed photos and throw them in a drawer...later, perhaps days (maybe months...eek)  you'd pull them out and move them to the box.  Then when you actually want to take a look at them....you have to search willy-nilly all through the box, just to find that particular special photo you want to display!

            A few years back, Dan & I bought this lovely 28-drawer cabinet at our favourite Antique place "Country Corner" outside of Simcoe. (Sorry..they don't seem to have a web page or I'd link to it because they are awesome!)  It's 42"h x 18-1/2"w x 9"d and fits perfectly under our antique telephone.

            The drawers are labelled with (two each) our names, the kids names and their spouses names...if they were around when we had prints of photos...and some other varied labels like "pets, Dan's parents, my parents and friends".  It's beautiful, because often one or another of the kids will be here and their drawers get pulled out as they show someone their photos from throughout the years.  Lots of laughter fills the house with the memories rekindled.

            The best part though, is that we're actually looking at the photos, instead of passing on going to drag out "the box" and if someone gives us a recent print-out of a photo, we have a drawer specifically for it now, instead of it being crammed into the junk drawer! 

            Here's to keeping the memories close!


              This is definitely not an "old" item, however I thought it was kind of neat.  Obviously, it's meant to be used as a wine caddy.  I picked it up out at Mizeners Antique Market the same day I picked up that &*$#% tray!  This was $10.00.  I planned to spraypaint it and then put three different sized candles in the base of it with some nesting straw around it.  I think it will make a lovely glow in whatever room it ends up sitting in, don't you?  This didn't take too long...quick and easy! 

            I spraypainted the cast iron with an antique white (I know...always antique white recently...it's a kick I'm on!) and when it dried I put my battery operated candles into the wine holder circles and simply surrounded them with Spanish Moss. 

            I say simply (hahaha) because it was...however, totally messy stuff to work with!  I've never used it before and I had to pull out the vacuum cleaner afterward and vacuum everything!  Little fine hair-like fibers all over the floor and the table and chairs in the dining area!  Crazy!  But, I wanted it to look like a nest and it does! 

            What is it with me and nesting today?!  hahaha!

            As a final touch, I tried a bow first....no go.  But, I do think at Christmas you could put a lovely ribbon on this to make it more seasonal!  Then I tried some white flowers, but it looked like something that would be the centerpiece at the head table of a wedding...just sayin'!  So, finally...I called my friend, Maureen...the decorator....and asked her if she had any birds laying around?  And...she did...what a lovely whimsical touch!

              I made these flowerpots for two of my childhood friends' birthdays which coincide in the same month.  We've known each other since we were 5yrs old and last night we convened for one of our quarterly "Girls' Nights" where we gather at one of our houses, bring two appetizers each and a birthday gift for whoever's birthday is near.  There's four of us and we put our jammies on and just gab and eat and have a little wine. 

            These really weren't as difficult as I thought they'd be to make.  I used the instructions from Heaven's Walk and had a little hands on tutorial from my friend, Maureen .  The hardest part was standing back and looking and trying to make the pots appear aged.  Hard to do when you've just painted them!  I found that a sea sponge, once again, gave me better control and I just kept layering greys (two tones) and watered down whites onto the white-washed pot.    The frames of the lettering were courtesy of The Graphics Fairy, but the cracks, lovingly handpainted onto the pots, are courtesy of me!  Hahaha! 

            For instructions on how to make these, visit Heaven's Walk or Its All Connected for a step by step tutorial!  If I can follow them, anyone can, because we all know what a Spaz I am! 

           I gave these to my friends last night and I think they liked them!   I do!

The Graphics Fairy

Brag Monday

            My daughter gave me this garden shelf for Mother's Day (yes, back in May) and I really wasn't sure what to do with it?  Dan hung it in the larger washroom upstairs and I kept pondering what to put in it.  I put in lotions and tried candles, but was worried about it catching fire if I lit them, then a few days ago, I thought...just do it!  So, I went to the Dollar Store and picked up some artificial flowers and a clump of grass from Michaels, as well as some wee battery operated tea lights that were on sale.
     With florists foam, I built up the bottoms of each square container and put in soaps and candles and interspersed the flowers in the florists' foam around them.  And, just for a little perk, put some q-tips in a small jar with a ribbon.  I feel better that I've done something with this, because I really love it, but it was an awkward piece of wall art to deal with.  Coincidentally, one of my other daughters bought the exact same piece around the same time from Winners and she is having the same dilemma I had.

              With florists foam, I built up the bottoms of each square container and put in soaps and candles and interspersed the flowers in the florists' foam around them.  And, just for a little perk, put some q-tips in a small jar with a ribbon.  I feel better that I've done something with this, because I really love it, but it was an awkward piece of wall art to deal with.

            Coincidentally, one of my other daughters bought the exact same piece around the same time from Winners and she is having the same dilemma I had.

              This tray caught my eye out at Mizener's Antique & Flea Market in Flamborough on Hy 5.  It was $15.00 and appears to be a cherry wood frame around a glass enclosed picture of grapes, with brass handles. The back of the tray is old felt that has matted and balled up.  There is also a crack in one corner of the tray which I'll fill and sand.

I have a few ideas for this, but the main one is to paint it antique white, base under the glass too, and put an heirloom doily under the glass.  My friend also suggested I use the idea from Heaven's Walk to podge some Victorian lettering or drawing onto the base before putting the glass back in.  Although I've blogged about this and we all know it wasn't quite as easy as having the idea and doing it in this case, I ended up putting a stencil motif on the tray and exchanging the icky felt for fresh white felt.

  Do you love it!  I really love it!  And the most awesome thing about this project is I know what NOT to do to make it this beautiful!  Challenge?  You better believe it was....

            Five coats of paint on the frame....due to the battery acid off-spray, needless coats of paint on painter's canvas...because the stenciling wouldn't work on the bumpy surface.  Attempts at painting the edges of the blurs on the stencil with a small paintbrush and a not so steady hand.   Then, discovering that I could have just painted that piece of bristol board I had in the first place anyway because that's what worked best!   The stencil was a Plaid Stencil Decor product I picked up at Michaels.

              I do have to tell you something....I picked up some Martha Stewart Pouncers for doing stenciling...thinking, I'll use those again for sure, and that's what I had been using when I did the first Canvas Fiasco...and I practiced again on the spare painted bristol board and still wasn't super happy with the results, so I went into my own artist cache in the spare room and grabbed a very small sea sponge and tried that out.  I found I had much more control using the sea sponge and it seemed to actually "pounce" better than the tools made for the trade!

            The finishing touch was the heavy grade white felt on the bottom of the tray.  I just glued that on with No More Nails. 

  Quick and easy to put together!  All you need are Christmas Balls for the tree...the best ones of course have lots of bling!  Add a battery operated string of lights.  In this case I used some I'd had for quite some time that actually looked pearly on the string section of the lights.  Some wiry Christmas ribbon, again with the sparkle effect.  Oh yes, of course....the glass vase and in my case here I set it all up on a lovely platter.  Voila!  The ambiance in the room is warmth and coziness.

              The idea for this magazine rack or book rack came from my friend Gail who introduced me to these when I saw them in her kitchen.  This is from the back of an old church pew and would have held hymnals originally.   I have two I picked up at an antique place up north.  Originally, they were not painted, but had a dark stain on them and one was in my kitchen holding cookbooks and another in my washroom, holding reading matter.  In this home, I don't have enough wall space for something like this without making the kitchen look cluttered, so I painted them and I have one in each washroom.  This one is in the powder room and although it may sound tacky to have magazines in your powder room...for obvious reasons, it's a fact of life that people read in the washroom and we do have overnight guests and it looks quite charming I think and keeps the magazines from piling up in a corner!  When I'm completely finished my powder room, hall, laundry room redo, I'll post photos! 

            72 Wondrous Drawers!!  My Dream Cabinet!!  Made in Berlin, Ontario sometime between 1911-1916 for use in a General Store.  Berlin, Ontario changed it's name to Kitchener in 1916 due to the stigma involved with Berlin in the beginnning of WWI.  This cabinet is 8ft wide and heavier than you can imagine....we had 6 guys bring it home from Country Corner Antiques (again...my favourite store) and when we moved from Hamilton to the river here, we had movers...who were not impressed with the weight of this baby.  It does come apart in two pieces, top and bottom, but is solid oak. Each drawer has a slide-in glass piece behind the front of the drawer where you could put grains, pastas, beans, etc to fill it up and I haven't finished yet....obviously.  The bottom are slider doors and the space inside those cupboards is huge, along with the four deep drawers above them.  Presently it sits in our spare room.  It's difficult to figure out where to put such a massive piece of furniture! 

             The first photo of my drawer fetish!  We acquired this cabinet back in the 90's at our favourite Antique store, Country Corner Antiques, on Hwy 3 at Nixon Rd outside of Simcoe.  It's actually a redo using an old bird coop and reclaimed wood to make it a lovely piece of furniture.  Actually, if the truth be told, it smelled like an old bird coop when we first got it, but we stuffed dryer sheets in the drawers and eventually, the smell did indeed leave it.  I know....gross!  We actually used it in our washroom in our old house for a number of years due to only having a large pedestal sink and no cupboards, but now it's used to store all kinds of things.....mostly jars of spices, packages of seasonings, birthday stuff like candles and cake decorating items.  It's right next to our kitchen, but is in the livingroom, so it's handy, but pleasing to the eye! 

             This light fixture is in our screened-in room, where I was looking for a light airy feel.  A somewhat Shabby-chic look.  Along with a chandelier hanging above a large red harvest table and some wicker furniture, it really feels homey at night with just this wee light on out there.  I bought this, as you see it, in a store in Jarvis called "C'est la Vie".   I've bought a few things there, but normally prefer to buy unfinished stuff and paint it up myself.  Her stuff is quite lovely in that store and nicely arranged with many accessories for home decor along with full sized unique looking cabinets all shabby-chic'd.

             From the moment I knew we were covering our pergola on the deck into a screened-in room (bug free zone!) I've had this idea in my head to make it light and airy looking, with a feminine touch in the light fixtures.  Chandeliers and foo-foo lamps go so well with wicker don't you think?  This fixture came from C'est La Vie in Jarvis as well and can really light the room up at night while still looking elegant!


    Wendy from Rural Southern Ontario....I'd like to share some of my renos, revamps, recycling, new items that are just cool and antiques too!


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